Showing posts with label sarah dessen. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sarah dessen. Show all posts

Monday, June 12, 2017

10 Beach Reads For People Who Don't Like Beach Reads feat. Sophie Kinsella, Julie Hammerle & more

I'm one of those dreadful people who are easily bored by straight up romance books unless they are absolutely extraordinarily excellent. 

Here are some of the books that I would bring to the beach.

A really cute story about a girl looking for a rebound crush. Especially recommended for trekkies.

TALON - Julie Kagawa
Okay, listen, hear me out - this may be about shapeshifting dragons turning into humans but it's totally a summery beach romance. Sounds weird, is weird.

In terms of beach reads you can never go wrong with a Dessen book. This is a super light contemporary with a great protagonist!

PLUS ONE - Elizabeth Fama
As a dystopian novel this really isn't a regular pick for a beach read, but listen: This book is so light and easy and pretty much about people stealing babies. It's a weird fairytale-feeling kinda thing.

WEDDING NIGHT - Sophie Kinsella
This is partially set at the beach and kinsella, what more can you want!

FATED - S.G. Browne
The personified fate falls in love and it's absolutely hilarious!

I love this book so much if there is one light, funny book that I have and can read over and over again, it's this.

Such a pleasant surprise!

THE SOUND OF US - Julie Hammerle
A sweet contemporary that's equal parts hilarious and unique. Also classic music!

WE AWAKEN - Calista Lynne
I think dreamy, magical books are always excellent pics for beach reads! This one features two lesbian asexuals and dreaming!

What are your favorite beach reads?

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Monday, October 10, 2016

6 Popular YA Books That I'm Scared Of: A Look at my TBR

I've already confessed to you guys that I usually shy away from popular books. So, sometimes they really have a great premise and I'm still intrigued despite being a snobby closet book hipster. Here are some books that are quite popular and that I haven't read yet, or read recently.

I heard so many good and equally as many bad things about this book. Some people praise it for being heart-breaking and beautiful, some people demonize it for glorifying suicide. I kinda want to read it but I'm scared I'll agree with the latter group. After disliking HOLDING UP THE UNIVERSE I don't know if I want to take any chances.

LEGEND - Marie Lu
The premise is wonderful. I read a couple of pages in a book store and absolutely adored it, but so many people praise this book that I just keep putting it off.

I have read two other novels by Sarah Dessen before (arguably some of her very early works) and wasn't really a fan.

RED QUEEN - Victoria Aveyard
Honestly, the premise isn't even anything I'd usually go far. I avoid high fantasy at all costs, because it's hardly ever for me. So many people love this. Sadly, I didn't in the end.

MORE THAN THIS - Patrick Ness
The idea sounds intriguing, but this whole phenomenon of Patrick Ness is insanely intimidating. I don't know anyone who dislikes his books.

I've never read a Neil Gaiman novel, believe it or not. Even though this one is the most intriguing to me because it's so short, I'm still kinda intimidated.

Have you read one of these?

More posts on popular books:

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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

7 Popular Authors That I Just Can't Get Into

Everybody's tastes are different, and my particular taste doesn't always seem to correspond with the general public.

Here are seven very popular authors whose books I just can't get into.
7. J. Lynn / Jennifer L. Armentrout
I really love her Lux series, but any and every book by her that I've read after that disappointed me massively. I'm so sad about this, especially her NA books under the pseudonym J.Lynn are so incredibly popular and it would've been so nice if I had liked them. 

6. Maggie Stiefvater

I stand by saying that I think she's a terrific writer. But really, the writing is just too poetic, too dreamy, too otherworldly to keep my attention for more than 3 seconds.

5. George R.R. Martin
I read the first two ASOIAF books and it's just all too lengthy and political for me. High fantasy is usually a hit or miss thing for me and I am very picky about this, so it's not surprising.

4. Stephen King
Honestly, judging by the fact that everyone calls him the king of horror, I wasn't even scared once. Maybe I just picked the wrong books. I've read FIRESTARTER, CARRIE, IT, and NIGHTMARES & DREAMSCAPES. I wish he could scare me. I love a good horror novel.

3. Sarah Dessen
I keep trying and trying and every time I finish a book by her I think to myself that I would've been better off had I read her books in 2007, back when everyone did and loved them. It's just not for me. I'll still keep trying with her newer works, I think.

2. Rainbow Rowell
I read nearly every books she's ever published aside from ATTACHMENTS and ELEANOR & PARK. I honestly, truly want to like her books but the only one I found mediocre was FANGIRL. I keep wondering what's wrong with me.

1. Cassandra Clare
I've read the first four The Mortal Instruments books, more out of morbid curiosity than actual interest. No matter how hard I try and really want to like them, I guess her books will never be for me. It's sad because there are SOOO many books in this series.

Which popular authors can't you get into?

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Saturday, May 2, 2015

[Review] Just Listen - Sarah Dessen

In "Just Listen" by Sarah Dessen, Annabel Greene gets excluded from her group of friends. There's a secret that she desperately wants to keep from everybody, even if that means that she's going to have to shut off all her friends and family.

Excessive Use of Flashbacks: Yay or Nay?

I couldn't quite get into this one. Dessen has a way of writing that I'm not very fond of. She uses a lot of flashbacks to establish her characters and familiarize the reader with them. At times I got lost in those flashbacks and didn't even know anymore what the present tense storyline is about. When you've got so much background story information dump, it's very easy to lose motivation. I had rather have her add the character development to the present stroyline instead of rambling on and on about past events. I get that it's necessary and I think that the information is absolutely vital to the plot, but still, come on, no flashbacks!

Essentially because Dessen's writing is centered around Annabel's family in the beginning, her sisters Whitney and Kirsten, instead of around her, I kind of forgot who the main character was. It felt like the protagonist was Whitney with her eating disorder instead of Annabel. Another thing that bugged me intensly is how broken her family is. Everybody has issues, everybody has some kind of mental illness and a dramatic backstory explaining it. It's just too much. You can't do it all justice in one novel if you mash things together and hardly even deal with them. (Writing 2/5)

Teenagers Don't Act Like This

What bugged me intensely is how grown-up the main characters Owen and Annabel are acting. Teenagers that age are moody, irreponsible and don't care much about anything besides themselves. It's not a cliche, if you know people that age, you know it's true. You might want to argue: Not all of them are like this- but making the two main characters be so ridiculously compassionate, understanding and grown-up just made me shake my head. Annabel's family is falling apart and she is too, yet she's so selflessly doing everything to make everyone happy. There are no rash decisions, no teenage tantrums, nothing. The only times teenagers in the novel act up is due to some kind of mental issue or due to being the antagonists.

Especially with Owen I straight up had the feeling that Dessen was talking through him like a puppet. He sounds nothing like a teenage boy. Having obscure interests is one thing, but making him this sort of super precocious and at the same time wiser than his years kind of guy doesn't make him attractive as a love interest, it just makes me roll my eyes. The majority of people twice his age I know aren't as grown-up as him and it's just not a flattering personality trait if you want your audience to like him. In general I think the novel would have worked so, so, so, so much better with twenty-something main characters instead of pretentious sixteen year olds.

Still, I can't deny that Dessen's characters are well thought out. You can clearly see that she put thought into building them, but it's just over the top to me. I couldn't really like anyone in the novel and if you don't empathize with the characters, it's hard to have fun reading. It took me forever to finish this novel for that exact reason. (Characters 3/5)

The Story is Going Nowhere

While we do have these insanely planned.out characters with their dramatic backstories, there is no clear plot line. There's no way to tell what exactly this novel is about. First there's a bunch of flashbacks, then it flips back to the past and then we go back to flashbacks again. You feel like a ping-pong ball reading this. If you've paid attention at least a bit, you can tell from page three on that this is a novel about rape. It's absolutely clear what happened that led to Annabel and Sophie not being friends anymore and the evolving friendship between Owen and Annabel is just extremely boring and unrealistic. (Plot 2/5)




Overall: Do I Recommend?

I'm disappointed with Sarah Dessen's writing. It's the first novel of hers that I've read and it's certainly going to be the last. I had to force myself to continue reading and absolutely didn't enjoy it at all. The characters are well thought out and the writing is alright, I have to acknowledge that, but it's just not an interesting read. I almost fell asleep reading this.

"Last year, Annabel was "the girl who has everything" — at least that's the part she played in the television commercial for Kopf's Department Store.

This year, she's the girl who has nothing: no best friend because mean-but-exciting Sophie dropped her, no peace at home since her older sister became anorexic, and no one to sit with at lunch. Until she meets Owen Armstrong.

Tall, dark, and music-obsessed, Owen is a reformed bad boy with a commitment to truth-telling. With Owen's help, maybe Annabel can face what happened the night she and Sophie stopped being friends.

German Cover, dtv


Additional Info:

Original Title: Just Listen
Author: Sarah Dessen
Published: April 6th 2006 
Pages: 383
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
Cover:  Viking Books for Young Readers, 2006
Genre: YA / General
ISBN: 9780670061051

Recommended for Fans of:
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
You Against Me by Jenny Downham

Have you read books by Sarah Dessen? 

How did you like this one?

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