Tag Archives: Friendship

#Bookreview by Olga Núñez Miret (@OlgaNM7) The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You. Much Ado About Nothing’ for YA in a school for gifted kids. A quick-fire delight.

The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You by Lily Anderson
The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You by Lily Anderson

Title:   The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You
Author:   Lily Anderson
ISBN13:  978-1250079091
ASIN:  B017HNAHXW
Published:  Due out on 17th May 2016
Pages:  352
Genre:  
Young adult/ social and family issues/friendship (I’m not sure about the category used but…)

Description:

Trixie Watson has two very important goals for senior year: to finally save enough to buy the set of Doctor Who figurines at the local comic books store, and to place third in her class and knock Ben West–and his horrendous new mustache that he spent all summer growing—down to number four.

Trixie will do anything to get her name ranked over Ben’s, including give up sleep and comic books—well, maybe not comic books—but definitely sleep. After all, the war of Watson v. West is as vicious as the Doctor v. Daleks and Browncoats v. Alliance combined, and it goes all the way back to the infamous monkey bars incident in the first grade. Over a decade later, it’s time to declare a champion once and for all.

The war is Trixie’s for the winning, until her best friend starts dating Ben’s best friend and the two are unceremoniously dumped together and told to play nice. Finding common ground is odious and tooth-pullingly-painful, but Trixie and Ben’s cautious truce slowly transforms into a fandom-based tentative friendship. When Trixie’s best friend gets expelled for cheating and Trixie cries foul play, however, they have to choose who to believe and which side they’re on—and they might not pick the same side.

Stephanie Perkins meets 10 Things I hate About You in The Only Thing Worse than Me Is You, a fresh, romantic debut from author Lily Anderson inspired by Much Ado About Nothing.

Body of review:

Much Ado About Nothing’ for YA in a school for gifted kids. A quick-fire delight.

Thanks to Net Galley and to St. Martin’s Griffin for providing me a free ARC copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review.

When I read this book was a modern take of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing for young adults I could not resist. It’s one of my favourite Shakespeare’s comedies and it’s had pretty good adaptations to screen. I am very partial to Ten Things I Hate About You and I hoped this would be as good if not better.

Told in the first person, this novel’s narrator is Trixie (Beatrix, of course), who is a fiercely intelligent and feisty shrew. She’s a geek, loves comic books, TV series (Dr Who among them), and attends a school for gifted youngsters, that is a fascinating ecosystem, with its own rules, its fights for top position and ranking, and it’s aristocracy (all based on merit, intelligence and hard work).  Her two friends, Harper and Meg, are also very clever but very different to her in their unique ways (Harper, who is kind to a fault, lost her mother years back and her family life is fairly empty despite the money, and Meg’s psychologist parents seem to track any behaviours that might fit in some theory or other, and she is always trying to classify friends and actions around her as if they took place in a lab). Of course, there would be no school without boys, and Trixie has a long-term enmity with Benedict (Ben), who shares many of her hobbies and dislikes but who can’t open his mouth without aggravating her. Everybody but the two people involved know the pair are a perfect match, but making them see it proves a hard task. Students start getting suspended and they don’t realise at first that behind exams, essays, tests, balls and functions, there is somebody messing up with pupils’ results with dramatic consequences.

The characters are as clever as is to be expected from the school they attend, and at their age, they know everything. Their references to both pop culture and Culture with capital letters are flawless, witty and make for a great read. The dialogue is fast, clever, and funny (I must confess to laughing out loud quite a few times), and appropriate to the age of the characters. Although they are clever, they are also young, naïve, and at times very innocent and that makes them plausible teenagers. They are friends of their friends, they confront serious moral issues (for their age) and they are articulate, wholesome but sometimes mean.

I remember talking about a young adult book to a reader who told me he couldn’t remember having met girls as clever as the ones in the book. Well, I did, and although perhaps the interests might vary depending on the person and the era of our school years, I appreciate a young adult book where the young protagonists are clever, study, and care for each other. And are very funny too.

I thoroughly recommend this book to anybody who likes high-school young adult novels (I have no doubts adults will like it too), and I’m sure people who enjoy Shakespeare and pop culture references will have a field day. And I look forward to more books by the writer.

What the book is about: High school, studies, friendships, young love and a wonderful Shakespeare adaption for young adults.

 Book Highlights: The geeky and pop culture references, the wit of the characters, a book about young people where they actually study, and wonderful and clever dialogue.

 Challenges of the book: I think not many readers will get all the references, either high-brow or pop cultural ones, but I don’t think that will diminish the enjoyment of the story.

 What do you get from it:  A fun version of a Shakespeare comedy, where young people are intelligent, funny and friends of their friends.

 What I would have changed if anything: I’m not sure of the category it’s included in, but other than that…

 Who Would I recommend this book to?: I don’t think it’s necessary to be a fan of YA books to enjoy this novel. If you like the film ‘Ten Things I Hate About You’, I’d definitely recommend it. It made me laugh out loud and I can’t say that of many books.

Ratings:
Realistic Characterization: 4/5
Made Me Think: 4/5
Overall enjoyment: 5/5
Readability: 4.5/5
Recommended: 5/5
Overall Rating: 5/5
 

Buy it at:  
Format & Pricing:
Hard Cover:  $10.79 
Kindle: $9.99

 

Olga Núñez Miret

@OlgaNM7

http://www.authortranslatorolga.com

http://www.OlgaNM.com

 

One decision can be a life changer: Book Review of The Convenience of Lies by @KCastilloBooks

Title: The Convenience of Lies
Author: Kimberly Castillo
ISBN-13: 978-9527114476
ISBN-10: 9527114470
Website:  http://www.kacastillo.blogspot.com/
Pages: 242
Genre: Young Adult (YA) Romance/Suspense/Drama

It’s 2013 and Mackenzie begins a letter to her old friend Kira. It’s 10 years after the events that changed their lives. The book then begins with new girl in town, Mackenzie and local girl, Kira as best friends forever, and then there is Ramon, a crush and ex-boyfriend in a small California town. The three send us on a trip of real teen life and feelings mixed with some unexpected surprises along the way with a group of vandals and thieves thrown in who make their attacks personal. Who has it in for these three friends?  This story is told in an authentic teenage voice as Mackenzie Fairbanks recalls that particular summer before her senior year in high school.

The book flows well taking the reader  from one chapter to the next. It is an absorbing  read, well written not only in story but in structure and grammar as well. The author conveys vivid emotions and dialogue throughout the book, with captivating prose for example, scenes describing a character’s intoxication and the resulting actions that are spot on. I like the fact you don’t notice the writing. You are in the story and there are no odd moments where you wonder what is that word doing there.

The emotional content within the book is realistic and appropriate as scenes transition well.  The emotional jolt near the end is handled exactly right, as one would expect such a situation to be in real life. The emotional moments throughout the book are presented in an amazingly genuine teen/coming of age point of view.

The story keeps ones attention and you want to see what happens and to whom.

Was I surprised by events in the book? Not entirely as the author provided sufficient clues for the discerning reader to figure things out.

Just to let those who might purchase this as a gift without reading it first, there is some profanity used, but we are talking about teens. Some teens of certain environments grow up using certain language while others do it to be cool. I believe the author handled this well as she doesn’t have every character do it, an excellent job in my opinion. And to be honest, if there hadn’t been any profanity it would not have been an authentic book.

You are inside the main characters head a lot, but that’s to be expected in the type of story being told. This is a diary type of story. The only time I really had any problems with it was in the very beginning where things were being set up for us to know what is going on. Once past that first chapter or two of setting things up, the story takes off and you are ready to go.

Reading The Convenience of Lies shows you what is possible inside the life of teens. And I do mean what is truly possible. Having been a teacher and youth pastor I know what can happen. The reader will identify or recognize the struggles teenagers encounter in their world, how they perceive themselves, and that lessons have to be learned in their own time no matter how painful they may be or who they may hurt. Do you lose a best friend, a crush, a dream?

Read The Convenience of Lies by Kimberly Castillo and experience a slice of teenagers’ world through what happens to Mackenzie and her friends.

The elements about where McKenzie is as an adult and how she got to that point are things you need to think about as you read the book. The Convenience of Lies is more than you think if  you know what to look for going in.

If I were to categorize the book it would be difficult to say. Young Adult? Yes. Marital Issues? Yes. Although not a category. Domestic Abuse? Yes. That can be defined in many different ways so don’t jump to a conclusion there.

Ratings:

Realistic Characterization: 5K.A. Castillo/5

Made Me Think: 3.5/5

Overall enjoyment: 3.5/5

Readability: 4/5

Recommended: 4/5

Ovearall Rating: 4

Buy it at: Amazon

Format & Pricing:

Paperback: 10.46 USD

Kindle: 2.99 USD

Author Kimberly Castillo

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