Monday, February 27, 2012

Book Review: We'll Always Have Summer

We'll Always Have Summer
By Jennifer Han

Reviewed by Lauren Batchelder

Third in a series, this romance novel makes you laugh one minute and cry the next. I was hooked from the first sentence. We’ll Always Have Summer starts off where Han last ended it- with Belly ( the main character in this story) at college dating Jeremiah Fisher, the brother of Conrad, Belly’s first love. Ever since Belly was turned down by Conrad she learned to love his brother. She and Jeremiah have been inseparable ever since, even attending the same college-- only, their relationship hasn't exactly been the happily ever after Belly wanted it to be. And when Jeremiah makes the worst mistake a boy can make, Belly is forced to ask herself if she making the right decision. Does she really have a future with Jeremiah? Has she ever really gotten over Conrad? It's time for Belly to decide, once and for all, who she wants to be with…. I know that anyone who likes to watch movies like The Notebook or Titanic and read books like Twilight ( minus that entire Vampire thing…) will love this. We’ll Always have Summer_ isn’t just any romance novel though, there’s drama, life changing letters, cancer, proposals and questions that really make you wonder. Han ties everything up nicely. It is a truly great ending to a fabulous series.

4 out of 5 stars

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Karla and Kinsey Book Review: Part II

Name: Kinsey Manchester

Envy by Gregg Olsen

Review by Kinsey Manchester


15-year-old Katelyn Berkley doesn’t particularly like life. So when her drunkard of a mother finds Katelyn dead in the bathtub, everybody thinks that she killed herself. Everyone except for twins Hayley and Taylor Ryan. Hayley and Taylor know more about what really happened to Katelyn than everyone else does. They have a secret, too. This secret is something that the twins can use to help figure out what really happened to Katelyn, but it is also something that can ruin their chance at normalcy forever. When the stakes rise as someone threatens to oust them and the truth about Katelyn’s death holds more secrets than they imagined, the girls must stick together if they wish to solve the mystery once and for all.


Envy is an addictive and chilling novel. It grips you right at the beginning when you spend the last minutes of Katelyn’s life with her. You immediately want to know what happened to her and why. All of the characters are easy to relate to, which means that by the time you reach the last page, you won’t want to leave behind Hayley or Taylor. The twins are night and day, as you probably know that most twins are. Gregg Olsen also uses his way with words to make you dislike the people you are supposed to dislike. When you meet the evil Starla Larsen, you instantaneously connect her to someone in your own life that was exactly the same way. You understand why nobody says anything bad to her, but why they all think it. By the end of the book, I had an exact picture of how I thought the characters would look. Olsen’s characterization skills are amazing. His words literally create pictures. His style, however, is a little different and hard to understand at first. The beginning is a little slow and confusing, but don’t give up on it! By the time you are 40 pages in, you will be hooked! You will soon figure out how all of the stories come together to make one big story. I think that this book was very good, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who likes mysteries.

Kinsey’s Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Title: The Fault in Our Stars
Author: John Green
Year of Publication: 2012
Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 313

First Line: "Late in the winter of my seventeenth year, my mother decided I was depressed, presumably because I rarely left the house, spent quite a lot of time, read the same book over and over, ate infrequently, and devoted quite a bit of my abundant free time to thinking about death."

Summary: Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten.

Source: Back of book.

John Green, New York Times Bestselling Author, is never short on poignant remarks.  The author, vlogger, nerdfighter*, former children’s hospital chaplain, and sometimes-historian recently released the young adult novel The Fault in Our Stars with Dutton Books.  After signing all 150,000 copies of the first printing of The Fault in Our Stars (henceforth Fault), Green’s dedication to his readers and his fan base (sometimes known as nerdfighteria) has been proven, if there was any doubt to begin with.  Fault is an extraordinary, touching, insightful book that will, as Green expressed he hoped, “will make you feel all of the things!”
            The first of his novels to be narrated by a female and inspired by both his time as a chaplain and nerdfighter Esther Earl, Fault begins in the seventeenth year of a young woman named Hazel Grace Lancaster.  Hazel, diagnosed with cancer in her early teens, is withdrawn and, according to her mother and doctor, depressed.  As a result, she begins attending group therapy where she meets Augustus Waters, a boy in remission.  Chronicling their time together, Hazel tells about her friends, such as Isaac, her trip to Amsterdam, meeting her author-idol Peter van Houten, dealing with being a “grenade,” falling in love, and how “okay” came to mean so much more.
            Like Green’s other novels, Fault is exceedingly clever and smart and, while catching onto inside jokes (mostly from the nerdfighter community) or allusions certainly adds to the novel, the book is accessible and enjoyable no matter your level of obscure knowledge, something Green seems to enjoy packing into his stories.  This quality is especially important because it says so much about Green’s attitude toward teens: “Teenagers are plenty smart. I don’t sit around and worry whether teenagers are smart. I mean, most of the people currently reading The Scarlet Letter and The Great Gatsby…are teenagers,” Green wrote on one of his blogs, TFiOS Questions Answered, and reminds his viewers frequently in his videos. 
These jokes and clever nods to art, history, and the like will make you laugh and then by the next sentence, you will be crying.  The honest, insightful book both breaks and mends the heart at once, reminding the reader of their inherent humanness.  Green makes it easy for the reader to become attached to the characters with their clever, if sometimes slightly forgivably unrealistic, dialogue.  Meanwhile, his beautifully flowing sentences reminds the reader of the intricate and ornate phrasing of Shakespeare – his play Julius Caesar being the title’s inspiration – though decidedly more readable and modern.
In reading Fault, the reader not only gains a new understanding of themselves and the world around him, but also a whole community of other readers of the book, where Green is just another neighbor.  No matter your age, this young adult novel will move you in a way no other novel has before, or, probably, ever will.

*More on nerdfighters can be found at  John Green’s official website is, and he can be followed on Tumblr at  For more information on The Fault in Our Stars, visit any of the previously mentioned websites for more links, including Green’s TFiOS Questions Answered blog.

Worst part: --

Best part:  --

Grade: A+

Other Books by This Author: Looking for Alaska; An Abundance of Katherines; Paper Towns, Let It Snow; Will Grayson, Will Grayson

Author's Website: John Green