Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Guilty Pleasure Novel

Babe in Boyland by Jody Gehrman: Natalie writes a relationship column for her school newspaper and thinks everything is going just fine. Great even, until she's told (quite vehemently) that she really doesn't know what she's talking about. In fact, her advice according to some (internet commentators) are hurting people.

Naturally, Natalie comes up with a plan to prove them (internet people) wrong. She cuts her hair, hides her boobs, glues on fake stubble and pretends to be a boy at Underwood Academy, an all-boys school. In her quest to figure out the male population of the world, she discovers a lot of hard truths not just about boys but about girls too. Things get even more complicated when Natalie starts to fall for her roommate. What is a girl pretending to be a boy to do?

I say this is my guilty pleasure novel because it's something I usually wouldn't read. It sounds really boy crazy which only serves to make me a tad uncomfortable. I'm not a snob or anything. I'm just not interested in reading something with that sort of tone. I've read books like that before and I didn't like them. I like for the books I read to have more to them than a crush on some boy.

I'm mostly interested in it because it reminds me of 'She's the Man', a film some of you might know. It also reminds me of a manga called Hana Kimi which has been adapted for tv twice: once in Japan and once in China. The novel sounds like a lot of fun and I like how it hints that Natalie learns things about the dudes and the dudettes respectively. If it was just about guys, I don't think I'd be able to get through the whole novel.

Two problems I have with this novel, without having read it, is the cover and the title. The cover reminds me of Facebook and Myspace page photos. Not exactly charming or creative. The title is not exciting. It sounds, for lack of a better word, dumb. There is a lot of potential for interesting titles here and yet... it came down to Babe in Boyland.

Despite those irksome qualities, I will definitely be checking this book out.

Release Date: February 17, 2011

Sunday, January 16, 2011

If Wishes were Dresses...

Wish by Alexandra Bullen: Unable to deal with the death of her twin sister Violet, Olivia's parents uproot her to San Francisco. Without her sister to be a buffer at home and at her new school, Olivia feels lost and alone.

When Olivia takes one of Violet's old dresses to be fixed for her to wear to a function at her mother's law firm, what she gets in return is something completely different. Violet's old piece of clothing has been transformed into a beautiful new dress with a butterfly. A butterfly that bursts forth to grant her wishes.

What will Olivia wish for?

I have been waiting for this book for some time. I couldn't buy it before because it was too expensive (I AM ON A BUDGET) and then I ordered it from the library but the book was still on order. I was on the waiting list from hell. But awesomely enough, the paperback edition came out recently and I bought it without a second thought.

I've always been interested with the whole 'three wishes' idea and I was looking for something more after I read Jackson Pearce's novel Wish. Pearce's novel left so much to be desired for various reasons (i.e the love story seemed really forced and the main character wasn't the sharpest tool in the shed) so I was looking for something different.

Alexandra Bullen's Wish is very different. At its core, this novel is about family and loss and what happens when one of the people you relied on most is no longer there. I think anyone who has lost someone in their lives can relate to Olivia's ultimate wish. I think there's a lot of depth and sincerity to be found in the voice of the novel and I really enjoyed it. I think everyone should give it a chance.

Wishful Thinking by Alexandra Bullen: Hazel Snow is adopted and has always wondered where she came from and where she fits in. More than anything she wants to know what her mother was like. When Hazel receives 3 magical dresses, that wish is made possible.

But will discovering her past lead to a change in her future?

This is a sequel of sorts to Wish but you don't have to read the first novel before you can dive into this one, which is nice. I haven't read this one yet because it just came out and I didn't even know that there was going to be a sequel so I didn't plan for it.

I have money squared away in a pink sock for the books that I do plan on and well, I feel bad. This novel looks and sounds really good. I'll get to it eventually. I promise!

Also, 'The Last Summer of the Death Warriors' just came for me and I'm excited to start it. Just after I finish...Frankenstein, which I am not excited about.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Marcelo and the Death Warriors

Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork: Marcelo Sandoval, who is 17 and has Asperger's syndrome (a form of Autism), is looking forward to his planned summer of working in the stables at his school and caring for the ponies there. But his plans are set aside when his father forces him to work in the mail room at his law office in order for Marcelo to keep on attending his special school. Marcelo's about to get a lesson in how the world and the human heart really work.

Francisco X. Stork and I have a short history. I read the description for Marcelo in the Real World about a year ago and first, checked the Chapters website looking if I could find a copy to buy it. THERE WERE NONE. NOT ONE IN ANY OF THE STORES IN MY CITY.

I despaired and then searched through the Public Library website and found it there. Except again...there were not a lot of copies and a good number of holds on it. I put a hold on it and decided to wait.

But one day, I went into the library looking for something (anything) to read and there was Marcelo sitting on the shelf. And so blog reader, I took him home with me.

That all being said, I love this book. I love Marcelo. Like how he always refers to himself in the third person, his obsession with religion, and his complete lack of understanding for most things. In this book, you watch Marcelo grow as an individual and learn to make his own decisions regarding his life.

An aspect I found interesting about the novel was that while it's clear that Marcelo does have Asperger's, his father is under the impression that Marcelo is, for lack of a better term, "normal" and that the condition is rubish. I was shocked at his father's denial. And the thing is I believe this is quite common an occurance. That family memebrs facing a tough event or hard truth do sometimes try to either ignore or deny it.

So please give Marcelo a chance and read his story. It's a good one, I promise.

The Last Summer Of The Death Warriors by Francisco X. Stork: This novel is about 17-year-old Pancho, who plans to avenge the death of his 20-year-old mentally disabled sister. Pancho is then sent to a home for boys where he meets D.Q, a boy dying of a rare type of cancer. D.Q knows what Pancho is planning to do and tries to show his friend that there are more important things in life like love rather than revenge.

The Last Summer Of The Death Warriors is Stork's latest novel. It came out in March 2010 and I totally missed it because I hadn't seen any mention of it until this week. I haven't read it yet but it's already been put on hold. Oh baby oh baby just wait until I get you home.

Another thing to mention is the cover art because it's beautiful. Both covers deal with silhouettes but then there are these great bursts of colour in the background of the image. Amazing work. 

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Last of the 13 Little Blue Envelopes

It's been 5 years since 13 Little Blue Envelopes was published and in April 2011 Maureen Johnson is coming out with its sequel The Last Little Blue Envelope.

I read '13' the summer following my graduation from high school and it made up for the lack of plans I had. The book took me all over the world; it scared and thrilled me and it made me happy. So I am super duper excited for the sequel.