Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Published by Anchor Canada; August 28, 2007
Paperback, 229 pages

Far in the future, the World Controllers have created the ideal society. Through clever use of genetic engineering, brainwashing and recreational sex and drugs, all its members are happy consumers. Bernard Marx seems alone in feeling discontent. Harbouring an unnatural desire for solitude, and a perverse distaste for the pleasure of compulsory promiscuity, Bernard has an ill-defined longing to break free. A visit to one of the few remaining Savage Reservations, where the old, imperfect life still continues, may be the cure for his distress.… Huxley’s ingenious fantasy of the future sheds a blazing light on the present and is considered to be his most enduring masterpiece.

- Description from

* Note the cover for Brave New World: It is Vintage Canada's edition and it is so absolutely wonderful. It's creepy and so clever.

Whew. What a long short book this was! I mean, 272 pages can seem like 500! There was so much going on and I am amazed at what the author was able to do. Let me start with this: Aldous Huxley must have spent at LEAST two years figuring this all out. Everything in this book was so well thought-out and planned and detailed. 

Now, I've seen some mixed reviews on Goodreads. People talking about how it's unbelievable and the storyline is crappy and this and that but MY opinion is this:

Aldous is a freaking genius. We've held so many discussions on this book in class that only before I have my big test on this book can I look back and say this. I've already mentioned how well planned this book was and I'll say it again...and again....and again. The things he thought up of! And the naming of the characters! All were so brilliant and so obviously from the mind of a genius. One thing that I really found interesting was the fact that Aldous was able to write a tale about a world so much like our own in the sense that I could definitely see our society going down this path. Perhaps not to such an extreme but yes, something like it. It's crazy. So so crazy.

The writing was confusing. I just couldn't keep up with the switching points of view. One second we were analyzing Lenina's thoughts and the next, John's. It was frustrating to have to constantly go back and reread to understand. If you're considering reading this book, know this: you need a lot of focus to read Brave New World. A lot. You CANNOT just blank out and skim. It doesn't work that way, trust me, I know. I've done it and have ended up needing to go onto SparkNotes to catch on everything I've missed.

The story was oddly paced. It was interesting but John, who was such a major character, was only introduced to us after a third of the book or so. After the introduction to him, everything else went by so fast which was quite different than the beginning which was drawn out really long. Which is understandable, after all, the author does need to spend some time to explain the society to us, but still weird.

Despite these minuses, I was still absolutely enthralled and captured by Brave New World. It made me look at our society in a new light. I understand and agree that it's not a masterpiece but the World State itself is the reason why you should read this. You WILL marvel at the detail and you WILL be glad you read this. It is a classic, after all. 


PS My test is tomorrow and I am really scared. HELP!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison

Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison
Confessions of Georgia Nicholson #1
Published by HarperTeen; June 24, 1999
Paperback, 247 pages
Borrowed from library

There are six things very wrong with my life:

1. I have one of those under-the-skin spots that will never come to a head but lurk in a red way for the next two years.

2. It is on my nose

3. I have a three-year-old sister who may have peed somewhere in my room.

4. In fourteen days the summer hols will be over and then it will be back to Stalag 14 and Oberfuhrer Frau Simpson and her bunch of sadistic teachers.

5. I am very ugly and need to go into an ugly home.

6. I went to a party dressed as a stuffed olive.

- Description from

Before I begin, I would just like to sincerely apologize for the lame-ass blurb from Goodreads. I can't find my copy and I'm too lazy to move. Argh. 

This is actually a REREAD review. The first time I read this book was in sixth grade and to be honest, it was MUCH better then than it is now. MUCH. Georgia is stupid and annoying and I want to punch her. She complains too much and why Robbie? He's eighteen, waaaaay too old for her and I do not get how Robbie could have fallen in love with her or whatever. Three quarters of the time he was upset with her. When did that change? 

Reading this book seemed like a chore or a duty rather than something I wanted and chose to do. But that certainly could have stemmed from the fact that I had read it before. Even so, I think I'd have rather just left it where I stopped. I'm definitely curious as to what happens at the end but there are ten books. Ten. So I'm probably just going to end up searching the books online. 

On the plus side, it is hilarious as Louise is. There were many LOL moments. *Update* OHMIGOD, so hilarious. Haha, read the quotes on Goodreads. Read them. On the minus side, Georgia is a snobby character. 

Good for a mindless rainy day spent on a train, bad for a breezy sunny day spent on a swing on your porch.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn

Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn
Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers; May 23, 2006
Paperback, 183 pages

It all starts when Nick asks Norah to be his girlfriend for five minutes. He only needs five minutes to avoid his ex-girlfriend, who’s just walked in to his band’s show. With a new guy. And then, with one kiss, Nick and Norah are off on an adventure set against the backdrop of New York City—and smack in the middle of all the joy, anxiety, confusion, and excitement of a first date.

This he said/she said romance told by YA stars Rachel Cohn and David Levithan is a sexy, funny roller coaster of a story about one date over one very long night, with two teenagers, both recovering from broken hearts, who are just trying to figure out who they want to be—and where the next great band is playing.

Told in alternating chapters, teeming with music references, humor, angst, and endearing side characters, this is a love story you’ll wish were your very own. Working together for the first time, Rachel Cohn and David Levithan have combined forces to create a book that is sure to grab readers of all ages and never let them go.

- Description from

I read Nick and Norah for my book club and it was amazing! I'd been planning on reading it beforehand and I'm so glad that I got to this Rachel and David book last! It was by far the best!

The characters and the settings were so superbly written - it was as if I was there with Nick and Norah! Reading it was so comfortable and because it was so enthralling, I experienced my own type of whirlwind romance...with this book!

Yes, there was a lot of swearing but I think that that made it more real. Teens swear! A LOT! It's completely irrational to think that we don't! And yeah, it was a bit much but this is the reality. And it sucks but that's life. Like I said, the swearing made it more real. The fact that love could thaw these two people so tough and sweary and with so much baggage is unbelievable.

Love. Love. Love. This is an amazing book if you're searching for true love. How love comes about. How love can be expressed. How love is scary. The feelings are so real, it's amazing.

I'm going to keep this short and sweet: Guys, seriously, you have to read this book. I don't care if you hate swearing or whatever, read this book. Now. You will not regret it.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Sarah Dessen Book Challenge

Yes, you thought I was gone, didn't you? Well, I'm back!!! I've been on Ginger Reads lately and I noticed this.

Do you see that? See the words in blue? A Sarah Dessen Book Challenge! How awesome is that? So naturally, I'd scroll down and click on this link.

And what did I find? The sign up post for the Sarah Dessen Book Challenge! And so I signed up and I suggest you do as well! Sarah Dessen is awesome and I love her! Getting a chance to read her books while chatting with others about them is amazing! So much fun!

The Deets:

1. The Sarah Dessen Book Challenge is hosted by I Eat Words.
2. Starting in February, a Sarah Dessen book will be read each month for the rest of the year!
3. No rules, no prizes, just fun! 

And here is the book list:

February: Just Listen
March: This Lullaby
April: Dreamland
May: The Truth About Forever
June: The Moon and More
July: That Summer
August: Along for the Ride
September: Someone Like You
October: Keeping the Moon
November: What Happened to Goodbye
December: Lock and Key

So if you are interested, head over to I Eat Words to sign up! Happy Reading! :)

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Peaches by Jodi Lynn Anderson

Peaches by Jodi Lynn Anderson
Published by HarperTeen; June 1, 2005
Paperback, 368 pages
Borrowed from library

In a Ya-Ya Sisterhood for teens, Peaches combines three unforgettable heroines who have nothing in common but the troubles that have gotten them sentenced to a summer of peach picking at a Georgia orchard.

Leeda is a debutante dating wrong-side-of-the-tracks Rex.

Murphy, the wildest girl in Bridgewater, likes whichever side Rex is on.

Birdie is a dreamer whose passion for Girl Scout cookies is matched only by her love for a boy named Enrico.

When their worlds collide, The Breakfast Club meets The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants in an entirely original and provocative story with a lush, captivating setting.

- Description from

I love me a good friendship! And Peaches definitely brought it!

One thing I noticed a lot when I first read this book were the comparisons to The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants. And then I was like, Crappity Crap Crap Crap, because I LOVED The Sisterhood. I mean, no one can POSSIBLY beat the ultimate foursome's friendship. No one. So yeah, I think you can understand why I was be a bit worried for this book which sounded SO GOOD. Is there any possible way I can NOT compare it to The Sisterhood? 

But, acutally, I was surprised! I zoomed through this book without ever having to think of The Sisterhood once! It was so different and the characters were gorgeous. The only complaint I really have is that it seemed odd for them to have such a quick road trip, even if it is only on the pages. It was just weird. It went by so fast whereas the other bits were quite stretched out. And also, I think the transition between school during summer and ACTUAL summer holiday farm fun should be better. It took me a while to figure that all out.

BUT, besides all this, it was amazing! It read like a movie and everything was awesome! I loved Murphy's carefree personality, Leeda's not-so carefree one, and Birdie's shy-ish one. They blended together perfectly!

Definitely should read this if you are a fan of The Sisterhood. It was quite a treat! Though you might want to read it during the summer...

Sunday, January 13, 2013

S.A.S.S. Series Review

I have an obsession with this series. Why? Three things: travelling, awesome girls, and boys. WHY ELSE WOULD I READ A BOOK??? OK, no, that's not legit but yes, those are some very good reasons why I might choose to read a book. Anyway, I've noticed today that I've read quite a few of these and I've loved them all, so I decided I should write a review on the ones I've finished so far.

S.A.S.S. stands for Students Across the Seven Seas which is a worldwide exchange program for high school students. It's also the name of the series. The books are not related to each other in any way, it's more of a compilation of books written by different authors about similar themes.

The Finnish Line by Linda Gerber

Yes, you've got it right! The Finnish Line is indeed set in Finland. It follows the story of Mo Clark, the daughter of an Olympic-medal winning skier as she travels to Finland as an exchange student in the S.A.S.S. program. Her objective in Finland? To step out of her famous family's skiing achievements, and to do something on her ski jumping at the Finnish Lahti Ski Games. BUT, she sucks compared to the other contestants. Enter Leevi, an outcast who just so happens to be gorgey and awesome at skiing. He offers her his help in return for some publicity. And that's about all I can tell you without spoiling the book.

Now this definitely wasn't the best S.A.S.S. book but I enjoyed it nonetheless. I found it a bit rushed, especially towards the end. The author was just trying to fit so much stuff in the second half that when I look back at the first half, I can hardly remember what happened. That was a problem. Also, it was very cliche. Usually I don't have a HUGE problem with this but it was SO obvious in this book when you read the second half. The author just wanted to pack in all the clichest cliche romance moments and what happened? Overload. Another thing, how did Leevi speak English so well? And Tapio? So many other Finnish characters had crap English...and I'm kind of confused...maybe they are actually secret Americans??? Who knows? And how did Mo get so good that she could jump in the games? That wasn't really told in much detail. She just practiced a lot with Leevi but how do WE know that she wasn't really making out with him??? It wasn't explained!!! 

OK, yes, I know, I'm getting a bit nit-picky and questiony but I really was kind of disappointed with this book. I mean, on S.A.S.S. standards. Still, not bad. And it’s a quick read!

The Sound of Munich by Suzanne Nelson

Definitely not one of the better, more sense-ical titles, but the book was just as squealy as the others. Siena Bernstein is a bohemian girl from Santa Barbara, off to Germany for a fun, new experience and also to track down Peter Schwalm, the man who helped her dad's family escape from Germany during the Berlin Wall era. And like all the other books, there is a guy. Of course.

I would actually go so far to say that this book TOTALLY disappointed. I mean, I loved the Carpe Diem idea and it actually inspired me to continue updating my bucket list but it felt like it took a backseat to the romance. It was there, totally, but it wasn't a very PROMINENT part of the book. Because when I think back on this book, all I really remember is Stefan. I don't remember the whole Peter thing or the friendship or the annoying Briana. I remember Stefan. Like, the list was such a good idea and it had TONS of potential to make a S.A.S.S. novel MORE than just a chick lit. OHMIGOD. I don't even know why you would bother with the Carpe Diem thing if it's not even going to be the thing that readers remember most. JUST SAY IT'S A ROMANCE AND BE DONE WITH IT. I also didn't really get the RA-student didn't make sense and felt a bit awkward at points. And I don't think it's the awkward that the author meant for me to feel.

So yes, this book was disappointing. It had so much potential to be awesome and make S.A.S.S. readers really FEEL but :( Good if you're not expecting too much other than a fluff romance.

Westminster Abby by Micol Ostow

In Westminster Abby, Abby travels to London because her parents force her to go to get over her boyfriend, James. While in London, Abby works hard to reinvent herself and be funner and less like vanilla. (re: synopsis) And she meets a gorgey porgey boy named Ian.

I'll be honest with you, I set my expectations higher for this book than the others. Not because of Micol, but because of Britland! I LURRVE Britain and everything about it. I'm what you would call...obsessed. So I expected this to be really fun and awesome and fun! And it was! I can say without a doubt it was better than the two other books. It didn't attempt to deal with big themes so I didn't feel let down.

However, OHMIGOD, Ian and Abby. What was their relationship based on??? I know it's hard to compress a three month storyline into 250 pages but I had no idea what happened! They moved so fast: one page they were flirting, and the next they're off to meet his parents!!! WAIT, back up, did I miss something??? And, OHMIGOD, James. I hated him but then I loved him but GOD, Abby was such an idiot!!! I mean, DID YOU FORGET ABOUT IAN??? YOUR BOYFRIEND???

And Abby was terribly irresponsible the entire time. I mean, acting the way she did is certainly not the way to get your parents to STOP being overprotective. That's lesson number one in getting what you want. The outcome of this was quite shocking, and to be frank, if I were her parents, I would flipping out. Really.

But other than that, it was very awesome! Highly enjoyable and though Abby was aggravating at times, it was quite realistic. Including the relationships...Or at least, a part of the relationships. And of course, England! Can you possibly ask for a better S.A.S.S. setting???

Overall Thoughts of the Series:

Words cannot explain how much I yearn to travel. And I love books, as you should know by now so obviously, this series is made for me! It's not the best written, doesn't have the best covers (to be honest, the girls are kind of creepy), but definitely has a lot of charm, hot guys, and fun! It's all about fun! Not taking the books too seriously (what are the chances of falling in love with your RA anyway???) and just relaxing! Perfect after a TOUGH book or for when you just want to smile! Read with caramel popcorn. :)

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Withering Tights by Louise Rennison

Withering Tights by Louise Rennison
Misadventures of Tallulah Casey #1
Published by HarperTeen; June 28, 2011
Hardcover, 288 pages
Borrowed from library

Wow. This is it. This is me growing up. On my own, going to Performing Arts College. This is good-bye, Tallulah, you long, gangly thing, and hellooooo, Lullah, star of stage.

Tallulah Casey is ready to find her inner artist. And some new mates. And maybe a boy or two or three.

The ticket to achieving these lofty goals? Enrolling in a summer performing arts program, of course. She's bound for the wilds of Yorkshire Dales--eerily similar to the windswept moors of Wuthering Heights. Tallulah expects new friends, less parental interference, and lots of drama. Acting? Tights? Moors? Check, check, check.

What she doesn't expect is feeling like a tiny bat's barging around in her mouth when she has her first snog.

Bestselling author Louise Rennison returns with her trademark wit, a hilarious new cast, and a brand-new cheeky heroine who is poised to discover plenty of opportunities for (mis)adventure!

- Description from

Yes, Louise is BBBAAACCCCKKK!!!!!! And with a brand-new series!!! Starring...Tallulah, Georgia's cousin! 

This (the whole family thing) was a bit iffy for me. I mean, YES, I luuurrve Georgia and I really can't get enough of her but...everything was so Georgia!!! Like, am I reading a story about Tallulah or Georgia??? This only happened about four times, but it's still a big question mark for me when I can't differentiate between two characters again and again.

What I'm going to say next might seem contradicting but it TOTALLY is not, so bear with me for a bit. I MISS GEORGIA. Because she was just so hilarious!!! I read her confessions during sixth grade and yes, she was quite...immature (?), but I loved her and I admit, I did wish that this book had a more Georgia vibe. Only for a second though. THEN, I was like, NOOOOO, I want Tallulah to be unique and original. And I think she was...a bit. 

DESPITE all this, I still really liked this book and the hilariousities kept me coming for more. Yes, it was a bit dull at some points, but it was quickly livened up again! If you want funny, LOL, ridiculous moments, YOU HAVE FOUND YOUR BOOK!


Saturday, January 5, 2013

The Rating System: Should I Have One?

The rating system is an important part in book blogging. Whether it's based on words, number, or letter grades, the rating system is highly beneficial to both bloggers and readers. So many pros...does this mean I should have one?

To me, the rating system is an enemy. I hate it. It's a terrible, terrible idea for the blogger-side of me. I'm indecisive and don't like offending people. If I were to see a review on which I gave a D minus, I would feel worse about it than I would if I had just wrote a lengthy post about the reasons why I didn't like the book. It feels harsh. And seeing that, I would most likely cop out of giving anything lower than a C completely. Which isn't very honest. Especially if I hated the book. There'd be a conflict of what is more important: being honest or feeling bad about giving such a low review. Of course, I'd go with the first but who wants something on their blog that bugs them? No one.

For the blogger-me, rating systems are also bad for GOOD books. I told you I'm indecisive. When a book is good, how do I know if it's a B plus or an A minus? How do I differentiate between the two? Or should I just have number ratings? But what if I need to go into decimals? What if whole numbers just don't cut it? How do I differentiate between a 3.4 and a 3.5? See what I mean? How do I decide? Unless someone has already wrote rules for this, I cannot put a rating system on my blog. Too much work.

BUT, readers. The only reason I'm even considering this at all. Rating systems make life SO MUCH easier for readers. If you don't have the time or the energy to read through a review and the author has a rating system, you're like, "OHMIGOD I LOVE YOU KISS THE EARTH KISS THE EARTH DO A LITTLE DANCE WHEEEEEEEEEEEE".
BTW, am I the only one who misses this show????

I know, because this happens to me. All. The. Time.

It's awesome, isn't it? It's the fact that it's so decisive that makes it work. Yes. You decide what it is and everyone else uses that to their benefit. Oh, an F? Not reading this book. But look, this one has an A plus plus! Yes, reading this book. But deciding is so HARD!!! I can't do that. I can't. No matter how much it would benefit my readers. Or...maybe I should? Hmmm, should I?

Update: After being on blogs and talking to some people, I have decided yes, I will use a rating system. But not a number system or a star system, a word system! This is way vaguer and helps me so much more! In this case, vague = clear. Yes? Yesh.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

7 Clues to Winning You by Kristin Walker

7 Clues to Winning You by Kristin Walker
Published by Razorbill; April 26, 2012
Paperback, 317 pages
Borrowed from library

When a humiliating picture of Blythe goes viral, she's instantly the target of ridicule at her new school. To salvage her reputation, Blythe teams up with Luke to win the Senior Scramble scavenger hunt. But Luke is an unlikely ally and potentially can't be trusted.

Perhaps it's his Shakespearean witticisms that reel Blythe in despite her better judgement . . . or maybe she just craves the thrill of the game. But as the hunt progresses, their relationship heats up. Soon their madcap mischief spirals out of control. Blythe is faced with arrest and expulsion, among other catastrophes - until Luke shows her what the Scramble (and love) is really about.

- Description from

Warning: This book is not part of a series. Yes, I thought so too but while reading, I wondered how Ms. Walker could possibly have spun a prequel to this and made it interesting. So don't be fooled by how much it looks like the companion novel to A Match Made in High School.

I loved this book and all its quirkiness and since a list is the way I want to go today, here's my list of things I loved.

1. Obviously, a lot of thought went into planning the details. At first sight, you feel the same way as Blythe does about her father's choice to move the family but THEN, toward the end, you find out the reason behind her father's actions that makes you want to hug him instead of yell at him.

2. Blythe is a kick-ass character! I love her rock-hard exterior and her soft, soft interior. It really helps the story's plot.

3. The scavenger hunt. Such a cool idea! I want this at my school!!!

4. Ms. Eulalie and Ms. Franny. They are absolutely hilarious and I LOVED every scene they were in. Again, with the whole exterior and interior thing. It appears they hate each other BUT it's so obvious they don't. Re: the end.

5. Luke, DUH! He's smart, nice, and gorgeous. Who could be more perfect for picture-perfect Blythe???

6. Shakespeare's many cameos in the novels. They underlined, bolded, and italicized Shakespeare's romanticness. Loved all the quotes!

Doesn't it sound wonderful? Yes, it is and you should definitely read this NOW. It's awesome!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Unraveling Isobel by Eileen Cook

Unraveling Isobel by Eileen Cook
Published by Simon Pulse; January 3, 2012
Hardcover, 304 pages
Borrowed from library

Isobel’s life is falling apart. Her mom just married some guy she met on the Internet only three months before and is moving them to his sprawling, gothic mansion off the coast of nowhere. Goodbye, best friend. Goodbye, social life. Hello, icky new stepfather, crunchy granola town, and unbelievably good-looking, officially off-limits stepbrother.

But on her first night in her new home, Isobel starts to fear that it isn’t only her life that’s unraveling—her sanity might be giving way too. Because either Isobel is losing her mind, just like her artist father did before her, or she’s seeing ghosts. Either way, Isobel’s fast on her way to being the talk of the town for all the wrong reasons.

- Descriptions from

Ohmigod, Eileen Cook, I LOVE YOU! And I totally don't mean that in a creepy way, I mean that in a totally-must-read-all-of-your-other-books-NOW! Cuz, girl, this book was AWESOME!

I loved Isobel, she was awesome and awesome and awesome. The schizophrenia really worked well in the story and although it was definitely a very comedic novel, the schizophrenia was taken very seriously and I appreciated that.

I hated Dick but since this is a you're-supposed-to-hate-him kind of hate, well done, Eileen! I REALLY wanted to stand up to him for Isobel and Nate and show Isobel's mom how dick-y he really was. (Heh, see what I did there?)

The thing with Nate and Isobel was kind of weird and reminded me a lot of Nathan and Whitley's relationship in A Midsummer's Nightmare. Not to mention, both guys share basically the same name. Yes, it's weird to think about step-siblings (although it became less weird at the end...but I won't spoil it for you!) in a romance (you can't help who you love!) but A Midsummer's definitely paved the way for me. I didn't feel as weird about it as I did when I first read A Midsummer's.

I also LOVED the mystery aspect of the book. YES! That's what made me love Eileen so much. Yes, she's hilarious and great at creating tension and giddiness but above all? She's able to make a book otherwise very cookie cutter and add a little spice to it, making it awesomely original and totally not cookie cutter! BUT it did not in any way take away from the romance-y, contemporary-y side of the book and I loved that too.

And I do believe Eileen is Canadian? YES, high five for Canucks! And if you're from Vancouver, congrats on making it to the Stanley Cup finals! And I was tots rooting for y'all!

:D Loved it, loved it, loved it! Get it now.