This is not a book about the "problem with forever." This is a book that should more aptly be named "The Problem with Mallory." I felt no sympathy whaThis is not a book about the "problem with forever." This is a book that should more aptly be named "The Problem with Mallory." I felt no sympathy whatsoever for Mallory, the timid little girl who basically let a guy do all the work for her. She says one word, and everyone's congratulating her on the huge gains she's made. She shows up to a party and then has a panic attack when she sees the house. Maybe this whole painful past trope would have worked with a different character and style of writing, because it sure didn't work for this one. I would've gladly learned more about Paige than Mallory because she definitely got the short end of the stick in this book.
This entire book revolved around validating Mallory's decisions. Even when murder happened (yes, murder happens in this insipid book), it was only so Mallory could have a cheesy realization about the brevity of life. The same can be said for what happens to her best friend. Instead of lingering longer on these characters, Armentrout immediately steers the focus back to Mallory, and it feels like she's just engineered these terrible life events so that Mallory can gain some perspective.
Also, Armentrout would not stop pushing this idea of what "forever" means, until the message got totally tangled in the weeds. I still don't know what the point of forever is. Is it good? Is it bad? The answer can't be found in this book. ...more
I hate this, I hate that. Like, oh my God, how come all the guys aren't chasing after me? I feel so left out. Oh no, what do I do while these two brotI hate this, I hate that. Like, oh my God, how come all the guys aren't chasing after me? I feel so left out. Oh no, what do I do while these two brothers fight over me? Should I scream and stand there? Yeah, maybe I'll do that. Oh, let me string along this other totally nice guy and be a bitch to basically everyone in my life.
There are so many examples of cliche in this book, it's a wonder that it's able to pass as an original piece of work. The MC aActual Rating: 1.5 Stars
There are so many examples of cliche in this book, it's a wonder that it's able to pass as an original piece of work. The MC and hero meet because she ran into him. Of course he has an 8-pack. Of course, despite the fact that she's innocent and sweet, he's attracted to her completely. Did I mention the reformed ex-player-turned-best-friend and comic relief roommate? The following are also some quotes that made me roll my eyes and regret ever picking this book up:
"I love you too, Little Lamb." "I love you too, Wolf."
"You're my favorite. Out of all the things I could have in the world that would be my favorite, you win. You win all of it."
"Some things..." I tucked her red hair behind her ear, "...are worth fighting for."
"Damn," I said into the microphone. "You're just as beautiful as the first day I saw you."
"Exactly as I'd planned it, the fireworks went off in perfect tune with the song
Beneath Your Beautiful (is that really how it's spelled...?)
Also, I thought part of the book was supposed to be about Kiersten's dark past? What happened to that? Did it disappear in the face of Wes's all-consuming angst? Let's also not forget the miraculous recovery and the dead mom reincarnated as a nurse. Maybe I'm getting too old for this, or maybe this is just what NA literature is. This entire book played out like a badly scripted Sparks movie, and I wish I'd spent my time on something better worth my attention. ...more
I was originally going to rate this book 2 stars, since I save one star ratings for the likes of The Selection and Halo, but Red Queen rapidly progI was originally going to rate this book 2 stars, since I save one star ratings for the likes of The Selection and Halo, but Red Queen rapidly progressed from tolerable to painful-to-read. There's little to no creativity in the plot, vague and holey plot points, a stupid love square, and an even more foolish main character. While reading this book, I was actually constantly reminded of The Selection. A lower-class girl with a weird name who gets thrown into the royal world and faces off with a bunch of bitchy royal girls while gaining the undeserved trust of her bodyguards and maids. There's also a vague war that brought the world to its current state, and the threat of some kind of rebellion. Sound familiar?
As many of my fellow reviewers have noted, there are so many borrowed aspects from other young adult novels that I don't want to waste my breath detailing it all. Let me address the plot. In addition to being uncreative, it's also vague and simplistic. It centers around the main character, Mare Barrow, who is a Red oppressed by the powerful Silvers. She finds out she actually possesses a unique power on national television. What results from that is her betrothal to a prince and assignation to princess status so Aveyard can spend a couple chapters talking about balls and pretty dresses. Seriously? The all-powerful Silvers uncover a powerful threat, and they decide to make her royalty and train her to use her powers better? For such an advanced race, they sure are lacking some brains. In addition, Mare finds out that she can make lightning, not just control it. But is there any demonstration of this ability? No. There are a bunch of discoveries along the way, but they're never mentioned again. The "twist" was way too obvious. (view spoiler)[If the prince, the son of the evil queen, wants to join your rebellion to overthrow them, why the hell would you just spill everything to him without even putting precautions into place or testing his loyalty? (hide spoiler)] For a secret rebellion, the Scarlet Guard seems amazingly easy to join. You just express some interest, and poof! You're in.
Now, to address Mare's stupidity and the equally ridiculous love square. I guess Aveyard wanted to do something where Mare had attractions to multiple different men, but in the end, none of the relationships were fleshed out and Mare seemed like a directionless little girl. I honestly didn't understand what Cal saw in Mare. Kilorn's attachment to her, considering their childhood together, was at least reasonable. But what does Mare do? She runs around getting herself into trouble and betrays everyone she knows off some misplaced sense of duty. When she has that lightning-bolt moment when she realizes Cal is in love with her, I did a double-take. Aveyard spreads herself too thin and wastes too much time on petty drama to focus on her underlying message and three-dimensional characters.
The writing was also cringe-worthy at times. Aveyard uses italicize way too liberally. She seemed to think that she was dispensing nuggets of advice that would be quoted by fangirls, but most of these phrases make no sense. Here are some examples:
A soldier doesn’t blink until the battle is won.
Well, then his corneas would dry up and his eyeballs would fall out of his head.
The world is Silver, but it is also gray. There is no black and white.
Silver is basically an offshoot of gray. And okay, I get that if it's gray, there's no black and white. That's the definition.
“Sara Skonos can’t speak, Mare.” “At all?"
Is this girl for real? She's told someone is mute, and she has to make sure that actually means she can't say anything at all? Why would she be told that otherwise?!
This is for music, not battle. Life, not death.
I don't even know what to say to this.
He can’t let me die. He won’t. I am the little lightning girl, and I am going to make the world change.
She sentences this guy to his death by involving her in his plan and has the nerve to arrogantly say that he has no choice but to save her.
The writing is pretty bad, which is the cherry on top of this melting cake. There are other phrases like "my mind feels like it's on fire" and "he smirks sadly" that also made me want to throw the book into a wall. I was deceived by the pretty cover, much like it was with The Selection, and I'll probably make the same mistake again. If you must read this book, just do so with caution. ...more
What a cheesefest. I hated how Beth basically turned from a badass into a puddle of goo. A rose-scented puddle of goo, like Ryan is so fond of remindiWhat a cheesefest. I hated how Beth basically turned from a badass into a puddle of goo. A rose-scented puddle of goo, like Ryan is so fond of reminding us. ...more
Beautiful writing. All this stuff about stars cracking open the sky and whatnot? A+. I just wish the plot would've matched it. It took me a while to eBeautiful writing. All this stuff about stars cracking open the sky and whatnot? A+. I just wish the plot would've matched it. It took me a while to even understand what was happening and put all the disjointed pieces together, and a huge problem was that Hayley was narrating the whole thing. She has a very strong and individualistic voice, but I didn't like that voice at all. She really annoyed me sometimes, and I thought a lot of her actions were unjustified, towards Trish, towards Finn, and towards other people too. Also, her character development was stilted but then accelerated in the final pages of the book, which makes it seem like she'd achieved enlightenment. There were plot holes too (why did she almost fall off the quarry? That was never fully explained).
I don't know the gritty details of PTSD, but it was real enough for me in this book. I'm sure it can get much worse than what Hayley's dad goes through, but it was shocking for me to read about the things he did, and it made me sad for the people who've sacrificed so much yet can never be the same again. In that aspect, Anderson has drawn attention to psychological consequences and the long-term impact they have, not just on individuals, but their families too.
What redeemed this book a lot was Finn. He was attentive, adorable, and just plain awesome. A's all around. Too bad he seemed too good to be true, and I never understood why a guy like him would go for Hayley in the first place. Their conversations are cute and bound to make you smile. They definitely alleviate a lot of the darker elements in the book, but once again, that's a testament to Anderson's superb control over language. I think her writing style is perfect, but her stories still have a ways to go. ...more
There are no words to describe how angry this book made me. It was very reminiscent of Beautiful Disaster with its overbearing, over-possessive male lThere are no words to describe how angry this book made me. It was very reminiscent of Beautiful Disaster with its overbearing, over-possessive male lead and a dumb-as-rocks heroine.
First of all, Etta does not stop whinging about how she needs her space and she needs to be free, blah, blah. She also talks about her brother's death like it's no big deal. Her brother's death is only used as a tool to justify her father's dickishness. Nowhere in the book is there any mention of what her brother meant to her, even though they don't seem to be that far apart in age. So she manages to find a house with two very nice people, although one of them is a party girl and gets drunk way too much, and she moves out because her father trusts her to do it.
Then, she meets Damien. This is where all the shit starts hitting the fan. The first clue should've been when Damien randomly lets her into his apartment even though he doesn't even know her, then proceeds to corner her. Then, of course, he starts popping up everywhere, and then their undeniable attraction (cue eyeroll) drives them together. Damien is a chauvinistic bastard, and he isolates Etta from everybody in her life, cancels her appointments, keeps her from class. This goes on for way longer than necessary, but every time Etta even makes some sign of resisting, all he has to do is press her against a wall, and she's willing to do whatever he says. Also, I'm very certain that one of the scenes is rape. There is literally a scene in which she is running away from him, and he grabs her ankle and drags her back to the house. What the fuck? Who does that shit? And her friend is right there, but he doesn't call the cops or do something about it?
There was some truly fucked up stuff happening in this book, but to my endless amazement, none of Etta's friends or family make any move to do anything besides complaining that she's never there.
Etta herself is messed up beyond belief. She lets her boyfriend micromanage every aspect of her life, and all it takes is some hot breathing before she submits to him again. He keeps 90% of his life away from her, and all she does is spout crap about how he's like a magnet and it hurts to be apart from him. She fucks around with Damien when she gives her best friend, Aaron, false hope. Also, she's amazingly naive and stupid. Yeah, I get that she's been sheltered, but an 18-year-old should know that when a man and woman have sex together without protection, pregnancy will happen. Especially if the two of them do it a million times every day like she and Damien did. I was beyond disgusted with her behavior and idiocy. Ugh. This is what Etta's perspective about sex is:
I get that most people view sex as a big step in a relationship. I, personally, do not. I don't see a problem with giving in to your desires. I see more of a problem in denying yourself... If he'd just let me touch him, or if he'd just touch me, then this wouldn't all be such a big deal.
Uh, what!? Does this not sound like something a crack addict would say? What kind of twisted logic is that? She basically just said everyone should have no restraint and sleep around all the time. I hope I'm not the only one who sees something really wrong with her point of view. I was disgusted with the sex scenes in this novel. Not only were there too many, but they played no role in furthering the plot, and too many of them came out of Damien forcing Etta into something she did not want to do.
Worst of all, there's a sequel! What the actual fuck?! You're going to have to drag me through a tub of acid before I read that drivel. No wonder this book was free on iBooks. ...more
I wrote a really long review for this book, but my internet blacked out and it was all over.
All you need to know is that there are heaping cliches, tI wrote a really long review for this book, but my internet blacked out and it was all over.
All you need to know is that there are heaping cliches, the heroine is a ditz with a retail therapy problem, and the hero is an alpha male who only speaks in fragments. This is a murder mystery romance gone wrong.
Also, all the women have a habit of whispering or hissing, while all the men only clip out or mutter words. There are women in this book who are constantly slut-shamed and called bitches, while the good ones are timid and submissive to the so-called "mountain men," who are constantly trying to assert their dominance by ordering women around. While the dialogue is frequently just fragments, the narrative of the book consists of run-on sentences that they teach you not to write in elementary school.
The book drags on for far too long, and the heroine hears a voice in her head, which either means she is psychotic or has some sort of inner goddess. Either way, it wasn't necessary.
I'm pretty done with romance at this point. ...more
With each move he makes to pull apart from me, I feel my heart crumbling. I can almost hear us being ripped apart. I can almost hear his heart teari
With each move he makes to pull apart from me, I feel my heart crumbling. I can almost hear us being ripped apart. I can almost hear his heart tearing in two, crashing to the floor right next to mine.
That escalated quickly.
I don't really know how I feel about this book. On the one hand, I understand the conflict and I really like how Hoover merged the themes of music and deafness. On the other, Sydney was kind of a bitch. Okay, not kind of. A lot.
I would've liked this book much more if I thought Sydney deserved Ridge, but I don't think she did. Everyone else in the book hyped her up, but I didn't see why. She unnecessarily stereotypes Bridgette, and she says some extremely insensitive things to Ridge during the book. I just never thought she was this ahhhmazing girl, even if she knew how to write lyrics.
Ridge, on the other hand, was a sweetheart. His internal struggle was so real, and Hoover has definitely gotten better at writing from a male POV since the days of Point of Retreat. I liked his POVs much more than Sydney's. I'm a bit annoyed at the ending, (view spoiler)[just because I think Maggie shouldn't have been disposed so easily. (hide spoiler)] It couldn't have ended any other way, but it was too predictable.
Hoover's a manipulative writer. She knows exactly which heartstrings to pull on, and which words will allow her to do so. The general formula of her books involves some I can't do this, a ton of betrayal and hurt, frequent crying, and the occasional terminal illness. I kind of have a love-hate relationship with her books, and I know Sydney's personality in this one really damaged my enjoyment of it. ...more
If I have to read another metaphor about fire and destruction and being incinerated to ashes by passion, I'm going to hit the wall.
So it probably doeIf I have to read another metaphor about fire and destruction and being incinerated to ashes by passion, I'm going to hit the wall.
So it probably doesn't surprise you to know that I'm not a supporter of cheating. It disgusts me and I don't think there's anything to justify it. And after reading this book, I still believe that. I was disgusted with Cathy and how fickle she was. The only reason she left Ben was that Arsen appeared. The only reason she asked Ben to try again was that Arsen dumped her. Also, the random POVs are just that: random.
The author chose a hard topic, and her justification for why it happened is weak at best. I have absolutely no pity for Cathy. The miscarriages are bad, but it was no excuse for her to treat her husband the way she did. I feel horrible for both Arsen and Ben for loving Cathy in the first place.
I did like the paralleling love story between Ben and Cathy, but it was too inconsistent. And there was way too much sex. I think the main problem here was that Cathy was just too horny. Every ten pages, she's getting wet or having sex with either Ben or Arsen. Sex gets boring after a while. Hard to believe, I know.
I don't know why this book is getting such great reviews because there's nothing below the surface except for a woman who throws away something great to chase after something that is insubstantial. I don't understand why Cathy and Arsen are so attracted to each other beyond looks, considering the shallowness of their relationship. While Asher made an effort to justify this plot, I'm not convinced. ...more
You know something's gone wrong when your MC is mooning over the roundness of some alien's butt.
Okay, so I wouldn't go that far. But I've been seeingYou know something's gone wrong when your MC is mooning over the roundness of some alien's butt.
Okay, so I wouldn't go that far. But I've been seeing The 5th Wave around for some time now, and the blurb definitely didn't put me off the book. Reading it, however, the only emotion I was overcome with was an overwhelming feeling of MEH.
It's your classic scenario with the aliens taking over the earth and turning humans against each other by possessing their bodies. For some reason, I got an awful flashback to when I was reading The Host. I was pretty bored during this book, too. It was just so... normal. I mean, obviously alien invasions and giant green bombs going off aren't normal, but this book doesn't break any new boundaries. I honestly didn't stop and think any facet was that creative. The notion of the waves seems interesting at first, but once they're explained, they lose their luster. You've got your gun-toting heroine who's on a journey to rescue a family member and just so happens to meet a hot guy along the way. And of course, after about ten minutes of knowing each other, they're making out because they're the only two people approximately the same age and opposite sex left.
Also, I think the blurb is extremely misleading in that it suggests that there's only one POV. I was so confused by the chapter separations, and maybe Yancey intended it that way. But for the longest time, I didn't even know that the POV had changed because the two characters sounded exactly the same. Although Ben kept being referred to as a he, so maybe we can chalk that up to my own ignorance. After all, I did believe that Ben and Evan were the same person for half of the book.
I read somewhere that Yancey's a Printz winner, and I can see the beauty in his writing and in the themes he might possibly want to project. But the story itself just falls flat because it's nothing we haven't heard before. People going crazy and the world being blown up piece by piece. Been there, done that. Perhaps I overlooked something, but ultimately my feeling is that I'll lump this book with all the other sci-fi things I've ever read. I'm not a big fan of aliens and War of the Worlds type scenarios, and I don't think I ever will be. ...more
Yeah, so... I really don't understand the high rating for this book. It's another one of those teeth-ruiningly "sweet" novels where the girl suffers fYeah, so... I really don't understand the high rating for this book. It's another one of those teeth-ruiningly "sweet" novels where the girl suffers from a lifetime of abuse from her peers and her family before the boy swoops in, saves her, and opens her up to society again. The writing was mediocre, the characters annoyingly one dimensional (the kind, motherly mom that reminds the MC of what she's never had, the doting father, the funny grandpa). I skimmed most of it, and I was ready to give it only one star, but the ending came as a slight surprise (maybe because I wasn't paying attention half the time), and I liked the fact that Henry left for a while.
Kate... I don't understand Kate. I know her history is explained, but I still don't get why she was abused my her peers in the first place. The bullying that happens to her at school sounds disgustingly juvenile, and definitely not something that high school students would do. I know there are bitches out there, but following one girl in targeting one specific person without any reason at all seems outrageous. I don't like how easily Kate made up with her tormentor, and I know it's supposed to show her kindness, but the girl put menstruation blood on Kate's dress at a dance and got all her groupies to laugh at her! If you immediately become best friends with someone like that, you're not amazingly kind. You're stupid. She suffers all this abuse at the hands of her parents, but she could get help. I fail to see how foster homes or state care is worse than getting beaten near death every day. Bennett makes an attempt to have her parents redeem themselves, but it falls flat because these changes are so abrupt. You can't go one day beating your daughter and then trying to make small talk with her the next. I know there's an explanation for that, but it doesn't seem realistic. At all.
Henry is your typical sweet-talking charmer whom everyone happens to love. He plays the role of knight in this book, saving Kate, appearing at all the right moments, apologizing for being perfect. The reasons he likes Kate in the beginning, as he explains himself, are her lack of caring for things that girls obsess over and her damsel-in-distress mating call. So really, all the reasons he goes after her are byproducts of her being bullied. In my opinion, Kate doesn't do anything lovable. All she does is cry, get hurt, cry some more, and hide.
I don't know exactly what this book is trying to accomplish, but if it's trying to be realistic, it's failing hopelessly. It's using abuse as a means to make a girl more appealing to the audience and to a guy, and it's encouraging a selflessness that could possibly get a person killed. And it offers a miraculous ending in which everybody recognizes his/her faults, which are all very typical (alcoholism, bitchiness, abandonment issues, etc). They all voluntarily go and get the help that they know they need. Ugh. If you want a good contemporary novel, there are plenty others that far surpass Heart on a Chain....more
May I introduce the recordbreaker for Most Illegitimate Children: Fire!
So this was much more interesting than Graceling, in mActual Rating: 3.5 Stars
May I introduce the recordbreaker for Most Illegitimate Children: Fire!
So this was much more interesting than Graceling, in my opinion. But it was still as preachy as other, and I found the main character even more insufferable because she spends so much time crying over how beautiful she is. To be cursed with being wanted by every man who beholds me. Oh, sighs. The horror.
By now it's obvious to me that Cashore intends her books to be this reminder that sexism and differences in hierarchy are very much present. But does she really need to bring it up every couple pages? I was reminded again and again how men like to objectify women with all the guys throwing themselves at Fire and Nash and Archer proposing to her every second. The pace isn't that much faster than Graceling's, mostly because there are so many words spent on Fire's struggles with her beauty. When it actually came down to the political intrigue, the plot became much more interesting.
I know I put Fire on my useless-heroine shelf, but she's actually pretty useful to the development of the story. I could've done without all her complaining. I know I'm being insensitive by laughing at her for being all distraught over being beautiful because I can see how that's a problem in a time when women were still seen as things to be possessed, but at the same time, I can't summon much sympathy over her situation. Also, all the men in this book have problems usually having to do with infidelity and sins of the flesh. When I learned that Archer was illegitimate, fine. But when two other illegitimate babies were born as a result of his man-sluttiness, that was when I started getting fed up. Every male in this book must have a kid that he never anticipated. Fire's attitude towards this also annoyed me. She willingly sleeps with Archer again and again but has all this modesty and self-restraint. Seems a bit hypocritical, if you ask me.
Despite all these problems with the themes that Cashore is trying to convey, I enjoyed the characters in this book, especially Archer and Brigan. Out of the two, Archer was my favorite, just because his passion and love were much more intense, though perhaps not as real as Brigan's. Although she tends towards preachiness, Cashore does have a talent with the characters and worlds she creates. I can't argue that they're cookie-cutter characters, because they're not; they do have facets that make them alive and likable. Fire's home is different from the place from Graceling, full of monster creatures and vivid colors. There are no Gracelings where she lives. There were moments of funniness, especially among the siblings, that lightened the mood. Towards the end, I began enjoying Brigan's and Fire's romance, though it's a bit underdeveloped. Overall, I was way less bored, and I'll be reading Bitterblue soon. ...more
Definitely not as good as the first book. There was something captivating about Will's and Lake's relationship in the first book that kept me reading;Definitely not as good as the first book. There was something captivating about Will's and Lake's relationship in the first book that kept me reading; maybe it was the taboo aspect. This one is in Will's perspective, and I really think Hoover should stick with writing from Lake's point of view. Will just didn't seem anything like a twenty-one year old guy who used to be a teacher. Instead, he sounded more like a lovestruck teenager.
That's not to say that this book didn't have its moments, because it definitely did. The new characters like Sherry and Kiersten were nice additions, and the bonds among the neighbors and friends were still as strong as they were in the first book, though the absence of Lake's mother is evident. There are bouts of humor and feeling, but that gets interrupted sometimes by too much cheesiness. I especially liked Will's and Kiersten's poetry towards the end, though I think the subject of slam poetry isn't explored enough here. The thing about this series is that it does require a suspension of disbelief, just because it's hard to see two barely-adults raising two kids in two different houses where people don't knock on doors and everyone is totally friendly. I think the fact that many of the problems that were brought up in this novel weren't fleshed out also added to the increasing ludicrousness of the plot. While in Slammed, I could sympathize, many of the events here just made me roll my eyes.
Time for me to move from this butterflying series and off to something new. ...more
I need a while to recover from this book. Because currently, it's just feels all around. I don't know what it was about this book that slammed right iI need a while to recover from this book. Because currently, it's just feels all around. I don't know what it was about this book that slammed right into some deep part of me that I didn't even know existed, but damn if it isn't the best feeling of bittersweetness. I'm not saying that Slammed doesn't have its problems because it definitely does. But with this book, the subtle beauty of the book's language far outweighs its other flaws.
The story begins innocuously enough. New girl with tragic background moves to new area. Cool, cool, sounds cliche, but I can totally deal with that if it's written in the right way. And then of course she happens to live next to one of the hottest guys around, and he asks her on a date. Surprises of surprises, they share a love for a band that nobody else has heard of, and their kisses make sparks explode. And obviously he's this intelligent scholar who can write and recite poetry too. Woopeedoo. BUT THEN, MY FRIENDS. BUT THEN. Girl finds out boy's background, and boy was I not anticipating that. It was honestly the last thing on my mind what Will's true occupation was, and I knew that I was in for a looooot of angst. But I braved my fears, and I read on. There are multiple aspects to this book that make it unique. First, obviously, is the element of slam poetry. It's threaded in throughout the story and used as a way of communication, and the poems that Hoover writes have a pulse. Her poetry might not be my kind of thing, but I can't deny that they do contain life and work as reflections of the characters' truths, as well as a way to avoid info-dumps. Secondly, I must point out the utter shittiness of the situation that the characters find themselves in. Literally everything goes wrong. I always admired authors who could make a bad thing worse, and it seems that Hoover is a master of that. Finally, I have to say that I adored the side characters. None of them were superficial or unnecessary, especially Lake's mom. I loved her, and because of that, the ending of the book choked me up a bit. She fulfilled her purpose perfectly: to be a mom. That was exactly what she was, and there is no questioning the love that she has for her children. I think parents (what few of them there are in this book) are portrayed extremely well in this book. Joel, Eddie's foster father, is another example. We all fight with our parents and it's easy to forget that they want what's best for us, but that really is all they want, and Slammed covers that.
Obviously, I loved Will. I'm already biased because I like the name Will. Furthermore, he was smart, hot, could write poetry, and also had this possessive streak that just made him sexier. He reminded me a bit of Lucas from Easy because I'm pretty sure no male like that could possibly exist. Or at least if he did, some far more proactive girl has probably already locked him in her cave. i will say there's a lot of back and forth between him and Lake, but it didn't get too annoying. Lake's continuous crying on the other hand, though... I always get irritated when MCs cry a lot, but then I feel bad because their lives are really that shitty, and what else can they do but cry? The other day, I got a truancy letter because I apparently was reported absent from school for three days. Considering how many times Lake decided to "take a break" from school or leave, I wonder how many truancy letters SHE got.
Anyway, it's 1 AM because I just had to finish, and I already have Point of Retreat all ready to go, but I'm wondering if it's worth it and if I'm going to withdraw from society because of these books. Good YA contemporary novels always manage to make me think of nothing else, and that's what this one did. ...more
“I don’t hate you. I could never hate you. Give me your heart, Kacey. I’ll take everything that comes with it.”
For all the times this Uncle Raymon
“I don’t hate you. I could never hate you. Give me your heart, Kacey. I’ll take everything that comes with it.”
For all the times this Uncle Raymond dude is mentioned in the summary, he sure never appears in the book. At all. Really, you get what this book is about if you just read the last two paragraphs of the blurb.
I thought this book was interesting. It kept me reading, and I was curious to see what would happen. I got a little caught up in Trent's hotness too, but then again I always do that. I liked Tucker's writing style; it didn't drag, and it definitely could have. Why? Because nothing happens in the first half of the book. Kacey settles down in Miami with her sister, Livie, starts working at a strip club as a bartender with little experience, and avoids her hot neighbor, Trent.
A lot of things that happened in this story made me wonder if this was all possible. Running off to Miami without being found by your legal guardians, miraculously finding people who are that good with tons of cash to spare, getting a job at a club where the bouncers and the owners are complete gentlemen... I don't know, seems a little too perfect for me. Maybe I've been reading too many my-life-is-shit novels or something.
After the initial wow-that-guy-is-sexy phase, I started getting really annoyed of Trent and Kasey's reaction to him. Fine, he's really hot. But do you have to mention how you can't speak and your legs turn to jello every single time you meet eyes? Also, I'm sorry, but he's a stalker. There is no way to get around it. It's mentioned later that he has followed Kasey's life for months before he actually met her, and that is just creepy. Somehow, people think it's okay when the hot guy does the stalking, but stalking is still stalking. It's still the act of creeping on another person without his/her knowledge.
Here's the run-down of this novel: 30% Trent staring at Kasey 40% Kasey thinking about Trent 20% Kasey and Trent sexy times 10% actual substance
To conclude, 90% is about Trent. And he's pretty important, but come on. I thought the book was about Kasey healing herself, not her depending on some guy to do it for her. The unveiling at the end definitely gave me a good shock, though I feel pretty stupid for not foreseeing it earlier. I actually got more interested because of it. The book would've been pretty boring and less fucked up if Tucker had left the twist out, although it might still have worked. I thought everything was too easily solved with the epilogue and last chapter. I don't know if therapy is that miraculous. Maybe it is. But the way everyone seemed to come together again... Like the rest of the book and its characters, it seemed a bit too perfect. I didn't think Tucker spent enough time exploring the other characters for the conclusion to make sense; if she'd laid off a little on Trent and Kasey, there might have been some real, believable development in relationships. As it is, this book is interesting if you like runaway snakes and sexual tension. ...more
I can basically dumb this book down for everyone else who hasn't read it yet with 10 basic sentenThis review can also be found on The Dreaming Reader.
I can basically dumb this book down for everyone else who hasn't read it yet with 10 basic sentences.
1. Girl with dark, secret past that she's ashamed of telling to anyone because it'll make people see her differently moves to a new place. 2. Girl tries to avoid deep connections with other people, especially attractive males who seem to be potential boyfriend material. 3. Girl runs into Boy on first day of class (literally). Boy is attractive (surprise!). 4. Boy is very interested in Girl even though Girl turns down his every advance (actually, maybe that's exactly why he's interested...). 5. Girl finally lets Boy in. They do lots of fun things, like going to a drive-in theater, meeting parents, feeding each other eggs... 6. Girl finds out that Boy is definitely worth it, and so she pushes him away. 7. Boy and Girl fight because Girl is still insecure even though Boy has made it completely clear that he would do anything for her. 8. Boy and Girl get back together because they're both masochists (especially Boy). 9. Boy and Girl fight again because Girl can't get over anything and would rather cry. 10. Boy and Girl get back together and Girl suddenly decides to forget her past and move on. 11. SEX. Or, as Avery words it, "swesomely amazing sex."
TL;DR: Boy meets Girl, Girl is bitch to Boy, Boy can't help himself, Girl is bitch to Boy again, Girl and Boy have sex.
I definitely was reminded of Beautiful Disaster while reading this. It's the exact same formula, with less throwing things and abuse on the male's part. Actually, I think Avery is pretty much guilty of all abuse in this book. I must say that if there's one thing that Armentrout is good at, it's her male leads. Despite all their moments of douchiness, they turn out to be upstanding men, and that's what Cam was. He had astonishingly good moments. There was this one part when Avery says, "Cam, you're a good guy" and he replies with, "I'm only good with you." Pretty heart-melting stuff. His biggest character flaw was getting involved with the hot mess that was Avery. I don't know what to think about the way sexual abuse is addressed in this book. I thought it was overdone in that it was mentioned too much without any details, and it told me nothing new. In a way, it was more a device to further the plot than anything else. In addition, there was an explosion of spelling/grammatical mistakes, and some of the characters have the tendency to speak like middle schoolers who still have to put quarters in the swear jar.
Overall, I didn't really enjoy this. Unlike a lot of people, I actually like the tired, trite formula. But I guess this moment was bound to happen sometime. I was setting myself up for disappointment. Now I'm going to expect to bump into a hot guy my first day at college. ...more
THIS BOOK HAS MADE ME SO CONFUSED. If you look at the shelves I've placed it on in my Goodreads review, you'll probably think I have schizophrenia or some other terrible psychological disorder that only comes into play when I'm reading books.
I was so angry at the start of this book. To me, Kat (Katy? Kittycat? Kitten? WHAT THE HELL IS YOUR NAME?) was suffering from a severe case of Bella Swan Idiocy, what with her stumbling over tree roots and flat ground and ogling Daemon just because of his jaw-droppingly good looks.
Even though I couldn’t stand him, and I actually think he might be the first person I ever hated, he was…he was a god. Who knew the kind of girls he was used to seeing in bathing suits.
She was every bit the annoying girl who doesn't know she's pretty, gets insanely jealous whenever another girl gets within ten inches of a guy she says she hates, and gets distracted whenever he takes off his shirt (which is a lot, in this book).
I was sick of that. Frankly, I was ready to flip some tables and call it a day.
But then... something changed. Maybe it was around the time Katy dumped a tray of spaghetti over Daemon and his fake girlfriend's head, or maybe it was when her comebacks started getting better. At any rate, that was when I began getting interested. It amazed me that this book had such a high rating, and they definitely didn't skimp on the advertising, since covers popped up everywhere. My every step on GR was dogged by the stupid green cover with its flawless models with their glowy green eyes. Which led me to believe that there was something about this book that I was missing. In the first half, all I could think was two stars this book sucks two stars why would anyone read this piece of crap TWO ST--
I mean, it's horribly cliche-ridden. As I've already mentioned, we have the cutely clumsy heroine, who attracts the attention of a guy who's 1000000x hotter than her and his equally hot sister, they're hiding some freaky supernatural secret with connections to Native Americans (this seems to be a crowd pleaser), and the heroine discovers this secret because she's stupid enough to walk in front of a truck. It's a recipe for disaster.
Strangely enough, it works. Not for the first half. That was just frustrating and made me want to stab Katy in the face. But after she discovers their secret, I looked forward to the book. One thing that I absolutely love, and that I have to commend Armentrout on, is that the woman knows how to write chemistry. Not only do they have a fuse-blowing make-out session (literally), Katy and Daemon have these sweet and hot moments together that made me root for them. The ending was a nice addendum to this, and it shows that Katy isn't a weak-spined character like I originally believed. Rather, she's pretty liberal with her middle fingers and insults. Also, she has secret ninja moves.
Daemon fell to his knees beside me, pulling me into his strong, solid arms. “Kat, say something insulting. Come on."
There were just these moments that made me laugh, which contrasted with my eye-rolling in the beginning. I know a lot of people have issues with Daemon, but I have already come to this understanding with myself that I'm attracted to douchebags, so despite Daemon's controlling, possessive, and overconfident demeanor, I find it very endearing. Others might think I'm a whacked out freak who will end up calling the suicide hotline sobbing about domestic abuse, and I am perfectly fine with that. Just leave me to my own dysfunctionality, and we'll be good.
Barring the fact that I like assholes, the plot of the book was strangely intriguing, too. This is my second alien book, Gravity being my first. And I think I realized with this one how much liberty writing about aliens affords you. I mean, with vampires and werewolves there's all that stuff about sticking to the rules with the bloodsucking and silver bullets and garlic necklaces. But with aliens, all that's really required is that they're from another planet. That's it. They could look like Alex Pettyfer or a half-cooked pig with an apple in its mouth, and nobody would complain. Although I prefer Alex Pettyfer. Anyhow, the plot's not that incredible or special, but it was mysterious, and there are still a bunch of things that haven't been explained fully.
In conclusion, I am so bewildered. Everything inside me is screaming at me not to like this book because it smolders of cliche, but what has made us believe that cliche is bad? If it's written well, why shouldn't I like it? Why should I let the critical reviewer inside me say otherwise? Oh yeah, Katy's a book blogger too. It sort of annoyed me in the beginning, just because she annoyed me and so consequently everything about her annoyed me, but then I started liking it towards the end, especially since I empathize. It's been so long since I've read something that had legit chemistry, I think I'm okay with all the possible problems lurking in the book. I feel quite mellow right now.
If anyone was able to make sense of this garbled review, I applaud you. You guys should be running the nation, not those seat-warming nobodies. ...more
Reading this has given me countless good ideas for a riveting game of Would You Rather. For example:
Would you rather be able to smell pheromones or viReading this has given me countless good ideas for a riveting game of Would You Rather. For example:
Would you rather be able to smell pheromones or virginity?
Would you rather run the risk of killing someone in Australia or being raped in the Middle East?
Would you rather make out with a ripped African American who goes to Harvard or always only have brief moments with a hot British band member?
Would you rather control lust or adultery?
Would you rather make out in a closet or on a washing machine?
This book made me laugh countless times, just because I couldn't take the plot or the characters seriously. In addition, there are certain words that should not be used in certain combinations, "big sexy boy" being one of them. At some point, Blake called some Spanish friends "Spanish brahs," which only gave me a brief mental image of bras with little Spanish flags on each cup.
Anna is still annoying with her naïveté and fawning over Kai, and there's lots of back-and-forth with them meeting even though they're technically forbidden from it, not that that's ever stopped anyone. There were a few hot scenes, though Kai doesn't really do anything until the second half of the book.
The ideas behind this book are interesting, but so many things don't add up, and there's more telling than showing. Why send your characters to Australia, London, and Syria if you're not going to bother talking about the places they go to?
Anyway, if you're looking to laugh at Kaidan and Anna's sign language lovin' or the strange things that the Neph do to avoid the Dukes, look no further. ...more
I remember a lot of people were raving about it, but the only aspect making this bookWhat the hell.
I don't even comprehend the ending of this book.
I remember a lot of people were raving about it, but the only aspect making this book a novelty is the strangeness of the brother-sister bond that it revolves around. I was reminded deeply of Forbidden while reading Flawed, but it possesses none of the depth or profundity that Maya's and Lochan's relationship had. The fact that the author incorporated James's fighting and all the trysts with Sam may have added to the reality, but it also convoluted everything.
Also, I have a serious problem with Sam and Sarah. They barely talk until one night, and then they're holding hands and having sex and kissing? Their relationship never seemed very real to me; more like a cardboard thing that went through the steps of a real relationship. On the other hand, her relationship with James is much more understandable, and it makes sense how James could begin to have such feelings towards her. But the way Sarah handles these emotions and the way they're shown in this book isn't done as artfully as it could be. I feel like the police and other things should've been involved in the storyline because it didn't make much sense for them to be living with an abusive father for so long, even with all the excuses supplied. I got really tired of Sarah's incapability of making a decision, how she so quickly regretted one thing before jumping to another, and how she burst into tears every time she suffered abuse from a male.
What this book has shown me is that every guy is looking for sex and power, and I'm getting tired of being told this over and over again. There just wasn't any variety. Of course all the guys Sarah knows are huge, muscular, and know how to fight. Of course the boy she has a crush on does no drugs and loves his mom and is just so perfect before everything all goes to hell. Of course she ruins everything.
Everything just jumbles together in this book, and the ending was just ugh for me. I guess it provides a sense of closure, and it's better than (view spoiler)[James dying but Sam and Sarah happily ever after (hide spoiler)], but I'm just irritated by the way every character is portrayed in this book. I really need something light-hearted for a change. ...more
I, like everyone else, got pretty interested in the premise of this book. It's always interestingThis review can also be found on The Dreaming Reader.
I, like everyone else, got pretty interested in the premise of this book. It's always interesting to see how authors twist the whole concept of dreams and how they influence reality. Insomnia reminded me of Wake in the way it makes dreaming a curse. The entire tone of Insomnia is creepy and dark, and it's easy to feel just as confused as the main character, Parker, about who the real victims and instigators are.
The beginning and end of the book were interesting, but I slogged through the middle. I didn't feel very invested in any of the characters, least of all Parker. Johansson was doing a balancing act with making the main character a possible antagonist, and in this case, I didn't think it was very well done. I never really empathized with Parker's situation or wanted to believe that he wasn't the one doing all the stalking and causing all the chaos. Most of the time, I was sick of him being melodramatic and creepin' on other people when I think there could have been more reasonable ways of dealing with his many situations. In addition, his whole issue with sleep isn't clarified enough for me to buy it completely. First of all, why is he still able to function like a normal person and play soccer (minus all the ogling of his co-captain's sister-in-law)? Second of all, how come he can take naps and not have dreams? Some of the stuff just doesn't add up. Or maybe I just missed stuff while being bored.
The other characters are equally flat. I do like the fact that Finn and Addie were so supportive of Parker, but they were just that. Neither of them did anything beyond that, and I just can't shake the feeling that they're nothing but two characters who will help Parker out of sucky situations. Mia, the girl that Parker thinks is his salvation, is nothing more than a girl who had a crappy past that she was trying to run from. In the end, I definitely felt like she didn't deserve any of the stuff that Parker or anyone else did to her, but is that all she is? The engineered subject of our pity? What happened to the spitfire in the beginning of the book, who did have a comeback or two to Parker's? That part of her seemed to disappear the moment a threat appeared.
I guess Insomnia is more contemporary and grittier than I expected, and I didn't really like that. I enjoyed Wake by Lisa McMann more, though, and it was still pretty firmly rooted in reality. Maybe my dislike has something to do with the main character, Parker, who doesn't seem to do much. There is an interesting idea that the next book will hopefully expand on more, but I don't think I'll continue with the series.
Thank you to Netgalley for giving me the chance to read and review this book....more
Before this book, if someone had approached me and said that it was possible to write a 350 pageThis review can also be found on The Dreaming Reader.
Before this book, if someone had approached me and said that it was possible to write a 350 page novel that basically revolves around a teenage girl angsting in a forest, I would've called bullshit. But this book proved me wrong. Apparently, teenagers can have a lot of angst. Enough to fill 350 pages. I don't want to blaspheme Lovely, Dark and Deep though, because at its heart, it's a beautifully written book. The writing is poetic and conjures up images in a way that a regularly written script of dialogue and hasty descriptions can't. One of the first things that clued me into the prose was the quote on the front jacket flap:
I came here because it's pine-dark and the ocean is wild. The kind of quiet-noise you need when there's too much going on in your head. Like the water and the woods are doing all the feeling, and I can hang out, quiet as a headstone, in a between place. A blank I can bear.
I still can't believe she compared herself to a headstone. She's basically saying her life is a cemetery. This should have been enough of a clue that I was about to venture into depression-land, but apparently it wasn't enough to drive me away.
The entire time I was reading, I kept imagining myself in this silent forest, the kind of forest you find in the east. The trees have heavy snow-covered boughs, and the only sound is silence. Other times, it seemed that this book had submerged me like a rock in the ocean, where everything is muffled but in clarity. This is the world that Wren seems to move through. After her car accident, when she sees her boyfriend die before her eyes, she's lost and can't seem to find meaning in normalcy anymore. The grief in this book is potent, and I had to take breaks from the book because there were times when I thought it would take me under and not let go.
Wren is a tormented character; she takes midnight jogs in the forest and basically wanders around, oblivious to everything around her. It wasn't so bad in the beginning, but as the book went on, I found it really hard to like her. There's an amount of grief that i can deal with, but the way she treated the people around her seemed too harsh. Her decisions were so childish, especially when she decides that she hates Nick, that I couldn't feel sorry for her. She hates quickly and falls in love equally quickly. Cal remains two-dimensional; although his illness gives him character, I never felt like I truly understood him or what he and Wren found in each other beyond their mutual knowledge of what grief feels like.
What I did like, besides the writing, were the side characters, like her father, Mary, and Zara. Although there's not enough exploration into each, their personalities are warm and offset the coldness that seems to surround Wren. When they appear in the book, despite Wren's sulky responses to their attempts to help, they seem to be beacons of hope and recovery. The normalcy they provide becomes more frequent, and I think McNamara did a good job of inserting them into Wren's life slowly but surely. I would've liked her to come to terms with her mother in some sort of way, but I guess the point of that and what happens to her and Meredith are both evidence that there are some circumstances in life that change everything, and there's not much we can do to change it back.
Lovely, Dark and Deep is a heavy novel, but it doesn't have enough momentum and is weighed down by that same heaviness. As I mentioned in my introduction, it's 350 pages of teenage angst. The end didn't seem like an end because the story cuts off, and maybe McNamara intends for us to imagine the rest of Wren's life, now that she's learned to care about others again. At any rate, the story just seems like one prolonged moment, and I have a hard time finding a plot in it. It could have been cut down a lot more so that the sadness was more profound and seemed less like it was dragging on. Also, the fragmented sentences sometimes interrupted the flow of things, especially since the rest of the writing was poetic and smooth.
Well, that's that. I'm exhausted from this book. Time for some Julia Quinn!
Thanks to Simon & Schuster for giving me a chance to read and review this book....more
Alex FRANKS goes to SHELLEY High. Oh my, could this possibly be a FRANKENSTEIN retelling? ExceptThis review can also be found on The Dreaming Reader.
Alex FRANKS goes to SHELLEY High. Oh my, could this possibly be a FRANKENSTEIN retelling? Except now the monster has become a hot seventeen year old boy?!?!?
Joker approves of my superb reasoning skills.
This would've been a great book if it hadn't been so reminiscent of Twilight horrified. Rought had a lot of things going for her. She had a strong main character, a successfully enigmatic male lead, and a plot that any classic/YA lover would be drawn to. I love retellings, and this is the first retelling of Frankenstein that I've seen. In the first couple pages, I rushed through this book. It was exciting, exhilarating, and I wanted to know more about Daniel and Alex and Em. Even though the GR blurb pretty much ruined the big secret for me, I still wanted to get to the bottom of everything and understand it completely. Also, Rought's writing style? Gorgeous. Sometimes it seems to go into the realm of too dramatic, but most of the time, it contributed just the right amount of haunting beauty and really added to the dark tone that existed throughout the book.
There didn't seem to be much going wrong in the first, oh, 100 pages. And I thought this book would be great, but as is the case with my crappy badness-radar, I turned out to be wrong.
Alex Franks was great for five pages. Then his whole mysterious, hood-over-face thing got old fast. It's been done so many times before, and besides his apparent good looks (in which case, why would he need the hood? And if the hood was to hide himself and people had already seen his face, what was the point?), there wasn't really much else he had going for him. I know, I know, he's related to Em's old boyfriend, but despite that, I still felt like she was cheating on Daniel. And this sort of bothered me. Also, what was the deal with Josh? He seemed like such a comical mustache-twirling villain that I couldn't take him seriously. On top of all that, he was a ginger. Figures.
The beginning and end were pretty interesting. There's some action and guts in the last couple pages. But the middle is just mind-numbing backwards and forwards lovin' between Em and Alex, with a couple memories of Daniel scattered in to make her feel guilty. I was never sold on the love. Isn't Rought essentially showing that Em only loves Alex because Daniel's in him? That's messed up, man. What guy wants to be loved because he reminds his girlfriend of her old boyfriend? No one, unless he couldn't get a girl any other way. And given Alex's supposed good looks, I think he'd be able to get someone.
Em is a badass in the first couple pages when she punches people and throws insults, but she softens too much. Sadly, she follows the trend and starts crying a lot. Not that she doesn't have reason to, but sometimes the tears were just unnecessary. I appreciated Rought's integration of Em's mom and dad instead of making her some poor orphan, but I think she really could've done a better job with her characters. None of them really made sense to me.
I recommend giving this book a try, even if it does get redundant in the middle. The end is pretty cliche, but you should just stick with it for the writing style. I think that was my favorite part. ...more
After reading The DUFF and being too disgusted with it to finish, I didn'This review can also be found on The Dreaming Reader.
Actual Rating: 2.5 Stars
After reading The DUFF and being too disgusted with it to finish, I didn't really have high hopes for this book. But after reading, I have to admit it's better than Keplinger's debut. The premise is interesting: a sex strike? Some things weren't believable to me, especially the fact that everyone was having sex in this high school (or something close to it). In my experience, there are select people who can be classified as sluts or whores, but the entire population as a whole usually doesn't start having these huge debacles with sex until later. Call me jaded, but I'm graduating high school, and I'm a bit sick of the stereotype that high school athletics are breeding pools of sex and debauchery, because really, they're not.
The main character pissed me off. Lissa was whiny, neurotic in a bad way, and a complete bitch to everyone, including but not limited to her best friend and the potential love interest. I found it difficult to believe it was so easy for her to repair her friendship with Ellen. And the fact that Cash (what is with the name? Bleech.) first became attracted to her because she was beautiful?
Urgh. And she was given this sad background, with the dead mom and wheelchair-bound dad, but I never could summon up much sympathy for her, which was also a problem when I read The DUFF. It's funny because I liked virtually everyone else. I liked the slutty best friend, who had these tiny nuggets of wisdom when they mattered. I liked Mary and Finn, and their adorable relationship with each other, which I would've preferred to learn about over Lissa and Cash's lackluster one. I even liked Kelsey. I liked all the girls, because they did what was right when it mattered.
But Lissa didn't. Lissa pretty much offended everyone, but they welcomed her back. For a couple of chapters, I had to deal with her repeating We have to win. We have to win, as well as her endless droning about how guys suck, and her gigantic text blocks of inner monologue where she mused over how sex is okay and being a virgin is okay and OKAY I GET IT. I've never read a book that preached so obviously as this one did, and I did not like it. At all. It ruined the story, it ruined the main character, and it ruined the experience.
Giving this 2.5 because despite the way the storyline annoyed me, there were some random moments that squeezed a couple chuckles out of me. And Cash was too perfect to be true, despite his name.
In unison, they stripped off their shirts and tossed them onto the grass. An audible sigh--like the ones you hear on a sitcom that is "filmed in front of a live studio audience"--filled the room. It was almost funny, really. Such a strong reaction to a bunch of shirtless boys.
Of course, Lissa had to come in and ruin it by shutting the window and forbidding the girls from looking. What's wrong with looking, I ask you?...more
I don't know how Cass is going to stretch this into a trilogy. I honestly don't. Unless this has another beautiful cThis is what the first book did:
I don't know how Cass is going to stretch this into a trilogy. I honestly don't. Unless this has another beautiful cover I can't resist, I'm going to avoid this book like the plague.
Update 7/23 So... I finished this book. It was just as awful as the first, if not worse. It's worse in that it tries to develop a love triangle and makes a bad name for women everywhere. America decides to love whichever guy is in the room and then forget him the moment he leaves it. The book attempts to explain what happened and to contribute to the whole dystopian aspect, but the explanation is extremely weak, given through the ever-cliche diary from a really old dead guy who happens to be very important. I can't say that men are given a very good image either, though. Maxon talks about how much he loves America while consorting with other women and trying to make himself "feel good," which is literally how he justifies it. And of course, we see how he has a troubled past brought on by a violent upbringing.
I didn't find any part of this book enjoyable, but I want to finish this series and find out what the hell actually happens. None of the characters have struck me as anything but fickle and one-dimensional, with the exception of Aspen. He remains constant, though in a very shallow manner. It's not about how the author has been horrible, anymore. This book is bad. Exceptionally bad. If I haven't ever questioned how the publishing industry works, I am certainly questioning it now. The writing style is stilted and sounds as if it's catering to elementary schoolers. The plot is not developed in the least, and the characters have all been built to fit some sort of mold, but they can't even seem to accomplish that. All in all, this series lacks class and cohesiveness, attempting to throw out twists that absolutely contribute nothing. Originally I started reading this to get over the pain that Siege and Storm had instilled in me, but now it's just created this little pit of disgust in my stomach. Bleeech. ...more
I like all the different ways you can spin a contemporary novel. You can focus on only charactersThis review can also be found on The Dreaming Reader.
I like all the different ways you can spin a contemporary novel. You can focus on only characters, and the setting doesn't matter. You can focus on an idea, like a girl pretending to date someone else, and that idea is the overriding aspect of a story. Or you can focus on the way characters travel through a setting. I especially like ones that incorporate something new, be it a traveling circus, a different country, or a high school with strange traditions. The novelty always gives me a rush (haha). And I thought I'd find the same thing with Such a Rush. Sadly, that didn't happen.
I don't have much experience with Jennifer Echols's writing; this is my first glimpse at one of her books. However, I do compartmentalize her with the period of life that I spent reading about melodramatic relationships and sex between teenagers that seemed too fake and too fast. I'm talking books like The Other Boy by Hailey Abbott and The Au Pairs. I didn't read many of those kinds of books, just because I found the material extremely repetitive and shallow. Such a Rush didn't seem like that kind of book, and I found the concept of a girl learning to be a pilot really interesting. It's definitely something you don't regularly see in a book. Also, I can't say no to a sexy bad boy, which is what Grayson is, supposedly.
In the beginning, I got into this book with all the excitement that Leah has on her first flying lesson. I've never read anything that depicted life in a trailer park to the extent that this book did, so it was a harsh glimpse into the way life is for people. However, I did feel that sometimes it was portrayed to the point of overkill because of the number of times Leah mentions the "whores on the beach" or the pitbull. Although Leah says time and time again that she isn't bitter about people having more than she does, the way she flies off the handle every time somebody questions her about her life makes those statements hypocritical. I can't hate her entirely, though; she takes what she has and runs with it. She's exceptionally driven, and I never wanted to strangle her at any time through the book, except maybe when she did that cutting at the throat motion, just because it seemed like a rude and random thing to do.
Now, the other characters. Grayson is a bipolar douchebag. He keeps assuming Leah is a whore, blackmails her into dating his brother for his own purposes, and despite all his sweet words, he still wants her to continue doing what he tells her to do. Alright, he's muscular, has curly blond hair, and always wears aviators and a cowboy hat. That's all really great, but not exactly a good reason for a person to fall in love with him. There is some depth to him, considering how he changes after he almost crashes his plane and after his father's death, but that could have been explored further instead of just being used as an excuse for his assholery. Alec and Molly are equally infuriating. I probably hated Molly most because she dragged Leah to a party even when Leah explicitly did not want to go. Molly is selfish and bitchy, a classic rich girl who puts herself first. Alec is one-dimensional and vindictive. The conflict in the book wasn't much of a conflict, since everybody seemed to already know what the problem was.
My greatest problem with this book is that it seemed supremely unrealistic, both in the way the plot unfolds and in the way the characters treat each other. Sure, Leah might be desperate, but it doesn't make sense that she would befriend people who treat her like trash and rub their richness in her face. There were also periods that Grayson or Leah would say something that was supposedly profound but sounded more like a preachy let-me-rub-a-moral-lesson-in-your-face line. I couldn't connect to any of the characters because I didn't find any of them that likable, and none of them possessed much depth. Also, why is the cover (gorgeous as it is) of a girl with straight hair when Leah harps so much over her curly hair? ...more