Monthly Archives: May 2013

Slytherin’s lost spell Book

Slytherin Harry Potter jewellery by The Melton Pot.

Slytherins lost spell Book

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Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles

Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles

When Carlos Fuentes returns to America after living in Mexico for a year, he doesn’t want any part of the life his older brother, Alex, has laid out for him at a high school in Colorado. Carlos likes living his life on the edge and wants to carve his own path—just like Alex did. Unfortunately, his ties to a Mexican gang aren’t easy to break and he soon finds himself in a dangerous situation.  When Carlos meets Kiara, wholesome and quiet “good girl,” he’s shocked by the feelings he develops for her.  Kiara is nothing like the girls Carlos usually falls for, but they both soon discover that in matters of the heart, the rules of attraction overpower the social differences that conspire to keep them apart.

The pictures below are from the book trailers for the series – so, the actors are the ‘real’ characters!

It’s always a worry when you love a first book in a series, because you’re left wondering whether subsequent books could ever hold up against it. This is the second book in the Perfect Chemistry series – about three Mexican brothers whose dead father’s legacy has meant they’ve all been dragged into gang warfare – and it’s a very, very decent follow-up.

Carlos and Kiara Rules of Attraction Simone Elkeles

One thing I liked about the first book in the series was that it smashed through a lot of stereotypes. This second book brings us back to the oh-so popular nerdy girl the bad boy falls for stereotype, so I didn’t quite like the relationship between Carlos and Kiara as much. No doubt Kiara is going to appeal to younger readers, however.

The plot of this one follows quite closely along the successful lines of the first book, so you might not want to read them back-to-back. Carlos is a funny guy when his world isn’t crumbling around him and Kiara is fantastic in that she just does not care what the popular people think of her.

Carlos and Kiara Rules of Attraction Simone Elkeles YA Book

Simone Elkeles is totally in love with cheesy epilogues, and this one is possibly twice as cheesy as the epilogue in the first book. I dislike reading about YA characters having children, and the book would be just as good if you finished a few pages earlier!

This is a fun series, with bad boys done right.

Harry Potter Necklace

Harry Potter Necklace by thinkupjewel.

Harry Potter Necklace

Want to Read: Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

It’s very sad that while any schoolkid could tell you about the horrific things Hitler did, next to none of them could tell you about Stalin. Stalin is responsible for tens of millions of deaths, and his own attempts to wipe out entire groups of people in places like Ukraine.

Because of this I’m glad this book is gaining so much popularity, and I can’t wait to read it!

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

Lina is just like any other fifteen-year-old Lithuanian girl in 1941. She paints, she draws, she gets crushes on boys. Until one night when Soviet officers barge into her home, tearing her family from the comfortable life they’ve known. Separated from her father, forced onto a crowded and dirty train car, Lina, her mother, and her young brother slowly make their way north, crossing the Arctic Circle, to a work camp in the coldest reaches of Siberia. Here they are forced, under Stalin’s orders, to dig for beetroots and fight for their lives under the cruellest of conditions.

Lina finds solace in her art, meticulously–and at great risk–documenting events by drawing, hoping these messages will make their way to her father’s prison camp to let him know they are still alive. It is a long and harrowing journey, spanning years and covering 6,500 miles, but it is through incredible strength, love, and hope that Lina ultimately survives. Between Shades of Gray is a novel that will steal your breath and capture your heart.

Catcher in the Rye Necklace

Catcher in the Rye Necklace by Slattery Crafts.

Catcher in the Rye Necklace

Really Want: Uninvited by Sophie Jordan

Sounds good! 🙂

Uninvited by Sophie Jordan

You can’t change your DNA…even when it says you’re a murderer.

When Davy tests positive for Homicidal Tendency Syndrome, aka “the kill gene,” she loses everything. Once the perfect high school senior, she is uninvited from her prep school and abandoned by her friends and boyfriend. Even her parents are now afraid of her—although she’s never hurt a fly. Davy doesn’t feel any differently, but genes don’t lie. One day she will kill someone.

Without any say in the matter, Davy is thrown into a special class for HTS carriers. She has no doubt the predictions are right about them, especially Sean, who already bears the “H” tattoo as proof of his violence. Yet when the world turns on the carriers, Sean is the only one she can trust. Maybe he’s not as dangerous as he seems. Or maybe Davy is just as deadly.

Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles

Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles

A modern tale of star-crossed lovers with a fresh urban twist.
At Fairfield High School, on the outskirts of Chicago , everyone knows that south-siders mixing with north-siders can be explosive.  So when Brittany Ellis and Alejandro “Alex” Fuentes are forced to be lab partners in chemistry class, this human experiment leads to unexpected revelations – that Brittany ’s flawless reputation is a cover for her troubled home life, that Alex’s bad-boy persona  hides his desire to break free from gang ties, and that when they’re together, life somehow makes more sense.  Breaking through the stereotypes and expectations that threaten to keep Brittany and Alex apart, Perfect Chemistry takes readers to both sides of the tracks in a passionate love story about looking beneath the surface.

The pictures below are from the book trailers for the series – so, the actors are the ‘real’ characters!

I have covered this briefly before, but here’s a longer review.

Brittany and Alex Perfect Chemistry Simone Elkeles

This is one of the best YA romances out there, and it’s easy to see why it won a RITA Award. Dealing with a guy ‘from the wrong side of the tracks’ who is trapped in a dangerous gang, and his unlikely and therefore emotional relationship with the princess of the school, this is all Romeo and Juliet-y without the suicides.

This is the first in a trilogy and definitely the best, bringing fresh storytelling and an excellent plot with twists and turns. I love how the author smashed a thousand stereotypes. The scenes between Brittany and her special needs sister and Alex and his best friend were especially touching.

Alex Fuentes Perfect Chemistry Simone Elkeles

It seems that 99.9% of YA authors write ‘bad boys’ these days, but it isn’t often they pull it off this successfully. The characters are three-dimensional instead of cardboard cut-outs and there’s not the rampant misogyny that usually comes with the territory.

I do love this book to pieces and my complaints are few:

I’m not sure why so many YA books finish with marriage and children. To me, it moves the book out of the “Young Adult” realm. I’m also never thrilled when book characters use terms like ‘dumb blonde’. I’m blonde – it’s incredibly inaccurate and offensive!

Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles

This is one of those YA books that has fans of all ages, even people who claim not to enjoy YA. Everyone will be able to find a way to sympathise with the stories of the characters in Perfect Chemistry. If you’re like me, you’ll probably read this one more than once!

Here’s a random Ukrainian Harry Potter book cover

I like it. 🙂 🙂

Ukrainian Harry Potter Book Cover