Thursday, April 30, 2009

Review by Alex- Wintergirls

Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson:

"Dead girl walking," the boys say in the halls.
"Tell us your secret," a the girls whisper, one toilet to another.
I am that girl.
I am the space between my thighs, daylight shining through.
I am the bones they want, wired on a porcelain frame.

Lia and Cassie are best friends, wintergirls frozen in matchstick bodies, competitors in a deadly contest to see who can be the skinniest. But what comes after size zero and size double-zero? When Cassie succumbs to the demons within, Lia feels she is being haunted by her friendas restless spirit.

I was just blown away by Wintergirls. I had high expecations for Wintergirls since I just recently read Speak for the first time and absolutely loved it.

Wintergirls is so beautiful and heartwrenching. I think my favourite aspect of this book is the writing. It's unusual and different then others, where it is simply chapters and paragraphs, (although that doesn't mean that these books aren't good, of course). But Wintergirls stands out, and Laurie Halse Anderson at that, because of the unconventional writing, in my opinion. Wintergirls is written more like in thoughts- the narration is constantly interrupted with bits of Lia's haunted mind. She repeatedly thinks of Cassie, poor Cassie, with this right aligned. And lots of Lia's thoughts are crossed out- Lia's always correcting her thoughts. Umm, I'm not explaining it that well.

But that's the thing with Wintergirls. It's difficult to explain the sheer awsomeness of it. XD Anorexia is such a complex problem, but LAH writes about it perfectly, and Lia is completely relatable.

An interruption on this review:
I've noticed that I tend to like characters more when I can relate to them. I mean, doesn't everyone? So it makes sense for an author to make the main character a big reader, because, odds are, the readers who read the book are going to be big readers. Right, makes sense? I just think it's great. :)

Anyway, back to the review:
Lia is just a fully amazing character. She's got her problems, and is by no means perfect- far from it. But she's so real, and so incredibly raw. Her relationships with her parents and family is so believeable. Actually, the whole novel is utterly believeable. I think this is my first book which focuses on anorexia...Anyway, while I really have no personal expericence with anorexia, I was completely pulled into Wintergirls and Lia and her problems.

And the thing is, while most of the book is very depressing, and I felt saddenned at times, I was never without hope. There was always that glimmer to me. Lia could come out of the deep dark hole of self-doubt and anorexia. She just needed to really try, with actual encouragement from her family.

Lia was so strong though. I mean, sure, her strength is misdirected. But it takes a huge will power to not eat. I tried a 30 hour famine for school and I only lasted 20. XD So to be like, Lia... well, that's sheer madness to me. I'm just... so astounded my Lia. I could never even... imagine someone like her, but even so, she is just so real and she becomes alive. Just thinking back, all my thoughts are just like "...". I'm honestly trying to think of how to explain Lia and Wintergirls, and am at a bit of a loss.

So, the point: Read Wintergirls. READ IT. It will blow your brains away. Your mind will not only go into flight, but orbit. XD

Photobucket Photobucket

Oh. And Lia's smart, a huge reader, and she knits. Like, yesss. One cannot get more awesome than that. XD

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Alex- Rambling #1

I've been thinking...

Point of views in books. What's your favourite? Third person, first person, maybe even second person? Told by a girl or boy? Changing point of views, or no?

Before, I would have said first person, girl. Like Sarah Dessen who I immensely love. But my tastes have also broadened, and now I really do like a variety now that I've experienced more. John Green is amazing, and I feel like I can still connect with his protagonists all the time, even though they're always boys. And recently, I've fallen in love with changing points of view. Like it switches from the guy, to the girl, or whatnot. I'm currently thinking of Susane Colasanti, author of books like When It Happens. I just love how readers get to get to know the characters that way, and follow closely both main characters as they fall in love. That way, it's not completely one sided, only knowing how one character feels.

Also, My Most Excellent Year. This book is written all in assignments, emails, and the like. But it's from 3 different characters, mostly. And they have such different views of each other. For example. The two guys, T.C. and Augie both recall a memory, but with different perspectives. Right after T.C.'s mother dies when he's six, he's suddenly alienated from his peers. So when he wears a shirt inside out and people copy him the next day, T.C. thinks everyone is making fun of him. So he goes and cries, which really tears my heart out. Augie, meanwhile, knows differently. Everyone copied T.C. because he was popular, and everyone wanted to be like him, not because they were being mean. See what I mean? I just, I love that.

Another good example of changing views is Dream Factory, by Brad Barkley and Heather Hepler. So cute. With changing point of views, my heart can really go out to both main characters. :)

So, Lauren and viewers who will hopefully come, what do you all think?

Monday, April 27, 2009

Review by Alex- I Know It's Over

Alright. This is key. This is exciting. This. Is. My. First. Review. On. This. Blog. Oh man, I'm ecstatic. A little background on me first. I have reviewed books. But on my livejournal, and only to my friends. Which pretty much consisted of Lauren. But this is out in public. Oh!

And also. We, both Lauren and I, are recording all the books we've read so far in 2009. The goal is to read up to 100 books. If anyone wants see the lists or follow along, the links are these: me and Lauren. Add us if you like on lj.

And my first review is for...

I Know It's Over! By C. K. Kelly Martin. Yay!

PURE. UNPLANNED. PERFECT. Those were Nick’s summer plans before Sasha stepped into the picture. With the collateral damage from his parents’ divorce still settling and Dani (his girl of the moment) up for nearly anything, complications are the last thing he needs. All that changes, though, when Nick runs into Sasha at the beach in July. Suddenly he’s neck-deep in a relationship and surprised to find he doesn’t mind in the least. But Nick’s world shifts again when Sasha breaks up with him. Then, weeks later, while Nick’s still reeling from the breakup, she turns up at his doorstep and tells him she’s pregnant. Nick finds himself struggling once more to understand the girl he can’t stop caring for, the girl who insists that it’s still over.

I have to say, it wasn't as amazing as I had hoped. I had high expectations for this book. I saw it was a Cybils finalist and I'd heard and read good things about it. So when I finally got it from my public library, since for some reason, I was never able to request it until like two months after the library got it, (which is months after the book is published), I read it right way. I can't say it wasn't good, because it was. I just had such great expectations. Stupid expectations; always getting in my way.

I'm not exactly sure why I don't like this book as much as I think I should. It is unflinchingly honest and truthful. It has great characters and plot. It is uncensored but realistic. But I guess, to me, it wasn't all that hopeful. It just... made me sad. Don't get me wrong, I love sad books, but there needs to be hope, and ultimately, I read to make myself happy, not sad. I love happy endings, or even just endings that are hopeful, and then that makes me hopeful. I didn't find I Know It's Over one of those books. When I finished it, late last night, I went more "Aaaw. :(" then "Aaaw. How sweet. I loved it! :)" like I do with other books.

Another thing, I suppose, is the characters. I thought Nick was great. He's a normal guy, trying to deal with things the best he can. Sasha though... she annoyed me. I don't really know why. Maybe it's her decisions. I never really got why Sasha dumped Nick in the first place, why they fought before that, and why Nick didn't really get any say about the baby. She seemed too selfish to me, and not all that interesting. I liked her at the beginning, with her attitude and the way she wasn't afraid to tell Nick off. But after that... not so much. I'm more used to reading about the female as the narrator and the guy as the love interest though. That way, I relate to the girl more, and the guy I can drool over. XD I just couldn't relate to Sasah as the love interest.

I really liked the secondary characters though. I thought Holland was great, and Nathan. Funny, second book I've read where there's a guy named Nathan who's gay and amazing. XD

Honestly, it was a good read though. It's very well crafted and I did think it was beautiful. Maybe it's just me not for me. I would recommend it though for others.

Photobucket Photobucket

Sunday, April 26, 2009

A little introduction, I suppose.

This is Alex. Together with my friend Lauren, we decided to create a YA review blog.

This is a blog reviewing teen books, by teen readers. We read... probably too much to be healthy. Read: a lack of lives. XD We feed off our city public library and Chapters.

We're hoping to have one book every week or so, that we'll both review without conferring to each other as not to, well, taint our opinions of the book. There will be other books in between most likely, since we, specifically me, have a ton of books to go through, courtesy of the library. We also plan to get others to review here, mostly friends who want to share their opinions and reviews on different books. They will probably be at random intervals.

While Lauren and I do not have exact tastes in books, and we will read different books, we have very similar tastes. That is to say, we love science fiction, romance, fantasy, and lots of others. For a list of some of our favourite books, check our profile.

Site Meter