Monday, December 31, 2012

Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi

Through the Ever Night (Under the Never Sky, #2)
Good Reads Summary
Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi

It's been months since Aria last saw Perry. Months since Perry was named Blood Lord of the Tides, and Aria was charged with an impossible mission. Now, finally, they are about to be reunited. But their reunion is far from perfect. The Tides don't take kindly to Aria, a former Dweller. And with the worsening Aether storms threatening the tribe's precarious existence, Aria begins to fear that leaving Perry behind might be the only way to save them both.

Threatened by false friends, hidden enemies, and powerful temptations, Aria and Perry wonder, Can their love survive through the ever night?

In this second book in her spellbinding Under the Never Sky trilogy, Veronica Rossi combines fantasy and dystopian elements to create a captivating love story as perilous as it is unforgettable.


My Thoughts
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Well now, look at what I loved! Perry’s OK and all, but Roar… is Roar. That one big positive aside, I did like most everything of where the story has gone, on all their ends.

…How Perry’s struggling to be the leader he’s meant to be.
…How Aria’s struggling to do what needs to be done next.
…Or how Roar’s not at all unsure about what he is supposed to do.

And then those little glimpses into Cinder and his not so little fears… then the Tides too and how complicated being a part of that bigger whole was for all of them, especially for those at the top.

It’s gotten more complicated and the little doubts that sprang out of the do I, does he, does she? goings on felt old hat, but expected some how because obviously things were never going to come easy for them. And look at that, once again, I find myself zeroing in on the romance. I really must stop this tendency of mine because outside that bit, the world they’re in is a bit clearer to me.

The divides among people, the banding together and swearing to this or that and working toward survival, then stronger factions and a bloodthirsty leader too… all that was interesting. Though, I’d have loved to have more detail. Because based on all that you can see how this one really isn’t just about Perry-loves-Aria. Their world’s on the brink (again) and people are scrambling to figure out their next move as well as and convincing the rest to pick a side. All that? Very, very good IMO and different by making this more than romance set in a YA dystop. 

The one thing this has done is made me more curious about the other people beside Perry and Aria, Roar and Liv and who they were had me paying attention even all those sworn to Perry… why was that the case again? Plus that ending... wow is all.

Good follow up.
Thank you Edelweiss!
3.5/5





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Friday, December 28, 2012

Fallen Too Far by Abbi Glines

Fallen Too Far (Fallen Too Far, #1)
Good Reads Summary
Fallen Too Far by Abbi Glines

To want what you’re not supposed to have…

She is only nineteen.

She is his new stepfather’s daughter.

She is still naïve and innocent due to spending the last three years taking care of her sick mother.

But for twenty-four year old Rush Finlay, she is the only thing that has ever been off limits. His famous father’s guilt money, his mother’s desperation to win his love, and his charm are the three reasons he has never been told no.

Blaire Wynn left her small farmhouse in Alabama, after her mother passed away, to move in with her father and his new wife in their sprawling beach house along the Florida gulf coast. She isn’t prepared for the lifestyle change and she knows she’ll never fit into this world. Then there is her sexy stepbrother who her father leaves her with for the summer while he runs off to Paris with his wife. Rush is as spoiled as he is gorgeous. He is also getting under her skin. She knows he is anything but good for her and that he’ll never be faithful to anyone. He is jaded and has secrets Blaire knows she may never uncover but even knowing all of that…

Blaire just may have fallen too far.


My Thoughts
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

If you've read one contemporary Glines' book you've likely read this one as well. The biggest positive I think is how brave she is in ending it where she did... a rather dramatic end that leaves the reader desperate to find out more! That aside, you can tell Gline's has upped her game in the sexy times... If  New Adult is about the mature content, Glines serves it up in this one. But good golly, things got steamy! Not bad and all, unless you consider there's very little going on in the story  department of this one. 

So the story, the story, the story... was there one? I suppose you could say so: First there's down on her luck girl looking for some help, She finds it it in the most unlikely of places: daddy (not so)  dearest who'd run out on her and her steps up to the plate and is game on helping her out. Or is he? Where that man is supposed to be, we find an even bigger asshole in his place. But is he really an ass? Or must we first dig deep... to we find something more?

My biggest complaint and most obvious one is how obvious things got here. Most everything you think is going to happen, does happen, because it's predictably melodramatic and over the top.... but at least it's a quick read and a steamy one. that about the only positivesI can squeeze out right now because things got predictable. How predictable, one may wonder: He is a rich asshole and acts the part. She’s poor distant relation and acts the part too. It got so frustrating seeing one cliché after another in this one pop up.

She’s got nothing and not one to turn to and finds herself relying on her otherwise absent father who’d run out on them. Add the fact that mother is just recently passed and that it's the girl who’s been holding things together for them. All the while daddy dearest is daddy dearest to some other rich spoiled brat of a girl… and IT'S ALL SUCH A SAD SOB STORY for her that I wasn’t buying it. And then she's to deal with aforesaid Ass, who treats her so badly, letting her stay in the servants quarters, even. Yes! There are servant quarters in this one!  To make matters even more over the top: he is the son of rock star so and so with something or other Demon as the band's name! It’s all so over the top! And contradictory because rich boy is also the protective big brother type! I couldn't connect one side of him with the other!

Now one must ask... as I've asked myself this time and again: what is it about Glines' books that keep me reading when counting the five, I've only really liked one? It's a mystery says I!



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Thursday, December 27, 2012

From Ashes by Molly McAdams

From Ashes
Good Reads Summary
From Ashes by Molly McAdams

When Cassidy Jameson's best friend Tyler took her to Texas with him when he left for college, she was expecting his cousin, their new roommate, to be a Stetson-wearing cowboy since his family owned a ranch; not this incredibly gorgeous guy with a husky Southern drawl that seemed to make the world stop whenever she looked at him. Because of her past, she's only ever trusted two men in her life, Tyler and her dad whom passed away when she was six. But there's something about Gage that draws her to him in a way she can't explain, only problem? He's always telling Tyler that he doesn't want Cassidy living there and sees her as nothing more than his little sister.

Gage Carson was excited his cousin Tyler was coming to live with, and go to college with him. When he'd called to ask if he could bring his friend Cassi with him, Gage didn't care. Gage had heard about this mysterious friend since they were kids and felt like he already knew her. Nothing would prepare him for watching her jump out of Ty's Jeep though. Not only was Cassi the most beautiful girl he'd ever seen, but there was something about her that within seconds of meeting her, made Gage want to protect her, and make her his. Too bad Tyler made it a point to remind Gage on a daily basis that he was dating her and she was completely off limits.

For a year and a half, Gage and Cassidy dance around their feelings for each other as Tyler continues to keep them apart; until one day Tyler unknowingly pushes her right into Gage's arms. With Tyler unable to keep lying to them, they finally start a relationship both have been craving since their first meeting. But when an accident and disaster sends her back to Tyler and California, will Cassidy be able to come face to face with the demons from her past to live a life she and Gage deserve; or will the fact that she once again ran to Tyler be the final push that ends Cassidy and Gage for good?

Recommended for ages 17+ due to sexual situations and language.


My Thoughts
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

From Ashes was an exhausting read. With so many things going on, and a lot of the same issues from her debut, I was hoping there’d be something new in this one. But again with a touch too many issues, and stupid moves too many on all people involved, and I was amazed at all that I finished this! I'd initially planned on leaving this with the lines of, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all,” heck I’d even managed to leave it up here for a whole two days… but when I keep going back to one thing or another, then it’s obvious: something was begging to be said! The main thing being: she really should have stopped while ahead and not had things circle around the same thing forever and ever because that’s what happened in TAKING CHANCES, and that’s what happens here too.

It’s unbelievable, the people in this one. They’re either too good, too bad or too certain something else that none of them had a middle. The girl is sad girl who does everything~ and I mean everything for the boys! She’s another  one of those who like in the first book by the same author was too perfect. And it’s one of many things that had me going “Aw! Come on!” Or “Pft..  No way.” So, my mindset for a good portion of this was stuck in the realm of doubtful. Then, my mind set after: a toss up between ‘Thank the gods that’s over…’ and ‘Why did I put myself through this?’ Look, her first book had me expecting something along the lines of Perfect Chemistry: cheesy, but balanced out with the smexy. You know, not quite the perfect romance but maybe entertaining enough to let me let the big things slide by? Fail on both counts because with each page, that story progressed into the realm of what world is this? It’s what happened here too!

Not only was the girl everything for the guys, but there’s reason for it too. And instead of me rooting for her and wanting things to get better for her, I’m sitting here and I’m wondering what they saw in her at all. Sad girl, check. Damsel in distress, check. Damsel in distress who easily scares, check. Damsel in distress who picks up after them… cleaning and cooking and doing everything for them? Check. No surprise: I was unimpressed and more than slightly annoyed by  the set up. It’s a throw back to something, that’s for sure. Plus the men in this one! They all wanted to do the protecting… so that things got old. Fast.

The boys are… not boys. They’d swing from alpha assholes to boys in love and all of it could get exhausting. How in love one of them was with her from the get, how perfect he found her and how he needed/ wanted/ NEEDED to be the guy for her. And it’s not just one guy who felt that way as there’s wait for it… wait… wait: three man/boys feeling thus. Again, the realm of no way and what the heck do you see in the girl came into play. Anyway, they're all alpha and it's their respective alpha moments that make them stop thinking and have them behaving so over the top as in don't look at her... mine mine mine. All that was left was for one or two of them to pee on her to mark their territory.

*Gah* the same issues in TAKING CHANCES popped in this one. Also it's obvious me trying to live by the words, "If I don't have anything good to say, don't say anything at all" is next to impossible. But golly I'm trying to think of a positive here... I'm still trying... and coming up with zilch.




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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Mind Games by Kiersten White

Mind Games (Mind Games, #1)
Good Reads Summary
Mind Games by Kiersten White
.
Fia was born with flawless instincts. Her first impulse, her gut feeling, is always exactly right. Her sister, Annie, is blind to the world around her—except when her mind is gripped by strange visions of the future.

Trapped in a school that uses girls with extraordinary powers as tools for corporate espionage, Annie and Fia are forced to choose over and over between using their abilities in twisted, unthinkable ways… or risking each other’s lives by refusing to obey.

In a stunning departure from her New York Times bestselling Paranormalcy trilogy, Kiersten White delivers a slick, edgy, heartstoppingly intense psychological thriller about two sisters determined to protect each other—no matter the cost.


My Thoughts
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Holy wow… so freaking good!

This is the best thing I’ve read this week. And that’s not just because it’s the only book I’ve read this week either. Damned flu’s ruined my one year streak of one book-one day! And ten days before year’s end, too! Grr. Enough of the whining, let’s get down to the goodness that MIND GAMES was.

White’s no one trick pony. Her Paranormalcy series had Evie all funny all the time even when she shouldn’t have been. I thought we’d get a little more of that in Fia. I was wrong. Her story is darker, twisted, and with unexpected heart. Seriously unexpected given her story being one of two girls in place they both don’t want to be… a not wanting that comes later to one than the other.

Heart, says I? It’s not even the love story that got me interested… though there’s a little bit of that here. With James especially who reads like that crazy dude in Shatter Me. Is he good guy or bad guy or not so bad bad guy? I like that they both see him in a different way… when they’re not really disagreeing on what they’re seeing… but they both end up  treating him differently. One keeps him at arm’s length, the other the opposite. Now, one wonders how Adam’s going to up his game. It’s the good guy geeky type that I’m normally rooting for, but little is known about him save that he’s a good guy.

So if it’s not about the girl-boy thing, where’s the heart lie? It’s in how the sisters are so different in ways but the same where it matters most. That is, they’re both motivated by basically the same thing. So, they’re different… but not so different in the end. FIA is sad girl… though you don’t think she is, at first. Out there and alive, it’s she who’s having a harder time coming to grips about what she’s to do and why she’s to do certain things.  Annie is less explosive than that; she’s happy even and comes to know what her sister knows very slowly. It’s a slow realization on her part… but once that hits, there’s a growing need on her part to do better, no… to do right by her sister. The sister, who’s been doing the very same all along.

Awesome!

4/5





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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Nobody But Us by Kristin Halbrook

Nobody But Us
Good Reads Summary
Nobody But Us by Kristin Halbrook

Bonnie and Clyde meets IF I STAY in this addictively heart-wrenching story of two desperate teenagers on the run from their pasts.

They’re young. They’re in love. They’re on the run.

Zoe wants to save Will as much as Will wants to save Zoe. When Will turns eighteen, they decide to run away together. But they never expected their escape to be so fraught with danger....

When the whole world is after you, sometimes it seems like you can’t run fast enough.

Nobody But Us, told in alternating perspectives from Will and Zoe, is an unflinching novel, in turns heartbreaking and hopeful, about survival, choices, and love...and how having love doesn’t always mean that you get a happy ending. Described as “beautiful, heartbreaking, and exhilarating” by Kody Keplinger, author of The DUFF, Nobody But Us will prove irresistible to fans of Nina Lacour, Jenny Han, and Sara Zarr.


My Thoughts
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Yeah ... there’s something missing in this one.

The girl reads young and undefined so that when went from one extreme of being afraid of her shadow to another extreme of hitting her boyfriend and committing crimes way well, there’s little time for to adjust and picture her doing any of it. I found her unbelievable.

The guy too read too much It’s all about the girl for him…. and it’s this intensity that leads to him not quite thinking things through. Worse, it’s the both of them that don’t really think things through. There’s also an uncomfortable way he’d slot them certain roles, too. In his book she’s the smart one, and he’s what?  Not that. There’s a sad lack of belief in self in the boy… but it’s an understandable thing too. So that to him he feels he really has nothing… just the girl. From that point, things just go from one bad choice to another.

There’s an intensity between the two that’s believable. Young love, it’s intense… and stupid-making. They’re young they say… it’s him for her and her for him and devolves into this us against the world… literally. Up until that point, I was buying how into each other they were… him wanting to save her and her wanting to be saved.

Things did get better though…. I respected the moments of thought on her part, her fear of ending up like her mother, then her about face… her resolve to not be so.  That one positive aside, this was overdone, on the boy’s part, but lacking on the girl’s.

Thank you Edelweiss!
2/5







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Monday, December 24, 2012

Saltwater Vampires by Kirsty Eagar

Saltwater Vampires
Goodreads Summary
Saltwater Vampires by Kirsty Eagar

He looked to the sky, praying for rain, a downpour, some sign from the heavens that he should refuse the abomination contained in that flask. But all he saw was the bloated white face of the moon smiling down on him …

And the sky around it was cold and clear and black …

They made their circle of blood. And only the moon witnessed the slaughter that followed.

For Jamie Mackie, summer holidays in the coastal town of Rocky Head mean surfing, making money, and good times at the local music festival. But this year, vampires are on the festival’s line-up … fulfilling a pact made on the wreck of the Batavia, four hundred years ago. If their plans succeed, nobody in Rocky Head will survive to see out the new year.

Page-turning and suspenseful, Saltwater Vampires is a distinctly Australian vampire thriller.


My Thoughts
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Cool read. Very cool as in bad vampires, secret societies and all, even that bit of alternate history where the baddies really are as monstrous as the act related. Then the fact that there were demons of the personal sort, for Jamie in particular.

As usual, Eagar’s writing is slow, specific and deliberate. And unlike Night Beach, this one is clearer on what it’s trying to do. That is to scare you brainless. Never did things get to that point with Night Beach as half the time I was wondering what the protagonists were as going on about.  Here, there’s a clearer definition of what’s going on here and who’s facing off and why.

And who indeed?
On one side you’ve got bat shit (heh) vampires with delusions of … ergh, something. Then on the other are a set of teens who’re mucking about and doing what they love (that would be surfing once again.)

Take your time with this one though because the beauty’s not in the scary vamps or even the boys facing up to hard truths (though both those bits were good too. ) The beauty in this one has to do with the writing: slow but not boring. So specifically laid out, that each word, then every phrase has purpose that us to paint us a world that’s got a secret that’s bigger than they all imagine, but fun too… except substitute the word scary for fun… as more often then not, things in this one did get like that.  Bottom line? There’s no denying Eagar simply has got a way with putting words together… 




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Sunday, December 23, 2012

Marco Impossible by Hannah Moskowitz

Marco Impossible
Good Reads Summary
Marco Impossible by Hannah Moskowitz

Thirteen-year-old best friends Stephen and Marco attempt a go-for-broke heist to break into the high school prom and get Marco onstage to confess his love for (and hopefully steal the heart of) Benji, the adorable exchange student and bass player of the prom band. Of course, things don't always go according to plan, and every heist comes with its fair share of hijinks.

My Thoughts
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


There’s a brief moment in Marco Impossible that had me flashing back to Vada shouting  that Thomas J couldn’t see without his glasses on -or maybe it was that he’d get cold without a jacket? I’m unclear on the details, but the emotion in that scene had my mother then sister sniffling, so out I came asking, “What? What? What?” And only upon rewind did I get it, then there I was sniff-sniffling right beside them. Anyway, reading Marco Impossible feeling like something like that was coming my way, well… I was half hesitant and half impressed. Hesitant because one can only see cute precocious Thomas bite it but once, but impressed too because this was turning out better than I expected out of an MG.

The only reason I picked this up at all because of the author, whose last three books I have read and loved. In this one is yet another kid (kids, actually) who are different and see things, then feel things differently. Steven is nice, too nice even so much so that he gets pushed around by the so many people, most unexpectedly by his best friend. Steven sees things for what they are… at least up to a point. With his larger than life best friend who’s good and funny but not all the time, things get complicated…but even more complicated when considering that they’re all growing up with some of them more ready for that fact than others.

And seeing that things are about to end, and other things about to start… they’ve begun their last thing together… And it’s cute and sweet what they decide to do, but Steven sees it in two different lights. On one had you see him seeing things as a kid growing up, they’re too old for this or that; then the other sweeter “I’ve got your back” side of things. And surprise, surprise: I loved both… because both are so true.

But it’s more than their sweet cute adventure of planning things out then following things through, this is seeing people for who they are. Stevie is an OK guy and you’re on his side from the word go. Marco too is an OK guy. Though best friends being best friends, they both do see the good AND the not so good in the other. It’s when they start voicing these things out that had me seeing Thomas J all over again.  Though that kids fate is not quite what you’ve got here…there is however a similarity in in emotions of growing up, having that one person that gets you , feeling like you’re responsible for the other, then feeling held back and maybe even frustrated over things done and not done, said and not said.

Sweet book; sweet ending (even if it’s a tad too sweet to be real.)

4/5
Thank you, Net galley!





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Saturday, December 22, 2012

Ask The Passengers by A.S. King

Ask The Passengers
Good Reads Summary
Ask The Passengers by A.S. King

Astrid Jones desperately wants to confide in someone, but her mother's pushiness and her father's lack of interest tell her they're the last people she can trust. Instead, Astrid spends hours lying on the backyard picnic table watching airplanes fly overhead. She doesn't know the passengers inside, but they're the only people who won't judge her when she asks them her most personal questions . . . like what it means that she's falling in love with a girl.

As her secret relationship becomes more intense and her friends demand answers, Astrid has nowhere left to turn. She can't share the truth with anyone except the people at thirty thousand feet, and they don't even know she's there. But little does Astrid know just how much even the tiniest connection will affect these strangers' lives--and her own--for the better.


In this truly original portrayal of a girl struggling to break free of society's definitions, Printz Honor author A.S. King asks readers to question everything--and offers hope to those who will never stop seeking real love.


My Thoughts
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

  "I start to feel resentful. You mean to tell me it's 2011 and this guy gets paid to have remedial talks with high school students about how they shouldn't hate other people? Isn't this elementary? Shouldn't it be automatic? What kind of species are we if we gave to have people come talk to us about this crap?"


Astrid is yet another MC from AS KING who is not quite like the rest in refusing to be just one thing. That and the fact that she asks questions... at least, she does eventually. She's figuring things out and not quite ready to put a name on how things are, and it's something you've got to respect. So that at the same time, you're totally with her in wanting to make connections with anonymous others simple because those who do count, don't really seem to count at all. It's the last that's equal parts sad and ever so disappointing.

And then there's the way things take place around her and how she sees the same: that some things can be simplified when not being a simple thing to begin with. Like living in a small town someplace or other and how everyone knows your business with her not quite sure what her business was! Then how she asks things and how obvious it is that what's said and what's done are a long way till they come together. 


  "How can we say nobody's perfect if there's no perfect to compare to? Perfection implies that there is a right and a wrong way to be. And what type of perfection is the best type...?"





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Friday, December 21, 2012

Opal (Lux, #3) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Opal (Lux, #3)
Good Reads Summary
Opal by Jennifer L. Armentrout

No one is like Daemon Black.

When he set out to prove his feelings for me, he wasn’t fooling around. Doubting him isn’t something I’ll do again, and now that we’ve made it through the rough patches, well... There’s a lot of spontaneous combustion going on.

But even he can’t protect his family from the danger of trying to free those they love.

After everything, I’m no longer the same Katy. I’m different... And I’m not sure what that will mean in the end. When each step we take in discovering the truth puts us in the path of the secret organization responsible for torturing and testing hybrids, the more I realize there is no end to what I’m capable of. The death of someone close still lingers, help comes from the most unlikely source, and friends will become the deadliest of enemies, but we won’t turn back. Even if the outcome will shatter our worlds forever.

Together we’re stronger... and they know it.



My Thoughts
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

well, i can honestly say that this book would have been crap if not for the last ten percent.

prior thereto, most everything was a snoozefest. i was bored. then bored. then bored. still bored. then skeeved out by the too close for comfort moment care of the reappearance of one most unexpected. then back to being bored.

there's painfully little of the zing between daemon and katy. why i wanted that back is a wonder to begin with because daemon's asshole antics/too arrogant to live schtick was getting old in books one and two for me. but the thing is i think that's where the two's charm lay.

that cliffy though it's got me as its hostage... if the next one progreeses like this one did *read: boriiiiinggggg* i don't want it, but... but... still, i want to know what's coming and where things are going for all of them.

2 for the overall read but i'm bumping it up a star for that ending. 


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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Burning Blue by Paul Griffin

Burning Blue
Good Reads Summary
Burning Blue by Paul Griffin

How far would you go for love, beauty, and jealousy?

When Nicole Castro, the most beautiful girl in her wealthy New Jersey high school, is splashed with acid on the left side of her perfect face, the whole world takes notice. But quiet loner Jay Nazarro does more than that--he decides to find out who did it. Jay understands how it feels to be treated like a freak, and he also has a secret: He's a brilliant hacker. But the deeper he digs, the more danger he's in--and the more he falls for Nicole. Too bad everyone is turning into a suspect, including Nicole herself.

Award-winning author Paul Griffin has written a high-stakes, soulful mystery about the meaning--and dangers--of love and beauty.


My Thoughts
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Colour me impressed and more than slightly surprised. Why, this... Yes, this  was the kind of reading experience I wanted out of Shift. And my disappointment over that one's turn out is something I still grumble over to this moment. I’m not grumbling over this one though, as most aspects of BURNING BLUE had me thoroughly engaged. I was asking things, questioning things, thinking that so and so was doing this and that then seeing this is why’s and that’s how come’s. I thought I had things pegged, then moments later I’d be back to doubting my conclusions as well as doubting the conclusions Jay’d come up with.

How does one sum this one up when it’s mainly a mystery, but so much more? The relationship that grows between the two: one a misfit who’s so self conscious about not being in control of his body; the same kid relating to the other one on this level where they both have a need to be separate from the rest? Match made in heaven or not? Considering he’s accustomed to it all while she’s new to it. Her past after all had her cast as perfect: intelligent, rich and … beautiful.

It’s that last bit that starts the story too. What’s to be done when the thing that identified her is gone? It’s a question she deals with… but it’s not the central question of the book. Mostly this is about him wanting to figure out who, how and most importantly WHY.

Now one could cry impossible over him being boy -genius and her being too good to be true, but Jay is a different sort. As he’s telling the story, I was buying it, even with his super hacking skills and sleuthing wannabe moments. A bit Nancy Drew (or should I make that Hardy Boys?) him these skills and knowing all these other things as well as wanting to take it upon himself to right a wrong, but that’s me looking back on things, looking for something to nitpick over because while I was reading it, I actually didn’t mind any of those improbable (much.)

And then there’s Nicole… he relates to her on a certain level. Relating to one who on the surface seemed all about the surface, and what’s left to said girl when said surface is stripped away? (*Shakes head* Wait, I think I just confused myself there.)  You think you know who they are and you think you know who’s behind it all. You’d be wrong. The guy, the girl and the rest of them when it’s one thing then another and it’s all WTF as in… Seriously, WTF did I just read? (Also, dude…can we get a cover change please?)

3.9999/5




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Friday, December 14, 2012

Veer by Alyssa Rose Ivy

Veer
Good Reads Summary
Veer by Alyssa Rose Ivy
 
Only when you let go can you learn to live.

Between the death of her mother and pushing through law school without her best friend, it's been a tough year for Becca. Needing a break from Boston, she moves to a tiny coastal North Carolina town for a relaxing summer. After bumping heads repeatedly with a local cop, she realizes her summer will be anything but quiet.

Three years after a career ending injury ruins his chance to play Major League Baseball, Gavin has a distrust of northerners and lately girls in general. He wants nothing to do with a girl who is only in town for the summer.

When the two give in to their impossible attraction, they realize that they may just have found the key to freeing themselves from the ghosts of their pasts.


My Thoughts
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I'm not exactly sure why I picked this up especially considering my less than lukewarm reaction to its predecessor, DERAILED. Like that one, this is a standard romance. First take a girl in dire need of a break and heading on out to do something about it. Second have said girl then meets boy in a less than ideal situation. Try to shake things up a bit with a not quite love at first sight. Then have them both deny deny deny what they truly feel. Here though there's a dash of meanness on both their parts, more than I felt warranted. Except dig deeper and discover that they've both got baggage they've yet to deal with. Yada yada yada.

Overall it's pretty standard. Standard running away from what's too heavy. Standard A**hole behavior from the love interest. Even standard secondary characters,some too sweet/happy/nosy and all gung ho about whatever's coming. Strangely enough it was not the leads that piqued my curiosity... jake's turn around here was noted. With the less than stellar act he put forth in book one, here he's all understanding and brotherly... so, yes I am indeed most interested in Jake. Since I've come this far anyway, what the heck... I might as well read his story as I'm told it's his that's to be the third one.



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Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Space Between Us by Jessica Martinez

The Space Between Us
Good Reads Summary
The Space Between Us by Jessica Martinez

From the author of Virtuosity, a novel about two sisters and the secrets they tell, the secrets they keep—and the secret that could tear them apart.Amelia is used to being upstaged by her charismatic younger sister, Charly. She doesn’t mind, mostly, that it always falls to her to cover for Charly’s crazy, impulsive antics. But one night, Charly’s thoughtlessness goes way too far, and she lands both sisters in serious trouble.
 

Amelia’s not sure she can forgive Charly this time, and not sure she wants to . . . but forgiveness is beside the point. Because Charly is also hiding a terrible secret, and the truth just might tear them apart forever.

My Thoughts
My rating: 3.75 of 5 stars

I liked The Space Between Us... even more than I did Virtuosity. It’s the people in it you see. Amelia, specifically, is written in so convincing a manner that I sympathized with her, was on her side almost one hundred percent of the time even when objectively speaking she’s as whiny and all woe is me as the next teenage angsty-girl. So much so that I liked her then disliked her and then found myself liking her again.

I was with her early on and her assessing things: the whole needing to be mad and sad at the same time, even with her being religious, as it was never really the focus, was not even that big a deal. Basically, the girl is who she is and does what she does, so I enjoyed her story. Though enjoy is not quite apt. The girl thinks herself the anchor is a bit deluded in valuing her own self importance. That said, I got it when she’d be angry-bitter, but helpless in wanting to be there for her sister. And I was feeling her feeling angry ~Oh boy, was this girl angry!~ about getting the short end of things. Because objectively, she is a bit of brat, sometimes the mean girl/pretty girl who likes things going a certain way and holding people up to a standard that’s almost impossible. She was all those, and still I liked her. 

Her sister’s part in this was a revelation, too. What’s done, was at first, a tad melodramatic. But you see, what it allowed to happen, what happened later on showed  a couple of extremes: the growing distance between the girls based on feeling let down as well as burdened, then those other moments on account to the friction between the two in not wanting to be in each other’s space? All of it so true. And as a little bonus Charly also proves that she’s more than the little sister to take care of, more than the flighty one who doesn’t give a fig about what others have to say and want. She proves that not everybody has to be certain way all the time….

So there’s a little bit of angry, then more and more of then angry, then this growing indifference of not wanting things to be how they turned out. Plus all that want/ need of one of them to feel needed, well… at least acknowledged. All of it’ was true. True. True. Making already complicated relationships more so! Because it’s not all bad, given there having been a genuine closeness. Only they trip themselves up, no she trips herself up (Amelia, that is) on petty (OK not-so-petty) jealousies and insecurities. You jumble all that up and their relationship, we see is not exactly quirky-unique, it’s more believable instead.

All of them, Amelia, Charly, Bree and even the new guy… added a bit more to the drama level without making it to soap opera-esque. Because with the guy especially, a lot of her truths are laid out so that eventually where things went: it all made sense. Right now, I’m a happy camper as I’ve finally, finally, FINALLY got my hands on a decent YA contemporary read. This one’s full of people who act like assholes and do mean things, but are trying so darned hard just to get by instead of being dragged down by little issues they have with others and with themselves.

It turns out this is my kind of book!





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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Keeping the Moon by Sarah Dessen

Keeping the Moon
Good Reads Summary
Keeping the Moon by Sarah Dessen

Colie expects the worst when she's sent to spend the summer with her eccentric aunt Mira while her mother, queen of the television infomercial, tours Europe. Always an outcast-first for being fat and then for being "easy"-Colie has no friends at home and doesn't expect to find any in Colby, North Carolina. But then she lands a job at the Last Chance Café and meets fellow waitresses Morgan and Isabel, best friends with a loving yet volatile relationship. Wacky yet wise, Morgan and Isabel help Colie see herself in a new way and realize the potential that has been there all along.

My Thoughts
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

you've got to hand it to dessen: she writes girls and their friends with so much detail that they all come to life. it's a sweet story of a girl seeing her worth with the help of some pretty awesome others. the 'others' in this instance include girls who've lived through what she's living through, women who are strong in their own way, and yes even a boy who sees things for what they are.

and while there's saving done here, it's not done by the boy for his damsel in distress. rather it's friends and family and self that do so. so i enjoyed this even more for the same. then consider that the lot of them are quirky characters, all marching to the beat of their own drum... an you know what? when you take them all together. well, they made sense.

good stuff... as usual.



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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Scarlet (Scarlet #1) by A.C. Gaughen

Scarlet (Scarlet #1)
Good Reads Summary
Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen

Many readers know the tale of Robin Hood, but they will be swept away by this new version full of action, secrets, and romance.

Posing as one of Robin Hood’s thieves to avoid the wrath of the evil Thief Taker Lord Gisbourne, Scarlet has kept her identity secret from all of Nottinghamshire. Only the Hood and his band know the truth: the agile thief posing as a whip of a boy is actually a fearless young woman with a secret past. Helping the people of Nottingham outwit the corrupt Sheriff of Nottingham could cost Scarlet her life as Gisbourne closes in.

It’s only her fierce loyalty to Robin—whose quick smiles and sharp temper have the rare power to unsettle her—that keeps Scarlet going and makes this fight worth dying for.


My Thoughts
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Sometimes a little adventure is all a reader really needs.

This was a fun read, offering yet another version of Robin and his band of merry men. And it’s Scarlet who makes most of that difference, being a woman and all! Not only that, she also happens have this dark secret past she’s keeping from the rest of them. Big John is not quite how you’d picture him and neither are Much or Friar Tuck.

There’s something you’ll recognize in all of them, but the versions here are different and interesting for it. Strangely enough Robin is simply Robin, with his we steal from the rich and give to the poor as well as him being tortured in wanting to do right by his people but only able to do so much. Plus he’s a moody one here… not unexpected given them all being so young.

I enjoyed this one and if you’re thinking what you’re thinking and Scarlet’s secret is indeed what it is. Well, you just might be right. BUT it was fun ride on the way to that reveal. This was all adventure with the knives being throwing, forests being burned, a couple of prison escapes and unexpected betrayals balanced out by more than one instance of self sacrifice.

So much adventure in fact that the thrills weren’t confined to the actual battles. It’s all part of their day to day just look at how things turned out between John and Scarlet, then Scarlet and Robin then Robin and John, too. Simply, there’s that little thing flowering between certain individuals and the obvious reactions of others to it.  You might be surprised by how John is portrayed here; as in it’s John’s being the charmer instead of Robin’s being so. But I enjoyed it. I was hooked in fact, if me reading this in a handful of hours is evidence of anything.

3/5





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Monday, December 10, 2012

Troy High by Shana Norris

Troy High
Good Reads Summary
Troy High by Shana Norris

Homer’s Iliad, the classic tale of love and revenge, is shrewdly retold for teens in Troy High.

Narrated by Cassie, a shy outsider who fears that an epic high school rivalry is about to go up in flames, the story follows the Trojans and Spartans as they declare war on the football field. After the beautiful Elena–who used to be the captain of the Spartan cheerleaders–transfers to Troy High and falls madly in love with Cassie’s brother Perry, the Spartans vow that the annual homecoming game will never be forgotten.

The Trojans and Spartans pull wicked pranks on each other as homecoming approaches. And the Spartans’ wildcard football star, Ackley, promises to take down the Trojans’ offensive line. But the stakes are raised when Cassie is forced to choose between the boy she loves (a Spartan) and loyalty to her family and school. Troy High will seduce readers with its incendiary cast of mythic proportions


My Thoughts
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I was looking for something silly and funny instead I all I got was something silly. Kidding!

Or am I?

My main problem is that I went into TROY HIGH expecting one of those high school rom coms, shenanigan filled and even more cutesy young love moments. A fat lot my expectation served me. Because I did get all I was wanting just not up to the quality I was wanting. And the shenanigans, there were plenty: with one high school set pranking the other one and hiking up the gravity with each thing done. They weren’t even creative pranks at that! So numero uno issue: Not as many laughs as I was hoping for.

For what it is ~a youngish romance with a girl making mountains out of mole hills~ it was OK. Just OK, though because Cassie wasn’t the only one acting like a drama queen. Perhaps because she’s the most level headed when considering there’s a whole school filled with mountain-from-mole-hill making people! No, make that two schools filled to the brim with such mountain makers! And it should have been funny, but it wasn’t.

I liked the whole bestie and ‘he loves me, he loves me not’ thing she had going for her mainly because things got so painfully awkward. But the other young love bit of ‘Oh! The popular cute jock boy is hot and squee… is he looking my way?’ that seemed to fill the minds of most others here was, oh god, cringe worthy if it was anything else.

I will say this: this was quick read… it could have been funnier, though.

2/5
Seriously though, I need something funny… ala Green’s Katherines.




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Sunday, December 9, 2012

I Know It's Over by C.K. Kelly Martin

I Know It's Over
Good Reads Summary
I Know It's Over by C.K. Kelly Martin

PURE. UNPLANNED. PERFECT. Those were Nick’s summer plans before Sasha stepped into the picture. With the collateral damage from his parents’ divorce still settling and Dani (his girl of the moment) up for nearly anything, complications are the last thing he needs. All that changes, though, when Nick runs into Sasha at the beach in July. Suddenly he’s neck-deep in a relationship and surprised to find he doesn’t mind in the least. But Nick’s world shifts again when Sasha breaks up with him. Then, weeks later, while Nick’s still reeling from the breakup, she turns up at his doorstep and tells him she’s pregnant. Nick finds himself struggling once more to understand the girl he can’t stop caring for, the girl who insists that it’s still over.

My Thoughts
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Here we have a kid who’s just a kid and doesn’t know what he’s supposed to do when faced with a big thing. The good thing: he doesn’t pretend otherwise. Whatever it is he does happen to feel, he does…no false bravado on his part. You’d think him whiny self centered kid, who’s got too much of everything.. And perhaps, he is that, but there’s no denying that with each page, you know whatever his feelings were for whatever was going on at that moment, be it anger, confusion, lust… and yes, confusion again.

There’s a lot of confusion here for him and knee jerk reactions, too.  Reactions that have him saying the most thoughtless of things. All those things could have made him grade-A asshole, but he didn’t end up thus in my mind. Instead, he’s just a kid. End of. The great thing: It’s not his story alone. The side stories of how his friends have choices to make are there too. Then all those (non) relationships with certain others that built him up to someone even more true. The events in this are so authentically daily with everything happening tinged with possibility that somewhere somehow someone else is going through the exact same thing he is. All made even more real with the fact that he’s no angel, not at all perfect…as he’d say the wrong things, apologize for the same, try to do better then screw up again… all very, very true, don’t you think?

I like how this reminds of 500 Days of Summer. Much like the, I KNOW IT’S OVER reveals all aspects of a relationship: how what you love turns into something to you can’t stand. Because here Nicholas allows us to see it all unfold, from the unexpectedly sweet start, the slow movement from next stage to next stage, then how he’s so utterly taken by surprise by decisions of others… and then the best of the best thing: the fact that things don’t end there.

There’s the after, too: where he’s an asshole and does then says some of the most awful things, and all the while those around him offer words of truth that it isn’t all on him, nor all about him.  That were it an issue of blame, plenty of that could and should go around. However, upon with a closer look, and it’s obvious: it really isn’t a matter of blame rather a matter of doing what’s right for both of them.

I love this story. Of a dad who’s trying, a mother who’s doing so as well, and a sister who’s all go with the flow. Then there’s the little bonus his friends represented; they’re all dealing with their own thing. Perhaps it’s their part in all this that I loved the most: how he and his friends call things as they are… Nathan especially, but better are those times when nothing need be said and still there’s this connection among them.





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Saturday, December 8, 2012

Pantomime by Laura Lam

Pantomime
Good Reads Summary
Pantomime by Laura Lam

R. H. Ragona’s Circus of Magic is the greatest circus of Ellada. Nestled among the glowing blue Penglass—remnants of a mysterious civilisation long gone—are wonders beyond the wildest imagination. It’s a place where anything seems possible, where if you close your eyes you can believe that the magic and knowledge of the vanished Chimaera is still there. It’s a place where anyone can hide.

Iphigenia Laurus, or Gene, the daughter of a noble family, is uncomfortable in corsets and crinoline, and prefers climbing trees to debutante balls. Micah Grey, a runaway living on the streets, joins the circus as an aerialist’s apprentice and soon becomes the circus’s rising star.

But Gene and Micah have balancing acts of their own to perform, and a secret in their blood that could unlock the mysteries of Ellada.


My Thoughts
My rating: 3.75 of 5 stars

You think you know what you’re going to get, but you just might be wrong… at least, that was the case with me. Though it’s an obvious comparison, but Pantomime really does read along the lines of Night Circus. Both are slow then atmospheric only to get slower at surprising points with this little extra bit of being different for one reason or another.

I may say things dragged on and on but that was fine because Pantomime isn’t your run of the mill tale of young people. Not about great loves, not about a mystery to solve, for you see the people involved, at least the key person involved knows precisely where they stand: on the outside. It’s a consistent feeling, too that no matter which side of the story we’re considering be it the boring sometimes stifling past or in the newness of the present, this character has always been on the outside looking in… and perfectly aware why so. 

It’s interesting that some people finding the moments of the past unnecessary even disrupting the flow of Micah finding his place. But in contrasting the two sides of her past and his present, not only does one get a clearer picture why they are the way they are, but also catches a glimpse of where they are, their world and their order. As well as all those things that are not there and what people have done about it. My point is it’s an interesting world, one I found myself becoming more and more curious about with each little bit revealed: twelve  houses of nobility, a child princes and then lost gods and vestiges and all manner of things!  The problem is too little is given that I’m still not a hundred percent sure what I do know is right.

So, split between the behind the scenes of your typical circus (though really, this circus isn’t your typical anything) and a past that’s quite obviously stifling, perhaps the blurb does it a disservice because this one is quite a different read.  And I’m not even talking about the hints of magic that popped every so often. It’s the fear that one of them held to, that they not be accepted for what, not who, they are. So yes moments of magic, their gods gone and mere vestiges of magic left, but at the core of this tale is a person who’s so different that the same feels out of place in most places...'till no longer.

I for one am excited to see where this story is going to take me, and yes that’s even with the boring parts.

Thank You Net Galley!




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Friday, December 7, 2012

Flawed by Kate Avelynn

Flawed
Good Reads Summary
Flawed by Kate Avelynn

Sarah O’Brien is alive because of the pact she and her brother made twelve years ago — James will protect her from their violent father if she promises to never leave him. For years, she’s watched James destroy his life to save hers. If all he asks for in return is her affection, she’ll give it freely.

Until, with a tiny kiss and a broken mind, he asks for more than she can give.

Sam Donavon has been James’ best friend — and the boy Sarah’s had a crush on — for as long as she can remember. As their forbidden relationship deepens, Sarah knows she’s in trouble. Quiet, serious Sam has decided he’s going to save her. Neither of them realizes James is far more unstable than her father ever was, or that he’s not about to let Sarah forget her half of the pact . . .


My Thoughts
My rating:  2? or 2.5? or 3?of 5 stars

I don’t know! I just don’t know.

It took a couple of more beats before what I was feeling finally sunk in. At first, it irked me where things went: so sad, so senseless and almost a tad too neat. That in the end, it’s not about choosing between the one who loves her best versus the one who so desperately wants to save her. All those ups and downs (more downs really) of ‘will she, won’t she…’ and ‘I really hope she won’t’ moments. Only to get that ending?!

Too easy, I thought…

…but later I was feeling less irked, then more and more sad with maybe a teensy moment of my eyes tearing up (OK so maybe more than a moment) because the ending simply is so sad. I know that my feelings are all over the place for this one! Comparisons to Forbidden aren’t unwarranted as this got messy and uncomfortable beyond words… yet I read through the night despite the previous 11 hour work load.

Like Forbidden, here there are two kids forced to grow up much too fast. Only up the horror a higher degree, for it’s not just an absent mother leaving them to their own devise that devils them, here they’ve an abusive father and drugged up mother to contend with as well. It’s these secrets shared that push him to be the man of the house to protect her. Then there’s that additional fear of something worse happening to her at the hands of the one who’s suppose to care.

Yet despite all that, I found FLAWED to be precisely that, flawed that is. Less somehow (less, at least, when I compare it what I recall feeling with Forbidden.) In the second, it’s obvious that they’re both just young kids and that there’s this is uncertainty… that even up to the very last moment while I wasn’t cheering them on (I really couldn’t have as it would have been impossible to do so,) at least I saw where things were coming from. But in FLAWED, the wrongness of everything is more obviously felt so that I was less conflicted about what I wanted to happen. My conviction was only made stronger because there were choices open here; options that had me hoping/wishing/wanting desperately that she’d go one way instead of another at least till the very end. All the while I’m hoping that she’s going to pick the one best for her.

I will say this: that title is perfect. She’s flawed, hiding away and seeing things or not seeing things for what they are. She starts of oblivious to things… or perhaps not completely so? Perhaps it’s more apt to describe her as one of those head in sand protagonists? The signs were there and it’s obvious that things weren’t right, from dad to mom to brother there all doing something wrong. Or is head in sand too harsh? Because they’re living as best they can, though living really isn’t what they’re doing. Surviving? Coping? Whatever it was that was going on, things and feelings got twisted. Then there’s James, the brother whose brother’s flaws are the main thing that sticks out… controlling, possessive. He became less than what I was hoping into an almost one-dimensional baddy portrayed as he was.

But it’s in Sam that I was surprised. Sam says all the right words and does mostly the right things. It’s his presence in this that’s almost too perfect. He calls her out but wants to save her. He uses words like too dependent and not knowing where one or the other starts… and it’s all simply right and true. Yet, there’s something missing from him too. Maybe it’s that he’s the only too perfect character in this book... and that is his flaw.

Like I said: I don’t know! I just don’t know.

Again: 2? or 2.5? or 3?




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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Betwixt by Melissa Pearl

Betwixt
Good Reads Summary
Betwixt by Melissa Pearl

Beautiful, wild-child Nicole Tepper is hit by a car and left for dead. But when she wakes the next morning, Nicole finds herself in bed without a scratch. Perhaps she was more intoxicated than usual, as her mother is giving her the silent treatment and her friends are ignoring her as well.

Things take a turn for the weird when Nicole soon discovers she is actually hovering between life and death. Her body is lying in the forest while her spirit is searching for anyone who can hear her. Unfortunately the only person who can is Dale Finnigan, the guy she publicly humiliated with a sharp-tongued insult that has left him branded.

Desperate, Nicole has no choice but to haunt Dale and convince the freaked-out senior to help her. Will he find her body before it's too late? Or will the guy who tried to kill her with his car, beat him there and finish her off before anyone finds out?


My Thoughts
My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

My hopes were high yet here I am in Meh Land all over again. I’m scrolling down seeing all those 4’s and 5’s and wondering if I’d I read something else. My problems started with the guy’s reaction: there’s an easy acceptance of things in this one; an almost too easy acceptance of goings on.

I’m also trying to recall the title of that movie where the guy lives on after being bludgeoned to death by his buddies. His rich and A-hole and smart-ish. BETWIXT is like that only girl version and minus most of the mystery solving because if you’re paying attention solving this is a no-brainer. So it’s actually less a mystery and more about her facing fact: She is Mean Girl. And it’s in her state that she sees the life she’s made for herself. And what a view! As her life isn’t much of a life after all, but once you grasp WHY she’s that way, then tears start flowing because the girl has this history. And it makes her the mean girl for a reason.

It’s a sad reason too - almost enough to make her more than the girl who blurts out the meanest things without thinking things through - but for some reason it was lost on me. Is there a chunk of coal in the place where my heart used to be? Maybe? Simply it was all just so so. Those conversations they had about her… things being revealed about her and what they thought of her.. predictable in away, because what do you expect others to feel for the girl who lives her life like she’s “all that” when in fact isn’t?

Add that I was little impressed by the guy’s part in the story. ‘Scarface’ she called him and he still did what he did for her? He is too perfect! But first: when maybe-dead girl talks to you, what do you do? Do you (a) Run for your life or (b) Have a conversation?

I’d go with Before I Fall… though BETWIXT isn’t really about doing things over but seeing things for what they really are.





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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill

Meant to Be
Good Reads Summary
Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill

Meant to be or not meant to be . . . that is the question.

It's one thing to fall head over heels into a puddle of hazelnut coffee, and quite another to fall for the—gasp—wrong guy. Straight-A junior Julia may be accident prone, but she's queen of following rules and being prepared. That's why she keeps a pencil sharpener in her purse and a pocket Shakespeare in her, well, pocket. And that's also why she's chosen Mark Bixford, her childhood crush, as her MTB ("meant to be").

But this spring break, Julia's rules are about to get defenestrated (SAT word: to be thrown from a window) when she's partnered with her personal nemesis, class-clown Jason, on a school trip to London. After one wild party, Julia starts receiving romantic texts . . . from an unknown number! Jason promises to help discover the identity of her mysterious new suitor if she agrees to break a few rules along the way. And thus begins a wild goose chase through London, leading Julia closer and closer to the biggest surprise of all: true love.

Because sometimes the things you least expect are the most meant to be.


My Thoughts
My rating: 3.75 of 5 stars



Set aside the fact that he is a liar and she is self-involved and more than the just the “handful” she’d described herself, because this story is so easy to like. Opposites attract? Not quite… here we’ve got a girl who sees herself and others a certain way, and it’s a perception that shapes how she puts herself out there… or rather how she doesn’t put herself out there:

Play it safe.
Follow the rules.
Goody-goody with the perfect GPA.


Yes, she’s one of those… and given all that, it’s not such a big leap to see her find fault with how others, especially Jason, go with the flow:

Class clown.
Uber popular and too laid back…
In other words, the anti-her.


Then take another not too big leap and we see… and wait, what’s this? The two paired together! much to her dismay of course. You all know the drill from there,  YET despite the predictable set up:  the characters both pull the story off.

Mainly because they’re so funny… no, what’s funny in a RomCom kind of way were the various predicaments they’d find themselves in. She’s so obviously out of her element and so filled with many, many hang ups… but with Jason in the picture, what a pair they made1. Especially with him pushing her (sometimes literally) outside her comfort zone. My big question though is what’s in it for him? You see it’s so obvious where things were going, but what’s not really clear is what the attraction was. The girl’s every thought made it painfully clear how uptight and judgmental she could be… so, Jason, what’s the attraction, really?

It’s answered eventually… and it’s a sweet discovery too, but mostly this was funny fluffy ride, not too angsty drama with just the right amount of sweet, except with perhaps too many moments of her being oblivious to what so obvious  as well as him too often failing to man up and set things straight. But I enjoyed these Americans in London, because them together? Sweet, if (more than) a little frustrating at times because theirs is a case of not-like being the exact opposite of that… something  that I’ve been in  the mood for of late.



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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Hooked by Liz Fichera

Hooked
Good Reads Summary
Hooked by Liz Fichera
Get hooked on a girl named Fred...

HE said: Fred Oday is a girl? Why is a girl taking my best friends spot on the boy's varsity golf team?

SHE said: Can I seriously do this? Can I join the boys' team? Everyone will hate me - especially Ryan Berenger.

HE said: Coach expects me to partner with Fred on the green? That is crazy bad. Fred's got to go - especially now that I can't get her out of my head. So not happening.

SHE said: Ryan can be nice, when he's not being a jerk. Like the time he carried my golf bag. But the girl from the rez and the spoiled rich boy from the suburbs? So not happening.

But there's no denying that things are happening as the girl with the killer swing takes on the boy with the killer smile...


My Thoughts
My rating: 2.25 of 5 stars


This is a hard one to place especially since I do enjoy a good opposites attract story except the two made it so difficult to like them together. Anything bad that could happen did… to her at least, yet nothing, not even the worst most inappropriate name could rile her. Instead it’s almost always eyes on the ground and make like you’re a small object with Fred. Sad and oh-so-frustrating simultaneously! It was all ‘woe is me,’ ‘pitiful, pitiful me’ and there I was: waiting for her to do doing something  - anything- about it!

Whilst all that’s taking place, he’s just there,  failing to man up and do something, too. Not that I wanted a knight in shining armor for her. No, not that at all! It’s just that there’s a painful absence of manning up and doing the right thing on his part; then from her end, there’s that slightly more painful non-action as well.

There’s that undeniable attraction between the two… that’s impossible, because she is from where she is, and so is he... or was it impossible, really? The sudden change of heart in one of them happened so suddenly, but what happens because of it while a bit “I saw that coming’” was a sweet respite for the girl. Her home life’s not as easy as his, her school life is not as easy too, but the two pairing up added something extra for the girl, beyond golf. I mean consider all those complications: a mother whose bitter about her lot in life and not afraid to say so, a father struggling just to keep up, and a school filled with people who see things a certain way and believe that people should fill certain roles. Bottom line, that the girl was most likely overwhelmed by it all is felt completely. It’s clear life’s not been a bed of roses for her.

Yet the one aspect I actually liked about the girl and the story relates to, of all things, GOLF! On the green, she’s so sure of herself, knows what to do and has a confidence that’s unshakeable; totally different from the way she was elsewhere. It’s a sad contrast because she absolutely feels like she has so little going for her.

As it stands though I’m left feeling like there could have been more. This could have been more than the YA Romeo and Juliet it turned out to be… because there were so many directions the story could have gone.

THANK YOU NETGALLEY




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Monday, December 3, 2012

Taken by Erin Bowman

Taken (Taken, #1)
Summary Taken by Erin Bowman

There are no men in Claysoot.

At midnight on every boy's eighteenth birthday, the ground shakes, the wind howls, a blinding light descends...and the boy is gone.

The villagers call it the Heist.

Gray Weathersby is prepared to meet his fate-until he finds a strange note from his mother and starts to question everything he's been raised to accept. Desperate for the truth, Gray takes his chances and climbs over the wall that surrounds Claysoot, which no one has ever crossed and survived. On the other side is a world unlike anything Gray believed possible. And the answers he finds there could be deadly.

Taken is Erin Bowman's magnetic debut and the first in a trilogy that artfully blends reality and science fiction to create a haunting and unpredictable world. Perfect for fans of The Maze Runner and The Giver, with a twist that rivals M. Night Shyamalan's The Village, this hypnotic novel will have readers racing to discover the truth buried in a world built on lies. 


My Thoughts
My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

TAKEN… so many things going on and I don’t know if I liked that part of it or not.

Start with a boy, almost a man really, who’s resigned to what’s coming and more than just lost over what his brother and others like him have had to suffer. Shift to that boy making some unexpected discoveries and then shift again to him being told how things are yet surprisingly enough accepting things as is. Surprising given the fact that he’s so loud, almost proud, about being reactive and gut-feel about things versus his brother’s think-then-do manner. 

I’d piece the story apart in terms of where things happened. There’s Claysoot, the Center, the Rebel strongholds. Were we to take each bit as a separate thing, I think each bit would have been a stronger basis for story. As is lumping them all together as they were, we come away with a bland story. You’ve got what’s supposed to be the highlights from each part smooshed together, and one is bombarded by these things that should be interesting, but shockingly enough…  bored me! I’ve read better post-whatever stories before. I’ve read better stories of societies under the heel of manipulative tyrants, too. I’ve even read some stories with desperate rebels doing what they could. And TAKEN has all of those, but sadly it felt bland to me.

The sad fact is the only time I truly was more than engaged as in ‘what an asshole move that was!’ was when Gray was actually pulling said actual ass hole move. I did root for him; I did want him to survive and all that, but my emotions were never truly engaged ‘till that one asshole move by him. I even respected him admitting himself selfish. Plus, the whole experiment set up and their outcome was more than just interesting, but all that was too little in the grand scheme of things. And that may be the problem with this one: All so grand in scope that the details were lacking.

Thank You Edelweiss! 




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Sunday, December 2, 2012

Long Lankin by Lindsey Barraclough

Long Lankin
Good Reads Summary
Long Lankin by Lindsey Barraclough

Beware of Long Lankin, that lives in the moss. . . .When Cora and her younger sister, Mimi, are sent to stay with their elderly aunt in the isolated village of Byers Guerdon, they receive a less than warm welcome. Auntie Ida is eccentric and rigid, and the girls are desperate to go back to London. But what they don't know is that their aunt's life was devastated the last time two young sisters were at Guerdon Hall, and she is determined to protect her nieces from an evil that has lain hidden for years. Along with Roger and Peter, two village boys, Cora must uncover the horrifying truth that has held Bryers Guerdon in its dark grip for centuries -- before it's too late for little Mimi. Riveting and intensely atmospheric, this stunning debut will hold readers in its spell long after the last page is turned.

My Thoughts
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This isn’t just a horror story… and that’s what I enjoyed most because were it just about creepy portraits, bricked up door ways, teeth falling out and ghostly apparitions, well I’d have been bored out of my mind. The story builds up slowly and you know each and everyone of the characters and why they are they way they are by the end of the story, but the author does take her time, doesn’t she? It took me awhile to get used to how deliberately things are held back then given: bit by bit by bit, slowly.

Here's what I did enjoy: A lot of this starts with someone or other feeling put upon: Cora being the older girl gets to take care of years younger little sister Mimi; as is Auntie Ida, reclusive and scary, saddled with two of them. They’re absolutely true to what they’re feeling and they pretend to feel anything but put on.  For Cora it’s because she actually does feel put upon, being older sister and all...  but for their elder, there are some darker reasons. Then the other half of the story is Roger who’s not as burdened as his female counterpart but likes to act that way.

Another bit of this story is this new uncomplicated friendship built between the two… and it really is uncomplicated. Then there’s all the family mystery and secrets kept… there’s that in spades.

I read this about a month late perhaps as this would have been an appropriate Halloween read.




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Saturday, December 1, 2012

Scent of Magic by Maria V. Snyder

Scent of Magic (Healer, #2)
Good Reads Summary
Scent of Magic by Maria V. Snyder

Hunted, Killed—Survived?

As the last Healer in the Fifteen Realms, Avry of Kazan is in a unique position: in the minds of her friends and foes alike, she no longer exists. Despite her need to prevent the megalomanical King Tohon from winning control of the Realms, Avry is also determined to find her sister and repair their estrangement. And she must do it alone, as Kerrick, her partner and sole confident, returns to Alga to summon his country into battle.

Though she should be in hiding, Avry will do whatever she can to support Tohon’s opponents. Including infiltrating a holy army, evading magic sniffers, teaching forest skills to soldiers and figuring out how to stop Tohon’s most horrible creations yet; an army of the walking dead—human and animal alike and nearly impossible to defeat.

War is coming and Avry is alone. Unless she figures out how to do the impossible ... again


My Thoughts
My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

Is it a bad sign, me having read this a little over 36 hours ago and not being able to recall what I liked in it nor disliked for that matter? I do believe so, but I’ll muddle through this as best I can. We pick up immediately after Avry’s unexpected survival and you’d think it’d be all HEA from then on, but nooo… because they each have to think a step ahead of the other to come up with their little schemes.

Now unlike the first with it being all about Avry, here we’re introduced to a world as Kerrick sees things. Yet despite that change, I’d have rather things kept as it was at first, because at least with Avry there was a sense of consistency. At one point we’re witnessing Avry do what she does best: hide in plain sight then all of a sudden, we have Kerrick going back to where he came from and making all these nasty discoveries about what had come to pass… then things shift again with him elsewhere. And while I enjoyed each moment while in said moment, the shift going into each was jarring, my brain was still stuck on what was happening on one end when suddenly we're stuck in the middle of another thing going on. Whiplash, anyone? Point is each development discovery was an interesting one save the fact that things felt scattered and not quite cohesively put together.

Not to say that it was all bad: Snyder’s tapping into something here making it less about Avry and how special she is and more about a world that’s torn up in battles on different fronts. And yet, this world is one  I do wish were more defined because there were instances as there were in the first book when people would say the most out of place thing, and one out of place statement after another and things started feeling decidedly un-fantasy

Thanks Netgalley!





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