Thursday, June 27, 2013

Friday Brown by Vikki Wakefield

Friday Brown
Good Reads Summary
Friday Brown by Vikki Wakefield

‘I am Friday Brown. I buried my mother. My grandfather buried a swimming pool. A boy who can’t speak has adopted me. A girl kissed me. I broke and entered. Now I’m fantasising about a guy who’s a victim of crime and I am the criminal. I’m going nowhere and every minute I’m not moving, I’m being tail-gated by a curse that may or may not be real. They call me Friday. It has been foretold that on a Saturday I will drown…’

Seventeen-year-old Friday Brown is on the run—running to escape memories of her mother and of the family curse. And of a grandfather who’d like her to stay. She’s lost, alone and afraid.

Silence, a street kid, finds Friday and she joins him in a gang led by beautiful, charismatic Arden. When Silence is involved in a crime, the gang escapes to a ghost town in the outback. In Murungal Creek, the town of never leaving, Friday must face the ghosts of her past. She will learn that sometimes you have to stay to finish what you started—and often, before you can find out who you are, you have to become someone you were never meant to be.

Friday Brown is the breathtaking second novel from the author of the award-winning All I Ever Wanted.


My Thoughts
My rating: 4.5of 5 stars

friday brown has:

half formed goals. unanswered questions. odd choices. odder people... of pseudofamilies. it’s the last that’s  not limited to that of her choosing as there’s the one that she comes from, too. the story begins with her having lost something, as well as of her losing touch with who she is. that’s the case for all of them. they’ve lost themselves or more apt, are wanting to. but things shift as it becomes her finding in the unexpected not her answers but something she didn't think she was looking for: a place? a connection?

now, it’s all about her being shoved into things she’s not quite sure she wants. so, there are awkward moments with like minded folks, as well as her ‘not-opposites.’ because all of them? they’re different from her, yes… but also from everyone else. Lost Boys? they’re a little bit of that. only instead of never growing up, it’s them never being found. and though i was expecting an August Rush feel-good kind of read. this was not that. mainly because their wendy’s not exactly the mother you’d want for yourself. But then there were times it did feel like August Rush… especially silence. but really, they’re a bit more undefined on the what would follow. And they’re a bit more heartbreaking with part of their respective histories revealed. (again, silence especially.) (also,  that cover makes so much more sense now. better? it fits.)

so then it’s her: asking what she’d gotten herself into because the lot? in the margins, hiding. running away? running somewhere? both true here, eventually, there’s that slow stripping away of the distractions. Distractions of her admiring another and wanting to be someone else as well as to have what another has.

but eventually, as said, it’s her unsticking her head from the sand. but how she unsticks it and why… well, THOSE LAST MOMENTS?! they nearly  break her, (some moments do in fact break some bit of her,) and they nearly did me too.





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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Holier Than Thou by Laura Buzo

Holier Than Thou
Good Reads Summary
Holier Than Thou by Laura Buzo

Holly Yarkov has a boyfriend who is a gift from the universe. She has a job that fulfils her even as it wears her down. She has a core group of friends from high school. And she has a layer of steel around her heart that is beginning to tarnish. Just as she is reaching for a future she can't quite see, Holly is borne back into the past by memories of her beloved father, and of the boy-who-might-have-been...

Grief and longing run like veins of quicksilver through this beautiful novel, at once gloriously funny and achingly sad.

Laura's confident, astute and witty voice has already been recognised with the success of Good Oil, with North American English rights sold to Knopf and German language rights sold to Arena. It was also shortlisted for the Prime Minister's
Literary Awards. Her second novel is extraordinary and bittersweet – and shows us exactly what it is like to be a young person today – navigating the complexities of work, love, family and how to pay the rent.


My Thoughts
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

HOLIER THAN THOU. I don’t think I could handle being a Holly Yarkov, looking at things the way she did, seeing what needs be doing and what could be done. All the things she asked of herself and of others, BIG. Was I ever her though, and have the day in and day out of my life pushed all questions like hers aside? The way things were going it felt like she was almost here with me, where it’s just the day in- day out, minus the questions.

Almost. But not quite as a lot of this is a real look at the life of a person in that stage of life where things are brand new, when things there are *exciting*. Except it’s also bout how that shine’s begun to dull with each real world encounter and with each moment of her expectations not quite happening.

One thing that tugged at me: the closeness she’s got with her people. How she’d had all these notions of what they’d be and how they’d be later in the when. And that? That’s so me.

But then, there’s real life and it’s not quite what you expect so couple her notions of Friends and Seinfeld, with early memories of heartbreak, feeling like she’s no place where she should as well as the little  (then the big) let downs from people unexpected… well, was it empathy overdose, what she said? And Holly, she makes sense, in this real authentic way… of the not too perfect, but wants it to be perfect nonetheless kind of way. Hell, every single one in this is perfectly real in how imperfect they were. Where some are more imperfect than others, of course.



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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Everything Left Unsaid by Jessica Davidson

Everything Left Unsaid

Good Reads Summary
Everything Left Unsaid by Jessica Davidson

"I wait for him, the cold seeping through my clothes, until it finally dawns on me that he's not coming back. And I wonder why he chose her instead of me? Why he went looking for her when I was right there."

Tai and Juliet have been best friends forever – since they met at kindy and decided to get married in first grade.

They understand each other in the way that only best friends can.

They love music, beach walks, energy drinks and, they are slowly discovering, each other.

As they dream of adventures beyond the HSC – a future free of homework, curfews and parents, a life together – their plans are suddenly and dramatically derailed.

For Tai is sick.

And not everything you wish for can come true.

A poignant story of first love, hope, grief, family, and the twistedness of life.


My Thoughts
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Reading this, my eyes were dry and there I was wondering, where heart was when all my friends had been raving about how heart-wrenching this got. I was wondering this when he found out what was wrong. Dry eyed, when she’s told. Dry eyed, too the first time something was done about it. Dry eyed still when his mom struggled not to show her heart break again.

And then page 254 came along.

Then page 261.

Then I just couldn’t stop… it got sad, and yeah, depressing because it’s no longer about ‘him being a boy standing in from of a girl…’ (Hee. A Hugh reference) or about how their ‘them’ came to be, though that’s a part of t. it’s that their ups then downs are not at all the usual kind. How what’s wrong is such a big part of what’s going one that it overshadows so much of everything.

So that there she is dealing (not dealing) and him likewise with it, and everyone else not knowing what do. They’re all desperate to be something and do something for the other when both was unlikely. The ordinary things that should have feel like the right thing under other circumstances felt desperate here… almost. Little kisses, big spats… all these things become sadder than they should have.

*Thanks to Hillary for hosting the tour... 
*Here's my cute puppy photo op, puppies Jill and Gen (almost like the cover):
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Monday, June 24, 2013

Haze by Paula Weston

Haze (The Rephaim, #2)
Good Reads Summary
Haze by Paula Weston

"But what if we can’t find Jude?"
He leans closer. His breath is warm on my ear. "We will."
"How can you be so sure?" I want to believe him so badly, but this is Rafa. The guy who’s all action and no plan. His smile is tired, knowing. An echo of a shared past I don’t remember.
"Because I’m not smart enough to give up, and you don’t know how to."

Gaby Winters’ nightmares have stopped but she still can’t remember her old life. Still can’t quite believe she is one of the Rephaim—the wingless half-angels who can shift from place to place, country to country, in the blink of an eye. That she was once the Rephaim’s best fighter. That demons exist. That Rafa has stayed.

But most of all, she can’t quite believe that her twin brother, Jude, might be alive.

And Gaby can’t explain the hesitancy that sidetracks the search for him, infuriates Rafa, and sends them, again, into the darkest danger


My Thoughts
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

So I’m split once again, loving how we have more of Rafa, how hot then cold then hot he could get, (almost like Barrons of the  Fever fame.) But this book suffers what plenty follow ups do: there’s nothing really happening in this one. Could this have been a novella? Perhaps, as the bulk of the changes take place at the tail end and prior that, it’s all about how Gaby’s confused and conflicted (but not to the same degree as she was in Shadows.)

The question then becomes do the good bits compensate for what it lacks? Rafa fans would say YES; I say, not quite. Specifically, I would have loved a bit more action-sequency moments. I would have loved a bit more of something That said, we do get tons of background on the who’s, the what’s, and even the how’s. Plus, the big surprises close to the end? Big they were. Now, haters of cliffies, you may loathe this one… personally, it was a great ending… how with one thing resolved, we’ve another thing to contend with.

And this thing between the two leads… I’m split on that end too! Because with no one saying anything that’s real, I’ve come up with ALL KINDs of theories to explain why they were and why Rafa is the way he is. O.o My brain has taken me place, is all I’m saying.

The good:
>Rafa.
>Rafa
>Way awesome cliffy!

The bad:
>Cliffy! (Because I’m contrary like that.)
>Nothing much goes, that is till we get to the very last couple of chapters.




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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Depths by Steph Campbell

Depths (Lengths, #2)
Good Reads Summary
Depths by Steph Campbell

Do you believe in love at first phone call?

Cohen Rodriquez, Deo’s hilarious, über responsible best friend in LENGTHS got dumped by his longtime girl because he’s ‘not impulsive enough,’ and he's burned up.

But maybe, just maybe, she’s more right than he wants to admit. So he starts to date.
A lot.
But no one really feels like the one. And the more girls he dates, the more Cohen’s convinced she isn’t really out there.

Luckily he has Maren—the girl with the sexy voice who always cracks the best jokes. They’ve been talking daily for a year…on the phone. What started as all work soon blooms into friendship. Then she asks him.

Do you want to meet?

He's scared out of his mind to ruin the one easy, fun relationship he has going for him. But he takes the plunge, and things are just fine, totally easy and comfortable.

Except that they both sense it's not strictly platonic...there is an undeniable attraction and absolute raw chemistry between them…and every time they're in the same room, that attraction gets deeper and harder to ignore.

Maren could be the best thing that’s ever happened to Cohen… Or she could send his carefully compartmentalized life into a tailspin.

Cohen has to decide if he’s ready to let go of his comfortable fantasy and embrace the one girl who might be able to change his luck in love.


My thoughts
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I'm keeping this short:

I like that the lead is a lot like DEO from LENGTHS; the real guy who doesn’t have it all together but tries his best anyway. The lead in this one reads like such a stand up guy, all sensitive, aware, and directed. Except somehow the bitchy one was right: he was a tad boring and staid. Things change quickly when he’s dumped. This set up’s a bit too typical, but hey.. I’ll take it. I like the bond that exists between him and the new girl… there’s an attraction there, and it’s when they finally meet that things start moving along. I also like how the drama doesn’t drown everything else out. She’s her baggage as does he, but they’re not buried in the angst of their present (too much. Well, at least the guy wasn’t). And if there were any angsty moments, there’s the after that had me reading on still. Of how she wants things and he wants things and they’re both young and doing something about it.

So things went from cute to sexy… and yeah, this was an OK read.




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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Forever Too Far by Abbi Glines

Forever Too Far (Too Far, #3)
Good Reads Summary
Forever Too Far by Abbi Glines

Rush promised her forever... but promises can be broken.

Torn between his love for his family and his love for Blaire, Rush has to find a way to save one without losing the other. In the end one has to be more important. Letting go isn’t easy.

Blaire believed in her fairytale... but no one can live in a fantasy.

Her love for Rush and desire to have a family keep her believing that they can find a way for this to work. Until she has to make the right decision for her and the baby. Even if it breaks her heart.

Can they find the forever that they both want or has it all just gone... too far?


My thoughts
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Question:What was I thinking?
Answer:
  I wasn’t!
Nah, I figured since I’d come this far with Glines anyway, having read every one of her other books… and well, why not?

Question: So, why not?
Answer: Apparently, every single thing about this book. Really. This book. (And that’s no positive).


   photo tumblr_m3fe4fU4Xc1r8t5r2.gif


…So should I have stabbed myself first?

The thing that pissed me off the most were those little interruptions of “Yes, you read that right…” and “You can buy so and so at so and so.” (How obnoxious!) Then there’s every other complaint I have of every other book of hers (I won’t bother to rehash them here.) The one ‘plus’ I thought I was going to get, I didn’t. Where’s the hot sex? Where’s the chemistry? The encounters they had (and there were many) were neither hot nor sexy instead they were all more unbelievable, really. (I found myself snort laughing at points.)

I’d say I was sad about the turn out of this one, except reading her other books has prepared me. I needed a mindless read  and this was. That. Now, silver lining? Stuff like this is padding for my personal challenge; it’s been a shitty reading week and reading this stuff passes the time (annoyingly sometimes,) but it passes the same quickly.




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Saturday, June 15, 2013

The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen

The Moon and More
Good Reads Summary
 The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen

Luke is the perfect boyfriend: handsome, kind, fun. He and Emaline have been together all through high school in Colby, the beach town where they both grew up. But now, in the summer before college, Emaline wonders if perfect is good enough.

Enter Theo, a super-ambitious outsider, a New Yorker assisting on a documentary film about a reclusive local artist. Theo's sophisticated, exciting, and, best of all, he thinks Emaline is much too smart for Colby.

Emaline's mostly-absentee father, too, thinks Emaline should have a bigger life, and he's convinced that an Ivy League education is the only route to realizing her potential. Emaline is attracted to the bright future that Theo and her father promise. But she also clings to the deep roots of her loving mother, stepfather, and sisters. Can she ignore the pull of the happily familiar world of Colby?

Emaline wants the moon and more, but how can she balance where she comes from with where she's going?

Sarah Dessen's devoted fans will welcome this story of romance, yearning, and, finally, empowerment. It could only happen in the summer.


My Thoughts
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Family. Change. And a little bit of romance…

Every aspect of MOON AND MORE is not quite perfect and it’s better for it. The main thing here, as with most DESSEN books, is family and connections: the safe and easy ones where the lead can just be versus the ones that aren’t at all easy, the ones that have one or two of them all tippy-toeing around each other or some big issue. It’s a bit more different here too, with her and a father and a dad, and it’s how she deals with the first not being who she’d like him to be and then balancing that out with the rest of her family that adds some of the odd/funny/awkward/sad feels. Then there’s her sisters and the push-pull that works among them, especially how they all have set roles they fill: the ambitious one, the flighty one, and then her. Then there’s her grandmother and her mother both of whom know what they’re doing and let things get done. It’s not always easy on this front… but it’s that fact that rings authentic.

Changes. She’s college bound. She’s excited/unsure/ready/unsure… unsure… unsure about what’s to come. How she is on this front, going from one emotion to the next, but moving forward nonetheless made it all more real. There’s a comparison going on almost always between where she is and where she’d headed; between those who stay and those who don’t and where she fits in that particular scheme of things. The small town feel and how all others seemed to be aware of every body else’s business could have been a negative, but it wasn’t. the people and the town just was just was  So while there’s changes about to happen, there’s also the reality of some things staying as is.

Romance. This wasn’t the focus, but it was present… so I might as well mention how some of them could be such assholes, the lead not excluded. Some of them could be such even when I really didn’t want them to be, but there’s that real feel again. How none of them are perfect… and how in the end, I actually LOVED how she didn’t get the fairy tale happily ever after, because ending as it did… it felt right anyway, again HEA or no.




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Friday, June 14, 2013

Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, #2) by Sarah J. Maas

Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, #2)
Good Reads Summary
Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

An assassin’s loyalties are always in doubt.
But her heart never wavers.


After a year of hard labor in the Salt Mines of Endovier, eighteen-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien has won the king's contest to become the new royal assassin. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown – a secret she hides from even her most intimate confidantes.

Keeping up the deadly charade—while pretending to do the king's bidding—will test her in frightening new ways, especially when she's given a task that could jeopardize everything she's come to care for. And there are far more dangerous forces gathering on the horizon -- forces that threaten to destroy her entire world, and will surely force Celaena to make a choice.

Where do the assassin’s loyalties lie, and who is she most willing to fight for?


My Thoughts
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Man, I wanted to love this sequel. Truly, I did... except there were two major problems for me here.

(A.) The first half left a lot desired with it dragging on and on with the longing glances that one or two of them was throwing at her or that she was throwing at one of them. All I really wanted was some kick ass moment of her going all stealth assassin on someone. Yet while there was some of that, there were unexpected odd moments of her acting out character. Her love of shopping! Her love of chocolate! Egh? Don’t get me wrong… it made her more than the simple killer scary assassin, but it felt unreal somehow, like quirky things little extras thrown just for kicks. (Plus I don’t recall all that from her in the first. Then again, I did read the first book, didn’t i?) Simply, I was waiting for some blood to be shed by her, but then there’s be one guy who’s all ‘He loves her and not me.’ Then she’d be all, ‘Who do I love, Who do I love?’

(B.) Just when I was about ready to give up, all these would-be-awesome things started taking place. The problem is  there were TOO MANY things  going on at once. So many in fact that it was hard to keep track of what the hell was taking place! One moment we’re with Dorian and his little discovery. Next were with the Kings’ Guard and how he’s finally sniffing out some truths. The next we’re with girl assassin and her killing/trailing/scheming/ or doing whatever girl assassins do. Then the next were with princess BFF who’s got secrets yup the wazoo! Instead of ‘WOAH, NO WAY!’ I was LOST. Too many things taking place all at once take away from the impact of what one or even just two of those things could have had.

That said, the very final bits of this were pretty good. The threads finally pulling together... and when she finally made her big reveal, well…it got me excited again.

THANK YOU, M!




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Thursday, June 13, 2013

When You Were Here by Daisy Whitney

When You Were Here
Good Reads Summary
When You Were Here by Daisy Whitney

Filled with humor, raw emotion, a strong voice, and a brilliant dog named Sandy Koufax, When You Were Here explores the two most powerful forces known to man-death and love. Daisy Whitney brings her characters to life with a deft touch and resonating authenticity.

Danny's mother lost her five-year battle with cancer three weeks before his graduation-the one day that she was hanging on to see.

Now Danny is left alone, with only his memories, his dog, and his heart-breaking ex-girlfriend for company. He doesn't know how to figure out what to do with her estate, what to say for his Valedictorian speech, let alone how to live or be happy anymore.

When he gets a letter from his mom's property manager in Tokyo, where she had been going for treatment, it shows a side of his mother he never knew. So, with no other sense of direction, Danny travels to Tokyo to connect with his mother's memory and make sense of her final months, which seemed filled with more joy than Danny ever knew. There, among the cherry blossoms, temples, and crowds, and with the help of an almost-but-definitely-not Harajuku girl, he begins to see how it may not have been ancient magic or mystical treatment that kept his mother going. Perhaps, the secret of how to live lies in how she died.


My Thoughts
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book has been on my ‘Currently Reading Shelf’ for the past four days now. Don’t let that fool you… it only took me half this night to get through it. Life just got in the way, you now? Anyway, this book's left me feeling satisfied… and happy with how refreshingly different it read.

Danny is not the complete asshole I though he was. It’s clear that one loss then another will have anyone acting like one. There’s this bitterness to him and a  load on his shoulders from how somehow some when someone has wronged him either in a big way,  small way, or even in some unknown way. But read on a bit more, it’s heart breaking… every single loss he’s experienced: first the dad, then the sister, then the mother, and then the girlfriend.

It’s the loss of his mother that breaks him, but that’s our starting point with him. He is the lost, angry boy, trying to figure out his what-next and not managing to do that at all. Except there’s also the loss of the girlfriend that surprised me a little, him droning on and on as he did over this girl next door and why-why-whying their situation made him less the tragic figure and more just the ordinary guy. It’s that he is so ordinary that’s refreshing. Neither jock nor the nerd, he’s simply a guy… a guy who’s unsure about what’s to be done next. And what’s next? Apparently, Japan.. where things have him piecing things together and seeing things for what they really are.

It takes this spur of the moment choice for things to sink in for him; that his mother had decisions, that his sister did as well, and so did Holland for that matter. All the things he discovers plus all the things revealed to him made it clear that things were always happening even with him outside the picture. Then eventual admissions of wrongs, recognition of limits and wanting things done a certain way by one’s choosing… all those had me picturing strong women. That while this guy’s many many heartbreaks… could be taken as something else by another. That the there were dark things for his sister, there were choices for his mother, and there were missed opportunities for his girl next door. My. Point? He was the only one getting his heart broken. And though he’s not the center of it all, he’s what’s there linking them all. It’s through him we see his heartbreak is not just his.

Also, who else besides me loves odd ball characters? Kama should read odd ball, trying too hard… but became more than that. Perhaps it’s her personal drama of not fitting in and not trying to that did it. Or perhaps it’s the two of them finding each other and connecting in a non romantic but still profound way that worked for me. Or perhaps it’s her odd-but-right-feeling mix of old soul-not quite that did it?

Excellent read, this one…




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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill

All Our YesterdaysGood Reads Summary
All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill

"You have to kill him." Imprisoned in the heart of a secret military base, Em has nothing except the voice of the boy in the cell next door and the list of instructions she finds taped inside the drain.

Only Em can complete the final instruction. She’s tried everything to prevent the creation of a time machine that will tear the world apart. She holds the proof: a list she has never seen before, written in her own hand. Each failed attempt in the past has led her to the same terrible present—imprisoned and tortured by a sadistic man called the doctor while war rages outside.

Marina has loved her best friend James since the day he moved next door when they were children. A gorgeous, introverted science prodigy from one of America’s most famous families, James finally seems to be seeing Marina in a new way, too. But on one disastrous night, James’s life crumbles apart, and with it, Marina’s hopes for their future. Now someone is trying to kill him. Marina will protect James, no matter what. Even if it means opening her eyes to a truth so terrible that she may not survive it. At least not as the girl she once was.

All Our Yesterdays is a wrenching, brilliantly plotted story of fierce love, unthinkable sacrifice, and the infinite implications of our every choice.


My Thoughts
My rating: 4 of 5 stars



The blurb hints at it and you can likely predict who is who and how they all connect, but in the meantime? This book was everything awesome.

I want to use some other word than love, but frankly it’s what I’m feeling right now. I love that we’re dropped right into the thick of things. I also love how there are two sides being told at once and I also love how we see things collide. But I love love love how you think one person is one thing only to find something different, like girl-insecure turns out to be more. Or that being the good guy with good intentions sometimes isn’t enough.

Mostly, I love how it’s so action packed with one thing then another thing then yet another thing happening. It’s a movie in your head, people. I feel that the effect that Tempest was trying to attain is what ALL OUR YESTERDAY has accomplished. But where the former got side tracked by the love story, this one deals with everything else. Why? Perhaps because the love story’s already been dealt with, rather here they’ve moved on (hell, made a mad dash) toward the meatier bits that me excited then excited some more.

So, we’re plopped in the thick of it, right? The background is not that clear but we get the gist of it. How they’re on a mission to settle things before things need settling. We hardly see the big and bad looming behind them, but we know it’s there. We barely deal with the in’s and out’s of the time travel, either. Yet despite that lack in detail, this was a damned fine. Details like those were extra (lovely extra’s, mind you) to the action punch.punch.punch going on here. it’s crazy how fast things were going , and each time I thought THE THING was going to happen… well:



It got me excited, frustrated then excited again…and sometimes gloat-y each time a hunch proved right. (and while there many instances of the last , would I consider this book predictable? Hell no.) Over all, I’m impressed with it’s a different take on something you think is old hat. Time travel. Yes. Big bad police state? That too, but none of that’s the focus. It’s about doing the right thing before said decision needs be made. Also, the way the way the story is told impressed. How we’ve two sets to contend with AND THEN how these two sets collide (because collide they do). Mainly it’s how they collide and the before the same that had my heart racing and has me currently all a-grin.

Much thanks to DIANNE @ Oops! I Read A Book Again! for lending me her ARC!




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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Reckless Abandon by Andrea Randall

Reckless Abandon (November Blue, #2)
Good Reads Summary
Reckless Abandon by Andrea Randall

This is the second book in the November Blue series.

November Harris is lost. After a failed romance with musician Bo Cavanaugh, Ember is left struggling to regain her true self. The problem is, Bo won’t go away and Ember's stance is firm—she doesn't want him back.

Adrian Turner, Ember's ex-boyfriend-turned confidant, is patient with her heartbreak, but he can't hold back his own feelings forever.

As she sorts through her past, in an effort to plan a solid future, Ember will find that sometimes even the best laid plans bow to the soul's desire for reckless abandon.


My Thoughts
My rating: 2 of 5 stars


When she wasn't talking in metaphors, this was OK. Yet just when I thought it was going the right direction, there's be another bit of drama come kicking them on collective asses. In a word: DRAMA, overall though this was... sometimes... not bad.

Sometimes, it was just like the the first novel; cringe-worthy comparisons, over the top descriptions that made little sense to me. Really, am I the only one recalling the first book with its "if square had a flavor"? Well, this sequel has moments of its own that rival that one. I think there was a line that went "NO VACANCY signs in her eyes for the [me]..." I snort-laughed (I really did.)

But then, there would be those other moments of them making sense in how flawed they were. This was leagues better than the first in that department, especially as I consider her being real in the faults she had. On one hand, she's ready to call others out on their mistakes; yet for a lot of this is her sticking her head in the sand heedless to what's obvious to everyone else.

And what's obvious? She loves him. And he has screwed up. (Note that I couldn't recall what the big to do was in the first book; the main thing I recall was all those embarrassing descriptions of his jaw and her music and their love... and gag me. now. please.) But here, we have them dealing (or not) with the outcome of whatever had happened in the first book. So them scrambling around and making  the mess a bigger one, was interesting (yes, frustrating) as is obvious by me flipping through this as quickly as I did.





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Monday, June 10, 2013

Creepy and Maud by Dianne Touchell

Creepy and MaudGood Reads Summary
Creepy and Maud by Dianne Touchell

Hilarious and heartbreaking, Creepy & Maud charts the relationship between two social misfits, played out in the space between their windows.

Creepy is a boy who watches from the shadows keenly observing and caustically commentating on human folly.

Maud is less certain. A confused girl with a condition that embarrasses her parents and assures her isolation.

Together Creepy and Maud discover something outside their own vulnerability — each other’s. But life is arbitrary; and loving someone doesn’t mean you can save them.

Creepy & Maud is a blackly funny and moving first novel that says; ‘You’re ok to be as screwed up as you think you are and you’re not alone in that.’


My Thoughts
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
  Love is sort of creepy. When you fall in love, you presuppose all sorts of things about the person. You superimpose all kinds of ideals and fantasies on them. You create all manner of unrealistic, untenable, unsatisfiable criteria for that person, automatically guaranteeing their failure and your heartbreak. And what do we call it? Romance. Now that’s creepy.
Creepy went from intelligent to inappropriate to unexpectedly hilarious. Maud went from present to sad to real then sad again. You’d think a big gap exists between the two, but they’re both just different. He watches her and in doing so falls for her; it’s by watching her that he knows how non-perfect she was. I love the blurb and how romantic can be creepy, because that’s Creepy... he’s creepy. He says right sounding things, but does whatever he pleases anyway. Plus, he’s aware of all of her, drinking behind the doll house, bald spots and hair pulling, the tendency for her wrong thing-wrong time, yet falls for her just the same. There’s a truth there… somewhere.

Still, it’s a different feeling novel, and the two of them are, I want to say ‘quirky,’ but I won’t. They’re both something else. I will say it’s Creepy’s intelligent observations, unexpected inappropriate funnies that got me to like him and that’s even with him watching her! And where his voice is a mix of funny, intelligent and yes, creepy; hers is a bit darker, and at times lyrical in the telling. Yet, the gap between them was not a big one, as they’re both different from the usual. So, he sees her, watches her and so doing falls for her; she is aware of what he’s doing and a relationship develops.

I enjoyed him that as he saw one thing from her, he’d recall just one other thing. And with each bit, it’s clear how differently he considered things… except while it’s lovely/odd, his voice, hers is sad yet real. Yet, there’s really no big drama from either their sides. That as he falls for her, and as she pulls her hair, they’re both still living with parents whose marriages aren’t perfect, they’re both still going to a school that’s limiting, they’re both still living opposite each other. Bottom line, everything Creepy has to say about it and them, it’s all a mix of accurate and truthful, sad yet funny.

Thank you, DIANNE @ Oops! I Read a Book Again


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thankyouthankyouthankyou,dianne!





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Sunday, June 9, 2013

Impostor (Variants, #1) by Susanne Winnacker

Impostor (Variants, #1)
Good Reads Summary
Impostor by Susanne Winnacker

Can Tessa pose as Madison . . . and stop a killer before it’s too late? 

Tessa is a Variant, able to absorb the DNA of anyone she touches and mimic their appearance. Shunned by her family, she’s spent the last two years training with the Forces with Extraordinary Abilities, a secret branch of the FBI. When a serial killer rocks a small town in Oregon, Tessa is given a mission: she must impersonate Madison, a local teen, to find the killer before he strikes again.

Tessa hates everything about being an impostor—the stress, the danger, the deceit—but loves playing the role of a normal girl. As Madison, she finds friends, romance, and the kind of loving family she’d do anything to keep. Amid action, suspense, and a ticking clock, this super-human comes to a very human conclusion: even a girl who can look like anyone struggles the most with being herself.


My Thoughts 
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Moments of this could be so frustrating because outside her taking on someone else’s body, this is really just another book of a girl who doesn’t fit in. So, frustration? There were many: I hated how she kept on droning on and on and on about what a hotty Alec was. My frustration’s made worse by the moments of clarity on her part when she’d see how she could be (pathetic?). Plus, there’s also no real explanation to why Alec was the way he was. When it came to her he’d be hot then cold then hot… and why again? Then there’s the best friend goading her on one direction then the opposite nary a moment of her saying Stop. Think. Consider. But really, its the girl loves boy and everyone knows it drama that was the worst.

That aside it’s their abilities and what they do with it where things got better. I like how they’re all X Men, but instead of it being school of a different sort… we have them doing something with what they’re taught because for her it’s a baptism of fire of sorts. And what’s she found herself in? A small town that’s shocked by one murder after another, there she’s to become one Madison.

It’s here that the little dramas of this girl’s life becomes the focus of things; less about catching the bad guy and more about figuring out how this girl fits into the bigger picture… but the closer Tessa looked, the clearer it was that the Maddy’s not just little small town girl after all. Suffice to say, there’s more than one discovery Tessa wishes she had not made.

I just wish we had more though on the baddies and their why’s. One bad guy in this one and what he could do had me taken aback because the reveals on his end had me scratching my head asking, ‘Is that all?’ All those other people and what could have been their roles… had me wondering more too… as there’s very little reasoning why they were suspects or whatnot. Then when one thing happened then another, everything fell too neatly into place... and I wasn’t buying it. It’s the brother (not brother) who was the most interesting to me… otherwise, this was OK sometimes, but frustrating in others.

2.5/5



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Saturday, June 8, 2013

Dance of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin

Dance of the Red Death (Masque of the Red Death, #2)
Good Reads Summary
Dance of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin

Bethany Griffin continues the journey of Araby Worth in Dance of the Red Death—the sequel to her teen novel Masque of the Red Death.

In Dance of the Red Death, Araby’s world is in shambles—betrayal, death, disease, and evil forces surround her. She has no one to trust. But she finds herself and discovers that she will fight for the people she loves, and for her city.

Her revenge will take place at the menacing masked ball, though it could destroy her and everyone she loves…or it could turn her into a hero.

With a nod to Edgar Allan Poe, Bethany Griffin concludes her tragic and mysterious Red Death series with a heroine that young adult readers will never forget.


My Thoughts
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
*Possible spoilers for the first book*

I was lost the first moments in and could not recall anything past someone having betrayed someone else in the first one. I just couldn’t put a name to the doer, but it all fell in place eventually. How her world’s wrecked and she’s fallen from grace as the scientist’s daughter to someone less; how she’s in love with one boy but scheming  with another; how both boys in her life are more than they let on; and  finally, how they are all trying to right what’s wrong where they are and how things are.

The big draw: The world. How it’s so specifically laid out with each detail making it clear what a terrifying world it was she lived in. Death is what’s usual and we have no doubt about it with images of blood, oozing sores, and piles of bodies littering the place met at every possible moment.

The bigger draw: Araby, how she is less the naïve, clueless girl she was in the first.  Her struggling in all she was feeling, justified in being angry but sometimes going back to why that was: it’s made her feel older, more thinking, and more cautious. The mixed feeling she was having made little sense to me, but had her standing out too… because she wasn’t one track angry girl all the time. Basically, she wasn’t stuck in who I thought she was.

Now, I wish the same could be said for the rest of them. Will, especially… I hoped we’d have more than his “why”, more than him being guilt ridden-boy trying to right his wrongs. He could have been more here…instead he melded with the background and was more the backdrop for her angry moments than anything else. Elliot too could have been more… his kind of single minded focus was something different until he’d be with Araby then he’d turn into another one of those YA male leads in love with the  girl for reasons unknown.

So, what’s this got going for it? Chilling descriptions of a world gone crazy, a lead who’s grown (to an extent), some truly terrifying moments eased some by other sweet-funny moments between characters that click. It could have been more, they all could have been more… but as it stands this a good conclusion to a different, and yes, interesting duo.

THANK YOU, M




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Friday, June 7, 2013

Obsession by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Obsession
Good Reads Summary
Obsession by Jennifer L. Armentrout

He’s arrogant, domineering, and... To. Die. For.

Hunter is a ruthless killer. And the Department of Defense has him firmly in their grasp, which usually doesn’t chafe too badly because he gets to kill bad guys. Most of the time he enjoys his job. That is, until he’s saddled with something he’s never had to do before: protect a human from his mortal enemy.

Serena Cross didn’t believe her best friend when she claimed to have seen the son of a powerful senator turn into something... unnatural. Who would? But then she witnesses her friend’s murder at the hands of what can only be an alien, thrusting her into a world that will kill to protect their secret.

Hunter stirs Serena’s temper and her lust despite their differences. Soon he’s doing the unthinkable—breaking the rules he’s lived by, going against the government to keep Serena safe. But are the aliens and the government the biggest threats to Serena’s life… or is it Hunter?


My Thoughts
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

In the LUX, the last I read there was a douche and a girl with a tendency to push said douche away (rightly so, IMO). Here we’ve some older leads and steamier moments, but essentially the same thing. We do get to see how the other side was coping here. So recall, Lux and Arum; one light and the other dark, both on earth worlds away from wherever they came; plus, they’re mortal enemies. The first books have LUX as the good guys… well, mostly the good guys. But it’s also introduced government secret programs and allies of the unexpected variety. Interesting...especially when the last book ended the way it did (hint: cliffy!)

OBSESSION introduces us to another douche type lead. And oh, the arrogance! The sad thing is I think that’s the only thing going for Hunter… unlike the kid in the first series who had moments of funny to balance things out a little; HUNTER is simply full of himself. There’s a girl of course and this girl made for some interesting WTF is she saying moments, but them together: wowza, is all.

Beyond that, we have a Bodyguard set up of him being the last place the baddies would look. And her being reluctantly attracted to his dark mysterious ways… that is when she didn’t want to bash his head in because of his arrogance. There were some interesting moments but truly it’s a pretty standard set up of opposites attracting, an attraction that’s further fueled by (a) a-hole I don’t give a flying fuck about anything outside myself and (b) her… um, her… geez, there’s really not much to her is there? It’s all wrong place, wrong time for her… otherwise, there’s nothing that remarkable to her.

This was just OK..




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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller

Where the Stars Still Shine
Good Reads Summary
Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller

Stolen as a child from her large and loving family, and on the run with her mom for more than ten years, Callie has only the barest idea of what normal life might be like. She's never had a home, never gone to school, and has gotten most of her meals from laundromat vending machines. Her dreams are haunted by memories she’d like to forget completely. But when Callie’s mom is finally arrested for kidnapping her, and Callie’s real dad whisks her back to what would have been her life, in a small town in Florida, Callie must find a way to leave the past behind. She must learn to be part of a family. And she must believe that love--even with someone who seems an improbable choice--is more than just a possibility.

Trish Doller writes incredibly real teens, and this searing story of love, betrayal, and how not to lose your mind will resonate with readers who want their stories gritty and utterly true.


My Thoughts
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It’s a mash up of Dessen and Elizabeth Scott of unexpected sweet family moments for someone with baggage galore except this read older, especially in the romance department. But first, to the good. She’s torn between what she’s known for such a long time: not happy but not broken over where she finds herself. I like the whole thing of her being who she is: loyal but angry, especially as she knows who’s been doing the saving all along. I like that she knew what she could do and not do and there were moments too, where she’d question where she should be, for whom and why.

These conflicting sides: that she wouldn’t be who she was and where she was if not for the decisions of others, but then she’s given a choice… and boom: me, sucked in because while some of this was good, a whole lot more was different. Sometimes she’d be all old soul, other times she’d be little girl lost, or other times still, she’d be both. She’s no innocent, growing up, raising herself has done that… but moments of this make her innocent because she doesn’t know how to be like the rest of them. That she’s different is truth and some of her choices had me fearing the path she was going… but she went anyway. Then there’s the guy whose connection to her had me questioning the set up a little more, because while she wasn’t like the kids her age, she still was… a kid, I mean. And he… wasn’t baggage free either.

So them together, did I want them together or not? Only then I see that they’re nothing that simple. Nothing about her and about the people she’d found herself with was simple… And darn it, I really liked this one even if I cant say that I enjoyed it because moments had me wondering at what the heck she was getting herself into, other moments still had me tearing up for her, no, for all of them.

This is how she’s her own woman, not kid. First, there’s how she read like a kid in the not knowing and the being unsure, but then there’s another aspect where she’d turn things around in doing what worked for her. Good contrast that make for a lead who’s more than interesting.





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The Hazards of Skinny Dipping by Alyssa Rose Ivy

The Hazards of Skinny Dipping
Good Reads Summary
The Hazards of Skinny Dipping by Alyssa Rose Ivy

This isn't a deep book about first loves or self-discovery. If you want a book like that, I'd be happy to recommend one, but I don't have that kind of story to tell. Instead my story is about rash decisions and finding out that your dream guy is bad in bed. It's the story of when I finally went skinny dipping, and how my life was never the same again. Oh, and it's also the story of my freshman year of college and realizing Mr. Right might have been there all along.

My Thoughts
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

That it’s too aware of the times is my biggest problem with this one. How can I not feel thus with mentions of it not being a YA story despite it’s YA introduction (The Hazards of Skinny Dipping, right?) nor its funnier moments of a guy wanting to be the dom and the girl not wanting to be dominated. It’s aware of what’s popular and what’s out there. My feelings for this are the same when considering all those other books that poke fun at sparkly vampires and loves that consume.

The story itself is pretty straightforward: girl finally gets together with the guy she’s been pining after, when suddenly in the new place with these new folks, so many other options reveal themselves. But first, let’s consider the whole crew of men drooling over her. They all say she’s fiery/spunky/different or something of that variety, and to be fair she was all that. Except, you know, THREE men… or was it four? It’s so YA, more so as we consider that there’s really not that much to her… or to them, for that matter.

There’s added complication of the boys being brothers by blood or otherwise. Or the fact that one of the main contenders read absolutely perfect while the other read completely inappropriate. Really, were was the doubt at all? And she knew it too… how completely ‘lacking’ a certain someone was, though I have to say, it’s refreshing to encounter a dude who’s not ‘all that’. Then we get to Mr. Perfect, who read TOO GOOD in every aspect so much so that he bored me! No one was winning in this book for me! Where the girl was all fire and sass, the other guy a domineering and a no talent ass, the other guy was too much of a knight in shining armor for me (even the guy’s flaws felt like the right kind of flaws!)

I simply found myself wanting something to make them more than I’d pegged them.




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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Forever of Ella and Micha (The Secret, #2) by Jessica Sorensen

The Forever of Ella and Micha (The Secret, #2)
Good Reads Summary
The Forever of Ella and Micha by Jessica Sorensen

Ella and Micha have survived tragedy and heartbreak. When they're together, anything seems possible. But now they are thousands of miles apart, and managing their long distance relationship will put their love to the test.

Ella is back at school, trying hard not worry so much about her future. But with her father in and out of rehab, she's having a hard time making it through the days. All she wants is Micha by her side, but she refuses to let her problems get in the way of his dreams.

Micha spends his days touring the country with his band, but deep down he knows something is missing. Being away from Ella is harder than he thought it would be. He wants her closer to him-needs her with him. But he won't ask her to leave college, just to be with him.

The few moments they do spend together are intense and passionate, but it only makes it more difficult when they have to part. They know they want to be together, but is wanting something enough to get them to their forever?(less)


My Thoughts
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Oi, the ANGST!

I managed to get passed each mention of him ‘concealing himself over her.’
(I mean, really say what you mean and stop being fussy about it.)

 I even managed to get over each time she’d ‘wrap the length of legs around his waist’. (Seriously, you can even count how many times that very phrase is used, if you want to.)

But what I couldn’t get passed was her waxing poetic over what a sad girl she was and how very damaging she was for him. Or him, likewise waxing poetic over how his Pretty Girl was all fragile and bla bla.

Overall this was just…OK, and sometimes not even that.




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Monday, June 3, 2013

The Rules for Disappearing by Ashley Elston

The Rules for Disappearing
Good Reads Summary
The Rules for Disappearing by Ashley Elston

She’s been six different people in six different places: Madeline in Ohio, Isabelle in Missouri, Olivia in Kentucky . . . But now that she’s been transplanted to rural Louisiana, she has decided that this fake identity will be her last.

Witness Protection has taken nearly everything from her. But for now, they’ve given her a new name, Megan Rose Jones, and a horrible hair color. For the past eight months, Meg has begged her father to answer one question: What on earth did he do – or see – that landed them in this god-awful mess? Meg has just about had it with all the Suits’ rules — and her dad’s silence. If he won’t help, it’s time she got some answers for herself.

But Meg isn’t counting on Ethan Landry, an adorable Louisiana farm boy who’s too smart for his own good. He knows Meg is hiding something big. And it just might get both of them killed. As they embark on a perilous journey to free her family once and for all, Meg discovers that there’s only one rule that really matters — survival.


My Thoughts
My rating: 3 of 5 stars


I think the romance was a needless addition here because darn it when we’ve a girl and family on the run, taking on new identities and hiding in plain sight…should all those not suffice? The outcome of it all was something I was enjoying. The craziness their situation brought out in her and all those around her, the paranoia she was feeling, and even the bitchiness and the sullen moments  the situation brought out made sense to me. So why the sudden addition of a boy and how cute he was, huh?

The first half was solid given all the things I’ve already pointed out. Take teenager and mold tell her to be someone else. Do this more than once. Step back. There’s bound to be some interesting moments to follow. And indeed they did… especially in how they all coped (didn’t cope) by themselves, with each other, and then for each other. How she reacts is so different from how the rest of them  because where she’s pissed off and wondering, her mother’s drowning everything and everyone (herself included) out, her father’s disappeared, and her sister’s simply lost. It all made sense. The first half had me mad for her then sometimes at her, ‘till discoveries are made and then I got a little lost.

It went from family drama in an unconventional set up to this mystery that didn’t quite add up for me. Plus teens to the rescue, hello? How many times have I wondered over why kids were doing the rescuing? At the same time, there’s teen romance to consider because suddenly she’s new girl and sticking out. So of course, there are mean girls and jocks as well as bad boys (but not quite) thrown in the mix.

It was a good start. I just it had kept on in that direction.




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Sunday, June 2, 2013

Our Song by Jordanna Fraiberg

Our Song
Good Reads Summary
Our Song by Jordanna Fraiberg

Olive Bell has spent her entire life in the beautiful suburb of Vista Valley, with a picture-perfect home, a loving family, and a seemingly perfect boyfriend. But after a near-fatal car accident, she’s haunted by a broken heart and a melody that she cannot place.

Then Olive meets Nick. He’s dark, handsome, mysterious . . . and Olive feels connected to him in a way she can’t explain. Is there such a thing as fate? The two embark on a whirlwind romance—until Nick makes a troubling confession.

Heartbroken, Olive pieces together what really happened the night of her accident and arrives at a startling revelation. Only by facing the truth can she uncover the mystery behind the song and the power of what it means to love someone.


My Thoughts
My rating: 2 of 5 stars


I am amazed, I tell you. Considering the number of times I wanted to call it quits over a lead who’s such a drag about herself and how she perceives others, I am truly amazed that I got passed all those little things that bugged me about her to finish this.

And it’s not really all that bad, too.Yes, maybe it is a bit too preachy and all claim yourself, boys suck, and be yourself, plus the rah-rah-rahing  for her by her BFF, (who, by the way, was just so typically YA-BFF-y  for various reasons, for my liking. All confident and out there, everything that our girl-lead was, of course… not.)  And yes, maybe even said girl-lead was a bit too teenage typical in the ‘my mama doesn’t get it department.’ And yes, maybe it’s a bit too cutesy-but that’s been done before with the precocious little sibling easing her otherwise terribly depressing existence. But it wasn’t all terribly bad… simply ‘meh,’ you know?

Of course, when she wasn’t meh, good God could she be infuriating! So, yes I have amazed myself in finishing this. And if I can get passed how little she thinks of herself, passed how bitchy she could get, passed how all about the boy she was, passed all that and get to the good bits of her seeing herself, realizing she’s a friend that mattered, and seeing her family for what they’re worth, well so can you.

I think it’s how she labeled herself that infuriated me the most, but things did change… to the point where she considers herself more than just ‘Girlfriend’ and that owns the truth that she go could outside the box others had put her in (that she’d put herself in?) Anyway, so what if said change was brought out because of another boy? So what if I felt like she was reverting to what she was (that is, a girl all about the boy)? OK. So, maybe I didn’t actually love OUR SONG all that much, but the thing is: I didn’t hate it either.




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Saturday, June 1, 2013

Stealing Harper by Molly McAdams

Stealing Harper (Taking Chances, #2)
Good Reads Summary
Stealing Harper by Molly McAdams

Chase Grayson has never been interested in having a relationship that lasts longer than it takes for him and his date to get dressed again. But then he stumbles into a gray-eyed girl whose innocence pours off her, and everything changes. From the minute Harper opens her mouth to let him know just how much he disgusts her, he's hooked.

But a princess deserves a Prince Charming who can make her dreams come true. Not a guy who can turn her life into a nightmare.

All good intentions go out the window when Harper starts to fall for the guy Chase has come to view as a brother. He wanted to protect her by keeping her away, but he can’t stand to see her with anyone else, and he’ll do anything to make her his. But when it comes down to Harper choosing between the two, will Chase have the strength to step back from the girl who has become his whole world if it means she’ll be happy?

Lines will be crossed. Friendships will be put to the test. And hearts will be shattered.


My Thoughts
here's a first: no stars.

i blame myself really. i mean, i did hate the first one, didn't i? why i picked this one at all when the gr synopsis clearly states it's the same story just told from one of the douches' perspective, i still don't know. (i hate myself, perhaps?)

it's not like the ending was going to change. (and it's not like it was the ending in the first book that had me wanting my hours back to begin with...though from what i've gathered plenty feel it was an ending that should not have been.)

anyway, if you've read the first, i need not go over it here. if you haven't, don't. i'm kidding! (or am i?) pick up any other book of this type and you'll get the gist: new girl. no experience. bad boy. love. lust. sweat. drama. drama. baggage. drama. crazy declarations of love. maybe some growling from the male lead. only here, double up on the growling alpha types.

have i gained  a deeper understanding of who chase is and the things that make him tick. uhm... NOPE. if anything, now i'm not just questioning what the boys were seeing in harper... i'm also questioning what the hell she was seeing in him! this pov's opened my eyes even more to what a douche he was. so the good... the good.. the good... hmm: double portions of chase? personally, that isn't such a positive, as he's turned out to be double portions of douche.



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