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Mermaid Park by Beth Mayall

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Valiant (The Moder Faerie Tales, #2) by Holly Black

Valiant (The Modern Faerie Tales, #2)


When seventeen-year-old Valerie Russell runs away to New York City, she's trying to escape a life that has utterly betrayed her. Sporting a new identity, she takes up with a gang of squatters who live in the city's labyrinthine subway system.

But there's something eerily beguiling about Val's new friends. Impulsive Lolli talks of monsters in the subway tunnels they call home and shoots up a shimmery amber-colored powder that makes the shadows around her dance. Severe Luis claims he can make deals with creatures that no one else can see. And then there's Luis's brother, timid and sensitive Dave, who makes the mistake of letting Val tag along as he makes a delivery to a woman who turns out to have goat hooves instead of feet.

When a bewildered Val allows Lolli to talk her into tracking down the hidden lair of the creature for whom Luis and Dave have been dealing, Val finds herself bound into service by a troll named Ravus. He is as hideous as he is honorable. And as Val grows to know him, she finds herself torn between her affection for an honorable monster and her fear of what her new friends are becoming.

Bestselling author Holly Black follows her breakout debut, Tithe, with a rich, harrowing, and compulsively readable parable of betrayal, abuse, friendship, and love.

My Thoughts

Valiant (The Modern Faerie Tale, #2) by Holly Black

The book took off with a disturbing beginning and had me wondering what was going to happen. However, it suddenly slowed down like someone sprinted down a path and they’d lost all their energy. Valiant managed to be too detailed, but bland at the same time – that takes talent! (Sarcasm). There were also graphic scenes about things happening that I think could have gone without mentioning...  I mean, other than those parts, the book was actually pretty interesting and a worthwhile read.

The characters in this book, were actually gripping. I felt like I got to know them. I don’t have much to say about Val, but I did find her pleasant to read about unlike Dave, who annoyed me from the start. I always found a reoccurring interest in Lolli and for some reason I always had a soft spot for Luis. Ravus, the troll that Val finds herself in debt to, actually wasn’t as appalling as I thought he might be.     

I think if it weren’t for the decent characters and lure of the Faerie, that the book would have been horrible because the plot didn’t hold quite enough tension, nor did it seem fluent. I felt like the story line was going all over the place. The author had some really good ideas that just seemed to fall flat when they landed on the page.

Overall, my feelings stay mixed about this book, because there was so much that I liked about it, but it just didn’t completely satisfy me.

Pluto's Ghost

Pluto's Ghost
Pages: 256
Genre: Realistic Fiction, Romance, Mystery
Rating: 4/5

Summary (from

"Murderer. It's one kick in the belly of a word isn't it? Has a taste, too. It tastes like barbed wire and has wild hyena eyes. Murderer. Murder-her. Did he? Did I? That's when I remember what I want to forget."
Jake Upshore has loved Skye Derucci since before he can remember. Volatile, complex and frustrated (he's got a label disorder from all the labels he's been given) at the best of times, Jake's on a desperate quest to find Skye before she aborts the baby he believes is his. As he hurtles headlong toward certain tragedy, Jake relives the fatal choices he's made and the powerful forces that have led him to this to end. A gripping thriller and a heart-wrenching love story, Pluto's Ghost is a raw and powerful novel about anger, escape, and redemptive love.

My Thoughts

I really liked this book even though I wasn't sure of it at first. It's slow paced at the beginning and then picks up a bit more, so don't quite reading! You won't be disappointed in the end! The writing was definitely something to marvel over, it was funny and touching.
I just want to hug Jake (main character). He's so sweet and thoughtful, despite his anger issues.
It was amazing to read and be able to see that Jake was serious when he meant he would do anything for the girl he loves, Skye, anything! It's not a sappy love story, it's not fairy-tale like, so don't expect that. It's a mature read, and Jake's story will stay with you for a long time.

Not That Kind of Girl by Siobhan Vivian

Not That Kind Of Girl
Pages: 322
Genre: Real-life, Romance
Rating: 3/5


Natalie Sterling wants to be in control. She wants her friends to be loyal. She wants her classmates to elect her student council president. She wants to find the right guy, not the usual jerk her school has to offer. She wants a good reputation, because she believes that will lead to good things.
But life is messy, and it's very hard to be in control of it. Not when there are freshman girls running around in a pack, trying to get senior guys to sleep with them. Not when your friends have secrets they're no longer comfortable sharing. Not when the boy you once dismissed ends up being the boy you want to sleep with yourself - but only in secret, with nobody ever finding out.
Slut or saint? Winner or loser? Natalie is getting tired of these forced choices - and is now going to find a way to live life in the sometimes messy, sometimes wonderful in-between.

My Thoughts

For those that would enjoy this, I think you would be in age range of 13-17. It wasn’t a challenging read for me. I did enjoy it, but just not as much as I would have hoped for. When I first began the book and then got halfway through I felt a little mislead because she was having issues with Mike and then you barely ever hear about him again...instead the story starts to focus on a different guy...  won’t say anymore because I don’t want to spoil anything.

Natalie, the main character, is NOT stupid. She’s actually smart, she knows how to get a situation under control and she can handle high-levels of stress quite well. I respect her for her integrity and her ability to be nice and caring to others. I respect her for trying to do the right thing, and giving others second chances. I think I’d friend her on Facebook...if she was a real person.

The story spoke volumes about sex and other pressures for a teenager. But it also expressed how we’re all looking for ourselves and who we want to be. I can guarantee the ending is not disappointing at all, it’s simply satisfying and I felt that I’d learned something valuable. That’s how books should leave you.

Overall, it was good. I would definitely recommend it, because it’s certainly worth the read. However, I think it could have been amazing with a few tweaks and characters with a bit more depth, I didn’t feel like I got to know everyone enough.

The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)

Pages: 374
Genre: Action, Adventure, Futuristic
Rating: 5/5

Summary (from

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister's place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

My Thoughts

THIS BOOK WAS AMAZING. I really took my time with it, marvelling over the writing style and details. The author knew how to capture your attention and imprison it inside her pages. Collins did an unbelievable job with the characters, she took great patience in describing the kids from the other districts without boring the reader, and actually I felt myself hungering to know more about the other tributes. I wondered about what it would be like if she included scenes in the book which were based upon Peeta’s perspective, however, I knew that would only ruin the mystery of being inside of Katniss’s head.

The only wish I had for it was that Collins would have given more flashbacks to what Katniss’s life used to be like in the district, and get to know Gale a little more. Perhaps this will be more covered in the next books, especially Gale...there’s no doubt about that.

All in all, it’s certainly one of my favourites!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Deadly Cool by Gemma Halliday

Deadly Cool (Deadly Cool, #1)

Rating: 5/5 (It was amazing!)
Pages: 320
Genre: Murder Mystery

Summary (from
Hartley Grace Featherstone is having a very bad day. First she finds out that her boyfriend is cheating on her with the president of the Herbert Hoover High School Chastity Club. Then he's pegged as the #1 suspect in a murder. And if that weren't enough, now he's depending on Hartley to clear his name. Seriously? Not cool.

But as much as Hartley wouldn't mind seeing him squirm, she knows he's innocent, and she's the only one who can help him. Along with her best friend, Sam, and the school's resident Bad Boy, Chase, Hartley starts investigating on her own. But as the dead bodies begin to pile up, the mystery deepens, the suspects multiply, and Hartley begins to fear that she may be the killer's next victim.

My Thoughts
There’s nothing more comforting than a murder mystery with a character with your name in it that happens to be an airhead, and then later is murdered. Yay me!

Despite Deadly Cool’s odd plot about a girl helping clear the name of her boyfriend, ahem, correction ex-boyfriend who cheated on her, the story turned out to be quite interesting, and actually a good read. The book came with some witty humor while being able to hold its serious context.

Although, it was cliché in parts referring to Nancy Drew and a few stereotypical characters that were easy to pick out from the crowd, I felt the main character, Hartley, had a lot to offer and I enjoyed reading about what she had to say and what she felt, regardless of her pathetic inability to lie about her sneaking around.

All in all, this light-hearted murder mystery was a nice change from the paranormal young adult novel swarming the bookshelves of bookstores, while being fast-paced and easy-to-read.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Catcher in the Rye by J.D Salinger

 The Catcher in the Rye

Rating: 3
Pages: 214 (depending on the version you read)
Genre: Coming of Age

Summary (from

Anyone who has read J.D. Salinger's New Yorker stories—particularly A Perfect Day for Bananafish, Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut, The Laughing Man, and For Esme—With Love and Squalor, will not be surprised by the fact that his first novel is fully of children. The hero-narrator of THE CATCHER IN THE RYE is an ancient child of sixteen, a native New Yorker named Holden Caulfield. Through circumstances that tend to preclude adult, secondhand description, he leaves his prep school in Pennsylvania and goes underground in New York City for three days. The boy himself is at once too simple and too complex for us to make any final comment about him or his story. Perhaps the safest thing we can say about Holden is that he was born in the world not just strongly attracted to beauty but, almost, hopelessly impaled on it. There are many voices in this novel: children's voices, adult voices, underground voices-but Holden's voice is the most eloquent of all. Transcending his own vernacular, yet remaining marvelously faithful to it, he issues a perfectly articulated cry of mixed pain and pleasure. However, like most lovers and clowns and poets of the higher orders, he keeps most of the pain to, and for, himself. The pleasure he gives away, or sets aside, with all his heart. It is there for the reader who can handle it to keep.

My Thoughts
Now that I’ve read Catcher in the Rye, I’m starting to see a little bit of Holden here and there in the books I read. I think Holden is a lonely, lost teenager, and an angry one at that. I like him because he doesn’t edit what he has to say when he talks, he’s blunt. But I don’t like him because he is sort of a hypocrite. I also got tired of the “Goddamn’s” in the story, yet the “phony’s,” although tired of them, actually amused me.

I read this book for English, and I think that’s why I didn’t get as much as I could have out of it. I felt like it was work to read it and of course, I would have read it even if it wasn’t for English, but I think I would have enjoyed it more if I had read it on my own terms.

But if I wrapped it all up, I would say that the book is extremely negative, yet is funny. I think that everyone can find a something about Holden that they can relate to. The parts of Holden that I found myself relating to, were the fact that he didn’t care about being popular and being antisocial was what he was okay with. I found that even though being alone is nice, that you do get lonely, and then you want to talk to someone. And it doesn’t matter who it is really, especially when you’re alone. But, I don’t think I would ever in this lifetime find myself talking to nuns. Personally, sometimes I felt if I were sitting in a coffee shop or somewhere and Holden came up to me and wanted to buy me a drink (alcoholic or non-alcoholic) I would wonder what his intentions were, and think “weirdo” and then possibly eventually come to the conclusion that he’s simply lonely and not some creeper, or up to something.

Overall, the book was interesting, gross in parts, grossly hilarious in others, and I still feel like I missed out on a bunch of what Holden was saying and what was happening, so I’ll return to the novel in time. Meanwhile the phrase “Goddam skates” continues to ring in my head for some crude reason.

Thursday, January 5, 2012


The summaries of most of these books are from the back of the books, although some of them I have altered and rewritten.