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Thursday, February 4, 2016

Review: Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Review, Young Adult0 Comments

Review: Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth FlynnFirsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn
Published by St Martin's Griffin on 05 January 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Friends to Lovers, Friendship, Love & Romance, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Source: Netgalley
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Rancho Palos Verdes, California

First Line(s): Tonight, I’m doing Evan Brown’s girlfriend a favor.

FIRSTS is the debut novel of Laurie Elizabeth Flynn and is a book that doesn’t shy away from some tough topics. For one, FIRSTS talks a lot about sex. Not just talk about it but also shows characters having sex. Which isn’t an uncommon thing for teenagers to do (even if parents would like to pretend otherwise) but its not a topic that is commonly shown in YA books.

FIRSTS is a raw book with a heroine that isn’t always the most likable. She thinks that she’s doing a good thing by sleeping with other girls’s boyfriends for their first time but its really just a cover up to hide the pain of her past. That part of the story was hard for me because I really despise cheating in a book and even though Mercedes felt like she was helping she was really just helping these boys cheat. So I didn’t always like Mercedes or her choices but I did like how FIRSTS portrayed her as both smart and pretty because all too often it seems like a character, or even a person in real life, can be only one or the other.

Firsts Quote

What I liked about Mercedes was how real she was. This is a girl who wants people to think she has her act together but she’s really just struggling to hold on. She pushes the people away who want to get close to her and draws in those who only want to use her. She feels like if she controls how much people around her see then the less chance she’ll get hurt. But life doesn’t work that way its messy and complicated and sometimes you get hurt and just as you hurt those around you. And despite all her best intention Mercedes did gather a good group of friends around her, Angela and Fayer….and also Zach. Oh Zach. I adored that boy and I loved how he saw Mercedes for who she was and not who she tried to appear. It was all these secondary characters that made me fall in love with this story.

FIRSTS is a book that is raw and it doesn’t really hold anything back. It shows a side of growing up that many people want to ignore that teens have sex and that teens can be cruel. But it also shows how caring they can be and the struggles that they face. FIRSTS is a fast paced read that is really well written. Flynn has a gift with narration and even as I didn’t always like Mercedes I did like her voice. Laurie Elizabeth Flynn is definitely on my author watch list because I can not wait to see what story she brings into the world next. And if you haven’t read FIRSTS yet then get on it. Its a hard book to describe just how great it is but it is. Take this from a girl that usually avoids books with cheating like the plague and yet with FIRSTS I couldn’t get enough of this world.

irishdarkblue

IR - Firsts

Thanks to Tiff from Mostly YA Lit for her help in choosing these read-a-likes!

Add Falling Into Place by Amy Zhang to Goodreads. (Click here for Tiff’s Review)

Add Last Best Kiss by Claire LaZebnik to Goodreads. (Click here for Tiff’s Review)

Click here for Tiff’s review of Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn.

four-stars
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Monday, March 23, 2015

Review: The Wrong Side of Right by Jenn Marie Thorne

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

Review: The Wrong Side of Right by Jenn Marie ThorneThe Wrong Side of Right by Jenn Marie Thorne
Published by Dial on 17 March 2015
Genres: Adolescence, Contemporary Romance, Death & Dying, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, Love & Romance, People & Places, Politics & Intrigue, Road Trip, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Young Adult
Pages: 400
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: James Island, South Carolina // Maryland // Virginia // Valley Forge, Pennsylvania // Chicago, Illinois // Oklahoma // Ohio // Texas // Massachusetts // Maine // Los Angeles, California // New York, New York// Vermont // St Louis, Missouri // Kansas // New Jersey

First Line(s): The moment my horrible yearbook photo first appeared on millions of televisions, sending jaws dropping, phones ringing, and joggers tumbling off their treadmills across America, I was in the middle of my AP US history final.

When I first heard about Jenn Marie Thorne’s debut novel, The Wrong Side of Right, I though that it sounded like a really cute and entertaining read. I was excited for it and when I received a copy for review I pretty much dropped everything in order to read it. Even with the subject, the death of Kate’s mom and finding out who her father was, I was expecting a light and fluffy read. Something that would make me smile one moment and my heart ache the next as Kate dealt with her new family and new romance. However, The Wrong Side of Right turned out to be a lot more serious than I thought and those light and fluffy moments were few and far between.

Kate had to deal with a lot in this book, not just a new family but a whole new world. She was outed as a Senator’s daughter and not just any Senator but one who was running for President. This puts her immediately into the spotlight as she’s taken away from the life she’d been making for herself since her mom died. She becomes a political thing and is told how to stand, where to stand, what to wear and how to act. Her life is no longer her own and there is no one she can talk to about it and that broke my heart. Kate had no advocate and no support system in a world where she desperately needed one because no one was looking out for her.

Wrong Side of Right Quote

That is until she meets Andy and they are able to bond over their fathers and the crazy, jaded politicial life that they both find themselves in. I really liked the romance between Andy and Kate as it was real and genuine and the two had some good chemistry. I just wish that there was more of it. There was so little in the book that I think this story suffered a bit as a result. I get why Andy couldn’t play a bigger role based on who he was but it would have softened the deeper tones of The Wrong Side of Right and made it more relateable. I also really detested Kate’s father and Andy would have made a good distraction from that.

Kate’s father, when he is there, is never really there. He’s always so focused on the campaign and what Kate can do for him. If she messes up in anyway and he loses points then he allows his team to treat her like crap all while ignoring her. Even when Kate’s presence is helping him he pretty much ignores her. And that just bothered me so much. Not only that but Kate seemed so passive throughout the story and I just wanted to shake her and tell her to pitch a fit and cause a fuss and just BE A TEENAGER! I get that she’s been through a lot and dealing with a political campaign couldn’t be easy but she was just so accepting and showed so little life that teenage me totally got her rage on for Kate’s behalf.

Despite all my various issues with The Wrong Side of Right, I did enjoy the overall story. It was an interesting looking into a world that I know I want no part of, one lived in the public eye where ever move is watched and commented on. The stress of that would be too much for me but Kate does manage to navigate its waters. I did like that she showed some strength and growth by the end and I liked her stepmother and siblings who also showed change and growth. I never did like her father and thought that he changed very little, if at all, and the end was a bit meh for my liking. All in all though a decent debut novel and Thorne will be on my authors to watch list for future reads.

 irishdarkblue

IR - Wrong Side of Right

Add Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller to Goodreads (Click here for my review.)

Add Sophomore Year is Greek to Me by Meredith Zeitlin to Goodreads (Review coming soon.)

three-stars
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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Audio Review: Revenge of the Witch by Joseph Delaney

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

Audio Review: Revenge of the Witch by Joseph DelaneyRevenge of the Witch by Joseph Delaney
Narrator: Christopher Evan Welch
Series: The Last Apprentice,
Also in this series: Curse of the Bane, Night of the Soul Stealer
Published by Harper Audio on 09 September 2005
Genres: Action & Adventure, Adolescence, Death & Dying, Fantasy, Friendship, Ghosts & the Undead, Magic, Middle Grade, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Survival Stories, Witches & Wizards
Length: 5 hours 14 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible.com
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: Curse of the Bane, Night of the Soul Stealer

Place(s) Traveled To: The County – Horshaw // Chipenden

First Line(s): When the Spook arrived, the light was already beginning to fail.

I first became interested in Revenge of the Witch by Joseph Delaney when I learned that there was going to be a movie released based on the series. Looking for a new audio I downloaded this from audible and quite enjoyed the narrator for the most part though he doesn’t do the best job with the female voices. The story is quick moving and while Revenge of the Witch is filled with a ton of set up there is a lot of promise for the series.

I enjoyed this book but felt it dragged a lot in portions and didn’t seem as action filled as movie previews appeared. The movie previews also look like nothing in this book so I wonder how many books that the movie pulls from to make up its story. For the most part, I liked the character of Tomas Ward but he does annoy me at the same time. He does some very stupid things and yet is also really smart and despite being a new apprentice often manages to save the day. The two sides of himself just don’t seem to mesh and I hope that he becomes more cohesive as the series progresses.

Revenge of the Witch Quote

The story is also told mostly in first person present but every once in awhile there is this foreshadowing/flashback-eske comment that just really took me out of the story. Tom would be talking about something and then make a statement along the lines of ‘this would come back to haunt me later’ or ‘by the time I did this it was already too late.’ I’m fine with the bulk of a book being mostly a flashback, heck that’s mostly how Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss is told. I just want these things to be more clear from the get go and not mentioned in random, cryptic comments.

Revenge of the Witch was an enjoyable audio and I will be reading other books in the series but as they are short, quick reads I will probably be switching over to print. I do plan on seeing the movie at some point but may way until DVD to do so as I can hopefully get most, if not all of the books read before then. That way I won’t be spoiled in the books if the movie pulls from the full series. This is a series I’d recommend if you are looking for a quick read and its a world that I look forward to getting to know better.

irishdarkblue

IR - Revenge of the Witch

Add Ash Mistry and the Savage Fortress by Sarwat Chadda to Goodreads. (Click here to read my review.)

Add The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan to Goodreads. (Click here to read my review.)

three-stars
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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Review: The Storybook of Legends by Shannon Hale

Posted by Irish in 3.5 Stars, Middle Grade, Review0 Comments

Review: The Storybook of Legends by Shannon HaleThe Storybook of Legends by Shannon Hale
Series: Ever After High,
Published by Little Brown Books for Young Readers on 08 October 2013
Genres: Adaptation, Adolescence, Books & Libraries, Fairy Tales, Folklore, & Legends, Fantasy, Friendship, Girls & Women, Middle Grade, Royalty, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance
Pages: 305
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
three-half-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Fairy-Tale World

First Line(s): Once upon a new school year, Raven Queen was packing.

The Storybook of Legends by Shannon Hale is the first book in the Ever After High series which was created by the same people who did Monster High and is a spin off of sorts. Though instead of “monsters” this story is filled with the children of the fairy tales we grew up listening to. We quickly learn that all the children in this story have a destiny that they need to fulfill and that destiny is to live out their fairy tale story as written and as determined by the Storybook of Legends. If your mother was an Evil Queen then you are supposed to grow up to be one too, even if you don’t feel so very evil. Which is Raven Queen’s dilemma as the new school year starts. This is her legacy year, the year she signs the book of Legends and seals her fate. Only she doesn’t want to be evil and wonders just what will happen if she doesn’t sign the book after all.

Along the way you meet her friends and a girl named Apple White, the daughter of Snow White, and the girl that Raven is supposed to grow up and poison so she can have her happily ever after. Apple is supposed to be good but what I love about this book is that the lines are blurred between good and evil and just because someone is perceived to be good doesn’t mean that they are. I really liked how fun and imaginative this story was and I did so enjoy the youtube cartoon tie-in as well. I liked all of the characters and the mystery that was contained in its pages. It was a fun fairy tale retelling and one in which I look forward to reading the other books in the series.

 

Storybook of Legends Quote

While I enjoyed the story I did get a little frustrated at times because I couldn’t understand why if each fairy tale character had two parents then why did Raven have to follow her mother’s path when her father was a good king. And what about the fairy tale characters that had multiple children? How do their stories play out as if there are 3 girls then they can’t all be Cinderella, can they? And just what happens if you don’t follow your destiny but instead forge your own path? These are all questions that I hope get answered as the series moves on. But for now, I was happy with it and do think that younger readers will enjoy it as well.

 

irishdarkblue

 

IR - Storybook of Legends

Add The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy to Goodreads. (Click Here for my review)

Add Kat, Incorrigable by Stephanie Burgis to Goodreads. (Click Here for my review.)

three-half-stars
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Monday, February 23, 2015

Review: Right of Way by Lauren Barnholdt

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Review, Young Adult0 Comments

Review: Right of Way by Lauren BarnholdtRight of Way by Lauren Barnholdt
Series: Two-Way Street, Book 2
Also in this series: Two-Way Street
Published by Simon Pulse on 09 July 2013
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Friendship, People & Places, Road Trip, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 320
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: Two-Way Street, Through to You

Place(s) Traveled To: Siesta Key, Florida // Greenwich, Connecticut // Sarasota, Florida // Bradenton, Florida // Ocala, Florida // Savannah, Georgia // Richmond Hill, Georgia

First Line(s): I’m a traitor to my generation.

Right of Way by Lauren Barnholdt is a companion book to her story, Two-Way Street (my review) and follows the cousin of Courtney. The two books are very similar in premise that they are almost interchangeable. The only real differences are the names, there is a dog and Jace is driving Peyton home and they are not heading off to college together. They have an existing relationship but unlike Courtney and Jordan theirs is more of a summer time fling but like Jordan, Jace just cuts off all contact without a word leaving Peyton all sorts of heart-broken. These aren’t a grouping of books that you want to read back to back as you’ll just get frustrated at the almost copy & paste of the story. But with some time in between the two the similarities aren’t quite as glaring though still pretty obvious.

Peyton, like Courtney, is a bit of an unlikable character and I just don’t get what Jace sees in her and the reason he had for cutting off all contact was just dumb. With as close as they were supposed to be the fact that he didn’t ask her to explain was just rage inducing. Ugh to the ugh ugh ugh with the pointless breakup!! Nothing frustrates me more than that and this was just made me sigh and roll my eyes.

Right of Way Quote

Overall though, Right of Way, is a quick brain candy type of read and its a good follow-up to an emotionally draining book. Its not a deep story and it doesn’t take long to read which makes it a great pallet cleanser. While I didn’t like Peyton at first she does change during the story and I do cheer for her and Jace’s inevitable coming back together. While this isn’t a book that I will re-read its not one that I feel like I wasted my time on either. Even with all the similarities to Two-Way Street.

irishdarkblue

IR - Right of Way

Add How My Summer Went up in Flames by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Trust the Focus by Megan Erickson to Goodreads (Review coming soon.)

three-stars
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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Review: The Understatement of the Year by Sarina Bowen

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, New Adult, Review1 Comment

Review: The Understatement of the Year by Sarina BowenThe Understatement of the Year by Sarina Bowen
Series: The Ivy Years,
Also in this series: The Year We Fell Down, The Year We Hid Away, Blonde Date, The Shameless Hour, The Fifteenth Minute
Published by Self-Published on 15 Oct 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Friends to Lovers, Friendship, GLBT, Love & Romance, New Adult, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Sports & Athletics
Format: eBook
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: The Year We Fell Down, The Year We Hid Away, Blonde Date, The Shameless Hour, Him, The Fifteenth Minute, Coming in from the Cold, Us, Bittersweet, Steadfast, Rookie Move (Brooklyn Bruisers, #1)

Place(s) Traveled To: Etna, Connecticut // Brattleboro, Vermont // Boston, Massachusetts

First Line(s): In all my favorite movies, when something bad was going to happen, the protagonist usually sensed it.

Internet,

Let me tell you a secret. I only started reading Sarina Bowen’s Ivy Years series to get to this book, The Understatement of the Year. This is the third book in the series and came to me highly recommended by a friend. She said I could probably start the series here with this book but I do like to read my series in order when I can and while I liked the previous books, The Year We Fell Down (my review) and The Year We Hid Away (my review). I didn’t love them although I did really enjoy the novella Blonde Date (review to come) and wish that had been longer. The Understatement of the Year takes place almost concurrently with The Year We Hid Away and follows Michael Graham, the one who takes Bridger’s place on the Harkness hockey team. We quickly learn that Graham has secrets and most revolve around the new player John Rikker, who just happens to be one of the first openly gay hockey players on the collegiate circuit.

The Understatement of the Year is a contemporary romance that will make your heart ache. The angst and the longing and the emotions that Graham and Rikker put you through make you want to turn the pages faster and faster. Its a book filled with friendship and redemption and finding yourself. Its also a book that contains one of my favorite romance tropes, the second chance at love. I do so adore a story where the characters have a back story, an existing relationship and heartache that they need to overcome. It just adds a little something to overall story arc when it is done right and Sarina Bowen does it right.

Understatement of the Year Quote

Of all the books in this series to date, The Understatement of the Year, is my favorite. It hits all the right notes and really tugs on the heart strings. This book made my heart ache and I just loved watching Rikker and Graham come together as they sought their happily ever after. My only real disappointment was that the book had to end as I wasn’t ready to leave these characters behind. I wanted more of their story and more of some of the secondary characters like Rikker’s grandmother and Skippy.

The Understatement of the Year is a wonderful romance story for those that like a good romance. Its a quick read and hard to put down. Its a book that I know that I will re-read on those days when I just need to get lost in a book that I know will make my heart happy. I enjoyed it and I think that you will too.

irishdarkblue

IR- Understatement of Year

Add Trust the Focus by Megan Erickson to Goodreads.

Add Waiting for Ty by Samantha Ann King to Goodreads. (Click here for my review)

four-stars
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Saturday, February 14, 2015

Review: Top Ten Clues You’re Clueless by Liz Czukas

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Review, Young Adult0 Comments

Review: Top Ten Clues You’re Clueless by Liz CzukasTop Ten Clues You're Clueless by Liz Czukas
Published by Harper Teen on 09 December 2014
Genres: Adolescence, Contemporary Romance, Emotions & Feelings, Friends to Lovers, Friendship, Illnesses & Injuries, Love & Romance, Mystery & Detective, People of Color, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 289
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Milwaukee, Wisconsin

First Line(s): Top Ten Weirdest Things People Do Everyday at Goodfoods Market.

Top Ten Clues You’re Clueless by Liz Czukas is a humorous contemporary novel and a quick read good for when you aren’t looking for something too deep or heavy. The main character, Chloe, is likable and a girl that many people can relate to. I enjoyed seeing this world through her eyes and often laughed at some of her inner monologue. The fact that she makes lists was also another thing about her that allowed her to worm her way into my heart. I do so adore a good list.

In some ways, Top Ten Clues You’re Clueless reminded me a lot of the brat pack movies from the 80s. You know the ones The Breakfast ClubSixteen Candles, and Pretty in Pink – just to name a few. There is an ensemble cast to this book where you have a good mix of personalities all working together for a common cause and along the way also becoming friends. Its a fun read that will make you laugh and smile and wish that you worked at Goodfoods with this crew so you can take part in the shenanigans as well.

Top Ten Clues Quote

 

All is not sunshine and roses though in the Goodfoods universe, there is a mystery aspect to this story as well as someone has stolen the holiday donation money and Chloe and her co-workers are all the primary suspects. For me, the mystery portion was very weak and was almost a distraction from the story than anything else. Although without the theft then these characters may not have become a unit and as such we wouldn’t have had a story. So its one of those Catch-22 sort of situations. The mystery isn’t hard to figure out though that doesn’t take away from the story. This is more of a story about making friends that will last a life time and maybe a little romance along the way.

Top Ten Clues You’re Clueless is a quick read that I enjoyed. Its a book that makes me curious about Czukas’s other books as I do love a good comedic story. Sometimes they just needed when the real world gets to be a little too real and sad and you need some cheering up. Books like this are also great if you’ve just read something emotionally heavy or need a book to transition from one genre to another. Its not a deep story but it was witty and fun and one that I would recommend to many of my friends.

irishdarkblue

IR - Top Ten Clues

Add The Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes to Goodreads (Click here for my review.)

Add The Chapel Wars by Lindsey Leavitt to Goodreads (Click here for my review.)

three-stars
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Thursday, February 12, 2015

Review: The Kiss of Deception by Mary E Pearson

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Review, Young Adult0 Comments

Review: The Kiss of Deception by Mary E PearsonThe Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson
Series: The Remnant Chronicles,
Also in this series: The Heart of Betrayal
Published by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) on 08 July 2014
Genres: Abduction, Action & Adventure, Emotions & Feelings, Epic Fantasy, Friends to Lovers, Friendship, Girls & Women, Love & Romance, Magic, Mythology, People & Places, Politics & Intrigue, Romance, Royalty, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 492
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: The Heart of Betrayal

Place(s) Traveled To: Civica, Morrighan // Terravin, Morrighan // Gaudrel Tribe Camp, Cam Lanteux // Sanctum, Venda

First Line(s): Today was the day a thousand dreams would die and a single dream would be born.

Dear reader,

You may have heard a lot about Kiss of Deception by Mary E Pearson, I know this because since even before it was released mentions of it were all over my social media. There was much love for this book and I was curious but also wary. So very wary. You know me reader, you know that for whatever reason these popular over-hyped books tend to not connect with me as they do with most everyone else in the known universe. But I was curious, even with the knowledge that Kiss of Deception contained a love triangle, I was curious.

I started this one with hope of something amazing but quickly wondered why I was reading. I was bored and Lia was annoying and I kept wondering why I should care about her and her story. I sighed and rolled my eyes and figured out who was the prince and who was the assassin pretty quickly. Lia is judgmental and naive but thinks that she is oh so very clever. There were a few times when I wanted to toss this book aside and call it a DNF. But Twitter friends urged me on and told me to keep reading that it got better so I plodded on.

 

Kiss of Deception Quote

 

And reader, let me tell you true, those friends on Twitter were right because The Kiss of Deception did get better. There was more action in the second half than in the first, the characters all showed more life, and Lia went through some much needed growth. It took awhile but I grew to like these characters and care about their story. It made my heart ache at times and I was happy when certain choices were made. This isn’t to say that I fell in love with the book because I didn’t. Lia still made my head hurt and there were times when I seriously wanted to throttle her. But I could better understand the hype and appeal of this story.

By the end I wanted to know more. I am curious about the next book in the series, The Heart of Betrayal (Goodread) and where this story will go. Second books are always a tricksy thing though and it could be better or maybe not. But I am hopeful for this series and that is saying a lot coming from me. Because if you are a regular reader of Ticket to Anywhere than you know just how picky I can be with fantasy book, especially YA fantasy. So the fact that I want to read more of The Remnant Chronicles is a good thing and if you like fantasy then you might want to check this one out.

 

irishdarkblue

 

IR - Kiss of Deception

 

Add Death Sworn by Leah Cypess to Goodreads! (Click here for my review)

Add Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch to Goodreads! (Click here for my review)

three-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
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
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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Saturday, January 17, 2015

Review: Seventh Grave and No Body by Darynda Jones

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Review, Young Adult0 Comments

Review: Seventh Grave and No Body by Darynda JonesSeventh Grave and No Body by Darynda Jones
Series: Charlie Davidson,
Also in this series: Fifth Grave Past the Light, Sixth Grave on the Edge
Published by St Martin's Press on 21 October 2014
Genres: Adult, Angels, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Death & Dying, Demons, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, Ghosts & the Undead, Love & Romance, Mystery & Detective, Paranormal
Pages: 336
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet, Fifth Grave Past the Light, Sixth Grave on the Edge

 Place(s) Traveled To: Albuquerque, New Mexico

First Line(s): If the howling from the backseat of Agent Carson’s black SUV weren’t already dead, I would’ve strangled her. Gladly.

Seventh Grave and No Body is the seventh installment in Darynda Jones’s Charlie Davidson series and picks up not long after Sixth Grave on the Edge ends. While I wasn’t thrilled with the previous installment I was looking forward to Seventh Grave as I thought that maybe some of the bigger story ARC mysteries would be dealt with. However, I ended up being more disappointed in this story than I’d hoped and think that its really losing steam. The start of this series was so fresh and unique and now its just dragging on and getting a little repetitive in its telling. Charlie is getting a little annoying with her constant naming of things and constantly rushing off into danger.

In the beginning you could almost excuse her leaps into danger as there was always a bigger end game going on. But this aspect was missing in Seventh Grave and when you add into it that Charlie is pregnant its just reckless and irresponsible. The mystery that is started in this book is mediocre at best and as with the previous installment not much is accomplished with the overall story ARC. Other than re-hashing things that happened before there wasn’t anything new here and so that made Seventh Grave all the more frustrating and I am really starting to question if I want to continue reading this series or not.

Seventh Grave and No Body Quote

There are still elements of the story that I like, I do enjoy the humor though as I said above I do wish that some things would get toned down. The secondary characters continue to shine though why they continue to put up with some of Charlie’s antics I’ll never know. So in the end I sighed more than I laughed in this one and it just took longer to get through than it should have. There were also moments in this book that were impossible to believe because its hard to feel tension and think that characters are in peril when there are 4 more books to come in the series.

For me, its starting to seem as though there is no end point to the series and I think that does this world and characters a disservice. It just drags things out too much and so not much really happens in the story. While I do like how there is less than a year to wait between the next installment I am just not sure if I have the time or the energy to devote to books 8, 9, 10 and 11.

irishdarkblue

 

IR - Seventh Grave
three-stars
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