Thursday, January 6, 2011

If I Stay Book Review

If I Stay  is a young-adult novel written by Gayle Forman. It was published by Speak, a subsidiary of Penguin Publishers in April of 2010. The U.S. paperback has 272 pages divided over the course of 24-hours. It does not have chapters.
Synopsis: In the blink of an eye everything changes. Seventeen­year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall what happened afterwards, watching her own damaged body being taken from the wreck. Little by little she struggles to put together the pieces- to figure out what she has lost, what she has left, and the very difficult choice she must make. Heartwrenchingly beautiful, Mia's story will stay with you for a long, long time.
I gave this novel a 5/5 stars.
I have to say that this is one of the most honest and touching novels that I have ever read. The story centers around Mia, a teen-aged cellist who is the only member of her family to survive a horrific car accident. It follows her in the 24-hours following the crash as she decides whether to fight and live or to die and be with her family. The novel was well-thought-out and beautifully crafted. It has such a true tone and the dialogue is golden. Usually when I read dialogue in teen novels, I find that the author is not being true to the age. But not with If I Stay. Forman truly has a way with words. As a result, the characters, right down to the minor nurses, were really well-developed. The action wasn't rushed but it still moved foward. I think the flow is the appropriate word to describe it. The novel focused and was influenced greatly by music; it defines a lot of the book and the characters. I really like how Forman uses allusion to music in her descriptions. Her ability to balance between present while adding depth to Mia through flashbacks is good but her ability to do so using musical allusions is great. It adds a coherecy and unity that really makes the novel. This book will break your heart and fill you with life at the same time.
I just starts the Uglies Trilogy by Scott Westerfeld. I'll review those each individually.
Happy reading, ya'll!
xoxo Theresa
Book Nook Reviews

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Hunger Games Trilogy Review

The Hunger Games Trilogy is a series of novel written by young-adult author Suzanne Collins. It includes The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay. They were all published by Scholastic Press between 2008 and 2010. So I don't spoil the series, I will not give the full synopsis of the three novels.
This series received a 5/5 stars.
If I had to describe this novel in two words they would be: poignant and thought-provking. Not only does it involve themes of government oppression and poverty, but it uses them to stir thought and discussion. Collins isn't trying to exploit the themes. She is using the novel as a social commentary; to spark debate, to make people think. Reading the novel really gives me perspective on my own life and how much freedom I have. My worries are nothing compared to those of Katniss and the other children of the districts. Also, Collins has an amazing writing style that includes fast-paced action mixed with emotional and critical thoughts. Plus, the characterization is superb. Each character is their own person, with the central characters being very well-developed. Great themes, great action, and great characters.Please read these books!
Happy reading, everyone!
xoxo Book Nook Reviews

The Mark Book Review

The Mark is a novel by debut-author Jen Nadol. It was published in February of 2010 by Bloomsbury Press. Both the U.S. hardback and paperback have 228 pages spanning 30 chapters. The sequel is set to be published in September 2011.
Synopsis: Cassandra Renfield has always seen the mark- a glow around certain people reminiscent of candlelight. But the one time she mentioned it to someone else, the mark was dismissed as a trick of the light. Cassie starts to consider its rare occurrences insignificant-until the day she watches a man die. After searching her memories, Cassie realizes she can see a person's imminent death. Not how or where, only when: today. Armed with a vague understanding of the light, Cassie begins to explore her "gift," seeking those marked for death and porbing the line between decision and destiny. Through she's careful to hide her secret- even from her new philosophy-obsessed boyfriend- with each impending death comes the temptation to test fate. But so many questions remain. How does the mark work? Why is she the only one who sees it? And finally, the most important of all: If you know today is someone's last, should you tell them?
This book received a 3-4/5 stars. Certain parts, like the middle part of the book, received a 4/5. I wanted to like this novel but the combination of almost no driving-force behind the plot and the writing style made it impossible. While the idea of the book was behind fascinating, the first part of the book had nothing pushing it. I couldn't figure out what the rising action was. The second part of the book was really good and finally had a purpose. However, it was too little too late. As a result, the overall work suffered. I liked the characters, although Cassie was the only one who was developed. Also, the ending felt like a cop-out. If the author wanted to follow that plot line, she should have introduced it earlier in the story. I would recommend this book because it wasn't all that bad but don't expect too much.