November 28, 2014

A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall

A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall
Source: bought paperback
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Publication Date: August 26th. 2014
Age Genre: New Adult (no sex)
Fourteen viewpoints.
One Love Story.
Lea and Gabe are in the same creative writing class. They get the same pop culture references, order the same Chinese food, and hang out in the same places. Unfortunately, Lea is a little aloof, Gabe is shy, and it looks like they are never going to work things out.
But something is happening between them, and everyone can see it. Their creative writing teacher pushes them together. The baristas at the local Starbucks watch their relationship like a TV series. The bus driver tells his wife about them. The waitress at the diner automatically seats them together. Even the squirrel who lives on the college green believes Lea and Gabe are meant to be together.

You'll be rooting for Gabe and Lea too, in this irresistibly romantic, completely original novel!
As Ryan Gosling so wonderfully put it, this book was Adorable. With a capital A. If you're looking for a cute story that will make you AWWW out-loud, grin stupidly, and generally make you forget all your worries (worries? What worries?) A Little Something Different is a safe bet.

Seriously, I spent the majority of this book smiling goofily, be it at the couple in question, or merely from the interactions between everyone, because they were all funny, and witty, and real. Like, those were conversations I could see myself having with my friends. I could see myself being their friend.

The greatest achievement in this book, for me, is how Hall managed to make me invested in all the characters. Be it Lea and Gabe, whom--yes, I got into big time. Like, screaming-"KISS-ALREADY"-in-harmony-with-the-rest-of-the-cast into--or the Squirrel, or even Victor (Which is really something, cause the guy was pretty annoying).

There are fourteen points of view in this book, y'all. Fourteen. That's, like... a ton. But I never felt one was unnecessary, or too much, or confusing. I loved each POV, and I honestly think each and everyone of the supporting characters deserve his/her own story, even though Hall has managed to sneak in a bit of their story (or at the very least, their romantic prospect), into the mix through their interactions alone.

A Little Something Different is different. It's unique. It's a love story when the couple doesn't narrate a single part. You have parts where a bench tells the story. And I actually wished there was more of Mr. Bench.

I think it's worth reading just for the freshness of it, even if you don't want the unfortunate side effect of suffocating your pillow due to massive overdose of cuteness. Luckily for me, A Little Something Different was exactly what the doctor ordered!

November 21, 2014

Pieces by Janine Infante Bosco

Pieces by Janine Infante Bosco
Series: The Riverdale #1
Source: Kindle edition
Publisher: indie
Publication Date: April 6th, 2014
Age Group: Adult
Jake Lanza is one of Riverdale New York’s favorite sons. He owns a tattoo parlor in the small upstate town and prides himself on being a fun-loving, live by the seat of your pants type of guy. He has everything he wants in life, a thriving business, a great family and a best friend with whom he could never live without.
Cara Sloane weaved her way into Jake’s life when they were fifteen years old. After her life fell apart at such a young age, Jake helped her heal, and began to pick up the pieces of her fallen life. His unconventional ways slowly had him becoming the anchor in her life.
Now fourteen years later Jake begins to see Cara in a new light. The things he thought he never wanted, he suddenly began to yearn for. The only problem was they were both too frightened to lose the greatest love either of them has ever known. Can Jake convince Cara there is more for them than just a friendship? Is he willing to take that gamble himself?
I got Pieces as a free kindle book. I was immediately interested by the theme of long time friends becoming more. It's one of my favorites. I started reading it almost the same day I got it, and immediately I noticed a glaring issue.

This book was poorly edited. It's not that it was badly written, but there were typos, sometimes the author wrote the wrong name, and most noticeable - the comma abuse. Every sentence had an insane amount of commas, even where they weren't need. It fractured the sentences, broke the fluidity of the reading, and kept taking me out of the plot as I was trying to translate how the sentence should be written.

It took a lot of effort and concentration to get over that and keep reading.

But I will admit - this book is good, aside for that. It has good characters - what with both Cara and Jake being strong, funny, good people - a good romance that made you feel the both of them belonged together, and the interactions between everyone made me smile and laugh.

It was also heartbreaking, but not in a way that made me (personally) cry. Probably because my issues with the commas stopped me from being completely swallowed by the book.

However, I won't be reading book 2. Not because this book wasn't good, but because SPOILER FOR BOOK TWO I know Jake dies. And I can't take that. I also can't take the direction of the third book. I never wanted those two together. No, Jake and Cara is it for me in this book. So, no thank you. END SPOIELR


November 14, 2014

Last Breath by Rachel Caine

Last Breath by Rachel Caine
Series: The Morganville Vampires #11
Source: Bought paperback
Publisher: Allison & Busby
Publication Date: Oct 28, 2011
Age Genre: Young Adult
Claire Danvers is concerned when three vampires vanish from Morganville without a trace. The last person seen with them is someone new to town - a mysterious individual named Magnus. Claire is convinced creepy Magnus isn't human... but is he a vampire, or something else entirely?
Claire's hunt for answers leads her to solving another mystery that's long been puzzling her: why do vampires live so far out in a sunny desert when they're sensitive to sunlight? The answer has nothing to do with sunlight, but with water - and an ancient enemy who has finally found a way to invade the vampires' landlocked community. Vampires aren't the top predotor on earth. There's something worse that preys on them... something much worse.
Which means if Claire, and Morganville, wants to live, they will have to fight on to the last breath...
Review contains book 10 spoilers
Okay, so let's get a few things straight, as this is the first time I've talked about TMV on The Book Babe's Reads. I love this series. Like, I really really do. It's super fun, and surprising, and I love the romance, and the action, and the plot.

So, imagine my surprise when, thanks to an edit I did on Leafmarks, I came to the stunning, horrifying realization that I've read the last installment in the series nine months ago.
Nine months! Where did the time go!? What exactly happened in those nine months? Regardless, the moment I realized this atrocity, I picked up my copy of Last Breath and pretty much the next day I was reading it.

I had forgotten how much I love the characters of this book. Their interactions made me smile and laugh so much, even though dire things happen. Like, there's never a moment of pure happiness. And if there is, it means someones going to die soon.
And still, the overall feel of the book is the opposite of the downer it should be.

Though, I've got to admit - how much I love everyone is not the only thing I forgot. Thanks to the huge gap in reading, I forgot details from the last books. Like Eve and Micheal getting engaged. That kind of blindsided me (and thank god Caine didn't drag out their issues, because they need some happy time!)

We also had a new couple brewing in this novel aside for our faves Claire and Shane (total OTP for this series!) and Michael and Eve. Personally, I think they are long overdo. I felt the sexual tension between them back in book one! Can't wait to see what happens there.
But romance is not really the main issue in this novel. Oh no, not at all. What Caine does here is pretty unique and unheard of - though I admit to have felt less of the impact of it thanks to... spoilers. I've been waiting for it to happen since I accidentally read of it. And yes, it was still exciting, but I knew how it would be solved, so there wasn't any anxiety involved, which is unfortunate.

But if you, dear reader, go into this book unawares, I guarantee the shock of your life and a twist to make you completely unable to even! And then there's that cliffy... *sigh*

On a few technical notes, this book introduces several new POVs, including Eve's, Micheal's and Amelie's. And they are in first person, which was a bit jarring at first because I've gotten used to Claire's third person pov style.

Surprisingly enough, I kind of hated Amelie's pov, even though I really do like her as a character. I especially loved Micheal's voice, and Shane's voice completely redeemed itself after the last book - in which his POV kind of made me... hate him? I hate hating characters I love (and yes, that is a logical sentence), so I'm happy to be back on track with him!

On a side-note; that is the worst synopsis ever.


November 7, 2014

Sabriel by Garth Nix

Sabriel by Garth Nix
Series: Abhorsen #1
Source: bought kindle copy
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: Oct 6th, 2009
Age Genre: Young Adult
Game of Thrones fans will love the New York Times bestselling Abhorsen series. Sabriel, the first installment in the trilogy, launched critically acclaimed author Garth Nix onto the fantasy scene as a rising star.
Since childhood, Sabriel has lived outside the walls of the Old Kingdom, away from the power of Free Magic, and away from the Dead who refuse to stay dead. But now her father, the Abhorson, is missing, and Sabriel must cross into that world to find him. With Mogget, whose feline form hides a powerful, perhaps malevolent spirit, and Touchstone, a young Charter Mage, Sabriel travels deep into the Old Kingdom. There she confronts an evil that threatens much more than her life and comes face-to-face with her own hidden destiny. . . .
I've read Sabriel for the first time somewhere at the first years of high-school, and it left such a big impression on me that the name stuck - among all the other books I've read at the time, Sabriel is the only one (that didn't have Harry Potter in the title) that I could easily name.

I realize now with this re-read that I remembered very few things of the book. I remembered Mogget (though not his name) and the final, final battle. I remembered a stone penis (which, turns out was actually a wooden penis, lol), probably because I felt so very "adult" at the time to read a book that actually had one. I remembered a guy coming to life from a statue, and a blooming love between the MC and him. I also remembered SPOILER he was a prince END SPOILER, and that Abhosren was her father.

But I didn't remember this book was about the Dead and and keeping the dead... dead. I didn't remember Abhorsen is a title, not just Sabriel's father. I didn't remember the many layers of the plot, or the evil dude, or anything of that sort.

And honestly, I still love this book. It's action filled, very interesting and I love this world - though I think I'd be far too scared to ever live in it. I loved Sabriel, and Mogget and Touchstone. (But, for god's name, what's his real name?!).

Sabriel is a strong heroine, even though she is very unprepared for being one. Moggat was both adorable and absolutely hilarious. Touchstone was serious and aloof but in the kind of way you could swoon after and make you wish you were the one to make him crack a smile.

But I've also noticed some of the weaker aspects of it now, under more cynical and mature eyes.

The romance... I love Touchstone and Sabriel together. Always have, always will. But I realized while reading this book again that I don't know why they love each other. They barely talked. So, yes. He was heroic, and she was heroic, and it definitely started to make them look at each other differently... but I felt like the book was missing the step between that attraction - to actual love.

Also, I hated where this book ended. I wanted to see the consequences of that aftermath, I wanted to see more about Sabriel and Touchstone and where both of them go from here - SPOILER how can he reclaim the throne that he never thought of as actually his? END SPOILER 

And, My god - how didn't I realize this was a part of a series when I read this the first time? But then, the next books are not about Sabriel so I think my curiosity will go unanswered. Damn.

On a side note, how cool is that that we're getting a forth book?