January 30, 2015

Love by Lacey Weatherford

Love by Lacey Weatherford
Series: Crush #3
Source: bought Kindle
Publisher: Moonstruck Media
Publication Date: April 12, 2014
Age Genre: New Adult (not explicit)
Challenges: Prequel-Sequel
Challenges: Contemporary
Challenges: TBR - Paid For
Find on Leafmarks! 
Living happily ever after has always been part of the plan for Cami and Dylan, but when strange things begin happening around the Wilcock household, Cami simply believes she’s becoming forgetful.
However, when the incidents begin to escalate, both are left feeling vulnerable. Unable to figure out what’s going on, Dylan delves deeper into the mysterious happenings. But when the truth comes out, he finds himself faced with the biggest decision of his life—how far will he go to protect the one he loves?
*To see spoilers, mark them with your mouse*
Love is the final book in the Cami x Dylan chronicles. We've watched these two since high-school (sort of), battling maniac after maniac, surviving and being even more in love after that. I enjoyed this book. I loved seeing Cami and Dylan happy together, in blissful matrimony. However, if I'm being completely honest with myself, I'm not sure if this book was 100% necessary.

I mean, as much as I love Dylan and Cami, I could've done without it. I didn't feel like there was a need to put them through all that - or maybe I should say THAT -  especially since it didn't add to their relationship. No need to strengthen an already unbreakable love, you know?

Writing this, after having read the companion novel Smolder, I feel almost like this book was written soley for Russ's story, so he'll have something traumatic to set everything in motion. And it was truly traumatic, I'll give it that.

I think I could've gotten over that feeling if the book was believable... but it wasn't. I mean, first of all - I watch ton of cops shows. It's not really that easy to move someone to witness protection. Sure, there is the fact that Dylan is a cop (or ex cop, whatever), but still. It was a bit too easy for my tastes.

Then there was SPOILER the way they've been found. It was a bit too arbitrary (and way too quick). And, again, way too easy - I mean, seriously, what are the chances the villain has been happening to watch tv about a fair held not in her city, and just happened to notice a couple of people in the background, after these two have changed their appearance? END SPOILER Give me a break.

However, they were adorable together. And their love for one another a bit overwhelming, and all inspiring. I wish I had a relationship like that (though, at this point, any relationship will do lol).

All in all, not Weatherford's best work, but still enjoyable.


January 29, 2015

Who Wore it Better - Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

Who Wore it Better is an original meme I brought with me from Drugs Called Books. In it, instead of discussing fashion or cloths, we discuss book covers from different countries, and who has the best cover. The meme is co-hosted with the lovely Amanda and Stacie from Beautiful Bookish Butterflies and will be featured on her blog every other week, so check her out as well!  

This week we're taking a look at Uglies by Scott Westerfeld. I admit, this is one book I never considered reading because of the covers. And after looking at most of them, I realized this is one badly designed book! I'm going to do this in batches, because I kind of couldn't resist showing you most of them. I don't know, I guess I enjoy ranting to the point of being kind of sadistic about it.

English | Portuguese | Indonesian | Italian | Romanian | Serbian | Korean

So, it looks like most of the foreign covers decided to follow in the footsteps of the English cover. The Same English cover that is the sole reason I can't make myself read this book - that awkward cut of the face, the weird greenery that fells to me like it has absolutely nothing to do with the plot...
The Italian did a little better with the same photo, but still... why do we have a girl skulking in the bushes? It doesn't exactly matches the synopsis - which is all I have to go by, so if it does fit the book feel free to tell me!
The only covers here that seem to match the synopsis are the Korean and Romanian. The Korean because this is a pretty doll. Dolls are not real, same as the prettiness of the Pretty world. And it looks good, so all the better.
The Romanian because it shows a planned plastic surgery, which seems inline with the synopsis, even though I still don't really like it.
The rest are all creepy frontal images (with a guy thrown in there for good measure).
At least the Serbian adds a vibe of danger and whatnot to an otherwise really boring batch of covers. 
I will be honest, though - I am biased because I'm kind of against just faces on covers. I don't think there's one I really liked (and I'm almost sure I've never liked a frontal face)

THE OTHER (Mostly English)
English | English 2 | English 3 | English 4Portuguese | Polish Chinese

Okay, so this is more like it. I admit, the only one cover here I'm familiar with with is the English 3. I've never really liked it, same with the English cover in the Faces Section.
I'm really sad I haven't seen the English and English 2 around more. the English 1 is pretty unique and interesting. First, you have those "cut here" arrows, than there are the dolls body parts with no heads in a surgery tray. There is something really creepy about it despite the soothing blue background, and it really seems to fit with the synopsis.
The English 2 is just pretty cool. It gives movement and action to the cover - like an action movie poster. It makes the book look really interesting and engaging, unlike most of the other covers here and in the former batch which make it just look really boring.
The forth English cover is kind of bad. I would actually really like it if there wasn't that effing eye in the title. I mean, it's pretty cool - the E dripping like blood from a surgery knife, which is again inline of the synopsis. But the eye just ruins it for me.
Then come the foreign covers - Now, I know what you're thinking. The Portuguese cover is definitely a face, but it's also quite clearly other. I mean, it looks like a bad cover for a vampire story. NOTHING in it even remotely fits the synopsis! That is SO frustrating. Also, it's just plain bad.
The Chinese one is alright. It's also kind of a face, but the plastic surgery element is much stronger. Based on this cover alone, though, I'd think we're talking about someone changing their identity here, and not a place where people become artificially Pretty.
Then we're left with the Polish. I don't know what's going on here, but it sure is intriguing. I found myself staring at this cover a lot. It's kind of vibrant, with the colors (which none of the other covers make use of),  especially on the monochromatic background. Then there is the Shia LaBeauf brown paperback on her face, which also makes me think of an outcast, and she appears to be running. All in all, this is the type of cover that is definitely interesting

My favorite? None. There is not one cover here that will make me actually buy the book, even though there are some interesting covers...

January 27, 2015

The Art of Commenting

As a blogger and a frequent flier in the book community online, comments are a big part of my life. I wait for them - be them comment to my posts, or replies to things I commented on. They brighten my day significantly. Literally every comment I get - big or small, it doesn't matter - makes me happy and excited.
However, when it comes to writing a comment... even though I know even two words have meaning, I find myself unable to write those kind of comments.

I'm the type of commenter that loves writing long, meaningful (in m perspective), detailed comments. I will literally find myself stopping and closing a comment if I realize I only have two sentences to say about it, and one of them is along the lines of "great review!" It's all or nothing for me.
Lately I realized I have a "system". A little set of rules that goes into each comment to guarantee max meaningfulness, if you will. It goes like this: 

A. I will always use the reviewer's name in the comment. For me, that make it personal. A little way for me to show them I know it's them who wrote the review, and that it means something. Like, this review won't be as awesome if it was by someone else, and they should well know it! 

B. I will tell the reviewer how fantastic his/her (usually her, I admit) review is, how well written, etc. Complimenting is healthy, especially when it's well earned! It's important to me to let the reviewer know how much I appreciate their reviews, and how much I want to continue and read more reviews by them. 
C. I will write my actual comment. It will include references to parts of the review such as quotes or agreeing/disagreeing/questioning/elaborating certain specific parts. I do this both because I truly have something to say, and because I love showing the reviewer I really read the review. That I went through all of it and truly listened to the words she wrote. 
D. And lastly, I will again tell them how I enjoyed the review and how much I love them as a reviewer! 

What about you? Do you have a certain formula, or do you write whatever, however? Do you think my way is good, or... ?


Don't forget to follow us on Tsu!

January 23, 2015

Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles

Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles
Series: Perfect Chemistry #2
Source: gifted paperback
Publisher: Walker
Publication Date: April 19, 2010
Age Genre: Mature YA (includes sex)
Challenges: TBR / Cleaning my Shelves
Challenges: Prequel-Sequel
Challenges: Contemporary
Find on Leafmarks! 
Carlos Fuentes felt betrayed when the big brother he idolized, Alex, chose to get jumped out of the Latino Blood for a chance at a future with his gringa girlfriend, Brittany. Even worse, Alex has forced Carlos to come back from Mexico to join him on the straight and narrow path. Trouble is, Carlos just wants to keep living on the edge. And ties to his Mexican gang aren't easy to break, even when Carlos is living with one of Alex's college professors in Colorado. Carlos feels completely out of place in the suburbs. He's even more thrown by his feelings for the professor's daughter, Kiara, who is nothing like the wild girls he's usually drawn to. But Carlos and Kiara soon discover that in matters of the heart, the rules of attraction overpower the social differences and dangers that conspire to keep them apart.
This book has been up on my TBR list for a while now, since I read the first book approximately two and a half years ago. And since it was a birthday gift from Megs, I thought it was high-time I read it!

I'm not sure how I feel about this book. I'm not disappointed in it, if that's what you might be wondering. I think it was about as good as the first in the series, which raises an awkward question - how can that possibly be true if you gave the first 5 stars and this one 3.5?!

Well, here's the deal. Perfect Chemistry was one of the first contemporaries I read, and maybe the first Mature YA I did. I didn't have much to compare it to, so it suitably impressed me. Truth is, I don't remember much of the book, aside for the whole sex scene, and I only remember that because I wasn't used to seeing that in YA. Today, I'll probably give Perfect Chemistry about 3.5 stars as well.

But enough about it's predecessor, let's talk about Rules of Attraction. Rules of Attraction is one of these books I think are perfect when you're in need of a story to suck you in and separate you from reality. While I wasn't head over heels in love with it, I definitely kept reading. And reading. And reading. In that aspect, it was perfect.

In this installment of the series, we follow Carlos and Kiara.

I didn't love Carlos, at first. By the end of the first chapter, I thought him a stupid brat that needs to grow up, and I just hoped he gets better as the story goes. He did, but a bit too quickly for my taste. Elkeles rushed a bit to the "relax, he's not really like that" part, for example by letting Carlos tell us almost immediately the real reason he was fired. I feel like if you already made him seem like a total jerk, let us work a bit to get to the true him.

Still, I guess I can't really complain because I liked that Carlos a lot more than the one we met at first.

Then we have Kiara. Her, I loved. She really stood up for herself, all the time. She wasn't afraid to take shots. Well, she was, but she didn't let fear stop her. She wasn't scared of challenging Carlos - or standing up to him. All of which is in complete contrast to the shy girl everyone thinks she is because of the stutter she's been born with.

The part I felt the book lacked in was actually the romance. Yes, I just said that. I was actually on board until half way through. I thought it was decently building, and I liked them together. But if it was a steady climb the first half, it became a race in the second. Suddenly, there were declarations of love, and sappy words, and inability to be without one another, etc. It was too... rushed, to me.

I saw no reason they should be there so soon. This is something I find lacking in many books. Few actually execute the romance in a way I find perfect.

But, as House says above, this book is cute. Carlos and Kiara together are adorable, even if I thought they needed more time to get to the love stage. And it was fun, and it sucked me in, and I do think it's a good book. I just don't think it's A-mazing.

January 22, 2015

Thursday Oldie: Destiny Binds by Tammy Blackwell

Destiny Binds by Tammy Blackwell
Series: The Timber Wolves Trilgoy #1
Source: bought kindle boxset
Publisher: Indie
Age Genre: Young Adult
Originally published: Feb 4, 2013
Challenges: Re-Read
Scout Donovan is a girl who believes in rules, logic, and her lifelong love of Charlie Hagan. Alex Cole believes in destiny, magic, and Scout. When Alex introduces Scout to the world of Shifters, men who change into wolves or coyotes during the full moon and Seers, women who can see your most private thoughts and emotions with a mere touch, the knowledge changes everything and everyone Scout thought she knew.

For this week's Oldie, I'm bringing back one of my favorite shifter series ever, after recently re-reading it. It's also one of the most underrated books and series out there. I mean, seriously. You don't need to read this review - go read the book instead. That's time better spent, I'll tell you that. 

'Course, if you want to read my review and read the book I'm all for that.

Destiny Binds starts the epic journey of Harper "Scout" Donovan, one of the most awesome and kickass main characters in the history of YA. She is funny and sarcastic, smart and logical, honest and strong, and loving. She is also odd looking, in an eye catching way. God only knows why this incredible person doesn't have too many friends at the beginning of the series, but I will be her friend in a heartbeat. I already consider myself one.

As many of these stories go (and this is just about the only typical thing about this whole series), Scout's story start with the arrival of Alex and his brother Liam Cole into town. Alex is basically every girl's dream guy: sweet, charismatic, caring, loving, hot, two killer dimples and a kind of tortured past. Can you blame Scout for falling for him? I can't, as I fell for him and the way he behaved and acted around Scout alongside her.

The romance between these two doesn't happen at once, though. There's attraction, but there's also Alex's wacky brother to consider - and Scout's step brother, the infinitely awesome Jase Donovan is really against the Coles. And considering Scout and Jase have been together since babyhood, and their relationship is built equally on banter and devotion (there's a reason people call them Twins), Scout cares and listens to what he says.

But eventually, Alex and Scout's relationship develop into something... more.

The romance in this book, and series as a whole, is really unique, and I mean that in the best way possible. You won't notice it at first, though I'll guarantee the lack of insta love, the time it take for it to develop and the fact Scout actually picks a guy when put in a sort of love-triangle instead of twiddling her thumbs for three books is astounding and unique on itself.

But the truly special thing about it--what makes it stand out to other series--happens at the end of the book, carries on to the second and really shows itself on the third. It's a roller coaster, but one you'll come down from smiling.

Alongside Alex, Scout and Jase there are a bunch of great characters, such as Talley, Scout's best friend, the kind of person who sees the best in everyone and understands her friends almost as well as she understands herself, and Charlie, Jase's best friend & cousin with whom Scout has been in love with for years. He's the peacemaker in the group, the logical one. And the four of them are pretty much inseparable outside of school. Think of The Fantastic Four,

As for the ending... well, I'm not going to lie. I cried. Even the second time I read it. All I can say in relations to this is that Ashley is a stupid bitch, and I don't say the B word lightly.
Blackwell does something really dangerous here, and pretty much unheard of in YA, but it works. It works for this book, and I promise you it works for the next.

So, do me a favor. If the review somehow failed to convey my recommendation for this book, I'll put it now in clear writing: READ THIS BOOK. Read it if you love shifter books, read it if you don't. Read it if fantasy is your thing, and--yes--read it even if it's not. Read it.  

January 20, 2015

Author Bios - Yay or Nay?

Okay, guys. Get ready. Some dirty secrets are about to be aired. Just don't hate me afterwards, okay?

There's a subject that's been on my mind for a while now - author bios. 

I admit, it never accord to me to put the author's bio on my review post of their book. I see it often enough on other blogs, and I do it in tour related posts, but never because I thought to put it there. Lately, I've been wondering about that - like, why don't I do that?

I reached two conclusions on that:

1) I just don't care who the author is - I care for the book. A good book is a good book no matter who wrote it, and same for a bad book. When I read, I never once stop to think of the author. Before I became a book blogger, I often forgot author names. I could always recall a book based on it's plot, but aside for special few (like the Queen herself, J.K Rowling), I wouldn't know a book based on it's author.
Okay, maybe this is a little dramatic, but...
Now, things are a little different. Often enough I'll come to search an author out because I know I love their writing. And, rarely, I'll put a warning to a name because I heard some form of scandal related to them that made me want not to support them. Or, occasionally, I'll have to try and put aside my feelings on one of their books to try the others. But really, they're the farthest thing from my mind when I read. I only do all that because being a book blogger kind of forces you to notice authors (and that's not a bad thing at all, guys. I'm not complaining. If anything, I'm thankful).

It's like, the author is an Entity to me. They're something quite outside the realm of reality. That's why I also have trouble realizing that one day, my favorite authors will be dead. Some of them already are. It's inconceivable!
I'd really rather stay in my cushioned fantasy world where Authors are immortal and will forever bestow upon us the gift of their stories. I'm delusional, so what?

2) I don't really "believe" in bios, so to speak. A bio doesn't tell me much about the author, to be honest. It's dry facts. And in today's world, where I can actually contact authors on social media and learn to know them for real, those bios seem so... meaningless to me. I don't read them when I see them on fellow blogger's reviews.

For example, a bio will not tell you how an author prosecuted a reviewer for not liking his/her book in the court of the net, which 2014 did not lack in. Nor will the bio tell you how an author reached out to a reviewer who disliked their book to tell them they appreciated the feedback and even agree with them (as happened to me at the end of 2014), or how they sent free copies to their book to a fan when they couldn't get the book themselves. It won't tell you how they interact with their readers, or don't.

So, because of all this, I never put up their bios. I link to places you can find their bios, if you so please (like GR), but I don't make it part of the post.

But I see plenty who do. Do you read those bios? Are they important to you? Do you think it's necessary for them to be in the post? Do you agree with me/disagree with me? tell me all about it!

January 16, 2015

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
Source: Bought paperback
Publisher: Harper
Publication Date: April 8th, 2014
Age Genre: Young Adult
Challenges: TBR-Challenge
Challenges: Cleaning my Shelves
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 he sits by the pond (a pond that she'd claimed was an ocean) behind the ramshackle old farmhouse where she once lived, 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.
A groundbreaking work as delicate as a butterfly's wings and as menacing as a kinfe in the dark, The Ocean at the End of the Lane is told with a rare understadning of all that makes us human, and shows the power of stories to reveal and shelter us from the darkness inside and out.
I wondered, as I wondered so often when I was that age, who I was, and what exactly was looking at the face in the mirror. If the face I was looking at wasn't me, and I knew it wasn't, because I would still be me whatever happened to my face, then what was me? And what was watching?
I think I have a new dream in life. To spend one day inside Neil Gaiman's extraordinary mind. I've a feeling it would either be a traumatizing experience that will scar me for life, or the biggest fun ever. 

I wasn't sure about The Ocean at the End of the Lane before I started it. I've only read one of Gaiman's novels before, Stardust, and I wasn't overly impressed with it. Mostly, I couldn't read the book unless I did so out loud, which doesn't bode well for any book. So, I was afraid that it would happen again, and I won't love this book. 

I needn't have worried, though, because from the first page (the one even before the prologue), I knew I would love this book. 
."The Dream was haunting me: standing behind me, present and yet invisible, like the back of my head, simultaneously there and not there."
This book is extremely hard to describe. If someone asked me what the book is about, I would probably either over-explain and confuse the hell out of them, or simplify it too much so it'll sound way less than it is. 

It's a book that needs to be read, and that's the best I can explain it. 

It's narrated by a man, recalling bizarre childhood experiences by a pond also known as an ocean. We never find out his name. Most of the story, he is eight years old. But the subjects discussed are not exactly Middle Grade material. 

This book gave me the actual chills. It was like a horror story, only not. The things this boy go through are horrifying, but to me what was scarier was how he forgot. Somehow, that seemed exceptionally cruel. Okay, I may be lying. Maybe equally terrifying is the right wording. There were some moments there I had to read with the lights on, they were so creepy. 

Nothing ever happened the way I thought it would. I never knew what to expect. It was like I was floating in a dream, and I just couldn't wake up. 

Gaiman's lyrical, poetic, enchanting words were a big part of weaving this effect, as is the choice to make the Boy and his life completely arbitrary. He has no name. Neither does his sister, his mother, his father, his street, his city... It could've just as easily been me, if I were a boy and had a sister.

And, for the duration of the book, it almost was

I guess that was the whole point. 

"...In those dreams I spoke that language too, the first language, and I had dominion over the nature of all that was real. In my dream, it was the tongue of what is, and anything spoken in it became real, because nothing said in that language can be a lie. It is the most basic building brick of everything. In my dreams, I have used that language to heal the sick and to fly; once I dreamed I kept a perfect little bed-and-breakfast by the seaside, and to everyone who came to stay with me I would say, in that tongue, "Be whole.' and they would become whole, not be broken people, not any longer, because I had spoken the language of shaping."


January 15, 2015

Who Wore it Better - Beautiful Creatures by by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Who Wore it Better is an original meme I brought with me from Drugs Called Books. In it, instead of discussing fashion or cloths, we discuss book covers from different countries, and who has the best cover. The meme is co-hosted with the lovely Amanda and Stacie from Beautiful Bookish Butterflies and will be featured on her blog every other week, so check her out as well!  

This week, I brought you covers from some really cool places!
English – I absolutely love this cover. There's just something about it, you know? The grey on black, and then the huge, bold letters in purple. It looks haunting and dangerous. It looks like it might just swallow you into the void at the end of the lane. It's what really got me to read the book (though, it hasn't managed to get me to read the second book, yet). 

Dutch – I kind of like this one, I guess? At first glance, it looks blank. But then you realize the're actually a girl among the darkness-or maybe she's a part of the darkness? That seems fitting to the story, all things considered.

Bulgarian - I definitely think there's something about this cover. A gate, in the woods. And beyond it, a girl you can't see clearly, almost like she's waiting for you. I would actually find this cover real pretty if not for the fact the top of the gate looks so unrelated to the rest of it. You can tell someone pasted it on the rest of it, and considering they managed to make everything else fit together, that kind of bites.

Indonesian - Wow. Indonesia, you rock. This cover is definitely a favorite for me, alongside the original. I love that the background is purple, and everything else has an inky feeling to it. The drawings are gorgeous, and I love how Ethan and Lena are on different branches of the tree. And also, that the branches look almost like living hair.

Slovak – If anybody has any idea what's going on in this cover, do share. The only think I do know is I wouldn't have bought Beautiful Creatures if this was the cover presented to me...

Serbian –  I would've loved this book... if the couple wasn't it in. Aside for looking pasted on, it took me a long while to realize it IS a couple. I thought she had a strange tumor at first, and then I was like oh, it's a head! Bad sign, right there. But if the couple wasn't there, it could've been gorgeous.

Italian - This looks like it might be a movie-tie in edition, but of the good kind. You know, the kind that actually looks pretty and doesn't plaster the actors in awkward poses all over it. That kind. I love the gate and the forest - though the cover is not exceptionally pretty or eye catching in any way.

Russian - So much wrong here. Couldn't they find a model that at least has DARK hair? I'm pretty sure Lena is dark haired. And why does this look like a NA cover, like the girl looks naked. And the city behind doesn't make me think small town at all. And they don't look like teenagers. And... you get the idea.

The weird thing about all these covers is that none of them will give you the impression the book is narrated by a boy

My favorites are the original and the Indonesian one! 

January 9, 2015

Relatively Famous by (The Lovely) Heather Leigh

Relatively Famous by Heather Leigh 
Series: Famous #1
Source: Free Kindle Copy
Publisher: Shelbyville Publishing
Publication Date: June 7, 2014
Age Genre: Adult
Relatively Famous on Leafmarks
This is NOT your average Hollywood romance. There are no virgins falling in love with hot actors. There isn't a famous guy falling for the normal girl next door.
What there IS in this book, is a fragile, damaged girl and the sexy alpha who rescues her.
Sydney Allen is trying to be your average 24 year old New Yorker. It’s hard to be average though when your mother is Evangeline Allen, an Oscar winning actress known as “America’s Sweetheart” to moviegoers across the globe. It’s even harder to be average when your dad is Reid Tannen, Hollywood Bad Boy and one of the highest paid actors in the world.
Their divorce when Sydney was 12 years old was set off by a series of haunting incidents that left Sydney scarred mentally and physically. Hollywood destroyed her parents’ marriage and almost destroyed her. She hasn’t owned a TV, read magazines or watched movies since the divorce, refusing to take part in an industry that brought her so much pain.
Now 12 years after her mother took her from LA and hid her in New York to keep her safe, no one but her best friend Leah knows who Sydney is or that her parents are famous movie stars and she’s determined to keep it that way. She guards her identity fanatically, not letting anyone get close enough to her to find out who she is.
When Sydney meets the gorgeous but mysterious Drew Forrester at a rough MMA training gym one morning, her life changes. It’s time for her to decide if he’s worth sharing her secret with, or if she’s better off being alone forever. Or maybe she’ll find out that she’s not the only one hiding something. Dating Drew, Sydney is forced to confront all of her fears at once; celebrity, fame, tabloids, stalkers. Can she survive another high profile exposure to the world?
I'm not going to rate this one, because I didn't finish it and I didn't hate it quite enough to rate it one of my rare one stars. Honestly, I didn't hate the book at all. I just found it frustrating and ridiculous. Usually, I give a book at least 30% to impress me before DNFing, but with Relatively Famous, I called it quits at 23%.

I just reached this point where I couldn't stand to hear how his smallest touch made her nipple harden one more time. I mean, I get it. He's hot, and looking at him makes you hot and blah blah blah, but you really need to stop telling me about it. Move on to the actually important stuff - getting to know him!

Not to mention that by this point, I already knew Sydney and I do not get along. I found her so ridiculous. She would be in an awkward position, and when the guy tries to make small talk she uses the term 'awkward ass' on him in her head. Why is he an ass? Oh, and let's not talk about the fact somehow telling someone two generic sentences equals in her head to spilling her gut. Her gut must be truly tiny and empty, then. And her narration style really didn't make me sympathetic. Instead of feeling for Sydney, I felt indifferent. Instead of truly feeling her trauma, I felt like I was being beaten by Sydney with how many times she says it. Show and not tell, Syd. Stop telling me how traumatized you are and make me truly and honestly believe it, because I didn't.

But the straw that broke the camel's back, was her whole relationship with Drew. Or really lack of thereof. She knows Drew for two days, the first of which they exchanged two words. But their second meeting, which evolves into a date, she mentions a bond. They feed each other (first date!). She thinks of the possibility of a future. Entertains the idea of one day telling him the truth. Sydney, the supposedly traumatized girl who doesn't let anyone in. Very believable. Not. 

The only thing I'm semi sad not to read more of, is the story of her mother and dad. There's something there, and it's kind of intriguing. The only intriguing part of this whole book. I want to know what really happened, and what her dad's version of events is. Sadly, I don't want it enough to suffer through everything else...

I didn't really plan on posting this review. I don't really know why - I just decided to post it on GR and LM and that's it. But then I got a comment from the author. When I got a message telling me I had a comment from Heather Leigh on my review, I was semi petrified to read it. My review is not positive, and I was afraid the comment will be hurtful. I never encountered such an author, but I knew they existed.

I couldn't be more wrong. Instead of anything bad, the author... agreed with me? She told me she's heard similar critique from other readers and was working on fixing these problems. She told me she'd love to send me a free copy of her newest book to show me she has improved since this book. She asked me to be a beta reader.

I've rarely had such a pleasant conversation with an author - and never with one regarding a bad review from me. I just had to share it. 2014 held many author scandals where authors Behaved Badly. So I had to share with you guys this lovely instance of the contrary.

The titles calls Heather Leigh lovely because I truly think she is. She's also a really intelligent woman, and despite this negative review I know I will read other books from her just because of the kind of human being she is. So, this is a positive review of the author ;)


January 8, 2015

Thursday Oldie: The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

So as you guys know, I just moved here. And that means my old blog now lies abandoned... alongside all my old reviews. But because I feel like some of them don't deserve such an awful treatment, I'm going to slowly move my favorite reviews here, especially if my opinion differs than Megs. (though some editing may occur, as I'm a little OCD about my reviews, and the older they originally are, the more likely I am to have things I want to rephrase). 
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Source: bought paperback
Publisher: Pocket Books
Publication Date: Feb 2, 2009
Age Genre: Young Adult
Originally published: Feb 27, 2013
Find on Leafmarks!
Charlie is a freshman.
And while he's not the biggest geek in the school, he is by no means popular. Shy, introspective, intelligent beyond his years yet socially awkward, he is a wallflower, caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it.
Charlie is attempting to navigate his way through uncharted territory: the world of first dates and mix tapes, family dramas and new friends; the world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite. But he can't stay on the sideline forever. Standing on the fringes of life offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a deeply affecting coming-of-age story that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up.
If you look at my original review, you'll see my initial rating was three stars. It wasn't because I thought the book deserved that rating; it was because I was afraid to give it less. Afraid of being the odd one out. I convinced myself I kind of liked it, to a point. Told myself I "both hated and loved it". I even wrote so in my review. I was lying.

Not consciously, but lying regardless. I didn't love this book. I didn't even like it. It went beyond simple disappointment; it was a profound discomfort. I didn't enjoy what I was reading. I felt like I shouldn't be reading it, and in the worst way possible.

Maybe I should've known this would happen when I chose to read the book just because the movie was coming, and my idol Emma Watson was starring in it. But I have found some gems because of movies before, so while the book never caught my interest (mostly because I couldn't glean the foggiest clue of what the book was about from the summary), I was optimistic. That oughta teach me. 

I couldn't connect with Charlie. His "voice" was so foreign to me, on many levels. He sounded to me like a ten year old in his writing--definitely not a 15-year-old. Then, from this ten year old, there would once in a while come some of the deepest things. It was jarring, even though I love meaningful shit like that. But the most awkward part was reading of this mental ten-year-old smoking, doing drugs, drinking and having sex-related experiences. It felt so completely wrong. Vile. I almost felt... violated, if I feel like being dramatic about it.  

If that's not enough, I couldn't relate to the way Charlie reacted to... just about everything. I felt like he probably has some form of autism, but I've read books with autistic protagonists before (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time and The Rosie Project are a couple of astounding ones that come to mind), and I fully related, understood and loved those. Not here. 

And on top of all that (yes, there is more!), I didn't like Charlie's relationships with those around him, even with Patrick whom I loved (Sam, not so much). And I simply hated the romance--or lack of it. Or lack of conclusion. I felt like since I went through all that ickiness, I should at least get something out of it. 

But worst of all, this book didn't have a plot. It was just... all over the place, and the final revelation... it came out of nowhere! It was like *poof* and it's there. There was no hint or clue prior to it, nor a feeling like the book was heading anywhere near there

Honestly, I don't think I got the point of the book. Maybe I just missed something, because obviously people see something in it, but I didn't. And you know what? I'm okay with that. I'm okay with hating this book. I'm okay with being the odd one out. And I'm done pretending I'm not. 


January 7, 2015

Top Book Boyfriends of 2014

Hey guys! 

I decided to do something lots of bloggers did, and share with you guys the swooniest (is that a word?...), greatest book boyfriends of 2014! I have a book boyfriend in every book (yes, that's as sluttish as that sounds), but only a few of them stand out enough to be here. I'm speaking about the book boyfriends who stick around even after the book's over. The book boyfriends you actually remember, when the year is done.

Unfortunately, they are all happily in a relationship with some woman who deserves them, or on one occasion, firmly on the way to being in one (and it better happen soon, because my shipper heart demands it), so they're off the market, but if you don't mind that, you should definitely give them a call! 
EMILIO @ The Book of Broken Hearts
Biker. Mechanic. Latino goodness. Sweet. Kind. Caring. Etc.  

CINDER @ Cinder & Ella
Actor. Best friend. Reader. Prince. King of Big Gestures. Smitten. Adorable. 

TARVER @ These Broken Stars
Soldier. Leader. Survivor. Reluctant Symbol. Heroic. Cynical.

SICARIUS @ The Emperor's Edge series
Assassin. Deadly. Weapon. Killer. Aloof. Serious. Poker Faced. Surprisingly Caring.

VALEK @ Poison Study Series
Assassin. Poison Master. Expert Fighter. Loyal. Swoon Worthy.

GIO @ Elemental Mysteries series
Scholar. Professor. Warrior. Fire. Lover. Husband. Friend. Vampire.   

GEN @ The Queen's Thief Series
Thief. Scared. Not Perfect. Deceiving. In love. Unexpected. Fearsome. Clever. 

CURRAN @ Kate Daniel Series
Lion. Shifter. Leader. Hot Headed. Protector. Hunter. Beast. 


January 5, 2015

2015 Reading Challenges

I like reading challenges. I seldom follow through them, mostly due to laziness (I'm too lazy to post the reviews on the challenge itself, stupidly enough. It would make more sense if I actually, I don't know... was too lazy to do the challenge itself. But, I like to invent new levels of stupidness every day.)

Anyways, in this post, I'm going to gather all the challenges I've decide to participate at in 2015. Some of those are legitimate stuff, and some are personal challenges. I've opened a personal challenge on LeafMarks for each one of those, where you can trace my progress!

And yes, there is a ton. I'm counting on books fitting under more than one category. Don't call me a cheater, that's not nice!

1. Read Your Freebies! Reading Challenge

2015 Read Your Freebies Reading Challenge
The name is pretty self explanatory. As an avid freebie downloader, I have more free kindle books than I can possibly read - but I'm going to try my best to! I've decided to try my hand at super saver (50 books) to allow margin for my physical challenges as well.

This year, instead of having a shelf for the 2015 TBR Challenge, I've created two shelves for it - and titled it two different challenges. The first focuses on my physical shelves, and cleaning the books sitting on it from prior to 2015, and the second focuses on old kindle books, of which I have a ton. I pledged to read 20 of my physical oldies and 24 of my kindle ones, which puts it at 44 - the Sweet Summer Fling level in the TBR challenge

I usually only "buy" freebies on Kindle. Why? Because I don't believe in paying more than $4 (at the most) for a kindle book. If it costs almost as much as the paperback, I'll get the print copy, thank you very much. Not to mention many e-books cost more than a paperback. I mean, seriously? You don't spend any money on shipment, ink, paper, cover... there is no reason an e-book should cost that much!
But sometimes, when there are bargains and such, I cave and buy some books. This challenge is specifically for those cases - cause I want to read them, and I think they have slight priority over the freebies.

**Some of the books read for this challenge will also count toward the TBR challenge.**

4. The Book Buying Ban Challenge!
Relax, I'm not planning not to buy any books in 2015. I'm not suicidal, just broke. But it's not even the money I'm trying this challenge for. It's the TBR. THE TBR! I have about 60-80 unread books in my shelves. That's... too much for my comfort. I hate having unread books just sitting there. So, the purpose of this challenge is cut the number of unread books on my shelves by half.
How do I plan to do that?
By allowing myself to buy one book for every five physical books I read. That means that if I read 10 physical books in, say, January, I get to buy 2 new books! If I read only 5, I get to buy only one, and if I read less than five... no books for me that month :( I'll let you guys know how this challenge works out for me on a monthly basis.
Hopefully this time, unlike last year (where I put a 2 books per month ban on myself that lasted all of three days) I will succeed! (My wallet is hoping for this as well...)

5. 2015 Contemporary Challenge
I love contemporaries, so this is for me just fun challenge. I set my goal at Peony (15 books) just because this year I'd like to go easy on myself, and have the joy of seeing myself beat some goals, for a change.

6. Prequel-Sequel Challenge
As the name says, this is a challenge whose sole purpose is to get me to continue on some of the series I've started... I've set my goal at 40 points, roughly 20 books, which puts me at Amateur.
Fine my challenge here

7. Re-Read Challenge
The 2015 Re-Read Challenge

I'm a re-reader, and there are some books I've been dying to re-read for a while now. This challenge is for them. Mostly, it's so I wouldn't feel bad reading them again instead of newbies lol
For this challenge, I set my goal at a measly 12, one for each month.
I plan to re-read the Timber Wolves trilogy, Cinder, maybe the two first books of His Fair Assassins, On the Island, and books 3-5 of the Percy Jackson series. And probably Harry Potter. That's more than 12, so we'll see how it works lol
Find my challenge here

8. Flights of Fantasy Challenge

This challenge is, clearly, for Fantasy. I love fantasy, I read a ton of fantasy, and I figured - since I'm going to read it anyway, might join a challenge for it as well. My goal is 20 books, but I plan on passing that by a mile lol
Find My Challenge Here! 

**I know I have like three different kindle challenges, and that might be a little crazy. But the thing is, each of those challenges has a different focus, and I want to dedicate at least one book a month per challenge. Some will overlap, so I'm counting on that to help me succeed in my goals lol**

January 4, 2015

Join Us on Tsu!

You guys probably already had a chance to hear about Tsu - a new social media very similar to Facebook, with one huge difference. It actually lets you see all the post by people you follow. I know, this is truly shocking - but I know I'm making use of it!

So join us on Tsu to never ever miss a review, discussion, freebie, bargain, meme, etc again!

And, of course, feel free to leave YOUR Tsu link in the comments bellow, so we can befriend you there too! :)

January 3, 2015

December Gifly Round Up

Some bloggers review every book they read. Me? Not so much. I really have to feel like I have something to say about a book, for better or worse. And I have to feel like I can say that in more than three sentences.

This year, I've been getting into Gifs. I think Tumblr have something to do with that, but I rather not look too closely at it. Anyways, I've decided that at the end of every month, I'm going to sum up the books I read but didn't review using a gif. It could be my thoughts on it in one sentence, or it could be something important of the book.

So, let's begin!
1. Dark Currents by Lindsay Buroker (4 stars)
(To see many more Dark Currents related gifs, see my reading process here)

2. Whiskey Rebellion by Liliana Hart (4 stars)

3. Romancing the Duke by Tessa Dare (4 stars)
Listen to Mama Mc'Call and don't hide your feeling dude!

4. Unclaimed & Unraveled by Courtney Milan (4 stars each)

5. Scandal with a Prince by Nicole Burnham (4 stars)

6. Purity in Death by J.D Robb (4 stars)

7. Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews (3.5 stars) 

8. Magic Burns by Ilona Andrews (4 stars)
Kate's a badass with a sword

9. Magic Strikes by Ilona Andrews (4 stars)
Kate's a badass without a sword, too

10. Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews (4 stars)
Listen to the man. He knows what he's talking about. 

11. Magic Slays by Ilona Andrews  (4 stars)

12. Gunmetal Magic by Ilona Andrews (4 stars)
You go Andy! 

13. Relatively Famous by Heather Leigh (no rating. DNF)

I actually had a great reading month! Almost all the books I read were around 4 stars and highly enjoyable. They may have not been extraordinary and didn't make me want to review them, but I enjoyed every second.

How was your reading month?