Friday, 5 April 2013

Mini reviews!

I've not been posting on here lately, due to my increased pile of schoolwork and a few technical issues with my internet. However, I have been reading, and I have four mini reviews for the blog. Happy reading!

Freaks Like Us by Susan Vaught

Jason Milwaukee has schizophrenia and struggles to recognise what is real and what is not. When his best friend/love interest Sunshine (who is selectively mute) goes missing, he is desperate to find her, and thinks he knows what happened. However, he can't remember. Did he harm her?
This is a well-written, suspenseful contemporary. The characters were realistic and easy to relate to, and the plot was well drawn-out. My favourite characters were Sunshine and Jason, purely because their relationship was so touching.
This was a compelling mystery with a satisifying conclusion. Contemporary fans will love it, but I'd recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good mystery.

Overall rating: A

Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler

Bittersweet started off well. Hudson Avery was a strong girl who liked baking cupcakes and lamented her parents' bitter divorce. But, then guys got involved. It wasn't the characters themselves that irritated me, (Josh was fantastic, and even Will had his good points) it was the way that Hudson reacted to them. She acted dumb and it was really annoying. She liked Josh, but then he told her about this girl called Abby, who she immediately assumed was his girlfriend.(How many times has this been done? Sarah Ockler, I expected better from you!) So, she decided to have a "thing" with Will, Josh's co-captain of the ice hockey team, despite being warned by Kara, his ex-girlfriend, that he was bad news. It was dramarama central. Ockler's writing was impressive, despite her use of dodgy and embarrassing phrases that teenagers would never use. EVER. And yet, her knowledge of professional skating shone through. Some of the secondary characters fell slightly flat, and this was way too much chick-lit for my liking. Despite this, I'll give Ockler another chance to impress me. B
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
Speak is my kind of book. Gritty, raw, and realistic. It's a classic of young adult literature (and yes, it is literature) that is both controversial and highly praised. Something happened to Melinda Sordino last Autumn, but she can't quite find the words to tell anyone. She starts high school an outcast, but does have positive experiences with her art teacher, her lab partner, and an ex-friend she manages to reconnect with. There is light, despite the darkness. Anderson's writing is incomparable: beautiful and stark. The character of Melinda is fascinating: a mix of sarcasm/dry humour, and disgust, both at the boy who attacked her and the high school culture. This really is a special novel, and one that everyone should read, no matter who they are. A+
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E Lockhart
Frankie Landau-Banks transformed over the summer, and has got herself a new senior boyfriend, Matthew Livingston. But, she is excluded from his all-male secret society, and so she decides to do something about it. E Lockhart's novel is both funny and wise, with a good message sent to the reader about female empowerment. However, the third person narrative distances the reader from Frankie, and also makes startling contradictions, such as Frankie's quest for power, and wanting to hang on to the boyfriend who doesn't see her as his equal. What she did was spectacular, but I feel Frankie didn't quite achieve what she wanted. I believe that if she were a true feminist, Frankie would've found herself a boyfriend who truly respected her and started her own secret society, where she made the rules. B+

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