Thursday, July 4, 2013

Thoughts on Olive's Ocean by Kevin Henkes

Olive's OceanMartha wasn't really friends with Olive. Sure, they were in the same class at school, but they never really talked or anything. Martha hadn't thought much about Olive even after a tragic accident takes Olive's life. But when Olive's mother brings Martha a page out of Olive's journal written about Martha, suddenly Martha can't stop thinking about Olive even while on a family vacation in Florida.

Having heard lots of wonderful things about this story, I guess I expected too much. I thought it was predictable and tried to hard to be sentimental. Maybe I had my expectations set way too high, but I really didn't like it as much as I wanted to like it. C rating.

Thoughts on Rules for Ghosting by A.J. Paquette

Rules for Ghosting
Oliver and his family move into the Silverton Manor on what is supposed to be a six month stay. His parents are house sitters and they are there to oversee the renovations before the house is put on the market. Oliver soon discovers that his family are not the only residents of Silverton Manor. Dahlia Silverton also lives there -- except she's a twelve-year-old ghost that's been dead over 50 years. Trapped on the property, Dahlia is thrilled to have a family living with her. That is, until a Ghosterminator disguises himself as a handyman and seeks to capture the ghosts haunting the house, including Dahlia. Oliver and his sister search frantically for what is keeping Dahlia trapped there, in hopes of helping her escape capture!

I enjoyed this book much more as I kept on reading. At the start, I thought the story was too predictable, but I'm happy to say I was pleased to be surprised with a few twists in the last half of the book. Those who enjoy ghost stories, but really don't want to be scared will enjoy this one. There are a few spooky moments, but the humor far outweighs the fear. B- rating.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Thoughts on The Clockwork Girl by Sean O'Reilly and Kevin Hanna

The Clockwork Girl
Tesla, a clockwork girl, and Huxley, a monster boy, overcome all of their differences, including how their creators are enemies, to become friends. When their friendship is discovered, their very existence is threatened.

A fabulous graphic novel that will appeal to many. Beautiful artwork and story combined! B rating.

Thoughts on Invisible by Marni Bates

Invisible (Awkward #2)
Jane Smith has never wanted to be anything but invisible at her school. Her sister was super popular, a notable, and Jane knows she can't compete. When her two best friends suddenly achieve popularity, she's left behind wondering if being invisible is exactly what she wants after all.

Not having read the first book in the series, Awkward, I wondered if I'd be able to catch up with the plot and characters or would I be lost? At times I wished I would have first met Mackenzie in her story, for in Invisible I didn't like her at all. She's supposed to be Jane's best friend, but I was rooting for Jane to dump her! Maybe knowing her background, I would have liked her more in Invisible. Other than that, I was able to catch up with the history of the characters fairly well, but I will still probably go back and read the first one.

I like how Jane isn't popular even within her small group of friends, at the beginning of the book. She's not the leader of her small group, nor does she have the admiration of the adults in her life (with the exception of her boss). She's just an average girl that finally has things go her way after some terrible lows. I think many will see themselves in Jane, especially where as their friends start to have new friends and interests they are also left behind and seemingly forgotten. While the chances of having a mistake being talked about on national entertainment shows are extremely slim, many teens will relate to having friends mad at them for something almost beyond their control. Yes, Jane has some terrible things happen to her, but I loved seeing her grow into a new person not afraid on confrontation and speaking up.

The story itself is one I think many fans of romantic comedies will love. There's a love interest here that develops through the book, but with just enough of a twist to keep you guessing to the end. I personally can't wait to recommend it to my Meg Cabot fans. B- rating.