If I have a Wicked Stepmother, Where’s My Prince? by Melissa Kantor

Just Finished:

Why I Read It: Because I saw the cover while browsing at a bookstore and the summary intrigued me. And, well, it’s kind of fun for me to read the same books as kiddo ~ and though she may not admit it, I think she likes it that we read the same things.

Synopsis: When high school sophomore Lucy Norton’s father remarries, Lucy’s moved across the country and her life is turned upside down. With a bedroom in the unfinished basement, a blank social calendar, and a crush on the dashing prince of the varsity basketball team, Lucy’s life has the makings of a Cinderella story–complete with two bratty stepsisters and a wicked stepmother. So isn’t she supposed to get the prince? And go to the senior prom?

My Thoughts: Well, I’ve been on a bit of a YA kick lately. Not sure why ~ I’ve never really been inclined to read YA books. But this one intrigued me while I was browsing through the aisles ~ enough so that I made a beeline to the library to snag it.

The story centers around 16-year-old Lucy Norton, who has recently moved from San Francisco to New York state because her father has remarried. Her stepmother, Mara, doesn’t seem to want her around. She keeps promising Lucy that she wants to decorate her bedroom, but in the meantime Lucy’s been sleeping in an undecorated basement with no furniture and nothing but an air mattress to sleep on. And Mara always seems to have an excuse as to why Lucy’s room never gets furnishings. Then there’s Mara’s twin daughters who would try the patience of Job. And the father that Lucy was so close to is now no longer around, except for when he travels home on weekends. So, is it any wonder why Lucy would compare herself with Cinderella?

Enter “Prince Charming” ~ star basketball player Connor Pearson, who immediately takes a liking to Lucy and before you know it, the two are dating. Suddenly, Lucy is suddenly thrust into one of the most sought after girls in school.

Then there’s Sam Wolff, a mysterious, introverted boy from Lucy’s art class. The two become friends and Lucy finds herself questioning her definition of “Prince Charming”.

I’d say the story was Good. It was predictable, but was a great way to spend a few hours. And now that I’ve read it, I can end my obsession with it and move on to the next read.

Thirteen Reasons Why

Just Finished:

Why I Read It: Because Nath raved about it over at her blog. I became intrigued.

Synopsis: Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker–his classmate and crush–who committed suicide two weeks earlier. On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out how he made the list.

Through Hannah and Clay’s dual narratives, debut author Jay Asher weaves an intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation that will deeply affect teen readers.

My Thoughts: I’m finding myself at a loss of what to say. This book is gripping and not the normal kind of thing I would read. For one, before I even opened it I knew that Hannah would be dead, so I knew I wouldn’t have the HEA I’m always after. For two, it deals with the subject of teen suicide, which is a bit darker than what I read about. I like the feel good books, simply because I deal with enough darker subjects in real life so books make a great escape for me. This book made me think. A lot.

Hannah had thirteen reasons why she killed herself. And each of those reasons was sent a copy of the audio tapes to listen to as to why they played a part in her deciding to end her life. And while I read each of these reasons, I couldn’t help wondering what would have happened if just a small part of the scenario had changed in each of these stories. Would Hannah still have made the decision she did to end her life?

Mr. Asher writes a great story. I found myself reliving (rethinking?) my teen years a lot while reading this book. Unfortunately, I think we’re all affected by suicide in someway ~ whether knowing someone who thought of it, who did ~ or whether we’re one of the ones who’s contemplated it. This made me think of how our actions really do affect the lives of others.

This book is Excellent. Read it. I urge you. But if you buy it, go to amazon.com instead of the bookstore. You’ll save $7.00 ~ which is what I found out after coming home from B&N with my coveted purchase.

New Moon

Just Finished:

Why I Read It: I read Twilight last week and immediately became hooked by the series.

My Thoughts: This book continues from where Twilight left off. In New Moon, we’re reintroduced to Bella and her relationship with the Cullen family, vampires who are determined not to kill humans. Unfortunately, the Cullens did not appear in this sequel too much, due to an incident towards the beginning of the book that causes them to break ties with Bella.

This story is more of the growth of the friendship between Jacob and Bella ~ and of Bella having to learn to live her life without the Cullens around. This book does seem a lot darker to me ~ Bella’s depression is deep and she’s seemed to have lost her willingness to live. It’s almost as if she has an uncaring attitude whether she lives or dies. Maybe she doesn’t want to die, but she sure doesn’t want to get up in the morning, either.

I really enjoyed the friendship between Jacob and Bella. They have fun together, including quite a few mischievous adventures that are probably best left unknown to Bella’s father, Charlie. That being said, I still missed Edward and longed for him to reappear every time I turned the page. Unfortunately (or fortunately??), he reappeared towards the end of the book, along with the rest of the Cullen family.

I’d say this is a Very Good read. Usually follow-up books are disappointing to their predecessors, and this is no exception ~ but it’s still good. I think the character development is excellent and I cannot wait for this story to continue. I’m looking forward to reading Eclipse and seeing what happens next.

Twilight

Just Finished:

Why I Read It: I bought this book for Kiddo at Christmas last year. She loaned it to me in March and I just got around to reading it now.

From the Back Cover: About three things I was absolutely positive:
First, Edward was a vampire.
Second, there was a part of him–and I didn’t know how dominant that part might be–that thirsted for my blood.
And third, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him.

“I’D NEVER GIVEN MUCH THOUGHT TO HOW I WOULD DIE– I’d had reason enough in the last few months –but even if I had, I would not have imagined it like this. . . . Surely it was a good way to die, in the place of something else, someone I loved. Noble, even. That ought to count for something.”

When Isabella Swan moves to the gloomy town of Forks and meets the mysterious, alluring Edward Cullen, her life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn. With his porcelain skin, golden eyes, mesmerizing voice, and supernatural gifts, Edward is both irresistible and impenetrable. Up until now, he has managed to keep his true identity hidden, but Bella is determined to uncover his dark secret.

What Bella doesn’t realize is the closer she gets to him, the more she is putting herself and those around her at risk. And, it might be too late to turn back. . . .

Deeply seductive and extraordinarily suspenseful, Twilight will have readers riveted right until the very last page is turned.

My Thoughts: Wow, talk about the nearly perfectly written story, this is it. I can’t believe it took me so long to start to read it.

I cracked this book open yesterday morning, and was instantly thrown by Edward’s animosity toward Bella. I couldn’t understand it. I could tell they were drawn to each immediately. They locked eyes across the cafeteria; but then he was vicious to her the first time they spoke. His reasons were explained easily away later in the book and I easily forgave him.

Bella and Edward make me swoon. Lots of “awww” moments with those two. They have the relationship I dream of.. Pure Romantic ~ I love their talks about nothing and everything at the same time. How they just are together, for hours just talking, or not talking ~ just being. How perfect is that? Oh, and the fact that he watches her when she sleeps? Aww, again. I want their relationship. Never mind the fact that he’s a vampire ~ I don’t really dwell on that because it is just part of his character, not the definition of it.

I also really enjoyed Bella’s relationship with her dad, Charlie. As a caretaker myself, I related to her desire to take care of him and make sure he’s okay. I thought it was just a wonderful connection between them.

For the most part, this was a pretty light read. There was some suspenseful stuff towards the last 75 pages or so, but all-in-all it made me feel good and I wanted to just stay in the world that Stephenie Meyer created ~ werewolves, vampires, and all.

I don’t know what else to say that most probably has been said several times before. This was Excellent and if you haven’t read it yet, I urge you to go out and get this book if you don’t have it already and read it (although I’m fairly certain I’m the last person in the world to read this). It’s 498 pages, but they fly by pretty fast. This book is one that’s hard to put down once you’ve actually opened it up and committed to reading it. It was just that good.

(PS ~And dang if it hasn’t ruined me for any other books until I get my hands on New Moon and Eclipse. Unfortunately, I don’t get those until tomorrow.)

While I Was Gone…………..

My niece and I listened to “Elsewhere” by Gabrielle Zevin on the drive to Minnesota. It is such a haunting story and I’d highly recommend it to anyone. This book haunts me still, days after I’ve read it. Imagine being 15, and dead. Never having a 16th birthday. Just learning how to drive, and never having a license. Finding out that your aging will now be reversed, until you are again a baby, and again ready to go back to earth. And then imagine falling in love for the first time………..

This was a wonderful story. Definitely one worth revisiting. I’d rate it an A+. My only warning is that there is a tiny speck of language, but only a smidge.

After finishing DOY, I read “Suddenly You” by Lisa Kleypas. Now, I love Ms. Kleypas’ stories and hardly ever find fault with one. This story, I’d maybe rate a C ~ not bad, but not one I’d necessarily read again. This is the story of Amanda and Jack. Amanda is a successful author; Jack is a publicist. Amanda meets Jack through unusual circumstances ~ their matchmaker, a local madam who is acquainted with both of them. The book started out sizzling, but I started getting bored to toward the middle. Like I said, not bad ~ but not one of my favorites.