The narration in Pushing the Limits is divided between Noah and Echo.
Echo is attempting to reclaim "normal" after an accident involving her now estra...moreThe narration in Pushing the Limits is divided between Noah and Echo.
Echo is attempting to reclaim "normal" after an accident involving her now estranged bipolar mother and glass left her horribly scarred on her arms. Echo knows she nearly died from what happened because that is what her father, stepmother (who is also the former nanny!)and a few therapists have told her, but her mind has blocked her from remembering all that happened. All her friends save one have ditched her because she is now the "freak" who will only wear long sleeved shirts, and her brother, Aires, was killed in Afghanistan.
Noah, a foster kid who lost both his parents in a house fire, is desperate to get his kid brothers back from the family who is seeking adoption of them. Noah has only seen the bad side to foster care and so he automatically thinks that his brothers are in danger. The problem is, Noah has to rehab his reputation. After being in a foster home where the father beat the kids, Noah attempted to defend one of the kids in the house and was deemed a loose cannon when the authorities believed the father over Noah. Noah since then has spent his time working as much as he can after school to save for custody of his brothers, and smoking pot with his friends Isaiah and Beth.
Added to this mix is the therapist desperately trying to help Noah and Echo rebuild their lives. And when they let her in, finally, it is a relief.
The relationship between Noah and Echo is intense and amazing. They are perfect for one another. Echo gets Noah to quit smoking pot and smooths out his rough edges while Noah instills in Echo the courage to not hide her scars or herself. He also gives her a soft place to land when her mind starts bringing back snatches of her memory of what happened the night she almost died under her mothers care.
There are so many nuances to this book, it would take me a day to write about them all. It took me on an emotional rollercoaster and at times even made me well up in tears. The raw pain these two suffer is palpable and leaps off the page. This book is definintely a keeper and I will be reading more of Katie McGarry in the future. (less)
The writing itself is not bad, which is why this book gets 3 stars. The story falls a little short and I felt that the 260 pages could have easily bee...moreThe writing itself is not bad, which is why this book gets 3 stars. The story falls a little short and I felt that the 260 pages could have easily been lengethened to add a few more details.
The concept is pretty cool: Lexi is a siren, as her mother was before her, and accidentally she killed her boyfriend Steven when she lured him to the water and lulled him to his death with her sexy siren song. I don't really know if it was sexy, but I was going for some alliteration here so go with it.
Lexi did not mean to kill Steven - of course! - she was just had to swim, much like a heroin addict needs that next shot of, well, heroin, and in giving into the temptation to swim, she starts a singin' and Steven starts a drownin'.
So, now Lexi is the social outcast of the high school, all led by Steven's sister who thinks Lexi killed her brother. She's right about that!
Cole was Steven's bff and had always been into Lexi. He defends her a couple times when the kids at school turn uber nasty and then he asks her out. They go out maybe twice, that I can remember, and then Lexi is all in love with him. Uh...okay? This is where I think the book could have been lengthened. I wasn't buying it. Nor was I buying Lexi driving out to swim all night at a lake because she will go through physical pain if she does not, and her grandmother, whom she lives with, just doesn't notice this. Uh, OKAY...?
Then, we meet Erik. A nix, which I gather is a male siren. He thinks he's got the cure for what ails Lexi and so a love-triangle is born. Why do I feel like the love triangle business has been done a bajillion times before?
But then something happens with Erik that I kind of thought was really lame and slapped in there for a quick resolution and I finished going - that's it? Really? And sex in the last 5 pages which wasn't really needed. I think the author was going for the closeness and "See how in love they are?" factor, but it just fell flat.
Anyway, the writing was good, but I really think that with an additional 50-100 pages, this story could have been much better.
Oh Good Lord. This book made me cry. I don't think since Prue died in The Hunger Games have I cried during a book. This book though...it slayed me.
I...moreOh Good Lord. This book made me cry. I don't think since Prue died in The Hunger Games have I cried during a book. This book though...it slayed me.
I originally bought this book for the shock and awe factor - siblings in love? With EACH OTHER? Yes, I know, very Flowers in the Attic - which I never read. Only saw the movie. The other reason: this was put out in the Young Adult section at Barnes & Noble. I was wildly fascinated as to how this would play out for this younger crowd. Now I know the VC Andrews stuff is racy in the way of "oh my god, she slept with her brother who was really her uncle and then her father who is in love with her tried to kill them both!" I wanted to see what this author would do with this taboo subject.
However, whereas in Flowers there were nefarious reasons to keep the children locked up in this book the children are left to their own devises because their mother is a reluctant mother and an alcoholic. She doesn't want the kids, never wanted them, and certainly not after her husband left and she had to be responsible for them all. So, she waitresses and dates all the wrong men and drinks her life away. She goes from periodically being around to just not being around at all.
The two siblings who pick up the slack are 16 1/2 year old Maya and 17 1/2 year old Lochan. They, as a team take care of Willa, Tiffin and Kit. (FYI: This is the second book I've read in which the character Kit was a huge dick).
Okay, yes there is the factor of Maya and Lochan falling in desperate love with each other, but there is also the bit about all the responsibilities these teens have. Their siblings are not just hindrances to Lochan and Maya, they are flesh and blood and they are desperate to keep their family together and to keep social services from finding out just how much they are shouldering.
There were so many times in this book that I wanted to leap in and help them out. I wanted to give them money, new clothes, help them help the kids with their homework. It was so heart-wrenching the way these teens were not allowed to be teens at all. They had to be adults and they worked together so well as a team, not to mention the severe dysfuntionality of the family, it was almost easy to see how these two ended up where they ended up.
Lochan as a character tore at my heart. He was severely socially phobic and seeing him struggle so hard in school and around his classmates was so sad. When push came to shove a few times in this book and he had to be there for one of his siblings for one reason or another in the face of adults, it was so hard to read Lochan struggle to speak clearly and not stutter his way through. This is why Maya was so perfect for Lochan. She knew how he suffered and what he gave up for all of them - and she gave up her fair share too - and loved him so much that it was hard not to feel those emotions that leaped off the page.
This is why I love this book so much. I felt everything. I ached and longed and wanted to shout and cry with them. The story goes so much deeper than an incestuous relationship. And while this may make me sick, I so wanted Lochan and Maya to find a way to be together throughout. I have read several romances in my day and never have I read something so poignant as this. If an author can sell me incest, then she is a fine writer indeed.
This book is sort of like an onion. There are things you could point to and say "Well, this is why they ended up doing this", but if you were to pose the question to Maya and Lochan, it was simply because they loved each other. They were each others support, each other's best friend and confidante. Without the other to help them get through all the crap they had to wade through, I don't think they would have survived.
I won't spoil the end of this book. Needless to say though, this one will stay with me for a very long time and will have a place on my bookshelf, never to be given away. (less)
I love Lisa Kleypas. I've read everything by her and even though I love her historical novels, I have really enjoyed the Friday Harbor series so far.
A...moreI love Lisa Kleypas. I've read everything by her and even though I love her historical novels, I have really enjoyed the Friday Harbor series so far.
As per usual I am all about the bad boy that can't get his act together, and so I waited quite a while to read about Alex. I was not disappointed. I loved him and I loved Zoe. They were so perfect for each other. She handled him so very well. I love the ghost element to the story too, and how it tied into Zoe and her Grandmother.
I enjoyed seeing Alex put a stop to his drinking and I give him an A for effort for trying to stay away from Zoe, but I give her gold stars for not giving up on Alex.
The only thing I would have liked to see is more of how Zoe's food affected people. It was said that her food was like magic and made them feel good, but I would have liked more of that since in the last couple books we got the magic that Maggie and Lucy had. Zoe had some, too! And it looks like Justine is a witch, and her story is next. Witches I can do since I am one! :)(less)
Eh. This book had a strong beginning, but it faded until about just the end. The premise was cool - girl with premonitions can see when the Ripper is...moreEh. This book had a strong beginning, but it faded until about just the end. The premise was cool - girl with premonitions can see when the Ripper is going to strike, and the supernatural aspect to the story with who the Ripper really is, was cool, too.
I think, quite frankly, my problem lay with the heroine. She was irritating and fickle. She is drawn to William, and then Simon. Okay, no surprise there - a triangle in Young Adult literature? Surely you jest! But then later she is nearly kissed by the son of the man she works for and she wants it! Uh, okay? Later, Simon proposes to her and kisses her and while Abbie does not love him nor want to marry him, she does not want to tell him this for fear he'll stop kissing her!
I felt like Abbie spent most of the book running here and there and William spent all his time trying to catch her and then yelling at her for running off.
I did not feel an attachment to any of these characters at all. I was hoping for some good suspense, but even those moments were not that exciting...the bad guys leave two tied up men with the free female and one of them just HAPPENS to have a pen knife? Really? And I am not really buying death by jellyfish either. Not the way it happened.
A modern re-telling of Pride & Prejudice. This book was okay, but nothing to write home about. The characters were hard to get a real feel for and...moreA modern re-telling of Pride & Prejudice. This book was okay, but nothing to write home about. The characters were hard to get a real feel for and I found I didn't really feel all that invested in them. The character that was supposed to be Lydia from P&P was too overblown. The Wickham character was dastardly and stupid, but it was hard to work up real hate for him. I found I just didn't care enough about any of the characters. It felt as though there were different directions the story could have taken but didn't. It was as if the author did not want to stray too far from the P&P retelling.
I had at first started listening to this book. I do all of my listening to audio in the car because I need to be doing something while listening. I ca...moreI had at first started listening to this book. I do all of my listening to audio in the car because I need to be doing something while listening. I can't just SIT there and listen. So, Lola sat in the car until I couldn't take it anymore and bought the book. I was fantasizing about holding it in my hands and savoring it, but I was so invested in the story that those intentions flew out the window and I just bought it for my Nook PC.
I loved this book. I was unsure how I would feel considering I loved Anna and the French Kiss so very much - second books are rarely as good as the first ones. However, Perkins did NOT disappoint.
I loved Lola and her daring clothes. I loved her quirky personality and her gay dads. I even liked Max, the boy she is dating at the beginning of the story. I ended up hating him and wishing he'd just go away, but I did like him at first.
And I loved, loved, loved Cricket. The boy next door that Lola had loved for so long. The boy who loved her so desperately back and had been too chicken to say anything. He was so perfect for Lola in every single way.
Bonus: we got plenty of scenes with St. Clair and Anna from Anna and the French kiss, too!!(less)
This book was interesting. It reminded me a bit of "I Am Legend" in the way that there is this virus that wipes everyone out and then what is left is...moreThis book was interesting. It reminded me a bit of "I Am Legend" in the way that there is this virus that wipes everyone out and then what is left is forced to rebuild. Of course they don't do it in the "Hey, let's all work together to make this great!" it's more in the vein of "The Hunger Games" where the King rules everyone and sends the girls off to school until they are of age and the boys are sent to work like children in factories.
When the girls graduate and leave school they think they are moving onto a grand life of fun and excitement, but really they are being turned out into the world to be broodmares. They are forced to birth babies, several of them, and those babies are given to people in the City of Sand (i.e., the Capitol) to raise.
Eve find out about this one night from a frenemy and upon her own discovery of what is to be her fate is sent by one of the teachers of the school into the wild. Why this teacher was so kind to her I am not sure...the scene was so quick. "Oh, I see you saw something you weren't supposed to. All right then. Let's get you out of here."
Along the way Eve meets Caleb (a hybrid of Cain and Abel?), which makes things rather intersting considering Eve has been taught along with all the girls in the school to fear men. Something about them not wanting the girls to expect much. Seems rather counter-productive. Shouldn't they at least be wooed into doing the turkey baster breeding route?
Not sure how I feel about this book. I sort of liked it and I sort of thought it was too much like "I Am Legend" "The Hunger Games" and "Under the Never Sky". Alhough, the last one may have come out after this one, I am not sure.
Will I read the sequel? Probably. Eventually. (less)
Charlotte is friends with a bunch of boys. She's in a band with said boys. She used to have girl friends, but her former bff kind of really sucks and...moreCharlotte is friends with a bunch of boys. She's in a band with said boys. She used to have girl friends, but her former bff kind of really sucks and just blew Charlotte off. It hurt Charlotte, who is no stranger to feeling blown off after her mother leaves the family and then later, her sister takes off for college.
What I learned from this book was that relationships with boys can be just as complicated as relationships with girls. Considering they never really talk about what they're really thinking or feeling, the one female is left to figure it all out and then try to fix everything. And boy does Charlotte try - sometimes with little success.
The boy, Trip, that Charlotte is meant to be with is quite obvious from the beginning but the problem is you see him for the first 1/4 of the book, and then he acts like an idiot and disappears until the last 3 pages. Literally.
I am all about the true love connection, but I think Charlotte should have ended up with the snarky, pot smoking Benji. Sure he smoked pot but he wasn't high ALL the time and the short fling that he and Charlotte did have, he was incredibly sweet and supportive. Trip ignored her. Through the majority of the book. Sure we got how awesome their chemistry was in the beginning, but seriously? Benji was there, man. He was funny and he made Charlotte feel good. Trip acted like a douche and somehow in the last three pages when he confesses how he was really in love with her this whole time we are supposed to swoon and forgive him. I don't think so.
I do like how Charlotte grew as a character in this book. She took control, she stood up for herself and though she sometimes did it in that bumbling teenager way, the fact is she did it. I can respect that. (less)
It sort of felt like "Anna & the French Kiss" in the beginning, but it was most definitely not.
The narrator, Ella, comes from a loud Italian fami...moreIt sort of felt like "Anna & the French Kiss" in the beginning, but it was most definitely not.
The narrator, Ella, comes from a loud Italian family that owns their own Italian restaraunt. She attends an upper class school even though she is not considered upper class. She crushes on Alex Bainbridge, one of the elite members of the school, and has a crush on Edward Willing, a deceased painter from the 1900's. In fact, there are chapters where she converses with his bust.
I think this novel tried to be a little arty than it really was. I think it was trying to be profound and deep, but it didn't really make it. I got irritated with Ella a lot. She doesn't stand up for herself, she thinks horribly of herself and I kept thinking that I would have to slap her around if was her friend.
Alex dumps his snooty ex-girlfriend who takes pleasure in tormenting Ella, and pursues Ella under the guise of tutoring her in French. I felt like Alex spent most of his time exasperated with her. I thought at times he could be a little mean to Ella too. He grows as exasperated with how she puts herself down as well which I felt was justified, but I couldn't figure out really what these two characters really saw in each other. For me they just did not click together.
I didn't hate the book, but I didn't love it either. (less)
Good Goddess, I loved this book! It is probably partly due to the fact that I listened to it and the woman who read it was amazing. She did Etienne St...moreGood Goddess, I loved this book! It is probably partly due to the fact that I listened to it and the woman who read it was amazing. She did Etienne St. Clair's British accent perfectly.
Etienne St. Clair is the male lead and Anna is, obviously, the female lead. Anna is sent to a boarding school in Paris for her senior year because her father, a writer much like Nicholas Sparks, sends her there to gain some culture. Of which he is severely lacking.
Anna is invited into a group of already made friends and soon develops a crush on Etienne St. Clair, who, sadly, has a girlfriend. It is clear however, to everyone but Anna that St. Clair has fallen for Anna.
The development of their relationship is wonderful. These two become bff's in every sense of the word. When Etienne's Mum is diagnosed with cancer, Anna is wholly supportive of what he is going through worrying about her. And, when Anna's heart is broken by the boy she thought would wait for her at home - not to mention her female bff who "stole" the boy Anna liked - St. Clair lends support in every way to Anna.
The course of true love never did run smooth so their road to finally getting together is not without its problems. There is the problem not only of the girlfriend, but of Meredith, the first friend Anna made who brought her into the group who also likes St. Clair. There are misunderstandings and arguments and I swear I had a hard time getting out of the car at times. I didn't want to stop listening!
Perkins created two characters that had their flaws - St. Clair might have been British and gorgeous, but he could be bloody irritating. And while Anna was sweet, she could be downright thick-headed and stubborn.
I heart this book so much and now I can't want to read the companion - Lola and the Boy Next Door.
Well. This was something. When I read books like this I automatically think of bleached blond airheads with fake boobs, leathery skin and tattoos. I t...moreWell. This was something. When I read books like this I automatically think of bleached blond airheads with fake boobs, leathery skin and tattoos. I think of, quite simply, white trash. And that's just for the women. I think it's in the descriptions and this book didn't help considering it opened with a scene with an "alpha male" surrounded by former strippers. How could I NOT think white trash?
BUT. The saving grace was Delaney, the heroine of this piece...I say "saving grace" loosely. In comparison to the strippers she was as pure as the driven snow. However, there was that moment two years prior to the beginning of this book when Delaney had sex with the hero, Tyler, per her crippled husband's request. He wanted to watch since he couldn't perform. The sex was mind bending for Tyler and Delaney and true buried feelings came out during their tryst. Delaney then shoved Tyler out of her life in order to try and save her husband - who had been boinking women left and right during their marriage.
The lines of what is morally right and wrong are sort of blurred in these books. You root for the hero and heroine and hate people like, say, the ex-husband, who at one point attempts to rape Delaney in order to flip the tables and make Tyler watch (he's handcuffed to a fridge). I honestly felt this scene was meant to make us totally hate the ex in case we felt any lingering doubt as to how he felt about what he, yes, had instigated. HOWEVER - Delaney and Tyler both had the ability to say "NO". Which is what non-white trash folks would do or really, anyone with scruples and morals.
The thing about this book though - Delaney and Tyler are pretty hot together. The sex scenes were smoldering and it was great to see Tyler go from banging strippers every night to fall all over himself to protect and win Delaney. I respected the fact that Delaney didn't just fall over Tyler and had a very healthy amount of skepticism regarding his man whoring past. Then again...can a woman who slept with another man, whether at the behest of her husband or not, be really judgmental? Part of me thinks no.
And Tyler's man whoring was disgusting. No WAY would I take up with a man like that. So I was with Delaney on not trusting him. At all. But, as a hero, Tyler did a complete 180 on his bad boy behavior and did everything he could to win Delaney's heart and prove to her that he was head over heels in love with her, and always had been. Apparently that was why he'd immersed himself with strippers - to screw away his feelings for Delaney and search for that same kind of connection...uh, yeah. Only a complete idiot would think that would happen with a freaking stripper. Tyler: great at police work, but a complete dunderhead about everything else.