**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore is a beautiful story in t**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore is a beautiful story in the young adult magical realism genre. The Weight of Feathers has been called The Night Circus meets Romeo and Juliet. Now I haven't read the Night Circus yet (I know, don't shoot me!) but I can totally see the circus meets Romeo and Juliet comparison. Throw a little magic in and you have it. I loved The Weight of Feathers so much. I was equally fascinated by the Palomas and the Corbeaus.
The story starts out with the Palomas, but then shifts for much of the book to the Corbeaus. At first, I started out on the Palomas side and then switched over to the Corbeaus camp, but I soon realized that there are no good guys and bad guys here. Just two families that each have a bit of their own special magic and each have a whole lot of judgment and confusion over what the other family has done. It was almost comical the way that they blamed the other family for everything. It all centers around one event that took me by total surprise near the start of the book. I really liked how everything fit together around this event.And I loved that the two families acts were so totally different. The Palomas have a water act and the Corbeaus have an act high up in the trees. The big difference in their acts, just served to justify to each family just how different they thought they were from the other. I can't emphasize enough how fantastically executed this story is. It felt like I was reading something really special.
Author Anna-Marie McLemore did such a beautiful job with this story. The writing is moving and the characters will have you rooting for them until the very end. I was swept up in the magic of The Weight of Feathers. I think this is a book that will appeal to young adult and all ages of adults alike. (I was going to say old adults, but I thought better of that almost immediately.) I cannot wait to see what Anna-Marie McLemore will come up with next.
**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net** Alive is one of those young adult books that has such a cool concept, t**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net** Alive is one of those young adult books that has such a cool concept, that you can't not read it. Alive is about a teenage girl that gets a heart transplant, and then some strange and dare-I-say-it... creepy, things begin to happen. You cannot tell me that story doesn't sounds, original and flat out awesome, can you? Nope, I didn't think so. Alive is a great read. One that will leave you more than a little spooked.Stella is a character that I think could be very polarizing in the young adult book world. I can certainly see people getting frustrated with her, but it was really easy for me to put myself in her shoes and imagine how hard her recovery and every day life must be. I haven't gone through anything as traumatic as having a bad heart or needing a transplant, but Stella is a very easily relate-able character.
Sure, she gets a bit of first boyfriend tunnel- vision, and sure she takes a couple craps on her friends, but put in context of everything that was going on, I got it. Now, don't get me wrong. I didn't give her a free pass for being a crappy friend more than once during Alive. In fact, I wanted to shake her every single time I imagined Henry's hurt feelings. Stella kind of went on a path of teenage destruction in parts of Alive. She is lucky that her friends are so awesome, because I know a lot of people that wouldn't not put up with half of her decisions. I know it seems like I am hating on Stella. but I'm not. Because even through everything I just mentioned, I was still on Team Stella. Why? Because of Chandler's writing. Chandler Baker made me care for Stella, because I understood Stella's motivations.
I love Henry. I shipped hard for him in this book. Levi totally creeped me out. He was not a bad boy that made me swoon at all. But then again, how could anyone steal my attention from Henry. I just wanted to hug him from the very first text that Stella sent him. (and I hadn't even met him yet!)
Chandler's writing was the highlight of Alive for me. It was thought provoking writing. I loved the idea that an organ might not just be an organ. That it might carry some impressions, and history from its' previous owner. That concept alone has a ton of ramifications, and interesting ideas to explore. Alive is the product of that thought, and I loved seeing where Chandler Baker took it. So whether you end up loving Stella or hating Stella, I think there is something for everyone to enjoy, and to think about, in Alive.
3.5/5 Wild Hearts is the fourth standalone title in Bloomsbury's young a**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
3.5/5 Wild Hearts is the fourth standalone title in Bloomsbury's young adult contemporary "If Only" romance line centered around an impossible problem: you always want what you can't have! Each of the books has a cute if only sentence, and Wild Hearts' is "If Only...their fathers didn't hate each other." Brie's father is a land developer and he is hired to create a new hotel in a small rural town...where wild mustangs run. I bet you can guess that the town is not too happy with that. And cue, Logan's father being the mad ranch hand. Along with the rest of the towns people.
I thought Wild Hearts was a very cute little romance. It was very light hearted and a read that will make you feel good. For being an irate town of protesters, I thought that Logan was actually very welcoming. Maybe a little too welcoming, if that makes any sense. My only snag with Wild Hearts was that most of the town was so nice and understanding. Which normally, I would love. But these people hated Brie's father, they were protesting on their front yard the first night they were there, but the sheriff told them to stop and they all backed off. I would have thought that if the community was as small as it seemed that the sheriff would be on the side of the townspeople, but everyone seemed so logical. At one point Logan was like, well your dad has all the proper permits so there isn't really anything we can do. WTF? haha it just seemed bizarre for a teenage boy that was so connected with the horses to act so calm and rational about everything.
But I suppose if my only hang up on the story was that everyone in the town was too nice, I guess that isn't really a bad thing. It was just a little surprising how quickly Logan took to Brie because I would have thought he would have really disliked her. At least at first. But Logan and Brie were super cute together. I loved watching them with the horses. Wild Hearts was just a whole lot of fun. I have read a couple of the books in the If Only story line, and they are true standalones. I wouldn't even call If Only a series. It is just a line of books, by different authors that center around the theme that you want what you can't have. Which is the perfect thing for young adult books. There are so many ways authors can go with it. And Wild Hearts was a great take on the If Only line. A cute read for any time of the year.
Never Always Sometimes is a young adult book by Adi Alsaid. This was my**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Never Always Sometimes is a young adult book by Adi Alsaid. This was my first time reading Adi's works and I have to say Never Always Sometimes was much more emotional than I was expecting it to be. This book tugged on my heartstrings man. Never Always Sometimes is the story of Dave and Julia, two best friends. I loved that the story was broken up into a Dave section, then a Julia section, and then Dave and Julia sections. By giving the reader larger chunks of multiple chapters in a row of one perspective, rather than alternating every chapter, it really gives you a chance to get to know Dave and Julia's very different personalities.
Never Always Sometimes starts out right before Dave and Julia begin high school. They decide to make a list of "nevers". Things that they never want to do in high school. (you all know how much I love a good list.) Then the story jumps ahead to their senior year, and not much has changed. Dave and Julia are still best friends and they still consider themselves to be different than most of their peers. Never mind that fact that by wanting to avoid all stereotypes, they kind of became a stereotype themselves. (but then again, that is kind of how I see hipsters, so it was fitting for the kind of hipster vibe I was getting from Dave and Julia. But I digress.) Dave finds the list of Nevers when he was cleaning out his locker, and they decide to do a social experiment of sorts (first people in the history of high school to have this idea. I think ever.) and check off every item on their list. And that is the set up for Never Always Sometimes. Kind of cliche, kind of cute, lots of promise.
The great thing about Never Always Sometimes is the emotion that Adi Alsaid is able to evoke with his writing. He takes this cute, but a little cliche idea of a list of things to accomplish before high school with you best friend, and also secret crush, and turns it into a really poignant story of love heartbreak, friendship and growing up. I loved all the feels that Adi Alsaid was able to bring out in me. I was just expecting this to be a fun cute read. And it was, but it was also really heartbreaking. And happy. And nostalgic. Never Always Sometimes is so many things. There are things that I wanted to turn out differently, sure, but looking back on the book as a whole, I don't know that I would have changed anything. Never Always Sometimes is an imperfectly perfect and special read.
3.5/5 Oh, holy hell! Black Iris is INTENSE! Leah Raeder certainly grabbe**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
3.5/5 Oh, holy hell! Black Iris is INTENSE! Leah Raeder certainly grabbed my attention with this book, that is for sure. I don't read books this dark and, well...messed up that often. Sometimes I will read a dark book. Or sometimes I will read a book with a totally f-ed up in the head main character, but I hardly ever read books that take it to the level that Leah Raeder did. Black Iris took me out of my comfort zone...and then some. And I have to say, I really, really liked it. Maybe that makes me a little dark and messed up too. I don't know. But what I do know, is that this book deserves every bit of attention it has gotten and more.
Black Iris is first and foremost a revenge story driven by the main character, Laney. From the moment, that Laney broke the "fourth wall" and told us that she was not going to be likeable or a hero, I knew I was going to like her. And her idea for revenge molts and changes so many times throughout the story. It really becomes a journey of self discovery, however unintentional that may have been for her. This book will not be for everyone. Laney is crass, and out there and so totally unapologetic in everything she does. I loved that about her, but I can see that she (not to mention the abundant drug use in Black Iris.) might be off putting to some. But Laney is Laney.
Black Iris is hard to explain. It almost took on a life of its' own for me. It is dark, and crazy, and so different from what I normally read that I just kept lapping up every well placed word Leah Raeder wrote. And let's talk about her writing for a second. I really really dug her writing style. It was all at once conversational, and then also metaphorical, abstract, poetic and kind of grandiose. I know that makes no kind of sense, but I swear that is what it seemed like while I was reading Black Iris. I felt like I was sitting in the same room as Laney watching the events unfold, and then in the next scene I was removed and watching something important unfold far away. Black Iris has layers, man. So many layers. If you are brave enough to take a dip in a deep, dark pool of depravity with truly beautiful writing, you should be reading Black Iris. But be warned, this is not just another contemporary new adult romance.
**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**Sweet is a new young adult thriller/horror novel by Emmy Laybourne. Whe**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**Sweet is a new young adult thriller/horror novel by Emmy Laybourne. When I was finished with sweet, I assumed it was a standalone, but goodreads says it is the first in the Sweet series. Now I am even more intrigued by the book than I was when I finished it, because I cannot wait to see what the author is going to do next with the series. It is going to be freakin' insane.
I really enjoyed Sweet. The idea behind it is scary as all get out...because of how realistic it seems. Solu is a brand new sweetener that is also a weight loss supplement. To celebrate the launch of this innovative new product that is promised to change the weight loss game, Solu pairs up with a luxury cruise line- bringing in celebrities along with normal cruise goers to partake in a luxury weight loss cruise! I love the idea of that, but what happens next is straight out of a horror film. (view spoiler)[And I can even count this as a kind of zombie-adjacent book. (which you may know that I hardly ever read.) Because that is what these people seemed like to me, after a few days taking solu. (hide spoiler)] I loved the idea behind the cruise taking a group weight and and after weight as a cruise theme. And the ship seemed first class, but everything else I want no part of. haha It made for a great read though! It was crazy seeing people trying to get more Solu. I thought it was brilliant the way Emmy Laybourne layered the undercurrent of addiction throughout Sweet.
Sweet is told in dual narrative between Tom and Laurel. Tom is the celebrity host of the cruise and Laurel is dragged along by her friend. Both Laurel and her friend can be called curvy, but Laurel's friend is obsessed with losing weight, and Laurel likes herself the way she is. I love how what a positive body image Laurel has of herself. And I really liked Tom's interactions with Laurel on this topic. Sweet was really interesting because on one hand, you had this crazy Solu epidemic, and on the other hand you have this really sweet budding romance between what seems to be an unlikely pair at first glance. The horror/thriller aspect of the book competed perfectly with the romance. It was a very entertaining pairing.
Sweet took me by total surprise. Once I started reading, and I got my first glimpse at what the solu was going to do, I didn't know how much I would end up enjoying Sweet. But I am so happy to say that this book surpassed all of my expectations. I really liked it and I want to read the short story prequel now. Not to mention that the ending, which I initially thought was a great ending to a standalone in this genre, now has me salivating for the next book. This review was originally posted on Book Briefs["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Crimson Bound is a standalone young adult fantasy. I am hesitant t**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net** 4.5/5
Crimson Bound is a standalone young adult fantasy. I am hesitant to call it a re-telling or even a re-imagining of Little Red Riding hood (or the Girl with No Hands, which I have not read) because it is so utterly unique and different from anything I have read, that it almost isn't fair to Crimson Bound to be making those comparisons. I have not had the chance to read Cruel Beauty yet, but the book is basically at the very tippity top of my wishlist! I want it so bad, and I have to admit that I want it even worse after reading Crimson Bound.
It is hard for me to put into words the way that Crimson Bound made me feel, and exactly why I loved it so much. But I do know this...it was the writing. Rosamund Hodge is an incredible story teller. Her writing feels rich and thick. Her words wrap you up so completely until you are a part of the world she is creating. And oh, what a world! I bow down to her world building abilities. I loved the way she initially wove in the basics of the world and their myths through young Rachelle's lessons. After the first two chapters it took a couple more chapters for me to gain my bearings because the events jump ahead a bit in the beginning. But once you get your fantasy legs on, it is like a very creapy and wonderfully detailed playground for your imagination. I loved reading about the palaces and the Great Forest. I was all at once fascinated and terrified of it, alongside of Rachelle.
And speaking of Rachelle, I really liked her. Even when I was shaking my head at her, I still really really liked her. There is something compelling about her. She is complicated and her view of herself endeared her to me. She wasn't easy on herself. But the great characters didn't stop at Rachelle, the whole cast were excellently portrayed. I love that this book was set in French history. The salon's and salon ladies were a great addition, that I wouldn't have thought of with this book.
I am kind of in love with this book, and I know I am head over heels in love with Rosamund Hodge's writing. I need her to write more books because she transported me to another world that I could have sworn I could see, smell and touch while I was reading Crimson Bound. And if the beyond brilliant writing, and characters aren't enough, the plot of Crimson Bound will have you guessing up until the very end. I really enjoyed this book. You need to experience its' magic for yourself.
Killer Within is the second book in the young adult Killer Instinct ser**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Killer Within is the second book in the young adult Killer Instinct series by S.E. Green. I really liked the first book, and the second book is even crazier. There is so much going on in this book and I am going to try my best to describe this book without spoilers, but it picks up right after the events of the first story, which is a huge spoiler in and of itself. So if you are new to the series, you might be better checking out my review of book 1- Killer Instinct here.
Killer Instinct totally took me by surprise with that insane ending. I did not see it coming at all. So in Killer Within Lane is struggling with the fallout of that last scene, as well as still trying to find her place not only in the world but also within herself. Lane was called the masked savior for some of her actions in the first book, and much of the second book deals with how the community perceives the masked savior. I really liked the website that popped up. And of course, some copy cats also popped up. So that was part of the mystery of this book. Along with a couple of new mysterious characters, there was plenty for Lane to sort out. Some characters I really liked, and some I loved to hate. And if you can get over the fact that this seems to be the most dangerous and killer heavy town in the united states, this book is a wild and really fun journey.
I love Lane. I am such a huge fan of hers, and most of the reason I like her is that she is not your typically heroine. She struggles with questions of morality, and who she is and what she wants to do and be. I really liked that aspect of her. She seemed softer and more emotional in Killer Within. I know Lane likes to think of herself as this stoic, unfeeling person, but I don't think that is true at all. I think we saw some truly evil characters in book 1 and now in book 2 and I wouldn't include Lane in them. Not even close. I just hope that Lane sees that and believes that. I really like this series. I think they are super fast and easy reads that captivate you and hold your attention. I was so quickly drawn in to Lane's world and I was just as wrapped up in finding the copycats and M and j-d-l as she was. I devoured this book in one night. It is so deliciously twisted.
I feel like it has been so, so long since I have had a 5 star book read**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
I feel like it has been so, so long since I have had a 5 star book read. But I am super happy to add Love Fortunes and Other Disasters by Kimberly Karalius to my list of favorite 5 star books. This book made my heart smile. It got a little hairy and crazy at the end and I almost took .5 stars off my review rating, and then I about slapped myself. (That is a case of one of those times when I am thinking through my reviewer hat and letting it over weigh my emotions about a book, and I didn't want to do that here.) I just loved this book too much to give it anything less than 5 full stars.
Love Fortunes and Other Disasters is set in the magical town of Grimbaud. I love the cover of the book because its whimsical feel helped me imagine Grimbaud with the same touch of whimsy. Does that make sense? The town also reminded me of the Kissing Town from the tv series The Tenth Kingdom (which is an amazing mini series if you have not watched it yet, you need to!) So the entire time I was reading, I was imagining the kissing town with love in the air, everywhere.
In Grimbaud when you get to high school, you can go to Zita's love shop and get your love fortune. And these fortunes are always right. Always. And with a town whose main focus is on love and finding your soul mate as early as possible, it should come as no surprise that everyone rushes to get their love fortune. So when a small group of teens get fortunes that in some way, shape or form say they will not find love, they band together to try and change their fates. I can't adequately explain how utterly, cute and fun this book is. I even have a perma-smile on my face just sitting here typing this review. I loved Fallon, I loved loved loved Sebastien. I was dying to find out what his fortune was because I knew he was a big softy underneath his flirty exterior. And I loved the two of them together. I want to see more books set in the town of Grimbaud. Please, please please Kimberly Karalius. Tell us what Hiriju does next!
Swoon Reads is a hit as far as I am concerned. I have read about 3 books from them now, and I have loved them all. Their idea of crowd sourcing the YA book before publishing them is genius. Love Fortunes and Other Disasters is a book that I want to share with everyone. I love the idea of these love fortunes, and charms and really just a town that is in love with the idea of love. I loved the characters and the writing was downright enchanting. Kimberly Karalius needs to write her next book ASAP because there is a real possibility that I will just mope and re-read Love Fortunes and Other Disasters over and over again until she gives me something new to read. Read Love Fortunes and Other Disasters- and I will say you are welcome in advance.
Note: Now I am obsessed with finding a book about love spells or charms. Love Fortunes and Other Disasters kind of banned the use of love charms that were not created by Zita, so they didn't play a huge role in the story for the main, main characters. But I do want to find a book- preferably new adult or adult, that does make use of a love spell/charm. Does anyone have any suggestions?This review was originally posted on Book Briefs
After Hours is a salacious book that is as fun as it is crazy. And trus**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
After Hours is a salacious book that is as fun as it is crazy. And trust me, it is very crazy. It kind of reminded me of Gossip Girl mixed with The Bling Ring- that movie based on a true story of the teenage girls that broke into celebrity houses in California. And I don't mean in the sense that After Hours was about rich kids on the upper east side or that they broke into celebrity houses, I just mean that the teens had the same totally insane jaded, I am going to do things that normal teenagers wouldn't even dream of at my age. Or maybe more kids do these things than I thought. What do I know? (I just know, that I didn't know anyone doing some of this stuff when I was Isa, Xavi, Peter, and Finn's age.)
After Hours takes place at a nice restuarant during summer. But afterhours in the restaurant is when things really heat up. The waiters, and boss, play this game called TIPS. The book describes tips as “...a game that’s been running for about thirty years. Every two weeks, the staff contributes about 20 percent of their tips into a pot for a chance to take an unknown dare." Winner takes all. The idea of tips made for a very interesting premise for the book. I enjoyed this book, but I couldn't take it too seriously, otherwise I just wanted to get help for every one of these teens. But taking it as a fun summer read, I really enjoyed it. There are hints of romance, but not between the couple I wanted right from the start of the book. Darn you Claire! You know I wanted to see (view spoiler)[Isa and Finn get together! (hide spoiler)]
You should pick up After Hours when you are looking for a wild crazy ride. If you like scandal and reality tv, even better. This is a book that you should read with some popcorn at hand. I think they would make a great CW tv show. I thought the tips game was the extent of the crazy that Isa, Xavi, Peter, and Finn would get into, but boy oh boy was I wrong. This book just kept building right until the very end! It is told in alternating points of view between the four main characters. I liked Finn the best followed closely by Peter and Isa. I don't know what was wrong with me when it came to Xavi, but there was always a slight disconnect when it came to her. I also felt like Isa's story was kind of incomplete. I wish we got to see more of her. Maybe in another book? hint hint.
Bottom Line: After Hours is a fun and crazy ride. Teens gone wild. I acknowledge that this will probably not be a book that is loved by everyone. It deals with some insane issues and is not always PC. It should not be read by people that dislike scandal or teens engaging in adult and maybe slightly illegal behavior. But it should be read by people that don't mind that and like a little crazy in their books. I had a lot of fun with After Hours. Just let go and go with it.
All the Right Places is the first book in a new contemporary romance se**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
All the Right Places is the first book in a new contemporary romance series, called Riley O'Brien & Co. I loved this book. I don't want to call it a book slump, but I have been reading a lot of 3 star books lately. Books that are fine and good reads and all that, but I just didn't love them. All the Right Places was the first book that I have read in a week or two that made me feel the tingles of excitement while reading. And not just because the romance was great- which it was!, but because the overall story was great. The Riley O'Brien & Co. series is one that I will definitely be continuing!
The romance between Amelia and Quinn is so rockin'. It is one of instant attraction and lots of slow and torturous unresolved sexual tension. It was just so much fun watching Jenna Sutton draw out the URST scenes between these two. And the story is told in their alternating points of view, sometimes switching back and forth within the same chapter. I thought that added to the tension between them. Amelia is an up and coming designer and so far she has focused on accessories. She is just what the iconic jeans brands needs. I loved her secret plan with Quinn's sister initially to modernize and revamp the women's jeans. I thought this was such a relate bale problem for the company to have too. I feel like it is so much easier to get great fitting guys clothes than it is women's jeans.
This is going to be a great contemporary romance series. You can just tell. The characters are all so developed and realistic, and the romantic pairings have you dying to read more about them. I love Quinn and Amelia. Each of them was holding back from the other for their own reasons, but you could just tell that they wouldn't be able to resist for long. It made reading All the Right Places so much fun. Every time I turned the page, I kept thinking "are they going to get together now?" "or now?" If you like tension filled and chemistry charged romance, this is the series for you. I want more of Riley O'Brien & Co. right now!
Charlie Presumed Dead is a young adult suspense thriller that will have**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Charlie Presumed Dead is a young adult suspense thriller that will have you jet-setting all over the world just to find out if Charlie is really dead or not. The book starts out with Charlie's funeral, where there are two girls who both think they are Charlie's girlfriend. Serious girlfriend, at that. Neither one knew about the other, and as soon as they become aware of the other one, they find themselves confused by the other person's Charlie. That was actually the aspect of Charlie that intrigued me the most. Sure he was a cheating jerk. That is obvious from the book summary, but Lena's Charlie loved Olives and Aubrey's Charlie Hated them with a passion. As soon as I read that, I knew this was going to be more than just a morbid scavenger hunt. There are so many layers to Charlie Presumed Dead. It is one hell of a ride.
The book is told through the points of view of Lena and Aubrey mostly, with a couple of scatterings of Charlie and memories thrown in for good measure. I know that may seen like a lot to keep track of, but it really isn't. Lena and Aubrey are on this crazy adventure together so their switching chapters just continue on the story. It moves really fluidly. I liked Lena and Aubrey. It was hard for me to figure out which one I liked more and which one I felt worse for. I liked them both pretty equally. And this book is just as much about them as it is about finding Charlie. Because everyone has their own secrets to unravel and reveal throughout the journey. And some of the secrets are real doozies.
The mystery aspect of the plot was really well done. I had no idea which way this book was going to turn out, and I couldn't have predicted the ending at all. It really shocked me. There was one point in the book about 3/4th of the way through where there was a pretty big reveal and I thought, 'ok, now what? Mystery solved, what else could possible happen?' HAHA, oh man, was I wrong. The book took a turn for the even crazier at that point and the ending was nuts! I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. I couldn't read the pages fast enough. This is one book that you really have to experience for yourself. It is pretty cool. It will take you on a real mind bend. I want to crawl inside Anne Heltzel's head and just stay there awhile, because I have no idea where she gets some of this crazy from. I loved Charlie Presumed Dead, and I think anyone that enjoys mystery, suspense, and a good mind F will too!
Illusionarium is a young adult fantasy novel that is super vivid.**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net** 3.5/5
Illusionarium is a young adult fantasy novel that is super vivid. The sky is the limit with Heather Dixon's Illusionists, and the world(s) she created are both captivating and freaky-deaky. I blew through Illusionarium in one quick sitting. This book grabbed me right from the start and I couldn't put it down. The concept was crazier than I initially thought it would be, and I enjoyed the twists and turns that Heather had in store for Johnathan and the readers.
Set sometime in the future, London as we know it is no more. Instead people live on airships. A deadly disease called the venem is spreading so rapidly. It is only affecting women, but once infected with the disease, 100% of the victims die within a week. Scientists are working as quickly as possible to try and find a cure. The nations best scientist and Johnathan's father (the second best scientist) are called in to try and find the cure. Lady Florel is the top scientist and she has discovered that the cure may lie in this new drug, called Fanatalium. The drug causes shared hallucinations, and scientists can illusion things to happen while using it. In these illusions, Lady Florel thinks they can manipulate time to speed up so they can test out potential cures and see the effects. It was kind of a cool idea. But I didn't really understand why only scientists could be illusionists, and I didn't really understand why there only seemed to be 2 main scientists in their whole part of the world. Either way, Johnathan, as his father's apprentice goes on a quest with Lady Florel to illusion a cure for the drug. but things are not always what they seem, and along the way so many twists and turns happen that derail the experiments. I won't ruin anything, because those are the heart and fun of the story.
There is not really a romance in this one, and I am unsure if there is going to be a second book or not. It was kind of left open ended. I would really like to see another book, because I think there are many different avenues that can still be explored and I really liked traveling into this crazy world. The idea of illusionists were really cool. I think that some people may take issue to the idea of the drug use with the fanatalium that causes the shared hallucinations, but the dangers of the drug are explained later in the book, so I don't think it glorified drug use or anything like that.
If you like inventive young adult fantasies and don't mind little to no romance, this would be a great book for you to check out. And I have to say, the cover is beautiful and the hardback book is intricately designed. I am so in love with the way everything looks. From the cog designs on each chapter to the color scheme of the actual hardcover. It is just beautiful. This was a really cool read.
Two of Hearts is a standalone new adult romance by Christina Lee. I hav**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Two of Hearts is a standalone new adult romance by Christina Lee. I have read, and totally loved, a handful of books in Christina Lee's new adult Between Breaths series. This book had a different vibe to it. It works great as a standalone as well. I really enjoyed this second chance romance between Shane and Dakota, and I loved the insight it gave me into the Native American and reservation culture. That is not a culture that I have explored much before, and it was cool to see it incorporated in this new adult contemporary.
Dakota's father ran a successful casino in her community, so when he died the casino fell to her and her mother. The problem is that her mother is 100% dutch and Dakota is 50% dutch. Some members of the Native American community saw this as a betrayal of sorts and had an issue with "an outsider" running such a profitable community business. I thought this was an interesting point of drama and strife in Two of Hearts. It added a different layer of complexity to the story and even to the romance.
Shane comes home to pay his respects to Dakota's father, since he grew up and worked in the casino. Shane is a US Marshall and soon he gets wrapped up investigating the death and wrapped up in Dakota himself. I am such a sucker for a second chance romance, and I think what I liked the most about Shane and Dakota is how well they really and truly understand each other. Dakota and I had a bit of a bumpy start, but I grew to love her. Initially, I had my feathers ruffled over how she handled her first chance at love with Shane in the past. I thought it was a typical "girl" move to try and test him and then let him go when he didn't react the way she wanted. Even though she didn't want him to leave she told him to. We all do it sometimes, it is like we can't help it. But it still aggravates me when mind games like that happen. Because everyone loses. But anyway, I digress. Their first chance didn't work out, but that brings us to their wonderfully crafted second chance at love. I really enjoyed going their their ups and downs.
Christina Lee is such an emotional writer. It makes for great contemporary romances. While I didn't love this book as much as the books in her Between Breaths series, I did really enjoy it. Shane and Dakota will make you experience a range of emotions and you will be rooting for them. Two of Hearts is a solidly good book. And I thought the cultural aspect of the book was just as well done as the romance. So kudos to Christina Lee for that!
Seriously Wicked is a young adult paranormal book that is full of spell**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Seriously Wicked is a young adult paranormal book that is full of spells and witchy fun. It is a on the younger end of young adult, but I think it will appeal to fans of all ages looking for a quick and light read that is all kinds of fun. Cam is not a witch, but she is raised by one. And not the nicest of witches either, she has Cam working as her personal assistant basically- always making her run crazy errands and and fulfill zany requests. I loved the tone of Seriously Wicked. It was funny and irreverent and Cam is great.
She is not overly dramatic like most teenagers her age, and she doesn't fall in any traps that the mean girls lay for her. I just really liked her good attitude. And trust me, living with the witch, I would understand a little bitterness or drama coming from her but it was like a breath of fresh air to not have it. Seriously Wicked is a quick read- at just about 200 pages, you can knock it out in a couple of hours. But I also think the shorter length will attract some younger readers, which is great. This would be a good transition book for tweens looking to step up from middle grade.
I loved how Cam explained the way witches lay out their spells. I thought that was great. Like logic problems. And I liked that the witch actually surprised me. When I started the book I had it pretty ingrained in my head the way that she was going to be, but I think readers will enjoy where Tina Connelly takes us on this tale. There are lots of paranormal creature appearances to keep you flipping the pages with interest, and even a sprinkle of romance throughout. Overall this was a fun read. Somewhere between 3.5 and 4 stars, but it was just so cute that I have to round up. For those looking for a lighthearted paranormal book, check out Seriously Wicked. It is seriously fun.
Finding Paris is a young adult contemporary/mystery. The set up is**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net** 3.5/5
Finding Paris is a young adult contemporary/mystery. The set up is instantly intriguing. It is a story about two sisters in Las Vegas. Paris, the older sister demands a post break-up pie trip in the middle of the night and ends of disappearing in the middle of it. She leaves her sister a clue and tells her to come find her and that she needs help. What starts out as a kind of unconventional scavenger hunt, becomes more and more mysterious as the book progresses. I really liked Finding Paris. It is part scavenger hunt, part mystery, part romance, and more secrets than you can count. Hold on to your seat and get ready to go on a twisty, turn-y adventure with this one.
I don't know whether to be impressed with Paris or disturbed. Maybe a little bit of both, but I will say one thing for her. No matter what it seems like at any given time, she really loves her sister Leo. And the sibling relationship aspect of Finding Paris is kind of beautiful, even amidst all of the chaos that is happening. I loved hearing about their memories and the things that they did together.
On that pie run, Leo meets Max, and he kind of gets wrapped up in the whole adventure. I liked Max. I am a little unsure what kind of person would go on a middle of the night scavenger hunt with someone he just met, but I was happy that he was a part of the book. I loved reading and learning everyone's secrets. And his was a doozy. Actually, everyone's were.
I think Finding Paris will take a lot of people by surprise. I don't think there is anyway for someone to predict just all the twists and turns and plot reveals that Joy Preble has waiting around corners for readers. This book was very masterfully done. A few of the reveals were very shocking, and while It wasn't the ending I was hoping for or even guessing as a possibility, it was a very cool real. I liked that each page was a surprise for me. I just let go and enjoyed the ride.
The Night We Said Yes is Author Lauren Gibaldi's debut book. It is a re**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
The Night We Said Yes is Author Lauren Gibaldi's debut book. It is a really fun and cute story about a group of friends about to graduate high school. I love the layout and idea behind the story. The Night We Said Yes is told on two parallel timelines, featuring two different nights about a year apart from each other. Each night features the same group of friends, and each night is a night of saying yes. Meaning that whatever any one of the friends suggested doing, they did it. I love the idea of a night where you have to say yes to everything because you have no idea where it is going to lead to. Anything could happen. The Night We Said Yes is told in alternating chapters between the Now night and the Then night from a year prior. it was really cool reading back and forth between the two nights. I think I liked "then" night more, but I was more anxious to read the "now" chapters because I really wanted to know how things were going to turn out between some of characters.
There is a cute romantic element in the Night we Said Yes as well. Ella, the main character and the narrator for the story, met a guy in the "then" night. And sometime after he left town and she basically never heard from him again until he showed up in the now time line. I liked Matt. I liked that he tried to hard to make Ella have fun and to grab back some of their cute moments from before. But I have to say that I didn't really like the reason he left without a word. I understood where he was coming from, but I still felt like he could have kept in touch. (Side Note: one of the questions from the Q& A with Lauren revealed that she changed the reason that Matt left multiple times. I wonder what some of the other reasons were?)
The Night We Said Yes is such a fun book that made me reminisce about summer breaks after high school and during college. Hanging out with friends during summer did kind of make you feel like anything could happen. This book made me want to go back and relive some of those nights, and maybe grab some friends and have a Night We Say Yes now too! Next, Lauren is coming out with a novella from Matt's point of view, where we get to see what he was up to in that year that he went away. I think that will be a fun addition to The Night We Said Yes. I think this is a great story of friendship, growing up, and a need to read summer book for anyone. Oh heck, I am going to go for it- Say YES to The Night We Said Yes!
The Fill-in Boyfriend is Kasie West's latest young adult contempor**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
The Fill-in Boyfriend is Kasie West's latest young adult contemporary romance. I loved her last book, On the Fence, so I was super excited to read The Fill-in Boyfriend. And I thought it was really cute. It dealt with some deeper friendship and self identity issues that were unexpected for me. I really liked the growth that Gia went through. She was a real winner in my book. That paired with the cute romance, made the Fill-in Boyfriend a hit for me. I ran into a couple of bumps with her friends, but I think they were intentionally pretty awful.
Gia is a popular girl in her senior year. She is going to UCLA in the fall with scholarship and a best friend as her roommate. Life seems pretty sweet, right? Well the book opens with Gia getting dumped in the parking lot before prom. So maybe not so sweet. But luckily for Gia, she meets Hayden- her fill-in boyfriend. I thought it was super cute how he wouldn't tell her his name, and it was a big build up between them. So why did Gia need a fill in boyfriend? Because in her group of friends, there is a total mean girl that is hell bent on taking Gia down it seemed. I couldn't stand Jules. Even when Gia tried to make an effort Jules was a total snob. I have no idea why the rest of Gia's friends couldn't seen through to Jule's mean girl act, but oh well. The silver lining is that it was a big component in Gia's character growth.
I loved getting to know Gia, and really watching her become her own person. And I loved watching her with Bec and Hayden. Hayden is a great guy, but even he made he have a sad moment towards the end of the book. I was really protective over Gia and I felt like he let her down a bit, but don't worry- he makes up for it. The Fill in Boyfriend does and does not have a happily ever after. I want to see another book to see what is going to happen with the unresolved characters. I think there is a great follow up book still laying in wait.
The fill-in boyfriend is a great book for fans of cute contemporary romances, but also like a surprise side of tension and friendship issues thrown in. While some aspects of the Fill-in Boyfriend were predictable (just like I wanted them to be), Kasie West did take me on a few turns that I wasn't expecting. I do kind of wish that one of those turns would have been to push Jules and Gia's brother over a cliff. (oh come on, not to die...but just to get a little scare....) Kasie West please do a follow up book! I want to see what is going to happen next year with all of the characters!
Hello, I love You is a standalone young adult contemporary romance that**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Hello, I love You is a standalone young adult contemporary romance that was so much fun to read. I should tell you, right off the bat that I don't know very much about Korean culture of KPOP-y things, so I am not an authority on how authentic Hello, I Love You was, but I will tell you this- I had a lot of fun reading this book. Sure, Jason bugged the heck out of me at times, but this was such a stinkin' cute romance that I didn't care. I think so many people will love Hello, I Love You.
The story is told through Grace's point of view. Grace has had some kind of fall out with her family, and she decides to finish out her senior year of high school at an international school in Korea. I'm not really sure how she picked the school, but I do know that she wanted to get far away from her home in Nashville. We don't know too much about what the issue was that she was running from, but we learn that Grace's family is pretty famous. Her dad is a huge country music producer and her brother is a country mega star.
Grace seemed like a fish out of water at her new school. But I loved her roommate Sophie- who also had a famous brother. Jason, her twin, is the lead singer of a very popular KPOP band. I thought it was hilarious that Sophie and Grace were basically in the same situation. Sister with famous singer brother, but no one really ever brought that point up. And each of their families has their fair share of secrets. Grace and Jason start out really not liking each other- which lead to some pretty delicious bickering and bantering. Of course we all know, that later turns into flirting, and I ate it all up. I really like when couples go from annoyed with each other to liking each other. Is that weird?
Grace and Jason bonded over music. Jason writes a lot of his band's songs and Grace has an eye for music composition herself. Their romance unwound at a great pace. They went from annoyances to truce to friends and the something more didn't come for a long time. It just added to the cute factor of their story. There was also an adorably cute/cheesy moment at the end that had me sporting a huge grin. Jason will make you feel just like Grace did. You start out wanting to punch him and you end up loving him. Just like I loved Hello, I Love You. If you are looking for a fun read, this is your summer book!
3.5/5 Becoming Jinn is the first in a Young Adult series of the same nam**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
3.5/5 Becoming Jinn is the first in a Young Adult series of the same name, about genies. I love the tagline for the book- "Forget everything you thought you knew about genies". Because right away, this tells me that it is going to be a pretty cool re-imagining. And it was. It took awhile to gain momentum, but once it did, I thought Becoming Jinn was a magical tale. I thought the world of Jinn that Lori Goldstein created was very rich and multifaceted. I liked how creative and detailed she was, but at the same time I do feel like it slowed down the start of the story a lot. There was a lot of world building but not a lot else. But once you push past the beginning, you not only have a good idea of what it is like to be a Jinn but also the plot starts to move along at a more brisk pace. It was easy for me to fall into the story then.
Azra just turned 16 and for her birthday gift she is given a cuff bracelet and a lamp. The lamp is a joke between all the sisters and cousins of the family because Jinn don't live in lamps, they live in houses. But still the youngest Jinn gets to be the keeper of the lamp. I thought that was cute. Much less cute was the bracelet that was the symbol of being enslaved as a Jinn to the ruling class of the Afrit. And Azra was less than excited to come into her Jinn powers, because it meant losing control. I liked Azra. I can see how she would be a love her or hate type character, but I choose to love her. I thought she was spunky. She was a little whiny, but I think it is important to note that she is 16. What 16 year old is not ever whiny. And I think she had just about as good of a reason as any to be a little bitter and whiny- she was becoming a genie- and is now at the total whim of other people. That would grind my gears a bit too.
I'm not going to say much about the romance. It was good. There is a love triangle, and love triangles are the hardest part of reviews for me to write about without giving anything away, so I will leave you with the two dudes names, and nothing more. Henry- Azra's long time friend, and Nate. More to come on this sub-plot after I read the second book.
Becoming Jinn is a really cool story. I have never read a young adult, or other, so this was a new experience for me. I don't have a lot to compare it to except Aladdin, and this is nothing like Aladdin. If you don't mind love triangles and you can push past the bit of info dump, for background purposes at the start, Becoming Jinn is a really great story. I think a ton of YA readers will love this one, and I am more than interested enough to continue the series. Lori Goldstein did a great job with her imaginative Debut Novel, Becoming Jinn.
I used to love R.L. Stine so much as a kid. I read the books, I watched**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
I used to love R.L. Stine so much as a kid. I read the books, I watched the shows. I just loved it. So when I found out that his Fear Street series was being re-launched I was super excited. What actually started my love of R.L. Stine was the tv show, "Are You Afraid of the Dark?" with the midnight society. I loved that show so much that I started looking for things like it, and I discovered the creepy magic that was R.L. Stine. Don't Stay Up Late is actually the second book in the Fear Street series, but I never read the first book and I was fine. They are each a different scary story. I liked Don't Stay Up Late. It transported me back to my childhood. It was a bit on the younger side for YA, so I think MG readers will enjoy it as well. It will be a great scary book for younger readers, and for YA readers looking for some new R.L. Stine to enjoy.
It was certainly not the scariest young adult book that I have read, but it did feel like his other books, which is honestly what I was looking for. I was looking for that Classic 90s fear street/midnight society sitting around the campfire and telling scary stories feeling. Don't stay up Late is the story of Lisa and a babysitting gig gone terribly wrong. I liked the babysitting aspect because again it added to the throwback feel of the stories. The writing is different than I am used to. It feels slightly more disjointed, but most of that I attributed to the main character Lisa and everything she was going through. She was jumping back and forth between personal tragedies, and therapists and then everything that was going on with Harry and in his house.
My hope is with this book that younger kids will get introduced to his work and go back to some of the original goosebump and fear street novels and read them. I think they will still have appeal today with the younger crowd. So while this book did scary me too much, I can see it being a fun and spooky hit read for some MG readers. I liked it for it's throwback feeling, and it really made me want to watch some Are You Afraid of the Dark?
Summer by Summer is a standalone young adult contemporary. Summer by Su**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Summer by Summer is a standalone young adult contemporary. Summer by Summer has so many layers to it, and it will take you by surprise. The cover seems unassuming enough, with a pretty girl on a beach, and the start of the summer is much of the same. Summer takes a summer nanny gig with a rich family vacationing in Belize. But then it shifts. Bray, the families older son, and Summer are stranded on a deserted island. And then when you are reading, it shifts again and again, but I won't give those away. Just know that every time I thought I got a grip on what this book was, it changed. I loved that because the pace and new layers kept me on my toes. Summer by Summer was a very nice story, and way more exciting than I originally anticipated.
It is published by Blink, an imprint of HarperCollins Christian publishing line Zondervan. It is a clean young adult novel, and the main character Summer used to be involved with her church youth group, so up front warning that religion is a theme in this book. It is not overly preachy, but it is a strong vein in the storyline. It comes up in a few different ways. I thought it tied in very nicely with the plot, but I did want to include that in my review because I know that some readers will want to know up front. The religion stemmed from an event that happened in Summer's past, and I loved the way the author kept digging and bringing up this event because each time she wove it into the storyline, I felt like I got to know Summer a little better. And my heart broke for the poor girl. Bray was right, she is super strong.
The romance in Summer by Summer is very predominant and such a sweet romance. I really liked Summer and Bray. I thought they jumped all over the place in their feelings at the start. They were annoyed, they disliked each other and then Bray did a 180 and was all of a sudden very nice, and then they liked each other. That was my only hiccup with the story, but very soon after that rollercoaster Summer and Bray were stranded and from that point forward, I thought their relationship progressed my more naturally. My only other gripe with the story was something that happened in the epilogue. I thought it was all very nice, but it is something that I just don't like seeing in the young adult books that I read. Personal preference of mine, but I can't say what it is without spoilers. (the event/action not the message)
Summer by Summer was a nice read. I enjoyed it, and the part that I liked most of all was that Heather Burch was able to keep me on my toes while reading. Just when I would start to think the plot was dragging a bit, she would change things up drastically and some whole other element that I wasn't expecting would be introduced. I am determined not to ruin the fun of this book with spoilers, so if you have read Summer by Summer please let me know because I would really liked to talk to someone about it! If you are looking for a very sweet, keep you on your toes clean YA- check out Summer by Summer.
I loved Open Road Summer by Emery Lord so much. (but then again, who didn't? Seriously, that book got such positive feedback it was awesome.) And I am beyond happy to say that she has done it again! All of the reviews that I have been reading for The Start of Me and You have been raving. I loved this book. I just want to hug it and have it with me at all times. Even now that I am done reading it. Emery Lord writes some of the best friendships I have ever read in young adult. I know that is a bold statement, but these are friendships that teens (and everyone) should look up to, and idolize. Paige, Tessa, Morgan, and Kayleigh are so there for one another. They would drop anything in a hot second if they thought one of their friends needed them. And they did. Over and over again. They never got sick of hearing someone complain about the same issue on repeat. They were patient, and understanding. Sure they got into little tiffs, but they always bounced back almost immediately. They were real best friends. I will never get sick of reading about this kind of supportive true friendship. I loved it. Not to mention, on top of that, the romance is great and the story makes you feel all kinds of warm and fuzzies.
The Start of Me and You takes place in a small town where one nickname or one incident can haunt you forever. For Paige that incident was when her new boyfriend drowned. Now she is always known as "girl whose boyfriend died" or Kyle's girlfriend, even though their relationship was still in the getting to know you phase. She was forever marked. I really felt for Paige, it was such a tough spot to be in and I applaud Emery Lord for describing the situation so well. There were facets of it that I hadn't even considered, but watching Paige live it took it to a whole different level for me. I love books that have lists, and the Start of Me and You had a list that Paige dubbed her new beginning list. I loved where her list took her. It took her to joining the quizbowl, which hello, I want to join one of those!!
I thought The Start of Me and You was a bit predictable in parts, but I enjoyed that about it because the things that I could predict were the things that I wanted to happen. Like the whole situation with her crush Ryan and his Cousin Max. This book is perfect for a feel good read. Case in point, I am still smiling as I sit here writing my review. I liked it even more than Open Road Summer. Emery Lord is on my auto buy list now because she knows how to write romances and more importantly, she knows how to write quality friendships. I can't get enough of her. The Start of Me and You is such a great book that I am already thinking about when I can re-read it. Fans of YA contemporary romance, of great characters and great friendships need to read The Start of Me and You.
I can't even accurately convey how much I enjoyed Boys Don't Knit (In**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
I can't even accurately convey how much I enjoyed Boys Don't Knit (In Public). This book is kind of my new obsession. It has everything. It's funny, it's heartwarming, it has an awesome male protagonist. I can't say enough good things about this book. Other than, I think everyone needs to read it. Ben is a high school student in the UK and he has a pretty typical group of friends. They always seem to be getting into very minor teen trouble, but what's funny is that is so not Ben. He is kind of the opposite of all his friends in that regard, but he goes along with them anyway. And of course, he is the one that gets caught red-handed. So off to probation he goes, where is gets a "give something back" community service punishment and he has to take a local class. With slim pickings available he chooses knitting, thinking at least it was taught by his young and hot high school teacher. (Spoiler Alert- It isn't.)
Boys Don't Knit is told entirely from Ben's point of view through the form of journal entries. With letters and excerpts of things thrown in as well. I loved that Ben narrated this book through his journal. He is the most adorable, great, quirky, and totally funny guy. I want to hang out with him. I want to be his friend. Ben's antics of his knitting class and his Give something back project had me smiling and laughing on every page. I put this book down multiple times, not because I was bored, but because I just didn't want it to end.
The writing is perfect for the story. Very conversational, and packed with pop culture references and jokes galore. I can't imagine anyone not getting a chuckle out of something from Boys Don't Knit. If you don't laugh while reading this book, I don't trust you. (unless you are a robot)Readers will fall in love with Ben. They will fall in love with his ragtag group of friends, and with all of Ben's knitting creations. I love the pattern names he comes up with. I love how much of a worrier he is. (he takes a wholistic approach to worrying- that is, he worries about everything all the time.) I loved absolutely everything about this book, even the excerpts from his friends "novel"- "50 Shades of Graham" Not to mention I thought the way everyone in Ben's life came together was a really nice heartwarming message. This book just worked for me on every level. I think there is something for everyone in Boys Don't Knit. The book comes out March 24th so you should pre-order your copy today because this is one that you will not want to miss. Quirky fun and humor at its' finest!
Soulprint is one crazy ride. The idea pulled me in right from the begin**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Soulprint is one crazy ride. The idea pulled me in right from the beginning. The idea that souls can live on in multiple live is nothing new. Reincarnation has been around for a long while, but don't let that fool you into thinking this book is something overdone. Megan Miranda took this idea and ran so far with it that you will hardly recognize it. I love the blend of suspense, action/chase, science, and the layers of corruption that she wove into the story of Soulprint. It is one excellent ride!
The biggest mystery to me is why it took me so long to read and finish Soulprint. I really enjoyed this book from start to finish but for whatever reason it took me way longer to read than most books. That is still a mystery to me because I didn't put the book down because I was bored. This book had me thinking and pondering the whole time, which was more than enough to keep me engaged and interested in the storyline. I was fascinated by the clues that June left Alina. Was she good? Was she bad? Just what the heck had she done that made them lock Alina down like they did.
I loved how unique and different this book felt. It had kind of an inception feel to it, even though it was really nothing like inception. It was part political thriller, part sci-fi dystopian, and a whole lot of interesting. I thought the characters and the plot were extremely well done. The romance was nice, but not the predominant theme of the book. It was just kind of there pleasantly swirling around in the background of this awesomely cool and intense chase that Aline, Cameron, Dominic and Casey were on.
Soulprint didn't specifically state that it was going to be the first book in a series, but it was strongly implied. I, for one, really want there to be a sequel. I can't wait to see if Aline will finally find her mother, or if it will be someone else entirely. Plus, there is the whole issue with Dominic. I think there is so much more about him that we have yet to learn. Bring it on! Bring it all on, Megan Miranda! I want more of the world you built in Soulprint.
Finding Mr. Brightside is the sweetest story about two quirky teenagers**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Finding Mr. Brightside is the sweetest story about two quirky teenagers that have (completely different) problems of their own, each stemming from a singular incident that affected them both. Abram and Juliette are neighbors and they each had their own little average nuclear family, until Juliette's mom and Abram's dad decided to have an affair together. And then they both died in a car crash while they were away together. So it is kind of a gossip worthy and messed up situation.
Finding Mr. Brightside is told in alternating points of views between Abram and Juliette and these two kids could not be more different. Juliette is as type A as they come, popping more than her already too high dosage of adderall just to keep up with everything self imposed thing she wants to do. The funny thing about Juliette is that she had all the makings of someone that would be queen bee in high school, but she was almost as much of a loner as Abram was. I liked that neither of them really fit into any one stereotype completely. It made them seem more like real teenagers and less like characters in a book. I can see Finding Mr. Brightside as a movie. Maybe one of those indie movies. (or big budget movies, with funky camera work, made to look like its' an indie movie.) Everything played out while I was reading like I was watching it on a big screen. The whole book felt very conversational, not forced and effortlessly funny. I thought Jay Clark did a phenomenal job of capturing the voice of teenagers.
Juliette cracked me up. She knew her neurosis and she knew that some aspects of herself were messed up, and she poked fun of them in her chapters. I loved that her specialty text message was a mixed message. I couldn't stop laughing at that. This book seemed so relate-able to me, which was great because I'm not really anything like either Juliette or Abram. I have noticed more than a few DNF 1 and 2 star reviews of finding Mr. Brightside and I can only imagine that a vast majority of these readers didn't give Juliette and Abram enough of a chance. The beauty was in riding their journey out with them. They made each other better. They were there for one another- supporting, listening; telling the other one when they were wrong and just looking out for them. It was a beautiful relationship, even in its' moments of messed up glory. Yes, Juliette and Abram had problems. Yes Juilette should not have abused her adderall like she did, but I hate to break to everyone- she is not the only teenager on ADHD medication. I have seen her story time and time again in real life, and I loved the way Jay Clark portrayed it in Finding Mr. Brightside. He didn't glorify it, or sugarcoat it. You got to see the good, the bad, and the ugly about those little pills.
And now for my favorite part of Finding Mr. Brightside- Abram. Oh my sweet, sweet Abram. He is my Mr. Brightside as well as Juliette's. How can you not love Abram. He is also just so positive, and so nice. He is a good guy, you can tell that from the very first moment you meet him. And he is never anything but a ray of sunshine. He saved Juliette. I totally and completely believe that. Finding Mr. Brightside has an open ending, but it looks like it will be a standalone. And I am ok with that. I thought the story was beautiful and funny and all around wonderful. I thoroughly enjoyed Finding Mr. Brightside.
The Boy Next Door is the first book I have had the pleasure of reading**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
The Boy Next Door is the first book I have had the pleasure of reading from the new crowd-sourced Macmillan imprint, Swoon Reads. I absolutely love the idea behind Swoon Reads. It is a community that anyone can join online for free, writers can upload their manuscripts and readers can read them and vote on their favorites and leave feedback. It's great because teens and readers in the Swoon Reads Community are telling the writers and publishers what they like and what they don't, and they are helping to pick the next books that are going to be published. It is such a great concept.
The Boy Next Door is an ice skating romance, that reminded me of Jennifer Comeaux's Crossing the Ice- which I absolutely loved. So I was super excited to dive right into another pairs figure skating romance. And The Boy Next Door was a great one! There were some skating struggles, but there weren't as many on ice problems as there were in Crossing the Ice, but rather, in the Boy Next Door, most of the problems centered on the pair off the ice.
The book is told is dual narrative between Gabe and Maddy and the font even changes when the chapters change point of view. I love little touches like that in books. I am a big fan of this narration style because I feel like it enables the reader to really get to know the characters very well. Especially in a romance like this one, where you could see how any given decision affected Maddy and Gabe differently. Their personality differences were accentuated throughout the story. But yet, in so many ways they were the perfect complements to one another. I really liked them together. I was rooting from them from the start, and even though I thought Gabe was making it much harder than it needed to be. I mean come on, his two week and i'm bored rule is such a lame excuse to not get in a relationship with a girl that he so obviously cares about.
While this was a fluffy, feel good romance, there were some serious things Maddy and Gabe had to deal with. I really liked that their family lives were a focus of the story as well. Katie Van Ark did a really good job of telling a well rounded and complete feeling story.The writing was witty, cute and felt very conversational. The pacing and story development was great and this book made me feel a whole spectrum of emotions. I'm not sure if there is going to be a second book or not, but I sure hope so. I could use another dose of Maddy and Gabe.
Perfect Couple is the second book in the young adult contemporary**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Perfect Couple is the second book in the young adult contemporary romance series, Superlatives by Jennifer Echols. The idea behind the series is super cute-each of the books focuses on a different coupling of kids from the same high school. The first book was about the two students that were named Biggest Flirts and this book is about an unlikely pair that was named "The Perfect Couple that Never was". This is a new superlative to me, but I really like it! I wounder who my high school would have paired me up with if I was chosen for this superlative. In fact, this is how the summary describes the books, and I think it is pretty spot on:
Perfect Couple is #2 in the Superlatives series about seniors at a Florida high school who are selected for their class's superlative categories in the yearbook, and how the labels change the way they view themselves and alter the course of their lives.
Just like the first book, Perfect Couple was a really fun read. The kind of light hearted book that is sure to make you feel good and put a smile on your face. Perfect Couple follows Harper, who is a very by-the-rules kind of girl. She was voted to be the perfect couple that never was with the schools quarterback, easy going Brody. She thinks the school got it so wrong, but I really liked the two of them. I think Jennifer Echols made it a little too easy sometimes though. Yes, both Brody and Harper were each dating someone else, but Harper's boyfriend was way too easy to hate. He was such a jerk! And he treated Harper awful. I couldn't figure out why she was even with him in the first place. So it was so easy to root for her and Brody.
Perfect Couple is great for fans of cute, funny and romantic comedy for the young adult age group. I love that we got to see so much of the characters from the first book. Each book can be read as a standalone, but it is fun to read them in order and so you know the back stories when they mention the other superlative people throughout the story. Fans of Miranda Kenneally and Simone Elkeles will enjoy this series a lot.
Suspicion by Alexandra Monir is a young adult Mystery thriller with**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Suspicion by Alexandra Monir is a young adult Mystery thriller with a gothic flair. I absolutely loved the cover, and the idea of an old english manor and spooky maze drew me in instantly. The book is divided into three parts, and I really liked that. Each one of the parts had a different feel too it and they were good divisors for the story. I read this book in 3 days, with 1 part a day. It did take a while to actually get into the maze, over 200 pages into the book before our main character ventures inside it in fact. I have seen a lot of mixed reviews on this book. And the main critique for the people that didn't like it, was that the book felt forced or that it tried to do too much. While I can see where they might be coming from, and I agree with them to a lesser extent, I didn't feel like it took away from the story that much. I thought it was a very interesting and creepy read, but because there was a lot going on and the book is on the shorter side, that inhibited the book from going from pretty good to great.
Imogen used to visit Rockford manor every summer as a kid, all the way up until her parents and aunts were killed in a fire by the maze. Right before the fire, Imogen noticed something strange happening with her when she was around Rockford. Something that stopped happening with her when she would leave the manor. Fast forward to 9 or 10 years later and Imogen is back at Rockford, and things are starting to get strange again. The whole concept sounds really cool. There are also lots of twists and turns and slight romance, that I wish was a little better fleshed out. I wanted to see more of Imogen and her crush after she returned to Rockford, because what we got felt a little insta-lovey. But the romance was secondary to the mystery surrounding Imogen's family and the grounds at Rockford.
I really liked the mystery. I am not sure how closely it follows the story of Rebecca, which Suspicion is based off of, because I am not familiar with it, but I do know that there were multiple twists that I didn't even close to see coming, and there were plenty of things for me to be "suspicious" about. I liked Imogen a lot, and I thought her curiosity was a great driving force for the plot of the story. The reason where I can see where the 1 star reviews are coming from, are because there are a lot of different elements at play in Suspicion. But I don't think it made the story bad, I just wish things didn't feel so rushed at the end. I wanted the pacing to slow down just a bit and to have some of these elements and story parts fleshed out a bit more. Because everything was so interesting, I wanted more of it. And I want to run around in that maze. With someone else of course, because I will get lost.
Promise me This is the fourth book in the Between Breaths series. Each book can be read as a standalone, and I have found with this series that this iPromise me This is the fourth book in the Between Breaths series. Each book can be read as a standalone, and I have found with this series that this is really the case. Sometimes you get a mention or a cameo of a character from another one of the books but not very much. They basically all just live in the same city/world, but other than that each book is completely focused on the main characters. Which works out great for people that want to pick and choose which books they want to read or to read them out of order. You won’t be lost at all.
Promise Me This is the story of Nate and Jessie. They both work at the tattoo shop, but on the surface they seem like complete opposites. There were so many things I enjoyed of their dynamic. I liked that at first glance they each didn’t appear to be the kind of person the other would go for. Jessie likes her guys rough around the edges, slim and cut with tats galore. And Nate is anything but that, Jessie thinks that he lives up to her nickname for him after all, which is Square. Nate has always had a crush on Jessie but he keeps people at a distance because he doesn’t trust himself to not turn out like his father. Just the fact that he was so worried about treating women badly made me know that he was nothing like his father. Another thing I liked about the two of them, was that while Nate always kind of had a thing with Jessie, she never thought twice about him that way until she walked in on him with one of his hookups. It was like the veil had been lifted and she saw another side of him.
So much of their boding took place on a short trip they took together. I loved everything about this trip. I loved Jessie’s passion for photography and I really loved how Jessie started to peel back the layers and get to know Nate. It brought me to realize what was my favorite thing about this couple. So much of their connection and communication was nonverbal. She really just got him. It was so clear to see. She could tell when he was getting lost in his head, and she was able to pull him out. I fell in love with their nonverbal dance completely. It made me think- now these two people are perfect for each other.
Just like in Before You Break, Promise Me This deals with a tough issue that may be difficult for some people to read about. It deals with domestic abuse. Nate had a tough childhood, and I really liked that this was address so classily in this book. Therapy was used and Jessie helped Nate along the way too. I loved Jessie and Nate so much. They are each such strong characters on their own and to see them weave themselves into the others life was beautiful. There are no other words for it. Whether you have read all three books or none of them, read Promise Me This. It is a great New Adult Contemporary Romance....more