Monday, September 27, 2010

BEFORE I FALL by Lauren Oliver
Samantha Kingston has it all—looks, popularity, the perfect boyfriend. Friday, February 12th should be just another day in her charmed life. Instead, it’s her last. The catch: Samantha still wakes up the next morning. In fact, she re-lives the last day of her life seven times, until she realizes that by making even the slightest changes, she may hold more power than she had ever imagined.

The Groundhog Day premise of is what lured me in for this novel. I saw movies with the same theme and was curious on how someone can translate it into writing. A task I think she did really well in.

The story is simple and complicated at the same time. A girl relives the same day over and over again and realizes that the slightest change in her action can amount to paramount consequences. Kudos to the author for keeping things interesting all throughout the 7-day rewind. Each day is a conundrum of places, people and events and it's up to Samantha Kingston to figure out the perfect combination to step out the quantum loophole.

The only thing that disappointed me is the ending. Fine, it is climatic (sort of) with all the characters crowding up the place for maximum public drama. However, I was expecting a certain character to have a more heroic, more self-sacrificing role than what transpired. But then, it is a finale that most readers will be satisfied with.

THE CARRIE DIARIES by Candace Bushnell
Before Carrie Bradshaw hit the big time in the City, she was a regular girl growing up in the suburbs of Connecticut. How did she turn into one of the most-read social observers of our generation?

The Carrie Diaries opens up in Carrie's senior year of high school. She and her best friends -- Walt, Lali, Maggie, and the Mouse -- are inseparable, amid the sea of Jens, Jocks and Jets. And then Sebastian Kydd comes into the picture. Sebastian is a bad boy-older, intriguing, and unpredictable. Carrie falls into the relationship that she was always supposed to have in high school-until a friend's betrayal makes her question everything. With her high school days coming to a close, Carrie will realize it's finally time to go after everything she ever wanted. 

In a nutshell, the writing is fine, the characters are likable at best and the plot is so-so until you get to the end of the book. And then a big gaping question will pop into your head right after reading the About the Author page: What's the point? What was the point of the hours and nights you spent perusing the pages of the novel. Nothing ever happened to the character. Then you realize that there was no plot at all. Just some random scenes and a teenage love story trying its best to pass up as a viable story.

I've never read Candace Bushnell's other books nor is a fan of the Sex and the City TV franchise but, from such a well-known author, I expected a lot more. Sorry, but the best adjective I can give about this novel is 'childish'. And what's worse, it's a traitor book, capable of luring you in it's world but then spits you out without any satisfaction at all.

So with those two YA Novel breaks, I think I'll get back on track and exercise a few neurons by reading something else more substantial. Enter The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.


Music for Songwriters said...

These books are very interesting to read...especially the one about carrie bradshaw...i love sex in the city...

Clarriscent said...

I daresay the TV show is better than Candace Bushnell's novels. The Carrie Diaries is passable enough for a YA novel, but still, not my cup of tea. :) Thanks for the comment!

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