Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Random News

Hey guys, I've resurfaced :) Momentarily... to bring you a couple things!

First off, I would like to announce that both Alex & I have now completed our 100 Books in a Year challenge for 2009 - Alex finished ages ago but that's not important.

Secondly, I am very sorry that the blog has pretty much died :( We've both been so busy lately now that grades have started counting plus both of us are working now.
Hopefully this will make you feel better/I know it's beyond random but where else can you share this? So a couple weeks ago, Alex celebrated her birthday with a super awesome cake :) (excuse the size but it's from my cellphone :/)
and just in case you were wondering, it is our blog banner. On a cake!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Review by Alex- Little Black Lies

Little Black Lies by Tish Cohen
Sara Black is tiptoeing across a fraying tightrope.

As the new eleventh grader at Anton High – the most elite public school in the country – she sticks out like an old VW bus in a parking lot full of shiny BMWs. But being the new kid also brings a certain advantageous anonymity.

In Anton High’s world of privilege, intelligence, and wealth, Sara can escape her family’s tarnished past and become whomever she wants.

And what’s the harm in telling a few little black lies when it can lead to popularity? That is, until another it girl at Anton becomes jealous of Sara’s social climbing.
With her balance evaporating, one small push could bring Sara crashing down.

First Impressions: Reading that synopsis, Little Black Lies sounds pretty average. The description on the back is a bit better, but I couldn't find it online.

But while it seems a little mediocre at first, it isn't. Not even close. The characters are really unique and interesting. There's tons of quirks that make each one special. For instance, Sara's dad has OCD that acts up unexpectedly and her mom, a chef, is MIA in Sara's life.

Another thing that set Little Black Lies from other novels, is the setting. Yes, it's an elite school. But it's a completely nerdy elite school. Emphasis is on marks, averages, brains, not anything else. One of the most "popular" kids, the ones who can get away with saying anything to others, is a perverted little boy, but who has a genius brain. It might be because my school is like that, to a lesser degree, so I could relate, but the fact that the school is so mark-driven and different from other schools, is what makes the book shine.

The actual plot, Sara going to Boston, entering a new school, pretending her dad isn't a janitor, being befriended by the popular, smart girls, lying about her past and herself, falling for the most powerful girl's boyfriend, etc. etc. It's dramatic and quite Gossip Girl-esque, so it's not usually my type of plotline. It is the average part of the book. But it's made up with the previously mentioned pluses of the novel.

I do wish some of the minor characters were developed more, along with the romantic relationship. The reader learns about some of the them, but some of the others girls are just briefly described, even though they play a pretty important role in the novel. The romance feels a little forced and is only brought up now and then, but that's forgettable.

The humor and and actions are spot on. It's easy to relate with Sara, and to understand why she would lie, even though that doesn't make it pardonable. Thankfully, Sara doesn't get off scotch free, after all her lies, and everything is not tied up with a pink bows with unicrons prancing around. So add realistic as another plus.

Final Impressions: Overall, Little Black Lies takes the usual new girl lying plot and twists it to make a fun and quirky novel to read. The characters and setting are on the unusal side which makes the novel stand out dramatically. Definitely a must-read for a cross between The It Girl-like books and John Green-weird like details.

Add to Shelf: Go for it! An excellent book- and paperback! :D

Note This! The school's name is Anton, and thus, the students are "Ants". This makes for adorable titles and sayings, which actually had me giggling aloud at times.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Review by Alex- Dull Boy

Oh dear. It's terrible. Not a post in two weeks. >.< I'm afraid school's just taken over my life as I try to do well and bring up my average. But I'll try to post at least a little more frequently than it has been recently. For now, here's a review:

Dull Boy by Sarah Cross
What do you do if you can deadlift a car, and you spend your nights flying to get away from it all? If you’re fifteen-year-old Avery Pirzwick, you keep that information to yourself. When you’re a former jock turned freak, you can’t afford to let the secret slip.

But then Avery makes some friends who are as extraordinary as he is. He realizes they’re more than just freaks—together, maybe they have a chance to be heroes. First, though, they have to decide whether to trust the mysterious Cherchette, a powerful wouldbe mentor whose remarkable generosity may come at a terrible price.

First Impressions: I love anything to do with teenage superheroes, and superheroes in general, so it should come as no surprise that I was super excited to read Dull Boy.

For the most part, Dull Boy takes fun tone to the whole superhero idea. Avery loves his powers sometimes- he can fly and he's super strong. But with all that, it's hard to control himself. He wants to become a hero, not just a boy with powers. Hence, him being relegated to a school for dangerous kids after trying to stop a bank robbery and failing.

At the school, and at a coffeehouse he frequents, he meets new friends. His old friends abandoned him for the most part, as Avery was constantly trying to find someone to help. (Think Incredidles.) With his new friends, they form a team of superheroes, trying to fight crime together. They laugh, they have fun, they fight and have the usual teen angst... and they beat baddies. Awesome right?

A lot of the book is made up of amusing ideas for the team to be heroes. There's also that Cherchette who's trying to recruit some of them... But there's also some real life issues: friendship, helping others, and believing in yourself to be good.

The climax is this huge action explosion that had me reading until late at night. The Cherchette plotline gets huge and there's lots of really interesting revelations. The ending is very open, and makes me wonder if there will be a sequel... one can only hope.

Final Impressions: Superhero fans rejoice. Sarah Cross delivers an excellent novel of teenagers just trying to fit in and be friends, but while saving to save others and each other. It's not uber-epic bad, where the kids are saving the world, but a lighter and sweeter tone. Just my cuppa tea.

Add to Shelf: I think I may have to. Superheroes!

Note This! I love this. Catherine, one of Avery's friends, and a member of the team, has super balance and claws. I laughed when I made the connection with her name. Catherine... Wolverine... XD

Sunday, November 1, 2009

In My Mailbox (22)

A pretty slow week, but they're some of the books I've been eager to read.
From the library:
Another Faust by Daniel and Dina Nayeri- very interested in this one, though I've never read the original Faust story.
Immortal by Gillian Shields- still debating on reading this one. It's gotten some bad reviews, and I'm pretty tired of sub-par paranormal books that ressemble one another. Got it from the library anyway...
Rage: A Love Story by Julie Anne Peters- Got this one without knowing much about it. It's LGBT though, so that's great.
Liar by Justine Larbalestier- Liar sounds really good and twisted!
And that's it for me this week. Nothing bought or received, but I did get some goods ones from the library. Oh libraries, what would I do without you?
IMM hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.
- Alex

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