Sunday, January 31, 2010

A Match Made in High School by Kristin Walker (Around The World Tours)

Published: February 4th 2010 by Razorbill
Trade Paperback, 277 pages
ISBN: 1595142576
ISBN13: 9781595142573
When the principal announces that every senior must participate in a mandatory year-long Marriage Education program, Fiona Sheehan believes that her life can’t get any worse. Then she marries her “husband”: Jerky jock Todd, whose cheerleader girlfriend, Amanda, has had it in for Fiona since day one of second grade. Even worse? Amanda is paired with Fiona’s long-term crush, Gabe. At least Fiona is doing better than her best friend, Marcie, who is paired up with the very quiet, very mysterious Johnny Mercer. Pranks, fights, misunderstandings, and reconciliations ensue in an almost Shakespearean comedy of errors about mistaken first impressions, convoluted coupling, and hidden crushes.

Review:

Should have known, that's what Fiona's first thought was. Could you blame her? Her life has seemed to be nothing but the mass collection of Friday the 13's bad luck. It starts with their principal's horrible love life, and transcends into the catastrophe of Marriage Education. Somehow, the seniors of her high school are supposed to build a budget, a relationship with their partner, and visit the school counselor for marriage counseling every week. When Fiona finds out that her partner is her enemy's ass of a boyfriend, Todd, I think it's safe to say all hell breaks loose between the student (insert high school name here)'s senior class. That's also possibly due to the fact that the enemy, Amanda, got paired up with Gabe; as in Fiona's biggest crush since a little prince-charming moment a few years back. Pranks between the odd couple, Fiona and Todd, lead to a surprising tolerance and possible liking between the two, but it only took one night to bring every thing crashing down. Secrets, obvious misunderstandings, and jealousy all lead back to Fiona questioning herself on selfishness. Is she the type of girl that can't see blossoming changes happening right in front of her face? Is she subconsciously ignoring the manifestation of people she cares about most and reading the people she's supposed to hate completely wrong? How is a girl with ideals of people and judgments she's had about them her whole life supposed to change in the matter of days? Well, with a little outside/family help, Fiona knows that in order to fix her mistakes she must begin with a whole lot of apologizing.

What I loved most about A Match Made in High School was that by forcing the students in the senior class to prepare themselves for the outside world and marriage, the principal involuntarily gave them something else to think about, different experiences they had to go through. I appreciated the attempt that the principal made to make the students see the challenges they'll be facing but, like Fiona, I knew it wasn't going to turn out the way she planned. I liked that there were different characters that had there own statuses that would not normally connect, were it not for Marriage Ed. The beginning captured me, but it was definitely the ending that gave the novel the finishing touch of a great, funny read.

Recommended to all who are looking for a fun read, and a lesson being learned along the way.

Grade: A-

LiLi

Friday, January 15, 2010

A Season of Eden by J.M. Warwick (Around The World Tours)

Published: October 20th 2008 by Grove Creek Publishing
Paperback, 248 pages
ISBN: 1933963905
ISBN13: 9781933963907
He's my teacher. I shouldn't be alone with him. But I can't help that he's irresistible. I let the door silently close at my back. He stared at me, and a taut quiet stretched between us. "I like hearing you play," I said, moving toward him. He turned, in sync with my slow approach. He looked up at me but didn't say anything. I rested my clammy hand on the cold, slick body of the baby grand. "May I?" The muscles in his throat shifted, then he swallowed. "Eden." My knees weakened, like a soft tickling kiss had just been blown against the backs of them. "Is it okay?" I asked. His gaze held mine like two hands joined. He understood what I was really asking. "Let me stay," I said. "Please." "You're going to get me in trouble," he said.

Review:


Classic case of popular girl breaking away from the "in" crowd; with a slight twist. You see, when gorgeous, senior girl Eden chooses choir as an easy elective she doesn't expect to find the finest piece of male specimen ever. Through the door he walks, Mr. Christian. (Ah, the irony!) Strutting her pretty self to the front row, all eyes on the her, her eyes on him... It's fate. There's definitely something between them. Eden hopes that her feelings for this musically talented and sexy teach' are reciprocated but dealing with her at-home issues gets the best of her and she ends up doing something she really wishes she didn't. Not to give everything away, but this was definitely a heart-wrenching read with Eden's mother's passing about ten years ago and the barbie that replaced her about a month later; with the shut-out her father became; with the impending relationship with her choir teacher.

Though, some of the turns and high points of the novel were predictable it seemed like I was just itching to see what the characters would do next. I have to say that my favorite character had to be Eden, for the obvious reasons--I got to relate to how she felt throughout the novel--but also because all her feelings about the situations going on around seem perfectly justified. The relationship that builds between Eden and James Christian was artfully crafted into a friendship and soon intimacy you've never seen before. Warwick obviously knew what she was doing, and she did it very tastefully.

Recommended to any teens seeking a quick, heart-pounding read!

Grade: A-

LiLi