It has been a long time since I've read a book featuring ballet so the synopsis for this book attracted me instanSee more reviews at YA Midnight Reads
It has been a long time since I've read a book featuring ballet so the synopsis for this book attracted me instantly. Unfortunately, this one turned out to not be my cup of tea.
Why I didn't like Tiny Pretty Things:
- The multiple perspectives. It's always a hard task to get multiple POVS pat down, and while I had no trouble distinguishing the voices of the three main characters, I felt no emotional attachment towards any of them. Charaipotra and Clayton's novel follows three girls; Gigi, June and Bette who are all vying to be the prima ballerina at their elite ballet school. I loved the diversity that the authors brought to the table (Gigi is African-American and June is Korean, as well as some LGBTQ side characters) but it just became overwhelming as it was too hard to keep up with all of the drama in each of the girls' lives.
- Zero in terms of character development. Another reason why I failed to click with any of the characters was because they were all just so unlikeable. I think this was more of a "it's me, not you" situation but they all just seemed lacking in depth. I was hoping that the girls would develop and grow in terms of complexity as the story went by but nope, that clearly just wasn't happening.
- It was too back-stabby and "drama drama" for me. I do love a good revenge/drama read. Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian, just for example. However, this one didn't seem to really have anything else in terms of plot asides from the constant competitiveness of who shall be the next prima ballerina and all the back-stabbing and mean girl drama. I feel like it was too intense, I soon found myself just skimming sections and sections.
- The relationships made my head hurt. Yes, this is romance in here but it fell completely flat, and I'm sure many reviewers have already pointed this out. Bette and Alec are known as the 'power couple', but when Gigi replaces Bette by getting the lead role in The Nutcracker, it's like Alec is suddenly all interested in Gigi and their romance felt rushed and well, shallow. The romance felt like a competition too, so it really just lost all of it's meaning.
Why you might like Tiny Pretty Things:
- If you're into books featuring ballet. Yes, there is ballet. If you didn't know already...
- If you like drama, backstabbing and "mean girls".
In all, I can't say that I would recommend this one, but if you're into ballet, like reading about it, enjoy drama (as in, LOTS of it), maybe you'll enjoy this one more than I did.
~Thanks HarperCollins Australia for sending me this copy!~
After the early reviews started rolling in for this one I was getting less and less excited about reaSee more reviews at YA Midnight Reads
After the early reviews started rolling in for this one I was getting less and less excited about reading this one. I mean, JUST LOOK AT THE COVER! HOW COULD I NOT WANT TO LOVE THIS?! Anyway, I had this period of time where I just decided that I was going to skip this completely, BUT THEN I saw three people give this 3-4 stars and they're all people whose reviews I completely trust... and well I gave in to the cover and read it. Well, I didn't really read it. I more like, barfed through it.
I'll give the book this: it was a light and fast read. I was almost finished by no time but then figured that there was no longer any point so I DNFed it after Ash and Violet just started overly-infuriatingly cheesy. (Note that they were already infuriately cheesy and instant-lovey beforehand.) The instant love is actually so bad.
This is when they first meet
I can only stare. His mouth curves into a full smile and I feel my lungs contract, making it very difficult to breathe.
And then just moments later when Violet is alone, staring at her beauteous self in the mirror
I've never thought much about kissing, but the idea of Ash's lips against mine-- I giggle.
Oh and then later at that night intense staring ensues
I look up and meet a pair of bray-green eyes, no longer soft but blazing. Ash doesn't look away, and neither do I. His gaze is fierce, and open, and it makes me feel alive. He isn't looking at a surrogate--he's looking at me.
I mean really, no shit he's looking at you. *eyeroll*
It's only been a couple of hours since I met him, but he's somehow even more handsome than I remember. My whole body feels like it's blushing.
I CAN'T DO THIS ANY LONGER.
Anyway, if you like the whole X meets Y thing, the best I can give you is The Hunger Games meets The Selection. That being; the excellent potential of The Hunger Games but actually just as bad as The Selection.
Eeeeeh. I'm honestly feeling disappointed with Love and Other Unknown Variables because more than half the GoodreSee more reviews at YA Midnight Reads
Eeeeeh. I'm honestly feeling disappointed with Love and Other Unknown Variables because more than half the Goodreads reviews have rated this book 5 stars. Sadly, I just don't see the appeal.
The book follows Charlie, a boy who attends Brighton School of Mathematics and Science and has his entire future planned out. He wants to go to MIT and he's crazy good at maths. In fact, everyone in his school is pretty darn good at maths and/or science. They all hate literature and all things English related. Like Charlie mentions in the book, his school goes through English teachers like Hogwarts go through Defence in the Dark Arts professors. Each year they target the English teacher and play pranks on he/she until they go mad and just leave. This year, the teacher is Ms. Finch, and she's determined to set the students of this maths and science school on the right road. Charlotte, the new girl in town who recently becomes Charlie's sister's best friend, also happens to be Ms. Finch's younger sister.
What I didn't like were the pranks Charlie and his classmates pulled on Ms. Finch. The reason behind the pranks just didn't feel acceptable or believable to me. Charlotte basically tells Charlie to pull pranks on her sister (the teacher) so her sister's attention will be averted and she won't have time to keep an eye on Charlotte. What kind of reason is that? Also, the grudge these students have against English just annoyed me to no end. In my state, we also have a Science school and I know a few people who go there--they don't pull pranks on their English teachers or detest English like these kids did at Brighton.
The romance was something I shrug my shoulders at. I didn't see why Charlie and Charlotte were attracted to each other. And I got pretty bored of Charlie talking about Charlotte 24/7. Especially when he just talked about her hips and legs and how much he wanted to kiss her. That's not love, that's just attraction. That being said, the romance didn't bother me as much in the second half of the novel as much as the first half--probably because the romance started to grow on me.
I loved the other relationships in this novel though. I liked how Charlie and his sister, Becca, grew closer throughout this book. They weren't that tight in the beginning, but in a way, Charlotte brought them together. I liked how Greta and James, had such a large involvement with Charlie's life. They're his best friends, and were so honest with him.
Love and Other Unknown Variables was a nerdy read that I did enjoy, but felt that some of the things needed a more realistic and believable touch. I didn't cry in the end because I saw the ending coming before I even started the book, but I definitely felt pretty sad in the end.
Alas, no. The romance was plain bad and the MC and her friends were so mean. Too much girl on girl hate for me. DNF at 40% (but I did jump to the lastAlas, no. The romance was plain bad and the MC and her friends were so mean. Too much girl on girl hate for me. DNF at 40% (but I did jump to the last 3 chapters to see how everything ended--I was suprised that it ended that way, and I can see why some people said they cried)....more
It's moments like these when I need to take a minute and check my temperature to make sure there's nothing wrongSee more reviews at YA Midnight Reads
It's moments like these when I need to take a minute and check my temperature to make sure there's nothing wrong with me. Because looking at this high average Goodreads rating, I'm pretty shocked. Like, really shocked. I had high hopes for Let's Get Lost: it's said to be a fun road trip book about finding yourself, finding love, finding hope and just getting lost for a while. It definitely has that, though very basically. Throw in a moral, throw in a logically incorrect and not-so-intriguing adventure and there's all that this book has. There's no depth in the characters, there's instant-love/attraction and the story line is oh-so boring.
More or less, this book is a series of 5 short stories, bound together as one by a spine. The only thing that truly connects them is the same reoccuring character, Leila. And I think that's where this book went wrong for me. Because this book was basically just 5 short stories, (only 70 pages long for each story) and each one was told in a different POV; I couldn't connect with the characters and their situations. Each time, I felt like I was thrown into a random person's life and was told a bunch of information about the person, then taken on a little uninteresting adventure when they meet Leila. It just didn't work. I couldn't care less about what was happening to them because there was no establishment of a connection between us and the characters.
There is, a romance in this novel. And, it was a terrible one. So basically, this romance occurs in the first story, which is told in Hudson's point of view. The second he sets his eyes on Leila, he cannot stop talking about her beauty and her face and her face and her face...you get the point. There is instant-attraction. I don't hate instant-attraction, so this wasn't a huge problem until they both start making out a few hours later. What. The. Hell. And they call this love, guys. Hudson literally meets beautiful stranger who has been road tripping, then takes her on a tour around the town and then his house because she could totally not be a axe murderer. *face palm* And only hours after meeting, they start making out.
My sole reason for not DNFing this novel was because I liked the themes the author was trying to say and portray; showing us the different statuses of love and hope these characters held, or lack thereof, and how through meeting a girl and going on a spontaneous adventure, they began to change. While I found these character developments very weak or just not very believable in my opinion, all kudos to the author for thinking of a brilliant idea to show these morals and themes.
Also: I didn't like how each time Leila met someone, they just so happened to be in a crisis or huge milestone in their life and were happy to just let a stranger know everything about their life. While the concept of this novel was good, it was far-fetched. I mean, you'd need at least 70 pages to get to know the person and their situation, but in this case, 70 pages and the short story is already finished and the next one is starting.
All in all, I'm rather shocked that I didn't like this and how disappointing it turned out to be. The hype and campaigning for this novel has been huge, but I just don't see how it stands out.
~Thank you Harlequin Australia for sending me this copy!~
*In no way am I trying to criticize the author. I am simply giving my honest opinion on a novel and I just happeSee more reviews at YA Midnight Reads
*In no way am I trying to criticize the author. I am simply giving my honest opinion on a novel and I just happened to no enjoy it.*
I moved schools at the start of this year. When I moved schools, I found out the most exciting news: Alexandra Adornetto was a past student from my current school. In fact, she had the same English teacher as me. I CANNOT STRESS THIS AWESOMENESS. So, despite the fact that her Halo series was not all that promising, I decided to read Ghost House hoping to expect something...well, different. Unfortunately, I had my breath held for nothing.
My first issue was how whiny the main character, Chloe, was. Her mother recently died and ever since she's been seeing ghosts again. Her grandmother decides to take Chloe and her brother away from America to England for the holidays and Chloe is not happy.
“But I don’t want to go!” It came out more petulant than I intended.
At this point, I understood Chloe's situation; she wanted to stay in a familiar place and have some time to breathe because her mother passed away. But, her whining goes on pages and pages. She even starts criticising English people and the language.
“But our whole lives are here! We don’t need a holiday and I think you mean vacation.”
She has this very serious grudge against British people, apparently.
Grandma Fee gripped my hand, the only sign of emotion she allowed herself to show in public. Don’t get me wrong; she wasn’t unfeeling. She was just British.
I don't get it.
“Only five thousand miles,” Gran said briskly. Was that a British attempt at humor?
I mean, gee. I was expecting better from a 17 year old. But of course, by the time Chloe arrives at England and meets this crazy beautiful guy, Alex, all is forgotten.
He was tall and broad shouldered, with dark gold hair tousled by the wind and a slender body.
And, because we must emphasize on his beauty, every time he enters a scene, we must have a good description of him.
He looked different than anyone I’d ever seen before. He was handsome, but not in the run-of-the-mill, captain-of-the-football-team kind of way. He had a more gut-wrenching beauty, with his straight, fine features, pale skin and full lips. He looked like a prince from some faraway land you might find in a book. But his eyes were most startling, the clearest shade of cornflower blue, with just a hint of sadness that couldn’t be concealed.
Well hello, Mr. Perfect.
I could just make out the bold sweep of golden hair that accentuated his fine-featured profile.
Quiiiiite sure I get that he's got gold hair and a fabulous figure. Can we move on with the plot now? Oh wait...what plot? WHAT IS PLOT!? IT EXISTS!? Well, I never.
Aside from the fact that this book is bloated with constant descriptions of Alex and his beauty, the plot is barely even in this book for majority of the book. Things only really start happening much later on, but by then, it was just too late for me. I had already started skimming.
Here's just a few more reasons why I started skimming. The instant-love.
When our eyes met, the connection was inexplicable, overwhelming and impossible to ignore. It felt like there were currents swirling in the air, binding us together. Although we barely knew each other and came from opposing dimensions, I felt strangely comfortable with him.
As I drank in the details of his face, I could feel the distance between us closing. It might be imprudent and it might be irrational, but something was happening here, even if I couldn’t find a label for it. Time and space dissolved around me, and I felt as though I’d been waiting all my life for Alexander Reade to show up.
The first thing saw was Alex’s face, so radiantly beautiful, it was hard not to feel like the wind had been knocked out of me all over again.
*rips eyeballs out* THE CLICHES. I CANNOT BEAR IT. I swear, I felt like I was reading a novel where all the most cliche and over-used lines were all put together into one book.
“You know something,” he replied thoughtfully, “I believed my connection with Isobel to be something that happens only once in a lifetime, an experience never to be replicated.” I felt my heart sink into my stomach, but I nodded anyway. “Until you showed up.” His words hung in the air like a magic spell.
With a nice serving of melodrama and cheesiness, too, of course. *gags*
You know what else pissed me off? The love-triangle. Introducing...dude-who's-name-I've-already-forgotten:
I noticed that his tousled hair was the colour of milk chocolate and his smile was contagious. He was tall and loose limbed with broad shoulders, the sort of guy who was comfortable in his own skin.
I'm seriously having a hard time imagining a loose limbed person, here. Also, another perfect guy. IS THERE NOT A SINGLE CHARACTER HERE WHO IS ACTUALLY REALISTIC?
This book only seemed to revolve around one female character, and that was Chloe. She's special and is therefore superior to everyone else.
He nodded. “You clearly have a gift.”
Is that gift called idiocy and annoyingness? BECAUSE I AGREE.
“I’ve never encountered a girl like you, Chloe,” he said. “You’re quite remarkable.”
Oh, but we do have other girls in this book. Chloe's got two friends in America. Here's what Alex has to say about them.
“Good God.” His eyes widened. “Why do you carry images of harlots on your person?”
NO. YOU DID NOT JUST. The slut-shaming. And Chloe doesn't even go to defend them. What a friend. *slow claps*
WAIT. We haven't admired the writing yet!
"Her skin is the color of moonstones and the nails on her long fingers are polished gems."
I'm done here.
~Thank you HarperCollins Australia for sending me this copy!~
Kiss Kill Vanish was a total bust right from the beginning. Honestly, I don’t know how I even made it to the end,See more reviews at YA Midnight Reads
Kiss Kill Vanish was a total bust right from the beginning. Honestly, I don’t know how I even made it to the end, but I did and I have a lot of criticisms.
1. The beginning is boring as hell. The stuff they write on cereal boxes are more interesting than what this book had to offer me. I’m told in the synopsis that Valentina Cruz no longer exists and that she just witnessed her father and boyfriend commit a murder. THAT SOUNDED EXCITING. And I was expecting something just as exciting or something related to that, instead of a girl sitting down as a muse for a wannabe artist in the first few chapters. CHAPTERS. I HAD TO SUFFER CHAPTERS OR BOREDOM. Where’s all my interesting plot gone? The first few chapters of a book are meant to draw you into a story, on a scale of 1 to 10, this book got 0 for interestingness.
2. Guess what, it continues it’s boring-ness for the rest of the book. LIKE WHY. WHY DO YOU DO THIS. I was expecting a lot of flashbacks to the night that the murder happened and a lot of juicy details but I get none of that. Instead, I am forced to sit through pages and pages is events that really don’t perk my interest at all.
3. The thing is, I didn’t just hate the book for it being a total liar in the synopsis and how nothing happens for majority of the read. The main character makes everything so much more unbearable. - She spends most of her time whining about how crap her life has become. I mean, I’m sorry, but GET OVER YOURSELF. - She’s a spoiled little brat. Why? See my first dot point. - She’s completely and utterly witless. Sometimes I begin to wonder if she even has a brain. Because not once in this book is it shown that she actually might possess one. One prime example is that she chooses to flee to Montreal when she sees her boyfriend commit a crime. Not only is she totally rash, (I mean, dude, calm down, your boyfriend murdered someone, but you don’t need to flee the city. THERE ARE OTHER OPTIONS.) but also MONTREAL? You can’t even speak French. Also, you and your boyfriend spoke about going to Montreal and your father has been to Montreal. Cannot you have chosen a place where people can’t find you as easy?
4. The plot was flawed. There were so many loopholes. I get that ‘on the run’ novels are pretty hard to tackle because it can get unrealistic real quick, but this just started off as unrealistic. Valentina was also a really poor planner and every action she made was totally irrational and just made me cringe.
5. The romance. God. Your boyfriend, Emilio, killed someone. You, Valentina, then still run to him and completely ignore the fact that he committed a crime. What’s more, is that you still rely on him to solve all your problems. WOMAN. THIS GUY HAS ISSUES. CAN YOU NOT SEE THAT? Oh but wait, you do too, so I guess that explains that. She’s basically ‘O Emilio!’ all the damn time like girl, he’s not your bloody Romeo. But thinking of it, he is because Romeo technically also killed someone. Well then…
Moreover, Valentina thinks more about Emilio than her family and friends during her time in Montreal. It’s concerning, to say the least.
Oh, and there’s a love triangle. You know what? I’m not even going to go there. In all, Kiss Kill Vanish was a waste of time. The plot was underdeveloped and I struggle to just conjure up one reason as to why Valentina was an okay protagonist. She just isn’t. Also, I can only see the romance as a plot device. If I had a say in it, I wouldn’t recommend this at all.
~Thank you Katherine Tegen for sending me this copy!~
Turns out, the second book wasn’t better than the first like I had hoped. Camp Payback is book 2 in the Camp BoyfSee more reviews at YA Midnight Reads
Turns out, the second book wasn’t better than the first like I had hoped. Camp Payback is book 2 in the Camp Boyfriend series however can easily be read out of order.
What I Liked:
If anything, I loved Alex’s background. Her family is widely known her parent’s blog, Wholesome Homes which, in simple terms is a blog about how to raise wholesome children and have a wholesome life. Alex is sick of being constantly judged and scrutinized, everyone knows that the bad sections (sections like How to deal with disobedient teens) on Wholesome Homes is based off her. It did make me sympathise for Alex, because she is famous for being someone claimed to be not so desirable. She’s a book being judged by a synopsis written by someone who has not read the full story. As for Alex as a character, I admired her. The main reason why I chose to read Camp Payback after a not-so-enjoyable book 1 was because I did like Alex, who was a secondary character in the previous instalment. She’s messed up and feels like no one cares about her opinion, which is true because everyone sees her under the influence of what her parents say on their blog, and is evidently not the slightest bit wholesome.
What I Didn’t Like:
I just don’t think the romances work well in this series. They are cute, but I feel like rooting them. If they don’t have their happily ever after at the end of the novel, I honestly could not care less. So basically, Alex’s ex-boyfriend has changed over the year and when she sees him at summer camp again, he’s like a complete stranger. He’s rude and calls her crude names and is cold as ever. In her fury, Alex sees a new, smokin’ guy and kisses him on impulse. Little does she know that he’s actually a new worker at the camp and workers and campers are not allowed to be more than friends. After that, there’s insta-attraction. And a lot of hypocrisy.
Another point that connects with the romance is how Alex and Javier (the love interest) both kept making promises to themselves about staying away. Yet each time they make eye contact, they are all over each other. Then they pull away, curse and the cycle goes on and on and on. Annoying, you say? You are correct.
I forgot to mention in my first review (of Camp Boyfriend) but I found that there were too many characters. I lost track of personalities and got them confused with others. There were at least 10 supporting characters. T’was bizarre and did not need that many.
I’m also not too happy about the ending. I am all for nice and sweet happy endings but this one felt too perfect. Everything was tied up too nicely. A little twist or just something to make the read more original and memorable would have been nice.
I am not sure about picking up book 3 (if there will be one). I guess it once again depends on who the main character will be. If you want some fluff and drama, I’d say look somewhere else.
Thank you Spencer Hill Press for sending me this copy!~
UPDATE: Book 3 is Kayla's story. Sounds interesting, but I'm a little wary about reading it since the first two were disappointing. Won't hurt to try though? ...more
To make the cake batter, throw in an incredibly flawed and rule-breaking girl, and then mix it in with a strong sSee more reviews at YA Midnight Reads
To make the cake batter, throw in an incredibly flawed and rule-breaking girl, and then mix it in with a strong sibling dynamic slowly then chuck it in the oven and bake it in a sci-fi backdrop. Serve the cake with a heavy dollop of bad romance and a sprinkle of headache ensuing info-dumps, and there you have it: Dissonance.
Delancey Sullivan is a Walker. It’s not that she's special and skilled enough to become one, but because this ability runs in the family. Each time someone in the Key World (our world) makes a decision ; an alternate universe is created, which the Walkers refer to as an Echo. People like Del have the ability to sense these pivots they can travel to these Echoes. Their job is to maintain peace and harmony in these Echoes so nothing comes to interrupt with the Key World. Another thing about Walkers is that they all have perfect pitch. (AND MY GAWD AM I JEALOUS. I AM A MUSIC STUDENT AND DO YOU KNOW HOW BAD I WANT TO HAVE PERFECT PITCH?!) Anyway, it helps them detect the discord in an Echo world among other things, which I think is insanely awesome. How often do you get sci-fi that incorporates music as a key element?
There is a strong sibling presence in Dissonance. Del’s sister, Addie, is known as the rule-follower, the star student, and the perfect child. She’s brilliant at everything she does and hates it when things aren’t going perfectly. Then you have Del, who is practically the opposite. Del skips class, breaks every single rule in the book and has an attitude. Total. Badass. While I did have issues with Del at the start of the novel, she soon clicked with me for how flawed and realistic she was. As for the sister relationship, Addie and Del were evidently the representations of the North and South Poles at the start of the novel. They also happen to be just as cold to one and another and just as far apart. While the two didn’t end up being attached at the hip by the end of the novel, it’s evident that the frost has started to melt between the two of them. I can see further growth between the two in the future installments, for sure.
My sole criticism for this novel lies in how huge this novel is. It’s not that I hate fat books, but more often than not, it’s a clear indicator how much shaving off this book could have used. There were many paragraphs (sometimes even pages) that I just skimmed briefly because they felt utterly irrelevant. I did enjoy the even and well built up pace of the novel, but some parts of it really didn’t require being here. That said, skimming this book isn’t a fabulous idea either because the info-dumping is a total pain in the ass. Words were thrown around and for a while, I was damn confused. I skipped a paragraph and then I was like “Gah! WHAT THE HELL IS AN ECHO? WHAT IS A BREAK? WHAT IS THE MEANING OF LIFE?!” Okay not as dramatic but you get my gist.
I know that several reviewers probably all brought this up but the romance clearly wasn’t O’Rourke’s strong point. Honestly, I kind of wish it never even existed because it just made me want to skim and skim and skim. IT WAS THAT BAD, OKAY? Basically, Del keeps bumping into Simon in Echoes but in the Key World, Simon never bothers to even remember her name. Suddenly, after like 1/3 of the book, he decides to start noticing Del and well, terrible romance ensues. I mean, there were cute moments, but not for one moment was I sold on it because of how unrealistically it unravelled and Simon is so bland.
Furthermore, while this book had a great pace, it never seemed to be going anywhere. It’s like the book was running around corners but it took 4 right turns and ended up back nowhere; completely lost. The plot is utterly lacking, for I don't feel like this book has a true complication. Sure, Simon is shady, and Del must past her test but other than that, there wasn’t much of a plot at all.
Dissonance did have its imperfections, but despite that, Del’s refreshing personality, Addie and Del’s sibling arc and the world building were all highlights here. I found O’Rourke’s newest to be rather entertaining, and I’ll definitely needing to read book 2.
~Thank you Simon and Schuster Australia for sending me this copy!~
Boys Like You isn't a bad read. It's gratifying and the characters are not parSee more reviews at YA Midnight Reads
"No one is perfect. Remember that."
Boys Like You isn't a bad read. It's gratifying and the characters are not particularly irksome, the story line is engaging enough to keep you till the very end and the romance is relatively sweet. Not particulary, engaging enough, relatively: I use these words because nothing here is really meeting the full potential. I have quibbles with every aspect in Boys Like You, but taking a step back and under a less critical eye, this is a decent novel about two broken teens who find love and recovery through each other.
And that's just exactly that. Two teens who recover from their dark pasts by leaning on each other. That's real sweet, but that's just not realistic. It might have been true for what, 7 out of 1000 people but you want to read a book that feels genuine and feels like something you can possibly relate to. This novel was not that. Boys Like You is told by the two love interests, Monroe and Nathan. Monroe went to live with her Gram for the summer in hopes that she would be able to recover from the tragic incident that damaged her family. Nathan is still reeling from the accident that sent his best friend, who he loved like a brother, to hospital. He's still in a coma. And his family blames Nathan. He was meant to be the responsible one, yet he failed to deliver this time.
The characterisations in Boys Like You were authentic. I could definitely empathise for each of the characters' dark and mistake-ridden tragedies. Monroe has a snarky personality and doesn't take crap from anyone. Nathan might seem like a player but his heart is loyal once he can find it. What annoyed me was how both Monroe and Nathan had to mention how gorgeous or hot the other looked in pretty much every chapter. He's hot, she's fucking beautiful. That's nice. Let's get on with the plot now. But no. Sure, of course you can talk about how people are staring at Monroe for more than 3 times. Once is enough. We know English. Therefore, once is enough.
I am so so about the romance. In my view, it moved too quickly. Their first kiss is quite early on in the novel. And there is instant attraction. And then there's this line:
Our fingers touched briefly, and I liked the little zing that shot through me.
And like I aforementioned, I wanted to see the characters deal with their demons by themselves. Also, I was especially not happy how Monroe healed in the end. I won't go into any details of how as that would be spoiling it. But seriously, it felt way too simple.
To sum up, I found Boys Like You to be an alright read but I know that it won't be leaving a mark. I had to check Goodreads for the names of the main characters even though I only just finished this novel. It still has notable themes and morals, but I think the execution with novel in general could have had a harder try.
~Thank you Sourcebooks Fire for sending me this copy!~
After Eden is your typical YA sci-fi novel. Basically, there's a really hot and gorgeous guy (Ryan) whSee more reviews at YA Midnight Reads
After Eden is your typical YA sci-fi novel. Basically, there's a really hot and gorgeous guy (Ryan) who appears out of nowhere. All the girls at school are fawning over him. All the guys are jealous of him. And when Eden meets him, she feels an attraction to him immediately. He's not just a pretty face (Ryan insists himself he's a gorgeous face, not just pretty), he's also awfully smart and has a fantastic grasp on astronomy. However, he seems to know nothing else: he doesn't know what pizza is, he doesn't know who Hitler was. No one suspects a thing--apart from Eden.
What I liked about this book:
- How about nothing. Yeah.
What I disliked about this book:
- Eden. So I'll give her credit for discovering that Ryan wasn't a person from Earth but from the future--all by herself. But apart from that, she's pretty dead stupid. My main example? When she discovers Ryan's secret, Eden starts asking bucket loads of questions. Ryan tells her that he can't tell because he'd be in a lot of trouble if he did; however Eden persists and claims that he doesn't trust her and crap like that when he still refuses. Like c'mon girl. It's none of your bloody business, he said it's dangerous to let anyone know about the future but you think you're an exception? Not to ruin your ego but...YOU AREN'T SOME SPECIAL RAINBOW UNICORN THAT CAN SPEAK ELEPHANT SO NOOOO.
- Connor. I love girl/boy friendships. They're like romance, but contain much less drama and cheesiness. I was waiting for those awesome scenes with Connor and Eden however they acted like they weren't best friends at all. Eden or Connor might say something about how long they've known each other to someone, but I never saw their friendship, if that makes any sense. Additionally, I hated Connor in general. He got jealous in an instant about Ryan and acts like a douchebag half the time. Ugh.
- Ryan. Well hellloo there Gary Stu. I don't understand how he's smart. If he didn't want to be discovered (that he was a dude from outer space), then why ask people what pizza is? It only turns heads and makes people wonder what's up with your brain (or lack of one.) Because of that one clue, and other small ones that followed (due to his stupidity), Eden found out his secret.
- The conveniences. This paragraph contains mild spoilers. At the end of the novel, Eden nearly dies. But she doesn't because Ryan saved her. Can someone please explain how the hell does Ryan just suddenly appear out of nowhere (once again). Honestly, that scene felt so fake and I was banging my head of the wall. NOTHING LIKE THAT HAPPENS IN REAL LIFE.
- Insta-Iove. Must I go into that any further? Because I don't think I need to.
Moral of the story: learn from your mistakes. It makes life much better (and less painful) (and means you can read good books instead of shockingly horrible ones).
~Thank you Bloomsbury Australia for sending me this copy!~...more
I'm feeling rather conflicted on how I feel about The Summer I Wasn't Me. You see, throughout the entSee more reviews at YA Midnight Reads
I'm feeling rather conflicted on how I feel about The Summer I Wasn't Me. You see, throughout the entire time I was reading this, I was a ball of rage. Yet at the same time, I found it interesting to take a look at a perspective that I find absolutely foul.
The book opens up with Lexi and her mum on their way to a heavily religious influenced de-gaying camp. After her father died, Lexi's mother discovered Lexi's secret and immediately took action by sending her off to a de-gaying camp for the summer. I know that a lot of people who are highly supportive of GLBTQ have decided to avoid this book, but I think it is a real eye-opener to how these issues are dealt with by different people. At the camp, teens are taken through activities which were supposed to help them 'become straight' and understand that having same sex attraction is absolutely not okay. Most of the activities were enraging. They were agonizing to read. For example: Mr Martin was talking about Father Flaws and how everyone has one that made them turn gay at one point in their life, and he claims that Lexi's mother was the reason why Lexi became gay because her mother wasn't feminine enough. Is it a crime to not wear pink and dresses and frills and not have long hair? Is that now the definition of feminine?
As for the characters, I didn't really feel emotionally attached to any of them. We only get a little backstory when they are being confronted by Mr Martin in front of everyone else but I didn't feel like much got resolved at the end of the book. Moreover, many issues were treated to lightly and simplistically. "Fixing" someone isn't as simple as 123, but it sure felt like it was in this novel. There's much more to it and I just did not feel that the author covered it entirely well in this novel. Though still commend Verdi because this topic is definitely a hard one to pull off well.
I thought The Summer I Wasn't Me was still a readable novel--leaning towards lighthearted but still good attempt for a topic that only a few authors have touched into.
~Thank you Sourcebooks Fire for sending me this copy!~
My belief is that if you want to write an effective story about fatal illnesses, you don't want yourSee more reviews at YA Midnight Reads
My belief is that if you want to write an effective story about fatal illnesses, you don't want your story to be too short. I feel that 250 pages is too short for a book that deals with these types of topics as they do call for more detail and emotional build ups. The Summer I Found You held a lot of potential though was failed by the execution. (Read: lack of depth and unlikable narrator.)
I loved the idea of a girl with Type 1 Diabetes and a guy with only one arm coming together--though I knew it was going to be extremely hard to nail down seamlessly. Ever since Kate was diagnosed with diabetes, she feels annoyed at everyone for treating her like a fragile glass doll. Afraid to hurt her, always checking on her because of her diabetes. She's sick of it. She doesn't want to go to the doctor for check ups, she's sick of all the empathetic looks. I liked Kate at the beginning, she seemed like a convincing teen who just wanted her life back. But when she started recording different numbers for her blood pressure onto her notebook for her doctor, my opinion of her flipped. She clearly does not now how fatal diabetes can get without the correct treatment. She thinks if she can fool the doctor and her parents, she'll be able to fool her illness as well. Even when her parents get worried sick, her motives do not change. Kate, darling, use your brain while you still can, diabetes is no joking matter.
The romance was pretty half-hearted as well. I did not feel the chemistry at all, I wanted more of a build up or something that could make it more realistic. I found myself skimming most of the romance parts because it was not the slightest bit fascinating.
Overall, a really dissatisfying novel with poor characters, romance and depth. I wouldn't recommend it.
~Thank you Albert & Whitman for sending me this copy!~
I can definitely see where Tease lost it's appeal. It's written from the perspective of a bully--Sara. SSee more reviews at YA Midnight Reads
I can definitely see where Tease lost it's appeal. It's written from the perspective of a bully--Sara. She's not vaguely sorry about Emma Putnam's suicide. Even though she and her friends are accountable for it according to the public. We have chapters that take us back to the time when Emma Putnam was still alive, but in between we get to see Sara's current life. One that is falling apart fast. It's like she cannot go anywhere without getting a dirty look from a passing stranger. Like she go a day without having to see her lawyers and therapists.
Emma was a boyfriend-stealing bitch right up until the day in March when she killed herself. I didn't do anything wrong, but she totally ruined my life.
Like most people who have read Tease already, I wasn't a huge fan of Sara. She's melodramatic, has a cold heart and is a bitch. She's part of the reason why a girl is dead but Sara doesn't care at all. But, I liked how we got to look into the head of a bully. This was an extremely refreshing premise and I found myself up late trying to see how the book would wrap up in the end. Sara's got a typical teenage personality. She tries whatever she can to climb to the top of the high school food chain and fit in. Heck, she had sex with her boyfriend just so she could be even closer friends with Brielle. Brielle is the Queen Bee. Their friendship is toxic, but also very fascinating in the sense that there are only a few books that have toxic friendships.
"Skank." I think it's Brielle hissing the word for a minute, and then I realise it was me who just said it. It feels good. I say it again. "What a total skank!"
There is a hell lot of slut-shaming in Tease. And a hell lot of carelessness/impulsiveness in the main character. These were probably the main factors that made me cringe. But it's reality. Words like skank, bitch, slut--they get thrown around all the time at most high schools. In Tease, those words are almost on every page. If you really hate it, then this book isn't for you. But I believe that it's important to read about the view of bullying from the bully's mind. And this was exactly that. There are real people in high school who are just like the ones in this novel. And I really appreciate the author for giving this topic a try. In fact, she did a darn awesome job!
A realistic take on bullying and how it effects the victim and the bully, and how careless actions can lead to big problems, Tease is a brilliant novel that needs to be read.
~Thank you Balzer & Bray for sending me this copy!~
My frustration with this book is too much to handle so I'm going to try and get straight to the point here.
House of Ivy and Sorrow's first fault is in the writing. Being someone who hasn't read Natalie Whipple before, I had no idea to expect, but I certainly had no idea how juvenile her tone is. As I fourteen year old, I feel pretty insulted that this is labelled Young Adult. THIS IS NOT YA. THIS IS MG. This being YA means this should also be suited for eighteen years olds; I seriously cannot imagine someone that age, reading this without barfing up the excessiveness of fluff that engulfed this book. Even I wanted to barf up a rainbow of stupidity that entered my brain as I consumed this. In addition, the author does not bother to make her witch lore intricate--it's the typical same old structure as every other witch book out in the world, yet the writing just makes it seem even worse.
Secondly, I'd like to mention how misleading this title is. I was talking to a fellow book bloggy friend (Jaz @ Fiction in Fiction in Fiction) and the conversation goes like this:
This made me realise something. This book wasn't remotely sad, creepy, dark or any other word that comes to mind when you mention words like ivy or sorrow. I mean seriously, just have a think for a second, what do those words remind you of? If you didn't answer with words such as: overly fluffy, fairies and ponies, sparkly magic, you are correct. Because House of Ivy and Sorrows had not the slightest dark element that was intensifying or made me sit at the edge of my seat. Instead, like I aforementioned, I wanted to puke because it was TOO FLUFFY AND CHILDISH.
And of course, we have a Mary freaking Sue main character. Meet Josephine: once ugly but now the prettiest bitch of the herd, smart, has loyal friends, hottest guy at school who dated an older girl was actually in love with her the whole time and is a witch with special powers. And later, another dude shows up and love triangle crap starts to hint it's way through. BUT BUT BUT the romance (thankfully) was not a main aspect in this book. BUT BUT BUT there wasn't much of a plot either. THEREFORE nothing happened in this book. MEANING that this book was pointless. ALSO MEANING that I am hugely disappointment and crying because I have once again read a mediocre crap novel.
Pretty much every person who has read a lot of books, gets sick of romance (since it's in almost every bloody novel these days). So it's always a relief to hear that there's a strong friendship aspect! All except for this one. The friendship in this book also contributed to why I wanted to puke my intestines and all other internal organs out. I love the fluff, but I hate it when the author goes overboard. This group of girls are full on all over each other, being absolutely melodramatic and not very 17 year oldery at all. If I wasn't told their ages, I would have easily passed these girls off as hormonal 10 year olds. No kidding.
And as a last quibble out of the serveral other ones that I can't even get bothered to mention now, the way things were handled. If there was a complication in this book, it took a blink for the solution to come. Talk about an easy cop out and cementing my reasoning that this is actually meant to be a MG novel.
And Happy 1st day of April everyone! Alas, this review was not an April fool so if you're going to read this, don't think that I didn't try so hard to convince you otherwise.
In the end, The Taking wasn't too bad of a read. While I have a lot of nit-picks here and there, but the conceptSee more reviews at YA Midnight Reads
In the end, The Taking wasn't too bad of a read. While I have a lot of nit-picks here and there, but the concept was refreshing and was just engaging enough to keep me reading till the very end.
Just yesterday, 16 year old Kyra was in a softball game. Today, she wakes up behind a dumpster at the Gas 'n' Sip with no idea how she got there in the first place. When she gets home, there's a strange man and boy shouting at her, telling her that this wasn't her home. So she goes to her boyfriend's house just across the street but something isn't right. Her boyfriend's 12 year old brother, Tyler, looks older. Looks older than Kyra. Soon she learns that she wasn't at a softball game yesterday. Yesterday, she was missing. She has been missing for 5 years now, and Kyra has no memory of where she has been. But what's more scary is that while everyone else has aged by 5 years, Kyra looks completely the same. Like she's still 16.
Sounds awesome doesn't it? A fantastic mystery thriller with aliens. Sadly, a series of criticisms made it obvious that this wasn't the fantastic alien mystery thriller. Firstly, I struggled to connect with the main character, Kyra. She's shallow and insipid, and I felt no empathy for her situation. I wanted to like her, but her character didn't jump out at me and her narration was boring and terribly mundane. Moreover, I was expecting her reaction to coming home 5 years later to be a little more significant. Sure, she's shocked and confused and lost but it didn't feel or come off as genuine to me. Kyra was more interested in Tyler than what was happening to her, in my opinion.
Another quibble was the romance which I have no interest in. There was instant love. Like instant love towards her ex-boyfriend's little brother that she knew when he was 12. Instant love in less than 7 days. Mel does not approve. I also got annoyed at how many times Kyra felt the need to point out Tyler's dimples. He sounded pretty cute at the start, but then it got aggravating. Here's a quote at 27%:
His response was immediate. I left you something. Look out your window. I hoped that "something" was him.
WOAAAH. Getting a little too fast there. Also, très corny.
I also have a HUGE grudge with the pacing in The Taking. The first half was excessively slow and tedious. All there is in the first has is watching Kyra settle back into her old life again--which I do appreciate--but it was boring, uneventful and had quite a large focus on the romance tension between Kyra and Tyler. As for the second half, things do begin to pick and gradually get more absorbing. We start getting some answers (some in which I had early on predicted) but the big question wasn't answered until the last quarter. I really wished we got more answers because it's rather awful being in the dark for majority of the read.
Ultimately, I don't think The Taking was a worthwhile read. While the concept will remain in my memory for a long time, the characters, romance and pacing made this book rather unmemorable.
I'm going to try to keep this nice and clear. Do not bother with this book. That is the best and only adSee more reviews at YA Midnight Reads
I'm going to try to keep this nice and clear. Do not bother with this book. That is the best and only advice I can give you.
But why Mel? It looks soooo good!
Haden Lord has a pretty crappy life in the Underrealm. He's disowned by his father, despised by his twin brother and shunned by everyone else. However, when King Ren (his father) seeks out the help of the Oracle to see who is most fitting to go on the the quest to save the Underrealm. And just somehow, Haden is chosen. Nope, not his more educated brother, but him. Yet soon, the author manages to turn him into the typical, Gary Stu. When Haden arrives on Earth with the mission to seek out Daphne Raines (who is like the key to deciding the fate of the Underrealm), he's declared as 'hot stuff'. He also has this talent for learning this after seeing someone perform the action just once. Like seriously, can we be a little more realistic?
We also have our Mary Sue, Daphne Raines. When she starts at her new school, Olympus Hills (aww no way), she's envied by everyone. She's got the perfect tanned skin and gorgeous blonde hair, her dad is a famous and rich rock star and Daphne also happens to be really talented herself with her voice and guitar. Daphne, doesn't have much logic though. She kisses Haden when he killed all supernatural and creepy with lightning (she doesn't even know his powers and everything yet at this point) however says he has issues when he has her name engraved on his arms. Okay, so that's really creepy. But isn't the first one really creepy as well? LIKE I'M SO CONFUSED WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU THINKING.
Well...half of the pages were really irrelevant to the story. They do a little music, do a little stalking, do a little bitching and the plot line just pokes it's head in every 100 pages or so. 500+ pages? Definitely not needed.
Instant love. Angst. This was basically a love story. Because the only way for Daphne to co-operate and save the Underrealm is for her to fall helplessly in love with Haden.
No. Don't bother. You're wasting your time. I'm a huge fan of Greek Mythology, and while I did like that aspect partially, the other 95% was NOT WORTH IT. Go read Percy Jackson. Sheesh. (They also have a way better ship. PERCABETH)
Thank you Xpresso Book Tours for sending me this copy.
I think I'm getting to that point where I am insaSee more reviews at YA Midnight Reads
Thank you Xpresso Book Tours for sending me this copy.
I think I'm getting to that point where I am insanely sick of contemporary romances. Six in a row is just about enough now. I'm quite sure, under different circumstances, I would have enjoyed this so much more but I wouldn't give this more than 3.5 stars at the current situation.
How willing are you to risk everything to be with the one you love? Savannah and Jack come from two different backgrounds. She works at the stable while he lives in an estate house and owns the farm. She's poor while he's swimming in his wealth. She's the one with big, dangerous ambitions and he's the one that can make them come true. She's the one that's been warned that he's not worth it. He's the one that's been told she'll bring him down. But still, they want to be together no matter the odds.
Savannah has been around horses for most of her life; she trains them and finds herself in the stable most of the time. When she gets the opportunity to become a horse jockey, she wants it more than anything. Not only did I love Savannah's passion for horses, but her humorous remarks kept me grinning like a fool. She doesn't like being treated like shit and is a strong young woman. I loved her attitude and how determined she is. Moreover, I liked how she would go to her father and talk to him openly, other contemporaries have the MC closing up towards their parents, not telling them anything. Per contra, I struggled to get used to how observant Savannah could be. There was constantly the phrase: "He's staring at me" or something like that. You're not looking at him but you can still see him staring at you? Kinda creeeepy. Especially when it happens so many times.
Another aspect that shined was the friendships. Rory and Vanessa’s relationship with Savannah was truly amazing. The three would stick up for each other and were totally honest. Exactly what an authentic friendship is like. For example: Rory and Vanessa offered to kick Jack's ass because he was being a dickhead.
For me, what did not make this a hugely lovable novel were Jack and the romance. Unfortunately, I struggled to like Jack for half of the story. Savannah and Jack's connection was so hot and cold and too fast. I get that Jack's nature is to flirt, but I seriously hated his approach sometimes. There's something about flirty cocky guy gone all gooey and sweet that just doesn't work for me. I would have preferred if there was a better build up.
All in all, Racing Savannah was a great read even though I failed to connect with Jack or believe in the romance 100%. This was my first Miranda Kenneally novel, and I think I am willing to try her previous ones. ...more
I'll be frank, I was not impressed by Brenna Yovanoff's latest release, Fiendish. The author definitely has someSee more reviews at YA Midnight Reads
I'll be frank, I was not impressed by Brenna Yovanoff's latest release, Fiendish. The author definitely has some writing talent--because her writing--particularly the descriptions--were gorgeous, but they did not make up for the cons.
Three Reasons Why Fiendish Didn't Work For Me
1. The storyline bored me to death. Honestly, watching a game of golf would be more interesting than this. At the start of the book, I was really intrigued and curious as to why Clementine was trapped in a cellar for all these years, and why on earth her eyes were sewn shut. I mean, that's just seriously creeeepy and messed up. However, the story evidently becomes more and more progressively boring due to one main reason: the pace. This book moved at such a slow pace for me, particularly because we weren't getting anywhere. Sure, there was a great hook at the start, but there wasn't any other big motive that made me want to continue. I did end up skimming a few chapters towards the end.
2. The romance was a complete failure. Clementine was saved from the cellar by this guy called Fisher and surprise, surprise, he's the future love interest for Clementine. Who saw that one coming? *eye roll* Anyhow, the romance kicked off a little too early, and ended up being an awful case of instant-love. Furthermore, I hated Fisher. He wasn't even a decent guy, he acted like a total fake and was a jackass in general. Just bleh, not attractive at all.
3. Half the things in this novel made no sense to me whatsoever. One of the major things that didn't have any logic was Clementine and Shiny's reaction to Clementine's sudden reappearance and acceptance. Clementine girl, can't just pop out of no where and lead a normal life just like that. Your eyes were sewn shut and you were trapped inside a cellar for years and YEARS; and now that you are out, you're just going to go shopping? Things like this simply made no sense to me, and I spent more time trying to make sense of these illogical scenarios rather than actually trying to enjoy the read.
Unfortunately, Fiendish didn't end up being my next best book friend. It certainly had a huge potential, but it honestly just felt wasted in my opinion.
~Thank you Simon and Schuster Australia for sending me this copy!~
Thank you Hardie Grant Egmont Australia for sending me this copy. No compensation was given or taken to alter thiSee more reviews at YA Midnight Reads
Thank you Hardie Grant Egmont Australia for sending me this copy. No compensation was given or taken to alter this review.
What if one small decision could change your life forever? What if you chose the wrong one? And what if, both choices have their own pros and cons? I have really enjoyed Cat Patrick's novels in the past, so when I saw this on pop up on Goodreads, I immediately took up the opportunity to read this, hoping for another fun, sci-fi type contemporary. However that wasn't really the case.
Caroline's grandmother has just been taken to hospital, and the entire family is informed that this could be one of Gram's last days living. Yet when Caroline's best friend, Simone asks her to go to a party, enabling to relieve Caroline from the drama and depression, Caroline has come to a crossroad. Should she stay, with her Gram, if these are Gram's last hours, or should she go, having the time of her life, away from the stressing burden? A decision that may seem tiny, but significant all the same, Cat Patrick and Suzanne Young weave a story about a teenage girl going through both decisions, and then making hers in the end. And hopefully, the right one.
The first issue I had with Just Like Fate was the idea and logic, or lack thereof. Who, honestly, who would leave their dying grandmother (that they are also so closely knit to) in hospital for a party. WHO. WOULD. DO. THAT. Clearly, Caroline thinks maybe it's a valid option to ditch her grieving family and run away to party with some college boys. Just. No. This logic, definitely resulted in more issues, but this was the main one. One that led to more and one that almost made we want to stop reading all together. The logic is irrational, heartless and shocking. People can go to parties any day. But people cannot say goodbye to a dying family member any day.
Caroline's character was the main aspect that was ruined due to the mindless logic. Firstly, and most obviously, she's an idiot. Secondly, and also very obviously, she has no logic. And lastly, and also obviously, she is naive. And snappy. I do get what the authors are attempting to do. They're trying to create a girl who has only been known to run away when things get tough. So then I waited for the character development to kick in, in hopes for her too turn into someone who would stand up to reality. I waited. And waited. And waited. And it did not come until just barely when I had any interest in the book anymore. I was actually enjoying the family dynamics of this, nonetheless that luxury also got blown out when Natalie, Caroline's sister came in, and man I hated her. But her brother, yeah. Love him. He's what a literary brother is meant to be like. As for the other characters, such as the best friend, Simone, I wanted to strangle her. She's one hundred times worse than Caroline. Completely stereotyped and depthless, and wanting everything her way. She was the one who nagged Caroline into going to the party, so what's her problem? Quite the disaster of a best friend, Simone was.
I feel like this book was mainly focussing on the romance. In the 'stay' chapters, we have Joel, Caroline's pre-school crush or something (is it possible to have crushes at that age?) who was actually not what Caroline expected him to be like. i.e.: He's a liar, fake, ass and *insert unintelligent words here* Then in the 'go' chapters, we have Chris; sweet, funny and carefree. MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD TILL END PARAGRAPH: The romance did create a complication in choosing whether to stay or go. If Caroline stays, she gets to say goodbye to her grandmother, and have the less liked love interest, Joel. However if she goes, then she won't be able to say goodbye but will have the better guy.
Overall, I do not think I can recommend this to someone unless they are utterly obsessed with fate and romance. A light read for a lazy day, maybe when your brain is a little illogical so this will not seem as horridly illogical....more
Thank you Bloomsbury Australia for sending me this copy. No compensation was given or taken to alter this review.See more reviews at YA Midnight Reads
Thank you Bloomsbury Australia for sending me this copy. No compensation was given or taken to alter this review.
“I'm tryin' to push you away when all I want to do is hold you. I know you say you don't want a hero, but damn I'd like to be that guy who'll save you from spiders and whatever and whoever else hurts you.”
Despite the glaringly large number of flaws Wild Cards held, I still couldn’t bear to give this anything under 3 stars. Why? Because there's this thing called: I-couldn't-stop-grinning-like-a-fool-the-whole-time so it's definitely saying I enjoyed this book to some extent.
The premise of Wild Cards is really straight-forward. Told in two perspectives, we have tom-boy Ashtyn who is the only girl on her football team that she loves dearly- she also happens to be the captain. After losing everything she loves, Ashtyn brings the walls up around her and doesn't believe that she can trust anyone again, everyone she cared about walked out of her life. Then we have Derek, arrogant, cocky and is scared of falling in love so he only does one night stands. He's hidden his past, which hurts him and is the reason why he no longer plays football. This extremely familiar premise came into play with two characters that seemingly don't work out, end up working out. I wasn't the greatest fan of Ashtyn or Derek. Ashtyn who was meant to be a tom-boy and mentally strong was easily jealous, sensitive and self-conscious. Derek was pretty much a boy replica with the along with the humour and brashness. And they both were 'hot'. Ugh. I swam in the land of clichés.
The romance was instant love, angsty and on and off. Still, there were sweet moments however they were quickly ended with Derek or Ashtyn's ego getting the better of them. The romance definitely weaker than the character arcs. The pacing also did not fair to well in Wild Cards. The problem with telling a contemporary story with the two love interests is that we pretty much know what's going to happen and all us readers want to do is grab their faces and smash them together. While some YA contemporary authors like Katie McGarry can conjure a magnificent story with that formula, what Simone Elkeles lacked her in the pacing was some depth and subplot. Something. Other than the upfront drama of Derek and Ashtyn's relationship, we don't really touch on the football aspect (such as Ashtyn actually playing a game) or more family drama. It's like nothing is more important than romance.
Since I am mood rater, I rated this 3 stars despite my practically completely negative review because like I mentioned earlier, this book kept me smiling. I did like the characters at some points, mainly just Derek even though he was infuriating at times. Nevertheless, I will be reading book 2! ...more
After the recent bad luck I've been having with all genres other than contemporary, Salvage is no excepSee more reviews at YA Midnight Reads
DNF at 27%
After the recent bad luck I've been having with all genres other than contemporary, Salvage is no exception. So after just a little over a fifth in, I decided that there is probably no point. And by the looks of my friend's reviews, I am correct. Duncan is by no means a bad author. In fact, I quite enjoyed her writing--it's very sophisticated yet easy to read through. Nonetheless, a series of major turn-offs in the first few chapters cemented my decision of DNFing this.
1. The names. This was like my warning bell. A little quibble that resulted in more and more as the story progressed. So in the sci-fi/dystopian world that Duncan has created, the characters' names are something like: "Luck Be With Us On This Journey" and "Solidarity With The Stars". Just because it's a dystopian novel does not mean that people are going to have lines of a poem/song for their name. It miiight be possible but c'mon, that's getting unbelievable and WTF-ery.
2. The jargon. Imagine painting a house but you've never seen one before. There is someone telling you to draw a roof, walls and windows etc but you have no idea what roofs and walls and windows are and how to draw those, either. You are lost and frustrated. And finally, they explain: draw a triangle and two small squares in the large square. In Salvage, there's immediately jargon and weird terminology coming into play which felt suffocating. It took quite some time to work out what the characters were referring to and made it even harder to get "into" the book.
3. Stating the obvious. This has happened quite a few times when I was reading Salvage. The characters really loved stating obvious things or things that pretty much everyone on Earth already knows. Here's just an example:
"Your hair looks darker when it's wet," Luck says.
No SHIT. Everyone's hair looks darker when it's wet.
4. Instant-love. So the book opens up with our main character, Ava, who is going to get married. She believes it will be to her friend's brother, Luck--she's only met Luck once, but has grown a crush on him. So one night before the marriage, she bumps into Luck and after just a few minutes...they have sex.
Like what. Why. I do not compute.
I do not recommend this book as I found it a waste of time--especially since it's a whooping 520 pages (and certainly does not need that many.) But of course, if you don't mind instant-love (and a love triangle further along the track, apparently), jargon and odd terms, not to mention pretty unlikable characters, go for it.
~Thank you Greenwillow Books for sending me this copy!~
Probably no full review because this doesn't deserve my time.
But yeah, here's some problems I had with this book: - Mary Sue protagonist -1.5 stars
Probably no full review because this doesn't deserve my time.
But yeah, here's some problems I had with this book: - Mary Sue protagonist - Really awful metaphors. Think infinity worse than Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi - Insta-love - Illogical things happening all over the place - Romance everywhere. I swear, it's on every page - Protagonist has a seriously bad obsession with vomiting and her bile - Really random and irrelevant plot twist. - Retarded nickname. Like what even. - Love interest becomes a better person for protagonist like the second he meets her. I need some build up!
Yeah, there's more than that.
Blythe and I did a discussion review on this one because well...SNARK and you can read that by following this link: http://bit.ly/19w9wD1...more
Thank you Simon and Schuster Australia for sending me this copy. No compensation was given or taken to alter thisSee more reviews at YA Midnight Reads
Thank you Simon and Schuster Australia for sending me this copy. No compensation was given or taken to alter this review.
After reading Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas, I never really expected any other murder mystery to 'wow' me. Because quite simply, Dangerous Girls threw my future expectations for this sub-genre sky-high. So, I can't really leave the full blame on The Sound, saying that this was a horrible book but I never really found my enjoyment in here.
We start off with a potentially relatable main character, Ren Kingston. She's an aspiring music journalist from England, and has decided to take up a nannying job on an island just close by to Boston in America. Instead of just relaxing, listening to music and writing her blog, Ren finds herself stuck between a dangerous place and a rock. Because there have been reports of dead foreign nannies just on the shore of the beach. Who is the murderer? And is Ren the next target? For something that seemed so suspenseful and crazily hectic turned out to be a love story, to be honest. Here we are again, ladies and gents; yet another good potential gone splat.
Originally, I was going to list what I liked and didn't like about The Sound. Truth be told, I can't think of much to say in what I liked so I have just listed what did not work. This is not to say that everything was bad, it's just more helpful and efficient to list out flaws.
I was swimming in a sea of clichés. They were absolutely everywhere and pissed me off to no end. I'm sure that this would have been a better read if the characters were actually somewhat bearable. Ren, is thankfully one of the okay ones. She questions most things and isn't as naive as I expected, I liked her curiosity but her curiosity and skepsism lead to her being awfully judgemental and having prejudice towards other members of the cast she's only just met. The 'friends', I won't say their names (because I have forgotten them already) but they were typical. We have the girls, giggly and only appearing to want to get in people's pants--guys particularly. And what shocked me more was that we have a four year old who swore and called people 'sluts' and 'hos'. We also have the best friend calling Ren a slut so frequently I almost threw the book across the room. What's more superficial about the best friend is that she kept on obsessing over 'The One'. Ugh. The male characters are no better. Majority of them wanted just wanted to hook up with girls, a different one each night. Did I mention that everyone on the island is dirty rich and beautiful?
The Sound was powdered with romance. It was not only suffocating me, but also the book. About halfway through and the plot was practically non-existent due the romance being so over-powering. More reasons to not like the romance: love triangle. Angst. Insta-love. Jealousy. Obsessiveness. *head desk times 1000* I opened up this book for a murder mystery, not a romance with two typical love interests. One dark, mysterious and violent and one just trying to have fun and cute. JUST NO. But I must admit, I liked Jesse (the bad guy), he may have been stereotypically mysterious but his mystery is a touching one, which was the only main drive that made me read onwards. If not for the interest of wanting to know Jesse's past, I would have DNFed this early on.
BORING. I was waiting it to come and when it finally did, I was already detached from the novel. Additionally, the culprit? I called it. Easy. Too easy because I normally suck at finding out who the culprit was.
To sum up:
Avoid. There are better murder mysteries in this world. If you're looking for a light romance-y but slightly thriller-y novel, this is the one for you. Other than that, like I say and will keep on saying, avoid. Avoid. Avoid....more
Thank you HarlequinTeen for sending me this copy. No compensation was given or taken to alter this review.
"Time's ticking." "Isn't it always?"
Countdown promised a lot. However it did not deliver as much. I feel like I'm slowly falling into a reviewing slump (therefore sorry for my lame review) so I think this review will be more effective in point form. And here we go...
1. The world building was narrow. I truly value the amount of world building in dystopian novels; it's probably one of the most important elements in a dystopian novel. Hence immediately, my view on Countdown began to worsen as I found it awfully hard to visualise Michelle Rowen's world. I do believe this is a standalone which just strengthens my point in saying that Countdown needed more of a back story, of how the society grew to what it is. The lack of knowledge of the world I was reading about just made me feel detached from the characters and even agitated. Like what other psi abilities were there? How did they come to exist? Why is there the divide of the rich and the poor? And so on and so forth.
2. The characters were typical. Kira, the main character was actually a decent one, not whiny and was quite fierce; she soon learns that she has psi abilities. However the main problem was that I could not connect with her at all. I'm not sure if it's just me as I don't seem to be connecting with anything of the late or the actual book. Kira also doesn't have much consistency in her personality. One minute she's all sceptical the next minute she doesn't have a care in the world. Rogan was no better, he was actually worse. Far worse. Rogan: mysterious, humorous, 'good looking', badass, 'romantic. Yeah... no. It's happened multiple of times and I am utterly fed up with character clichés.
3. The romance was like a switch. On and off. On and off. I believe you, I don't. Make up your mind Kira! I do like the fact that there is the never ending theme of trust and faith in Countdown however taking it to the extremes in romance was a bad idea. The romance wasn't necessarily instant but it was just as cheesy and inconsistent as ever.
4. As original as paper. I'd be shocked to ever come across someone who has never read The Hunger Games. Countdown felt like a copy of The Hunger Games, just changing the names and setting and adding some psi ability there. I am not a fan of comparing books but the similarities between these two was literally glaring at me.
All in all, I wouldn't say that I'd recommend this to anyone. While I loved the concept of The Game, the characters, originality, romance (which was a bit dominating) and world building was poorly executed. ...more
I don’t know how to start this review. My thoughts are aboutSee more reviews at YA Midnight Reads
Grief holds you tight. It holds you forever.
I don’t know how to start this review. My thoughts are about explode right out of my mouth so I may as well get to the point right now.
The book opens up with our seventeen year old protagonist, Emma, who now lives with her stepfather. Her father died when she was young, and her mother only died a few months ago. However, unlike her father, Emma is still able to see her mother every day, for she is being kept alive by machines so the baby inside her can live. Kept alive until the baby no longer needs her mother's body. Emma is in a pool of grief and anger. Grieving for her mother and angry because she thinks her stepfather is selfish to keep her mother monitored just to keep the baby alive.
While I liked Emma’s character, there were certain flaws that I could not let go of. Emma’s situation was difficult, she used to be an over-achiever at school and ever since her mother’s death, her grades have slipped and her anger has been forever growing larger and larger. I could empathise for Emma easily-- but the more I think about her character I realise that she could’ve chosen not to go and visit her mother every single day. I see a lot of other readers have mentioned that as well. However if I were Emma, I’d visit my mum as well. Why? Because if my mum were dead I want to see her face, and be able to hold her hand for as long as possible; even if it makes me angry and sad. On the other hand, nothing excuses her being so prejudiced to others around her. For instance, when Emma is talking about Caleb Harrison, she says this:
I don’t think a bored, rich druggie really gets hate. Not real hate.
Girl, you don’t even know the guy and you think that he doesn’t understand hate? What do you base this off? You know nothing more than anyone else does. Besides that qualm, Emma was a generally well nuanced character. Her anger and grief was believable.
Heartbeat is predominantly a love story between two damaged characters. Caleb used to be a popular guy but when he came across his own loss of a family member, he closed up. Lonely and angry, Caleb went through being a druggie and now steals cars and sometimes the occasional school bus. Caleb and Emma’s chemistry felt a little quick to begin with but that didn’t stop me shipping these two at all. I will say that I don’t like it when romance is used as a device to fix each other’s problems, though Emma and Caleb needed help. They needed someone to understand them. They needed someone constant who could be at their side.
What I loved the most about Heartbeat was the writing. Elizabeth Scott has fantastic writing skills and it was incredibly beautiful. I will read anything by her because of her writing.
All in all, Heartbeat is a well-written gritty read that I definitely won’t hesitate to recommend to anyone.
~Thank you HarlequinTeen for sending me this copy!~
Thank you Bloomsbury Australia for sending me this copy. No compensation was given or taken to alter thSee more reviews at YA Midnight Reads
Thank you Bloomsbury Australia for sending me this copy. No compensation was given or taken to alter this review.
Either way, when she's ready to go, there is no arguing. There is only leaving.
I feel like such a black sheep right now, I don't even feel like a sheep. Yeah, that's one way to describe what I'm feeling this second. I was so so ready for this amazing, coming of age novel to wipe me off my feet but instead, I'm standing here awkwardly wondering what the hell happened. I've reluctantly concluded that this is an "it's me not you" situation.
In her early years, Callie was taken away from her large and loving family by her mother. They have been on the run ever since. However after an encounter with a policeman, Callie's mother is arrested for kidnapping her. Finally back with the family and home she's completely forgotten, Callie begins to slip herself back into society with plentiful supply of food and clothing- things that were scarce once before. In Trish Doller's latest, Where The Stars Still Shine explores family, friendships and true love themes through a teenage girl trying to adjust in her new and better life.
The two main points that let this novel down for me was the characters and romance which also happen to be the two main things I care about in a contemporary read. Let's talk about the characters first. I undoubtedly believed that I would connect with Callie effortlessly; her traumatising past being abused and ignored made me feel rather awful. Howbeit, Trish Doller did not do a convincing job at creating an empathetically-worthy character. I found myself having urges to scream at Callie for her views on people and even gender, and her poor decisions. Moreover, Callie's best friend (also cousin), Kat was really excitable in the sense that she got really dramatic and also very sensitive. Callie's first few pieces of dialogue with Kat on their first encounter already made her sob. So yeah, I just can't with Kat despite her good intentions towards Callie and motive to help Callie fit in. Another unexpected issue for me was Callie's parents. We have the selfish, absolutely out-of-her-mind mother who kidnaps her own child for nothing reasonable or solidly true. Then, there's Callie's father who doesn't give two thoughts about Callie's education. Good parents would never just let their child not go to school- also taking into account that Callie has only ever gone to kindergarten. In real life, school is something compulsory to every child and teen, so when on earth could Callie just nag her way out of it? Not. Cool.
The romance in this novel was dealt with poorly. I am not really a fan of love interests that seem to take all the worry away and be the solution to every problem. While Alex wasn't really a love interest that took all the worry away, I still felt that it hinted it throughout the novel. I might be wrong but I'm quite sure Callie hooks up with Alex after just knowing him for less than a day, and for me, I was not comprehending Callie's logic as I was already so quickly, becoming detached from the story. I do now, see that Callie was sexually abused at a young age and believed that all men wanted to have sex however the amount of times she puts forth this prejudice towards men just made me become exhaustively sick of it.
To be utterly honest, there wasn't much I actually enjoyed in Where The Stars Still Shine. While I appreciated Trish Doller's attempt of a coming of age novel about a completely messed up girl, I did not find myself able to resonate with any of the characters or the relationships made or rekindled. Nevertheless, I still feel the need to say that readers still should try this for I seem to be the odd one out about this book....more