Monday, February 25, 2013

Mini-Reviews: Belles by Jen Calonita and Kiss Crush Collide by Christina Meredith

Belles (Belles #1) by Jen Calonita
Release Date: April 10, 2012 
Publisher: Poppy 
Source: Publisher for Review
Fifteen-year-old Isabelle Scott loves her life by the boardwalk on the supposed wrong side of the tracks in North Carolina. But when tragedy strikes, a social worker sends her to live with a long-lost uncle and his preppy privileged family. Isabelle is taken away from everything she's ever known, and, unfortunately, inserting her into the glamorous lifestyle of Emerald Cove doesn't go so well. Her cousin Mirabelle Monroe isn't thrilled to share her life with an outsider, and, in addition to dealing with all the rumors and backstabbing that lurk beneath their classmates' Southern charm, a secret is unfolding that will change both girls' lives forever.
Being a big fan of Jen Calonita, I was eager to get into Belles. While dual narration is always questionable for me, I was willing to give it a chance. Before I began reading it, I knew I was going to get lots of drama and it was going to be a light, quick read. Belles turned out to be the light, quick read I was expecting but I actually liked both Izzie and Mirabelle a lot more than I thought I would!

The plot honestly wasn’t the most original or the most surprising. The big revelation was one I guessed well in the beginning of the story even though it came at the very end. Izzie and Mirabelle were exactly how I thought they were going to be but surprisingly, I liked and disliked both Izzie and Mirabelle for various reasons. Izzie, I felt should have tried a little more to be accepting of her new circumstance and Mirabelle should have been nicer but that was a given. Though my biggest gimmick was the lack of differentiation between Izzie’s and Mirabelle’s voice. While Izzie was always trying to adapt, Mirabelle was always complaining or musing over what used to be.

Overall, Belle’s was a fun, light contemporary I read as a pick me up. I was reminded again of Jen Calonita’s writing style, the sarcasm and humor blended in so well. Though Belles wasn’t the most original or the best book I’ve ever read, I enjoyed it.
Cover Comments: 
First thoughts: Eh. Not the best looking thing but I like it. 
Comments: So this cover is very, very different. When you have the actual book in your hand, the part under "two souther girls..." is actually the flap. You take the flap away and you get a very beautiful girl! So I liked it! 
Kiss Crush Collide by Christina Meredith
Release Date: December 27, 2011
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Source: Don't remmener 
What Leah did—only she really shouldn’t have—one hot night at a country club party.

What Leah has—only she really shouldn’t have—on the guy with the green eyes, the guy who is not her perfect boyfriend, the guy who does not fit in her picture-perfect life, the guy her sisters will only mock and her mother will never approve of. Not in a million years.

What happens when everything you always thought you wanted—having cool friends, being class valedictorian and homecoming queen—runs smack into everything it turns out you really do want.

Kiss. Crush. Collide.
For Leah and Porter, summer is only the beginning.(
I was cleaning up my shelves when I saw that I still had an ARC of this book so I decided that I would read it. While it was a quick read, Kiss Crush Collide was not like anything I expected. Compared to Simone Elkeles’ Perfect Chemistry and Sarah Dessen, I was expecting an amazing story but that was not what I got.

Porter and Leah and all the other characters are extremely flat and have no character development to begin with. I knew knowing about Leah or her family except that they were rich and had to keep face. Leah was larger than her two older perfect sisters and she just didn’t fit in. She doesn’t like having to live up to so many expectations and doesn’t like when her mother nags or judges but no where in the entire book does she say anything to her mom. Porter is…who? All I knew was that this guy worked at the country club and he and Leah were drawn to each other. Neither of them know each other (Leah doesn’t even learn his real name until much later in the book!) yet they go off and make out.

The writing was nothing new and the plot was just bad. I also wasn’t the biggest fan of the narration. It was way to jumpy for my taste and I was easily getting annoyed. One second Leah would be talking about her boyfriend and the next about her sister and then her mother and so forth.

Overall, Kiss Crush Collide was a book I was hoping to love but one I just couldn’t stand. I finished it as soon as I possibly could just so I won’t have to deal with it anymore.
Cover Comments: 
First thoughts: Eh. Nothing new. 
Comments: Again, nothing new but I was expecting some really sexy book. All I got was teenage lust.