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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Jane by April Lindner - Review

by April Lindner 
Publisher: Poppy
Release Date: October 11, 2010

Format: Hardcover, 373 pages

Source: Bought from Amazon

Forced to drop out of an esteemed East Coast college after the sudden death of her parents, Jane Moore takes a nanny job at Thornfield Park, the estate of Nico Rathburn, an iconic rock star on the brink of a huge comeback. Practical and independent, Jane reluctantly becomes entranced by her magnetic and brooding employer, and finds herself in the midst of a forbidden romance. But there's a mystery at Thornfield, and Jane's much-envied relationship with Nico is tested by a torturous secret from his past.

Part irresistible romance and part darkly engrossing mystery, this contemporary retelling of the beloved classic Jane Eyre promises to enchant a new generation of readers.

- Summary taken from goodreads

My thoughts:

Having never read the original version of the story, my opinion of Jane may be a bit biased.
Jane is forced to leave school after her parents die in an accident. Having no money and no support from her loathsome siblings, Jane must take on a job as a nanny to make ends meet. Because of her serious nature and lack of interest in pop culture, Jane is chosen to be Nico Rathburn's newest nanny. Jane is understandably nervous about working for a rock star, but as time goes on she begins to feel like she belongs with Nico and his five year old daughter Maddy. She begins to feel like she is "home". Not everything is all love and roses though. There are some scary things happening at Thornfield Manor, and Jane ends up being right in the midst of the drama

I absolutely adored Jane. Even though she went through so much in her short 19 years on earth, from losing her parents to be tortured by her brother as a child, she was strong willed and kind hearted.  She was utterly devoted to adorable Maddy, and she was able to take the incorrigible NIco down a peg when needed.

Speaking of Nico, he was not what I expected the character to be. He was quite broody throughout most of the novel, yet he was sensitive and showed a great interest and devotion to Jane. Though he was a bit dramatic for my taste, I enjoyed seeing the relationship between him and Jane unfold. 

As for the plot, it was filled with twists and turns that I did NOT see coming. I thought this would be more of a "serene" book, but it was quite volatile in places. I can't go too deeply into the plot points without spoiling things, but I will say that Jane was an unexpected book that I thoroughly enjoyed. I am now eager to read the original!

Have you read the original Jane Eyre or the modernized retelling? If so, I'd love to hear your opinions on how they compare!

My Rating

4/5 Coffee Cups = Loved It!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Lola and the Boy Next Door: GIVEAWAY

 Lola and the Boy Next Door GIVEAWAY!
Hey guys! I know many of you are anxiously awaiting Stephanie Perkins's new novel, Lola and the Boy Next Door. I remember how happy I was to get my hands on this book, and I want one of you to get the same opportunity. I have (1) ARC of LOLA to share.

- Must be 13 years or older
- This contest is open to people in the U.S. only (sorry international readers :( )
- Contest will run from August 17, 2011 to August 26, 2011.
- Since this is an ARC, I'd be ecstatic if you reviewed LOLA on your blog, goodreads, amazon, or another place of your choice. ARCs are all about promotion of awesome books!

- Name
- Email address
- favorite couple in a YA novel

*Following is NOT required, although I love meeting new bookish people! This is about sharing the love of great books!*

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson - Review

  The Name of the Star 
Publisher: Penguin
Release Date: September 29, 2011
Format: Hardcover, 370 pages
Source: Received ARC at ALA in exchange for an honest review

The day Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London marks a memorable occasion. For Rory, it's the start of a new life at a London boarding school. But for many, this will be remembered as the day a series of brutal murders broke out across the city, gruesome crimes mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper events of more than a century ago.

Soon “Rippermania” takes hold of modern-day London, and the police are left with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man police believe to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him. Even her roommate, who was walking with her at the time, didn't notice the mysterious man. So why can only Rory see him? And more urgently, why has Rory become his next target? In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, full of suspense, humor, and romance, Rory will learn the truth about the secret ghost police of London and discover her own shocking abilities.

- Summary taken from goodreads

My thoughts:

This was the first Maureen Johnson book that I've read, and let me just say that she has made a fan out of me! Her descriptive and funny writing drew me in and didn't let me go. I loved everything about The Name of the Star, from the fleshed out characters to the twisty plot.

Rory was an amazing protagonist.  Rory's a true Louisiana girl who possesses tons of humor and wit, yet let's you see her vulnerable side as well. I live in Louisiana, and the description of the state in this book were spot on. From the sinking river towns to the eccentric townspeople, Maureen captured the essence of Louisiana culture perfectly.

I enjoyed reading Rory's reactions to London and the crazy shizz that went down with The Ripper. She was appropriately wary of his crazy ass, yet she still swallowed her fear and faced him. The girl is fierce.

Speaking of the Ripper, he is insanely creepy and sadistic, yet I almost understand why he did the things he did. There were tons of twists and turns in the book related to him, and that really helped to keep the tension up.

The other secondary characters in this book were very well drawn out, from Claudia the hockey loving dorm mistress to Rory's neat freak roommate, I loved them all. There were other secondary characters that I loved as well, but I really can't mention them without spoiling things.

In a nutshell, this book has it all: Amazing setting, realistic characters, a creepy bad guy, plot twists out of the wazoo, I could go on and on. The Name of the Star will definitely be in my top 3 books of the year. 

Be sure to check it out, and if  you preorder your copy from Books of Wonder, Maureen Johnson will sign it! 

My Rating:

Wide Awake! - This book is going on my "Favorites" shelf
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