Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Downside of Being Charlie by Jenny Torres Sanchez Review

thedownsideofbeingcharlieTitle: The Downside of Being Charlie by Jenny Torres Sanchez
Pages: 268
Publishing Date: May 22nd 2012
Publisher: Running Press Kids
Audience: Teen
Obtained: Review for Seta Zink

Charlie is handed a crappy senior year. Despite losing thirty pounds over the summer, he still gets called “Chunks” Grisner. What’s worse, he has to share a locker with the biggest Lord of the Rings freak his school has ever seen. He also can’t figure out whether Charlotte VanderKleaton, the beautiful strawberry lip-glossed new girl, likes him the way he likes her. Oh, and then there’s his mom. She’s disappeared—again—and his dad won’t talk about it.
Somewhere between the madness, Charlie can at least find comfort in his one and only talent that just might get him out of this life-sucking place. But will he be able to hold his head above water in the meantime?

My Thoughts:

First off I want to thank Seta Zink for an ARC copy of this book. Can I just say how much I loved this book! Its def something totally different than some of the stuff I've been reading lately. Charlie is not our typical MC. He struggles with his weight, isn’t confident and always gets bullied but this is his year. He doesn’t want to be known as that kid anymore. He loses weight and he thought that it would change everything but it doesn’t.

Charlie is such a great character. He’s shy and honest. He’s funny. I saw the teenage boy in the voice that the author wrote. There so much honesty in this book. His family problems are real. There are a lot of families out there that go through the same thing that Charlie does. I’ve seen it first hand and it honestly is greatly executed in this book. I give the author props because those topics are really hard to write about, especially in YA.

I also loved the minor characters. His best friend is just so random. He likes to dress and talk like one of the guys from the Pack Rat and it’s just so crazy how good of a relationship they have. You can tell he would do anything to help Charlie and that’s what true friends are like. It was so good to see that. I also really loved the teacher. We don’t often give those few teachers that notice that things are off credit. Those are the teachers who save lives. I can’t express how much I loved everything about this book. It was so well written and just Charlie’s voice is just unforgettable.

This author does an excellent job battling topics like mental illness and bulimia. It’s serious but she finds a way to put it into an optimistic way. It’s not dark and I love that because that’s what  gets you to move forward. In all that negativity you find hope. I honestly can’t wait to read more books from this author. This book is def must read for anyone. It sends out such a good message.

Comment Question of the Blog:

What do you think about dark topics in YA literature? Do you think they help? Lemme know in the comment section below!

As always,
That Chick That Reads

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Incarnate by Jodi Meadows Review

incarnateTitle: Incarnate by Jodi Meadows
Pages:  374
Publishing Date: January 31st 2012
Publisher:  Katherine Tegen Books
Audience: Teen
Obtained: Borrowed

Ana is new. For thousands of years in Range, a million souls have been reincarnated over and over, keeping their memories and experiences from previous lifetimes. When Ana was born, another soul vanished, and no one knows why.
No soul
Even Ana's own mother thinks she's a nosoul, an omen of worse things to come, and has kept her away from society. To escape her seclusion and learn whether she'll be reincarnated, Ana travels to the city of Heart, but its citizens are afraid of what her presence means. When dragons and sylph attack the city, is Ana to blame?
Heart
Sam believes Ana's new soul is good and worthwhile. When he stands up for her, their relationship blooms. But can he love someone who may live only once, and will Ana's enemies—human and creature alike—let them be together? Ana needs to uncover the mistake that gave her someone else's life, but will her quest threaten the peace of Heart and destroy the promise of reincarnation for all?

My Thoughts:

I don’t know how to feel about Incarnate? There were some parts in the book that made me completely swoon and then there were so many other times when I thought “Really?” with the occasional eye roll here and there. I mean it was good romantic wise but I just wished it explained more into the complexity of the book. There were a lot of questions that I wish that were explained better.

I loved the concept of the book. Reincarnation is totally complex and such an incredibly cool thing. The fact that after “x” amount of years that this newsoul came about really intrigued me. Common questions that I found myself asking were, “how?” “why was she the first newsoul?”. The answers to those questions were never answered.

I felt like the entire book was just centered around Anna and Sam and their relationship. Although it’s difficult to picture Sam as anything but an old man. I mean how many times do we have to hear about his past lives. The cemetery scene was just a bit much for me to be honest. While ignoring that, their relationship seemed pretty good. I really liked how it took time for her to actually like him and it wasn’t abrupt like some of the other young adult novels I’ve read lately.

The thing I really like about Ana was the fact that she’s so sheltered but just hate that for 18 years she was mentally and physically abused. Wouldn’t that break a person down? There has to be side effect of this right? Am I the only one to think this? I mean just in the first chapter her mother sends her out to pretty much die in the wilderness with a broken compass. That girl should’ve known better.

The thing that bothered me the most was just the fact that although she wanted answers, there was little time that she actually looked for them. I mean there were times spent at the library and other little things here and there but other than that she didn’t really discover much of anything. It just kind of bothered me through out the book.

I’m kind of anxious to see how the next book plays out. Like I said, it wasn’t bad at all. I just wished there were more answers to the questions. Here’s to hoping #2 exceeds my expectations…

Comment Question of the Blog:

Do you believe in incarnation? Lemme know in the comment section below!

As always,
That Chick That Reads