Friday, April 5, 2013

Things I Can’t Forget (Hundred Oaks #3) by Miranda Kenneally | Review

Things I Can’t Forget (Hundred Oaks #3) by Miranda Kenneally | ReviewThings I Can't Forget by Miranda Kenneally
Series: Hundred Oaks #3
Published by Sourcebooks Fire on March 5, 2013
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 320
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley, Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
5 Stars

Kate has always been the good girl. Too good, according to some people at school—although they have no idea the guilty secret she carries. But this summer, everything is different…

This summer she’s a counselor at Cumberland Creek summer camp, and she wants to put the past behind her. This summer Matt is back as a counselor too. He’s the first guy she ever kissed, and he’s gone from a geeky songwriter who loved The Hardy Boys to a buff lifeguard who loves to flirt--with her.

Kate used to think the world was black and white, right and wrong. Turns out, life isn’t that easy…

Things I Can’t Forget is probably my favorite of Miranda Kenneally’s books. It’s fun and cute just like the rest but it’s also such a powerful story. I was seriously impressed and I’m even more excited for her next book now.

Where do I even begin? I loved everything about this book! At first I was a little nervous because I’d heard some really mixed things but I went in with an open mind and I’m so glad I did. Kate was really judgmental and preachy at first but I really suggest you just get past that and keep reading. I know it will bother some people (it did me) but it’s worth it to get past it. The story wouldn’t work at all if Kate wasn’t the way she was. She’s a truly devout girl and she doesn’t know how to deal with people who either don’t believe in God or just don’t believe the same way she does. She thinks that her way is the only way and it’s pretty much impossible for her to look past that. As the story progresses though Kate really starts to look a little deeper, not just into her own faith but into the faith of the people around her, from friends to family.

The other characters weren’t nearly as hard to like as Kate was. Take Matt, for instance. Oh gosh, Matt. Miranda Kenneally continues to impress me with the guys she writes. Matt may be the best yet. He’s funny, charming, sweet, and, oh yeah, he plays guitar and writes music. What’s not to love? He continually cracked me up and he did so much to help Kate come out of her shell and start to see the people around her. Then there were Will and Parker. Now, I’m ashamed to admit this but it took me a little while to realize that they were the Will and Parker from Stealing Parker. Yeah, I know, I’m a ditz. They were just as awesome as in Stealing Parker but maybe even more so now. Their relationship has really changed and they were so dang cute together. I also really enjoyed seeing them both become friends with Kate. Also, Kate’s parents were great, especially her dad. Her parents were always there for her and they were always willing to talk to her about anything and everything. Oh and I have to mention Matt’s family and fraternity. Matt’s family was so funny and so cute. His frat brothers were the best though. They’re only in the book briefly but I wouldn’t mind seeing more of them. And yes, you do get some Jordan and Sam Henry action!

The story moves along pretty quickly and Things I Can’t Forget won’t take you long to read at all. There were some rather dumb moves on Kate’s part but I felt that they really fit with her character and so they didn’t bother me all that much. However, they did kind of make me want to slap her a few times. Really, the story was just fun and cute but like I said, it had a heavier side to it that I really enjoyed. The religious part of Things I Can’t Forget was done amazingly well and it truly made me think. It was a bit preachy at times but I don’t think it could have been done any other way. Just stick with this one, I swear it’s so worth it.

Overall, Things I Can’t Forget is a must read for contemporary fans. I can’t recommend it enough. I’m so excited for the next book in this series!

Looking for more reviews of Things I Can’t Forget by Miranda Kenneally?
Oh Damn Books’ review
A Reader of Fictions’ review
My Heart Hearts Books’ review
Maji Bookshelf’s review

Monday, September 17, 2012

Dearly, Beloved (Gone With The Respiration #2) by Lia Habel | Review

Dearly, Beloved (Gone With The Respiration #2) by Lia Habel | ReviewDearly, Beloved by Lia Habel
Series: Gone With The Respiration #2
Published by Del Rey on September 25, 2012
Genres: Steampunk
Pages: 496
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley, Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
5 Stars

Can the living coexist with the living dead?

That’s the question that has New Victorian society fiercely divided ever since the mysterious plague known as “The Laz” hit the city of New London and turned thousands into walking corpses. But while some of these zombies are mindless monsters, hungry for human flesh, others can still think, speak, reason, and control their ravenous new appetites.

Just ask Nora Dearly, the young lady of means who was nearly kidnapped by a band of sinister zombies but valiantly rescued by a dashing young man . . . of the dead variety.

Nora and her savior, the young zombie soldier Bram Griswold, fell hopelessly in love. But others feel only fear and loathing for the reanimated dead. Now, as tensions grow between pro- and anti-zombie factions, battle lines are being drawn in the streets. And though Bram is no longer in the New Victorian army, he and his ex-commando zombie comrades are determined to help keep the peace. That means taking a dangerous stand between The Changed, a radical group of sentient zombies fighting for survival, and The Murder, a masked squad of urban guerrillas hellbent on destroying the living dead. But zombies aren’t the only ones in danger: Their living allies are also in The Murder’s crosshairs, and for one vengeful zealot, Nora Dearly is the number one target.

As paranoia, prejudice, and terrorist attacks threaten to plunge the city into full-scale war, Nora’s scientist father and his team continue their desperate race to unlock the secrets of “The Laz” and find a cure. But their efforts may be doomed when a mysterious zombie appears bearing an entirely new strain of the virus—and the nation of New Victoria braces for a new wave of the apocalypse.

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Dearly, Beloved is an amazing follow-up to Dearly, Departed. The writing is just as flawless, the setting just as lovely/creepy, the characters just as wonderful, and the zombies just as awesome. Dearly, Beloved will not disappoint fans of the first book!

Bram and Nora are back and better than ever. This is one couple that never seems to waver. They are always there for each other and for once there is no love triangle. These two are devoted to each other and nobody will stand between them. Together they are amazing but surprisingly they are just as awesome apart. Nora is brave (sometimes reckless), funny, stubborn, and smart. She’s a wonderful heroine that readers will love. Bram is also brave, funny, and stubborn and it’s hilarious to see them clash. They may argue but they clearly love each other and Bram only wants what is best for Nora. Throughout everything he looks out for her and protects her. He’s such a sweet zombie boyfriend.

The rest of the characters really evolve in this book. Tom, Coalhouse, Chas, Dr. Dearly, Pam, Michael, Renfield, Doc Sam, Beryl, and Vespertine are all back. There are also a couple new characters introduced that were quite fascinating. The characters from the first book are just as awesome. More from all of their pasts are revealed and people are not quite who they seem (some in good ways, some in bad.) The characters really are so much more developed in this book and it will be wonderful to see even more of them in the next book.

The plot is a bit slower that the first book but not slow enough to make you want to stop reading. There is a lot of background information and build-up but it’s all very necessary information. Lia Habel doesn’t skimp out on the details to get to the action. There is the perfect balance of fighting, history, science, romance, and zombie. This book really does have a little something for everyone.

Overall, Dearly, Beloved solidifies my love for Lia Habel’s writing and storytelling abilities. This series is on my list of favorites and I can’t wait to read the next book.

Looking for more reviews of Dearly, Beloved?

Dark Faerie Tales’ review
Kelsey’s Cluttered Bookshelf’s review