And I do not say that lightly. I mean, I literally have such an author-girl crush on this fantastic author that I...moreI AM IN LOVE WITH CLAIRE LAZEBNIK. ♥
And I do not say that lightly. I mean, I literally have such an author-girl crush on this fantastic author that I read ALL THREE of her YA contemporary novels (all based on Jane Austen novels, by the way) in one day. This is not an exaggeration. My best friend will attest to the fact that I would not let him interrupt me during that period where I surrounded myself by Claire's wit for a full twenty-four hours, reading and re-reading the passages I thought were best.
(And believe me, there are A LOT of them.)
Cutesy novels have the misfortune of getting low ratings because people tend to believe that cute = without depth, and they automatically rate it lower than they would, say, a classic, even though they loved it just as much (maybe even more!) than more intense novels.
And I'm here to say that THAT IS TOTALLY UNTRUE AND UNFAIR AND NOOOOOOOOOO.
Epic Fail, based lightly off Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice is everything I could want in a book and MORE. It is heart-warming, and realistic, and hilarious, and fun, and epic, and sweet, and OH MY SWEET GOODNESS, the wit! The banter! The comments from our oh-so-lovable heroine Elise in our oh-so-lovable cast -- they kill me again and again, because she's so sarcastically funny and awesome and realistic that I truly wish I could be her.
(I mean, I admire Tris and Katniss from Divergent and The Hunger Games, but would I want to be them? Maybe I'd want to have their bravery and strength, but their other attributes -- like humor and realism -- can sometimes be lacking. Elise, on the other hand? I want to be EVERYTHING she is. ♥)
And the part about cutesy novels sometimes lacking depth? SCREW THAT! This book had the perfect about of realistic self-doubt and depth, and it subtly deals with flaws in humanity, and it makes you connect with the cast throughout everything they do, AND it's just... like life, you know? Life isn't perfect -- Elise's certainly isn't -- but the way Claire LaZebnik portrays it is perfect.
You already know how much love I have for witty, hilarious, adorable, fun Elise. But then there's her relationship with her older-by-one-year sister, Juliana (who she calls Jules), and Juliana's relationship with her new super-adorable-likeable-sweet boyfriend, Chase, and Chase's relationship with his best-friend-and-son-of-famous-people, Derek, and Derek's relationship with Elise.
OH MY GOD, THE SWOONS.
The cast? (See above.)AWESOME. The inspiration? (Jane Austen)AWESOME. The storyline? (Elise's mom getting a job at a private school for rich kids that her and her sisters are forced to attend, where all sorts of epic fun happens and let's not forget the cute boys...) AWESOME. The everything? Just awesome, awesome, so incredibly AWESOME.
(You know how we all love Anna and the French Kiss because of the characters and the chemistry and the fun while also managing to be relatable and perfectly imperfect? Yeah, well that is EXACTLY this book. And all of Claire LaZebnik's books.)
I don't care what you say, these three novels are going to be part of my selective few that I'm allowed to lug two hours away into my tiny dorm room when I move to university in September. I MUST HAVE CLAIRE'S WIT WITH ME AT ALL TIMES.
And on a side note, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE REMEMBER: Rate books based on how much YOU enjoy them. Justifying your feelings is good, but it is not necessary (especially if you're too busy to write a long-winded review with a million GIFs). But don't say you love a book when you don't, just because everyone else is rating it high. In retrospect, don't say you hate a book if you really secretly love it, just because your Goodreads friends are ranting about how much of a piece of sh*t it is. (If they're really your Goodreads friends, I'm sure they'll love you regardless of which side of the fence you stand on in regards to the one book he or she wants to burn in hell.) I have loved a lot of books with low ratings and have hated a lot of books with high ratings, and while I'm still trying to find my own footing, I have learned that being true to what I feel about a book is the most important thing -- even more than being influenced by what other readers say.
(Even when some things that they write seem A MILLION times more in depth and epic than what my seventeen-year-old mind can form. LOL.)
Just food for thought. And more: I really loved this book :)
I do not write reviews anymore. But this had to be written.
ABSOLUTE LOVE FOR THIS SERIES. And I've been *hush hush* Team Graham from the beginning. Reid is awesome, but awesome for Emma? He honestly can't even...moreABSOLUTE LOVE FOR THIS SERIES. And I've been *hush hush* Team Graham from the beginning. Reid is awesome, but awesome for Emma? He honestly can't even compare <3
I seriously finished this whole series in two days. THAT is how awesome it is.
(I have a secret love for celebrity book boyfriends. Shhhhhh.)
LOVE. Love love love love love love love! My favourite by K.A. Tucker by far! I think it's safe to say that she gets better with every book, and I'm s...moreLOVE. Love love love love love love love! My favourite by K.A. Tucker by far! I think it's safe to say that she gets better with every book, and I'm so proud to know that she's Canadian! :)
I'm literally going to the bookstore to get myself a physical copy to go with my e-copy. SO GOOD. Cain and Charlie, as well as all the other characters -- familiar and not -- I just love them all!
Can't wait until I can get my hands on Ben's story!!!!! <3(less)
I absolutely LOVED this one! I loved the story, and the characters, and the forgiveness, and the realism of it. Linda Kage is quickly becoming one of...moreI absolutely LOVED this one! I loved the story, and the characters, and the forgiveness, and the realism of it. Linda Kage is quickly becoming one of my favourite authors... Hell, I think she may already be one! x) <3(less)
I'll admit it: I avoided this series when I first heard of it last year. I didn't even add it to my TBR list because the whole idea of some girl takin...moreI'll admit it: I avoided this series when I first heard of it last year. I didn't even add it to my TBR list because the whole idea of some girl taking advantage of a guy's amnesia sounded horrible to me! But by the recommendation of one of my favourite Goodreads girls, Rachel (with hearts!), I gave this a shot...
And ended up reading and finishing all three books in one weekend.
(Grrrr, Rachel. You're so bad for my time management skills... LOL <3)
I may not be writing full reviews anymore, but I have to say this: You NEED TO, and I mean NEED TO NEED TO give this series a shot if you haven't already! It's different from all the other books I've been binge reading, and I've been reading A LOT of books! You'll love characters and you'll hate characters, but somehow, Tarryn Fisher makes it so you love reading about all the characters, even the ones you really, really hate! (*cough* Leah *cough*)
This is one weekend I won't get back, and I couldn't read it even if I tried. Caleb and Olivia have officially made it onto my growing list of OTPs :)
This is seriously one of those books that make you love love, hate hate, and understand things that don't make any sense but just ARE. Seriously, abso...moreThis is seriously one of those books that make you love love, hate hate, and understand things that don't make any sense but just ARE. Seriously, absolutely, completely AMAZING! ♥(less)
This book was heartbreaking. Heart-wrenching. Completely and totally tear-jerking. But it was also so beautiful and mind-blowingly powerful that its p...moreThis book was heartbreaking. Heart-wrenching. Completely and totally tear-jerking. But it was also so beautiful and mind-blowingly powerful that its place on my favourites shelf was secured immediately. ♥(less)
Evan Cosette has a secret: She's also Rylan Willow, the top model for East Park Exposed, her unive...moreRating: AWESOME. EPIC. FUN. SEXY. (Also: 4+ stars!)
Evan Cosette has a secret: She's also Rylan Willow, the top model for East Park Exposed, her university’s underground and insanely successful erotic magazine, to help pay for her tuition. The stage name and the magic of disguises keeps her low-key as she tries to live her peaceful double life (because how could her classmates take her seriously as a bio major when they've all seen her half-naked?) -- and it's all working out perfectly... until Dallas Whitley. Not only is he her new student professor, but he's also her new partner for the co-ed spread.
There's fun and then there's funtastic -- and let me just say that this book is funtastic times a million and two with sexy-sweet swooning and a very, very root-worthy pairing I absolutely love to death!
Exposure is another one of those surprise gems that seriously have me wishing I had enough time to read and re-read it over and over again. The chemistry between Evan and Dallas (and evidently Rylan and Dallas) are off the charts; the banter between them is quick, witty, and totally fun -- just the way I like it. And even the side characters (like Britain!) are totally fun too!
Is this NA? Probably not LOL, despite the fact that they're in college. Some of the scenes are crazy steamy to the extreme, but it's mostly just foreplay and seriously epic chemistry from Dallas and Evan's photo shoots together. But trust me when I say that you'll be dying to just shove them together into a relationship with more than work!
Exposure may not be perfect -- there were quite a few grammar mistakes and such, but nothing that took too much away from the story (and that's coming from a very picky English girl) -- but I'm giving you the double thumbs and toes up to get your hands on this ASAP! Because aside from that little tidbit, this book is definitely falling near the top of my favourite NA reads! It's sexy and fun and quite possibly one of the easiest books to read in one sitting.
Plus, I promise you're going to love Dallas. Mimi's honour ;) <3(less)
This was so much fun! I love Bliss Edwards. She's awkward. She's hilarious. She's so adorably childish. She's amusing. She's quite the drama queen. Sh...moreThis was so much fun! I love Bliss Edwards. She's awkward. She's hilarious. She's so adorably childish. She's amusing. She's quite the drama queen. She's sweet. She's ridiculous. And she's totally endearing.
Except she gets an amazing British boy named Garrick and I get high school boys who still insist on pulling my hair. How does that work? (less)
LIVVIE IS SO FRUSTRATING IN THIS ONE. And yet... Oh gosh, does this series ever get to me! Dark. Captivating. Disturbing. Ruthless. BREATHLESS.
Basica...moreLIVVIE IS SO FRUSTRATING IN THIS ONE. And yet... Oh gosh, does this series ever get to me! Dark. Captivating. Disturbing. Ruthless. BREATHLESS.
Basically, my review of the first book combines my thoughts on both of them since I read them back-to-back. Otherwise, the only thing I have to say is that I loved the way this was written, alternating between the present (where Livvie has escaped and is being interrogated by the FBI for her story) and the past (which takes off where the last book left off: with Livvie in Caleb's capture, both of them fighting their emotions and what's right and clearly wrong).
That, CJ Roberts is nothing short of an evil genius.
I started reading this book because I have a friend whose twin sister was kidnapped a few years ago. The police have no idea what happened to her -- a...moreI started reading this book because I have a friend whose twin sister was kidnapped a few years ago. The police have no idea what happened to her -- at least no solid evidence for any of their theories -- but they think she was sold into human trafficking. It's so complicated and sad that I won't go into detail, but it's just...
That's why I picked up this book.
And oh my goodness, I don't even know what to say.
Captive in the Dark was awful. It was graphic. It was seriously twisted and dark and horrible and gut-wrenching and oh-my-gosh-I-can't-believe-I'm-still-reading-this-BUT-I-JUST-CAN'T-STOP. My heart broke for Livvie for being captured, for not being loved by her mother, for being put through everything she's put through. She was so strong, so stubborn (although I DO think she cried a little too much haha), and with everything she endured, I can honestly say I don't think I would've come out of it with HALF the mind she managed to hold onto.
But my heart also broke for Caleb, and that's what throws me off. (No, the reviews SO didn't prepare me for this!!!!) I read this book and the second back-to-back (because honestly, with the way this one ended, HOW COULD I NOT CONTINUE IMMEDIATELY??) so I know exactly how their story together ends and the entirety of his back story.
BUT STILL. Maybe it's because this series is told alternating between Livvie and Caleb's points of view, showing all his deep, heartbreaking thoughts and all the things he feels for Livvie. Or maybe it's just because I may be a little messed up in the head and have a thing for villains in books, even when it's clear that they're far from perfect. (Because they are.) Or maybe it's just because CJ Roberts is kind of a mad, evil, BRILLIANT genius at creating a mind-fuck so absolute that you have no idea what to feel but slightly abhorred, definitely blown away, and completely without a sense of right and wrong.
Whatever the reason, I know that this novel is one of the most compelling, crazy, dark, and disturbing novels I have ever read about -- and I will never forget it, just like I don't think I'll ever be able to regret it. (Even if I wanted to!) There's so much to say about this, but honestly, I don't think I'll be able to word it properly until I sit on it for a few days -- maybe even weeks!
I know that not all stories of human trafficking and abduction follow this pattern -- actually, I'm pretty sure that this is one in a million cajillion! -- but beyond Livvie's story, it shows the horror of the sex trade. Of bonds and whips and pain and torture. With all the BDSM books being released post-Fifty Shades of Grey, I guess it makes sense that the darker side -- the more twisted side -- is coming to light, too. The side where the girl (or boy, as shown in the most adorable guy, Kid, who my heart honestly broke for!) isn't willing. People are hurt; killed; tortured; sold. And revenge isn't sweet.
Honestly, I don't know what else to say. I want to recommend it, but at the same time, I don't. I guess it depends on what you can handle, but boy is CJ Roberts ruthless in her writing!
It's almost two in the morning and I AM BAWLING MY EYES OUT. Going into this book, I knew it was going to play with my tear ducts because of the summa...moreIt's almost two in the morning and I AM BAWLING MY EYES OUT. Going into this book, I knew it was going to play with my tear ducts because of the summary and reviews, but I didn't expect to love the characters and the story and the everything SO DAMN MUCH.
Ohmygoodness. I can't even find words. I thought it was going to be just another contemporary story with a sad twist, but I was SO SO SO wrong, because I ended up falling HEAD. OVER. HEELS. The characters were so fun and fleshed out, and the chemistry between everyone had me grinning like an idiot. I swear I couldn't stop giggling like a school-girl for the first eighty percent of this book and I was constantly stunned by how real, how fun, how natural and amazing and adorable and cute and sweet and super-sexy that Lacey Weatherford made this!
Chase... Oh my swoon, I didn't expect him to be SO HILARIOUS. His wit, his snark, his attitude, and his cockiness, coupled with all his dorky-cute traits that he used to woo Nikki, made him one of my favourite book boy characters ever! I know I'm a sucker for bad boys, and maybe Chase was misunderstood by his family and his classmates to be one at first, but the banter and wit was so natural, and his quirky, swoon-worthy grins practically leaped off the page. I didn't blame Nikki for succumbing to his charms. Despite first impressions, he was never a jerk. He was just... everything you could ever want in a REAL boy.
And what he had with Nikki was everything you could ever want in a REAL relationship. Not in a book one where the characters are both so messed up but find love anyways despite going through so much shit together. No, Nikki and Chase together are the most perfect combination of sweet and swoon-worthy, and I swear I died a little every time they grinned at each other because I was fangirling so hard.
YES, if you know anything about this book, you know that tragedy strikes. You know that people cry. (I sure as hell did!) But even if you're not a glutton for punishment like I am (because I love reading tragic books, as long as they're in English and not in the prose of Shakespeare, god forbid), YOU SHOULD STILL READ THIS BOOK. It's quirky-perfect like Anna and the French Kiss. It's mad-adorable like the Gallagher Girls series. It's hilarious-snarky like Pivot Point's genius. It's incredibly touching like Gayle Forman's If I Stay. And it's honestly as much of a MUST as reading The Hunger Games. So many messages, so many great characters, so many quirky lines and hilarious date ideas that I'm sure people will be trying to replicate them in real life all over the place.
Honestly? It's just PERFECT. Exactly what I needed. Exactly what EVERYONE needs to read.
I thought I was over YA -- moving onto NA as I near my twelfth grade graduation -- but I was wrong. I'm back in love with the teen years.
And so I'm bawling my eyes out at two in the morning, and I don't regret a damn thing. :)