Friday, June 30, 2017

Review: Always and Forever, Lara Jean

Title Always and Forever, Lara Jean (To All The Boys I've Loved Before #3)
By Jenny Han
Genre YA Contemporary
Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Lara Jean and Peter are back. Graduation is just a few short months away and college acceptance letters are on there way. When Lara Jean doesn't get into the school she wanted, the one Peter is getting into, her heart is broken. Can she go to another school far away and still have a relationship?

First Sentence
I like to watch Peter when he doesn't know I'm looking.

While honestly, I liked the first book in this series the best, I'm always up for more of Lara Jean and Peter so I was excited that the author decided to write another book in the series.

Sadly, I felt like this one didn't have enough going on. The major plot line, while something a lot of high school sweethearts have to deal with, wasn't substantial enough to carry the story along and as a result the whole book sort of meandered along.

And this time around I found myself annoyed with Lara Jean. I felt like she had such a charmed life. You know, nothing bad ever really happens to her, she doesn't have to work, has tons of money because her dad is rich, she's flawlessly beautiful, everyone loves her, she's talented and smart and on and on and on!  I'm very begrudging of people like this at the moment so maybe I shouldn't have read this one right now.

Honestly I was only going to give this one 2 stars but what Peter writes in her year book was so stinkin' cute I gave it another star.

I'm sure this was the last book in the series but, if not, I'm done with it either way.

Should you read it
Sure, especially if you want to see what Peter writes in her year book.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Review: Heartless

Title Heartless
By Marissa Meyer
Genre Fantasy/Retelling
Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Before Alice visited Wonderland, Before the Queen of Hearts uttered "off with his head" there was just Catherine. A girl with a dream to start a bakery. But Wonderland has other plans.

First Sentence
Three luscious lemon tarts glistened up at Catherine.

Ever since reading The Lunar Chronicles I've been eager to see what else Marissa Meyer would come up with. When I heard about Heartless, Meyer's take on the Queen of Hearts before she became the vicious villain from Alice in Wonderland, I was very excited!

Now let's think this through. This is a retelling of the Queen of Hearts. We all know how wicked and cruel she is, right? So I knew going into it that we weren't in for a happy ending. Having that acceptance was important for me to enjoy the story. If I'd thought I was getting a happy ending I might have been very upset.

While I found this one a little...OK a LOT slower moving than Meyer's other books, I was still very much enjoying myself while I read. Meyer's does the best job of taking a well known story and twisting it around to meet her needs and yet still keeping true to the original.

I loved this take on Wonderland. Everything was described in a very casual way. Animals talk? Why yes, they do, Why do you ask? I loved that she didn't stop the story to explain the inner workings of Wonderland. Who can really do that anyway? Not even Carroll, I dare say.

My biggest issue with the book was Catherine. She was such a simpering little wimp! It drove me nuts. I'm kind of surprised she becomes someone as strong willed and stubborn as the Queen of Hearts. But maybe that was the point??? Who knows. It just bugged me. I like my heroine's a little more self reliant.

Should you read it
Oh yes. Please do. Just be ready for that ending.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Review: Emmy & Oliver

Title Emmy & Oliver
By Robin Benway
Genre YA Contemporary
Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Emmy and Oliver were best friends until Oliver's dad kidnapped him. Ten years later Oliver is back. Can Emmy and Oliver be friends again or will it be something more?

First Sentence
Oliver disappeared from school on a Friday afternoon, way back when we were in second grade, and small things seemed really important and important things seemed too small.

I feel like this book has been on my TBR shelf forever. As it was only released in 2015, it hasn't been nearly as long as it feels but still. I was needing a light romantic read and had heard good things so I picked this one up.

It fit the bill perfectly. With romance and just a touch of issues and hurdles to get through it was just what I was looking for.

My only real problem with the book was that I felt like I'd read it before. There was nothing new, special or unique in this one but since that wasn't what I was going for I didn't mind.

So, if you're looking for a romantic, fun read give this one a go. Just don't expect any thing super deep.

Should you read it
I'd recommend this one as exactly what it is. Fluff with a dash of drama to keep things interesting.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Review: Suicide Notes

Title Suicide Notes
By Michael Thomas Ford
Genre YA Contemporary
Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️

15 year old Jeff wakes up at the hospital on New Years Day after a suicide attempt. Frustrated at being held in the psych ward with a bunch of teens he considers nuts, he'll discover a lot about himself and that maybe crazy isn't so crazy after all.

First Sentence
I read somewhere that when astronauts come back to Earth after floating around in space they get sick to their stomachs because the air here smells like rotting meat to them.

Who knew a book about attempted suicide could be so amusing. Now, mind you, it wasn't amusing in a make-fun-of-suicide way but in a this-character-is-so-sarcastic-and-funny way. I was giggling like crazy through the first half of this book.

Things took a more serious turn in the middle of the book and at one point I just sat there, stunned, not believing what I was reading. I can't say what happened because I think if you choose to read this one you need to go into it blind like I did but just know that there are several graphic....very graphic events that happen in this book. Why the author chose to go into such detail I have no idea. I think he could have revealed things just as clearly without all the details but that's just me.

So, on the one hand I adored how funny this one was, the writing is the type of writing I wish I could replicate, but on the other hand you had some very graphic scenes that I found completely unnecessary that almost ruined the story for me.

In the end, I'd still recommend this one because I thought it dealt with a serious subject with humor and warmth without pushing an agenda.

Should you read it?
Like I said, I'd still recommend it unless you absolutely cannot handle graphic descriptions of sex.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Why, Hello There

A lot of you guys encouraged me to not give up on this blog and since I'm not quite ready to give up, I've decided to carry on. However, summers are just plain awful for me. I'm so busy I barely have time to read, let alone, blog.

Why am I so busy? Well, I think a lot of you know my husband and I own a few rental properties, right? Yeah, so in the winter I don't have to lift a finger at said properties unless something happens to go wrong, like a furnace going out (which two did this last winter) but that just requires a phone call to a repair company and a trip to the property to meet the repair man. Nothing too complicated. The summer, however, is a whole other story.  We do the yard work at our rentals so that means once a week we have to go mow lawns, make sure the sprinklers at one property are working and watering properly and make sure our tenants at the other property are keeping up with watering their lawns.

And now we have another property that we're remodeling right now...I swear this happens every summer...and on top of all that I have to keep up my own yard and house and, guys, I hate summers! I really do. They're hot and busy and all I want to do in lay by the pool and read but there's no time.

Thanks for listening to me rant. I have some book reviews to write but that might be all you see for awhile.

I hope everyone else is having a nice relaxing summer! See you on the other side!  

Saturday, June 3, 2017

May Wrap-up 2017

Well, Phooey! I read nine books in April but only managed five in May. I had a major reading blogging/slump. I almost, almost got on blogger and said goodbye and shut it down. But I was too lazy to do even that. thank goodness, because I'm just not ready to say goodbye. Anywho, I managed to catch up on reviews, thanks for putting up with the slew of reviews from me, and hope June will be a better reading month. I need pool time and reading time!

Sense and Sensibility Manga Classic by Jane Austen, Bright Smoke, Cold Fire by Rosamund Hodge, Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs, Forgotten, by Cat Patrick and Suicide Notes by Michael Thomas Ford.

Favorites of the month were Sense and Sensibility the Manga classic. It was fun! And Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs. Least favorite was Forgotten by Cat Patrick.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Review: Forgotten

Title Forgotten
By Cat Patrick
Genre YA contemporary
Rating ⭐️⭐️

London's not normal. Every night her brain resets. She can't remember her past. She can, however, remember events from her future. Relying on notes and reminders on her phone she tries to navigate through high school.

First Sentence
Aren't Friday's supposed to be good?

This is one of the many books I purchased right when it came out and then never read. I guess it was time.

I was very eager to read it when I bought it and when I reminded myself what it was about I was eager to read it again. It sounded fascinating. Sadly, it didn't hold up to its exiting premise.

So, what went wrong? The romance took over the entire story. You know what I mean. It happens way too often. Synopsis sounds great, book starts out okay, then the love interest enters the scene and all's lost. Sigh!

And this romance was BORING. It didn't have any passion or tension. It was stale and just plain...meh.

And the writing felt like a rough first draft. There weren't typos or anything, it just wasn't very well written. There were a lot of details that didn't add up or make sense. With a story like this, it needed to make more sense to be believable and it just wasn't. I was sadly disappointed.

I gave it two stars, however,  because somehow it kept me reading, though I have no idea how.

Should you read it
Meh, I'd pass on this one.