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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Review: The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J Maas

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Review, Young Adult1 Comment

Review: The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J MaasThe Assassin's Blade by Sarah J Maas
(Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)
Series: Throne of Glass, Book 0.1-0.5
Published by Bloomsbury on 04 March 2014
Genres: Action & Adventure, Anthology, Assassins, Death & Dying, Epic Fantasy, Fantasy, Short Story / Novella, Social Issues, Survival Stories, Young Adult
Reading Challenges: 2014 - Read 12 Young Adult Books, 2014 Personal Challenge
Pages: 435
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
AmazonAudibleBarnes & NobleThe Book DepositoryGoodreads
three-stars

The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas is a collection of the prequel novellas that introduce people to Celaena Sardothien, the main character of her debut fantasy novel, Throne of GlassThrone of Glass has been on my radar since it was first released and I thought that a good way to lead into reading that book. I enjoyed The Assassin’s Blade and below you’ll see my thoughts on the various novellas contained in the book as well as my individual rating of them.

The Assassin and the Pirate Lord

Place(s) Traveled to: Rifthold, Adarlan // Skull’s Bay, Dead Islands (World Name: Erilea)

First Line(s): Seated in the council room of the Assassin’s Keep, Celaena Sardothien leaned back in her chair.

I think that The Assassin and the Pirate Lord was a good introduction to these characters and this world. I enjoyed the banter and interaction between Sam and Caelaena. The story was fast paced and interesting and its one that I wish was longer though its not without its flaws. As with all novellas it was short and so some things were glossed over. More detail could have been given and I would have liked to have seen Celaena being a bit more assassiny.

3 stars

POV: Celaena Sardothien

 

The Assassin & the Healer

Place(s) Traveled To: Innish, Melisande (World Name: Erilea)

First Line(s): The strange young woman had been staying at the White Pig Inn for two days now and had hardly spoken to anyone save for Nolan, who had taken one look at her fine night-dark clothes and bent over backwards to accommodate her.

Oh man I wish that I had skipped this one! I was not a fan of Yrene’s voice, which was so very whiny. I didn’t like how this novella was less about Caelaena and more about Yrene. There was nothing new given to Celaena’s story here and it didn’t seem to have much purpose other to act as a transition, of sorts, to the next novella in the book. I really didn’t like Calaena either…gone is the fun arrogance and instead is this surly unlikable women. As for the plot, I was not a fan of the victim blaming and it felt a bit preachy. I also missed Sam. A lot.

2 stars

POV: Yrene Towers, Celaena Sardothien

 

The Assassin & the Desert

Place(s) Traveled To: The Red Desert // Xandria, The Deserted Land (World Name: Erilea)

First Line(s): There was nothing left in the world except sand and wind.

How many times do we need to be told that Celaena is Ardarlan’s greatest assassin? Stop telling & start showing already. At this point these novellas are getting repetitive with how she’s the best assassin and how her guild is all men and how she is so super special and young and amazing. Ugh! Heard it the first time can we please move on to something new? Also Celaena’s feelings for Sam also seem so sudden considering how much she detested him in the first novella. I also thought that some of the dialogue was a bit pedestrian and obvious. Calaena, who I again started to like after The Assassin and the Healer,  seemed to be going a bit boy crazy in this one and it just seemed so out of character. My main take away from this one was that I still miss Same and that Caelaena alone just isn’t as fun. Overall, liked this story but it was a bit predictable

3.5 stars

POV: Celaena Sardothien

 

The Assassin & the Underworld

Place(s) Traveled To: Rifthold, Adarlan (World Name: Erilea)

First Line(s): The cavernous entrance of the Assassin’s Keep was silent as Celaena Sardothian stalked across the marble floor, a letter clutched between her fingers.

*le sigh* Celaena is such a naive fool sometimes…we’re always being told how smart and fierce she is but her actions never match that. I guessed the twist in this one early on. Despite my annoyances with Celaena I did enjoy this one. Most of all I loved the return of Sam.

3.5 stars

POV: Celaena Sardothien

 

The Assassin & the Empire

Place(s) Traveled To: Rifthold, Adarlan // Endoviar, Adarlan (World Name: Erilea)

First Line(s): Curled into the corner of a prison wagon, Celaena Sardothien watched the splotches of shadows and light play on the wall.

Oh what a foolish foolish girl Celaena was. So much could have been avoided if you had just used your brain child. The Assassin and the Empire was just so very obvious in its plot twists and story ARC. I liked the writing of the story but it was just so very predictable….and then there was that one thing that made me so very mad!!!

3 stars

POV: Celaena Sardothien

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Review: Something Real by Heather Demetrios

Posted by Irish in 5 Stars, Review, Young Adult2 Comments

Review: Something Real by Heather DemetriosSomething Real by Heather Demetrios
(Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)
Published by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) on 04 February 2014
Genres: Adolescence, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, Girls & Women, GLBT, Health & Daily Living, Love & Romance, Parents, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Reading Challenges: 2014 - Read 12 Debut Authors, 2014 Personal Challenge
Pages: 403
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book DepositoryGoodreads
five-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Clovis, California

First Line(s): It took me four years, seven shrinks, three different hair colors, one Zen meditation retreat, and over six hundred mochas to get to this moment.

I am not a big fan of reality tv and there are only a couple of reality shows that I will watch but ones the follow around the lives of celebrities or similar aren’t among them. So the fact that I was drawn to Something Real by Heather Demetrios is out of the ordinary for me as it is a book that goes behind the scenes of a large family who spent the bulk of their life starring on a reality tv show. Something Real is told from the point of view of Bonnie(TM) as she struggles with being forced back on reality tv. Her mom and stepdad come up with a slew of reasons why its necessary to do the show again but Bonnie(TM) wants none of it especially with all the reasons why the show went off the air in the first place. To make matters worse, Bonnie(TM) seems to finally moving forward with her crush, Patrick Sheldon, and she fears that being constantly watched and edited for tv will ruin her budding romance.

Words can not accurately describe how much I loved Something Real I loved Bonnie(TM)’s story and loved her relationship with Patrick. They were just so sweet and genuine and they just made my heart ache. But the relationship that I loved most of all was that between Bonnie(TM) and her brother, Benny(TM). They were siblings and best friends and I would have been happy if the entire book was just those two talking to each other. There were moments of pure joy when Bonnie(TM), Benny(TM), Patrick, and Matt were all on the page together. I would have loved this book if it was just a straight romance but there was more to Something Real than that. There was conflict in this book and drama…oh so much drama. But not the sort that you normally see that causes a break up of the main love interests so praise be an hallelujah for that.

No the conflict comes between Bonnie(TM) and her mother. Oh. My. Stars. I have not seen such an evil, manipulative parent in a long time. I almost prefer the absent parents to ones like Beth Baker-Miller. Ok so she wasn’t really evil but she wasn’t a good mother either always putting her own wants and desires above those of her children. Letting her kids get exploited all for ratings and not caring about the damage that the show did to them. If I could have reached into the pages and shaken one character it would have been her. Though Bonnie(TM)’s stepdad and real father weren’t all that much better either. My heart broke for Bonnie(TM) over some of the things that she had to deal with in the story and if it wasn’t for Benny(TM) and Patrick she might not have survived it with her sanity.

Something Real is one of those books that you don’t necessarily expect much of when you first pick it up but then you find yourself lost within its pages. When you hit the end of the story your heart aches because there is no more. The writing is strong and compelling and its hard to believe that this is a debut novel. I fell in love with Demetrios’s writing style and I am eagerly awaiting her next contemporary story, I’ll Meet You There (February 2015, Henry Holt), as I am sure that it will be another emotional, feel good story that will make my soul happy. I am less sure of her fantast story, Exquisite Captive (Oct 2014, Balzer + Bray). I’m sure that the writing is good but I’m just not sure if I want to get started on another series at this time. Have you read Exquisite Captive? If so, let me know in the comments if its worth the read. And if you have checked out Something Real yet then you really need to get on that as its such a good book.

 

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Characters I Would Want With Me On A Deserted Island

Posted by Irish in Top Ten Tuesday6 Comments

Graphic made by David at From My Bookshelf

Graphic made by David at From My Bookshelf

 

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish this weeks topic is about the characters that we would want with us if we were stuck on a deserted island. In the most unlikely scenario where this would happen to me I would choose the following:

1 & 2) Katniss & Peeta from The Hunger GamesCatching Fire, and M - because she’s badass and can hunt and surive in all sorts of climates and he can make art and bread.

3, 4, 5, & 6) Nick, Sam, Cas, and Trev from Altered, Erased, and Reborn (review closer to release) – because if you’ve met them then you know just how resourceful they all are and if anyone can find a way OFF the island, its them.

7 & 8) Julie and Ashleigh from Enthusiasm – while these ladies will not provide mych in the way of surival skills they will add much in the way of humor and entertainment.

9) Matt Finch from Open Road Summer – because music is essential to life and as a musician he can provide this.

10) Mark Whatney from The Martian (review coming) – because if he can survive for months on Mars then he can certainly survive on a deserted island!!

Who would you want with you on a deseret island, let me know in the comments!

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Review: Teaching Roman by Gennifer Albin

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Blog Tour, New Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Teaching Roman by Gennifer Albin

Review: Teaching Roman by Gennifer AlbinTeaching Roman by Gennifer Albin
(Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)
Series: Good Girls Don't, Book 2
Published by Self-Published on 26 June 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Love & Romance, New Adult, People & Places, People of Color
Reading Challenges: 2014 - Read 12 New Adult Books, 2014 Personal Challenge
Pages: 195
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads
three-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Olympic Falls, Washington // Puerta Vallarta, Mexico

First Line(s): If your girlfriend doesn’t melt into you or burst into a waterfall of tears when your propose, its a bad sign.

Teaching Roman is the long awaited second book in Gennifer Albin’s new adult series Good Girls Don’t and follows Jessica Stone who we first met as Jillian’s roommate in Catching Liam. I liked Jessica when I first ‘met’ her and so was looking forward to reading her story and even thought the wait for it was long, Teaching Roman was worth it. I really liked Jessica’s story and how this one progressed. I enjoyed her friendship with Cassie though I would have liked to have seen more of it as it seemed like Jessica forgot about Cassie once she and Roman started to hook up. I also felt that the synopsis was a little bit misleading as both Jessica and Roman were all flirty-flirty from the time they first see each other in the airport until things get more serious. In fact, the conflict of the story seemed a bit forced and for me bogged down the story a bit.

Then there was that whole bit with that douche bag, Brett, who I would have gladly throttled if, you know, he was a real character. I really don’t remember much about Brett from Catching Liam but he didn’t seem like the jackoff that he turned out to be and Jessica was way better off without him in her life. I really liked how she was with Roman and vice versa and Teaching Roman gave me lots of those heart-achy feels that I love. I only wish that this one was longer so there there could have been more time developing each of the characters and also allowed for more interactions with the secondary characters. As I said already Cassie was very underutilized and Jillian and Liam weren’t featured much either. Which in a way is fine as this makes Teaching Roman just a little more easy to read as a standalone instead of being a dependent book in a series but I just wanted more. (Readers….we’re never satisfied!!)

What stops this one from being rated higher is that there were several continuity errors that just ripped me out of the story, like one moment Roman was described as wearing linen pants and then just a few paragraphs later, in the same scene, he was in jeans. For a finished book I expect a more polished story and this one could have done with another round of editing or two. The ending also felt a bit rushed and there were parts of the story that just seemed forced. I am never a fan of conflict just for the sake of conflict and that is part of what seemed to happen here.

But despite the things that annoyed me I did enjoy Teaching Roman. I found it to be a fast paced story and when I was reading it I was mostly sucked into it, with the exceptions of those few times when I was yanked back to reality. I enjoy these characters and I hope that Albin decides to write more in this world as I would liked to see Cassie get a story and would love to see the characters of Teaching Roman and Catching Liam again. Overall this was a fun read that is perfect for when you are sitting on the beach or by the pool. Its mostly lightweight so you can just sit back and relax and enjoy the story that is being told. Its not a perfectly written story but sometimes you can enjoy the read even with the flaws. Teaching Roman is one that I would recommend to all who like contemporary romance or for those looking to give the genre a shot. There isn’t a lot of angst or any broken characters…its a simple story with heart.

 

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BOOK SUMMARY:

Jessica Stone has her life in perfect order until her perfectly boring boyfriend Brett puts things in perspective. So when she receives a call to action from her heartbroken best friend Cassie, she ditches her plans for Winter Break in gloomy Olympic Falls and sets off to Mexico for some fun in the sun.

Determined to use her oceanview to prep for her MCATS, she doesn’t plan to run into anyone from Olympic State, least of all the cute communications prof she’s been crushing on for a year. When he unexpectedly saves the day, the two are thrown together in a distinctly extracurricular activity.

Roman Markson doesn’t expect to run into anyone he knows from Olympic Falls while visiting his family in Puerto Vallarta, especially not a former student. Although Jess Stone has a way of catching men’s attention, a relationship with her is strictly off-limits. However, the rules feel less strict in Mexico, so they agree to a plan: one week in paradise and nothing more.

But avoiding each other back on campus is harder than they anticipated, especially when they can’t stay away from one another. Neither is sure what they have to learn—and lose—before life teaches them a lesson they’ll never forget.

 

Click here to check out other stops on the tour

 

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Monday, July 21, 2014

Spotlight: The Hazards of Sex on the Beach by Alyssa Rose Ivy

Posted by Irish in Contest, Misc, Spotlight0 Comments

THOSOTB RDL Banner

 

We are so excited to bring you the Release Day Launch for Alyssa Rose Ivy’s THE HAZARDS OF SEX ON THE BEACH! THE HAZARDS OF SEX ON THE BEACH is a contemporary romance and is a part of Alyssa Rose Ivy’s Hazards Series. It is priced at just $.99 right now. This will last for a limited time only to celebrate the release! This book, y’all. Holy cow.

The Hazards of Sex on the Beach Cover

 

Amazon | Nook | Itunes | Kobo | Google Play

THE HAZARDS OF SEX ON THE BEACH Synopsis:

One broken heart, one drink too many, one steamy night in the sand…

No one warns you about the dangers of drinking with a broken heart. At least no one warned me. I never imagined I’d fall for a musician, especially not one like Chase, but then again I never expected to have my heart broken into a million pieces by the frat guy I thought was the love of my life.

Sometimes it’s the rash decisions, like hooking up in the sand, that lead you to the best places—the kinds of places where it’s possible to let yourself fall in love again.

THE HAZARDS OF SEX ON THE BEACH Excerpt:

He took a strand of my hair and studied it. “Is this your natural color?”

“Yes.”

He dropped the strand. “I’ve never dated a girl with blonde hair.”

“Well, you’re not dating me.”

He gently brushed his fingers down my bare arm. “No, but I want to kiss you.”

“Then kiss me.” I was used to pushy guys. The kind that knew what they wanted and took it.

“Okay.” He smiled before leaning in.

The kiss was hesitant at first, the kind of kiss that gets your whole body excited because you know there’s more to come. I waited—hoping he’d take it further. His hand slid just under the hem of my shirt, brushing against my skin. The touch was light, but it was still enough to get a response out of me. I moaned.

That must have been what he was waiting for. He deepened the kiss, pushing into my mouth with such force I was taken by surprise. I kissed him back, enjoying the sweet taste of his mouth, and the way his hand slowly inched its way up my stomach. Blazer moved from zero to sixty. I didn’t mind it. I moved onto his lap, welcoming the arm he put around me to pull me closer. I wrapped my arms around his neck.

His hand moved higher, cupping my breast over my bra. I was drunk and hot, and so turned on I was going to lose it.

That’s when the door to the roof opened. The loud laughter of a group of girls pulled me half out of my lustful stupor.

“Want to go for a walk?” His question was asking something else entirely. I knew that when I answered with an enthusiastic yes.

Blazer held my hand as we made our way through the crowds. I looked briefly for Gabriella, but I didn’t see her. The normal Cara would have called her to tell her I was leaving with a random guy—but was Blazer random? We had chatted for hours already.

Before I could worry about it long, we were walking along the dark and nearly vacant beach. It was January on the South Carolina coast, and the crowds were months away.

“You never told me your name.” He said it as a statement as he led me further away from the party.

“Cara.”

“Hi, Cara. I’m Chase.”

I smiled. “Isn’t it a little late for introductions?” I stopped and turned toward the ocean.

“It’s never too late.” He drew something on my arm with his finger. The sensation felt good. I closed my eyes.

“You look so gorgeous. The moonlight, that look on your face.”

I opened my eyes and his face was inches from mine. “If you’ve never dated a blonde, does that mean you’ve never had sex with one?”

“Why? Are you looking to change that?” His eyes were lidded.

“I’d like to.” I slipped a finger into the waistband of his jeans.

“Should we go back to my hotel room, or do you have one?” He looked down. “I’m going to be honest here. I haven’t done this before.”

“Please don’t tell me you’re a virgin.” That would be just my luck.

He laughed. “No. Not saying that at all. I just don’t generally hook up with girls I’ve just met.”

“At least you know my name.”

“I do know your name, don’t I, Cara?”

Something happened to me when he said my name. I needed him. I reached up again, wrapping my arms around him. I crushed my lips into his.

We came up for air only after ending up horizontal on the sand. He laughed. “Or we can just pick things up right here.”

Alyssa Rose Ivy- Author PhotoAlyssa Rose Ivy Bio:

Alyssa Rose Ivy is a New Adult and Young Adult author who loves to weave stories with romance and a southern setting. Although raised in the New York area, she fell in love with the South after moving to New Orleans for college. After years as a perpetual student, she turned back to her creative side and decided to write. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and two young children, and she can usually be found with a cup of coffee in her hand.

 

 

 

Twitter | Author Goodreads | Pinterest | Website | THE HAZARDS OF SEX ON THE BEACH Goodreads | Facebook

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Monday, July 21, 2014

Guest Post: Setting of This Summer by Katlyn Duncan

Posted by Irish in Blog Tour, Contest, Guest Post0 Comments

Guest Post: Setting of This Summer by Katlyn Duncan

THIS SUMMER_Cover

 

 

About THIS SUMMER

Release date: July 9, 2014
Publisher: Carina UK
Genre: New Adult Contemporary
ISBN: 9781472096449

Before college, before responsibilities, Hadley Beauman and best friend Lily are determined to have a summer to remember. There will be all the usual dramas – ex-boyfriends who don’t seem to know what ‘ex’ means, pesky younger brothers with unrequited crushes, but what Hadley didn’t anticipate was the out-of-the-blue return of the seriously hot boy-next-door, Will Carson. The boy who broke her heart when he skipped town two years ago.

Will may have shot up a foot and filled out (oh yes), but inside he carries the weight of guilt – for leaving, for coming back… Now he’s just passing through to tie up loose ends but it’s clear the old chemistry still crackles between him and Hadley. Trouble is, it’s built on two years of lies…

This summer might just be the best time of their lives, but is Hadley ready for everything to change – again?

The Guest Post

Great topic! I think setting is very important piece of a great novel and I’d love to discuss mine!

This Summer is mostly set in a small town. As this is a loose version of my summers working for my local Parks Department, I brought in elements of that setting to build up the environment of the book. I wanted this setting because I knew it very well and that’s just where I saw my characters living. I like writing about small towns since I know mine very well. There is a sense of everyone knows each others business which fuels the urgency for Hadley to want to move on with her life. Plus it was fun to have the main characters live so close to everything, I really enjoyed exploring their environment in each scene.

The actual camp was fun to build. Pieces of it are from what I remember about those summers working. With so much of the setting in my mind already, it was an interesting experience to just throw my characters in there and see what they did.

There is also small window of time that the characters spend at an overnight camp and that was really fun for me to imagine. I’d never been to one and so it was exciting to build up my own version!

 

Find it at

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | BARNES & NOBLE UK | iTUNES | KOBO | MILLS & BOON | GOODREADS

About Katlyn Duncan

Katlyn_Duncan

Katlyn Duncan was born and raised in a small town in western Massachusetts. Her overactive imagination involved invisible friends, wanting to be a Disney Princess and making up her own stories. Her bibliophile mom always encouraged her love of reading and that stayed with her since. Even though she works full time in the medical field Katlyn has always made time for books, whether she is reading or writing them.

Katlyn now lives in southern Connecticut with her husband and adorable Wheaten Terrier and she is thrilled to finally share her stories with the world.

WEBSITE | BLOG | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | INSTAGRAM | TUMBLR | YOUTUBE | GOODREADS

The THIS SUMMER Trailer

LINK: http://youtu.be/fJoqD3_bn_w

The Giveaway

The author is offering up for giveaway a $50 Amazon US or UK gift card.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Tour Schedule

The schedule can be found at: http://www.rockstarbooktours.com/2014/07/tour-schedule-this-summer-by-katlyn.html

Week One
July 14th – Fire and Ice – Guest Post
July 14th – Spiced Latte Reads – Review
July 15th – Ramblings From This Chick – Review
July 15th – Contessa – Interview
July 16th – Book Briefs – Review<
July 16th – Swoony Boys Podcast – Interview
July 17th – Falling for YA – Guest Post
July 17th – Ginger-Read Reviews – Review
July 18th – A Book and a Latte
July 18th – Mary Had a Little Book Blog – Review

Week Two
July 21st – Seeing Night Reviews – Review
July 21st – Ticket to Anywhere – Guest Post
July 21st – A Bottomless Book Bag – Review
July 22nd – Library of a Book Witch – Review
July 22nd – Simplistic Reviews – Guest Post
July 23rd – Teen Readers’ Diary – Interview
July 23rd – Rampant Readers – Review<
July 24th – Once Upon a Twilight – Review
July 24th – Fiction Dreams – Interview
July 25th – Burning Impossibly Bright – Guest Post
July 25th – Fiktshun – Guest Post + Review

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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Audio Review: All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Audiobook, Review, Young Adult1 Comment

Audio Review: All Our Yesterdays by Cristin TerrillAll Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill
(Website, Blog, Twitter, Goodreads)
Series: All Our Yesterdays, Book 1
Published by Tantor Audio on 03 September 2013
Genres: Abduction, Action & Adventure, Assassins, Contemporary Romance, Death & Dying, Dystopian, Emotions & Feelings, Friendship, Health & Daily Living, Love & Romance, Mystery & Detective, Sci-Fi, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Suspense, Time Travel, Young Adult
Reading Challenges: 2014 Listen to 12 Audiobooks
Narrator: Meredith Mitchell
Length: 9 hours 25 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible.com
AmazonAudibleBarnes & NobleThe Book DepositoryGoodreads
three-stars

Place(s) Traveled to: Washington, DC // Oakton, Pennsylvania // Greenwich, Connecticut (Present + 4 years in future)

First Line(s): I stare at the drain in the center of the floor.

 

All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill is a book that I had heard a lot about from a friend. Its a book that deals with time travel and paradoxes and seemed like it would be right up my alley. However, for me, this was one in which the premise was far better than the actual execution of the story line. Part of this I think came from my dislike of the narrator, both of the story and the actual audiobook, Meredith Mitchell. All Our Yesterdays is told in two voices, Em and Marina and while I enjoyed Em’s point of view most of the time Marina just annoyed me. She was young and naive and blind to the truth around her not to mention that she was obsessed with her friend and neighbor James, a boy who was unworthy of such affection. James was selfish and would use Marina’s affections to suit his purposes as he pushed forward with his own obsession, his scientific work. But not all the characters were bad, I really did enjoy Finn and wish that part of the book was told from his POV though I understand why Terrill chose the voices that she did.

The concept of All Our Yesterdays was a good one, a time machine has been built and the use of it became less altruistic than intended which leaves the world in a not so great spot despite its short time in existence. I can get behind the concept of time travel as being real but the results of this just seemed a bit implausible at times. I also thought that the mystery of All Our Yesterdays was a bit unnecessary as it just bogged down the story with cryptic remarks and a few red herrings. For me, there wasn’t a whole lot of guessing to be done and I had the bulk of the book figured out fairly quickly. While figuring out a story doesn’t always kill my enjoyment of it this one had the added factors of an annoying narrator. I really can’t put my finger on why Mitchell’s narration bugged me as much as it did but it made All Our Yesterdays a more difficult novel to get into than it should have. Mitchell’s English accent, used for Tamsin, was cringe worth and it was difficult to suss out the scene transitions in the story. As a result I often had to rewind and relisten to many parts of the story. This left me wishing that I had read this one in print form and wondering if I would have enjoyed it more if I had.

All Our Yesterdays was a book that could have been shorter than it was as there were so many missed opportunities. Of course without the angst and the pontificating and the failed attempts to do that one thing then there wouldn’t have been much of a story but all that wasted time just annoyed me and resulted in a few eye rolls. It also grated on my nerves when Em would do things in the past and then be baffled why future versions of people knew about them. She is affecting change and as such leaving new memories in the people she meets, this results in a new future, and as such very few surprises because for some events have already happened even if they are new to her.

The ending of All Our Yesterdays was interesting and does make me curious on where things might go in the sequel but part of me wishes that this had been a stand alone novel. I just fear that there isn’t enough of a story to tell in another book but will reserve my judgement until I see the synopsis of book 2. I will also most likely read the sequel but am fairly certain that I will not listen to the audio of it. At this point in time I am uncertain if I will listen to another book that Mitchell narrates. What I do hope for in the sequel is more from Finn as he was my favorite character. I liked who Em was with him and I liked the humor that he brought to the story. Finn my heart ache and he’s the main reason why I stuck with this one until the end. As long as there is Finn in the sequel then I will read it and getting to “meet” Finn is reason enough for you to give All Our Yesterdays a shot.

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Saturday, July 19, 2014

Review: I Kill the Mockingbird by Paul Acampora

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Middle Grade, Review0 Comments

Review: I Kill the Mockingbird by Paul AcamporaI Kill the Mockingbird by Paul Acampora
(Website, Blog, Twitter, Goodreads)
Published by Roaring Brook Press on 20 May 2014
Genres: Adolescence, Books & Libraries, Contemporary (No Romance Focus), Emotions & Feelings, Espionage, Friendship, Middle Grade, Social Issues
Reading Challenges: 2014 - Read 12 Middle Grade Books, 2014 Personal Challenge
Pages: 176
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book DepositoryGoodreads
three-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: West Grover, Connecticut (and surrounding towns)

First Line(s): My mother’s wheelchair doesn’t fit through the bathroom door, and I don’t know what to do about it.

I Kill the Mockingbird by Paul Acampora is the story of three friends who want to honor their teacher by creating buzz for his favorite book, To Kill a Mockingbird. Which is part of their summer reading but not all of their classmates are as excited for it. So these friends create a campaign that makes it seem like copies of To Kill a Mockingbird are being stolen and it quickly goes viral. And more importantly, the less copies that are available the more that people want to read this book. I Kill the Mockingbird is a quick read, engrossing, humorous, and a love letter to the written word. Its a powerful story of friendship and a great example of the what can be done when a group of people set their mind to something.

While I didn’t always agree with the things that Lucy and her friends did I must admit that I loved their initiative. I loved their drive and got sucked into their campaign. Its also an example of how powerful social media can be as what started off as a small and local thing quickly spread across the nation. The whole campaign quickly takes on a life of its own and Lucy and her friends must try to figure out a way to end things before it all gets impossibly out of control. This can lead to some great discussions with middle grade readers about proper and responsible use of the internet told in a way that’s easy to see and understand in Acampora’s book.

I Kill the Mockingbird is also a great coming-of-age story as the three friends learn so much about themselves and the power they have to invoke change in the world. I Kill the Mockingbird is a cute and quirky read and one that people of all ages can find something to love. Its a book that will make you remember the love you feel for To Kill a Mockingbird or make you want to pick up the book if you’ve never read it before. Its a book for book lovers and while it does seem a little forced at times I enjoyed my read of it. I liked Acampora’s quirky writing style and realistic characters and I look forward to reading more books by this author.

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Friday, July 18, 2014

Review: Breathe, Annie, Breath by Miranda Kenneally

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Review, Young Adult1 Comment

Review: Breathe, Annie, Breath by Miranda KenneallyBreathe, Annie, Breathe by Miranda Kenneally
(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)
Series: Thousand Oaks, Book 5
Published by Sourcebooks on 15 July 2014
Genres: Adolescence, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Death & Dying, Emotions & Feelings, Friendship, Girls & Women, Health & Daily Living, Love & Romance, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Reading Challenges: 2014 - Read 12 Young Adult Books, 2014 Personal Challenge
Pages: 306
Format: ARC
Source: Book Expo (BEA-ALA-et al)
AmazonAudibleBarnes & NobleThe Book DepositoryGoodreads
three-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Thousand Oaks, Tennessee

First Line(s): As a kid, I had the worst mile time ever.

Breathe, Annie, Breathe by Miranda Kenneally is the first book of hers that I’ve read and I almost didn’t read this one as I didn’t realize that it was part of her Thousand Oak series. But after consulting with Twitter I was told that you didn’t need to read the others in order to read and understand this one so I decided to give it a shot. Breathe, Annie, Breathe was a quick read but I did find it hard to get into at first as I just couldn’t connect with with the main character. She was just all over the place with her emotions and seemed to transfer them onto others as well. I get that she was dealing with grief but she seemed to take it to the extreme. I know that everyone experiences grief differently but it just seemed over the top and took me out of the story. And if the grief was real then I really wish that she was in counseling for it as she wasn’t coping very well and as a result made some poor life choices.

I also didn’t really connect with Jeremiah either because he was such an ass in the beginning. He and Annie randomly hook up at the very beginning of the book and then he ignores her and doesn’t treat her very well. She then mopes about until he has a change of heart and then she is on the way to repeating her behavior with her dead boyfriend. In that, she wants to wrap her entire life up, in, and around his to the exclusion of all others. So for the first half of this book I really just wanted to smack these two characters up the head sideways. But then, they both seem to have this epiphany and the whole tone of the book changed for me. All of a sudden I began to like both Annie and Jere more and became invested in their story.

I experienced those heart achy moments that I so love experiencing in books and it just made me happy. So for me, the ending is what made this book and I was glad that I had stuck with it. As I said it was a quick read and there were moments of it that I liked. I liked how Annie grew over the course of the book because I don’t think I would have been able to finish it if she hadn’t. I admired her drive to want to do something for her deceased boyfriend even though I didn’t really agree with her reasons for it. I also liked how over time it because less what he would have wanted and more about what she wanted to do for herself. And while I didn’t always like Jere I do think that he and Annie compliment each other.

I enjoyed Kenneally’s writing and the world that she has built so I will probably read the previous books in the series. I think it will be interesting to see how they all connect with one another. Breathe, Annie, Breathe will never be a favorite book of mine but in the end I don’t think that my time was wasted in visiting Thousand Oaks.

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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Review: Far From You by Tess Sharpe

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Review, Young Adult2 Comments

Review: Far From You by Tess SharpeFar From You by Tess Sharpe
(Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)
Published by Disney-Hyperion on 08 April 2014
Genres: Contemporary (No Romance Focus), Death & Dying, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, Girls & Women, GLBT, Health & Daily Living, Illnesses & Injuries, Love & Romance, Mystery & Detective, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Reading Challenges: 2014 Personal Challenge, 2014 Read 12 Books Recommended by Others
Pages: 352
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book DepositoryGoodreads
four-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Harper’s Bluff, California

First Line(s): It doesn’t start here.

 

When I first heard about Far From You by Tess Sharpe I wasn’t sure if it was a book that I would like. I wasn’t sure I wanted to read a story about addicition and recovery so I didn’t think much of until. That is until one night in NYC where I was getting tipsy with Andi from AndiABC’s that she talked it up so much and was such and book bully for it that I decided to give it a go. (Also, how nerdy are we to be talking about books in a bar?!? But that’s just how we roll.) So I made a library request for it right there and then and fates had it waiting for me not long after I got home. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect from Far From You by from the opening lines until the end this book had me hooked.

I loved Sophie’s voice and how Sharpe crafted her story with bits of the past woven into the present day narrative. I loved following the clues of how Sophie ended up where she did and wondered what really happened to Mia that night. While I did figure out the mystery fairly early on, the knowing didn’t detract from my enjoyment on how this book was written. I found myself whizzing through the pages and loving how Sophie changed and grew as a character despite all the gossip about her. I liked how she stood up for herself and stood her ground even though no one believed her story. I liked how she fought to uncover the truth about her friend and most of all I liked how this one barely had a romantic story line to it.

All to often in books these days the story is bogged down because the main character gets distracted by a boy. She almost forgets herself to angst over her love and everything else takes a back seat. In Far From You, Sophie could lose herself into a romance but she doesn’t. She admits she has feelings but she doesn’t act on them in memory of her friend. Her focus is on Mia and even though Mia is dead Far From You is very much a friendship story. We get to know Mia thorugh flashbacks and your heart aches that her life was ended before it ever really began.

Its hard to belive that Far From You is a debut novel and I am so glad that Andi pushed me to read it. I loved Sharpe’s writing and am looking forward to seeing what she comes up with next. I would love to see more stories set in this town but I also love how this was a standalone novel. Its a great story and one that I don’t think that you’ll regret reading. Its not perfect but its well told and I love it because its slightly flawed. If you’ve been hesitating about Far From You then stop because you don’t know what you are missing.

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