Monday, January 6, 2014

Mini Reviews #20

Today I dug out three of my oldest review titles from 2011 and 2012, GIRL WONDER by Alexa Martin, WHERE IT BEGAN by Ann Redisch Stampler and THE SUMMER OF FIRSTS AND LASTS by Terra Elan McVoy.

Girl Wonder by Alexa Martin

It's senior year and since her parents decided to move, Charlotte has to attend a new school and with that make new friends, too. From the beginning Charlotte's story is all about her school life.
She has a learning disability and isn't very good with numbers. GIRL WONDER shows that you can't be good at everything and even if you have flaws and weaknesses you should still be respected and not treated any differently for it.
So GIRL WONDER has all the main issues occupying a teen's mind. School days, family dinner conversations, new friends, and two boys, Neal and Milton, warring for Charlotte's heart. GIRL WONDER is about learning to grow up, to trust the right people and leave those behind who don't trust in you. How does Charlotte decide who is right for her?
My favourite thing about Alexa Martin's debut novel was its setting, the rural landscape, pine trees, snowy mountains that brought on an extra winter charm and fun activities like skiing.

3/5 *** GIRL WONDER – An average YA contemporary read for a younger audience about a girl finding her way in life .

Somehow the cover of GIRL WONDER made me assume I'd picked up a book with paranormal background, only to discover a plain and common YA contemporary story. I couldn't relate to the characters very well, but the story kept me entertained to some extend.

Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Publishing Date: May 3rd 2011
Length: 304 pages
Keywords: YA, contemporary, new girl, romance, learning disability
Source: Netgalley
Author's Homepage

Where It Began by Ann Redisch Stampler

Gabby wakes up in a hospital, suffering from memory loss. She has no idea what led to the car accident that brought her here. Suddenly her boyfriend, popular Billy Nash, is distancing himself from her and it's Gabby's turn to find out what happened that night.
Gabby is a main character with a bunch of problems in tow, a person that is hard to figure out. There is a big difference between the person she truly is and the person other people want her to be, especially her boyfriend Billy and her mother Vivian. Ann Redisch Stampler did a good job building up the inevitable conflict between her characters. Her fine writing supports the incoherent and hesitant thoughts and feelings that are inside our protagonist very well.
There are only a few characters that I did like in WHERE IT BEGAN. The entire time I didn’t know what to think of Billy Nash, Gabby’s boyfriend (not a good sign). I was engaged in their romance, even though I constantly had a nagging feeling that something about it wasn’t quite right.
Gabby’s task to find out what happened the night of her accident is in the main focus of the story and it's definitely one mystery that you want to see solved.

3/5 *** WHERE IT BEGAN – A YA contemporary debut with an initially interesting clue hunt and questions about trust, true love and loyalty.

The strong pull I felt towards Gabby's story at first slowly started to ebb away with every new cryptic chapter that followed. I was eager to find out what happened to Gabby that night, I highly felt for her, and wanted her so badly to regain her memory. But when I started to figure out what happened that night before she did, I just couldn't stand to see her be so blind to every person around her treating her in a way that wasn't acceptable anymore.

Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publishing Date: March 6th 2012
Length: 369 pages
Keywords: YA, contemporary, romance, memory loss, car accident
Source: Simon & Schuster Galley Grab
Author's Homepage

The Summer of Firsts and Lasts by Terra Elan McVoy 

The three sisters Calla, Violet and Daisy are attending summer camp together. Calla has a huge crush on her best friend Duncan, Violet is into James, a boy she isn't supposed to fall for and Daisy is finding out what it means to be Joel's girlfriend. 
There's much going on in the lives of the three teenage girls and them being sisters doesn't make it easier. They are often petulant and don't always want to listen to the wise words of an older sister. Violet, Daisy and Calla have known each other their entire lives, and listening to them and seeing the three sisters interact was exhausting sometimes. They have these stupid nicknames for each other and all three girls are named after a flower. Minor details, but enough to tick me off more than once.
Violet, Daisy and Calla all get their own chapters to tell their camp stories. Of course boys play a role, too. But sometimes friendship and family are more important and come before anything else. The three girls discover what matters to them most in different ways.

3/5 *** THE SUMMER OF FIRSTS AND LASTS – Frisky and youthful, this is a light summer read with fun setting and an often irritating  sister trio.

THE SUMMER OF FIRSTS AND LASTS is about everything that could equal summer for three teenage girls. It's as much about sisterhood and family, growing together as growing apart as learning to stand on your own two feet and make your own decisions.

Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publishing Date: May 3rd 2011
Length: 423 pages
Keywords: YA, contemporary, romance, summer camp, three sisters, friendship
Source: Simon & Schuster Galley Grab
Author's Homepage

1 comment:

  1. I remember being a bit disappointed by Girl Wonder too, Sarah. I didn't really like the MC but I felt like she learned some good lessons.