Monday, July 20, 2009

The Miles Between

The Miles Between by Mary Pearson
Publication Date: July 1, 2009
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co.
Pages: 272
Format Read: ARC from author (Thank you so much!)

Summary: Destiny Faraday makes a point of keeping a distance from her classmates at Hedgebrook Academy. Routine and predictability help her stick to her number-one rule: Don't get attached. But one day, with the crumpling of a calendar page and an odd encounter with a mysterious stranger, routine and predictability are turned on end.
Unexpectedly finding a car at their disposal, Destiny and three of her classmates embark on an unauthorized road trip, searching for one fair day- a day where the good guy wins and everything adds up to something just and right.

Honestly, I was surprised. From the first word on the back of the book, "Destiny," I thought this was going to be a hokey novel meant for twelve-year-olds. The character's name was Destiny! But by the time I hit Chapter 11, I knew this was going to be an astonishing novel.

The main character was so different than anything I had ever come across, striking my attention the most. She avoided people mainly because she didn't want to lose them, yet she noticed amazingly tiny details about everyone she went to school with. it was remarkable how detailed the descriptions were, noting how many times a girl twirled her fork before she ate spaghetti and a boy who dialed a phone number twice before actually calling. I love details. I love tiny descriptions that don't really matter, but in the same sense, they totally do.

My favorite part was how unexpectedly the heaviness loomed over me. I wasn't aware of its presence at first, then it all hit at once, and I found myself sobbing. Hands down to Pearson, that doesn't often happen (others are HP Deathly Hallows and The Sweet Far Thing). A few corny lines here and there, but overall was surprisingly wonderful, and it was nice to read one of those hidden marvels for a change.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Eyes Like Stars

Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev
Publication Date: July 7, 2009
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Pages: 352
Format Read: ARC from publisher (thank you!)

Summary: All her world's a stage.
Seventeen-year-old Beatrice (Bertie) Shakespeare Smith has spent her whole life within the walls of the Theatre Illuminata, a majestic and magical playhouse with thousands of players at the ready. Bertie was a foundling, discovered at the theater door, but management has now wearied of harboring the irreverent, unrestrained, occasionally downright destructive young woman she has become. She must prove-in four days-that she can make an invaluable contribution to the theater or be forever banished.

Mantchev seamlessly blends the chaotic with the traditional plays of the theatre, like molding Hamlet into an Egyptian setting, and morphing Bertie from a child into a cannon-firing tango-dancing girl ready to ward off the Stage Manager. She also expertly created a world in which I would die to live in, with sets constantly changing on stage to fit moods and topics of characters and their conversations.

It also held my interest, changing topics quickly but fluidly, so as not to confuse one too badly. I was lost at first, as there was minimal explaining that the players couldn't actually leave the theater, but once I found that out, I couldn't put the book down.

I also fell in love with the vividly striking Ariel, who played the villain for a while, always trying to manipulate Bertie into falling madly in love with him. I sure was. I adored his personality, and I felt as though when he stared at Bertie, his eyes penetrated me. It was eerie.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Temporary Hiatus

So in case you haven't noticed, I've been a bit busy. I'm writing this miniscule paragraph to let you know I'm not dead. I just got back from a sort of in-community mission trip, and leaving tomorrow morning for Disney World with my theatre department at school!

I'll be back soon! I promise!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

City of Bones

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
Publication Date: March 27, 2007
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Pages: 448
Keywords: magic, science fiction, supernatural
Format Read: library book

Going to a party can often change your life. You may find someone to fall in love with, someone to fall out of love with, what you don't usually expect is to discover something which puts everything you thought you knew about yourself in doubt. When Clary finds herself at Pandemonium, it's just another night, another night of teenage fights with her mother, of wrestling with the mating habits of your peers, that is until Clary witnesses a murder. But this is no ordinary murder, the corpse vanishes and it appears that only Clary can see the killers...

Clare created an unimaginable world, yet at the same time made it so touchable. I had the same eerie feeling when reading Scott Westerfeld's books; that feeling that somewhere in the world, this could really happen. I read this in little over twenty-four hours, and am currently dying as the library doesn't have the second copy in.

One of the most memorable traits was how flawed the characters were. It was, of course, in a good way, allowing them to change allegiances freely. This, in turn, made the plot totally unpredictable, and I will be the first to admit I was shocked by the ending. I also loved Alex (is it Alec? I can't remember...whoops!). I loved him. He was one of those not-mentioned-a-whole-lot people that I fell in love with, despite his petty love life. I also loved how recent issues were brought into the novel (I won't give it away), making the entire thing seem so much more realistic, contributing to that creepy-factor I mentioned earlier.

Again, I'm dying to read the second, but some goon at my library just won't turn it in. I wish I could yell at him to hurry up! A definite 5 stars from me!