Friday, June 27, 2014

We Are the Goldens by Dana Reinhardt

We Are the Goldens

Title: We Are the Goldens
Author: Dana Reinhardt
Release Date: May 27, 2014
Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books
Format: eBook
Page Number: 208
Source: Netgalley

Synopsis(Goodreads): Nell worships her older sister, Layla. They're one unit, intertwined: Nellayla. As Nell and her best friend, Felix, start their freshman year in high school, on Layla's turf, there's so much Nell looks forward to: Joining Layla on the varsity soccer team. Parties. Boys. Adventures.
   But the year takes a very different turn.
   Layla is changing, withdrawing. She's hiding something, and when Nell discovers what it is, and the consequences it might have, she struggles. She wants to support Layla, to be her confidante, to be the good sister she's always been. But with so much at stake, what secrets should she keep? What lies should she tell?
   Award-winning young adult author Dana Reinhardt explores questions of loyalty, love, and betrayal in this provocative and intimate novel. 

My Review
I was really looking forward to starting We Are the Goldens. It sounded like it could be really interesting. However, when I finished, I was really let down. This book wasn’t quite what I hoped it would be. 

This book is about two sisters who are really close, and Nell (the younger sister) knows a secret about Layla (the older sister). I was really intrigued by this concept, however, it just fell flat. To me, it felt like this book was mostly about the Nell and not about the secret the sisters shared. It didn’t have any of the spark that I was hoping for, and overall it was just okay. 

This book is told in second person point of view, and that was interesting because I had never read something in second person before. I thought it worked for the most part in this story, because Nell was telling this story to Layla. However, sometimes I got confused with the point of view and I didn’t always know who Nell was talking to. Overall, I think the point of view hurt the story. 

The characters in this book were really lifeless. They didn’t show any emotion, and since this book was Nell telling a story to Layla, we didn’t get to see much of the other characters. I didn’t really like any of the characters, because they just seemed boring and lifeless to me. I wished we could have gotten to know the characters better and that they had seemed more alive. 

Rating: 2/5 worms
Overall, this book was kind of a let down. Everything was rather bland and I thought it could be much better. 

Saturday, June 21, 2014

The Sting of Summer by Katherine Over

The Sting of Summer
Title: The Sting of Summer

Author: Katherine Over
Release Date: May 11, 2014
Page Number: 246
Source: Author

Synopsis(Goodreads): Summer has arrived. For seventeen-year-old Becca, it marks the start of the wedding season. Her family operates an event venue in the form of a renovated barn, and nearly every weekend a wedding takes place in their backyard. Becca lends a helping hand for the accelerated schedule, but work is not the only task on her mind. Seth, her longtime crush, has nabbed a photography internship that requires wedding coverage, putting the two of them in close proximity. Becca intends to make Seth something more than a far-reaching fantasy, but it's hard to build a dream when a growing tension in her family life cannot be avoided. Will Becca succeed in her quest for love? Or will summer collide with her plans and leave nothing but a sting in her heart?

My Review
The Sting of Summer is an interesting book about family, change, and life. One of the main things I loved about this book were the themes it had. It talked a lot about family, change, and how sometimes things aren't always what they seem. The main character, Becca, realizes that her life is changing and that sometimes what she wants isn't what she thought it was. These themes are really relevant today and I think that people can really gain from this.

Becca was a really funny character. You got to see her try to find summer romance while she was dealing with change, and it was really interesting. She had a really quirky personality and is probably one of the funniest characters that I've read about in a while. All of the other characters were really interesting to read about, and they felt really well rounded. Andie was really funny and Nolan was really cute. 

As for writing style, I had a few problems with it. I felt that the overall plot of the book was really predictable, and you could figure out what was going to happen. I also didn't like how Katherine Over never used contractions; it made some of the dialogue really awkward and choppy. There were also some spelling and grammar errors. However, when Katherine was writing about the weddings, she used such detail that I found myself imagining the weddings in perfect detail. The characters were really well described and so were the situations that they were in. 

Rating: 4/5 worms

Overall, I think this is a book that many people would like. The characters are funny, there are great themes, and the writing is vivid.  

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Second Star by Alyssa B. Sheinmel

Second StarTitle: Second Star
Author: Alyssa B. Sheinmel
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Release Date: May 13
Source: Netgalley
Format: ebook
Page Number: 256
Purchase: Book Depository
Synopsis (Goodreads): A twisty story about love, loss, and lies, this contemporary oceanside adventure is tinged with a touch of dark magic as it follows seventeen-year-old Wendy Darling on a search for her missing surfer brothers. Wendy’s journey leads her to a mysterious hidden cove inhabited by a tribe of young renegade surfers, most of them runaways like her brothers. Wendy is instantly drawn to the cove’s charismatic leader, Pete, but her search also points her toward his nemesis, the drug-dealing Jas. Enigmatic, dangerous, and handsome, Jas pulls Wendy in even as she's falling hard for Pete. A radical reinvention of J. M. Barrie's classic tale, Second Star is an irresistible summer romance about two young men who have yet to grow up—and the troubled beauty trapped between them.
My Review
This book was beautiful. Absolutely wonderfully awesome. I have been obsessed with Peter Pan retellings ever since I read Tiger Lilly and I was so happy to get my hands on a copy of Second Star for review.
The retelling aspect of this book was perfect. I thought it was done brilliantly and I couldn't have thought of a better way to do it. I really enjoyed the surfing aspect of the book, because it was really unique and different. I liked how most of the story was original with some aspects of Peter Pan woven in. It took me a little while to get into the story, but when I did, I was completely involved and I loved it.
The characters in this book were really, really good. Wendy was very focused on finding her brothers, and while she was sometimes naive, I really liked her. As for Pete and Jas, well, I couldn't pick a side in that love triangle. Both love interests really cared for Wendy and it was interesting to see the differences in each of their relationships. All the side characters, such as Belle, were also really interesting to read about, and they added a lot of flavor to the story.
The whole last half of this book completely got to me. I wasn't expecting that sort of an ending at all, and I was blown away. The last half of the book went by so fast and I loved every second of it. This book deals with Wendy's struggle to try to find her brothers, and it was so fantastic. The writing in this book was also wonderful, and it made me want to drive to a beach and read.
Rating: 5/5 worms
This book was absolutely wonderful, and I think anyone would really enjoy it.