Wednesday, August 31, 2011

THE MAGNOLIA LEAGUE by Katie Crouch and BLUE BLOODS by Melissa de la Cruz

If you haven't seen the gorgeous covers for the BLUE BLOODS series, you've been deprived. I mean, just look at it! Beauty!

As is the cover of THE MAGNOLIA LEAGUE. Both, are beautiful. But they also have that same je ne sais quoi-that alluring feeling, mysterious.

I was disappointed to read them and find that the writing was not.

I decided to do the review for these books together because they're SO FREAKING SIMILAR!
-Both involve a main character who knows nothing about their dad.
-Who have lost their mom in some way.
-Have to live with their rich grandmother.
-Are ushered into a society that deals with paranormal rich kids.
-Both start having feelings for a fellow rich, society-member's older brother.
-Neither fit in.
-Both have a guy-friend who doesn't fit in.
And another thing: Both covers don't reflect the writing at all. Like I said, the covers are alluring and mysterious. The writing was short, snappy, and funny at times. Nothing like I would have thought.

I suppose I did like the humor in them, but I was kind of caught off guard, and so couldn't really receive it. I found myself thinking throughout either of them as I read about these posh lifestyles and female clones of Richie Rich, "This is totally unrealistic." And I still think that. The writing was just very... commercial, and, frankly, kind of annoying.

I liked how you got hints about what the societies were about, before the main characters were ushered into them, although I liked Katie Crouch's take on the Magnolia League, more than Melissa de la Cruz's take on the Committee because Mrs. Crouch's was more straightforward and more interesting. Melissa de la Cruz's hints at what the Committee was about kind of felt like she was saying, "Oh, the reader doesn't know they're vampires. I'm so sneaky," while she wrote it. I felt annoyed, because the characters wouldn't just come out and so "vampires" when it was obvious that that was what was going on. I mean, read the back, look at the cover, it's not hard to figure it out.

Another thing I didn't like was how the main characters were supposed to be these strong, independent girls who weren't going to let themselves become part of the status quo, and they just fell in love with the rich boys for absolutely no reason. If you've read them, please tell me why Schuyler from BLUE BLOODS, or Alex from THE MAGNOLIA LEAGUE fall for these guys. Really. Tell me? Because I don't remember any reason for them doing so. They were just like "He's hot," one minute, and the next, they were in this weird relationship.

Broken down for each novel, here are my thoughts:

THE MAGNOLIA LEAGUE's plot was fun, especially what with all the crazy characters in Savannah (by the way, if you've never been to Savannah, I suggest you do. Go to Paula Deen's restaurant and drink some big glasses of sweet tea. Yummy!) I really loved her picture of the South, and of the odd secrets of hoodoo that could be lurking behind any haint blue door.

The characters were a lot of fun. I loved how Alex was just plain and simple and she always said what was on her mind, and she was funny and fun, although I didn't like how unfazed she was that she grew up on a hippy commune and got high.

BLUE BLOOD's plot was a bit annoying to me, and I kept on feeling like I was just about to get to some amazing part, but it just kept on going, and going, and it didn't really capture me and anchor me. I felt like I was in the Dreaded Middle, the entire time. I did like some of the aspects of New York, and how Schuyler and her grandmother had memories of lavish hotels and how they were able to just go off and do expensive crap.

The characters were interesting, though like the plot, I thought I knew enough about them, to keep on reading, but not enough to actually think about them, wonder what they're part of the story is, wish that they're part was being told.

So, in the end, both books are very different from their covers, and their authors writing styles are alike in many ways, but I would still recommend THE MAGNOLIA LEAGUE over BLUE BLOODS, just because THE MAGNOLIA LEAGUE was more fun and it had more humor to compliment the short and snappy writing. It worked.

Well, here are the synops from the back covers:

THE MAGNOLIA LEAGUE - When her free-spirited mother dies in a tragic accident, sixteen-year-old Alexandria Lee is forced to leave her West Coast home and move in with a wealthy grandmother she's never known in Savannah, Georgia. By birth, Alex is a rightful, if unwilling member of the Magnolia League-Savannah's long-standing debutante society. But white gloves and silk gowns are a far cry from the vintage t-shirts and torn jeans shorts she's used to.

Alex is the first in decades to question the Magnolia Leagues intentions, yet even she becomes entangled in their seductive world. The members enjoy youth, beauty, power...but at what cost? As Alex discovers a pact between the Magnolias and the Buzzards, a legendary hoodoo family, she discovers secrets-some deadly-hidden beneath the glossy Southern veneer.

BLUE BLOODS - Schuyler Van Alen has never fit in at Duchesne, her prestigious New York City private school. She prefers baggy, vintage clothes, instead of the Prada and pearls worn by her classmates, and she lives with her grandmother in a dilapidated mansion. Schuyler is a loner-and happy that way.

But when she turns fifteen, Schuyler's life changes dramatically. She has a mosaic of blue veins on her arms, and craves raw meat. The death of a popular girl at Duchesne is surrounded by a mystery that haunts her. And strangest of all, Jack Force, the most popular boy in school, is showing a sudden interest in her.

Schuyler wants to find out the secrets the Blue Bloods are keeping. But is she herself in danger?

See ya Friday! :D

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

THE HUNGER GAMES by Suzanne Collins

September 14th, 2008 - Scholastic
"May the odds be ever in your favor."

Well, I finally caved in.

I got THE HUNGER GAMES... and I'm so glad I did!!!


This book was like being in the face by an angel! Awesome! I've obviously been hearing the hype over it for awhile. And I'd flipped through the first few pages, wondering what all the buzz was about and didn't feel interested. Well, after finally buying it, I still think the first thirty or so pages were a bit slow, though essential because it's the grand entrance into Ms. Collins's dystopian world.

Well, I won't even put the synopsis up, because I'm sure a word or two of it has already been breathed to you if you haven't read it already. The characters are amazing! The scenes are amazing! The descriptions are amazing!

Also, one thing I loved about it was that it wasn't like a lie detector, going back and forth, in and out of insane roller-coaster of emotions and then back into teen-angst turmoil, without warning of when it was going to happen. It stayed at a steady pace, and it felt like I could tell what was going to happen next, and yet still love it and be surprised because that's just how good Suzanne Collins writes.

Another thing I loved about it was how interesting the actual Hunger Games was. When picking it up for the first time, I was afraid that the entire thing would take place in the Hunger Games and just be some boring archaic thing about hunting rabbits and shooting lots of people.... Oh, how wrong you were, Past Self. Go run a lap.

Not only does a lot of the book take place out of the Hunger Games, but the parts that do take place in it, were really, really, really interesting. The way Katniss and Peeta have to survive was creative in itself, but its outcome, even more so.

Alright, so favorite characters: Katniss (what a BA. She's just awesome), Peeta (I don't even know why he was so... magnetic. He just was, but I still can't put my finger on why. Maybe because he was just sweet?), Rue (Oh, Rue. Rue, Rue, Rue, Rue. The way she describes being whipped for not working in her district, I really almost cried. "A twelve year old little girl!!!!" I screamed at the pages in blasphemy towards the Capitol), and Cinna (I won't give a reason. Cinna's just awesome. :D)

And, just because I can, look at some of the crazy mondo-insane things of popularity that have occurred since THE HUNGER GAMES was published:

*Since publication in 2008, THE HUNGER GAMES has spent more than 130 weeks on the NYT Bestsellers List.

*Suzanne Collins named as one of TIME's 100 of 2010.

*More than 5.4 million copies in print of THE HUNGER GAMES in America.

Suzanne Collins is living the writer's dream-which I think she totally deserves.

Now I'm off to get back to reading HUSH, HUSH by Becca Fitzpatrick. See ya Friday!

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