This book had my full attention as soon as I read the description. Finally! Someone who remembers that Romeo was all in love with someone else at the beginning of that horrid play!
What this awesome author does is take The Tragedy of Romeo & Juliet and set it in modern times, telling the story from Rosaline’s perspective (the girl Romeo was all in love with until he set eyes on the wonderful Juliet and fulls in lust love with her). My excitement could not be contained when I saw that PulseIt had this novel up for the month of June. ::dies of happiness:: This novel starts with the romance just beginning between Rob (aka Romeo) & Rosaline. They have been neighbors and best friends for their entire lives and they are in that awkward stage between friendship and romance. Then Rosaline’s cousin moves back into town and it all goes to hell. Rob drops Rosaline like a hot potato to get next to Juliet without any explanation at all beyond “I didn’t expect to fall for her” which obviously upsets Rose.
I had mixed feelings about Rose. One minute, I could completely relate to her and the next, I was so annoyed at her for acting so stupid. The same goes for her friends, one minute I was so irritated at them for being so shallow and the next they are pulling together to help Rose in any way they can. In the beginning this novel reminded me a lot of Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver, especially the dynamic between the friends. But the difference is that when Rose starts changing, they don’t push her away, they support her like real friends should. It also reminded of that because I knew from the beginning that she would end up with the geeky guy they were making fun of, just like in Before I Fall (except Rose gets to live happily ever after whereas Sam dies at the end of Before I Fall which made me angry to no end, but I digress).
The one thing that truly shocked me about this book was my reaction to it. Going in, I knew this was a retelling of Romeo & Juliet, so I knew that R & J were going to die, right? Wrong!
Even though I should have, I didn’t see their deaths coming, at all. I was completely fucking blindsided by it. And I could completely understand Rose’s guilt over the deaths and how she kind of collapsed into herself after the fact. I was irritated at her for pushing everyone away and at the same time, I could completely see where she was coming from. That is when I really became impressed with her friends because they refused to back down. They stand by her throughout the whole catastrophe and in the end, they make her get out of her bed and continue on with life. I think this novel is as much about friendship as it is about love and loss. It’s a really great read and anyone else who wants to see a completely unique spin on Shakespeare’s worst most romantic play
WARNING: This review may contain, foul language, spoilers, general rantiness, and a...moreThe review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
WARNING: This review may contain, foul language, spoilers, general rantiness, and an over use of angry gifs.
I really wanted to like this book. Truly, I did. But it pissed me off and I can’t say that I will be recommending it to anyone. In fact, I have already told several people to steer clear. Let’s do the basics first. Out Of Reach is the story of Rachel’s journey to find her wayward brother. She enlists the help of his bestie, Tyler to assist her and they head out to search in the areas she thinks he might be. A few weeks before, she received an anonymous email stating that her brother was in a lot of trouble and she should come and try to help. Why she thinks she will be able to find her brother by simply looking on street corners in a single day was beyond me, but hey, more fucking power to her misguided hope.
I started off really enjoying this novel. Rachel didn’t seem so bad and I was intrigued by Tyler. There was obvious chemistry between the two though Rachel does her best to deny it. Plus, I was hoping she would find her brother, bond with Tyler over the experience, and things would end more or less happily.
I know, it was a goddamn pipedream, but I try to start every novel from a happy place…..unless I’m reading it because I want to be depressed, but that is a different matter entirely. The further I got into this book, the more irritated I became. The more I read about Rachel, the more my dislike started to creep in. She gives these flashbacks from when they were younger and her and Micah (her brother) were just sssssoooo close. But here is what I don’t get, if you were so bonded and lied to your parents for each other and all this other shit, then why did you wait all goddamn summer to start searching for him?
Micah disappears at the very beginning of summer and you just write it off, knowing his a goddamn drug addict, because your parents assure you he is fine and you don’t think you should waste your time on it?!?!?!
And now you are all of a sudden worried because you got an email? Lady, I just can’t even begin to describe how much this angers me. This bitch ends up being one of the most self-center, egocentric, moronic heroines I have ever read about…and that statement includes Bella fucking Swan. Oh yeah, I went there. Anyway, a whole lot of shit goes down, they ask around drug dealers places and look on the beach and such, then Miss Whiny-pants car gets stolen. Well, geez, you leave a Honda Civic (one of the most stolen cars in the US) parked on the wrong side of town, what the hell did you think was going to happen?
Then there is the ending, which leaves a lot to fucking be desired. Rachel and Tyler end up finding her car and stealing it back, then head home, sans Micah who is still MIA. Then they kinda sorta discuss their feelings and it’s (lightly) implied that they’ll date soon. Rachel writes an email to Micah, which she doesn’t know if he’ll ever get and sends it out into the universe, basically saying that she isn’t going to worry about him anymore, she’s just going to live her life. Cold hearted bitch. You spent ONE DAY searching.
This novel really was just a whole lot of fuck ups. In retrospect, I realize that I guess the author was trying to write a “realistic” portrayal of the impacts drugs have on the lives of family and friends, but she should have picked a heroine who really cared about the drug-addled brother. I was expecting her to search for several days to find her brother and then drag him home or have him tell her to fuck off or SOMETHING. Whether it be dragging his ass back home for rehab or having an epic confrontation that ends in her leaving him to rot on the side of the street, I wanted something to happen. I would call the ending anti-climatic at best.
Despite all the complaints, I did like how much information the author gave us about meth addicts. It did seem like she did her research on that, but that just wasn’t enough. If that was all I wanted, I could have gotten a pamphlet from my local health department. All in all, don’t bother with this unless you want a big letdown. Do I recommend it to anyone at all? I'll let Cas answer that one for you. (less)
I hated this. If I was reading this in a physical form instead of...more**spoiler alert** The review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
I hated this. If I was reading this in a physical form instead of digital, I probably would have thrown the damn thing out the window and set the damned thing on fire.
I was iffy going into it but I read a few glowing reviews and thought I would give it a shot....I wish I wouldn't have. I wish I would have went with my gut instinct and stayed far fucking away. I thought the majority of this book was tolerable, even enjoyed bits of it. I loved Noah and Charlotte. I like the world it was in and the idea of the incarnates. But that ending ruined any chance this book had to even get a 2 star rating. It I could rate negative stars, I would.
What, you ask, can be so bad that I will refuse to read the sequel even though I have very big need to finish all the series I start even if they suck? She kills Noah. DEAD. At the very end, after Seraphina (I love her name) thinks everything is okay and she'll get her happily ever after, she learns that Cyrus isn't actually dead, but instead he took Noah's body. Now in another book this may mean that Noah is just suppressed, but not in this one. Avery Williams spends a good deal of time explaining that to take over a body, you must first get the original soul out of it. Therefore Noah is fucking dead.
No...that's all I really have to say about the sequel. I do not want waste my time reading while Ms Williams paints herself out of a corner. Hell no. FUCK NO. Just plain old N-O.
EDIT: Someone has pointed out a legitimate possible way Noah is alive to me, therefore, I *MIGHT* read the sequel if Noah isn't dead. So, anyone who has read my ranting review who reads the sequel, please let me know if it is worthy of my efforts. Thanks!(less)
This whole ranty review is written on the presumption that this novel is a standalone. If I find out that it has a sequel, I **might*** bump the star rating up one, but that won’t be much improvement. On the whole, I was disappointed in this novel. The gorgeous cover promised a good mermaid story and it just didn’t deliver. Miranda has a wonderful life on the island of Whym until a tragic boating accident kills four of her friends and leaves her boyfriend in a coma. After this accident, everyone turns against her. They all blame her because it was her boat and she was driving. This was hard to believe. When I say everyone, I do mean the entire town save her grandmother and her little brother. It’s like they had secret town meetings on how best to humiliate her. I just find it hard to believe that so many rational adults would shun a teenager who is by all rights recovering from her own injuries and grieving the loss of her friends.
Putting that aside, Miranda is saved during the accident by Christian, a betwixted man (a form of merman), who sees her drowning and is so drawn to her that he can’t let her die. After this, the ruler of the merpeople, Sephie, claims that she wanted all the souls and demands Christian kill Miranda and bring back her soul. As you can guess, enter the starcrossed lovers scenario. Christian goes Up Above to attempt to kill Miranda, but just can’t bring himself to do it. The two are instantly attracted to one another and Miranda spends every possible moment with him. This whole thing culminates with Sephie luring the town to her boat for a gala where she plans on killing Miranda and Christian as well as the other survivors from the wreck. Somehow Miranda manages to light Sephie’s boat on fire and the sea witch supposedly burns to death.
This all powerful sea witch is taken down by a miniscule teenager? I don’t buy it. Beyond that, Miranda’s grandmother has staged an intervention where they basically tell her that she has gotten out of control and they are shipping her to boarding school. Seriously? Give the girl some time to breathe and heal! All the relationships just seem twisted and unrealistic to me. I was very disappointed.
To make matters worse, it has a terrible ending. Christian was only allowed to roam freely on land to claim Miranda’s soul for Sephie and now must return to the ocean or die. So that’s how it ends, Christian returns to the water and Miranda is off to boarding school in Arizona…far away from the ocean. The fucking end. Yeah, see this face? It’s not a happy gnome face! (less)
I’ll be totally honest, when I started this novel I didn’t have a clue what it was...moreThe review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
I’ll be totally honest, when I started this novel I didn’t have a clue what it was about beyond the vague notion that it would involve aliens. I never read the synopsis. The thought process was simple, I just finished Second Chance Summer and while it was good, it was a bit of a downer and I wanted to read something uplifting and funny. I saw this little novel up on PulseIt and vaguely remember reading various reviews proclaiming it to be laugh out loud funny, so I thought I’d read it while I had the chance. I’m glad I did. The reviews were right, this book is one of the most original, funny stories I’ve read in a while.
Elvie Nara is in a fairly common situation, she’s knocked up and the father disappeared right after hearing the news. She finally fesses up to her father (who I adore by the way) and she decides that the best thing for her is to enroll her in this new school for pregnant teens make on an abandon party cruiser that is orbiting the earth (which is possible because this book takes place in 2074). Perfect solution, right? WRONG. Everything goes rather smoothly for the first few months, or as smoothly as things can go for an expecting teen mother who’s ex lover also happens to have father a kid with her archnemesis who is stuck in the same floating school and determined to make her life hell, until…..Cue the dramatic music: ALIENS ATTACK! From that point on, Elvie’s world gets turned upside down, which she didn’t think was possible at this point. I can’t really go into detail with the plot after this point because there are too many potential spoilers, but suffice to say that you’ll never see a lot of it coming and you’ll be rolling on the floor laughing if you figure it out. Everything that can go wrong does and Elvie ends up face to face with Cole (aka the father of “Goober”).
I cannot say enough good things about this book. All the character’s were completely perfect. Ducky is an amazing best friend and they could have easily pushed that into love triangle land but thankfully they don’t. Instead of trying to be all Jacob and “I love you and I’m better for you”, Ducky never confesses his love and just supports Elvie in every endeavor, no matter how deranged. Cole was the perfect leading man. He’s hot and dimwitted and completely sincere in his affection for Elvie, though it’s not apparent in the beginning. Then there is Elvie, who though I was irritated with in the beginning, turns out to be a completely badass lovable character. She’s been dealt a shitty hand (though by her own admission, it’s for choices she made) and instead of whining and moping about what could have been and how things should be, she just rolls with the punches makes sarcastic jokes as the goes. Thanks to all her younger years being raised by her father, she is a mechanical genius and that skill comes in rather useful for what’s in store for her. Speaking of her dad, I love him. He’s doesn’t have a huge role in this novel, but the small amount you see of him makes me wanna give the guy a big hug. He’s got a plan for any (well almost any) worst case scenario and when Elvie confesses that she is knocked up, his response isn’t anger, but just acceptance and then he proudly digs out his “teen pregnancy” contingency plan and starts dealing with the current dilemma.
The plot keeps you guessing until the end. Just when you think it’s all over, something else happens. Just when you think they are all doomed, Elvie pulls a new plan out of her ass and saves the day. It’s a delightful read and anyone looking for a kickass novel that will have you snorting for hours, this is your book!
Quotes: “Ducky seems intent on working on a strictly psychological level. Like sneaking into Britta’s house every morning to swap out her bra with a series of nearly identical brassieres with infinitesimally larger cup sizes, causing her to believe her boobs are shrinking.”
“If anyone can ever find a way to explain to me how carrying around a sack of flour with a diaper on it is supposed to prepare you for motherhood, I will personally bake that person a chocolate cake with my practice baby’s insides.” (less)
I have been avoiding this review because I’m not exactly sure what to say. I typica...moreThe review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
I have been avoiding this review because I’m not exactly sure what to say. I typically like to write a review immediately after I finish a novel because everything is still fresh in my mind, but I finished this book in July and I’ve still not written a review. It’s because this book is so far out of my normal range that I don’t know where to start. I typically have 2 basic things I need in a book, I need it to have some form of a love story and I need humor. Life is dull and depressing so I want something that will make me laugh and leave me smiling. This book is the opposite of that. There is not humor in it at all and though there is love, it’s not the kind I normally go for. I’m still not sure what made me want to read this besides the fact that it’s up on PulseIt. Maybe it’s how the cover model looks so alone and hauntingly sad.
Ellie was a troubled girl who just wanted to have fun. Fun, by her definition, included drinking, partying, drugs, sex, and many other most likely illegal activities. This leaves Ellie dead and her best friend, Sarah, in the hospital. This story follows Ellie’s brother, best friend, and best friends sister as they try to come to terms with her death. As you can see by that tiny summary, it’s very depressing. Sarah is in weekly therapy and still can’t manage to deal with Elle’s death. Jessie (Sarah’s sister) is just going through the motions, living and trying to hold it all together but really is dying on the inside. Jake, Ellie’s brother, is failing college because he can’t stop blaming himself for what happened. The big question on everyone’s mind is “was it intentional?” That question never gets outright answered, but it is implied over and over that Ellie’s death was suicide.
So, if this novel contains none of the things that I love, why does it get 4 stars? I think it’s because it touched me in ways I wasn’t expecting. I can completely relate to all the characters, from Ellie who was abused to Sarah and Jessie who don’t know how to cope with loss, and to Jake for blaming himself for something he thinks he could have prevented. They all go through real emotional struggles and the author does not pretend that these things can be fixed with a few brief psych visits and the support of your family. Yes, that does help, but it is not always enough. How do you cope with the fact that your best friend is dead? Your sister? Your lover? How are you supposed to go on living when nothing is right anymore? It was an emotional journey and I just can’t put into words how it has affected me. If you are looking for something that will really move you and make you think, this is it. A word of warning though, this does contain homosexuality. It doesn’t bother me, but i know it does bother some. (less)
Everyone is comparing this book to The Shining, but since I've never watched or rea...moreThe review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
Everyone is comparing this book to The Shining, but since I've never watched or read The Shining, I don't see that.
I disliked Hannah instantly. The idea of having a romantic getaway with your boyfriend before he leaves for college is good, but the idea of taking him to a cabin in the middle of no where that he has expressed his hatred for? Dumb idea. But I kept reading anyway because it was interesting enough and I wanted to see where it went. It was creepy and eerie and just plain weird at some points. I see a lot of people complaining about the ending, but I didn't find any fault in that. My issue is this should have been longer. It's a scant 200 pages and that just doesn't feel like enough for good character developement and definitely not enough for that specific plot.(less)
Rhine Ellery lives in a not so distant future where all disease has been cured. Sci...moreThe review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
Rhine Ellery lives in a not so distant future where all disease has been cured. Scientists found a way to create perfect embryos that grew into disease free children. Everything has been fixed, no cancers, no colds, and no untimely death. But something goes wrong when these perfect children procreate and their children are ticking time bombs. The males don’t live past 25 and the females drop at 20. This creates a frenzy to find a cure and also pushes the children to marry and mate as soon as physically possible. Things like teen pregnancy and polygamy are now not only common but expected. Crime and poverty have also skyrocketed, with endless orphans scavenging to survive and gathers stealing young girls off the streets to sell into marriages with wealthy men. When Rhine is captured, she wants nothing more than to run away, back to the freedom of life in Manhattan with her twin, but the longer she stays the more she wonders is life in free poverty really better than imprisonment in luxury?
I believe I stated in my last review that I was looking for something to blow me away and this managed to accomplish that. This is the first dystopian I’ve read in a long time, the first one I’ve read this year actually and I’m reminded of why I loved them so much. I always find the worlds completely fascinating. Unlike some, I don’t have a problem with the sometimes preposterous ideas that make up these worlds. I think its fiction and that makes anything possible so as long as it seems well thought out and has a basic set of unbreakable laws of psychics, I’m game. If you can read zombie novels or The Hunger Games without complaining about how ludicrous this idea is, then I don’t think you really have a right to complain about any of crazy ideas. I think Lauren DeStefano does a commendable job building this world, from the hellish first chapter that shocked me with its mass murders to the last one that leaves off with a bit of hope for the future. I was completely enraptured with the raw, dirty feel of this world and the complete bleak outlook of the future. How long can this possibly go on? Once the perfect first generation dies off, which isn’t far away, how long before the doomed younger generation just gives up completely?
Rhine was one of those headstrong feisty characters that you can’t help but root for. She becomes pretty skilled at lying to save her skin, but underneath, you can almost always see the fire and need for her freedom. It was very fascinating to watch some of her ideals fade the longer she stayed in Linden’s world. Will it really be that easy to walk away from this world where everything you could want or need is just a button mash away? Whether she likes it or not, she becomes accustomed to having everything provided for her which will only make things harder if she ever makes it out. I find her ability to still be compassionate and emotional truly spectacular because it would be all too easy to just hate the world and everyone in it instead.
Then there are her sister wives who manage to bond with her. Jenna is eighteen which gives her just two more years to live and Cecily is thirteen which means she’ll outlive both of them. The bond these three manage to form is part of what both makes the idea of polygamy bearable and abhorrent. I understand that none of these women love Linden, except maybe Cecily, but the idea of sharing a husband when the wives would never be allowed the privilege of more than one lover is completely offensive to me. The idea that Linden finds nothing wrong with having more than one wife is also absurd. Speaking of Linden…
I‘ve read a lot of reviews that mention it is completely beyond belief that he could be so naïve about what’s really going on in the world and in his own home but it’s that fact that I really thought brought more life to the story. If Linden were fully aware of exactly how his wives came to be there and what they had left behind, had made a completely informed decision to bring them there, then it would have been so much easier for Rhine and the others to hate him and wish even more for an escape. Having Linden been a genuinely good person who believes he is helping these girls in some way by giving them the life of being his wife(wives) is a genius move in my opinion. It makes all of Rhines choices harder. My one big disappointment is that Rhine never enlightens him. I really would love to read the scene where Rhine tells him what happened to bring them there, the truth about the gathers and Jenna’s sisters and what his father is really up to. I just want to see how he reacts, after the initial disbelief and shock wears off. I want to see what his true colors are and what he does to make things right, if he does anything at all.
When it comes down to it, this book has several things I hate, including (but not limited to) cliffhangers and love triangles, but it is amazing enough that I still gave it five stars anyway and really, doesn’t that say it all? (less)
This novel follows the story of Taylor Edwards as she is forced to take a final sum...moreThe review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
This novel follows the story of Taylor Edwards as she is forced to take a final summer vacation with her family to make the most of her father’s last summer. He has cancer and he is going to die (this is not a spoiler because you are told this from page one). Her mom, dad, ballet obsessed little sister, and super genius older brother are in this summer house that isn’t nearly big enough and since they are exactly a close knit bunch, it’s more than a little awkward. This is increased by the fact that they haven’t been here is 5 years and when they left, Taylor made a mess of not only a strong friendship, but also her first romantic relationship. As the title implies, this summer gives her a second chance at family, friendship, and love.
This novel fell somewhere in the middle for me. I can completely relate to Taylor’s desire to run away from things that are going to be stressful or difficult but I fault her for actually running. The more I learned of her past screw ups, the more I wanted to yell at her for just ignoring her friends and not trying to work things out. The situation between her, Lucy, and Henry could have easily been dealt with if she would have just spoken up and tried. But it’s a moot point since even in the beginning of this novel, it is part of the past. I also liked that this novel is told from the “normal” character’s perspective. Taylor is the middle child with no special talents and it was very refreshing to read about someone who wasn’t the chosen one or had been studying to be a doctor since preschool or whatever.
This book reminded me a bit of the movie The Last Song. It was interesting but it wasn’t something I was dying to continue reading. I wanted to know how it ended, but in a sense, I already knew exactly where it was going so there was no mystery to it. It also didn’t have much humor which isn’t shocking because how can a book about cancer be humorous? There was a point where I wanted to stop reading near the end because Taylor was being an idiot and did the same idiotic thing most heroines do when things get hard and though I won’t ruin it for you, I wanted to run her over with my car. (view spoiler)[She breaks up with Henry! She’s “getting too attach” and “things will just be harder later” and “blah blah blah”. GRH Stupid stupid stupid! (hide spoiler)].
In general, I liked this novel, but I didn’t love it. Though I knew going into it her dad was going to die, I still wasn’t thrilled when it happened. If you are looking for a book that will break your heart while giving you hope, this is it. If you are looking for something to make you laugh, well, go read You Wish by Mandy Hubbard. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I’ll be honest, when I first saw this book on the shelves of my local bookstore, it didn’t catch my attention at all. The cover was cute but I don’t much care for Jodi Picolt’s work. I’m not trashing her or anything, her novels just never interest me. But then I saw a few reviews praising it and I finally did read the summery and desperately wanted to get my hands on it. I ended up winning a copy from www.literaryexploration.com (thank you so much!) and when it arrived, I became even more excited about it because this book as random illustrations throughout the entire story. Some of them are full page, colored pictures and some are just black and white drawings in the margins, but I loved them.
Anyway, enough gushing about how gorgeous the book is, let’s get to the story, shall we? This book follows Prince Oliver in his endeavor to remove himself from his story. Oliver is the main character in a childhood fairytale called Between The Lines. He is sick to death of playing his part over and over and over again, every time someone opens the book, he is dragged to his proper place and forced to recite his lines to the readers subconscious. He has been trying for years to get the reader’s attention to tell them that he needs help escaping this world. But no one ever hears him, until Delilah. Delilah is a fifteen year old girl who becomes obsessed with the story. She can’t seem to stop reading it over and over. So when a small change occurs in the illustration of the last scene, she notices instantly. Delilah initially thinks she’s lost her damn mind when a fictional character starts talking to her. She soon realizes that Oliver is in fact very real. Thus begins their journey to remove Oliver from his story.
I found this book highly amusing. Some of the characters where laugh out loud funny, like the overly self conscious pony and the pirate who was secretly an orthodontist. I was also very amused by all the drawings in the margins. I’ve read several reviews complaining that this novel was just too much fluff to take, but I happen to like good fluff every now and then so I thoroughly enjoyed it. I did get a little irritated at Delilah for getting so wrapped up in Oliver that she ignores her best friend, but then you really think about it. She’s fifteen and what is more exciting to a fifteen year old than first love? Add to that the complication of being in love with a fictional character who may or may not be talking to you making you quite probably insane and it is understandable why she has withdrawn herself from human activity.
This book reminded me quite a bit of the Theatre Illuminata series by Lisa Mantchev, except with novels instead of plays. So if you are looking for something similar to that (but maybe not quite as high on the reading level), then this is your book. All in all, it is funny and well written and has a great ending. Really, with a fairy tale book, what more can you ask for?(less)
Before I read this book ,as I do with many books, I browsed some reviews to see wha...moreThe review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
Before I read this book ,as I do with many books, I browsed some reviews to see what people where thinking. The consensus was that it was something that anyone who enjoyed The Hunger Games would enjoy. I definitely enjoyed HG, so I gave it a try. It was definitely interesting and I can see where the comparison comes from, but it just doesn’t live up to the awesomeness that is The Hunger Games. That being said, though I had a few issues with it, it was still a good read and I do think most HG fans will enjoy it.
This story follows Alenna Shawcross in the UNA, which is a new country made up of Mexico, America, and Canada. This new government is highly controlling of it’s population and at 16 everyone must be tested for their unconscious inclination towards violence and aggression. This isn’t a test you can study for, you just go in and sit down and they put straps to your head to see what’s going on in there. Alenna has no fear of failing the test, she has always been shy and quiet and though she doesn’t agree with everything the UNA does, she certainly doesn’t harbor any rebellious tendencies towards them. So she is beyond shocked when she wakes up on Island Alpha, the place where the rejects are sent. Island Alpha is a barbaric island where the kids literally kill each other to survive. And so begins the fight of her life.
There were a few things about this that irritated me. The main one being the main character. She reminded me a great deal of another main character from a highly popularized book series…
Though there are some differences, they are both “plain” girls with a shy, mouse-y personalities who change locations and suddenly are hailed the crème de la crème because all the guys want them. Then, they both go all badass battle mode within an unbelievably short amount of time and with very little training. It really does irk me. And this book contains that horrid insta-love because of a “connection” both parties feel. Beyond those two things, this novel was a pretty good read. It kept me interested and I was fascinated by the world as I am with almost all dystopian novels. I won’t give away too much, but I will say it had a twist I didn’t see coming. I found the dynamic between Alenna & Gadya a little boring because of the whole “we’re in love with the same guy” bit, but I was glad that they do overcome it in the end.
I enjoyed this novel and think plenty of people will love it, but it just didn't spark my love. I don't know if there was something wrong with the book or if I've become more difficult to please because I've not read a book recently that's left me completely satisfied, but either way, I felt it was good, but not great. (less)
This book completely blew me away. Once I started it, I’m became instantly addicted...moreThe review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
This book completely blew me away. Once I started it, I’m became instantly addicted and finished it in one day. Let me add to that by saying that I’m not a particularly fast reader. Even if I only stop reading for bathroom breaks, it will still take me more than 5 hours to finish a 350 page book, but some books just won’t let you go.
Sophie Topper Quinn has done the unthinkable in her small town, she has cheated on Carey, her Marine boyfriend who is currently overseas fight the war. Or at least that’s what everyone believes, but nothing is every as it seems on the surface. Quinn, as she has been called for the last 6 years by her Marine father, didn’t really cheat because Carey isn’t really her boyfriend. He confessed that he was gay and begged her to pretend to still be his girlfriend while he was overseas until he found the courage to come out to his family and friends. Since he is her best friend, she promises to protect his secret at all cost, but little does she know that promise will cost her everything. A few days after Carey deploys, a picture surfaces of Quinn in her lacy undergarments with a guy too deep in the shadows to name and everyone in the town, including Quinn’s own father, turn on her. She is shunned and called names and tortured by the people who believe she has done the lowest thing anyone can do. And then Carey goes missing in action and things escalate even more. And the faceless guy? Carey’s best friend Blake, who Quinn is hopelessly in love with but can never tell the truth too….at least not until Carey comes out of the closet.
The first thing I want to say is that Quinn reminded me so much of Veronica Mars, how she was in the very beginning, but without the badass sleuthing skills. She puts off that same attitude, that same air of defiance, and the refusal to allow the mean kids to see her cry. I admired her courage and the determination it must have took to take this beating from everyone she loved instead of just screaming the truth from the rooftops to get away from all the bullshit. And Blake treats her like she has a disease, believing that she used him and lied to him, he wants nothing to do with her.
I loved how this book blended the present and the past together so beautifully. The pacing was absolutely perfect. While seeing what was happening in the present with Carey MIA, the story of the past slowly unfolds as well. You learn about Carey and Quinn’s first kiss, what really happened on that magical night between Quinn and Blake, about how Quinn’s mom deserted her and her father, and so many other things. It makes your heart break for this girl who really doesn’t deserve this fucking shit.
I also loved how, in the end, everyone isn’t perfect and summed up in a little bow. Quinn’s father, though he has started to show his love for her, is still a controlling, overbearing dick who doesn’t like admitting he’s wrong. Some things get resolved and some seem like they never will be. I also loved how Quinn seemed to curse like a real teenager would. Sometimes I think writers who write teens get caught in one of two stereotypes with teen cursing, Either they think that teens are good little kids who don’t curse at all (which is possible but extremely rare) or they think they are hooligans who curse every other word when parents/adults aren’t around (again, possible, but not the norm in my experience), so it was refreshing to see Quinn curse just the right amount at the appropriate moments.
So, if I’m raving about how amazing this book is, why does it only get 4 stars? That would be because I was not overly fond of the ending. (view spoiler)[First and foremost, I HATED that Blake and Quinn don’t end up together. I’m all about self-discovery and the need to put yourself first but if you love him like you claim to, there is now way I can legitimately see you just walking away when he asks if you can just start over. I get that you two have been through some painful shit, but that’s part of the relationship world, learning to work through it. I also hated that she moved in with her mother. I’m sorry, but regardless of the fact that your dad refused to let her see you after she left, it doesn’t excuse the fact that she left. I can understand that life with your dad was difficult and that you want to get to know mommy dearest again, but I just don’t buy it. Even if your dad did fuck up a lot, it is still apparent that he was doing his best and he could have easily shipped you off to a military school or boarding school to get rid of you instead of trying to take care of you. The one who sticks around is the one who cares the most, in my humble opinion, and lady you just chose wrong. I also hated how she gives Blake this whole lecture about how they have to stop putting Carey first and then she just runs to him at the end when he needs her like nothing has changed. GIR…the ending just wasn’t what I had hoped for. (hide spoiler)]. Suffice to say that if you want a happily ever after with all the loose ends tied up, this isn’t your cup of tea. But for those who can overlook not so perfect endings, I highly recommend this one. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I can’t decide between 2 or 3 stars for this book, so I’m going with 2. The basic b...moreThe review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
I can’t decide between 2 or 3 stars for this book, so I’m going with 2. The basic blurb about this book doesn’t even scratch the surface. It basically says this is a story about Jessie’s graduation trip to Las Vegas where she reunites with her ex but also meets someone new who teachers her about magic. I guess, that does do if you want to put it in a non-spoiler-y nutshell, but it didn’t prepare me for the story ahead. Once you get past the first hundred pages and find out more about Jessie’s witch-y heritage, the story is so complicated that I had trouble keeping up, and not in a good way.
The gist of it is that in this strange world, there are actually two separate “worlds”, which I’m going to refer to as dimensions to simplify things. Jessie lives in the Real World and after she dies (which is how the witches are “awakened”), she finds herself in Witch World, the parallel dimension. Most things are similar in this world, the biggest difference seems to be that that everyone plays Red Queen instead of Black Jack and everyone goes by their full first name instead of a diminutive nickname (ie Jessie becomes Jessica, Jimmy becomes James, Russ becomes Russell and so on). In his explanation, Jessie’s dad basically says that the two worlds are connected and everything that happens in one happens most of the time in the other, but not always and lately there have been some differences. Awakened witches have to live the same day twice, literally going to sleep in the real world at dawn and waking up in Witch World to repeat the same day. In theory, it’s all the same, but throughout the story, Jessie’s days are never even remotely similar.
This just feels like a novel tha t was written in an half-assed way, you know? Like it could have been great if the author had put in a bit more effort and fleshed things out more. How he managed to make the book 500+ pages and still make me feel like he didn’t put enough effort into it is amazing, but it’s how I felt. The whole idea of a parallel world felt a little preposterous in the way Pike explains it and then it felt like he focused all his energy into making Jessie as annoying as possible and let everything else fall away. It all felt so underdeveloped that I could cry. The best example I can give is that they don’t even give the real world a name, but it’s implied that calling it the real world isn’t proper. Witch World is Witch World, but every time one of the important witch’s speak about the other world, they simply say “what you refer to as the real world.” Geez, wouldn’t it be easier to NAME the other fucking dimension? Instead of this song and dance, just give it a proper goddamn label and be done with it. Another thing that really bugged me were the names. All the characters have very generic feeling names. Jessica, James, Alexis, Russell, Frank, Michael….it’s like the author looked at a top 100 baby names list and just picked at random.
Normally at this point, I would rant endlessly about the cliffhanger, but to be honest, this one didn’t bother me at all. I think it’s because I wasn’t invested enough with these characters to truly care what happened next.
I really wanted to like this story. I went in with relatively high hopes because I always end up loving witch tales, but this just didn’t do it. I see a lot of raving reviews, so maybe I’m missing. I can say that I don’t plan to read the sequel to this tale or anything else by Christopher Pike. I’m sure he’s other books are great, but this was just too much of disappointment to do again. (less)
Fuck. This book has got me so turned around that I can’t even decide what to rate i...moreThe review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
Fuck. This book has got me so turned around that I can’t even decide what to rate it! 1 star because it had a terrible ending? 5 stars because up until the end, I was enraptured? 4 stars because I can’t give a book with that bad of an ending 5? 3 stars because the ending pissed me off so badly I wanted to scream it from the rooftops for unsuspecting innocents to wait until the rest of the series is out before attempting it? I really don’t have a clue. I’m going with 3…..for now.
Evie Greene is little miss popular. Pretty blonde cheerleader with friends aplenty and a senior boyfriend, she’ll do anything to keep them from finding out that she was locked in a mental ward all summer because she can’t stop having delusions of a red witch killing people and the world ending. Released to go back to school, Evie has trouble telling what is real and what isn’t. Hiding the hallucinations is becoming extremely difficult when she doesn’t know if they are real or not. Then the Flash happens. Guess what Evie? Those apocalyptic visions you’ve been having were predictions, premonitions of what was to come. Now most of the world’s population (along with a large portion of the water supply) are gone. With trouble on the way, Evie is forced to leave town with Jackson, the Cajun who is great a pushing her buttons. The destination? The Outer Banks in North Carolina, where Evie’s Grandmother is (hopefully) still alive and waiting to help Evie with her destiny.
This book was up and down for me. As soon as Evie starts telling her tale about life before the Flash, I instantly disliked her. She was one of those popular bitches who thinks she is kind and nice to everyone, but really she’s a snob. The minute Jackson shows up with his friends, who thanks to new policies now have to go to her school, she is quick to turn up her nose. The more I got to see of her life, the more tolerant I became, but I didn’t start to like her or sympathize with her until after the Flash.
Then there is Jackson, who I did like quite a bit. Lewd and cocky, with a soft intelligent side underneath, not to mention devilish good looks, he had me at the proverbial hello. The only think I couldn’t understand about him is what attracted him to Evie….well besides the busty cheerleader look. Beyond her ability to speak French (which is what the Cajun’s speak naturally), they have nothing in common and yet he stil wants her. Still, even though I didn’t fully understand the attraction, Kresley was able to write sizzling tension and chemistry between the two once they start on their journey. I was all for them being together, pushing for it and setting my mind that it was going to happen. Did it? (view spoiler)[FUCK NO! Well, yes for a short bit, then no again, then yes, then goddammit no! I’ll get more in to the specifics of the no later (hide spoiler)]
I’ve never read a book by this author before, but I’ll give her props for her story telling ability. This books is told mostly from Evie’s perspective, but in the beginning, it starts out with th is man named Arthur trying to lure Evie into his house so he can chain her to his basement wall and do experiments on her. Kresley Cole manages to seamlessly intertwine that present day view with the past. The whole time you are wondering what the hell could happen to Evie to have her end up at this house alone? What happened to Jackson? Well, that bid of foreshadowing should have let me in on something, but I shamelessly hoped for the best.
For the most part, I was hooked on finding out what the hell was going to happen with this story. Like most well written, post apocalyptic novel, I was fascinated with the world and how it had changed as well as how the characters adapt to it. Not only that, but the way the tarot cards are so important and Evie’s abilities are intriguing. This novel manages to be both dystopian and paranormal and it is a wonderful mashup. But about half-way into the novel, a fake love triangle was introduced. I say fake because really, Jackson wants Evie and Evie wants Jackson, but Selena wants Jackson and when Jackson is mad at Evie, he has no problem using Selena to make Evie jealousy. That grated on my nerves a lot. I hate love triangles as much as I hate guys who use other girls to make someone jealousy. Even still, I was rooting for Evie and Jackson to set the bullshit aside and just be together.
Then there was the ending. I saw a small bit of it coming (view spoiler)[I so knew Arthur was one of the Arcana (hide spoiler)], I didn’t see all of it and what I wasn’t expecting shocked me. And then it angered me. No, it fucking pissed me off. If you don’t like bad cliffhanger endings, stay far fucking away from this damned thing until the rest of the series is released because you will not be amused. (view spoiler)[Evie finally decides to tell Jackson all her secrets after they have this big fight but then she sees him making out with Selena, so she just up and leaves. Which is when she comes across Arthur. Now, since she doesn’t have Jackson to keep her sane, she decides to give into her evil destiny to become a murderous witch who has to defeat Death (who is an actual person, not just a mythical figure). Then, of course, after she goes all out psycho, Jackson comes to rescue her and sees her in her Arcana glory and freaks out just like she thought he would. He looks at her like she’s the devil and crosses himself and all hope of them being together anytime soon evaporates instantly. (hide spoiler)]. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
So, one of my new year’s resolutions is to stop giving books higher ratings that I...moreThe review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
So, one of my new year’s resolutions is to stop giving books higher ratings that I feel they deserve just because I feel bad about giving ratings less than 3 stars. I know that might not make sense, considering I have no problem ranting my head off about things I hate and have rated more than one novel 1 star. I typically give books that didn’t suit me 3 stars because they probably weren’t bad, I just didn’t care for it. Well starting now, I’ll assume (probably wrongly) that everyone who follows my reviews has similar tastes as me and would generally agree with my thoughts (or sometimes just likes to see thoughts different than their own) and start rating in a brutally honest fashion. The reviews themselves won’t change, but you may start seeing lower ratings.
So two stars for this novel. It follows Wren Wells as she tries to deal with the death of her boyfriend and the chaos of life in general. After the car accident that left her alive and him dead, she moves from her NY home with her mom to a cabin in the middle of the woods with her artist father to get some downtime. All her life crashes to a halt when she literally stops speaking. She stops seeing her friends, won’t leave the house, has no college plans. Now all she does is sit around her dads house and mope. Literally, that is all she does, that and run.
I started this with mediocrely high hopes (if that makes sense). I expected the story of a girl struggling to get over her boyfriend’s death. I expected to read about someone who WANTED to recover. But that just wasn’t the case. In her mopey moods, she manages to find someone with almost the same attitude towards life that she has adapted. Though the writer plays if off like this dude inspires her to do better, I just don’t see it. Mopey and grumpy with major issues of his own, Cal is far from the perfect leading man. Yeah, he does push her some, but mostly, he lets her do her own thing and gets mad over nothing.
Another reason this novel disappointed me was I HATED Wren. She’s so fucking selfish, I couldn’t sympathize with her at all. After the car accident, she curls into herself and pushes everyone away. She sees them trying to help her and makes fun of them in her inner monologue. She doesn’t try to contact the parents of her dead boyfriend, even though they show obvious concern for her well being, she won’t even speak to her best friend. Then in the “present day” of the story, she is just a bitch. When her dad gets a new art intern, Nick, she mean to him. Nick goes out of his way to try to keep her company or be nice to her, even accompanies her on a run and she fucking screams at him telling him that she doesn’t want or need his company, to go the hell away.
All in all, this book was just a disappointment. I wouldn’t have wasted my time on it if I had known, so I’m warning all of you. Just don’t bother. (less)
While reading this, I mostly didn’t like it. My inner monologue mainly consisted of...moreThe review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
While reading this, I mostly didn’t like it. My inner monologue mainly consisted of bitching about how apparently the new trend in YA is depressive contemporary stories with bad endings and that if this turned out to be another one of those books where the point isn’t so much about actually finding the person they are looking for as it is about their journey of self-discovery, I was going to scream and give it a 1 star rating. As you can see by my rating, that is not the case.
Adrienne Knox’s best friend stopped being her BFF two years ago. For no discernible reason, Dakota drops her like a hot potato and Adrienne is left to piece her life back together. Now, Dakota has disappeared and everyone assumes it was a suicide. Adrienne isn’t so sure. Days before her disappearance was discovered, Dakota left Adrienne a voicemail sounding highly upset. Adrienne lets Dakota’s disappearance change her. She starts acting out, being a bitch to her boyfriend, ignoring school work, and generally freaking the fuck out. She strikes up a friendship with Dakota’s bandmate, Julian and together, they try to figure out what really happened to Dakota.
Like I said before, at the beginning, I was ready to write this book off as yet another disappointing contemporary YA with a selfish lead character, but boy did I change my mind. At first, when Dakota first vanishes, I sympathized with Adrienne because losing a friend is hard, even if you haven’t spoken in a long time. But as the book progressed, watching her be a jerk to Kate (her new BFF) and Lee (her boyfriend) even though they were understanding and patient with her, I started to become more than a little irritated. The more she pushes Lee away, the more I screamed at her. Get the fuck over it, Dakota didn’t even speak to you anymore!
Then she starts hanging out with Julian, breaking into Dakota’s house, dressing like a goth girl wannabe, and I become infuriated. Everyone around her tries to help, her mom, her mom’s boyfriend, her teachers, her friends, and her boyfriend. She just pushes them away and starts drinking and smoking and generally being a dick. I didn’t see the beauty in the story until it was almost over. This review wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t explain it, but it’s spoilery as hell, so I’ll hide it for those who don’t want to see it.
(view spoiler)[The big reason is that, in the end, she actually does find Dakota. Several hours away, D is holed up in a hotel room, hiding from the rest of the world. The second reason is because I didn’t see the twist coming. The fact that the sweet lit teacher was actually a douche bag who had been sleeping with Dakota for fucking YEARS shocked the fuck out of me. The upstanding teaching with a wife and a new baby apparently wasn’t as upstanding as we all thought. Dakota ran away because she discovered she was pregnant and thought it would be better to deal with it on her own. The subtle romance between Julian and Adrienne also won me over. They end up happily together while Lee has a new girlfriend who treats him better than she did. (hide spoiler)]
This was written in a painstakingly honest way. Even when I was irritated, I felt like I could really see Adrienne’s side of the picture. It doesn’t wrap everything up in a neat little bow because everything doesn’t get resolved with Dakota, but the important stuff does. I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone looking for a great contemporary read that doesn’t go exactly the way you expect. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)