26 July 2013

Mini Reviews: The Boys of Summer and An Endless Summer by C.J Duggan

Book: The Boys of Summer.
Author: C.J Duggan
File Type: Ebook
Release Date:  December 17th 2012
Publisher: Self.
My rating: 2 stars
.

synopsis:It seemed only natural to nickname them the ‘Onslow Boys’. Every time they swaggered in the front door of the Onslow Hotel after a hard week’s work, their laughter was loud and genuine as they settled onto their bar stools. I peeked through the restaurant partition, a flimsy divider between my world and theirs. I couldn’t help but smile whenever I saw them, saw him ... Toby Morrison.

Quiet seventeen-year-old Tess doesn’t relish the thought of a summertime job. She wants nothing more than to forget the past haunts of high school and have fun with her best friends before the dreaded Year Twelve begins.

To Tess, summer is when everything happens: riding bikes down to the lake, watching the fireworks at the Onslow Show and water bomb fights at the sweltering Sunday markets.
How did she let her friends talk her into working?
After first-shift disasters, rude, wealthy tourists and a taunting ex-boyfriend, Tess is convinced nothing good can come of working her summer away. However, Tess finds unlikely allies in a group of locals dubbed ‘The Onslow Boys’, who are old enough to drive cars, drink beer and not worry about curfews. Tess’s summer of working expands her world with a series of first times with new friends, forbidden love and heartbreaking chaos.
All with the one boy she has never been able to forget. 
It will be a summer she will always remember. 
Warning: sexual references, and occasional coarse language



I'll award this series some serious credit for being able to capture the right essence and beauty of summer. It was bright, light and sunny....and it was kind of fun. So..YAY!

I've had crushes on older guys. I remember giggling 'mentally' (Yes, I was too cool.) after sneaking glances to see THAT hot senior guy or group of senior guys in my school. I'd walk by their classes repeatedly and I'd keep looking inside and go all swoony and ah, well....I was creepy. So I understand Tess's infatuation. 

I understand why seventeen-year old Tess was so enamoured by 22-year old Toby Morrison. I definitely see the appeal. It's quite natural, actually and frankly, pretty cute. Old and responsible guy with a cute, sweet girl? Nice dynamic.

The problem?

It wasn't believable. 

Tess, Ellie and Adam are best friends and have a fantastic plan for the summer. They plan to work at the Onslow Hotel, swim in the Onslow lake, watch fireworks and have water bomb fights. So all in all, it's going to be an enjoyable summer. But here's the specialty of YA summer-themed contemporary books: You always have hotties.
And the Onslow boys, aka Toby, Sean, Stan, Chris and Ringer are just that. THEY ARE HOTTIES. 
They are employed. They are sweet and they soon take Tess, Ellie and Adam under their wing which is really nice to read about because they come with buckets of banter and swoon swishing and swooshing over the brim, topped with the beauty of friendship, just like a cherry on a cake or..was it ice cream?

Anyway, the idea sounds so compelling and fun but it all fell apart in the book. I had some serious issues with Tess and her behaviour. I won't judge her for what she did but I, as a person, just couldn't agree with any of it. Ergo, I didn't like her. At all.
I loved Ellie and Adam, though! They were amazing bestfriends but by the second half, their characters started..diminishing? Fading away? So I was a tad disappointed. Some of the twists and turns in the book were unacceptable and I felt like pushing my kindle away before I seriously lost it. Sean's and Stan's and Adam's characters were the comic angle of the book but in the end, not much happened for them as well. Although, I wouldn't say that for Sean, because Sean was the only character in the book who actually managed to swoon me off my feet. 

Now, Toby is a different character. I like Broody and intense. I was made for broody and intense but hell no will I accept broody and intense, especially after ....you know. 
Toby as a love interest didn't sit well with me. I kept on vouching for a Tess-Adam or Tess-Sean dynamic because it made sense. They cared about Tess. They were protective, supportive and responsive which obviously, I didn't think Toby was. It wasn't normal and there was a point when all I could so was roll my eyes. Rolling eyes=Not good.


“Do you want some words of advice, Tess?”
I glanced at Adam’s profile as he sipped.
“Don’t give your heart away too easily.” He turned to me. “Make him earn it.”

Book: An Endless Summer
Author: C.J Duggan
File Type: Ebook
Release Date: July 11th 2013
Publisher: Self.
My ratings: 3 stars.    
                                                     
                                               
synopsis:After a rebellious summer night that almost claimed her life, Amy Henderson – the Onslow publican’s only daughter – is sent away to suffer a fate far worse than any other punishment:

Boarding School.

Three years on, a now nineteen-year-old Amy returns to Onslow for the summer. What once was a cauldron of activity with live bands, hot meals and cold beers, the Onslow Hotel now lies dark, deserted and depressing. All fond childhood memories of loitering on the hotel stairs and eavesdropping on customers’ colourful conversations are in the distant past.

How had her dad let it come to this?

With the new threat of putting the Onslow up for sale, Amy reluctantly turns to a local tradesman for help: Sean Murphy, the very same Onslow boy who saved her life all those years ago. With his help and that of some old friends, the task is clear: spend the summer building the hotel back up to its former glory or lose it for good.

In an endless summer, Amy soon realises that sometimes in order to save your future, you have to face your past, even if it’s in the form of a smug, gorgeous Onslow boy.




And now for, 
An Endless Summer...

*Drum rolls, please.*

THIS WAS GREAT!

I lean towards feistyness. Timid and shy girls just don't do it for me. I think maybe that's why I didn't like Tess all that much, but Amy, well, she's somebody I liked. And trust me, I liked her A LOT.

We met Amy Henderson in the previous book when she was just fifteen years old.Being the Onslow Hotel's owner's daughter, she was spoilt, irritating and easy to dislike. She was known for throwing tantrums and had a temper nobody wanted to be the victim of. But after almost losing her life when she was sixteen and after being saved and sent to boarding school, things were put in a perspective for this hot-headed train of spirit. 

And guess who saved her?

Presenting to you, the swooniest guy amongst the Onslow boys, Sean Murrrphyyy. I've always liked Sean and I didn't really like how things ended for him, in The Boys of Summer, so the fact that he was getting a book of his own appeased my angry heart. 

It's safe to say, that Amy and Sean were perfect for each other. There was so much banter, humour, swoon and hot-displays-of-chest (OMG.), that I don't think I have anything to complain about.

I loved Amy so much. I loved how she didn't want to let go of the hotel and how she wanted to bring back the hotel to it's former glory! I even started to like Toby which is funny considering how much I disliked him in the previous book. Even Tess seemed sane. HAH! Chris, Adam and Amy were the perfect cousins to each other. Even though, Chris was a tad dominating. Adam comes back to play a MAJOR role as the comic angle of the book and boy, his success in being funny is commendable. AND DO I SEE AN ADAM-ELLIE THINGIE IN FUTURE?

Oh wow.

What I love about such books or any book in a series, in general, is that they always shine a spotlight on the underdogs. I've always loved secondary characters and their potential and when these secondary characters get a book of their own, it just makes me immensely happy and I think that's why I read even the dorkiest of books. I read them because I want to know how the character's life pans out.

And An endless summer was satisfyingly good enough to make me happy.

“Come on Amy, I saved you once, I’ll save you again.”I met his stare unflinchingly. “I don’t need saving.”A wicked grin formed slowly. “Don’t you?”




25 July 2013

Hideous Love by Stephanie Hemphill


Hideous Love by Stephanie Hemphill
Publisher: Balzer + Bray     
Publication date: October 1st 2013
My rating: 1 star

An all-consuming love affair.
A family torn apart by scandal.
A young author on the brink of greatness.
Hideous Love is the fascinating story of Gothic novelist Mary Shelley, who as a teen girl fled her restrictive home only to find herself in the shadow of a brilliant but moody boyfriend, famed poet Percy Shelley. It is the story of the mastermind behind one of the most iconic figures in all of literature: a monster constructed out of dead bodies and brought to life by the tragic Dr. Frankenstein.
Mary wrote Frankenstein at the age of nineteen, but inspiration for the monster came from her life-the atmospheric European settings she visited, the dramas swirling around her, and the stimulating philosophical discussions with the greatest minds of the period, like her close friend, Lord Byron.
This luminous verse novel from award-winning author Stephanie Hemphill reveals how Mary Shelley became one of the most celebrated authors in history.


It's hard for me to write a negative review when I request a title from the publisher and especially when other reviews aren't doing it any favors.

I'm a huge fan of retellings of other books and also retellings about the author's life. There's something special about seeing another side or someone's take on the said story which always makes me come back for more.

Hideous Love is a story about Mary Shelley, the mastermind responsible for Frankenstein. To be completely honest this is my first Frankenstein retelling novel I've ever seen. Most people write about Austen's or Bronte sisters' work. So you can guess I was really interested to see what Hemphill has to say about Mary Shelley.

Mary Shelley lives with her large family when one night Mr. Shelley comes to dinner and her world changes completely. They fall in love and decide to run away to be together even though he has a wife. Their relationship isn't perfect. Mary has an abortion and her sister is in love with Shelley.

Books which feature cheating can go two ways with me.
  • author does a great job and I like them and accept the fact they are going behind another person's back
  • author fails and I can't help to judge and despise the characters for the decisions they made

Hideous Love sadly goes into the second category. I didn't feel the connection with the characters. The prose didn't help either. It was distracting and frankly, I had a feeling author was kind of winging the whole prose. Like she thought it was ok to write a couple of words in each row and they will magically become a verse.

I really wanted to give this book the benefit of the doubt and not trust the reviews but it just wasn't the type of book for me. 



24 July 2013

A Wounded Name by Dot Hutchison


A Wounded Name by Dot Hutchison
Publisher: Carolrhoda Lab    
Publication date: September 1st 2013
My rating: 5 stars


There's a girl who could throw herself head first into life and forge an unbreakable name, an identity that stands on its own without fathers or brothers or lovers who devour and shatter.
Sixteen-year-old Ophelia Castellan will never be just another girl at Elsinore Academy. Seeing ghosts is not a skill prized in future society wives. Even when she takes her pills, the bean sidhe beckon, reminding her of a promise to her dead mother.
Now, in the wake of the Headmaster's sudden death, the whole academy is in turmoil, and Ophelia can no longer ignore the fae. Especially once she starts seeing the Headmaster's ghosts- two of them- on the school grounds.
At the center of her crumbling world is Dane, the Headmaster's grieving son. He, too, understands the power of a promise to a parent- even a dead one. To him, Ophelia is the only person not tainted by deceit and hypocrisy, a mirror of his own broken soul. And to Ophelia, Dane quickly becomes everything. Yet even as she gives more of herself to him, Dane slips away. Consumed by suspicion, rage, and madness, he spirals towards his tragic fate- dragging Ophelia, and the rest of Elsinore, with him.
Yet even in the face of certain death, Ophelia has a choice to make- and a promise to keep. She is not the girl others want her to be. But in Dot Hutchison's dark and sensuous debut novel, the name "Ophelia" is as deeply, painfully, tragically real as "Hamlet".
I'VE NEVER BEEN THAT GIRL.
YOU KNOW HOW THIS STORY ENDS.

Hamlet's my favorite Shakespeare tragedy. His other work combined together can't top this masterpiece. So when I first saw someone was publishing a retelling I just had to have it. Not everyone has the talent and the guts to try out to integrate Shakespeare into their work. Dot Hutchison did an outstanding job. 

Ophelia is one of those characters in Hamlet I didn't care for. She was spineless and pretty much everything I don't like in a woman. My heroines need to be strong and independent but A Wounded Name's Ophelia made this well-known story interesting and made me like her even though she was still weak. She tries so hard to please her father, to be a good, obedient daughter and great wife one day to some yet unknown gentleman. She takes pills which are trying to get rid of the apparitions she keeps seeing all around. Her life flips upside down when Dane's father, Hamlet senior dies. 

After Hamlet's death, his brother marries Dane's mother and gets the title of the super intendant which only makes Dane angrier so he starts doing all sort of crazy things around the campus. His two best friends, Horatio and Ophelia are there by his side and are trying to comfort him. Dane's rage and bitterness leaves Ophelia bruised after his every episode. On the positive side, he doesn't remember anything but it doesn't stop Ophelia from allowing him to abuse her after their every secret meeting. OK, I'm gonna stop here and not discuss the plot any longer because most of you know what happens in the end. 

Even though I didn't like Dane/Hamlet in A Wounded Name he did redeem himself in the end. He acted like a spoiled, proud, revengeful, ambitious, mad brat most of the time and he didn't treat his friends well even though they were always there for him. Was he always like this or did I miss something when I first read Hamlet all those years ago? 

I just have to mention the incredible work Dot did with the setting. The lake, the graveyard... You people can't miss this book! You'll regret not getting to know the paranormal aspect of this story. Bean nighe, scary looking washer ladies which dance and sing around the lake whenever it's time for someone to die. I had to look up the term bean nighe and I wished I didn't because those pictures will haunt me tonight, when I go to sleep. 

A Wounded Name is a book full of unfulfilled promises, revenge, death and madness with a beautiful, lyrical writing which will captivate everyone. I can't wait to see what will Dot Hurchison come up next. Truly an unforgettable book. 


21 July 2013

Mini Review: Tormenting Lila by Sarah Alderson



Tormenting Lila (Lila, #2.5)Book: Tormenting Lila
Author: Sarah Alderson
File Type: Ebook
Release Date: 4th july 2013
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

summary:When Lila and Alex sneak off for a romantic weekend away, Lila’s hoping she’ll finally have a chance to work on Alex’s resolve.

But just as things start heating up news reaches them of a serial killer at loose on the island and it isn’t long before their intimate weekend away is interrupted.

A mind reader, a projector, a protective older brother and a serial killer. One of them is going to find Lila first. She's hoping it's the serial killer.


I must give this five stars because I'm a certified biased pig.

Tormenting Lila, has nothing to talk about. It's a small novella of some 40 pages and it has absolutely nothing in it. Alex (OMG!!!) and Lila are on a holiday in Nantucket and Alex being Alex, makes senseless things sensible. So I'm not complaining.

I will, however, apologise to all those other books that were oh-so-beautiful but were just awarded four or three and a half stars. But you have to see, this book has an 'Alex' in it and I'm sorry, but I'm a desperate groupie when it comes to him.

If you're a Hunting Lila fan and really love its characters, then this novella is just for you. Meet Suki, Nate, Jack, Amber, Lila and ALEX, again and remind yourself why you fell in love with them in the first place. You have shirtless Alex. Horny Alex. Protective Alex. Irritated Alex. Swoony Alex. ALL IN ONE. So go ahead, read it!!

On the brighter side, it's safe to say that this one isn't all that useless. We're introduced to the characters and plot of Alderson's new novel,The Sound which comes out on 1st August. And the prologue and the first chapter have been given along with the novella.And let me tell you all, the prologue is crazzzy, in a good way of course. The bad guy of this novella will be the bad guy of the actual book. So yay!
Also, WOW. I had always wished for a possible something between Amber and Jack and wohoho. Please Ms. Alderson, I will do ANYTHING if you are nice and actually write something about both of them! And now that we're talking about other characters, can something be done we have something with Suki...again?






19 July 2013

This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales


This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (Macmillan)    
Publication date: September 17th 2013
My rating: 4 stars


Making friends has never been Elise Dembowski’s strong suit. All throughout her life, she’s been the butt of every joke and the outsider in every conversation. When a final attempt at popularity fails, Elise nearly gives up. Then she stumbles upon a warehouse party where she meets Vicky, a girl in a band who accepts her; Char, a cute, yet mysterious disc jockey; Pippa, a carefree spirit from England; and most importantly, a love for DJing.

Told in a refreshingly genuine and laugh-out-loud funny voice, THIS SONG WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE is an exuberant novel about identity, friendship, and the power of music to bring people together.

This Song Will Save Your Life struck too close to home. 

I don't think I've ever read a book about the character which so openly discussed not being accepted. Sure, there are those sad books about bullying but there was just something special about Elise's character. Most of the time while I was growing up (and even occasionally, now) I didn't have a real true friend after my family moved into another country. When we moved everything changed. But when I think of it, people were always looking at me differently, even when I was a girl who refused to wear long hair like the rest of the normal girls around me, who would dress as a geisha on Halloween while other girls were princesses. But when we came back to the place I never even remembered because I was just a toddler when we had to move (there was a war raging back then). I was called all sort of bad things and none of my new 'friends' stuck up for me. It was natural to call me names, trip me so I would fall and rip my knees and arms and even spit on me. But the problem with those bullies is I never let them see me defeated. Sure I questioned if something was wrong with me. Why didn't they like me? Should I grow my hair out? Will I then be pretty just like the rest of those skinny adolescent girls?  But my mom would Now I can just thank them for making me the way I am because if it weren't for them I wouldn't be my awesome self today. I wouldn't have impeachable taste in music and my hair wouldn't look like a rockstar's.  Hell, when I come to think about it, if they haven't gone after me, they would find another victim and I might've been one of the bullies. 

I was checking out reviews for this book and one of the bloggers said she didn't like the heroine because she was whining how hard her life is. She obviously wasn't bullied and doesn't understand how it feels to be an outcast. I love strong characters and Elise was one of them even though her power wasn't in open confrontation with the bullies but in self discovery and believing in herself. 

This Song Will Save Your Life is my second Leila Sales novel. I read Past Perfect two years and wasn't the biggest fan. Leila redeemed herself with her latest work and I'm so glad I had the chance to get to know Elise, Vicky, Alex, Sally and Chava. 


TOUR + GIVEAWAY: Starglass by Phoebe North



Starglass by Phoebe North
Publisher: Simon and Schuster     
Publication date: July 23rd 2013
My rating: 4 star

Terra has never known anything but life aboard the Asherah, a city-within-a-spaceship that left Earth five hundred years ago in search of refuge. At sixteen, working a job that doesn't interest her, and living with a grieving father who only notices her when he's yelling, Terra is sure that there has to be more to life than what she's got.
But when she inadvertently witnesses the captain's guard murdering an innocent man, Terra is suddenly thrust into the dark world beneath her ship's idyllic surface. As she's drawn into a secret rebellion determined to restore power to the people, Terra discovers that her choices may determine life or death for the people she cares most about. With mere months to go before landing on the long-promised planet, Terra has to make the decision of a lifetime--one that will determine the fate of her people.
Starglass was a challenging book for me. I usually stay away from  books featuring religion and old-fashioned way of thinking about topics such as marriage, sex and race equality and freedom to be and love whoever you want. Since I'm one of those people who doesn't like being told what to do so it was difficult to hold my tongue when some of the characters were acting like primitive old bats. I'm well aware of the fact that most dystopian novels talk about those things but it bothers me more when there's a lot of religious talk thrown in there because my country has gone through a war almost 20 years ago and so many people still think they're better than others. 

Over a year ago I bought Across the Universe by Beth Revis mostly because of the beautiful cover and because I was curious. You see, I'm not a huge fan of outer space adventure but I wanted to give it a try. You never know what's good until you try it, right? Well, I didn't like it and it's still sitting on my nightstand, unfinished. 

I'm glad I took a risk and read Starglass.  It's a story about Tarra, who's traveling in a spaceship to another planet after asteriods hit the Earth. Her father drinks after her mother died of cancer and her brother moves when he gets married which leaves Tarra alone with a drunk father. She gets her assigned job after she turns 16. She also has 2 years to find a husband or the Council will pick one for her. 

There are so many things I liked about this novel. Women don't have to give birth any longer. Every couple gets to have two artificial eggs/wombs which takes all the work while both parents get to do their assigned jobs. Men are being sterilized when they get circumcised. A lot of people weren't what seem to be and I was surprised a couple of times when secrets were being revealed. Terra also had vivid dreams about someone in the woods. I could almost picture myself being there with them. Not in a pervy way.

Can't wait to find out what happens in the sequel! Why do I have to wait a full year till I found out more about the mysterious dream guy?

18 July 2013

Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols


Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols
Publisher: MTV Books    
Publication date: July 16th 2013

Bailey wasn’t always a wild child and the black sheep of her family. She used to play fiddle and tour the music circuit with her sister, Julie, who sang and played guitar. That ended when country music execs swooped in and signed Julie to a solo deal. Never mind that Julie and Bailey were a duet, or that Bailey was their songwriter. The music scouts wanted only Julie, and their parents were content to sit by and let her fulfill her dreams while Bailey’s were hushed away.
Bailey has tried to numb the pain and disappointment over what could have been. And as Julie’s debut album is set to hit the charts, her parents get fed up with Bailey’s antics and ship her off to granddad’s house in Nashville. Playing fiddle in washed-up tribute groups at the mall, Bailey meets Sam, a handsome and oh-so-persuasive guitarist with his own band. He knows Bailey’s fiddle playing is just the thing his band needs to break into the industry. But this life has broken Bailey’s heart once before. She isn’t sure she’s ready to let Sam take her there again…
I was so happy when I heard Jennifer Echols is writing a book about music. She's been one of my favorite authors since I read Going Too Far three years ago. You can never go wrong with her books. They are perfect beach reads, even if you're not really anywhere near the sea/ocean. 

Bailey and her younger sister Julie have spent their whole childhood playing as a duo when Julie, who sings and plays guitar got offered a contract, which left Bailey all alone. Her parents moved cross the country to help Julie out and Bailey went to stay at her grandpa's house because she was acting out. 

Who would blame her. If my parents completely deserted me while they ran around my brother or sister I would be mad too. Bailey's parents raised her to fight for her music but they turned their backs on her as soon as she did something appropriate. Something that might hurt Julie's image. What kind of parent would do such a thing? Not a good one, that's for sure. 

Bailey's torn up with following her dream and listening to her parents. When she meets Sam everything changes. He invites her to play with his band and Bailey slowly opens to performing again. They also have unmistakable feelings to one another which makes playing in a band even more difficult because Sam is a known ladies man. But he is not your guy who dates a lot of girls. 

What I loved about this novel is it sends out a great message to never give up on your hopes and dreams. You need to work hard before you get everything you wanted. 

I would recommend Dirty Little Secret to people who love to read more realistic YA contemporary novels with interesting characters. And it's Jennifer Echols we're talking about here! 

17 July 2013

Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris


Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris
Publisher: Balzer + Bray    
Publication date: April 24th 2012
My rating: 3.5 stars

Sixteen-year-old Janelle Tenner is used to having a lot of responsibility. She balances working as a lifeguard in San Diego with an intense academic schedule. Janelle's mother is bipolar, and her dad is a workaholic FBI agent, which means Janelle also has to look out for her younger brother, Jared.
And that was before she died...and is brought back to life by Ben Michaels, a mysterious, alluring loner from her high school. When she discovers a strange clock that seems to be counting down to the earth's destruction, Janelle learns she has twenty-four days to figure out how to stop the clock and save the planet.
Well, this was interesting!

Even though I wasn't sure what was happening in the first half of book I couldn't get enough of it. I usually get frustrated whenever I don't get some answers by the first half of the book but I didn't mind the suspense in Unraveling

Elizabeth Norris knows how to create a captivating world. Her writing is never tiresome. Her heroes are intriguing and likable. I only wished they didn't swear since I'm a little bit uncomfortable with characters in YA novels using that kind of language. I do swear but if I wrote a book for younger audience I wouldn't use cuss words in it. 

It's hard to explain what this book is about without spoiling it big time. I didn't read any reviews before I started reading Unraveling for the same exact reason. 

Sorry for this short review. I didn't want to discuss the plot because of the spoilers so if there still are people who haven't read Unraveling yet, pick it up! You don't want to miss this exciting roller coaster ride! 

Since I was listening to the audio version of this book I would like to give props for the narrator, Katie Schorr for doing such an incredible job. 


15 July 2013

The Distance Between Us by Kasie West


The Distance Between Us by Kasie West
Publisher: Harper Teen     
Publication date: July 2nd 2013
My rating: 3 star


Seventeen-year-old Caymen Meyers studies the rich like her own personal science experiment, and after years of observation she’s pretty sure they’re only good for one thing—spending money on useless stuff, like the porcelain dolls in her mother’s shop.
So when Xander Spence walks into the store to pick up a doll for his grandmother, it only takes one glance for Caymen to figure out he’s oozing rich. Despite his charming ways and that he’s one of the first people who actually gets her, she’s smart enough to know his interest won’t last. Because if there’s one thing she’s learned from her mother’s warnings, it’s that the rich have a short attention span. But Xander keeps coming around, despite her best efforts to scare him off. And much to her dismay, she's beginning to enjoy his company.
She knows her mom can’t find out—she wouldn’t approve. She’d much rather Caymen hang out with the local rocker who hasn’t been raised by money. But just when Xander’s attention and loyalty are about to convince Caymen that being rich isn’t a character flaw, she finds out that money is a much bigger part of their relationship than she’d ever realized. And that Xander’s not the only one she should’ve been worried about.

Caymen works in her mother's doll shop when a rich, totally gorgeous guy comes in looking for a birthday present for his grandmother. They have an instant connection and slowly start to hang out. He is Caymen's perfect guy but her mother would not approve because she was burned in the past, after Caymen's father left her mother when she got pregnant. Due to her mother's past Caymen is afraid to show her feeling towards Xander. 

What I liked the most about this book is the main character, Caymen. If I had to describe her in just one word I would use, sarcastic. She's like the long lost Rose Hathaway twin, without the ass-kicking. She's not only afraid of Xander but also of the future. Since her mother's broke she can't afford to go to college and she doesn't want think about it at all. 

I have a soft spot for guys named Alex and Devyani does too. *sigh* There's just something about that name I find so appealing.  Alex, or Xander, in this book,  was a wonderful male specimen. Like a guy who can make your skin on fire with a single touch and can also hold you when you're having a bad day. I kind of pictured him as Nolan Gerard Funk's character Collin from Awkward. Even though his family owns a bunch of hotels he isn't a snob and isn't afraid to get dirty and dig up a grave, literally. 

I didn't like how the author resolved the money problem in this novel. I highly doubt anything like that happens outside books and movies. I don't want to reveal what really happens but those who get the chance to read it will understand what I'm talking about. 

All in all, The Distance Between Us was a light summer read and I will check out Kasie's future contemporary novels. 


14 July 2013

Book Review: Out Of Breath by Rebecca Donovan.


Out of Breath (Breathing, #3)Book: Out of Breath (#3 Breathing series)
Author: Rebecca Donovan
File Type: Ebook.
Release Date: July 2nd 2013
Publisher: Skyscape
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

summary:Emma leaves Weslyn and everyone in it behind to attend Stanford University, just as she always intended. A shell of her former self, she is not the same girl. She is broken, and the only way that she’ll be whole again is through forgiveness. Emma must find a way to forgive herself and recognize her own worth before she can receive the love she deserves. This final installment will have readers holding their breath until the very last page.
WARNING: This is the third book in the Breathing series and it has mini spoilers. So if you haven't read the series or if you haven't read the book and don't wish to spoil your book experience, then I suggest you avoid this review because there is a lot of ranting coming your way, if you continue. So it's all upto you. Proceed with caution, if you're proceeding.

I've made an observation about myself and I'm not sure whether it's healthy. I have never thought of myself as someone who's patient and tolerant. I'm one of those people who love easily and then get angry easily too. If you like me, I like you too. If you irritate me, I won't stop myself from being vocal about it. If you hate me, then of course, I'll hate you too. It's a very simple explanation. If you're someone who I think deserves my attention, then you have all of it. You have my appreciation. You have my support. You have everything of mine that counts. But if you disappoint me, I just won't relent from saying what needs to be said.

This series disappointed me more than any other book or series, this year.

FRUSTRATION. IRRITATION. EYE-ROLLING seemed to be the overall theme and feel of the book. This book was long. And when you write long books, you bloody well make sure that the length doesn't bore the crap out of the reader. To be honest, this book didn't really bore me all that much since I was too angry and irritated to be bored. Why Ms. Donovan? Why must you disappoint me THIS way?

Out of Breath picks up, two years after Barely Breathing and introduces us to a very closed off and quiet Emma. She is different and you can see it. And why won't she be different? After everything that she's been through, I think it's natural to see a person who's distant and not very open about anything related to her and her past. In Reason to Breathe and Barely Breathing, Emma was a person, I quite honestly didn't know what to think or say about. Her thoughts and ideas got to me and I liked how even after all the crap that she had been through in life, she was determined to go past it and live life to the fullest. While I didn't agree with most of the decisions that she made, I did go with it because none of it upset me that much. I wasn't even mad when she made the worst mistake of her life by deciding to leave Weslyn and Evan without saying goodbye to start a new life in Stanford, because I knew that this stupid mistake of hers would eventually set the storyline for the third book and I really do love Ms. Donovan's writing, so what do I care,huh? I'm getting what I want. I'm getting another book where I'll get to see Evan and Emma and Sara and Jared AGAIN. Yay.

SO WHAT HAPPENED?

I get that Emma is psychologically damaged and that she is distant and weird and quiet. I get how everything that's happened, things can't be that simple. BUT THEN THERE IS ALWAYS A LIMIT and My missy, you ANNHILIATED that limit. While the obvious solution was to go to a psychologist, Ms. Emma here was finding reasons to make us feel sorry for her. Seriously, Emma? If people destroy you, you fight back. YOU DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES GO GALLIVANTING AROUND WITH A BOTTLE OF VODKA IN YOUR HAND AND BECOME A PAIN IN THE ASS. You want to forget your pain? Try finding solutions to cope up with it, bitch. YOU JUST DO NOT FORGET THINGS EASILY. Lots of people do it. Lots of people drink to let go. But after finding yourself in a random guy's bed and regretting your actions and finding yourself with a serious case of hangover after drinking AGAIN and then finding yourself hating alcohol and then going back to it AGAIN and then regretting it AGAIN and then promising yourself that you won't do it and doing it all over AGAIN, you do not get to hold on to the 'I just wanted to forget because I'm in SO MUCH PAIN' bullshit AGAIN. Because guess what, bitch? YOU DID IT TO YOURSELF. And then when you're bestfriend tells you that you HAVE TO STOP before you become your mother, you DO NOT have the right to yell at her and push her away! BECAUSE SHE WAS RIGHT and you need to realise what you're doing is wrong and how you're ruining not only your but the lives of others as well!

And dear 'other' characters of the book, YOU GUYS ARE FULL OF SHIT.
Sara, YOU ESPECIALLY ARE. You're her bestfriend. You care about her. I get how you need to baby her. BUT YOU CAN'T BABY HER ALL THE FUCKING TIME. People need to fail once to succeed. So what, she's going through a rough patch? SHE is the one who's going through it. SO she's the one who needs to see things clearly. NOT YOU. She needs your support, not your 'OMG. Don't say anything to her or she'll break nonsense'. So much emphasis on the fact that SHE WILL BREAK, is why Emma was what she was in the book. I mean, all this while you all were being Einsteins in the book by trying to get her her out more and taking her to parties so that she could live a little, but none of your smart asses came up with the idea to send her to a FREAKING THERAPIST before? Or Wait. Were you waiting for Evan to that? Because he did it but it was still after such a long time. And what sort of friends were the girls in the book? 'OH LET'S HATE EVAN BECAUSE HE HURT EMMA?'
WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT?

What pissed me off more is that the ones who were doing the right thing were the ones were being shouted at. Nate was such a badass when he went and asked Emma to try NOT to hurt Evan AGAIN. That's what a bestfriend is. Not you, Sara. You were being an obssessive Momma.
Anyway, what does Nate get after that? Emma's tears and Evan's anger? I mean nothing happened, but STILL. And when you tried to attempt suicide? GAAAAAH. Have you noticed how others have been tolerating YOU, Emma? Emma why won't you just sort your crap out and face it head on than being an ass who bottles everything within? Emma,why can't you see that you destroy people only when you destroy yourself?

And what about Cole? Poor Cole. I really loved his character.

And Emma, if a guy relentlessly tries to make you happy, stop telling him to hate you. How are stupid are you anyway? WHY WOULD A GUY RUN BEHIND YOU EVEN AFTER YOU LEFT HIM IF HE HATED YOU? He's been through shit. He's almost watched you die. And even after all that crap, he wants to be with you! The least you could do is say things nicely. And what the hell was the 'I'm not ready to be with you' crap, anyway? You say it once, makes sense. You say it twice, okay. You continue with your tirade, I still won't say anything. BUT AFTER THAT? OH EMMA. You're lucky you're just fictional.

Out Of breath shouldn't have been that long. This length stretched the matters more and it made me angry. And here's where I come full circle and tell you about my observation. I observed that I was very patient and very tolerant. But here's the thing is taking crap because you like the thing you're tolerating a better option or saying to hell with it? Because I certainly went along with the first option throughout the book and as I stated before, It wasn't really healthy. I'm giving this book two stars because there were too guys who I really liked and who I thought were probably the ONLY sane people in the book. Cole and Evan.

I still love you, Ms. Donovan. I just hope to see a dazzling next from you.

And Emma,
Grow a pair. Please.