Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Maze Runner

The Maze Runner (Maze Runner, #1)The Maze Runner by James Dashner
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I think I like the movie better.
"If you ain't scared, you ain't human."

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his name. He's surrounded by strangers--boys whose memories are also gone.

Outside the towering stone walls that surround the Glade is a limitless, ever-changing maze. It's the only way out--and no one's ever made it through alive.

Then a girl arrives. The first girl ever. And the message she delivers is terrifying.
For one thing, everyone was nicer. I know that sounds lame, but honestly. In the book, all of the Gladers were jerks to Chuck, including Thomas. Like, listen buddy: Chuck is one of the few who doesn't want you dead. Appreciate him. Teresa verged on being a decent character in both the book and the movie, but she was continually thrown to the side.
Breakdown In animated GIF
The writing was very simple. Perhaps that's perfect for a 16 year old boy with amnesia, but it fell flat to me. Also, the answers were withheld way too long. At some point, the suspense got annoying.

I liked the slang though. I know some reviewers thought it was annoying, but it felt natural for 50+ teenage boys to say SOMETHING when they get angry, and I, for one, appreciated how little real language they used.

If you like AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH OHMYGOSH WHAT COMES NEXT action and fear, watch the movie. The book wasn't quite as scary, although probably more violent. I guess there really is a difference between picturing something in your head and seeing it on screen!

Will I read The Scorch Trials? Absolutely. Even though the long suspense bothered me, I'm hooked on discovering what comes next.

Grading:
Adult Content: A
Violence: C? A lot.
Language: B

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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Puppet

PuppetPuppet by Pauline C. Harris
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This makes me want to see Pinocchio. If I saw it at all when I was little, it was ten years ago at a friend's house.

Thank you, NetGalley and Patchwork Press, for this free book to review!
Penelope lives in a world of advanced technology but many claim society has yet to catch up. Marionettes have advanced in the form of robots; lifelike creations remote controlled to perform super human tasks.

When Penelope makes a deal with Jed, a marionette-obsessed scientist, she doesn’t fully realize what she’s getting herself into. In order for Jed to take her away from the orphanage she lives in, she must first agree to undergo his experiments and tests, ultimately creating something no one ever dreamed possible; the first living marionette.

As Jed shows off his scientific creation to the world, concerns arise surrounding Penelope’s abilities and what she’s capable of doing. Ordered to somehow lessen her abilities, Jed makes a desperate attempt to change Penelope to make her more human, more vulnerable. After Penelope lies to the officials about her past, Jed makes sure it’s the last one she’ll ever utter. The truth is now the only thing she is capable of telling.

As Penelope struggles with her past, her disturbingly new present, and her uncertain future, she is thrust into a magically twisted world of mayhem in search of the one thing she wants, but knows she can never have. The chance to be just a girl again. To be normal. To be real.
I REALLY like Pen. She has superhuman strength, but she's still human and vulnerable. The romance with James was adorable. They were friends, almost siblings (not enough for it to be weird though), and then developed into love.

The plot had a rocky beginning, but it picked up when the government got interested in Pen's abilities. One thing I didn't understand though was spoiler: Jed and James were trying to help Head Devere? What? It felt too abrupt.
disney animated GIF
Also, the world building left something to be desired. Portum feels like a slightly futuristic England. There's got to be more to it than that.

Would I read more books by Pauline Harris? YES. Who else could have thought of a Pinocchio retelling? It's so clever.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Chocolate Book Tag

Chocolate and books? Sounds fabulous. Thank you, Sarah @ Forever Changed 13, for tagging me! I love comparing books to food.

1. Dark chocolate (a book that covers a dark topic)
The Fire Artist
The Fire Artist
Aria was abused as a kid, and she's always worried that people will discover the secret behind her fire.

2. White chocolate (favorite lighthearted/humorous read)
The Jane Austen Academy Series
They don't retain a lot of the original Jane Austen components, but a bunch of her characters in a private California high school? Tons o' fun.

3. Milk Chocolate (a book with a lot of hype that you're dying to read)
Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #1)
So, I have the audio book IN MY ROOM, but I haven't gotten to it yet. Now that I've finished The Blood of Olympus, I'll start this one soon.

4. Carmel filled chocolate (a book that makes you feel all gooey inside)
The Blood of Olympus
The Blood of Olympus (The Heroes of Olympus, #5)
That was the first time Piper and Jason kissed? ASDFGHJKL

5. Wafer-less KitKat (a book that has surprised you)
By Darkness Hid
By Darkness Hid (Blood of Kings, #1)
Yes, this book is going to be on every list I ever make. I really love the ending, okay?

6. Snickers (a series you're going nuts about)
The Gilded Series
Gilded (Gilded, #1)Silvern (Gilded #2)
Look at those covers! I want an orange swirly one so badly. Also, the second book ended on a hopeless note, so I NEED TO KNOW MORE.

7. Hot chocolate with mini marshmallows (a book you turn to for a comfort read)
The Revised Life of Ellie Sweet
The Revised Life of Ellie Sweet (A Young Adult Contemporary Novel)
Not of fan of the cover, but I am a fan of the content. Ellie is an introverted author! She understands me! (or vise versa).

8. Box of chocolates (a series you feel has something for everyone)
Anything by Rick Riordan.
Seriously, the target audience for the Percy Jackson books is TWEEN GUYS. Does he have any idea for many teen girl fans he has? Apparently, considering all of the love triangles and parallel lines in the Heroes of Olympus series.

Thanks again, Sarah! I nominate everyone who wants to, but especially Catherine @ Stray Imaginations and Briana @ Reader, Writer, Critic.

Monday, October 20, 2014

BLOOD OF OLYMPUS

The Blood of Olympus (The Heroes of Olympus, #5)The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH

OHMYGOSH OHMYGOSH OHMYGOSH

Rick Riordan drives me crazy sometimes, especially with Nico. That character is half noble, half a self-induced idiot. But that was one epic final chapter.

Time to make a somewhat cohesive review.

OH THE CHARACTERS. I love them, for the most part. Reyna is my favorite, since Annabeth didn't make much of an appearance.

Let's talk about Nico, shall we?

Like I said, he was decent. In the previous books I didn't like him at all. He was wimpy, whiney, and mean. He's still sort of like that now, but also much more noble. Gosh, his conversation with Percy was so awkward though. Why couldn't he wait until Annabeth left?!

I was slightly underwhelmed by the ultimate event with Gaea. The part with the gods in Athena was epic, but once they got onto Long Island Sound? Not so much.

And there's SO MUCH more I want to talk about, but I can't remember half my remarks and they're pretty tiny details anyway. Would I read other books by Rick Riordan, such AS THE NORSE MYTHOLOGY SERIES COMING OUT NEXT YEAR ABOUT SOMEONE'S WHOSE LAST NAME IS CHASE? No.

Just kidding, of course I will.

Oh wait, I remembered something.

I wish Rick Riordan had gone into why the demigods are fighting for the gods. The gods are jerks who are ALWAYS incapacitated. The gods have done NOTHING for them, and yet all of the kids fight for them. They do it to save the world from Gaea, not because the gods are in the right.

Grading:

Violence: A? B?
Language: A
Adult Content: A

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Beautiful Books Link-Up!

This month, Cait @ The Notebook Sisters is having a link-up on plotting a novel. I'm planning on a Swan Lake retelling for NaNoWriMo.

1. What came first: characters or plot idea? Are you a plotter or a pantser?
The idea came first for me. I was listening to "Hunter's Moon" by Celtic Thunder, and when Ryan Kelly said, "How do we know though? Who hunted, who was the prey?" I thought it was a great idea for a book. I thought about animals that could work for prey, and swans came to mind. Then I remembered Swan Lake, and decided to do a retelling.

This year, I'm just going to have a loose idea of a plot. Whenever I figure out every detail before hand, the novel ends up much too short because I'm afraid to deviate from my outline.

2. Do you have a title and/or a “back-cover-blurb”?
The title is I Won't Fly. I'm still composing a blurb, but the nice thing about Swan Lake is that every production does a different ending. I get to pick. ;)

3. What wordcount are you aiming for when your novel is finished?
The youth Nano automatically sets the word count to 30,000. I could change it, but I think I can do it. Scratch that, I know I can do it.

4. Sum up your novel in 3 sentences.
Boy doesn't want to be king. Girl is turned into a swan. Everyone dies.

5. Sum up your characters in one word each.
Meep! I haven't quite gotten to that yet. My school is on break week though, so I can finally sit down and think about it (instead, I'm blogging about them). I'll probably end up giving the characters new names or nicknames. Siegfried? Seriously?
 
6. Which character are you most excited to write? Tell us about them!
I don't know! Maybe Siegfried...I do love royalty. Odette has many questions about her past that ballet productions don't answer though. I can't wait to write them.

7. What about your villain? Who is he, what is his goal?
Rothbart is the one who kidnapped Odette and turned her into a swan. In some productions, he's also Siegfried's mentor. Maybe there's something wrong with Odette and the other swans, so he wants to eliminate them to make things easier for Siegfried when he becomes king? Aw, what a sweet villain.

8. What is your protagonist’s goal? And what stands in the way?
I'm thinking it'll be dual narrated between Siegfried and Odette.... Maybe just Odette.

Odette's goal: stop being a swan!
What stands in the way: She's only a girl at night (why she never goes into her village and night and gets help is beyond me...I'll have to figure out why).

Siegfried's goal: not to be king?
What stands in his way: his royal blood, dang it.

9. What inciting incident begins your protagonist’s journey?
Being kidnapped and turned into a swan is a big deal.

10. Where is your novel set?
In a fantasy land that I have not yet named. They might speak Latin there.

11. What are three big scenes in your novel that change the game completely?
Being kidnapped, being banished before hand (why else would Odette be in a place where evil men-who-turn-girls-into-swans live?), and, ya know, the secrets I can't spill becomes spoilers.

12. What is the most dynamic relationship your character has? Who else do they come in contact with or become close to during the story?
Odile, the black swan, is Odette's sweet twin sister (or something like that). For some reason, they both fall in love with Siegfried, who doesn't like responsibilities. I need to work out their insta-love, since that is a big no-no for me in reading.

13. How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?
They probably die.

14. Do you have an ending in mind, or do you plan to see what happens?
I have an idea, but nothing solid yet.

15. What are your hopes and dreams for your book? What impressions are you hoping this novel will leave on your readers and yourself?
I hope I Won't Fly teaches readers not to go into forests at night where known evil (shapeshifters?) live.

Good Heavens, you now know how unprepared I am! I'd better get crackin'. NaNo is in 12 days.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Chasers

ChasersChasers by H.W. Vivian
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

What a cool idea!

Thank you, H. W. Vivian, for this free book to review!
The small town of Winston, Colorado, has a secret-one that hides in its children. Long ago, there were many children who suffered from the local "condition." There are fewer of them now, but Shelby is one of them. She was born with a ruby embedded in her skin. In the same year, two other kids in town, Gary and May, were born with emeralds. Now a teenager, Shelby nurses a crush on Gary, while he sticks close to the fragile May and tries to protect her from, among other things, Shelby's bullying. Despite their differences, however, their births connect them; when May goes missing, Gary needs Shelby's help. Together, Shelby and Gary learn the unspeakable truth about each other-and about the chasers. Death lurks around every turn; in order to survive, Shelby, Gary, and May must work together. It is now their responsibility to save an entire generation of people also born with their "condition" before a century-old grudge destroys them all.
Kids born with jewels in their backs? I can't say I've ever head of anything like it. My mom and I both agreed that the cover was beautiful. ;)

I was under the impression though that the book was about May's mysterious disappearance, and how Gary and Shelby go on a quest to find her and save the other conditionals. It turns out, however, that's only the beginning chapters. The main plot of the book is the events that happened until the slightly confusing "obstacle", which is when the conditionals get a chance to break free from their curse.

One thing I didn't like was the characters. Fourteen year old Shelby was a jerk, who always realized too late how she felt about something--like when she "fell in love" with twenty four year old Tyler after having one conversation with him. Also, what's up with May and Gary? Their characters seemed important, but their personalities faded into the background.
disney animated GIF
The writing was decent. I feel bad saying this, but it's true: I couldn't tell it was self published until about half way through, which I liked. Now, there's nothing wrong with self publishing! It's just sometimes the quality suffers in it, but here? Not so much.

Would I read other books by Vivian? Yes, I think I'd like a sequel. I'd love to know more about Gary.

Grading:

Violence: B
Adult Content: B
Language: C

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Fire Artist

The Fire ArtistThe Fire Artist by Daisy Whitney
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Wow.

Thank you, NetGalley and Bloomsbury USA Children's books, for this free book to review!

What I liked:

1. The plot. Lean and mean, baby.

2. Aria. Also lean, mean, and quite a fighting machine. Her life sucked and she was pretty bitter, and yet she was still a likable heroine. She felt a lot of feels, which made me feel them too.

3. The idea. I really like fire, okay? I have a whole pinterest board devoted to it. Fire Artist is like Frozen gone berserk.

What was meh:

1. Aria was set on fire repeatedly as a child. How is she not dead?

2. It sure is convenient that the granter rules make exceptions for true love.

3. Taj is perfect, too perfect. At least he was (forced to be, as a granter) polite.

Would I read other books by Daisy Whitney? Absolutely! I fell in love with the writing and I want MOOOOOOOOOORE.

And look at this cool GIF:


ANYWAY, on to the grading.

Language: B?
Adult Content: A
Violence: B. Spoiler: Someone gets eaten by a crcodile!

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Monday, October 13, 2014

Intro to Modesty Series

Olivia, over at Fresh Modesty, has inspired me to start a blog post series about modesty. Before I do that, however, I want to state a few things.

Number One
I have no inch measurements for how long skirts should be, nor do I have an inch measurement for how high a neckline should be. Every skirt I own is below knee so I can wear it to school. I could get a slightly shorter one for church, but why would I want a skirt I can only wear to one place? If I'm going somewhere else fancy like a concert, than I just wear one of my below knee skirts. No fuss.

I can usually tell at a glance if a neckline will work on me or not. If it's in a gray area ("Well, it's okay as long as I don't do this or that....") then I just wear a scarf with it.

Number Two
I am pro pants. I only wear skirts to church, school, and fancy occasions. Around the house, during my sister's play practice after school, babysitting, riding a bike to the library, ect (I guess these are the only reasons why I leave the house) I wear pants. My sister wears skirts everywhere though, so...I guess normal people can do that too.

Number Three
I am not skinny.  For some reasons, all modesty blogs that I've seen feature naturally skinny people. What works on my naturally slender sister won't necessarily work on me. Thus, I will show you how the rest of us can be modest and practical too.

Number Four
I don't know why I dress modestly. I always hear stuff about "Don't lead guys astray!" (because they have no control over their thoughts?) or "Dress for God!" (What does that even mean?). All I know is if I ever understand, I don't want to look back and wonder how many guys' lives I made harder by what I wore.

Number Five
I don't wear vintage clothes. For some reason it's very popular among Christians, so...okay. But I love living in 2014, and I'm so glad this is where God put me.

Number Six
I'm not going to work extra hard to look "feminine", whatever that is. I love pants. I love the cast tee-shirts my school makes. Are they girly? No. Do I care? No. I want to be comfortable, dang it. Unless I'm going somewhere fancy, comfort gets precedence. I don't even own a pair of heels.

So there you have it! Once I get my sister on board as a photographer (and perhaps guest post), and my mom's permission to use her phone (or her camera) we can begin!

Running Through the Stars

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Storm Siren

Storm Siren (Storm Siren, #1)Storm Siren by Mary Weber
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

COVER LOVE. Also, it has the coolest book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k79C_...

Thank you, Netgalley and Thomas Nelson, for this free book to review!
“I raise my chin as the buyers stare. Yes. Look. You don’t want me. Because, eventually, accidentally, I will destroy you.”

In a world at war, a slave girl’s lethal curse could become one kingdom’s weapon of salvation. If the curse—and the girl—can be controlled.

As a slave in the war-weary kingdom of Faelen, seventeen-year-old Nym isn’t merely devoid of rights, her Elemental kind are only born male and always killed at birth — meaning, she shouldn’t even exist.

Standing on the auction block beneath smoke-drenched mountains, Nym faces her fifteenth sell. But when her hood is removed and her storm-summoning killing curse revealed, Nym is snatched up by a court advisor and given a choice: be trained as the weapon Faelen needs to win the war, or be killed.

Choosing the former, Nym is unleashed into a world of politics, bizarre parties, and rumors of an evil more sinister than she’s being prepared to fight . . . not to mention the handsome trainer whose dark secrets lie behind a mysterious ability to calm every lightning strike she summons.

But what if she doesn’t want to be the weapon they’ve all been waiting for?
What I liked:

1. The world building. While some parts were confusing, I enjoyed Faelen overall. The animals were super creative. Flesh eating horses? Very helpful in battle, although we never got to see them do that...probably for the best.
frozen animated GIF
Except a little bit more dangerous.
2. Nym. At the beginning she was merely "sass", but she really grew over the course of the book.

3. The ending. ASDFGHJKL I NEED A SEQUEL. NOW.

What I didn't like:

1. The romances. It felt so forced, as if she sincerely loved Eogan from the start but never bothered to turn off Colin's advances. Understandably, I guess. Colin is a cutie.
frozen animated GIF
Would I read other books by Mary Weber? YES!!! I need more about Nym RIGHT NOW, but the next book doesn't come out until 2015. Cliff hanger alert!

Grading:

Language: A
Adult content: A
Violence: B?
Notes: Potential trigger for self harm. Nearly every time Nym accidentally killed someone, she'd mark something about them on her skin with a knife.

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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Dragon Within

The Dragon WithinThe Dragon Within by Melody Jackson
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I am not a pacifist.

Thank you, Melody Jackson, for this free book to review!
Are dragons good...or evil?

Kaena Armae doesn’t really care either way. No one’s seen a dragon in over twenty years, so why should she even care?

But when she comes face to face with the shocking truth in the forest near her home, she is forced to choose sides in a feud that started centuries ago.

And the real war is just beginning.

Now, Kaena must convince opposing sides to join together to combat an ancient evil, or face the destruction of their whole world, forever.

But what if they’re fighting the wrong enemy?
What I liked:

1. The Christian aspect, although it only started near the end.

2. How certain characters realize that there are bad parts to us all, but we can't let them rule us.

3. How in the author's note, Melody makes the point that none of her characters are the chosen ones or whatever. I love Harry Potter, but honestly, there's only one person "chosen" to do good in the world? Isn't everybody? So I really appreciated how most of the characters were ordinary mortals.

4. The cover, title, and general idea. I now love dragons!

What I didn't like:

1. As I said, I am not a pacifist. If someone is trying to kill you, it is morally acceptable to kill them in self defense. Toran and Kaena, however, didn't believe that. I ended up with an image of the bad guys as zombies, since they never died.

2. The plot holes, mostly around Treya. If she's half dragon, why are her parents human? Why is she called a queen, when she was a slave? How did she become a slave, if she wasn't born into it?

3. Jardan. Enough said.

Actually, I'll expand on that. ;) He continually betrays Kaena, and not only while he's possessed. There are times before that when he'd be relieved to know that she was okay, but then remind himself to tell Mavet all about her whereabouts. Jerk.
dreamworks animated GIF
4. Everyone's writing style improves with time and practice. I think The Dragon Within needed a little longer to grow into its full potential.

Would I read other books by Melody Jackson? Absolutely. I know her voice, just like all writers, will develop with time. I can't wait to see where she goes with hers. :)

Grading:

Language: A
Adult Content: A
Violence: B

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Sunday, October 5, 2014

Don't Touch

Don't TouchDon't Touch by Rachel M. Wilson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have felt many feelings during the course of this book.
Step on a crack, break your mother’s back. Touch another person’s skin, and Dad’s gone for good.

Caddie can’t stop thinking that if she keeps from touching another person’s skin, her parents might get back together... which is why she wears full-length gloves to school and covers every inch of her skin.

It seems harmless at first, but Caddie’s obsession soon threatens her ambitions as an actress. She desperately wants to play Ophelia in her school’s production of Hamlet. But that would mean touching Peter, who’s auditioning for the title role—and kissing him. Part of Caddie would love nothing more than to kiss Peter—but the other part isn't sure she's brave enough to let herself fall.
Right off the bat, I want to say this: Don't Touch could trigger more anxiety in already anxiously inclined people. The ending is powerful, of course (trying not to spoil anything here), but you have to get to the ending.
What It’s Like To Be In College, As Told By Our Favorite Disney Characters | Her Campus
Gosh, this book is addictive. Any time I walked into my room, I had to take it up again and continue reading.

As much as I love it though, Caddie felt slightly flat. Besides not touching people and her love for theater, she didn't have a memorable personality. There's got to be more to her than anxiety and acting.
Cartoons & Comics Disney animated GIF
I just had to include this GIF.
I am so glad I bought this book. I love its cast (especially Peter!), I love its Shakespeare, and I love its ending. I want more, even though this is perfect as a standalone novel. I'll definitely keep an eye on Rachel Wilson; she has power with words.

Grading:
Language: B? C?
Adult content: B

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Thursday, October 2, 2014

Book Gif Tag

I wasn't actually tagged for this, but Briana @ Reader, Writer, Critic said anyone who wanted to could do it. So here I am. ;) All you have to do is give a gif reaction to the books on the list Briana made. I haven't read a lot of them, so the ones on my to-read list will be in pink. Without further ado, let's go!

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

The blurb is pretty vague and doesn't seem like something I'm in to.

Allegient
Apparently there's cake. Good enough.
This seems to be a love-it or hate-it kind of book. While I haven't read it, I have read spoilers (yup) so I know what happened. I feel like if I read the books, I wouldn't be a huge fan of the last one...but who knows?

To Kill a Mockingbird
This is Scout.
I wasn't too fond of this one. Lower your pitchforks though! I have a reason! There's no plot. It's about day-to-day life. While some people love that, I am not one of them.

Fangirl

I've read part of this, but it seemed more for "mature teens" (which I totally am, by the way. Just not in that sense) so I returned it to the library.

Splintered

Cait @ The Notebook Sisters LOVES this book. I haven't tried it yet, but it's on my to-read list. I'll get to it someday, I promise!

The Raven Boys

SO MANY people love this book! I need to get my hands on a copy.

These Broken Stars
WAIT LET ME FINISH
I read the beginning, but it didn't keep me going, so I returned it to the library. :P I love the cover and title though, and I'm going to try it again sometime.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone

I ordered the audio book from the library recently, so now I'm waiting for it to come in. I'll get to it soon though!

The Book Thief

I've been meaning to read this! I just...haven't yet. Sounds a like a tear-jerker though, so I totally should.

Hush, Hush

In the blurb, it says "Patch seems to be everywhere she is and seems to know more about her than her closest friends. She can't decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide." If being around a certain person is questionable, then chances are you shouldn't do it.

Wow...I've only read one and a half books on the list. That's sad. I must remedy that as soon as possible.

I nominate whoever wants to do this! Here are the books:

1. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
2. Don't Touch, by Rachel M. Wilson
3. Gilded, by Christina L. Farley
4. By Darkness Hid, by Jill Williamson
5. The Revised Life of Ellie Sweet, by Stephanie Morrill
6. Purple Moon, by Tessa Emily Hall

There ya go! Feel free to leave me a comment with more books and what you thought of them.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

NetGalley Makes Me Happy

Get HappyGet Happy by Mary Amato
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

You know how I get happy? When I get good books from NetGalley. So thank you, Egmont USA and NetGalley, for this free title to review!
In this poignant, realistic, contemporary YA by a state master list star, perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen and Gayle Forman, a young songwriter builds a substitute family with her friends in place of the broken family she grew up with.
Minerva has been raised by her single mother after her father left them both. On her 17th birthday, she is shocked to discover that he has been trying to keep in touch, but her mother has been sabotaging his attempts. Furious at her mom, she begins to investigate her dad, a famous marine biologist, only to discover that he has a new family, including a beloved, and perfect, stepdaughter--a girl Minerva already knows and despises. As she makes her way, trying to build her performing and songwriting career, her jealousy takes over and threatens to derail her life completely. It is only through the efforts of her best friend, Fin, and the introduction of Hayes, a new young man in her life, that she is able to see clearly who she is and who makes up her family.
I just...wow. I love this book to pieces. Minerva is a great character. She had understandable reactions and felt so real. Her relationship with Fin was funny and supportive. They both looked out for each other. And Hayes.... Oh Hayes. I wish I knew guys as awesome as him. ;) He's such a cute gentleman.

There is a love triangle, but bear with me, people. This love triangle isn't the cliche: girl likes guy #1. New, mysterious guy #2 moves to town. Girl loves guy #2. She ditches guy #1 and she and #2 live happily ever after. But that's not how it went in Get Happy! Hayes actually had a personality. I can't say how it ends because 1: spoilers, and 2: I don't know. Spoiler: It's not resolved! I guess who she ends up with is left to the reader's imagination...? If so, I'm torn.

The only thing I didn't like was the ending. It didn't feel finished. I know this is only an ARC, so maybe this will be changed by October, when it comes out.

Would I buy other YA books by Mary Amato? You bet!

Grading:
(I read this book in June, so I don't know how accurate this is)
Language: A?
Adult content: A

View all my reviews