So I'm sure you all know by now that I can't write a short review for crap, but I'm going to try because my to-be-reviewed pile is almost as long as my to-be-read pile. I'm trying to cut down so hopefully for the first and last time I'm doing two mini reviews at once. Both of these are easier to sum up in a few paragraphs than the other books at the top of my list:
Rules to Rock By by Josh Farrar:
You'd never guess it now, but Annabelle Cabrera used to be a rock star. And not like her mom or dad called her a "total rock star" after she won a spelling bee or something. She was a real rock star, the bassist of Egg Mountain, the most popular band in the New York music scene. But when her parents uproot her from Brooklyn and move her to Rhode Island so they can record their own album, Annabelle feels lost. Starting a new band isn't as easy as she'd hoped, the school's rival band is a bunch of bullies, and her parents are so immersed in recording that they're completely neglecting Annabelle and her younger brother. How can Annabelle truly make herself heard?
Rules to Rock By is full of surprises...
While I didn't love [or even like] the MC in the beginning, throughout the story she consistently surprised me. The plot is nicely paced and has just enough action to keep this 'coming-of-age'* story interesting without being overwhelming. The minor characters are a little under-developed, but were enjoyable and distinct. I loved the crush Annabelle has on one of the other characters and think it added a little something to the ending. A little hope, I guess. Yes, that was corny, but ultimately true. I really enjoyed this story, it's fun and very cute. I'd recommend it for younger teens and middle grade fans.
The Mark by Jen Nadol:
Cassandra Renfield has always seen the mark—a glow around certain people reminiscent of candlelight. But the one time she mentioned it, it was dismissed as a trick of the light. Until the day she watches a man awash in the mark die. After searching her memories, Cassie realizes she can see a person’s imminent death. Not how or where, only when: today.
Armed with a vague understanding of the light, Cassie begins to explore her “gift,” seeking those marked for death and probing the line between decision and destiny. Though she’s careful to hide her secret—even from her new philosophy-obsessed boyfriend—with each impending death comes the temptation to test fate. But so many questions remain. How does the mark work? Why is she the only one who sees it? And finally, the most important of all: If you know today is someone’s last, should you tell them?
The Mark is one of those novels that really makes you think...
While some choices the MC, Cassie, makes are utterly idotic and I may not have loved her 100% of the time, I did enjoy experiencing her story. The Mark is thought-provoking and intense, while still maintaining a young in-the-moment feel that is sometimes missing in deeper YA novels. I loved the storyline, even if it sometimes seemed a bit random. Nadol's debut pulled me in and I can't wait to read the sequel, Vision. Hopefully Jack, in all his marvelous glory, will be very present. Seriously. Every scene is made better with even a small dose of Jack.** [Defo my favorite character my friends.]
I know these reviews were terrible [once again: I can't write short reviews. I ramble and rave and cannot summarize.] I'll definitely get back to my regular lengthy, essay-esque reviews that some of you seem to enjoy for some reason.
Anyway, have an awesome week guys!
*I only use the quotes because it's more of a getting-past-a-life-block story, than really coming of age. The MC is only twelve.
**Yeah, I know. Dose of Jack. Hardy har har. If that makes no sense to you...then ignore this.
"If I Only Had the Heart"-The Maine,