Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The TBR Back Burner Challenge Round 10 Reviews

This month I decided to read the two books from my TBR pile that seem to be constantly mocking the ever-loving shizz outta me. That would be Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins and The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness.
It seems to me like all other book bloggers (and perhaps every other person on the face of the planet) have read and hyped up these books. So now I'll FINALLY know what the big friggin deal is! Hooray!

EvilEva reviews...... Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. 

Anna Oliphant is perfectly content living in Atlanta, attending Clairemont High with her bestie Bridge, and crushing on her hottie coworker Toph.
But for Anna's senior year her Nicholas Sparks-esque father decides to uproot her from everything she knows and loves and ship her off to a boarding school in Paris. Not that Paris isn't awesome. It's just not home.
Anna doesn't know anyone, she certainly doesn't know her way around and she barely even speaks the language! So senior year could possibly be super disastrous.
But thanks to the kindness of Anna's dorm neighbor, Meredith, she's welcomed into a little group of friends. Which includes the very handsome Etienne St. Clair.
St. Clair is sweet, confident, funny, charming, gorgeous and he has an accent! And a girlfriend. Not a problem. Anna's fine with simply being St. Clair's best friend. Until she starts having Feelings that suggest she'd really like to be Something More.
What's an unsupervised lovestruck girl in Paris to do?

Holy friggin sexy swoon, Batman! This book is like falling in love for the first time. Not a crush. Not lust. Full-on knee-weakening, palm-sweating, pit-in-the-stomach L-O-V-E! Stephanie Perkins knows what she's doing, y'all!
Now I know why this book has been hyped so much. Cos it totally deserves to be! See, this book has turned me into a gushy schoolgirl. Ok, focus! You have a review to write.
So. Anna is the main character of this tale, obvs. And we love her. She's not "traditionally" beautiful. She's real, she has flaws which, as a person with flaws my damn self, I really appreciated. Plus, girlfriend's got a personality! And interests! She's gaga for movies. In fact, going to the theaters is what pushes Anna out of her dorm room-size comfort zone and inspires her to check out other things that Paris has to offer. I would totally be the same way. Scared of getting lost in a strange city where you don't speak the language. But I know eventually my need for reading material would kick my ass outta my room.
Now onto the sexy business! At the beginning of the book, Anna's really attracted to St. Clair. But then she finds out he's got a girlfriend, so Anna slips into The Friend Zone cos she'd rather be friends with him than nothing at all.
But the more they hang out together, the swoonier things get. And I think that shows what an amazing writer Stephanie Perkins is because there was really very little physical hanky-panky going on in this book. It's all about the stolen glances and accidentally grazing hands and almost kisses. It's all very swoontastic!
Plus the backdrop is Paris so you automatically have to multiply that swoon by 10 in order to properly gage the swoonitude of Anna and the French Kiss.
So sexytimes are important but so is friendship. And Anna is lucky enough to acquire some really great friends. Meredith is the first to befriend Anna. Mer is super sweet, sporty and smart. (She's also got a thang for St. Clair so there's even more drama in this already thick drama stew.)
Then there's Rashmi and Josh, the couple that fight hard and love harder.
And, of course, St. Clair, who I've prattled on about enough already.
I really liked the group dynamic. And as much as I enjoyed the St. Clair swooniness, I wouldn't have minded if the whole group was together more.
We're also introduced to Anna's BFF in Atlanta, Bridge and her BSC (Before St. Clair) crush, Toph. And even more boy drama ensues there!
Plus we get to watch Anna discover the city and herself as she tries to figure out what she wants and who she wants to be.
All in all, Anna and the French Kiss is a really sweet story that you'll totally fall in love with! Or as the French would say *le sigh*

The Scale of Judgment says...... 5!

EvilEva reviews...... The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness.

Todd Hewitt and his trusty dog, Manchee, live in Prentisstown, a strange settlement of New World where men can hear the thoughts of every other man (and animal) in an endless stream of unbearable Noise.
One month shy of becoming a man himself, Todd heads to the swamp on a quest for apples and finds something else entirely. He finds complete silence. And in Prentisstown, silence is dangerous.
Especially when it's in the form of a young girl. Because there have been no women in Prentisstown for years.
So when Mayor Prentiss finds out about Todd's discovery, he begins to form an army, intent on hunting down Todd, his dog and the girl. 
It's up to this small band of unlikely heroes to head for the rumored big city settlement of Haven to warn them and try to prevent another war.

As y'all might know I've gone a little dystopia crazy as of late but I kinda can't help it because all the ones that I've read have been so good. The Knife of Never Letting Go is no different.
It's told from the point of view of Todd, a 12 year old (maybe 14 depending on what calendar you use) who's unhappily happy living in this little town solely inhabited by men whose thoughts he can hear 24/7 with his dog, Manchee, and his guardians Ben and Cillian. Todd has lived in Prentisstown nearly 13 years, minding his own business as best he can and then suddenly one day his whole world is upended. Todd finds a girl and silence, both of which are completely foreign to him. Soon after Todd also finds out that his whole life has pretty much been a big fat lie. It seems even through all the Noise, secrets can still be kept in Prentisstown. Things become unsafe for Todd. The mayor has started an army and as if that isn't bad enough there's also a loony preacher that's out to get him too. So Todd's given a rucksack of things he'll need like a journal written by his mother, food, clothes, a map and a knife and told to make his way to another settlement, one that Todd didn't even know existed.
He takes along his awesome dog, Manchee, who totally reminded me of Dug from Up! and the girl who he learns is named Viola. And together this little band of misfits head out to find help and hopefully answers. 
I can't really tell you too much more because anything else would be spoilery.
I will tell you this though, the first few chapters are a little slow because it's mostly Todd semi-explaining the world around him without giving concrete information like what the heck a spack is and why he's referred to as a "Whirler boy" by some of the local animals.
But the story started to pick up around the fourth chapter and it was fun tagging along on this journey with Todd, Viola and Manchee. I mean, as fun as running for your lives can be. This story is pretty intense. And the kids are younger, so if you're looking for the swoon you found in The Hunger Games and Delirium, you're barking up the wrong tree. The Knife of Never Letting Go is about survival and what it takes to really, truly be brave. And Holy balls with that ending!
If you like your dystopia on the heavy side, with more running and less smooching, then this is the book for you.

The Scale of Judgment says...... 4.

So yay! I FINALLY read these majorly blog-hyped books! Now I know why they were so majorly hyped! If you're still wondering, I would suggest you go ahead and read them so that you too can be in the loop! :)

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