Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Leftovers, by Laura Weiss

Two young, teenage girls who lose every shred of innocence and go to extremes to avenge a loved one. They arm themselves with the very weapons that were used to hurt them and rise to defend the only person who had any genuine hope and faith in them.

Leftovers, by Laura Weiss, is a deep, intense story that breaks your heart at every turn. The author uses an interesting second-person point of view to describe the story which contributes to the memorability of the book. The author uses this point-of-view to give the reader the feeling that they themselves are inside of the story and going through everything. Needless to say, it creates a strong connection between the reader and the two narrators. The story is told as it is- bitter and sour with no sweet, sugar-coating layer to shield the reader, shocking the reader at the raw and powerful dose of manipulation, categorization, and different forms of abuse. The author could have given a little more attention to the physical features of the characters as it was challenging to play out the scenes without having a face to match the personalities. The author is able to create real, vivid, and relatable characters that capture your heart, but refuse your pity.

Reviewed by Lilit, Grade 12
Grandview Library

Monday, August 8, 2016

The Au Pairs, by Melissa de la Cruz

Mara Waters, a small town girl, Eliza Thompson, a rich girl gone secretly broke, and Jacqui Velasco, a Brazilian beauty, all apply for -- and get -- a summer job in the Hamptons as au pairs. Throughout this summer, they establish new friendships, forge new romances, and learn a little about themselves.

The Au Pairs, by Melissa de la Cruz, to say in the least, was just another book to pass time by. It was small town girl makes it big and gets the popular/rich/super-hot player; former IT girl realizes she was a snob and finds a guy who likes her for her; and a beautiful, cold shouldered girl realizes that she should wait for love and not rush. It was too corny and too cheesy. The storyline, the characters, the setting, the usage of the Hollywood stars’ names…it was all too much. It was ridiculous how the girls were not caught at going out basically every night when they were supposed to be babysitting. The protagonists, especially Mara and Eliza, were all too predictable and, in turn, uninteresting. Cruz used phrases and plot twists that were all too overused and familiar which, again, made it uninteresting. The author was also giving off an air of trying too hard and running out of ideas. The story ended all too predictably and did not move me in any way at all. Meaning that I was not giddy for the happy new couples because they were, again, too predictable nor was I left with a melancholy ache because they had to go back to where they came from. Instead, it was more like “Good riddance!” I will give Cruz credit, however, for the interesting pairing of Jacqui and Kit, which I did not see coming. Other than that, I wasn’t intrigued or absorbed by the book.

Reviewed by Lilit, Grade 12
Grandview Library