Thursday, 8 January 2015

The Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushnell

The Carrie Diaries
Candace Bushnell
Age rec- 13 up

After about a year of putting it off, I finally read The Carrie Diaries. When I finished it, I thought.... wow. I LOVED this book while I was reading it. It's fun, spunky, and enjoyable. Carrie is the sort of girl you'd expect to run into at school- she's real, as are The Mouse, Walt, Maggie, Sebastian, Lali and even Donna LaDonna. (LOVE that name xD)
A definite favourite character (besides Carrie) was Walt. He was caring, and nice, and he, like Carrie and everyone, wasn't perfect. He made fun of people and he could be nasty at times, but we  all can be. Dorrit's character is also a necessary one to discuss. Dorrit stole, hung out with "dodgy" people and even attempted to run away. She was a little messed up, and obviously upset, and it showed that the Bradshaw family as wasn't perfect- not even close- as Donna thought. There were cracks in the family, partly due to Carrie's mothers death.
The betrayal of Lali was expected, and obvious, but it still hurt. For a bit, I was mad at only her, but then I realised it wasn't just her  fault. The Donna-Carrie conflict was realistic too- catty, and at times funny. Donna could be nasty, but I found her slightly endearing by the end, and I did pity her a bit. I read 70% of this book in one sitting, and put it down and promptly fell asleep (It was 1 am).
All the relationships, the fights, and everything felt so realistic, and I loved that. I also loved that Carrie didn't change too much- she grew from her challenges, sure, but she didn't turn into someone she's not. On top of that, it was readable, and I enjoyed it a LOT. I liked Sebastian at first- even knowing the ending- but the realised some people... are just jerks. Before The Big Twist, he tried to pressure Carrie into having sex, nearly THREATENING her! He was sweet at first, but he could turn it on and off, and that became obvious.

I was also pleased to see a book in which a couple break up, and even though the girl isn't necessarily over him, she knows she's better without him. It  made the story so, so so real.
Maybe Sebastian was the Big Love, maybe he wasn't. But I do know that NYC Carrie will find herself - with tears, laughter and surprises along the way.


the spoiler sessions

Again,  I wasn't surprised about Lali and Sebastian being together, ultimately meaning Sebastian cheated on Carrie. But I WAS annoyed that neither felt bad, and Lali even told Carrie, "I love him." As Carrie said, though, if Lali wanted Sebastian so much she'd ruin a lifelong friendship, I pitied her. What she did was wrong. I was also glad that she and Carrie didn't become friends again. And to further prove what an idiot Sebastian was by having him make out with Lali's little sister was PERFECT. My favourite part was possibly when Carrie threw books at Sebastian. XD. The dysfunctional-ness of Lali and Carrie's friendship shows how things change. They started from being closer than anyone, and went to hating each other. It was realistic.
One more thing I NEED to mention? The irony that Mary Gordon Howard, Carrie's mothers favourite author and supposed feminist, who turned out to be a monster lady, was George's (Carrie's friend at a college) aunt. I found that funny.

On the note of George, he was a nice guy, and it was a shame his feelings for Carrie were one-sided, but Carrie felt no spark, no connection. And that's life. And that's okay.

Candace Bushnell did an amazing job of bringing this (prequel) story to life, and I will read the sequel, and try and catch the TV series.

four and a half stars!!!

Until the next time!


Perfect Match by Jodi Picoult

Perfect Match
Jodi Picoult
age rec- 14 up

Jodi Picoult has officially done it again. She has spun a plot, characters, and a crazy twist into an incredible story. Not just incredible- also disturbing, controversial and heartbreaking.
I admit that at 40 pages I was ready to give up, but I pushed forward, and by page 50 I was hooked.
It was a hard book to  put down-it kept me guessing, wondering and worrying for the 1 and 1\2 days it took me read. And again- THAT ENDING. Ridiculously clever yet terrifying.
I don't know if Nina should have killed the molester- I don't even know if I'd be able to.. I don't have kids. But I'd like to think that I could control myself without violence. Reading about Nina's transformation, almost going maniacal, and living with the horror of what she did was portrayed beautifully... And though it was sometimes sad to read, I LOVED it.
The characters, and consequently, their actions, made me think a lot. I loved Patrick as a character best- and I felt horrible for Nathaniel. Nina felt so real to me, but I was conflicted by Caleb sometimes. But things he did made the story very realistic. This book is NOT for the young or faint hearted, as it does deal with some mature themes. I was, as always in Picoult's books, spoiled, but this time by myself, when I accidentally flipped through the book.
I feel so sad that  Nathaniel  will have to live with these awful memories for the rest of his life, and his childhood was kind of ruined. He will never be the same again, and neither will his parents.
Again, I'm likely not rereading this book-the spoiler content WILL be high. WARNING YOU.






the spoiler sessions

read at your own risk


Okay, I have SO many thoughts now!!!
I was kind  of annoyed that Nina got off with manslaughter- and was freed without time for THAT anyway. The main character always wins the case in Jodi Picoult's novels, and I don't believe that everyone is that kind. I guess it had to happen though.
I really thought that Father Glen, the priest, was the molester, and was so confused by the blood donor thing.
In short, Father Glen had Leukaemia, and his stepbrother, Father Gwynne was the blood donor. So they had the same DNA, and the semen in Nathaniels underpants was actually from Father Gwynne, not Father Glen.

And when I found out that Caleb killed Father Gwynne... .


I should have KNOWN it wasn't a coincidence when Father Gwynne died straight after Caleb left!!!!
And the part with Nathaniel playing with the poison (the stuff Caleb used!) and Caleb yelled at him because the dog was trying to drink it...................... SO MANY CLUES I WAS OBLIVIOUS TO!

Like all of Picoult's books, this is NOT a fun comedy. Don't read it unless you're prepared for days of hunching, frowning, rereading passages, flipping back and forth through the book, and screaming. Like I said- it's a controversial story... But a good one.
It's probably the most adult Jodi Picoult book I've read so far.

OH. Also. I was disappointed that Nina and Patrick didn't end up together- ESPECIALLY AFTER THEY DID IT! But I guess the Caleb-Nina end was essential to the story.... it just means my ship has blown up.
I really DO ship Ninatrick. ;_;
(and call me crazy, but I imagined Patrick as Neil Patrick Harris the whole time. xD)

Because of the start and end, I give Perfect Match FOUR stars.

Until the next time!

Friday, 2 January 2015

Handle With Care by Jodi Picoult

Handle with Care
Jodi Picoult
Age rec- 14-30

Prior to Handle with care, I had read three of Picoult's  novels- Sing you home, The pact and My sisters keeper. I liked them all very much- they all got 4 stars- but weren't exactly 5 star material. This book is.
I realise I've been too kind with ratings recently, but this book was just..... gorgeous. I read the first 20 pages and knew it was The One. I fell in love with each and every character, and the story caused me so many #Feels and pain. Every character, and every backstory was beautiful and sad. I was very happy that Amelia got help in the end- there are too many books about teens in this kind of pain, and they just go off the deep end and don't get better.
But this is SO Picoult- Just when things are finally OK again, she hits you with a CRAZY twist that can honestly SHATTER you. I was crying for about an HOUR.
Some of the law terms, as usual, had me baffled. But this book helped me discover my wish to b a lawyer. I'm thinking I want to be a defence attorney- but I might change my mind.
Even though I loved it, I kind of read 40 pages, then I set it down for a month, and then it got overdue, and I had to speed-read it, which took me EXACTLY two days. It was hard to put down!
As always, Picoult delivers the deepest, most controversial subjects. And she always makes me think. I'm not going into the pro-life pro-choice stuff, but I wasn't a fan of the lawsuit. I really hoped Charlotte would withdraw it.
It was causing pain and hurt for everyone, and as a result, I hated Charlotte for 90% of the book. Especially when, for a film, she forced Willow's physical therapist to make her do something too difficult- and then blamed it on the Physical Therapist. She did it for attention, and I wanted to grab her by the shoulders and shake her.

All of the OI stuff was REALLY interesting. I had never heard of it before, but it's important to know about, even if it's rare. It would be so awful, to not be able to hug your newborn daughter without breaking her arm or rib.

Marin's backstory was a favourite part of mine. It was so sad and the end result was devastating- though I won't give spoilers. It was sad, and I do understand Marin's biological mother's choice, even if it hurt Marin.

The Spoiler Sessions!

The ending left me so heartbroken. I never, ever saw that coming. I kind of thought Amelia would die, or when Willow cut herself with Amelia's razor, she would die then. But... DROWNING???
The most  unlikely thing you'd think of- maybe second to being chased, by  a chicken, to a gum factory, and falling in the hot rubber and dying from burns. Whatever. But that is the most SNEAKY, DIABOLICAL move EVER. Well played, Jodi Picoult. You broke my heart in two.
I was in tears in the end, completely ugly crying. If anyone came past my bedroom and saw me, they'd think Willow was my DAUGHTER.
I did know, however, that something would happen between Piper and Sean- even if it ended up just being a kiss. I actually kind of shipped them. They had chemistry, and I felt that Charlotte and Sean weren't... passionate. But it made for a realistic ending, I suppose.
I was always upset for Amelia, and I felt pained for her the whole book- through her cutting, bulimia, and THAT TURD, ADAM. All Adams are jerks! fictional ones anyway. If i stay!! Shatter me!
I was incredibly relieved when it was stated that she went to "bulimia" camp and made it back okay. Not just okay- happy.
But can you imagine how Willow's death would affect her? How about Sean and Charlotte?? Even Piper, though the book didn't end with her and the O' Keefes on good terms.
There were parts where I really hated Sean.
There was a part when he forced himself on Charlotte- I don't care that they were married. His actions were unwanted. She tried to fight against him!!

I liked that this book spanned over a year and a half, it didn't feel rushed, and I really got to know and care for each character (at most times. I mean, the only characters I never hated were Willow, Amelia and Marin.). Willow narrating her death scene was so sad. I thought, "OOHHHH YEY A WILLOW SCENE!" and then I thought, "WAIT WHAT IS THIS???? IS THIS HAPPENING? THIS IS NOT HAPPENING!!! ASGFDSHDSGJ!!"
I think I am still recovering from this.
I loved Willows trivia- it was really cool, and I actually knew none of it. 
Overall, sometimes the story slowed (rarely) but I didn't force my way through. I glided through it tearfully.
This is my first Jodi Picoult book that gets...

Until the next time...