The Disreputable History Of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart is a cute and quirky coming-of-age story. It's something of a girl-power homage, with the heroine Frankie showing the boys at her preppy boarding school that she is not happy to just be a cute girlfriend, she wants to be their equal. And the way she shows them, no one will ever doubt her potential again...
This story follows Frankie on her sophomore year in an elite prep school after growing from ”a scrawny, awkward child with hands too big for her arms and a frizz of unruly brown fluff on her head” to ”curvy, lithe, and possessed of enough oomph to stop teenage boys in the street when they passed her”. With her new appearance, she finally gets her crush Matthew to notice her and she soon succeeds to become his girlfriend.
But Frankie will soon realize that getting the guy in your dreams is not always as fantastic in real life as you imagined. And when Frankie wants to impress Matthew’s friend Alpha and earn respect as an equal from him and Matthew by infiltrating their secret school club, the Bassets, things start to derail.
This is a fun and quirky story about finding out who you are and who you want to be seen by others. But also the costs it comes with to stay true to yourself and question the social boundaries.
”It’s better to be alone, than to be with someone who can’t see who you are. It’s better to lead than to follow. It’s better to speak up than to stay silent.”
I really like and admire Frankie’s sassiness, toughness and smartness, and how she stands up for herself and doesn’t take crap from anyone. But sometimes she just got on my nerves, being slightly too stubborn and immature. You don’t have to pick every fight all the time, you know… But still, you have to give Frankie credits for figuring out the main thing; it is important to be your own person and not to bend to others expectations.
I also really loved the writing style. It’s so fun and witty, and the dialog is superb. And the thing with the neglected positives was so spot on; I laughed so many times at how Frankie got on Matthew’s nerves by making up her own non-existing words.
So, all in all, this is a great story that I highly recommend. It’s both highly political and incredibly funny, and who doesn’t like to read about a girl totally kicking the boys’ asses?
Find out more about the books and the author here: e. lockhart
My reading tips this week is the breathtaking, heartbreaking and utterly wonderful Lose Me. by M.C. Frank. This book completely blew me away! My feelings are all over the place, this book made me laugh, cry, it broke my heart and made me angry, and it made me love the characters to death all at once.
I know that M.C. Frank has experienced serious illness herself, which is also quite obvious from this dedication, and I want to mention it because it something that makes this story so extraordinary strong and emotional. You can really tell that M.C. Frank knows how it feels, not only to be afraid of dying, but to be afraid of living again and of getting your hopes up. And she makes you feel it too.
This is a book that makes you feel. It is absolutely breathtaking, it’s one of the best and most realistic love stories ever. But it’s not just a love story. (Reading the blurb you might get the impressions that this is just another sweet love story, a simple retelling of Pride and Prejudice in an exotic setting, but it’s not.) It’s so much more! This is a story about facing your fears, about being true to yourself, about forgiveness and about living life to the fullest, not just surviving. It’s a gripping, heartbreaking story that will take you on a roller-coaster of emotions, it will make you cry and laugh and break your heart.
All the characters have such depth, I love them with all their flaws and shortcomings, and all their bravery, kindness, big hearts and awesomeness. Ari is such a fierce, kick-ass heroine, a stunt girl that has grown up without her mother. Wes is the golden superstar, the famous actor, with girls swooning all over him. What could be a meet-cute at a movie set is turned into something else. Something more. Something… I don’t want to make any spoilers, so let’s just leave it with saying that my emotions were played with! And also, that I love Wes so much! He’s now one of my new favorite book boyfriends, the strikingly good looking, arrogant, bad boy, but with a heart of gold. And he’s a bookworm! Just saying! About Ari, I have some mixed feelings though. I absolutely loved her in the beginning, but in the middle of the book I kind of felt that I wanted to slap her, to shake her and make her realize how her actions were hurting the others. But in a good way, the anger was just a sign of how deeply I had started to care about her. This sure is a book that makes you feel!
Much is because of the addictive writing. The writing is so wonderful, fast-paced and captivating. It also feels so fresh with the mix of emails, twitter, text messages and interviews into the storytelling. I really loved this take, and how it made you hear Wes’s sassy voice this way, even though the rest of the story was narrated by Ari.
“Today is not the day I die.”
This is something that Ari says a lot to herself. In the beginning I thought it had to do with her being a stunt girl, as a mantra before doing dangerous stuff. But the words have a much deeper meaning than that. Just like this book is so much more than just another love story. It’s a book about life. All spectra of it.
I recommend this book with all my heart! It’s a book that you will not easily forget. A modern classic well in line with Pride and Prejudice.
Find out more about the book and the author here: M.C. Frank
My reading tips this week is the magically wonderful The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. This is such as a sweet, unique and completely addictive read. It’s like a modern fairytale, Maggie Stiefvater is a true storyteller who manages to make the book both so easy to read and so complex at the same time.
The Raven Boys is something of a paranormal romance combined with a murder, old-fashioned adventures and Welsh mythology. Sounds a bit strange when you try to explain it, but it’s so good! So, so good! This book is completely addictive and fast-paced, and Maggie Stiefvater does a remarkable job in describing the characters with all their flaws and depths. I love Blue, the heroine so much, and her aunts. Her big bohemian family is so sweet and kind of nuts at the same time.
And the four Raven boys; Gansey, Adam, Noah and Ronan, with all their dark secrets and family problems, and their friendship and love for each other. They will (literally) die for each other.
I don’t want to give too much away about the story, since it has its twists and turns, and since it’s difficult to describe in a way that would even be close to do it justice. But it’s an amazing story about friendship, bravery, staying true to yourself and trusting your instincts. And the writing is marvelous, almost poetic of sort, with a perfect mix of reality and magic.
I recommend this book with all my heart and can’t wait to continue with the next book in this amazing series! Thanks to Maggie Stiefvater’s amazing storytelling, the plot has so many secrets that I can honestly say that I have no idea what will happen in the next book. But I’m dying to find out!
Find out more about the books and the author here: Maggie Stiefvater
Traitor to the Throne is the second book in Alwyn Hamilton’s magical Rebel of the Sands-series following orphan tomboy Amani.
Known as the ‘Blue-Eyed Bandit’, Amani has always been “more gunpowder than girl”. Her whole life, she’s been trying to leave Dustwalk, the unforgiving dead-end dessert town she’s grown up in, without success. Until she meets a stranger, Jin, in a sharpshooting competition. Taking her chance, she follows him on a dangerous journey through the deserts to join the rebels fighting the evil Sultan. As the fight continues and the rebels are gaining more power, Amani has to face betrayal and rely on her desert-girl’s instincts of cunning and espionage to infiltrate the Sultan’s palace.
This is a great sequel, continuing the adventurous story at a heart-pounding pace. What’s special in this series is the mythology that Alwyn Hamilton weaves into the tale. The story is spiced with fairytale animals, like the ‘Buraqi’, a sand horse that can be turned into a real steed by a girl, ‘Nightmares’ that remains in the sands, coming out only at night to inject humans with venom that infects the mind and body, ‘Skinwalkers’ that shift their form from one victim to another, ‘Djinns’; men made of out of smokeless fir and others.
I missed the love story that sprouted between Amani and Jin somewhat in this installment though, as they spend most of the book separated. But hopefully that will change in the exciting conclusion of the series. I’m eagerly awaiting the release of the third book next year and hoping for a ‘happy ever after’!
Find out more about the book and the author here: Alwyn Hamilton
This week I’ve read The Rift Uprising by Amy S. Foster. This is the first book in The Rift Uprising Trilogy about seventeen-year-old Ryn Whittaker who is a Citadel: an elite, enhanced soldier specially chosen to guard a Rift, a mysterious and dangerous portal to alternate Earths scientists cannot control or close.
When I read the synopsis I was so intrigued and I had such high expectations. In the book the world is a version of earth set in the future, but a “tear” in the universe allows creatures and humans from other worlds to come into this version of earth. To protect this version of earth, children are implanted with devices developed by a higher species to become defenders of The Rift. Great storyline, isn’t it?!
I loved the concept of The Rift, but the book did not really live up to its full potential. I quite enjoyed it, but I felt that it could have been so much better and more interesting if it hadn't been for the Insta-love and Blood Lust thing that turned the story into focusing too much on sex. This also made it hard to really like the heroine Ryn. She came across as quite selfish, immature and all too occupied with thinking about sex.
What I did love though, was all the references in the book to movies and TV shows like Ender's Game, Transformers, and Buffy; that really added an extra flavor to the story and almost made me laugh out loud at times.
“Are those motherf-cking vampires?”
“See? This is why I was always Team Jacob.”
“Twilight? Really? That’s what you’re going to go with? The entire vampire canon and that’s what you choose?”
I also really loved the friendship in Team Beta and some of the characters; Henry, Ezra (if it hadn’t been for the way he came into Ryn’s life) and Violet. I also have a hunch that Levi be bad-boy-turned-good in the next book and that Ryn’s feelings for him will start to change.
I also have a feeling that the second book will live up to the expectations much better and take the story in the right direction. Even though the first book was not quite what I hoped for it won’t stop me from continuing reading this series.
Find out more about the books and the author here: Amy S Foster