review: Ember by Carol Oates

22 October 2011

book info:
ages: 13 and up
grades: 7 and up
on sale: NOW
copy from: Omnific
pages: 236

title: Ember
author: Carol Oates
stars: 2.99

When Candra Ember wakes up in hospital after a dangerous encounter with a red-haired woman, she is shocked to discover that seeing a winged boy wasn’t her imagination. Candra is exposed to a world of rivalry and sacrifice she never knew existed, and the aftermath of a war to save humanity thousands of years ago. Soon she finds herself relentlessly stalked by Sebastian, a beautiful and arrogant Watcher Angel and romantically pursued by his darkly seductive rival, Draven. Ultimately, dubious about her own goodness, Candra’s very existence compromises a tentative peace in the city of Acheron.

"She was utterly alone" (Oates, 73)

my thoughts:

I liked Shades of Atlantis, and I liked Ember. Oates is skilled in the way that she can delve deep into her characters, and bring them out. I just don't think that the fantasy premise really works for her obvious talent. The story was to me, quite dead. The plot the...the everything really. The actual writing was good, stylish. There's no doubt that Oates is a great writer, but I think she needs to work for a perfect story.

review: i'm not her

09 October 2011

book info:
ages: 12 and up
grades: 6 and up
on sale: NOW!
copy from: Sourcebooks
pages: 288

title: I'm Not Her
author: Janet Gurtler
stars: 5

“For the first time in my life, I didn’t feel envy…”

Tess is the exact opposite of her beautiful, athletic sister. And that’s okay. Kristina is the sporty one, Tess is the smart one, and they each have their place. Until Kristina is diagnosed with cancer. Suddenly Tess is the center of the popular crowd, everyone eager for updates. There are senior boys flirting with her. Yet the smiles of her picture-perfect family are cracking and her sister could be dying. Now Tess has to fill a new role: the strong one. Because if she doesn’t hold it together, who will?

"Is Kristina sick?" (48, Gurtler)

My thoughts:
I love this book so much. It struck a chord inside me. Lately you've seen me hate on the YA genre (I am sincerley sorry about that!) but this book just proved me wrong (and the new one coming out this month! Shhh). I swear, my heart was pounding (cliche, but true) and I was like "Oh no!" Characters have always been the most important thing in a novel, because it's the characters that get you connected to the story. I could actually connect to Tess and even her sister Kristina. It sounds cliche, younger not popular and nerdy sister and older popular cute cheerleader sister? Well.....I'm Not Her delves more deeply than just that gap between the sisters and into the troubles the family deals, how the cancer affects everyone in the family.

characters: Brilliant. Best. Amazing. Nothing more to say ^_^
theme: Family relationships are complex, and are strained under the introduction of cancer.

plot: There was no vampires, magic, witches or anything like that. It was a realistic, sweet and simple yet complex story that followed a simple series of events that are just perfect.

style: Gurtler weaves her own style into that of the lyrical paced story so that it's almost unnoticeable, but there. The writing was flawless, and the style was unique.


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