I really liked this book! I wasn't sure what to expect, especially with an author willing to tackle andReview also posted on my blog: Kala's Book Blog
I really liked this book! I wasn't sure what to expect, especially with an author willing to tackle and overweight heroine and I was pleasantly surprised.
Annabel was a great character. The author did an amazing job of fleshing her out (no pun intended) and as someone who has struggled with weight issues, I could 10000% understand exactly how Annabel was feeling. The author really was spot on with the insecurity and the bullying and the struggle to make the right choices and the even harder struggle to walk in to that gym every day... I was really impressed.
Tegan was also a well thought out character, though I'll admit I hated his name. He was smart and funny, but also flawed. He had some major issues he had to work out and I think for awhile Annabel had him up on the 'perfect pedestal' which caused some major issues in their relationship when his flaws finally came to light.
I LOVED the progression of their relationship. It seemed very natural and real and believable. They fell in love quickly, but not instantly. They got to know each other some first and I liked that a lot.
The parents in this book were also great. While Annabel gets bullied at school in an obvious way, she gets it worse at home in a much more subtle way. Her parents aren't trying to be cruel to her, but in the ways they try to help her, they end up hurting her self esteem even more. I like how Annabel eventually comes to terms with this and gains self confidence on her own without the author having her parents do a sudden personality switch and become perfect.
Overall, great story. I'm definitely going to be checking out more books by this author....more
I saw this at the library the other day and decided to pick it up since I had read and semi enjoyed the first one. It was a quick and easy read, and II saw this at the library the other day and decided to pick it up since I had read and semi enjoyed the first one. It was a quick and easy read, and I finished it within about two hours.
Carlos was a decent character, though I found him lackluster compared to Alex from book 1. He has a huge attitude and often is a complete jerk for no apparent reason. The kid has a ginormous chip on his shoulder and while I appreciate that he's had a rough life, he doesn't change his tune until the very end of the story. It's not gradual at all - he goes from major jerk to nice guy almost instantly.
Kiara is okay. I liked the fact that she is a romantic heroine who has interests outside of boys. She had some crazy moments in the book that seemed completely opposite to how her personality was portrayed throughout the rest of the novel - like during the makeout session with Carlos while they're watching the movie. Kiara, who is a virgin, goes from nice innocent girl to getting naked and wanting to have sex RIGHT NOW... and IIRC it was only their first or second kiss and at that point, Carlos was still telling her that he just wanted a sex buddy, not a relationship.
I didn't think Elkeles needed to add more gang related drama to this book, especially considering Carlos is in another country from the gang he joined and many states away from the gang Alex was in. It was silly and stupid and the story would have been better if she left that part out.
I also think Elkeles has a ridiculous idea about how Hispanic people speak, ESPECIALLY Hispanic people who have grown up in the USA. I live in an area of the country with a large Hispanic population. I've met a grand total of ZERO who speak the way she writes. Carlos was raised in Chicago and while he spent a short period of time in Mexico, he would be perfectly capable of speaking English without throwing in constant Spanish phrases.
Elkeles also throws in another stupid epilogue here, though I'll admit it's loads better than the absolute ridiculous epilogue in Perfect Chemistry. I find "20+ years later" epilogues to be really silly, especially in teen romances. I'm surprised she didn't have Carlos cure cancer or something.
This book is bad. Really bad. It's every YA romance novel cliche wrapped up into one with really poor writing and really boring characters.
The whole CThis book is bad. Really bad. It's every YA romance novel cliche wrapped up into one with really poor writing and really boring characters.
The whole Cinderella trope is always fun when done well - I don't even mind that it's a cliche. Disney channel seems capable of making a zillion teen remakes of Cinderella that are cute and fun. This book falls totally flat though.
Sadie is the Mary-est Sue of Mary Sues. She is drop dead gorgeous, but doesn't realize it. She thinks she has no personality (and she's right), but all the boys fall all over themselves trying to get her attention. Her awful selfish mom is pregnant and doesn't feel like working anymore, so she forces 17 year old Sadie to take over her job as a housekeeper in order to pay bills. Of course, the house she works at is the summer home of Jax Stone, teen rocker extraordinnaire.
As soon as Jax meets Sadie he's struck by how drop dead gorgeous she is. Of course, they fall in love instantly. By 40% of the way through this novel they're professing their love to each other. They have had literally three conversations. All three of these conversations were 100% about how Jax is a rock star and he's famous and he's in magazines and girls fall all over him. Not once during these conversations do they talk about anything else. But that's enough, they're in LOOOOVE.
33% of the way through: "You're my...air." I frowned at him. "Your air?" He grinned. "Well, girlfriend seems to be too shallow a word for what I feel for you. These past two weeks it's been as if you control my breathing."
45% of the way through (their first kiss): The lips of the only boy I would ever love touched mine, and I forgot where we were and everything else around us.
47%: I've never met anyone who has seen past the star and found the real me inside (Keep in mind, they have had NO conversations about anything other than Jax being a rock star. As a reader, I know nothing about Jax other than that he's a rock star and is hot. That's it.)
73%: (The media found out about Sadie and to "protect" her, Jax dumps her.) "How can taking away the reason my heart beats be good for me?"
80%: Once I had accepted that I would never love someone the way I love Jax, it was easier to breath. He would always be in my heart, whether he wanted to be there or not. I just didn't have enough room for anyone else. He was my air, my soul, and the keeper of my heart.
82% "He affects all my emotions. My happiness is connected to him."
Ugh! Unhealthy relationship alert! Why must these YA authors write this cheesy, unhealthy, co-dependent bullshit relationships? Why can't a female be independent? Why can't she be sad about losing a guy, but still realize that she can move on and find love again? Why do they write this idiotic "I'll die without you" types of love stories? They're not romantic and not real! Romeo and Juliet is a TRAGEDY!
At some point Sadie is riding her bike home and she meets the little sister of her friend Marcus. The girl talks to her and Sadie immediately thinks: For some reason, this bubbly girl liked me. Me, with no personality. Like, we all know she has no personality.
Sadie's mother. Where to begin. I have read a LOT of YA lately with terrible mothers, but Sadie's might be the worst. Sadie's mom is a big slut. So much so that Sadie has to keep her supplied with condoms (that she apparently doesn't use because she's pregnant again). Sadie has no contact with her father and Sadie's mom has no contact with the father of her unborn child.
Sadie's mom forces Sadie to take on all of the responsibility. According to Sadie, by 11 she was running the household. Now at 17, her pregnant mom doesn't want to work anymore so Sadie is now responsible for 100% of the bills.
When Sadie gets dumped by Jax she goes all catatonic a la Bella Swan. Sadie's mother doesn't want to work, or get child support, or get government assistance, she wants Sadie to take on the entire burden. Catatonic Sadie can't work, so her mom gives her this speech:
"Stop being so selfish and open your eyes to the facts, Sadie. We are about to have another mouth to feed, and no amount of your whining and wallowing in self-pity or pride is going to supply our needs. So stop it, and face the facts."
... Hypocrisy much?
Mother of the year has her baby and of course gets postpartum depression. Sadie has to go to school, work to pay bills, AND take care of her newborn brother all by herself. She eventually gets sick and hurt and gets hospitalized and is in a coma. This makes Jax come back and now he'll NEVER leave her because he CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT HER.
Abbi Glines is apparently hit and miss with her books. I thought Vincent Boys was just as bad as this. Existence was actually decent and gave me hope that Glines wasn't terrible. I have a few more of her books on my Kindle, so I will read them... but she definitely is not an auto-buy for me. ...more
I had a very lazy day today and read this entire series (well, I read half of book one yesterday). I didn't like the first book much - not because itI had a very lazy day today and read this entire series (well, I read half of book one yesterday). I didn't like the first book much - not because it was poorly written or I hated the characters, but because there was NO END. The second and third books had the same problem. This fourth book was my favorite and I think part of that is because it actually has an ending. The first three books go like this: Lots of really bad stuff happens to Ruby. Ruby makes some dumb decisions. Ruby has a panic attack. Ruby sees her therapist. Book ends.
Book three ends with Ruby stating she can't date Noel because of her friendship with Nora. Book four starts with her having already changed her mind and started dating Noel. This was awkward to me, because I thought the whole point of book 3 was Ruby deciding her friends were more important than boys. Then somewhere between book 3 and 4 she gives up on that and starts dating Noel anyways?
The middle of this book was a little awkward as well. She was really crazy about Noel and I get why she dumped him, but she immediately starts dating Gideon without too much guilt or concern. I guess I understand wanting to do something to block out the pain, but she seemed a LOT more distraught over the breakup with Jackson in book 1 than she did with Noel.
Ruby also has this habit of screaming at people and trying to resolve her personal problems in a very public place. In front of a bunch of classmates during a college prep meeting she starts bitching out Noel, trying to get him to talk to her. She does this a few times throughout the series and it really bugged me.
Ruby's mother is also probably the worst mother in existence. She's selfish and immature and I'm shocked that her husband has put up with her for 20 years. Completely shocked. The way Ruby's mom filled out the college form was so effed up and wrong. Bringing home a baby piglet and gutting it in front of her vegetarian daughter ON PURPOSE to upset her... FUCKING MESSED UP AND WRONG.
One of the good parts was Ruby's reunion with Noel. I liked it. I also liked Ruby's friendship with Meghan. I wish she had appreciated Meghan more, but she spends more time upset with Nora / Cricket / Kim without realizing what a great friend she has in Meghan. I think by the end she finally does realize that, but it's hard to feel like Ruby deserves Meghan with how she took her for granted for so long.
Overall, I did like this book best in the series. I'm unsure how this series got so many 5-star ratings, but I guess I just didn't feel it like others did. (shrug) Such is life!...more
I mostly enjoyed this book, except for a few huge issues.
First is the footnotes. I freaking hate footnotes. Especially when you're reading an e-book.I mostly enjoyed this book, except for a few huge issues.
First is the footnotes. I freaking hate footnotes. Especially when you're reading an e-book. They're not cute or funny or interesting and it's really freaking annoying to click back and forth between pages (the footnotes show up at the end of each chapter in the e-book, don't know how they are formatted in the paper version). They were so damn distracting and difficult to read. BOO on the footnotes.
Second, I hated Ruby's friends. Ruby's best friend since kindergarten steals her boyfriend (that she had been dating for 6 months). None of their mutual friends seem to have a problem with this. But then Ruby kisses him and she suddenly becomes a leper? Everyone is pissed at her for kissing Kim's boyfriend... but he was Ruby's boyfriend just days earlier? Kim started dating him like 2-3 days after he dumped Ruby. That's a HUGE friend no-no. Why don't Cricket and Nora care about that? Because I sure as hell would. Ruby doesn't do anything mean to Kim after Kim steals Jackson... but when Ruby kisses Jackson, Kim publicly humiliates Ruby with the xerox copy of the boyfriend list and turns her into the laughingstock of the entire school. Her "friends" all side with Kim. Great people!
Third, I hated the ending. There was no resolution! I didn't want Ruby and Kim to make up and everyone be happy, but I wanted SOMETHING to happen. Basically the end is Ruby standing around thinking about how her ex best friend and ex boyfriend are still together and her ex friends still don't talk to her (ok, she had ONE conversation with Nora... but I would be really fucking pissed at Nora for ignoring me and going along with Kim's nasty treatment).
I don't know. I was expecting something more to happen in the end. I realize there are more books in the series, but it's not like it's a cliffhanger ending or anything. The entire book is Ruby talking about all the bad things that happened to her and then the book ends. ...more
I read this book so fast! As soon as I started it I was completely hooked! I love that it has a very reaReview also posted on my blog: Kala's Book Blog
I read this book so fast! As soon as I started it I was completely hooked! I love that it has a very realistic male protag with a first person point of view. So often in YA when we do get a male protag, he ends up sounding nearly as cheesy and sappy as the females. Travis is completely different and I bought into him 100%.
Travis has just returned from a stint in Afghanistan and has suffered a traumatic loss over there. He's currently got PTSD, though he doesn't want to admit it. He also has changed a lot from who he was before the military to who he is now, and he has to deal with that while interacting with his old friends who haven't changed or moved on at all.
I thought his relationship with Harper was also really well done and realistic. They were not professing their undying love and claiming to not be able to live without each other forever and ever after their first date. Their relationship progressed naturally and I liked that.
While the romance is a big part of the book, overall this book seems to be about dealing with loss. I thought Trish Doller handled this so well. I recently read another book where the main character was supposed to be scarred and emotionally disturbed because of her past and it was handled so poorly. Doller knocks it out of the park here. Travis was tortured and real and so believable. I love how she handled his PTSD and the slow healing process he went through during the novel.
I also loved the end. I was worried when he had three years left of active duty that she would cop out and find some way for him to stay local and be with Harper, but she didn't and I love it. The book has a happy ending, but a real one. When I finished this book I was happy and satisfied and immediately went searching for more books by this author. I can't ask for much more than that!...more
I finished this book last night and I've been thinking about it for hours. It's nothing likeThis review was also posted on my blog at: Kala's Book Blog
I finished this book last night and I've been thinking about it for hours. It's nothing like I expected. I expected it to be a typical romance type novel with a happy ending for Jack/Lexi. Instead it was the roller coaster ride of lies and deception between both of them that left me feeling almost shattered at the end.
Lexi is an interesting character. A lot of reviewers expressed hate for her, but I didn't hate her. Yes, she does some terrible things, but she at least tries to fight it. She has this addiction to Jack and she struggles to get passed it for the entire book, but Jack just won't let her. I was really hoping for his redemption at the end. I like happily ever afters. I was really hoping that Jack would finally figure it out, but he never does. I've re-read the last conversation between Jack and Lexi and I still can't figure out what the hell is going on in his head.
Ramsey seems to be popular with everyone, but I think he's just as toxic for Lexi due to being the brother of Jack's girlfriend (future wife?). I don't see any scenario where her dating Ramsey works out. Her love and addiction for Jack won't just go away, but she will always be forced to be around him. Jack's feelings for her are the same - seeing her around Ramsey will keep the whole thing going indefinitely. Lexi needs to kick that whole Atlanta crew to the curb and move on with her own life in NYC. Plenty of other fish in the sea, leave those rotten ones in Georgia please!
I know she kinda does that at (view spoiler)[the end, but it still felt unsatisfactory, I think because she lets Ramsey kiss her at the airport. After everything that happened in the office, I wanted her to give Jack a big FUCK YOU and then give Ramsey a big FUCK YOU too. She didn't pressure Ramsey much at all about what Bekah said, and that made me mad. She just let Ramsey steamroll her into agreeing to possibly start a relationship with him sometime in the future even though that would be a terrible thing for her given who his sister is. (hide spoiler)]
I definitely plan on reading the next book in the series, whenever it comes out. It appears to be another roller coaster with Ramsey and Jack, but I'm curious to see how things turn out. If you want me to be completely honest, I'm still hoping for a Jack redemption.
I'm still sitting here wondering why I feel so broken at the end of this book. I think it's because right now, (view spoiler)[Bekah's won. She completely shattered Lexi and got Jack to propose. While we're unsure of Ramsey's true motivations, I don't really find him relevant right now.
It makes me sad that Bekah won. (hide spoiler)]It leaves me feeling really dissatisfied and I hate that. I can't give this book a bad rating for it though, because anything that makes me think and feel this much is obviously well written and deserves a decent rating. I just really hope by the end of the third book these characters all either redeem themselves or get what they deserve.
Ok. Screw the US Attorney/FBI series, this is my new favorite Julie James book. I absolutely adored JD and Payton and their feud at work. Their back aOk. Screw the US Attorney/FBI series, this is my new favorite Julie James book. I absolutely adored JD and Payton and their feud at work. Their back and forth antics were absolutely hilarious, especially the broken shoe in the courtroom scene (LOVE IT!!).
I've now read all of Julie James novels and I WANT MORE! She is absolutely brilliant at creating characters you can't help but fall in love with. Her heroines are all super smart, snarky, and independent. I have been reading a lot of YA stuff for the past year and I'm SO sick of the co-dependent weak heroines that are so prevalent in those books. YA authors - please read Julie James and see how to write a REAL romantic heroine who is attractive (and knows it!) and has brains!
The way this book ended was a little on the cheesy side, which I've come to expect from James, but I still loved it! Of course it has a happily ever after, but it kind of tied the bow a little too neatly (in my opinion). Even so, EXCELLENT book! I love it, I love it, I love it!
Please hurry up and write more novels Ms. James! ...more
Julie James certainly can write a likable heroine who can kick ass and a strong sexy hero who is 100% believable. I've now read all three in the US AtJulie James certainly can write a likable heroine who can kick ass and a strong sexy hero who is 100% believable. I've now read all three in the US Attorney/FBI series and I adore them all. I think Kyle's book might be my favorite, but this one was pretty darn close. I kind of want to meet the Rhodes family!
This book introduces Jordan Rhodes, who is a wine store owner, and her brother, Kyle, who is in prison. The FBI needs Jordan's help to assist in an investigation, and she agrees only if they will shorten Kyle's sentence. Enter Agent Nick McCall. Nick and Jordan have to work together, but they butt heads constantly and Julie James has done an amazing job making their banter witty and funny and sarcastic without being over the top and silly.
While I appreciate Ms. James attention to detail concerning the wine research, I did get a little annoyed at all the wine talk. That might be because I don't enjoy drinking wine. Maybe.
Despite that, I loved this book. I'm really looking forward to book 4 in this series and I'm hoping there will be a book 5 with Agent Wilkins - I think he might be one of my favorite characters in the series!...more
The more I read by S.C. Stephens, the more I like her. Thoughtless and Effortless weren't without issue, but I still find myself thinking about them aThe more I read by S.C. Stephens, the more I like her. Thoughtless and Effortless weren't without issue, but I still find myself thinking about them and I've already re-read both once. I don't know if I will end up re-reading this particular book, but I did finish it nearly a day ago and I'm still sitting here thinking about it. I tried to start another book, but I think I still need some more time to process this one before I jump into a whole new world of characters.
This book is about Lucas, a high school senior, and is told in first person from his point of view the entire way. A few months before the book starts, he was driving his two best friends and his girlfriend home from a party when he lost control and crashed, killing the three of them. He was the only one who survived. The entire book is about him trying to deal with that (as well as deal with how everyone ELSE is dealing with it).
I really liked Sawyer, however she seemed so convenient. He latched on to her REALLY fast and maybe that's normal for someone in his situation, but it seemed too quick. I also figured out Sawyer's secret pretty quickly, but I was a little shocked to find out the reason WHY. It seemed so petty, but I do understand that teenagers can be pretty over emotional and over react to things, so it's probably not completely unrealistic.
The whole fantasy world that Lucas creates also seemed a little too convenient. Then again, I guess it was supposed to be, right? It just seemed so unreal that he was interacting with his friends in his dreams as if they were actually there. Even so, I liked most of the interactions. I thought the very last one at the end was a little too much to the point of being cheesy.
I also felt like the ending dragged quite a bit. There is a major event that happens about 75% of the way through - the culmination of all the crap Lucas has been going through. It's pretty obvious it's coming, but I thought it was extremely well written. I was on the edge of my seat during the entire thing, engrossed in the pages. Very well done! But then afterwards the book continues for chapter after chapter after chapter, some of which seemed really unnecessary. I feel like the author was trying to tie off every single loose end and sometimes that's just not needed. Sometimes things don't have to end 100% perfectly.
Despite minor complaints about the book, overall I loved it. It was so angsty and emotional, but also riveting. I LOVE when I sit there for hours afterwards thinking about a book and this one was like that for me. I've been fortunate to stumble on a few books like that in the past few weeks and that's made me really happy! :D Three of them from this author! I see she has a vampire series as well that I plan to check out. I also am going to be putting her on my auto-buy list! ...more
I really really really wanted to like this book a lot. While Thoughtless and Effortless weren't without flawAlso posted on my blog at: Kala's Book Blog
I really really really wanted to like this book a lot. While Thoughtless and Effortless weren't without flaws, the books were both compelling and I found myself sucked in to Kiera and Kellan's trials and tribulations. Reckless just doesn't come anywhere near that.
This book just shouldn't have been written. It really brings nothing new to Kellan and Kiera's relationship. In fact, the two get along just fine for pretty much the entire novel outside of a few minor spats that Kiera gets over almost instantly. The first 20-25% of the book is downright boring. I was wondering what the heck I was reading, because I haven't ever been BORED by S.C. Stephens before.
Perhaps it's because nothing new was introduced. I mean, yes, Kiera gets drunk and Denny takes her home and takes care of her (Kellan is out of town). But Kellan doesn't get mad about it and Denny is a perfect gentleman. Yes, one of Kellan's exes shows up and blackmails him about a sex tape, but Kellan's former man-whore status was already a dead horse beaten to death in the first two books. Kiera is mildly upset about the tape, but gets over it after a page or two. We spend the majority of the first 20-25% listening to KIera and Kellan call each other husband and wife (THEY ARE NOT ACTUALLY MARRIED) and be all lovey dovey with each other. It's cute, but a couple getting along perfectly doesn't make a good novel.
The middle of this book is good. I really liked the conflict that Sienna Sexton brought to the picture. While Kellan and Kiera still got along perfectly throughout all of it, it made sense and was still interesting because I wanted to find out exactly how everything was going to play out with Sienna as Kellan's fame continued to rise.
SPOILERS AFTER THIS POINT! READ AT YOUR OWN RISK!!
Then we get to the last 20% where things just go to shit again. Not in the sense that Kiera's life goes to shit. Quite the opposite. There is a car accident, but we're never afraid Kellan will die. He doesn't, of course, and the accident suddenly changes the public opinion on Kiera and from that point on, we spend probably 100 pages reading about how perfect life is for Kiera and Kellan and all the D-Bags.
Seriously, it's like a 100 page epilogue and that doesn't even include the ACTUAL epilogue which is pretty much pointless. Before we even get to the epilogue, we get to read all about how Kiera and Kellan have a 'perfect' wedding (in the hospital), how all of Sienna's fans suddenly hate her and now everyone loves Kiera (when before all the fans thought Kiera was 'stealing' Kellan from Sienna), how Kiera and Kellan go to the Grammys and of course the D-Bags win, how Kiera gets pregnant and has a baby, how her book becomes a huge self published bestseller and gets picked up by a traditional publisher, how they buy a huge house on 11 acres and it's so perfect...it just goes on and on and on. Complete overkill!
Then we get a horribly long epilogue that really doesn't say anything new. I mean, we already know that Kiera and Kellan are happily married with a baby and a Grammy and a #1 album and a bestselling novel. What could the epilogue POSSIBLY TELL US? And the answer is... nothing really.
Stephens also tied up EVERY OTHER character's storylines as perfectly as possible. Griffin turns in to the perfect dad who marries Anna. Denny and his girlfriend get married and live happily ever after as they become the perfect managers for the D-Bags.
This book just reeked of Breaking Dawn syndrome. Completely unnecessary and everyone gets exactly what they want in the end without really losing anything. If the first 20% and the last 20% were cut out, this book would have been a lot better. Pretty much the only interesting parts were the entire storyline with Sienna (til the end) and almost everything with Griffin and Anna.
I don't know. This book just really disappointed me. ...more
I'm quickly working my way through Julie James novels and I'm reading them completely out of order. I read the third book in this series first, and II'm quickly working my way through Julie James novels and I'm reading them completely out of order. I read the third book in this series first, and I loved all of the characters so much that I decided to read the first two as well.
This book follows lawyer Cameron Lynde and FBI agent Jack Pallas. Cameron is a key witness for a murder case that Jack is investigating. They have a prior history and Jack blames Cameron for nearly ruining his career and for him being reassigned to Nebraska for the last three years.
I enjoyed the story and found both characters to be likable and fun. I also loved all of the side characters, especially Collin and Agent Wilkins (I hope Wilkins gets his own book later in the series!). There were a few plot points that seemed far fetched, but I'm willing to let that go considering it's a fluffy romance novel.
The whole "Jack has to move in to Cameron's house to protect her" thing was a little cheesy and I tend to dislike how often this happens in romance novels, but it ended up working out alright.
Overall though - great story with great characters. Can't wait to start book two!...more
I think Julie James is going on my auto-buy list. I've read two of her books this week and liked them so much that I went and bought three more!
JamesI think Julie James is going on my auto-buy list. I've read two of her books this week and liked them so much that I went and bought three more!
James' characters are all well fleshed out and realistic. Yeah, we have the billionaire trope that is so common in romance these days, but it was done well. I like that Kyle was a completely flawed guy, but still irresistible and fun. I like that Rylann is a spunky independent woman who loves her career.
The love story between these two characters is adorable and I couldn't help but end up smiling after reading the conclusion. I didn't realize at first that this was part of a series, so I've since bought the other two books and can't wait to read about those characters as well.
Highly recommend for fans of contemporary romance!...more
This book is terrible. Absolutely terrible. I had a really long review written which included lots ofReview also posted on my blog at: Kala's Book Blog
This book is terrible. Absolutely terrible. I had a really long review written which included lots of quotes to back up my opinion, but then my power went out and I lost it (THANKS TROPICAL STORM ISAAC!). I'm re-writing most of it, but I don't feel like digging around my Kindle to get the quotes again. Sorry!
Like I said, this book is terrible. The plot is terrible. The characters are terrible. The writing is terrible. The editing is REALLY terrible. Right now, I can't think of one redeeming quality about it and I'm shocked I read the entire thing.
It had promise. I liked the blurb and I thought reading about a girl who is emotionally scarred and damaged from years of sexual abuse from her father would be interesting. Instead, I got this load of horse dung.
Amber and Jake are brother and sister. Amber has been getting molested by their dad since she was five. Jake, Amber, and their mom have been getting physically abused by the dad since forever. When Amber is 13, the dad beats Amber up and tries to rape her. Jake and his best friend, Liam, beat up the dad and tell him to go away forever. He leaves. Mom gets a job where she out of town 24/7, so Amber and Jake live home alone. Disappearing parent syndrome alert! How convenient! Police are never called about any of this.
When Amber was 8, she was in her room crying. Liam, age 10, sneaks in and consoles her. He sleeps in her bed that night, which starts a trend that goes on for the next 8 years. Fast forward to Amber at age 16 and Liam at age 18. He's still sneaking into her room and sleeping in her bed at night.
Amber is supposedly traumatized for life by the sexual abuse and has panic attacks whenever anyone touches her. Makes sense, except the author completely drops the ball here and these panic attacks only happen when it's convenient to the plot. Liam sleeps in her bed every night, rubbing his morning wood against her every morning (and sometimes before they fall asleep too), but she doesn't seem to mind that!
Amber hates Liam, though she never shows it outside of making snarky comments when he is eating her cereal in the morning. He sleeps in her bed every night to keep her nightmares away, he saves her from all the wannabe rapists (and there are a lot), he drives her wherever she needs to go, he does EVERYTHING for this girl.... but she just keeps on keeping on with the inner monologue about how he's so selfish and she hates him and he's a man-whore. Not sure how much of a man-whore he can be when he is in her bed EVERY SINGLE NIGHT but whatever...
Amber is also unfortunate in that she lives in a town where every single person has zero self control when it comes to their sexual impulses. Jake and Liam are apparently SO good looking that the girls at their school mob their car when the arrive, pushing and shoving each other out of the way to get to Jake and Liam. It's like they're Justin Bieber or something. So freaking ridiculous and unrealistic and stupid.
Amber is sexually assaulted or nearly sexually assaulted by every male character in the book. Apparently she's so good looking that they just can't stop trying to rape her. She's in a store, they come over and act all creepy try to kiss her and Liam has to come save her. She's at a party and a drunk guy pushes her against the counter and kisses her, and Liam has to save her. (At this point, she is not upset because of being sexually assaulted, she is SO EMO BECAUSE HE STOLE HER FIRST KISS... sigh). When a bunch of friends are at her house watching a movie, a third guy forces her into a kiss in the hallway and she kicks him in the balls. This is all before the 35% mark. Three wannabe rapists already! And that's not counting rapist dad!
The girls are not any better. Every single girl in this book acts like a complete slut, including Amber. Amber's best friend Kate comes over to watch movies and starts grabbing Jake's dick. He keeps trying to tell her no and ends up begging Amber to intervene. Of course, he has a personality switch a few chapters later and starts "grinning wickedly" and flirting with Kate. Every female in this book acts like a bitch in heat, constantly purring and flirting and winking and pawing at the male characters even though the male characters are constantly calling them sluts and rejecting them. You would think after the first few rejections these girls would move on, but no... these girls can't control themselves and MUST try to have sex with every single boy they meet.
So Amber and Liam end up making out and start secretly dating. When the hordes of girls at school constantly try to have sex with Liam, he turns them down saying he has a girlfriend. These girls then decide to start a bet to see who can "nail" Liam first. Every girl puts in $20 and they all try to get Liam to have sex with them. The pot gets to over FOUR THOUSAND DOLLARS. So that's over 200 slutty girls all trying to get Liam to have sex with them.
Amber puts in her $20 of course, and then starts acting like a big slut too, even though she's the mystery girlfriend. She decides to start driving Liam crazy by wearing a short skirt to school. She goes up to him in the crowded cafeteria and says she has a bruise on her thigh and asks him to look at it, then proceeds to spread her legs and show him her underwear. In front of the entire school. *twitch*
After a week of dating, Amber and Liam end up having sex. Amber then becomes insatiable and they have sex constantly. None of this causes any issues with her panic attacks, she's fine with it. Guess she forgot about all that sexual abuse from her childhood.
Amber also is in a dance crew (think Step Up / You Got Served) where she does sexually explicit dance moves with boys who touch her, but those don't cause panic attacks either. She decribes one move as having her legs around a boy's neck while she's on his shoulders, then flipping off and wrapping her legs around the boy's waist. No panic attacks here!
Amber wins the sex bet and takes the $4000. To make the other girls jealous, she puts her hand down the front of Liam's pants in front of the entire school, hiding the money next to his johnson. *twitch*
Now, this is where the plot goes in a totally different direction and starts getting REALLY stupid.
Amber gets pregnant by Liam. Good thing there are no parents around to worry about this!
Amber's rapist dad moves back to town with his new wife and son (and 17 year old step-son, Johnny). Johnny and Amber become BFFs, which is so beyond weird to me... but whatever. Amber then goes to rapist dad's house (!!!!!). Rapist dad threatens her with sexual assault again. They also find out that he's been beating his new wife and kids too!
Jake and Liam find out and talk the wife and kids into leaving rapist dad and moving in with them. o.O
Rapist dad gets upset, there is a big fight, he throws Amber against a wall causing her to have a miscarriage. Liam beats him up. Amber ends up in the hospital, where the police show up (wow, they exist in this town??) and they ARREST LIAM!
Amber decides that the only way to resolve this is to meet with rapist dad in private where she records him admitting to his crimes and blackmails him into dropping charges. They all agree that he will go away and leave them alone.
So this rapist dad is STILL free to go rape and abuse more people. He will almost definitely find another woman to abuse and possibly another young girl to molest (and possibly rape) but none of this matters because he is going to leave Amber alone now! She has PROOF that he committed heinous crimes against her and tried to RAPE HER but they're willing to let him be free to rape other people so long as he leaves her alone.
What the hell is wrong with these people??
It's all okay though, because Liam becomes a big NHL star and Amber gets her picture taken by the paparazzi all the time and graduates with a degree in dance choreography. Who cares that they let a rapist free to rape other children, they get their happily ever after!
Wink count: 48 Purr count: 37 Smirk count: 74 Flirt count: 38 Ass count: 91 (this one was the most annoying...everyone calls each other "hot ass" "sexy ass" "fine ass" nonstop throughout the entire book)
This was a really cute book. I LOVED the heroine (Taylor) - she was smart and funny and had a kickass attitude. The hero (Jason) was also hilarious anThis was a really cute book. I LOVED the heroine (Taylor) - she was smart and funny and had a kickass attitude. The hero (Jason) was also hilarious and I appreciated the way he changed throughout the story.
Overall, the plot was light, funny, and easy to read. I really loved the interactions between Taylor and Jason in the beginning - the courtroom scene of their first face-to-face meeting is classic.
The happily ever after comes, of course, but I felt it was a bit abrupt. Taylor had some serious trust issues to overcome, and I don't feel that Jason did anything to help her overcome that. There also isn't a lot of actual romance here - a couple near kisses and one kiss that Taylor doesn't even remember, but that's enough to have her quitting her dream job and professing her undying love. It felt very rushed at the end and I felt that Taylor and Jason needed a few more scenes to solidify their relationship before the HEA.
Even so, it was a fun book to read and I will definitely check out other novels by this author. This is the first I've read of hers and I really enjoyed it!...more
I liked the first 70% of this book, then it just lost me. I really enjoyed the way it was written and I liked that it started off with the explosive eI liked the first 70% of this book, then it just lost me. I really enjoyed the way it was written and I liked that it started off with the explosive ending, then went back in time to elementary school and basically told JJ's life story from there. I really enjoyed JJ/Phillip/Danny throughout elementary/middle/high school... but once they hit college I started to get a little disappointed.
JJ and Danny had some awesome awesome chemistry. I loved the scene where he teaches her to make out. It was so cute, and I totally know that feeling of making out and suddenly 2 hours are gone. The scene where he shows up at the party where her jackass boyfriend cheats on her and they make out again, also good. The prom was great, until the end.
Then came college. It wasn't so bad at the start, but there was a sudden change in everything right around the time JJ was in her senior year. I really thought this was going to be a JJ(view spoiler)[/Danny story. Up until then, there was pretty much no chemistry between JJ and Phillip. Yeah, they snuggled sometimes. Yeah, Phillip was the best friend who was always there for her. But there was zero ZING between them. JJ and Danny have been having steamy makeout sessions for like SEVEN years. Then suddenly we jump ahead a year or two and JJ is helping Danny pick out an engagement ring - he's getting married to a character we are just now meeting. I had a complete 'what the heck??' moment there.
The ending was supposed to be all AWWW ROMANTIC, but I thought it was over the top and silly. JJ and Phillip decide to start dating. They have sex for a week straight, then go on their first date. Phillip sets up this huge proposal and then brings her to their surprise engagement party. On their first date. I know they've been friends forever, but up until a week prior they hadn't really been romantic, ever. (the kiss when they were elementary school kids doesn't count)
I don't know. I was left feeling really unsatisfied and disappointed. I didn't like the rapid switch from JJ/Danny hotness to Danny being engaged to some random chick to JJ/Phillip getting married. It was so quick and rushed and I just didn't feel it. I doubt I will be checking out the sequel because I just don't really like JJ/Phillip as a romantic couple. I much preferred her with Danny - those two were passionate and crazy and would fight all the time, which is infinitely more interesting than Mr. Perfect.
The other main issue I had with the book was what happened to JJ's parents. It was so sudden and sad for a few pages, then after that nearly forgotten about. There were a few mentions, but I tend to feel that major characters dying should have a huge impact on the story. Instead, if those characters hadn't died I don't think anything would have been different, which makes me feel like the author shouldn't have bothered to kill them off. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I enjoyed this book more than I thought I would, considering the reviews a lot of my friends gave it. It was far from perfect and there were a few chaI enjoyed this book more than I thought I would, considering the reviews a lot of my friends gave it. It was far from perfect and there were a few characters that I thought were over the top and ridiculous, but I enjoyed the story overall and found myself turning the pages pretty quickly.
There were a few main things I didn't like. The first was the death of Chloe. She was dead by page 19. We barely get to know her, then she dies, then she's an afterthought. After page 30, I don't think Chloe's name is mentioned more than a couple times in passing. What was amusing to me is Emma whining about people forgetting Chloe within a few weeks... but literally within 3 weeks she does not think of Chloe at all, other than a blip of a mention maybe twice more.
I don't think Chloe dying brought anything to the story and I'm not a fan of arbitrary character death for shock value, which is all this was. Chloe getting attacked and bitten by the shark could have provided exactly the same outcome. Instead, she dies and because Emma has no other friends she's now free to spend every waking minute with Galen.
The other main thing I disliked was Emma's mom. She may win the award for worst/weirdest mom ever. Her idiotic quotes and actions are numerous, but here is the one that stuck out the most to me:
(Emma's mom is having a talk with Galen the first time she meets him)
She grabs a fistful of his T-shirt. "Are you sleeping with her?" ... He shakes his head. "No, ma'am."
She raises a no-nonsense brow. "Why not? What's wrong with my daughter?"
I'm sorry, Galen and Emma have known each other for what, two weeks at this point? She's asking if they're having sex, then when he says no she gets mad because there is something wrong with her daughter? What the BLEEP??
Emma's mom only gets more idiotic and (DO NOT CLICK THIS SPOILER LINK IF YOU HAVE NOT READ THE BOOK)(view spoiler)[when we get to the cliffhanger ending and find out she's Nalia, her behavior seems even more bizarre. (hide spoiler)]
The third thing I disliked was how Rayna/Toraf's "love" story was handled. Rayna fights and fights and fights against having to be mated to Toraf, who she was married to against her will and while she was not even present. She constantly fights against this, and I admire that. I was happy to see a female character with some spine! But then Toraf smooches with Emma just to make Rayna jealous, and it works, and Rayna is suddenly happily married and looking for an island to go bang Toraf on. (sigh)
The fourth thing was Rachel. This character was so over the top and ridiculous, she rivals Emma's mom for most idiotic character. Apparently she was involved in the mob and they tied cinderblocks to her feet and drowned her, but she was saved by the Syrena. Now she's like Galen's assistant or something? I'm not going to dig up her stupid quotes, because I forgot to write down page numbers, but they are numerous as well.
The last thing I had issue with was the constant violence. Rayna is constantly beating the tar out of Toraf (though she may have had good reason, considering he tries to force her to kiss him and stuff). Emma gets mad at Rayna and starts trying to beat the tar out of her (and even throws her through a hurricane glass window). The characters are all pretty physically violent with each other and it seems a little too much.
I did think that the story flowed well and I'm curious enough to want to read the next book and see what happens (grr, I hate cliffhangers!!).
I felt so sad throughout most of this book. It starts off with the main character, Anna, finally getting whaAlso posted on my blog at: Kala's Book Blog
I felt so sad throughout most of this book. It starts off with the main character, Anna, finally getting what she's always wanted - a kiss from her best friend's brother, Matt. Anna and Matt had this absolutely adorable first kiss and relationship, which they kept hidden from Frankie (the best friend/little sister). It's no secret that Matt dies, but I fully admit the whole time I was reading about their relationship I sat there going "please don't die, please don't die" ... it didn't work. He died. And every reference to him for the rest of the book just tore my heart out.
A year later, Anna tags along on a family vacation to the beach with Frankie and her parents. This is the first time the family has done this vacation since the death of Matt and it becomes obvious that everyone has been putting on a show and no one is completely over him. Frankie's coping mechanism has been to throw herself into attracting boys and she tells Anna that they're going to meet 20 boys on vacation with the hopes that Anna will lose her virginity to one.
The rest of the novel is mostly about the vacation, the boys, and the family (plus Anna) finally coming to terms with and dealing with the heartache and loss of Matt. It's also about Frankie and Anna and how the death of Matt has evolved their friendship into something completely different, which neither of them quite know how to handle.
I struggled through the book, not because of the writing (which was beautiful) or the characters (which were mostly well developed and compelling), but because it was just so sad. I'm not going to give it a bad rating for that, because I knew going in that it would be a depressing novel, but I tend to prefer happier novels. I see enough depressing stuff in real life.
It does have a mostly happy ending, and a realistic ending, that I appreciated. I did like the book and would definitely recommend it - just have tissues on hand....more
The ending of this book felt bittersweet to me, so I suppose the title is appropriate. I mostly enjoyed it up until that point.
The main character, HudThe ending of this book felt bittersweet to me, so I suppose the title is appropriate. I mostly enjoyed it up until that point.
The main character, Hudson, is likeable and interesting. I really felt bad for her as she's been dealt a rough hand in life, however I had a hard time relating to her decisions because they were so opposite to anything I would ever do.
When she's younger she finds out her dad is cheating on her mom about 15 minutes before a huge ice skating competition. She decides to throw the competition because they are getting divorced. I don't understand the mentality behind this. I just don't see a 14 year old girl with Olympic dreams whose whole life has revolved around skating for years throwing a huge competition because she doesn't think her family can afford the skating after her parents divorce. I know I never thought about my parents financial situation when I was that age, and I highly doubt she would be THAT concerned about it to the point where she purposely throws the most important skating competition of her life.
But Hudson does throw the competition, stops skating, and starts becoming a slave for her mother at the diner. This is the second major issue I had with the book. I get that her mom is struggling, but maybe she should ask for more child support from the jet setting father instead of forcing her teenage daughter to work FULL TIME waitressing. The same daughter who is also running a cupcake making/catering business as well. This poor kid has to get up at the crack of dawn to make cupcakes, then work the dinner shift 4-5 days a week waiting tables. When is she supposed to do homework?
Somehow Hudson manages to find time for all that, plus she starts skating again. And while skating she runs into a cute boy from her school (Josh) who thinks she is awesome and begs her to teach the hockey team how to skate. Apparently the hockey team sucks until the figure skater shows up, and within a few pages they are amazing and winning games. Oooookay.
Hudson gets led to believe that Josh has a girlfriend named Abby, so she starts dating Will (another hockey guy) even though she's not really attracted to him. She does all this on the sly, causing a huge rift between herself and her friends. One of her old skating friends, Kara, tries to talk to her about Will and Hudson acts like a big jerk. The romance part of the book is okay, but considering she spends the majority of the book dating Will instead of Josh... it just wasn't amazing.
Hudson also hates the small town she lives in. She gets a letter about a skating competition for a huge scholarship and she believes that will be a great way for her to get out of town and make something of her life. In the end, (view spoiler)[she's guilt tripped so much by her friends and family that she forfeits the competition and decides that her place is working her ass off at the diner for the rest of high school and then going to college with a convenient bunch of money that's been saved up that her mom has never told her about. (hide spoiler)]
I guess that the point is supposed to be she never wanted the skating dream in the first place, but that doesn't seem to be the case until the very end.
I just found it disappointing. :( ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I really liked this book... until the end. When I got to the end I kind of sat there and went WTF?
Most of the book centers around Meg and John. Meg isI really liked this book... until the end. When I got to the end I kind of sat there and went WTF?
Most of the book centers around Meg and John. Meg is a wild child who gets caught drunk and high on a bridge in a small Alabama town. John is a police officer who catches her. As part of her plea deal, she has to ride along with him for a week (the week that would have been her spring break). During that week, Meg and John start to develop feelings that come to a head a few days after the week is over.
Meg was compelling. I loved her attitude and found her backstory to be interesting. There were times I thought she went a little overboard on the hate for her parents, but she is 17 and has gone through a lot with them so I kind of understand.
John was great, until the end where I felt like the author rushed things and kind of ruined his character. He became a police officer very young (at 19) because he was very driven and that was what he wanted to do with his life. At the end (view spoiler)[he basically decides to go back to college and give all of that up because of Meg, who he has known for one week. Becoming a police officer is a long process and from how he acted throughout the book, it sounded like it was something he was very passionate about. Getting a job as a cop takes a long time, and the training takes a long time, and while sometimes people quit, for the most part it's not a job where people come and go like they would at a McDonalds or a restaurant. It's a career, not a job. And John seemed so in to the whole idea of it (not just the bridge), so it bothered me that he was just going to give it all up at the end because of one week with Meg. (hide spoiler)] Sorry, I guess that was a bit of a rant. :)
On that same note, (view spoiler)[I also have a hard time believing that Meg is "cured" of her issues after only one week with John. While I really liked their interactions, it really just comes across as insta-love. This girl was so flawed, and I LOVED that, but at the end she changes from a blue-haired, sassy, wild girl with a bad attitude who doesn't make plans and doesn't call people into a brown-haired wannabe track star at college who is making long term plans for with John after just a week. (hide spoiler)] I just don't buy it.
The writing was pretty good and I managed to read this entire book in about 2 hours without stopping. I didn't want to put it down, which is always a wonderful feeling. I may check out more books by this author because I did like this one.
I do want to complain about the e-book having so much extra crap in it that the actual book ends at 77%! Also, e-book being priced higher than the paperback is a huge turnoff! While I plan on reading more by this author at some point, I won't buy more until the e-book price is dropped!
The blurb for this book is misleading. This book is not a romantic comedy at all. I can't recall a single moment that made me laugh. It's more like aThe blurb for this book is misleading. This book is not a romantic comedy at all. I can't recall a single moment that made me laugh. It's more like a typical YA romance novel.
Ella, the main character, is not too bad. She's shy and damaged and very self conscious about a scar she got as a child. Her best friends and her family are even better - Frankie and Sadie and her grandma are all awesome. Ella and her friends attend a private school and are the outcasts. She's had a crush on popular boy Alex Bainbridge for a long time.
Eventually (not until about 30% of the way through) Alex becomes Ella's tutor. I enjoyed most of the Alex/Ella interaction, but they were too few and far between. I think Ella spent more time interacting with a picture of a dead painter (who TALKED BACK). This is where the novel got so boring. I couldn't stand Ella's infatuation with "Edward Willing." She had long in depth conversations with him and spent pages and pages and pages researching him. I got so bored I ended up skipping most of it.
The ending was also kind of abrupt. I think Ella had a valid point about Alex hiding their relationship. He had excuse after excuse about why and the way it's written, we're made to believe that his hiding her is okay.
I enjoyed the parts of this book where Ella was with her friends/family/Alex. Hated the parts where she was obsessing over the painter. Because of that, I wasn't overly impressed by it, but I would read something else by this author. ...more
I really liked the first 100-150 pages of this book. Then I just got so bored that I started skimming until about page 300. Then I started skipping fuI really liked the first 100-150 pages of this book. Then I just got so bored that I started skimming until about page 300. Then I started skipping full sections and realizing I wasn't missing out on much of anything plot related. I have it for another 8 days from the library, so I plan on attempting to go back and read it more thoroughly, but as of now I struggled with it.
The writing is beautiful, but the main character (Diana) just bored the crap out of me. There's only so much I can read about her sitting in a library reading papers. I find sitting around reading research papers to be pretty boring in general - and the only thing more boring than reading them is reading about someone reading them. YAWN.
We also get to read about every meal Diana eats, every cup of tea she drinks, every stroke of the oars when she rows on the river for exercise (every morning...). It got to be overkill, majorly.
The vampire Matthew was intriguing at the start, but I also soon became bored of him as well. When I read the first yoga scene at Matthew's house, I nearly facepalmed. Especially when Diana sees Matthew standing on his ear. Seriously?
I think this book would be better if she chopped 200 pages of fluff out and streamlined the plot. The writing is beautiful, but it just became so tedious that I started to force myself to continue - which is always a bad sign. ...more