Tag Archives: Anushka D. ’15

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater (review by Anushka D. ’15)

Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #1)Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Every year, Sam switches form twice. During the few months of summer, he relishes being a human, but for the rest of the year, he lives as a wolf. Although Sam is desperately in love with seventeen-year-old human Grace, he is forced to keep his distance and watch her from afar. But when on one lucky day, they meet each other as humans, their lives are turned upside down and the only thing they can hold onto is each other. A classic story of forbidden love, Shiver explores paranormal story explores territory of a werewolf-human love affair. Although the story sounds cliché, Stiefvater manages to escape banality by infusing fine writing and well-rounded characters. Grace and Sam are both soft, yet strong and prove to be a lovely match. Combined with a consistently strong plot, Shiver is overall a good read. – Anushka D. ‘15

View all my reviews

Identical by Ellen Hopkins (review by Anushka D. ’15)

IdenticalIdentical by Ellen Hopkins
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When a car accident shatters the Gardella family, twins Kaeleigh and Raeanne struggle to move on with their lives. While Kaeleigh suffers sexual abuse from their father, Raeanne drowns herself in drugs, sex, and alcohol. Soon the façade of the perfect family can no longer hold, and both girls find that they must save each other from the abuse and dysfunction. Ellen Hopkins has composed yet another riveting tale full of raw emotions and crude reality. Her writing style effectively portrays the darkness and depression that lurks underneath the seemingly happy Gardella family. Hopkins constantly challenges readers throughout the story, making them just so uncomfortable that they are forced to ponder the reality mixed in to the fiction. Captivating readers throughout and ending with a tragic plot twist, Identical is a provocative must-read. – Anushka D. ‘15

View all my reviews

The Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier (review by Anushka D. ’15)

Girl with a Pearl EarringGirl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When Griet is hired as a full-time maid at painter Vermeer’s house, she sets out with her hair tightly wrapped and her virtue intact. Although she cannot help the instant attraction she feels for her master, Griet hides behind her cumbersome work and cleans his room when he is not around. When Griet displays artistic talent, Vermeer begins to introduce her to his world, and soon, Griet is sucked in to the lust, deception, and scandal she is unable to escape. Chevalier has masterfully created and written a wonderful story from a mysterious painting; her poetic rendering of Griet as a shy, virtuous maid is ingenious and delightful. The Girl With the Pearl Earring is extremely hard to put down; the plot starts strong and never lags and the ending is poignant. Recommended for lovers of history, art, and subtle romance. – Anushka D. ’15

View all my reviews

Graceling by Kristin Cashore (review by Anushka D. ’15)

Graceling (Graceling Realm, #1)Graceling by Kristin Cashore
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Because Katsa was revealed to be Graced with excellent combat skills at a young age, she has grown up as King Randa’s pet assassin. Katsa detests the fear and destruction that follows her everywhere she goes but feels helpless; she cannot aid the kingdom or change her image. However, when handsome King Po shows up at the castle and becomes her first true friend, Katsa finally has a chance to prove herself as a human, not a savage. Cashore creates a beautiful fantasyland full of dragons, kingdoms, and kings while keeping credible characters. Katsa is strong-willed, powerful, and beautiful but rivets readers with her vulnerablility and compassion . The plot hooks readers and continues to be strong to the end, and the romance is entertaining. – Anushka D. ’15

View all my reviews

Crash by Nicole Williams (review by Anushka D. ’15)

Crash (Crash, #1)Crash by Nicole Williams
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

When Lucy meets the stunning Jude Ryder before her junior year, she can’t help the romantic notions that dance in her head. It only takes one conversation, however, for Lucy to realize that Jude is more of a bad boy than a prince. When Jude refuses to let her go, promising that he will change, Lucy soon finds that she is having trouble staying away. But can Jude really throw away his past completely? Crashis the epitome of a teen romance novel: shy girl, dazzling boy, and forbidden love. Williams’ novel slightly differs from the clichéd love tragedy due to Lucy’s snarky, independent, and hilarious narration, but the rest is predictable and laugh-out-loud sappy. The writing provides little description of both the scenery and the character’s emotions, leaving readers to fill in the blanks. All in all, Crash disappoints with its unoriginal plotline and lousy writing and leaves no promise for a better sequel. – Anushka D. ’15

View all my reviews

Scarlet by A. C. Gaughen (review by Anushka D. ’15)

Scarlet (Scarlet #1)Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

As a member of Robin Hood’s gang, “Will” Scarlet holds many secrets. For one, she’s really a girl. Even the members of the band do not know her painful past. When a ghost from her history closes in, Scarlet must make a difficult decision: her gang or her life. Scarlet has the potential to be an interesting read due to its creative take on the classic Robin Hood tale. While Scarlet is rude, foul-mouthed, and amazingly strong, she is also emotional and insecure about her past, a flawed personality that easily enthralls readers. However, the immature romance and unsatisfying ending detract from the book’s narration. Her potential lovers are irrational and demanding, and Scarlet is irritatingly indecisive about who she loves. In addition, the conclusion of the adventure novel is a mere whimper. All in all, the lack of a consistently gripping story makes Scarlet a drag. – Anushka D. ‘15

View all my reviews

The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson (review by Anushka D. ’15)

The Name of the Star (Shades of London, #1)The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When Rory Deveaux first transfers from Louisiana to London, she can’t help but feel out of place in her new surroundings. However, just as Rory starts to call her boarding school her home, her life is suddenly disrupted as a nearby killing spree shockingly similar to that of the Jack the Ripper murders begins. When horrific footage of a woman being slaughtered by an unseen force comes to light, police suspect a ghostly hand is behind the ordeal. Rory finds herself in the midst of the mess when she is able to spot the murderer and inadvertently becoming his next target. The Name of the Star is brilliantly written. Rory is an ensnaring character: witty, brave, and charming, and she carries the narrative with both stunning confidence and loving vulnerability. While Johnson does introduce a love triangle, it is subtle and does not detract from the story. Johnson ends The Name of the Star with a compelling plot twist hooking readers for the sequel: The Madness Underneath. Anyone looking for a thriller will be thoroughly satisfied!

View all my reviews

Captured by Erica Stevens (review by Anushka D. ’15)

Captured (The Captive, #1)Captured by Erica Stevens
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When Aria, daughter of the head of the human resistance, is captured by members of the vampire race, she hopes for a quick death. Just as she is about to be sold to a malicious vampire, however, a member of the ruling class claims her for himself. Although she is curious as to his reason — he has no need for a blood slave — Aria is determined to hate him for the destruction his race has caused and for his princely title. But as he opens up to her and reveals a side that she never believed could exist in a vampire, she cannot help but fall for him even as she struggles to maintain her identity as a member of the resistance. Captured takes on a typical plotline: Human girl and vampire boy fall in love. While building a strong romance, Stevens maintains a focused, fresh and surprisingly interesting story line and fully develops her characters. Readers looking for a twist on the clichéd human-vampire love tragedy will enjoy Captured and will likely be hooked to follow up quickly with the second in Stevens’ series, Renegade. – Anushka D. ’15

View all my reviews

Crank by Ellen Hopkins (review by Anushka D. ’15)

Crank (Crank, #1)Crank by Ellen Hopkins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Good girl Kristina Georgia Snow begs to visit her father in New Mexico so she can reconnect with the man wrenched from her life and once again be his little princess. When she arrives her dreams crash as she takes in the drug addict her father has become along with his less-than-kingly castle and job. Before long, however, she falls in love with a boy and is swept into the dangerous world of drugs, a world that follows her when she returns home to her mother. Written creatively and realistically, Crank follows Kristina’s descent into a hell that ravages her family, friends, and life. Although she is difficult to understand and often unlikeable, the narration accurately depicts her addiction, pain, and struggle. Based on a true story, the book makes the reader think about what many teens face today. The sequel should be just as tumultuous and dark, and just as worthy a read! – Anushka D. ‘15

View all my reviews

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson (review by Anushka D. ’15)

SpeakSpeak by Laurie Halse Anderson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Melinda Sordino begins her freshman year dreading to see the people she once called her best friends. She ruined any chances of being popular or even having friends when she called the cops during a summer party. But what no one knows is that Melinda is hiding something about what happened at the party, something that devastated her. Anderson uses heartbreakingly beautiful prose to deliver a story about a reality many teens have to face. By concealing the horrible truth even from the readers, she leaves them no choice but to read as Melinda falls apart. While Melinda is distant from everyone, she manages to create a strong impression on the readers, capturing their hearts with her loneliness and despair. Anderson keeps the plot focused, never straying to include petty romance or overcomplicated plotlines. Speak is wonderfully delivered and hard to put down. – Anushka D. ‘15

View all my reviews