Thursday, February 23, 2012

Love on the Line by Deeanne Gist

Publisher: Bethany House
Pages: 368
Rating: 4/5
Rural switchboard operator Georgie Gail is proud of her independence in a man's world ... which makes it twice as vexing when the telephone company sends a man to look over her shoulder.

          Dashing Luke Palmer is more than he appears though.  He's a Texas Ranger working undercover to infiltrate a notorious gang of train robbers.  Repairing telephones and tangling with this tempestuous woman is the last thing he wants to do.  But when his stakeout puts Georgie in peril, he realizes more than his job is on the line. [Book description from Amazon]

My review:
This was classic Gist. I love love love all her books and was so thrilled when I was finally able to read this one. I don’t think it’s as amazing as some of her other books, like Beguiled or Maid to Match, though. Although I loved Luke and Georgie, Luke wasn’t as romantic as I prefer my guy characters to be, and I didn’t like Georgie’s character as much as I’ve liked past Gist characters. She seemed too frivolous, childish, and impractical at times and as much I tried to get over it, it got on my nerves. Her “bird hobby” was too obsessive (staying up all night to keep an eye on baby cardinals?!). And the ending felt like a Hallmark movie, if you know what I mean. At some parts, I felt like I was just trying to get through.
But on a brighter note, the historical aspect of Love on the Line was just as remarkable as ever. It’s like reading a history textbook in romantic-fiction form! I always learn so much from Gist’s novels, and this book didn’t let me down.
So, to sum things up, although Love on the Line wasn’t as much of a page-turner as some of Deeanne’s other books, the delicious mix of edgy romance + amazing historical detail + heart-pounding action will leave you breathless.
Maybe not *completely* satisfied, but definitely breathless.

Quick Content Review:
Language: None
Violence: None/Mild [Luke is a Texas Ranger (yeehaw!) so you can expect a bit of shooting and chasing and such. Georgie is tied up to her bed by a group of rogues, but no other harm is done to her.]
Sexual: Mild (Luke and Georgie spark a passionate romance, but aside from some moderately passionate kissing and touching, nothing happens. Georgie puts a stop to the physical aspects of their relationship when she starts to doubt whether the relationship is going anywhere. Gist is famous for weaving melting romances without them becoming ungodly or dirty, and she uses that talent well in this book as she did her others.)  

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler

Publisher: Razor Bill
Pages: 356
Rating: 2 stars
It's 1996, and Josh and Emma have been neighbors their whole lives. They've been best friends almost as long - at least, up until last November, when Josh did something that changed everything. Things have been weird between them ever since, but when Josh's family gets a free AOL CD in the mail, his mom makes him bring it over so that Emma can install it on her new computer. When they sign on, they're automatically logged onto their Facebook pages. But Facebook hasn't been invented yet. And they're looking at themselves fifteen years in the future.

By refreshing their pages, they learn that making different decisions now will affect the outcome of their lives later. And as they grapple with the ups and downs of what their futures hold, they're forced to confront what they're doing right - and wrong - in the present. [Description from]
My Review:

There were several reasons I decided to read this book. 1) I’m addicted to Facebook. There. I’ve admitted it. 2) It takes place in 1996, one year after I was born, and I thought it would be interesting to see what it was like to be a teenager in the 1990s and how it differs from being a teenager now.
           I wish I was writing a rave review. I really do. But I didn’t like The Future of Us, and for several reasons. Since I’ve already compiled one list today (see above) I might as well compile another:

1) Too much sexual content. It dominated the book. When they weren’t focusing on Facebook, they were focusing on sex. It was disgusting and irritating to find that a book I thought was about two teens discovering Facebook is so distractingly focused on sex. I don’t know if it’s realistic for teens to be so focused on that, but it was unnecessary and distracting from the real focus of the book.

2) Emma. She was just all wrong. She seemed so dull and uncaring. I felt like she was mope-y and depressing, and that’s really unattractive for one of the main characters. Another thing: was she even female? What girl dates guys she doesn’t even really care about? Well, desperate girls, I guess, but I mean, really? Were the authors competing to try and create a girl that’s worse than Bella Swan? Bravo to them, cause they succeeded.  

3) The ending. Wait, what ending? The one that didn’t exist. Oh yes, that ending.

4) It felt cliché. It was just another story of a girl and a boy who are besties and don’t realize they like each other until after they suffer much pain and regret. Let’s get a little more creative, people.

Phew. Sorry if that sounded cruel, but I just expected a little more from a New York Times bestselling author and a Printz Honor winning author.

Maybe this proves that two heads aren’t always better than one.

Quick Content Review:
Sexual: Heavy
Language: Mild
Violence: None

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Daily Dose #8...All you need is LOVE

In honor of Valentine's Day...for those who have someone and for those who have yet to meet their someone...

Gone by Michael Grant

Publisher: Harper Teen
Pages: 558
Star rating: 2/5
In the blink of an eye.
Everyone disappears.
Everyone except for the young. Teens. Middle schoolers. Toddlers. But not a single adult. No teachers, no cops, no doctors, no parents. Gone, too, are the phones, internet, and television. There is no way to get help.
Hunger threatens. Bullies rule. A sinister creature lurks. Animals are mutating. And the teens themselves are changing, developing new talents—unimaginable, dangerous, deadly powers—that grow stronger by the day.
It's a terrifying new world. Sides are being chosen and war is imminent.
The first in a breathtaking saga about teens battling each other and their darkest selves, Gone is a page-turning thriller that will make you look at the world in a whole new way. [Description from]

My review:
“People who liked the Maximum Ride series by James Patterson will love the Gone series by Michael Grant!” This is what I heard before I read Gone. And of course, I was gullible enough to think that someone could match the genius and utter amazingness of the Max Ride books. I’m here to say: it’s not possible, peeps. But what am I doing talking about Max Ride? I needn’t go gushy about Max Ride till August, when Nevermore comes out. I’m not sure how I’ll be able to wait that long. *sob* *mutters* Enough, Shelby. Ok, where was I?
            Gone caught my attention. At first, that is. A book about the disappearance of all human being over the age of fifteen? The odd, mysterious appearance of a giant blue wall that stretches twenty miles across and surrounds a small town in California? Sounds like a book for me! These were my thoughts as I eagerly dug into Gone. But right from the start, the tone of the book felt odd. It felt…juvenile. Like, middle-school material type juvenile. I should have expected it- what with the vanishing of all those fifteen and up. But I was soon corrected on my stance that this book was too young for me.
            Let me digress a minute. I promise, it will be quick. *sincere nod* When I read The Hunger Games trilogy, I was taken aback by the violence. Suzanne Collins didn’t sugar-coat it for us. Well, neither did Mr. Grant. In fact, at parts, I felt the violence in Gone was overdone. I felt like Mr. Grant was trying too hard to give us a realistic picture of what life would look like if all the adults vanished into thin air. Yes, bullies would be bullies. Kids would pick on each other without fear of reproach, and even hurt each other. Maybe even kill each other, if it got bad. But I must say, I’ve never, ever, ever read a book that had as much violence in it that Gone had in it. It was graphic to the extreme. Yes, it was worse than The Hunger Games. It might not have been as bad if the kids had been older, but their ages didn’t fit with the amount of violent content the book contained. When I turned the last page, I wanted to shiver and be grossed out and scrub my eyes all at the same time. I know I have a tendency to exaggerate, but this is not one of those times. I’m to blame, though. I was warned beforehand that Gone was extremely, um, unpleasant at parts. But don’t say I didn’t warn you.
            Some parts were gross, yes. Some parts I liked. Some parts were just plain weird, though. A green glow in a gold mine, talking coyotes, flying snakes. No other word describes it best: weird. Gone did kind of grow on me a little after the initial disinterest, but not enough to make me want to run out to the library and get the next six books in the series. The last page didn’t leave me salivating for more, so you can guess that *if* the next six books of the Gone series even make it onto my TBR list, they will definitely be at the very, very bottom.

Quick Content Review:
Language: Mild (2 b-words, 1 or 2 a-words, maybe a couple h-words.)
Violence: If you read the review, you have already gotten my gist. J
Sexual: Mild (Astrid and Sam have a little romance, which was actually one of my favorite aspects of Gone, to be honest. I believe there were one or two kisses, nothing extreme. Oh, and a guy makes a snide comment to Astrid about her tampon size.)