23 May 2014

Review: Don't Look Back

Reviewer: Kelsey
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Format: Paperback
Pages: 368
Rating: 7/10

Summary (look back to Goodreads): What if you had the chance to start again...but only if you promised never to look back? Samantha is popular, rich, and seemed to have it all...until the night she and her best 'frenemy' Cassie disappeared and only Sammy resurfaced, with no recollection of who she is or what happened. Sammy's a stranger in her own life - a life she no longer wants any part of. Losing her memory is a chance to start again. Then Sammy begins receiving mysterious notes warning her about that night, urging her to not look back. But she can't let it go. As she starts poking around in her past she begins to remember...and something sinister begins to surface.

My Thoughts: I really loved this novel, though it wasn't my favourite of Jennifer Armentrout's novels. I wanted to read it just because it was written by her but it turned out to be a pretty wonderful novel. It didn't seem like it was one of her novels (apparently it was written a while ago but just published? I don't know...). I'm so glad I read this novel.

The novel made me consider what it would be like to lose all my memories. Would I be the same person? Would I like the person I had been? Sam needed to relearn so much about herself. I couldn't even imagine what that would be like, never mind the fact that something horrible was involved and that she needed to fight for her memories to help her friend. I've never read a novel with a premise like this and I enjoyed the uniqueness. It was different and it gets bonus points for that.

I really felt for Sam. She really couldn't trust people or what they were telling her all the time. That would have been tough. I would not have been able to make it through this like she did. Points for being strong even when people were beginning to think she was crazy.

The ending has a solid twist. I mean, the person who did it was on my list but it was still a good choice. The ending was rather intense. The action was pretty sudden but it was really good. Kristen was mad, I was not. I might need to reread the novel just to see if it gives any hints as to who did it. I didn't notice too much foreshadowing but I also have a massive headache and cramps right now. If you read this novel and found some interesting foreshadowing moments, let me know without any spoilers for those who haven't read (that will be hard for you, I'm sure). 

It only took me a few hours to read this novel so it's perfect for that upcoming summer trip. I recommend checking this novel out. If you like mysteries and trying to figure them out than this is for you.

Basically: I want to read all of Jennifer Armentrout's novels. She's wonderful. I have a writer's crush on her. This was different than her other novels but I loved it. I'm not sure the category this novel falls under but I liked it. I would consider a reread, definitely. It's a wonderful mystery wrapped up in a good love story with enough high school drama to make you vomit. 

17 May 2014

Review: Since You've Been Gone

Reviewer: Kristen
Author: Morgan Matson
Pages: 448
Format: Paperback (ARC)
My Rating: 9 out of 10

Summary (thanks Goodreads): The Pre-Sloane Emily didn't go to parties, she barely talked to guys, she didn't do anything crazy. Enter Sloane, social tornado and the best kind of best friend—the one who yanks you out of your shell.But right before what should have been an epic summer, Sloane just... disappears. No note. No calls. No texts. No Sloane. There’s just a random to-do list. On it, thirteen Sloane-selected-definitely-bizarre-tasks that Emily would never try... unless they could lead back to her best friend. Apple Picking at Night? Ok, easy enough.Dance until Dawn? Sure. Why not? Kiss a Stranger? Wait... what?

Getting through Sloane’s list would mean a lot of firsts. But Emily has this whole unexpected summer ahead of her, and the help of Frank Porter (totally unexpected) to check things off. Who knows what she’ll find?

Go Skinny Dipping? Um...

--------------------- I received this from the publisher for a fair and honest review --------------------- 

My Thoughts: So, um, why is it that everything Morgan Matson writes is perfect? Seriously. As soon as I started reading this book I couldn't put it down. I felt like the characters were my friends, and I grew attached... probably too attached... but I mean, fictional characters are the best, right? Sloane and Emily are best friends - attached-at-the-hip kind of best friend. And Emily is definitely, without a doubt, entirely dependent on Sloane for almost everything she does. At first, that kind of annoyed me, because it was so bizarre to me. Having someone totally rely on another person for  their happiness. But, once I moved passed that and started to get more and more interested in that whole dynamic, it was smooth sailing from there. 

I think what I loved most about this novel was the characters. Seriously. They all just felt so, so, so incredibly real. Like, it felt like I could call up Emily and have crazy adventures with Sloane. And, let's not forget Frank. Hello Frank, if things don't work out with Emily, well, you know where I am. At the same time though, as much as you thought you knew the characters, they'd surprise you. Or, you'd find something out that would totally throw you. It was insane, and believable and it felt like how I remember high school. Is that weird? Probably.

The plot was so interesting, and nothing like anything I have read before. It kept me on my toes, and as soon as I thought I knew what was happening, the opposite would. It kept me interested without being too heavy or too much of a "summer read". 

guarantee you that this will be one of the biggest books this summer. So get your hands on it and read it ASAP. I loved it, and I promise you will too. 

Final Thoughts: You want a summer read? This is it. Go get! 

8 May 2014

Review: Angel in Vegas: The Chronicles of Noah Sark

Reviewer: Kelsey
Author: Norma Howe
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 256
Rating: 6 out of 10

Summary (Chronicled by Goodreads): Who is Noah Sark, really? And what is he doing in the men’s room at Angelo’s Donut Shop in Las Vegas, Nevada? No use asking him; he doesn’t know. But he’s gambling that an assignment from above will shed some light — after all, a life depends on it! Only master satirist Norma Howe could craft a provocative meditation on free will from blending one (or maybe two) budding teen romances, a psychic fair, a dead frog, a headful of blond curls, and Las Vegas in all its glitz and kitsch (hello, Elvis!) with the dramatic backstory of Princess Diana in Paris. The jackpot? A wild and witty portrait of an unlikely guardian angel on a desperate mission to save a certain unknown girl from a certain unknown disaster.

Thoughts: I needed a book that I would finish quickly and this was the perfect one to read at the time. I had no idea what it was about. I really could have taken a second to maybe read the title and gain a few insights but it was much more fun to not read it. I guess this knowledge is too little too late for you since you're reading this review...sorry.

This was a cute little book. It was about something I hadn't spent that much time reading about. I was mad that the girl and guy were together since he was awful and a total waste of time but alas, I don't control the characters. 

I thought it was interesting to consider how often people flirt with death. I never really thought about people in my life the way they were presented in this novel. In this novel the focus is really on what one person can do to affect your life. I never considered how little changes can have a big impact. I reflected on my life, the horror!!

I enjoyed the narrators tangents and thought it was super cool that so much on it was in relation to Princess Diana. I don't know that much about her or her life or her death but it was still interesting. I felt bad about how much the narrator thought about the mistakes he'd made. I thought the whole premise was rather interesting. Overall, I enjoyed this novel. It was cute and easy to follow. Also, the fact that he didn't always know what was happening was entertaining. There were lots of fun angel references and, after all, his name was Noah...Sark. (Say it three times fast and you'll get it if you don't already.)

Basically: This is a quick read. It's funny enough. I probably won't read it again but it was worth the hour or so it took to read it. 

5 May 2014

The End of the Epic, Extravagant, (Evil), and Elastic Examination Day 30

Your favorite book of all time

This one it too easy for Kristen. It's not fair. I really liked all of Sarah Dessen's novels. I really liked Partials by Dan Wells also but the third was kind of a let down. I don't know. I like a lot of books while I'm reading them and they are sometimes all I think about but eventually I move on. I bet I would feel differently if I could get all my favourite books made into movies that I could enjoy in two hours over and over again. It helps to see what others thought about it. Basically, they need to keep making movies out of books but do it right.

~ Kelsey

Mwhahahahahaha, I wonder how many of my answers are The Hunger Games. 

- Kristen 

1 May 2014

Review: Signed, Skye Harper

Reviewer: Kelsey
Author: Carol Lynch Williams
Format: Paperback (ARC)
Pages: 304
Rating: 6 out of 10...a high 6.

We were given this book in return for an honest review.

Summary (signed, Goodreads): In trying to reunite with her mother, Winston discovers the many meanings of family and finds friendship in an unexpected place in this coming-of-age novel from the author of Waiting, which Kirkus Reviews, in a starred review, called "exceptional" and Glimpse, which Booklist called "gripping."

Life is just fine for fourteen-year-old Winston. She loves her dog, Thelma, and although she never knew her dad, and her mom left ten years ago in search of Hollywood fame, Winston has family with Nanny, who is in her forties, and that doesn't even make her old. But a "just fine" life gets a lot more exciting when a letter arrives from Skye Harper, aka Judith Fletcher, aka Winston’s mother. She needs help, and Nanny says the best way to give it is to take a cross-country road trip—in a "borrowed" motor home—to go find Mama once and for all. Winston’s not so sure about this plan, but with a cute stowaway named Steve along for company and an adventure on the horizon, this is sure to be a summer to remember.

My Thoughts: I suppose I should start with the cover since it's the first thing that you see. Kristen doesn't like it. She thinks that it's too washed out or something but I don't agree. I liked the cover a lot. I don't have many novels that use this colour palate. I know that isn't really important but I don't care. It needs to be said. It's a cute cover and would pick this novel off the shelf because of it.

The time of this novel threw me. It never flat out told me a year. At least, I didn't notice if it did. The novel gave hints as to the year through references. Talk of Olympics and Elvis and Richard Nixon were my hints. Later in the novel, it becomes clear which Olympics was being discussed; however, I had to have my mother explain what was happening and tell me some back story. I was thus sucked into a very long talk about the Olympics...it was a bit of a boring conversation. The time thing make me sad. I wish it would have started with a date (side note: if it was said than I apologize for not seeing it) but I did enjoy the little history lesson. Related to this is the strange slang. The wording took a little while to get used to. It's not bad, just different.

That way that chapters were divided was a bit annoying. There was a ton of wasted space which means wasted paper which means that recycling was not happening with this novel. So much for being GREEN! Okay, so it didn't bother me that much. I just got a good work out flipping the page all the time. 

A MOTHER ISN'T A MOTHER JUST BECAUSE SHE GIVES BIRTH TO YOU. HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO HAVE THIS CONVERSATION WITH PEOPLE? If your mother is awful to you, please just cut her lose and move on with your life. There is a large chance that you're better off without her. It's harsh, sure, but also probably true. I just want you to have the best life you can have. I don't recommend spending all your money and chasing her down. I hated that whatshisname was basically forcing her to be with her mother.

I wish there would have been more on how it ended. It wrapped up and, I guess, it explained everything. There just wasn't enough. It seemed kind of sudden. I don't really know how to explain it to you except that I was left wanting a lot more than I was given. 

I liked that the main character had a thing. She had a thing that she always went back to. It was clear who she was and what she wanted and that she would do anything to get what she wanted. She was steady because she had this thing to tie her down. That makes it even better when she related to others because of this thing. Also, major second hand embarrassment (this word has far too many consonants) ensues. P.S. to women of the world: WEAR A BRA!! Trust me, you look better with it. I would never lie to you.

It's a pretty good book people. You should at least give it a quick flip through before you ignore it. I've never read a novel with the same premise. It was definitely a unique read.

Basically: This was a cute novel but it felt like something was missing. The ending just didn't give me enough. I think this novel had tons of potential but it just didn't meet my expectations. I still enjoyed it though. I think it's a decent YA novel. I can't say I'll read it again but it wasn't a waste of time either.
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