Friday, May 29, 2015

Review: The Lady In Blue by Kimberly G. Giarratano

THE LADY IN BLUE
25465559
by Kimberly G. Giarratano
Format: Review Copy
Genre: YA Mystery
Goodreads / Amazon

The Lady in Blue stole a car and fled Ash. 
Out on Devlin Road she emerged from a crash. 
She wandered the woods with her head dripping blood. 
Then drowned in the river in water and mud. 

All her life criminology student Liz Bloom has heard this rhyme, meant to scare young campers. When she’s about to take on her first cold case, Liz learns the eerie song is about her great aunt Lana. Liz isn’t big on studying, but she does have one advantage most criminologists don’t -- she can speak to the dead. 
In 1955, Lana Bloom was an eighteen-year-old beauty with Hollywood dreams who fell in love with a stranger. When Lana died in a bloody car crash, all signs pointed to the mysterious man who was never seen again. 

As Lana unravels the details surrounding her last week of life, the tale she weaves for Liz is one of desire, betrayal, and murder. But if Lana can’t identify her killer, not only will a murderer escape punishment, but her ghostly form will cease to exist. And Liz will have failed the most important assignment of all – family. 
* Review copy provided by author for an honest review

My Rating:

(I had an awesome gif filled review planned but then my internet crashed... =( )

A Halfway Decent Review That Does Not Do Justice To This Book:

I kind of loved this. I'm going to try not to use that word too much because it's basically the only word I used in my review of Grunge Gods and Graveyards, okay? And I can write a competent review of a book I love... Probably. 

The Lady In Blue is basically a companion novel to Grunge Gods and Graveyards, you don't HAVE to have read GG&G to read this one but I'm going to say you'd probably enjoy this just a smidge more if did. Lana Bloom, otherwise known as The Lady In Blue, is dead. She's been dead for a while now, this is the story of her death. This book takes place in two different times,  1996 when Lana is telling her niece Liz her story, trying to remember how she died so she can finally move on. And 1955 when Lana died. The novel is narrated by Lana and shows her life in the week leading to her death. 

Everything I Loved About This Book:

- Going into this I had assumed the story would be narrated by Liz- don't ask me why - but it's actually narrated by Lana which I was so excited about. 

- Characters. I loved the characters! Especially Lana. She's so much more than The Lady in Blue. However this was a really short book and supposed to be fast paced so it felt like a little character development was lacking, not enough to discourage me from loving it but I kind of wanting a tad more Andrew and Liz. However, this was Lana's story so I kind of understand why there's wasn't an abundance of Liz. Andrew was a little shocking I admit and I liked him just because Lana liked him if for no other reason. Other characters were horrible people but still very well written.

- The ending. I was expecting to feel so much at the end, I'd kind of sort of half figured out who the killer was, it wasn't really a shock(though I did keep going back and forth on who I thought did it) and going in I knew it wouldn't be the happiest of ending because Lana's dead and that's so sad, but I didn't expect to care so much for Lana and the ending was kind of intense. It hit me right in the feels... I cried. 

Overall this book has all the things I loved about GG&G, it's short and fast paced, full of rich believable characters and great writing and in the end it packs a nice punch.

Would I Recommend This? Um, yeah.
To Whom? All the people! Just like in my review of GG&G, I want to go up to random strangers and yell at them until they read this book.
Will I read more from this author(or series)? Um, yeah. I'm already looking forward to her other stuff, one of which comes out later this year(I think) even though I know nothing about it I WANT it. =)

What's the last book you read that made you feel like yelling at random strangers until they too read it?

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

ARC Review: Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipotra, Dhonielle Clayton

Song Of The Moment- Defeated by Breaking Benjamin

18710209Tiny Pretty Things
by Sona Charaipotra, Dhonielle Clayton
Release date: May 26th, 2015
Format: ARC
Genre: YA Contemporary
Goodreads Link
Description -
Black Swan meets Pretty Little Liars in this soapy, drama-packed novel featuring diverse characters who will do anything to be the prima at their elite ballet school.
Gigi, Bette, and June, three top students at an exclusive Manhattan ballet school, have seen their fair share of drama. 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. When every dancer is both friend and foe, the girls will sacrifice, manipulate, and backstab to be the best of the best.
I received this book from the publisher through Edelweiss to review honestly

My Rating:


Review:
So... This book. I had some ups and downs with it. Starting off, I loved the DNF it. So I read that and it was intriguing for sure so I kept reading and...eh. I guess it's time to start the real review.

This book follows three main characters, they each have alternating chapters and the authors did am excellent job of character voice, I was never confused whose chapter I was reading, never got them mixed up because all three were wildly different and unique. First you have Gigi, who is the new girl and the classic nice girl but not also not because she is just generally nice, she doesn't try to be that way, doesn't try to be perfect because of her family or something, it's just who she is. Then there's June, who's one of the few Korean kids at the ballet school and has her own set of issues starting with not knowing who her father is and ending with her mom threatening to pull her out of ballet if she doesn't land a lead role. Lastly, you have Bette, the queen b, the bitch. Bette has always been the best, she has to because her sister was the best. Bette does not like the fact that Gigi is stealing her lead roles and that's where we start in this story.

A Few Of My Favorite Things:

The Writing. I really liked the writing and despite my many issues with this book I think anyone(including me) can appreciate all the diverse characters you have in this book. Out of three main characters, only one of them is white, not to mention the gay and lesbian characters. So A plus on that front.

June. June was actually the only character I liked. She was very complex and not likable exactly, but I feel she was the best written. She's been dancing forever but she's never good enough for the rest of them, never good enough to be a soloist. She was betrayed by her best friend, ignored by her mom, and only wants to know who her dad is. I'm no entirely sure why but I liked her so much more than the others.

A Few Of My Not So Favorite Things:

Where's my character development!? Because I never found it. Also...plot? Are you playing hide and seek with me? If so, I'm losing. This book is one mean prank and backstabbing after another, it's full of pettiness instead of plot. Bette is supposed to be the top dancer, so what if she seriously injures people along the way? And what's the school to do, that's just the way competitive dance is! I really hope not. I just kept waiting for all of this to lead to something, everyone is targeting Gigi, and she's supposed to just accept it and be careful. June wants to be Gigi's friend but also she doesn't want to be the understudy. Bette might be growing...but probably not? I don't know, I honestly felt like the characters were flip-flopping a lot. Gigi is fine one moment, the next she's completely paranoid and yelling at everyone, then she's calm again. Bette might be feeling remorse, June doesn't really know what she's doing. There's hints of character development, this whole mystery of who June's dad is, but there's no follow through so, in the end, you're left feeling like nothing means anything to these characters so why should you care?

The "relationships": First we have the insta love with the jackass, Alec. Alec and Bette have been dating forever, they're the power couple. Until Gigi gets the lead role. Then Alec dumps Bette for Gigi. I was fine with this at first, but I was expecting a slow building thing between Alec and Gigi, but nope. Instead they're just suddenly together and their relationship has basically no front time in the book, it's all tell no show. I don't think Alec actually is supposed to be a jackass but how would I know? There's no DEVELOPMENT!

- Then there's June. I can't remember the boy she likes but he's also Korean, but not a dancer and he's June's arch nemesis(can't remember her name either)'s boyfriend. I liked this relationship, I liked June for the most part, I liked all her problems and her struggles, but again. There's no face time with them, everything's simply told after it's happened so that you never feel anything for any of these characters.

Side characters. They have even less face time than the main characters, nothing becomes of them. They are two-dimensional and pointless plot devices in this book. You have Henri, who's Cassie's ex-boyfriend. Cassie, who is kind of only hinted and talked about after the first chapter, who was the last new dancer who Bette was threatened by. Will who is Alec's best friend, Bette's ex-best friend and is in love with Alec. I ended up being completely disgusted by Henri and I still don't know what his part in this was. Will could have been an epic character but was just forgotten it felt like for most of the book.

The end. You know, that part where nothing happened? I felt like we were leading up to this whole big thing only...NOTHING HAPPENED. It was like this through the whole book. I kept waiting for Henri to do something, to have a part in the story...but no. Kept waiting for Will to do something...nope. Waited for some character development...but of course, why would I expect that! Waited for the reveal that was way too obvious about who June's dad is and by the time it came around I didn't care anymore. Waited for the other evil prankster to be revealed only...it didn't happen. I mean, I'm pretty sure I know who it is but that was just so unbelievably frustrating, I don't understand why I read the whole book just for that.

Overall: This book fell really short for me. It had potential but no real plot, no character development. It was drama filled with one little backstabbing and pity party after another and nothing was resolved. None of the characters even began to reach their full potential and there was no plot I could find and I'm still just waiting for it to get better. I think this might be a series? Maybe? I think I read that somewhere, but I can honestly say I will not be reading any further books. In the end, I can get over the lack of plot and the severely open ending but I can't get over the underdeveloped characters that I never felt like I knew at all-I guess that was part of the mystery? I don't know, the "mystery" is something I also never found.


Would I Recommend This? Sure.
To Whom? Mean Girls fans.
Will I read more from this author(or series)? Nope.


Saturday, May 23, 2015

Review: World After by Susan Ee

Song Of The Moment: Renegade by Daughtry

17848883World After
by Susan Ee
Release date: 2013
Format: Review copy
Genre: YA Fantasy/Dystopian/post apocalyptic
Goodreads Link

In this sequel to the bestselling fantasy thriller, Angelfall, the survivors of the angel apocalypse begin to scrape back together what's left of the modern world.
When a group of people capture Penryn's sister, Paige, thinking she's a monster, the situation ends in a massacre. Paige disappears. Humans are terrified. Mom is heartbroken.
Penryn drives through the streets of San Francisco looking for Paige. Why are the streets so empty? Where is everybody? Her search leads her into the heart of the angels' secret plans where she catches a glimpse of their motivations, and learns the horrifying extent to which the angels are willing to go.
Meanwhile, Raffe hunts for his wings. Without them, he can't rejoin the angels, can't take his rightful place as one of their leaders. When faced with recapturing his wings or helping Penryn survive, which will he choose?
I received this book from the publisher through Netgalley to review honestly

My Rating:

Review:

The World After picks up right where Angelfall ended. Penryn is paralyzed in the back of a resistance truck, everyone thinks she's dead, her sister Paige is...different and Raffe is gone with his new demon wings.

I have very mixed thoughts on this book. I had issues with the end of Angelfall because it just felt like a lot of random stuff was happening really fast with no explanations and it felt disconnected to the rest of the book to me. I had high hopes that I'd like this one more but... Nope. Don't get me wrong, I still really liked the first(my review here), basically the only problem I had with it was the end but with World After it was kind of the opposite, the only thing I didn't have a problem with was the end.

A few of my least favorite things:

What plot? I feel like basically nothing happened in this book. Like it was all a filler episode placed in the middle of a TV season. The first 70% of the book felt like a repeat of book one. Penryn trying to protect her mom and Paige, Penryn trying to find Paige and getting caught up in angle/resistance stuff. Penryn doing the same things over and over again except there was basically no Raffe so it was less interesting.

What world? Where's the world building? By world building I mean this book is basically full of descriptions of the scorpion monster angle hybrid things. I don't care that much about them! I want to know what's going on with Paige and the ANGLES! I still basically know nothing about why the angles are here and what exactly is going on. Seriously, give me something!

A few of my favorite things: 

Penryn. She's still awesome and badass. She still has her flaws and makes her mistakes, but she's a very strong and unique main character. Also, she names the angel sword Pooky Bear and really what could be more badass?

Slow romance. Penryn and Raffe are barely even a romance, especially considering Raffe doesn't even come into this book until the last fourth of the novel, but I love their ship so much. I love that it's barely there yet very well written. 

The writing. I have to hand it to the author, she is a really really good writer. Even with being bored I could not put the book down, all the characters are amazing and REAL. The action scenes are great and the relationships even better. 

 Overall: I just wanted more story. Again this felt like filler, it picked up in the last fourth but still...not much at all happened. A bunch or running around, looking for Paige, hiding from and then fighting angles and scorpion beasts, some random dream sword training. There were a few little things here and there, but in the end it felt more like a repeat of the first book than a continuation of the story.

Would I Recommend This? Yes.
To Whom? People who read and loved the first, duh!
Will I read more from this author(or series)? Yes. I'm really not sure how much I'm going to like the next book because I feel like a lot has to happen in it but I will read it.

Here I am, being a black sheep because I know quite a few people thought this one was even better than the first.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

ARC Review: The Improbable Theory Of Ana and Zak by Brian Katcher

Song Of The Moment- I Just Wanna Run by Downtown Fiction

The Improbable Theory Of Ana and Zac
23015962by Brian Katcher
Release date: May 19th 2015
How I got it - Review copy from edelweiss
Genre: YA Contemporary
Goodreads Link
Description -

The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak is Stonewall Book Award-winning author Brian Katcher’s hilarious he said/she said romance about two teens recovering from heartbreak and discovering themselves on an out-of-this-world accidental first date.

It all begins when Ana Watson's little brother, Clayton, secretly ditches the quiz bowl semifinals to go to the Washingcon sci-fi convention on what should have been a normal, résumé-building school trip.


If slacker Zak Duquette hadn't talked up the geek fan fest so much, maybe Clayton wouldn't have broken nearly every school rule or jeopardized Ana’s last shot at freedom from her uptight parents.


Now, teaming up with Duquette is the only way for Ana to chase down Clayton in the sea of orcs, zombies, bikini-clad princesses, Trekkies, and Smurfs. After all, one does not simply walk into Washingcon.


But in spite of Zak's devil-may-care attitude, he has his own reasons for being as lost as Ana-and Ana may have more in common with him than she thinks. Ana and Zak certainly don’t expect the long crazy night, which begins as a nerdfighter manhunt, to transform into so much more…

I received this book from the publisher through edelweiss to review honestly

My Rating:
3 Stars

Review:

This book started off really really good, it was fun and nerdy, and I really really liked it. But, then it got mildly(and then really) ridiculous.

I'm honestly very conflicted about this book. I really wanted to love it because it sounds like everything I want in a book(nerdy geeks, an event similar to comic con, and lots of nerdy chaos, plus a sweet romance), and at first I did love it and there were a lot of great aspects that I loved but in the end a lot of it was just too unrealistic and kind of ruined it for me.

The book starts off with Ana(who is a always follows the rules kind of girl) and Zak(who's a nerdy slacker kind of guy), they end up on quiz bowl team together along with Ana's brother. The quiz bowl tournament is the same weekend as Washingcon, a nerdy comic convention that Zak has been going to for years, this is the first time he's going to miss it. After hearing Zak go on and on about the con Ana's brother Clayton(whose 13)decides to sneak away to it. Ana and Zak follow along trying to find him and get back to the hotel where the quiz bowl is held before anyone realizes they're gone. 

I actually really enjoyed all of the characters. Ana and Zak both have their own family issues and I was happy that they weren't the typical ones, Ana's family situation was particularly interesting and I really enjoyed that aspect.

Zak is nerdy and funny and just basically everything I want in a guy(fictional or otherwise) so I, of course, really loved him. Ana seems kind of stuck up at first but her character is really well developed and grows to be badass and just all kinds of awesome as she comes into her own over the course of one night at the con. Clayton was an interesting character, though slightly confusing for how often, or not so often, he popped in and out of the story.

I also really loved their romance. Even though it only takes place over the course of one night I felt like it's one of those romances where as they're falling for each other you're falling for them too. And it always maintains that new romance feel so that it doesn't seem the littlest bit like insta love because they like each other but aren't in love yet. 

On to the harder things. I was expecting lots of nerdy fun with con as a backdrop and you get some of that but sometimes it edges too far over into ridiculousness. Now, I say this having been to San Diego Comic-Con twice, and while I'd never claim to be an expert, some of this stuff is simply just so unlikely it's nearly impossible. Everyone is running around in this book like there are no rules at the con. At one point there's a battle reenactment that I was assuming would some form of live action role playing but these people are actually beating each other and hurting each other! From what I know of cons this would not be allowed! It's just...ridiculous and some things are so wildly unbelievable. 

I really did liked this book and I wanted to love it but the ridiculous moments(which grew in number around the halfway point and on) kind of ruined it for me. It could have been awesome and nerdy and loads of fun but I kind of needed it to be more believable and realistic. By no means, was this a horrible book but it didn't quite live up to my expectations either.

Would I recommend this? Not sure.
To Who? No idea.
Would I read more from the author? Depends.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Right Back At It Again

I'm baaack!


So... Moving took longer than I'd planned. Unfortunately my brothers both got sick the second day of moving which slowed the whole process down and then there was a lot of unpacking to do and.. I've been lazy. I procrastinated setting up my room which meant I had no computer set up and then I had to stalk and spam/comment on a bunch of my favorite blogs and I was just behind on everything!

Our new house is amazing and there's so much space! I'm literally in love with the kitchen no joke. The only thing not setup is our big bookshelves that go in the living room but everything else is done and my books love their new home... Don't they look pretty?




That was obviously the before...


I'll be back with reviews starting tomorrow because I am so far behind again! I had eight scheduled and I was doing so good and now I missed finishing three review books in a row... oops. What can I say? I'm a bad blogger. =) #rebel... No? No.


Tell me, how've you been the last two weeks!??

Friday, May 8, 2015

Bye, Bye, Bye

Yes, that was an 'N Sync reference followed by an 'N Sync meme and I have no regrets.

Basically, I'm going to be gone for a little over a week. And I've basically been gone this last week, I've only commented on like two blog posts and posted literally one review and done nothing else! What happened is after a few delays we are finally moving this week. This is exciting and a huge relief 'cause like I said there were some delays. So I'm not going to have time, I haven't had time and I figure it's easier to just take a short break from the blog rather than try to post posts that I don't have time to write.

Because of all of this I haven't done any kind of update in over a month so here's all the books I've gotten(that I can remember) in April!

Bought:
23310214186604471848843320868595
2511664817788889312407
*Golden Compass was a b-day gift.

For review:
23718736240393962284039825465559
18500689236337962284018218336982
20551960237174992520716416069019
232785322524379024338298

Free:
25080754

I also got this awesome hoodie for my birthday:


I ~should~ be back by next Saturday and as soon as possible I promise lots of somewhat crappy pictures of my pretty pretty books in their new habitat. Also, expect me to spam your blog with comments on ALL THE POSTS I have been and will be missing!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Mini Review: Pip Bartlett's Guide to Magical Creatures by Jackson Pearce & Maggie Stiefvater


23310214Pip Bartlett's Guide to Magical Creatures
by Jackson Pearce & Maggie Stiefvater
Release date: April 28, 5015
Format: Hardcover
Genre: Children/MG, Fantasy
Goodreads Link

From bestselling authors Maggie Stiefvater and Jackson Pearce comes an exciting new series full of magical creatures, whimsical adventures, and quirky illustrations.
Pip is a girl who can talk to magical creatures. Her aunt is a vet for magical creatures. And her new friend Tomas is allergic to most magical creatures. When things go amok—and they often go amok—Pip consults Jeffrey Higgleston’s Guide to Magical Creatures, a reference work that Pip finds herself constantly amending. Because dealing with magical creatures like unicorns, griffins, and fuzzles doesn’t just require book knowledge—it requires hands-on experience and thinking on your feet. For example, when fuzzles (which have an awful habit of bursting into flame when they’re agitated) invade your town, it’s not enough to know what the fuzzles are—Pip and Tomas also must trace the fuzzles’ agitation to its source, and in doing so, save the whole town.


My Rating:


Review:

This book has everything I want in a younger MG novel; magic, whimsy, funny and delightful characters. Pip Bartlett loves magical animals, she also loves  Jeffrey Higgleston’s Guide to Magical Creatures, she does not love having to talk to humans, but that's okay because Pip can talk to magical creatures! After an unfortunate Unicorn incident - which was totally not Pip's fault! She did just what her mom told her, thought twice and acted once - Pip is sent to spend the summer with her Aunt Emma, who is a vet for magical creatures. All is well at first until the town is invaded by Fuzzles, little furry ball creatures who tend to erupt in flames when spooked.

This book was really fun, Pip is a great character, very well developed for a lower MG book with a nine-year-old as the main character. She's funny, loves adventure and magical creatures, and can not talk to humans for the life of her. There's so many awesome magical creatures, including miniature Griffin's and a Unicorn who is terrified of everything. Then there's Tomas, Pip's first real friend who's allergic to everything and Pip's Aunt Emma who shares Pip's love of magical creatures. Basically, this book is full of magic and child-like whimsy that's just a lot of fun.

I had to read this book because I love both authors and while it's middle grade, recommended for ages 8-12, I think anyone could pick it up, read through it quickly and come out with a smile on their face.


Grunge Gods and Graveyards On Sale for 99 Cents!

When one of your favorite books goes on sale and you can bug all your friends to buy it:


I read Grunge Gods and Graveyards about a year ago and absolutely loved it! My review here. The author, Kimberly has a new book coming out that is sorta like a companion novel to Grunge Gods and Graveyard called The Lady In Blue, I will put all the information below but basically THIS IS AN AWESOME BOOK AND YOU SHOULD BUY IT BECUST IT'S ONLY 99 CENTS TODAY.



20887429







Parted by death. Tethered by love.

Lainey Bloom’s high school senior year is a complete disaster. The popular clique, led by mean girl Wynter Woods, bullies her constantly. The principal threatens not to let her graduate with the class of 1997 unless she completes a major research project. And everyone blames her for the death of Wynter’s boyfriend, Danny Obregon.

Danny, a gorgeous musician, stole Lainey’s heart when he stole a kiss at a concert. But a week later, he was run down on a dangerous stretch of road. When he dies in her arms, she fears she’ll never know if he really would have broken up with Wynter to be with her.

Then his ghost shows up, begging her to solve his murder. Horrified by the dismal fate that awaits him if he never crosses over, Lainey seeks the dark truth amidst small town secrets, family strife, and divided loyalties. But every step she takes toward discovering what really happened the night Danny died pulls her further away from the beautiful boy she can never touch again.

Buy it! Amazon / B&N / Apple / Google Play / Kobo

Find it on Goodreads!

About the author:
Kimberly G. Giarratano, a forever Jersey girl, now lives in the woods of northeastern Pennsylvania with her husband and small children. A former teacher and YA librarian, Kimberly adores Etsy, Jon Stewart, The Afghan Whigs, ’90s nostalgia, and (of course) everything YA. She also speaks Spanish, but is woefully out of practice.

Kimberly always dreamed of being a published author. Her other dream is to live in Key West, Florida where she can write in a small studio, just like Hemingway.
Author links: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads

THE LADY IN BLUE
25465559






The Lady in Blue stole a car and fled Ash. 
Out on Devlin Road she emerged from a crash. 
She wandered the woods with her head dripping blood. 
Then drowned in the river in water and mud. 

All her life criminology student Liz Bloom has heard this rhyme, meant to scare young campers. When she’s about to take on her first cold case, Liz learns the eerie song is about her great aunt Lana. Liz isn’t big on studying, but she does have one advantage most criminologists don’t -- she can speak to the dead. 
In 1955, Lana Bloom was an eighteen-year-old beauty with Hollywood dreams who fell in love with a stranger. When Lana died in a bloody car crash, all signs pointed to the mysterious man who was never seen again. 

As Lana unravels the details surrounding her last week of life, the tale she weaves for Liz is one of desire, betrayal, and murder. But if Lana can’t identify her killer, not only will a murderer escape punishment, but her ghostly form will cease to exist. And Liz will have failed the most important assignment of all – family. 


Sunday, May 3, 2015

Sunday Street Team Review: Kissing In America by Margo Rabb


Song Of The Moment- Go Go Go by Sleeping With Sirens

18478083Kissing In America
by Margo Rabb
Release date: May 26th, 2015
Format: ARC
Genre: YA Contemporary
Goodreads Link

“Wise, inspiring, and ultimately uplifting—not to be missed.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"A hilarious, thought-provoking, wrenching, and joyful quest.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Authentic and complex…This is a smart teen's novel."—Booklist, starred review


Acclaimed writer Margo Rabb’s Kissing in America is “a wonderful novel about friendship, love, travel, life, hope, poetry, intelligence, and the inner lives of girls,” raves internationally bestselling author Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love). 

In the two years since her father died, sixteen-year-old Eva has found comfort in reading romance novels—118 of them, to be exact—to dull the pain of her loss that’s still so present. Her romantic fantasies become a reality when she meets Will, who seems to truly understand Eva’s grief. Unfortunately, after Eva falls head-over-heels for him, he picks up and moves to California without any warning. Not wanting to lose the only person who has been able to pull her out of sadness—and, perhaps, her shot at real love—Eva and her best friend, Annie, concoct a plan to travel to the west coast to see Will again. As they road trip across America, Eva and Annie confront the complex truth about love. 

In this honest and emotional journey that National Book Award finalist Sara Zarr calls “gorgeous, funny, and joyous,” readers will experience the highs of infatuation and the lows of heartache as Eva contends with love in all of its forms.

I received this book from the publisher through Edelweiss to review honestly

My Rating:
3 Stars

Review:

Eva's in love with a boy named Will, who, right when things start working out between them, moves across the country. Eva knows that if she can just see Will again everything will be okay, her worries about her mom remarrying, and all her unresolved issues with her dad's death won't matter so much. But how is she supposed to get all the way across the country to see him again?

First of all, I feel like the title and description, and even the cover, of this book are very misleading. It doesn't have much at all to do with "kissing in America". That's not to say that it wasn't a good book just that I feel the cover is a lie.

This review really comes down to one thing and that's that this was a good book but not a great book.

What it comes down to with this book is the characters. I loved all the side characters, Annie(the best friend) and Lulu(the basically aunt) most of all, but I had some issues with Eva. Mainly, that she seemed so immature and naive. That's how she was supposed to be, her dad died two years ago and she has issues coming to terms with everything. Okay, makes sense, that's fine. It's just I never felt like I connected with her. I didn't outright hate, or even dislike her but I didn't like and relate to her either. 

The road trip aspect to this book was great, it's one of my favorite things, but at the same time it was kind of smashed down and pushed to the side of Eva's constant monologue over Will. I would have liked to get the road trip aspect a lot more, it was more like "oh we were on the bus for twelve hours stopped here, are near that, now let's spend one short boring day in this town and repeat the same thing in the next chapter". I guess when it came to the road trip, it was too much telling not enough showing for me. I wanted to see Annie hanging out with Chance since her, barely mentioned, romance was the most swoony one in the book.

I also would have liked a little more development of Will's character, maybe then it wouldn't have seemed so childish for Eva to be going across the country to see him. Instead, we barely know anything about him and it seems beyond naive for her to go through so much trouble to see him again.

In the end this was a good book about family and friendship and grief and loss, it wasn't a book about kissing in America, but it was still a good book. Mostly, I found it to be kind of slow and boring because I never connected with Eva which always makes me feel disconnected from the whole story, but is not necessarily the book's fault. I do recommend it because it was more of a not my cup of tea thing than anything else.

GIVEAWAY!

About the Author:
Margo Rabb is the author of the novels Kissing in America and Cures for Heartbreak. Her essays, journalism, book reviews, and short stories have been published in The New York Times, The New York Times Book Review, The Atlantic, Slate, The Rumpus, Zoetrope: All-Story, Seventeen, Best New American Voices, New Stories from the South, One Story, and elsewhere, and have been broadcast on NPR. She received the grand prize in the Zoetrope short story contest, first prize in the Atlantic fiction contest, first prize in the American Fiction contest, and a PEN Syndicated Fiction Project Award. Margo grew up in Queens, New York, and has lived in Texas, Arizona, and the Midwest; she now lives in the Philadelphia area with her husband and children.

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Friday, May 1, 2015

WHAT WHAT WHAT???

This because I was at one post above 665 and that is not good luck!

Pre-Review: Never Always Sometimes by Adi Alsaid


Pre-Review
A pre-review is a new feature here where I post small snippets of my reviews of books that don't come out for months. This is meant mostly to help promote new releases that I won't be posting my full review of until closer to release date. A way to hopefully help build excitement for some of my favorite new releases before I forget why I loved them! Pre-reviews are limited to one paragraph or simply gifs that reveal all my feels.


24338298Never Always Sometimes
by Adi Alsaid
Expected Release date: August 4, 2015
Format: ARC
Genre: YA Contemporary
Goodreads Link

Never date your best friend 
Always be original 
Sometimes rules are meant to be broken 
Best friends Dave and Julia were determined to never be cliché high school kids—the ones who sit at the same lunch table every day, dissecting the drama from homeroom and plotting their campaigns for prom king and queen. They even wrote their own Never List of everything they vowed they'd never, ever do in high school. 
Some of the rules have been easy to follow, like #5, never die your hair a color of the rainbow, or #7, never hook up with a teacher. But Dave has a secret: he's broken rule #8, never pine silently after someone for the entirety of high school. It's either that or break rule #10, never date your best friend. Dave has loved Julia for as long as he can remember. 
Julia is beautiful, wild and impetuous. So when she suggests they do every Never on the list, Dave is happy to play along. He even dyes his hair an unfortunate shade of green. It starts as a joke, but then a funny thing happens: Dave and Julia discover that by skipping the clichés, they've actually been missing out on high school. And maybe even on love.
I received this book from the author to review honestly


Pre-review:

This book is fun and at first glance may appear to be a simple light and fluffy read but it's more than that. The emotions and characters in Never Always Sometimes are extremely, incredibly REAL(and slightly heartbreaking). Feels abounded in this book partly because of the great characters and partly because of the great writing. I thought I had it all figured out half way through, but then there were twists! Twists that made me FEEL(mostly angry at the author for making me ship so many different people and then kept sinking them). Basically, I loved this, you should read this.

Recommended to: Fans of Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell for the emotions. Feeling the feels only reminded me of the way that book made me feel.

Full review to come!

What do you think of this new feature? Be honest!