Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Blog Tour Stop: Kissing Eden Review





Title: Loving Eden
Author: T.A. Foster
ISBN: 1502399741
Book Genre: New Adult Contemporary
Release Date: September 25th 2014
Book Source: InkslingerPr

Buy Now: Amazon - B&N - iTunes - Smashwords

Goodreads Synopsis:
Have you ever thought of packing up everything you own and moving halfway across the country?
I’m talking about leaving your entire life behind—friends, family, school—with no turning back. No? Me either, but that was before a week of spring break changed my life forever. Before I did something I never thought I’d do at twenty-two. Before I fell in love with Grey.
Sometimes happily ever after isn’t always what you think it will be.

Review:

I am such a huge fan of New Adult lately, and when I read Kissing Eden I was kind of curious as to how things go from there, because it didn't end with much knowledge on where the future is taking Eden and Grey. So needless to say I was really excited to get this sequel and find out more on their life as a couple.

It's a kind of interesting change on book one because the main focus of that was Eden recovering from the break up with her douchebag ex, being in a new town all alone for spring break and staying at the weird Palm Palace motel because her ex stole her reservation. She's having a bad day that kind of turns into such a pleasant trip and a lovely spring break romance. Now book two on the other hand is more focused on the drama of moving across the country for the guy you love and trying to adjust to your new life together as well as saving a motel not just from falling apart, but from someone coming into the mix working so hard to tear it down.

I wasn't sure I'd like this side of the story because mostly it's the romantic part that appeals to me, not the domesticated part, but I did love it anyway, besides being with Grey is kind of like starting all over again with some of his jerk moves. This was such a fun read, and kind of cool to see how they both dealt with living together part as well as Eden dealing with her move to a new state and doing it all alone, I loved seeing her work hard to try and save the motel and make it work with Grey, definitely fun.

What I didn't like was Eden's friend Taylor, I'm sorry but I can't possibly imagine a worst best friend, very selfish with absolutely no 'sisters before misters' or support my best friend till the end moments. I love great friends, but she was definitely NOT one. I hate that not once was there an admittance that she was a bit sorry on hooking up with Grey and Eden's mortal enemy, even if she had no intention of breaking it off, just a small, 'I get it's wrong but I can't help it okay?' Kind of move. There was nothing, just a hissy fit when Eden pointed out how uncomfortable she was over it. Seriously, Eden was the one to try to make it up to her, I mean, what the hell?

I also think the last part was kind of rushed. I wanted more to the story. I quite enjoyed it and I guess I just found it to short. But I really liked this quick and fun read!

Rating: 3/5.



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T.A. Foster's Bio:
T.A. Foster once spent a monthlong spring break on South Padre Island, where she soaked in the Texas sun, beach, and learned what real Texas country music is. Sometimes fiction does spring from reality.

She grew up catching rays and chasing waves along the North Carolina Outer Banks and now resides in the state with her adventurous pilot husband, two children, and two canine kiddos.

T.A. has an undergraduate degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a graduate degree in Educational Psychology from Texas A&M University. When she’s not chasing her two-legged and four-legged children or trying to escape for date night, you can find her reading, writing, or planning her next beach trip.


Author Links:

Monday, September 29, 2014

Review: The Fine Art of Pretending

Author: Rachel Harris
ISBN: 1939392284
Book Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Release Date: September 30th 2014
Publisher: Spencer Hill Contemporary
Book Source: NetGalley 


Goodreads Synopsis:
According to the guys at Fairfield Academy, there are two types of girls: the kind you hook up with, and the kind you're friends with. Seventeen-year-old Alyssa Reed is the second type. And she hates it. With just one year left to change her rank, she devises a plan to become the first type by homecoming, and she sets her sights on the perfect date—Justin Carter, Fairfield Academy’s biggest hottie and most notorious player.
With 57 days until the dance, Aly launches Operation Sex Appeal and sheds her tomboy image. The only thing left is for Justin actually to notice her. Enter best friend Brandon Taylor, the school’s second biggest hottie, and now Aly’s pretend boyfriend. With his help, elevating from “funny friend” to “tempting vixen” is only a matter of time.
But when everything goes according to plan, the inevitable “break up” leaves their friendship in shambles, and Aly and Brandon with feelings they can’t explain. And the fake couple discovers pretending can sometimes cost you the one thing you never expected to want.


Review:

When Alyssa looked at the photos on her wall of shame (photos of all the pity dates she's had since starting high school) she decided she needed to do something about it in order to get an actual date for homecoming since it's her senior year. She thinks a complete makeover in 'Operation Sex Appeal' is all she needs until her best friend Brandon tells her that it has nothing to do with her looks and everything to do with the fact that she's a Commitment not a Casual. The plan changes slightly so that she'd find a way to convince all the guys that she's a Casual, and who better than the king of casual dating, Justin, to spread the word? In order to get Justin to notice her new persona and believe she's truly a Casual at heart, she ropes her best friend Brandon into pretending they're dating. Brandon agrees, mostly so that he could convince her that there's nothing wrong with being a Commitment, and anything with Justin is just plain bad. At some point Alyssa realizes that maybe Operation Sex Appeal and being a Casual were really not the things for her, but by then it's too late and everything has gone out of control.

I absolutely loved reading this book! Rachel's writing is incredible and has a lot of humor added to the mix. I really liked Brandon and Alyssa's relationship, well, before they started pretending to date. Alyssa's makeover was kind of fun and inspiring, but not in the way of clothes, more of in the way of gaining confidence to change herself and braving it out her comfort zone, I definitely admired that. I also loved how supportive Brandon was, and how loyal and brilliant he was as a friend, just not his commitment-phobe moments.

I enjoy reading books from both point of views, as well as seeing the friends on both sides and their reaction to the wild journey and experiment Alyssa was going for. There was also something entertaining about the countdown throughout the book to homecoming. The last part with Brandon wasn't as well developed as I had hoped for the realization to hit him, it had to be stronger or more dramatic, but otherwise the story was so great, such a fun and quick read, and absolutely well-written! I can't wait to read the companion novel as well as other books by the author!

Rating: 4/5!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Review: The Jewel

Title: The Jewel   
Author: Amy Ewing
ISBN: 0062235796
Book Genre: Young Adult Dystopian
Release Date: September 2nd 2014  
Publisher: HarperTeen
Book Source: Edelweiss


Goodreads Synopsis:
The Jewel means wealth. The Jewel means beauty. The Jewel means royalty. But for girls like Violet, the Jewel means servitude. Not just any kind of servitude. Violet, born and raised in the Marsh, has been trained as a surrogate for the royalty—because in the Jewel the only thing more important than opulence is offspring.

Purchased at the surrogacy auction by the Duchess of the Lake and greeted with a slap to the face, Violet (now known only as #197) quickly learns of the brutal truths that lie beneath the Jewel’s glittering facade: the cruelty, backstabbing, and hidden violence that have become the royal way of life.

Violet must accept the ugly realities of her existence... and try to stay alive. But then a forbidden romance erupts between Violet and a handsome gentleman hired as a companion to the Duchess’s petulant niece. Though his presence makes life in the Jewel a bit brighter, the consequences of their illicit relationship will cost them both more than they bargained for.


Review:

This book is about Violet, starting off with her last day bearing that name as she turns to toll #197 and from there to 'the surrogate'. In this highly oppressive dystopian world, girls from the Marsh are tested once they hit puberty if they have the surrogate gene, if they do, they're taken away to special facilities where they're under lock, trained, and in a way tortured into being perfect enough for the people bidding on them. They get luxuries they wouldn't have even dreamed of in the poor side of the Marsh and for that they're expected to be grateful, even though they get no choice to be a part of this life, they're basically slaves, bought and provided for until they bear a child then discarded without the ability of ever bearing other children, getting married of having any form of freedom. When the auction is over and Violet moves into her new residence, she learns that there is so much about the surrogacy life they weren't told at the Southgate facility and that terrifies her more than anything, especially as she bears witness to the horrific things happening around her, and her fear of her life as well as her friend who seems to be having drastic changes done to her. 

I can't believe how screwed up this world is, then again I guess I should have expected it from a dystopian novel, but it's still very irksome. I don't want to say more on the book because honestly the best part about it is the not knowing in advance much to go with it.

The powers the surrogates have with the auguries gave me a little Crewel by Ginnifer Albin feel, though they were by no means the same, the similarity lay in the women having a special power that presented itself in only specific cases and there was a level of talent and high expectations coming out of their ranking. Of course here, the ranking led to being auctioned off to the highest bidder, and had more importance in an inspired sort of way. In Crewel the talent was changing time and playing with the fabric of reality, in Jewel, the talent lay in the manipulation of objects as well as living beings. 

I think a large part of what makes a story successful is how much of it you can predict in advance. If you see a lot of it coming, it becomes kind of dull even if you like the writing or there are some minor twists that you hadn't anticipated. But in the grand scheme of things? Yeah, it would be kind of disappointing. Which is why, I can safely say this was definitely one successful storyline in which I couldn't predict a damn thing. Okay one tiny insignificant part, but otherwise all my predictions were absolutely wrong and I legitimately have no clue whatsoever where the author is going with this story and I find that surprisingly refreshing. I needed this, and I just can't wait for the next installment, I seriously hope it measures up to this one and by the end of the series I'm equally enamored and flabbergasted as I am right now!

The book left off on the worst possible cliffhanger and I'm just a ball of nerves right now unbelievably excited and agitated to know what happens next, especially with the interesting surprise that popped up at the end. I mean, I suspected something was off with one of the characters, but seriously didn't see the ending coming. It helps that the writing is absolutely incredible and the book is just so well written and the characters quite developed with rich background stories. I think the dystopian world was fairly explained and well planned out. Can't wait for more from this world!

Rating: 4/5!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Review: As Long As You Love Me

Author: Ann Aguirre
ISBN: 0373779844
Book Genre: New Adult
Release Date: September 30th 2014
Publisher: Harlequin
Book Source: NetGalley


Goodreads Synopsis:
Most people dream about getting out of Sharon, Nebraska, but after three years away, Lauren Barrett is coming home. There are the justifications she gives to everyone else—missing her family, losing her college scholarship. And then there’s the reason Lauren can’t admit to anyone: Rob Conrad, her best friend’s older brother.
Football prowess and jaw-dropping good looks made Rob a star in high school. Out in the real world, his job and his relationships are going nowhere. He can’t pinpoint exactly what’s missing until Lauren comes back to town, bringing old feelings and new dreams with her. But he’s the guy that women love and leave—not the one who makes them think of forever.
Though she’s terrified of opening up, Lauren’s ready to take that chance. Because the only thing more important than figuring out where you truly belong is finding the person you were meant to be with.


Review:

I really enjoyed the first book in this trilogy I Want it That Way, but I also had some issues with the depth of the characters in the story. Thankfully I didn't have such a problem with this book.

Lauren flunked out of college on purpose because she couldn't handle it anymore and it was making her miserable. Coming home she doesn't anticipate the sudden friendship she strikes with her best friend's brother (who just happens to be her all-time crush since she was thirteen). Both of them have things being whispered about them behind their back and a now uncertain future, but it's a good thing they have the other person to help them out.

Both characters Lauren and Rob are very insecure and have so many issues which honestly made me enjoy the book more because I love a well rounded character, it kind of solved the problem with the first book, both Ty and Nadia felt so flat and I had a hard time investing in them. I didn't with these two though. I also loved the other stories in the background with say Krista, her pregnancy and the story with her long distance relationship. I even loved Avery even though she was Rob's girlfriend at first and a complete bitch. The entire book is packed and definitely enjoyable.

What I didn't like however was the point of climax. The thing is, throughout the book I knew there had to be one, it's a common thing to expect from a story, the big point of conflict that causes some dramatic change and all, but throughout the book all the normal go to routes were exhausted before going there, so as glad as I was that Aguirre wasn't going with the normal cliché stuff with ex-girlfriends ruining things and a potential misunderstanding with Lauren's one night stand or whatever, I still found Aguirre's choice to be not so great or convincing. She could have gone with Rob's parents as an angle, it could have worked… actually that's another annoying part of the story. But focusing on her angle of choice, I just… it wasn't plausible. I'm not saying that angle sucked, but the way it was delivered did, I wasn't convinced and I found it ridiculously weak. On the other hand (the way she choice to insert the angle aside) the reasons behind the conflict were pretty plausible, the aftermaths were actually a good choice and how the story went from there to the end picked up a lot and made me go back to liking it. 

So, all in all, this book had more dark elements than the first one, with more characters unhinged, reminding me of why I love new adult as a genre, and I loved how much Lauren grew throughout the book and I definitely like how the storyline went, even with Rob. I definitely liked Rob's character growth. Besides, the writing was just as great and it was hard to dislike the story for long. I definitely can't wait for the last book with Max's story!

Rating: 4/5!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Review: Sway

Title: Sway
Author: Kat Spears
ISBN: 1250051436 
Book Genre: YA Contemporary
Release Date: September 16th 2014
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Book Source: NetGalley


Goodreads Synopsis:

In Kat Spears’s hilarious and often poignant debut, high school senior Jesse Alderman, or "Sway," as he’s known, could sell hell to a bishop. He also specializes in getting things people want---term papers, a date with the prom queen, fake IDs. He has few close friends and he never EVER lets emotions get in the way. For Jesse, life is simply a series of business transactions.
But when Ken Foster, captain of the football team, leading candidate for homecoming king, and all-around jerk, hires Jesse to help him win the heart of the angelic Bridget Smalley, Jesse finds himself feeling all sorts of things. While following Bridget and learning the intimate details of her life, he falls helplessly in love for the very first time. He also finds himself in an accidental friendship with Bridget’s belligerent and self-pitying younger brother who has cerebral palsy. Suddenly, Jesse is visiting old folks at a nursing home in order to run into Bridget, and offering his time to help the less fortunate, all the while developing a bond with this young man who idolizes him. Could the tin man really have a heart after all?
A Cyrano de Bergerac story with a modern twist, Sway is told from Jesse’s point of view with unapologetic truth and biting humor, his observations about the world around him untempered by empathy or compassion---until Bridget’s presence in his life forces him to confront his quiet devastation over a life-changing event a year earlier and maybe, just maybe, feel something again.


Review:

"Jesse is fashionably indifferent," Bridget said without a hint of irony in her voice. 

I think I'm kind of in love with this book. It's like reading Looking for Alaska only the hero is the Colonel. The male lead isn't the usual meek, impressionable student. He isn't the most popular jock either, he's just this guy people keep around because things can go bad if he goes against them, or because more often than not they need him for something. But he's not someone you'd exactly call a friend, just someone to keep on speed dial when you need absolutely anything. And for Sway, well he doesn't exactly do favors for anyone, everything is a business transaction. No matter how minor the request is, if there's no money involved, he's not interested. Though, he's not always open to all kinds of requests, he's picky and a bastard at heart. He has no friends except for Joey who's become more of an annoying sister figure / business partner than anything. 

He justifies his shady and less than orthodox business inclinations with this:

Nothing is good or bad, only thinking makes it so. Shakespeare was the one who said that. It's the only interesting thing I've learned after three years of high school.

The thing is, Sway (Jesse) is pretty damn smart, but that doesn't necessarily mean he's going to use his head for something as mundane as studying and school. The breaking point in which he changed to this gem of a persona happens right after his mother's death, where he becomes numb to most human emotions, and doesn't form attachments or believe in any good in the human nature. He becomes this no nonsense, no bullshit kind of person and gives everything with brutal honesty (unless he needs something from someone, then he knows how to butter them up).

"You visit your grandmother, you volunteer at Seigel Center - what do you do for fun on the weekends - rescue kittens or work in a soup kitchen?" I asked.
"Now you are making fun of me," she said. I lengthened my stride so I could reach the door before her and hold it open. She thanked me as she walked through.
"I'm not making fun of you," I said. "I'm truly interested. The concept of altruism fascinates me, though I don't really believe in it. You must have a selfish motive for all of your good deeds."
So Jesse is this enigma, a mix of all kinds of good and bad, in a way that shows you he's right, you can't exactly classify someone as something in particular, but also as his numbness starts to fade away throughout the book, he's forced to face emotions again and it's not a pleasant journey for him. Now don't get me wrong, he doesn't pull a 180 and become this paragon of sainthood all of a sudden or anything, but he slowly begrudgingly allows some things to affect him, or force a reaction out of him when normally they wouldn't. He's very wry and smart and full of these quirky elements of humor that help in rounding up this loaded mess of a personality he has.

He took a moment to look around the deserted yard, make sure he was not overheard. "I want you to get me a girl," he said."Well, you know, that's not really my line. Not that I object to it on moral or legal grounds," I said, holding up both hands in supplication, "but, strictly speaking, I don't mess with prostitutes or call girls."

This book was seriously hilarious and such a fun ride! Especially with Jesse at first who appears to be seriously morally reprehensible, I mean a guy who borrows an old man and claims he's his grandfather to get a girl to talk to him, use her sick brother as a way to get to her and basically gives things she says to him in confidence to this douchebag who wants to date her for two hundred bucks isn't exactly the modal citizen. But his ride to the end line was a great one to watch!

Rating: 5/5!

Top Ten Books On My Fall To-Be-Read List

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 Books On My Fall To-Be-Read List


1) The Fine Art of Pretending by Rachel Harris


2) Red Rising by Pierce Brown


3) Stay With Me by J. Lynn



5) In The Afterlight by Alexandra Bracken

6) If I Stay by Gayle Forman


7) Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

8) The Unbound by Victoria Schwab


9) The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien


10) Allegiant by Veronica Roth




Monday, September 22, 2014

Cover Reveal: For Now


Today is the cover reveal for Chelsea M. Cameron's upcoming New Adult title, FOR NOW. This is the 2nd book in her Rules of Love series. FOR NOW will be released later this fall.

UNOFFICIAL BLURB:
Two people. A one-night stand. What could go wrong?
Javier Cruz definitely isn’t relationship material, but that suits Hazel Gellar just fine. She’s not a relationship girl and doesn’t plan on ever being one.
But after a mind-blowing, panty-ripping, bed-breaking night, she knows once isn’t going to be enough. Fortunately, Javi feels the same way. Soon, what started as just one night turns into a lot of nights, and Hazel doesn’t know what to do.
Will she and Javi make the choice to be together for longer than just right NOW?
Previous book in the series…
Buy Links:Amazon US - Barnes & Noble


AUTHOR INFORMATION
Chelsea M. Cameron is a YA/NA New York Times/USA Today Best Selling author from Maine. Lover of things random and ridiculous, Jane Austen/Charlotte and Emily Bronte Fangirl, red velvet cake enthusiast, obsessive tea drinker, vegetarian, former cheerleader and world's worst video gamer. When not writing, she enjoys watching infomercials, singing in the car and tweeting (this one time, she was tweeted by Neil Gaiman). She has a degree in journalism from the University of Maine, Orono that she promptly abandoned to write about the people in her own head. More often than not, these people turn out to be just as weird as she is.

Her New Adult Contemporary Romance titles include My Favorite Mistake, which has been bought by Harlequin along with a sequel, Deeper We Fall and Faster We Burn (April 20, 2013)

Her Young Adult books include Nocturnal, Nightmare and Neither, the first three books in The Noctalis Chronicles. The fourth and final book, Neverend will be out in 2013. Whisper, the first in The Whisper Trilogy is also available, with the second book in the series, Silence and the final book, LIsten coming out in 2014.
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Sunday, September 21, 2014

Review: Right Kind of Wrong

Author: Chelsea Fine
ISBN: 1455583170 
Book Genre: New Adult Contemporary
Release Date: September 2nd 2014
Publisher: Forever (Grand Central Publishing)
Book Source: NetGalley


Goodreads Synopsis:
Sometimes wrong can feel oh so right . . .

Jenna Lacombe needs complete control, whether it’s in the streets . . . or between the sheets. So when she sets out on a solo road trip to visit her family in New Orleans, she’s beyond annoyed that the infuriatingly sexy Jack Oliver wants to hitch a ride with her. Ever since they shared a wild night together last year, he’s been trying to strip away her defenses one by one. He claims he’s just coming along to keep her safe-but what’s not safe for her is prolonged exposure to the tattooed hottie.
Jack can’t get Jenna out from under his skin. She makes him feel alive again after his old life nearly destroyed him-and losing her is not an option. Now Jack’s troubles are catching up to him, and he’s forced to return to his hometown in Louisiana. But when his secrets put them both in harm’s way, Jenna will have to figure out how far she’s willing to let love in . . . and how much she already has.


Review:

I think this particular installment in the series was the one I highly anticipated, mostly because the weird relationship between Jack and Jenna was mentioned in book one and a glimpse of it was shown in book two. Now I can safely say it was so worth the wait. Though I should mention the impression I got of Jack in the first two books was completely off, he is sooo much better than I had expected. So first thing's first, if you haven't read any of the books in this series, you kind of should. I mean, they can work as standalones, however, Fine has a way of intertwining the stories so characters from other stories pop up at the most bizarre times and make the best kind of entrance. Believe me, you get hooked and find yourself forced to read the rest, it becomes rather involuntary.

Onto the book, a year ago Jenna and Jack had a one night thing. One Jenna is hell-bent on pretending never happened. Jack on the other hand doesn't want to pretend, and until Jenna decides to finally talk about that night, he is determined to torture her every way he can. The one thing they have in common is their fixation with their pasts, Jenna doesn't want a repeat of hers, and Jack wants to never look back at his. When they both find themselves in need of heading back home at the same time, Jack decides to hitch a ride with a not-so-pleased Jenna. Needless to say there was a lot of grumbling and arguments involved, ones like this:

"I can't believe I even considered driving back home with you. I would've ripped your head off long before we crossed the Texas border." Heaving open the inn's front door, I charge through and shoot my eyes over my shoulder. "Frankly, I'm impressed we made it this far without me killing you."
He grins. "What's with all the death threats? Is that how you handle all of life's problems? By committing murder?"

I call out, "I'm ready when you are, diva!"Complete agitation covers her face as she whips around with narrowed eyes and yells, "Don't. Call. Me. DIVA!"I grin. "It never gets old.""God!" she exclaims, thrusting her arms up again.The look on her face is priceless. I could do this all day. I might, actually.

It's pretty obvious Jack's on a mission to drive her insane, and I just loved their interactions with one another. There's this obvious chemistry between them, but at the same time, they're actually close friends who genuinely like one another, even though they drive each other mad every now and then. The best part about those two characters is that you get a fairly in-depth look into both their lives as they head home. I love when I get to dissect the characters and see their past, their pain, their insecurities, their times of joy, what they treasure and what they lost. It's the journey of how they grow from there, how the learn and get back up on their feet that makes me love a book and I had that with this book.

Strength isn't about what you can and cannot achieve. It's about what you will and will not do in order to achieve. And on that, I know exactly where I stand.

Now Jack, as goofy and funny as he is at the start of the book has this lethal side you get to see when he gets home and his life turns into a more adult version of Simone Elkeles's Perfect Chemistry. The many sides of him you see with his friends, his enemies, Jenna, his family and her family, was pretty awesome, I feel like I got a well rounded view of him.

If all of that isn't enough to get you into this book, then there's the writing. I'm seriously hopelessly and ridiculously in love with Chelsea Fine's writing. She's perfected this balance of absolute laugh out loud moments and tear your heart out moments, finding the right ways to portray both and blend them together. I am just so in love and can't wait to read more!

"Okay, ew," Pixie teases. "There are children here." She looks around at where there are clearly no children anywhere. "Okay, well, there's a goat here. Get a room."

I think I have a seriously unhealthy obsession with the story behind the goat. Seriously. I want Zack and his baby goat to get a happily ever after.

Rating: 4.5/5!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Review: Anatomy of a Misfit

Author: Andrea Portes
ISBN: 0062313649
Book Genre: YA Contemporary
Release Date: September 2nd 2014
Publisher: Harper Teen
Book Source: Edelweiss


Goodreads Synopsis:
Fall’s buzzed-about, in-house favorite.
Outside, Anika Dragomir is all lip gloss and blond hair—the third most popular girl in school. Inside, she’s a freak: a mix of dark thoughts, diabolical plots, and, if local chatter is to be believed, vampire DNA (after all, her father is Romanian). But she keeps it under wraps to maintain her social position. One step out of line and Becky Vilhauer, first most popular girl in school, will make her life hell. So when former loner Logan McDonough shows up one September hotter, smarter, and more mysterious than ever, Anika knows she can’t get involved. It would be insane to throw away her social safety for a nerd. So what if that nerd is now a black-leather-jacket-wearing dreamboat, and his loner status is clearly the result of his troubled home life? Who cares if the right girl could help him with all that, maybe even save him from it? Who needs him when Jared Kline, the bad boy every girl dreams of, is asking her on dates? Who?

Anatomy of a Misfit is Mean Girls meets The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and Anika’s hilariously deadpan delivery will appeal to readers for its honesty and depth. The so-sad-it’s-funny high school setting will pull readers in, but when the story’s dark foreboding gradually takes over, the devastating penultimate tragedy hits like a punch to the gut. Readers will ride the highs and lows alongside funny, flawed Anika — from laughter to tears, and everything in between.


Review:

When I first started this book, I hated it, I really really hated it. I could have stopped and it would have been the end of things, but I didn't and I am kind of not sure if I'm happy or not that I didn't.

I think that there is a particular level of success or let's say reward a book gets when you learn something valuable by the end, like a moral to the story or something. So anyhow, what I learned from this story is that there are levels of psychotic and sociopathic behavior that range from bad to pure, unadulterated evil. Apparently some levels of psychotic are either necessary or just completely acceptable and shouldn't be morally reprehensible because there are worse things out there. Which I guess is how we differentiate between Anika (just your average psychopath) and her not really friend but needs to stay on her good side Becky (complete sociopath).

Here's Becky's description:

"Everyone loves her, yet she is pure unadulterated evil.The weird thing is… it's not like you can point to anything that made her that way. It's not like her dad's a criminal or her mom's a crack addict or she was raised in an orphanage or something. That would actually explain her demonic powers. It's just like she was born, she did a few print ads for the Penney's catalog, and abracadabra- BEELZEBUB!The only possible justification is that, potentially, when she was in the nursery, a dissatisfied ghost of some sort crept into her crib, possessed her baby body, and decided to wreak havoc on the living as revenge for some unanswered injustice. That's really the simplest explanation."

So really Anika (who just happens to not stand up to Becky, poisons her boss daily and steals from work, is heaps better in comparison.) But see here, because of her heritage she's number 3 on the popular list and can never be number one because she's half Romanian. Standing by Becky means she would never be the one bullied, so it's a safety measure and she does have a lot of shit going on with her family, it's all dysfunctional really with her dad, her mum and stepdad, siblings AND step siblings. I guess that's where we're supposed to feel sorry for her, this slowly turns into a story of finding out the hard way how to stand up to herself and to other people around her. She does try to do good deeds, but she can't actively show she's doing them, since hello, she doesn't want to be a pariah. You know, for being good.

Here's how she describes herself:

"I look like vanilla pudding so nobody knows that on the inside I am spider soup."

I'm still not sure what that means precisely, but I'm assuming it's that as normal as may appear on the outside, she's pretty fucked up on the inside, but we've already established that. Anika as a character is a bit strange to follow through with, the story has a lot of racist and offensive commentary even whilst trying not to be. It's a bit too much to stomach at times, since for her it's all normal in that messed up brain of hers. Spider soup huh?

What isn't mentioned in the synopsis, is that there happens to be a love triangle of sorts. The problem is, I don't think that side of the plot took a chance to be well developed before everything came crashing down, and from how messed up Anika is and how hard it is to understand her, I don't think I got enough of an in-depth look into how she really feels about both boys.

Aside from that, if we go and focus onto the writing, which has an interesting brand of humor, it does help with the story and makes you hate the parts you hate less. At least, it's what made it easy to get through the book to the end.

"He says he has a surprise for me and I know that's the kind of thing serial killers say before they haul you off to a hole in their basement somewhere and start dressing you up like their mom before they strangle you. But, considering that we've been on over thirty after-school moped rides together and not once has he asked me if he could cut off my scalp and use it for a bonnet, I think I'm in the clear."

Rating: 2/5 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Review: Unstoppable

Title: Unstoppable
Author: Melody Grace
ISBN13: 9781310810602
Book Genre: New Adult Contemporary
Release Date: September 19th 2014
Book Source: NetGalley

Buy Now: Amazon - Smashwords

Goodreads Synopsis:
A secret scar…
Tegan Callahan has sworn off bad boys for good. Growing up on tour with her rock star brother, she knows first-hand the damage they can do. She’s looking for a nice, safe, stable guy – until a chance encounter with a devastatingly sexy stranger makes her question everything she thought she wanted.
A troubled soul…
Ryland James arrives in Beachwood Bay on the run from his mistakes. He knows he’s the last thing Tegan needs, but somehow, he can’t stay away. There’s something about her fierce beauty that draws him in – and makes him vow to protect her, whatever the cost.
A passionate destiny…
Their bond is undeniable; the stakes, higher than ever. But the past won’t stay gone forever, and soon, Ryland must make the ultimate choice: will he risk everything he treasures in the world, or keep Tegan safe – and sacrifice her love forever?


Review:

Off the bat, I just have to say that I'm a HUGE fan of the Beachwood Bay series and have been waiting a lot for this particular book to come out. This is the fifth book in the series, but they all go well as standalones, though some family dynamics might be lost if you haven't read the rest. What's special about this particular book is that both characters have siblings whose stories have been told at some point or the other so that even if you didn't catch a glimpse of them in the previous books, you heard about them. 

Ryland ran away from home seven years ago and is finally ready to not only return, but put down roots as well - yet the life he was leading won't let him go that easily. Tegan has had a rough time in the past few years and is trying her best to find herself, make something out of her life and be free of the past and the guilt. It seems like fate has a plan for them as they meet not once, but twice, when they find ways to help each other out. Now, what I seriously love about this series and Melody Grace's characters is that each and every one of them has different demons to fight, they're unique but still ultimately hurting and so broken inside. I enjoy seeing them grow, get out of their past's pain and learn to live life normally again. None of the books have as dark an element as the first one though, but they still capture the insecurities and fragility in their own ways. 

Ryland's mother was a junkie, running out on his family had kept her on his trail though. He finds trouble with people he shouldn't have been involved with, and as he finally thinks he's out, he's sucked back in. You get a glimpse into Ryland's life as he deals with the happy lives his siblings are leading with their partners, and how he craves that kind of closeness with someone. You see his relief at being back in Beachwood Bay and wanting to rebuild his life from scratch on a clean slate, only sadly his past keeps haunting him and coming back to interrupt the life he wants to have.

Tegan just got out of rehab, she's dealing with the trauma of the past involving her ex boyfriend who also happened to be a junkie and kept her tied in a very unhealthy relationship. Tegan decided to visit Beachwood Bay to get out of LA and find a new direction in life, be away and discover herself. She's not sure what she's hoping for or if she'd get it done, but the peaceful area by the sea seems to help soothe some of her demons, just not stop the nightmares altogether. Songwriting helps though. You get to see her in pain, trying to deal with the past, trying to move on, giving herself a push and some strength. I could relate to her so much it's scary. Tegan was such an interesting character and one of my favorites in the series so far.

Now, as much as I loved this book - and truly, I did. There were two points that really bugged me. The first point would be, Tegan was working on something involving her brother Dex *yes I'm trying not to give away any spoilers but it's hard* and we never get to see it all the way through, just a glimpse and bam, gone! I thought it would play such a large part in the story. The other point would be with Ryland. The story started out great, even paced, slow even, as you saw them interact, and come clean to one another, get the siblings involved, but as slow as that went, the ending (which is the most vital part in the entire story) was so ridiculously rushed that I stood for a second there wondering if I missed something. For someone with a past following him and eating up at him all throughout the story, the last part sure was resolved quickly. Hell, it could have been resolved before he set foot in Beachwood Bay if that's the tack he was going to take, why on earth had it taken him that long to get to it? I expected more heartbreak and pain, I expected a fight, a huge breaking out, a confrontation, but I didn't get any of that and sadly I was kind of disappointed.

On the other hand, you get a glimpse on two more characters for the upcoming book in the series Blake and Zoey, and boy, I can't tell you how desperate I am to read this book right now! I need to know what happens with both of them.

All in all, it was still such a great read and I enjoyed it immensely.

Rating: 3/5!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Wishlist Wednesday #17 & Waiting on Wednesday #16


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.



My pick here would be the sequel to one of my favorite books of 2013:

Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
Darkness never dies.
Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land. She finds starting new is not easy while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. She can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long.

The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her--or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.








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






Not that I read book two, but I'm kind of waiting for this book so I can fully read the entire series without waiting impatiently!


The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Mara Dyer wants to believe there's more to the lies she’s been told.
There is.
She doesn’t stop to think about where her quest for the truth might lead.
She should.
She never had to imagine how far she would go for vengeance.
She will now.
Loyalties are betrayed, guilt and innocence tangle, and fate and chance collide in this shocking conclusion to Mara Dyer’s story.
Retribution has arrived.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday #7

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 Authors I've Only Read One Book From But NEED to Read More

1) Holly Black: 
I've only read for her The Coldest Girl in Coldtown and seriously LOVED it!

2) Tahereh Mafi:
I never got around to reading past Shatter Me, but I'm excited to complete this trilogy!

3) Leigh Bardugo:
I seriously cannot wait to complete the Grisha trilogy because I can't put in words how much I enjoyed Shadow and Bone.

4) Ava Dellaira:
Yes, I suspect her upcoming books might kill me like Love Letters to the Dead, but it's a death I'd take gladly.

5) Erin Morgenstern:
The Night Circus was one of my top favorite reads of 2012 and I definitely need more books like this!

6) Sarah Ockler:
I've heard a lot of mixed reviews about the author's books, but I personally just love The Book of Broken Hearts, and hope to read more like it!

7) Rainbow Rowell:
I seriously enjoyed Fangirl, but I'm definitely looking forward to more reads by her!

8) Michelle Hodkin:
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer was such an epic read and I just need to complete that trilogy!

9) Sarah J. Maas:
I quite enjoyed Throne of Glass and need to get my hands on more books in this series.

10) Morgan Matson:
I am a sucker for contemporary books, so really I need more books like Amy & Roger's Epic Detour!