Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen Review 4/5

Overall Impression: Grin inducing material you won’t be able to put down!Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

It wouldn’t be summer without at least one Sarah Dessen book. There’s something about the heat, the wave of positivity and the potential for change that comes with the summer season that has me grabbing for her feel good coming of age stories and hugging them close to my chest. For me, Dessen remains the queen of contemporary YA novels. She has the perfect balance of cheese, honesty, romance and realism that always gives me a book hangover. This woman is a wizard with words! Along for the Ride, like all her other novels, was a brilliant read with some wonderful characters.

Auden has always felt like the odd one out.
Since her parents’ divorce she’s shied away, studying lots and staying out of the party scene.
But now Auden’s realized there must be something more and, just like that, she changes everything. Moving to her dad’s house opens up a whole new world of beach parties, food fights – and simply having fun.
As she gets to know herself – and a secretive boy with dark, brooding eyes – can Auden begin to let go and finally feel like she truly belongs?

Auden has always been the sensible one, her parents divorce and their views on academia have made her mature before her time. With months of summer spanning out before her, Auden settles into a routine of prepping for college during the day and hanging out in her favourite coffee place by night, nursing her insomnia. But when Auden receives  Continue reading

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DAY 23: Best Book You’ve Read in the Last 12 Months.

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Well originally I was going to use The Hunger Games Trilogy for this day, but as that ship has sailed far past the area of twelve months, I guess I will be thinking again! Although this year started slowly in terms of reading due to settling into University, I have sure been making up for that this summer by racing through many books! I’m happy to say there have also been a few five stars handed out in my reviews which I love being able to do because it doesn’t happen often. 😀 Within the last twelve months I have given out five five stars, (ohh how poetic) and that’s pretty good going for me. But how an earth do I pick which of these elite is my favourite?  Continue reading

DAY 15: A Character Who You Can Relate to the Most.

30 Day Book Challenge Banner

I feel like I’ve said this a lot of times now, but this was a tough question! As a general rule I relate to most characters on some level and this probably comes from the fact that writers put a lot of themselves into their books. Aspects of their own worries, moral dilemmas and dreams naturally emerge because of that age old saying ‘write what you know’ which doesn’t just apply to a books setting but also the things you can’t see like emotions.
Again, I’m going to pick the protagonist that popped into my mind first, and that character is Macy from The Truth About Forever.

Well, I couldn’t go this entire challenge without mentioning Sarah Dessen, could I?!?! 🙂 Continue reading

Book Haul: Invasion of the YA

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You guyyysssssss, I’m hyperventilating in the best possible way! 😀

You know what that means don’t you???

BOOOOOOOK HAULLLLLLLLL. WEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!

I had so much fun taking pictures for this, in the same week I bought these amazing books I also found this beautiful bird cage lamp! I love the way it refracts the lights making patterns on the ceiling and table, it was awesome experimenting with the photos and the text for the header too.

This holiday I have been volunteering at a second hand book shop once a week. I absolutely love it and the only thing that could improve it would be actually getting paid. 😛 It never feels like hard work, the people are lovely and I love the atmosphere of constantly being surrounded by books of all shapes and sizes. Getting to be there when new donations come in you can discover some real hidden gems, a few surprises and a couple of cobwebby dead spiders or two! Continue reading

Just Listen by Sarah Dessen Review 5/5

Overall Impression: This book ripped my heart up into pieces and then put it back together again.

I’ve read and enjoyed three of Sarah Dessen’s novels in Just Listen by Sarah Dessenthe past, Lock and Key, The Truth About Forever and Dreamland but Just Listen has to be my favourite so far. I’ve always admired the way she skillfully tackles a serious subject while remaining accessible and lighthearted. That’s why when I did my annual book swap with one of my best budds last year, I made sure to steal all her Sarah Dessen books. 😛 Even so, I rarely give out five stars and was not expecting to fall in love with this book as much as I did! Like the stay up until 4.30am to finish it kinda love. 😀
Warning: Readers should note that this book does cover the delicate issue of rape, although this is only one aspect of the story. If this topic is a painful trigger, you may not want to read on.

I’m Annabel.
I’m the girl who has it all.
Model look, confidence, a great social life.
I’m one of the lucky ones.
Aren’t I?
My ‘best friend’ is spreading rumours about me. My family is slowly falling apart. It’s turning into a long, lonely summer, full of secrets and silence.
But I’ve met this guy who won’t let me hide away. He’s one of those intense types, obsessed with music.
He’s determined to make me listen.
And he’s determined to make me smile.
But can he help me forget what happened the night everything changed?

Annabel and her best friend Clarke are content playing cards and hanging out at the pool until the charismatic, confident Sophie moves to town. After Annabel extends the hand of friendship Sophie whisks her into the world she has always secretly dreamed of, parties, boys and popularity. Continue reading

Dreamland by Sarah Dessen Review 4/5

Overall Impression: A gut-wrenching portrayal of a troubled teen. Emotional, frustrating and heartbreaking.
Dreamland by Sarah Dessen
I couldn’t say that I enjoyed this book, that would be the wrong word considering the subject matter. Was I heavily emotionally impacted by this book though? Absolutely.
I love Sarah Dessen, she’s a great author and deals with teen issues in an intelligent and sensitive manner. Her books almost have an sense of wistful familiarity for me now, each time I open a new novel it doesn’t take long before I relax into her writing style and escape into her stories with compelling characters. I always know what to expect to an extent and know I’m going to be in for a good read. Dreamland was equally good, although I was surprised to find that it was a little darker than some of her other books and somewhat more unpredictable!

Please Note: I don’t normally include spoilers in my reviews but I can’t really talk about my thoughts on Dreamland in any detail without giving away a key plot point, so proceed at your own peril!

Unable to deal with the family fallout when her elder sister runs away from home, Catlin finds herself withdrawing into a private world. A dreamland where everything – and everyone – can be kept at arm’s length. And a place where her damaging relationship with her boyfriend Rogerson, need never be faced up to, or discussed…

When Cass flee’s from a life she feels is not her own, full of expectations and Yale leaflets she leaves nothing behind but a note and a birthday present for her sister, Catlin. Lost and confused Catlin finds herself in a weird form of emotional purgatory, her parents are obsessed with finding Cas, a subject which dominates every hour of every day,  Continue reading

Book Haul: Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue.

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First off, how awesome is that title? I’m quite proud that my little brain came up with that, and it totally fits as well! 😛 Much more interesting than just book haul don’t ya think?

Ok, so the book ban is well and truly desecrated. How long did I last? *checks blog* Well I announced it May 19th 2012 so that’s *counts on fingers* not even three months!!!! *hangs head in shame*. And since the ban I’ve only gotten three books off my TBR pile so ummm…..yeah, the Maths doesn’t add up, I’m actually worse off than when I started. But you know what? I’ve never been all that fond of Maths.

So errr, ignoring my pathetic failure, lets move on to the books, because we all love the books! That’s why we’re here right?

Something Old:
I went into town with a bookish friend of mine and we spent about two hours just looking around Waterstones. After a thorough rummage (in which I found a beautiful hardback copy of The Complete Sherlock Holmes but made myself put it back because of the price) he told me about these two second hand book shops a short walk away. So of course, I had to go and investigate! Continue reading