Feb 19, 2012

Amy and Roger's Epic Detour

Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
Published: May 3,2011 by Simon & Schuster

Amy Curry thinks her life sucks. Her mom decides to move from California to Connecticut to start anew - just in time for Amy's senior year. Her dad recently died in a car accident. So Amy embarks on a road trip to escape from it all, driving cross-country from the home she's always known toward her new life. Joining May on the road trip is Roger, the son of Amy's mother's old friend. Amy hasn't seen him in years, and she is less than thrilled to be driving across the country with a guy she barely knows. So she's surprised to find that she is developing a crush on him. At the same time, she's coming to terms with her father's death and how to put her own life back together after the accident. Told in traditional narrative as well as scraps from the road - diner napkins, motel receipts, postcards - this is the story of one girl's journey to find herself.

The summary makes this sound like a really emotional book with heavy subject-matter. It really wasn't like that at all for me though! I thought this book was the perfect sweet Summer romance. It's full of road trip goodness, quirky characters, and quotes that made me laugh.

Why I love this book:
  • pictures Every chapter there's a page full of pictures, receipts, and ticket-stub type things from Amy and Roger's trip. I believe the author actually went on this trip to prepare / write this novel and these things are from her trip. All of these things are great and really made the characters pop off the page. All the random things you pull out of your pockets after a trip are always fun.
  • detours - Amy and Roger's adventures are always entertaining, sometimes twice as much because they force the 2 of them closer together. Like having only 1 bed in Yellowstone!
  • Amy & Roger - They get along so well! It's like watching a movie where the 2 leads have amazing chemistry. I love the slowly developing romance between these 2 quirky people. It's the little things that make them real, like the refusal to wear sunglasses and their preferred travel snacks.
  • secondary characters - Most of the other characters are awesome. I especially love Leonard, the video game addict, who is so geeky and sweet. All of the people Amy and Roger meet along the way have their own problems, but each of them helps Amy, Roger, or both of them in their journey.
Huh, what?:
  • Hadley - What's worse than being stuck on a cross-country road trip with a boy you barely know? Being stuck on this road trip with a boy you barely know who is still all gaga over his jerk of an ex-girlfriend. Yikes!
  • that one guy who likes Amy - I won't spoil who it is that crushes on her, but I don't dislike him or anything. He's an ok guy. It's just that his crush comes at a really bad time for Amy and complicates things for her and Roger. The timing just had me going crazy!
Favorite quotes:
  • After I'd given Roger the brief tour of my family history, we ate breakfast. Or, more accurately, I ate breakfast. Roger ate the kind of meal usually reserved for holiday dinners and people with tapeworms. Luckily, it was a buffet, and all-you-can-eat, a policy I had a feeling they might be revising after our visit.             - pg. 58
  • "Um, what?" he asked, face slightly flushed as he fiddled with the iPod. "Oh, look, the interstate."   "Roger!"   "I don't know anything," he said. "I swear. I am merely a pawn in all this. She brought down your suitcase this morning and told me not to open it, or let you open it, until we were on the road."          - Amy and Roger   pg. 149
5 robots
If you're going to read a road trip book, I highly recommend this one! Sweet, quirky, and not as depressing as it sounds from the summary.

Acquired: Received as gift

Feb 8, 2012

Top Ten Books for Non-Readers

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Click the picture to visit them!

Top Ten Books I'd Give to Someone Who Doesn't Read
These are the books I'd give to someone who doesn't like to read. Although, for some people not even the best books will convert them to booklovers. One of my best friends admitted that he stopped reading Harry Potter after #5!

1. The Princess Bride - William Goldman (1973)
Pick a random person. I bet they love this movie. Tell them that its brilliance was a book before the movie ever existed!

2. The Phantom Tollbooth - Norman Juster (1961)
This is such a wonderful book. It's full of crazy creatures and worlds and adventures that are just off the wall. Everything is puzzling but fun at the same time.

3. Howl's Moving Castle - Diana Wynne Jones (1986)
If you've never read this book, stop reading this post and clicky on the picture to go buy it! Even if you've seen the movie, I highly recommend the book. 

4. Poison Study - Maria V. Snyder (2005)
This book is such an epic fantasy. Just go read the summary, seriously, and try to tell me you aren't dying to find out what happens. Plus, Valek is quite possibly the sexiest man ever.

5. Looking for Alaska - John Green (2005)
Anything John Green, but especially this one. Everyone should read John Green.

6. This Lullaby - Sarah Dessen (2002)
Giving a girl a Sarah Dessen book is like giving a mouse a muffin. Once you have a taste, you will always want more.

7. Sloppy Firsts - Megan McCafferty (2001)
This is your high school experience, except livened up and put in book form.

8. City of Bones - Cassandra Clare (2007)
Ignore all other paranormal books and hand this one to someone who doesn't like to read. They will want to read the sequel.

9. Beastly - Alex Flinn (2007)
A light read with a sweet romance is perfect for anyone who doesn't like reading, and for people who do like reading.

10. The Knife of Never Letting Go - Patrick Ness (2008)
Dystopian with so much action and impossible moral situations. This series is awesome for everyone!

Feb 2, 2012

Eon: Dragoneye Reborn

Eon: Dragoneye Reborn by Alison Goodman
Published: December 26, 2008 by Viking Juvenile

Eon has been studying the ancient art of Dragon Magic for four years, hoping he'll be able to apprentice to one of the twelve energy dragons of good fortune. But he also has a dark secret. He is actually Eona, a sixteen-year-old girl who has been living a dangerous lie for the change to become a Dragoneye, the human link to an energy dragon's power. It is forbidden for females to practice the Dragon Magic and, if discovered, Eon faces a terrible death. After a dazzling sword ceremony, Eon's affinity with the twelve dragons catapults him into the treacherous world of the Imperial court where he makes a powerful enemy, Lord Ido. Tension builds and Eon's desperate lie comes to light.

       The idea and plot of this book are amazing. Sometimes the book was a bit dulled down by all the political nonsense going on that Eona was being dragged into. There was a lot of thinking and dwelling on things instead of acting on them on Eona's part. 

Things I love about this book:
  • mystery of the Mirror Dragon - I really loved how the entire mystery surrounding the Mirror Dragon's absence came together, as well as how everything was discovered. Everything related to it came together to make perfect sense.
  • dragon lore - The 12 dragons based on the animals of the Chinese zodiac, and the whole system of the Dragon Masters was genius, and contributed so much to the book making sense. 
  • Eona's power - This is vague to avoid spoilers! After all Eona goes through in this book, it's very satisfying when she finally gets it all under control and I really want to see her powers unleashed in the sequel, especially after all the political drama. I'd love some more action!
  • characters - Chart is the sweetest and Lady Dela is such a strong character. Even though we don't see much of them, the secondary characters are all so believable and great in their own right. 
Huh, what?:
  • connecting with the Dragon - It felt like this whole book was about Eona not being able to connect with the dragon, searching for the dragon's true name, and doing the exact opposite of what the reader knows she should be doing. It got old pretty quickly.
  • disguise - The entire time I was reading, I just couldn't get it out of the back of my mind that someone was going to find out Eona's secret. I think if there had been a sense that it was a question of if rather than when someone discovered that Eon was not a boy, it would have been much more interesting.
  • certain plot points - Eona's friends and mentors were seemingly always being removed from her reach in order to force her to stand and act on her own, but it never really felt like she made any of her own decisions. 
Favorite quotes:
  • There was something behind the question that I did not understand. Some kind of test. What did the emperor want? There was no clue in his politician's face; he'd had a lifetime of hiding his thoughts. The full-hour bell rang through the courtyard, silencing the ensemble music. It was as though the whole palace waited for my answer.       - pg. 201
  • I found myself backed up against the edge of the bath, the tiled wall a solid mooring in the churn of my thoughts. I had to take the chance. So far, all I had offered the prince was lies. But if I wanted to survive, I had to take the new emperor the truth.     - pg. 413
4 robots
The story and plot overall are fantastic, but the book is too long and gets dragged down by politics.

Acquired: swapped for on swap.com