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Welcome to Paula and Sarina's Book Blog! Avid readers, hard core fan girls of fictional literary male characters, proud library captains. We started this blog because of our love for reading YA novels and decided to share our thoughts on the books we read. We hope you enjoy our blog and contact us if you have any questions :)

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Wednesday, 7 August 2013
Name: Pushing The Limits
Author: Katie McGarry
Date Published: July 31, 2012
Grade: A

Goodreads Summary: No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with "freaky" scars on her arms. Even Echo can't remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal.But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo's world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible.

Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she'll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again.


Review: I remember reading the summary for this book when it first came out and wanting to read it very badly. However, as the release date passed, Pushing The Limits started slipping lower and lower on my TBR list. Finding myself in a reading slump, I usually turn to novels that are driven by one key element - romance. This novel had romance, but it also contained a emotionally driven story that had me at the edge of my seat throughout my reading experience.

The chapters are told through the point of view of the main characters, Echo and Noah. I find myself being drawn to these stories more now as you can see into the minds of both love interests. Not only is this a major bonus in my books, but I noticed that lately these books are the ones that keep me engaged longer. Thinking back to the book now, I realize that this story reminded me a lot of The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay. Though not quite up to the level of Millay's masterpiece, Pushing The Limits features alternating points of view and two characters with emotional pasts. Apparently, these stories are my element, and boy do they ever keep a reader entertained.

Another reason why my eyes were glued to this novel was the writing and pacing. Katie McGarry's writing was vivid enough to make each scene translate into movie scenes in my head. Not to mention the scenes between Noah and Echo had butterflies - or as Echo would say pterodactyls - flying rapidly around my stomach.
 When I can find an author who can do that, I know that I can always turn to their novels during any of my reading slumps. The pacing, too, of the relationship and even the revelations of Echo's past pieced together wonderfully and always kept the reader engaged in the plot.

Though this book may have received many mixed reviews (some people loved it and some people just couldn't connect with it), I definitely could not tear myself away from the world Katie McGarry created. Her story reminded me of Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles with its sizzling chemistry and complex characters. If you loved Perfect Chemistry then you cannot miss this book. If you haven't read either book, I highly suggest you give both a try!

Happy reading!

~ SARINA

Friday, 2 August 2013
Name: Meant to Be
Author: Lauren Morrill
Date Published: November 13, 2012
Grade: A 

Goodreads Summary: 
Meant to be or not meant to be... that is the question. 


It's one thing to fall head over heels into a puddle of hazelnut coffee, and quite another to fall for the—gasp—wrong guy. Straight-A junior Julia may be accident prone, but she's queen of following rules and being prepared. That's why she keeps a pencil sharpener in her purse and a pocket Shakespeare in her, well, pocket. And that's also why she's chosen Mark Bixford, her childhood crush, as her MTB ("meant to be").

But this spring break, Julia's rules are about to get defenestrated (SAT word: to be thrown from a window) when she's partnered with her personal nemesis, class-clown Jason, on a school trip to London. After one wild party, Julia starts receiving romantic texts . . . from an unknown number! Jason promises to help discover the identity of her mysterious new suitor if she agrees to break a few rules along the way. And thus begins a wild goose chase through London, leading Julia closer and closer to the biggest surprise of all: true love.

Because sometimes the things you least expect are the most meant to be.


Review: I completely devoured this one, man, I had such a good time reading it. I think it was definitely the most fun I've had reading a book in a long time. Like some reviews are saying, I found Meant to Be similar to Anna and the French Kiss: Cute, quirky, FUN.  

Reasons why Meant to Be was meant for me :)))

1. Firstly, the cover screams adorable YA romance (okay I admit I kind of judge books by their covers)

2. Julia, the main character, is one of the most lively, animated characters I've had the pleasure of reading about in a long time. She's awkward, witty, undoubtedly clumsy, a swimmer, a "book licker", a rule follower, and undeniably hilarious.  Her voice is strong and constant throughout the entire book. Not only did her observations and thoughts make me laugh out loud every other page, I found Julia crazy relatable, as I saw so much of myself in her character. 

3. Jason, I admit, came off annoying and arrogant in the beginning, (spoiler... however you should all see this coming anyways) but like Julia, I ended up falling for him hard. His care-free personality and optimism makes him incredibly lovable- how can you not fall for a boy who takes you to a small British Cafe and dances with you? Or serenades you with your favorite Beatles song in a skatebaording park? 

4. The unlikely romance formed between this couple, the strict rule follower and the laid back rule breaker, is swoon-worthy. Watching this young couple experience first love together- without them even knowing that they're falling for each other- is so exciting. It's how most girls my age dream of falling for a guy. Not to mention it takes you on a ten day adventure around London. 

5. Just when you think the story is becoming predictable and you feel as if you already know how everything will end (because that's what I initially thought)- BOOM, Lauren Morrill inserts a twist or two into the plot. I thought the ending was great, perhaps a little rushed though. 

Overall, Meant to Be was a book filled with comedy and romance (kinda like a romcom in book form?). The story kept you on your feet and the characters worked perfectly together. It also offers a little reminder that sometimes, the image we conjure up in our heads of a perfect "happily ever after" can be completely different from reality. I'd definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for a happy-go-lucky, fun read. 

Have fun laughing out loud to yourself with this one!

PAULA :)