Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Megan Rambles About Fever

Fever by Lauren DeStefano

From Goodreads Rhine and Gabriel have escaped the mansion, but danger is never far behind.

Running away brings Rhine and Gabriel right into a trap, in the form of a twisted carnival whose ringmistress keeps watch over a menagerie of girls. Just as Rhine uncovers what plans await her, her fortune turns again. With Gabriel at her side, Rhine travels through an environment as grim as the one she left a year ago - surroundings that mirror her own feelings of fear and hopelessness.

The two are determined to get to Manhattan, to relative safety with Rhine’s twin brother, Rowan. But the road there is long and perilous - and in a world where young women only live to age twenty and young men die at twenty-five, time is precious. Worse still, they can’t seem to elude Rhine’s father-in-law, Vaughn, who is determined to bring Rhine back to the any means necessary.

In the sequel to Lauren DeStefano’s harrowing Wither, Rhine must decide if freedom is worth the price - now that she has more to lose than eve

OH MY GOD THIS BOOK! So I read Wither last year, probably like 2 days after it came out because it was shoved into my hands by a freaking out Rachel. (which is actually kind of scary sometimes, but it was about books, so it was ALL GOOD.) And then I read it. And then I LOVED IT. To top it all off, after that, Rachel and I went to our very first book signing ever and GUESS WHO WAS THERE? If you guessed Cassie Clare, you are right. If you guessed Holly Black, you are also right. BUT THERE WAS ALSO LAUREN DESTEFANO! And I loved her immediately. 
A few days later, the title for book two was announced, Fever! And I have to be honest and say right now that I was expecting AMAZING things for this book, and I was a little worried that I was asking too much, and building it up in my head. Then I actually read Fever, and IT WAS AMAZING. Totally lived up to my expectations, and also blew them out of the water! 

You would think that after escaping the mansion, Rhine and Gabriel would be fine, safe, and not have to worry about crazy people hunting them down. SO, SO WRONG. There is probably about 2 seconds at the most throughout the entire book where they are SAFE, and nothing is going wrong. Which I kind of loved, because it kept the story moving constantly. There were always THINGS happening, and you were always learning something new about the world, the characters, or just how completely stuck the characters were in their world. 

And then there was an ending that left me gasping for air! There was a lot of "Really? You ended it THERE?? I have to wait HOW LONG till book 3 comes out??" So to sum this crazy long ramble up: This series is awesome, and you should read it. This book was THE BEST THING EVER!! And I need to somehow get my hands on book 3 somewhere around yesterday. That would be really nice. Bottom line: THIS BOOK IS SO FREAKING AMAZING AND YOU SHOULD READ IT.

*sits on couch* *waits expectantly for book 3* *whistles*

Doylestown Book Shop oh how I love you!
BEFORE I GO.............did I mention that other time we met Lauren DeStefano for a Fever signing in Doylestown Book Shop in Pennsylvania(another bookstore I shall visit AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN). I was totally fangirling and probably seemed like a total freak. (sorry Lauren)


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Rachel Rambles About Fever

Fever by Lauren Destefano

From Goodreads:
Rhine and Gabriel have escaped the mansion, but danger is never far behind.

Running away brings Rhine and Gabriel right into a trap, in the form of a twisted carnival whose ringmistress keeps watch over a menagerie of girls. Just as Rhine uncovers what plans await her, her fortune turns again. With Gabriel at her side, Rhine travels through an environment as grim as the one she left a year ago - surroundings that mirror her own feelings of fear and hopelessness.

The two are determined to get to Manhattan, to relative safety with Rhine’s twin brother, Rowan. But the road there is long and perilous - and in a world where young women only live to age twenty and young men die at twenty-five, time is precious. Worse still, they can’t seem to elude Rhine’s father-in-law, Vaughn, who is determined to bring Rhine back to the any means necessary.

In the sequel to Lauren DeStefano’s harrowing Wither, Rhine must decide if freedom is worth the price - now that she has more to lose than ever.

Wither is one of my favorite books ever. I read it last year, the week it was released, and promptly fell in love with the story. AND THEN I HAD TO WAIT A WHOLE YEAR TO READ THE SEQUEL. Needless to say, I was counting down the day's till Fever's release, obsessing over what I thought would happen next, generally having VERY HIGH EXPECTATIONS. So high, in fact, that I feared the book would not live up to them.

BUT I WAS SO WRONG YOU GUYS THIS BOOK IS THE BEST THING EVER. First of all, let's just take a moment to admire the cover. IT IS SO PRETTY AND SHINY AND JUST GORGEOUS. And the words inside? They are seven billion times more beautiful.

Every word of every sentence of every page of Lauren DeStefano's books is just beautiful and haunting and thoughtful and lovely. I just want to climb into her books and roll around inside the beautiful words. (On a side note: could I say the word beautiful any more times? I don't think so..)

Fever picks off right where Wither left off, with Rhine and Gabriel having just escaped the mansion. They're out! They're safe! Right?


They are not safe or happy or comfortable at all in this book. They are led into dangerous situations and traps and are constantly questioning what freedom really is. They're out of the mansion, but they aren't living the perfect, free lifestyle they thought they would be.

The plot of Fever never slows down even for a second. Things are always HAPPENING. The story twists and turns and leaves you gasping for air as you try to keep up.

I read this book in five hours without stopping. (Also, I was sick. I had a FEVER while reading FEVER. hahahahhahahaa. Oh, I crack myself up.) It is beyond epic and amazing and AHHHHHHHHH WHEN IT ENDED?!?!?! W-O-W. I highly recommend this book to EVERYONE, EVERYWHERE. FIVE HUNDRED MILLION STARS. I didn't think it was possible, but Fever is even better than Wither!

Oh and by the way, remember that time I went with my best friend and sister and some homemade t-shirts to meet Lauren DeStefano? THAT TIME WAS THE BEST TIME EVER! Lauren is so nice and awesome and I think I probably sounded really dumb when I talked to her but I was freaking out inside and I was trying so hard not to fangirl but I'm pretty sure I failed epically and ahhhh!!!!

At Doylestown Bookshop, an AWESOME indie bookstore in PA!
So..... When can I read Book 3?



Monday, February 27, 2012

Rachel Rambles About Dash & Lily's Book of Dares

Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
From Goodreads:
“I’ve left some clues for you.
If you want them, turn the page.
If you don’t, put the book back on the shelf, please.”

So begins the latest whirlwind romance from the New York Times bestselling authors of Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist. Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on a favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. But is Dash that right guy? Or are Dash and Lily only destined to trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations across New York? Could their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions? Or will they be a comic mismatch of disastrous proportions?

Rachel Cohn and David Levithan have written a love story that will have readers perusing bookstore shelves, looking and longing for a love (and a red notebook) of their own.

This book is cute and fun and incredibly fast-paced. It alternates from the point of view of two very lovable characters. Both Dash and Lily have hysterical, sarcastic voices that made me laugh out loud on pretty much every page. The story jumps between the two of them, tossing the reader back and forth from two very different situations. And throughout the entire novel, there is THE NOTEBOOK.

This red notebook is kind of the best thing ever. Dash and Lily, two complete strangers, pour their hearts into the pages of the notebook. They pass it back and forth, gradually unraveling the mystery of the other's identity. Through this notebook, they come to know each other. Needless to say, this is not your typical love-at-first-sight YA novel romance. This book is about two teenagers who find comfort in each other through words hastily scrawled in the pages of a red notebook. For most of the book, they don't even meet in person. The majority of this relationship is the two of them communicating through the notebook.

Dash and Lily are both characters who I love to death. They are quirky and smart and interesting and funny and easy to relate to, but also very different from each other. Lily is a very upbeat, optimistic person, while Dash is a little more, well, snarly.

Dash and Lily's Book of Dares is one of those books that needs to be devoured in one sitting. The story is incredibly fast paced, and I literally was unable to put it down. I spent an unhealthy amount of time laughing out loud at this book. It's a hysterical, fun contemporary that I couldn't help but fall in love with.


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Megan Rambles About Eve

Eve by Anna Carey

From Goodreads: The year is 2032, sixteen years after a deadly virus—and the vaccine intended to protect against it—wiped out most of the earth’s population. The night before eighteen-year-old Eve’s graduation from her all-girls school she discovers what really happens to new graduates, and the horrifying fate that awaits her.

Fleeing the only home she’s ever known, Eve sets off on a long, treacherous journey, searching for a place she can survive. Along the way she encounters Caleb, a rough, rebellious boy living in the wild. Separated from men her whole life, Eve has been taught to fear them, but Caleb slowly wins her trust...and her heart. He promises to protect her, but when soldiers begin hunting them, Eve must choose between true love and her life.

First, I'd like to thank Cheryl for letting me borrow her copy of this book long enough to read it and also fall in love with it. I've gotta say that I really like dystopian books. I think the reason I like them so much is that each one is different. If you read too many vampire books for example, you might get bored because they're usually pretty similar (not to bash vampire books or anything. It's true about basically any kind of book really) Dystopia stories just aren't like that, because there are so many different ways the world could have ended! And so many different ways a society can be completely insane/out of line/ controlling/ totally and completely screwed up. So besides my love for dystopian books, I was a bit wary of reading this one. Eve has gotten some mixed reviews, but I for one encourage you to read it! It really is worth it!

Like Rachel, I can see why some people might not like the book. Towards the beginning Eve was kind of naive, which irritated me a bit. But you can't really blame her when she's been taught her entire life that men are evil. So when one suddenly appears before her, looking slightly like he might try to kill her (and also very hot) she has a right to be freaked out. Even later in the story though, Eve grows more accustomed to the way the world really is, and looses up a bit.

There is so much else that I loved about Eve's world though. Anna Carey did a really good job of describing each situation that Eve was in. If she was stuck inside her school, I felt trapped too. When she broke free, and was being chased, I wanted to start running away. The world that she created was brilliant, and I could really see how it used to be our world. Plus, the sudden disappearance of the majority of the population of the world because of a disease and then a complete fail of a cure doesn't seem that far off of something that could actually happen.

This book was full of  characters that I loved, and the story was definitely entertaining. It kept me on the edge of my seat throughout the entire book, and then I reached the end. I couldn't believe it was over! It certainly left me waiting for the sequel! I recommend picking Eve up ASAP. You won't regret it! Oh, and the best part? I GET TO MEET ANNA CAREY IN APRIL! *giggles* *jumps around happily*

And now, back to Fever.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Rachel Rambles About How to Save a Life

How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr
From Goodreads:
Jill MacSweeny just wishes everything could go back to normal. But ever since her dad died, she's been isolating herself from her boyfriend, her best friends--everyone who wants to support her. And when her mom decides to adopt a baby, it feels like she's somehow trying to replace a lost family member with a new one.
Mandy Kalinowski understands what it's like to grow up unwanted--to be raised by a mother who never intended to have a child. So when Mandy becomes pregnant, one thing she's sure of is that she wants a better life for her baby. It's harder to be sure of herself. Will she ever find someone to care for her, too?
As their worlds change around them, Jill and Mandy must learn to both let go and hold on, and that nothing is as easy--or as difficult--as it seems.
Critically acclaimed author and National Book Award finalist Sara Zarr delivers a heart-wrenching story, told from dual perspectives, about the many roads that can lead us home.

Okay, so I know my normal response to reading a book is to be all OMG THIS BOOK IS AWESOME AHHH READ IT NOW!!! etc, etc. But this book is different. I mean, this is an absolutely AMAZING book and I definitely think you should go read it immediately, but I think I'll have to be kind of serious when I talk about this book.

In fact, I'm having a hard time thinking of anything to say that will do this book justice. It's the most powerful and emotional and touching book I've read in awhile--possibly ever. Told from the perspectives of two completely different girls, I was surprised by some of the things they did or thought, but I could also relate to them.

On the surface, Mandy and Jill have nothing in common. But once you dig a little deeper, you learn that both girls have many troubles in their life, things they are trying to escape. At some points, it feels as if they are just trying to survive. As the story progresses, it becomes clear that Mandy and Jill aren't as different as they appear to me. This book very accurately conveys what it's like to be a teenager, and when I was reading this, I felt like someone finally understood me. I could relate to these characters, maybe not in the obvious ways, like being pregnant or losing a father, but in the smaller, everyday thoughts they have.

Unlike many YA books nowadays, this book is not centered on romance. Not that romance is a bad thing! It's just that this was very different. This story focused on family and friends. Some relationships are rough at best, while others come extremely easily. There are many characters that impact the lives of Jill and Mandy in this novel, and they help to shape who the girls are, for better or for worse.

I'm having a really hard time trying to put my feelings into words, which let me tell you, does not happen a lot. How to Save a Life is truly an amazing, emotional, touching, powerful book. I cannot express my love for it in any way that makes sense to anyone but me. This is a book that I will be recommending to people for a long time.


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Megan Rambles About Anna and the French Kiss

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

From Goodreads
Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris - until she meets Etienne St. Clair: perfect, Parisian (and English and American, which makes for a swoon-worthy accent), and utterly irresistible. The only problem is that he's taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her almost-relationship back home.

As winter melts into spring, will a year of romantic near - misses end with the French kiss Anna - and readers - have long awaited?

This is yet another book that I am completely shocked I didn't read sooner. I've heard AMAZING things about both Anna and the French Kiss, and Lola the Boy Next Door, which is why I HAD to buy this book. Also, the paperback is really pretty! If you haven't seen it, the edges of the inside flaps are scalloped, and the pages are all choppyish on the ends. Now, there is probably a much more accurate, intelligent way to explain that, but I'm not really sure what it is. So hopefully you understood that somehow. 

Then on to the actual book. I think it is only fair to get out the freakish fangirlness now. You have been warned. OMG FREAKING ETIENNE ST. CLAIR. That is really the first thought that comes to mind when I think of this book. Because St. Clair is completely hot, and totally swoon worthy! He is an American, who grew up in London, has a British accent, and also speaks fluent French. Plus he is totally gorgeous. I kind of love him. Okay, no. I do love him. A lot. Like track him down and steal him kind of love him. (Sorry Anna)

The other great thing about this book was that Anna didn't ever annoy me. While she did screw things up frequently, and tended to make a fool of herself, I loved reading about her. Anna was a very real character in the way she acted in behaved, which is always great to find in a book. She totally in love with St. Clair, and while she does frequently swoon over him, you can't blame the girl! If I knew St. Clair, I'd be swooning just as much, and falling just as hard as Anna. In general all of Stephanie's characters were really well written. The supporting characters made me laugh, and I found myself wishing I could go to Paris and hang out with them. And not just because St. Clair was there. 

This was a light, fun read that went really quickly, but there was also a lot of heart in it, and the ending was so perfect! I was so invested in what happened to the characters, and I could really feel for them as they struggled. It wasn't an easy road for Anna, St. Clair, or any of their friends, and none of  their relationships were easy. There were bumps in the road for everyone, which just made the story that much more realistic. This is the kind of book that  I could read over and over again, and still love every second of it. In fact, as I write this I am having the urge to go skim through it again. Or read the whole thing. I could do that too. Basically, YOU SHOULD GO READ THIS BOOK. AS SOON AS YOU POSSIBLY CAN. BECAUSE TRUST ME, IT. IS. AWESOME!!!

*runs off* *buries nose in book*

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Rachel Rambles About Eve

Eve by Anna Carey

From Goodreads:
The year is 2032, sixteen years after a deadly virus—and the vaccine intended to protect against it—wiped out most of the earth’s population. The night before eighteen-year-old Eve’s graduation from her all-girls school she discovers what really happens to new graduates, and the horrifying fate that awaits her.

Fleeing the only home she’s ever known, Eve sets off on a long, treacherous journey, searching for a place she can survive. Along the way she encounters Caleb, a rough, rebellious boy living in the wild. Separated from men her whole life, Eve has been taught to fear them, but Caleb slowly wins her trust...and her heart. He promises to protect her, but when soldiers begin hunting them, Eve must choose between true love and her life.

This book was shoved into my hands by a friend (Thanks Cheryl!) a few weeks ago, and I didn't really think much of it. I'd heard a ton of mixed reviews, so I wasn't sure if I'd like it or not. But the summary sounded good, and I love love LOVE dystopian books, so I finally picked it up and started reading.

On the one hand, I can see where some of the negative reviews come from. The pacing is extremely fast and Eve is not the awesome, kickass heroine I was hoping for.

But despite that, I really loved this book. Within three chapters, things were HAPPENING. There wasn't a lot of time to muse on my feelings about the book so far, because I was rushing to keep up with the events that were occurring. And I think that's a good thing. It made me not want to put the book down. I was just dying to know what happens next. I read this book in a single sitting (with a terrible headache, by the way) because I refused to put it down. 

The main character, Eve, is not who I thought she'd be. She isn't all that tough or incredibly badass. She is timid and naive and book-smart, but not so much street-smart. And what I like most about her is that she's CAUTIOUS. It seems like there are so many girls in YA books nowadays that don't think, they just do. They are very trusting of people-- complete strangers, even. And sure, that works sometimes. But it can also extremely backfire. When a boy comes rushing in on on horse to save Eve, she does not just blindly accept his help. She is wary of him, and not willing to trust him. I think this is an important trait. It shows that she is a smart girl.

Eve is very careful and cautious. But as the book progresses, we get to see her loosen up a little. Eve definitely goes through a transformation throughout this book, and as she continues to change, I like her more and more. I think Eve is a very strong girl, but not in the way a lot of YA characters are strong. Eve thinks things through, and she uses her brain. She is aware of potential consequences of her actions.

There are so many books where there's that immediate insta-love, but this is not one of them. There is romance of course, but it builds up very slowly. It is a very realistic relationship, and Eve's thoughts are not constantly on Caleb. She is busy with her own life and her own troubles, and the romance kind of takes a backseat to that.

The dystopian world that was created in this book is very interesting. After a plague that wipes out most of the population, there are not that many people left. A king takes over in an attempt to rebuild society. There are a lot of dystopian novels out that, but I haven't read one with a king until now. It's very intriguing, and I really enjoyed reading about Eve's world.

Overall, I think this is an excellent book. If you are a fan of dystopian, I definitely recommend it. 


P.S. I'm pretty sure I'll be able to go to a Dark Days tour date in NYC in April... with Anna Carey, Tahereh Mafi, and Veronica Rossi. *squeals* I am so excited!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Megan Rambles About Paper Towns

Paper Towns by John Green

From Goodreads:Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs back into his life--dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge--he follows. After their all-nighter ends and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues--and they're for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Q sees of the girl he thought he knew.
Printz medalist John Green returns with the brilliant wit and searing emotional honesty that have inspired a new generation of readers.

Where to start with this book? It's just so, so, so GOOD. If you read our reviews, then you may have noticed the crazy amount of JOHN GREEN I have been reading lately. I am very behind. I've been reading all of his books, and loving every. single. one. of. them. Before I read this one, I think if you had to make me pick which book was my favorite, I would have said Looking for Alaska. But Paper Towns is also so incredibly awesome, but in a different way. 

Looking for Alaska was the kind of book that makes you laugh, but also tears at your heart and makes you cry. (There was a lot of crying involved) That's probably why I loved it so much, because I completely felt for the characters and understood them. Paper Towns was almost the opposite. There was a problem, and when Margo disappeared, it definitely caused a lot of pain for the people around her. But there was a lot more of the hysterical banter and jokes that I've come to expect from all of John's characters. 

Q was probably my favorite of John's character's so far, because he was funny, but he never lost his head throughout the entire book. Even when other people gave up on Margo, he was hopeful that he and his friends could manage to find her. And while he did have a few moments where he did something slightly stupid, (he is a guy after all) Q didn't annoy me the way some other characters I've read have. 

Margo was also kind of amazing. She was mysterious, sarcastic, and completely bad ass. I loved the entire plot line of trying to figure out what happened to her, and where she went. I seriously think she and Alaska would get along well. Or you know be totally self destructive around each other. One of the two. I also loved Ben and Radar too. Angela and Lacey were also great characters who each had their moments of brilliance. I loved the supporting characters in this book, because they were all so funny! I think I died of laughter every time Ben opened his mouth. 

The message in this book was excellent, because it was all about how we look at other people, and realizing that they aren't always as perfect as the image they put forward. Now that I'm done being all deep about it, YOU SHOULD GO READ THIS. NOW. This book has it all, amazing characters, humor, adventure, with just a hint of mystery. All of this is wrapped up in a powerful message, and tied together with a perfect ending. I absolutely love this book, and you will too!


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Rachel Rambles About The Future of Us

The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler
From Goodreads:

It's 1996, and Josh and Emma have been neighbors their whole lives. They've been best friends almost as long - at least, up until last November, when Josh did something that changed everything. Things have been weird between them ever since, but when Josh's family gets a free AOL CD in the mail,his mom makes him bring it over so that Emma can install it on her new computer. When they sign on, they're automatically logged onto their Facebook pages. But Facebook hasn't been invented yet. And they're looking at themselves fifteen years in the future.

By refreshing their pages, they learn that making different decisions now will affect the outcome of their lives later. And as they grapple with the ups and downs of what their futures hold, they're forced to confront what they're doing right - and wrong - in the present.

As soon as I heard what this book was about, I knew immediately that I had to read it. I mean, Facebook! Fifteen years ago! WHAT AN AWESOME IDEA.

I should probably just say right now that I was born in 1996. And this book takes place in 1996. So the idea of the internet being a brand new idea is kind of surreal to me. This book has so many references to pop culture, which are just hysterical to me. I don't even understand some of them, which makes them even funnier.

I was surprised that this book wasn't actually centered on Facebook. I mean, it obviously played a big part, but the story was more about Josh and Emma's friendship-developing-into-something-more than the crazy website on their computer screen. This book read a lot more like a contemporary than anything else, focusing more on the characters and their relationship than some epic plot. And as someone who is kind of obsessed with contemporaries, I loved every minute of it. It was fascinating how something that was such a big deal, like discovering freaking Facebook, took a backseat to basic teenage problems. This book surprised me a lot, in the best possible way.

Josh and Emma are two characters that I really loved. They both seem normal. I could relate to everything they were going through. They just feel very real, and it's easy to imagine that I'm friends with them or something. Both characters are great separately, and even better when they are together.

Just reading the summary, it's pretty easy to see that Josh and Emma are, or will become, more than just friends. Their journey throughout the novel is paced perfectly. There was no point where I thought that their relationship was moving too fast or too slow. Both characters make a lot of mistakes, and they spend a lot of time trying to fix them. They are confused and awkward and wary and nervous. In other words, THEY ARE TEENAGERS. Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler did a phenomenal job at creating characters that are totally and completely realistic.

This book went by very quickly, and I had a really hard time putting it down. The only reason I DID put it down was because I had to go to school (pssh stupid school) and even then, I may or may not have been reading during class. That's how good this book is. And what's really awesome is that it is incredibly suspenseful. I never thought contemporaries could be particularly suspenseful, until I read Thirteen Reasons Why (AMAZING BOOK, by the way. Read it now!).  All the suspense Jay Asher put in Thirteen Reasons Why is back again in The Future of Us.  

It's kind of hard to figure out how to describe this book to people. Basically, it's a suspenseful contemporary with awesome characters that is very fast paced and also has a weird time travel element. If that doesn't intrigue you, I don't know what will. I think this book is something that pretty much anyone can enjoy. There are a lot of genres mixing together to create an awesome combination. I'm really glad I picked this book up. I enjoyed it immensely.


P.S. In the book, Emma has a half sister who is five weeks old, and her name is Rachel. I was born in 1996 and my name is Rachel. COINCIDENCE??? Well, yeah. BUT STILL. HOW AWESOME IS THAT?

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Rachel Rambles About Catching Jordan

Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally 

From Goodreads:

What girl doesn't want to be surrounded by gorgeous jocks day in and day out? Jordan Woods isn't just surrounded by hot guys, though-she leads them as the captain and quarterback of her high school football team. They all see her as one of the guys, and that's just fine. As long as she gets her athletic scholarship to a powerhouse university. But now there's a new guy in town who threatens her starting position... suddenly she's hoping he'll see her as more than just a teammate.

I've been wanting to read this book for quite a long time, because honestly, I thought the cover was really cute. So my sister bought it the other day and I kind of pounced on it and was all MUST. READ. IMMEDIATELY. I'm a ridiculously big fan of cute, romantic contemporaries with swoony boys and funny characters, so this seemed like it would be right up my alley. I had super high expectations for this, and you guys, IT EXCEEDED THEM SO MUCH.

Before I go on, I should probably point out that I am not a big fan of football. Or any sports, really. I don't hate them... I just don't play them. Or watch them. Or understand them. So there were a few times in this book where plays in football games were being described, and my eyes kind of glazed over because I had no idea what was happening. BUT ALL IS WELL. I still enjoyed the book. Whether you like football or not is irrelevant. Catching Jordan is an awesome book regardless of if you have any interest in sports whatsoever.

Jordan Woods is a really fun character. She is the quarterback of the football team, and all her life she has been considered one of the guys. She has a great group of guy friends who are just so hysterical and fun. The supporting characters in this book made me laugh out loud every scene they were in. Jordan is strong and tough and tomboyish and totally not afraid of what others think of her. In other words, she is awesome. Reading from her point of view was so refreshing, because she is not a "typical girl". She is not into makeup or fashion or anything that you would normally associate with girls. And I love that about her. 

And then there are some boys... Henry has been Jordan's best friend for most of her life, and it seems like nothing could ever come between their friendship. Throughout the book, I found myself wishing that I had a Henry. He is just so sweet and funny and- AHHHH! I'm sorry, that was just my heart exploding with love. 

But wait! There's more! Ty is an equally amazing and swoony boy who is new in town. The only problem? He is also a quarterback, and Jordan is worried that he'll steal her spot on the team. Also, he is hot. Very, very hot. It's no surprise that Jordan starts to fall for him. But is he really the right guy for her? *suspenseful music*
I don't know, I guess you'll have to read the book to find out!

This book isn't just about romance, though. There are a lot of interesting relationships between Jordan and her friends and family. Throughout the book, Jordan isn't entirely focused on THE BOY. There is also a lot of time for her to spend time with her friends or navigate the rough relationship she has with her father. She hangs out with her brother and talks to her mom. And, of course, she plays football. A LOT of football.

If you like fun, cute, romantic contemporaries, then I highly recommend this book. I laughed and swooned, and okay I MAYBE, JUST MAYBE teared up at some parts. OH! And there's going to be a companion novel called STEALING PARKER! I am so excited to read it!


Saturday, February 4, 2012

Megan Rambles About Will Grayson, Will Grayson

From Goodreads: One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, Will Grayson crosses paths with . . . Will Grayson. Two teens with the same name, running in two very different circles, suddenly find their lives going in new and unexpected directions, and culminating in epic turns-of-heart and the most fabulous musical ever to grace the high school stage. Told in alternating voices from two YA superstars, this collaborative novel features a double helping of the heart and humor that have won them both legions of fans.

Oh John Green. Your books never stop being awesome. I'm convinced that I will never read one of John Green's books and NOT like it. I just don't think it's possible. And what did I love the most about this book? TINY COOPER!!! <3 OMG I LOVE TINY COOPER!  He is completely amazing and the best person ever. He's just....well, he's fabulous. And his play is kind of pure genius. Okay not kind of. It is.

The fact that this takes place in the Chicago/Naperville area was really cool for me since I used to live there. Now, that does not mean I remembered any of the street names or whatever that were mentioned, but whatever. It was cool anyway. 

First, there was John's Will Grayson, and he was exactly what I've begun to expect from John. He was funny, he was nerdy, and he was also awesome in a nerdy way. And while he kind of screwed up A LOT, I love him anyway. 

the other will grayson was pretty cool too. the whole battling depression thing added an unexpected twist to it, and he had an extremely sarcastic view on everything. i kind of loved him. and i also loved the way both stories tangled together in this big mess. then it slowly untangled itself in a completely awesome way. basically this book was just as good as his other books and you should go read it now. plus you know david levithan is really funny too. so you get two hysterical characters in one book. you should really go read it now.

And just in case you couldn't understand the IMPORTANCE of that, YOU SHOULD REALLY GO READ IT NOW. That is all. Now, back to Paper Towns.


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Rachel Rambles About Uglies

From Goodreads:
Everybody gets to be supermodel gorgeous. What could be wrong with that? Tally is about to turn sixteen, and she can't wait. Not for her license -- for turning pretty. In Tally's world, your sixteenth birthday brings an operation that turns you from a repellent ugly into a stunningly attractive pretty and catapults you into a high-tech paradise where your only job is to have a really great time. In just a few weeks Tally will be there.

But Tally's new friend Shay isn't sure she wants to be pretty. She'd rather risk life on the outside. When Shay runs away, Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world and it isn't very pretty. The authorities offer Tally the worst choice she can imagine: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all. The choice Tally makes changes her world forever.

This is a book that I've been hearing great things about for years. I've always thought it sounded so interesting, but for whatever reason, I never got around to reading it. About a month ago, I picked this up from Barnes and Noble, and I am really glad I did because this book is...WOW.

I don't even know where to start. This book is really intense. From the first page, I knew this was something special. (I read this a long time ago. It is awesome. Let the record show that for ONCE I beat Rachel -Megan) THANKS FOR THE INTERRUPTION, MEGAN. Anyway.

Uglies takes place sometime in the future, when an operation has been invented to make everyone "pretty". When teenagers turn sixteen, they get the surgery, and all their flaws seem to disappear. Their bodies are drastically changed, and when they emerge, they look like a brand new person. They join all the other Pretties in a perfect little town where their only job is to have fun. Everyone looks beautiful, and more importantly, everyone looks the same. No one is judged based on appearance any more.

Sounds kind of nice, right? That's exactly what the protagonist, Tally, thinks. She is quickly approaching her sixteenth birthday, eagerly anticipating the day she turns pretty. That is, until she meets Shay.

Shay shows Tally a different side of the world she's been living in all her life. Tally doesn't think too much of her new friend's weird ways until Shay runs away one day to avoid becoming pretty. Tally has to either find Shay and turn her in, or never turn pretty again. And so her journey begins.

One of the most interesting things about this book was the contrast between the high-tech city Tally lives in, and the Smoke, a small settling of runaways deep in the woods. When Tally is at home, she goes hoverboarding around town, watching movies on her widescreen, and wearing her interface ring. Which sounds so cool. But as soon as she steps out of city lines, that all changes. All of a sudden, she is sleeping on the ground and bathing in a freezing river and hanging out with people who make their own clothes. On one hand, everything about this book is so totally futuristic, with all the awesome gadgets and cool technological advances. But there's also the environment of the Smoke, which feels like it could be taking place right now, or maybe even years ago. These two elements made the setting of this book truly fascinating.

Another thing I loved was Tally's mental journey throughout the novel. In the beginning, she is a normal teenager, young and naive. She doesn't really know anything about the world she lives in. But over time, she is exposed to surprising and horrifying things, and she is forced to grow up. She meets many new people along the way, and they all have something to teach her. Tally learns that there is nothing wrong with being ugly. So what if she's not gorgeous and perfectly proportioned? She's unique.

I think most teenagers struggle with self-image issues, which makes it easy to understand what Tally is going through. Now that I've read this book, I actually feel more confident about my appearance. I know that looking like a supermodel isn't exactly a good thing. As cheesy as it sounds, being beautiful really is on the inside.

Wow. I just got, like, sentimental for about three seconds. That was weird. Let's pretend it didn't happen. On another note, I CAN'T WAIT TO READ PRETTIES! The ending of Uglies was a little intense, and I am very excited to find out what happens next.