Southbury Teen Review Blog

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Flat-Out Love July 20, 2013

Filed under: Books — Jessie @ 4:44 pm
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Flat-Out Love (Flat-Out Love, #1)Flat-Out Love (Flat-Out Love #1) Jessica Park

When Julie arrives in Boston for college she finds out the apartment she has rented doesn’t exist.  Her mother’s former college roommate invites Julie to stay with her family; Matt, the quirky, cute and nerdy MIT student, Celeste, the super smart younger sister who has some quirk of her own, and Erin and Roger, the hardworking academics who rarely spend time at home.  As Julie starts to settle in, she starts talking to the one member of the Watkins family she hasn’t met yet, Finn, who’s rooms she is currently occupying.  Through emails, chats, and Facebook statuses, Julie begins to fall in love with Finn.  As Julie gets closer to everyone in the Watkins family she stirs up the family’s secrets.

It’s hard for me to express how great this book is without sounding like a squealing teenage girl!  This book exceeded my expectations with its great characters and plot.  Being somewhat of a nerd myself, I loved the humor and conversations between all the characters.  Julie was equal parts smart, funny and nerdy while still being completely relatable and realistic.  Matt was the typical MIT student, super smart and geeky but he was caring and funny too.  I did figure out one part of the plot about halfway through but it didn’t take away from the rest of the book at all.  There was still plenty of twists that kept things interesting.  I was so invested in this book that I read the majority of it in one afternoon because I had to know what happened!

I don’t want to say too much about what happens so I don’t spoil it for everyone that is going to read it! If you like great romance stories with smart and funny characters you have to read this.  It is a more sophisticated romance story that many young adults, and even adults, will love!

Flat-Out Matt (Flat-Out Love, #1.5)Flat-Out Matt (Flat-Out Love #1.5) Jessica Park

In Flat-Out Matt, Jessica Park has taken some of the chapters from Flat-Out Love and written Matt’s point of view.  She picks key chapters that coincide with pivotal moments from Flat-Out Love.  It’s great to have some insight into Matt’s mind and I loved him even more after reading this than I did after Flat-Out Love.  There’s also an extra chapter at the end that takes place right where Flat-Out Love ends and its the perfect ending. 

 

Lark April 17, 2013

Filed under: Books — Heather @ 2:07 pm
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Lark by Tracey Porter

LarkLark Austin was murdered.  She was brutally attacked and left tied to a tree, left to die from exposure in the frozen Virginia forest.  This story is not really about Lark, but more about two of her former friends.  Eve used to be close with Lark, sharing a love of swimming until events made her quit.  Plagued by guilt, Eve wonders what might have been if she had been there for Lark.  Nyetta is also plagued by the ghost of Lark, her former babysitter.  Unable to rest in peace, Lark’s spirit is rooted to the tree she died under.

As her memory fades and her killer goes unpunished, Lark transforms into the tree.  She is surrounded by the souls of others that have met similar fates, all trapped in their wooden coffins.  Unable to come to terms with what she is experiencing, Nyetta reaches out to Eve.  Together they acknowledge what has happened to their friend to set her soul free.

A quick, compelling read, Lark really makes an impact.  I read the whole book in one sitting, quickly propelling myself towards the satisfying conclusion.  A must for fans of Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones or Katie Williams’s The Space Between Trees.

 

Emily’s Dress and Other Missing Things by Kathryn Burak February 14, 2013

Filed under: Books — Heather @ 10:46 pm
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emilysdressClair has relocated to Amherst, MA with her father after her mother’s suicide and the disappearance of her best friend Richy.  Plagued by sadness and what ifs, Clair finds solace in Emily Dickinson.  Her poetry, her home, her life, even her dress become soothing balms to Clair’s hurt.

Clair breaks into the Emily Dickinson house and steals her dress.  With the help of her less-than-appropriately behaved student teacher, Tate, Clair attempts to right some wrongs.  Will she discover what really happened to Richy?  Will she come to terms with her mother’s death?  Will Emily’s dress be returned in one piece?  You’ll have to find out for yourself.

Emily’s Dress and Other Missing Things is a lyrical gem.  Kathryn Burak strikes the perfect tone between mystery and self-discovery.  Never a fan of Dickinson or poetry myself, I am now off to get acquainted with Emily and her works.