I have no idea why I waited so long to pick up my e-ARC of The Boy Recession by Flynn Meaney, but I do know that I am definitely going to purchase a finished copy ASAP. I absolutely loved The Boy Recession – it was such a hilarious read that I can’t recommend enough.
First of all, I loved all of the characters. Some of them were super realistic, you know, that-guy-sat-behind-me-in-English-class kind of realistic, and others were kind of the cliché bad girl or whatever, but in general, I loved them all because they all really stood out to me. There were no characters that Flynn Meaney really left hanging in the background – each of the characters played a part in The Boy Recession.
Also, no insta-love in The Boy Recession. It takes Hunter and Kelly an extraordinary amount of time to get together and I loved the way they started to build of their friendship and eventually worked up to a romance and even then they kind of took it slow. It really worked for me and I was rooting for them all the way.
Okay, I’m not going to lie. Hunter was totally the typical teenage boy and he was kind of a slob but he was also really nice and kind of swoony and he sang and played music and World of Warcraft and he was totally the kind of guy I dated in high school and I just loved him.
Flynn Meaney’s writing had me laughing so hard I could have cried. I picked up The Boy Recession planning to read for just a few minutes but the writing style had me hooked from the get-go and there was no way I was putting The Boy Recession down until I finished.
The way time passed in The Boy Recession was really interesting to me. I went back and forth on being really confused at the start of each chapter, wondering how far time shifted ahead (The Boy Recession takes place over the course of a full school year), but I also thought Flynn Meaney did the time passage in a really clever way. She didn’t make a big to-do about it, it just kind of happened and I liked that.
The Boy Recession by Flynn Meaney is an absolutely hilarious contemp that I know I will be rereading every single time I need a pick-me-up. The Boy Recession is one of those books that is so relatable to your high school experience in nearly every way, yet it was still refreshing and just the perfect pick-me-up to knock you out of any funk.(less)
I’m not entirely sure I’ll ever get over dystopian books. I LOVE THEM SO MUCH. And I loved how Erasing Time was a dystopian but with TIME TRAVEL and all sorts of sci-fi like elements.
Erasing Time was a surprisingly quick read. It’s by no means a short book, but I flew through Erasing Time. I don’t want to say it was an easy book, but it just really sucked me in and kept my attention, which I loved.
I liked how different Sheridan and Taylor were. Despite being twins, they differed so greatly in personality, and I loved seeing their differences. I kind of want them to be my best friends, honestly.
Okay, and so there’s this TWIST in Erasing Time that I just loved and was totally thrown by. I mean, I expect I should have seen it coming (did anyone else?) but I totally didn’t and I loved that.
Basically, Erasing Time by C.J. Hill was an engaging dystopian with heavy sci-fi bits, like TIME TRAVEL. The characters were awesome, and I loved the TWIST. Be sure to check out Erasing Time if you’re up for a quick, engaging and action-packed dystopian.(less)
Okay, so I have to admit – while Where I Belong by Gwendolyn Heasley was a fun book, it also kind of drove me nuts. Corrinne was one of the most obnoxious characters I’ve ever read – and she was supposed to be. But Kitsy, one of the characters in Where I Belong, was adorable and admirable and so much fun, so I definitely had to pick up A Long Way from You because it’s her story.
Oh man, and I loved Kitsy’s story. Sure, Corrinne is just as annoying as ever, but Kitsy is adorably naïve and I just loved learning more about her life. She does not come from an easy background, that’s for sure. With a mother like that, whew. I just can’t even. I just loved seeing New York as Kitsy did and seeing her experience all these new opportunities. I thought Gwendolyn Heasley did a great job of getting Kitsy’s ohmygod feelings across.
The story in A Long Way from You was motivating and moving and fun. Kitsy is such an underdog, so the fact that she had this awesome summer art course in New York to get her experience and the fact that she was following her dreams even though there were so many things holding her back in Texas was really inspirational. And Kitsy goes through a lot in A Long Way from You, and I thought it was a really realistic and relatable portrayal about how hard it is to make the right decision.
I definitely enjoyed A Long Way from You way more than Where I Belong and I can’t wait to read more from Gwendolyn Heasley. A Long Way from You is the perfect book to read when you’re in want of a good contemp about a girl who has goals and dreams.(less)
I really enjoyed reading The Opposite of Hallelujah by Anna Jarzab. I haven’t read All Unquiet Things, but after reading The Opposite of Hallelujah, I’m definitely going to pick it up.
The Opposite of Hallelujah is a slow moving, but emotional and enjoyable contemporary. I wouldn’t recommend it to people who need constant action because it is definitely on the slower side, but that really worked me. I enjoyed getting to know each character – I didn’t really like anyone at the beginning of The Opposite of Hallelujah but as the story progressed and I learned about each character, they really grew on me. Even the parents, who I just wanted to shake for being so controlling.
I loved Pawel. Just loved him. He was such a nice guy. Adorable and geeky – not quite swoony, but just adorable. And Caro was an interesting protagonist – not always likeable, but always understandable, I thought. And Hannah. What a can of worms. I don’t even know where to begin with her. Anna Jarzab certainly put together a dynamic and interesting set of characters in The Opposite of Hallelujah.
Religion is a huge aspect of The Opposite of Hallelujah which made me nervous, but it was so well done. It wasn’t preachy, but it was a huge – massive – part of the story and there was a lot of discussion about finding faith/doubting faith/does God even exist, etc. And I actually really liked it – it was nice to read about characters who were so relatably unsure and confused about everything.
The Opposite of Hallelujah by Anna Jarzab is a beautiful and moving contemporary with a lot of important themes. Again, if you’re not a fan of slower stories, I would pass over this one, but I do highly recommend it for fans of contemporaries that will make you think and enterain you at the same time.(less)
Oh my gosh, you guys, I cannot properly express my love for Decked with Holly by Marni Bates. I absolutely loved Awkward – I was cracking up like crazy throughout the whole book, but I thought Decked with Holly surpassed it.
I made the mistake of starting Decked with Holly late at night while my boyfriend was trying to go to sleep and I swear he almost shoved me off the bed, I was laughing so hard throughout the entire book. I absolutely loved the concept of Decked with Holly. I’m such a sucker for YAs involving famous people because they’re so much fun and I feel like Marni Bates really set the bar.
I LOVED Holly. And Nick’s nickname for her – “Holly Disaster” was so spot on. She was such a hilarious and real character with all sorts of insecurities but they were so relatable. I really liked Nick, even though he was a total jerk in the beginning, I was able to get where he was coming from.
The situations and interactions in Decked with Holly are phenomenal. I was absolutely in stitches in the scene where they first met. Like crying laughing. I just can’t even.
Y’all, Marni Bates is a hilarious and brilliant author. She had me laughing with Awkward and laughing so hard I was crying with Decked with Holly. I cannot wait to get my hands on more books from her – and if you haven’t read this series before, you really need to get started!(less)
Guys, I loved The Space Between Us by Jessica Martinez. I thought her debut, Virtuosity, was amazing, so I was super stoked for The Space Between Us – and I wasn’t let down.
Virtuosity dealt with some very interesting issues in a super non-preachy, relatable way and The Space Between Us did the same thing with teen pregnancy and religion and what not.
I seriously applaud Jessica Martinez for how she portrayed religion in The Space Between Us. It can be tricky because it’s always interpreted the wrong way by someone, but religion in The Space Between Us was more a part of the characters, their upbringing, their lives – and that does play a huge role, but we also see them as they struggled with what that meant for them now. It was never pushy one way or another.
And I loved the characters in The Space Between Us. Amelia and Charly are so different and they totally don’t get along at times but I loved them both. They both go through some serious (and necessary) character growth throughout The Space Between Us and I really enjoyed reading along as they figured out, in their own way, how to deal with this crazy situation. Because both Amelia and Charly are super selfish at first, but it’s so easy to see both sides.
I thought the setting was awesome. I really related to Amelia and Charly because I have never seen snow so it was so fun to see them go to Canada for the first time and see all the snow and freeze to death, etc. Jessica Martinez really made the setting pop for me, as well as all the characters that came with it, like Ezra and their aunt.
And, of course, there is romance in The Space Between Us. I loved Ezra and Amelia together. That is all.
Also, major bonus points because Tallahassee is mentioned like a billion times and I felt really cool (because I live there, hah).
I definitely recommend The Space Between Us by Jessica Martinez. Despite the length, I was totally sucked in and managed to read it in about two and a half hours. The Space Between Us managed to portray current issues today, but also tell an entertaining story that kept me engaged.(less)
Carrie Harris never fails to deliver the giggles, whether it’s her blog, her twitter, or her first book, Bad Taste in Boys. And let me tell you, Bad Hair Day is just as funny and entertaining.
Bad Hair Day has an entertaining and engaging plot that makes the pages really fly by. I swear I had just started reading and suddenly it was an hour later and I was almost finished with Bad Hair Day.
I loved Kate in Bad Hair Day. There’s a certain character who throws a wrench into Kate’s new relationship with Aaron that I absolutely could not stand and I was totally rooting for Kate to throw down with that certain character. And I love Kate because even though she has a boyfriend now, she still stays true to her character, and her character is awesome. It’s so rare that we have a female protagonist who wants to do something science-y or medical and I really admire Kate’s goals. And her mega skills at solving crimes and creating cures!
I really liked how Carrie Harris set up the plot for Bad Hair Day. There were a few bits and pieces that I totally didn’t expect which was awesome.
If you’re looking for a highly entertaining and engaging series, I definitely recommend Bad Hair Day and the first book, Bad Taste in Boys. Carrie Harris combines humour with badass characters and interesting storylines and her books are not to be missed!(less)
I loved Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally. Her first book, Catching Jordan, was awesome and smart and inspiring and so freaking good.
But Stealing Parker brought out all sorts of emotions in me. I was feeling super conflicted at first and a little bit sinful and then I was sobbing and angry and sobbing and…I just can’t even describe the wide range of emotions I felt while reading Stealing Parker. I thought Catching Jordan was cute and fun and inspiring, Stealing Parker completely bowled me over.
There are a LOT of issues brought up in Stealing Parker – religion, sexuality, sex, relationships with older guys, family, drugs, etc. But it wasn’t like Miranda Kenneally was thrusting it all at you at once. Stealing Parker, despite being also a bit adorable and fun, is a really deep book that I felt a real emotional connection with. I felt for Parker like crazy and I emphasized with all of the tough situations she faced throughout Stealing Parker. Liking the older, unattainable guy and having a lot of people turn out to be different than you thought they were…it’s tough, and in a way, I felt like I was going through it all over again with Parker.
Once again, Miranda Kenneally through me for a loop with the relationships in Stealing Parker. I was super conflicted with who I wanted Parker to be with at first, because there’s this other guy in Stealing Parker…and lots of moral issues come into play and basically, Miranda Kenneally is a master of the slow build. I love how the relationships she writes usually begin based on friendship.
I don’t know what else to say, guys. I absolutely loved Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally. Stealing Parker had me absolutely captured in its spell – I refused to put it down until the very last page. I was sobbing and giggling and fanning myself from the swoon. If you’re a fan of amazing books and young adult contemporary, I highly recommend Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally.(less)
After Saving June, Hannah Harrington made her way on my “auto-buy” list of authors. After just one book! So yes, I was super excited to get my hands on Speechless.
And Hannah Harrington did not let me down with Speechless! Both Saving June and Speechless dealt with tough issues, but Speechless is one of those books that is so relevant to right now. Speechless is one of those books that’s an enjoyable and entertaining book, but at the same time it still makes you really think about the issue at hand.
I loved the characters in Speechless. I really understood Chelsea, the protagonist, because I too loved to be up in everybody’s business in high school. I didn’t spread anything around – and we didn’t really have cliques at my high school (it was too small, I think?) but I totally liked to hear all the gossip. So yes, I totally felt for her and I thought she was brave when it really counted.
And Sam! I love Sam. He was such a quirky, interesting character and the perfect love interest. Their relationship, although they were perfect for each other, didn’t compete with Jake and Harper from Saving June – who was my favourite couple of any book I read in 2011. But I really liked the romantic aspect of Speechlessnonetheless – I just loved Sam so much.
Speechless was so well-written. There were so many beautiful one liners and pages that I marked the corners on so I can go back and write down all my favourite quotes. And I’m not usually a big quote saver (although I want to be), but Hannah Harrington really delivered with the writing.
If you were a fan of Saving June, don’t miss Hannah Harrington’s new book, Speechless. And go pick them both up if you haven’t read Saving June! Speechless is relevant and beautifully written, with relatable characters and a perfect romance.(less)
A Fractured Light by Jocelyn Davies didn’t quite live up to my expectations after reading A Beautiful Dark. Granted, A Beautiful Dark totally wowed me and I loved it, even though I was expecting to hate it. But it took me by surprise! I was hoping to get the same feelings from A Fractured Light. And whew, especially after that ending!
But unfortunately, A Fractured Light was just very much a middle book for me. We learned a lot of stuff about the Rebellion and the Guardians and more about what Skye is, exactly, but I felt like it all could have been more condensed.
The love triangle thing, which I actually really enjoyed in A Beautiful Dark, grated on me a bit in A Fractured Light. I’m not a fan of the mushy stuff, which is totally my own thing, so all the stuff with Asher and Skye was just kind of meh to me.
But the action! I thought the pace definitely picked up mid-way through A Fractured Light which helped to keep me on my toes and reminded me exactly why I love this series. The ending is just as legit as A Beautiful Dark and there’s so many twists. I loved A Fractured Light from the halfway point, but at the beginning, I was a bit meh.
I don’t know. Maybe it was my mood, but I just didn’t love A Fractured Light by Jocelyn Davies as much as I did A Beautiful Dark. I’m still really excited to read the third book in the series – the storyline is still super interesting to me, despite my constant iffiness of angel stories, but I just think I have second book blues or something.
I will say, if you loved A Beautiful Dark like I did, you should definitely read A Fractured Light because I have a feeling the conclusion will be epic.(less)
I loved Denise Jaden’s first book, Losing Faith, but Denise Jaden has grown so much as a writer with Never Enough. Never Enough was so well written and so heartbreaking in a brilliant way.
First of all – the family dynamic. The family in Never Enough was so screwed up and broken, but I could tell they all loved each other and just didn’t know how to come together as a family to deal with Claire’s eating disorder. Like with Losing Faith, Denise Jaden was really able to spotlight how differently people handle tough situations.
And Denise Jaden did such an amazing job portraying Claire’s eating disorder. Claire didn’t come off as some spoiled teenager trying to lose a few pounds – she was very clearly battling with some sort of mental illness, which I really appreciated because that’s what it is. And the way the family reacted to it was so accurate. I loved Loann’s little barbs and pokes before she realized how serious it was because that is such a sister thing to do.
I loved how Never Enough was about Claire and her eating disorder, but it also wasn’t. Loann had her own life and her own friends and I love the focus on her and Marcus. I thought their side story was very well done and a crucial part to Never Enough. Loann came off as a little selfish at some points, but it never really bothered me – she just seemed like a typical teenage girl who never really got enough attention and struggled with being in her sister’s shadow.
I read all 400 pages of Never Enough by Denise Jaden through the cracked screen of my iPad (which felt oddly appropriate). Never Enough is a compelling and heartbreaking story that had me sobbing by the end. (less)
I hadn’t read Cat Patrick’s first book, Forgotten, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect from Revived. But the concept sounded pretty awesome, so I gave it a shot.
And man, I am so glad I did! Revived by Cat Patrick is legit. I was surprised by how hooked I got! Revived wasn’t really something I expected to pick up and wanted to keep reading until I finished, but Daisy dug her claws in. Revived definitely has a unique concept for YA and I loved the science aspect of it all, plus I got super giddy during some romantic bits.
I loved the plot of Revived by Cat Patrick. It was mysterious and dealt with some heavy science. I loved Daisy and her indecisive loyalty and her attempts to figure out what exactly is going on.
And Daisy. I loved Daisy in general, and her first real friends, Matt and Audrey. Speaking of which, Matt is a GREAT name for a first love because I know a ton of people (including myself) who first fell for a guy named Matt. But that’s beside the point. I loved Daisy and Matt together, and I loved Daisy and Audrey’s friendship – and man, did I cry while reading Revived.
Seriously – if you’re looking for a fun sci-fiish book with giddy romance and beautiful friendships, go check out Revived by Cat Patrick. It’s a quick read and thoroughly engaging.(less)
New Girl by Paige Harbison is seriously intense. When I think boarding schools, I usually think light, gossipy, fun. New Girl certainly had its gossipy moments, but for the most part, there were so many intense character that it was actually pretty heavy.
AND CREEPY. There was one character (you’ll know her when you see her) who seriously freaked me out – she was crazy. I would never, ever room with her. And Becca, the maybe-dead-not-sure protagonist is pretty psychotic too, but in an almost endearing way? I know that sounds weird, because I really couldn’t stand her for a majority of New Girl, but at the same time I felt really bad for her.
I liked the main-main protagonist – I just realized I have no idea what her name is…we don’t find it out until the very end which is super interesting, I had to go back and look it up – and her determination to stick it out and show all the Manderly Academy bitches she’s not scared.
The story in New Girl itself was engaging enough, although I never really gave in to the doubt that was planted in our head by various characters and story lines. I felt like knew what happened from the beginning, which was okay because it didn’t detract from the story, at least not to me.
New Girl by Paige Harbison is perfect for those who are obsessed with boarding schools and slightly psychotic characters. It was a kind of intense read at times, but enjoyable.(less)
7 Clues to Winning You by Kristin Walker is THE PERFECT fun and cute pick-me-up book.
I was having a such a terrible day and I picked up 7 Clues to Winning You and I was giggling with minutes. The storyline is hilarious, and surprisingly moving at some points (I might have welled up once or twice) and the romance is so freaking adorable.
What I loved most about Blythe, the protagonist in 7 Clues to Winning You, is – yes, she’s a rich girl at a rich school. But she’s not the stereotypical rich girl who has to slum it kind of character – she volunteers at nursing homes and drives an old car and she’s not bothered that she’s “slumming it” or whatever. She’s real and she has legit reasons for not liking her new school and she’s ballsy and she cries a lot, but I felt for her every time, you know?
And LUKE. I loved Luke so freaking much. He was dorky and charming and so giving and there was this one scene with him where I just totally melted. Well, more than one, really.
Let me just say – go pick up 7 Clues to Winning You by Kristin Walker as soon it hits the shelves later this month. 7 Clues to Winning You is certain to brighten your day and have you giggling within pages. The characters are real and the romance is adorable and I’ve definitely pre-ordered a finished copy for my favourites shelf.(less)
And if you haven’t read The Girl of Fire and Thorns, A, you totally should and B, you probably shouldn’t continue reading because I can’t be held accountable for how much my fangirling will spoil book 1.
Okay, now that I have that taken care of.
THE CROWN OF EMBERS IS AMAZING. I legit loved The Girl of Fire and Thorns and I was absolutely heartbroken through certain terrible events of that book but freaking Elisa was such an amazing protagonist and I just couldn’t wait to get my hands on The Crown of Embers.
And The Crown of Embers ended up being a BILLION times better. I could literally see her character growth through all the stuff Elisa went through in The Girl of Fire and Thorns and she goes through even more in The Crown of Embers but it all helped to grow to be this amazing, brave, courageous and confident protagonist and a Queen and just, gah. I feel like Elisa is one of the best examples of character growth and progression in books. Rae Carson does an amazing job of showing how Elisa is toughening up and becoming a better and stronger person, yet still the same protagonist we were introduced to at the beginning.
Okay, the romance in The Crown of Embers KILLED ME. When Rae Carson killed off both love interests in The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Oh, Humberto!), I was super impressed at the ballsyness of it, but also really concerned because hello, I need swoon in my fantasy. But then Rae Carson throws Hector at us and I am all, hello Hector, personal guard, yes please! Because as much as I loved Humberto, and as good as he was for Elisa, I just can’t even with Hector. Top YA love interests for sure. The SWOON, you guys. THE SWOON.
And the freaking plot. There is assassination attempts and stable burning and hurricanes and rowing and learning how to fight and lots of revealing stuff about Elisa’s Godstone and death and love and SO MUCH happens in The Crown of Embers.
The ending of The Crown of Embers is absolutely brilliant. It’s cliffhangery enough for me to be dying for book three, but I still closed it on sort of a happy, giddy, satisfied note.
I was going to try to be eloquent in my review of The Crown of Embers, but I just can’t fangirl enough. The Crown of Embers by Rae Carson is a brilliant follow-up to The Girl of Fire and Thorns. The character progression is stunning and the plot is so engaging, I literally could not put it down. And the romance is oh-so-swoonworthy. If you’re looking for a fantastic fantasy series that’ll keep you on your toes and shouting “BEST BOOK EVER” at the topic of your lungs, this is the series for you.(less)
!!!! was basically my reaction when I found out Melissa Jensen had a new book coming out, that book being The Fine Art of Truth or Dare. See, I loved her first book, Falling in Love with English Boys.
And The Fine Art of Truth or Dare was everything I wanted to be!
Let me just get one thing out in the open real quick – Ella sometimes came off as crazy. As in she had conversations with a dead artist’s art crazy. It was weird. But hilarious.
And it worked, strangely enough. At first I was like “oh my godddd she needs a straight jacket” but then I started to get to know Ella. And the-talking-to-Edward-willing-thing fit her character and I thought it actually ended up being a really clever way for her to air her inner thoughts without being all inner monologue-y.
Oh, yeah, and Alex. Let’s not forget Alex. He frustrated me. But I loved his sense of humor and how teenage boy-ish he was. Because he absolutely wasn’t the perfect guy that we sometimes see in YA – he was the guy who sat behind me in math class. Or, you know, figuratively speaking.
OH AND HER FRIENDS. Guys, normally the friends in books are kind of wishy washy, but I loved Sadie and Frankie. I got to know them and their story without them being an overpowering element in The Fine Art of Truth or Dare – and at the same time, I would totally read a book about either of them.
I loved Ella’s struggles. Lying to her best friend about boys, fighting with friends, major self esteem issues – she was real. And her issues were real. And the story was real. Isn’t that kind of what the perfect contemp is? Realness?
I loved The Fine Art of Truth or Dare by Melissa Jensen. It was such an incredibly relatable story with humorous and real characters. If you’re a fan of witty contemporaries with characters you could have sworn were in math class with you last year, check out The Fine Art of Truth or Dare.(less)
Review to be published on my blog closer to publication date
Guys, I had no idea what Glimmer by Phoebe Kitanidis was about based on the description on...moreReview to be published on my blog closer to publication date
Guys, I had no idea what Glimmer by Phoebe Kitanidis was about based on the description on the back and the first couple of pages. Hell, I had no idea what was going on throughout the whole book.
But something about the story, as confused as I was, made me want to keep going and figure it out, even though there were a couple of times when I thought about giving up. I mean, heat naps? Forgetting a certain events? It kind of just sucked me in.
And guys, Glimmer was a seriously wild ride. It’s kind of crazy what happened and how it happened and why it happened and I didn’t see any of it coming.
As for the characters...I don’t even know. Because they didn’t know who they were and that was sort of an interesting experience, trying to decide if I liked a main character when they kept insisting their name wasn’t their own.
The writing style in Glimmer by Phoebe Kitanidis was a little bit awkward to me, but the storyline interesting enough for me to keep going. If you like books full of craziness and WTF story lines, I encourage you to give Glimmer a shot!(less)
Oh my goodness, I don’t even know how to review Ten by Gretchen McNeil. I loved her first book, Possess, because yay ghosties and exoricists and what not, but Ten just basically knocked my socks off. I haven’t read the original Agatha Christie work, but I didn’t feel like I needed to have read it to really get into the story.
Gretchen McNeil knows how to bring the thriller. I had to pull up my covers and turn all the lights on while reading Ten because I could practically hear the loud rain and see the lightening from the terrible storm that was occurring throughout Ten. She is fantastic at setting up the atmosphere and turning the creep meter to a billion.
I loved the protagonist, Meg. She was sharp and observant and would always think about her words before talking and kind of like the perfect detective, which is exactly what Ten needed. Meg freaked out and was scared just like everyone else, but I loved how she was able to keep a mostly cool head – which helped me to keep a cool head because trust me, even though I was just reading Ten, I was shaking in my figurative boots.
Oh, and how I loved TJ. He wasn’t the most swoon-worthy love interest I’ve ever read, but Ten wasn’t really all about the romance, so he didn’t need to be. He was just real, strong and supportive and attractive. I loved the easy, natural way Gretchen McNeil built up the romance for us in Ten – clearly Ten is a horror story and the last thing I want to read about in a horror story is an epic make out session (hah! I think the moment always calls for an epic make out session, actually) but Gretchen McNeil added in the romance so it all mixed well together.
The whole story in Ten was just done perfectly. The pacing is timed epically. There’s the perfect amount of build up, the perfect amount of time in between each horrifying death, and then twist after twist after twist that had me holding my breath until the very end.
Guys, if Possess didn’t convince me that Gretchen McNeil knows how to write, Ten definitely did. Gretchen McNeil delivers a creepy and brilliant book with Ten, and I can’t wait until an appropriate amount of time passes until I’ve forgotten everything so I can reread Ten. It is a perfect creepy thriller for this time of year and I highly recommend it!(less)
It’s not easy to put my love for A Want So Wicked by Suzanne Young into words. I really, really liked the first book in this series, A Need So Beautiful, but I wouldn’t say I was jumping over couches (gah that's such an old and bad reference).
But with A Want So Wicked? I picked it up and couldn’t put it down. I was SO CONFUSED for the first few bits of A Want So Wicked because uhm, if you read the summary, you’ll see why. I was like WHAT is going on who are these people WHERE IS CHARLOTTE AND HARLIN AHHH.
And it was kind of awesome that A Want So Wicked made me feel so passionately confused and I just...I want to fangirl over A Want So Wicked. I loved the new characters, Elise, Lucy, and their pastor father, and even Abe. Of course, I loved the characters from A Need So Beautiful who made unexpected appearances in this one.
My only complaint - I wanted to see and understand more about Harlin, what he was thinking at this point. I understand why we (readers and the protagonist) weren’t as close to him in A Want So Wicked as we had been in A Need So Beautiful, but it made me all kinds of sad.
Uhm. Also. The ending. Just another reason why I loved it more than A Need So Beautiful. I know as of right now there is no third book, but I need to know what happens after, please and thank you!
A Want So Wicked by Suzanne Young was everything I wanted the sequel to be - heartbreaking, confusing, giggle-causing, and left me very, very content. If you haven’t read this series, do so. Immediately.(less)
MAN I loved Allegiance by Cayla Kluver. I mean, I liked Legacy, the first book, a lot, but so much epic happened in Allegiance that my mind was blown. Especially with how it all ended up, I was like WHAT I never saw any of this coming.
And yes, the length – Allegiance is a long book (although just a tad shorter than Legacy, I think). But it’s a fantasy, what do you expect? The world building is amazing and I could totally see myself in Hytanica, sneaking around riding horses and fighting against my attraction to Steldor.
Oh, yeah, and Steldor. I think I strongly disliked him in Legacy, because hello – Narian was the mysterious forbidden boy. And he was awesome. But in Allegiance, even though Alera was all “I never wanted to marry Steldor and I sure as hell don’t want his kisses although they are quite good” – I was like KISS HIM, ALERA. I know, I couldn’t believe myself.
And Alera. She was STRONG in Allegiance. Her strength came out in bits, like denying Steldor or annoying him, but she also made hard, real decisions and I really admired her a lot more in Allegiance than I did in Legacy It can’t be easy being a queen!
If you enjoyed Legacy by Cayla Kluver, I have a feeling you’ll enjoy Allegiance just as much or even more. It’s an awesome fantasy series with a kickass storyline full of fighting and drama and kidnappings and what not. (less)
I read Die for Me by Amy Plum on a long plane ride back from London, and I didn’t enjoy it as much as I wanted to. But I picked up Until I Die anyway, mainly because hello, it takes place in Paris!
And guys, I have to say – I got so into Until I Die! I thought it was so much better than Die For Me, perhaps because I wasn’t stuck in an uncomfortable seat thousands of miles in the air.
I was way more impressed with Kate in Until I Die. She was determined and strong and she wanted to solve things for herself, rather than wait around for people to tell her what to do, which I loved. I always admire protagonists that refuse to be doormats just because they love a boy.
There were some bits of Until I Die which dragged on a bit, in terms of all the information given at one time, but the story itself (not to mention how proud I was of Kate for figuring things out) definitely pushed me through that.
The romance was much more believable to me in Until I Die as well. Perhaps because I wasn’t watching them fall for each other, but just seeing them together was a different experience. A better one, I thought.
Can I just ask – am I the only person who finds that they want the protagonists to get together with someone totally different than the love interest? And I don’t mean in a love triangle this is supposed to be hard kind of way, I just mean a random friend and I’m like SHE SHOULD GET TOGETHER WITH HIM! In the case of Until I Die, I’m referring to Jules. But I think this usually happens to me with paranormal romances.
But anyway. If you found yourself on the fence with Die For Me – or if you loved it – I highly recommend picking up Until I Die by Amy Plum. I enjoyed it so much more than the first – Until I Die was full of action and twists and a headstrong protagonist, not to mention a gorgeous setting.(less)
I read Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini last year and while I liked it, I wouldn’t have put it on my favourites shelf or anything. But I picked up Dreamless and I absolutely loved it.
I was playing catch-up for a good chunk of Dreamless, however, so I would definitely recommend doing a refresher on Starcrossed if it’s been a while! After all, you don’t want to be like me and be saying “So who the hell is Kate?”
Anyway, the storyline in Dreamless was much more engaging to me. Although all the various Underworld scenes did get a little repetitive in the beginning, I was rooting so hard for Helen to accomplish her task and once things started really happening in the Underworld parts, I was all for it.
I loved the semi-love triangle going on with Helen and Orion and Lucas. I’m not a big love triangle person, but forbidden love usually bores me after a while and Orion added other options that kept me very entertained.
Also – I was complaining on Twitter a few weeks ago about how people keep doing the same boring mythology retelling over and over again, and then I picked up Dreamless and I was SO EXCITED to read something refreshing and unique. I loved that Josephine Angelini was able to get me excited about Greek mythology again.
To put it simply, I loved Dreamless by Josephine Angelini. It gripped me way more than Starcrossed, and was able to get me excited about Greek mythology again. If you’re looking for a fun YA paranormal-ish book with seriously high stakes and cute boys, I definitely recommend checking out Starcrossed and Dreamless.(less)
Live Through This by Mindi Scott is an unbelievably stunning, heartbreaking story. I am amazed by Mindi Scott’s storytelling capabilities – I can’t even imagine writing a story like this and still being able to include the beautiful, fun, light moments in such a perfect way.
Because Live Through This is an important and upsetting book. Sexual abuse is something that happens entirely too often, and the way Mindi Scott tells Coley’s story is just…perfect. We have moments where we’re giddy with Coley over the dorky and cute Reese, or we’re laughing with Coley and her best friend Noah (who I love to death, FYI), but there’s also this heavy feeling while reading Live Through This that we realize Coley must feel all the time because of what’s happening to her.
I was so tense while reading Live Through This – I loved the way Mindi Scott kept the identity of Coley’s abuser under wraps for a bit. I was tense and nervous and accusatory and my heart just broke when everything was revealed.
It’s really hard for me to write a full review of Live Through This. Mindi Scott delivers a heart wrenching book that made me laugh and cry and want to curl up under the bed and hide from everyone. Live Through This is a beautiful contemporary that portrays an issue that ought to be brought to light more often.(less)
It’s very hard for me to express my awe and appreciation for Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard. I studied abroad in London, I’ve been to Scotland and France, but I’ve only ever dreamed of backpacking like Bria did in Wanderlove. But after reading Wanderlove, and Kirsten Hubbard’s acknowledgements and bio – I’m going to make it a reality.
And in terms of Wanderlove itself – it really is fantastic, amazing, adventurous, moving, motivating, and so many other awesome adjectives.
Bria Sandoval is the teen we all know and relate to – messed up over that boy in high school, let down by her friends and family, unsure of where her future lies…but rather than just mope, she decides to go to Guatemala. And it ends up totally different than she was planning on, but it changed her life. And that’s how travel should be.
Even without reading her biography, Kirsten Hubbard’s passion for travel and adventure really comes through on every page. And even if you’ve never really had the desire to go somewhere new, I think Wanderlove is sure to inspire you because there’s so much of Kirsten Hubbard’s intimate connection with the countries she’s describing. I was just kind of in awe when I finished reading Wanderlove.
And there is certainly no instalove in Wanderlove. The relationship between Bria and Rowan is slow-going, but amazing and deep and they have such a connection. And Starling. Can I please read a whole book dedicated to Starling, Kirsten Hubbard? Starling had so much depth and character.
How have I not mentioned the drawings? Kirsten Hubbard actually included sketches she drew of the stuff that Bria was drawing and it added such an awesome element to Wanderlove. I would totally frame the sketches too – especially the one of Rowan! Loved this aspect of Wanderlove so much.
Overall, I just truly, utterly, 100% loved Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard. The story was inspiring and passionate, the drawings added so much the story, and best of all, it is so evident that Kirsten Hubbard truly loved what she was writing. Now, pease excuse me while I grab my passport and a backpack.(less)
Do you guys ever feel absolutely speechless after reading a book? Because that’s how I feel after reading Hallowed by Cynthia Hand. GUH. GUH. GUH. I have no words for how emotional Hallowed is.
There’s just so much. So much beauty and love and heartbreak and loyalty and indecision…it just broke me in a billion ways. As much as I loved Unearthly and was surprised by it, take that and multiply it by ten, and that’s how much Hallowed affected me.
One of the main things I loved about Hallowed was learning more about Clara’s parents, but also about her brother, Jeremy. I think a lot of him was glossed over in Unearthly, but he was more of a focus in Hallowed and I loved being able to see his reactions to everything that was going on.
Another aspect I loved about Hallowed was just learning more about angels in Cynthia Hands’ series – they change from book to book and I think the way Cynthia Hand writes them is absolutely fascinating. And we learn a lot of new tidbits in Hallowed.
Overall, I thought Hallowed was an absolutely wonderful follow-up to Unearthly. If you read and loved Unearthly by Cynthia Hand, go now and pick up Hallowed. Just hold on to the tissues. And if you haven’t read Unearthly, uhm, go do that. ASAP.(less)