Search This Blog

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Korean Word for Butterfly Review

Korean Word for Butterfly

Written by: James Zerndt
# of pages: 328

Average Rating: 3.63/5
My Rating: 2/5

Read in February 2013

Summary according to goodreads

Set against the backdrop of the 2002 World Cup and rising anti-American sentiment due to a deadly accident involving two young Korean girls and a U.S. tank, The Korean Word For Butterfly is told from three alternating points-of-view:

Billie, the young wanna-be poet looking for adventure with her boyfriend who soon finds herself questioning her decision to travel so far from the comforts of American life;

Moon, the ex K-pop band manager who now works at the English school struggling to maintain his sobriety in hopes of getting his family back;

And Yun-ji , a secretary at the school whose new feelings of resentment toward Americans may lead her to do something she never would have imagined possible. 

The Korean Word For Butterfly is a story about the choices we make and why we make them. 

It is a story, ultimately, about the power of love and redemption.

My Thoughts

I received a copy of this novel to review, but that does not influence my opinion on the book. 

Although this book is only slightly over 300 pages, it took me a long time to get through and I had even put it down at one point. It is very rare for me to want to give up on a book but that desire was strong while reading this. I could not relate to the characters, and that bothered me more than the actual storyline.

One of the characters, Billie, I had hoped I would relate to because she is young and artistic but I found her almost hard to read. The parts written in the perspective of Billie could almost be read like diary entries - that's how I read her. I didn't like the tone or writing style used on this character at all, as I thought it didn't show much personality. 

I had high hopes going into this book since it was something different than I am used to, but I could't seem to connect with any of the characters, and the writing didn't flow the way I prefer to read. I wish I could have enjoyed it more, but it was to slow, couldn't grasp my attention, and I couldn't get sucked into the story. 

It is nothing against the author, and the story had great potential, I just feel that is was executed poorly. I hope to reread this when I am later into my adult years to see if time will change my views on this novel.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Naturals Review

The Naturals

Written by: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
# of pages: 308

Average Rating: 3.96/5
My Rating: 5/5

Read in January 2014

Summary according to goodreads

Seventeen-year-old Cassie is a natural at reading people. Piecing together the tiniest details, she can tell you who you are and what you want. But it’s not a skill that she’s ever taken seriously. That is, until the FBI come knocking: they’ve begun a classified program that uses exceptional teenagers to crack infamous cold cases, and they need Cassie.

What Cassie doesn’t realize is that there’s more at risk than a few unsolved homicides— especially when she’s sent to live with a group of teens whose gifts are as unusual as her own.

Sarcastic, privileged Michael has a knack for reading emotions, which he uses to get inside Cassie’s head—and under her skin. Brooding Dean shares Cassie’s gift for profiling, but keeps her at arm’s length.

Soon, it becomes clear that no one in the Naturals program is what they seem. And when a new killer strikes, danger looms closer than Cassie could ever have imagined. Caught in a lethal game of cat and mouse with a killer, the Naturals are going to have to use all of their gifts just to survive.

My Thoughts

I'm not going to lie, this is a book that I bought solely on the cover. I had heard my friend talking about it briefly, but had forgotten the summary when I decided to buy it at the bookstore one day. I am so glad that I bought it and did a read-along of it with that same friend, because otherwise I might not have picked it up for a while and that would have been quite the loss on my part.

This book is one of those rare cases where you are automatically sucked into the story and can't seem to put it down. You get a good summary of Cassie's history without getting bored, but most of what you uncover about everyone is what you learn as the story progresses. The writing style of this book was fantastic as the story flowed effortlessly, and I couldn't stop turning the pages. This was the perfect book to read during a read-a-thon because it was easy to get through, and very fast paced.

There are two love interests in this book, but romance is an aspect that was not heavily pushed - which I really appreciated. In a lot of recent young adult books, romance is a big part and at times can get very annoying. It made sense that Cassie cared more about solving the cases than flirting, and that made this situation seem more realistic. With the two boys, I had a hard time deciding whose team I was on. I still don't know! They are both awesome and totally different, and I praise the author for that because it made the story better since I was able to feel Cassie's indecision along with her. 

I think that this book is totally underrated, and I think this is something anyone can enjoy. I am highly anticipating the sequel, and I have no doubts that it will be just as good as this first one.