Friday, January 24, 2014

The Destiny of Violet & Luke (The Coincidence, #3) by Jessica Sorensen

The Destiny of Violet & Luke (The Coincidence, #3)The Destiny of Violet & Luke by Jessica Sorensen

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I do not recall Kayden and Callie being the way they’re portrayed in this one—all lovey-dovey and crap; I cannot say it’s a portrayal I enjoyed. That said, the two leads in this one are a throwback to what got me started with this author to begin with. As with K and C, despite all the sads both leads were facing, there’s also an attempt to get on with their respective lives (emphasis on “attempt” of course).

OK, let’s get to it: getting through this was a chore… because the leads? The leads are IMPERFECT. She is of the adrenaline junkie and drug pushing variety; and he, being man whorish, substance dependent, is still attractive despite both those same things. Then there’s how both of them allow a glimpse into why they are the way they are... so basically: DRAMA. Not to mention obvious drama. NA seems to have become synonymous with this, has it not? because on one hand, we have her and the people she’s lost and how she’s coped with that and then on the other, we have him and the people he wishes he’d lost plus the way he’s (not) dealing with the way things are.

It’s OK I suppose… but if you’ve read on NA then I can honestly say, you’ve read this one too.

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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Biggest Flirts (Superlatives, #1) by Jennifer Echols

Biggest Flirts (Superlatives, #1)Biggest Flirts by Jennifer Echols

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I honestly had an “I’m too old for this shit” moment while reading this, but being the anal-retentive-must-finish-this-book reader that I have become, I saw this one through and I’ve come away with this: this was supposed to be sweet and cute, except there's the way things begin: too convoluted.

The beginning in this one is meant to elicit an “aaw-shucks” romantic moment but given the convoluted way things progressed, the latter took away from said “aaw shucks” and transformed it into a “WTF?” one instead. Don’t get me wrong, I loved her DIRTY LIOTTLE SECRETS (there’s something about the Nashville-feel there that worked for me) But like PLAYING DIRTY, I just couldn’t keep up with what was going on or why any of them were doing what they were doing.

Also, there’s that annoying thing of some aspect being touched upon but being set aside and forgotten even. I mean, why bother mentioning that her sister was so and so? I would have loved for a resolution on this but: how do things turn up for her and her sisters? How do things pan out for her and her father? What do we end with instead? A him and her we see coming miles away, but not happy for anyway… because man, the guy in this one? He’s no prize; hell, neither was she, for that matter.

Thank you, Edelweiss!

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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover

Maybe SomedayMaybe Someday by Colleen Hoover

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The positive experience from my last narrator as poet book carried me over and had me thinking that another of its kind wouldn’t be so bad. I was wrong. I should have recalled: the last Hoover book I read was filled with the cute made up words plus singer-songwriter/poet thing in both leads. We have the very same thing here and I truly do wish that I could have set their poems-as-lyrics aside except a big chunk of both their feels were laid out as such. (It’s what had me skim-skim-skimming.) Strangely enough, speeding through those bits did not take much away of the story being told, basically, because it’s their songs that sum up whatever it was they’ve just been through (even when they don’t know it). In other words, I thought the songs sadly hokey and worse, superfluous.

Lyrics aside, this wasn’t actually all bad (yes, the very same feeling I came away with upon reading her Slammed Duo.) The good: there’s something ‘different’ with him living his life as he does, as in not in the way she does; but it’s how she is with him that’s the most refreshing. He just is for her… and I simply liked that matter of fact way she took everything.  Another of the good:  there’s awareness on both their parts that I love a little more. That acknowledgement from both of them about where they are and what they should do… is world’s better than so and so trying too hard or so and so pretending it’s not the case.

So two positives: the matter of fact way they see each other; how they’re not all swoon-y I love you at first sight rather how there’s a shifting of things from one thing to something else completely. Slowly. But, it’s facing up to certain facts like: it’s not the best time or even the not the right time. There’s no urgent desperate longing, just awareness of themselves and all else affected. (Hmm, so maybe more than two positives after all?)

But there’s a negative as well: hokey lyrics, for one; but a feeling that one then both of them were justifying the unjustifiable became another. It’s the latter that also permits some of the good to surface here, but things get… complicated in the mean time. Plus, the lead-guy was not so easy to like, where as liking the lead girl was not so hard simply because at times she could be to perfect (and that  there’s no positive either.)

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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Pretenders by Lisi Harrison

PretendersPretenders by Lisi Harrison

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Bits of this were OK, but otherwise this read sadly too young to suit me; too young despite the snarky way all five leads could have. Things begin all Gossip Girl in set-up but quickly got confusing with each leap from one POV to the next. How many leaps are there exactly? Five:

From theatre-drama queen (emphasis on the second point) to a homeschooled brilliant girl who sadly referred to herself and others of her type as ‘homies’, then yet another brilliant perfect girl (but of course, only on the surface) to the male leads: one jock type and one loner type. I did not mind the whole casting the kids in these molds, but that not one of them went beyond the labels was… boring and then more boring.

Worse yet: their individual drama added little to my enjoyment of this because things went from too predictable then too unlikely. I wish PRETENDERS had stayed on the Gossip Girl track it started out on, because with the way things progressed, this was in turns confusing, boring, and eventually then over the top.

Thank you, Edelweiss!

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Friday, January 17, 2014

Magnolia by Kristi Cook

MagnoliaMagnolia by Kristi Cook

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Park reason elsewhere, Magnolia is one of those feel good books where one really shouldn’t examine things too closely (if at all.) There’s an attempt to turn the typical on its head starting with the Romeo-Juliet allusion. There’s an intentional divergence from that, but in pointing out all those difference, things get a tad… simple. I mean is that the hook? That they’re not R-J?

Of course, there’s that refreshing thing in how all the characters here are aware of what they are and what they have going for them (he’s all around good guy and knows it; she the girl version and knows it, too…) But outside that refreshing presentation of who they are, there’s not much else going on.

And then things veered into NA-land s in unbelievable moments of perfection as on then the other rescues the other one or other. Hint: situations involve guns, snakes, and expert marksmanship. Other situations are of storms, broken glass and bloody encounters). You can only imagine the breeze my eye rolls were causing.

Yet something about the two leads had me reading on. Sure, there’s the cuteness factor here given in the inevitability of things. But mainly it’s the sheer contrary nature they both showed: that ‘don’t-want-but- really-do” vibe they’re putting out. It was an odd combo annoying but cute. 

Thank you, Edelweiss!

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Thursday, January 16, 2014

Last Train Home by Megan Nugen Isbell

Last Train HomeLast Train Home by Megan Nugen Isbell

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I'm keeping this one short:

First, it's Painfully Predictable.

Second: I found it incredibly difficult to like the protagonist in this one; granted liking the lead isn't a requisite for good reading, but it does make things easier, right?  There's the fact that she's a snob and aware that she was behaving thus; there's also her tendency to act bratty. Good effort is given to justify her behavior but let's face it: nothing really justifies acting like a brat.

Despite all that, she's New Girl and finds herself with all these new people (yes, that includes the necessary and predictably present Mean Girl... I mean of course!) There's that shiny-new thing going for her I suppose, but dear god, the things coming out of her mouth! The comparisons and the hick-this, hick-that asides from her had me wondering how they could stand her.

Third: The romantic angle, which made reading this even more blegh. It's a cross of best friend love from afar with love triangle, one of them being the popular guy. And thinking on the lot of them: I still don't see what they all saw in each other! In fact, even the "good guy" in this one was SOOOO good, he was rendered boring.

I wish I could say LAST TRAIN HOME was an OK read... it just wasn't.

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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Under Different Stars (Kricket, #1) by Amy A. Bartol

Under Different Stars (Kricket, #1)Under Different Stars by Amy A. Bartol

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I blame the cover. It’s so… pretty, but also... so misleading.

My main issue: the lead is just sooo perfect in EVERY way. She’s so perfect, in fact that … how many people fall for her again? I forget.

Anyway, she’s so perfect that she’s rendered forgettable to me… yet they ALL fall for her. So she’s the center of so many things because… well, just because. Then enter a couple of super male hulking types who battle each other out for her… because... well, again... just because

Then there’s that other thing: of an alien world with a language that’s laughable in how made-up it came across. It was trying for a sci-fi feel given the aliens and dimensions and what-not, but forgot to deal with the “sci” part of things.


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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Killing Woods by Lucy Christopher

The Killing WoodsThe Killing Woods by Lucy Christopher

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I was expecting more, except this would go from the sometimes confusing and overly complicated then veer into the predictable and even too simple.

Complicated, how we start with two people telling their respective what-after’s standing on the opposite of each other as they were. Things get even more confusing as we contrast her loyalty to her father to this sudden awareness for the other MC. It’s an awareness that still has me asking, why the draw? Then on the flip side: there’s a more obvious sort of confusion in that unknown thing. It’s what pushes him forward;  yet it’s also his need to know that hooked me and had me reading on, despite him not being the most sympathetic of characters (yes, this is even with him one of the ones left behind.)

Complicated… but not really, with all those moments of loyalty plus them mutually suspicious of the other. It’s her loyalty for her father that’s really not complicated; there are other things linking one to another (like father to daughter, then father to mother, then them to the woods) that add something different… too bad none of that is completely explored. Again, on the flip side: there are links between Damon to Ash, then him and the rest of his group, and then even in the oddest moment: a link of him to the memory of his father (and what that meant for what he wanted for himself.)

Each link makes sense here: him missing so and so, his anger directed at so and so as well…. yet there’s a randomness to some of it. How one thread is introduced into the story but let go in favor of some more interesting/ mysterious aspect that itself is eventually let go as well.  All those extra bits felt like the background music; they could have interesting in their own right but none of them are given focus, and instead they’re used to blur the main thing (the main thing being father’s did he-didn’t he mystery). My point? KW introduces so many interesting things that I wish it had stuck to fewer of those things and dealt with some specific aspect more fully

Not Complicated at all (But certainly disheartening) (And I think, maybe, that was the point?) That given the loyalty of one to another, there’s this Othering that happens. It’s allowed for their true colors to be revealed. Then there’s that whole thing on the past and its impact on their present (FOR ALL OF THEM.) Her father’s experience has reshaped who he is; It’s changed him from these happy memories she has to this shadow. It’s her father’s shadow that’s cast on her and her mother as well. Or consider the past as it relates to the other MC: there’s shadow there as well… in who his father was and thus what the son wants to be that both lead to choices being made and the mess they’ve been dealt with. 

In all that, there’s this unexpected linking back to the past for all of them, so that things don’t end with her father’s confession, but stretch toward all their pasts, which in turn touches on some what could have been’s.

I‘m surprised despite the way the two opposing of views alternating as they were, there was a lack in something here. There’s predictability in some aspects here, yet not all of it is simple. Or maybe it’s not a ‘lack’ but an excess. There are so many intriguing avenues we could have gone to, yet most of them were not given the need attention to draw all of them together into a better whole.

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Monday, January 13, 2014

What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick

What I Thought Was TrueWhat I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What I Thought was True is unexpectedly good. It’s with emotion but not overly dramatic, about connections both old and new, based on her reality but with a touch of What-if from all of them. There’s simplicity in how its parts, but it’s a simplicity that doesn’t prevent the depth from coming through because there’s a lot of contradiction in what they want and the way things are.

All those contradictions are clearer as their roles and expectations are considered because there are lots of ideas on what should be weighed against a bunch of I-wishes. But that it’s not just her, rather all of them like that, that had me looking at this closer:

They’re all deciding what they want and what they can get, for her and her cousin, especially. And, for her there’s the added complication of… everything else!  Like a father who’s bailed, a mother whose worn down, a cousin, a brother as well as a grandfather with their respective needs.

A lot of this is straightforward read of a family of issues and people with each a place and responsibility but once contrasted to what they want as well as how to get to the latter, things get a touch heavier on the emotion side. Depth is added once it becomes about how they all deal (not deal) with what they want and what they have to do.

So on one hand, they have these IDEALS in mind. Her cousin’s on his way to getting what he wants (she wishes she were too); and her best friends are part of this perfect pairing (she wishes she could have the same). Both go sharply against the less than perfect REALITY of things, like the father who’s there but abandoned ship or like the mother who wants best but is worn herself down and out in trying to get there .

Plus that more complicated aspect of: A him plus a her, then a THEM?!  And her wondering if she even wanted a them as issues of (self-) perception, reputation, expectation and action were layered on.  Were we to take each aspect separately, they’d all be so simple. Yet together, this went beyond where I thought it was going.

Thank you, Edelweiss!

i think i need to read her debut. This was UNEXPECTEDLY good.

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Sunday, January 12, 2014

And We Stay by Jenny Hubbard

And We StayAnd We Stay by Jenny Hubbard

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The MC has a way with words: how she translates her own experience and her own emotion into specific well-measured lines of poetry without taking away from the impact and perhaps even making their meaning stronger. I’m surprised, for normally, my eyes would have been glazing over with the one two punch combo of poetry and the third person POV... except: surprise! I sped through this.

Her revealing her past in poem form combined with that third person point of view of what was going on should have rendered me unconscious. Except it’s both those things that were surprisingly effective: there’s balance reached between the two. On one hand:  it’s personal, the poetry got. Each bit  has her experience clearly been translated; the measured stanzas trimmed it all down to the most basic of words, chosen quite effectively so that their impact is made stronger. Then on the other: the third person that kept things from becoming too-in-her-head.

The poems are of her PAST and they punctuate each chapter that details her NOW; so that there’s this clever switch from now and then: One moment we’re told about her now BUT wait a beat, and it’s the MC revealing little bit by little bit her What-was. And her ‘now’? It’s another after- loss tale, except so much broader than initially thought; so that it’s not just about LOSS. It’s also about finding something NEW and all right: facing up to and making confirmations of some big things forgotten.

The biggest positive: it’s cleverly written. Still, there is this one thing I don’t quite get; a specific aspect I thought pivotal at first, but later becoming superfluous. There are all those parallels pointed out between the lead and her namesake; seemingly important given where she found herself and what she wanted to become (‘I’m a poet/ I’m not a poet’) BUT really? Given everything that’s told  and how they’re told, it’s a parallel that became pointless. Sure there are similarities (e.g. on both their questions of faith as well as the MC’s ambition  etc..) but all that felt superficial and pointless. I mean so what if she was in the same school? So what if they both had similar outlooks on faith? So what?

Not to say that those cancel out the good in reading this… because I am still pleasantly surprised by how those TWO things (poems and third person) that in the past I knew I disliked were put to use here, almost balancing each other out.

Thank you, NG!

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Saturday, January 11, 2014

Heartbeat by Elizabeth Scott

HeartbeatHeartbeat by Elizabeth Scott

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Heartbeat. So good on so many levels, but also so, so heavy.

Emotion.   There’s grief and then there’s anger that’s not entirely baseless; later there’s the normal-ness in how she wants certain things. Layer on those lines made between her and her step-father as well as that between their before and after. All of those stemming from one loss that’s obvious but leading to another loss that’s not immediately apparent

Connection. Then for her to find that connection in him; no that unsought moment of the both of them finding each other when they do because they’re both lost--- but it’s the mirroring between them that them make even more sense. That rightness becoming even truer as they both realize: it’s OK not to be OK. But mainly, my love for them stems from neither of them saving each other (since they couldn’t) rather they’re simply there for each other:

”I see that he is beautiful. Not just outside, but inside, under the mistakes and anger and grief, is a heart that beats pure and true… He wishes for things that can’t ever be… He wants things whole, but knows they can’t. He sees that and doesn’t look away.”

Truth.   It’s the boy’s very presence for her that tones down the sad, rendering moments of Heart Beat… unexpectedly sweet because it truly does go in sharp contrast against the angrier moments of her “look at me, see me” antics. And that second bit? All very elephant-on-chest  for me, simply because her anger: it’s not  an unreasonable baseless one. It’s all clearly laid out so that I felt with her. So if we start grief, with her step dad in the picture, it’s transformed into this anger coloring her every recollection of her mother and her opinion of that choice that’s already been made. So there’s truth in her emotion; there’s accuracy in her perception of what’s been done. BUT the loss here is so much more than first assessed.

But best: there’s that similarity  in position, not just between her and her step dad, but between her the her love interest (whose name eludes me right now!!! Gah!)  It is true, that “I know what you’re going through” and not just one of them playing lip service to the other… even if she couldn’t see the same.

Another layer to all this is the role her best friend plays - a marker of sorts between what was and what now is. But at the same time: it’s a reasonable desire on the lead’s part (to want something to be the same, untouched) considering everything else. So, yes grief in fact is a big thing… but it’s not the only thing.

The Good:

-That they neither save each other, but are merely there… unexpectedly.
-That same unexpectedness is what adds much needed sweetness, in what would have been a too emotion-heavy read.
-And the honesty in emotions based on grief morphed into anger.
-And last, that it’s an anger that’s clearly laid out, not at all baseless

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Friday, January 10, 2014

Far From You by Tess Sharpe

Far From YouFar From You by Tess Sharpe

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The start of this reading year is proving to be a very interesting one. The way everything is put together in this one: I’m hard pressed to name one thing I disliked; everything about it falls under the category of “My Kind of Read.” 

It touches on more than one emotional thing: flashes to the past of who they were coupled with that unsaid thing that’s opposed to those things that are stated. It was a mix of the sweet and the bitter, then the sad and the sadder. And it’s not limited to the MC either as there’s plenty of heart break to go around.

For Sophie, definitely: facing her demons as she has is made more difficult by the doubts that it’s created (not just in herself but in others for her, too.) Sad and frustrating are what follows her account of the things she’s put herself through versus the state she’s telling her present in. I sympathized for her but much later I was awed by her… and sure, the whole teen girl taking on the scene had me doubtful (as is usually the case) but it’s the emotion behind it all that tugged at me, especially the emotions based on WHY she was where she and WHY she was doing what she was. 

So, yes, may be I wasn’t such a fan of the whole teen-girl is on the case, but everything else worked BECAUSE the emotions weren’t all about Sophie. Who Mina is is key her and though she’s far from perfect it’s that very thing that made her read real. DESPITE that imperfection there’s a ‘rightness’ to her then to them. It’s this rightness that’s made clear only slowly with each detail that’s doled out sparingly.

Beyond the emotional, there’s that whole mystery thing of what went down. Initially, it was simply, me wondering over the reliability of what’s being stated. Do I buy into it? Should I buy into it or not? But with the way things were pieced together, eventually it worked. Despite my hesitance to be on board with her putting things to rights, things made sense and not too predictably either. The whole who-what-where- when do come together well enough in the end, but it’s not that that’s got me thinking back to the book right now.

What does have me going back to it: the connections and the emotions that those bring about: Sophie to Mina to Trev to Kyle. Then Sophie to her mother to her father and her aunt; then Sophie to the rest of the world…. But mainly: it’s Sophie and Mina and all the implications that the same brings out that Sophie’s left to deal with.

So, imperfection and acknowledgement of the same; a nostalgia for what was versus a consideration of what might have been. Then perception and expectation coupled with missed cues and choices made. To say that this is emotional and gritty is an understatement. The real nitty gritty of this is Sophie facing who she was and dealing with what’s not been dealt with. A lot of the heavier drama has to do with her contending with others (or them her) especially as she’s back in the real world.

Thank you, NG!

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Thursday, January 9, 2014

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

We Were LiarsWe Were Liars by E. Lockhart

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The emotion in this one is given physical translation: each page is rife with how she feels and how she suffers but doesn’t clarify WHY that’s the case. It’s this that goads the reader on though to be frank one does get an inkling of what could be behind it all-- just not the scope of it.

Each little hint imparted and each little clue laid out had me fretting ‘was it was I thought it was?’ And though the way things ended lacked that “big reveal” feel, in its place was a confirmation of suspicion. Yet still, ending thus was not a let down; too many things had taken place prior to preclude the same:

Perfection and reputation: how they’re seen and who they are versus what each of them needs and what all of them want. There’s more than one mystery here and they’re all entwined with why the MC is the way she is so that unraveling one obviously meant unraveling the latter. So that on one end we want to know what she doesn’t know and on the other we also want to know who they all are TO and FOR each other. The way these two things come together here left me breathless not over how sad everything was (OK, that too) but over how so utterly impressive the story telling is done.

And it’s not a new story either: I’ve come across variations of this once or twice before and still I’m impressed – it’s the way their tale is told that’s impressive:

First, we have a girl who in a fog… and we’re in that fog with her. it’s the getting out from under that that makes for an interesting read because like her we have questions upon questions upon questions and maybe answers that were doubtful of at first then afraid of a bit later then heart broken over eventually.

Then, we’ve this family ideal complicated by what she/they/everyone else wants and needs. It’s this aspect that’s added a layer of the unreal too: the way the tales she tells mirrored the reality she lived in, only not quite. Her story telling of patriarchs and princesses and monsters and mice… it’s at once youthful in the way things are related; but not, given what’s being said.

I loved this.
Thank You, NG!

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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Six Impossible Things by Fiona Wood

Six Impossible ThingsSix Impossible Things by Fiona Wood

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

   photo 1387479708_zps52e9165a.jpg

Ha! Talk about asking then receiving; seeking and then finding!

There’s that lovely, lovely building up between them. How it’s maybe one sided at first, then set aside for all else taking place, then at the forefront of every one of his thoughts? It’s lovely and sweet and bit desperate and just like the Creepy and the Maud: a touch wrong too- a fact that he’s not denying but ill at ease with… till’ that admission on his part. At which point things turned sad then sadder again. Because he made me want to give him a hug (and I’m not a hugging type!) Now, the girl in this one… she made me want to open her eyes a little more: pay attention please is what I was feeling… till’ her admission on CD boy and it’s made clear that she was paying attention. Yet, it’s HIS big reveal that had me backtracking and wishing she’d pay less attention.

But all of him and her then all his peers take second place to what I found truly remarkable: the truths about how he could be with his mother and to his father even when it’s the opposite that he wants:

His voice is funny and sad and frustrating smart then not smart; his observations, right most of the time but then at others not that at all: him and his musings on having patience in theory but the same eluding him in reality? So Me. His relationship with his mother: sympathetic all we’re in the same boat and stuff, becomes a touch sadder (?) with each frustration and angry outburst they’d bring out in the other. That anger of his especially and wanting his feelings otherwise but having no other target to feel that way toward? Too honest… but totally real. What he feels for his father (whose absence is pivotal in so many ways) and wanting the other to stew but not wanting to let go then still keeping that distance? Again: So Real.

There are so many true things in here… true things I wish weren’t true because with each bit of truth, it’s clear what’s real isn’t pretty: it’s sad and frustrating with people letting others down, the narrator not excluded. Yet because of that: what’s funny and sweet became funnier and sweeter with all the other stuff as backdrop.

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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Don't Call Me Baby by Gwendolyn Heasley

Don't Call Me BabyDon't Call Me Baby by Gwendolyn Heasley

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I was not expecting it or the lead to be so young. Not a real negative, mind you... but certainly unexpected.

Were we to take it apart, portions of it - separately - were OK. Together though? Muddled is what comes across: Mommy issues plus best friend issues and a rebelious side plus a practical side then there's the boy she likes, as well as 'Pirate Booty Call' that just sounded so out of place in the midst of her life being online for all to witness. Interesting, that last part especially... but... it felt unreal for some reason.

I'm thinking of Jennifer Castle's 'You Look Different in Real Life' in contrast here. Particularly, how in it the reality TV set up should have made things unreal but didn't BECAUSE her issues about growing up for everyone to behold felt likely. In this one, we have the reverse of that: it's her mother recounting her daughter's everyday and bonding over being mommylicious and what not. Self-congradulatory? Self-indulgent? And eventually all wrapped up the wrong thing... so that it's easy to dislike one particular player. And that's what felt simplistic. So while about the only thing given enough attention is that set up, well... things got a bit one-sided; it was too easy to side with one as opposed to another.

And I'm thinking that may have been the goal? That she's against me teenage angsting with Exhibit A, B, C..... to back up her feeling screwed over. And she was (there's no denying that) but the 'why' and the 'how it all started' that's what where the simple disappears. Yet even in seeimg the bigger picture, or at leaat seeing back into the WHY of things, I still felt things a tad too simple.

Otherwise, thank you Edelweiss!

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Monday, January 6, 2014

Red Scarf Girl by Ji-li Jiang

Red Scarf GirlRed Scarf Girl by Ji-li Jiang

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Someone on the cover raves that it's the simplicity of the language that makes for a more compelling read. I think we were reading different things. That said some of
this made me want to read more on the topic.

There are specific lines as when she wonders over the fate they were suffering and how opposite it was from what she was used to, or those of her musing over a little weed flower and her almost seeing herself in it that made for interesting moments. Just not compelling

Now, the more compelling aspects for me? It's the 'after' and how as an adult she explains what became of certain individuals that played some role in what she and hers went through. Or those acknowledgements and her voicing out how completely controlled every aspect of ther lives were. So controlled in fact that while suffering as they were there was no anger felt... that feeling was only to come later.

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Sunday, January 5, 2014

Fan Art by Sarah Tregay

Fan ArtFan Art by Sarah Tregay

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Fan Art... in theory: this book should have been all win for me. In reality: that's not quite the case. Basically, -I was underwhelmed. But why? When the lead was funny and direct and no-nonsense in conveying his message? But why? When the people around him were equally unique in voice (or should have been at least.) But why? But why? But why?

Perhaps because it doesn't take the needed extra steps to set itself apart. We have a kid who knows who he is but unsure about going after what he wants. We have the same kid aware of what he dislikes, yet encountering the very same time and time again. Then we have the rest of them- saying the right things (i love you man's and all that) but not living up to what it is they're saying... So that all of it felt half baked in a way. And for the lead specifically that's almost literal in a way: 'out' but not completely. Yet, it's consequence of that that we're left with; the dealing with others and with their perception of who he should be and who others should be for him that got on my nerves. Even when some Relevant Truth was struck, well that too felt a smidge to 'right' and (sorry) inauthentic. lip-service-y.

Still, thank you Edelweiss!

one of those so-so reads.... i've been encountering hell lot of those lately. :(

but thank you, edelweiss!

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Saturday, January 4, 2014

The Ever After of Ella and Micha (The Secret, #4) by Jessica Sorensen

The Ever After of Ella and Micha (The Secret, #4)The Ever After of Ella and Micha by Jessica Sorensen

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Man.... I should have stopped at that Lila/ Ethan book. Nothing actually happens here. Any and all realizations needed to be made by either Micah and his 'Pretty Girl' (that breeze you feel btw emanates from the repetetive and forceful eye rolls I was making on account of the same) were made in books one and two.

This one is just... really? What was this? Ella and her issues. Again?!Micah and how much he loves the girl. Again?! Ethan and Lila as extras. Dare I exclaim it... again?! Or how about how screwed up but on the mend her home life was?

This whole thing felt so redundant and unneccessary.  

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Friday, January 3, 2014

Vivian Divine Is Dead by Lauren Sabel

Vivian Divine Is DeadVivian Divine Is Dead by Lauren Sabel

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Vivian Divine is Dead. What an utter waste! It had me at the title but lost me somewhere after chapter two.

Too much like a telenovela, and this was despite the setting. That whole thing about doubt suspension being directly proportional to how entertaining something is still holds true, because things while unbelievable were also either frustrating or boring or some other negative participle. I just couldn't get with it!


Well, the lead for starters. Vivian Divine is not divine at all. There's a flatness to her that had me uninterested in what was going on (and there was a lot going on too). She is IT girl.. super star, power couple, Hollywood princess. You name it, she was it. Yet despite all that she read boring to me!

And frustrating too... because points of it had her all on top of her game then switch to some other bit and she's whiny and almost too-young in how she'd react. Hell, even the negatives to her weren't all that clear to me because I was simply uniterested in finding out.

The story too had me... feeling something. Just Think Telenovela: Handsome stranger meets beautiful girl with one of them on the run, both against a backdrop that starts all glitzy and Hollywood then shifts to something else totally. Then add mysterious threatening messages, death in recent past, publicized infidelity, and why not throw in absent parent syndrome. And let me not forget scary figures named Scars and then scarier boss-men who come out of nowhere. Simply? It's all too much.

Thank you, Edelweiss!

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Thursday, January 2, 2014

The Seers (Holders, #2) by Julianna Scott

The Seers (Holders, #2)The Seers by Julianna Scott

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The Seers. I couldn't help noticing all those Potter parallels ever since someone pointed it out. Except for the sexy times, moments of this felt very HP to me. And it was kinda-sorta fun, till it wasn't. Fun because well... HP! But not fun because... well, I was thinking/wanting ' something different please?' The book journal thing and the mystery of how to read it is one. Plus the whole speshul treatment she's given and how her reputation precedes.

But then there's where it's not HP at all... instead things did get a bit clumsy in the drama and occurence. First, that not-quite triangle that's made worse by wires crossing and then them not talking. Then the clumsy way (again) she'd come to certain realizations via streams of thought that felt a tad over done... and yes, unnecessarily drama filled. Plus I hated the whole I love love love you going on... just saying.

That said, there things here that felt original. Why they were where they were and what they were doing among others. Plus, the people she encountered! One person stands out in a too-typically mean girl way and yet it was here that I was wondering where the hell that particular story line was headed. Truly, 'girl-insecure' was NOT what I'd grown used to out of Ms Ingle/Clavish. Another remarkable? How we had the makings of love triangle but ended up with something totally not.

It was OK, the whole magic part
especially, but maybe less on the feels as well as internal monologue and sudden asides on feelings/perceptions?

Thank you, Net Galley!

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