Tag Archives: Realistic

*Review* After – Amy Efaw

 After

Amy Efaw

350 Pages

ISBN: 9780670011834

Read 5-3-12

Source: Library

Format: Audiobook

An infant left in the trash to die. A teenage mother who never knew she was pregnant . . . Before That Morning, these were the words most often used to describe straight-A student and star soccer player Devon Davenport: responsible, hardworking, mature. But all that changes when the police find Devon home sick from school as they investigate the case of an abandoned baby. Soon the connection is made, Devon has just given birth; the baby in the trash is hers. After That Morning, there’s only one way to define Devon: attempted murderer. And yet gifted author Amy Efaw does the impossible, she turns Devon into an empathetic character, a girl who was in such deep denial that she refused to believe she was pregnant. Through airtight writing and fast-paced, gripping storytelling, Ms. Efaw takes the reader on Devon’s unforgettable journey toward clarity, acceptance, and redemption.  

     The synopsis of this book had me very intrigued, but unfortunately it wasn’t what I was hoping for.  I wasn’t pulled in or overwhelmed by what happened and it didn’t get to me emotionally like I wanted it to.  There were a few rare scenes that stirred me, but I felt it wasn’t as good as it could have been.  I also felt it would have been much better has it been written in a first person POV.  I am always able to give a bigger emotional connection in my writing if I write it from first person since I put myself in it as best as I can.

I listened to this book instead of reading it, and after hearing the reader for Daughter of Smoke and Bone, this reader was kind of flat.  I also wasn’t a big fan of the main character, Devon.  She hardly spoke through the whole book and she really annoyed me.  I didn’t feel any sympathy for her and it seemed like all she did was have a bunch of excuses.

Some of the writing was okay, but it seemed to be very repetative.  I can’t count how many times “orange jumpsuit” was used.  There were things that I didn’t like about the way things were at the detention center in the book.  I work at a detention center, and tehre was plenty I didn’t agree with.  For starters, a male officer would never escort a female inmate, especially not a female juvenile, alone.  Considering I work at a detention center, the setting didn’t feel quite right, so it just didn’t do it for me.  Of course, it ws also a juvenile detention center in a state other than mine, so it really could be that different, but I don’t see a lot of what I disagree with happening.  Sorry, bit I’m biased.  It’s unfortunate I didn’t enjoy it because I really wanted to.  The only part I can say I did for certain like was the way it ended, it was right.

Good ending, repetative, didn’t emotionally connect, didn’t favor the main character.

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Filed under 2.5 Stars, Audiobook, Fiction, Tough Stuff, Young Adult

*Review* Anna and the French Kiss

 Anna and the French Kiss

Stephanie Perkins

372 pages

ISBN: 9780525423270

Read 4-7-12

Source: Own

Format: Paperback

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?  

     So what can I say about Anna and the French Kiss?  It was absolutely, brilliantly, marvelously AMAZING!!  I am so glad I lsitened to all of the bloggers who raved about this book because it is simply wonderwul.  I am definitely a fan of Stephanie Perkins now and will most likely read everything she publishes.
There are so many things that make this book great.  One thing is how realistic and relatable it is.  I’m reading this whole book thinking “Wow I have definitely been there before.”  The story is real, tbe place is real, the characters are real.  I feel like I really know these characters and I could tell you about them as if they were someone I’ve known for quite some time.  They may be fictional characters, but they have very real personalities.
Mmmm, St. Clair.  I was drooling over this boy from the first time Anna met him.  He has certainly become a new favorite book boyfriend.  He may even be #1!  Edward Cullen can suck it!  And how great was Anna?  Awesomely so.  Her freak outs, excitement, meltdowns, everything was put perfectly on the page.
The descriptions of Paris are lovely, and though I have been to France, I didn’t get the chance to see Paris.  It is a beautiful country and the author portays Paris beautifully.  I have to make sure I get to go back and visit Paris.  There have been books that have made me giggle here and there, but this book has me laughing so foten.  It was such a fun read and I look forward to her other novels.  This story will remind you of what it’s like to fall in love.

Fabulous characters, wonderful story, humorous, playful writing, MUST READ!!

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Filed under 5 Stars, Contemporary, Fiction, Romance, Young Adult

*Review* Split – Swati Avasthi

 Split

 Swati Avasthi

280 pages

ISBN: 9780375863400

Read 3-29-12

Source: Library

Format: Audiobook

Sixteen-Year-Old Jace Witherspoon arrives at the doorstep of his estranged brother Christian with a re-landscaped face (courtesy of his father’s fist), $3.84, and a secret.
     He tries to move on, going for new friends, a new school, and a new job, but all his changes can’t make him forget what he left behind—his mother, who is still trapped with his dad, and his ex-girlfriend, who is keeping his secret.
At least so far.
     Worst of all, Jace realizes that if he really wants to move forward, he may first have to do what scares him most: He may have to go back. First-time novelist Swati Avasthi has created a riveting and remarkably nuanced portrait of what happens after. After you’ve said enough, after you’ve run, after you’ve made the split—how do you begin to live again?

     This book was surprisingly a lot more than I expected it to be and not what I expected it to be as well.  I guess I have been reading so much fantasy, science fiction stuff lately that I didn’t expect something so very realistic and tough.  This book is so well-written and the author can say so much with a sentence of so few words.  The words are strong and stir up so much, whether you read it or listen to it.  The author captures the ugliness of domestic violence in the pages and then pours empathy throughout your body with the words.  It hurts you, too, not just the characters, and you are there for every bit of Jace’s struggle.  The title has so many meanings, it’s hard to keep count.
I am not going to lie, this book deals with a very difficult subject, and as I was listening to it, there were parts where it was hard to keep listening because I wanted to just turn it off and try to wipe the ugly picture from my head.  It makes you mad, and breaks your heart, and gives you hope.  I wanted to hit Jace, I wanted to tell him everything was going to be ok, and I wanted to hug him.  His brother Christian doesn’t make things much easier for him at first, but luckily he opens up about things slowly.  I really liked Miriam because she is the character who wants to be there for you no matter what and keeps believing that everything will be ok, even if it may take a lot of time and she never gives up.
There is so much substance to this novel.  It’s so thickly wrapped with so much, it is almost a tangible thing.  The author did a superb job showing the characters’ emotions and the reactions they had were incredibly realistic.  Everyone in the book felt like a real person.  If I were to go to Albequrque right now, I would expect to see them there.  And speaking of Albequrque, the way the story read, I think the author may have been there before.  I went there in about 2008, and I recognized some things in the book that was familiar with this area of New Mexico, like the weather.  It was funny when they rode the tram because I could say “Hey! I’ve done that, too!”  I recommend this book for people who can read about tough topics and like powerful and moving novels.  This is my first “issue” book I’ve read, and I really have no negatives for this book.

A dynamic story, awakening to the subject, realistic, strong writing, intense, I can’t find anything negative from my point.

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Filed under 5 Stars, Audiobook, Fiction, Tough Stuff, Young Adult