Friday, March 11, 2011

She's So Dead to Us by Kieran Scott

She's So Dead to Us: Book Review by Allison T.

Release Date: May 25th, 2010

Publisher: Simon and Schuster Children's Publishing

Age Group: Young Adult

Pages: 278

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Source: County Library

Series: First in a trilogy

GoodReads Summary:
Perfect, picturesque Orchard Hill. It was the last thing Ally Ryan saw in the rear-view mirror as her mother drove them out of town and away from the shame of the scandal her father caused when his hedge fund went south and practically bankrupted all their friends -- friends that liked having trust funds and new cars, and that didn't like constant reminders that they had been swindled. So it was adios, Orchard Hill. Thanks for nothing.

Now, two years later, Ally's mother has landed a job back at the site of their downfall. So instead of Ally's new low-key, happy life, it'll be back into the snake pit with the likes of Shannen Moore and Hammond Ross.

But then there's Jake Graydon. Handsome, wealthy, bored Jake Graydon. He moved to town after Ally left and knows nothing of her scandal, but does know that he likes her. And she likes him. So off into the sunset they can go, right? Too bad Jake's friends have a problem with his new crush since it would make Ally happy. And if anyone deserves to be unhappy, it's Ally Ryan.

Ally was hoping to have left all the drama in the past, but some things just can't be forgotten. Isn't there more to life than money?


I was sucked into this book the moment I picked it up. This is one of the exceptions where you shouldn't judge a book by its cover. I thought it was going to be some girly, frilly read, but She's So Dead to Us completely blew me away.

This book is told in two points of view: Jake and Ally. I really liked both of their characters because they acted like teenagers should. Ally was cool, confident, and didn't let things hurt her. Jake, even though he was arrogant, sounded really cute and he gets nicer by the end of the novel. Their romance was believable, and wasn't just about physical attraction.

The teens acted like teens: some girls were mean, some boys were nerds, and other people are popular. There wasn't too much partying or drinking, which pleased me. Also, I loved Annie. She was very unique and it was funny that she took notes on the Cresties. I thought that the "rivalry" between the Norms and the Cresties was a bit much. If the Cresties hated the Norms that much, why didn't they switch to a private school? Who knows?

There were two things that I didn't like in She's So Dead to Us. First, Jake did not have a backbone. He did what his friends told him too and was not very smart. I don't understand why Ally was so attracted to him. Second, the ending took me by surprised. I would have thought that the story could have been wrapped up in one book, but, no, there is going to be a trilogy.

Even though there are two more books coming, I plan to read them because the first one was just so darn good. I give this book 4 stars!

Runaway by Meg Cabot

Runaway: Book Review by Allison T.

Release Date: April 20th, 2010

Publisher: Scholastic

Age Group:Young Adult

Pages: 310

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Source: County Library

Series: Third in Airhead Trilogy

GoodReads Summary:

Emerson Watts is on the run: from school, from work, from her family, from her friends, from herself.

With everyone she loves furious with her for something she can't explain, and nothing but the live Stark Angel fashion show on New Year's Eve to look forward to, Em's reached the end of her rope.... what's the point of even going on?

But when she discovers the truth about Nikki's secret, she knows there's only one person she can turn to.

Will Christopher be able to put aside her personal feelings and help her expose her employer to the world? Is it even fair to get Christopher involved- since if he agrees, there's every chance that Stark Enterprises will try to have them both killed- this time, permanently?

Maybe it would be better for Em to just keep on running....


This is third, and final book in Meg Cabot's Airhead series. I was very pleased with how it ended because the final few chapters caught me completely off guard. The secret was evil, but so simple that I don't know how I could have missed it. Meg Cabot is wonderful at creating a believable teenage voice, which is challenging to do.

Runaway got rid of all the loose ends. I knew what happened to all of the characters and wasn't left wondering, What if? It really annoys me when books do that, so I was glad that the Nikki Howard series didn't.

The one thing that I didn't like about this book was Nikki, or Em. She seemed a lot more bossy and commanding. Em also had the mindset of a girl that could do anything she wanted to and not get in trouble for it. Before, she was shy and didn't have self-confidence, but now she has too much of it. Even though this happened, there were some parts in the book that lived up to Em's original character.

Still, Lulu and 'the secret' made this book worth my while. It kept me interested, even though I was annoyed with Nikki's behaviour.

If you have read the first two books in this trilogy, then I would definitely recommend Runaway for you. If you haven't, read Airhead and Being Nikki first because you might get a bit confused if you start with Runaway. I give this book 4 stars!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Unidentified by Rae Mariz

The Unidentified: Book Review by Allison T.

Release Date: October 5th, 2010

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Age Group: Young Adult

Pages: 336 (hardcover)

Rating: 3/5 stars

Source: County Library

Series: Stand-alone (I think)

Back of the Book Summary:

Fifteen-year-old Katey (aka Kid) goes to school in the Game- a mall converted into a "school" run by corporate sponsors. As the students play their way through the levels, they are also creating products and being used for market research by the sponsors, who are watching them 24/7 on video cameras.

Kid has a vague sense of unease but doesn't question this existence until one day she witnesses a shocking anticorporate prank. She follows the clues to uncover the identities of the people behind it and discovers an anonymous group that calls itself the Unidentified. Intrigued by their counterculture ideas and enigmatic leader, Kid is drawn into the group. But when the Unidentified's pranks and even Kid's own identity are co-opted by the sponsors, Kid decides to do something bigger- something that could change the game forever.

I have had this book on my to-be-read pile ever since my school librarian talked about it during school. She gave it a very high rating, so right off the bat, I had very high expectations for The Unidentified. Because of this, I was let down when I finished this novel.

The one thing that i liked about this book was Kid. She was very true to herself and did not act fake just to be popular. She is not obsessed over getting Branded and doesn't own the latest fashions. The only thing that she loves is her music, which she makes with her two best friends, Mikey and Ari.
I thought that this story could have been more edgy, or it could have explored the negative effects of consumerism. I was very interested after I heard the summary, but I kind of knew that I would be disappointed, especially after I saw the reviews on GoodReads and Amazon.

In addition, there is not very much action in the book. Kid finds out who the Unidentified are very easily and does not do anything clever with her knowledge. Also, the rest of the book is not very interesting.

Next, even though the Unidentfied were supposed to be a really big part of the novel, they only did a couple things over the course of the story. The thing (no spoilers here) they did at the end was pretty blah as well.

Also, I expected the ending to involve more fights with the government or maybe have Kid realize something important about the society that she lives in. When I reflected on what happened over the course of the book, I realized that it was basically nothing.

In conclusion, even though I thought that this book was just OK, other people will like it, and others will hate it. I suggest you to try it out, but check it out at your library first to make sure that you like it.

-Allison T.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Rebel Angels by Libba Bray

Rebel Angels: Book Review by Allison T.
Release Date: December 26, 2006
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 548 (Paperback)
Rating: 5/5
Source: Borders Book Store
Series: Book 2 in the Gemma Doyle Trilogy
Back of the Book Summary:
It's the end of the year, and Gemma's looking forward to living it up in London. Balls, fancy gowns and dancing with the handsome Simon Middleton beckon. Best of all, it's time away from Spence Academy - and from the realms. But the lure of the enchanted world is strong, and the magic flows freely. Gemma's visions intensify - visions of three girls all dressed in white, suffering horror and menace. Clearly all is not well in the Realms - or out of them. -From the back of the book.
OH MY GOSH!!!! This book was so amazing. I loved every minute of it: the characters, setting, and pretty much everything else. Rebel Angels is the second book in the Gemma Doyle trilogy. The first book was A Great and Terrible Beauty. The only thing I didn't like about this book was that Gemma always traveled to the insane asylum, and the creepy people scared me because I read this book before I went to bed.
First off, the romance was spot-on. I loved Gemma with Simon, even though most people would probably disagree with me. They were a cute couple and had lots of witty lines with each other. Kartik was great too. I know, I sound like a crazy fan-girl, but this trilogy is so wonderful!
I could not stop reading because Libba Bray's writing was so smooth and descriptive. I never got bored, unlike when I was reading another historical fiction novel, The Luxe. The font was probably a contributor to my love of Rebel Angels. When I don't like a book's font, I tend not to like the book. Ha ha.
This review is being written at school, so I'll just finish up by saying: READ THIS BOOK!!! YOU'LL THANK ME FOR IT! Everything about it was 5 stars.