Category Archives: romance

Antisocial – Book Review

Summary:

Senior spring at Alexandria Prep was supposed to be for sleeping through class and partying with friends. But for Anna Soler, it’s going to be a lonely road. She’s just been dumped by her gorgeous basketball star boyfriend—with no explanation. Anna’s closest friends, the real ones she abandoned while dating him, are ignoring her. The endearing boy she’s always had a complicated friendship with is almost too sympathetic.

But suddenly Anna isn’t the only one whose life has been upended. Someone is determined to knock the kings and queens of the school off their thrones: one by one, their phones get hacked and their personal messages and photos are leaked. At first it’s funny—people love watching the dirty private lives of those they envy become all too public.

Then the hacks escalate. Dark secrets are exposed, and lives are shattered. Chaos erupts at school. As Anna tries to save those she cares about most and to protect her own secrets, she begins to understand the reality of our always-connected lives:

Sometimes we share too much.

Review:

I really liked this book, and it was such a quick read, I blew through it in less than a day. Antisocial was described as Pretty Little Liars meets WikiLeaks, which piqued my interest and had me putting this book at the top of my TBR pile (which is rather large). And once I got into this book, I wasn’t disappointed.

The main character, Anna, has some serious social anxieties. So when she returns to school after being broken up with by the coolest guy in school, she has some trouble readjusting, especially because she dropped all of her friends to start dating Palmer. Lucky for Anna, one of her best friends is there to save the day, even if the rest of her friends aren’t so ready to forgive her so quickly for leaving them in the dust.

Once the hacking/data-leak element of this book kicked in, I was hooked. I had to know who was behind the hacks and what their motives were. Were they ever going to be discovered, or were they going to get away without punishment for the chaos and pain and hurt and trouble that they caused amongst the students? I had to know.

I think that this book did a really good job of keeping me wondering just what was going to happen, and I never really felt like it was being predictable, which is one of my biggest pet peeves. However, I feel like the ending didn’t provide me with enough closure, and I was left wanting just a little bit more, despite all that we got in the end. All in all though, this was a great read.

Antisocial‘s message is so important in this day and age where every aspect of our lives is held somewhere online. The face that we present to the world online is hardly ever how we really are in person, and as such, there is a divide between who we want people to believe we are, and who we actually are. This book points out both the bad and the good that come with such an online presence, and made me think a lot about what I share online. Not in the “what if a future employer sees this?” kind of way, but in the “Does this represent who I really am?” kind of way. I give Antisocial 4.5/5 stars.

Anna and the French Kiss – Book Review

Title: Anna and the French Kiss

Author: Stephanie Perkins

Pages: 372 (paperback)

Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance

Publisher: Speak

Published: December 2, 2010

Summary:

Can Anna find love in the City of Light?

Anna is happy in Atlanta. She has a loyal best friend and a crush on her coworker at the movie theater, who is just starting to return her affection. So she’s less than thrilled when her father decides to send her to a boarding school in Paris for her senior year.

But despite not speaking a word of French, Anna meets some cool new people, including the handsome Étienne St. Clair, who quickly becomes her best friend. Unfortunately, he’s taken —and Anna might be, too. Will a year of romantic near misses end with the French kiss she’s waiting for?

Review:

This is one of my favorite contemporaries that I’ve read so far. I first read it last summer, and I just picked it up for the second time last week. I absolutely love contemporary books, and the mushier they are, the better. There’s just something about a great contemporary read that gets me in the mood for summer, and this is one of the best that I’ve read.

I first picked this book up because it takes place in Paris, and I was feeling a bit nostalgic about the time I had spent there in 2012. Not being able to travel pack to Paris, I decided to do the next best thing and pick up a book set in Paris, and I wasn’t disappointed. Anna spends her senior year of high school at a school for Americans in Paris. At first, she is very upset that she has to go, because she doesn’t want to leave her best friend and her crush behind, but Anna quickly warms up to Paris, and finds some amazing friends.

I think that the friendships in this book are stunning. No matter what happens between these characters, they are always there for one another. And there is quite a bit of drama that goes on in the group. But I mean, it’s high school, so it’s completely understandable. Through thick and thin, highs and lows, these characters are there for one another, even when they haven’t been the best of friends to one another. And I think that’s really important.

The romantic tension in Anna and the French Kiss is intense! There were so many instances where I wanted to yell at the characters that they just needed to OPEN THEIR EYES to see what was so clearly in front of them, but they were just too afraid to see things for what they really are. And I totally get it. I, too, am afraid of doing things that may seem scary, so I understand why these characters don’t want to admit their feelings. Don’t want to stand up to their parents. Don’t want to cause any conflict. I get it all, and I can relate to it on a really personal level, which is just another one of the reasons why I give Anna and the French Kiss 5/5 stars.

The Winner’s Curse – Book Review

Title: The Winner’s Curse

Author: Marie Rutkoski

Pages: 355 (hardcover)

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Romance

Publisher: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux

Published: March 14, 2014

Summary:

Winning what you want may cost you everything you love.

As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions. One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction.

Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin. But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined.

Set in a richly imagined new world, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a story of deadly games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.

Review:

I absolutely loved this book. I’ve read it twice in the last three months, because I just couldn’t get the story out of my head. I think that The Winner’s Curse is set in such a unique world, and has many important messages about the world that we live in, veiled by a great story with interesting characters.

This book is just so swoony. The entire time I was reading it, I couldn’t help but wish that Kestrel and Arin would realize their feelings for one another, despite the many obstacles that they faced. Though I really wanted them together as soon as possible, because their tension was so obvious, I was happy that it took as long as it did for them to see their feelings, because it made it believable. I can’t stand when two characters have insta-love, even though that’s totally what I was hoping for with Kestrel and Arin.

Kestrel skyrocketed to the top of my list of favorite female characters. She isn’t like the heroines of all of the other major YA books out there. She isn’t a skilled fighter or hunter. But Kestrel is smart, and strategic, and she embraces it to it’s fullest. Kestrel is independent, and despite her society’s rules regarding women, she manages to do what she wants.

I love the world that this book takes place in. It is so well thought out, and I could picture it in my head so clearly while I read the book. There’s a mix of fantasy and history, and it is definitely a world that I would like to visit. I can’t say as though I’d want to live there, because women can’t travel without an escort, but I would definitely be down to go to a few of the balls and parties that happen.

I’ve already read the entire trilogy, but am planning on rereading the other two books as well, and I’ll likely be doing reviews for Crime and Kiss as well. I give The Winner’s Curse 5/5 stars, but I would give it about a million more stars if I could.

At First Blush – Book Review

Summary:

Who would have thought that a teenager could have a successful career creating makeup tutorial videos on YouTube? For Lacey Robbins, this dream has been her reality. An up-and-coming YouTuber, she has thousands of fans and can’t wait for the day when her subscriber count reaches the one million mark. And when she is offered a high school internship at On Trend Magazine, she figures that this could be the make it or break it moment.

But sometimes your dream job isn’t all that it seems. Her editor is only interested in promoting junk products, and her boss in the Hair and Makeup department introduces her to the larger world of makeup artistry, making her wonder if making tutorials online is all she is meant to do. To top it all off, when the magazine’s feature subject, musician Tyler Lance, turns his broodingly handsome smile her way, falling for him could mean losing her fans, forcing her to make a decision: her YouTube life or her real life?

Review:

I loved this book so much! Spring has sprung, and I am fully in the mood for all of the contemporary books. This book definitely didn’t disappoint me!

LaceyBlushes gets the chance of a lifetime when she’s selected for an internship at a magazine, where she’ll vlog all the behind-the-scenes deeds about the magazine’s guest editor, but the experience isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Lacey finds that while things are going great for her YouTube channel, she is losing her passion for making videos. And to top it all off, she’s falling for someone that she never expected to.

I think that this book really did a great job of portraying that sometimes our dreams aren’t all they’re made out to be, and that sometimes we may think that we know what we want in life, when in reality we don’t. I think that that is something that scares a lot of people, myself included. With my college graduation nearing in a couple months, I’m absolutely terrified that once I actually get into the field, I’m not going to love my profession. Only time will tell.

One thing that bothered me about this book was Lacey’s obliviousness to things that were blatantly obvious to everyone else. Over time, this changes though, and Lacey realizes what an idiot she’s been about many things, and things start looking up for her.

I give this book 4.5/5 stars. At First Blush goes on sale April 4.

Girl In Pieces – Book Review

Summary:

Charlotte Davis is in pieces. At seventeen she’s already lost more than most people lose in a lifetime. But she’s learned how to forget. The broken glass washes away the sorrow until there is nothing but calm. You don’t have to think about your father and the river. Your best friend, who is gone forever. Or your mother, who has nothing left to give you.

Every new scar hardens Charlie’s heart just a little more, yet it still hurts so much. It hurts enough to not care anymore, which is sometimes what has to happen before you can find your way back from the edge.

A deeply moving portrait of a teenage girl on the verge of losing herself and the journey she must take to survive in her own skin, Kathleen Glasgow’s debut is heartbreakingly real and unflinchingly honest. It’s a story you won’t be able to look away from.

Review:

This book was my favorite read of 2016. The subject matter is heavy, and dark, but so important and done so well. Going into this book, I didn’t really know just how dark it was going to get. Charlie’s character has been through so much, and so have the people that she knows. This book made my heart heavy with sorrow for those who go through life feeling like they are alone and that things will never get better.

The writing in Girl In Pieces is absolutely beautiful. It is written in a diary-like style. In the beginning of the novel, the entries are short; Charlie doesn’t trust whoever it is that she’s writing to (herself, her therapist, just a diary?) with the truth of what happened to her. She is a selective mute, traumatized by her experiences. Over time, Charlie opens up, both to people in her life and to the reader. The writing manages to get so much emotion across without much effort.

I think the most important thing about this book is that it reminded me you never really know what people are going through, underneath whatever face they put on for the public to view. It reminded me to be kind to others, because you never know what might tip someone over the edge. Everyone should read this book.

I gave Girl In Pieces 5/5 stars. For me, it’s a definite must read.