Warning: Use of undefined constant the_title - assumed 'the_title' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /home/thebookheist/www/www/wp-content/themes/thebookheist/template-parts/content-page.php on line 14

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Book Review: Anatomy of a Boyfriend by Daria Snadowsky

Title: Anatomy of a Boyfriend

Author: Daria Snadowsky

Publisher: Ember

Publication Date: September, 2008

Softcover: 264 pages

Stand Alone or Series: Series–there is a currently a sequel, Anatomy of a Single Girl

How I got this book: I got this copy from the author, Daria Snadowsky

Why I chose this book: I’ve heard about this book before, and when the author offered me to read this book, as well as the sequel, I was very excited.


Before this all happened, the closest I’d ever come to getting physical with a guy was playing the board game Operation. Okay, so maybe that sounds pathetic, but it’s not like there were any guys at my high school who I cared to share more than three words with, let alone my body.

Then I met Wes, a track star senior from across town. Maybe it was his soulful blue eyes, or maybe my hormones just started raging. Either way, I was hooked. And after a while, he was too. I couldn’t believe how intense my feelings became, or the fact that I was seeing—and touching—parts of the body I’d only read about in my Gray’s Anatomy textbook. You could say Wes and I experienced a lot of firsts together that spring. It was scary. It was fun. It was love.

And then came the fall.


I think this book is very close to a girl’s reality.  It illustrates that definite switch-over between being intrested in school and your friends and hanging out at the pool to finding a boy attractive and wanting to get to know him and his body.

This book is unflinchingly honest in that it doesn’t hold back on anything one could think or worry about when it comes to relationships, love, and sex.  And in that way, it can be handy for teenage girls.  It helps to know that you’re not alone when it comes to certain feelings and question that you want to ask.  And this book takes those questions and brings them to light.

If you move away from the books plot, the characters in this book are delightfully honest and quirky.  It’s not hard to like them, even if you don’t always like them throughout the book.  The main character, Dom, is very easy to like, and it feels like she’s very real.

I don’t know how old I would suggest you to be to read this book.  I would say at least 12-13, but that all depends on maturity level more than anything else.

Book Review: The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

Title: The Sea of Tranquility

Author: Katja Millay

Publisher: Atria Books

Publication Date: June, 2013

Softcover: 448 pages

Stand Alone or Series: Stand Alone

How I got this book: Bought

Why I chose this book: I actually hadn’t even seen this book in the bookstore while I was browsing.  My mom picked it up and told me it sounded good, so I decided to give it a look.


Two and a half years after an unspeakable tragedy left her a shadow of the girl she once was, Nastya Kashnikov moves to a new town determined to keep her dark past hidden and hold everyone at a distance. But her plans only last so long before she finds herself inexplicably drawn to the one person as isolated as herself: Josh Bennett. 

Josh’s story is no secret. Every person he loves has been taken from his life until, at seventeen years old, there is no one left. When your name is synonymous with death, everyone tends to give you your space. Everyone except Nastya who won’t go away until she’s insinuated herself into every aspect of his life. But as the undeniable pull between them intensifies, he starts to wonder if he will ever learn the secrets she’s been hiding—or if he even wants to. 


This book really surprised me…I wasn’t expecting how emotional it was going to be.  Millay took a real-life type of tragedy, and painted it so plainly and beautifully on the page that it seems real and understandable.  We see stories like this on the news quite frequently, but how often do we think about the aftermath not just for the criminal, but for the victim?

This book kept me turning pages, waiting to find out what the big secret was.  The author did a wonderful job of releasing that information piece by piece so that you could try to piece it together by yourself, just like the other characters in the book.  And the characters!  They’re wonderfully human.  They have flaws that are realistic and sensitive, even the ones that seem so perfectly normal.  And even though the story was as dark as the characters, it was easy to find things to love in all of them.

This is a dark story, there is no doubt about that.  And even with the ending, where things are coming to a turn, there is a still a bitterness leftover.  However, I just need to say that the last sentence of the book was by far my favorite.  It was set up from the beginning and I didn’t even see it coming.

I definitely recommend this book.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Book Review: The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks

Title: The Last Song

Author: Nicholas Sparks

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Publication Date: March, 2010

Softcover: 480 Pages

Stand Alone or Series: Stand Alone

How I got this book: Bought

Why I chose this book: I’ve never read any Nicholas Sparks book before.  There are many out there, I always see people reading them, and I always hear girls gushing about them.  So I figured, “Why not?” and grabbed this one for a try.

Seventeen year old Veronica “Ronnie” Miller’s life was turned upside-down when her parents divorced and her father moved from New York City to Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. Three years later, she remains angry and alienated from her parents, especially her father…until her mother decides it would be in everyone’s best interest if she spent the summer in Wilmington with him. Ronnie’s father, a former concert pianist and teacher, is living a quiet life in the beach town, immersed in creating a work of art that will become the centerpiece of a local church. 


I’m really not sure what I can say about this book.  There’s a good plot here which opened up some really great potential.  But I felt that the book was entirely lacking.

Everything was written so simply.  It seemed just like it would for an adult trying to think like a teenager (In this case, Ronnie).  And it was entirely predictable.

Now, I’m not saying it’s a bad book.  It’s an okay book.  But for all the hype that it’s been given, I really feel like it doesn’t live up to any expectations.  Now, I have seen the movie, and I actually think that it’s better, which is rare.

So, read it or not, it’s up to you.  Nicholas Sparks just isn’t my cup of tea. 

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Book Review: My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Title: My Life Next Door

Author: Huntley Fitzpatrick

Publisher: Dial

Publication Date: June, 2012

Softcover: 400 pages

Stand Alone or Series: Stand Alone

How I got this book: Bought

Why I chose this book:  This book has been sitting on my To Read pile for a while.  I’ve always loved the synopsis, however, other books always seemed to be popping up that needed to be read first.  I’m really glad that I got around to reading it, though. 


“One thing my mother never knew, and would disapprove of most of all, was that I watched the Garretts. All the time.”

The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, numerous, messy, affectionate. And every day from her balcony perch, seventeen-year-old Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them . . . until one summer evening, Jase Garrett climbs her terrace and changes everything. As the two fall fiercely in love, Jase’s family makes Samantha one of their own. Then in an instant, the bottom drops out of her world and she is suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself?


This was a truly wonderful book.  One thing about “summer reads” is that sometimes they are very wistful, fast-paced, and the story is over as soon as you’re done reading the last page.  I wasn’t quite expecting that from this book, and I was right: this book couldn’t be further away.  The characters, as well as the story, sticks with you, leaving you thinking about everything that’s happened.

I think the best thing in this book is the characters.  They’re all so real and lifelike.  Fitzpatrick definitely had a challenge, since she needed to make distinctive differences between eight siblings.  She went well beyond that, making each character so memorable and lovable.  This makes it even better when you see the relationship start to form between Jase and Sam.  It’s so easy to see the connection and read about it all happening. 

This whole book was a great read.  It’s paced perfectly; I didn’t want to put it down.  I knew that somewhere throughout the story there was going to be some shock or scandal, since it’s alluded to in the synopsis–however, I never would have guessed what was coming.  It was all so great.

The only thing I’m disappointed with about this book is that there are some loose ends in the book.  I can’t completely make that a fault though, because it could have been completely intentional by the author.  Life has some loose ends, so why can’t books?  Doesn’t mean I can’t be a little grumpy that I don’t get to see some final details. 

Overall, amazing read.  I would definitely recommend you go out and read this.  Right now.