If you'd like to see my year-to-date four-plus- and five-star recommendations, visit Robin ReadsnWrites. (just updated, finally)
* I didn't make it beyond the first 20 pages.
** I made it to the end, but I either skimmed or skipped large sections.
*** I might have skipped/skimmed, but I liked it and might read it again.
**** I read at least 95% of the book and it was good -- probably will be reread.
***** I read every word, and I loved it! A favorite and definite reread.
I Am Number Four, by Pittacus Lore ***** I quite liked this. It had some cliche-ish moments, but overall, I liked the MC, the subplots, the mysteries (though many went unsolved) and the plot. I haven't seen the movie, and I suspect the movie isn't nearly as good as the book, so I might hold off. I'm assuming there will be more books, since it kind of left off in the middle of the story. Speaking of -- the story: Four (also known as John Smith) and his 'dad' Henri, are on the run again. They stop in Paradise, Ohio, and Four meets Sarah -- and falls in love for the first time. However, Four knows it probably won't be a long-term relationship, since he and Henri are from another planet (Lorien) and have crazy aliens (the Mogadariens) chasing them. In fact, the bad guys have already found three of the nine special kids, and as they have to go in order, Four knows he's next. This time, though, he really wants to stay in Paradise with Sarah and his new friend (his first friend?) Sam...but the bad guys have their own agenda, and it involves doing to earth what they did to Lorien...so Four knows the stakes are higher than ever. (YA science fiction, released 8/10, publisher: Harper Collins)
Are You Going to Kiss Me Now?, by Sloane Tanen **** This was a fluffy, funny book. Definitely a fast read, it's also filled with stereotypes and sarcastic dialogue -- but it was fun, most of all. I thought some of the characterizations were a little changeable in places, so I started reading it just for fun, without reading as a writer. That worked better! The story: Francesca is unhappy with her dad, who has left her mom and started a relationship with a younger woman. When her dad reveals that his girlfriend is pregnant, Francesca writes a 'true' essay about her reaction to his recent demise -- and wins a magazine-sponsored contest which will send her to Africa with five teen celebrities. Of course, it doesn't quite go as planned, and when an adult celebrity pilots the plane, they crash land on a tiny island and must find a way to survive in the middle of nowhere. Throughout, until her phone dies, Francesca texts her best friend with gossip and news of the celebs -- although she finds her opinion of them changing as more of the superficial layers come off during their plight. (YA contemporary, released 5/11, publisher: Sourcebooks Fire)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part Two ***** :) D and I went to see this today, and it was quite enjoyable. I enjoyed all of it, including the parts which varied some from the book (won't tell what those are, for those who don't like spoilers). I thought the movie did a great job showing the inner thinkings of Harry and the rest of the trio, and I liked how everything was revealed. I'm not a huge fan of the Epilogue, but I liked how they focused on certain aspects of it in the movie. One thing I found funny: at the end, when Harry is 36, he seemed much more in his element -- ie, because Dan Radcliffe is a few years older than 17 when the movie was filmed, I have to admit that it's less of a stretch seeing him as a full-fledged adult than it was at times seeing him as a teen ;) Still, I imagine HP fans of all ages will love this final installment -- both D and I did!