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review: “what i wore to save the world” March 9, 2010

Posted by Katie in reviews.
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What I Wore to Save the World by Maryrose Wood.
Berkley Trade // Paperback // 288 pages.
Reviewed from purchased copy.

[Spoilers for the first two books in the series.]

After saving Colin from her mother, Queen Titania, Morgan is finally settling into her senior year. That is until she receives a mysterious message from Colin that sends her to Europe again to save the world from another faery plot. In her quest to save the world (yet again), will Morgan finally tell Colin of her half-goddess heritage?

The final volume in the Morgan series by Maryrose Wood does not disappoint. It’s another packed adventure through mythology, with clues sprinkled along the way.

Morgan is still as spunky as ever, and her relationship with Colin is sweet albeit a bit difficult at times. The faeries in this series are really interesting, and I like how the mythology grows and explains Morgan’s place in its history/mythology.

I did feel like this book was stretching my tolerance of coincidences — if you’re read the book you’ll know what I mean.

It’s hard to talk about the concluding volume in a series without giving anything away. But this ending volume left me satisfied and I felt like I was leaving the characters and their story in a good place before I closed the book.

These are fun, cute books — quick reads. Great for teens searching for a little chick lit mixed with a hint of faery.

Amazon
SWAN catalog
Maryrose Wood

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review: “how i found the perfect dress” October 26, 2009

Posted by Katie in reviews.
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howifoundtheperfectdress

Why I Let My Hair Grow Out by Maryrose Wood.
Berkley Trade // Paperback // 240 pages.
Reviewed from purchased copy.

Spoilers for book one! If you haven’t read it, duck out now.

Okay, are we safe?

Here goes.

Morgan Rawlinson is back in the US after spending a summer biking across Ireland. Of course, that’s not all that she did. She also managed to fall for Colin, save some faeries, and discover that she’s actually a half-goddess. But planning the junior prom is turning out to be boring. Until Colin shows up, exhausted and unable to sleep. Morgan quickly discovers that Colin is being kept awake at night, summoned to dance for the faeries. Determined to save him (and have him as her date for prom!), Morgan sets out against all obstacles.

This book was just as fun as the first book. I spent a lot of my time laughing and getting weird looks from my sister.

I loved that Morgan was off to save Colin, and I liked a lot of the twists that the storyline took her through on her quest. Readers will get to meet more mythological creatures in this book. More is also revealed about Morgan’s heritage, that is so cool and awesome I don’t want to spoil it for you.

I was really happy to get to spend more time with Morgan’s family, particularly her little sister. (Okay, so I have a soft spot for little sisters.) I thought their interactions really helped me to understand Morgan even better in this book. And it was nice to see Morgan in her home element.

Even though I understand the reasoning behind her decision, I was frustrated that Morgan didn’t tell Colin about what was going on. (Colin is anti-faerie…meaning he’s a non-believer.) I really hope that this will be addressed in the last book (coming out in December!) because I think Colin needs to know if he and Morgan will ever have a true relationship.

Another solid read, definitely on par with the first book.

Amazon
SWAN catalog
Maryrose Wood

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review: “why i let my hair grow out” October 21, 2009

Posted by Katie in reviews.
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whyiletmyhairgrowout

Why I Let My Hair Grow Out by Maryrose Wood.
Berkley Trade // Paperback // 224 pages.
Reviewed from purchased copy.

What’s a girl to do after her boyfriend dumps her? Well, if that girl is Morgan Rawlinson, she’ll chop off her hair, dye it orange, and manage to get sent away by her parents to Ireland to get over it. Of course, this isn’t the vacation many teens would imagine — this is a bike tour of Ireland. Determined to hook-up with Colin, the guy who drives their luggage van, Morgan throw herself into the task. But when she ends up in a faery world, this wasn’t exactly what she had planned.

Okay, why had I never seen these books before this August? That is flat-out inexcusable, book publishing world. The books are funny, smart, and completely perfect for teenage girls. I mean, the cover alone will sell the book.

Morgan is equally mature and immature. Readers will easily relate to being the dumped one in the relationship and her subsequent choice to act out. I think they will also relate to her desire to do something to move on (whether or not they agree with hooking up with Colin…who knows).

The supernatural twist in the book surprised me. I wasn’t expecting it to happen like it did. And I didn’t expect what was happening to be true. (Morgan’s first forays into faery are passed off as a dream-like sequence. I’ll admit it — I thought she was hallucinating for sure. This is what happens when you live spoiler-free for books. I don’t read reviews without having read the book. I also don’t read backs of books even when I own the book. I just dive in. Little known facts about me as a reader.)

Anyways, I liked being surprised. It was nice. I read this one back to back with the next in the series and am eagerly awaiting the third.

My only serious beef? The books are only available in paperback. Which makes owning them at the library difficult. (My teens have no idea how to care for a paperback gently. None at all.) Difficult, but doable.

Quality fun, a quick breezy read.

Amazon
SWAN catalog
Maryrose Wood

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review: “the boyfriend list” & “the boy book” challenge September 28, 2009

Posted by Katie in reviews.
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The story on the challenge (actually it’s the sequel that was challenged, but I had the original book review ready to go): “The Boy Book: A Study of Habits and Behaviors, Plus Techniques for Taming Them” — Challenged in the Keller, Texas Independent School District (2009) because some say it is “too adult for young eyes.” [From the Banned Books Week guide found online on the Illinois Library Association’s website.]

More info: CBS 11 News article about the challenge. E. Lockhart blogs about the challenge and Q&A with E. Lockhart at The BookKids Blog.

On to the review!

theboyfriendlist

The Boyfriend List by E. Lockhart.
Delacorte // Paperback // 256 pages.
Reviewed from purchased copy.

Ruby Oliver’s stuck on a shrink’s couch all because of a few panic attacks. But when Doctor Z. asks her to write down a list of all the boys who she dated, liked, kissed, thought about, hung around with — no matter how official they are. As Ruby begins to think about the boys, readers get a glimpse into what led Ruby to Doctor Z.’s chair and what might have caused those pesky panic attacks. And as for the ceramic frogs, you’ll just have to read the book to figure those out.

This was a book that I bought, and then shelved in my room and lost until I found it again. I’m so sad that I didn’t read this book right away. Ruby is adorable and spunky. I was immediately concerned about her and had to keep reading to make sure that she was okay. Her outlook on the world is hysterical, but she does have her serious moments and situations.

The supporting characters in the book — particularly Ruby’s boyfriend stories — are incredibly detailed and rooted in reality. Readers really get a sense of what’s happening to Ruby through the stories.

One my favorite things about the book were the footnotes. I know that some people had issues with them (mostly adults), but I thought they really added to the story and set it apart from all the other chick lit books that are out there. Also, another librarian at my library listened to the book on audio and said that the footnotes were even better read aloud.

Small complaints — the chapters are a bit long, I wanted a break during some of them. And, Ruby doesn’t grow as much as I’d like her to within the course of the book. But, there are two sequels already (and a fourth book on the way), so Ruby might grow as the series progresses.

A definitely awesome edition to libraries; my teen girls love it.

Amazon
SWAN catalog
E. Lockhart

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classic review: “how to be bad” August 19, 2009

Posted by Katie in classic reviews.
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[Classic reviews are reviews that I’ve already written for another source and have moved the text here. I may comment further on them as well.]

howtobebad

How to Be Bad by E. Lockhart, Sarah Mlynowski, and Lauren Myracle.
HarperTeen // Hardcover // 336 pages.
Reviewed from purchased copy.

Vicks, Mel, and Jesse — three unlikely friends — with one thing in common: they’re trapped in a car trying to get as far away as possible from Niceville, Florida armed with only a battered copy of the Fantastical Florida guide book. Heartbreak, breaking and entering, sight-seeing, and more than a few fights about music choices later, the girls figure out that this road trip will mean more than they ever expected.

I really liked this book. The girls were totally relatable and I completely saw myself in Mel. (Yes, believe it or not, I was the good girl.) Anyways, the coolest part about this book is that three different authors wrote it together. I think that’s the reason that the girls had such different voices. There’s a really neat interview with the authors available at Publisher’s Weekly about writing the book. (It’s a little bit long, but worth it.) If you’re looking for an escape, this is the book for you. [June 2008]

This novel still remains as one of my favorites to recommend when a teen comes to me asking for books about friendships, road trips, or chick lit. Seriously, check out the link to the interview between the authors — it gives you just a preview of how they constructed the nove, and I think it offers a great glimpse into what the writing style of the book was.

I’m still crossing my fingers that they collaborate on a second novel, but until then, I can honestly say that I’ve each writer’s individual titles and series too. Check them out!

Amazon
SWAN catalog
E. Lockhart
Sarah Mlynowski
Lauren Myracle

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