Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Book 42 - A Mango-Shaped Space

My forty-second book was A Mango-Shaped Space by Wendy Mass. My sister read this book a couple of years ago and it quickly became her favorite book. I recently read her copy of Beastly, so she wanted me to read another and this was the one she picked. The book is about Mia, a girl who sees colors and shapes when she looks at numbers or letters or hears noises. And she's not making this up. She even named her cat Mango because, when he wheezes, his breath comes out in little puffs of mango colored air. When she finally tells her family, they take her to see a specialist, who tells her that what she has is called synesthesia. Mia also finds out that there are people in the world like her, which she never thought could happen. When she starts to connect with some of these people, she starts to neglect her friends and even her family because they don't understand what she's going through. But, it takes a tragedy to show Mia that, even though they don't know what she's going through, her friends and family are always going to be the ones that love her and know her the best. It is a wonderful book, the author has an amazing voice, but just a warning...you will cry.
Grade: A+
SC: 0
V: 2
C: 1

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Book 41 - The Goose Girl

My forty-first book was the Goose Girl by Shannon Hale. This book is one of four written about the fictional lands of Kildenree and Bayern. This book tells the story of Ani, the Crown Princess of the small country of Kildenree. When her mother decides that Ani isn't good enough to be the queen, she makes a deal with the prime minister of the large country of Bayern to prevent a war. When Ani turns 16, she will marry the prince of Bayern. Ani has always been an odd child. Her aunt taught her how to "talk" to swans and, after her aunt left, Ani's mother made sure she never had the opportunity to talk to another bird again. When Ani turned 16, her mother told her about the arrangement and sent her off to Bayern with a large number of guards and her lady-in-waiting and best friend, Selia. But, during the three month journey to Bayern, Selia and a number of the guard betray Ani and kill the remaining guard. Ani, barely able to escape, finds a cottage in the forest that is home to Gilsa and her son, Finn. Finn takes Ani to the city, where Ani hopes to talk to the king and tell him her story. But, when she gets there, Selia's plan is made clear: to take Ani's place as the princess of Kildenree and the future queen of Bayern. It is also made clear that the guards are still looking for her, so she starts working as a goose girl, herding the king's geese, where her talents with birds come in handy. But, as she stays in the city longer, the guards get closer and closer to finding her true identity. And when Ani meets a handsome member of the palace guard whom she considers telling everything to, she realizes that a so called friend can turn into an enemy quickly. Can she trust anyone?
Grade: A
SC: 2
V: 6
C: 0

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Book 40 - Beastly

My fortieth book was Beastly by Alex Flinn. Yes, I really did read this in one day. 300 pages in one day...I'm very proud. Anyway, this was turned into a movie starring Alex Pettyfer and Vanessa Hudgens. Hmm...the people that made this movie obviously didn't read the book...or look at the description. The beast in the book is more like in the Disney movie, not the scarred, tattooed weirdo they have Alex playing. And Vanessa Hudgens?? Are they crazy?! She can't act. At all. What is up with casting agents choosing her and Miley Cyrus for every movie? Well...this book is about Kyle, a very vain boy who's only purpose in life is to look good. One day, he decides to play a trick on this weird girl in his class, only to find out that she's a witch and turns him into a hairy beast for being a horrible person. The only way to break the curse is to find a girl to love and she has to love him in return, in two years, or he will be a beast forever. (Hey, at least the witch in the movie gave him a little more time.) He spends the first year wallowing in his despair, spying on his old classmates, especially a girl named Linda, who he never noticed before he gave an unwanted rose to her the night he transformed. A couple of months later, a man breaks into his house and, in exchange for his freedom and not telling the police, he will give Kyle (now called Adrian) his daughter. It turns out that this daughter, named Lindy, is actually Linda. At first, she hates him and freaks anytime he's around, but then she slowly starts to like him. With a little help from his blind tutor, Will, and his housekeeper, Magda, he starts to fall in love with her. But can he earn her love in return?
Grade: A+
SC: 3
C: 2

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Book 39 - Something Borrowed

My thirty-ninth book was Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin. I hadn't heard about this book until I saw the trailer for the movie online. As soon as I watched it, I wanted to see it, but I haven't gotten to, as of this post. But I decided to read the book until I could see the movie. The book is great. I have a feeling, just from the trailer, that they have changed a lot in the movie. But that's okay. The main character is Rachel, a people pleaser who has always put the needs of her life-long best friend, Darcy, in front of her own. Until her 30th birthday, that is, which is where this novel starts. Darcy is self-centered, manipulative, and competitive. She has the perfect job, the perfect body and face, and the perfect fiance, Dex, who was Rachel's friend before he met Darcy. Rachel had convinced herself that she didn't like Dex while she was in law school because he was too far out of her league; that he would go better with a girl like Darcy. But, on Rachel's 30th, everything changes, namely, Rachel finds out that Dex has liked her since law school, which he admits to her while they are drunk. Dex kisses her, which she knows is wrong, but it turns out she likes him too. The next morning, she realizes it was just a thing that happened because they weren't using their best judgment. Then he lets one little fact slip: "I wasn't that drunk."
Grade: A+
SC: 6
V: 0
C: 5

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Book 38 - Never Let Me Go

My thirty-eighth book was Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. I saw the movie, which was amazing, and thought I would try the book. This is one of the closest adaptations I've ever seen. I enjoy it when the movie stays close to the book and this was definitely one of the closest. Kathy, her best friend Ruth, and their friend Tommy live at a boarding school. But this school is very unusual. The students are clones of people in the real world and, once they get older, they are forced to give donations. Each donation takes an organ from the student until, after four donations, they complete. It has been many years since their childhoods at Hailsham since the three have seen each other. Kathy has become a carer (who's job it is to care for the ailing donors) and has been one for close to 12 years. She meets up with Ruth again and becomes her carer. After being Ruth's carer and finding Tommy again and becoming his, she starts to reflect on her days at Hailsham, the Cottage, and, finally, becoming a carer. As she lays out the story of how she came to understand what she was made for, the reader slowly learns more about Kathy, Ruth, Tommy, and the donation process in general. This is a great book, but very, very sad. If you don't like sad books, you should really stay away from this one...
Grade: A
SC: 5
V: 7
C: 5

Monday, May 9, 2011

Book 37 - My Fair Godmother

My thirty-seventh book was My Fair Godmother by Janette Rallison. I have read this book a couple of times, but I decided to read it again because I read my favorite books when I'm stressed. Driving test=Twilight, Play=You Wish, Graduation= My Fair Godmother. This book is about Savannah, who gets a Fairy Godmother after her boyfriend dumps her for her sister. But Chrysanthemum Everstar isn't a Fairy Godmother yet, she's only a Fair Godmother, which means she's not very good. Which becomes apparent when Chrissy misinterprets her first wish and sends Savannah back to the Middle Ages as Cinderella. After Savannah finally is able to call Chrissy back from her shopping, she misinterprets her second wish and turns her into Snow White. The third time, Savannah is determined to make it right. But, Chrissy fails yet again to grant Savannah's wish correctly. So, she has to make her way back to the Middle Ages to find her friend Tristan, who Chrissy has sent to become a prince to take Savannah to prom. But once she gets there, Tristan is not happy to see her. It turns out that becoming a prince in the Middle Ages was not as easy as Savannah thought. Tristan will have to kill a Cyclops, a dragon, and defeat the invincible Black Knight. With help from Savannah and a little fairy magic, they just might be able to pull it off...
Grade: A+
SC: 2
V: 4
C: 1

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Book 36 - Reality Check

My thirty-sixth book was Reality Check by Peter Abrahams. He is my favorite author and I have read every single one of his young adult books. His Echo Falls series is amazing and this book is almost as good. Reality Check is about Cody, who is a poor boy who is dating a very rich girl, Clea. When Cody learns her father is sending her to boarding school, he breaks up with her, because he knows her family will always dislike him and to make her move easier. But, a couple of months later, he sees something that changes everything: the front page of a newspaper article tells him that Clea is missing. Cody makes a quick decision and travels up to Vermont to find her. Once there, he meets a lot of odd people...and he doesn't know if he should trust any of them, especially Clea's new boyfriend, Townes, who seems to know something he's not letting on about. Cody has to figure out the mystery of where Clea is before it's too late and, because it's a Peter Abrahams book, there are many shocking twists and turns along the way...

Grade: A+
SC: 3/10
V: 6/10
C: 6/10

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Book 35 - You Wish

My thirty-fifth book was You Wish by Mandy Hubbard. She is one of my favorite authors and I was really excited when I found this book at Barnes and Noble last year. This is the second time I've read it and it was just as good as the first time. Kayla is an outsider at school. Her family has fallen apart after her father left, with her brother spending all of his time away from home and her mother becoming obsessed with her party planning business. So obsessed that, instead of listening to Kayla's pleas to just go out to eat as a family, she throws her a huge party, decorated completely in pink, and invites all of her clients. Just when Kayla thinks things can't get any more embarrassing, her mother forces her to make a wish. Kayla wishes that all of her birthday wishes would come true. The next day, she wakes up to find a pink pony in her backyard. The day after that, her room is filled with thousands of gumballs. The third day, she finds one of her dolls has come to life. She then realizes that all of her previous birthday wishes are coming true. She also knows she has to stop it before her fifteenth birthday wish comes true. Because, when she turned fifteen, she wished that a boy named Ben would kiss her. And that boy just so happens to be dating her best friend.