Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Blog Tour: Ruthless by Carolyn Lee Adams | Review + Giveaway

Blog Tour: Ruthless by Carolyn Lee Adams | Review + Giveaway

Blog Tour: Ruthless by Carolyn Lee Adams | Review + GiveawayRuthless by Carolyn Lee Adams
Published by Simon and Schuster on July 14th 2015
Genres: Suspense
Pages: 256
Format: ARC
Source: ALA
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
4 Stars

A spine-tingling debut about the ultimate game of cat-and-mouse in reverse as a teen struggles to retain hope—and her sanity—while on the run from a cunning and determined killer.Ruth Carver has always competed like her life depends on it. Ambitious. Tough. Maybe even mean. It’s no wonder people call her Ruthless.When she wakes up with a concussion in the bed of a moving pickup trick, she realizes she has been entered into a contest she can’t afford to lose.At a remote, rotting cabin deep in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Ruth’s blindfold comes off and she comes face-to-face with her captor. A man who believes his mission is to punish bad girls like Ruth. A man who has done this six times before.The other girls were never heard from again, but Ruth won’t go down easy. She escapes into the wilderness, but her hunter is close at her heels. That’s when the real battle begins. That’s when Ruth must decides just how far she’ll go in order to survive.Back home, they called her Ruthless. They had no idea just how right they were.

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Ruthless is a survival story done right.  It’s just the right amount of creepy, thrilling, and pulse pounding.  From start to finish, I was on the edge of my seat, praying that Ruth would find a way out of her situation.  There wasn’t a second that went by where I wasn’t terrified of what was going to come next.

Ruth Carver is not a perfect heroine, not by a long shot.  She’s a little full of herself, a little rude, and she is pretty much just obsessed with things that benefit her.  She was willing to trample people to get where she needed to be and while I didn’t necessarily approve of those methods, I obviously still didn’t think she deserved anything this guy had in store for her.  I think this in this case, it doesn’t matter about the heroine’s past, as long as she will have a future.  It’s not like anyone is going to root for her to die.

Let me just say, this is not one for the faint of heart or a young reader.  Carolyn Lee Adams does not pull any punches.  I was terrified for Ruth’s life and sanity, every page of the book.  The guy who abducts her is seriously creepy.  The bulk of the story is told from Ruth’s point of view but there are flashbacks in his point of view and he is extremely messed up in the head.  I was sickened and terrified.  I don’t mind that from a book but if you do, this is not the one for you.

The story itself isn’t so much all about Ruth being abducted but also about how she escapes and spends her time in the wilderness.  She is on her own, no supplies, and no help in sight.  Like I said, this is a survival story above all else.  It’s not just about surviving the ordeal with her abduction but surviving her escape as well.  There isn’t a second that goes by where you don’t fear for Ruth’s life.  Even if she isn’t killed by a crazy madman, the elements could get her just as easily.

Overall, Ruthless is truly one story that stands out in the YA market.  I have never read anything like it and it definitely made me eager to see what Carolyn Lee Adams is going to do next.

What others are saying about Ruthless:

Confessions of a Bookaholic’s review: “For her debut young adult novel, Carolyn Lee Adams really knocks it out of the park with Ruthless.”

The YA Kitten’s review: “Watching Ruth outsmart Jerry again and again is a great deal of fun and the book flies by as long as you have the time to read it in one or two sittings.”

The Forest of Words and Pages’ review: “A brutal fight-for-your-life story that is sure to keep you up late at night to discover its character’s fates,Ruthless is a brilliant, twisted tale that shocks and thrills chapter after chapter.”

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Thursday, April 2, 2015

Red Queen (Red Queen #1) by Victoria Aveyard | Review

Red Queen (Red Queen #1) by Victoria Aveyard | ReviewRed Queen by Victoria Aveyard
Series: Red Queen #1
Published by Harper Teen on February 10, 2015
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 383
Format: Hardcover
Source: ALA
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
5 Stars

Graceling meets The Selection in debut novelist Victoria Aveyard's sweeping tale of seventeen-year-old Mare, a common girl whose once-latent magical power draws her into the dangerous intrigue of the king's palace. Will her power save her or condemn her?

Mare Barrow's world is divided by blood--those with common, Red blood serve the Silver- blooded elite, who are gifted with superhuman abilities. Mare is a Red, scraping by as a thief in a poor, rural village, until a twist of fate throws her in front of the Silver court. Before the king, princes, and all the nobles, she discovers she has an ability of her own.

To cover up this impossibility, the king forces her to play the role of a lost Silver princess and betroths her to one of his own sons. As Mare is drawn further into the Silver world, she risks everything and uses her new position to help the Scarlet Guard--a growing Red rebellion--even as her heart tugs her in an impossible direction. One wrong move can lead to her death, but in the dangerous game she plays, the only certainty is betrayal.

picadillyblueI was pretty skeptical when I started Red Queen.  I had heard extremely mixed things about it.  I was looking for a good fantasy read at the time and I’m glad I set aside my skepticism and gave Red Queen a chance.  I adored it and I can’t wait for more in this world!  The sequel needs to get in my hands now!

Mare is a completely badass Red who is thrown into the world of the Silvers.  While she may be completely badass and independent in the world of the Reds, she’s a completely newbie to the powers that grant her access to the Silver world.  I’m all for a badass MC who can do things for themselves and who lead revolutions but seeing someone like that become so powerless actually made me like her more.  Mare had to learn very quickly who she could trust and rely on inside the castle and out.  I hated seeing her be made a pawn but I really enjoyed watching her come into her own as everyone around her tried to use her for their own purposes.

I kid you not when I say the rest of the characters might have been great but I had no clue who to trust.  Don’t get me wrong, I liked them all but I could not tell who the good guys were and who the bad guys were.  It seemed like everyone had ulterior motives for their actions and I will tell you right now, there is some serious betrayal going on in Red Queen.  Don’t trust anyone or anything.  Nothing is as it seems.  I loved that about the book!

As for romance, I can’t tell if it’s a love triangle or square.  Mare is apparently very attractive to many people.  I can understand that since she has such an awesome personality.  First there is Cal then there is Maven and maybe something there with Kilorn.  I’m not sure about that one yet.  Cal was definitely my favorite at first but he’s got some things he needs to work on and he may not be the best fit for Mare.  I’m not really a Maven fan and you’ll understand why once you read the book.  As for Kilorn, like I said, maybe it’s just friendship but maybe not.  Either way, he’s a good guy and good for Mare.

The story is so interesting.  When people asked me what it was about I just told them it was fantasy with almost Xmen like powers.  It’s a pretty good way to describe the things that everyone can do.  People don’t all have the same power, it varies by family.  There are all kinds of powers and all kinds of people wielding those powers.  It’s pretty bad knowing that terrible people have these powers and rule the world and can do whatever they want to lower class citizens with almost no repercussions.  It’s easy to see why this world might need a revolution and they are definitely about to get one.

Overall, Red Queen met and exceeded my expectations.  I can’t wait to see where Victoria Aveyard takes the characters next.  It’s going to be interesting.

What others are saying about Red Queen:

Good Books and Good Wine’s review: “Aveyard’s world in Red Queen is vast and I can’t wait to explore more of it when the sequels come out.”

Mugglenet’s review: “If you’re a fan of X-Men, Game of Thrones, and dystopians like The Selection, you’ll enjoy this book.”

Book Nerd’s review: “I liked it but then again I had issues with it.”

Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord | Review

The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord | ReviewThe Start of Me and You by Emery Lord
Published by Bloomsbury on March 31, 2015
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 384
Format: ARC
Source: ALA
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
4 Stars

Following her pitch-perfect debut Open Road Summer, Emery Lord pens another gorgeous story of best friends, new love, & second chances.

Brimming with heartfelt relationships and authentic high-school dynamics The Start of Me and You proves that it’s never too late for second chances.

It’s been a year since it happened—when Paige Hancock’s first boyfriend died in an accident. After shutting out the world for two years, Paige is finally ready for a second chance at high school . . . and she has a plan. First: Get her old crush, Ryan Chase, to date her—the perfect way to convince everyone she’s back to normal. Next: Join a club—simple, it’s high school after all. But when Ryan’s sweet, nerdy cousin, Max, moves to town and recruits Paige for the Quiz Bowl team (of all things!) her perfect plan is thrown for a serious loop. Will Paige be able to face her fears and finally open herself up to the life she was meant to live?

picadillyblueI read and adored Emery Lord’s debut novel, Open Road Summer. It was the perfect blend of romance, friendship, and music. That being the case, I had high expectations for The Start of Me and You.  Perhaps my expectations were too high because I found myself only liking this one as compared to how much I loved Open Road Summer.

The Start of Me and You follows Paige Hancock on her journey to move past the death of her boyfriend.  Her journey includes a list of things she wants to do: date a guy, go swimming, join a club, etc.  Seems simple enough except she has her sights set on a specific boy and he tends to make her a bit tongue-tied.  Ryan Chase has been her crush for years and she starts of her school year expecting to date him and not settle for anything less than that.  Obviously things don’t go according to plan.  Ryan’s cousin, Max, moves back to town and he strikes up a friendship with Paige.  Unlike Ryan, Max is easy for Paige to be around and he doesn’t make her nervous at all.  Paige’s plan might be Ryan but Max seems to have plans of his own.

Paige was a bit annoying in her pursuit of Ryan.  She barely knew the guy and while the reason she initially developed a crush on him was sweet, the staying power of that crush just didn’t make sense.  She had little to nothing in common with Ryan.  Max, on the other hand, had a healthy friendship with Paige that was so sweet.  They had so much in common and the way they made fun of each other was so adorably cute.  They were able to be themselves with each other, no matter how dorky.  Max was totally the type of guy I could see myself crushing on.  He was not the typical love interest but he was well-rounded and adorably nerdy.

Max and Paige were not the best characters though.  Paige’s friends were the best.  She always had a solid support system no matter what she was going through.  They stood by her through all the tough times and in return she was there for them when they needed her.  No matter what happened they always knew they had each other. Sure they fought but what friends don’t?  They worked through their issues and they always saw past their little fights to what really mattered.

The story was cute and fast-paced enough that I didn’t find my attention wavering from the book even once.  While I didn’t get Paige’s superficial crush on Ryan, I still liked her and I wanted to see her cross everything off her list.  Even though I had I feeling I knew how things were going to end for Paige, I kept reading because I wanted to know how it would all play out.  It was everything I could have hoped for.

Overall, The Start of Me and You is a strong sophomore novel for Emery Lord.  Paige and her group of friends wormed their way into my heart and I’m sure they will do the same with many other readers.  I highly encourage any contemporary fans to check this one out.

What others are saying about The Start of Me and You:

The Book Addict’s Guide’s review: “THE START OF ME AND YOU was very sweet and lots of fun to read (QuizBowl! What an awesome idea and so great to incorporate) and it was another very solid contemporary from Emery Lord.”

Bookiemoji’s review: “This book is my soul animal.”

Lost In Literature’s review: “The Start of You and Me is the perfect contemporary story that I go all heart eyes for.”

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick | Review

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick | ReviewForgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick
Published by Little Brown on August 13, 2013
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 273
Format: ARC
Source: ALA, Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
3 Stars

Leonard Peacock is turning 18.
And he wants to say goodbye.

Not to his former best friend, whose torments have driven him to consider committing something tragic and horrific.

Nor to his mum who's moved out and left him to fend form himself. But to his four friends.
A Humphrey-Bogart-obsessed neighbour.
A teenage violin virtuoso.
A pastor's daughter.
A teacher.

Most of the time, Leonard believes he's weird and sad but these friends have made him think that maybe he's not.

He wants to thank them, and bid them farewell.

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Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock is a really hard book for me to review.  It’s one of those books that you think you should like because the subject matter is tough and it’s honest and well done but I found myself disliking a lot of things about it.

I’ve Had Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock on my shelf for over a year now and the only thing that made me finally pick it up was my YA Lit class.  It was one of the optional books and I figured I’d give it a try since I already had a copy.  I’m definitely glad I read it but it’s not a book I’d ever take the time to read again, if you know what I mean.

Leonard Peacock is turning 18 and as a gift to himself he decides he will kill his former best friend and then end his own miserable life.  But before all that can happen, he has 4 gifts to deliver to the only people he really considers friends.  It’s definitely a plot that will grab readers’ attention but it’s not a very realistic one.  Why would no one think it odd that Leonard is giving out these random, extravagant gifts?  It’s out of Leonard’s nature and while everyone does question this, no one takes the time to dig deeper or figure out that it’s Leonard’s birthday.  I found this part highly unlikely.  There’s even a scene where someone asks if Leonard is going to kill himself but does nothing really to prevent Leonard from leaving.  I truly feel that in this day and age, if someone is suspected of having suicidal thoughts or tendencies, someone will do something to try and help.  That was not the case in Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock.

Leonard is very much alone.  His dad ran out, his mom lives in another city (leaving him a whole house to himself), and his “friends” don’t actually care much for him.  Walt was the only person Leonard really seemed to have a relationship with and that relationship was totally strange.  The other three friends Leonard has gifts for are almost more like close acquaintances.  Also, I don’t really blame them for not liking Leonard all that much.  He was a really rude kid.  He even calls himself an asshole multiple times throughout the book and I couldn’t have agreed with him more.  There was one point where he was so mean he almost made someone cry.  Hard to have sympathy for someone like that.  (Not that I was rooting for him to kill himself, or anything.)

The story is fast-paced but also a little hard to get into.  Most of the story is told regularly but there are footnotes interspersed throughout, as well.  The footnotes were really distracting to me.  It was almost like Leonard’s thoughts didn’t quite fit in with the pace of the story so he threw them in as footnotes so readers wouldn’t miss out on them completely.  It’s something I’ve never seen done before in books like this and I had trouble getting used to it.

I think the best thing about Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock is how honest it is.  It portrays a very real teenage boy who thinks he has the biggest problems in the world.  Sure, he has some pretty big issues but he never manages to look outside himself and see that there are bigger problems than his.  He may not be an easy guy to like but how many high school guys are wonderful people?  For that matter, how many high school girls?  Matthew Quick shows the darker side of the teenage mind and it was spot on.  However, he still managed to leave readers hopeful.  I didn’t think that was going to be possible but I love how he did it.

Overall, Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock is not going to be a book for everybody but I think it has many merits that will make it appeal to some readers.  Fair warning though, it’s not for younger readers.  There is a lot of profanity and many tough subjects are brought up throughout the course of the book.

What others are saying about Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock:

Cuddlebuggery’s review: “All in all, I’m really glad I decided to check Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock out.”

Once Upon a Bookcase’s review: “I implore you to read this novel, let Leonard tell you his story.”

Steph Su Reads’ review: “FORGIVE ME, LEONARD PEACOCK is arguably one of the most explosive and important books of this year, but if you knew nothing about Matthew Quick, most famously the author ofSilver Linings Playbook, you probably wouldn’t expect it.”

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Where The Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller | Review

Where The Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller | ReviewWhere The Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller
Published by Bloomsbury on September 24, 2013
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 352
Format: ARC
Source: ALA, Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
4 Stars

Stolen as a child from her large and loving family, and on the run with her mom for more than ten years, Callie has only the barest idea of what normal life might be like. She's never had a home, never gone to school, and has gotten most of her meals from laundromat vending machines. Her dreams are haunted by memories she’d like to forget completely. But when Callie’s mom is finally arrested for kidnapping her, and Callie’s real dad whisks her back to what would have been her life, in a small town in Florida, Callie must find a way to leave the past behind. She must learn to be part of a family. And she must believe that love--even with someone who seems an improbable choice--is more than just a possibility.

picadillyblueWhere The Stars Still Shine, Trish Doller’s sophomore novel, is a solid follow-up to her debut, Something Like Normal.  I didn’t love it like I did Something Like Normal but I did like it quite a bit.

Trish Doller has a way with messed up characters.  Callie was raised by her mother, who kidnapped her at a very young age.  She drags Callie from place to place, living in motels, not going to school, and being forced to put up with the trashy men that her mom brings home.  The way she’s raised is terribly wrong but Callie doesn’t know any other way.  Until her mom is arrested and she’s returned to her dad, she never knew she could have a different life.

Callie was very messed up after her childhood.  She didn’t know what real love was like.  She didn’t know how to handle family or friends and she didn’t remember anything about her life from before the kidnapping.  She tended to push people away, especially the people that loved her.  Then there was Alex.  She doesn’t know how to be with him.  She’s not confident that people could really love her, especially him.  He’s sweet, funny, and super cute with Callie and  her family.  It’s hard to tell if he’s a player at first but he does seem to be a good guy.

As for Callie’s mom and dad, they are complete opposites.  Her mom is a selfish woman who needs mental help.  I totally hated Callie’s mom, especially the way she treated Callie.  I also hated how Callie acted around her mom.  Her dad was a totally sweet guy who loved Callie with all his heart.  He was an amazing guy.

The plot was fast-paced even when there wasn’t a whole lot going on.  I never felt bored with the book and I was always eager to see what would happen next.  The story definitely had my full attention.

Overall, Where The Stars Still Shine is great for contemporary fans.  It’s got a lot more going on than you’d originally think.

What others are saying about Where The Stars Still Shine:

Book’d Out’s review: “Like Trish Doller’s debut novel, Something Like Normal, Where the Stars Still Shine is a gritty, contemporary young adult novel favouring realism over fairy tale.”

Tabitha’s Book Blog’s review: “If you enjoyed her novel, SOMETHING LIKE NORMAL – than I have no doubts that you’ll enjoy this one as well.”

All The Books I Can Read’s review: “But apart from that I loved all facets of this book and it further cemented Trish Doller as such a gifted voice of contemporary young adult/new adult literature.”

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher | Review

Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher | ReviewKetchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher
Published by Little Brown on November 12, 2013
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 261
Format: ARC
Source: ALA
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
3 Stars

Dear Mr. S. Harris,
Ignore the blob of red in the top left corner. It's jam, not blood, though I don't think I need to tell you the difference. It wasn't your wife's jam the police found on your shoe. . . .

I know what it's like.

Mine wasn't a woman. Mine was a boy. And I killed him exactly three months ago.

Zoe has an unconventional pen pal--Mr. Stuart Harris, a Texas Death Row inmate and convicted murderer. But then again, Zoe has an unconventional story to tell. A story about how she fell for two boys, betrayed one of them, and killed the other.

Hidden away in her backyard shed in the middle of the night with a jam sandwich in one hand and a pen in the other, Zoe gives a voice to her heart and her fears after months of silence. Mr. Harris may never respond to Zoe's letters, but at least somebody will know her story--somebody who knows what it's like to kill a person you love. Only through her unusual confession can Zoe hope to atone for her mistakes that have torn lives apart, and work to put her own life back together again.

Ketchup Clouds has one of the most unique premises that I’ve read in a while. I had high hopes for an intriguing read unlike any I’d read before. While I definitely found it to be a unique story, I had quite a few issues with it.

Zoe is an unusual character. She writes to a man on death row because she feels like she can relate to him and his situation. She also knows that he will never tell anyone her story. She admits to him that she killed someone and the rest of the book is spent exploring exactly how and why she thinks she killed someone. It’s a captivating story that had me guessing for a while but there were definitely issues.

First off there was Zoe. She seemed very cold and detached. I never felt like I could relate to her. Everything with her was almost clinical. I wanted to see her emotions. She was confessing to killing someone, someone close to her, yet she never seemed torn up about it. I could not connect to her at all and I found myself just wanting to get to the end of the book so I could be done with it.

The other characters weren’t much better. Her parents were a little too detached and involved in their own drama. They paid very little attention to what was actually going on with their kids. The sibling dynamic was interesting though. I actually enjoyed the relationships of the three sisters. That was the only time I could really get any emotions from Zoe. As for the boys, well, they were just meh for me. I couldn’t see why Zoe was interested in one of them when the other one was clearly perfect for her. I don’t want to give anything away though so that’s all I will say about that part.

Overall, Ketchup Clouds is a unique, interesting read but not something I’d ever re-read. If you have nothing better to read on a rainy day, give this one a try. It’s a quick, suspenseful read that will leave you thinking.

What others are saying about Ketchup Clouds:
slatebreakers’ review: “Mystery readers will be intrigued by the “what really happened” element, and contemporary realism fans will appreciate the authenticity of Zoe’s voice, her boy troubles, and her expertly written family dynamic.” 
 
Fluttering Butterflies’ review: “Annabel Pitcher is a remarkable writer.” 
 
The Hiding Spot’s review: “I want to take this book and press it in to the hands of every reader I know.” 
Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Archived (The Archived #1) by Victoria Schwab | Review

The Archived (The Archived #1) by Victoria Schwab | ReviewThe Archived by Victoria Schwab
Series: The Archived #1
Published by Disney Hyperion on January 22, 2013
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 328
Format: ARC
Source: ALA, Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
5 Stars

Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books.

Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures that only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive.

Da first brought Mackenzie Bishop here four years ago, when she was twelve years old, frightened but determined to prove herself. Now Da is dead, and Mac has grown into what she once was, a ruthless Keeper, tasked with stopping often—violent Histories from waking up and getting out. Because of her job, she lies to the people she loves, and she knows fear for what it is: a useful tool for staying alive.

Being a Keeper isn’t just dangerous—it’s a constant reminder of those Mac has lost. Da’s death was hard enough, but now her little brother is gone too. Mac starts to wonder about the boundary between living and dying, sleeping and waking. In the Archive, the dead must never be disturbed. And yet, someone is deliberately altering Histories, erasing essential chapters. Unless Mac can piece together what remains, the Archive itself might crumble and fall.

In this haunting, richly imagined novel, Victoria Schwab reveals the thin lines between past and present, love and pain, trust and deceit, unbearable loss and hard-won redemption.

Victoria Schwab is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. The Near Witch was one of my favorite books of 2011 and it really impressed me. I was pretty sure her sophomore novel couldn’t be better than that one but boy was I wrong. The Archived is one of the best books I have read in 2012 and one of my all-time favorites.

The Archived is one of the most unique books I have ever read. The concept is fabulous and the execution is perfect! I wasn’t quite sure where the story was going to go in the beginning but I honestly didn’t care because it was just so interesting. However, once the story really picked up and things started to come together, I was fascinated. I won’t try and tell you exactly how things work in the Archive because the book does a way better job of explaining it. Just know that it’s an awesome concept and it’s kind of spooky.

That’s another thing about The Archived that I didn’t expect but I should have given the spookiness of The Near Witch. The Archived takes place in two locations: the Coronado, an old hotel turned apartment building, and the Narrows/Archive. Both places are pretty much equally creepy. The Coronado is a building full of secrets. A series of strange deaths happened shortly after the place became apartments and somehow these murders tie in with strange things happening in the Narrows and the Archive. While it’s not a horror story by any means, I was sufficiently creeped out yet equally intrigued.

Mackenzie is one stubborn, strong-willed, hard-headed girl. She did not want to accept help from anyone and she wanted to do everything her own way. She was a little closed off with people but she did grow out of that a little bit throughout the book. She was lonely and she just wanted someone who could relate to her. She found that someone in the very unlikely form of Wesley Ayers. (By the way, Wesley Ayers is my new fictional crush and none of you can have him!) Wesley is the comic relief in this book. He’s the complete opposite of Mac. He’s free-spirited, friendly, and a little goofy. He’s pretty much the definition of a nice guy. I have no complaints regarding Wesley’s character! As for the rest of the characters, it was hard to judge them. The Librarians were very aloof and mysterious, Mackenzie’s parents were heartbroken and lost, and the Histories were kind of creepy yet kind of sad. I look forward to learning more about everyone in the next book.

As for the writing itself, if you’ve read The Near Witch you know what to expect from Victoria Schwab. Her writing is beautiful and creepy and mysterious and just freaking fantastic. Victoria Schwab is one of those authors who could write a phone book and have people fall in love with it. I really can’t put into words how much I love her writing. =)

Overall, The Archived is a stunning sophomore novel from Victoria Schwab. It’s a creeptastic story full of mystery and secrets and I can’t recommend it enough!

Looking for more reviews of The Archived by Victoria Schwab?

The Paper Reader’s review
Dark Faerie Tales’ review
The YA Sisterhood’s review

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally | Review

Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally | ReviewStealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally
Series: Hundred Oaks #2
Published by Sourcebooks Fire on October 1, 2012
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 245
Format: ARC
Source: ALA
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
5 Stars

Parker Shelton pretty much has the perfect life. She’s on her way to becoming valedictorian at Hundred Oaks High, she’s made the all-star softball team, and she has plenty of friends. Then her mother’s scandal rocks their small town and suddenly no one will talk to her.

Now Parker wants a new life.

So she quits softball. Drops twenty pounds. And she figures why kiss one guy when she can kiss three? Or four. Why limit herself to high school boys when the majorly cute new baseball coach seems especially flirty?

But how far is too far before she loses herself completely?

Miranda Kenneally is quickly becoming one of my favorite contemporary authors; right up there with Jennifer Echols, Sarah Dessen, and Sarah Ockler. I had very high hopes for Stealing Parker and I am so happy to say that I was not at all disappointed.

Parker is a lot like Jordan in some ways. She’s feisty, strong-willed, athletic, and most of her friends are boys. However that is where the similarities end. Parker is not nearly as easy to like as Jordan was. Parker does some stupid things and she’s very messed up. She doesn’t always think things through and sometimes she’s very selfish. She is a good person at heart though and a great friend. She just doesn’t quite know how to handle life anymore. Her family kind of spiraled out of control and she can’t fix it. Her friendships went the same way and she just gave up. Now she spends all her time trying to control what she can: her life, especially her love life. It’s not easy for Parker to trust people or to love them so instead of looking for a relationship, she looks for one night hookups. All that changes though when she starts to fall for someone that she just might want to be with for more than one night.

Once again the boys are what make this book and I’m not just talking the love interests. Miranda Kenneally has a way of writing friendships betweens guys and girls that are just natural and perfect. Drew is Parker’s best friend and he was a guy I would love to have as a friend. He stood up for Parker to his friends, he was there for her no matter what, and he liked Harry Potter marathons. Drew was a boy after my own heart! Then there was Corndog (Will). Corndog cracked me up! He’s a guy who thinks outside the box and never does what people expect him to. He’s a nice guy and a total sweetheart. And of course there is Brian, the assistant baseball coach, who Parker falls for. I actually really liked Brian and felt that he was just really confused. Sure he should have known better than to act how he did with Parker but other than that he was a pretty good guy.

Oh and there are a few mentions of Henry and Jordan in the book! Yay!

Stealing Parker is a rather short book and it’s super fast-paced. Things take off very quickly and it’s impossible to stop reading until you know exactly how everything is going to work out. There is quite a bit going on, what with the family drama, the church drama, and relationship drama but it’s never too much. And yes there is some religious stuff in Stealing Parker but it’s never preachy and never overdone. It fit perfectly with the story and I thought it really added to everything going on.

Overall, Stealing Parker is another must-read from Miranda Kenneally. You don’t need to read Catching Jordan first but I do recommend it. (Also, I just like any excuse to tell people to read that book.)

Looking for more reviews of Stealing Parker?
Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A Want So Wicked (A Need So Beautiful #2) by Suzanne Young | Review

A Want So Wicked (A Need So Beautiful #2) by Suzanne Young | ReviewA Want So Wicked by Suzanne Young
Series: A Need So Beautiful #2
Published by Harper Teen on June 26, 2012
Genres: Paranormal
Pages: 282
Format: ARC
Source: ALA, Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
5 Stars

Elise is a normal seventeen-year-old girl until the day she wakes up in a desert park, with no idea who she is.

After that episode, her life takes a bizarre turn. She’s experiencing unexpected flashes of insight into people’s lives—people she’s never met before. Strangers frighten her with warnings about the approaching Shadows. And although Elise has never had a boyfriend, she suddenly finds herself torn between two handsome but very different young men: Abe, the charming bad boy whose effect on her both seduces and frightens her, and the mysterious Harlin, who’s new to town but with whom Elise feels an urgent, elemental connection—almost as if they are soul mates.

Now Elise begins to question everything about her life. Why do these guys both want her so desperately? What are the Shadows? Why does the name Charlotte inspire a terrifying familiarity? And who is Elise, really?

picadillyblueA Need So Beautiful was one of my favorite books of 2011. A Want So Wicked is definitely going to be on my list of favorites for 2012. I am in awe of Suzanne Young’s talent and I can’t wait to see what she does next.

The story is a bit confusing in the beginning. Things are going on with Elise that she can’t quite figure out and to be honest, neither could I. Things all went back to Charlotte, the Needs, and Onika but the reader was definitely kept guessing through most of the book. There were so many twists and surprises. With all that you don’t know and want to find out this book is nearly impossible to put down.

Elise is a lot like Charlotte. She is kind, brave, funny, smart, and oh, extremely attracted to Harlin (for reasons she can’t explain at first.) Elise is most like Charlotte in the fact that you can’t help but cheer for her. It’s impossible not to want this girl to triumph over evil and get her happy ending. Then there are the boys; Harlin and Abe. Harlin is just as amazing as he was in A Need So Beautiful. He is actually better because he has grown in his time without Charlotte. Abe is a bit of a mystery. He is very clearly a bad boy but you can’t help but like him. He has his moments. As for Elise’s family, Lucy and her dad, they were great. Lucy had secrets of her own but her love for Elise always showed. Their dad may have had to work a lot but he was always there for them. He was a great parent.

The romance in this book has to be one of my favorite things. It is intense and steamy and sexy and just so real. It is not insta-love and you can actually see the attraction between the characters growing into something so much bigger. Suzanne Young has a gift for romance.

Overall, A Want So Wicked is the best possible follow-up to A Need So Beautiful that readers could have asked for. It may have actually been better than the first!

Looking for more reviews of A Want So Wicked?
Thursday, May 17, 2012

Revived by Cat Patrick | Review

Revived by Cat Patrick | ReviewRevived by Cat Patrick
Published by Little Brown on May 1, 2012
Genres: Science Fiction
Pages: 352
Format: ARC
Source: ALA, Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
5 Stars

It started with a bus crash.

Daisy Appleby was a little girl when it happened, and she barely remembers the accident or being brought back to life. At that moment, though, she became one of the first subjects in a covert government program that tests a drug called Revive.

Now fifteen, Daisy has died and been Revived five times. Each death means a new name, a new city, a new identity. The only constant in Daisy's life is constant change.

Then Daisy meets Matt and Audrey McKean, charismatic siblings who quickly become her first real friends. But if she's ever to have a normal life, Daisy must escape from an experiment that's much larger--and more sinister--than she ever imagined.

 
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After reading Cat Patrick’s sophomore novel I can safely say that she is a new favorite author of mine. She is an amazingly talented author and she has a gift for writing twisted, thrilling, addicting stories.

Revived is a very interesting story. It could almost be a contemporary story if it wasn’t for the whole drug that brings people back to life thing. For that reason I think this book will appeal to a wide variety of readers. It reads like a contemporary with a super sweet romance, a life-altering tragedy, and some typical coming-of-age issues. It just has this slight twist that the main character is part of a secret government program that is run by a person who might not be such a life saver after all. It really was full of twists and turns that kept me guessing and kept me reading late into the night (or early into the morning.)

Cat Patrick’s characters have to be some of the best I have read. Daisy is a girl who has died five times but she worries about all the same things as normal teenage girls; boys, clothes, friends, driving, etc. She is smart, inquisitive, funny, nice, and sometimes awkward (mainly around Matt.) Her best friends, Audrey and Megan, are great. Audrey is so sweet, funny (especially when teasing Matt and Daisy), kind, and obsessed with Jake Gyllenhal. Megan is another program kid so she understands what Daisy has to go through and she is always there for her. Then there is Matt who just happens to by Audrey’s brother. He is very nice, funny, sexy, and sometimes awkward (just like Daisy!) His and Daisy’s interactions are just the cutest thing ever. Then there is Mason, Daisy’s “dad.” He is not her real dad but it is obvious how much he cares and his presence in the book is awesome. I liked seeing a parental figure who cared what their kid did and who paid attention.

My one complaint was that the ending seemed a little abrupt. I didn’t see it coming AT ALL which I loved but then everything just seemed to happen too quickly. However this is a very minor complaint.

Overall, Revived is a must-read. Full of sweet romance, awesome friendships, and surprising twists, everyone will find something to love about it!

Looking for more reviews of Revived?
Dazzling Reads’ review
The Story Queen’s review