I am only slightly ashamed to admit that I watch reality TV show competitions, like Big Brother, Project Runway, and basically all the cooking reality TV shows. So The Selection by Kiera Cass immediately sounded appealing to me just based on the summary.
Initially, I was a little put off by the writing in The Selection. There were a couple of instances where I thought there was more telling that showing and I wanted the showing.
But honestly? At some point, fairly quickly into The Selection, the writing didn’t even matter to me. I loved the story in The Selection so much. It was just a ton of fun – and dystopians aren’t usually fun, per say. I liked idea of the caste system a lot and the idea of competing for the Prince’s attention. It was a combination of The Bachelor and Cinderella. And bonus heaviness with the war going on and what not.
As for the characters in The Selection – I’m usually team original boy, but I honestly really only liked Aspen in the beginning. When Prince Maxon entered the picture, I was like Aspen who? As for America herself, I was rooting for her the whole time and I liked her, but she wasn’t the most memorable protagonist. I liked her independence and determination, and I think she’ll become more memorable with the second book.
And the ending is just kind of wait, what, there needs to be more! Because it wasn’t necessarily a GASP DID THAT JUST HAPPEN cliff-hanger, but it was definitely not an end point in the story and I wanted to know what happened next.
If you like your dystopians a little bit lighter (you know, minus all the sobs and heartbreak and with bonus giggles) and a good dose of reality competitions, definitely check out The Selection by Kiera Cass....more
I want to marry My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick. It was one of those books where I wanted to raise it above my head and shout “Hey, this is me! In book form!”
Because My Life Next Door totally is. I mean, I don’t mean that the story necessarily relates to me if you gave it to me in outline form, but the overall feel and writing style and setting and characters and lots of family dynamics and all the little things adding up – my perfect kind of book.
IN ANY CASE. The writing style of My Life Next Door was beautiful and lyrical – I wanted to read it slowly, so I could really, really read it.
And the BUILD UP. There was so much build up in My Life Next Door. Just from reading the summary, you KNOW something happens. But the romance and the family is so beautiful and you’re just reading this perfect summer love but at the same time you’re like OH MY GOD WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN AND WHEN. I was so tense throughout most of My Life Next Door.
The characters in My Life Next Door were so well done. I loved Samantha, and even her mom, and all of the Garretts of course, because they were all REAL. They all had personality and a story.
My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick is not a debut you want to miss. It truly has it all – the perfect combination of summer, love, family, and the tragedy that’s always lurking right around the corner....more
I cannot talk enough about how much I loved Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill (and I don’t think I have stopped talking about it since I first read it)! Seriously, this book is me…but in book form. Very rarely have I ever felt like an author sat down and was like, “Hmm, let me think of the perfect book to write for Tara.” But I totally felt that way with Meant to Be.
First of all, the setting. I lived in London for half a year last spring and there was so much of Meant to Be that was so familiar to me. Some of Julia’s experiences in London were exactly like my first experiences – I went to the same places and ate at many of the same restaurants and it was like I was reliving my time abroad all over again.
And Julia, the protagonist, is totally a straight-laced, uptight, always on time and always following the rules kind of girl. In many ways I found myself relating to her totally (but in other ways I just wanted to shake her and tell her to go have fun). I think she’s going to be one of those characters that people either really like or really dislike, and I definitely feel the former.
And the swoon! The swoon! I loved Jason, even though he was a total butthead at the beginning of Meant to Be. He kind of ended up as a total butthead in an adorable kind of way.
Yes, there was plot too, besides the traveling abroad and romance thing. Which I found to be super entertaining, even though there were a lot of bits I predicted, I still enjoyed the ride. Oh, and there were some bits I totally didn’t predict and it made me MAD for Julia even though Julia didn’t really react the way I would have. But in any case. The plot of Meant to Be is a lot of fun.
Basically – go pick Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill. It’s hilarious with a side of deep and emotional, not to mention the swoony romance and the awesome experience of traveling abroad for the first time. Lauren Morrill’s writing style is one that I loved and she’s definitely already landed herself on my auto-buy list.
I can't wait to get my finished copy of Meant to Be in my hands and reread it all over again.
Wow. I did not expect to love Rival as much as I did. I was pretty hesitant about starting it because it sounded like there was going to be very little romance and kissing, and mainly just about the history between the two girls.
Which is mostly true. I mean, that is the point of the book, I think. That there’s more to being a teenage girl than boys. There’s pressure and stress and even friendships are hard to maintain. I thought Rival did an excellent job of showing this other perspective and it really meant a lot to me. Don’t get me wrong – there’s definitely cute boys and boy drama, but it all ends back at up at Katherine and Brooke.
I loved both of the protagonists – Brooke and Katherine. There was no way for me to choose which one I wanted to root for, which one I identified with the most because there were elements of both girls that really stood out to me and I could easily relate to. Really, though, they were both realistic characters and although there were elements of their lifestyles that I couldn’t identify with/don’t know anyone who can (Brooke, for the most part), they really felt like teenage girls to me. Their mood swings, jealousy, peer pressure, pressure in general – it reminded me a lot of my own high school experiences.
Maybe it doesn’t have to be music, or money from scholarships, but there’s always something in high school that manages to put that load of pressure on you, and that’s what I liked about this book. Even though this book was specifically about the music competition and the pressure, there was a lot more to it.
I loved the ending and the progression of the storyline. I’m usually worried about flashbacks – sometimes they interrupt the flow of the story, but it really worked in Rival.
I would absolutely recommend Rival. Seriously. It’s a fantastic debut and very original for a contemporary young adult book. I can’t wait to see more from Sara Bennett Wealer!...more
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....more
How do I even start reviewing The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin? Actually, let me start off by saying if you haven’t read The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, you shouldn’t read this review. I won’t intentionally spoil book one, but just in case.
The Evolution of Mara Dyer is freaking nuts. I was up super late last night and I legitimately had to turn the lights on in the other room because I was so freaking creeped out. And I had to leave them on ALL NIGHT. The Evolution of Mara Dyer is literally some of the scariest shit I’ve read. Like mysterious dolls, stalkers, sleep walking, knives, you name it.
The Evolution of Mara Dyer has it all.
But we get some much needed answers in The Evolution of Mara Dyer…which of course leaves us with a billion and twelve more questions. Not to mention DYING for the third book because holy what the what the what.
And the SWOON. I wasn’t super impressed with Noah in The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, although granted I just got back from living in London for six months and all British guys had momentarily lost any swoon from me. But MY GOD Noah is just jfe[aijfoeafaei in The Evolution of Mara Dyer. IOJFEAJFIEIAOI to the max. For two people who barely kiss, there is a lot of OIFEJAFEA;OIFEA in this one. I mean, wow. And normally I would probably be like really they love each other already whatevvvvss, but it totally works in this book and I didn’t even care because it’s freaking Mara and Noah and they’re meant to be, obviously.
Did I mention the major creep factor? And the AWESOME storyline? I really enjoyed The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, but I think this one was way more up my alley. I loved the intense psychological thriller aspect because we’re still in the midst of figuring out if Mara is just a legit psycho or if this shit is real and man, I love wondering that kind of stuff while reading a book. I love unreliable narrators and Mara Dyer is the freaking queen.
Gah, that brings me to the characters. I JUST CAN’T. I love Mara Dyer’s family to bits. Her parents, who love her so much even though she’s cray, and her brothers and how well they all fit together even though their personalities are all over the place but they still remain fairly stable despite, as I mentioned, the fact that Mara is cray. And Mara, of course, is AWESOME. She’s headstrong and stubborn and so complicated. She is the very definition of a beautifully complex character. I don’t think, even after finishing this series, I will ever know everything about Mara because there are so many aspects of her. She’s such an evolving character but she still has so much personality. Mara Dyer is definitely a protagonist that will stick with me for a very long time.
So yeah. Basically I loved The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin. She really kicked it up a notch with this book, I thought. The Evolution of Mara Dyer was such a page-turner, even at over 500 pages or something ridiculous, but I had to force myself to stop reading and go to work. I could not wait to get back to it. And even now, after finishing it nearly twenty-four hours ago, I can’t stop thinking about The Evolution of Mara Dyer. I might even reread it because I kind of just want to live her world for a little bit longer....more
Guys, I am such a Kody Keplinger fangirl. I loved The DUFF and I loved Shut Out, and here she is with A Midsummer’s Nightmare, and I think I love it the most! Which is really saying something.
What I love most about A Midsummer’s Nightmare is how honest Kody Keplinger is. She doesn’t shy away from drinking or sex or anything else teenagers do, because it’s so real. I mean, I’m not saying I approved with Whitley’s choices, because damn, she made some terrible decisions. But I had friends just like her in high school (even eighth grade) and that’s why I love Kody Keplinger so much.
Also because A Midsummer’s Nightmare was steamy and swoony and I loved Nathan so much. I feel like after watching Clueless so many times, I’m totally jaded to the stepbrother dilemma, but I can see some people having an issue with that.
Whitley was definitely my favourite of all of Kody’s protagonists. She was messed up and she knew it and at some point, she started to take responsibility for that. She was angry and frustrated, but even still – she grew up. I loved her character growth, and I definitely felt her pain. Families are not easy.
Basically – I love Kody Keplinger and I love A Midsummer’s Nightmare. It was brutal and honest, with a heavy dose of swoon, and I seriously want to re-read A Midsummer’s Nightmare all over again very soon....more
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....more
GUYS. Partials by Dan Wells is a seriously intense ride. I read mixed reviews of Partials before I started reading it, but luckily I ended up really, really enjoying Partials.
I mean, it’s sort of hard to be really original with dystopians and post-apocalyptic stories these days. But I thought Dan Wells really kicked it up a knock with Partials. The whole biological robots aspect (aka the partials) was really interesting to me and I loved experiencing and learning about the partials.
The world building in Partials was excellent, I thought. There always has to be secrets in conspiracies in a dystopian society, and I really enjoyed learning all the secrets along with Kira. There were a lot of things I totally didn’t see coming and I really, really liked the twists.
It didn’t hurt that I loved Kira. A protagonist with medical aspirations – someone who wants to save lives with medicine and science and research! It was a very refreshing change and I loved her dedication and intelligence.
And as intense as Partials was, I will say that at some points I thought there was too much action – I was ready to find out more, to get to the conclusion, but stuff kept happening to slow things down.
Partials by Dan Wells was a very long book, but well worth the ride. It was exciting and intense, and a very interesting twist on the typical dystopians out there. The characters were admirable and brave, yet messed up and confused in a very relatable way. If you’re looking for a dystopian/post-apocalyptic type book that feels new, definitely check out Partials....more
Oh my gosh. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin is absolutely soul-sucking. What do I mean by that? I don’t know. I can’t explain it it! This book stole my soul! I started reading and couldn’t stop. Every free second I had, I would pick it up and read – even if I only had time to read a sentence.
And yeah, okay, there are flaws. There are cliches, and some of it is a bit WTF-erish, but so what? While I was reading The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, I wasn’t thinking “that is so cliche” – I was thinking “OHMYGOD what happens next”. It wasn’t until after I finished and read other reviews that I recognized cliches. SO the moral is – enjoy The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer for what it is. Don’t analyze! Let it steal your soul. Hell, even sell your soul. It’s worth it.
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer starts out with a note. And guys, it’s not an ordinary note. The note sets the tone for how awesome the whole book is going to be. In fact, it’s a soulsucking note. (I really do wish I could think of some other way to describe this book.) But seriously, every page made me want to read the next and the next and the next.
As for the characters – love Mara. I love her psychotic episodes and her reactions. I love her brothers very much. Daniel was very supportive and Joseph was hilarious. Spin-off series? And Noah Shaw? Don’t hate me, but I didn’t love him. He was cute, fun, intriguing, but I will not spend the rest of the week wishing I had a Noah Shaw of my very own.
The writing in The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer was absolutely phenomenal. Michelle Hodkin did a great job with POV and setting and descriptions and I just…I felt like I was Mara. I felt like I was going psycho and hallucinating (although it turns out that I really did see a roach and am in fact not psycho – just have great peripheral vision).
Let me just say it one more time – I sold my soul to Mara Dyer and Michelle Hodkin. Her writing was brilliant, her characters kicked ass, and there was so much going on throughout the entire book. And that ENDING. Mind blown. Do not fear the hype, embrace the hype, experience the hype. Check out The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer ASAP....more
Anna and the French Kiss has been hyped beyond belief in the book blogging community. Sometimes hype turns out to be really right, and sometimes it enAnna and the French Kiss has been hyped beyond belief in the book blogging community. Sometimes hype turns out to be really right, and sometimes it ends up letting me down. Either way, I knew I had to buy this book the day it came out. There was no way I could not.
And luckily – Anna and the French Kiss more than impressed me. In fact, I would go so far as to say it was my favourite book of 2010. Really. I really, truly mean that. There was such an awesome combination of various elements in Anna and the French Kiss that really worked and made it what it was. Separately, I don’t know that I would have liked it as much, but the way everything in the story came together rocked.
I am a sucker for boarding schools. And books that take place in foreign countries. And books that deal with issues other than just getting the guy. This book had several other issues – friend problems, parent problems, etc. I’m also a fan of sexy guys. And you know what? Not only was the love interest in this book totally sexy, he was British. Do you guys see how all these elements are starting to add up?
And Anna? I loved her. And I love Stephanie Perkins. I AM SUCH A FILM GEEK. So add into the melting pot of awesome elements Anna’s film geekiness that rivaled my own. Seriously. I want her to be my best friend. Anna is my version of Anna Reads and Makeshift Bookmark's Jessica Darling.
Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh. Etienne St. Clair. I have no other words. Isn’t his name enough?
What really, really gets me about Anna and the French Kiss, though, is that Stephanie Perkins is a debut author. And she is phenomenal. Her characters, her story – her writing. She is phenomenal. Here, see for yourself -
"If this were vacation, I’m sure I’d be charmed. I’d buy an Eiffel Tower key chain, take pictures of the cobblestones, and order a platter of escargot. But I’m not on vacation. I am here to live, and I feel small." – Anna and the French Kiss, page 19
I just don’t know what else to say about this book. It is SO FREAKING GOOD. Stephanie Perkins has another book coming out , Lola and the Boy Next Door (2011), and recently announced the sale of her third book, Isla and the Happily Ever After (2012). Both are companion novels to Anna and I am so freaking ecstatic. Stephanie Perkins has wormed her way up my “will read anything by” list and I am so pleased she did!...more
Keep Holding On by Susane Colasanti was an unbelievably heartbreaking and moving book. I was not bullied back in high school, and I didn't really know anyone who was, so Keep Holding On was also definitely an eye opener for me.
Through out the entirety of Keep Holding On, I just could not believe what was happening. People are truly this terrible to other people in high school? It was shocking and upsetting. Keep Holding On is definitely a book that needs to be out there in the world to give students hope.
As for the characters, I loved Noelle. She has a hard life and she's not sure what she's doing, but she's still so inspiring and brave for all the things she does. Even if sometimes they were too late. She was definitely the most genuine character I've read in a while. And I loved the natural build of the romance between Noelle and Julian.
Like I said, the story completely broke my heart. I ached for Noelle. I wanted to fix all her problems and yell at all the terrible people in her life. Through out Keep Holding On we really got to watch her grow and become a stronger person, and I loved that.
Overall, you should buy Keep Holding On by Susane Colasanti and give a copy to everyone you know. It's eye opening, moving, and inspiring. A wonderful contemporary....more
Valkyrie Rising by Ingrid Paulson is an awesome debut full of awesome Norse mythology, kickass females, and swoon-worthy guys.
While a few parts of Valkyrie Rising did seem to drag a bit, for the most part I read Valkyrie Rising in one sitting. It was action-packed and I was sucked in to the story. The stakes just kept getting higher and higher in Valkyrie Rising and I was definitely rooting for Ellie to kick everyone's ass.
I know next to nothing about Norse mythology and I loved what information Ingrid Paulson gave us in Valkyrie Rising. She worked a lot of the mythology into the story without it seeing like sort of an info dump and more just a natural part of Ellie's tale. Even though I'd never heard of Valkyries, I was still able to follow everything.
And, okay, I am SUCH a sucker for the brother's best friend romance. It makes me giddy and I absolutely loved the way it was done in Valkyrie Rising. There was quite a bit of swooning.
There were several twists throughout Valkyrie Rising - some I expected and some I definitely didn't.
Basically, if you're looking for an action-packed book featuring a kickass protagonist, a swoony romance, and mythology you probably don't know too much about, check out Valkyrie Rising by Ingrid Paulson for sure!...more
**spoiler alert** I’ve been looking forward to read Halo for a while now, and I’m so glad I finally got the chance. The cover is phenomenal and even i**spoiler alert** I’ve been looking forward to read Halo for a while now, and I’m so glad I finally got the chance. The cover is phenomenal and even if I hadn’t read such great reviews of it before I was able to pick it up from the store, I would have definitely bought it anyway without even reading the description.
When I first started reading it, I had NO idea Alexandra Adornetto is so young! She’s only a year younger than me, but most authors I read got their books published when they were mid-twenties and older, so I was super surprised when I found out. It also caused me to have a, “what have I been doing with my life?” angsty moment which is both good and bad because it made me want to write write write, but also caused me to glare at her twitter with envy.
The descriptions in this book are amazing. They’re detailed and perfect and create serious imagery, which as I learned in every English class ever, is the sign of really great writing. Which Halo has – lots and lots of really great writing. Sometimes when I’m reading a book, I’ll skim rather boring descriptions, but Halo had my complete attention.
I was a little iffy when I heard it was about angels. I don’t think I’ve ever read any books about angels before, actually. I won’t get into my own personal religious beliefs, but Halo, despite being about angels sent to earth to do God’s will, is not preachy at all. There’s a lot about doing good deeds and community service and all that, which I think is really important whether you’re religious or not, but Halo didn’t try to shove religion and belief systems at the reader, so that pleasantly surprised me. I would have been very upset if I picked up a book with beautiful writing and characters only to have them try to shove their beliefs down my throat, whether or not I’m religious. The plot itself was really interesting when it started to delve into the deeper issues of why the angels were sent to earth.
The book is long for a young adult novel – a solid 480 pages, give or take, so it probably comes as no surprise that some of it drags on a bit. Now let me just say this – I am not a sappy person. So to me, the parts that seemed way too long were the the parts with Xavier and Bethany being mushy. I really do like romance, but I like the dark and dangerous guys, not the doting, good, protective guys. Which is Xavier in a nutshell. I liked him as a character, I just wasn’t captivated by their relationship. So the first half of the book was a little slow for me, but definitely still good. And of course, I got really into it when Jake Thorn was introduced. He’s BRITISH, dangerous, good-looking, etc. Thank you, Alexandra!
I really, really liked that Gabriel was in this book. His name is one of the few angel names that someone will mention and I’ll go, “Oh, I know who you’re talking about!” so I really liked that he was included as an important character. I’m not sure if Ivy is a figure in religious history or not, but I really liked her character a lot as well.
Bethany is a great protagonist. I was worried I wouldn’t relate to her because she’s an angel and that just implies she’s super pious, but she really wasn’t at all. She was experiencing many of the same things that most teenage girls go through, and her being an angel made the experiences all the more interesting because of her internal struggle.
I love it when endings to the first book in a series is resolved enough so that you don’t want to cry in frustration when you finish, but cliff-hangy enough so that you’re excited for the next book. Halo is the perfect example of this. I’m not sure when Book II comes out, but I’m excited for it
Definitely pick up a copy of this book, even if you just want to see some examples of beautifully written descriptions. That was probably my favourite part – I loved reading all the details of Venus Cove and the world Bethany lived in....more
Awkward by Marni Bates is one of those books that you read and think, “WHY didn’t I read this sooner?” See the girl on the cover? That was me throughout all of Awkward – I was a giggly, squealing mess because I was having so much fun. I was giggling in parts of Awkward that weren’t even particularly funny.
And Marni Bates knows teens. I just wanted to hug Mackenzie and be like I KNOW YOU. Awkward is so unbelievably relatable and embarrassing and I swear I was turning red with embarrassment for Mackenzie.
Oh my gosh, and LOGAN. I loved Logan. Logan is going to be one of those male fictional characters that sticks with me for a long time. He was just so interesting and normal and nice but still guy-like and just, so swoon worthy in certain moments.
Yes, the storyline in Awkward is RIDICULOUS but awesome. I mean, oh my god, just thinking about what got Mackenzie youtube famous hurts my heart with embarrassment and I know, or I hope, rather, that this won’t ever happen to anyone but it doesn’t matter because it is such a fun ride.
Guys, if you’re in need of the perfect hilarious and sweet and cute contemporary, go pick up Awkward by Marni Bates. It made my night infinitely better and I’m sure Awkward would do the same for you!...more
I cannot tell you guys how awesome Level 2 by Lenore Appelhans is – I mean, awesome to the point that I’m practically giddy just thinking about it.
And, okay, I’ll admit my bias straight-up – I’ve met Lenore a few times and she’s super sweet and nice. But that’s not it, I swear. Level 2 is a creative, mind-blowing story – one that I would have loved either way.
For one thing, the concept. There are some books that I just can’t even grasp and it blows my mind thinking about someone coming up with and Level 2 is definitely on that list. But in a seriously awesome way, you know? Because I love books that totally blow my mind.
The world building in Level 2 is intense. Lenore Appelhans definitely knows how to create a visual and intriguing world. I loved the idea of the Hive – er, not that I would ever want to be in it. But just in general.
And I loved Felicia. She’s not just a cookie-cutter, badass protagonist. I mean, she’s totally badass and super snarky, but she has issues like every protagonist should. She was really relatable, despite her unique situation. And Julian. I like boys like Julian (at least in books). The ones with the hint of mystery and badboyness. I’m still not sure how I feel about Neil.
If you’re looking for an intriguing, unique, and awesome story about what could happen after death and all the craziness that comes along with it, definitely check out Level 2 by Lenore Appelhans. Level 2 is a debut that is certain to blow your mind with its phenomenal world-building and compelling concept....more
I really, really enjoyed How My Summer Went Up in Flames by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski. I thought it was a fun story full of flawed and realistic characters and it was exactly what I was hoping for when I picked it up.
I've read that some people had trouble connecting with the protagonist, but I actually really liked Rosie. She was so freaking confused and made so many mistakes and that's what I liked about her. She never really had any dreams and her whole life revolved around Joey, so it totally threw her when he cheated on her. And then she had to figure out what the hell was next. I felt like her confusion and her lashing out was very realistic. It wasn't pretty, but it felt real. She was spoiled and rude, but so are a lot of teenagers. Plus the growth in How My Summer Went Up in Flames was phenomenal and I really liked Rosie figuring herself out a bit more and getting a bit of a reality check.
I also really liked the secondary characters - Matty, Spencer, Logan...they were all really interesting guys with their own storyline and growth to make throughout the story. While there was a love triangleish thing, it was never really a love triangle because you could just tell where the real chemistry was and you knew that Rosie knew it too. Although I will say, as always, I picked the wrong guy. ALWAYS.
And of course, I'm a sucker for a good road trip.
Like I said, I just really enjoyed How My Summer Went Up in Flames by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski. I thought it had a great combination of fun plot and realistic characters who were getting life experience for the first time and growing because of it. So if you like contemporaries and road trips and realistic characters, definitely pick up How My Summer Went Up in Flames. It's a great debut and I can't wait to read Famous Last Words....more
I don’t know why, but I was a little wary of Don’t Turn Around by Michelle Gagnon. But you know, one moment I was 12 pages in and the next I was closing the book and it was one in the morning.
Don’t Turn Around is engaging and intense and definitely sucked me in. I loved where the storyline went – it’s definitely an action packed book with lots of chase scenes, but even when there was downtime, I was invested in the story.
I had mixed feelings on the characters in Don’t Turn Around. Some pages I felt like the character development was lacking a little and then other pages it didn’t matter because the story was so good! I did really like the protagonist, Noa. She was a tough character and I’m always up for a badass female protagonist. Peter fell a little flat for me in parts and I didn’t quite get the relationship between him and his parents. It was kind of a big part of his character but his parents were just so…one dimensional, if that makes sense.
But Don’t Turn Around has this awesome mystery/sci-fi thing going on, which I definitely didn’t expect. Don’t Turn Around felt so modern, like it was happening right now in Boston, except there were definitely some parts of the storyline that were futuristic.
I really liked the ending of Don’t Turn Around. I’m not usually a fan of cliffhangers, but I thought this one was done well. It wasn’t like a super high stakes cliffhanger, I knew just enough to close the book satisfied, but still definitely wanting to read the sequel.
I was totally sucked in by Don’t Turn Around by Michelle Gagnon. It’s an action-packed thriller that kept me on my toes and rooting for the characters the whole time, even if I didn’t necessarily connect with them. Be sure to check Don’t Turn Around out if it sounds like something you’d be interested in!...more
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....more
OH BOY. I mean, really. You know those books that have you talking out loud to it, going “OH MY GOD” and “HOLYYYYY EFF” and “WHYYY WOULD YOU DO THAT?” Yeah? Well Cinder by Marissa Meyer is one of those books. And to clear up any possible misreadings of this paragraph, THAT’S A GOOD THING. Because Cinder is AMAZING.
I was literally freaking out throughout at least half of Cinder because it is seriously such a roller coaster of action and plot-ness and monarchies and sci-fi and romance and murder and plague and the future and seriously, not a single down second. Once I started reading Cinder, I did not want to put it down.
And yet? I never wanted it to end! I wanted to savour Cinder slowly, reading as little as possible so I would always have more. Clearly, I was conflicted about how to read Cinder.
But the characters – the futurisitic retelling of Cinderella and making it even more badass – it was all just so well done. And even though Cinder is a book with cyborgs and and androids lunar people and crazy mind control, it’s so visual and I could really immerse myself in the world.
And, yes, I’ll be honest, there was one major plot thing I saw coming a mile away (or from the start of the book) – but that’s okay! I don’t care – I WANTED it to happen.
I’m basically just fangirling like crazy at this point, but seriously, if you were thinking about skipping Cinder by Marissa Meyer, don’t. I can’t even recommend it to someone who just likes one genre – if you like books at all, you will love Cinder. ...more
It's really, really hard for to accept that this series is over. I shut Hidden by Sophie Jordan and immediately wished for more. I want to know what happens to Jacinda next, and Cassian, and Tamra! I need to know!
Like with Firelight and Vanish, I am totally Team Cassian all the way. I have the worst luck when it comes to love triangles cause I always pick the wrong guy. BUT I DON'T CARE. Despite Jacinda's feelings for Will, I remained Team Cassian throughout the entire series.
Anyway, back to the story. A LOT happened in Hidden. It picked up basically right where we left off in Vanish, thank goodness, because what an ending that is. And then there was almost no downtime throughout Hidden because there were rescue attempts and escapes and fighting and twist after twist, dude. I thought Sophie Jordan really amped it up in Hidden.
There was lots of character growth in Hidden. Whereas with Firelight and Vanish, they were all still trying to figure things out, but in Hidden I thought everyone kind of figured out who they were, what they wanted to do, and where they belonged, you know? I loved that aspect of it and I really felt like I grew with them throughout the whole series.
I thought Hidden was a brilliant ending to Sophie Jordan's series, full of action and character growth and twists galore....more
You guys, I don’t know where to begin with my love for Just One Day by Gayle Forman. First of all, I’m the loser that still hasn’t read If I Stay so, you know, this was my first experience with Gayle Forman’s books and it was such a good one.
I absolutely loved everything about Just One Day. I recently (like two years ago so not all that recent anymore, I guess) studied abroad and I really connected with Allyson’s adventures and experiences in her first time abroad. And freaking Willem. UGH, THE SWOON. What a guy, you guys, what a guy. The romance just killed me. It was so perfectly done – even though it only took place over such a short period of time, I didn’t feel like it was rushed at all. I felt like I was savoring every bit of it.
And the rest of the story in Just One Day – you guys, I sobbed. Ugly cried. I don’t know if I just really reacted emotionally to it or if anyone else sobbed, but I was like crying throughout a lot of this because I just felt so much for Allyson and everything she was going through. It was such a relatable and realistic story.
I cannot wait to hear Willem’s side of things in Just One Year. I need an explanation ASAP and I need to read more from Gayle Forman. Just One Day escalated to the top of my must-read-authors list and I can’t wait to get devour If I Stay ASAP.
Just One Day by Gayle Forman was an amazing and emotional contemporary that took me on a rollercoaster of adventure, romance, and all kinds of crazy emotions. Definitely go pick it up as soon as possible....more
“Oh my jeebus.” This was essentially the phrase that echoed throughout my head while reading Delirium. I am SUCH a huge fan of dystopians and with so many coming out lately, there are lots and lots for me to read. But Delirium? Was good on epic levels. Seriously.
I looveeeeed Delirium. I loved Lena and Alex and Hana. Seriously, almost all of the characters in Delirium probably made it to my top favourite literary characters ever. They all had such varying personalities and they all progressed and grew up throughout the course of just ONE of the books in this trilogy, which is what characters should do, and I just fell in love with them.
Lena, especially. I love how she was raised so strictly to believe that love was a disease, and she even had past events to back up her beliefs, rather than just being told. She’s seen the harm love can cause people. But she grows and she learns and she experiences and it’s just…great.
And – hello! What a genius idea for a book, by the way. Love being a disease? Being treated for it at the age of 18, thereby rendering it harmless? It’s like every other dystopian book in that, at a certain age, everyone conforms to the same idea, same system, etc, except in Delirium, Lauren Oliver used love as the central focus point. Freaking brilliant.
The writing in Delirium is just…I don’t have any words for how well Lauren Oliver was able to describe each character, each thought, each conversation, the beach, the evaluation room…I just thought the writing was absolutely phenomenal.
Seriously, pick up Delirium. It’s an absolutely fantastic dystopian by an absolutely fantastic writer. The storyline, the characters, the writing – it all just combines into one awesome book that sucks you in and you won’t want to put it down. I’m so glad it’s a trilogy, because I am really, really looking forward to reading more by Lauren Oliver....more
Struck by Jennifer Bosworth is one of those books that had such an intense and crazy storyline that I was left dumbstruck (see what I did there?) after the finish of Struck.
I mean, Struck had everything. It had apocalypses and crazies and cults and cute boys and people getting struck by lightning and it was just seriously such a wild ride of a book.
I loved the protagonist, Mia Price. She is such a badass. I loved her loyalty and determination to keep her family safe, no matter what the cost, even if it did leave her in some pretty terrible and dangerous situations. And the other characters – there was a whole host of them and there were CULTS and craziness.
Struck told the story of the apocalypse as it was happening, which is oh so rare these days. Most books I’ve read are stories that take place in the time after, so reading Struck was definitely a refreshing change of pace.
And there was this moment, this one point in Struck where I literally was like WHAT WAIT WHAT and had to put the book down because I couldn’t believe what just happened. Because AHH what a twist I was so not expecting.
Overally, definitely pick up Struck by Jennifer Bosworth if you’re looking for some apocalypse cult-like action with a side of cute boy and total craziness. I had a lot of fun reading Struck and even though the whole story was totally crazy, I could totally feel myself living it while I was reading it....more
Origin by Jessica Khoury was an intriguing and original story set in a setting that had me completely captured.
I was super annoyed with Pia for most of the book because she was such a spoiled brat and she complained all the time and I literally just wanted someone to give her a good kick in the butt. But at the same time, Jessica Khoury built up the setting and the characters so well that I totally understood why Pia was such a spoiled brat. It’s like being an only child of 50 parents. She always gets what she wants and I kind of admire Jessica Khoury for creating a character that annoying. Granted, Pia did grow a lot in Origin. She found out a lot of secrets that made her second guess everything she knew and she finally learned how to stand up for herself, which I really admired.
I loved finding out the mysteries the jungle held as Pia did, not to mention all the secrets in Little Cam. I was shocked by many of the events in Origin – betrayal, lies, death, murder – there’s a lot of sadness and hurt and betrayal in Little Cam and I really felt for Pia having to go through it all.
While the romance in Origin could be seen as a bit insta-lovey, I could totally understand their instant attraction. I thought Pia and Eio were made for each other – they both don’t quite fit anywhere and I just thought they really worked together.
I’m going to warn you animal lovers now, there is definitely a moment of very upsetting cat death in Origin. I sobbed and sobbed and sobbed. It definitely broke my heart.
But I really liked the story of Origin. Some parts of the story dragged a bit, but I loved the idea of a science compound in the middle of the jungle experimenting with immortality and I thought Jessica Khoury did a great job at building up the mystery. I was rooting for Pia the whole way to stand up for what she knew was right and I loved what followed after.
And, strangely enough, I think (although I can’t say for sure) that Origin is a standalone, which is definitely refreshing. And even if it’s not, the ending of Origin is perfectly done and I closed the book feeling satisfied and vindicated.
Although Origin was not without its flaws, I thought it was an excellent debut and I’ll definitely be reading more from Jessica Khoury. Origin was full of intriguing secrets and upsetting truths and characters that you can’t help but root for....more
Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley was one of those books where I was just being plain stupid before reading it. Because SO many people were reading it and loving it and I had a moment of rebellion and decided not to read Graffiti Moon.
Boy, was I an idiot. I am so sorry that I put off reading Graffiti Moon because I was just in shock at how much I loved it. And I’m such a contemp fan. Someone, please make me feel better and tell me you’ve felt rebellious too!
Anyway, The writing in Graffiti Moon was phenomenal. I really liked switching between Lucy and Ed’s point of view and how it overlapped with one another, rather than just giving one side to the story. I thought the poetry in Poet’s chapters was very well written, but didn’t interest me as much as Lucy and Ed’s stories.
And guys – the way Ed and Lucy interact, and their history, is hysterical and so freaking real. Cath Crowley got it. I loved the building romance in Graffiti Moon. It’s not a Bam! They meet and they’re into each other kind of book. It’s gradual – well, as gradual as over the course of one night can be, but I swear it feels much longer than that.
The descriptions of all the art in Graffiti Moon made me want to go find all my stuff from high school and start drawing and painting again. Also Lucy does GLASSBLOWING guys if I ever took up an artistic profession, it would be glassblowing because it is so so so amazing and if I had known she did it, I would have read Graffiti Moon immediately.
I’m not sure how well written this review really is, but it doesn’t matter, because Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley does all the explaining itself. Just pick it up. You’ll see....more
I am one of those people who absolutely loved The DUFF by Kody Keplinger. It’s so refreshing for someone to actually talk aboutORIGINALLY POSTED HERE
I am one of those people who absolutely loved The DUFF by Kody Keplinger. It’s so refreshing for someone to actually talk about sex in a young adult book, and I’m so glad that Kody Keplinger wasn’t afraid to do it again in Shut Out.
I was a bit iffy when I started Shut Out. The main character, Lissa, is a total control freak. And it drove me craaaazy for the first fifty pages or so. I just wanted her to shut up and stop telling her brother and dad and Randy what to do. But then we sort of got to know why she was that way, and I understood her more. And also sort of scarily related to her with the counting thing – I am OBSESSED with time. I have to be at least half an hour early to everything :/
As for the other characters – let me give you a quick rundown. I HATE HATE HATE HATED Randy. So very much. I thought Chloe was hilarious. And I loveeeed Cash. Kody Keplinger, who has only two published books out so far, has gotten me to fall for both of her love interests. Cash was much nicer and sweeter than Wesley in The DUFF (who I loved as well!), and the star game? Yes!
As for the storyline – I haven’t read Lysistrata. But I loved how Kody Keplinger addressed the issue of sex head-on and didn’t backdown, not for a second. The whole point of Shut Out is that the girls are witholding sex and sexy-ish acts from the guys until they stop fighting, so there’s really no way to avoid it. I’m not going to get into the whole right/wrong/etc debate but let me just say, this is probably my favourite line from Shut Out – “I want to be normal, but no one talks about sex, so how should I know what normal is?”
Gah, anyway – I loved Shut Out. And I think you should read it. From what I’m seeing, a lot of people who didn’t like The DUFF are really liking Shut Out, so don’t let that stop you! Shut Out opens an important topic up for discussion in an interesting and entertaining way. The characters are dynamic, the romance is steamy, and the storyline definitely sucks you in....more