Posts Tagged: Teens

Gemina Review

April 3, 2017 Reviews, Young Adult 1 ★★★★

Gemina ReviewGemina (The Illuminae Files, #2) by Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff, Marie Lu
Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers on October 18th 2016
Pages: 608
Source: Library
Also by this author: Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1), Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1)
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four-stars
Listening time 12 hours 34 minutes
The highly anticipated sequel to the instant New York Times bestseller that critics are calling “out-of-this-world awesome.”
Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.
The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminae continues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault.
Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.
When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station’s wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.
But relax. They’ve totally got this. They hope.
Once again told through a compelling dossier of emails, IMs, classified files, transcripts, and schematics, Gemina raises the stakes of the Illuminae Files, hurling readers into an enthralling new story that will leave them breathless.

Gemina was a decent book, but not nearly as great as the first book. I’m not going to lie, I didn’t even realize that this wasn’t directly following the characters from the first book until I started it. Illuminae was such a whirlwind of a novel and so different from what I typically read. Stepping out of my comfort zone to read it a year ago was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made reading wise. So obviously, I couldn’t wait to read this one as well. I thought that this also had a unique plot and definitely kept you in suspense the whole time. However, some of the plot twists just gave me whiplash. Sometimes I wasn’t sure what to make of the direction that the book was going in. If you like that kind of unpredictable novel though, you’ll likely go for this book. I’m happy that I finally got the chance to read it months after it was released!

Hanna is our main character in Gemina. Her character really comes out through her beautiful drawings and her IM’s. We also see more and more of her badass ways as the book progresses. Seriously though, this girl is the shit. I loved how witty and smart she was. She might have been a bit spoiled, but she still had such a strong and wonderful personality. These authors are seriously the best at creating imperfect but hardcore teenage girls who aren’t afraid to kick some ass when the situation calls for it. I instantly loved this girl and am jealous that I can’t be her.

Nik is our other main character in this one. Oh man, he’s another character that I basically instantly love. I’m not always a fan of the bad boy types, and that’s definitely who he is. He comes from a family of gang members and has been to jail himself. Oh, he’s also Hanna’s drug dealer. But there’s more to him than what meets the eye. So what won me over was really his heart and wit. He and Hanna have the absolute best banter. He might not be the perfect guy, but he’s still a genuine and straightforward one. He’s a pretty great guy underneath it all. He made me laugh out loud so many times. I wanted more and more of him!

The romance isn’t really a huge factor in this one. Hanna has a boyfriend at the beginning, which is something that I usually hate seeing. It actually worked here because of reasons that I won’t say in case you haven’t read it yet. Anyway, the authors made it work in an impressive and convincing way and I’ll leave it at that. Nik and Hanna made a cute couple. I’m always a fan of hate to love and they had this to a degree. They didn’t have many cute scenes since they were busy trying to save themselves, but I still happy with what we did see. Like I mentioned earlier, I adored all of the banter that they shared from the beginning of the novel. Seeing their relationship grow was pretty awesome.

So one of the best and most notable things about this story is the unique format. I’m sure I mentioned this repeatedly in my review of Illuminae, but the format of this book was extremely unique. This book is LONG, it’s over 600 pages. It moves super fast due to all the IM’s, surveillance footage summaries, and drawings. This is a book that you can devour very quickly, and I loved that about it. The format is something that is probably discussed a lot, but I feel as if it’s well deserved.

This wasn’t nearly as good as Illuminae in my opinion. Gemina had A LOT happening in it, and sometimes I wasn’t really sure what was going on. I think that I sometimes got that feeling with Illuminae, but the plot twists seemed even more frequent in this one. I can see why people loved this. It was beautiful and well written. I think that as a whole, I was more impressed and swept away by the previous book. That being said, I still can’t wait to see where this story is going to go next. I’m hoping that the next book will join all four main characters from both books together. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see!

four-stars

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ARC Review: The Hidden Memory of Objects

March 30, 2017 Reviews, Young Adult 0 ★★★

ARC Review: The Hidden Memory of ObjectsThe Hidden Memory of Objects by Danielle Mages Amato
Published by Balzer + Bray on March 21st 2017
Pages: 336
Source: Edelweiss
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three-stars

I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Megan Brown’s brother, Tyler, is dead, but the cops are killing him all over again. They say he died of a drug overdose, potentially suicide—something Megan cannot accept. Determined to figure out what happened in the months before Tyler’s death, Megan turns to the things he left behind. After all, she understands the stories objects can tell—at fifteen, she is a gifted collage artist with a flair for creating found-object pieces. However, she now realizes that her artistic talent has developed into something more: she can see memories attached to some of Tyler’s belongings—and those memories reveal a brother she never knew.
Enlisting the help of an artifact detective who shares her ability and specializes in murderabilia—objects tainted by violence or the deaths of their owners—Megan finds herself drawn into a world of painful personal and national memories. Along with a trusted classmate and her brother's charming friend, she chases down the troubling truth about Tyler across Washington, DC, while reclaiming her own stifled identity with a vengeance.

The cover of The Hidden Memory of Objects is what initially drew me into this book. I wasn’t really sure how I was going to feel about the actual plot going into this though. I’ve tried to steer clear of books about death here lately since I’ve read so many, but I decided to try this one out anyway. Thought it wasn’t completely memorable for me, I’m still glad that I read this. I think readers who like contemporaries combined with a bit of history/mystery/paranormal. If it sounds like your cup of tea, then you should give this a try!

Megan is a decent protagonist. Honestly, there’s not a ton of things about her that really stand out to me. But I did appreciate how brave and bold she was throughout the entire novel. She never backed down from what she believed in, and that’s something that I always like to see. I’ll likely explain this more later on in the review, but I felt like her ability didn’t work at times. It was an interesting and unique thing for the character to have, but it didn’t totally make sense to me as a reader.

The romance isn’t a huge part of the plot, so I’m not going to touch on it all that much. I will say that the love interest is her brother Tyler’s friend that she didn’t know about until Tyler died. Nathan was a charming and sweet guy. I really enjoyed learning more and more about him as the book progressed. I won’t lie, I wanted more romance in the story, but I get that there were obviously more pressing matters. Another character that I wanted to talk about is her friend Eric. Oh man, Eric is absolutely hilarious. When he first learns about the power that Megan has when she touches certain objects, he’s obsessed with discovering her origin story. He might be a bit of a geek, but you can’t help but love him and his story so much.

As mentioned earlier, it’s the elements that go beyond contemporary that lost me somewhat. I can appreciate a good mystery, but the history and paranormal side wasn’t all that strong to me. Specifically, the paranormal element of Megan having the ability to touch objects and instantly be able to see a certain scene that took place. Like she was able to see the assassination of Lincoln and some specific details about that night. It was a unique plot that I’ve never seen done this specific way, but it still didn’t fully make sense to me. I’m a contemporary reader generally, and I like it when things are realistic to at least an extent, so some of this stuff just didn’t belong in my opinion.

If you don’t mind a combination of genres that might not seem to really go together, then you might like this one. I felt like the first half of the novel was very slow paced. In about the middle though, it did pick up speed and I was hardly able to put it down. Though I highly doubt this book will stay with me all that long after reading it, I don’t exactly regret reading it. It had some solid parts to say the least. The characters were all well developed and strong. The romance may haven’t been such an essential part of the plot, it was still sweet. I’m looking forward to the next book that this author writes!

three-stars

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ARC Review: Things I Should Have Known

March 29, 2017 Reviews, Young Adult 0 ★★★½

ARC Review: Things I Should Have KnownThings I Should Have Known by Claire LaZebnik
Published by HMH Books for Young Readers on March 28th 2017
Source: Netgalley
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three-half-stars

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

From the author of Epic Fail comes the story of Chloe Mitchell, a Los Angeles girl on a quest to find love for her autistic sister, Ivy. Ethan, from Ivy’s class, seems like the perfect match. It’s unfortunate that his older brother, David, is one of Chloe’s least favorite people, but Chloe can deal, especially when she realizes that David is just as devoted to Ethan as she is to Ivy.
Uncommonly honest and refreshingly funny, this is a story about sisterhood, autism, and first love. Chloe, Ivy, David, and Ethan, who form a quirky and lovable circle, will steal readers’ hearts and remind us all that it’s okay to be a different kind of normal.  

Things I Should Have Known is a fast paced and refreshing story. I’ve never read anything by this author before, but I’m definitely going to look into her other stories now. I was looking for a heartfelt and not overly heavy contemporary read, and that’s exactly what I received here. The plot is a rather unique one, and we need more YA novels that deal with teens caring for their sibling who is autistic. The romance was also realistic, sweet, and charming. I recommend reading this if you want to read something relevant and important, with some swoon thrown in for good measure. I’m happy that I read this!

Chloe is a fierce and great character. She’s not perfect but what teenager is? I really respected her for being able to step up and take care of her sister when her mom isn’t so great at doing it. She’s a seventeen year old girl who has responsibilities that most teens never have to worry about. I wasn’t always a fan of how she didn’t stand up for her sister more when her friends/boyfriend would make rather offensive offhand comments about her. She didn’t want them to think that she was overreacting, which is something that I do understand. She made mistakes, but she was still a solid character as a whole.

The main thing that you need to know about David is that he’s a feminist. Some people may not love him right off the bat (or maybe at all) but I still liked him in the end. He’s a grumpy jerk for basically no reason at all. He doesn’t have some tragic backstory or anything. I ended up liking him so much because as the book progresses, we learn how sensitive and sweet he really is. The fact that he cries is awesome to me. We don’t get the chance to see that side of most love interests in YA books so I thought this was specifically refreshing. He was so sweet to his brother Ethan (who is also autistic) and I loved his relationship with him as well. So just keep in mind that while he has a grumpy exterior in the beginning, he’s a true softy underneath and I truly enjoyed seeing this.

So let’s talk about Chloe’s sister Ivy. As mentioned, she’s autistic and Chloe takes care of her for the most part since her mom is too concerned with her husband to primarily care for her. Anyway, I thought that Ivy was so sweet and brave. I thought that her autism was written in an honest and well researched fashion. The relationship between Chloe and Ivy is pretty much the entire purpose of the book. I felt like it was definitely well written and realistic. I loved the bond that they shared.

If you’re not a fan of hate to love romances, you’ll probably not like this one. There’s A LOT of hate going on. And it’s not like they used to be friends but now they hate each other. Nope, they’ve just always hated each other for whatever reason. There’s also the fact that Chloe has a boyfriend, which I didn’t love. I did appreciate how the relationship between them slowly and realistically progressed. The romance wasn’t my favorite, but it still had a little swoon.

Although it wasn’t exactly perfect, this was still a nice novel. Chloe was a funny, sarcastic, and kind teenager. I know a lot of people who aren’t a fan of some of the themes/tropes like hate to love, mean girls, and a love triangle, so you should probably stay clear if that’s you. If you’re able to overlook this, you get a clever and fairly unique story. I enjoyed this one for the most part. I felt like the author did a decent job at writing realistic teenagers. I’m glad that I had the chance to read this one.

three-half-stars

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ARC Review: #famous

February 13, 2017 Reviews, Young Adult 1 ★★★

ARC Review: #famous#famous by Jilly Gagnon
Published by Katherine Tegen Books on February 14th 2017
Pages: 384
Source: Edelweiss
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three-stars

I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

In this modern-day love story, Girl likes Boy, Girl takes photo of Boy and posts it online, Boy becomes accidentally insta-famous. And what starts out as an innocent joke spirals into a whirlwind adventure that could change both their lives—and their hearts—forever. But are fame and love worth the price?
Told in alternating points of view, #famous captures the out-of-control thrill ride of falling for someone in front of everyone.

So I was really excited to read this book. The plot is that this girl takes a picture of this cute guy from her school while he’s at work and posts it, then it becomes extremely popular. I’m sure you guys have heard of Alex from Target, and it’s a very similar concept to that one, though it obviously adds much more plot and drama to it. I enjoyed how this book took on the topic of social media and how it can easily impact someone so quickly. The interesting thing about it is what it means to become an overnight sensation, which is more and more common in our society of YouTube and other social media platforms. Though I liked the plot itself, I wasn’t a fan of all the typical high school cliches that went down. It didn’t feel all that unique in a lot of ways, which was disappointing. It was a good book, just not my favorite as a whole. It was mostly rather forgettable.

Rachel is a “nobody” who just happens to take a picture of her crush Kyle and is obviously shocked when it becomes insanely popular within hours. I thought that she was a solid character for the most part. I didn’t find her all that memorable though. I will admit that I sympathized with the fact that she was immediately cyberbullied for posting the picture. It’s definitely unfair how her appearance is automatically scrutinized though that had nothing to do with the picture itself. I do believe that’s realistic because the internet can obviously be really cruel for no reason.

Kyle is honestly kind of a douchebag. He’s working at a place in the mall when Rachel takes his picture and it goes viral online right away. He’s pretty popular in school and has a hot on and off girlfriend. He received his douchebag status for how he judged Rachel for literally no reason. I didn’t understand why he felt like she was weird. We had no evidence that she did anything weird besides the fact that her hair was curly. It just seemed like a super cliche and annoying thing to happen. He was just your typical high school cliche dude with not really anything special about him, in my opinion. There was nothing swoony or particularly memorable about his character. I will admit that I did find it interesting how fame affected him personally. I think the author did a nice job with this side of the storyline in particular.

As a couple, I honestly didn’t care all that much about Rachel and Kyle. I don’t know what it was exactly, I just wasn’t a fan. I think most of it was due to all the cliches that happened to them as a couple. There was the good old ex-girlfriend tries to break them up and several other tropes. I thought the whole fame thing did add an interesting dynamic here, but it wasn’t as developed as I was hoping it would be. I just wasn’t emotionally invested in them which made me sad.

Like I said, this wasn’t exactly a bad book but it wasn’t my favorite either. The writing and the plot itself was actually pretty good, it was the character, romance, and general cliches that made it not as enjoyable to me. It was still a pretty addicting read. I couldn’t stop reading it once I picked it up. Part of the reason why it wasn’t my favorite might be because I’m too old to really enjoy high school stories. So if you’re okay with a great deal of drama, you’ll probably like this.

three-stars

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ARC Review: My Unscripted Life

October 12, 2016 Reviews 0 ★★★

ARC Review: My Unscripted LifeMy Unscripted Life by Lauren Morrill
Published by Delacorte on October 11th 2016
Pages: 288
Source: Netgalley
Also by this author: The Trouble with Destiny, Being Sloane Jacobs
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three-stars

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Perfect for fans of Jennifer E. Smith and Huntley Fitzpatrick, you'll love this funny and sweet contemporary romance about a Southern girl ready for a ho-hum summer until she meets the boy of her dreams who happens to be an international pop star.
Sometimes love stories go off script.
Another sultry Georgia summer is about to get a lot hotter. Dee Wilkie is still licking her wounds after getting rejected by the precollege fine arts program of her dreams. But if she'd gone away, she wouldn't have been around to say yes to an unbelievable opportunity: working on the set of a movie filming in her small Southern town that just happens to be starring Milo Ritter, the famous pop star Dee (along with the rest of the world) has had a crush since eighth grade.
It's not like Dee will be sharing any screen time with Milo—she's just a lowly PA. And Milo is so disappointingly rude that Dee is eager to stay far away from him. Except after a few chance meetings, she begins to wonder if just maybe there's a reason for his offensive attitude, and if there's more to Milo than his good looks and above-it-all Hollywood pedigree. Can a relationship with a guy like Milo ever work out for a girl like Dee? Never say never. . .

Lauren Morrill is an author that I just really enjoy. I can always count on her for sweet, quirky, and mostly lighthearted romances. My Unscripted Life wasn’t quite what I was expecting, it had a lot more drama and it was rather predictable. I still thought the plot was a creative one that I truly enjoyed reading about. I want more YA romances between a famous actor and an average girl! Yes, I am well aware that there are already some out there, though how they meet differs, but there can never be too many. However, it was still yet another sweet romance that I’m happy that I read. Lauren Morrill is such a good author, and I can’t wait to read what she writes next.

Dee was an interesting protagonist. I wouldn’t say that she’s my favorite of Lauren Morrill’s, but she’s still solid. I liked watching Dee grow as a character as the summer progressed and she learned more about what it’s like to make a movie. The most problematic thing about Dee is how delusional she is when it comes to Milo. Like girl, he’s not your boyfriend when you went on literally one date. I get that she’s had a crush on him since middle school, but she still needed to come to terms with who he actually is and not who she’s fantasized about all these years. I know that a lot of teens fangirl in this way, so maybe it’s just my issue, but it stuck out to me.

Milo was a character that I didn’t like at all for the majority of the book. I don’t know exactly what it was about him that bothered me so much because he honestly wasn’t such a diva once Dee got to know him, but I didn’t find him swoony. He needed a bit more development going on, in my opinion. It felt like his character wasn’t as fully explored as it could have been. It makes me sad because I usually love Lauren Morrill’s love interests, this one simply fell somewhat short for me.

The romance moved WAY too fast. Like I said, Dee was delusional and automatically assumed that Milo was her boyfriend after one date. Really? You need to chill sister. The romance in general was very juvenile. Milo didn’t even give her his cell phone number until towards the end of the book, let alone did they actually define the relationship. It got to a point where I was honestly rooting for Dee to end up with Benny, a boy who was friend’s with her best friend’s older brother who also works on the movie. She ends up striking up a friendship with him, but I wanted more for them! I honestly didn’t feel the chemistry between Milo and Dee. I was more interested in the plot itself than all that drama going on with them.

My favorite part was definitely that Dee worked on the set of a movie. I thought it was really interesting to explore how production works. In my opinion, not enough of the romances between celebrity and an average person explore that side of things, so I felt like it was significant. The detail was awesome, and I enjoyed it so much. All of the other drama I could have done without, but the whole backstage thing that went down was beneficial to the plot and caused me to like this book a lot more than I probably would have otherwise.

Some of these YA books make me feel like I’m getting way too old for all of the drama that goes down. My Unscripted Life was definitely one of those at times, like some of the predictable drama that occurred between Dee and Milo. I feel like the book would have been much stronger without it. All in all, this was still an entertaining and fast paced read. I wasn’t able to put it down once I started reading it! I recommend it if this kind of romance interests you and you don’t mind a lot of high school drama.

three-stars

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ARC Review: This Adventure Ends

October 1, 2016 Reviews, Young Adult 0 ★★★★

ARC Review: This Adventure EndsThis Adventure Ends by Emma Mills
Published by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) on October 4th 2016
Pages: 320
Source: Netgalley
Also by this author: First & Then
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four-stars

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Sloane isn't expecting to fall in with a group of friends when she moves from New York to Florida—especially not a group of friends so intense, so in love, so all-consuming. Yet that's exactly what happens.
Sloane becomes closest to Vera, a social-media star who lights up any room, and Gabe, Vera's twin brother and the most serious person Sloane's ever met. When a beloved painting by the twins' late mother goes missing, Sloane takes on the responsibility of tracking it down, a journey that takes her across state lines—and ever deeper into the twins' lives.
Filled with intense and important friendships, a wonderful warts-and-all family, shiveringly good romantic developments, and sharp, witty dialogue, this story is about finding the people you never knew you needed.

I’m not going to lie, I was scared to read this book. I enjoyed First & Then so much and I was afraid that this simply wouldn’t be as good. I shouldn’t have doubted this author. Emma Mills has written yet another memorable story filled with hilarious and quirky characters. This is a truly addicting read. If you’re planning to just sit down and read one chapter at a time, you’re likely to find that you can’t help but read yet another and another chapter until you’ve somehow reached the end. I was up until nearly two in the morning because I simply was unable to find a stopping point. Read this if you’re looking for a sweet and heartwarming contemporary.

Sloane is my girl! She’s such a relatable character. There’s no doubt in my mind that she’s someone that I would have totally hungout with back in high school. She’s a sarcastic and hilarious girl who isn’t afraid to speak her mind. There were so many scenes throughout the book when I just wanted to give her a huge hug. Not to mention the fact that she’s such a loyal friend who does everything in her power to help the people that she cares about. Sloane never really had a true friend before she met Vera and company, but she’s still extremely great in this role anyway.

One of the great things about this book is all the characters. Some books are guilty of having supporting characters who are mostly in the background and don’t have much depth or development to them. Emma Mills doesn’t have this problem at all. Each character in This Adventure Ends has a pretty distinctive and memorable role. Yes, there’s some characters that you like more than others, but the majority of them all have some importance and aren’t just hanging out in the background with absolutely no purpose. I think one of my favorite parts of the book was the relationship between Sloane and her dad. Her dad was such a hilarious character. I loved how obsessed he became with fanfiction for a Teen Wolf like show. There were other awesome characters like Remy, Vera, and Frank.

Gabe was a character who I had some serious reservations about at certain times throughout the novel. On one hand, I felt like his general broodiness and attitude was fascinating and endearing. At other times, I wasn’t sure what to think about him at all. He was a good guy, but I didn’t always feel the chemistry between him and Sloane. Honestly, I think a lot of my issues come from him not being as great as Ezra from First & Then, but is anyone as awesome as him? Gabe wasn’t a guy that I could always read, and that wasn’t always a positive thing. I don’t know, I just think that I wanted to see more of the romance. I get that it was never meant to be the focus, but it’s simply a personal preference for me in this case. Ultimately, I felt somewhat disconnected from the romance between Sloane and Gabe.

All in all, this was a wonderful book that exceeded my expectations by a long shot. Emma Mills has done it yet again, and I can’t wait to see what she writes next. This is definitely an author that I’m planning on reading for a long time. Anyway, this was an addicting book that I was totally sucked into. This Adventure Ends is a book that I’m sure that people will love just as much, if not more than First & Then. I highly recommend picking it up when it hits bookstores this Tuesday!

four-stars

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The Season Review

September 29, 2016 Reviews, Young Adult 0 ★★★

The Season ReviewThe Season by Jonah Lisa Dyer, Stephen Dyer
Published by Viking Children's on July 12th 2016
Pages: 326
Source: Library
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three-stars
She can score a goal, do sixty box jumps in a row, bench press a hundred and fifty pounds…but can she learn to curtsey?
Megan McKnight is a soccer star with Olympic dreams, but she’s not a girly girl. So when her Southern belle mother secretly enters her in the 2016 Dallas debutante season, she’s furious—and has no idea what she’s in for. When Megan’s attitude gets her on probation with the mother hen of the debs, she’s got a month to prove she can ballroom dance, display impeccable manners, and curtsey like a proper Texas lady or she’ll get the boot and disgrace her family. The perk of being a debutante, of course, is going to parties, and it’s at one of these lavish affairs where Megan gets swept off her feet by the debonair and down-to-earth Hank Waterhouse. If only she didn’t have to contend with a backstabbing blonde and her handsome but surly billionaire boyfriend, Megan thinks, being a deb might not be so bad after all. But that’s before she humiliates herself in front of a room full of ten-year-olds, becomes embroiled in a media-frenzy scandal, and gets punched in the face by another girl.
The season has officially begun…but the drama is just getting started.

I was instantly fascinated by the description of this book, so I’m glad that I was able to borrow this from Overdrive. I thought The Season was really adorable and fast paced. Honestly, I didn’t even realize this was a Pride and Prejudice retelling until after I’d already read it and looked at what some of my friends thought on Goodreads. I must admit that I’ve never actually read Pride and Prejudice, but I do know the general plot of it. I’m mentioning this because I think that this will likely appeal to fans of P+P. It appealed to me because of the cover and cute sounding summary. Though I did have some issues with it, I still thought it was an enjoyable read.

Megan was definitely the highlight of the book! She’s so hilarious, and I love how she was never the least bit hesitant to speak her mind. This book is confusing: it’s labeled as YA but Megan isn’t a teenager. She and her twin sister are both 20 years old and in college. I do understand why it’s classified as YA and not NA since Megan is honestly pretty at times. But there’s also some mature-ish content that happens, but it’s all fade to black. That being said, I still enjoyed Megan’s personality throughout the book. She also really grew as a person as the book progressed. She starts out as a tomboy soccer player but evolves into a true lady who totally fits in among the other debutantes.

Like I said, Megan was one of the most memorable parts of The Season. The other characters are interesting, though some are obviously more likable than others. For one, I really liked Julia, who is Megan’s twin. She has such a different personality from Megan, they are basically like night and day. While Megan is into soccer and is a tomboy, Julia is a lot more of a girly girl and fits in more with the debutante lifestyle. The relationship between Megan and Julia was such a strong one. I’m always a fan of books that have sibling bonds, so this was great! As I mentioned, there are some characters that I didn’t like as much. There’s a mean debutante girl who we obviously weren’t supposed to like from the start, but I kind of wish there was some development there. Was there more to her than just being a stuck up rich girl who hated Megan? I get that the author didn’t want to explore her character, but that’s something I personally would have liked to see.

The romance was probably the weakest part of the book, in my opinion. If you can’t stand love triangles, pass on this one! I’m going to spoil the details about this romance, so only read it if you REALLY want to know more about the love triangle specifics. View Spoiler » I felt like Andrew and Megan’s relationship developed WAY too quickly. She hates him for most of the book, so they actually only have a handful of interactions throughout the story. However, he says near the end that he LOVES her. Wait, what? How can you love her when you’ve barely spoken? That’s way too much insta-love for my personal taste.

I liked this book, but sadly didn’t love it. I’m glad that I read it because Megan was such a hilarious and memorable character. The situations that she found herself in were totally cringe worthy at times, but it was great. My biggest complaint was definitely the lack of development with some of the supporting characters. I also wasn’t a fan of the romance at all. I think the author might have been trying a bit too hard for the romance to be exactly like Pride and Prejudice, but I feel like that wasn’t necessary. Anyway, I recommend this if you’re looking for something funny and fast paced.

three-stars

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ARC Review: Unrivaled

September 26, 2016 Reviews, Young Adult 0 ★★★

ARC Review: UnrivaledUnrivaled (Beautiful Idols, #1) by Alyson Noel
Published by Katherine Tegen Books on May 10th 2016
Pages: 420
Source: Edelweiss
Buy on AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository
Goodreads
three-stars

I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Everyone wants to be someone.
Layla Harrison wants to leave her beach-bum days for digs behind a reporter’s desk. Aster Amirpour wants to scream at the next casting director who tells her “we need ethnic but not your kind of ethnic.” Tommy Phillips dreams of buying a twelve-string guitar and using it to shred his way back into his famous absentee dad’s life.
But Madison Brooks took destiny and made it her bitch a long time ago.
She’s Hollywood’s hottest starlet, and the things she did to become the name on everyone’s lips are merely a stain on the pavement, ground beneath her Louboutin heel.
That is, until Layla, Aster, and Tommy find themselves with a VIP invite to the glamorous and gritty world of Los Angeles’s nightlife and lured into a high-stakes competition where Madison Brooks is the target. Just as their hopes begin to gleam like stars through the California smog, Madison Brooks goes missing. . . . And all of their hopes are blacked out in the haze of their lies.
Unrivaled is #1 New York Times bestselling author Alyson Noël’s first book in a thrilling suspense trilogy about how our most desperate dreams can become our darkest nightmares.

To be completely honest with you guys, I put off reading this one for a ridiculously long time because I wasn’t sure whether or not the subject matter truly appealed to me. I read the first couple of pages and just wasn’t able to get into it, but I’m glad I went back and gave it another shot. Though it’s far from being my favorite character and plot wise, I have to admit that it’s still an addicting story. Once you get into it, it’s basically impossible to put it down. Is it top quality? Nope, but it’s still quality entertainment, and that positively impacted my rating. I’m definitely going to read the next book in this new fascinating series! I recommend it for fans of Pretty Little Liars, because I don’t believe that this story will be for everyone, but certain readers will also find it compelling.

Since this is a book filled with mystery and some twists, I’m not going to say much about the plot itself. I will just say that the book focuses on three different characters who enter a club promoting contest for very different reasons. Tommy dreams of being a famous musician, Layla dreams of becoming a famous journalist and being able to afford journalism school, and Aster dreams of becoming a famous actress. There’s also famous actress Madison, who the other characters end up meeting as they all try to get her to go to the various clubs that they are each individually promoting. Things take a dark turn when Madison goes missing and no one knows what happened to her.

So the characters were all far from being likable. If you’re a reader who absolutely HAS to like the main characters, I can tell you right now that you will likely despise this book. If you like complicated and ridiculously flawed characters, then you should at least try this one out. None of the characters are perfect, but in my opinion, that’s what sets them apart from other characters. I will admit that at times I still found them unbearable, and I did want to give up on the book at times. But I was so fascinated by everything going down that I simply couldn’t put the book down.

The romance in this book is basically nonexistent, as you might expect from a YA story that’s labeled a mystery/thriller. That being said, I don’t recommend this if you’re not a fan of cheating or love triangles. It’s actually not really that bad, meaning there’s so much else going on that this just isn’t a main focus. However, I know that this is still something that people like knowing before they read a book. I wasn’t a fan of the romance since I despise both of those things, but I was mostly able to overlook it.

Like I said, Unrivaled isn’t a book for everyone. Only certain kind of readers out there are going to enjoy this book, and that’s totally okay. It ended up simply being an okay book since I wasn’t a huge fan of the characters or the writing. This story reminded me of Pretty Little Liars in a good way, meaning it provided some nice entertainment. This is a fast paced read that will only take a few sittings to read.

three-stars

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Game On Review

September 18, 2016 Reviews, Young Adult 0 ★★★★

Game On ReviewGame On (Lewis Creek, #2) by Michelle Smith
Published by Bloomsbury Spark on August 16th 2016
Pages: 328
Source: Purchased
Also by this author: Play On (Lewis Creek, #1)
Buy on AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository
Goodreads
four-stars
As king of baseball in the small town of Lewis Creek, Eric Perry can have any girl he wants and win every game he plays. But when a fight lands him in jail, he’s only got one more strike before his baseball career is over for good. His only chance for redemption? The girl next door, Bri Johnson.
Bri hasn’t talked to Eric in months— for starters, she’s been too busy dealing with her jerk of an ex-boyfriend, not to mention the fact that Eric’s been preoccupied trying to drink every keg in the country dry. But when he needs a way to stay on the team, she proposes a plan: if he helps her out with community service, he can stay on the team. At first it’s a nightmare—Eric and Bri stopped being friends years ago, surely that was for a good reason, right? But as volunteering turns to bonding over old memories of first kisses under the stars, they start to have trouble remembering what pushed them apart.
In a town as small as Lewis Creek, nothing stays secret for long and their friendship and romance might mean bad news. But in this final, tumultuous spring before graduation, Eric and Bri are about to realize that nobody’s perfect alone, but they might just be perfect together.

It’s no secret that I seriously enjoyed Michelle Smith’s first novel Play On. It’s safe to say that Game On was yet another delightful read set in this extremely awesome Lewis Creek world. I really hope that we get more stories from some of the other baseball players! I would love for Blake or Kellan to get their own love story. Anyway, this was a sweet romance with relatively low angst going on here. This was a light read, and very fast paced, I was able to devour it fairly quickly. I’m glad I read this, and I recommend it to any YA sports romance fan!

Bri was an absolutely fabulous main character. We saw glimpses of her in Play On, so I’m glad that we get inside her head in Game On. I was surprised by how much I was able to relate to Bri on a personal level. I guess I shouldn’t be, because Michelle Smith has already proved that she can write these incredible female characters who have their inner demons that they try to conceal. Bri’s story was a sad one to say the least. My heart broke for her when we learned about how her mother verbally abused her before she left for good when she was only six. She was also in a verbally abusive relationship with one of Eric’s teammates for months until she finally reached her limit. I liked learning more about this smart and passionate girl. She also has such a huge heart, which we see through her community service of teaching little kids how to play soccer. Could this girl be a better human? I doubt it.

Eric was a pretty great main character as well. Michelle Smith is amazing at writing male POV’s. She makes Eric’s voice so hilarious, and he feels like such a typical teenage boy. I laughed out loud countless times while reading Eric narrated chapters. I can’t think of any specific lines off the top of my head, but take my word for it, it was freaking hilarious. He’s far from being a perfect book boyfriend, but what teenage boy truly is? He has his fair share of flaws, especially when it comes to relationships, but the guy has a great heart underneath it all. Eric has made lots of mistakes, but Bri helps him see that those don’t have to define who he is. I also loved how protective he was when it came to Bri. He didn’t hesitate to throw down if it was in defense of his beautiful neighbor.

Once things got started, the romance was pretty adorable. Take my word for it though, this is basically the definition of a slow burn romance. Eric and Bri don’t kiss until right about the 80% mark. Typically, I want the relationship to already be established by that point, but Smith made it work. The author took her time with reconnecting Eric and Bri as they strengthened their friendship. The feelings that they had for one another became obvious long before they get together, but the two fight it for different reasons. Like I already mentioned, the relationship is so sweet and adorable once it finally gets started. I definitely loved seeing them as a couple, they truly balanced each other out in the best possible ways.

Game On was easily one of my most anticipated reads of the year. I feel like I’ve been waiting on it for such a long freaking time now, so I’m beyond excited that it was finally released! In my opinion, there can never be enough YA books out there about baseball. I’m such a huge fan of the sport, and Smith was able to bring it to life on the page yet again. Fingers crossed that there will be more Lewis Creek books released in the not so distance future!

four-stars

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ARC August Wrap-Up

September 3, 2016 Features 1

arc august

I can’t believe that ARC August is already over. If you don’t already know, ARC August is hosted by Octavia and Shelly over at Read.Sleep.Repeat. The month is supposed to help bloggers catch up on old and new ARC’s that they have on any format. As a whole, I really met my goals and read some ARC’s that I definitely needed to get around to. How did everyone else end up doing?

Goals: 10 books

Read: 12 books

25901548

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finished: August 4th

Rating: 3.5/5

Thoughts: Though I preferred Karole Cozzo’s debut novel, this was still a decent read. I really enjoyed the love interest here. The romance was incredibly swoony and well written.

Full review

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Finished: August 6th

Rating: 3/5

Thoughts: I thought this was a cute and fluffy summer read. However, I was bothered by some of the slut shaming that happened just from the girl kissing. Even if she was having sex with these dudes, the slut shaming from the MC herself rubbed me the wrong way.

Full review

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Finished: August 10th

Rating: 4/5

Thoughts: Though I think it started out pretty slow, this turned out to be an amazing contemporary women’s fiction novel. I don’t read that much adult fiction in general, but I’m glad I gave this one a shot. I’m looking forward to more from Bethany Chase!

Full review

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Finished: August 13th

Rating: 1/5

Thoughts: This book just didn’t work for me for so many different reasons. I felt like it was extremely unrealistic in terms of the portrayal of high school journalism and high schoolers in general. This was one of my most anticipated releases of the year, so it’s very disappointing that I disliked it as much as I did.

Full review

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Finished: August 13th

Rating: 3/5

Thoughts: This was a cute and steamy contemporary adult romance between a single mom and a veteran. I haven’t read any other books from this author, but I’m definitely going to check them out now! It wasn’t my favorite, but it was still a quick and enjoyable read as a whole.

Full review

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Finished: August 14th

Rating: 3/5

Thoughts: I’m such a huge fan of Julie Cross and she didn’t let me down, though this wasn’t my favorite. I enjoyed the dance and modeling sides of the story. But I’m not really sure how realistic some of it is. Like one of the main characters had no interest in modeling at all, yet somehow he managed to land some of the biggest jobs you can possibly get.

Full review

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Finished: August 16th

Rating: 1/5

Thoughts: I wanted to like this one because the description sounded interesting enough. Unfortunately, it fell totally flat. So the main character decides that she’s going to be a how to blogger and make money from answering everyone’s questions. I don’t understand how she can possibly make ANY money when she just started blogging. There’s also another issue of the fact that it happens to be popular at her school, but how could they just happen to stumble upon her blog when the internet is such a huge place? None of it made any sense to me.

Full review to come!

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Finished: August 25th

Rating: 2.5/5

Thoughts: This wasn’t a bad book, but this honestly isn’t a genre that I personally enjoy. I’m a huge contemporary fan, I thought I’d try this anyway because of the LGBT characters. I think other people will ultimately like this one a lot better than I did.

Full review to come!

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Finished: August 27th

Rating: 3/5

Thoughts: This wasn’t as great as Sweet Little Lies, but it was still a solid addition to the series. Some of the drama was just way too much for me. I hate it when the couple is only together for like a few pages before something major happens that causes them to breakup. Can we please just see them together and happy for awhile before the drama hits?

Full review to come!

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Finished: August 30th

Rating: 3/5

Thoughts: I’ve never read a book that tackles the subject of being queer and being a Christian. I think the author provided a lot of useful information for LGBT teens struggling with this, which I believe is such an important thing. It wasn’t my favorite because of the lack of communication, but I appreciate the subject matter.

Full review

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Finished: August 30th

Rating: 4/5

Thoughts: Wow, this book just blew me away! Megan Erickson is such a fabulous author, and she’s written yet another incredibly necessary m/m romance. The love interest here is actually asexual, which I’ve never seen in an NA book before. This was a fantastic book, check it out when it comes out later this month!

Full review to come!

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Finished: August 31st

Rating: 5/5

Thoughts: So this is the only middle grade book that I’ve read this month, and I’m so glad that I picked it up! The characters are all so adorable and well developed. If you read any children’s book, I highly recommend you choose this one. It’ll make you feel all the feels for sure.

Full review

So these are all the books that I was able to read this month for ARC August and what my thoughts are for each! I look forward to seeing everyone else’s wrap-up posts for this awesome reading challenge.

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