Sweetheart Sunday (AUGUST 31, 2014)

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sunday

Sweetheart Sunday is about reading romance novels or love stories that you wish you had.

The book I’ve chosen for this meme is Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins:

Goodreads blurb:
From the glittering streets of Manhattan to the moonlit rooftops of Paris, falling in love is easy for hopeless dreamer Isla and introspective artist Josh. But as they begin their senior year in France, Isla and Josh are quickly forced to confront the heartbreaking reality that happily-ever-afters aren’t always forever.

Their romantic journey is skillfully intertwined with those of beloved couples Anna and Étienne and Lola and Cricket, whose paths are destined to collide in a sweeping finale certain to please fans old and new.

Isla and the Happily Ever After (Anna and the French Kiss, #3)Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“I am hard on myself. But isn’t it better to be honest about these things before someone else can use them against you? Before someone else can break your heart? Isn’t it better to break it yourself?”

Wise words from a wise character.
Isla, you are officially my favorite out of the three.

It’s just impossible to NOT love Isla. Or Josh. Or Paris. Or this entire story. Some might not like it as much as I do because of all the drama that took place but, for me, it was just a much-appreciated touch of realism to an otherwise surreal story.

Stephanie Perkins really outdid herself with this book. She was so honest in her writing. All the insecurities she voiced out were things that any girl could relate to, and the admissions she made about love and pretend-love just resonated with me throughout my reading.

I can’t wait to get my hands on her other works. Overall, this was an overwhelmingly beautiful conclusion to the series!

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Melt

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Goodreads blurb:
MELT is a brutal love story, set against the backdrop of The Wizard of Oz. Sixteen year old “good girl” Dorothy just blew into the small town of Highland Park – where the social headquarters is Munchkinland (Dunkin’ Donuts.) There, she meets Joey – a “bad boy” who tells no one about the catastrophic domestic violence he witnesses at home. Can these two lovers survive peer pressure, Joey’s reputation, and his alcoholism? And then there’s his family’s secret – about to be unleashed.

Told in dual first person, Joey’s words are scattered on the page – reflecting his broken state. Dorothy is the voice of reason – until something so shattering happens that she, too, may lose her grip. Can their love endure, or will it melt away?

MELT is based on true events. It is both a chilling tale of abuse, and a timeless romance. It will hit you like a punch in the face, and also seep through the cracks in your soul.

MeltMelt by Selene Castrovilla
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

1.5 stars and a frowny face -> :(

Is it so wrong to wish for a happy ending?

Dorothy got her happy ending after all. So did the Scarecrow and the rest of her friends. Everyone was in a buoyant mood after the final page of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was turned.

Annoying voice in the back of my mind pipes up: But that was a children’s book. This story was based on some dude’s real life traumatic events.

*pouts* Okay, so maybe NOT the happily ever after I imagined. But maybe a concrete ending where the guy didn’t end up in jail and the girl didn’t commit suicide due to intense depression, yeah?

Annoying voice annoyingly responds: Hmm. Maybe. But the probability that Joey would actually end up okay is pretty much slim to none.

*gasps* How can you say that?! He finally stood up to his dad! Victory is his

Annoying voice: Really?

*in a hopeful voice* Yes! Really! And he and Dorothy will end up together just like in the movies.

Annoying voice: Despite the fact that her parents don’t like him and, after finding out that the guy has been living in an abusive home for the past eighteen years, will probably try to keep the two of them apart?

… Well, yeah?

Annoying voice: Riiight. You’re being too rainbow-and-sunshiney.

After that intense emotional rollercoaster ride that the author had put me through, I thought I’d at least get a nice ending. Or just, you know, a short conclusion. A scene where we at least get a small glimpse into what happened to the characters after all the bullshit that happened. Couldn’t the author have given us that small mercy?

Apparently, no. She was content enough to leave us to our imaginations and conjure up an ending for Joey and Dorothy. (Gah, why do some authors do that?!) I really want to think the best for them but with that angst-ridden ending I just…

Annoying voice: Let’s face it, outlook does not look good for the two of them.

*bangs head against the wall* SHUT UP YOU ANNOYING VOICE, YOU!

Aughhh. I feel so heartbroken.
*An ARC was given to me for free via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Teaser Tuesdays (AUGUST 26, 2014)

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tue

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My Teasers:

    “That’s it exactly, I wanted to tell her. I wanted to shake her I wanted to scream, We’re surrounded by filth and pestilence, don’t you see it?”

~Location 1448 of 2481 (57%) on my Kindle, Melt by Selene Castrovilla

(Quotes were taken from an uncorrected proof subject to change in the final edition.)

Get Even

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Goodreads blurb:
The Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little Liars in Gretchen McNeil’s witty and suspenseful novel about four disparate girls who join forces to take revenge on high school bullies and create dangerous enemies for themselves in the process.

Bree, Olivia, Kitty, and Margot have nothing in common—at least that’s what they’d like the students and administrators of their elite private school to think. The girls have different goals, different friends, and different lives, but they share one very big secret: They’re all members of Don’t Get Mad, a secret society that anonymously takes revenge on the school’s bullies, mean girls, and tyrannical teachers.

When their latest target ends up dead with a blood-soaked “DGM” card in his hands, the girls realize that they’re not as anonymous as they thought—and that someone now wants revenge on them. Soon the clues are piling up, the police are closing in . . . and everyone has something to lose.

Get Even (Don't Get Mad, #1)Get Even by Gretchen McNeil
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Don’t Get Mad. GET EVEN.

^ A very fun concept, don’t you think? Giving the bullies a taste of their own medicine wouldn’t just give a great deal of justice to all of their victims but would also give such an overpowering sense of satisfaction.

Bree, Olivia, Margot and Kitty (the protagonists) certainly got my respect. They weren’t content to just sit back and let the bullies rule the school – they got their hands dirty and evened out the playing field. Without ever giving up their identities and risking expulsion. Can I get a whoop-whoop for girl power?!

I liked Bree more than the other three. She was such a feisty bad-ass! And the chemistry between her and John… oh gosh. There were times I just wanted to push the murder case aside and focus on their budding romance. Ha. The author had different priorities though.

The ending was bittersweet. I hated that Bree had done what she had done at the end (seriously, Bree, why couldn’t you have just let Kitty be the hero?!) but I was also ridiculously happy over the confession she gave John. I’m still no closer to finding out the killer… it’s driving me crazy!

An ARC of book two please? *sparkly puppy eyes*

(A million thanks to the author for providing me with a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review! It was awesome!)

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Floating Boy and the Girl Who Couldn’t Fly

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Goodreads blurb:

Things Mary doesn’t want to fall into: the river, high school, her mother’s life.

Things Mary does kind of want to fall into: love, the sky.

This is the story of a girl who sees a boy float away one fine day. This is the story of the girl who reaches up for that boy with her hand and with her heart. This is the story of a girl who takes on the army to save a town, who goes toe-to-toe with a mad scientist, who has to fight a plague to save her family. This is the story of a girl who would give anything to get to babysit her baby brother one more time. If she could just find him.

It’s all up in the air for now, though, and falling fast. . . .

Fun, breathlessly exciting, and full of heart, Floating Boy and the Girl Who Couldn’t Fly is an unforgettable ride.

Floating Boy and the Girl Who Couldn't FlyFloating Boy and the Girl Who Couldn’t Fly by Stephen Graham Jones
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

**An ARC was given to me for free in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to Netgalley and Chizine Publications.

That title. It just drew me in.

I had a little difficulty getting fully immersed in the story though. I think this was intended for a much younger audience – the main character didn’t seem older than twelve. She made me laugh at times with her silliness.

There were a lot of action scenes, and some were exciting but most of them fell flat towards the end. I got bored during those times. The ending was fantastic though – I was glad “Floating Boy” finally learned the truth about himself, and Mary got her happy ending.

Overall a cute, light read. Three out of five stars.

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Queen of Someday

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Goodreads blurb:

ONE GIRL WILL BRING AN EMPIRE TO ITS KNEES…

Before she can become the greatest empress in history, fifteen-year-old Sophie will have to survive her social-climbing mother’s quest to put her on the throne of Russia—at any cost.

Imperial Court holds dangers like nothing Sophie has ever faced before. In the heart of St. Petersburg, surviving means navigating the political, romantic, and religious demands of the bitter Empress Elizabeth and her handsome, but sadistic nephew, Peter. Determined to save her impoverished family—and herself—Sophie vows to do whatever is necessary to thrive in her new surroundings. But an attempt on her life and an unexpected attraction threatens to derail her plans.

Alone in a new and dangerous world, learning who to trust and who to charm may mean the difference between becoming queen and being sent home in shame to marry her lecherous uncle. With traitors and murderers lurking around every corner, her very life hangs in the balance. Betrothed to one man but falling in love with another, Sophie will need to decide how much she’s willing to sacrifice in order to become the empress she is destined to be.

In a battle for the soul of a nation, will love or destiny reign supreme?

Queen of Someday (Stolen Empire, #1)Queen of Someday by Sherry D. Ficklin
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

**An ARC was given to me for free in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to Netgalley and Clean Teen Publishing.

I don’t read a lot of historical fiction novels but after finishing this one, I’ve got to say, I’m reconsidering that decision.

I was hooked to the story right from the first page. Princess Sophie was no damsel in distress, and with every chapter she proved herself kick-ass, my admiration for her grew. I didn’t like that every *cough* handsome *cough* guy who saw her immediately fell for her – so unrealistic – but I DID like forbidden romance that came.

I really liked the guy Sophie had a secret relationship… at first. He turned out to be a completely dickless shit though. He was all talk and no action. Still, I was hoping for a reconciliation between the two of them, and my heart simply broke when I got to the ending and read about Sophie approaching SOMEONE for a very intimate favor (I never thought of SOMEONE becoming her love interest, you know).

I understood that it had to be done… but I still didn’t like it.

unfair

Here’s to me anxiously awaiting book two which comes out in – huhu! – 2015.

description

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Frozen

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Goodreads blurb:

From New York Times bestselling author Melissa de la Cruz and Michael Johnston comes this remarkable first book in a spellbinding new series about the dawn of a new kind of magic.

Welcome to New Vegas, a city once covered in bling, now blanketed in ice. Like much of the destroyed planet, the place knows only one temperature—freezing. But some things never change. The diamond in the ice desert is still a 24-hour hedonistic playground and nothing keeps the crowds away from the casino floors, never mind the rumors about sinister sorcery in its shadows.

At the heart of this city is Natasha Kestal, a young blackjack dealer looking for a way out. Like many, she’s heard of a mythical land simply called “the Blue.” They say it’s a paradise, where the sun still shines and the waters are turquoise. More importantly, it’s a place where Nat won’t be persecuted, even if her darkest secret comes to light.

But passage to the Blue is treacherous, if not impossible, and her only shot is to bet on a ragtag crew of mercenaries led by a cocky runner named Ryan Wesson to take her there. Danger and deceit await on every corner, even as Nat and Wes find themselves inexorably drawn to each other. But can true love survive the lies? Fiery hearts collide in this fantastic tale of the evil men do and the awesome power within us all.

Frozen (Heart of Dread, #1)Frozen by Melissa de la Cruz
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I get that this is a work of fiction. A total product of the author’s imagination. But couldn’t the author be consistent with her work and line everything up in perfect symmetry?

This book was riddled with so many inconsistencies I don’t even know where to start. It’d probably take all day to list them down, and since I can’t afford to take away that much time from my busy schedule, I’ll just name the few that would be comical if they just weren’t annoying.

1. Lack of water
The world supposedly became this one huge expanse of ice and the people always feel the cold. FOR REASONS ENTIRELY BEYOND MY COMPREHENSION THOUGH, THE PEOPLE AREN’T ABLE TO DRINK FRESH, PURE WATER AND INSTEAD DRINK SOME VITAMIN-ENRICHED THING CALLED NUTRI.

Okay, so this detail of the book is actually funny. I don’t know why the people never figured out how to MELT the ice and then DRINK it. Heh, must be the lack of scientists. Oh, look I just started on number two!

2. Lack of scientists
Maybe the author didn’t pay much attention to her history lessons but in my (limited) knowledge of it, there was always one dude or another running experiments and making hypotheses and coming up with new stuff. I never read about an era that had no scientists running around. BECAUSE THERE ALWAYS WILL BE SCIENTISTS, YOU KNOW? Curiosity will always be a part of our nature. (And I’m also assuming SOMEONE invented those new gadgets Nat and Wess were using…)

Ugh, speaking of Nat and Wess, those two were as dry as cardboard. I couldn’t get into the story because their narrations were in a constant monotone. Sparks didn’t fly whenever they were together, too. It didn’t feel like “true love”; it felt like they were being FORCED together.

But then again, most of the elements in the story were forced. The author threw in some fantastical hocus-pocus along with some funky thrillers (zombies) and weird characters into her frozen dystopian setting in an attempt to make the story more unique and exciting. It didn’t work. It was just a MESS. (Much like the grammar in the book… don’t even make me go into detail about it, it was just horrible.)

enough

Never picking this book up again.
(An ARC was given to me for free by Netgalley and Hachette Children’s Books in exchange for an honest review.)

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