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Review: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

7 Jan

Okay, so maybe it has been awhile since I posted anything here, but I have been in a long reading rut. I don’t think I’m completely out of it yet, but I felt inspired to review Fangirl. 

I am also a fan of the cover art... It is just so cute!

I am also a fan of the cover art… It is just so cute!

This book was exactly what I needed right now. As we entered 2014 I realized that I will in fact be turning 30 this year. The problem is I don’t feel that “adult” yet.  Fangirl reminded me of how far I’ve actually come in the last 12 years of my life. I am old enough now to appreciate how much more I understand about life, but still young enough to remember what it felt like to be naive, confused and trying to figure it all out. To be honest, I’m still trying to figure it out, but I think I’ve come a pretty long way since those first 2 post high school years. 

I digress… Rainbow Rowell’s college aged protagonist, Cath, is superbly written. Even though I personally was much more like Wren, Cath’s more outgoing twin sister, I had a lot of the same doubts about life that Cath has in the book. She has no idea how to cope with the new world she has been thrust into. Before college she always had her sister to lean on and be guided by, but now even though they are at the same university they are exploring it in very different ways. Continue reading

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Review: Mothership by Martin Leicht and Isla Neal

11 Oct

A sci-fi book about pregnant teenage girls on a cruise-ship turned boarding school that orbits Earth sounds utterly ridiculous for sure. Unfortunately, for Elvie Nara the phrase “things can only get better” does not apply to the situation she has gotten herself into at all.

Typically I wouldn’t read a book about teenage pregnancy. They usually fall into one of three categories: 1) cautionary tale, 2) religious cautionary tale, 3) societal cautionary tale… None of these things particularly appeal to me. The only kind of cautionary advice really given in Mothership is to perhaps be more careful about trusting your teachers. You never know when they might turn out to be baby snatching aliens.

This book is unlike any book I’ve ever read.

For starters the language is spot on with how teens and young adults talk. Frequent use of such cute little phrases as “shit balls” appear all throughout the book. In general people look at swearing as way for so-called less intelligent folks to express themselves, but honestly it is just how we all think and speak in the real world. Elvie isn’t going around swearing non-stop, but the use of “bitches”, “slut”, and “screwed” show up frequently and seem completely appropriate to the situation she is in. Continue reading

Review: Endlessly by Kiersten White

4 Oct

I’ve finally finished Endlessly. It took me FOREVER to read it, but only because I really didn’t want it to be over.

Unlike quite a few “trilogies” I’ve read that had open endings with lots of potential for a fourth installment, I know for a fact that Evie’s story is over. I follow Kiersten’s blog and I’ve read what she has said about the Paranormalcy books and she is definitely done with the story.

Sigh.

Anyway the book was a bit slow at first (or maybe I made it be slow), but once it got going it was awesome! Evie and Lend do not fail to be adorable together. Evie does not fail to be kick-ass and girly altogether. Reth does not fail to try to manipulate Evie. It was everything I wanted it to be and everything it needed to be. There is the return of a couple of characters that you might not expect to show up and help out, but I think that just makes it all the more fun to read.
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Mini Reviews

10 Sep

I’ve been reading a lot lately and don’t have much time to write up full reviews for everything so here are a few mini reviews to tell you about some awesome books I’ve been reading

1. Out of Sight, Out of Time by Ally Carter

Ally Carter never disappoints with her Gallagher Girl books. This book was awesome and very different from the previous 4 books.

Cammie Morgan has lost her memories… memories that might help her uncover why the Circle is after her, what happened to her missing father and where she’s spent her entire summer. Cammie, her friends and her boyfriend set off on another mission to discover all of these things.

When I read the 4th book I wasn’t certain there would be anymore and I was so excited to read this one. The way it ended pretty much guaranteed that there would at least be one more book. Woohoo.

If you haven’t read the first 4 books I highly recommend them! They are just as much fun for 12 year olds as 32 year olds.

My GoodReads Rating: didn't like it it was ok liked it really liked it (my current rating) it was amazing

2. Smart Girls Get What They Want by Sarah Strohmeyer

I loved that the smart girls were cute, fashionable, relatable girls. This book doesn’t have anyone sacrificing a part of themselves to be liked. Instead each girl is taking command of their lives and trying to participate in something that they feel will make their high school years more complete. Continue reading

Review: The Diviners by Libba Bray

8 Sep

Trust me… Read this book!

Have you ever read a book that felt like it lasted a lifetime? Usually this is not something I am a fan of with books. The whole reason a book feels like it lasts forever is usually because it isn’t very good. With The Diviners by Libba Bray that was not the case. I felt like I lived the story more so than any other book I’ve read in the recent past. It felt like I was immersed in the universe the very talented Ms. Bray created for quite some time… and I loved every minute of it.

Historical paranormal mysteries are Libba Bray’s forté to the extreme. Having read her previous ventures into that genre, I was ecstatic to have her release a book going back to those roots where she began with the Gemma Doyle books (A Great and Terrible Beauty, Rebel Angels, and The Sweet Far Thing). Her contemporary satires have never really grabbed my interest (although I do plan on giving them both another chance) and I was certain that The Diviners (which will be another series… YAY) would take me back to that place I was while reading the Gemma Doyle books.

This cover is seriously awesome and total book-nerd eye candy!

Continue reading

Review: This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers

20 Aug

Holy goodness! This book was intense. I started it sometime around 7pm and finished before 3am. At one point (around my normal bed-time) I actually fell asleep while reading it and slept for a half hour. When I woke up I just had to finish it.

Let me start off my review by saying that even though This is Not a Test takes place at the very beginning of a zombie apocalypse, it is definitely not in any way about zombies or apocalypses. It is about what makes us live and want to keep living. It is about what makes a person be willing to give up any chance at a happy life in order to escape from the terrors of abuse and trauma. It is about 6 teenagers and how they survive a world that has abandoned them.

As far as the characters go, I didn’t really care much for some of them. The main character, Sloane, has plans to end her life. In general this is not a way out of a tough situation I am able to understand. Keep in mind she had these plans BEFORE the world was taken over by the walking dead. There is a whinny young teenage boy that doesn’t make much of an impression. There is a jerk who holds a grudge, even though this really isn’t the time to make enemies of only 5 other people you know are alive. Then there is the girl who seems to care too much, the boy who tries to lead and the last character, my favorite, is the guy who seems to hold it all together, Rhys. He was the highlight of the whole story. He is what brought me around to being able to cope with Sloane’s selfish tendencies. Continue reading

Review: Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier

1 Jul

Gwyneth (and her entire family) thinks her cousin has inherited the time traveler gene. Her cousin Charlotte has been preparing to be a time traveler her whole life… but suddenly Gwen is the one traveling and uncovering secrets about her family she never imagined.

Ruby Red was a good book, but not as amazing as I had been told. I enjoyed the characters and there was a lot of story building, but it lacked a key element in my opinion. It doesn’t really end. One minute there is action and the next minute the main characters are just sitting there. It also wasn’t the kind of cliff-hanger ending to make you scream “OMG! I need to read the next one ASAP! But I will have to wait and it is going to drive me crazy.” Instead, it was more of a, “Oh wait… isn’t there supposed to be some kind of resolution at least or a hint as to what might be happening next” PLUS “Why did THAT happen? Where was the build up to that event taking place” (but I won’t tell you what the event is so as not to spoil the ending). There is an epilogue that helps tie up some loose ends, so that helps.

Also, in the edition I read there is a teaser for the next book, Sapphire Blue. The teaser says the next book was due out in “Spring 2012” when in fact it is actually being published at the end of October 2012. Majorly misleading… I’m very glad I didn’t read the teaser before checking online if the next book was available.

All in all, Ruby Red was quite enjoyable and does the time traveling genre good. If you liked Hourglass by Myra McEntire, you will most likely enjoy Ruby Red as well. Lets hear it for exploring themes other than vampires and werewolves.

Rating: didn't like it it was ok liked it (my current rating) really liked it it was amazing

Seriously, Philippa Gregory?! Don’t you usually write better books than this? OR a review of Changeling by Philippa Gregory

24 Jun

Did you read The Other Boleyn Girl? Chances are, you did because it was a really awesome novelization of Mary Boleyn‘s life. And Philippa Gregory has written many other fictionalized biography type novels and they have all be great (or at least that is what I hear because I have not read them all). Although I didn’t hate reading Changeling, Ms Gregory’s first attempt at the YA genre, I can’t say it was a great book. I wouldn’t even say it was a good book. It was simply… okay.

Continue reading

Review: Jessica Rules the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey

22 Jun

It had been awhile since I had read the first book, Jessica’s Rules for Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey, but everything still seemed pretty fresh. Jessica Rules the Dark Side was much darker than the first one. It was much more about the dark, secretive lives of the vampire clans and not at all about high school.

Jessica/Anastasia is a young vampire princess, married, and preparing to become the Queen of all vampires (or something along those lines). Let’s face it, most 18/19-year-old girls are not prepared to rule much of anything and Jess is no different. Scared and nervous don’t begin to describe what Jessica is feeling. 1000s of miles away from home, without her best friend or parent, is something a lot of older teens can identify with (kind of like go off to college). However, just getting to know the darker side of her warrior husband, worrying about being destroyed by your enemies, having to lead a nation of vampires… most teen girls are not too familiar with that.

The book had plenty of romance, action, mystery, and drama. I figured out who the true antagonist was pretty early on, but it was still interesting to see how everything played out.

Main Pro: Anything with Rainero. His Italian, surfer, peace-loving self was just as hot as his royal, vampire, warrior self in my opinion.

Main Con: Mindy’s CONSTANT mispronunciation of all the “foreign” names drove me crazy. I suppose Eastern European names could be kind of hard to say for most Americans, but she even calls Lucius and Rainero (who are personal friends of hers) by stupid nicknames. Every time she called Lucius by Lukey or Rainero by Ronnie I wanted to smack her. Maybe if they called themselves those names it wouldn’t have bothered me as much… But I’m a big believer in calling someone by their proper name unless told otherwise by the person themselves.

Rating: didn't like it it was ok liked it (my current rating) really liked it it was amazing

I gave it a 3 star rating because even though I enjoyed it, I didn’t love it as much as I like the first book. Despite attempts at humor I didn’t feel like any of them fit with the story very often.

Review: Timepiece by Myra McEntire

18 Jun

I read Hourglass only a few months ago and was thrown by the change in narrator for Timepiece. After a couple of chapters I was used to things being from Kaleb’s perspective, but those first couple of chapters I had to keep checking exactly who was doing what.

Isn’t this cover awesome!!!

Seeing Emerson from another person’s POV definitely had its advantages. The one thing I disliked about the first book was how Bella-ish Emerson could come off at times. This was not an issue at all with Timepiece. Emerson is portrayed as loving and giving and there isn’t much else developed with her character. We still see plenty of Michael, but coming from a male perspective he isn’t quite the sexy, god-like hero of the previous story. Instead, Kaleb views Michael as a sort of thorn in his side at times.
Continue reading

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