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Sunday, September 10, 2017

Zero Repeat Forever (The Nahx Invasions #1) by Gabrielle Prendergast

4 Stars!

Thank you to Simon & Schuster and NetGalley for the ARC!

"Maybe the world will end, he signs. Maybe the sky will fall... Maybe snowflakes will rise and time will stop moving."
               I have mixed emotions on this one, probably would've only given it 3 stars if the last 1/4 hadn't made me want to read the next one. I was expecting Defy the Stars meets the post-apocalyptic setting of Angelfall, something along the lines of "alien/other boy no one thinks could possibly be capable of human emotion is teamed up with supposed enemy who is a badass girl trying to save everyone"... But that's not what I got. I partially blame the misleading synopsis for my disappointment on that front.
               Okay, to be fair, the synopsis was accurate on a bare-bones level, but perhaps what really threw me off was all the ways this book defied the norms of others like it; in ways that were both good and bad. My main grievance was that I'm pretty sure I wasn't even a big fan of the "heroine" Raven most of the time. Instead of the badass hero of the apocalypse I was expecting,  she was just a kinda mean and selfish problem child with anger issues, who just "happened" to know martial arts. I wanted someone a bit more noble, but perhaps that this is a more realistic representation and that's why I was unnerved. I have mixed feelings about how the Nahx were described as well, mostly because they weren't actually described very much at all. It mentions the full body armor that obscures there face briefly, but not in depth. On one hand, I like that it gives readers a bit of freedom of imagination, but on the other I really wanted answers and waiting until the end to "see" Eighth's face nearly killed me.
               If anything, there were several parts of this book that reminded me of the movie Warm Bodies most of all. One of the shining aspects of this piece is that is the farthest thing from insta-love that I've ever read. It's definitely a slow burn "romance" whose flames were almost snuffed out on several occasions. I love this because it let the main focus be what it should be: survival. It was very refreshing to see a "relationship" go at a normal pace for the situation it was in, instead of immediately jumping on the "star-crossed lovers" bullshit bandwagon or looking like a case of Stockholm Syndrome. I'm very curious to see how the next one continues to play out! Personally, I'd love to see things move a little faster in different areas now that the stage is set!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

It Had to Be You by Lizzy Charles

4 Stars!

"You are braver than anyone I know, and you challenge me to be myself."
                  This one was pretty cute. Very lighthearted with a sprinkling of humor, a great pick for when you just want to kick back and relax without the added stress of an overly emotional read. I'm not saying that everything in the book is sunshine and roses all the time, because it's not, there is a good amount of teen angst and some drama, but the presentation keeps it from going too deep. 
                  Edelweiss sure knows how to make an impression and her first day trading being home-schooled for a posh, private education was certainly unforgettable, starting with making a tardy assembly entrance, covered in pizza sauce with prairie dogs going at it on the TV screens, and ending with having to use the window ledge to make a graceful climb into the common room wearing nothing but her bra and panties. Needless to say, navigating these new social minefields is proving to be highly stressful for Edel. Thankfully, James Parson, resident prankster and ladies man, always seems to help her out of increasingly sticky situations. Together, they decide that a fake relationship would benefit the both of them: Edel would have some much needed protection from being on the arm of one of the most popular guys at school while pleasing her parents at the same time and James will get to stay at school by convincing his father and teachers that he has changed. But what happens if there relationship doesn't turn out to be as fake as they think it is? 
                  I didn't really have any problems with this one. It was lacking a bit of depth, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Not every book has to break you emotionally to make it good. Sometimes it's nice to just read something cute and fun, which this has in spades. With a bright cast of characters and a sweet cast of characters, follow Edel and James as they figure things out and finally realize they're fooling no one but themselves because It Had to Be You.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Sin and Cider by K. Reese

4 Stars!

Thank you to K. Reese and What the Book?! Promotions for the ARC and opportunity to participate in the blog tour!

"You make it so easy to fall for you, but you make it so hard to do anything about it."
                This was a nice mix of cute and sexy! There were a couple of aspects that frustrated me, but they were mostly either the result of my personal preferences/opinions or were moderately corrected by the end of the book. Overall, I would definitely recommend it for a quick summer read when you're in the mood took kick back with a little southern spice!
                MacIntosh Layne (Yes, REALLY!) needs to reevaluate her life and decides there's no better place than her hometown in Tennessee, so she packs a bag and moves home for the summer. Once she's there, she questions the snap decision she made to move to Chicago after high school in order to escape the humiliating revelation that her crush had absolutely no interest in her whatsoever. Determined to get back to her roots, she takes over the renovation and reopening of the cider barn in her family's orchard, despite any awkwardness her unexpected helping hand may cause.
                Lawson Westbrook had never given his best friend's kid sister a second glance all those years ago, but now she's certainly captured his eye. He almost can't believe who he's looking at. Even though he doesn't do real relationships and even the word "commitment" makes him nauseous, he's hell bent on getting Mac in his bed, at least for a little while, with a little proposition he's cooked up. Since she's heading back to Chicago in the fall anyway, they can surely handle a no-strings summer fling, right? 
                I've never really been into the whole "stick it out and maybe he'll change his mind" thing when it comes to commitment, but Mac's vulnerability when it comes to Lawson is a human trait and makes her feel more real, if a bit naive at times. I guess my biggest problem was with the first couple of chapters, where there were a lot of sentences directed at the reader. Personally, I feel that speaking to the audience is fine every once in awhile, but doing it too often can cause the story/narration to feel forced. Those initial chapters were toeing the line for me, but the rest managed to find a rhythm and get back on track, making sure it didn't detract too much from my enjoyment of the book. Also, the additional meddling of the sister, parents, and best friends was a really nice touch that made me smile and giggle a bit. So, the question is, will all the emotions threatening to overflow be too much? Or will Mac and Lawson figure out that the recipe for love involves a little Sin and Cider?

Friday, May 19, 2017

Broken Rules by Hanleigh Bradley

4 Stars!

Thanks to Hanleigh Bradley for the ebook!

"It's bizarre how she finds her rules limit her whilst I think my rules give me freedom."
              I was really excited to read this one. It didn't go exactly as I expected, but was still good. The fast pace would make it great for entertaining readers on a trip. It's got drama and a bit of emotion, but not so much that it would be too heavy; perfect for a nice, vacation read. 
              Aurora Stone is fed up with being the "perfect" daughter and following the seemingly endless set stifling rules her proper parents have given her. She's never broken a rule before, but now she's out to see just how many she can break in a night. Well on her way to being drunk for the first time in her life, Aurora meets Landon Peters, a wickedly handsome man with his own set of rules. Unlike Aurora, all of Landon's rules are self-inflicted. He believes that his rules about never sleeping with the same woman twice, never letting them stay the night, and never giving the impression that he's open to a relationship ensures his freedom. After deciding he wants to be the one to help Aurora break her rules, Landon quickly finds himself breaking his own. What's more, the more time he spends with her, the less he cares. 
              When said that this was fast paced, I wasn't kidding. The whole thing takes place during the span of barely 48 hours, and the ending came off as a bit abrupt. Still, it was fun to watch all their different family drama and secrets unfold. Also, Aurora's friends Cameron and Tallulah are fabulous! Even better, see for yourself as Aurora and Landon discover that the best rules are Broken Rules.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Remember Me Forever (Lovely Vicious #3) by Sara Wolf

4.5 Stars!

Thank you to Chapter by Chapter, Sara Wolf, and Entangled Teen for the ARC through NetGalley and the opportunity to participate in the blog tour!

"You try to stop all these injustices and save people from them. But you never try to save yourself."
       Wow, I can't believe it's really over. This trilogy snagged me from the get go; I loved the originality and the character's crazy antics that were often ridiculous beyond belief, but endearing all the same. It's not often you can find a book that will make you laugh out loud with one line and absolutely rip your heart to shreds with the next, but this can. I'm so grateful to have been able to follow Isis and Jack on their funny, action packed, and heart-shattering adventure.
       Isis Blake hasn't been the same since Sophia's suicide. She blames her self, just like she always does. Still, she does her best to put on a brave face and avoid thinking about Jack Hunter, who disappeared after the funeral and hasn't been seen since. Instead of going to Stanford, she decides to stay close to her mother by attending good old Ohio State, but she can't seem to catch a break. Her ex-boyfriend, rapist, and overall embodiment of her own personal hell, Will Cavanaugh, has left Florida for Ohio and is intent of continuing his torture of Isis.
       Meanwhile, a previously guilty and self-destructive Jack Hunter has been recruited by Vortex. The private company has sent him undercover as a college student to help bring down a malicious hacker wanted by the government. His target: Will Cavanaugh. Isis and Jack had never expected to see each other again, but they're thrown together anyway and their feelings are more intense than ever. They'll have to work together to bring down the demons that haunt them, both the physical ones and those harder to reach that inhabit their very memories. Even if they succeed, do they have a chance together or is there simply too much between them?
       I really felt that this was a perfect ending to Isis and Jack's story. Other than the last few chapters feeling a little rushed, I have absolutely no complaints other than that I wish it could have went on forever. I know that this series will stay with me for a long time. Isis, Jack, and all their friends have a way of getting under your skin in a way that practically screams, "You'll Remember Me Forever."

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