Book Review: The Rule of Thirds

The Rule of ThirdsThe Rule of Thirds

by Chantel Guertin

Published: October 2013 by ECW Press

Version: Ebook from publisher and Netgalley (review my own, honest opinion)

Rating: 4 sofas

Sixteen-year-old Pippa Greene never goes anywhere without her camera. She and her best friend/supermodel-in-training Dace long ago mapped out their life plan: Pippa will be the noted fashion photographer, and Dace the cover girl. But ever since last spring, things have changed for Pippa—and her junior year at Spalding High proves to have its own set of challenges. Not only is Vantage Point, the statewide photography competition, in three short weeks, but her mandatory volunteering placement lands her at St. Christopher’s Hospital, a place Pippa never wanted to set foot in again. With humor and pluck, she navigates her new role as a candy striper (watch out for Code Yellows), her changing relationship with her best friend (goodbye, Honesty Pact), and—perhaps most stressful of all—her new love interests (yes, love interests plural). Will Pippa make it to Vantage Point without having a panic attack? Will either one of the guys prove less sketchy than her last boyfriend? Can she and Dace figure out a way to dream big and be best friends? One thing is certain: real life is a lot more complicated than a photograph.

I would love to be good at photography. I did have an SLR camera at one point, but I was too lazy to carry it anywhere (it was massive). My digital camera suits me just fine, but after a year I still have no idea how to use most of its features, and I use it way less than I would like to. So straight away I relate to Pippa, who has the confidence to photograph pretty much anything, and quite often has a camera slung round her neck.

Overall I quite liked Pippa. She had a lot of emotions to deal with, and I think it gave her character depth. I didn’t really have any preference for any of the side characters though- her best friend or the love interests. So it did kinda turn into a one man show for me. That being said, the hospital and photography elements really made the story unique from other contemporaries. 

I felt that the book could’ve done with a sequel or a suitable epilogue. There was a character that never really got any punishment or bad karma for their wrongdoing, and I would’ve liked to see that happen. I also felt that there were more adventures in store for Pippa, but that also shows how much I liked her as a character.

A fun contemporary that also contains heartbreak and sadness, I really enjoyed A Rule of Thirds. The photography element is what really made it special for me. 4 sofas!

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Book Review: Pirouette

PirouettePirouette

by Robyn Bavati

Published: 8 November 2013 by Flux

Version: Ebook from publisher and Netgalley (review my own, honest opinion)

Rating: 3 sofas

Adopted as babies by two different families, Simone and Hannah have never known they are identical twins. Simone has been raised as a dancer, but she hates performing. Hannah loves nothing more than dance, but her parents see it as just a hobby. When the two girls meet for the first time at the age of fifteen, they decide to swap places to change the role dance plays in their lives. Yet fooling their friends and family is more challenging than either girl expected, and they’re both burdened by the weight of their lies.

How long can Hannah and Simone keep pretending? What will happen when the truth is revealed?

I selected this book to read because it looked like a fun middle grade. I enjoy books and films about dancing, so this certainly sounded like a book for me.

From the blurb alone it is obvious the similarities between this and the well known film The Parent Trap (and the lesser known It Takes Two). Basically where twins are separated at birth, meet at some sort of summer camp and decide to swap lives. As a side note, I never really understood how summer camps work and how children get sent away from the parents for basically the whole summer?! Is this just an American thing? Or just something they like to emphasise in books and films? 

In an ironic way, Simone has rich parents who enroll her in a special dancing academy and push her to dance at every opportunity, but she doesn’t enjoy it. Hannah’s parents would rather she focus on her studies, but her heart is in dancing. Unfortunately she is restricted to dancing as a hobby; only after school and weekends. 

By some stroke of luck they both end up at a dancing summer camp. After conspiring they decide that Hannah should pretend to be Simone so she can join advanced classes, and tell the camp that Hannah is no longer coming so that Simone can have some time off from dancing. Both characters are equally likeable, with Hannah growing in confidence as a performer and someone with natural talent. Simone, on the other hand, is a little spoilt, and instead finds her feet in happiness away from dancing. 

However, it becomes complicated when they decide to continue their switch back home, so Hannah can attend the dancing academy and Simone can spend her time reading. But how will they adjust to life away from their family? And it becomes even more complicated when boys become involved….

Pirouette was a fun read that I sped through. It was predictable but it really showed how we take things for granted sometimes, and what it would be like to live someone else’s life. Definitely recommended for younger dancing fans; 3 sofas! 

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Book Review: Acid

AcidAcid

by Emma Pass

Published: April 2013 by Random House 

Version: Ebook from publisher and Netgalley (review my own, honest opinion)

Rating: 4.5 sofas

The year is 2113. In Jenna Strong’s world, ACID—the most brutal controlling police force in history—rule supreme. No throwaway comment or whispered dissent goes unnoticed—or unpunished. And it was ACID agents who locked Jenna away for life, for a horrendous crime she struggles to remember. But Jenna’s violent prison time has taught her how to survive by any means necessary. 

When a mysterious rebel group breaks her out, she must use her strength, speed, and skill to stay one step ahead of ACID, and try to uncover the truth about what really happened on that terrible night two years ago. They have taken her life, her freedom, and her true memories away from her. How can she reclaim anything when she doesn’t know who to trust?

Strong, gritty writing, irresistible psychological suspense, and action consume the novel as Jenna struggles to survive against the all-controlling ACID. Seriously sinister stuff.

From the cover alone, I knew I had to read this book. It looks awesome with a powerful protagonist. I got approved on Netgalley for it around the release, but for one reason or another I never got round to it. BIG MISTAKE. I know other bloggers who absolutely adore it, and now I know why.

We meet Jenna in dystopian-Britain who has been put in jail for the murder of her parents. One of the things I love about dystopian novels is how real they can be, and scary to think that this COULD be our future. Acid does just that. In the future, ACID is the governing body, and they are not afraid to show it.

I think Jenna is one of my favourite female main characters. She has a lot of courage and spunk, especially when we learn about some of the things she has been through. Although she is continuously knocked down she never gives up, and I really admire her for that. There was a little bit of romance, but I liked that it didn’t overpower the story itself. 

The only reason I couldn’t give Acid 5 sofas was because the story was just a little too predictable. Although I think the storyline is great and there are several twists along the way, you just can’t get rid of the stereotypical dystopian storyline. As such, I kind of knew where the book was gonna end up, but its how we got there that really makes the story unique.

If Acid is a book that (like me) you didn’t read on its release, I implore you to do so now. It is original and thrilling, with plenty of twists to keep you on the edge of your seat. One of the most intense debut novels of this year! 4.5 sofas.

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Announcement: Ebook Overload!

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This past month I’ve been concentrating on reading physical review books. While I’ve made a dent in them, I’ve still got quite a big pile. However,my ebooks-to-review list is even longer. Hence, Ebook Overload!

So for the month of October, I am going to try and exclusively read ebooks that I have received to review. I also hope to catch up on the reviews for ebooks as well.

I find it very easy to pretend that ebooks do not exist, but it isn’t really fair on the publishers if I never read them. Especially when I keep requesting them…. So it is time to clear the backlog and clear my conscience!

Below is a list of just SOME of the ebooks I have awaiting me. I’d love your recommendations on what to read first, and motivation as well!

  • Blood Family by Anne Fine
  • Parasite by Mira Grant
  • Acid by Emma Pass
  • Confessions of an Angry Girl by Louise Rozett
  • Mila 2.0 by Debra Driza
  • Twerp by Mark Goldblatt
  • The Kissing Booth by Beth Reekles
  • The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
  • House of Secrets by Chris Colombus and Ned Vizzini
  • Finding It by Cora Carmack
  • Speechless by Hannah Harrington
  • Ostrich by Matt Greene
  • Nowhere by Jon Robinson
  • Picture Me Gone by Meg Rosoff
  • Day One by Nate Kenyon

Where do you think I should start How do you ensure you read ebooks? Do you keep up with the ones you request through Netgalley?