Breathe was...how do I give it justice? It was amazing. It was epic. It was one of my favorite books this year. After hearing some mixed things—it seems like everybody either loves this novel or hates it—I was a little reluctant to start it. But, soon, I fell in love with this book and I could NOT put it down. When I first found out I won this my immediate reaction was:
And then I was to Sarah Crossan:
Then I found out we lived in the same state. That's always awesome. And then I started reading the book. The idea of it is just amazing. I immediately fell in love with the idea of having a limited air supply. Because, it could happen one day to us. I loved how Sarah took something so possible in our future and crafted a gripping story from it. The story was so compelling and it just emphasized the idea of progress on the earth. Also, there was a background to back it up. Along with the idea, there was a strong foundation in which to support it.
I also loved her characters. They were relatable and unbelievably strong. I mean, if I were put into Bea's situation or Quinn's situation, my reaction would first be:
And then I would realize that I was taking up even more air than I was supposed to so then I would:
Her characters were fantastic. I loved how the point of views alternated from Bea, to Quinn, to Alina. Each character's voice was believable and so compelling. Alina was fiery and independent, Bea was strong and compassionate, and Quinn was...well, he was Quinn. But I still loved him. Each character had insecurities and flaws, but they wanted to make sure they fixed their mistakes and remedied them. Sarah's characters were each so original that I could easily distinguish the difference between the characters as they switched point of views. And as soon as I met Quinn, my first thought was:
Filled with lyrical writing and prose, Sarah brings you through the story flawlessly and effortlessly. I was glued to every page and soon, one page became ten, which became a hundred, which soon became the entire book. The plot moved quickly and there was action in every page. I ate up Breathe and at the end was left desperately wanting more. As soon as I flipped the last page and saw I was at the end, I got out of my bed and...
After calming down enough to form a coherent thought...
It was so emotional and touching! It did hit me right in the feels. I felt so sympathetic to every character! And the villain, who might I add, wasn't the "pure evil mwahahaha" villain, but he still managed to make me hate him, yet at the same time want to give him a huge bear hug.
So yeah. That was my reading experience of Breathe. Chronicled in gif-form.
Refreshing, original, and gripping, Breathe will leave you craving more and absolutely breathless. (Pun intended) It was most definitely worth the read.
Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend by Louise Rozett is just as beautiful as the first book, if not more, and it did not fail to catch my breath. It's become one of my favorite young adult books, even.
The thing that managed to get me every single time is how well I could relate to Rose. I didn't understand how Louise could create such a compelling teenage character, but I got her like no other. Rose was confused and lost, like many teenagers are. I can say without a minute's hesitation that sometimes I hate looking at myself in the mirror, that sometimes I wish I could look like someone else, that sometimes I wish I was prettier and better for the sake of the person I'm talking to. Rose underwent those same exact feelings, which was what made her such a real character. She had insecurities, and she doubted herself, and she was utterly furious at her parents. What teen has never thought that before?
Furthermore, Rose discovered a passion for singing that ultimately helped her cope and grieve for the death of her father eighteen months ago. Not only do I love any character by default who shares a passion for singing, but it added so much to the story. It created a channel by which to drive her emotion through, and how much my thoughts pertaining to singing parallelled hers amazed me. Through her singing, she grew and evolved, from a freshman who was unsure of her life to a beautiful girl who grew to learn what she needed to heal and how to get it. I loved seeing this new side of Rose, where she wasn't as lost and confused anymore.
Rose was more different than me in ways that made me look up to her as a role model. She had this amazing heart that wanted to help everybody around her, even if she was afraid. I couldn't help but admire how she stood up for herself and those around her whom she cared for—while she was afraid of what everyone else thought at first, she broke through and was a hero by the end. She was inspiring just by the way that she looked at life. Even though she was insecure, she got over it, and she found something beautiful in herself along the way. I knew that I'd formed more than just a character-reader bond with Rose upon completion of Confessions of an Angry-Girl; I felt as if she was my close friend.
Jamie. Jamie. Jamie. Jamie. Jamie Forta. Can I discuss Jamie for another, like, three paragraphs? Holy balls I loved him so hard! If I didn't love Rose and Jamie as a couple more, I would throw myself into the book and take him. Actually, I would still jump into the book, and then promptly grab him, clone a perfect copy of him, and take the perfect copy back with me. (He would learn to love me, but totally not in that really creepy kidnapper way.) Jamie was protective of Rose, Regina, and Regina's brother in a manner that can be related to a mama bear (only infinitely times hotter). He was loyal, caring, and utterly romantic. If I wasn't repeatedly swooning over him, I was wishing he would come into the picture because I NEEDED TO SWOON OVER HIM OKAY.
However, Confessions of an Angry-Girlfriend wasn't just about the romance and Rose's magnificent character development. The romance was a subplot, the character development was a giant portion, but it was the plot that delivered and triggered my undying love. It was full of angst and drama, which I ate up. The plot was the medium to which the character arcs and the romance traveled on just like any mechanical wave. The plot gripped me, and I couldn't stop thinking constantly about how amazing the plot was laid out for us to enjoy.
I even had a book hangover right after finishing.
The poignant and realistic voice of Rose Zarelli will appeal to teens across the board, and they'll look up to her as an inspiration, thanks to her drive and kind heart. With an addictive plot, electrifying romance, and beautiful writing, Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend by Louise Rozett is perfect for any teen who's trying to find his or her way in life....more
After the big kaboosh that was Sweet Evil, you expect Sweet Peril to be even a bigger kaboosh, or at least not fall prey to Second Book Syndrome. Luckily, Sweet Peril did all of those things.
Anna Whitt, our protagonist, resident nice, innocent girl, is surprisingly not what I expected her to be. Yes, I read the first book and I got a fair glimpse of who she was as a person, but her innocence act eventually started to make me want to gag and spit. I mean, who's really that nice, full of empathy , and innocent? Also while being the daughter of the Duke of drugs and alcohol? I can understand her wanting too remain with all morals intact, but the way she acted over the littlest things...it just didn't work. Anna constantly went on about how she needed to be good and how she couldn't be any different from her usual pure self. Oh my God, please give me a break. These days, the odds of a teen being that perfect is unheard of. Especially when she's in love with a guy like Kaidan.
Aside from that, everything else was phenomenal. Kaidan, especially. Can I just gush and gush and gush over how fantastic he is as a character? He's your typical bad boy, and he is such a grapefruit. No, you didn't hear me wrong. He is a grapefruit. I have an explanation though! Because I had just eaten a red grapefruit and finished Sweet Peril moments before, my mind was a little cloudy. As I was thinking of how I could describe Kaidan to a friend, grapefruit just popped into my mind so I used it. Because that particularly grapefruit was red, like the color of Lust, which is Kaidan's sin. In addition, grapefruits are sweet yet kind of sour, which is exactly Kaidan's personality, if you translate those qualities into human traits.
Sweet Peril is the perfect read for those who are fans of romantic tension. With a character like Kaidan, who's hot and sexy and can drive a girl mad, you can't really expect any less can you? The scenes between Anna and Kaidan are both hot yet totally adorable. Although you don't see Kaidan until at least halfway through, Wendy Higgins has a way of successfully transitioning you to that part without losing too much of your interest. Then when he actually shows up, you better get some fans ready for a swoon overload. The way that Wendy delivers on the Kai/Anna scenes is reminiscent of a guilty pleasure. It's enough to take in moderation, but you still crave it whenever you can't eat that food. Which is exactly what you could call Kai. A guilty pleasure.
Oozing with romantic tension, a hot YA book boy, and everything that made Sweet Evil fantastic, Sweet Peril doesn't disappoint in the slightest. Fans everywhere will enjoy Wendy Higgins' latest novel....more
It's hard to capture in words just how turbulent Click to Subscribe is. It captured so many different stages of falling in love in a beautiful, heart-warming story like a photo series done by the most renown photographer.
Click to Subscribe will make your heart pound ridiculously. We had romantic tension between our two characters Cat and West, and with that romantic tension came the unspeakable awkwardness that will make you laugh and want to hug the characters. It's impossible not to smile from page one, if only at the clever dialogue. Its brevity doesn't matter, because LM makes use of every single page, and it's kind of scary how well he uses the pages. The beginning sets you up for the turmoil and romance that is the middle and very end. You'll fall in love for its cuteness, awkwardness, and romance. And you also may cry at the end.
There were so many different little comments that made me laugh out loud or smile ridiculously, and you could feel yourself falling more in love with West as he told you his favorite M&M color (but he was wrong, red is the best color) or how great ice cream was. Furthermore, Click to Subscribe is so compelling and powerful that I now have a legit phobia of winky faces. All because of one little moment where Harper/Cat admitted how much she hated winky faces. Everything about this book is clever, witty, and hilarious. I couldn't get enough of how real it was, especially when the characters were talking to each other. They bantered and called each other names—in good faith—and they acted exactly like a high school student might, which was refreshing because sometimes you lose sight of how carefree some students really are before college.
My favorite part was how LM captured exactly what being best friends with someone is like. When you're best friends with anybody, boy or a girl, you're not going to be afraid to be like, "I hate you!" or "You're such a dork" or make fun of them in general. Cat and West shared these moments with each other, and you could tell they really were best friends who had known each other for as long as they could remember. They were goofy and crazy and I loved them for it. Not only were they so entertaining to watch, they made each other better when they were with each other. Cat and West didn't care what other people thought about them; they just had fun together, and isn't that what being best friends is about? I don't read a lot of best friend romances, but Click to Subscribe has restored my faith in them.
You'll be in stitches the entire time, cracking up, falling in love with the characters, and just enjoying everything. Click to Subscribe as a whole is just an awkward, adorable, and beautiful bundle of pure joy. If you love fluffy and cute stories, do not hesitate to check this one out....more
I will not hesitate to tell you that I was more than scared to read The Iron Traitor. I didn't know what opinions my book slump would provide for me, and I didn't want to be let down by one of my favorite authors. Luckily, that wasn't the case and I ended up loving it, the first book I've truly loved since May.
Apprehension was the first emotion I felt upon beginning. But those hesitant feelings slowly faded away to nothing as I found myself re-immersed in the Nevernever, Ethan and Kenzie, the fey, and all of the characters I fell in love with in the original series and The Lost Prince. I find myself becoming even more repetitive as I write my reviews for the Iron Fey books, but Julie Kagawa is nothing if not consistent in her storytelling. She grips her readers and drags them into the world, embodying us in some of her characters. You care about these characters more than anything in the world, and gushing over them is almost like breathing: easy and routine. Ethan was so fiery, passionate, and realistic. His grief and anger towards his older sister Meghan leaving him when he was four was palpable, tearing at my heartstrings. His love and protectiveness towards Kenzie had me swooning, and his strong bond to his family left me delirious with compassion and appreciation.
The Iron Traitor not only delivered with a fantastic narrator and main character, but it also touched upon our side characters, such as Kenzie, Keirran, and Annwyl. The way their emotions read across the page captured my heart and soul completely. I fell in love with them originally in The Lost Prince, but by the end of this beautiful, gorgeous book, I could have given up my life for their happiness. But don't mention Ash and Meghan to me. They made my heart melt to a pile of goop on the floor. They loved Ethan and Keirran so much, and their emotions flew off the page as well. Meghan and Ash should have gotten an award with a name similar to the Best Parenting Award. I recognized traits they had as parents in traits that my parents have. I love my parents, and I think they're fantastic and the best ones I could've asked for, therefore seeing Meghan and Ash perform so well in that field made me squeal.
Other notable features were the romance, the romance that almost induced cardiac arrest. (I think I've made about fifty new synonyms for the phrase "made my heart pound" in this review alone.) Kenzie and Ethan were so tender towards each other, loving so ardently. The plot flowed from place to place like silk, making it hard for me to put my Kindle down so I could go to school, do homework, or sing. I found myself drawn to The Iron Traitor like moths to a lamp, drawn to its promising plot. Finally, the care incorporated into every scene stood out above the rest. Julie described each setting with extreme care, just as she always has, especially in a place as versatile as the Nevernever. I just couldn't get enough of it!
As for the ending, I can make no comment for fear of bursting into tears at this very moment.
From the lovable characters to the lovable plot to the lovable romance, it is impossible to use up all of your love while reading The Iron Traitor. The characters leap off of the page for an elaborate tango with your body and soul, the plot makes the end come to soon, and the writing ties everything together into a perfect package. Julie Kagawa will not disappoint; she has delivered another spellbinding book that not only touched me but also resurrected my love for reading.
IT HASETH A COVER!
I MUST GO DIE IN A HOLE RIGHT NOW.
*dusts off pants* Ahem. Back to your fangirling....more
Side Effects May Vary, contrary to the positive reviews everywhere, was a strong miss for me. I found the main characters annoying, the pacing disarming, the severe gender stereotyping, and the organization messy. I was looking for a cancer book that would punch me in the gut with redemption and justification, but ultimately my gut was untouched and rather disappointed.
First of all, the pacing was rather a mess. We have four different perspectives happening, Alice and Harvey now, and Alice and Harvey then. Not only were Alice and Harvey’s individual voices impossible to tell apart most of the time, but the “then” and “now” scenes were completely jumbled up. We’d randomly have five chapters now, and then ten chapters then, and so on and so forth. It was disorganized, and the plot suffered because of it. The “then” was mostly to establish what Alice did when she first found out she had cancer, but with the lack of a pattern in the chapters, it seemed easier just to split the book into two parts, one half detailing what she went through before she went into remission, and the other half about how she coped with the consequences, as opposed to jumbled up chapters that confused and bored me.
Our two main characters, Alice and Harvey, are well-developed, with a palpable and sound characterization. By the end, I made the conclusion that Side Effects May Vary isn’t really about Alice; it’s about Harvey and his unrequited love for Alice. Either that or this book lost its way in my brain, because while Alice was the one dealing with leukemia, this book strongly focused on the hot-and-cold relationship of Alice and Harvey. Bluntly, Alice was a bitch, and Harvey was a pushover. Alice repeatedly used Harvey for her twisted bucket list of people she wanted to screw over. Personally, I understood why she may have held angry feelings towards these people, but the way she acted outside of those instances were unforgivable. In maybe the second chapter, after Alice finds out she’s in remission, there’s a chapter where she and Harvey are sharing an intimate moment together. Then in the next chapter, she’s hooking up with another guy and is apathetic towards Harvey when he catches her in the process of hooking up. Around halfway through the book, pages and pages later, Alice began harping on and on about how Harvey started dating another girl and how Alice had finally chose him, but he instead went and chose another girl. I would’ve been slightly sympathetic if she hadn’t done the same thing to him earlier with Eric.
Harvey, who was even worse than Alice, was a total pushover. He submitted to everything Alice told him to do, and even when everybody knew that he was being used by her, he seemed okay with it.
”You are in love with me, and you always have been. But this is the truth, Harvey: I don’t love you. Not at all. Not you, not anyone, and anything.” And because that wasn’t enough, because I hadn’t done enough damage, I said, “You’re sad and pathetic. You have no spine, and the fact that you think someone like me could ever love someone like you only proves my point.
After Alice acts like a total bitch to him, he still chooses to go back to her and he still loves her, no matter how bitchy she acts towards him. Harvey actually was a sweet guy, which made Alice deserve him even less because she insinuates that she’s almost better than him, in a way, and even when she tries to act nice, she ruins it with a complete move that made me want to punch her, even if she was in remission.
”You can’t apologize for my feelings and expect things to be better.” He paused. “Especially not when you’re the reason for them.”
I knew what he was talking about, but that hadn’t been what I meant. I didn’t think. “Harvey—“
“No,” he said. “An apology like that makes it sound like you had nothing to do with why I was mad when you were what got me all angry in the first place.” His voice rose with each word. “That’s not okay.”
“I—I’m sorry. I didn’t mean for it to sound that way.” I almost said it, that I was sorry for how I'd acted and what I did, but instead I said, “Do you want to write up your own apology and I can sign it? Would that work for you?”
Jesus Christ, Alice, just because you had cancer doesn’t mean that you can alienate your best friend and expect him to continue to be your friend after you said something like that. She constantly acted like the world owed her something for making her go through cancer, and while cancer is a devastating disease, she did not have the right to say, “I felt like the universe owed me this.” The universe doesn’t owe anybody anything. As pessimistic as it may sound, her having cancer doesn’t make her special. Cancer is devastating, tragic, and I wouldn’t wish it upon anybody, but people unfortunately still get it, and those who do may be entitled to certain things, but it doesn’t give them the right to act like they’re special or that everybody around them owes them something because they had cancer, which is exactly what Alice did. She was reckless, angry, and didn’t seem to care how she could hurt those around her.
During the “then” chapters, while Alice was going through chemo, I had a question gnawing at my mind: Where were her parents? Harvey was the one driving her to and from her chemo sessions, and wouldn’t you think that her parents would have wanted to be around for something like that? And when she was executing all of her pranks and screwing over all the people who had originally screwed her over, where were her parents? Where were the authority figures that disciplined her or at least Harvey? The stuff they did was serious, and there is no way that the principal didn’t know about what they did.
Finally, the stereotyping used in Side Effects May Vary. A certain scene in general pissed me off, and it was when Alice met Tyson, a gay boy, in the bathroom. Even though they had never really talked before, Tyson started confessing pretty much his entire life story to her, even though no earlier relationship was established. Tyson then proceeded to start crying in the middle of his story, and while it may be true for some guys, it’s an overused gay stereotype. All the gay guys are over emotional, and at first I let it go, but as the trend of stereotyping continued, it was harder to let go.
It wasn’t really a guy car, but it was my car. —Harvey
Because gender stereotyping is totally okay, and admitting that having a car that’s “girly” isn’t something he’s completely comfortable with is also okay, like “girly” things signify weakness and that you’re a pussy, whereas guy things must signify manliness. Another example was when Harvey was confronting Alice about her always using him, and after she dismisses him quickly even though she knows he’s right, he throws this line at her:
"You never surprise me, Alice, which is such a disappointment.” —Harvey
That line was completely unnecessary in what they were talking about. Like “you’re such a disappointment because you always use me and I always know that you’re using me.” But Alice is really shocked by what he said, and how I interpreted was that even though he knew that she was using her, he constantly kept coming to her, indicating how much of a pushover he was and how much of a manipulator Alice was. Out of context, Harvey’s saying that it’s Alice’s job to surprise him and keep him on his toes, even though that’s not what a girl or guy’s role should ever be in a relationship. While the irrelevant translation means nothing towards the actual book, that piece of dialogue should have been worded differently, like, “You’re never going to change, Alice, which is such a disappointment.” Something like that, something that didn’t offend me as extremely as it did. It’s nitpicky beyond nitpicky, but with the earlier instance (not all covered in this review), that one line really affected me.
While I understand why some people could have enjoyed this book, it was extremely hard for me to. The stereotyping thrown everywhere and Alice’s character pissed me off to the point of no return, and I was extremely apathetic towards Side Effects May Vary....more
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.)...more
How can I properly portray my love for Losing It and Faking It, and then compare it to Finding It? It's not hidden knowledge that I've been in a book slump, and I was sure that this would snap me right out of it because I'm a huge fan of Cora's books.
That being said, unfortunately, I didn't feel the same way about Finding It that I did her other novels in this series. For one, I had a huge issue with the main character Kelsey. I really hated Kelsey, she always thought she was so "strong" and hated being weak, but in all honesty, she was one of the weakest characters I'd ever met. She relied on other people to do things for her, and she ran from everything as soon as it got tough. At one point, she literally faked an injury to get Jackson to carry her up some stairs. Then when he got tired, she thought, "I should be nice to him and give him a break," like she's being so generous by doing this. As for her habit of running away, she would never face her problems. She blew them off, and instead thought that getting wasted would be a better solution. I hated her whole demeanor, and she didn't develop at all into a better person. She consistently blew people off, ran from her problems, and manipulated.
Another issue I had was with Kelsey's inner dialogue. What I found completely implausible was the fact that she would be completely drunk, and then she'd be philosophizing about how dark and messed up her life was in her stupor. It seemed that Cora was trying to make Kelsey a broken character by adding these random monologues that tried to portray her with a dark, twisted past, but I couldn't sympathize with her because of the choice of placement of these monologues. It was, without a doubt, an info-dump and, consequently, made her "dark past" forced.
Jackson. Hunt? Jackson Hunt? Soldier? What was the point of calling him ten different names? But, I also had an issue with him and the romance. First of all, that plot twist was useless. Secondly, their romance was so intsa-lovey. They didn't learn a single thing about each other, but they still went on adventures together. If you asked me to list everything I knew about Jackson, all I would be able to come up with for you would be a soldier with one heck of an ass. The romance was so underdeveloped, stemming from one meeting that resulted in them lusting after each other.
I would strongly suggest you passed on Finding It. It was nothing like Cora's previous two books, which I adored. With the insta-love, annoying main character, and awkward writing, I couldn't find anything that I liked....more
After reading Pushing the Limits, Katie McGarry's debut novel, I had high expectations for Dare You To. It's an understatement to say that they were completely demolished and left on the floor in a pile of rubble.
Is it fair to say that I love Ryan? I even made a graphic. Although it's horrible.
This is basically what I went through the entire novel. I was battling with my strong urge to steal Ryan, and my even stronger urge to just keep reading and shut up so Beth and Ryan could have the adorable moment. This time, Ryan was the person that helped Beth heal from her broken, ruined home. The even realer thing was the fact that Ryan wasn't just a spoiled rich kid that got whatever he wanted; he also had all of his own demons and had to learn to get rid of them, as well. He seriously was so swoon-worthy! Additionally, just look at that cover! And then zoom in on Ryan. Zoom in even further...and...FANGIRL! There we go! He was so insanely compassionate, tough, and realistic. The way that Katie McGarry can portray such compelling and strong male voices with what seems like no effort at all is so baffling to me. That is talent right here, people.
Another character that I loved with all of my heart was Beth. She was originally part of the trio with Noah and Isaiah, and in Dare You To, she was forced to move out of her home and into her uncle's, where she started a new school, with new people, and Ryan Stone. It broke my heart to see how broken and guarded Beth was because of her family. But the best part about her broken home was watching her heal, moving on, and coming to the terms with the fact that her house needed to be fixed, and soon. Beth's character development was just so amazing, and she had so many emotions, which we experienced in full spectrum.
Now that we've discussed both characters separately, we have to discuss them as a couple.
I have a slight obsession with gradients these days, so don't mind little old me and my pictures. However, it's totally true! Their romance was so hot, but at the same time it was so unbelievably sweet. It started off as an innocent dare from Ryan's friends, but it soon spiraled into a whirlwind of emotions and, most importantly, love. I couldn't get enough of them, and Katie made their romance seem so believable. I even thought that I was Beth or Ryan for a few minutes before snapping back into a crazed reading frenzy.
Everything about Dare You To by Katie McGarry was just so beautiful. The romance was electrifying, and the character development of our two main characters was as memorable as could be. Easily enough, Dare You To has taken its spot on my favorites list, and it may just end up on your list, too....more
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.
After investing my time for two installments in the Tempest trilogy, I didn't think any harm would come of finishing it off, considering I highly enjoyed the first two books.
Unfortunately, I found so many flaws that I had not previously noticed. One of the more prominent issues was how awful Tempest was as a character. She tried to be strong and unflappable, but when it came down to it, she always let other people do her work for her or assist her in beating down the bad guys. I hated how she was prepared to run away instead of fighting for what she believed in. I can't quite fathom why Tempest behaved the way she did, but she was so selfish. Never did she stop thinking about herself and her needs, and never once did she even care about her city. Tempest only cared about herself and maybe three or four other people, and everyone else didn't even flit through her mind once. I don't remember seeing a single thought where she worried about the people in her city.
Tempest Revealed, being the very last book in a trilogy, has to end with a bang that will leave you with a lasting impression. You expect the ending to be that of pizazz and sacrifice, but that's not what happened. The big showdown that happened between Tempest and Tiamat basically happened within two or three pages; it glorified everything and made it seem like what happened was like eating a pie: straightforward. Additionally, the resolution was picture-perfect. To avoid giving away any more than I already have, I'll just make another one of my odd metaphors. Let's say a marshmallow and a strawberry both want chocolate's attention. Chocolate ends up with a strawberry, and the marshmallow hooks up with a graham cracker, which actually benefits chocolate.
Speaking of the romantic outcome, the sequence of events leading to Tempest's choice completely infuriated me. Mark was so bossy, he just couldn't stop telling Tempest what to do and controlling her, as if he had that right. Actually, BOTH Kona and Mark flipped out if Tempest didn't listen to one of them. I mean, I know Tempest isn't the smartest fish in the water (see what I did there?) but at least give her some credit. She's not some puppet, and as much as I really hate her sometimes, I wished everyone would give her some space. However, despite all of the flaws, I just kept on reading because something about Tempest Revealed was just addicting.
While disappointing and less than what I expected, Tempest Revealed is addicting, and it has its really fabulous moments. I'd recommend it for anyone who loves Tracy's other novels. It's emotionally perfect, but maybe technically flawed....more
While Gwendolyn Heasley’s new novel can at first be dismissed as a lighthearted read about the inevitable struggle between one’s parent and themselves, it quickly morphs into something less simplistic. It endeavors to reach a new type of depth and create a coming-of-age story, when it is very obviously not.
Imogene suffers from a lifestyle under the scrutiny of the majority of the population. In fact, it’s gotten to the point that her classmates teased her about what happened on her blog. While I find it highly unlikely that a mom blog is so popular that Imogene herself gets recognized while shopping in a mall, I understood the sour feelings towards her mom’s blog because it was obvious from very early on that Imogene’s mother treated her like a baby. When her English teacher gives Imogene’s class a project to write a blog themselves, Imogene launches a campaign to escape the ridicule of both her mother and classmates before she formally enters high school. I would label Don’t Call Me Baby as a mix between a middle grade and young adult novel, because of the young age Imogene is portrayed at (15, entering ninth grade) and the superficiality of her problems. The innocence of Imogene and her peers wasn’t quite believable, given the amount of interconnection seen in the novel, when the “popular girl” of the grade attempts to ally with Imogene and takes an assignment seriously, when it was established that she was the stereotypical “popular mean girl.”
Don’t Call Me Baby’s biggest flaw is how abruptly the character development takes place. As soon as she decides to fight back against her mom, the conflict persists for maybe three or four chapters before the book abruptly changes tone and all of a sudden we’re focusing on (view spoiler)[the fact that Sage and Imogene are fighting because Imogene is questioning whether or not she really wants to fight her mom. We’re given NO previous development whatsoever on why Imogene is changing her mind, but after one blog post where Imogene is reflecting on the pros of getting away from the computer and “unplugging,” Sage is accusing her of all these ridiculous things. She’s saying, “Imogene you don’t care about this as much as me, you’re giving up on our goal, you’re such a fake and hypocrite!” Chill out, it’s only one blog post. It really doesn’t matter. But then they’re fighting and ignoring each other without any real explanation. (hide spoiler)] Imogene continuously thinks of new ideas, but they come at spontaneous and awkward intervals, without any previous development or foreshadowing.
My last few complaints were slightly nitpicky, like how unrealistic and unprofessional the Mommylicious blog sounds, and the ignorance of the main character. She jokingly asks what a CD is, because just because you’re fifteen means that you’re too young to understand what a CD is. CDs still exist, I have dozens of CDs, and I’m the same age. It’s absolutely ridiculous how much the younger generation is dismissed as an ignorant generation in Don’t Call Me Baby. Furthermore, with the number of allusions made, all of them are thoroughly explained upon delivery. As soon as a cougar is mentioned, Imogene takes it upon herself to explain it to her audience, which in reality is only herself since it’s her inner dialogue. The word “swag” is explained as party favors for bloggers, and while it may be a term that needs explaining, it shouldn’t need an outright definition compared to maybe an inference.
While this could have been a lighthearted book, another issue is how Gwendolyn attempts to give it an added depth by reflecting on the simple nature of teenagers and growing up. If it were not for the absurdity of the story beforehand, I would’ve bought it. But it remains that the lack of development and naïveté behind our leading and supporting characters produced an inability to even entertain the idea of this book being more than a “cute” book. I was originally holding this at a three-star rating, because it was decent, however I lowered it because of the anticlimactic ending and the overall rushed pacing, topped with an unfortunately failed attempt to provide depth.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Let's clear a few things up: I like Cassandra Clare's work and think she's an awesome author. I like the Shadowhunter concept a lot. However, I DO NOTLet's clear a few things up: I like Cassandra Clare's work and think she's an awesome author. I like the Shadowhunter concept a lot. However, I DO NOT like the idea of ANOTHER three books after MI trilogy, like CoFA, CoLS, and CoHF. She milked that trilogy a little too much and I was happy with the ending to CoG. The ID trilogy was good, and I liked that one far better than I ever will the MI trilogy.
But honestly? Clare's said she has other ideas for books, NON-Shadowhunter related. I respect Clare as an author and think she's great, but I seriously don't want a third spin-off. One is fine, but extending the original, and adding two more spin-offs is definitely more than is needed. The ideas are starting to grow dry and I'm starting to see a pattern in all of her characters and books, no matter what she says sets them apart.
Will and Jace: witty, gorgeous, tortured, and deep. Jem and Simon: intelligent, sweet, more or less the latter decision, whether they like it or not. Tessa and Clary: supposedly strong heroines, loyal, yada-yada. I've noticed, too, that the characters that are similar are about as physically different as you get. Blond hair, black hair. Silver, black. Red, brown. And now we add BLOND to the list of girls. Wonderfully delightful.
So let me get something straight: 12 books on the same concept, only a different plot. What do you think of that? And what is all this about Clare ripping off fan-fiction? Always the last to know, thank you very much. ...more
Splintered was possibly the best classic retelling I have ever encountered in my life. It wasn't just about Alice in Wonderland and it was retold differently, but the protagonists were aware of the story, but it was like Alice: Reincarnated.
It was as if the story of Alice in Wonderland slowly unfolded, starting from Alyssa's unawareness of how her life was dependent on the fantasy story, and then progressing to the point where she could make the connections between the story and how her life was going. Alyssa was basically charged with the task of reversing the spell that made all her family members go insane with memories of Wonderland and nightmares of the dark creatures roaming around in the forest, and none of it was pretty.
Having not read the original Lewis Carroll Alice in Wonderland, I had no idea what to expect from Splintered. Was it going to be a lot like Alice in Wonderland, the cartoon movie? Or was it going to be like the modern rendition of Alice in Wonderland with Johnny Depp? I had no idea, but from what I remember from both movies, it incorporated the ideas of both the movies into one magnificent novel with twists and turns, and it left me with a strong urge to actually read the original book to make the connections myself between Alyssa's Wonderland and the original Alice's Wonderland.
In Splintered, we come across the very classic love triangle, with the boy-next-door and the bad, mysterious boy. Of course, I fell for the aloof love interest almost immediately, and later changed my mind and went head-over-heels for Jeb, our boy-next-door. His devotion for Alyssa was phenomenal, and even though their relationship seemed to be like a brother-sister dynamic, it soon progressed into something much more sentimental and intimate. Something I thought was really sweet about their relationship was the way they would sacrifice everything for each other. From their own lives to their possessions, these two characters knew how to keep us on our toes, wondering if they would really go that far to keep each other safe. (They did.)
The world of Wonderland will blow you away and you will be breathless by how the innocent tale of Alice in Wonderland could morph into something so dark, so sinister, and so enticing. Fans of an original, fresh fantasy and any time of classic retelling will completely adore this one....more
The Beginning of Everything was tender, romantic, and everything I could possibly want in a sumer contemporary book, and everything I didn't. It was difficult to rate this one, because while I loved it, I also couldn't form an emotional bond with it.
Ezra Faulkner, our protagonist, was a broken—literally—character who didn't know what he was going to do with his life after giving up his one true passion: tennis. First and foremost, I have to point out that I empathized with him, understanding how tough it must've been to give up his dream because of something he couldn't control. What I really loved about Ezra was how realistic his voice was. There was an obvious progression in his character, and you could tell just by the way the syntax changed, adjusting to his emotions as we went through them with him. He was such a real character, and it was a great choice to choose him as the person telling the story. Robyn executed Ezra's character pretty much perfectly, creating a flawed character with such grace that it almost seemed effortless.
Obviously, being a contemporary romance novel, there was the love interest, Cassidy Thorpe, new girl, with a brutally dark past that Ezra was dying to uncover. She was a typical character, but maybe that was intentional for the purpose of highlighting Ezra. Everything about Cassidy was a cliché, and she wasn't exactly a wholesome love interest, but she served her purpose. I couldn't connect with her, since she was so underdeveloped, and we never learned to the full extent why she was so secretive all the time. We slowly discovered more and more about her, as we should have; however, I couldn't get a read on hr character, nor could I even begin to fathom her personality and her.
My biggest issue was by far how much I didn't believe the romance. The first half was spent on developing Ezra and Cassidy's relationship, and then the second half was a puddle of angst and emotion. Usually, spending one half of a novel developing a believable romance works, but in this case, given the amount of tension in the second portion—and how depressed Ezra became—the romance had to have been strong as a link of chains. Unfortunately, there was a missing link, failing to give their romantic relationship that little extra oomph, that sense of flair that would've made The Beginning of Everything stand out above all others.
While romantic, with a fantastic main character, I couldn't find myself fully immersed in The Beginning of Everything. I would still strongly recommend it for contemporary fans, because you will be swept off your feet....more
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....more
As a person who hears "historical fiction" and runs in the other direction, I was really reluctant to read My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century (from now on it will be dubbed Super Sweet for convenience purposes. And yes, I am really that lazy). But Super Sweet wasn't your typical historical fiction. It involved time travel, which, come on guys, we all know time travel is epic. And not to mention, Rachel is one of my author friends and she's super funny and managed to carry that into her novel. She also managed to keep the pace moving so I wasn't yawning at all...except when I looked over and saw how late it was. (Shh, my parents don't know about that!)
At first, Cat Crawford was the daughter of two Hollywood icons, now divorced, and one with plans to marry someone new. Personally, I found her pretty relatable. I mean, we've all had that period in our lives when we're rebelling against what our parents want us to do. Cat was a real character and you kind of wanted to sympathize with her all the time. She was loyal, and she really did care about other people's well beings. She wasn't on of those characters who were extremely selfish and just threw everything away for their own needs. Which, thank goodness, is fantastic because I needed a break from selfish characters.
Lorenzo. He gets his own paragraph. He should get his own post. Lorenzo was sweet, hot, smart, hot, an artist, hot, and he's from the Renaissance period! You don't get more swoon-worthy than that. Did I mention he was hot? Also, he's a major part in Super Sweet. He influenced a lot of decisions Cat made, and in the end, I was heartbroken over the ending. But, I'll slowly recover. Kind of. Eventually. So there may be a gaping hole in my heart over the ending of Super Sweet (don't worry, I'm blowing it way out of proportions, but nonetheless it still chipped part of my soul). He had my heart pounding and I even have a Lorenzo trading card which I will keep and hoard forever. Nobody gets my Lorenzo trading card. Nobody.
Also, the plot of My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century moved so quickly and the setting was painted so vividly. I felt like I had been transported into the Renaissance and the setting picked me up and let me experience a new place. I would never visit Italy in my life because I wouldn't survive the plane ride (airsickness...8 hours. I lost my lunch 5 times on the way there and back. NOT fun) but I felt like I did get to visit Italy by the time I finished Super Sweet. I could feel myself walking down the cobblestone streets with Cat.
From determined characters to a real-life visit to the Renaissance era, My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century will sweep you off your feet with a swoon-worthy romance, fluid writing, and a beautifully painted setting.
At first, I wasn't too excited for the Goddess Legacy, but I saw that many people were getting it from NetGalley so I thought "Why not?" and requestedAt first, I wasn't too excited for the Goddess Legacy, but I saw that many people were getting it from NetGalley so I thought "Why not?" and requested it. After reading it, I can say with confidence that I did not regret one second of reading the Goddess Legacy. It's only a collection of novellas, so I judged them all separately and all together, they made a fantastic collection of love stories that were all twined together into a wonderful romance novella that I really enjoyed reading.
It begins with Hera's (Calliope's) story, during that time when she fell in love with Zeus (Walter) even though every fiber in her body screamed against it. Hera was worried that Zeus was just playing her, but then later, she realized he wasn't, that when they ruled together, they would both be equals. However, Hera's suspicions at first were correct, and after a while, Hera was extremely unhappy with her life with Zeus and wanted to be with Hades (Henry) who she'd been in love with for a long amount of time.
I felt that Hera's story was really long and a little monotonous at times, but she had a lot to say. I really liked getting to know all these gods' and goddesses' love stories, and almost all of them ended in tragedy, except for Henry's, which, if you have read the Goddess Test and the Goddess Interrupted, the two major books in the trilogy, then you would know what happens with Henry (aka Hades in the Goddess Legacy novella). Every one of these novellas explained something in the main books, and I definitely felt "enlightened," you could call it, after reading the Goddess Legacy.
I would recommend this to anybody who wants to go into the Goddess Test trilogy more and experience the lives of the other gods and goddesses and how they fell in love, the turmoil they went through, everything. If you enjoyed the Goddess Test and the Goddess Interrupted, then you will enjoy the Goddess Legacy. No doubt about it, that is basically my argument to get you to read this book. Isn't that the point of reading a novella of a series? Because you liked the story and want to know more in between books? That is basically what the Goddess Legacy delivers.
To be perfectly honest, I was really reluctant to read Confessions of an Angry Girl. Really reluctant. I had heard a few mixed things about Confessions of an Angry Girl, and I didn't know what I would end up thinking. However, I did not expect everything I was expecting to be blown out of the roof. I loved Confessions of an Angry Girl. It was everything I wasn't expecting and more. Confessions of an Angry Girl is angst-y and so relatable—half the time I was wondering if somebody had stolen my diary and given it to Louise.
Rose was a real character and I loved how she was flawed. She was awkward in her own shoes and a girl after my own heart. Honestly, Rose is pretty much the spitting image of me, besides the anger, of course. She's shy and uncomfortable in her own skin, until she's pissed off about something. Then you see the claws come out. Rose was angry about her life, and she completely had a right to be. She was still extremely loyal to her friends, and the reason I was first drawn into Confessions of an Angry Girl was mainly because I could see myself in Rose, which made the story all the more alluring.
From the very first moment I really loved the plot. There was a budding romance that did not seem cheesy at all (contrary to what I've all preached to you before about contemporaries) and I absolutely loved Jamie. Like, loved him. He really cared for Rose but he was still a really "bad" character. As in, Jamie had a fierce attitude, but you could see he had a soft spot and you could tell he really liked Rose and was concerned about her and her wellbeing.
Confessions of an Angry Girl wasn't just about having a relationship with a great guy, it was much more. Rose was battling her way through school and also with her family. Her brother had abandoned her, and her mom was robot-like, just going through the motions of life without much thought. Rose was trying to deal with her insecurities, insecurities I can assure you many teens have. Louise crafted a delicate tale of a girl's insecurities and struggles in life and formed them into a beautiful story. I am definitely going to be looking out for the sequel of Confessions of an Angry Girl, Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend.
Overall, Confessions of an Angry Girl is a relatable story to teens everywhere about a girl dealing drama, romance, and insecurity.
Scarlet, the sequel to Cinder, by Marissa Meyer doesn't only live up to the high expectations set up by Cinder, but it surpasses them and only leaves even higher expectations for Cress, which, of course, I have no doubt will be exceeded again, because Marissa Meyer is just that awesome.
Scarlet's best feature was no doubt it represented the original Little Red Riding Hood story. It had many of the same qualities as our classic fairytale, like the big bad Wolf, Scarlet's grandma, Scarlet herself, but it also branched off from what we usually know about the tale, like the futuristic quality and the Lunar population. I applaud Marissa Meyer for crafting a book so similar and so different from the tale we are all so familiar with. (I even have a pop-up book of Little Red Riding Hood! Not kidding)
In Scarlet, not only are our old characters Cinder and Kai furthering their journey, but our new characters Scarlet and Wolf's destinies are inextricably tied with them, making our once small group into a not-so-small group. Even though Cinder and Kai are separated for the entire novel, some chapters are told from Kai and Cinder's point of view, which really highlight how big and how dangerous the stakes are.
I also love Iko, Cinder's cyborg. I just needed to say that one thing.
Scarlet also really transports you into the world of the futuristic France setting. There is the same technology that we saw in Cinder, but it still felt so realistic to be with Scarlet, Wolf, Cinder, and Kai. I sincerely felt so bad for them, because this world is so corrupt and messed up. Queen Levana, the queen of this species from the moon, was so evil and so sinister I wanted her to leave so insanely badly just so these characters that I loved so much would get their deserved happily after ever.
Our protagonist Scarlet in Scarlet (see the connection?) completely captured me in her strength and loyalty to her grandma. And Wolf, Scarlet's love interest, was so unbelievably HOT. I loved him so much, because he was so mysterious and aloof yet so caring and compassionate and loyal. Furthermore, not only did all of our characters grow and strengthen by themselves, but they also strengthened in the presence of each other, which gave every character meaning that wasn't as prominently there before.
A unique and modern twist on Little Red Riding Hood, Scarlet will enthrall you with its compelling characters, it's futuristic French setting, the H-O-T romance, and the plot that will never let these poor characters get a break. I loved it!...more
Holy fudge! What was that? I think I just died. Too bad Apollo's not here. (Inside joke concerning Deity) You know a book has exceeded your expectations when you turn the last page, think it's not the last page, and keep flipping until you realize your mistake and nearly bring down the house at one in the morning.
Deity starts off a few weeks or so after the epic conclusion of Pure, which I will not reveal for spoiler purposes, but it jumped straight into the action. Something Jennifer excels at every time is getting right to the point and not wasting words on useless fluff. Every aspect of the story was a part of something bigger in the future. A lot of tension was created, and right off the bat I was sucked into the story and couldn't get away from it until I'd turned the last page and promptly flipped out. Every moment was so intense and more tragic than the books before it and I couldn't stop being surprised.
In Deity, Alex was a much more admirable character. She really cared about the people around her at the same time knew how to keep her head straight after going through the shocking revelations of Half-Blood, Pure, and now Deity. Although her decisions sometimes got her in a tough pickle, her decisions were still realistic and compassionate. It was honestly a stroke of bad luck that the situations went awry really quickly. Also, in Deity, Alex discovered so much more about herself and her destiny, learning how people could push her limits, and that anger wasn't always the way out.
Insane is not a suitable term to describe this book. Some of the ideas covered in Deity really shocked me and got me out of my chair screaming. One of the moments halfway through got me so surprised that I had to put down my book and then rant to anybody who would listen. And then it was repeated every other chapter. It brings unexpected to a whole new level.
And, Aiden! You all know that I'm Team Aiden, and while Pure focused on Seth and Alex's relationship, Deity is all about Aiden and Alex's relationship. This really made me happy, because the romance was swoon-worthy and so sweet this time around. They really grew closer, and their relationship extended farther. Aiden, as usual, was the same hot badboy who had a heart of gold underneath, and Seth was, well, he was Seth.
Thrilling, captivating, and my favorite out of all the Covenant books, Deity will blow you away if you liked the first few books. Fans of mythology and steamy romance will love this one!
I was so psyched to read this book because of the reviews that were so positive and the beauty of this cover and the allure of the synopsis. But, I'mI was so psyched to read this book because of the reviews that were so positive and the beauty of this cover and the allure of the synopsis. But, I'm really disappointed to say that these books didn't meet my expectations like I wanted them to. The cover totally did, though. Sometimes people do judge a book by its cover.
I have to say, I really like the whole concept of this book, of this teenage girl who runs "odd jobs" basically for a man who raised her. From the summary, I thought Karou was unsuspecting and did not know about the angels involved in the war, but it turns out she did but at the same time was a human. This confused me a bit at first, since I think the author tried to get us to figure everything by ourselves most of the time.
Secondly, I think Ms. Taylor should have just told the story in first person person present tense because the POVs really just alternated from Karou and Akiva. Also, the book had so many flashbacks, many of which were unnecessary to me, that I eventually just gave up trying to decipher whether we were in a memory or not and just kept reading even though I was confused out of my mind.
The book wasn't as easy to get into, either. I kept waiting for that moment that would drag me in but it never came and I only kept reading the book because I wanted to see of there would be more action. I skipped a lot of pages at the end because I got really bored with this particular part (I won't say why, it's too spoilery) and I wasn't very concerned about the plot or anything about halfway through.
So that, my friends, is how the Daughter of Smoke and Bone got a two and a half rating. It was really confusing with all the flashbacks and it was hard to get into. And near the end it just got a little boring. This book wasn't really my cup of tea....more
Pretty Sly was so much more thrilling than Pretty Crooked. The plot thickened, the intensity level spiked, and my heart was pounding throughout the novel. Mesmerizing and engaging, Pretty Sly will do its job and bring you on a roller coaster.
Something I admired the most about Pretty Sly was its ability to keep you guessing. The opening of Pretty Sly started with a stirring scene that happened at least halfway through the book to immediately grab your attention. Then it eased into a comfortable pace, which sometimes jerked around and left your blood pressure slightly higher than you wanted. I didn't know what was going to happen next in Pretty Sly, which made it so easy for me to forgo sleep to finish this book.
Like in Pretty Crooked, Willa was still thinking like a criminal. She still got that thrill whenever she stole something or completed a heist successfully. It kind of annoyed me because even though she went through such serious repercussions in Pretty Crooked, she still hadn't learned her lesson. Of course, sometimes the circumstances were do-or-die, so I would've made an exception, but usually it was something Willa did because she was still living on the unmistakable thrill of stealing. She did grow a lot as a person and a character, learning a lot about herself and her family, though, so I appreciated that aspect of Pretty Sly as well.
Aidan, the love interest, managed to capture my attention from square one. He ran really hot and cold throughout the novel, which could peeve some people, but that's some weird quality I like about fictional boy love interests. He kept me guessing what his next move would be and if he would show his feelings for Willa, because from what happened in Pretty Crooked and Pretty Sly, it was kind of obvious there was chemistry. The hot and cold treatment made it a little hard to tell if Aidan did like Willa, but the connection between them was so cute!
Most of this story takes place as a road trip on a wild goose chase to find someone who had run away at the end of Pretty Crooked, and there were so many more plot twists introduced because of this. I really didn't expect what had happened in the end of Pretty Sly, even though the clues were pretty straightforward at the same time not, if you get what I mean. The clues could have been pieced together if you really tried, but if you just went with the flow of the book, the plot twists will definitely surprise you.
Even more tangled than its predecessor, Pretty Sly will trigger your sense of adventure as Willa's adventure becomes more and more dangerous...and thrilling.
When I found this on my Kindle library, possessing no previous knowledge of where or when I downloaded it, I decided to start reading, even though it seemed like a long shot after the first few chapters. However, still I journeyed on, and still found nothing too special about this book.
Tess was way too focused on the romance, overall. The book centered around two things: the romance and her efforts to try to keep a pixieball alive. The pixieball is supposedly a rare breed, the last one of its kind, that her grandpa stole and grew himself. Her mother carried on the tradition, caring for it, and now it’s her turn. However, it’s gotten sick, therefore Henry and Tess are in an “urgent” race to find a cure for whatever disease Pix (her name for the pixieball) has. But, even though the pixieball is super important to her, enough that she’s willing to go through all the crap she goes through to try and save it, she doesn’t care when it comes down to the plant, or Henry. Sure, she cares about Pix, but when Henry tries to talk about saving it, Tess is more focused on how much they’re making out and the idea of them two together. Henry’s trying really hard to immortalize Pix, and Tess is more concerned that a letter heading says, “Dear Tess and Henry.” She’s more interested in the fact that their names are together on a freaking letter than on her plant that’s dying! And she constantly tries to make out with him when he seems like he may not be in the mood or want to talk about something on his mind.
Speaking of their romance, there was absolutely no chemistry between the two. Their “I really like you” statements could have held the equivalent passion as if they were acquaintances who barely knew each other in high school catching up on the side of the road. Their dialogue and conversations were bland, holding no substance or meaning. The beginning was cute, but when the story morphed into Pix’s illness, I was hoping that the character development would begin. There were some nice sentiments made in The Last Forever, like how not everything is picturesque and perfect like in movies and television series, but in the end it wasn’t quite what I was expecting or needing to compensate for the disposable romance and static characters.
During the first few chapters, Tess actually had a boyfriend named Dillon. But then it was dismissed within three sentences, something like, “Oh, apparently Dillon broke up with me…” and then Tess was free to chase after Henry Lark. It was an easy sentence to overlook, and because I was already disinterested in the story, I skipped over what I thought was a useless two sentences. Turns out, it was those sentences that freed up Tess’s relationship status. I had to look back and double-check when I remembered she previously had a boyfriend. When I found and familiarized myself with the section in question, I realized that it had been glossed over and glorified. It wasn’t memorable enough for me to remember it or for it to properly register in my brain. There wasn’t even a telltale reason why he decided to break up with her, but whatever. No development needed there....more
With badass characters (and yes, I just said badass. But I didn't say it out loud! My parents would kill me. SHH THAT DIDN'T JUST HAPPEN) and a tough heroine, Gravity will definitely appeal to one's sense of survival and if you're die-hard fans of dystopian who love to read about rebellions and wars, but without the gory details.
Gravity's synopsis is a little disorienting, to be a little honest. I would've liked a little background information in the beginning to keep myself from completely losing my state of mind, which, let's be honest, is very minimal at this point. The world-building of Gravity completely was lost on me. We're introduced to this society where Ancients, a race of aliens—for lack of a better word—live on Earth with humans in an uneasy truce. What are Ancients exactly? How did they get onto Earth? Why do they have a truce? Why are humans uneasy towards Ancients? How did the world become like this? There's no background story at all, and I was totally confused. I would've liked a more thorough explanation as to why the world had turned into that kind of society.
One thing I loved about Gravity was Ari's character. She was tough; she didn't take criticism lying down; and she knew how to work a gun. She can defend herself at a moment's notice, especially since she's specially trained in combat. She is definitely one of those kick-butt heroines that you want to read about. She completely lit up the novel for me. I loved Ari's will, determination, and constant curiosity to learn more.
Something else that grated me the wrong way was Jackson. He seemed like the perfect love interest. He was handsome, built, sweet, and also a great fighter. It made his whole persona seem extremely cookie-cutter and simple. There wasn't one flaw I could find within Jackson, and it annoyed me to some extent because of everything that was going on around Gravity in addition to Jackson.
Even with its flaws, Gravity is most certainly worth the read and any fan of a light dystopian read will enjoy this one. Gravity's amazing main character Ari made this a perfect novel.
Dear Teen Me is the first nonfiction books I've probably ever enjoyed. It's perfect for any teen out there who needs a little inspiration in their lives after they've been through some hard and difficult things. It was certainly really emotional to see these authors tell their younger selves to stay strong, to stay focused, and to stay themselves.
Dear Teen Me is a nonfiction novel and can be read by a wide number of people, however I would definitely target this toward young adults, ranging from their very early teens to their early twenties, even. Getting to see an adult look at their life from an outside range is really interesting and insanely fascinating. It's also the most inspirational thing I've read in a long time. Not only is Dear Teen Me truthful and poignant, it will affect teens everywhere, with these authors' strong stories about insecurity, anorexia, boy troubles, and almost everything in between.
Something I have to admire about all of these authors who collaborated on Dear Teen Me is their level of professionalism and how much guts it must've taken to tell everybody about what haunted them through their teen years. Trust me, some of it wasn't pretty, and none of these authors grew up without a little struggle and hardship throughout their lives. It's almost refreshing to get a glimpse into these authors' lives and see that they're normal. None of them are perfect; none of them had a smooth sailing; all of them have something that will forever haunt them in the back of their brains. Even your favorite, perfect-in-your-eyes author has something beneath his or her skin that they are battling every day, and getting to read about these anecdotes written to shape the next generation was so inspiring and such an eye-opener.
Some of the stories were so powerful and so chilling, well some of them were just normal in my mind. While I have to give a lot of these authors credit, none of the stories jumped out to me so much that I had to stop and think, "Wow, that was so amazing." Taking a few examples, one author wrote about how her opinion of herself differed from everybody's around her, one author wrote about her abusive childhood and how her agent saved her, one wrote about his sexuality, and every story differed from author to author.
From insecurity, illnesses, personalities, crushes, and the people you grow up with, Dear Teen Me will explore almost every topic the average teen fantasizes and stresses about. Any teenager out there and any lover of something really touching will love Dear Teen Me....more
I had high hopes for Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Dollar, after person after person loved it and cried over it. Unfortunately, I didn't have tI had high hopes for Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Dollar, after person after person loved it and cried over it. Unfortunately, I didn't have the same emotional capacity for it.
Like many contemporary novels, Where the Stars Still Shine embodied a young girl named Callie adjusting to her new life, one with a constant, one without her mother, one with friends and family and love. Ripped from her mother, her life of constant fleeing, and reunited with her family, we immediately had an interesting story, just by reading the synopsis. I could appreciate Callie's character, the way she was so distant from anything and kind of desperate, but I couldn't connect to her. No matter how hard I tried and how much I pushed myself into her head, she remained an immovable rock. I know I didn't have to like Callie, but I wished I could have felt something close to her on a deeper level than I did.
There was another issue I had with Callie's character, though, and that was how flippantly her education was dealt with. Callie's dad Greg was supportive and kind, which makes up a fantastic father figure, but he was such a pushover. This could be a spoiler, but Callie had apparently never gone to school outside of kindergarten, unless I read wrong. With how often they moved, I wouldn't be surprised that, even if Callie went through elementary school, she would have stopped going to school. Even then, how could she get hired for a job? Why wasn't Greg more forceful with her going to school? Greg seemed to take one look at Callie, listen to her tell him not to let her go to school, which is required by law, might I add, and relented. I'm not a mother, nor will I ever be a father, but if I was a parent I wouldn't stand there while my daughter missed school just because she wanted to. And if Greg knew about Callie's mom Veronica's issues, then he should have known that Callie was neglected, at least in terms of a proper education.
Where the Stars Still Shine seemed to suffer the most was in terms of the romance. At first, it started off innocently enough, reflecting off Callie's character perfectly, something I could appreciate. However, it wasn't soon after until the relationship Callie was having became serious, and something that could define her growth and development. I felt completely detached from anything that was going on during the romantic scenes, because Callie and him barely knew each other, yet they were having fights, kissing, and going out on dates like any regular teenage couple. If this guy was going to affect Callie some way in her coming-of-age journey, I would have at least liked to know a little more about him and gotten to see more of his personality.
Although I might be a black sheep, yet again, I found that Callie was a refreshing and well done character, executed with expertise. The romance and education had some issues along the lines of its plausibility. It was impossible to connect with any aspect of the book, therefore making it a difficult read for me....more
I didn’t expect to like this one. The beginning was slightly rocky, but the last half was fantastic and well-developed. Sawyer, widowed after her husband Grayson was murdered, returns to her hometown of Willowhaven, where she runs into her old boyfriend, Dean Preston. Dean, having left Sawyer unpredictably when they were eighteen, and Sawyer rekindle their old relationship, despite Sawyer’s hesitation to talk to Dean in order to spare her heart getting broken again. At first, it was a lot of the same back and forth action. Sawyer and Dean would bump into each other while doing errands, Dean would attempt to flirt with Sawyer, she would shut him down and run away, and repeat. For the first third or so, that’s all that they seemed to do, run into each other, act awkward, leave, and wallow in their feeeeeelings. As much as this portion was needed to establish the later story and build a relationship between the two, it felt particularly redundant and slow after a certain amount of encounters with each other.
Sawyer and Dean’s relationship, having already been developed before the book started, had the potential to either be well-developed aspect to the story that enhanced the overall book or a poorly-handled subject. With the flashbacks in the middle of a scene to inform us on both Sawyer and Dean’s romance in high school as well as Sawyer and Grayson’s relationship before Grayson died, I didn’t feel as if I was in the dark with the intricacies of their stories. We got memories on a need-to-know basis, giving us backstory whenever a character brought up their past or it would enhance the story to get a certain moment in time. In the beginning, flashbacks were doled out to form a strong foundation and expose Sawyer and Dean or Sawyer and Grayson’s relationship. As the plot progressed, the flashbacks were used as fine details when Sawyer and Dean began to grow closer again. I loved how Mindy handled the flashbacks and used them to her advantage. With them, you weren’t expected to just believe everything as it was thrown at you; there was a layer underneath it.
The cute thing about Me After You was how the chemistry between Sawyer and Dean. They had never stopped loving each other, and it was almost as if they were falling in love with each other again. They definitely had a natural chemistry and I loved their romance. It’s typical of a new adult romance, and there was nothing particularly steamy or special about their romance, but the circumstances under which they fell in love and the struggles of their romance compensated for it. Challenge after challenge was thrust onto them, and between all of it, they managed to find each other. Even though both of the characters had already grown up between high school and the beginning of the book, there was also more to be said about their development after they found each other. Sawyer came to terms with her grief over Grayson and learned to be happy again.
Me After You by Mindy Hayes is a perfect book to read when you’re in the mood for a carefree book that also contains a darker undertone. Right after finishing, you’ll feel warm inside, and if you read this book in the right mindset, you’ll love it....more