Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Dangerous Lies by Becca Fitzpatrick | Review

Dangerous Lies by Becca Fitzpatrick | ReviewDangerous Lies by Becca Fitzpatrick
Published by Simon & Schuster on November 10th 2015
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 400
Format: Hardcover
Source: Publisher
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4 Stars

A teen is forced to make a fresh start after witnessing a violent crime—but love and danger find her anyway in this novel from Becca Fitzpatrick, the New York Times bestselling author of the Hush, Hush saga.

Stella Gordon is not her real name. Thunder Basin, Nebraska, is not her real home. This is not her real life.

After witnessing a lethal crime, Stella Gordon is sent to the middle of nowhere for her own safety before she testifies against the man she saw kill her mother’s drug dealer.

But Stella was about to start her senior year with the boyfriend she loves. How can she be pulled away from the only life she knows and expected to start a new one in Nebraska? Stella chafes at her protection and is rude to everyone she meets. She’s not planning on staying long, so why be friendly? Then she meets Chet Falconer and it becomes harder to keep her guard up, even as her guilt about having to lie to him grows.

As Stella starts to feel safer, the real threat to her life increases—because her enemies are actually closer than she thinks…

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Becca Fitzpatrick’s Hush, Hush series put her on my radar when I first started blogging but I have to say, Dangerous Lies is the book that kept me interested in her work.  Young adult suspense novels pretty much always get added to my TBR automatically but they don’t always impress me.  I’m happy to say that I was pretty happy with Dangerous Lies, at least enough to check out her other suspense novels.

I know nothing about witness protection and I have to admit that I haven’t actually read anything or really seen anything about it.  Needless to say, I was intrigued when I read the synopsis for Dangerous Lies.  Stella’s life is turned upside down when she is forced to go into witness protection after witnessing a murder by a huge crime lord.  She has to leave everything she knows behind and take up a whole new identity in some tiny town in the middle of nowhere.  Needless to say, she’s not exactly happy about it.  She’s leaving her friends, her boyfriend (who also has to go into witness protection), and her whole existence behind.  She couldn’t care less about her mom (who got her into the whole situation) but yes, she does have to leave her behind too.

Dangerous Lies starts strong and has a pretty solid finish as well but the middle just dragged for me.  Like I said, I’m not always impressed with suspense novels and while this one is technically classified as that, it wasn’t really all that suspenseful or at least it didn’t seem that way.  I admit, towards the end there was a bit of a twist thrown in that definitely caught me by surprise.  However, that was really the only thing that caught me by surprise.  With this type of story, you know that the bad guys are going to eventually catch up to Stella.  For me, it just seemed like the middle of the book was a waiting game until they found where Stella was hiding.  That doesn’t mean it was bad, it was just a little slow at times.

The characters are what made Dangerous Lies hold up even with the slow middle.  Stella was a little bit of a bitch at first but it was kind of understandable.  Her mom was a total druggie who never paid attention to her daughter and was more upset about Stella testifying against the crime lord than about the murder that happened.  She made me so mad!  Every interaction she had with Stella just made me hate her even more.  Then there was Carmina, the total opposite of Stella’s mom.  She took Stella in (for reasons that come up later in the book and totally broke my heart) and she really came to care for her.  Carmina was harsh at first but it was what Stella needed.  She needed someone to drag her out of her funk and find a life in Thunder Basin.  That life came to include Inny, Chet, Dusty, and a few others.  I wish Inny and Dusty were more developed but I liked what I saw of them.  As for Chet, he was maybe a little too perfect but after finding out a bit about his past, I can see why he would be so perfect.

I also want to mention Reed even though readers barely find out anything about him.  He is Stella’s boyfriend who is also forced to go into witness protection and I have no clue how I feel about him.  Also, while Stella and Chet start a relationship of some kind, I don’t really consider it cheating since Reed and Stella are never expected to see each other again.  While they didn’t exactly end their relationship, there really was no future for it.  And hey, if you’ve read Dangerous Lies, did Reed’s ending bother anybody else?  I won’t say what happens but it’s pretty open ended and it’s one thing that really bothered me.

As for the setting of Thunder Basin, Nebraska; it was perfect.  Becca Fitzpatrick really captured the small town feel.  Everybody knew everybody’s business and it was impossible to keep a secret.  Maybe not the best place for someone in witness protection but I guess they figured that even if Stella’s secret got out in the town, it wouldn’t spread anywhere else.  The only problem with everybody knowing everything was that things did get around.  Especially when one person was involved: Trigger.  Trigger was a pain in the ass from the start and everything about him bothered me.  That was one person with absolutely no redeeming qualities.  He definitely caused a ton of problems for Stella and I felt terrible for her.  He seemed to be the one person who was nastier than Stella (in the beginning) and that took talent.

Overall, Dangerous Lies was an enjoyable read that will definitely have me checking out Becca Fitzpatrick’s other suspense novels.  If you want a pretty quick read that might surprise you, check this one out.

What others are saying about Dangerous Lies:

The Eater of Books’ review: “I loved this book, and I highly recommend it, especially to those who enjoy thriller/mystery/suspense types.”

My Bookish Fairy Tale’s review: “It was a thrill and I am actually upset that I finished it as quickly as I did.”

Monday, October 13, 2014

Sublime by Christina Lauren | Review

Sublime by Christina Lauren | ReviewSublime by Christina Lauren
Published by Simon & Schuster on October 14, 2014
Genres: Paranormal
Pages: 336
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss, Publisher
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4 Stars

When Lucy wakes up in a frozen forest, she isn't sure why she's there, until she sees Colin.

Colin has captivated half the girls at Saint Osanna's, but no one has ever snared his fascination the way Lucy does. Even as Lucy begins to remember the details of her life–and her death–neither of them is willing to give up what they have, no matter how impossible it seems.

An adrenaline junkie, Colin begins taking himself to the brink of death, where their realities overlap–and discovers that he can physically be with Lucy. But maybe some lines shouldn't be crossed.

picadillyblueSublime, the first YA book from the duo of Christina Lauren, is a surprisingly unique ghost story that left me guessing until the very last page. I picked it up on a whim and I’m really glad that I did.

Sublime will captivate readers from the very first page.  Colin and Lucy’s story is one unlike any I have ever read.  From the synopsis, I knew that Lucy was dead but really that’s about all I knew when I started the book.  Lucy’s death and life remain a mystery for quite some time.  She can’t remember anything leading up to her awakening by the lake at Saint Osanna’s.  She only start to realize exactly how different she is when she’s drawn to Colin, as if she’s only there for him.

Lucy is an odd character.  It’s pretty obvious that she’s dead even without it being stated.  However, people can still see her and touch her.  She’s not your typical ghost.  She’s not out for vengeance or justice but she doesn’t exactly know why she is there.  She’s very mysterious and kind of hard to like at first.  She did grow on me pretty quickly though.  Colin grew on me even more quickly.  He was a really sweet boy who had a very troubled past.  At first glance he seems like just another spoiled kid at Saint Osanna’s but that ends up totally  not being the case.  He also has a very strong tie to Lucy, both as a ghost and from when she was alive.  Then there was Colin’s best friend, Jay, who was actually my favorite character in the book.  He had such a fun personality and he was a really great friend.  I would have liked a little more of him but it wasn’t really necessary to the story.

The story is slow to take off but once it does, it’s completely gripping.  Colin and Lucy are determined to find some way to be together and through trial and error, they do.  Colin is an adrenaline junkie and the closer he gets to death, the closer he gets to Lucy.  It’s all just a matter of how far he’s willing to go to be with this girl.  There’s a fine line between adventure and death.  Admittedly this story kind of made me want to smack Colin and Jay for their stupidity but it was pretty thrilling.  Also, as Colin gets in deeper with Lucy, people around him start to realize what’s going on and it finally starts to come to light why Lucy is actually there.  It was totally not what I was expecting, at all.

Overall, Sublime is an entertaining read that is definitely not like other ghost stories out there.  Sure there was a bit of instalove and some seriously bad decisions on some character’s parts but I still enjoyed it.  I’d recommend giving this one a try!

What others are saying about Sublime:

Moonlight Gleam Reviews’ review: “Overall I would give it 3 out of 5 stars simply because it felt too dragged out.”

Once Upon a Twilight’s mini-review: “Sublime was a great introduction into the YA community for Christina Lauren, the writing duo.”

The Book Nookery’s review: “Not recommended. This is a romance, and not even a believable one.”

Friday, June 20, 2014

Only Everything (True Love #1) by Kieran Scott

Only Everything (True Love #1) by Kieran ScottOnly Everything by Kieran Scott
Series: True Love #1
Published by Simon & Schuster on May 6, 2014
Pages: 326
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss, Publisher
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4 Stars

Sometimes the gods can be so unreasonable.

Like Zeus, the king, who thinks the proper reaction to finding me kissing a mortal is to threaten my boyfriend Orion's life, banish me to Earth, and force me to inspire true love between three couples without my powers. I know! Elders! I'm Eros, a.k.a. Cupid. The Goddess of Love. Until this morning, anyway.

Now I'm stuck on Earth with no clue how to function as a human, and I can't even conjure up my magical bow and arrows to help me do my job. I've already met this amazing guy—Charlie, a new kid in school like me—but matching him up isn't as easy as I thought. Turns out opposites don't attract, nearly identicals don't attract, and giving a guy what he seems to want is just one big disaster. My sweet new friend Katrina might work, but she's got more complications than Medusa's hair, and a live-in boyfriend with a serious mean streak. Probably not the best idea to go there.

If I don't make a match, I may never see Orion again. I have so much to lose, and only everything to gain.

picadillyblueOnly Everything, the latest from Kieran Scott, was unlike anything I’ve read before.  It’s a fun, fast-paced, romantic story that will have readers rooting for not only Eros but the couples she’s trying to match up.

Eros is a bit cocky, kind of dumb, and a lot weird, but she’s also a lot of fun.  She’s never been to Earth for more than a few days at a time so she really has no clue how to act when she’s forced to Earth for the duration of time it takes for her to make three true love matches.  She dresses in the weirdest outfits, she forgets that she has to eat, she doesn’t realize that if she drinks a ton of wine she’ll get a major hangover, and she tends to think that stealing is okay because everyone should share anyway.  It definitely makes for some laugh out loud moments throughout the course of the book.

It’s not all Eros’ story though.  Both Charlie and Katrina have a major role in the book as well.  Katrina is lost without her dad and she could care less about what anyone thinks of her.  Her mom has pretty much checked out of her life so she spends most of her time living with her boyfriend, an older guy who is a total jerk.  Katrina doesn’t know what she wants out of life or love but Eros is pretty sure she knows who Katrina’s perfect match really is.  Charlie is Eros’ only friend for a while.  He’s the new guy in school and Eros takes it upon herself to find him a girlfriend to help him fit in.  He really doesn’t need help fitting in but he’s a nice guy so he lets Eros have her way.  The dates she sets him up on are quite funny and while Charlie is forced to go through some crazy stuff, he realizes that Eros is just trying to be a friend to him.

Only Everything is not just about romance though.  Both Katrina and Charlie have things going on in their home lives that they have to face throughout the course of the book.  The family drama really added another layer to the story.  Eros also had her own family drama.  Her mom, Aphrodite, was banished to Earth with her and it put a real strain on their relationship.  They both had to learn how to act like humans and how to get past their own drama to work together to get home.  There was really a lot more to this story than I expected.

The romance was a big part of the story though.  It was a slow building romance that I loved.  Charlie and Katrina are drawn to each other from the start but they both have things going on in their lives that prevent them from being together.  They slowly build up a friendship and from there it’s just a matter of time before they realize how they really feel about each other.  They were super cute together even when they were at their awkward maybe friends, maybe more stage.

Overall, Only Everything is another wonderful read from Kieran Scott.  Check this one out but be warned that the cliffhanger ending just might kill you.  I need the next book now!

What others are saying about Only Everything:

The Reader Bee’s review: “I enjoyed reading the history of Eros, and I’m super curious now to know more.”

Kimberlyfaye Reads’ review: “Only Everything wasn’t overly romantic, but had some very sweet scenes, particularly in True’s flashbacks, that I thoroughly enjoyed.”

Fic Fare’s review: “Only Everything by Kieran Scott had a slow start for me but I have to say, once it started moving a bit faster, I found myself enjoying the story.”

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

#scandal by Sarah Ockler | Review

#scandal by Sarah Ockler | Review#scandal by Sarah Ockler
Published by Simon & Schuster on June 17, 2014
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 368
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss, Publisher
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5 Stars

Lucy’s learned some important lessons from tabloid darling Jayla Heart’s all-too-public blunders: Avoid the spotlight, don’t feed the Internet trolls, and keep your secrets secret. The policy has served Lucy well all through high school, so when her best friend Ellie gets sick before prom and begs her to step in as Cole’s date, she accepts with a smile, silencing about ten different reservations. Like the one where she’d rather stay home shredding online zombies. And the one where she hates playing dress-up. And especially the one where she’s been secretly in love with Cole since the dawn of time.

When Cole surprises her at the after party with a kiss under the stars, it’s everything Lucy has ever dreamed of… and the biggest BFF deal-breaker ever. Despite Cole’s lingering sweetness, Lucy knows they’ll have to ’fess up to Ellie. But before they get the chance, Lucy’s own Facebook profile mysteriously explodes with compromising pics of her and Cole, along with tons of other students’ party indiscretions. Tagged. Liked. And furiously viral.

By Monday morning, Lucy’s been branded a slut, a backstabber, and a narc, mired in a tabloid-worthy scandal just weeks before graduation.

Lucy’s been battling undead masses online long enough to know there’s only one way to survive a disaster of this magnitude: Stand up and fight. Game plan? Uncover and expose the Facebook hacker, win back her best friend’s trust, and graduate with a clean slate.

There’s just one snag—Cole. Turns out Lucy’s not the only one who’s been harboring unrequited love...

Sarah Ockler very quickly rose to the top of my list of favorite authors. She has cemented a place on that list with #scandal. #scandal has everything readers could want in a contemporary novel; romance, secrecy, betrayal, and more.

The base of the story isn’t anything new. Lucy and Ellie are best friends. Ellie is dating Cole. Lucy is in love with Cole. Lucy and Cole hook up one night. That’s where all similarities to other stories end though. Lucy goes to prom with Cole, in Ellie’s place. Lucy and Cole hook up later that night. Someone takes pictures of Lucy and Cole and posts them on Lucy’s Facebook page. They also post a lot of other scandalous photos though. Of course, Lucy then becomes the most hated person at school, especially by Ellie. Now it’s up to Lucy to find out who really took and posted the pictures. With the help of some unlikely new friends she just might figure it all out.

Lucy is remarkably easy to relate to. She’s fun, friendly, smart, and kind. She doesn’t always do smart things but she knows when she’s made a mistake and she does everything in her power to fix those mistakes. She’s doesn’t sit around moping, she takes charge. Her old friends aren’t there to help her but she makes some new ones who prove to be not just great investigators but wonderful friends. Sure they make some mistakes along the way too but just like Lucy, they do everything the can to right their wrongs. Then there is Cole. He’s a really sweet guy who was perfect for Lucy but he wasn’t present for a lot of the book. He seemed to take a backseat for most of the drama and that part bothered me. I wanted him to take more responsibility and be there for Lucy through it all. He didn’t ditch her but I felt like he could have been present a little more. There was also a wonderful sense of family in #scandal. Sarah Ockler always manages to incorporate family and this time around it was about the relationship between the sisters. I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about them at first but “Jayla” and Lucy were great together. They just needed time to work through things.

The mystery was not something I was able to solve until the very end. Part of that was because there was more than one mystery. The first mystery was about who was behind the Miss Demeanor website. I really never saw that one coming. The second mystery was regarding who took the photos and posted them on Lucy’s Facebook page. That mystery was a little more predictable but still left my guessing for a while. I was definitely captivated with both mysteries.

Overall, #scandal may be the best yet from Sarah Ockler. I was hooked from the start and I never once felt compelled to put it down. All contemporary fans should definitely pick this one up!

What others are saying about #scandal:

Nick’s Book Blog’s review: “As hard as I tried to enjoy this book, I simply couldn’t.”

Spun With Words’ review: “It has just the right amount of character development, good plot, and strong conflict.”

Friday, June 13, 2014

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before (To All The Boys #1) by Jenny Han | Review

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before (To All The Boys #1) by Jenny Han | ReviewTo All The Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han
Series: To All The Boys I've Loved Before #1
Published by Simon & Schuster on April 15, 2014
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 368
Format: ARC
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4 Stars

What if all the crushes you ever had found out how you felt about them... all at once?

Lara Jean Song keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. They aren't love letters that anyone else wrote for her; these are ones she's written. One for every boy she's ever loved—five in all. When she writes, she pours out her heart and soul and says all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly, Lara Jean's love life goes from imaginary to out of control.

picadillyblueTo All The Boys I’ve Loved Before is Jenny Han’s newest addition to the young adult contemporary market and it definitely lives up to it’s potential.  I’ve been eagerly awaiting her newest contemporary novel since I finished her Summer series.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that I loved this one just as much as the Summer series.

Lara Jean is a lot like Belly from the Summer trilogy.  She’s young, she doesn’t really know what she wants, and she’s a bit immature.  Just like Belly though, she grows throughout the course of the book.  Lara Jean has a close relationship with her family, she’s smart, she’s funny, and she’s willing to take chances.  However, not many people know these things about her since she doesn’t really have that many friends.  All that starts to change when a couple boys in her class get love letters from her that were never supposed to be sent.  The love letters start a crazy spiral that turn Lara Jean’s life upside down.  The letters were never supposed to be sent and Lara Jean never could have expected how the boys would react.

Lara Jean may have been the main character but she wasn’t my favorite character in the book.  That title definitely went to her little sister, Kitty.  Kitty was outgoing and fun and she was never afraid to say what was on her mind.  Sometimes I felt like Lara Jean should be taking lessons from Kitty on how to speak her mind.  Peter, surprisingly, was another favorite for me.  He is nothing like I expected when he was first introduced in the book.  Yes he’s cocky and a little full of himself but he’s also a really sweet guy who is willing to put others’ needs before his own.  Dr. Covey, Lara Jean’s dad, was also pretty fun.  He didn’t have a huge role in the book but you could tell that he was a big part of the girls’ lives.  I hope there is more of him in the next book because he was a great dad.  The rest of the characters were kind of lackluster.  I didn’t get the appeal of Lara Jean’s older sister, Margot.  There were times when I actually wanted to slap her because she was being so rude.  It seemed like she wanted everything to revolve around her and she didn’t like it when that wasn’t the case.  Josh, Margot’s ex-boyfriend, was also pretty boring.  I get that he was a good guy who was always there for the Song sisters, not just Margot, but that’s about all he had going for him.   Totally not swoonworthy like Peter.

The story is what makes To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before so much fun to read.  Lara Jean’s love letters are sent out and her whole life changes, mostly for the better.  Before, she really didn’t have much of a life.  She had never been in a relationship, she didn’t have many friends, and she really didn’t do much outside of school.  When the letters are sent out, one boy in particular decides that he needs to make himself a part of Lara Jean’s life even if it’s not in a way that anyone expects.  The story is fun and full of life and it’s definitely a unique concept.  I’m eager to see what direction Jenny Han will take for the sequel.

Overall, To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before is a fabulous new contemporary novel from Jenny Han.  Fans of her Summer series will not be disappointed.

What others are saying about To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before:

YA Love’s review: “While I wanted to know Lara Jean a little better, I did love the cast of characters in To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.”

Dark Readers’ review: “I can now say I am a Jenny Han fan and will anxiously await the sequel.”

richincolor’s review: “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is a fun, fast read that strikes a nice balance between the romantic plotline and the family dynamics/drama.”

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Biggest Flirts (Superlatives #1) by Jennifer Echols | Review

Biggest Flirts (Superlatives #1) by Jennifer Echols | ReviewBiggest Flirts by Jennifer Echols
Series: Superlatives #1
Published by Simon & Schuster on May 20, 2014
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 336
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss, Publisher
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Goodreads
5 Stars

Tia just wants to have fun. She’s worked hard to earn her reputation as the life of the party, and she’s ready for a carefree senior year of hanging out with friends and hooking up with cute boys. And her first order of business? New guy Will. She can’t get enough of his Midwestern accent and laidback swagger.

As the sparks start to fly, Will wants to get serious. Tia’s seen how caring too much has left her sisters heartbroken, and she isn’t interested in commitment. But pushing Will away drives him into the arms of another girl. Tia tells herself it’s no big deal…until the yearbook elections are announced. Getting voted Biggest Flirts with Will is, well, awkward. They may just be friends, but their chemistry is beginning to jeopardize Will’s new relationship—and causing Tia to reconsider her true feelings. What started as a lighthearted fling is about to get very complicated…

picadillyblueIn case you guys didn’t know, I love Jennifer Echols.  Her contemporary books are some of my all time favorites, right up there with Sarah Dessen’s, Susane Colasanti’s, and Miranda Kenneally’s.  I’m really pleased to say that Biggest Flirts is just as amazing as the rest of her works.  So cute!

Tia and Will are adorable!  Tia is a huge flirt who doesn’t want a relationship, or so she says.  She’s seen what relationships have done to her sisters and she wants to avoid that.  Will makes that hard for her to do.  He makes it clear from the start that he wants a relationship.  Tia and Will are both stubborn and the game is on to see which one is going to get their way.

Tia is hard-headed, sarcastic, smart, and funny.  She avoids commitment of any kind, as well as responsibility.  She’s a little immature but she learns.  Will is her opposite in a lot of ways.  They share the hard-headedness and sarcasm but that’s it.  Will loves commitment and responsibilities, going out of his way to get both.  Their opposites are perfect together.  They bring out the best in each other.  Oh and don’t even get me started on the banter between the two.  It’s so perfect.

The plot is a little predictable since it is just a romantic comedy.  However, the story and the characters are adorable.  I never once lost interest in Tia and Will’s story.  In fact, I actually read Biggest Flirts in one sitting.  I was hooked from the start.

Overall, Biggest Flirts is a new favorite contemporary of mine.  This series holds a lot of promise and I can’t wait to read book two.

What others are saying about Biggest Flirts:

Mary Had A Little Book Blog’s review: “I am fascinated by this series.”

Mostly YA Book Obsessed’s review: “I loved getting to know Tia’s friends and I’m excited to read their stories.”

Coffee, Books, and Me’s review: “I thoroughly enjoyed this novel.”

Friday, May 9, 2014

Killer Instinct by S.E. Green | Review

Killer Instinct by S.E. Green | ReviewKiller Instinct by S.E. Green
Published by Simon & Schuster on May 6, 2014
Genres: Psychological Thriller
Pages: 272
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss, Publisher
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1 Stars

She’s not evil, but she has certain... urges.

Lane is a typical teenager. Loving family. Good grades. Afterschool job at the local animal hospital. Martial arts enthusiast. But her secret obsession is studying serial killers. She understands them, knows what makes them tick.

Why?

Because she might be one herself.

Lane channels her dark impulses by hunting criminals—delivering justice when the law fails. The vigilantism stops shy of murder. But with each visceral rush the line of self-control blurs.
And then a young preschool teacher goes missing. Only to return... in parts.
When Lane excitedly gets involved in the hunt for “the Decapitator,” the vicious serial murderer that has come to her hometown, she gets dangerously caught up in a web of lies about her birth dad and her own dark past. And once the Decapitator contacts Lane directly, Lane knows she is no longer invisible or safe. Now she needs to use her unique talents to find the true killer’s identity before she—or someone she loves—becomes the next victim...

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Killer Instinct is one of those books that makes me wonder why I actually wasted my time finishing it.  Sure it’s short at only 272 pages but even 272 pages is too much for this book.  It started off promising but it all went downhill from there.

First off, Killer Instinct is the biggest rip off of Dexter.  Never in my life have I read something so blatantly copying from something else.  As I read Killer Instinct, scenes from season one of Dexter just kept popping into my head.  And I haven’t seen season one of Dexter in a while so that’s saying something about how blatant these comparisons were.  I don’t want to spoil Dexter for anyone who maybe hasn’t seen it and plans to watch it but I’ll just say that there were at least 8 things that were almost identical between Killer Instinct and season one of the show.  If you’ve seen the show, I’m sure you’ll catch what I’m talking about.

Second, Lane is one of the worst characters I’ve ever read about.   Sure she’s compared to a teenage version of Dexter but at least with Dexter, people can kind of relate to him and even root for him to come out ahead.  With Lane, I wanted her caught and done with.  She was so stupid!  The whole her being the “masked savior” was ridiculous and completely implausible.  She’s so skinny she’s nicknamed Slim but she can take down grown men at least twice her size.  Yeah, right.  Sure the author throws in multiple mentions that Lane does aikido but that still does not match up against someone with a gun.  Also, she mentioned multiple times how mature she was yet she acted like an immature whiny brat most of the time.

Then there were all the relationships in the book.  First there was Reggie, Lane’s supposed best friend.  What they had was not a friendship it was just something the author had to include so Lane had someone to help her hack into anything she might need.  Lane would call Reggie when she needed something and Reggie would drop everything to help Lane.  They had no real meaningful conversations, just phone calls and texts about whatever Reggie was looking up for Lane.  Then there was the relationship with Lane, Zach, and Belinda.  That was a convoluted mess.  Lane didn’t want anything to do with Zach until Belinda entered the picture and then she really liked him and wanted to be his friend and help him out of horrible situations.  Yeah, sure.  There was also Zach’s older brother, Dr.Issa, who had some shady scenes throughout the book that I thought might eventually mean something but really had nothing to do with anything.  Last but not least were the relationships of everyone in Lane’s family.  Lane and her mom started off with a seemingly strong relationship but it quickly deteriorated.  Her mom cared way more about her case than her family.  And don’t even get me started with Lane and her sister, Daisy.  That’s a whole other thing that set me off.  Daisy was 15 and her most characterizing trait in the book was that she was a slut. Those were  Lane’s exact words.  She called her sister a slut multiple times throughout the book.

Another thing that greatly annoyed me about the whole sex thing was that there was way too much mention of sexual situations that played no role in the story.  Lane went into great detail about her sex life, her parents’ sex life, and her little sister’s sex life.  It really did nothing for the story except make me feel rather uncomfortable and I’m not usually uncomfortable with that kind of stuff.  Also, can you say hypocrite?  Lane calls her little sister a slut but then she goes and gets some serious action with a boy she barely knows in between some shelves of her school library.  Not calling her a slut but I’m just saying that that’s a bit like the pot calling the kettle black.

The only thing about this book that even remotely impressed me was that I didn’t predict who the killer was, at all.  Yes I suspected it was somebody closely tied to Lane but I wasn’t sure how S.E. Green was going to work it.  I was pretty dang shocked by the time I got to the big reveal.  I did feel like it was a little rushed though.

Also, the killer is nicknamed the Decapitator and Lane is nicknamed the Masked Savior.  S.E. Green couldn’t come up with anything more clever than those nicknames?  They were so lame!

Oh and also, what was the point of Lane being the Masked Savior?  It really had nothing to do with the story and kind of dropped out of the story about halfway through.  I guess being a master investigator and the Masked Savior got to be too much for Lane.  Maybe she should have just left the Decapitator investigation to the FBI like a normal person.  But then again, she was way smarter than the FBI so they never would have been able to solve it without her.  Like I said, rather implausible story.

Overall, I was seriously disappointed with Killer Instinct.  I feel like I wasted my time reading when I could have just rewatched season one of Dexter and gotten the exact same story.  I would not recommend this one to anyone.

What others are saying about Killer Instinct:

Bookish’s review: “Killer Instinct is not a bad book.”

Good Books and Good Wine’s review: “Man, I have not been this disappointed with a book in a really long time.”

Conversations of a Reading Addict’s review: “I felt angry at the end, i felt myself rolling my eyes and saying “really?” over and over again because the killer did not seem believable to me. AT ALL.”

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Short Story Saturday: Bridge (Shade #2.5) by Jeri Smith-Ready | Review

Short Story Saturday: Bridge (Shade #2.5) by Jeri Smith-Ready | ReviewBridge by Jeri Smith-Ready
Series: Shade #2.5
Published by Simon & Schuster on September 19, 2011
Genres: Paranormal
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
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4 Stars

Logan is barely seventeen, and barely dead. To find eternal rest, the ghost rock star must make peace with his brother Mickey, before his guilt over Logan’s death drives him to suicide.

Krista sees ghosts everywhere, but never the one she needs most. A chance boardwalk encounter with Logan turns her Senior Week party into a rescue mission. Can her own grief give her the strength to save Mickey’s life?

Loaded with bonus material, the “Bridge” ebook is the perfect introduction to the young-adult Shade trilogy—a tale of ghosts, music, and everlasting love.

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Bridge is part of the Shade series which I didn’t know when I started it.  I’ve only read the first book in the Shade trilogy and I felt like I was definitely missing some information.  However, I still really enjoyed the story and the fact that it was written in verse made it awesome.

Bridge is the story of Logan and Mickey.  Logan knows that Mickey blames himself for Logan’s death and he has a feeling that Mickey might hurt himself so he doesn’t have to deal with the guilt any longer.  With the help of Krista, Logan finally talks to Mickey and tries to help him see that Logan’s death was not his fault.

There is a surprising amount of info in Bridge.  It’s not only a short story, it’s also written in verse.  For so few words, a lot is contained within them.  Jeri Smith-Ready managed to get so much emotion into Bridge.  Like I said, I’ve only read the first book in this trilogy but I still felt really connected to both Logan and Mickey.  Bridge is the first short story in the Enthralled collection that really made me emotional.

Overall, Bridge seems like a wonderful addition to the Shade series and while it’s definitely not required for you to read, I would recommend it.  It’s a short story that really packs a punch.

What others are saying about Bridge:

Grave Tells’ review: “I picked this up as a quick filler read to get a feel for Ms. Smith-Ready’s style and was completely sucked in by her artistry.”

Step Into Fiction’s review: “This ebook is definitely worth it’s money for any fan of the Shade series.”

The Reader Lines’ review: “Bridge is one of the best novellas I have read, so you HAVE to read it.”

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Treatment (The Program #2) by Suzanne Young | Review

The Treatment (The Program #2) by Suzanne Young | ReviewThe Treatment by Suzanne Young
Series: The Program #2
Published by Simon & Schuster on April 29, 2014
Genres: Dystopian
Pages: 352
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss, Publisher
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5 Stars

Can Sloane and James survive the lies and secrets surrounding them, or will The Program claim them in the end? Find out in this sequel to The Program, which Publishers Weekly called “chilling and suspenseful.”

How do you stop an epidemic?

Sloane and James are on the run after barely surviving the suicide epidemic and The Program. But they’re not out of danger. Huge pieces of their memories are still missing, and although Sloane and James have found their way back to each other, The Program isn’t ready to let them go.

Escaping with a group of troubled rebels, Sloane and James will have to figure out who they can trust, and how to take down The Program. But for as far as they’ve come, there’s still a lot Sloane and James can’t remember. The key to unlocking their past lies with the Treatment—a pill that can bring back forgotten memories, but at a high cost. And there’s only one dose.

Ultimately when the stakes are at their highest, can Sloane and James survive the many lies and secrets surrounding them, or will The Program claim them in the end?

picadillyblueThe Treatment, the second and final book in The Program duology, ties things up nicely and left me feeling satisfied, if not exactly happy.  I mean that in the best possible way though.  The Treatment is a book that will leave you thinking about life, love, and how to live in the moment.  It’s pretty much perfect.

Sloane and James are on the run.  Realm has given them a way to escape and they have to take it.  The Program is coming for them (again) and if they get caught this time, they may not come back.  Stakes are extremely high for everyone involved and every last secret will be revealed.  Love, lies, and betrayal lead to a pulse-pounding ending that will have readers on the edge of their seats.

Sloane is a very strong girl.  Even with everything going on, she doesn’t lose her cool.  She knows what will happen if she and James are caught by the Program so she’ll do whatever it takes to keep them safe.  However, she can’t fix everything, especially her memories that are slowly slipping back in and tearing her mind apart.  She also can’t quite control her feelings for Realm.  This causes a lot of tension between her and James.  James is strong but he has weaknesses and Sloane is one of them.  They are so cute together but they are also bad for each other.  They bring out the best and the worst in each other.  James isn’t afraid to show his weaknesses though.  It’s what makes him such a great guy.  Realm, on the other hand, has some serious issues.  He believes he loves Sloane but it’s hard to tell if he’s even capable of love.  His secrets come out in The Treatment and boy does he have a lot.

The plot is a little slow moving at first but the writing was enough to keep me going until it picked back up.  Suzanne Young has a way with words that makes The Treatment just plain amazing.  And once the plot does pick up, it doesn’t slow down again until the very end.  There were so many things I never saw coming.  And while I did think the ending seemed a little abrupt, I still liked it.

Overall, The Treatment is the perfect ending to this duology.  Every last question is answered and readers will be really satisfied with James and Sloane’s ending.

What others are saying about The Treatment:

Once Upon A Twilight’s review: “Roller-coaster ride that will have you on edge and making you turn those pages.”

Reviews from a Bookworm’s review: “The rushed ending just made this all seem very anti-climactic and I was left unsatisfied.”

Mission Viejo Library Teen Voice’s review: “This book felt less dark than the first.”

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Just Like Fate by Suzanne Young and Cat Patrick | Review

Just Like Fate by Suzanne Young and Cat Patrick | ReviewJust Like Fate by Cat Patrick, Suzanne Young
Published by Simon & Schuster on August 27, 2013
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 304
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss, Publisher
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4 Stars

Caroline is at a crossroads. Her grandmother is sick, maybe dying. Like the rest of her family, Caroline's been at Gram's bedside since her stroke. With the pressure building, all Caroline wants to do is escape--both her family and the reality of Gram's failing health. So when Caroline's best friend offers to take her to a party one fateful Friday night, she must choose: stay by Gram's side, or go to the party and live her life.

The consequence of this one decision will split Caroline's fate into two separate paths--and she's about to live them both.

Friendships are tested and family drama hits an all-new high as Caroline attempts to rebuild old relationships, and even make a few new ones. If she stays, her longtime crush, Joel, might finally notice her, but if she goes, Chris, the charming college boy, might prove to be everything she's ever wanted.

Though there are two distinct ways for her fate to unfold, there is only one happy ending...

When I first heard about Just Like Fate, I was ecstatic. Two of my favorite authors writing a book together? That was all I needed to add this one to my TBR. When the rave reviews started pouring in, I was even more excited. I’m really happy to say that my excitement was totally for a good reason. Just Like Fate is a new favorite of mine, for sure.

Caroline is an easy girl to like. It wouldn’t seem like that at first but there was never any doubt in my mind that she was a great character. She is torn about attending a party to see the guy she likes or stay by her dying grandmother’s side. Seems petty, right? Not really. She’s a teenager and I found her dilemma to be realistic. She loves her grandmother but she is also just like any other teenage girl wanting to catch the eye of her crush. It might have seemed like an easy decision at first but things spiraled with that one decision and the story was addicting.

The story is told in alternating chapters, based on Caroline’s decision to stay with her grandmother or go to the party. It reminded me a lot of Pivot Point in how it was written. It was amazing to see how Caroline’s one decision changed every aspect of her life. Her relationships with her family, friends, and boys, as well as her own self-esteem and confidence were affected by her choice. It was also pretty amazing to see how things could work out no matter what choice she made. Just Like Fate is all about how you can’t change something if it’s truly meant to happen.

The romance, between Caroline and both boys, was great. Sure I was rooting for one of them way more than the other but Cat Patrick and Suzanne Young did a good job of making both boys attractive and understandable. They just did a better job with one than with the other. Christopher had my heart from the very first time I met him. He was so sweet and adorable and he will melt your heart, for sure!

Overall, Just Like Fate is a must read for fans of Cat Patrick and Suzanne Young. I can only hope they decide to write more together in the future because it was pure awesomeness!

What others are saying about Just Like Fate:

YA Midnight Reads’ review: “A light read for a lazy day, maybe when your brain is a little illogical so this will not seem as horridly illogical.” 

Snuggly Oranges’ review: “Annoyance and boredom are the two prevailing emotions I had while reading this book.” 

Boricuan Bookworms’ review: “Overall, this was a beautiful, romantic and heart-felt story about deciding what you want and how things sometimes just happen because they’re supposed to.”