Tag Archives: New York City

The Night Tourist by Katherine Marsh

29 Apr

The Night Tourist 

author : katherine marsh

pages : [hardcover] 230

favorite character : Euri

summary :

Jack Perdu, a shy, ninth grade classics prodigy lives with father on the Yale University campus. Smart and introverted, Jack spends most of his time alone, his nose buried in a book. But when Jack suffers a near fatal accident, his life is forever changed. His father sends him to a mysterious doctor in New York City-a place Jack hasn’t been since his mother died there eight years ago. While in the city, Jack meets Euri, a young girl who offers to show him the secrets of Grand Central Station. Here, Jack discovers New York’s Underworld, a place where those who died in New York reside until they are ready to move on. This, Jack belives, is a chance to see his mother again. But as secrets about Euri’s past are revealed, so are the true reasons for Jack’s visit to the Underworld. Masterfully told, The Night Tourist weaves together New York City’s secret history and its modern-day landscape to create a highly vivid ghost world, full of magical adventure and page-turning action.

review :

The Night Tourist was a highly simplistic read that I started one night and finished the next afternoon. The writing is very to the point and not overly embellished though I think that I would have liked to see more added into it, especially in the more surreal parts of the novel. It was a very creative and fun journey though it seemed rushed and bland at points because of the bland writing.

I loved the ideas presented throughout The Night Tourist and the underworld that it created for the ghosts who were still in limbo. At times it was kind of confusing to keep track of the supporting characters as there were so many ghosts that Jack ran into, but I really liked the bantering relationship that he and Euri had going on so that definitely distracted me from most faults in this novel. I liked the settings, too; the ghost haunts, the different places around New York.

I think that if the author had added in some pages really developing the narrative and fleshing it out more fully then I would have enjoyed this much more because I really fell in love with all of the creative, ghostly things that were happening and hated it when an oddly phrased paragraph or blunted dialogue dragged me out of the book world simply because of the annoyance that that caused me. I’m really hoping that maybe if this author writes something else that I’ll read, that might not be the case, because of the creativity presented here that isn’t something to miss.

The Night Tourist is geared toward younger readers but I think that it’s a book that anyone can pick up and take something good from.

3.5/5 stars

Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz

12 Aug

Blue Bloods

Author: Melissa de la Cruz

Pages: [hardcover] 320

Blue Bloods #1

Memorable Quote: Black is the color of night. White is the true color of death.

Favorite Character: Oliver

Summary:

When the Mayflower set sail in 1620, it carried on board the men and women who would shape America: Miles Standish; John Alden; Constance Hopkins. But some among the Pilgrims were not pure of heart; they were not escaping religious persecution. Indeed, they were not even human. They were vampires.The vampires assimilated quickly into the New World. Rising to levels of enormous power, wealth, and influence, they were the celebrated blue bloods of American society.

The Blue Bloods vowed that their immortal status would remain a closely guarded secret. And they kept that secret for centuries. But now, in New York City, the secret is seeping out. Schuyler Van Alen is a sophomore at a prestigious private school. She prefers baggy, vintage clothes instead of the Prada and pearls worn by her classmates, and she lives with her reclusive grandmother in a dilapidated mansion. Schuyler is a loner…and happy that way. Suddenly, when she turns fifteen, there is a visible mosaic of blue veins on her arm. She starts to crave raw food and she is having flashbacks to ancient times. Then a popular girl from her school is found dead… drained of all her blood. Schuyler doesn’t know what to think, but she wants to find out the secrets the Blue Bloods are keeping. But is she herself in danger?

Could those vampire legends really be true? Steeped in vampire lore and set against the glittery backdrop of New York City, Blue Bloods will be devoured by Melissa de la Cruz’s legion fans.

Review:

 I started and finished this book with mixed feelings. I’d heard from a friend that I really needed to start this series, but I wasn’t sure it was something I’d enjoy. So because I had nothing else to read, I picked this up and started reading. It was slow to get into, but the plot was interesting, and that was really the only thing that kept me hooked.

I detested the writing style of Blue Bloods. It was as if someone took something like The Clique and added vampires, making the characters a few years older. There was too much obsession over clothes, with every new scene dropping brand names like the author was getting paid for every mention, or it was supposed to impress me, or something of that sort. Even the one character, Schuyler (and I could not for the life of me figure out how to pronounce this until someone in the book called her ‘Sky’) who dresses like she doesn’t care what anyone thinks, is embarrassed whenever someone makes fun of the way she dresses. What? Not only that, but she is content to lust after a guy who keeps ignoring and being quite rude to her. What’s attractive about that?

Ahem. Anyway, there were things I really liked about the book, too. The plot was really interesting, and I liked the whole concept of ‘Blue Bloods’, although it came in gigantic information dumps of telling, not showing, which could be aggravating. Some parts of it I didn’t understand, but there was no further information, and I’d end up confused. But, the second half of the book especially, the plot was enough to see me through. With a mysterious monster on the loose and several things happening at once, I was flipping the pages to see what would happen next. That’s all I really want in a book.

Despite being unsure of how I feel about  Blue Bloods, I think I’ll continue on with this series, even if the writing tends to annoy me. I really want to know what’s going to happen next, although I’ll make sure to rent this from the library, instead of buying it. It’s not great enough for that. I give this novel 3.5/5 stars.

Dead to Me by Anton Strout

12 Mar

Dead to Me

Author: Anton Strout

Pages [paperback]: 368

1st book in the Simon Canderous series!

Memorable Quote:

Favorite Characters: Simon & Jane

First Thoughts: I won this book in a contest, and it looked amazing! Yet it was trapped in my TBR pile for months…

Summary:

A new urban fantasy featuring a man working on the right side of law-with talents that come from left field. Psychometry-the power to touch an object and divine information about its history-has meant a life of petty crime for Simon Canderous, but now he’s gone over to the good side. At New York’s underfunded and (mostly) secret Department of Extraordinary Affairs, he’s learning about red tape, office politics, and the basics of paranormal investigation. But it’s not the paperwork that has him breathless. After Simon spills his coffee on (okay, through) the ghost of a beautiful woman- who doesn’t know she’s dead-he and his mentor plan to find her killers. But Simon’s not prepared for the nefarious plot that unfolds before him, involving politically correct cultists, a large wooden fish, a homicidal bookcase, and the forces of Darkness, which kind of have a crush on him.

Review:

I regret taking so long to pick up this book! Simon was definitely a great main character-still struggling with his powers and figuring out how to work with the Department of Extraordinary Affairs, he shows us how New York City covers up their frequent paranormal activity. He’s working hard to stay on the Good side, against the forces of Evil. He hasn’t had much luck in the love department, because he usually ends up touching something belonging to the girl and spouting random memories from her past. Seeming like a stalker is so not attractive.

I thought he was extremely funny. During the several fight scenes of Dead to Me, Simon would grip his trusty bat before spouting some clichéd line that sounded like it came from a bad superhero movie. And it actually worked for me. His awkward, geeky personality completely won me over.

Half of the book seemed to be building up to a plot, and I had no idea where it was going. It would have been nice to have a more organized approach, but it did give me time to get used to the setting and characters. In the end, it wasn’t a completely bad idea, it just left more to be desired.

There were some awesome plot twists in Dead to Me! I loved that just as things seemed to be smoothly rolling along, something would come out of nowhere.

 I give Dead to Me 3.5/5 stars. It definitely took my interest, but wasn’t anything amazing. I’ll be on the lookout for the next book, and hopefully it will be just a bit more amazing!

Books to Movies: Beastly

7 Mar

I’ve been dying to see this movie ever since I heard it was being made, and my wish finally came true this weekend! Alex Pettyfer and Vanessa Hudgens snagged the lead roles, and I thought they were both wonderful. ^^ Of course, Alex Pettyfer could be fantastic in anything. I absolutely adore him.

I read Beastly, the novel that the movie is based off of, way back in October. That is definitely too long of a wait for someone as impatient as me! I immediately fell in love with the book, its characters, and the way it put a modern spin on a classic tale. Because it’s true-the modern world is definitely too concerned with vanity and not what’s on the inside.

The only thing that annoyed me were the little, pointless changes to the novel they made with the movie. Once Kyle [Alex Pettyfer] goes through his transformation, he tells everyone to call him Adrian. In the movie, he says to be called Hunter. What difference does the name make? I have no idea.

Neal Patrick Harris had me laughing until I was crying. He plays Will, Kyle’s blind tutor. He was insanely hilarious! Every line had me cracking up. Definitely one of my favorite elements of the movie! ^^

Although I loved the book much more than the movie, I think the film was great in its own way. I definitely recommend it as a fun, romantic, modern take on an old fairytale.

So Yesterday by Scott Westerfeld

2 Nov

So Yesterday

Author: Scott Westerfeld (also wrote the Uglies trilogy [Extras], the Midnighters trilogy [The Secret Hour, Touching Darkness, and Blue Noon], and Leviathan)

Pages [paperback]: 240

Available Now!

Memorable Quote: Sometimes the facts in my head get bored and decide to take a walk in my mouth. Frequently this is a bad thing.

Favorite Character: Hunter

 Summary:

Hunter Braque, a New York City teenager who is paid by corporations to spot what is “cool,” combines his analytical skills with girlfriend Jen’s creative talents to find a missing person and thwart a conspiracy directed at the heart of consumer culture.

Review:

I love Scott Westerfeld! His books are so unique and well thought out. I haven’t been disappointed yet, and this was no exception. I’ve been waiting for a while to pick this book up, and it’s weird that I learned about “cool hunting” in school last week, right about the same time I started to read this.

Hunter is paid to research what is “cool” for teenagers. He discovers trends before they even happen, taking pictures of a person’s clothes, shoes, or even hairstyle-whatever can be made into money. Hunter’s never thought might about this culture he lives in. But what if someone was doing something to change everything?

This novel is great, but also makes a great point: We rely too much on products and advertising, constantly exposed to companies that are clamoring for whatever money we’re willing to spend. Manipulating millions into thinking they need something that’s “cool”-that’s what this culture is about.

Hunter and Jen, while are unique characters. Hunter surrounds himself with cool because he’s afraid of being uncool, just like Jen. She’s an Innovator; he’s a cool hunter.

The ending left a little to be desired. It just seemed to fall off, with no real promise of what would happen. It’s left up to the reader to interpret.

So Yesterday by Scott Westerfeld gets 5/5 stars.

Beastly by Alex Flinn

17 Oct

Beastly

Author: Alex Flinn

Pages [harcover]: 304

Available now!

Opening Lines: I could feel everyone looking at me, but I was used to it. One thing my dad taught me early and often was to act like nothing moved me. When you’re special, like we were, people were bound to notice.

Memorable Quote: Every girl pretends she is a princess at one point, no matter how little her life is like that.

Summary:

I am a beast. A beast. Not quite wolf or bear, gorilla or dog, but a horrible new creature who walks upright – a creature with fangs and claws and hair springing from every pore. I am a monster.

You think I’m talking fairy tales? No way. The place is New York City. The time is now. It’s no deformity, no disease. And I’ll stay this way forever – ruined – unless I can break the spell.

Yes, the spell, the one the witch in my English class cast on me. Why did she turn me into a beast who hides by day and prowls by night? I’ll tell you. I’ll tell you how I used to be Kyle Kingsbury, the guy you wished you were, with money, perfect looks, and a perfect life. And then, I’ll tell you how I became perfectly beastly.
 

Review:

I’ve been wanting to read this ever since I heard that a movie based on this book is going to be released soon. I’m not entirely sure of the exact date, but it has Alex Pettyfer in it, and that’s the only reason I was interested. Now that I’ve read the book and actually know the plot, I really want to see it!

 Anyway. When Beastly starts out, the main character, Kyle Kingsbury, is truly beastly. I can see why he gets a spell put on him. The whole book is beautifully modernized-from the ‘castle’, to the roses, to every detail I’ve loved since I saw the Disney movie version. There wasn’t a single moment that I thought didn’t fit in.

This book was funny and fast-paced. I read it in two days, and it constantly had me wanting to read more. The characters are so vivid and everything is portrayed perfectly.

I also like how, in my edition, there are other similar ‘twisted fairytales’ listed for those who want to read more books like this one. Very thoughtful, because I find it hard to locate novels like this.

Beastly is a fun, modern spin on an old classic. I give it 5/5 stars and highly recommend it!

Books to Movies: It’s Kind of a Funny Story

12 Oct

It’s Kind of a Funny Story came to theaters last Friday. I actually saw it on Sunday. But I fell in love with the book around a year ago, I guess. My friend recommended it to me, I found it in the library, and I thought it was a fun, quirky read. I didn’t know they were making it into a movie until the trailers hit theaters, and then I couldn’t wait to see it!

 

Like many ambitious New York City teenagers, Craig Gilner sees entry into Manhattan’s Executive Pre-Professional High School as the ticket to his future. Determined to succeed at life — getting into the right high school to get into the right college to get the right job — Craig studies night and day to ace the entrance exam, and does. That’s when things start to get crazy.

At his new school, Craig realizes that he’s just average, and maybe not even that. He soon sees his once-perfect future crumbling away. The stress becomes unbearable and Craig stops eating and sleeping — until, one night, he nearly kills himself.

Craig’s suicidal episode gets him checked into a mental hospital, where his new neighbors include a transsexual sex addict, a girl who has scarred her own face with scissors, and the self-elected President Armelio. There, isolated from the crushing pressures of school and friends, Craig is finally able to confront the sources of his anxiety.

With a book summary like that, and an awesome cover to accompany it, who wouldn’t want to read this?

Usually,  a movie can never compare to the book. Maybe it’s just because I read the book so long ago, or maybe the movie was just fabulous, because the movie was pretty true to the novel in my opinion. It had the quirky characters (with a few sadly left out), the great imagery, and the brain maps. Which were my favorite part of both book and movie.

Overall, I’d recommend checking out the book before the movie (heck, I’d say that with anything) but the movie is awesome on its own. With a great cast and easy to follow plot, I’d say to see it in theaters while you can.

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