Monday, November 30, 2015

Review: ACID by Emma Pass

Title: ACID
Author: Emma Pass
Published by: Delacorte Press
Released: 2013
Summary: Welcome to the Independent Republic of Britain. The year is 2113 and Jenna Strong is sitting in a maximum security prison. She was convicted of murdering her parents. The Britain she lives in is ruled by ACID (Agency for Crime Investigation and Defense). Britain is a police state where ACID knows all and is swift with punishment. ACID picks out your job, your life partner, and your reading material. There are some people that want ACID brought down. 
Jenna has no hope of ever getting out of prison and has learned to survive and protect herself from other inmates. Then a mysterious rebel group breaks her out and sets her up with a new identity. Jenna has no idea why. Through her freedom, Jenna finds a new purpose for life, and that's to bring ACID down.
My Thoughts: This was fantastic! From the first page, I realized it was gonna be my kind of book. It had this 1984 George Orwell feel, which I loved. ACID was very much like Big Brother, in that they controlled what you read, saw, and pretty much every other aspect of these characters' lives. I liked that there was an explanation/cause for why the world was like this. In most dystopian books, they just throw you into a situation without very much explanation. This dystopian had a believable reason as to why the world behaved the way it did. This story was a major win for me and I can't wait to check out more by this author.
I really enjoyed experiencing Jenna's story. She was an interesting character to follow. I liked that she could take care of herself and thought before she acted. Even though she went through so many changes, I never got confused or lost. Jenna always stayed a constant. I was always interested in her story. I was also a fan of her romance. The romance never took over the story, but was a welcome addition to it.
ACID was really fun and fast-paced. Some of the revelations I saw coming, but it didn't draw away from my enjoyment.
There were a couple of loose ends that never got tied up. I don't know if those issues will ever be addressed in a possible future, but I was still happy with how everything ended.
I'm so glad I read this book. I enjoyed it so much. It kept me entertained and racing from one page to the next. I'm definitely going to check out more books by Emma Pass. ACID is a book I definitely recommend. So fun.
Such An Awesome Read!!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Reading Right Now! (#44)

Title: The Conspiracy of Us (Conspiracy of Us #1)
Author: Maggie Hall
I'm only about 100 pages in so far, so I'm maybe like 30% finished

Welcome to another Reading Right Now! post. Hurray, Huzzah, Yippee-Ki-Yay. I'm feeling in a weird mood today. Oh, I'm writing this on Thanksgiving, so to all those who celebrate, I hope you had a really happy Thanksgiving. Anyway, I'm almost feeling a little slumpy reading wise. It might have something to do with the last book I finished. I had to finish it before it was due at the library, which meant that I had to read a big chunk of it in one night, and it left me a little reading burnt out. The sad thing is, this book is coming due to the library too, so I need to finish it pronto, and I've just been lacking in motivation to just sit down and read. I always find something else to distract me. Anyway, that's not what you came for.
I'm not really sure as to everything that's going on in this book yet. The summary, I think, gives more away then it should of, or definitely more than what's been revealed in the book so far. So I'm going to describe this in a non-spoilery way. Our main character Avery is an only child who never stays in one place for very long. Her mom's job requires frequent moves, so Avery's never been able to form any real attachments. Her dad is also MIA in her life, she doesn't really even know who he is. One day, she learns that her dad's family is very mysterious, secret, and important. And so begins the adventure of her life as she hops on a plane to France to uncover the mysteries of her family.
I'm not sure what to really think of this book yet. I don't think it has the best beginning. I feel like I got dropped into an already ongoing novel. I'm interested in the story, but my reading slumpiness is really hindering me. I hope I can get more in to this, because I think it could be a lot of fun. Probably won't turn out to be the most life-changing book, but it could be that blast of pure entertainment that I'm looking for. 
So that's what I'm Reading Right Now! Tell me what you are reading below.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Review: Sweet by Emmy Laybourne

Title: Sweet
Author: Emmy Laybourne
Published by: Feiwel and Friends
Released: 2015
Summary: The next great thing is here, Solu! Are you sick of feeling flabby and overweight, but don't want to watch what you eat or exercise? If you said yes to that statement, then Solu is the perfect solution for you! Just add our tasty artificial sweetener to anything you would normally eat with sugar, and voila, you're on your way to losing that excess body fat. Before the public release of Solu, we are pleased to announce a few lucky people will get to try it before anyone else. We are selling tickets for the Extravagance, The Cruise to Lose. Buy your tickets now to be the first lucky people to try Solu and live life better. **side effects may vary. Not everyone will have a pleasant experience with Solu. There have been reports of rapid weight loss, irritability, and in rare cases psychosis. Take at your own risk** Being your best self is only one lavender packet away!
My Thoughts: I found Sweet to be a fun, fast read. I found the premise to be interesting and entertaining. I liked the gradual decline into crazyville that happened on the ship. There were some parts of the story that I wasn't sure about or wasn't a fan of, but for the most part, I really enjoyed the story. It was a fun, quick read full of craziness.
I thought the two main characters were okay. I probably liked Laurel more than I liked Tom. Tom sometimes felt a little fake to me and very into himself.
I also wasn't the biggest fan of the relationship part of the story. I enjoyed them getting to know each other and the little bit of flirting, but didn't enjoy it when they became a thing. If there had been no relationship in the story, I would have been happier.
My favorite part of the book was witnessing the descent into craziness on the ship. Boy did the crazy happen. In that aspect, the story was really fast-paced and fun.
I'm not sure how I feel about the ending. Some things I questioned. To me, a central question is can a person recover from what Solu turns them into. I won't say that the ending is necessarily happy.
Overall, this was a fun read. Very fast-paced and a story that kept me entertained. I would recommend reading this just because it is fun. Suffer through the romance bits and enjoy the craziest cruise you've ever been on.
One Crazy Cruise!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Top 5 Wednesday: Top 5 Books You're Thankful For

For those of you that celebrate, Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you're getting ready to eat a delicious meal and be with your loved ones.
This week's Top 5 Wednesday is a Thanksgiving theme one, with the Top 5 Books You're Thankful For. There are a lot of books that have stuck with me on my reading journey, so thinking about books I'm thankful for was kind of fun. Each book I picked for various reasons, but I'm thankful for reading all of them, for what they offered, and for sending me on fun reading journeys.
So theses are my Top 5 Books I'm Thankful For:


1. Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine: Ella Enchanted was the first book that I ever read that I really loved. It sucked me in from the first page and held me enthralled until the last. I just have a real soft spot in my heart for this book and all the reading memories it inspires. Everyone has that one book that they loved, that makes them remember how much they really love reading. I guess that's why I'm thankful for this book, because it reminds me how much I love reading and how satisfying it is to find that one book that just grabs you and never lets you go.

2. The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling: I assume the Harry Potter series is going to be on a lot of peoples' lists because this book series got a lot of people into reading. So many kids grew up with Harry during his years at Hogwarts, and I was one of those kids. Harry Potter really involved me in the fan community. I would check all the time for the newest Harry Potter news. I would fangirl out with my friends, discussing our favorite characters and ideas for what would happen next. I attended book release parties and had so much fun doing it. The Harry Potter series just holds a special place in my heart. It will always have a space on my shelf. I'll always be thankful for the fun that Hogwarts provided me.

3. Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella: I'm thankful to this series for making me realize how much fun chick-lit is to read. I love reading about Becky Bloomwood's adventures, or more often mishaps. I think it's hard to really write a good, funny book and Sophie Kinsella succeeds at it every time. I'm thankful to the Shopaholic series for making me laugh and I can't wait to continue on with more of Becky's adventures.

4. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer: Twilight is probably on a lot of lists too. I'm thankful to Twilight for not only being a good book, but for causing the real explosion and expansion of the YA genre and market. Sure people hate on Twilight now, and I shake my head at all of them, but Twilight was a sensation. Everybody was reading it, everybody was in to it. It was just a lot of fun to be part of the experience and be able to partake in all the books that tried to follow in its footsteps.

5. Gone by Michael Grant: I'm thankful to the Gone series for taking me on such a ride with every book. This was such a crazy, fun series and I loved the time I spent reading it. It's a series that I recommend to so many people. I had so much fun getting lost in this crazy, violent place that was The FAYZ and am thankful that the ending wasn't something cheap and disappointing. Finding a series that just captures you is something you hope for as a reader.

Honorable Mention: The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy: This is my honorable mention because I love this series and am thankful that I read it. I'm thankful to this series for two reasons: 1.) it was such a fun time and made me laugh like very few can 2.) it helped show just how fun middle grade can be and how it's not just reserved for younger readers. This series is so much fun and more people need to read it.

So those are the Top 5 Books I'm Thankful For. What books made it on to your list? I'd love to know. If you want to join in on the Top 5 Wednesday fun, you totally should. Check out all the other Top 5 Wednesday-ers here! 

Monday, November 23, 2015

Review: 52 Reasons To Hate My Father by Jessica Brody

Title: 52 Reasons To Hate My Father
Author: Jessica Brody
Published by: Farrar Straus Giroux
Released: 2012
Summary: Lexie Larrabee is the daughter of a very rich man, and with that position comes a certain set of expectations. Namely being a spoiled brat, partying every night, drinking until you throw up, and being irresponsible at every turn. There's always someone to clean up Lexie's latest disaster and someone else to sweep it under the rug. Lexie doesn't have father daughter time, so instead she gets the cold hard cash and everything else a filthy, rich girl could want. Then comes the day where she crashes her brand new exotic car into a convenience store and suddenly her inheritance is in jeopardy. Her father has come up with a new strategy to deal with Lexie, tough love. In order to secure her inheritance, she must complete 52 minimum wage jobs in the course of a year. Lexie is displeased, and then her dad has the gall to hire a babysitter, sure he's a little cute, but he's yet another annoyance to Lexie's grand plan of living large. What's a spoiled rich girl to do when she suddenly doesn't have the money?
My Thoughts: Well, this was pretty much exactly what I expected it to be. Now that's not a bad thing, but it's not necessarily a great thing either. This was a fun, fast read, but there were times where I wanted more funny, more heart.
It's pretty hard to like Lexie in the beginning of this book. She's a brat, a very annoying brat. She spends most of her time throwing tantrums, yelling, screaming, and copious amounts of drinking. She's not exactly someone you sympathize with.
The 52 jobs are kind of skipped over in the story. I thought they would have a more prevalent role. We get to witness the disasters that are some jobs, but all the others are just temporary details quickly mentioned. I was also surprised that the book ends without her having finished all the jobs. I want to say we go through about 28 of her minimum wage jobs and I was expecting the full course to take place and the lesson to come at the end of it.
I enjoyed the romance, the build up and everything. That was cute.
I don't know how much a fan I am of her father. He had his reasons for being MIA most of her life, but I didn't feel that they were good ones. She really doesn't have a relationship with her father and that's mostly his fault. He's hired all these people to take care of her and cater to her every whim and need while he checks out. I mean, Lexie is a product of her environment, so it's really no surprise she grew up to be a brat. You can feel Lexie's pain of wanting a relationship and her dad not being willing to give it. Maybe the moral of the story is that money can't buy happiness.
I know that sounds like a lot of negatives, but this wasn't a bad story. It was fun, fast, sometimes cute. I guess it just wasn't the perfect chick-lit I was searching for. I've heard that movie rights have been bought to this book and I think it would make a cute movie. So I did enjoy it, but I didn't find it 5 star amazing. The synopsis really sets you up for what you're going to get. If this book sounds right up you alley, then give it a read.
What I expected, but kinda fun.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Reading Right Now! (#43)

What I'm Reading Right Now! is...

Title: The Awesome
Author: Eva Darrows

The main reason I was drawn to this book was the cover. That cover is cool. Don't try to deny it, cause you know I'm right. The synopsis didn't sound too bad either. It's about this girl named Maggie who comes from a family of monster hunters. She wants to graduate from apprentice to journeyman, but to do that she has to get rid of one thing, her virginity.
I'm definitely enjoying this. I love the monster hunter aspect to it. I love books like that. I also really like Maggie's character because she's full of snark. And her relationship with her Mom is really nice too.
The thing that I feel awkward about is the whole virginity thing. It just seems a little icky for her to have to lose it in order to continue with her job. And just the way that she goes about trying to lose it. I don't know, I just felt awkward reading those parts, and I mean those are pretty graphic parts to the story. This definitely is not for the younger YA crowd.
I do like it though. It's a lot of fun. So that's what I'm Reading Right Now! What are you reading?

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Review: Anatomy of a Boyfriend (Anatomy #1) by Daria Snadowsky

Title: Anatomy of a Boyfriend (Anatomy #1)
Author: Daria Snadowsky
Published by: Ember/Random House Inc.
Released: 2007
Summary: Dominique Baylor experiences a year of firsts. From December of senior year to Thanksgiving as a college freshman she has her first love, first time, and first heartbreak. It's an emotional roller coaster for Dominique as she experiences all the joys and woes of first love.
My Thoughts: First off, I just want to thank the author, Daria Snadowsky, for sending me her books to review. I really thought Anatomy of a Boyfriend was a cute read with a lot of steamy scenes. Watching Dominique experience the highs and lows of her first real relationship was an insightful look into what it means to be a teenage girl in today's world. I would recommend it for slightly older teens due to the more graphic scenes.
The only real problem I had was with Dominique herself. I just kind of found her to be an annoying character who really rushed and forced a relationship with Wes. I think Dom fell in love too fast and too hard for a boy that liked her, but never really loved her. I also think Dom forced herself into all these awkward sex situations. Just because it is her first real relationship doesn't mean she has to do everything and anything sex wise, especially when she doesn't seem to really enjoy it. I also didn't like how Dom treated her parents or the irrational way she handled her breakup.
All in all, a cute story that explores the highs and lows of first love, first time, and first heartbreak. I'm interested to see how Dom's story continues in the sequel.
Dom, calm down.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Top 5 Wednesday: Top 5 Hunger Games Moments (movies or books)

This week's Top 5 Wednesday is your Top 5 Hunger Games Moments (movies or books). This week's topic is helping to celebrate the upcoming release of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2. I'm so excited for the release!! I just have to stick to the movies, which I love, because I haven't read the books yet. I own them, but just haven't gotten around to reading them yet. I know, shameful. So here are my Top 5 Hunger Games Moments.

1. Katniss's awesome archery skills: She made archery look so cool, so effortless. It made me really want to learn how to shoot a bow and arrow. I ended up taking an archery class in college, and discovered that I wasn't very good at it at all, but it was a lot of fun. Thank you Katniss for furthering the coolness of the bow and arrow.

2. Katniss' awesome dress moments: They were so beautiful!! Maybe the only reason that I would even consider dressing up.

3. Rue: Everytime I see that scene my eyes tear up. You know what scene I'm talking about. What happened to Rue really helps illustrate how brutal and inhumane the Hunger Games really are. RIP Rue.

4. Peeta: Yep, this is my pick for Katniss.

5. Katniss destroying the arena: That was epic!

Those are my Top 5 Hunger Games Moments, what are yours? I'm so excited for the release of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2. I love the movies so much. I'm definitely planning on reading the books sometime in the near future. If you want to join in on the Top 5 Wednesday fun, you totally should. Each Wednesday is a new topic to contemplate and enjoy. Check out all the other Top 5 Wednesday-ers here!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Review: Willowgrove (Hemlock #3) by Kathleen Peacock

Title: Willowgrove (Hemlock #3)
Author: Kathleen Peacock
Published by: Katherine Tegen Books
Released: 2015
Summary: The conclusion to the Hemlock trilogy is here and the fate for all our characters hang in the air. Mac's town has been torn apart. Werewolf supporters and Werewolf haters have swarmed the town in preparation for a huge demonstration. Mac, Kyle, and Jason want to tell the world what happened at Camp Thornhill, in order to stop it from happening to any other wolves. Serena is broken after her experience there, but now there are people out to get her again. Mac must protect those she loves in a time full of hate and violence.
My Thoughts: I'm so sad this had to end, but I'm satisfied with how it ended. This was just as intense as all the other books in the series have been. There is so much on the line for Mac and her family. In a way, this book kind of mirrors what's going on in our present with the protests and hate that have been happening in various places across the United States.
One thing I love about this series is how intense it is. I think most people tend to dismiss it as just another paranormal YA series, they don't give it the chance it deserves. It really is an awesome series that I recommend to everyone. I hope Kathleen Peacock writes more books, because I will definitely read them all.
I kind of have mixed feelings on the love interests/triangle thing that happens in it. I really love both of the guys. Sometimes, I almost root for Jason to win and have a chance, because I really do like him and he has shown how much Mac and Kyle mean to him. But I do really like Kyle too. It's just a tough one for me to decide.
And this last book kind of broke me with something that happens. I won't spoil anything, but have some tissues handy. I'm not a crier when it comes to books, (unless it's the killing of a dog or some other harmless animal that I have become semi-attached to) but the scene in this really did cause me to tear up. When it comes to losing someone in a story, it couldn't be any more heart-wrenching then the scene in this. I'm really attached to all these characters and I just can't handle losing anybody.
I also really enjoyed the epilogue. I felt it was a really truthful way to wrap things up. There is no happily-ever-after, the world is not magically fixed at the turning of the last page. But Mac, Jason, and Kyle are attempting to live their lives and be involved in creating a new normal world.
I love this series. I really want everybody and their cousin to read it. It's so much more then what you expect. So good. So heart-wrenching. I love it. And I want Kathleen Peacock to write something else for me to devour!!
A Satisfying Ending to a Great Series.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Reading Right Now! (#42)

Here's what I'm Reading Right Now!


Shadow and Bone (Grisha #1) by Leigh Bardugo: Finally decided to start this series after all the hype and hoopla I've heard about it. I've always been a little curious about this book, and the spin-off series that just came out does look good, so I decided to pick it up. I'm on page 71 of this, so I'm not all that far in. I'm liking it so far. It's interesting. I don't know how to pronounce all of the words though. I'm interested in seeing more of the magic that's going to happen and to see what part of the love triangle war I fall on.
Through the Woods by Emily Carroll: I've read 3 of the 5 stories in this one so far, and I'm really enjoying it. The art style and how it incorporates with the stories is so cool. The stories all have this creepy, macabre feel to them, which I'm enjoying. I will say some of the stories have ambiguous endings, especially the first one. I have guesses for what happened, but no out-and-out explanation of Yes! that's exactly what happened. I'm reading this one semi-slowly just so I can get farther in Shadow and Bone. This probably would have been a great Halloween read, if I had managed to read it when Halloween was still coming up.

So that's what I'm Reading Right Now! Tell me what you are reading in the comments below.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Review: Erased (Altered #2) by Jennifer Rush

Title: Erased (Altered #2)
Author: Jennifer Rush
Published by: Little, Brown and Company
Released: January 2014
Summary: Sam, Cas, Nick, and Anna are on the run from the Branch. Always on alert and always on the move, Anna fears her life will always be like this. When someone from their past reappears, Anna and the Boys embark on another journey of danger and discovery. Thrilling, Addictive, and Action-Packed; Erased is a great addition to Jennifer Rush's Altered series.
My Thoughts:  Loved it! So, So Good. I really enjoyed Altered when I read it, so it was a no brainer to pick up Erased as soon as possible. Erased had all the elements that I so enjoyed in Altered, there was plenty of action, twists and turns, and the fast-paced, must read to the end of the book quality that made it awesome.
Erased picks up pretty much right where Altered ended. Anna and the Boys are still on the run from the Branch, always looking over their shoulder and never able to stay in one place for long. When a face from their past shows up, they are thrown into more confrontations with the Branch in an effort to uncover the secrets surrounding their histories.
This series is so much fun. I love the cast of characters. Anna and the Boys are a true family, and they will do anything for one another. It was nice seeing Sam and Anna happy with each other. Cas is always a lot of fun, but he could have had a greater presence in this book. Nick is the bad boy, sullen heartthrob who we can't wait to learn more about. I was glad to have so many scenes with Nick in them. 
What I probably love most is how tough Anna is. It is nice to see a female character who can take care of herself without being a damsel in distress, waiting for someone else to save her.
I also really enjoy how the book, and the whole series really, plays out like an action movie. So quick, fast-paced, and so easy just to breeze through.
I will say that I suspected some of the twists and turns, and the reveal of one adversary didn't really surprise me. I was surprised that Anna and Sam didn't figure it out sooner really.
I am a major fan of this series. I love the action, how quick the story goes, and the cast of characters that I get to spend time with. I can't wait to see what happens next, so I'm highly anticipating the third book. I honestly recommend this series to everybody. So fun!
So, So Good!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Top 5 Wednesday: Top 5 Books I Did Not Finish

This week's topic is going to be a little thin, because I have this weird thing where I have to finish all the books I start. I like to give them every chance to impress me and feel that if I give up on them, I'm not giving them a fair shot. Or I'm missing out on an amazing middle or end because I gave up too soon. Does that make sense to anyone? Does anyone else out there have that same obsession/pull/problem where they just have to finish the book even though they are hating it?
So thinking back on my reading history, I've come up with two books that I 100% gave up on and didn't finish. Then I came up with 2 books that, looking back, I wished I had given up on because I hated them with the fire of a thousand suns. Yes.

So, first the two reads I actually did give up on and have mixed feelings as to whether I will ever try to read them again. These could be controversial.


1. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien: I got about 1/3 to halfway through this and just couldn't take it anymore. I guess I just got bored. I felt like nothing was really happening. They were just journeying and singing and telling long poems. And all the history at the very beginning really bored me to no end. I wasn't excited to pick this up and continue reading, so I ended up just giving up on it. I don't know if I'll try to ever read this again or not. I know there are so many people out there who love it, but I just couldn't seem to get in to it.
2. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll: This one is so short that I should have been able to power through, but I just couldn't for some reason. I think it was too weird for me. Plus it was written in that older language that I just don't really like. I also have mixed feelings about the author, or suspicions. I read a book that I really liked that was a fiction tale of Alice all grown up and looking back on her life and the book that kind of made her famous. In that book, Lewis Carroll kind of came off like a creepy, older guy who liked to take photographs and hang out with 8 year old girls. So, I now have the belief in my head, with really no evidence to back it up, that Lewis Carroll kind of sounds like a pedophile. Yes, I know I'm besmirching the name of a famous author, but he sounds weird. Why would an older man want to hang out with young girls? And if you look at some of the pictures he took of Alice Liddell, it just looks really creepy.
Anyway, I gave up on this book. I've also had a little trouble with the Alice in Wonderland re-imanginings I've read, because they've all been too odd. Too whimsical. I don't know if I'll ever pick it up and try to re-read it again. Maybe.

Now for the two books that I powered through but probably would have been happier if I had just given up on them. The ill-will and hatred I feel for them probably wouldn't have been as intense if I had.


3. House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski: This was such a waste of time. I had heard such good things about it on booktube, got it, and then just got so frustrated when reading it. The style it was written in is so aggravating to read. And usually, I like books that have different styles. And I did want to DNF it so bad. It was so slow to read and I just had to push myself to finish it. I would look at it and not be excited about picking it up.
4. A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness: I don't know if it's even fair how much I hate this book, but I do. I was so excited to read this because, at the time, there was a lot of hype going around about it. But then I got my hands on it and read it and became so aggravated. I think there were various factors that went into this. First off, it was really long for no real good reason. I didn't like the two main characters. They aggravated me to no end with all their wine drinking and bragging about how smart they were. I also felt the summary misled me. There was all this talk about this rare, magical book, and then in the actual story, the main character holds the book for less then 5 minutes and we never see it again.
The other reason I disliked it so much might be an unfair reason to not like the book. I think I read this while I was in college, and college professors have this way of putting down YA books or any fun fiction book in general, as literature that is worthless and a waste of time. They praise the classics, and I don't necessarily like reading classics, I think they're boring. But this was also the time when the Twilight hate train started going around. How Twilight was such an awful book with subpar writing, a weak main character who girls' shouldn't strive to be, and a creepy stalker vampire love interest. So, I'm getting bombarded with YA is an insult to great literature everywhere at college. I pick up A Discovery of Witches and notice it's by a college professor. Then I'm reading it and the main character Diana is constantly going on about how smart she is and how she's in the Oxford Library looking up all sorts of scholarly things. And then I get a book that has so many of the Twilight  elements that people have been criticizing to no end, and they are raving about this one. I guess it just rubbed me the wrong way.
I would probably be happier and not harboring such an intense hatred for this book, if I had just given up on it. I have not yet read the rest of this series and doubt I ever will.

So those are the Top 5 but really 4 Books That I Did Not Finish or Regret Taking the Time to Finish. What do you think of my picks? Agree Disagree? What are yours? Please let me know because I love talking books all day, every day. If you want to join in on the Top 5 Wednesday fun, you totally should. Each Wednesday is a new topic to contemplate and enjoy. Check out all the other Top 5 Wednesday-ers here!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Review: Blackbird (Blackbird #1) by Anna Carey

Title: Blackbird (Blackbird #1)
Author: Anna Carey
Published by: HarperTeen
Released: 2014

Summary: A girl wakes up on the Los Angeles Subway tracks with no idea how she got there or who she is. She's got a backpack with money/essentials and a fresh tattoo on her wrist of a Blackbird and the code FNV02198. She's been instructed not to contact the police, they can't help her anyway. Someone is after this girl. Someone wants to kill her. It's up to you, through her, to find out why.
My Thoughts: This is a case where reviews made me nervous for no good reason. I had heard a lot of mixed reviews for Blackbird. Many people were put off by the second person narration. So I went in to this a little nervous. I won the second book in the series, Deadfall, through a Goodreads FirstReads giveaway, and had to read the first book first of course. I was also already a fan of Anna Carey because I read the first two books in her Eve series and really enjoyed them. So I didn't know how I would feel going into this. Let me just say that I thought Blackbird was fantastic and a lot of fun. The reviews had me nervous for nothing. I didn't find the second person narration hard to get in to or annoying. The book had me gripped from the very first page, and it was so fast-paced that I just wanted to finish it all in one go.
I really loved the action, mystery feel to it. Not knowing what was going on and figuring it out with the character. It kind of felt a little like Jason Bourne, with not knowing who you are or who to trust. I was never bored in the story either. It had such a quick pace and an interesting storyline, which made for a very fun read.
My only gripe would be the ending, in that it wasn't an ending, but rather a 'To Be Continued,' like at the end of a t.v. episode. I am glad I have the sequel close by, so I won't be left in the lurch for too long.
My advice, ignore the negative reviews and try Blackbird out for yourself. It's a lot of fun and very fast paced. The whole mystery is really intriguing and you'll be left wondering what's going on just like our main character is. Blackbird is like a mini-action thriller movie in book form. It's fun, fast, and entertaining.

A whole lot of fun and what the heck is going on-ness.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Review: Revelations (Renegade #2) by J.A. Souders

Title: Revelations (Renegade #2)
Author: J.A. Souders
Published by: TOR Teen
Released: 2013

Summary: Everything was supposed to be better when Evie and Gavin escaped Elysium. Now living topside, in Gavin's world, Evie is safe and loved, but she doesn't feel right. Evie has lost all her memories and feels a strange pull to the sea. With Evie experiencing blackouts and bouts of sleep walking, Gavin is scared that Evie will hurt herself or others. Gavin decides to take her to Rushlake City for a cure, but when the cure turns out to be more complicated than Gavin realizes, can he take the chance of losing Evie?
My Thoughts: I did not enjoy reading this book. In parts, I think it was because of problems I had with the story and being in a bit of a reading slump. I really felt like I had to force myself to pick it up. I really enjoyed the first book in the series, Renegade. I loved the world building that Souders did in it, creating this fantastical and dangerous underwater world of Elysium. I also loved the love story between Gavin and Evie. I don't know what happened in Revelations, it just fell really flat for me.
I had forgotten that Evie had gotten amnesia at the end of the first book, so her amnesia came as a bit of a surprise for me. I really didn't enjoy the amnesia element, it made Evie into an annoying and useless character.
I had problems with Evie throughout this story. She was annoying, whiny, and just a very different character from the first book. Reading from her perspective was just tiring and not fun. So, I was a definite fan of the dual narration. I liked reading from Gavin's POV much more than Evie's. And Hallelujah! He remembered everything that happened in the first book.
I also wished for more world building and explanation for the top side world. With such great world building in the first book, not having it in the second was a disappointment. I also found the overall story a little lacking. It was kind of slow and tedious. I didn't really understand this rush to get to Rushlake City and then the decisions made after that.
Revelations just felt like a boring, filler, second book in a trilogy. It wasn't really needed. I also didn't really understand the addition of Asher to the cast. I wasn't sure what he was there for.
This probably seems like a very negative review and I'm sorry for that. I really didn't hate Revelations, I just didn't enjoy it very much. The ending was mildly interesting enough for me to want to pick up the third book. Not my favorite book of the year.
Also, what's the deal with the third book not being released until 2016? I'm going to have forgotten everything by that point. I mean, first book published 2012, second book published 2013, and then we have to wait three years for the last book. That makes no sense to me. Rant over.

Suffering from Second Book Syndrome.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Review: Hellhole by Gina Damico

Title: Hellhole
Author: Gina Damico
Published by: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Released: 2014
Summary: Max Kilgore, the name evokes the image of an action hero being cool and saving the day. In reality, Max is skinny, pale, and kind of a nerd. He spends his days at school, working, and taking care of his sick mother. Max's one hobby is to trudge up to Ugly Hill and dig for dinosaur fossils. One night, Max accidentally digs a hole straight to Hell, unleashing a Devil. Burg is one of 666 devils and because Max is the one that set him free, he's now stuck with him.
Max decides to bargain with Burg, for him to cure his mom and leave. Burg's terms are a big house with a hot tub, nonnegotiable. Since Max is new to this whole dealing with the devil thing, he requests the help of a former goth girl named Lore. Max's life just got a whole lot more dangerous.
My Thoughts: For being a book about the devil, this was a whole lot of fun. I really enjoyed myself while reading it. Parts of it actually made me laugh out loud, which is rare for a book to accomplish. My favorite part of this story is the humor, I loved it. This is the first Gina Damico book I've read and I'm definitely going to read more by her in the future. I'm very glad that I picked this book up from the library shelf and gave it a read.
I really liked all the characters in the story, even the side characters. They each had funny aspects about them that just made them enjoyable to read. I really liked Max and Lore. I liked his friendship with Audie. Max's boss Stravoula was very entertaining. I even semi-liked Burg. He said a lot of funny stuff, but I was stupid to hope that the devil would redeem himself. I also really liked Max and his mom's relationship, even with all the stuff they were going through.
I also liked the touch of darkness in this funny story. That feeling that evil doesn't always look evil. How decisions can bring about good or bad consequences. Burg kind of presents himself as a harmless slacker, but you can't forget what he is. I don't even know if what I'm saying is making any sense. Evil doesn't always present itself as evil, it can hide behind a jovial disguise, but you still must guard against it. Max learns that the hard way.
I thought this story was great. I enjoyed it from start to finish. The humor was strong from the first page to the last, it never felt forced and it made me laugh. I'm definitely going to read more of Gina Damico's books. Just a whole lot of fun, mixed with a tad bit of seriousness, in book form.
Devilishly Fun!