Paper Towns by John Green

Friday, November 28, 2008

Here's what's not beautiful about it: from here, you can't see the rust or the cracked paint or whatever, but you can tell what the place really is. You can see how fake it all is.”

Rating: 4/5.

Summary: Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs back into his life - dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge - he follows.

After their all-nighter ends and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues - and they're for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Q sees of the girl he thought he knew.

Review: Ah, Paper Towns, how do I describe thee?

It was a long wait for this novel and even with my hopes high for this novel and expectations even higher I still managed to love this novel. Though, I found that I enjoyed Looking for Alaska more, Paper Towns still has heaps to offer.

I expected nothing but brilliance from John Green and I got what I wanted from this novel, sometimes as I read this novel I was astounded by how deep and wonderful the characters were. I loved what this book had to say about our perceptions of people, our imaginations and how they make us judge or assume what people are like.

The characters were amazing, Q was sweet, sometimes he irritated me, but throughout the novel I learnt to live with it. Radar well, everything about him made me laugh, Ben was probably my favourite character, he was hilarious and there was something about him that I loved. Margo though, she was an amazing character that I to an extent admired, she made me laugh and made me all teary and sad, she was delightfully complex.

John does an amazing job of writing for and about teenagers, I loved how the characters were angst ridden and I found them easy to relate to.

Everyone demented with the mania of owning things. All the things paper-thin and paper-frail. And all the people, too. I've lived here for eighteen years and I have never once in my life come across anyone who cares about anything that matters."

This novel was hilarious all the way through, it had me laughing constantly.

The mystery was interesting, the clues I found hard to piece together and even though Margo was gone for the majority of the novel, I felt like the clues allowed me to get to know her. Even though the majority of the time I got to know her through Q's undying obsession that at points through the novel irked me, something about the way he went about looking for Margo at times annoyed me, but only for short bursts in time, then I was wrapped up in the awesomeness of the novel again.

Nerdfighters will adore all the talk of awesome in this novel, I sure did.

The ending, my oh my, does it have me wondering. It was shocking, and I must admit that I had a bit of a jaw dropping moment, I would not have picked what happened and the reactions and well, everything. I thought that the ending was great, I liked how ideal it was and then how it left you wanting to know more and more about the characters and what they actually did after you left them.

The town was paper, but the memories were not."

This wonderful novel gets four out of five from me, it was amazing and I had a lot of fun reading it. I would recommend it to anyone who reads YA because it's a great book and I would also recommend John's other books (though I have only read Looking for Alaska) because he is an author that you do not want to miss out on.

Author Interview: Melina Marchetta.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Melina Marchetta is an Australian author with four very popular books released: Looking For Alibrandi her first novel which she wrote when she was twenty one has won numerous awards and is one of Australia’s favourite YA novels, In 2000 Looking for Alibrandi hit the big screen, starring Pia Miranda and Anthony LaPaglia and Melina wrote the screenplay. Her other four acclaimed novels are: Saving Francesca, On the Jellicoe Road and Finnikin of the Rock (expect it out in the U.S in 2010), she’s currently working on her fifth novel The Piper’s Son.

Can you tell people who don't know much about your latest novel, Finnikin of the Rock all about it?

After the slaughter of its beloved royal family, the kingdom of Lumatere is cursed and half its people are trapped inside never to be heard from, and the other half are scattered in exile across the Land. Ten years later, Finnikin, once the best friend of the young prince and the son of the captain of the king’s guard, travels the land taking care of Lumateran refugees. Until he’s called to an abbey where a young woman, named Evanjalin, claims she can walk through the sleep of those trapped inside, as well as claiming that the prince is alive. Finnikin doesn’t believe her, but they’re stuck with each other and it all starts from there.

Who was the hardest character to write?

Definitely, Finnikin. He’s a bit pigheaded, at times, really. But I loved sitting back and watching Evanjalin slap him down. Although it’s not written in first person, most of the action is seen through his eyes, so I had to keep him more emotionally held back than the narrators of my other novels.

Who was your favourite character?

Perri the Savage. He’s the second in command of the Guard. A very dark character, who as a child and young man was a violent bully. But I wanted to show what happens when a character is trusted and the Captain of the Guard trusts him with his son, Finnikin and from that point on there’s no turning back with Perri. When I was a year coordinator at a boys’ school, sometimes you’d get the naughtiest, less trust worthy kid to run your errands and have the keys to your office. It was a gamble, but most times it worked because they took trust seriously.
Evanjalin is a favourite as well. As much as this is Finnikin’s journey, Evanjalin isn’t merely the love interest. She’s the one who challenges him and controls the narrative. But I had to be careful with her. I wanted her to be respected by the reader for all the right reasons. Sometimes, a female character is raved about because she knows how to fight and defend herself with the best of them and really, all that means is that we like her because she’s demonstrated traditional male hero traits. I didn’t want to do that with her. Apart from one or two fight scenes she’s forced to participate in, I wanted to show how she uses her brain and her faith to get them through situations and although you feel you can’t trust her, I’d like to think that the reader, like Finnikin, can’t help loving her and wanting to follow her.

What was your inspiration for Finnikin of the Rock?

Inspiration never really comes from one place. Sometimes a character hangs out with you, gives you a bit of information and you go with it. I’m the grand daughter of migrants. Displacement and loss of homeland are part of my story.

A lot of readers of Just Listen Book Reviews have yet to read Finnikin of the Rock because it's yet to be released in the U.S, but a lot of them have read On the Jellicoe Road, can you tell us about your inspiration for that?

A strange inspiration. I just wanted to write a boarding school story because I love them. On the surface it might look like a story about the territory war between three factions of this particular area, but for me, Jellicoe is about what happens when the lines between being enemies and friends are blurred. It’s about gathering community when community has been wiped out and it’s about the role fate plays in our lives and how we either become reactive to it, or proactive.

On The Jellicoe Road was a pretty intense novel, was it hard for you to write?

Oh very. I can’t even read the last fifty pages without crying and it’s my book and I know what happens! But I love the strong bonds in this novel, especially the relationship between Taylor and Jonah. It’s a tough book on the reader. I always say, ‘Be very patient. It’s not Alibrandi and Francesca. In Jellicoe, you find out things at the same time Taylor does and sometimes it’s a long time coming but I’d love to think that the patience pays off.

Of all your characters, do you think that you can choose a favourite?

Too hard. I think it’s Frankie Spinelli (SF) Her story is personal to me so I feel I know her well and I love her relationship with the very pragmatic Will (who at times reminds me of that stubborn Finnikin). And of course I love Tom Mackee from Saving Francesca because I’m writing his story in The Piper’s Son (see below)

When did you decide that you wanted to be a writer?

When I was writing Looking for Alibrandi at the age of 21 and knew I wanted that story to be published.

Do you have any advice for young aspiring writers?

My first novel was rejected about six times. It was re-written about ten times and took about six or seven years to be published. This writing business isn’t for those who have no passion for their work. You can’t give up.

Why do you write for young adults?

I tend to say that I write about this age group rather than for this age group. I think the age of seventeen is a powerful time in a person’s life because it could be the first time you make the really big decisions on your own rather than having to rely on your parents or teachers to make them for you. It’s a fascinating age and comes equipped with conflict. Perfect for a writer.

Can you tell us (in extreme detail) about the novel you're currently working on, The Piper's Son?

Hmmm. Haven’t learnt how to articulate this one yet so this is going to sound like a ramble. Sequel to Saving Francesca except it’s about Tom Mackee. The gang is 21. Tom’s estranged from the girls because of an awful family tragedy two years prior. He just couldn’t cope and gets lost for a while. At the start of the story he’s back in Frankie and Justine’s life, reluctantly. He’s a dish pig at the pub the girls work at that belongs to Justine’s uncle. They’re all still obsessed with music and used to be in a band together at university.
The rest of their people are overseas and their story is about how they cope with the distances between them. Frankie’s still with Will (I couldn’t have put two more different people together but somehow they work) and Tom has to make amends with Tara Finke because of something intense that happened to them in their second year of uni. That relationship is explored in a series of angry, funny, poignant emails and phone calls. It’s hard to conduct a love story when they are never in the same room but I’m hoping it works because I find it pretty romantic having to rely on words.
Mostly, it’s about not being able to bury your dead and the impact that has on Tom’s family. But for all the sadness, they are intensely dark- humoured people and I’ve had fun with them, despite the fact that I could easily cry every time I write a scene. Tom’s hard to write because he can’t articulate how he’s feeling.
The grown-ups get more of a story in this one, especially his pregnant Aunt Georgie and her estranged partner, Sam. (not quite the same themes as Mia and Robert in SF, but same dynamics) as well as Tom’s very fragile relationship with his father. It’s got a cast of thousands in the same way Saving Francesca has, but it’s still a small book with big themes. How to do all that without it being a sloppy cliché? I’m working very hard at it, I promise, but I think I’ve done it before and I can do it again. I never thought I’d say I’m crazy mad for Tom Mackee, but I am.

Favourite novel of all time?

My first was Anne of Green Gables. I’ll say over and over again that my life changed when Anne hit Gilbert Blythe over the head with the slate and that it influences my writing because I think I use that scene metaphorically over and over again in my novels – think Francesca Spinelli and Will Trombal in the Tolstoy/Trotsky face off (Saving Francesca)

Anything else you want to add?

Only that I suppose it’s difficult changing genres for both the writer and her readers. But I’m ecstatic about the reviews and letters for Finnikin. I either get them from people who are avid fantasy readers or those who have never read fantasy before. Once or twice I read a negative blog and I just have to just put it down to a reader not connecting with the world I’ve created or having their own expectations of what the novel should be before they start reading it. Someone commented on their disappointment that the action with the villain is off screen. But for me the villain isn’t the one-dimensional imposter king. It’s the hearts and mind of good people who turned their back on others who were suffering. It’s why I used the Primo Levi poem. Regardless of when it was written (Levi was an inmate at Auschwitz) he speaks about retribution - of what happens to people who look the other way when bad things are happening. Perhaps, deep down, that’s what I wanted to say.

Thank-you so much Melina!!

(Remember that if you post a comment on this interview you get another entry into my contest where you have the chance to win all of Melina's books.)

My First Competition!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Guess what came in the mail today? -- actually the most books I have ever received, but I'll tell you what you may be more interested in. Four signed novels by Melina Marchetta that I'm going to be giving away to two (2) lucky people!

What books have I got up for grabs?

*Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta.

*Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta.

*On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta, (hardcover).

And for residents out of Australia this is a HUGE ARC.

*Finnkin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta.

The lovely Melina Marchetta was very kind and sent me all of these books! So a HUGE yay for Melina Marchetta!!

So, how's this competition working? Well, two lucky people will get two books each. The first person I draw out will win:

*Finnkin of the Rock & Looking for Alibrandi.

The second person I pick out will win:

*On the Jellicoe Road & Saving Francesca.

How do you enter? Well, to enter all you have to do is comment on this post and leave your email address, extra entry's will be given if:

*You were a follower before this competition started that gets you three (3) extra entry's, (but you need to comment on this post so I know that you're interested).

*If you sign up to follow my blog then I will give you two (2) extra entry's.

*Another entry will be given if you comment on Melina Marchetta's interview that will posted in the next couple of days

*You will be given five (5) entry's if you advertise this competition on your blog (side bar is fine).

(Make sure you comment and tell me so that you don't miss out on your entry's).

This part is going to be tricky, as the competition is international YES INTERNATIONAL (seeing as if it wasn't I'd probably be sending the books to myself...) and all of our times are different. The competition will end roughly on Tuesday the 9th of December at midnight, so if you're north of the equator I'm guessing that it'll be Monday over there, so I'll post when the competition has officially ended to clear up confusion about the end of the competition.

Winners will be drawn and announced sometime Wednesday the 10th of December (my time) Tuesday your time. I'll post the winners on the blog and email them, they'll have two days to get in contact with me, if they don't, sadly enough, then I will draw out new winners.

I have read all of these books and can tell you that each and everyone of them is awesome. The review for Finnkin of the Rock can be found here and the review for Saving Francesca can be found here.

If this information has seriously confused you, email me at the address at the top of the page.

Well, good-luck!


Dear Everybody by Michael Kimball

Saturday, November 15, 2008

“Jonathan left all of these fragments behind and I have tried to put them back together in some kind of order. I hope that this hold him together”.

Rating: 5/5.

Summary:Jonathon Bender had something to say, but the world wouldn’t listen. That’s why he writes letters to everybody he has ever known—including his mother and father, his brother and other relatives, his childhood friends and neighbors, the Tooth Fairy, his classmates and teachers, his psychiatrists, his ex-girlfriends and his ex-wife, the state of Michigan, a television station, and a weather satellite. Taken together, these unsent letters tell the remarkable story of Jonathon’s life.

Review:My mum arrived home with a bag of books from her book club, out of curiosity I picked through the pile and that is where I found this wonderful novel. The first pages had me hooked and when I really got into this book there was no going back. It’s not like anything I’ve ever read before.
The book is written very differently, not using the traditional third or first person but letter form, with a collation of articles, excerpts from Jonathan’s eulogy and his mother’s diary and conversations between Robert and people who knew Jonathan.
This is a tragic story about abuse and suicide and how the victims deal with it. The letters are hard hitting, at some points throughout the novel I was gasping at what Jonathan had written.

“Dear Grandma and Grandpa Winters,
Thank-you for giving me the Etch-a-Sketch for my seventh birthday. I liked drawing with it better then drawing on the walls, but I always felt sick when I shook it and everything on it’s magic screen disappeared. It reminded me how my dad would grab me by both of my shoulders and shake me until everything went blank inside me too”.

Jonathan was very easy to love because he was so blunt and sweet, very sweet and that really just made you a little sadder. What I really liked about Jonathan was that when he wrote the letters to his abusive father you could tell by how he wrote them that he was like: stuff it. He never searched for approval from his father, he knew that he didn’t like him and he didn’t try and change that. His brother Robert on the other hand was a lot harder to like, he was in denial about everything and would make awful comments about his brother and didn’t seem to really care.

Jonathan’s mother Alice was tortured character who was frightened and it was hard not to feel the deepest sympathy for her. I hated his father, some conversations between Robert and Tom (the father) would make you feel sick, he treated Jonathan so badly.
The book leaves you with a lot of unanswered questions and depending on which characters you like and trust will leave you with your own opinion on whether what Jonathan was saying was true or false.
The story does a great job of showing Jonathan’s mental illness, Sara (his ex-wife) explains a lot of what happened to Jonathan in a very personal manner and really makes you seem like you were there.
The story was hauntingly real, the characters, the plot, the reactions, the circumstances.
It’s a quick and enjoyable read and it ends very abruptly.

I’m giving this novel five out of five, it was so dark (though not disturbing) yet touching, I loved reading this novel and would recommend it to anyone, especially fans of darker writers.


Also, stay tuned because in the next couple of days I will be posting my interview with Melina Marchetta (how exciting!) and giving out the information about my first contest!

I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have To Kill You by Ally Carter.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

"I suppose a lot of teenage girls feel invisible sometimes, like they just disappear. Well that's me - Cammie the Chameleon. But I'm luckier then most because, at my school, that's considered cool."

Rating: 2/5

Summary:Gallagher Academy is not for normal girls, it's for the exceptional, the students are trained to kick box in PE, disarm bombs in science and could kill someone with an uncooked piece of spaghetti.

The Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women may seem like your normal school for stuck up rich girls, but it's a school for spies.

Cammie Morgan is the headmistresses daughter, fluent in fourteen different languages and is nicknamed the chameleon because she's only seen when she wants to be.

But that all changes the day that Josh, a normal boy, sees her.

Review: I've been told so many great things about this novel. I've been trying to get my hands on it for ages and the day that I found this book in my local bookstore I thought that I'd struck gold, but sadly, this book disappointed me.

My first problem with this novel is how smart the girls are. They're geniuses, they're spies, but what escapes me is why they don't act like them, throughout the novel I was told how smart each girl was (over and over again) but I felt that I was never shown that they were smart.

My second problem is a fan girl one, the love

interest is one of the things about the book and really makes or breaks a novel for me, Josh...was sweet, a little weird and kind of funny, but...he wasn't... interesting enough. He was predictable, dull even. What I couldn't stand was that while they had their first kiss Cammie was babbling about how she wasn't going to describe what it was like because her mum was going to read this diary of hers.

Problem three:Cammie was a bit of a Mary Sue, all the characters forgave her actions after moments, she's with Josh and that is illegal in spy world and she doesn't get punished for her actions, and her mother is all: yes, yes, I knew, now, sleep well honey. Made me a little angry. She hurts Josh and he's beginning to forgive her. I didn't like that.

Problem four: the enormous title! At first it was cute and sweet, but after a while it got really annoying.

Problem five: the corniness. I can't stand corniness and I got a lot of it in this novel.

Problem six: I know that they're spies and that they save the world all the time, but they make Josh and people out of the school seem so useless and terrible and pathetic.

Problem seven: Repetitive.

I think that this novel had so much potential and it was wasted.

I think that I'll give this novel two stars. Maybe I shouldn't have gotten my hopes up so high, but this novel really disappointed me and I will not ever re-read it and I wouldn't recommend it.

I've noticed that a lot of the bloggers love this novel, and I totally respect that, I was wondering if you could comment and tell me why you enjoyed this book? I'm really interested in finding out why you loved it. :D

I thought that I'd share this cover with you seeing as it's different to the regular cover.


Amazing Because It Is.

Monday, November 10, 2008

I was tagged for the first time ever today! Whoo! And this was fun! Thank-you Kelsey!
Basically, with my iTunes, I have a lot of phases, so there's a lot of the same artists...don't tease my music taste. :D
1. Put Your iTunes, Windows Media Player, Winamp, etc on shuffle.
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
4. Put the artist after a dash following the song name.
5. Put any comments in brackets.
6. Tag some lucky people to spread the disease.

How would you describe yourself?
Promises - Broken Toy Airplanes.

How do you feel today?

The Scientist - Coldplay.

What is your life’s purpose?

Dusk and Summer - Dashboard Confessional.

What is your motto?

Big Sur - The Thrills.

What do you think about very often?

Breathing - Yellowcard.

What is your life story?

Clumsy Card House - Blue October.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

We Walk - The Ting Tings.

What will you dance to at your wedding?

A Whisper - Coldplay.

What will they play at your funeral?

You're So Damn Hot - Ok Go. (Oh, gosh, that made me laugh. Ha.)

What is your hobby/interest?

Prayers of the Refugee - Rise Against.

If you could do anything right now, what would it be?

Grand Theft Autumn - Fall Out Boy.

What do you want most of all?

Forever Young - Youth Group.

What is your greatest fear?

Spray On Pants - Kisschasey.

What is your darkest secret?

Rooftops and Invitations - Dashboard Confessional.

What is your favorite thing in the world?

Carry This Picture For Luck - Dashboard Confessional. (Can you tell that I'm a DBC fan?)

If you could have one wish, what would you wish for?

Imperfection - Skillet. (I was hoping for Money, Money, Money XD XD)

What is your theme song?

Now or Never - Josh Groban.

The next time you hear this song (aside from now, that is), you must dance.

Everywhere - Yellowcard. (That'll be interesting)

What will you post this as?

Amazing Because It Is - The Almost.

That was fun. And now to tag some people... (this is hard, seeing as I don't really know anyone well yet.)
Amanda (That Teen Can Blog) and Megan (Simply Books). Have fun!

-- Allie.

The Push by Julia Lawrinson.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Love is just about the only hold anyone can have over another person; if you have that, then nothing else in necessary.”

Rating: 5/5

Summary: (from Erica is restless for a life outside her office job, her boring boyfriend and her mother's tiny house in down-and-out Glebe.

In the 1950s, Sydney is quickly building a reputation for sinfulness, and some of the most attractively sinful people are to be found in a group known as the Push. They meet regularly to discuss their wicked ideas at the Royal George, and Erica is drawn into the captivating crowd.

Review:Doesn't the cover just sell this novel to you? I know the old saying: never judge a book by it's cover. But I don't agree with it in terms of reading, that's one of the first things I do. And this gorgeous cover is just the beginning of good things for this novel.

It's written in third person and in multiple perspectives to give you a good view of everyone and why they are the way they are, for example Trish, who is the best friend of the main character Erica, who introduces her to the notorious push, has a family that doesn't respect her and that causes her to rebel.

Erica is the main character and I think that as far as MC's go she was wonderful and easy to relate to. She's beautiful but shows that with beauty doesn't come everything, especially reassurance. We really watch her grow up throughout the story.

Johnno from the first time you see him is something special, his introduction is fantastic and you see that it suits his personality very well and it leaves a lasting impression on you. Some points through the novel I hated Johnno, but as it progressed that changed and I loved him more, he wasn't fickle, he was just passionate and wouldn't allow anything to sway his views.

I thought that Vanessa was a great character as well, very original. In the novel there was at least one character that you could relate to, Lawrinson's characters were realistic and interesting to read.

A major theme in this story is loss of innocence and it's carved marvelously throughout the story.

The emotion runs strong in The Push and something about the jealously Erica feels about Johnno and girls is very real.

Is she – was she with Johnno?” asked Erica.

It doesn't work like that,” Trish said. “It's more...fluid.”

I don't usually like books set in another time era, they tend to confuse me, but if you're one of those people like me then don't worry about it, the era doesn't make this novel hard to follow or annoying because of the way they speak or act. I actually really loved this novel because of it's era.

I may seem a little uninformed when I say that I had never heard of the the push (it was an actual real group of people) before reading this novel a few months earlier and I learnt a fair bit about it.

I love the ideas this novel possess and how opinionated the characters appear to be, the controversy was relevant for the time era.

I don't know whether it was intentional, but Lawrinson shows clearly which path Erica could have taken, she could have played it safe and stayed in the dining room at lunch with Jean and stayed in a relationship with boring David, but she chose the elusive push with Johnno.

She with me!” David said. “I'll punch your head in you impertinent pig.”

The man gave a small laugh. “Oh you will, will you?”

There are a few mini mysteries in this novel, based around Erica's absent sister Peggy and hearing things from Peggy's POV is great though she isn't having the best life.

Lawrinson's writing style is wonderful and I love the vague way she writes. She does a wonderful job of keeping the characters in character and keeping you hooked.

The ending! The ending was great! I can't believe how wonderful I thought it was and I'm so picky about the end. It was happy but at the same time it wasn't corny and allowed you to have your own and wide opinion of what happens next. It gave the best sense of closure and hope I have been given in a long time.

This book was a delight to read, everything was marvelous and I am having trouble thinking of something bad to say about it.

I'm giving this novel five out of five. It was different, interesting, the characters interesting and the plot great. Lawrinson may be an Aussie author and her novels may be hard to get a hold of for people in the U.S, but if you ever get the opportunity to read The Push take it, because you will not regret the twenty something dollars you spend to experience it.

Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen

Friday, November 7, 2008

Where’s your mother, Ruby?”

Rating: 4.5/5

Summary:Only a few months ago, Ruby, almost eighteen was abandoned by her mother. She’s been living in the yellow house, just getting by, but the game is up and she’s going off to live with her older sister Cora who left for college ten years ago and never returned and her husband Jamie.

Suddenly her life is transformed into the opposite of what it used to be. A luxurious house, private school, new clothes and even the chance to have a fulfilling future that Ruby could never have imagined.

But Ruby is having trouble accepting all this, trusting all of those around her who want to make her life easier for her.

There’s an upside though, the boy next door, Nate, genial, popular and sweet seems to understand her problems, maybe it’s because he’s hiding something of his own though.

Review: Mid April I got this novel, I waited a long seven, eight months for it and I must say it was worth it. Though, Lock and Key doesn’t compare to Just Listen (obviously I love that book, check out the blogs name XD), but fear not fans Dessen fans, it does not disappoint.

The plot was fantastic! Everything clicked and made sense, there were a few twists and turns, but they where good ones keeping the story off a boring path.

Ruby was a great character, very easy to relate to and very real, maybe even the realist of all of Dessen's characters, I loved her reactions to events. Nate was something special though (swoon) very intriguing, he was sweet and just so flawed, he was interesting and his secret was sad but a great twist. I enjoyed other characters in the story such as Gervais the little genius who loves to fart, Olivia who is constantly on her cell phone, Jamie with the huge family, Cora who is strong and has too many friends. Dessen writes some of the most amazing characters YA literature has ever seen and Lock and Key once again, raises the bar.

The descriptions were lovely and the emotion was portrayed and written wonderfully.

Dessen does something many authors don't, she has characters from old novels coming back and Lock and Key had a huge amount, people who have read a few of Dessen's novels will be constantly giggling throughout the novel and if you're new to Dessen's novels it will intrigue you.

The end had just the right amount of closure, it wasn't conry, it just signified the ending of an era, of letting go and that's the sort of ending I like.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book by Sarah Dessen, it touched upon so many topics and in the end won my heart.

Four and a half stars, this book was just fantastic and if you haven’t read a novel by Sarah Dessen yet, go on, what are you waiting for?