Tag Archives: Lo Loves
WELCOME BACK!! It’s time for another Swoony Boy Alert. First, some Joe Fontaine swoon. . .
Can we tell you how much we’ve missed these posts? And you, of course! *smothers* So what are Swoony Boy Posts? SBA’s are random and often incoherent posts in which we, and you, YES YOU, awesome reader, gather around a glass of something pink and sparkly and talk all about our favorite male characters in fiction. They can be old favorites, or boys we’re meeting for the first time.Read More »
From the book jacket: Jill MacSweeney just wishes everything could go back to normal. But ever since her dad died, she’s been isolating herself from her boyfriend, her best friends—everyone who wants to support her. And when her mom decides to adopt a baby, it feels like she’s somehow trying to replace a lost family member with a new one.
Mandy Kalinowski understands what it’s like to grow up unwanted—to be raised by a mother who never intended to have a child. So when Mandy becomes pregnant, one thing she’s sure of is that she wants a better life for her baby. It’s harder to be sure of herself. Will she ever find someone to care for her, too?
As their worlds change around them, Jill and Mandy must learn to both let go and hold on, and that nothing is as easy—or as difficult—as it seems.
Lo says: I could probably write a review for this that just says, “You guys, you have to read this. Please please read this.” And you would, and would agree with me that this book is amazing, and that Sara Zarr should be crowned Queen of All of the Things.Read More »
From the summary: Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness.
Elisa is the chosen one.
But she is also the younger of two princesses, the one who has never done anything remarkable. She can’t see how she ever will.
Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs the chosen one, not a failure of a princess.
And he’s not the only one who seeks her. Savage enemies seething with dark magic are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people’s savior. And he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake.
Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young.
Most of the chosen do.Read More »
As you know, Alison did a Swoony Boy Alert on Prince Po from Graceling not too long ago. I was totally convinced by her post (and by the enthusiasm from Leiah) to finally read Graceling.
I don’t need to do a full-blown review here – we’ve already pimped this book on the site – but there were a couple of things that have just completely stuck with me since finishing it last night and I have to unload my love here. For anyone out there who is on the fence about whether to read this book, honestly, it has been added to my favorites pile forever and ever.
It’s true that Po is seriously swoony. And, believe me, there were lines in the book that Alison could have included but didn’t because she didn’t want to spoil the impact. He sees Katsa for who she is at her best, worships her strength, and actually loves that she’ll always beat him in a fight. Po is a wonderful feminist.Read More »
First? SOME SWOONAGE:
OH SNAP! We’re bringing out the big guns. Go ahead, stare. I know I won’t be judging you. I looked at it for about 20 minutes before I was able to continue typing.
So, why the big guns, you ask? Well, today’s Swoony Rec is HOURGLASS by Myra McEntire and HOLY SWOON BATGIRL!Read More »
Welcome Back!!! It’s time for another Swoony Boy Alert!!
We’ve had so much fun with these posts, and want to thank each and every one of you for the emails, comments and tweets about your favorite swoony boys. We love to hear what you have to say and adore talking to all of you about books, writing, life and of course, swoon.
For the newcomers: What are Swoony Boy alerts, you ask? SBA’s are random posts in which we, and you, YES YOU, awesome reader, gather around a cup of tea/coffee/latte/sparkly pink drink to talk about our favorite male characters in fiction. They can be old favorites *cough*Mr. Darcy*cough* or new boys we’re meeting for the first time. Coming soon, the SBA’s will be joined by the Basass Chick On Boards (BCoB), posts spotlighting the most kick-ass girls in the YAdom.
BUT BUT BUT you guys? The time has come for us to talk about ADAM! *the world faints*
In June, Lo told you all about the A-M-A-Z-I-N-G Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi. And while compiling our list of Swoony Boys, we kept
squealing over coming back to one boy in particular: Adam (zomgswoonsflailsfaintsTATTOOS!) Kent. And stg, if there’s one fictional boy worthy of the title Swoony Boy, it’s Adam Kent.
From the book jacket: Seventeen-year-old Lennie Walker, bookworm and band geek, plays second clarinet and spends her time tucked safely and happily in the shadow of her fiery older sister Bailey. But when Bailey dies abruptly, Lennie is catapulted to center stage of her own life – and, despite her nonexistent history with boys, suddenly finds herself struggling to balance two. Toby was Bailey’s boyfriend; his grief mirrors Lennie’s own. Joe is the new boy in town, a transplant from Paris whose nearly magical grin is matched only by his musical talent. For Lennie, they’re the sun and the moon; one boy takes her out of her sorrow, the other comforts her in it. But just like their celestial counterparts, they can’t collide without the whole wide world exploding.
Lo sputters: I don’t even really know where to begin. I’ve literally just closed the back cover, heaved out the most satisfied of sighs, and then leaped up, sprinted to the computer, and started furiously typing. This book is, simply put, breathtaking.
I was nervous about reading it, and even though many people whose Book Opinions I put above all others told me I MUST READ IT NOW – still, I hesitated. My brother died in a car accident when I was fifteen, only days before his twenty first birthday. Now, I have a living sister whose life I treasure with this kind of terrified, adoring cling, and sibling death books haunt me. There are some lines in this book that felt so perfectly crafted that I almost hated them.
-I don’t have a clue what to do with my face or body or smashed up heart.
-My sister dies over and over again, all day long.
-I can’t shove the dark out of my way.
-When I introduced Bailey, I felt like I was presenting the world’s most badass work of art.
It’s hard to be reminded that there is someone who is gone before they made all of the wonderful memories of a lifetime truly lived, or that the memories that were made have been completely erased from the world’s Library of Memories. And this is the opening subject of the book; admittedly, it could hit a reader with a spiked mace of painful WHOMP.
But somehow, like Gayle Foreman with If I Stay and Where She Went, Jandy Nelson manages to convey grief without writing a book that feels repellingly leaden with its sadness. What’s more, without even one awkward seam, Nelson weaves in all of the other things that are happening at seventeen: fears, sexuality, longing, loneliness, inconsistency, confusion, misunderstanding, discovery, mistakes, lust.Read More »
It seems fitting that we start this post with Stephanie Perkin’s Amazon review. Perkins is, of course, one of our favorite writers of swoon, and yet here we are recommending a very hard, very non-swoony book. It’s perfect to us because it shows the depth and breadth of the literature available to adults and young adults. In a wonderfully concise review, Perkins has captured the brilliance that is Forbidden.
Tabitha Suzuma has crafted a harrowing, sexy, heart wrenching, and heartbreaking masterwork about one of our last remaining taboos. Lochan and Maya are the oldest children of an alcoholic, absentee mother. The burden of raising their three younger siblings has fallen upon them, and they have been forced to mature into parents. As their friendship is strengthened, and as they become dependent upon one another for survival, their parental relationship develops into a new stage: romantic love.
An alternating first-person narration immerses the reader deep inside the hearts of the characters. Suzuma takes great care to help us understand how such a situation could arise and allows us to be sympathetic for it–even root for it–though we know, just as Lochan and Maya know, that the future of a Happily Ever After is unlikely.
This is a powerful novel about love in all of its forms. About teenagers forced to become adults, and about children forced to acknowledge new parents. Particularly stressful is the second oldest boy, Kit, whose every appearance carries an impending sense of disaster.
Forbidden never let me set it down. It never let me stop worrying. And it never let me stop hoping for the best. –Stephanie Perkins
As you can see, Forbidden isn’t a book that is appropriate for our Swoony Recs page. The characters may be any number of wonderful things, but the categories we save for this site—our fun zone—don’t fit this book at all. Lochan is truly wonderful but it feels shallow to call him swoony. Maya is amazing, but ‘badass’ feels much too light-hearted. And although we’ve both gone back and reread particularly powerful passages, we probably couldn’t handle a complete re-read in any near future. However, for both of us, Forbidden goes straight to the top of the favorites pile.
The problem is that we can’t in good conscience really recommend Forbidden to anyone. It’s like telling someone to go watch Ponette or La Vita è Bella (Life is Beautiful). Wonderful, sure. But it hurts, and it’s hard, and here the subject matter is both devastating and a little cringey.
Still, it’s hard to not recommend it, to want to share it with everyone we know, discuss and then relish the heartache together. Even though it didn’t fit our usual campy content, this book has hit us so hard and so fiercely it felt weird to not bring it to this site. Forbidden is beautifully crafted and executed. We both read it in a single, sleepless night, and then sobbed together the following day.
We are so hammered by our love for this book and so many of our expectations were dissolved away when we read. The characters are deeply, richly drawn, so intimate and real, that we hurt when they hurt. We hope hope hope for them so acutely, even when a part of us feels like we can’t, or shouldn’t.
There are very few situations in which this book would work. Few authors could craft a story that would make us understand incest, let alone support Lochan and Maya’s decisions the way we did while reading. And although we both love happily ever afters, the truth is that sometimes the perfect ending isn’t the characters dancing off together to the singing of birds and the rustling of fallen leaves. Sometimes, the only way a story can end is with heartbreak and triumph and hope and devastation and redemption and surrender. The world that Suzuma built is a real one, and a hard one, and one that neither of us wants to let go of quite yet.
Read More »
Summary: Sam leads a pretty normal life. He may not have the most exciting job in the world, but he’s doing all right–until a fast food prank brings him to the attention of Douglas, a creepy guy with an intense violent streak.
Turns out Douglas is a necromancer who raises the dead for cash and sees potential in Sam. Then Sam discovers he’s a necromancer too, but with strangely latent powers. And his worst nightmare wants to join forces . . . or else.
With only a week to figure things out, Sam needs all the help he can get. Luckily he lives in Seattle, which has nearly as many paranormal types as it does coffee places. But even with newfound friends, will Sam be able to save his skin?
Lo says: I have no qualms admitting that I’m a girl who really likes some romance in a book. I mean, who is surprised? Our website is called Swoontini, amIright? I can even admit that I particularly like when the main conflict gets all tangled up in the romance – in creative ways (See Daughter of Smoke and Bone for example), but even the fun I Was Sent Here to Kill You But How Could I Possibly With Those Insane Biceps?
Hold Me Closer, Necromancer really isn’t that kind of book. At all. And it’s AWESOME. Sam is kind of a sweet mild loser, not really great at anything other than being nice, works at a burger joint. (We later find out he weighs like 150 pounds and honestly, just…no. I would break him like a twig.) Don’t get me wrong, there is romance here (more on that later) but it’s definitely not the central theme in the book. but. but! but!! I didn’t miss it at all. The characters were amazing, McBride writes an entire cast so well (I need to get better at this argh) and everyone stayed true to type the entire book. The dialogue was so fun and perfect and <insert high pitched happy noise here>
I love Ramon and Frank and Brooke. I love the evil Douglas (eep, he’s really creepy actually). I love Dunaway (the page where he’s introduced seriously made me snort like three times out loud. I’m such a laydee.) And I LOVE Brid. Love Brid + Sam even more.
One of my favorite aspects of the book was how Sam’s power isn’t something that he keeps from everyone in his life. He tells everyone – friends yes, but also strangers who seem trustworthy. If you think about it, that’s pretty refreshing. Usually secret powers are just that – shh shh sekrit – and not to knock on those books either (*cough*) but I loved how Sam was all “Help? I just found out that I can raise the dead. That’s weird, right? Anyone? Bueller?”Read More »
Clara Gardner has recently learned that she’s part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn’t easy.
Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place—and out of place at the same time. Because there’s another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara’s less angelic side.
As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she’d have to make—between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?
Unearthly is a moving tale of love and fate, and the struggle between following the rules and following your heart.
Lo says: Sometimes I want to review a book with a single word — SWOONY, or maybe HEARTCLENCH– and hope that those single descriptions carry enough of my enthusiasm to make my friends want to read it.
UNEARTHLY almost got a one word review. I pretty much just want to yell TUCKER! over and over again and hope that everyone flocks to their local (indie) bookstore to buy a copy.
Honesty time: it took me about 50 pages to get into this book, but Leiah and Tonya had raved about it so much that I knew I would get to that can’tputitdown stage if I just hung in there. I think UNEARTHLY was the first victim of my Reading Slump because it was a start-stop-start-stop for me, but I’ve since gone back and re-read the first several chapters again and they’re outstanding. So I think I was just mentally impaired in early August.
::awkward silence where no one disagrees with me::
Aaaanyway, the premise is that Clara is an angel-blood, has visions about her purpose (her entire reason for being put on the planet, KIND OF A BIG DEAL), and these visions propel her mother to move Clara and her brother from California to Wyoming. That’s when the real fun starts because in Jackson Hole, Clara meets a host of characters, including Christian, Wendy, Angela and… (all together now) TUCKER!Read More »