In an effort to cut down on posts and burnout, my Review Roundups will feature 2-4 books I’ve read or listened to recently. Sometimes they’re newer releases and sometimes they’re all backlist titles. My ARC reviews usually get the solo treatment. Enjoy the mini reviews! I’m a big fan of Ally Carter… clearly, if you look at all the reviews up at the top there. She writes some of the most fun and engaging “light mystery” kinds of books. I love all of them for different reasons. I was pretty excited to explore a standalone too! This was a first for her. The whole Alaskan survival thing didn’t exactly appeal to me but I can’t resist her stories, so I dove in soonafter it came out. I enjoyed Maddie and Logan, and the complexities of their relationship. I’m a huge fan of childhood-friends-to-more, especially if there’s hate-to-love involved. This checked off a lot of boxes for me in terms of tropes I love! There was a decent amount of build for their relationship and understanding where they both were coming from. I shipped them but not to OTP levels. The survival aspects were nicely done and not overkill, considering that I don’t love that genre/topic in general. The journey was really quick (the book itself is quite short and I listened to the audiobook, which was only around 6 hours). I think I would have liked a little more to the story? It was kind of simple, if that makes sense. I […]
Author: Ally Carter
In an effort to cut down on posts and burnout, my Review Roundups will feature 2-3 backlist books I’ve read or listened to recently. My ARC reviews usually get the solo treatment. Enjoy the mini reviews! I’m a big Ally Carter fan… You can tell from all the books listed above that I’ve read by her. While the Gallagher Girls series is one of my favorites, Embassy Row didn’t really disappoint until this final book. Many people were annoyed with Grace before but I kind of liked her closed-off ferocity. She had been through SO much; I really understood why she was so hardened to the world and how she didn’t trust easily. That was a non-issue for me in the first two books, but really took a turn in TAKE THE KEY AND LOCK HER UP. I will admit that SO much of this had to do with the audiobook narrator. She over-acted and over-exaggerated her reactions to everything, so Grace was even more whiny, irritating, and hardheaded. The story itself was lacking in some areas, but my issues with Grace really distracted me from anything else going on. She jumped headfirst into really stupid things… and then didn’t understand why certain people would be mad at her for them. Seriously, such a moron! Her selfishness in this book astounded me. I don’t know why it surprised me so much, but it did. I thought the first half of the book dragged on a little bit because they were essentially on the […]
I read two mystery/thriller stories in a row, and neither of them disappointed! They both had interesting political elements and little to no romance. (I had grown sick of reading back to back to back (etc.) romancey books in December and needed a new vibe to kick off the year.) I’m bringing some mini reviews your way for both of these highly recommended stories. After the major cliffhanger in ALL FALL DOWN, I was so anxiously waiting to see how things picked up in SEE HOW THEY RUN. I definitely should have reread the ending of the previous book before starting it, because I was a little lost for a while, but I started to remember things as time passed. It did generally take me a while to fully feel invested in the story. I think the action didn’t take off right away and for some reason I wasn’t pageturning like crazy. Don’t get me wrong – some crazy twists and turns happened in the beginning of the book too! It just didn’t click with me right away. In my review for ALL FALL DOWN, I said how I wanted more of her friends and to finally meet her brother. One of these hopes did come true, as her brother Jamie comes to Embassy Row with his friend from West Point. He was definitely a big presence in the book, but her friends weren’t. The pace quickened around the 200 page mark and I didn’t stop reading until I was finished. I […]
The Nostalgia Project is my way of revisiting and rereading old favorites from my young adulthood to see if they still resonate with me. Learn more here and read old posts or reviews here! My first successful series revisit within The Nostalgia Project has come to an end! Let’s be honest, I totally cheated with this one. I had determined last year that I was planning on rereading the Gallagher Girls series by Ally Carter because there were three remaining books I never managed to read. I started listening to the audiobooks back in October 2014 and steadily trucked through the series until December. I then bought books five and six to finish off my collection… and didn’t get around to reading them. I finally picked up book five to finish them off before the end of 2015. Because I individually reviewed the previous four books, I’m going to continue that here first. Then, you’ll see my thoughts on the entire series and what I learned at the bottom. This has to be one of my favorite books in the series. It’s hard to say that now, considering that all of the previous books blend together when you haven’t read them in a year, but I just feel it. I haven’t physically read a book in this series since the first few books came out and I forgot how addicting they are! It’s a totally different experience with the audiobooks. I thought that some parts of the book were frustrating because of the […]
AHH THIS WAS SO GOOD GUYSSSS. Throughout the whole book, I kept wondering when I would find a flaw. I really couldn’t, for the most part, until the very end of the book. My first impression was that this book had a more mature feel to it than the Gallagher Girls, which was nice. The one thing that’s recently bugged me during my GG reread was that Cammie felt too immature to me. I was really looking forward to seeing what Ally Carter could do with an older character. Of course, Grace has her own problems that did at times make her seem younger than her age. There were times when she got angry and pouty that were reminiscent of a bratty teenager… but when you think about everything she’s been through, you kind of understand why. She seemed overdramatic at times, but she always said what was on her mind and wasn’t afraid of the backlash. She was kind of a badass, while also being funny and very sarcastic. This book is about Grace trying to prove that her mother was murdered and not killed in the fire. She has very foggy memories of that night, but does vividly remember seeing the bullet holes in her mother’s chest. She tries to find the Scarred Man that she remembers from that night, as she believes he’s the one who killed her mother. I loved that Grace developed as an unreliable narrator in some ways; you start to doubt her memories […]
I finally made it to the first Gallagher Girls book that isn’t a reread! It was nice hearing a story I hadn’t read yet. DAMN this book got crazy, though! Just when you start to think it’s a fluffy story that is more romantic than spy-filled, you’re wrong. This book was definitely action-packed, which was certainly a breath of fresh air compared to the last book. Things are starting to get wild. Cammie’s spy activities are much more high stakes in this one. Instead of spying on her ex-boyfriend or other boys, she’s pretty much trying to stay alive. Part of me still doesn’t know who to trust or what’s going to happen. The one thing that continues to bug me is how immature Cammie seems. Maybe I’m so far removed from high school that I don’t remember what it was like, but I can’t help but feel like her voice is a bit more 12 year old than 17 year old. (I think part of this has to do with the audiobook narrator, though.) Regardless, I’m really excited to continue with the series and see what happens next! Pretty decent cliffhanger with this book.
So far this one is my least favorite. I guess I just feel like it was kind of boring and not much happened. It started out strong because the girls get involved with some kidnappers within the first few chapters, but then they’re just hanging around school and rehashing the event. I think it opened things up to get more interesting in the rest of the series, though. I didn’t remember anything about this book at all before rereading. Nothing ever came back to me as it got going either. My guess is that this one was my least favorite the first time around, too 😉 The romance aspect of this one was essentially nonexistent 97% of the book. I don’t remember much about what happens with Cammie and her love interests in the rest of the series and I honestly don’t know if I care which one she ends up with. However, all was not lost! Here are the things I enjoyed, as always: Strong friendship of Cammie and Bex/Liz/Macey Learning cool things about spies and seeing how their school-related lessons intertwine with what actually happens to the girls Crazy events at the end!
Book Buddies is a discussion-style review that takes place with one of my two buddies. (Learn more and see past reviews here) We both read the book and then have a private discussion about it. We post our discussion as a review on the last Wednesday of each month. You’ll be able to see our similar/different opinions on the overall book, characters, writing style, etc. – just like a regular review. Half our discussion will take place right here, and the other half will be on Cristina’s blog! (Link at the bottom) For this particular review, because it included short stories, we alternated the stories between the two of us and shared our thoughts on all of them. Because of that, I’m featuring six stories but will share my overall rating for the other six stories at the bottom of the page. Overall Thoughts I absolutely loved reading this anthology. There were quite a few stories that left me wanting more, for different reasons. Some of them had such great characters that I would have loved a full story with them. Others felt kind of rushed or unfinished, which unfortunately can happen with short stories. They would have benefited from a few more pages for characterization, wrapping up the stories, or just better developing it overall. Regardless, I would highly recommend this collection of short stories to anyone who enjoys the Christmas season. At the bottom of my post, you can see some of my story recommendations! Discussion #2- The Lady and the Fox by Kelly Link […]
I think I MIGHT like Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy a littleee more than I’d Tell You I Love You but Then I’d Have to Kill You. A little more. I think there’s more of a mystery element to this book than the previous. You follow Cammie as she tries to get to the bottom of what the Blackthorn-related mysteries are. I didn’t care too much for Zack (I’m a Josh fangirl) but I started to be okay with him towards the end. The overall storyline of this book was just maybe more interesting than the first one? The fact that I don’t remember anything about these books anymore has nothing to do with their QUALITY, but everything to do with TIME. I read these back in eighth grade/freshman year of high school. It’s been quite a while! I have a hard time remembering my thoughts and basic plot points of books I just read a day ago, let alone 8 years ago! I’m excited to continue with the series and remember what happened with all of my Gallagher Girls. There are hints that hopefully she’ll learn some more about the circumstances of her father’s disappearance/death too.
You know I don’t like to reread books. However, when I realized that the final two books in the Gallagher Girls series had somehow slipped past me, I knew I needed to revisit the other books before finishing the series. I remembered that they were fun, quick reads; I figured why not try out the audio version of all the books? So far, so good! The books are just as cute and fun as I remember. I love the characters. Cammie, our MC, is the daughter of the Gallagher Academy headmistress. She’s known as the chameleon because she can blend into any situation; she’s pretty much the epitome of an average plain jane….. except for the fact that all Gallagher Girls are spies in training. I loved listening to all of the spy stuff that the girls would learn, and how Cammie applied it to her personal covert operations mission. Cammie and her friends (Bex, the British badass, and Liz, the country girl klutz) have a great friendship. All of the Gallagher Girls have an extremely loyal sisterhood, which was so cute. When Cammie meets a cute boy in the town one day, Bex and Liz help her learn more about him using their spy tools. Macy, the spoiled rich girl that just started at Gallagher, brings her knowledge of boys and normal prep schools. Armed with this information, Cammie starts seeing her new boyfriend, Josh, as much as she can… and has to lie about her real life. The […]