The Busy Bibliophile

where I review books, mostly ya and chick-lit

mostly good girls by leila sales September 1, 2011

Filed under: 3 stars,bad boy,besties,easy read,leila sales,quick read,ya — Andrea @ 8:42 am

The higher you aim, the farther you fall….
 
It’s Violet’s junior year at the Westfield School. She thought she’d be focusing on getting straight As, editing the lit mag, and figuring out how to talk to boys without choking on her own saliva. Instead, she’s just trying to hold it together in the face of cutthroat academics, her crush’s new girlfriend, and the sense that things are going irreversibly wrong with her best friend, Katie.
 
When Katie starts making choices that Violet can’t even begin to fathom, Violet has no idea how to set things right between them. Westfield girls are trained for success—but how can Violet keep her junior year from being one huge, epic failure?

 

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I wanted to really like this one, you know?  It’s gotten pretty good reviews, so I figured it would be a sure thing.  But I just couldn’t love it.  I liked it okay, but I definitely wouldn’t call it a must-read.

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the truth about forever by sarah dessen August 22, 2011

Filed under: 4 stars,easy read,loss,sad,sarah dessen,summer,ya — Andrea @ 12:52 pm

Sixteen-year-old Macy Queen is looking forward to a long, boring summer. Her boyfriend is going away. She’s stuck with a dull-as-dishwater job at the library. And she’ll spend all of her free time studying for the SATs or grieving silently with her mother over her father’s recent unexpected death. But everything changes when Macy is corralled into helping out at one of her mother’s open house events, and she meets the chaotic Wish Catering crew. Before long, Macy joins the Wish team. She loves everything about the work and the people. But the best thing about Wish is Wes—artistic, insightful, and understanding Wes—who gets Macy to look at life in a whole new way, and really start living it.

 

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I really enjoyed this one. There was no big mystery or great romance, it was just a fun read.

Macy’s father passed away a year and a half ago and ever since then she’s been “fine, just fine,” which is code for just barely making it.  Her sister has married and moved out and her mom is avoiding her own grief by working way too much at her job.  Her boyfriend Jason is an unemotional genius and Macy has nobody to talk to.  Her mom needs her to be perfect and so she is.  She does everything expected of her and little else.  In short, she’s barely living.

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flat-out love by jessica park August 15, 2011

Filed under: 5 stars,chick-lit,geek,jessica park,must read,romantic,ya — Andrea @ 11:28 am

Flat-Out Love is a warm and witty novel of family love and dysfunction, deep heartache and raw vulnerability, with a bit of mystery and one whopping, knock-you-to-your-knees romance.

Something is seriously off in the Watkins home. And Julie Seagle, college freshman, small-town Ohio transplant, and the newest resident of this Boston house, is determined to get to the bottom of it.

When Julie’s off-campus housing falls through, her mother’s old college roommate, Erin Watkins, invites her to move in. The parents, Erin and Roger, are welcoming, but emotionally distant and academically driven to eccentric extremes. The middle child, Matt, is an MIT tech geek with a sweet side … and the social skills of a spool of USB cable. The youngest, Celeste, is a frighteningly bright but freakishly fastidious 13-year-old who hauls around a life-sized cardboard cutout of her oldest brother almost everywhere she goes.

And there’s that oldest brother, Finn: funny, gorgeous, smart, sensitive, almost emotionally available. Geographically? Definitely unavailable. That’s because Finn is traveling the world and surfacing only for random Facebook chats, e-mails, and status updates. Before long, through late-night exchanges of disembodied text, he begins to stir something tender and silly and maybe even a little bit sexy in Julie’s suddenly lonesome soul.

To Julie, the emotionally scrambled members of the Watkins family add up to something that … well … doesn’t quite add up. Not until she forces a buried secret to the surface, eliciting a dramatic confrontation that threatens to tear the fragile Watkins family apart, does she get her answer.

 

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I flat-out loved this book!  Seriously, I would totally marry this book if I could.  It starts off with our young star in a sticky situation from which she must be rescued.  She got screwed out of an apartment in a faraway college town and is left sitting on the side of the road (literally).  Her mom phones an old college friend who lives nearby and said college friend sends her son Matt to pick up Julie.

“He’ll be driving a blue Volvo and should be there any minute.”

“OK. Matt. Dangerous town. Blue Volvo. If I get into the wrong car and get myself murdered and dumped in an alley, I want you to know how much I love you. And don’t look in the third drawer of my desk.”

Matt lives with his mom, Julie’s mom’s college friend, Erin, his dad Roger and his sister Celeste.  Erin tells Julie she can stay as long as she wants.  In exchange for the free room and board, she would like Julie to spend her afternoons with their 13-year-old Celeste, who has a few… quirks.

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twenty boy summer by sarah ockler August 5, 2011

Filed under: 4 stars,beach,besties,sad,sarah ockler,summer,v-card,ya — Andrea @ 4:15 pm

According to Anna’s best friend, Frankie, twenty days in Zanzibar Bay is the perfect opportunity to have a summer fling, and if they meet one boy every day, there’s a pretty good chance Anna will find her first summer romance. Anna lightheartedly agrees to the game, but there’s something she hasn’t told Frankie–she’s already had her romance, and it was with Frankie’s older brother, Matt, just before his tragic death one year ago.Twenty Boy Summer explores what it truly means to love someone, what it means to grieve, and ultimately, how to make the most of every beautiful moment life has to offer.

 

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Matt and his sister Francesca (Frankie) have been best friends with neighbor Anna forever.  Anna’s been in love with Matt for about that long.  But she hasn’t told Frankie.  One day Matt kisses Anna.  They start a secret relationship and Matt promises to tell his sister Frankie soon.  But instead he goes and dies.  Bummer, right?

There’s sadness and crying and loss.  Anna still can’t tell Frankie the truth because she promised (the now dead) Matt she wouldn’t.  Even though he’s dead.  Because she promised.  Okay, moving on.

What better way to forget about your problems then go on a family tradition month-long trip to the beach?  To fill the empty space the now dead Matt left, the family invites Anna to join them.  The girls (mostly Frankie) decide they will meet/hit on/be hit on by/make out with/have sex with at least 20 boys.  Because Frankie lost her v-card already and now it’s time for Anna to lose hers.  But Anna’s still hung up on Matt.  But she can’t tell Frankie that because she promised Matt.  Who’s now dead.

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perfect chemistry by simone elkeles August 4, 2011

When Brittany Ellis walks into chemistry class on the first day of senior year, she has no clue that her carefully created “perfect” life is about to unravel before her eyes. She’s forced to be lab partners with Alex Fuentes, a gang member from the other side of town, and he is about to threaten everything she’s worked so hard for—her flawless reputation, her relationship with her boyfriend, and the secret that her home life is anything but perfect. Alex is a bad boy and he knows it. So when he makes a bet with his friends to lure Brittany into his life, he thinks nothing of it. But soon Alex realizes Brittany is a real person with real problems, and suddenly the bet he made in arrogance turns into something much more.  In a passionate story about looking beneath the surface, Simone Elkeles breaks through the stereotypes and barriers that threaten to keep Brittany and Alex apart.

 

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The premise is based on the Romeo and Juliet, 2 different sides of the track idea.  These 2 kids are too different to make it work.  They have different backgrounds, different lifestyles; too different for them even to associate with each other in school, let alone outside of school.

The kids from the north side don’t really mix with kids from the south side. It’s not that we think we’re better than them, we’re just different. We’ve grown up in the same town, but on totally opposite sides. We live in big houses on Lake Michigan and they live next to the train tracks. We look, talk, act, and dress different. I’m not saying it’s good or bad; it’s just the way it is in Fairfield.

Alex is a bad boy gang member and Brittany’s a prissy ice princess.  Can you see where this is going?  Yeah, I could too, after about the first page.  But that shouldn’t stop you from giving it a chance.  Because getting there is very very fun.

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