Monthly Archives:: July 2013

Top Ten Beginning and Ending Lines

July 30, 2013 Top Ten Tuesday 9

TTT

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted over at the other blog I write for, The Broke and the Bookish.

I’m a huge fan of amazing sentences. Haha. That sounds so weird, but my two favorite sentences in a book, if done right, are the first one and the last one. I love opening a book and being sucked in immediately, and I love ending a book with an amazingly awesome feeling of closure or a thought-provoking message.

Today, I’m going to select my five favorite beginnings, and my five favorite endings. And don’t worry! I won’t pick spoilery endings. Promise. However, right under my beginnings, you will find a list of the book endings I mention. If you have read them already, don’t care to read them, or don’t mind reading my non-spoilery choices, then keep going! If you’re worried, then just don’t continue reading. This way you don’t have to worry!

Beginnings:

“It has been sixty-four years since the president and the Consortium identified love as a disease, and forty-three since the scientists perfected a cure.”
Delirium by Lauren Oliver

“They called the world beyond the walls of the Pod ‘the Death Shop.'”
Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

“My life was a mistake.”
Asunder by Jodi Meadows

“What if Shakespeare had it wrong?”
Just One Day by Gayle Forman

“Locked in darkness that surrounded me like a coffin, I had nothing to distract me from my memories.”
Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder

 

Ok, I’m giving you the last lines of Shadow and Bone, Lola and the Boy Next Door, Time Between Us, Pandemonium, and Unremembered. Proceed at your own risk!

 

Endings:

“When the tears came, he pulled my close and held me, until there was nothing left but ashes.”
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

“And I hold my head high toward my big entrance, hand in hand with the boy who gave me the moon and the stars.”
Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

“And we walk down the beach toward something he’s never seen before.”
Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone

“Alex.”
Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver (WHAT!?!?!?!)

“We take one step toward the edge and then, together, we leap.”
Unremembered by Jessica Brody

 

So, what do you think? Link me to your posts, and I’ll come visit! 


Divergent by Veronica Roth (Book Review)

July 26, 2013 Book Review, Young Adult 14 ★★★★★

Divergent by Veronica Roth (Book Review)Divergent by Veronica Roth
Series: Divergent #1
Published by Katherine Tegen Books on February 28, 2012
Genres: Dystopia
Format: eBook
Source: Bought from Amazon
Amazon Add to Goodreads
5 Stars
In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue--Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is--she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are--and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

I finally did it, guys! Wooo! Well, I really must credit Daisy with this one because she came up with the awesome idea of reading Divergent together. I rarely give myself the time to read books that I have not been sent for review, so it was a lot of fun to get the chance to read it! It was a bit slow-going for me at first, but I ended up really loving it, and can’t wait to get my hands on Insurgent!

1. I was really worried that Divergent would not live up to the hype. I’ve been hearing about this book for almost two years now, so I was pretty scared of it. Honestly, though, it deserves all the recognition it has gotten! And finally we have a book that does not pale in comparison to The Hunger Games

2. I love Veronia’s storytelling, and her way with words. She has written some beautiful passages and thought-provoking one-liners. A huge part of Divergent deals with simulations that mimic reality, placing characters in uncomfortable situations. Not only did I feel transported to these alternate realities, but I felt everything the characters felt. I loved being so submerged in these peoples’ lives, as I got to learn so much about them as a result.

3. I really like Beatrice/Tris. She comes from the selfless faction, where life is easy but dull. It took a lot of courage for her to choose Dauntless, and I really liked following her through her initiation. She grew so much, and learned a lot about what the world is like. She ate her first hamburger! She got to experience new things, feel new emotions, discover her fears and learn to conquer them, develop new desires for her life, and strengthen herself physically, mentally, and emotionally. The girl who wore her shirts buttoned up to the neck, no make-up, and her hair in a bun is getting tattoos, wearing tank tops and eyeliner, sticking up for herself, and fighting like a boss! I was so proud of her.

4. Four. Hello. I love this guy (and he’s front and center because there’s no love triangle!! Yay!!). He’s brave and fearless and mysterious, yet tender and romantic at the same time. And, oh man, parts of his story just killed me! KILLED ME. He says some of the sweetest things:

“I might be in love with you.” He smiles a little. “I’m waiting until I’m sure to tell you, though.”

5. SO many feelings. I love many of these characters, some more than others. And the things they do just KILL me! There’s bullying, hate, fighting, murder, attempted murder, abuse. Yet I love these people, even if I actually love to hate them. And I just want to smack all of them for being such idiots sometimes! With all of this brings the drama and the growth, though, so I know it has to happen. But yeah, I felt everything. And I would be so sad and then so happy! I was all over the place with this one, but it was great!

6. Yes, I did have a hard time in the beginning. I can’t quite put my finger on what it was, but things really picked up for me as I went further along!

Wow, that was a short review. All in all, I loved Divergent! I can’t believe I waited this long, but at the same time I’m glad I did because Insurgent is already out and Allegiant will be out SO soon. So I don’t have to wait long to finish this trilogy at all! I love Tris and Four, I love all the action and emotions, and I am SO excited to see what happens next!


Top Ten Words/Topics That Make Me Pass on a Book

July 23, 2013 Top Ten Tuesday 14

TTT

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted over at the other blog I write for, The Broke and the Bookish.

If I see any of these words on a book’s cover, in its summary, or mentioned in reviews from reputable sources, I get scared and usually run away!

 

 

Heartbreaking: Seriously. I read to escape from reality, not get heartbroken.

Erotic: 50 Shades of Ick.

Cancer: I just can’t guys! I get toooooo sad!

Animal Violence/Death: You hurt/kill an animal, and I’ll punch you in the throat and burn your book.

Ugly Tears: See my reason for heartbreaking.

Abuse: You hurt my peeps, and I’ll punch you in the throat.

Cheating: Cheating as a plot line just sucks. I don’t condone cheaters, so why promote a book about them? Plain and simple.

Zombie: I don’t understand the attraction. They are ugly and smell like death.

New Adult: I have yet to find a NA book I like/am interested in. For some reason, authors portray people in this age group as heartbroken sex maniacs. Anyone else noticed this? Almost every summary talks about a character with a sad/dark past who finds someone who lights their fire. It’s just not my thing. PLEASE show me a YA that does not do this.

Angels/Fallen Angels: I’ve come to the conclusion that I just do not like books about angels. I just don’t.

I also hate it when books are compared to other books I like. Like, how many books out there say they are like The Hunger Games? I LOVE that book, and I’ll pretty much be disappointed by anything that is “just like it”.

 

So, tell me what you’re thinking! Agree? Disagree? Do you know of any books that I just HAVE to read despite my feelings? I wanna know!

*Disclaimer: And aw man! I wanted to make a pretty graphic today, but I ran out of time! I guess a simple list will just have to do.


Camp Boyfriend by J.K. Rock (Review, Giveaway, & Guest Post)

July 19, 2013 Blog Tour, Book Review, Giveaway, Young Adult 5 ★★★★★

Camp Boyfriend by J.K. Rock (Review, Giveaway, & Guest Post)Camp Boyfriend by J.K. Rock
Series: Camp Boyfriend #1
Published by Spencer Hill Contemporary on July 2, 2013
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 324
Format: Paperback
Source: From the Publisher
Amazon Add to Goodreads
5 Stars
They said it couldn't be done, but geeky sophomore Lauren Carlson transformed herself into a popular girl after moving to a new school halfway across the country. Amazing what losing her braces and going out for cheerleading will do. Only trouble is, the popular crowd is wearing on Lauren's nerves and she can't wait to return to summer camp where she's valued for her brain instead of her handsprings. She misses her old friends and most of all, her long time camp-only boyfriend, Seth. This year she intends to upgrade their relationship to year-round status once she's broken up with her new, jock boyfriend, Matt. He doesn't even begin to know the real her, a girl fascinated by the night sky who dreams of discovering new planets and galaxies.

But Matt isn't giving her up without a fight. As he makes his case to stay together, Lauren begins to realize his feelings run deeper than she ever would have guessed. What if the guy she thought she was meant to be with forever isn't really The One? Returning to Camp Juniper Point was supposed to ground her uprooted life, but she's more adrift than ever. Everything feels different and soon Lauren's friends are turning on her and both guys question what she really wants. As summer tensions escalate, Lauren wonders if she's changed more than she thought. Will her first big discovery be herself?

Welcome to the final stop along the official Camp Boyfriend blog tour! I hope you’ve had fun the last couple of weeks hearing about the book, learning about J.K. Rock (dynamic duo, Jennifer and Karen), and winning giveaways! Today I get to wrap things up with my thoughts on the the book, and will then turn things over to J.K. for some fun summer hair tips. And make sure you enter the giveaway at the bottom of the post! You have two chances to win! Anyway, on to the review!

When I was younger, pretty much my favorite movie ever was the original Parent Trap with Hayley Mills. It wasn’t because of the romance or anything like that, it was because I was always fascinated by summer camp! I loved the cabins and the activities and minimal adult supervision. I always wanted to go, but got homesick way too easily. Camp Boyfriend excited me for the same reason Parent Trap did, and I loved it so much!

I kind of loved the idea of Lauren’s double life: popular cheerleader at school, nerdy astronaut wannabe at camp. It’s kind of like Danny Zuko in Grease. He’s a hardened, greasy hair, leather jacket dude at school and a romantic khakis-wearing guy during the summer he and Sandy fall in love. When you think about it, this phenomenon is so common. You’re one person with your parents, another with your friends. You’re on person at your job, and another one at home. Even in this book blogging world, so many of us are VERY different online than off. My friends don’t even really know about my book blogging, and the ones who do know are surprised I’m such a book nerd. We all have different personalities for different times, and Lauren’s two lives collide this summer. I loved watching her world cave in when she realizes what’s going on, because I just know how that would feel. Just as Lauren gets ready to reunite with her sweet, camp boyfriend, her popular boyfriend crashes her fun. And craziness ensues. I couldn’t help but laugh at her predicament. Busted!

Amidst all the summer camp-ness, drama, falling in and out of love over and over again, and trying to keep her old friends and make new friends at the same time… Lauren has to figure out who she really is. Now that her two worlds are one, she has to figure out how to mesh them together. She has to choose who she loves, and what she wants to do with her life. And what HARD choices! I really liked both Seth and Matt, I liked everyone at camp, and I really loved watching everyone try to get along and figure out what’s going on.

This book is, plain and simple, adorable. The writing is perfect, and I SO want to go to summer camp now!

Summer Hair 101
Guest post by J.K. Rock

The day I was born, my parents oohed and ahhed over my brown curls… so much so that they took endless pictures, dragged nurses over to admire me, and called in every friend and relative to see the child destined for shampoo commercials. HAH. Those curls have been the bane of my life, especially when at summer camp. Spending extended amounts of time outdoors, in the water, without frequent access to hair products, takes my semi-intentional, messy, curly look to a hairdo that resembles a Brillo pad- and a used one at that! Yikes. Lauren, the main character in my co-authored novel, Camp Boyfriend, suffers a similar fate (poor thing!). Luckily, her older sister/fashionista, Kellianne, teaches her some tricks to tame her mane. Read on for some fun, stylish ways to deal with summer hair. Take THAT Mother Nature!

Foolproof style for your next getaway or day at the beach. Here’s to good hair days ahead!

1. Before heading to the beach or the pool, wash and condition your hair thoroughly.
2. Towel dry and put hair in a ponytail at the top of your head.
3. Twist hair around the ponytail and secure in a spiraled bun.
4. Spritz strands with a soft-touch hairspray.
5. After your day in the sun, let the bun fall to form smooth waves, and finish with a mist of hairspray to keep locks in place.See? Now it looks like you meant that messy, beachy lookTame the Beast: (otherwise known as your summer hair)T-Shirt Dry – resist the urge to towel dry your wet hair when you get out of the shower. Towels’ thick, rough texture can damage the hair cuticle, so instead reach for an old (clean) t-shirt to soak up moisture.
Don’t Brush – instead of brushing your wet hair, comb through with a wide toothcomb or just your wet fingers. This will help prevent damaging the hair shaft. You can use a brush to blow dry your hair straight, but avoid brushing dry hair as it can stretch out the hair cuticle.

Skip Shampoos – In order to prevent frizz, it’s key not to wash your hair every day. This can deplete the natural healthy oils your scalp produces making your hair even frizzier. Try rinsing with water and applying just conditioner.

Treat it – For an extra benefit, reach for the jojoba or coconut oil once a week. These apply the right amount of moisture and frizz control without weighing hair down.

When it doubt- Braid it out!!
Sometimes the best way to deal with the frizz and heat is to hide it in a messy side bun, top knot, or a braid. It’s a style you can wear to the beach, in the water, on a hike, and still look ready to go to a camp dance like Lauren and her bunkmates at Munchies’ Manor. There are so many styles to choose from. Here one that goes beyond the typical French braid (which I still have yet to master…)

Wave the White Flag- or at least a head scarf.

Head scarves and hats are great ways to look good and not worry about summer locks. Scarves can double as head wraps, head bands, ponytail holders and a weapon when your friends make you want to strangle them as Lauren’s sometimes do! Hats help prevent future wrinkles, but more importantly, they also make you think of Bruno Mars. Who doesn’t want to think about him?!

Go big or Go home!

Sometimes you just have to embrace who you are- frizz and all. Confidence is attractive no matter what. Think about all the rock stars you’ve screamed for in a dark concert hall. Put the same celebrity in daylight and you’ll scream for a different reason- unless it’s Keith Richards and then you’ll know it’s not a mask. Regardless, let your hair be wild and free and when people gently offer you a ponytail holder just smile smugly and say, “And hide all of this awesomeness away… I think not.” In Camp Boyfriend, Seth loves Lauren’s curly hair. In fact, he adores everything about her

Camp Boyfriend is all about individuality and accepting yourself and others. So wave your frizz flag proudly. It’s who you are. I’d love to hear your thoughts on Summer Hair. What’s your favorite summer hairstyle?

 

Giveaway
(There are two types: a daily prize and a grand prize.)
Daily Prize: Camp journal, pen, bookmark, friendship bracelet and I <3 Camp temporary tattoos – colors and style may vary (see picture).

Grand Prize: Elkeles,The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han, Sometimes It Happens by Lauren Barnholdt, That Summer by Sarah Dessen, Always You by Kirsty Moseley, an autographed Arc of Wait For You by Jennifer Armentrout as J.Lynn and autographed copies of Camp Boyfriend and Camp Kiss along with ‘I Endless Summer by Jennifer Echols, Perfect Chemistry by Simone
  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And make sure you visit the other tour stops as well!

7/1 – Aeicha @ Word Spelunking
7/2 – Aseel @ My Crazy Book Obsession
7/3 – Amy @ Book Loving Mom
7/4 – Kazhy @ My Library in the Making
7/8 – Nicole @ Books Complete Me
7/9 – Taherah @ Books As You Know It
7/10 – Jen @ Jenuine Cupcakes
7/12 – Heather @ Nightly Reading
7/15 – Hannah @ The Irish Banana Review
7/16 – Cindy @ Princess Bookie
7/17 – Jenna @ Coffee, Books & Me
7/18 – Jess @ Book Passion for Life
7/19 – Jana @ The Artsy Reader Girl

Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland (Book Review)

July 16, 2013 Book Review, Young Adult 7 ★★★

Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland (Book Review)Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland
Published by Disney Hyperion on May 7, 2013
Pages: 294
Format: Audiobook
Source: From the publisher through Netgalley
Amazon Add to Goodreads
3 Stars
For Cricket Thompson, a summer like this one will change everything. A summer spent on Nantucket with her best friend, Jules Clayton, and the indomitable Clayton family. A summer when she’ll make the almost unattainable Jay Logan hers. A summer to surpass all dreams.

Some of this turns out to be true. Some of it doesn’t.

When Jules and her family suffer a devastating tragedy that forces the girls apart, Jules becomes a stranger whom Cricket wonders whether she ever really knew. And instead of lying on the beach working on her caramel-colored tan, Cricket is making beds and cleaning bathrooms to support herself in paradise for the summer.

But it’s the things Cricket hadn’t counted on--most of all, falling hard for someone who should be completely off-limits--that turn her dreams into an exhilarating, bittersweet reality.

A beautiful future is within her grasp, and Cricket must find the grace to embrace it. If she does, her life could be the perfect shade of Nantucket blue.

I’m not typically a fun of summer romances with a little meat on their bones. Typically, I go for the light and fluffy summer romances on the beach. I was a little scared going into Nantucket Blue for this reason, but I ended up enjoying it, even though it fell a bit short. As always, my main points are bolded. :)

1. My absolute favorite part of Nantucket Blue was the setting. I love the descriptions of quaint, little Nantucket. This is the kind of small town environment I love–where everyone knows each other, nobody locks their doors, and there are more bikes than cars driving down the stone streets. Secluded beaches are abundant, and the perfect place to fall in love. This book made me want to visit Nantucket, and I hope to find more books that take place there!

2. Cricket. This is the summer she’s going to find herself, and after losing her second mom suddenly, the companionship of her best friend, and the admiration of a boy she was crushing on, she’s definitely in need of a summer of soul searching. After the invitation to spend the summer with Jules on Nantucket is retracted, Cricket finds a job that brings her to Nantucket anyway. After a twist or two, she ends up taking a job at the local Cranberry Inn (I love this place) as a chambermaid, and becomes an intern for a journalist. She cleans rooms, tries not to fall in love with her ex-best friend’s younger brother, assists the injured journalist, jumps out of her comfort zone, and makes a few new friends. I’m not sure how I feel about Cricket. She’s kind of a pushover, and I was hoping to see some major growth throughout the book, which I didn’t really get.

3. I have a really hard time seeing people push away all the good in their life in the face of tragedy. I’ve seen it happen with numerous friends and acquaintances in my life, and it makes me sad. Why not grab hold of the things you love as you grieve the things you’ve lost? That’s why I had a hard time with Jules. She changed into an unrecognizable person, and got so snotty and rude. I felt awful for her when she lost her mom, but this transformation made me not like her very much. She just did not seem to be a very good friend, and I was frustrated with Cricket for fighting so much to keep her in her life.

4. This book is just not happy. There were a few sunshiney moments, which were nice, but there was the constant sadness weighing on me. It felt like everyone was hiding behind a facade, and it made emotions and thoughts feel less genuine. Characters are at least supposed to open up to the readers.

5. I LOVED the supporting characters at the Cranberry Inn: Liz, Gavin, and George. They made this entire book for me, and are the reason I kept reading. Liz is a quirky Irish girl, who wants so badly to bring Cricket out of her shell. She’s so funny! Gavin is like a concerned dad type, and George is the journalist who was the funniest, most genuine character of them all. They became a supportive family to Cricket, and they all meshed so well together.

6. I’m iffy on the romance. It seemed kinda insta-lovey, with no real build-up. I liked the guy ok, but there was an age difference that rubbed me the wrong way. He’s 16 and she’s 18… and I just wasn’t feeling it.

7. Leila’s writing drew me in and kept me there. I loved her descriptions and her writing style.

Overall, this was kind of a “meh” read for me. I loved the setting and the secondary characters, and everyone else was jut ok. I feel like the ending was rather lackluster, but Leila Howard’s writing throughout the rest of the book kept me going. I never considered not finishing the book, but I was not entirely invested in the story. Still, though, I am now in LOVE with Nantucket. I want to go find the Cranberry Inn and hug everyone there!


Truly, Madly, Deadly by Hannah Jayne (Book Review)

July 11, 2013 Book Review, Young Adult 8 ★★★½

Truly, Madly, Deadly by Hannah Jayne (Book Review)Truly, Madly, Deadly by Hannah Jayne
Published by Sourcebooks Fire on July 2, 2013
Pages: 262
Format: ARC
Source: From the publisher through Netgalley
Amazon Add to Goodreads
3.5 Stars
Sawyer Dodd has it all. She's a star track athlete, choir soloist, and A-student. And her boyfriend is the handsome all-star Kevin Anderson. But behind the medals, prom pictures, and perfect smiles, Sawyer finds herself trapped in a controlling, abusive relationship with Kevin. When he dies in a drunk-driving accident, Sawyer is secretly relieved. She's free. Until she opens her locker and finds a mysterious letter signed by "an admirer" and printed with two simple words: "You're welcome."

Oooooo. I really love creepy mysteries, and I’ve been reading very few as of late. Anyone else noticed that plain old suspense, without paranormal or magical elements, is pretty rare in the YA book world? Or am I looking in the wrong places. Anyway, I was SO excited when I read this book’s summary. And it was a lot of creeptastic fun!As always, my main points are bolded. :)

1. So, Sawyer is being stalked by some secret admirer who wants her complete and undivided attention. And honestly, I think she handles things really well… until this admirer starts framing her for all the tragic mishaps that have happened in town. She has no idea who this person is, who she can trust, where they will strike next, and how to stop them. This person sees her every move. This person has, unbeknownst to her, been in her house. She feels completely alone, with nobody to confide in. So she hides in fear, pretty much dealing with things internally. This situation would make anyone freak out, and she does. Not only is she secretly recovering from an abusive relationship and the death of a guy she loved once, she’s now being targeted by a psycho. As she tries to figure out what’s going on, flashbacks from her relationship with Kevin keep bubbling up in her mind. I was in an abusive relationship once, so I really identified with her. She knew she was worth more than she was being treated, but it was so hard to stand up for herself. And then he died. Everyone thought he was so amazing, and that they were an amazing couple. Everyone kept checking in on her and consoling her, all the while not knowing she was almost relieved to have escaped the violence from him. This girl has baggage, and I’m not sure I’d be able to handle everything the way she did. I’ve noticed a few reviewers mention that they really did not like Sawyer because she was weak, and lacked a little in good judgment. I didn’t feel that way at all. Sawyer gained strength as she dealt with all this, and I think she learned a lot about herself. Her weakness was believable, and sometimes it’s nice to see a heroine act human. 

2. Hannah Jayne’s story-building was so exciting. There were so many ups and downs as Sawyer received more and more cryptic notes and more “accidents” happened to the people she knew. I was glued to the pages!

3. I grew up reading mysteries, yet the ending of this book completely blindsided me. Usually I have a pretty good idea who the culprit is. I seriously had no clue things would wrap up this way. And I’m kind of unsure as to how I feel about it.

4. I think my biggest criticism is the fact that major elements of the book fell to the wayside in order to make room for the mystery. We get very little character analysis and development, and very little focus is made on Sawyer’s home life (her parents split, and the new woman lives with her and her dad… and she’s pregnant). Honestly, I can’t remember the names of anyone in this book and I actually had to look up Sawyer’s name before I started my review.

All in all, this book is a wonderful mystery. I enjoyed the suspense and the creepiness, so I was ok that the characters lacked memorable qualities. As a result, my review is rather short and vague, but that’s ok too. If you’re looking for a plain old, bare bones scare, this book is for you! It’s a quick read that will keep you up at night and make you jump 4 feet high when your cat pushes your bedroom door open and climbs in bed with you.


Triangles by Kimberly Ann Miller (Book Review)

July 10, 2013 Book Review, Young Adult 3

Triangles by Kimberly Ann Miller (Book Review)Triangles by Kimberly Ann Miller
Series: Bermuda Triangle #1
Published by Spencer Hill Press on June 18, 2013
Genres: Paranormal
Format: ARC
Source: From the Publisher
Amazon Add to Goodreads
1 Stars
A cruise ship. A beautiful island. Two sexy guys. What could possibly go wrong?

In the Bermuda Triangle—a lot.

Hoping to leave behind the reminders of her crappy life--her father's death years ago, her mother's medical problems, and the loser who’s practically stalking her--seventeen-year-old Autumn Taylor hops on a ship with her sister for a little distraction. When she wakes up in the Bermuda Triangle, she fears she's gone nuts for more than one reason: that loser’s suddenly claiming they're a happy couple... a hot guy is wrapping his arms around her and saying "Happy Anniversary"... and suddenly, she’s full of bruises, losing her hair, and getting IV medication. Autumn visits the ship's doctor, hoping for a pill or a shot to make the craziness go away. Instead, she's warned that these "alternate realities" could become permanent.

She just has to ask herself one question—how is she going to get out of this mess?

The book synopsis poses a question: what could possibly go wrong? Well… sadly, a lot went wrong with Triangles. I rarely take notes while I read, but I had to in order to keep track of all the things I didn’t like. And eventually I got tired of trying to keep track. And honestly, this “bad” review will be one of the hardest ones I have to write because the author is SO nice. As always, my main points are bolded.

1. Unfortunately, the only thing I liked about Triangles was the idea. Triangles was one of my most anticipated books of the summer. I was sold as soon as I read the synopsis, I HAD to have this book. I was SO excited when I received the ARC in the mail and I started reading it as soon as I could. Honestly, though, it was just a disappointment.

2. Autumn is terrible. I REALLY can’t stand her. She is a jerk to everyone (like her older sister, her best friend, and her admirer), she’s unbelievably selfish, and she is a really mean gossip. She says horrible things to people’s faces, and behind their backs. Plus, she is so cocky. She talks about how she looks amazing in her tiny swimsuit, no matter what she eats. She uses Joey, the cute boy she works with that is in love with her. She adds extra “sway to her hips and bounce to her boobs” when a cute boy looks at her, because she thinks she is so sexy. And she is SO shallow! She actually says at one point in the story that she would like to eat her hot pizza cheese off a guy’s chest, before she even knew him. I think that’s gross, not to mention incredibly inappropriate. All she thinks about is sex. I can’t stand her. It has been a long time since I have disliked a heroine this much. And her friend is no better.

3. Then we have the boys: Joey and Marcus. Joey is a stalker, but with sweet intentions. I think his main issue was that he was so socially immature that he didn’t know how else to handle his crush on Autumn. As I got to know him more, he became sweeter, yet dorkier in my eyes. And I wanted to smack Autumn every time she spoke to him, because she was SO MEAN. In the end, I saw him as way too good for her. I have no idea why in the world he took such abuse from her, and the fact that he did actually made me lose respect for him. And then there’s Marcus, who is apparently the sexiest teenager in the world. All I saw in him, though, was a lustful jerk who would prefer all women be naked all the time. And of course Autumn liked him. He’s a terrible flirt, and he seems way too old and worldy. Bah.

4. There was way too much swearing in this book. And yes, that’s common, but more with NA than YA. And this might sound weird, but I can handle it better when the character has a personality to back it up. I felt like everyone was swearing to try to come off as hard, tough, and mature. I wasn’t convinced, though, which made me less tolerant.

5. There were too many unnecessary details. Who cares if the character is eating “generic potato chips” or goes on “5-minutes car rides” in her “used Ford Escort”? I don’t mind details that add to the story, but these ones just made the book longer.

6. Room keys on cruise ships do NOT have the room number printed on them. It’s a security risk! Those keys get lost all the time, so the room number is not printed on the card in case else someone finds it. It works that way in hotels, too. When inaccurate details like this are added in to a story that is supposed to be somewhat rooted in reality, I begin to wonder if any research was done to make those real details accurate.

7. The drama was just too dramatic. Autumn keeps getting thrown into alternate realities, as a result of the Bermuda Triangle. Each reality is so unbelievably dramatic that I just could not handle it. In one, she has a baby. In another, she has terminal cancer and talks about how she is “losing the battle”. Suicides keep happening. Everyone is also super horny in these realities. It was just too much.

8. There were far too many coincidences.

Triangles was ALL over the place, and incredibly frustrating. The drama was off the charts, I hated all but one of the characters, and the detail overload and inaccuracies threw me over the edge. I was hoping for more of a mystery relating to the Bermuda Triangle, but that was not the case. I hardly remembered it was supposed to be the key element of the story. I’m sad to say that I really disliked the book, and I would not recommend it.


Top Ten Book-to-Movie Adaptations I’d Like to Finish

July 9, 2013 Top Ten Tuesday 26

TTT

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted over at the other blog I write for, The Broke and the Bookish.

So, today we get to talk all about books and their movie adaptations. The actual topic deals with best or worst book to movie adaptations, but since I’ve seen a ton of movies based on books I haven’t read… and read a ton of books that were made into movies I haven’t seen… I thought I’d switch it up a little to suit my needs. My first 5 choices are books I’ve decided I need to read because of the movie. My second 5 choices are movies I need to watch because I read the book.


The Princess Bride by William Goldman
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (all of The Chronicles of Narnia, actually) by C.S. Lewis
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger
North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell


The Host by Stephenie Meyer
Austenland by Shannon Hale
The Crucible by Arthur Miller
The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle
Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
(I’m totally cheating here, but a movie is in the process!)

So, what are your thoughts? Have you seen/read any of these? Do you agree with my choices? 

And seriously, anyone want to plan a movie night? :D


Golden by Jessi Kirby (Mini Book Review)

July 5, 2013 Book Review, Young Adult 10

Golden by Jessi Kirby (Mini Book Review)Golden by Jessi Kirby
Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers on May 14, 2013
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Mystery
Format: ARC
Source: From the publisher through Edelweiss
Amazon Add to Goodreads
Seventeen-year-old Parker Frost has never taken the road less traveled. Valedictorian and quintessential good girl, she’s about to graduate high school without ever having kissed her crush or broken the rules. So when fate drops a clue in her lap—one that might be the key to unraveling a town mystery—she decides to take a chance.

Julianna Farnetti and Shane Cruz are remembered as the golden couple of Summit Lakes High—perfect in every way, meant to be together forever. But Julianna’s journal tells a different story—one of doubts about Shane and a forbidden romance with an older, artistic guy. These are the secrets that were swept away with her the night that Shane’s jeep plunged into an icy river, leaving behind a grieving town and no bodies to bury.

Reading Julianna’s journal gives Parker the courage to start to really live—and it also gives her reasons to question what really happened the night of the accident. Armed with clues from the past, Parker enlists the help of her best friend, Kat, and Trevor, her longtime crush, to track down some leads. The mystery ends up taking Parker places that she never could have imagined. And she soon finds that taking the road less traveled makes all the difference.

Golden was my very first Jessi Kirby book, and since SO many people I know adore her I was a little worried I’d fall short of jumping on the bandwagon. Golden just sounded too amazing to pass up, though, so I went for it! Let me tell you, Golden is amazing! I don’t know why I waited so long!

Parker is a descendent of ROBERT FROST! He’s definitely my favorite poet, and I just loved the hat tips to his work throughout the story. I really connected with Parker. She’s a good girl, overachiever, and teacher’s pet. She’s never done anything wrong, and she’s never gone out on a limb and done something daring or adventurous. When she finds the late Julianna Farnetti’s journal in a box of class journals from ten years ago that she’s in charge of mailing back to the authors, she can’t help but snoop. In the process of snooping, she learns the truth, puts two and two together and decides it’s her job to solve the mystery of the death of Summit Lakes High’s so-called golden couple. I’ve always been the good girl–the one who never did anything wrong. And I’ve always loved mystery and making the truth known. Parker is me in high school.

As Parker delves deeper into Julianna’s life, she starts sneaking around and breaking rules to find out what really happened. She starts questioning the future she thought she wanted. Instead, she goes on a wild goose chase with her best friend, Kat, and her long-time crush, Trevor. We all know how I feel about road trips. I just love the dynamic of characters sitting in a car talking, because they have nothing else to do. I loved the witty banter, and the introspective moments they shared together. I learned so much about these three characters, and they learned a lot about each other. Kat is an amazing best friend, and Trevor is so unbelievably sweet, yet snarky.

I love small towns in books, and this one takes place in a town small enough that everyone was really rocked by the events of the fatal car crash. It really seemed to have bonded them together. Even ten years later, it’s hard for them to get over it. I loved the supporting characters, and really enjoyed watching their hearts finally start to recover.

I love this story within a story. We learn about Parker and her friends, but we also get to learn about Julianna and what it was like for her to be a teen in love with a guy who was not so good for her. Julianna’s journal entries were beautiful, and actually my favorite part of the book. I’m actually inspired to start writing my own journal again!

I am SO scared I will give too much away with this review, so I will just leave it at this. Jessi is an amazing author. Even though there is little to no romance in Golden, I loved it. It filled me with hope, had me swooning, had me intrigued, and had me smiling. I love this coming of age story, and would recommend it for anyone looking for a sweet contemporary.


Happy 4th of July!

July 4, 2013 Uncategorized 1

 

If you live in the USA, happy birthday! I hope you’re spending your day reading, eating strawberries, watching fireworks, and enjoying time with your family! I’ll be back soon with more bookish shenanigans!

What are you reading right now?
Any upcoming releases this month you’re dying to get your hands on?