Tag: YA

The Beginning of Everything

Author: Robyn Schneider
335 Pages
Published: August 27, 2013

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 Stars

Description from Amazon:
Robyn Schneider’s The Beginning of Everything is a witty and heart-wrenching teen novel that will appeal to fans of books by John Green and Ned Vizzini, novels such as The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and classics like The Great Gatsby and The Catcher in the Rye. Varsity tennis captain Ezra Faulkner was supposed to be homecoming king, but that was before—before his girlfriend cheated on him, before a car accident shattered his leg, and before he fell in love with unpredictable new girl Cassidy Thorpe. As Kirkus Reviews said in a starred review, “Schneider takes familiar stereotypes and infuses them with plenty of depth. Here are teens who could easily trade barbs and double entendres with the characters that fill John Green’s novels.” Funny, smart, and including everything from flash mobs to blanket forts to a poodle who just might be the reincarnation of Jay Gatsby, The Beginning of Everything is a refreshing contemporary twist on the classic coming-of-age novel—a heart-wrenching story about how difficult it is to play the part that people expect, and how new beginnings can stem from abrupt and tragic endings.

Kim’s Review:
Another doozy of a book! I read Extraordinary Means, also by Schneider, earlier this year and loved it! So I picked up The Beginning of Everything and I loved it almost as much! I did give this book only 4 stars because I find teenage drama annoying. But I don’t think the story would have existed without all those high school problems that teenagers believe will just end their lives!! As an adult, I found a lot of those problems petty and easy, compared to real life. However, I do remember being in high school where trying to get people to like me was a full time job.

This book was also a little more philosophical than I was expecting. I had no idea what a panopticon was until I read this book. The idea that we are all just living one big surveillance experiment does describe high school efficiently! The book started out with Ezra going from golden boy to social outcast after he is injured in a car accident. He has to deal with all the pity and stares and trying to figure out what his life is now that his old one has been destroyed. He meets Cassidy Thorpe, who is full of mischief and mystery, and like all high schoolers, he falls in love. And everything goes fine, until one crucial detail comes out. I did roll my eyes a little at how dramatic both Ezra and Cassidy can be, thinking that life in high school reflects the rest of your life. But it was an interesting twist that Cassidy resists Ezra’s glorification of her. She doesn’t want the credit of changing him, when, in reality, he was changing himself.

Basically this is a book of a bunch of kids learning to grow up and their reactions to having to do so. This is actually a good one for high schoolers to read. The language wasn’t bad and any “steamy scenes” were few and far between, along with not being very detailed. Those who have finished high school will probably read this with amusement. But overall, a very good book!

First Line Friday #36

Today’s First Line Friday is part of a three book series. The author is not writing anymore but I loved this series when I first read it several years ago. I was actually send this copy from the author as a birthday gift. One of the characters has Autism, and Jennifer Laurens takes this from personal experiences with her own child.  Maybe one day her muse will return and she will write again!

I opened my eyes and found myself in a dark room.

I met someone who changed everything. Matthias. My autistic sister’s guardian angel. Honest. Inspiring. Funny. Hot. And immortal. That was the problem. What could I do? I did what any other girl would do-I fell in love with him. Zoe’s sister darts in front of cars. Her brother’s a pothead. Her parents are so overwhelmed; they don’t see Zoe lost in her broken life. Zoe escapes the only way she knows how: partying. Matthias, a guardian sent from Heaven, watches over Zoe’s autistic sister. After Zoe is convinced he’s legit, angel and lost girl come together in a love that changes destiny. But Heaven on Earth can’t last forever.



Look for Me By Moonlight

Author: Mary Downing Hahn
195 Pages
Published: September 8, 2008

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 3 Stars

Description from Amazon:

When sixteen-year-old Cynda goes to stay with her father and his second wife, Susan, at their remote bed-and-breakfast inn in Maine, everything starts off well despite legends about ghosts and a murder at the inn. But Cynda feels like a visitor in Dad’s new life, an outsider. Then intense, handsome stranger Vincent Morthanos arrives at the inn and seems to return Cynda’s interest. At first, she is blind to the subtle, insistent signs that Vincent is not what he seems-that he is, in fact, a vampire. Can Cynda free herself-and her family-from Vincent’s power before it’s too late? Full-bodied characterizations and page-turning suspense ensure that this eerie, riveting novel will appeal to middle school fans of mystery and horror.

Kim’s Review:

Ok, puff read!!! Seriously, this was nothing more than brain candy. This book was a place holder while I waited for another book to get here in the mail. Hahn is usually my go-to for a quick, scary read and most of her books are awesome. But this one was more cheesy than scary. Don’t take it too seriously, because you’ll be disappointed if you do. Just a fun little romance-y vampire story. If you want something light and fanciful to read, then I recommend this book.