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Friday, August 14, 2009

MAJOR decision about the blog/All We Know of Heaven

Okay, so I've been thinking, and I've decided something major about this blog.
About fifteen minutes ago I was watching a review video about Gayle Forman's If I Stay (good book, BTW--I think I'll review it next week when I've had the chance to reread it), and I was thinking, "I like how she doesn't only review new books, just the ones she's just read." (I'd watched a few videos by the reviewer in question.) So then I thought, "I wish I could do that." Not only review older books when I read them, but also review books in a way that doesn't have to sound all scripted-School-Library-Journal-Booklist-professional-MBA-type. And then I thought, Well, you do have a blog, where you REVIEW YA BOOKS.
Thus, two major changes:
I will review whatever (YA) book I am reading at the time, and it will probably not be professional. If this bothers you in any way, sorry. (If anyone actually reads this.)
Now on to the review.

All We Know of Heaven by Jacquelyn Mitchard
This book is about two girls who have been best friends since grade school, Bridget Flannery and Maureen O'Malley. They are really close and look very much alike. One December night, when they're driving home after cheerleading practice, they get into a horrible accident. Both girls are criticially injured, and one dies on arrival. The other is in critical condition. The girl dead is identified and buried (I can't tell you who's who, because I have a no-spoiler-unless-it's-on-the-book-jacket rule).The dead girl is is mourned, and the community rallies around the other as she eventually wakes up and begins a slow transition back into normal life (and I mean slow).
But the story doesn't end there. One day, a dental specialist comes to the hospital where the alive girl is at and checks her teeth. Everything seems perfectly normal, but as the doctor checks the records against the girl's teeth before the accident, he slowly comes to realize that the hospital has made a horrible mistake...
Basically, I have to say that I really liked this book. Mitchard--who is the author of many bestseller adult novels--tells the story of Bridget and Maureen without sounding boring, blase, repetitive, or extremely cliche. The characters seem real enough that even when they're doing something completely wrong, stupid, mean, or just evil, you understand what they're doing and their reasoning behind it. The dialogue doesn't seem forced, nor does the ending. Basically, this is a book that you really should read. And, like, it's good, and all. Yeah.

Rating: 8

$16.99 / buy here


Jamie and Lance arrive at play practice with matching hickeys on their necks. I've never understood the appeal of hickeys. It's like, "Hey, I'm into you, so let me give you a bruise. I'll just latch onto your neck like a leech and suck on your skin until I break enough blood vessels to leave a mark. That way everyone will know just how much I care about you."
from TMI by Sarah Quigley (Dutton, 2009) (will probably be my next review)

Friday, August 7, 2009

Oops, I did it again.../Along For The Ride

Again, I forgot to review. So here is a review of a book that's sort-of new (yeah, you'll have to expect that:)

Along for the Ride
by Sarah Dessen
(I actually wrote this review upon reading the book, but I forgot to post it.)

High school is finally over, and the extremely studious Auden is facing three blank calendar pages before she starts at the prestigious Defriese University. What to do? In an unusual turn of events, she decides to spend the summer with her father, his new wife, and her new baby sister in Colby, a town by the beach. She makes several critical mistakes upon her arrival, most notably hooking up with a random guy and then running into his girlfriend the next morning. This does nothing to help her reputation, by the way. A little while later, she gets a job at her stepmother's boutique. The other girls who work there attempt to interact with her, but believing that they are all just "fluffy and insubstantial," Auden mostly ignores them. Soon enough, however, she finds herself drawn to a strange boy with a bicycle who encourages her to relive her lost childhood. In doing so, she discovers that "being a girl could be about interest rates and skinny jeans, riding bikes and wearing pink. Not about any one thing, but everything."
I've read several of Sarah Dessen's books, and by far this is one of her best. She uses her gifts of pathos and initiative to great affect to create another story that no one will want to end. (I certainly didn't.)
Rating: 9

Viking Juvenile
buy here (
or here (Barnes and