Month: October 2014

Happy Halloween 2014 – Bookish Jack o’Lanterns

Posted October 31, 2014 by Jana in Uncategorized / 2 Comments

Happy Halloween! I don’t have any special plans this year, other than reading Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier and eating candy. I didn’t even carve a jack-o-lantern this year! But if I did, I would have wanted to do one of these.










Did you carve any jack o’lanterns this year? What fun plans do you have tonight?

Monarch by Belle Whittington | Mini Book Review + Giveaway

Posted October 20, 2014 by Jana in Blog Tour, Book Review, Giveaway, Young Adult / 1 Comment

Monarch by Belle Whittington | Mini Book Review + GiveawayMonarch by Belle Whittington
Series: Cicada #3
Also in this series: Cicada, Firefly
Published by Self on October 1, 2014
Genres: Romance, Science Fiction
Pages: 493
Format: eBook
Source: Author
Amazon Add to Goodreads
4 Stars
Blair Reynolds was born to rule. Worlds, that is. Destined to reign over an ancient intergalactic race, it may seem her fate is written in the stars. But she’s willing to risk it all for another chance to spend forever with her true love – even if it means traveling through time and space to the other side of the universe.

As far as Ash is concerned, Blair's happily-ever-after involves him, not the mere mortal with whom she seems so infatuated. She was bequeathed to him by her father, and Ash will go to any lengths to keep Blair and her true love apart.

And Ash isn’t the only one.

Deep in the jungles of Brazil, where tribal drums call to Blair and her true love, other forces carry out dangerous secret plans.

However, Blair has secrets of her own … secrets so lethal she dares not even remember them.

Secrets so painful they could ruin everything.

Because some secrets kill.

I really loved Cicada (my review) and Firefly (my review) and was on the blog tours for both of those books, so I was very excited to be given the opportunity to be on the last blog tour for this last book in the trilogy. I’m feeling nostalgic! Monarch is a bit of a hard book to review, just because I feel like the things I loved about this book are the same things I loved about the first two. Plus, I don’t want to give anything away!

Monarch is probably the most exciting book in the trilogy, as things are getting real and intense. Decisions and sacrifices have to be made. Blair is discovering herself more and more (and getting more comfortable with who she is), and learning about how all the various, seemingly unrelated puzzle pieces in her life fit together into one big revelation of a puzzle. I love how Belle pieced all these details together. I had a lot of “ah ha!” moments. I also had a lot of “YES! I KNEW it!” moments. It was exciting to finally be in the know, as the first two books were mysterious and left me with a lot of questions.

In Monarch Blair, Andrew, and Everett leave their home, possibly forever, and travel to Brazil. The tribal drums are calling her, and it’s time for Blair to return to her alien people as their queen. She ditches Andrew and Everett at a bus station, fearing their safety, and takes to the jungles alone. Did she really think they would not search for her, though? Blair soon learns she is being hunted. She is forced to awaken her Royal Guard from a centuries-long slumber, and the fight between sides and loyalties begins. Blair must choose between her true love from her human life, her true love from her alien life, and the man who was promised her hand in marriage by her father. She also has to figure out how to survive it all.

I was so happy to see Andrew again. I love her big brother, and his loyalty to her. I was happy to see swoony Everett again. He’s not as nerdy as he once was! We don’t see as much of them as we do Blair, though. We spend a lot of time with her hiding out in the jungle and remembering things from her former life. She makes a lot of discoveries about herself and who she used to be. She learns more about who Ash really is. This is a very enlightening experience for Blair and the reader, but I found things to move a bit slowly at times. Because she was alone we did not get much dialog for a while, and I missed that interaction. Things did pick up, though, and then it was non-stop action and suspense. I loved watching everything unfold. I LOVE Blair’s Royal Guard. Each member has this incredible loyalty and amazing personality. Xi is my favorite, and I saw his as almost a father figure for Blair.

I’ve always loved Belle’s writing, and I still do. She paints such immaculate pictures with her words, and made the jungle come alive in my mind’s eye. She wrote such detailed descriptions of the Royal Guard and what they look like and their apparel. She brought everyone’s emotions to life and I felt their loyalty and love for one another. I felt the aching love between Blair and Everett as well. Theirs is a very special and unique love story. I have become so invested in all of these characters, even the ones I just met in this book. That’s the sign of a truly wonderful author. I loved how the story wrapped up, and am sad to see it end at the same time. I hope Belle continues to write more!

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Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter | Mini Book Review

Posted October 13, 2014 by Jana in Book Review, Young Adult / 4 Comments

Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter | Mini Book ReviewUncommon Criminals by Ally Carter
Series: Heist Society #2
Also in this series: Heist Society
Published by Disney Hyperion on June 21, 2011
Genres: Contemporary Fiction, Mystery
Pages: 298
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
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4.5 Stars
Katarina Bishop has worn a lot of labels in her short life. Friend. Niece. Daughter. Thief. But for the last two months she’s simply been known as the girl who ran the crew that robbed the greatest museum in the world. That’s why Kat isn’t surprised when she’s asked to steal the infamous Cleopatra Emerald so it can be returned to its rightful owners.

There are only three problems. First, the gem hasn’t been seen in public in thirty years. Second, since the fall of the Egyptian empire and the suicide of Cleopatra, no one who holds the emerald keeps it for long, and in Kat’s world, history almost always repeats itself. But it’s the third problem that makes Kat’s crew the most nervous and that is simply… the emerald is cursed.

Kat might be in way over her head, but she’s not going down without a fight. After all she has her best friend—the gorgeous Hale—and the rest of her crew with her as they chase the Cleopatra around the globe, dodging curses, realizing that the same tricks and cons her family has used for centuries are useless this time.

Which means, this time, Katarina Bishop is making up her own rules.

I have really missed Ally Carter’s writing. She writes characters you love and stories you wish you were a part of. It’s been way too long since I read Heist Society (and LOVED it), so I was worried I would not remember enough to know what was going on or who everyone was. Seriously, though, it was like being reunited with old friends. We just all picked up right where we left off. Oh, how I have missed Kat and Hale and all their thievery and romantical tension! Uncommon Criminals was just as wonderful as I hoped it would be.

I mentioned in my review of Heist Society that I thought Uncommon Criminals would contain a little more romance, and I was right. But again, it was not even close to being the focus of the story. And again, I loved it. The mission and the mystery were much more integral parts of the story, and I was extremely satisfied. The tiny bits of sweet romance left me swooning and excited to see what the next book brings.

Kat has changed a lot since the last book. She’s grown up a lot, and has gained this strong independence. She knows she can succeed on her own, and has actually ruffled some feathers by performing missions without her team. I liked her independence, but was also a little sad that she felt too good for the team that made her successful in the first place. I love how her friends fought for her, though. Rather than being mad and saying, “We’re done with you.”, they did everything they could to help her this time around. These people are true friends, and I wish I had some people like this in my own life.

We do not get to see as much of everyone this time around, which was a little disappointing. Kat was the main focus, with a little here and there from Hale. Gabrielle was kind of an afterthought, and the other boys mostly fade into the background. If I had not gotten to know all of these characters so well in Heist Society, I would have no complaints now. But I missed them this time. Still, though, I really like Kat and Hale is adorable, so it’s not like I’m complaining all that much anyway.

Ally Carter is an amazing storyteller. She writes books that read like movies, and her plots are always full of excitement, humor, and even some tenderness. I’m so in love with these books, and am really sad there’s only one left (although I’ve heard rumors that Ally is writing another. Who knows?)! I recommend this trilogy to everyone I know, and can’t wait until I have time to read Perfect Scoundrels!

Salt & Storm by Kendall Kulper | Book Review

Posted October 10, 2014 by Jana in Book Review, Young Adult / 4 Comments

Salt & Storm by Kendall Kulper | Book ReviewSalt & Storm by Kendall Kulper
Published by Little Brown Books for Young Readers on September 23, 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Paranormal, Paranormal Romance, Romance
Pages: 416
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher (Netgalley)
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0 Stars
A sweeping historical romance about a witch who foresees her own murder--and the one boy who can help change her future.

Sixteen-year-old Avery Roe wants only to take her rightful place as the witch of Prince Island, making the charms that keep the island's whalers safe at sea, but her mother has forced her into a magic-free world of proper manners and respectability. When Avery dreams she's to be murdered, she knows time is running out to unlock her magic and save herself.

Avery finds an unexpected ally in a tattooed harpoon boy named Tane--a sailor with magic of his own, who moves Avery in ways she never expected. Becoming a witch might stop her murder and save her island from ruin, but Avery discovers her magic requires a sacrifice she never prepared for.

I’m SO sad, you guys. So sad. I was so intrigued by the idea of whales and witches and magic and an eerie little stormy village on an island. But honestly, Salt & Storm is the biggest disappointment of the year for me. I’ve been battling with even writing a review, but I decided to go ahead. My thoughts are very unorganized, so this is just going to be a list of things.

1. There is hardly any magic at all.
2. The writing style just did not work for me.
3. I felt like the characters spoke in a really weird way.
4. I was really upset by a dream Avery has, which includes a gruesome scene about a whale being killed by humans. It was disturbing. My review policy states that if I encounter a scene like this I’m done, but my curiosity got the best of me. Stupid curiosity.
5. I’m not sure what the point was of even including witches in this story, because there was so little having to do with them. In theory, witches are really important to the island because they bring the whales in to be killed or lead the whalers to the whales, whatever (yes, another disturbing thing to read about), but nobody was doing anything really witchy.
6. I hate Avery’s mother for taking away her freedom to choose to be a witch. This mom went as far as to almost kill Avery’s best friend in order to keep her from fulfilling her destiny.
7. Death. So much death. And I guess it was not a large quantity of death, but the fact that most of the deaths were disturbing or upsetting.
8. The characters were extremely boring. I honestly did not care, even when I could tell the author wanted me to.
9. The romance is not even worth mentioning. I hated it. I can tell the author tried to not have it be insta-lovey, but it was. And I did not like the guy at all. I can’t even remember his name.
10. There were a few twists that kept me going, but I skimmed so many passages just looking for the major details. I was bored. This book is SO SLOW.
11. In order to not spoil anything, I’m not going to discuss the ending. But I hated everything about it. Death, heartbreak, and other events that make you go, “Ok, wait what? What has been the point of this book anyway?” happened.
12. I was left feeling so unbelievably depressed. I had to go and talk to my mom and basically confess what I just read, because I just could not shake that awful dark cloud that this book installed over my head.
13. I wish I had DNFed.

*sigh* Well, there you have it. My brain dump. And honestly, I was over this book until I listed out how upset with it I am. Just thinking about it has me in a funk all over again. I can’t honestly say I would recommend this to anyone.

Inner Child: Whiny Whiny Rhino by McBoop

Posted October 9, 2014 by Jana in Blog Tour, Children's Book Review, Inner Child / 1 Comment


Inner Child is an original Artsy Reader Girl feature, where I take a moment to highlight a cute book for kids! I love children’s books. Hey, I started out on them! They are the foundation of my love of reading. When I need a smile, or a quick dose of the “good old days”, I never hesitate to crack open a picture book and feed my inner child.


whiny whiny rhinoWhiny Whiny Rhino by McBoop
Published by: Blue Blanket Publishing on July 31, 2014
Pages: 32
Source: From publisher
Add to GoodreadsBuy the Book

Can Tiny Tiny Rhino have a fun day? Or will all of his whining get in the way? If you’ve ever been worried to try something new, then Whiny Whiny Rhino is the book for you! From creative team McBoop, comes the story of the whiny rhino with the big head and the even bigger imagination.

Bottom line, this book is so cute. I love the illustrations, and the message is one that even we as adults have to remember: do not be afraid to try something new. We need to stop worrying about everything and just have fun!

Tiny Tiny Rhino worries about everything. He’s scared to do fun or daring things with his brothers, and sits around whining because he can’t do these things. His brothers pestered him, telling him to toughen up and quit hiding inside by himself. Sadly, his brothers really tormented him. I know this is common, but I still felt bad for the little guy! I’m sure children will identify with his worries, not to mention his mean brothers, and will cheer when he is finally able to conquer his fears and make his brothers and friends proud. I love the ending message as well. You don’t have to be big and strong to have fun, you just have to be willing to try something new. The story rhymes, so it can be read out loud is a sing-song fashion.

The illustrations are amazing. Tiny is little blue rhino with a huge head and a tiny body. He has a sweet little personality, and some of the cutest facial expressions. This is one of the most colorful books I have read. Each page bursts with various shades of purple, red, hot pink, turquoise, yellow, and lime green. Young eyes will be stimulated, and the shiny pages will have them reaching out to touch them.

All in all, this is a wonderful book for readers of all ages. It presents important messages about life, and it’s even a little funny at times. The illustrations are the icing on the cake, and I was completely delighted by the entire reading experience. I would definitely recommend this book to shy or timid children who need to learn that breaking out of their shell does not have to be scary.

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Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White | Book Review

Posted October 6, 2014 by Jana in Book Review, Young Adult / 4 Comments

Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White | Book ReviewIllusions of Fate by Kiersten White
Published by HarperTEEN on September 9, 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Romance
Pages: 288
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher (Edelweiss)
Amazon Add to Goodreads
3 Stars
Jessamin has been an outcast since she moved from her island home of Melei to the dreary country of Albion. Everything changes when she meets Finn, a gorgeous, enigmatic young lord who introduces her to the secret world of Albion’s nobility, a world that has everything Jessamin doesn’t—power, money, status…and magic. But Finn has secrets of his own, dangerous secrets that the vicious Lord Downpike will do anything to possess. Unless Jessamin, armed only with her wits and her determination, can stop him.

I had not heard much about Illusions of Fate, but I thought it sounded like something right up my alley. I’ve been on a bit of a fantasy kick lately, and that cover is amazing. Then I heard from Jamie that Stephanie Perkins highly recommends it, and I pushed it right to the top! I loved the idea of magic being a huge story element, so I was excited to begin. As always, my main points are bolded. :)

1. I love this place called Albion. It seems to be kind of a conglomeration of the Regency era in England and historic New York City. There were times I felt like I was sitting in Central Park, and there were times when I felt like I was sitting in an Austen-esque sitting room with lavish couches and tea on the table.

2. The nobility are the ones who hold magical powers! I felt like part of this exclusive club that I was let in on this secret, along with Jessamin. Different people hold and develop different powers, so no two nobles are the same. I liked that.

3. Jessamin is a very exotic-looking girl from the island of Melei, who comes to Albion to study at a prestigious school. Think Oxford. People from her island are not well-liked, so she is a bit of an outsider. She sure does catch the eye of Finn, aka Lord Ackerly. Something extremely romantic and rare happens between the two of him, and he is immediately captivated by her. His arch nemesis, Lord Downpike, has finally found Finn’s weakness. It’s Jessamin. She’s very spunky and not the kind of girl who sits back and lets people protect her, much to Finn’s chagrin.

4. Finn is super swoony. He’s 19, but not. And he’s so proper and romantic. And chivalrous. With these proper mannerisms and personality traits, though, he was not incredibly open with his feelings, which was a bit disappointing. He reminded me a tiny bit of Mr. Darcy. But just a tiny bit. He’s broody and opinionated and stubborn. But not as romantic.

5. I simply adored Jessamin’s friend, Eleanor. I could not get enough of her! She’s hysterical, and so much fun. I would love it if she would get her own book.

6. I think my favorite part of the story is the beginning. Everything is super mysterious and intriguing. Books are hawks as well. Who is Lord Ackerly? What is Lord Downpike hiding? Why does Finn’s house have so many doors that lead to random places? And the feeling of the book was just a bit eery and unsettling.

7. As the book moved forward, mysteries were solved very quickly, and information was kind of dumped on us. I began to get a little bored also, when things quit happening. The beginning was exciting, and there were all these ominous feelings going on. But then the excitement stopped for a while and I felt like I kept reading the same scenes over and over again.

6. I think the book was too short for the story it had to tell. I would have loved a more developed Albion, more depth to the characters (Finn has lived a LOT), and less of an easy and predictable ending. I think this might be one of the very few situations where I actually wanted a sequel. It was all just too formulaic, which was disappointing because the idea was super unique and could have been played with a lot more.

All in all, Illusions of Fate was a fun read. While it could not hold a candle to some of my favorite fantasies, it does have some unique elements that made it a worthwhile read. If you’re looking for a standalone fantasy, with a little mystery and romance I would have no problems recommending Illusions of Fate. While it lacks strong world building, there is a character named Sir Bird that I’m sure you’ll be fond of.

The Debut Dish: Mary Elizabeth Summer (+ Giveaway), Kelsey Macke (+ Giveaway) and Christy Jones (+ Giveaway)

Posted October 5, 2014 by Jana in Author Interview, Debut Author Challenge, Debut Dish, Giveaway / 10 Comments

The Debut Dish, a Debut Author Challenge feature, is where you go for the scoop on some pretty awesome debut authors and their new books! Hopefully these interviews will inspire you to add many, many more books to your to-read list. Because, really, who doesn’t need more books in their lives?

Trust Me, I’m Lying by Mary Elizabeth Summer
October 14, 2014 from Delacorte Press
Add to Goodreads | Author Website

Julep Dupree tells lies. A lot of them. She’s a con artist, a master of disguise, and a sophomore at Chicago’s swanky St. Agatha High, where her father, an old-school grifter with a weakness for the ponies, sends her to so she can learn to mingle with the upper crust. For extra spending money Julep doesn’t rely on her dad—she runs petty scams for her classmates while dodging the dean of students and maintaining an A+ (okay, A-) average.

But when she comes home one day to a ransacked apartment and her father gone, Julep’s carefully laid plans for an expenses-paid golden ticket to Yale start to unravel. Even with help from St. Agatha’s resident Prince Charming, Tyler Richland, and her loyal hacker sidekick, Sam, Julep struggles to trace her dad’s trail of clues through a maze of creepy stalkers, hit attempts, family secrets, and worse, the threat of foster care. With everything she has at stake, Julep’s in way over her head . . . but that’s not going to stop her from using every trick in the book to find her dad before his mark finds her. Because that would be criminal.

Describe your book in five words or less.
Grifter girl gets into trouble.

Why should readers pick up your book?
It’s pretty much equal parts law-breaking, snark, disguises, and clues, with doses of bullet-dodging and romance woven in for fun.

What’s the best thing about being a debut author?
The other debut authors. Seriously, I couldn’t have gotten through this sane without such a great community to lean on. Plus, their books are AMAZING.

What’s your favorite movie theater candy?
Reese’s Pieces

What’s the oddest thing on your desk right now?
A small resin box with Celtic sea horses on it.

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Damsel Distressed by Kelsey Macke October 14, 2014 from Spencer Hill Contemporary Add to Goodreads | Author Website

Hot girls get the fairy tales. No one cares about the stepsisters’ story. Those girls don’t get a sweet little ending; they get a lifetime of longing Imogen Keegen has never had a happily ever after–in fact, she doesn’t think they are possible. Ever since her mother’s death seven years ago, Imogen has pulled herself in and out of therapy, struggled with an “emotionally disturbed” special ed. label, and loathed her perma-plus-sized status. When Imogen’s new stepsister, the evil and gorgeous Ella Cinder, moves in down the hall, Imogen begins losing grip on the pieces she’s been trying to hold together. The only things that gave her solace–the theatre, cheese fries, and her best friend, Grant–aren’t enough to save her from her pain this time. While Imogen is enjoying her moment in the spotlight after the high school musical, the journal pages containing her darkest thoughts get put on display. Now, Imogen must resign herself to be crushed under the ever-increasing weight of her pain, or finally accept the starring role in her own life story. And maybe even find herself a happily ever after. Enhance the experience with the companion soundtrack, Imogen Unlocked, by the author’s band, Wedding Day Rain.

Describe your book in five words or less. Raw, sassy, swoony, hopeful, dramatic Why should readers pick up your book? I think it’s pretty cool that my book has its own soundtrack. (Husband Daron and I are an indie-pop band and we wrote an album for my book!) I’m also proud to be an advocate for the destigmatization of mental health issues–particularly in young people. I think that Damsel Distressed definitely supports that aim. Also Grant. *swoons* What’s the best thing about being a debut author? Being a debut author is nice because you’re not actually worried about things like sales and numbers of copies and things like that. It’s still very abstract until the day it’s released, which is fantastic for a drama queen like me. Also, the anxiety means I get to eat all the cheese I want with only minimal judgement from the rest of humanity. What’s your favorite movie theater candy? Definitely Sour Patch Watermelons. What’s the oddest thing on your desk right now? My desk is pretty standard, but depending on which way I turn my head I can see 1) a Joey McIntyre New Kids On The Block pin, 2) at least 20 ink pens that don’t work but THEY ARE PRETTY, and 3) a cowbell. a Rafflecopter giveaway

trinkaTrinka and the Thousand Talismans by Christy Jones
October 30, 2012 from illusio & baquer
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Trinka lives in a lofty world called Ellipsis, where schools prize their students’ abilities to predict the future … or at least, she does until she flunks out of her fantastical school. She is sent away to join her father in a watery world where she won’t need talent. But when she decides to get there by stowing away on the airships run by the mysterious dream merchants, she ends up on a journey she never could have imagined.

As she crosses into unfamiliar worlds full of unexpected adventures, Trinka finds herself both helped and hindered by an ever-growing collection of talismans—strange objects and strange creatures given to her by the people she encounters on her journey. Along the way, Trinka discovers the secrets that have fractured her family and scattered them across the four worlds. But will she find the strength, courage, and confidence to do what no one (especially her) has ever believed she could?

Describe your book in five words or less.
hopeful outcast adventures home

Why should readers pick up your book?
Young readers (and formerly-young-reader moms like me) can relate to Trinka’s struggles to discover where she belongs, as she finds that “everything going wrong” and “everything working out just right” can be part of the same journey. It has students who store thoughts in glass jars, merchants who get paid in dreams, fiery jewel caves, family secrets, unexpected friendships, failures, triumphs… and (in a way) true love. And no dystopianism. It’s a fun, satisfying read.

What’s the best thing about being a debut author?
I hope it will create opportunities for me to do more of what I love: writing!

What’s your favorite movie theater candy?
I don’t think I’ve ever tried any… so taking the question less literally, I love end credits. My family always stays to watch the full show, and I appreciate when the credits have fun little extra graphics or formats, and great music. If books somehow got end credit music, I would love mine to have Francesca Battistelli’s “Write Your Story.”

What’s the oddest thing on your desk right now?
I wish I could say “a clean space,” but unfortunately that’s not the case. So I guess it’s a book from the 1960s that has “The Tale of Peter Rabbit” on one side, and flips over to reveal “The Travels of Babar.”

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Second Star by Alyssa B. Sheinmel | Mini Book Review

Posted October 2, 2014 by Jana in Book Review, Young Adult / 4 Comments

Second Star by Alyssa B. Sheinmel | Mini Book ReviewSecond Star by Alyssa B. Sheinmel
Published by Farrar Straus & Giroux on May 13, 2014
Genres: Contemporary Fiction, Retelling
Pages: 248
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher (Mail)
Amazon Add to Goodreads
2 Stars
A twisty story about love, loss, and lies, this contemporary oceanside adventure is tinged with a touch of dark magic as it follows seventeen-year-old Wendy Darling on a search for her missing surfer brothers. Wendy’s journey leads her to a mysterious hidden cove inhabited by a tribe of young renegade surfers, most of them runaways like her brothers. Wendy is instantly drawn to the cove’s charismatic leader, Pete, but her search also points her toward Pete's nemesis, the drug-dealing Jas. Enigmatic, dangerous, and handsome, Jas pulls Wendy in even as she's falling hard for Pete. A radical reinvention of a classic, Second Star is an irresistible summer romance about two young men who have yet to grow up--and the troubled beauty trapped between them.

I was very excited for a Peter Pan retelling, as I’ve never read one before and Peter Pan has always been one of my favorite fairy tales. This book and I were not on the same “page”, though. The book’s synopsis mentions magic, but I guess I was hoping for more. Maybe you just can’t expect magic in a contemporary retelling, but a girl can hope. I went through a roller coaster of opinions, but I ended up unhappy. This review is actually very hard to write, so let’s see how it goes.

I was very intrigued by Wendy’s search for her surfer brothers who went missing in a surfing accident, and was looking forward to a bit of a mystery. Sadly, though, this whole aspect of the story ended up being rather lack luster, and such a tiny part of the focus. Readers aren’t even given the opportunity to solve this mystery. Wendy’s search leads her to a cove of “lost boys” who live in abandoned condos and spend their days surfing. I’ve never been the biggest fan of surfer dudes, so the fact that these ones have never grown up made me even more disenchanted. I did like the cove setting, but I never fell for these boys. They were terrible influences on Wendy, and got her involved in things she really should not have been doing, like drugs and vandalism. I liked Pete at first, but he just got weird. Peter Pan is immature in the Disney movie I watched over and over as a child, but his immaturity in this book made me really dislike him after a while. And Jas… meh. He wasn’t as dynamic as he could have been, considering he was meant to be the bad guy.

Oh, the insta-love. Again, I wanted a Peter Pan-esque tale, and Wendy and Peter are not supposed to fall in love in my mind. It would invalidate Peter’s desire to never grow up. In this book, though, Wendy and Pete make out a lot… immediately (even though he has a girlfriend…). And it just felt kind of icky because this is not supposed to happen (Wendy is supposed to be a mom figure to Peter and the Lost Boys!), especially so fast! And then there’s this insta-love thing going on with Jas, too. So we’ve got an insta-love love triangle, two things I’m never a fan of.

The ending infuriated me. I seriously felt there was no point in reading the book. I can’t stand it when that happens, and I feel like I wasted my time. Basically, this book was not for me, which has me SO sad. You just can’t make Peter and Wendy fall in love/lust/weird! Clearly, this is a big deal to me that I didn’t realize before. Haha. I think what made me the saddest, though, is that the fairy dust in this story ends up being drugs. I HATE drugs in books, so I was kind of crushed when I learned of this. The magical dust of my childhood was turned into evil drugs that make people do stupid things. Wendy and Peter don’t fly literally, they fly because they are high. The magic was immediately sucked out for me. That, combined with the fact that I didn’t like any of the characters, and the fact that the one part that actually had me excited (the mystery of the missing brothers) was overshadowed just left me disappointed and sad. Retelling a beloved fairy tale is risky and hard, and I feel like this attempt was not successful.

Debut Author Challenge 2014 – October Review Link-Up

Posted October 1, 2014 by Jana in Debut Author Challenge / 0 Comments

DACFallHappy October! We are officially in the middle of fall over here in Utah. What’s the weather like where you are? I’m so excited to don my sweaters, jeans, scarves, and crunch through the fall leaves. I’m not the biggest fan of Halloween, but I do love pumpkins, candy corn, and an excuse to eat candy! It’s going to be a wonderful month of great releases, so curl up with a couple and start reading!

Congratulations to Amanda from Of Spectacles and Books! She won our September link-up. Amanda, check your email!

September was another great month. Here’s hoping we have even more amazing reviews in October!


Some things to remember:

– It’s never too late to join the fun! If you’d like to join or make sure you’re signed up, there is a sign-up list and list of participants located in the DAC 2014 Info tab at the top of my blog.

– Make sure to follow me at @debutauthorc for all the Debut Author Challenge news, including flash giveaways, Debut Dish post highlights, and information on our favorite authors!

– I’m here if you have any questions at all, so don’t hesitate to shoot me a message via Twitter or comment or homing pigeon.

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