New Girl By Paige Harbinson

new girlThere has been an opening at Manderly Academy and “New Girl’s” parent get it for her as a surprise. Up until recently New Girl wanted to attend Manderly but now she doesn’t want to leave her home in Florida and go all the way up to New Hampshire. But when she first enters the door she’s viewed as Becca’s copycat. Becca Normandy went missing at the end of the previous year and that’s where the opening came from. The two girls, Becca and New Girl, have similar apprences but opposite personalities. Becca was the new girl the previous year. As soon as she arrives everyone likes her and the things she gets people to do leave a lasting mark and traditions at Manderly. Becca is confident and manipulative. She always get what she wants. New Girl is the opposite, she is self conscious and does what others want.
Everyone of Paige harbison’s charaters in New Girl are memorable. They all have flaws and at times and at points you don’t want to like them. Becca Normandy at first is only the mean girl, but that’s not all she is. The New Girl is shy and feels like she’s walking in Becca’s shadow but she stands up for herself. Max, Dana and all of the other minorish characters have many attributes. Her plotline is also intriguing and unique.
I couldn’t put this novel down. Paige Harbison’s writing is amazing and I can’t wait to read her other novel Here Lies Bridget.

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Shadowfell Review


Title: Shadowfell
Author: Juliet Marillier
Date Published: September 9, 2012
Publisher: Knopf
How I received it: From Randombuzzers.com
Summery: Sixteen-year-old Neryn is alone in the land of Alban, where the oppressive king has ordered anyone with magical strengths captured and brought before him. Eager to hide her own canny skill–a uniquely powerful ability to communicate with the fairy-like Good Folk–Neryn sets out for the legendary Shadowfell, a home and training ground for a secret rebel group determined to overthrow the evil King Keldec.

During her dangerous journey, she receives aid from the Good Folk, who tell her she must pass a series of tests in order to recognize her full potential. She also finds help from a handsome young man, Flint, who rescues her from certain death–but whose motives in doing so remain unclear. Neryn struggles to trust her only allies. They both hint that she alone may be the key to Alban’s release from Keldec’s rule. Homeless, unsure of who to trust, and trapped in an empire determined to crush her, Neryn must make it to Shadowfell not only to save herself, but to save Alban. (taken from amazon)
This is the only thing that I have read by Juliet Marillier. I was captivated by the opening scenes and I wanted to learn more about Neryn’s past. Then when she met Flint, I wanted to know about him.

The only thing that bothered me was that I guessed he was the enemy and that they’d end up liking each other.

Right from the start I wanted to learn about Neryn, her past, her present and everything else. Neryn is an intelligent girl who is sometimes not cautious enough. She’s quick to judge and I think this was one of the reasons that made me want to finish the book. I wanted to see this flaw evolve into something better. I wanted her to have to “walk in their shoes.”

Then there’s the father, who you really want to like, but because of what he does you really cant.

Flint is the most mysterious character. He’s this guy who “buys” Neryn but not for the reasons she’s thought of. Juliet slowly reveals things about him, that we get mostly from his conversations with Neryn. He gives cryptic answers to Neryn when she asks questions and tells her the less she knows the better off they will both be. You learn a little bit about his life and personality as Neryn does and you don’t know much more. You don’t discover the full truth until she does.

Finally there’s the Good Folk. Each one of them has their own personality. Some are sweet and some are untrusting and some are not so kind. There’s Reagan’s Rebels who accept Neryn and all of the other small but important characters.

Juliet’s plotline needs those characters. It’s a sort of complex plot with a lot of subplots. We learn Neryn’s quest early on and the rest we slowly learn as the story goes on. Within Shadowfell’s 400+ pages there are a lot of conflicts. Neryn versus Nature, Neryn versus Keldric and the enforcers, Neryn versus Neryn, Neryn versus Flint. Flint versus himself, Flint versus his canny gift. There are many more conflicts involving Neryn, the good folk, Reagan’s Rebels, Keldric, the enforcers and Flint.

I believe that the strongest element in Shadowfell is the characters. I felt like they were real people. That they could have been my friends. She described the appearances and personalities very clearly. I was able to detect their motivations and reasons for doing what they did.

I really enjoyed this fantasy novel. It wasn’t a quick read but nonetheless it was a good one.

 

Tilt Review

  Hi everyone. Here’s my first book review I’ve posted on here. I hope you guys like it and find it interesting!

 

Ellen Hopkins is a New York Times bestseller. She is author of many young adult novels. Tilt is her newest novel and surely very close in quality to her other books. Tilt is the story of three main teens, Shane Mikayla, and Harley. They are all trying to discover themselves and learn about the things they have contact with. It is a companion novel to her adult book, Triangles, which is the story, told from the parents’ point of view. It is told from the points of view from each of the three main characters. The intended audience, young adults, should find this to be a good book.

At first while reading this I was confused as to who was related to whom and how, because all of the characters are related in some way. I believe that some of the experiences that they go through, have been written about a lot but she takes a fresh view on them. I defiantly would recommend this book to other teens who like her books and that like books about real world problems.

She developed this book well. Her descriptions of the events that happened were great, I felt like I was there having the experiences as well, but not way too much.  The events are presented in chronological order with interchanging viewpoints. I think this book had accurate information. At the end she places a list of statistics that pertain to the things the characters go through. A teen pregnancy where the father leaves after the mother decides to keep it is a common subject but one I think that teenagers should know more about. Also pregnant mothers should know more about their options and what happens after they choose one, so that they don’t choose one and then regret it. The problems of rape, teen pregnancy, HIV/AIDS, teen sexuality and finding oneself are the most explored topics in this book with quite a few others. Tilt makes you think “What would I do if I were that person or going through what they are going through?”

Tilt is the story of three teens. Shane is gay and thinks he’s found the man he loves only there’s a catch. He also has a sister who is struggling to keep her life. Then there’s Mikayla who thinks she will be with the boy she’s currently with forever, only when he doesn’t buck up and take responsibility for his actions does she realize he was never that great. Lastly there’s Harley who is struggling to find who she is. She does a complete turn around with her character and then Lucas does something not so great and she realizes the she’s spent the last little bit of her life as the wrong person. These teens are all interconnected somehow; family, friends or other things. Throughout this book they all learn things and Ellen Hopkins sticks to her true style with surprises at every turn.

Her characters are all people that I could know. They could be people in my school; they could even be people in my family. In fact I identified with Shane a little bit more than the rest because I had a brother who had Down’s syndrome and at certain points in the story I realized that sometimes I felt the same way he did. I think that Ms. Hopkins must’ve spent a lot of time developing them, everyone in the story is three dimensional.

Some of her major themes are popular themes and ideas. There’s one that you can make your own choices despite what other people think. There’s not everyone is who you think they are. These are just a couple of the themes that she explored in Tilt.

The plot was great. If I were to draw out the “hill” diagram we use in school, there would be a lot of little bumps and some big ones in there too. The three biggest climaxes are mixed in with the little ones so you don’t get a ton of tiny ones then a bunch of big ones. I think that her opening was good and the ending great. It leaves the possibility for a sequel and I believe that she should write one. I would defiantly read it; I want to know what happens to these characters, especially Shane and Mikayla.

At the end of every poem she has a phrase that is similar to the one that she uses at the beginning of the next one. Also at the end of each set of poems about one person she does one poem from one of the bigger characters but not the main ones. After that she goes to the next character.

The novel is very clear but not exactly simple. There are a lot of little interconnected characters and quite a few subplots as well as the main plot.  There’s not much dialogue but you get what the people would say if they were to talk. There’s also not much humor because it isn’t supposed to be funny. There are some jokes made that are supposed to be sarcastic.

It is set in Nevada but it’s not really that significant to the plot. I remember a few instances where it was gloomy outside at times when you would expect it to be gloomy.

Overall I thinkt that Tilt is very well written. I like the storyline and connected well with the characters, certain ones especially. I didn’t want to put it down but, I had to or else I wouldn’t have been able to get all of my homework done. I loved this book and all of her other ones. She’s a writer all her own and I recommend her to all teens that are struggling with something because she most likely has written a book about it.