Monday, 2 July 2012

Top 5 Addictive Reads of the Month

Number #1:
Anna and the French Kiss
By Stephanie Perkins

Rating: 5+

'I mean, really. Who sends their kid to boarding school? It's so Hogwarts. Only mine doesn't have cute boy wizards or magic candy or flying lessons.' 

This is the kind of book you re-read a million times.

I got that bubbly, slightly-teary feeling (that I associate with awesome chick-flicks) whilst reading this book. 
It had everything - humour, romance, the magic of Paris, school shenanigans, heartbreak, friendship, and a myriad of culture problems (like ordering soup instead of bread and grapes, and spelling that oui (yes) as w-e-e!)

The highlight, of course, was accompanying our quirky film-and-disinfectant-crazed female protagonist named Anna, as she struggles to sort out her muddled, tangled feelings. 

Anna's dad is kinda like a cheesy version of Nicholas Sparks - a writer of books to do with three things:
1.) Soppy romance
2.) Heartbreak and 
3.) Cancer or heart disease. 

He decides to send her away from Alabama and to the City of Love - otherwise known as  France - to the School of America in Paris (or SOAP).

Needless to say, Anna is horrified. She is terrible at languages, scared of being alone and is a clean freak on top of it all. 

But when she meet Etienne St Clair (a British-American-French masterpiece!) Anna's French-catastrohpy starts to look a whole lot brighter. 

Touring the beautiful sights, nibbling on croissants, downing many cups of coffee and sneaking into movie theatres, Anna finally feels like something is turning out right in her messed-up life. 

But it will take a lot more than a wish made on a star to help Anna hold on to what matters most. 

Can she balance her family, her friends and her confusing relationship with St Clair? And will she ever get her kiss in the most romantic city in the world?

A real treat of a book that will have you laughing hard at the cute friendship between Anna (Banana) and St Clair, crying when Anna's heart breaks and feeling full of happiness in those moments where she feels that sense of belonging in her loveable group of mix-mashed friends. 

France and Stephanie Perkin's story-writing magic will have you caught and in awe of this tantalising tale of a girl named Anna who attend the French non-magical equivalent of Hogwarts and found herself a Darcy!

Number #2:

By Gina Damico

Rating: 4.9

“What happened to YOU old partner?" Lex asked him. "Suicide I take it?"

He frowned. "Worse - business school. Can you believe it? Two years of Croak, then one day the kid decided he wants to be the next Donald Trump. So we threw him in a car, dropped him off near Woodstock and now he think he spent the past two years in a drug-addled haze at some hippie commune.” 

With witty lines, a wonderful bunch of motley characters, and of course Gina Damico's brilliant world featuring Reapers and the town of Croak, this book is a roller-coaster ride of grim-humoured fun!

Croak has everything to keep you entertained - mystery, thriller-ish elements, romance, adventure, comedy and of course, a spunky heroine who isn't afraid to punch your lights out to get what she wants!

Number #3:
By Lani Woodland

Rating: 4

“Wanna dance?" he asked

"I guess you'll do. All the cute guys are already taken," I answered with a grin.
"You wound me with your callousness," he sighed dramatically, taking me in his arms.

"I do have a black belt in demolishing overstuffed egos.”

A girl that can see ghosts.
A boy that can astral-project his soul.
And a best friend whose obsession about an eerie curse could put them all in danger.

Yara, Brent and Cherie are three teens who share two things in common: the prestigious private school they attend and the fact that they all believe in ghosts. 

Yara belief is strongest of all, mainly because she is a Waker - a person who has the gift of communicating with and seeing ghosts, a gift passed down through her family. But Yara doesn't want this gift. She doesn't want to be 'crazy' or shunned by those around her.

Hoping for a fresh start, she and her best friend Cherie come to Pendrel, school where Cherie hopes to discover more about the rumoured Pendrel Curse. Yara begs her to leave well enough alone, already having visions and ghostly sightings that don't bode well. But the lure of adventure is to tantalising to resist. 

Yara is drawn to new acquaintance Brent and eventually discovers that he has the ability to astral-project. The beginnings of a relationship start to bloom...but her new found peace doesn't last for long. 'Accidental' suicides, murders and drownings start to occur and as the body count goes up, Yara and her friends are in a race against time and the supernatural.

Can they discover the murderer's true identity? And at what cost?
I loved how the romance element didn't overpower the storyline at all - we got to discover alot about the whole Waker thing, and see her abilities and Brent's in action. When an author takes the time to create a concept it's nice to see them explain it at length and use it in the plot. Actually, it's nice to see a book like Intrinsical that keeps to the plot, and doesn't simply mention the plot here and there. 
Brent and Yara's subtle draw to one another is adorable and adds to the general emotional response of this book. 

Cherie's humour, Brent's wicked comments (he's more than just a pretty face!), Yara's determination and of course the best scene - the 'Dallin asks Yara to the dance in front of an invisible Brent' scene - all made for an spectacular paranormal YA book that I will most certainly read time and time again.

Number #4:
The Gathering
By Kelley Armstrong

Rating: 4.5

An unknown past. 
A secretive and in-the-middle-of-nowhere town, whose medicine and education standards are more advanced than any other country's. 

All of these come to together in an adventure unlike any other. 

Maya has always wondered about her connection with animals...but she soon starts to realise that it is alot deeper than she is willing to admit. 

Still dealing with the shock accidental drowning of her best friend, Maya forces herself to concentrate on building back her life, and trying to discover her origins. What she didn't plan on was also having to fight off the unwanted advances of new-boy Rafe. 

But as the days pass, sinister truths about Maya's abilities will unfold, as well as a startling revelation about the town which is supposedly the safest place on earth.

What did I love most about this book? The fact that the main character, Maya, is not a foolish idiotic teenager who believes the hot new guy when he says "all those other girls weren't the right ones but when I saw you I knew you were the one."(not a direct quote...but close!) 

I wanted to hug her when she dismissed him and his charms - here was finally, finally, a heroine who didn't fall for the 'I found the girl of my dreams in the blink of an eye Romeo-style' routine and who made her own decisions. I gladly award Maya the HAB Award (Heroine with A Backbone).

Here's the actual quote - I hope you love her as much as I do!

Rafe sat on edge of the desk. "You're right. I chase hard, but once I get to know a girl, I realise he's not right for me." He met my gaze, his eyes earnest and soulful. "I guess I haven't found the one I'm looking for."
I sputtered a laugh. "And you think I might be it. The girl you've been yearning for. Dreaming of. Your soul mate." I laughed even harder and shook my head. "Please tell me that line doesn't actually work on-"

And then she gets cut off by Sam. But the truth stands - this girl as backbone people!!

Number #5:
By Alexandra Adornetto

Rating: 4.4

“Love you,” Xavier said just before he drifted back to sleep.
“Love you more,” I said playfully.

“Not a chance,” Xavier said, fully awake now. “I’m bigger, I can contain more love.”
“I’m smaller, therefore my love particles are more compressed, which means I can fit more in.”

Xavier laughed. “That argument makes no sense. Overruled.”

“I’m just basing it on how much I miss you when you’re not around,” I countered.
“How can you possibly know how much I miss you?” he said. “Have you got some sort of built-in miss-o-meter that can give us a reading?”

“I’m a girl; of course I have a built-in miss-o-meter.” 

This is a tale...a tale of an angel who dared to embrace the most precious aspect of being a human.


Beautifully written, with so many gorgeous truths in there about life and what truly matters, Halo is a simple yet sweet story that explores what it means to be human.

And what it means to believe strongly in something and to want to fight to keep it with everything you are.

1 comment:

  1. Intrinsical sounds really good. I haven't heard much about it! I also have never read Lola and the Boy Next Door.

    Thanks for the list!


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