Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Review: The One by Kiera Cass


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The One
Kiera Cass
Print Edition: 336 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: May 6, 2014
Source: Library

Goodreads | Amazon

The highly anticipated third book in Kiera Cass's #1 New York Times bestselling Selection series, The One will captivate readers who love dystopian YA fiction and fairy tales. The One is perfect for the fans who have followed America's whirlwind romance since it began—and a swoon-worthy read for teens who have devoured Veronica Roth's Divergent, Ally Condie's Matched, or Lauren Oliver's Delirium.

The Selection changed America Singer's life in ways she never could have imagined. Since she entered the competition to become the next princess of IllĂ©a, America has struggled with her feelings for her first love, Aspen—and her growing attraction to Prince Maxon. Now she's made her choice . . . and she's prepared to fight for the future she wants.

Find out who America will choose in The One, the enchanting, beautifully romantic third book in the Selection series!

Y’all, I reread my review of the first two books (HERE) and I surprised myself…I actually liked them! 
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I actually forced myself to finish The One simply to have finished it.  I didn’t care about what happened to anyone.  I can’t figure out how Cass managed to get a 3-book deal on this—the entire plot line could have fit neatly into one 3-400 page book.

The One moved so incredibly slow that it felt like I was moving backwards most of the time, and when something exciting did take place, it was a brief page or two.  America annoyed me so much.  I couldn’t get over how unbelievably stubborn and idiotic she was—throughout the entire series. 

One of the things I look for in a series, is “Do the characters grow?”  I think everyone had substantial amounts of growth while America grew only slightly.  Also, “Are there holes?”  Cass opened up plotlines that weren’t addressed (i.e. America’s dad was a rebel?!?!  What are the implications of that?  And what about Kriss?).  And, how could Maxon recover so quickly from the loss of his parents?  And what about Celeste?  Did Maxon change the world, were they able to make a difference?  …See, too many unanswered questions. 

I do not agree that this book was enchanting, beautiful, or romantic.

I did, however, like the Epilogue, except for the cheesy last two lines of it. 


rating 1 of 5


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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Review: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

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Fangirl
Rainbow Rowell
Print Edition: 448 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; First Edition edition
Release Date: September 10, 2013)
Source: Audible

Goodreads | Amazon | Audible

Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan...

But for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.
Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words... And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?

Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?
And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

I’ve been mulling this book over for a few days.  I can’t quite decide how I feel about it.  It’s like I’m having a love-hate relationship with it—along the lines of “I want to love it” but still feeling like I can’t quite give in to those feelings.

Cath is quirky, nerdy, and straight-up weird.  Borderline crazy.  And I didn’t understand why Rowell picked such a neurotic voice to be the main character.  But the more I learned of Cath, the more I began to understand her, feel her pains and anxieties.  I began to really relate to her…and like her character.  She was pretty dumb at points, and there were several, “Oh, I know where Rowell is going with this” points in the plotline, but honestly y’all, I really liked Fangirl

I think of all the people in the book, Levi and Regan are my favorites.  I love their dynamic, and how the embraced Cath and her idiosyncrasies and brought her into their club.  I’m glad, though, that they weren’t the main characters…I think that seeing too much of them together might have been a bad thing.

Cath, for all my love for her, annoyed me immensely at times.  I wanted frequently to punch her in her throat and yell at her and tell her to get over herself.  The obsession with Simon Snow was weird—I didn’t understand it at all.  But I do understand that people get obsessed with things.  I think it was the snippets of the “books” that Rowell included—Snow is a selfish, bratty, unlikeable twerp.  Which might have been on purpose.  Ms. Rowell, if you read this, did you write Snow that way to be tongue-in-cheek?  Please, I really do want to know.

All-in-all, Rebecca was right, this was a enjoyable story.  It’s a contemporary, a genre I don’t read often, and even the lack of the magical, paranormal, and mystery, I would recommend this.  To everyone.

rating 4 of 5


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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: Gray Mountain by John Grisham

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{Releases 10.21.2014}

John Grisham has a new hero . . . and she’s full of surprises

The year is 2008 and Samantha Kofer’s career at a huge Wall Street law firm is on the fast track—until the recession hits and she gets downsized, furloughed, escorted out of the building. Samantha, though, is one of the “lucky” associates. She’s offered an opportunity to work at a legal aid clinic for one year without pay, after which there would be a slim chance that she’d get her old job back.

In a matter of days Samantha moves from Manhattan to Brady, Virginia, population 2,200, in the heart of Appalachia, a part of the world she has only read about. Mattie Wyatt, lifelong Brady resident and head of the town’s legal aid clinic, is there to teach her how to “help real people with real problems.” For the first time in her career, Samantha prepares a lawsuit, sees the inside of an actual courtroom, gets scolded by a judge, and receives threats from locals who aren’t so thrilled to have a big-city lawyer in town. And she learns that Brady, like most small towns, harbors some big secrets.

Her new job takes Samantha into the murky and dangerous world of coal mining, where laws are often broken, rules are ignored, regulations are flouted, communities are divided, and the land itself is under attack from Big Coal. Violence is always just around the corner, and within weeks Samantha finds herself engulfed in litigation that turns deadly.
Why I’m waiting:
You may know I grew up reading John Grisham.  I’m excited about getting back to my roots, to read something that hopefully will feel like coming home.  I also have Sycamore Row (released in 2013) in my queue.

What are you waiting on?
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Review: The Future of Us by Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler

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The Future of Us
Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler
Publisher: Razorbill; First Edition edition
Publish Date: November 21, 2011
Source: Audible
Goodreads | Amazon | Audible

It's 1996, and Josh and Emma have been neighbors their whole lives. They've been best friends almost as long - at least, up until last November, when Josh did something that changed everything. Things have been weird between them ever since, but when Josh's family gets a free AOL CD in the mail, his mom makes him bring it over so that Emma can install it on her new computer. When they sign on, they're automatically logged onto their Facebook pages. But Facebook hasn't been invented yet. And they're looking at themselves fifteen years in the future.

By refreshing their pages, they learn that making different decisions now will affect the outcome of their lives later. And as they grapple with the ups and downs of what their futures hold, they're forced to confront what they're doing right - and wrong - in the present.

Ok you guys…I’m a little late to the party on this one.  It’s been on my TBR forever, and I finally got it it the other day and listened during my commute.  I finished it.  And now I’ve mulled it over. 

I LOVED Thirteen Reasons Why, so when I heard about this one, I added it ASAP to my TBR.  However, I was a little bit letdown.  I don’t know exactly what I expected from TFoS, but I don’t think I got it. 

I did not like Emma for most of the book.  She’s bratty and annoying.  Josh seems very levelheaded and real about things, albeit a teenage boy.  Asher/Mackler wrote both characters very honestly and genuine, and I appreciated that.  But the story as a whole just lacked something.

I think that maybe there needed to be a prologue with a glimpse into the actual futures of Josh and Emma.

rating 3 of 5


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Friday, October 10, 2014

Excerpt and Giveaway: Charming by Krystal Wade

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Charming

They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and that's great . . . as long as you don't die.

Sixteen-year-old Haley Tremaine had it all: top-notch school, fantastic family, and a bright future, but all of that changed when an accident tore her family apart. Now, an alcoholic father, a bitter younger sister, and a cold headstone bearing her mother’s name are all she has left.

Chris Charming has it all: a powerful CEO for a father, a prestigious school, and a fortune at his fingertips, but none of that matters when he lands a reputation as a troublemaker. Struggling to follow in his father’s footsteps, he reaches out to the one person he believes truly sees him, the one person he wants: Haley.

Little do they know someone's determined to bring the two together, even if it means murder.


Available at: Smashwords - Barnes & NobleAmazonGoodreads
 

Excerpt: CHARMING by Krystal Wade

 
“Hey, kids.” Mrs. Charming stood by their feet, smiling down at them, still linked to her husband. “We should head out. Park closes at dark. Plus your dad and I have a movie to go see.”
 
Chris drove Haley back to his house; both sat quietly, leaning somewhat toward the center of the small Porsche. He pulled up next to Dad’s truck and sighed. “Thank you for being so good to them.”
 
“Chris—”
 
“No, I mean it.” Chris opened the truck door for her, then closed it as she slid onto the cold leather seat.
 
Haley rolled down the window and leaned on her elbow, so close to him, so freaking close. “They’re good people.”
 
And deserve better than me in their life.
 
“Most people treat them as if they’re just money bags from which to draw upon when they have a need.”
 
“I don’t need anything from them. I just want your family to be happy, you to be happy, Chris.”
 
“You’re different, Haley Tremaine.”
 
“So are you, Chris Charming.” Haley turned the key in the ignition, but the truck wouldn’t start. Cold, stabbing panic ripped apart her lungs.
 
“Guess I’ll need to walk.”
 
“You’re nuts if you think I’m letting you walk. Murderer on the loose, remember?” Laughing, Chris opened the door and took Haley by the hand, then guided her to the driver’s side of his car. “In fact, I’d really like you to drive.”
 
She smiled and snatched the keys. “Okay. Fine, but you better wear your seatbelt.”
 
He did, and she drove, and they laughed, winding down country roads, passing cars as though they sat still and Chris and Haley were in a speeding bullet. Haley downshifted and squealed the tires as she stopped in front of her house on Main Street. But when she glanced at the front of the house, her heart skidded to a halt.
 
Niles sat on her porch, bouquet of flowers in hand, scowling.
 


Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Meet Krystal Wade, author of CHARMING


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About Krystal Wade: Krystal Wade is happily married to the love of her life (don’t gag) and raising three beautiful children in the gorgeous state of Virginia. They live just outside Washington, D.C., and every day she wakes up to find herself stuck in traffic trying to get there. When she’s not working, commuting, or chasing after her three children (four if you count the man), you can usually find Krystal outside talking to her chickens like they’re the cutest things in the world (they are), or training her amazing dogs how to herd said chickens (which they love), or curled up on the sofa with a good book (why can’t that be 100% of the time?).
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Sounds good right?!?!
I hope you give Charming a try, I am about to start reading it myself.
Good luck in the giveaway:)