Saturday, April 27, 2013

Mini-Review: Dear Bully: Seventy Authors Tell Their Stories

Dear Bully by Seventy Authors (Anthology)
Release Date: September 6 2011
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Bought 

Discover how Lauren Kate transformed the feeling of that one mean girl getting under her skin into her first novel, how Lauren Oliver learned to celebrate ambiguity in her classmates and in herself, and how R.L. Stine turned being the "funny guy" into the best defense against the bullies in his class.

Today's top authors for teens come together to share their stories about bullying—as silent observers on the sidelines of high school, as victims, and as perpetrators—in a collection at turns moving and self-effacing, but always deeply personal.
This book was hard to read for me. I’d read reviews before for books that dealt with sexual assault or another topic that might “trigger” something in the reader. I never understood what that meant until I read this book. The thing is, I was bullied a lot when I was younger. As I read this book, I remembered all the times I was called fat, ugly, stupid, poor, rich, teacher’s pet, obnoxious and so much more. It was hard and I cried numerous times and for that reason, I both hated and loved this book. While some stories didn’t connect with me as much as others, I’m glad this book was written. Something I’ve learned recently was proven with this book: the bullying doesn’t get better, you do (thanks to this video).

I was surprised at some of the authors mentioned in this book. Lauren Oliver, R. L. Stein, Jessica Brody, Kiersten White, Ellen Hopkins, and Megan McCafferty have stories in this anthology. All of these writers that I’d come to love and respect had been bullied? I didn’t think it was possible. No, I’m not an ignorant girl but sometimes, the people we look up to seem like perfect people. For some reason, it allowed me to connect to these authors even more. Bullying is something that never leaves a person, even if you bullied a person or were bullied, so that was rather nice, for a lack of a better word. Yet another aspect that surprised me: some of the authors had bullied someone or had stood by while others bullied someone, which was heartbreaking. I respected all of the authors who admitted to doing something wrong. I think I can say that all of these authors aren’t teenagers and at their age, their actions (or lack of) at such a young age still has an impact on them.

While, yes, I did find some stories to be questioning, the majority of the stories felt real and honest. I think everyone, not just kids, need to read this book. While the stories are short (these stories are after all, part of an anthology), they do impact the reader in some way or another. For me, someone who has been bullied and has bullied (I thought of it as payback), this book took me almost two weeks to get through. No matter who you are, this book will make you think. It might make you cry and it might break your heart. Read it and find out.
Cover Comments: 
First thoughts: Um. What?
Comments: So, I like this cover having read the book. The face looks sad and haunted and screaming for help, in my opinion.  

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Mini-Review: Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality by Elizabeth Eulberg

Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality by Elizabeth Eulberg
Release Date: March 1, 2013 
Publisher: Point 
Source: Publisher for Review via NetGalley 
A hilarious new novel from Elizabeth Eulberg about taking the wall out of the wallflower so she can bloom.

Don't mess with a girl with a great personality!

Everybody loves Lexi. She's popular, smart, funny...but she's never been one of those girls, the pretty ones who get all the attention from guys. And on top of that, her seven-year-old sister, Mackenzie, is a terror in a tiara, and part of a pageant scene where she gets praised for her beauty (with the help of fake hair and tons of makeup).

Lexi's sick of it. She's sick of being the girl who hears about kisses instead of getting them. She's sick of being ignored by her longtime crush, Logan. She's sick of being taken for granted by her pageant-obsessed mom. And she's sick of having all her family's money wasted on a phony pursuit of perfection.

The time has come for Lexi to step out from the sidelines. Girls without great personalities aren't going to know what hit them. Because Lexi's going to play the beauty game - and she's in it to win it.
I have read every single book Elizabeth Eulberg has published and I’ve enjoyed them all immensely, but her debut, The Lonely Hearts Club is my absolute favorite. But this review is about Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality and I have to admit, I knew what to expect. A light, fun read that would be a great read simply for entertainment and that is what I got. But it was probably my least favorite of Elizabeth Eulberg’s books.

Lexi, the main protagonist wasn’t the best and not what I had expected from Eulberg’s book. First, she had no self-confidence and her self-esteem seemed to be to non-existent. She didn’t wear make up so of course it made her ugly. How could she possibly be considered good looking if she never put on make up? Along those lines, I hated that she thought any time a guy would notice her would be if she acted like “one of the guys.” I wanted to grab her and say NO that is not how it should be! While I wanted more development, I knew what was going to happen. While I understand that being around her sister and girls who are in pageants, I really hoped she would arrive at her “realizations” earlier.

Her mother, by the way, will probably get the award for worst mother EVER. She’s one of those Dance Mom like people who I can’t stand. She pretty much ignores Lexi and treats her six (or seven?) year old daughter like a princess. While I’m not a mother or anything, the mother was selfish and very, very lost. I honestly think she needed some therapy to get over her divorce and anything else that was bugging her.

I wasn’t sure what the plot would bring but I got what I wanted: entertainment. Sure the plot was superficial and could have been developed much, much more, I enjoyed reading the book. I was in a reading slump and this book was quick read, something that helped me get out of my funk. I think something else that bugged me was the ending. There were so many loose, untied ends that left me questioning what happened. On another hand, I wasn’t as upset with it. The story was about Lexi and life doesn’t have the complete endings all the time.

Overall, not as impressed with this book as I had been with The Lonley Hearts Club. I have faith in Elizabeth Eulberg (and she used a Friday Night Lights reference to the love interest’s name!) so I will continue to read her books. I truly hope her books become better though!
Cover Comments: 
First thoughts: Eh. 
Comments: Eh. Boring. I need something different. I've usually liked all of Elizabeth Eulberg's covers but this one is just so boring!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Review: Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland

Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland
Release Date: May 7, 2013 
Publisher: Disney Hyperion 
Source: Publisher for Review via NetGalley 
For Cricket Thompson, a summer like this one will change everything. A summer spent on Nantucket with her best friend, Jules Clayton, and the indomitable Clayton family. A summer when she’ll make the almost unattainable Jay Logan hers. A summer to surpass all dreams.

Some of this turns out to be true. Some of it doesn’t.

When Jules and her family suffer a devastating tragedy that forces the girls apart, Jules becomes a stranger whom Cricket wonders whether she ever really knew. And instead of lying on the beach working on her caramel-colored tan, Cricket is making beds and cleaning bathrooms to support herself in paradise for the summer.

But it’s the things Cricket hadn’t counted on--most of all, falling hard for someone who should be completely off-limits--that turn her dreams into an exhilarating, bittersweet reality.

A beautiful future is within her grasp, and Cricket must find the grace to embrace it. If she does, her life could be the perfect shade of Nantucket blue.
I regret reading Nantucket Blue on a rainy, cold March day. Everything about this book made me pine for the summer. Nantucket Blue was a book I wanted to read at the beach with a glass of lemonade (actually ice cold Coke, but lemonade is more summer-y, right?), having a view of the gorgeous ocean. I have never spent my summers in the Northeast coast (only the South) but this book made me want to get on a plane as soon as the summer begins and head to Nantucket. While I am very much a character girl, the setting is the real gem of Nantucket Blue but Leila Howland wrote a story where every aspect worked well together for the most part.

Lets talk about Cricket, our main character. I have to admit that I liked Cricket. Cricket was the bigger person in this situation and after Jules went through a family tragedy, Cricket gave her space. She let Jules breathe and come to terms with what happened and I respected Cricket for that. When her planes for Nantucket fall through, Cricket didn’t give up. Instead of sulking and complaining like I would, Cricket held up her head and fended for herself. Along the way, Cricket did grow as a character and she learned more about herself than she could have imagined but the growth wasn’t in large amounts. For one, a certain incident that happened with a certain guy made me shake my head. I think Cricket had a good enough head on her shoulders to not let that happen.

As much as I liked the characters, the setting was the best part of this novel. Nantucket was described in such a way that I felt like I was there in the Atlantic Northeast, feeling the ocean breeze. It was absolutely fantastic and again, the descriptions made me want to skip right over spring and get to summer. I have this love for small resort towns and Nantucket reminded me of Colby, the resort town many of Sarah Dessen’s books are set in. Nantucket is real and Colby is not but if you’ve read a Dessen novel, Colby is the pace you want to be for the summer. With small diners and restaurants and quirky natives, Nantucket Blue came alive, almost as if it were a character itself.

As I’ve said before, I’m not a fan of having too many issues or stories strung together in one book. Very rarely does this work in favor of the book and some how, Leila Howland did exactly that. There were many different plotlines featured in Nantucket Blue that were executed well but not very well because Leila Howland didn’t connect everything to an “ending.” Until I realized how realistic it was. The ending did have loose ends but they were believable. Like in real life, people are not able to change or accept an issue in a matter of days and in Nantucket Blue, the ending did just that.

I hate to admit this but I did have issues with Nantucket Blue. For one, a lot of the issues featured were superficial and not as developed as I’d have liked. As much as I love romance, I wasn’t the biggest fan of the romance in this one. Sure I liked the love interest but I didn’t feel like I was given enough background on the love interest and his relationship with Cricket prior to where the book began to actually believe in their romance. And as much as Cricket developed as a character, none of the other side characters did. Sure I got to know them on the surface, there wasn’t more to them. These little aspects put together are the only reasons why this book is getting a 3.5 star.

Overall, Nantucket Blue is a book I recommend to read at the beach, when you’re looking for pure entertainment. While the character and plot will make you happy, the description will make you want to abandon anything and everything and go to Nantucket.
Cover Comments: 
First thoughts: A cute, fun looking cover!
Comments: Okay, this is a very cliched cover and all but I like it. I know. Superficial cover and I like it? I think it fits with the book very well and sets up most of the plot very well. Of course there is more to the book itself but if I needed a fun, light, beach read? This would be it. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

How Do I Comment More?

For the past hour, as I was commenting on blogs (yay!), a war of "yes, write it" and "no, don't write it" has been going on in my head. This is a very a very spontaneous blog post but the topic is one I have been thinking about lately.

While school should be winding down, the end of the year is when teachers like to load on a lot of work for us students. At least, that is how it is with my school. But this year, I have no exams as part of my senior privileges. But I do have gradation and prom and everything that goes along with that. And while I may not have any exams, I can’t let my grades falter this semester. Time is very limited for me, honestly, but I love blogging. I love the community. But I have a confession to make:

While I will read a blog posts, I rarely leave comments.

I desperately want to change this. I’ve tried various things, from subscribing to my favorite blog via e-mail to giving myself an hour or two to simply comment on blogs. Nothing seems to work though. Last year, we were giving iPads at school and while I should be using it for school, I would find time to check Google Reader. I had bookmarked what blogs I could open on my iPad through the security in place and if I ever had time during class, I would comment on the blog. Even that has stopped, even though I have plenty of time in most classes.

But as I was scrolling through my Feedly today, I found that I liked commenting on reviews of books more than anything else, even meme posts. While I don’t participate in any memes anymore, I still comment on memes but only on certain blogs. Giveaway, guest posts, and other posts are ones I rarely check out unless it’s a wrap up post like Keeping Up with the Blogopshere.

I also noticed something else: I didn’t comment on every single review post by every single blog I follow. I have become so increasingly picky about what blogs I post on regularly that the list has dwindled to about 5. Yes. There are 5 blogs I check every. Single. Day. Only 5. That is such an incredibly sad number when I consider that I follow only about 80 ish blogs.

Yet the biggest issue is when I've read the blog post, no matter what it is, and I have nothing to say.
Even in many discussion posts, I've found my mind goes blank. How is this possible? I ask myself everyday. Especially with discussion posts where I'm supposed to give MY opinion.
Barney does it best. Source 
I have become so incredibly frustrated with myself and these habits that I am reaching out to you all!

I need help in commenting more. Has anyone gone through this? Does anyone know how I could try and comment more? Or more importantly, how do YOU decide what blog, what post you want to comment on? Do you have a list of blogs that you comment on no matter what?

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Review: Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway

Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway
Release Date: April 10, 2008 
Publisher: Razorbill
Source: Library
California high school student Audrey Cuttler dumps self-involved Evan, the lead singer of a little band called The Do-Gooders. Evan writes, “Audrey, Wait!” a break-up song that’s so good it rockets up the billboard charts. And Audrey is suddenly famous!

Now rabid fans are invading her school. People is running articles about her arm-warmers. The lead singer of the Lolitas wants her as his muse. (And the Internet is documenting her every move!) Audrey can't hang out with her best friend or get with her new crush without being mobbed by fans and paparazzi.

Take a wild ride with Audrey as she makes headlines, has outrageous amounts of fun, confronts her ex on MTV, and gets the chance to show the world who she really is.
After having read and loved Robin Benway’s sophomore novel, The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, and June, I decided that I would get her debut novel Audrey, Wait! This is a novel that I have heard nothing but amazing things about so I was eager to see how I would like it. I learned some things while reading this book: 1) I don’t listen to enough American music since each chapter in this book had song lyrics and I only knew a few of the bands and 2) I really like Robin Benway’s writing. In all honesty, I have no idea when I began or finished this novel because I flew through it!

The writing and the narration are the best parts of this novel. From the very beginning, I became invested in Audrey’s story and her narration carried the book with a surprising gust of life. Audrey was spunky and sarcastic and awkward and I could relate to her very well. She’s a usually happy person who is loud and sometimes all over the place, just like me. I smiled and laughed my way through this book. But what I loved most was that it didn’t feel like I was reading a book but that I was there with Audrey, seeing all the events of her life happening as a fellow viewer.

The plot was surprising to be sure. While the idea that your boyfriend might be in a band and he might write a song about you that would become a big hit (Taylor Swift songs anyone?) seems superficial, Robin Benway carried it though with sincerity and honesty, something that I appreciated. The society and paparazzi depicted in this book seemed familiar. A simple hug with a friend could be turned into something completely different and I loved Audrey’s reaction to it all.

Yet Audrey, Wait! did have a flaw and that was the subtle superficiality of it all. As mentioned above, a lot of the book was realistic but some of it bugged me. For example, Audrey’s relationship with her parents: On a side note, I loved seeing her parents in this book. They were a big part of Audrey’s life and I appreciated that they had a relationship with their daughter. But the relationship was too, for a lock of better word, good. Too many of their arguments were resolved easily for me to feel like yes, this is how it’s really like. Even if a teen has a good relationship with their parents, they have arguments that make no sense and sometimes are not resolved for hours, even days. Really, most of the conflicts in this book between characters were resolved perfectly and within days of occurring. It just didn’t feel real.

If you know me at all, you know that I am a die hard romantic. Really, I am. So the romance in Audrey, Wait! Was cheesy and sweet and I loved it. There was something so real about Audrey and her love interest’s relationship. Besides the issues resolving quickly, their banter and awkward moments were adorable and real. I kid you not, I awed and smiled like a crazy person at certain parts of this novel.

Overall, I’ve become a big fan of Robin Benway’s. Her writing is funny and real and her characters are worth rooting for. While certain aspects did bug me, Audrey, Wait! is just as good as everyone says it is. While the cover and synopsis do not do this book justice, believe me when I say that Audrey, Wait! has heart. I dare you to read this book and not smile!
Cover Comments: 
First thoughts: Bleh. 
Comments: Nope. Not a fan of this cover AT ALL. Had it not been for the author and the fact that it's such a talked about book, I would have never picked up with book based on that cover!  

Monday, April 08, 2013

Review: The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, & June by Robin Benway

The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, & June by Robin Benway
Release Date: August 3, 2010
Publisher: Razorbill
Source: Owned 
I hugged my sisters and they fit against my sides like two jigsaw pieces that would never fit anywhere else. I couldn't imagine ever letting them go again, like releasing them would be to surrender the best parts of myself.

Three sisters share a magical, unshakeable bond in this witty high-concept novel from the critically acclaimed author of Audrey, Wait! Around the time of their parents' divorce, sisters April, May, and June recover special powers from childhood--powers that come in handy navigating the hell that is high school. Powers that help them cope with the hardest year of their lives. But could they have a greater purpose?

April, the oldest and a bit of a worrier, can see the future. Middle-child May can literally disappear. And baby June reads minds--everyone's but her own. When April gets a vision of disaster, the girls come together to save the day and reconcile their strained family. They realize that no matter what happens, powers or no powers, they'll always have each other.

Because there's one thing stronger than magic: sisterhood.
I’m not even going to lie: I picked up The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, & June simply because I needed a light, fun read at the moment. While I had heard a lot about Robin Benway’s debut novel, I had heard next to nothing about this one so I was eager to see how I would like it. Luckily, I had no biased opinion as I went into this book and I have to admit: reading this book has made me a big fan of Robin Benway’s. Sure, this book had it’s flaws but if this is any example of Robin Benway’s writing (which it is of course), I need to get her two other books.

Let’s begin with the writing because really, it’s the best part of this novel. There was so much snark and banter between the three very different sisters that reading this book was great. I laughed at times and other times, I shook my head. This book flew by since the writing was fast and this book is dialogue heavy anyways. Think Gilmore Girls fast. But like many good things, the banter’s enjoyment was limited. After a while, I got tired of the constant arguing between the sisters and the writing began to become tedious. It tied into the lack of development among the characters.

April, May, and June personify the stereotype of the sibling ideas: the oldest is the most cautious and mother like, the second is often forgotten and in constant need of attention, and the youngest is the baby and gets away with everything. While I am usually against stereotypes, I have to admit that this was one I could identify with. I have an older sister but I have a younger brother and because of this, I connected to May a lot more than the other two. May was a cynical and snarky as I am and I loved it. But I was sad to note that April, May, and June didn’t really develop as the book ended. While some development was evident, I didn’t think it was enough for me to care more for any of the sisters than I already did.

The plot also has holes, some more obvious than others. For one, I was sad to note that the ideas of the girls’ powers just came out of nowhere. I wanted a little more depth to how the powers affected their daily lives. For that matter, how did the powers really manifest themselves seemingly out of now where? If there was an explanation given, I don’t remember reading about it. As anyone knows, I am a big fan of romance. Yet, I like romance when it’s done right. For example, no insta love unless the author can pull it off. In The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, & June, there is romance and romance that made me happy. But it wasn’t as developed as I had hoped it would be. Again, this book had so much going for it but unfortunately, I felt like it lacked in the “depth” aspect.

Overall, though, I was happy with The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, & June. It was exactly what I needed at the time and even its faults can’t mar that fact that this is a very enjoyable read. I didn’t, in the end, regret reading this book at all. In all essence, I am extremely happy that I read The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, & June. It introduced me to Robin Benway and has now made me a big fan of hers!
Cover Comments: 
First thoughts: Ooooh, pretty colors! 
Comments: I actually like it! There are three girls on the cover for each of the sisters and some how, it's so fitting!

Friday, April 05, 2013

Bookish Thoughts: Jessica Darling Series by Megan McCafferty

jessica darling series
I haven't done one of these in so long so let's get right to it.

I have a confession to make: I didn't read the Jessica Darling books because EVERYONE LOVED these books and after all of those hyped up books that I pretty much could not stand, I didn't want these to be that way. Oh man, did I want to love these books. Jessica Darling sounded like a girl after my own heart and I LOVE books written in journal format.

But after Keertana kept raving about these books, giving Sloppy Firsts a 5 star review and Second Helpings a 4 star, I knew I HAD to read these books. Steph Su and Sarah also loved these books so I thought: why not?

I got them all (yes, all 5 at the same time. I wasn't expecting all of them to arrive on time) from the library and yesterday, instead of reading A Tale of Two Cities, I began Sloppy Firsts. Big mistake.

I finished Sloppy Firsts tonight only because I forced myself to go to bed and have breakfast this morning and take a shower and basically get on with my day. I even attempted to read A Tale of Two Cities as Sloppy Firsts mocked me.

Jessica Darling and I are SO alike. Really. Though I'm not nearly as smart as she is and sadly, I don't have a Marcus Flutie (like really, who could beat Marcus? He's now on the same page as Darcy. Only a little more realistic because Darcy is DARCY) but she's snarky and a little dramatic and funny and sarcastic and has a dry sense of humor (at least, that's what I think.) If you know me in real life, I'm exactly like that.

I also love how much she complains and then realizes that she's complaining and then she starts complaining about complaining way too much. That right there is ME.

Yeah, I knew this was going to be VERY rambling but really, I want to thank everyone who loved this book and told me I'd love it because I did!

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

My Book Blogging Quirks

Over the years, I've realized that I've developed several "quirks" about myself and book blogging. I was thinking about them today and I began to wonder if you all had quirks too. So here are some of mine:

1) I write all of my posts in a word document. 

I actually write (type) every single review/discussion post in a word document that I later copy and paste into the blogger window. It sounds really weird but after I’ve created my template for a review (i.e. title and link, publisher, synopsis), I always turn to my “Review” word document where I type up my review. I have tried numerous times to just type my review in the blogger window but I NEVER get past the first paragraph.

2) I HAVE to like the font I’m writing in. 

At this moment, I’m typing this in my “review” word document and as I scroll through it, I’ve got about 5 different fonts and various colors. I always have the title of the book and author in bold and in one font. The review for that book will be in black and in another font. For some reason, if I don’t like the font for a certain review, I’ll change it until I find one I like. I wrote my last 3 reviews in 3 different fonts.

3) My word document has to be zoomed in more than 150% but less than 200%. 

While my font will actually be only 12, it looks larger because I’ve zoomed my document. Currently, my document is at 200% zoom. I NEVER go over 200% but I NEVER go less than 150%. But this is the case only for my reviews/discussions.

4) My review format has to follow Serif-Sans Serif or vise versa. 

If the book title and author are in a sans serif font, the review HAS to be in a serif font or vise versa. That is how my blog is set up. Titles are usually in sans serif and text is usually in serif. That is actually easier for your brain to comprehend and easier to read.

5) I talk out loud as I type. 

No matter what review or discussion post it is, over the years I’ve begun saying what I want to type out loud. I am even saying these words out loud just as I type them. I feel kind of silly but that is just how I am.

6) My reviews vary in tone of voice. 

If you read through about 10 of my reviews, you’ll notice a change in each one. The tone of my voice is different in almost each one. I’ve found that if I’m in a good mood, even if the book is one I didn’t like, I have a light, fun tone to it. I’m not mocking but the writing is more conversational. Yet if the book made me cry or think or rage, whatever mood I’m in at that moment seeps into my review. My review of Jellicoe Road has an “awed” yet “sad” tone because not only was I blow away by that book but I also cried while reading it.

7) I always have music playing in the background. 

This one is pretty much a MUST. I have to have music playing in the background because I’m one of those people that doesn’t really like silence while I’m writing a review. The volume is usually very low so that it’s not too loud (where it becomes distracting) but not too low either (where I can’t hear it in the background).

8) I never write one review/discussion in one sitting. 

As I said, on a normal basis I don’t like silence and along those same times, I don’t like sitting still. Even when I’m asleep, I tend to move around in my bed. When I’m sitting in class, I might slouch for a few minutes but sit up straight the next. For example, I began writing this post at about 8:30 and I got up and got some water and read some of my book and now I’m back to writing. Or I’ll get up and dance around my room.

9) I rarely schedule a review. 

This is pretty much the worst aspect about my blogging but it’s true. As I’ve tried to be better at this, I always fail. I think it’s because I tend to be very spontaneous when it comes to my blogging. Plus, I like being in control at the moment, if you get what I mean.

10) I rarely write a review for a book I have JUST finished. 

I usually have to take at least a day to fully understand how I felt about a certain book before I can write up my review. After I’ve read the book, I jot down some ideas in my blogging notebook and I move on. Surprisingly I rarely forget what I want to talk about in my review but its been known to happen.

And there are 10 blogging quirks I’ve learned about myself.

Monday, April 01, 2013

Adult Review: Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart by Beth Pattillo

Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart (Adventures with Jane Austen and her Legacy) by Beth Pattillo
Release Date: February 1, 2010
Publisher: GuidepostsBooks 
Source: Owned 
Claire Prescott is a sensible woman who believes in facts and figures, not fairy tales. But when she agrees to present a paper to a summer symposium at Oxford on her ailing sister's behalf, Claire finds herself thrown into an adventure with a gaggle of Jane Austen-loving women all on the lookout for their Mr. Darcy. Claire isn't looking for Mr. Anyone. She's been dating Neil -- a nice if a bit negligent -- sports fanatic. But when a tall, dark and dashing stranger crosses her path, will the staid Claire suddenly discover her inner romantic heroine? Her chance meeting with a mysterious woman who claims to have an early version of Austen's Pride and Prejudice -- in which Lizzie ends up with someone other than Fitzwilliam Darcy -- leads to an astounding discovery about the venerated author's own struggle to find the right hero for Lizzie Bennett. Neil's unexpected arrival in Oxford complicates Claire's journey to finding her own romantic lead.

Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart is the story of a woman who finds that love isn't logical and that a true hero can appear in the most unexpected of places.
Right after the amazingness that is The Lizzie Bennet Diaries ended, the feeling of no more Pride and Prejudice re-telling hit me hard. I was about to begin re-reaidng Pride and Prejudice for about the 1,000,000 time when I came across this book on my shelf. I immediately grabbed it and began reading, immersing myself into the world of Jane Austen once again. Sadly, Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart was not the fun, light book I was expecting. While I knew that this was not a re-telling true to Pride and Prejudice, I knew there were going to be many similarities yet even this information didn't make it better. 

Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart is a short book at only 263 pages but I felt like this needed to be much longer, possibly 100 or even 200 more pages to fully explain everything that was going on. For starters, the plot begins promising but quickly changes gears to where various things are happening all at once with no explanation what so ever. One minute, Claire would be walking down the road somewhere and the next, she's fantasizing about some guy she met a few seconds ago. The secret society dealing with Jane Austen's writings was fascinating but the idea was not developed at all. There is another book that is part of this "series" but this book is a standalone in itself so I didn't think it was necessary. 

Claire Prescott, what to do with you. I had hoped that Claire would be a witty, snarky 26 (or 27) year old but instead, she honestly sounded much younger. Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart is supposed to be about Claire figuring out who she is but I didn't see that happening. Again, with only 263 pages, the amount of character development that can happen is slim and sadly, Claire's change from the whining woman to a more stronger woman wasn't really clear. She finds herself stuck between two men, one she just met a week before and the other, her long time boyfriend. I found this love triangle utterly annoying because it's not possible. I cared for none of the characters honesty because I didn't know them. Character backgrounds would have been a great help in understanding anything about the characters or the plot but really, I was unimpressed. 

The writing was...interesting. If everyone doesn't know by now, Pride and Prejudice was initially titled First Impressions and much of Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart deals with Claire finding the original copy of this book. The writing of First Impressions didn't even come close to sounding like Jane Austen and while no one will ever write like her, I had hoped that the author would have tried a little more. I also wished that Claire sounded like a 26 year old woman who didn't know what she wanted from life rather than a 16 year old pining over some hot guy she just met. 

Overall, I wasn't as impressed with Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart as I had hoped to be. It has a promising plot and main character but I felt that the execution was poor. While it was a quick read, I was unsatisfied with almost every aspect of this book. 
Cover Comments: 
First thoughts: I'm intrigued by the fact that she's in a dress and the title says Mr. Darcy. 
Comments: So. What does this have anything to do with the book? I honestly hoped that the cover was alluding to a scene in the book but I guess not.