Notable is the fourth companion novel to the Smith High series and this time the main protagonist is Chelsea Halloway, and if you've read t...more3.5/5 stars
Notable is the fourth companion novel to the Smith High series and this time the main protagonist is Chelsea Halloway, and if you've read the previous books, you'd know she's the evil mean queen bee at Smith High. Of course in this book we witness the other side of the mean queen, the true side that make us instantaneously sympathize for her. All the readers, including myself, label Chelsea as the mean, jealous, antagonist like character, but in Notable you see that all of that is a facade. She just plays along with what people expect from her to the point that her parents have decided a trip all the way to Combodia would rearrange her priorities (i.e.: putting school as #1, typical parents huh?) and that's where she gets shipped off to.. A Combodia educational trip with a couple of undergraduate students.
Marni Bates always takes the most ridiculous and hilarious scenarios and making an enjoyable and light book out of it. This book is no exception. These students end up on the radar of a combodian drug dealer and have to set up a deal with him in order to release their professor? that is some crazy stuff but I enjoyed it because I didn't think about how improbable the situation was. Also, I liked the banter between Chelsea as well as one of the undergraduate male students that was assigned to watch over her and report any misbehavior (yup, you guessed it, love interest!). I really liked him and thought he was a great change from the typical bad boy. Come to think of it, None of the love interests in Bates' books are bad boys.
Overall, while I wished there was more depth in Notable, it was still a very enjoyable companion novel that I would recommend for readers in need of a light and fun read. I can't wait for the next companion novel because I read the first chapter of it and it sounds deliciously scandalous ;) Definitely pick up this series if you want fun, quick, contemporary reads(less)
A Touch of Scarlet, from its title, is about The Scarlet Letter. It is not a retelling, far from it, but the main protagonist, Emma, ends up in a para...moreA Touch of Scarlet, from its title, is about The Scarlet Letter. It is not a retelling, far from it, but the main protagonist, Emma, ends up in a parallel world, the one from The Scarlet Letter, by entering a dreamlike state. This happens every time she ends up going near the place where she got struck by lightening (and survived). This book is also set in Emma's boarding school where she is entering as a Junior. The beginning of the book showed us that she is finally in relationship with Gray who was in A Breath of eyre. The plot does not slow down one bit, where there are a lot of romantic anguish concerning our couple along with some possibility of a love triangle, as well as a very surprising yet satisfying ending.
If you guys have read my review of A Breath of Eyre you would know that I enjoyed it but wasn't that impressed by it. Even with that I thought I would give A Touch of Scarlet a try and I am glad I did. In a Touch of Scarlet, you really feel that the characters are wearing an extra layer, whether it be emotional baggage or finding a friend in a person you least expected it from. Emma and Michelle's friendship was strained and challenged throughout the novel but at the same time new friendships were formed from two of the "fearsome four" in A Breath of Eyre, if you guys remember them, they are basically Emma and Michelle's mortal enemies. I love that Eve allowed us to find the good in some of these people and that they could repent for their wrongdoings and aren't all a bunch of heartless mean girls, though the other half of that crew proved just that. As for Emma and Gray, I just have to say that I was very disappointed in how Gray handled the relationship and felt very sorry for Emma. I felt that Gray, at 19, was too immature and made some decisions that you could tell were stupid from a mile away. However the star in this book is Emma; she was forgiving, a good friend, and wasn't the type that was consumed by any relationship troubles she was facing.
You are all wondering where The Scarlet Letter fits into all this, unlike A Breath of Eyre, Emma didn't spend as much time in the parallel world. I honestly REALLY appreciated that because I was more concerned with the development of Emma's actual life. The Scarlet Letter was more like a guiding hand, steering her in the right direction as well as opening her heart and mind to the things around her. A Touch of Scarlet (less)
Decked with Holly is another cute read from Marni Bates. In this novel, we've got Holly Dayton, a 17 year old orphan who lives with her gra...more3.5/5 stars
Decked with Holly is another cute read from Marni Bates. In this novel, we've got Holly Dayton, a 17 year old orphan who lives with her grandfather. For christmas, her grandfather decides to take her as well as his other daughter's family on an 8 day cruise to Mexico. Her aunt, along with her two daughters, are typical bullies masked in designer clothes, calorie counting, and makeup. In other words, the cruise is an 8 day vacation in hell. To Holly's delight, and Dominic's misfortune, they get photographed together while she was leaving his room after getting using his bathroom to rid herself of her seasickness.
This is when the story really moves. Dominic is a member of the band ReadySet. If you've read Awkward by Marni Bates then you'll remember him from there. The tabloids accuse him of hitting this mystery woman (Holly), and in order to kill the rumors he strikes a deal with her to be his fake-girlfriend. From here on out, we all know the direction the novel will take, even the misunderstandings that occur on whether the behavior of the other person is for the cameras or there is some hint of real feelings behind it. Since this novel is told from both Holly and Dominic's POVs you get to see how each one of them really feels and you just want to smack them and tell them to just get on with it and get together already. While the back and forth banter between Dominic and Holly was very cute and resulted in a ton of funny situations, I just hoped we spent more time with them really talking or just any awkward situations to occur because staying in the same suite as your fake-boyfriend or fake-girlfriend HAS to cause some red-face inducing situations right? I also really wanted to know how Dominic did with his new venture of lyric writing. He's also known as the Drummer of ReadySet but he took this vacation to write and relax. I've read the beginning of one of his lyrics and it sounded fun! I hoped that Bates gave us a bit more on what happened with the song he composed and how it was received by his bandmates and management.
The ending of Decked With Holly is predictable, but that's something to expect from a contemporary romance genre. While throughout reading the novel I found myself skipping a few descriptive paragraphs here and there and wanting to read more dialogue between the characters, I really did enjoy it. Decked With Holly, in my opinion, wasn't as enjoyable as Awkward, however it was an overall great novel that I am sure fans of Marni Bates and cute contemporary novels in general wouldn't want to miss out on!(less)
I went into a Breath of Eyre without reading the original "Jane Eyre" or any previous retellings, therefore I had no expectations. A Breath...more3.5/5 stars
I went into a Breath of Eyre without reading the original "Jane Eyre" or any previous retellings, therefore I had no expectations. A Breath of Eyre was a refreshing retelling where Eve Month that took an original story and made it her own. People who already read Jane Eyre will be surprised by the twist and turns in this book.
A Breath of Eyre has two separate POVs, they are both told from the same female protagonist, Emma, however one is set in the modern world while the other is set in Jane Eyre's world, and Emma finds herself playing the role of Jane! Emma gets transported back in time from her complicated life and Jane's life. As Jane, she doesn't know if she should make the same decisions as her or "re-write history" and it here is where the book gets its own unique voice, based on Emma's decisions. I personally preferred the modern day POVs because I like reading about "THE MOMENT" not the past or something that won't really have an impact on someone's life, however it was pretty interesting and quite creepy at times because of the secrets Mr.Rochester (Jane's love interest) hides in his "third floor". My only issue with the book is the supporting characters, I thought they felt a bit flat and didn't have much depth which is why I couldn't care less about any of them, also for Emma's love interest, he had major problems that were sort of dumped on us and I just felt a bit overwhelmed with them.
All in all, A Breath of Eyre is definitely a great retelling of another classic story and I recommend it to fans of Jane Eyre and Jane Austen books. Also, even though this book felt like a standalone, it is actually part of a series. Therefore I am pretty excited to find out what is in store for Emma after she found her "happily ever after"
Anyone who knows me knows how I am a Jane Austen fan, specifically for her Pride and Prejudice novel; It is even my all time favorite movie and any bo...moreAnyone who knows me knows how I am a Jane Austen fan, specifically for her Pride and Prejudice novel; It is even my all time favorite movie and any book that has any relation to Jane Austen grabs my attention immediately! Austentatious, from its title, had me sold. Picture you finding an old journal at a used shop and then writing in it, normal right? then the next time you open it to write some more, you find a REPLY BACK to your journal entry! and by none other than the lovely Jane Austen herself! Would you be thrilled? I know I would! However, the protagonist, Nicola, is anything but thrilled. She is an engineer with a one mind track and that is to stick to her "Plan". The plan basically outlines Nicola's rise to the managerial position she always wanted and the type of man that Nicola 'can' fall for and date.
When she meets the ever so hot Sean MacInnes in the most embarrassing of coincidences she can't seem to accept that maybe this is fate and that a musician CAN be compatible with an engineer. Throughout the whole book she has this tug of war with herself where one side tells her this courtship is set to fail because, well he's a musician! and the other side tell her that maybe, just maybe, the annoying advices she's been getting in the journal were the change she needed to amend her life plan. Now this is where I start to have problems with Nicola. I adored her from the beginning because she is an engineer, and I am an undergraduate chemical engineer which made me like her instantly! Do we have many female protagonists who kick butt in their profession? who aren't damsel's in distress? But then, she starts this whole 'I'm an engineer, I must date nerds like me' and 'how can a musician like ME? an ENGINEER?". This was the whole complication in the book; Nicola not feeling like she should date Ian because they're not compatible. See, I did enjoy her dilemma's, but they were strung for a bit too long and the ending felt a bit too rushed. She suddenly is hit by a realization that makes her decide. I just hoped she reached it sooner.
I also liked how Alyssa showed the readers that even though you're an engineer, it doesn't mean you need to stick to that stereotype through Nicola's intern, Beck. She had magenta hair, a sparkly pink nose stud and a spunk attitude, basically the opposite of what a 'typical' engineer is. I would have loved if we had more pages with Beck and explored her side of the story, because in the book, she also snagged a nerd of her own. Overall, Austentatious was an enjoyable book, with a lost heroine that needed Jane Austen's guidance to find her own fairytale ending. Now the only question left to ask is: Can I please get my hands on that journal?
Touched by Corrine Jackson was an amazing Paranormal novel. However I have to point out that it has a ton of similarities to Twilight, something that I know many readers didn't enjoy in this novel. Even with the lack of originality, I loved the characters, as well as the fast pace and development of the plot. Corrine is obviously a very skilled writer and even with the twilight similarities, in the end, I did enjoy Touched.
I hope I didn't scare you away with the Twilight similarity. This novel stands on its own. It has enough merits, such as the plot, characters, and writing, to label it as a great supernatural novel. Remy, the main protagonist, can heal people by touching them, however whatever injury she heals becomes her own injury and then has to heal herself. Other than this big downside to her healing touch, some injuries are too severe for her to heal herself from immediately, such as a gun shot wound, etc. So her power is restricted based on the severity of the injury. However Remy tries to help anyone who needs it, even though she knows she'll get hurt in the process. She always heals her mother after acting as a punching bag to her husband, Remy's stepfather. Remy was also the target of her abusive stepfather one too many times.
Finally, when things went too far, Remy's dad intervenes and takes her to live with him, his wife, and his daughter who is Remy's age. I am sure you are all thinking "uh oh.. cat fights" but NO! that actually didn't happen, even though I was preparing myself for the double standard or fakeness to be revealed at any point. However Remy's step sister was AWESOME! I loved her. She instantly befriended Remy, introduced her to all her friends and accepted her, no hidden agendas or underlying evil plotting anywhere. I also appreciating how fatherly her dad was as well as how sweet her stepmom was. I absolutely loved how welcoming her new family was. It was great to read about that. As for Asher, the love interest, he also has some supernatural.. traits, to say it simply. The romance between Remy and Asher, while it wasn't fast paced, it reminded me a bit of Bella and Edward from Twilight.. I know I know I promised myself I wouldn't bring Twilight up anymore, but I can't deny the similarities. I was able to get past that but I know some people who weren't able to.
I just have to point out, again, even with all the similarities, I did find it to be pleasant. Also, the whole aspect of Remy's stepfather stalking her and being this looming threat that never left her in the novel was very unique. She wasn't only facing threats from the supernatural world but also from people that were a part of her life for years. There is a sort of forbidden love in this story, because Asher is a protector and Remy is a Healer and it is not known for a Healer and Protector to be in a relationship, it reminded me a bit of Half Blood by JLA but without any regulations. Remy is an amazing protagonist, not a passive damsel in distress we often see in paranormal novels. I can't wait for the sequel and find out more about the history between the Healers and Protectors.(less)