Monday, April 14, 2014

ARC Review: To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publishing Date: April 15th, 2014
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Pages:  368 pgs
ISBN:  9781442426702
Source: Given to me for an honest review by publishers

Summary from Goodreads:
Lara Jean's love life goes from imaginary to out of control in this heartfelt novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Summer I Turned Pretty series.

What if all the crushes you ever had found out how you felt about them — all at once?

Lara Jean Song keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. They aren't love letters that anyone else wrote for her; these are ones she's written. One for every boy she's ever loved— five in all.

When she writes, she pours out her heart and soul and says all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly, Lara Jean's love life goes from imaginary to out of control.

My Review: 

Oh Jenny Han, you've done it again. You've teased me with an awesome premise, you've lured me with a great cover and ultimately you have confirmed why you are on my autobuy list.
To All the Boys I've Loved Before is about the Song sisters. Lara Jean writes love letters to all the boys that she falls in love with. These are meant to be cathartic, a way to purge herself of her feelings that she doesn't think will be returned. They are never meant to be seen by anyone. They are just for her. 

Somehow, one day, her letters seem to be make their way to into the hands of those they are addressed to. This just causes a lot of shenanigans especially since one of them is addressed to her sister's ex boyfriend. 

I have to say that I really enjoyed the writing in this book. It is light and fun but it doesn't mean that it is simple. It was exactly what I have come to love about Han's writing. I really fell in love with the Song family too. Each of the characters is fun, and entertaining and I loved watching how each of the Song girls grows into their own.
Overall I would suggest this for a nice day out on the patio with a daquari or perhaps maybe an iced tea. I would suggest picking this one up as soon as you can. 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

ARC Review: Panic by Lauren Oliver

Publisher: Harper Collins
Publishing Date: March 4th, 2014
Genre: YA
Pages: 408 pgs
ISBN: 9780062014559
Source: Received for honest review from publisher via Edelweiss

Summary from Goodreads:
Panic began as so many things do in Carp, a dead-end town of 12,000 people in the middle of nowhere: because it was summer, and there was nothing else to do.

Heather never thought she would compete in Panic, a legendary game played by graduating seniors, where the stakes are high and the payoff is even higher. She’d never thought of herself as fearless, the kind of person who would fight to stand out. But when she finds something, and someone, to fight for, she will discover that she is braver than she ever thought.

Dodge has never been afraid of Panic. His secret will fuel him, and get him all the way through the game, he’s sure of it. But what he doesn't know is that he’s not the only one with a secret. Everyone has something to play for.

For Heather and Dodge, the game will bring new alliances, unexpected revelations, and the possibility of first love for each of them—and the knowledge that sometimes the very things we fear are those we need the most.

My Review: 

Panic is about a group of teens involved in a game to win a large sum of money. In order to win said money they must compete in several tasks that are increasingly more insane. Each round is like an elimination round that the last one standing wins.
The main character Heather had no plans to enter this dangerous game but on a whim, after her boyfriend breaks up with her, decides to enter. She then joins forces with her best friend and Dodge, a boy with his own reasons for joining the game.
As the story progresses and the stunts the graduates are encouraged to do for money quickly escalates in danger and ridiculousness, it becomes apparent that each player in the Panic game is in it for good reasons. Many are in less than ideal housing and familial situations. Others are in it for revenge. I enjoyed reading about the background stories of the characters.

While I found the story entertaining and the characters memorable, I have to admit that some of the story drove me crazy. Some of it had me thinking: Really?!? The stunts that are pulled are actually insane. Some people are seriously injured and other even end up dead. Even if I was in the worst financial situation I don't think I'd be able to last til the end. I would more than likely give up because it is just too insane.

I also wondered why the police weren't more a presence. I hate to be condescending but I'm fairly certain that most police forces are more cunning than a group of teens. I just found it some of it a bit too difficult to believe.

That being said, I did enjoy the story and gobbled it up. Oliver's writing style is one that I enjoy. The words just flow from the page, to the imagination seamlessly. Also, let's talk about cover appeal. This is gorgeous. The typeset is the same as the Delirium series and the picture is great. I love the hair and the black background. I would buy this book on the cover alone.

In summary, while I had some issues with this book, I think that it is one that is worth reading. Oliver isn't this popular for no reason.