Monday, March 29, 2010

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher (Review)

Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker--his classmate and crush--who committed suicide two weeks earlier. On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out how he made the list. Through Hannah and Clay's dual narratives, debut author Jay Asher weaves an intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation that will deeply affect teen readers.


A shoebox-sized package is propped against the front door at an angle. Our front door has a tiny slot to shove mail through, but anything thicker than a bar of soap gets left outside. A hurried scribble on the wrapping addresses the package to Clay Jensen, so I pick it up and head inside. I take the package into the kitchen and set it on the counter. I slide open the junk drawer and pull out a pair of scissors. Then I run a scissor blade around the package and lift off its top. Inside the shoebox is a rolled-up tube of bubble-wrap. I unroll that and discover seven loose audiotapes. Each tape has a dark blue number painted in the upper right-hand corner, possibly with nail polish. Each side has its own number. One and two on the first tape, three and four on the next, five and six, and so on. The last tape has a thirteen on one side, but nothing on the back. Who would send me a shoebox full of audiotapes? No one listens to tapes anymore. Do I even have a way to play them? The garage! The stereo on the workbench. My dad bought it at a yard sale for almost nothing. It's old, so he doesn't care if it gets coated with sawdust or splattered with paint. And best of all, it plays tapes. I drag a stool in front of the workbench, drop my backpack to the floor, then sit down. I press Eject on the player. A plastic door eases open and I slide in the first tape.

My Thoughts:
I am about to get candid with you. Unposed as Hannah Baker will inform you in this novel; so honestly, I really did not want to read this book almost if not more than I did want to read it. Why you ask? Because I knew it would hit a little too close to home.

You see, Hannah is a teenage girl who commits suicide. But before she does she records on cassette tape the 13 reasons why. See, now you get the title. Jay Asher lets this story unfold amazingly. I was haunted by it and every chance I got I would run and get back into it. Walking home from work; I had it on audio book. At work; I had the hardcover and reading in-between customers. It was haunting. Even when I didn't agree with Hannah, I understood her. Because I was her.

I too was a 16 year old. I was perpetually the new kid but where she was a rumor minefield, I was simply invisible everywhere I went. The unseen, the cared for, I simply was not there. And like Hannah, I thought about suicide being the answer. I cringed a lot reading this book. Because it shows how desperate Hannah is and what got her to the point of giving up but it also showed exactly how selfish she was and in turn how selfish I almost was. I had written the letter goodbye, several of them. But in the end, thankfully I found a reason not to; any reason would have worked for me.

That’s what this story meant to me. It shows how those who are contemplating suicide are really looking for is any reason to stay alive. Just the smallest thing. It is a sad fact that a lot of people don’t find that reason. A fellow blogger recently did not find a reason to stay alive. It’s who I thought of when I read this book, Prissy Green AKA karissa, she didn’t find that reason. Everyone says but she was so happy and fine.

Fact: right before someone commits suicide people often say that the person seemed happy and calm. That is because they have decided already and they are at peace because they KNOW. They KNOW what they are going to do. They see the end. So if you see a sudden mood swing for the better in a person, don’t just let it pass as “Okay, they are better now.” It’s exactly the opposite; they are in the most danger at that point. Don’t over look it. Don’t over look anyone.

This isn’t much of a review, I know. But I will say I love this book. It felt so organic and real. It was like it was happening in a local school to the point that I want to go to my neighborhood school and shout out “Hannah! Hannah Baker? I can help you.” Because even if the she or even he isn’t named Hannah Baker…They are still out there.  Know the signs.  Be aware of the Warning signs!
 If you need help for a friend or yourself Don't be afraid,
1-800-273-TALK (8255)
You are not alone-help a friend
Find help in your state
There is help

I am here to listen as well, living proof, it can and does get better. Reach me.

In memory of Prissy Green and all the other beautiful souls we have lost.  I love you and miss you.

Keep reading,

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink (Review)

I had heard a lot of things about this novel; both good and bad things. One of my favorite ones was a bad one because I was inclined to agree, but where they hated it because of one thing; I liked it for that one reason.

This reviewer said that nothing ever happened it was just talking at various locations. And though that is pretty much the case, liked that about this book. I liked that Michelle Zink didn't feel the need to stuff it full with so much action that we never really caught the information being revealed. Zink did a lot of research for this book and it is evident. Those of you, who aren't angel-junkies like me, may think that it is majorly fictionalized to fit the story but it is not. This makes Zink's novel all the more amazing. She found a way to tell the story built around something that already exists so it almost feels organic and real.

I didn't think I was going to like this story much because I hate when families are pitted against one another because I always feel it is unrealistic. If my sister was an evil witch than I still wouldn't go against her, we are family I don't give a crap how bad she was. But I did not have that problem with it in this story; I actually thought Lea was too soft on Alice! I can't give it away but you will know what I am talking about when you read it. I thought Lea should be doing some slapping! I can understand Michelle Zink not wanting to say "So I bitch slapped that wicked witch!" It is YA but she could have used a more tame description like "I molly-whopped Alice for what she did. She was evil for real yo!" I am joking but Lea's reactions were far too weak and soft. That is my only complaint with this book. Also it felt like it didn't resolve any issue. The end was anti-climactic. I always think a series/trilogy should have a "grand theme" that runs unresolved through to the end, the big finale, so to speak and a mini-plot that can be concluded at the end of the current book. Each installment with it's own mini-theme that can be resolved. This series does not have that. Still a good read.

Keep reading,

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl (Review)

*sigh* I will admit, I was not all that excited about reading this book. I told myself I wouldn't read it. There was so much hype and I had no idea what it was about, I thought maybe wolves. It seemed like a big set up. I am well aware that set ups as big as this one only lead to being a huge let down. I let my fellow book bloggers' raves get the best of me so I bought the book and was like "holy mother! This is a big book." I cannot read books that big unless it is Stephen King GOOD. So I downloaded the audio book. Good thing because the audiobook was a very well done.

Like most books its size it lagged a lot. I found issues arising in the book just to extend the plot longer otherwise it had no reason. Near end of the book Lena, a truly annoying and boring girl, pulled a flip-flop a la Edward Cullen via New Moon and pulled away from Ethan saying it will only make it worse when she goes dark. Okay that would be fine IF IT WASN'T ALREADY TOO LATE! The dude had already become a pariah at school because of her! So she pretty much left the boy dangling out there in loser land by himself. It made no sense but to make another obstacle to extend the excruciatingly long book and make it longer. If stupid things like that and Amma's pencil intimidation, which was laughable because seriously did she stab anyone in the past with that sharp pencil? Otherwise, why were they scared? But back to the point, if they had cut the fat like those mentioned above it would be a very awesome and appropriate length book.

The only redeeming character the book had to offer was Macon Ravenwood. I do wish they would have told more about him and his family and background because Lena and Ethan were too weak, stupid and boring for me. They could have replaced Ethan’s pointless dad with more Macon and it would have been a big plus.

I see where the story was supposed to be going and it might have hit the mark if by page 300 it was wrapping it up instead of having almost 300 more pages to go! I hope the rest in this series doesn’t go the way this one did.


Okay I can admit when I was wrong and I was wrong. This book is better than I originally thought and gave it credit for. How do I know? Because it has been months since finishing and I am still thinking about it. It is a good story even with it's mammoth size...I now wish it was longer and still I wish there was more Macon!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Start Me Up by Victoria Dahl (Review)

Ok, let me just say, I do not like bondage or S&M or whatever you pervs call it. I am a good virginal Catholic girl who happens to love sometimes trashy but all the time dirty books. Don't judge me!

With that said I usually hate bondage books, I can't stand anyone (male or female) being submissive. Now, that said, I looooooved Start Me Up. I love that it was completely different sex than Talk Me Down. I love the fantasy and role play. I love how the heroine and hero went about it. How realistic they were doing it. Okay dirties not *doing IT* but making Lori's fantasies come true and the way they were shit nervous about it. Yall are so nasty, pervs.

I also adored Quinn. Like to the point we could date until the night he got all creepy and started saying how rude I was flaunting my ex-lover and how I need a safe word and talking of tying me up...I'd have to dump his hott ass right then! But he also made me smile during the sexxxoring scene in that chapter; he is such a good guy and not use to the whole "bondage make her beg" thing. Alas, Pleasure is not pain and vis-a vers-a to me. Sorry Quinn. LOL But, Get your Jollies Quinn get your Jollies!

I love how sexually repressed Lori is. She doesn't even know it either! She is a secret little dirty girl. She proves pixies ARE little skeezes! *grins*

Now intertwine with what I just said about the sex and characters with the hot and awesome storyline of parents, betrayal and suspense all while fighting to NOT fall head over heels in lurve while they have kinky sexxor. ROWR!

Victoria Dahl writes the awesomest, most likeable and relatable characters ever! I so wish I were a Dahl heroine! A catholic, virgin who still dazzles men with her blatant sexuality but it’s all an act. She'd (me) is really afraid to be in love or loved and has trust issues, until a sexy hottie comes along and breaks through her hard shell and sees through her facade. Shows her lovingly that she has control issues and then blows her mind in bed! Um yea if I were a Dahl heroine that would be my story (I hope, anyway)...Since I am not, I read Start Me Up!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Book Birthdays: Chick with a Charm; Mad Bad and Blonde & Something about you

Chick with a Charm by Vicki Lewis Thompson
Lily Revere is free-spirited and fun-loving-two dangerous qualities in a witch. Lily needs a date for her sister Anica's engagement party, and she's determined to bring hot Griffin Taylor. But the jaded divorce lawyer claims his job has warned him off romance. Slipping a love elixir into Griffin's drink may not be the noble thing to do-but it sure works! There's just one problem: Are Griffin's feelings the result of some truly good witchcraft-or could he really be in love? [See my review for Blonde with a Wand by Vicki Lewis Thompson]

Something About You by Julie James
Staying overnight in a luxury hotel, Assistant U.S. Attorney Cameron Lynde overhears a high-profile murder involving a U.S. Senator. Special Agent Jack Pallas is assigned to the investigation-the same Jack Pallas who still blames her for nearly ruining his career three years ago. Now the pair will have to put their rocky past behind them, focus on the case at hand-and smother the flame of their sizzling-hot sexual tension. [Follow Julie on Twitter]

Mad, Bad and Blonde by Cathie Linz
After being jilted at the altar, librarian Faith West goes on her Italian honeymoon solo, but doesn't stay that way too long. And though her sexy rebound man has ulterior motives, feelings surface that neither of them are prepared for. [Cathie is also on Twitter]

Keep reading,

Goodreads bookshelf

Casse's bookshelf: read

Truly, MadlyThe Final Dance TrilogyUnder Sea's ShadowIn Stone's ClaspOn Fire's WingsTalk Me Down

More of Casse's books »
Casse NaRome's  book recommendations, reviews, favorite quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists

My Oh-Em-Gee Favorite Trailers...