Review: Find Me – Romily Bernard

Review: Find Me – Romily BernardFind Me by Romily Bernard
Published by HarperCollins
Published: September 24th 2013
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three-stars

"Find Me." These are the words written on Tessa Waye's diary. The diary that ends up with Wick Tate. But Tessa's just been found...dead.

Wick has the right computer-hacking skills for the job, but little interest in this perverse game of hide-and-seek. Until her sister Lily is the next target. Then Griff, trailer-park boy next door and fellow hacker, shows up, intent on helping Wick.

Is a happy ending possible with the threat of Wick's deadbeat dad returning, the detective hunting him sniffing around Wick instead, and a killer taunting her at every step?

Foster child. Daughter of a felon. Loner hacker girl. Wick has a bad attitude and sarcasm to spare.

But she's going to find this killer no matter what.

Because it just got personal.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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When I first started reading this one I wasn’t a fan. Since it was an eGalley I thought I was missing the beginning because it just seemed to jump right into something without any background knowledge about what had happened. It made me feel like I missed something entirely. Not in a Marchetta kind of way, but more in a, “I’m missing chapters” kind of way. But since I requested it from Edelweiss I knew I needed to give it the time and attention it deserved so I pushed on. And I must say I was pleasantly surprised when all was said and done. I actually found Find Me entertaining when I finished and I was pleased.

Find Me is about Wick Tate, a girl basically from the wrong side of the tracks. Her dad is on the run for drugs, her mom committed suicide and now Wick and her sister Lily are living with a foster family while and annoying cop keeps a close eye on her. But Wick has a secret of her own. She is a hacker and she isn’t always on the up and up. Now worried that the police are on to her Wick’s back is up. And when a diary of a classmate that has just died shows up with “Find Me” written on it Wick has a whole other problem to deal with and it is closer than she thinks.

Like I said in the beginning, I didn’t think I liked this book all that much. But as I read more and more, Wick started to grow on me. She was funny, sarcastic, smart and 100% loyal to her sister. As a reader, I appreciated that. She took on the role as parental figure for Lily, even though they had foster parents, and never looked back. I found that very admirable in a main character and it made her all the more likable. Also her relationship with Griff was really enjoyable to read. It added some romance-like tension and so adorableness because Griff was adorable. And the two of them had a great dynamic together. Wick was certain about a lot of stuff in her life, but Griff was not one of them.

Now on to the story. It was supposed to be a mystery, but like I said when I was reading it I figured out pretty early what was going on and who was behind the whole thing. I thought it was very obvious from the get go so it kind of failed in that respect. But even knowing what was going to happen I still thought the story was well thought out and timed. It wasn’t rushed but it didn’t drag. There were definite giveaway with some of the clues dropped, but that was okay for me because Wick as a character made it okay.

All in all I really ended up liking Find Me. It was a quick read with likeable characters and a well paced story. Take out the mystery aspect, which was a fail in my opinion, and you have a pretty solid debut novel that I’m happy I didn’t throw the towel in for. I would recommend it for sure.

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Review: fml – Shaun David Hutchinson

Review: fml – Shaun David HutchinsonFml by Shaun David Hutchinson
Published by Simon and Schuster
Published: June 25th 2013
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three-stars

There’s more than one way to get the girl in this fun and fast-paced novel about one epic party and a kiss that could change everything. Tonight’s the night: Simon’s big chance to finally get with Cassie. Cassie, who he’s loved for ages. Cassie, who is newly boyfriend-free. Cassie, who just happens to be throwing the biggest party of the year. Simon’s plan is simple: He’ll go to the party, she’ll fall in love with him, they’ll make out like crazy, and the night will be a complete success.

But things don’t ever go as planned…especially when it comes to Cassie.

In two alternating plotlines, Simon goes after the girl of his dreams and stumbles toward his destiny. It’s one night, one party, and a thousand ways for things to go wrong…but a million ways for them to go right.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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A friend suggested this one after learning of my love for Parallel life books. When I saw it was up on Edelweiss I requested it pretty late and on a whim and was happy to be approved so quickly. Sadly though that is where most of my happiness ended because this book turned out to just be okay. I did enjoy the parallel life part and it was fun to read a parallel story from a guy’s POV, but the rest of it was just okay.

FML is the story of Simon. Simon has been in love with Cassandra Castillo for 3 years, a girl he had the chance to kiss on their one and only date and blew it. Since that fateful night he has pinned over Cassie while she was in a relationship never having the guts to tell her how he felt. But in one night that is about to change. On the last party of the year Simon decides he is going to tell the newly single Cassie how he feels and get that kiss he has been wanting for 3 long years. But like everything else in Simon’s life it doesn’t go quite as planned. He has two different paths he could take to get to the girl he is in love with and two different chances to change the course of his life.

First let me start by saying that the best part of his book was the Can’t Hardly Wait feel to it. I seriously love that movie and everything it stands for, so to get that vibe right from the start immediately made me like this book more then I probably would have. Because I have to face facts, Simon was whiny, Cassie was kind of rude, and Simon’s friends drove me a little batty at times. I also found a lot of the plot and side stories to be really unrealistic and farfetched. But with that said I will admit to finding it entertaining. I also found some of Simon’s dialogue funny so that aided to the reading process.

Really though FML was a bit of a stretch for me. It was a quick read and not painful to read to the point that I was rolling my eyes. I just didn’t find it 100% on the believable factor and even the Can’t Hardly Wait connection couldn’t help me like this one more. In the end it was what I said at the beginning of this review, just an okay book.

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Review: Dance of the Red Death – Bethany Griffin

Review: Dance of the Red Death – Bethany GriffinDance of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin
Series: Masque of the Red Death #2
Published by Greenwillow Books
Published: June 11th 2013
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four-half-stars

Bethany Griffin continues the journey of Araby Worth in Dance of the Red Death—the sequel to her teen novel Masque of the Red Death. Lauren DeStefano, author of the New York Times bestselling Chemical Gardens trilogy, called Masque of the Red Death "luscious, sultry, and lingeringly tragic."

In Dance of the Red Death, Araby's world is in shambles—betrayal, death, disease, and evil forces surround her. She has no one to trust. But she will fight for herself, for the people she loves, and for her city. Her revenge will take place at the menacing masked ball. It could destroy her and everyone she loves . . . or it could turn her into a hero.

With a nod to Edgar Allan Poe, Bethany Griffin concludes her tragic and mysterious Red Death saga about a heroine that young adult readers will never forget.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I had trouble with this one in the beginning. Not because it was a bad book or because I wasn’t interested. It was purely because I couldn’t remember what the heck happened in the first part of the series because I read it so long ago! I couldn’t for the life of me remember what happened in Masque of the Red Death and what I loved about it. But as Dance of the Red Death continued and the memories started to return I remembered my love of Will and Araby and the world Griffin created and I found the book fantastic. It was really a great ending to a very creative series. I apologize for any spoilers from the first book but it is hard to talk about a sequel without them.

Dance of the Red Death begins right where Masque ended. Araby, Will, Elliott, April, and company have fled the city that is being demolished by disease, the people, the Reverend and the Prince and are traveling to places unknown. They just know they need to get away and need to hide. April is sick and Araby’s heart has been shattered by Will’s betrayal. With Elliott’s constant advances, April’s fast-declining health and the prospect that her father is the cause of everything Araby has to make some tough decisions that bring her right to the city she is trying to flee and the two men that are trying to destroy her.  Now Araby has to decide what it is she wants to fight for and what her heart can handle in the end.

I actually enjoyed Dance more then I liked Masque. I found Araby to be a stronger more compelling character in this book. She had a backbone and wasn’t as scared to live. Was she still scared of her emotions and the circumstances of her life? Definitely. But I felt like she matured in a way that allowed her to deal with them as opposed to whining about everything. She knew what she had to do to save herself, to save her friends, to save the city she loves and although she struggled at times, she did what she had to do.  She was very likable in this book and that is what made the story more enjoyable. That and her “relationship” with Will.

Not gonna lie, he broke my heart in the first book with his betrayal, but I also understood why he did what he did. And I liked that Araby understood it too. The awkwardness between the two in this book because of that one incident was perfectly incorporated into the story. With that said, the emotions that were between them were also extremely present and I could feel Will’s jealousy every time he saw Araby anywhere near Elliott and that was all kinds of awesome. They had to have had one of the most real relationships in the book by far and it added to the story opposed to taking away from everything that was going on around them.

Basically, I found the distribution of the relationship aspects and the war that was going on in the cities laid out pretty evenly. Dance wasn’t too heavy on either aspect and everything flowed nicely thanks to Griffin’s talent of weaving a great story. I was really happy with how everything came to a head and even happier with the conclusion. Really great ending to a brief two-part series. I look forward to reading more from this very talented author in the future.

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Blog Tour: Criminal – Terra Elan McVoy and a Giveaway{CLOSED}

Welcome to the next stop on the Terra Elan McVoy blog tour that has been hosted by Shanyn over at Chick Loves Lit. At the bottom you will see a list of other stops on the tour. Please check them out and see other people’s thoughts on this book. Along with the tour is a chance to enter a giveaway to win a signed copy of Terra Elan McVoy’s newest book Criminal. Thanks to WordPress, my blog host, I am unable to post the fancy widget for Rafflecopter, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still enter. Please click on this link for your chance to win. Trust me, it’s worth the click ABCers. It’s a great book. Okay, on with the review.

Blog Tour: Criminal – Terra Elan McVoy and a Giveaway{CLOSED}Criminal by Terra Elan McVoy
Published by Simon Pulse
Published: April 8th 2014
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four-stars

Nikki’s life is far from perfect, but at least she has Dee. Her friends tell her that Dee is no good, but Nikki can’t imagine herself without him. He’s hot, he’s dangerous, he has her initials tattooed over his heart, and she loves him more than anything. There’s nothing Nikki wouldn’t do for Dee. Absolutely nothing.

So when Dee pulls Nikki into a crime – a crime that ends in murder – Nikki tells herself that it’s all for true love. Nothing can break them apart. Not the police. Not the arrest that lands Nikki in jail. Not even the investigators who want her to testify against him.

But what if Dee had motives that Nikki knew nothing about?

Nikki’s love for Dee is supposed to be unconditional…but even true love has a limit. And Nikki just might have reached hers.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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Let me start by saying I find Terra Elan McVoy a fascinating writer. I’ve read every one of her books and with every book she has surprised me. I find that she doesn’t it into a certain category like some writers do. She writes what she feels and goes with it. From Pure, to After the Kiss, to The Summer of Firsts and Lasts, to Being Friends with Boys; each one is a different story that by no way follows a certain formula, and her newest book, Criminal, fits in perfectly. It’s grittier than her other stories, with a darker tone, but still fabulous.

Criminal is the story of Nikki, a girl that lives a hard life, but thinks she has the perfect boyfriend in Dee. Dee claims he loves Nikki and even has a tattooed “N” right over his heart. Nikki would do anything for Dee and does by helping him with a crime that ends in murder. Refusing to see the truth about her boyfriend and the choices she made Nikki continuously lies to herself and the people that have been by her side. And when she ends up in jail for Dee’s crimes she must decide just how much to support the person that may have been the worst decision she has ever made.

Nikki kind of broke my heart in this book. She was such a lost little girl that was just dying to be loved and Dee made her feel that love. Her father was gone, her mother was a joke of a mother and she had no other family. Nikki was desperate for stability and it was blatantly obvious with how she clung on to Dee when all the signs where there showing just how much bad news he was. It made me really sad for her because she was such a bright, smart, tough girl, but she became a stereotype and wrecked her life over essentially a major loser. It pained me how naïve this poor girl was when it came to life and when it came to love, but the great thing about this book was watching Nikki grow. McVoy did an awesome job showing the growth of Nikki from a love stung puppet to a woman that learned what was right and wrong and that Dee was no good for her. And that is what made this book so great in my eyes.

I also found the plot to be very well thought out and even paced. Nothing happened too quickly and Nikki’s reactions to things that were revealed was right on. I believed that she didn’t think she did anything wrong and that she didn’t think she would get arrested. I loved how loyal she felt to Bird and how that played into her motivation for trying to do the right thing. Everything just worked really well together and I think that is what makes McVoy such a remarkable author and a chameleon of sorts. I  don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to see where she takes us next.

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Blog Tour Schedule:
May 07 | http://kellyvision.wordpress.com/ | @khager
May 08 | http://readnowsleeplater.com/ | @frootjoos
May 09 | http://hobbitsies.net/ | @hobbitsies
May 10 | http://tableforseven-julie.blogspot.com/ | @aprilmom00
May 11 | http://www.alexalovesbooks.com/ | @alexalovesbooks
May 13 | http://fictionfolio.com/ | @TaraMQ
May 16 | http://www.intothehallofbooks.com/ | @bookwormasheley
May 17 | http://www.areadersadventure.com/ | @readeradventure
May 20 | https://andiabcs.com/ | @andiabcs
May 21 | http://ratherbereadingblog.com/ | @readinggals
May 22 | http://thebookcellarx.com | @thebookcellarx
May 23 | http://www.ramblingsofabooknerd.com/ | @sarabooknerd
May 24 | http://thegrownupya.wordpress.com/ | @grownupya
May 28 | http://chickloveslit.com/ | @shanynlee
May 29 | http://www.bookswithcass.com/ | @bookswithcass
May 31 | http://thecompulsivereader.com/ | @compelledtoread

 

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Review: The Book of Broken Hearts – Sarah Ockler

Review: The Book of Broken Hearts – Sarah OcklerThe Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler
Published by Simon and Schuster
Published: May 21st 2013
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five-stars

When all signs point to heartbreak, can love still be a rule of the road? A poignant and romantic novel from the author of Bittersweet and Twenty Boy Summer.

Jude has learned a lot from her older sisters, but the most important thing is this: The Vargas brothers are notorious heartbreakers. She’s seen the tears and disasters that dating a Vargas boy can cause, and she swore an oath—with candles and a contract and everything—to never have anything to do with one.

Now Jude is the only sister still living at home, and she’s spending the summer helping her ailing father restore his vintage motorcycle—which means hiring a mechanic to help out. Is it Jude’s fault he happens to be cute? And surprisingly sweet? And a Vargas?

Jude tells herself it’s strictly bike business with Emilio. Her sisters will never find out, and Jude can spot those flirty little Vargas tricks a mile away—no way would she fall for them. But Jude’s defenses are crumbling, and if history is destined to repeat itself, she’s speeding toward some serious heartbreak…unless her sisters were wrong?

Jude may have taken an oath, but she’s beginning to think that when it comes to love, some promises might be worth breaking.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

thoughts1 Straight up I’m a major, major, major Sarah Ockler fan. She is one of my auto-buy authors so I truly don’t think she could do any wrong in my eyes. But I will admit when I started The Book of Broken Hearts I was nervous. I was really nervous because I wasn’t sure I liked Jude or how the story jumped in and sort of seemed rushed. But then I kept reading and reading and reading. And I can happily report that I really loved the story. It was definitely a different kind of Ockler read I thought, but it still had that same magic hidden in the pages just like her other 3 amazing books.

The Book of Broken Hearts is the story of Jude, a girl with three older sister who might as well have been an only child thanks to the age gap between them. But Jude remembers one thing from her time with her sisters, she remembers she should stay away from the Vargas brothers at all costs because all they will bring is heart ache and tears. But Jude suddenly finds herself sending her summer days working on a project with/for her dad with Emilio Vargas and can’t bring herself to remember why her sisters hated the Vargas boys to begin with. Between illness and family drama Jude and Emilio form a bond that could either lead to love or the worst broken heart Jude has ever had. Jude has to figure out just what is the right thing to do, listen to her heart and make her own choices or follow the path her older sisters had set for her.

Truthfully my description doesn’t really do the story justice. I just didn’t want to give much away and ruin some of the stuff that is revealed through reading. Because Jude really is a great character and everything that she is going through is very relatable. Even as an only child I could relate to the feeling that you don’t get to make your own decisions and that a life is already mapped out for you. I understood her need to want to abide by her sisters but also to show she isn’t that little girl anymore and she needs to make her own choices whether it leads to a broken heart or a grand love. And Emilio was fighting the same things Jude was. He was labeled as his brothers, as a heartbreaker, as a screw-up. Like Jude he wasn’t able to make his own mistakes without being scrutinized. But unlike Jude he didn’t care. He went after what he wanted and that made me love him completely.

Really Sarah Ockler seems to just get it. She seems to understand people and it comes through in her writing and I am always so grateful for that. Whether my heart is breaking during Twenty Boy Summer, my heartstrings are being tugged during Fixing Delilah, my stomach craving cupcakes and a cute boy in Bittersweet or I’m rooting for a couple that has to fight to be together in The Book of Broken Hearts, Sarah Ockler makes me believe all of it. I personally loved this book and I think you might too if you give it a chance. And like I have said before and will say again, if you have never read and Ockler book, get on that right now!

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