Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Review #117: Toil and Trouble by H.P. Mallory

Hello again my dear friends. Here is another review for y'all, enjoy!

Toil and Trouble is the second book in the Jolie Wilkins series by H.P. Mallory. Goodreads says:

The Underworld in civil war.
The cause? A witch who can reanimate the dead.
A sexy as sin vampire determined to claim her.
An infuriatingly handsome warlock torn between duty and love.
Who says blonds have more fun?

After defending herself against fairy magic, Jolie Wilkins wakes to find her world turned upside down—the creatures of the Underworld on the precipice of war. The Underworld is polarized in a battle of witch against witch, creature against creature, led by the villainous Bella, who would be Queen.

While Jolie has one goal in mind, to stake the vampire, Ryder, who nearly killed her, she also must choose between the affections of her warlock employer, Rand, and the mysteriously sexy vampire, Sinjin. And as if that weren’t enough to ruin a girl’s day, everything Jolie knows will be turned inside out when she’s thrust into the shock of a lifetime.

For my review of the first book, Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble, click here.

Honestly, this was a decent second book, but there was a glaring issue. Like the first book, TAT, Jolie once again spent too much time on the looks of all the men around here, even judging them by their looks this time. Like I said in my review for TAT, it's fine to think about now and again, but doing it this much just got in the way of the story, and was just plain ridiculous and uncomfortable (I don't need to hear how sexy Rand's legs are Jolie X_X). It was just too much. I will admit the last quarter of the book threw me for a f***ing loop. It just was so unexpected, yet I also couldn't picture this book going any other way. The twists that went on in said last quarter also were genius/threw me for a loop. I loved every minute of it. 

Jolie definitely had some good growth, despite some childishness that she exhibited. I've already addressed the issue about how she viewed every guy she came in contact with, so I won't repeat it. Her journey was fun to watch, and I loved some of the lines she had. Rand was still wonderful, although he took on a bit of an overprotective persona that got annoying quick. I could tell he truly cared for Jolie, and I loved their relationship and how it evolved. Sinjin was still randy (oh the puns!) as ever, but he definitely had wonderful growth and heart which melted my own heart. I loved him even more in this book, as well as the relationship he shares with Jolie. Some of the other characters, like Odran (Ugh another accent that was hard to understand X_X)took a backseat to the love triangle going on with Jolie, Rand and Sinjin, and just in general didn't really get many moments to shine. 

Ms. Mallory once again built up her world, still kept me interested for the most part. I do have to say: Ms. Mallory, please, for the love of all that is good any holy, PLEASE do not include so many descriptions of all the gorgeous men and please do not let Jolie judge the men she meets based on looks. I know there are people who appreciate all those descriptions, but it just took away from a cool story and just was not necessary. Thank you.

I'll next be reviewing Diamond in the Rough by India Lee.

Until next time, viva la literature!

Review #116: Perchance to Dream by Lisa Mantchev

Hello my wonderful and fabulous friends :) Merry Post-Christmas and Happy Post-Hannukah :) I hope your holidays were filled with wonder and joy :) Have this here review for ya, hope you guys enjoy it :)

Perchance to Dream is Act II in the Theatre Illuminata trilogy. The site Goodreads states:

We are such stuff as dreams are made on.

Act Two, Scene One
Growing up in the enchanted Thèâtre Illuminata, Beatrice Shakespeare Smith learned everything about every play ever written. She knew the Players and their parts, but she didn’t know that she, too, had magic. Now, she is the Mistress of Revels, the Teller of Tales, and determined to follow her stars. She is ready for the outside world.

But the outside world soon proves more topsy-turvy than any stage production. Bertie can make things happen by writing them, but outside the protective walls of the Thèâtre, nothing goes as planned. And her magic cannot help her make a decision between—

 Nate: Her suave and swashbuckling pirate, now in mortal peril.
Ariel: A brooding, yet seductive, air spirit whose true motives remain unclear.

When Nate is kidnapped and taken prisoner by the Sea Goddess, only Bertie can free him. She and her fairy sidekicks embark on a journey aboard the Thèâtre’s caravan, using Bertie’s word magic to guide them. Along the way, they collect a sneak-thief, who has in his possession something most valuable, and meet The Mysterious Stranger, Bertie’s father—and the creator of the scrimshaw medallion. Bertie’s dreams are haunted by Nate, whose love for Bertie is keeping him alive, but in the daytime, it’s Ariel who is tantalizingly close, and the one she is falling for. Who does Bertie love the most? And will her magic be powerful enough to save her once she enters the Sea Goddess’s lair?

For my review of the first book, Eyes Like Stars, click here.

This was such a wonderful sequel to Eyes Like Stars. I did not like it as much as I did ELS, but PTD was almost as good, and of course left a satisfying ending/pseudo-cliffhanger. This was different, as Bertie and gang were outside of the Theatre, so the scope was much bigger. I laughed my butt off at certain points, was brought to tears, pumped my fist in triumph, all that good emotional roller coaster stuff. I loved every single moment, although there was a couple of issues I had. First off, there were some moments where I did not understand a single thing that was going on. Pardon my french, but it felt sometimes like there was a huge amount of mind-fuckery going on, screwing with the old noggin and making me very confused. Also parts dragged a lot, and the pacing in those moments was so slow it was practically molasses. Third, it was too hard to understand Nate. I could understand him most of the time, but sometimes I had to strain to comprehend his dialogue. Other than those gripes, this book was super.

Bertie was so much stronger in this book. She made lots of mistakes, but she owned up to them and tried to rectify said mistakes. You also witness her emotional journey with trying to find Nate, struggling with her relationship with Ariel, her familial issues, and all while maturing into a better person while retaining her trademark wit and all around awesomeness. I just wanted her to succeed in saving Nate, and triumph over the sea goddess. Ariel had some decent growth in this book, despite being his a()()hole self part of the time. I still love the banter he has with Bertie, it was classic. Nate was Nate, although he took on this "It's too dangerous, I want you not to save me" vibe which I despised. The fairies were awesome as ever, and always knew how to make me laugh, while still remaining loyal and noble. The cast of new characters were well written and had great backstory.

Mantchev did it again writing-wise. I still felt that theatrical quality of her writing, and I loved how she expanded her world when she took her characters outside the theatre. It all felt fluid and easy. I can not wait to get to So Silver Bright.

I'll next be reviewing Toil and Trouble by H.P. Mallory

Until next time, viva la literature!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Currently Reading #11

It's that time again everyone. A new list has come into existence after the old one ends. This one is shaping up to be fantastic, although you never truly know. Without further ado, lets start!

This list's theme is Sequels the Second: Another round of sequels to books I have already read and reviewed. Like the last time, I will include a link to my review of the first book so you can read that first. Here are the books!:

1. Perchance to Dream (Theatre Illuminata Act II) - Lisa Mantchev
2. Toil and Trouble (Jolie Wilkins #2) - H.P. Mallory
3. Diamond in the Rough (Hidden Gem #2) - India Lee
4. Fate (My Blood Approves #2) - Amanda Hocking
5. Beautiful Darkness (Caster Chronicles #2) - Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
6. Kiss of Frost (Mythos Academy #2) - Jennifer Estep
7. Inner Demons (Peachville High Demons #2) - Sarra Cannon
8. The Dead Girls' Dance (Morganville Vampires #2) - Rachel Caine
9. Size 14 Is Not Fat Either (Heather Wells #2) - Meg Cabot
10. Heroes Til Curfew (Talent Chronicles #2) - Susan Bischoff

Those are the books folks! Let's see how they go :)

Until next time, viva la literature!

Bad Book Round-Up #8

*Big Sigh* Guys, honestly, I'm just sad right now. I so so so hoped against hope that this post wouldn't happen for this list. But, unfortunately as you can tell by the title, that didn't happen. In fact, the last three books of the current list were all awful. Damn, this truly sucks. Well, lets get it over with.

World War Z by Max Brooks:
  I'm so freaking disappointed in this book, you've no idea. I had heard amazing things about this book, about how good it was and how great of an allegory for the times we lived in it was. Plus it's by Max Brooks, the son of Mel Brooks. It should have been amazing, right? Wrong, sadly. The writing just wasn't good. I know this book is supposed to be an "Oral History," with the characters basically being interviewed and telling their stories. Despite that, the writing should be good, and feel authentic, and it didn't. This novel fell so flat, I'm honestly distraught over it.

Wings by Aprilynne Pike:
  Another book with generic writing and generic characters. I swear, Laurel had literally no personality. Also, I hated her superiority complex. She acted so much better than everyone else because she was homeschooled in a quiet environment, was a strict vegan, and hated being indoors. Ugh, she makes me so freaking mad. And David, typical insta-love clingy love interest. Just, no. X_X

Remembrance by Rachel Madow
  This book felt like it was written by a college student, which I think is when Ms. Madow got the idea for this book, in a creative writing class. She thanks them in the dedication for helping inspire her with this novel. Look, I don't think that it's a bad thing she got published so young. In fact, I envy her. I'd love to be a published author at this moment. Unfortunately, I think her writing needs to mature a bit before her next book. I thought the main character Lizzy was too hair-brained. She also gawked at the "ohmygodsosexyican'ttakemyeyesoffhim" love interest. Her boyfriend was portrayed in a bad light (despite me wanting to smack him at one point), and the writing was too wooden. Overall, I think Ms. Madow needs to practice writing more.

Well, that does it for this edition of Bad Book Round-Up. And that's also the end of the latest Currently Reading List. My next post will be the next CR list, so tune in for that one.

Until next time, viva la literature!

Review #115: Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick by Joe Schreiber

Salutations dear friends :) Happy holidays to all and to those on vacation already, I hope you're enjoying them :) *Cracks knuckles* Alright, lets get to the review.

Goodreads states: Ferris Bueller meets La Femme Nikita in this funny, action-packed young adult novel. It’s prom night—and Perry just wants to stick to his own plan and finally play a muchanticipated
gig with his band in the Big Apple. But when his mother makes him take Gobija Zaksauskas—their quiet, geeky Lithuanian exchange student—to the prom, he never expects that his ordinary high school guy life will soon turn on its head. Perry finds that Gobi is on a mission, and Perry has no other choice but to go along for a reckless ride through Manhattan’s concrete grid with a trained assassin in Dad’s red Jag.
Infused with capers, car chases, heists, hits, henchmen, and even a bear fight, this story mixes romance, comedy, and tragedy in a true teen coming-of-age adventure—and it’s not over until it’s “au revoir."

I don't really have strong feelings towards this book, to be honest. I don't dislike it too much, yet I don't overtly love it. I thought the concept was cool, and Gobi/her story were kick ass, but other than that I didn't truly enjoy ARCEC. Some of the stuff that happened just seemed soo far-fetched. It just became "let's see what we can top the previous crazy event with."

To be blunt, Perry was bland as hell. He's been described as a "Michael Cera type," but I feel like he had no personality, save for how he reacted to Gobi's antics. Which is why I could not understand for the life of me why Gobi and him had a pseudo-romance going on. I mean he was nice, and his journey was fun to read, but it was just too generic, Perry was too generic. Gobi on the other hand, was amazing. I loved her as a character, she kicked major butt, was hilarious, but also could pull on your heartstrings and make you frightened of her. I loved how complex she was, her story will break your heart, and you will totally understand why she does everything she does. She made this novel for me. The other characters really weren't focused on, being that this novel was mostly about Perry and Gobi, therefore they didn't get much development.I will say this, Perry's dad was also generic. The typical dad-who-expects-too-much-and-has-hypocritical-secrets kind of literary dad. He just angered me in his antics/genericness. Other than him, the side characters just blended together.

My issue with Mr. Schreiber is that he basically wrote a generic novel, save for Gobi and the cool concept. Nothing really stood out to me, again save for Gobi and her bad-assery. He didn't really give the story the oomph it needed, didn't really make the twists subtle, basically bland du-jour. Shame too, because this novel could have easily been amazing. Amazing.

Was it worth the hype? No, not really.

As for my next post, well, it'll speak for itself X_X

Until next time, viva la literature! 

Monday, December 19, 2011

Review #114: Legend by Marie Lu

Salutations everyone! I hope your weekends were lovely, and if it snowed by you, congrats! Have this here review for your reading pleasure, so kick back, relax, and enjoy!

Legend is the first in the Legend series by Marie Lu. Goodreads says:

What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic's wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic's highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country's most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.
From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths - until the day June's brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family's survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias's death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

Full of nonstop action, suspense, and romance, this novel is sure to move readers as much as it thrills.

When I first heard of this book, I thought the idea was so flipping awesome, that I was waiting on a proverbial ledge for it to come out. Then I finally got my hands on this book (well, on my Nook, but you get the picture xD), and started reading it for the current CR list. And you know what they say about high expectations, they have the potential to come crashing down. Well, thankfully my expectations didn't come crashing down, but Legend didn't exactly fully live up to said crazy high expectations. I liked the story a lot and thought it was unique in the world of Dystopian YA. Not only that, but the author said she based it on Les Miserables, one of my favorite musicals. Sadly, I didn't see any similarities between the two, nothing whatsoever. Also, the story felt a bit mediocre, despite the fresh concept of the military-run dystopian society with a war between a fellow nation, all within the old United States (old in the book). I could predict most of the twists from a mile away, and was rolling my eyes at some points. Also, the dual voices of June and Day bled into one another at some points. I know in the physical version of Legend, June and Day's POV's are distinguished via different fonts and font colors, which is incredibly cool (I flipped through a physical copy of Legend the last time I was at my local Barnes and Noble, and it definitely is cool ^^). Due to the fact I read Legend on my Nook, the different fonts and colors didn't show up, and also because where the name of the chapters' narrator was was faint in the physical copy, it was non-existent on my Nook, making even more difficult to tell apart the two voices at points. Despite those issues, this is a good, decently solid book that you should read if you like Dystopian YA or a good action, intrigued filled book with a smattering of romance.

June, damn she was a kick ass girl. I loved how she was sort of a Sherlock Holmes type, but also very real and vulnerable, aside from being kick-ass. You feel her loss when she mourns her brother, her anger, her vengeance, everything. You want her to succeed in what she's doing, really deeply becoming attached to her character. Day, damn. He was also very kick-ass, reminiscent of Robin Hood in how he committed his crimes and what he did with what he took. His reasons for everything absolutely broke my heart. I almost cried at certain points from the high-velocity emotion emanating from the digital pages of my Nook. I also felt his anger, pain, happiness, everything. He made me want to cry out in anger at what was being done to him and everyone around him. Concerning his relationship with June, I think their romance was very sweet, despite the circumstances. When the romance was there, you could practically taste how sweet it was. I loved how complex their relationship was, and how it developed over the course of the book. Tess was a great character as well, getting great development and backstory along with June and Day. I loved her quips and her own unique relationship with Day. They felt like brother and sister, and I loved the banter they shared. The other characters, such as Thomas, were purely awesome in their complexity. I got shivers when it came to Thomas and Commander Jameson.

Ms. Lu is a pretty great writer. I liked how she built up this world, made it feel real, as well as incredibly engrossing. I loved learning more and more about this Dystopian society, every nook and cranny. I hope she improves with the second book in the series, because I see some serious potential here.

So was it worth the hype? Some, yes.

Like I said, if you like Dystopian YA, read Legend.

I'll next be reviewing Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick by Joe Schreiber.

Until next time, viva la literature!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Review #113: Bad Taste in Boys by Carrie Harris

Salutations friends! Have another review for y'all tonight. 

Bad Taste in Boys is the first book in the Kate Grable series by Carrie Harris. Goodreads says:

Someone's been a very bad zombie.
Kate Grable is horrified to find out that the football coach has given the team steroids. Worse yet, the steroids are having an unexpected effect, turning hot gridiron hunks into mindless flesh-eating zombies. No one is safe--not her cute crush Aaron, not her dorky brother, Jonah . . . not even Kate! She's got to find an antidote--before her entire high school ends up eating each other. So Kate, her best girlfriend, Rocky, and Aaron stage a frantic battle to save their town  . . . and stay hormonally human.

I don't know, I just didn't like this book. It didn't bode well at all. Kate's voice was too unbelievable for me. I didn't think it was that great, and by extension Kate herself was not very relatable. I thought she was a bit of a control freak, acting a bit superior to her classmates, the coach, etc. The writing itself wasn't great either. Oh well. :(

So did it live up to the hype? No, not at all.
I'll next be reviewing Legend by Marie Lu. 

Until next time, viva la literature!

Review #112: Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel

Hey everyone! Happy almost Friday :) Got this here review for ya, hope you guys enjoy it :)

Dearly, Departed is the first in the Gone With the Respiration series by debut author Lia Habel. Goodreads says:

Love can never die.

Love conquers all, so they say. But can Cupid’s arrow pierce the hearts of the living and the dead—or rather, the undead? Can a proper young Victorian lady find true love in the arms of a dashing zombie?

The year is 2195. The place is New Victoria—a high-tech nation modeled on the manners, mores, and fashions of an antique era. A teenager in high society, Nora Dearly is far more interested in military history and her country’s political unrest than in tea parties and debutante balls. But after her beloved parents die, Nora is left at the mercy of her domineering aunt, a social-climbing spendthrift who has squandered the family fortune and now plans to marry her niece off for money. For Nora, no fate could be more horrible—until she’s nearly kidnapped by an army of walking corpses.

But fate is just getting started with Nora. Catapulted from her world of drawing-room civility, she’s suddenly gunning down ravenous zombies alongside mysterious black-clad commandos and confronting “The Laz,” a fatal virus that raises the dead—and hell along with them. Hardly ideal circumstances. Then Nora meets Bram Griswold, a young soldier who is brave, handsome, noble . . . and dead. But as is the case with the rest of his special undead unit, luck and modern science have enabled Bram to hold on to his mind, his manners, and his body parts. And when his bond of trust with Nora turns to tenderness, there’s no turning back. Eventually, they know, the disease will win, separating the star-crossed lovers forever. But until then, beating or not, their hearts will have what they desire.

In Dearly, Departed, romance meets walking-dead thriller, spawning a madly imaginative novel of rip-roaring adventure, spine-tingling suspense, and macabre comedy that forever redefines the concept of undying love.

I'm not gonna lie, it weirded me out at first reading a love story with a legitimate zombie as one of the love interests. I mean, just the idea of it gave me the creeps. But as I read this book, my mind completely changed, and I was totally rooting for Bram and Nora to be together. I did find it irritating, as a few bloggers I read said, that women in New Victoria just gave up their rights that easily. It just blew my mind. Also, I didn't like the number of narrators there were. That works for some books, but it didn't seem to jibe with this one. I wanted more of the awesome love story between Bram and Nora, and more of Nora's fantastic point of view. While it was nice getting different perspectives, I hope Ms. Habel does not do this again in Dearly, Beloved. Especially since I found myself skipping some of the chapters that had other POVs in them. I loved this story, a mix of zombie fiction, a love story, family drama, steampunkness and good old fashion historical stuff (yup, that's right, stuff). The fight scenes were pure epicausity, and I lapped it up like tomato juice. And I have to say it, that ending damn near made me tear up and scream in horror/sadness.

Nora was flipping awesome. I loved her sarcasm, her loyalty and intelligence. I loved that she defied the norm, loving military history instead of following the norm. She was another character who I think would make a great best friend in real life. Her reactions were appropriate, plus she kicked some serious ass. Her journey was so cool, and I was rooting for her the whole time. Bram, damn what do I say about Bram? Is it weird that I have a literary crush on a zombie? I mean it definitely is weird, but I still think Bram is bleeping hot. He's so sweet and caring, loyal and smart, funny and kick-ass. I loved how his and Nora's relationship developed. It did take place in a short time, but there was a reason for that, and despite the time frame, their relationship developed at a nice pace. The romantic moments between them were sugary sweet, and I can't wait to get back to them in the second book. Pamela was a cool character. Her POV was alright to read, mostly because of how she dealt with everything, from her parents to the zombie outbreak, to her station in life. Chas was by far one of my favorites. She made me laugh out loud so many times, and I loved how her relationship with Nora was. 

Ms. Habel is a wonderful author. She built up her world so well, and it's clear she knew what she was doing when it came to writing the Neo-Victorian parts. She wrote such great characters, story, and just drew me into this world that she created. I can't wait to see more from her.

So did it live up to the hype? Hells yes it did!

I'll next be reviewing Bad Taste in Boys by Carrie Harris.

Until next time, viva la literature!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Review #111: Between the Sea and Sky by Jacyln Dolamore

Hello again friends! I know, I just posted the latest CR list, and am already coming with the first review from it? Well, here's what happened. I made the newest CR list last night after I shut down my computer for the night, and haven't been on until tonight to make the CR list on Goodreads and make its post here. In the time between, I read this book, hence why the review is going up so quick. Hope y'all enjoy it :)

Between the Sea and Sky is by Jaclyn Dolamore. I know I can't come up with my own description for this so here's the Goodreads synopsis:

For as long as Esmerine can remember, she has longed to join her older sister, Dosinia, as a siren--the highest calling a mermaid can have. When Dosinia runs away to the mainland, Esmerine is sent to retrieve her. Using magic to transform her tail into legs, she makes her way unsteadily to the capital city. There she comes upon a friend she hasn't seen since childhood--a dashing young man named Alandare, who belongs to a winged race of people. As Esmerine and Alandare band together to search for Dosinia, they rekindle a friendship . . . and ignite the emotions for a love so great, it cannot be bound by sea, land, or air.

Holy craaaap, this book flucking rocks my socks. I mean it. I first fell in love with this novel when I saw the gorgeous cover a long while back. Now that I've read it, I love the book for its substance as well as it's damn gorgeous cover. I think this is a companion book, but you don't need to read that book to enjoy this one. I enjoyed the mix of mermaid mythology with this reinvented idea of winged people. With the mermaid mythology, it was great how Ms. Dolamore added a bit of Little Mermaid, both the original story and the disney movie, as well as the siren aspect of it. The story was mostly romance, but that was fine with me. I loved the relationship between Esmerine and Alander. The plot with Dosinia was great as well, both combining for a good emotional roller coaster.

Esmerine was fabulousas the main character. She had a good mix of curiosity, tenacity, wit and intelligence. Plus I love it when the protagonist is a book geek like me :). I loved the journey she went on, literal and internal. You want her to succeed, feel her pain and fall in love with Alander with her. Speaking of the Winged One, I loved him. Sure, he had his a()()hole-ness for a while, but you his journey and watch him grow over the course of the novel. You see snippets of the boy Esmerine remembered from her childhood come back, and I fell in love with him as well. Plus he's a hot book geek, can't go wrong with that! :)Like I said earlier, I love their relationship. You get some flashbacks from Es and Alan's childhood days playing together, coupled with the current time of their interaction. There relationship evolves and changes, and you see the people they've become, and who they will be together. (Although I must admit the ending was a bit cringe-worthy because of a certain event I will not reveal/spoil. I mean really?) Characters like Swift and even Dosinia weren't always there, but when they were you loved reading about them.

Dayum, I have to give huge credit to Ms. Dolamore. I'm not the biggest fan of 3rd person POV as y'all know, but she made it work, and I honestly can't see this book being told in any other way. You get so deep into the characters and this rich story with its rich mythologies. Ms. Dolamore firmly entrenches you in the story and creates this world you will not want to leave.

If you love a good mermaid book that has so much more to offer, pick this up and have a good time :)

So did it live up to the  hype? Yes, yes it did :)

I'll next be reviewing Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel.

Until next time, viva la literature!

Currently Reading #10

Holy fricking cannoli (sp?) batman, we're at the 10th Currently Reading List! Holy crap. O.O Has it been that long? Anyway, the time is nigh for this list, and the books on this one should be amazing.

Dadadadaaaaaaa, this list's theme is Hypables 2! These books, at one point or another, have been hyped up more than others. Therefore, the question of "was it worth the hype?" will be brought back for this list. 
I also just wanted to take a moment and thank Ms. Gae Polisner for liking my review of her book The Pull of Gravity, and commenting on it. Thank you Gae, it means a lot that you loved my review :) 

So, without further ado, here are the books!:

1. Between the Sea and the Sky - Jacyln Dolamore
2. Dearly, Departed (Gone with the Respiration #1) - Jacyln Dolamore
3. Bad Taste in Boys (Kate Grable #1) - Carrie Harris
4. Legend (Legend #1) - Marie Lu
5. Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick - Joe Schreiber
6. World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War - Max Brooks
7. Wings (Wings #1) - Aprilynne Pike
8. Remembrance (Transcend Time Saga #1) - Michelle Madow

So! There ya have it folks, the books I will be reading for however long the list takes. If one or more of these books pique your interest, check them out, see what possible adventures await!

Until next time, viva la literature!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Review #110: Between the Lines by Tammara Webber

Alright y'all, final review of the night. Here we go!

Between the Lines is the first in the Between the Lines series by Tammara Webber. Here's the Goodreads description:

When Hollywood It Boy, Reid Alexander, arrives on location to shoot his next movie, his goals are the same as always: film another blockbuster hit and enjoy his celebrity status to the fullest while doing so. His costar is a virtual unknown with whom he had blazing hot chemistry during her auditions. The universe is lining up nicely to grant whatever he wants, as usual, until he's confronted with unexpected obstacles on location like a bitter ex-girlfriend and a rival for the first girl to spark his genuine interest in years.

Emma Pierce just got her big break after more than a decade of filming commercials for grape juice, department stores and tampons, and more recently, bit parts in made-for-TV movies. Nailing the lead role in a wide-release film sent her agent, father and stepmother into raptures, and should have done the same for her. The Problem? Emma is experiencing a building desire to be normal, and starring in a silly, modernized adaptation of one of her favorite novels opposite the very hot Reid Alexander isn't going to advance that aspiration.

Graham Douglas doesn't fear playing the part of a nerdy dimwit; when it comes to choosing film roles, if it pays, he'll do it. Besides, his friend Brooke Cameron snatched up the role of the bitchy hot girl and could use his help as a buffer, because her ex is the star. Graham has no problem keeping a handle on the situation, until he finds himself attracted to Reid's costar, Emma, the girl Reid is pursuing full-throttle with his standard arsenal of charm, good looks and arrogance.

This book just didn't do it for me. I couldn't get into the characters, and the writing was atrocious. I didn't feel like the POVs matched the characters' ages. I understand that some of them have been in the spotlight for a long time and have had to grow up, but this was just ridiculous. The only character I liked was Emma, and even she got on my nerves a lot.

Plus, I was honestly uncomfortable with how free Ms. Webber was about the "sex, drugs, rock and roll" lifestyle celebrities lead. I just didn't like reading about it.

Looks like this latest list is up, tune into my next post to see what literary adventures I'll be reading next!

Until next time, viva la literature! 

Review #109: The Vinyl Princess by Yvonne Prinz

The Vinyl Princess is by Yvonne Prinz. Goodreads synopsis:

Summer is here, and 16-year-old Allie, a self-professed music geek, is exactly where she wants to be: working full-time at Berkeley’s ultra-cool Bob and Bob Records. There, Allie can spend her days bantering with the street people, talking the talk with the staff, shepherding the uncool bridge-and-tunnel shoppers, all the while blissfully surrounded by music, music, music. It’s the perfect setup for her to develop her secret identity as The Vinyl Princess, author of both a brand-new zine and blog. From the safety of her favorite place on earth, Allie is poised to have it all: love, music and blogging.
      Her mother, though, is actually the one getting the dates, and business at Allie’s beloved record store is becoming dangerously slow—not to mention that there have been a string of robberies in the neighbourhood. At least her blog seems to be gaining interest, one vinyl junkie at a time…

Damn, this book rocked. I'm a huge music geek, so this book definitely appealed to me, even though I'm not the same kind of music geek Allie is. This book went nice and slow, pacing just right and hitting you with twists when you least expect it. Then when you're finally finished with the book you realize "huh, the clues were there the whole time." I loved every moment, savoring them. 

Allie is a really cool character. Like I said, we're both music geeks, and also have blogs! Plus we share the same sense of humor. She's very real, and you become attached to her and want her to be happy. I love the journey she goes on, developing little by little and realizing her mistakes, owning up to them. Her coworkers at Bob and Bobs are so eclectic, and you want to know more about them, especially Laz. I feel like Laz has this whole history behind him, and I'd love for there to be a spin-off book all about him. Zach definitely was a wonderful character to fall for. He was charming and quirky, but not overtly so. 

Damn, Ms. Prinz is amazing. You can feel her love of music permeating through the novel. She creates these characters you fall in love with, as well as getting you into these artists and albums. She has such a love for what she's writing, you just want to jump on that bandwagon. 

I'll next be reviewing Between the Lines by Tammara Webber.

Until next time, viva la literature!

Review #108: The Pull of Gravity by Gae Polisner

The Pull of Gravity is the debut book by Gae Polisner. Goodreads description:

While Nick Gardner’s family is falling apart, his best friend, Scooter, is dying from a freak disease. The Scoot’s final wish is that Nick and their quirky classmate, Jaycee Amato, deliver a prized first-edition copy of Of Mice and Men to the Scoot’s father. There’s just one problem: the Scoot’s father walked out years ago and hasn’t been heard from since. So, guided by Steinbeck’s life lessons, and with only the vaguest of plans, Nick and Jaycee set off to find him.
Characters you’ll want to become friends with and a narrative voice that sparkles with wit make this a truly original coming-of-age story.

Wow, this book really pulls at your heartstrings and emotions. This is for sure one of the most beautiful books I have ever read in my life.I can't even fully describe how this book makes me feel. It's such an emotional roller coaster. The story itself was wonderful. I loved reading this journey that the characters go on. You root for them and want so badly for them to succeed. That ending definitely threw me for a loop.

Nick is a great leading character. He has his moments, but he is so real and flawed and just a fully realized and developed character. You feel his pain, feel his anger, everything. Then there's Jaycee. I loved her character. She's sarcastic, witty, funny, but also vulnerable and sweet. I connected with her immediately. Plus we share an odd sense of style :).She comes off as the cool, collected and sort of mysterious girl with all the answers. But like I said, she's also vulnerable and sweet, genuinely caring about Scooter and Nick. Scooter was also great. I loved him and was so so sad about him. Plus his role at the ending was a pretty cool twist. The other characters, such as Nick's brother, didn't have much development, save for Nick's Dad.

Wow, just wow. For a debut novel, it feels like Ms. Polisner has been around forever. She weaves the characters together beautifully, tackles the tougher subjects with tenderness and grace, and is just a really good writer. She describes things with such beauty. I can't wait so see what she comes up with next.

I'll next be reviewing The Vinyl Princess by Yvonne Prinz.

Until next time, viva la literature!

Review #107: The Boyfriend Thief by Shana Norris

The Boyfriend Thief is by Shana Norris. Here's another Goodreads description: 

Avery James has her life planned out: this summer she'll work with a humanitarian program in Costa Rica, next year she'll graduate at the top of her class, and after that, college and medical school. Perfect, planned, total order.

The only problem: getting the rest of the money she needs for the trip before the deadline. Hannah Cohen, her biggest competition for the valedictorian title, makes an unexpected offer: If Avery can win over Zac Greeley and make him break up with Hannah before the end of the school year, a check for five hundred dollars is all hers. Faced with the prospect of spending yet another summer working as a giant hot dog, it's an offer Avery can't refuse.

Zac is nothing like Avery expected. Within his chaotic world of midnight slushie runs and spontaneous dance parties, her total order is quickly falling apart while Hannah seems poised to get everything she wants. But just how much is Avery willing to give up for the perfect, planned life?

I'm honestly surprised at how much I loved this book. It was purely wonderful, showing the pains and joys of real life. I cringed and laughed and cried, just like real life. This story is fantastic, flowing well. You are so invested, wanting everything to turn out alright.

Avery was another obsessive control freak, but not as bad as Lissa from Shut Out was in the beginning of that book. Again, she has her reasons for being who she was, and as the book goes on, the layers are peeled back and she develops so well, becoming this great character you want to pull through. Zac, damn that boy is sweet and sexy. Funny, smart and wonderful. Can I live in Contemporary YA land? That would be wonderful, thank you :). Molly was hilarious and awesome, another funny/snarky best friend who got great development. Characters like Hannah and Elliot also got development and didn't languish in one-dimensional land.

Wow, Ms. Norris is a kick-ass author. She creates these characters who are so real and so wonderful to read about. She handles everything with verve and grace. I can't wait to read more from her.

I'll next be reviewing The Pull of Gravity by Gae Polisner

Until next time, viva la literature!

Review #106: Second Helpings by Megan McCafferty

Second Helpings is the second installment in the Jessica Darling series by Megan McCafferty. Goodreads description ahoy!:

Jessica Darling is up in arms again in this much-anticipated, hilarious sequel to Sloppy Firsts. This time, the hyperobservant, angst-ridden teenager is going through the social and emotional ordeal of her senior year at Pineville High. Not only does the mysterious and oh-so-compelling Marcus Flutie continue to distract Jessica, but her best friend, Hope, still lives in another state, and she can’t seem to escape the clutches of the Clueless Crew, her annoying so-called friends. To top it off, Jessica’s parents won’t get off her butt about choosing a college, and her sister Bethany’s pregnancy is causing a big stir in the Darling household.

With keen intelligence, sardonic wit, and ingenious comedic timing, Megan McCafferty again re-creates the tumultuous world of today’s fast-moving and sophisticated teens. Fans of Sloppy Firsts will be reunited with their favorite characters and also introduced to the fresh new faces that have entered Jess’s life, including the hot creative writing teacher at her summer college prep program and her feisty, tell-it-like-it-is grandmother Gladdie. But most of all, readers will finally have the answers to all of their burgeoning questions, and then some: Will Jessica crack under the pressure of senioritis? Will her unresolved feelings for Marcus wreak havoc on her love life? Will Hope ever come back to Pineville? Fall in love with saucy, irreverent Jessica all over again in this wonderful sequel to a book that critics and readers alike hailed as the best high school novel in years.

For my review of Sloppy Firsts, click here

This book was such a disappointment compared to Sloppy Firsts. Admittedly, it was decent for the most part, there was a glaring issue with this book that disappointed me. Look, I know how High School kids are, being that I was in HS until June 2010. I know a good chunk of High School kids have sex, and/or are sex obsessed. But this is a book, and you shouldn't make roughly 80% of the book about sex and most of the characters sex-obsessed. It should not threaten to/overshadow the rest of the story. That brought this book down so much, which is such a shame. 

Jessica still retained her trademark snarky wit, great observations, and all around Jess-ness, despite also being extremely sex obsessed. I love her as a character and still relate to her. I loved her witty observations on everything. I especially loved the moments with Paul Parlipiano, and the culmination of that plot thread was excellent. I have to gripe to Ms. McCafferty for a moment: Megan, I love your work, and Marcus Flutie is one of my favorite literary crushes. So why, may I ask, is he barely in this book most of the time until the end when you bring him back full force? Why?? Sorry, whiny rant over with. But that was another issue I had, not enough Marcus! When he was there though, it was fantastic. The banter he and Jessica share is classic. The Clueless Crew returns in the book, and are great for who they are. Even Hope gets some development in this book! (I won't spoil that, but it was epic ^^). PS, Gladdie rocked my socks with her awesomeness :)

Megan, I love your books, but I'm issuing this now: I hope Charmed Thirds is a drastic improvement from this book. I would hate to stop reading this series due to one bad book, which is why I am waiting to test this with Charmed Thirds. You are a fantastic author, but I couldn't go on with this series if more than one book was not good. Here's to hoping!

I'll next be reviewing The Boyfriend Thief by Shana Norris

Until next time, viva la literature!

Review #105: Shut Out by Kody Keplinger

Hey everyone! Hope your weekends were fantastic and are happy this week is almost halfway done :) Have the rest of this current List's reviews on the chopping block tonight. Hope y'all enjoy them, and away we go!

Shut Out is the sophomore novel from Kody Keplinger. I'm trying to come up with my own description, but I think the Goodreads one is better (xD) so here it is:

Most high school sports teams have rivalries with other schools. At Hamilton High, it's a civil war: the football team versus the soccer team. And for her part,Lissa is sick of it. Her quarterback boyfriend, Randy, is always ditching her to go pick a fight with the soccer team or to prank their locker room. And on three separate occasions Randy's car has been egged while he and Lissa were inside, making out. She is done competing with a bunch of sweaty boys for her own boyfriend's attention. Lissa decides to end the rivalry once and for all: She and the other players' girlfriends go on a hookup strike. The boys won't get any action from them until the football and soccer teams make peace. What they don't count on is a new sort of rivalry: an impossible girls-against-boys showdown that hinges on who will cave to their libidos first. And Lissa never sees her own sexual tension with the leader of the boys, Cash Sterling, coming.

I'll admit, for about half of the book I was going back and forth on how I felt about it. I wasn't really feeling this book, but I didn't want to quit it because it had some great parts. I'm glad I didn't quit reading Shut Out, because it ended up being amazing. There was a great plot, some wonderful character development, and laugh out loud moments mixed with some really sweet romance. Plus I loved the self-awareness that was going on with Lysistrata, the Greek play this book is loosely based off of. That was done so well, tying into the plot while being ironically self-aware. :)

Ok, I'm not gonna lie, Lissa flat out annoyed me for a while. I thought she was selfish, had a superior "I am better than you in every way" attitude, a deep control freak, all of which as I said deeply annoyed me. But, as the story went on, her layers were stripped away, and what annoyed me about her became tied in with her development, all of it being explained in a realistic way. You start to root for Lissa, feel for her. She becomes so much more realistic. I think my favorite character though is Chloe, Lissa's best friend. Chloe could have easily become the token slutty chick and heinously slut-shamed. That never happened though. She had great character development, embracing who she is and not caring what others thought of her. She was fully formed and also very real. Plus she was hilarious and snarky, which is always always appreciated :). I wanted to slap the hell out of Lissa's boyfriend, Randy. My god, he was such s bleeping a^^hole. The things he said and did just angered me to no end. Then there's Cash. *Swoon* Oh Cash. You have made me fall in love with your sexy self. The chemistry he and Lissa had was palpable, and he is just so sweet and smart and, oh god he's just wonderful. 

Kudos to Ms. Keplinger. She made me hate her for a while with this book, but she brought me back in and gripped my emotions hard. She raised great ideas/questions, wrote a great book and great characters. If there were ever a sequel to this, I'd read it in a heartbeat.

WARNING!!! For those with children or siblings/cousins, I don't think they should read this, as it does have strong sexual content. Just a warning.

I'll next be reviewing Second Helpings by Megan McCafferty.

Until next time, viva la literature! 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Review #104: Lemonade Mouth by Mark Peter Hughes

Well folks, this is the last in the massive bulk of reviews I've been posting, and I'm glad I'm ending this deluge with a book that was fabulous :)

Goodreads synopsis:

Poets. Geniuses. Revolutionaries.

The members of the legendary band Lemonade Mouth have been called all of these things. But until now, nobody's known the inside story of how this powerhouse band came to be. How five outcasts in Opoquonsett High School's freshman class found each other, found the music, and went on to change both rock and roll and high school as we know it. Wen, Stella, Charlie, Olivia, and Mo take us back to that fateful detention where a dentist's jingle, a teacher's coughing fit, and a beat-up ukelele gave birth to Rhode Island's most influential band. Told in each of their five voices and compiled by Opoquonsett's "scene queen," freshman Naomi Fishmeier, this anthology is their definitive history.

This book is pure awesome, and has become one of my all time favorites. Like Must Love Dogs, I saw the movie before reading the book, before even knowing there was a book. The difference between the two is that Both versions of Lemonade Mouth are excellent, despite some of the differences that exist (the movie was made by Disney after all). I loved how the story was told through mainly the band members' perspectives, with others when necessary. I loved their stories and how the five became so close with each other, going through their separate and collective issues in their own ways. You become deeply invested in this book and it's gorgeous messages of standing up for what you believe in, being yourself, etc.

Collectively, Stella, Olivia, Charlie, Wen and Mo are a great set of friends. When going through their collective journey, you see them start as five strangers who would rather do their own thing than be friends. By the end they are such a tight nit group it makes you wish you were a part of it. Separately, each of them were vibrant, sweet, and best of all, real. I know kids like this, I relate to them and root for them I loved Stella's narration the best, and connected to her right away (I always seem to connect with the spunky, sarcastic girl, wonder why? XP). Olivia's narration through letters was very fitting, since she didn't really talk much during the novel. Admittedly, Wen acted like a whiny little kid when it came to his situation, but it's meant to be like that so he can grow throughout the novel (it's the same way in the movie too.) Mo also had some great development, and I loved how her relationship with Charlie developed. Speaking of Charlie, I loved how he tackled his personal issue, and how he resolved it at the end. The antagonists of this book made me want to punch my pillows. I hated them with all of my guts, especially Ray Beech and his gang. I've been bullied almost my entire life and it's people like him that make me just so fucking (pardon my language) mad.

I love Mr. Hughes' writing style, The way he wrote the novel worked so well, I don't think this book would have worked any other way. He just creates these vivid characters that evoke intense emotion in you, and grips you with what he's writing, good or bad. I hear he's writing a sequel to this book, and I can't wait!

Concerning the movie adaptation, I still love it, as well as the book version. Both are well done and I recommend you check them out. 

I'll next be reviewing Shut Out by Kody Keplinger.

Until next time, viva la literature!

Review #103: An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

An Abundance of Katherines is by John Green.

Colin Singleton is a washed up child prodigy who also just got dumped by his girlfriend, Katherine 19. Let me explain, Colin has only dated girls named Katherine, 19 to be exact, and every one of them has dumped him. Colin wants to turn his prodigy into genius, mattering to the world. When his overweight, Judge Judy obsessed best friend Hassan decides they need to go on a road trip, the two end up in in a small southern town called Gutshot. Colin meets Lindsey Lee Wells, who has a boyfriend ironically named Colin. During this one summer, Colin experiences things he never did before, learns some ugly truth, and maybe falls in love. 

Honestly, after reading this book the second time around, I don't know why I loved it so much in the first place. I mean, it's decent, but it just did not do it for me. 

Colin felt whiny this time around. I could not find anything to like about him. I do like the journey he goes on, just not him as a person. Lindsey was pretty cool still, going through a journey of her own, plus she was funny. Hassan, yet another interesting journey, also had some funny lines. Yeah, that's about it (I know, this review is odd, I guess I'm just dejected ): ). 

I still love John Green's other works, just not this one anymore :(.

I'll next be reviewing Lemonade Mouth by Mark Peter Hughes.

Until next time, viva la literature!

Review #102: Must Love Dogs by Claire Cook

Must Love Dogs is by Claire Cook. Here's the Goodreads synopsis:

Forty-year-old preschool teacher Sarah Hurlihy thought she'd set herself up for a great life. She'd married the man she loved. They bought a house, decorated it, and then sat, looking at each other, trying to remember why they'd gotten married in the first place. But Sarah didn't have to wonder for long; her husband took up with a younger woman, sounding the death knell for their marriage, and propelling Sarah back into singlehood -- at the same time as her newly widowed father.

Thrown unwillingly into the suburban dating pool alongside her dad, Sarah is ambivalent about the whole process, despite her ticking clock and thoughts that she might enjoy a child of her own. But Sarah's large, loving Irish clan comes to her rescue -- her married sister placing a personal ad in her name and regularly monitoring Sarah's dating progress; and her brother, Michael, helps her feel lovable when he seeks out her comfort and advice while riding out his own rocky marriage.

I don't say this often, but in this case it's absolutely true: The movie is waaaaaaaay better than the book. A thousand times better. I actually didn't know Must Love Dogs was a book until I got another Claire Cook book that was a Free Friday NOOKbook, and it mentioned that Cook wrote Must Love Dogs. So I decided to get it and see how it was like. Unfortunately, as I stated earlier, it was bad. 
Sarah in the book felt bland. I didn't connect to her, and she felt like cardboard. Her siblings were just as wooden and bland. Basically all of the characters were bland.

I think my issue with this book (and the reason I couldn't finish it), lies with the writing. Ms. Cook's writing style didn't fit with the story. I kept skipping page after page, waiting for the writing to be good, waiting for something to be good. Alas, nothing came about.

I hope not to say this again, but if you want to experience Must Love Dogs, watch the movie, it's wonderful. 

I'll next be reviewing An Abundance of Katherines by John Green.

Until next time, viva la literature!

Review #101: The Extraordinary Lives of April, May, and June by Robin Benway

The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, and June is by Robin Benway. Sisters April, May, and June (oh the punny goodness, it's also a self-aware joke in the book which is awesometastic ^^) have recently moved to a new town, after their parents divorce and an incident that occurred in their old hometown. Suddenly, they develop strange powers: April, the eldest and bossiest, can now see the future. May, the middle child who feels invisible, can now disappear. And finally June, the baby sister that struggles to be heard, can now read minds. As the sisters try to contain their powers, attempt to go on with their lives, April gets a vision of an upcoming incident, these siblings will learn nothing is stronger than sisterhood.

Dayum, this book was effing amazing. One of the best books I have ever read. It's just a good, solid contemporary YA book, with a hint of paranormal. And I know that the paranormal aspect is integral to the novel, but it doesn't take over and lets the non-paranormal issues come take precedence. Each sister had their own story arc, all of which had good, satisfying endings and intertwined in a beautiful way. The stories were great, from love to friendship, all ending in a wonderful message about sisterhood. Another thing is I love how each sister's powers had to do with their birth order, and the powers were awesome to boot! How April, May, and June handled these abilities made me smile, cringe, all the good stuff. The romances were great to read, and in general this book was a fun ride that dealt with some serious issues in a tasteful way.

I loved each sister. All three of them had their own unique voices, distinct and clear. Which is good when you have three narrators. April, the eldest, was the typical bossy eldest sister. As the story goes on, she learns to let loose and not be as uptight. June, the cynical middle child, was no doubt my favorite sister. I related to her the most, even though I'm an only child. When I'm out with my aunt, uncle, cousins and our family friends, I get ignored a lot and feel alone in the filled room, even though I'm with people I love. I loved her journey and her relationship with Henry. Her arc moved me the most for sure. Then there's June, who was also awesome. Her journey seemed kind of like Mean Girls, but cleaner in a way. She also had some funny lines, and I loved how she matured at the end. April and May's love interests, Julian and Henry, damn both are swoon-worthy. Both were sweet and caring, with Henry having to overcome some issues in order to mature and get to the ending. In general, all of the awesome side characters had great development and were not pushed out.

I haven't read Ms. Benway's other book, Audrey Wait!, but dang, the woman knows how to write. Like I said, she made each sister have a clear, distinct voice and none of them blended together. She made the paranormal aspect seem realistic (I know, I know, you know what I mean), and just another aspect of their lives. She writes great characters and knows how to craft a good story. I am definitely a fan of hers now.

I'll next be reviewing Must Love Dogs by Claire Cook

Until next time, viva la literature!

Currently Reading #9

Well y'all, it's time for another Currently Reading list to come about. The last one held some great books and searing disappointments. Hopefully on this one there will be no BBRU posts that come out of it (I really hope so). So lets get started!

This latest list is Contemporary Two! Yup, after going with various supernatural books for a while, I thought it'd be good to go with some good ole contemporary as a breath of air. Without further ado, the stars of the show!

1. The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, and June - Robin Benway
2. Must Love Dogs - Claire Cook
3. An Abundance of Katherines - John Green (This is a re-read)
4. Lemonade Mouth - Mark Peter Hughes
5. Shut Out - Kody Keplinger
6. Second Helpings (Jessica Darling #2) - Megan McCafferty
7. The Boyfriend Thief - Shana Norris
8. The Pull of Gravity - Gae Polisner
9. The Vinyl Princess - Yvonne Prinz
10. Between the Lines (Between the Lines #1) - Tammara Webber

That's all for this one folks, catch y'all at my next review :)

Until next time, viva la literature!

Surprise Review! Review 100: The Pledge by Kimberly Derting

Wow, my 100th review! I can't believe it. Feels like just yesterday when this blog was started. I do feel some sadness that the 100th review won't be a happy one. I'll let you read on to figure out why.

The Pledge is the first in the The Pledge series by Kimberly Derting. I know can't devise my own description, so here's the Goodreads one:

In the violent country of Ludania, the classes are strictly divided by the language they speak. The smallest transgression, like looking a member of a higher class in the eye while they are speaking their native tongue, results in immediate execution. Seventeen-year-old Charlaina has always been able to understand the languages of all classes, and she's spent her life trying to hide her secret. The only place she can really be free is the drug-fueled underground clubs where people go to shake off the oppressive rules of the world they live in. It's there that she meets a beautiful and mysterious boy named Max who speaks a language she's never heard before . . . and her secret is almost exposed.

Charlie is intensely attracted to Max, even though she can't be sure where his real loyalties lie. As the emergency drills give way to real crisis and the violence escalates, it becomes clear that Charlie is the key to something much bigger: her country's only chance for freedom from the terrible power of a deadly regime.

I first heard about this book back in February/March. It sounded like it would be amazing. I had never heard of a Dystopian Romance that used language as the basis of the Dystopian society. I mean come on, that alone sounds awesome! So when I saw that the Barnes and Noble I frequent had it a day early, I snapped it up as a hardcover. But sadly, I did not like this book whatsoever. I definitely will not get a Nook copy for sure.

This book plain stunk, except for a few pieces here and there that shone with awesome. The story like I said, in concept was fantastic. Unfortunately the execution was not. The story did not play out well. I hated how it went, and the fantasy element just came out of freaking nowhere. I mean sure, it was explained in the end, but there was never any hint, nothing! I also hated how the author slut-shamed one of the characters. Slut shaming is shaming a character who is a bit more free with her sexuality. While I am not like that and never will be, you are who you are, and I won't judge you. The author flat out slut shamed one of the characters.

Speaking of characters, I detested the protagonist, Charlie. Look, I know how her arc goes at the end, but I still hate that the author made her oh so super special. Honestly, I know she has a unique ability, but sheesh! And the author used the trope of having every guy think she's beautiful, yet Charlie thinks she's plain looking, compared to her best friend. I just hate how she was put on such a high pedestal, when apart from her ability, Charlie was not really relatable or remarkable. Then there's her best friend Booklynn. Brooklynn is said character who was slut shamed. She was over the top crazy about boys, flirty and sexual, extremely contrasted with Charlie's modesty. Come on, Ms. Derting, there's no need for any of that. And what little character development she got came at the climax/ending. Also, something else bothered me. If Brooklynn's Charlie's friend, why does she always pronounce Brook's full name most of the time? I know, that's a huge nitpick, but if you're friends with someone, and it's your best friend, you usually call them by their nickname. I mean, Charlie did use Brook on occasion, but calling her best friend by her full name all the time just bothered me, and made me disbelieve the friendship even more. Then of course there's Max, the designated love interest. There was literally nothing appealing about him, character-wise or anything. I especially hated when his looks dominated our protagonist's thoughts. He and Charlie did not work for me as the main romantic couple. Two bland characters do not make for a interesting coupling. Characters like Aron got pushed to the side basically, their importance rarely coming up. Even the villain was lackluster.

Look, I know that Ms. Derting has a legion of fans who love her Body Finder series. And I apologize so I don't get the mob sicked on me, but I hated her writing in this book. Her descriptions were bland, and the writing in general was just bad. Plus I feel like she could have done more with the world she created. She focused too much on Charlie, Charlie, Charlie.

I don't think I'll pick up the sequel, whenever it comes out. I'm just so freaking sad this book turned out to be such a dud. 

The next Currently Reading list will be the next post, then a few reviews. Look out for them!

Until next time, viva la literature!