I have literally been looking forward to this book for years. I grew up reading Meyer’s Sailor Moon fanfiction and followed her livejournal account of her writing adventues. She was one of my favorite fanfiction authors. I think I can safely remove the word “fanfiction” from that title after reading Cinder. Meyer’s become one of my favorite authors, full stop, with her debut novel.
As one could probably infer from the title, Cinder is a futuristic reimagining of the fairy tale of Cinderella. The tale begins when Prince Kai asks Cinder to repair his android and, in the very same day, plague strikes close to home. Enjoy the quiet peace of the first few pages of the novel. Things quickly turn into a roller coaster ride of a book.
The relationship between Kai and Cinder is one that you really have to appreciate. Unlike so many other books out there, it isn’t part of the insta-love phenomenon that is the bane of my existence a little unrealistic. We grow to know both Kai and Cinder in their own right, understand the various pressures that they both find themselves under. And then, we see that seed of attraction that we can spot early on grow.
There is definitely enough romance to make lovers of it swoon, but I also loved being taken along for Cinder’s ride full of self-discovery. She learns things about her mysterious past that I never saw coming, and Meyer threw twist after twist that just left me reeling.
And let’s have a look at Meyer’s world-building for a moment: It’s more than fitting that for a futuristic novel, the villains are ones that we can’t even find on earth. It’s fitting also that the unusual “draft” only affects cyborgs who aren’t considered entirely human because of technology, and that arguably Cinder’s closest friend is an android named Iko (I totally want an android like Iko to give me fashion advice, by the way. She was adorable!). The way that the day-to-day technology is written, such as “coms” or “netscreens,” makes it seem day-to-day. I was never wondering what exactly they did, every device just seemed like something that belonged there.
Fair warning, the book ends on a wicked cliffhanger. You will want Book 2: Scarlet in hand promptly and, if you’re like me, will want to thrash around on the floor, beating your fists, crying “WHY?!” as in “WHY don’t I have Scarlet yet?!”
But it’s worth it. Meyer’s writing has all of the charm of a traditional fairy tale with the extra zap! of technology and wonderful characters to give it pizazz.
Overall rating: 5/5. I have a new favorite series. Move this book to the top of your TBR pile NOW. But don’t come crying to me over the cliffhanger please. I’m just barely recovering myself....more
I won’t pretend I didn’t go into Purity with some high expectations, having readPosted to Almost Grown-up:
Jackson Pearce has done it again, you guys!
I won’t pretend I didn’t go into Purity with some high expectations, having read and loved Pearce’s other works. I was thrilled for the chance to read her first contemporary novel, Purity.
And I spent a lot of the time that I read it with either big-ass grin on my face or holding back tears when Pearce reached INTO my chest to pluck at my heartstrings.
I won’t lie to you, this book isn’t going to be for everyone because some people will react negatively to the religion and sex hot buttons, but in my personal opinion, it was amazing.
Shelby has lost her mother and it leaves her wondering about the existence of God and with doubts as to the whole religion thing. There was a point in my life where I would have squirmed about the subject because the doubts would have felt like mine. It’s not as though I experienced something as scarring as Shelby, but for a good 7 years or so through high school and college, I considered myself an atheist– I just wasn’t sure about the God thing and, back then, I kept leaning back and forth on the idea. Pearce handles the topic exceedingly well– Shelby never feels like she’s attacking the idea of God or religion, just working through her own issues with it.
Pearce has an amazing grasp of the teenage mindset. Her characters are not only relatable, but they feel completely authentic, from how Shelby interacts with her friends and families, to the party she goes to, to how she interacts with her “Potentials.”
Sidenote: some of those friend scenes were laugh-out-loud funny; especially a certain Target scene. I loved that Shelby has healthy friendships and though I mostly hate the Princess Ball, I loved that she starts to build a healthy relationship with her dad through the planning of it. Those scenes, along with Shelby’s memories of her mother were the ones that got me choked up more often than not.
I’m not going to be shocked if some people try to get this book banned, but the fact is that sex is something that teenagers think about. Hell, it’s something that adults think about. And whether you decide to do it premaritally or not, it’s an extremely personal decision that Shelby feels is being taken away from her and she acts accordingly.
Overall rating: 5/5. Jackson Pearce’s 1st contemporary is just as engrossing as her paranormal efforts. Basically, the woman is a stellar writer and Purity shows that just as well as her other novels....more
I am still trying to stop crying. Amazingly written, but I am so so sad.
What I liked: The gang has grown-up, but their characters remain true to the people that Brashares created way back in book 1. Their problems are both new and old, but it fits with the storyline that we’re already familiar with. The story sucks you in with Brashares’s old style and while I was busy sobbing, I still loved every second of it.
What I didn’t like: How much I cried. Story-wise there was a lot that was downright depressing, but it was the basis for a great deal of the story, so it was necessary.
So, do I rec it? Yes. Yes, yes YES. If you cared anything at all for Carmen, Tibby, Bee, and Lena, read this book. Hell, even if you didn’t read the other Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants books, read this book. It’s a story of love, loss, enduring friendships, and coping– with life and all of the curveballs it can throw at you. Read it with a box of tissues close at hand because it’s a tear-jerker. I Couldn’t Put it Down....more
It took me a little while to become truly drawn into Out in Blue. Wren and Ginger seemed so preoccupied on why they shouldn’t be drawn to each other that I was wishing for a little bit more sexual tension.
Things definitely changed, however about a quarter of the way into the book.
“I don’t understand,” she whispered. “You let me touch your wings. You held me under your wing at Jac’s. Yet, you don’t want to kiss me.”
“You’re right, you don’t understand.” Wren leaned back and pegged her with his deep green stare. “I want very much to kiss you, Gin.”
The words, and the low masculine purr with which he said them, stole her breath for a moment.
I think it was right about there that I really started to pay attention because that’s the point at which Ginger and Wren’s relationship really starts to (pardon the pun) take off. The details incorporated about archangel mating techniques and history were very interesting and made the world Gilman created that much more real. Once the pair establish a relationship, the dialogue became a bit bogged down with cheesy dialogue and the L-word (“my love,” “I love you,” “beloved,” “Gin-love”), but it is a romance novel, after all.
The adventure to rescue Wren’s father was one of my favorite parts as well. Action-packed and heart-racing, leading to a heart-warming reunion. And the twist on who we all assume is the villain! Totally unexpected, but pulled off very well.
Rating (from 1-5): 3.5. A fun paranormal read! Packed with twists, turns, and hot guys with wings, if you’re in the mood for a paranormal romance, this is one you won’t want to miss out on. - See more at: http://www.almostgrownup.net/page/44/......more
This is definitely Christian Fiction (capital C, capital F), so if that’s not what you’re in the mood for, then to be honest you’ll probably want to steer clear.
But if you are looking for Christian Fiction (again with those capitals), then The Wishing Pearl isn’t a bad choice.
Olivia Mansfield is in a downward spiral. Her father passed away years ago and her mother is married to a truly odious man. Olivia has fallen in with a crowd of girls that don’t seem to be on the right path either. She takes up drinking, smoking, and marijuana. She gets brought home by the police. And she and her friends drive drunk on a routine basis.
After more catastrophic events, Olivia goes to Diamond Estates to heal internally and find her way back to God.
The journey is wrought with lapses, confrontation, and hope, but ultimately the book is uplifting as Olivia rediscovers God and Jesus.
Rating (from 1-5): 3. It was a pleasant read, but definitely only recommended to those who like the Christian Fiction genre, as there is passage after passage of finding God, defeating Satan, and accepting Christ. It was a bit overwhelming, but I did enjoy the book. ...more
I really liked the premise of this book. I’m a sucker for the movies that this book pretty much emulates.
Marisol and Drew are both likable characters (though Drew suffers a major case of HORMONES and seems to like every girl he meets).I liked that the two of them are classic teenagers: yes, they have some attraction to the other, but it doesn’t blind them to their own lives or to other members of the opposite sex. The conflicts that Marisol and Drew face with their chosen paths are good ones, but they’re a bit glossed over at some points.
A lot of the competition scenes were fun to picture as well.
What I didn’t like: There were a lot of times in this book that I thought it could have been developed more, but it seemed like the writer took the easy way out. Mari’s best friend Luz shows up to make the final 5 in the Dance America contest as a “Wild Card” contestant, when she didn’t even make the cut to the final ten. That was just entirely unrealistic to me. I also wish that Drew and Mari’s problems (Drew with the possibility of a scholarship and Mari with her grades) had been explored more. They were dismissed much too easily for their situations.
I also would have enjoyed seeing their relationship explored a bit more. There is one almost-kiss before the ending occurs and the sexual tension between them there is good, but it’s the only time I see them together in a more romantic light.
The book was also bogged down by symptoms of Telling-Not-Showing Syndrome and Repetition-itis. I often found a phrase used twice or more on a single page. And I felt discredited as a reader for being told some things that I easily could have just inferred.
So, do I rec it? If you’re into theatre or enjoy movies like Step Up, Dirty Dancing, Save the Last Dance, or High School Musical, you may like this book. Basically, movies that are about teens that overcome some obstacles to perform the way they love. I found myself drawing parallels to those kinds of movies throughout the book. However, I probably won’t read the next “Premiere High” novel. I didn’t find this one to be much my taste....more
Surprisingly good. Quick fun read. I was actually pleasantly surprised by the ending too :)
What I liked: There was plenty for me to like in this book: I’m a big Shakespeare girl (shocker, I know), so there was a veritable cornucopia of Bardy goodness through this book.The scenes with Edmund and William Shakespeare were nothing short of hysterical so those scenes in particular really shone for me.
I was fond of Drew, even if I didn’t always buy his dialogue. And I loved the ending, which was emotionally believable but still managed to surprise me.
What I didn’t like: Miri’s dad really, really, really irritated me. Her dad left a couple years ago to “find himself” and it’s something that Miri and her mother struggle with throughout the text, but he shows up near the end of the book and suddenly all is forgiven. Just like that! He seems like a nice guy, but he did something pretty terrible to the people he’s supposed to love and never has to work for their forgiveness.
So, do I rec it? This book is a good one for Shakespeare fans and theatre junkies out there. A fun teen romance that I enjoyed and had a few unexpected twists. I genuinely Liked it. ...more
I'm a fantasy fan. No secret. I grew up devouring book after book by Tamora Pierce in particular, so I was especiallyTo be posted on Almost Grown-up:
I'm a fantasy fan. No secret. I grew up devouring book after book by Tamora Pierce in particular, so I was especially excited to see that she had a blurb on the front of my ARC copy. "Engrossing," she said.
Oh, Tamora. I AGREE.
The protagonist, Elisa, seems a bit of a hopeless case. She wallows in her self-pity and feelings of inadequacy as the bearer of the Godstone. Why did God pick her? she wonders. Surely she isn't good enough.
But there's a fire in Elisa that she doesn't see at first. Yes, she drowns her sorrows in too many pastries (haven't we all been there?) but when confronted with duty and danger, Elisa rises again and again to meet the challenges, until her character is so developed and confident that I wanted to pump my fist in the air and whoop for her. Yes, Elisa! Go, girl.
The land that Elisa lives in comes alive: The desert, the government details, the religion, language, food (do not read when hungry!), the clothing... it is clear that Rae Carson was careful with her world-building. I felt like I had fallen into the war and landscape of Joya d'Arena at times. Terrifying as it was (their enemies do not mess around), I didn't want to come out.
Every time I thought I knew where this story was going, I was wrong. I have never enjoyed being incorrect so much in my life.
Rating: 5/5. I couldn't believe it when I found that Rae Carson was a debut author. I felt like saying: "Go ahead. Pull the other one." Because the Girl of Fire and Thorns is absolutely masterfully crafted. ...more
The very concept for Robin (R.L.) LaFevers’s Grave Mercy sets the bar high. We’re promised a unique novel full of strong femPosted to Almost Grown-up:
The very concept for Robin (R.L.) LaFevers’s Grave Mercy sets the bar high. We’re promised a unique novel full of strong female characters. Not only are they strong females, but hellooooo, they’re assassins. NUN assassins and therefore all kinds of original and bad-ass.
But it’s not only the assassins (NUN ASSASSINS!) who are strong women in Grave Mercy. The duchess of Brittany, Anne, is another shining example of a strong female. Despite her young age, she deals with betrayal after betrayal and the multitude of responsibilities thrust upon her shoulders.
The main character Ismae, a novice of the convent of St. Mortain, is not someone I’d ever consider weak, though she doubts herself upon occasion. She goes on a very personal journey wherein she learns to trust people beyond the nuns who saved her from a future of abuse and trained her to defend herself.
What I found captivating about the character of Ismae was that she’s so consumed with remaining under her own power and thinking of herself as strong that it almost blinds her to her to that very power. She blindly follows the instructions of her abbess and her convent, and by the end of the novel she’s grown so strong, both physically and emotionally that she isn’t afraid to think for herself.
LaFevers’s Grave Mercy is steeped in history, and she brings it to life with amazing authenticity. It’s easy to imagine that some of the characters who were real people undergoing some of the very real events portrayed in Grave Mercy possessed the traits and personalities she bestows on them.
The details and setting are also well-imagined. In fact, the novel feels almost decadently atmospheric.
I love courtly intrigue and Grace Mercy boasts scads of it, made extra awesome with the authenticity factor. Whose loyalties lie with who? Who wants what outcome? What motivates them? What the friggin’ hell are all of their schemes and plotting and what on earth are they up to? LaFevers pulls it off beautifully.
And then we have the romance. Bada-bing, baby. LaFevers sealed the deal for me by winding all of the other element that I fell in love with around a romance that developed– NAY, BLOSSOMED– over time and believably. And HOORAH for a non-douchey male lead, who doesn’t stalk a main character and claim that it’s because she is denying her attraction for him.
Overall rating: 5/5. Basically, I fell in love with Grave Mercy in every way possible. If you’re looking for a stellar historical novel with a touch of paranormal, THIS is it. It made me want to seek out more recs (*cough* comments please). I need a finished copy of this book sitting on my bookshelf. New. Series. Obsession.
P.S. I’m not always a fan of “girl in a dress” covers, but this one actually fits the book inside....more
Pilgrims Don't Wear Pink by Stephanie Kate Strohm combines two of my very favorite genres: YA and (I hesitate to use the terPosted to Almost Grown-up:
Pilgrims Don't Wear Pink by Stephanie Kate Strohm combines two of my very favorite genres: YA and (I hesitate to use the term since it seems to be frowned upon these days, but...) chick-lit. It has all the earmarks of a classic chick-lit: a loveable main character with a weakness for fashion, a quirky love interest, even the stereotypical gay best friend.
Libby, the main character, was easy for me to bond with. She has a difficulty choosing which clothes and accessories to leave behind when packing for her summer. I have... similar issues that I won't get into much here. Let's just say I've had to get creative in an airport after weighing my bag to avoid an additional baggage fee.
Plus, the girl has strong interest (read: OBSESSION) with history. Random historic facts are peppered throughout the novel and they fascinated me. Though I didn't keep up with it, World History was one of my favorite subjects in school. Libby thinks of it much the same way that I always did:
"History isn't an endless parade of facts[...] History is just stories-- I mean think about it, story is right in the word-- history is the life stories of millions and millions of people. Real people, living, beautiful, ugly, wonderful, horrible, messy, complicated human lives."*
While she loves history, Libby is undoubtedly a girl of the modern age, with her unwillingness to let go of her cell phone and connection to her best friend. Her life has countless references to pop culture that served the book well, but date it.
But it doesn't matter what era she thinks she belongs in, she makes the same mistake many girls have made throughout time: she has a crush on a big D-bag. It gets to the point with that (and the fact that she can be a little judgmental) where you want to take reporter Garrett's Hobbit-y feet and use them to stomp some sense into her head.
The ending felt a bit rushed and out of place to me. Largely because the main thread of the story revolved around Libby's romantic life and once that's resolved, I didn't feel that I needed much else to have the novel finished. We return instead to the resolution of the haunting question aboard the boat in Camden Harbor and one last twist that gets resolved very quickly.
Still, overall I'd recommend Pilgrims Don't Wear Pink if you're a fan of chick-lit along the lines of Confessions of Shopaholic. There's a major CHEESE factor to this novel. If that's not your thing, then this probably isn't for you. It's a quick, frivolous read that didn't fail to make me smile.
Overall rating: 3/5. Libby was a bit silly and so were her adventures, but sometimes a bit of silliness is what you need.
*Note: quote is from a review copy and may have changed....more
My expectations were built up beyond BELIEF for this book. There was so muchTo be posted on Almost Grown-up:
Are the words MADE OF AWESOME too strong?
My expectations were built up beyond BELIEF for this book. There was so much hype about it. From the originality of the plot, to the characters... even to the cover.
And you have to admit that is one gosh dang b-e-a-u-tiful cover.
And I didn't find any disappointments within the pages of The Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Not that I really expected to. I mean, half the reviews were from blogs I really trust. The other half? They had the good sense to realize that awesome had just reached up from black and white text to smack them across the face and scream "RECOGNIZE!"
So first-- the originality. It would be so so so easy to spoil you on this because how can I just hint at things I've never even seen before? So let me just say that I don't think you'll have read anything like this either.
The world-building. Hell to the yes. Taylor made bothPrague and the "elsewhere" that she created come completely alive for me. I couldn't imagine the story anywhere else, to the extent that Prague has officially made it where it's never been before: my list of place that I must someday travel to. And the "Elsewhere?" Oh, baby. The wars going on there, the hierarchy of the "government," the magic, the mythology. It's rich and layered and it just. Freaking. Works.
The WORDS. Laini Taylor is the epitome of the term "wordsmith." It was perhaps a mistake for me to read this book during NaNoWriMo when my mind is focused on quantity over quality because this is a quality that I am nowhere near to reaching.
Finally, the characters-- Now, I'm iffy on Akiva as we see him in the beginning. I totally thought he was another Patch or something. You know the I-Must-Kill-You-But-Maybe-After-Sexytimes type? Nope. Nope, nope, nope. Akiva's so flawed but I still want to cuddle him into oblivion once I get to know him better.
But he's not who I love the most here. And I love a lot of people in this book. I love Karou's best friend, Zuzana, the one Karou refers to as a "rabid fairy." I love Issa, the closest Karou's got to a mother figure. I love Brimstone, better known as The Wishmonger, who might as well be her father.
Most of all, though, I love Karou. She's smart. She's talented. She's a slave to her emotions and her heart. She does things like wish a mean girl's eyebrows grow out of control, "collect" languages, and turn her own hair blue. I am so glad I got to learn part of her story.
Overall rating: 5/5. This book is wondrous. But keep in mind, it begins a series. You may want to cry when you realize that you can't pick up the next book right away....more
Callum Scott has always had his Luck and his ability to see ghosts, but lately the paranormal surrounding him has bPosted on Almost Grown-up: 9/24/11:
Callum Scott has always had his Luck and his ability to see ghosts, but lately the paranormal surrounding him has been nothing but trouble. He saves the school outcast Melissa and winds up constantly harassed by the school bully. Something has taken to chasing him through the graveyard back to his home, his Gran is keeping secrets, and now he's having visions, of all things. Visions!
Right, and there's a supernatural killer intent on stalking him and eating his eyeballs.
Callum discovers a family past and learns more about himself than he ever expected (as if ghosts weren't enough), while allying himself along technically normal Melissa, a Grim, and the ghostly Jacob.
Terrifically spooky, The Shadowing: Hunted was outside of my usual read, but I loved every second of it. I fully intend to move on to the sequel: The Shadowing: Skinned (even if that cover, which I think is the English edition, terrifies me)....more
I'd like to take a moment to thank NetGalley for having this book because I wouldn't have known about it otherwise.Posted on Almost Grown-up: 9/22/11:
I'd like to take a moment to thank NetGalley for having this book because I wouldn't have known about it otherwise. None of my Goodreads friends have added it. Yet.
(Yes, that means I think they should)
Kayla is a Tankborn and now, upon, her fifteenth birthday she has received her Assignment. But it's not what she thought it would be. Not how she's been taught things work. In working for the elderly high-class Trueborn, Zul, Kayla is drawn into a plot that completely subverts everything she's ever known. Everything she's ever been taught. Everything she's ever believed in.
Amid science fiction galore, enduring friendships, and enough romance to make my heart pitter-patter, Kayla and company must race in an alliance fraught with old prejudices to uncover a conspiracy and save innocent lives.
This dystopian novel is well worth the read....more
I hate writing bad reviews. HATE IT. Because I'm very aware that the author has accomplished a difficult featTo be posted on Almost Grown-up: 10/3/11:
I hate writing bad reviews. HATE IT. Because I'm very aware that the author has accomplished a difficult feat: writing a book in the first place. It's not as though she sat down and said "Today, I'm going to write a book that will make readers want to throw it across the room."
But unfortunately that's what was accomplished.
The premise of The Mephisto Covenant sounded really interesting to me. It seems like angels are the new craze and I haven't read many books depicting them, so I was curious about this one.
The first few pages had me really interested with Sasha suspicious of her mother's boyfriend and trying to solve the mystery behind her father's death. If the book had been about that a little bit more I might have been able to get behind it.
Instead, Sasha is quickly lured into the den of the Ravens, a pseudo-cult that worships Eryx. And Jax, a Mephisto, saves her.
But because Sasha is Anabo, when Jax smells her, he's basically in luuuuuuv.
Personally I have never known a smell that powerful. I love the scent of Curve for Men as much as the next girl, but it's never convinced me that I am meant for the guy for eternity. Anyway, the Insta-love (just add destiny!) effect was probably my biggest pet peeve in this book.
It was hard to respect Sasha when internal dialogue called someone the "town ho" and her outer dialogue responded to news with a solemn "That's heavy." Has anyone outside of surfer-dudes used that expression since the seventies? Then there's this awkward bit where Sasha does this "I like Jax, no I don't, no I shouldn't, but I want him, but he's leaving, but I like him, no I don't..." thing that just irritated me beyond belief. (To be fair, for his part, Jax had an equally annoying "I love Sasha, I want to do Sasha, I know better than Sasha, I am so wise, but woe is me for we cannot have the sexy times, and she will never stay conmigo' thing)
And let's not forget the sex scene, which was surprisingly graphic for a YA book. Graphic enough that if the characters weren't teenagers attending high school, I'd say that this didn't belong in the YA category. I had a clue that things were going to take that turn when before the book was even halfway through Jax describes Sasha's "perfect pink nipples." (And then I vommed in my mouth because it was so awkward)
Which he saw because he popped into the dressing room without permission while she was changing. Which is totally okay. And going on her Facebook without permission to look at her wall and private messages is okay too. Because, y'know, it's for her own good.
You guys, honestly I had so many problems with this book, I think I'm just going to bullet some of them (already went over a few but...)
Inconsistencies Graphic sex in YA Insta-love Gratuitous assumptions that all members of a gender think the same way Man knows best mentality Unrealistic dialogue Characters that fall flat
Rating: 1/5. If it wasn't for wanting to finish it for a more accurate review, there is absolutely no way I would have finished reading this book. However, I can see it being pretty popular because Insta-love tends to be....more
I want to appreciate this cover for a second. Because even though it pretty much has nothing to do with this book, it is gorgPosted to Almost Grown-up
I want to appreciate this cover for a second. Because even though it pretty much has nothing to do with this book, it is gorgeous. I especially love how the redhead's hair matches the raining autumn leaves. And even though Izzie is described in the first few paragraphs as having "dark hair," I really love this cover. It makes you think you're going to read this really poetic romance.
That's not the story that I read though. In fact, I think the cover was the best part of this book.
I really like the legend of Tristan and Isolde. The myth is layered with complicated emotions of love and betrayal and heartache. Tris & Izzie does not have things like emotions to clutter it.
Not that they're not supposed to, you understand. But everything about this book just felt flat.
I didn't connect to a single character. Not a one. Not even Izzie, and since the book is written a close first person narrated by Izzie, that was especially disappointing. Forgiveness is granted in the blink of an eye, complicated emotions happen in a heartbeat and nothing develops-- it simply is.
The world-building just didn't make a great deal of sense. I don't want to spoil things for you if you decide to read it, but a great deal of things are explained away in a manner that just didn't feel plausible. Magic is kept a secret from non-magic folk seemingly by dumb luck and yet the need for secrecy is impressed upon the reader time and time again. It didn't add up.
The major problem with this book can be summed up in three little words: "told, not shown." Characters shouldn't have to spell out exactly what they're feeling and doing. Things should be nuanced, body language should communicate, moods should be set, pacing should express how the action and timing are perceived. I didn't get that here. It felt like I was being talked down to... or talked at, even. The writing in general seemed to be dumbed down: as though that was what the Young Adult audience has to mean, but if you're even reading this blog, I'm sure you already know that not to be the case.
I think the author had a great idea modernizing Tristan and Isolde. Unfortunately, I don't think she followed through on it very well.
To be honest, I was dreadfully bored while reading this book and it was supposed to be a thrilling romance and adventure. At least it wasn't a long book.
Rating: 1/5. It wasn't the worst book I ever read, but I was very disappointed by it after looking forward to reading it. Exciting premise. Major let down....more
Warning: I’m going to spend the majority of this review talking about how much I love Avry of Kazan in this review. She wasPosted to Almost Grown-up:
Warning: I’m going to spend the majority of this review talking about how much I love Avry of Kazan in this review. She was such a goddamn refreshing heroine.
First of all, it was a nice switch to read someone who is a little closer to my age (not that I’m complaining about those who aren’t). Avry is twenty years old and she and the other Healers have all split up to run from persecution. They are all sentenced to death if caught because they won’t cure the plague.
Because the only way they can cure it ensures their own death.
But the rest of the Fifteen Realms don’t understand that.
Still, Avry can’t help but heal a sick child, which leads to her capture and a death sentence until Kerrick and his crew free her to cure someone else of the plague.
And then we start to really get to know her. She’s smart, clever, and funny. She notices an attractive man, but doesn’t waste away pining for one. And one of my favorite things about her?
She doesn’t require saving. She takes care of that herself most of the time using her powers, her clever mind, and a little bit of patience.
I liked the other characters too. Most of the time. Kerrick starts out as something of a d-bag, but eventually, after a lo-o-o-ot of people talk some sense into him, even he grew on me. The young, former pickpocket Flea was among my favorites, never failing to pull a smile from me.
Snyder’s writing isn’t entirely typical of a fantasy novel. We’re not bashed over the head with “my lords and ladies” ad infinitum, but I loved that. It made for easy, pleasant reading.
Snyder’s world-building confused me every now and then– there was so much to learn. I mean… duh, Fifteen Realms? But I got a hold on and it then I appreciated how well she’d done with it.
Overall rating: 4/5. A great fantasy read with a refreshing heroine. Definitely give this one a read....more
After all of the hype, I anticipated that I was going to feel one of two ways about Tempest: I thought I would either want tPosted to Almost Grown-up:
After all of the hype, I anticipated that I was going to feel one of two ways about Tempest: I thought I would either want to rave wildly about how much I loved it or I was going to want to chuck the book against the wall. Fortunately, since I was reading on my Kindle, I didn’t experience the latter feeling. But I didn’t run into the former either.
I didn’t connect with the story as I held out hope for, mostly because I didn’t really grow to connect with Jackson or Holly. They both felt a little flat to me. Jackson, for instance seemed to have a typical college boy attitude: not overly mushy, a little offensive at times– but he’s well-read, majoring in Poetry, rich, can waltz, and oh yeah– happens to be able to time travel. I couldn’t make myself believe it. And Holly– well, honestly, when she wasn’t on the page, I wasn’t itching to see her. When a romance is really working for me, I always want to see the two characters together and that wasn’t the case here.
I was far more interested in the theory of time travel, which, yes, could be a bit confusing at times. But hey, it’s time travel. Nothing about that sounds simple. Unless maybe you’re the Doctor. I felt that as the plot moved along, Cross cleared things up pretty well. We discover how it works right along with Jackson.
A few scenes tugged at my heartstrings. Those were largely the ones that were family-oriented and dealt with Jackson’s relationship with his father and his deceased twin sister. That’s when I actually felt a brief connection with Jackson.
As for the plot, I’ll be honest, that I enjoyed. Most of you know that Summit Entertainment has already purchased the film rights for Tempest and I think it’s going to be really fun if it’s carried out well. Tempest was packed with scenes that action, science fiction, and romance lovers would all love.
Overall rating: 3/5. Didn’t love it, didn’t hate it, but ultimately wound up enjoying the story. Looking forward to the movie someday because I definitely intend to see it. ...more
Talk about a kick in the pants. I read this after a series of “meh” books, and it was just what I needed.
Jennifer Lynn Barnes’s latest starts off with a bang. Her main character, Kali D’Angelo, is in the midst of hunting down some demons– in particular, hellhounds. She’s catching them on her other days.
Because you see, every other day, Kali is safe and the demons are safe from her. Her blood doesn’t cry out for a kill, she doesn’t instinctively understand how to use weapons, and she’s pretty much a normal teenager, with a dad who’s more physically than emotionally present. The only danger in her human days comes from a hero complex and an overconfidence that she’s gained from those “other days,” which is how Every Other Day really gets the ball rolling plot-wise.
Kali and the supporting cast made me giggle a lot. Kali herself has a sort of dry wit and the girl that befriends her, Skylar is so bubbly it’s impossible not to smile to yourself when you’re reading her scenes.
I enjoyed Barnes switching my expectations around on me– that the “popular girl” would be completely self-centered and that the first cutie-pie we see would be Kali’s love interest. It’s not often that I’m so certain that I’m right about something, but I liked being wrong in this case.
My major complaint comes from the world-building. Every Other Day’s universe raised some questions for me. I felt as though I didn’t really understand how things got to be the way that they were and I would have appreciated if that had been explained a little more with some backstory. I was confused about it more than once.
This book was action-packed which occasionally made for some “WHAT JUST HAPPENED?!” moments, but largely made for a quick and exciting read.
Overall rating: 4/5. I don’t usually read a lot of urban fantasy, but I might have to make an effort to do so because Every Other Day had me from start to finish....more
I confess, I made the mistake of judging a book by its cover before I began reading The Unbearable Book Club for UnsinkablePosted to Almost Grown-up:
I confess, I made the mistake of judging a book by its cover before I began reading The Unbearable Book Club for Unsinkable Girls by Julie Schumacher. The lovely pool water, the casually tan legs, the cute nail polish and a book. I assumed that I was going off on a journey with a totally light novel. I was slightly mistaken.
In addition to a certain degree of lightness and humor, Julie Schumacher delivers a novel of surprising depth in The Unbearable Book Club for Unsinkable Girls.
Narrator Adrienne, alongside classmates CeeCee, Jill, and Wallis have found themselves completing their summer reading assignments in a Mother-Daughter book club. The girls have virtually nothing in common beyond the fact that they’ll all be taking AP English next year as Juniors. The novel is Adrienne’s essay, defining literature analysis terms with each chapter that I myself first learned beginning in my AP English class junior year.
Adrienne draws parallels from the required reading to her own life. A voracious reader, it was therefore easy for me to draw my own parallels from my thoughts to hers. One of my favorite moments is when she says:
“To me, a recently read novel was like a miniature planet: only a few hours earlier I had been breathing its air and living contentedly among its people”*
There are a ton of laugh-out-loud moments found in the interactions of the girls. CeeCee’s attitude, in particular, surprised a laugh from me more than once. Adrienne’s description of some of the other girls and people also had me giggling. Every time she said that Wallis “growled” some dialogue, I couldn’t help but snicker imagining someone growling out a perfectly ordinary phrase.
This isn’t a book about boys. Honestly, it’s not even really a book about friendships because I doubt CeeCee, Jill, Adrienne, and Wallis will ever truly talk to each other again now that the summer and the book club are over. It’s about connecting. Adrienne connects with the other girls, with the literature, with her mom. And I found my eyes welling up with tears over it because the book connected with me.
Overall rating: 4/5. Humor, depth, books, and connectivity. I can’t say I’d ask for much more.
*Note: quote is from a review copy and may have changed...more
Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown unfolds the tale of Calder White, a merman with three sisters. Despite Calder’s preferePosted to Almost Grown-up:
Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown unfolds the tale of Calder White, a merman with three sisters. Despite Calder’s preference for warm waters, he is pulled north to migrate to Lake Superior with them every year. But this year is different. This year, they have a previous target in mind.
One of my favorite parts of reading a mermaid novel continues to be discovering the author’s interpretation of mermaids. Calder and his sisters are what amounts to energy vampires. They seduce their prey and drag them down to the floor of whatever body of water they happen to be in, and suck positive emotions away. Essentially, they suck the life right out of them. There’s more, of course, but the rules and secrets of mermaids are revealed as the plot of Lies Beneath progresses and I wouldn’t want to spoil any of that for you.
There are also moments in Lies Beneath that strongly reminded me of The Little Mermaid. Only… the positions of the male and female were reversed. Still, those small moments made me chuckle to myself in my reading of the novel.
Lies Beneath has many of the typical hallmarks of a paranormal romance. Boy is overprotective and undeservedly jealous. Boy has to resist killing girl. Girl unravels boy’s secret and ignores danger.
And ummm… girl is an English aficionado… Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the poetry sprinkled throughout Lies Beneath, but it only enforced the stereotypes of paranormal romance that I already had in mind.
And those are ordinarily factors that would have me write a book off. But I think what saved Lies Beneath from that fate for me was the fact that we see the paranormal romance from the male point of view this time.
Calder’s conflicts didn’t quite excuse the obvious issues that he as a love interest presented, but being in his head for the novel made all the difference. I suspect that if the positions were reversed– if Lies Beneath had been through Lily’s eyes instead, I’d have quickly grown irritated with both her and Calder. As it was, when Calder is trying to impress upon her the danger she and her family are in and she says something about “Ariel,” I totally understood Calder’s frustration– I wanted to shake Lily myself.
Greenwood Brown’s Lies Beneath also has subplots of Calder’s history and current desire to free himself from from the “school of fish” that is his family. The climax is gripping and brings the story to a satisfying conclusion.
I’d recommend Lies Beneath for fans of mermaids and paranormal romances. Even those former fans of paranormal romance who have grown tired of the cliches of the genre may enjoy this refreshing take, as I know I did.
Overall rating: 3.5/5. More enjoyable than most paranormal romances for me, I quite enjoyed the mermaids in Lake Superior in Anne Greenwood Brown’s Lies Beneath....more
Romantic comedy and chick-lit used to be my genres of choice, so I’m not sure exactly how I let it become so long since readPosted to Almost Grown-up:
Romantic comedy and chick-lit used to be my genres of choice, so I’m not sure exactly how I let it become so long since reading my last one. I’m not about to hop off the Young Adult train, but Carrie Goes Off the Map was a nice change from the usual.
Carrie is all set to get married to her fiance, Huw. He, unfortunately, has different ideas and dumps her on the night of his stag party. Months later, Carrie hears that Huw has rebounded quite easily and is getting married– that very day. So she hatches a plan for a getaway on a camper trip, though Huw’s old friend Matt wasn’t who she originally planned to bring along.
Phillipa Ashley has a terrifically funny voice. I found myself giggling out loud at Carrie, her antics, and her nicknames for people and at Matt’s behavior– there’s one scene when he’s shouting at the television in particular that stood out in my mind.
Also, confession time? I have a total weakness for romances where a character is obviously trying to fight off an attraction to another and Carrie Goes Off the Map fits the bill in that respect. Matt’s a pretty stand-up guy: a sexy doctor (rawr), but he saw Carrie in one of her worst moments and she seems to determined to hate him. I loved when she finally gave up on that. Yes, romantic comedies can be a bit predictable, but who doesn’t enjoy the ride of a romance?
I really liked how both Carrie and Matt don’t want to jump into a relationship to start off. Okay, I suppose really I liked that Carrie didn’t jump into one. Matt’s a little bit more of a “wild stallion” (and yes, I am as much in disbelief that I tried to pull off using that term as you are.). Carrie just got out of a really serious relationship, and she understandably explores some options first.
Overall rating: 4/5. Overall, a romance that left me grinning with the added bonus of Brits. I’ll be happy to explore more by Phillipa Ashley in the future....more
Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill was one of those titles that was on the tip of everyone’s tongue this year, whispered alongsidPosted to Almost Grown-up:
Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill was one of those titles that was on the tip of everyone’s tongue this year, whispered alongside Stephanie Perkins and the famed Anna and the French Kiss.
While I can’t say that Meant to Be toppled Anna at the top of my list, it was a novel that I greatly enjoyed.
This was largely due to the connection I felt to the main character, Julia. Because for real, Julia is now on my fictional BFFs list. That may be a little narcissistic of me because when I tell you that Julia is like… a magnified version of me (especially teen me), I speak the truth. It was a refreshing change to read a book and see a character behaving so much like I would in her situations.
There’s also the bonus factor of an English setting. With Julia and Jason, I got to go romping about the country and historical sites. I got the thrill of rule-breaking without actually having to break any rules as I grinded my teeth with worry that they’d get into trouble with their teacher.
Jason was an ultimately loveable character and certainly managed to make me swoon in spades, even if I began the novel loathing him as much as Julia initially did.
And by the time the novel came to a close, I was grinning from ear to ear at it.
To sum up: If, like I did, you keenly felt the absence of a Stephanie Perkins swoonfest this year, Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill may help you ease the pain....more
I didn’t realize at first that Sisters of Glass was a novel written in verse. Some might find this a point against its favorPosted to Almost Grown-up:
I didn’t realize at first that Sisters of Glass was a novel written in verse. Some might find this a point against its favor, but for me, it was a point for it. I’ve never been a fan of poetry– I respect it as an art form, of course, but my tastes don’t tend toward it in reading or writing. Instead, I thought it read as smooth, but simplistic prose.
I was taken in by Luca and his attitude toward Maria. He didn’t treat her as delicately as the rest of the family and considering how trapped she feels, I don’t blame her for falling for him.
It’s certainly an easy and quick read, and I felt swept along by the prettiness of it all. Venice, glassblowing, art, lovely singing… it’s easy to fall into if you’re a romantic as I am.
My largest problems with the novel were that I felt Maria’s sister Giovanna or “Vanna” to have the wildest behavioral shifts. She went from loving to sneering and back to loving without any explanation. I didn’t feel like I could trust her when she was suddenly nice again.
My other major problem was that everything at the end was tied up very conveniently and with very little fuss. It felt totally unrealistic and I didn’t buy it. No one’s feelings got hurt and it was just… too easy.
Overall rating: 3/5. A quick read and well-suited for someone looking to dip their toe into the pool of verse novels....more
Seraphina by Rachel Hartman was one of my first dragon books.
I mean… I’m a fantasy nut and obviously I’ve seen them mentionePosted to Almost Grown-up:
Seraphina by Rachel Hartman was one of my first dragon books.
I mean… I’m a fantasy nut and obviously I’ve seen them mentioned before. Toyed around with, even. Tamora Pierce focuses a bit on them in her Immortals quartet, but those books are a distant memory; it’s been some time since I’ve read those novels. So when Tamora Pierce blurbed Seraphina and I found out about the dragons, it was no-brainer for me: it would be a book that I’d be reading come hell or high water.
And I highly recommend that you do the same.
It’s true that the beginning was sort of slow-going for me. Hartman takes her time in setting up the world and the current circumstances of it. Dragons, due to their supposed unfeeling nature and their cold approach to the world around them, put me off a bit. And Seraphina, maybe due to a similar reason and her necessity to distance herself from others, was also hard for me to relate to at first.
And yes, there were also a couple of aspects of Seraphina’s abilities that weren’t quite believable to me. I don’t want to spoil it for you by telling you what those were, but the longer we were entrenched in them, the harder I found it to move on and engross myself in the story. They were necessary to the plot, but personally I couldn’t make myself believe them… even in a fantasy novel.
BUT… you guys, this is important: we moved on from there, away from those things. And I was able to fall into Rachel Hartman’s fascinating world. The politics and religion of her novel entranced me. This idea of the prejudices between humans and dragons and the tenuous peace between them made me just as nervous as some of the characters. How could either side be trusted?
A major theme of the series is love. Dragons are incapable of it in their natural state and, though not a dragon, Seraphina is extremely wary of it, particularly the romantic brand of it. Emotions themselves are explored as well largely through the dragons who take human form and try to acclimate themselves to the emotions that come with it. Through the events in the novel, Seraphina comes to understand that love is not something that should be looked down on because it is linked to so many things, such as her art: her music.
Art is not something that the dragons really understand because it is something that is driven by passion. Though sometimes performances are technically perfect, they lack that extra something. But that something is a gift that Seraphina was born with. She has a natural aptitude for music and Hartman’s descriptions of her playing are something to marvel at. They make you float right along as though you’re there to hear the performance itself.
And soon enough you’ll feel that way about all of the events in Seraphina as well.
Overall rating: 4/5. With explorations of love while a character comes to terms with what it means to be oneself, Seraphina by Rachel Hartman has the makings of an excellent fantasy series.
P.S. Be sure not to miss the prequel story The Audition! ...more
I started reading Saving June during November, also known as National Novel Writing Month. I was trying to keep up with my TPosted on Almost Grown-up:
I started reading Saving June during November, also known as National Novel Writing Month. I was trying to keep up with my TBR to a certain extent and was sure that with the monkey of an unfinished novel on my back, I’d be finishing Saving June later. Much later. But then something happened.
I was sucked in.
The book opens on a very sad note. It’s the day of June’s funeral. We learn a little bit about her through her sister, Harper, who is both a likable and realistic protagonist. June was the golden child, the one who did well in school and would listen to her divorced parents and go to the State school, even though she’s always dreamt of Berkeley and California.
Now, the idea of what was once June sitting on a mantel, stuck in their hometown forever doesn’t work for Harper. She decides to trek across the country and take June where she’s never been, but always wanted to go: California. It’s her last chance to “Save June.”
There are so many things about this book that I loved.
It was definitely a tear-jerker. I mean obviously when someone loses a family member– a close family member, like a sister, there are going to be a lot of emotions to deal with. There’s grief, tears, and anger, but the way that Hannah Harrington wrote Saving June, it’s so realistic. At first, it’s all Harper can think about or focus on, but as life goes on, her attention winds up elsewhere. But the grief still sucker-punches her from time to time.
One of those sucker punches comes in the form of music during the road trip, which is another thing that I loved about this novel. Music isn’t just mentioned; instead, all kinds of music are an integral part of the book. My copy (unsure if it’s in the final since it was a galley) even had a few official playlists for Saving June. There are the fun little moments where ABBA gets some play time, but my favorite parts were when we really see the power that music has to speak to our souls.
But as for the fun? This book also has that in spades. There’s the road trip (who doesn’t love one?), the bickering between Jake and Harper (I have a serious thing for love-hate relationships… I couldn’t get enough of those two), and the friendship between Harper and her best friend, Laney…
Oh. That friendship. I LOVE that friendship. Laney and Harper are actually good friends to each other. It’s not one of those horrible back-stabby kinds of friendship that pop up way too often in YA Lit. They’ve both got some serious issues and they have each other’s backs. It’s that simple, but it is a beautiful friendship. I think you’ll love this. I know I did. I can’t wait to see more from Hannah Harrington.
Rating: 4/5. This was an amazing debut novel. Hell, this was an amazing novel, full stop. If you’re looking for an emotional contemporary read, be sure to pick up a copy of Saving June. I think fans of Sarah Dessen especially will love this one....more
I thought that New Girl and I were going to click easily. I didn’t read Paige Harbison’s prior work, but I’m a fan of her moPosted to Almost Grown-up:
I thought that New Girl and I were going to click easily. I didn’t read Paige Harbison’s prior work, but I’m a fan of her mother’s and hoped that the talent ran in the family.
And when we started off, things looked fairly promising. The main character, “New Girl” (for we don’t know her by any other name until the end of the novel) is off to a boarding school from St. Augustine. She’d once been eager to attend, but now that she’s a senior in high school, she’d much rather stay and enjoy the last year before college. But her parents are so excited about being able to do this for her that off she goes to a school where almost everyone seems to hate her.
New Girl is based on a gothic novel called Rebecca and I will absolutely give this to Paige Harbison: she nailed the gothic tone perfectly.
But unfortunately, the biggest message that I took away from this novel was that people are batshit crazy. New Girl seems to hold onto her sanity the longest, but the guy she likes is RATHER douchey, her best friend back home turns into a jerk, the missing girl Becca is a snob, and her roommate is the craziest of them all.
And I therefore didn’t like ANYONE which made it difficult to enjoy their story.
Overall rating: 2.5/5. I regret to say that I found this one a disappointment. Great tone, but little to no character depth....more
Helloooooo protagonist that I loved. You hear that Jordan Woods? I love you. I want to be your best friend. We can braid eacPosted to Almost Grown-up:
Helloooooo protagonist that I loved. You hear that Jordan Woods? I love you. I want to be your best friend. We can braid each others hair and do our nails– erm. I mean we can drink Slurpees and you can try to teach me about football. And we can even curse like you so love to do. Please continue being awesome.
Jordan Woods is used to being one of the guys. She plays football, she’s an All-American player, and the captain of her team. Her best friends are all boys. Her dad, an NFL player, is the only one who doesn’t seem to get who she is: a serious athlete. He wants her to be a lady. And Jordan’s never had any urge to do that girly stuff like dress up until a new guy joins the team.
And I was right there with her at first. Ty is gorgeous and sweet and is paying attention to Jordan in a non-douchebaggy way. He’s ignoring the mean cheerleader that gets a kick out of bad-talking Jordan. And he treats Jordan like the great player she is. He was winning me over just as surely as he won her.
But then… can I just say that I totally saw this love triangle coming? But I could not have been happier about how it went. Oh HENRY. I could have cheered (erm– thrown a Hail Mary? I don’t know enough about sports to make jokes like these). I had a big stinking crush on him. I thought for a while that Jordan would just stick with Ty, but love that she turned to her biffle in the end. Though, if I’m honest, I didn’t think making Henry into a manslut was an utter necessity.
Jordan has real and enduring friendships with her teammates, which I also loved. Yes, Henry’s a bit of a stinker part of the time for obvious reasons, but JJ and Carter are awesome guys and totally realistic. Plus, Jordan manages to finally connect with some girls as well.
The storyline outside of the immediate team was also wonderful. Jordan is trying to prove herself to her dad and the collegiate football community. She wants them to see that she is more than just a gender label, grows to be more than a player and finds outside interests, and it all comes full-circle to an ending that gave me the warm fuzzies.
Overall rating: 4/5. A wonderful contemporary read that made me eager to keep reading. I can hardly wait for the companion novels....more
I needed this book. I needed it in a way that I didn’t even KNOW that I needed it. Which kind of works because Hadley and OlPosted to Almost Grown-up:
I needed this book. I needed it in a way that I didn’t even KNOW that I needed it. Which kind of works because Hadley and Oliver didn’t know that they needed each other either. Because, you see, I was feeling the burn already this year. I’m not referring to an exercise burn (though I AM sticking with those New Year’s resolutions so far). No, I was already going through a book burn-out this year already. Reaching for each new book with a little bit of dread.
But The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight cured me. Because much like the main characters themselves, I very quickly fell in love. In love with Jennifer Smith’s uncanny observations about life and love and the wonderfully realistic characters she created in Hadley and Oliver. In love with her ability to juggle the past with the present and family relationships with romantic ones.
In certain ways Smith’s writing reminded me of Sarah Dessen’s. She creates metaphors that just resound with truth time after time.
I could tell very early into the book that I was going to love it. I was reading with an almost alarming speed, dying to see what would happen next, what adorable quirk Oliver may have or what perfect thing he might say. The beginning stayed true to the rest of the book, never once leaving me with the feeling that it was dragging or moving too fast.
Both Hadley and Oliver are traveling for major events. Hadley sort of needs saving, but the thing that made me love her and Oliver together is that he needs saving too. And then? They wind up saving each other.
The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight may be fiction. But it makes you believe that true love still exists. And that real life fairy tales still happen.
My only complaint? That the book had to end.
Rating: 5/5. Thank you, Jennifer E. Smith for living up to the hype in a big, big way. This one makes my favorites list easily. I can’t wait to read more by this author....more
Confession: I have a soft spot in my heart for southern living. I like country music, cowboy boots, Sweet Home Alabama, soutPosted to Almost Grown-up:
Confession: I have a soft spot in my heart for southern living. I like country music, cowboy boots, Sweet Home Alabama, southern accents, and right this minute I’m watching the new ABC dramedy GCB.
So to a certain extent, my love of a drawled y’all meant that I liked The Queen of Kentucky by Alecia Whitaker.
Ricki Jo (or “Ericka” as she now prefers) is seizing on the chance to reinvent herself as she enters high school and the popular boy “Wolf” would fit perfectly into her plans.
But the thing was, I wasn’t all that fond of “Ericka.” She made a lot of poor decisions when it came to choosing her friends and it truly infuriated me how she’d go back to Wolf over and over again no matter how much of a jerk he was or how much he embarrassed her.
Like her best friend Luke, I preferred “plain old Ricki Jo,” who is a little eager to please, but sweet. She loves her dog and her family. She doesn’t much care for harvesting tobacco, but she’s not a hellion about it either.
When I very deliberately put myself into the shoes into those of a high school freshman, I found Ricki Jo a sympathetic character. I vividly remember my own freshman reinvention; I spoke in a determinedly perky high-pitched voice, going out of my way to fight my reserved nature and be outgoing.
I imagine that younger readers of the genre in their early teenage years will feel the same and sympathize with her. Older readers, like myself, may get distracted from the plot due to an urge to shake some sense into Ricki Jo.
Overall rating: 3/5. Better suited for younger readers, but still an enjoyable read....more