**spoiler alert** I really enjoyed this! All though the story is tackling some very mature subject matter (physical and psychological abuse in a relat**spoiler alert** I really enjoyed this! All though the story is tackling some very mature subject matter (physical and psychological abuse in a relationship) for a YA book, the writing was not overly depressing or overly emotional. It wasn't a slap in the face, or a wake up call for civilization that screams "WAKE UP PEOPLE. ABUSE IS ALL AROUND YOU AND YOU NEED TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!!!" like some other YA books can come across as. This just seemed more realistic than that to me. A caring, sweet teenage girl who comes from a loving home, with loving friends finds herself confused when she realizes that maybe her boyfriend isn't the person she thought he was. And maybe her best friend Luke isn't going to sit in the "friend zone" and silently witness her turmoil.
It takes Ronnie a while to accept that her boyfriend is abusing her physically. At the same time she realizes that the way he toyed with her emotions was not right either. This all played out in what I was convinced was a realistic manner. Ronnie was used to being loved. She was surrounded by good and loving people. So how could her boyfriend tell her how much he loved her if he was abusive?
Really great character development. Great Heroine, you will fall in love with her, she's adorable. Really great conflict, though you'll want to hate Shawn, he does have his redeeming qualities so you can relate to Ronnie's confusion. Great supporting characters, Luke is dreamy. My only hold out on the 5 star rating was I was hoping for a little more of a HEA than we actually got. ...more
What a wicked, mucky, cluster of craziness! The kitchen sink of drama was thrown at this book! I'm having a hard time putting a star rating to it becaWhat a wicked, mucky, cluster of craziness! The kitchen sink of drama was thrown at this book! I'm having a hard time putting a star rating to it because on one hand I thought the plot and the characters within Fallen Crest High were excellent. On the other hand however the execution, which most especially includes the editing really left a lot to be desired.
The main players... Sam, Mason, and Logan were wonderful. Sam had reached her limit of people stepping on her. To the point where she just didn't care about really anything anymore. I saw a few reviews which referred to Fallen Crest High as very Cruel Intentionesk. I completely agree. The supporting players, Sam's mom, Logan's ex and mostly including the "Elite" were horrible, bitchy, privileged wenches who deserved any and all of the torment (from the Kade's) that they received on Sam's behalf. The Kade brothers were two of the most intriguing male lead characters I've read about in a YA/NA book. They were rude, crude and really didn't give a damn what any one else thought of them. They did what they wanted, when they wanted to and always came out on top. I waited with bated breath for the scenes within the book that included them. I was always anxious to read what they were going to do next.
This was a wonderful example of a strong character driven story where the personality of the heroine was very well developed and she was incredibly likable. Even the supporting characters had great depth. Where I felt a bit disappointed was in the execution of the story. There were several instances that I had to re-read the paragraph and still ended up with a "Huh, what the heck was that"? Some of the writing was a bit choppy and skipped around. One of the biggest "huh's" was I still have no idea what the characters looked like. The boy's mom and Sam's dad were the only characters who were described in depth physically. We got basic hair color but no real solid description that you can picture in your mind's eye what anyone looked like. Another part that I felt a bit lacking was the build up to Sam's relationship with the Kade brothers. They didn't know her, didn't try to get to know her in any way really and then they were just there, this huge all consuming part of her life. I was missing the dots that connected her to them on any kind of emotional or psychological level.
Bottom line is I did enjoy Fallen Crest High and will read the next book. I feel there is potential here for a great series and possibly a great new talent in the New Adult genre. I do however hope that there is more attention paid to the editing process for both plot and punctuation. ...more
I absolutely LOVED Pushing the Limits so when I saw there was a sequel, I jumped at the chance to read it. When I found out that Beth was the featuredI absolutely LOVED Pushing the Limits so when I saw there was a sequel, I jumped at the chance to read it. When I found out that Beth was the featured character in Dare You To, I rolled my eyes, kind of disappointed (I didn't really care for her in the previous book). After I sucked it up and decided to give Beth a chance, I'm so happy that I did! Dare You To was truly excellent.
Beth's life is rough. Her mother is a alcoholic, her father nowhere around, and after a horrible incident with her mother's abusive boyfriend she's forced into living with her recently re-surfaced uncle and his hoity toity wife. So when the local golden boy asks for her phone number she is immediately on guard. Boys like him don't like girl's like her.
On the outside Ryan's life is perfect. He's got the perfect look, the perfect pitch in baseball, and the cherry on top of a perfect family life. Or does he? Through the process of getting to know each other Beth and Ryan learn that what's on the surface isn't always what's on the inside.
It was heart wrenching to read about Beth and Ryan's struggles and then their eventual acceptance of one another. Katie McGarry can truly create a wonderful tortured character. Her grasp on the struggles that teenagers face on a regular basis, coupled with difficult parents added into the mix... she had me wanting to be a better parent myself. I never want my child to experience a sliver of what these characters live through and overcome on an almost hourly basis. And it's so real! Written for us in such a captivating and detailed manner, you can't help but hurt for these kids. Beth loved her mother so much. All she wanted was to help bring her out of the hell she was stuck in. The hell her mother created for herself and refused to leave! Even at the expense of her daughter's physical safety and emotional well being. It was as if Beth was the mother and she the daughter. And Ryan... he was so terrified of disappointing his father. He wanted so much to hold onto his parents that he almost let go of his brother who had actually made the choice to finally break free and live his OWN life. The best part of this book was the point where we realize that we have two teenagers on separate sides of the "tracks" and all though they have very different struggles with their families, they realize they have to work past those troubles in the same way. And being together as a couple makes them that much stronger as individuals.
My only disappointments in Dare You To is I wanted more depth inside Beth's relationships with the other girls. Not so much her mother. We saw a bunch of interaction with her mom and how she struggled with it. But more on how she overcame her loathing/fear of other girls her age. She eventually realized that Echo wasn't so bad. It was more than obvious that Echo and Noah were wonderful together and that Echo cared about Beth. I was hoping for more on that relationship. Echo sure does have her own significant "mama drama". I thought that a good heart to heart between her and Beth would have taken the cake! Lacey too... I wanted a bit more on the relationship between Beth and Lacey. Both past and present Lacey seemed like she loved Beth but Beth never really came off very appreciative of it.
So what am I saying here...??? My only negative about this book is that I loved the characters so much that I wanted to read more about them? This book could have been another 100 pages and it still wouldn't have been enough for me. That should tell it all! ...more
I was fortunate enough to be able to obtain a copy of Pushing the Limits from Netgalley. In this situation I think that the best way to describe bothI was fortunate enough to be able to obtain a copy of Pushing the Limits from Netgalley. In this situation I think that the best way to describe both my luck at coming across this story in the first place as well as the way I received it, I feel like I won the lottery. There are certain books that you read that you really enjoy, to the point you can say that you loved it. But then 6 months later, you can't even remember the names of the characters. This is not one of those books. There is a small handful of books in my collection that three years from now I can tell you the names of each of my favorite characters as well as what and why I loved it so much. Pushing the Limits is easily going on that little shelf in my heart.
Echo and Noah are both scarred and tortured individuals. Both have been hurt and betrayed by those people in life who should provide security and protection to us. These experiences could have set both teenagers on a path of mistrust and unbalance for the rest of their lives. This would be easy to believe given the horrific experiences they both had to go through at such an early age. Fortunately when they find each other they each discover a new meaning to life, a new reason to live and better themselves.
In the beginning Pushing the Limits reminded me a lot of the book Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles. Written in alternating first person narratives, good popular girl meets bad boy for tutoring sessions and they find themselves attracted to each other. That's pretty much where the similarities end though. I don't want to take away any of Ms. McGarry's credit for creating an original and heart warming story. It truly blew my mind.
Lovable heroine, lovable hero, great supporting characters that you can both love and hate accordingly... There really isn't a whole lot more I could have asked for in a reading experience. This is what it's all about:) ...more
When I first started reading the reviews on Point of Retreat I kept asking myself; what the heck are these people talking about with the all that "butWhen I first started reading the reviews on Point of Retreat I kept asking myself; what the heck are these people talking about with the all that "butterflyingly" crap? Ok, I get it now... But I'm not telling:)
Point of Retreat is a stellar follow up to Slammed. The best part about it is it's told from Will's point of view. You get a completely new view of Lake... and Will. As someone who in the first book was loving, Lake gives a completely different perception when we see her from the perspective of someone who loves her so much. Will would do anything for her, and it was so sweet to watch his efforts and be in his head while he tries so hard.
Will was awesome, Lake was awesome, Eddie, Gavin, Kel, Caulder, and everyone in between including all the great new additions were just as wonderfully created in Point of Retreat as they were in Slammed. I can't say enough good things about it. Everything that defined the gifted writing in Slammed was prevalent. Even maybe a few new surprises.
The only teeny, tiny negative thing that I have to say about Point of Retreat that I couldn't say about Slammed was; I felt that after his character traits were demonstrated in Slammed, Will behaved a bit out of character in his book. I had nothing but admiration for how mature 21 year old Will was in Slammed. I thought in Point of Retreat he was almost IMmature. Ok yes, in many circumstance he was desperate and acted it, but after how grown up he acted in Slammed, I just couldn't picture THAT guy not telling the girl he loved that his ex was in a class of his. And then on top of that the actions that Lake witnessed that brought on most of the controversy in their relationship? The Will I loved in Slammed would have dealt with it a lot differently. I bought it, it was just a very hard sell for me.
I went on a bit too much in the negative because it really wasn't THAT big of a deal for me. This was still a 5 star book. Hands down, no question!...more
This book was awful. Utterly horribly, sadistically, terrible! I can't believe I tortured myself with this and actually enjoyed it! What's wrong withThis book was awful. Utterly horribly, sadistically, terrible! I can't believe I tortured myself with this and actually enjoyed it! What's wrong with me? Oh, I know, I love to read, and books like this are WHY I love to read. Pretty much every heart string I have was not tugged, but aggressively yanked, until I couldn't help the hicuppy sobs that were escaping me.
Lake is an 18 year old girl who along with her 9 year old brother are abruptly uprooted from her comfy home in TX when their father dies of a sudden heart attack. Without much of an explanation, other than she was offered a better paying job in MI, Lake's mom treks her and Kel, across the country. When they arrive at their new home in MI, Lake's life is once again uprooted when she meets Will, their new neighbor, and one after another, bombs of unwelcome surprises continue to go off around her, shattering her entire life as she knew and wanted it to be.
Ok, I tried... but that synopsis didn't even come close to touching on the emotional roller coaster that is Slammed. These characters are so well fleshed out, and so likable, you actually feel like your sitting along side Lake and Will as they're in the club listening to Slam poetry. The poetry is like a character onto itself... The author did an amazing job creating a character driven book filled with such a complicated plot. She "showed" me everything that was happening to these people, instead of "telling" me in some monotonous, boring detail that Lake was feeling sad about what was happening to her relationship with her mother, brother, new best friend, and Will. I felt Lake's pain. I had the puffy eyes to prove it!
As to why this book was so terrible??? I had tears in my eyes for the entire last 45% of the book. No joke, no exaggeration... I had a hard time reading because everything was swimming around in my pathetic tears.
I really wouldn't change anything about this book. Only my timing on reading it... I wish I would have held out until next weekend. My husband is going to be gone and I could have cried in peace. Instead I had to try and explain that I couldn't explain why I was bawling like a baby.
*** This was just as good in audio, and just as many tears the second time around. ...more
I think in order to fairly and accurately assess On Jellico Road, I'm going to have to read it again. First off, a large portion of the beginning I liI think in order to fairly and accurately assess On Jellico Road, I'm going to have to read it again. First off, a large portion of the beginning I listened to the audio version. I wouldn't recommend this. The reason for that is definitely not because the reader was bad, as a matter of fact she was excellent but there are quite a few instances where Taylor is reading Hannah's novel and it's extremely hard to follow. In the book, these parts are indicated by italic print, making it obvious it is not Taylor's narration that is on center stage. In the audio version until you know there even IS a novel that Taylor is reading, it makes a confusing scenario even more so. So much happened, so much information was provided at the beginning of the book... but while I was reading those parts, I was too busy saying to myself; What the hell is going on here??? That maybe I could have paid much closer attention and gotten more out of it. There were so many "A Haaaa" and "Holy shit" moments later in the book that I felt like I robbed myself a little by not paying closer attention earlier on in my reading. I think as many "a haas" as I got out of it, I still missed quite a few of them.
I rated this book 4 stars which to me is a good book. The only reason it didn't rate 5 stars or an "excellent" read was because it took so freaking long to get into it. I seriously was hanging on by my finger nails and the encouragement of my GR friends that the book was worth sticking out. It totally was. It's going to make me double think the next time I DNF a book.
I will be rereading this soon, and I'm predicting when I experience Taylor and her friends the next time around I'll be bumping my rating up. ...more
The last 1/4 of this book pushed this up from a 3 star to a 4 star read for me. I liked it, but up until the point where we start to delve more into LThe last 1/4 of this book pushed this up from a 3 star to a 4 star read for me. I liked it, but up until the point where we start to delve more into Lucus's past, I was just along for the ride. Not loving, but not hating it either. Once we start to learn more about Lucus though, wooo mama, I loved him.
Jacqueline's boyfriend has just broken up with her, she's failing a class for the first time in her life and her ex-boyfriend's psycho frat brother is out to get her, literally. Things start to turn around for Jacqueline when Lucas, the tattooed bad boy in her econ class shows interest in her and her professor hooks her up with Landon, the class tutor. Not only is she finally catching onto economics, but she's also discovering that there's more to the class bad boy than his tattoos.
The first thing that threw me for a loop is; the blurb makes it sound like, shortly after going off to college Jacqueline's boyfriend Kennedy dumps her. This isn't really the case. Kennedy breaks up with Jackie over a year after they've been in college. Yes, she did give up her own college dreams to follow him, but that was her own mistake, and it wasn't like two weeks after they got there he just drops her. And he breaks up with her because he wants to experience other people. So, instead of just cheating on her, he does the "right" thing and ends it with her first. Now, I understand how this would be painful to Jacqueline, but honestly, I thought this was truly the admirable thing for Kennedy to do. After these parts I didn't agree with setting up the premise that the ex was that big of a dick, and I wasn't sympathetic towards our heroine very much at all. Yes, some pretty traumatizing things (almost) happen to her but I just wasn't that into her character. If it wasn't for Lucas, this would have been just a ho hum read for me.
Lucas was an amazing character. He was filled with love, a profound respect for women and a boatload of tortured hero pain. It was amazing to learn about what happened in his past that set up his character for how he lives and reacts to certain things in the present.
I'm still bouncing around between 4 and 5 stars with this one. I'm going to settle on 4 only because I was planning on it being a 4 star read up untilI'm still bouncing around between 4 and 5 stars with this one. I'm going to settle on 4 only because I was planning on it being a 4 star read up until the last few pages.
Everything I loved about the first book was evident and then some in Insurgent. All the secondary characters; Tobias, Christina, Lynn, Uriah, Marcus (love to hate him), the abundance of new and reintroduced old characters, and, and, and... All of them just grabbed and shook me.
Why my 1 star knock down? It was all because of Tris... I wouldn't go as far as to say I was disappointed in her, because no matter what she does, she is a kick a$$ heroine. But I was mildly put off by her and how often her new weaknesses hindered not only her relationships (with Tobias especially) but her ability to function. Now yes, I know, she went through a traumatic event and needs re-coop time, but I was hoping she handled her recovery a bit differently.
The ending though... WOW!!! I don't even have words. ...more
Imagine you are an average 14 year old boy, just sitting in some boring class at school and all of a sudden... POOF, everyone you know who is over theImagine you are an average 14 year old boy, just sitting in some boring class at school and all of a sudden... POOF, everyone you know who is over the age of 15 has disappeared. A mixed matched version of Lord of the Flies and Children of the Corn (IMO) Gone was an exciting and extremely entertaining read for me.
Everything this book set out to be I believe it met and exceeded that expectation. I was surprised as an adult reader who occasionally indulges in YA books that I enjoyed a story that the oldest characters were (almost) 15 years old as much as I did. I usually find teenagers younger than 16 or 17 annoying and immature (because of course I was never like that *cough, cough*), but Sam, Astrid and the other characters Michael Grant created were all realistic yet mature 14 year olds who are faced with an unbelievable circumstance. I admired and respected Sam. I felt he grew as a character, he was likable though not perfect and he cared about those younger children who looked to him as their reluctant leader. This was a very strong character driven book and I felt those characters were wonderful. I already bought and started reading the next book.
Luis Fuentes, the youngest of the Fuentes brothers is the smart one. The responsible one. And of the 3 Fuentes boys definitely most likely to succeed.Luis Fuentes, the youngest of the Fuentes brothers is the smart one. The responsible one. And of the 3 Fuentes boys definitely most likely to succeed. After living in Colorado for a few years Luis returns to Chicago with his family. He is back at Fairfield Highschool where he finds as much that has changed while he was gone, so much still stayed the same. When he meets Nikki his world turns upside down and he must decide which path his future is going to take when the local drug lord tries to recruit him.
Nikki Cruz is not a "bad girl", she has simply been hurt, badly. Her scars run deep and to protect herself and her heart from hurting ever again she shuts boys out. That is until Luis Fuentes sets his sights on her and begins winning her over with the Fuentes charm.
Out of all three of the Perfect Chemistry books Nikki was by far my favorite heroine. She is not some goody, goody naive little girl who falls too hard and too fast for the smooth talking sexy Latino. Nikki has had her share of pain and grief, and she's not about to let Luis into her heart that easily. He had to prove his feelings for her before she'd give him an inch. I thought Nikki's stand off attitude was realistic after the experiences she's had, and I admired her.
Luis reminded me a lot of Alex. His charisma with the ladies and his sense of humor were wonderful. Because of that I would place him and Alex side by side as great heros.
The only negative I had with the story was I honestly felt it was just too short. At only about 300 pages there was plenty of room to elaborate on some of the key aspects of the story. Parts felt a bit rushed and didn't quite come together as smoothly and believable as it would have if there were only another page or two of explanation and dialogue.
Overall I really liked Chain Reaction. I'm sad that the Fuentes brothers story has concluded but I will definitely be reading more of Simone Elkeles. ...more
20 years from now life as we know it has dramatically changed. Another civil war has tore apart our country. Those Americans on the pro-life side of a20 years from now life as we know it has dramatically changed. Another civil war has tore apart our country. Those Americans on the pro-life side of abortion and those on the pro-choice side, after a bloody battle have finally come to an unsteady agreement. Unwinding has become the solution and a way of life in which a parent is obligated to raise their child until the point that they are 13 years old. Anytime between the age of 13 and 17 a parent can sign an order to have their troubled child dismembered (or Unwound), at which time all their parts will be transplanted onto others who are in need (or want) of newer, healthier, better body parts.
I'm not completely sure if the author intended it to be so, but I found Unwind a combination lesson of acceptance of who one's self is, who others are around them and finding friends in the most unlikely of circumstances. The main characters, who were all teenagers were wonderful. Each individual was well developed, likable (or hate able) and grew into a better person throughout the story. I loved Unwind and have been looking to read more of the many other books by Neal Shusterman. ...more