03 June 2011

May Favourites (Monthly favs # 5) - Short reviews

Hello Again,

I thought I'd take a short break from my recent hiatus (not sure yet when that is going to end, but soon I hope, I had my last day of uni the day before yesterday, and even though I'm not done with everything I'll still have more time to read and hopefully to write. My parents are coming to visit soon and will stay a while, so I'll spend my summer on a camp-site at the lake not far from here....) to post my May favourites (yes, I love my statistics!).

I didn't have much time to read in May, due to *finals* and some serious tennis-watching and yeah, I still was in a reading slump for most of the month. But it seems now that I've gotten out of it, thanks to my kindle, it certainly makes it easier.

So, according to Goodreads I've read 9 books in May, started one on the last day of May and have one DNF (and lots and lots I only read one page and discarded, but those don't count). Out of these 9 books I have a grand-total of 5!!! favourites, which is kind of crazy. Anyway, here they are, with my short-reviews:

What Happened to Goodbye - Sarah Dessen

Since her parents' bitter divorce, Mclean and her dad, a restaurant consultant, have been on the move - four towns in two years. Estranged from her mother and her mother's new family, Mclean has followed her dad in leaving the unhappy past behind. And each new place gives her a chance to try out a new persona: from cheerleader to drama diva. But now, for the first time, Mclean discovers a desire to stay in one place and just be herself - whoever that is. Perhaps her neighbor Dave, an academic superstar trying to be just a regular guy, can help her find out. Combining Sarah Dessen's trademark graceful writing, great characters, and compelling storytelling, What Happened to Goodbye is irresistible reading.

Not surprisingly, the new Sarah Dessen is on the top of my list of my favourite books of the month, if not year. I'm a big Sarah Dessen fan, and I loved this book. I like books that are slow, where nothing really happens. Books that feel real, slow-simmering books, that somehow crawl under your skin and suddenly *boom*, you're crying, feel so much emotion and can't let the book, the story, the characters go, don't want it to end. This is one of these books. I can't exactly pinpoint what I love about this book, because there's not much of a plot, the premise is simple, the writing perfect.

Moonglass - Jessi Kirby
I read once that water is a symbol for emotions. And for a while now, I've thought maybe my mother drowned in both.

Anna's life is upended when her father accepts a job transfer the summer before her junior year. It's bad enough that she has to leave her friends and her life behind, but her dad is moving them to the beach where her parents first met and fell in love- a place awash in memories that Anna would just as soon leave under the surface.
While life on the beach is pretty great, with ocean views and one adorable lifeguard in particular, there are also family secrets that were buried along the shore years ago. And the ebb and flow of the ocean's tide means that nothing- not the sea glass that she collects on the sand and not the truths behind Anna's mother's death- stays buried forever.

How gorgeous is that cover, seriously! It's breathtaking. This book really surprised me. Again, it's a slow book, one that draws you in without you noticing. I cried during the last pages, big fat tears, really. It is beautifully written, the story sad and believable. I want to move to the beach now! haha.


 Tempest Rising - Tracy Deebs
Tempest Maguire wants nothing more than to surf the killer waves near her California home; continue her steady relationship with her boyfriend, Mark; and take care of her brothers and surfer dad. But Tempest is half mermaid, and as her seventeenth birthday approaches, she will have to decide whether to remain on land or give herself to the ocean like her mother. The pull of the water becomes as insistent as her attraction to Kai, a gorgeous surfer whose uncanny abilities hint at an otherworldly identity as well. And when Tempest does finally give in to the water's temptation and enters a fantastical underwater world, she finds that a larger destiny awaits her—and that the entire ocean's future hangs in the balance.

This is my first *mermaid*-book. Somehow I've always been fascinated by the mythology but never got around to read a book with this theme. That's probably why I was like a wide-eyed child of wonder. Seeing something for the first time, everything is so beautiful and new. I found its premise really interesting. In the beginning it reminded me a lot of Moonglass because Tempest's mother had willingly gone into the ocean. And also the passion for art and the beach. But whereas Moonglass was a contemporary *reality* read, this one is mythology and paranormal and whatnot.

At some point while reading I made this note on Goodreads:  "Somehow this book manages to combine all things I normally hate in books, that irritate me, annoy me, make me want to throw the book across the room, all my pet-peeves and MAKE IT WORK! Brilliantly so! I don't know why, I don't know how, it just does!"  

So, what were those things that normally really annoy me? For instance I hate cheating in books, really really hate it. I've recently read a book that was quite similar to Tempest Rising in the cheating department, and let me tell you, I threw that book against the wall several times. But here it worked! It didn't bother me. My second pet-peeve is *insta-love*, gaah, hate that. But again, Tempest Rising made it work, brilliantly so. There were a few things more, but it would take me all day to ramble on about it.
With that said, read this book, it's beautiful.

Divergent - Veronica Roth

In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

I'm not going to say much about this book. It was really really hyped before its release day, and it was well-deserved! It's not usually my genre, but everybody was raving about it so I just had to had it, right? Once I'd started reading the first page I couldn't put it down again. I was hooked. If you haven't read it yet, Go READ IT, I'll wait!

Cross My Heart - Katie Klein
True love can blossom in unexpected places. This is Jaden pretending not to notice. . . .

Jaden McEntyre and Parker Whalen are a wrong fit from the start. Jaden is driven and focused, Harvard Med School within reach. Parker has a past-a reputation-and the rumors about his mysterious habits abound. So there's no reason why, when they're assigned to work together on a project in English, they should discover they have anything in common, or even like each other, and they definitely shouldn't be falling in love.

As they bond over Edith Wharton's tragic novella, Ethan Frome, the "bad boy" vibe Parker plays begins to dissipate. Soon, Jaden finds herself shedding her own "good girl" image: sneaking around to be with him, confiding in him, and ultimately falling hard for this leather-wearing, motorcycle-driving loner who plays into the rebel stereotype.

Still, Jaden can't shake the feeling that there's more to Parker than he's letting on. He's hiding something from her, and discovering the truth means reconciling the Parker she's grown to love with the person he really is. Because it's possible that his life inside the classroom-everything Jaden knows-is one, massive lie.

I found this book whilst browsing on my kindle. I downloaded its sample and started to read...and never stopped (yeah, I bought it after I've read the short sample, of course). Anyway, I think this was the month of slow books. The ones that grow on you. This certainly was one of those. I loved Jadens voice, she really drew me in. I'm can't say too much about this book without revealing too much. There was a big twist at the end that I really didn't expect. Really didn't see that coming. I thought I had it all figured out, haha.

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