Archive for November, 2014
Oh hey! I promise you have not made the wrong left turn into my blog, The Novel Hermit. I’d say it was fate that brought you here, or the fairy godmothers over at Cuddlebuggery, who are the ones hosting this awesome blog hop.
I am Cee, and this beautiful blog is almost two years old (in December)! What you’ll find on here are: bookish talkings, cover ogling (also known as “Holy, Mother Cover”), typography love (aka “You’re Just My Type”), and soon-to-be comic books squealing. I started this blog because I wanted an outlet to write about what I love and find people who shared that love. And voila! Here, the Novel Hermit, stands.
Roomies by Sara Zarr & Tara Altebrando
December 24, 2013
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Sarah Zarr’s Twitter | Tara Altebrando’s Twitter | Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository
*Courtesy of Jessica @ Crazy Red Pen
It’s time to meet your new roomie.
When East Coast native Elizabeth receives her freshman-year roommate assignment, she shoots off an e-mail to coordinate the basics: television, microwave, mini-fridge. That first note to San Franciscan Lauren sparks a series of e-mails that alters the landscape of each girl’s summer — and raises questions about how two girls who are so different will ever share a dorm room.
As the countdown to college begins, life at home becomes increasingly complex. With family relationships and childhood friendships strained by change, it suddenly seems that the only people Elizabeth and Lauren can rely on are the complicated new boys in their lives . . . and each other. Even though they’ve never met.
National Book Award finalist Sara Zarr and acclaimed author Tara Altebrando join forces for a novel about growing up, leaving home, and getting that one fateful e-mail that assigns your college roommate.
I tried, and I tried, but Roomies ended up as a DNF.
I was excited about the idea of reading about roommates. I never had the college experience of having a roommate, so I wanted to see how the characters got along.
And oh boy, the two main characters frustrated the hell out of me. I wonder if it’s because I couldn’t relate since I never had a roommate, thus making me not understand their situation, OR because I related to the emailing bit too much since I’ve felt that frustration when the other person didn’t seem engage in what I have to say. Maybe it’s a mixture of both?
Yeah, the characters do get along quite nicely at times, but their frequent misunderstandings was a constant source of annoyance. It stood out to me even though I didn’t want it to. Misunderstandings happen a lot in real life, especially in emails since you’re sometimes unable to read the tone of the writer. Elizabeth and Lauren experience this, and as I read through their thought process, I felt like I was looking in the mirror. I could see their thinking as something that would go through my mind, and that was a little too close to home for me. Maybe, one of these days, I’ll be far removed from relating to these characters so that I can actually enjoy the book.
Why do people participate in reading challenges? Well, off the top of my head, I think of these reasons:
- to motivate them to read
- to get TBR list down to a manageable number.
- to read books they wouldn’t usually read (I’m talking about specific reading challenges like debut author or series).
- to beat others’ book count (which I don’t see a lot of people doing, so that’s good!).
- to have fun!
Jersey Cameron has always loved a good storm. Watching the clouds roll in and the wind pick up. Smelling the electricity in the air. Dancing barefoot in the rain. She lives in the Midwest, after all, where the weather is sure to keep you guessing. Jersey knows what to do when the tornado sirens sound. But she never could have prepared for this.
When her town is devastated by a tornado, Jersey loses everything. As she struggles to overcome her grief, she’s sent to live with relatives she hardly knows-family who might as well be strangers. In an unfamiliar place, can Jersey discover that even on the darkest of days, there are some things no tornado can destroy?
In this powerful and poignant novel, acclaimed author Jennifer Brown delivers a story of love, loss, hope, and survival.
First sentence: “Marin wanted to teach me the East Coast Swing. “
Oh, Torn Away, I wish I was swept away with emotions, but alas, that wasn’t the case.
Torn Away tells a story about Jersey Cameron, who loses everything she’s ever loved—her mother, her sister, her house, comfort, security—to a tornado that destroyed her town. It is essentially broken down into three parts—when the tornado occurs, when Jersey is sent to her biological father’s house (where everybody hates her), and when Jersery is sent to live with her maternal grandparents who have not spoken to Jersey or her mother for the past 16 years.
Am I coldhearted that I didn’t feel particularly sad for Jersey when tragedy struck her family? I just felt disconnected and indifferent. Here is this horrible thing that happened, and that’s it. I didn’t particularly care for Jersey since I didn’t connect with her on an emotional level. If you were to ask me what stood out about Jersey (besides the things that happened to her) a week from now, I wouldn’t be able to tell you anything. She’s quite a forgettable character; there’s nothing about her that makes her standout—not her interests or her personality. She was just normal. She did and expressed her emotions in a way that was understandable. I wanted to feel her grief, her anger, her every emotion, but the lack of emotional connection to her character formed a barrier I couldn’t get past.
I never felt rooted in the story, nor did I feel like I understood the characters. The characters didn’t have any depth that made me understand them. Everything I knew about them was on a surface level. What do I know about her father? Besides the fact he’s a ridiculous and horrible person? Nothing. And what about her maternal grandmother? Uhhhh, I can’t say too much about her. It doesn’t help that the book is broken down into parts, and in them, I feel like I’m watching them behind a glass, never close enough to feel the emotions, the loss, the fear.
Torn Away would’ve been a book I loved, if I connected with the characters. Unfortunately, I did not. The book was like a case study to me. It was creating awareness for what can happen in the case of a natural disaster, and what can happen to those people who are suddenly without a home or a family, instead of connecting emotionally with the characters and what is happening.
I admit I’m a book cover snob. Who isn’t though?
Book covers are the first thing that attracts readers to a book. A good cover can draw someone is, just as a bad cover can easily draw someone away. It can essentially make or break a book. Holy, Mother Cover! is where I showcase the book covers that stand out (or make me cringe), and discuss cover changes.
COVER CHANGE: Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver
It’s that white at the top. It’s an awesome effect that emphasizes the title name and the plot of the book, but the transition from the white to the picture of the girl isn’t a smooth one. It’s a bit jarring. It bothers me that you can essentially see where the line between white and the picture is. I’d prefer if it had a fading effect, so it looks like a gradual, but natural transition. Also, the pink for “Lauren Oliver” is a bit too bright; I’d like it better if it was muted.
Enough of what I don’t like, let’s talk what I do. I like the fading effect of the title—the black to a more transparent black—since it’s reflecting the title, and I like how “Vanishing” is sitting in the white area.
Would I buy this book based on the cover? No.
No more chunk of white! So yay! I am satisfied now that’s gone because oh man, it was bad. Not this cover though. I like that this cover keeps the fading effect. The picture is the same as the previous one, but it’s cropped differently so only her nose and mouth can be seen. Instead of the picture fading to white, the picture is blurred, fading away until it’ll eventually become unclear and vanish from your eyes. The title is given the fading effect also, which I really like. It looks like it’s vanishing more than on the previous look of the title.
I don’t know if this would be better, but I want to see the title and the author name fade starting from the top to down. Almost like in the previous cover.
Would I buy this book based on the cover? Sure.
Final Verdict: The new cover.
Which cover design do you prefer? Would you buy the old or new cover?
Did you hear the awesome news?
THIS IS NOT A JOKE. OR A DRILL. IT’S HAPPENING. THE ADAPTATION OF THIS SERIES IS HAPPENING. AND I AM BOUNCING AROUND AND SHAKING. I CANNOT CONTROL MY BODY BECAUSE I’M SO EXCITED. YESSSSSSSSSSSSSS.
I’ve been a fan of the series since I was in elementary school (which was when it came out). It was a series I remember loving sooo much. (More than Harry Potter.) I just love everything about it—the characters (even Count Olaf), the tragedy, the macabre elements, the mystery of VFD, EVERYTHING. I’m excited this amazing series be on my screen.
I hope Netflix does the series a justice, especially after the disappointment of the film adaptation, which was disjointed and horribly casted. Let’s cross our fingers that the roles of the actors/actresses will be ones of all our likings.
I just want more A Series of Unfortunate Events in everybody’s lives. (Particularly my own! ;D)