Friday, February 29, 2008

Th1rteen R3asons Why by Jay Asher

Hannah Baker committed suicide. And she left one thing behind: a set of seven tapes which tell the 13 reasons why she ended her life. The tapes document all the events and connections that led up to her death. And guess who gets to listen to those tapes? The 13 people who are in Hannah's story. One of them is Clay Jensen and as much as he doesn't want to listen, he has to in order to find out the role he played and learn why Hannah did what she did. Also, in order to make sure that all 13 people do what she wants, she has made a set of duplicate tapes that are to be released to the public if one of the people doesn't follow through in listening and passing the story on. Now, the 13 people have to listen, absorb the truth, and have their lives changed for ever.

Wow. That's all I can say about this book. Wow. As you can see, I also finished the book Blue Bloods today and so I started reading this one. And once I picked it up I literally could not put it down. I had to read for a straight four hours to get through it and there was no other way I could have done it. It is such a harsh story but it really draws you in. Being able to see into the mind of someone willing to go to the extreme of killing themselves is a scary insight. But as you read, you can actually start to see why she might be motivated to do something so dramatic. It is also heart-breaking to be there with Clay to witness his part in Hannah's death. Knowing that you had a part, whether you were aware of it or not, in someone's death has got to be crushing. I really felt for Hannah as well as Clay while I was reading. Also, this isn't just a light-hearted story, it really has depth and perspective to it, which makes for an amazing book. Th1rteen R3asons Why really touched me and I don't think I'll ever be able to forget this book. I would recommend it without a doubt. It has a powerful message and it really sheds some light on a hard topic.

Blue Bloods by Melissa De La Cruz

In New York, the rich and famous have a secret. They're not only wealthy and influential, they're also vampires; immortal creatures cast out from heaven hoping to win their way back in. Schuyler Van Alen is invited to a meeting of the exclusive Committee only to find out that she herself is part of the Blue Bloods (what the vampires are known as). And then she discovers that something is preying on them. Vampires are supposed to be immortal but they are now individually being sought out and drained of all their blood; the one thing they depend on to keep them alive for eternity. Schuyler is now fully wrapped up in the world of the Blue Bloods and has to solve a mystery that all the other vampires are ignoring. She knows that something is wrong but the leaders of the Committee pretend not to notice. It is up to her alone to find out what is killing off the vampires and save their race from extermination.

This book was amazing. I haven't read a book this thrilling in a long time. Too long. Melissa De La Cruz did a great job weaving the story of the Blue Bloods into modern culture. I especially liked the character of Schuyler as she gradually grew into who she was meant to be. It was interesting to learn about her ancestors and the different influences her family had on the vampires. Seeing as this is only the first book in the series, there is quite a bit of suspense at the end and I really can't wait to read the next book Masquerade. I would definitely recommend this book because it is a light, easy read that you can devour in one sitting. Exactly my kind of book.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Briar Rose by Jane Yolen

Becca grew up listening to her grandmother, Gemma, tell the story of sleeping beauty. The story was haunting yet Becca and her sisters never tired of hearing it. Then, Gemma dies leaving behind a box of photos, news clippings, and other objects that are keys to unlocking the past that she kept hidden from her family. Becca has never known who her grandfather is or where Gemma came from. Before Gemma died, Becca made a promise to her that she would find out about her past. That promise sends her on a plane to Poland to figure out who her grandmother was. There is so much more to the story but the suspense is one of the best parts and I don't want to spoil it!

The story is set around the Holocaust and has some descriptions that really get to you. I had never read about the Holocaust in such depth and it was extremely scary and sad. Jane Yolen did an amazing job writing this story and the ending is really great. It changed my views on many things when I heard about the kind of experiences Gemma went through. I can not imagine what I would feel if I was in Becca's situation as she learned about her grandmother. It is such a harsh story but at the same time is filled with a kind of bitter triumph. I know that this story isn't true but it really put things in perspective and made me extremely grateful for my life and the things that I normally take for granted. I would highly recommend this book.

Monday, February 25, 2008

First Post!

I'm Liv if you haven't guessed that already. I've decided to start blogging on the books I've read but I don't know if it's going to go very far. I am a big reader but not very good at following through on things so we'll see how this goes. :) I'm going to try to post a plot summary and my opinion on every book that I read from now on. I will not be writing on books I have already read unless I reread them. So I hope you enjoy my blog and I will try to get on here as much as possible.