I hate series that never end, that just switch on to the next love story with another character. People better fucking LOVE this and demand that I rea...moreI hate series that never end, that just switch on to the next love story with another character. People better fucking LOVE this and demand that I read it for me to ever invest my time in it.(less)
The Setting - This has to be one of my favorite settings in a book ever! I love motocross (in the past I raced bmx which is bicycle motocross, so bein...moreThe Setting - This has to be one of my favorite settings in a book ever! I love motocross (in the past I raced bmx which is bicycle motocross, so being at a track and in this atmosphere is second nature to me.) When I saw the title for this book, I knew immediately I would have to read it. I thank Cheyanne Young for bringing this setting into the beautiful pages of a book. For those that are afraid that they may not be able to follow this story because of the setting don't fear, the main character Hana doesn't know much about the sport either so you will learn with her.
My Outlook - While I loved the atmosphere, I wasn't ecstatic about the plot. It was entertaining, and I enjoyed this novel, but I found myself face palming often about some of the poor choices Hana made as she is torn between two boys. I can understand her dilemma when presented with two gorgeous but very different men. I still would have liked if she could have seen past some of the superficial glamour and dug a little deeper. Hana became much better and less face palm worthy towards the halfway point (I said less not completely done face palming here.) Basically, I considered Hana like my misguided love struck friend, who needs heavy guidance about what is truly important in life.
Hana has a rough past with her mother. She has been sheltered her whole life, so the whole dating world is kind of foreign to her when her only example has been her mom who is on her fifth husband whose half her age. Hana can't take her mothers behavior any longer and moves in with her dad, and this is where her healthy dose of reality is served (in the form of delicious breakfast burritos.) I loved her stepmother Molly, her father, and her little brother Teig (even if I am not completely confident in how I pronounce his name. Teeg? Maybe?)
Lastly, I love Ash. While he may be quiet, and needs quite a few kick-starts to get him into gear he is lovable and so are the images I have of him in my head. Yum... Anyways, while at some points Hana made me want to rip out my hair, I loved the setting Young brought us in. It is a completely new perspective in YA that I think is very much needed. I wish there would have been more description as the events played out, because I want more. More Ash, and motocross. I would like to know more about her family life after the Nationals race as well. So...if Cheyanne ever decides to write a sequel I will definitely be pouncing on that like a wolf on raw meat. Basically to conclude, Ash has my heart, and you will have to read and find out if he has Hana's as well!
Pick up this lovely novel for an exciting new setting in YA fiction. (less)
This story fell way short for me. I have to say it was okay, nothing special about it, it was just a story. Boring and drawn out. This would have been...moreThis story fell way short for me. I have to say it was okay, nothing special about it, it was just a story. Boring and drawn out. This would have been a great idea for a short story, but it was unevenly paced and just so downright simple. No complexity. The only things I really did enjoy were how factual it was about horses, something I very much enjoy and the setting of being around horses.
I picked this up with the expectations of getting to live in the horse world, and I got that but it fell so flat, too flat for me to even say I liked it. I can only describe it as ehh...okay...I guess. I would not recommend it, unless you were just dying to read it. There is no complexity to the story. Yes our main character Melissa has JRA which would be devastating for someone who just wanted to ride and couldn't hold the reigns.
I felt this book could have been promising. I could have had more interesting and compelling plot twists. Instead it ended exactly the same boring way it started. I was hoping this would be the kind of story that would have more to it than meets the eye, so if you do decide to read this don't make the same mistake I did. She has JRA and she always will, it isn't going to miraculously get better or find a way for her to be able to use her hands.
Another piece of the disappointment was the insta-love quality. So Melissa has been in love with William for forever. She has admired her older brothers best friend from afar. Now all of a sudden he is showing interest in her and telling her he has had feelings for her for forever even though bombshell looking babes throw themselves at him all the time. Apparently he couldn't go after her till she was 16 because he would have looked like a perv to her brothers because he is 18. This part seemed ludicrous to me since they have always been two years apart, but I don't want to nitpick.
One other thing I enjoyed was her step-mother Jenny. She was a nice and positive step-mother something that isn't always portrayed as so. Which was unexpected. I just wish there could be more of those unexpected characters twists. Minus all the self-consciousness and just grow a pair, get out there and make shit happen. Instead of all these random, I am not good enough for him moments. I want a story I read to be more than that! And I don't think that is unfair or unrealistic of me. (less)
I love Ally Carter's series. While intended for younger audiences, I have always found her books witty, eventful, and a great representation of heroin...moreI love Ally Carter's series. While intended for younger audiences, I have always found her books witty, eventful, and a great representation of heroine's that respect themselves and those around them. Perfect role model characters. With how much I love her stories, I wish I could give this book more stars, but I found myself getting lackadaisical about 85% of the way through. I thought I was only halfway (I read the ebook and I wasn't paying attention to the total page number) and I just had to take a break from this story for a day. When I picked it back up, there was only 30 ebook pages left, so I finished it relatively fast.
The reason this didn't make it to 4 or 5 stars is because everything Kat planned was happening behind closed doors. We weren't a part of the decision making process, leaving us totally out of the loop kind of took away some of the excitement that was held in the past two books in this series. Not only were we kept out of the loop but so was Hale! What the heck was that about, he is her partner in crime, if anything is going down, he should know about it.
Lastly, the ending fell really flat. Everything changed so swiftly, and it never felt believable. I mean when the author knows she is going to pull a 180 sometimes they give these really obvious hints, and I think her hint might have been that she just didn't throw her gusto into the last few chapters. Kat became scarily serious and the fact that she was working alone made it so we couldn't pull that fun sense of humor out of her. She was trying to be the big bad wolf for a change and it really didn't suit her. She is the kind of person that plays the passive role, to let the other person think they are winning when really they are way underestimating her, she gives them a devilish smile that says she is smarter than you and cut scene. Big bad wolf role - is usually a failing role. It didn't fit her personality at all she is too smart to play devils advocate.
So, what did I like? I love con-artist stories, so basically the premise of the book is awesome. Kat is robin hood, stealing from the rich and giving to the poor only she steals from the thief and gives it back to the rightful owner. I still love the dialogue, when the crew is talking to one another it never stops being hilarious comments. Some of my favorite quotes...
"Cat in the Cradle?" Gabrielle said. "We don't have Hale,"Hamish said. "You could do it,"Gabrielle challenged. "Do I look like a classically trained violinist to you?" he asked, and Gabrielle didn't broach the subject again. "Then what about Ace's Wild?" Simon said. Angus scooted forward. "With a little Count of Monte Cristo?" "Exactly," Simon said, excited. - Page 62 of 219 (nook ebook) I love the names of the Con's Carter throws into these books. So funny.
"What?" He cut a grin at Kat when he saw the impressed look on her face. "Corporate espionage is my second great passion." "With your first being..." Kat prompted. "Gelato." Hale said and turned back to the group. -page 124 of 219 (nook ebook) - who doesn't love gelato???
"We can find Garrett, right? And he can't sell the prototype if he is...shall we say...tied up?" She gave a self-satisfied smirk. "Gabrielle!" Kat rolled her eyes. "What?" Her cousin looked as innocent as she could possibly be. "We could keep him somplace nice. It will be like a vacation. Or rehab. He might even thank us." "Yeah," Kat mocked. "Thank us...have us arrested for kidnapping...really, they're practically the same thing." - Page 126 of 219 (nook ebook)
"Dad doesn't hate you. He just...well, Dad doesn't hate you anymore than he would any boy who was...a boy." "He doesn't hate the Bagshaws." "The Bagshaws aren't boys. They are bombs with very colorful fuses." "Good to know." - Page 159 of 219 (nook ebook)
Anyways, If you have been reading this series, I think it is worth to read this book too. And I hope she writes a fourth book to this series as well. I want the con's to keep on coming. If you haven't read this series I would recommend it to you if you like the idea of some good old con-artist fun and witty characters.(less)
Very disappointed in this book. I was supposed to feel sad and uplifted at the end, instead I was wondering why this was published by Sourcebooks Fire...moreVery disappointed in this book. I was supposed to feel sad and uplifted at the end, instead I was wondering why this was published by Sourcebooks Fire.
I don't know what is up with me reading such depressing books. When I picked them up they did not sound at all depressing, but low and behold, they left me feeling crap-tastic inside. All those pages of build up...for what? I am still unsure. I think I was supposed to be moved and feel powerful, because the author decided to throw us some bullshit out of left field (baseball analogy - meaning: suddenly, from an unexpected source of direction.) There was so much wrong with this book.
Maybe I hated it so much because it was character driven and not plot driven. We enter Mia's life as she returns to her cousins summer home in the Hampton's after three years. Only her cousin, Corinne (<--- lol that is my mom's name) has changed drastically. She is no longer the carefree child who used to go swimming and play all day long with Mia, she is now the "sophisticated" and "privileged" child of one of the Hampton's elite. She had always been this child, but now she is actually acting the part. So, Mia tries to fit in and do as the Romans do - or in this case the Hamptonians do.
She still feels left out and at times she cannot seem to stand even her own behavior (so why should we as the reader be appealed to this, no idea, because I really wasn't.) Then in comes Simon, with some cliche Gatsby references, and a friendship ensues. As time goes on, he is not only the friend, but he becomes the love interest as well. And that fact was never believable to me, I only ever saw them as friends, and I could not transition into relationship with them. It was just another one of those things that had to be thrown in there to, I don't know, appease YA literature and add romance. So a Summer of Skinny Dipping starts with these two and their budding romance.
Let me mention a few more problems with this book, Simon, is boring, I don't really like him as a person, nor as the character in the book. He is all over the place, not my kind of guy. I can never really get a steady read or emotion from him. So, I don't see how he is trustworthy like is so often mentioned. His father beats him up and then he has a moment with the police (unrelated) and after he feels powerful, because he could have told on his dad, but he didn't, how is this supposed to be positive and a character I can stand behind. Simple answer - I can't stand behind him. Every time they kissed I fought off a cringe. And what the heck was up with the light signals. When he never once declined her and she only did once, but then relented to seeing him anyways, that was just a pointless addition to the story. Her mother, cousins, aunt and uncle were so plain. They only seemed to care about a few things, and really not much else. Mia was not a concern of theirs, otherwise how else would she be able to sneak out every night without anyone's notice. Lastly, the ending. Probably one of the more important parts of the book and it was terrible. Talk about self-growth. Well if all of us in life could have a tragedy happen to us, I am sure we would all be better people for it, but what kind of crap is that. So random and a complete flop.
The only things I did like about, that allow me to give it two stars is the fact that the main character likes to spout facts about everything, and I like that, because I myself do it all the time. (My cousin calls me bing, because it is prettier than google) Anyways, I have a sickness to answer those arbitrary questions people ask, without every expecting someone to answer and so does Mia. Also, her dad was really cool. He was only present in a few scenes and was thought to be pretty blind to what was going on, but I liked that he was more aware than anyone gave him credit for.
So that is all there is to say about The Summer of Skinny Dipping. If you read it, I hope you like it more than I did. If you don't read it, I hope you spend your time reading something wonderful instead, and then be sure to tell me about it so I can read it too! (less)
My initial thoughts- This book is great! The story really draws you in and keeps you there. Such a sad story that really shakes you to the core. Writt...moreMy initial thoughts- This book is great! The story really draws you in and keeps you there. Such a sad story that really shakes you to the core. Written in diary format, the style is different than what I'm used to, but after only a few chapters I found myself immersed in Hannah's story. You feel her hurt and her want to just understand. If only she could grasp just a sliver of her sister Hope (<-- you see what I did there) she could realize what has happened and move forward.
This is a really fast read. I finished in only a few hours. As the story unfolds you just have to keep reading, you want to know what's going to happen next, and you need to know how Hannah is doing. Hoping that she is getting better and praying she will be able to move on. I have never had, nor lost a twin, so I can only imagine the pain it would cause to lose your other half, and I feel Nellenbach did an excellent representation of it in this story.
By the end my emotions were worked, from the end of one love, to the beginnning of a new/old one. Through the twisted lies and hidden secrets, Hannah emerges from the shadow of her lost sister and into her own light. She ends with a new beginning and an understanding of how little others show their true selves and how to trust again.
Characters- Hannah: Seeing as we are reading this story from her diary, I have to say she is an excellent story teller *wink,wink* Even though I don't have any actual experience with this kind of incident, Hannah was very relatable. The girl that lived in her sisters shadow, the girl that was always second best, or an add-on in everyone elses lives. Now she is the main focus, but they still only see her lost sister Hope. It would definitely suck to be identical twins and lose him/her, so that everyone that looks at you is clouded in pain of seeing a person they loved dearly, only it isn't your twin, it's you. I feel for Hannah, that would have been terrible. The story was told so well through her eyes. I feel her struggle.
Hope: I kind of hate her. She seemed to have everything she wanted, but she was depressed and sad underneath it all. Her character honestly seemed unrealistic to me, but then again that depth of depression is hard for me to even comprehend. Overall, I just feel for everyone that was a part of Hope's life, she was adored and loved by so many and she decided to take her life before it really even started.
Julian: Swoon worthy man alert. Hannah and Julian used to be in a relationship, they were the IT couple. Everyone loved them together and I have to say I was loving them together as well. Julian is very supportive to Hannah, he is probably the closest person to her after she loses Hope, and the only one that can truly comfort her in this time of grieving and confusion. He is without a doubt a yummy hearthrob. Can't get enough of him! The book was too short, I need more Julian.
Doug: Is such a good older brother, so sweet. I really enjoyed his part in the book. He had a strong sense of family. He may not have known what to do to help, but he did the best he could.
Overall- Definitely worth the read! You will go through it fast, so if you were on the edge before you mind as well just dive on in! You really get a great story with good character development. The book has stayed with me long after the last page was turned. I look forward to reading more by this author.(less)
A unique and interesting story that draws you in for more. The cover gives a dark and intense vibe, which flows well throughout the novel...moreFirst Take -
A unique and interesting story that draws you in for more. The cover gives a dark and intense vibe, which flows well throughout the novel. Aspen has been emancipated and is on the run from her father. She has had a terribly tragic past and is trying to escape from its shadow.
The Characters -
Aspen is a driven individual. She is hardened by the her past yet still an insecure girl that was robbed of a proper childhood. I would have liked her to grow more, which could only happen if the novel was longer.
Colden was the bright light in this novel. He had a great sense of humor and was exactly what Aspen needed. He was someone she could depend on and after living in foster care that is something she has never had the chance to know.
Elise, while you are an interesting character I was not a fan. I couldn't get over the fact that a true friend would never use their friend to get ahead. She fell into the selfish journalist stereotype for me.
Rick, her father, was a terribly scary man. No one should ever have to deal with a guy like that let alone should a guy like that ever have kids. He was an extremely terrifying villain.
The Plot -
I really liked the direction this novel took. It could have been longer and an overall more developed, but for the length it was, I enjoyed it. A valuable coin isn't always something to kill for but it worked will in this story. The romance as a subplot to me felt forced and could have used a lot of work. While Colden was a great character and so was Aspen when a romance is forced it just doesn't come across as well as it should.
This story gets three stars, for the interesting plot that kept me in tune to the story and the characters that were just living their lives.(less)
WARNING: Reading this book will cause random bouts of laughter. Extreme cravings of Vanilla Ice Cream...moreThis review also appears on Reading to Stay Alive
WARNING: Reading this book will cause random bouts of laughter. Extreme cravings of Vanilla Ice Cream with Rainbow Sprinkles (because they make the world go round) and may endanger Old Lady's walking along the street. Read at your own risk!
The warning is for your own good, I just had to warn you, it's in my nature of being such a wonderful person! This book was amazing and I loved every fun-filled second of it. Click to Subscribe had me with a big grin on my face one moment, to my eyes pooling out this strange salty liquid at the next, only to bring me back around to fits of laughter that can only be described as howling glee.
Told through the male POV of West Ryder, aka Sam Green to all his vlog followers, is just an ordinary teen with an extraordinary tolerance of sugar. He has been dealt a short stick in life, he was really close to his mother and is still mourning over loosing her. Luckily he has his best friend Cat to lend him a shoulder whenever he needs it. And mysterious girl vlog follower Harper to help take the edge off.
When one day they plan to meet, and it turns out that Harper and Cat are the same person. West has to learn to accept that the cyber-girl Harper, he was falling for, and his so-close-of-a-friend-she-is-more-like-a-sister Cat are one in the same. How can he risk loving someone so close to him like Cat? He is terrified of what loosing her would mean for his life if they didn't work out. Needless to say, West is going through a whole heck of a lot and be prepared for this stories epic and bumpy ride!
My only complaint is that I want more! It would have been awesome to read more about his vlog in the beginning, what he talks about and what other kinds of followers he has. He is obsessed with Harper, and that is really what drives the story so it is understandable that it revolves around their conversations, I would have just liked a little more West or his alias Sam Green, to add layers and depth to his character.
Anyways, I loved every minute of it. West is fun and refreshing a male main character with a sensitive side, and confident enough in himself to pull it off. He was such a relatable character. It was beautiful to be in the mind of West and to feel what he felt. I couldn't get enough of him. I felt so bad for what happened to his mom and how his life was crumbling apart. Yet he had such a light and refreshing personality that just kept me wanting more, page after page.
And lets face it, Cat is the BOMB. She is what females strive to be! Nice, beautiful, kind, forgiving, and knows how to go after what she wants. [beach scene ;) I know what you were trying to do Cat you naughty devil!] <--- forgive me, but you will understand once you read it! And that is exactly what you should do right now, go read it!
Thank you Sel from Bookcase to Heaven and L.M. Augustine for allowing me to be a part of the Click to Subscribe tour. The book was wonderful and I loved every minute of it!
^^^^ I had to add it! It's almost as good as the book!
Suddenly Royal is sweet, charming and a bit predictable. I mean what can you expect from a fairy tale...moreThis review also appears on Reading to Stay Alive
Suddenly Royal is sweet, charming and a bit predictable. I mean what can you expect from a fairy tale. The writing was good not great and definitely improved from the first third of the book to the end, bringing it from a solid three stars to four. Nichole Chase didn't focus on the petty aspects of love and jealousy. This was a real, simple and to the point love story. With reluctance of new love, and acceptance of a new role or chapter in life.
I love Chadwick and many other supporting characters. I thought I would hate Bert in the beginning, (because lets face it, who loves Bert but Ernie,) but in the end I found he was one of my favorite characters even though we only get to see him a few times in the novel. Jess was also a fantastic supporting character too, much better than Cathy.
While Prince Yummy aka Alex was a great male lead, that any woman that loves men would swoon for and I admit I did swoon a little, he was just too perfect for my taste. I mean he never put any pressure on Sam, which is great in our fantasy worlds where it rains candy, but because of that I lost some of my realism in the book and couldn't quite become as absorbed in the characters as I would have wanted. I wish I could have had more dramatics with him. He had the potential to be so much more than just Sam's love interest and future king with a big..."bath tub." <--- if you decide to read it you will understand. Also I was disappointed that none of the story is told from his POV. When I read the description and it talked about him, I assumed I would be reading a bit through his eyes, obviously not the case. The whole story is told through Samantha.
Sam, was a great character and since I found out this was a series I hope it still includes her because I would love to see what she does next. I want to believe she will be getting back to some of the life she lived in Minnesota before she became a Duchess, but in Suddenly Royal she was more focused on her new duties, so she didn't have time for it her normal routine and life. Which I understood, that was part of her sacrifice when she decided to take her title, but I still felt like she might have let becoming a duchess change her personality, instead of her being herself. Either way I enjoyed her character the MN grad student, and the Duchess of Rousseau from Lilaria.
Speaking of Minnesota, thank you Nichole Chase for writing the first novel I have ever read that makes me smile instead of cringe at the people from the state or the description of it. While you did not talk much about my beloved state of MN I loved every piece you did write about it, which is hard to do since I am naturally a very critical person! And thank you for adding nature. I love the necklace she was given and the tiara with the vines she wore. I wish I had both of those pieces!
Overall this is a good story that is worth the few hours that it takes to read. I was pleasantly happy. It is a new adult book so expect some more erotic scenes, but I am thankful that it wasn't an all out sex-book with dirty situations on every page. While that may disappoint some of you readers out there I thought it was brilliant, because it wasn't so involved in sex and spankings that it lacked in the actual story. If you are interested in the more naughty scenes I can tell you there are only a few but they are definitely hot and steamy.
I would recommend you read it. A nice light story, that you will laugh about, that gets hot and steamy and makes you cry your eyes out. (less)
This book is one of the best books I have read in a long time. Realistic fiction that is actually bel...moreThis review also appears on Reading to Stay Alive
This book is one of the best books I have read in a long time. Realistic fiction that is actually believable. Samantha Reed is a heroine that you can be proud of. You understand her love, her trust and her pain when she is put in one of the most difficult situations I can imagine. She is honest, and brave, the kind of heroine you want to be like yourself.
Jase Garrett, probably one of the most adorable and handsome male leads of all time. He puts all the bad boys to shame by making them look exactly that, like boys. No girl could ever resist him, even if they are not into the good guy type. He is perfect, literally perfect in every way. Just the thought of him climbing up my terrace at night makes my heart flutter and skip a few beats.
The reason that their love is kept a secret at the start is because Sam's mom is very strict. She has looked over at her neighbors for the last ten years and seen constant mess. Sam's mother expects things to be held to a very high standard and the Garrett's fall far, far, far below that standard. So when their relationship starts Sam keeps it to herself, even hiding it from her so called best friend. Which you might be able to imagine is weird if you are a Garrett and everything is out in the open, and it is even acceptable to engage in mild PDA in front of your parents.
Basically, Mrs. Garrett and Mr. Garrett are the parents that you should have, the ones that love you for who you are and accept that teenagers will be teenagers. Another bonus is that this book had great length. Most realistic fiction, romance YA's top out around 300 pages but this one is almost to the 400's. It made it there without ramblings and drawn out thoughts. It was beautifully written and artfully crafted. The plot had me questioning what could possibly go wrong but not in a way that was unplanned and just thrown in there. There was a lot of depth and thought put into the steps each character will take that lead us straight through to the end.
The only thing that I was dissatisfied with was the last ten pages or so, because it was not as magnificent as the whole story. I felt I was left a little hanging on the ending, but that is my inner greediness asking for more and more. Because, truthfully, that is what you will be asking, you will want more of Sam and Jase, more of the assisting characters, George, Duff, Alice and especially Tim. Everyone played an important role and it was all purposeful not just thrown in as a space filler. I love this book and as I have to return this ARC I will be in Barnes and Noble on June 14th purchasing my own copy of My Life Next Door so I can read it for years and years to come.
I anticipate many great novels from Huntley Fitzpatrick. This was a beautiful debut and I hope I hear more about when her next novel will be released very soon. Her name is definitely a name to remember, and will certainly be on the best sellers list.(less)
This book wasn't the worst book I ever read. I mean, I know that isn't a compliment because I have read some stinkers out there.The reason I bought this book was because I was going through a YA realistic fiction phase. Which turned into an army YA realistic fiction phase. I can't explain why I was going through that phase because to be honest I don't think I have read a book that dealt with the army before that I fell head over heals for. But nevertheless I felt the need to seek out all army related YA. So I came across this one, and I was intrigued by the fact that we would be getting to read the story through a male POV.
I also read so many great things about this book before even buying my anticipation grew higher and higher. I even accidentally bought like 4 copies of the book, and it was all because I kept canceling the order and re-ordering the book, anyways that is a different story entirely, the bottom line being, anticipation was skyrocketing the longer I waited.
So I finally started reading it and it was...ohh-kaaaay. Have you ever had the experience where you are reading from a female perspective and she really likes some guy lets call him Thor, so your reading this book and there is a girl who is so into Thor. He is what makes her wheels on the bus go round *raises eyebrows* if you know what I mean. Well we let the story play out and her and Thor have some really cute tender moments together, you are thinking, oh wow this is so cute! It is going to actually happen for her, yay! Well then skanky ho-face comes in and sleeps with Thor. You don't know it has happened until Thor tells you on a road trip where you have no way to escape Thor, thus you are trapped with him till end of road trip. Doesn't it always suck when your protagonist has to go through that! Well try reading it from Thor's perspective and it is WORSE. I was really bored with this story. I couldn't believe I had to sit in the mind of this jack-weasel make excuses for why he would sleep with skanky ho-face who happens to be dating THORS brother!
Anyways so if you like the "hypothetical" situation I have laid out for you, I would strongly recommend this book to you! But it you detest people with no-self worth who try to make up for it, but they still suck monkey dung. Then I would suggest avoiding this book like the plague.
Can I also add that there was zero plot. The writing didn't suck that is the only reason it gets 1 star. (less)
There is something so poetic about this cover, so fitting to the novel it embraces. A simple foot tes...moreThis review also appears on Reading to Stay Alive
There is something so poetic about this cover, so fitting to the novel it embraces. A simple foot testing the water, shy and reserved. Just like our main character, Maggie.
McBride wastes no time getting the story started. Six best friends, all together enjoying each others company. Maggie is dared to jump off the cliff into the gorge below. She is terrified of heights, but is determined to do it this time, with her boyfriend, Joey, right by her side. Her and Joey have been together for two years, and when they make it to the top of the cliff, they share some sweet moments together. Then it comes time to jump, a moment of hesitation causes Joey to tumble off the cliff in a very wrong way. Turning six seemingly perfect lives turn into five broken fragments of life.
Joey's gone and he leaves a handful of questions in his wake. To top it all off, Maggie can't remember what happened at the top of that cliff, those last moments gone from shock. As she struggles to remember what happened up there, she uncovers secrets that threaten to shatter the perfect image of the Joey she has known and loved.
Overall, I was interrupted by the novel and the concept of dealing with the boy who once stood so high on the pedestal that you turn blind to all their faults. This story brings us down to our own human nature, exploring the lines of love, betrayal, friendship and trust.
There are a few problems that I came across while reading this novel. To start the story seemed unrealistic. Another issue was the fact that the novel was very predictable, which I wish it had less of because this is the kind of story that could have really surprised you along the way without all of the hints. The last thing I will pick on is the fact that that their always has to be the fairy-tale perfect ending, where the protagonist can do no wrong and she gets to walk away with the prince in the end.
To conclude I did very much enjoy this story as a quick breezy read. I liked that all the questions were answered in the end. I wasn't left wanting or feeling cheated. Another positive is that the book took very little time to read, no more than three hours. I give credit to McBride who knew her point and made it without lagging behind.
Three words to describe One Moment-Capturing, fast-paced, and genuine.(less)
This book was really not what I would have expected. I did enjoy the story, don't get me wrong, I mea...moreThis review also appears on Reading to Stay Alive
This book was really not what I would have expected. I did enjoy the story, don't get me wrong, I mean the characters are writers in the book, so it pretty much sums up what I love. However, the development of interest between Hunter and Erin didn't really fit for me. I never was really able to believe that they had a mutual connection in one another before their English class ever began.
I really loved Jennifer Echols Such a Rush, and to me, this one just was not up there at the same level. This book was still really good, and I recommend it. But something about it, just did not fit with me. >
The positives...I loved the idea of a former rich girl actually working to make her living. From the sounds of it she really worked extremely hard to get her paycheck. Also, when she went back home to visit she took care of her own horse, got it ready to ride and everything, that was really cool, it kind of enforced that she did things herself even when she was a rich girl. Another positive, Hunter had a great personality, I loved his sarcastic, smarter than though approach. Lastly, one of my favorite positives was the American Indian man in class, that particularly hated everything that Erin wrote, he was hilarious and I loved it. I am sorry I do not remember his name, but I remember it was kind of long and I believe it started with an S, anyways when you read the story you will know EXACTLY who I am talking about.
The Negatives, I think I have done a pretty good job covering these, I just really did not believe the relationship between Hunter and Erin. Even when they went back home, it just seemed unrealistic to me.
Overall, I would like to say that this was a good book, with great characters, and plot development. Echols certainly knows how to write a book, she even knows how to write books within a book. I very much enjoyed all the aspects and twists this story had to offer. One thing that might have pushed this book over the top for me and made it really spectacular is if this book had been told in alternating perspectives. I think this would have been the kind of story that really benefited from that.(less)
There is so much to say about this wonderful novel. Jennifer Echols is non-stop give, she gave me a s...moreThis review also appears on Reading to Stay Alive
There is so much to say about this wonderful novel. Jennifer Echols is non-stop give, she gave me a story that I LOVE, and will LOVE for the rest of my days.
Now, in the beginning I have to tell you I was a little scared. Because the story starts out in fourteen year old Leah's brain. I was quite shocked at all the situations she had already been through as only a fourteen year old girl. This also made me uncomfortable to know this was a contemporary romance, so I was going to go through the romance of a child. But then I was very satisfied to learn that that is only temporary, it is a lead up so we know the characters at a young age, and get to know them on a more personal level. The story then flashes forward to eighteen year old Leah and stays there throughout the rest of the novel.
The boys...Grayson and Alec. Now, throughout this entire novel it is all Grayson all day for me always. After Mr. Hall dies, it is a very tragic hit to both the boys and Leah. To Leah, Mr. Hall was her key to the skies and her father figure. Without him, her dream seemed less of a reality. Grayson and Alec take on the task of running his fathers old flying company and hire Leah on to keep up with her job. Leah, never having trusted a male other than Mr. Hall is hesitant, because in her world men never give without wanting something in return, is that the case with Grayson and Alec? Don't let me tell you! You have to figure that one out for yourself! Just know this book is very excellent!
What I liked about this book the most is the descriptions and the internal thoughts of Leah. She has a very active brain, sometimes you just want to smack her and tell her to think straight, but she is very deliberate in everything she does and is very cautious, but also completely reckless. You may think that I need to make up my mind, but it is the truth. I felt she was a very diverse character in her actions. Very responsible and knows what she needs to do to make her goals and dreams come true. She doesn't like to depend on others but sometimes she just might have to learn to trust.
This is a book that will forever stay on my shelf, a much needed good read. You need to pre-order it or set your calendar so you know to pick it up on July 10th! (less)
Again I find my hopes held high for yet another book that drops me in feces. I thought this was going...moreThis review also appears on Reading to Stay Alive
Again I find my hopes held high for yet another book that drops me in feces. I thought this was going to be one of those books that rattles you to the core and when you are finished you feel reading it you feel like you have become a better person. Okay, so I realize that is a lot of pressure to place on one single book without having even read it, but I did think it was going to be awesome.
Overall I found the story to be average. The characters were strange but lovable. What I mean by strange is they did not follow the everyday paradigm that most YA realistic fiction characters follow. Anna had substance and so did those that surround her. Anna is a troubled teen who is still effected by her mothers depression. Anyone would be messed up if they went through the same situation she did, her mother committed suicide by walking out into the ocean while Anna watched her when she was young. So now, years after her mothers suicide, her and her father have moved to the place where parents met and fell in love, during the happiest moments of her mothers short lived life.
I felt bad for Anna a lot in this story, which is why I think I had a hard time connecting with her. I thought so much of the problems the characters had could have been solved if they just talked to one another. I know it is hard to lose someone and it is even harder to except that loss. But years after a suicide I would really want to believe that you could talk about your feelings with your parent or friends.
Another reason this story didn't reach my expectations was because Moonglass felt so... unfinished. When the last page was finally turned, I felt there should have been at least another fifty or sixty pages to go. I needed more meat (or if you are a vegetarian eggplant) to the story. There was so much more I needed to know about the characters and their outcomes. Jessi Kirby had me thinking there was going to be a sequel but as far as I can tell there isn't going to be one.
Moonglass started out with a depressed, lonely teenage girl, and it ended nearly the same. I didn't feel Anna really develop into a full character. I wanted her to have a more uplifting ending, to be happier than when the story started. And sure, she has friends and a man friend but I still felt she was the same Anna. I know it is very common to end a book in YA so that the reader can interpret the end and what happens next with their character. But that was just the problem for me in this book, I can't picture her being extremely happy in the future. Maybe slightly better off but there was way more she needed to go. Which is why I felt there could have been more explained and then they could have left me with an open ending, making me want more.
The things I enjoyed about this book was the unique characters. I just wanted a little more from all of them. Which could have been done by a more developed story.
My final verdict is that this is a good book, not a great one. I would suggest that if you already wanted to read it, to read it. But... if you weren't searching out this title before, no need to seek it out now.(less)
I read the description for this book numerous times, and from the blurbs about it I thought it wasn't for me. I mean the boyfriend thief? Not my cup o...moreI read the description for this book numerous times, and from the blurbs about it I thought it wasn't for me. I mean the boyfriend thief? Not my cup of tea. How did I end up reading it then? Well in a desperate search for cheap books for my nook I came across this for $2.99. Now I figured I could deal with the consequences for the price. So I bought it and I am so very glad I did.
Instead of revolving around stealing a boyfriend and what had come to my mind as slutty-like behavior in order to accomplish the task of stealing her "arch nemesis's" boyfriend, turned to be the complete opposite. Avery James is a complete nerd who has shut herself off from anyone getting close to her because of the tragedy of her mother leaving. She has one best friend who is she is fiercely protective of and her little brother and father whom she meticulously takes care of.
So how does she get wrapped into the boyfriend stealing business? In her econ class she is assigned the partner Zac Greenly, who appears to be the slacker of a lifetime. His girlfriend is Hannah Cohen, most popular It girl, class president, and currently number two just behind Avery for school ranking. Well Hannah proposes a plan to Avery so she can have enough money to go to a medical training for high school students and get that much desired good mark on her record to get to her top schools so she can one day fulfill the dream of becoming a doctor.
For $500 bucks Hannah wants Avery to steal her boyfriend Zac away. She can't dump him herself because that could cause a poor image to the girl who is trying to be voted class queen. Avery accepts the deal, expecting nothing but keeping it strictly professional. Only, she didn't expect that Zac could have such an effect on her. Throwing her out of her comfort zone and making her do things she never could have possibly imagined in her life.
Along the way of The Boyfriend Thief, Avery has other problems as well, like her best friend dating an alleged total creep, her father bringing home yet another new girlfriend, and her brother treating her like she could be his new mom. None of those problems though are bigger than the one Avery is dealing with underneath it all, herself. She is her own worst enemy and gets herself caught up in some really terrible situations. Luckily for her, she has a great friend and her family by her side. Teaching her some perspective she never knew she needed. And hey, maybe she could even fall in love along the way.
Overall the novel read really fast. I was flipping page after page, metaphorically of course because I read it on my nook. There are only three things that did seem to bother me. The first was that everything unraveled rather quickly. Almost immediately. One page everything is going well, then the next everything is out there in the open and we have one major cry fest on our hands. The second is that there are some things that I would have liked answers too before the book ended. They were not crucial to the story line, so I know I can live without knowing. The last thing that bothered me was that there were a few weird errors in the novel, like a time where there was a lowercase I that was just sitting there with no purpose to the sentence in any way, just a typo. Things like that make my eyebrows bunch together and blink a few times to make sure I am not hallucinating. Other than the typo there were a few times were a comma could have been inserted that would have made the sentences not be as confusing. I was happy that this didn't happen often enough that I noticed it as a major problem just a few noteworthy times. Oh and now that I think of it there is one more thing that caused me to pause when reading was that Zac's physical description of what he looks like didn't come early enough. I already had a well thought out vision of what he looked like in my head when all of a sudden we get a tiny detail about what he looks like and I was thrown off.
The Boyfriend Thief was an entertaining story that surprised me in more ways than one. I was happy that the author, Shana Norris, didn't get caught up in some things that I feel a typical author might have decided to expand more on, and I liked the strong willed personality of Avery. The story could be closely compared to Along for the Ride by Sara Dessen, in the personalities and actions of our main characters and their love interests, but not too closely that I feel it is the same book. My lesson learned through reading is that it might have just inspired me to not always judge a book by its blurb. (less)
This novel was... intriguing, interesting, and spine tingling, among many other things. We start off...moreThis review also appears on Reading to Stay Alive
This novel was... intriguing, interesting, and spine tingling, among many other things. We start off with Allie, in her bed, recovering from her injuries and most importantly hiding from her past and future. It has been weeks since her boyfriend, Trip, died in a car accident, the same car accident that has her suffering from memory loss and some rather heinous scars.
Throughout the story-line we go through flashes of Allie's memories of that night, trying to figure out the truth of what happened. With no body and no car (he drove right off the side of a cliff) there is an open investigation going on, and Allie seems to be the only one who can uncover the truth for this grieving town, morning the loss of this beloved teenager. Only, Allie is keeping a secret that is tearing her to pieces. Trip was abusive, to an almost deadly degree. She has kept the secret for so long that it seems impossible to come clean now. Especially when she and her long time friend from childhood, Blake, start to become close.
She is facing battles from outside and from within.
I have to say that the most gripping part of this novel was her internal struggle. I sat biting my nails trying to figure out when she was going to be able to tell another person her secret. She beat herself down, in an almost pathetic way. But she really had the classic symptoms of a victim of abuse. Her inner struggle was very believable and I kept wondering if someone who felt the way she did and went through what she did would ever be able to trust again.
Another positive was her brother Andrew. He has cerebral palsy, and is very lovable. Great personality and is a freaking genius.
Somethings I did not like about the novel was that it was pretty much all that I described, that was all that really gripped me about the plot. Other characters like the police officer, Trip's father, Hannah and James were really unbelievable. Towards the end the plot became very predictable. There was some moments before the end where I was laying in my room at two in the morning and I could swear I was seeing Trips ghost in my room. She did a great job scaring me, but she could have taken it so much further. Instead she took the easy way out and lets just say it turns out like your classic fairy tale.
I would say this book is definitely worth the try. It is a decent book and I read it in only a few hours. I know I will read it again in the future, but it isnt what I thought it could be. I wanted more and this novel fell short. Still good, but short.(less)
While He Was Away is a story about a girl, Penna, whose boyfriend leaves for war. It is about her str...moreThis review also appears on Reading to Stay Alive
While He Was Away is a story about a girl, Penna, whose boyfriend leaves for war. It is about her struggle to cope with knowing he is facing life endangering situations. In the very beginning we are introduced to both Penna and David early in the summer on the day before he is deployed. Then slowly we progress through the summer, with her discovering new things about her past and learning more about herself as she grows emotionally, and of course as David tries to contact back to her.
First I would like to say that I have experience with the long distance relationships, and they are no fun. Now if I would have added him going overseas to fight in the war to that, it would have been unbearable. I think the fact that this would be a completely life altering and difficult to go through is something everyone could agree on. But, I know what you are thinking, ‘I don’t want to read a book about a girl pining for her boyfriend.’ I wouldn’t want to either. And it isn’t just that, it does involve it, but it also revolves around her mother and her estranged grandmother.
I enjoyed that this novel took a complete different path then I thought it was going to take from just reading the blurb and after reading the beginning of the story. Schreck did not take the well beaten path of the main character getting everything she wants, far from it. In fact, I would say that she is your average teenager that falls in love and grows to learn that maybe the love she thought she knew wasn’t the love unrequited love she thought she had. Maybe time and distance are too much of a hurdle to pass. Maybe love doesn’t conquer all. I know I had to learn that lesson the hard way. Now, for the reason this book is not a must read. The plot seemed unfocused. While reading, I was almost to the end of the novel, about twenty, thirty pages away at the most from the end and thinking to myself, ‘How the heck is this story going to end.’ There were ideas throughout the entire novel that I thought could be explored more, but they were always just side notes, never to go in depth.
Another thing that truly pushed my button was the cover. I mean, to me the guy looks like a white male, when David is a Hispanic male, who apparently is very brown, the guy on the cover, yeah, not so much. I guess I just don’t understand how hard it is to find a guy that actually has some kind of resemblance to the guy in the story. Maybe it is actually difficult, but I am pretty positive I could go to my college and throw a rock and it would hit someone who would be a better fit for this photo. This cover kept making me think she was going to cheat on her boyfriend with a white guy and drive off on David’s motorcycle. I mean, I knew it was a ridiculous thought, but it still it was a thought, one I shouldn’t have had to have.
I enjoyed the novel. It was good, but not great. I feel let down by this While He Was Away, it held so much promise to me, of a girl worrying about the man she loves while he was away. In the blurb it says “But will my sweet, soulful, funny David be the same person when he comes home?” That was a question that when I read, I thought ‘Will he? I want to find out.’ But I never get to know, David never came back, and I don’t mean he died. He was on a 15 month deployment and at the most three months passed. So while I could tell David’s personality had changed from the David in Penna’s memories, to the David skyping and calling, I never got to see them together again. The unfocused plot and sudden end had me confused. I wish there was more direction to this novel because this really could have been great, given the proper guidance. I recommend for those who are interested in the boyfriend off to war topic, but don’t expect a love sweet ending with roses and unicorns, like I mentioned before it just takes place over the summer so there is not a chance for him to even come back yet.
Because the plot was so unfocused, I find myself still confused about what exactly I thought of this novel, but I hope I described it well enough for you so you can know if you would like to read it or not. (less)
Between the Lines. How to start...This story was very entertaining. I read the story at a very quick speed. The story alternates...moreReview to come. ----
Between the Lines. How to start...This story was very entertaining. I read the story at a very quick speed. The story alternates between the views of Ried and Emma. Now, after reading the description of the story it makes you feel like it is going to also be read through the eyes of Graham as well, but sadly that never happens.
So Emma, she is the girl next door type. Sweet and innocent, she lands the part of a lifetime with one of the worlds hottest upcoming actors. Pretty much, he is the equivalent of a slightly more manly Bieber of the acting world to these people. She gets to play Elizabeth (Lizbeth) to his Mr. Darcy (Will).
Ried is the hot and big-headed movie star, we all expect people like him to act like. He is in full belief that all women love him and no one could ever turn him down. Early on he sets his sights on Emma, he wants a little costar action that he has down to a science. He plays games with her and still has some rendezvous on the side while trying to keep Emma as his main goal. Ried gets threatened when he feel competition waging from an indie-actor Graham, who always seemed to be accompanied by Ried's ex Brooke (the star of a show that is supposed to be something like Miley Cyrus and Hannah Monatana or something without the singing *the impression I was given*) This makes him get suspicious of Emma and his "relationship" <-- That relationship is the only part that really makes me crinkle my forehead because it was the least believable part of the story, considering I felt that they had no merit upon to base their relationship. I guess nice girls fall into that trap to easily.
Emma gets confused and pretty much a lack of communication between everyone is what makes things go wrong. If everyone would have just said what they were thinking this would not have been a story. Nevertheless I enjoyed this book and while it wasn't life altering it was an interesting story told through interesting perspectives. I would read this again when I was bored or looking for a light romance. I would never read this if I was looking for an in-depth love story or something completely heartwarming.