Mini-Review: Exposure (Kim Askew and Amy Helmes)

The Deets:
reading level: YA
pages: 223
publisher: January 18th 2013 by Merit Press
ISBN: 9781440552618
genre: contemporary?


Exposure: A Modern-Day Spin on Shakespeare's Macbeth (Twisted Lit, #2)
Double, double, toil and trouble. Sometimes, the quest for high school royalty can be deadly! In this emotionally-charged twist on Shakespeare’s Macbeth, a self-conscious shutterbug named Skye Kingston navigates a treacherous school year in Alaska fraught with unspoken secrets and tragic twists of fate. Along the way she encounters three strangely prophetic BFFs; one social-climbing, sociopathic cheerleader; and a heart-stopping hottie named Craig McKenzie: the man who would be Prom King. Can Skye save the boy she loves — and herself — before they get caught in the crosshairs?
 

 I am a huge fan of retellings, especially Shakespeare (or other classics). I just love how a good retelling can make an otherwise intimidating book more accessible to younger readers. However, Exposure just didn't work for me.

As far as things that I like, I was highly impressed with the vocabulary used throughout this book. I am thankful I read this on my Kindle because I had to use the dictionary feature several times. (I really hate admitting that too.) I get giddy when my brain is challenged. What can I say? Total word nerd.

But you aren't reading this to hear me gush about SAT quality vocab words. You want to know what I didn't like about this Macbeth retelling. Well, I can say it was just about everything. (dun dun dun)

This was loosely based on Macbeth-- and when I say loosely, think about a 5 year-old's ability to keep a secret. Loose lips baby. About the only thing that was easily recognized as being from the original tale were the "three witches." It was easy to pick up on their role from the beginning. Ok, I guess Craig's role was easy to figure out too. BUT... how those prophesies panned out-- mmm, not so much.

I guess I was expecting more similarities to the original. Because it didn't deliver in that department, I was disappointed. But to be fair to the book, if a reader was not familiar with Macbeth, then they would probably really enjoy Exposure. It was a nice story that I probably would have enjoyed more if I didn't know it was supposed to be a retelling of Shakespeare play.

I really wanted to read Tempestuous because it's based on my ALL TIME FAVORITE Shakespeare play (The Tempest), but I'm a little scared now. If I had such a negative reaction to the loosely based Macbeth plot line, how will I cope if Tempestuous follows the same path? If anyone has read Tempestuous, I would love to know your take.  


Review: Confessions of an Angry Girl (Louise Rozett)

The Deets:
reading level: YA
pages: 272
publisher: August 28th 2012 by Harlequin Teen
ISBN: 9780373210480
genre: contemporary
source: e-ARC from Netgalley


Confessions of an Angry Girl (Confessions, #1)Rose Zarelli, self-proclaimed word geek and angry girl, has some confessions to make…

1. I'm livid all the time. Why? My dad died. My mom barely talks. My brother abandoned us. I think I'm allowed to be irate, don't you?

2. I make people furious regularly. Want an example? I kissed Jamie Forta, a badass guy who might be dating a cheerleader. She is now enraged and out for blood. Mine.

3. High school might as well be Mars. My best friend has been replaced by an alien, and I see red all the time. (Mars is red and "seeing red" means being angry—get it?)

Here are some other vocab words that describe my life: Inadequate. Insufferable. Intolerable.

(Don't know what they mean? Look them up yourself.)

(Sorry. That was rude.)

 

There are some books that you read in an entire sitting. This was one of them. Now, I'm not usually a fan of contemporary reads, but I did enjoy Confessions of an Angry Girl. That may have had something to do with the type of day I had prior to reading this, but who knows.

First off, I have to say how amazing is it that the main character has a vocabulary that would make any high school English teacher proud? We're talking multisyllabic words, people. Beautiful. Add that to the fiesty nature of Rosie and you have an instant winner. I loved her sarcastic, sometimes explosive personality. It was very believable.

I also liked how real this story felt. It's a delicate subject matter (the loss of the father) and how he was killed. You truly get a glimpse inside the head of a hurting teenager and a family in mourning. Death is ugly. Healing isn't pretty. And sometimes people get hurt along the way. That's life, and that's Rosie.

Along with that underlying subplot of healing and moving on with your life, you have an interesting romance storyline. I'm not certain how I feel about the almost 18 year old boy developing feelings for the fourteen year old girl, but I went with it. Rosie doesn't always seem so young, even if she is very clueless about all things high school. The pseudo love triangle also added a nice flavor to the mix. I can't say much about that, but know that it provided plenty of humor and drama.

Overall, I think many teens are going to be able to relate to this one. The characters are raw and deal with true teenage issues. There is no fluff to the pressures of sex or the loss of a parent. It's in your face and gritty. Confessions of an Angry Girl is a fantastic coming of age story that captures adolescence perfectly.


Mini-review: Burn for Burn (Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian)

The Deets:
Reading level: YA
pages: 368
publisher: September 18th 2012 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
ISBN: 9781442440753
genre: paranormal elements, contemporary
source: e-arc from Netgalley


BIG GIRLS DON'T CRY...
THEY GET EVEN.

Lillia has never had any problems dealing with boys who like her. Not until this summer, when one went too far. No way will she let the same thing happen to her little sister.

Kat is tired of the rumours, the insults, the cruel jokes. It all goes back to one person– her ex-best friend– and she's ready to make her pay.

Four years ago, Mary left Jar Island because of a boy. But she's not the same girl anymore. And she's ready to prove it to him.

Three very different girls who want the same thing: sweet, sweet revenge. And they won't stop until they each had a taste.

I decided to switch things up a bit from my normal reading this month, and try Burn for Burn  by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian . I was expecting a typical teenage angst filled story full of revenge and back stabbing. What I ended up with was something slightly unexpected.

Yes, there was plenty of revenge seeking and back stabbing. There was also a fair amount of cheeky comments and sass. But the unexpected surprise hiding on these pages is the paranormal/supernatural element with one of the characters. Now, if you're one to avoid books that might lean toward the supernatural, do not fret. It is such a small detail in this book that you might even miss it.

One of the things I found the most interesting about this book was the characters. The three girls that tell their stories in alternating voice/chapters had very differing reasons for seeking revenge. I was worried it would be choppy with that many narrators, but I think the authors pulled it off well. They were able to make each girl's voice unique in the book. I also liked how the three girls (Lillia, Kat, and Mary) were so very different from one another. That really brought an interesting element to this group of revenge seekers.

For the most part this was a contemporary read. It takes place in a high school with typical and expected high school drama. There are some underlying subplots that are important, but don't take center stage in Burn for Burn. I expect they will get more face time in the next book, Fire with Fire.

So, overall, if you want a quick read that appeases your inner scorned teenage self, you'll probably enjoy this one.


Cover Appeal: Gothic Tales

I'm still truding through the Caster Chronicles series, so I'm in a rather gothic mood. This week's Cover Appeal feature is all about gothic reads. Anything spooky, mysterious, or otherwordly will do.



2 Gothic Peoples :: Girl_Butterfly4t.jpg picture by Prodigal_One - Photobucket
 
Gothic Girl
 
 
 
*All images were found on Pinterest.
 
 
 

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