Tag Archives: Review

Review: Every Last Promise by Kristin Halbrook

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Every Last Promise by Kristin Halbrook

Paperback, 288 pages

Published April 21st 2015 by HarperTeen

Source: Publisher for honest review

Perfect for fans of Laurie Halse Anderson and Gayle Forman, Every Last Promise is a provocative and emotional novel about a girl who must decide between keeping quiet and speaking up after witnessing a classmate’s sexual assault.

Kayla saw something at the party that she wasn’t supposed to. But she hasn’t told anyone. No one knows the real story about what happened that night—about why Kayla was driving the car that ran into a ditch after the party, about what she saw in the hours leading up to the accident, and about the promise she made to her friend Bean before she left for the summer.

Now Kayla’s coming home for her senior year. If Kayla keeps quiet, she might be able to get her old life back. If she tells the truth, she risks losing everything—and everyone—she ever cared about. – Goodreads

Review: From the start I knew/expected what the book would be like based on the subject matter however, I didn’t expect it to depress me as much it did. It’s a story about a girl, Kayla, who goes through something extreme in her life. It makes her question many things and we don’t necessarily find out what it is until about three quarters of the book. Which I think is really good because that way we get to experience what someone who is going through something like this must be experiencing. (I don’t want to say what that something is as it might be a spoiler, and I don’t want to spoil the book for anyone.) Anyways throughout the book, I kept thinking how similar this seems to be to Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson.

Anyways, back to plot, I didn’t read the synopses of the story and just dived right into it. Kayla is from the perfect, small town with the super close community in which everyone knows everybody. And once Kayla does the “inexplicable” to the community by causing an accident after witnessing a crime, she is, for lack of better words, ostracized by the community and her friends. However she does make one friend in particular that somehow knows something about what she saw and why she had the accident. Throughout the story, Kayla struggles with the way everyone is treating her and with the decision of telling or not telling the truth.

The writing in the book is very good. Like I said earlier, as soon as I got through about twenty pages, the writing reminded me very much of Laurie Halse Anderson’s writing and especially of Speak. The story is also very similar, in regards to subject matter, perpetrator, even the treatment of the main character. Throughout the story, the way that Kayla reacts to the treatment that she receives is very interesting because if I was put in that situation, I would be telling the reason for the accident. However, she was also thinking about protecting herself all the same and the victim. What made the situation even worse however, is that in comparison to Speak, the rapist, is not ust some boy she met at a party but someone she knows very well and who she thought could never do something like this.  The way that she is treated is probably what causes her to question everyone and everything about her decision to tell or not. She is afraid that if she tells anyone that the treatment will get worse or that it would happen to her too. She is also afraid of the way the community would start treating her differently also especially since if she tells, their “golden boy” would be going to jail.

 The story is good and compelling and keeps you on edge to figure out who the victim is and what will happen to Kayla once/if she decides to tell what she saw/ experienced. But it’s just too similar to Speak for me and it just takes too long for Kayla to decide.

Overall: 3.5 out of 5

Similar books:

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson  l  All The Rage by Courtney Summers

Other reviews:

YA Book Central  l  Dark Faerie Tales   l   Cuddlebuggery

Review: City Love (City Love #1) by Susane Colasanti

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City Love by Susane Colasanti

Hardcover, 336 pages

Published April 21st 2015 by Katherine Tegen Books
Source: Publisher for honest review
Three girls are about to discover the meaning of city love. From bestselling YA romance author Susane Colasanti! Sadie, a born and raised New Yorker, is hopeful and romantic and an eternal optimist who is ready to find her soul mate.Darcy is a free spirit from SoCal with rebellious tendencies and unlimited financial resources, looking for summer boy adventures.Rosanna leaves Chicago for NYC with a grand total of seventy-three cents so she can reinvent herself and forget about her past.Sadie, Darcy, and Rosanna are living together in New York City the summer before their freshman year of college begins. With no parents, no rules, and an entire city to explore, these three girls are on the verge of the best summer of their lives. Told from alternating points of view, City Love captures the moments in each girl’s life when everything is thrilling, amazing, and terrifying all at once…in a way it will never be again. – Goodreads

My opinion: I don’t know why but it was so hard for me to get into this book. I did finish it, but it was torturous as times. I did like the three girls, Rosanna and Darcy and Sadie are different characters. They come from different socioeconomic status as well as different cities and they all like different things but they get along and work together. They also meet three different boys that are different but similar to them as well. For instance, Sadie meets Austin and they both like looking at buildings. The girls also develop a strong bond with each other as they talk about different activities they do together.

The reason I think that I didn’t enjoy the book as much is that although it was  good romance, I have been reading a lot of books that have a romantic feel to them and the romance progression was very obvious I feel like.

I was trying to figure out why I didn’t enjoy it and I remember I review that I read when the book first came out and I have to say I think Bri from Once Upon a Time put the words in my mouth or fingers as I am typing this. I think I wanted a strong friendship between the girls and not just the boys. That is what I think the book was missing. I think that if there were more moments of the girls bonding and spending time together, the book and I would have gotten along much better. There were times when they were bonding but that was mostly at the beginning of the book, however after about a quarter of the way of the book the focus is on the relationship with the boys and the rest of the mentions of the girls spending time together is from things they were thinking of things that happened in the past days.

Overall, I don’t really think that this was my “cup of tea” and it didn’t really meet my expectations but the story was okay.

2 out of 5


Other reviews of City Love

Review: The Duff: The Designated Ugly Fat Friend by Kody Keplinger

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The Duff: The Designated Ugly Fat Friend by Kody Keplinger

Hardcover, 280 pages
Published September 7th 2010 by Little Brown/Poppy (first published 2010)
Source: Library

Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn’t think she’s the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She’s also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her “the Duff,” she throws her Coke in his face.

But things aren’t so great at home right now, and Bianca is desperate for a distraction. She ends up kissing Wesley. Worse, she likes it. Eager for escape, Bianca throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with him.

Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out Wesley isn’t such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she’s falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone. – Goodreads

My opinion: I laughed, I cried, I swore along with the Bianca. This book was so funny as times that I was laughing while at work from reading. I probably looked crazy. Wes was an interesting character, so well liked by everyone but in trouble. Bianca was sassy and a strong female character that I enjoy to read about. She is complex and her relationships with her friends and parents seem very interesting and complicated.

The relationship she has with her dad seems to be one that is very complex. At times, Bianca seems to be the adult. This can be seen especially when her dad finds out that her mother wants a divorce and he kind of loses his mind a little and becomes an alcoholic. Her relationship with her mom is also one that is almost none existent and she travels and doesn’t really communicate with Bianca. Based on the facts that her mom wasn’t really there for her and also that her dad isn’t that attentive, signifies that Bianca had to grow up quickly.

The group of friends she has seem to be a great support system for her that is until Wes mentions how she is their Duff and then she begins to question them a little and stops to talk to them as much as she used and they feel left out.

Her relationship with Wesley is also very sexual and it mostly begins to be like that because an ex of Bianca’s makes an appearance in town and she doesn’t want to deal with the way that the relationship ended and what happened during. The reason Wes agreed is because he is having problems with his parents not being present in his life and he is feeling lonely.

Overall this book has its ups and downs. I loved the way that characters interacted with each other and I also love the way that they came together. I also really liked the way that Bianca figured out what she wanted out of her relationships and she realized who was important in her life and how to balance those relationships (especially her parents).

4.5 out 5

I am planning on watching the movie once more to do a review of it and try to do a comparison to see what has changed from the book to the movie adaptation.

Giveaway + Review: The Night Sister by Jennifer McMahon (CLOSED)

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The Night Sister by Jennifer McMahon

Hardcover, 336 pages
Expected publication: August 4th 2015 by Doubleday
Source: Publisher for honest review
The latest novel from New York Times best-selling author Jennifer McMahon is an atmospheric, gripping, and suspenseful tale that probes the bond between sisters and the peril of keeping secrets.Once the thriving attraction of rural Vermont, the Tower Motel now stands in disrepair, alive only in the memories of Amy, Piper, and Piper’s kid sister, Margot. The three played there as girls until the day that their games uncovered something dark and twisted in the motel’s past, something that ruined their friendship forever.Now adult, Piper and Margot have tried to forget what they found that fateful summer, but their lives are upended when Piper receives a panicked midnight call from Margot, with news of a horrific crime for which Amy stands accused. Suddenly, Margot and Piper are forced to relive the time that they found the suitcase that once belonged to Silvie Slater, the aunt that Amy claimed had run away to Hollywood to live out her dream of becoming Hitchcock’s next blonde bombshell leading lady. As Margot and Piper investigate, a cleverly woven plot unfolds—revealing the story of Sylvie and Rose, two other sisters who lived at the motel during its 1950s heyday. Each believed the other to be something truly monstrous, but only one carries the secret that would haunt the generations to come. – Goodreads

My opinion: I have to say the way the book started was really interesting with the murder of Amy. As the story continues we see three different separate story lines occurring at the same time, Amy, Piper and Margot from the present and from the time of which they were teenagers. The other timeline is of Rose and Sylvie when they were teenagers and how the London Motel became so decrepit and how it fell apart in essence. There is a mention of a “monster” through out the book called a mare.

I love how Piper and Margot and Amy, in their teenage years, work through evidence that they discover to find out what happened to Sylvie, Amy’s aunt who disappeared one night after her 18th  birthday. I love the way that that investigation is brought forth when Piper comes back after Amy’s murder and she and Margot, begin their own investigation into Amy’s murder bringing in what they discovered during their investigation into Sylvie’s disappearance. It creates a very good tie into the what happened in the past and the present.

Some of the twists were obvious as is common in books, however the twists that are not expected are many, the biggest of which is who/what  killed Amy? Some of the things that I didn’t like in particular was that somethings weren’t cleared up for a stand alone, at least I felt they weren’t. One of which was Fenton’s disappearance and who was responsible. One person takes credit for it through another person, however, we don’t really know how it happened. It was a minor plot twist, but I wish I knew a little more about it.

Overall, the book was intriguing and I couldn’t put it down. It was a page-turner and kept me interested and guessing who/what the monster was and who/what was responsible for the murder of Amy as well as the disappearance of Sylvie.

4 out of 5 stars


Giveaway:

This giveaway is sponsored by DoubleDay. Ends on August 8th. Winner will be contacted on August 9th. US only.

GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED: WINNER IS GRACE Y.

Review: The One (The Selection #3) by Kiera Cass

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The One (The Selection #3) by Kiera Cass 

Hardcover, 323 pages
Published May 6th 2014 by HarperTeen
Source: The Library

The time has come for one winner to be crowned.

When she was chosen to compete in the Selection, America never dreamed she would find herself anywhere close to the crown—or to Prince Maxon’s heart. But as the end of the competition approaches, and the threats outside the palace walls grow more vicious, America realizes just how much she stands to lose—and how hard she’ll have to fight for the future she wants. – Goodreads

My Opinion:  This was interesting. It has been a while since I last read the first two books in the series and the progression of events in The One was I feel like sorta of how a relationship is supposed to progress however, there were some plot points that were a little extreme. The extremism is reasonable considering the danger the main characters are thought to be in.
What I found really interesting was that the although Prince Maxon isn’t aware of the relationship between America and one of the guards was that when he does find out he is so insecure about his whole relationship with her. Oh and don’t get me started on the King and his need to control every aspect of the people’s lives and that of the girls participating in the selection.
There were some plot twists that were kind of fun and unexpected and some that were not. but overall the book was okay. I think it wrapped up the character stories pretty well and the story itself ended as I thought and assumed it would.
Overall: 3 out of 5

Review: Under a Cruel Star: A Life in Prague 1941-1968 by Heda Margolius Kovaly

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Under a Cruel Star: A Life in Prague 1941-1968
Heda Margolius Kovaly
Paperback, 192 pages

Published January 5th 2012 by Granta Books

Source: Own copy

The story of a Czechoslovakian Jew, Heda Kovaly, who was sent to Auschwitz during World War II. She escaped the death camp and made her way back to Prague. But the horrors did not end with the war–her husband became a victim of the Stalinist purges. – Goodreads

My Opinion: This was really well written. I had to read this for a class but I enjoyed it so much that I thought you guys should check this out. Its about the author, Heda, and how she survived World War II. I have to say that the way this is written is very captivating and made me want to keep read the entire book in one sitting (which is basically what I ended up doing), but anyways, the author talks about the ways that she kept her family going basically and avoiding any extremely bad situations except for some experiences that are unavoidable, for lack of a better word.

I felt as though I got an actual experience for what life during WWII would have been like. The ways that Kovaly wrote the book, its so easy to feel what she felt during that time, the tension of your neighbors watching your every move… it’s intense.

I definitely recommend this to you history buffs and also to others that just want to experience some nonfiction that is a heavier topic but also so intriguing that you can not wait to finish and find out how it ends.

Overall: 5 out of 5

Review: Everlasting Bond (Everlasting Bond Series #1) by Christine M. Besze

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Everlasting Bond (Everlasting Bond Series #1) by Christine M. Besze

Kindle Edition, 348 pages
Published August 20th 2013 (first published May 3rd 2013)
Source: Author for honest review
KATRINA DAVENPORT’S Junior year at Morgan Springs High starts off like any other—boring and routine. Little does she know, fate has other plans. COLE ALDRICH—a mysteriously attractive new addition has arrived and will change everything. Katrina’s world is turned upside down, as secrets are revealed and the past comes back to find her. Will she succumb to her destiny or live to fight it? – Goodreads
My Opinion: This was very good. I couldn’t put it down. The plot revolves around a girl that is part of a very small community. She and her brother are very close and can tell what the other is feeling and can kinda of read each others minds as well. The two meet these cousins Andrew and Cole. Cole is mysterious and doesn’t tell her anything, even when he does tell her something he doesn’t tell her the whole story and that confuses her. For the reader (me) that made me really mad at Cole.
We find out what Cole and Andrew are, also how they know Katrina and her brother, and also why they came to the town. Other love connections come to battle for Katrina’s heart, so we do get a love triangle but one that doesn’t involve Cole…which was pretty cute and funny to watch as it progresses.
The ending was a HUGE twist. I really was expecting what happened to happen because there were ways that it could have been avoided and if Katrina paid more attention to her surroundings in certain places she would have noticed it right away.
Something that bugged me was the from the beginning, Katrina is talking about how she wants change and to get out of the little town, she kinda backs away from that as the story progresses. Either she wants it or she doesn’t. Also, Cole needs to do better at explaining things, like for example HOW the necklace works. Also for a character like Katrina who from the beginning of the books seems like someone who likes control, to kinda of wait for others to explain what is going on around or the fact that she didn’t really push for an explanation made the story little off for me but that was the only point. Maybe it just frustrated me because I was so hooked into it, but that just frustrated me.
There’s lots of different “breeds” of supernatural in this story so I definitely recommend it to people that enjoy supernatural and “other world” worlds. Also to those that like reincarnation. I felt hooked throughout the story.
Overall: 4 out of 5!
ENJOY!

Review: Spirit’s Chosen (Spirit’s Princess #2) by Esther Friesner

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Spirit’s Chosen (Spirit’s Princess #2) by Esther Friesner

Hardcover, 496 pages
Published April 23rd 2013 by Random House Books for Young Readers
Source: Won from RandomBuzzers
From princess to slave in the blink of an eye. . . .Himiko’s world is falling apart. An attack by a rival clan, the Ookami, has left many from her tribe dead or enslaved. Amid the chaos and fear, Himiko hatches a plan to save her people. But just when it seems that she will outwit Ryu, the cruel Ookami leader, she is captured. Held against her will, Himiko starts to realize that not all of the Ookami are her enemies. Though she may not see her path as clearly as the spirits seem to, there’s more adventure (and even unexpected love) for this princess turned shaman-warrior.

Readers who love strong girl-centric adventures are eating up Esther Friesner’s Princesses of Myth books, finding the mash-up of historical fiction and fantasy adventure irresistible! – Goodreads

My Opinion: I… Loved… This! I think that I enjoyed this more than the first book. I loved the way Himiko went from being a Princess and running away from her father to be a shaman to becoming a slave and learning how not to lose herself and then to become so revered.
I love that she was able to find her “love” in the spirit world and in the living world. I also enjoyed the way the villain stayed the same that he didn’t change through out the story and that the reader knows, who she is fighting against. I really liked the Oni too. I think that the way the people reacted is very plausible. People fear what they don’t understand so the fact that they shunned him and exiled him like that does not surprise me. Ryu kept getting from bad to worse, with every thwarting of his power. I love that Daimu was able return and kinda of guide the people to see a different path than what Ryu was showing them.
I really liked the flow of the book. I couldn’t put it down. I loved the way the book progressed the writing was phenomenal. I was never left wondering, how did that happen, why is what’s happening happening. It just flowed like water. I started this book at 5 pm and finished at 11 pm the same night. I couldn’t put it down. If you haven’t read the first book in the series, I definitely suggest you do so, because you wont know why some of the things are happening.
Overall: 5 out of 5

Giveaway + Review: Just Little Things: A Celebration of Life’s Simple Pleasures by Nancy Vu

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Just Little Things: A Celebration of Life’s Simple Pleasures by Nancy Vu

Paperback, 256 pages
Expected publication: May 7th 2013 by Perigee Trade
Source: Publisher for Honest Review
Seeing a baby yawnDrawing on a foggy windowFinding a curly fry mixed in with your regular friesThese and 247 other little things that make everyday life a joy are collected in this delightful, surprising, and heartfelt book. Based on the popular website, this book will strike a chord in anyone who is open to celebrating the little moments of greatness all around us. – Goodreads

My opinion: This was a cute book there were a lot of different thing that should make you happy. There were some things that I just kept saying that is so true and then there were ones that I was flat out laughing.
The book basically lists different things that make you happy throughout your life. Life’s simple pleasures, as the title states. Some of the ones that were my favorites are:
  1. Being unable to finish a sentence because you’re laughing so hard about the ending.
  2. The sound of a little kid’s uncontrollable laughter.
  3. Collapsing on your bed after a long day.

The book was interesting and it’s a good read. I think that you will enjoy reading it. Just to make you smile or laugh.

I am also giving away my copy.

Overall: 4.5 out of 5

Review: A Shade of Blood (A Shade of Vampire #2) by Bella Forrest

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A Shade of Blood (A Shade of Vampire #2) by Bella Forrest

Published April 8th 2013

Source: Author for honest review

Having been delighted by the Christmas best-selling debut, A Shade Of Vampire, readers are begging for more.

In A Shade Of Blood, Bella Forrest transports you deeper into a unique, enthralling and beautifully sensitive story.
Prepare to be lost in its pages…

When Sofia Claremont was kidnapped to a sunless island, uncharted by any map and ruled by the most powerful vampire coven on the planet, she believed she’d forever be a captive of its dark ruler, Derek Novak.

Now, after months of surviving an endless night, the morning sun may soon rise again for Sofia. Something has possessed Derek’s heart and he offers her a gift no human slave has ever been given in the history of his cursed island: escape.

High school, prom and a chance to move on with her life now await her.

But will she be able to forget the horrors that steal her sleep away at night? … and the feelings that haunt her for that tormented prince of darkness? – Goodreads

My Opinion: This was a great sequel to the first. It ended I think on a really bad cliff point. I did not want the story to end. The first 60% of the story is what happens to Sofia and Ben. The readers get to see Sofia in how her life would have been if she had never been to the Shade. I really like the nickname that Ben has for Sofia, Rose Red. I love that.

So the plot becomes really interesting when one of the most powerful vampires comes from the Shade to look for Sofia to talk to her about what is happening to Derek now that she is gone. I love that the vampire (not going to say who) shows Sofia, its memories and how Derek became who he is today. I love that the decision that she makes might lead to disaster or for the better. I also find it interesting that Ben decides to go the way he does, I mean it is obvious, but I think what was surprising was that he wanted to take Sofia with. I find it interesting that what he discovers. It is a huge plot twist to see who the leader is of the Hunters.

The thing interesting part on the Shade side, is how Derek changes once Sofia leaves but when she comes back he starts to go back to how he was before she left but he is more hardened now and is not really paying attention to the human population until something happens that that forces him to pay attention and even that doesn’t fully make him realize the situation. What amazes is the way that Derek’s brother reacts once he realizes that Derek is going to kill him for what he did to Sofia. The way he runs away and where he goes is most disturbing as well as what or more likely who he finds there is another HUGE plot twist. Unfortunately, that is really kinda where the story ends. That was really bad because it was getting REALLY GOOD. Anyways the story kept me interested and I finished it in less that five hours I think.

Overall: 4.75 out of 5