Friday, February 25, 2011

The Lying Game by Sara Shepard

I had a life anyone would kill for.

Then someone did.

The worst part of being dead is that there’s nothing left to live for. No more kisses. No more secrets. No more gossip. It’s enough to kill a girl all over again. But I’m about to get something no one else does—an encore performance, thanks to Emma, the long-lost twin sister I never even got to meet.

Now Emma’s desperate to know what happened to me. And the only way to figure it out is to be me—to slip into my old life and piece it all together. But can she laugh at inside jokes with my best friends? Convince my boyfriend she’s the girl he fell in love with? Pretend to be a happy, carefree daughter when she hugs my parents good night? And can she keep up the charade, even after she realizes my murderer is watching her every move?

From Sara Shepard, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Pretty Little Liars books, comes a riveting new series about secrets, lies, and killer consequences.
Let the lying game begin.            
The Lying Game is Sara Shepard’s second series for young adults. (Summary taken from goodreads)
  After reading the entire Pretty Little Liars series, I was extremely excited to find out that Sara Shepard was coming out with a new book! So, when it was released, I went right out and bought it. As I read, I found myself rather disappointed. Maybe my expectations were set too high, but I had really anticipated a better story. Pretty Little Liars had kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time, so I expected The Lying Game would do the same. Needless to say, it didn’t.
            The book itself was good. I still really enjoyed it and I love Sara Shepard as an author. The storyline was very creative and I found myself imaging what it would be like to be in Emma’s position. I mean traveling all that way to find out your long-lost twin sister is dead? How awful would that be? Still, I can’t blame Emma for trying to find her sister. She had been bounced around from foster family to foster family, so the idea that she might have a sister was pretty much a dream come true for her.
            The story itself was told from Sutton’s perspective as she was trying to piece together what had happened to her. This confused me so much. I kept thinking that it was Emma who was narrating and that we were seeing everything through her eyes. Yet, that wasn’t the case. Once I figured that out, I started understanding the book better. Also, the fact that no one seemed to notice that Emma was taking Sutton’s place was bizarre. Sure, they were identical twin sisters, but they wouldn’t have been the same in every single way. Plus, Emma barely knows anything about Sutton’s life, so wouldn’t that be an obvious sign that something was up?
            While this book lacked in romance, it certainly held mystery. Like the mysterious boy Ethan who Emma starts falling for. I was disappointed that spark between them didn’t ignite and grow into something bigger, but then again, since this is a series, I’m hoping something more will happen in the books to come. Ethan wasn’t the only mysterious one. Sutton’s group of friends also had their own secrets too. Guess we’ll just have to wait and find out what they’re hiding, huh?
            The Lying Games also seemed to parallel Pretty Little Liars in some cases. If you’ve ever read Pretty Little Liars (and don’t worry, this isn’t spoiler) or have heard of the book, then you know it’s about four girls with all of these secrets. As I read The Lying Game, I started to notice it had a bit of the same concept. Sutton, her two best friends, and her sister, had their own little group and like I mentioned before, they all had their own secrets. Plus, this book, just like all of the Pretty Little Liars left so many questions to be asked and loose ends to tie up. So what is the Lying Game? Guess you’re going to have to read it and find out. Which I recommend that you do. It was enjoyable book and I’m looking forward to reading the sequel.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Evermore by Alyson Noel

Since a horrible accident claimed the lives of her family, sixteen-year-old Ever can see auras, hear people’s thoughts, and know a person’s life story by touch.   Going out of her way to shield herself from human contact to suppress her abilities has branded her as a freak at her new high school—but everything changes when she meets Damen Auguste…
Ever sees Damen and feels an instant recognition.  He is gorgeous, exotic and wealthy, and he holds many secrets.  Damen is able to make things appear and disappear, he always seems to know what she’s thinking—and he’s the only one who can silence the noise and the random energy in her head.  She doesn’t know who he really is—or what he is.  Damen equal parts light and darkness, and he belongs to an enchanted new world where no one ever dies. (Summary taken from goodreads)
            From the moment that I picked up this book, I could not put it down. I was completely and utterly absorbed in it. So absorbed, I literally read it in one day. Noel did such an amazing job in crafting an intense story that has the reader begging for more. Trust me, when I finished this book, I didn’t want it to end. It was really and truly that good!
            As far as the characters, let’s start with Ever. Personally, I thought Ever was a great character. She really fit the profile of someone who had lost their entire family in one tragic moment.  Yet, she doesn’t just sit around and mope, whine, and complain. I can’t blame her either for not wanting those powers. It’s not like she needs more to deal with. At times she could get a little paranoid about Damen, which tended to get annoying, but other than that, she was great!
            Now, for Damen, the mysterious, gorgeous new guy that shows up in Ever’s life. Everyone is head over heels for him, but he only wants one girl: Ever. I loved Damen. There were times that I truly wished he was real as I read. What I liked about him was that he despite being all mysterious, he was wicked sweet and friendly. He just had some deep, dark secrets that he was hiding. The one aspect that drove me insane was how hot and cold he was. I couldn’t stand it! First he liked Ever, then he didn’t, then he would disappear and then show back up again. It could get really bothersome, but still, it didn’t stop me from loving him as a character.
            The storyline itself was amazing. There were all these twists and turns that I never expected.There was so much to it! The book was only three hundred pages or so, but it seemed to go on forever. Not in the way that it drags on, but in the way that the story just keeps on unraveling that it seems like there’s no end. At times, there was so much happening that I tended to get a tad confused and lost, but it’s not too bad. Everything would smooth itself out and I’d be right back on track. I certainly recommend this book! It was such a great read and I can’t wait to pick up the sequel Blue Moon!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom

Eddie is a wounded war veteran, an old man who has lived, in his mind, an uninspired life. His job is fixing rides at a seaside amusement park. On his 83rd birthday, a tragic accident kills him as he tries to save a little girl from a falling cart. He awakes in the afterlife, where he learns that heaven is not a destination. It's a place where your life is explained to you by five people, some of whom you knew, others who may have been strangers. One by one, from childhood to soldier to old age, Eddie's five people revisit their connections to him on earth, illuminating the mysteries of his "meaningless" life, and revealing the haunting secret behind the eternal question: "Why was I here?" (Summary taken from goodreads)

             The story was amazing. Eddie is this grumpy, old man, who has pretty much given up in life. He has a limp leg from being shot during war, his wife died years ago, and he’s been working at the same amusement park for as long as he can remember. Then, one day, as he was going along his normal routine, a cable on one the ride snaps and the cart comes hurtling to the ground. There’s just one thing standing in its path. A little girl. As Eddie jumps underneath to save her, he risks his own life. Now in heaven, he meets five people who each teach him a different, but important lesson that proves that he had a purpose in life.         
            The Five People You Meet in Heaven is such a deep and meaningful book. Albom crafted a well written story that had me hooked from the beginning. Each character was unique and interesting. I enjoyed how Eddie met all of these different people who each taught him a lesson. Each of the five people he met, he either knew or somehow indirectly affected their life without actually knowing it. The characters were interesting and I liked the perspective Albom gave them. Each character gave their own story and then showed Eddie what role they played in his life.
            I loved the plot because I thought it was extremely original. It was interesting to consider the idea of meeting five people in heaven who teach you a lesson. As I read, I wondered, if I was in heaven, who would my five people be? Would one be a family member, a friend, someone I had met briefly, or a complete stranger whose life I impacted in some way, shape or form? It’s one of those ideas that are interesting to think about.
            There was no set setting. Each time Eddie moved from person to person, the setting would change. I enjoyed the change in settings though, because it added to the story. The reader gets to experience this new experience as Eddie was experiencing it himself (if that makes any sense at all). Still, it was very enjoyable.
            Overall, this book touched my heart. It had me laughing at times and crying at others. It’s a quick read, but I think it’s good for people of all ages. Not only is it a great story, but it has such a deep meaning too. I would definitely suggest this book. Let me know what you think!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

I Love You, Beth Cooper by Larry Doyle

Denis Cooverman is your typical high school nerd. He’s extremely smart, socially awkward, and not too great with the ladies. He also happens to be graduating as valedictorian of his class. When the big day rolls around, he decides to take a risk with the speech and in the middle of it says, “I Love You, Beth Cooper.” Everyone is shocked. They never expected Denis Cooverman to do something so….daring. Yet he did.
          After graduation is over, Beth Cooper, the blond hair, blue eyed cheerleader that Denis is absolutely in love with comes up to him, angry with him for proclaiming his love for her in front of the entire senior class, their parents, and the teachers. She found the speech embarrassing, yet at the same time extremely sweet. So, Denis decides to invite her to the graduation party he was having at his house that night.
            As Denis is preparing with his best friend Rick, Beth and her two friends Treece and Cammy, decide to show up. From the moment the trio steps in the door, chaos takes place. First it’s Beth’s crazy boyfriend Kevin going after Denis, to traveling all across the city in one wild night of fun. Denis gets to see Beth in a way he had never seen before and it only took four little words...
            I Love You, Beth Cooper by Larry Doyle was a hilarious book that I tore through in just a few days. Personally, I thought the story line was great, a little bit unrealistic at times, but absolutely hilarious nonetheless. The idea was extremely creative and the story was crafted very well. The build up to his speech was so suspenseful. Everyone knew that he was going to say, “I Love You, Beth Cooper,” but no one expected that he would go on and on about it or that she would even show up to his party. The characters were great. A bit cliché, considering the nerd falls for the cheerleader, but I think that’s what made the story so funny. She was completely out his league, yet, as she spent the time getting to know him, she realized that he was more than just brains. One of my favorite parts of the book was the fact that at the beginning of each chapter, there would be a cartoon drawing of Denis. Each time, it was worse and worse because of everything that he kept going through. It was an intelligent touch. Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It had my laughing out loud so much, even in public, that people would give me weird looks. Still, I recommend this book for a light hearted and fun read. I think it’s good for teens both male and female. Definitely have to check this one out!
            The book was also turned into a movie which I just so happened to see. I actually read the book because I wanted to see the movie, which I usually don’t do. I hate reading books, then seeing the movie, then being disappointed because it wasn’t nearly as good as I hoped it would be. However, that wasn’t the case with this movie. For the most part, the movie stayed pretty close to the book, which surprised me. I hadn’t expected it to stay as close as it had. The end was definitely changed, but up to those last moments, it was nearly word for word. Okay, so I’m probably exaggerating a bit there, but it was extremely close. So if you enjoyed the book, you should see the movie and if you’ve seen the movie, then read the book! Either way, if anyone reads it or sees it, let me know what you think!