Friday, June 24, 2011

Mini Reviews (Because I'm drowning in books!) Part II

Part two of my mini reviews feature more YA fiction.  I know, some might wonder if I'm already crossing over to mainly YA books but it's just that there were a lot of YA books lying around in my TBR pile so I went ahead and read them to make way for some adult fiction (like True Grit by Charles Portis, which I'm very excited to read).

Girl, Stolen by April Henry
Henry Holt and Co., 213 pages
From The Boyfriend, bought from Fully Booked 

Sixteen year-old Cheyenne Wilder is sleeping in the back of a car while her mom fills her prescription at the pharmacy. Before Cheyenne realizes what's happening, their car is being stolen—with her inside! Griffin hadn’t meant to kidnap Cheyenne, all he needed to do was steal a car for the others. But once Griffin's dad finds out that Cheyenne’s father is the president of a powerful corporation, everything changes — now there’s a reason to keep her. What Griffin doesn’t know is that Cheyenne is not only sick with pneumonia, she is blind. How will Cheyenne survive this nightmare, and if she does, at what price?

Review:  After reading Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott, it's no wonder that I would want to read something similar but entirely different, and in my opinion, Girl, Stolen by April Henry made that grade.  It was refreshing to read about a handicapped protagonist who, although burdened with a disability, was very resourceful and courageous.  It was great to read about someone that I know I and a lot of other people would want to look up to, someone who could be a role model.  Cheyenne deserves to be emulated by teens everywhere, as she tackles her situation and conquers her fear with her quick thinking, resourcefulness, and intelligence.  The second best character in this book in my opinion was not Griffin, but his father, Roy, who was so pathetic and scary and was nothing short of a monster.  I know that his presence - and the plot itself - might classify this book as from a darker YA genre, but there really are people like Roy who exist in real life, and his character was very spot-on.  Ms. Henry was able to write about a unique story with as much poignance, clarity, and emotion as possible.

Wherever Nina Lies by Lynn Weingarten
Point, 288 pages
Received via Random Acts of Kindness from Ashley @ BookAHolics Anonymous  

Nina was beautiful, wild, and adored by her younger sister, Ellie. But one day, Nina disappeared. 2 years later, everyone has given up hope that Nina will return, but Ellie knows her sister is out there. If only Ellie had a clue where to look.Then she gets one, in the form of a mysterious drawing. Determined to find Nina, Ellie takes off on a crazy, sexy cross-country road trip with the only person who believes she's got a chance - her hot, adventurous new crush. Along the way, Ellie finds a few things she wasn't planning on. Like love. Lies. And the most shocking thing of all: the truth.

Review:  Obviously, this is one book I would place on my wishlist.  Why?  For its title.  I'm such a sucker for books that has characters with the same name as me.  So I really thank Ashley @ BookAHolics Anonymous for including this to the books she sent me for RAK.  

Moving on, I really thought Lynn Weingarten's Wherever Nina Lies was such a joyride I had to read it thrice after the first reading.  It was that good.  Sure there were some elements there that do not add up in reality, but those were exactly what made it more fun to read, because it was written with such convincing clarity you would willingly step into its fictional world and accept it as truth.  I also loved the characters and their unique personalities.  Really great read, and cover too!

Your Heart Belongs to Me by Dean Koontz
Bantam, 368 pages
Bought from Celina's Books and Magazines 

The news that he had incurable cardiomyopathy struck Ryan Perry as hard as any heart attack. The 34-year-old Internet tycoon felt that his days were numbered; but thanks to a transplant, he was able not only to survive but to move forward, enjoying every day with the gratitude of a true survivor. Then one day a gift arrives; a heart pendant accompanied by a Valentine's Day box of candy hearts. With it comes a chilling message ("Your heart belongs to me") and an even more frightening video. Suddenly, Ryan's healthy, throbbing heart has become the target of a madwoman.

Review:  I was really looking forward to my first-ever Dean Koontz book.  I was so interested in the story of Your Heart Belongs to Me that I did not hesitate to buy myself a copy.  The plot was awesome, the characters awesomer, the beginning was great, the middle was great plus one, but the end?  Not so much.  It began to get muddled and it was almost as if another story was spliced to the ending.  I thought that Mr. Koontz was trying to wax philosophical with this novel but it ended up being something entirely different.  Otherwise, I would still keep this book if only for the beginning and middle parts.

Wide Awake by David Levithan
Knopf Books for Young Readers, 240 pages
Bought from Celina's Books and Magazines 

In the not-too-impossible-to-imagine future, a gay Jewish man has been elected president of the United States. Until the governor of one state decides that some election results in his state are invalid, awarding crucial votes to the other candidate, and his fellow party member. Thus is the inspiration for couple Jimmy and Duncan to lend their support to their candidate by deciding to take part in the rallies and protests. Along the way comes an exploration of their relationship, their politics, and their country, and sometimes, as they learn, it's more about the journey than it is about reaching the destination.

Review:  Background Music:  Imogen Heap's 'Have You Got It In You'

Wide Awake by David Levithan could have been a prequel to Boy Meets Boy, where equality in all sexes was already prevalent; except some scenes from the latter were obviously more dated and occurred earlier than Wide Awake.  Emotionally-charged despite less heavy and traumatic scenes, the story happened in less than a week and tackled some dire issues heavily debated among communities such as homosexuality, religion, and politics (which I almost never talk about).  This book would really help the younger generation to become more self-aware and keep their eyes open for social issues confronting their times, at the same time maintaining that patented David Levithan intelligent humor and appeal that will certainly captivate its readers and advance their vocabulary.

Four more books down!  

Check out my Mini Reviews Part One


  1. I have a copy of Wherever Nina Lies on my shelf, so I'm glad to hear that you liked it!

  2. wow...that was quite something! you're really an awesome blogger! four reviews in one posting alone! Great! Dean Koontz is amazing! Have to grab a copy of Your Heart Belongs To Me since you gave it a 4 stars rating! Hehehe. :-)

  3. Great reviews, Nina.
    Reminds me that I too need to buck up on my reviews :(


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