I don’t usually listen to their music, but I just googled this song and it’s really cool, actually. If it really said ‘Sarah blogging’ though, I would probably make it my theme music or something, since I really barely do anything else. :D
Short description, taken from Goodreads:
Instead of celebrating Memorial Day weekend on the Jersey Shore, Jane is in the hospital surrounded by teddy bears, trying to piece together what happened last night. One minute she was at a party, wearing fairy wings and cuddling with her boyfriend. The next, she was lying near-dead in a rosebush after a hit-and-run. Everyone believes it was an accident, despite the phone threats Jane swears were real. But the truth is a thorny thing. As Jane’s boyfriend, friends, and admirers come to visit, more memories surface-not just from the party, but from deeper in her past … including the night her best friend Bonnie died.
Review by Sarah
(3 out of 5 stars)
I won this book in a giveaway here on tumblr a while ago.
My main thought while reading Rosebush was “Wow, this is so much like Seven Souls (Barnabas Miller, Jordan Orlando).” Sure, without all the supernatual kind-of-voodo-stuff, but besides that, it had it all - I can’t really name those things here, though, because some of them would be spoilers. This review is on Goodreads, too, though, with the spoilers.
I don’t want to say that one of them was copied, but it really was a bit weird. Both books were released in 2010, Rosebush a few months later, though.
Now, to the book itself. It started out rather boring, actually, and after the first twenty pages or so, I was so tempted to just not read on. I did, though, and it does get better with time. Towards the end I was really interested in the story and couldn’t put it down.
There were still several problems for me, though: First off, I didn’t really like any of the characters. At all. Jane was so absolutely stupid, I kept trying to tell myself to just accept that horrible character of hers, since she’s only 16 and everything, but then I realized that doing that would actually be an insult to my 16-year-old self and any other person who is, has ever been or will ever be 16 years old. She is just so shallow and stupid and annoying, it’s like she walked right out of some clichè low-budget high school film. Her boyfriend was so much of an obsessive, abusive a-hole, I wanted to slap both him and her so hard for allowing him to be like this. Her friends were a bit more bearable, but not very much - at least they had some kind of personality, even if it was rather annoying. Her mother was horrible and not at all believable to me. Her sister was sort of cute and funny, but in a rather forced way.
I also didn’t like how the killer just went from being nice and caring to a completely out of their mind serial killer in a matter of two sentences. Sure, it’s nice to not have the obvious first suspect be the actual murderer, and sure, psychopaths can adopt pretty well to being “normal”, but it’s just so lazy of authors to not even try and encorporate that a bit with their character, but just give them a very sudden 180-degree-turn and have them totally freak out, as if the author chose them by random. Of course, in retrospective a few things are explained that make it obvious that that person was guilty, but to me it just came really sudden and wasn’t very realistic. The whole ending scene was rather badly done, anyways, I think.
There were some other things that just didn’t make much sense to me, too, while reading this book. Also, there is some t-slur in the beginning, which is so absolutely not cool.
All in all, this was a nice book, but not more. It’s definitely a good read once you managed to get over those first few pages, but not that greatly done, I would actually have expected more of it, since the synopsis sounded really good.
Short description, taken from Goodreads:
Selena’s life isn’t turning out to be the fairy tale she imagined as a kid.
That hope seemed to vanish long ago when her dad kicked her and her mom out of the house. This summer might finally hold the chance of a new beginning for Selena … but having to live with her snobby cousin in Lake Lure, NC while waiting for her mom to get out of rehab wasn’t how Selena was planning on spending her summer. She soon begins to wonder why she committed to give up her “bad habits” for this.
Review by Sarah
(4 - 4,5 out of 5 stars)
Purple Moon was recommended to me by someone here on tumblr, and as it was free for Kindle at that time, I decided that I had nothing to lose and downloaded it. After having read it, I think I might go and get a physical copy of it if I can, because I really liked it so much.
One huge point for Purple Moon is its main character, Selena. She was not only very well crafted - believable, far from flawless and not always likeable but always so very understandable - I also could identify a lot with her. No, my life has never been quite as wrecked as hers - my mom has never been an alcoholic, I did never smoke or drink the way she did or had to go through any of the other horrible stuff she had to endure - but I really could connect with her very well. I was raised as an atheist, and in the time between this non-believing and me activiely and joyfully following Christ, I had the same kind of attitude towards Christianity that she had - yes, I felt like there was something, but I would have never thought of taking that very seriously, maybe even praying or worshipping. During my early to mid-teens, I always felt as if I wasn’t good enough for anything or anyone, like I had to change, like anybody else was so much prettier and better than me, like I was a total mess, I just didn’t like myself very much in general, just like Selena. So, while reading this book, I really understood her very well in her thinking and feeling. She displayed all of this very well, without seeming overly whiney or annoying.
I don’t have that much experience with Christian Fiction (suggestions are always welcome, by the way!), so I was a bit scared that this would end up being really cheesy, unrealistic or preachy and was very happy to find that it was neither of those things. All of Selena’s past and actions seemed absolutely realistic to me.
The story was also very gripping, right from the beginning. I actually read the whole book in one day because I just couldn’t put it down. I liked the way it was written, and also how the other characters were crafted out. They are all unique and round. I especially liked how Tessa Hall didn’t stick to the sterotype of the “bitchy and mean” girl when it comes to Whitney but actually showed her more likeable side towards the end.
The only character I sometimes struggled with, a bit, was Austin. I appreciate how he cared for Selena, and how he was strong in his faith, but especially in the beginning I felt like he was just far too judgmental. I do of course know that no one is perfect, it still bothered me though. I also didn’t like his attitude towards Selena when she showed interest in another boy - sure, he wanted to protect her and he was hurt by her liking someone else, but I thought it was really creepy and not at all positive how he acted as if he had some sort of right to be with her, like she was violating a basic right of his in some way by not returning his feelings.
There were a few other things that I didn’t like too much - how especially in the beginning there was a lot of contrast between the “good quiet and shy girl” and the “bad girls” who wear make up and short dresses, the underlying tone of slut shaming, the obvious pro-life attidude, or how everything went a bit fast towards the end - but in comparison to all the points I liked about Purple Moon, those negative points were very unremarkable.
I enjoyed this book a lot. I have just read on the author’s website that Purple Moon is supposed to be a series, and I am very curious as to what the other books will be about. I will definitely keep an eye on them!
Virginia (by misslittlelime)
I would probably never have picked up a Sarah Dessen book if it hadn’t been for people here on tumblr telling me her books are great, because by their covers and synopses I’d have mistaken them for boring and clichè girly-books full of annoying stereotypes, while they actually are really good books with great characters and everything.
I should really stop judging books before I have read them, I guess.
~ Excuse me while I promote this great book series I started reading this year. The books are available in German only, though, so this post will be, too. ~
Okay. Leute? Es handelt sich bei dieser Serie um eine der besten, die ich je gelesen habe. Es ist eine Dystopie mit ein paar Fantasy-Elementen, umwerfend geschrieben und mit tollen Charakteren. Insgesamt sollen es acht Bände werden, bisher sind zwei erschienen. Und so sieht das ganze aus:
Ich kann euch allen nur wirklich ans Herz legen, diese Bücher zu lesen. Sie sind auch durchaus erschwinglich (Die Keime: 7,99€ als Taschenbuch, 2,99€ als E-Book, Die Brut: Noch nicht als Taschenbuch erhältlich, 1,99€ als E-Book, beide für Amazon Prime-Mitglieder auch kostenlos zum ausleihen.)
I cannot live without books.