Friday, June 6, 2014

Review: To All The Boys I've Loved Before

To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #1)
 Author: Jenny Han
Pages: 368 
Publisher: Simon & Schuster 
Publication Date: April 15th 2014
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary

Goodreads Description 
What if all the crushes you ever had found out how you felt about them... all at once?

Lara Jean Song keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. They aren't love letters that anyone else wrote for her; these are ones she's written. One for every boy she's ever loved—five in all. When she writes, she pours out her heart and soul and says all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly, Lara Jean's love life goes from imaginary to out of control.

When I read the synopsis for To All The Boys I've Loved Before, I thought it was going to be this crazy fun and hilarious read. I thought Lara Jean was going to be having like fifteen different guys begging on their knees for her, professing their love. I expected some hilarious shenanigans would then ensue, but this did not happen. Only three boys actually received letters and they did not go crazy over her. The book turned out to be much more tamed and serious then I expected. I still liked the book, it is just a big book pet peeve of mine when the synopsis leads you in the wrong direction. 

I personally thought the book focused a lot more around family and family dynamics then it did Lara Jean's love life. I thoroughly loved the family dynamic though. This is one of the first books I have read where each member of the family is a fully developed character. I loved all the scenes with Lara Jean, her little sister Kitty, and their dad. I actually did not like her older sister Margot though. She really frustrated me and I personally thought she did nothing good for Lara Jean. 

The characters were fully developed but I actually did not find myself drawn to many of them. I found Lara Jean did not have much of a personality and that made me struggle with the books at times. The only  two characters I liked were her sassy little sister Kitty and her love interest Peter. Peter was by far the stand out character in the book. 

When you read this book you will get to the last page and be like, wait......that is how the book is ending! But do not worry there is going to be a second book! This ending will be resolved and we will see more of Peter and Lara Jean!

Overall I liked this book. I enjoyed the relationship between Peter and Lara Jean and found the family focus very refreshing. 

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Stacking The Shelves (May 2014)

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme, hosted by Tynga's Reviews, where we get to showcase the books we have added to own collection recently! 

Catch a Falling Star
Catch a Falling Star by, Kim Culbertson
Reading Teen  was so nice and sent me a copy of this book! I am very excited for this perfect beach read!

The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1)
The Winner's Curse by, Marie Rutkoski
This is one of my favorite books so far this year and when I got a gift card I knew this was the book I wanted to spend it on! 
The Rules for Breaking (The Rules for Disappearing, #2)
The Rules For Breaking by, Ashley Elston
I read the first book in this series last year and loved it! When the sequel came out I went and bought it right away! 

Unravel Me (Shatter Me, #2)
Unravel Me by, Tahereh Mafi
I was lucky enough to win a copy of this from Epic Reads!

As you can see I have cut down on my book buying because I have been taking so many books out of the library that I have to read before they are overdue! Right now I have 41 books checked out of the library! Oh My! I know, that is so many! I better get to reading them all!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Most Anticipated Young Adult Releases of June 2014

Here is to another month of great new Young Adult releases! If this gives any indication on summer reading this year I would say this is going to be a great summer! 
Here are my top ten most anticipated YA releases of June 2014: 

The Murder Complex (The Murder Complex, #1)






The Things You Kiss Goodbye




The Truth About Alice


Gasp (Visions, #3)


Fan Art


Take Back the Skies



Thursday, May 29, 2014

Review: Don't Look Back

Don't Look Back

Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Pages: 384
Genre: Young Adult Mystery
Publication Date: April 15th 2014

Goodreads Description

Samantha is a stranger in her own life. Until the night she disappeared with her best friend, Cassie, everyone said Sam had it all-popularity, wealth, and a dream boyfriend. 
Sam has resurfaced, but she has no recollection of who she was or what happened to her that night. As she tries to piece together her life from before, she realizes it's one she no longer wants any part of. The old Sam took "mean girl" to a whole new level, and it's clear she and Cassie were more like best enemies. Sam is pretty sure that losing her memories is like winning the lottery. She's getting a second chance at being a better daughter, sister, and friend, and she's falling hard for Carson Ortiz, a boy who has always looked out for her-even if the old Sam treated him like trash.

But Cassie is still missing, and the facts about what happened to her that night isn't just buried deep inside of Sam's memory-someone else knows, someone who wants to make sure Sam stays quiet. All Sam wants is the truth, and if she can unlock her clouded memories of that fateful night, she can finally move on. But what if not remembering is the only thing keeping Sam alive?

I have been meaning to try out Jennifer L. Armentrout's books for such a long time. When I heard she was coming out with a murder mystery it was about time I gave her a shot. I am so very glad that I did. This is one of my favorite mystery's I have read in the young adult genre.

The  book grabbed me right from the start. It started off with the police finding Sam walking along a road beaten and bruised. She was immediately thrown back into the confusing world she does not remember. This made the story very intriguing. It was fast paced and I could not stop turning the page to find out the next missing piece of the puzzle.  Armentrout took me on a roller coaster chase for the murderer. She made me believe it was so many people in the book but never the actually killer. When the killer was revealed I was completely shocked. This is what really makes a mystery book for me, whether or not I can figure the killer out on my own. It makes the book so much better if I cannot figure it out. 

One thing that usually falls apart in mystery books is the characters and character development but in Don't Look Back this did not happen. The main character Sam was a fully developed character and you got to see her change and grow throughout the book. There were also some fantastic relationships created in the book. I loved the brother-sister relationship between Sam and Scott. But most of all I loved the romance between Sam and Carson. There was a ton of romantic tension in the beginning and as you got to see the romance grow you fell harder and harder for them. By the time they kissed for the first time you were cheering like crazy.

Don't Look Back  is a page turning mystery full of intrigue, secrecy, twists and turns, and budding romance. A must read for any young adult mystery fan!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: The Murder Complex

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine, where we get to showcase upcoming releases we are extra excited for! 

The Murder Complex (The Murder Complex, #1)

Author: Lindsay Cummings
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Genre: Young Adult Thriller/ Dysoptian
Synopsis (via Goodreads): 

An action-packed, blood-soaked, futuristic debut thriller set in a world where the murder rate is higher than the birthrate. For fans of Moira Young’s Dust Lands series, La Femme Nikita, and the movie Hanna.

Meadow Woodson, a fifteen-year-old girl who has been trained by her father to fight, to kill, and to survive in any situation, lives with her family on a houseboat in Florida. The state is controlled by The Murder Complex, an organization that tracks the population with precision.

The plot starts to thicken when Meadow meets Zephyr James, who is—although he doesn’t know it—one of the MC’s programmed assassins. Is their meeting a coincidence? Destiny? Or part of a terrifying strategy? And will Zephyr keep Meadow from discovering the haunting truth about her family?
Action-packed, blood-soaked, and chilling, this is a dark and compelling debut novel by Lindsay Cummings

COMING JUNE 10th 2014

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Review: Open Road Summer

Open Road Summer
Author: Emery Lord
Publisher: Walker
Pages: 342
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary 
Publication Date: April 15th 2014

Synopsis (via Goodreads):
After breaking up with her bad-news boyfriend, Reagan O’Neill is ready to leave her rebellious ways behind. . . and her best friend, country superstar Lilah Montgomery, is nursing a broken heart of her own. Fortunately, Lilah’s 24-city tour is about to kick off, offering a perfect opportunity for a girls-only summer of break-up ballads and healing hearts. But when Matt Finch joins the tour as its opening act, his boy-next-door charm proves difficult for Reagan to resist, despite her vow to live a drama-free existence. This summer, Reagan and Lilah will navigate the ups and downs of fame and friendship as they come to see that giving your heart to the right person is always a risk worth taking. A fresh new voice in contemporary romance, Emery Lord’s gorgeous writing hits all the right notes.

Open Road Summer should be one of the first books you pick up this summer!

The first thing that stands out about this book is the characters. They were AMAZING. More often than not one of the supporting characters really gets on my nerves and this did not happen in this book. I loved Lilah, she was the perfect best friend, and I loved Matt, the perfect love interest. But the one character that stood out the most was the main character, Reagan. She was real and believable and I connected with her on so many levels. 

I love road trip books. I was hoping there would be more of a road trip focus to the book then there was. You did not get a lot of the travel experience which bummed me out a bit. But the author did label each chapter with the city they were in and you did get a nice vibe of the different states they traveled through.

The thing I probably admired the most about this book was that it was a great romantic contemporary you could read at a nice sunny beach day but at the same time there was a serious aspect to it. Emery Lord was able to balance the two aspects to make a winning combination. You get all the great romantic aspects and funny scenes between boy and girl and best friends. You also got scenes about life struggles though. You get to see Lilah dealing with fame and how she struggles to keep her reputation in tact when the media is trying to bring her down. You also get to learn about Reagan's home life that she is running away from. You do get to see these two characters learn more about themselves and reach their own resolutions in the end which I loved.

Open Road Summer is a must read book this summer for any girl. The author has created stand out characters, a fun yet thought provoking plot, and a great summer experience. 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Review: Dorothy Must Die

Dorothy Must Die (Dorothy Must Die, #1)
Title: Dorothy Must Die
Author: Danielle Paige
Pages: 452
Genre: Retelling 
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: April 1st 2014
Synopsis (via Goodreads): 
I didn't ask for any of this. I didn't ask to be some kind of hero.
But when your whole life gets swept up by a tornado—taking you with it—you have no choice but to go along, you know?
Sure, I've read the books. I've seen the movies. I know the song about the rainbow and the happy little blue birds. But I never expected Oz to look like this. To be a place where Good Witches can't be trusted, Wicked Witches may just be the good guys, and winged monkeys can be executed for acts of rebellion. There's still the yellow brick road, though—but even that's crumbling.
What happened?
Dorothy. They say she found a way to come back to Oz. They say she seized power and the power went to her head. And now no one is safe.
My name is Amy Gumm—and I'm the other girl from Kansas.
I've been recruited by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked.
I've been trained to fight.
And I have a mission:
Remove the Tin Woodman's heart.
Steal the Scarecrow's brain.
Take the Lion's courage.
Then and only then—Dorothy must die!

A book about an evil Dorothy! When I read this it sounded so unique and awesome that I got so excited. Then I started to see all my friends and other bloggers raving about it so I got even more excited! But now I am very sad. I am sad because this book just did nothing for me. I know I might be one of the only ones who thinks this but I just found the book very boring. 

The book started off rather slow and I could tell it was trying to give you a background of the story but it took about halfway through the book for Amy to actually start interacting with Dorothy on a regular basis. Once Amy started interacting with Dorothy in the palace I was expecting for the story to finally pick up. There was more action and adventure finally happening in it  but by this point it just was not grabbing my attention. Once I got down to the last 100 pages I forced myself to sit down and not move till the book was finished because I just needed to finish it and it was no longer enjoyable what so ever. When I read the title Dorothy Must Die I thought this was going to be some type of badass book but it was not.

I do give the author tons of credit for originality though. An evil Dorothy taking over Oz is a genius idea. The author did pull me in for the next book though since she left the book off on a wow moment making you wonder who is good and who is wicked. 

 I could tell that this book was definitely a set up for the rest of the series so I am really hoping that the unique premise will finally pick up and become more adventurous and intense.