Book Review: Rule by Jay Crownover

Opposites in every way . . . except the one that matters

Shaw Landon loved Rule Archer from the moment she laid eyes on him. Rule is everything a straight-A pre-med student like Shaw shouldn’t want—and the only person she’s never tried to please. She isn’t afraid of his scary piercings and tattoos or his wild attitude. Though she knows that Rule is wrong for her, her heart just won’t listen.

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Book Review: Unchanged by Jessica Brody

9791910Genre: 

Young Adult, viagra approved Contemporary, Romance

Pages: 

432

Part of a Series?:

The finale in the Unremembered Trilogy

Release Date: 

February 24th, 2015

You Can Find the Book At:

GoodReads

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Book Depository

Author Website

GoodReads Summary: 

In this mesmerizing conclusion to the Unremembered trilogy, Sera will fight those who have broken her.

After returning to the Diotech compound and receiving a successful memory transplant, Seraphina is now living a happy life with another synthetically engineered human like herself, with whom she is deeply in love. She has no recollection of Zen. But the nagging feeling that something is missing from her life continues to plague her. Diotech’s newest product is about to be revealed—a line of genetic modifications that will allow people to live longer, fight disease, and change any unfavorable physical attribute they desire.

As more secrets are revealed, more enemies are uncovered, and the reality of a Diotech-controlled world grows closer every day, Sera and Zen must find a way to destroy the company that created her, or they’ll be separated forever.

My Review:

While this review will not contain spoilers for Unchanged, there will be spoilers for Unremembered and Unforgotten. Please click those titles to read those reviews. 

It took me awhile to review this book only because it took so long for me to recover from this series. I’ve been enjoying it from the very beginning and I’ve enjoyed becoming friends with Jessica, because this is just such a great series and who wouldn’t be stoked to be friends with a cool author? PLUS this series has been inspirational in my own science fiction writing.

Moving on.

I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to buy this book because I’m kind of broke right now and I can’t afford books right now (I know, it sucks). Luckily, on release day, I got a gift card to Barnes and Noble for my birthday and I knew exactly what I wanted to buy. I bought it, came home and proceeded to read it in about 3 hours.

Zen – I loved the person he’s become. He’s still Zen. He’s still the boy that we’ve fallen in love with from the first two books. But he’s changed a lot, and we see a different side of him because the Sera we get to know in this book is not the Sera of the first two books. She is massively confused by Zen. She’s told to hate him, that he manipulated her, all those sorts of things but she remembers him and their moments and its incredibly confusing for her. And Zen has hardened, and he’s focused and its more than just his love for Sera at this moment. I really like what he’s become in this book.

Sera – When we meet up with Sera again in the novel, she’s been wiped again, so she’s massively in love with Kaelen and completely on the side of Diotech. And you’d think you would be frustrated with her, and that you would just be counting down the minutes until she wasn’t like that anymore. But the more you read it, the depth that you have in her mind, the way they’ve changed her since she left Zen, even her interactions with Zen and Kaelen…I get it. I get it from the beginning to end. Sera is a complicated character. I can’t go more into that without spoilers but she’s complicated. She loves Zen and Kaelen but there’s so much more to that…

Which leaves me to the OMG moment that Jessica does in the book. I honestly didn’t know how this was going to end, or what Sera was going to uncover or anything but when you hit that a-ha moment and everything comes to light, I was just floored. I didn’t see that coming. It made so much sense but it just BLEW my mind. Especially with the end. Its not the end I expected. It certainly wasn’t the end that I was hoping for, or that I think a lot of readers would hope for. But its also the exact ending that makes sense and is so perfect. I had to reread the last twenty pages because it was a whirlwind but I loved every single bit of it. It was so unexpected but I just loved it. I loved that I was able to be SO surprised at the end.

In the past year or so, I’ve read a LOT of series enders. A lot of series have ended, and some of them have ended really well and some have been really disappointing. Reading this book made me incredibly happy. Not only did it wrap up everything that we had been reading in the first two books, but it presented new problems and new information, but it tied it all together in one incredible end. Jessica’s world building is on point, her writing is beautiful and addicting and her story is one that I won’t forget any time soon. Its unique and engaging and absolutely beautiful and it left me breathless and unable to do anything else but sit and my head and just go, “WHOA!” at the end.

Keep writing Jessica, and I’ll keep reading :)

Rating: 

5 out of 5 Stars

Book Review: Kissing Ted Callahan (And Other Guys) ARC by Amy Spalding

18333999This review is based on an advanced reader’s copy of the novel obtained through Edelweiss at the permission of Poppy. This is in no way had an effect on the integrity of my review. Please note that published novel will differ from this ARC.

Genre: 

Young Adult, viagra 60mg Contemporary, Romance

Pages: 

320

Part of a Series?:

Standalone Novel

Release Date: 

April 14th, 2015

You Can Find the Book At:

GoodReads

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Book Depository

Author Website

GoodReads Summary: 

Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist meets Easy A in this hilariously realistic story of sneaking out, making out, and playing in a band.

After catching their bandmates in a compromising position, sixteen-year-old Los Angelenos Riley and Reid become painfully aware of the romance missing from their own lives. And so a pact is formed: they’ll both try to make something happen with their respective crushes and document the experiences in a shared notebook.

While Reid struggles with the moral dilemma of adopting a dog to win over someone’s heart, Riley tries to make progress with Ted Callahan, who she’s been obsessed with forever-His floppy hair! His undeniable intelligence! But suddenly cute guys are popping up everywhere. How did she never notice them before?! With their love lives going from 0 to 60 in the blink of an eye, Riley and Reid realize the results of their pact may be more than they bargained for.

My Review:

Its going to sound pretty silly but when I read this book, and finished it, I stopped and thought, its like Amy knows me or something.

Riley and her friend Reid make a pact to expand their love lives after catching their friends together, and realizing how alone both of them are. So they decide to do something about it. While Reid focuses on one girl, Riley kind of spreads herself around. She has a massive crush on Ted Callahan but she can barely speak in front of him and she doesn’t really know if she likes him. So she meets other guys, who are interested and that feels nice so she goes for it. And its so me, I can’t handle it. Because its always a mess! Its like, she’s unsure if Ted likes her, so she doesn’t want to put all of her eggs in one basket, so to speak, and miss out on other guys that might like her, so she kisses and dates other boys, but really, its just a mess.

And that’s what makes this book SO good. Amy has a way of capturing characters in such a REAL way, even in the ways that can make us kind of silly, immature and even just plain stupid. Riley makes a TON of mistakes in this book: pushing away her best friend, not being honest with the boys she dates, writing down all the details of said love life, etc, and it all sort of blows up in her face, and as weird as it sounds, its kind of fun to watch. Its real and familiar and its nice to see that you’re not the only one that does stupid things like that.

But what I really like is the relationship that builds between Ted and Riley. It has bumps (mountains?) and its so uncertain and scary for both Riley and the reader but that is what makes it so real. They don’t automatically fall in love and have this tragic beautiful romance. There are awkward moments and they both make mistakes and have insecurities and it takes a bit for them to get on the same page and come together, and I think that happens a lot in real life and that’s what makes it such a great story.

Plus Riley is a drummer and is massively obsessed with music and I think that’s totally cool. It really makes her such a fun character to read, besides just the stuff that she goes through. I love characters that have passions and that sort of thing. Makes them more real, makes them fun and memorable.

Also, I love that it takes place in Southern California, around things that are super familiar. I loved the different venues and places they went because I know them and now they feel a little different, in a good way, because I know the things that Riley and the rest experienced while at these places and that’s really awesome.

Rating: 

Book Review: Emily and Oliver (ARC) by Robin Benway

13132816This review is based on an advanced reader’s copy of the novel obtained through snail mail at the permission of HarperTeen. This is in no way had an effect on the integrity of my review. Please note that published novel will differ from this ARC.

Genre: 

Young Adult, viagra Contemporary

Pages: 

352

Part of a Series?:

Standalone Novel

Release Date: 

June 23rd, order 2015

You Can Find the Book At:

GoodReads

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Book Depository

Author Website

GoodReads Summary: 

Emmy’s best friend, pill Oliver, reappears after being kidnapped by his father ten years ago. Emmy hopes to pick up their relationship right where it left off. Are they destined to be together? Or has fate irreparably driven them apart?

Emmy just wants to be in charge of her own life.

She wants to stay out late, surf her favorite beach—go anywhere without her parents’ relentless worrying. But Emmy’s parents can’t seem to let her grow up—not since the day Oliver disappeared.

Oliver needs a moment to figure out his heart.

He’d thought, all these years, that his dad was the good guy. He never knew that it was his father who kidnapped him and kept him on the run. Discovering it, and finding himself returned to his old hometown, all at once, has his heart racing and his thoughts swirling.

Emmy and Oliver were going to be best friends forever, or maybe even more, before their futures were ripped apart. In Emmy’s soul, despite the space and time between them, their connection has never been severed. But is their story still written in the stars? Or are their hearts like the pieces of two different puzzles—impossible to fit together?

My Review:

Dear Robin Benway, WHAT DID YOU WRITE HERE?

Okay, so I’ve read Robin Benway’s books before. I loved her books before. She is a friend of mine and she’s awesome. She’s a fantastic writer, a great inspiration and I just adore her. Getting an ARC of Emmy and Oliver made me incredibly excited and I’m even more happy that I got it now that I’ve read it.

Emmy and Oliver is an INCREDIBLE story. Its one of those stories that seems so out there, so incredibly unbelievable, but its TOTALLY believable because things like this happen. Oliver is kidnapped by his father as a child and reappears years later, as a teenager. Its difficult for him, because he was told a different story, raised a different way and then uprooted and returned to the family that he hasn’t seen in years, a family he probably doesn’t really feel like he has a bond with. It brings to mind all these girls that have suddenly been found after decades of being missing. What an incredibly traumatic experience to be kidnapped, but also traumatic to come home as well. This is what Oliver goes through and its hard to imagine.

That’s when you enter Emmy, who fell in love with Oliver as a child and has always wondered where he is, and how he is, especially since his kidnapping had such a profound effect on her parents and her own limitations in her life because of it. So when Oliver returns, that’s an experience for herself. She has no idea how to handle it. She wants to pick up where they left off as kids but she also feels like he’s a stranger, like he’s delicate and she doesn’t quite know how to interact with him.

When you put it all together, its an incredibly emotional and HUMAN story. Both Emmy and Oliver together, watching them figure out their lives and each other, and the people around them is incredibly engaging, familiar and addictive. Even if you can’t relate, you want to. You want to feel close to them and Robin does such a great job at writing these characters that they feel so real. Their stories are real and the romance that builds between them is just awesome. It has ups and downs, and it not easy because of Oliver’s past, and its beautiful to see them try and work.

This book doesn’t release until summer, but its definitely one that must be on your TBR. I adore Robin, she’s a great friend and she has written a total winner. A year ago, she talked briefly about her book and Oliver and how she wished she could talk to him, and show him a little love because of the things she put him through, and now I totally understand. I’m very excited for the official release of this book and you definitely should be too!

Rating: 

4.5 out of 5 Stars

Book Review: From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess (ARC) by Meg Cabot

22718809This review is based on an advanced reader’s copy of the novel obtained through snail mail at the permission of Feiwel and Friends. This is in no way had an effect on the integrity of my review. Please note that published novel will differ from this ARC.

Genre: 

Middle Grade, tadalafil Contemporary

Pages: 

192

Part of a Series?:

First in a Planned Series

Release Date: 

May 19th, what is ed 2015

You Can Find the Book At:

GoodReads

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Book Depository

Author Website

GoodReads Summary: 

In FROM THE NOTEBOOKS OF A MIDDLE SCHOOL PRINCESS a new middle grade series, viagra readers will see Genovia, this time through the illustrated diaries of a spunky new heroine, 12 year old Olivia Grace, who happens to be the long lost half-sister of Princess Mia Thermopolis.

My Review:

I don’t often read middle grade novels, I tend to focus more on YA and NA but there was NO way at all I was going to turn down the chance to read the newest novel by Meg Cabot in one of my favorite fictional worlds, The Princess Diaries series. Without getting too spoiler-y, we’re introduced to Olivia, who is a somewhat awkward, but totally adorable 12 year old girl who somehow gets into a load of trouble with the most popular girl in school, who wants to beat her up after school. That is, until she finds out that her father, a mysterious man who has sent her letters and presents for years, is actually a crown prince, and her sister, a princess, THE Princess Amelia of Genovia. Enter a whirlwind of changes for the girl as she steps into her new role as Princess Olivia.

There was SO much I liked about this book.

One, the fact that Olivia is biracial. We need more and more diversity in our books and this is just plain beautiful. I love every bit of this completely.

Two, I love that Olivia is writing in a journal the way Mia did. It feels so familiar. It feels familiar to get to know this character in such a similar way that you got to know Mia when she learned that she was a princess.

Three, I love that Olivia is younger than Mia, and I love that she has had different reactions, and a different exposure to this news. True, she’s younger than Mia was in that first novel, and this book is geared toward a different age group but I love that we get a sort of familiar story but with a brand new character.

Four, Olivia is just SO incredibly fun. She’s spunky and honest and fun. She kind of takes things as they came to her. She’s a princess? Cool. She gets a new dog? Awesome. She has the weirdest grandmere on the planet? All right. She has to move to Genovia to learn how to be a princess? Why not?

Five, I like that even though this is a middle grade novel…it hints at some deeper things as well. First off, that even though she’s with her family now, her real family hasn’t been there for quite some time, even though her father knew she existed. Sure, there’s more to that and Olivia’s mom wanted her away from that, that sort of thing but it opens up a larger question of whether she would have ever gained a relationship with her father.

And it also shows the family that she had already, a family that treated her kind of terribly actually. Her adopted family was kind of neglecting, even in their attempts to protect her so that’s kind of interesting as well.

Six, we get to see Mia again, and see the beginnings of her preparations for her wedding to Michael (which, like, ohmygod, I’m fangirling so hard over this! I’ve been waiting…let’s see, I was 12 when I read the first book…so 14 years, 15 years for this?). And Olivia is going to be a junior bridesmaid. We get to see Prince Philipe and Grandmere and it just feels good to see those characters again. I LOVED it.

Straight up, its a great book for those who are already fans of The Princess Diaries and would like a dose of nostalgia and I think it’ll be great for those who haven’t been introduced. They can meet Olivia and perhaps go back and read Mia’s story and that’s just fabulous!

Rating: 

5 out of 5 stars

Book Review: I Was Here by Gayle Forman

18879761Genre: 

Young Adult, medications  Contemporary

Pages: 

288

Part of a Series?:

Standalone Novel

Release Date: 

January 27th, purchase 2015

You Can Find the Book At:

GoodReads

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Book Depository

Author’s Website

GoodReads Summary: 

When her best friend Meg drinks a bottle of industrial-strength cleaner alone in a motel room, Cody is understandably shocked and devastated. She and Meg shared everything—so how was there no warning? But when Cody travels to Meg’s college town to pack up the belongings left behind, she discovers that there’s a lot that Meg never told her. About her old roommates, the sort of people Cody never would have met in her dead-end small town in Washington. About Ben McAllister, the boy with a guitar and a sneer, who broke Meg’s heart. And about an encrypted computer file that Cody can’t open—until she does, and suddenly everything Cody thought she knew about her best friend’s death gets thrown into question.

I Was Here is Gayle Forman at her finest, a taut, emotional, and ultimately redemptive story about redefining the meaning of family and finding a way to move forward even in the face of unspeakable loss.

My Review:

I am blown away at how absolutely amazing Gayle Forman truly is. I find that the struggle to prove that young adult literature provides thought provoking, incredible, well written novels is all consuming. Its part of why this blog exists in the first place. But when I read books like “I Was Here”, I feel as if all I need to do is take a copy of this book and put it into the hands of those who doubt the entire spectrum of YA. Gayle Forman is an incredible writer, an unbelievable storyteller and a person capable of capturing the most human of emotions in a matter of a few thousand words.

Gayle Forman has managed to tug at my emotions in every single book that she writes and she doesn’t fail to accomplish the same thing with this book. As soon as it starts, I know I’m in trouble. This is a story of friendship, and friends have always meant the absolute world to me, but even more so in the past six months or so. Friends are those people that are even better than family at times, in that even when you’re at the very worst you can be, they still somehow find a way to love. Its incredible. The friendship we see between Cody and Meg takes place in the past, as we follow Cody through her grief and her attempt to understand, but it feels real, and raw, and genuine, and so the grief that Cody feels over losing her best friend, over not knowing that this could happen…its incredibly real.

Meg has committed suicide. I’ve been fortunate in my life to have never experienced something like that. I can’t even begin to imagine what I would feel learning that had happened to someone I loved as much as Cody loved Meg. The thought would be…devastating. Should I have known? Should I have seen? Could I have changed what ultimately had happened to someone I was supposed to know better than anyone? And these are core questions that Cody struggles with, as she fights to wrap up the hidden pieces of her best friend’s life.

Without getting too into spoilers, because I keep my reviews as spoiler free as possible, this is where the core of the story is. Cody struggles so hard with trying to figure out why her friend did this and her personal responsibility for it, that she sort of looks for another avenue. Its not her fault. Its not even Meg’s fault. Its someone else’s fault and she actively looks for someone to blame for it, and it only drives her to further heartbreak. Watching as she breaks apart Meg’s life and the things she struggled with, and the things she didn’t know about her best friend, its incredibly humbling and heartbreaking and just…so real. Gayle Forman manages to write the most real characters I’ve read in a book and that is what makes her stories so great.

I can’t wait for more from Gayle. I can’t imagine that she can get any better but every single time I say that, she manages to produce a book even better than the next. If there is ever a doubt that young adult literature is not good enough, or not producing books of literary value, I know without fail that I can hand this book (amongst so many others) and feel strongly in its excellence. Another total winner, Gayle. I’m mighty impressed :)

Rating: 

5 out of 5 Stars

Book Review: Fairest by Marissa Meyer

Genre: 

Young Adult, Science Fiction

Pages: 

222

Part of a Series?:

Companion Novel in the Lunar Chronicles

Release Date: 

January 27th, 2015

You Can Find the Book At:

GoodReads

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Book Depository

Author’s Website

GoodReads Summary: 

In this stunning bridge book between Cress and Winter in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles, Queen Levana’s story is finally told.

Mirror, mirror on the wall,
Who is the fairest of them all?

Fans of the Lunar Chronicles know Queen Levana as a ruler who uses her “glamour” to gain power. But long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, Levana lived a very different story – a story that has never been told . . . until now.

Marissa Meyer spins yet another unforgettable tale about love and war, deceit and death. This extraordinary book includes full-color art and an excerpt from Winter, the next book in the Lunar Chronicles series.

My Review:

While there will be no spoilers for Fairest in this review, there will be spoilers for Cinder, Scarlet and Cress. Please be aware of that when continuing. 

I LOVE Marissa Meyer and the Lunar Chronicles, so when I discovered I would have to wait nearly two years for the conclusion after reading the beautiful book that is Cress, I was heartbroken. However, we had this book in between and I’m so glad it exists.

The thing about Levana is that she is the bad guy. She is the villain. She’s the one we’re spending all these books fighting. Its hard to ever think that we could get behind her point of view. But that’s kind of what this book is for. Not necessarily to get you on Levana’s side, but to give you the background on how she began the queen that she is.

When the book first starts, I actually felt really bad for her. Her sister, the way she’s treated by others, the accident that left her…well, desperate to use a disguise all the time…you actually feel sorry for her. For a moment, I felt confused that I wouldn’t know how to feel about her, especially with Winter releasing this fall.

But it didn’t take long for the things to go opposite of how Levana plans them and the character that we’ve grown to know in the books surfaces. But so much worse than we could have imagined. She is sick in the head, the ideas that she has and the measures she takes in order to fulfill her own desires and to quench her own insecurities….its insane! This book is short, chronicling Levana’s life until what we know now and it just blows my mind. You wonder how this little girl that you felt so sorry for just became so misguided and cruel. Her cruelty comes mostly from her insecurities and its sickening. Marissa has created an incredible villain in that even when you’re reading her side of the story, you’re still blown away at what she is capable of.

I think it was a great story, and it really added to what we already know in the series. I think seeing Winter and Selene (aka Cinder) was incredible as well, because we see them under Levana, and what she really truly thinks of them, and its just…ugh. Its gross. Its hard to imagine someone so insecure, so unsure, that they go to the lengths that Levana does.

But it also made me even more excited for Winter. Seeing Winter as a child, seeing what she and her father went through, and her poor mother…its just heartbreaking and I can’t wait to see how this series ends. Marissa Meyer creates the most compelling characters and this is only further proved in Levana’s story.

Rating: 

5 out of 5 Stars