Source: Purchased

Review: Firsts

Posted January 4, 2016 / Book Reviews / 11 Comments
Review: Firsts

This book was definitely one of the ones I was most looking forward to for 2016. I saw countless early reviews of people who said “this book doesn’t sound like something I’d normally like,” but it sounded right up my alley. I like tougher topics in YA, especially if it tackles sex and slut-shaming and all that other realistic stuff. So, when I went to The Strand last week and saw an early copy on the shelf, I bought it immediately! And, of course, I read it immediately. I wanted to post this review also immediately because I figured I may as well treat it like an ARC and try to beef up the buzz for it right before it actually comes out this week. This book was everything I was hoping it would be, and more. The concept itself was really refreshing and different, and the execution was nearly perfect. A lot of things could have gone wrong with this plotline, but Flynn made it so easy to relate to this girl (that most people usually wouldn’t relate to). Mercedes’s actions made you feel more sympathetic to her than judgmental. There was definitely a sense of foreboding throughout – a sticky feeling that made you uncomfortable and nervous for when everyone inevitably finds out what she’s been doing. There were really a lot of different factors that probably impacted Mercedes into making this choice – a teaching service for virgins, to make sure their girlfriends have way better first times […]

Book Buddies Review: Snowed Over

Posted December 30, 2015 / Book Buddies Reviews, Book Reviews / 1 Comment
Book Buddies Review: Snowed Over

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. The first half our discussion will take place right here, and the second half will be on Cristina’s blog! (Link at the bottom) View Cristina’s part of the discussion here. Going off of your question about holiday books and novellas, how does this one compare to other holiday-themed stories? Have you read a lot of them? Lauren: I generally read a handful of holiday books each December! I’ve noticed that most of them are more adult stories instead of YA. As you mentioned in your post, My True Love Gave to Me featured a great bunch of stories, but there wasn’t enough time to really get to know the characters. I read quite a few holiday books this year that didn’t really hit the mark for me, and this one falls into the “generally positive” category; I’d probably recommend this one because of how quick it was! Cristina: Prior to this story I had only read two “holiday” themed books, and they were both YA anthologies: My True Love Gave to Me and Let it Snow. It was definitely a nice change of pace to have a cohesive holiday […]

Reviews: Love Like Crazy and Hollywood is Like High School with Money

Posted December 20, 2015 / Book Reviews / 4 Comments
Reviews: Love Like Crazy and Hollywood is Like High School with Money

I saw this book pop up on Amazon when I wasn’t sure what to read and decided to use the Prime eBook borrowing feature. I didn’t look at the Goodreads page or ratings or anything – I just jumped in and started the book. I’ve been wanting to challenge myself to do more of that kind of thing. I follow GR and my fellow bloggers a bit too much sometimes. Did my little risk pay off? Not really. I’ve never read a book with such inconsistent dialogue. One minute, I’m rolling my eyes at the cheesiness. The next, I’m swooning or laughing or smiling to myself. I don’t know how it’s possible. It’s like half of the book is trying too hard to be John green, and the other half is perfect at being itself. I was able to handle it for most of the book, but towards the end it really started to wear on me. One of the biggest things that bugged me was the instalove. I don’t use that term as often as some, but this was instalove in the purest form. They knew each other for about a day or two when Eppie was thinking she wanted to spend forever with Lincoln. Like, that’s a bit quick for me. The cheese factor started too early as a result of that. Things like “every inch of you is artwork” don’t make me swoon; they make me roll my eyes. When her friend Sam starts seeing Dan, Lincoln’s friend […]

Review: Last Will and Testament

Posted December 13, 2015 / Book Reviews / 4 Comments
Review: Last Will and Testament

Oh, Dahlia. I don’t think you’ll ever disappoint me. *knocks on wood*  This was another fantastic story by her. It had all of the wonderful features of her young adult books with quite a bit more sexytimes added. I’m not a person who goes into books blind; I always refresh my memory on the synopsis before starting. I definitely did NOT do that with this book, so I was really caught off guard by the beginning of the book! Lizzie finds out that her parents have been killed in an accident and she becomes the legal guardian of her two younger brothers. They move back up to where she’s attending college and she tries to get her grades back on track. Meanwhile, she starts falling for her TA. I definitely haven’t read a book – especially not an NA book – with the whole parents/guardianship thing. I liked that the concept was unique overall, even though the student-teacher forbidden romance part was not. Speaking of that, I could really feel their chemistry. WHEW. I don’t generally like those books, but this one felt real and organic. And also, holy shit, those steamy scenes were… eeeeek. I LOOOOVED Lizzie as a character. She did what she wanted, she spoke her mind, she stuck up for herself, and owned her sexuality/sexual experiences. I loved that so much. She was really brazen, which I’m honestly not used to reading, so it was refreshing. (I feel like so many main characters are timid or […]

Review: First & Then

Posted December 4, 2015 / Book Reviews / 7 Comments
Review: First & Then

THIS BOOK WAS THE CUTEST. It took me a little while to get settled into the plot and the characters for some reason, but once I did… oh boy. So perfect. This is definitely one of my favorite books this year based on sheer cuteness and readability. I read this in basically just a couple of sittings over the course of two days because I was determined to finish and feel all the things. Devon’s annoying younger cousin, Foster, moves in with her family after basically being abandoned by his mom. Come to find out, he’s a great kicker and is invited onto the football team. Their family feels progress and grow slowly throughout the book, as does the romance between Devon and SOMEONE. I’m keeping this sentence spoiler-free but you may be able to guess by the end of the review. Sorry, not sorry. I will also totally reread this book, and that’s a big honor. So far the only books I’ve reread are Sarah Dessen (duh), the Harry Potter series (double duh), and books I read a long time ago because I wanted to finish the series. To have a random YA contemporary (non-Dessen) be thrown in as a worthy reread is kind of big deal. Perfect things are perfect THE FEELSSSS between Devon + Foster (seriously, the way they warmed up to each other killed me) between Foster + Ezra (what a fucking adorable friendship. I can’t) between Ezra + Devon (mmmm what a slow burn, with a […]

Review: Winter

Posted November 26, 2015 / Book Reviews / 12 Comments
Review: Winter

Well well well, Marissa Meyer. I see what you did there. You made each book get increasingly better than the last until I finally said holy SHIT this is one of my favorite series. When I finished Cinder, I wasn’t totally convinced. When I finished Scarlet, I said “that was very good, not fantastic” yet again. When I finished Cress, I thought she was headed towards something excellent. I loved being introduced to more and more characters who were special and important in their own ways. With the introduction of the ultimate bae Carswell Thorne, I was pretty sold in general… but I knew that the final book would have to blow me away to make up for my this-is-great-but-not-a-favorite feelings that I was working with from the first two books. AND THEN SHE DID IT. There are so many wonderful things about this book and about the whole series that come to a head in this finale. I would venture to say that it’s my favorite series-ender ever. (This may be because I haven’t finished a lot of series like this, but seriously it’s gotta be top three at least!) How do I love thee? Let me count the ways… 1. SQUAD GOALS Has there ever been a group of people this perfect before? Prob not. As each book progressed, we were introduced to more and more characters to make up the final crew of saviors. Book one brought us Cinder and Kai, the smart cyborg and the emperor. Book […]

Reviews: Scarlet and Cress

Posted November 5, 2015 / Book Reviews / 8 Comments
Reviews: Scarlet and Cress

I think my feelings for this book can be summed up in my Goodreads review, which is usually just a quick snapshot of my gut reaction: Okay yeah, so I am really enjoying this series so far! It’s not what I was expecting (in a good way) but somehow I’m not in LOVE with it like most people. I’m sad about that. I’ve heard that a lot of people count Cress as their favorite, though, so I’m feeling really good about the next book. As for Scarlet, I feel like I didn’t get enough of SCARLET! I love that these books alternate around between some of the main characters, but Cinder’s story from this book is sticking more in my mind than Scarlet’s chapters. I don’t know if it’s because I was more interested in Thorne than Wolf – or something similar – but damn. I kept itching for Cinder’s chapters. I loved the end of the book, when all of the stories connected and everyone came together. I can’t wait to see how they mix in Cress and other new characters in the next couple of books! Stories that have characters whose lives are connected (usually without them personally know each other) are always fun for me. These books, so far, feature a decent amount of action throughout, and then a little uptick towards the end. Usually that climax is what keeps me interested and prepares me for the next book. I’m really glad that I started Scarlet late in the readalong, so […]

Review: The Deal

Posted October 21, 2015 / Book Reviews / 2 Comments
Review: The Deal

This book was exactly what I needed at the time. I had recently finished a few “heavier” books with stronger sci-fi/paranormal or just plain crazy themes… so I wanted something relatively mindless and fun. I’m so happy that this book delivered that for me! Hannah is coerced into tutoring the school’s egotistical hockey star, Garrett, in exchange for his help in getting her crush to notice her. The two of them end up moving beyond the “fake relationship” stage into something much more. Two of my favorite tropes were here in full-force: slow-burn and hate-to-love. Garrett is cocky and annoying to Hannah at the beginning, but the two of them clearly have banter-filled chemistry. I loved getting inside both of their heads, as this book alternated between their two points of view. Some New Adult books with the guy’s point of view tend to annoy me, at least at first. Garrett was a typical NA guy in the beginning: very focused on how hot she was and all sorts of bullshit about her tits and ass. I generally don’t like reading it, but usually see some good character development that enables me to look past that stuff in the beginning. This book was one of those, thank god. As I said, the hate-to-love romance trope is usually full of banter, teasing, and sarcasm. Their chemistry oozed off the pages from the very beginning of the book. If you’re looking for a steamy New Adult that doesn’t have as much drama and has […]

Review: We All Looked Up

Posted October 8, 2015 / Book Reviews / 9 Comments
Review: We All Looked Up

I actually thought this may be a five star read for me… until I got together with my book club. Funny how things like that can happen! People definitely can open your mind up to different things you never thought about while reading. While I do have to say I loved this book overall – especially the message, writing style, and some memorable quotes – there were some areas that missed the mark for me. I loved: The writing, to me, was fantastic. (See quote on the left. PERFECTION). I wrote down a number of quotes and loved the way it FELT. I don’t know how else to explain it. The atmosphere of the book just felt cool. The whole end-of-the-world premise may be a popular semi-trope, but I’ll always be drawn to those books. I think the way this was formatted was cool – like the Breakfast Club at the end of the world. I enjoyed seeing a few different people’s perspectives and how the world essentially goes crazy in preparation of the asteroid. The whole plot was interesting. I really like books that leave an impression on you and make you think. I really started to consider what I would do in their shoes; I loved seeing the different reactions people had, as well as the different actions they took with their lives. Knowing you only have two months to live is crazy enough, but knowing everyone is in the same boat? Insane. OVERALL I have really positive memories of this […]

Review: How to Be Bad

Posted October 5, 2015 / Book Reviews / 2 Comments
Review: How to Be Bad

Just take a look at the rating report below and you’ll know how I feel about this book: very mixed. On one hand, it was kind of a fast, friendship-packed story that had a great road trip premise. On the other hand, the characters were terrible at their worst and annoying at their best. Let’s see if I can explain the pros and cons of this one. What worked The road trip premise is something I’ll ALWAYS be interested in reading. Unfortunately, like an idiot, I read this outdated road trip right after reading another outdated road trip book. Both were written around 2007 so the technology and social media aspect was totally dated. Not a huge deal, but still worth mentioning. I loved the setting (Florida) and the reason for the trip (visit Vicks’s boyfriend at his college in Miami). I also liked that the book switched between three perspectives: one for each girl, written by each author. The girls and their reasons for going on the trip were very different, so that was pretty cool. I liked Mel the most out of the three girls, I think. It was engaging and easy to read. I also am kind of obsessed with the fun cover and am still glad I bought it for my shelves. What didn’t work Man, these characters didn’t work for me. Jesse was judgmental (about everything and everyone) and incredibly religious. Mel was self-loathing and self-conscious. Vicks was the typical bad girl who made terrible decisions. Well, […]