Saturday, May 21, 2011

Review (13): Here Lies Bridget

Here Lies Bridget
by Paige Harbison

Series: None
Other Reviewed Titles: None
Release Date: February 1, 2011
Publisher: Harlequin
Pages: 224
Challenge: 2011 OTS
Bridget Duke is the uncontested ruler of her school. The meanest girl with the biggest secret insecurities. And when new girl Anna Judge arrives, things start to fall apart for Bridget: friends don't worship as attentively, teachers don't fall for her wide-eyed "who me?" look, expulsion looms ahead and the one boy she's always loved—Liam Ward—can barely even look at her anymore.

When a desperate Bridget drives too fast and crashes her car, she ends up in limbo, facing everyone she's wronged and walking a few uncomfortable miles in their shoes. Now she has only one chance to make a last impression. Though she might end up dead, she has one last shot at redemption and the chance to right the wrongs she's inflicted on the people who mean the most to her.

And Bridget's about to learn that, sometimes, saying you're sorry just isn't enough….
-Might be slightly spoiler-y-
Plot: The very first scene is of Bridget driving and about to lose control of her car. After that, the first half of the book explains why she got into the car hoping she would crash and possibly die or just get majorly injured. The second half is after the crash and takes place in limbo. This part reminded me a little of A Christmas Carol. She literally steps into other peoples shoes to see how her behavior and actions have affected them. The repeating of the conversations made it seem like I was reading the same thing over again. I know it was from a different perspective and bridget was supposed to be in the other persons head while the scene is happening, but the repetition of the dialogue could have been avoided. We already knew what happened, it would have been better to read what was happening inside of the persons head and their thoughts a little more. I felt really bad for all the people she mistreats once we are inside their heads, but that was really the only time I liked or cared about any of the characters.

Characters: I did not like Bridget at all at the beginning of the story. She is self-absorbed, self-pitying, rude, dramatic, and whines way too much. I felt that she was trying way too hard to be “tough” and was just a complete jerk. Her teacher, friends, and step mom had absolutely no backbone when it came to her which is probably the reason she acted the way she did. I really liked Liam though. He was one of the few people that would stood up to her. This probably has to do with the fact that he knew her before she completely changed from their elementary school days.

Cover: The cover is cute and reminds me a lot of Generation Dead by Daniel Waters. The colors, font, and picture are all really similar. 

Overall Impression: This book is definitely very relatable and leaves you with the message that second chances are always possible as long as you really want them. 
Rating:  * * *

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Review (12): The Magnolia League

The Magnolia League
by Katie Crouch

The Magnolia League (Book 1)
Other Reviewed Titles: None
Release Date: May 3, 2011
Publisher: Little Brown Books Young Readers
Pages: 368
Challenge: 2011 OTS
After the death of her free-spirited mother, sixteen-year-old Alex Lee must leave her home in northern California to live with her wealthy grandmother in Savannah, Georgia. By birth, Alex is a rightful, if unwilling, member of the Magnolia League, Savannah's long-standing debutante society. She quickly discovers that the Magnolias have made a pact with a legendary hoodoo family, the Buzzards. The Magnolias enjoy youth, beauty and power. But at what price?

As in her popular adult novels, Crouch's poignant and humorous voice shines in this seductively atmospheric story about girls growing up in a magical Southern city.
Why I Read This: I got an ARC from the publisher to review.

Plot: I found the Magnolia League world very interesting and exciting. The fact that the girls could do and become basically anything they wanted due to the hoodoo was fascinating. I particularly liked how every few chapters there would be one that had information about hoodoo or about how the League was created. The facts about the League were evenly spread out throughout the story, not all clumped up in one very long chapter. This kept me interested and wanting to know more. Unfortunately, this was my favorite part about the whole book. The plot was not as exciting as it could have been. 

Characters: The characters in this book are very unrealistic and that took away from my overall impression of the book. The characters just seemed bleak and hollow. Everything they did and said was like one big contradiction because it never made sense with what they had said and done previously. At the beginning of the book, Alex, the main character, is a pot smoking hippie. At first, she seemed unique and interesting, but then she randomly changes into a completely different person. This would have been fine, had it not happened after about 1 chapter and had it been the only time her personality or thoughts changed, but it seemed to happen often. Instead of growing and becoming wiser, Alex just got shallower and less interesting.

Cover: I think the cover is super cute. It almost has an Alice in Wonderland feel to it, or at least that’s what it reminded me of. I think it represents the mystery and enchantment of the Magnolia League well and that girl is a great Alex. 

Overall Impression: Despite being seriously flawed, I still think people will enjoy it. 
Rating:  * *