Tag Archives: book reviews

Since You’ve Been Gone – Book Review

Since You've Been Gone - Book Review

Summary:

It was Sloane who yanked Emily out of her shell and made life 100% interesting. But right before what should have been the most epic summer, Sloane just…disappears. All she leaves behind is a to-do list.

On it, thirteen Sloane-inspired tasks that Emily would normally never try. But what if they could bring her best friend back?

Apple picking at night? Okay, easy enough.

Dance until dawn? Sure. Why not?

Kiss a stranger? Um…

Emily now has this unexpected summer, and the help of Frank Porter (totally unexpected), to check things off Sloane’s list. Who knows what she’ll find?

Go skinny-dipping? Wait…what?

Review:

I am Emily. That’s all there is to it. I can’t remember the last time that I related so much to a character of a book, but reading Since You’ve Been Gone reminded me so much of myself.

Emily isn’t exactly the most social person. She and her best friend Sloane are inseparable, but Emily is awkward in social situations and doesn’t really talk much if it isn’t necessary. But when Sloane disappears, leaving behind nothing but a list of 13 things for Emily to do, Emily feels lost. Every time something happens to her, her first instinct is to call or text Sloane, but she can’t, because Sloane has turned off her phone.

Along the way, Emily finds friendship and love in places she doesn’t expect it, and starts to come out of her shell and grow as a person. She gets into some interesting situations that are absolutely hilarious. This book is filled with so many interesting and unique characters.

I give this book 5/5 stars. You can order it by clicking on the image below:

The Midnight Society – Blog Tour and Book Review

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Click on the tour banner above to see the list of the other great blogs featuring The Midnight Society on this tour!

The Midnight Society - Book Review

Summary:

Witness protection has a protocol for dealing with every situation—except magic.

Fifteen-year-old Cate’s life has been monitored since her new identity was created five years ago. She’s spent countless hours learning how to deal with potential threats and dangerous situations. None of which is any use when everyone around her is suddenly frozen like statues at the bus stop.

As Cate attempts to make sense of the frightening scene, a mysterious group of teenagers appear out of thin air. They are intrigued she’s not affected, but focus on completing their deadly mission, using baffling powers before they vanish again.

When the group seeks her out the next day, Cate is drawn into a world filled with sorcery and time travel. After she accidentally brings a cheerleader back from the dead, her incredible powers are revealed. Cate is shocked to discover she has a pivotal role to play in a centuries-old battle between two mortal enemies which threatens to destroy her entire world.

With the distinction between good and evil blurred, she’s faced with the excruciating choice of which side to join. Cate can save her family or protect thousands of people from death. She can’t do both. Will she risk destroying innocent lives to save the ones she loves?

Review:

I must admit, I was a bit hesitant to start reading this book because time travel always confuses me, whether it is in print or in visual media. If it is not done well, I will not enjoy it and that can be rather upsetting when all other elements are fantastic. That was not the case with this book, at all.

The way that time travel was handled in The Midnight Society was perhaps the best way I have EVER seen it done. Not once did I find myself going back and wondering if an event had happened in the past, present, or future, which I was very impressed with. Kudos to you, Rhonda Sermon; that’s practically impossible for me.

I loved how fast-paced this book was. It kept me wanting more, needing to know what would happen next. The characters were all interesting and very well written. The relationships between every character were all so different indwell thought out. I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed this book, given my typical feelings and confusion towards time travel.

I give The Midnight Society 4/5 stars. You can purchase it from Amazon by clicking on the book’s cover image below:

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Game of Fear – Blog Tour and Book Review

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Click on the tour banner above to see the list of the other great blogs featuring Game of Fear on this tour!

Game of Fear - Book Review

Summary:

Sometimes, good girls do very bad things…

Academic overachiever and popular good girl Abbie Cooper is used to being in control, and strives to keep it that way. As senior year at her elite New England private school kicks off, she’s focused on one goal: getting into the Ivy League. But even good girls have dark secrets. One morning, Abbie discovers a cryptic note in her locker, (“I know what you did, hypocrite! Justice will be served, The Avenger.”) Then a photo arrives in the mail. It captures in great detail the explosive secret she’s kept hidden from everyone—the shocking blunder that could get her expelled from Saint Matthews Academy, and keep her out of the Ivy League for good.

Determined to protect her future and the people she loves, Abbie is drawn into a diabolical game of blackmail, cyber spying, and deception. For $50,000, the mystery girl known as The Avenger assures Abbie that her secret will remain safe. There’s only one problem: The Avenger may not exist at all. So who’s stalking Abbie with anonymous text messages that disappear after they’ve been read? Who’s out to ruin her and why? To uncover the horrifying truth, Abbie must play the game, all the way to its stunning conclusion.

Review:

I was on the edge of my seat the entire time that I was reading this book. I kept trying to figure out who was behind the mysterious messages that Abbie was receiving, but could not for the life of me figure it out. Which is exactly the way that I like books like this to go. I can’t stand when the outcome of a book is so predictable, so to be able to go through the entire thing without being able to decipher who the culprit was is something that I loved about this book. That being said, there were some clues throughout that I noticed in hindsight, but they were subtle.

I feel as though this book was warning me to always be conscientious of what I am doing and who is around because not only do you never know who your actions will affect, but you also never know when your actions will come back to bite you in the ass. Unfortunately, this is a lesson that Abbie learns the hard way.

This book was pretty swoon-worthy (hello, Christian!) and was a pretty fast read for me. I’m actually rather excited that there will be a sequel to this book, as I’m not quite ready to give these characters up just yet. I give this book 4/5 stars. You can order Game of Fear by clicking on the image below:

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Don’t Get Caught – Book Review

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Plot:

10:00 tonight at the water tower. Tell no one. -Chaos Club

When Max received a mysterious invite from the untraceable, epic prank-pulling Chaos Club, he has to ask: why him? After all, he’s Mr. 2.5 GPA, Mr. No Social Life. He’s just Max. And his favorite heist movies have taught him this situation calls for Rule #4: Be suspicious. But it’s also his one shot to leave Just Max in the dust…

Yeah, not so much. Max and four fellow students- who also received invites- are standing on the newly defaced water tower when campus security “catches”them. Definitely a setup. And this time, Max has had enough. It’s time for Rule #7: Always get payback.

Review:

This book was so much fun to read. It had me wishing that people in my high school would have been this creative and pulled pranks on one another and the school, because to be honest, it would have livened things up quite a bit.

I really related to the main character, Max. He feels like there is nothing spectacular about his life—he is “just” Max. So when he and a sort of random, Breakfast Club-esque group start to pull pranks against their school’s Chaos Club, he becomes “Not Max,” or the exact opposite of who he has been his entire life. And it brings him a lot of happiness, not because he is rebelling against the system or causing people harm, but because he finally has a group of people with whom he feels he belongs with, for once in his life.

The most important part of this book is that it brings up the moral issue of the difference between revenge and justice. As the group starts to pull their pranks, some of the members use the pranks that they pull to get revenge on people who have wronged them in the past, which makes Max question his involvement in the group all together. He wonders if what they are doing is okay, or if they are no better than the Chaos Club themselves, the same evil going by a different name.

I give this book 4/5 stars. You can order it for yourself by clicking on the image of the book below:

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

Into the Dim – Book Review

Into the Dim - Book Review

Plot:

Being “the homeschooled girl,” in a small town, Hope Walton’s crippling phobias and photographic memory don’t help her fit in with her adoptive dad’s perfectly blonde Southern family. But when her mother is killed in a natural disaster thousands of miles from home, Hope’s secluded world crumbles. After an aunt she’s never met invites her to spend the summer in Scotland, Hope discovers that her mother was more than a brilliant academic. She’s a member of a secret society of time travelers, and is actually trapped in the twelfth century in the age of King Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine. Now Hope must conquer her numerous fears and travel back in time to help rescue her mother before she’s lost for good. Along the way, she’ll discover more family secrets, and a mysterious boy who could be vital to setting her mother free… or the key to Hope’s undoing.

Review:

I adored everything about this book. There was so much detail and thought put into every word on the page. The story captivated me from the beginning and kept me hanging in until the very last page.

Hope has had a bit of a difficult life. She has total recall, so she basically has the world’s best photographic memory. This gives Hope some problems, like occasionally she is just bombarded with information that her brain is feeding her, causing her to overload. Totally understandable. Hope has also never really felt like she fit in, and for good reason (though I won’t get into that here).

Once Hope travels to Scotland to meet her mysterious aunt, her whole life as she’s known it is flipped upside down, and she does surprisingly well with handling the information being thrust upon her.

A few aspects of this book were—wait for it—slightly predictable. I don’t know if it is just because I read so much and can see plot twists coming from miles away, or if these things were just blatant, but it didn’t affect how much I enjoyed the book. Rather it just made me burst out with a “Ugh I knew that was going to happen!”, to which my boyfriend gave me a puzzled look. Other than that, this book was fantastic.

I give this book 4/5 stars, and I can’t wait to read the next book in the series when it comes out. You can order Into the Dim by clicking on the book’s cover image below:

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

Finding Hope – Book Review

Finding Hope - Book Review

Plot:

Hope lives in a small town with nothing to do and nowhere to go. With a drug addict for a brother, she focuses on the only thing that keeps her sane, writing poetry. To escape, she jumps at the chance to attend Ravenhurst Academy as a boarding student. She’ll even put up with the clique-ish Ravens if it means making a fresh start.

At first, Ravenhurst is better than Hope could have dreamed. She has a boyfriend and a cool roommate, and she might finally have found a place she can fit in. But can she trust her online boyfriend? And what can she do after her brother shows up at the school gates, desperate for help, and the Ravens turn on her? Trapped and unsure, Hope realizes that if she wants to save her brother, she has to save herself first.

Review:

I was surprised at how much I liked this book. I found Hope to be very predictable, but I felt sorry for just how gullible and easy to deceive she is. Hope has had a tough time since she became “The girl whose brother does crystal meth,” but no one knows the real reason why Eric started down the path that he chose.

I think that the story gives too many blatant hints at what happened to Eric, and also with what Hope goes through at her new school. I would have liked a bit more mystery as opposed to some very obvious clues about what is going on.

This book was a very quick read for me. If I hadn’t been on vacation visiting family, I could have easily finished this in a day. I give Finding Hope 4/5 stars. You can order Finding Hope by clicking on the book’s cover image below

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

You Were Here – Book Review

You Were Here - Book Review

Plot:

Jaycee is dealing with her brother’s death the only way she can- by re-creating Jake’s daredevil stunts. The ones that got him killed. She’s not crazy, okay? She just doesn’t have a whole lot of respect for staying alive.

Jaycee doesn’t expect to have help on her insane quest to remember Jake. But she’s joined by a group of unlikely friends—all with their own reasons for completing the dares and their own brand of dysfunction: the uptight, ex-best friend; the heartbroken poet; the slacker with Peter Pan syndrome; and…Mik. He doesn’t talk, but somehow still challenges Jayce to do the unthinkable: reveal parts of herself that she buried with her brother.

Review:

I. Loved. This. Book.

Sometimes, having multiple points of view can come off as though some characters aren’t quite developed enough to have a main focus. That is not the case with this book. Every single character has depth and as a reader I was intrigued by each of their motives for completing the “dares” that Jaycee believes her brother left her. We get to see these characters grow and change throughout the book as they discover who they are and overcome obstacles in their lives.

Perhaps most interesting of all was the portrayal of the point of view of Mik, who is a selective mute. Seeing as though Mik chooses not to speak, we see his side of the story in comic-like drawings, which was unique and different and worked so well.

Perhaps what I love the most about this book is its’ author, Cori McCarthy, who also wrote Breaking Sky, which I also loved (see my review here). Something about her writing catches my attention and keeps me turning the pages until there aren’t any left. She is definitely an author that I am going to keep my eye on.

I give this book 5/5 stars and a definite must-read. You can order it by clicking on the book’s cover above.

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

Dear Emma – Book Review

Dear Emma - Book Review

Plot:

Harriet, the author of her college newspaper’s pseudonymous student advice column “Dear Emma,” is great at telling others what to do, dispensing wisdom for the lovelorn and lonely on her Midwestern campus. Somehow, though, she can’t take her own advice, especially after Keith, the guy she’s dating, blows her off completely. When Harriet discovers that Keith has started seeing the beautiful and intimidating Remy, she wants to hate her. But she can’t help warming to Remy, who soon writes to “Dear Emma” asking for romantic advice.

Now Harriet has the perfect opportunity to take revenge on the person who broke her heart. But as she begins to doubt her own motivations and presumably faultless guidance, she’s forced to question how much she really knows about love, friendship and well-meaning advice.

Review:

I think that Harriet is like most people who are good at giving advice: great at dishing it out but terrible at taking it from others. Harriet is such a relatable character. She lives with her two best friends, and she does work study in the school library. She is a typical college girl. And she has boy problems, but then again don’t most girls? She gets jealous of the girl who is dating her crush (been there!) and hates her before she even really gets to know her. I think that Harriet is probably like most girls.

I really enjoyed how this story progressed, it had the perfect pacing. Just when it seemed like it was starting to slow down, something new would get tossed into the mix to shake things up again. Harriet learns a lot about herself throughout this book and realizes that life isn’t just about finding a boy to make you happy.

I give this book 5/5 stars. It goes on sale this Tuesday, March 1. You can order it by clicking on the book’s cover above.

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

Breaking Sky – Book Review

Breaking Sky - Book Review

Plot:

Chase Harcourt, call sign “Nyx”, isn’t one to play it safe. America is locked in a cold war — and the country’s best hope is the elite teen fighter pilots of the United Star Academy. Chase is one of only two daredevil pilots chosen to fly an experimental “Streaker” jet. But few know the pain and loneliness of her past. All anyone cares about is that Chase aces the upcoming Streaker trials, proving the prototype jet can knock the enemy out of the sky.

But as the world tilts toward war, Chase cracks open a military secret. There’s a third Streaker, whose young hotshot pilot, Tristan, can match her on the ground and in the clouds. Chase doesn’t play well with others. But to save her country, she may just have to put her life in the hands of the competition.

Review:

Let me start this review off by saying that I am not a huge fan of military-type settings in books. However, something about this book’s short description drew me in and I just had to read it. And I LOVED it. Like a lot.

This book puts a dystopian spin on Top Gun, and it works in the best possible way. Chase Harcourt, or Nyx, is one of the top pilots in the Air Force’s new training program for planes called Streakers. The planes go so fast and exert so much g-force on the body that pilots and their navigators must be in peak physical condition.

As with practically every book ever, there is some romance going on, though it definitely is not the typical love triangle. Chase flits around from guy to guy, never allowing anyone to get too close to her for fear that she might actually tell them the truth about herself. This of course means that Chase holds in a lot of things that she wouldn’t otherwise if she actually trusted anyone.

I ate this book up so fast. The way that the writing flows made it incredibly easy to just sit down with it and get lost within the pages (or in my case, the screen because it was an ebook, but you know, potato, potahto). I especially loved the chemistry between Chase and rival pilot Arrow. So. Much. Tension.

I give this book 5/5 stars. You can order it by clicking on the book’s cover above.

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

The Secret to Letting Go – Book Review

The Secret to Letting Go - Book ReviewPlot:

Haunted with guilt after his girlfriend’s death, Daniel Hudson has no interest in committing to anyone. At the end of the summer, he’ll be leaving Florida for a new start in college. If only he could avoid the mysterious new girl in town, who seems every bit as naive and eccentric as she looks. Trouble is, she’s hard to ignore, with her beautiful piercing eyes, pitiful-looking dog, and unsettling tendency of finding trouble.

Clover Scott lived her whole life off the grid and arrives on the Gulf coast in search of her grandparents. She never expected to nearly drown, or get caught in a hurricane, or fall in love with the boy who rescues her. Now, she has a chance to rewrite her life’s story, to finally fit in somewhere, but Daniel wants answers about her past. When the police start asking questions about the disappearance of her parents, she must make a choice: go to jail or confess her secrets—even if they might destroy her chance at a happily-ever-after.

Review:

This book was so. Darn. Good. I could not put it down, no matter how hard I tried.

Clover is an extremely mysterious girl who shows up out of the blue in a small town in Florida where everyone knows everyone. She meets Daniel, who, for reasons even he doesn’t know, wants, no, needs to help out Clover. And wherever he goes, he always seems to find himself in a position where he has to save her from herself. It’s almost like Clover has never even lived in the real world before, with how little she knows about basic things.

Daniel tries to get close to Clover, but she pushes him away and avoids his questions. Not that he is any better about answering her questions either. Despite their lack of trust in one another, they end up learning new things about themselves and one another.

The Secret to Letting Go was released this week. To order it, simply click on the book’s cover image.

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