Publisher: Harper Collins

Review: The Secrets of Lily Graves

Posted January 14, 2015 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
Review: The Secrets of Lily Graves

I had pretty low expectations when starting this book because I had seen a lot of pretty negative reviews. Most people said that it was glaringly predictable, but I am SO BAD at predicting things in books. Mysteries and thrillers always catch me off guard because I kind of try not to make theories about what’s going to happen because I would rather be surprised…. but even when I do make predictions, they’re wrong. I was thinking that I would be the black sheep and actually end up liking this one, but I was nervous about the ending. (I had a feeling this was going to a book that’s success hinged on the ending, and I was right.)  I think the overall concept and setting was really cool. It was the epitome of a story that sounds GREAT in theory but was poorly executed. What Worked The fact that the main character, Lily, was in a family that ran a funeral home was pretty sweet. I thought that would be a good setup for an interesting story that obviously involved death. It was able to give Lily some insider information to help her solve the mystery. That whole aspect was interesting and kept me reading. In general I think Lily was veryyy generally characterized, which is obviously not a good thing, but there were a few instances where humor and feminism shown through. I liked that she stayed true to herself no matter what. The pacing was pretty good. It […]

Review: All Lined Up

Posted January 12, 2015 / Book Reviews / 7 Comments
Review: All Lined Up

Review Honestly this one wasn’t what I expected. I should have known it wasn’t going to be the LOL-funny New Adult books I’ve recently come to know and love. It was a bit more angsty than that. There were definitely some funny moments that I enjoyed, and definitely a bit of steaminess, but a lot of the “emotional” parts had me rolling my eyes like nobody’s business. Dallas was a bit melodramatic a lot of the time. I get where she’s coming from: her dad doesn’t pay her a lot of attention, her mom isn’t around, and she doesn’t know who she is (apparently). I do enjoy some flawed characters – but only to a certain extent. They have to realize when they’re being weird and insecure in order for me to be semi-okay with it. Luckily Dallas does seem to realize it a few times… “I recognize the self-loathing because I’m a master at it.” – yeah, no kidding girl. A lot of the drama in this book was built on misunderstandings, which always annoys me. Dallas hung around being a whiny baby all the time and Carson remained perfect. (I love him, by the way.) The CHEMISTRY between those two… JESUS. Besides all of that self-pity, a lot of the dialogue (both inside her head and with her friends) just bugged me. People complain that The Fault in Our Stars has two teenagers with vocabularies that are “unrealistic” or too fancy for their ages? Well, I thought that the dialogue in this […]

Book Jar Review: Pivot Point

Posted January 7, 2015 / Book Reviews / 15 Comments
Book Jar Review: Pivot Point

Twice a month, I’ll pick a slip of paper from my book jar and read a book that has been sitting around for a while. I don’t buy as many physical copies as I do e-books, but my bookshelves are still overflowing with far more unread books than ones I’ve read. A lot of these book jar picks will help with the TBR Challenge I joined for 2015, but some books I own are newer books that won’t qualify. Without further ado, here’s my review for the first book I drew from my book jar! This definitely qualifies as one of those books where I find myself asking WHY didn’t I read this sooner?? I absolutely loved The Distance Between Us by Kasie West and heard nothing but great things about this duology, too. I got it in my Uppercase box a few months ago and was really happy to finally own it… and even happier it was one of my first Book Jar picks! Anyways this book was AWESOME. Totally not what I was expecting – in a great way. I assumed it would be really similar to Just Like Fate, which I also liked, but this was definitely higher-stakes. It was a bit of a mystery and I absolutely could not put it down. First, I thought that Addie was a random girl with abilities. I didn’t realize she lived on a Compound full of people with abilities. That was SO cool and really made it much more […]

Holiday Review: Snowed In

Posted December 19, 2014 / Book Reviews / 7 Comments
Holiday Review: Snowed In

Let me start out by saying that this is a very cute winter read. I’m not sure why I chose it for my “holiday reads” this season because realistically I could have read  this in January and enjoyed it too. The holidays weren’t even mentioned, which was fine! It did a good job of putting me in the mood for snow. (Good thing, too, because the morning I finished this book I woke up to snow coming down.) This book made me feel pretty nostalgic. I used to go to the library all the time after school, before I could drive, and read old-school paperbacks from the young adult section. You know the kind – they’re small, have pretty big font that takes up the entire page, and were more than likely broken on the spine. This book (and Love on the Lifts, which is coming up here soon) just have that old feel to them. And I loved that! Unfortunately I had this one figured out about a quarter of the way through. I’m not entirely surprised because it felt like it would be quite predictable, but it was definitely one where I didn’t mind the predictability. It was really cute, had some nice characters, and an overall great general concept. I think that’s what I liked most about it – the setting and how that fed into the overall plot of the book. Ashleigh and her mother move from Texas to a small island up north, where they decide […]

Review: Vicious

Posted December 10, 2014 / Book Reviews / 1 Comment
Review: Vicious

*Do not read this review if you haven’t read all of the other books in the series! I’ll hide spoilers about this book, but anything before book 16 is fair game. Oh god. I can’t believe I finally read this book and that this series is actually over. This could easily be the hardest review I’ll write, because this book means more to me than a lot of others out there, but I’ll try to make it reasonable! It’s kind of difficult for me to summarize how this series has been so important to me for the past nine years. It kept me guessing and kept me READING during years I had no time to read. I started  the series in 2005, when book one was released, and religiously read each one every six months when they were released. People think it should have ended sooner, but I was never wishing it would just end already like most people. I can’t say that I’m surprised about any of it, really: what happened in the back, how quickly I read it, and how everything ended. That kind of predictability turns a lot of people off from books, but I’ve grown to become so engrossed by Shepard’s writing style that I don’t care. Sure, this series should basically have a subtitle of “How Many Times Can These Girls Fuck Up?” – but I can’t say that I was ever bored. I’m sad that it’s all over, but am very satisfied with the ending. […]

Review: Poisoned Apples

Posted November 3, 2014 / Book Reviews / 2 Comments
Review: Poisoned Apples

So when I was in college, I did a Directed Study course for my minor (Literary and Cultural Studies). It basically meant that I joined up with one of my LCS teachers and wrote out a semester-long research paper about a topic of my choosing. Because this teacher was one of two that taught me everything I needed to know about being a feminist, I knew I needed to work with her. She taught the art history-related courses at my school, which was a big time business university, so she was more than happy to work one-on-one with someone who was actually interested in her expertise and wasn’t just taking her courses because they needed the credit. ANYWAYS this book is pretty much exactly in line with what I wrote my paper on. I wish this was published two years ago. My paper was basically about feminist artists whose work depict and work against gendered stereotypes, fairy tales, and expectations. SOO in summary, you can see why I was super excited about this book. I went out to the store and bought the physical copy because 1) I knew I needed it on my shelf and 2) I heard the illustrations were gorgeous and didn’t think my Kindle screen would do them justice. Overall, this book did not disappoint! It’s difficult for me to rate poetry or say if it was “good” or “bad,” because that’s all up to interpretation. For someone who is way more interested in this subject […]

Review: Rites of Passage

Posted October 30, 2014 / Book Reviews / 5 Comments
Review: Rites of Passage

This is just going to be a random spilling of my thoughts instead of the usual well thought-out reviews I normally do. I just have a lot of mixed feelings about this book. I started it because of the insane amount of blogger hype surrounding it. It sounded like a great “girl power” book that I would really like, despite the fact that the military setting really was deterring me. I decided to give it a try anyways. My feelings are so mixed for a variety of reasons. It fucked with my emotions, man! And not in the way I like for books to fuck with my emotions. Here’s a summary of my thoughts: Beginning: Okay I can see why people like this. Enjoyable narrator, too. 1/3 Done: Jesus this hazing is killing me, I can’t listen to this. I need to stop listening to this. 1/2 Done: Okay I’m about to DNF. This is too hard to hear. 2/3 Done: Hmmm maybe things are getting interesting. ~*RoMaNcE*~ 3/4 Done: Some predictability here. Kind of enjoying this. More hazing. Blah. Ending: You have GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!!!!11 Grrrrr. So Sam was a fucking awesome main character. She was a badass who would NOT quit no matter how shitty (and difficult for me to listen to) things got for her. Literally nothing could stop her. I was rooting for her and, really, for the advancement of women in general. Matthews was misogynist and awful and I wanted to jump in and […]

Review: The Perfectionists

Posted October 20, 2014 / Book Reviews / 3 Comments
Review: The Perfectionists

Yessss Sara Shepard you can do wrong for me. So many people complain that all of her books are the same and she makes series drag on forever… I have no issues with this. Regardless of how similar the stories may seem, they’re always easy to differentiate in my mind. Her writing makes everything suspenseful, quick, and interesting. I was certainly intrigued by the prologue and beginning of the book, but thought the huge amount of characters would get confusing. After a while it wasn’t difficult to keep them separate. The book follows five girls who bond over hating Nolan, the popular asshole guy at their school. They jokingly plot to kill him during their class but end up deciding to mess with him at his party that weekend. By morning, Nolan is dead – and it wasn’t their fault. Their activities that night make them look suspicious and the girls try to figure out who killed him that night in order to clear their own names. The girls are keeping secrets of their own, and in the super-competitive world of Beacon Heights, everyone who knows them is willing to spill them. As I said, the story itself and the setup of the book is fairly similar, but Shepard touches on a lot of different secrets and keeps things interesting. I’m a HUGE fan of her style. She slowly releases information (like why they all hate him, what actually happened that night, etc.) throughout the book until everything comes crashing […]

Review: Ask Again Later

Posted October 8, 2014 / Book Reviews / 3 Comments
Review: Ask Again Later

Okay this book was really funny. A bit of the humor was a little too predictable or childish for my tastes, but I really enjoyed that aspect overall. (Obviously this book was set in high school, so I can’t be too surprised). This book is about Heart, who of course has no interest in finding love. That aspect was cheesy to me but I let it slide. She is invited to prom by two very different guys under very different circumstances. Instead of just doing the logical thing and saying no to both, so she can go to prom with her big group of friends like she planned, she flips a coin. Heads: she goes to prom with her brother’s friend, Troy, who is most likely going to get drunk and obsess over his ex-girlfriend. Tails: she goes with Ryan, the theater boy with a secret. I LOVE this premise; I will read any book with the alternate timelines like this one. This book was so cute and light that I finished it in about 3 sittings over the course of 2 days. I liked the characters a lot (more below), but felt like overall they could have been fleshed out a bit more. All of her friends in the No Drama Prom-a crew weren’t given much explanation and I constantly had no idea who was who. It wasn’t that big of a deal, because giving them much more personality probably would have detracted from the actual story, but I got enough […]

Review: Pretty Little Liars series

Posted October 2, 2014 / Book Reviews / 11 Comments
Review: Pretty Little Liars series

Like I recently did for the Private series, I’m posting another brief review for an entire series. The FINAL book in the Pretty Little Liars series is coming out in December. In honor of the end of an important era in my reading life, I’ll debrief everyone on the series if they SOMEHOW haven’t heard of it. And no, the books are nothing like the TV show. The first few episodes were similar, but that’s where it ended. The characters’ names are the same and some of their personalities; the show’s general plotline is not the same as the books. I’m going to review all 15 books in one brief post. Well clearly something’s working for me if I’ve been religiously reading the series since I was 15 years old. This is the one series I will read the book for IMMEDIATELY when it was released…even during my “reading dark ages” in college. Luckily they always came out in June and December, so I was able to read them over school breaks. BUT I digress. This series is great. Lots of people complain that they wish it would just end already, but I’ve been eagerly awaiting each new book just as much as the previous. It’s full of twists and turns. Just when the girls think they’ve figured something out, they are surprised by something else. It’s funny reading the description for the first book with all of the knowledge I have now, because things have changed so much since that […]