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Source: Borrowed

Monday, April 9, 2018

Book Review: Paper Princess by Erin Watt

Posted by Irish in 1 Star, Adult, New Adult, Review0 Comments

Book Review: Paper Princess by Erin WattPaper Princess (The Royals, #1) by Erin Watt, Elle Kennedy, Jen Frederick
Series: The Royals #1
Published by Self-Published on 04 April 2016
Genres: Family, New Adult, Social Issues, Adult
Pages: 370
Format: Paperback
Source: Borrowed
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Goodreads
Setting: America: Unknown
one-star
Also by this author: The Deal, The Mistake, Him, The Score, Us, Sacked

First Line: “Ella, you’re wanted in the principal’s office,” Ms. Weir says before I can step inside her precalculus classroom.

I don’t even know where to begin with this one…I first heard about PAPER PRINCESS by Erin Watt when it was released and everyone was going crazy for it but based on the synopsis I didn’t think it was for me. Then recently a bunch of people I trust (and usually agree with on books) were all raving over it and how I should read it.  So I started to read it when standing in line waiting to get a copy signed for a friend. I admit, there was something insanely readable about this book but that’s about the only positive thing I can say about PAPER PRINCESS.

First off, this book is billed as YA and it is most definitely NOT YA!! Stars I shudder to think about high schoolers reading this book! Its so graphic in its content that it should be billed as NA or even adult. The only YA thing about PAPER PRINCESS is that the characters are all supposed to be in high school but the content is definitely adult and so should only be read by mature audiences.

As I said above, the only real positive thing I have to say about PAPER PRINCESS is that when I was reading it I found it hard to put down. There was something addictive about the writing even as I rolled my eyes and shook my head at everything else that happened in this story. Or re-read over pages trying to figure out what was happened. For a cohesive, plot is not part of the PAPER PRINCESS makeup. This story is so disjointed and all over the place its hard to really say what its about. The characters are all super terrible and I didn’t like any of them. Except for maybe Valerie. I also don’t get the love everyone seems to have for Reed Royal as he is an extreme douche bag!! He treats Ella like dirt and for all her supposed “tough girl” attitude she not only takes it with no protest but she falls head over heels for him. Though not before hooking up with his brother, Easton, who insisted on called her Little Sis even when kissing her which was super creepy.

None of this story felt like it could be real, all the characters felt like such caricatures on how terrible and superficial a person could be. Not a single one had a redeeming quality. I get that the super rich live a totally different life than I do but even still its hard to believe anything in PAPER PRINCESS as being plausible. And then there was that ending…which like most of the rest of the plot came out of no where and didn’t make any sense. I swear if I wasn’t reading a signed book that I borrowed from a friend I would have tossed it across the room. The final sense was a total WTF moment and then it just ends which leaves me torn on if I should pick up the next book or not. Because while I hated pretty much everything about this story there was still something addictive about it even as I find it to be so problematic.

There is just so much that was wrong about PAPER PRINCESS that its hard to put down in words and not seem too ranty. All I know is that I probably should have stuck with my first instinct and avoided it because now that I’ve read it….I’m stuck with the memory of it terribleness in my brain and I’m not sure how I can make it go away.

 

one-star
Rating Report
Plot
one-star
Characters
one-star
Writing
four-stars
Pacing
two-stars
Cover
three-stars
Overall: two-stars
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Monday, February 2, 2015

Review: I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios

Posted by Irish in 5 Stars, Review, Young Adult0 Comments

Review: I’ll Meet You There by Heather DemetriosI'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios
Published by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) on 03 February 2015
Genres: Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Friends to Lovers, Friendship, Girls & Women, Health & Daily Living, Love & Romance, New Adult, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, War & Military, Young Adult
Pages: 400
Format: ARC
Source: Borrowed
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Goodreads
five-stars
Also by this author: Something Real

Place(s) Traveled To: Creek View, California

First Line(s): The Mitchells’ backyard was packed, full of recent and not-so-recent grads in various stages of party decay.

I first was introduced to Heather Demetrios’s writing when people on Twitter kept harassing me to read her debut, Something Real. I say harass but as any bibliophile know book harassing (aka book bullying) is the best thing that one book lover can do to another and I was so glad that I picked that book up. When I learned that Demetrios had another contemporary coming out I was beyond ecstatic and was all bouncy with excitement even as my fingers itched to hold it in my hands. When I was able to read I’ll Meet You There I did it in a single sitting and was totally blown away by it. OMG the feelings that this novel managed to make me feel. Wow. Just wow. To compare this book with Something Real is kind of an impossible thing because the two are just so very different and if I didn’t know any better I’d almost swear they were written by an entirely different person. This isn’t a bad thing, not at all, it just shows how much Demertrios’s writing has grown since her debut and instills in me a very real fear. The fear that one day she really might kill me with her words. Although that might not be a bad way to go.

I’ll Meet You There is the story of Skylar, a girl who has spent her whole life trying to escape her small town. She doesn’t want to end up like so many of her friends and the adults she knows; married with children working a mediocre job. She has big dreams and she only has a few months left in Creek View before she can go and never look back. But then her mother loses her job and seems to fall apart and she bumps into her old friend Josh, home from Afghanistan wounded and different from the boy she knew. Skylar is a girl that has always wanted to go but now there are all these reasons for her to stay and she is at a loss on what to do. For sometimes, the dream you thought you wanted may not be the dream that is meant for you. I’ll Meet You There is an amazing story of friendship and falling in love. Its about learning to see the world in a new way and accepting that sometimes things can’t be changed and that maybe things aren’t as bad as you initially thought.

I’ll Meet You There is an amazing journey and I can’t even tell you the number of times it made my heart ache and brought tears to my eyes. Josh and Skylar are just so amazing together and yet at the same time you just want to shake them when they go off and do something stupid. Because they both do stupid things and they make assumptions and they are both scared and so push the other way and it all just breaks a poor readers heart. But even as Demetrios breaks your heart she works to put the pieces back together again and even if the heart is a little bruised afterwards the end result is stronger than it was before. Skylar’s summer is one of change and making choices and its a struggle that every reader can relate to. Life doesn’t always follow the plans that you have and you need to learn to roll with the punches or take an unexpected detour in order to get where you are going. This is a book that shows that sometimes its not the end result that is important but the journey that takes you there. The memories you make, the friendships you have, and the love that grows along the way.

There are not enough words to tell you how much I loved I’ll Meet You There but even if there were I’m not sure that I would be able use them well enough to express my thoughts. I’ll Meet You There is like a sucker punch to a gut and I could not put it down. It is filled with raw emotion and it will suck you in from the very first page and it won’t let you go until the words run out. Its a book where you’ll keep flipping that last page needing more and yet at the same time the ending is so real and perfect and filled with the right amount of closure. I’ll Meet You There is not a book to be missed so you need to run out to your nearest bookstore and bring it home today. Then come back here and tell me how much you loved it.

irishdarkblue

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I'll Meet You There Quote

five-stars
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Friday, May 2, 2014

Review: What Happens Next by Colleen Clayton

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

Review: What Happens Next by Colleen ClaytonWhat Happens Next by Colleen Clayton
Published by Poppy on 09 October 2012
Genres: Adolescence, Contemporary (No Romance Focus), Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Girls & Women, Health & Daily Living, Love & Romance, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 310
Format: Hardcover
Source: Borrowed
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Goodreads
four-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Unnamed, Pennsylvania // Lakewood, Ohio

First Line(s): It’s four in the morning and I’m sitting on my porch steps for my friends.

What Happens Next by Colleen Clayton is one of those books that I’ve heard a lot about and always meant to read but then never did. Even when my friend Andi loaned me her copy I just always put it off for other shinier books. Then one day I decided to finally sit down and give What Happens Next the attention that it deserved. For me, What Happened Next started off a bit slow there was the longest chair lift ride in history and I just didn’t get the draw of Dax to Sid. Aside from the fact that he was supposedly in college and she was your average high school girl.

Though I did like that about Sid. She wasn’t the super popular girl and not the social outcast. Sid existed in the in-between world where she had friends, was well liked, but there was also some issues with a girl in her class. This made Sid relateable to me because it more mirrored my high school experience than most young adult books I’ve read. What I didn’t like was how quickly Sid’s BFFs dropped her when she got in trouble for staying out all night during the ski trip. I know that Sid didn’t tell the full truth on what happened, and that is something I can understand, but real friends would have stuck by her no matter what. Not just when things started to fall apart for them and they felt they needed her once again. I was actually a bit disappointed in Sid when she decided to forgive so easily. But then, perhaps I’m just not as good a person as Sid is.

I did like Cory Livingston though and felt that he was a good influence on Sid’s life in the After. In some ways I wish that she had noticed him before her life imploded but at the same time sometimes it does take something catastrophic to happen for you to realize what was right in front of you. I don’t think that Cory is the be all and end all of book boyfriends but I did enjoy his character and I liked how he was with Sid. I thought that they complimented each other and I have hopes for them.

What Happens Next was a quick story once I started to read it and I got over the hurdle of the date rape. As I said I thought the start was a bit slow and that might have been in part because I was dreading that scene. Rape is a really tough topic to tackle and I think that Colleen Clayton handles it well. I thought that Sid’s reactions after the incident were realistic and my heart went out to her. I liked Clayton’s writing style and know that I won’t wait as long to read her next book. If you are like me and you’ve waited to read What Happens Next then you should do what I did and just sit down and read it. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

irishdarkblue

four-stars
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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Review: Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Review, Young Adult4 Comments

Review: Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie PerkinsLola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
Series: Anna and the French Kiss, Book 2
Also in this series: Anna and the French Kiss, Isla and the Happily Ever After
Published by Dutton on 29 September 2011
Genres: Adolescence, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friends to Lovers, Friendship, GLBT, Love & Romance, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 338
Format: ARC
Source: Borrowed
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Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: Anna and the French Kiss, Isla and the Happily Ever After, Summer Days and Summer Nights

Place(s) Traveled to: San Francisco, California

First Line: I have three simple wishes.

From the moment that I finished Anna and the French Kiss I’ve been looking forward to reading the companion book Lola and the Boy Next Door.  The moment I received the book from a friend I started to read it and got lost in the new world that Stephanie Perkins created. I fell in love with Cricket….the uber sweet boy next door. Lola on the other hand as a bit of a hit or miss character for me. I wanted so much to love her as much as I did Anna but that never happened. I did love her quirkiness and sense of style. I loved her confidence in herself and how she didn’t care what others thought of her outfits. I also loved her dads. I loved how they were a very active part of her life.

I didn’t love how Lola seemed to use the people around her, especially Cricket. And I didn’t like how her story as a bit of  Anna and the French Kiss in reverse. I loved the cameos of Anna and Etienne in the book but I feel that Etienne was in the story a bit too much. I think I would have liked things more if it was Anna who had the bigger role rather than Etienne. Though I still enjoyed Anna and Etienne’s relationship. Even though at times Etienne seemed to be around Anna a bit too much. Though that is more of my need for some personal space rather than any sort of unrealistic aspect of two teens in love.

In the end while I liked this book I didn’t love it as much as I did with Anna there was just something missing in this story for me and I didn’t lose myself in it completely. It might have been that I was setting the bar a bit too high for this sophomore novel by Perkins, Anna is a tough book to compete against…even when the book is written by the same author. I still loved Perkin’s writing style and I really look forward to reading Isla and the Happily Ever After. I really hope to see more cameos of characters from her previous books make an appearance in that one. After reading Lola I have a strong suspicion on HOW that might happen but we’ll have to wait and see if that’s what actually happens.

irishdarkblue

four-stars
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Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Deathday Letter by Shaun David Hutchinson

Posted by Irish in 3.5 Stars, Review, Young Adult1 Comment

The Deathday Letter by Shaun David HutchinsonThe Deathday Letter by Shaun David Hutchinson
Published by Simon Pulse on 15 June 2010
Genres: Adolescence, Dating & Sex, Death & Dying, Friendship, Health & Daily Living, Love & Romance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 256
Format: ARC
Source: Borrowed
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
three-half-stars
Also by this author: Better, Violent Ends

Place(s) Traveled to: Moriville, Florida

First Line(s): The first thing you need to know about Oliver Travers is that at the end of this story he’s going to die.

I was very fortunate to have read an advanced copy of The Deathday Letter by Shaun David Hutchinson thanks to my friend and fellow blogger Sharon, of Sharon Loves Books and Cats (and Zombies!). I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this book as I didn’t know a ton about it before reading. One thing I didn’t expect was that opening scene. Yeah, as an adult female I did not need to read about a teen boy doing…well…something that teen boys are known to do. I’m not a prude but there are just some things that I would prefer not to read as an opener and that is one of them.

Overall though I did enjoy the concept of The Deathday Letter it is a unique look at life and how a person might do things differently if they knew when they were going to die. Because in The Deathday Letter you receive notice in the form a crisp, almost blinding white letter that tells you the date and time you will die. A letter that is mysteriously delivered roughly 24 hours before said date/time occurs. The letter doesn’t say how or where and there is nothing anyone can do to prevent it. So the question is, if you knew you were going to die then how would you live your last day on Earth?

Oliver (Ollie to his friends) receives his letter and he doesn’t quite know what to do with himself. Thinking to live his last day as he’s done most days before he heads off to school. But when his best friend, Shane, learns of the letter he brings Ollie on an adventure of a lifetime with the help of Veronica (Ronnie). With Shane and Ronnie’s help Ollie does all sorts of things that he never thought he’d do – like jump off a bridge. Along the way Ollie and his friends really learn what it means to be alive.

I’m torn when it comes to knowing when my last day on earth would be. One hand I think it would be nice to know so that I can put everything in order and say goodbye to my loved ones. But on the other hand, knowing when might not be such a good thing because a person may not truly live the life they were meant to if they had an expiration date. Although I think that is partly why in Hutchinson’s world the letter comes the day before. There is still that sense of unknown. That uncertainly that your time, or in this case, letter, could come at any moment. And yet you still get that little bit of warning that allows you to do things that you might not have normally done.

So why the 3.5 stars you might ask? I think part of my rating comes from the fact there are just some thing about the inner workings of the teenage boy that I did not need to read about. Yes in a theoretical sense I know that teen boys think a lot of sex, but do I need to read all those thoughts? No. This could be part of why I am not a real fan of John Matthew in JR Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood books….but this post isn’t about her books. So moving on.

I think the concept of The Deathday Letters is unique. Its something that I haven’t read it before and I really enjoyed the freshness of it. This story also makes a person think. As a reader you have to ask yourself. If tomorrow morning you woke up and knew it was your last day….what would you do? How would you spend those final moments. And its those sorts of thought provoking questions that tells me this is a book that’s worth recommending, worth reading and most importantly, its worth discussing. Have you read The Deathday Letters? What did you think of it? And how would you spend your last 24hrs? Let me know in the comments!

irishdarkblue

three-half-stars
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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Review: Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers (Teaser Review)

Posted by Irish in 5 Stars, Review, Young Adult14 Comments

Review: Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers (Teaser Review)Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers
Published by St Martin's Press on 05 January 2010
Genres: Contemporary (No Romance Focus), Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Girls & Women, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 246
Format: ARC
Source: Borrowed
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
five-stars
Also by this author: All the Rage, Please Remain Calm, Violent Ends

Place(s) Traveled to: Hallowell, Connecticut

First Line(s): I wake up, and the bruises on my arms have turned really yellow and brown, so I have to wear long sleeves, even though fall is doing its best impression of summer and the air is sticky and hot.

Through the wonderful amazing kindness and generosity of fellow bloggers I was able to borrow an Advanced Copy of Some Girls Are from the super awesome Steph of Steph Su Reads. Some Girls Are or SGA as its been referred to on Twitter arrived on Friday. There was temptation to start reading it right then, but also some hesitation. After all there is already so much hype over this book and its greatness….and I am often disappointed with highly hyped up books as seen in Exhibit A. So I patted it a bit and put it on nightstand. Saturday came and I had to get my car looked at by my dad’s handy dandy cave (aka the only mechanic in world I trust to tell me truth & break it to me gently when Monty is really sick). I spent some quality time with my parents, got my dad a cell phone (note to all this is the first sign of the coming zombieapocalypse be ready!) and  in general continued to put off reading SGA.

Though I did carry it with me all day long. That night I pestered Courtney Summers on twitter to see if she had a playlist for the story. As playlists seem to becoming a popular trend with authors and their books these days. She didn’t have anything posted on her site but she did have on in her iTunes, which she then proceeded to Tweet to me. People, this is part of why I LOVE twitter so very much. I love the real time interaction you have with authors (and bloggers and other twitter peeps). So then I was able to put off reading for a wee bit longer as I assembled the list. I even downloaded some LADY GAGA – this should let you all know my dedication to procrastination….and even more amazing the album doesn’t suck. Its actually kinda catchy….words I never thought I’d say when it comes to the Haus of Gaga. (I think Courtney Summers may brainwashed me on this, but I can’t be sure).

Anywho, playlist made I proceeded to sit down and read. Now mind you….I didn’t start the book until 11 pm. When I started I thought to read just a chapter or two before calling it a night and finishing it up on Sunday. Well, before I knew it the clock was striking 4 am and I had finished the book and was just sitting there amazed, in awe and so completely blown away. When I regained some sense I immediately pulled out my phone and tweeted this message to Courtney “OH. EM. GEE. You are so twisted. SGA is effing brilliant. But seriously…OMG!!!” Now you’d think calling someone twisted would be a bad thing, but no this was what I received in response “!!! Hah!! I paused revision just to check twitter and saw your tweet and now I am like 😀 THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!! omg!” followed by “PS CUTB was just easing people into my twistedness. After SGA there’s no going back. 😉 srsly, though–thank you!!!”.

And let me tell you I thought that Cracked Up To Be (CUTB) was amazing (my review) but compared to SGA its like night and day. CUTB is puppys and rainbows and SGA is like a zombie on crack. It its a totally mindblowing book and its really hard to put into words just how uber amazing it is. Especially now months before its out, which is why I am rambling crazily and not really saying much of anything at all. In many ways Kirkus said it best “… will make readers cringe…. a truly mean girl is not easily knocked down. Powerful and compelling.”

Some Girls Are is a cringe worthy book. It also is a book that is filled with realism and raw emotion. Regina is a character that you love and hate and who breaks your heart into pieces all at once. I am counting down the days until January when I can buy my very one copy and read it over again. Once I do I’ll sit down and give you a better review then this one of me babbling over procrastination and avoidance….which so wasn’t needed because Some Girls Are not only lives up to the hype but it surpasses even the most glowingest review out there.

Also, in case you wanted to listen to the Some Girls Are playlist – which seriously adds to the reading experience of the book – Courtney has graciously allowed me to post it here for you. The songs are just amazing when paired up with the text. The songs were also chosen more for the feelings & sounds rather than because of the lyrics so don’t try to infer any deeper meaning out of them than that.

  • Changes Are No Good by The Stills
  • Beautiful Dirty Rich by Lady Gaga
  • Feeling Good by Muse
  • AntiMatter byNERD
  • Stupid Girl by Garbage
  • Little Bit by Lykie Li
  • LES Artistes by Santogold
  • Y Control by Yeah Yeah Yeahs
  • I Can’t Take it by Tegan and Sara
  • Smile Like You Mean It by The Killers
  • Just Dance by Lady Gaga
  • Alert Status Red by Matthew Good
irishdarkblue
five-stars
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