Friday, August 31, 2012

Temptation by Karen Ann Hopkins

Temptation by Karen Ann Hopkins

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ 
Four/five stars 

Temptation was an interesting book. It was not only just an enjoyable, cute contemporary, but a learning experience! I learnt lots of information about Amish people and their culture and community. Temptation was an amazing love story full of promises, rebellion and loss.

After the death of her mother, Rose, her two brothers Sam and Justin and her dad move to Ohio, smack-bang in the middle of an Amish community. They are, obviously, aware of the Amish community, and are willing to embrace the culture, but little do they realize how much it will affect them. Eventually, Rose finds herself torn between her family and love.

When there is news of new neighbours, Noah is intrigued, especially when he finds out they are English. As the neighbours arrive, Noah, his dad and older brother go to meet them. And to Noah and his family surprise, they will be seeing Rose a lot more often.

When I requested this book, I knew that it was going to feature a lot about Amish people. The blurb said so. But I didn't realize how much! Temptation is in alternative POV's which gives as more of an insight into the daily life of an Amish person.

Of all the characters in the book, none of them were bad. It's just that the Amish women were so... Different. And the men! Oh god, sometimes I just wanted to hit them. I mean, I understand the culture, mostly, but it's the 21st century! Women have rights! It just frustrated me, nothing again the Amish people!! I honestly do not think I could live like that. 

"Don't these women know that we fought for and won equality?" – Rose

“Can’t you men control yourselves?” - Rose

Rose was a good, solid, but slightly typical main character. She didn’t really do much for me, unfortunately. I didn't fall in love with her or anything. She wasn't too special, although I admired her courage throughout the book. She was a strong character. Noah was alright. He was kind of stupid. Like, no offense, but did he really just expect Rose to follow him? I mean, really. But he was alright. I can imagine him as a good looking, cocky and arrogant man.

The romance...Uh, it was good, and well written and everything, but there was something about it. I liked it, and it was a good part of the book, but there was just something. It seemed a little forced and old fashioned maybe? A little bit silly, even. But, it was enjoyable and I enjoyed reading about the ups and downs of Rose and Noah’s relationship.

Overall, this was a nice book! I liked it. The characters weren't anything special, but the plot was solid and well thought out. Temptation was very well written and I will definitely be looking at more of this authors work.

Thanks to NetGalley and Harlequin for giving me the opportunity to read this!!!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Speechless by Hannah Harrington

Speechless by Hannah Harrington


Five/five stars

Speechless is Hannah Harrington’s second highly anticipated novel. I had such high expectations for this novel because of Saving June, Harrington’s first novel. Hannah Harrington writes a perfect novel about a girl struggling to deal with what she has done, friendship, bullying, learning to love yourself and others, secrets and lies, and sexuality. 

Chelsea Knot is known for her big mouth, so when she walks in on possibly the biggest secret of her life, she has to tell everyone within a five metre radius. Then, when things take a turn for the worst and Chelsea is sworn to secrecy, for the first time in her life she does the right thing. So how come people cannot see her silence for what it really is?

The cover is plain and simple, yet captivating. Many people say that the cover is everything. Like food presentation; you eat with your eyes. Not in this case. The cover is plain white with the title and author names. Yet somehow, it is capturing the attention of many people. It is mysterious and intriguing.

The novel starts with Chelsea admitting that she cannot keep a secret. From there onwards, the story grows. Within the first 50 pages, Chelsea lies to her parents, walks in on two boys messing around at a party, tells everyone at the party (which results in the hospitalisation of one of the boys), tells her parents and the police and loses all of her friends and popularity. Just like that.

Two days after the incident, Chelsea begins to get bullied at school. She is struggling to deal with what she has done and what people are doing to her, so she takes a voluntary vow of silence. She gets support and a whiteboard from one teacher and a detention from another.

Although Chelsea is not talking and is getting badly bullied, she has somehow made a group of friends. And before she knows it, Chelsea makes a friend from the loser group. Just because of telling the truth, revealing a secret, her trademark, she loses her popularity and ends up friends with a group of people she would never have taken a second look at two weeks ago.

Not only does this novel deal with bullying and friendship issues, it dealt with sexuality. By Chelsea telling everyone what she just saw in the guest room at the part, she caused a homosexual to be bashed. Hannah Harrington, among other things, wrote about equality. Most importantly, she wrote an underlying message about sexuality.

Of course, being a contemporary novel, there had to be a love interest. Unlike most contemporary novel, Speechless did not focus on just love. The romance was slow and didn’t consume the whole book.

Speechless had an interesting plot. From popularity to friendless, bullying, homosexuals, trusting yourself and finding love during a hard time. I really enjoyed not only reading about Chelsea’s story, but reading the deep underlying messages. They, too, were a large part of the story.

I thought Chelsea was going to be a self-absorbed, stuck-up popular girl with a big mouth, and she was, at first. But during the novel, Chelsea rediscovered herself. She was guilty and sorry. She was a different person. I liked Chelsea as a character. She was realistic and had many flaws, but that was okay.

Asha, Dex, Noah, Lou and Andy were good characters individually, but they were perfect collectively. They were understanding and fun.

The love interest, Sam was also a very well written character. He was different and kind. I liked the fact that Sam and Chelsea weren’t pining over each other like they couldn’t breathe without each other. It was a slow, but meaningful relationship.

I would recommend this to people between 14 and 20. This is a young adult novel, but I think that some adults, maybe parents would read this. It discusses bullying and all parents should know what to look for. There are some themes in the novel that some children would not understand. Fans of Hannah Harrington’s first novel Saving June, would also enjoy this book; Speechless was just as good as Saving June.

Overall, this was a very well written contemporary romance by Hannah Harrington. Speechless is a quick read, but very enjoyable. It had lots of underlying important messages that everybody should understand. I loved this book and would recommend it to all of my friends.


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick


Five/five stars!

This book was totally worth the wait. I ordered it a month and 2 weeks ago, and I finally got it on Friday. I devoured this in a day and a bit. I loved this book so much! It was so beautiful. The author wrote about secrets, pushing your boundaries, consequences, family, mistakes and first love. My Life Next Door was a funny, heart-warming, beautifully written debut from Huntley Fitzpatrick. I am so glad I read this book and will be recommending it to all of my friends.

Samantha Reed watches the Garretts all the time. Something she is not proud of, but not ashamed of. When one of the Garretts climbs up to the spot where she watches them from, Samantha is shocked and wary. Her mother has never approved of the Garretts, so when straight-laced Samantha is offered an opportunity to look into the life of the Garretts, how come she’s finding herself saying yes?

This book was absolutely beautiful; beautifully written, beautiful story, beautiful characters.

I have a feeling this review is going to be long so here we go!

Well, Jase. HOLY SHIT JASE. *fangirls* Ok, so I don’t normally fangirl (ok, maybe I do…), but Jase Garrett was one hell of a human being. Described as too good looking to be true, I found myself falling hard for him. But, unfortunately he is a fictional character (aren’t they all?). He was sooo sweet and nice and thoughtful. Every girl who reads this book will want a boy exactly like Jase. Thanks again to books, my boy standards have just been highly raised; if you’re not like Jase – bye bye. Apart from being totally swoon-worthy, Jase was a good, solid, well developed character. He had plans for the future and truly cared about his family.

I really, really liked Sam. She was different from many other YA characters. She was very focused and obedient when it came to her mother, but when she saw the chance to change things, she did. She disobeyed her mother and went with the “Garrett boy”. But, she stood up for herself, AND she didn’t need Jase to stand by her and help her when she was standing up for herself in front of her mother. Sam made some good choices and some bad choices in this book. As a character, Sam turned from a straight-laced obedient daughter, to an independent seventeen-year-old woman. I enjoyed reading the book in Sam’s perspective. She had a good inner voice.

Ok, the Garretts. Maaaaan, they were awesome. Such a well written, well developed family. There’s Joel, Alice, Jase, Andy, Duff, Harry, George and Patsy. I loved George!! He was so so so cute :). (George also happens to be my nickname). Even though she was a bit of a bitch to Sam at first, I grew to like Alice. She was a good sister. She also proved to be more than meets the eye. I thought she was going to be a… selfish bitchy, slut, with no goals or ambitions, but she was working towards being a nurse and was a good big sister. I also really loved Andy! She was a typical teenage girl, obsessing over clothes, make-up and boys. She was also a good sister. No matter what, the Garretts always managed to pull through and stay together, through everything.

Sam’s mother, Grace, was interesting. Actually, she was a bitch. She hardly ever thought of anyone other than herself. The only times she would communicate properly with Sam was to talk about school and holiday plans. She didn’t even allow Sam to have much of a holiday. She was a pretty crappy mother who didn’t notice her own daughters discomfort and her growing disobedience and confidence. Sam’s sister, Tracy, wasn’t around for much of the book, but I still liked her. Sam thought highly of her. Grace’s new boyfriend, Clay was a dick. He was horrible! Normally, I love reading about Southern characters, but I couldn’t give a rat’s ass about Clay. He didn’t care about Grace, he cared about the political campaign, and I do not know how Grace put up with it! Eventually, Jase and Sam told it how it was and put him in his place. Thank God, he totally deserved it.

Sam’s best friend, Nan was alright at first. She wasn’t a very big part of the book, but still. She didn’t do anything to make me like her or dislike her. Nan’s twin brother, Tim was awesome. He was such a funny character! He had his issues, but he straightened out. He helped Samantha and was a very loyal friend and employee. When he got an opportunity to clean himself out, he took it, which impressed me because not very many people, in real life and not, are able to do that.

Sam and Jase’s relationship was one of the best I have ever read. It was smooth and slow. They both genuinely cared about each other and loved each other, and they let it show. Jase welcomed Sam into his family and life with open arms, and accepted that it wouldn’t be as easy for her to let him in. He spoke to Sam about that, though. He wasn’t afraid to tell her what he thought, but he was kind about it. He was never rude or pushy. He had Sam’s best interests at heart. I loved their relationship so much. In fact, I’m sure everybody did. It was a genuine, honest to goodness relationship, full of trust and love. I loved the fact that Sam warmed up to Jase and his family quickly, too. She seemed like such a tight ass at the beginning, someone who didn’t believe in love, and was too focused on school and marks to have a boyfriend, but she proved me wrong! She was just as amazing as Jase in the relationship. The only problem was the sex. It was messy. The author should’ve either written it better, or not included it at all. But then Fitzpatrick would mention something and it left me, and my friend Georgie, wondering, Did They? Didn’t They? I’m sure every single girl on this planet is envious of Jase and Sam’s relationship.  

I thought this was going to be an easy going summer contemporary, and it was, but it had a HUGE twist. I won’t tell you the twist, because I had NO IDEA when I got to the part, and I want you, reader, to feel the surprise I felt. It was crazy. I don’t necessarily believe it was a good or bad idea, I was just shocked. Although it was pretty heart-breaking, it opened everyone’s eyes, and maybe some good came of it, I suppose. This part of the story was very surprising, but very interesting.

After reading sooooo many reviews on this book, I was prepared for some shitty, quick, messy ending, and was surprised when it didn’t come. I kept waiting for the surprise ending, but it didn’t come, well for me anyway. I turned the page and was thinking “oh dear God, is this where it ends, oh now I understand why people were saying crap about the ending!” but, the book kept going. I guess I could say that I wanted more from the book, but that’s just because I loved it so much! I didn’t want it to end at all, but I think Huntely Fitzpatrick wrapped it up nicely.

I loved My Life Next Door. It was an amazing debut and I want to read everything by this author, no matter what! I loved the characters, the setting and the story. The twists and turns had me bitting my fingernails! My Life Next Door is exciting, but nice and smooth. It is a quick, but nice, read. I couldn’t have asked for a better book.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Last Summer by Rebecca A. Rogers

Last Summer by Rebecca A. Rogers

Four/five stars

Last Summer was not what I expected. Don’t get me wrong, it was good, just not what I was expecting. The last couple of books I have read are all about drugs! Gosh. I didn’t actually realise this book was about drugs. Obviously, I didn’t read the blurb properly or something. This book was pretty good. *This book comes with a warning of strong language, drug use, sex and a near-rape scene*

Chloe doesn’t want to be in Sandy Shores. Her parents are going through a divorce and Sandy Shores has so many memories. When Chloe is revisiting one of the memories, she meets Logan, and that’s when her really summer begins.

Logan is a homeless drug addict. His parents kicked him out because he was a bad role model to his younger brother and he wasn’t going to go to rehab to kick his habit. He now lives in a rundown shack and is hiding from some pretty awful drug dealers. So, is it possible, when he meets Chloe, that he will take the opportunity and the challenge to finally kick his habit and maybe get a girl?

Last Summer was a pretty intense book. Like, the ending for instance was insane. It was good, though. Chloe was an alright main character. She’s the typical YA girl; parents divorcing, kinda good looking, not really popular, just spending one last summer at the beach with her screwed up family, ‘til she meets a boy. She wasn’t bad or annoying or anything, just kind of boring; nothing special. Roger was mostly the same, except a little less boring. He was a dickhead at first with a drug and trust problem. But, I guess he wasn’t so bad. He got better towards the end of the book. He was finally getting help and opening up, which improved his character. Together, Roger and Chloe were actually pretty good. Kind of a screwed up relationship, but meh, it worked. Like always, though, I wish that it was clearer whether they were boyfriend and girlfriend or what. It happens all the time in summer books!!

The mother and father were nuts. The father worse than the mother, though. He was just a wanker. I felt a bit sorry for the mother; she was dealing with a dickhead, cheating, lying husband.

The themes in this book were quite mature. I probably shouldn’t have read this book because, well, I’m not 17. But meh, I liked the book. I’m not a prude or anything, so the sex didn’t bother me, but still, probably shouldn’t have read it. Oh well.

Last Summer was a quick read! I intended it to last me during English, then science the next day, but I read it in just a few hours. It was $3 well spent. Thanks mum.

I liked how the book ended. It was perfect, and summed up nicely. I look forward to reading more of this authors books.

What I Didn't Say by Keary Taylor

What I Didn’t  Say by Keary Taylor


Four/five stars

Well, um, wow. This was a heartbreaking, yet somehow heart-warming novel. Keary Taylor wrote an unbelievable story about a young boy losing everything in a matter of minutes because of silly decisions. I loved this book a lot and I was a blubbering mess by the end of it!!


Jake Hayes has everything he wants. He has a big happy family, great friends, a solid future and a crazy crush on Samantha Shay. But one tiny mistake took everything away; his future, slowly his friends, and his voice. His one regret?  Not telling Sam how he feels because now he never will. What I Didn’t Say is about Jake learning how to deal with his accident and lack of vocal chords, and slowly becoming closer and closer to Samantha Shay.


I thought Jake was a good main character. He knew what he wanted to do, he was focused and sensible. He wasn’t a typical YA male character. He was thoughtful, kind and sweet and he actually cared about his family and, of course, Sam.


I loved Sam. She was focused and independent. After Jake’s accident, she was kind and didn’t pry. She allowed him to have a shoulder to lean on. Sam wasn’t shallow or slutty nor was she popular or a loner. She was happy to be Samantha Shay: The smartest girl in school.


Jake and Sam’s relationship was genuine. You could feel the chemistry between them straight away. They were a good match for each other! I think many girls would be envious of the relationship Jake and Sam had. Jake was a pretty cool boyfriend, even though he couldn’t talk.


This book was obviously a work of fiction, but the author made it seem very real and personal. I was touched by this wonderful story. The writing was great, the romance was brilliant and the plot was perfect. I am extremely glad I bought this book, it was totally worth it.  

Unlovable (Port Fare #1) by Sherry Gammon

Unlovable by Sherry Gammon

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Four/five stars

This was a surprisingly good book! I actually really enjoyed it. Not only was it entertaining, it looked at issues such as drugs, emotional, mental and verbal abuse and love. I don’t know why, but I was really surprised by this book, and I am glad I read it.

Maggie is dirt poor, too skinny and lives in a trailer. Her mother verbally abuses her and is an alcoholic. Even though Maggie would never, ever take drugs of any sort after seeing what alcohol alone can do to people, she looks exactly like a heroin addict; skinny, protruding bones. Maggie is very private so how come when she meets the mysterious and very cute new kid in school, why is she suddenly letting him in?

Seth Prescott, undercover cop at a high school, is focused on “infiltrating the dealers, finding the suppliers” (quote 21 JUMP STREET, mofos). So when he suddenly starts feeling like an awkward teenage boy around Maggie, who looks like a walking example of what heroin can do to you, why is she so hard to resist? He is an undercover cop looking for people like her; he shouldn’t be wanting to get with her, not at all.

I really, really enjoyed this book. It was fun, exciting and romantic. I liked the characters and the story line. Maggie was a solid character. She was similar to the usual YA character standards, but something was different about her. She had maturity, maybe? I particularly liked Seth as a character because, although he was young, he was past the age of a dickhead teenage boy. He was romantic, sweet and really and truly cared about his job, friends and looking after Maggie. Both characters were quite mature for a YA book, and that’s probably why I liked them so much. I also really loved Booker! He was hilarious and such a cool character.

I do not understand why I liked this book so much. I mean, yes it was good, but it still had errors and the usual YA clichéd crap, but it was just so good that I’m going to overlook that. Oh, the difference between this book and other books? Maybe it was the drug side of the book, or perhaps the police parts? I don’t know but whatever it was, totally worked for me!

So yeah, I really enjoyed this book and I cannot wait to read more of this authors work!

Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Five/five stars!

Well. Pushing the Limits was very, very good. I was hesitant to buy it at first because I didn’t think that I would enjoy it, but my mum gave me money and 20 minutes in Dymocks so I brought it anyway. And oh my gosh, am I glad I did. This book was amazing. I just loved it. Katie McGarry dealt with family and friendship issues, bullying, love and trauma. Pushing the Limits had me feeling ALL THE THINGS. Seriously, I have no idea how my mum and friends dealt with me while I was reading this book – I was nuts.

Echo doesn’t know what happened to her the night she went from miss popular to freak. She doesn’t know how she got the ugly, scary scars on her arms, and she doesn’t fully understand why her father ordered a restraining order on her mother. As Echo bounces from one therapist to another, all she wants to know is why she got the freaking scars! Enter seriously hot, man-whore, drug abusing loser Noah. Pfft, no one thinks this will work well but… Somehow Echo and Noah end up working together to achieve different goals with the help of one another. They also end up forging a strong relationship. But what will really be the consequences of Echo working so hard to find out about “that night” and will she lose Noah?

This book had me an emotional mess. Echo and Noah were so perfect and I felt so sorry for them. They were both struggling with completely different things but they managed to work it out together.

Echo was a perfect character. I loved her. She wasn’t a stuck-up perfect bitch or a weird loser. She was just Echo. Sure, she used to be super popular before being labelled as the freak, but she still kept her sanity and some friends. She didn’t whine about the stupid things in life, she had real issues to deal with. Echo dealt with real, raw emotions that just ripped me apart.

After the death of his parents, Noah is bouncing from one foster house to another and from one girl to another. People assume he is a permanently stoned loser, but he is just trying to keep it together. He wants his brothers back, he wants his family back, he just wants his old life back. When he sees Echo, he thinks he’s just going to have a bit of fun, but it turns out she means so much more to him than he could possibly imagine. Together, Noah and Echo conquer life’s issues, family trouble and a friggin’ crazy therapist.

This book could quite possibly be the death of some really emotional people. Even I cried (not that that matters, I cry at everything, but still). Everything in this book was realistic; the characters, the themes, the dialogue. I loved this book so, so, so much and would recommend it to everybody (well, maybe over the age of 13). I will read anything and everything this author writes.

While It Lasts (Sea Breeze #3) by Abbi Glines

While It Lasts by Abbi Glines

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Five/five stars!

Yet again Abbi Glines has managed to bring out an incredible novel full of love, forgiveness, acceptance and humor. I loved this book so much! It was probably one of the best Sea Breeze novels. There were a few things, though… such as rather graphic sex scenes. While It Lasts is probably more of a New Adult novel, than a Young Adult novel. But, pfft, I loved it anyway.

Cage York finally gets his story! After a particularly wild night, Cage finds himself being pulled over by the police. He gets a DUI and is sent off to work on a farm. For Cage, this is horrible. He’ll be away from his friends, Low, girls and bars. Then, on his first day at the farm, he meets beautiful Eva. Beautiful, unavailable Eva. But, will he be able to worm his way into her life? Will Cage York finally fall in love?

Seeing a guy like Cage York on her porch is awful for Eva. She hates seeing people like him. Stuck-up drunks. Besides, she’s still nursing a broken heart after Josh. But, will Eva learn to like Cage? And will she finally be able to love again…?

This really was quite a nice story, with alternating POV’s so we could feel Eva’s heartbreak and Cage’s frustration. The characters were well developed. Obviously, we had seen Cage before in Because of Low, so we knew his background, but we got to learn all about Eva and her past. Eva was kind, thoughtful and very sad, heartbroken. Both characters were amazing and I loved them equally. Cage was actually kinda nice… after a while.

Overall the story line was good. It was planned and well thought-out. Abbi Glines really has a talent for writing romance novels. The chemistry between Eva and Cage was automatic, steamy and realistic. The story wasn’t very realistic, but it was realistic enough, you know?

I loved While It Lasts and I cannot wait for Cage and Eva to get another story!  

Friday, August 10, 2012

Losing Lila (Lila #2) by Sarah Alderson

Losing Lila by Sarah Alderson

★ ★ ★ ☆

Four and a half stars!!

Losing Lila was just as good, if better, than Hunting Lila. It had me feeling ALL THE THINGS! I loved everything about it. The characters were amazing, and I didn’t realise how much I missed them! Losing Lila was perfect. I cannot wait to read more Sarah Alderson.

Ah, there is so much to talk about!

Losing Lila jumps in straight away! It’s madness right from the word go. It picks up nicely after the first book. 

Lila and Alex are on the run from The Unit. They have joined forces with the supposed enemies and are now living on a boat and planning there next attack, the final one on The Unit. After the show down at Joshua Tree, Alex and Lila were forced to run and leave Lila’s brother and Alex’s best friend, Jack. Now, they are going to get him and Lila’s mother back. Obviously, The Unit is now on high alert, so it is going to be even harder to get into the unit and get Jack and Lila’s mum out. But Lila, Alex, Demos and the rest of the gang form a genius, but potentially dangerous and disastrous plan to get in and out of The Unit’s headquarters. The plan involves potentially risking Lila’s life and FIRE.

Alex and Lila are perfect for each other. But, of course, they had their differences. It was understandable though. Lila was stubborn and just wanted to walk in to The Unit’s headquarters, get her mother and brother and leave the headquarters. Whereas Alex wanted to have a properly formulated plan that didn’t involve risking Lila’s life and killing the people he loves. This caused some issues, but because they are so perfect for each other, everything was sorted out, and they worked together. 

All the characters were amazing. I loved Demos' gang! All of them, even Amber... sometimes. Also, Suki is awesome and I want one.

The ending was perfect. Yes, I loved it, but yes, I want another book; maybe one in Alex’s POV. 

This book was another amazing book from Sarah Alderson. I am so glad I read this series. I will miss these characters and the adventures they have had! I cannot praise the author and the series enough. I love Hunting Lila and Losing Lila

No Such Thing as Forever (Girl Heart Boy #1) by Ali Cronin

No Such Thing as Forever by Ali Cronin
★ ★ ☆ 
Three/five stars

No Such Thing as Forever was a typical, average YA Contemporary book. It wasn’t anything exciting or special. The main character was stupid and immature. It took me a while to read this. I wish I enjoyed it more.

Sarah is like most clichéd YA girls. She has a solid group of friends, girls and boys, and is a man hater. Until one moment, when she is swept of her feet by someone she hardly knows during a holiday with her family at the beach. This boy, Joe, lives in London and is in university. Sarah is still in school and lives in Brighton. Hmm, see a problem? After the holiday, Sarah goes back to school like a whole new person! She is no longer Sarah the man hater virgin; she is Sarah with a long-distance boyfriend. Of course, naturally, her friends are all exciting for her and interested at first, until Sarah is verging on the point of obsessed. Joe is all she thinks about! This is where Sarah turns completely stupid. More stupid than before, is that possible? She ditches her friends for a boy; a summer fling. A boy who is an ass, who just wants her for her stupidity because she has no idea what he is doing!! Ahh! This was so frustrating! And then, enter Ollie, perfect best friend and typical man whore. Ollie calls her flower… so Sarah isn’t it obvious? No, it wasn’t obvious, not to her. This book was just a silly, short, typical YA contemp. The story line was obvious and non-eventful.

The characters… Well. As you have probably gathered, I did not like Sarah. She was silly, annoying, whiny and immature. She could not see what Joe was doing, she did not understand her friends’ opinions on Joe and she could not see how obvious Ollie was being, until it was practically shoved in her face. I hated Joe. He was awful and a dick and he should not be allowed to treat innocent women like that; women that generally like him. Sarah’s friends weren’t actually too bad. They cared about Sarah and they tried to warn her. I like Ollie and I felt sorry for him. Sarah didn’t deserve him; she was rude and hot headed. Ollie was sweet Ollie; he deserved a girl who actually cared about him.

This book was average. Not good, not bad. Just… okay. I didn’t like the characters very much and the story line was predictable. I wish I enjoyed this more. I might read the next book;  Ash’s story.

Thanks to Penguin Books Australia and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read this book!!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ 

Four/five stars

This book was cuuuuuuuuuute. It was my second Morgan Matson book, but not my favourite. I liked the story line and the characters. I live in Australia so reading all the things about America was awesome! Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour made me feel happy! There were no really depressing moments, or really clichéd YA romances; e.g instant love, then break up for two days, then “ohmygod missed you so much, let’s get back together, I love you”.

One moment can change everything. Unfortunately for Amy, she has to find this out the hard way. Amy’s father died, her brother Charlie is so messed up and her mother has just decided that they will move to Connecticut. Then Charlie gets into all sorts of trouble and is put into rehab. Then Amy’s mum moves and Amy is left alone in a big house. Amy was supposed to finish up her senior year then fly over to Connecticut. Then she gets a call from her mum saying that she needs the car in Connecticut, so she will be driving there, not flying. Only problem; Amy won’t drive. Not after the accident. The solution; driving across the country for four days with Roger, a guy she doesn’t remember. Awkward. But when Amy see’s Roger, she’s shocked. He is actually kinda cute! Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour was quite epic. Amy rebelled, and she felt good, but slightly guilty. It was about time she was allowed to rebel. Charlie did all the rebelling when they were in school. Amy and Roger developed a close relationship and Amy even told Roger the truth.

I liked this book! It was cute, fun and a quick read. I liked the main characters and all the funny ones we met on the way.
Amy was actually quite strong for someone who blames herself for everything and for someone who just lost her dad. She allowed herself to cry, which many YA characters do not allow themselves to do, which is stupid and unrealistic.  I also liked how, when she saw Roger, she admitted that he was cute and that was it. She did not continue to say that he was crazy hot and that she wanted to have his babies. It was a slow relationship; acquaintances, friends, close friends then more. Their feelings for each other obviously continued to get stronger as they spent more time together and got more comfortable with each other. I liked Roger, too. He was a good character. He was understanding and determined. Very, very determined. I got a kick out of the way he ended it with Hadley! The spoilt little bitch deserved it. He handled it well.

The book was a little slow for my liking. I wish that Matson didn’t bring in Hadley’s brother because that was just a waste of time. Amy and Roger could have been working out the feelings for each other during that time. But, in saying that, the end of the book was sooooo rushed! They kissed and then BAM! everything went super-fast and before I knew it, it was over. And I didn’t want it to end. Although, I must admit, it ended well. Matson finished it, but left it open. She could definitely write another book about Amy and Roger’s relationship. It made sense that their relationship progressed quickly, but I wish that it went slower, and that the book lasted longer.

I also really loved Amy’s playlists. I love musicals so much. And I love The Producers; one of the best musicals/movies ever. I also enjoyed all the Wizard of Oz references when they went through Kansas. I did the Wizard of Oz at school in year 7 and I always quote it and sing it. You can never have enough Wizard of Oz!

Overall, it was a good book. Well thought out, exciting, fun and happy. I liked Second Chance Summer better though. I wish that Matson will write a second Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour. 

{Unrelated} Esther Day

On the 3rd of August, every year, Nerdfighters around the world celebrate Esther Day. Esther died of cancer a couple of years ago, at age 16. She had battled cancer since she was 12. The cancer, after 4 long years, caught up with her in August, 2010. This year, it would have been her 18th birthday. 

The Vlogbrothers, Hank and John Green, visited Esther and said that they would do anything she wanted them to do, to remember her on her birthday every year. Esther told them she wanted them to talk about love, between friends and family. So every year Hank and John Green tell each other they much they love each other and how much they mean to one another.

This year, Esther Day meant a lot to me. Two years ago, my cousin’s best friend died of cancer. Just a week before Nicole died, she was dancing with my cousin at a birthday party. She was full of life and love. Next week, she passed away. My cousin is still struggling to deal with it. A week before Esther died, she was she making videos. In her last video she was so happy and full of life. 

I realised that life is too short. That one moment, you can have everything, then the next moment, you can lose everything and have nothing. 

So, this year, I made sure I told the people who mean a lot to me, how much they mean to me.

Mum, dad, aunties, uncles, cousins, grandparents, pets, best friends, friends and teachers, you mean so much to me. I love you.

Rest in paradise Nicole. You are missed so much.

Rest in Awesome Esther. Effyeahnerdfighters. DFTBA.  

Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful #1) by Jamie McGuire

Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ 

Four/five stars

If I had to describe Beautiful Disaster in one word it would be rollercoaster. This book is insane! It really is a beautiful disaster. It made me feel all the emotions. I was happy, then sad, then heart-broken, then crazy happy again! It was crazy, but perfect.

Abigail Abernathy is a good girl. Or at least, she appears to be. She has the right amount of cardigans and is a perfect student. When her best friend, America, drags her along to a fight in the basement, Abby finds herself in the spotlight with resident bad-boy and the perfect definition of a man-whore, Travis Maddox. Abby isn't interested in a relationship, especially with Travis, who reminds her so much of the old life she is trying to run away from, so how come it's so hard to resist? Everyone knows Travis doesn't date. He screws girls, then leaves them. No strings-attached. So when he meets Abby, the only girl who isn't interested in him, how come he feels a pull towards her? How come he can't leave her alone? How come he can no longer touch another woman?Beautiful Disaster follows Abby on her quest to finally be free of her demons and fighting her confusing feelings for Travis.

This was the second time I had read Beautiful Disaster, and I have to say, it kind of grew on me! I enjoyed it this time round so much more. This book is like the nerd equivalent of drugs. It is so addictive! I couldn't stop reading. Even though I knew what was happening, and what was coming, I couldn't bring myself to stop reading it, so I found myself reading at all kinds of strange hours.

I enjoyed Beautiful Disaster, but there were some things that just didn't work for me. Like how Travis was kind of creepy, and needed to deal with his anger. He bet against everything, even his relationship with Abby. The first bet in the book sealed the relationship between Travis and Abby. It was obvious what was going to happen after that. Although, I do commend the author on having such interesting twists and turns, it was quite intriguing. Also, Travis's anger issues! He went crazy in some parts of the book. I understand that he already had issues and being with Abby centred him and calmed him down, but that's not very reliable. It's quite stupid, actually. I hope I do not depend on someone that much. As if they are the air I need to breathe.

I had no issues with Abby. She was a well-developed character with a mysterious and dark past. She was an opinionated woman, who wasn't afraid to say what she thought, especially to Travis, which helped shaped Travis's character. Travis needed a wakeup call, and Abby gave him just that, with her brutally honest remarks and witty and sarcastic comments. I particularly enjoyed this quote from Abby:

"I didn't say you're a bad person. I just don't like being a foregone conclusion for the sole reason of having a vagina." 

There were no problems with the other characters. Sometimes, they annoyed me, but they weren't a big part of the story. It was Travis's and Abby's story, through and through. Although, I did fall in love with Finch! He reminded me of someone I know and was constantly making me smile whenever he was in the story.

Beautiful Disaster was, as its name suggests, a beautiful disaster. The story line was well thought out, the characters were developed and the romance was honest. I'm glad I got the opportunity to re-read this book, as it was so much better the second time.

Thank you to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for giving me the opportunity to read this book!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Insanity (Asylum #1) by Lauren Hammond

Insanity (Asylum #1) by Lauren Hammond

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ 

Four/five stars

This book was so weird and confusing, but kind of good. Like, not well written good, more like blow-your-mind-out-of-your-butt good. My mind was in a frenzy after reading this. I’m going to try and write a review, but even after a few days, I’m still mentally scarred. 

Insanity is a book that will play with you. It will creep up on you, slowing, but surely. One moment, you’re starting, the next you’re finishing. So much has happened, but you don’t understand. You can’t function. Your brain hurts. This is what I was feeling when I finished it. I was sure I was going to be put in a mental asylum. Insanity was scary, mind blowing, sexy, romantic and intense. 

Adelaide, known as Addy, knows she’s not insane. She doesn’t understand how she ended up in the asylum, or why. Why isn’t she still lying under the willow tree with Damien? Where is her father and his drunken friends? Addy doesn’t remember anything; only that her father was crazy and cruel, her mother left her alone with him, she misses Damien and her new doctor is weirdly familiar. And why is her new doctor pushing her so hard to remember everything? Why is he fighting with her old doctor? And, most importantly, why does he dislike Damien so much? 

As mentioned before, this book was nuts. Crazy. Scary. Mind blowing. You name it! But it was good. I fell in love with the story and the characters, especially Addy. I just want her to get out of the asylum. She doesn’t belong there. She’s not crazy, right? I’m not totally convinced about Dr. Elijah Watson. He doesn’t quite seem legit, and he seems old; at least, way too old for Addy. Team Damien, thank you very much.

I can’t write anymore. You need to read the book to understand. It’s just so… weird. 

I’m glad I read the book, it was an interesting ride, indeed.