Everybody should believe in something. I believe I'll read another chapter.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Book Review: Take a Bow

NOTE: This is completely unrelated to any of my ARCs that I try to review. But I'm going to do it anyway.

So this book is called Take a Bow. It's by Elizabeth Eulberg. If her name sounds familiar, that's because she's also written Prom and Prejudice and The Lonely Hearts Club. This book is about four people at a very rigorous prep school for performing arts-talented teenagers.

Carter, a former child star that longs to be normal.
Sophie, a performer who will do anything to be a star.
Emme, a shy songwriter who lives in Sophie's shadow.
And Ethan, a close friend to Emme with a darkness inside his head he can't shake.

So some time ago I read Prom and Prejudice and I absolutely loved it. Then I read Lonely Hearts Club since I was developing a serious writer-crush on Elizabeth Eulberg. Then Take a Bow came out.

I decided to read it. And while I read it, I kept my standards ridiculously high. Eulberg's new book was not allowed to be a flop. It was to be perfect.

And guess what?

It was. I could not put the book down. I read it in 2 and a half hours when I should've been studying for the test in one of the classes I probably had.

Of all the many numbers I could probably list of amazing things about this book, here are 3:

*Character bashing and slight spoilers, maybe. Ye have been warned.*

The first thing I loved was the way Eulberg made me feel about the characters. I instantly sympathized with Emme and being constantly put down by a frenemy. I pity Carter for feeling like he was trapped in a life he doesn't want. I worry about Ethan and all the darkness he thinks he can't escape. And I flipping hate Sophie and every inch of her snobby guts. Every time the point of view shifted to her, I was all:

Not at Eulberg, but at Sophie. Since I hate her.

The second thing was the secondary characters and how they added that extra OOMPH to a story. For example, there were the two members of the band "Teenage Kicks" Jack and Ben, along with Emme and Ethan. Jack known for "predicting" their future after they graduate and Ben for being the straight man (pun because he's gay) to Jack's eccentric nature.

The third thing was the fact Eulberg made each of the character's POV chapter different than the others.  For example, Carter thought his out in script-form and Sophie had self-centered dialogue. It gave each of the characters a voice I found interesting.

So yeah. I give this 5 billion bitch-slaps-to-be-delivered-to-the-character-that-shall-not-be-named out of 5 billion.

Always awkward,

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Book Review: Send Me a Sign

NOTE: I got this book as an ARC, read it as such, but now it was published October 2nd. So, now you can all read it.

The book I'm reviewing is called Send Me a Sign by Tiffany Schmidt. It's about a girl, named Mia, who gets cancer but doesn't tell any of her friends.

Now, normally, I don't read Cancer books. The protagonist dies or loses someone close to them and there's a sobfest and people know what it truly feels like to lose someone. And I hate those stories. I prefer to root for my characters and I can't do that if they die. I mean, I didn't read a whole book just for you to kill a character I probably love off.

I decided to read it anyway, challenge my typical read. I decided to keep my expectations low. Not that I had heard bad things about the author (it's her debut) but because I naturally keep my standards high and add that to reading a book that's not in my wheelhouse? Yeah... no.

But then, it happened.


Like, seriously. There were many wonderful things about this book. So let me tell you about all of them.


One of the things I loved was how I related to Mia. Mia is a popular cheerleader who has a football player wrapped around her finger. Let's just say books are my friends.

So when I actually found myself relating to Mia, I was really surprised. You know what that means, good writing. In real life, I probably wouldn't even talk to Mia. But in this book, due to the fantastic style of Schmidt (that should go viral), I was sobbing at the end.

Another thing I loved was the names. Sometimes characters have these really common names and I nearly have to force myself to read the books since I prefer the characters to have names unique to them. Or maybe it's the story behind them allows that to be an e. Like there's a character named Gyver, after MacGyver. According to a meeting I had with the author, it's based on that her husband wanted to actually name heir son MacGyver.

The last thing I'm going to mention that I loved about this book was the complex but perfectly understood messages that Schmidt captured perfectly to the reader. Like how when something goes wrong, they try to salvage whatever they can control. Or how parents have expectations of you that you sometimes just can't live up to (and maybe how you just think they do). And that sometimes, we need to face a huge difficulty to know who will truly stand by us.

I definitely recommend that you read this book. Hell, I give it two snaps and a twist.

Until later,




My name is Owyn, I'm a sophomore in high school somewhere in Colorado, and I love words. Writing them, reading them, defining them, misspelling them, watching them. It's probably an inch away from becoming a problem.

This is a literary blog. Over the summer I interned at Boulder Book Store, the best indie bookstore I've ever been to. And I discovered ARCs. Advanced Reader's Copy. When a book is going to be published, they give out some before they're formally published so book freaks like me can read them.

And when that bookstore internship ended, I joined their Teen Advisory Board. It's for teens in the area to meet once a month, read books that have yet to be published, and review them for the store.

I also decided I'm going to start doing that here. So whenever I can, I'll try to review books (maybe not ARCS, maybe books I just love) and maybe you'll check them out.

Until next post!

---- Owyn