Friday, 28 September 2012

Review: So Into You by Cecilia Gray [AToMR blog tour stop]

Publication date: 15th July, 2012
Publisher: The Alpha Division, LLC
Links: Amazon | The Book Depository | Goodreads
Source: An e-copy provided for book tour
Rating: 3.5/ 5 stars
[from goodreads]

Modern retelling/based on Sense & Sensibility.
The last thing that the girls at the elite Jane Austen Academy need is guys. But over the summer the school has been sold, and like it or not, the guys are coming. And they're about to turn the Academy—and the lives of its students—totally upside down…

Meet sweet and sensible Ellie who hasn’t met a problem her mom’s yoga mantras can’t fix. But when her parents threaten to pull her from the Academy just as her flirtation with the cutest boy in school heats up, will Ellie be able to keep her cool?
So Into You is the second installment of the fun-filled and heartwarming Jane Austen Academy series. While Fall For You, Book One, was a retelling of Pride and Prejudice, So Into You is based on Sense and Sensibility. I haven't read Austen's Sense and Sensibility before, so I probably missed out on the references and parallels to the classic. Nevertheless, there were all these nods to Jane Austen novels in general and characters like 'Knight' whose first encounter with Emma, Ellie's friend, gave me the goosebumps!

This is perfect for contemporary YA lovers who are also charmed by anything Austenacious. In So Into You, Ellie is saddened by the news that this might be her last term at Jasta while Edward, the sweet guy she is falling for, keeps giving her mixed signals. Lizzie seemed sidetracked and ready to put off fighting against the name-change of the school- what's with that? And then there's Emma, who seems to think she's 'with' Wickam.

Like in Fall For You, I LOVED the atmosphere of Jane Austen Academy. It seems like a warm and amazing place where everybody is encouraged to be themselves. I enjoyed delving into Ellie's story, especially when sweet and kind of dorkily funny Edward appealed to me way more than Dante did. It was impossible not to swoon and sigh and yell, WHY at points of their story. I also loved the dynamics among the girls, Ellie, Emma, Lizzie and Anne, and their ritual of climbing a tree and screaming We Will Be Heard!

This series definitely falls into the 'comfort reads' category for me. It's smart, fun and hands-down the quirkiest of  Jane Austen adaptations!

Rating: 3.5/5 stars

About the author

Cecilia Gray lives in Oakland where she reads, writes and breaks for food. She also pens her biographies in the third person. Like this. As if to trick you into thinking someone else wrote it because she is important. Alas, this is not the case.

Cecilia has been praised for “instilling a warmth and weight into her characters” (Romancing The Book Reviews) and her books have been praised for being “well-written, original, realistic and witty” (Quills & Zebras Reviews).

Her latest release, FALL FOR YOU, the first in a series of young-adult contemporary Jane Austen retellings received a starred Kirkus review and was praised for being a “unique twist on a classic” and offering “a compelling action of action, drama and love.”

She’s rather enamored of being contacted by readers and hopes you’ll oblige.

On an unrelated note (ie, on my absence): This year has been way more hectic that I would've ever anticipated. I will be sure to elaborate on it later. Hope you understand xx

Friday, 14 September 2012

Feature and Follow Friday #9: Hyped books

 Feature and Follow is a weekly blog hop hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read!

Question of the week: What hyped up book do you think was not worth all the talk?

First of all, hi everybody! *waves* It's been quite a while but I will be sorting out my irregular blog schedule soon. To say I'm missing the blogosphere is an understatement!

For me, one of the hyped books that definitely wasn't worth the um, hype was,

The Selection by Kiera Cass

I couldn't bring myself to care about any of the characters with the exception of the America's (the main character) sister. Another book that did not live up to its hype:

Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

I get why this book was a guilty pleasure for so many people but somehow, I couldn't stop rolling my eyes at the various situations Travis and Abby found themselves in... though I must admit, some aspects of the book were engrossing.

Have a great weekend! Happy reading, everybody! <3 

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Review: Confessions of an Angry Girl (Confessions #1) by Louise Rozett

Publication date: 28th August, 2012
Publisher: HarlequinTEEN
Links: Amazon | The Book Depository | Goodreads
Source: NetGalley
Rating: 4.5/ 5 stars
[from goodreads]

Rose Zarelli, self-proclaimed word geek and angry girl, has some confessions to make… 1. I'm livid all the time. Why? My dad died. My mom barely talks. My brother abandoned us. I think I'm allowed to be irate, don't you?

2. I make people furious regularly. Want an example? I kissed Jamie Forta, a badass guy who might be dating a cheerleader. She is now enraged and out for blood. Mine.

3. High school might as well be Mars. My best friend has been replaced by an alien, and I see red all the time. (Mars is red and "seeing red" means being angry—get it?)

Here are some other vocab words that describe my life: Inadequate. Insufferable. Intolerable.
(Don't know what they mean? Look them up yourself.)

(Sorry. That was rude.)
Confessions of an Angry Girl made my week! Rose Zarelli, you are my hero. You have ten times the spunk I wish I had in high school.

Rose doesn't have it easy. She's had the worst summer of her life: her dad was killed while working as a contractor in Iraq and now she is starting off her freshman year at Union High being subject to silence from her mother and sympathetic looks from everyone else. To top it all, her best friend Tracy is busy climbing the social ladder and lately, Rose can't help but wonder how they were ever friends in the first place.

With attention from a guy Rose has been crushing on since forever and his girlfriend out for her blood, Rose's freshman year is a mix of highs and lows. The highs make her heart race while the lows make her want to explode into multiple rage attacks. Confessions of an Angry Girl was an amazing book because it was so raw, so real and made me feel fourteen again; with the angst, tangled emotions and all of those firsts.

It was easy to relate to Rose. She was a smart and nice kid who was going through a rough time. She's a confused mess as the people she cares for abandon her without warning and she finds herself all alone... but for Jamie Forta.

I was so intrigued by Jamie who is much older than Rose and seemed too cool for the usual high school drama. I will be interested to see more of him in the next book but I must say Robert, The Other Guy in the  Possibly-Future-Love-Triangle was so endearing. He was so SWEET and um, based on how Rose treats him, way too good for her.

But Rose is still one of the more level headed fourteen year olds I've read about... which is great. I'd love to read more about her. It's not easy being anyone in high school; this was evident as Rose feels constantly shunned, even when she's doing the right thing. What is right is not necessarily popular and what is popular, Rose wants nothing to do with (again, so refreshing).

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. The fun Gossip Girl references, vivid picture of what it's like being a teen today (they seem to grow up so fast; faster than we ever did) and the sensitive way in which various issues were dealt with has me thoroughly invested in this series already. Take care, Rose. See you soon?

Rating: 4.5/5 stars