Monday, 25 February 2013

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Anna and the French Kiss
Anna is 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. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris--until she meets Étienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, Étienne 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?

I was a little dubious about starting this book as the hype surrounding it was like no other and I don't tend to be a fan of contemporary romances. However, having been pleasantly surprised by Pushing the Limits, I decided to at least give it a go. And I may have absolutely fallen in love with it. Just a bit.

As soon as I had read the first page, I knew I was going to like it. The writing style was quick and witty, and conveyed Anna's voice really well. Reading the novel whilst in Paris really brought the book to life, and seeing sights that Anna has just been to in the last chapter made the whole experience even more enjoyable.

I loved Anna's quirky and unique character. Her sarcasm gave the novel a humorous touch, which I also really enjoyed. (I enjoyed a lot, as you can probably tell) The other side characters were also great, and very well developed; Rashmi, Mer, Josh...they all added to the story in their own way and I liked especially how they all bounced off each other within their group. Étienne St. Clair was okay too.

Okay, maybe he was a bit more than okay. Maybe he was a bit more than phenomenal. Maybe he was even BRITISH. Maybe.

I loved him. I still love him. My heart. It hurts. But it's okay, I forgive you Anna. It was worth it for that ending. SWOON.

I think I've gushed enough, but seriously, if you haven't read this book already, READ IT. 5/5 STARS. OF COURSE. (that's for you, St. Clair)

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Wonder by R. J. Palacio

WonderAugust (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school—until now. He's about to start 5th grade at Beecher Prep, and if you've ever been the new kid then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie's just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he's just like them, despite appearances?

I think this is one of my favourite books of all time. Even thinking about it now makes me want to read it and enjoy it all again.

I loved the characters that the author built; Auggie was adorable, his sister Via was so supportive, his friends all had their own stories; every character was well rounded and we were given a solid back story to all of their lives, which made me enjoy the novel all the more. I liked how the different parts of the book were told from different points of view; even though we were learning about the POV character's lives, R.J. Palacio was also building up an even more well rounded image of August using their opinions and perspectives on him. I though that this was really unique, and I really enjoyed how it was done.

The writing style conveyed August's voice very well; I felt very close to him throughout the novel and thought that the author did a good job of showing the reader through subtle hints and changes how he was maturing as time passed. I also liked how the writing didn't linger over lengthy descriptions; it was just descriptive enough, and this made it easier for me to fly through the book.

The ending was perfect and I couldn't help but feel proud of August after all he had been through and how much he had changed and matured from the first few pages.

Overall, this book was amazing and too touching to give it any less that 5/5 stars. Let me know what you thought of Wonder, and if you're considering picking it up in the future!

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

Warm Bodies (Warm Bodies, #1)
A zombie who yearns for a better life ends up falling in love—with a human—in this astonishingly original debut novel.

R is a zombie. He has no memories, no identity, and no pulse, but he has dreams. He doesn’t enjoy killing people; he enjoys riding escalators and listening to Frank Sinatra. He is a little different from his fellow Dead.

I want to start off this review by saying that before I read this book, I hated anything to do with zombies. So to turn that opinion around, Isaac Marion did a pretty good job.

The writing style was descriptive, but just descriptive enough, and I enjoyed how the world was built. I especially enjoyed the description of the airport where the zombies are living, and found the whole premise of the book really believable.

I really liked R as the main character, and found him really amusing at times, especially when he can't get out more than a few syllables. Julie was a very feisty character, and I really liked how strong her opinions were at times, but how we were also shown a sadder side to her as well. I also loved how their relationship slowly developed, and how they really seemed to bounce off each other.

I also really enjoyed the diagrams that began every chapter - it was something that I thought really added to the novel and made me feel more immersed in the world.

The only problems I had with the novel were the dreams that often took up big sections of the chapters and how sometimes I felt the story was a little bit disjointed. I also though that the ending fell a bit flat; all the way through the book I had been expecting something momentous to happen, but it never really did.

Overall, I'm giving Warm Bodies 4/5 stars, and I would definitely recommend it, even if you don't like zombies.