Saturday, January 28, 2012

Crank Book Review

Ellen Hopkins
Simon Pulse
ISBN 0-689-86519-8

                This book was unique in so many ways and I truly adored it. You see so many books and movie about what drugs can do to a person or a family but very rarely do you get a glimpse into that person’s head well that’s exactly where this book takes you. ‘Crank’ is definitely a unique kind of a book. The way it is written sets it apart from other novels of this sort of plot. It’s written in poem form, the story comes at you in short, fast spurts. It’s unlike any other book I’ve ever read and I was immediately hooked by the style of writing and how the words were placed on the page. As well as the powerful story they told.

                ‘Crank’ tells the story of Kristina, a good kid who has good grades. Her family is pretty prim and proper and on the straight and narrow except for the fact that her older sister is a lesbian. Which they still try to turn their heads to and deny it the best they can. Then for the summer Kristina decides to go live with her estranged father. She thinks it will be the time of her life, she has been feeling suffocated by the life that has become hers since her mother married her stepfather and her daddy is her knight in shining armor and it will be a glorious summer. However her summer with her father takes the complete opposite turn, her stay down there and the people she meets expose her to a dark and dangerous world of drugs. That is when Kristina becomes ‘Bree’ when she meets the monster. She gets highly addicted to crystal meth and comes home a completely different girl with a secret deadly habit.

                As I was saying before I have read a lot of books and seen movies about drug addiction. Usually you see from the outside how it affects them and how it hurts the family. Whereas ‘Crank’ shows everything from the addict’s point of view, you get to see the damage firsthand. You really get to see how the drugs make you think and affect every part of your life.

                The story of Kristina was a heart wrenching, yet touching story. You see a family go through such struggles to find their little girl again but yet not really know exactly how far she is in the deep.

                This story was an absolutely amazing, I have read a few of Ellen Hopkins other books and they are all phenomenal I would recommend this book to anyone. This is a must read, everyone should read this book at least once in their life.

* I purchased this book on my own accord and decided to review it. I was not compensated for this review.

Tempted (House of Night) Book Review

P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast
St. Martin’s Griffin
ISBN: 978-0-312-37984-1

            In the sixth ‘House of Night’ novel, ‘Tempted’ we return to Zoey Redbird’s story in defeating evil and following in the path her Goddess, Nyx, has laid out for her. This installment was definitely a step up in the series, at least to me it was. It tugged at all kinds of emotions. Zoey went from being a normal teenage girl, and then one day out of the blue she was marked and began her life as a vampire. To watch her go through the struggles and have to try to grow up so quickly and deal with life and death situations, it can really mess you up, so it touches something inside you. I think once you start this series you have no choice but to continue it, you are hooked.

            I was glad to see the guy drama simmer down a little bit in ‘Tempted’ it got a little repetitive in the last book. Zoey focuses more on her own feelings in this one which seems to be a bundle of confusion. After chasing Neferet and Kalona off the group gets their bearings straight, licks their wounds, and try to move onto the next plan in stopping Kalona and Neferet in taking over the world. However bonds are being tested in this installment. Some of Zoey’s closest friends are keeping secrets from her. Secrets that could hurt much more than her feelings. The big question is when it comes down to the big battle will everyone be by her side or will some of them turn their back on her when she needs them the most.

            I was very happy to see chapters in other characters point of views. It gave the novel a whole new feel and gives fans new insight into their favorite characters minds. I was also happy to see less typo’s in this installment. Only two by my count which is a major improvement from ‘Hunted’ where there were numerous blunders and even name mishaps. Although there were some things that I wish we could just be done with like Zoey’s constant diarrhea talk and her use of words like, “bullpoopie” I mean if you are constantly in life or death situations I highly doubt that you would care very much about cussing here and there.  Also I wish there was a longer scene with the Vampyre Council. I just feel it was skipped over way too quickly, especially with so much chaos going on. You would think that with everything going on, the Vampyre Council would want to get down to the bottom of it.

I loved the first four books in the series and I wasn’t too happy with ‘Hunted’ and I was a little withdrawn when I began ‘Tempted’ but ‘Tempted’ recaptured my love for these characters and this story line. ‘Tempted’ was one of my favorite books in the series and I can’t wait to sink my teeth into the next one.

* I purchased this book on my own accord and decided to review it. I was not compensated for this review.

Friday, January 20, 2012

'Angel Evolution' Book Review

Angel Evolution
David Estes

  ‘Angel Evolution’ was a very intriguing take on the world of angels and demons. It definitely explored a new take on the typical war that is most of the time associated with angels and demons. It was a new age take on it, setting it in a college with humans that have no idea they are living among both angels and demons. It was very interesting and it pulled me in.
                Usually when you think if angels and demons you think of this great war where the angels are the good guys, fighting to save humanity and all that is good on earth, whereas the demons want to destroy the humans or put them into servitude. There is also almost always religion or God associated with these stories. I have never before seen one that was not.

                This book however breaks all those rules and does it all differently. In ‘Angel Evolution’ there a war raging between the angels and demons but it has nothing to do with religion on God. The demons and angels came from a very evolved human that was bitten by a black snake. The angels and demons are also living among humans to this very day, even attending college, for a greater purpose in the war, but still attending college. The biggest difference though has to be the fact that the angels are technically the bad guys. They are out to win the war so they can enslave the humans and take over their world. The demons on the other hand would prefer to protect the humans and live side by side with them.

                So as you can see this book offered a new dynamic to the angel vs. demon theme, I personally love the story. I especially liked how the main characters become involved with two human girls, one of which possesses the very power that could bring the war to end if one of the sides had her in their possession.

     ‘Angel Evolution’ also brought love and real emotions into it. Gabriel the main angel is torn between his destiny in the angel army and his dedication to the cause of his people and his love for the human girl that they sent him after. It makes the story much more relatable because in no way, shape, or form can we really relate to being a demon or angel. I really connected with this story especially when you see the demons and angels expressing true emotions and going through inner turmoil.

           I loved this story although there were a few parts where I found myself scratching my head at the dialogue or actions of Taylor or Gabriel very early on in the book when they were still at the college campus. A few parts seemed to be a bit too child-like ad out of place in this particular setting but other than that little bump in the road, I found this book to be quite enjoyable,

                The beginning was beautifully written and it really draws you in, leaves you wanting more and not too many books can do that nowadays at least not for me. Overall this story had a lot of beautiful, talented writing in it and I loved it and would recommend it to anyone who likes fantasy or angels and demons. I personally would love to read the other two books in ther series.

*I recieved this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own. I was not compensated for this review.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

California Dreaming (A-List # 10)

California Dreaming
A-List # 10
Zoey Dean
Little, Brown and Company

This is the final installment of Anna, Cammie, Sam, and Dee’s journey.  California dreaming’ was a great finale to a great series. It starts out with heart pumping adrenaline and life changing scenes and ends with calming but yet life-changing scenes. This book had me on the edge of my seat the entire time. I couldn't wait to turn the page and find out what would happen next if you have followed the series and have loved the characters you absolutely need to read this book because it is phenomenal and it gives you a great ending to the characters you love so much.
The cover of ‘California dreaming’ is beautiful showcasing the Beverly Hills Hotel, a black sleek sports car, and a pretty blonde girl in a green dress, with a smile that would light up any room.
That really draws in the reader not only is it a good cover to fit with the story but I think overall it would make anyone pick it up and read what it’s about.

So in this book we see our entire favorite A-List characters, slowly turn into adults. The book starts off with where the last book left off which is a tad bit different from the other books that tended to skip a few weeks in time. This is Anna on the plane, which doesn’t exactly go good for her. It takes a life or death turn, which catches the eye of everyone else after that everyone really starts to do some hardcore thinking on what they really want to do with their lives and their futures. They are all looking at the fact that life could end tomorrow so they really need to figure out what to do.

With big decisions in store for the group like whether Anna’s going to go to Yale or Bali, whether Sam wants to get married and go to Paris to stay and go to USC, Cammie’s decision of what to do with Adam and the club her and Ben have pulled together. You really have no idea what anyone is going to choose. There is a lot of drama in the final installment but it’s more of an adult level of drama. They are trying to figure things out about themselves and their future and that is a new side to all of them. For example Anna’s path has been laid out for her from the beginning; Yale was her destination since she could talk. Yet in this book she is really considering not going to Yale at all. It’s very intriguing and emotional to watch her go through all of these events that led up to her final decision. It’s like that for almost all the main characters in this book.  Although there were a few typos just like with all the other books, it was a really great read.
‘California Dreaming’ made me laugh and cry. It was an emotional roller coaster and I loved it! There were heart wrenching moments and moments of pure joy. All around it was a beautifully written book and a perfect ending to the characters stories.

* I purchased this book on my own accord and decided to review it. I was not compensated for this review.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Beautiful Stranger (A-List #9)

Beautiful Stranger
A-List # 9
Zoey Dean
Little, Brown and Company

            Now this is the A-list novel I have been waiting for, without even knowing it. This one left me on the edge of my seat, dying to turn the page. ‘Beautiful Stranger’
captured my attention, the way none of the other ones did. All kinds of emotions were evoked by reading this novel.

The novel starts with Anna trying out her ‘dating’ Ben and Caine at the same time. She enjoys a night with both of them. She is as usual conflicted because, well that’s just so Anna. Which is starting to get annoying, to be honest but it still makes a great story. I find myself yelling at Anna’s character to just go for it, stop being her mother and being so darn well bred and cautious.

Anna is thrown for quite a loop when Caine tells her that he’s going back to his ex-girlfriend Bernadette and he cannot see her anymore. Anna feels relieved, she thinks her decision is made up for her, however what she doesn’t see coming, is Ben dumping her as well. When Anna is very supportive of something Ben is doing, he is finished with her.

Eduardo pops a big question to Sam and from there on Sam is beyond paranoid. Even going as far as dumping him when she catches him doing something that was supposed to be a surprise for her. Sam really starts to become a woman in this one although her self-esteem issues do get her into trouble with Eduardo.

Cammie is more than happy to help Ben in his dream of starting up a club and even more than that. She is trying to get back into his arms after Adam so cruelly stood her up and picked Michigan over her. She would love to give Adam and Anna something to be jealous over. The old Cammie is back yet again but with a few more grown up qualities.

When Sam and Anna go to New York for a week, Anna’s life is turned upside down. She will be going to Yale soon but her Yale meeting was less that exciting and her old childhood friend Logan appearance makes things even more complicating. Will she continue on the path she has had laid out for her since she was eight or start a new one that is actually for the real Anna?

This novel was really a step up in the A-List series, I really enjoyed all the books before these but this one was exceptionally good. The characters showed more depth, I felt like they branched off into a new world. They definitely weren’t in that high school stage of life anymore, and I can honestly say it’s such an enjoyment to see that.

A very wonderful book, intriguing, delicious and well worth your time.

* I purchased this book on my own accord and decided to review it. I was not compensated for this review.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Monday, January 2, 2012

Some Like It Hot (A-List) Review

Some Like It Hot
A-List Novel # 6
By: Zoey Dean
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Rating: Must read!

In this sixth installment of the A-list the story of the young and rich, Zoey Dean’s focus is mainly on prom. Overall this book is a great read; it has a great plot and wonderful storyline. Each character has his/herown little story happening inside this one. It does start out a little bit slow in the beginning but then it picks up.
In the beginning none of the wonderful A-list really even consider going to prom. They are all so above it. Sam however starts to consider it when Anna stated that she wants to go. Then when Sam finds out about a documentary contest, which would be perfect to showcase her talents. She sets her sights on making prom happen and getting her A-list friends to go.

Anna seems to have it made in this one or so it seems. Ben is home for the summer and they finally settled on an honest relationship. Even better than that Ben is taking her to prom but could this very attractive and very curvy family friend that is living in Ben’s house cause new problems? Who knew perfect Anna had so many insecurities.
There is a new side of Cammie shown in this book as the mystery of her mother’s death unravels slowly. The question is will she take it out on Adam because he’s the one who found the truth?
Dee gets a night pass from Ojai Psychiatric Institute for the prom she’s still an inpatient there   being treated for bi-polar. We see a brand new Dee in this book. Could it really be that Dee is actually normal now?
Dee goes to prom with Ben’s friend from Princeton, Jack and they find they have some scary reality in common. There only issue is how they are going to ditch her chaperone from the institute, Marshall.
After the Bel-Air Grand Hotel burns down thanks to one of our not so good girls. She didn’t do it on purpose and she actually feels guilty for once, which is quit shocking. There is mad panic about getting another venue for prom. Sam steps in and takes over getting her father’s movie set for Ben-Hur. She pretty much saves the day for the prom weenies as she calls them. Only problem is now Eduardo can’t take her to the prom. So she goes with Parker as a friend…or at least that’s what they said.
This book had all the drama and glamour and designer dresses that all the other had. However there wasn’t as much cattiness in this one which isn’t necessarily a bad thing but some readers may miss this. Like I said before it started a bit slow but then it picked right up and I was sucked right into the story. The biggest thing that kept me intrigued was the mystery of Cammie’s mother’s death. Another great scene that will capture everyone is prom prep, when all the girls work together to help one less fortunate girl.
This book is definitely geared toward the high school and early college ages. They will be most definitely intrigued by how these girls live, everyone who loves the Gossip Girl series and The It Girl series will love this book and I must recommend the rest of the book in the A-List series, they are delicious!

A definite must read in the series!

* I purchased this book on my own accord and decided to review it. I was not compensated for this review.

Heart of Glass (A-List Novel) Review

Heart of Glass
A-List Novel # 8
By: Zoey Dean
Publisher: Little, Brown, and Company
ISBN: 0-316-01096-0
Rating: Absolutely Amazing!

Heart of Glass’ blew me away; it was by far the best book in the series yet. To start with, the cover pulled me in. It is very colorful and has a Cinderella feel to it, with a very pretty girl in a green corseted dress walking barefoot down a staircase.

The book had quite a few elements that the others lacked. This one showed new sides to characters that I think a lot of readers have been longing to see. It had very touching moments. Which I will discuss later in this review, but this book was truly an enjoyment to read. It was a very fast read, once I started it I couldn’t put it down. ‘Heart of Glass’ has very memorable characters and very memorable scenes.

In this volume we follow the outrageously different group of characters in their first summer after graduating high school. Some pretty unbelievable and amazing things happen to all of them as well as some pretty terrible things.
Anna and Cammie find themselves in some legal trouble, that even the most expensive lawyer cannot get them out of without doing community service. However if you are thinking orange jumpsuits and picking up garbage on the side of the road for these two fashionistas, you are very mistaken.  Even these girls’ punishments are glamorous.  They end up helping to organize a charity fashion show, for a charity called New Visions to help at risk teens set their lives on the right track.  It seems to be a pretty cushion filled job for Cammie and Anna but there  are lots of twists and turns that could very well knock these girls right off their extremely expensive stilettos.
Cammie and Anna surprisingly got along in this book for the most part and end up helping each other out a lot through this book. Anna brings out the good side in Cammie and Cammie brings out the wild side in Anna. The girls bonded over helping one New Visions girl, Champagne reach her dream of being a model. Although the question is after the fashion show is over will Anna and Cammie go back to hating each other?
Sam is back with Eduardo and couldn’t be happier except she is convinced that Poppy, her stepmother is cheating on her father. So she asked Parker to help her bust Poppy in exchange for three scenes in her father’s new movie Ben-Hur; but how far will she go to take Poppy down and will it be worth it?
Dee and Jack are getting serious, a little too serious for either of them to handle but when another guy, Aaron moves in on Dee with Jack fight to make it work or just let Dee go?
Anna was so sure she was done with Ben in the end of the last book, but Ben isn’t nearly done with Anna. He is planning to wait around until she comes to her senses, even though she’s dating someone else who is covered in tattoos. But when Anna finds out some possibly incriminating information about Caine will she go running back to Ben?

Cammie is tired of being put on the back burner for Adam’s precious Michigan. It will only be a matter of time before Cammie’s horns start to poke out again and demand attention.
‘Heart of Glass’ showed a new dimension to the A-List characters. I can honestly say that I fell in love with this book. Just when I thought I had something all figured out, I was thrown for another loop, some parts I was so shocked that I couldn’t even put it into words and other times the brilliance in the scenes just blew me away. I have loved this series since the moment I picked up the first novel ‘The A- List’ however I think this one set the stakes higher.

Heart of Glass’ is a real work of art and I would recommend anyone who is a fan of the ‘Gossip Girl’ series or any works like that to get this series immediately. It was a very touching story especially when it comes to the story of the girls helping Champagne and the New Vision girls. I found this book very relatable except for the fact that if I had to do community service I can guarantee it would be much less glamorous and there is no way I would be so lucky.

Fantastic book with great, memorable characters and scenes that definitely give you something to talk about, I love how it can be touching and yet catty at the same time, truly impressive.

‘Heart of Glass’ is one you don’t want to miss.

* I purchased this book on my own accord and decided to review it. I was not compensated for this review.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Years!!!

Hey guys! Happy New Years!!! I hope you all had a fun and safe holiday and I hope 2012 brings lots of wonderful blessing to you all! I am almost done with another book and I will be getting the review out soon. So keep checking back, I'll have it up here soon!

C. Scarlett