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nicollzg

nicollzg

The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend - Kody Keplinger

The DUFF is s a fun, refreshing book about Bianca, a cynical high school senior who finds that hooking up with a guy she despises is a good way to run away from problems. Doing due diligence, I found that a lot of people think that Bianca hooking up with a boy she hates is disgusting and/or terrible. It never even crossed my mind because I got the impression that she doesn’t hate Wesley, she “hates” him. Haven’t you ever “hated” a guy? I have. I “hated” the hell out of a certain boy with a generic name. Hating him was easier because I thought there was no chance he would notice me, because he always picked the girls who were hot (i.e. not me), and because it was original (girls were either indifferent or obsessed with him) which was extremely important to me in my formative years. The book was written in first person, which is why Bianca doesn’t put quotation marks when she says she hates Wesley. She doesn’t know she “hates” him, the book is a process of her adding quotation marks.

What The DUFF lacks the most is attention span. Conflicts and problems are solved too quickly – parent problem, boy problem, friend problem – it all goes away in a whirlwind of cynicism and good will of other characters. Lackadaisical approach to sex could be considered a bit problematic, I guess. But it’s fiction, right? We should have some faith that kids today can tell the difference between fiction and advice. When I was sixteen if I read in some book which said that casual approach to sex is ok if you don’t get pregnant, I still wouldn’t have exclaimed in jubilee: “Yay, I’m gonna buy a ton of condoms, get on the pill and start screwing around!” The DUFF might not be among the best. It did not make me giddy, it did not make me fall in love with the male protagonist (didn’t make me feel anything about him, actually), but it was worth the time and it served it’s purpose – it entertained me.

Source: http://nicollzg.wordpress.com/2014/08/18/read-one-book-two-not-so-much
Stranded with a Billionaire (Billionaire Boys Club Novel) - Jessica Clare

Logan just bought an island on which, incidentally, Brontë is spending her vacation. A hurricane disrupts her lousy stay, and she is found, believe it or not, Stranded with a Billionaire. They hook up,  and the chemistry between them is convincing. There are funny moments, cute moments and boring moments. Logan is not an irritating bully and Brontë, although naïve to a certain degree, is not an idiot and has a mind of her own.

And then they leave the island.

Once Logan and Brontë leave the windy retreat, the book starts it’s slow, but safe, downward spiral. It goes around in circles, entertaining cliches about love, money and baggage, dabbling with now unconvincing and forced attraction. Once in the real world, everything, including the author’s inspiration and imagination, indicates that Logan and Brontë should break up, because their relationship does not work and because they both seemed as uninterested in it as I was.

In case you liked 50 Shades of Grey or the Crossfire Series, Stranded with a Billionaire might be your cup of tea.  It’s not bad, it got me interested and intrigued. Unfortunately, it lost focus and I lost interest.

Source: http://nicollzg.wordpress.com/2014/09/02/stranded-with-a-billionaire

From Rags

From Rags - Suzanne  Wright

I’ve read a total of 66 pages and it was enough for me to conclude that this book will never get To Riches.

Jaxxon is a young woman who has been in foster care, together with her sister Leah and Connor, a boy of 16 with which she has shared a single kiss when she was fourteen. Connor left, never to fulfil his promise and come back to her. Through shitty plot development, they once again come together. Immense sexual tension was supposed to ensue, but there was none of it due to ineptness of the author.

Jaxxon, the protagonist, is a derisive, obnoxious woman. Her homicidal tendencies are supposed to show us how tough and unrelenting she is, I guess. To me it was just freaky and made me a little bit scared. Let me illustrate:

“She wanted to be away from both of them so she could alone enjoy the fantasy of slaughtering them in their sleep.”

I think that’s just sick. 

Now, about that sexual tension between Connor and Jaxxon. There is none. There is just talk about how there’s a lot of sexual tension that everyone can see (except the reader ).

“The sexual tension was so thick it was almost visible.”

~ Key word ALMOST.

“He was itching to touch her, hold her, kiss her, drive himself into her.”

~ The pinnacle of sexual tension in From Rags.

What I particularly detest is the fact that Jaxxon saying “No” is not taken into consideration, because let’s face it, Connor knows what she really wants because he kissed her once when she was 14.

“The angrier she got the more she bloody aroused him.”

~ Very healthy,

I’ll finish with my favourite sentence:

“She was concerned that she might be turning into a eunuch.”

In summation, if you want to read a book which has undergone dubious editing, which deals with an implausible attraction between two thoroughly unlikeable characters who share no chemistry, From Rags is the perfect book for you.

Source: http://nicollzg.wordpress.com/2014/08/24/from-rags
Fangirl - Rainbow Rowell
"He made everything look so easy… Even standing. You didn’t realize how much work everyone else put into holding themselves upright until you saw Levi leaning against a wall. He looked like he was leaning on something even when he wasn’t. He made standing look like vertical lying down."

Fangirl

Fangirl - Rainbow Rowell

Rainbow Rowell summarily executes willing suspension of disbelief by making you the protagonist of her books. She makes you feel like a hero, makes your life seem worthy of a book of its own. Because, most of us can find some portion of our lives, as small as it may be, that a little imagination and some wordplay can make into a good, maybe even a great book. And that’s what Rainbow tells you, what she reminds you of – your life is interesting, you have great friends, there is excitement behind that very corner, you just need to see it.

The overwhelming familiarity of it all gives you strength and fortifies your belief that anything is possible. Anything.  You need a right set of circumstances, some guts to step out of your routine, and just wait for things to change, develop, and possibly turn absolutely beautiful.

Fangirl is categorized as a YA novel, which I do not like, because YA makes me think of Twilight and Hunger Games, and Fangirl is nothing like those…things. It’s a story about a girl in college, in reluctant search for her place in the social order.

Source: http://nicollzg.wordpress.com/2014/08/09/two-easy-pieces

A Few Issues with Openly Straight

Openly Straight - Bill Konigsberg

I liked parts of this book, but as a whole it simply did not work for me. I liked Rafe and his crazy parents, I liked Albie. I liked the writing and the humour and I really enjoyed the way Rafe tried to reinvent himself.

  1. The biggest problem with Openly Straight is that it’s neither flaky nor serious, and it fails to find a balance between the two. It goes from cheesy romance to serious life issues in a heartbeat, without achieving a smooth transition.
  2.  I’m really not liking the writing professor who gives sage advice about life and writing. I find it tiresome, and in Openly Straight the part where Rafe writes and his professor comments is completely useless and doesn’t add to nothing to the story, except for dubious writing advice.
  3. Ben had no place in this story, in my opinion. As much as I liked their bromance and found it cute, it felt too cute for a book that was trying to deal with issues of identity. If it was a story for itself, if it was a flaky love novel about a gay guy and straight guy getting all agape and eros on each other, maybe I could have mustered it. I think Openly Straight would be much better if there was no love story, and if Ben and Rafe were just friends. It would have done wonders for the book.

All things considered, Openly Straight is a good effort, a fun book to read and it does ask some serious questions and it answers some of them. In my opinion, it could have been better, but it was still worth the while, if nothing for those times it had me laughing silly.

There’s one thing that really struck me as awesome, and it has to do with Rafe’s problem with everybody looking at him as this gay kid and thinking who knows what about him.

“It was like the world opened up to me at that moment, and my thoughts tripped over one another. I was staring at this effeminate kid, and judging my own masculinity, or lack thereof. And was I so different from everyone else? Who was to say what Mr. Meyers in Boulder was thinking about when he looked at me? How come I was assuming his staring at me had anything to do with me? It was probably all about him. Same with everyone.”

Source: http://nicollzg.wordpress.com/2014/08/15/a-few-issues-with-openly-straight