Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Where I Belong by Gwendolyn Heasley

Publisher: HarperTeen
Published: February 8, 2011
Pages: 304
Stars: 4/5
Meet Corrinne. She's living every girl's dream in New York City—shopping sprees at Barneys, open access to the best clubs and parties, and her own horse at the country club. Her perfect life is perfectly on track. At least it was. . . .

When Corrinne's father is laid off, her world suddenly falls apart. Instead of heading to boarding school, she's stripped of her credit cards and shipped off to the boonies of Texas to live with her grandparents. On her own in a big public school and forced to take a job shoveling manure, Corrinne is determined to get back to the life she's supposed to be living. She doesn't care who she stomps on in the process. But when Corrinne makes an unlikely friend and discovers a total hottie at work, she begins to wonder if her life B.R.—before the recession—was as perfect as it seemed. [Book Description from Amazon]

My review:
This was a really good read. It wasn’t fantastic or fast paced and it doesn’t leave you breathless, but it was one of those nice reads that you pick up during the summer and actually enjoy. Like, without having a heart attack as you near the climax. I was actually pretty surprised I like this one as much as I did. Contemporary fiction is not really my cup of tea, but the theme of the book really intrigued me (big city girl is forced to leave the glamorous life she’s used to and move to some remote town where people have never heard of Vera Wang *gasp!*). I’ve always thought it would be fun to write a novel with that same sort of theme. And while Where I Belong wasn’t exactly what I expected as far as romance goes, it was very entertaining. 

I’m going to be honest. I hated, hated, hated Corrinne for the first couple of chapters. She was, simply put, a jerk. Selfish. Heartless. And completely and utterly addicted to shopping (which isn’t a sin, mind you, but Corrinne was on the “I need rehab” level of obsessive shopping disorder).  I loved seeing how she changed, though, once she left New York and came to Texas. That leads me to another thing: some of the…um, practices… in Texas were kind of unbelievable. I mean, I’ve never been to rural Texas, so I can’t honestly say that people don’t…um…relieve their bladder in the woods, but it just seemed a little farfetched to me. That little detail shouldn’t stop you from reading the book, though (unless you’re Texan…then you might be a little offended, but you make the call). J

One more thing: Bubby? Really? Couldn’t we have come up with even a slightly more flattering name for the guy she ends up falling for? ßSpoiler, by the way. *dry grin* All in all, Where I Belong was a nice, slow read that didn’t have me sitting at the edge of my chair in suspense, but was entertaining in a different way. I recommend you save this one for the summer or a beach trip- it’ll prove to keep you entertained the whole time you’re reading it.

Quick Content Review:

Language- Minor (maybe one or two words- I don’t remember an awful lot of profanity)

Violence- None

Sexual- Minor (One kiss. Also, some mentions and insinuations of boys slipping Corrinne “the pill” at clubs.)

Other: “Manhattan Corrinne” is quite disrespectful to her mother and her father and her brother and….well, anyone who doesn’t let her get her way. Also, she frequents clubs either with a fake ID or “when they don’t card,” as she put it. Underage drinking ensues. Nothing is too, too horrible, but I thought I would mention those things just in case.   

Friday, March 2, 2012

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

Publisher: HarperCollins
Published: January 3, 2012
Pages: 384
Star rating: 5/5
Since she’d been on the outside, she’d survived an Aether storm, she’d had a knife held to her throat, and she’d seen men murdered. This was worse.

Exiled from her home, the enclosed city of Reverie, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland—known as The Death Shop—are slim. If the cannibals don’t get her, the violent, electrified energy storms will. She’s been taught that the very air she breathes can kill her. Then Aria meets an Outsider named Perry. He’s wild—a savage—and her only hope of staying alive.

A hunter for his tribe in a merciless landscape, Perry views Aria as sheltered and fragile—everything he would expect from a Dweller. But he needs Aria’s help too; she alone holds the key to his redemption. Opposites in nearly every way, Aria and Perry must accept each other to survive. Their unlikely alliance forges a bond that will determine the fate of all who live under the never sky. [Book Description from Amazon]

My review:

“A million ways to die. One way to live.”

Oh my word.

This book is…

Oh my word!

It’s been a while since I’ve read a dystopian THIS good.

This book has left me speechless. At first I wasn’t that thrilled with Aria, but once she was on the Outside, I began to like her a lot. She was so confident in the Pod. She knew who she was and how life worked and nothing was beyond her ability. But once she got on the Outside, she changed completely. She was a different person. The world was a different place and everything that gave her confidence in the Pod was useless on the Outside. So she had to trust Perry. Gracious, I loved Perry. For one thing, he was HOT. I don’t usually go for the blondes, but Perry was wild and fierce but at the same time, sensitive and tender. And come on…you have to admit, that’s really attractive. Perry and Aria had the sweetest, rarest love story! It was such a contrast from the harsh world around them. Let me tell you, I savored every moment of it.  

There was so much beauty in the world Veronica Rossi created. The Aether was supposed to be harmful and hurt anything in its path, but it was beautiful to me. I imagined it to be like the bottom of a swimming pool when the sunlight shines through the water. Blue ripples and swirls. And I loved the Stone Age type theme of life that existed Outside. It was so different from the technologically- centered life inside the Pod. The severe contrast of life in the Pod and life on the Outside was intriguing and captivating.

In conclusion, Under the Never Sky was a fantastic read that captured my imagination and thoughts the whole time I was reading it. It cured my awful dystopian fever that I’ve been suffering from for so long. The journey is perilous and the love story is unforgettable. (And the cover is gorgeous! The US cover, that is. I didn’t really like the UK cover.--->)      But beware- the cliffhanger kills.

Quick Content Review:

Language: Mild (Only three words, if I remember correctly.)

Violence: Mild- Moderate

Sexual: Mild
Great news! Under the Never Sky is in the process of being turned into a movie! And the sequel, Through the Never Sky, is due out in 2013! How am I going to wait that long?!