Saturday, March 26, 2011

review: How It Ends

I've fallen in love. With a book. Its name is How It Ends and I just can't stop thinking about it. You know when you read a truly amazing book, you keep going over and over the plotline events and simply sit there, feeling utterly amazed at the intense connection you feel with the characters or story or whatever? Well, case in point.

How It Ends

Author: Laura Wiess
Publisher: MTV
Release Date: August 2009
Pages: 344
 All Hanna's wanted since sophomore year is Seth. She's gone out with other guys, even gained a rep for being a flirt, all the while hoping cool, guitar-playing Seth will choose her. Then she gets him -- but their relationship is hurtful, stormy and critical, not at all what Hanna thinks a perfect love should be. Bewildered by Seth's treatment of her and in need of understanding, Hanna decides to fulfill her school's community service requirement by spending time with Helen, her terminally ill neighbor, who she's turned to for comfort and wisdom throughout her life. But illness has changed Helen into someone Hanna hardly knows, and her home is not the refuge it once was. Feeling more alone than ever, Hanna gets drawn into an audiobook the older woman is listening to, a fierce, unsettling love story of passion, sacrifice, and devotion. Hanna's fascinated by the idea that such all-encompassing love can truly exist, and without her even realizing it, the story begins to change her.
Until the day when the story becomes all too real...and Hanna's world is spun off its axis by its shattering, irrevocable conclusion.

To me, a book distinguishes itself as the cream of the crop if it can make me cry. I don't think I've ever cried out of sheer happiness, so what I'm referring to are the tears that are elicited from a really tender and touching or else devastatingly heartwrenching moment. I wouldn't say this makes me a masochist, for wanting to have a book that can bring out a real good tearfest from me, I just think it's important for me to feel a connection with what I'm reading.

With that being said, Laura Wiess is the go-to author if you're prepared for a bonafide bawl-a-palooza. I can't quite describe it precisely, but Wiess just knows which parts of the book she needs to spell out for readers and which parts are fairly self-explanatory. One thing I strongly dislike about some books is how they assume the readers are dumb and need everything explained to them, as if we don't know what foreshadowing or metaphors are.

And truthfully, I don't think the blurb above does the book enough justice. It makes How It Ends sound a bit trite and unassuming, but seeing as how I've been raving about it this entire entry, I don't find that very accurate.

The character development is just wonderful, I have to say. The book is told both in first and third person. Weiss makes sure to clearly differentiate from Hanna and Helen, the two main characters. And when the storytelling came along, I felt myself being drawn into what was happening, insomuch that I could really familiarize myself with the events.

But seriously, you should pick up a copy of this for yourself. This review can't even hold a flame to How It Ends. Try it out, you might find yourself raving about it, too! :)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

review: The Adoration of Jenna Fox

Okay, so I might have said I wouldn't be posting for a while.
Well I lied.

So here goes my first review! Sorry if my lexicon has died a little, it's been a while since I had an English class. Hopefully my writing skills haven't gotten too rusty.

The Adoration of Jenna Fox
(Jenna Fox Chronicles, #1)

Author: Mary E. Pearson
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Release Date: April 2008
Pages: 266

Who is Jenna Fox? Seventeen-year-old Jenna has been told that is her name. She has just awoken from a coma, they tell her, and she is still recovering from a terrible accident in which she was involved a year ago. But what happened before that? Jenna doesn't remember her life. Or does she? And are the memories really hers?
This fascinating novel represents a stunning new direction for acclaimed author Mary Pearson. Set in a near future America, it takes readers on an unforgettable journey through questions of bio-medical ethics and the nature of humanity. Mary Pearson's vividly drawn characters and masterful writing soar to a new level of sophistication.

So this is a novel I read over my Spring Break (which was very short, sadly). I have to just put it out there - I am someone who judges a book by its cover. I don't do that with people, of course, but for books? Oh, yeah.
This is one of the reasons I decided to give The Adoration of Jenna Fox a try, since the cover caught my attention. I'd like to say it speaks to me, you know? Just the way that you don't know whether the puzzle pieces, which seem to represent her essence, are slowly falling away (thus taking her identity with them), or else they are reforming her to become whole again. The colors are pretty snazzy, too.
The title was interesting to me, as well. Adoration isn't necessarily a word I'd say gets used too often, so for Pearson to have integrated it into her title... Well, let's just say it's pretty significant as far as symbolism goes.

Anyways! Down to the meat of it. Jenna wakes up from an unexplainable year-long trauma and finds herself thrown into this world she has no recollection of whatsoever. As much as her family tries to remind her of the past, Jenna initially can't bring herself to remember any memories, let alone the family members themselves.
As she gradually starts piecing back the puzzle pieces of her past, she gets her hesitant mom to send her to school. Little does she know it's a school specially designed for teens with... "problems." It's there that she meets Ethan, who of course is the love interest in the story.

I found myself really enjoying this book. The way the author writes is very engaging, I felt myself understanding Jenna's confusion after being woken from her coma, and making the journey with her toward her recovery was filled with cliffhangers at times.

And I recently found out that there will be a new installment to this series (which I didn't even know was a series), with a description that can be found here. I actually don't know how I feel about this novel continuing... I felt the first novel did the story justice. I don't know, others will probably feel differently. What do you think?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

not with a bang, but a whimper.

Sigh, Tuesdays.
You know how people always complain about Mondays? But what about the day after? Sure, Mondays signify the beginning of the dreaded school week, but after that's over, all you're greeted with is the arrival of nothing-major's-going-to-happen-to-you-today Tuesday. Hence, the sigh.

Anyways, hope you're all doing well! I've decided to get my own blog going. Woo, excitement! I'm probably not going to get to start my book reviews until a couple weeks later, when school winds down a bit and I get a smidge of time in to actually read some, but hopefully the ball will get rolling soon!

In the meanwhile, I'm sure you've all heard "Friday" by Rebecca Black, correct? Well here's a little interview Good Morning America scheduled with our newest viral sensation...
Is it me, or does Rebecca's mom rock? Maybe it's just me, but there's something to be said about a mom who'd kill for her daughter (and is willing to admit it on national television...). Just sayin'.

So au revior! Happy World Water Day! Until next time, loves.