Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Review: Sean Griswold's Head

Title:  Sean Griswold's Head
Author:  Lindsey Leavitt

     From GoodReads, "According to her guidance counselor, fifteen-year-old Payton Gritas needs a focus object—an item to concentrate her emotions on. It's supposed to be something inanimate, but Payton decides to use the thing she stares at during class: Sean Griswold's head. They've been linked since third grade (Griswold-Gritas—it's an alphabetical order thing), but she's never really known him.
The focus object is intended to help Payton deal with her father's newly diagnosed multiple sclerosis. And it's working. With the help of her boy-crazy best friend Jac, Payton starts stalking—er, focusing on—Sean Griswold . . . all of him! He's cute, he shares her Seinfeld obsession (nobody else gets it!) and he may have a secret or two of his own."

     First off, I love the cover and title of this book.  I know Sean Griswold's Head sounds like a weird title (and it kind of is), but when you read the book (and you should!), it makes complete and total sense.  I have not ever read a book by author, Lindsey Leavitt, but I am looking forward to reading another and thankfully, Princess for Hire is available.  I absolutely love Leavitt's writing style, kind of sarcastic and sweet at the same time.
     The main story line was interesting because even though the main character, Payton, is dealing with a lot, she's kind of in denial about it, which was very realistic. I liked how the author weaved so many different nuances into the story.  It was never predictable and I love that.  
     The main character is strongly written and most good books are, but the supporting characters are also strong, which makes this a truly enjoyable read.  Everything that Payton went through I could identify with, but it also made me think about the situation in a whole different way.  I think the best thing about this book is the sweetness of the story.  It has family values, young romance, and no inappropriate language or sex scenes which makes it easy to recommend to not only YA readers, but younger readers as well.  It also doesn't have any werewolves or vampires (well maybe one!) that are so prevalent in today's YA fiction, which makes me like it even more!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Review: The Education of Hailey Kendrick

Title:  The Education of Hailey Kendrick
Author:  Eileen Cook 

     From Amazon, "Hailey Kendrick always does exactly what's expected of her.  She has the right friends, dates the perfect boy, gets good grades, and follows all the rules. But one night, Hailey risks everything by breaking a very big rule in a very public way...and with a very unexpected partner in crime. Hailey gets caught, but her accomplice does not, and Hailey takes the fall for both of them.
Suddenly, Hailey's perfect life--and her reputation--are blowing up in her face. Her friends are all avoiding her. Her teachers don't trust her. Her boyfriend won't even speak to her for long enough to tell her that she's been dumped.

They say honesty is the best policy--but some secrets are worth keeping, no matter the cost. Or are they?" 

     Occasionally I will email or write an author to tell them that I really like their book, but in this case, I couldn't even wait until the end to let author, Eileen Cook, know how much I liked this book.  (I actually emailed her twice, which may have caused her to worry that I have stalker syndrome).
     I have to say that I liked many things about this book, but my favorite was the main character, Hailey Kendrick.  I know that Hailey is a fictional character, but she seemed so real that I truly felt as if I knew her.  I liked the fact that she was flawed and had problems, but was still willing to work on herself and had integrity.  I found myself rooting for her and actually yelling at the people who mistreated her (out loud... no less, which added to piling up evidence that I'm strange!) It also seemed that every time that Hailey tried to do the right thing somehow it always backfired on her and she would add to her problems instead of solving them.  (I think I identified with this so much because I do it all of the time.)
     Needless to say, I really liked this book!  It is the perfect choice for a quick read that makes you laugh and think at the same time.  I can't wait to see when Eileen Cook's next book comes out... (I promise I won't email stalk you!)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Review: Babe in Boyland

Title: Babe in Boyland
Author: Jody Gehrman

     From GoodReads, "Natalie, a seventeen-year-old former drama club member who now writes a relationship column for her school newspaper, decides to go undercover as a student at an all-boys boarding school so that she can figure out what guys are really like."

     First off, I have to say that I love, love, love the cover!  Haven't seen anything like it before.  Secondly, I am a huge fan of the movie She's the Man (and no, it isn't because hottie Channing Tatum is in it!) and this book reminded me of that movie a couple of times.  The girl on the front cover kind of looks like Amanda Bynes... but I digress.
     I liked that the main character, Natalie, who writes a column for the student newspaper under a male pseudonym, feels like she isn't appreciated by the know-it-all editors and decides to do something about it.    She decides to go undercover at an all-boys boarding school to figure out the male psyche. (I know tough assignment!) Anyways, after finding out she's rooming with Emilio, the sensitive and sexy doormie (cue Channing Tatum), the reader knows that she's in for a challenge.
     Overall, I really liked the book, but was somewhat disappointed by Natalie's letter towards the end of the book and thought that author, Jody Gehrman, could have delved a little deeper into the "male world" than she did. But with it's hijinks and humor, Babe in Boyland is sure to be a hit with teenage girls.

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