Monday, March 5, 2012

Mini Reviews: The House of Tomorrow, Hooked, and Gil Marsh

Summary/Cover Image from Publisher's Website:
Sebastian Prendergast lives with his eccentric grandmother in a geodesic dome. His homeschooling has taught him much-but he's learned little about girls, junk food, or loud, angry music.

Then fate casts Sebastian out of the dome, and he finds a different kind of tutor in Jared Whitcomb: a chain-smoking sixteen-year-old heart transplant recipient who teaches him the ways of rebellion. Together they form a punk band and plan to take the local church talent show by storm. But when his grandmother calls him back to the futurist life she has planned for him, he must decide whether to answer the call-or start a future of his own.

Have you ever read a book that you just ADORED but you don't have that much to say about? Well, that's what happened with me and The House of Tomorrow. Going into this book, I didn't expect to love it nearly as much as I did, but by the end, I wanted nothing but for it to go on and on forever simply because it was just THAT good. I can't exactly put my finger on what made this book so good, but I'd probably say it had something to do with the characters (amazing!), world building (ditto!), and writing (superb!). Before I start rambling and can't stop, all I have to say is this: you need to read this book ASAP. Adult, teen, it doesn't matter!

Grade: A+

The House of Tomorrow (Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads) is now out in paperback!

Source: Publicist at Penguin

Summary/Cover Image from Publisher's Website:
Thea Galehouse has always known how to take care of herself. With a flighty club-owner mom and a standoffish, recovering-alcoholic dad, Thea has made her own way in her hometown of New York, attending the prestigious and competitive Stuyvesant High School. But one chat with Will, a handsome and witty senior, and she's a goner—completely hooked on him and unable to concentrate on anything else.

Always worried that she loves Will more than he loves her, Thea is pleasantly surprised when their romance weathers his move to college and Will goes out of his way to involve her in his life. But then, Thea misses a period. And that starts Thea and Will on a wild ride that neither of them could have possibly prepared for. When they decide to keep the baby, their concerned parents chip in what they can to keep Will in school and give both teenagers a comfortable place to raise their child. But when a freak accident leaves Thea shaken and threatens to upend their little family altogether, Thea is forced to turn to the last place she would have chosen for comfort: her stiff, uncompromising father.

This smart, touching first novel brims with realistic, beautifully drawn characters, and reminds us that love is never as easy or predictable as we might like it to be.

I read Hooked by Catherine Greenman a while ago as well, because just like with, The House of Tomorrow, I didn't really know what to say about it. However, while I loved The House of Tomorrow to pieces, Hooked by Catherine Greenman was just okay. Don't get me wrong, it was a readable story, something that I enjoyed reading and got through quite fast, but it just left me wanting something more. Maybe it's because I've read better teen pregnancy books, or because I just couldn't fully relate to the characters on hand, but either way, this book just didn't contain the sparkle I was looking for. However, I still suggest to fans of YA contemp...hopefully you'll enjoy this book more than I did!

Grade: C+

Hooked (Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads) is now out!

Source: Publicist- thanks Meg!

Summary/Cover Image from Publisher's Website:
Good looking, athletic, and smart, Gill Marsh is the most popular kid at Uruk High School, even though he is only a junior. When Enko, a new kid from Montreal, shows up, Gil is wary. Yet Enko is easy going and matches Gil's athletic prowess without being a threat. Soon, the two become inseparable friends, practicing, studying, and double-dating.

Then suddenly, to everyone's shock, Enko succombs to an aggressive cancer.

When Enko's parents take his body and return to Canada, Gil is unable to even say good bye. He is inconsolable. Determined to find Enko's grave, Gil sneaks away and heads north.

Closely based on the ancient story of Gilgamesh, the Sumerian King from 3000 BC, A. C. E. Bauer has carefully woven the classic elements of myth to follow Gil's quest and explore the grief and growth of a young man.

When I first heard about Gil Marsh by A.C.E. Bauer I was instantly intrigued. It sounded really interesting- an emotional and bittersweet contemporary read that I would just adore. However, as it turns out, Gil Marsh was just not for me, sadly enough. Gil Marsh tells the story of Gil Marsh and Enko, two best friends at Uruk High School. However, everything changes when Enko suddenly dies and Gil falls apart following this death. First, let me talk about the things I did enjoy about this book. One was the friendship between Gil and Enko. It was a little confusing at times (I could never tell if they were just friends or something more...) but it was still nice seeing such a strong male friendship in a YA book to say the least. I also enjoyed how A.C.E. Bauer brought to life the story of Gilgamesh in this didn't turn out just as I expected but it was still interesting to see it twisted and turned to fit the modern world. The parts about this one that I just didn't love included how confusing this book could get at time (everything was so jumbled at times) to the fact that I never really could relate to Gil, which is always a bad sign in my book. Plus I also felt like this book was missing something... development, a plot line, I'm not sure....Anyhow, Gil Marsh was just not the book for me, and to be honest, it's not something I really suggest. However, if you think you may enjoy it, give it a try...hopefully you'll see something I couldn't.

Grade: C

Gil Marsh (Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads) is now out!

Source: Publisher via Netgalley 

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