Avalon High by Meg Cabot

Summary (via the author's website): "Avalon High seems like a typical high school, attended by typical students: There’s Lance, the jock. Jennifer, the cheerleader. And Will, senior class president, quarterback, and all-around good guy.

But not everybody at Avalon High is who they appear to be… not even, as new student Ellie is about to discover, herself. What part does she play in the drama that is unfolding? What if the bizarre chain of events and coincidences she has pieced together means—as with the court of King Arthur—tragedy is fast approaching Avalon High?

Worst of all, what if there’s nothing she can do about it?"

Review: So does everyone remember my opinion of Twilight? That I know they're badly written but I like them anyway? My opinion of Meg Cabot books is rather the opposite: I don't particularly like them, but I read them anyway. And usually can't put them down. And I know in my head that they're really not that bad.

Fluffy, yes. Heavens, yes. But still. They're well-written. Her main characters are always pretty kick-a. Cute boys abound, and plenty of the "then he looked at me twice" drama that I lahve. But something about them just makes me go, "ugh." And I'm really not sure why, especially since I keep reading them.

Maybe it's because the main characters are all the same? I feel like Ellie and Mia from The Princess Diaries, and Suz from the Mediator books, and that girl from Jinx, are all pretty interchangable. And maybe I wouldn't mind so much to read about a sarcastic teenager with body issues, over and over again, if I still WERE a sarcastic teenager with body issues. Hm.

Goodreads Shelves: addictive, fluffy, is-a-movie, is-this-a-kissing-book, my-kind-of-woman



Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Summary (via Goodreads): "Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight — she’s a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme, and in her case horrifying, skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king’s thug. When she first meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change.

She never expects to become Po’s friend. She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace — or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away... a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone."

Review: OH. WOW. I've been hearing good things about Graceling for a while, but I hadn't read it... BIG mistake. What an AWESOME book! I'm SO glad I sprang for the ebook, because now I can read it again whenever I want. Which I WILL.

What do I love about this book? A) Characters. Loved Katsa, Raffin, PO!!, Bitterblue. They were all awesome, all distinct. B) Story. WOW. A fully developed story, complete with resolution. I knew it was a trilogy, so I was kind of expecting a big story cut in three pieces. NOT SO. Hooray!

Also, I love that every time I tell people about Graceling, I describe Graces as superpowers. Because they pretty much are.

Goodreads Shelves: addictive, fluffy, i-have-the-ebook, is-or-would-be-a-good-movie, is-this-a-kissing-book, my-kind-of-woman, thought-provoking



Torn by Amanda Hocking (Trylle Trilogy Book #2)

Summary: "Torn, the second installment of the Trylle Trilogy...

Wendy thought she finally understood who she was and what she wanted, but everything changes when the rival Vittra come after her.

She's caught between two worlds, torn between love and duty, and she must decide what life she is meant to lead."

Review: So... OK. New villain, fine. Character development for the cold-hearted mother, great. New love interest... what the heck!? THIS is a perfect example of Girl Falls For Boy For No Apparent Reason. I mean, the Finn thing from the first book was a little shaky to begin with, to be honest, but the whole Loki business is completely ridiculous.

Anyway. The book was a quick enough read, and if the third book in the trilogy is less than $3 I'll probably buy it just to see what happens. Which, admittedly, is a sign of success from a storytelling viewpoint.

I still don't hate Wendy, which is good.

Goodreads Shelves: addictive, fluffy, i-have-the-ebook, is-this-a-kissing-book



This Place Has No Atmosphere by Paula Danziger

Summary (via Goodreads):  "It's the year 2057 and fourteen-year-old Aurora couldn't be happier with her life on Earth: She's part of the "in" crowd, her best friend is a celebrity, and Matthew has asked her to Homecoming. But Aurora's parents have new jobs on the moon, and she and her little sister must leave their friends and schools to go with them. Aurora is sure she will hate life on the moon, because there are only 750 people in the whole colony. What if none of them is a cute boy her age?"

Review: I really loved this book when I was young, and I just now realized why. It's about a girl who moves to a small town where there are very few people with whom to socialize and she finds herself through acting. Which is pretty much the story of my life. Growing up as an Air Force brat, I moved around a lot. This story really spoke to me, since it's about a family that gets uprooted and all the members have to make new friends. Just say "Army post in Germany" instead of "colony on the moon."

Anyway, besides the fact that it deals with an issue that lots of teenage girls experience (as most Paula Danziger books do), it's a sweet, quick read with cute situations (SHOWING me romance instead of telling me about it-- hooray!) and characters that feel real.

Goodreads Shelves: fluffy, i-own-it, is-this-a-kissing-book, thought-provoking



Switched by Amanda Hocking

Goodreads Summary: "When Wendy Everly was six-years-old, her mother was convinced she was a monster and tried to kill her. It isn't until eleven years later that Wendy finds out her mother might've been telling the truth.

With the help of Finn Holmes, Wendy finds herself in a world she never knew existed - and it's one she's not sure if she wants to be a part of."

Review: I'll tell you the sentence that bugged me the most in this book. I don't remember it verbatim, but the gist of it was, "I hadn't really thought about him much, but now that he'd started being a jerk to me, I realized how attractive he was." Which, now that I think about it, describes the plight of quintessential Nice Guys rather accurately. Anyway, this is the Girl Who Doesn't Think She's Pretty Likes a Mean Boy story, although he stops being mean fairly soon into the book. LUCKILY, he doesn't stop brooding EVER, so the people on Team Edward still have something to drool over.

I was fairly ok with Wendy. Like, as a person. She's ok with standing up for herself; she's ok with getting into people's faces and speaking up when she thinks she should. She's frustrated that no one will tell her anything, which I think is reasonable.

The exposition, while frustrating, was well done, I think. It was frustrating in that Wendy kept getting a runaround, where she'd ask questions and people would be like, "oh, you'll find that out soon enough." But it was well done in that I didn't have to deal with three straight chapters of exposition, which, now that I think of it, is nice. It reminds me of the exposition in The Maze Runner.

Anyway, I'll let you know how the sequel goes.

Goodreads Shelves: addictive, fluffy, i-have-the-ebook, is-this-a-kissing-book

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