Thursday, March 25, 2010

GLBT March Mini Challenge: Review: First Love Sisters #1

Title: First Love Sisters vol. 1
Author: Mizuo Shinonome
Publication date: December 15th, 2007


During a fateful visit to Tsunojo Girls’ School, Chika Matsusato meets the girl of her dreams--cool upperclassman Haruna Kanzaki. Even though they spent only one short day together, Chika will never forget Haruna’s kindness, and has made it her life’s goal to study hard and get accepted into Tsunojo Girls’ School so that they can be together. But will Haruna share Chika’s feelings...?

While I usually don't review manga on my blog (though I do occasionally read it), this was read for the GLBT March Mini-Challenge. I've read it previously, but reading it again for this challenge reminded me how much I enjoyed it and how sweet it was. Some of the relationships between the other characters were confusing to me; I wasn't sure who was just being friendly and who might've been more involved, as the main characters were. While reading, I was constantly smiling, being reminded of how giddy and happy a first crush/love can make you. This manga was really cute, both the drawings and storyline, and I'm eagerly awaiting volume two to see what happens! Of course it left off with sort of a cliffhanger. But the publishing of volume two and subsequent volumes has apparently been put on hold due to rights issues! This greatly disappoints me, because I'd really like to continue with the series.

Overall grade: B

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Review: The Black Sheep

Title: The Black Sheep
Author: Yvonne Collins and Sandy Rideout

Publication date: May 1st, 2007

Fed up with her parents and all their ridiculous rules (they keep a binder full of them), fifteen-year-old Kendra Bishop writes away to The Black Sheep, a reality TV show that offers the chance to swap families with another teen. But when the camera crew shows up at her Manhattan apartment, Kendra starts to have second thoughts.

Too late. Kendra is whisked away to Monterey, California, to live with the Mulligan family in a household that couldn't be more different from her own. Of course, when Kendra falls for Mitch, the Mulligans' seventeen-year-old son, it only complicates things further, especially since Mitch despises the reality TV show and everything it stands for. But given the chance, Kendra might just be able to juggle first love, her new stardom, and a pushy TV producer who will stop at nothing for higher ratings.

The Black Sheep was a cute, fun book with a fresh writing style. I could really sympathize with Kendra and really enjoyed getting to know her and the members of the Mulligan family (whose names all begin with M). Then of course there was Judy the producer and the camera crew, who were definitely annoying, but entertaining as well. I loved how it was set as a reality show; it's a unique kind of idea that I don't see much in YA books. Seeing Kendra stand up for herself and the cause she believed in and going a separate way from her parents was great, and I was cheering her on every step of the way. There was always something fun and interesting going on in the book. I didn't want to put it down because I was always intrigued to see what would happen next. I'm so happy that I picked up this book, and it's definitely one I will read again in the future.

Characters: 9/10
Plot: 9/10
Originality: 10/10
Writing: 9/10
Overall grade: A

Friday, March 12, 2010

Wherever Nina Lies winners!

It's time to announce the winners of the Wherever Nina Lies giveaway! Congratulations to:

Addicted Book Reader

I'll be sending each of you emails shortly. Thanks to all that entered the giveaway!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Review: Lipstick Apology

Title: Lipstick Apology
Author: Jennifer Jabaley

Publication date: August 6th, 2009


Sometimes a good-bye is just the beginning…

When Emily Carson’s parents die in a plane crash, she’s left with nothing but her mother’s last words scrawled in lipstick on a tray table: “Emily, please forgive me.”
Now it’s fall and Emily moves to New York City— where she attracts the attention of two very different boys: the cute, popular Owen, and her quirky chemistry partner, Anthony. With the help of some surprising new friends, Emily must choose between the boy who helps her forget and the one who encourages her to remember, and ultimately heal.

This book was great. It was well rounded with the more serious issue of Emily's parents dying, but also lots of funny moments. The writing was fresh and entertaining, but I expected the book to deal more with the mystery of Emily's mother's message than it actually did. By the end I was satisfied, but it seemed like most of the book was focused on her adjusting to her new life than trying to find out about her mother's message. I would have liked to read more about people like Trent and Anthony, instead of so much about Owen. The romance was kind of predictable as well. Although I really like the message that the book gave, that relationships are about something a lot deeper than just looks and initial feelings.

Characters: 8/10
Plot: 6/10
Originality: 7/10
Writing: 8/10
Overall grade: C