OVERALL A great addition to follow the amazing Dante’s Girl. Looking forward to the next one!
Five times. That’s how many times I have looked at the clock while my mother has been lecturing me.
Most Memorable Scene Skinny dipping! Horseback riding.
Plot After the many environmental disasters that have happened recently I wasn’t surprised to see it as a focal point for a contemporary romance. Without giving too much away I liked how the event brought the characters closer together. Seeing them all work together to help the community as well as each other was nice. Having a reason to bring Reece and Dante back was also another bonus!
Oh, Caberra is amazing. It was sad to envision the destruction that happened to the lovely place but Courtney does an amazing job at fixing and putting everything back in it’s proper place. The setting is not a major part of this story but helps set the mood in a few scenes. Overall, the setting in this series is as beautiful as paradise.
Writing Just like with Dante’s Girl this book was very well thought out. Told from Mia’s point of view and it’s nice to see her character go through her issues. I feel like Mia did a great job with the narration and don’t feel like I missed anything story wise from other characters. I must say I have a massive soft spot for Gavin and wouldn’t have minded a scene from his POV.
Originality This is the only area I struggled with while reading. There are SO MANY common areas in this to Dante’s Girl. When Mia runs down the hall in her heels just like Reece did I had to roll my eyes just a smidgen. That scene was followed by a scene by the pool as well.
Characters We know Mia pretty well from Dante’s Girl but she’s going through something major. She’s a bit different but in a good way. We are also familiar with Quinn from what Reece told us in the first book. I find that I wanted to know a bit more about him then what we did learn. And then there’s Gavin. Oh Gavin, you had me in the first book and this one you’ve managed to hook me again. I hope the next book is all his, he deserves great happiness and he is so swoon-worthy it hurts my heart.
Having Reece and Dante back was nice.
Romance The romance in this one seems a little setup, obviously. The issue that Mia is working through makes the romance a little tricky. Because of the trickiness I didn’t get that crazy love feeling I did in the first book. I was pulled in two different directions and because of my love for one of the characters I wanted the one thing to work out when I KNEW it wasn’t going to.
Title/Cover Bonus These covers are amazing. The title to this one isn’t amazing but it works fine.
Ending It ended how I thought it would. I was happy with the ending and I am hoping for another book. Preferrably with Gavin’s happily ever after....more
OVERALL An incredibly unique dystopian centered around a blind girl, Fennel, and her tree top dwelling Keeper, Peree, as they embark on an incredible journey together.
Trailer None at time of review.
First Line I duck out of the storeroom and into the main cavern, stepping carefully across the uneven floor.
Most Memorable Scene The night that Fennel is punished.
Plot Goodness me! There ends up being so much to the plot that the above summary only skims the surface. Being sightless has it’s advantages in Fennel’s community and a ton of responsibility. We quickly learn that the community is suffering from something more than what we first get introduced to. Fennel and Peree make an amazing pair, each of them committed to seeing a better future for their groups.
Setting A.G. Henley has created a world like no other I have read. Imagine one community divided into two groups. One group living on the ground, Groundlings, and another living in the trees, Lofties. And then there are the Scourge, otherwise known as fleshies, that scare the groundlings into hiding in the caves until the scourge move on.
Writing Even though the narration is first person from Fenenl’s point of view there’s no lack of detail, which seems odd but works out perfectly.
Originality The idea of having Groundlings and Lofties is only the beginning of the originality found in this book. The Sightless and the Keeper are very original character roles as well. Then there’s the Scourge, which initially seems like the average zombie, but there’s a lot more to them. The caves hold a lot of uniqueness too.
The characters are some of the most unique too.
Characters Fennel is a Sightless girl who was offered in the Exchange from the Lofties to the Groundlings. She is fostered by Aloe, another Sightless woman. She is one of the strongest willed characters I have ever read. I knew going in that the main character was blind and I wasn’t sure how much I would enjoy reading a book about a blind girl but it made the book that much better.
Bear is a member of the Groundlings and he is interested in Fennel. I liked his macho self and his humor.
Peree is Fennel’s Loftie Keeper. His role is to protect her from the Scourge while she gathers water for their people. He is an archer and shoots arrows at the Scourge when they get too close or forceful with Fennel.
There are many secondary characters that we meet along the way and I adored most of them.
Romance Fennel and Peree develop quite the relationship while Fennel is the Water Bearer. Without giving too many spoilers away, lets just say that they make a great pair. I liked their sweetness and their ability to trust each other, more so on Fennel’s side because of her blindness.
Title/Cover Bonus The title is fitting and the cover fits but it’s a little dark and I probably would not pick this up or click on it by only seeing the cover.
Ending The ending was great. This book is a self contained book. There are no lose ends. It could be a standalone, however, it says “Book 1″ on the cover so…..
Series A.G. Henley is working on a sequel. Check out her website for updates on it....more
Lacking original plot line but has an amazing cast of supporting characters full of life, dreams, passion and honor. I am very critical in my review on the originality. If I hadn't seen Moulin Rouge! prior to reading this I can bet you any amount of money that I would have been head over heels for this book.
Trailer None at time of review.
A trumpet blast, followed by silence.
Most Memorable Scene Hale's first kiss. It just happens to be with Roland and it's awesome. Read an excerpt on A Dream Within A Dream.
Plot Hale is a singer in a New Orleans cabaret show where her mother lived. The plot centers around Hale attempting to secure a decent future for her and her orphaned friend, Christina aka Teeny. The plot is very closely mirrored to that of Baz Luhrmann's Moulin Rouge!. If you've seen that movie, you've read the gist of this book, with some character switches and additions mostly. That being said there are some differences that added a little bit to the story, of which I did like.
Setting The majority of the scenes are set in the theater on stage, in Hale's room and in the catwalks/rafters of the stage set. We only get to venture out into New Orleans a few times but nothing amazing.
Writing Written from Hale's point of view. I think the story was written fine. My issue is with the originality.
Originality Have you seen the movie Moulin Rouge! with Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor? I have seen it a million times. I love it. Even my husband loves it. We even used Come What May as our song. I was told that this book was similar but I was not prepared with HOW similar it is. I suppose if no one saw the movie they would have no idea how similar it is. I saw that there is a blog tour going on right now for this title so I tweeted a few that have reviewed the book to see what they thought.
It seems that most have NOT seen the movie so they could not compare.
Overall, if the story had such similarities to bother me so bad it must be one too many. I realize that sayings such as "break a leg" and "the show must go on" are popular theater sayings but for them to happen in just about the same sequence as a major motion picture that cannot be overlooked.
The biggest similarity was the reference to the song Come What May, which I mentioned above as our song (my husband and I).
"What's the backstory here?" I asked, glancing over the lyrics he handed me. I read one line aloud. "I will love you until my dying breath?"
"The audience will swoon," he said as he walked to the piano.
--Location 4020 (72%)
The actual line is: "I will love you until my dying day." Changing one word does not make this okay.
Am I being too critical? Taking this too personal? I probably am but when I feel passionately about something I usually do.
I can say that I did enjoy the original aspects that happened along the way. But who's to say they are original. Leigh told me herself that she got her inspiration from several sources. Maybe I didn't recognize them because I'm not familiar enough with them. The guest post is featured on Lost in Literature.
I have read several books that were heavily based on existing themes or fairytales but the point is to make them your own. Keeping the overall theme is fine but changing heavy elements is necessary. I would reference the work of Jackson Pearce (Fairytale Retellings) and Marissa Meyer (Lunar Chronicles), both of which have written amazing fairytale retellings with incredibly original content.
Characters I didn't love Hale. I liked how protective she was of Teeny but we didn't really learn anything about her likes and wants. I feel like I didn't really know her at all. I feel like her only lines were "Where's Teeny?" and "I have to protect Teeny."
Teeny was mildly annoying but that's forgivable because she's a spunky 12 year old.
Roland is Hale's first love and a true romantic. I really loved his character. I wish we would have learned a bit more about him but I think we knew more about him than we did Hale.
Evie is Hale's best friend. She didn't shine but her scenes we enjoyable.
Gavin and Guy are brothers. Guy owns the theater and Gavin runs it. Guy is a creeper and Gavin is a pussy. I didn't like either of them.
Beau, oh, Beau. He was lovely. I really enjoyed his character. I loved how strong and focused he was. I kept rooting for him all the way until the end.
Freddie Lovel is one amazing man. I found him to be too proper at times, early on, but liked how he progressively opened himself to Hale. He is a genuine gentleman and I was also rooting for his happiness until the end.
Molly is a shadow of a character I wanted to know more about. There were glimpses of who she really was but it was all very vague and I wish this was focused on more.
Romance If you saw Moulin Rouge! then you know that this story centers around a young lady performer who is being pursued by a high ranked gentleman but falls in love with a "penniless" stagehand all within a theater that has some risque business going down inside.
The attraction between Hale and Beau is believable and happens all naturally. Freddie as a suitor seems logical but Hale's heart just into him. He's such a nice guy though that it's a tiny bit infuriating to watch Hale think nothing of him.
Title/Cover Bonus No, I did like both. In the guest post Leigh did at Lost in Literature she says that Rouge is in reference to Teeny's hair color. Which I found quite funny because it is not referenced enough for me to even put two and two together. I didn't even notice her hair was strawberry blonde until the last few pages of the book. Actually, in the very beginning it was described as:
Her blonde hair was streaked with auburn highlights that on some days shone bright red.
The most times "red" was used was to describe Hale's red velvet dressing gown and the numerous red roses.
Ending I honestly was expecting this to end like Moulin Rouge! did, at least in general. I was actually very glad that it didn't. I can't say that I liked the ending but it was the most logical ending possible, without all hell breaking lose.
I can't possibly see the sequel copying anything else from Moulin Rouge! so I have faith that this might actually turn out to be a decent series. I am just oh so sad that this opening book did not sit well with me. If I hadn't seen Moulin Rouge! prior to reading this I can bet you any amount of money that I would have been head over heels for this book.
A beautiful look at first love between two unlikely teenagers: a uniquely dressed redheaded girl with a dazzling smile and a headphone wearing, pretty ninja boy with comic books.
Park XTC was no good for drowning out the morons at the back of the bus.
Most Memorable Scene
The eyeliner. Specifically when Park wore it the next morning on the bus. Or maybe the day Park's family went to the boat show. Or maybe when they break a few cassette tapes. ;) Also, the ninja scene. Yeah, that one.
Eleanor and Park are an unique couple. Their journey from bus seat companions to boyfriend and girlfriend is amazingly sweet and unique. Eleanor has several struggles throughout this book. She's dealing with an awful home life, mean girls at school and generally being a teenager.
Park also has issues at home, but nothing compared to Eleanor's. He has a great life and Eleanor just complements it that much more.
Omaha is the town they live in. Eleanor lives in a rundown house that she shares with her 4 younger siblings, her mom and stepdad. She also shares one bedroom with all the kids. The bathroom is off of the kitchen and does not have a door.
Park's house is tidy with lots of glass grapes and matching decor. It's nice.
Lots of scenes happen at their school but the majority happens on their bus.
Loved the writing. Told in third person point of view. The chapter names were their names depending on who was the main character of the scene. I liked the 80's time frame and felt it was conveyed perfectly.
This book was amazing. It had so much character within the characters it blew my mind. It is probably one of my favorite contemporary young adult romances to date. It would be in the ranks among Graffiti Moon , The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, and Dante's Girl.
These are some truly unique and amazing characters with so much depth and character it's hard to put into words. I loved how Eleanor and Park communicated. Also like they could read each other's minds.
Eleanor is living an incredibly difficult teen life. Her home life is awful. She has a stepdad that is nearly abusive, a mother who lets the stepdad walk all over her and treat the kids badly. The house they all live in is a piece of junk. The bathroom does not have a door. Seriously? She spends half of the book without a toothbrush and washing with flea and tick shampoo. It's awful.
I could relate to Eleanor's home life immensely. I too have a stepfather that struck the kind of fear Eleanor had in me at her age. I can't compare it too much without subjecting myself to that time again. Keeping my head low and staying out of the spot light were the goals of my teenaged life. Keeping my younger sister out of the light was also a major goal.
Park is a very cute Korean boy that first tells Eleanor:
Jesus-fuck, just sit down.
He has some amazing scenes that made me laugh my head off. He's so funny and so sweet and I swooned so many times from his actions, his words and his mom. Oh, his mom! I loved her character so stinking much. She's Korean, adorable and pretty perfect, even when she makes a mistake. Park's dad is also pretty awesome.
Oh boy. The romance in this is amazing. Seeing a trend here? It is the sweetest thing ever. Who knew holding hands could be so romantic? I loved how Rainbow explained their physical reactions. How their nerve endings didn't work when they touched themselves, only when the other touched them. That was pure genius. I couldn't get enough of their romance.
The title and the cover for this book are both brilliant. They are both simple and to the point. The cover itself is spot on. Beautiful.
I hated the ending because I didn't want it to end!!!! I can say that I honestly didn't know how Rainbow could possibly end this book. It does end on a bad and sad situation. I wish it would have ended a bit more tucked in but it was okay.
Pretty sure this is a standalone. I would be lying if I said I was happy it's a standalone. I would LOVE a follow up book centered around these two. Maybe with them at college? ...more
Overall A great book. Teen pregnancy is unfortunate and can have horrible outcomes.
Writing I loved the structure of this book. The flash backs to Ev's friends and events. The chapter titles were nice.
Personal Story I had a best friend that got pregnant at 15. She is now thirty with 2 children and a husband. She lost her most recent child to a sepsis infection within the first two weeks of her life. She has not had an easy life but I know that she and her husband made the right decision to raise their child together.
Teen Pregnancy I can't say that I agree or disagree with Ev's decisions in this book. I know that I would have handled many issues differently. I made it my prerogative to NOT get pregnant as a teen. It was the one thing my step-father always threw in my face while I was growing up. I was and continue to be motivated to do what others think I can't do. In this case, get through high school without becoming pregnant. That doesn't mean I wasn't sexually active. It just means I was smart and didn't let myself get caught up in the situation. I also had a great partner that was also smart and didn't forget to be protective.
Moral In the end this book hammered in the one thing I do agree with. It is your decision to make yourself. I also believe it is also the baby's father's decision too. It may be your body but the child is not just the mother's. It's both of theirs.
Now this one was interesting. There seems to be a new genre emerging lately, a mix of YA and adult or rather a more mature YA. While a contemporary atNow this one was interesting. There seems to be a new genre emerging lately, a mix of YA and adult or rather a more mature YA. While a contemporary at heart this went a bit deeper than the usual YA. It embraced college issues, abuse in just about all aspects, sex, friendship and addiction, again, in all different kinds of forms. The only major issue I had with this was the length and the focus on some of the topics more than the others. Overall, an enjoyable contemporary....more
Now this book….was interesting and not really in a good way. This is YA but it is way mature for a budding teen. It’s focus is purely on sex. Two bestNow this book….was interesting and not really in a good way. This is YA but it is way mature for a budding teen. It’s focus is purely on sex. Two best friends, Sam and Ally, manage to cross the line to friends with benefits. It’s vulgar yet hilarious. The tone is true to teens, especially Sam’s. I couldn’t really relate to Ally’s character too much. A quick read....more
My Grade Plot: 5 Setting: 6 Writing: 5 Originality: 5 Characters: 5 Romance: 6 Overall: 32/30! A+++++ Super sweet romance in paProcurement Kismet Blog Touring
My Grade Plot: 5 Setting: 6 Writing: 5 Originality: 5 Characters: 5 Romance: 6 Overall: 32/30! A+++++ Super sweet romance in paradise! Title/Cover Bonus: 5
Overall An incredibly sweet contemporary romance set in the perfect paradise with the perfect Prince Charming ever.
Trailer None at time of review.
First Line It is impossible to look hot in the dingy fluorescent light of an airport bathroom.
Most Memorable Scene There are a lot of swoon worthy scenes but I think I enjoyed the night of their first kiss the most. especially the trick that Casanova Gavin pulls!
Plot I loved everything about the plot. The reason why Reece meets Dante, their traveling issues, the internship, and the fact that everything is perfect. Also, I loved the hidden mystery that made this just a bit more than a contemporary romance.
Setting Oh sweet baby monkeys! The scenery is to die for. Caberra is a made up island country off the coast of Greece. It's beautiful with stunning beaches and ocean fronts. Cobblestone walkways, snorkeling, yachts, palaces, olive groves and so much more!
Writing Told from Reece's point of view. Reece is a different kind of girl. She really lets it all out. I loved her inner dialogue and how she was so truthful with everyone. I would have loved to seen some of it from Dante's perspective but I was so very pleased with Reece's narration.
Originality A true contemporary romance centered around an incredibly charming young man and a farm girl lady. It was a mash-up of two completely different cultures but it overcame the differences that only true love can do. A complete must read and perfect for the summer time!
Characters Oh, these two main characters are truly spectacular! Reece is a Kansas farm girl detoured on her way to London for the summer with her dad. She meets the impossibly charming Dante in the airport. They click together as perfectly as velcro and really never let go. They are the perfect pair. I loved each of them and found them to be real and perfectly perfect in just about every aspect!
Elena, Mia, Nate, Vincent, Becca, Quinn and Gavin are some supporting characters we meet.
Romance Dude. There's so much romance it's sickening, but in an awesomely good way! It was painful for me to stop reading it was so good.
Title/Cover Bonus An awesome cover! And while the title is fitting it's kinda spoilery. Of course we know they'll get together but it seems kind of redundant or something to call it that.
I'm interested in seeing what the next title will be. Guess we'll have to wait to find out!
Ending Dude, the ending had me on the edge of my seat!! It was shocking and frightening. I couldn't wait to see exactly happened. I can say that I want the next book to be centered around Reece and Dante but I've heard the sequel is about two other characters! I'm hoping it includes snippets of them any way!
Series This is book one so another book is expected! I can't wait for it! ...more
This book was great! A mix of Shadow and Bone (Grisha Trilogy) and Blood Red Road (Dustlands, Book 1) and maybe a little bit of Throne of Glass. I didn’t love the ending very much but that’s okay because it ensured that I will come back to read the next book in the series....more
Overall An enlightening portrayal of the Amish community, forbidden love and strong family values.
Trailer None at time of review.
First Line Holy crap. I watched the churning water rush over the driveaway and back into the swollen creek bed.
Most Memorable Scene The first time Rose and her family eats dinner with Noah’s family. The social ranking within the Amish community is shocking to a first timer.
Plot While this would seem like any normal teen romance it really isn’t. Forbidden love is one of the strongest loves to read about. Rose meets Noah, an Amish young man, and almost instantly falls for him. She’s a riot with a strong personality that Noah finds refreshing since the females of the Amish community are anything but rioting nor having strong personalities.
I found it refreshing to see their relationship grow even though they had to be sneaky. Sneaky teenage romances seem more realistic to me than some open door romances. Stolen eye contact and hand holdings have more impact than public displays of affection.
Setting Obviously an Amish community is the setting for this book. I can’t remember exactly where they were located but I do remember a reference to Lancaster County Pennsylvania at one point. It might have been the place where the exiled go to relearn their basic rules and such.
Writing Told in dual point of views between Rose and Noah the writing was very well done. The characters were true and believable as teenagers and Noah was a believable young man.
Originality This was a first for me. I only know so much about the Amish community and I feel like I learned a ton while reading this book.
Honestly, this book read like a paranormal read. Odd, but very true. To me, Noah being Amish was about as weird as if he were really a vampire. It was like learning about a strange version of vampires and his vampire family and their weird ways of living. The Amish are a different breed of beings and to a normal person it can feel like they are the paranormal versus the normal.
Characters Rose was great and Noah was a true gentleman. Rose’s dad and brothers brought humor and family matters into the story that added a bit of depth to the story as well.
Romance The romance is strong in this book. Rose and Noah have a magnetic force between them that is very hard for either of them to resist. It’s sweet and it’s passionate in a pure way.
Title/Cover Bonus Eh, I not impartial to either but they don’t stand out to me as awesome either.
Ending It’s no secret that this will be a series and it can be seen by the ending and of course the sneek peak to the second book at the end o f the eARC.
All of the talk about marriage towards the end of this book had me a bit weary. I married at a young age and while that was fine, I think in Rose and Noah’s situation that it was a bit too much at this time. I was glad to see where they went towards and look forward to seeing what happens next.
Series The next book in the series will feature Rose’s oldest brother, Sam. I really enjoyed the sneak peek and will probably follow along to the next book to see what happens!!
My Grade Plot: 3 Setting: 5 Writing: 4 Originality: 4 Characters: 3 Romance: 3 Overall: 22/30 = 73% Eh, not my fProcurement eARC from publisher via NetGalley.
My Grade Plot: 3 Setting: 5 Writing: 4 Originality: 4 Characters: 3 Romance: 3 Overall: 22/30 = 73% Eh, not my favorite Title/Cover Bonus: 4
Overall A Western about a cross dressing girl meets a scientist and a white American Indian all set out to uncover why the dead walk.
Most Memorable Scene When Jett is running away from the one town and meets the other two characters. Kinda couldn’t wait to see how the three of them ended up together.
Plot Jett is a girl dressed as a man cowboy out looking for her brother. She stumbles into a town and all hell breaks loose. When she flees from that town she runs into two other strange people, Gibbons and White Fox, who were headed for the town she’s just come from. The three of them set off to figure out what the heck is going on.
Setting The setting was probably my favorite part. I’m a fan of historical fiction but I haven’t read many Western types before. There are lots of saloon and jail scenes.
Writing The writing was okay in my book. I liked that it jumped around from character to character and didn’t just stay with Jett, although she was my favorite character.
Originality I’ve read my share of zombie books and historical too. While this isn’t your average zombie book at all it did have it’s own version going on so I commend the authors for that. However, I wish it had just a bit more going on.
Characters Jett was my kind of girl. I loved her attitude and enjoyed it when it was her turn to narrate.
Gibbons was pretty awesome too. Her scientific background kept things interesting.
White Fox was pretty cool too. I enjoyed his down to Earth outlook and easy going way.
Romance I didn’t see any romance. I also only got 80% done so who knows if something blossomed after that. I don’t think it would have though.
Title/Cover Bonus I like both just fine.
Ending I didn’t end up finishing this before my turn on the tour was up. But I also didn’t have the urge to keep reading either. The book lacked action and continuous flow or something. It failed to hook my attention or give me the need to know feeling.
Series I don’t think this is a series. Since I also don’t know how it ended I can’t say whether or not if it would make a good series. I don’t think I’d continue reading it anyway.