Sunday, March 31, 2013

Infinite Sky by C.J. FloodInfinite Sky

Infinite Sky
Good Reads Summary
Infinite Sky by C.J. Flood

Iris Dancy’s free-spirited mum has left for Tunisia, her dad’s rarely sober and her brother’s determined to fight anyone with a pair of fists.

When a family of travellers move into the overgrown paddock overnight, her dad looks set to finally lose it. Gypsies are parasites he says, but Iris is intrigued. As her dad plans to evict the travelling family, Iris makes friends with their teenage son. Trick Deran is a bare knuckle boxer who says he’s done with fighting, but is he telling the truth?

When tools go missing from the shed, the travellers are the first suspects. Iris’s brother, Sam, warns her to stay away from Trick; he’s dangerous, but Iris can no longer blindly follow her brother’s advice. He’s got secrets of his own, and she’s not sure he can be trusted himself.

Infinite Sky is a family story about betrayal and loyalty, and love.


My Thoughts
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars


I'm still crying. This despite knowing early on that something sad was going to happen (the very first chapter prepares us for it, but not really.. not at all!) Reading this one and feeling all the things that it has me feeling, has me wanting to reevaluate what type of book gets a four or five star rating from me nowadays, because honestly, if it's about the emotion, Infinite Skies deserves all my 4-5 star emotion based ratings ( and then some, because I'm still crying here)

I am certain that anyone who's got awesome siblings will feel lots over this over this... for most of the last chapters, the tears were flowing fast and free (and still are, as I type these words.)

Because the characters in this one! I'm Heartsick over Iris and Sam and then Trick. And yes, their parents as well:

Iris is young and open and sweet. Sam is young and angry, siblings the two of them, lost on why their family is the way it is. And I was angry on their behalf, at both their parents: one who's there (but not really) and another who's taken the more honest way and chucked it. And yet... the honesty with which they're all portrayed, that's what engaged my head at first. How the mother's had her fill and up and gone; how the father's left behind and is clueless about what's to be done; and how brother and sister continue to do what they're doing when the both of them are so obviously lost (gahh... heart sick all over again!) 

But then there were moments too that eased things up, of the glimpses of brother and sister, both mindful of what the other (they're both experiencing) and of them both remembering some shared thing in the past. It's those things, that added touch of sweetness.. but it's also those that make the outcome of this all the more emotional for me.

Then there were those other sort of sweet moments, of a girl finding others beyond family; of a boy so different from what's familiar to her. How the two of them manage to build up a friendship that's begun out of curiosity then made into something sweet and.. yeah, sweet... and how this sweet tentative new thing is seen by those that matter to her so that when finally both parts of her story meet, there I was still wanting some other outcome to come out of it.


(Goodness... the last three chapters of a book had me crying nonstop..)

(... and I still haven't stopped! It's like CJ Flood's turned on the tap to my tear ducts..!)

4/5



View all my reviews

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Contests!


Hi all! 

Unbreakable (Unraveling, #2)

First... who here has read UNRAVELING by Elizabeth Norris? The girls over at THE READER'S DEN are hosting an international giveaway for the sequel UNBREAKABLE! So head on over to sign up!

Creepy and Maud 




Friday BrownThen heads up if you're a fan of Aussie YA! Jess of the Tales Compendium is doing Aussie Author Month over @ The Tales Compendium  

So if you, like me, are desperate to get your hands on books from down under like the Creepy and the Maud by Dianne Touchell or Vikki Wakefield's Friday Brown, head on over there!

Click here:

Friday Brown. 
The Creepy and the Maud
Unbreakable

 















Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs

Frost Burned (Mercedes Thompson, #7)
Good Reads Summary
Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs

Mercy Thompson returns in the seventh novel in the #1 New York Times bestselling series.

Mercy Thompson’s life has undergone a seismic change. Becoming the mate of Adam Hauptman—the charismatic Alpha of the local werewolf pack—has made her a stepmother to his daughter Jesse, a relationship that brings moments of blissful normalcy to Mercy’s life. But on the edges of humanity, what passes for a minor mishap on an ordinary day can turn into so much more…

After an accident in bumper-to-bumper traffic, Mercy and Jesse can’t reach Adam—or anyone else in the pack for that matter. They’ve all been abducted.

Through their mating bond, all Mercy knows is that Adam is angry and in pain. With the werewolves fighting a political battle to gain acceptance from the public, Mercy fears Adam’s disappearance may be related—and that he and the pack are in serious danger. Outclassed and on her own, Mercy may be forced to seek assistance from any ally she can get, no matter how unlikely.


My Thoughts
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

The longer a series gets, the harder it is to avoid repetition... all the good things there are to say about the first Mercy books hold true for this one: She still takes action, she still is protective and she still has that tendency to say the funny yet inappropriate when terrified. It's always fun to get the good you're expecting.

Then there's the 'you think it's over, but you'd be wrong' thing that I love about these books. It's the same that's left me exhausted because like the other books, this just wouldnt quit. With one thing resolved, another issue'd surface.. Fun, like a rollercoaster: up, down then up again.

Of course, there's a little part of me that wanted more out of Adam's POV. Simply because I didnt really feel like I was hearing anything new from him. Told from Mercy's perspective the guy is made of everything awesome with a side of scary (but scary isn't always a bad thing) but with the bit told by him, I felt little of personality was there.. it could have been anyone! I wanted scary alpha who's determined to do right by his pack and yeah that was there; I just wanted more. Maybe should stick to Mercy's POV.. I mean, why mess with what works?






View all my reviews

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Parallel by Lauren Miller

Parallel
Good Reads Summary
Parallel by Lauren   Miller

Abby Barnes had a plan. The Plan. She'd go to Northwestern, major in journalism, and land a job at a national newspaper, all before she turned twenty-two. But one tiny choice—taking a drama class her senior year of high school—changed all that. Now, on the eve of her eighteenth birthday, Abby is stuck on a Hollywood movie set, miles from where she wants to be, wishing she could rewind her life. The next morning, she's in a dorm room at Yale, with no memory of how she got there. Overnight, it's as if her past has been rewritten.

With the help of Caitlin, her science-savvy BFF, Abby discovers that this new reality is the result of a cosmic collision of parallel universes that has Abby living an alternate version of her life. And not only that: Abby's life changes every time her parallel self makes a new choice. Meanwhile, her parallel is living out Abby's senior year of high school and falling for someone Abby's never even met.

As she struggles to navigate her ever-shifting existence, forced to live out the consequences of a path she didn't choose, Abby must let go of the Plan and learn to focus on the present, without losing sight of who she is, the boy who might just be her soul mate, and the destiny that's finally within reach.


My Thoughts
My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

So, looking at that overall rating of 4+, I know I’m in the minority here. But, I’ve put this off long enough. I didn’t love this. Mainly because getting into it at all was a chore. I got side tracked more than once, but third time being the charm, I finally sat myself down and read it. Yay me!

It had an interesting start if not an original concept. Not original, as I’ve read two books of this type within these last few weeks. And what is that type exactly? The kind where you have this girl, and she has this fate. Then we see how a choice on her part splits said fate which then allows us to witness her living both halves at once. And like those other two books, this one emphasizes how a choice (no matter how seemingly inconsequential at first) becomes bigger in hindsight.

And I liked some of it: how there’s an emphasis on friendship and soul mates not having to be the boy you’re with. Except things truly did confusing in this one. Her HERE’s and THERE’s and consequences of one on the other as well as her (not) knowing herself and what she wanted plus the feeling of inevitability of things. Well, I found myself drifting (thus the two false starts); drifting, despite the interesting explanation for the split to begin with (see the title; I think it’s obvious what said explanation is.)  Because much later in the book it become more about who she’s with rather than what’s she’s doing about the predicament she’s in. And see, that’s just old already. Why read about the soul mate/ dude love (cute and sweet as he they was weredescribed) when she could have been doing something about the split that was her life?!

Then even mentions of fate being so-and-so and there being detours and shifts when getting there, and well… I just didn’t love it. Sure, the second half provided for a bit more excitement, but sometimes (a lot of the time) this girl, in both of her lives, could do some dumb things.

Thank you, Edelweiss
2.5/5


Thoughts upon close:

***

There's that one bit with her going, "Astronomy Boy is bad ass in spandex," where I was like 'eh?' yep, parallel existence indeed.




View all my reviews

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Written in Red (The Others #1) by Anne Bishop

Written in Red (The Others #1)
Good Reads Summary
Written in Red by Anne Bishop

No one creates realms like New York Times bestselling author Anne Bishop. Now in a thrilling new fantasy series, enter a world inhabited by the Others, unearthly entities—vampires and shape-shifters among them—who rule the Earth and whose prey are humans.
As a cassandra sangue, or blood prophet, Meg Corbyn can see the future when her skin is cut—a gift that feels more like a curse. Meg’s Controller keeps her enslaved so he can have full access to her visions. But when she escapes, the only safe place Meg can hide is at the Lakeside Courtyard—a business district operated by the Others.

Shape-shifter Simon Wolfgard is reluctant to hire the stranger who inquires about the Human Liaison job. First, he senses she’s keeping a secret, and second, she doesn’t smell like human prey. Yet a stronger instinct propels him to give Meg the job. And when he learns the truth about Meg and that she’s wanted by the government, he’ll have to decide if she’s worth the fight between humans and the Others that will surely follow.(less)


My Thoughts
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I’ve officially reached a level of unacceptable slobbery. I mean, hours of reading non-stop, through the night and most of the morning, will do that to you. Except you know what? It’s all good, good and great because said twelve hours were GLORIOUS ones! Reading Written in Red brings back a lot of what I love in UF. (You should see me perma-smile, right now. I think it’s a bit scary with the scruffy unchanged PJs look I’ve got going for me.)

This was Kate Daniels + Mercy combo, but minus the kick ass female leads in said books, rather more the general vibe of a community of the unusuals protecting their own when suddenly this somethingone different comes in and shakes things up. Now, despite the lack of kick ass on Meg’s part, I still liked her. Because she’s good -almost innocent even- but not oblivious to the bad things; in fact, it’s her constantly doing something kind (despite the not being untouched by the horrible past she’s got) that sets her apart form KD and MT, and it’s how her story is introduced: there be something horrible after her.

So, I like the contrast in her most of being that touch of light and good in a story full of monsters; monsters that aren’t afraid about being big, scary and bad. Because this story? Monsters, lots of them. There’s this rule that’s clear to all that they’re not to be messed with. So the world we’ve got set up in is another major draw for me. It’s one that’s split with this whole history about why that is. And it’s based on that split that humans and The Others live side by side, or more apt where humans are allowed to live at all.

That aside… Meg’s this someone different doing one nice thing after another for everyone, instead of being afraid of everyone, even if she knows there are things to be scared of. But perhaps that what I liked most about this one. That despite the scary “people” she finds herself surrounded by, she knows that there are scarier things out there. And then things pick up even more, you find out that these scary folks have something bigger that scares them as well. And just imagine how big my eyes got with each reveal.

Now, one may point out the sad lack of depth in the baddy in this one. With her me-myself-and-I shtick plus the ‘I shall be so and so and you shall rue the day blablabla’ that I almost thought she was going to say, but you see? The rest of the cast make up for what she lacked. Also, there’s another unnamed baddy in this one… whom I just know is going to be a big deal in the books that follow (See that? I said BOOKS. Plural. There are going to be books that follow. I demand it.)

(Seriously? People, you need to get on this one.)

4/5





View all my reviews

Monday, March 25, 2013

Dear Life, You Suck by Scott Blagden

Dear Life, You Suck
Good Reads Summary
Dear Life, You Suck by Scott Blagden

“The shrinkadinks think I have a screw loose. Ain’t playing with a full deck. Whacked-out wiring. Missing marbles.”

Irreverent, foulmouthed seventeen-year-old Cricket is the oldest ward in a Catholic boys’ home in Maine—and his life sucks. With prospects for the future that range from professional fighter to professional drug dealer, he seems doomed to a life of “criminal rapscallinity.” In fact, things look so bleak that Cricket can’t help but wonder if his best option is one final cliff dive into the great unknown. But then Wynona Bidaban steps into his world, and Cricket slowly realizes that maybe, just maybe, life doesn’t totally suck.


My Thoughts
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Sooo, I feel like someone's been listening in on my internal dialogue because 'Dear Life, You Suck' has taken two of the last books I've read, culled what I disliked in them, and then smooshed some of the good bits together. And despite the possibility of things becoming preachy... this wasn't that at all.

Because this was gritty and sad but ends less sad and gritty. And sure, perhaps it's an almost too-easy ending given everything Cricket recalls but I like the balance of things in this one. How it's 'good then bad, happy then sad' ... but not really because it's clear the guy has no clue  where he's going and that it's where he is that drives him (or so he claims.)

A lot like my Favorite Flawed Male Lead this year -that would be Sutter Keely, if any of you're curious - Cricket Chirper is funny, smarter than he gives himself credit but distant too. Now unlike Sutter, this kid's got his eyes wide open. It's with eyes wide open, that he makes observation after observation over how life indeed sucks. Plus, he makes sense while doing it.

More, I enjoyed the contrast of how funny is at the start (wise ass, really) to the more serious moments of him considering things. Or how he kind of/sort of fancies himself a protector (all these rules to live by of not starting things and standng up for another and yada yada) then other bits of him being less upstanding and him just being a kid, most obvious with the girl around. He isn't just one thing and there's truth to that.

If there's one thing I wish wasn't in this it's that standard YA love interest. I mean sure bumbling boy and uncontrollable reactions with her around were honest and refreshimg and funny, but actually unnecessary. Because the boy alone with the stories of his past, rules on his present, then uncertainties (read 'raging fear') over his future would have sufficed.

Much thanks, Net Galley!
3.5/5




View all my reviews

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway

Audrey, Wait!
Good Reads Summary
Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway

California high school student Audrey Cuttler dumps self-involved Evan, the lead singer of a little band called The Do-Gooders. Evan writes, “Audrey, Wait!” a break-up song that’s so good it rockets up the billboard charts. And Audrey is suddenly famous!

Now rabid fans are invading her school. People is running articles about her arm-warmers. The lead singer of the Lolitas wants her as his muse. (And the Internet is documenting her every move!) Audrey can't hang out with her best friend or get with her new crush without being mobbed by fans and paparazzi.

Take a wild ride with Audrey as she makes headlines, has outrageous amounts of fun, confronts her ex on MTV, and gets the chance to show the world who she really is.


My Thoughts
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So how many Wins Per Page are there in this one?
About a gazillion, I’d say.

Her Also Known As made me a fan because- and stop me if I haven’t said it yet- this author knows how to write strong quirky characters: from great sounding best friends to greater sounding families because while the story is about Audrey and how The Song has turned everything upside down, the secondary cast held their own and held her up, they weren’t just simple secondary characters, is what I’m saying.

If her newer YA spy book and its offbeat main character had me laughing then smiling, this one had me doing both those then more. IMHO, Audrey, Wait! is loads better than AKA. It’s got an older feel for sure, and perhaps that’s what made me like Audrey even more. She comes across as more sure about who she is. In her mocking way she said it right, “Self-aware” perfectly aware of what she likes (obese cats and music among them) and what pushes her buttons (she’s a music snob, and doesn’t like poseurs, but who does anyway, right?) Then her trying to be average girl (because in her head nothing’s really changed)  and make everyone else get that, then significant others trying to make her see that that’s actually very far from the case.

So, Wins Per Page?
I loved the best friend, Victoria even when she wasn’t being so loveable.
I loved her parents, especially when they were being parents. 
Plus, I loved the love interest even if he was a love interest (Lately, I’ve been annoyed over love interests and how they do absolutely nothing to forward a story’s plot.)
I loved the Audrey… even when she’s out of control, jealous, myopic, judgmental but funny all throughout.

Good, fun stuff.
(It reminds me of why I like thing like Anna and the French Kiss.)

4/5




View all my reviews

Saturday, March 23, 2013

True Love by Jude Deveraux

True Love
Good Reads Summary
True Love by Jude Deveraux

Jude Deveraux, the New York Times bestselling author of unforgettable romance, returns with a breathtaking first book in a fantastic new series—the Nantucket Brides trilogy. Set on the magical Massachusetts island, True Love introduces characters from a new generation of Montgomery-Taggerts, the beloved family from Deveraux’s classic novels.

Just as Alix Madsen is finishing up architectural school, Adelaide Kingsley dies and wills her, for one year, the use of a charming nineteenth-century Nantucket house. The elderly woman’s relationship to the Madsen family is a mystery to the spirited Alix—fresh from a romantic breakup—but for reasons of her own Alix accepts the quirky bequest, in part because it gives her time to plan her best friend’s storybook wedding.

But unseen forces move behind the scenes, creaking Kingsley House’s ancient floorboards. It seems that Adelaide Kingsley had a rather specific task for Alix: to solve the strange disappearance of one of the Kingsley women, Valentina, more than two hundred years ago. If that wasn’t troubling enough, Alix must deal with the arrogant (and extremely good-looking) architect Jared Montgomery, who is living in the property’s guesthouse.

Unbeknown to Alix, Jared has been charged with looking after her while she lives on the island—an easy task for him, considering the undeniable chemistry between the two. But Jared harbors secrets of his own, which, if revealed, may drive a wedge between the pair.

With a glorious Nantucket wedding on the horizon, sparks fly, and the ghosts of the past begin to reveal themselves—some of them literally. Finding their lives inextricably entwined with the turbulent fortunes of their ancestors, Alix and Jared discover that only by righting the wrongs of the past can they hope to be together.


My Thoughts
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

True Love… Man, this is going to be hard.

It’s been years since I read a JD novel,  and after finally finishing TL, I can sort of recall why I stopped reading them. Is it another case of ‘If you’ve read one of hers, you’ve read them all’ situations? I don’t know if I can recall that far back to her other books that clearly to make a fair comparison. But that’s the problem isn’t it? That they’re forgettable. OK I’m starting to sound mean because maybe there were one or two moments in this that were OK.. but… but I’m struggling to name something truly good about this.

I sort of liked the mother in this one, that one misunderstood character… or more apt the one who makes herself purposely misunderstood so that she’s inevitably always the source of drama? I didn’t “love”  the two leads though. Her hero worship and his guy reminiscing over decades over to when they were both kids? I found them and their romance strangely… boring. Then when it wasn’t supposed to be boring, well I founded it convoluted… ghostly presences, notwithstanding.

So who will like this? JD fans, of course. As well as the for sure die hard fans of the Montgomery’s (and the Taggert’s, too) because, if I recall things correctly, JD had a series of books on those two families (unless I’m confusing her with some other romance author from my past.)

2/5
Thank you Net Galley





View all my reviews

Friday, March 22, 2013

Just Like Fate by Cat Patrick

Just Like Fate
Good Reads Summary
Just Like Fate by Cat Patrick

Caroline is at a crossroads. Her grandmother is sick, maybe dying. Like the rest of her family, Caroline's been at Gram's bedside since her stroke. With the pressure building, all Caroline wants to do is escape--both her family and the reality of Gram's failing health. So when Caroline's best friend offers to take her to a party one fateful Friday night, she must choose: stay by Gram's side, or go to the party and live her life.

The consequence of this one decision will split Caroline's fate into two seperate paths--and she's about to live them both.

Friendships are tested and family drama hits an all-new high as Caroline attempts to rebuild old relationships, and even make a few new ones. If she stays, her longtime crush, Joel, might finally notice her, but if she goes, Chris, the charming college boy, might prove to be everything she's ever wanted.

Though there are two distinct ways for her fate to unfold, there is only one happy ending...


My Thoughts
My rating: 2.85 of 5 stars

Just Like Fate was an OK read... neither as emotionally wrenching as that other movie that offers a view on a woman's could be's, nor as exciting as the other YA on the same kick I read recently (Pivot Point). It's simply another book on decisions made seemingly unimportant but are in fact anything but. The tiniest thing can change everything.

That laid down, I'm tempted to say that the splitting here's almost laughably simple. Both options presented, however, have differing combinations of persons around the lead and its the interplay in either side that made for interesting, albeit simple contrast.

I'd say laughably simple because on one side we have her liking her sister, on the other not at all. Then on one side she's run away, built up something new but is faced with other problems; contrast to her staying, building up something new as well, then facing other issues. Yet no matter which side she's living, her 'negatives' were in full view. Then things spiraled.

But the simple splits notwithstanding there is one clear thing in this that I did not like. Things in this run along the lines of Obvious. Obviously, she should be with so and so because... duh. And obviously, so and so was a douche.. so why bother? My point: there's a lack of depth here. I mean past the initial 'Should I stay or Should I go' and grandmother closeness on her part, things got tedious in how good it was on one side then how down things were in the other and that's even when something bad and something good are thrown in each respectively!

In fact there really was no choice to be made between her Staying and going, between sisters and friends and most specially, between one boy over another when the flaws in one are so blatant... the good of one side stacked heavily against the sads of the other. Needless to say, I thought the boy drama a simple matter of her opening her eyes to who was who. And on family drama, twas also a matter of opening her eyes but this time to what she brought to the table (and didn't.)

In the end, I will say it was interesting but there are tons of other stuff that have dealt with the topic better (see way up there for reference)

Much thanks, Edelweiss

2.75/5




View all my reviews

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3)
Good Reads Summary
Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

Danger and betrayal, secrets and enchantment in the breathtaking conclusion to the Infernal Devices trilogy

Tessa Gray should be happy - aren't all brides happy?
Yet as she prepares for her wedding, a net of shadows begins to tighten around the Shadowhunters of the London Institute.


A new demon appears, one linked by blood and secrecy to Mortmain, the man who plans to use his army of pitiless automatons, the Infernal Devices, to destroy the Shadowhunters. Mortmain needs only one last item to complete his plan. He needs Tessa. And Jem and Will, the boys who lay equal claim to Tessa's heart, will do anything to save her.


My Thoughts
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I totally see where Tessa’s coming from, torn as she was over her feelings for the two. Rare is the book that has me loving it for its love triangle, but love these books because of the same, I do indeed. Surprised? Perhaps you wouldn’t be so surprised, were you to consider the deepness of the connections of all of them for each other.

I felt the conflict for Tessa, then for Will and later for Jem. But it wasn’t just the conflict; I also felt the truth of what she was feeling for the both of them as well what they were feeling for her. No superficial connections based on initial meetings in this one, that’s fore sure. Neither is this of one boy liking a girl and her not reciprocating but loving another... Thank the gods! In this there are connections from one individual to the next and then to the other then back again. What’s more is these connections are of the ‘real’ variety because they’re built up from book one for Tessa to the both of them, but from years of knowing each other between these two boys.

So, the FEELS? Once you pass mark 42%  EVERYTHING got heavy and emotional, and it was me being on public transportation with twelve strangers that was the only thing holding back the water works (but I was this close *holds up forefinger and thumb* from doing the Ugly Cry in public) and I loved that aspect too. That it’s not just mad dashes and them running for their lives, but them seeing if they all wanted to do that at all:

Jem is responsible for a lot of the teary moments, him weighing things and wanting things and then making these declarations all those had me heart going pitter-patter/happy dance for Tessa, but all those also broke my heart a little for Will. However, it’s Will too who had me doing these same things! The three here bring back a lot of what I felt for the three in Unearthly and that thing with both the boys being both right and good and neither of them being second runner up  for the girl.. a girl who really had a choice to make. Like Unearthly, here it’s not a question of who’s better/hotter/more suited, and neither is it one of those stories where one boy comes around and then comes another because they enter each others lives at the same time and all get to know each other at much the same pace (well, she does at least)

The other thing that has me loving this series more is that connection between Will and Jem, that link that’s more than friends, more than brother… because it’s that loyalty between them that colors their connection to Tessa, making everything just a little bit more heartbreaking. I loved this. I loved this. I loved this. I don’t think I can say that enough.

And then there was that epilogue. Right now, I’m thinking this epilogue is the king of epilogues. It allows us to see where things go and how things come down. Plus, the Ugly Cry that I thought I had under control through most of the book, that ugly cry? It finally broke out, making its shameless appearance because of said epilogue!

I love this ending. I love this series.

5/5


My thoughts upon close:
****

I loved it. I mean sure I haven't slept in god knows how long. And sure I've got luggage not eye bags now. And yes, both my heart and brain are exhausted. But wow... this ending!



   photo tumblr_mbb8k5wvyi1rq0hnm_zpsbe377e3c.gif






View all my reviews

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Things I Can't Forget by Miranda Kenneally

Things I Can't Forget (Hundred Oaks, #3)
Good Reads Summary
Things I Can't Forget by Miranda Kenneally

Companion to Catching Jordan and Stealing Parker.

Kate has always been the good girl. Too good, according to some people at school—although they have no idea the guilty secret she carries. But this summer, everything is different…

This summer she’s a counselor at Cumberland Creek summer camp, and she wants to put the past behind her. This summer Matt is back as a counselor too. He’s the first guy she ever kissed, and he’s gone from a geeky songwriter who loved The Hardy Boys to a buff lifeguard who loves to flirt--with her.

Kate used to think the world was black and white, right and wrong. Turns out, life isn’t that easy…

Read an excerpt 


My Thoughts
My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

It's a real mystery- me, reading on despite not really loving this series. The first book was a little too 'your typical romance' and the second book was more than unlikely and crossed over to icky... but the both of them were tied together in how they're both alot about sports then a little about faith then more about female leads doing stupid things on account of dumber situations; then eventually finding something more and becoming more (normally with a hot boy assisting in said discoveries).

Except this installment was less about sporty girls in a boys' world and all about her faith, then others' faith (or lack thereof) as well as balancing her belief with her behavior and her expectations out of others (but there's romance too.)

But honestly? All the 'I prayed' and 'Do you believe's?) had me a smidge uncomfortable as it's not something I'd nornally read. So preachy moments in mind, I was struggling to get into this... particularly since there were nagging questions in my head and doubts about the leads (and maybe more than one facepalms on my part, too) because I couldn't picture her as real. The self-flogging/none-forgiving she was doing? Then those little discoveries she made about who believes what and her world 'reeling' because of the same? Then thise declarations of being led to the other? Too much emphasis on faith and less about the individual was my knee jerk reaction. Till it became clear that the first and the second things were intertwined. And that's when I got it.

2.5/5



View all my reviews

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp

The Spectacular Now

Good Reads Summary
The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp

This National Book Award Finalist is soon to be a major motion picture -- one of the most buzzed-about films at Sundance 2013, starring Shailene Woodley and Miles Teller.

SUTTER KEELY. HE’S the guy you want at your party. He’ll get everyone dancing. He’ ll get everyone in your parents’ pool. Okay, so he’s not exactly a shining academic star. He has no plans for college and will probably end up folding men’s shirts for a living. But there are plenty of ladies in town, and with the help of Dean Martin and Seagram’s V.O., life’s pretty fabuloso, actually.

Until the morning he wakes up on a random front lawn, and he meets Aimee. Aimee’s clueless. Aimee is a social disaster. Aimee needs help, and it’s up to the Sutterman to show Aimee a splendiferous time and then let her go
forth and prosper. But Aimee’s not like other girls, and before long he’s in way over his head. For the first time in his life, he has the power to make a difference in someone else’s life—or ruin it forever.


My Thoughts
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Perspective, Sutter Keely needs it . Then there's that ending that has me wanting. Wanting things to be better, wanting -him to be better, but also knowing both these thing unlikely.

What got to me early on in the book (through out the book in fact) is that it was sad how funny Sutter could be when not much else in this is actually funny. His obscure references to this or their random out there discussions could not disguise this. The kid simply broke my heart (that ending simply broke it apart even more) and why?

We see how he is- life of the party, everyone's buddy, joy joy joy, in sharp contrast to what he's not acknowledging- that there is a problem; that he has issues. Then we see others with him. How he pulls a certain other in- one who's just as lost as he is.

Throwing Aimee in, and seeing how things progressed for her? 'Twas distressing.... and since Spectacular Now is anything but an easy book, we see this guy then we see this girl. Polar opposites? Maybe and maybe not. Perhaps it's because she's so different from him (hopeful, sweet and yes naive) but not completely different either (being weighed down as she was and given a past that's not all roses) that had her standing out in this one.

But this isn't your typical love story... it's not a love story at all. It's Sutter, comedic, compelling, electric narrator, that he is, who drew me in. But it's the interaction with the people around him that kept at me. Them seeing him do what he was doing and him almost through their eyes? The kid was simply heartbreaking.

The thing is, I want another ending. Again, I'm heartbroken over his methods.. but it's also his method that has me seeing how 'real'  he was. That he is far from perfect and trying to do the right thing the best way he knows how. It just so happens that that 'best' way is one part 'the right thing' (and that's tough) and another part 'the selfish thing' (making it even tougher to swallow.) Contradictory, I know... but it's just.. This book!

4.5/5



View all my reviews

Monday, March 18, 2013

Unremembered (Unremembered, #1)by Jessica Brody

Unremembered (Unremembered, #1)
Good Reads Summary
Unremembered by Jessica Brody

When Freedom Airlines flight 121 went down over the Pacific Ocean, no one ever expected to find survivors. Which is why the sixteen-year-old girl discovered floating among the wreckage—alive—is making headlines across the globe.

Even more strange is that her body is miraculously unharmed and she has no memories of boarding the plane. She has no memories of her life before the crash. She has no memories period. No one knows how she survived. No one knows why she wasn’t on the passenger manifest. And no one can explain why her DNA and fingerprints can’t be found in a single database in the world.

Crippled by a world she doesn’t know, plagued by abilities she doesn’t understand, and haunted by a looming threat she can’t remember, Seraphina struggles to piece together her forgotten past and discover who she really is. But with every clue only comes more questions. And she’s running out of time to answer them.

Her only hope is a strangely alluring boy who claims to know her from before the crash. Who claims they were in love. But can she really trust him? And will he be able to protect her from the people who have been making her forget?

From popular young adult author Jessica Brody comes a compelling and suspenseful new sci-fi series, set in a world where science knows no boundaries, memories are manipulated, and true love can never be forgotten.


My Thoughts
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

She’s Unremembered.
I’m Unimpressed.


It’s just the ending smacks of something I saw recently a .gif summarizing just about everything that’s wrong in YA today. New mysterious guy says, ‘I love you.’ Wait, make that hot new mysterious guy who knows everything the girl doesn’t know saying, ‘I love you.’ Then said guy asks, ‘Do you trust me?’ Then there’s the girl with thoughts of, ‘He’s in my blood.’ All of which culminate in some drastic doings on their part. Oi! That ending! It’s not that it ends in cliffy (though I take issue with that, as well,) it’s the build up there to. Also, I’ve a thing about names that if you don’t sound real, I don’t believe you and have a hard time buying the struggle that Ze or X or Y are supposedly going through. But really, who would have thought that (view spoiler)[future (hide spoiler)] names suck? Alixter! and Rio and Zen /Lyzender ... Begs for an ass kicking, I thought.  And that’s a teeny side thing in one of my many, many problems with this; the biggest of which was me, BORED.

The way things happened was all simply too convenient, how things came together and how some things were answered or how this response answers that and how doing this takes care of that problem WHEN in fact no explaining actually takes place! It’s in the genes said one, and I’m wondering in the genes, how? Then barcodes that grow back and there I was having flashbacks of Jessica Alba and her leather jacket with the lion looking dude, except this one was nowhere close to how awesome that one was. Unremembered was just so meh. At this point I’d normally throw out an “it could have been more.” Except were it “more,” I don’t think I’d pick it up again… as there’s NOTHING new offered!

Simply, think of everything that was wrong in STARTERS, of how a lot of people were able to do something, and how some other people just knew something and then how other people were so conveniently wherever  they were and just in the nick, too to provide some “clarity.” Though really, there’s is NO clarity in this one, just a whole bunch of conveniently ordered events that tempted me to start skimming.

Then that ending! Gah. As said, it sums… Well, it sums up something is what it does. Yeah.

Thank you, Net Galley!
2/5





View all my reviews

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Rush (The Game #1) by Eve Silver

Rush (The Game, #1)
Good Reads Summary
Rush by Eve Silver

So what’s the game now? This, or the life I used to know?

When Miki Jones is pulled from her life, pulled through time and space into some kind of game—her carefully controlled life spirals into chaos. In the game, she and a team of other teens are sent on missions to eliminate the Drau, terrifying and beautiful alien creatures. There are no practice runs, no training, and no way out. Miki has only the guidance of secretive but maddeningly attractive team leader Jackson Tate, who says the game isn’t really a game, that what Miki and her new teammates do now determines their survival, and the survival of every other person on this planet. She laughs. He doesn’t. And then the game takes a deadly and terrifying turn.


My Thoughts
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

damned cliffy and it took so long too before i was hooked. i was likening the start of Rush to getting slapped (or at least what i think getting slapped feels like as i've not actually been, you know, slapped. the point is there was next to no heads up on the why/where/how... or even what was going on. I was just as turned around as Miki. Plus I was feeling the frustration with all the non-answers she was handed. Then the game-speak? I get why she was not taking anything seriously; I sure wasn't. But then instead of answers she got hands on experience, which was cool because it kept things fast and then faster except I was only half buying it because of the absence of reason.

The whole mysterious boy leader too was getting on my nerves 'till it wasn't anymore because the closer it got to the end, the more the things kinda/sorta/but still not completely made sense.

Personally though I could have done without the makings teen drama (love triangles in the making, needy best friends and what not) and been happier with smoother shifts between one place to the next. But what this lacks in said smooth shifts, it makes up  in the curiously interesting (different?) mishmash of content.

I was surprised the mix of stuff that I got out of this: a little bit of Lux with A-hole hot boy lead and a little bit more some paranormal out of body/ time warp moments. And did I mention aliens? Lots of stuff going on in here, so that the lovey-dovey inevitableness of things don't take much away from all that.

thank you, edelweiss!
3/5


And, yes, the next one? I needs it.



View all my reviews

Saturday, March 16, 2013

The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider

The Beginning of Everything
Good Reads Summary
The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider

Golden boy Ezra Faulkner believes everyone has a tragedy waiting for them—a single encounter after which everything that really matters will happen. His particular tragedy waited until he was primed to lose it all: in one spectacular night, a reckless driver shatters Ezra’s knee, his athletic career, and his social life.

No longer a front-runner for Homecoming King, Ezra finds himself at the table of misfits, where he encounters new girl Cassidy Thorpe. Cassidy is unlike anyone Ezra’s ever met, achingly effortless, fiercely intelligent, and determined to bring Ezra along on her endless adventures.

But as Ezra dives into his new studies, new friendships, and new love, he learns that some people, like books, are easy to misread. And now he must consider: if one’s singular tragedy has already hit and everything after it has mattered quite a bit, what happens when more misfortune strikes?

Robyn Schneider’s Severed Heads, Broken Hearts is a lyrical, witty, and heart-wrenching novel about how difficult it is to play the part that people expect, and how new beginnings can stem from abrupt and tragic endings.


My Thoughts
My rating: 4 of 5 stars 
   

“I’m not certain I can pinpoint the exact moment when I became irreparably different. These days, I think it wasn’t a moment are all, but a process. A chemical reaction, if you will. I was no longer Ezra Faulkner, golden boy, and maybe I hadn’t been for a while, but the more time I spent with Cassidy, the more I was okay with that.”

 


So you’re either going to love this or hate this. Personally, there was a lot more to love for me than to hate in this one, and that the one bit that I didn’t like, I actually loathed, but first:

The Awesome:

Slick. There’s a back and forth here that kept things electric. How every single time, the girl had something to say, and for every single one of those, the guy had a funnier thing to respond with. Funny even, how very much like Jiminy Cricket one particular character was; how he’s there and smarter and trying not too preach but helpless as he ends up being preachy anyway (but not too preachy, of course.)

Then there’s that bit about Perspective. How things have him seeing every thing  else in a different light and him acknowledging that his put too much and so and so when it’s been him all along. I still don’t like the way she sometimes spoke, almost expecting the lot of them not to get it. OK, I actually did like (and didn’t like) how she put things, but what she had to say? Like I said? Deep… and very John Green like. I think that what’s I loved the most, how very much like a John Green cast this particular lot felt.

The Title Ergh, titles?  Both the original one and the new on, actually. Initially I was feeling like they’d missed the mark switching titles the way they did. If anything, it’s catchy. “Severed Heads (and) Broken Hearts.” I dare anyone to disagree! But I get why it’s been changed, as the former’s perhaps.. maybe .. falling under the realm of trying too hard, like bands names that suck, if you get what I mean? (Redneck Death wish, anyone?)  And this new one’s a bit more YA contemporary, even friendly somehow as it tells us exactly what it’s going to be about. Catchy as the original was, perhaps the new one fits too because Beginnings? There are those (and more) here.

The Not Quite Awesome… (but not quite that either.)

I find labels obnoxious, as I’ve just now discovered especially when said labels are self assigned. Ezra is jock boy who feels his lost everything. You might hate him though simply because there’s something about a guy complaining about being top dog and losing the same that doesn’t wake my sympathies. Am I alone? I don’t think so. It’s simply hard to completely like a a guy who sounds like his the shit or was the shit when his just full of shit… hmmm… tangents, I’m on one. Except you see, the kid grew on me because he truly was clueless about how he’s perceived and how he puts himself out there even when not meaning to.

And he isn’t actually that bad! (or more accurately, he’s not bad at all!) Especially as the kid finds his new place with these new people each have their own thing. Granted, I drew back at how perfectly “perfect” they were in their little bubble because they’re so different! But I loved him with them particularly them and their “slightly mocking ways” for anything that’s not done by them and them “still wanting to partake.” It’s the last made them True but a little Sad simultaneously. Better is me discovering that they’re not “perfectly perfect” as I’d earlier pegged. They made me laugh with their in jokes and their corniness, and they made me believe them with the pettiness and tiny insecurities of one for another.

Then there’s who Cassidy is for him, Mystery girl to his former Jock boy (again, with the labels!) Only here she becomes more for him, but at the same time, stays the same (Am I making sense? I think I am … I hope I am.) The reveals made were a little bit of a let down for me because I thought I knew and I found I was right! But still I felt like something more was going to happen and had it all set up in my head even!  But if you consider what she allows to happen and what he realizes because of her… Well, all those things? They were true… even if I felt the cause/source of those a bit inauthentic at times.  I mean just consider,


 
   

”Life is the tragedy,” she said bitterly, “You know how they categorize Shakespeare’s plays, right? If it ends with a wedding, it’s a comedy. And if it ends with a funeral, it’s a tragedy. So we’re all living tragedies, because we all end up the same way, and it isn’t with a goddamned wedding.”

 


As said, the girl had truths to share, but overshoots things somehow because instead of resounding with me, I was doubtful. “Charming smart” can be sometimes be not charming at all. Or this,


 
   

“…Tempting to just let people imagine you. We move through each other’s lives like ghosts, leaving behind haunting memories of people who never existed. The popular jock, the mysterious new girl. But we’re the ones who choose, in the end, how people see us. And I’d rather be misremembered than make you, of all people, miserable.”

 


It’s in considering this aspect that some of that ineffable thing that turns a story into a ‘Story’ almost on me (and I’m sorry in advance but I think I’m going to muddle this up) but anyway, here goes: Throughout the book, I felt like I was reading a John Green novel, smarter, wittier, slicker kids who have something to say and then say it. Except where Green’s leads are smart, owning said intelligence and yet still sounding real, this particular character (Cassidy) over shot and ended up sounding hollow/inauthentic to me (talking head? She wasn’t that bad!) She’s a mix of a lot of Green’s girl leads: inspiring the boys to become more and find something, set apart and aware of everything. Maybe even hyper ware because the rest of the people around her seem so much less when right next to her.

(view spoiler)[
   
     

“All our longings are universal longings,” Cassidy said, “He was talking about the human condition. And if, for our generation, that happens to be a collective longing for a world before smart phones, then so be it. There’s no sense I speculating on the enduring impact of the recently Past; if popular culture was that predictive, then everything would be obsolete the moment it came into existence.”

   

 

 (hide spoiler)]


But my point is: she’s slick… a bit too slick. And here I go again with my Green comparison with his smart kids, smart minds and deep, deep conversations plus observations and turns of phrase you I wish I’d come up with myself. I was keeping tabs of who was saying what and how, a bit put off by her smarter than the rest of you air she had going for her (him too, in fact.) It had me doubting the authenticity ‘till I wasn’t anymore because of the way they ALL were together.

I love this like I love all John Green’s books.
BIG, GINORMOUS THANKS to Edelweiss!


And why? So many things were True here. And let me not forget the funny:

(view spoiler)[
   
     

“If everything really does get better, the way everyone claims, then happiness should be graphable. You draw up an X axis and a Y axis, where a positive slope represents a positive attitude, plot some points, and there you go. But that’s crap, because better isn’t quantifiable.”

***
“Oh, Shut up.”
“I didn’t say anything.” Toby grinned broadly.
“Your silence is judging me.”
“”That’s probably true.”

***
“I thought of the hydrocarbon chains in organic chemistry, the same thing upside down, and how knowing to look for it changes your whole perspective.”

***

”Austin believes that wining or losing in binary is meaningless when there’s a high score to beat.”
”True that,” Austin said, saluting her with his stylus.
:So Austin, “ Toby asked, “Do you beat your own high score everyday?”
It sounded so dirty that we all cracked up.
“Are you asking if I’m a master debater, Ellicott?” Austin returned.

***
“There’s a word for it,” she told me, “in French, for when you have a lingering impression of something having passed by. Sillage . I always think of it when a firework explodes and lights up the smoke from the ones before it.”
”That’s a terrible word,” I teased, “ It’s like an excuse for holding on to the past.”
“Well, I think it’s beautiful. A word for remembering small moments destined to be lost.”

   

 

 (hide spoiler)]







View all my reviews

Friday, March 15, 2013

Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols

Dirty Little Secret
Good Reads Summary
Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols

From the author of the “real page-turner” (Seventeen) Such a Rush comes an unforgettable new drama that follows friends-turned-lovers as they navigate the passions, heartbreaks, and intrigue of country music fame.

Bailey wasn’t always a wild child and the black sheep of her family. She used to play fiddle and tour the music circuit with her sister, Julie, who sang and played guitar. That ended when country music execs swooped in and signed Julie to a solo deal. Never mind that Julie and Bailey were a duet, or that Bailey was their songwriter. The music scouts wanted only Julie, and their parents were content to sit by and let her fulfill her dreams while Bailey’s were hushed away.

Bailey has tried to numb the pain and disappointment over what could have been. And as Julie’s debut album is set to hit the charts, her parents get fed up with Bailey’s antics and ship her off to granddad’s house in Nashville. Playing fiddle in washed-up tribute groups at the mall, Bailey meets Sam, a handsome and oh-so-persuasive guitarist with his own band. He knows Bailey’s fiddle playing is just the thing his band needs to break into the industry. But this life has broken Bailey’s heart once before. She isn’t sure she’s ready to let Sam take her there again…


My Thoughts
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I’ve only seen two episodes of Nashville but what I have seen, I’ve liked. Dirty Little Secret matches up to it with the drama and family and connections you don’t want and complications- both the romantic then the familial sort, from both the leads in this one.

I got sucked in it if reading this in a handful of hours in any proof of that. Yes, I’m as surprised as anyone to find that I loved reading this, though I didn’t feel as strongly for the characters. Because truly, I found myself wanting to punch Sam more than once. HARD. Yet, I also liked the guy… both of the leads in fact are likeable: Bailey because you feel sorry for her at first, then because something better in her shines through; Sam because he’s written to be liked, his tendency toward making double entendre at the most odd moments not withstanding (though that was a big part of his charm,too.)

And I liked the baggage they were both carrying too. Bailey with her swept off to the side drama got me not teary eyed but angry on her behalf… so, so angry on her behalf! Then Sam, with his dad being the way he was and with his other drama that had him making a little more sense to me, though I must confess, knowing his WHY, I still desperately wanted to punch him. Again, HARD. Except I couldn’t completely not not like him because there’s this other aspect, this honest (up to a point) part to the guy that allows Bailey to acknowledge some truths. That bit? That had me liking him a little more (and yes, as said, that’s even with me wanting to punch him!)

Bailey, though you can see how she’s left messed up by her choices but also largely by the choices made by those around her. So I was sad for her, felt sorry for. Simply, I felt for her. And when finally things come to a head, I’m all “YAY!” for her, in my head, but I was also feeling things a tad to pitch perfect/feel good, as in “This is your moment so claim it, girl!” Hokey. I suppose, but after all the not-really-dramatic but more emotionally charged stretches that that had preceded it, it made sense.

The rest of the people in this are filler though, her family especially. I hated her parents. and all the excuses she’d make for one or the other was a strike against the girl, but I suppose it’s one of those I can feel that way because they’re my family but no one else can.  Not to say that others were filler as well, but there could have been more from them, you know? I enjoyed Sam’s ‘family.’ How he and Ace and Charlotte fit and then argued then fit again. How one word was enough from any of them to hold another back. Then how they’re aware of each other’s history. Of course, there’s that Sam and his father bit… which was sad sad sad too, but that aside, the leads in this one? They’re different, but not completely different because I found myself believing what it was they were going through and wanting an HEA somehow.

Thank you, Edelweiss!

3.5/5




View all my reviews

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Another Little Piece by Kate Karyus Quinn

Another Little Piece
Good Reads Summary
Another Little Piece by Kate Karyus Quinn

The spine-tingling horror of Stephen King meets an eerie mystery worthy of Sara Shepard's Pretty Little Liars series in Kate Karyus Quinn's haunting debut.

On a cool autumn night, Annaliese Rose Gordon stumbled out of the woods and into a high school party. She was screaming. Drenched in blood. Then she vanished.

A year later, Annaliese is found wandering down a road hundreds of miles away. She doesn't know who she is. She doesn't know how she got there. She only knows one thing: She is not the real Annaliese Rose Gordon.

Now Annaliese is haunted by strange visions and broken memories. Memories of a reckless, desperate wish . . . a bloody razor . . . and the faces of other girls who disappeared. Piece by piece, Annaliese's fractured memories come together to reveal a violent, endless cycle that she will never escape—unless she can unlock the twisted secrets of her past.


My Thoughts
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Mother of Mike! What did I just read?! The confusion! Slipping from one point of view to the next then not knowing who’s talking about what just egged me on instead of frustrating me. Especially when whole stretches of said confusion were punctuated by something terrible (Pink sneakers, I will never think of you the same way again.)

I’m not kidding when I said this was no RIVER FLOWS IN YOU read. IT was paying in the background all smooth, mellow, and never failing to get a tear from me. (the feels because of that song!)  But this one? Nope. Definitely, not any of those. It’s dark. Then it’s darker. Plus it’s confusing. 

Yet lo! I was sucked in. It opens with her walking along a road not knowing who she is, taken in then talking to the police. Things get more confusion as we meet “the dad” then “the mom” then all these other people who knew her from before, a boy like Logan, then a boy like Dex, then girl like Gwen… all painting her to be not the popular kid, but not the unpopular kid either.

And just when I thought I had a handle on who’s playing what, I'd be wrong. Because flashbacks and maybe memories of hers (maybe not hers) popped in. A host of memories that explain what may have come to pass, of how there’s this thing in her... and that she isn’t just Annaliese Rose Gordon, or worse, that maybe she’s not Annaliese Rose Gordon, after all. 

I liked it because just when things were falling into place, they didn't fall quite right so that I was scrambling to figure out if what I read was what I'd just read and if I was imagining things right. I also liked how she’s not the only odd here. Dex has his own brand of specialness that made it easy to see what she saw because the guy is sweet but equally damaged. It’s just for him, he knew his damage. Then those midnight road trips and scary people to confront then scarier people to return to? Interesting but I must confusing, too. The Physician bit especially, with the lack of information on who he was and all those other elements that had me wanting/needing more but aware that I was likely not to get those answers. A lot like the cigarette smoking guy in X-Files, you know his there but don’t know why his there. Yes, the Physician  is very much like that.

I liked this, confusion and all.
Thank you, Edelweiss!




3.5



View all my reviews

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Fox Forever (Jenna Fox Chronicles, #3) by Mary E. Pearson

Fox Forever (Jenna Fox Chronicles, #3)
Good Reads Summary
Fox Forever by Mary E. Pearson

Locke Jenkins has some catching up to do. After spending 260 years as a disembodied mind in a little black box, he has a perfect new body. But before he can move on with his unexpected new life, he’ll have to return the Favor he accepted from the shadowy resistance group known as the Network.

Locke must infiltrate the home of a government official by gaining the trust of his daughter, seventeen-year-old Raine, and he soon finds himself pulled deep into the world of the resistance—and into Raine’s life.

Mary E. Pearson brings the story she began in The Adoration of Jenna Fox and continued in The Fox Inheritance to a breathtaking conclusion as Locke discovers that being truly human requires much more than flesh and blood.


My Thoughts
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The ending.. the ending... the ending! Reading this was worth it even if just for that ending *sniff*

I had no idea there'd be a follow up and couldn't honestly recall who Locke was (because yes, it's been that long since I read the the first two,) but his story was interesting if a tad too easy to put together. For the first time on his own, you see him experience how different everything has become, among the changes is how country's divied up with non-pacts treated as second class and often worse. And the boy is on his own with strangers to work with but his tasked to get close to a key person and it's because of the last that we see an inevitable love connection made.

And like all love connections, things are not easy at all. She's his target, but soon becomes more both personally as well as for others around him. Because the closer he gets to her, the more he proves that world is indeed a small place... even 260 years later. The connections he makes are easy ones to arrive at, but it's also the same that complicates things for him.

I feel like this could have been a novella, a bit long, needlessly so especially with the things that happen in it being a tad obvious. Yet there's that ending to consider... and while I didn't love this nor did I love the love connection nor was I  completely engaged by what he was there to do (seems I've read too many boys/girls on a mission stories to be impressed by this one)... I did love that ending.

Thank you, Netgalley!

3/5




View all my reviews

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Shattered Promises by Jessica Sorensen

Shattered Promises (Shattered Promises, #1)
Goodreads Summary
Shattered Promises by Jessica Sorensen

For twenty-one year-old Gemma, life has never been normal. She knows nothing about her past and has been haunted by the same monsters in her nightmares for the last few months. Unemotional and numb to life, she feels disconnected from everyone. Until the very first day she cries. After that, nothing in her life is the same. 

Her emotions slowly surface and she starts experiencing love, happiness, and anger, feelings she never knew existed. But they leave her confused and she doesn’t know whether to embrace them or run away from them.
 

Her life only gets more complicated when she meets Alex. Sexy, arrogant, and secretive, Alex can get under Gemma’s skin like no one can. Yet she’s drawn to him by an invisible connection she has no control over. She’s also seen him before. In her nightmares.
 

Every part of Gemma’s mind is screaming at her to stay away from Alex, but every other part of her is begging to get close to him. But the closer she gets, the more she realizes Alex knows more about her than he originally let on.
 

As secrets about her past unravel, Gemma’s life becomes threatened. She needs to figure out what’s going on, before she winds up dead. But the only person she can turn to for answers is the one person she isn’t sure she can trust.(less)

My Thoughts
My rating: 2 of 5 stars


My initial assessment holds true.

At first, I made it to up to 41%
I had to stop.

>It was the umpteenth time he'd subdued her with his body to "calm her down".
>By that point I was simply, "Alex, I dub thee Douche bag. Capital D"
>Because the next time he did the same thing, I really did hope she'd "calm down" with her foot up his ass.

And to think I was liking all the confusion of her maybe I'm crazy/maybe I'm not at the beginning. Now that? That was a promising start, it had me thinking SHATTERED PROMISES as more than just sexy-times. And it was more than sexy times, I suppose. Except it went ever where. In trying to lay down their world and saying  that yes, werewolves or vampires or *insert any other paranormal creature that may catch your fancy here*  were real or that yes, bla bla was a so-and-so well none of those things actually got pulled together.


I said 'd get back to this and I did but yeah, I didn't love this one. Finishing it only by the powers of skimming. Am I going to read the next one? Maybe not... the only other Sorensen book I've read was impressive and that was contemporary, perhaps I should stick to that kind of stuff.



View all my reviews

Monday, March 11, 2013

Sophie and Carter by Chelsea Fine

Sophie and Carter
Good Reads  Summary
Sophie and Carter by Chelsea Fine

While other high school seniors are dreaming about their futures, Sophie and Carter are just trying to make it through each day. Carter is overwhelmed by issues at home as he struggles to support his mother. Meanwhile, next door neighbor Sophie is left to care for her three younger siblings in place of their absent and troubled mother. All that holds these two best friends together is each other, and knowing that each night they'll sit together on Sophie's front porch swing and escape from their troubles, if just for awhile. But as their relationship reaches a turning point and high school graduation nears, what lies ahead for Sophie and Carter?

My Thoughts
My rating: 2 of 5 stars


Sweet as the ending was, and nice how they’re each the other’s safe haven (“only good thing”) I  still see disaster looming. One of them is bound to screw up and you just wonder how the other is going to take it. But! The story itself is a simple one:

Sophie has stepped up and taken care of her family. Carter too has done the same for his mother. They’ve terrible home lives, these two not quite adults taking care of things they shouldn’t be. It’s this similarity in situations that make them ‘get’ the other even more. So I get it… everyone needs a bit of easy, right?

Alternating between the two of them was smooth, but may the similarity in their position made the two indistinguishable from the other. They’ve exactly the same story: sad, hard lives with only the other the good thing keeping them going. Ah…   but that's me nitpicking again.



View all my reviews

Sunday, March 10, 2013

The Lives We Lost (Fallen World, #2) by Megan Crewe

The Lives We Lost (Fallen World, #2)
Good Reads Summary
The Lives We Lost by Megan Crewe

First, the virus took Kaelyn’s friends. Then, her family. Now it’s taken away her home.

But she can't look back—the life she once had is gone forever.


A deadly virus has destroyed Kaelyn’s small island community and spread beyond the quarantine. No one is safe. But when Kaelyn finds samples of a vaccine in her father's abandoned lab, she knows there must be someone, somewhere, who can replicate it. As Kaelyn and her friends head to the mainland, they encounter a world beyond recognition. It’s not only the “friendly flu” that’s a killer—there are people who will stop at nothing to get their hands on the vaccine. How much will Kaelyn risk for an unproven cure, when the search could either destroy those she loves or save the human race?

Megan Crewe's second volume in the Fallen World trilogy is an action-packed journey that explores the resilience of friendship, the ache of lost love, and Kaelyn’s enduring hope in the face of the sacrifices she must make to stay alive.


My thoughts
My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Oh, second book, you... why is there nothing great I can recall from you? Your ending has saved you and so have a couple of key moments but truthfully, nothing much happens except! Of course, there’s Kae being all brave and gung ho about taking things in her hands and the rest of them following along. And then there’s also a bit of Leo and him finally opening up, his whole bit about people about being good but circumstances forcing them to be different. I liked that part... it’s the most honestly “feeling” part of this sequel. But really, not much else.

And I know they’re on the run and trying to save the world.
...I know that Kae is tough and feels like one of them has to get things going.
...I know they feel this urgency to do something.
...I also know that they’ve grown close and grown up faster than they should…

But man, Meredith?! Meredith!!!  What? Kid, does getting sick take away your common sense? Or Justin?! Who here has seen that robot that goes, “Danger, Will Robinson!”  This lot needed one of those. They truly needed one of those because each time one of the younger ones tagging along would open their mouths or just do something the situation would worsen!

I’m still reading the next one and I’m still wondering why it’s the younger set are being heroic. What’s happened to all the grown ups again?

2.5/5



View all my reviews

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Also Known As by Robin Benway

Also Known As
Good Reads Summary
Also Known As by Robin Benway

Being a 16-year-old safecracker and active-duty daughter of international spies has its moments, good and bad. Pros: Seeing the world one crime-solving adventure at a time. Having parents with super cool jobs. Cons: Never staying in one place long enough to have friends or a boyfriend. But for Maggie Silver, the biggest perk of all has been avoiding high school and the accompanying cliques, bad lunches, and frustratingly simple locker combinations.

Then Maggie and her parents are sent to New York for her first solo assignment, and all of that changes. She'll need to attend a private school, avoid the temptation to hack the school's security system, and befriend one aggravatingly cute Jesse Oliver to gain the essential information she needs to crack the case . . . all while trying not to blow her cover
.

My Thoughts

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars


Cute, fluffy and fun. It's a good in between book and it's precisely what I needed.

Maggie teen spy and safe cracker extraordinaire is funny. She's about to do her first job and must fit in with the rest of the high school bunch. I like that she's not the typical new girl at a loss about what needs doing. She knows who she is and what she has to do. But jumping in as she does, a couple of 'unexpecteds' pop up as well. And I enjoyed reading this all the more because of the same.

Especially, Roux (The unexpected ray of toxic sunshine that I had been missing) who had me impressed... I mean, talk about out there! The girl is pariah but knows why and doesn't not care but is not beat down by said fact. And to Maggie ( Little Miss Apocalypse) she's a perfect match because Maggie growing up as she has, has no idea about how to be but isn't bothered too much about that fact either. I though them perfect with the both of them going with the flow of things.

Then Jesse Oliver... dear god, It's been a long long time since I last laughed/blushed over how sweet a YA boy could be. Lately, YA's either been all about the douche bag with hidden depth or the geeky boy with cutesy charm, but Jesse Oliver is neither of those. And them together, my golly, but the word ADORABLE is the only adjective I can use right now. 

Cute and funny fluffy stuff. I needed this.




View all my reviews

Friday, March 8, 2013

Losing It (Losing It, #1) by Cora Carmack

Losing It (Losing It, #1)
Good Reads Summary
Losing It by Cora Carmack

Virginity.

Bliss Edwards is about to graduate from college and still has hers. Sick of being the only virgin among her friends, she decides the best way to deal with the problem is to lose it as quickly and simply as possible-- a one-night stand. But her plan turns out to be anything but simple when she freaks out and leaves a gorgeous guy alone and naked in her bed with an excuse that no one with half-a-brain would ever believe. And as if that weren't embarrassing enough, when she arrives for her first class of her last college semester, she recognizes her new theatre professor. She'd left him naked in her bed about 8 hours earlier.


My Thoughts
My rating: 2 of 5 stars


While not the worst, neither is Losing It the best i've read of its kind. Gosh! I am still on the hunt for a decent read from books of this type. I've got a hankering, a need for a new Double Clutch! Another FOL! Or at least something that doesn't leave me wondering, 'is that what all the fuss is about?!'

It had good parts, funny parts as well as sexy bits and whole lots of awkward... all care of Bliss (and am I alone in thinking what a mismatch in name and character because, really, 'Bliss' has me thinking starlet of some up and coming 'adult' flick?!) Anyhoo... Bliss was funny in that awkward 'What's she thinking/Is she thinking?' kind of way. A question that begs the asking even more once man-candy-teacher dude, wait make that british-man-candy-dude showed up. And I laughed, as was appropriate, because the things coming out of her mouth, friends, I dare you not to laugh at her attempt at flirting! Them flirtiing =Funny/awkward/hot  + me, waiting for disaster to happen. That said, I do wish the story had kept on as it started because wait a beat and the 'meh' started to make its unwanted presence felt.

'Meh' in the form of complicated friendships and even more complicated non-relationships. That honestly shouldn' have been big complications at all.

So, I laughed a lot over the awkward moments of girl unsure what to do then laughed some more over girl freaking out... and I would have continued laughing and enjoying LI, too... except yeah it's really didn't go anywhere i wanted. Basic drama of mixed signals, waiting things out and basic romance of want you/can't have you then cutesy sweet moments of one or the other key player being there for the other when said other is down. I liked the start, felt like ot could have been an awesome funny book... this one, however, is more of the same NA reads. As in sexy, but little else.



View all my reviews