Monday, June 29, 2015

The Rules Review

The RulesTITLE: The Rules
AUTHORS: Nancy Holder & Debbie Viguie
PUBLISHER: Delacorte Press
PAGES: 352
SOURCE: Amazon Vine


BACK COVER SUMMARY: Junior Robin Brisset has no idea what she's in for when she accepts an invitation to one of Callabrese High's most exclusive parties. And when the trademark scavenger hunt begins, Robin must go against every rule she's lived by to survive.

OVERALL IMPRESSION: I was hoping for a really scary and thrilling book and that's what I got. Unfortunately, I didn't enjoy this as much as I wanted to. This book has so many different points of view. We just jump around from character to character and it was hard for me to keep everything straight. I could follow what was going on in the story line, but I had trouble keeping track of who was who. I feel like if this book had stuck to one or two perspectives, it could easily have been a 4 star book for me. It's an action packed book; there's a lot happening and I was invested in the story, but I feel like the big reveal would have been more shocking to me me if I'd been able to keep track of the characters better.

CHARACTERS: As I said above, there were so many different perspectives that I couldn't really keep the characters straight. I feel like I didn't really get to know anyone because we were jumping around from person to person.

COVER: The cover is great. It's really creepy and fits with the feel of the book.

**I received an ARC of this book from Amazon Vine and the publisher. My opinions are my own and have not been influenced in any way.**

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Rise (Novella) Review

RiseTITLE: Rise
SERIES: Paper Gods #2.5
AUTHOR: Amanda Sun
PUBLISHER: Harlequin Teen
FORMAT: ebook
SOURCE: Amazon Freebie


SUMMARY (FROM GOODREADS): A long, long time ago, before the world was as we know it, Izanami and Izanagi came into being. Two of the first of the ancient gods of Japan, they crafted the world from ink and their own imaginations. Izanagi wants, more than anything, to be with Izanami--but one moment of pride could tear them apart forever.

Yuki and Tanaka have been friends for as long as they can remember, but lately deeper feelings have been bubbling beneath the surface. How do they navigate the transition from friendship to true love without destroying the powerful bond between them?

Set a millennia apart, can these two couples, living parallel love stories, find their happily-ever-afters?

MY THOUGHTS: This was super quick to read. It doesn't really add a whole lot to the story line of the trilogy, so it's not a must read to follow the trilogy, but it's still nice to read to get a little bit of insight. Yuki was one of my favorite characters in the first two books in the Paper Gods trilogy, so I was glad to see a novella where she was one of the main focuses. This novella has me excited to pick up the third and final book in the series.

COVER: Again, another beautiful cover from the Paper Gods series. They are all just stunning.

COYER Read-a-thons Sign Up Post

I'm going to be taking part in all of the read-a-thons as part of the 2015 Summer COYER challenge. You don't have to be participating in COYER to join, so anyone is welcome. Click on the images to find out more information about each read-a-thon!






Friday, June 26, 2015

Black Iris Review

Black IrisTITLE: Black Iris
AUTHOR: Leah Raeder
PAGES: 320
SOURCE: Netgally


SUMMARY (FROM GOODREADS): It only took one moment of weakness for Laney Keating's world to fall apart. One stupid gesture for a hopeless crush. Then the rumors began. Slut, they called her. Queer. Psycho. Mentally ill, messed up, so messed up even her own mother decided she wasn't worth sticking around for.

If Laney could erase that whole year, she would. College is her chance to start with a clean slate.

She's not looking for new friends, but they find her: charming, handsome Armin, the only guy patient enough to work through her thorny defenses--and fiery, filterless Blythe, the bad girl and partner in crim who has thorns of her own.

But Laney knows nothing good ever lasts. When a ghost from her past resurfaces--the bully who brok her down completely--she decides it's time to live up to her own legend. And Armin and Blythe are going to help.

Which was the plan all along.

Because the rumors are true. Every single one. And Laney is going to show them just how true.

She's going to show them all.

OVERALL IMPRESSION: Wow. First off, I rated this book more of a 3.75, but just went ahead and rounded up to 4 because just wow. It's really hard to say a lot about this book. I don't want to spoil anything and I'm also kind of in awe. There was so much in this book. I feel like I don't even know what just happened to my brain after finishing this.

This book pulled me in. It's very intense. There is a lot of strong language, violence, drugs and alcohol use and a whole lot of graphic sex scenes. If those things are not for you, then you should take a pass on this book. But if you are okay with those, then this book is definitely worth reading. This book was filled with drama, backstabbing, lying, cheating, deceit and more. It was a roller coaster ride the whole way through.

This book jumps around quite a bit on the timeline and I found myself really confused as I was reading as to when the events were happening, but I made myself push on. In the end everything came together and I was able to piece it all in my head without a ton of brain power.

CHARACTERS: Again, I don't want to give away any spoilers so I'm not really going to go into much about the characters. I really like the name Blythe, I think it's really unique. Other than that, all I have to say is some of these characters are ruthless.

COVER: This cover is stunning! So simple and just beautiful.

**I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley the publisher for my honest review. My opinion has not been influenced in any way.**

Finding Me: A Decade of Darkness, a Life Reclaimed: A Memoir of the Cleveland Kidnappings Review

22002323TITLE: Finding Me: A Decade of Darkness, a Life Reclaimed: A Memoir of the Cleveland Kidnappings
AUTHORS: Michelle Knight with Michelle Buford
NARRATOR: Maria Cabezas
PUBLISHER: Recorded Books
FORMAT: Audiobook
LENGTH: 7 hours 14 minutes
SOURCE: Bought


SUMMARY (FROM GOODREADS): Michelle was kidnapped in 2002 by a Cleveland school bus driver named Ariel Castro. For more than a decade afterward she endured unimaginable torture at the hand of her abductor. In 2003 Amanda Berry joined her in captivity, followed by Gina DeJesus in 2004. Their escape on May , 2013, made headlines around the world. Millions of well-wishers now wonder: What really happened in that house, and how did Michelle find the strength to go on?

Barely out of her own tumultuous childhood, Michelle was estranged from her family and fighting for custody of her young son when she disappeared. Local police believed she had run away, so they removed her from the missing persons list fifteen months after she vanished. Castro tormented her with these facts, reminding her that no one was looking for her, that the outside world had forgotten her. But Michelle would not be broken. Heartbreaking, shocking, and ultimately triumphant, Finding Me reveals the details of Michelle's story, including the thoughts and prayer that helped her find courage to endure her unimaginable circumstances and now build a life worth living. In sharing both her past and her efforts to create a future, Michelle becomes a voice for the voiceless and a powerful symbol of hope for the thousands of children and young adults who go missing every year.

MY THOUGHTS: It's hard to put an actual rating on this, because this isn't a story that I necessarily "liked" as the subject matter is extremely unpleasant, so my rating is more for the fact that I was drawn into the story and my inability to put it down.

I am fascinated by Michelle's story. I first heard her talk on Dr. Phil and was completely invested in her story. I enjoy reading kidnapping stories, especially when I know there is going to be a happy ending. I guess I'm just fascinated and curious about how someone could do these things to another person. I was so enthralled by this story and could not stop listening. I cannot believe that these young women were trapped for long and went through everything that they did, but managed to stay hopeful and come out of it on the other side. I cannot imagine having to deal with anything like this for even one day, and yet Michelle managed to make it through 11 years of this torture. She and her fellow kidnapees are just so incredibly strong and I admire them all so much.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Tiny Pretty Things Review

Tiny Pretty ThingsTITLE: Tiny Pretty Things
AUTHOR: Sona Charaipotra & Dhonielle Clayton
PUBLISHER: Harper Teen
PAGES: 448
SOURCE: Amazon Vine


BACK COVER SUMMARY: There can only be one prima ballerina. No knows that better than Gigi, Bette, and June, three students vying to be the next star at Manhattan's most elite ballet academy. Free-spirited new girl Gigi just wants to dance--but the very act might kill her. Privileged New Yorker Bette's desire to escape the shadow of her ballet star sister brings out a dangerous edge in her. And perfectionist June needs to land a lead role this year, or her controlling mother will put an end to her dancing dreams forever. In a world where every dancer is both friend and foe, Gigi, Bette, and June will sacrifice, manipulate, and backstab to be the best of the best.

Black Swan meets Pretty Little Liars in this soapy drama from CAKE Literary, a new packager dedicated to bringing diversity to YA books. With gossip, lies, and scandal, Tiny Pretty Things is a riveting read about three not-so-perfect ballerinas who will do anything to get on top.

OVERALL IMPRESSION: I was pretty disappointed in this book. From reading the description, I expected this book to be filled with juicy drama, mystery and nonstop twists and turns. But to me, it read more like a contemporary with a hint of mystery. It's a pretty slow read. The last 50-75 pages does pick up a little bit, but this is a pretty chunky book, so most of it is slow.

I didn't really like the ending. This book just wasn't for me. If you're a fan of contemporaries, but are looking for something that isn't a fluffy, light contemporary, this might be something to pick up. It just wasn't for me.

CHARACTERS: I had trouble keeping up with the characters. The book is told through three different perspectives, but there are a LOT of characters in this book and I tend to struggle with books that have a lot of different perspectives.

I did like June and was excited to discover more about her and her story, so that's probably what pushed me to keep reading this book.

COVER: The cover of this book is so pretty! I love the black background with the purple writing and the ribbon weaved through. It fits with the plot of the story for sure.

**I received an ARC of this book from Amazon Vine and the publisher for my honest review. All thoughts are my own and have not been influenced in any way.**

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Paper Towns Review

Paper TownsTITLE: Paper Towns
AUTHOR: John Green
PUBLISHER: Penguin Group
FORMAT: ebook
PAGES: 246
SOURCE: Bought


SUMMARY FROM GOODREADS: Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs back into his life--dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge--he follows.

After their all-nighter ends and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues--and they're for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Q sees of the girl he thought he knew.

OVERALL IMPRESSION: I think it's safe to say that I am late to the party with this one. It seems like everyone but me has already read it, so when I found out a movie was coming out, I figured it was time I picked it up. I enjoyed the first part of the book quite a bit more than the second and third parts. I really enjoyed watching Q and Margo go on their adventure and enjoyed their interactions. The rest of the book, while still good, wasn't as fun for me. 

I flew through this book. I didn't realize I had gotten as far as I had when I was reading. It's such a fast and easy read. 

I'm not really sure how I feel about the ending. I feel like it was written the way that it was supposed to be written, but I just don't know if I really liked it or not. I would love to see a short novella from Margo's perspective. I think it would be really interesting to read about her journey.

I'm excited to see this movie when it comes out to compare it to the book, and I'm happy that I no longer have to avoid the movie trailers for fear of spoilers.

CHARACTERS: I feel like I would have connected with Margo had she been in the story more (dual perspectives maybe), but the rest of the characters that played a bigger role later on (Ben, Radar, Lacey) didn't really do anything for me. I feel like I didn't know much about them. They had potential to be great characters, but I feel like I didn't get to learn about them.

COVER: I like the cover a lot. It shows that this is going to be a road trip book, which immediately appeals to me.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl Review

Me and Earl and the Dying GirlTITLE: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
AUTHOR: Jesse Andrews
PUBLISHER: Amulet Books
FORMAT: Hardcover (ISBN: 987-1-4197-0176-4)
PAGES: 295
SOURCE: Bought
(actually 2.75)

SUMMARY (From Goodreads): Greg Gaines is the last master of high school espionage, able to disappear at will into any social environment. He has only one friend, Earl, and together they spend their time making movies, their own incomprehensible versions of Coppola and Herzog cult classics.

Until Greg's mother forces him to rekindle his childhood friendship with Rachel.

Rachel has been diagnosed with leukemia--cue extreme adolescent awkardness--but a parental mandate has been issues and must be obeyed. When Rachel stop treatment, Greg and Earl decide the thing to do is make a film for her, which turns into the Worst Film Ever Made and becomes a turning point in each of their lives.

And all at once Greg must abandon invisibility and stand in the spotlight.

OVERALL IMPRESSION: I was really excited to pick this one up. I wanted to read it before the movie came out and I had heard it was funny.

This book was really strange. I didn't hate it, but I guess you could say it wasn't "my cup of tea." I expected a lot more going into this book because I had heard it was hilarious. I found it amusing at times, but I didn't laugh out loud at all while reading it.

I liked the parts in the story where Greg talks to us, the reader. It pulled me into the story more and made me feel like he was personally telling me a story.

CHARACTERS: I didn't really fall in love with any of the characters. I thought it was weird that Greg's mom forced him to hang out with a girl he essentially didn't even know.

COVER: Now the cover, I really do like. I was actually worried I wouldn't be able to get this cover because of the new cover that has come out along with the movie release. I'm not a fan of the yellow cover, but I love the one with all of the colors on it.