Colleen Hoover is so ridiculously talented. Slammed was, by far, one of the BEST books I read in 2012. The sAlso posted on my blog at: Kala's Book Blog
Colleen Hoover is so ridiculously talented. Slammed was, by far, one of the BEST books I read in 2012. The sequel wasn't as good, but still miles and miles ahead of almost everything else I read this year. As soon as I found out about Hopeless, I put it on my to-read list and bought and read it the day it came out.
SO GLAD I DID.
This book is amazing! I'll admit, I liked Slammed better, but only because Slammed was a little more innocent and fluffy compared to this. Hopeless tackles much bigger obstacles and Colleen Hoover handles them beautifully.
SOME MINOR SPOILERS BELOW
There is another book with a slightly similar premise - The Boy Who Sneaks in my Bedroom Window. When I got it, I was looking forward to reading a book about a girl dealing with the aftermath of childhood molestation. That author completely screwed it up. When I started reading Hopeless and realized that it was also about a girl dealing with the same issues, I was a little worried... but I shouldn't have been. It was handled so perfectly, and so realistically.
The main character of Hopeless, Sky, is a messed up 17 year old girl. She has been home schooled her entire life and her mother has finally agreed to let her go to a real high school for her senior year. Unfortunately, Sky's best friend, Six, has helped her get a reputation as a slut.
Sky has made out with several of the local boys, but she mostly does it to try and feel something. Unfortunately, she doesn't feel anything but numbness when she's with them. She spends the entire time staring at her ceiling, bored out of her mind.
Because of this, Sky is surprised to meet Holder, a guy who sparks something in her that is new and scary and exciting.
As Sky's relationship progresses, the secrets about her past begin to unfold and WOW. I wasn't expecting some of it! The molestation part isn't a big secret - that is pretty obvious from the first or second flashback. But the rest of it? Definitely wasn't expecting!
I absolutely fell in love with Sky and Holder. They're both flawed but likable, something so rare in YA/NA these days. I'm constantly hating the main characters of novels but in this case, I adored both of them.
Pretty sure Colleen Hoover was already on my auto-buy list, but if she wasn't she has definitely solidified her spot there now! ...more
It took awhile for me to read this because I was so disappointed by the first book in this series. However, I love this author and eventually decidedIt took awhile for me to read this because I was so disappointed by the first book in this series. However, I love this author and eventually decided to buy Where You Are and give it a go.
SO glad I did! This book blows book 1 out of the water!
Where You Are alternates between four POVs, Emma, Graham, Brooke, and Reid. It's done in a way that's easy to read and understand and definitely brings a lot to the story. Usually I'm not a big fan of rotating POVs constantly, but this story needed it!
The plot basically revolves around Emma and Graham's relationship, with Brooke (and sort of Reid) doing everything they can to break it up because Brooke wants to be with Graham and Reid wants a second chance with Emma. You also really get a feel for the characters this time around - I felt like I finally understood where all of them were coming from. One of my major issues in Between the Lines was we only really got to know Emma and Reid (and Reid only kind of), yet Emma ends up with Graham.
When the book comes to its climax, it's not a surprise. The surprise is all the twists and turns it took to get to what you know is inevitable and the ride was well worth it. Reid is one of my favorite characters and I liked how this book ended for him (despite me being unhappy with how he ended up in Between the Lines).
I have mixed feelings about Good For You. Reid has been such a dynamic and interesting character and I was curious about how Tammara Webber would writI have mixed feelings about Good For You. Reid has been such a dynamic and interesting character and I was curious about how Tammara Webber would write his love story.
At the start of the book, Reid is up to his usual antics - partying, womanizing, and drunk driving. After being completely wasted and plowing in to a house, Reid finds himself in front of a judge who sentences him to a month of community service building houses.
He meets Dori at the home building site where she is a volunteer. Dori is such a goody-two-shoes it got to be annoying. She says things like "Popsicles!" instead of cursing and spends every minute of her free time doing some sort of volunteer work (she delivers Meals on Wheels, works for Habitat for Humanity, works with kids, etc). I have no idea how she finds time for all of that! On top of it all, she's the preacher's daughter.
Dori is described as plain faced and wears baggy ugly old clothes all the time. She takes an instant disliking to Reid and the two spend the first half of the book bantering back and forth with insults. She is attracted to him though (he's a hot movie star, who wouldn't be?), and for some reason Reid is attracted to her. I don't really know why.
Reid's POV throughout the story was pretty good - though I found his transformation to be REALLY fast. The guy has been a larger than life, party-going celebrity for years and makes a very sudden switch to sober, stay-at-home, celibate good boy.
I also don't really know how this relationship will work. Reid is a celebrity. A huge A-list celebrity. While he and Dori have a great relationship when they're hanging out alone at his house, he can't stay cooped up in there forever. He's going to be on location a lot for movies, at premieres, at parties, etc. How does Dori fit in to all of that? It's never really brought up....more
The two main characters, Melanie and Daniel, meet while in high school. They fall instantly in love as soon as thI didn't like this book much at all.
The two main characters, Melanie and Daniel, meet while in high school. They fall instantly in love as soon as they lay eyes on each other. They literally see each other, fall in love, he takes her hand and leads her up the stairs where they go make out for hours.
Through a series of unbelievable and unfortunate events, they break up several months later. Melanie is so upset by this that she goes out, meets a man 20 years older than her, has sex with him a few minutes later, and agrees to marry him and basically be his slave. She knows he is abusive, but she doesn't care. If she can't have Daniel, her life isn't worth living (UGH).
Daniel is emo about it too and has a series of one night stands ending up with one of the girls getting pregnant. This happens 9 years after the breakup of Daniel/Melanie and coincidentally occurs on the same day that Daniel meets Melanie again.
The whole "souls speaking to each other" thing was absolutely ridiculous. When Daniel and Melanie are near each other, they both start shaking and their "souls" constantly "speak" to each other somehow. It's really silly.
Throughout the entire nine years apart, they each are sickly sweet and overly sappy, doing things like crying themselves to sleep saying "I miss you Melanie/Daniel" into their pillows. It's cheesy and I spent SO much time facepalming and eyerolling while reading this. Terrible!
The plot continues, getting even more and more ridiculous as it goes on. The ending is even worse as everything somehow works out perfectly for Daniel and Melanie to get everything they ever wanted, even what was impossible....more
I recently read The Perfect Game by J. Sterling and I liked it a lot. It had some issues with the plot that made me give it only 3 stars, but overallI recently read The Perfect Game by J. Sterling and I liked it a lot. It had some issues with the plot that made me give it only 3 stars, but overall I enjoyed the characters and the writing.
Not as much with Chance Encounters. I thought the first meeting between Jackson and Caroline was awkward and unrealistic. I didn't buy the progression of their relationship at all.
It's also difficult to become attached to a character as unlikable as Caroline. She is constantly talking to Jackson, mooning over his gifts, swooning over his letters, but she is in a steady and committed relationship with another man that she claims to love. I have a really hard time identifying with someone who cheats for an extended period of time. No, Caroline did not have sex with Jackson, but she had a relationship with him and she continued that relationship for over half a year (until Jackson broke it off after he found out Caroline got engaged to her boyfriend).
We don't get to spend much time with Jackson or really get to know him at all, but he was pretty bland. He was too perfect. I can't even think of one flaw the guy had.
I think the author wrote this before The Perfect Game and her writing has definitely improved. I'll probably check out future books by her, but this one just wasn't great....more
**spoiler alert** How common are forced co-ed living situations at college? I haven't experienced it myself, but I have a hard time believing that a c**spoiler alert** How common are forced co-ed living situations at college? I haven't experienced it myself, but I have a hard time believing that a college would force a girl to have a boy as a roommate who is making her uncomfortable.
Taylor is surprised when Hunter shows up as her new roommate. He immediately rubs her the wrong way and makes things extremely uncomfortable and awkward for her. He sleeps naked and borderline sexually harasses her.
He eventually comes around and is pretty likable, but that's long after Taylor has complained to the housing admin about him and his behavior and they refused to change anything. I don't know, I just don't find this realistic at all.
Either way, once we get into the meat of the story, it becomes much better. I started liking Hunter and I liked Taylor from the start. They're both individuals with screwed up pasts who end up on a collision course with each other from the moment they meet.
Once they started admitting they didn't hate each other, the progression of Hunter and Taylor's relationship was really cute and fun to watch. Not to mention HOT HOT HOT! These two have some serious chemistry!
Overall, I liked the book quite a bit. My only other big issue was the nickname of Missy which was just weird. How it came about was kind of strange, and Missy/Miss just seem like a title, not a nickname.
On a semi-unrelated side note: I love the author's choices of music that are mentioned in the book. She mentioned Parachute at one point and I had never heard of them (I live under a rock). Great band! I just bought a ton of their songs and absolutely LOVE them now....more
I'm so glad I discovered Nyrae Dawn because I pretty much love every contemporary that she has written, everAlso posted on my blog at: Kala's Book Blog
I'm so glad I discovered Nyrae Dawn because I pretty much love every contemporary that she has written, ever. Including this one.
Dizzy is a collaboration and I had never heard of the other author before. I will be checking her out now! I heard that Nyrae Dawn wrote the Dylan parts and Jolene Perry wrote the Ziah parts. Both were very well done!
As with all of her books, Dawn's characters are always complex and interesting and they always have issues. Ziah and Dylan both have trust issues, Ziah's thanks to a cheating ex boyfriend and Dylan's thanks to a flighty mom who abandoned him. Their relationship progresses slowly as they both learn to deal with their own personal demons as well as each others.
I also like how Alyssa was dealt with here. Ziah was betrayed when her seemingly perfect boyfriend, James, cheated on her with her best friend Alyssa. I don't want to go in to details about how things turned out, because that would spoil it, but I thought it was handled realistically and I felt really happy with how things ended up between Ziah and her best friend.
Great book, as always! Can't wait to see what Nyrae Dawn writes next!...more
Nora Roberts books just keep getting more and more formulaic. I have already given up on her "In Death" series because the last few have bored me to tNora Roberts books just keep getting more and more formulaic. I have already given up on her "In Death" series because the last few have bored me to tears. There is no spark in them anymore.
Despite that, I've generally enjoyed her trilogies. Chesapeake Bay and the Key trilogies are some of my favorites. The Bride quartet was also really good, and I had high hopes for the Inn Boonsboro series, but it just fell flat.
The Perfect Hope suffered from some of the same nonsense as The Last Boyfriend. The characters spend a lot of time talking and very little time doing anything. Hope and Ryder (the couple of this book) have a small kiss. We then have to slog through pages upon pages of Hope talking to Clare and Avery about it. Then Avery and Clare talking about it without Hope. Then Hope talking about it with Ryder's mother. Then Ryder talking about it with his brothers. Then the brothers talking about it without Ryder. None of these conversations was THAT important. Did we really every single character's opinion on a kiss between two unattached adults?
In The Perfect Hope, Roberts also continues her new trend of having her characters schedule sex. I'm sorry, but this is NOT sexy or romantic at all. Hope and Ryder admit to each other that they want to have sex, so they decide to schedule it for the following Tuesday. Avery and Owen did this in The Last Boyfriend as well. It's not funny, or sexy, or interesting at all.
Considering Roberts' publisher also charges $10 an ebook (sometimes closer to $15), I think I will be stopping here with her novels. There are so many other books out there that I can't continue wasting my time and money on stuff that just isn't magical anymore. ...more
These books are such a guilty pleasure! I'm a little disappointed that book 5 was ahead of 3 and 4, but it was still pretty good! It's not like a happThese books are such a guilty pleasure! I'm a little disappointed that book 5 was ahead of 3 and 4, but it was still pretty good! It's not like a happy ending for Jace and Eric wasn't expected anyways, so there aren't any real spoilers.
I got Reached from the library and it sat here. And sat here. And become overdue by a week. And finally I opened it up and started reading and it wasI got Reached from the library and it sat here. And sat here. And become overdue by a week. And finally I opened it up and started reading and it was pretty boring.
It starts off with all of the main characters split up, working on their own parts of the upcoming "rising." I never found Cassia to be particularly intriguing, but she was downright yawn inducing here. The entire concept of trading poems like they are some kind of rich commodity is downright ridiculous. The entire time we're in Cassia's head, she's waxing poetic about Ky and trading poems (!!!).
Ky and Xander both are mooning over Cassia, at least until Xander runs in to another female. The love triangle was not much of a triangle. There was never an option of Ky and Cassia not ending up together, it was just a matter of what would Condie do with poor Xander. Would she kill him off? Would she make him end up heartbroken and alone? Or would she do the ultimate love triangle cop-out and find him his own love interest?
I'll give you three guesses and I bet it will only take one!
As far as the "Rising" itself... talk about an uninteresting takeover. We spend pages and pages going OMG THE PILOT! He's COMING! THE RISING IS STARTING! Then boom, flip a page and the Rising has already taken over. There's no war. It's just done. And I sat here going 'what the ****?'
I'll be completely honest, after that point, I ended up skipping huge chunks of the book and I missed absolutely nothing important. If I can skip 50-80 pages in one huge chunk and I'm not completely lost when I start again, something is wrong with your novel!
This series was never that amazing to begin with, but this conclusion is far from epic. I didn't like it at all and I highly doubt I'll read anything further from this author....more
Daughter of Smoke and Bone absolutely blew me away and I've been completely terrified that Days of Blood andAlso posted on my blog at: Kala's Book Blog
Daughter of Smoke and Bone absolutely blew me away and I've been completely terrified that Days of Blood and Starlight would fall into the usual mediocre second book trap. Instead, the complete opposite. This book surpassed the first, by a LOT. It was different, though. It wasn't what I was expecting. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but this definitely was not it.
Once upon a time, an angel and a devil held a wishbone between them.
And its snap split the world in two.
Days of Blood and Starlight starts shortly after Daughter of Smoke and Bone ends. The bridge scene has caused quite a ruckous with the media and civilian people are predicting the apocalypse. Karou is missing. Akiva is devastated by how everything turned out in Smoke and Bone. Akiva is searching for signs that Karou is alive, and her friends are trying to figure it all out as well.
Eventually, we discover Karou is in fact alive and has taken over Brimstone's job as resurrectionist. She's torn, knowing that she's building an army not only to save her people, but also to exterminate Akiva's people. While she hates Akiva, she's still uncomfortable with all of the brutal killing. As Madrigal, she and Akiva had dreamed of peace, and she doesn't have faith that their dream is possible any longer. Akiva is struggling in a similar fashion, being forced to kill innocent chimaera while trying to figure out how to keep his and Madrigal/Karou's dream alive somehow. He knows Karou hates him, and he's trying to figure out a way to atone for all the horrible things he's done.
Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a world free of bloodshed and war.
This is not that world.
This book is about way more than the two of them though. While Daughter of Smoke and Bone may have been about their love story, both the most recent and the past, Days of Blood and Starlight is about the aftermath of their lustful decisions. It's about genocide and war and morality and death and life. And still a little about love. But I'd say the Akiva/Karou love story takes a backburner to the bigger story, which is the war between the angels and the chimaera.
I love this book. And this author. And I'm incredibly emo that I have to wait so long for the third book in this series. These two books are, by FAR, some of the most phenominal stuff I've read. EVER....more
I actually liked this one even better than the first! While I really enjoyed getting to know Cammie in the first Gallagher Girls book, I found the secI actually liked this one even better than the first! While I really enjoyed getting to know Cammie in the first Gallagher Girls book, I found the secondary characters to really shine here.
The book starts off with Cammie and her friends having another Covert Ops assignment where they have to try and avoid being seen by some other unknown spies. Cammie thinks she's done well, and even takes time to flirt with some cute boys, until she finds out that the boys are the spies and they're from a rival school! Oops!
Cammie and her friends return to school a little worse for the wear, and suddenly have to solve another mystery - why is there a wing of their school closed? Why are the teachers lying about it?
Zach, the new love interest for Cammie, is SO much more fun and interesting than Josh. While Cammie is still pining away for Josh, she can't help but be intrigued by Zach (and neither could I!).
Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy reads a lot like the first book - meaning it's quick and easy and cute and fun. I'm definitely going to be continuing on with this series. ...more
I'm a big fan of horses (I own two) and I used to compete on the A-circuitThis review also posted on my blog at: Kala's Book Blog
This book is terrible.
I'm a big fan of horses (I own two) and I used to compete on the A-circuit quite a bit, though not at the level of the girls in this book. I'm glad I have that background, else I wouldn't understand half of this book. If you don't know a lot of equestrian vernacular, this book will be VERY confusing for you!
The characters in this book are all over the top and unredeemed at the end.
Kate is probably my favorite, as she is the most down to earth of the three female leads. She's the poor girl who has to work her butt off for a chance to ride some nice horses in big shows.
Fitz is the guy rider who is a player. He has a thing for Kate, but she is scared to get involved with him because of his reputation.
Tommi is just kind of there. She's super rich, has lots of expensive horses, doesn't have a great relationship with her family, and is kind of boring.
Zara is terrible. She is absolutely terrible. I could deal with the horrible attitude if she learned something by the end... but she doesn't! At the end (SPOILER ALERT) she is drunk, takes someone else's horse out, starts jumping huge fences with it, and seriously injures it to the point where it probably can never compete again. At this point, Zara has been a completely idiotic rude bitch for the entire novel and this incident is the icing on the cake.
She doesn't get in trouble. She suffers NO consequences for her bad behavior. Ever.
Instead, FITZ volunteers to take the fall for Zara's COMPLETELY AWFUL behavior that RUINED someone else's EXTREMELY EXPENSIVE horse. Him volunteering to get in trouble for this is supposedly a way to prove to Kate that he's serious about their relationship. This makes NO sense at all. NONE! NONE NONE NONE!
And Zara gets away with a completely heinous crime against a horse (and that horse's owner).
The horse trainer put up with Zara's bad behavior for the entire novel, despite her disrupting everything in his barn. Everyone basically puts up with it, and when she finally spins out of control enough to really cause some serious damage and you think she's FINALLY going to turn things around... someone else takes the fall for her and she gets away with it again. And continues acting horrible.
Absolutely terrible terrible awful awful book! Do not pay money for this garbage!...more
I have really mixed feelings about this book. The first half is almost a clone of Beautiful DisasterReview also posted on my blog at: Kala's Book Blog
I have really mixed feelings about this book. The first half is almost a clone of Beautiful Disaster with Jack acting like a huge player who "never sleeps with the same girl twice" and gets in fights a lot (aka Travis). Cassie acts exactly like Abby as the girl who can resist him, but not really, and he instantly falls for her. They start dating quickly and he becomes possessively obsessed with Cassie. He even gives her an arbitrary nick name the first time they meet - Kitten (which makes as much sense as Pigeon, but at least is something cute instead of the cockroach of birds). Jack also beats people up, treats every other girl (EXCEPT Cassie and her best friend) like a slut.
Speaking of the best friend, Cassie's best friend is a clone of the BFF in Beautiful Disaster too. She fluctuates between warning Cassie off of Jack and telling Cassie to forgive Jack's constant bad behavior.
Despite the similarities to Beautiful Disaster, I still enjoyed the story for the most part.
The book starts deviating in plotline towards the middle when Jack gets drafted (for baseball). Major spoilers after this point!
Jack cheats on Cassie, which I don't understand at all. I know he was drunk, but he was completely uninterested in this girl who won't leave him alone yet he KEEPS drinking until he's so drunk he goes home with her.
Of course, the girl ends up pregnant. Then Jack, who is the biggest moron ever, decides he has to marry the girl. He can't stand her, is in love with Cassie (who is willing to forgive him despite him cheating AND getting a girl pregnant), but he insists on torturing everyone by marrying the girl.
AND HE DOES IT. Despite Cassie coming down the day before to beg him not to. That conversation broke my heart and the way he treated Cassie during that conversation, especially when the other girl shows up, was unforgivable. Completely unforgivable.
But then, of course, the girl was faking the pregnancy (and Jack, the biggest moron ever, can't wait to see a pregnancy test or a PATERNITY TEST... this girl is a huge slut and he doesn't wait for a paternity test??).
So Jack dumps her and waits six months to beg for Cassie back. I admit he did it in a cute way, but I didn't care at that point. He was not redeemable at that point. He just wasn't. So I couldn't feel like it was a happy ending, despite it being a happy ending.
I was impressed by the author's writing style though. The book was well edited, has a nice cover, and was formatted well. Though I had some issues with the story itself, the book flowed really well and was a quick and easy read. I will be checking out additional books by this author.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I enjoyed Losing It, but I wasn't blown away by it. Slammed is a MUCH better teacher/student/I dThis review also posted on my blog at: Kala's Book Blog
I enjoyed Losing It, but I wasn't blown away by it. Slammed is a MUCH better teacher/student/I didn't know/OMG love story, but Losing It is still decent.
I have to say, I hated the names. I'm not a big fan of wacky names in general, but there are times when the names grow on me. In this case, the names were just all off-the-wall. Bliss is a difficult name to take seriously on a heroine, and Garrick isn't bad, but it sounds like someone's SCA roleplaying name. We also have Cade, the guy best friend who is secretly in love with Bliss.
The story itself is a quick and easy read and the characters are mostly interesting and fleshed out. However, the virginity thing was made in to such a huge deal that I was starting to wonder if I bought one of those faith-based books on accident. I didn't, but Bliss' craziness over the whole virginity thing borderlined on over the top.
While I liked Cade as the best friend, his character kind of got ruined when he became the third wheel in a sort of love triangle that went nowhere. Bliss made it pretty obvious she wasn't interested in him like that, but he didn't want to take no for an answer and then he turned from the sweet best friend into kind of a jerk. I know his feelings got hurt, but love isn't always requited. It's a believable scenario, but I didn't feel like the Cade thing added anything to the storyline.
Garrick was kind of generic and suffered from the 'too perfect' syndrome that so many romance novel heroes have. He has a British accent, he rides a motorcycle, he's so hot that women can't seem to stop throwing themselves at him, he's an actor (at least he's not famous!), he's completely understanding and sweet about the virginity thing...
The only downside to Garrick was that I didn't feel like he fought the student/teacher relationship thing at all. He said he did, but he kept grabbing Bliss and kissing her at school. It was kind of strange. It felt like Bliss tried a lot harder to fight it, but Garrick is the one who had everything at stake.
The romance between Garrick and Bliss was cute, overall, and I enjoyed reading about the progression of their relationship. Their almost sex scenes (V-CARD!) were steamy!
While I thought Slammed was FAR better than this, I still enjoyed Losing It and will probably be checking in to other books by this author. ...more