Review: 1800-WHERE-R-U Series

The 1800-WHERE-R-U series by Meg Cabot never had it easy, what with being discontinued soon after the fourth book, Sanctuary, was released. But after the publishers released a omnibous edition retitled as Missing, the sales went up dramatically. And I can totally see why.

The series that I read was titled Missing, and since this was the second series of Meg Cabot’s that I have read after Mediator, I’d say the earlier one was better. Why? I’ll let you know. Let’s see what it really is about, first.

Meet Jessica Mastriani, the definitely-not-girl-next-door who loves exactly what any typical girl doesn’t, and likes to fight with people bigger than she is. Life’s going well, especially if you count that Rob Wilkins, the hottest senior around, sits next to her in detention. But things begin to get dangerous when one afternoon she gets hit by lightning, and it leaves some serious damage in its wake.

Jess is no longer a normal 16-year-old, oh no, she can now find missing people in her sleep, down to the ZIP code. She now is the owner of a power that can be used for both, good and some major evil.

What I think: The series is quite different from Mediator ones, but somehow, it lacks the magnetism that was present in Susannah Simon’s story. Sure, there’s the fun and the adventure and a totally hot guy in both, but I really do think the previous one was better.

Nevertheless, this one isn’t bad at all. It’s 4 on 5, definitely not boring or anything. It’s just that when you compare it to Mediator which is an absolute 5 over 5, it falls a little behind.

Highlights: Jess is a very smart and brave girl, as are most of Meg’s characters, and she has something funny to say about everyone she meets. She’s also very certain of what she’s doing, even if there might be loads of danger involved. My favorite book out of the entire series was Sanctuary (#4), because it had the most amount of thrill and humor, and of course, a little romance. Just how I like it.

VERDICT: As I’ve said before, 1800-WHERE-R-U deserves nothing short of a 4 out of 5. Definitely a good choice for a summer read (I can tell because I read it in summer, so. . you know) and fans of Susannah Simon will love Jessica Mastriani, too!

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Sorry, but no cast suggestion with this one, because I couldn’t really pick out who for what role. And the ‘finding-pictures-and-then-inserting-them-at-the-right-places’ is a real pain, if you ask me.

But hey, let me tell you that I think Victoria Justice can be a very good Jess Mastriani.

Okay, I’ve also finished reading Lock and Key, so that one’s coming up soon, too! Till then, you know what you have to do. Read and smile. And take a swig at coffee too, if you can 🙂

Love,

Snigdha

Review: The Sky Is Everywhere <3

It’s very infrequent that I stumble upon just any book, and it changes my life. It’s a very, very rare situation. But believe it or not, that’s exactly what happened with The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson.

Seventeen-year-old Lennie Walker, book-worm and band geek, plays second clarinet and spends her time tucked safely away in the shadow of her elder sister, Bailey Walker.

But when Bailey dies abruptly, Lennie is catapulted to center stage of her own life—and, despite her nonexistent history with boys, suddenly finds herself struggling to balance two. Toby was Bailey’s boyfriend; his grief mirrors Lennie’s own. Joe is the new boy in town, a transplant from Paris whose nearly magical grin is matched only by his musical talent. For Lennie, they’re the sun and the moon; one boy takes her out of her sorrow, the other comforts her in it. But just like their celestial counterparts, they can’t collide without the whole wide world exploding.

When I came across the book, I thought it must be the usual chick-lit and all, but was I ever wrong. This book has so much more to what the synopsis can tell you, it’s unbelievable. I ever re-read it immediately after the first time. It’sthatpowerful.

The book takes the reader to a journey through Lennie’s life, and when the journey ends, you find yourself gasping for air with a big, goofy grin spread all over your face. The two boys in Lennie’s life, Toby Shaw (Bailey’s boyfriend) and the un-freaking-believable Joe Fontaine (the newbie in town) have very strong personalities of their own, and so do the other characters like Sarah (Len’s BFF), Gram, and her Uncle Big. The Sky Is Everywhere is everything I like in any book I read–emotional, witty, realistic, and of course, when I turn the last page, I feel good.

I rate The Sky Is Everywhere a full 5 on 5. There’s no reason for giving anything less than the best.

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The Cast

Move on to the cast, shall we? 😉

Although it is being made into a movie already, with Selena Gomez as Lennie Walker (the very idea makes me want to jump off the roof), I still want to let you know my idea of who should play who.

1. Lennie Walker – Lexi Ainsworth

I can’t really tell you why I think she’d be a good Lennie, but let’s just say that in ways more than one, she resembles her. Let’s go with that, for the time being.

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2. Toby Shaw – Brant Daugherty

Toby is two years older than Lennie, so obviously, Brant looks perfect as Toby. I mean, come on, what’s missing? I’ll tell you– NOTHING. 😉

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3. Joe Fontaine – Landon Liboiron

Landon should play Joe, period. No further discussion needed.

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Jandy Nelson, the author of The Sky Is Everywhere has included many poems amidst the chapters to depict Lennie’s grief and confusion and of course, her love for Joe and pain for Toby. Those bits and pieces of poems, random conversations, and memories account for sixty percent of the book’s charm. I have to admit I haven’t come across a book this unique before.

There are absolutely no words that can describe how wonderful the book, is so please, PLEASE do read this one. It’s totally worth your while.

See you soon!

Love,

Snigdha

 

Jinxed? I Think Not.

Hey! I’m back from a month-long vacation (spent at home, reading) with a lot of books to review 🙂 Well, as you know I’m always interested in anything written by Meg Cabot, so here is one out of four of her creations I managed to read recently:

Jinx is the story of Jean Honeychurch, mostly referred to as ‘Jinx’ by her family because wherever she goes, trouble seems to follow her around.  Jean knows she’s unlucky, but there’s definitely a lot more that she’s still now aware of.

Being a witch, is one those things. . . .

Jean moves in with her Aunt Evelyn in NYC after a love spell goes awry back home in Iowa, and all she hopes for and wants is a new start, away from the past. Of course, that’s exactly what she does not get in her new home.

Tory, her cousin, is convinced she’s the witch, and not Jinx, and then there’s Zack Rosen, the hottest guy around, who also happens to love seals (irresistibility at best). But when Jean manages to get to Tory’s bad side by getting involved with Zack, the guy Tory claims to love, she knows changing towns isn’t a very smart way to escape what’s probably in her blood.

Positive Aspects: Everything! Yeah, I know, I’m biased when it comes to Meg Cabot, but whatever. She really is awesome. Jinx is one of those novels that compel you to do a little soul-searching of your own, find out what is it that you’re most afraid of, and embrace your fears. Because that’s what Jean does–she accepts who she really is, and that’s when she discovers true happiness. With a well-written plot with no loose ends, as is the speciality of every Meg Cabot book, Jinx gives you no reason not to read it. 🙂

Not-so-positive Aspects: I don’t think there’s anything that needs amendment, except maybe a little more detailing in one or two parts. Rest everything is perfect.

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My Cast

I just love doing this part of the post 🙂 So, here goes the film adaptation  ofJinx.

* Jean ‘Jinx’ Honeychurch: Emma Roberts

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* Tory Gardiner: Andrea Bowen

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* Zack Rosen: Pierre Boulanger

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* Petra: Kimberley Nixon

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That’s about it, I guess. I finished Jinx in less than four hours, beating my own previous record of finishing New Moon in six hours. So you can understand how unbelievably intriguing it is!

Take my word for it, and if you haven’t already read this book, go read it now. And let me know what you think about it!

Waiting to hear from you!

Love,

Snigdha

The Mediator Series. Enough Already.

I don’t think I need to define how amazingly awesome these books are! The Mediator series is the my most favorite works of Meg Cabot, and I have a gazillion reasons for loving it so much. 😀

She’s starting a new life in Carmel, California, and the last thing Susannah Simon wants is trouble. But being a mediator, she often finds herself in sticky situations, where she’s got to tackle the unearthly and shove them back to hell or heaven.

To make the mediating stuff fun, she has Jesse de Silva, the ghost of a super hot twenty-year-old rancher from the 1850’s — whom she happens to love. But it get’s kind of hard to push a guy ghost into his afterlife when he makes your heart go crazy– not to mention another dangerous fellow-mediator hell-bent to win your love.

Packed with fun, danger and a lot of butt-kicking, ‘The Mediator’ books are bound to be an instant favorite!

My take : Suze is strong, brave and true to most teens. She can very well make her way out of strange situations — be it exorcising ghosts, handling two out-and-out disgusting ones and an adorable stepbrother, or romancing a dead guy from another era.

The characters in the book are well-defined, no matter how insignificant or small it may be. The places are well-chosen and described, so much so that you can actually feel the cool breeze rolling off the Carmel Bay. Apart from some certain offensive words, I couldn’t pick any flaws with the six books full of awesomeness.

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The Cast

You know it’s so surprising that these books haven’t been made into a movie yet– it has everything a movie needs and more. And I’m pretty clear who I want to see in the movie 😉

* Susannah Simon should be played by Lucy Hale                                         

Brave, charming and a butt-kicking mediator— and to find all these qualities in one actress is sheer good luck. Lucy Hale would be perfect to be Susannah.

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* Jesse de Silva is a character that required a lot of thinking on my part to pick the perfect one.

Sean Faris

God he even looks like Jesse in this picture! Regardless of my personal admiration for him, I really think  Sean would do a wonderful job as a rancher from the 1850s 😉

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* Paul Slater is the antagonist of the book, who is after Suze’s life– because he happens to compete with Jesse for her affection. He is the rich, spoiled brat and the prince charming of every girl, except Suze.

Landon Liboiron

I don’t see any reason why Landon shouldn’t be Paul Slater. He’s got blue eyes, the face of a Greek god and is a wonderful actor. What more could you ask for?!

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There is a long list of characters left to give faces to, and I’m far too lazy for that. 😉

The fun element about the series is that it is unpredictable — you just don’t realize what might happen next. There are no loose threads- each situation/action/incident is linked with one or the other, most of which giving rise to thrill (which you feel at the base of your spine). Moreover, it is not senseless, gooey romance– which a major plus 🙂

Take my word for it, and do read these books as soon as you can. Following is the list of the books in order of their releases. Given in brackets are the names of the book as published in UK and other parts of the world:-

1. Shadowland  (Love You to Death)
2. Ninth Key  (High Stakes)
3.  Reunion  (Mean Spirits)
4.  Darkest Hour  (Young Blood)
5.  Haunted  (Grave Doubts)
6.  Twilight  (Heaven Sent)

Do let me know how you liked them. Happy reading!

Love,

Snigdha

The Search

‘The Search’ by Nora Roberts. Enough said.

Let me warn you guys — the moment you pick up this book, you wouldn’t want to keep it down until you’re done. Maybe not even then 😉

Fiona Bristow moves to Orcas Island to start a new life and recover from the grievances of her past. She opens a Canine Search and Rescue Training Center where she trains dogs and their trainers to search for missing people. Soon, she meets a wood artist- Simon Doyle, who comes to meet her due to his problems with his dog, Jaws. She agrees to train him.

And that’s where the story really begins:-

Fiona is the survivor of a serial killer, Perry now behind bars. She was the key witness at the trial and they only caught the guy after he went after and killed her fiancée and his K-9 partner. The problem starts when someone starts killing girls in the same way as the serial killer Fiona escaped from did. He starts teasing her, and Simon begins to fear for Fiona’s safety since she’s the one that got away before and she’s sure to be a target this time.

Living on a small island near Seattle, Fiona is well watched and cared for by all, but the copycat and the mentor, of course, have things planned to bring it all close to home.

My take on the book: The balance between Fiona and Simon is ridiculous. While Fiona just recovered from her dreadful past, Simon had dated a pop singer for a bit and now wants to live life in a quiet fashion. Though the puppy, Jaws, brings them together, they are intrigued by the other’s quirks, which start the relationship ball rolling.

I happen to like this excerpt from the book. Read on:

No fuss, he thought. Even the obligatory female bottles and bowls on the dresser had a sense of organization, while the trio of dog beds across the room spoke of her passion and profession.
Attractive lamps, simple in style, and over sized chair draped with a beautifully made throw-likely Syl’s again.
  ”

They slowly fall in love while the killer, a certain Francis E. Eckle who gets influenced by Perry becomes more powerful.

Who will win? Fiona and her love for Simon? OR Francis E. Eckle and his love for murder?

The suspense is positively intriguing, and once you’re done reading this one, you definitely feel like re-reading it. No kidding. If you don’t believe me, try it 🙂

The Cast of  ‘The Search’

According to Snigdha’s protocol, we are supposed to decide some of the leads for the book’s film adaptation. So, here goes:

So, Ashley Greene should be Fiona, and Robbie Amell should play Simon [according to Snigdha].


Both of them have that ‘mysterious’ aspect in their looks and persona, which would go along very well with the story’s plot. And of course, they’re incredibly breathtaking together! Right? Of course 😉

Do read ‘The Search’ the first chance you get. It’s awesome, and it’s not chick-lit or anything– will work for any age. Trust me. It’s totally worth a try.

Keep us posted. See ya!

– Muskaan

 

Shiver – Love Knows No Boundaries

By Muskaan (a great girl who loves reading, writing and having fun). 🙂

When Grace was a young girl, she was the victim of a freak wolf attack in the woods surrounding her home. Although she survived the attack, she still sensed feeling of being a wolf and still has sensations of being capable of doing something only wolves can do. She was saved from changing by a wolf called Sam, who, later falls in love with this pretty girl and watches her everyday from the forest. His yellow eyes gleam in the dark and are filled with care and kindness towards Grace. Grace watches him back and watches herself being more and more attached to the wolf.

Can I just say this book is amazing? Okay? Good. Because I don’t know of any other way to describe it.

Well, frankly speaking the book gave me chills and it didn’t let me sleep throughout the night. I made sure I got up early in the morning only to read this! Shiver is a book full of wit, romance and excitement. You will find all these elements in only a few books and Shiver will actually make you ‘shiver’ at many of its instances.

Positive Aspects: The story flowed in perfect smoothness – and as a reader, I couldn’t really pick out any prominent faults in the storyline. I also loved how simple things, like a cup of hot chocolate are described. Also, the weather. While reading this on a hot summer day, I actually felt cold. Hats off to an author like Maggie Stiefvater to come up with something so unique and brilliant. The characters are intriguing, and the storyline is fairly realistic (as far as supernatural literature is concerned.)

Not-so-positive Aspects: Shiver missed out on a dangerous undercurrent, and Sam’s whining starts to annoy after a while. Grace isn’t exactly exciting, but works well with the character required, nonetheless. But regardless of these teeny-weeny flaws, the book manages to leave the sensation of want behind. 🙂

The Cast of Shiver

Yes, of course I have a fair idea how this wonderful book should be transformed into a movie, and since Snigdha (the freak who came up with the idea of this blog) practically begged me to do it, I present to you my version of Shiver.

1. Grace – Leighton Meester

Grace needs to be brave, and fascinating enough to charm a werewolf. Hence, this beautiful actress fits in perfectly.

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2. Sam – Ashton Kutcher

Ashton! Why? No reason. And since it is supposed to be my version, none needed. 😉  He suits Sam quite well, and I can’t think of anyone as charming as him to fit the slot.

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The Rest of the Story for the curious minds

Believe me, I know how it feels not knowing the end of a story so captivating and to make sure you don’t go through that state of mind, here goes the rest of it :-

Suddenly, another freak occurs in town and the wolves kill a teenage boy and a hunting party is launched to kill the wolves. Grace stops this party just to protect her wolf. She succeeds in doing so and Sam reveals himself to her in his human form.  Each year, Sam changes during the summers and his summers become shorter and shorter – soon, Sam fears he will turn into a wolf, never to be a human again. Together, Grace and Sam fight to keep him as human, no matter the cost.

Jack, a freak catches hold of Grace and threatens her to tell him the way to stay human always without changing into a wolf. His sister, Isabel desperately wants this too. So, she figures out a way to do so by injecting a bottle of blood infected with meningitis bacteria. It does not work on her brother Jack but at the end it works on Sam and he is for the eternity a human again.

So, the book ends with a happy ending for Grace as she gets all she wanted in her life back and no one now as far as the horizon stretches can take away her Sam from her.

Take my word for it and do read this book. You’ll never in your life regret reading it. I promise 🙂

P.S.- If you do, you can always settle scores with us (though it is a faint possibility).

Until next time, keep reading, keep smiling! See ya folks! 😀

– Muskaan