Review: Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Title: Lola and the Boy Next Door

Author: Stephanie Perkins

Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary

Rating: ★★★★★

Synopsis (via Goodread)

Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn’t believe in fashion . . . she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit — more sparkly, more fun, more wild — the better. But even though Lola’s style is outrageous, she’s a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood.

When Cricket — a gifted inventor — steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.

My review and thoughts:

I would first like to point out that my expectations were SO HIGH for this book that i was actually scared to start reading it because i didn’t want to be disappointed. I’m telling you, Anna and the French Kiss set the standards so unbelievably high i thought my disappointment would be inevitable. BUT, i’m glad that this did not happen! while this is no Anna and the French kiss, it is definetly one of the top contemporary YA novels i’ve ever read.

Lola, my adorable lola. I enjoyed every single one of her creations! the dresses she wore and the wigs! they made me smile at their descriptions. I loved how Stephanie Perkins gave her this cute and creative personality, saying i adored her is an understatement! Now on to Cricket. Let me point out that when i read his name i instantly fell in love with him. I wasn’t a huge fan of the name St. Claire in Anna but his hair and accent made up for it at the first encounter, but Cricket? Cricket! *squeel* and he’s tall so the name totally applies to him. I loved how Cricket would do anything for Lola, and that he would come all the way from his university just to see her! and i especially loved their quality time while they talked through their room windows.

I remember, chapter 3. This is when i screamed “OH MY GOD” because that was when Anna and St.Claire appeared. You don’t understand how happy i was! thank you Stephanie Perkins <3. Even though they appeared through out the book i didn’t count the pages until they appeared again (you would think that because of my love for Anna), but i was totally invested in Lola land. I would love to wear one of Lola’s creations.

The story was wonderful, even though the settings and outcome are predictable (which is the case for most contemporary novels) but the HOW they got there is what’s so special about this book. I liked her best friend’s obsession with Nancy Drew and mysterious (I was a huge fan of the Anime Conan). Personally I didn’t find Lola’s birth mom interesting at all and she just made me frown for taking precious pages from the story but i loved Nathan and Andy. I’m a fan of Andy. They remind me of Modern Family’s Mitchell and Cameron ;). As for Alex (Lola’s boyfriend at the beginning), i was slightly heartbroken when they broke up because i truly thought that he did love her and treated her well, not like the usual douches in some contemporary YA novels. To round it up, i am a huge fan of Lola’s individuality and independence, i would never in a million years be courageous enough to wear clothes like hers and not be bothered about people’s opinions (well most of the time).

I was hesitant to write this review since it would mean that i am officially done with Lola and i have to wait another year for Isla *cries*. I’m going to miss Lola and Cricket’s window adventures. I believe Stephanie Perkins writes the most amazing, addicting books that nake you end up in withdrawal mode for days, MONTHS even. Stephanie Perkins, please never stop writing.

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Review: Fall For Me by Melanie Marks

Fall For Me (High School Love)

Title: Fall For Me

Author: Melanie Marks

Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Synopsis (via Goodread)

When Zoey’s long-time boyfriend, Finn, cheats on her—kissing a girl he “just can’t resist”—he gives Zoey a “Free Pass,” telling her she can kiss any guy she wants. Finn is so cocky and sure of their relationship that the arrangement seems perfect. He’s not worried Zoey will fall for another guy, and he’s itching to get rid of his feelings of guilt.

But the thing is, Zoey knows exactly who she wants to kiss—longs to kiss— Finn’s best friend, Riley. But, she wants the kiss too much. She knows that. So, she resists the “Free Pass.” Still, she’s pushed into it when Finn loses a bet to Riley, and Riley wants his payment—a kiss from Zoey.

My thoughts and review:

This was basically a Novella. around 48 pages on my ibooks. It was cute, fun, and basically an entertaining quick read. As ive mentioned before i love irresistible guys who the protagonist can’t seem to have ;). Riley was just adorable, basically doing everything Zoey asked for or needed. I really wished this would have been an actual novel since many parts of the story could have been expanded, such as her relationship with her younger brother and sister, how she is dealing with her father’s recent death, the friendship dynamic with Riley. I would have LOVED some flashbacks of Zoey and Riley in the past, because she always says Riley hates her because he did ‘this’ and ‘that’ in the past.

Overall it was a fun, adorable read, this reminded me of “The Unwritten Rule”  by Elizabeth Scott which i ADORED. So don’t expect anything serious or with depth from the story, but its definitely a good read.

Review: Remembrance by Michelle Madow

RemembranceTitle: Remembrance

Author: Michelle Madow

Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Synopsis (via Goodread)

New Hampshire high school junior Lizzie Davenport has been reincarnated from Regency Era, England … but she doesn’t know it yet.

Then Drew Carmichael transfers into Lizzie’s school at the beginning of the year, and she feels a connection to him, almost like she knows him. She can’t stop thinking about him, but whenever she tries talking with him about the mysteries behind her feelings, he makes it clear that he wants nothing to do with her. Reaching him is even more difficult because she has a boyfriend, Jeremy, who has started to become full of himself after being elected co-captain of the varsity soccer team, and her flirtatious best friend Chelsea starts dating Drew soon after his arrival. So why can’t she seem to get him out of her mind?

Even though Lizzie knows she should let go of her fascination with Drew, the pair of them soon find that fighting fate isn’t going to be easy.

 

My thoughts and review:

I LOVE books that deal with unrequited love, forbidden love (in the sense of girl being in love with her bestfriend’s boyfriend, etc) and basically the tension and awkwardness that manifest in some of the scenes between the protagonist and the other ‘guy’. The synopsis of this book raised my curiosity and i had to read it! my sister had it on her ibooks library so i borrowed it from her and started reading. I loved the beginning, exactly the type of book i always look forward to read, girl has a boyfriend, boyfriend being careless and too busy for her, girl meets new guy and instantly falls for him, new guy is taken! oh no! *giggles*.

One thing that kept me from being totally invested in the story is its similarity to pride and prejudice, the names of the characters all sounded too familiar “Lizzie – Elizabeth, Drew – Darcy, etc), ive seen too many pride and prejudice remakes and i hoped this wasn’t one. So throughout the whole story I kept on wondering whether it’ll be another pride and prejudice remake (which im glad it wasn’t at the end).  I really liked Jeremy, throughout the book i had a hidden hope that he would end up with lizzie, i just felt really bad for him because he was in the way of fate. I kept on hoping Lizzie would give him the explanation he deserved but it never came, which is why I was frustrated at Lizzie.

I give Chelsea kudos for being so level headed about Lizzie and Drew being together, she was a good friend to Lizzie and im just sad that she didn’t get her happy ending, nor did Jeremy. (I guess you can tell I loved Chelsea and Jeremy more than Lizzie and Drew 😛 ).

I honestly loved the beginning of the book more and the ending for me felt a bit unfinished, but it was an entertaining and fun read; One that i would recommend to people who love contemporary retellings and destined love. I would definitely pick up any new book that Michelle Madow writes. She’s got a way to make you keep reading.

 

Novels Released in the upcoming week. Who’s excited?

This next week is this year’s book heaven. Some amazing books i have been waiting months for them and others I’ve been drooling over are finally being released.

   

Lola and the boy next door by Stephanie Perkins (September 29th)

The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson (September 29th)

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin (September 27th)

A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies (September 27th)

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor (September 27th)

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Honorable mentions: Covers of books released this week that i love

Zelah Green by Vanessa Curtis (October 1st)

The Mephisto Covenant by Trinity Faegen (September 27th)

My Beating Teenage Heart by C. K. Kelly Martin (September 27th)

I am pretty satisfied with all the covers of these books. But how pretty is Zelah Green’s cover? ive never heard of the book but that cover is SO PRETTY! 

Click on the titles to direct you to the synopsis via Goodreads

REVIEW: “Where I Belong” by Gwendolyn Heasley

Title: Where I Belong

Author: Gwendolyn Heasley

Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary

Rating: ★★★★☆

Synopsis (via Goodread)

Meet Corrinne. She’s living every girl’s dream in New York City—shopping sprees at Barneys, open access to the best clubs and parties, and her own horse at the country club. Her perfect life is perfectly on track. At least it was. . . .

When Corrinne’s father is laid off, her world suddenly falls apart. Instead of heading to boarding school, she’s stripped of her credit cards and shipped off to the boonies of Texas to live with her grandparents. On her own in a big public school and forced to take a job shoveling manure, Corrinne is determined to get back to the life she’s supposed to be living. She doesn’t care who she stomps on in the process. But when Corrinne makes an unlikely friend and discovers a total hottie at work, she begins to wonder if her life B.R.—before the recession—was as perfect as it seemed.

My Review and thoughts:

Let me just start off by saying that i am not a big fan of reading books about spoiled rich girls (ie: Gossip Girl). I picked this book up for its BEAUTIFUL cover (you know me and pretty covers, its an addiction). I started reading this book a while ago then put it down after a chapter. I hated how spoiled Corrinne acted and how selfish she was. It annoyed the hell out of me. So a  month later i promised myself i’d finish reading it (that’s what always happens to me right? 😛 ). So i did. I read it with gritted teeth whenever Corrinne acted like a selfish cry baby.. but she got better! i was quite surprised with how fast she adjusted (even though she kept denying her adjustment). Then came Rider, the singer wannabe working at the stables she started working in *gasp*. I knew from the beginning he would be a douche looking for a way in to the entertainment industry. But bubby, i LOVED bubby. The highschool quarterback. He was adorable with his teasing of Corrinne every 5 seconds. Somehow nowadays the quarterbacks get all the girls.. back in the day the quarterbacks were the douches and the tortured souls (singers, writers) got the girls.

Corrinne proved that she wasn’t superficial, that all she needed was a reality check to change her perspective. Kitsy (highschool classmate) helped her find that perspective. I loved kitsy’s bubbly personality and kidness. I didn’t expect Kitsy to stick around at the beginning but i give her credit for sticking. The book turned its charms on later in the book and i loved it. Corrinne finally turned from tolerable to an awesome protagonist. I especially loved it when her best friend from Manhattan (Weaverly) visited and she saw how everyone saw how SHE acted at the beginning: too good for this place and them.

I would have been sad to see her and Weaverly’s friendship dissolving, so i was happy with how the book patched up all the relationships. What i found cute about this book is the weird names of all the characters: Bubby, Rider, Jenny Jo. Definetly names that’ll stick in your head for a while!

It was a cute read, it was a bit hard to get through the beginning couple of chapters but after that i was looking forward to reading it whenever i had free time. Also my decision to read a book based on the book cover hasn’t let me down yet again 😉

Neglected Books (1.1)

So as part of this month challenge with Farah, we have chosen four books that we have been neglecting. Each week we decide on one of these books, read it, and then review it together.

The four books chosen are:

Back When We Were Easier To Love by Emily Wing Smith

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

10 Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn’t Have) by Sarah Mlynowski

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

if you haven’t noticed we are doing one week contemporary, and the next paranormal.

We were excited about all these four books but for some reason never got the chance to read them (we’ve got tons of others on our TBR list so this challenge will be a monthly challenge).

First book is

Title: Back When You Were Easier To Love

Author: Emily Wing Smith

Genre: Young adult, Contemporary, Romance

Synopsis (via Goodread)

What’s worse than getting dumped? Not even knowing if you’ve been dumped. Joy got no goodbye, and certainly no explanation when Zan – the love of her life and the only good thing about stifling, backward Haven, Utah – unceremoniously and unexpectedly left for college a year early. Joy needs closure almost as much as she needs Zan, so she heads for California, and Zan, riding shotgun beside Zan’s former-best-friend Noah.

Original and insightful, quirky and crushing, Joy’s story is told in surprising and artfully shifting flashbacks between her life then and now. Exquisite craft and wry, relatable humor signal the arrival of Emily Wing Smith as a breakout talent.

Thats how our conversation went:

Juhina: What do you think of the book?

Farah: It wasn’t as good as i expected, i felt like it was lacking the excitment factor…

juhina: in many roadtrip books right? such as Amy and Roger’s Epic detour? which was SUPER CUTE!

Farah: what about you?

Juhina: Honestly I was a bit annoyed at the protagonist at the beginning, because she was overly obsessed with Zan, and i didn’t understand her need to go see him after he ditched her, but what do i know? i’ve never been in love.

Farah: For me what i didn’t like in the beginning was how they converted from past to present but then i got used to and i got the hang of it and started knowing what was in the present and what was in the past

Juhina: right! that also confused me, sometimes i didn’t know whether she was recalling a memory or whether we were in the present, i got overly confused too.

Farah: When i first saw zan and how she described him.. it was the first time I didn’t like the female protagonist’s crush

Juhina: You know, he was actually cute when she remembered him, aside from thinking he’s better than everyone else, but i liked his gestures, but when she actually met him, he was a totally different person from what she rememebered and what i know of him so that kinda pissed me off

Farah: True, true

Juhina: but anyways i was rooting for her and Noah so i was happy that there was a chance that she could get over him

Farah: I really liked the ending, it was very realistic

Juhina: yes! after she got over zan, this is when i truely enjoyed the story, and it was cute seeing her with noah, and im happy that the ending was open ended

Farah: yea! because if she got together with Noah this fast, then i can’t help but mark her love for Zan as an immature teen obsession, so i was happy with that.

Juhina: how would you rate this book then?

Farah: a three and a half

Juhina: what does that mean?

Farah: umm… it means i enjoyed it as a fast read, but i don’t think i’ll read it again

Juhina: well yea, it was cute and all, but this was an easy read, i would give it a three. But i think this wasn’t for my age, maybe it would suit tweens better? so kinda unfair for me to judge it like that. But overall it was cute, i liked it!

Farah: i don’t want to make it sound as bad as you guys think. hahaha.. but if you’re bored and dunno what to read, try it out!

Juhina: ok great! so this wraps up the first Neglected Books post =)

Farah: Happy reading!

Recommend Fridays (1)

This is a weekly meme. It was created by Stuck In YA BooksA Cupcake and a Latte. Bloggers will tell others what is your favorite book and why you love it. This will include an genres of books (fiction particularly) . The blogger must add a link to where viewers can add their book to their TBR lists. (via Stuck In YA Books)

 

The book i’m choosing is a Young adult contemporary novel. It is a coming of age novel.

Synopsis:

Patty Taylor can handle anything. So what if the guys in her band dismiss her as just a pretty face, hired by their manager to make them more popular? She’s already survived a bad childhood, a destructive teenage relationship, homelessness, and working twelve-hour shifts washing dishes. Traveling with the band gives her a way to provide for Willie, the two-year-old son she adores.

But on a hot summer day in Kentucky, when Willie’s father shows up outside her hotel room, newly paroled from prison and intent on having her and his son back, Patty begins a journey that will change her from a girl who can put up with anything to a woman with a voice that can bring the house down.

 

This book blew me away. From the first page i was hooked. It was truthful, raw, honest, beautiful! Patty was a true female heroine that i look up to. She is a single mother trying to pursue her dream and still keeps going when everyone else puts her down. The relationship she has with her son is so heartwarming. Willie is so adorable, he was a source of many laughs throughout the book and of course heartbreaks because of his innocence and the apparent painful need for a father figure. I loved every single line of this book. I’ve recommended it to all my friends and every single one of them loved it. They would all curse me for making their hearts break but at the same time grateful to still know there are books that can touch our hearts and still mean something to us several years later. I’ve read the book almost 3 years ago and ive reread it countless times.

 

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Downtown Press; Original edition (April 6, 2004)
buy this book now! from:

Review: “Love Story” by Jennifer Echols

Title: Love Story

Author: Jennifer Echols

Genre: Young adult, Contemporary, Romance

My rating: ★★★★★

Synopsis (via Goodread.com)

For Erin Blackwell, majoring in creative writing at the New York City college of her dreams is more than a chance to fulfill her ambitions–it’s her ticket away from the tragic memories that shadow her family’s racehorse farm in Kentucky. But when she refuses to major in business and take over the farm herself someday, her grandmother gives Erin’s college tuition and promised inheritance to their maddeningly handsome stable boy, Hunter Allen. Now Erin has to win an internship and work late nights at a coffee shop to make her own dreams a reality. She should despise Hunter . . . so why does he sneak into her thoughts as the hero of her latest writing assignment?

Then, on the day she’s sharing that assignment with her class, Hunter walks in. He’s joining her class. And after he reads about himself in her story, her private fantasies about him must be painfully clear. She only hopes to persuade him not to reveal her secret to everyone else. But Hunter devises his own creative revenge, writing sexy stories that drive the whole class wild with curiosity and fill Erin’s heart with longing. Now she’s not just imagining what might have been. She’s writing a whole new ending for her romance with Hunter . . . except this story could come true.

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My Review and thoughts:

I really enjoyed reading the contemporary novel ”Love Story” by Jennifer Echols. I had to get past the first 30 pages to really start enjoying it. I picked up this book almost a month ago, read the first 20 pages then got bored and put it down and never went back to it. Every time I was considering what to read next I’d read a page of the book and then choose something else. Today I put a stop to this nonsense and made myself sit down and READ at least 50 pages or so and if I still didn’t like it, then I can tell myself at least I tried.

The story started off with a short story, the heroine “Erin”, wrote for her creative writing class. It took a while for me to get through that story as I didn’t understand what was going on and why it was set in the past when clearly the book is present day contemporary. However I kept going and understood it was a story the heroine wrote. I REALLY started to enjoy the story when the main male lead “Hunter” (can I say how much I LOVE this name?) is enrolled in the same creative class! And guess what her story is about? HIM!. I got a few laughs, embarrassing ones for her too, on the situation she was put it. Her short story wasn’t just a teen love story, ehh it was quite ‘mature’ in content. This is when I knew I would love this book.

I couldn’t put the book down. I ignored all the shows I had waiting for me and couldn’t stop. I even passed up on sleeping just so I can finish this book! Hunter was dreamy, he was sweet, and his grins made me squeal! (I’m a sucker for a guy with a ‘lopsided grin’ or dimples!). Another thing I loved is how independent Erin is. Even though she is what some might call “A spoiled rich kid” I found her very confident in her decision to leave the riches behind and pursue her dream. I had my doubts on her façade and thought she wouldn’t be able to keep playing the ex-rich girl who is now poor because she is pursuing her dream of being a writer. I thought she would crack down at one point in the story and go back and obey her grandmother so she can get back her credit cards.

This was definitely a page turner, I couldn’t put it down. It was a very enjoyable contemporary read and I’m glad I finally gave the book a chance, because anyways its Jennifer Echols. I’ve basically read everything by her. I shouldn’t have doubted how awesome this book would be.

Review: “If I Stay” by Gayle Forman

Title: If I Stay

Author: Gayle Forman

Genre: Young adult, Contemporary, Romance

My rating: *★★★★★

Synopsis (via Goodread.com)

In a single moment, everything changes. Seventeen year- old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall riding along the snow-wet Oregon road with her family. Then, in a blink, she finds herself watching as her own damaged body is taken from the wreck…

A sophisticated, layered, and heartachingly beautiful story about the power of family and friends, the choices we all make -and the ultimate choice Mia commands

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My Review:

I have a love hate relationship with Gayle Forman’s “If I Stay” Novel. Ever have a relationship like that with someone? It’s usually someone you’re in love with or will eternally love. You hate things about them but at the same time without those things they wouldn’t be the ones you love. That is exactly how I feel about this book. Last time I loved a book this much was when I read “Shout down the moon” by Lisa Tucker almost 3 years ago. If I Stay by Gayle Forman is a book that breaks your heart from the first 15 pages… then breaks it again 30 pages later… and again 50 pages later until your face is streaked with tear marks and you’re emotional as hell. I locked myself in my room and when my sister came to ask me something I told her I was at a VERY emotional part and she should come later. She saw my blotchy red face and the tears that never stopped spilling and literally sprinted away.

I officially declare myself an idiot for having this book on my shelf since may (4 months ago) and only now deciding to read it. I’ve read reviews about it but then I read the synopsis and decided it was another silly teen romance. This book is beautifully written. It felt like I was part of their world. While reading a chapter towards the end, I’d remember things I read at the beginning of the book as if they were a part of my memory, like I was there, with the characters, which is why I felt so invested in the story. Also, the book could have ended up in two ways and while I’m usually up for the happier ending. This time I didn’t know where my heart swayed. One page it was to the left, and the next page it was to the right.

I cried buckets and the book is filled with tear marks.. and even now, while writing this review I’m tearing up, because this book touched my heart. It made me thank god that I have a family and a life that many people end up losing.. when they least expect it.

Book 2 came out for this series. It is called “Where She Went” and I got it in ebook format. The covers for these books (the one with girl on them) are BEAUTIFUL. They’re so breathtaking… that’s what actually first attracted me to the book. I’m a sucker for eye catching book covers.

The book i had was the hardback and its cover is the one above. These two are the paperback covers