Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

I am a self-professed Nick and Norah's junkie. I have read it multiple times and have no idea how it took me so long to pick up Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List. But really... how does one measure up?

Naomi loves and is in love with Ely, and Ely loves Naomi, but prefers to be in love with boys. So they create their "No Kiss List" of people neither of them is allowed to kiss. And this works fine - until Bruce. Bruce is Naomi's boyfriend, so there's no reason to put him on the List. But Ely kissed Bruce even though he is boring. The result: a rift of universal proportions and the potential end of "Naomi and Ely: the institution." Can these best friends come back together again? (Summary from Goodreads)

It absolutely kills me when best friends break up. Even in books. And being familiar with the pain of that situation, this book was all the more poignant for me. The characters felt incredibly real. I would not doubt the existence of Gabriel, the oh-my-fey-he-is-so-beyond-beautiful doorman or Bruce 1, jilted high school lover and bloomingstalker type. I doubt other authors could have made them so human and believable, while maintaining a quirkiness that kept me caring.

The plot had a good deal of the unexpected. Even though it was short I found myself doing a lot of this: "No he didn't. Oh oh oh he did! And what about.... *gasp* ack! the elevator! I can't even believe...." while my study hall looked on in amused/frightened silence. Not to mention a great deal of laughing out loud (no. kill the acronym. kill it.).

But now for the disappointing factors. Unfortunately, they existed. When the story is written in Naomi's voice there are these really irritating little figures in hearts and spiders and eyes that take the place of real words. Frustrating. It's like trying to have an IM conversation with someone who can only think in pictures and leaves you dying under a flood of emoticons. Thankfully, her voice was not the only POV. Secondly, I was a little upset with unanswered questions. There would be all this build-up and then one resolving scene that kindasorta explained things, but left a lot of emotional character baggage to deal with itself. Meh.

So ultimately... 5 out of 7 reserved Starbucks seats. Not as awesome as Nick and Norah's *bookswoon*, but still solid. I will always look forward to Rachel Cohn and David Levithan writing together.
Hunting for Fluffy,

Sunday, January 18, 2009

I'm getting really sick of this whole vampire thing

Warning: I have not read any of the previous Morganville Vampire books. Though not for lack of trying. Just wanted you to know that all I know about this series is what the (strangely convenient) synopsis in the front told me.

Synopsis of the synopsis (for those of you, like me, who didn't know there was a difference between the Vampire Kisses and Morganville Vampires series... until just now when I told you): The story's about a girl named Claire who's apparently some sort of prodigy. Her parents wouldn't let her go straight to MIT, she's only 16 after all, so they shipped her off to a smaller university in the middle of Texas. That happens to be infested with vampires. Good call, guys.

And now there's a war going on between two vampire groups. One (Claire's side obviously) wants to keep things the way they are and not eat humans (... well, for the most part) and the other wants to make them the prime food source (as opposed to donated bags o' blood... yumm).

I wasn't enthralled by this one. I just didn't get any of that"This is so damn COOL" feeling where you want to just devour the book. It was more of the "I don't have any books to read... oh wait... there's that one with the vampires" kind of deal.
Speaking of books I wasn't enthralled by, theres a new... what was that series again? Oh right Blue Bloods. It's called Revelations and it has the best cover in the whole series. But that's really all I can say for it. Which is saddening. Basically if you loved/hated the first two Blue Bloods novels, then you'll love/hate the third. Nothing really new here. 4.5 out of 7.

What I'm finding about vampire books is that they have to be either really hardcore vampire-centric (real I'm-going-to-reach-into-your-chest-and-tear-out-your-heart vampires) or a new and completely innovative approach (like Peeps and The Last Days), in order to make an impression on me anyways. The middle ground is just disappointing.

Re-reading Poison 'cause faeries pwn vampires anyway... and so does Chris Wooding for that matter,

Medeia Senka

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Stop Me If You've Heard This One Before by David Yoo

Albert is a loser by choice. During his freshman year of high school, he realized that there was no chance of him ever becoming remotely "cool" so he just... opted out. He doesn't really do much other than watch TV and play games with the neighborhood whippersnappers who worship him as a god. When summer rolls around, his parents give him the choice between taking more classes than he did during school to prepare for college or getting a job at the local inn. It's at the inn that he meets Mia for the first time.

Mia is the typical girlfriend-of-jock-king.
Or...maybe not. For one thing, she broke up with Ryan Stackhouse at the beginning of the summer. For another, she doesn't seem to mind talking to Albert, unlike most other people on the planet. Mia draws Albert out of the glass bubble he's put himself in since freshman year and he helps her get over her boyfriend of three years. And then the near-impossible happens! They hook up and go back to school as a... something. Things seem to be going pretty well for Albert... until Ryan Stackhouse is diagnosed with cancer. *girlfriend-stealing ensues*

This book was another one of those laugh-out-loud funny types. At times it felt like Yoo laid it on a little too thick, but for the most part I was cracking up over this one. Here we run into another protagonist that is unique and endearing. It reminded me of a book I read once, Someday This Pain Will Be Useful To You by Peter Cameron, but I liked it MUCH more. Five and a half enormous frogs. In jars. Oh yes. Wait, half a frog is kinda icky...

Looking for a better rating system than partial frogs,


Sunday, January 4, 2009

Death by Denim by Linda Gerber

I don’t think that I will ever get tired of this series. So forgive me for sounding a little bit repetitive as I review the third title in the Death By books.


Aphra is back. Erm… Again. And hiding out in France with fake papers. Seth Mulo, her secret lurrrver, is off and away at a separate, mysterious location. All is well aside from their being apart. Until Aphra and Natalie (Aphra’s mother) find out that they are being followed once again. They must flee to Paris to meet with one of Natalie’s contacts. But when the contact is found dead in the river, a riddle-like message in his mouth, Aphra must decide whether to finally go after “The Mole” herself or to sit around waiting for her world to fall apart all over again.

Like the previous books, I loved the characters. And while development has pretty much been set by this point, there were still some curious revelations and changes in how they related to each other. The romance between Seth and Aphra gets even more heated and more adorable (ack!), even sappy in a few moments. Even though I sensed a little bit of scandal with Agent Ryan McAwesome (anyone else, or am I just crazy?). The action also accelerated, with some scenes that were way more heart pumping than in the previous books. Definitely an improvement, for alternate reality adrenaline junkies like myself.

Ultimately, a short review, but a positive one. Definitely look for this title- out on May 14th of 2009 (Oh! Hey! That's this year!). It is worth the wait.
Linda Gerber’s humor is progressively more awesome and her writing as well. 6 out of 7 Skull-Patched Jean Skirts!!! And has anyone heard news about a 4th novel? *crosses fingers*

Hoping and Thankful to Ms. Gerber,

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Deadly Little Secret Laurie Faria Stolarz

It was a dark and stormy night... wait, no. No it wasn't. It was just dark. Clichefail. And, what book does Medeia choose off of her (growing) pile of books? Well, if you read the title of this post then you know it was Deadly Little Secret. If you've read any of Laurie Faria Stolarz's other books, then you also know that reading one of them at late o' clock at night when you're alone in the house is a BAD IDEA.

This one starts out eerily Twilight-esque. Camelia is walking along, minding her own business, when suddenly a car comes hurtling out of nowhere! *cue dreamy grey-eyed stranger* In a very Cullen-ly move, he pushes her out of the way of the speeding vehicle of death and then they stare into each other's eyes for a while. Camelia doesn't catch his name before he races off (to save more damsels in distress or something) and before she could thank him for saving her life.

{Fast forward three months}

There's a new kid at school who (allegedly) pushed his girlfriend off a cliff. Guess who it is. Just guess. Yeah, it's the dreamy grey-eyed stranger. Camelia tries to thank him, but he waves it off and says that she's probably mistaken him for someone else. As Camelia tries to get closer to Ben (aka grey-eyed stranger) she starts to find pictures in her mailbox. Of her. With increasingly hostile messages written on them.*shudder* Who could be stalking her? Is it the kinda creepy boss at the pottery studio where she works, who's given her an invitation to come in any time? Or could it be the super yummy star jock who keeps running into her? Or... is it Ben, who keeps touching her and can't seem to let go?

I repeat: bad idea to read this at 11 at night. What really freaked me out were the passages written by Camelia's stalker interspersed every couple of chapters. Halfway through I had to switch to Wildwood Dancing. Though some of the the elements of this piece of scary seemed recycled, they still combined to form a chilling read, which is something that we've come to expect (and love about) Laurie Faria Stolarz. Deadly Little Secret gets a 5 out of 7 from yours truly.
[side note: I had to read through the first fifty or so pages of this one before I was 100% sure Ben wasn't going to turn into a vampire. This is what Twilight similarities do to me.]

Closing all the curtains and hunting up a blanket (make that several blankets),

P.S. The winner of the Fiercely Fawesome First Contest is posted below.