Tag Archives: romance

Eleanor & Park – honest and real

Eleanor and ParkTitle: Eleanor & Park

Author: Rainbow Rowell

Rating: 10/10 stars. Yes, it was that good. Rarely do I rate books 10/10, so this one is definitely special.

Gut reaction: I loved the honest, real characters. They were so well developed and the romance was sweet and believable. This book was also great because it ended on a hopeful note. As I got closer to the end, I thought it would have a sad closing, but I was not disappointed, and you won’t be either. Go put it on hold at your library right now!

Summary: Eleanor is the new girl on the bus, at school and in the neighborhood. She lives with a creepy, abusive stepdad, her emotionally bruised mother and 4 younger siblings in a cramped house. On the bus, she is taunted for her eclectic style of dressing, her bright red hair and being overweight. Park on the other hand, comes from a stable home, but being a half Asian kid in a predominately white area, he feels like an outsider. He has a group of friends, but he’s wary of acting too different. Park reluctantly gives Eleanor a place to sit on the bus and isn’t welcoming, but he acts a little better than the other students. Soon though, he notices her reading over his shoulder on the bus, and they begin a friendship over shared interests in comic books and alternative music. Slowly at first, then faster and faster like a snowball rolling down a hill, they fall in love. But their romance is bittersweet and it seems like fate is against them. Will they be able to persevere and stay together against the odds?

I’ll let you read it and find out for yourself!

-Gabriella, Ballard, Teen Blogger

BAL

The Well’s End – extremely inventive and action-packed

The Well's EndTitle: The Well’s End

Author: Seth Fishman

Summary: The Well’s End follows the perspective of a 16-year-old girl named Mia Kish.  Mia is like a typical high schooler (albeit in a ridiculously fancy, upper class prep school) except for her earliest memory, falling down a well as an infant, which earned her the nickname Baby Mia. However, when her school comes down with a virus that ages its victims to death in just days and the school is quarantined by soldiers in hazmat suits who aren’t afraid to shoot children, she and a handful of others, including her best friend, Jo, and a mysterious new transfer who knows things like the distance that gunfire travels, must follow the directions that her father left her to get to safety from the plague.

I loved that his novel is extremely inventive and action-packed.  This book is the definition of a page-turner.  The virus is a suitably terrifying threat, capable of aging a healthy adult to death in just hours.  Mia is an ideal protagonist – she is smart, capable, and despite the immense amount of suffering that she undergoes, stays likable and lucid.  The interactions between the characters is one of the strong points of the book, as they support each other and keep each other sane throughout.  Overall, the book is primarily plot-driven, but the characters are deep enough to be interesting in their own right. I really liked how the characters fit into both the “realistic” and “science-fiction” elements of the story.  I think one of the signs of good characters is if they can be likable heroes, able to think more clearly, recover more quickly, and keep fighting longer than most of us, while still retaining their unique personality and staying relatable.  These characters definitely achieved that. Continue reading

Simone Elkeles for the “Realistic” Win!

Perfect ChemistryTitle: Perfect Chemistry (book #1 in the Perfect Chemistry Series)

Author: Simone Elkeles

Perfect Chemistry is such an amazing book.  It blew me away.  The characters Alex Fuentes and Brittany Ellis both have issues to deal with in their lives and it makes the plot of the story real.  It was an outstanding book and if I had to read it again I would.  The book is targeted for young adults and I recommend every teenager to read it because it’s that good.  This book is about Alex who is known as the bad boy at Fairfield High School.  He is from the south and is very poor.  He had to join a gang to make sure his family is kept safe.  Brittany is the girl who has it all: the money, the house, the family and is the captain cheerleader at her school.  But what most people don’t know is that she hides behind a mask and makes sure nobody knows of her secrets, until one day Alex comes along and unravels them all.  They’re both not perfect but as long as they got each other everything will be all right.

 

Rules of Attraction Rules of Attraction(book #2)

Very addictive, I could not put this book down. The book is funny, romantic, addictive and unforgettable. I loved the pranks, the serious moments and the amazing connection between Carlos and Kiara. The book captured my heart and I recommend you read it. It’s fun and edgy and I promise it will be worth your time. Rules of Attraction is about Alex’s middle brother Carlos who had to come back to the United States to finish his education. Carlos can’t live with his brother in the dorms so Alex made sure that he stays with his professor until he graduates from high school. But things take a turn for the worst when Carlos meets the professor’s daughter Kiara and they start to prank each other. Carlos thinks Kiara is a goody two shoes who doesn’t know anything about his life and should just stay away from him. Kiara wants to help him with his life but she can’t help from falling in love with him at the same time. Carlos also starts to like Kiara but holds back thinking that being with her will cause trouble for her and her family. In the end he finally figures out that she means the world to him and that he can’t stay away from her no matter how hard he tries.

 

Chain ReactionChain Reaction (book #3)

I am obsessed with this book. This book is a great way to end the Fuentes trilogy. It was suspenseful and had me jumping at times. I loved the fact that it can go from being serious to being funny. I cried and I laughed and most of all I enjoyed the book. I recommend you read it, I promise you will love it. This book is about Alex and Carlos younger brother Luis Fuentes.  Luis is an adrenaline junkie, he likes to mountain climb and would one day hope to be an astronaut. He is always looking for a thrill. Nikki has experienced awful things in her past that included boys and she never wants to go through that ever again. She makes sure to never trust boys ever again and let them into her heart. But Luis falls madly in love with her and tries everything to get her to open her heart to him but she rejects him over and over again. She finally notices that he isn’t such a bad guy and gives him a chance. These two go through a lot of things in their lives but they always come back to each other in the end and that’s what counts to them.

Columbia Teen Advisory Group (TAG) Member

COL

Some Book Series You May Love (From The COL TAG!)

A Matter of Magic:
By Patricia Wrede

MagicA Matter of Magic is about a young orphan girl living on her own, making do with stealing and odd jobs for others. One day Kim meets a man who asks her to search for something on a traveling magician’s cart. While she does believes this is a fake magician, Kim joins the caravan and her journey begins. The book is two stories in one, meaning books 1 & 2 are together to make an awesome story. I recommend A Matter of Magic to people who want romance that isn’t the whole story, but is there. It’s funny and a good mystery.

Demon Trappers series:
By Jana G. Oliver

demon

 

The Demon Trappers series is about Riley Blackthorne, daughter of famous demon trapper Paul Blackthorne. All Riley wants is to follow in her dad’s footsteps, even if he doesn’t want her to. This series is truly wonderful. It’s full of action scenes as well as comedy and romantic ones. Throughout the books you get to follow Riley in her struggles as a teenager going through school and trying to prove that a woman can be a demon trapper too. It’s a  MUST read!

 

Wake

 

Wake, Fade, Gone:
By Lisa McMann

A trilogy about Janie, a 17-year-old girl who gets sucked into other people’s dreams whenever they’re sleeping and she’s nearby. This story is another must-read. A well-written book that will grab the attention of any reader.

Columbia Teen Advisory Group (TAG)

COL

Venus Capriccio – Annoying guy lead, likable female lead, music genius

317px-Venus_Capriccio_3Title: Venus Capriccio

Author: Mai Nishikata

Summary: A tomboy has a series of bad boyfriends and her perfect childhood friend confesses to her.

Gut reaction: Annoying guy lead, likable female lead, I like childhood friends, music genius

Why: The hero is one of those perfect people who is half-foreign, a piano prodigy, insanely smart, beautiful, chivalrous, and has a tragic back-story and cruel family.  What’s surprising is that he’s the younger one and she’s not useless.  She may be a tomboy, but she’s not innocent and doesn’t need to be saved all the time.  So far she has no interest in him, and it is also nice to see a girl who can reject without having another love.  The story is going to be slow going for a bit and then intensify with a story about his tragic past and unknown rich family and she’s going to have to end up with him, but the beginning is good.

Who would like this book: Shoujo fans, Maid-sama fans. I’ll keep reading unless they over-do it with the tragic back-story arc.

–Lexie, 15, West Seattle Teen Blogger

WTS

 

December Book Horoscopes!

starbookIt’s December and that means the final month of the year is here! Everyone is returning from the Thanksgiving holiday and hunkering down for the grind as we enter the weeks approaching winter break. Yes, it’s cold outside, and it gets dark way too early, but there are a lot of things we like about winter too! This edition of our Monthly Book Horoscopes (book recommendations based on YOUR Zodiac sign!) will give you some suggestions for the best books to read as we dive into winter. As always, free to try out any of the books on this list because they are all SNOW fabulous!

Young ElitesAries The Young Elites by Maire Lu

This great, dark book will put you in the perfect mood for the stormy winter months. Adelina Amouteru, the anti-hero main character, is a rare survivor of the blood fever. Does this make her an abomination, or the master of strange new powers, as the rumors say? This book is full of inner conflict and contains many very different kinds of characters that have banded together to create the Dagger Society. This gorgeous fantasy is fast-paced and gets right to the point. It’s also the first in a series, so the adventure does not stop here!

Winter TownTaurus Winter Town by Stephen Emond

Evan is a senior in high school who likes to draw, but doesn’t feel he can make a career out of it. His best friend, Lucy, comes to visit like she does every winter break, but this time, something’s changed. Evan is glad to see his friend but knows there is something she isn’t telling him – she seems very tense unless they are talking about their plan to make a comic book together. The characters are really relatable and the chapters are interspersed with comics made by Evan.  A perfect winter break read!

Iron KingGemini The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

Meghan has never really fit in at home or at school. Her father disappeared when she was six years old and since then, something has been different about her. Who would have thought that she was really the daughter of a faery king and that her life plays an important role in the midst of a giant war? This book has a creative take on traditional mythology and will also make you laugh. Continue reading

Let It Snow – So many stories, all very cute.

let it snowTitle: Let It Snow

Author: Maureen Johnson, John Green, Lauren Myracle

Summary: Three holiday romances packed into one book.

The first story, The Jubilee Express, tells the story of Jubilee, a teenage girl stuck alone on Christmas Eve because her parents were arrested for being a little too excited about collectible miniature decorative houses and being involved in somewhat of a riot related to the release of another collectible. She is taking the train to her grandparent’s house in Florida when the snowstorm stops the train. As she ventures out to get to a payphone to call her grandparents, Jubilee runs into her classmate Stuart. Stuart invites her to come over to his house for Christmas so she doesn’t have to spend it alone. Jubilee has a boyfriend, but Stuart’s offer is as a friend. However, the events that follow could change that.

The second story, A Cheertastic Christmas Miracle, is about a group of friends: two boys, Tobin and JP, and one tomboyish girl, the Duke (aka Angie). Tobin and the Duke are best friends and that’s all they’ve ever been, but when they go on a journey to a waffle house during a snowstorm, their relationship changes.

The third story, The Patron Saint of Pigs, Addie, who regrets having recently broken up with her boyfriend, begins to realize how self-involved she is. In an effort to show how much she cares about others, she offers to pick up a teacup pig for her friend Tegan who ordered the pig weeks ago. Addie tries to remember, but she inevitably forgets to get the pig for her friend. Luckily, a “Christmas angel” helps her out and Addie learns a valuable lesson.

Six Word Review: So many stories, all very cute.

I started reading because: I was browsing through a library looking for a cute romance novel.

I would give this book 8/10 stars because all the stories are very sweet. It’s a fun read.

I loved how the stories crossed over with each other. It makes you very aware that everyone is the main character in their own lives and we’re just background characters to them while they’re background characters to us. I hated that there weren’t even more stories to be interwoven.

If the lead character Stuart was in a high school yearbook, he/she would be voted Most Likely To: Be The Sweetest Person Alive.

Anything else we should know? The summary doesn’t tell the whole of all the stories because there are three stories and it would be, like, three pages long if I did summarize it all in-depth. It may sound sort of shallow, and it kind of is, but sometimes shallow is good. It’s really a cute book and it describes the excitement of a snowstorm perfectly.

Regina, West Seattle

WTS