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Book Reviews

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.
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Book Reviews

The Truth – Book Review

The Truth - Book Review

Plot:

When Chris wakes up in a dark basement tied to a chair, he knows that he’s trapped-and why. Eight nights ago a burglar broke into Chris’s home. Eight nights ago Chris did what he had to to protect his family. And eight nights ago a thirteen-year-old runaway bled to death on his kitchen floor.

Now Derek wants the truth about what really happened that night. He wants proof that his little brother didn’t deserve to die. For every lie Chris tells, he will lose a finger. But telling the truth is far more dangerous…

Review:

The truth will set you free. For the Chris, that couldn’t be more true. Chris is faced with telling the truth about what happened the night that he faced an intruder in his house, or he and the ones he loves will suffer the consequences of his lies.

This book was a very quick read for me, which was appreciated, but I think it hurt the pacing of the book. Chris is supposed to be trapped, with no way to tell how much time has passed since he was taken hostage. However, because the book read so fast for me, the amount of time that seemed to have passed in the story didn’t seem very long at all.

This book has a great idea, and it was fairly well executed. It has a few hiccups (like the pacing) but other than that, I really enjoyed it. It goes to show that keeping secrets and lying is definitely not the best option.

The Truth came out this week. You can purchase it by clicking on the book’s cover image above.

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

This Song Is (Not) For You – Book Review

This Song Is (Not) For You - Book Review

Plot:

Ramona and Sam are best friends. She fell for him the moment they met, but their friendship is just too important for her to mess up. Sam loves Ramona, but he would never expect her to feel the same way-she’s too quirky and cool for someone like him. Together, they have a band, and put all of their feelings for each other into music.

Then Ramona and Sam meet Tom. He’s their band’s missing piece, and before Ramona knows it, she’s falling for him. But she hasn’t fallen out of love with Sam either. How can she be true to her feelings without breaking up the band?

Review:

I read through this book very quickly. The story was so darn cute, and mostly relatable, if not necessarily in the most direct sense.

Sam and Ramona are best friends. They are in a band together. They are even auditioning to go to the same music college. They just make sense together. The thing is, Ramona has a crush on Sam. Little does she know, Sam has a crush on her too. But they are both too afraid to ruin their friendship to say something to one another.

Then they meet Tom, who is the perfect addition to their band. He complements their sound perfectly. Ramona soon develops a crush on Tom too.

This book does not have your typical love triangle. It is unconventional and different, and like nothing I have ever read before, which is saying something because I have read many a book with a love triangle. While this book was way different than any of those, it was still intriguing, even though Ramona’s choice is something I could never make myself.

These characters struggle with what to do after graduating high school which makes them feel so very real. I remember being in high school and constantly wondering what would come my way after graduation. For some it is an easy decision, but for others the choice of what to do isn’t always so simple and straightforward. And this book got that absolutely perfect.

I give this book 4/5 stars. You can order it by clicking the book’s cover image above.

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

Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between – Book Review

Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between - Book Review

Plot:

On the night before they leave for college, Clare and Aidan only have one thing left to do: figure out whether they should stay together or break up. Over the course of twelve hours, they’ll retrace the steps of their relationship, trying to find something in their past that might help them decide what their future should be. The night will lead them to friends and family, familiar landmarks and unexpected places, hard truths and surprising revelations. But as the clock winds down and morning approaches, so does their inevitable goodbye. The question is, will it be goodbye for now or goodbye forever?

Review:

So one of Jennifer E. Smith’s books, The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, has been on my to-be-read list for what seems like an eternity. So when I happened upon a review copy of this book, I figured I would give it a shot and then if I liked it I would force myself to go out and get Love. Well, I guess I’m going to have to go to the bookstore soon, because I really liked the style of writing in this book, so I can only imagine that it’ll be the same way in her other books as well.

The main characters of this book, Clare and Aidan, are both leaving for college in less than a day when the book first starts. This might not be so out of the normal, except these two have been dating for two years, and are now at a crossroads in their relationship: do they try to make a long distance relationship work while they each go off to separate coasts for school, or do they just break up and call it a day?

Clare plans a scavenger hunt of sorts for Aidan, where they go from one place to the next, all of the places holding important memories from their relationship. These places range from their high school, to their friends’ houses, the local bowling alley, and the beach. As the night goes on, Clare and Aidan get closer to having to make a decision about the fate of their relationship.

I really liked the way that this story progressed, and the flow of the writing. It made this a very quick read for me, which is something that I always like. When it takes me too long to make my way through a book, it frustrates me.

I give this book 4/5 stars. You can purchase the book by clicking on the book’s cover image above.

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

Copygirl – Book Review

Copygirl - Book Review

Plot:

So. You want to work in advertising. The glitz, the glamour, the cocktail-fueled brainstorming sessions. Sounds great, right?

Wrong. The reality is a lot harder than you’d think. There are five simple rules for surviving an advertising job—and I think I’ve already broken every single one…

Review:

This book is described as Mad Men  meets The Devil Wears Prada, and while I’ve never seen the latter, I absolutely love Mad Men, so I had to read this book. I even bumped it up over a lot of other books on my massive to-be-read pile, that’s how excited I was about this book. And it didn’t disappoint me.

The writing itself was a little rough around the edges. There were some parts where things could have been a little bit more clear, but it wasn’t so much so that it distracted from the story.

I went into this book totally imagining Peggy from Mad Men, but that is definitely not what the main character, Kay, is like. She works for one of the most popular ad agencies in New York, dragged there by Ben, her creative partner she has a crush on, who she met in ad school. And while Kay enjoys working at STD (yes, those are the agency’s initials), she just can’t seem to find her place or make any friends there.

Once Kay can remove her focus from Ben, she is able to actually make friends among her associates at STD, and her creative genius truly blossoms. And even better, she finds someone to date when she least expects it. I think that this is the book’s way of telling readers that sometimes, no matter how much you want something—like a relationship— doesn’t always mean that you’re going to get what you want. It’s only after you stop being so single-minded and just focus on making yourself healthy and happy that someone can come into your life, when you least expect it.

I liked this book a lot, and it definitely gave me a lot of Mad Men feels. It was a pretty quick read for me too, which is always appreciated. I give this book 5/5 stars.

Copygirl goes on sale on October 6th. You can preorder a copy by clicking the book’s cover image above.

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

The Body Institute – Book Review

The Body Institute - Book Review

Plot:

Meet Morgan Dey, one of the top teen Reducers at The Body Institute.

Thanks to cutting-edge technology, Morgan can temporarily take over another girl’s body, get her in shape, and then return to her own body-leaving her client slimmer, more toned, and feeling great. Only there are a few catches…

For one, Morgan won’t remember what happens in her “Loaner” body. Once she’s done, she won’t recall walks with her new friend Matt, conversations with the super-cute Reducer she’s been text-flirting with, or the uneasy feeling she has that the director of The Body Institute is hiding something. Still, it’s all worth it in the name of science. Until the glitches start…

Suddenly, residual memories from her Loaner are cropping up in Morgan’s mind. She’s feeling less like herself and more like someone else. And when protests from an anti-Body Institute organization threaten her safety, she’ll have to decide if being a Reducer is worth the cost of her body and soul…

Review:

From the second I got the email about the opportunity to review this book, I knew I had to read it. The description just hooked me and this book didn’t disappoint me in the slightest.

For Morgan, working out is something that she enjoys doing. In society, people are rewarded for being in “good shape”, and they are penalized and fined for being overweight. This is supposed to encourage people to stay in shape so as to relieve stress on the health care system.

From this emerges the Body Institute, where people who are struggling with their weight can go to have someone else’s consciousness implanted into their body to lose the weight, and then after the weight loss is complete, the original person’s consciousness is then restored into the body. Seems like the perfect way to lose weight for all of the lazy people who can afford to do so.

For most people, the idea of the Body Institute is something that just is—it’s not too outlandish to imagine that it is necessary. Some people are concerned by the technology that the system uses, especially those of older generations who aren’t too tech-savvy. But there are a group of protestors who will do anything to see the Body Institute taken down.

Throughout the progression of this book, we see Morgan go from being completely trusting of the technology used to perform the transfers, to a little skeptical, and then questioning everything about the program. Turns out that the program isn’t exactly what she thought it was, and she makes it her personal mission to let everyone know what’s really going on.

The way this society is so obsessed with weight and image is only a slight exaggeration of what our current society looks like. Is it really so hard to imagine that people are so obsessed with weight loss and looking thin that the government would step in and do something to aid the obsession? Not really.

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

Confessions of a Queen B* – Book Review

Confessions of a Queen B* - Book Review

Plot:

Alexis Wyndham is the other type of Queen B—the Queen Bitch.

After years of being the subject of ridicule, she revels in her ability to make the in-crowd cower via the exposés on her blog, The Eastline Spy. Now that she’s carved out her place in the high school hierarchy, she uses her position to help the unpopular kids walking the hallways.

Saving a freshman from bullies? Check.
Swapping insults with the head cheerleader? Check.
Falling for the star quarterback? So not a part of her plan.

But when Brett offers to help her solve the mystery of who’s posting X-rated videos from the girls’ locker room, she’ll have to swallow her pride and learn to see past the high school stereotypes she’s never questioned—until now.

Review:

I did not want to put this book down the entire time I was reading it, I enjoyed it that much.

This book had content that I could really relate to. The main character of the book, Alexis, runs a blog chronicling all of the drama that goes on at her high school and exposing people’s wrongdoings, both students and teachers alike. This is somewhat along the lines of an idea that my best friend and I had in high school, so I was very entertained by it.

Alexis prides herself on being the Queen Bitch of the school, the person that everyone is afraid of. People are afraid to be around her because they don’t want to give her any ideas for an exposé to put on her blog. Even though she will stick up for the kids who aren’t popular and in power, she doesn’t go easy on them either, and tells them that they need to stand up for themselves.

Alexis is a prime example of doing something to the extreme in order to cope with a past trauma. The entire reason that she starts her blog is because she got burned by her former best friend, who decided to expose all of Alexis’ secrets from her diary to the entire school. She decides that she is tired of the popular kids being able to get away with whatever they want, so she strikes back, and she is ruthless. She builds up walls around her and hardens her exterior. This allows her to be harsh to others without feeling bad about it. In her eyes, she is just doing what is right and not allowing the bullies of the world to get away with things.

But then when her senior year starts, Alexis is teamed up with the dreamy quarterback for a class project. She assumes that he is going to be just like all of the other popular kids, but as she gets to know him she starts to realize that she is wrong about him.

I really liked that this book wasn’t predictable. It didn’t have the typical ending where everything ends up perfect and happy, and the main character ends up finding love. I get so tired of books that all end that way, so it was refreshing to see it end differently than most. That being said, it isn’t a sad ending either, but rather a hopeful one that leaves the story line open to continuation in another book.

I give this book 5/5 stars for keeping me very entertained and not being like every other book out there.

Confessions of a Queen B* goes on sale July 28, 2015. You can click the book’s cover 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

Pixelated – Book Review

Pixelated - Book Review

Plot:

Senior Year. 
Middle of nowhere.
What’s the new girl to do?

For Piper Marks, the answer is simple. She’s determined to have her photography rock the cover of National Geographic someday, and moving to Clarkton, Iowa for her last year of high school is not going to stop her. Even if her usual subjects have changed from bright lights and skyscrapers to fields, cows…and more fields.

But when photographer at the local paper quits in a huff, she steps into his spot. Her new job keeps Piper busy capturing tackles, and zooming in on first downs and end zone dances, not to mention putting her directly in the path of varsity football star Les Williams IV. Her new friends warn her off, but she can’t resist the pull she feels toward this mysterious country boy. But this small town is keeping a secret, and it’s one that could destroy any chance they have to be together.

It’s up to Piper to decide what to do with the distorted truth. Can she risk exposing her heart? It might be worth it, ’cause Les is about to change her world from black and white to fully saturated color.

Review:

For me, Pixelated is one of those books that just caught my attention from the beginning and kept me all the way until the end, to the point where I stayed up until 2 a.m. to finish it. And yes, while I found a lot of the story to be predictable, I still wanted to keep reading on to see if I was right, which doesn’t always happen in those situations.

The main character, Piper, is less than pleased when she has to relocate from St. Louis, MO to a small town in Iowa for her senior year of high school, leaving everything she loves behind. Not too long after moving to Iowa, Piper blows a tire on her way home, about halfway down the barren 10 mile stretch of road between her home and the main part of town.

Miraculously enough, someone comes along and is able to help Piper change her tire, and as luck would have it, her savior, Les, is incredibly handsome. Piper immediately falls for this guy, who she later learns has a girlfriend—sort of. The only problem is, no one really knows the truth, so everyone starts to label Piper as a home-wrecker and a slut.

One thing that I particularly loved about the book was the amount of detail that was given to the things that Piper enjoys as hobbies. For example, Piper loves photography, so whenever it is brought up that Piper is taking photos, the descriptions that are given are very similar to the actual thoughts that might be running through a photographer’s mind while they are working. Another example would be that Piper knows absolutely nothing about football when the book begins, but is required to learn about it by her mother for work, so after Piper has had some assistance (from Les!) with learning about football, her descriptions of the game become more vivid and actually use football terminology to describe plays.

The ending of the book was definitely a little bit of a surprise to me, but I won’t spoil it. At first things seemed to be pointing to one conclusion, but then everything was shaken up and I didn’t know what to expect anymore, which I really enjoyed. I give Pixelated 4/5 stars.

Pixelated goes on sale June 30. You can click the image above to order it.

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

The Corridor – Book Review

The Corridor - Book Review

Plot:

Stel Alaster has never known life without the Corridor. It appeared suddenly seventeen years ago, the only portal to a parallel version of our world—Second Earth. Everyone on First Earth fears Mods, the genetically modified Second Earthers who built the Corridor. They are too smart, too strong, and have powers that can’t be controlled. Any Mod found on First Earth is branded, then detained in the Corridor’s research labs.

Only Stel has a dangerous secret. She has a power, too: She can open a portal to Second Earth . . . and several other parallel universes she’s discovered. If anyone ever finds out, she’ll be imprisoned, no better than a Mod or common lab rat.

But when the Corridor starts to fail, emitting erratic bursts of energy that could destroy First Earth, Stel must risk everything to save the people and world she loves. With the help of an escaped Mod and an infuriatingly arrogant boy from a third universe, Stel sets out to unravel the mysteries of the Corridor and stabilize it before it’s too late. The fate of every world lies in the balance. . . .

Review:

Imagine a world in which there is not only one Earth, but many Earths, with the possibility of traveling between each of the Earths and finding the same planet with different people, different technology, different ways of life. This is the world of The Corridor.

A group of people from the Second Earth open up a portal to First Earth, but this has unexpected consequences when it causes chaos and destruction on Second Earth, killing many of its inhabitants. Seventeen years later, an unexpected energy pulse occurs at the portal, leaving Stel with a mysterious power that allows her to open up portals to the other Earths.

On her journeys between Earths, Stel meets two brothers, Flinn and Cohl, who both help her in their own ways. While with the brothers, Stel finds information that could help her father put an end to the Corridor between First and Second Earth once and for all, but there are plenty of people who stand in his way.

Stel is a very strong character, which is why I took such a liking to her. While she is still relatively young, she is independent and does things that are difficult, simply because they are the right thing to do. She is also a caring loving person who wants to look out for the best interests of those who are dear to her, even if it means she can’t always see things as they are.

This book was a pretty quick read for me, and I enjoyed it quite a bit. Even though the idea of portals between worlds is not a new one, the way that the story was portrayed made it feel very new and unique. Overall I would give the book 4/5 stars.

The Corridor goes on sale tomorrow, June 23. You can order it by clicking the book’s cover image above.

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