Thursday, 19 January 2012

1 Year, 100 Books Challenge: Pegasus and the Fight for Olympus

This is a review for my 1 Year, 100 Books Challenge. For more info visit here.

Book Number: 8
Title: Pegasus and the Fight for Olympus
Author: Kate O'Hearn
Date of Completion: 12/1/2012
Rating: 4 stars

Pegasus and the Fight for Olympus by Kate O'Hearn is the sequel to Pegasus and the Flame and if you haven't read my review for that read it here, because I don't want to repeat stuff.

Why I Read it: I liked the first book

Olympus has been freed from the Nirads and rebuilt, and Emily is struggling with the new powers she has gained as the Flame of Olympus and decides to go and  rescue her father with Joel, Paelen and Cupid. Along the way they run into more Nirads who are being led by Chrysoar (a flying boar) and discover that the Nirads aren't finished with their attack on Olympus and the real reason behind the attack.

The Characters:
Emily - Stayed pretty much the same as she was at the end of Pegasus and the Flame. She's got some new troubles now because of her new status. She didn't have as much action as I wanted her to have, since she kept on being left behind at the Red Apple with Pegs while the rest of the gang is going on missions. She's still a great heroine that is compassionate, caring, and likeable.

Joel - Joel has really grown since the start of the 1st book, he no longer has anger management issues, and is more caring, brave and observant. He is really quite an asset for the team now.

Cupid - Although I missed Diana, Cupid made quite a good addition to the team. I liked how he was a teenager rather than a little cherub (I did not pick up this book to read about babysitting adventures!). He was funny (in a laugh at him kind of way), I don't know about anyone else but I find it funny in TV shows and animes when there is this one really hot character who everyone else just swoons and acts all squee-ish and stupid around and this hot guy/girl can kind of manipulate them to get his way (Justin from Total Drama, Aido from Vampire Knight), well Cupid was one of those kind of characters. I liked how he could charm people into falling head-over-heels in love with him, and that made Agent T totally funny too. Cupid was quite a wimp at times though.

Paelen - He's still the same cool guy as he was at the end of the previous book, I like how he gets into fights with Cupid.

The Nirads - It's great that the Nirads got some more screen time in this book. I liked their depth and their backstory, Tange and Segan were totally sweet and awesome. I still can't 
properly visualize any Nirads in colours other than grey, black, white, and pale green. 

The Gorgons - I thought it was great that the Nirads had a reason to attack the Olympians rather than the emotionless killing machines that they seemed to be. The gorgons have an actual reason for wanting to destroy the Olympians. It was also good that people don't turn into stone when they look at them but the Gorgons can choose to turn them into stone when they want to.

Others - It's great that Diana makes a cameo appearance in this since she can't be part of the main cast. Jupiter and Neptune also behave like I would expect them to.

The Plot:
The plot of this story was a good continuation of the plot of Pegasus and the Flame. It flowed well, was coherent and was interesting. It was great to see more of Olympus in this book, especially now that it had been rebuilt and all. It was also interesting to see the world of the Nirads.

The Writing:
The writing stayed pretty much the same as it was in Pegasus and the Flame, so it wasn't much to comment on, but it was fine.

If you liked the first book, then read this.

1 Year, 100 Books Challenge: Supernaturally

This is my 7th review for my 1 Year, 100 Books Challenge for more information about how I'm going about it click here.

Book Number: 7
Title: Supernaturally
Author: Kiersten White
Date of Completion: 10/1/2012
Rating: 4 stars

Supernaturally by Kiersten White is quite good for a sequel, in most trilogies and short series' the second book is always the wort, but Supernaturally, I felt, managed to stay on par with the first one, Paranormalcy which is not too common (because most are either noticeably better, or noticeably worse not at the same level of good-ness). I've already said most of this in my review of Paranormalcy and I'm not going to say them all again, so if you haven't already read it here's a link to my review of Paranormalcy. Waiting to get my hands on Endlessly, the cover is sooo purdy ^-^ yeah I'm a cover-whore.

Why I Read it: I liked the first one

After leaving the IPCA, Evie's finding out that normal life isn't what Easton Heights hyped it up to be. In fact, at the moment kicking paranormals' butts sounds far more appealing, but with Racquel returning to the scene with a new job offer back at the IPCA, this could be a reality. Meanwhile Evie is building a wall of lies between her and Lend, and a whole new cast of (totally different) characters is messing things up elsewhere.

The Characters:
Evie - Has pretty much stayed the same as she was in the previous book, but she is quite confused on how to react with the IPCA vs David's group battle, her boyfriend troubles and whether she should join the IPCA again. She's still fun and fresh to read about.

Jack - I reckon Jack was a really good addition to the cast of the Paranormalcy series, a human who can use and control the Faerie Paths, yay! He was funny and excited and reminded me of some uber excitable, happy, cute anime guy with a more serious side, aka the type of anime guy who nearly always becomes my favourite character (Momiji from Fruits Basket, Takuma from Vampire Knight, etc). **SPOILERS AHEAD:** I totally should of seen that Jack was really the bad guy, it wasn't too hard to spot but I don't come into books making predictions all the way, it just ruins my enjoyment of the book **END SPOILERS**

Lend - Suffered from something that I find happens to many love interests a a while after they and the lead girl actually start going out. Before they start going out you're like 'They are so sweet! and cute! and awesome! they should just get together already!" and during the 1st few weeks of their relationship you're like "Kyaaa!! They got together! They be even cuter now" and then in the following book you're like "You know, I totally adored this couple before but now their conversations go like: 3 sentences each, makes out, 2 more sentences, more makes out >.> - and that's what its like for most of their interactions in the book".

Racquel - She came back!!! and she's still pretty much the same, and that's the way I liked her. She's still business, but still like a mother to Evie. Racquel is probably my favourite character.

Arianna - In this book, Arianna becomes even closer to Evie, which is great, and in this book she was given more depth so she didn't seem like a second Lish. Her backstory was great, and I like how she's still awesome friends with Evie but they have their fallouts, so its not like insta-BFFs.

Other - The rest of the characters were decent. I like how Carlee is becoming Evie's friend in school, and how David isn't like a saint anymore because he likes paranormals but isn't with the IPCA, and uber-vamp succeeded in being totally creepy. It's totally weird that Vivian is becoming the buddy that Evie turns to when she doesn't know who to talk to.

The Plot: The plot was decent, I liked how the glamorous image of normal lifestyle that Evie built up is being deflated. And the wall of lies that Evie built between she and her boyfriend was also really good for the plot. It's really interesting when Evie visits the Faerie Realms too.

The Writing: Is pretty much the same as in the last one, so if you haven't the review I wrote for that, do it.

Recommendation: If you liked Paranormalcy, then read it (and seriously don't read them in the wrong order)

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

1 Year, 100 Books Challenge: The Crossing of Ingo

This review is the 6th of my 1 Year, 100 Books Challenge. For more info on this challenge and how I'll be going about it follow the link 

Book Number: 6
Title: The Crossing of Ingo
Author: Helen Dunmore
Date of Completition: 9/1/2012
Rating: 4 stars

This The Crossing of Ingo was IMO the best in the Ingo series. Although I gave this book 4 stars, I won't be putting the Ingo series on my recommended shelf, but, if you are already part way through the Ingo series then make sure you read this. I was impressed by the character development in here and a good closure for the series. I wasn't sure if I was going to be reading Stormswept or not, but since I liked this book I probably am (also the characters sound more interesting. 

Why I Read It: Well I have read all the other books in the Ingo series.

Sapphire and Conor join Faro and Elvira in Ingo to complete the Crossing of Ingo, a rite of passage that all young Mer face. Adding to the danger of a trip around the world's oceans are Ervys and his followers, who are determined to stop them from completing the Crossing and removing human blood from the Mer race.

The Characters: 
Sapphire - Totally awestruck by the amount of character development that has happened to Sapphire since the first book, Ingo. She has grown from a whiny, annoying, stubborn and impulsive kid to a less annoying, less stubborn and impulsive teen. Before I got annoyed when reading about her (especially since it was her POV, so it was inescapable) but now I don't mind at all. **SPOILERS AHEAD:** I'm surprised, but not unhappy, that Sapphire decided to stay on Earth, throughout the whole book it was hinted that she would stay in Ingo, with all the calling-Ingo-my-home thing. **END SPOILERS**

Conor - the nice older brother has been my favourite character from the start of the series. He has logic!! and although logic can frequently be a sucky thing it isn't in this series, since everyone else(besides Granny Carne, Saldowr and Roger) is like I want this, therefore it is true and I am right, so everyone should think this way so Ima go right ahead and do it, especially those with Mer blood, where as Conor thinks things through and considers consequences. I predicted thatConor wouldn't end up with Elvira because he loves his Earth lifestyle more than he loves her and **SPOILERS AHEAD: ** I was right, especially with the whole North thing. **END SPOILERS** I still don't see him with Rainbow though (it probably seems that way mainly because it is from Sapphire's POV and that's what she wants). 

Faro and Elvira - Sapphire and Conoro's Mer friends. Faro is the most annoying character in this series, he annoyed me all through the first 3 books (made worse by Sapphire taking his every word for fact) but in The Crossing of Ingo he was bearable. Elvira has pretty much always been a character that I have neutral feelings towards I did think her whole North craze was annoying, but it wasn't really her fault. 

Other - I think Ervys as a antagonist wasn't explored enough, like he has a goal and a drive (which all villains should have) but he lacks depth (which separates the good villains from the ordinary); he has no backstory, he just hates humans, hates Saldowr and wants to lead, but there is no reasons given for this, he just hates them and there was plenty of times to add a backstory in the several hundreds of pages that Ervys has been the antagonist. I liked the closure on Sapphy and Conor's dad and I felt that it was very appropriate.

The Plot: 
The plot was decent and definitely an improvement on the previous book, The Deep. But the thing I like most about the plot was the closure: the ending and the battle, it was really that which made me give it 4 stars, I liked that part more than the actual Crossing of Ingo part. I also found that part where Sapphire sees her mum in Australia totally weird but quite cool at the same time. 

The Writing: 
The writing style for this was decent, much like the writing in the previous books.

Recommendation: For anyone who likes the rest of the Ingo series, and anyone reading it

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

1 Year, 100 Books Challenge: Pegasus and the Flame

This is my fifth book and review in my 1 Year, 100 Books Challenge that I am attempting in 2012. For more info on it follow this  link.

Book Number: 5
Title: Pegasus and the Flame
Author: Kate O'Hearn
Date of Completion: 6/1/2012
Rating: 4 stars

Why I Read It: 
I was surprised (read: excited) to find a Pegasus book in the Young Adult section so I read the blurb and it sounded good but then I realized it was the second book in it's series - Pegasus and the Fight for Olympus so I went ahead and reserved this. Also it was a reality/mythology blend (I adore those) and it was recommended by Rick Riordan (whose books I also adore).

The Characters: 
Emily - our little heroine. She is surprisingly mature and collected about all the strange stuff that happens to her in the course of this novel. She is caring, thoughtful and quite smart at times. I love how genuine her feeling for Pegasus and the rest of the gang were (especially pegs) and their relationship is totally cute. 

Joel - Mean misunderstood kid in class who loves Roman myths and has a few anger management issues. I like how there was a softer side to this guy and how dedicated he got to the cause (and Emily and Pegs) 

Paelen - Olympian thief with the power to stretch his body (think Elastigirl). (Unknown to him)His greediness has ruined the Olympians chances in the war, but once he realizes the error of his actions he becomes completely dedicated to saving Olympus. I love his character development and I think he's funny and witty and I liked reading his story when he is captyured by the CRU. 

Diana - Well Artemis has always been my favourite Greek god, so I was really excited to see her join the gang, although she and everyone else was called by their Roman names (luckily a Greek mythology junkie like me would know most of the Roman counterparts anyway). She was pretty close to how I imagined her in my head so yay. 

Other - The Nirads made some pretty good enemies and they didn't look too out of place when compared to most Roman monsters. Agent J was also totally hate-able. 

The Plot: 
The plot was pretty good and mostly believable and understandable (I was glad that the Olympians came to New York by accident, because Percy Jackson's 'Greek gods move to where ever the heart of the west is' was kinda lame). It was quite predictable who the Flame of Olympus was going to be, though. There was always the small problem of the Roman gods living on Mt Olympus, and the solution was simple: change 'em all to their Greek counterparts, but no biggie. It was also a bit weird how Pegasus' bridle and hooves were the only things that could kill Nirads.  It also weirded me out that the gods could die, wouldn't they just be reborn or something.

The Writing: 
The writing was decent and I have no issues or praises about it.

For any children or teens who like mythology and reality blends.

Monday, 9 January 2012

1 Year, 100 Books Challenge: The Changeover

This book is my 4th review and book in my 1 Year, 100 Books Challenge. To see more information on this challenge and how I will be going about it click here.  

Book Number: 4
Title: The Changeover
Date of Completition: 4/1/2012
Rating: 3.5 stars

The plot wasn't too great but it was better than the only other Margaret Mahy book that I've read Kaitangata Twitch. Also the cover of this book (well the edition I had at least's) was kind of creepy and ugly, but the illustrations inside were pretty cool, they all looked like carved wood sculptures. 

Why I Read It: When I decided to read Kaitangata Twitch, I also decided to try out one of Mahy's more well-known works, The Changeover.

After receiving a warning in the mirror Laura, knows something bad is going to happen. But when her little brother Jacko falls gravely ill after being stamped by the mysterious Carmody Braque. Laura soon finds that the only way to save him is to go through a irreversible transformation, to embrace the supernatural powers hidden in her.

The Characters: 
Laura - Our 14 years old main character is likeable enough, caring , thoughtful and plain but she's also sensitive to any mystical things around her. I like how she looks out for her family but clearly isn't a Mary-Sue. I could also feel the chemistry between her and Sorry. Sometimes I forgot what age she was meant to be, so that was annoying 

Sorry Carlisle - At first I didn't like this (probably 17 yr old) guy, but he grew on me. My reaction was kind of like: giant naked lady poster in his room = not impressed, naked lady poster with small photo of Laura attached to it = creepycreepycreepycreepyCREEPY! and when Laura asked him if he was a virgin and he said no, I was like great another romance with a innocent girl and an older, experienced creeptastic male >.> great.. but after his totally cool backstory I started liking this guy, luckily this wasn't too romancey otherwise I probably wouldn't of liked him. 

Miryam and Winter Carlisle - They played their parts quite well, and I was glad that most of Sorry's backstory was told from Miryam's POV. Miryam seemed motherly enough while Winter had her creepy witch moments (but fortunately there wasn't too many of them). 

Others - I have very little to say about the rest of the characters. Carmody Braque succeeded in being a creeptastic villain who also talks funny. I found it a bit weird that Laura addresses her mum by her first name, I don't actually know what it's like in a divorced family but she does live with her and she is the biological parent so yeah. Also the babysitters name was hilarious: Mrs Fangboner, hahahaha Fangboner! heehee.

The Plot: 
The plot was too amazing or interesting and it could've gone much deeper. I found it weird that **SPOILERS AHEAD:** Carmody Braque was defeated by being stamped by a stamp gained when changing over. **END SPOILERS** But it was well pulled off. 

The Writing: 
The writing fleshed out the somewhat-lacking plot of this novel. It made Jack's illness seem more dangerous and urgent. And the detailed descriptions during Laura's changeover were fantastic, I loved them. 

1 Year, 100 Books Challenge: Kaitangata Twitch

This year, I am taking on the 1 Year, 100 Books Challenge. I'll try to review as many of the books I read. Wish me luck! For more info on the 1 Year, 100 Books Challenge and how I'm going to go about it click here.

Book Number: 3
Date of Completion: 3/1/2012
Rating: 3 stars

I started reading this after I finished watching the show. I don't think I will be able to review without a little bit of comparison to the TV show. When I picked this up I was surprised by it's length, since the TV show had so much content. The characters are all quite believable and the premise is interesting, I just felt that the novel didn't get deep enough and unlock its full potential. 

Why I Read It: I liked the TV show

With Sebastion Cardwell making development plans for the bay, everything is going to change - some support it, others are against it. But the most affected by the change is the Gallagher family. Mr Gallagher and Kate against it, but how far will they go? Mrs Gallagher is on middle ground and just wants what is best for her family, Rufus is losing his friends because of it. But the most affected is Meredith, who is getting messages from the mysterious island Kaitangata. 

The Characters: 
Meridith - Our heroine is a plain 12/13 year old girl in the middle of a family who is caught up by Cardwell's new development plans. She hears the voice of the island Kaitangata, has weird dreams about it and is found sleepwalking due to those dreamsShe plays the flute and canoes but that seems to be the extent of her hobbies. Like with most of the characters in this novel, Meridith lacked the depth that I liked to see in characters. She is a very mediocre heroine, but at least she's not annoying. 

Kate - The oldest Gallagher child (probably 15-17). Kate seems to have more depth to her character than most do. She is totally against Cardwell and his development and has a tendency to blame things on him. She learns throughout the course of the book how far to go to be a warrior **SPOILERS AHEAD:** shaving your head is ok and might be symbolic to you, but potty-mouth vandalism is not **END SPOILERS**

Mrs Gallagher - Hardworking mum Michelle (changed to Grace in the TV series, not that I really care, I mean her first name was only mentioned once in the book). She's a fence-sitter in the Cardwell debate and she knows the development won't be all that bad but most off all she hates how it is making her family unstable. 

Mr Gallagher - a environmentalist dad who is also against the development. He quietens his protests after he sees what it has done to him. 

Rufus - Meredith's little brother (age not specified). Easily influenced. I was surprised that almost half of the swearing in this novel came from his mouth, because judging from Meridith's age he was probably 9-11 years old, I know that some kids that age do swear heaps because they think its so 'cool' and 'gangsta', but I doubt that those kids play pretend real-life adventure games with invisibility powers and such-like. 

Sebastian Cardwell - Rich antagonistic big name Sebastian Cardwell, plans to turn his old hometown into something flashy and new to impress the investors and get the cash flowing in. I liked the history between Mrs and Mr Gallagher and him. 

Lee Kaa - Meredith's Moari great uncle. I kind of liked the mysterious, suspicious, teacher-guide Lee Kaa from the TV show better and I was disappointed that he didn't feature as much in the books. 

Other - I was glad that Meridith had friends from school in the book, because in the TV show she kind of looked like a loner whose only friend was this old mysterious, murderous (not really), Maori guy,which is quite unrealistic. 

The Plot: 
The plot had an interesting premise, which I felt could have been explored further (which the TV show did). I was also quite unsatisfied with the ending as **SPOILERS AHEAD** you only find out that real-Sebastian Cardwell stopped his developed because he practically vanished financially, where as dream-Sebastian got eaten by the island and you kind off wanted to know if real-Cardwell is alive after his dream-self being eaten **END SPOILER**

The Writing: 
The writing was a little too dry and simplistic for my liking, but other than that I had no problems with it. I would say that the writing style is better for a children's novel, but since I say the book is for children I am going to point out that there is infrequent swearing in it. 

Recommendation: Older children, as the writing and depth is more suitable for children but there is infrequent swearing.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

1 Year, 100 Books Challenge: Paranormalcy

Ok, this may be broken soon but I am attempting to read 100 books this year, and review as many as I can. See more info on this challenge here

Book Number: 2
Title: Paranormalcy
Author: Kiersten White
Date of Completion: 2/1/2012
Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)

I think Paranormalcy is a really good debut for a new author. All the main characters are well fleshed out and (apart from the fact that majority were mythical) fairly believable. The size of the book is appropriate for its content and the plot is also quite good. I have also read the sequel and it is also good. Also, the cover is purdy... 

Why I Read it:  Well, I've been seeing this around for a while and after putting it off for a while, I picked this up.

Summary: Evie would like to think of herself as ordinary, but working in the IPCA (International Paranormal Containment Agency) and being the only human who can see through the glamours of the paranormals, makes her far from normal. Kicking paranormal butts is her job, but after a shapeshifter breaks in to IPCA and paranormals start being found dead, Evie's world is about to be turned upside down.

The Characters: 
Evie - Evie is a great female lead for the YA market. Unlike most of them Evie didn't whine over the bad things that happened her and what she doesn't have, she acknowledges the bad and has wants (but these wants are understandable, e.g. wanting to be a normal teen). She's cute, funny and witty without being over-snarky like some. Some might find her cutesy-ness a little too much though with her love of all things pink, and Tasey, I know I did sometimes, but it's not that big a deal. 

Lend - There's not much to say about him, but he becomes quite dull and less interesting when Evie stops caring about what he is and starts liking him (cos then there is no mystery) I do like his personality and yay, because he's and artist! 

Reth - Is scary, ok pretty much I dislike him and he gives me the creeps. Sure he was trying to help Evie, but it was only to reach his own ends. Despite all this he makes a good addition to Paranormalcy. Aprilynne Pike's review "The two sexy paranormals who vie for Evie's affections each had their own victory; one won Evie's heart and the other won mine" (quote taken from inside cover) kinda weirded me out. I mean sure one of Pike's characters (and clearly her favourite love interest) Tamani was also a smexy, douchy faerie whose justification for why the girl should pick him was all about him, with little to no doubt that the girl could resist, who helps the girl so that she will accept him (I hate love interests like that, there's too many of them), but, Reth was a whole different story (I mean seriously that guy is a CREEPER). Unless Reth does some major changes in the next books I see no reason why he should ever win out of Evie's love interests. He does however look like a hot anime guy, WOOT for hot anime guys!! 

Racquel - Although appearing stern and business-like, I found myself really caring about her and I think she has left a better impression on me than any of the boys did. After Evie left I found myself wondering how Racquel was doing constantly and I was upset to find that there was no proper closure on her in the ending (next book maybe?). I like how her relationship with Evie is sometimes business, sometimes family. 

Vivian - Vivian made quite a good villain. She had depth and a personality (not a Why I am I evil? BECAUSE I AM!! type of thing) and I like how she reflected Evie but still was different. Her backstory was a good one because you could tell that this could've been the way Evie turned out. She was similar to Evie with a little less cutesy and more spunky, more knowledge of her powers, and a more snarky attitude. 

Alisha (Lish) and Arianna - They are seperate and all but I felt that Arianna was becoming the new Lish. Lish was great: she was funny, smart, she auto-bleeped, lived in an aquarium and was a totally loyal best friend. I really wished I could've seen more of her and I felt as if she left too early in the book. Arianna began as the kind off Rosalie-esque character and then after bonding over Easton Heights with Evie they become friends, I personally think she is too similar to Lish but luckily she is not a constant BFF to Evie otherwise she would get annoying but other than that these two are both great. 

Others - I really don't have much to say about the rest of the supporting cast other than Cresseda and her relationships to other people was a little weird. The rest were all decent. 

The Plot: The plot of Paranormalcy is relatively well done. Although I felt that the pacing could have been a little better (not that big a deal though). This book features a lot of different types of paranormals and unlike in other books, especially Cassandra Clare's The Mortal Instruments Series, this was justifiable because Paranormalcy was all about paranormals where as The Mortal Instruments was mainly about Shadowhunters yet they included majority of other mythical creature (and it seemed like too much). 

The Writing: The voice used in this novel allows you to get in her head and understand who she is without being too much for the people who like third person most, but fine for the people who will forgive the lack of plot if the voice is enjoyable (that's why I love Meg Cabot's works). And unlike most people the voice isn't a "I swear every 2 sentences+" because that's how real teenagers talk. The writing's just fresh and fun

Recommendation: Female teens who don't care if their books aren't literature. Great for the female reluctant readers.

Quote: "Are you going to kill me?"
“Why does everyone keep asking me that?" Seriously, did I look like some sort of pyscho assassin? Maybe it was the pink sneakers. Or the heart earrings?”

1 Year, 100 Books Challenge: Anna and the French Kiss

I am attempting to read 100 books in this year, and I'll be reviewing as many as I can along the way. My first year at college might stop me but, wish me luck! This is book number 1 (as you can see I was reading all through new years day)

Book Number: 1
Title: Anna and the French Kiss
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Date of Completion: 1/1/2012 (Happy new years all!)
Rating: 5 stars (out of 5)

Well so far Anna and the French Kiss is the best book I've read in 2012 (it also happens to be one of 5 books I've read in 2012 XD! but it'd probably be in my Top 5 or Top 10 of 2011 reads anyway. This novel would fall under the YA Realistic Fiction. Like many before me, I would say that this should be a compulsory read for all teenage girls. It covers many things that your average teenage girl would go through. It isn't too heavy for reluctant readers, and even the avid readers would enjoy it (unless every word has to be instilled with meaning for you). Don't be fooled by that horrible title, this book is gold! You'd need some pretty good excuses to avoid reading these books (I'm looking at you hipsters of the reading world). I can't wait to read Lola and the Boy Next Door and Isla and the Happily Ever After!

Why I Read it: Some of my friends were talking about how good it was and saying it was a YA romance unlike Twilight.

Summary: Anna Oliphant is less than thrilled to find that her dad has sent her to a boarding school in Paris  forced to leave behind her sweet little brother Seany, best friend Bridget and an almost-relationship with the cute boy at work, Toph. Things start looking up at the School of America in Paris (SOAP) when she meets Etienne St Clair  who seems to have it all (including a serious girlfriend) after all this is the City of Lights. A year of new beginnings, trial, tribulations and heartbreaks will Anna get her happily ever after? A great book that all teenage girls will enjoy.

The Characters:
Anna - Our main character is lovable, funny, and average (I don't tolerate dem Mary-Sue kinds). The best thing about Anna (and the book) is that she is relatable - she wants what is best for her, but often she doesn't know what that is or how to get it and sometimes goes about it the wrong way (dating Dave to get back at St Clair). Also unlike the majority of YA female leads, she doesn't whine too much.("Oh boo hoo, i have like, a mega-flat chest, and no car, and did I mention my flat chest! Whinety-whine-whine!)

Etienne St Clair - Our drool-able love interest. He's smart, good-looking, funny, and has a British accent and good hair!! And since I know the appeal of a British boyfriend, I can totally empathize with Anna (except my boyfriend doesn't say Pants as in rubbish). Although he has many good qualities he is certainly no Gary-Stu(I don't tolerate them either): he is short, unwilling to change, kinda clingy, there is lots of competition for him and he is dunDunDUNN a cheater (very unattractive).

Mer and Rashmi - Anna's girl friends in SOAP. Mer is her first friend in Paris and quickly gets Anna into her group, she's an all-round nice girl but she too fancies St Clair (le gasp, competition). Unfortunately for the reader (or at least me) there is a chunk of the book where all of Anna's friends are kind off replaced with St Clair. But soon after she gets closer to Rashmi and realizes that she's not so different after all.

Bridget - Anna's best friend from home. Although she mainly features in emails you can tell that she is a fun, friendly person with a flair for vocabulary and drumming who is quite similar to Anna. Although she is made worse by **SPOILERS AHEAD:** not telling Anna about her relationship with Toph and kinda turning Seany against Anna. **END SPOILERS**

Josh - Rashmi's boyfriend, Etienne's mate, friendly, really funny and he's an artist, artists FTW! **SPOILERS AHEAD:** I'm glad he breaks up with Rashmi in the end, they just didn't seem like a very good couple at that point, also I hope he'll feature as the boy in Isla and the Happily Ever After, they'd make a cute couple. **END SPOILERS**

Toph - Well firstly, from the moment I heard his name I thought of Toph from Avatar: The Last Airbender (please tell me I'm not the only one who did that) and ever since then I've been picturing him as and older, male, non-blind version of her with the same bangs as Toph has (frankly the image I made of him is quite hot) but this did prevent me from seeing him with sideburns. But seriously, this guy is a douche. He led Anna on by kissing her when he didn't even like her(which made her confused, which gave her less time for ST CLAIR) and then he **SPOILERS AHEAD:** goes ahead and dates her best friend and continues to email Anna as if nothing's changed, and when he chooses to tell her, it is in such a blatant and rude manner (DON'T SCREW THE GIRL COS I ALREADY AM!! yeah, thanks for the notice ><)**END SPOILERS**

Ellie and Amanda - Ellie already has Anna's dream position, St Clair's girlfriend. She seems nice enough, and like St Clair she isn't really that into the relationship but is too afraid of change to dump him (not to mention the dealio with St Clair's mum). Amanda is the mean popular girl at Anna's new school and I think she is more accurate and less exaggerated than most of the mean queen-bee in most realistic fiction. She is the right amount of b*tchy, up-herself, whiny, and arrogant for her part.

The Plot
The plot is great because it is so relate-able (mentioned it before, but seriously it is the best part), it covers heaps of things that so many teenage girls have been through: crushes, moving away from your family, facing unfamiliar places on your own, making friends, dealing with popular b*tches, drinking and partying, romance mishaps, jealousy, cheating, romantic competition, etc.(not saying these have all happened to me BTW). 

The Writing
The writing in 1st person and was fun and simple. I for one prefer 1st person, but this Anna and the French Kiss isn't too much for those who don't like 1st person as much. It wasn't too fancy so that the reluctant readers could also get into this (and then even more books! Mwahahaha converting the population into readers). It's gentler than Meg Cabot's works but quite similar (read: hilarious)

Recommendation: All female teens, no seriously they should all read it.

Quote: “The more you know who you are, and what you want, the less you let things upset you.” -Anna

1 Year, 100 Books Challenge: About

In 2012, I SpasticSquirrel will be attempting to read 100 books in only a year. I will be reviewing as many of these as I can. My first year in college and many other things may stop me, but regardless I will try to complete this challenge and you can follow my reading adventures right here, or on my Goodreads account which will be a bit more up to date. This challenge was inspired by the challenge that Lonks took on SparkLife. Fictional books only, mangas (picture books and comics do not count), plays do not count (aside from Shakespeare which is considered so literaturey that people forget they are even plays, also they take a while to absorb), reading short books also don't count, all books must be roughly 200+ pages. Books assigned from school do count provided they fit in with the guidelines above (yes I did make them up based on what I thought would be fair). 

All reviews for this challenge will be titled "1 Year, 100 Books Challenge: <insert book title>". All spoilers will be warned with either large bold writing or <hide spoilers>. The layout for my 1 Year, 100 Books Challenge reviews will be as follows:

Introduction: Me talking about the book in general/why it took me so long to update/date which i finished this book/which number book, etc.

General Info: (not available on Goodreads version)
Book Number:
Date of Completion:
Rating: Out of 5 stars

Why I Read it: Reason for reading (on Goodreads this will be the 'Recommended to SpasticSquirrel by' section)

Summary: Plot summary and genre of this book. This will not be on the Goodreads version of my review as the blurbs of the books can already be viewed

The Characters: I will be talking about my reactions to the characters individually or in pairs.

The Plot: My review and feelings towards the plot (different to summary)

The Writing: My review of the writing style and editing of the book.

Other: Optional. Any other comments about this book.

Recommendation: Who I recommend it too, assuming I actually recommend it to someone. (On Goodreads it will be in the 'Recommends it for' section.

Quotes: Optional. Quotes from the novel