Posts By: Rachel Geiger

Sunday Post: Week of October 11th

October 11, 2015 Features 3

Sunday Post: Week of October 11th

Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s basically a place where you can share details about what was posted on your blog this past week and what’s coming up.

So Monday was the day that I officially launched my new self-hosted blog on WordPress. It was a lot of work trying to update my old posts and make the transitions to this one.

Reviews:

My Secret to Tell

A Step Toward Falling

Future Perfect

Backstage Pass Series

Blog tour:

Dream On, Amber

Features:

Top Ten Tuesday

Waiting On Wednesday

Feature and Follow Friday

Upcoming posts:

First & Then Review

Top Ten Tuesday

Waiting On Wednesday

Feature & Follow Friday

There will also be many more book reviews, I just haven’t managed to schedule them yet!

New books:

I didn’t really get any new books this week except for the Backstage Pass series that I reviewed on my blog. Hopefully next week will be a better week for getting books!

Favorite articles from other blogs:

Sarah from The YA Book Traveler made some seriously awesome points about hyped books. Though I personally haven’t read all of the books that she loved, but I did love some of the ones listed.

In a brief but still informative post, Cait from Paper Fury talks about whether or not every book should bring something new to the conversation.

Jamie from The Perpetual Page Turner has another edition of whatcha in the mood for? This is a random feature where Jamie gives recommendations based on different moods, if you couldn’t already tell. For October, she gave recs that were more centered around Halloween which was definitely appropriate.

I love all of the Diversity Matters posts written by Octavia and Shelly from Read Sleep Repeat. I recommend reading all of them, and this most recent one is a good place to start.

That’s about all for this edition of the Sunday post. Thank you for checking it out!

Divider

Backstage Pass Series Review

October 10, 2015 Reviews 2 ★★★★

Backstage Pass Series ReviewAimee and the Heartthrob by Ophelia London
Published by Entangled Publishing on April 14th 2015
Source: Purchased
Buy on AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository
Goodreads
four-stars
He never noticed her before, but now she's all he can see...
Miles Carlisle is every teen girl's fantasy. His rugged good looks and exotic British accent have helped catapult his boy band, Seconds to Juliet, to super-stardom. But after two disastrous and very public breakups, Miles isn't interested in dating just any girl; he wants The One. And the only girl he's interested in is not only his best friend's little sister - and off-limits - but won't even give him the time of day...
As a kid, Aimee Bingham had a huge thing for Miles...until he made fun of her for always tagging along. Now that she's outgrown both him and her pigtails, the prospect of spending two weeks on tour with the childhood crush who broke her heart isn't exactly enticing. Except now Miles seems interested. Very interested. And no matter how hard Aimee tries to resist him, her crush is definitely making a comeback. But everyone knows that falling for a heartthrob is a backstage pass to heartbreak...
For exclusive news, teasers and BOY BAND fun, like The Backstage Pass Series Facebook page! facebook.com/Backstagepassbooks

The fifth and final book in this series from Entangled Crush will be released this November. I recently read all of the first four book, and thought that I might as well start off celebrating these books before the final one about Nathan comes out. The concept for this series is really cute and works well in my opinion. Basically, the series follows one band (they are pretty much a boy band) as each of the five finds love in pretty unexpected places.

It feels like forever since I read this one since I immediately started on the following three books, but I really enjoyed it. I really loved Aimee and could seriously relate to her. Like her, I also have an older brother and I totally understood the whole having a major crush on his best friend but said friend never really noticing you. I guess a large part of why I liked this book is because I’m naturally a huge sucker for any story that has love working out for the girl and her brother’s best friend. Yes, it’s a major trope that seems to be popping up a lot lately in YA books, but it never bothers me when the relationship is written in a convincing manner. This was realistic due to how slow burning the relationship was. Miles was obviously extremely hesitant to go for Aimee once the pair finally realized the feelings were mutual.

This title is a great introduction to what the remainder of the books are going to be about. It’s fluffy and adorable stories about finding love, which is also something that the imprint Entangled Crush has promised from the beginning, which I really appreciate. This is a beautiful story filled with memorable characters and sweet scenes between our main couple. You’re sure to love this one if YA contemporary romance books are your thing.

Backstage Pass Series ReviewMia and the Bad Boy by Lisa Burstein
on May 19th 2015
Buy on AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository
Goodreads
three-stars


This Entangled Teen Crush book contains adult language, underage drinking, sexual situations, and lots of swoons. It may convince even the good-est of good girls to go bad.




This good girl's about to meet her match...
Ryder Brooks is living the dream-he's famous, loved by millions of girls, and miserable. All he really wants is to write his own music, not Seconds to Juliet's sugary sweet pop. In order to do that, though, the "bad boy" of the band will have to play by the rules. And that includes behaving with his new-and super cute-über-good-girl tutor.
Mia Reyes is in fangirl heaven. Tutoring her favorite member of her favorite band? It's a dream come true...until it turns into a complete nightmare. Ryder is nothing like she thought. He's crude, arrogant, and pretty much a total jerk. And the worst part? She's roped into pretending to be his girlfriend so that no one finds out he's being tutored. Fake kisses, plenty of PDA, and even sharing his hotel room...
But sometimes even the baddest of bad boys needs a little redemption.

I didn’t find this one to be quite as adorable as the first, but for the most part I was pleased. After what we saw of him in the first book, I wasn’t sure whether or not I’d like Ryder. To my surprise, he was actually pretty charming in the end. This book has a different author than the first, but I still really enjoyed it. After finishing up this one, I was just even more anxious to read the next title in the series. Mia was just as likable as Aimee and I really related to her. Anyway, this was a solid and quick read that I read at a seriously quick speed.

I won’t lie, I did skim through some of these pages. I wasn’t a huge fan at all of the fake relationship between Ryder and Mia. However, I really felt like the romance was well written when it became real. It just felt like getting to that real relationship took about fifty more pages than it probably should have. All in all, the plot was sort of creative although it danced with being cliche for a good part of the story.

It wasn’t my favorite of these books, but I did enjoy it anyway. It felt like it had even heavier drama than the first one, but I did enjoy the character growth of Ryder and his past was particularly heartbreaking. I like how the author dug deeper with him instead of him being this bad boy with no depth at all, he was much more than what he seems to be. Some of the scenes, particularly the one where they go out in disguises to go to a carnival, were seriously memorable and adorable.

Backstage Pass Series ReviewDaisy and the Front Man by Rebekah L. Purdy
on June 16th 2015
Buy on AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository
Goodreads
three-stars

Hell hath no fury like a fangirl scorned...
When Daisy Morris finds out she's spending the summer with her dad, bodyguard for Seconds to Juliet - the hottest boy band around - she knows it couldn't be more perfect. But not because she's a fan. Oh, no. Because ever since front man Trevin Jacobs completely humiliated her by standing her up for homecoming, Daisy is out for a little revenge. Yup, Trevin Jacobs is goin' down...
When one of his bandmates bets Trevin he can't make Daisy - the gorgeous but surprisingly ice-cold daughter of their bodyguard - fall in love with him, it's a bet he can't resist. Sure, Daisy won't give him the time of day for reasons he can't understand, and her dad's hell-bent against his little girl spending time with a superstar. But the terms are set, and Trevin is determined to make Daisy fall...hard.
But every front man should know never to trust a girl with a pretty face...
This Entangled Teen Crush book contains adult language, sexual situations, and seriously hot boys. It may cause swoony daydreams involving a certain super-cute front man.

Daisy and the Front Man was actually a tad bit more serious and dark than the previous two. All of the main characters in the previous books have had some dramatic tie in with the love interest, and this one is no exception. Daisy is out for revenge on lead singer Trevin after he stands her up for prom. I felt like some of her hate towards him was very dramatic and I didn’t buy it at times.

Trevin is one of my favorite boys and I was anxious to see his story. If I had to choose a favorite Seconds to Juliet band member, he’s the one I would definitely pick. He’s got a good head on his shoulders, he’s the one guy that the rest of them can reliably count on for support. I really related to some of the pressure that he felt from having that huge weight on his shoulders of being the member of the band who solves all the problems and is the voice of reason.

It took me awhile to really get where Daisy was coming from. I get the resentment she felt from being rejected, but I personally couldn’t understand why she was so angry towards him just over that one thing. It seemed like a lot of unnecessary drama if you ask me. I will admit that it was a creative plot for the most part, I just didn’t see it being realistic.

Backstage Pass Series ReviewAnya and the Shy Guy (Entangled Crush) by Suze Winegardner
on July 14th 2015
Buy on AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository
Goodreads
four-half-stars

It's always the quiet ones...
Anya Anderson doesn't just need a big break, she needs any break. Living on the streets doesn't leave a girl many options, so when she scores a gig reporting on the Seconds to Juliet tour, she jumps at the chance to earn enough money to sleep somewhere safe. And the paycheck will get bigger - and keep her off the streets for good - if she can dig up dirt on Will Fray, the irritatingly hot "shy guy" of the band.
Problem is, Will Fray isn't who everyone thinks he is. In fact, he's not Will at all. Matt, Will's identical twin, is actually the guy onstage, reluctantly covering for his brother while he's in rehab. To make matters worse, Matt's being shadowed by a cute reporter with troubled eyes determined to get the scoop. On him. And he's having trouble finding the willpower to keep his distance...
But if the secret gets out, it won't just be his head on a platter - it'll be the whole band's.
This Entangled Teen Crush book contains steamy make out scenes, graphic language, and a love story so hot your copy may spontaneously burst into flames. You've been warned.

Now we’ve reached the fourth book in the series and my personal favorite. For some reason, it really bugs me when the main character doesn’t know the real name of the love interest or vice versa. Mistaken identity in YA stories just isn’t my thing. Surprisingly enough, the author of this book actually pulled this off in a completely unique way. I’ve never read a story that had this sort of plot and that alone was refreshing enough for me. Yes, it had tons of drama as usual, but I think you can already tell that this is something you can instantly expect in these books.

Anya was a great character and her story was actually a lot more serious and depressing than the previous three leading ladies. She was a very driven girl with a past history of homelessness that honestly broke my heart. You don’t typically see a lot of this in YA so I thought that was a wise move to make. As for Matt, I found him to be insanely charming and I loved him with Anya. He had a pressing secret that he simply couldn’t let Anya figure out. I thought it said a lot about him that he was able to stick up for his brother while he was in trouble. It was a creative and well done storyline.

There’s so much to like about this book. In fact, there really is not much wrong with it to say the least. I could continue bragging about how great it is, but I’m sure you’d rather make that decision for yourself. I’ll leave it on the note that the romance itself is addicting. I loved reading about them together, and let’s say that some scenes are especially steamy.

four-stars

Divider

Future Perfect Review

October 9, 2015 Reviews, Young Adult 1 ★★½

Future Perfect ReviewFuture Perfect by Jen Larsen
Published by HarperTeen on October 6th 2015
Pages: 320
Source: Edelweiss
Buy on AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository
Goodreads
two-half-stars
Every year on her birthday, Ashley Perkins gets a card from her grandmother—a card that always contains a promise: lose enough weight, and I will buy your happiness.

Ashley doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with the way she looks, but no amount of arguing can persuade her grandmother that “fat” isn’t a dirty word—that Ashley is happy with her life, and her body, as it is.
But Ashley wasn’t counting on having her dreams served up on a silver platter at her latest birthday party. She falters when Grandmother offers the one thing she’s always wanted: tuition to attend Harvard University—in exchange for undergoing weight loss surgery.

As Ashley grapples with the choice that little white card has given her, she feels pressured by her friends, her family, even administrators at school. But what’s a girl to do when the reflection in her mirror seems to bother everyone but her?

Through her indecisions and doubts, Ashley’s story is a liberating one—a tale of one girl, who knows that weight is just a number, and that no one is completely perfect.

Honestly, I was a little disappointed by this book. I was expecting a lot more, but in the end it left me far more questions than answers. I wanted to see several serious issues be more involved, and for the rest of them to just be explored much deeper.

From the description alone, I figured that I would likely hate the grandma in this story. Sure enough, I definitely did despise her. Yes, I think it’s extremely possible that a parent or close enough to one anyways could do these horrible things like pretty much buy you off just so you’ll lose weight. However, that didn’t make it any easier for me to take when I read it. I was infuriated very early on in the story and it was difficult for me to read the pages with the grandma just because I hated her so much. It actually says quite a bit about the story that I was able to get so invested in the characters. That is certainly true, but I also had trouble with some parts of the story not seeming realistic. I get that it’s a YA fiction book, but it still is hard for me to accept certain plots and subplots that don’t seem at all possible in real life.

Now what can I say about the characters? I really loved Ashley for most of the novel. At some points, I couldn’t tell what she was thinking at all in terms of some the decisions she was making. But in the end, I could see exactly where she was coming from and I really felt for her. I also appreciated the diversity in these characters. Ashley is half-Columbian, her best friend Laura and her twin Brandon are African-American, and her other best friend Jolene is actually trans-gender. This is honestly the first YA novel I’ve ever seen with a trans character and I found that to be really exciting! I feel like the author handled it with honesty and sensitivity which I truly loved to see. I also loved the relationship that Ashley had with her boyfriend, even though romance is far from being at the center of this story.

My problem was that I wasn’t completely into this book honestly. I found myself getting seriously bored about halfway through and I was just ready for her to tell her grandma off and go ahead with avoiding the surgery. Unfortunately, there is a lot of added drama mixed in and some of it just seemed to be in there in order to fill space, I didn’t see why it was included. There were also several scenes in the book that I just didn’t see happening in real life. While I think the book does send a powerful message about body image, I felt like it was missing something from the plot and that discouraged me from fully loving the story.

two-half-stars

Divider

Feature and Follow Friday: 10/9/2015

October 9, 2015 Features 2

Feature and Follow Friday: 10/9/2015

Feature and Follow Friday is a weekly feature hosted by Alison Can Read and Parajunkee. The featured blog this week is Pinker Than Fiction.

The question of the week was:

Name a book you hated.

18131

It’s pretty rare for me to actually hate a book. However, A Wrinkle in Time is one of the first books that comes to mind. I’ve picked up this a book a few different times but I just couldn’t push myself through it. I know it’s one of most beloved books of all time, but I guess it’s one of those books that’s simply not for me.

Feel free to follow me on Bloglovin if you have yet to do so!

Divider

A Step Toward Falling Review

October 7, 2015 Reviews, Young Adult 2 ★★½

A Step Toward Falling ReviewA Step Toward Falling by Cammie McGovern
Published by HarperTeen on October 6th 2015
Pages: 368
Source: Edelweiss
Buy on AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository
Goodreads
two-half-stars
Cammie McGovern follows up her breakout young adult debut, Say What You Will, with this powerful and unforgettable novel about learning from your mistakes, and learning to forgive. Told in alternating points of view, A Step Toward Falling is a poignant, hopeful, and altogether stunning work that will appeal to fans of Jennifer Nevin, Robyn Schneider, and Jandy Nelson.
Emily has always been the kind of girl who tries to do the right thing—until one night when she does the worst thing possible. She sees Belinda, a classmate with developmental disabilities, being attacked. Inexplicably, she does nothing at all.
Belinda, however, manages to save herself. When their high school finds out what happened, Emily and Lucas, a football player who was also there that night, are required to perform community service at a center for disabled people. Soon, Lucas and Emily begin to feel like maybe they're starting to make a real difference. Like they would be able to do the right thing if they could do that night all over again. But can they do anything that will actually help the one person they hurt the most?

A Step Toward Falling was an interesting read. It alters between Emily and Belinda’s points of views. Emily is a high school senior who feels tremendously guilty that she didn’t do anything to help Belinda when she saw what was happening to her at the football game. Belinda is a 21 year old who has a developmental disability. The perspectives are obviously vastly different.

I felt like there was so much about the sexual assault that was completely pushed aside. I wanted to know about where the rapist ended up and whether or not Belinda was going to receive help from a therapist or something. I get that it’s more difficult to express her feelings due to her disability but I was just really wanting to see more effort being placed into her own emotional recovery. I loved getting to see the story through her eyes, I particularly found her love for Colin Firth to be completely endearing. I feel like the author did a wonderful job at making you emotionally invested in this specific character and see what she goes through on a daily basis. Yes, the story was definitely heartbreaking at times, but it also sends a strong message about acceptance and standing up for others.

As I’ve said before, romance is a big reason why I love or just kind of like a novel. I won’t lie, the romance between Lucas and Emily was something that I could personally relate to. I’m a sucker for romances between the popular football player and the girl who goes pretty much unnoticed. The relationship between them was one that I could see really happening. That being said, the romance was downright adorable at times but it wasn’t anything particularly remarkable or memorable. The book also seemed to drag on at some points. I found myself skimming through a good portion of it. However, this might be the book for you if you’re looking to read something with pretty heavy subject material but one that also sends a positive and inspirational message in the end.

two-half-stars
Rating Report
Plot
two-half-stars
Characters
four-stars
Writing
three-half-stars
Pacing
two-half-stars
Cover
four-stars
Overall: two-half-stars

Divider

Waiting On Wednesday: Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here

October 7, 2015 Features 0

Waiting On Wednesday: Scarlett Epstein Hates It HereScarlett Epstein Hates It Here by Anna Breslaw
Published by Razorbill on April 19th 2016
Pages: 288
Buy on AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository
Goodreads
If Amy Schumer and Rainbow Rowell had a baby, she’d be Anna Breslaw. Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here is a witty, hilarious, heartwarming novel that’s perfect for fans of David Arnold’s Mosquitoland and Maria Semple’s Where’d You Go, Bernadette?   Meet Scarlett Epstein, BNF (Big Name Fan) in her online community of fanfiction writers, world-class nobody at Melville High. Her best (read: only) IRL friends are Avery, a painfully shy and annoyingly attractive bookworm, and Ruth, her weed-smoking, possibly insane seventy-three-year-old neighbor.   When Scarlett’s beloved TV show is canceled and her longtime crush, Gideon, is sucked out of her orbit and into the dark and distant world of Populars, Scarlett turns to the fanfic message boards for comfort. This time, though, her subjects aren’t the swoon-worthy stars of her fave series—they’re the real-life kids from her high school. Scarlett never considers what might happen if they were to find out what she truly thinks about them...until a dramatic series of events exposes a very different reality than Scarlett's stories, forever transforming her approach to relationships—both online and off.
"Laughs, pop culture, and heart: Welcome to Anna Breslaw's world. You'll love it here." —DC Pierson, author of Crap Kingdom and The Boy Who Couldn't Sleep and Never Had To   "Scarlett Epstein is so funny and smart it makes me wish I were her when I was a dorky Jewish teen." —Megan Amram, author of Science…For Her!  “Fresh, raw, immediate and true. Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here feels so hip and now and yet somehow echoes back to Judy Blume.  I fell in love with Scarlett and cried the kind of reading tears that slide down your temples and pool in your ears.  It’s also laugh-through-your-tears funny, though, and gets five Jersey tomatoes from this girl who knows Jersey.” —Wendy Wunder, author of The Probability of Miracles and The Museum of Intangible Things

New-WoW1Waiting On Wednesday is a fun weekly meme hosted by Breaking The Spine where we bloggers get to share our most anticipated upcoming releases.

Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here automatically appealed to me for a number. The first and foremost is that as a fangirl myself, I absolutely love reading YA books that also have some serious fangirls going on in the book. Second of all, the cover was gorgeous and the book in general looked like something I would enjoy. It’s hard to believe how far away the release date is from now, but I can already tell that the wait will certainly be worth it.

Divider

Blog Tour: Dream On, Amber Review

October 6, 2015 Blog Tours, Reviews 0 ★★★★★

Blog Tour: Dream On, Amber ReviewDream On, Amber by Emma Shevah
Published by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky on October 6th 2015
Pages: 272
Buy on AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository
Goodreads
five-stars
My name is Amber Alessandra Leola Kimiko Miyamoto. I have no idea why my parents gave me all those hideous names but they must have wanted to ruin my life, and you know what? They did an amazing job.
As a half-Japanese, half-Italian girl with a ridiculous name, Amber’s not feeling molto bene (very good) about making friends at her new school.
But the hardest thing about being Amber is that a part of her is missing. Her dad. He left when she was little and he isn't coming back. Not for her first day of middle school and not for her little sister’s birthday. So Amber will have to dream up a way for the Miyamoto sisters to make it on their own…
“[A] beautifully written story.”—The Independent“One of those books that you simply won’t want to put down…five out of five stars!”—The Guardian

This is the first middle grade book that I’ve ever reviewed on my blog. That being said, this was an absolutely adorable and unique story to start out with. I’m currently in my second year of college and I’m studying to be an elementary school teacher. Right now, I’m taking a children’s literature class and we’ve been discussing how important it is to have diverse books in the classroom. Dream On, Amber is an incredibly diverse book, our heroine is half-Japanese and half-Italian, and I have never seen that in kid’s books before. This is a book that certainly managed to stick with me and I’m keeping it in mind to add to my own future classroom library.

Most of the middle grade books that I’ve read in recent years have male lead characters. Truthfully, I can’t remember the last book I read with a girl, probably something when I was younger. Amber was a total breath of fresh air. I loved how considerate, caring, creative, hilarious, and unique she was. There were several times when I actually laughed out loud from some of her opinions about the other girls in her grade who loved Justin Bieber and she felt left out. I liked that she did her own thing because it made her happy and didn’t care what anyone else thought.

The family factor in Dream On, Amber was a large part of what made this book special. I felt like the absence of Amber’s dad was heartbreaking, but also important. More and more children these days may not have a father around, so I feel like Amber’s story has the ability to really speak to them. I also adored her whole family: her sister Bella, her mom, and her grandmother. I’m not going to lie, there was a scene towards the end of the book between Amber and Bella that made me cry. I don’t have a sister, but I just found the relationship between them to be so beautiful and emotional. I felt like both her mom and grandma were wonderful characters who were supportive of these two awesome young girls. I love parents and grandparents in middle grade books that are loving and accepting, instead of the main character viewing them as overbearing or not being around enough.

I felt like the storyline itself was memorable. I loved how Amber embraced her creative side. At first, she was afraid to share her drawings with others, but it was something she loved. We also get to see Amber slowly find a place where she belongs within her school. Anyway, this was a fabulous and diverse middle grade book that I strongly recommend to any fans of unique books for younger readers.

About the Author:

Emma Shevah is half-Irish and half-Thai born and raised in London. She has lived in Australia, Japan, India (her first child was born in the Himalayas) and Jerusalem before moving back to the UK. Emma has busked as a fire-juggler, been a restaurant manager, a copy writer, an English teacher, and is now a blogger and author.

Excerpt from Dream On, Amber

Bella came in wearing her matching pink nightdress, pink dressing gown, and pink slippers with Hello Kitty all over them. I just don’t get why people like Hello Kitty. I know it’s Japanese and supposed to be kawaii (cute) and everything, so maybe I should like it, but it’s just a picture of a cartoon cat’s head. I mean, seriously, what’s the big deal?

Bella’s hands were behind her back like she was hiding something. She looked much happier than she did when we got home from the party. She moved her arms to the front and handed me a sealed envelope.

“What’s this?” I asked, putting my sharpener down.

“Can you mail it for me tomorrow?”

I looked at the front of the envelope. There was nothing written on it.

“But it’s blank, Bella.”

“Yuuup.”

“Who’s it for?”

“None of your beeswax, Mrs. Nosy Pants.”

“Um…okay. So you…you want me to put it in the mailbox?”

“Yes, Amber. Duuuh. That’s what mailing means.”

“But how is the mailman going to know who to give it to if it has no name on it?”

“Oh,” she said, frowning.

She lay down on her belly on the floor and with her red crayon from the dollar store (well, she wasn’t borrowing any of mine), she wrote on the front of the envelope:“TO MY DAD.”

I looked at her.

“Bella—”

“Shush,” she said. “Just mail it for me.”

“But there’s no address on it—”

“The mailman will know where he lives. He knows where everyone lives.”

“He won’t know where Dad lives. Nobody knows where Dad lives. Not even Mum.”

“Didn’t I say ‘shush’? I’m sure I said ‘shush.’ Just mail it for me. Pleeease, Amber.”

I sighed. What was I supposed to tell her? She was too little. She didn’t get it. So I took it and put it on my desk, just to make her happy.

I know I shouldn’t have done it and it’s probably against the law and everything but when she went out of my room, I opened it.

It said:

Dier Dad,

My nam is Bella and Im your dorta. My bithday party is on Sunday 16 Speptmbr and I rely want you too come. And I neid you to play with me in the park and posh me on the swing. Please come home

love, Bella

P.S. Please buy me a perpel Swatch wach and Sparkle Girl Julerry Makar for my bithday.

I didn’t know what to do. Obviously, I wasn’t going to mail it without an address on it. So instead, I put it in my secret place. If you pull the bottom drawer of my dresser all the way out, there’s a space under it on the floor where I put my most sacred things. I had a coin that I found in Hyde Park that I’m sure is Roman or Viking and one day I’m going to sell it and get mega rich. I had a few other cool things in there too. Some of them are embarrassing, like key-rings I made out of lanyard strings when I was, like, seven and valentine cards my mum sent me. Stuff you can’t exactly throw out but really don’t want anyone to see. The letter wasn’t one of my sacred things but where else was I going to put it?

I also had a picture of my dad holding me when I was a baby that I sneaked out of Nonna’s album. Obviously, we have a whole bunch of photos of him in that album, but I wanted one for myself. One of him with me. Just to prove to myself that he did actually exist and hold me once, and he even looked proud. I don’t look at that photo much because it makes me angry. I know it doesn’t make sense to keep it, but there you go. Not everything makes sense. If it did, he would never have left in the first place.

There was another knock on my door, so I quickly closed the drawer.

“Hang on… Okay, you can come in now.”

Bella stuck her head in.

“When do you think he’ll get it?” she asked.

“Well, they have to find him first. It’s not easy, you know. It takes teams of detectives months to find missing people.”

She walked in to my room and said, “Oh,” and did that thing where she points her toes inward and puts one foot over the other, like her toes are hugging.

“Do you think he’ll get it before my birthday?”

“I don’t know, Bella. I don’t think so. But if by some weird miracle he did get it before then, I’m sure he’d come to your party.”

Bella unhugged her toes and put her hands on her hips. “Amber?”

“Mmm?”

“How do you know I want Dad to come to my party?”

Oops.

“Well, it’s kind of obvious, Bella. You did ask if he’d get it before your birthday.”

“Oh,” she said, frowning. “Hmm. Well, okay.” And she skipped back to her room.

The letter wasn’t my biggest problem at that point. I was so worried about starting my new school in the morning that I couldn’t get to sleep for ages. When you can’t sleep, your mind starts going a bit doolally. Well, mine does anyway. I start thinking all kinds of crazy things. And eventually the problem with Bella and her letter worked its way into my churning brain.

It was kind of mean and everything but there were times I really wished Bella wasn’t my sister. But knowing there was a huge hole where our dad was supposed to be wasn’t much fun either. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that maybe, just maybe, I could do something about it. I could save Bella from years of torture with one quick solution.

It seemed straightforward enough.

I decided to pretend to be my dad and write back to her, you know, to make her feel better.

And that was it.

Paff!

The most ingenious idea I’ve ever had lit up my mind like a firework.

Rafflecopter Giveaway Link:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

five-stars

Divider

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Tropes I Want to Quit

October 5, 2015 Features 15

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Tropes I Want to Quit

You know the drill by now. Top Ten Tuesday is a cool weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish where we make a list based on the theme. This week the theme is bookish related things that you quit or want to quit. I chose to talk about the tropes that I want to quit that are way too common in YA books specifically.

 

1. Love Triangles

giphy2

I’ll admit that I’m not one of those people who passionately hates love triangles. But I honestly keep on facepalming myself because I don’t know why I keep reading books that have love triangles. I’ve never read a love triangle where I was surprised by who the person ended up with. They are just SO predictable, plus there’s always the issue that loving two people at once is impossible. It’s a very frustrating trope to say the least.

2. Bad boy meets good girl

faceplant

This one is rather difficult to escape completely. I mean, it appears in SO many YA books. I just want to face plant pretty much every time I read one that has this.

3. Insta-love

no animated GIF

JUST SAY NO. I know that I’m far from being alone when it comes to hating insta-love. Truthfully, I don’t really know anyone who does like it. But somehow, there are still tons and tons of YA books that feature it. THAT’S JUST NOT HOW LOVE WORKS. It takes time to fall in love with someone. That’s all I’m going to say about that.

4. The perfect and pure main character

eyes animated GIF

You guys know what I’m talking about, the main character who is absolutely beloved and worshiped by all. She’s somehow the most popular girl in school and has all the boys wanting her because she’s so pure and perfect. Basically, the boys call her the saint while literally every other girl in the school is a slut. I’m specifically referencing the book Until Friday Night, in case you were curious.

5. Boys and girls not being able to be just friends

bitch please animated GIF

I will confess, there are some that make this trope work. Harry and Hermione are a perfect example of a strong friendship between a boy and a girl that doesn’t turn into something more. However, this trope does show up an unnecessary amount in YA. Like what was the purpose of Gale and Katniss happening AT ALL in The Hunger Games? They were just fine being best friends, causing them to be a sort of couple just was drama that the books didn’t need.

6. Crazy parents who may or may not be around

liam payne animated GIF

I would just love to see more normal parents who actually discipline their child and are actively in the picture.

7. The pretty best friend/sister who gets all the guys

please animated GIF

If the heroine of the story for some reason is not the pretty and popular one, her best friend or her older sister usually is. I won’t lie, I do like some books that feature this (like To All The Boys I Loved Before and even Just Listen in a way) but it just gets exhausting after awhile.

8. Lack of diversity

really animated GIF

I will admit that books these days are getting back at having diverse characters, but there’s still a pretty huge lack of them. I want to see more and more diverse main characters specifically!

By the way, I’ve finally got my new self-hosted website on WordPress up and running. I was previously Go Read A Book Reviews on Blogspot and I’m happy to make this new transition. Leave me a comment and let me know what you think of my new layout! I’m mostly asking because I would love to hear any suggestions and tips that you guys might have about making my site better. Thank you for reading my list!

Divider

My Secret to Tell Review

October 5, 2015 Reviews, Young Adult 0

My Secret to Tell ReviewMy Secret to Tell by Natalie D. Richards
Published by Sourcebooks Fire on October 6th 2015
Pages: 320
Source: Netgalley
Buy on AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository
Goodreads
There was blood on his hands. Where was the guilt in his eyes?
Emmie's had a crush on her best friend's brother forever. Deacon is the town bad boy who's always in trouble, but she sees his soft side when he volunteers with her at the local animal shelter. She doesn't think he's dangerous…until he shows up in her bedroom with blood on his hands.
Deacon's father has been violently assaulted and Deacon is suspect number one. Emmie's smart enough to know how this looks, but she also knows Deacon's biggest secret—he's paralyzed by the sight of blood. She's sure he didn't do this. Or did he? Because even Deacon's own sister thinks he's guilty…

After reading We Were Liars, I considered myself a (sometimes) fan of mystery/suspenseful YA books. Truthfully, I first requested this book because I thought it looked like a cute romance story from Sourcebooks Fire. I wasn’t expecting the mystery type side of the book to say the least. However, I still felt like I should give this book a shot and at the end of the day I’m glad that I did. Perhaps I have my bar set too high, but I feel like it did not rival with We Were Liars as far as suspense goes. My Secret to Tell might catch your eye if you’re a fan of the genre, but I’m not sure how non-fans of the genre will like it.

One of the reasons why I am pretty picky when it comes to what mystery books I read is because most (not all) seem to not have all that much romance. Of course I love a well developed plot filled with unpredictable twists, I also enjoy swoony book boyfriends. There were parts that had some sweet moments between Deacon and Emmie, but they were still fairly rare to say the least. I didn’t understand why Deacon was suddenly interested in Emmie, especially when they’ve known each other for the majority of their lives. I kept waiting for the reason to be revealed and I was disappointed that we didn’t get more of that vital information.

A positive note is that the book does keep you guessing. There’s obviously a lot more to the story than what meets the eye and I like that Richards had a fascinating way of revealing all that. I’ve never read any of her previous works, but I did like her writing in this one. Personally though, I was anticipating even more twists which maybe is a little unfair, but that’s just my personal preference when it comes to this genre.

At the end of the day, this wasn’t a horrible story by any means. I think the writing was decent and I was pretty intrigued. I definitely plan on picking up her books in the future and hopefully her next one will be one I can connect with in a way that this one simply didn’t. The events in the book all happened extremely fast, which was at times difficult to follow for me. Don’t let my take on the book discourage you from reading this book though! I do recommend it for those of you that want something quick to read that will keep you on edge. It just wasn’t what I was expecting but hopefully the next book will be!

Rating Report
Plot
two-half-stars
Characters
three-stars
Writing
four-stars
Pacing
two-half-stars
Cover
five-stars
Overall:

Divider

Blog Tour: All I’ve Never Wanted

October 5, 2015 Blog Tours 0 ★★★★

Blog Tour: All I’ve Never Wanted

Blog Tour: All I’ve Never WantedAll I've Never Wanted by Ana Huang
Published by Smashwords Edition on June 15th 2015
Buy on AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository
Goodreads
four-stars
The Scions were the four richest, most powerful guys at Valesca Academy, and they ruled the school with iron fists. Everyone wanted to date them or be them...everyone, that is, except Maya Lindberg, who just wanted to avoid them until she could graduate.
She almost succeeded, until an ill-advised outburst on her part put her right in the Scions' path. Just like that, one became her fake boyfriend, one her unwanted matchmaker, one her guardian angel, and the one she couldn't stand the most? Yeah, he's her new housemate.
A Young Adult romantic comedy that explores what happens when a girl gets everything she never asked for, including a puppy, a new wardrobe, and, possibly, even true love.

I’m honestly shocked that I’d never heard of Ana Huang before! I’m a pretty huge fan of Wattpad, I’ve discovered a ton of incredible stories through using it. Anyway, I was impressed by Ana Huang’s writing. She did a beautiful job at capturing all of these layered characters. Some of the drama was a little overwhelming at times, but I always felt connected to the story itself and each character within it. Needless to say, I’m definitely prepared for the next novel that Ana Huang writes.

Maya was a fabulous and sassy main character. I loved that she couldn’t care less about how much money these kids have, if they act like jerks then she’s going to call them out on it. I know that the lower class female character meets and saves the snotty rich boy is a common cliche in various YA novels. However, I felt like this book had so much complicated subplots going on, that it wasn’t so cliche. I did think that Roman, the ridiculously rich guy that Maya tells off the first time that she meets, was an absolute jerk that I personally wouldn’t tolerate. But I also feel like his reluctance to truly change into a nicer human being in this book would be completely unrealistic. Someone that spoiled isn’t going to change overnight, and I like how Huang emphasizes this several times within the book.

As I said earlier, there are tons and tons of characters in All I’ve Never Wanted. I’ve already talked about the two main characters Roman and Maya, but there’s also Carlo, Parker, Zack, Venice, and Adriana. The first three are members of the Scions alongside Roman. Adriana is Zack’s gorgeous twin sister who instantly takes a liking to Maya and believes that she’ll be perfect for Roman. Venice is Maya’s hyper close friend, who is a total fangirl of the Scions. There’s also a brother, (Carlo’s brother Rico) many different parents, and Maya’s hilarious grandma. If I had to pick a favorite out of the group of supporting characters, I’d likely choose Carlo. He’s a great friend to Maya and he also probably has the best head on his shoulders out of all the guys. To me anyway, he seemed to be the most grounded and down to earth one. I also really loved Adriana and felt like she had such an endearingly strong personality. I enjoyed the scenes where she was playing matchmaker with Maya and Roman and actually ended up roping her brother into it with her.

Since there’s so many key characters, you can probably guess that there would also be a lot of romances going on as well. The couples are: Roman and Maya, Adriana and Parker, and Venice and Zack. Carlo also has a girl but she’s not apart of the group so we don’t get to see her much. While I did like Roman and Maya together, they weren’t my favorite since it took them so long to actually get together. I hated all the drama that seemed to stop them every time you thought they were going to act on their so very obvious feelings. Therefore, my favorite was Adriana and Parker because they got together pretty early on in the book. I thought it was adorable how long Parker had feelings for her and she also liked him. Although that initial conversation when they first get together is all we really see of the relationship, I still enjoyed it since they stayed together the rest of the book with no drama.

I recommend this book if you’re looking for something that’s well written and filled with a great ensemble cast. There’s so much to enjoy about this book, so I’m just going to urge you to read it and see for yourself what all my fuss was about. While I wish some of the drama could have just been left out, that didn’t make me completely dislike the book, I was still really interested in it from start to finish. I’m beyond glad that I chose to read this one!

Author Bio

Ana Huang, better known as ACRL37 on Wattpad, primarily writes Young Adult and Romance. She started writing her first novel, All I’ve Never Wanted, when she was sixteen; it was originally inspired by the Asian manga Hana Yori Dango. Her second novel, If We Ever Meet Again, was loosely based on her own study abroad experiences in college. Her stories currently have a combined view of over 20 million on Wattpad. Besides reading and writing, she also enjoys shopping, brunch, and traveling.

Links

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/All-Ive-Never-Wanted-Huang-ebook/dp/B00WY2WU50

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/all-ive-never-wanted-ana-huang/1122059657

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/all-ive-never-wanted/id1001710587

Wattpad: http://wattpad.com/acrl37

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ana_huang37

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25464015-all-i-ve-never-wanted

four-stars

Divider