Review | Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour

Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour
Author: Morgan Matson
Published: May 4, 2010 from Simon & Schuster
Genre: YA Contemporary
My Rating: 4/5

Amy Curry is not looking forward to her summer.

Her mother decided to move across the country and now it’s Amy’s responsibility to get their car from California to Connecticut. The only problem is, since her father died in a car accident, she isn’t ready to get behind the wheel.

Enter Roger.

An old family friend, he also has to make the cross-country trip – and has plenty of baggage of his own. The road home may be unfamiliar – especially with their friendship venturing into uncharted territory – but together, Amy and Roger will figure out how to map their way.

This was such a great book to get me into the summer mood. It was lighthearted and witty while driving in a meaningful message about self forgiveness. I loved that they were visuals from the road trip, it made the book feel even more real.

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Review | How To Win at High School

How To Win at High School
Author: Owen Matthews
Published: March 3, 2015 from HarperTeen
Genre: YA Contemporary
My Rating: 4/5

Adam Higgs is a loser, and he’s not okay with it.

But starting as a junior in a new high school seems like exactly the right time to change things. He brainstorms with his best friend, Brian: What will it take for him to take over Nixon Collegiate? Adam searches for the A-listers’ weak spot and strikes gold when he gets queen bee Sara Bryant to pay him for doing her physics homework. One part nerd, two parts badass, Adam ditches his legit job and turns to full-time cheating. His clients? All the Nixon Collegiate gods and goddesses.

But soon his homework business becomes a booze business, which becomes a fake ID business. Adam’s popularity soars as he unlocks high school achievements left and right, from his first kiss to his first rebound hookup. But something else is haunting him—a dark memory from his past, driving him to keep climbing. What is it? And will he go too far?

How to Win at High School’s honest picture of high school hierarchy combines with an over-the-top, adrenaline-charged story line, and Adam’s rocket ride to the top of the social order (and his subsequent flameout) is by turns bawdy and sweetly emotional.

I had so much fun with this book. It was funny, fast-paced, and very unpredictable. All thanks to Adam Higgs, who wants to take over his high school with using the movie Scarface as a guide. Adam starts out as an nobody, but it’s he’s junior year and he wants to fix that. Adam wants to be popular like his younger sister, and older brother. But Adam doesn’t just want to be popular, he wants ‘god’ status, and he’ s willing to do anything to get it.

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Review | Red Queen

Start to Red Queen Trilogy
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Published: February 10, 2014 from HarperTeen
Genre: YA fantasy
My Rating: 3/5

The poverty stricken Reds are commoners, living under the rule of the Silvers, elite warriors with god-like powers.

To Mare Barrow, a 17-year-old Red girl from The Stilts, it looks like nothing will ever change.

Mare finds herself working in the Silver Palace, at the centre of those she hates the most. She quickly discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy Silver control.

But power is a dangerous game. And in this world divided by blood, who will win?

There was too much hype. I truly think that if I didn’t go into this book believing all the hype and expecting it to be this wonderful masterpiece, I would of enjoyed it way more than I did. It kinda makes me sad, because the concept is so up my alley and usually I can deal with corny writing and stuff like that. But I just couldn’t look past anything with this one. My brain was constantly on full critique mode. Continue reading

Review | The Winner’s Curse

First Installment in The Winner’s Trilogy
Author: Marie Rutkoski
Published: March 4, 2014 from Farrar Straus Giroux
Genre: YA fantasy
My Rating: 5/5

Winning what you want may cost you everything you love…

As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions.

One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction. Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin.

But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined.

Set in a richly imagined new world, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a story of deadly games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.

 

So I’m going to be honest here. I gave this book a five star rating because when I finished it I thought it was well deserved. I still stand by my rating but it’s one of those books where you just have to ride with it. Now that I look back on it, there is many aspects that were perfectly fine for me but for other people it can be very irking. So if you go into this book with an open mind and just embrace it, you’ll most likely end up enjoying it.

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Review | This Shattered World

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Second Book in Starbound Trilogy
Author: Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Published: December 23, 2014 from Disney-Hyperion
Genre: YA sci-fi
My Rating: 5/5

The second installment in the epic Starbound trilogy introduces a new pair of star-crossed lovers on two sides of a bloody war.

Jubilee Chase and Flynn Cormac should never have met.

Lee is captain of the forces sent to Avon to crush the terraformed planet’s rebellious colonists, but she has her own reasons for hating the insurgents.

Rebellion is in Flynn’s blood. Terraforming corporations make their fortune by recruiting colonists to make the inhospitable planets livable, with the promise of a better life for their children. But they never fulfilled their promise on Avon, and decades later, Flynn is leading the rebellion.

Desperate for any advantage in a bloody and unrelentingly war, Flynn does the only thing that makes sense when he and Lee cross paths: he returns to base with her as prisoner. But as his fellow rebels prepare to execute this tough-talking girl with nerves of steel, Flynn makes another choice that will change him forever. He and Lee escape the rebel base together, caught between two sides of a senseless war.

 

I absolutely loved this book. Which was a welcome surprise because I thought the first one was just okay even though I did enjoy it, I just didn’t fall in love with it. This Shattered World changed that. I fell in love with the world, the writing, the characters (Tarver and Lilac included). Everything was so beautifully planned and executed, rich and detailed. I just devoured this book.

Okay so even though I fell in love with this book, that doesn’t mean it’s without flaw. The beginning of the book came off a little peculiar. I had no problem with how it started, but what I did have a problem with was how the romance started. There’s such a strong-willed chemistry between Jubilee and Flynn which I loved. But how it started, man… I just couldn’t. I felt like they weren’t addressing any of the issues at hand correctly. That Jubilee was locked up for two days and when returned back to base, all of her morals and beliefs were thrown out the window. I just need better clarification of why, it felt like she had a little dose of Stockholm Syndrome.

Even though the romance had its flaws, it still made up to be a beautiful one and the message behind it really made up for the rocky start. I love their banter and how they both saw things in each other that they themselves didn’t even see. I love how there were so many unsaid things, but they just seemed to understand. And as a reader, it made for something real which helped make their world seem more lively and real.

The dual perspective worked out wonderfully in this book. You get to see how they were and acted when they weren’t near each other. Being able to see their relationships with other people, gave more complexity to their characters. Where you didn’t get that from the first book in the series.

Another thing I liked better in this book was the chapter separator thingy they did. Instead of it being a part of dialogue, it was these small glimpses of a scenes that are hands down the most beautifully written part of this book. Even though they didn’t make any sense until the end.

 Overall, this book did wonders for this series in my eyes. Which I haven’t decided if that was a good thing or bad because I’m stuck here until December without the next one. I don’t think I’ll survive that long.

 

5 stars

Have you read this one? What did you think about it?

Review | The Rosie Project

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Book One in Don Tillman Series
Author: Graeme Simsion
Published: October 1, 2013 from Simon & Schuster
Genre: Adult contemporary
My Rating: 4/5

An international sensation, this hilarious, feel-good novel is narrated by an oddly charming and socially challenged genetics professor on an unusual quest: to find out if he is capable of true love.

Don Tillman, professor of genetics, has never been on a second date. He is a man who can count all his friends on the fingers of one hand, whose lifelong difficulty with social rituals has convinced him that he is simply not wired for romance. So when an acquaintance informs him that he would make a “wonderful” husband, his first reaction is shock. Yet he must concede to the statistical probability that there is someone for everyone, and he embarks upon The Wife Project. In the orderly, evidence-based manner with which he approaches all things, Don sets out to find the perfect partner. She will be punctual and logical—most definitely not a barmaid, a smoker, a drinker, or a late-arriver.

Yet Rosie Jarman is all these things. She is also beguiling, fiery, intelligent—and on a quest of her own. She is looking for her biological father, a search that a certain DNA expert might be able to help her with. Don’s Wife Project takes a back burner to the Father Project and an unlikely relationship blooms, forcing the scientifically minded geneticist to confront the spontaneous whirlwind that is Rosie—and the realization that love is not always what looks good on paper.

The Rosie Project is a moving and hilarious novel for anyone who has ever tenaciously gone after life or love in the face of overwhelming challenges.

 

I went into this book, not knowing what to expect from it. So I can’t really say I was surprised by it, but I’m going to say it anyways I was surprised by it. The book is told from Don Tillman’s perspective, he is a geneticist who works for a university in Australia. (For the longest time I wasn’t sure if they were in Australia or Britain…) Don is on a quest, to find his prefect match. In order to weed out incompatible matches he works up a questionnaire. Introduce Rosie, who is the exact opposite of what Don is looking for. And you have an beautiful story.

Oh. Don. What a special creature you are. I had a wonderful time inside your head, and seeing how you think. You’ve changed my views in many areas.
This book was so quirky and awkwardly fun. I had the best time falling for these characters and seeing their story play out. I really enjoyed Rosie, she was really patient with Don and together they made for some really funny moments. I loved how their relationship played out, it never felt forced yeah it was awkward at times but never forced. I really enjoyed character develops that happens. Don learns a little bit about how to relax, and just go with the flow but most importantly a much needed reality check. He had to realize that no one is without fault and you just have to learn to love the other person just the way they are. At the end Don changed but was still very true to himself.

The writing style of this book is so unique and that’s mostly because of the narrator’s voice. It was very straight forward but since you’re in Don’s mind, it sometimes took a minute for some things to click, at least for me. But by then I would be laughing out loud with how awkward the situation at hand was.
I also really enjoyed Don’s friend Gene, even though he was a totally douche. I kinda liked how frank he was, and he was just an interesting character all round. But I didn’t really approve on how he went about with his relationship with his wife, Claudia.

Overall, I enjoyed The Rosie Project it was a prefect balance of funny and socially awkward. It is filled with entertaining dialogue and complex characters. And everyone says this but it’s true, Don Tillman is so similar to Sheldon Cooper from the Big Bang Theory. They need to be friends. Or at least get them in the same room as each other and hand me some popcorn!

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Sums up Rosie and Don.

Review | Catching Jordan

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A Hundred Oaks Novel
Author: Miranda Kenneally
Published: December 1, 2011 from Sourcebooks Fire
Genre: YA contemporary
My Rating: 4/5

What girl doesn’t want to be surrounded by gorgeous jocks day in and day out? Jordan Woods isn’t just surrounded by hot guys, though-she leads them as the captain and quarterback of her high school football team. They all see her as one of the guys and that’s just fine. As long as she gets her athletic scholarship to a powerhouse university.

But everything she’s ever worked for is threatened when Ty Green moves to her school. Not only is he an amazing QB, but he’s also amazingly hot. And for the first time, Jordan’s feeling vulnerable. Can she keep her head in the game while her heart’s on the line?

This is a book that I’ve heard a lot of great things about. I went into expecting a cute fluffy romance, but I got a little more out of it than just that. I felt like this book focused more on girl power and self reflection than romance. You have Jordan, a high school senior and star QB of the football team. She seems like a pretty chill girl who has her life together. She has big dreams of playing in college football and will do everything in her power to make it happen. Jordan was the embodiment of how strong high school girls are. Confident yet they still have the normal insecurities that all teenage girls face. She also had a tough relationship with her dad that made sense and was dealt with beautifully.

I really enjoyed seeing Jordan’s friendships with all her fellow football players, and they interacted so well with each other. The guys treated her like one of the guys, which set down a strong fountain for this book. The dialogue between characters were funny and witty, and each character had their moments where they shined through.

The only thing I had an issue with in this book was the romance. It felt awkward and weird, the way things ended was predictable. And I’m still trying to figure out if I liked the way things unfolded. But this book is much more than just a fluffy romance. It’s about Jordan, her relationships in her life, her growing as a person and where her future is heading. The book always stayed true to that which made it worth the read.

Overall, it was still a very cute quick read with a lot of underlying issues. That made it super enjoyable.

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That the end I just wanted Jordan to be happy, and that happened so I’m satisfied.

Review | Falling Kingdoms Books 1-3

Over this past year, I’ve been exploring new genres and branching out the types of books I read. One thing that I found out this year was that I freaking love fantasy. It’s becoming to be a problem by pretty much rivaling all the other types of books I read. So at no surprise I’m reviewing Falling Kingdoms a fantasy series. Well the first three, there is going to be six books in this series. Which I am looking forward to. Anyways without further ado, a spoiler free review. (It was so hard to write it without spoilers, I had to keep a lot of it super vague but hopefully it makes somewhat sense.)

Falling Kingdoms

Falling Kingdoms is the start to a high YA fantasy. Taking place in a world named Mytica, Falling Kingdoms follows four young characters in rival kingdoms. Cleo is the younger Princess of Auranos, she isn’t the heir to the throne so her interests were solely on having a good time. While in the struggling kingdom of Paelsia lives Jonas. A boy with a rebellious spirit and a strong sense of righteous. Add in Lucia and Magnus; daughter and son of the bloodthirsty king of Limeros. And you have YA fantasy epicness.

Sorry I’m not the best at summarizing books. But hopefully you just the jist of it (if not click on the cover for the goodreads.) Anyways, I thought the world building in this one did a wonderful job. I was able to get a visual and feel of what this world is and what it is only to become, which kept me vividly into the story. I was able to get an understanding about the world’s magic and the rivalry between the kingdoms and why things are the way there are. But some of the concepts were hard to follow at first, but they get explained later in the series.

I loved this one, but it had some parts that I wish were just not there. There were some plot lines that were meant to strengthen the character but I didn’t like how it was done. I believe there could of been a better way of doing so. I also had  problems with certain characters, which led me to just hate them. I also felt like the author was making us side with only one person and one person only. Not giving much room for the other characters to stand out.

Although, I had some issues with this first one. I still enjoyed it, and it pulled me into this world. Which is the only thing that really matters to me. After finishing it, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the next one. I was left with so many questions that needed to be answered.

Rebel Springs

This was an great sequel. The pacing was steady, never losing my interest but much toned down than the first book. It really expanded my view on all the characters good and bad. Bringing in already minor characters and giving them more of a voice. I enjoyed this book for different reasons than I enjoyed Falling Kingdoms. This one dealt with a lot of the conquences that each action has, it focused on the characters coping with everything. And becoming stronger for it. In this one I felt the characters truly finding a place in this story and in themselves.

This book has it’s flaws. One being that some parts felt like a deja vu from the first one. And it was a bad idea in the first one. But you know the character just thought it was still a bright idea, and did it all over again. I literally rolled my eyes with how this one character was acting throughout the book. Fingers crossed they learned their lesson. And get a lot of character development in. Cause you need it.

Gathering Darkness

The lovely third. I just love the title of this one, Gathering Darkness it gives off a eerie vibe. But still give you a feeling that something big is starting up. Which is exactly what this book did. It pulled plot lines together, filled in most of the gaps, widen the world and it set up the rest of this series. I can’t say much without spoiling everything but I was very pleased. Sure a lot of the plot ‘twists’ were very very predictable. But that didn’t make it any less enjoyable. The characters are finally starting to cross boarders with each other, making for interesting scenes. Two new characters join the mist and make things very interesting, probably even changing the course of this series. And finally I can say I have no idea what direction this series is going to take. Only that I’m ready for the next one.

Have you read this one yet? Thinking about it? It definitely is one to give a try.

Review | The Young Elites By: Marie Lu

The Young Elites | Marie Lu

young elites First Book in The Young Elites

I am tired of being used, hurt, and cast aside.

Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever. A decade ago, the deadly illness swept through her nation. Most of the infected perished, while many of the children who survived were left with strange markings. Adelina’s black hair turned silver, her lashes went pale, and now she has only a jagged scar where her left eye once was. Her cruel father believes she is a malfetto, an abomination, ruining their family’s good name and standing in the way of their fortune. But some of the fever’s survivors are rumored to possess more than just scars—they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and though their identities remain secret, they have come to be called the Young Elites.

Teren Santoro works for the king. As Leader of the Inquisition Axis, it is his job to seek out the Young Elites, to destroy them before they destroy the nation. He believes the Young Elites to be dangerous and vengeful, but it’s Teren who may possess the darkest secret of all.

Enzo Valenciano is a member of the Dagger Society. This secret sect of Young Elites seeks out others like them before the Inquisition Axis can. But when the Daggers find Adelina, they discover someone with powers like they’ve never seen.

Adelina wants to believe Enzo is on her side, and that Teren is the true enemy. But the lives of these three will collide in unexpected ways, as each fights a very different and personal battle. But of one thing they are all certain: Adelina has abilities that shouldn’t belong in this world. A vengeful blackness in her heart. And a desire to destroy all who dare to cross her.

It is my turn to use. My turn to hurt.

This book is just urgh, the feels. I can’t even explain my emotions right now. I’m in awe, surprised, a little bit terrified, and my emotions are all over the place. I want book 2. Like where is it? Gimme, gimme, gimme. So to say I’ve loved this book is a understatement. But I swear to god. Marie Lu needs to stop. She has the ability to make me love a character so deeply and meanwhile resenting them. And I have no idea how to balance out these emotions. I might need to call in a professional.

Adelina is such a strong and remember-able character. Her emotions on some certain things were very fleshed out and the way she handled everything wasn’t at all graceful and she didn’t think a whole lot though. Throughout the story you could see the darkness that was building inside of her. She was very well developed and exposed to you as you read in such a way that made her feel so real. And even though I went it knowing that she was going to turn to the dark side, when it actually did happen. I kept praying that everyone was lying and she will end up as a hero. Or I’m just going to make up excuses, and try to justify everything she will do.  This book really made me think about morality and what makes something right and what’s crossing over the line to wrong.  What is right in my eyes can be completely wrong in someone else eyes.

Another thing I liked about this book was the bonds between some of the characters. Enzo and the other Young Elites bonds of friendship felt more like a brotherhood, that really did take care of and watch out for each other.  Another  relationship that I loved was between Adelina and her sister, Violetta. It was really able to dig deep that the sisterly love that isn’t expressed but is just there.

Also even though this book is heavy on the action and plot, the romance could have used a little more of a push. I know it’s not the main focus and am perfectly fine with that but it was very obvious that it was there and it keep feeling a little forced.

Even with a slight flaw Marie was able to work her writing so smoothly throughouot the story. It played out so well, and her writing style really stayed true to her’s in the Legend series. While still finding a new voice in fantasy, which I think is amazing and deserves a round of applause. You go, Lu!

I absolutely loved her world that she made. Everything about it was perfect, it was enough beauty and evil in it to make a kickass book. The magic was also done so nicely and just made me love this world even more. I didn’t want to say goodbye to it!

Overall, this book was amazing but, (always a but) it should of been longer. (that’s a good ‘but’ right?) And now all that is left to do is wait for book two. A whole year.

 

waiting sucks.

Isla, Isla, Isla. A sorta review

Isla and the Happily Ever After

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By: Stephanie Perkins

I’m actually not going to give you to much information on this book. Because if you haven’t heard of it, go read Anna and the French Kiss first then Lola. My thoughts on the first two here. Basically it’s one of the best contemporary books series thing I’ve read in a long time. They’re companion novels but read them in that order, Anna, Lola and then Isla. Don’t question it just do it.

I actually haven’t read these books that long ago, so I didn’t have to endure the pain of waiting years for this one. (But the wait was still painful) So when it arrived a week early, I was literally jumping up and down. I think I was just as excited to receive all the goodies also. 

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yes I was so excited. I even took a picture

So now on to my thoughts on the book. Oh my. It was everything I was excepting and then some, if that is even possible. Although it might be the just finished reading high, I’m feeling right now but I don’t care. It was the best out of all of them. And yes, it does pain me to say that. It was just more emotional, raw and sexy. Much more sexy than the last two. I like sexy. Ohmygod

And Isla, I just understood her. More than I understood Anna or Lola. Which is super surprising because I am nothing like Isla at all. But for some unknown reason, I was able to connect with her. Being inside her head was nice. It wasn’t too over bearing, even though her emotions were all over the place. I’m probably not making sense.

Let’s move on to Josh. Oh Josh. Josh. Josh. Maybe I should title this post Josh, Josh, Josh. I was already smitten with Josh in Anna, so with having that background of already knowing him as a secondary character previously. It wasn’t that hard to fall for him. Like I’m pretty sure I was two pages in and I was a lost cause. But I loved Isla and Josh together. So much. That was one aspect that was different with this one was that, it wasn’t a story about how they got together but one of how they stayed together. It showed that not all relationships are butterflies and fairies all the time, and sometimes things can get better the second time around. I loved how their love for each other was formed quickly but it was strong. And sometimes wishes do come true. Because they were your fate or destiny or some other romantic word.

Stephanie really did out do herself with this one. For me it was perfect, and I can really see how she’s changed as a writer but is still very true to how her writing always has been. But this time around she was able to take me on a emotional roller coaster. I was crying for happiness and then sad tears and then happy tears. It was a long night. And right after I finished I just wanted to experience it all over again.

So now here I am coming with the terms that it’s over. This series is over, and I’m dying. Can we get like 50 extra pages? How about a 10 year down the line novella? Something? Meredith’s Story? Anything?

SIGH. I guess all I can do is keep rereading these books. I just can’t let go. I don’t really want to. All these characters are favorites of mine, I even remember the minor roles. All of these books are so remarkable. I think Stephanie ruined all other contemporary books for me, just because they’re not written by her.

Have you gotten your hands one it yet? Your thoughts? Are you excited to read this one if you haven”t before? I need someone to talk about this book with. It’s killing me.