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Book Reviews

This Side of Home – Book Review

This Side of Home - Book Review

Plot:

Identical twins Nikki and Maya have been on the same page for everything—friends, school, boys and starting off their adult lives at a historically African-American college. But as their neighborhood goes from rough-and-tumble to up-and-coming, suddenly filled with pretty coffee shops and boutiques, Nikki is thrilled while Maya feels like their home is slipping away. Suddenly, the sisters who had always shared everything must confront their dissenting feelings on the importance of their ethnic and cultural identities and, in the process, learn to separate themselves from the long shadow of their identity as twins.

Review:

While I thought this book was a quick read and got through it pretty quickly, I wasn’t that thrilled with it. It wasn’t even anything wrong with the book itself, it just isn’t the type of book that I would normally pick out to read.

Sisters Maya and Nikki are from a neighborhood that has always been a little run down, but now a lot of new businesses are moving into town and fixing things up a bit, making the neighborhood into an “up and coming” one. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but Maya thinks it is, as it starts to draw in more white families as it drives away other families who can’t afford to keep living in the area. Nikki, on the other hand, feels like it is a good step for the neighborhood and has no problem with all of the new changes.

This leads to tensions between the sisters, and they grow farther apart until they are able to understand one another’s perspectives and appreciate both the good and the bad of each of their opinions.

I give the book 4/5 stars.

I received this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
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Book Reviews

Soulprint – Book Review

Soulprint - Book Review

Plot:

Seventeen-year-old Alina Chase has spent her entire life imprisoned on a secluded island—not for a crime she committed in this lifetime, but one done by her past self. Her very soul is like a fingerprint, carried from one life to the next—and Alina is sick of being guilty.

Aided by three teens with their own ulterior motives, Alina manages to escape. Although she’s not sure she can trust any of them, she soon finds herself drawn to Cameron, the most enigmatic and alluring of the trio. But when she uncovers clues from her past life, secrets begin to unravel and Alina must figure out whether she’s more than the soul she inherited, or if she’s fated to repeat history.

Review:

This book was unlike anything I’ve ever read before, and I absolutely loved it. Poor, poor Alina Chase has lived her entire life being punished, or as most people like to put it, “protected”, for a crime that she committed in a past life.

In the world of Soulprint, science has discovered a way to keep track of souls and who has “owned” a soul, giving people a way to know who they were in past lives. But for Alina, this comes with unfortunate consequences, as she has the soul of June Calahan, a girl who figured out how to hack into the soul database and started releasing the names of people who had been criminals in their past lives. According to a scientific study, souls who have committed crime before are likely to continue committing crimes in future lives as well, so June feels as though she is doing a service to the people.

A group of three people break Alina out of her confinement with the hopes that Alina will be able to lead them to a copy of the soul database that it is believed June made. Along the way there are many things that get in the way of the mission and peoples’ intentions and motives are made clear as Alina begins to realize who she can really trust.

I thought that the story flowed with a great pace and didn’t feel too rushed or drawn out. I made my way through the book fairly fast, though that might just be because I liked it so much I didn’t want to put it down. I’m definitely going to be checking out some of Megan Miranda’s other books because if they’re half as good as Soulprint I am sure I will enjoy them.

I give this book 5/5 stars.

I received this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
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Book Reviews

The Vanishing Girl – Book Review

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Plot:

Each night after Ember Pierce falls asleep, she disappears. She can teleport anywhere in the world: London, Paris, her crush’s bedroom, or wherever her dreams lead her. Ten minutes is all she gets, and once time’s up, she returns to her bed. It’s a secret she’s successfully kept for the last five years. But now someone knows.

A week after her eighteenth birthday, when frustratingly handsome Caden Hawthorne kidnaps her, delivers her to the government, and then disappears before her eyes, Ember realizes two things: One, she is not alone. And two, people like her—teleporters—are being used as weapons.

Forced into a quasi-military training camp for teleporters, Ember discovers she has been paired—perhaps for life—with Caden, the boy who got her into this mess in the first place. Now, she has to work with him on a series of teleporting missions, each one riskier than the last. But Caden just might hold the key to Ember’s escape plan, if she can survive her missions without losing her heart…or her life.

Review:

The Vanishing Girl is the book I never knew I needed in my life until now. Immediately when I started reading it, I felt like Ember was a character that I could relate to. She’s a strong leading character who has no problem questioning what she’s told to do if she doesn’t believe that it’s right.

Ember can teleport in her sleep, but only for 10 minutes before she returns back to her bed. She believed that she was all alone until she is taken by the government. Her parents, who struggled to conceive, were a part off a government fertility program, where the government secretly altered the children’s genes, thus allowing Ember and others like her to teleport.

Then there’s Caden, Ember’s pair. He is the type of guy who’s hot and he knows it, yet Ember still falls for him. He helps teach Ember things she will need to survive like sparring and weapons skills.

This book has a story unlike anything else I’ve read. I really enjoyed reading it and can’t wait to see where the next installment takes Ember and Caden.

I give this book 5/5 stars.

I received this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
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Book Reviews

The End of Feeling – Book Review

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Plot:

Eighteen-year-old Benjamin Nefer seems to have it all: great looks, incredible football skills, and smooth moves that have won—and broken—the hearts of countless girls at his high school. But his hellish home life has left him feeling empty inside, unable to experience real feelings. He thinks he’s fine being this way forever…until he meets a beautiful and witty seventeen-year-old girl named Charlotte “Charlie” Austin. She may be new in town, but she’s already been warned about Benjamin’s reputation, so it’s easy for her to shoot down his advances. Like him, she’s happier keeping people at a distance, especially since she, too, has secrets she’s not ready to share with anyone. But as the tentative friendship between the charismatic football captain and the new girl grows, Charlie finds herself feeling closer to Benjamin than she’s ever felt with anyone—and he wonders if he’s really capable of loving after all. Can they drop their guard, or is this so-called romance just another game?

Review:

Let me start this review off by saying that I absolutely loved everything about this book from start to finish. The story, the characters, the flow of the book—for me it all worked together so well.

The two main characters, Benjamin and Charlie, have both had very difficult lives growing up. They both have secrets that they want to keep from becoming public knowledge. But as their friendship grows, it becomes more difficult for them to keep their secrets from one another.

I never knew quite where the story was going to end up, which I loved. Too often I find things to be predictable, and this book was anything but predictable. The End of Feeling not only accurately portrays what the high school experience is like for some, but also shows what it’s like trying to keep up appearances and pretend that everything is just fine when it isn’t.

I give this book 5/5 stars.

I received this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Categories
Book Reviews

Since You’ve Been Gone – Book Review

Since You've Been Gone - Book Review

Plot:

Is it possible to outrun your past? Fifteen-year-old Edie Fraser and her mother, Sydney, have been trying to do just that for five years. Now, things have gone from bad to worse. Not only has Edie had to move to another new school — she’s in a different country.

Sydney promises her that this is their chance at a fresh start, and Edie does her best to adjust to life in London, England, despite being targeted by the school bully. But when Sydney goes out to work the night shift and doesn’t come home, Edie is terrified that the past has finally caught up with them.

Alone in a strange country, Edie is afraid to call the police for fear that she’ll be sent back to her abusive father. Determined to find her mother, but with no idea where to start, she must now face the most difficult decision of her life.

Review:

For the most part, I feel that this book has a very good story going for it. The book starts with some excitement, as Edie and her mother are forced to uproot the lives they are living in Canada and move to London. Edie is less than pleased with the situation, especially because she has to leave her cat, Peaches, behind.

While the majority of the book had me interested in the characters and what was going to happen to them, the last 20 percent of the book felt rushed and forced, compared to the beginning which flowed at a nice pace. This rushed pace left me wanting more from the story than I was going to get.

Despite the rushed ending of the book, I still enjoyed it. This book took me absolutely no time to read at all. It was a fairly small book and I just whizzed right through it.

Overall I give this book 3/5 stars. Since You’ve Been Gone goes on sale January 24. You can click the book cover image above to order your copy.

I received this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Categories
Book Reviews

Reality – Book Review

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Plot:

To be extraordinary was a fate Arie Belle had never imagined. She was comfortable living the simple life on a meadow protected by towering trees just outside of town. Her days were filled with naïve pleasures and promising love until the unexpected and mysterious death of her mom. Instantly, her world became dark and, at times, hopeless. Her only saving grace was her lifetime friendship with the boy next door, River, who was relentless in picking up the pieces of her broken future.

Years of numbness were lifted when a beautiful stranger, Ashe, entered her world and took her soul to places it had never been, across realities trapped in the worlds of fairytales. Would he be her savior, or would she find the strength within to be her own?

Her journey begins on her eighteenth birthday and quickly unravels what she is and who killed her mother. Her uncanny connection with nature and heightened sensations are just one of many secrets that unfold along the way. Will she find answers before the next full moon where her death is painted in the fate of the stars? Will she accept a scripted destiny or let the dark side of life suck her in?

Review:

Overall, I was not a big fan of this book. While I enjoyed the world that the novel was set in, I feel like the execution of how the story was written and pieced together could use some work.

Most notably for me, the main character, Arie, can never seem to make up her mind about who she loves. If there’s one thing that I can’t stand in Young Adult fiction it would have to be the overabundance of love triangles and this book was definitely no exception. Throughout the entire novel, Arie is constantly waffling between loving River, her best friend for as long as she can remember, and Ashe, the mysterious boy who one day appears out of nowhere. Arie will have an encounter with Ashe and think that she has made up her mind and loves him with all of her heart, and then River will come around and Arie changes her mind, thinking she loves River the most. This continues through the whole book.

Other than that messy love triangle, I felt like the story took an overly-long time to explain what kind of world these characters were living in and what sort of fantasy creatures we were dealing with.

I think that this story had a lot of potential to be captivating but in the end it didn’t live up to my expectations for it.

I received this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Categories
Book Reviews

Resignation – Book Review

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Plot:

What would you do if your heart was torn between saving yourself or your first love? For Nessa that question is a reality. If she is not surrendered to Central in a week, then Garrett will be executed and war will ensue.

Countless lives rest on the shoulders of eighteen year old Nessa. Is she strong enough to surrender herself to the government that’s holding Garrett hostage? Can she sacrifice the life she’s built to save him? Life comes down to a series of decisions, the question is; could this be her last.

Review:

Resignation is the second book in the Worlds Apart series. My review of the first book, Ruination, can be found HERE.

After falling in love with the world of this story and the characters in Ruination, I was quite excited to get my hands on an ARC of Resignation so I could continue where the first book had left off. Needless to say, as soon as this book found its way into my email inbox, I downloaded it and started reading it right away, that’s how excited I was to get a copy of this.

After all of the chaos that happened at the end of the first book, Nessa has a lot weighing on her mind. She must make a decision to either stay with the boy that she loves, Ty, or go and surrender herself to Central and her former government to save not only her first love Garrett, but the people outside of the divide as well.

While Nessa knows that Ty wouldn’t want her to risk her life trying to save Garrett, she knows that it is the right thing to do. A squad of badass members from outside the divide is formed to get Nessa into Central so that the squad can rescue Garrett as well as some other people who had gone on a mission to Central six years prior never to return.

Of course, nothing ever goes quite as planned and with some plot twists that even I did not see coming, everything gets flipped upside down. The real shock comes at the end of the book, yet again leaving me anticipating the next book in the series.

I give this book 4.5/5 stars.

Resignation goes on sale March 9, 2014. You can preorder it from Amazon.

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Book Reviews

Model Position – Book Review

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Plot:

All too soon, artist Sienna Karr will graduate art school and be flung out into Manhattan’s glamorous but cutthroat gallery scene. Luckily, she’s just met Dave Hightower, heir to the hippest gallery ever. He’s asked her on a date, and offered to introduce her to the gallery owner, his intimidating Aunt Lydia. Sienna’s excited! Now she’ll be able to climb the ranks and make those all-important art connections.

Trouble is, she’s falling hard for the sexy live drawing model, Erik, whose sizzling green eyes seem to pierce right into her soul. Dare she risk losing those potential art contacts for love? Erik insists that Sienna is a real talent and her painting stands out above all the others. But she worries that he whispers this come-on line to every pretty art student who flocks around him during breaks. And her friends worry, is Erik up to her pay grade? What kind of guy chooses modeling for a living? Who is he, really? Her choice may be her ruin… or not, but she must decide fast. Everything in Sienna’s super-organized life is turning to terrifying yet sweet chaos.

Review:

This novella was a very quick read for me, and overall I enjoyed the story as a quick escape from the things that I’m usually inclined to read. Occasionally I’m drawn toward a romance story, and this one was cute and clever.

Sienna thinks she knows what she wants from life, and when things start to fall into place, she realizes that perhaps she didn’t really know what she needs from life. Soon, Sienna finds herself being pursued by two men, one the nephew of the owner of the ‘it’ art gallery in Manhattan, the other the new model in one of her classes.

Sienna decides to follow what she feels in her heart, despite initial appearances, and is pleasantly surprised when she discovers that things weren’t quite as they seemed at first, and that the man she’s dating has some very interesting secrets.

Overall, I give this book 3/5 stars.

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Book Reviews

Shimmer – Book Review

Shimmer Cover

Plot:

Chandler Raines and her “dad” are on the run. Never staying in one place for very long. It’s just not safe. When they arrive in Lafayette, Louisiana, Chandler quickly realizes this is the place she wants to call home. Friends, a cute boy, and competitive cheerleading have her taking dangerous risks to have the life she always wanted. Risks she promised she wouldn’t take.

When her lies catch up to her, a decision has to be made. Stay or run? Will the evil that’s chased them for the last four years catch up to them? When Chandler’s past comes screeching into the present she’ll have to sacrifice everything to keep what she loves safe. But will it be enough?

Review:

When I started to read this book, I was immediately disappointed by it—but not for very long! The story starts off with the main character—who doesn’t actually use her real name but is referred to as Chandler Raines throughout the majority of the book—and right away I was wondering if I was actually reading the right book. As a sequel to Breathe, I was expecting Shimmer to follow the same characters (Jasmine, Easton, Lily, Caedan, etc.). And it did, eventually. While at first it was a little bit shocking, I actually really enjoyed this type of a sequel where it followed a new character but also showed their life interacting with the characters that had already been established.

So, with that being said, Shimmer takes place four years after Breathe, and follows Chandler and her father, who are on the run from some mysterious man who is chasing after them. They don’t stay in any one place for too long and try to keep as low a profile as possible.  However, Chandler is quite skilled at gymnastic tumbling and finds a gym in every city she moves to. This time is different though, as Chandler gets noticed by the cheer squad and quickly gets wrapped up in the world of competitive cheer, all behind her father’s back. This, of course, is a horrible idea for keeping a low profile, as cheerleading is not the type of sport where one can hide in the crowd, and especially not with tumbling skills as good as Chandler’s.

There is a lot of good drama, romance and plot in this book and I absolutely breezed through it I enjoyed it so much. After I got over my initial aversion to the introduction of a new main character, I fell in love with Chandler and her story. Overall I give this book 5/5 stars.

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Book Reviews

Breathe – Book Review

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Plot:

Jasmine’s life wasn’t normal for a 16 year old girl. It hadn’t been normal since the murder of her older sister, Daisy, two years ago. Her life had been changed forever. The monster that murdered Daisy was never caught. That was the reason her family decided to move away from their hometown in Southern California, to start over. Hopefully in a place where the last name Rourke wouldn’t bring on staring or judgment or morbid curiosity.

In Lafayette, Louisiana things are quite a bit different but in a good way. Good manners, Cajun accents and a whole lot of Southern Hospitality all make her think things are going in the right direction. On top of that the most gorgeous boy she has ever met is interested in her. Her new friends are better than she could have hoped for even if she is worried about what they might think when they find out who she is. Life would be perfect if odd things didn’t keep happening. Creepy phone calls, texts, and flowers in her locker start adding up quickly to something terrifying. Could the Monster have followed them to Lafayette? Was he coming after her this time? Maybe she was just worrying unnecessarily…or not.

Review:

From the very beginning, this book had me hooked and kept me all the way through til the very end. It’s not often that a book has me voraciously reading to find out what happens, but this one did, and I absolutely loved it.

As if Jasmine didn’t have enough to deal with after the murder of her sister, the person who killed Daisy was never caught, so her family decides to move halfway across the country to Lafayette, Louisiana, where they hope that things will be better. And things do get better, for a while.

Jasmine meets the world’s dreamiest Southern gentleman, Easton Ward. I only wish that I could be in Jasmine’s position because Easton sounds just like my dream guy. This may have had something to do with how much I loved the book but I think that the story itself was captivating as well.  The plot flowed well from event to event and kept me guessing at all the right points, which I appreciate in a book.

Overall I give this book 5/5 stars and I’m super excited to finish reading the sequel, Shimmer. If you love suspense, strong female characters and good Southern hospitality, you’ll definitely like this book.