Thursday, July 25, 2013

Some Quiet Place by Kelsey Sutton

Some Quiet Place
Good Reads Summary
Some Quiet Place by Kelsey Sutton

I can’t weep. I can’t fear. I’ve grown talented at pretending.

Elizabeth Caldwell doesn’t feel emotions . . . she sees them. Longing, Shame, and Courage materialize around her classmates. Fury and Resentment appear in her dysfunctional home. They’ve all given up on Elizabeth because she doesn’t succumb to their touch. All, that is, save one—Fear. He’s intrigued by her, as desperate to understand the accident that changed Elizabeth’s life as she is herself.

Elizabeth and Fear both sense that the key to her past is hidden in the dream paintings she hides in the family barn. But a shadowy menace has begun to stalk her, and try as she might, Elizabeth can barely avoid the brutality of her life long enough to uncover the truth about herself. When it matters most, will she be able to rely on Fear to save her?(less)


My Thoughts
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

There’s a dream like feel to the story both in her present and her past. It left me feeling confused countless of times, so that now I feel like this could have been great had it not been so confusing but also feeling like it was an excellent read for the very same reason! The more I think on it the clearer it is that that its different vibe is its strength:

From Elements to Emotions and how they all play a part in her reality… a reality completely her own. What is she exactly? And why her almost easy acceptance of things? There’s that odd split again of her taking as fact the odd and out of this world and all that drew me but baffled me, had me wondering while plodding on. I say plodding on because point here were the same thing again and again and…  and there I was forcing myself to the next chapter at which point something odd for me but real for her would happen. There’d be Fear or Courage or Love or whatever else that made her life “different” so that I was half in, half out. Out, because it was so darned confusing, but IN, for the same reason. (Am I definition of contrary?)

So here we have this unreal dreamy quality in a present that had me doubting if she was saying what she was… and a past that’s dream-like as well, (but more nightmarish, really.) Still, I feel that all that could have been great, but things did get a bit much at times. Too much of the “different” and belief already stretched is pulled taut… except if I’m being really honest here: it wasn’t really the “different” that I had a problem with. It’s the brief foray into YA la-la land, of boy-meets-girl and what’s that? The sound of her woes being over. But it’s a brief stint… a blip really in this otherwise completely different feeling read. (OK… not really a blip if we consider how there’s someone key who avoids death-by-truck-crushing… echoing that scene from that other book that I don’t really want to compare this one to.)

Anyway, the different: first the creatures of her world, then the paintings that made no sense, then people of the ordinary, plus the more ordinary types of sadness: of a family that’s there, but not there (worse: not wanting to be there!) then the more ordinary bits of boy loves girl. Minus the last: this was pretty good… the girl especially is a breath of fresh air with all her why’s. Why me? What’s here? Why the attraction? She’s self-aware at times too self-aware in fact.

Reading this was an exercise, as each reveal turned things around; I was struggling to see what this or that stood for if they in fact did stand for anything… because the girl sometime was disconnected.. Yet I like that about her (at least, I think I do.) It’s all real for her, but not for the rest; her reality’s peopled by the natural but odd of Element and Emotion… of a different sort.

> Good stuff as it reads like a mix of what makes Rebecca Lim’s MERCY books so darned impressive and what had me confused but enthralled in ANOTHER LITTLE PIECE.



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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Captive in the Dark by C.J. Roberts AKA: Not my Usual Tyoe of Read :)

Captive in the Dark (The Dark Duet, #1)Captive in the Dark by C.J. Roberts

My rating: 2 of 5 stars



  “This isn’t a romance.
You’re not a damsel in distress.
I’m not the handsome prince come to save you.”


No shit, Sherlock.

Lately, about the only thing that’s managed to keep my exhausted brain’s attention is smut. (Why is anyone’s guess) So, going from my last read of sweet sexy smut (if smut can be sweet) in McKenna’s X book to this one… well, I don’t know what to feel exactly. Pissed off for the girl? Terrified for her? Hating myself for continuing on despite each sick-sad thing going on?

DARKNESS has left me split because here I am feeling the need to pick up book two… even if this one was Messed Up, yo. This book is dark, the things she’s put through rivaling both The Tied Man and Fifty Shades of Shit in consequence (side note: I’d not realized the amount of smut I’ve read till I typed that out…) Yet, still parts of wonder if a FIVE STARS is warranted here. Until if course the more of me screams, ‘WHA???!’ in the negative. So obviously in the negative because thing got disturbing very quickly with each thing that had me going “poor girl”  for her… whether she’s rendered  ‘poor girl’ by his hand or her own thoughts.

So, half of me is DYING to know what’s to follow. This is no romance, but I wonder: do things ease up a bit? Does he get what he deserves? Is there a big comeuppance for one, some, or all of them… and more realistically: is the last even possible? Do I want to know? Then there’s a small part of me asking why bother?  Because…This. Was. Messed. Up.

So, folks… clue me in: do I want to read the next book?




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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

After Hours by Cara McKenna... AKA: Not My Usual Type of Read :)

After HoursAfter Hours by Cara McKenna

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


I think I’ve stumbled upon my first romatica… unless erotica can be sweet… then this would be the latter that: sweet-smut. Who knew domineering guy could have me singing a different tune, thinking him sweet? I was pleasantly surprised by that contrast. There, of course, is the sexy times here, some dirty, some sweet… the bulk of it steamy, but it’s the story that pushed things along here. It’s the story that had me flipping pages through the wee hours at night with barely four hours of sleep despite.

Why? The lead reads so normal! 28, sort of free, figuring out her place and feeling that if the place she’s at isn’t… then other things that might be open to her… or was she that? And then him~ he’s not so normal at all. Icy, piercing stares blab la bla, tough guy who wants want he wants and gets it except he’s not juts that as she eventually learns. It’s her trying to figure things out: herself, her life, him and if there was even a “them” at all that had her feeling more and more normal with each thought/ doubt/question of hers.

Those little internal monologues on her part, on what to say and what not to say, on what to do and what not to do? Funny because what he’d voice out he’d echo though not acknowledge: first him pegging her as scrappy to his touch, and her doing the same thing but feeling resentful for it. This is a different type of story that I didn’t expect to like as much as I do now. Not bad for the sexy times, but a great deal more interesting given the way she was with herself and then with him.




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Monday, July 22, 2013

The Redemption of Callie and Kayden by Jessica Sorensen

The Redemption of Callie and Kayden (The Coincidence, #2)
Good Reads Summary
The Redemption of Callie and Kayden by Jessica Sorensen

The dark secret Kayden has kept hidden for years is out. Worse, he's facing charges for battery. The only way he stands a chance against the charges is if Callie speaks up, something he'll never ask her to do.

Callie knows Kayden is going back to his dark place and desperately wants to save him. But saving him means admitting her secrets aloud. Callie and Kayden are stronger than they think, especially when they're together. Together they move forward, face their demons, and finally start to heal from their traumatic pasts.(less)


My Thoughts
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Am I remembering the awesomeness of the first book wrong?

Because this sequel has a lot of what I’ve come to dislike in NA… namely, The Drama. Granted, the first one also had that but in that one it was offset by two characters that made sense despite both their dark pasts. The degree of drama here though was almost too much. If you’ve read this author’s Micha and Ella books, the pair here read almost exactly like the pair in that one. Only, reversed with the guy here taking on Ella’s role and the girl here acting a little bit like both Micha and Ella.

I loved the first book despite both their drama because they were living anyway. Yet, it seems my memory’s played a trick on me  because despite the identity in their names, these aren’t Callie and Kayden I was looking forward to!

This isn’t the book I was looking forward to: too much drama made worse by the too many instances of one or the other running away because one or the other had done something a stupid/selfish/selflessless thing.

Blegh.




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Sunday, July 21, 2013

Elite by Rachel Van Dyken

Elite
Good Reads Summary
Elite by Rachel Van Dyken

For Tracey Rooks, life with her grandparents on a Wyoming farm has always been simple. But after her grandmother's death, Tracey is all her grandfather has. So when Eagle Elite University announces its annual scholarship lottery, Tracey jumps at the opportunity to secure their future and enters. She isn't expecting much-but then she wins. And life as she knows it will never be same . . .

The students at Eagle Elite are unlike any she's ever met . . . and they refuse to make things easy for her. There's Nixon, gorgeous, irresistible, and leader of a group that everyone fears: The Elect. Their rules are simple. 1. Do not touch The Elect. 2. Do not look at The Elect. 3. Do not speak to The Elect. No matter how hard she tries to stay away, The Elect are always around her and it isn't long until she finds out the reason why they keep their friends close and their enemies even closer. She just didn't realize she was the enemy -- until it was too late.


My Thoughts
My rating: 1 of 5 stars


Well, hello thar! This is me, playing catch up on all those books I’d read but haven’t had the time/energy/focus to put my thoughts down on. I simply wish I had something good to talk about right now, because this? This was … was not good. (At all.) 

Mistake #1:

The blurb says Elite is something, something meets The Godfather. It’s something I DEMAND someone TAKE BACK! In no way is such a comparison at all merited; Pacino’s character is rolling in his grave contemplating zombie-hood to teach someone a lesson. Because no, JUST NO - not even close.

Mistake # 2,3,4, so on and so forth...

Then there’s the matter of IT not being that new in any respect. Another NA with a douche lead who blew hot then cold then arctic. Another ‘new girl’  doing a lot of crying and mooning. And doing the exact opposite of what she was thinking. Plus the “families” in this one… the way things were written felt like something more paranormal was coming instead we have this Romeo Juliet thing that’s stretched across generations and even doubled up. Even all those secrets kept for the same length suddenly being revealed in the most dramatic/ annoying way.

I just wasn’t buying it… not the guy, not the girl, not the school and its rules.. not anything really.

So, perhaps my first mistake was picking this one up?

Thank you anyway, netgalley!



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Friday, July 12, 2013

You Look Different in Real Life by Jennifer Castle

You Look Different in Real Life
Good Reads Summary
You Look Different in Real Life by Jennifer Castle

For the rest of the world, the movies are entertainment. For Justine, they're real life.

The premise was simple: five kids, just living their lives. There'd be a new movie about them every five years, starting in kindergarten. But no one could have predicted what the cameras would capture. And no one could have predicted that Justine would be the star.

Now sixteen, Justine doesn't feel like a star anymore. In fact, when she hears the crew has gotten the green light to film Five at Sixteen, all she feels is dread. The kids who shared the same table in kindergarten have become teenagers who hardly know one another. And Justine, who was so funny and edgy in the first two movies, feels like a disappointment.

But these teens have a bond that goes deeper than what's on film. They've all shared the painful details of their lives with countless viewers. They all know how it feels to have fans as well as friends. So when this latest movie gives them the chance to reunite, Justine and her costars are going to take it. Because sometimes, the only way to see yourself is through someone else's eyes.

Smart, fresh, and frequently funny, You Look Different in Real Life is a piercing novel about life in an age where the lines between what's personal and what's public aren't always clear.


My Thoughts
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars


Dear Jennifer Castle,

How’d you do it?

The stuff in here has me flashing back to my teenage self. You’ve got me thinking you must have been in my head back then. Because despite the subject of reality TV stars being far from my reality (anyone’s reality, actually,) you’ve managed to make them all feel real.

Justine especially, echoes so many of the  thoughts that at one point or other were mine. Thoughts on longing, on guilt, on dissatisfaction, on being burdened, and even on being resentful for the last, then the back to guilt- a hop skip and jump away from the LONGING, yet again! Yes, it’s the makings of a cycle of feels that the lead is seems to be stuck in!   --- Seriously though, how’d you do it, Jennifer, getting in my head way back when like you have? It’s a feeling that’s doubled up given the parallels between her and a certain other member of the cast.

So, you’ve made them all feel real despite the set up of reality TV of kids growing up, becoming whoever they were to become at five, then eleven, and now sixteen. There’s that question on how the expectations of their audience shaped them, instead of the film simply being a platform to show them becoming whoever they were to become.   --- Ponder with me here, people because it’s things like these that revealed the surprising depth in this book.  Depth, which I loved.

Who’s Justine become? Who have they all become, really? Better who are they becoming? What’s their story? All these not-so-little things had the realness of her feelings jump out at me DESPITE the unreal-ness of the situation. The “this is my life now” dissatisfaction that she was feeling is the emotion that struck true the most for me; only instead of that, Past-Me would have been wondering “is this the best there is?”  --- Again, how’d you do it, Jennifer Castle, take this unreal almost Hollywood feel set up, flip it, and make it feel so very, very real?

Sure, sometimes you went for the obvious -  like with that ending that’s one part cheese and another part “makes sense,” (given the parallels, yeah?)  or with Felix and the question of who he was (not), but then there's the rest of it of you bringing it back to the longing and the guilt and all those other feels that had to do with how Justine thought she knew them all (but not really… ) and how the reverse applied  with others knowing who she was (or thinking they did.) All the “knowing” and “not-knowing” between them, among them of each other and then of their respective selves… well, all that? I wasn’t expecting any of it. --- So, how’d you do it? Because I’m hoping you’re going to do it all again.


Unexpected fan,
Isa




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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Truly, Madly, Deadly by Hannah Jayne

Truly, Madly, Deadly
Good Reads Summary
Truly, Madly, Deadly by Hannah Jayne

Sawyer Dodd has it all. She's a star track athlete, choir soloist, and A-student. And her boyfriend is the handsome all-star Kevin Anderson. But behind the medals, prom pictures, and perfect smiles, Sawyer finds herself trapped in a controlling, abusive relationship with Kevin. When he dies in a drunk-driving accident, Sawyer is secretly relieved. She's free. Until she opens her locker and finds a mysterious letter signed by "an admirer" and printed with two simple words: "You're welcome."

My Thoughts
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Another short review on my part, in keeping with the notion that if you've got nothing nice to say, you might as well shush-up (up to a point, I suppose.) 

Truly, Madly, Deadly was OK. The pace was OK. The bits and pieces leading up to the reveal, so-so as well. BUT I feel it's missed out on some great possibilities, with that blurb that had me imagining flashbacks of her unhappiness contrasted to a present that's not quite the happy one either. Both are present, but not quite what I was wanting. Here there are mentions of what her past was like, but mostly it's her shoving back the unhappiness she's lived through, because mostly it's her still hiding her secret. In the mean time we've an odd mix of ordinary drama coinciding with scarier moments (moments. that's plural, just so we're clear.) So on one end, we've parental split, teetering grades, plus the even more typical YA new-boy interest. Then on the other, we've got "You're welcome's" from some stalker type waiting creepily in the wings.

That said, there's nothing 'different' here. (No matter how hard I wish there was!) It's all laid out, who she's going to suspect, what she's going to, what the next horror she's suffer will be. You can guess when and what now and all that... and that's the problem, isn't it? That there's really not that much different to this from other books of the same type. Or perhaps it's that there's something lacking here... something to give the mysterious stalker thing going on here its extra 'Oomph.' Or perhaps it's that there's too much of the annoying in all of them? Specifically, their refusal to let the girl get  in a word edgewise! (I'd have felt like I was coming unhinged, too!)

Overall, this was.. OK, but it was missing that something extra, so that I'm feeling 'Glad that's over' instead of wowed now that I'm done.



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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

The Distance Between Us
Good Reads Summary
The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

Seventeen-year-old Caymen Meyers studies the rich like her own personal science experiment, and after years of observation she’s pretty sure they’re only good for one thing—spending money on useless stuff, like the porcelain dolls in her mother’s shop.

So when Xander Spence walks into the store to pick up a doll for his grandmother, it only takes one glance for Caymen to figure out he’s oozing rich. Despite his charming ways and that he’s one of the first people who actually gets her, she’s smart enough to know his interest won’t last. Because if there’s one thing she’s learned from her mother’s warnings, it’s that the rich have a short attention span. But Xander keeps coming around, despite her best efforts to scare him off. And much to her dismay, she's beginning to enjoy his company.

She knows her mom can’t find out—she wouldn’t approve. She’d much rather Caymen hang out with the local rocker who hasn’t been raised by money. But just when Xander’s attention and loyalty are about to convince Caymen that being rich isn’t a character flaw, she finds out that money is a much bigger part of their relationship than she’d ever realized. And that Xander’s not the only one she should’ve been worried about.


My Thoughts
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


The Girl. HAS Sarcasm down to an art. As is, said fact was enough to have me more than like the girl. There’s more though like her being loyal and an all around good girl though not too goody-goody to have her seeming stick in the mud.

The Guy. IS the definition of cool. And smooth. What with the perceived beckoning and all, yes? (Have I mentioned smooth?)

Between them. IS gap made wider then wider still by a number of things like (a) mothers and their secrets, (b) these kids and their assumptions  PLUS a whole lot of one or the other jumping the gun because of the same!  (c) Some of the interesting ‘others’ complicate matters further though those really ought not be so complicated.

It’s all these complications that have me thinking adorbs (see if you can count how many times I use this word in reference to Cayen, Cayen and Alex or ayone in this book for that matter.) But by golly! This book is the definition of CUTE:

-See me grin as I recall his moment at the end.
-See me grin as I recall how perfect each exchange between them went. Each moment made better because the guy ‘got’ her and she, him. Theirs is a sweet connection that had me excited at the possibilities of ‘them;’ then frustrated at all those things that got in the way of the same.

-And yet again, witness how I’m still grinning over how their not so different set up has yielded such an utterly likeable pair. It’s not original: this rich boy/poorer girl divide, but the two of them take that trope and make something else out of it… and make me love them more for doing so! Her with her wit and him all suave, are not too obsessed over that bit.

But things got even cuter with each thing they’d do for the other. It’s obvious that theirs is more than instant attraction (though there’s that too) because there’s a building of something more between them with the both of them seeing the other in some way the object didn’t even consider. They bring out the new in each other and were adorable while at it!

(Seriously, make me stop grinning.)

****
Readers of all things cute and contemporary, this book's for you



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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Fractured Souls by Jessica Sorensen

Fractured Souls (Shattered Promises, #2)
Good Reads Summary
Fractured Souls by Jessica Sorensen

Gemma thought she had said her good-byes and had felt every possible emotion she could before her soul was detached again. Deep down inside, she hoped she’d never wake up from it because, in her eyes, life without emotion and memories isn’t worth living.

But she does wake up and discovers she can still feel and remember everything she experienced over the last few months. Alex is also telling her that everything’s okay, that he didn’t betray her, and that what she thought happened really didn’t.

Gemma isn’t sure if she can trust Alex, so she tries to keep her distance from him, even though the electric connection and her desire make it nearly impossible. The only person she can trust is Laylen, but even that becomes complicated when the lines of their friendship begin to blur.

While Gemma struggles with her emotions and relationships, she searches for her mother, entering a dangerous world of secrets, seduction, and evil. The further she digs into her mother’s secrets and past, the more she wonders what waits for her at the end of her search and if maybe some things are better left in the dark.


My Thoughts
 My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Must think positive thoughts. Must think positive thoughts. Must. Think. Posi....

I picked this one, didn't I? I had a reason for doing so, did I not? Was it not that I was in need of some quick fluffy read filled with sexy times? And since I'm not one to leave a series unfinished (despite having hated. loathed. abhorred the first), this one would do.

I thought so at least.

Except now, I'm ever so frustrated with this latest pick of mine. Name one thing that's been done to death in PNR and this sequel likely has it. Triangle. An asshole (Wait, there's more than one... and it's not just the guy either!) Plus sexy times at the most unexpected moment.

The good news is how he doesn't "subdue her with his body" too much this time around. I mean, he still does that... just not as often (Darn it! Is that good news after all?!) The bad news: she's gone from girl clueless to girl who can't make up her mind. More bad news: bad, bad things happen here. Assaults of all sort take place and no one really does anything. One guys says he's going to break so and so in half but nothing actually happens. She says she's going to do something... but nothin' really. There's a lot of the shocking and even a ton of the sexy but not one of those push anything forward really.



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Monday, July 8, 2013

Cornerstone (Cornerstone, #1) by Misty Provencher

Cornerstone (Cornerstone, #1)
Good Reads Summary
Cornerstone by Misty Provencher

Nalena Maxwell has been branded ‘The Waste’ at her new school, due to her mom's obsessive paper hoarding. Nalena desperately wants something to change in her life, but when she receives a sign (and it's the wrong dang one) inviting her into a mysterious, ancient community, too much changes. What she knew of her family, what she thought of her life and what she believed about her future, is no longer applicable. Seventeen years worth of family skeletons come crashing into Nalena's life and it is the boy...the one that smiles at her like he wants to hear everything she'll ever say...that already knows her powerful secrets. But it is only Nalena that can choose between protecting the life that is already crumbling beneath her feet and the one that might sacrifice everything she could ever have.

My Thoughts
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars


Rare is the book that has me declaring it Highly Original (See the caps AND the bold font?!) Though CORNERSTONE is not free of flaws, the good outweigh the bad in this one, so much so that I’m urging people in search of a different sort of YA to pick this one up.

It’s her world that’s bound to impress. How it’s clothed in mystery as well as how we learn what is alongside her. Her learning is frustrating and slow and it's made even more FRUSTRATING by the people around her, But what is revealed: Man, dare I repeat it myself? Different! 

That said there’s also the not-great standards of mean girls and popular boys. Plus sad girls and friends who aren’t really fiends. All that takes some of the shine from this away, but her world and the craziness it offers? Again: Different!

As an added bonus there’s the fact that the lead's a thinking one! I was LOVING her suspicion and her wariness of the change. ‘Till she wasn’t… because while she kept herself at a distance, there were other moments of her slipping up into typical YA mode, doing this drool-swoon thing that knocked her down from Awesome Lead to Less Awesome Lead in my estimation. *Sigh*  So, my love for her is cut short by things going predictably, BUT all that’s made acceptable because the world here and what makes it special is original. I’ve yet to come across anything like this, and though not everything is made quite clear... I loved  what I did get.



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Sunday, July 7, 2013

Left Drowning by Jessica Park

Left Drowning
Good Reads Summary
Left Drowning by Jessica Park

What does it take to rise from life’s depths, swim against the current, and breathe?

Weighted down by the loss of her parents, Blythe McGuire struggles to keep her head above water as she trudges through her last year at Matthews College. Then a chance meeting sends Blythe crashing into something she doesn’t expect—an undeniable attraction to a dark-haired senior named Chris Shepherd, whose past may be even more complicated than her own. As their relationship deepens, Chris pulls Blythe out of the stupor she’s been in since the night a fire took half her family. She begins to heal, and even, haltingly, to love this guy who helps her find new paths to pleasure and self-discovery. But as Blythe moves into calmer waters, she realizes Chris is the one still strangled by his family’s traumatic history. As dark currents threaten to pull him under, Blythe may be the only person who can keep him from drowning.


My Thoughts
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars


Another slow starter, it’s with patience that things pay off. Sure, there are random ‘this is me now’ sob-sob-sobs going on that went on a smidge too long; and sure, there are those random sexy moments too that got stretched beyond what’s needed to get the story going; but both those are balanced out by the tales they’re both telling: Him, in his pushing her away, and her, in needing this guy or that guy or some other person in the story.

My initial reaction to more than one thing in this one? PUT OFF, by how easily they fell into each other’s lives. (Sure it’s all sexy, interesting and all that… but really would you say such things to persons you’d just met? I think not). by Sabin and his “I have no shame” feels, or by Chris and his too-perfect entry into the story (Skipping stones. Shirtless?! *Pinch her… she’s got to be dreaming!*)  Simply: everything felt too perfect. Too convenient. Too something.

Now, what saves this are the secondary characters, each flawed one way or another. In FLAT OUT LOVE, it’s the secondary characters that made up for what Julie lacked. And like those ones, the set here could have been too much, too. BUT, and here’s the clincher: together, they made a weird sort of sense. HOW’s THAT? It’s their flaws, a consequence of what they’ve come from; plus me, unraveling the mystery behind that that makes LEFT DROWNING take so long. Except, while I’m piecing their past together, I’m wondering what they’re doing and why… SO THAT in the end, I’d find myself attached to them (though not all of them)!

So this is me: CONFLICTED. LOVING the patchwork way they complimented each other; then LOVING AND HATING their flaws. At times, they should felt too textbook damaged in what they were doing (not doing)! (Or should I say, they read too “New Adult.” Flawed: Dark and Damaged?) Just take Sabin and his emotional front. Then Chris and his control issues. Or Eric and his non-commitment. Or even the sister and her foul mouth tough girl schtick. And let me not forget Blythe and her “drowning” in her own brand of drama.

Is Left Drowning an almost case of sink and everything else? Well, frankly… it was. Take them individually, they read too much of something. The shocker here is that they actually work. Him, with this big dark past he’s running away from; and her, with her sad, sad past that she’s drowning in (hence the title).

So… everything, but the sink, plus them being almost too matchy-matchy. Oddly enough: I found myself wondering about what was to follow at the most inconvenient of times. I’d been drawn in despite what I perceived as ‘no way-no how!’ They’d all grown on me: the sweet over the top heart on sleeve guy; the controlling directed type who’s not that bad actually: the sweet quiet one in Eric; and the bitch ‘get outa- my-face’ doubling up on the different on the count of the strength of her faith. There’s one of everything in them, yes? Except they made a weird sort of sense… and they’re what made this work for me.

This is one of the better told NA’s I’ve read. 




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Thursday, July 4, 2013

Losing Hope by Colleen Hoover

Losing Hope (Hopeless, #2)
Good Reads Summary
Losing Hope by Colleen Hoover

In the follow-up to Colleen Hoover’s #1 New York Times bestseller Hopeless, the charming and irresistible Dean Holder tells the passionate story that has melted thousands of hearts.

In Hopeless, Sky left no secret unearthed, no feeling unshared, and no memory forgotten, but Holder’s past remained a mystery.

Still haunted by the little girl he let walk away, Holder has spent his entire life searching for her in an attempt to finally rid himself of the crushing guilt he has felt for years. But he could not have anticipated that the moment they reconnect, even greater remorse would overwhelm him…

Sometimes in life, if we wish to move forward, we must first dig deep into our past and make amends. In Losing Hope, bestselling author Colleen Hoover reveals what was going on inside Holder’s head during all those hopeless moments—and whether he can gain the peace he desperately needs.


My THoughts
My rating: 2 of 5 stars


ODD thing here: I do believe I picked up the wrong sequel. Starting this I had in my head the most awesome of cliffies of someone having done something they shouldn’t have (some bad. Bad. BAD thing of course). Apparently, I was recalling Sorenson’s Coincidence. Don’t ask why. Once I realized that and recalled what this was a follow up to, things weren’t too bad though.

PLUS for being (slightly ) different: It’s the thing now to do the same story from another character’s point of view, right?  The lot I’ve read of that type, disappoint. Mainly because it feels like nothing new’s added (though why would I expect anything new anyway?) This one doesn’t do that. Well, at least it doesn’t at the beginning. So, we see Holder. And he’s less the stalker-y dude, and more the grief stricken one who does one stupid thing then another stupid thing because of said grief.  He has a likeable voice of good brother, funny guy and not always crude. (Perhaps what I loved the most is that he wasn’t all alpha all the time).

PLUS/MINUS for the cheese: “I live you” and my memories of “Butterfly You” that came flooding back. I recalled exactly what it was that I didn’t like. Make up words are cute… if you’re three, maybe four. So, thank the gods, when the likes of those weren’t used quite as often as they were in the first book. I mean, “I LIVE YOU?!” come on!

MINUS: But consider him not being the alpha all the time versus him suddenly waxing stupid over a crush. Oi vey! When did you turn into a ‘tween girl going on and on and over  a crush, H? It was a different side alright. It was funny… till it became odd.




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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales

This Song Will Save Your Life
Good Reads Summary
This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales

Making friends has never been Elise Dembowski’s strong suit. All throughout her life, she’s been the butt of every joke and the outsider in every conversation. When a final attempt at popularity fails, Elise nearly gives up. Then she stumbles upon a warehouse party where she meets Vicky, a girl in a band who accepts her; Char, a cute, yet mysterious disc jockey; Pippa, a carefree spirit from England; and most importantly, a love for DJing.

Told in a refreshingly genuine and laugh-out-loud funny voice, THIS SONG WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE is an exuberant novel about identity, friendship, and the power of music to bring people together.


My Thoughts
My rating: 4of 5 stars


Warming up to this was slow. And even when I was starting to like the MC, something had me shifting back to being unsure.

>Truth: I didn’t love the MC with her initial intro of ‘poor, poor me’.

>Another Truth: Me liking her was not aided by that odd split in her. How come? On one hand she knew herself and what she had to offer (except who knew ‘precocious’ could get so annoying?)

Wait… back to my point: on the one hand she’s totally aware of who she is and what she had to offer so that she worked hard and did well in what she put herself in. Yet there’s that other bit of her that’s desperate to be part of something.

It was back and forth with her here. But perhaps I’m fine with that (more than fine, even) because there’s a slow change in her. FROM being the kid who knew it all TO the kid finding herself. FROM the kid seeing what she lacked TO the kid seeing more. Truth, yet again:  Despite how many times she said she did this and did that, and loved this or loved that, her perspective is limited. She knew some of her truth but was also painfully aware of the perception others of her. It’s the latter that had her messed up. Her, overly concerned about what others say and what others (don’t do) is what complicates what’s already complicated.

Except every time I thought I’d had my fill of her… she’d go and say an honest thing, or an accurate thing, or hell even a funny thing… they warranted a few more moments of consideration (even with all those little self-affirmations (I am great. I am liked. I am loved. Pfftt.) that felt like a farce considering how she was. And how was that?

Two lives, one where she’s a doormat with the bully girls and bully boys pegging her as someone less and her (sadly) buying into it; and another of her beyond that with her open and brave and smart~ though not as smart as I’d have liked he to be as there’s tons of things she proves she had to learn.

Her little quips of having missed the hand book on being a real person?  Accurate… no, honest, because on either side, she’s incomplete. It’s a split that’s difficult to bridge… but was that the point? Her piecing herself together; seeing for ‘Truth’ that she doesn’t have to be just one or just the other, but could be both or all or someone else. She’s not precocious girl or DJ extraordinaire, or the friendless girl, or the know it all. She could be all of that or none of that. Like Char who could be charming and then turn around and be not-so-charming after all. Like her friends could be her friends even when she didn’t quite get them.

None of the people in this are simple. Not all of them do what you want them to do. Some of them are simply awesome; then the others who others you want to shake sense into. 

THANK YOU, NETGALLEY!




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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The Zigzag Effect by Lili Wilkinson

The Zigzag Effect
Good Reads Summary
The Zigzag Effect by Lili Wilkinson

Sage is delighted to land a holiday job with a magician. It will earn her the money she needs for the photography course she's coveted since she first picked up a camera - and working for the The Great Armand should be interesting, right? Plus there's a cute stagehand named Herb, who could make it even more interesting.

But one night Sage, Herb and the magician's assistant Bianca stay late at the theatre, and a wand gets broken... on the stage. Bianca is horrified, convinced they've brought a curse upon themselves. Then Armand is nowhere to be found - and Sage and Herb are mysteriously locked in the storeroom. Together. Overnight.

Sage must figure out who to trust, who's hiding secrets, what's real and what's just clever trickery. Because when a person truly disappears, it is likely that there are more sinister elements at work than magic.


My Thoughts
My rating: 3 of 5 stars


zigzag effect. geek-cool. cool geek? what’s the right term here? of wilkinson’s stories i have read, there are offbeat, self aware, funny-odd types who stand out even when (especially when) they don’t want to. one a taxidermist in the making, another a girl forcing herself in a mold she's unsure of... and now this, magicians, magician wanna be's, their assistants and noobs. but it’s the last in that line up who sticks out the most in her knowing who she is and what she wants. that she's so smart and directed is  not so new; it's that she could be such a dumb smart girl  is what surprised and frustrated but goaded me on nonetheless.

there's a newness that she feels and that we do too. her feeling out  of place but being gung ho about it even so, paints her strong... yet  all those moments of her sticking her foot in it makes her more real  too (because perfect girl isn't so perfect after all, yeah?)

then there’s the rest. token love interest. a bff in the making. and creepy mysterious goings on all made zigzag for a different type of read... ‘till it wasn't. you see she's just new girl and one coincidence then another and she's shiny new toy for all of them. why do they like her again? why does she like him  again? that set up's pretty basic.

‘the different’ is where things went. sure, one too many bit of trivia had me impatient. all the ‘did you know’s ‘ from one or another had feeling impatient as it got in the way of the story. but eventually all the did you know’s actually did tie in with the rest of it. so that the story went from cool geek to been there done that then finally to this odd mystery… but what was the mystery anyway? piecing it together was a kick especially because as that was happening, she was piecing her new life together. so two things were going on: she’s new girl and going with the flow… while she’s new girl who finds herself i a place unexpected.

(my favorite bit has to be the little brother though.)




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