Juliet Immortal

Title: Juliet Immortal

Author: Stacey Jay

Summary from Goodreads:

 “These violent delights have violent ends
And in their triumph die, like fire and powder,
Which as they kiss consume.”
—Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

The most tragic love story in history . . .

Juliet Capulet didn’t take her own life. She was murdered by the person she trusted most, her new husband, Romeo Montague, a sacrifice made to ensure his own immortality. But what Romeo didn’t anticipate was that Juliet would be granted eternity, as well, and would become an agent for the Ambassadors of Light. For 700 years, she’s fought Romeo for the souls of true lovers, struggling to preserve romantic love and the lives of the innocent. Until the day she meets someone she’s forbidden to love, and Romeo, oh Romeo, will do everything in his power to destroy that love.

My Review:
Okay, I know that I have given a lot of negative reviews lately, and I really am sorry about that. I want to give books the benefit of the doubt, but I would rather be honest with my review than to say it has more good qualities than it does and then you might pick it up and hate it just as much as me. All that said, please note that this book has received many good reviews, and my opinions are just that… mine

All of that out of the way, I am just going to lay it out straight… I hated this book. I mean, I really, really disliked it. I read one review that said that if you liked Romeo & Juliet by Shakespeare then you wouldn’t like this, but if you didn’t like Romeo and Juliet then you would like this. I am hear to report that is no true because I dislike Romeo & Juliet (I would not kill myself for love… there is still too much to live for. I also do not like that suicide dressed up all romantic and everything is being taught to impressionable teenagers who already deal with enough angsty things in life) and I also disliked this book a lot!

I was not able to buy into anything in this book. The narrator of this book was Juliet and I understand that she was young when she died, but she has since been around 700 years so you think that she would have matured a little bit, but no, she still came off sounding incredibly immature. Her voice was incredibly annoying to read and so because of that, it was hard for me to feel sympathetic to her at all.

And then there is the love interest. I am just going to disclaimer this by saying that I do not believe in love at first sight. I believe in lust at first sight, but not love. I believe that to love someone… really love them, you have to know them. You can disagree with me or whatever, but that is my personal opinion. And because of that opinion, I was unable to buy into the instant connection and love that happened in this book. And even looking aside from that, I found no chemistry at all between Juliet and Ben. And since so much of this book is based upon the love story, it pretty much killed the book for me.

And then there is Romeo… I really can pretty much not write about Romeo without spoiling the book…

Finally, my thoughts on the “twist” in the book. Can anyone else say they saw that coming a mile away? Because I did. It was pretty much completely obvious. There wasn’t much in this book that wasn’t completely obvious and while that might work for some books, it did not work for this book.

And as one final thought… the ending. It was such a cop out. I mean, like seriously, if you have read this book, you will know what I am talking about. If you haven’t read this book and you plan on it, you will see what I mean…

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Multiple realities… SERIOUSLY! That is so weak… so pathetic. And even though Ben does not remember Juliet in the new alternate reality, he again is instantly mesmorized by her? Come on, I wasn’t born yesterday. This book sucked some serious balls, but the ending was the worst. Treat your reader a little better than multiple realities. It would have been just as bad as the whole “oh it was all just a dream” ending that some have tried. If this had been a good book all along (which it wasn’t) that alone would have killed the book in my eyes.

And now I will rant a little about Romeo – All this time with Juliet blaming Romeo, it turned out that he just did it to she would go to heaven and have a good afterlife and she is the one who killed herself, and still she blames him for everything. That ticked me off to no ends. I am a big believer in sacrificial love. I would do almost anything for those few people that I truly love, and that is what Romeo did. It just turns out he sold his soul to the wrong side. But even after Juliet finds that out and finds out that he has loved her all along, she still acts like a little child and it was so aggravating. I felt really bad for Romeo throughout most of the book. I may read the sequel just because it is suppose to be about Romeo and I found him somewhat interesting.

Rating: 0.5

Perfect

Title: Perfect (Impulse #2)

Author: Ellen Hopkins

Summary from Goodreads:

Everyone has something, someone, somewhere else that they’d rather be. For four high-school seniors, their goals of perfection are just as different as the paths they take to get there.

Cara’s parents’ unrealistic expectations have already sent her twin brother Conner spiraling toward suicide. For her, perfect means rejecting their ideals to take a chance on a new kind of love. Kendra covets the perfect face and body—no matter what surgeries and drugs she needs to get there. To score his perfect home run—on the field and off—Sean will sacrifice more than he can ever win back. And Andre realizes that to follow his heart and achieve his perfect performance, he’ll be living a life his ancestors would never have understood.

Everyone wants to be perfect, but when perfection loses its meaning, how far will you go? What would you give up to be perfect?

A riveting and startling companion to the bestselling Impulse, Ellen Hopkins’s Perfect exposes the harsh truths about what it takes to grow up and grow into our own skins, our own selves.

My Review:
I love Ellen Hopkins. She is seriously one of my favorite authors. She choose issues… important issues, and she writes about them in a way that is engaging to teens and young adults. The first book I read by Ellen Hopkins was Identical and it was seriously trippy. When I picked up my first Ellen Hopkins books, I did not have very high expectations. For one thing, I am not a fan of poetry, and her books are written in verse. And yet, as I read it, it did not read like it was written in verse. It read like a normal book, just formatted differently. That is something I really enjoyed about her books.

All that said, I must confess that this was not my favorite Ellen Hopkins book. I just couldn’t find myself really caring about any of the characters. I had trouble liking any of them and more over, I didn’t always agree with the things I knew she was pushing us, the audience, into thinking. I found the various romance aspects very hard to accept and thus hard to buy into. [SPOILER: i.e. One of the characters goes from being totally in love with someone to being in a new relationship in the matter of a couple days. I found this incredibly difficult to buy into].

The second thing I found difficult about this book was it seemed to me as thought the author would abruptly change things and I felt myself getting whiplash somethings. The ending felt altogether abrupt and felt like she had reached her page quota and had to abruptly wrap up all the story lines. I did not feel as though the characters had really, emotionally, reached where they ended. That disappointed me.

As a final note of mild negativity [this contains a mild spoiler so please skip this paragraph if you don’t want to know] on of the character experiences a sexual orientation change (I am not quite sure how that should be worded). I am fine with that. That is not what I am complaining about. What bothered me in this event is that this characters partner was kind of not understanding about the difficulty of coming out. After they had only just been seeing each other for a couple of weeks (it could have been a little bit longer but it is hard to gauge time passage in this book) they were pressuring the main character to come out of the closet. Coming out of the closet is difficult and if you only discover your sexual orientation recently, it isn’t right to be pressured into coming out on anything but your own time.

Now all that aside, this was still a very good book. Ellen Hopkins is very skill at getting to the heart of the issue and addressing. Perfection is something that most of us strive for, and sometimes we let that destroy us. The journey to the unattainable perfection is often lead with self-destructive things… drugs, alcohol, eating disorders, and thoughts of suicide. Many of us have the desire to please others… this goes hand in hand with the search for perfections. We think that if we can only be good enough at this then they will love us or want to be friends with us or they will be happy with us. But that isn’t always the case. Those who truly love us love us despite our imperfections.

Ellen Hopkins really brought to life the search for each of the main four characters to be perfect. The desire for perfection manifests itself in so many ways… destructive ways. Because the truth is that no one and nothing will ever truly be perfect, and Ellen Hopkins show us the truth of that reality. We should always strive to be the best that we can be, but the truth is that we will never be fully perfect.

Rating: 3.5

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Sorry that this post was originally blank. I guess I accidentally deleted it when I went to schedule it for posting. I really don’t know what happened. But I rewrote it so here it is!

Title: Lola and the Boy Next Door

Author: Stephanie Perkins

Summary from Goodreads:

Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn’t believe in fashion . . . she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit — more sparkly, more fun, more wild — the better. But even though Lola’s style is outrageous, she’s a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood.

When Cricket — a gifted inventor — steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.

Personal Review:
Okay, first thing I want to go over is the cover. I love the cover of this book. The model who portrays Cricket is really good looking. I love his outfit. The plaid shirt and the pinstrip pants are an interesting combination, but it totally works. And then there is Lola… She is cute. I love her outfit. I would totally wear it. I am so not god at putting together outfits, but what she is wearing is so cute.

And the story was so cute. I haven’t read Anna and the French Kiss yet, but this book totally put it on my library queue. I cannot wait for it to arrive. As you may have realized from my rant about Matched, I do not like love triangles. I was initially worried that I would have this problem in this book, since there was the whole Criket – Lola – Max triangle… but Cricket is so perfect that really it was no competition, and in the end, Max was not worthy of Lola.

The cast of characters that Perkins put together were perfect. Nathan and Andy remind me of Cameron and Mitchell from Modern Family. They are probably two of my favorite characters so you can view this as a compliment. I like how they are strict and not your “typical gays”. They are awesome!!! And then there is Lindsey… I love how she is a Nancy Drew wannabe and that she called Lola “Ned”. She was amazing. She truly was a great best friend. And then there is Anna and St. Clair. I have not read Anna and the French Kiss yet but seeing them in this book makes me really interested in it. They are so cute and really seem to be soul mates.

Collipe is one of those characters that, by the end of the book, you are on her side… and you totally get why she acted the way she did. As an overprotective sibling, I totally get why she did some of the things that she did to Lola. Max is someone that you are kind of ambigious about until you aren’t… I won’t say anything more about that because I don’t want to ruin anything. And then there is Cricket. Perfect, dependable Cricket. There isn’t really much to say about Cricket other than that he is amazing.

I love how the setting is in California. I am from California and let me tell you, there aren’t a lot of great books set in California.

Really, all I can say is that this book is AWESOME and if you haven’t read it… go get it! Read and it! And then come back here and tell me what you think about this book!

Rating: 5

Matched by Ally Condie

Title: Matched

Author: Ally Condie

Summary from Goodreads:

Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander’s face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate… until she sees Ky Markham’s face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.

The Society tells her it’s a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she’s destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can’t stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society’s infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path that no one else has dared to follow

My Opinion:

*Spoiler Alert* I cannot review this book without “spoiling” it. The reason is that I really, really, really disliked this book. I wanted to like it a lot. I love Dystopian novels and this one had a really interesting premise, but I just could not bring myself to like it.

I am Team Xander all the way. Passionately so… So much that I kind of hate Ky. To me, loyalty is extremely important and it ticks me off that Cassia carried on with Ky behind Xander’s back after they had been matched… after she had initially choosen Xander. To me, that is inexcusable and unforgivable. Plus, I could never trust a guy who made moves on another’s betrothed.

Aside from that, Xander showed true love for Cassia. If Ky had really loved Cassia, he would have let her go and not dragged her into his dangerous affairs. If he really loved her, he would never have put her in danger. But he did… and to me, that says it all. Xander, on the other hand, would have done anything for Cassia. He really loved her. He loves her so much that he agrees to help her “love” even though it kills him. He loves her enough that he hides what he believes is her artifact, and still hides it even after he knows that it is not her artifact that she gave him. I am also fairly positive that she is the reason that he gave his pill to Em… because Em was Cassia’s best friend.  He knows her enough to read her and know when things are wrong.

To me, this is a lot like The Hunger Games, except that in this time, the best friend has the personality of Peeta. And just like in the Hunger Games, I rooted for the one with the desirable personality of a life partner. I do not believe that it is good to be with someone who is too similar in personality. I think that all of the passion that Ky and Cassia have could be explosive, and not in a good way. Just like Cassia pointed out that it is because her father and mother compliment each other with their differences that their love is so true. Cassia and Ky are too similar in what matters. Cassia is a bit like her father, and Xander is like her mother… and she needs someone like her mother for when things settle down.

I now try to put aside my feelings about the romance and focus on the rest of the plot… but the problem is that the romance aspect was so interwoven into the plot that it is hard to seperate it. If Ally Condie had managed to keep those aspects seperate, then I would have perhaps been able to find that part interesting, but it was so impossible. This book was like a horrible remake of The Giver and The Hunger Games… It’s plotline was stolen and all ideas are unoriginal.

Rating: 0.5

Have you read this book? What do you think? Am I over-reacting? Anyone agree with me?

Update and Small Review

Hi all. In these next few days, I will post a couple of reviews. I think that I have allowed myself enough time and distance from Matched to be able to review it objectively… though maybe not.

I have implemented a new strategy for deciding what to read next (thanks for those who voted in my poll). I borrow a lot of my books from the library. It is really a sick addiction. I probably have 30+ books out right now. And so it becomes a battle to decide what to read and making sure that all the books get read before they are due. So now I have post it notes set up on my desktop (you know, they computer program stickynotes). One stickynote is set up with a read order. It is based off of due dates and the ability to renew and such. The second stickynote is for reviews.

I am really happy with this system thus far. It makes it easier to figure out which book to read next and it reminds me of what still needs to be reviewed. If I didn’t have this system in place, I would probably forget what needs to still be reviewed!

Now, for a short review… I re-read Twilight for the readathon a couple weeks ago. I normally really love this book, but I just wasn’t feeling it this time. This is probably due to the fact that I listened to it on audiobook. Audiobooks tend to be really hit or miss for me. And this one was a miss. I don’t know how they pick narrators for audiobooks, but a lot of times the person they pick has an extremely irritating voice. And Twilight was one such case. I love the love story of Twilight… I know that a lot of people think that Edward is a creeper and that it is wrong to find his possessiveness romantic, but I can’t help it. I really do just find it romantic.

I am not a diehard Twilight fan… just a fan of the first book.

What about you? How do you feel about Twilight? Will you be going to watch Breaking Dawn at a midnight premier? A later date? When it is released on DVD? Please post a comment and let me know.

Booking Through Thursday

All other thing being equal, would you rather read a book that’s hard/challenging/rewarding or light/enjoyable/easy?

I would always rather read something light/enjoyable/easy. I read for my pleasure. There are so many other things that I do to increase my mental capacity that when, at the end of the day, I pick up a book, I just want it to be something that I like… something that I don’t have to use too much brain capacity to think about…. Now if I am in the mood for something heavy, then I will read that, because that is what I want to read at that particular moment. But unless I am in the mood for that, it ain’t gonna happen. I like YA books. They have characters I can identify with and themes that are serious, yet not pretencious.

What about ya’ll? Do you like heavy books or light books? Leave a link and let me know!