Publisher: Bloomsbury

Mini ARC Reviews: Linny’s Sweet Dream List and Rebel Bully Geek Pariah

Posted March 17, 2016 / Book Reviews / 8 Comments
Mini ARC Reviews: Linny’s Sweet Dream List and Rebel Bully Geek Pariah

I generally liked this one, but the last half of the book bugged me. Consider this a very strong 3 stars! It was a quick, cute read about a woman trying to get her life back on track. I loved the Southern small-town setting that had lots of fun and interesting characters. The family dynamics between Linny, her sister Kate, and her mother Dottie were so great. I loved seeing their relationship, as well as Linny’s relationship with her best friend Mary Catherine. However, Linny jumped to so many conclusions throughout the book about Jack and his marital status… no matter how much evidence was OBVIOUS otherwise. QUIT ASSUMING! I also think the events of the plot could have been better spaced out; it was very slow-moving overall. The writing was a bit bland at times? I felt like the same descriptors were used too often and the book just felt… bland. I don’t know how else to explain it. She referred to Jack as “the vet” and his son as “the young boy” every other sentence instead of using their names, which felt impersonal. Overall though, it was a heartwarming, quick read with solid ending that made me happy I read it. Like most readers of this book, I expected a Breakfast Club vibe with a little mystery involved based on the synopsis. I figured it would be a contemp with multiple points of view – from the rebel, the bully, the geek, and the pariah. The book ended […]

Mini Reviews: See How They Run and The Fixer

Posted February 15, 2016 / Book Reviews / 9 Comments
Mini Reviews: See How They Run and The Fixer

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 […]

Review: Where the Stars Still Shine

Posted July 17, 2015 / Book Reviews / 8 Comments
Review: Where the Stars Still Shine

This was definitely the kind of story that grabs you and doesn’t let go while you’re reading. I finished it within a few hours. I really loved so many elements of the book, but I didn’t get to the same level of “oh my god I love this book” like MANY other readers. I’m not sure why, to be honest, because it’s hard to even think of flaws. Callie was kidnapped by her mother when her parents got divorced, and they were on the run ever since. When her mom gets pulled over because of a broken taillight and finds out who they are, Callie is immediately brought to live with the father she doesn’t remember. She’s suddenly a part of a huge Greek family that has been missing her for years. She meets a cute boy and makes friends right away, which I thought was a little crazy… but I still loved it. Kat, Alex, and Greg (her father) were such great characters. I wanted them to be my friends. The romance was a bit quick, in my opinion, but that doesn’t mean I don’t ship the shit out of it. Callie’s struggles between her loyalty to her mom and the love she feels from her new family were so heartbreaking. I feel like most characters would have acted out much more or made much worse decisions, but Callie felt REAL and believable. I’m so glad for that. She was willing to try new things, make friends, join her family, etc. […]

ARC Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses

Posted April 29, 2015 / Book Reviews / 12 Comments
ARC Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses

This review was written immediately upon finishing the book (February 13th), so pardon any nonsensical flailing (AKA the whole review. Okay bye.) MY THOUGHTS? WHAT ARE MY THOUGHTS, STUPID REVIEW GRAPHIC???? I DON’T KNOW HOW TO MAKE WORDS. This was my first Sarah J. Maas novel (don’t yell at me) and I can certainly now see what all the fuss is about. I decided to approach this one before Throne of Glass because honestly the synopsis of ToG didn’t appeal to me NEARLY as much as this one did. I love faeries! Love, love, love. Always have. When the lovely Andi lent me her ARC, I started reading it immediately because I was just so in the mood for it. I finished it in three days, which is a little longer than usual for me… BUT not that long considering it was over 400 pages and I pretty much read it in a few loooong sittings. I could not stop reading, folks. Even when there wasn’t much happening as far as plot-moving action, I couldn’t stop. So damn engrossing. Fantasy books can be very hit or miss with me; for some reason they don’t hold my attention as much as contemporaries do. I find myself getting distracted. Nope. Not with this book. I was drawn in immediately as I learned about Feyre, her family, and their history. I despised her sisters right off the bat and was hoping that there’d be some redeeming qualities eventually. No matter how poorly her family members treated her, […]

ARC Review: The Start of Me and You

Posted March 26, 2015 / Book Reviews / 13 Comments
ARC Review: The Start of Me and You

Yeah, I’m not sure how I’ll ever formulate words about this one. My Goodreads review that usually is a few sentences about my first reaction literally consisted of: I pretty much loved this book from the first page. I’m not going to say anything fancy about it. I just did. When I saw that I got approved for this one on NetGalley, I celebrated like never before and immediately started reading after my current book. This all happened in January – and, because I’m me, I wrote the review then. (Hi! This is January Lauren!) This was easily one of my top three anticipated books for 2015 so my excitement was out of control. Thank god, somehow, my expectations were exceeded. I really loved Open Road Summer but I’m a weirdo in that music isn’t a huge part of my life. I liked the tour aspects. I LOOOOVED me some Matt Finch. But a book centered around music is kind of meh for me. REGARDLESS, excellent book. How could she top that? (She did though) Also, there was a Lilah Montgomery reference in this book and I died. LET ME GET TO IT FOR REAL NOW: This book was perfection. There were some moments where I wanted to kick Paige in the butt, but I felt the same way about Reagan in ORS. Emery Lord’s main characters are imperfect. Flawed. They make mistakes that the reader wants to punch them for, but loves them anyway. I loved Paige. I loved […]

Review: One Past Midnight

Posted November 24, 2014 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
Review: One Past Midnight

Okay so this book is the second one I was WAY too excited about this year (Dissonance was #1). I was afraid I built it up too much and it wouldn’t meet my expectations. Well, it did. HOLLER AT ME for knowing what I like. I loooove books about parallel lives and this one did not disappoint. Sabine is a girl who lives two separate lives; she lives each day twice, once in each world. (Somehow you have to suspend everything you understand about time progression. Just let it happen. Shh.) In one world she lives in a rich Boston suburb, has divorced parents, a perfect boyfriend, two dickhead brothers, and a lot of fancy stuff. In her other life, she lives in a low income Boston suburb, has an alcoholic father, workaholic parents, no money, a little sister she loves, a bad influence friend, and a constant attitude. She literally is two different people. I was so intrigued about her lives from the beginning, and incredibly nervous about how this book could possibly end. One thing that bugged me a little was that the two worlds weren’t explained as much as they could have been. I wanted to feel a strong preference to one world so I could figure out which life Sabine was better suited for. A lot of the “world-building” (really life-building) was just surface level stuff. In other words, I think the introduction part of the book could have benefited from a little more time before […]

Review: Just Like the Movies

Posted October 24, 2014 / Book Reviews / 1 Comment
Review: Just Like the Movies

A lot of bloggers I follow weren’t super impressed with this one, but it seemed too cute for me to pass up. I think a lot of them expected this book to be movie reference after movie reference, with constant tie-ins or conversations. Luckily I read a lot of their reviews before reading this so I knew NOT to expect that. I think there was a perfect amount of references that were pretty easy for most people to follow; it used a lot of classic romantic comedies with pretty obvious scenes. Lily and Marijke live in different social circles at school but find themselves coming together to make their romantic lives better. They plan how to make these “movie moments” for themselves: Lily wants to get the crush she’s been pining over and Marijke wants her boyfriend of a year to finally say those three words. Their friendship developed kind of quickly (almost like insta-love but for best friends), but I really liked it. They felt natural for some reason. The characters in general were kind of stereotypical versions of high schoolers. Marijke was sporty, Lily was nerdy, Joe was a badass, and Tommy was in a band. I wish they were characterized a little more than that, but I did like watching the relationships develop. The whole book was full of cliché movie moments, whether they were referencing them or they were happening naturally. It felt very “high school” to me, also. I understand that this book took place […]

Review: Open Road Summer

Posted September 14, 2014 / Book Reviews / 10 Comments
Review: Open Road Summer

Let me get this out of the way quickly: I’m not a huge music person. That sounds weird or stupid, but I’m just not. I don’t mean that I don’t like music or don’t listen to music, because I DO. I really do. I prefer classic rock to the popular stuff on the radio now; I tend to only listen to music that’s from the 60s, 70s, or 90s. Some people have to be plugged into music all day every day, but there are some days I even go without listening to music at all. (That sounds weird because I used to never be that way; I’m pretty sure I can blame audiobooks for that one). That being said, I generally don’t gravitate towards books with music or musicians as a central part of the plot line. It’s not that I can’t relate to it or won’t like it, it’s just a topic that doesn’t jump out to me. Open Road Summer clearly is a book based around music, but it was not what I was expecting – in a very good way. Reagan heads out on tour for the summer with her best friend Lilah, who is a country music star. When some drama unfolds and Lilah’s image is in jeopardy, a child star singer named Matt joins the tour. To me, this was a story much more about friendship than about relationships. Sure, there is PLENTY going on with romantic relationships, breakups, and make-ups, but I think the central […]