This is my third Inte(Re)view, and I am very pleased to say that my friend Kelsey from Reading Keeps You Sane has joined me this time!
Chelsie: Thanks for joining me, Kelsey!
Kelsey: No problem, glad to be here!
Chelsie: Mind telling readers what today's interview is going to be about?
Kelsey: The novel Gone by Michael Grant.
Chelsie: This is one of the books that I've seen the cover to, but haven't heard much about it. Could you give us a brief summary of it?
Kelsey: Well, it about this small town on the coast of California and 20 miles or so from it, where everybody at the age fifteen and older disappears. Leaving babies, toddlers, and kids by themselves. Bullies rule, there's no police and they have to fend for themselves. That's basically what it's about.
Chelsie: That sounds intense. Was it sort of a mystery? Suspense? Thriller? All of the above?
Kelsey: It definitely is a thriller with tons of suspense; you could not wait to find out what was going to happen, but not really a mystery. It's more about how a certain group of kids, mostly age fourteen, and not all of them friends, going through how they cope with living without adults. The book travels from a certain number of kids, some you don't know why they are in the book yet and question why the book goes towards their POV.
Chelsie: So what is it about the book that makes it quite so intriguing and suspenseful?
Kelsey: Hmm....I think it might be the things that happen when there aren't adults in the world and also a conflict that happens in the story the makes a big turn for the story and causes some troubles, but I'm not going to tell you what, because I don't want to ruin it.
But, yeah, there are some big action scenes also that are terribly fun to read and the adventure goings of some of the characters you read about.
Chelsie: So, the story isn't something you hear about that often (or ever, in my case). Do you think Michael Grant did a good job with making it believable and realistic?
Kelsey: Yes, he definitely did. I really can't think of a better way. It's really thought provoking and Michael Grant was thorough and complete by the storyline. It was definitely believable and, well not necessarily realistic, since the plot does have a chunk of fantasy in it to do with why what happens and some kids do develop powers, like it says on the flap of the book. But other then that, yes, it is completely realistic.
Chelsie: Sounds like the type of book that makes you think about life in general... is this kind of the case with Gone?
Kelsey: Hmm, kind of. You think about what it would be like if that sort of thing did happen in real life, but the book is something you won't be able to stop reading, so you really don't think about it as much while reading it, but afterwards, it's crazy. But also, when lots of the kids want their mom's and dad's it makes you think about how much you would probably miss your parents if this did happen. So, yes it makes you think about life in general a bit.
Chelsie: With the depressing subject matter, would you say this is an emotional book? More so than other books you like to read.
Kelsey: I don't think its more emotional then a lot of books, you probably won't cry during this book, your eyes might tear up, but I doubt there'd be crying. Yes, there is some death in the novel, and the overall thing of having your parents and older siblings gone, yes that might be emotional, but hardly enough to make you cry. But there are definitely some terrible things that are sad and some scary parts in this novel.
Chelsie: On a scale of 1-5, with 1 being the worst and 5 being the best, what would you rate this book, and why?
Kelsey: A 5 probably, because the whole idea, the writing, the action and adventure, the characters, the emotion in this novel is incredible and perfectly done so, you never know what's going to happen, it's just a perfectly done novel, probably one of the best I have read this summer.
Chelsie: If you could say this book is similar to any others, what would it/they be and why?
Kelsey: Oh, that's a hard question because it is close to fantasy but not entirely there, but I don't read much fantasy and I have no idea if it would be close to any other books, but I kind of doubt it would be close to any other book out there, it is a very unique, original novel and the adventures and suspense in the novel are something you wouldn't think of, so no, I have to say, it isn't really similar to other books, at least that I've read.
Chelsie: Who would you recommend this book to?
Kelsey: Fantasy lovers, and also readers who just love a suspenseful read. Myself, I don't care for fantasy, but this novel, yes, had a chunk of fantasy in it, but it didn't overpower the novel, it was like, like a side dish to the whole. There is also some romance in the novel and the romance is perfect, although they are only fourteen. I think boy, girl, it doesn't matter, I finished this novel and now my brothers reading it. The main, main character, Sam, is a guy but you also get to see in the minds of several girls and boys.
Overall, I think a lot of people can read this novel and enjoy it, maybe not adults, but teens for sure.
Chelsie: So, is there anything else you'd like to add that hasn't been talked about yet?
Kelsey: Yes, this book is going to become a series, The Gone Series, I believe and the next book will be releasing next summer, I heard on Amazon that it is called Hunger, which fits perfectly for the novel, but them on Michael Grant's MySpace it read in a journal entry dated the end of July said it was Sacrifice, so I'm not sure which it is yet, but I personally think that Hunger is better. So check that out once you read this book because the book has kind of a cliffhanger ending.
Chelsie: Do you happen to know how many total books are going to be in the series, or is that undetermined?
Kelsey: No, I do not, unfortunately, but hopefully more then two.
Chelsie: Well, now that I have a book to look forward to reading, I'm going to thank you for being such an awesome Inte(Re)viewee!
Kelsey: Thank you, Chelsie for asking some awesome questions and having me be able to do this. I had a ton of fun!
Chelsie: No problem, and let me know if you'd be interested in doing it again sometime!
Kelsey: I sure will!
If you're interested in being an Inte(Re)viewee, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Saturday, September 27, 2008
This is my third Inte(Re)view, and I am very pleased to say that my friend Kelsey from Reading Keeps You Sane has joined me this time!
Reviewed by Chelsie at 3:02 PM
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Please welcome the awesome Liv from Liv's Book Reviews, who, after some technical difficulties, managed to participate in my second-done/third-posted Inte(Re)view ever!
Chelsie: Thanks for joining me!
Liv: No problem!
Chelsie: Mind telling readers what tonight's interview is about?
Liv: Tonight I'm being interviewed about Brooke Taylor's debut book Undone. It's about two best friends, Serena and Kori, the dynamics of their relationship, and how far they are willing to go for each other.
Chelsie: Best friends, huh? There sure are a lot of novels about friendship. How would Undone compare to some other friendship novels you may have read?
Liv: Wow. I've read many other books based around duos, but Undone has one of the most interesting pairings. Kori is the dark, dangerous, and bold one, who for some unknown reason decides she wants to befriend the shy and soft-spoken girl. Serena depends a lot on Kori's strength to help her through high school and Kori in turn depends on Serena in her own way. In other books, the best friends are usually pretty stereotypical; they've known each other since they've been in diapers, they share clothes, music, and boys, and they know all of each other's secrets. In Undone, it's completely different which was refreshing. Kori and Serena know many superficial things about each other but neither is willing to give up their darkest secrets to the other, which makes it a very interesting relationship to read about.
Chelsie: I've never heard of any friends who are best friends who aren't willing to share dark secrets... how did that turn out?
Liv: I think it added a sort of stress to the story. Kori and Serena were always present in each other's lives but yet at the same time, they knew not to pry into the other's business. After Serena is separated from Kori in the early parts of the story, it makes her realize that there were many things that she didn't know about Kori. Serena takes it on herself to learn every detail about her life and in that she discovers things she didn't know were even plausible. I think Serena felt betrayed to some degree but was also understanding to why Kori kept things from her as she herself had things she wanted hidden from Kori. I liked that they didn't have the kind of relationship you'd expect. There was always some sort of twist that added something new and surprising to the story.
Chelsie: I was watching the Undone book trailer* and it made it seem like, when they are separated, Serena was on a sort of quest to learn more. Is that an accurate way to describe it?
Liv: It's definitely a quest. When Kori left, she left behind a list of things that she wanted to do in her life. Serena finds that list and makes it her duty to both complete Kori's list so it isn't left Undone (hence the book title), and learn the circumstances in Kori's life that were present on the night she disappeared. Serena contacts old friends of Kori's that she didn't knew existed, she confronts her mother, she goes through Kori's things; all because she wants to complete the list which includes mysterious things like "Confront D", and even "Tell Serena". After first reading the list she realizes that there are some major things she didn't know about the girl who was supposedly her best friend. Serena goes to such extremes in her "quest" that she ditches her only other friends, acts like Kori, and becomes involved with Kori's old boyfriend. It's almost like she believes she is Kori, and it takes some serious measures to get her to come back to her friends and her life, and leave the past behind.
Liv: Exactly. I was left guessing until the very end, which was something I really enjoyed. Once one plot point was resolved another one turned up which added even more suspense and mystery, like you said. I really had no idea what was going to happen next in the book, but once it did you can see where all the puzzle pieces fit together. It's both suspenseful, and satisfying, once everything gets figured out. Brooke Taylor really knows how to write a story that will keep you flipping pages.
Chelsie: I love a good page-turner. So, overall, what would you rate this book, on a scale of 1-5, with one being the worst and 5 being the best?
Liv: That's really hard, but I think I'd give it a 4.5. Pretty close to perfect! It's definitely a book I'd recommend to any one who is looking for a book that will suck you in and keep you in suspense until the very last page.
Chelsie: And for comparison's sake, if you could say this book is similar to any others, what would it/they be?
Liv: That's a hard question too! I don't think I've ever read any book that had a plot even close to Undone's. Stephanie Kuehnert's I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone is probably the closest. Both of the girls in the books are searching for clues about someone that's not in their life and they both have a yummy, edgy, writing style. And coincidentally, both of them are among the list of my favorite books.
Chelsie: Wow, any doubts I might have had (there were very few) about reading Undone are completely gone now that you've compared it to I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone, which I loved. I had this book in my pile earlier today, and slowly as I did this interview it has moved up on my list.
Chelsie: So, what kind of expectations did you have for this book? Were they met, or exceeded?
Liv: I'm so glad you've moved it up on your pile! It's a great read.
Liv: I had some pretty high expectations when I started to read Undone as I had read quite a few positive reviews on it. Everyone said it was very enthralling and moving so I had a few doubts that when I would read the book, it wouldn't live up to that, but that doubt was totally erased as my expectations were fully met. I can't say that they were exceeded as they were pretty high to begin with, but they were definitely met which was all I wanted. Undone is a book that lives up to any positive review out there. It has detailed characters, a twisting plot, and a writing style that's unique and easy to read. I couldn't have asked for more.
Chelsie: And speaking of reviews, as a side note I read an extremely awesome review of Undone over at Reviewer X's blog, so click here to check it out.
Chelsie: I'm having a hard time coming up with any good questions, since you seem to have summed it all up perfectly in my mind, so is there anything you'd like to add before I wrap it up?
Liv: Just thank you for having me!
Chelsie: Well, it was a pleasure!
Chelsie: And now I am really excited to read Undone!
Liv: As you should be. It's really really good.
Chelsie: Well, thanks for being my Inte(Re)viewee!
*Undone book trailer: click here.
--If you'd be interested in participating in an Inte(Re)view, email me at email@example.com--
Reviewed by Chelsie at 10:43 PM
Saturday, September 13, 2008
After an extremely long wait, I am finally going to post my second Inte(Re)view. You can find my first one on The Book Thief here, and there will be others being posted in the near future, one next Saturday (it is entirely a coincidence that this and the next were scheduled a week apart) and a couple others in the making. And if you like the idea, feel free to get in on the action by emailing me! My email is posted on the bottom of this post.
And so, without further adieu, my second Inte(Re)view!
The lucky Inte(Re)viewee is... Hope from Hope's Bookshelf!
Chelsie: Hey Hope! So glad you could join me today!
Hope: Thanks for having me, Chelsie. :]
Chelsie: It's always a pleasure. So, mind telling everyone what this interview is about?
Hope: The Midnight Twins by Jacquelyn Mitchard.
Chelsie: Think you could give me a short summary of the book?
Hope: The book is about two twins, Meredith and Mallory. One can see into the future and the other can see into the past. They have to work together to stop a certain something from happening.
Chelsie: Oh? And I assume that secret something is top secret, right?
Hope: Yep. I'm not going to tell you because I wouldn't want to spoil the book for you. :]
Chelsie: Ah, okay. So, to jump right into it, what'd you think of it?
Hope: Personally, I didn't like it too much. The writing seemed really forced a lot of the time, for one. Also, though Jacquelyn Mitchard spent a lot of time explaining all the reasons why Mally and Merry were opposites, they didn't seem that way to me. Another thing that really annoyed me was that the characters didn't grow a whole lot. Mally and Merry grew a little bit, but all the minor characters stayed the same and didn't grow at all.
Chelsie: So you wouldn't recommend it?
Hope: No, not really, to be honest. There are a lot more books out there that are better reads than this one.
Chelsie: That's reassuring, because I started reading this book and I just couldn't get into it.
Hope: It took me a while to get into it, too. I don't think I ever fully got interested in the story.
Chelsie: So, have you read anything else by Jacqueline Mitchard?
Hope: No, I haven't read anything by Jacqueline Mitchard before, though I've heard her other books are better than this one.
Chelsie: That's good to hear. So, is there anything specific that you can point out that was really what made you not like the book? Or was it just all the little things combined?
Hope: It was all those little things combined. And the fact that it didn't get interesting until the middle. The beginning was boring, the middle got kind of interesting, and the end got kind of boring again.
Chelsie: Were there any redeeming qualities that might make this a book appeal to someone else?
Hope: The idea is a very interesting one. I've never read a story that had the idea of this one.
Chelsie: So, points for uniqueness. I like unique things. But sadly, this book (or the beginning, at least) just didn't do it for me. So, on a scale of 1-5, with 1 being the worst and 5 being the best, how would you rate The Midnight Twins?
Hope: Hm. Probably a 2, because the idea was really original.
Chelsie: So, overall not a good book. As you've already said. So, is there anything else you'd like to share?
Hope: I think that's pretty much all I have to say about this book. But while I'm here I'll do some free advertising. Visit my blog at http://www.princess2293.blogspot.com for more young adult reviews. Thanks again for having me, Chelsie. :]
Chelsie: Like I said, it's always a pleasure. And feel free to come back anytime for another Inte(Re)view. Hopefully next time it will be a good review.
Hope: I hope so, too. :]
Chelsie: Thanks again!
If you'd be interested in doing an Inte(Re)view, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Reviewed by Chelsie at 12:00 PM
I think that I promised an Inte(Re)view today, but I think I'm going to postpone that for tomorrow. Right when I get done with this post I'm going to schedule it for tomorrow. So keep your eyes peeled.
Right now I'm just going to talk about a series that I am in love with, but it seems like it gets very little publicity. And this series is the Peaches series by Jodi Lynn Anderson.
I bought the first book, Peaches, on a whim one day when I had a little extra money to spend, and I started it the very same day. After a somewhat slow start, and a kind of boring middle, it picked up quickly and I adored the ending.
I had no idea there was a sequel until I got a Borders gift card for Christmas two years ago. And I bought the sequel, The Secrets of Peaches, in hardcover, and read it the very same night. [[Side note: the title links to the amazon page, and I just noticed that my review is listed as one of the most helpful customer reviews... it's the very first one. I know there are only six reviews total, but I've wanted to have a helpful review listed in the top for such a long time. And it's not even that good of a review, wow...]]
This is probably the only series I can think of where I liked the second book better than the first. I think it's because I was already into the story by the time I read the second book, so I didn't have to go through the introductory stage where I was trying to figure out the characters and the writing style. I could just jump right into it.
Anyways, I loved it. And I had no idea whether there was going to be a third book or not, but I hoped there would be. These books are like the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants to me, except not quite as popular.
Not too long ago I was somewhere, I can't remember where (harperteen??), and I saw the book cover for the third book, Love and Peaches... and I was soooo excited. And it's being released on October 28th, which isn't really that far away... I am looking forward to going to B&N and buying it... in hardcover. I want to own the whole series.
I simply had to share this with everyone. Especially since I think everyone should know about this series, and because the covers are all so pretty and simple... I find that I like simple covers better than elaborate covers. And I love how they all match. So awesome.
Reviewed by Chelsie at 12:13 AM
Thursday, September 11, 2008
School is awful for bloggers like me. And it's even worse in the fall, because I have all this stuff going on, and I just don't feel like spending my free time on the computer. *shocked gasps from the peanut gallery*
Eh, it's true. I'd rather catch up on the TV shows building up on my DVR, sleep, or actually read something. Because without reading this blog would be nothing... and I have not read at all.
Except, I read one book. Ivy by Julie Hearn. I gave myself a couple days to think about it and decide whether I really want to review it or not, and I have decided not to. If you want to hear my thoughts about it, you can always check out my blog post on Teen Tuesday. And while you're there, be sure to read the rest of the blogs because that would make one of us who is actually keeping up with the blogging world.
Agh. Other than Ivy, I have read about five pages of Undone by Brooke Taylor. And on top of that I also have three nonfiction books to read for school.
I would say I'm taking a break from blogging, but that's not really true. I just won't be as active. Obviously. Because I am swamped with work.
Speaking of work, I have a job (other than my summer library job.) I am now a proud employee of McDonalds. Yay!
Anyways, now that I'm done posting a pointless rambly blog, I'm going to disappear and go to play practice. I would say keep your eyes out for my second Inte(Re)view tomorrow, but that's only if I get the time to post it.
Reviewed by Chelsie at 5:56 PM
Thursday, September 4, 2008
First off, the contest winner announcement is long overdue. So, here it is:
Please email me with your info within a reasonable amount of time (I'm not gonna give a time limit, but if you don't email me or get in touch then I'll obviously have to pick a different winner) and the book is yours =D
And now that the official business is taken care of, I have one thing to say.
School is making it impossible to read.
That's about it.
Reviewed by Chelsie at 7:28 PM
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Back to School Countdown, Book(s) #1
These fine pieces of literature need no introduction! At least, not where I'm from.
Harry Potter is a phenomenon, and I honestly am not sure what to say about the books. They are definitely as good as everyone says they are, and they deserve to be so widely liked.
And of course they made number 1 on my list because of the famous school in which they all take place... Hogwarts! Not only are these books number one for their awesomeness, they are also number one because this school is probably the most cool school in the literary world.
I've always wanted to go to Hogwarts... it's such a magical school... literally. Instead of learning Math and Science, you'd learn Defense Against the Dark Arts and Potions. And while I'd have to live at Hogwarts throughout the whole school year, there probably wouldn't be a dull moment with all of the secret rooms, strange teachers, and moving staircases.
Yay for Hogwarts! Yay for Harry Potter! And yay for school!
Speaking of school... by the time you read this I will have started my very first day of my Junior year... and hopefully it's a good one =D
Wish me luck!
Reviewed by Chelsie at 8:05 AM
Monday, September 1, 2008
Back to School Countdown, Book #2
Looking for Alaska
by John Green
Anyone who hasn't read anything by John Green, they need to pick this book up asap. Anyone who's read something by John Green but hasn't read this book, what the heck is wrong with you?! This book is amazing.
It's been awhile since I've read it, so I think my arguments for the amazingness of this novel are kind of lacking.
And I'm not even going to begin to slaughter this book with a miserable summary. I'm just going to say that Miles goes to boarding school... and things happen. Interesting things.
I was addicted after ten pages, and I couldn't even put this book down. It was intriguing. It was thoughtful. And it had something important to say... it wasn't just another YA novel. This was more real, more meaningful than a lot of books I have read.
I refuse to go into detail, because anything I say about it will make it sound mediocre and just okay. But just know this book comes highly recommended from me.
Reviewed by Chelsie at 5:20 PM