REVIEW: Song of Summer by Laura Lee Anderson

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Song of Summer
Laura Lee Anderson
July 7th 2015
YA > Contemporary
250 pages (Kindle edition)
Purchased

 

3 ★★★

 

BLURB FROM GOODREADS:

 

The thirteen qualities of Robin’s Perfect Man range from the mildly important “Handsome” to the all-important “Great taste in music.” After all, Westfield’s best high school folk musician can’t go out with some shmuck who only listens to top 40 crap. When hot Carter Paulson walks in the door of Robin’s diner, it looks like the list may have come to life. It’s not until the end of the meal that she realizes he’s profoundly deaf.

Carter isn’t looking for a girlfriend. Especially not a hearing one. Not that he has anything against hearing girls, they just don’t speak the same language. But when the cute waitress at Grape Country Dairy makes an effort to talk with him, he takes her out on his yellow Ducati motorcycle.

Told in first person alternating perspectives, language, music, and culture go along for the ride as Carter and Robin find their song.

 

REVIEW:

 

This book is so hard to rate. The blurb suggests that it has all the makings of a favorite novel for me – cute summer read, first loves between two different people, music (!!!), and a deaf MC. Song of Summer has an interesting premise – one that I was so excited to delve into. The beginning itself was very promising. I even shipped Robin and Carter right from the start. THE FEELS WERE ON POINT, GUYS.

So, what the hell happened?

Well, after all the cutesy start and first love vibes, of course it had to be there. DRAMA. UNNECESSARY DRAMA, I might add. Now, I usually don’t mind some drama to keep my blood boiling especially if it’s really needed for the flow of the story. The drama between the exes? Pfft, I could easily forgive that. What I couldn’t stand AT ALL was Robin’s outburst and reaction to Carter’s “not telling her the truth” about his hearing situation which was totally out of line.

SPOILERS BELOW. READ AT YOUR OWN RISK. (NOT HIDING THESE AT ALL BECAUSE I REALLY WANT YOU GUYS TO READ IT. HA!):

Robin loves music more than life itself. Music is everything for her. She lives and breathes music. But what happens now that the person – and probably the only one – who can make her love anything more than music, couldn’t hear and appreciate the thing she loves the most? Carter has been deaf since birth. Having tried CI (cochlear implant) before and not liking it, he has decided not to go through with it at all. So when Robin found out that Carter could actually listen if he wanted to, she overreacted.

This is the part that I hated the most. How can she claim to love Carter if she didn’t even give him the chance to try to explain his side at all? What’s up with the cutting all ties with him – blocking him on e-mail, Instagram (seriously?) and everything? What’s up with jumping to conclusions when she knew no shit about what it’s like to be deaf? Dude. Get over yourself. Your boyfriend is deaf. Just because you’re learning ASL for him doesn’t mean you know everything about what it’s like to be one. Smh.

The other part that annoyed me? That ending! Honestly, I felt cheated. I love open endings since they give more possibilities for the story but what the hell was with this one’s ending anyway? What’s up with all the build-up and then making it end like that? It was so underwhelming and rushed, I kept checking if my copy was somehow missing another chapter. It took me a long time to finally accept that that was it. Man, I could cry just thinking about it again.

Overall, I still liked the book and shipped Robin and Carter hard before any of the drama happened. I also want to applaud the author for making Carter’s situation very believable. Carter’s deafness didn’t come out as a stupid plot device to me. It seemed genuine, you know? I don’t even know if that makes sense but I guess what I’m trying to say is that the author has really done her research and I greatly appreciate that. That alone warrants this book a solid star. So even though I’ve had some uncertainties, I’m still giving this book 3 stars.

MARLAhbt

REVIEWS: An Ember in the Ashes, City of Fae, The Truth About Us a.k.a nope, wth?!, yawnfest

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An Ember in the Ashes
Sabaa Tahir
Published April 28th 2015 by Razorbill
YA > Fantasy | Romance
400pages (paperback)
purchased

 

2 ★★

 

BLURB FROM GOODREADS:

 

If seventeen-year-old Skylar Evans were a typical Creek View girl, her future would involve a double-wide trailer, a baby on her hip, and the graveyard shift at Taco Bell. But after graduation, the only thing standing between straightedge Skylar and art school are three minimum-wage months of summer. Skylar can taste the freedom—that is, until her mother loses her job and everything starts coming apart. Torn between her dreams and the people she loves, Skylar realizes everything she’s ever worked for is on the line.
Nineteen-year-old Josh Mitchell had a different ticket out of Creek View: the Marines. But after his leg is blown off in Afghanistan, he returns home, a shell of the cocksure boy he used to be. What brings Skylar and Josh together is working at the Paradise—a quirky motel off California’s dusty Highway 99. Despite their differences, their shared isolation turns into an unexpected friendship and soon, something deeper.

 

REVIEW:

 

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If ever there’ll be a sequel, I don’t think I’ll read it.

I did not hate the book. But I didn’t overly loved it either. I’ve always been the odd one out and I’m not even sorry.

There’s only two reasons why I read this book. 1) because of the hype, 2) because I feel like I haven’t read much from this genre. Other than that, I wouldn’t even give this another glance.

Sabaa’s writing was indeed phenomenal, I love how even though I was not enjoying the story that much, she still kept me reading. Her worlds and characters reminds me of Brandon Sanderson (w/c is the only high fantasy author that works for me) and because of that, it gave me reason to just keep on reading. This book is creative and touches every possible thought provoking theme you can think of. There were messages hidden along Sabaa’s plots and dialogues that made me admire her as an author. I really want my book meaningful and thought provoking even its fantasy (maybe especially because its fantasy)

But I just noticed that my problems of the book was outnumbering the good ones. Most are just personal, but some are the way it was written/executed.

The romance aspect was such a soap opera. It’s like a love triangle gone awry. And it might seem petty but, again, I’m not sorry. I’m a huge romance reader so I notice this things. And it also affects my reading a lot. There were two leads and each of them have their own love interest… and then by the near end, something just happened between them that I honestly believed isn’t necessary at all.

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It was better left alone but for some reason, the author still did the whole thing. I was sad about this. And confused. And also frustrated.

Another one is how I feel disconnected towards these two main leads. And how they frustrate me and just… makes me want to put the book down. They actually bore me. Yes, I WAS BORED. The female main character was whiny, You might tell me, ‘HEY SHE DID GROW!’ Well, here’s what I’m going to say.. ‘REALLY? DID SHE REALLY? LAIA DIDN’T HAVE A CHOICE. HER ‘CHARACTER GROWTH’ was not something she instilled in herself. And honestly, I didn’t feel genuineness from her, Now, Elias… just plainly bored me, I.. actually forgot his name, Its like, I don’t care. AT ALL.

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Another thing: It’s like a rape fest. I’m irritated and annoyed. I don’t know why does this thing keep coming up every. freaking. time. There was no actual rape that was graphically written. But it was mentioned, like, every chapter. I totally get it. I AM AWARE ABOUT THE RAPES. I find it annoying that ‘rape’ was kept plastering in my face. I know that the book was supposed to be ‘dark and edgy’ and all that. But is repeating the word rape million times the way to go?

And lastly, it was boring and it DOESN’T MAKE SENSE AT ALL. At least to me, Oh goodness it was dragging. Like, DRAGGING. I’m surprised I didn’t DNF. I was really curios about the hype that is surrounding this book, And it makes me sad that I don’t see it.

Where is it? WHERE

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I’m not even gonna put here if I recommend this or not because I know you’ll still read it anyway. And yes, please do so. This book isn’t bad but its not THE BEST either. I believe that it will work on certain readers. If you LOVED it, that’s awesome, But if not, like me, then that’s cool. Giving this book a low rating isn’t a sin against to anybody.

 

 

 

11
City of Fae
Pippa DaCosta
Published May 7th 2015 by Bloomsbury Spark
NA > Fantasy | Paranormal
336pages (ebook)
 arc via publisher

 

2 ★★

 

BLURB FROM GOODREADS:

 

From the moment Alina touches London’s hottest fae superstar, breaking one of the laws founded to protect all of her kind, her fate – and the fae – close in.
Below ground, the fae High Queen plots to claim the city as her own and places her pawns, ready for the battle to come. A battle she cannot lose, but for one small problem – Alina. There are four ancient keepers powerful enough to keep the queen in her prison. Three are dead. One remains … And to fight back, Alina risks sacrificing everything she has come to love.
This New Adult urban fantasy is packed with action and suspense and will have you yearning for more forbidden fae romance.

 

REVIEW:

 

Oh my god this book.

I was expecting awesome things from this novel. I mean, with that cover!? Of course expectation of awesomeness wouldn’t be avoided, That’s why I’m so sad. Because what I read was so far from awesome. Let me remind you what my face looked like while reading it.

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Think about this, the book tells us that FAE’S lives with the human now, And yet, throughout the novel, only 2-3 fae’s among humans were introduced. Most of them have 2-3 lines only. WHAT IS UP WITH THAT.

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Next, FAE’S ARE WITH THE HUMANS, RIGHT? So when our heroine found out that there was a FAE WORLD, she was so shocked! Shocked! Because hello!!?!?? Why would she expect that there’s such a place like that even if Fae’s are already living in their world.

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Next, our supposed-to-be-smart heroine can’t stop moistening her lips!! Anastasia Steele syndrome??? Most likely.

Next, humans can’t ever touch the FAES because once they do, Fae will steal something from them. Their essence or their soul, honestly at this point, I’m not paying much attention anymore (and this was mentioned in the start) But of course!!! Our heroine and love interest can’t resist each other. They are ‘fighting’ it. Suuuuuure.

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The romance in this book reminds me so much of FSoG, I KID YOU NOT. MC is a journalist. And also an idiot. And let me tell you, that’s not a good combination.

Lastly: LOVE QUADRUPLE. Is this a thing now!? I get that you want drama, but two people can achieve that you know.

The idea/concept of this book was really kind of fresh. But the execution, the way the story was constructed. This strongly needs a lot more work. From the start, you’ll feel that there’s something wrong about this already. And the world building? Honestly, where!?!??! And the characters. MC is so dumb, she makes me want to hurt someone. Love interest is so arrogant, he makes Christian Grey looks like an angel.

And yep, this is still my face while writing this.

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PMW
The Truth About Us
Janet Gurtler
Published April 7th 2015 by Sourcebooks Fire
YA > Contemporary | Romance
320pages (ebook)
arc via publisher

 

DNF

 

 

BLURB FROM GOODREADS:

 

A powerful and gripping contemporary YA from the author of I’m Not Her that’s “Just right for fans of Sarah Dessen and Jodi Picoult.”-Booklist
The truth is that Jess knows she screwed up.
She’s made mistakes, betrayed her best friend, and now she’s paying for it. Her dad is making her spend the whole summer volunteering at the local soup kitchen.
The truth is she wishes she was the care-free party-girl everyone thinks she is.
She pretends it’s all fine. That her “perfect” family is fine. But it’s not. And no one notices the lie…until she meets Flynn. He’s the only one who really sees her. The only one who listens.
The truth is that Jess is falling apart – and no one seems to care.
But Flynn is the definition of “the wrong side of the tracks.” When Jess’s parents look at him they only see the differences-not how much they need each other. They don’t get that the person who shouldn’t fit in your world… might just be the one to make you feel like you belong.

 

Review:

 

Jess is the rich girl who is acting out. Flynn is from the wrong side of the tracks. And I’m the reader who doesn’t care at all.

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I kinda understand Jess. I mean I get it, you have money, you feel like nobody loves you, dysfunctional family– you really tend to act out. An her self realizations and her desire to grow was admiring. I like that about her. She knows she’s messed up and she decided to needs to change.

Now Flynn on the other hand. Oh the hurty feelings!!! Flynn is so complicated, sometimes I wonder if he has the problem of the whole earth in his shoulders.

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So tired of guys who doesn’t know what he wants. He pulls her then pushes back.

WHAT DUDE?!! WHAT DO YOU REALLY WANT!!!!

Look, I KNOW. He has issues.Please don’t assume that life is is easy on me and I’m making fun of Flynn, we all have issues. And I get Flynn. But the way Flynn is coping is so not helping him. Jess of course doesn’t get all this because she’s more into her romance dilemna. I MEAN HELLO, PRIORITIES!!!! And there’s also this thing that Flynn did towards the that is so unbelievable!!!! I can’t believe Jess forgave him so fast. It must be ~**true love**~

Janet Gurtler does have a very beautiful way of writing. But as pleasant as that was, my annoyance just keeps popping and my supposed to be swoony feeling didn’t show. I still recommend this book. I just think it’s not for everybody. I had some issues but there’s a chance you might enjoy it more.

Paula

ARC REVIEW: Any Way You Slice It by Kristine Carlson Asselin

 111Any Way You Slice It
Kristine Carlson Asselin
Expected publication: April 21st 2015 by Bloomsbury Spark
YA > Contemporary | Realistic Fiction
arc via tour host
 
 

3 ★★★1/2

 
 
Purchase links:
Amazon | BN | Kobo
 
 

BLURB FROM GOODREADS:

 
Penelope Spaulding just can’t catch a break. Between long hours at the family restaurant, homework, and her parents’ plans for her future, it’s hard to find a spare moment to breathe. But when she laces up her skates and steps on the ice, everything slips away…
Racing around the rink allows her to blow off steam after yet another fight with her dad about going to culinary school. So when Jake Gomes, the bad boy who lives down the street, dares her to join the Rink Rats, the local misfit hockey team, she surprises herself and joins in silent defiance of her father and his expectations.
The more she plays, the easier it is to keep lying, and soon Pen finds it impossible to come clean. She’s sneaking out to practice—and loving every minute of it. It doesn’t take long for her to fall in love with hockey…and Jake’s not half bad either. But she knows it can’t last. As soon as her dad finds out, she’ll be benched. For good.
She’s absolutely not going to tell her parents until she’s sure it will be worth the inevitable fight. Not only is she skipping shifts at Slice Pizza while a foodie reality show is on the horizon, but her lies are starting to take their toll on her game. It’s only a matter of time before everything falls apart.
With the team counting on her and with her relationship with Jake on the line, will she have to sacrifice the thing she wants most for the people she loves? Or can she step up and take her best shot?
 
 
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[tour schedule]
 
 

Welcome to my stop for the AWYSI blog tour! Reading this book is so much fun. Probably everything you wanted in here like Pizza, cute hockey players… 😀 Don’t forget to check out the book trailer and  join the awesome giveaway at the bottom of the post!


 

 

REVIEW:

 

This book has ‘adorable’ written all over it. I like that while it’s cute and adorable it also deals with serious and important stuff. I love parents. I love that they have our best interest in their hearts. But as much as they love us- there are still some unavoidable agreements that bounds to happen.

So why am I saying this? Its because of our main character’s situation. Her parents have a different idea for her when it comes to the career she’ll be pursuing. It was amazing how much I relate to Penelope. Maybe because I’ve been in her situation but Kristine Asselin really wrote a believable teenager who is struggling to make her own dreams happen. I was touched by how much persistent she can be. Sure, there are a lot of lies and sneaking around that happened but it was great how she realized how bad that was. And as a teenager myself, I understand her. I’m sure you will too no matter what your age is.

The romance was simple and sweet. Not really my usual cuppa since I enjoy the NA/A Romance more but I still enjoyed it. The love interest has his own issues that needs to be dealt with and it was great that it was tackled accordingly. The characters are young and the level of their intimacy is just perfect!

I am impressed too and very much intrigued now with Hockey because of this book. I was not a fan back then but because of the glimpses that Kristen Asselin showed us when it comes to Hockey really caught my attention. The excitement was very much present. The urge to cheer for Pen cannot be ignored. And I was rooting for her the whole time. I can’t help but feel like I was inside the book. Standing with the audience.

The family aspect was well done. I love how realistic Pen’s relationship is to her family and even to her bestfriend who is so hilarious btw! I like the pizza place that they have and even their crew. Kristine just made me care for all of them.

I still don’t know whether I should sing or crave for pizza whenever I read this title but one thing I know though is that I truly enjoyed reading it. It was funny and heartfelt. I recommend Pen’s adventures for readers who wants to be encouraged to chase her own dreams. And if you’re a parent? This is a MUST for your kids!

 

 

BOOK TRAILER:

 

 

 

 

AUTHOR:

 

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Kristine Carlson Asselin is the author of fourteen children’s books for the school library market. In addition to nonfiction, she writes Young Adult and Middle Grade fiction. She has a BS from Fitchburg State University and an MA from the University of Connecticut.

Her debut YA novel – ANY WAY YOU SLICE IT – will be available from Bloomsbury Spark in 2015. Her first picture book, WORST CASE OF PASKETTI-ITIS was published in June 2013.

A member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), Kristine loves attending workshops to practice her craft and meet other writers. She is currently on deck to direct the 2014 New England SCBWI Conference.

She loves books–mostly middle grade and young adult. She’s a sucker for a good love song. And she can’t resist an invitation for Chinese Food or Ice Cream. But not together.

She is represented by Kathleen Rushall of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.

Kristine lives with her husband and daughter in a suburb near Boston.

Find out more about Kristine at www.kristineasselin.com or www.krisasselin.blogspot.com.

 

 

GIVEAWAY:

 

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BOOK SPOTLIGHT: One Wish Away by Kelley Lynn + Giveaway!!

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TITLE: One Wish Away
AUTHOR: Kelley Lynn
PUBLICATION: Expected publication: November 24th 2014 by Bloomsbury Spark
GENRE: YA > Science Fiction | Contemporary
 
You can buy the Book here:
AMAZON | B&N | KOBO
 
 

BLURB FROM GOODREADS:

 
Be careful what you wish for…
Lyra has always been ahead of the curve. Top of her class in school, a budding astronomer, and with a best friend like Darren she barely has time to miss the mother who abandoned her family years ago. She’s too busy planning to follow in her father’s footsteps, and to become the youngest astronomer at Space Exploration and Discovery.
When a star goes missing Lyra is determined to get to the bottom of it only to discover her braniac dad is the mastermind of a top-secret government experiment. They promise to build a perfect world, one galaxy at a time, but with every tweak of the present, a bit more of the future starts to crumble.
Lyra has to go undercover to reveal the truth and let humanity decide if the consequences are worth more than wishing on a star. 
 
 
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[click here for tour schedule]

 

 

Welcome to my stop for the One Wish Away blog Tour!! I’m excited to give you the gist about Kelley Lynn’s newest novel, here’s a great teaser for all of you!  There’s also a great giveaway waiting for you at the end of the post, don’t forget to enter. Thank you for stopping by!!

 

 

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THE AUTHOR:

 

kelley lynn

WebsiteGoodreadsTwitterFacebook

 

Eventually the day came when the voices in Kelley Lynn’s head were more insistent then her engineering professor’s. So instead of turning to her Thermodynamics book, Kelley brought up a blank page on her computer screen and wrote. Somewhere along the way she became a Young Adult author.
Kelley was born and raised a Midwestern girl. She’s not afraid to sweat and fills her free time with softball, soccer and volleyball. (Though you probably don’t want her on your volleyball team.) She occasionally makes guest appearances as a female vocalist for area bands. Music plays a large role in her writing process as well as the characters and plot lines within her stories.

You can find Kelley hanging out at her blog, titled in her name, as well as the group blog she shares with her fellow critique partners, Falling for Fiction. Kelley is a member of the Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators.

 

 

 

 

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ARC REVIEW: Blood Entwines by Caroline Healy

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TITLE: Blood Entwines
AUTHOR: Caroline Healy
PUBLICATION: Published August 1st 2014 by Bloomsbury Spark
GENRE: YA > Fantasy | Paranormal
PAGES: 250pages (ebook)
SOURCE: e-arc via tour host
RATING:

3 ★★★

You can buy the Book here:
AMAZON | BLOOMSBURY

 

 

BLURB FROM GOODREADS:

 

In the aftermath of a blood transfusion that saved her life, Kara feels different. Her senses are stronger … she can hear whispered comments not meant for her ears … she can hear the person following her.
When Jack, her stalker, reveals himself and insists that Kara has something that belongs to him, she does her best to avoid him. But he’s determined to talk to her, convinced that they’re linked through the blood she received during her transfusion.
Jack is struggling against a dark and dangerous demon. His body is host to the evil power that wants Kara’s blood and will stop at nothing to get it, but when Jack himself is able to regain control he tries to warn her away. Can Kara save Jack without risking her own life?

 

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[click here for the tour schedule]

 

 

MY REVIEW:

 

After a Blood Transfusion gone wrong, Kara started to feel changes. And not not only that, a dangerously hot guy is suddenlt following her now.

Blood Entwines has a very intriguing narration. Some readers may be turned off by this way of narration but I found it very mystifying that I finished the book in one sitting. This book opened up in great. Th readers will instantly want to know what’s gonna happen next since the opening was an accident of one of the main characters, Kara. It’s like I’m watching a movie, honestly. The way Healy wrote the story was impressive and I love that I can feel what the characters are feeling through the authors words.

The setting and some of the characters needs some work though. Where the book was set wasn’t that clear to me and I didn’t get much of it from the book. I’m just really curios on where the characters were situated. Kara nad Jack was okay.. but I think it still need a little work. More character development. Characters like Ashleigh was, although not that developed, was great because I was really affected by her. I hated her to bits, seriously.

All in all, Blood Entwines is a short read. Perfect for readers who just want to relax but also want intrigue and action on their read. 

 

 

THE AUTHOR:

 

Caroline Healy

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

 

Caroline Healy is a writer and community arts facilitator. She recently completed her M.A. in Creative Writing at the Seamus Heaney Centre, Queen’s University, Belfast.

She published her first, award winning collection of short stories, entitled A Stitch in Time in August 2012. Her work has been featured in publications such as Wordlegs, The Bohemyth, Prole and the Irish Writers’ Centre Lonely Voice.

She writes literary fiction and young adult fiction, with her Y.A. book Blood Entwines released with Bloomsbury Publishing in August 2014.

Caroline loves drinking tea from mis-matched china, doing yoga, as well as reading, writing, talking and thinking about all things bookish. She also has a penchant for cake and dark chocolate.

 

 

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