Thoughts and feelings about the world…

Goodbye

I am no longer going to post as Author Analysis. The ride has been fun, but I started a new blog because I have a new name. Please check it out; it’s called Vivian’s Vitamins.

I appreciate everyone who has read and commented on this blog, and I hope you’ll join me at my new blog.

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The Boy Book

TBB

Title: The Boy Book

Author: E. Lockhart

Warnings: Spoilers (and I spill the ending)! 

A summer has passed since TBL. Ruby Oliver is now a junior at fictional Tate Prep in Seattle, Washington. The school year brings changes: Ruby learns a secret about Noel, she forms a secret agency with Noel, she gets a job, she starts getting notes from her ex, and she goes away on a school retreat.

At school that first day back, Ruby sees Noel in her fourth-period Chemistry class. He asks her to be his lab partner, and she says yes. After class, they walk toward the cafeteria together for lunch. When they’re a few feet away from the entrance, Noel grabs her arm and drags her into the bushes where no one can see them. He reveals that he has asthma; despite this, he smokes cigarettes. Ruby asks why he smokes, and Noel says having restrictions bothers the hell out of him.

Ruby’s ex-best friend Kim is away spending a semester in Japan. First day back, everyone is talking about Kim’s epic going-away party, but nobody talks directly to Ruby. She finds out that another student (Cabbie) allegedly took a picture of Nora sitting topless in a hot tub. Ruby is pissed when she finds out, and she and Noel form a top-secret agency (Hooter Rescue Squad) to try and retrieve the pictures before they’re passed around the school. Unfortunately, they don’t succeed; Cabbie brings the pictures to school and gives copies to his friend Darcy. Ruby rips up all the ones of Nora calling Darcy a pig.

Ruby gets a job at the Woodland Park Zoo. Her therapist Doctor Z. suggested she get a job so she has something to focus on besides the badness that happened last year; if she isn’t always focused on what happened in the past, she may not have as many panic attacks. She enjoys watching the penguins; she gives a talk about their diet with some fun facts.

Ruby’s ex-boyfriend Jackson begins to write notes and leave them in her mail cubby. Throughout the book, Ruby struggles with how she feels toward him; she finds that she still has feelings for him. She knows that he isn’t the person she’d thought he was when they first started dating, but she still misses being Jackson’s girlfriend.

Ruby goes on a school trip; she goes to a tiny island off the coast of Seattle. She and her classmates watch movies and discuss philosophy. Noel leaves the trip early and won’t tell Ruby why; one of the teachers says someone in Noel’s family got sick and he had to go home. When Ruby gets home, she goes to Noel’s house to see him; she apologizes for butting into his business. Noel says he was an ass and says that he was the person who was sick. He says he’s been ignoring his asthma for awhile, but kept having taking asthma attacks on the trip. He told the teachers what was going on, and they called his parents who made him come home to see the doctor. Noel says he’s taking the pills and he’s given up smoking.

The theme in this book is right and wrong in friendship. While working at the zoo, Ruby sees Jackson with another girl; all through the book, she struggles with the idea of telling Kim or not telling Kim. For one thing, they’re not friends anymore, and Megan says it’s none of Ruby’s business. But Ruby’s not so sure. She feels an ache for Kim—for the kind of friends they used to be—and when Kim shows up at Canoe Island (she came back to Seattle because she didn’t like the exchange program; her host family was mean to her), Ruby tells her that Jackson is cheating on her. Unfortunately for Ruby, Kim doesn’t believe her.

Another way the theme is explored is when Nora tells Ruby that she likes Noel. When Ruby, Kim, Cricket, and Nora were all friends, they had all kinds of ground rules for dating because they didn’t want boys to split up their foursome, and the biggest rule was that if your friend calls dibs on a boy, she’s called dibs. Ruby realises that she also has feelings for Noel, but Nora voiced hers first. Ruby really can’t do anything about it.

I really liked this book; it was a good sequel. I like how Ruby managed to make up with one of her old friends. 

Thanks for reading; I really do appreciate it.

🙂

Title: The Boyfriend List

Author: E. Lockhart

Warnings: Spoilers (and I spill the ending)!

TBL is the first book in The Boyfriend Quartet. I read it for the first time when I was about twelve; I read it for a summer reading assignment. I loved it. I found it in my high-school library so I decided to read it again.

The book is about a fifteen-year-old girl (Ruby) who’s had a rough past ten days. She’s begun to have panic attacks because of everything that’s happened. When her parents see her having a panic attack at the dinner table, they call their friends to get therapist recommendations. Ruby ends up with Doctor Lorraine Zackzkowski (Dr. Z). She makes Ruby write a list of all the boys she’s ever crushed on, dated, wished she’s dated—everything. The end result is a list of fifteen boys; Ruby has to tell Dr. Z the story behind each boy and has to explain about the Spring Fling debacle that’s led to her current social status at school.

The first boy on Ruby’s list is Adam Cox. He was in Ruby’s preschool class; she liked him so much that she named a stuffed bunny after him. When Ruby turns five, she goes to kindergarten at Tate Preparatory School and Adam goes somewhere else. When Ruby is thirteen, she sees Adam again an inter-school dance. She tries to talk to him, but either Adam really doesn’t remember her, or he pretends not to because he ignores her.

The second boy on the list is Finn Murphy. In the second-grade, he and Ruby are in the library looking at a wildlife book together. Two girls (Ariel and Katarina) see them and tease them. Ruby stops talking to Finn after that day. In the tenth-grade, Ruby’s best friend Kim Yamamoto hooks up with Finn; Ruby tries to get past what happened in elementary-school.

The third boy on Ruby’s list in John “Hutch” Hutchinson. In the fourth-grade, he put a bag of gummy bears in her mail cubby. But one day, he puts a bag of the same gummy bears in Ariel’s mail cubby. Ruby tells Dr. Z that she felt he was replacing her.

The fourth boy on Ruby’s list is Gideon Van Deusen, her ex-friend Nora’s older brother. Gideon is about three years older than Ruby. She starts liking him when she is eleven, and writes “Ruby loves GVD” on her shoe. Nora accidentally sees it, and promises she won’t tell. She doesn’t keep the promise; Gideon sees her shoe and says he is flattered. Nothing ever progresses between them. He always treats her like a sister.

The fifth boy on Ruby’s list is Ben Moi. He is at Ruby’s summer camp after the sixth-grade. Ruby has a crush on him; she thinks he was golden. Unfortunately, he doesn’t know she existed.

The sixth boy on Ruby’s list is Tommy Hazard. Tommy is a fictional boy made up by Kim and Ruby on their seventh-grade hike. Tommy is the boy who is Ruby’s perfect boyfriend; he has all the qualities she wants in a real boyfriend.

The seventh boy on Ruby’s list is Chase Williams. In the seventh-grade, he gives her a pretty beaded necklace, but he never asks her out; he has his friend Josh do all the taking. Unfortunately for Chase, Ruby doesn’t like him back.

The eighth boy on Ruby’s list is Sky. Ruby meets him at a swim meet (they go to different schools) and she gives him her e-mail address. They keep in touch, and he asks her out. They have a fun date, but the next day Ruby sees him at the mall with his arm around another girl. She asks around, and finds out Sky has had the same girlfriend for three months.

The ninth boy on Ruby’s list is Michael Malone. They meet at summer camp when Ruby is thirteen. Ruby is grossed out by him. During a game of Spin the Bottle, he gets her; unfortunately for Ruby, Michael is her first kiss.

The tenth boy on Ruby’s list is Angelo Martinez. Ruby knows him because his mom is best friends with her mom Elaine. They go to Homecoming at Angelo’s school one year.

The eleventh boy on Ruby’s list is Shiv Neel. They have Drama Elective together freshman-year, and they are assigned to do a project together. Shiv asks Ruby to be his girlfriend, and she says yes. Ruby tells her friends all about it, and her friend Cricket McCall asks what he smelled like. That makes all of them laugh, and Shiv ignores her after overhearing them laughing (it is a misunderstanding).

The twelfth boy on Ruby’s list is Billy. She meets him at a toga party during freshman-year. He says he’ll call her but he never does.

The thirteenth boy on Ruby’s list is Jackson Clarke. He is Ruby’s boyfriend for most of her sophomore-year. He isn’t that great of a boyfriend; he is a liar and a manipulator. He eventually dumps Ruby for Kim.

The fourteenth boy on Ruby’s list is Noel DuBoise. He gets involved with her after a rumor regarding the two of them gets spread around the school. They get into a fight when Noel tells Ruby that she needs to forget about all the fake girls she’s been calling her friends. Ruby makes him a card for an apology, and they become friends.

The fifteenth boy on Ruby’s list is Shep “Cabbie” Cabot. He’s a year older than her and he plays rugby. He asks her out and they go see a movie. He gropes her breast in a movie theatre; she finds him good at that, but not interesting so she breaks up with him.

The Spring Fling debacle is when it all starts to go downhill for Ruby. Jackson breaks up with Ruby before the dance and begins dating Kim. Kim isn’t going to be in Seattle for the dance; she suggests Jackson take Ruby as friends. Ruby kisses him and he kisses her back, but changes his tune when he gets caught. Jackson tells Kim what happened; Kim hates Ruby and calls her a slut. Cricket and Nora side with Ruby, justifying it because they say Ruby stole Kim’s boyfriend.

Then the boyfriend list debacle makes everything even worse. Ruby throws away her first draft of her list for Dr. Z; she throws it away in a school garbage can and Kim digs it out. In retaliation for trying to steal Jackson, Kim photocopies the list and puts a copy in every high-schooler’s mail cubby. Ruby loses all her friends, and nobody in school will talk to her.

In the novel’s conclusion, Jackson and Kim are still together. Ruby realises she still has feelings for Jackson, even though he didn’t turn out to be the person Ruby thought he was. Kim and Cricket aren’t speaking to Ruby; Nora is (a little bit).

This was a great book. I loved the story, especially how it flashes back to things that happened when Ruby was in middle school, and then to her at fifteen when she’s telling Dr. Z about them. What I really liked about this book was the footnotes.

This is the first fiction book I’ve read that has footnotes, and I found that I really enjoyed them. Inside the footnotes are explanatory comments, ramblings, or lists of movies used to make Ruby’s points more effectively.

I liked the footnotes because they were a clever way to ramble yet stay on the topic simultaneously.

The most important thing is E.’s theme. It’s actually a theme I’ve never read about before.

Slut-shaming.

You read that right. The theme of this book is slut-shaming. (But in a good way). Characters in this book use the word “slut” like it’s a part of ordinary every day conversation. And nobody bats an eye; they just look the other way. Ruby’s American History & Politics teacher Mr. Wallace gives a massive lecture on this behavior. Megan Flack (a friend of Ruby’s) constantly gets slut-shamed for multiple reasons. Ruby is guilty of this herself, (labeling Megan as a slut) but she changes her ways and apologizes when she becomes a victim of it. (Ruby gets slut-shamed after everyone reads the boyfriend list).

I really liked this book, and I was impressed that while it contained prep-school drama, it also had substance. Never really thought much about slut-shaming before reading TBL. It was bold of E. to choose this as a theme for her first book.

I’d totally recommend this book, and I will update again soon.

An Explanation

Happy (very belated!!) 2013!!

Just to clear the air, I am still alive. I have several blog posts in the making, but they’re still not ready for delivery. I overheard these girls in my History class discussing my blog. One of them said, “Is Author Analysis still alive? She kinda dropped off.” Her friend said, “Yeah, she hasn’t updated since French Kiss.” I felt really bad after hearing those comments, so I thought I’d let those girls know that I am still alive, and that I am not quitting my blog.

I know that at one point, I did say something about my posting, but I’m actually embarrassed that I haven’t delivered anything in 2013 yet. I probably should have posted an explanation earlier. 

I just went on my spring break, so I promise to have something posted early or mid next week. I just have to tweak it a little bit. In case you want to check the book out before reading my review, I’ll be reviewing The Boyfriend List. 

Just wanted to explain why the shortage of postings was happening, and I hope the girls at school (and everyone else!!) understands and accepts my explanation.

In case you’re wondering what I’ve been up to since August 2012, here are the highlights:

  •  I got a tattoo—the awareness symbol for HLHS. It’s a red and blue ribbon in the shape of heart; people say it looks like a Fruit-Roll Up. (9/23/12).
  •  I (informally) changed my name. Informal means that it’s not legal; my teachers (6/7) and my friends call me by the name I prefer, but not my family. I chose Vivian. Everyone’s asking if I’m going to legally change it to Vivian when I hit 18, but I’m leaning toward “No” on that one. (6/19/12).
  • My mom made me two Eiffel Tower necklaces. One is set on an oval-shaped charm and covered in silver glitter; the other is on a rectangle charm and covered in blue glitter. 
  • I got a fave word: Ennui. It’s a French SAT word, and it’s pronounced on-wee. It means boredom. Use it in a sentence. Example: I experience random bouts of ennui. 

Good luck and good night!!

~Cynthia/Vivian

Title: Diary Of A Crush—French Kiss

Author: Sarra Manning

Warnings: Spoilers (and I spill the ending)!

DOAC—FK is the first book in the DOAC trilogy. Two weeks ago I reviewed the third book and last week I reviewed the second book. Now I’m back to review the first book. 

Edith “Edie” Wheeler has just moved from Brighton, England to Manchester, England. Edie is sixteen and doing her A-levels at the local college. I was confused about the whole “sixteen years old and in college” thing so I Googled information about the British school system (it’s not explained in the book). All you need to know is that the college Edie is attending is equivalent to an American high-school and the A-levels are exams taken to determine what university you can attend; they are the British version of the American ACT/SAT. So Edie is basically a senior taking exams to get into college next year.

Edie feels out of place among the students and has trouble making friends, probably because she’s the newest student and possibly the youngest (everyone else is mostly eighteen and nineteen). She spots Dylan Kowalski from across the lawn at school, and immediately falls head-over-heels in love with him. She learns that he’s three years older than her, has already done his A-levels, and that he’s one of the popular boys.

Edie signs up for a Photography course where she hopes to make some friends. Edie talks to girl named Mia about Dylan, and Mia says everyone at school has a crush on him. She also talks to a girl named Shona, who’s been Dylan’s best friend since nursery school. For a project in the class, Edie gets paired up with Dylan. They go to an old abbey and Dylan kisses Edie. He then tells her it didn’t happen, which leaves Edie confused. Edie later figures that Dylan found out she had a monster crush on her, and kissed her to mess with her and make Mia jealous.

Edie’s Photography class goes to Paris for five days; that’s where the main action of the story takes place. The trip starts off bad for Edie because she has to wake up early and she’s not a morning person. It only worsens when they get to the hotel. She’s sharing a room with Mia and Shona; their room is on the fifth floor and the hotel doesn’t have an elevator. Edie gets in a fight with Mia; the fight ends when Edie throws Mia’s bag out the window. As punishment, she isn’t allowed to go to dinner with everyone else. On her way back to the hotel, Shona stops by McDonald’s and picks up a meal for Edie.

Dylan and Edie hang out in Paris, and there’s a lot of tension between them. Dylan says he’s not sure if he should go out with Edie because of the age difference and he knows she’ll get hurt. He keeps kissing her and then ignoring her. Dylan briefly considers being friends with benefits with her, but Edie doesn’t think she can handle Dylan going out with her and someone else. Edie eventually gives him an ultimatum: They can either be a couple or they can be friends.

The book ends with Dylan and Edie as a couple on the way back to England.

I really liked this book; I especially liked how they went to Paris. There’s a bit of French in the book when they’re in France. 

I’d definitely recommend this.

Title: Diary Of A Crush—Kiss and Make Up

Author: Sarra Manning

 Warnings: Spoilers (and I spill the ending)!

 DOAC—KAMU is the second book in the DOAC trilogy. Last week I reviewed the third book. I’ve gotten the second book since then, so I figured I’d review it. I actually read this book when I was about twelve, but I’d borrowed it from the public library. 

Dylan Kowalski and Edith “Edie” (Eee dee) Wheeler have finally gotten together, and although Edie knows she loves Dylan he makes things difficult. He has all these relationship rules (no pet names, don’t go to his house). Edie’s friend Shona has started dating Dylan’s friend Paul. This creates a problem because Dylan’s ex Mia wants Paul. Edie asks Dylan to talk to Mia; their “talk” goes well when Edie sees Dylan kissing Mia. She breaks up with him.

Edie spends the summer trying to forget about Dylan. This becomes especially hard for her when she realises Dylan has a new girlfriend. Her name is Veronique and she does not hide her dislike for Edie. Edie thinks she’d feel better if she has a boyfriend so she starts going out with Veronique’s brother Carter.

At her mom Alice’s suggestion, Edie gets a job at Anna’s Cafè and meets Poppy, who is another waitress there. She also meets Poppy’s shy little sister Grace. She and Poppy become good friends, but their relationship becomes strained when Carter kisses Poppy. Poppy tells Edie and at first Edie believes her, but after speaking to Carter, Edie doesn’t believe Poppy. 

Edie goes to a music festival with Poppy, Grace, Atsuko, Darby, Carter, Shona, Dylan, and Veronique. At the festival, Grace accidentally gets high on acid and gets lost; Edie eventually finds her and takes her back to a worried Poppy. Edie breaks up with Carter and gets back together with Dylan, who’s broken up with Veronique. 

I liked this book, but Carter was annoying. I really like Grace and Poppy. I would recommend this; it’s a great summer read.

Title: Diary Of A Crush—Sealed With A Kiss

Author: Sarra Manning

 Warnings: Spoilers (and I spill the ending)!

 DOAC—SWAK is the last book in a trilogy. The trilogy tells the love story of Dylan Kowalski and Edith “Edie” (Eee dee) Wheeler, two young adults living in Manchester, England. I haven’t read the first book (DOAC—French Kiss) and I read the second (DOAC—Kiss And Make Up), but it’s been a few years since I read it.

Dylan and Edie are back together after breaking up in DOAC: Kiss And Make Up; to celebrate, they plan a road trip across America. Dylan doesn’t tell Edie, but he has another motive for the trip: He wants to find his dad, who walked out on him and his mom.

Dylan and Edie get a car and travel all over America. They go to New York, Washington D.C., Pennsylvania, Niagara Falls, Michigan, Illinois, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, and California.

The trip to America is basically uneventful until Mississippi, which is where Dylan finds his dad Lenny. Dylan hadn’t told Edie about finding his dad, and when she finds out she breaks up with him because she doesn’t think he trusts her. She decides not to fly home because Dylan needs a friend. Edie keeps in contact with British friend Grace, who is struggling with a crush on a boy named Jack. 

Edie gets sick in Texas and winds up in the hospital. Dylan thinks they should forget the rest of their trip and fly back to England, but Edie says they should continue with their trip. After a few days in the hospital (Edie had a non-specific viral infection), they get back on the road. 

Things are uneventful again until Nevada. Dylan and Edie go to Las Vegas, and Edie tries to get Dylan to sleep with her (they’re still broken up at this point; though Edie longs to get him back, she doesn’t tell Dylan how she feels). He leaves their hotel room because he loves her but doesn’t think she loves him; he doesn’t want to sleep with her unless she loves him. When Edie finds Dylan, he’s sitting in the hotel bar with a surprise: A marriage license. Edie thinks Dylan is playing her, but they admit they still love each other and can’t live without each other. Edie says no to marrying Dylan because she’s only nineteen and she thinks they’re too young. 

The book ends with Dylan and Edie in London; they’re about to go to separate colleges. Edie says she’ll marry Dylan if he asks again in a few years; he agrees to ask her after college.

I really liked this book, and I liked the character of Edie. One of the things that’s great about her is that she talks the way a nineteen year old would. Sometimes in YA fiction, the author will have a teen lead talk in ways that teenagers don’t talk. I also like how Dylan has flaws; a lot of them, actually. Usually in YA romance, the female has all the flaws and the male has none. 

I’d definitely recommend this, and I’ll update again later.