"I spent my life folded between the pages of books." -Tahereh Mafi

Some of my reviews are normal non-spoilery reviews. But some of reviews contain lots and lots of spoilers to help you (and me!) remember what happened when the next book in the series finally comes out. Both review types are clearly marked.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

99 Days by Katie Cotugno

This review is spoiler free!!

My rating: 4/5 stars

This novel is very messy - it's definitely not the typical YA contemporary romance that I was expecting, which was a pleasant surprise.  Molly comes back to her hometown for the summer after spending the year away at boarding school. She had left unexpectedly after everyone found out that she had cheated on her boyfriend with his brother. She never dealt with the fallout, but now she's back for the summer and has to deal with the whole town hating her.
It's easy to forget that your hometown isn't the entire universe.
I really liked this book. I liked the messiness and I liked the characters' imperfections. However, I think this book will make a lot of people angry There's quite a bit of cheating. I think it's dealt with realistically. It's messy and it doesn't follow the formula I expected, but it's realistic. The characters definitely have their faults, but they were realistic faults.

This book also touches on slut shaming. Yes, what Molly did was wrong, but Gabe was also wrong in sleeping with his brother's girlfriend. But of course no one in town is calling Gabe a slut or keying his car, a fact which he actually brings up a few times. 

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Half Dead and Fully Broken by Kevin Craig

This review is spoiler free!!

2/5 stars

If an author uses offensive language in a book, I automatically deduct a star. That's if I can even finish. The main characters used retarded multiple times in this book. When are authors and editors going to learn that this is a offensive word? And yes, trolls, I realize that teenagers use this word. That's not the point. When someone in real life uses an offensive word like that, I can tell them that they're being a stupid jerk and then I can decide to never speak to them if they continue to use offensive language - I can't do that in a book. But I can knock off a star in the hopes that eventually authors/editors will realize that people don't want to read crap like this.

Besides the offensive words, this book was okay. It was just a bit too weird for me. And not in a good way. Carter's twin dies and it's weird for him because Marcus was super popular and they have the same face and it's weird. And I thought this would make for a really interesting and heartbreaking story. And instead, Carter starts seeing Marcus's ghost and then starts dating Marcus's girlfriend. Yes, 2 months after his twin brother's death, he starts dating said brother's girlfriend. That's just fucked up.

None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio

This review is spoiler free!!

My rating: 4/5 stars

Krissy is a popular high school athlete when she finds out she's intersex. This causes her to reevaluate everything she think she knows about herself. This book explores an issue that's only recently getting more attention. This is still a condition that lots of people don't understand very well. I knew a bit about it, but I learned a lot more from this book. 

A book about a sensitive issue like this could come across as really preachy, but it doesn't. It's easy to identify with Krissy as she explores who she is and what gender means to her. This book explores big issues but it doesn't seem forced on you. The reactions of some of Krissy's classmates and friends will make you want to scream, mostly because of how realistic they are - I can totally imagine teens reacting that way and it's sad. Luckily, there's some positive reactions as well that will warm your heart.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

My Best Everything by Sarah Tomp

This review is spoiler free!!

DNF @ 22%

The main problem I had with this book is how it's written. It's first person, but it's written to the love interest. I hoped I'd be able to get into it, but I just couldn't. It just felt too weird.

I might have been able to put up with it if the story was amazing, but it was about a girl who's dad loses her college money so she decides to make moonshine to make the money. :/ Just seems like a strange leap. I think I'd rather just take out a loan or wait a year than make and sell an illegal substance.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Ash by Shani Petroff & Darci Manley

This review is spoiler free!!

1/5 star

DNF at 50% because I was just so damn bored! The plot is very slow-moving - it takes about a third of the way in before anything happens besides a sporting event. Then there's a little excitement for a bit but then that fizzles out too. 

The 2 povs are very difficult to distinguish from one another. The 2 girls are very different but their voices aren't. I usually don't have problems with multiple povs (I didn't have a problem distinguishing Tris and Tobias), but this one was tough. What's super weird is that there are 2 authors so I assume they each wrote a pov, which you would think would make them distinct. But you would be wrong. It was tough to really figure out any personality for the characters. Their demographics and situations are clear but they didn't have distinctive personalities, which made it so difficult to tell them apart. And it made it difficult to really care what happened to them.

Righteous by Kim Lehman

This review is spoiler free!!

3/5 stars

The best thing about this book is that it's less about the romance and more about Ria's relationships with other people - her new best friend, her mom, the principal who becomes like a father figure, an elderly woman who's like a grandma. 

The romance is sweet. Pretty predictable, but still sweet. But it's more the background story, unlike most ya contemporaries. It starts off like a ya contemporary romance, but focuses on so much more. 

What I didn't really like about this book is the main character. Her life isn't awesome, I understand that. But she's just so damn cranky. She's mean to everyone for no reason at all. She eventually grows, but in the beginning I just wanted to slap some sense into her.

Broken Skies by Theresa Kay

This review is spoiler free!!

3/5 stars

I liked this a lot, except...
Aliens that look exactly like humans except for weird hair and eye colors. Really? I mean this just makes no sense. I'm able to deal with that shit from Star Trek because it's Star Trek. But in any other SciFi, if the aliens look just like humans, I need a reason (see Stargate. No, seriously, everyone should watch Stargate because it's the best show ever in the entire world. But also they gave a great reason for why all the aliens look like humans - because, well, they are!). So I really need an explanation for this, although perhaps that's coming in the next book(s).

And then there's the bit where Jax has no idea what to do when she encounters a black bear. This is a girl who grew up in a cabin in the middle of nowhere with her father and brother; a girl who knows how to hunt and take care of herself. And she freaks out over a black bear?? Fyi, black bears are pretty timid - all you'd have to do it make a lot of noise and it would go away. Which you would think she would have known. Also, you'd think she'd know better than to just leave her pack on the ground unattended, where bears (and other critters) could easily get to it.

But I did really like Lir and the relationship that developed between Jax and him. It definitely wasn't insta-love. For a second I thought there'd be a love triangle, but that went in a totally different, and better, direction. So while there were a few things that annoyed me, overall I really liked this book and can't wait for the next one!!

The Sin Eater's Daughter by Melinda Salisbury

This review is spoiler free!!

4/5 stars

It seems to be the unpopular opinion, but I really liked this book! It certainly wasn't perfect, but most of its problems didn't bother me much.

This book is so similar to so many other books. A girl whose touch kills (Shatter Me), a girl promised to the prince but who also likes a guard (The Selection) and I'm sure there's others. Not very original. But I just didn't care. I still liked it! 

And the plot is just so damn predictable. I totally saw all the twists and turns coming. The ending wasn't the shock the author intended it to be. But again, I just didn't care - I still liked it! 

Sometimes a book just works for you even when you know it shouldn't. That was this book for me. Objectively, I shouldn't have liked it, but I just went along for the ride and all it's imperfections didn't get in the way of me loving it. Seriously, I can't wait for the next book!