Friday, February 1, 2013

Getting Caught Up

 10 Books for the New Year

To say I've been behind is an understatement. But hey I graduated with two degrees now and can dedicate more of my time to book reviews than before. I've become beyond obsessed with Goodreads and if I'm not reading I'm adding books to my To-Be-Read pile. (Which is astronomically impossible to get through...) So here are some copied reviews I did in the past month or so. Figure we gotta start somewhere... Unfortunately I haven't read anything extraordinarily gripping or jaw dropping but I know it's in my future... Just gotta find it, which I'm happy to do..

Jan. 30, 2013
Crossed by :Ally Condie

            4 Stars
Unlike the last book (Matched) this book was not as compelling and I found myself going back and forth. I was disappointed by its predictability, [ I mean of course as soon as she goes to look for Ky, he leaves right before. And her dream of the 'Rising' was not really as great as she thought and they get separated anyways. I must admit I admire Cassia's strength, not even a blue tablet could keep her down and she's so motivated no matter her goal. She gives it her all and does not complain. I was wary of the mysterious farmer, 'Hunter', but that turned into a moot point. Which brings me to the whole story which was all sort of long-winded with no real drama. The only real threat is the ships but even that was not gripping. And I hate to say it but even though Xander is barely in this book I've sort of grown more fond of him than Ky. I wish he had more of a role to either defend his position as Cassia's match or even her friend. Indie was just very unlikable to me. I understand her role and her wariness but maybe it's her new-found love for Xander that turns me off. If this book wraps up all hunky dory for Cassia and Ky, Indie and Xander I must admit I will be disappointed.

Jan. 28
How to Ruin a Summer Vacation by: Simone Elkeles      
                4 Stars
Although, I enjoyed this book I just don't have much to say. The pacing was steady and Amy's adventures were intriguing. She was a bit of a spoiled brat (though she repeatedly insists she's not) but I could definitely sympathize with her as an American girl. Everything in Israel is completely different from the life many of us know and it would obviously take some adjustment. I'd say she does rather well especially when everyone seems to be against her and she can't even understand the language to know why. Looking forward to see how she and Avi manage to keep their long-distance relationship afloat.

Jan. 28
Uses for Boys by: Erica Lorraine Scheidt    
               2 Stars
I only have one positive thing to say about this book and that was the pacing. Without that I doubt I could have finished it at all... And to the reviewers that think Anna actually learned anything in this book (or that readers will) you were sadly mistaken. All I saw was defeat and ignorance.
[ I'm sure many of us who read this book can go on and on about the many things wrong. But Anna was just not likeable. And though I felt sorry for her I kept expecting her to eventually make better choices or at least learn from her mistakes. But hello, who gets raped and doesn't even realize I mean not fully. At times she knows the situation with Todd was not normal but never gets mad just complacent. I hated watching this young girl with dreams and joy from sitting on her moms magical bed turn into the person she envy's the most. Her mom. And what a sorry excuse for a human being she was. I wish that at some point we saw a bit more into the mom, like where she worked and how she maintained her lifestyle and managed to leave her young daughter and home and no one noticed. Honestly, I'm just happy I'm done with this book....

 Jan. 26
Devoured by: Emily Snow     
              3 Stars
I was actually pretty disappointed in this book considering all the reviews to the contrary. I found both characters annoying and completely unsure of themselves and their place in it. Lucas was not the sexy Rock God I hoped for but rather I found a conceited man-whore who manages to knock Sienna down with a few harsh words and months sometimes years later expects forgiveness which just made her look weak in my eyes. Honestly don't think I will bother with another book in the series, especially not Kylie and Wyatt's story, that I can definitely do without. 

Jan. 24
Love Story by: Jennifer Echols   
               2 Stars

I swear this book went out of it's way to thoroughly piss me off. I was excited too, having studied creative writing myself but what a let down. The romance in this book to me was a joke. Like who are these characters really, they barley know themselves. There's so many lies and half-truths that the reality of this story is rather sickening. If this is love then let it stay far from me. I was so disappointed because everyone was so clearly out for themselves.
I didn't find Erin as annoying as I thought considering her farm rich white girl upbringing but I was constantly pissed off to hear her state how shes making her own choices and doing what she wants and in the reality she wasn't. She didn't even seem to understand what she wanted besides to write and all the rest of the story was sort of belligerent annoyingness that pissed me off.
And hello every conflict was indirectly solved and never fully discussed by the characters as if they could easily let it slide and forget it happened like a speed-bump ten miles back. Miss Echols writing as usual was on point but I truly disliked this story. 

Jan. 23 
Full Count by: C.A. Williams  
             4 Stars
Ughhh. I hate when books jump months ahead and then more months and finally the End. It totally pulls me away from the story.
Aside from the annoying jumps at the end I enjoyed the story and thank-god Dylan does not pull a Jack Carter (The Perfect Game) or I may have thrown my beloved Kindle.
This book had everything a more mature YA book should: romance, scandal, friends, drama, some more drama, sports and college parties with of course booze. There was an added emotional element that really enhanced the story and the character though it felt too organized within the story and seemed to be summed up with a quick sad reflection and HEA. I did enjoy the book though I am a bit disappointed as I was expecting a bit more. I would read more by this author but considering much of the story seemed to be bits of other popular stories put together I hope there's a bit more originality involved.

Jan. 22
Matched by Ally Condie    
  4 Stars
As usual these dystopian worlds always throw me for a loop because of how much they suck. I know, I know, that's the point, but after awhile it gets sort of old; sucky environment, characters adhere to the rules and eventually rebel.
Don't get me wrong, I was thoroughly involved with this book. One of the best aspects had to be the love triangle which wasn't as disappointing as normal. There was obvious tension and I grew to love both Xander and Ky and even appreciated the side friendship the two males shared as well as the secrets. Also her family helped me love this book, many times there are so many negative outside forces harping on the main character especially family that one has to wonder how they don't just give up or run away but Cassia's family is great and understanding. Though the whole idea of a society run by Officials that basically stalk your every move and everyone holding three pills is a bit daunting. Not to mention the transported meals individually selected for each person, annoying. But Cassia's struggle is interesting and intriguing, her adventures exciting and I will definitely be reading the rest of the trilogy to see if she finds her lost love and can somehow escape or destroy the world they call home.

Jan. 19
Iron Knight by: Julie Kagawa    
             4 Stars
I must say I was blown away by this book. And to think she planned on ending the series with the Iron Queen.
Finally we are able to follow Ash and really understand who he is. Granted, this was not always easy, especially his exploits with Rowan but somehow all that works together to make him the brave, untouchable knight that Meghan deserves. Ms. Kagawa does a remarkable job of setting the scene around Ash's life and upbringing. I was a little disappointed by the resurrection of a long lost friend but somehow since book one I'd been expecting it. This too added an extra element of conflict for Ash because he had to decide if going to the end of the world was worth it. And boy oh boy, did he go through some treacherous conditions and trials in the Gauntlet. Ash proves that not only he can handle regret and guilt but that he can overcome his mistakes and become a better person because of that.
I was a little sad by the ending, I wish we had at least one more chapter maybe a glimpse into the future say ten years from now. But alas, Ms. Kagawa did not disappoint when Ash finishes his trials and is not as fragile as one would assume. The journey with Ash was not disappointing and had me practically on the edge of my seat waiting to see what new horrors would arise.
I sort of developed a fondness for the Big Bad Wolf and poor Puck , I can only hope he soon gets his own story and finds his happiness with someone as mischievous as him.
Can't wait to start Ethan's story. 

Jan. 14
Dark Song by: Gail Giles 
               4 Stars
OMG, days later and this book is still with me. I was drawn into the romance and the drama and could not put it down and read it in one sitting. (My poor butt...)
This book touches on some very serious issues, especially in our society today. [ I was really hoping for that HEA that of course never came but I am thankful no one got hurt. This book just reinforces how vulnerable some people can be, especially young adults, when life not only tests them but practically shits on them as well. I could not get over how awful her home life became. Ms. Giles was smart to include the perfect family vacation in the beginning because we were able to watch the deterioration and practically feel her pain as her life changed. The only saving grace in this story is Ames friend. It's always hard, especially for those on the outside to witness your friend or family member suffer this way but in the end it usually helps to tell someone so they can get help otherwise like in Ames case, things can just blow up in your face. My only true complaint with the story was the parents. Even in the end I don't think they realize how much Ames needed them and how much they hurt her. It's hard to place blame on anyone in this situation, maybe the environment maybe society but in the end Ames and her family were saved and Mark will get the help he truly needs.

Jan. 13

The Almost Truth by: Eileen Cook   
              3 Stars
 I'm more disappointed with this book than anything. It showed so much potential and though I was immersed from start to finish I felt the story wasn't complete. Sadie and her family have a great background. Her childhood pretty much sucked and she became a product of her environment. Though the story did show many similarities between a few movies and books the characters and storyline were unique enough to make it interesting. Such as her desire to flee the island and go to Berkley even if she has to steal her tuition money to attend and her fathers' constant battle with the law. At times I felt annoyed by knowing what was going to happen but the author did a good job of confusing even the most sure readers. But the ending was beyond flat. I felt there should have been at least another few chapters to ease the readers mind and give Sadie a more appropriate conclusion to her story. Yet, in the last few chapters, everything changes, not only are the characters rushed but so are readers and it really took away from the story and all that came before. (Her Dad tells the truth after meeting her 'birth' mom, asks for time, leaves with Brenden, and goes to the police station in the morning.) How is that satisfactory. Even one more chapter would have sufficed.

I want to know what happens now, after the fact. Sadie may have found out the truth but don't readers deserve to see her confront this? Unless there will be a follow-up book I was left very disappointed.

And lastly, why do men always think making a girl jealous with a random hook-up or exploit is the way to go... Can we say stupid!!!

That's all for now but let's keep hoping I write these reviews instead of immediately jumping into the next book which I tend to do :)

So for now.. Keep Reading!!!

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