Life's a little crazy this week. But I don't want to slack off too much, so here are brief looks at a couple of books I've finished recently:

Before I Fall, by Lauren Oliver:
This is a Groundhog Day setup -- a popular but not-very-nice girl relives her last over and over again. In doing so, she learns a lot about herself, her friends and the people she encounters every day. Lauren Oliver does an excellent job of creating very unlikable characters that you still want to keep reading about; and characters that actually grow and develop through the story. She also brings a what-in-the-world! ending that kept me awake at night, trying to unravel my response to it.

Enchanted Ivy, by Sarah Beth Durst:
This book has such as great premise: a high school junior gets the chance to secure early admission to Princeton, her grandfather and father's alma mater and the university she's always dreamed of attending. But to secure this admission, she must pass a Legacy Test. But in her search to find the Ivy Key, Lily Carter discovers a hidden Princeton full of secrets and magic, old aliances and new friendships. Like I said, I loved this premise. A magical scavenger hunt! A hidden world! Gargoyles! But for me, the book just did not deliver. It wasn't terrible, just slightly dissapointing. I felt like it could have used a lot more depth and development.