I'm the type of person who opts out of reading a synopsis before reading a book. Yeah, that kind of reading doesn't work f...moreThis was such a weird book.
I'm the type of person who opts out of reading a synopsis before reading a book. Yeah, that kind of reading doesn't work for this book. This is one of those books that you will definitely benefit from reading the synopsis (you need to be prepared.) I was so not digging the whole "Girl can't choose between two guys" thing. Maybe it's because I'm allergic to love triangles, or maybe it's because this female protagonist just wasn't appealing to me, or maybe, just maybe, it was the plot holes that left me with questions.
The book started out pretty good and had me immediately hooked, but that excitement slowly drained out of me once the female protagonist's indecision between the two boys became prominent. Then it became a struggle to finish this book. I've never read anything like this and I'm not going to lie, I'm not tempted to read anything like this again. I like to have a clear ending for characters and not something that is rushed and slightly awkward.
I know, I know. Some people are into the themes introduced in this book, but to each his/her own. The whole thing made me feel a bit uncomfortable and I'm really hoping that my next read is less awkward than my last two reads.
Oh, and can we talk about this cover? Ben doesn't look quite tan or Cuban...
This was a fun read, but a bit dramatic and awkward (in some places).
This story would have been a lot better if a few things were different, like it'...moreThis was a fun read, but a bit dramatic and awkward (in some places).
This story would have been a lot better if a few things were different, like it's pretty uncomfortable to read sexy scenes that involve a girl who is underage (scenes that are very graphic and described in very intense detail), which would have been better if she was 18. I'm no prude and I read sexy time novels as much as any other sexy time novel lover, but it doesn't feel right to have all of the details of sex between a 17 year-old and a 25 year-old, as if it were a sex story between two adults. That's probably my biggest issue with this.
By the way, those sex scenes? They felt so...forced and abrupt. Imagine this kind of scene: bang, bang, bang, ba---. Abrupt. Uncomfortable. Awkward.
I also had an issue with the male character not being able to get over the 4 year age gap between him and his love interest (when he thought she was 21). Come on, it's four years, not eight--oops, wait a minute.
Finally, my last issue was the editing. I feel like this story could really benefit with a thorough look through.
But other than these main issues, I enjoyed this story. Though I did feel uncomfortable at times, I liked the love story and how no one is perfect. I also love the passion for music and how, despite all of the drama, music is still the heart of the story.
I received a copy via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review
Falling into Place by Amy Zhang is an impressive feat that I later learned was written by a teenager! The complexity of this novel comes from the non-linear chapters that tell a slightly distorted tale of depression, failed romance, friendship, and what it looks like when you have no way of sharing that you're depressed.
Though Liz is the girl who is the focus of this book, there are other stories that merge together. Everyone has a story to tell and everyone saw things differently, but the most important thing is that no one is perfect and no one knows just how effective words and actions can be.
The narrator of this novel is a very unexpected one and I will not ruin it for you--but you might as well just enjoy the novel without trying to guess who it is. This unexpected narrator is what makes Falling into Place so intriguing because it's like an omniscient first person is telling you all of the stories that lead to Liz's final act.
This novel, in a way, reminded me of another book I read earlier this year because it told the story of a character, but we didn't actually hear from Liz. When a reader hears a story about a character from the perspective of other characters, you see things that the main character would normally be blind to. It's not as impersonal as a third person narrative, but it's slightly more intimate than if the protagonist were the narrator.
I loved that no one was perfect and that everyone was struggling with their own issues because that is life. I liked seeing how other kids around Liz were dealing with depression and how what we see on the outside isn't always what's on the inside. Liz appears to have it all, yet to her, it all feels like nothing.
The conclusion had me crying because of how honest it all was. Bullying is a very real issue and sometimes we focus so much on the victims of bullying, that we forget why the bully is bullying in the first place. A lot of the times, there are multiple victims, and the bully is often one of them.
I recommend this novel to anyone who likes stories that are told in unconventional ways. If you like books that bring a tear to your eye, or books that make you question the fragility of life and how easy it is to hide who we really are behind masks, then you might enjoy this one. (less)
Note: This review is the same on the first book, since I read both books for review and would rather not write a spoiler ridden review for either book...moreNote: This review is the same on the first book, since I read both books for review and would rather not write a spoiler ridden review for either books
I received a copy via the author's publicist in exchange for an honest review
The 100 series by Kass Morgan has a very intriguing premise. The idea of sending kids back to an ailing Earth promised adventure, and the comparison between this series and classics that feature survival stories had me really interested. While I somewhat enjoyed this series, I was a bit bothered by a few things and felt let down, since I had to wait for the second book in order to get a more adventurous story about surviving on Earth.
It's slightly difficult reviewing these two books because they are part of an unfinished series, but in a way, they can be seen as two different storylines. While the first book is a sort of guide to the characters and why they're on Earth as once captured prisoners, the second book eases you into the real issues on Earth (which are hinted at the end of the first book.)
I understand Morgan's need to introduce us to the characters since there are four (FOUR, yes, that's not a typo) main arcs to follow throughout the series. I don't know if I would have preferred for her to drop all of the information in a creative way at the beginning of the first novel, but the fact that she introduces these characters' pasts through flashbacks in nearly every chapter for the first book grew very tiresome. I wanted to see the story of these kids on Earth, not their memories. If anything, the flashbacks would have worked as their own separate prequel novella, since it was like a disjointed form of storytelling throughout the book. Also, the flashbacks gave away pretty obvious stuff, which could have been better shown if they were presented as surprise endings for each respective chapter.
Also, I think that the narrative would have been a lot strong if it hadn't been divided into four people, or at least, four characters who sounded very similar. If these characters were vastly different, then maybe it would have been better. By vastly different, I don't characters with different socio-economic statuses, but different in how their narrative voices are represented. They all sounded kind of the same.
Those were my issues with the first book, which read more like a information dump than an actual Sci-Fi novel. The second book, however, is much better, though a bit predictable.
In the second book, the same protagonists from the previous novel reappear with greater issues on Earth. I can't say much without ruining the book for those of you who've yet to read the first book in the series, but let's just say that it is much better than the first book.
While it's cool to meet some of the remaining ninety-odd kids that we didn't meet in the first book, it still felt a bit disconnected. So many kids, yet somehow we only meet a dozen or so (maybe even less?). I'm not expecting to meet every kid, but not mentioning more than a dozen or so kids makes it hard to believe that there are so many of them. Also, let's keep in mind that several huts are mentioned and the number of kids huddled in them and around them does not sound like that many kids to begin with.
For example: Come on, ONE deer for ninety-ish starving kids? Good luck. Don't even get me started when some guy brings in a raccoon for breakfast.
While the pacing is better in the second installment, it's rather slow, disjointed, and awkward in the first novel. I often had to put down what I was doing and force myself to read the first book. It just lacked that grabbing power that the second one had.
I really wish I could have liked these two books more, especially the first one since it's where we get to meet some of the characters and see the situation they're in. I wanted to like the characters and their self-sacrificing efforts to save the ones they love. But honestly, this series so far is just meh for me.
Would I read the next installment? Probably, but only because, like I said in this review, the second book is better (there has to be a formula for this, so the third book has to be even better, right?). By the way, I loved this one comment that is made in the second book that basically describes humanity. One of the characters states that a bunch of people from different countries/nations were rounded up when the world was reaching a radioactive end, so as to leave Earth. But then one of the new characters in book two asks, quite simply, why then, with such diversity, does everyone on their ship speak only in English?
I loved that quip.
Would I recommend this series? Probably. There are people out there who love a good and easy read about a post-apocalyptic novel with a few SCI-FI touches. If you like characters who love to reminisce on the good ole days on a ship in space, then this series might be for you! (less)
I received a copy via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review
The Jewel by Amy Ewing is one of those books that I went into unsure of when I decided to read it. When it first popped up on Edelweiss, I almost didn't read it, but then I started hearing a lot of things about it, so I decided to give it a shot. I'm happy that I did!
Violet, the protagonist, is aptly named for her eye colour. While her personality shows potential for future novels, I liked seeing her emotional and psychological change as the novel progresses. She doesn't suddenly change, or suddenly hate the idea of her life. She isn't naive and/or deluded in thoughts of grandeur. Instead, she knows that she is an item being sold. What really surprised me, however, was the whole fantastical aspect of it (I didn't read the synopsis.) That was unique, but I think it could have either been used more or seen as a way of saving Violet, rather than just a pretty set of gifts.
I will admit that I wasn't a huge fan of the love interest, mainly because he was a jerk. The way he treats Violet when he finds out that she is a surrogate made me feel horrible for her because it truly shows how isolated and mistreated she is. But I wasn't feeling the romance between these two characters, since it was kind of random and all over the place. How does a character go from completely hating and ignoring you, to saying that he can't stop thinking about you?
A lot of the characters were incredibly cruel and I flinched whenever something came back to bite Violet in the butt. I felt horrible for her situation, for her love interest's situation, and for her friends. The whole concept of this book is disturbing.
For those comparing this to The Selection by Kiera Cass, I can kind of see where you're coming from, but mainly because of the cover and the glamour. But honestly, this novel is a heck of a lot darker in context and meaning than The Selection. In Cass's story, you have a choice to sign up for a chance at a different life, but in Ewing's novel, you have no choice at all. You are a prisoner in a castle, not a guest.
Finally, the conclusion completely caught me off guard. I was expecting something else and was so happy when I was taken by surprise (This doesn't usually happen to me!), so, awesome job, Ewing! I look forward to reading the sequel, because honestly, there's no way I CAN'T know what comes next!
I recommend this to fans of dystopian novels that feature pretty dresses, but darker themes. If you like strong female characters that are prisoners in a seemingly perfect world, then you might enjoy this one!(less)
I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review
I was lucky enough to get a copy of The Cherry On Top from the lovely Arielle Hudson. I love a good romantic novel that introduces funny situations and intense moments of emotion between two characters, and this one delivered these qualities. I also loved the fact that there was some diversity to Hudson's novel, rather than the typical issue that plagues Nicholas Sparks. In all, this was a fun, light, romantic, and funny read that had me wanting to know what happens next.
Kayla and Fitz are the two characters that the story focuses on, since they're the ones about to go through some character growth. While Fitz is introduced in a questionable way, he proves to be someone that we actually start to like. Kayla, on the other hand, takes some time to like, simply because of her stubborn nature. There are moments when you want to shout at either characters because they're both stubborn in their own way, but you still like them.
The story is a quick one, but it's nicely paced. The characters aren't insta-romance attracted to each other (Fitz is an exception because of how he was introduced to Kayla), so it was nice seeing two people slowly fall for each other--unlike other romance novels where two people immediately jump each others' bones.
What I wasn't a huge fan of was the use of the third person narrative. I know that this is just a personal preference, but I feel like it would have been so much more effective reading this story from the first person perspective of each character. It's one thing having a narrator tell me what Kayla and Fitz are doing, it's another thing to read about their emotions and thoughts straight from the characters.
Kayla's virginal situation makes her a relatable character because she is most definitely not the only twenty-five year-old who's still a virgin. We live in a world that's obsessed with sex and image, so why not introduce a character who struggles with those very things? Virginity is not a curse and I find it a bit sad that society has made this into a major issue that makes a person question his/her own identity. Making a strong, sassy woman like Kayla be a virgin is like taking a punch at society's ideals, because here's this powerful woman who is very successful, but is still a virgin. Pretty sure virginity won't stop you from reaching your professional goals. Okay, I digress.
In all, I really enjoyed this one. It had great moments that made you want to know more, and it had fantastic chemistry. The conclusion was great because it's pretty obvious what happens after and I'm content with it, especially since it shows a confident Kayla (which is what she's been working towards.)
I recommend The Cherry On Top to fans of adult romance with an extra zing. This doesn't have a lot of sex in it, but it does have sexual situations. If you like a bit of diversity in your romance novels, you'll probably enjoy this one, too! (less)
Beautiful Bastard by Christina Lauren was one big surprise. I decided to bite the bullet becau...moreShort review first appeared on my blog: Book Addict 24-7
Beautiful Bastard by Christina Lauren was one big surprise. I decided to bite the bullet because I was curious and I do not regret it at all! This was a sexy, funny, and enjoyable read that featured a pretty tough as nails girl and a guy who took attitude to the next level.
I enjoyed seeing two characters that genuinely hate each other slowly fall for each other. The way that everything began between these two characters was so fun and unique, that this instance alone made me want to know more.
Though I don't have a problem with the topic of sex in novels, this one had A LOT of it. What I liked, however, is that Lauren didn't feel the need to write about every single time they had sex, since there's only so many ways to describe it in a novel.
I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys a fun romance novel, a storyline that introduces two characters who dislike each other, and an office romance of epic proportions.(less)
I received a copy via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review
Keep Me Safe is the first Maya Banks novel I've ever read and I'm thinking that if her other novels are like this one, then I'm probably not going to read anything else by her. While the idea of the novel is pretty cool and promising, the characters are predictable, annoying, and way too dramatic, the romance is forced, obsessive, and too instant, and the storyline was rushed and full of plot holes.
Banks's novel is told from two perspectives: Caleb and Ramie. I had so many issues with these two characters because it was like Banks just needed to write a last minute story with two characters that fell completely flat. Caleb literally falls for a girl he forces to do something horrendous for him. Then, he spends a year pining for this mysterious girl, who holds no grudges against him. And even though she helped find someone Caleb loves, his family still hates her. Seriously.
Ramie, on the other hand, is one of those characters who the author tries very hard to make an example of. She's supposed to be tough, independent, and brave. What I saw, however, was a girl who thought someone she'd seen a year before could be her saviour. She's the type of girl who, though she knows she's going to just end up hurting herself, does whatever she can to both a) appear heroic and brave and b) move the storyline along. She was infuriating. There are characters who are written as weak as one of their character traits, and then there are characters, like Ramie, who are weak because they are written weakly. The overbearing "I must protect you at all costs because you're a fragile creature" act was made worse by Ramie allowing Caleb to not only continue his smothering of her, but enabling him by acting like a damsel in distress, when she's the one who got herself into certain situations in the first place.
The dialogue was overdramatic, the constant use of the descriptive phrase "bruise the skin" (or along those lines), and the translucent skin covering the final twist, made this such a blah book. I got through it because it was a quick read, but I was seriously disappointed.
Maybe if you like Maya Banks you'll enjoy this one, but this wasn't for me.(less)
I went into this one without having read the synopsis, because I've learned that this is the best way to e...moreThis was nothing like what I was expecting.
I went into this one without having read the synopsis, because I've learned that this is the best way to enter a book. I did have some vague recollection, however, of what the story might be about because of what I'd seen on YouTube. What I saw on the web was about how this would be a slightly creepy read with a touch of the paranormal. What I DIDN'T know was that this would also be one of those stories where the narrative is split into two different voices, one from the past and the other from 2012.
Did I enjoy this story? To be honest, it was a bit bland for me. I enjoyed it in the sense that it was an intriguing topic and slightly different in its approach to a genre that the young adult age group has basically wrung dry. The storyline, however, felt like something that was being dragged out. There were times where I found it so hard to get back into the story, simply because it just didn't quite grip me.
Some of the major issues that I had with this one were the editing (it seems that the editor was afraid of commas), the protagonist and her friends--there's a particular part where the protagonist, Colleen, gets told off by a friend for how she treats another friend, which is such a load of bull crap once the road knows what really happened--, the interludes (I know, it IS interesting to see what happened back during the Salem Witch trials, but honestly, it was frustrating having to go back and forth), and the last few chapters, which were just brutal to get through.
I DID enjoy the mild romance that plays out in the novel and how it doesn't overtake the storyline. I also enjoyed how the mystery just keeps you guessing all the way through. For all of my complaining and nitpicking, I will say that Katherine Howe knows how to create a good mystery.
Will I read something like this again? I don't really know. I think it's just a case of reading the wrong book at the wrong time.
I recommend this one to anyone who likes a good mystery that has a solution you might not see coming. If you enjoy the Salem With trials, then you might like this unique take on history.
Well, for starters, it is indeed very VERY creepy. The characters are almost all anti-heroes with a false sense of...moreWhat can I say about The Merciless?
Well, for starters, it is indeed very VERY creepy. The characters are almost all anti-heroes with a false sense of purpose. While there may or may not be paranormal forces in this novel (must...not...spoil...this...book), the fact that HUMANS are capable of such horrendous things, is terrifying in itself. We're constantly asking which character is the bad guy and if they're all bad guys in their own twisted way.
The pacing is very quick once it gets into the heart of the novel (young girl, tied up, and covered in blood--it's in the synopsis!), and it's very hard to put it down.
The concept is terrifying because it plays on such a huge societal (and controversial) theme: religion. I'm not much of a religious person, but even I can see how terrifying the quote on the back of the novel is: "Forgive us, Father, for WE have sinned." It forces the reader to question if humans are as bad as demons, or if demons are a creation of negative human mentality. When all else fails in our world, why not say that the person we see as slighting us is possessed? Atheists may have a field day with this one, while other religious readers might feel terrified because of the idea that the very thing they fear may be coming to life within these pages.
The ending is definitely one of those endings that doesn't sugarcoat everything, which is perfect. If the rest of the novel is a dark and chaotic tale of sins and damnation, why does the ending have to be happy and peaceful?
While I wouldn't exactly call this a horror novel, I would definitely label it as a psychological thriller, or suspense. This is only horror to those who allow it to be terrifying, and this is suspenseful for those who see that humanity might just be as dark as demons.
The minor issues I had with this were editing, some small issues with continuity, and missed opportunities with some of the characters. At the beginning of the novel, it felt like things were being rushed, just so we could get through the whole introductory part of the novel. If the characters were drawn out a bit more, then this story could have been truly horrifying.
I recommend this to anyone who's into young adult novels with a darker theme. If you're looking for that next gory, heart-pounding, stomach turning story you've been craving, then check this one out.
A very light, fun summer read! Very fluffy and a bit too quick and random with its romance, The Beach Lane series, book one is far from perfect, but a...moreA very light, fun summer read! Very fluffy and a bit too quick and random with its romance, The Beach Lane series, book one is far from perfect, but a great poolside read!
At first, I was intrigued by this book and the story it promised.
Then, everything fell apart as the story did just what the 14 year-old runaway hated...moreAt first, I was intrigued by this book and the story it promised.
Then, everything fell apart as the story did just what the 14 year-old runaway hated: the novel became more heavily transfixed with what was happening to the distraught mother, rather than the missing girl who was in obvious danger. While I understand that the mother had many secrets and that police always turn to the parents first as suspects, I thought the whole thing was a bit too much.
P.S. What the hell was up with that random quasi-love interest, anyway? He wreaks havoc, shows his true colours, then just disappears after he admits that he loves the mother?? This book was just all over the place. I'm not too ashamed to say that I skimmed a bit while reading this. The mother's chapters were just so bland and full of selfish thoughts, and woe is me issues. Just, ugh.
There was so much potential for the daughter's side of the story. I almost wish that the whole book showed her perspective only. Much like the parents in the novel, this book focused more on the parents' outward appearance and how the reader would see them, rather than the daughter's story.
As for the conclusion--I'm sorry, but I'm not buying it.
I don't really recommend this to anyone, but if you want to read an interesting take on an inappropriate relationship, than I recommend reading the daughter's chapter's only.
Crazy! I'm so behind on Archie that I didn't even know this existed until I saw it at work!! This was, of course, awesome! The artwork is completely d...moreCrazy! I'm so behind on Archie that I didn't even know this existed until I saw it at work!! This was, of course, awesome! The artwork is completely different, too.