Posts By: Rachel Geiger

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
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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

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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.

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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!

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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
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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

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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
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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.

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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.

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five-stars

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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

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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!

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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:

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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

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four-stars

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A Court Of Thorns and Roses Review

October 5, 2015 Reviews 1 ★★★★

A Court Of Thorns and Roses ReviewA Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1) by Sarah J. Maas
Published by Bloomsbury Children's on May 5th 2015
Pages: 416
Source: Library
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four-stars
three-half-flames
A thrilling, seductive new series from New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas, blending Beauty and the Beast with faerie lore.
When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.
As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she's been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it... or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.
Perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore and George R. R. Martin, this first book in a sexy and action-packed new series is impossible to put down!

Confession: I feel like I’m one of the few people who has never read a Sarah J. Maas novel until I finally got around to picking up this one. I will start by saying that she definitely lived up to the hype. Her writing is absolutely gorgeous and I found myself enchanted by her fabulous storytelling. I said this in my review of Red Queen and I’ll say it again: there can never be too many strong heroines in YA/NA books. Bottom line is that I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to read a magical story that has complicated and fascinating characters. Give this one a try, I’m sure you’ll love it.

Feyre is a fierce protagonist to say the very least. Like Katniss, she provides for her family that lives in poverty by hunting. The main reason why I loved her so much was because she possessed all of the qualities that I believe a female protagonist should have. Those qualities include: selfishness, bravery, cleverness, loving, feisty, and resourceful. Tamlin was a complicated but still a mostly likable love interest. Since this is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, Tamlin is obviously the Beast of the story. He certainly shows some of those Beast qualities at points in the story, but he gradually becomes more vulnerable and caring around our girl Feyre. I also found myself really liking Tamlin’s friend Lucien, who didn’t like Feyre at first but slowly warmed to her and formed a friendship with her. I didn’t like Rhysand. Sorry to all those who do like him, but I’m just not a fan of the bad boy.

As you’ll see in pretty much any review of the book that you read, the romance in this book is extremely steamy. I think that the pace of the building relationship between the two went at a realistic speed that I truly enjoyed. However, I think it still was a little bit unrealistic how quickly the relationship turned into love. Lust I could see, but it being love in such a short amount of time seemed a bit far fetched to me. Regardless, I still found it to be completely swoon worthy. It’s actually rather graphic at times, which is why I consider it to be more New Adult than Young Adult.

If I liked this book so much than why am I rating it a four instead of a five? I’m so glad that you asked! I’m rating it this because I found the character of Rhysand to be off-putting. In the majority of scenes that he’s in, he just acts so repulsively and I especially didn’t like how he treated Feyre like a slave. She makes a deal with him that she’ll go with him for a whole week every month for the rest of her life. After making that deal, he feels as if he has huge control of her and he drags her around to parties as if she was a play thing. Worst of all was when he would make her drink the wine at the parties, which made her unaware of what was happening around her for the rest of the evening. Basically it’s the equivalent to giving her date rape drugs. He justifies this by telling her that he could have easily raped her, but didn’t. And she’s supposed to be grateful for that? Maybe you just shouldn’t have done it in the first place, Rhys. Anyway, a lot of people are anticipating this becoming a real love triangle in the second book with Rhys being the other love interest obviously. Already, people are talking about how they are Team Rhysand, which I absolutely can’t understand. While I respect everyone is entitled to an opinion, it’s just mind blowing that people would let his behavior go like that.

Fantasy has never been my type of genre. I naturally gravitate more towards contemporary, especially in the YA/NA category. I was definitely surprised that I enjoyed this story so much since it was heavy with fantasy and fairy themes. I think it’s a true testament to Sarah J. Maas’s writing. She created such gorgeous and vivid imagery that made me feel like I was standing right there in the middle of this world. It was never a slow paced book in the slightest, twist after twist kept going down that certainly kept your interest. While Rhysand does rub me the wrong way, he doesn’t completely discourage me from really really liking this novel. I wanted to give it five stars, but I felt like my pretty negative feelings about that character made it more of a four star read. You should get a copy of this ASAP and form your own opinion about it then talk to me about what you think!

four-stars

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