Posted by: sophiecouture | March 16, 2009

The Two Girls of Gettysburg

the-two-girls-of-gettysburg-largeby Lisa Klein

The bloodiest battle during the Civil War took place in Gettysburg, PA.  In fact, one of the bloodiest and most hateful wars ever to take place in the United States was the Civil War.  Families were torn apart, and our country was effected forever by the war.  The plot of Lisa Klein’s compelling story surrounds two cousins’ lives torn apart from the war.  The one cousin, Lizzie, sides with the North’s cause, while Rosana sides with the South. In addition to being cousins, the two girls are also best friends.  For most of the war, Rosana lives in the South, but will the cousins meet again at Gettysburg?

I have always been a Civil War novel junkie, so I knew when I saw it, I had to read it!  Lisa Klein impressed me with her novel Ophelia, and this book was equally impressive.  I enjoyed the way the perspectives switched from Lizzie and Rosana– Lizzie’s was written in first person while Rosana’s was written in 1st perso diary format.  I’ve never read anything like that, and it spiced the novel up a bit!  I would recommend this book to anyone who LOVES history.

Posted by: sophiecouture | March 11, 2009

Everything is Fine

everything-is-fineby Ann Dee Ellis

“I really liked this book.  The author’s words ring true to the problems of growing up too fast.  Mazzy, the main character, is a real girl– unsuperficial and down to earth.  She has problems unlike a lot of teens, and it made me really appreciate my whole family.  All in all, this was a good read.  The way it was written was very interesting also!”

Posted by: sophiecouture | March 11, 2009

North of Beautiful

north-ofbeautiful1by Justine Chen Headley

Terra Cooperstands out– but not in the way she wants to.  She’s gorgeous in every way possible (tall, blonde, atheltic), but she has a problem.  From the day Terra was born she has been burdened with an unmistakable blemish on her otherwise flawless face.  A junior in high school, Terra plans to start college a year early, but her father stops her plans.  Sad and depressed, Terra meets Jacob– a boy who stands out like her also, although in a different way.  Terra has to try and figure out how to get her life back on track the way she wanted it to be.  Can she do it?

I loved this book.  I’ve always struggled with facial blemishes similar to Terra’s, and was able to relate to her story.  Justina Chen Headley’s first novel “Girl Overboard” had me entralled before, and this novel had me again.  I recommend this to everyone!

Posted by: sophiecouture | October 26, 2008

Pretty Monsters

By Kelly Link

From the jacket: “Kelly Link has lit up adult literary publishing—and Viking is honored to publish her first YA story collection. Through the lens of Link’s vivid imagination, nothing is what it seems, and everything deserves a second look. From the multiple award-winning “The Faery Handbag,” in which a teenager’s grandmother carries an entire village (or is it a man-eating dog?) in her handbag, to the near-future of “The Surfer,” whose narrator (a soccer-playing skeptic) waits with a planeload of refugees for the aliens to arrive, Link’s stories are funny and full of unexpected insights and skewed perspectives on the world. Her fans range from Michael Chabon to Peter Buck of R.E.M. to Holly Black of Spiderwick Chronicles fame. Now teens can have their world rocked, too!”

I couldn’t really describe this book, so I used the product description. All I can say is that I liked it a lot, and it was a very interesting novel. Very different, very fresh, and very good. If you like anything with a twist on our lives today (with fairies, dead people, etc) then this is the book for you!

Scale (1-10): 7

Posted by: sophiecouture | September 19, 2008

The Revolution of Sabine

By Beth Ain Levine


Change is in the air in France during the late 1700’s.  French aristocracy is feeling the alterations…. And so is young Sabine.  The year she is supposed to be “coming out” she is hit by some revolutionary ideas.  Her mother has finally pushed her too far, and she finds comfort in going to the local saloon where she can let down her hair and discuss politics like a person.  Then she meets Michael…. A revolutionist with plans.  Can Sabine overcome her dictated life? 


This book was passively good.  I enjoyed it, to a certain extent.  It was a very quick read, and I felt it could have been taken out to a larger level.   This is my only problem with the book, though.  It was very well written, and Levin had very good information about the time period.  I liked how everything tied together in the end.  All in all, I thought this book was satisfactory.  It’s a good read for anyone interested in that time frame, with a good story attached. 


                                                                                                                                         Scale (1-10): 7

Posted by: sophiecouture | September 3, 2008

The Smile

By Donna Jo Napoli


Elisabetta has never thought of herself as beautiful, or even pretty for that matter.  Her father has always claimed her loveliness, but she always waved that off as affection for her as a daughter.  By a chance meeting on the street, Elisabetta meets the famous painter Leonardo Da Vinci.  He immediately notices her mysterious smile.  Leonardo introduces her to the best of society, and the highest family in Florence, The Medici’s.  Lisa unexpectedly falls for one of the young men in the family… but tough times befall the powerful family.  It is not a safe time for her to love him. 


Donna Jo Napoli tells the story about the famous smile of Mona Lisa in a new light.  The plot was good, and always twisting.  I knew the book was about the famous painting, but didn’t at the same time.  I can’t really explain, but it was a good thing!  The writing was good and easy to comprehend, but intelligent.  I felt that I knew the history of Florence better after reading this book.  I also felt that I knew Mona Lisa’s story better too.  I enjoyed this book a lot, and am glad I gave it a try! 

 Scale (1-10): 8



Posted by: sophiecouture | July 10, 2008

Model: A Memoir

By Cheryl Diamond


Models are airheads, dumb blondes, idiots.  Cheryl Diamond is a model, but yet, she doesn’t fall under any of these categories.  At the young age of 16, she leaves her home to make her way in the modeling world—aka, New York City.  Amazingly, she survives, and with flying colors too.  Booking jobs, receiving calls… and all with a quirky sense of humor.  Cheryl Diamond herself takes us through her making it in the Big Apple, her fall, and her amazing comeback. 


This book really surprised me.  I feel kind of stupid, really.  Cheryl Diamond is one of the freshest, funniest, and most interesting authors I’ve read in awhile.  She gives blondes a good name (to which I am eternally grateful).  I laughed out loud numerous times while reading this.  I felt like I was there while reading it… and the book gave me a better appreciation for the modeling business.  One thing is for sure—Cheryl Diamond knows her stuff, and she is not an airhead, idiot, or dumb blonde.  Two thumbs way up. 


Scale (1-10): 10

Posted by: sophiecouture | July 5, 2008

Rapunzel’s Revenge

By Shannon & Dean Hale, illustrated by Nathan Hale


Everyone knows the story of Rapunzel—girl, shut away in a tower, evil step-mother, etc., etc., etc.  They might’ve even heard retellings of the story… but never have I seen Rapunzel’s story told like this before.  Set in the Wild West, this graphic novel is well written, fun, and entertaining.  I couldn’t put it down.  The story starts off with Rapunzel’s “original” story, and then rises from there.  She and her best friend Jack swear revenge on her evil kidnapper, and the plot is set. 


I have never read a graphic novel before… ever.  But I read a great review on Miss Erin’s blog, and all of the kind folk on were getting very excited for it, so I thought I’d give it a try.  For sure I wasn’t disappointed.  Shannon and Dean were hilarious—I swear that the good relationships in book were based off of their own.  And Nathan Hale (illustrator with no relation to Shannon and Dean) was an amazing artist.  Amazing.  Let me repeat it again: amazing.  I was shocked at how well everything was put together, how all of the ideas fit together like puzzle pieces… and still there were three master-minds behind this novel!  I would be very interested to find out how they all did it… working together without killing each other in the process.  And a piece of advice when reading this book: read slowly.  Look at the pictures.  Savor the book for itself.  I did, and it was so much better that way!


So, the verdict of this review?  I now have a much better appreciation for graphic novels, and will definitely start looking twice at them in the stores.   


Scale (1-10): 10 (that’s two tens in a row people… maybe I’m getting soft)

Posted by: sophiecouture | July 4, 2008


By Randi Reisfeld


Kenzie Cross became way famous way fast—which can be a bad thing when you’re only 19 years old.  Swept up in the whirl of Hollywood, she hits all of the major important parties.  Hollywood parties, crazy insane out of control parties, are not a good thing for a young actress to be exposed to.  Everything Kenzie has always dreamed of is finally coming true—she even just landed the lead in a new movie.  But when her partying gets out of control, her new director puts his foot down.  This means rehab.  Even though she’s sent there by “blackmail” (or so Kenzie claims), maybe Kenzie can pull through and survive.  Heck, she might even end up liking rehab… who da thunk?


I honestly didn’t think I’d enjoy this book very much.  Rehab?  Hollywood?  Acting?  Not really my scene.  But from the first line, Randi Reisfeld had me addicted (har-har, that’s a pun, see).  It was a eye opening read, and very thought provoking. There were some adult themes in the book; I would probably NOT let my 13-year-old sister read this.  For teens older though, it is an excellent way to show the bad and dangerous effects of drug and alcohol abuse, but in a fun way where they can relate to the characters.  Loved it!


Scale (1-10): 8.5

Posted by: sophiecouture | June 28, 2008

The Crimson Thread

By Suzanne Weyn


When Bridget O’Malley steps off the boat onto America, it was not what she expected.  Dirty conditions make it hard for her to except that this is where her family really belongs.  She misses Ireland—but it turns out many people in New York do not like the Irish.  So Bertie—as she changes her name to—is very grateful when her dad achieves her a job as a seamstress in millionaire JP Wellington’s house.  But when Bertie’s father goes too far, and brags about his daughter’s “uncanny ability” to “spin straw into gold”, will her family fall?


All in all, this was a very enjoyable book.  Suzanne Weyn is a very good writer, and the plot is stunning.  I know I would have never figured out a way to retell Rumpelstiltskin in 1880 New York City!  The plot kept twisting, even though I knew the old fairytale well.  I enjoyed this book a lot, and it is the perfect book to add you the ‘Once Upon a Time’ Series. 


Scale (1-10): 8

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