Monthly Archives:: September 2015

Blog Tour: The Finn Factor

September 30, 2015 Blog Tours, Reviews 0 ★★★★

Blog Tour: The Finn FactorThe Finn Factor by Rachel Bailey
Published by Entangled: Embrace on September 28th 2015
Source: Netgalley
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four-stars
four-flames
A new adult romance from Entangled's Embrace imprint...Sometimes all a girl needs is a little practice...
It's been twelve months, three days, and eleven hours since accounting student Scarlett Logan made it past a second date. A pitcher of mojitos in hand, she employs her supreme graphing skills to narrow things down to one horrifying explanation. Kissing. Clearly someone needs to teach her how to kiss properly. Like, say, her best friend and roomie, Finn Mackenzie. He's safe, he's convenient, and yeah, maybe just a little gorgeous.
Finn knows exactly why Scarlett's boyfriends are disappearing quickly. Him. Not a single guy she's brought home is nearly good enough. And he'll be damned if he lets some loser give her "kissing lessons." No. He'll do the honors, thank you very much. The moment their lips touch, though, everything turns upside down. But Scarlett deserves the one thing Finn can't give her. And if he doesn't put an end to the sexy little shenanigans, he'll teach Scarlett the hardest lesson of all...heartbreak.

This was a sweet “friends to lovers” type story. It also explored much deeper themes involving Finn being the main guardian of his two younger sisters since his parents had both passed away. It was a pretty unique story and the writing from Rachel Bailey was incredible. I also liked how the narration effortlessly went back and forth between Finn and Scarlett’s point of view. It gave us a better look into what the characters really thought about each other, especially towards the beginning of the story when they were strictly best friends and roommates. If we only saw the story from Scarlett’s perspective, I probably would have thought Finn was a total jerk, but getting inside his head also was very effective and insightful.

Every character in this book had a large and memorable personality. Scarlett was a likable and sweet girl who was a great and loyal friend/roommate to Finn. Sure, she has her flaws which become more obvious to the readers as the book progresses, but that’s what makes her relatable and so realistic. Finn had his moments where you weren’t sure how to feel about him, but those were all very brief, fleeting moments. For the most part, he was totally worth swooning over honestly. I loved how protective he was over Scarlett, but it didn’t feel like too much either. Even the supporting characters were layered and developed. I’m particularly thinking of Scarlett’s parents and Finn’s two sisters.

I wasn’t sure how I felt about the whole kissing lessons thing. It felt a little corny and maybe even a little cliche as well. But luckily, it didn’t take all that long for them to fess up and admit their true feelings for one another. I did enjoy getting to see them together as a couple until the drama came to play. Unlike some other books, the drama in this one actually felt realistic. It wasn’t another person getting in the way, it was just life in general.

This was a quick read that I enjoyed! I recommend it for those that are looking for something light and sweet, with a side of drama thrown in for good measure, but not too much. I’m looking forward to reading more from Rachel Bailey!

About the Author:

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As a teenager, I was a voracious reader of science fiction, until one day when I was 16, I saw Pride and Prejudice on television. The old version with Laurence Olivier and Greer Garson. I adored it. I’d seen it in the TV guide and, since I had a crush on Laurence Olivier after seeing him in Henry V, I’d taped it. I watched that tape so often I can still recite most of the dialogue by heart. I sought out the book, devoured it, then found every other Jane Austen book and read and reread them frequently. I only discovered romance as a genre as an adult. Imagine my delight when I first read modern versions of Jane Austen! Now I read most subgenres of romance, from category to historical to romantic comedy. Such a banquet!

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four-stars

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Waiting On Wednesday: What You Always Wanted

September 30, 2015 Features 2

Waiting On Wednesday: What You Always WantedWhat You Always Wanted by Kristin Rae
on March 29th 2016
Pages: 320
Also by this author: What You Always Wanted (If Only . . ., #8)
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If Only . . . he was the boy she's been dreaming of. The If Only line continues in this fun high school theater-themed romance!
Drama girl Maddie Brooks has always had high standards for guys. But she has yet to find one who can live up to the romantic, classic Hollywood heartthrobs, especially the dreamy song-and-dance man Gene Kelly. When Maddie begins to carpool with Jesse Morales, her new neighbor and star pitcher of the baseball team, she's struck by his wit, good looks, and love for his family--but a guy so into sports is definitely not her style. Then Maddie discovers that Jesse was raised as a dancer and still practices in the community theater dance studio to keep in shape. Perhaps her perfect dream guy exists after all! But when it becomes clear that baseball--not dance--is Jessie's passion, can Maddie find a way to let her dream guy go and appreciate the charms of the amazing guy in front of her?

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Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Breaking The Spine. This is where we highlight our most anticipated upcoming releases.

I read my first book in this series over the weekend (the 6th one) and I was really charmed by the concept! This one looks even more up my alley based on the description. Growing up, I was very involved with theatre in my community. Even though I don’t do it anymore, it’s still something that I can instantly connect with and get all the references. Even better is that I also love baseball (probably even more than theatre) so that’s even more of a reason for me to read this! I’m definitely looking forward to it because I love light and happy reads, even though this one looks like it might have more high school drama than I typically like. I’m going to give it a shot anyways! What do you guys think about the book?
 

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books to Read If You Like The Fault in Our Stars

September 29, 2015 Features 10

Top Ten Tuesday: Books to Read If You Like The Fault in Our Stars
The Broke and the Bookish hosts this weekly feature every Tuesday. This week the theme is what books to read if you like this super popular book/author. I decided to books to read if you loved The Fault in Our Stars. I could only come up with six for this one so let me know if you can think of any that I left off!
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These two books are A LOT different. However, Me and Earl is something a little bit lighter for readers that like the powerful story of TFIOS. Trust me, it will have you laughing out loud.
6604794Both of these books explore the topic of death and grief. They also both have incredible love stories. I know it’s probably impossible to believe, but Joe is actually just as swoonworthy as Augustus.

3. Everything, Everything

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Although the illness in discussion are both very different, they still explore the subject of death and love. They also deal with family, particularly the main characters parents. Both of the main characters are bonded by having similar interests.

4. Jellicoe Road

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This is easily one of the best books I’ve ever read. Both stories take on the subjects of love, death, grief, and growing up. Jonah Griggs is my all time favorite book boyfriend.

5. Truest19370252

There’s no illness here, but Silas actually reminds me a lot of Gus in terms of personality. I think fans of TFIOS will enjoy Sommers beautiful writing.

6. The Truth About Forever

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This is much lighter, but Macy still has to deal with the loss of her father. Sarah Dessen definitely has a different style of writing from John Green, but they both are amazing storytellers.

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Ten Things Sloane Hates About Tru Review

September 29, 2015 Reviews, Young Adult 0

Ten Things Sloane Hates About Tru ReviewSource: Netgalley

As a whole, this was a cute story that actually had way much more intense drama than I was anticipating. I recently read and loved Playing The Player which is also from Entangled Crush, and it’s probably unfair to compare the two. With all that aside, I did enjoy this book but it wasn’t the most unique novel or really all that memorable. I think I’ll still read the upcoming books in this series, or at least the ones that are going to continue telling the relationship between Tru and Sloane. The title is totally misleading (in the style of one of my favorite movies Ten Things I Hate About You) because there aren’t any reasons why Sloane actually hates him. However, I decided to follow the same style and make my review a list of ten things to know about this book.

1.  The story features art in a fabulous way
As you can tell if you read the description, the main characters attend an art school in Texas. So obviously, art is a big part of this plot. However, I really loved getting to see the love that Sloane had for art and sharing that art with the world. She is shy about the online comic that she crafted, but I still loved getting to see how much she loved it. I also enjoyed when she began opening up to Tru about her love, and he opened up about his love for making films.
2. There’s no love triangle
One of the things I love about Entangled Crush stories are the lack of love triangles. Okay, I’ve only read two of these books so far, but that’s still a really important thing for me.
3. The love story builds in a very realistic way
Sloane is extremely hesitant to become involved in any activities or make friends in Texas since she’s dead set in going back to New York. Therefore, she’s pretty distant from Tru in the beginning. They slowly start to hangout more and everything progresses from there. I found that buildup to be realistic and honest.
4. Lots and lots of drama
This was a major drawback for me. I found it frustrating just how much drama was packed into these pages. Some parts were emotional (we’ll get to that later) while others just felt unnecessary and drawn out.
5. Likable main characters
Although they could be a bit angst filled at times, (Sloane particularly) I genuinely liked both Tru and Sloane. They were pretty realistic and reminded me of teenagers that I know. My point is, I did feel like the whole high school thing was moderately accurate. But it just ended up going a little overboard and even predictable in some areas.  
 
6. Overused tropes
Boy living next door, the artistic girl, the bad boy who isn’t really bad, and I also consider awful parents to be a trope.
7. Tru was an easy character to sympathize with
At the beginning of the book, we get some insight into how bad his home life really is. Truthfully, it’s been awhile since I’ve read a book that had something like that happen to the male love interest. I’m not going to spoil anything, but I will say that his home life isn’t everything that it seems to be at first glance. He did go much deeper than what you see on the surface and I did like that. I just felt like he was still similar to a lot of other males in YA books in terms of the whole bad boy thing.
8. The friends were actually a little ridiculous
It feels like they used the friends (her former and the other kids she befriended in Texas) of Sloane as a plot device. I just feel like it was something the author placed there because she felt like it would liven up the plot, but the characters themselves weren’t developed nearly enough.
9. Graffiti is awesome!
I felt like this had to be worked in somewhere on this list. Graffiti actually doesn’t play a huge role in this story, but it still is important to say the least.
10. The parents are horrible people
Can we just have some normal parents in YA books please?
 

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Sunday Post #1

September 27, 2015 Features 3

Sunday Post #1

The Sunday Post is a weekly feature hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer. This is where bloggers share what went on this week and what’s coming up on their respective blog. You also can share what books you’ve acquired this week and a round up of book news. Basically it’s just a time to share what you want to share with other bloggers!

This week on my blog I reviewed:

Coming up this week on my blog:

The Finn Factor (Blog Tour)
It’s A Wonderful Death (Blog Tour)
All I’ve Never Wanted (Blog Tour)
Dream On, Amber (Blog Tour/Review)
Never, Never (Review)

Plus posts for the weekly features Top Ten Tuesday, Waiting On Wednesday, and Feature Friday!

New books:

I haven’t purchased any new books recently, but I was approved for several upcoming books this week on Edelweiss from Harper Children’s that look really interesting.

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 Posts from bloggers that I loved this week:

Since banned books week is coming up, the girls over at Such A Novel Idea wrote a really cool post about it. In this particular post, the girls all share a quote from a banned book that means something to them.

The Araliya Bookshelf talks about review writing and also shares some tips that I found really helpful!

Maria at The Teen Book Nerd discusses why people lose their love of reading as they get older. I found this to be a fascinating topic to take on and I found her gifs to be hilarious and fitting.

I haven’t read the book The Rest Of Us Just Live Here, but I still totally related to what The Quiet People had to say about having too much content. I’ve read so many YA books where the main character just had problem after problem. Sometimes it can be overwhelming how much drama is stuffed into just one story.

Lisa and Becca at Lost In Lit had a fabulous debate about fictional boyfriends. As a lover of fictional boyfriends myself, I loved everything that they had to say. I’m not married or anything, but as a 19 year old girl, it can be easy to get so wrapped up in these fictional boyfriends and expect every guy to be like them. While I would love to meet a guy like Jonah Griggs or Cam Hamilton, I know that they aren’t real. Every guy is different and I think the guys we meet in real life can be just as great. I definitely agree with the lowering your expectations thing. Anyway, I really loved this! They both brought up interesting points to add to this discussion.

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Playing The Player Review

September 27, 2015 Reviews, Young Adult 0 ★★★★

Playing The Player ReviewPlaying the Player by Lisa Brown Roberts
on September 14th 2015
Source: Netgalley
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four-stars
The Good Girl Vs. The PlayerRound one begins...
Trina Clemons needed the money. Why else would she - the most organized, prepared student in school - spend the summer as a nanny and partner with the biggest slacker ever? Now she's ready to tackle nannyhood with her big binder of research and schedules. Just don't ask her about the secret job of "fixing" the bad habits of a certain high school player...
Slade Edmunds prefers easy hook-ups, and Trina is definitely not his type. She's all structure and rules, while Slade wants to just have fun. Fortunately, Trina has no idea about the bet Slade made with his best friend that he can totally get her to unwind by the end of summer...
Then the weirdest thing happens. There's chemistry. A lot of it. But nothing gets between a boy and a girl like a big, fat secret...

Going into this one, I wasn’t so sure about whether or not I’d like it. I’ve never read anything from Entangled Crush before, but this book sounded up to my speed. I’m glad that I gave it a shot and I’ll definitely read more from this publishing company and from the author! Playing The Player had plenty of things that have been used previously in Young Adult books before. However, I think it was well executed in a unique way with several fun characters. Recently, I’ve been picking up a lot of books and pretty much just skimming them, instead of really reading them like I should be. I didn’t feel that way at all with this one so that alone says a lot for me personally! If you’re looking for a feel good romance, look no further than this one.

I really enjoyed both Slade and Trina. I felt like the author did a decent job going back and forth each chapter between their perspectives. Slade could be a total jerk towards Trina at times, but I still liked him, especially in the later parts of the book. Honestly, Trina annoyed me a little bit because of how controlling she was when it came to dealing with the kids. She just tried to be completely organized instead of just going with the flow, but I liked how the pair ended up balancing each other out. I’ve been babysitting since middle school so books that feature this will always catch my eye. The kids were so entertaining, oh man! The little girl that Trina watches has a thing against clothes and gets upset that she has to put them on at all. I just found it all to be very amusing, and I like how the author doesn’t downplay how dramatic and unpredictable children can be. Let me just say that I sincerely wish that I had a guy like Slade around when I’m taking care of kids!

While this could easily be taken as being a cliché type of YA romance, I felt like it was honestly a fairly realistic portrayal of a high school love. Well, that is if you started out falling in love with someone that you totally clashed with at first. My point is, I like how this book doesn’t have an insta-love thing going on. It feels like a much more built up romance in general and that was one of the highlights of the book for me.
I was really pleased with the first novel that I’ve read from Lisa Brown Roberts. With Playing The Player, you’ve got a heartwarming and hilarious romance. It’s light and feels extremely real to me. This is one that I personally was able to connect with and I hope you’re able to do the same!
four-stars

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Red Queen Review

September 26, 2015 Reviews, Young Adult 3 ★★★★½

Red Queen ReviewRed Queen (Red Queen, #1) by Victoria Aveyard
Published by Orion on February 10th 2015
Pages: 383
Source: Library
Also by this author: Glass Sword (Red Queen, #2)
Buy on AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository
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four-half-stars
This is a world divided by blood - red or silver.
The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.
That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.
Fearful of Mare's potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.
But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance - Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart...

This book is definitely one of the most violent and intense books I’ve read this year. I almost had a heart attack a grand total of no fewer than three or four times. Sometimes, it felt like I was watching a violent TV show or movie (like Game Of Thrones maybe) and I just wanted to shut my eyes during the particularly gruesome parts. It kept me on the edge of my seat for a good part of the book and I seriously enjoyed it.

At the start of the book, it felt extremely boring to me. I had to fight through the first fifty pages or so to get to the good parts. Despite this, the book picked up so much that the slow beginning wasn’t such a huge deal to me. These types of stories aren’t usually my thing, but I found myself fascinated by Aveyard’s beautiful writing. There’s just something about her style that felt really authentic and enticing to me.

Mare was a brilliant lead character. I loved her strength, humor, and sarcasm. She had such a dynamic personality and I loved how she told the story. I’m not going to lie, several of her qualities reminded me a lot of Katniss Everdeen. Some people disliked the story because they felt like it was a rip off of other stories like The Hunger Games and Game Of Thrones. While the similarities are pretty obvious, I still feel like the story had its own unique story to tell. If you ask me, YA could always use more strong female characters so Mare was really awesome and unique to me.
I’m not going to reveal much else about the other characters and much about the plot. I’ll just say that the supporting characters were very dynamic and full of life. I felt like they were each masterfully crafted. The romance here is pretty moderate to low, but there’s just so much plot going on that it didn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. I’m on edge waiting for the next book to come out. It can’t get here soon enough!
four-half-stars

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Mini Review: The Truth About Us

September 24, 2015 Reviews, Young Adult 0 ★★

Mini Review: The Truth About UsThe Truth About Us by Janet Gurtler
Published by Sourcebooks Fire on April 7th 2015
Pages: 304
Source: Library
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two-stars
A powerful and gripping contemporary YA from the author of I'm Not Her that's "Just right for fans of Sarah Dessen and Jodi Picoult."-Booklist
The truth is that Jess knows she screwed up.She's made mistakes, betrayed her best friend, and now she's paying for it. Her dad is making her spend the whole summer volunteering at the local soup kitchen.
The truth is she wishes she was the care-free party-girl everyone thinks she is.She pretends it's all fine. That her "perfect" family is fine. But it's not. And no one notices the lie...until she meets Flynn. He's the only one who really sees her. The only one who listens.
The truth is that Jess is falling apart – and no one seems to care. But Flynn is the definition of "the wrong side of the tracks." When Jess's parents look at him they only see the differences-not how much they need each other. They don't get that the person who shouldn't fit in your world... might just be the one to make you feel like you belong.

I probably should have just skipped this one altogether. It wasn’t an enjoyable read for me as a whole. Parts of it really struck my attention and made me want to keep reading, then I’d reach a part that just made me want to stop reading. It does explore the issue of social class, but I’ve read other YA books that pulled it off in a much more natural fashion. I felt like this book only scratched the surface on this issue and didn’t go deep enough. The ending also REALLY put me off, I just didn’t understand why it ended there. All in all, this was a book with much more flaws than strengths.

I didn’t click with either Jess or Flynn, which obviously makes me feel disconnected with the story. I wasn’t all that invested in the plot or the characters, but the ending still rubbed me the wrong way to say the least. I’m not going to say much about it, but I’ll leave it at the ending just wasn’t necessary and it didn’t seem realistic to me either. Both characters had their fair share of respective issues, but I felt like some of the drama was also not needed. I wanted more focus on the relationship between Jess and Flynn, not a ton of drama with just a little bit of romance thrown in for a few pages here and there. I didn’t feel good about the majority of the decisions made by Flynn, and Jess wasn’t 100% innocent in some areas. However, I felt like it was Flynn who was the real fickle one. On one page, he would be certain that he and Jess were meant to be together, but then the next he was calling her spoiled and saying they wouldn’t work out. It gave me whiplash and was another thing that made me want to stop reading.
Why did I keep reading if there were so many things that made me want to stop? In short, I pretty much ended up skimming quite a bit of the pages. I wanted to read a contemporary YA book that was light. This one wasn’t as light as I was anticipating, it had a lot more drama. One of the positives is that I do think that the writer has a lot of potential. She really channeled Jess’s voice and I liked her storytelling methods. Anyway, this wasn’t the worst book I’ve ever read, but there were plenty of weaknesses about the book that certainly rubbed me the wrong way.
two-stars

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Waiting On Wednesday: P.S. I Like You

September 23, 2015 Features 0

Waiting On Wednesday: P.S. I Like YouP.S. I Like You by Kasie West
Published by Point on July 26th 2016
Pages: 304
Also by this author: The Distance Between Us, The Fill-In Boyfriend, P.S. I Like You, By Your Side
Buy on AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository
Goodreads
What if the person you were falling for was a total mystery?
While Lily is spacing out in Chemistry one day, she picks up her pencil and scribbles a line from one of her favorite songs on the desk. The next day, someone else has written back to her on the desk! Soon enough Lily and the mystery student are exchanging notes, and lyrics, and even sharing secrets. When Lily finds out that her anonymous pen pal is a guy, she's flustered -- and kind of feels like she's falling for him. She and her best friend set out to unravel the identity of the letter writer -- but when the truth is revealed, the guy is the LAST person Lily could have ever imagined it to be. Now that Lily knows the truth, can she untangle her feelings and gather the courage to listen to her heart?
From beloved author Kasie West (The Distance Between Us) comes an utterly charming story about mixed messages, missed connections, and the magic of good old-fashioned secret admirer notes.

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Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Breaking The Spine that highlights your most anticipated upcoming releases.
I’m looking forward to this one because I love Kasie West’s YA contemporary stuff. I have yet to read her other popular fantasy YA series Pivot Point, but anything that she writes seems to turn out amazing. This seems so far away, I’m ready for 2016 already since there are tons and tons of books that look so good coming out next summer! What do you guys think? Does this book look good? Do you guys like Kasie West too?
 

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Rule Review

September 23, 2015 Reviews 0 ★½

Rule ReviewRule (Marked Men, #1) by Jay Crownover
Published by William Morrow Paperbacks on October 22nd 2013
Pages: 387
Also by this author: Built (Saints of Denver, #1), Retreat (The Getaway Series Book 1)
Buy on AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository
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one-half-stars
Opposites in every way . . . except the one that matters
Shaw Landon loved Rule Archer from the moment she laid eyes on him. Rule is everything a straight-A pre-med student like Shaw shouldn’t want—and the only person she’s never tried to please. She isn’t afraid of his scary piercings and tattoos or his wild attitude. Though she knows that Rule is wrong for her, her heart just won’t listen.
To a rebel like Rule Archer, Shaw Landon is a stuck-up, perfect princess—and his dead twin brother’s girl. She lives by other people’s rules; he makes his own. He doesn’t have time for a good girl like Shaw—even if she’s the only one who can see the person he truly is.
But a short skirt, too many birthday cocktails, and spilled secrets lead to a night neither can forget. Now, Shaw and Rule have to figure out how a girl like her and a guy like him are supposed to be together without destroying their love . . . or each other.

I started out reading New Adult books because it’s become an extremely popular genre. I’m still very much behind on reading some of the more popular NA books to come out within the past three to five years or so. So now, I’ve been catching up on as many of these books as I can to see what I think about them. Some of the books I’ve read have been great reads that I was impressed by due to the uniqueness of it, while others were disappointing to say the least. This particular novel ends up in the latter category for me personally. I wasn’t a fan of this book because it had so many elements that made me nervous about reading these books in the first place. I tried really hard to see why this book is so popular, but I just can’t wrap my mind around it.

Neither of these characters were people that I’d want to be around. The reason why I liked Boomerang was because I could see myself being friends with the main characters. People like Rule and Shaw are people that I’d definitely avoid in real life. Rule is completely unapologetic about being a manwhore. Shaw isn’t much better considering the fact that she bashes the girls that he sleeps with but views unprotected sex with him as not being the worst thing in the world? Say what? One of my other pet peeves is when the main female character is viewed as the pure and perfect virgin who is surrounded by a bunch of girls who do nothing but put out. As a woman, this is completely awful to read and I can’t stand slut shaming in any form, and that is exactly what Shaw does over and over again in the book.

I’m not going to ramble on and on about this book since I think I’ve already made my point quite clear to say the least. In case you’re not sure, my point is that this book is one that you should skip. Maybe you can overlook these things I had such huge issues with, but it wasn’t something I could do. I probably could have overlooked (probably not) some of these issues if the characters were more charming, Rule specifically. He treats all girls in such a degrading manner, he even treats our pure MC pretty terribly at times. However, he never degrades her by calling her a slut or treating her the way he treats the other girls he sleeps with. Let’s be honest, there’s really not THAT much of a difference between Shaw and any other female character in this book. She still has plenty of flaws, and it irritates me when authors make the characters flawless through the eyes of the other characters. I’m sure you’ve already formed your own opinion about this book, but I thought it was time to share my own.

one-half-stars

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