Saturday, April 28, 2012

Review - Bad Taste in Boys

Author: Carrie Harris
Published July 12th 2011 by Delacorte Press
I purchased this book myself

Someone's been a very bad zombie.
Kate Grable is horrified to find out that the football coach has given the team steroids. Worse yet, the steriods are having an unexpected effect, turning hot gridiron hunks into mindless flesh-eating zombies. No one is safe--not her cute crush Aaron, not her dorky brother, Jonah . . . not even Kate! She's got to find an antidote--before her entire high school ends up eating each other. So Kate, her best girlfriend, Rocky, and Aaron stage a frantic battle to save their town  . . . and stay hormonally human.

Zombiesssssss. I love 'em. I mean, really. The older I get, the more I love them. Maybe it's the fact that with each day we grow closer to death and that zombies are more than just a little bit fascinating when you really think about it. I mean look at the hordes of horror movies that have spurred from the thought of walking dead humans who crave the flesh of the living. Zombies are a true phenomenon of pop culture.

A good zombie movie or book is hard to come by. Most of them, honestly, are just crap. I will admit that I do prefer the more serious takes on them. The Walking Dead is one of my favorite shows of all time. But I'm also a big fan of the more campy takes on the flesh-eating fiends that my imagination loves to play with. My favorite zombie movie is Planet Terror.

So, naturally when it comes to books, my tastes are the same. I like my zombies either super dark and twisty or super campy and funny.

Bad Taste in Boys is the latter. And in the best way. Carrie Harris is a brilliant woman and hilarious. If you follow her on Twitter, you know what I mean. If you don't follow her on Twitter yet, what the heck are you waiting for?! Get to it! Here, let me help you. CLICK HERE.

This is an extremely fast-paced book that I devoured easily in one night. The main character, Kate Grable, is a dork extroidinnaire and fancies herself a modern-day superhero when she is the first and only person to figure out the zombie virus that has infiltrated the football team of her high school. How so? Let's just say instead of a nice kiss, Kate got a nice chomp on the lip.

Through Kate's exploits in the book, she finds her footing in a world where she was pretty much invisible before. She builds a stronger relationship with her brother and finds out how to trust her Dad again. And most importantly she finds first love... or crush. This is high school after all.

If you're a zombie fan like me, you really should pick up this book. Don't expect it to be serious. If you do, you're a bigger dork than Kate... or me for that matter. And that's saying a lot.

Visit Carrie Harris at her website HERE.

Review - Welcome Caller, This is Chloe

Author: Shelley Coriell
Publication: May 1st 2012 by Amulet Books
This book was received in ARC format at ALA Mid-winter

Big-hearted Chloe Camden is the queen of her universe until her best friend shreds her reputation and her school counselor axes her junior independent study project. Chloe is forced to take on a meaningful project in order to pass, and so she joins her school’s struggling radio station, where the other students don’t find her too queenly. Ostracized by her former BFs and struggling with her beloved Grams’s mental deterioration, lonely Chloe ends up hosting a call-in show that gets the station much-needed publicity and, in the end, trouble. She also befriends radio techie and loner Duncan Moore, a quiet soul with a romantic heart. On and off the air, Chloe faces her loneliness and helps others find the fun and joy in everyday life. Readers will fall in love with Chloe as she falls in love with the radio station and the misfits who call it home.

"I love being a burrito. Not the actual costume, a stinky ankle-length tube of compressed foam with scratchy shoulder straps. No, I loved the physical act of being a burrito -- more precisely, of getting people to notice me -- and I was good at it."

These are the opening lines of one of the most fun, intelligent and enjoyable contemporary YA books I've ever read. I figure the beginning is a good starting point to explain what it is I love so much about this book. The main character.

Chloe Camden is a dramatic, quirky character absolutely bursting with life. She made me, the reader, feel more alive just by reading her words. She makes mistakes and she's baffled by them, confounded and deluded. And then she learns. When she learns, she grows and morphs into something beautiful. She's suddenly a stronger, more humble young woman and I found that at this point I absolutely fell in love with her.

I adored her from the beginning... obviously. I mean did you read those opening lines? But when she is ripped apart and tossed about by the great tornado that is life, she finds herself left standing but in a different place. And in a different place, people become different than who they were somewhere else. And the person Chloe is by the end of the novel is the person that I wish I could be.

Welcome Caller, This is Chloe meets up with Chloe at a very sad point in her life. It's the point where friendships change. Where that lifelong friend that you've been attached at the hip to for as long as you can possibly remember, severs the connection and kicks you to the curb.

Only someone like Chloe, so vivacious and headstrong and utterly aloof, can't comprehend why anyone would do such a thing. She has a heart as big as any Saint and she loves everyone in her life so fully that she can't see why anyone would want to leave her.

Then you, as the reader, are introduced to a cast of characters that are all unique and not at all typical in any way. Chloe loves each one of them for who they are and the more she learns about them, the more she grows and changes because each character opens her eyes just a little bit more.

And of course, there's a love story. Which would require a boy. And Ms. Coriell does not disappoint. Duncan Moore is as swoon-worthy as any other boy out there, maybe even more so.

And let's not forget where Chloe's story takes her. To the radio station of her high school. Chloe Camden is a star. And reading about her experiences on air and off is so entertaining, I was truly disappointed when this book came to an end.

Welcome Caller, This is Chloe is one of my favorite reads of 2012. Actually, it's one of my favorite reads in compterary Young Adult fiction EVER. If you're looking for a fun book with superb writing that moves quickly and will make you laugh and cry and laugh some more, then this is the book for you.

Check out the author, Shelley Coriell on her website HERE and follow her on Twitter HERE.