Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: My Beautiful Failure

Title: My Beautiful Failure

Author: Janet Ruth Young

Release Day: November 13th, 2012

Summary: (goodreadsA haunting account of a teen boy who volunteers at a suicide hotline and falls for a troubled caller.Billy is a sophomore in high school, and twice a week, he volunteers at Listeners, a suicide hotline.

     Jenney is an “incoming,” a caller, a girl on the brink.

     As her life spirals out of control, Jenney’s calls become more desperate, more frequent. Billy, struggling with the deteriorating relationship with his depressed father, is the only one who understands. Through her pain, he sees hope. Through her tears, he feels her heart. And through her despair, he finds love. But is that enough?

     Acclaimed author Janet Ruth Young has written a stunning and powerful story with no easy answers; it is about pain and heartbreak, reality and illusion, and finding redemption and the strength to forgive in the darkest of times.

My Thoughts: Although I'm not a huge fan of realistic fiction, I don't think I've read something quite like this. It sounds like the POV isn't from the suicidal character, but from someone who is trying to help. How does one deal with something like this as an outsider? Especially since Billy already has serious problems of his own, This is why I am looking forward to this book. How will it turn out? I don't know, but I will have a tissue box nearby when I do pick this up.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Tokyo Heist

Author: Diana Renn

Source: Bought

Summary: (goodreadsWhen sixteen-year-old Violet agrees to spend the summer with her father, an up-and-coming artist in Seattle, she has no idea what she's walking into. Her father's newest clients, the Yamada family, are the victims of a high-profile art robbery: van Gogh sketches have been stolen from their home, and, until they can produce the corresponding painting, everyone's lives are in danger--including Violet's and her father's.

Violet's search for the missing van Gogh takes her from the Seattle Art Museum, to the yakuza-infested streets of Tokyo, to a secluded inn in Kyoto. As the mystery thickens, Violet's not sure whom she can trust. But she knows one thing: she has to solve the mystery--before it's too late.

Review: This book is a refreshingly different read and a welcome break from all the paranormal monster books. It contains history, art and ties different cultures together. If you are a fan of manga, then you will also be able to enjoy this story. I enjoyed the connection between Japanese and Western art and artists while learning a bit about Japanese culture. Violet is quirky, fun and a great detective. She is easy to like and you will be cheering her on all the way.

Although there is a mystery, it is a little comical and the villain isn't too surprising, but I felt that it wasn't meant to be terribly realistic. The real story is about Violet and her issues with her separated parents, and giving in to her passion for art. There was a bit of a fantasy element that made this novel mystifying and all the characters were very distinguished. It was a light read, with adventure and some dark undercurrents. I definitely recommend to those who like manga, art, kimonos or mysteries. The romance is really cute too! I am looking forward to reading more stories by Diana Renn.

Rating: 1 2 3 4 4.5 5

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Kissing Shakespeare

Author: Pamela Mingle

Source: Portland Book Review

Summary: (goodreads)

Miranda has Shakespeare in her blood: she hopes one day to become a Shakespearean actor like her famous parents. At least, she does until her disastrous performance in her school's staging of The Taming of the Shrew. Humiliated, Miranda skips the opening-night party. All she wants to do is hide. 

Fellow cast member, Stephen Langford, has other plans for Miranda. When he steps out of the backstage shadows and asks if she'd like to meet Shakespeare, Miranda thinks he's a total nutcase. But before she can object, Stephen whisks her back to 16th century England—the world Stephen's really from. He wants Miranda to use her acting talents and modern-day charms on the young Will Shakespeare. Without her help, Stephen claims, the world will lost its greatest playwright. 

Miranda isn't convinced she's the girl for the job. Why would Shakespeare care about her? And just who is this infuriating time traveler, Stephen Langford? Reluctantly, she agrees to help, knowing that it's her only chance of getting back to the present and her "real" life. What Miranda doesn't bargain for is finding true love . . . with no acting required.

Review: This review was originally posted on Goodreads, and I also wrote a separate and distinct review for PortlandBookReview.

 "It started out kind of slow. Miranda was a whiny character in the beginning and it was difficult to get a better feel for her personality before she was transported back in time. In Elizabethan England, she was acting as Stephen's sister, Olivia. So in the beginning it was difficult to grasp her character. And Stephen was a jerk at first too.

The mystery is not much of a mystery, but it isn't the main point either, so that didn't give much cause for disappointment. What was a little disappointing was the not so pretty ending. It will leave some unexplained questions. Like how exactly does Stephen's power work? Or why wasn't it elaborated on? The book really is more about Miranda's personal growth than anything.

William Shakespeare is definitely a secondary character off to the side. The entire book is about trying to get him to continue as a playwright, but even Miranda doesn't really get to know him all that deeply. Readers get a very superficial image of him. But I did love the Author's Note on how and why the story takes place where it does. It is a suggestion of who Shakespeare was before he went to London.

Overall, it had great action, the romance was realistic, and it was a good story."

Rating: 1 2 3 3.5 4 5


My excuse for not having posted anything all that good in over a month: At first, it was filling out all my paperwork for school and being on vacation and blah, blah, blah. Now? Still school. Fifteen credits isn't easy, even if 2 of those are PE classes! Haha. They still take up soooo much time. I barely have time to study, but I do not want to give up my blog. I am fairly certain that reading is the only thing keeping me sane in between Calculus 1 and memorizing how to name compounds. What I am saying is that it will continue to be slow around here. I have a couple essays to write for my transfer and it is Midterms. Already. But I will still be posting! Sporadically, but I will. Thanks for being great readers until now and I hope you enjoyed your visit to my blog today!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: Death of a Kleptomaniac

Here is another edition of "Waiting on Wednesday" brought to you by Jill from BreakingTheSpine. This weekly meme features books we are anxiously awaiting, but have yet to be released. This is what I am waiting for this week!

 Title: Death of a Kleptomaniac

Author: Kristen Tracy

Release Day: October 30th, 2012

Summary: (GoodreadsAt sixteen, Molly is a girl who's just started living--at last she's popular. But for a girl who has everything, Molly feels like she never has enough. So she steals. At least there's plenty of time to fix this last little problem. Except Fate has other plans for Molly. Like death. Suddenly dead and in denial, how can Molly move on when life was just looking up? Can she abandon her earthly ties or will she jeopardize her soul to stay close to her loved ones? From critically acclaimed author Kristen Tracy, Death of a Kleptomaniac is the heartfelt story of one girl's search for redemption, a family's encounter with grief, and love's power to rise above even the most final of boundaries.

My Thoughts: I really like the idea that this book is based on. I don't know the details of kleptomania, but it sounds like a really interesting topic to think about. Just like death is. I want to see how the author will characterize Molly from before she died to her finding "redemption". It sounds like a complex story and hopefully it will be pulled off wonderfully. Plus, I kinda really like that cover. :)

Similar: Links go to Goodreads. They are books that sound similar to my "WoW" and that I recall liking.

Ghostgirl (For narrators who are already dead. Ironic and humorous.)
Between (For narrators who are already dead. Mystery. It has a more serious tone dealing with teen issues.)