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Book Review: The Last Boy and Girl in the World by Siobhan Vivian

24157347Book Title: The Last Boy and Girl in the World
Author: Siobhan Vivian
Series: N/A (Standalone)
Publication Date: April 26th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
My Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

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What if your town was sliding underwater and everyone was ordered to pack up and leave? How would you and your friends spend your last days together?

While the adults plan for the future, box up their possessions, and find new places to live, Keeley Hewitt and her friends decide to go out with a bang. There are parties in abandoned houses. Canoe races down Main Street. The goal is to make the most of every minute they still have together.

And for Keeley, that means taking one last shot at the boy she’s loved forever.

There’s a weird sort of bravery that comes from knowing there’s nothing left to lose. You might do things you normally wouldn’t. Or say things you shouldn’t. The reward almost always outweighs the risk.

Almost.

It’s the end of Aberdeen, but the beginning of Keeley’s first love story. It just might not turn out the way she thought. Because it’s not always clear what’s worth fighting for and what you should let become a memory.


MY THOUGHTS

I am disappointed by this book. Well, to be honest, it may be partly my fault because I’ve set considerably high expectations for this one due to rave reviews of the author’s Burn for Burn series. I tried to like The Last Boy and Girl in the World but it just really let me down.

Let me mention the things I liked first. For one, there’s the type of conversations that Keeley and Jesse have. Keeley has this huge crush on Jesse and when they started texting each other, they exchange funny photos and videos. I liked that because I personally know how fun that is as compared to idle small talk.

And speaking of Jesse, there was this one time that he was nervous and he started rambling a lot. Despite being a bit out of character, I really liked reading about a boy rambles when agitated. I feel like only girl characters do that in books.

Also, I loved the friendship of Mrs. Hewitt (Keeley’s mom) and Mrs. Dorsey (Keeley’s best friend’s mom). They appear so close despite each having a family of their own, and they always look out for each other in the book. Likewise, Mrs. Dorsey’s daughter, Morgan, is Keeley’s best friend and I loved her character as well.

On the other hand, there are quite a few things that I didn’t like. I really liked the premise of this book but as I read more and more, I find my interest waning.

I didn’t really like most of the characters. Even the main character, Keeley, was hard to bear. She is insensitive, selfish, self-centered and really mean, especially to Levi. Also, I don’t like how all she can think about is her crush while the whole town is basically in shock of their situation.

The romance in the end also feels very forced. I did, however, pushed through until the end because I wanted to see how things would turn out for their town, Aberdeen.

The overall plot was good but most of the characters irked me. Despite this though, I still look forward to reading the author’s other books.

All book cover photos and book info (such as summary, publication, etc.) are taken from Goodreads.

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Book Review: Body Swap by Sylvia McNicoll

36569630Book Title: Body Swap
Author: Sylvia McNicoll
Series: N/A (Standalone)
Publication Date: October 9th 2018
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
My Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

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A fatal collision — who’s to blame? Two bodies, two souls switch in search of justice.

When fifteen-year-old Hallie gets knocked flying by a Hurricane SUV, her life ends without her ever having kissed a boy. At an otherworldly carnival, she meets and argues with the eighty-two-year-old driver, Susan. Both return to life, only with one catch — they’ve swapped bodies.

Now Hallie has wrinkled skin and achy joints while Susan deals with a forehead zit and a crush on a guy who’s a player. Hallie faces a life in a long-term care residence. Susan gets picked up for shoplifting.

As they struggle with technology, medications, and each other’s fashion foibles, they start to understand and maybe even like each other. But can they work together to prove that a defect in the Hurricane caused the deadly crash? Or will their time run out?


I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review.

MY THOUGHTS

What compelled me to request for this book on Netgalley was the summary. I think it would be interesting to read about a teenage girl swap bodies with an elderly woman. I had hopes for this one, but I’m so sad to say that Body Swap did not meet them.

But let’s start with what I liked. The actual plot of the book is actually good and quite promising. I like the concept of our two main characters, Hallie and Susan, living the other’s life, while searching for a way to go back to normal, despite of their 67-year age gap. It’s fun to see Susan’s transition from originally being an 82-year-old woman to having a 15-year-old’s body, as she learns all about technology and its convenience.

And that’s about it. Now, moving on to the stuff that I think needs improvement…

I had a hard time finishing this book due to a lot of factors. Firstly, I did not connect to any of the characters. I tend to enjoy reading more when the books have complex characters with great character development. This book, however, failed to have said characters. Actually, I’ve come to dislike Hallie. She takes advantage of Susan’s money when they swapped bodies. I mean, Hallie insisted on buying not one, but two $600 phones and then eating at an expensive restaurant afterwards. Susan is an old lady, for crying out loud! Hallie has made a dent on Susan’s retirement money for sure. Aside from that, I hate how Hallie doesn’t even hide her disdain about swapping bodies with Susan. It’s just plain rude. As for the other characters, they just don’t have much depth to them.

I also would have had trouble recognizing whose point of view I was reading if not for the indicators at the start of each chapter. It’s hard to differentiate them at times due to how flat they all fell.

Another thing is that the goal of the book is just so confusing. There’s just so much going on: pretending to be the person they’ve swapped bodies with, proving that a car company is at fault for their mishap, scoring a boyfriend for Hallie, proving that cellphones are both bad and good. All of these in just less than 250 pages.

Overall, this has a great premise but since I am a character-driven reader I didn’t really like this one. Still, go check this out if you want to as this is just a quick read. Unfortunately, this one’s not for me.

All book cover photos and book info (such as summary, publication, etc.) are taken from Goodreads and Netgalley.

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Book Review: Prom by Laurie Halse Anderson

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Book Title: Prom
Author: Laurie Halse Anderson
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Publication Date: March 3rd 2005
Genres: Chick Lit, Contemporary, Humor, Realistic Fiction, Romance, YA
Age Range: 12-17 years old
My Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

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High school senior Ashley Hannigan doesn’t care about prom, but she’s the exception. It’s pretty much the only good thing at her urban Philadelphia high school, and everyone plans to make the most of it-especially Ash’s best friend, Natalia, who’s the head of the committee. Then the faculty advisor is busted for taking the prom money, and Ash suddenly finds herself roped into putting together a gala dance out of absolutely nada. But she has help-from her large and loving (if exasperating!) family, from Nat’s eccentric grandmother, from her fellow classmates. And in putting the prom together, Ash learns that she has choices about her life after high school. Prom has everything that award-winning author Laurie Halse Anderson is known for-humor, poignancy, teen readers’ tough issues dealt with head-on, and a voice teen readers will recognize as their own.


MY THOUGHTS

I should have finished this sooner considering that the book is only 215 pages long and I might have done a bit—okay, a lot of skimming. But I read this in more or less 5 days because I just kept putting it off. And most of the time, I felt like giving up and I wanted to stop reading the book altogether. However, I don’t think books deserve to be unfinished and forgotten so, like the masochist I am, I kept reading and it was so painful (and such a waste of time.)

Let me tell you something that I don’t normally feel when reading: I actually think everyone is decent EXCEPT for the main character. Ashley Hannigan is a whiny little bitch. All she does is whine, whine, and guess what, whine some more! She acts like the prom will ruin her life. Grow up, Ashley! Although she did have a bit of character development towards the end. By “character development” I mean she becomes less obnoxious and actually takes a bit of responsibility.

Another thing about Ashley is how blunt she is. SPOILER ALERT! Don’t read the little quote below if you’re interested in reading the book.

I laid down my head on my books. I was thinking I should ask my aunt Linny to light a candle at St. Luke’s for the prom. She should light one for me, too, because I was sure I had a brain tumor. A tumor would explain why I agreed to help Nat. It might actually make life easier.

There were only a couple of things that kept me from rating this as a 1-star read. First is their preparations for prom, there’s that. I like to see if they can pull off their prom with such a short amount of time available. Also, I love the little (kind of) adrenaline feeling I get when reading their hustle and tussle just to make their prom decent with such limited resources. The other thing is Grandma Shulmensky. Oh that wonderful woman! She has got to be my favorite character. Grandma Shulmensky just cracks me up every time; she is so fun!

Would I recommend it?

No. Simply, no.

All book cover photos and summaries are taken from Goodreads.

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Book Review: Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler

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Book Title: Twenty Boy Summer
Author: Sarah Ockler
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: June 1st 2009
Genres: Contemporary, Chick Lit, Realistic Fiction, Romance, YA
Age Range: 14-17 years old
My Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

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“Don’t worry, Anna. I’ll tell her, okay? Just let me think about the best way to do it.”
“Okay.”
“Promise me? Promise you won’t say anything?”
“Don’t worry.” I laughed. “It’s our secret, right?”

According to her best friend Frankie, twenty days in Zanzibar Bay is the perfect opportunity to have a summer fling, and if they meet one boy ever day, there’s a pretty good chance Anna will find her first summer romance. Anna lightheartedly agrees to the game, but there’s something she hasn’t told Frankie—she’s already had that kind of romance, and it was with Frankie’s older brother, Matt, just before his tragic death one year ago.

Beautifully written and emotionally honest, this is a debut novel that explores what it truly means to love someone and what it means to grieve, and ultimately, how to make the most of every single moment this world has to offer.


MY THOUGHTS

I was really disappointed by this one.

I thought I was going to like it. I mean, look at that cover, and then read the summary, and then go through all its great ratings on Goodreads. It’s impossible to keep my hopes down.

Let me start by saying that the title is very misleading. Twenty Boy Summer? More like Not-Even-Half-Of-That Summer. (Lame, I know.)

I am a very character-centered reader. I don’t usually care if the plot isn’t amazing—with the exception of, you know, cut-my-eyes-off bad. I believe that the character/s of the book adds a lot more to the experience of a reader. That being said, I felt nothing for the characters in Twenty Boy Smumer. By “characters,” I mean Anna and Frankie. Maybe it’s because I didn’t get to know them as much as I would’ve like. Or maybe I don’t freaking see why they would be best friends in the first place! The only person I liked was Matt… but he dies! Ugh.

I know I said I felt nothing for the two main characters, but scratch that. I felt something for Frankie: pure hatred. Frankie is just as selfish and self-absorbed as I thought she would be. I get it, she’s grieving because her brother died. But for goodness’ sake, Anna loved Matt too—as a brother, best friend and a lover. Frankie keeps on acting like she’s the only person affected, and she doesn’t know how to consider other feelings but her own! I want to kick Anna for putting up with Frankie’s shit.

There was a lot of breaking the rules throughout their duration in Zanzibar Bay, and like the goody two shoes I am, I was really nervous with all of the duo’s rendezvous with the two hotties they meet on their summer holiday. But that’s not even the worse part, it is the fact that Anna and Frankie weren’t even caught and/or punished for sneaking out.

One of the aforementioned hotties is Anna’s “summer romance”, I guess you can say. But I can’t feel the romance. I literally cringe at some point.

I originally wanted to rate this a 1 out of 5, but decided against it. The only thing that earned the extra star was the first few chapters when Matt was still alive. I genuinely thought it would turn out as a great contemporary read, but it was a let down.

Would I recommend it?

Not really. It had potential in the first few chapters but I was unhappy on how it turns out. If you really think you like the plot, I suggest borrowing from a friend or your local library if they have it because I don’t think it’s worth the ten bucks.

All book cover photos and summaries are taken from Goodreads.