this book is so ridiculously ignorant and poorly planned and this is such a poorly done rip off of the whole william-kate relationship but in reality...morethis book is so ridiculously ignorant and poorly planned and this is such a poorly done rip off of the whole william-kate relationship but in reality whose parents would ever let their clueless teenager with no sense of direction out and about in foreign places?
also the fact that they meet because they keep running into each other in different countries is a huge stalker alert and i would NEVER let some random guy (no matter how attractive) show me around a foreign place they're not even from and stalks me(less)
To be fair, I read up until 50% of this book, skimmed for a while, and then skipped ahead to the 95% mark where I finished the book. So I wasn’t entirely sure whether to classify this book as a “DNF” read or as a full-fledged read. But in the end, because I knew what happened at the very end in terms of the resolution, I was overly indulgent and told myself I had completed this novel. The reason I was so hesitant to endure the other half was because of how much I really hated the characters. Only Everything is told in three different people’s perspectives: the exiled goddess Eros who goes by the name True on Earth, the dad-less student Katrina struggling with her identity, and the new kid Charlie who’s infatuated with Katrina. It’s an interesting cast by far, but what I really hated about them were that they weren’t compelling characters. In terms of the story itself, it was decent, although the attitudes of our main characters really pissed me off.
First of all, True, alias Cupid, was so stupid that I wanted to take her neck and squeeze. She would come to school wearing stuff like a dress layered over jeans, sneakers, and a baseball cap, it wasn’t just secondhand embarrassment, it was idiotic. If you made frequent visits to Earth, then you should be familiar with the fashion choices there. Even if you do meet up with your boyfriend or girlfriend secretly in a secluded forest, you should still have an idea of what you’re up against before you go to a foreign place. Not to mention, True was teaching Orion about Earth before they were separated and she got exiled to Earth. So the fact that she tries to make herself as conspicuous as possible at high school is ridiculous. High school’s ruthless—you’re going to get noticed for what fashion chooses you make, especially when they’re as out of date as hers were.
Furthermore, True needed to stop whining and being obnoxious. Every other chapter, she was saying something about how much she wanted her powers back. Like, no. You’re exiled for a reason, and if you can’t get along okay without your powers, then we have a problem here.
This could not be my reflection. The hair in tangles, the gray swipes of color under the eyes, the red nose with its skin peeling along its bridge. I leaned forward, horrified. Was that a pimple on my chin?
“No!” I cried, the tears flowing freely now. “This was not a part of our deal! No one said I was going to deteriorate!”
Then she goes on a tangent on how beautiful she was as a goddess, and how her being ugly would’ve made Orion run for the hills, because obviously true love is based off of how pretty you are. Nothing annoys me more in mythology than when characters are depicted as literally perfect just because they’re gods and goddesses. Obviously not, because Hera was a jealous bitch, and Hades was a psychotic bastard. True needed to stop with the “I’m so not pretty anymore my life is ooooovvvvveeeeerrrrrr” melodrama because nobody cares, girl. And then in another chapter, she gets drunk because she drinks two bottles of wine and then literally whines, “This has never happened to me before!!!” while ranting about how she needs to get back to Orion and reclaim her goddess-status. If you know that being a human’s different from being a goddess, you have to know that you’re weaker and more susceptible to illness and imperfection. But no, she continues to cry over how much of a lightweight she is.
In Katrina and Charlie’s point of view, True would constantly spout random shit that just made her seem really desperate and annoying. She would pretty much say out loud that she only needed x amount of match-ups left to be allowed back to Orion, and all it would do was make it harder for anyone to want to put their love life into their hands. She would push girls onto Charlie and even when he obviously wasn’t interested, True would whine at him and try and get him to give the girl in question a chance.
Both Katrina and Charlie were perfect for each other—because they were such pushovers. Katrina was in SUCH a toxic relationship, both with her old boyfriend and friends, and the fact that she didn’t even bother standing up for herself made me so mad. She didn’t even get angry at them for what they did to her. They treated her like utter shit and she wouldn’t even think, “That doesn’t sound right,” she’d be like, “I guess they’re not very close friends with me because they’re siding with her this time” instead. The same went with Charlie, because he couldn’t even stand up for himself and even though on the inside he would be screaming for help, on the outside he grinned and bore it.
I gave Only Everything that extra half star for the possibility of character development by the end, although with how much the supporting and main characters annoyed me, I wasn’t going to hold out. The ending did nothing to convince me to return to my reading spot and actually finish it, except for maybe the progression of Charlie and Katrina’s relationship, which was still nonexistent at 50% so I’m not sure how well that would’ve went over any other way.
It seems that the contemporary books I count on to lift my spirits have actually been crashing and burning, this one unfortunately not being that one book to break my unlucky streak.
At the end of eighth grade, Lucy Carpenter was mortified when she tried to make a move on her best guy friend, Jackson, wherein he responded, "Don't.” Years later, Lucy, moving in with Mikayla to a quant house, is suddenly thrust back into Jackson's world, but that's where the cliché story ends. Jackson actually ends up falling for Lucy's best friend Mikayla, which causes a series of problems and turmoil. Personally, I felt that Mikayla and Jackson's relationship was so stupid because she didn't even know his name at first and then all of a sudden she was willing throw away her best friend for the sake of a guy she barely knew. If my best friend had bad history with someone, I wouldn't go after that someone if I barely knew him or her. But not only was their relationship rushed and implausible, Mikayla briefly asked Lucy her opinion, and when Lucy replied a vague, "Sure," Mikayla interpreted it as a sign that she was doing things right and shouldn't change the amount of communication she was having with him. If you’re her best friend, you should be able to tell she’s not sincere, and you should be trying to take the relationship slower for the sake of your friend. Maybe it’s unorthodox of me, but personally I believe that a friendship takes precedence over a romance.
How to Meet Boys is told in both Mikayla and Lucy's perspectives, so you see both of them falling for a guy and having their share of romantic moments. I didn't particularly favor any of the relationships featured, and I felt that the conversation between the two couples at times was dry and lifeless.
Basically *and the following is an exaggeration*:
Lucy: hey Love Interest: hey L: what's up you look different LI: nah it's probably just my new watch L: lol cool
Lucy didn't even seem that bothered by Mikayla's relationship with Jackson, but we were told that she isn't supposed to like the idea of her almost-boyfriend and her best friend hooking up. Whenever she's not having a flimsy rant over how upset she is about the whole thing, she’s having a side romance. Since they worked together at Lucy’s grandparent’s store, they spent a lot of time together. By that point, I believed there was more chemistry between Lucy and Jackson than either of the real relationships going. Lucy and Mikayla’s friend dynamic is flimsy at best, and it’s irrelevant to have the fact that they’re best friends thrown in there if they don’t even spend that much time with each other.(less)
Why does this keep happening to me? All these amazing books that have received a ton of hype, and none of it has been up my alley! Better off Friends is pretty cute, yes, but it also has some flaws that I couldn’t really overlook.
First off, I loved Levi and Macallan’s relationship. They met when Levi first moved from California and soon became best friends. Their conversations are so best-friend material, encompassing everything that two people close to each other would say. I loved how comfortable and easygoing they were towards each other, and it was the small gestures they exchanged that really clinched it for me. There was this one scene where Levi saw Macallan at a restaurant and just put his head on her shoulder while she was order, like it was nothing. Even though I didn’t approve of Levi’s motives, the act in itself was adorable and super cute. Their friendship is the kind of relationship I want to have with someone. I want a best friend as dedicated as they are towards each other!
Past the content of their friendship, I can’t say I loved anything else. I felt like the first half was kind of slow, because I understand that it was to build up the relationship between Levi and Macallan, it wasn’t very interesting. I feel like I was either in the wrong mindset, but I just can’t explain why I felt bored by it. Furthermore, I wasn’t a fan of Levi’s character. I feel like the reason his feelings towards Macallan suddenly changed was groundless. It was a classic best-friend moment, but right after Levi started obsessing over what was going on, and the shift was way too abrupt for my liking.(less)
As much as I loved the idea of a book set during Hitler’s rule in Germany, this one ended disappointing me. Prisoner of Night and Fog takes place during the early 1900s, while Hitler is rising towards power and spreading his influence. The beautiful thing about this book is how Anne tried to almost humanize Hitler in the beginning, truly showing off his charisma and how he was able to get as far as he did with his vision to purge Germany of the Jewish population. The amount of research that’s put into this story is truly remarkable, and it’s obvious that Anne knows what she’s talking about. It’s not hard to tell that she spent an extensive amount of time looking into Hitler and his life outside of his political views. Not only does she properly build the setting with the right amount of facts without it becoming too overbearing, her attention to detail is breathtaking. The setting is wonderfully constructed, and the characterization is something to be admired. Gretchen’s brother Reinhard is one of the most chilling characters that I have ever had the pleasure of reading, considering his extensive role in the book.
Despite the wonderful premise and characterization, I felt like nothing happened in between. Gretchen was supposed to be focused on unearthing the grounds under which her father died, but it felt like she really didn’t care. The story was that her father had died a martyr, jumping in front of Hitler to save him from being shot, but soon she starts to question that popular belief. However, the mystery didn’t really start to unravel until the last twenty percent. I just felt like nothing really happened for the first two thirds, because the focus was mainly on the character development, romance, and setting. Even though it was interesting, it wasn’t enough to keep my attention. I didn’t want to keep reading, and I feel like Gretchen talked about possible theories but never really found anything of much use to her.
There’s obviously a romance between Gretchen and a Jew named Daniel, and I found that I didn’t even like that part. She’s the niece of the one person that hates Jewish people more than anything, but she seemed to jump into the romance without any hesitation. I wanted there to be some kind of social clash between them, or there to be a bigger conflict between Hitler and the Jewish population in Germany. While Prisoner of Night and Fog took place during the first phase of Hitler’s rule, when he was still campaigning for the extermination of everyone who followed that particular religion, maybe there could have been a more significant sign of the abuse and oppression from the hands of Hitler’s Party and regiment. Not that I condone his actions, and I don’t know enough about the Holocaust to know what was happening at that specific time, but that was just one of the pieces of the puzzle that didn’t fit perfectly.
Prisoner of Night and Fog is a must-read for historical fiction regulars, but for those who aren’t familiar with the genre and don’t find a liking to strong character-oriented stories, I would pass on this one.(less)
Tease would have been a more positive reading experience for me if one thing had happened: Sara was a completely different character entirely. While the idea is creative, Sara’s entire personality ruins the air of melancholy loss and grief.
What angered me the most about Sara was how nonchalant she was about Emma’s suicide. Tease is told in two time frames, before Emma’s suicide and after it. The two together worked well, but I really hated the kind of person she was in both time frames. I could understand her being a complete bully in the before parts, but the fact that she was still a pretty big bully in the after parts was really inexcusable. In those parts, Sara would continuously rant about how she had absolutely nothing to do with Emma’s suicide, when it was obvious she was. At first, she was a little bit of a bystander, acting as the major bully Brielle’s tag-along, adamantly agreeing with the biting jokes she made. But then Sara started joining on making fun of Emma, going out of her way to put her down to make herself feel superior, and there was this one instance when Sara started a string of angry Facebook posts on Emma’s wall, like, “Why are you such a skank?” and “What does it feel like to be a skank?” I get why you may be angry, but it was so stupid how Sara continuously preached her innocence when it was obvious she did participate in the bullying and harassment. No, you obviously aren’t as innocent as you say you are, so if you’re going to keep saying, “Boo hoo, everyone hates me because they all think I killed Emma but I didn’t DO ANYTHING!!!!!” we’re going to have a serious problem,
Another thing I had an issue with was the obvious slut-shaming. Brielle and Sara actively call Emma a slut, because she has a “reputation” for sleeping around, which everyone knows of. Absolutely everyone knows that Emma’s a supposed “slut,” but there’s absolutely no evidence of her reputation. The worst thing she does is hook up with someone once, but Sara and Brielle are doing way worse, so they had no right to be calling her those kinds of things if Emma was only hooking up with one person throughout the entire book. Even then, Brielle would be like, “Eww Emma’s wearing such a slutty outfit, like look at that tight dress!” If it’s not clear enough how much I despise slut-shaming, the two had no right to put Emma down for what she wore, especially since Brielle and Sara also wore the same kinds of clothing.
And what pissed me off even more was that when Sara caught Emma kissing Dylan, she exploded and called Emma all of these vulgar terms like slut and skunk, posting those messages on her Facebook. But when Dylan apologizes, she thinks, “It was all that slut’s fault Dylan cheated on me, but I still love him so I think I’m gonna sleep with him because that’s obviously what he wants.” First of all, it’s so degrading to assume that Emma was the sole perpetrator in the relationship, and that Dylan didn’t have at least one thing to do with the cheating. Another thing, if Sara thinks that sleeping with Dylan is the way to get him back, she shouldn’t be calling Emma the slut. Not that I’m calling Sara one, but her and Brielle’s definition for the word “slut” is exactly what Sara was doing.
It just really pissed me off how she didn’t blame the guy of the relationship because of how men are displayed as the blameless one in cases. Girls are more subject to being called sluts for cheating, but the guy won’t have as heavy of a punishment because society’s taught us that it’s okay that guys can’t control their emotions. It’s okay for a guy to cheat because they can’t help it. You have to be easier on them because that is just their nature. In the world today, we’re constantly glorifying a man’s actions and trying to place the blame on a woman, because they’re assumed to be more subject to labels like this thanks to slut-shaming. And Tease is obviously advocating this kind of action with how often it happens.
*end of spoilers*
While this book had potential in the summary, I really couldn’t bring myself to like this one even remotely with the slut-shaming, hypocritical characters, and degrading themes towards women.(less)
At first, I absolutely loved this book. And then right after I made my "I'm stopping my blog" hoorah post, I decided to reread Open Road Summer to make me happy and to hopefully break the pit feeling in my stomach I've had that I'm outgrowing young adult books. However, after rereading this book, I felt absolutely nothing reading it again compared to the first time.
The rating for this one went down from a four and a half star rating to a two star rating. And while it may seem harsh, as I was rereading it, I noticed a particularly disgusting thing: the slut-shaming. Reagan didn’t feel any remorse calling a girl a “slut” or a “skank” or “trashy” if they were wearing tight clothes. Like, if she saw girls hanging around Matt, she’d call them a slut, mainly because she felt threatened by them. Okay, so if you think you’re better than them, then you have nothing to gain by calling them a slut. In reality, she acted the same way that they did. She would adjust her bra for “maximum cleavage” when she saw Max coming towards her, and while there’s nothing WRONG with that, she’s a hypocrite for putting other girls down for doing the same thing. It was absolutely ridiculous how she didn’t even reflect on herself when unfairly labeling other girls for their appearances. She’s expressing herself through her clothes, and that’s completely okay, but if she condemns others for doing the same thing, then we have an issue.
And there was this one time where she described Matt's best friend as "wholesome." Like if you're gonna poorly judge someone as fat from a picture to make yourself feel better, just don't! At least try not to make it sound like you're a sarcastic bitch who's trying to boost your own self esteem by comparing you to others.
Another thing I didn’t particularly like the second time around was how stupid the “drama” was. Most of it involved Dee finding out about some rumor someone was spreading about her (she’s a celebrity, that’s obviously going to happen!) and then freaking out about it. One time, someone got a picture of her while she looked bloated and was like, “IS SHE PREGNANT!?!?!?!?” and Dee had a huge meltdown over the rumor. The only person who even remotely reasonable about this was Reagan, and all she said was that it would blow over. Literally, if Dee just let the rumor sit for a month or even a few weeks, the rumor would die down. Stars rarely ever do something about one little rumor, like if she were to lay low for a few months it'd be obvious she wasn't pregnant like one magazine said. Especially with something like pregnancy. Your stomach grows a lot when you're pregnant, so the rest of Dee's mere existence would directly contradict the one picture.
However, there was something that remained constant throughout both read-throughs—I loved the friendship between Dee and Reagan, especially how Reagan was always there for Dee’s career. Dee, an up-and-coming country singer, was currently on tour, so Reagan had been tagging along for the summer until she entered senior year. This ensued a series of laughs, heart-to-hearts, and all of the things you’d expect in a friendship as close as theirs. I envied how close they were at times, because I want someone that I’m so close with that I would ask them to come on tour with me if I became a famous singer (or vice-versa.)
ORIGINAL REVIEW I started this book at 10 PM on a school night, read straight through the book in one sitting, and ended at 1 AM, feeling a plethora of fuzzy feelings in the pit of my stomach and happy beyond belief. Open Road Summer paves the inspirational story of an unbreakable bond between two imperfect best friends and a heart-tingling romance—it’s addicting and close to perfect.
The one aspect that I was not a fan of was Reagan’s behavior for the shortest period of time at the end. I mean, I know she’s emotionally guarded and trying to work on her quick-to-judge attitude, but she was so stubborn. She wouldn’t listen to anyone, because she thought that she was right, even if what she believed had been taken out of context. It was a fairly ridiculous way of thinking, especially when everyone around her was trying to convince her that she had misconstrued everything. Besides that, Reagan was such a great character with so many different layers. She was sarcastic and witty, a truly delightful protagonist that warranted a fair share of laughs from me. However, we quickly learned that this facetious, flirty side of her was only a front to protect the inner turmoil lurking beneath the surface, evoking a lot of sympathy from me.
When Reagan first met Matt, there was immediately a sense of chemistry between the two, and I loved every minute of it! I was already loved Reagan’s quick wit and snarky personality, but it seemed to amplify when she was around Matt. What worked even better was that he seemed to be able to match her jabs in a round of flirt fighting, filing Open Road Summer’s pages with romantic tension and gooey feelings. The book is split two ways between the romance and the friendship, and I equally loved both. Still, Emery knows how to build a romance between two characters in a way that feels sweet and fervent at the same time. In between their irresistible banter, there were earnest conversations that made my heart melt even further. Everybody has something that haunts them, whether it’s big or small, including Matt and Reagan. I adored their honesty towards each other, how they were able to bare their souls to each other to display their unshakable trust.
And come on, who doesn’t love singers who are also country boys? You get the allure of a Southern boy mixed in with the awesomeness of a singer. Being a singer=at least 20 points on your attractiveness, and the Southern boy probably makes up for the rest of the points, at least in Matt’s case. I just love him! I also love Reagan and Dee’s friendship, especially how Reagan’s there for Dee’s career. Dee, also an up-and-coming country singer, is currently on tour, so Reagan’s been tagging along for the summer until she enters senior year. This ensues a series of laughs, heart-to-hearts, and all of the things you’d expect in a friendship as close as theirs. I envied how close they were at times, because I want someone that I’m so close with that I would ask them to come on tour with me if I became a famous singer (or vice-versa.)(less)
Sweet Reckoning is an explosive ending to a popular trilogy, a book that almost didn’t get published for an indefinite amount of time. While many will be preaching the words of Wendy Higgins, I unfortunately will not be joining the ranks of adoring fans.
I think what clinched the reading experience for me was how disconnected I felt from the story as a whole. The chemistry between Kaidan and Anna wasn’t as on point as I expected it to be, the plot twists weren’t as shocking as originally anticipated, and the ending felt subpar. I don’t anticipate that many others will feel the same way that I do, because this book has a lot of desirable elements. Wendy’s writing ensures that you’ll have a fun time reading. I also appreciated how much Anna has grown as a character. She’s significantly changed ever since we were first introduced to her in Sweet Evil. When I first got into her head two books ago, I got the impression that she a little annoying with how she vigilantly tried to maintain her innocence. But she’s a badass now! Anna is fierce and has a significantly better tolerance of vulgar terms. Even though that aspect doesn’t really matter, it plays a large role in a supposed prophecy that focuses on Anna and how she’ll put all the demons back into heaven.
Overall, Sweet Reckoning seemed too innocent. Maybe it was the fact that nothing truly challenging happened to Anna. I had a epiphany at the climax because I was thinking of how every Nephilim was either for Anna or against her. However, if they were against her, they were secretly for her, so she kind of had everything handed to her on a silver platter. Perhaps I’m glorifying the reality of the situation, but I never felt the true sense of danger in each situation, except for maybe this one section that I can’t disclose because of spoilers. It seemed that wherever Anna went, she had multiple allies to defend and protect her. While having a substantial amount of allies isn’t a bad thing at all, the fact that Anna was never surprised by anything because someone had told them beforehand what was going on really bothered me. The feeling of innocence also was in part to the fact that I had completely forgotten Sweet Peril and was underwhelmed by a lot of things because I didn’t remember many of the character relationships.
The ending was really rushed, and it was a big reason why I ended up deeming the book three stars. I feel like a plot twist was incorporated to add a sense of urgency, but then the initial impact wore off quickly. Basically, the problem was talked out of. They stopped threatening each other, bickered over all these different things, fought for about five minutes, and then everything was over. Kind of anticlimactic. if you ask me, and also I was a little disappointed with the happily ever after of the ending. Sweet Evil and Sweet Peril had all of these bittersweet sacrifices that I dared to hope the same thing would happen. Unfortunately, nothing did. There was one instance that was supposed to instill emotion, but I was still underwhelmed by it, despite how much I wanted to feel moved.(less)