April 30, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #37

17 First Kisses17 First Kisses by Rachael Allen
Series: N/A
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: June 17, 2014
No matter how many boys Claire kisses, she can’t seem to find a decent boyfriend. Someone who wouldn’t rather date her gorgeous best friend, Megan. Someone who won’t freak out when he learns about the tragedy her family still hasn’t recovered from. Someone whose kisses can carry her away from her backwoods town for one fleeting moment.

Until Claire meets Luke.

But Megan is falling for Luke, too, and if there’s one thing Claire knows for sure, it’s that Megan’s pretty much irresistible.

With true love and best friendship on the line, Claire suddenly has everything to lose. And what she learns—about her crush, her friends, and most of all herself—makes the choices even harder.

In her moving debut, Rachael Allen brilliantly captures the complexities of friendship, the struggles of self-discovery, and the difficulties of trying to find love in high school. Fans of Sarah Ockler, Susane Colasanti, and Stephanie Perkins will fall head over heels for this addictive, heartfelt, and often hilarious modern love story.
There's something about this storyline that just appeals to me. I WANT TO KNOW OF THIS TRAGEDY. AND TO SEE THIS ROMANCE. Oh, it 'twould be an honor to witness it all! And not to mention the fact that they said it was for fans of several AWESOME contemporary authors! I might die and go to Bluegrass heaven, y'all!

April 28, 2014

The Museum of Intangible Things by Wendy Wunder

The Museum of Intangible Things
The Museum of Intangible Things by Wendy Wunder
Series: N/A
Source: Author for Review
Publisher: Razorbill
Publication Date: April 10, 2014
Loyalty. Envy. Obligation. Dreams. Disappointment. Fear. Negligence. Coping. Elation. Lust. Nature. Freedom. Heartbreak. Insouciance. Audacity. Gluttony. Belief. God. Karma. Knowing what you want (there is probably a French word for it). Saying Yes. Destiny. Truth. Devotion. Forgiveness. Life. Happiness (ever after).

Hannah and Zoe haven’t had much in their lives, but they’ve always had each other. So when Zoe tells Hannah she needs to get out of their down-and-out New Jersey town, they pile into Hannah’s beat-up old Le Mans and head west, putting everything—their deadbeat parents, their disappointing love lives, their inevitable enrollment at community college—behind them.

As they chase storms and make new friends, Zoe tells Hannah she wants more for her. She wants her to live bigger, dream grander, aim higher. And so Zoe begins teaching Hannah all about life’s intangible things, concepts sadly missing from her existence—things like audacity, insouciance, karma, and even happiness.

An unforgettable read from the acclaimed author of The Probability of Miracles, The Museum of Intangible Things sparkles with the humor and heartbreak of true friendship and first love.

"I think there could be different versions of truth," he says. "You choose your truth, and then you build your life around it."

The Museum of Intangible Things was exactly what I expected from Wendy Wunder - a depressing book, but not a bad one. I'm not sure if it was the way it was written, or the situation that it described, but it was definitely an interesting read.

Our main character, Hannah, was very pliable, but she was likable. She was just a bit misguided - and I imagine the reasoning behind that was the simple fact that she chose to follow Zoe. Hannah made a lot of bad decisions, but I think in the end she really grew up.

I didn't care for the romance between her and Danny, though. I didn't feel any chemistry, and there was a bit of instalove going on, to be completely honest. I didn't feel the development of any actual feelings between them, which was sad. I was hoping for a good love story. (Although, in the end, there was a great explanation to some of this.)

You remember how I mentioned Zoe earlier? Well, we're going to talk about her now. While I don't approve of a lot of the things that Zoe did, I think she did her best to be a good friend to Hannah. And I understand that Zoe had a lot of problems, but she really helped Hannah to break out of her shell, and that was a great achievement. She was okay, really.

All in all, The Museum of Intangible Things was an interesting read. I didn't expect the ending, but it was actually really perfect for a read like this one: completely unexpected.

April 25, 2014

Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira

Love Letters to the Dead
Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira
Series: N/A
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication Date: April 1, 2014
It begins as an assignment for English class: Write a letter to a dead person. Laurel chooses Kurt Cobain because her sister, May, loved him. And he died young, just like May did. Soon, Laurel has a notebook full of letters to people like Janis Joplin, Amy Winehouse, Amelia Earhart, Heath Ledger, and more; though she never gives a single one of them to her teacher. She writes about starting high school, navigating new friendships, falling in love for the first time, learning to live with her splintering family. And, finally, about the abuse she suffered while May was supposed to be looking out for her. Only then, once Laurel has written down the truth about what happened to herself, can she truly begin to accept what happened to May. And only when Laurel has begun to see her sister as the person she was; lovely and amazing and deeply flawed; can she begin to discover her own path.

I know I wrote letters to people with no address on this earth, I know that you are dead. But I hear you. I hear all of you. We were here. Our lives matter.

I really have no idea what to say about Love Letters to the Dead. It was amazing, that's for sure. It touched me - I guess that's just one way to put it.

I loved the letter format that it was written in. It was kind of magical - the idea of writing letter after letter to dead people is great to me - I always kind of wondered if they could hear/see us, you know? The letters were very conversational, but they still had a distinct "this-is-a-letter" feel to them. It was all very surreal.

The entire book had a very depressed lilt to it - a kind of feeling that something very bad had happened. I liked that. I liked it a lot! I also liked that Laurel gave us a bit of background information on everyone that she wrote to - by just kind of slipping it in there, by saying that she understood why they did something. That was great. I didn't know some of the people that Laurel wrote to, but the ones that I knew far outnumbered the ones that I didn't. Kurt Cobain, Janis Joplin and Heath Ledger were just a few of the best ones. It was cool, some of the things that she wrote to the people that she thought would understand.

Let's get to the best part, though. Laurel. She was an amazing, true to life, fleshed out character. She's depressed and it's obvious, she's innocent and naive, but she's also self-conscious and sort of funny. She is who she is, and even if she's not exactly comfortable with herself - she was a real person. I loved that about her.

She dealt with grief in such a real and unique way, and even though she sometimes made bad decisions, I found that her growth throughout Love Letters to the Dead was absolutely fantastic.

I enjoyed the happy moments in this book. They're few and far between, but they're there none the less, and they make the book just a little bit lighter. Love Letters to the Dead really handles a lot of subjects, from depression to molestation to drug use, and I think that it handled them all well.

The writing was beautiful. I don't think that the prose could have been any better. All in all, Love Letters to the Dead really is a good book. I'd recommend it to people who like issue books.

April 23, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #36

Boys Like YouBoys Like You by Juliana Stone
Series: N/A
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Publication Date: May 6, 2014
One mistake.

And everything changes.

For Monroe Blackwell, one small mistake has torn her family apart –leaving her empty and broken. There’s a hole in her heart that nothing can fill. That no one can fill. And a summer in Louisiana with her Grandma isn’t going to change that…

Nathan Everets knows heartache first-hand when a car accident leaves his best friend in a coma. And it’s his fault. He should be the one lying in the hospital. The one who will never play guitar again. He doesn’t deserve forgiveness, and a court-appointed job at the Blackwell B&B isn’t going to change that…

Captivating and hopeful, this achingly poignant novel brings together two lost souls struggling with grief and guilt – looking for acceptance, so they can find forgiveness.
I like reading books like this - they make me feel hopeful. So maybe, just maybe - this book might cure my hankering for something sad and hopeful and wonderful at the same time. And maybe some romance. It seems like one of those books.

April 21, 2014

Anyone But You by Kim Askew & Amy Helmes

Anyone But You: A Modern-Day Spin on Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet (Twisted Lit #3)
Anyone But You by Kim Askew by Amy Helmes
Series: Twisted Lit, #3
Source: Authors for Review
Publisher: Merit Press
Publication Date: January 1, 2014
These violent delights have violent ends...

Gigi Caputo is fed up. A vicious act of vandalism has dealt another blow to her family's proud pizza heritage, and the Montes--owners of a rival Italian restaurant--are clearly to blame. The hostility goes far beyond bragging rights for best pizza in Chicago. The Montes have been bent on destroying Cap's for four generations. Even if it means putting herself in harm's way, Gigi's determined to get to the bottom of the feud. Instead, in a secret encounter with Roman Monte, the very boy whose relatives have brought her family such grief, she finds both danger and love at first sight. If the daughter and son of these two warring families fall for each other, can it be anything but a recipe for disaster?

Slowly, Gigi and Roman learn that their story is fatefully linked to the summer of 1933, when two twelve-year-olds, Benny and Nick, hop the turnstile at the Chicago World's Fair. The most stunning wonder of the fair is Stella, who innocently causes a lasting rift between the two boyhood. Wending its way through past and present day, this modern take on Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is bittersweet, funny, and intensely exciting. It's classic romance--a tale of hate and the only force that can ever defeat it: love.

Romeo & Juliet is one of my least favorite Shakespeare plays. I just can't get over the stupidity of the entire story, and I really don't find it romantic. Insta-love, then everyone dies. That's a real winner there. Which is why I was pleasantly surprised to find that I actually enjoyed Anyone But You. I was expecting the humor and the sense of romantic comedy that comes with these girls together, but this was the first book of theirs that I really liked.

At first, I was a little bit confused, and kind of unsure - as y'all know, I don't follow POV switches very well - unless they're very well written. And while the POVs in Anyone But You weren't badly written, not at all, the first switch was very confusing. Not only did it switch POVs, it all switched eras. Like, all the way back to the thirties - and that was a tiny bit disconcerting at first.

I didn't connect with the main character, Gigi, and I didn't really buy the romance between Roman and Gigi - but I'm willing to forgive the instalove. Because, as I mentioned before, the original play was built on insta-love. I would have liked to have seen more development, but I'm fine with what was presented.

I actually liked the scenes from the past, told through Nick's eyes, better than the present day. Nick was a more complex character, and it was nice to see all of the things that tore Benny & Nick apart. The development in that part of the story was absolutely phenomenal! I predicted what the problem would be, but since I'd already read the play... it was okay.

The most interesting part of Anyone But You was picking out names and faces and personalities from the original play - and comparing them. That was a lot of fun. All in all, Anyone But You really wasn't a bad read. I actually really liked it, and it was a wonderful re-imagining of Romeo & Juliet.

April 18, 2014

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

The Ocean at the End of the Lane
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
Series: N/A
Source: Bought
Publisher: William Morrow Books
Publication Date: June 18, 2013
Sussex, England. A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother and grandmother. He hasn't thought of Lettie in decades, and yet as he sits by the pond (a pond that she'd claimed was an ocean) behind the ramshackle old farmhouse, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past too strange, too frightening, too dangerous to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy.

Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper and resonated in unimaginable ways. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie—magical, comforting, wise beyond her years—promised to protect him, no matter what.

A groundbreaking work from a master, The Ocean at the End of the Lane is told with a rare understanding of all that makes us human, and shows the power of stories to reveal and shelter us from the darkness inside and out. It is a stirring, terrifying, and elegiac fable as delicate as a butterfly's wing and as menacing as a knife in the dark.

Adults follow paths. Children explore. Adults are content to walk the same way, hundreds of times, or thousands; perhaps it never occurs to adults to step off the paths, to creep beneath the rhododendrons, to find the spaces between fences.

I'm not going to lie and tell you that I thought The Ocean at the End of the Lane was brilliant, though I do think that Neil Gaiman is brilliant. To tell you the truth, until about the last eighth of the book, I thought that this was going to be a two star read. Nothing had really grabbed me, and not a thing made sense to me.

But after I read that last eighth, everything kind of just fell in together, and it all made sense and it was the Neil Gaiman I was used to. So I don't understand why the first seven eighths didn't do that for me. Actually, I think I do... but it makes me seem slightly close-minded. It was the main character. And as far as I can tell, he doesn't have a name. (I didn't notice it while reading, but I'm noticing that now.)

I just... couldn't connect with the boy that this was happening to - it could have been his age, or it might just be that I didn't care for the boy a bit.

My overall thoughts on The Ocean at the End of the Lane, according to my notes, appear to go something like "this is weird" said in different variations, throughout the entirety of the book. Many crazy things happened, and lots of weird ones... and I never really felt like I got the complete story. At one point, my head even started to hurt while reading.

The ending was definitely the best part of it all - everything made sense, and it even gave me a few philosophical questions to ponder, like "are the Hempstocks a representation of the three fates" or "is the ocean made of everything". All in all, this was a very weird read. And honestly, I'd recommend Stardust to you way before I recommended this one.

April 16, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #35

TeaseTease by Amanda Maciel
Series: N/A
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: April 29, 2014
Emma Putnam is dead, and it's all Sara Wharton's fault.

At least, that's what everyone seems to think. Sara, along with her best friend and three other classmates, has been criminally charged for the bullying and harassment that led to Emma's shocking suicide. Now Sara is the one who's ostracized, already guilty according to her peers, the community, and the media.

During the summer before her senior year, in between meetings with lawyers and a court-recommended therapist, Sara is forced to reflect on the events that brought her to this moment—and ultimately consider her role in an undeniable tragedy. And she'll have to find a way to move forward, even when it feels like her own life is over.

In this powerful debut novel inspired by real-life events, Amanda Maciel weaves a narrative of high school life as complex and heartbreaking as it is familiar: a story of everyday jealousies and resentments, misunderstandings and desires. Tease is a thought-provoking must-read that will haunt readers long after the last page.
THIS. I want this - because I want to get into Sara's mind, and I want to find out why she did. And even more than that, I want to get into Emma's mind. I want to know why she decided she couldn't take it anymore. But mostly, I want to know how Sara feels.

April 14, 2014

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
Series: N/A
Source: Bought
Publisher: Dutton Adult
Publication Date: April 14, 2011
"Hi, I'm the guy who reads your e-mail, and also, I love you . . . "

Beth Fremont and Jennifer Scribner-Snyder know that somebody is monitoring their work e-mail. (Everybody in the newsroom knows. It's company policy.) But they can't quite bring themselves to take it seriously. They go on sending each other endless and endlessly hilarious e-mails, discussing every aspect of their personal lives.

Meanwhile, Lincoln O'Neill can't believe this is his job now- reading other people's e-mail. When he applied to be "internet security officer," he pictured himself building firewalls and crushing hackers- not writing up a report every time a sports reporter forwards a dirty joke.

When Lincoln comes across Beth's and Jennifer's messages, he knows he should turn them in. But he can't help being entertained-and captivated-by their stories.

By the time Lincoln realizes he's falling for Beth, it's way too late to introduce himself.

What would he say . . . ?

Attachments was adorable, y'all. Like, adorable. There aren't words to describe how cute I think this book was, and how much I just... loved it. And everyone in it. Especially Beth and Lincoln, who are ADORBS. And I love Jennifer too. Just all of these characters, I love them all and I have massive feels and OMG I'm smiling like an idiot right now!

The story is told from Lincoln's point of view, and I really liked that. We rarely ever see guy points of view, especially a nerdy, normal guy's point of view. I mean, there's something to be said for the jock/bad boy (and I quite enjoy them) but Dear Lord, when there's a perfectly sweet and adorable boy out there? I'm going to go for him. My love for Lincoln almost surpasses my love for Levi, and the only reason that he doesn't beat him? He's too old for me. But really, Lincoln was just the sweetest thing, and he was adorable and awkward and GAH he's like a male me. Kind of. (Not to freak you out, but there's a note in my notebook that reads "Lincoln is so ridiculously adorable - I want one!")

And Beth? Most of what we know about her is the emails, but dang this girl is hilarious! I loved all of her emails with Jennifer. They were so much fun to read, and you could really see their personalities, even if it's only an email! I liked the fact that Rainbow Rowell could endear us to a character without ever really letting us into her mind - at all. Beth is only ever seen through emails. And it is awesome.

I had so much fun reading this book! Like, loads of laugh-out-loud-OMG-that's-awesome fun! I didn't know that I was capable of loving characters that much, but it was good. It was very good!

I'm gonna go back to Lincoln now - because I love the fact that Rainbow Rowell doesn't write stereotypical boy characters - she writes normal ones. And she writes normal girls too. I love love love that. But the boys... love them. If I met any of them in real life... I'd be after it. Who doesn't love a stout/farm-boyish guy? Really. (Hmm. Maybe I'm the lone weirdo, but whatever.)

The romance between Lincoln and Beth was a really fun, interesting experience. Obviously, for most of the book? Beth doesn't know anything about Lincoln, and he's reading her email. You'd think that would be really weird (and to some extent it is), but it somehow works. It was beautiful and believable and funny and weird. It wasn't too fast, but sometimes it verged on too slow - but it was a good slow.

I'm going to admit that the ending was a little open, but in an "WHY MUST YOU END" way, rather than a "WHAT THAT WASN'T AN ENDING" way. All in all, I really recommend Attachments. Like, insanely recommend, and want everyone to experience the cute. READ IT.

April 11, 2014

Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor

Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #1)
Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor
Series: Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #1
Source: Gifted
Publisher: Little, Brown
Publication Date: September 27, 2011
Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands", she speaks many languages - not all of them human - and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

"Wishes are false. Hope is true. Hope makes its own magic."

For lack of a better word, Daughter of Smoke & Bone was...interesting. I enjoyed the dark atmosphere, and the overall uniqueness (chimera!), but there were a few things that could have been better. For instance, the romance was just kind of meh. I wanted to like it, but I couldn't get past the "insta" factor, and for all the explaining involved with that, it was still instalove.

I liked both of the main characters, Akiva and Karou. But I definitely liked Karou more - she had more time for development, and she was a mysterious and highly interesting character. I wanted to know what her secret was, maybe even more that she wanted to know! Akiva was less likable, with his thundersome personality, and his lack of feelings. I don't blame the poor guy, but still.

There was a jarring sensation the first time that I read a chapter from Akiva's point of view (due to having read about eight from Karou's), so that may have had an effect on my overall opinion of his character. Really, I'm not sure what I thought of Akiva. I mean, I don't think that Karou should trust him. His character kind of makes me nervous!

Speaking of characters that make me nervous... Brimstone and Issa did too - but they did it in a good way, that actually made them my favorites. Brimstone... I'd like to see more of him, because his character has an obscene amount of power!

The writing was beautiful and descriptive, full wonderful world development and a few plot twists, but near the end it was just a little confusing. I blame it on the fact that it felt like we'd switched stories entirely. Very strange, but overall I don't think it hurt my enjoyment of the book. I'd recommend reading this one - and I'm interested to see where the next book takes this series!

April 9, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #34

GreatGreat by Sara Benincasa
Series: N/A
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: April 8, 2014
In Sara Benincasa's contemporary retelling of The Great Gatsby, a teenage girl becomes entangled in the drama of a Hamptons social circle, only to be implicated in a tragedy that shakes the summer community.

Everyone loves a good scandal.

Naomi Rye usually dreads spending the summer with her socialite mother in East Hampton. This year is no different. She sticks out like a sore thumb among the teenagers who have been summering (a verb only the very rich use) together for years. But Naomi finds herself captivated by her mysterious next-door neighbor, Jacinta. Jacinta has her own reason for drawing close to Naomi-to meet the beautiful and untouchable Delilah Fairweather. But Jacinta's carefully constructed world is hiding something huge, a secret that could undo everything. And Naomi must decide how far she is willing to be pulled into this web of lies and deception before she is unable to escape.

Based on a beloved classic and steeped in Sara Benincasa's darkly comic voice, Great has all the drama, glitz, and romance with a terrific modern (and scandalous) twist to enthrall readers
I am very aware that this came out yesterday - but I just have to share this find with y'all! A TEEN BOOK. BASED ON THE GREAT GATSBY. I mean, where could that possibly go wrong? I'd love to find out if this could really translate into a teenage book! Plus, it's gonna be different, because it's narrated by a girl. That'll be interesting!

April 7, 2014

Cress by Marissa Meyer

Cress (Lunar Chronicles, #3)
Cress by Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles, #3
Source: Gifted by the incredible Inky
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publication Date: February 4, 2014
Rapunzel’s tower is a satellite. She can’t let down her hair—or her guard. 

In this third book in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles series, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.

Their best hope lies with Cress, who has been trapped on a satellite since childhood with only her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker—unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

When a daring rescue goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing stop her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only ones who can.

"I'm scared of her, and her army, and what she can do. And everyone expects me to be strong and brave, but I don't know what I'm doing. I have no idea how to overthrow her. And even if I succeed, I have no idea how to be a queen. There are so many people relying on me, people who don't even know they're relying on me, and now they're dying, all because of some ridiculous fantasy that I can help them, that I can save them, but what if I can't?"

I originally started to write this review last night, but I could think of nothing to say. Nada. I'm a blank book, and there is nothing written in the pages of my mind that could properly describe exactly how I felt about Cress. But I'll try, and maybe you'll think I have something interesting to say about it.

I went into Cress with some big expectations... I was expecting to be wowed, and to a degree I was. This book takes us deeper into the world of The Lunar Chronicles, with the introduction of new plot and a few new characters. And intermixed with all these new characters are the characters that we know and love, like Scarlet, Iko, Cinder, Kai and Wolf. It was fun to see them again, and I enjoyed their group dynamic, but most of this one was all about Cress, one of the new characters.

Do you recognize the name? You should, it's on the front of the book. Cress was... interesting. I didn't like her as much as I liked Scarlet, but she's right up there with the original main character, Cinder. (If you can't tell, Scarlet is my favorite main character, but that may change with the next book. The peek we got at Winter was AMAZING.) But back to Cress. She's cute, really.  She's very innocent, very naive, and very unsure of herself, but I liked her. She was very nerdy, very easy to identify with... but mostly the epitome of a shy, quiet girl.

Just to screw with us, Thorne is the complete opposite. Cress has built him up in her mind to the point of hero status, which was cute, but unlikely. The glimpses that we got of Thorne show that he doesn't think of himself as a hero. Sometimes, he was, but most of the time... Thorne is just an average, normal kind of guy. That doesn't mean that I didn't like him, though! I did like him. But I feel like their romance was a little bit insta-lovish. Kind of. Like, a little bit. I liked it and all, and I didn't think the romance between them was stupid or anything (I actually thought it was adorable while reading) but the more I think about it, the more I realize that it was just a tad not perfect.

I liked that we saw character growth throughout the book - Thorne definitely became a better person, and Kai grew up a little more. I think he's shaping up to be a great leader - and I respect his character. I didn't get the point of views mixed up, but I do kind of want to call Cress Cinder. I'm not sure why - their characters are nothing alike, but I JUST DO.

Cress was nonstop twists and turns and new plot points - sometimes I felt like I would never be able to keep up, but I managed quite well. I'm really excited to see how this last book will turn out - especially since Winter is SNOW FREAKING WHITE, and OMG. Winter is totally going to rock - she's crazy. Like, "the walls are bleeding, but they don't believe me" crazy, and I'm going to have fun with her. And Jacin! :D

The worst part of Cress? (I hear you all saying "what? Worst part? What are you talking about?") It was the ending. Because now, no matter what I read... I'm stuck waiting on the next book in this series for A YEAR. AT LEAST. All in all, this was a really good continuation of the series, and I'm DYING for Winter.

April 4, 2014

The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan

The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #5)
The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan
Series: Percy Jackson & the Olympians, #5
Source: Bought
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Publication Date: May 12, 2009
All year the half-bloods have been preparing for battle against the Titans, knowing the odds of a victory are grim. Kronos’s army is stronger than ever, and with every god and half-blood he recruits, the evil Titan’s power only grows.

While the Olympians struggle to contain the rampaging monster Typhon, Kronos begins his advance on New York City, where Mount Olympus stands virtually unguarded. Now it’s up to Percy Jackson and an army of young demigods to stop the Lord of Time.

In this momentous final book in the New York Times best-selling series, the long-awaited prophecy surrounding Percy’s sixteenth birthday unfolds. And as the battle for Western civilization rages on the streets of Manhattan, Percy faces a terrifying suspicion that he may be fighting against his own fate.
"You'll do well, Percy. Just remember your strengths and beware your weaknesses."

I've been putting off this review, and to be honest with you, I'm not really sure why. I mean, I liked the book... so I guess I'll just chalk it up to pure laziness on my part, and a serious book hangover. This is the FIRST series to ever make me miss the characters when I closed the book - I kind of wanted to go back and read it all again, just because it was so good! And I don't ever say that lightly.

At first, I was a little hesitant, of course - the ending book of a favorite series is always a little bit rough. I mean, what if it has a terrible ending, or it's *gasp* boring? Thankfully, The Last Olympian was neither of those. There was a fear near the beginning that we might have a "Perachel" situation, but MINOR spoiler, NOPE. (Megan cheers, yes!, then starts chanting "Percabeth! Percabeth! Percabeth!")

Then came a minor issue with Nico, but it's no deal - I actually like the kid. He's so haunted, and maybe his moral compass doesn't always point North, but he's a good kid. I like him, at least!

I also enjoyed the feel of this one - it was a lot different than the other books. Which was... fun. I liked seeing the different atmosphere, what with the war and the sense of impending doom. I never thought that these kids could be very serious, but they really, really showed me! AND Percy really showed me too, because I was starting to doubt that our boy had it in him - but he's got more courage than it seems.

Maybe stupid courage. But courage all the same. IT WAS BEAUTIFUL. I WAS SMILING LIKE A MADWOMAN AND REREADING.

I'm always surprised by the twists that Riordan throws in, but this one really took the cake! I mean, a few things crossed my mind... BUT I NEVER EXPECTED THEM TO HAPPEN. *fans self* This book almost killed me, to tell you the truth. It was worth it.

All in all, I really think that The Last Olympian was a fitting end to the series - and I'm scared to read the spinoff. But I've been assured that it's amazing...

April 2, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday #33

Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend (Broken Hearts & Revenge, #1)
Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend by Katie Finn
Series: Broken Hearts & Revenge, #1
Publisher: Fiewel and Friends
Publication Date: May 13, 2014
Summer, boys, and friendships gone sour. This new series has everything that perfect beach reads are made of!

Gemma just got dumped and is devastated. She finds herself back in the Hamptons for the summer—which puts her at risk of bumping into Hallie, her former best friend that she wronged five years earlier. Do people hold grudges that long?

When a small case of mistaken identity causes everyone, including Hallie and her dreamy brother Josh, to think she’s someone else, Gemma decides to go along with it.

Gemma's plan is working (she's finding it hard to resist Josh), but she's finding herself in embarrassing situations (how could a bathing suit fall apart like that!?). Is it coincidence or is someone trying to expose her true identity? And how will Josh react if he finds out who she is?
First off, that cover is freakin' adorbs. So cute! I love the beachy/contemporary feel that it has. And did you read the synopsis? It sounds like a great beach read! I guess I'm just in a really beachy mood or something. I hope that I get to fall in love with this contemporary soon!