Monday, September 12, 2016

99 Days by Katie Cotugno | Review

99 Days by Katie Cotugno | Review99 Days by Katie Cotugno
Published by Balzer + Bray on April 21st 2015
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 384
Format: Hardcover
Source: BEA
Goodreads
2 Stars

Day 1: Julia Donnelly eggs my house my first night back in Star Lake, and that’s how I know everyone still remembers everything—how I destroyed my relationship with Patrick the night everything happened with his brother, Gabe. How I wrecked their whole family. Now I’m serving out my summer like a jail sentence: Just ninety-nine days till I can leave for college, and be done.

Day 4: A nasty note on my windshield makes it clear Julia isn’t finished. I’m expecting a fight when someone taps me on the shoulder, but it’s just Gabe, home from college and actually happy to see me. “For what it’s worth, Molly Barlow,” he says, “I’m really glad you’re back.”

Day 12: Gabe got me to come to this party, and I’m actually having fun. I think he’s about to kiss me—and that’s when I see Patrick. My Patrick, who’s supposed to be clear across the country. My Patrick, who’s never going to forgive me.

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I can’t even begin to tell you how much I wanted to love this book.  Katie Cotugno’s debut novel, How To Love, is on my favorites shelf.  I adored everything about it.  I put off reading 99 Days because I was saving it for a day when I needed a really good book to read.  I definitely set my expectations way too high for this one.

Pros:

  • Pacing: I read this book in just over two sittings.  While there may not have been many things I liked about it, at least I was able to power through it.  It’s an extremely quick read that is paced just right.  The book takes place over 99 days (I bet you never would have guessed that) and those 99 days seem to fly by for both the reader and Molly.  A lot happens throughout the course of the book and I never felt like the story got too slow or lagged.  I also liked that the flashbacks Molly had from her relationship with Patrick were woven into the story.  I feel like it would have bogged things down if the chapters alternated between past and present so I appreciated that.
  • Romance: The romance between Molly and Gabe was super cute and I loved Gabe.  Yes, even at the end when things came out about him, I still liked him.  I felt like he was good to Molly and good for her.  He wasn’t always an angel but he was never really a bad person.  He was sweet and super hung up on Molly.  He made her happy and he looked out for her.  The start to their relationship may not have been the best thing but I didn’t think it was all that bad.  I wanted to see him and Molly get a happy ending together.
  • Characters: 99 Days had a pretty even mix of characters that I loved and characters that I hated.  Gabe was on the list right in the middle since I liked him but had issues with him too.  My list of characters that I loved contained two awesome females, Imogen and Tess.  Imogen was Molly’s friend before everything went down and she would have been Molly’s friend after, if Molly hadn’t run away.  She wasn’t willing to just overlook things when Molly came back but she was willing to move past them and let Molly earn her forgiveness.  Then there was Tess.  Tess was Patrick’s new girlfriend.  She didn’t know Molly before everything happened but she wasn’t willing to judge her without getting to know her.  They became friends and Tess was always there for Molly.  Tess and Imogen knew what it was to be a good friend.

Cons:

  • Characters: The list of characters that I hated makes me want to rant.  Let’s start with Molly.  That girl had some serious issues.  She was so extremely selfish.  I don’t blame her for what she did with Gabe when Patrick broke up with her.  Patrick broke up with her!  They were not together when she slept with his brother.  Yeah, it wasn’t really classy but as I read more about Molly and Gabe, I could see that they really cared for each other and I could get over that.  It was everything else Molly did that bothered me.  She was jealous of Tess even though she was the one who ruined things with Patrick and was dating his brother.  She clearly wanted what she couldn’t have and she was willing to do whatever it took to get it.  She threw Tess under the bus and took what she wanted from Patrick.  She didn’t even think about Gabe while she screwed him over and yet she claimed to be falling in love with him.  Then there was Patrick.  He was a jerk and I honestly couldn’t see what Molly ever saw in him.  He treated her like crap and she kept crawling back to him.  Oh and don’t let me forget Patrick’s twin, Julia.  Julia was supposedly Molly’s best friend but she was the first to slut shame Molly for what she did with Gabe.  I understand that family comes first but that’s no reason to act like Julia did.  And then there is Molly’s mom who was the one who outed Molly’s night with Gabe, not just to Patrick but to the whole world.  Her mom wrote a bestselling novel based on Molly’s love life torn between Patrick and Gabe.  Then she went and told everyone that it was based on her daughter.  Who does that?
  • Cheating: I can sometimes look past cheating in books and still be able to enjoy the book but not this time around.  Molly had no sense of morals when it came to cheating.  She just kept doing it, over and over again.  Sure she’d feel bad about it later but that didn’t do anybody any good then.  Too little, too late.  I don’t want to get into this too much because it is very much a spoiler but just know that it was really bad.
  • Ending: The ending is very similar to Katie Cotugno’s debut, How To Love, in that it’s up in the air.  It’s pretty much up to the reader to decide what comes next for Molly and the boys in her life.  I wanted some concrete answers and I know Katie Cotugno has said there is always the possibility of a sequel but that’s not what I want.  I just want to know exactly how things ended for Molly and all of the Donnellys and it doesn’t look like I’ll get that.

Overall, 99 Days is not one I recommend reading.  Check out Katie Cotugno’s debut, How To Love, for sure, but let’s just pretend like this one didn’t happen.  I’m waiting on her third book so I can see if it will redeem her!

Overall reaction:

What others are saying about 99 Days:

The Perpetual Page-Turner’s review: “While on the surface this book might just seem like a romance with a love triangle between two brothers but it is SO much more than that.”

The Novel Hermit’s review: “99 Days seemed promising at first, but with a snap of a finger, the story turned boring and didn’t really resolve anything.”

Reading Lark’s review: “Overall, I loved watching Molly work through the ghosts of her past and start to make plans for a better future.”

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Hurricane Kiss by Deborah Blumenthal | Review

Hurricane Kiss by Deborah Blumenthal | ReviewHurricane Kiss by Deborah Blumenthal
Published by Aw Teen on May 1st 2016
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 256
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
2 Stars

For sixteen-year-old Jillian McKay, the threat of Hurricane Danielle means a long car ride with her neighbors including River Daughtry, the former star quarterback of Harrison High. The guy who was headed to glory until suddenly he disappeared to a West Texas juvenile detention center. Once cocky and flirtatious, he's now silent and angry. When their evacuation route is gridlocked, River is the first to recognize the danger they're in. Together he and Jillian set out to seek shelter in their abandoned high school. As they wait out the storm, they confront the past and realize survival is about more than just staying alive it's about fighting for yourself."

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Oh how I wanted to love Hurricane Kiss.  I don’t know what it was about this book but I was really drawn to it (despite the embarrassing cover).  I figured this would be a quick, fun read with some good secrets and romance.  It was quick but that was about all I got right about this one.

Pros:

  • Pacing: Let’s be real here; the only good thing about Hurricane Kiss was that it didn’t take long to read.  It was slow to start but once I got about 40 pages in, things took off.  It’s pretty clear from the summary what you’re getting into as far as the hurricane and the survival part of the story.  I will admit that I was so not impressed with the time spent in the car trying to get out of Houston but once River and Jillian took off on their own, things really started to move.  Survival stories always intrigue me while also creeping me out.  Hurricane Kiss definitely did both of those things.  I have to say that that is probably one of the main reasons I didn’t just give up on this one.  I wanted to see what would happen to River and Jillian and everyone else in their lives.  If nothing else, the story is very captivating.

Cons:

  • Characters:  I felt nothing for River or Jillian.  Jillian was judgmental and very closed off.  River was tortured and messed up and every other thought in his head was about how bad he was for everyone around him.  Put them together and they were not any better.  And don’t get me started on their parents.  Jillian’s mom would rather stay behind to report than take her kids to safety.  Sure she sends them off with someone else so they aren’t trapped in Houston with her but I could not believe that any mom would do that.  As for River’s dad, he didn’t even like his son.  He wasn’t willing to listen to him and he just believed what everyone else had to say about him.  Then he let him run off (literally, run off) in the middle of an evacuation.  He didn’t try to stop him or go after him.  What kind of dad does that?  So yeah, while I disliked both Jillian and River, I disliked their parents even more.
  • Romance: Can you say insta-love that is totally based on looks alone?  Maybe there was more to it than that but all it seemed these two ever thought about was how attractive the other was.  I couldn’t see any other good reason they might be interested in each other.  They had nothing in common (except for the single parent thing) and to make matters worse, Jillian had a boyfriend!  Yeah, she didn’t feel much for him but that doesn’t mean she should just go for another guy without breaking up with him.
  • Story: There were two parts of the story that I just couldn’t get behind.  One: I don’t think Jillian and River would have survived the storm.  They holed up in their high school and they weren’t prepared at all.  They stayed in rooms with windows (isn’t that a big no-no during tornadoes and hurricanes), they had almost no food, and they kept going out into the storm for completely stupid reasons.  Oh and when the roof would collapse or windows would shatter, instead of just leaving it alone, they would go to check it out.  That makes a lot of sense.  The second part was River’s story about what happened to land him in juvie and his time in juvie.  His dad is ex-military.  I find it hard to believe that he just took the schools word for his sons actions and didn’t fight him getting sent to juvie.  Then there were the stories about what happened at juvie.  I know I have never spent any time in a juvenile detention facility but it seems like beating them, drugging them senseless, and feeding them food crawling with worms would be frowned upon and easily discovered.  What do I know though?

Overall, Hurricane Kiss is not something I’d recommend reading.  I could go on and on about this book but I’m going to stop here.  I’m just really happy it was a quick read and I didn’t waste too much time with this one.

Overall reaction:

 

What others are saying about Hurricane Kiss:

A Belle’s Tales’ review: “I really enjoyed Hurricane Kiss; it was a fast read, and the writing and characters were captivating.”

The Reader and the Chef’s review: “All in all, I believe Hurricane Kiss will attract readers in search of books inspired by events as real as natural disasters, brooding hot guys with a dark past, personal obstacles, light romance, and revelations until the very end of the book.”

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Ride Hard (Raven Riders #1) by Laura Kaye | Review

Ride Hard (Raven Riders #1) by Laura Kaye | ReviewRide Hard (Raven Riders, #1) by Laura Kaye
Series: Raven Riders #1
Published by Avon on April 26th 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 320
Format: ARC
Source: PLA
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
2 Stars

Brotherhood. Club. Family.

They live and ride by their own rules.

These are the Raven Riders . . .

Raven Riders Motorcycle Club President Dare Kenyon rides hard and values loyalty above all else. He’ll do anything to protect the brotherhood of bikers—the only family he’s got—as well as those who can’t defend themselves. So when mistrustful Haven Randall lands on the club’s doorstep scared that she’s being hunted, Dare takes her in, swears to keep her safe, and pushes to learn the secrets overshadowing her pretty smile.

Haven fled from years of abuse at the hands of her criminal father and is suspicious of any man’s promises, including those of the darkly sexy and overwhelmingly intense Ravens’ leader. But as the powerful attraction between them flares to life, Dare pushes her boundaries and tempts her to want things she never thought she could.

The past never dies without a fight, but Dare Kenyon’s never backed down before . . .

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I’m still asking myself why I actually finished this book.  I’ve gotten better at DNF’ing things and Ride Hard is definitely one I should have just given up on.

Pros:

  • The writing:  The writing was not terrible.  It wasn’t anything fabulous but it gives me enough hope that maybe some of Laura Kaye’s other books might be better for me to read.  It was a simple style of writing that lent itself to the story very well.  It had good pacing and helped move things along, even when the story itself seemed to be plodding along.

Cons:

  • The story:  The story was unrealistic and dragged along so much.  There was so much build up and not nearly enough action.  I get that it’s a romance novel but I expected so much more.  The book could have been 100 pages shorter if things just moved along a little faster.
  • The dialogue: I’m not sure I’ve ever read anything cheesier than the dialogue between the two romantic interests in Ride Hard.  Also, Dare was supposed to be this badass president of a motorcycle club and half the things he said to Haven made me laugh how cheesy they were.  I just couldn’t take him seriously as a badass after saying those things.
  • The romance: I know it’s a romance novel but there was just too much!  It was pretty repetitive, actually.  I also didn’t really get why they liked each other that much.  They had similar pasts but it didn’t seem like they actually shared a lot of interests or had that much in common.  It mainly seemed like physical attraction.
  • The characters: The characters really didn’t stand out to me and I could not have cared less about what happened to them.  None of them were well developed and they were just not memorable.  Normally in books like this I become attracted enough to the stories of the side characters to continue the series so I can see what happens to them.  That was not the case with Ride Hard and I will not be continuing this series.

I’m just gonna stop now because it’s only going to get worse from here.  Needless to say, I don’t recommend Ride Hard though, like I said, I may check out another of Laura Kaye’s books to see if it’s any better.  I’m normally a romance fan and I love books about motorcycle clubs so this one really let me down.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Dearest Clementine (Dearest #1) by Lex Martin | Review

Dearest Clementine (Dearest #1) by Lex Martin | ReviewDearest Clementine by Lex Martin
Series: Dearest #1
on May 25, 2014
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 232
Format: ebook
Source: Bought
Buy on Amazon
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2 Stars

Twenty-year-old Clementine Avery doesn't mind being called bitchy and closed off. It's safe, and after being burned by her high school sweetheart and stalked by a professor her freshman year of college, safe sounds pretty damn good.

Her number one rule for survival? No dating. That is until she accidentally signs up for a romance writing class and needs material for her latest assignment. Sexy RA Gavin Murphy is more than happy to play the part of book boyfriend to help Clem find some inspiration, even if that means making out...in the name of research, of course.

As Gavin and Clem grow closer, they get entangled in the mystery surrounding a missing Boston University student, and Clem unwittingly becomes a possible target. Gavin tries to show Clem she can handle falling in love again, but she knows she has to be careful because her heart’s at stake…and maybe even her life.

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When I saw Dearest Clementine on sale on Amazon, I decided to give it a shot.  It was free, what could it hurt?  Well, I realized there was a good reason it was free: it’d be a complete waste of money to actually pay for it.

Clementine was a grade A bitch.  She was only nice to a handful of people and those people were her close friends.  Hell, one of her roommates was even scared of her.  When she first meets Gavin she’s not even willing to tell him her name and he’s nothing but nice.  Clementine really didn’t have much personality either.  It seemed all she had going for her was her looks.

Speaking of looks, the author spends way too much time talking about Clementine’s.  It’s all about how gorgeous Clem is, how skinny, how lightweight, etc.  We get it, she’s pretty!  No need to mention it on every page.

There was also way too much going on, plotwise.  There was this whole storyline with Clementine’s professor, another storyline about a missing girl, another storyline about Clementine being a YA writer but nobody knows it, another storyline involving Clementine’s cheating ex, etc.  Holy crap!  The sad part was that the book still wasn’t very gripping even with all that going on.

As for the love interest (or three) I didn’t mind him but I didn’t particularly like him either.  He was very secretive and his secrets ended up being really stupid.  If he had just talked to Clementine they would have had no drama in their relationship.  Of course he couldn’t do that and Clementine freaked out because she had trust issues.  Those trust issues revolved around her ex, Daren, who I actually maybe liked more than Gavin.  And that is saying something.  Sure he messed up but he apologized and seemed like a really sweet guy.

Overall, Dearest Clementine is one new adult novel that I cannot recommend.  This is one series that I will not be continuing.

What others are saying about Dearest Clementine:

Aesta’s Book Blog’s review: “Overall, this was a really sweet read with a little bit of humor, fun, drama, and mystery.”

Insightful Minds Reviews’ review: “All in all, Dearest Clementine earns 4 stars from me.”

Lite-Rate-Ture’s review: “You have to read Lex Martin’s Dearest Clementine, she has a beautiful writing style and DEAREST CLEMENTINE is one of a kind.”

Friday, May 23, 2014

Royally Lost by Angie Stanton | Review

Royally Lost by Angie Stanton | ReviewRoyally Lost by Angie Stanton
Published by Harper Teen on May 6, 2014
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 336
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
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2 Stars

Dragged on a family trip to Europe’s ancient cities, Becca wants nothing more than to go home. Trapped with her emotionally distant father, over-eager stepmother, and a brother who only wants to hook up with European hotties, Becca is miserable. That is until she meets Nikolai, a guy as mysterious as he is handsome. And she unknowingly finds herself with a runaway prince.

Nikolai has everything a guy could ask for-he's crown prince, heir to the throne, and girls adore him. But the one thing he doesn't have...is freedom. Staging a coup, he flees his kingdom and goes undercover on his own European tour.

When Nikolai and Becca meet, it’s their differences that draw them together. Sparks fly as they share a whirlwind of adventures, all the while dodging his royal guard. But Becca's family vacation ends in a matter of days. Will Nikolai and Becca be forced to say goodbye forever, will his destiny catch up to him, or will they change history forever?

picadillyblueI’ll admit, the cover totally got me with this one.  It looked like the perfect summer read and I figured it’d be a cute, fun, quick read.  Sadly it was only one of those three things: quick.

Where do I even begin with this one?  I guess Becca is a good place to start since she was one of the biggest problems I had with Royally Lost.  She was a spoiled rotten whiny little brat.  And that’s putting it nicely.  Her dad and stepmom, Vicky, took her on an all expenses paid trip to Europe and all she could do was complain about how boring the trip was and how much she hated history.  She found some way to mention how boring history was at every stop on their tour.  She said something about living in the moment at one point and sure, I get that but that doesn’t mean you should completely ignore history.  It was so annoying.  Then there was how she treated her dad and stepmom.  She made a point to always make sure people knew Vicky was just her stepmom.  I completely understand that Vicky was not a replacement for her real mom but the way she treated her was just horrible.  Vicky was nothing but nice and helpful and Becca was an utter bitch to her.  She also mentioned how her dad never had time for her or her brother, Dylan, but throughout the whole book they were the two running away from family time.  Seems a little hypocritical to me.

Let’s move on to the romance between Becca and Nikolai.  This is the third book I’ve read by Angie Stanton and they all have one thing in common: horribly cheesy romances.  Becca and Nikolai couldn’t have been more different but of course they were immediately attracted to each other and very quickly realized that they were in love.  Umm, what?  You have known each other how long?  Seriously, they spent maybe a total of 3 days with each other but by the end of those 3 days, they were in love and couldn’t stand to be parted.  They were willing to do whatever it took to be together yet Nikolai didn’t even know Becca’s last name!  Seriously, they get separated and he has no idea how to get in touch with her because all he knows is that she’s from Chicago and her name is Becca.  Yet they are in love.  Sure, I’ll believe that.

There was also the fact that the ending was way too perfect.  Nikolai is the crown prince of a small country and Becca is a girl about to start her first year of college.  I couldn’t really see how things would ever work out for them but of course the story wouldn’t be a good romance if it was realistic.  Things tied up way too easily and I didn’t find it realistic at all.  It was also super cheesy.  I was not impressed, at all.

Overall, Royally Lost is one I’d recommend skipping.  There are tons of other cute summer romances that you should check out before you waste time on this one.

What others are saying about Royally Lost:

Into the Hall of Books’ review: “Royally Lost is a fun, quick read – another light romance from Angie Stanton for my shelf.”

Stay Bookish’s review: “Royally Lost, which I then decided had lots of feel-good-book potential, was sadly a huge disappointment.”

Catching Books’ review: “Definitely was a cute contemporary romance and yes-it was cheesy but sometimes we all need to read an unrealistic romance!”

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Sleep No More by Aprilynne Pike | Review

Sleep No More by Aprilynne Pike | ReviewSleep No More by Aprilynne Pike
Published by Harper Teen on April 29, 2014
Pages: 352
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
2 Stars

Lisa McMann's Wake trilogy meets the blockbuster Inception in this dark page-turner from #1 New York Times bestselling author Aprilynne Pike.

Oracles see the future but are never supposed to interfere. Charlotte learned that the hard way. If she hadn't tried to change one of her childhood visions, her father would still be alive. Since the accident, Charlotte has suppressed her visions to avoid making the same mistake. But when she receives a premonition of a classmate's murder, she can no longer ignore her powerful gift.

Then Charlotte meets someone who not only knows her secret but who also has a way for her to stop the killer. He offers to teach her how to manipulate her visions to change the future. But doing so will put Charlotte in the path of the murderer.…

picadillyblueSleep No More is only the second book by Aprilynne Pike that I’ve read but it’s definitely the most disappointing.  There were very few things I could find to like about Sleep No More and I only finished the book because I wanted to know who was murdering people and why.  There were so many times I just wanted to DNF it and I’m kind of disappointed that I wasted so much time on this one.

The blurb is what really grabbed my attention with Sleep No More.  One part Wake trilogy and one part Inception?  You’ve definitely got my attention there.  However, while there were a few similarities to that series and that movie, I couldn’t really see Sleep No More as a blend of the two.

So I already mentioned that the mystery was really the only thing that kept me reading until the end.  I’m not saying I was completely clueless about who the killer was but I was at least a little confused as to the motive behind the killings.  That really was the only good thing about Sleep No More.  Aprilynne Pike managed to tie everything together in a way that I didn’t originally suspect at all.

The relationships in Sleep No More were some of the worst I’ve ever read.  Charlotte and her family have so many secrets they keep from each other when really if they were just honest, none of the murders and stuff would have even happened.  I guess there would be no book though if they were honest.  As for the romance, it was horrible.  Charlotte and Linden had absolutely no chemistry.  I’m a total sucker for romance and I’m one of those people that likes at least a little romance in every book but Sleep No More might have been better without any romance at all.

Overall, Sleep No More was just a giant disappointment.  I would highly recommend passing on this one.

What others are saying about Sleep No More:

Snuggly Oranges’ review: “The suspense and creepiness was good… until that last fateful quarter.”

There Were Books Involved’s review: “I wouldn’t go into this book expecting the mind-bending, multi-layered awesomeness of the dream-worlds of Inception.”

Fiction Fare’s review: “I though Pike did a great job of tying the story together and linking the stories of these characters together.”

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Definitely, Maybe In Love by Ophelia London

Definitely, Maybe In Love by Ophelia LondonDefinitely, Maybe In Love by Ophelia London
Published by Entangled on October 28, 2013
Pages: 260
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley, Publisher
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2 Stars

Her theory of attraction is about to get a new angle...

Spring Honeycutt wants two things: to ace her sustainable living thesis and to save the environment. Both seem hopelessly unobtainable until her college professor suggests that with a new angle, her paper could be published. Spring swears she’ll do whatever it takes to ensure that happens.

“Whatever it takes,” however, means forming a partnership with the very hot, very privileged, very conceited Henry Knightly.

Henry is Spring's only hope at publication, but he's also the über-rich son of a land developer and cash-strapped Spring’s polar opposite. Too bad she can't help being attracted to the way he pushes her buttons, both politically and physically. As they work on her thesis, Spring finds there's more to Henry than his old money and argyle sweaters…but can she drop the loud-and-proud act long enough to let him in? Suddenly, choosing between what she wants and what she needs puts Spring at odds with everything she believes in.

Definitely, Maybe in Love is a modern take on Pride and Prejudice that proves true love is worth risking a little pride.

Definitely, Maybe in Love is a modern take on Pride and Prejudice and it’s one of the worse ones I’ve read. I honestly don’t know why I kept reading when I felt like giving up pretty early on. Ophelia London just didn’t do enough with this to make it unique or entertaining.

Spring Honeycutt (yep, that’s actually her name) is an environmentalist wannabe who is completely full of herself. She wears her hair in dreads, becomes a vegetarian, and other really stupid things just to make herself seem more serious as an environmentalist. Last time I checked, that does not make you an environmentalist if you have no legitimate reason for doing the things you do. She was supremely annoying and self righteous, especially since her reasons for doing things were ridiculous. Henry was so much better than Spring as a character. I actually like him even if he was a little stuck up. At least he knew what he was talking about, unlike Spring. However, I totally did not get the attraction between the two. They had nothing in common and there was no chemistry between them. It was very forced.

The story was supremely dull and predictable. I honestly don’t have much more to say about it other than that. I forced myself to keep reading and I kind of regret the time I wasted on this book.

Overall, Definitely, Maybe in Love is one that I would definitely recommend skipping. There’s nothing redeeming about it and I felt like it was a waste of my time.

What others are saying about Definitely, Maybe In Love:
Wondrous Reads’ review: “I really loved this book and I can’t wait to read more by Ophelia London. 
 
The Autumn Review’s review: “This was a well-written, sweet, entertaining story that has some great twists that I didn’t see coming.”
 
Sweets Books’ review: “Overall its a great story and great characters, I wouldn’t mind reading other books on the other characters!”
Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Elite (Eagle Elite #1) by Rachel Van Dyken | Review

Elite (Eagle Elite #1) by Rachel Van Dyken | ReviewElite by Rachel Van Dyken
Series: Eagle Elite #1
Published by Forever on July 9, 2013
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 338
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley, Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
2 Stars

For Tracey Rooks, life with her grandparents on a Wyoming farm has always been simple. But after her grandmother's death, Tracey is all her grandfather has. So when Eagle Elite University announces its annual scholarship lottery, Tracey jumps at the opportunity to secure their future and enters. She isn't expecting much-but then she wins. And life as she knows it will never be same . . .

The students at Eagle Elite are unlike any she's ever met . . . and they refuse to make things easy for her. There's Nixon, gorgeous, irresistible, and leader of a group that everyone fears: The Elect. Their rules are simple. 1. Do not touch The Elect. 2. Do not look at The Elect. 3. Do not speak to The Elect. No matter how hard she tries to stay away, The Elect are always around her and it isn't long until she finds out the reason why they keep their friends close and their enemies even closer. She just didn't realize she was the enemy -- until it was too late.

Elite by Rachel Van Dyken is one of those books that I really don’t even know why I didn’t DNF it. To be honest, I’m not sure why a traditional publisher picked up this originally self-pubbed title. Fair warning: this review might get ranty.

Let’s start with the thing that bothered me most about Elite: the romance. Well, not really the romance but the love interest. Sure Nixon sounds sexy as hell but he’s a total ass! Since when is it okay to treat someone like shit and then say that you were doing it to help them? Oh and by the way, you think you might love them. No. That is not love. Nixon is a grade A asshole and I could not get past how mean he was to Trace. Oh and the secondary love interest, Chase, (because we really need a love triangle) isn’t any better. He helps set her up to look like this huge slut after one of his friends drugs her. Umm, no. So not okay. I thought I’d read about bad love interests before but these two take the cake.

Then there’s Trace. Where do I even begin with her? She figures she can’t win against Nixon and Chase and the rest of the Elect so she decides she might as well make fun of herself and maybe people will think she’s cool. Yeah, that doesn’t really work out for her. As if that’s not bad enough, she is the biggest cry baby I’ve ever had the misfortune of reading about. Every little thing sets her off. And she’s not one of those people who cries in private, she cries in front of everyone. Like that’s really going to make people like her more. Oh and the main source of her crying fits, Nixon, just happens to be the guy that she can’t stop thinking about. Of course.

The story makes no sense. This 20 something year old guy runs the school? Even though he’s not actually in charge of anything, everyone listens to him? Even the principal? How exactly does that work? It’s kind of explained later but it still doesn’t really make complete sense to me. Also, what kind of school lets their kids get away with this kind of bullying? There’s also segregation (for the good of the students) and other stupid crap like that. I don’t know about you guys, but I would leave that school ASAP.

There’s a lot more that I could rant and rave about but I’m going to try to wrap this up. The writing is crappy, the characters are annoying, the story makes no sense, and the romance did nothing for me. I truly wish I could get back the few hours I spent reading this book because it was a complete waste of my time.

Overall, Elite is one book that should have remained self-published. This is one book that I highly recommend you don’t waste your time or money on. Oh and as if one book isn’t bad enough there is going to be at least one more in the series.

What others have to say about Elite:
Tinley Innes’ review: “The best way to summarize this book is this: Twilight with the mafia instead of vampires.”
Confessions of 2 Book Lovers’ review: “This book had me laughing, had my heart racing and even breaking with the events that occurred.”
Saturday, March 23, 2013

Short Story Saturday: Hana (Delirium #1.5) by Lauren Oliver | Review

Short Story Saturday: Hana (Delirium #1.5) by Lauren Oliver | ReviewHana by Lauren Oliver
Series: Delirium #1.5
Published by Harper Teen on Februrary 28, 2012
Genres: Dystopian
Pages: 64
Format: ebook
Source: Bought
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2 Stars

The summer before they're supposed to be cured of the ability to love, best friends Lena and Hana begin to drift apart. While Lena shies away from underground music and parties with boys, Hana jumps at her last chance to experience the forbidden. For her, the summer is full of wild music, dancing—and even her first kiss.

But on the surface, Hana must be a model of perfect behavior. She meets her approved match, Fred Hargrove, and glimpses the safe, comfortable life she’ll have with him once they marry. As the date for her cure draws ever closer, Hana desperately misses Lena, wonders how it feels to truly be in love, and is simultaneously terrified of rebelling and of falling into line.

In this digital story that will appeal to fans of Delirium and welcome new admirers to its world, readers will come to understand scenes from Delirium through Hana's perspective. Hana is a touching and revealing look at a life-changing and tumultuous summer.

I’ve always been a fan of Lauren Oliver’s books whether they be contemporary or dystopian. However, Hana really let me down. I was expecting a lot more from this novella and in the end, I just didn’t get what I expected.

Hana really impressed me in Delirium. She wasn’t the typical best friend character who ended up being a total backstabber. She was actually a good friend to Lena and while I didn’t love her at first, I did by the end of the book. However, she really let me down in Hana. She was immature and really only ever thought about herself. All she cared about was boys and she dreaded the cure and she was positive that Lena could never understand what she was going through. She didn’t appear to be a good friend to Lena at all in this novella. I was hoping for an expansion of their relationship but that’s not what I got at all.

The story didn’t really go anywhere. I read Hana thinking that it would help me understand things in Requiem but now that I’ve read it and have started Requiem, I see no reason for reading Hana. Sure if you want more stories set in the world of the Delirium trilogy, check this one out, but don’t expect much from it.

Overall, Hana really didn’t go anywhere and it didn’t contain any information that I felt was necessary to the story in the rest of the books. Like I said, if you want more set in the world of the Delirium trilogy, check this one out but otherwise just pass on this one.

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