Monday, February 23, 2015

Read This: A Thousand Pieces of You

A Thousand Pieces of You
by Claudia Gray

The Goodreads Summary Says:   
I feel like the GR summary is spoilery so I wrote my own.

Marguerite's parents are all-star physicists who have invented a way to travel between different dimensions. But her father is betrayed and killed by Paul, one of his grad students, who also steals a dimension-traveling device. Now Marguerite and another grad student, Theo, are going to chase Paul through different dimensions and avenge her dad.

I Say:
5 stars
You know those books you read and enjoy so much that you can't stop thinking about them? This is one of those.

It's not perfect but I just loved A Thousand Pieces of You. The idea of seeing all the different possible lives that Marguerite could have had was so cool. (future!London, old-timey Russia, under the sea!) It was a mix of Quantum Leap and all the things I'd hoped David Levithan's Everyday would be. But while Everyday let me down, this did not. I love a story where a character has to fit into a totally different life and act like they know what's going on. And I really liked seeing all the different iterations of Marguerite, her family, and friends. There was danger and cool technology, and some swoony romance. (And dancing. It's brief but awesome.) The book uses flashback well and the mystery of what really happened with her dad was pretty good. This is more romance than mystery, but I was completely fine with that.

There are some elements of the mystery that are obvious, but while I was patting myself on the back for figuring it out I managed to miss a lot of details/clues. Some of the twists were completely unexpected, while others I only figured out partially. The romance got pretty intense pretty fast, but I enjoyed what I was reading so much that the little flaws were easy for me to overlook.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Read This: My True Love Gave to Me

My True Love Gave to Me
edited by Stephanie Perkins

The Goodreads Summary Says:
If you love holiday stories, holiday movies, made-for-TV-holiday specials, holiday episodes of your favorite sitcoms and, especially, if you love holiday anthologies, you’re going to fall in love with My True Love Gave To Me: Twelve Holiday Stories by twelve bestselling young adult writers, edited by international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins. Whether you enjoy celebrating Christmas or Hanukkah, Winter Solstice or New Year's there's something here for everyone. So curl up by the fireplace and get cozy. You have twelve reasons this season to stay indoors and fall in love.

I Say:
4 stars

Winter-themed love stories are good until at least Valentine's Day, right?

This is the first short story anthology I've read and it was really cute. It might seem like reading a dozen holiday-themed love stories would get repetitive but there was a nice mix of holidays, characters, and situations in My True Love Gave to Me. I was familiar with all of the book's authors except for Kelly Link and Myra McEntire so I had high expectations. And really, nearly every story is strong. The only one that was a bit of a miss for me was Jenny Han's Polaris Is Where You'll Find Me (not much of a romance). I also skipped David Levithan's story because he's just not a favorite of mine. But that's the beauty of an anthology - read what you want, skip what you don't. I also really liked reading the stories and then guessing which of the couples on the cover went with that story. The illustrations are all great.

Some favorites:
Best overall: Laini Taylor's The Girl Who Woke the Dreamer (although it was the least holiday-themed) The writing is beautiful and I was so invested in things working out for the characters.

Cutest Romance: Rainbow Rowell's Midnights and Stephanie Perkins' It's a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown (and really, no surprise that these two were best in romance) Both have fun, quirky characters.

Most "Hallmark holiday special" like: Kiersten White's Welcome to Christmas, CA (which was just right in it's holiday cheesiness) and Ally Carter's Star of Bethlehem (which was a little over the top for me)

Totally different but still cool: Holly Black's Krampuslauf

If you're a fan of any of these writers the short stories in here won't let you down.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Top 10 Tuesday: Likes/Dislikes in Romance

Today's Top 10 Tuesday topic is: Likes/Dislikes in Love Stories. I love a good romance so I have some pretty strong opinions on this! 

Link up at The Broke and The Bookish if you want to play along.

These are the best:

Flawed characters
People who struggle and have to work on their issues in order to get together make for some of the most rewarding love stories.

Nice people
I just like reading about characters who treat people well, especially people they're interested in. It's fun to read about cute things they do for each other. And then I totally steal their ideas and use them in real life.

Friends first
I love the added tension of two characters who know each other really well and get along great, and then try to navigate how to turn it into something more.

Slow Build up
The best example of this? the kiss at the end of the North and South miniseries

Star crossed lovers
Kestrel and Arin, anyone? It adds so much more conflict to the story when there are real things getting in the way of the characters getting together, but I really want them to anyway.

Less of this, please:

He's cute and rich and smart and plays all the instruments and is good at everything, and there is no one who is actually like this.

I hate you! Oh wait, no, I love you.
I never buy these. If they start out with misunderstandings, that's different. But if they legitimately know and dislike the person (and aren't like 10 years old) it's hard to believe they'd get together.

Bad boys
Guys who are cocky and full of themselves and treat people badly are not my favorite characters to read about.

Love Triangles
You always know who's going to be picked. There's no tension.

I'm all for instant attraction and people wanting to get to know someone cute. But when they're willing to drop everything for someone they just met because it's love? I shake my head at them.

What do you love in a love story? What are some of your favorite books that get it right?