Friday, March 19, 2010

Tangled Review

Title: Tangled

Author: Carolyn Macker

Release Date: December 2009

Summary (from ):

Paradise wasn't supposed to suck.

Not the state of being, but a resort in the Caribbean.

Jena, Dakota, Skye, and Owen are all there for different reasons, but at Paradise their lives become tangled together in ways none of them can predict. Paradise will change them all.

It will change Jena, whose first brush with romance takes her that much closer to having a life, and not just reading about those infinitely cooler and more exciting.

It will change Dakota, who needs the devastating truth about his past to make him realize that he doesn't have to be a jerk just because people think he's one.

It will change Skye, a heartbreakingly beautiful actress, who must come to terms with the fact that for once she has to stop playing a role or face the consequences.

And it will change Owen, who has never risked anything before and who will take the leap from his online life to a real one all because of a girl he met at Paradise. . . .

From confused to confident and back again, one thing's certain: Four months after it all begins, none of them will ever be the same.

Character Development: 9/10pts
Originality: 9/10pts
Plot/Story Line: 8/10pts
Ending: 7/10pts
Voice: 10/10pts
Recommendation: 10/10pts
Total Score: 53/60

Grade: A

Age Appropriate Rating:
Cussing: 7/10
Drugs, alcohol, etc.: 5/10
Sexual Content: 7/10

Violence/Disturbing Images: 4/10

Written Review:
I read this in 3 days. I don’t read books in 3 days. I can usually finish a book in one week if the book is super great but almost never can I finish in 3 days. I’m that slow of a reader. That alone should be the review and should convince you to go pick up this book but I’ll go ahead and continue anyway with my reasons just to assure you that it’s as great as my 3 days makes it seem.

Number 1: The characters were great. Relatable, Real, and each with interconnecting stories to tell. Each had their own voice that was very distinguishable. As the point of view changed the voice clearly did too so no perspectives ever got blurred. And each voice was entertaining to read also. They were all real characters with such distinct personalities that I felt like I knew each one individually and connecting with the characters really made this book shine.

Number 2: The stories were so well thought out. The way the four stories intertwined from beginning to end flowed so perfectly and that made them that much more relatable and all too real. We’re introduced to each character by the first narrative but didn’t fully get to know them and their perspective on events around them until their own narratives. And when we finally did get to hear their say, I loved the moment when things started to connect and make more sense. And you’d flip back to that part of the novel and think “that’s why this happened and why she said that” or “so when she said that she was really thinking this”. Their stories still held a common theme. As each character dealt with their own set of insecurities and worries, their individual stories weaved together a theme of understanding and learning to accept what you cannot change and change what you can.

Number 3: Their stories were absolutely, positively, perfectly tangled up and I could not get enough of them. They were about how we are all tangled up somehow, much more than we know. About how one quick connection can make a difference in someone’s mood, day, and even life. It’s about the lasting affects that just reaching out to others can cause. Tangled tells four separate yet interlocking stories about love, redemption, heartache, and the power of one. I recommend this well written novel, full of heart and humor, to everyone.

Thanks and be sure to pick this one up soon! I think it makes the perfect read for a nice spring day!


Saturday, March 6, 2010

Keep Sweet Review

Title: Keep Sweet
Author: Michele Dominguez Greene
Release Date: March 9, 2010

Summary (from ):

Alva Jane has never questioned her parents, never questioned her faith, never questioned her future. She is content with the strict rules that define her life in Pineridge, the walled community where she lives with her father, his seven wives, and her twenty-eight siblings. This is the only world Alva has ever known, and she has never thought to challenge it.
But everything changes when Alva is caught giving her long-time crush an innocent first kiss. Beaten, scorned, and now facing a forced marriage to a violent, fifty-year old man, Alva suddenly realizes how much she has to lose—and how impossible it will be to escape.

Character Development: 10/10pts
Originality: 10/10pts
Plot/Story Line: 10/10pts
Ending: 8/10pts
Voice: 8/10pts
Recommendation: 10/10pts
Total Score: 56/60
Grade: A+

Age Appropriate Rating:
Cussing: 0/10
Drugs, alcohol, etc.: 0/10
Sexual Content: 9/10
Violence/Disturbing Images: 10/10

Written Review:

Sitting down to write this review tons of words come to mind. Horrifying. Shocking. Appalling. Inexcusable.  Scandalous. Disgusting. Strange. Addicting.
And all of those words accurately display the themes in this novel.  This book did shock me multiple times.  It made me wonder who could ever live this way? Could ever see this as normal? As okay? But as strange as it is, this novel is very addicting. I was hooked into this mysterious world from the very first page until the last. It exposes some of the hidden truths many wonder about the FLDS’s secretive life in such a clear and well written way that you can really begin to understand the scene, the people, and the lifestyle.
The plot never stopped moving as more and more shocking truths about the ways of the FLDS were uncovered each chapter.  The character of Alva Jane developed really well. Though the truths in this book were haunting to the reader, they were normal, day to day routine for her.  But as insane commands, punishments, and expulsions were ordered, Alva was brought more and more into the light.  Her character developed very gradually and believably.  The rest of the characters had just as distinct personalities through Alva’s narrative. 
Though some parts of this book were predictable to me, there were enough twists in the plot to keep me interested.  It was also very descriptive. From their way of life down to their way of intimacy, this novel overflowed with details. Some of the images seem hauntingly real which makes me want to recommend this to an older audience.
Overall, I really did love Keep Sweet. Yes it was shocking, and haunting, and absolutely horrifying to see how these people lived (and the most horrifying part of it all is that it’s real. People really see this as right, as the pathway to heaven and to being with God.) But it’s also a well written novel that gives insight into a very different and secretive world where the lines between what society sees as acceptable and what they do are very, very blurred.  Powerful and heartbreaking, the words on these pages will forever linger long after you’ve finished reading.