Debbie's World of Books
My book reviews, book news & random rants

Flash Reviews: Water Wars by Cameron Stricher, Plain Kate by Erin Bow & Anna and the French Kiss by StephaniePerkins

January 3rd, 2011 by Debbie's World of Books

With the holiday rush, a round of colds that have meant someone has been sick in our house hold for the past 2 months and me just being lazy there are a couple books I just have not had the chance to write reviews for.  So here is a brief summary of my thoughts.  My favorite of the three was by far Anna and the French Kiss.

Description from Goodreads.com: Welcome to a future where water is more precious than gold or oil-and worth killing for

Vera and her brother Will live in the shadow of the Great Panic, in a country that has collapsed from environmental catastrophe. Water is hoarded by governments, rivers are dammed, and clouds are sucked from the sky. But then Vera befriends Kai, who seems to have limitless access to fresh water. When Kai suddenly disappears, Vera and Will set off on a dangerous journey in search of him-pursued by pirates, a paramilitary group, and greedy corporations.

This book was a let down for me.  The concept was interesting but the story never really grabbed me.  It was filled with one unbelievable occurrence after another and seriously Vera and Will had to live charmed lives for all of this to happen.  The other reason it was a let down for me was I just could not bring myself to like Vera.  She kept doing stupid things that that the people around her even acknowledged as stupid but she was so passionate about it that they decide “oh she is so passionate that of course we are going to support her and follow her on the obviously doomed path.”  The only thing that saves her and those around her is one unbelievable miracle after another.  Sad but obviously not a book for me.

Description from Goodreads.com:  Plain Kate lives in a world of superstitions and curses, where a song can heal a wound and a shadow can work deep magic. As the wood-carver’s daughter, Kate held a carving knife before a spoon, and her wooden talismans are so fine that some even call her “witch-blade”: a dangerous nickname in a country where witches are hunted and burned in the square.

For Kate and her village have fallen on hard times. Kate’s father has died, leaving her alone in the world. And a mysterious fog now covers the countryside, ruining crops and spreading fear of hunger and sickness. The townspeople are looking for someone to blame, and their eyes have fallen on Kate.

Enter Linay, a stranger with a proposition: In exchange for her shadow, he’ll give Kate the means to escape the angry town, and what’s more, he’ll grant her heart’s wish. It’s a chance for her to start over, to find a home, a family, a place to belong. But Kate soon realizes she can’t live shadowless forever — and that Linay’s designs are darker than she ever dreamed.

I enjoyed this book but it didn’t wow me the way it apparently did others. I found Kate a little hard to like but I loved her cat who due to a secret wish by Kate has the ability to talk to people.  The world Erin Bow created was fascinating but for some reason Kate’s story didn’t not hold me captive.  All in all a nice read but not one of my favorites.

Description from Goodreads.com:

Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris—until she meets Étienne St. Claire: perfect, Parisian (and English and American, which makes for a swoon-worthy accent), and utterly irresistible. The only problem is that he’s taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her almost-relationship back home.

As winter melts into spring, will a year of romantic near-misses end with the French kiss Anna—and readers—have long awaited?

I have been seeing this book mentioned every where and I think almost every review has given it 4 or 5 stars out of 5 stars.  So of course I had to pick it up but did so with some reservations.  It seems like it never fails that books that other people love fall flat for me, perhaps due to all the hype raising my expectations.  Fortunately this did not happen with this book.  I gobbled up the story and could not wait to finish it to see just how the happy ending we all know is coming will pan out.  Anna is pretty self-involved and has a habit of thinking the world revolves around her but I still enjoyed watching her experiences in France and the budding relationship with Etienne.  Etienne on the other hand is the most lovable character you could meet.  He’s charming, handsome, sweet and has that one flaw of being short for a guy that keeps him from being irritatingly perfect.  The only thing I have to say was strange was I had to keep reminding myself that these were all high school kids.  They all come across as older and I would sometimes slip into the mind set that they were college seniors instead of high school seniors.  Still a wonderful romance story that you should definitely pick up.

Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris—until she meets Étienne St. Claire: perfect, Parisian (and English and American, which makes for a swoon-worthy accent), and utterly irresistible. The only problem is that he’s taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her almost-relationship back home.

As winter melts into spring, will a year of romantic near-misses end with the French kiss Anna—and readers—have long awaited?

Posted in Books, Dystopia, Fantasy, Young Adult

7 Responses

  1. Erica

    I still have to read Water Wars and Plain Kate, though I loved Anna and the French Kiss. I think both Plain Kate and Wwater Wars look super interesting! Sad to hear Water Wars let you down – I may wait to pick it up for a bit =\

  2. dsuzuki

    Yeah, it sounded so good but was just meh.

  3. Michelle

    I’ve heard mixed reviews on Water Wars but I’m still going to give it a shot soon. So glad you liked Anna! I know what you mean about high expectations ruining a book so I’m excited that didn’t happen for you here. :)

  4. Laurie

    I really liked your flash reviews. You didn’t give away any spoilers (I really dislike when reviewers do that) and I love that you back up your likes and dislikes with concrete examples. I am a new follower – found you on Book Blogs! Best Wishes for a wonderful 2011.
    http://lauriethoughts-reviews.blogspot.com/
    http://lauries-interviews.blogspot.com/

  5. Alyce

    I’m so glad to see that someone else agrees with me about Water Wars!

  6. dsuzuki

    Thanks Laurie!

  7. dsuzuki

    Thank goodness I’m not the only one!

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