Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Nature of Jade by Deb Caletti

Hey guys! I figured out what was up with my computer. For some reason my charger decided t stop working out of no where. I'm borrowing my roommate's charger now so I have a review for you guys! Today's book is The Nature of Jade by Deb Caletti. The description is here:

Since being diagnosed with Panic Disorder, Jade DeLuna is trying her best to stay calm, and visiting the elephants at the nearby zoo seems to help. That’s why Jade keeps the live zoo webcam on in her room, and where she first sees Sebastian.
When she finally meets him, their connection is immediate, and soon Jade is drawn into Sebastian’s life with his son and his grandmother on their Seattle houseboat. Even though the situation is complicated, Jade hasn’t felt this safe in a long time.
Until she learns that Sebastian is hiding a terrible secret. A secret that will force Jade to decide between what is right, and what feels right...

This book was AMAZING! I think this book is in a tie with my favorite book of Deb Caletti's. The Nature of Jade and The Six Rules of Maybe are up for the number one spot but I can't choose! This book was very different from anything I've ever read. I loved the concept of the zoo. It made me even look up my local zoo and see if they had any job openings (they don't, unfortunately). From the description, I was a little iffy on what was going to happen with Sebastian but it turned out to be a very realistic and great plot twist. It reminded me a little of One Tree Hill, which I absolutely love.
Deb's writing never ceases to amaze me. She has such a way with words that makes her perfect for being an author, especially for YA. I think my favorite line in this book was, "Your sibling, after all, is the only other person in the world who understands how fucked up your parents made you." LOVE IT! It's something I can definitely relate to.
This book is all about first love, self discovery, and the all around hardships of being a teenage girl. Deb Caletti has definitely done it again with this one. I hope you all go out and rent or buy this one so you have a chance to read it. I can say that this book impacted my life. I hope you like it! Happy reading :)

Okay, I just have to add this. Does anybody watch Scrubs? If you don't, you should. If you do, you are living a full life. I have to share this awesome show finale. I mean, it doesn't get much better than this. Every time I watch all of the seasons back to back, this scene always makes me cry! If you watch the show, you know what I'm talking about. And I'm totally stealing this Book of Love song for my wedding someday. Hope you enjoy!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Wesley Scroggins/Book Banning

Hey everyone. I just hopped on one of the computers they have in my dorm's lobby so I could post about a serious issue going on in the YA book world.
Like I said on my previous post, there are some censorship issues going on with a couple YA books. Wesley Scroggins, an associate professor of management at Missouri State University, has called Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson filthy, immoral and PORNOGRAPHIC. That's right everyone, apparently, according to Scroggins, being raped is pornographic. He wants Speak, Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler, and Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut all banned from local schools and libraries.

First, I would like to talk about Speak and what it's about. Speak is about a realistic teenage girl going through things that EVERY REAL TEENAGE GIRL GOES THROUGH. Then, at a party, she gets raped. Yes, there are rape scenes but it's not overly detailed. And what if it was? What about those real girls who really did get raped? Since, according to Scroggins, these scenes are porographic, does that mean the girls who have been raped in real life are porn stars? Are you going to ban each girl, or guy for that matter, who has gotten raped from public schools and libraries also? Where does the line get drawn?
As many of you readers know, a lot of us turn to books to be comforted, to not feel so alone. There are so many girls out there who have been helped by books like Speak. Maybe they don't have the confidence to come out with what happened to them or don't know how to deal with it. What if they never got to read a book like Speak because it was banned? What if that book could have helped that girl like it helped so many others.
Speak is not about pornographic material and sex scenes. It's about realistic and serious problems that a lot of girls go through. Does Scroggins even know how many girls get raped in a year? Statistically, 1 in 3 girls have been sexually abused. 1 IN 3 PEOPLE. I just don't understand how he can say that this book is immoral and garbage when it has helped SO many girls out there. It's horrible.

Secondly, I want to talk about Twenty Boy Summer. WHAT THE HECK IS SCROGGINS TALKING ABOUT?! He says this about the book:
"This book glorifies drunken teen parties, where teen girls lose their clothes in games of strip beer pong. In this book, drunken teens also end up on the beach, where they use their condoms to have sex."
First of all, this book does not glorify anything. It's about 2 girls who lose a guy they love very deeply. This is just part of the story. And second, Sarah Ockler tells it how it is. That's how a lot of teens act now a days, with or without books being written about it. Is Scroggins blind? My cousin just went into ninth grade this year and barely reads anything at all. She has told me about people in her grade doing hard drugs, drinking, smoking, and having sex. They are not influenced by books like this. They are not going to read about parties and alcohol in a book and automatically just go crazy. Kids are doing things like drinking and having sex at younger and younger ages. Twenty Boy Summer only includes real life actions by teenagers. There is no glorifying in her book at all. Not once does she say it's a good idea or promotes the actions of her characters. And hey, at least her characters are using condoms.
This book is so much more than alcohol and sex. That is one minor detail in the whole entire book. I have reviewed this book in the past and I told you guys how much I loved it. It was about a girl and her best friend who go on vacation to try and heal their broken hearts after a dear friend has died. How many teenagers do you think go through things like this all the time? More than you'd think. So, to me, this book could be another way of feeling less alone and a way to figure out how to deal with your greif. This is another book that Scroggins wants to ban just because it's real. If he bans this book along with Speak, what's next? Banning books because of characters kissing or characters with divorced parents that act badly?

All in all, these books are about real life. That's why they are considered Contemp YA. Scroggins wants to ban these books because of one or two scenes with bad things in them. But like I said, what about those teens who actually have to DEAL with those problems EVERY DAY? Are we going to ban them too? For them, this isn't a story they can just pick up and finish whenever they want. To them, this is life. Very real life that they live through everyday. What about them, Scroggins?

If you guys want to share your thoughts, or learn more about the issue, go to Laurie Halse Anderson's blog, here:

She needs our help, and so do the other YA authors getting attacked out there. We can all make a difference by showing our YA love. So do what you can and let your voices be heard!

Computer broken!

Ahhhh! My computer battery is completely dead, even on the charger. My computer won't turn on at all. I am doing this post from my iPod touch but I can't do reviews from this thing. And I was just about to post my review of The Nature of Jade for you guys! Ughh, well, I'm not sure when it'll be fixed but I'm trying to get a new battery. I'm sorry for the inconvenience guys :(

In the meantime, have you guys heard about the banning of Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson and Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler?! People are crazy now! If you have a Twitter account and want to speak your mind, tweet your message with #speakloudly at the end of it. Also, Sarah Ockler and one or two other authors are having a contest to win these banned books. If you're interested, go to their blogs or Twitter for more info. Have a great day and happy reading!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Hello everyone! Yes, I know it is 2:30am but I am leaving for vacation in about an hour so I figured I'd post a last minute review for you guys. This one is Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. The description is here:

Anna was looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. So she's less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris — until she meets √Čtienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, √Čtienne has it all . . . including a serious girlfriend.
But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?

Holy Frick! First of all, look at that GORGEOUS cover! B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L is all I have to say. Second of all, this book was amazing! I was so excited to read this book that I started reading it as soon as I got home and finished it that night. I'm a big sucker for love stories, and this one was definitely one of my favorites. Stephanie Perkins' writing is like a mixture between Sarah Dessen, Susane Colasanti, and Kristen Walker, which are all amazing authors. This book is full of comedy, love, and a bunch of Parisian goodness! I would definitely let Stephanie write my life if she was going to make it like this. This book was very refreshing and made me remember why I love reading so much.
Unfortunately, this book doesn't come out until December, but you guys have to get your hands on it when it comes out. You will not be disappointed, I promise!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Tips on Having a Gay (ex) Boyfriend by Carrie Jones

Hello everyone! Today I have a review for you :) I stayed up until 2am to finish it! It's called Tips on Having a Gay (ex) Boyfriend by Carrie Jones. I never heard of the author or the book until I found it in my library, so I was happy to have found it. The description is:

It isn’t every day that my high school boyfriend, Eastbrook High School’s Harvest King, tells me he’s gay. It’s not every day that the Harvest Queen is dumped in the middle of a road with the stars watching the humiliation and the dogs barking because they want to come help tear my heart out and leave it on the cold gray ground. It isn’t every day that my entire world falls apart.
Belle believes that Dylan is her true love—maybe even her soulmate. Until one cold night when Dylan drops the ultimate bomb: he’s gay. Where, Belle wonders, does that leave her? Should she have somehow been able to tell? Is every guy that she loves going to turn out to be gay?

My friend ended up reading this book first, so when she told me it was good I knew I had to read it. I thought it turned out pretty good! I was hoping the book would be funny but it really only made me laugh once. Other than that, it was a good story. I absolutely fell in love with Tom as soon as I saw his sweet side. I need to get me one of him! The book as a whole was pretty moving, in a way. It really makes you think about who you are and what choices you make. I felt bad for Belle in a lot of the book but then again, she found Tom, like, 5 seconds after the whole Dylan-is-gay thing. Wouldn't it be awesome if handsome, romantic, sweet, and tall guys popped out of no where, just when we need them to in real life?
Anyway, I loved this story and I am definitely going to get the sequel when I go back home. I hope you guys give this book a chance, even if it doesn't sound like your cup of tea. Happy reading and expect ANOTHER review tomorrow because I just finished The Nature of Jade by Deb Caletti!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Update + YA Contemps blog

Sorry everyone! I haven't posted anything in almost a month! I have been working on getting back into the groove of school work. First I had to move back into my dorm and then I had to get a hang of my classes. But all is well now and I can finally get back to reviewing!
Exciting news for today though! I just got a new ARC in the mail. It's called Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. It sounds really cool so I'm excited to start reading it. Especially because my sister has a boyfriend who lives in Paris!
I also got a Sarah Dessen Lock and Key necklace! I won it in a book cover contest on one of her official websites I told you guys about-- Sarah-land. I will post a picture of it as soon as I get my hands on it, but unfortunately the book and necklace are at home and I'm at school!
Thanks for everyone who has been hanging in there and checking the blog for more reviews! Now that I'm back at school I'll have more time to get you guys some reviews. I'm currently working on reading Tips on Having a Gay Ex-boyfriend, Imaginary Enemy, The Nature of Jade, and Anna and the French Kiss!

Now on to the next part of today's post. There is a new and very awesome website up called YA Contemps. I'll post the linked image at the bottom of this post and also on the sidebar of this blog so you guys can check it out anytime! This website is hosted by a bunch of YA contemperary authors, such as Sarah Ockler and Elizabeth Scott. It is definitely worth checking out so make sure you head over there! They have stuff going on almost every day of the week, including contests and personal high school stories and pictures.

PS: If you guys want to follow me on twitter, here's the link:
I mostly just write to authors and will update on when I have a new post on the blog. I'll also be adding links to cool author contests where you can win free stuff. Also, let me know if you want me to post and links for information on the publishing industry.
Here is the YA Contemps link banner:
Celebrate realistic YA with The Contemps!