Friday, June 10, 2016

Bloodlines by Richelle Mead

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Blurb: I wasn't free of my past, not yet.

Sydney's blood is special. That's because she's an alchemist - one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets - and human lives. But the last encounter Sydney had with vampires got her in deep trouble with the other alchemists. And now with her allegiences in question, her future is on the line.

When Sydney is torn from her bed in the middle of the night, at first she thinks she's still being punished for her complicated alliance with dhampir Rose Hathaway. But what unfolds is far worse. Jill Dragomir - the sister of Moroi Queen Lissa Dragomir - is in mortal danger, and the Moroi must send her into hiding. To avoid a civil war, Sydney is called upon to act as Jill's guardian and protector, posing as her roommate in the unlikeliest of places: a human boarding school in Palm Springs, California. The last thing Sydney wants is to be accused of sympathizing with vampires. And now she has to live with one.

The Moroi court believe Jill and Sydney will be safe at Amberwood Prep, but threats, distractions, and forbidden romance lurk both outside - and within - the school grounds. Now that they're in hiding, the drama is only just beginning.

My Review: I'd put this book on hold for a pretty long time now, mainly because I'm not particularly fond of immediately starting a spin-off after finishing a series. I really, really liked Rose in Vampire Academy and always liked Adrian better than Dimitri so maybe that's why it took me so long to pick up this book. I wasn't ready to let go of my Adrian-Rose ship. Nevertheless, I started Bloodlines and although it took me a day to finish this, I still felt that it was too...slow. I had the same problem with Vampire Academy but with the second book, the series became one of my favourites so I'm hoping that something like that happens with this series too because even though I loved the characters and the story, in general, I just didn't feel like it had that much matter in it. I actually skipped a few pages now and then just because I knew the story isn't going anywhere and I guess that's the only reason I'm giving this book a 3 stars.

If I ignore the slug pace of the book, I actually really loved the characters. Sydney was a little annoying in the beginning with her bigoted views about humans and vampires but she goes through some major changes as the book proceeds and her character development was really interesting. I could understand how difficult it is to alter what she's believed in all her life and I think she did really well adjusting to the situations she was thrown into. She still has a long way to go though and honestly, I can't wait for it to happen.

Adrian was just..perfect, as usual. Considering how I finished Spirit Bound, the last book in the VA series, like 5 years ago, you'd think that I would've been over Adrian Ivashkov by now but noooooooo, he still happens to be one of my favourite book boyfriends and perhaps the only reason why I was able to finish the book as quickly as I could. I really didn't like the fact that Sydney and Adrian weren't thrown in together that often because it reduced his appearances in the book.
But the way Richelle Mead slowly built up the chemistry between Sydney and Adrian was really intriguing and engrossing.
They both come a long way at the end of the story and I just really enjoyed watching them transform in their own ways.

The story itself was alright. I wouldn't say it was something spectacular because halfway through the book I could figure out most of what was going on so I didn't feel any surprise or shock as such when the mystery is unraveled. However, I can tell that there's a lot to come and the first book was just about covering the surface so I'm not exactly disappointed..or elated, for that matter.

Overall, I'd say that it COULD'VE been better BUT I'm not too upset about this. It's just how Richelle Mead works. She creates some major foundations in the first book itself and builds upon those foundations in the next books which is exactly what makes the series as a whole so strong and least that's what happened in VA so I'm just going to assume the same for Bloodlines and hope for the best.

Friday, April 29, 2016

The Consequence of Loving Colton by Rachel Van Dyken

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Blurb: My name is Milo Caro and I have a confession to make.

I’ve been in love with Colton Mathews since I was five. He should have known that sharing a cookie with a sugar obsessed little monster would do the trick–it sealed his fate. So really, the fact that he’s sporting a black eye, a limp, almost got ran over by a car, and was nearly responsible for another person’s death? Right. His fault. Not mine. 

I made a pact with myself–this weekend would be different. I’d come home for my brothers wedding, smile, and Colton would naturally melt into my arms, we’d get married have five kids, live in a house by the river, and get a dog named scratch (clearly I’ve thought this through).

What really happened? I punched my brother in the face, Colton kissed me and apologized, I lied about having a boyfriend, oh and everyone wants to meet the mystery man. 

They say laughter always comes before insanity–ha, ha. All I wanted was my brother’s best friend…instead I’m sitting in prison. 

Let this be a lesson to you all…life rarely happens the way you want it to. 

Damn cookie

My Review: 
If I had to use a single word to describe this story it'd be "ridiculous".
It had SUCH a good start and I honestly enjoyed it so much till the point where everybody starts planning how to sabotage Jason's marriage.

In a bid to make it hilarious, the author went all over the place. I mean, Max and Reid get assaulted, Jason turns into human pulp because he just can't stop getting injured for some reason, Colton and Milo are busy playing games with each other while the rest of the characters are running here and there doing random crap which is supposed to be found funny by the reader, I'm guessing.

I love a good romantic comedy and I did like the romance part between Milo and Colton. I'm actually really fond of jealousy games between two lovebirds but the book's rating automatically went down from a 4.5 to 2.5 in my mind when the horny Grandma assaulted Reid, both mentally and physically.
Imagine an 80 year old man running after a 20 something, touching her, grabbing her inappropriately and taking the harassment to such an extent that the female actually tries to take drugs and gets drunk to cope with it. No matter how lightly you try to put this scene in your story, it'll still be scorned upon and not be found funny.

However, you reverse the genders, and suddenly it's okay to portray sexual harassment because it's happening to a man. The whole thing between Reid and the creepy Grandma just disgusted me, not to mention the scene where Max is sent to Jason's fiance's bachelorette party and he comes back traumatized, and tries to cut down a tree to make himself feel manly again. (I STILL can't figure out how cutting down a tree gives you back your manhood). Anyway, while this is going on the men call it taking one for the team while our pretty princess Milo cheers on.

It reeeeealllyyyyyy got on my nerves how lightly the author just put such incidences in the latter part of the story and tried to pull them off as funny scenes and it reeeeaaaallllyyyyy annoyed the crap out of me when this book with such an amazing start ended up disappointing me like this.

I don't think a lot of people mind or even notice that men get harassed and traumatized too but that doesn't mean it isn't a serious issue and trying to pull it off as something funny is just sad. I really expected better stuff from this book.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Blurb: “There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

My Review: Okay so frankly, the first half of the novel was boring. A lot of people praised this book so I was quite excited when I started it but it took me wayyyyyy too long to finish because my attention kept wavering every few pages. There just wasn't enough stuff happening to keep my interest for long and that should've been enough reason for me to drop the book except that I do not like to abandon books. It's like abandoning a puppy you don't find as adorable as compared to others in the litter. Just because it's quieter and less cuter than other puppies doesn't mean there isn't potential for it to grow into an amazing, beautiful, loyal dog.
Sorry I can't really think of any other simile because I'm missing my own dog too much right now (he's a Lhasa Apso and he's a darlingggg, though a little spoilt.)
Anyway, my point is The Raven Boys grew into a wonderful dog/book/story/youknowwhatImean.

I was at 52% completion of the book (I think) when I actually FELT the change. From the monotonous, shifting POVs, suddenly, things actually started happening and I stopped minding the shifts as the story became more action packed and the characters started showing some more..well, character. This is right about the time Blue decides to defy her mother and go on the helicopter ride with Adam and the others. I say others, because Gansey really wasn't an important OR interesting character till then and seemed just as irrelevant as Ronan, Noah and everybody else.
I couldn't see the point of dragging the story so much and it just felt like the only real content the author had was so less that she had to put in unnecessary sentences in the middle of the chapters for the first part just so that she could turn it into a book instead of a short story.

Nevertheless, the second half of the book was admittedly pretty awesome and it just kept getting better till the end. There was more action and some mystery elements as well, related to the identity of Neeve, Whelk and another character which I'm not going to name because that was a BIG surprise for me and completely got me hooked to the book. Gansey also started showing signs of being a real normal human being instead of some rich, stoic dude with an identity and existential crisis.

"If you're going to embarrass me, I'll throw you out and fly myself," Gansey said from the seat beside her. This was not a true threat. Not only would he not push Helen out at this altitude, he wasn't legal to fly without her"

His dig at Helen, his sis, and this scene in general made me laugh. I mean, there was some real consideration behind that thought. "Oh shit, I can't really do that because you know I'm not legal to fly this thing without my sister if I push her out right now. Oh and yeah she might die but the more important point is truth be told, he wasn't very good at flying a helicopter, despite several lessons " seemed such a sibling-y thought and consideration that this became the part where I started paying more attention to Gansey. Honestly, he seemed like a very motivated robot before.

I could imagine Blue and Gansey together and Blue also started growing on me even though initially I had thought that maybe I wouldn't end up liking her after all, especially because she wanted to keep Gansey's journal to herself and just assumed that it belonged to Adam. However, she proved my assessment of hers to be wrong in the end and actually turned out to be quite captivating.

The writing style also improved a lot in the latter part of the book and I genuinely wanted to know what happens next and how exactly the ley lines work and everything else as the story progressed.
I think I should have given this book three stars because one part was bad and the other part was good so it evens out to be okayish but the thing is that the second part was extremely riveting. It pulled me into Henreitta and Cabeswater and the corpse road. It made me want to expperience the power of the magical willow tree and search Glendower. It was more than good. It was excellent. And so, I want to continue this series and see if the next book can do better than 3.5 stars. (Dream Thieves, here I cooooooooomeeeeeee)
Seriously though, if you're the type of person who requires instant gratification of your thirst for good reads, I wouldn't recommend The Raven Boys to you. However, if you're patient and are looking for something new related to the paranormal YA genre, I'd say go for this. New concepts are really hard to find and Stiefvater still managed to do it.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Blurb: Mara Dyer believes life can't get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.
It can. 

She believes there must be more to the accident she can't remember that killed her friends and left her strangely unharmed. 
There is.

She doesn't believe that after everything she's been through, she can fall in love. 
She's wrong.

My Review: Okay so I'm still a bit unsure on how I feel about this book.
On one hand, I really like the mystery and the drama revolving around the protagonist and on the other hand, I just couldn't get myself to fully enjoy the story, mainly because of the whole romance thing going on between Noah and Mara.
After reading so many books with a story about a dark, handsome, broody and *of course* filthy rich guy and the confused, troubled and oh yeah, full of secrets girl who doesn't give a craaapppp about the fact that the guy is loaded, these kind of stories just don't do it for me. I mean, COME ON. You can only take so much of the same kind of romance, right?
Anyway, leaving the whole Noah-Mara angle behind, the mystery bit was interesting. On the first page, Mara says that her name ISN'T Mara which kind of keeps you wondering throughout the rest of the story if/when the truth about her name will be revealed. Since I hadn't check the genre of this book when I picked it up, I had NO IDEA that it was going to be a paranormal fiction, so when she ends up seeing ghosts, I was even more intrigued because up until then, this was just a mystery novel to me.

When it comes to Mara's character, I'm not sure I'm going to be fan-girling about her anytime soon because even though I understood her reasons for being so out of sorts with everything, I just couldn't sympathize because instead of dealing with it, she just...let go and refused to accept the signs that something wrong was actually happening. Even if it wasn't, instead of taking help or accepting that maybe she was a little crazy, she just lies to others and herself. Now, I know a lot of authors do this to their female protagonists to show the slow transition if the protagonist from a weak, normal, mundane girl to some fierce, ready-to-take-on-the-world, strong chick, but I'm simply not a fan of these kind of transitions. There are a lot of other, better ways you can show the character metamorphosis WITHOUT making them plain dumb and stupid in the beginning. Basing the rest of your story by relying on the main characters' dumb-ness and refusal to accept what is happening is very frustrating to read. It's not even relatable because I know that if suddenly people started dropping dead just the way I imagined them to die a few hours before they actually boinked, I'd either accept that I'm the Goddess of Death or seek professional help. ASAP.

Coming to Noah, well I have one word for him. Cliche. I'm not even kidding, he's such a cliched character that he checks ALL the boxes required to be a cliched male character in a book with a female protagonist.

1.) Mindbogglingly HAWTTTT with a bad boy attitude (CHECK)
2.) Is a recluse (CHECK)
3.) Shows that he doesn't give a crap about the world (CHECK)
4.) Has B with Itches fawning and swooning all over him (CHECK)
5.) Is a genius without trying (CHECK)
6.) Instantly gets drawn towards the new girl in school (CHECK)
7.) Charms her panties out effortlessly (CHECK)
8.) Richer than Bill Gates...well, almost. (CHECK)
9.) Has the self-confidence and self-esteem of a God. (CHECK)

Honestly, it was fun to read about guys like him before, but now I just lose interest as soon as a character like this comes into the picture.
The one good thing about him, which I really liked, was the way he stayed calm and stuck by Mara's side even though everything was going haywire around her. Somehow, the sweet, caring side of the male characters just never gets old for me. I loved how he helped Mara out with her brother and everything else, no questions asked. Even when she became annoying, he soothed her and showed her the path of reason and sense (which she deviated from, in the end, because obviously.)

Despite the loopholes and the issues I had with Mara and Noah, I still finished it because admittedly, I did want to know what was going to happen next. I was curious as well as intrigued which is the only reason why I want to give this book 3 stars. I'm definitely going to read the next book in the trilogy just to find out WHY THE HELL DID SHE SAY HER NAME ISN'T MARA.
If you don't mind the characters being...the way they are and actually prefer them that way, this book is definitely for you as the rest of the story is not that bad and the supernatural as well as mystery elements are quite interesting to read.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Review: The Summer of Skinny Dipping by Amanda Howells

Blurb: There Are Some Summers You'll Always Remember

Sometimes I wake up shivering in the early hours of the morning, drowning in dreams of being out there in the ocean that summer, of looking up at the moon and feeling as invisible and free as a fish. But I'm jumping ahead, and to tell the story right I have to go back to the beginning. To a place called Indigo Beach. To a boy with pale skin that glowed against the dark waves. To the start of something neither of us could have predicted, and which would mark us forever, making everything that came after and before seem like it belonged to another life.

My name is Mia Gordon: I was sixteen years old, and I remember everything

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

My Review: 
As the rating says, The Summer of Skinny Dipping to me was...okay. I kept turning the pages and expecting it to turn better, more exciting, to no avail. I'd read such great reviews about this novel that I was absolutely sure that this would be my favourite summer read for this year so imagine my disappointment when I found myself no wanting to return to the story once I left it because it was just sooooooo sloooooowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.

Don't get me wrong. The story was really sweet and nice but somehow, I didn't feel connected to it even ONCE. It took me SIX FREAKING DAYS to finish it because I just wasn't interested in getting back to the story.

Mia was a sweet protagonist. There were some instances where I could relate with her but the initial few chapters were simply boring. I remember thinking at one point that Mia's severe case of inferiority complex requires professional help. Urgently.
However, the pace did pick up once Simon was introduced in the story....only to fall back again.
Simon was an interesting character, full of life and very self-assured. Their romance was a sweet (I realize I'm using this adjective for the third time but really, sweet is all I can use to describe most of the stuff in this book, so bear with me) one which bloomed with time but the problem is that the time it took was a bit too slow for me.
To keep my interest, the story should have a STRONG female protagonist who doesn't need a guy to boost her self-esteem like Mia, or if that's not the case, then it should be funny or exciting or give me a rush or make me want to just vanish into the story and that world. NONE of these happened and I'm genuinely disappointed.

At the end, I didn't feel emotional or sad. I just felt relieved that it was over and I can move on to more interesting novels now which is a sad thing in itself. I hate feeling like this about any book because each story is a product of immense hard-work by an author but unfortunately, this one just wasn't for me.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Review: The Jewel by Amy Ewing

Blurb: The Jewel means wealth. The Jewel means beauty. The Jewel means royalty. But for girls like Violet, the Jewel means servitude. Not just any kind of servitude. Violet, born and raised in the Marsh, has been trained as a surrogate for the royalty—because in the Jewel the only thing more important than opulence is offspring.

Purchased at the surrogacy auction by the Duchess of the Lake and greeted with a slap to the face, Violet (now known only as #197) quickly learns of the brutal truths that lie beneath the Jewel’s glittering facade: the cruelty, backstabbing, and hidden violence that have become the royal way of life.

Violet must accept the ugly realities of her existence... and try to stay alive. But then a forbidden romance erupts between Violet and a handsome gentleman hired as a companion to the Duchess’s petulant niece. Though his presence makes life in the Jewel a bit brighter, the consequences of their illicit relationship will cost them both more than they bargained for.

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

My Review:

I WANT to give it 1.5 stars but I'm going to be lenient and stick with 2.
Sigh. I had high expectations from this book simply because many people compared it with The Selection. Okay, now I'm well aware of the fact that The Selection was disliked by many, but to be honest, I absolutely loved that series. I think the execution was perfect and the story was beautifully put. HOWEVER, The Jewel was just...bland.

Violet Lasting is among the weakest protagonists I've come across so far. While Ms. Ewing tried hard to make her strong and willful and powerful, she was anything BUT THAT. I mean, COME ONNNNNNNNNNNNNNN, YOU HAVE BEEN GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY TO DESTROY THE HORRIBLE RULE OF THE JEWEL AND FREE YOURSELF ALONG WITH ALL THE GIRLS WHO ARE GOING TO BE USED LIKE COWS AND THEN THROWN AWAY LIKE TRASH AND WHAT DO YOU DO?!?!

My frail resolve wavers. I think about what sort of person I want to be. I owe Lucien my life, and I will be loyal to him until the end. But Ash has nothing to do with that. Ash is separate, a part of my life that is just mine. There are things that are bigger than us, it’s true. Saving the surrogates. Destroying the royalty. Is loving Ash worth the risk?

Ummm excuse me, but you don't just go all, "I'll be loyal to him until the end" and then disregard the dude who gave you this opportunity and start frolicking with a guy YOU'VE JUST MET A FEW DAYS BACK, thinking that you LOVE him. I mean, Lucien is putting his life at risk JUST so that he can save millions of surrogates like you, and despite being TOLD VERY CLEARLY that you're IMPERATIVE for the plan to work (God knows why He'd give such powers to a foolish weakling who can clearly not control her horny teenage hormones), you still think it's perfectly fine to risk everything so that you can be with Lover Boy, Ash. Are you an idiot, or what?

I would've been fine with the fact that she instantly gets attracted to Ash because she feels a certain connection to him but the thing is, the way the story was executed, it just felt like she would've "fallen in love" with ANY boy her age had he been good-looking and willing to talk to her which nobody does apparently because she's a lowly surrogate. The way she reacts to Garnet in the initial chapters clearly proves that.

"I saw the Duchess's son." A blush creeps up the back of my neck at the memory of the handsome boy and his disheveled appearance. "He doesn't seem anything like his mother."

Pretty sure if he bothered to speak to her, she would've "fallen in love" with him first. But then before that could happen, Ash enters. He looks at her like she's a normal human being and not an animal and POOF! She's instantly crazy about him.
They have sex a couple of weeks later and in spite of a Doctor CONSTANTLY checking up on her to see if she's ready for surrogacy, he doesn't figure out that she's recently had sexual intercourse with someone (which happens to be a serious offense that could get her executed). Nope, the so-called Doctor notices nothing. Lucky girl.

I also figured out the biggest suspense in the whole story pretty early (view spoiler) so when it was revealed like a cliff-hanger at the end, I felt no excitement or surprise.

I feel like the story had some potential but Ms. Ewing was unable to bring forth the pain and the anguish of the surrogates and everyone else under the rule of The Jewel. My only reaction was, "Bleh." for scenes which should have made me gasp in outrage about the unfairness of it all.

I barely felt anything throughout the book and mostly my thoughts were, "OMG don't do this, you're a strong protagonist!" "OMG don't do this, you were supposed to be a strong protagonist!" "OMG don't do this, you're so foolish!" "OM...oh, forget it, she's an idiot."

Overall, this book was a disappointment. I couldn't relate to Violet or any character in the novel, and I just felt that she was purposely made to do all the stupid things so the story could continue. I absolutely hate it when the story can only move forward on the basis of the weak character of the protagonist. I have a feeling that the second book will be better because this usually happens with books like these but I'm not sure if I want to read it or not.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Review: To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han

Blurb: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister's ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My review: 
Oh my. This was SUCH a good book to read!
I remember that The Summer I Turned Pretty was among the first YA books I read when I initially started phasing out from my horror books obsession and honestly, despite the fact that I wasn't really fond of Belly in that story, I still finished the whole trilogy just because there's something about Jenny Hans' writing style. It coaxes you to read just one more chapter...and then another till you read to the point where you end up intrigued about the ending because you can figure that it's not gonna be the way you initially thought it might.

The exact same thing happened to me again with TABILB. The starting was incredibly slow and I couldn't enjoy the story because I kept getting distracted. However, things picked up as soon as Lara Jean's letters got delivered not-so-mysteriously (I mean come on, it was pretty obvious who did it)
Up until then, I was thinking her character to be kind of...bland. Man, was I wrong. As the story progressed, more and more I found myself actually relating to her. It's annoying but I cry just as much and just as easily as she did in the story. It was also the way she'd clam up and do something insanely stupid or crazy in front of her crush (like making up a pretend-boyfriend to save face)...yeah been there, done that.

So basically, even though she's fictional, I was kind of delighted upon reading about her antics so similar to mine even though, unlike me, Lara Jean lived with her heart on her sleeve which was part of the reason she got into all that mess in the first place.

The story caught on a pretty stable and enjoyable pace from there. Initially, I liked Josh but later on he just seemed like a huge wimp to me. Peter, on the other hand, stole my heart from the minute he graced the pages of this novel. There's just something about these confident guys, you know?
I was rooting for him but the best part was that till the end I wasn't sure who Lara Jean might choose. Her conflicting emotions were portrayed so well that it almost seemed normal. Oh yeah, she likes Josh, but of course she realizes later that it’s actually Peter who she loves but then Peter’s out of her league so now she’s interested in John and so on… It seems pretty crazy put like this but the story was so in flow that I actually enjoyed myself while all this mess was happening.

Overall, the story was nicely executed, I believe. All the characters were fun and interesting and the relationship Lara Jean shared with her family was endearing. Although in the story, Margot, her elder sister, was put forward as the selfless one, to me it seemed that Lara Jean was the one who always considered her sisters’ wishes and put them before her own. I found her younger sister to be a quite annoying, frankly so thank God I don’t have siblings like that. However, the love which Lara Jean showered on everyone close to her was really sweet. I’m pretty sure I’m gonna start with P.S. I Still Love You ASAP because I can’t wait to know what happens next.
If you’re looking for a short, sweet summer read, I’d say go for this! However, I do think that people who aren't that fond of love triangles and/or a na├»ve, innocent female protagonist, won’t exactly enjoy this book as much as I did!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Review: How to Ruin a Summer Vacation by Simone Elkeles

Book Blurb: Moshav? What’s a moshav? Is it “shopping mall” in Hebrew? I mean, from what Jessica was telling me, Israeli stores have the latest fashions from Europe. That black dress Jessica has is really awesome. I know I’d be selling out if I go with the Sperm Donor to a mall, but I keep thinking about all the great stuff I could bring back home. 
Unfortunately for 16-year-old Amy Nelson, “moshav” is not Hebrew for “shopping mall.” Not even close. Think goats, not Gucci. 
Going to Israel with her estranged Israeli father is the last thing Amy wants to do this summer. She’s got a serious grudge against her dad, a.k.a. “Sperm Donor,” for showing up so rarely in her life. Now he’s dragging her to a war zone to meet a family she’s never known, where she’ll probably be drafted into the army. At the very least, she’ll be stuck in a house with no AC and only one bathroom for seven people all summer—no best friend, no boyfriend, no shopping, no cell phone… 
Goodbye pride—hello Israel.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

My Review:
This is the third time I'm reading this novel, and Amy still manages to make me laugh with her antics.
Honestly people, if you are a fan of YA contemporary and you haven't read this book yet, you're missing out on something amazing. From the writing style to the plot, everything about this book is just-

So far, I've read all Simone Elkeles' books, and there's not a single one I have not loved. But I've got to say that the How To Ruin series is my all-time favorite.
Initially Amy comes across as bubbly, girly and a little kiddish but as we delve deeper into the story, we find out that she's a lot more than that. She's a genuine, brave, honest and caring person who can do anything for the people she loves. The affection she shows for her grandmother still melts my heart.
I could also find myself relating to her a lot because her personality was somewhat like mine. Though she's definitely a thousand times more crazy than me and somehow manages to find herself in totally weird situations on a daily basis.

Coming to Avi, wellllll..

He was the perfect mix of sexy, broody, funny and caring. He had all the traits which are required for becoming my book boyfriend and frankly, I'd be dead jealous of Amy if I didn't love her character so much.

There were so many scenes in this book which I'd just love to describe in detail because of their awesomeness but then I don't want to ruin the fun of this book. This is one novel for which you should march to your nearest bookstore ASAP and grab it off the shelf. Believe me, once you start reading it, you won't be able to stop till you finish it.

Now all I'd like to say is,
If you are in a sad gloomy mood, PICK UP THIS BOOK FOR A HAPPINESS DOSE.
If you are cheery and having a good day, PICK UP THIS BOOK TO MAKE YOUR DAY EVEN MORE PERFECT.
If you are neutral and just feel like reading, PICK UP THIS BOOK AND FALL IN LOVE WITH THIS SERIES.

Okay, I'll stop sounding like a weird TV commercial now...I guess the bottom line is that Amy and Avi's story is one which you don't want to miss. Seriously.

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Friday, October 18, 2013

Blog Tour: Pride and Prep School by Stephanie Wardrop

Pride and Prep School by Stephanie Wardrop

Title: Pride And Prep School (Snark And Circumstance #3)
Publication date: October 15, 2013
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Stephanie Wardrop

Blurb: Georgia can’t figure out why the burden of a Y chromosome seems to make guys so hard to understand. First, there’s the handsome but slippery Jeremy Wrentham. After Georgia shared some pretty devastating kisses with him, she found her way home and he found her sister!
And then there’s Michael Endicott, who never fails to let her know that her family’s quirkiness lies too far outside the pale for this preppie townie. But if he really feels that way, why is he in Georgia’s kitchen, asking her out? And why don’t boys come with instruction manuals?

·        Two (2) sets of the full trilogy – one in Kindle Format, one in Nook Format:  (INT)
o   Snark and Circumstance
o   Charm and Consequence
o   Pride and Prep School
·        One (1) DVD copy of EMMA, starring Gwyneth Paltrow (US Only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 An e-copy of this book has been provided to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Pride and Prep School was a short, sweet story. The writing style was interesting and the execution was done pretty well. I wish instead of breaking out this book into so many parts, it was just compiled into one single proper book because I was genuinely disappointed when it ended so abruptly.

Anyway, the characters were funny and even though I found Georgia very very judgmental and annoying sometimes, I didn't exactly mind it because the title of the novella does have the word Pride in it and I had been expecting the snarkiness. That still didn't change the fact that she treated Micheal like crap (just when I was actually beginning to like the guy, nonetheless) and that grated on ym nerves big time.
Even after that, I still couldn't stop reading it as I was curious to find out what'll happen next. Unfortunately, by the time Georgia realized her mistakes and things actually started getting fun, the story finished off. Whatta buzzkill. -.-

Overall, Pride and Prep school was an okay read. Too short for my taste, honestly but if you loved Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice (like me) then I'd say you should definitely try this one! Although, it'd be better if you kept all three of the novellas with you and read them back to back. (it literally took me an hour to finish this one :P)

Stephanie Wardrop grew up in Reading, Pennsylvania where she started writing stories when she ran out of books to read. She’s always wanted to be a writer, except during the brief period of her childhood in which piracy seemed like the most enticing career option—and if she had known then that there actually were “girl” pirates way back when, things might have turned out very differently. She currently teaches writing and literature at Western New England University  and lives in a town not unlike the setting of Snark and Circumstance with her husband, two kids, and five cats. With a book out—finally—she might be hitting the high seas any day now.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Review: Merch Girl by Rebecca Lewis

Merch Girl by Rebecca Lewis
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Seventeen-year-old Lacey Kind doesn’t have the guts to talk to cute boys, isn’t a size two, and would rather stay home and listen to music than go to a party. But in the summer before her first year of college, she ends up thousands of miles away from home, in the back of a tour bus, underneath the half-naked body of the hottest teen rock star in the country.

When Lacey and her best friend Trina sneak into a Boston nightclub to see their favorite band, they not only get to watch their rock gods perform for the first time, but score a chance to meet the band too. Lacey’s heart races as she comes face-to-face with her idol, nineteen-year-old lead singer, Logan Shire.

The girls charm their way into being hired to sell merchandise on Lansdowne’s first summer tour. As “merch girls” Lacey and Trina quickly find themselves transported from their ordinary, suburban life to an exhilarating few months on the road. But they soon realize that life on the road isn’t always a smooth ride...

An e-copy of this book has been provided to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Review: Merch Girl was a fun, quirky read. Believe it or not, I've never been to a live band performance but this book gave me a pretty good idea what it might be like. The writing style was awesome and kept my interest throughout. I mean, the way the author described the whole tour and the band made it seem so...realistic. The story-line was exciting and something different from the other stories I've read so far.

The protagonist, Lacey seemed slightly annoying in the beginning. I don't know whether it was her demure personality or just the helpless way she carried herself but as the story moved on, I actually started liking her.
However, the opposite happened with Lacey's best friend Trina. In the beginning, she seemed upbeat and so supportive. She dragged Lacey around with her to all of Lansdowne's events as she got closer to one of the band members of Lansdowne and I felt that that was actually pretty sweet of her, but slowly, she just became exhausting to read about. Her jealous, snobby attitude and insecurities were super irritating and the abrupt way she relationship started, then ended and then started again was a little too fast for my taste.

Thankfully, Lacey's relationship with Logan was much steadier. Initially, I'd thought that Lacey might turn out to be the dumb-protagonist after all but no, that didn't happen. She turned out to be quite level-headed and clear on what she wanted. I liked how she remained calm (or atleast tried to) as Logan's fans fawned all over him.

As for the guys, well, Ms. Lewis did an amazing job there. Logan was definitely swoon-worthy and I loved the way the story ended.

All in all, Merch Girl was a pretty good. I would've given it 4 stars had it not been for the part where I initially didn't like Lacey and the part where I almost wanted to throw eggs on Trina's obnoxious head. Anywayyyy, I'd say this definitely a fun summer read, and might just turn out to be perfect for you if you love music-themed novels.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Review: Kiss Crush Collide by Christina Meredith

Kiss Crush Collide by Christina Meredith
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

What Leah did—only she really shouldn’t have—one hot night at a country club party.


What Leah has—only she really shouldn’t have—on the guy with the green eyes, the guy who is not her perfect boyfriend, the guy who does not fit in her picture-perfect life, the guy her sisters will only mock and her mother will never approve of. Not in a million years.


What happens when everything you always thought you wanted—having cool friends, being class valedictorian and homecoming queen—runs smack into everything it turns out you really do want.

Kiss. Crush. Collide.

For Leah and Porter, summer is only the beginning

Review: I had a lot of hopes form this book, mainly because of the fact that I loved the cover and the blurb made the book seem quite promising. Sadly, the book was anything but.

The story-line was at the most, okay-ish. As much I wanted to, I couldn't relate with even a single character in the story and the pace was just too fast for me to keep up. I mean, one second, Leah is attending an event with her boyfriend and the in the next instant she's making out with a guy who happens to be a complete stranger. What kind of a girl does that? *cough*hoe*cough*
And even after realizing that she was completely enchanted with that guy, she still didn't have the guts to break up with her boyfriend, all the while justifying her actions by blaming it on her sisters, her mother, her family.
It actually seemed like she was just extremely embarrassed of her crush and was just too spine-less to admit it to herself.
"Oh my, I can't break up with my stupid boyfriend for the guy I actually like because you know, my mommy would be mad at me if I try to actually make one decision in my life that's my own. So I guess I'll just make out with BOTH the guys and keep on crying about my sad, sad life." Oh, Leah, how traumatic. Really.

Frankly, Leah was a spoiled, self-centered brat who didn't know what she wanted from life and because of that, kept whining on and on and on for no reasons at all.

I don't even want to begin with her "crush". The guy needed psychiatric help ASAP. I mean, he treats the girl like a casualty first, doesn't do a SINGLE boyfriend-ish thing and then he gets surprised that the girl he takes out for a ride and make-out session once in a while happens to have an actual boyfriend! Oh em gee, I totally didn't see that one coming! Not.

Everything, from Leah's family to her best friends screamed DUMB throughout the story. I've honestly lost count of how many times I rolled my eyes while reading this novel and I don't think I'm gonna suggest this book to anyone. However, that's just my opinion. :)

Monday, July 1, 2013

Review: Angelfall by Susan Ee

Angelfall by Susan Ee
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Blurb:  It's been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back.

Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel.

Raffe is a warrior who lies broken and wingless on the street. After eons of fighting his own battles, he finds himself being rescued from a desperate situation by a half-starved teenage girl.

Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they have only each other to rely on for survival. Together, they journey toward the angels' stronghold in San Francisco where she'll risk everything to rescue her sister and he'll put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again

Review: You know that moment when you stumble upon a book which totally steals your breath away and makes you sit and read it in one go because you can't afford to pull away from the story even for a second? Yeah, Angelfall did that to me.

I don't think words would be enough to describe just how much I adored this book. I mean, really. HOW CAN A BOOK BE SO DAMN AWESOME? Angelfall had an intriguing story which you can't help but love through and through. Thinking back, I can't point out a single flaw in this book and that's really saying something because even the bestest books sometimes have a teeny-tiny fluke.

The characters were perfect, their emotions were described beautifully and I couldn't help but feel Penryn and Raffe's pain and loss as they journeyed together only to find more horrors the angels had brought with them.
I absolutely loved Penryn's POV. She made me laugh so many times and her ability to move on from even the most difficult and ugliest situations was damn admirable. Her silly remarks sort of lightened the overall dark setup of the book.

Many a times it was as if I could myself feel the bleakness and the sadness of that world. The monstrous things that Penryn came across during her fearless search of her sister actually gave me goosebumps.

Raffe, well, all I can say about him is that I think I just found another book boyfriend. And this time around, he's an angel!
The moment he was introduced in the story, I liked him and , and initially when Penryn treated him so badly, I felt like slapping her. Even though her reasons were totally justified and her harshness was probably the only thing that had kept her and her mother and sister alive for so long, I still felt bad for Raffe. Neither one of them deserved what was happening, but slowly, they did start making the best of their horrible situations and maybe unknowingly became this awesome team which you can't help but adore.

I lost count of how many times I gasped out loud or cried as the story moved on. It all just seemed so...realistic. And that makes it so much more scarier. The author put those things in light which you probably never even imagined in your worst nightmares, and yet, she put it so brilliantly that I couldn't tear my eyes away from the pages even if I wanted to (which I didn't).

I can't say much further than this without revealing some spoilers but all in all, Angelfall is a compelling and spectacular novel and a MUST read for all post-apocalyptic book lovers! I won't recommend this to people who prefer a light, fluffy read, though because this one would probably just end up giving you nightmares. No, seriously.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

100+ Followers and Blogoversary Giveaway!!

Heya peeps!

Guess what? Reading 24x7 just turned an year old!!!!

And what's more, the blog has ALSO crossed over the100 followers mark!! YAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAY I'M SO SO SO SO HAPPYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!

To show just how happy I am and because ALL of you guys are just plain awesome, I'm hosting my very first blog giveaway!! With over 20 hardcopies of Young-Adult books to choose from, this giveaway is sure to make your day. Am I right or am I right? ;)

So without much ado, here's the list of books up for grabs!

Don't like any of the books mentioned above? No problemo! You can choose your own book from the under $20 range list from Book

Open for all countries wherever Book Depository ships!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

-Winner must reply to the e-mail sent to him/her within 48 hours or another winner will be chosen.
-The giveaway would end as soon as I cross 150+ followers or by the end of August.

That said, I wanna thank all of my AH-MAZING followers for supporting this blog. You all play a BIG part in encouraging me to go on blogging and I'll always love you for that <3 <3 <3 <3

Thanks for entering!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Blog Tour: The Trouble With Goodbye by Sarra Cannon

Title: The Trouble With Goodbye

Author: Sarra Cannon

Release date: May 2013

Publisher: Dead River Books (self-published)

Age Group:  New Adult

Genre:  Contemporary Romance

Tour organized by: AToMR Tours

Book Description:

When Leigh Anne Davis landed a prestigious scholarship to an Ivy League school, she went against her parents' wishes and said goodbye to tiny Fairhope, Georgia and the wealthy boyfriend everyone expected her to marry. Now, two years later, she's back with her tail between her legs.

And a secret she wants to bury inside forever.

That's when Lucas Young enters her life. Everyone expects Leigh Anne to pick up right where she left off, but Lucas is different. Sure, he's been in some trouble in the past and seen his share of hard times, but he's the one person she can really be herself around.

The trouble is, being with Lucas would mean disappointing her family all over again. Will Leigh Anne give in to everyone's expectations? Or will she finally find the courage to follow her heart?

(5) Print copies of The Trouble with Goodbye - International
(10) eBook copies of The Trouble with Goodbye (mobi and epub) – International
(1) $25 VISA Gift Card – open to countries able to accept VISA Gift Cards

a Rafflecopter giveaway

My Review: When I first saw came across this book. I was immediately intrigued by the book description and honestly? I'm glad I picked this one up.

Even though I wasn't really that curious about what exactly happened with Leigh Anne (it seemed pretty obvious from the beginning), the writing style and the storyline was enthralling. From the moment Knox was introduced in the story, I literally couldn't stop my fingers from turning the pages.

The best part of this book was that the author didn't use the female protagonist's stupid antics to increase the pages of the book. The pace was steady-not too fast or too slow-and the characters were brilliantly built-up. I found the chapters to be slightly short though and feel that 2 chapters could've easily be merged into one.

Leigh Anne was quite likeable. She was level-headed, caring and considerate. What was not to like? Even after all the complications and hardships in her life, she still managed to laugh and think about others. It was this quality of hers which truly made me love her
Although, I'll admit, it was super-idiotic of her to cower behind the curtains for so long just because of her parents (who were absolutely useless, by the way. I felt like throwing something at them so many time while reading -.-). She was strong, that much was pretty clear from the start but that strength got lost somewhere whenver it came to her parents which was pretty annoying. But at the same time, who could really blame her? I'm totally blaming her parents though. ESPECIALLY her mum. Gosh, what an annoying lady.

Knox was absolutely swoon-worthy through and through. I couldn't believe he had a past like what he told Leigh Anne. But at the same time, it sort of made sense. He wasn't too out-going but humorous nonetheless. His charming personality and optimistic side was ah-mazinggg. I also liked the fact that even though he really, really liked Leigh Anne, he was still his own person and didn't take any crap from her (which she did try to serve him once or twice)

Overall, I found The Trouble With Goodbye to be a good read. It had a simple storyline with a great end and a happily ever after (Oh, how I love those :'D )  If you'd like a simple, sweet and salty contemporary fiction this summer, this one's definitely for you!

My Rating: 3.5 of 5 stars.

 To see other stops on the tour for reviews, guest posts, and excerpt click here or the tour button below.

About the Author
Sarra Cannon grew up in a small town in Georgia where she learned that being popular always comes at a price. She is the author of the young adult paranormal Peachville High Demons series, which she first began self-publishing in October of 2010. Since the series began, Sarra has sold over 120,000 copies and recently signed a contract with Sea Lion Books to create a graphic novel adaptation of Beautiful Demons, the first book in the series.
Sarra lives in North Carolina with her amazing husband, her new baby boy, and her teeny tiny Pomeranian, Snickerdoodle.

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