Stupid Girl by Cindy Miles

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From Goodreads: Only fools fall in love… After her senior year of high school leaves behind nothing but heartache, Olivia Beaumont is sure of this: She’s no stupid girl. She sets out for Winston College, promising herself that she will remain focused on her first and only love – astronomy. But all it takes is cocky sophomore Brax Jenkins and an accidental collision with a football, to throw her entire year off course. A quick-tempered Southie who escaped the inner city streets of Boston to pitch for Winston, Brax is known to play way more fields than just the baseball diamond. So, when his name is drawn to take part in his fraternity’s hazing dare, Brax eagerly accepts the mission to take Olivia’s virginity. But he doesn’t plan on falling hard for the sweet and sassy Texas girl who sees right through his bad-boy persona. As Olivia and Brax battle their feelings for each other, echoes of the past year begin to surface. A boy who once turned Olivia’s whole world upside down reappears, and “harmless” pranks wreak havoc. Pretty soon the aspiring astronomer is on the verge of revealing her most difficult, heartbreaking secret. All the while, Brax must wrestle with the irrevocable dare, and Olivia struggles against all logic as she does the one thing only a stupid girl would do: fall in love.

Review…

I should’ve taken the title as a hint.

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Stupid Girl screames cliché. Cliché plot! Cliché main character! Cliché love interest! CLICHÉ CLICHÉ CLICHÉ! And I’m angry (and a little sad) for thinking that it would end differently. That, surprisingly, I would end up loving it. But no, no, no, It made me lose more faith in NA genre.

Olivia just moved to Winston College to study Astronomy and also, to work. She has no plans on making friends, especially on having a romantic relationship with anyone. She’s just happy that nobody knows her and her past, that the whispers and pity stares are gone. She’s determined  to be anonymous and to just focus on her studies but then it all changes when she runs (literally) into Brax. Brax is… jeez, we all know he’s type already. To be easy, let’s just say he’s a Travis Maddox clone. How ‘bout that? Oh wait, how about those who haven’t read BD . Well, Lucky youuuu! No, seriously. I’m genuinely happy for you. But to be fair to you guys, this is Brax Jenkins:

“That’s Braxton Jenkins, my darling. Sophomore. Kappa Phi brother. Winston’s big dog starting pitcher. Total man slut.” Tessa shook her head. “Bad ass, and not in a good way. He’s dangerous. Trouble with a big f*cking T. If you’ve got any sense at all, you’ll stay far away from him”

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Ooooohh. Now tell me this character isn’t cliché at all. But, let’s get past that. Maybe I’ll be engaged to the story.. Maybe the plot will be different. But you know what? I was 1 chapter in and I already want to rant. Look at this (or listen, or read): When Brax accidentally collided (or I think he threw something then it hit the girl, whatever) with Olivia, he KISSED her.

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THEY DON’T KNOW EACH OTHER AND HE KISSED HER. And this is what Liv thought:

“He’d kissed me. And for a moment, I’d let him. What was wrong with me?”

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Well, I’d like to know the answer myself. LOOK AT YOUR LIFE OLIVIA. LOOK AT YOUR CHOICES. That’s sexual assault, you know. HE’S A STRANGER. Is this normal now? Kissing a random stranger? OKAY. Let’s give the guy a chance. Maybe he really needs to kiss a stranger. Maybe he’s gonna die or something and a kiss will save him. I mean, it can happen right? Well, here is his reasoning:

”Christ, I’m sorry. Was just goin’ out for a pass. I didn’t even see you there. Then,” his smile was slow and lazy as his gaze raked over my mouth, “well, I just couldn’t fuckin’ help myself.”

Anybody feel like hitting someone? I KNOW I DO. And after a few chapters..

“And I’m not fuckin’ apologizing for that kiss. It was natural hot-blooded male gut instinct.” He shrugged. “Couldn’t help it.”

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I’m usually against Fictional Character slaughtering, but I don’t know.. I feel like making an exception. So. Liv should be scared, right? Or I don’t know, be creeped out. But after that encounter, she can’t stop thinking about anything but the kiss.

“It wasn’t a big deal, not a date, and he certainly wasn’t interested in me. Not a proposal, as he’d pointed out. As Tessa had so delicately put it, I was not his type. Not at all.  So why did my lips still tingle?”

She was just like that for a whole 3 chapters. Going on and on and on.. She wont’s stop. Liv really has a potential as a character. This book started on Olivia being drugged and raped by his boyfriend (the handling with this chapter is so insensitive by the way. ICK.) And then after a year, she moves in Winston College. Where’s the character development that should’ve happen because of her tragic past? WHERE? She said that she’s all changed and that she know better now but really, this girl is acting like a 15 year old through out the book..

“When we reached the dorm entrance, Brax caught the door as a group of girls filed out. They all slid me an odd look, and one said, “Hey there, Brax,” in a husky voice, and then stared hard at me as she passed. Almost … challenging me. Daring me to interfere. Daggers, even. It was always so noticeable when girls flirted, and it looked and sounded stupid and immature. They never really knew what might lay behind good looks. Or an arresting pair of eyes. No matter how jolting of a kisser. I knew that first hand.”

And then after a few chapters..

“…just something I believe in personally. (about her purity ring) I don’t make a big deal of it, just like I don’t judge others.”

MY FAVORITE:

“I know I’m a typical, Brax. Most girls my age have casual sex like there’s no tomorrow. I’m sorry, but that’s just not me. I’m … simply not casual.”

Yep, I checked, A woman wrote this. My own species. One question: WHYYYYYYYY. Ahhhh, it’s all just so tiring. It was sooo predictable and nothing really happened that stood up. Everything feels recycled, like I’ve already read it and it’s just so maddening. If you’re really curious to what happened, here it is: I DON’T KNOW. I stopped when she ended giving up her fake virginity and she found out that Brax was lying and it was all just a dare.

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Yes guys, Brax lied. I CANNOT BELIEVE IT. UGH. What a shocker.

ANYWAY, Stupid Girl did not work for me, at all. After reading it, I feel like my whole energy was drained and I started questioning my life choices. Maybe this is for you if— Forget it, read it at your own risk! Oh and if you have some NA recommendations? That would be fab.

 

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LovePaula

 

How to Love by Katie Cotugno

17332564From Goodreads: Before: Reena Montero has loved Sawyer LeGrande for as long as she can remember: as natural as breathing, as endless as time. But he’s never seemed to notice that Reena even exists until one day, impossibly, he does. Reena and Sawyer fall in messy, complicated love. But then Sawyer disappears from their humid Florida town without a word, leaving a devastated-and pregnant-Reena behind. 

After: Almost three years have passed, and there’s a new love in Reena’s life: her daughter, Hannah. Reena’s gotten used to being without Sawyer, and she’s finally getting the hang of this strange, unexpected life. But just as swiftly and suddenly as he disappeared, Sawyer turns up again. Reena doesn’t want anything to do with him, though she’d be lying if she said Sawyer’s being back wasn’t stirring something in her. After everything that’s happened, can Reena really let herself love Sawyer LeGrande again?

Review:

This book had all the elements to turn into a new favorite. However there was something that really didn’t let it become that. That something’s name is Sawyer.

As so many others have said in their reviews of this book, if you don’t like Sawyer, you won’t like this book. Sadly, I didn’t like Sawyer.

This is really disappointing, since at first I was really connecting with this book. I really understood Reena. I really understood her, and loved her as a character at first. Suddenly Sawyer comes into the picture, and all the maturity she had acquired (because of her teenage pregnancy and being left alone to deal with it) disappears. POOF. Reena is 16 again, and making stupid decisions all over again.

I really tried to see what was so special about Sawyer. I tried to see how it was that Reena fell for him. But I couldn’t. All I saw was this manipulative and emotionally distant person. For Christ’s sake, Sawyer doesn’t even talk about his and Reena’s daughter when he sees her! He’s like: “Oh look, a baby. Well nice to see you, gotta go, bye.” He intentionally avoids the subject until he can’t anymore and then turns everything on Reena as if it were HER FAULT. And it is not.

There’s also a love triangle here, and I definitely did not root for Sawyer. I think this love triangle was about much more than just a simple “should I? shouldn’t I?” aspect, but more of an inner war of Reena’s past self with her future self. I felt like this triangle was Reena choosing to be her old, 17-year-old self (with Sawyer), or the new and mature girl she had to be to raise her daughter. She ultimately chose wrong. I am all for second chances when the person proves themselves worthy. However Sawyer did nothing of the sort. He just reappeared into Reena’s life and expected to be accepted as if he belonged there.

“The hideous thing is this: I want to forgive him. Even after everything, I do. A baby before my 17th birthday and a future as lonely as the surface of the moon and still the sight of him feels like a homecoming, like a song I used to know but somehow forgot.”

What I did like, however, was the familial dynamics. I liked seeing Reena’s interactions with her daughter, Hannah. I liked to see Reena actually acting as a good parent to Hannah. I also loved seeing Reena’s parents being supportive (even if they were conflicted) towards Reena. I loved that her parents weren’t afraid to tell the truth to her. I also loved the writing. The story was presented in then and now moments, and I loved that I could see the contrast between what was happening.

Overall, while this book has a great premise and wonderful writing, the fact that I could not connect with any of the main characters deterred my love for it. As I kept reading, Sawyer slowly kept sucking my enjoyment for what would have been an awesome book.

2stars

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LoveMarianne

 

Sinner (The Wolves of Mercy Falls #3.5) by Maggie Stiefvater

18406862 From Goodreads:  A standalone companion book to the internationally bestselling Shiver Trilogy.

Sinner follows Cole St. Clair, a pivotal character from the #1 New York Times bestselling Shiver Trilogy. Everybody thinks they know Cole’s story. Stardom. Addiction. Downfall. Disappearance. But only a few people know Cole’s darkest secret — his ability to shift into a wolf. One of these people is Isabel. At one point, they may have even loved each other. But that feels like a lifetime ago. Now Cole is back. Back in the spotlight. Back in the danger zone. Back in Isabel’s life. Can this sinner be saved?

 

Review:

I’ve been waiting on this book for soooooo long, I didn’t think it was ever going to come out!!! Sinner is the stand alone companion book to Maggie Stiefvater’s Shiver trilogy (also known as The Wolves of Mercy Falls series). You really should read the trilogy first, though. This trilogy is one of my favorite series, and Maggie Stiefvater is one of my favorite authors (her Raven Boys series is another fave), so I was extremely excited for Sinner! I’m going to try to rein in my fangirling for this review, and also try to be vague so as not to spoil anything for fans of this series!

Sinner picks up after the events in Forever, the last book in the series. However, unlike the other books in the series, Grace Brisbane and Sam Roth are not the focus of Sinner. Instead, Sinner is about Cole St. Clair and Isabel Culpeper, the secondary characters from the trilogy that I thought constantly stole the show. Cole – the boy we hated to love and Isabel – the girl we loved to hate.

“I am a werewolf in L.A.”

After the events in Forever, her parents separated, and so Isabel moved from Minnesota to Los Angeles with her mom. They are living with Isabel’s divorced aunt and cousin in what Isabel refers to as the “House of Dismay and Ruin.” Still grieving the death of her brother and now the death of her parent’s marriage, Isabel is trying to move on and build a new life by pursuing a career in medicine. She’s harsh, bitter, and blunt to hide her vulnerability. The last thing she needs or expects is Cole St. Clair in her life again.

“I came back for you, Isabel.”

Cole St. Clair shows up in Los Angeles, the city that played a part of his downfall (prior to becoming a wolf), to pursue/restart his music career. But really, he’s there for Isabel. He’s on a path of redemption, and he wants Isabel in his life. He needs her. They have a complicated love – they will either bring each other up or tear each other down.

“There was always room for more monsters in L.A.”

This installment focuses more on romance than the paranormal aspect featured in the trilogy. While Cole is still a wolf, the wolf issue isn’t as prominent as the romance. I still enjoyed and loved it, though. It’s a clever, lovely, snarky, funny, and sweet story. I just can not explain how much I adored this book!! Love Cole and Isabel so much!! Fans of the series shouldn’t be disappointed, I think this book is better than the hype!! It’s awesome, and I highly recommend it!!

5stars

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LoveTricia

On the Edge (The Edge, 1-4) by Ilona Andrews

on the edgeFrom goodreads: Rose Drayton lives on the Edge, between the world of the Broken (where people drive cars, shop at Wal-Mart, and magic is a fairy tale) and the Weird (where blueblood aristocrats rule, changelings roam, and the strength of your magic can change your destiny). Only Edgers like Rose can easily travel from one world to the next, but they never truly belong in either.

Rose thought if she practiced her magic, she could build a better life for herself. But things didn’t turn out how she planned, and now she works a minimum wage, off the books job in the Broken just to survive. Then Declan Camarine, a blueblood noble straight out of the deepest part of the Weird, comes into her life, determined to have her (and her power).

But when a terrible danger invades the Edge from the Weird, a flood of creatures hungry for magic, Declan and Rose must work together to destroy them—or they’ll devour the Edge and everyone in it.

Review…

A quickie review.

“Yes, I’m too mad to punish you right now. We’ll talk about it when we get home. Go brush your teeth, comb your hair, put on dry clothes, and get the guns. We’re going to Wal-Mart.”

Having become a recent fan of Ilona Andrews, how could I not read The Edge series??

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Let me just say that books 1 through 4 are completely addictive and it was light on the action if I’m comparing it to the Kate Daniels series and it wasn’t a bad thing, just different from what I normally like.  I also had a hard time figuring out how to label it because it’s not 100% UF but it’s not quite PNR and I’m not sure that it’s Fantasy either.  I guess you could say it’s a mix of UF with a sprinkling of PNR, so you can imagine how torn I was as to which shelf to add it to on goodreads.  I know, book-nerd problems. *shrugs*

“Why couldn’t she have gotten another Edger or some dimwit from the Broken for a passenger? No, she got Lord Leather Pants here.”

Anyway, labels aren’t important.  What’s important is that this series is absolutely fabulous even though at times the stories moved a bit fast for me.  The stories weren’t overly complex but if you skip a line or two, you, as the reader will be lost because the world building is complex and that’s what I loved most about Ilona Andrew’s books.  I was completely fascinated by the world caught between the Weird and the Broken and yes, that would be the Edge. See how that connects to the title?? *waggles brows*

“If the sky could dream, it would dream of dragons.”

The writing, is fabulous and very clever which isn’t shocking.  There were a few times when I did the whole giggle-snort thing.  Luckily, I wasn’t in public or anything because I hate when people stare.  Anyway, there wasn’t a character I didn’t like and there wasn’t a creepy creature that didn’t fail to give me the heebie-jeebies.

“We Draytons are many things: pirates, witches, rogues…but nobody ever accused us of being ungrateful. A family has to have standards. Even in the Edge.”

All four books felt like a modern fairytale and I absolutely fell in love with Jack and George. Actually, I fell in love with the entire series.  Clearly, I’m all over the place but if you like UF or PNR then indulge yourself with everything that’s The Edge. *wink*

What can I say…I looooooooooove this series!

4stars addtogoodreads buy from amazon

Reading Order:

 

LoveCristina

The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

15283043From Goodreads: 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.

Review:

Rich Guy and Poor Girl. Sounds like your typical romance novel, doesn’t it? And yet Kasie West makes it so different.

This was such a cute and fluffy book! It’s definitely a very quick read and one that’ll definitely get you out of a reading slump.

What makes this book different from others with the same premise is the wonderful characters. Each character in this book is a breath of fresh air. Caymen, with her dry humour and personality is totally relatable. I’m not rich, and I definitely know what it’s like living with your single mother and getting by. Caymen doesn’t let this affect her personality. She’s still an independent and headstrong girl.

“So Caymen…”
“So, Xander…”
“Like the islands.”
“What?”
“Your name. Caymen. Like the Cayman Islands. Is that your mom’s favourite place to visit or something?”
“No, it’s her third favourite place. I have an older brother named Paris and an older sister named Sydney.”
“Wow.” He opens the bag, takes out a muffin, and hands it to me. The top glistens with sprinkled sugar. “Really?”
I gently unwrap it. “No.”

I really loved Xander as a love interest! He was so understanding. Yeah, he was rich, but that didn’t make him snobby at all. He took Caymen’s humour and delivered it right back to her. Can I get a Xander? I need someone to have sarcastic and witty conversations with!

The reason Xander & Caymen had such an adorable romance was because they both ignored their backgrounds and decided to know each other personally. Yes, Caymen had her doubts at first (because of his money), but Xander had no qualms about proving her wrong whenever he could. He showed her that he liked her for who she was!

I also really liked Caymen’s relationship with her mother because it seemed very genuine. They were great friends and yet their relationship developed and grew throughout the book. Caymen also had a great friendship with Skye, her eccentric best friend.

My only complaint about this book is the fact that it seemed a little bit rushed at the end. I would’ve enjoyed a more fleshed-out ending.

Overall, a great, fluffy, contemporary romance. It’ll leave you giddy and happy and wanting to devour anything else Kasie West writes.

“This is me facing failure. This is me putting everything on the line even though I know I might lose. And I’m terrified. But like you said, anything worth having is worth the risk.”

If you liked my review, would you mind marking it as “helpful” on Amazon? :)

4halfstars

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LoveMarianne

How Do You Rate Your Books?

My last review (Neverland by Anna Katmore) got me thinking about ratings and reviews of books, so I decided to share my thoughts. Also, I’d especially love to hear your thoughts on this subject – as a reader, reviewer, blogger, and/or non-blogger. I feel bad, but I don’t review every book that I read. I don’t have enough time to review EVERY book. Plus sometimes, I’m not sure how to put into words (without spoilers) how I feel about certain books. I try to always rate the books I read, though. I use Goodreads.com mostly for my ratings and reviews of books, occasionally Amazon.com or BN.com (Barnes & Noble), and sometimes Smashwords.com or Booksamillion.com.

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What websites do you typically use for your reviews/ratings of books?

Do you rate and/or review EVERY book that you read? What about books that you don’t finish? What about books that you don’t like? I haven’t been rating or reviewing books that I don’t finish. It’s rare that I don’t finish a book, but it has happened. I don’t rate or review them because sometimes I wonder if it’s just me –maybe I’m just not in the mood for this particular book, and so maybe I’ll try it again later. I rate books whether or not I like them; however, looking over my Goodreads stats – I tend to rate high. My average is 3 or 4 stars for books. My list of favorite and go-to authors is large and keeps growing, so I rarely read out of that comfort zone. I love those authors, so I usually (not always, though) love all their books. I think my stats for reading out of my comfort zone (new to me authors), is about 50/50 – for every new book I find that I love, there’s one that I don’t!

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What are some things that make a book worth 4 or 5 stars to you? When do you give 2 or less stars? For me, if I: absolutely LOVE a book, find it incredibly entertaining, would read it again (and again), would recommend it to friends, start fangirling over it, etc, etc, etc – it’s 4 or 5 stars. If a book can’t hold my interest, falls flat, lacks a plot, etc, etc, etc – it’s 2 stars or less. If it falls somewhere in between – I liked it, it was entertaining, but probably won’t read it again – then 3 stars. I’m sure there’s more criteria, but basically, I base my ratings on how the book makes me feel and how it keeps my attention. I’m not picky on grammatical errors unless the book is full of them and becomes a distraction.

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I read to be entertained!!

Do you find that your reviews/ratings follow the norm? Do you read reviews/ratings before purchasing or reading a book? This is what I’m really curious about. I thought I usually follow the norm, and I don’t usually read reviews before buying/reading a book unless it’s completely new to me. For instance, Neverland by Anna Katmore was a new-to-me book and author. I was looking for something different to read on my Kindle. I came across this book, and it sounded very interesting. Since I’ve never read anything by this author, I decided to read the reviews and check out the average rating. The reviews were highly favorable on both Goodreads and Amazon. The average rating on Goodreads is 4.19 stars and 4.50 stars on Amazon. I liked those stats, so I purchased the book for 99 cents. Now, I realize that no two people read the same book the same way – everybody has different opinions and feelings and that’s great. I know that my friends and I aren’t going to love or hate the same books – that’s what makes our discussions so interesting!! However, because my rating of this particular book was so different than the average ratings, I’m wondering if there’s something wrong with me, LOL!! I thought I followed the norm with my ratings, but I didn’t with this book. I’m okay with not following the norm, it just made me think about ratings and reviews, and I thought it would be an interesting blog subject. I’d love to hear your thoughts!!

 

LoveTricia

Unbeloved (Undeniable, #4) by Madeline Sheehan

unbelovedFrom goodreads: Dorothy Kelley is a born romantic, searching for her prince. Instead she finds herself pregnant at fifteen, and a in a loveless marriage by the tender age of eighteen. 

Then hope comes riding into her life on a motorcycle and within weeks, Jason “Jase” Brady, a member of the Hell’s Horsemen motorcycle club, sweeps Dorothy off her feet.

But nothing is ever simple for Dorothy. Jase is married with children. And as Dorothy patiently waits for Jase to give her the happily-ever-after she’s been dreaming about, James “Hawk” Young, a member of the Hell’s Horsemen with secrets of his own, sees an opening into Dorothy’s life and takes it.

Carrying on two secret affairs is no easy feat. As Dorothy tries to dig herself out of the mess she’s created, covering one mistake with another, tragedy strikes, nearly costing Dorothy her life and that of her unborn son.

What follows is a long and painful journey of self-discovery and forgiveness, as Dorothy comes to realize that home was exactly where she’d left it, and the love she’d forever craved had always been within her reach.

This is the story of Dorothy, Jase, and Hawk.

We are all born pure; it is our journey that burdens us and leads us astray. Our mistakes that beat us down and cover us in guilt and shame, burying us a little more with each passing hardship. It is up to us to dig ourselves out, to come to terms with our faults, to embrace not only our imperfections but those of the ones we love, and to once again find the path we strayed from. 

Warning: This is not a conventional or predictable love story. It involves one woman and two men bound by a love so destructive it spans two decades, pitting brother against brother, and shattering the lives of those touched by it.

Review…

I’m gonna keep this short and sweet. *clears throat* *points to dictionary*

Lackluster (lack·lus·ter / lak-luhs-ter)
adjective:

  1. lacking brilliance or radiance; dull
  2. lacking liveliness, vitality, spirit, or enthusiasm

I’ve seen some reviews in the blogosphere that mention the sizzle factor is missing, which is absolutely true and that being said, this is Madeline Sheehan’s tamest book in the series.  Did that bother me?  Nope. What bothered me was Unbeloved should have been a novella vs. a full length novel.

I thought the story of Jase, Dorothy and Hawk would be filled with angst; I was hoping the drama might give me heartburn.  You know how much I love the drama, the good kind, not the kind of drama that seems forced but the kind that makes me love and hate the story at the same time.  But this book didn’t have that.

One of the reasons I love the Undeniable Series is because it reminds me of Sons of Anarchy and I’m obsessed with that show. Like OBSESSED. With that being said, I didn’t love this book and I didn’t hate it.  It was meh. Have you ever eaten crackers without salt or put unsalted butter on bread? And while you’re eating either the crackers or slice of bread, you know it’s missing something.  Of course it’s missing something!!  It’s missing the damn salt!!! Yeah, this book was unsalted.

WHATEVER

What I did think was brilliant is that Madeline totally set the stage for ZZ’s story.  And OHMIGOD…that is a book I cannot wait to read. *grabby hands*  That has the makings of a plot that will get my heart rate going in a good way and potentially make me cringe at the same time. *shrugs*

3stars

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Reading Order…

 

LoveCristina

Things I’m Tired of Reading Of in YA

Hi ya’ll! First of all, I wanted to officially say “hi”, since last week I just posted a review and didn’t really get a chance to introduce myself. :)

I don’t bite, I promise :)

Anyways, do you read a lot of one genre? I do. The only genre I basically read is Young Adult (YA). While reading YA, I’ve realised something: there’s a pattern among some YA books. I’ve noticed how there are many elements that keep getting used over and over again. Sometimes they’re good, but sometimes they are really really bad. Below is a little list of some things I really wish would stop getting used so frequently:

  • Love Triangles: I’ve never felt comfortable with love triangles in general. If I loved someone that was torn between me and someone else, I’d tell him to choose the other person. I have enough self-respect not to be someone’s second-choice, and I definitely do not like being “put on hold”.  I understand being confused, I just don’t understand being led on.
    • Instance where this was GOOD: The Falconer by Elizabeth May: In this book, the love triangle wasn’t about how she was in love with both guys at a time. It was more about which guy should she be with? The one she loves or the one she’s duty-bound to be with?
    • Instance where this was BAD: Matched by Allie Condie: This love triangle was all about “I’m so madly in love with guy 1, until guy 1 isn’t in the picture. Then I’m definitely in love with guy 2. Oh gosh I love them both and now they’re at the same place at the same time. Who should I love?!”.
  • Bad Boys: I get really tired of reading about these bad boys who’ve slept with every single girl in the student body. What’s so special about these guys? That they’re walking, talking STDs?
    • Instance where this was GOOD: Will Herondale from The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare: Oh man, I love that boy. He’s so swoony. He’s gorgeous, with a bad boy attitude. However his attitude doesn’t make him a bad person.
    • Instance where this was BAD: Jude from Crash by Nicole Williams: While I loved the book, Jude as a bad boy annoyed the hell out of me. He was overprotective and temperamental. He couldn’t think straight when it came to “his girl”, and he preferred running away than actually confronting the problems at hand. Not to mention he’d apparently screwed over almost the entire female student body and no one even batted an eye. Did I mention the walking, talking STDs? It seems Jude is it.
  • Dead Parents: I don’t want to be insensitive here. Honestly I don’t. But dead parents in YA is apparently a must have. We’ve seen this time and time again, and most of the time kids with dead parents are unrealistically portrayed.
    • Instance where this was GOOD: Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins: This book, while having dead parents, still managed to provide a parental figure in the main character’s life. It delt very realistically with the issue.
    • Instance where this was BAD: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April G. Tucholke: The parents aren’t necessarily dead, but they’re completely out of the picture. The children are minors that stay alone for MONTHS at a time and I still don’t understand how Social Services hasn’t yet interfered.
  • Good Girls who Change: I hate it when this “good girl” decides that she needs to change because her life “sucks”. YOUR LIFE DOES NOT SUCK GET OVER IT. Want to change? DYE YOUR HAIR! Don’t start taking drugs and having random sex everywhere!
    • There are no GOOD examples for this one because I’m still not entirely sure there’s a “good” portrayal of girls gone “bad”.
  • Extremely shy girl with extrovert best friend: this is becoming more and more typical in YA books and it actually scares me. I understand these friendships where they’ve known each other forever so it doesn’t matter if one likes reading on the weekend while the other likes partying and whatnot. I don’t understand these friendships where the extrovert best friend constantly criticizes and pushes the other girl to change.
    • Instance where this was GOOD: Pivot Point by Kasie West: I really loved the friendship between these girls, and despite their differences they had a genuine friendship. They supported each other even if they liked different things, and despite all that they were still really good friends.
    • Instance where this was BAD: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April G. Tucholke: (Yes, again). Violet & Sunshine (yes, those are their names) are really unconventional friends. Violet constantly slut shames Sunshine because she likes to flirt. Sunshine always tells Violet to change her ways because she’s so “boring”. It’s annoying.

So, here are a couple of things I’m extremely tired of reading. If you have this in your book, it doesn’t necesarily mean I’m going to write it off, but it does mean I may thread a little bit more carefully.

Do you agree with me? Are these some things that appear in your favourite genres as well? Let me know in the comments :)

LoveMarianne

We Are The Goldens by Dana Reinhardt

 

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From Goodreads: Nell knows a secret about her perfect, beautiful sister Layla. If she tells, it could blow their world apart.

When Nell and Layla were little, Nell used to call them Nellayla. Because to Nell, there was no difference between where she started and her adored big sister ended. They’re a unit; divorce made them rely on each other early on, so when one pulls away, what is the other to do? But now, Nell’s a freshman in high school and Layla is changing, secretive. And then Nell discovers why. Layla is involved with one of their teachers. And even though Nell tries to support Layla, to understand that she’s happy and in love, Nell struggles with her true feelings: it’s wrong, and she must do something about it.

Review…

There’s something I need to tell you. Don’t be mad. Please don’t be mad. I hate it when you’re mad at me.

Layla and Nell are the Goldens, their parents are divorced, they’re only 9 months apart and Nell knows a secret about her sister. Her sister is involve with their art teacher!! THIS IS NOT A SPOILER. It’s written in the Blurb already, the real question here is what will Nell do about this information? Will she tell it? Keep it to herself? Maybe just share it to her bestfriend, Felix?

We Are The Goldens is shorter than I expected. But even though it left me wanting more, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I don’t have a sister, and this book made me long for one. It made me emotional.. I was sad and happy and my chest ached a little after I finished it. I know, my feelings doesn’t really makes sense.. But that’s what I loved about the book. Even though it’s too short for my liking, it made an impact.

The story is written in second person tense. Nell is narrating and me (you) as a reader will feel like you’re Nell. Usually, this bothers me. But I’m totally immersed at Layla’s storytelling that I am willing to overlook it. It’s so easy to be invested which is really surprising for me because it’s usually hard for a First Chapter to caught my attention. But Nell is an awesome character. I can see her as one of my best friends, her words are easy to get into and the way she narrates her story will make you feel for her. Even though we’re not getting into the other character’s head, I feel like I know them all deeply! In other words, the book is well written.

We are the Goldens, but we aren’t perfect. We’re going to have some hard times, and I wanted to calmly and wisely say some version of this to you: I’m here to help, we’re close, our lives are intertwined, you can trust me.

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Does this remind you of Elsa and Anna feels? Because this book really is about sisterhood. Layla, the big sister, has some issues and Nell, the little sis, who loves her unconditionally, struggles to help her. Layla got on my nerves a lot of times, for being the first child and older than Nell, she’s pretty stupid. And she’s kind of cruel. I mean, you can see the love there. You can feel that she loves Nell, but there’s manipulations and she’s making Nell feel guilty a lot of times. There’s no romance here, except maybe the relationship between Layla and the art professor, but no, let’s not count that. But there IS an awesome friendship here. Awesome and epic that I envy it.

”Is this what it’s like?”
“What?”
“Being a boy. Do you just sit around all the time thinking about naked girls? Isn’t there more to it?”
“Of course there is. We care about things like your intellect and your sense of humor and your capacity for kindness, but we also really like how you look naked.”

Did I mention Felix already? Because you’ll love him. I do believe that we all need a Felix in our life, he’s one of the most awesome character I’ve ever encountered. I love how his relationship with Nell shifted from super-duper-mega-ultra-bestfriend to.. something more.

I feel pretty sad about this review, I feel like I didn’t do the book  justice. It’s well written, the characters are real and everything is realistic. From the plot to the relationships to the conclusion. It is short, yes, but it has a story that will really play at your heartstrings and it has a message. I absolutely recommend this. Now go hug your sisters!

4stars

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LovePaula

Neverland (Adventures in Neverland #1) by Anna Katmore

neverlandFrom goodreads: Why is there a boy who doesn’t want to grow up?
How can an apple start the sweetest romance in fairytale history?
And what does a ruthless pirate have to do with it all?

Angelina McFarland loves reading fairytales. But she never dreamed of falling right into one herself. That’s exactly what happens when she slips on her balcony and a flying Peter Pan catches her mid-fall.

Ending up in Neverland where no one seems to age and laws of nature are out of control, Angel has no idea how to get home. Worse, the ruthless Captain Hook captures her and keeps her trapped on his ship, the Jolly Roger, where she gets caught between the lines of a timeless battle. But the more time Angel spends with the captain, the more she sees beneath his ruthless façade.

As Angel desperately tries to find a way to return to her real life, she discovers a train ticket to London in her pocket. It won’t be any help in getting off the island, but as her memory fades away the longer she stays, this is all she has left to remind her of her former life and why she can’t give up trying.

Or is staying in Neverland forever the better choice after all?

Review…

I REALLY wanted to enjoy this book and had high hopes for it. I was in the mood for something new and different, then came across this $0.99 deal. I’m a fan of fairy tales and the retellings of fairy tales, so a story set in Neverland was very intriguing to me! The story sounded promising. I was really excited to begin this adventure!

Unfortunately, it wasn’t a great adventure nor was it the sweet romance story it was supposed to be. While the story had lots of potential to be both, it fell flat for me. I really struggled with this book and was easily distracted from it. I did manage to finish it, but I doubt I will pick up the sequel.

I really had a hard time warming up to the main character Angel, and I’m not really sure why. She just rubbed me the wrong way from the start, but I kept plugging away hoping that she would be more likable as the story progressed. Angel arrives in Neverland after falling off her balcony in London. She then falls from the sky into Neverland, and Peter Pan rescues her. She remembers everything about her life and family back in London, even the fact that it was snowing in London, but can’t remember her own name or Peter Pan (she had been reading the story of Peter Pan to her twin sisters prior to falling). I didn’t understand the selective amnesia in Neverland, and it never really was explained (to us or to her). I say “selective amnesia” because some days she could remember her name and other times she couldn’t – and the same goes for the rest of her memories of her London life. It didn’t feel consistent, didn’t feel like her memory really was fading.

I liked the characters of Pan and Hook, especially liked that neither was completely good or completely evil – both had shades of gray. Teenage Pan and teenage Hook have an interesting relationship and it’s different from the fairy tale. I really liked that different take and wish the author had delved into it a little more. We don’t see as much of Pan, the focus is mostly on Hook (and his relationship with Angel). I liked Hook and his complex character at first, but I felt like he changed his ways a little too fast and became less interesting and complex. The author changed viewpoints each chapter between Angel and Hook, which is normally fine and doesn’t bother me if it’s done well. This wasn’t. It got to a point where I couldn’t tell the difference in the viewpoints – they sounded the same. She’s a teenage girl from London, he’s a pirate from Neverland – their points of view and their dialogue should be different!

The romance between Angel and Hook felt off and a bit odd to me. They disliked each other from the start – he treats her the way a pirate would and she’s kind of scared. Then he saves her life. She’s in shock and upset. Next day, they’re making out. Okay, maybe not immediately the next the day, but it sure felt like it (although I think it was later on that next day). Before you know it, they’re in love (and she’s only been in Neverland like 3 days). It just felt incredibly rushed to me and kind of out of character.

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Maybe I just had high expectations or I was too nit-picky, but I just thought the story had the potential to be sooooo much more. There were all these nuggets in the story that, I think, could have been explored a little more (including the main characters Angel, Pan, and Hook). There was a town in Neverland! How cool is that? I got excited about it, but nothing really happened. According to Hook, time is on some sort of loop in Neverland – where the townspeople do the same thing over and over – ever since Pan accidentally cursed it. No one notices but him and Pan, and Pan is apparently the only one that can break it but he doesn’t know it. Sounds like the start of a great mysterious adventure, but instead the sole focus of the book is Hook and Angel’s relationship and getting her home. I just feel like this could have been an epic romantic adventure but instead it was disappointing.

2halfstars

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LoveTricia