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California Dreaming (2008)

California Dreaming (2008)
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3.86 of 5 Votes: 4
ISBN
1435244869 (ISBN13: 9781435244863)
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California Dreaming (2008)
California Dreaming (2008)

About book: Reviewed by Jaglvr for TeensReadToo.comWe left Anna Percy at the end of BEAUTIFUL STRANGER deciding if she should be spontaneous and follow Logan onto the plane and fly to Bali the week before she was due to head to freshman orientation at Yale.Now, Anna has thrown all caution to the wind and has made a mad dash to the airport. With no luggage, and chucking her shoes that weren't equipped for sprints, she runs down the jet-way to board the awaiting plane. Anna is the last passenger to board, and she's not even sure that Logan is on-board the plane. For the last eight months while Anna has been living in California with her father, she has tried to shed the reserved exterior that everyone sees. She came to California in the hopes of reinventing herself and to quit thinking everything through before she acts. Anna finds her seat and is relieved to find Logan ensconced in first class. He is pleased to see Anna, and the two sit back, ready to enjoy the impulsive flight to Bali. But things soon turn into a nightmare. The captain makes an announcement that the hydraulics for the landing gear have malfunctioned, and they have to return to LA and attempt to land on the belly of the plane. Anna immediately regrets her impulsiveness, knowing that her attempt to be carefree has caused the malfunction. Unable to contact her father, the only person Anna is able to reach is her dear friend, Sam. Anna and Logan arrive in LA safely amid friends and family, all relieved to see their safe return. But the flight makes Anna start to reevaluate her future plans. Does she really want to spend the next four years locked into Yale? Does she want to try flying to Bali with Logan again in a few days? These are questions that plague Anna over the course of the next week, when her decision must be made.On the other hand, we have Sam, who has also made an impulsive decision…she has accepted Eduardo's marriage proposal and they are to be wed in one week's time. Sam is an absolute wreck and her friend Dee has come to the rescue. Unknown to everyone, including Dee, Dee has a real knack for coordinating all the wedding plans and helps Sam bring everything together. But Sam is torn. Does she give up her dream of attending USC's infamous film school to follow Eduardo back to Paris?All of these questions and others concerning Cammie, Dee, Ben, Adam, Jackson Sharpe, Sam's mom, Dina, and others come to a (tentative?) resolution. Ms. Dean seems to tie up everyone's future nicely by the end of the story. The action starts quickly and leaves the reader with a pounding heart, praying Anna and Logan come out safely from their flight. And Ms. Dean leaves the reader guessing up until the end what the wedding will entail. I enjoyed this story more than the last couple and am already eagerly waiting for her new era of A-List teens in HOLLYWOOD ROYALTY, due out in January 2009.

It’s the A-List—what can I say? Apparently, the new “IN” for rich-girls-and-boys-stories is to start a new generation. Like Gossip Girl by Cecily von Ziegesar. Now that that era is over, she’s starting the Carlyles, so the same goes for Zoey Dean with her new A-List novels, coming January 2009. Which isn’t exactly a bad thing since her novels are definitely better than Gossip Girl. And I guess nine (?) books are pretty long for a series about three girls and three boys. So. The end. It’s not exactly unpredictable about Ben and Anna. If I were her, I wouldn’t give up Yale—or defer the Ivy League—just to work on one of those summer-chick-flick movies. Not that I would be given any of these choices in the first place, but I don’t fully support her decisions. If they’re really in love—and it was love at first sight for them, even after so many on-and-off mishaps—then it’s not gonna go anywhere, which means she can safely head to Yale and come back to LA after four years. At least, that’s what I would do. But you gotta think it from a rich-lifestyle point of view, because honestly, they can pay and pull strings to keep in Yale’s good graces, so it’s not like deferring for a year isn’t an option. But! The movie idea sounds incredibly lame—you’d think Anna, who’s like the outcast and unique individual not like the other girls, might realize that writing a screenplay isn’t going to get her anywhere but a summer romance for teens. I don’t know. I just don’t quite see it as an Anna personality trait, even if she does like writing. I’d always pegged her as the deep digger of the other name-brand-loving girls. Samantha and Eduardo. Not surprising that she rejected Eduardo in the end, even though he was supposedly the best man she could ever want and love. Yet she gave it up anyway? Message: individuality is more important than love? I don’t know; I’d think they were on the same level, especially since I’m the soul-mate/true-love/romantic believing type of girl. Cammie and Adam. Hm. Never liked Cammie, so I don’t have a good thing to say about her. But the author definitely played down the character of Adam since I never thought I really knew who he was and what he wanted—and he was quite an essential part to Cammie’s “good” side. So that’s the end of the 1st era. But, I have to ask, how many more conflict/stories about the rich to go before it starts getting repetitive and boring?
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Reviews
Alicia
It's the perfect conclusion for a very good series of books talking about privileged teenagers in Beverly Hills. The book is funny and has very lovable characters like Anna and Sam. I enjoyed reading this book and the whole series. Even though I started reading them this year and they are a bit old, there's always a constant in high school relationships and the doubts and fears of the future. Everyone can relate with the situations in the book even though you don't have a movie star for a father o live in a Beverly Hills mansion because at the end of the day they are still teenagers dealing with image issues, heartbreaks and confusion. I loved it!! I would recommend it a lot, specially if you liked Gossip Girl or The Clique, it goes in the same direction with more humane, relatable and lovable characters!
Roxy
I haven't read all the series, but was able to keep track of what was going on when I started this series. I had really enjoyed these books! I even enjoyed this book, until the very end. The reason I gave this book this rating is because the ending just didn't do it for me. I felt like the writing fizzled out towards the end of the book. ***SPOILER-(If you haven't finished the book DON'T READ!!)*** I feel like after reading through the majority of the series, we were left back at square one of the book. Why try to make the characters seem like they were changing and looking for adventure when they just ended up right back where they originally were? Anna ends up with her old boyfriend and Sam doesn't get married so why did they go about the whole series trying to break out and be something other than their "normal old boring selves", when in the ending they chose to be their old boring selves, stuck in the same situation as before? Idk. But nonetheless it was a good series for what it was!
Alex
Only going to put this one on here, though I read all 10 of these (I would vote all of them about a 3). This was the last of the A-List novels, and the series was pretty good. Flaky, snobby, pretentious, ridiculous... yup, it was all of those things, too. But you know, sometimes I just want to read something like this, Gossip Girl (please don't talk to me about the TV show though), It Girl, or The Clique. These books are a fun way to forget about your troubles for a little bit, and I'm addicted to all of them.Unfortunately A-List is done (I won't be reading the "new version"), so I have to get by with the other aforementioned series. It was fun while it lasted.
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