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travelingthroughpages

Traveling Through Pages

 

I am a 20 year-old college student majoring in Biochemistry, who loves to read and make book-related videos on my YouTube channel. :)

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Anna and the French Kiss - Stephanie Perkins

Series: Anna and the French Kiss #1

Date Published: December 2, 2010 by Dutton Juvenile

Goodreads

 

Goodreads Summary:

"Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris--until she meets Étienne St. Clair. Smart, charming,beautiful, Étienne has it all...including a serious girlfriend. 

But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?"

 

This book definitely lived up to the hype for me. Anna's story captivated me from beginning to end.

My favorite aspect of the story is the description of Paris. I have always dreamed of visiting there some day, and Stephanie Perkins did a fabulous job of building the atmosphere and scenery. I could imagine all the places they visited and it brought the story to life.

 

I really like Anna. I think she is an easy character to like and relate to. Sure, I've never been shipped off to a foreign boarding school, but I have experienced feeling like an outsider and being completely lost in my surroundings. I enjoyed reading about her journey and self-development. She isn't the most memorable or remarkable character, but definitely a fun one. She has a lot to learn in Paris and a lot to get adjusted to. The city is magical and beautiful, but it is also a foreign place that Anna has to become accustomed to while being surrounded by people who have lived there for years. Thankfully she has St. Clair...

 

Oh.. Étienne... he is for sure one of the most charming characters. I love his attitude and confidence. The way he helps Anna adjust to life in Paris is very sweet and swoon-worthy. He has this spunk and warmth that is hard not to love, plus an English accent to top it all off! 

Anna and Étienne have a wonderful chemistry throughout the book. It was just very hard for me to ignore the fact that he has a serious girlfriend. She doesn't go to their school, so it's easy for Anna and him to sneak off on adventures and spend time together, but his relationship taints the fun that they have. The constant on-the-line cheating frustrated me and I just wanted him to break up with his girlfriend so badly. 

With that said, I know Étienne's circumstance adds drama and tension to the story, but it got to be a bit much for me. Therefore, I had to dock a half star. Cheating can be a pet peeve of mine when it comes to books. Some books I think handle the subject well, but it's just become a repetitive and old plot line for me. So, that aspect is more of a personal preference.

 

This is an entertaining, charming, and touching read. It's the perfect middle between a light and heavy contemporary. It's a fun adventure, but also has emotional tension and depth. If you are a contemporary YA lover, this is definitely a must-read!

Summertime Madness Book Tag!

 

Questions: 

1. Show a book with a Summery cover! i.e Sun, Beach etc.

2. Pick one fictional place that would be the perfect destination for your Summer Vacation!

3. You're about to go on a flight to your Summer Vacation. But you want to read a book that lasts for the whole flight so what novella do you choose? 

4. You have a case of Summertime Sadness what happy book do you pick up to shine a smile on your face? 

5. You're sitting at the beach all alone...which fictional character would be your beach babe? 

6. To match your ice cream you want an icy cool sidekick! Which fictional sidekick do you pick?

7. Share the Summertime Happiness! Who do you TAG? 

Beautiful Oblivion by Jamie McGuire

Series: Beautiful #3

Publication: July 1, 2014

Goodreads

 

To clarify:

This is a companion novel to Beautiful Disaster and Walking Disaster. If you didn't know, Walking Disaster is the same story as Beautiful Disaster, but from Travis' (the male love-interest) perspective.

Beautiful Oblivion follows Travis' brother Trent and his love story with a new character, Cami. This story also takes place during the same time line as BD and WD, so we see a little bit of Travis and Abby. You don't necessarily have to read BD and WD to read BO, but it is recommended because if you don't you will miss a lot of details in BO.

Now on to the summary.

 

Cami is an independent girl who bar tends at The Red while also going to college. She has a long distance boyfriend, TJ, who is supposed to visit her one weekend. That is, until TJ cancels last minute. Now she's left with of free weekend, and decides to go to The Red to hang out and in walks Trent. Trent and Cami went to school together for a while, but never were more than acquaintances. Trent and his brothers, the Maddox brothers, are known for the trouble they get into. They start a lot of fights and go home with a lot of girls. Cami thinks she can keep things platonic when Trent takes an interest in her, but little does she realize, once a Maddox brother falls in love, it's forever. This leads to a tumultuous relationship full of drama, and Cami has a secret that could ruin everything.

 

I love Jamie McGuire's writing and I quite enjoyed Beautiful Disaster and Walking Disaster, so I had high hopes for this book. I wasn't really disappointed. Trent is a wonderful love interest and gives Travis a run for his money. I love how sweet Trent is, but he is also extremely tough and protective. He didn't seem as irrational and impulsive as Travis. I am happy there are differences between the two and Trent stood out as a character. 

Cami is also great. She has a smart mouth and curses like a sailor, but you can't help but like her. She definitely reminds me of the character Deb on the TV show Dexter. She is fiercely independent and strong. She goes through some development in the story which was nice to see. She also has a messed up family and I enjoyed seeing her work through her problems, especially with Trent's help.


Trent and Cami's relationship is addicting to read about. They have fantastic chemistry. It was hard at times to enjoy because of TJ in the background, but Cami works that out. They were definitely on the line of cheating, but I think it's handled well. Seeing these characters grow and their relationship form was special. 

 

Now, let's talk about why I didn't give this book a higher rating. At times it was hard for me to take the story seriously. I'm just going to say one word and if you have read it, you will understand.. Babydoll. That was so silly to me and made it hard for me to get into the story. 

My main problem was THE ENDING. No spoilers.. I promise, but the ending was just so frustrating. The whole story is building up to figuring out Cami's secret, and we don't find out until the last page. I was upset that we don't get to see the fallout or consequences. I understand wanting to leave the reader wanting more, but that was a bit much. 

Also, Cami's secret is a big deal, but she was so over-dramatic about it. She said that if Trent found out "he would leave and never look back", which is so ridiculous. The entire ordeal about the secret was very over-done. I think it's a good twist, I just wished it was handled differently.

 

So, if you have read Beautiful Disaster or Walking Disaster, I say go ahead and read this. It's worth it for Trent. The love story is great. I just can't get over the ending. Also, if you do read this book and are confused by the ending, go re-read the epilogue to Walking Disaster, it definitely helps!

Landline by Rainbow Rowell

Landline: A Novel - Rainbow Rowell

Publication: July 8, 2014 by St. Martin's Press

Goodreads

 

Georgie is a TV sitcom writer and she loves her job, plus she's great at it. Right before she's supposed to leave with her husband, Neal, and her two daughters to go to Omaha for Christmas, she gets the news that her new dream TV show might get picked up and she has to stay in LA. Neal is upset about this, but decides to take their daughters to Omaha anyway. With their marriage already on the rocks, Georgia wonders if she has just ruined everything. That night, Georgia discovers she can talk to Neal from the past through her mom's landline phone. Can Georgie fix their marriage before it even started?

 

This is my first Rainbow Rowell book, and I have to say that I fell in love with her writing. She definitely has a way of making everything feel realistic. I was convinced that this phone could really let you talk to people in the past, haha. I also loved all the little jokes and details she added into the story that made this feel like a real relationship.

 

The characters in this story are very unique. Both Georgie and Neal could be unlikeable. Georgie seemed to neglect her family for her job, while Neal was the kind of person who never laughed or smiled. However, for some reason, they clicked as a couple. Both did aggravate me at times, but they were very interesting to read about.

 

Rainbow Rowell does utilize flash backs to help tell the story of Georgie and Neal's relationship, staring with college. I liked this a lot, and I felt they were easy to follow and understand. It was neat seeing where they started and how they ended up after they were married. Along with that, present Georgie can have conversations with past Neal, which added a whole new dimension to their relationship. 

This story is really thought-provoking.

 

While I loved many things about this book, it was hard for me to connect with it. I am in a long-term relationship so I could kind of relate to that aspect. However, the characters are much older than me and I am not married, nor will I soon be married. So, in those ways it was hard to connect. On top of that, the characters, while intriguing, weren't very likable. 

 

With all of that said, I think the writing is where this book shines. It's quick and easy to read, but also makes you think. It's extremely well-written and I loved it even though I didn't love the characters. I enjoyed reading about their relationship and seeing how everything played out.

 

If you are already a fan of Rainbow Rowell, this is a must read. Also, if you're looking for a more adult story with slight bit of magic thrown in, I would highly recommend this one!

 

*I received a copy of this book from St. Martin's Press in return for an honest review. All opinions are my own.*

Losing It by Cora Carmack

Losing It - Cora Carmack

Series: Losing It #1

Goodreads

 

Bliss is one semester away from graduating college, and she just told her best friend a big secret, she's still a virgin. Her friend believes this must be righted, so she forces Bliss to go out with her to a bar and find a man. Bliss then stumbles into a conversation with Garrick, a guy locked out of his apartment and passing the time by reading Shakespeare in a bar. Oh, and did I mention he is British?! They then spend a wonderful, yet awkward night together that turns into a failed one-night stand. Bliss goes to class on Monday only to find out Garrick is her new theatre professor. This then sparks the plot of an awkward, dramatic, yet sweet romance.

 

I really enjoyed this book. I am a fan of the New Adult genre, and I think this is a good one. What I really like about it, is that it's fun and entertaining without being overly dramatic. Obviously, there are some up and downs with the relationship, but it never went overboard.

 

Cora Carmack is great at writing funny, awkward scenes that make you love the characters. I definitely laughed quite a bit when reading this. The awkward scenes were actually pretty realistic and relatable. It was enjoyable seeing how they turned out.

 

I liked the romance as well. I like that the characters are actually pretty good at communicating. Garrick often says what is on his mind. Miscommunication issues in romance stories can get really annoying. Sure, Bliss and Garrick weren't perfect at it, but they resolved their issues well. It also wasn't a super emotional and tumultuous story, which I enjoyed. 

A lot of new adult books I've read have broken my heart and left me in tears, and I like that this one didn't do that.

With that said, while I enjoyed it, I wasn't very emotionally attached to the characters or story, so that's why I didn't give it a higher rating. I didn't necessarily have problems with it, but I also didn't feel much depth.

 

This is a light, sweet new adult read with just enough drama to keep it entertaining. Garrick is a beautiful, British love interest who is definitely swoon-worthy, and it is filled with moments that will make you laugh. 

 

I definitely recommend to New Adult lovers, especially if you are into theater and acting!

Between the Spark and the Burn by April Genevieve Tucholke

Between the Spark and the Burn - April Genevieve Tucholke

Series: Between #2

Publication: August 14, 2014 by Dial

Goodreads

 

I really enjoyed this sequel/conclusion to Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea. I'm not going to get into a summary because I don't want to spoil the first book. 

 

My favorite aspect of these books is the atmosphere they create. The writing is quite beautiful and poetic, and it is great with describing sensory detail. Because of that, the scenes and settings feel very real. 

 

These books are often labeled as "scary" or "horror", and I would argue against that. They aren't the happiest of books, but really have more of an ominous feel. Since the writing is poetic, it comes off as a bit creepy at times. The first book is set in a sort-of gothic small town (reminds me of the TV show Ravenswood), so that definitely adds a creep factor, but I would say these books are more "thrillers". The first book is a lot creepier than this one. They both have dark undertones, but I don't think they would give anyone nightmares, in my opinion.

 

The ominous and dark tone to the books is another aspect I love. The writing is successful at giving off the creepy vibe. I thought it was unique and I haven't read any other YA books like these. They also mix in the supernatural and paranormal which I thought was fun.

 

There's also a romance story line in both of the books, which is also tinged with darkness. It was a little insta-love in the first book, but I liked the development into the second. Things definitely get complicated.

 

The main character Violet has an old soul. She loves vintage things and was very close to her deceased grandmother. The story is from her point of view and she often thinks about her grandmother. In this second installment, we get more information on her grandmother's past and it then parallels to Violet's life. I thought that was a neat touch. I enjoyed Violet's character, although she wasn't very relatable, I found her interesting. 

 

That's the case with pretty much all the characters. They are all very strange, and I don't think the reader is really meant to strongly connect to them. These books are more about their odd story. Also, there's the big factor of trust. Like I said before, there is a lot of darkness, so it's hard to know which characters are good, or if any are good. I found them all intriguing and thought-provoking.

 

I think these books are a fun, dark, and weird adventure and I would recommend them to anyone who wants to read something with a bit of creep factor, but not very scary. This second book really took things to a new level of weird, but I definitely enjoyed it. The ending is slightly open-ended, but I think it suited the story. If you read the first book and wasn't super crazy about it, I would still suggest reading this final book because the writing is stronger and it's an interesting development to the story. These books aren't phenomenal, but I found them highly enjoyable and entertaining. 

 

*I was sent a copy of this book from Penguin Publishing in return for an honest review, all opinions are my own*

Opposition by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Opposition - Jennifer L. Armentrout

WHY DOES IT HAVE TO END?!?!?!

Phenomenal conclusion to a great series. I was a little on the fence after finishing Origin, but this book definitely delivered.

 

Daemon and Katy's relationship is so addicting to read about. It has been a year since I read the other books in the series and it was so wonderful getting back into this world and their love. I wasn't too crazy about Daemon's perspective in Origin, but I loved it in Opposition, maybe because I was expecting it or because I hadn't read the series in so long.. I don't know. It was sooo great reading about how much he loves and cares for Katy. Seeing Katy through his eyes definitely made me swoon, and his inappropriate thoughts made me laugh!


What I really enjoy about these books is how relatable they are and all the pop culture references. I love when they mention The Walking Dead or how the streets look like something out of a dystopian book, it makes it feel so real, especially with Katy being a book blogger. It's so funny when she talks about how she misses all her books and everything. I still cannot get over the whole Kaidan Rowe and Anna thing.. Sweet Evil is one of my favorite trilogies, so seeing the characters' names in the Lux series just made it even more amazing.

 

Gahh I'm going to miss this series and Daemon so much.. 

I guess I'm just going to have to read all of JLA's other books now! haha

The Blood of the Dragon by Justin Glennon

The Blood of the Dragon - Justin Glennon

Series: The Blood of the Dragon #1

Publication: October 10, 2013 by Firefly & Wisp Books

Goodreads

 

Aidan is the Dragon Child, although he has grown up unaware of this fact. That is until the elfish woman, Vizas, who has dedicated her life to protecting the Dragon Child bloodline, comes along. Vizas explains to Aidan that Vakeel, the ancient dark beast, is hunting him down and destroying the world in its wake. Aidan must go on a treacherous journey to find the one weapon that can help him fight Vakeel. Thankfully, Aidan has some companions to join him on this journey, including Vizas, Liegar (Aidan's adoptive brother who is Leokin, part lion and part man), and Skylet (a human woman). On this journey they all encounter perilous tasks, but ultimately they learn to have hope in the face of defeat and to help each other overcome their fears and their pasts.

 

This book took me on a beautifully dangerous adventure. The main thing I love about it, is that it is really told like a story. It is told from Vizas' perspective, who is like hundreds of years old, so we get a great insight into the world and it's history. Vizas is a wonderful story-teller and makes the adventure seem very real.

This story is full of imaginative settings and characters. I also enjoyed that it goes in depth with the history and explanations of the world. There are many different creatures and magical elements, and those aspects are clearly explained, but without being boring.

 

The strongest point of this novel is the richness of the world and characters. 

The world is very surreal and it's built in a beautiful way. The descriptions are on point and make the scenes easy to imagine.

Now, let's talk about the characters. I love that they are so strong and they have soul. Each is likable and has a distinct personality with their own personal strengths, weaknesses, and histories. The reader gets to know each one individually and it is great seeing the bonds and relationships they form.  

 

This book is not necessarily plot-driven. It's more about seeing the journey unfold and the story of it. There are no insane twists and I wasn't on the edge of my seat the whole time, but that is okay because the story takes its time and is well thought out. Don't get me wrong, there are some awesome action scenes that are really intense! 

With that said, at times I did feel like it dragged. I, personally, am usually not a huge fan of books where the characters are traveling the entire time, so that is probably the reason for me feeling that way.

 

I definitely loved the experience of reading this book. The characters stole my heart, especially the with the romance. I think both the world and the characters are unforgettable. I am highly anticipating the sequel.

 

Overall, this is a solid YA epic fantasy that has an imaginative and rich world with strong characters, and it truly focuses on the importance of telling a good story.

 

* I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review. All opinions and thoughts are my own *

 

False Future by Dan Krokos

False Future - Dan Krokos

Series: False Memory Trilogy #3

Expected Publication: August 19, 2014 by Disney-Hyperion

Goodreads

 

I am not going to go into a summary of this book because I don't want to majorly spoil False Memory or False Sight, however, there may still be slight spoilers for those in this review, just a warning.

 

This is the perfect conclusion to a mind bending, full throttle trilogy! I wasn't sure if I would be able to get back into this world and story since it had been nearly a year since I read the previous book, but Dan Krokos made it very easy to remember everything. I was very happy about that, especially since this series is extremely complex.

 

My favorite things about this trilogy are the plot developments. The twists are seriously on point. I was always shocked by them and I loved how ruthless Krokos is. I know that sounds weird, but he is not afraid of taking risks with his characters and plot and I found that enjoyable and refreshing. 
I also love how intricate and complicated this world is. Many aspects to the world are explained and explored in this final installment. I thoroughly enjoyed learning more about it.

 

Another great thing about this book and trilogy is how fast-paced it is. There is hardly ever down time, and it's hard to put the book down. I love the action scenes. They are fairly brutal, but exciting at the same time.

 

The characters are awesome as well. Miranda is a strong lead, but I enjoy how the side characters play big roles. The reader really gets to know the characters and they each have very distinct and entertaining personalities. It was great seeing Miranda's relationships with each of the characters evolving from book to book.

 

As much as I want to, I can't give this book a full 5 stars. That is because I am still confused on some aspects. I feel like we didn't get all the answers needed in the conclusion. It was a great ending, but I wish there was more of an epilogue for the future. This book is really about fighting to save the future, and I want to know if it really was saved. 

 

With that said, this trilogy is great for readers who are looking for something that is a thought-provoking mix of fantasy and science fiction. This series is mostly plot-driven and includes parallel universes, clones, the apocalypse, and super powers. It is very easy to read each of the books in one sitting and they will definitely keep you on the edge of your seat! 

 

*Thank you to Disney-Hyperion for sending my a copy of this book in return for an honest review. All opinions and thoughts are my own.*

Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini

Trial by Fire - Josephine Angelini

Series: The Worldwalker Trilogy #1

Expected Publication: September 2, 2014 by Feiwel & Friends

Goodreads

 

 

Lily Proctor lives in Salem, Massachusetts, and she struggles to live her life day to day because of her severe allergies. She is seriously allergic to everything. After a humiliating incident at her first party, she wishes she could just leave this world. Well, her wish comes true.

Lily is catapulted into an alternate Salem that is ruled by a tyrannical witch named Lillian, Lily's identical other-self in this universe. This version of Lily's world is terrifying and she is overwhelmed by new experiences.

Lily goes on an unforgettable and crazy adventure. She has to figure out this new world while in the meantime everyone is after her. However, she realizes that her weaknesses in her home Salem are her strengths in this new Salem. This story mixes action, danger, and romance to make one unforgettable journey.

 

 

One of the things I love most about this book is how intricate this world is. It mixes together magic and science, but yet it almost appears medieval. I also love how in depth the explanations go with how the world works. I found it extremely fascinating and unique. Also very interesting were the parallels to our world. There are some things we have in our world that this world has never heard of, and a lot of our 'science' discoveries are explained through magic in this new Salem.

As someone who is extremely interested in science, I found this book to be very intriguing and thought-provoking.

 

I also enjoyed Lily's character. She's very head-strong and stubborn, but she always sticks to her character. She has her beliefs and never wavers. Sure, she makes some risky decisions, but she is put in many life-threatening situations. I definitely admired a lot of her choices. Even though she is stubborn, she is intelligent and generally thinks things through. She does make mistakes and has faults, but keeping in mind the insane situation she is put in, I think she dealt with it all very well.

 

I also like how the story is written. It can be confusing because we are thrown into this new world along with Lily, so she isn't much help in explaining things. However, Angelini includes some alternate POVs to help build the world and explain the workings, along with exploring some political drama. I found these very helpful and also entertaining. These different POVs also allow some character development with the characters in this new world. I love how each character has a distinct personality, even the ones who cross over from Lily's home Salem.

 

The romance was good for me, I like that it didn't take center stage, but it was there. I can imagine that it will definitely cause drama in the next books!

 

With all of that said, this book was a little overwhelming for me to read at times. There is a lot of information to take in, and some times I had to put it down so I could process everything. I think this also made it drag slightly and I couldn't completely immerse myself in it. Therefore, I could not give it a full five stars.

 

This book explores an alternate world that is on the brink of war and a girl who has to save it from her other self.  

 

I was fascinated by the odd mix of medieval and modern, magic and science, and loved learning about this world and characters. I can honestly say that I need the next book right now! The ending was the perfect kind of cliff-hanger.

 

*Thank you to Macmillan for sending me a review copy of this book in return for an honest review. All opinions are my own.*

 

Let's Get Lost by Adi Alsaid

Let's Get Lost - Adi Alsaid

Published July 29, 2014

 

This book takes you on a whirlwind of a journey!

Leila is traveling across the country to see the Northern Lights in Alaska. On her way she meets 4 very unique people. 

The first person is Hudson who is a mechanic in Mississippi. Leila takes her car into his shop to get a tune up before she really gets going on her trip. Little did they both know, they would have the night of their lives. 

Leila then travels further on and picks up a girl named Bree who is hitchhiking. Bree is a run away and together they have crazy adventures with some serious consequences.

Next, Leila meets Elliot. A high school senior trying to win over his best friend, Maribel. He is dying to get the girl just like the movies, and Leila is determined to help him.

Finally, Leila meets Sonia. Sonia's boyfriend, Sam, passed away about a year before, but she feels guilty for moving on. At the moment she meets Leila, she is about to be in Sam's sister's wedding. However, she is keeping a secret from the family that she is dating the groom's brother. When Sonia gets into a sticky situation the night before the wedding, Leila helps Sonia save the the day along with helping her overcome the guilt.

 

This book is told in third person, but it's also told from each character's perspective. Each character has their own section. We don't get Leila's perspective until the final section. It's almost like 5 short stories that are tied together by Leila's road trip. I think this is so creative. It made for a fast-paced story that is always changing! I think this might bother some people because you have to jump to the next character once the previous character's story is over. However, I thought it was so much fun.

The cast of characters is great and I loved learning about each one and seeing their story unfold. I really don't have a favorite, I think all of them are very developed.

I also love Adi Alsaid's writing style. He has a way of making scenes come to life. Everything felt so realistic and believable. I felt like I was sitting in Leila's passenger seat with my hair blowing in the wind and music blaring.

It was great seeing how all of these characters impacted Leila and vice versa. Leila is a very mysterious character because we don't figure her out until the end. I really ended up loving her and highly enjoyed going on this journey with her.

My only complaint is that I want more, haha! I want to know more about each character and what happened to them after their section ended. Also, the ending of the book is slightly open ended, so i would like to know what happened after that as well.

I really had a blast reading this story. I laughed and I cried right along with the characters. 

Some of it was predictable and cliche, but I was not bothered by it.

I highly recommend if you are taking a road trip to bring this book along! This book is full of adventure, fun, romance, and self-discovery.

This is definitely a summer contemporary you don't want to miss!

 

*I received an advance copy of this book from Harlequin Teen at BookExpo America 2014 in return for an honest review. Thank you to Harlequin for allowing me to read this book early.*

On the Fence by Kasie West

On the Fence - Kasie West

Published: July 1, 2014

 

Charlie is the exact definition of a tomboy. She loves playing any sport, and has a pack of brothers ready to challenge her at any time. Exploring her girly side has never been a concern of hers, that is until she starts working at a local boutique to pay off a speeding ticket. 

Along with beginning to question her self-identity, she starts having nightmares about the horrific night from her past. She soon gets into a pattern of meeting with her neighbor (and her brothers' best friend), Braden, at night and talking through the fence. It's easy to spill secrets with the fence and darkness to keep her safe, but how will Charlie deal with it all when everything comes to light?

This is a story of Charlie's self-discovery, but it also explores family bonds along with a sweet romance!

 

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I love how tough Charlie's character is. I've never read about a character that is such a tomboy, it was definitely refreshing. Charlie's character felt very real and relatable. All of her brothers are great as well. It was cool seeing how close of a relationship they have with Charlie, and also how protective they are of her. 

This book has a light feel to it, but there are heavier undertones. Charlie's mother passed away years before, but Charlie does not know everything about that night. It was intriguing trying to figure out the truth, and it was also emotional seeing Charlie deal with it.

Charlie's journey kept me entertained and I had a hard time putting this book down. It was great to see her branch out of her comfort zone, but also nice to see her make mistakes. It gave the book a realistic feel. Charlie is flawed, but she grows so much throughout the story. 

Charlie is a very developed character, but there is also great development with her family relationships and love interest. Her dad raised her as a single dad, and I definitely teared up at some of the father/daughter moments. 

The romance was also a great addition and made me swoon!

 

Overall, this is a fun story that still has depth, and the strong point is definitely the characters. It's a great summer read! I can't wait to read more of Kasie West's writing.

 

*This book was provided to me for free as an advanced e-book through the website Edelweiss, in return for an honest review. Thank you to Edelweiss and HarperTeen for allowing me to read this book.*

 

 

Through to You by Lauren Barnholdt

Through to You - Lauren Barnholdt

*I received a free advanced e-book of this book through Edelweiss in return for my honest review*

Release date: July 8, 2014

 

This was not a great contemporary for me. I didn't really hate it, but I also definitely did not love it.

 

It's basically about a girl named Harper and a boy named Penn. Harper is knows as the smart, quiet girl, and Penn is a jock, womanizer. One day in school, Harper is wearing sparkly ribbons in her hair for school spirit (that her friend forced her to wear), and Penn puts a note on her desk saying "I like your sparkle." Penn didn't think much of it, he just did it to do something spontaneous. This one action sparks a tumultuous relationship between Harper and Penn, where they discover some things about themselves with the help of the other person. 

 

The premise didn't exactly pull me in, but I was in the mood for contemporary (since it's summer), so I thought I would go ahead and read this one. I did end up reading it in a day, but it is only around 250 pages. 

 

I just did not feel connected to the characters at all, they ended up frustrating me a little. I felt a lot of the plot points were random and without reasoning. I could not find much depth or complexity. It also did not evoke many emotions from me. Things would happen to the characters and I could not find myself caring. It also deals with a lot of "high school" issues that I do not care much about anymore.

 

I will say that the writing was easy to read, and I didn't dislike it enough to put it down. I did want to finish it, so it kept my attention. I think I was more curious about what would go down in the end.

 

Ultimately, I was disappointed with this. It almost feels like a shell of a story, or an outline, that still needs fleshing out. I thought it might have had potential, but it did not leave an impression on me. 

 

If you're looking for a quick, simplistic read, you might enjoy this one! I would just suggest not going into it expecting to be blown away or experience much emotion.

 

Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson

Since You've Been Gone - Morgan Matson

I absolutely adored everything about this book. There is hardly ever a time when I say this about a book. I really cannot find anything that I didn't like!

 

Emily and Sloane have been best friends for a few years and they planned out an amazing summer this year. Emily cannot wait for all of the adventures in store with Sloane, when all of a sudden, Sloane disappears. She leaves no note, and will not answer her phone. Emily is very upset, but then she receives a list in the mail from Sloane of 13 things to do this summer. That list includes things like, go skinny dipping, kiss a stranger, and ride a horse. Emily becomes determined to complete this list in hopes that it will lead her back to Sloane. 

 

I loved going on this journey with Emily. She started out very dependent on Sloane, but throughout the book she grows so much and becomes more independent. It was a blast reading about Emily doing all of these crazy and fun things, and also about the new people she befriended along the way, possibly including a very cute boy named Frank.

 

Morgan Matson's writing drew me in and I was captivated. Her writing style is very easy to read, but it also has so much depth and underlying beauty to it.  She has a way of making a story and characters come to life. 

 

There are flash-backs and sometimes these can be a hit or miss with me in books. In this book, I loved them! I felt like they added so much to the story and they were fun to read.

 

The mystery aspect of missing-Sloane didn't play a HUGE role in the story, but it was also very intriguing figuring out where she was and reading about Emily discovering things about Sloane she never knew. I would say, however, that this story focuses more on Emily and her self-discovery, along with friendship.

 

I love how the plot played out and I felt so emotionally attached to the characters. I would definitely re-read this story again and again. 

 

Highly recommend to contemporary lovers! It's the perfect summer read <3

The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings

The Murder Complex - Lindsay Cummings

     This is a wonderful, thrilling, brutal debut from Lindsay Cummings.

It's set in a dystopian world where the murder rate is higher than the birth rate. The society is ruled relentlessly by 'The Murder Complex.'

     Our main character's name is Meadow. She lives on a house boat with her dad, older brother, and little sister. With her mother murdered, her dad has viciously trained her to survive and kill (if need be) since she was little. Meadow is a very strong female character, and fights to survive and provide for her family everyday. 

     There is also another main character named Zephyr. He is an orphan, however, he has a secret. He murders innocent people. He doesn't know why he does it, but feels extremely guilty.

    When these two characters meet up, they have to uncover the secrets of this society, and figure out what this 'Murder Complex' is all about. Together, they go on a journey of discovery and they figure out that everything is not what it seems.

    I am really fascinated by the world that Cummings created. It's very brutal and dark, but also unlike other dystopian worlds. I also loved how fast-paced the plot is. There are so many twists, and I was very shocked at some points.

    I also liked the characters. Meadow is so strong and such a badass. Zephyr is strong as well, but he is a little more vulnerable. Their dynamic is very interesting because I think Zeph brings out some of the vulnerability in Meadow. I enjoyed reading about Meadow's relationship with her family. Her and her dad do not have a loving relationship, his main goal is to prepare her for the world they live in. However, Meadow has a very sweet relationship with her little sister. Seeing Meadow deal with all of these relationships and reading about the dynamic between her and others interested me.

    I did have some problems with this book. I think at times it was overly complicated, and I definitely got confused. I also felt the world and certain aspects were not explained well enough. At points the plot got so complex that I hardly had any idea what was going on.

   Overall, this is a fast read, set in a cruel, ruthless world. It is very violent at times, but I did think that gave it an edge. The characters are also very interesting and the plot will take you for a crazy ride! I am looking forward to the sequel.

 

*I received a free e-book advanced copy of this book from the website Edelweiss. This is my honest review*

 

 

 

The Merciless by Danielle Vega

The Merciless - Danielle Vega

This is a crazy, weird, insanely messed up book, but kinda awesome.

 

The main character Sofia has a mysterious past when she moves to a new town and new high school. All she wants is to find some decent friends to help her survive the time she will spend at this school. Little did she know, some of the most popular girls would befriend her. The leader, Riley, is very religious and feels it is her duty to make sure no one is friendless. Well, Sofia soon finds out she has gotten into more than she bargained for with these girls. Riley also feels it is her duty to "help" a fellow classmate named Brooklyn, who apparently is possessed by a demon and needs an exorcism, according to Riley.

This then sets off a whole chain of events that will leave you cringing! Riley ropes Sofia along with two other girls into doing this makeshift exorcism, and it obviously goes badly.


I am a big fan of all things scary and the horror genre and I think this book lives up to that title.
The characters weren't great, it was predictable at times, but the plot overall was insane. I think the gruesome/horrific scenes were done very well, they definitely gave me goosebumps and made me look away at times and remind myself that this isn't real.

 

The girls in this book are completely deranged and delusional, almost unbelievably so. If you can put aside rational thought and let this book suck you into its demented story, then you will be in for a memorable journey. I really could not put this book down, and sped through the 279 pages!

 

I would NOT recommend this to people who get scared easily. However, it is definitely YOUNG ADULT horror. I think people who like scary stuff will enjoy this book for its entertainment, drama, and crazy plot. If you are looking for a YA book that will send shivers down your spine and make you literally say "wtf..", then this one is for you! It also deals with exorcisms and spiritual stuff, so if you aren't comfortable with that, then I wouldn't recommend this.

 

I believe this is going to be a series, which I am on the fence about. I think it would be cool if this was a stand alone, but I am interested to read the sequels!

 

*I received this book for free from Penguin Publishing in return for my honest review*