Monday, November 24, 2014

Melt by Selene Castrovilla

Melt by Selene Castrovilla
Pub: 11/6/2014
Pgs: 280
ARC provided by NetGalley

This was good.  I have to admit it, this story got to me; however, based on my 3 stars it could have been better.  Dorothy and Joey are about to experience the phenomenon labeled: INSTALOVE.  Neither one will no what hit them, but they will fall hard.  Dorothy is the new girl from NYC, she lives in a huge home, and has pretty decent parents.  Joey is the bad boy punk at school, who gets into too many fights, lives in a modest home, and his father, the police officer, routinely beats Joey's mother.  Dorothy, or Doll as Joey likes to call her, and Joey could not be any more different, but in each other they find understanding, purity, rebellion, and love. 

There was a lot going on in this novel.  Given two perspectives, that of Joey and Dorothy, each perspective is delivered differently.  Dorothy is in verse, while Joey is in prose.  I kind of liked that distinction because it seemed like Joey would have never been able to coherently finish a thought based on his up bringing.  I don't mean that beating your children will make you stupid, I mean sometimes being in an abusive home you tend to be antsy, nervous, and perhaps fickle in thought.  Dorothy was the voice of reason for much of the novel and she was able to show that in the complete thoughts she laid out to the readers.

What didn't work for me, but wasn't a huge issue, was the tie in to The Wizard of Oz.  This is not a remake, and the only other connection is that her name is Dorothy.  I guess you could really over analyze this book and come up with how Joey is the embodiment of someone without a heart, brain, or courage until Dorothy shows him that he has plenty of love, smarts, and courage to stand up to his father.  Overall I liked this extremely quick read, with just enough substance to make you go, "hmm" at the end.

3.5 stars out of 5.  Thanks NetGalley

Creed by Trisha Leaver and Lindsay Currie

Creed by Trisha Leaver and Lindsay Currie
Pub: 11/8/2014
Pgs: 264
ARC received by NetGalley

What. Did. I. Just. Read.

That was my initial reaction to this book.  Mike, Luke, and Dee are on a road trip to the night of their life; however, because they are teenagers someone forgets the gas.  Now stuck in upstate NY in a snow storm, with no cell phone reception, the three need to figure out survival... until, they stumble on what seems like an abandoned town.  Instead of gas, a warm place to stay, or anything to help with their survival, they got a backwards town, secluded from society with their own rules, laws, and leader.  Sometimes the pasture isn't greener, it's on fire.

Holy Moley literally.  Leaver and Currie took a bad case scenario and made it so much worse, and injected some cult realities into the mix, for s*&^ and giggles.  A suspenseful read with an even more suspenseful ending, that made me just like the author a little more.  I personally could not stand Dee and so I gave the book a 3.5 out of 5.
Thanks NetGalley. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Love and Other Unknown Variables by Shannon Lee Alexander

Love and Other Unknown Variables
Love and Other Unknown Variables by Shannon Lee Alexander
Pg: 350
ARC received by NetGalley

"To Other Charlie, who may need reminding he's the reason the mockingbird sings."

How in the world are people supposed to get over a book, when it is written to pierce you at your core.  I feel like I have been opened at the seams and love, chaos, hurt, death, fun, and life have been poured into me.  These were similar feelings to the ones after I read TFiOS. 

Charlie has always been a smart kid.  He goes to a prestigious and rigorous school, he plans on going to MIT, and he has no luck with the ladies. So he concentrates on math and science, until one day he encounters a beautiful girl in a coffee shop with a perplexing infinity tattoo. Charlotte Finch is the girl in question.  She's new and goes to school with Charlie's sister, Becca (who might have some problems, which make it difficult to be friends with people.)  Becca is Charlie's little sister, someone who has a hard time with the real world but can get lost in books all day.  Charlotte end up becoming friends with Becca.  Ms. Josephine Finch is Charlotte's older sister, who is taking care of her and also is the new teacher at the prestigious school Charlie goes to, the school that is famous for keeping their English teachers as long as Hogwarts kept Defense against the Dark Arts teachers (loved that analogy).  Charlotte ends up asking Charlie to distract her sister and come up with great pranks; however, Charlie doesn't realize that she is deflecting from something bigger, something he wouldn't have been able to guess.. even if he's a genius.

This is a story about a girl and boy and cancer.  That it.. I said the magic word.. cancer.  You know it's not going to end well, but every time it does.  Yes, death is a possibility but I never feel like it was wrongly done, instead I look at the "living" these characters did in the story.  The "living" alone is enough to get people to read this. Charlie learns valuable lessons through literature (I know math and science nerds, who knew, right?), jumps out of his comfort zones, and learns to live a little.  I was so emotional reading this story because you just know something bad is going to happen and then all the good stuff happens and your just waiting for the knife to cut you down.  Wonderfully executed; Charlie and Charlotte's story will stay with me for awhile.  
4.5 stars out of 5.  Thanks NetGalley