Saturday, 23 November 2013

Guitar Notes by Mary Amato

Guitar Notes

by Mary Amato
           Published July 24th 2012 by EgmontUSA (first published January 1st 2012)   


 1. A heartwarming story about an unlikely friendship forged between a straight-A, classical musician and a bad-boy guitar player told through notes, lyrics, texts, and narration. 
2. On odd days, Tripp Broody use a school practice room to let loose on a borrowed guitar. Eyes closed, strumming that beat up instrument, Tripp escapes to a world where only the music matters.
    On even days, Lyla Marks uses the same practice room. To Tripp, she's trying to become even more perfect–she's already a straight-A studentand an award-wining cellist. But when Lyla begins leaving notes for him between the strings of his guitar, his life intersects with hers in a way he never expected.
    What stars as a series of snippy notes quickly blossoms into the sharing of intrest and secrets and dreams, and the forging of a very unlikely friendship.
Challenging each other to write songs, they begint to connect, even though the circumstances threaten to tear them apart.
    From beloved author Mary Amato comes a novel of wits and wisdom, both heartfelt and heartbreaking, about the power of music and the unespected chords that draw us dogether.


    The story began with Tripp Broody waking up on the first day of school to find that his mom took away his guitar, so Tripp replaced his mom's coffee powder with dirt as revenge. That same day, Lyla could hear her heart beating abnormally loud, and with it came the thoughts of throwing her cello out the window and it blowing up while she played in her school orchestra.
    This book was about friendship, choosing your own path, and...MUSIC! Need I say that I loved it from page 1?
    I'm a big fan of paranormal and sci-fi novels, and those usually have 'love at first sight' or 'soul mates'. But this book? I just loved how Ms. Amato didn't do any of those things, and instead, wrote on a different path.
    Tripp and Lyla never anything about each other except the other's name. They only knew what they thought they knew by judging the cover. But as the first notes of exchange turned to secret meetings and later on, music writing, they began to notice how off their judgments were, and how much they had in common. Awwwwwwwww, they were just so cute together. I was grinning through the whole book.
    But at last, secrets (secret meetings) can not stay a secret forever.
    If you've read other reviews of this book, you might have heard about the big, dramatic U-turn in the story that led to the ending. But I will not spoil the story.
    In a review that I've read, it said that he/she believed Mary Amato wrote this book with only the ending in mind, and that the story didn't went anywhere in till the ending. But I don't think believe the to be true. Not all friendships have to happen fast, and love shouldn't be at first sight. It should be knowing a person, in and out, and loving them as they are, not thinking someone is cute/hot and want to marry that person for it. If you pay attention, you'll see what this book is about as you read each page and hear the music in each word. All you need is to understand the friendship and music to enjoy this book; after all, not all books are packed with adventures, fighting, guts and glory, and boys like The Hunger Games or Divergent or City of Bones.
    Amato didn't wrote only about music; she wrote a story of friendship, in a way everyone can enjoy. I read this book without knowing anything about guitar or cello, yet I enjoyed it more than I thought possible–because I lose patience when I do not understand something. Even if you've never been in the school band/orchestra or played guitar, you'll still love this book.
    I recommend Guitar Notes to grade 7 and up, high schoolers, and everyone who has a love for music–even if they don't understand how music works or the history of it.
    Happy readings,
Mary Amato's website:


Thursday, 21 November 2013

Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger

                                 Keeper of the Lost Cities

                                                           by: Shannon Messenger
                                               Published October 2nd 2012 by Aladdin


Twelve-year-old Sophie Foster has a secret. She’s a Telepath—someone who hears the thoughts of everyone around her. It’s a talent she’s never known how to explain.

Everything changes the day she meets Fitz, a mysterious boy who appears out of nowhere and also reads minds. She discovers there’s a place she does belong, and that staying with her family will place her in grave danger. In the blink of an eye, Sophie is forced to leave behind everything and start a new life in a place that is vastly different from anything she has ever known.

Sophie has new rules to learn and new skills to master, and not everyone is thrilled that she has come “home.”
There are secrets buried deep in Sophie’s memory—secrets about who she really is and why she was hidden among humans—that other people desperately want. Would even kill for.

In this page-turning debut, Shannon Messenger creates a riveting story where one girl must figure out why she is the key to her brand-new world, before the wrong person finds the answer first.(less)

My Review:

Containing sadness, happiness, friendship, and anger. In this book, the heroine, which is Sophie, is learning and discovering who she is (Then again, aren't all books like that?).

So Sophie Foster is this twelve year old prodigy with photograghic memory living in the wrong world; the Human World. One day, she and her high school senior class went to the museum, and that's where she met Fitz. Fitz took her to this Elf world whereI know this is useless imformation, but I find it amusing plants taste like hamburger. It sounds gross, but I want to try it.

From there She finds friends, families...and enemies. The funniest thing about this book is that at school, for the lockers, there are no key locks or lock combinations. Nope, none. Instead, they have to use their DNA; as in, lick the locker handle with their tongue. EW!!! I know its gross, but at least the lockers are flavoured. Each day, there would be a new flavour on the handles, but sometimes, students will play a prank and the handles will taste like FART! Who would want to lick that? 
     But keep reading, fart flavored lockers aren't the only strange thing in the Elf world. They have a Zoo-like-Animal homewhere Sophie lives with her Foster Parents and uses her telepathique abilities to comunicate with the animalscontaining Dinosaurs, Mammoth, and every endangered and/or extincted animal. Even animals from myths, like the Pheonix.

I would totally recommend this book to anyone. Trust me, you will love this book. This book mad me LAUGH OUT LOUD alot! Hope you'll enjoy this book as much as I have.
    Keeper of the Lost Cities is only the 1st book of the series.

More Reviews:

Shannon Messenger's Blog:



Monday, 11 November 2013

Princess for Hire

                                       Princess for Hire

                                                                By Linsey Leavitt
                Published March 16th 2010 by Disney-Hyperion (first published March 1st 2010)

When Desi Bascomb gets discovered by the elite Facade Agency–royalty surrogates extraordinaire–her life goes from glamour-starved to spectacular in a blink. As her new agent, Meredith, explains, Desi has a rare magical ability: when she applies the ancient Egyptian formula “Royal Rouge,” she can transform temporarily into the exact lookalike of any princess who needs her subbing services. Dream come true, right?
Well, Desi soon discovers that subbing involves a lot more than wearing a tiara and waving at cameras. Like, what do you do when a bullying older sister puts you on a heinous crash diet? Or when the tribal villagers gather to watch you perform a ceremonial dance you don’t know? Or when a princess’s conflicted sweetheart shows up to break things off–and you know she would want you to change his mind?
In this hilarious series debut, one girl’s dream of glamour transforms into something bigger: the desire to make a positive impact. And an impact Desi makes, one royal fiasco at a time.

Desi is a soon to be sophomore who likes to design T-shirts. Her worst-enemy is her former best friend. She works at a pet store, has a crush on her enemy's boyfriend, and is constantly made fun of. So to sum it up, her life sucks. But when she gets discovered by the elite Facade Agency, her world is turned around. By turned around, I don't mean that she gets the boy she wants, or people stop bullying her. No, I mean she discovers herself.

Her first job is to substitute for Princess Simahya bint Zafir bin Sultan al-Dhayrif (Simmy for short), second job is for Princess Ama (an Amazon tribe Princess; seriously, the women wear no clothes there), and her third jod is for a lost princess named Elsa. But Desi didn't do a 'good job'. Well, actually, she does a wonderfull job, but others don't see it that way. See, she was just supposed to substitute, but instead, she changed the Princesses' livesall for the better.

At the begining, I was kind of getting bored, but I knew I haven't gotten to the exciting part yet so I kept on reading:

Then I got to the exciting part and things were not what I have expected. I don't mean that nothing made sense, I mean as in:

Honestly, the only thing I didn't like about this book was that Desi couldn't see that the guy she likes, was not the right guy, and that she didn't appreciate everything she had. Well, she did, but at the same time she...didn't? I'm trying to explain thing you, but failing miserably.

I liked this book alot, the author was very creative and imaginative with writing the tale, but I can only give it a 3.8 out of 5 star because although I liked it very much, I wouldn't say everyone or even the majority would enjoy it as much as I did. But if you are a naturally book loving person, who enjoys creativity and comedy, then this is the book for you.

More Reviews:

Author's Website:

Happy readings, Sunny~