Thursday, January 30, 2014

Review: 16 Things I Thought Were True

Author: Janet Gurtler
ISBN: 1402277970
Book Genre: YA Contemporary
Release Date: March 4th 2014
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Book Source: NetGalley


Goodreads Synopsis:
Heart attacks happen to other people #thingsIthoughtweretrue
When Morgan's mom gets sick, it's hard not to panic. Without her mother, she would have no one—until she finds out the dad who walked out on her as a baby isn't as far away as she thought...
Adam is a stuck-up, uptight jerk #thingsIthoughtweretrue
Now that they have a summer job together, Morgan's getting to know the real Adam, and he's actually pretty sweet...in a nerdy-hot kind of way. He even offers to go with her to find her dad. Road trip, anyone?
5000 Twitter followers are all the friends I need #thingsIthoughtweretrue
With Adam in the back seat, a hyper chatterbox named Amy behind the wheel, and plenty of Cheetos to fuel their trip, Morgan feels ready for anything. She's not expecting a flat tire, a missed ferry, a fake girlfriend...and that these two people she barely knew before the summer started will become the people she can't imagine living without.

Review:

Now if we're being honest, in any other case, I would have given this book a solid three stars, because that's what it felt like to me. It was a cute contemporary read, not mind-blowing or brilliant or anything, but adorable nonetheless and I found it enjoyable. Why I gave it a four star rating instead? Because I could relate to the main character very much. 

Morgan's social life has gone down the drain after a video of her dancing in boy underwear went viral on the internet. After that her best friend ditched her and everyone in town won't stop making fun of her, which leads her to the only safe area of the internet in her mind: twitter. Whilst working the summer in an amusement park and avoiding making new friends in hopes of finishing her high school year and just getting out of there, she encounters a few complications. One, her mother gets sick and needs surgery. Two, thinking she was on her deathbed, her mother finally tells her about her real father. Three, Morgan means to find him, but the only way to do so is by accepting the ride from this chatterbox Amy, and the company of her nerdy and very annoying boss Adam. With this trip in motion, Morgan comes to the realization, that many things she thought were true, really weren't.

The writing of the book isn't what would normally appeal to me in a contemporary read, at least not one I'd consider mind blowing, but it wasn't bad. I guess it annoys me when the current lingo of teens is used over the top in the dialogue and all, but I can understand how that would add more authenticity to the character the author is trying to portray, yet, it still bugs me. Now, I'm still not convinced of how quickly things happened at the start of the book, I think more time to build the settings, get us to know Morgan, her life with the aftermaths of the video, her brothers, more about Adam and Amy before they all decided to take a trip together that apparently none of the parents even questioned. It was too rushed in my opinion. The trip on the other hand was well paced, yet I would have loved to have it be longer, their interactions together were absolutely hilarious. I found myself laughing on numerous occasions, Amy is pretty much my role modal at the moment. This book was both funny and heartbreaking, I enjoyed the balance with that.

As for how I could relate to Morgan? Well, the majority of my relationships and closest friends are online. I don't interact with people in real life that often, and would rather not. Being away from my laptop for so long is like losing an appendage.
"How about talking to me instead of your phone?"
I put my phone down, but stare longingly at it. 
 That's basically me in a nutshell. Except, switch phone with laptop. You cannot imagine how many times I've heard this (or something akin to it) being said to me:
"Stop me if this is a crazy idea," he says, "but I though you might want to talk to someone, you know,  in person."
None of my family or friends seem to understand the importance of internet has over my real and social life, because I tend to avoid them. Now, Morgan has this goal for the summer: to get 5000 followers. In her mind, that otherwise insignificant number counts to a lot. Not for a particular purpose other than to show she has control over something. Her life has gone down the drains, nothing is going according to plans, and just having one tiny thing she can control and work hard on accomplishing is her driving force. I feel like that sometimes, which is why I always have these challenges set with both myself and my friends, I need a small piece of control in my life, and that's the tiny portion of life I can attempt to accomplish and deal with its variables. It was interesting seeing Morgan get out of her shell, do things, meet people, and get back on the road of recovering from the disaster that is her life.

All in all, a fun, light read.

Rating: 4/5.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Review: Into the Still Blue

Author: Veronica Rossi
ISBN: 0062072099
Book Genre: YA Science Fiction/ Dystopian
Release Date: January 28th 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Book Source: Edelweiss


Goodreads Synopsis:
Their love and their leadership have been tested. Now it's time for Perry and Aria to unite the Dwellers and the Outsiders in one last desperate attempt to bring balance to their world.
The race to the Still Blue has reached a stalemate. Aria and Perry are determined to find this last safe-haven from the Aether storms before Sable and Hess do-and they are just as determined to stay together.
Meanwhile, time is running out to rescue Cinder, who was abducted by Hess and Sable for his unique abilities. And when Roar returns to camp, he is so furious with Perry that he won't even look at him, and Perry begins to feel like they have already lost.
Out of options, Perry and Aria assemble a team to mount an impossible rescue mission-because Cinder isn't just the key to unlocking the Still Blue and their only hope for survival, he's also their friend. And in a dying world, the bonds between people are what matter most.
In this final book in her stunning Under the Never Sky trilogy, Veronica Rossi raises the stakes to their absolute limit and brings her epic love story to an unforgettable close.

Review:

Book two Through The Ever Night had left on a horrible cliffhanger, with a point I was hoping wasn't true. Unfortunately it was, and that lingering feeling in my mind is what made it hard for me to like this book. A lot of people loved the ending of this book and found it as the perfect ending to the trilogy, and I guess in some way since it gave you closure and whatnot it may have been. But there were so many expectations for me with this book, and it didn't deliver.

The thing is, this series hadn't blown me away from the start, it was okay and sort of an enjoyable read, but not as exciting as many people found it. However, by the end of book two, I was sort of immersed in the story due to the many unanswered questions, some of which were how they'd deal with everything that's been going on, the betrayals, the loss of Cinder, being outnumbered and left for dead. But also other ones like what happened with Liv and Aria's true heritage. I remember being ridiculously excited for this book and it's such a shame that it disappointed me as much as it did. I found that there were a lot of unnecessary deaths, a lot of psychotic behavior and acts of violence. And I guess, normally they'd add a brutal yet necessary or dark but colorful element to the tale, but in my head they just made me really really dislike the book.

One of the reasons I had liked book two was Roar, and in this book he wasn't the Roar I liked, plus I just hated how everyone dealt with everything, and the fact that I kept hoping the book would pick up at some point, something brilliant would happen that would make me love it, but it kept not happening, and it was very frustrating. I never got why everyone worshipped Aria, and you don't get to see more into the Dwellers and how they're dealing with everything, the ending was ridiculously short, yet the unimportant parts were written in detail. Why did I have high hopes that some extraordinarily brilliant character will come out of the blue to fix things? Or that they'd find a miraculous alternative solution? I guess I had my hopes set up so high. I shouldn't have.

Rating: 2.5/5.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Eating Sarah - Cover Reveal

Eating Sarah Cover

Ever since Sarah was young, all she could dream about was participating in The Hunt -- a monthly event in which her people sneak into the nearby cities and villages to gather food. And in Sarah's world, the food they feast on most is human flesh.

In the deep forests of the ocky Mountains, Sarah lives in a community of man-eaters. With Fall ending and hunger running rampant, Sarah and her cannibalistic community are forced to change the rules of their Hunt. And with these changes come new risks. When her first Hunt ends in catastrophe, and one of her only friends is lost, Sarah is sentenced to work in the slaughter shack.
Among the dead and dying, Sarah is introduced to Troy: a man she knows she will be forced to kill. As her life crumbles around her, her feelings for Troy grow, along with the knowledge that, if anyone discovers her secret, she will find herself in his place.
With nowhere to turn, and Troy’s time running out, Sarah becomes set on leaving. But, in accordance with their laws, to leave would be to dishonor the family name and, in turn, cause their deaths. As suspicions of mutiny within the colony rise, everyone is watched and every move Sarah makes could be her last.
And then there are the bodies--the ones that are unmistakably their own, complete with missing limbs and markings that oddly look like bite marks.
Boundaries are pushed, allegiances broken, and the very question of what it means to be human is called into play.


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Review: Uninvited

Title: Uninvited
Author: Sophie Jordan
ISBN: 0062233661
Book Genre: YA Dystopian
Release Date: January 28th 2014
Publisher: Harper Teen
Book Source: Edelweiss


Goodreads Synopsis:

The Scarlet Letter meets Minority Report in bestselling author Sophie Jordan's chilling new novel about a teenage girl who is ostracized when her genetic test proves she's destined to become a murderer.
When Davy Hamilton's tests come back positive for Homicidal Tendency Syndrome (HTS)-aka the kill gene-she loses everything. Her boyfriend ditches her, her parents are scared of her, and she can forget about her bright future at Juilliard. Davy doesn't feel any different, but genes don't lie. One day she will kill someone.
Only Sean, a fellow HTS carrier, can relate to her new life. Davy wants to trust him; maybe he's not as dangerous as he seems. Or maybe Davy is just as deadly.

Review:

I think the major problem I had with this book was the fact that it was too short. There wasn't enough of it for my liking. It felt like the second I was so immersed into it, bam, it was over. On the bright side, it's a dualogy which means I won't be frustrated and waiting impatiently for that long. In other news look at how beautiful the cover is! See the cool way her hair turns into DNA strands? I think that's part of the reason I decided I was going to love this book.

This book talks about Davy, a musical prodigy who has the perfect life as well as the perfect future planned out, until one day she goes home to realize she was "Uninvited" from school. Aka she was expelled. Why? Well, it's 2021 and the amount of homicides in the country has increased exponentially.  The government decided to appease the public, or maybe out of actual evidence, they decided to blame the majority of homicides on people with HTS (Homicidal Tendency Syndrome), which people refer to as the Kill gene. Davy was a normal girl until the mandatory test results claim she has HTS, she's a carrier, and her entire life is flipped upside down. Her father avoids her, her mother looks at her differently, her friends as well as her boyfriend ostracize her and her only supporter is her brother. She's still forced to go to school, but not the Private one she was in, a public one that had a protocol for carriers where she would do all her schoolwork inside the 'cage'. Now things in the country aren't stable and things with people with HTS keep getting worse and Davy's life is a roller coaster of uncertainties.

The first thing that came to mind whilst reading most of this story was that it reminded me of The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken, which was a book I obviously loved to no end. Except with this book, the explanation and world building occurred in minor snippets between chapters, which I found was a very interesting idea, but it wasn't enough for me. I feel like there should have been more world building, and the pace was way quicker than it should have been. It was a bit condensed I guess? Had it been longer with more descriptions and explanations, I would have at least been satisfied about the length of the story. Davy wasn't exactly a very relatable character, but she did definitely show some growth throughout the book, something that I'm eternally grateful for, because I really hate weak and feeble female protagonists.

I seriously loved/hated the emotional turmoil I was dragged through during the entire book, the feeling of helplessness, injustice, anger and uncertainty. You're trying to understand the character's new bleak and desolate look on the future, because carriers are treated like worse than scum. The second they test positive to the kill gene, it's as if they lost their rights as living and breathing human beings, they're no longer treated as such and have no rights whatsoever. The pathetic thing about the way they are treated, is that it felt like they were driving them to be homicidal, and that despite this treatment they should work hard to prove to them they were normal. How on earth do they expect that to happen when they take normal kids, wreck them, destroy them and then make them work very hard on being what they already were? Except that this time they've stripped them from every hope of having a good future. No wonder they act out and do kill people, why prove the government wrong when they treated them like monsters? Why comply when they could at least get a form of justice from all the prejudiced jerks that support the government's claim on HTS carriers? Kill them? Destroy their futures and happiness?

I was so frustrated, angry and devastated whilst reading this book, for the poor carriers and this grim outlook on their lives as well as the treatment they get and how they break them and turn them into the monsters they fear they'd turn into eventually. I found myself crying on numerous occasions and I can't wait to read what happens next, this is definitely a story I'll be looking out for.

Rating: 3.5/5.


Review: Her Dark Curiosity

Author: Megan Shepherd
ISBN: 0062128051
Book Genre: YA Fantasy / Paranormal
Release Date: January 28th 2014
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Book Source: Edelweiss


Goodreads Synopsis:
To defeat the darkness, she must first embrace it.
Months have passed since Juliet Moreau returned to civilization after escaping her father's island—and the secrets she left behind. Now, back in London once more, she is rebuilding the life she once knew and trying to forget Dr. Moreau’s horrific legacy—though someone, or something, hasn’t forgotten her.
As people close to Juliet fall victim one by one to a murderer who leaves a macabre calling card of three clawlike slashes, Juliet fears one of her father’s creations may have also escaped the island. She is determined to find the killer before Scotland Yard does, though it means awakening sides of herself she had thought long banished, and facing loves from her past she never expected to see again.
As Juliet strives to stop a killer while searching for a serum to cure her own worsening illness, she finds herself once more in the midst of a world of scandal and danger. Her heart torn in two, past bubbling to the surface, life threatened by an obsessive killer—Juliet will be lucky to escape alive.
With inspiration from Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, this is a tantalizing mystery about the hidden natures of those we love and how far we’ll go to save them from themselves.

Review:

Welcome to another book I have no idea how I feel about. It's rather disconcerting feeling this way about something, this ridiculous feeling of complete uncertainty, did I like it? Did I hate it? Did I love it? I'm not exactly sure. 

Let's start with the thing I am certain I didn't like, and that would be historical accuracy. After reading so many historical regency books based on my preferred time period - which this book is set in - I noticed a lot of things that didn't sit right with me in this story. The way the dialogue was written, the way London was described, the customs and the severity of the rules of the ton in England at the time. They seemed to be so blasé about so many things that I've read various other books where they definitely wouldn't be. I don't know, but the mix of all of that didn't give me that exact feel of that period I usually got, which was such a shame because it could have added a perfect portrayal to the setting Shepherd was trying to accomplish. 

That being said, it doesn't necessarily mean her writing was bad or didn't give the desired effect. Did it portray London life back then perfectly? Not so much. Did it successfully give a creepy and daunting impression to perfectly suit this dark tale? Yes, yes it did.

This book doesn't commence exactly from where it left off in The Madman's Daughter, it's months later where her life has improved much more than the last time she was in London. Well, her life wasn't great when she got there straight away, but it did get there when Professor Von Stein decided to be her legal guardian. Now the thing is, people are dying in the city, and they seem to be connected to Juliet somehow, which tells her there has to be some sort of link to the murders but she's not sure how. To add insult to injury, her serum is failing and she needs to come up with a new one to help fix herself, making her feel like her father's daughter with experimenting. Not only that, but there's something sinister going on hidden from everyone else, and she needs to find out what's going on in the city.

Now, back onto my first thought, how do I feel about this book? I am not quite sure. Usually dark and creepy books with heinous and wickedly flawed characters would automatically make me lower the rating of the book and go against me liking it. On the other hand, with this book in particular, I think it made them all the more endearing; characters so bad you love them. I am not going into details with this just in case I let out some sort of spoiler, so all I'll say is that there's darkness in all of them, they're all broken and flawed in some way or the other, the fun part is finding out who has redeeming qualities that outweigh their inner evilness. 

But I'll say this, I think I prefer this one so much more to book one, definitely. There was much more action, there were more people involved in things, secret societies and conspiracies, questions about who to trust and, it was just very lively. I wasn't a big fan of the island part in book one because it just felt empty with monsters and a few characters, I wanted exciting things to happen and people to not be exactly what they seem - which is why I gave book one the four star rating, the thing with Edward had been genius - so this book held so much potential and followed through with a majority of it. There's a lot still unknown to us, and the story leaves off on yet another cliffhanger, but also, more things become abundantly clear, just not enough of them.

So maybe I loved it? Maybe not? I just don't know.

Rating: 4/5.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Wishlist Wednesday # 15 & Waiting On Wednesday # 14

This is one of those days where my pick works for both WW and WoW.


Wishlist Wednesday is a book blog hop hosted @ Pen to Paper where we will post about one book per week that has been on our wishlist for some time, or just added (it's entirely up to you), that we can't wait to get off the wishlist and onto our wonderful shelves.





"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted @ Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.


This is probably one of the most books I'm very excited for this year. Very. Not only is it the last book in the trilogy, and I am so in love with this series, but it also has Kai in it. Kaidan Rowe? Yeah, he's in it, and he's all sexy and stuff. I would kill for Kai, he's so delicious! That trilogy gets me so giddy. It's one of the rare books with nephilim and fallen angels that I loved. Plus with the way things left off in book two, you know for a fact book three is going to be insane, I can't wait. So I need this book.




 Sweet Reckoning - Emily Higgins




It’s time. 
Evil is running rampant and sweet Anna Whitt is its target. Nobody knows when or how the Dukes will strike, but Anna and her Nephilim allies will do anything necessary to rid the earth of the demons and their oppressive ways.
The stakes are higher than ever, and Anna is determined that the love she feels will be her strength, not a liability. But trying to protect the ones she loves while running for her life and battling demonic forces proves to be perilous—especially as faces are changing and trust is fleeting. When the Duke of Lust sends Anna’s great love, Kaidan Rowe, to work against her, Anna must decide how much she’s prepared to risk.

In the most sensual and fast-paced installment yet, Sweet Reckoning brings all the beloved Neph together one last time to fight for their freedom.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Review: Avalon

Title: Avalon
Author: Mindee Arnett
ISBN: 0062235613
Book Genre: YA Sci-Fi 
Release Date: January 21st 2014
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Book Source: Edelweiss


Goodreads Synopsis:
Of the various star systems that make up the Confederation, most lie thousands of light-years from First Earth-and out here, no one is free. The agencies that govern the Confederation are as corrupt as the crime bosses who patrol it, and power is held by anyone with enough greed and ruthlessness to claim it. That power is derived from one thing: metatech, the devices that allow people to travel great distances faster than the speed of light.
Jeth Seagrave and his crew of teenage mercenaries have survived in this world by stealing unsecured metatech, and they're damn good at it. Jeth doesn't care about the politics or the law; all he cares about is earning enough money to buy back his parents' ship, Avalon, from his crime-boss employer and getting himself and his sister, Lizzie, the heck out of Dodge. But when Jeth finds himself in possession of information that both the crime bosses and the government are willing to kill for, he is going to have to ask himself how far he'll go to get the freedom he's wanted for so long.
Avalon is the perfect fit for teens new to sci-fi as well as seasoned sci-fi readers looking for more books in the YA space-and a great match for fans of Joss Whedon's cult hit show Firefly.

Review:
It needs to be said that I'm not a big fan of sci-fi as a genre. This isn't exactly something new, since I'm sure I've mentioned it before on numerous occasions. Yes, I have occasionally loved -even showcased - some of the books I've read in the genre such as Cinder, These Broken Stars, The Host and Under The Never Sky. But it's not true to the entire genre, some of it is too much for me to handle. Other times I can actually stomach it and make my way through it. The only reason I got into it a little bit was watching Doctor Who. As for why I wasn't exactly a fan of the genre, well, I usually find it completely hard to follow, and probably a lot of references and explanations go straight over my head. Plus, I personally never got the charm of aliens and whatnot. However, lately I've been slowly getting into the genre as was apparent from my 'These Broken Stars' review which is why I decided to give this book a shot. Having said that all, I quite enjoyed this book.

The book starts off with Jethro a young but very talented thief and a member - if not leader of - Malleus Shades a criminal gang that was formed by the crime lord Hammer Dafoe. Now,  Jeth despises Hammer with every fibre of his being, but the reason he stays working for him is because he thinks he can save enough money to buy back his parents' ship Avalon, which his uncle had gambled away one day. Having this ship back and sailing away is all he ever dreams of. When Jethro's latest mission goes sour, and one of the ITA (Interstellar Transport Authority) people approaches him with a preposition on an upcoming mission Hammer had planned for him, he's not sure if he should say yes or no. He's told there's a missing ship in the Belgrave Quardrant- a place where almost no other ship or person can come out of unscathed - and he needs to locate it for it contains a very dangerous and important weapon. Now if there's one thing Jethro hates more than Hammer, it would be the ITA since they murdered both his parents for treason years ago. Even as he takes the mission he's still uncertain on where his loyalties lie, because both parties weren't trustworthy and as far as he could tell very likely to betray him. Once he reaches Belgrave, he starts to notice how incredibly messed up this place is; how there's more to it than meets the eye, and the big question is whether or not he and his crew will even make it out alive.

So the first part of the book was very complicated for me because there was a lot of outer space and new world lingo that took me a while to grasp, which in turn resulted in me taking more time than usual to get into the story. The world building was well done don't get me wrong, but it wasn't as easy for me to follow at first. Now I think eight or nine chapters in, the story finally picks up and you start enjoying it. What's interesting about this world is, I couldn't tell if there was a predominant law enforcing organization since as far as I could tell, the law and world was run by the ITAs but from what I understood they're more of an experimental and scientific organization to facilitate travel and since they had the fastest engines called 'metadrives' which makes jumping easier, they were the richest and most powerful. Why and how they enforced the law, as in what gave them the right is still a mystery to me. Maybe I missed it? The opposing force to the ITAs would be Hammer and his Brethren of guards (I'm still confused on the roles and hierarchy with him). Hammer had so many connections helping him be the best at what he does, locating whatever anyone needs with his gangs of hoodlums. Which I found weird that he was never caught, considering he was out in the open. Hammer was basically one of the meanest bastards you could ever encounter, which is probably why he needed to force his loyalty using threats or chips that could never be taken off.

This book can certainly mess with your emotions. It did so for me, although not in the traditional crying and being very sad sense of the word, it was in the gut-wrenching sense of hopelessness you get to feel alongside Jethro. Which in a way can be considered as a good thing for the author to have created such a great character with whom you can form a connection with so well to the extent that you're very upset to what happens to him. But the lack of hope, and the suffocating and crippling sense of doom and being incapable of finding a way out for not only yourself but everyone you loved had made me in turn feel a bit a claustrophobic, as if the walls were closing in on me and not him. These stories that mess with you so much both mentally and emotionally are ones I generally like to avoid, due to that I'm not very certain if I want to read more in this series or not, because I'm pretty sure things will only get so much more worse before they get better and I'm not quite positive if I can handle it. 

There was so much cruelty exercised in this book, from both Hammer and the ITA, and just reading about it made me feel a strange sense of melancholy, but I guess that's a good point for the author to be able to reduce you to such a helpless shell of a person emotionally, yes? The characters weren't all exploited as I would have liked, but you did get an in depth look into Jethro at least, and he was as real as it gets. Sierra too actually, there was more insight into her life than almost the rest, even though Jethro explained - as the story is told from his point of view - the background of his crew, they still didn't feel as three dimensional as he did as well as Sierra. Anyhow, I am hoping I can handle the rest of the books in this series, if not, I still want to know how it goes from there.

Rating: 3.5/5.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Review: Cruel Beauty

Title: Cruel Beauty
Author: Rosamund Hodge
ISBN: 0062224735
Book Genre: Fantasy / Paranormal
Release Date: January 28th 2014
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Book Source: Edelweiss


Goodreads Synopsis:

Based on the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, Cruel Beauty is a dazzling love story about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny.
Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him.
With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she's ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.
But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle-a shifting maze of magical rooms-enthralls her.
As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex's secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love.

Review:

I requested this book from Edelweiss because I heard a lot of people talk about it, and frankly I was quite curious as to what the book was talking about. An added bonus was that it was a standalone, as well as the fact that I couldn't believe how long it took me to figure out that there was a girl running down the stairs on the cover.

Whenever I heard anyone talk about this book, their automatic explanation was: It's a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, which I guess in turn isn't exactly incorrect, but this story is so much more than just that. It's not just the retelling of Beauty and the Beast, oh no, add to that an interesting twist on Rumpelstiltskin, and Scheherazade. Not to mention that it has a lot of elements from both Howl's Moving Castle as well as Supernatural (the series).

The book talks about Nyx, a girl that was raised with nothing but pure hatred in her heart and just one goal in life: Kill The Gentle Lord. She had to use whatever means necessary, and if her death was pretty much imminent? Well, then so be it. Nobody cared about her well being. In order to get close enough to do that though, she had to first marry him and fulfill a deal he had with her father before she was even born. Her father had struck a deal with The Gentle Lord, Ignifex, that had gone very very wrong and now she had to be scarified and to pay the price, but also, she had to save everyone else. The problem with this plan is; landing in the castle, nothing is what it seems. Not the Gentle Lord, or the Castle itself, or the occupants, or even how to accomplish her mission. Her priorities begin shifting the more she realizes that there's so much at stake here and that killing Ignifex might not do them that much good - if she ever got around to actually accomplishing it.

Now, onto a world where Greek mythology was pretty much the foundation of everything, it was studied religiously and as a form of historical fact. A world where Arcadia is one of the rare civilizations still standing because of a deal a king made with the Kind Lords to keep his kingdom safe and protected, where the use of Hermetic sigils was everything. The world building was albeit a bit confusing at first, but it was certainly something very intriguing. I am personally very fascinated by Greek mythology and this book definitely fixed some wrong facts I had about some stories. There were so many of them told in the mix and I just sank into them loving every drop that was poured out.

The characters were one of those really bad ones that you in turn learn to love. There's something about their inner evilness that's hooking, especially with Ignifex who tries to justify his justice system, when all his deals are quite flawed. He's pretty much the advocate of be careful what you wish for, and that people should learn that no matter what deal you strike with him, you can never win. In his mind, anyone who's desperate enough to come to him, is bad inside and deserves what he gets. The interactions between him and Nyx were absolutely hilarious, considering pretty much every time she's with him she's trying to kill him. Also Shade's character was quite well crafted, I really did love reading everything there was about those three very conflicted but pretty much three-dimensional characters. The ones I did hate and found a little hard to grasp were those of Nyx's family, all three of them. Her father, her aunt and her sister.

The story has an interesting but very slow start for the first five or so chapters, that's not to say they weren't entertaining, but at some point you get anxious about what's going to happen next, when the climax would take place, and what mind-blowing secrets will be unfolding. Soon though the story definitely picks up and becomes so much better!

What confused me most was the whole concept of Sundering, and the explanation of Hermetic sigils, I think some more time spent on those two would have been good for me to get the complete picture. But other than that, the writing, the world building and the main characters were all incredible, well written and definitely well developed. And with all those story twists I mentioned before as well as that part about Greek mythology? In my book this would have definitely guaranteed it the five out of five stars. The reason it's not getting it though, is because I wasn't so fond of the ending. I think it's one of those controversial endings like The Night Circus, some people love it, others think it could have been done better. In my case I think this one could have been done better. But that didn't diminish its awesomeness in any way!

Rating: 4/5.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Book Spotlight #1

Hey guys! I woke up today with the bizarre inclination to spotlight some random books coming out so people would know what to watch out for this year. Now, I know I occasionally do Waiting on Wednesday as well as Wishlist Wednesday, but these won't necessarily be books I'm dying to read, just ones that caught my attention that maybe someone else would love to read. I will probably be posting these randomly, not every week or anything. Now let's get started!

Did you guys hear of Second Star by Alyssa B. Sheinmel? It's a new release this year in May 13 2014. What's interesting about it I found, is that it's a contemporary retelling of Peter Pan. Yes, contemporary retelling, I know. I'm a bit on the fence about it though because I am not sure how one can successfully turn this beautiful book full of fantasy, paranormal, and supernatural elements into a contemporary, but yes, it definitely caught my attention.


Pages: 256 (Hardcover)
Expected publication: May 13th 2014 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
ISBN :0374382670 

A twisty story about love, loss, and lies, this contemporary oceanside adventure is tinged with a touch of dark magic as it follows seventeen-year-old Wendy Darling on a search for her missing surfer brothers. Wendy’s journey leads her to a mysterious hidden cove inhabited by a tribe of young renegade surfers, most of them runaways like her brothers. Wendy is instantly drawn to the cove’s charismatic leader, Pete, but her search also points her toward Pete's nemesis, the drug-dealing Jas. Enigmatic, dangerous, and handsome, Jas pulls Wendy in even as she's falling hard for Pete. A radical reinvention of a classic, Second Star is an irresistible summer romance about two young men who have yet to grow up--and the troubled beauty trapped between them.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Review: A Breath of Frost

Author: Alyxandra Harvey
ISBN: 080273443X
Book Genre: Paranormal/ Fantasy
Release Date: January 7th 2014
Publisher: Walker Children's Books
Book Source: NetGalley


Goodreads Synopsis:
In 1814, three cousins-Gretchen, Emma, and Penelope-discover their unknown family lineage of witchcraft. Beyond the familiar manicured gardens and ballrooms of Regency London, a dangerous, alluring new underworld visible only to those with power is now open to the cousins. 
But unbeknownst to them, by claiming their power, the three cousins have inadvertently opened the gates to the Underworld. 
Now the dead, ghouls, hellhounds-and the most terrifying of all: the spirits of dark witches known as the Greymalkin Sisters-are hunting and killing young debutante witches for their powers. 
And, somehow, Emma is connected to the murders...because she keeps finding the bodies. 
Can the cousins unravel the clues and mystery behind their heritage and power before their gifts are stripped away ...or even worse, another witch is killed?

Review:
Early 1800's in England is my favorite time period, and don't ask me why as I have no valid reason as to why I am quite into that time period, or why I'm fascinated by everything surrounding it, I just am. So the idea of a story that is not only based on the perfect time period, but with a paranormal and fantasy element? Yeah, I was definitely in.

To be honest I had mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand it had this very creepy, but eerily fascinating prologue that made me assume I was going to absolutely love the book - no doubt about it. On the other hand, when the story itself started, there was a strange but obvious change to the way the story was told, and suddenly lost most of its charm. I get that the combination of a paranormal and a historical regency theme wasn't exactly the easiest of feats, but unfortunately I feel like Alyxandra didn't have an easy time merging them. The writing didn't give me the 1800s feeling I usually got whilst reading historical regency books - which I've read a lot of. The language did bother me, I didn't find it as authentic as I would have liked. I know that the Lovegrove cousins are supposed to be wild and don't conform to the normal society dictates, but they were raised as aristocrats, daughters of earls and grand daughters of dukes, they must at least have some sense of decorum, the use of foul language wouldn't be as common as it was in this book. They'd use it occasionally whenever frustrated, but here, it seemed to happen every two paragraphs. On the other hand, the world building was phenomenal. The setting, and the descriptions were so precise and intricately well done, I could just imagine the area and everything happening around it, almost smell what they smell, see what they see, and feel what they feel. The writing in itself was brilliant in that aspect, what I had had problems with was the dialogue for the most part.

Not to mention, I felt like there were too many characters, it was overwhelming at first, and hard to focus on especially since they mostly got their own point of views. However, it's not something that effects the story badly, in fact, you get used to it, and I also got the feeling that this was in preparation of other things happening in the next installments, Penelope and Gretchen are probably going to get bigger roles as the story leads on. The thing is, I'm disappointed their background stories at least weren't explored more, they were all two-dimensional, aside from Emma herself and her parents. I want to know more about Gretchen, more about Penelope, more about Moira, more about Cormac and his five sisters and Virgil and the sudden disappearance of Tobias. You get tiny snippets which don't tell you much, just frustrate you for not knowing more. Something else that bugged me, was how no one seemed to care that she suddenly was boarding at the school, and that no one found it strange, no one gave a fight - including her aunt. I just think that there could have been a better way to get her there.

Initially, I got so many Gemma Doyle flashbacks and not in a good way. Sure, the theme of both this book as well as the Gemma Doyle trilogy was pretty inspired as well as the plot, but the main female leads - namely Gemma and Emma (rhyming was not intended I assure you) - had a similar childish streak. However, there's definitely a remarkable growth in her character throughout the book, which was thankfully obvious and relieving. Strangely enough, not only did Emma's character improve, but the entire story picked up in the most extraordinary way. Emma's story had such an incredible and mysterious background, with things I did not see coming. The main points of it weren't predictable at all.

Aside from all I've mentioned so far, if I gave the impression I didn't like this book, that is completely wrong, I absolutely loved this book. I was just overly picky about some aspects, but that didn't lessen from its amazingness and that I'm very much looking forward to reading this entire series!

Rating: 4/5!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday # 5

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.
Each week they will post a new Top Ten list  that one of their bloggers at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join.


This week's Top Ten Tuesday is: Top Ten 2014 Debuts I'm excited for.


1. Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige

I didn't ask for any of this. I didn't ask to be some kind of hero.
But when your whole life gets swept up by a tornado—taking you with it—you have no choice but to go along, you know?
Sure, I've read the books. I've seen the movies. I know the song about the rainbow and the happy little blue birds. But I never expected Oz to look like this. To be a place where Good Witches can't be trusted, Wicked Witches may just be the good guys, and winged monkeys can be executed for acts of rebellion. There's still the yellow brick road, though—but even that's crumbling.
What happened?
Dorothy. They say she found a way to come back to Oz. They say she seized power and the power went to her head. And now no one is safe.
My name is Amy Gumm—and I'm the other girl from Kansas.
I've been recruited by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked.
I've been trained to fight.
And I have a mission:
Remove the Tin Woodman's heart.
Steal the Scarecrow's brain.
Take the Lion's courage.

Then and only then—Dorothy must die!


2. All That Glows by Ryan Graudin

Emrys—a fiery, red-headed Fae—always embraced her life in the Highlands, far from the city’s draining technology, until she’s sent to London to rejoin the Faery Guard. But this isn’t any normal assignment—she’s sent to guard Prince Richard: Britain’s notorious, partying bad boy and soon-to-be King. The prince’s careless ways and royal blood make him the irresistible for the dark spirits that feed on mortals. Sweet, disheveled, and alive with adventure—Richard is one charge who will put Emrys’s magic and heart to the test.
When an ancient force begins preying on the monarchy, Emrys must hunt through the London’s magical underworld, facing down Banshees, Black Dogs and Green Women to find the one who threatens Richard’s life. In this chaos of dark magic, palace murders and paparazzi, Emrys finds herself facing an impossible choice. For despite all her powers, Emrys has discovered a force that burns brighter than magic: love.


3. The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings

An action-packed, blood-soaked, futuristic debut thriller set in a world where the murder rate is higher than the birthrate. For fans of Moira Young’s Dust Lands series, La Femme Nikita, and the movie Hanna.
Meadow Woodson, a fifteen-year-old girl who has been trained by her father to fight, to kill, and to survive in any situation, lives with her family on a houseboat in Florida. The state is controlled by The Murder Complex, an organization that tracks the population with precision.
The plot starts to thicken when Meadow meets Zephyr James, who is—although he doesn’t know it—one of the MC’s programmed assassins. Is their meeting a coincidence? Destiny? Or part of a terrifying strategy? And will Zephyr keep Meadow from discovering the haunting truth about her family?



4. Ask Again Later by Liz Czukas

Despite what her name might suggest, Heart has zero interest in complicated romance. So when her brilliant plan to go to prom with a group of friends is disrupted by two surprise invites, Heart knows there's only one drama-free solution: flip a coin.
Heads: The jock. He might spend all night staring at his ex or throw up in the limo, but how bad can her brother's best friend really be?
Tails: The theater geek...with a secret. What could be better than a guy who shares all Heart's interests--even if he wants to share all his feelings?
Heart's simple coin flip has somehow given her the chance to live out both dates. But where her prom night ends up might be the most surprising thing of all...


5. Vivian Divine is Dead by Lauren Sabel


In this fast-paced adventure set in Mexico, teen celebrity Vivian Divine goes on the run after receiving a death threat, and discovers that everything she thought she knew about her charmed life—and the boy she loves—is a lie.







6. Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman

In 1930s Munich, danger lurks behind dark corners, and secrets are buried deep within the city. But Gretchen Müller, who grew up in the National Socialist Party under the wing of her "uncle" Dolf, has been shielded from that side of society ever since her father traded his life for Dolf's, and Gretchen is his favorite, his pet.
Uncle Dolf is none other than Adolf Hitler.
And Gretchen follows his every command.
Until she meets a fearless and handsome young Jewish reporter named Daniel Cohen. Gretchen should despise Daniel, yet she can't stop herself from listening to his story: that her father, the adored Nazi martyr, was actually murdered by an unknown comrade. She also can't help the fierce attraction brewing between them, despite everything she's been taught to believe about Jews.
As Gretchen investigates the very people she's always considered friends, she must decide where her loyalties lie. Will she choose the safety of her former life as a Nazi darling, or will she dare to dig up the truth—even if it could get her and Daniel killed?
From debut author Anne Blankman comes this harrowing and evocative story about an ordinary girl faced with the extraordinary decision to give up everything she's ever believed . . . and to trust her own heart instead.

7. The Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes

Soccer star Lainey Mitchell is used to getting what she wants, and when her boyfriend Jason breaks up with her for no reason, what she wants is to win him back before the start of their senior year. Lainey and her friend Bianca check the interwebz for tips and tricks, but the online dating advice is all pretty lame. 
Then the girls stumble across a copy of The Art of War. Didn't someone once say that love is a battlefield? Jason isn't going to stand a chance once Lainey and Bee go all Zhou Dynasty on him... 
Old school strategy and subterfuge meet modern-day dramarama in the story of a girl who sets out to win at all costs and ends up discovering what's really worth fighting for.



8. 17 First Kisses by Rachael Allen

No matter how many boys Claire kisses, she can’t seem to find a decent boyfriend. Someone who wouldn’t rather date her gorgeous best friend, Megan. Someone who won’t freak out when he learns about the tragedy her family still hasn’t recovered from. Someone whose kisses can carry her away from her backwoods town for one fleeting moment.
Until Claire meets Luke.
But Megan is falling for Luke, too, and if there’s one thing Claire knows for sure, it’s that Megan’s pretty much irresistible.
With true love and best friendship on the line, Claire suddenly has everything to lose. And what she learns—about her crush, her friends, and most of all herself—makes the choices even harder.
In her moving debut, Rachael Allen brilliantly captures the complexities of friendship, the struggles of self-discovery, and the difficulties of trying to find love in high school. Fans of Sarah Ockler, Susane Colasanti, and Stephanie Perkins will fall head over heels for this addictive, heartfelt, and often hilarious modern love story.

9. Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy

What if you’d been living your life as if you were dying—only to find out that you had your whole future ahead of you? 
When sixteen-year-old Alice is diagnosed with leukemia, her prognosis is grim. To maximize the time she does have, she vows to spend her final months righting wrongs—however she sees fit. She convinces her friend Harvey, whom she knows has always had feelings for her, to help her with a crazy bucket list that’s as much about revenge (humiliating her ex-boyfriend and getting back at her arch nemesis) as it is about hope (doing something unexpectedly kind for a stranger and reliving some childhood memories). But just when Alice’s scores are settled, she goes into remission.
Now Alice is forced to face the consequences of all that she’s said and done, as well as her true feelings for Harvey. But has she done irreparable damage to the people around her, and to the one person who matters most? 
Julie Murphy’s SIDE EFFECTS MAY VARY is a fearless and moving tour de force about love, life, and facing your own mortality.

10. Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira

It begins as an assignment for English class: Write a letter to a dead person. Laurel chooses Kurt Cobain because her sister, May, loved him. And he died young, just like May did. Soon, Laurel has a notebook full of letters to people like Janis Joplin, Amy Winehouse, Amelia Earhart, Heath Ledger, and more; though she never gives a single one of them to her teacher. She writes about starting high school, navigating new friendships, falling in love for the first time, learning to live with her splintering family. And, finally, about the abuse she suffered while May was supposed to be looking out for her. Only then, once Laurel has written down the truth about what happened to herself, can she truly begin to accept what happened to May. And only when Laurel has begun to see her sister as the person she was; lovely and amazing and deeply flawed; can she begin to discover her own path.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Review: Heartbeat

Title: Heartbeat
Author: Elizabeth Scott
ISBN: 0373210965
Book Genre: YA Contemporary
Release Date: January 28th 2014
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Book Source: NetGalley


Goodreads Synopsis:
Life. Death. And...Love?
Emma would give anything to talk to her mother one last time. Tell her about her slipping grades, her anger with her stepfather, and the boy with the bad reputation who might be the only one Emma can be herself with.
But Emma can't tell her mother anything. Because her mother is brain-dead and being kept alive by machines for the baby growing inside her.
Meeting bad-boy Caleb Harrison wouldn't have interested Old Emma. But New Emma-the one who exists in a fog of grief, who no longer cares about school, whose only social outlet is her best friend Olivia-New Emma is startled by the connection she and Caleb forge.
Feeling her own heart beat again wakes Emma from the grief that has grayed her existence. Is there hope for life after death-and maybe, for love?

Review:
Hello, and welcome to another heartbreaking story. All aboard? All ready for the non-ending waterworks and emotional turmoil? I know for a fact I hadn't seen it coming, so I just wanted to give you guys a heads up. I'll try to make this as spoiler free as I can, but to be honest, most of the storyline should be obvious from the spoiler. I am just very emotional so I hope I do this right!

To be honest, when I first read the synopsis of this book, it sounded like the kind of emotional I'd better steer clear of, I had better just not read it. Not because I had expected to be so drawn into the emotional havoc that is this book, but because it didn't seem like my kind of story. I honestly thought it was one of those books I'd hate from the second chapter and that's that. However, I started to cry from the second chapter. So I continued reading.

Also, it needs to be said, there are various points in the story I wasn't exactly fond of, but I can't exactly mention them right now because: a) They're not exactly spoiler-free. b) I'm pretty sure they are personal preferences exclusive to me. You should know by this point that I have weird quirks when it comes to contemporary novels. Sometimes I hate what everyone loves, and other times I love what everyone hates. These are those kinds of points, but they're so minor and inconsequential in the large scheme of things.

What I did love so much about the book:

1) Olivia. Who happens to be Emma's best friend. You know how in stories when the protagonist suffers from a really horrible loss and is forever changed, the best friend tends to attempt to be supportive at first, but then it gets so difficult to do so, and eventually the best friends reevaluates her priorities and ditches her grieving friend to live on with her life. That has happened in so many books I've read lately it's ridiculous. But not Olivia, no sirree. Olivia is the perfect best friend. She's there through thick and thin, she's just there. Always, no matter what, when her friend skips a day of school, when her friend needs a ride, when her friend isn't ready to face her stepdad, when her friend wants to cry or bitch about her stepdad, when she wants to spend the night to not actually face the stepdad. All the time, she is definitely there. Even when she has something thrilling happening in her life and can't wait to talk about it, and Emma wouldn't be paying much attention, she understands, she doesn't think Emma is selfish. It's Emma who actually begs her to talk about her life just to escape hers, and even whilst doing so, she doesn't enjoy it because she feels that Emma's miseries put perspective to her 'shallow' life thrills. She doesn't like when Emma is spending more time with Caleb, but mostly because she's overprotective, and she is jealous that she talks to him more. Olivia felt so real, especially with her weird electronic quirks, she was such a great character.

2) Dan. The stepdad. He's very flawed, I really get that, but whenever Emma would talk about how he was like before her mother died, he sounded like the perfect stepfather figure, the kind everyone should be grateful to have. That's not to say there wasn't an obvious change to him once her mother died, but he wasn't a bad person, just a person in pain and had no clue how to make major life decisions without his significant other.

3) Caleb. He's broken. Just like Emma feels she is. Caleb was the perfect person to meet at this stage of her life, and it's sad to know that, had Emma's mother stayed alive, she would have never gotten to know him, the real him. He would have remained alone and self-destructive. He had a horrible home life (which is one of the things that irked me about the book, I didn't find his parents plausible) and hard driven all his friends away. But as a person, he was great.

I read a lot of reviews before I wrote mine, just to see how other people enjoyed this book, I occasionally do that when I'm not sure if I misinterpreted what the author had intended, in this case however, I got a lot of people not finishing this book mainly because they found the protagonist too selfish. Now, I'm not saying people aren't entitled to their own opinions, and that maybe that's how they saw Emma, and I'm not even saying that they may be wrong, however, with a point like this one, the selfishness only adds merit to the book, only makes her real. Emma is a teenager who just lost her mother, a woman she had lived alone with for years before her stepdad came into the picture. They were ridiculously close, so she's convince she knew all there was to know about her mother, she felt alone after her death, that her stepdad would simply forget her, and was holding on a little too strongly to her convictions. She was also unconsciously blaming the baby for what happened to her mother. When you lose someone, when you're full of grief and pain, you tend to be irrational, you tend to think with your heart rather than your brain, and the loss is so much to deal with that you lash out and try to transfer that pain onto others. I agree that she may have been selfish, but also, I understand why she would be. It made sense.

Anyhow, I should probably stop now, because yes, I am currently crying again as I am writing this. Heartbeat is a book I would definitely recommend for everyone to read, the writing was incredible, the characters felt so real and immersed in pain, but they also learn to deal, heal and grow a little bit out of the bitterness. I will certainly be reading more from Elizabeth Scott soon!

Rating: 4/5!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Review: Anything to Have You

Author: Paige Harbison
ISBN: 0373210884
Book Genre: YA Contemporary
Release Date: January 28th 2014
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Book Source: NetGalley

Goodreads Synopsis:
Nothing should come between best friends, not even boys. ESPECIALLY not boys.
Natalie and Brooke have had each other's backs forever. Natalie is the quiet one, college bound and happy to stay home and watch old movies. Brooke is the movie—the life of every party, the girl everyone wants to be.
Then it happens—one crazy night that Natalie can't remember and Brooke's boyfriend, Aiden, can't forget. Suddenly there's a question mark in Natalie and Brooke's friendship that tests everything they thought they knew about each other and has both girls discovering what true friendship really means.

Review:
When I first read the synopsis I was intrigued, but also wary because books of betrayal like in this one are a complete turn off for me. I avoid them as much as I can. But a lot of people were raving about the author, so I thought to give it a shot as well. However, I went back to being wary when I saw the reviews recently out, and I can't say I blame them.

(This is a rant that quite possibly may contain spoilers. I'm very angry and need to vent.)

Now why this book rubbed me the wrong way? 
Well, for a second there, let's ignore the parts where there was betrayal and whatnot.

Let's focus on the valentine party, rager, whatever. It reminded me so much of Veronica Mars, but at least there Veronica herself has dealt with the whole situation rather magnificently, she understood what it meant. With Natalie it didn't feel like that at all, and I'm not sure what kind of message would that be sending. She was so drunk out of her mind that she passed out, whoever slept with her in that state has pretty much taken advantage of her. It wouldn't be wrong to consider it as actual rape, she wasn't conscious of the fact, and the way Aiden dealt with it made me hate him so so much. All Natalie did was feel weirded out about 'sleeping with' some guy she didn't know that well, and that she didn't remember much about him touching her. She didn't even have the guts to actually talk to him to know for a fact what exactly happened, oh no, she just assumed, and then rolled with it. What the hell? And that's basically telling girls that hey, drunk out of your mind or not, if you sleep with a guy and don't protest too hard it's consensual.

Second point - still not dealing with the betrayal side of things - would be the portrayal of the high school life. I mean, I get that I have never been to high school in the US, but it can't possibly be all about getting drunk and getting high. The relationships and the people can't be as distorted as that, to the extent that it shows as if it's the norm? That it's okay to be doing that? Whenever Natalie told her father that she drank alcohol and stayed the night at someone's house with a group of strangers both boys and girls, he was okay with it. What kind of father would be okay with that? Fine with his underage daughter drinking and having boy/girl sleepovers, really? I'm not saying they don't happen, but less with the parents' knowledge.

Now finally tackling the important part: The betrayals.

Why Brooke was a horrible person: 1) Brooke is a very messed up character. I didn't realize how much until the point of view of the story switched to hers. She's a selfish, egocentric attention seeker. I hated her when it was from Natalie's point of view. I then hated her more when it came to her point of view. She has this incredible and amazing boyfriend, a guy who is ever so sweet and friendly to not only her, but her best friend as well. But even though she definitely won't break up with him, she still wants to flirt with other guys and make them want her. She won't "cheat" per se, but she wants the thrill of knowing the other guys want her, because apparently her relationship with her boyfriend has gone stale. Now, the thing is, her boyfriend is hot sure, but she always knew they weren't exactly perfect for each other, she just wanted to have fun for the months till they graduate, and the real kick? She's always known he would have been perfect for her best friend, who had begged her to introduce them repeatedly when he had first shown up.

2) Brooke knew for a fact that this Reede guy had horribly mistreated her friend years ago, he had taken advantage of her drunken state at a party, slept with her, and dropped her just like that. Reede made Natalie feel like dirt and avoid all parties and gatherings for years. Does she show any sort of support to her best friend over this? No, absolutely not. She pretends to hate him, but personally I don't think it had anything to do with her being a good friend, and everything to do with the fact that she didn't want anyone to know that she was attracted to the horrid player/scumbag.

Why I didn't like Natalie:
Okay to be honest there are many reasons I didn't like her, but frankly sleeping with her best friend's boyfriend wasn't one of them. Because you know why? She wasn't lucid. She wasn't aware of doing it, especially since she had started drinking due to peer pressure. The blame here falls entirely on Aiden. I hated how Brooke of all people had started slut shaming her, when for the majority of the book she had no idea what happened to her. For all they knew she may have been freaking raped, why was that never a point of discussion?!
I hated how everyone said she had this strong character and wasn't afraid of being who she is, but I felt like that wasn't true, she let herself be pressured into so many things she didn't want to, especially by Brooke. But the worst thing of all in this entire story? No one called Brooke on her bullshit. The fact that she had emotionally cheated on Aiden repeatedly, that she'd made out with Reede, that she was just stringing Aiden along, even though she may have personally known he wasn't for her.
Why didn't Natalie call her on that? Why didn't she ask her why she'd rather have a horrible relationship with Aiden and all three of them be miserable rather than let her and Aiden get a happily ever after? Why was she so unbelievably selfish about everything and wanting only her way to go? Why did she get to make them all feel like shit, but personally not look into her life and all of the things she's been doing wrong to everyone around her?
The characters all felt very flat, hard to like, and hard to get attached to.
This book was just… bad. Really bad.
Rating: 1/5