29 June 2014

Review: Barely Breathing (Breathing #2)

Reviewer: Kelsey
Author: Rebecca Donovan
Format: Paperback
Pages: 502
Rating: 7 out of 10

** Spoiler Alert: Read the review for Reason to Breathe (Breathing #1) here **

Summary (I could barely breathe without Goodreads): "I've spent most of my life trying to make it to a future that still hasn't happened, or avoid a past that won't let me go. I don't remember when I've ever just stopped to live in the present, to hold on to the seconds I'm in."

Emma Thomas’s struggle with an abusive home life came to a heart-pounding conclusion in the final chapters of Reason to Breathe, the first installment of The Breathing Series— Rebecca’s Donovan’s bestselling romantic-thriller (USA Today). Now her secret life has been exposed, and her tormentor can’t hurt her anymore. Yet some are still haunted by that night. The bruises may have faded, but scars and fears, remain. How will she reclaim her life when she's barely breathing?

Thoughts: I liked this novel a lot more than I liked the first in this series. I thought that this one showed more of the characters and who they really were. However, I hate that it skipped over the important discussion of what happened at the end of the last novel. We can't not talk about it. We need to talk about what happened. Yet, there is never a discussion about it. I hate that about this novel. Emma's life changes more than a life ever should and she just goes on. It's almost as if nothing happened. It's like the author just didn't know how to handle the situation so dropped it. 

As for Jonathan... I don't even know what to say. How can someone so not normal look so normal? I liked him. He was a great character when he's dating Emma's mother. I was okay with that. I love, absolutely love, when they have the water fight. All I have to ask about that is who has a water fight inside their house? I don't care. It was a perfect moment. I want to just read that part all over again.

I feel bad for Emma in this novel. It sucks that her life just can't get easier. I do not like her mother, no matter what people say to defend her.

Sadly, I feel like if the previous novel would have ended properly (with an actual ending not a horrible, mean, evil cliffhanger) then I don't think this novel would have been necessary. That said, I feel like I would have enjoyed this novel more if the last one would have been wrapped up in a positive way. I felt thrown into the action yet, at the same time, the action was lacking at the beginning of this novel.

Closing: I liked this novel but would have liked it much more if the first had been tied up properly. Evan makes me a little bit mad but I also love him for putting up with everything he has to. Jonathan was interesting. I feel horrible for Emma. The end of this novel drove me bonkers. The next one was even more fun. Can't say I didn't warn you. Enjoy! 

27 June 2014

Follow Friday!

Post a photo of your favourite coffee mug (or mugs if you have more than one favourite)

Guys, my cup is literally the best cup in the world! I'd take a picture of me with it, but 1) I'm at Kelsey's house and thus the glorious mug is not with me and 2) I just came back from the gym and saying I'm gross would be a gross understatement. Ha... hahahahaha.. ha. Anyway, I searched the big bad internet and found a picture of it, and huzzah here it is: 

Shakespearean insults for the win! I got it as a gift for Christmas, and it was by far the best gift I got. I won't even lie to you. 

Soooooooo...I don't really have a favourite mug...I have like one mug and, you know what, I'm much too lazy to get off my butt and walk to the kitchen and take a picture and move it to my computer and put it into this post sooooo...here is my favourite mug...

So, that's why we usually do blog stuff in Tim's.
It's also why I reference it in 2/4 novels I've written. 
Canadian for the win!

26 June 2014

Review: Finding Cinderella

Reviewer: Kristen 
Author: Colleen Hoover
Pages: 90 
Format: eBook (novella)
My Rating: 8 out of 10

Summary (I cherish you, Goodreads):A chance encounter in the dark leads eighteen-year-old Daniel and the girl who stumbles across him to profess their love for each other. But this love comes with conditions: they agree it will only last one hour and it will only be make-believe.

When their hour is up and the girl rushes off like Cinderella, Daniel tries to convince himself that what happened between them only seemed perfect because they were pretending it was perfect. Moments like that with girls like her don’t happen outside of fairytales.

One year and one bad relationship later, his disbelief in insta-love is stripped away the day he meets Six: a girl with a strange name and an even stranger personality. Daniel soon realizes the way he pretended to feel about Cinderella and the way he really feels about Six may not be so different after all. Especially when the two loves of his life end up being one in the same.

Unfortunately for Daniel, finding Cinderella doesn’t guarantee their happily ever after…it only further threatens it.

My Thoughts: Aw man, I don't even know where to begin. I love me some Colleen Hoover and all the uber fine male characters she has introduced to us. (It took me a ridiculously long time to figure out how to word that sentence - for some reason, I kept wanting to refer to the male characters as man-meat.) This book was such a cool premise, and I had a deep-harboured love for Six that wasn't quite satisfied in Hopeless or Losing Hope. I'm so glad that we finally got to explore her world a little bit more, even if it was through the eyes of Daniel. Who, may I say, was an excellent narrator. 

There were plot twists I didn't see coming, and explanations that I didn't know I needed until I read this. It was such an excellent novella, and I really don't know what else to say. If you've ever read any of Colleen Hoover's novels, you know that she spins figurative gold with the words she uses to create incredibly realistic worlds. Not only worlds though, but characters too. Every stinking character that I've read by Colleen Hoover feels like someone I could actually know, or someone who I'd want to know. 

I didn't expect the story to go the way it did, or for me to love a story as much as I do that was only 90 pages long. I'm greedy, and I wanted more, even though the story doesn't really call for more. Colleen Hoover has quickly become one of my favourite authors. 

Final Thoughts: Love me this book. 

24 June 2014

Review: Reason to Breathe

Reviewer: Kelsey
Author: Rebecca Donovan
Format: Paperback
Pages: 456
Rating: 6 out of 10

Summary (I breathe easier with Goodreads): "No one tried to get involved with me, and I kept to myself. This was the place where everything was supposed to be safe and easy. How could Evan Mathews unravel my constant universe in just one day?"

In the affluent town of Weslyn, Connecticut, where most people worry about what to be seen in and who to be seen with, Emma Thomas would rather not be seen at all. She’s more concerned with feigning perfection—pulling down her sleeves to conceal the bruises, not wanting anyone to know how far from perfect her life truly is. Without expecting it, she finds love. It challenges her to recognize her own worth―at the risk of revealing the terrible secret she’s desperate to hide.

One girl’s story of life-changing love, unspeakable cruelty, and her precarious grasp of hope: Reason to Breathe is the first installment of the acclaimed Breathing Series.

What I think: This book did not seem like it was 456 pages. It felt like it was 20. I went through this novel so quickly. It was like watching a good movie, where the time flies and you are so absorbed into the show that you forget the world exists. I was right there with the characters. 

Sarah bothered me a little bit. Calm down, please. You know what your friend is going through so you shouldn't get so upset about certain things she says. Her reactions to certain things made me very upset. What the heck kind of friend are you?

I felt so helpless. Every time Emma went home, I would get so sad for her. I wished that I could help her. What makes this worse is that while I was reading this novel, I was dealing with a friend who has had struggles like these in her life. It was hard to see it from the perspective of the person involved. It was hard. I was emotional. It was bad.

You know what really made me angry? Ending the novel how it did. Kristen only gave me the first one and suddenly, I was attacking her because I needed the next one. I'm all for cliffhangers but this just wasn't fair. I promise there will be much more complaining about this in the review for the second in the series when it becomes a bigger deal. Anyway, I feel horrible for anyone who read this novel and then had to wait to get their hands on the next in the series. It's just cruel. I would have died.

Basically: You get sucked into this novel and will find yourself reading it very quickly. I didn't realize how long it was until I began to write this review. I enjoyed the series but the end of this novel bothered me a lot. This novel offers a unique perspective that I am lucky to have not gotten otherwise. I would recommend this novel. Try not to cry.

20 June 2014

Follow Friday!

What are your favorite books of 2014 so far?

Well, well, well, I'm glad you asked. (Only because, for once, I actually have an answer! yippeeeeee)
I think that my favourite book this year has definitely been *drum roll puhlease*
 Oui, oui! Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover! If you haven't read it, go go go. 
Kelsey wanted to use this as her answer too, but I beat the sucker to the punch. I'm sure she'd recommend it too! 

My close second fayborit is probably: 
Because who doesn't love Jennifer Armentrout books?! 
If you haven't read anything by her, go do. I promise that after you're done, you'll want to smother me in hugs (or just smother me because of feels) for recommending her.

Also, Happy Friday! 

I agree with both of Kristen's choices, go figure.

Also, this!! ☺


Review: London Falling

Reviewer: Kristen  
Author: T.A. Foster
Pages: 344 (I could have sworn this was a lot shorter) 
Format: eBook 
My Rating: 5 out of 10 (I think I'm only being harsh because I read this in February and it is now June)

Summary (thanks, Goodreads): It’s London’s senior year and she only needs one class to graduate. She just didn’t expect her final assignment: fall in love.

Communication 224 has a reputation for giving out the most unique projects of the semester. When London James and Beau Anderson signed up for the class they had no idea they would be paired up together, much less spend an entire semester working on their final grade.

Professor Garcia tasks them to produce a study on the hit reality show, Love Match, a show about strangers falling in love on over the top dates. London and Beau decide to debunk the popular show’s fantasy portrayal of romance. Determined they can date the entire semester and not fall for each other, the classmates share blogs about their dates and start a website where everyone can follow their dating experiment. 

Is staying out of love as easy as it seems? Headstrong and success-driven London discovers there might be more important things in life than an A.

My Thoughts: So, when I read this, I remember really enjoying it. It was cute, it was fluffy, and it had a swoon-worthy-boy. What more can a girl ask for? There was just something missing. Far be it for me to know what that actually was, but I couldn't shake the feeling that there could have been something more that happened. Or that the characters could have been a little more realistic (I don't know that realistic is a fair way to phrase it, but I don't know any other way). A lot of their problems could have been fixed if they had just actually talked to each other. 

London, while sometimes a little clueless, was someone that I genuinely liked. She didn't want to compromise her dreams for a guy, and she didn't just abandon all her goals because a cute guy came into the picture. She was a little lost when it came to the whole romance thing, which bordered on annoying, but overall, she was a good character. Beau, I felt, was a "New Adult fiction" typical character. He was hot, smart but he wasn't about to become a doctor, and annoying in a somehow charming way. However, I think that the Professor Garcia was my favourite. She was just so damn eccentric! 

The premise of this story was actually really cool. I hadn't ever heard of a plot like this, and when I read the summary, I immediately went and got the book. A project based off of reality TV show, and the team (or London and Beau for those of you who haven't read this yet) had to deduce whether or not it was in fact "reality". London and Beau, of course, got the love match show, and they had to blog about whether or not fake dating resulted in real love. 

Final Thoughts: Super cute, super quick, but sometimes super dense when hitting certain parts. You should give it a go, I enjoyed it, just probably wouldn't read it again!

17 June 2014

Review: The One

Reviewer: Kelsey
Author: Kiera Cass
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 217
Rating: 6 out of 10

** Spoiler Alert -- This is the third in a series. Check out The Selection and The Elite **

Summary (Goodreads is the ONE): The Selection changed America Singer's life in ways she never could have imagined. Since she entered the competition to become the next princess of IllĂ©a, America has struggled with her feelings for her first love, Aspen--and her growing attraction to Prince Maxon. Now she's made her choice . . . and she's prepared to fight for the future she wants.
Find out who America will choose in The One, the enchanting, beautifully romantic third book in the Selection series!
My Thoughts: What are my thoughts? Do I have thoughts? Well, I'm very opinionated so I must be thinking something. This would probably be easier had I written it right away.
What do I remember feeling about this novel the most? I felt like the ending came out of nowhere. It was so sudden and so quick. It ended the novel so quickly. This was a three book series, I expected so much more for all the build up. I was not surprised. I was left horribly unsatisfied. The book just drops off without telling the reader what happened next. What happened after? Did it end well? Did the problems go away? I don't know because the author didn't tell me. I choose to believe it all ended well but I also made up my own ending in my mind.
Also, America, shut up and listen to Aspen for like six seconds. Stop being so self-centered and listen to what he has to tell you. I assume that this was used to leave the reader wondering what he thought was important. What did he have to say? But I figured out what he had to say the moment he said he had something to say. I was not surprised. I was only surprised he didn't make himself heard. 
I thought that this novel was okay. I probably will not reread this series. Kristen told me to read them so I did but I got mad with every single character at least once and it was not a good thing. I wanted to hit a few of them upside the head. This made me very unhappy. Everyone needs to get their stuff together. I'm tired of their shenanigans. 
So: This was the final book in a trilogy. It ended the series...okay, neither of those things really say much, I'll give you that. How about this: it could have been so much more and I feel like I'm still waiting to know what happened, and that's not because I was so attached to the characters that I want a fourth in this series. I just wish there were two more chapters that concluded everything. An epilogue that actually went into the future would be nice. I don't want to hear more about their love lives, I want to know what happened politically. Don't make something big just to drop it into a hole and leave it there to die. People notice when that happens.

8 June 2014

Review: Maybe Someday

Reviewer: Kelsey (Kristen is being stupid)
Author: Colleen Hoover
Format: Paperback
Pages: 384
Rating: 9 out of 10

Summary (Maybe someday Goodreads will love me back): Sydney is living in an idyllic bubble - she's a dedicated student with a steady job on the side. She lives with her best friend, has a great boyfriend, and the music coming from the balcony opposite hers is fast becoming the soundtrack to her life. But when Sydney finds out her boyfriend is cheating on her, the bubble bursts. The mysterious and attractive man behind the music, Ridge, gives Sydney hope that she can move on and they begin to write songs together. But moving on is harder than she expects, Sydney can only hope…. Maybe someday… Colleen Hoover draws you in to this passionate tale of music, love and betrayal…

My Thoughts: What? Nine out of ten isn't good enough for you? Pft...

Actually, I loved this book. I thought it was just about perfect. I don't say that often. I would read this novel 100 more times (I had to give it back to Kristen but I'm contemplating my own copy). 

First off, this novel has a soundtrack to match it which is wonderful. I loved the music as well as the idea of having music to go with it. I missed the first few songs as I was reading but I went back to listen to them later. I ended up downloading the soundtrack I liked it so much. It does a good job of putting you in the story. It really makes the novel an experience. You, of course, don't need to listen to it but I recommend it. At the very least you can say you listened to a book. I thought it added a lot of character and a lot about the characters too.

This novel was really funny. At times, I was actually laughing out loud. People around me were judging me but I don't care it was worth it. The pranks are genius and hilarious. I want to try a few. I especially love the last one that Ridge does to his buddy. Boys are entertaining. 

The writing in this is...wonderful. I need a new word. It was magnificent? Kristen says it was stupendous but it sounds too much like stupid; I don't like it. Whatever, you get the gist. It was really, super good. I love Colleen Hoover; I'll continue to read her novels. She is so talents and always seems to get emotions just right. Everything is always said at the exact right moment. Add her to the list of author's I have a writing crush on.

Each character was extremely unique. This is one of the few novels where I found that there was a motivation behind every character. They weren't ignored or skimmed over. Things were happening in the background so that you don't just learn about the main characters but the secondary ones as well. This allows for you to better understand reactions as well as the main characters through their friends. I think every writer should put more time into their secondary characters and all around back story. Also, I love how Sydney and Ridge come to communicate with each other. I love how it was all wrapped up and tied together even though the action died down quite a bit before the actual end of the story.

It switches perspective. This was well done. It wasn't awkward or off at all. I thought they could both be real people, unlike when the guy doesn't really seem like a guy.

Slight spoiler (Skip paragraph to avoid): This was my first novel with a deaf character. It was an interesting perspective. This made the novel even more unique though it was at times awkward because of how he handled certain things. I mean, maybe it's normal. I don't know because I don't even know of anybody that is deaf. I'm very interested in characters with a unique perspective. I'll have to look for some more characters like this.

Summary: This is a great love story that I want to read over and over. It made me both happy and sad. I laughed. I cried. I freaked out. It made me feel a variety of things. I recommend this book, not to any specific type of person even. Okay, maybe you should like love stories. Check it out and tell me your thoughts. I LOVE IT!

1 June 2014

Review: Tween Hobo: Off the Rails

Reviewer: Kelsey
Author: Alena Smith with Kate Harmer
Format: Paperback (ARC)
Pages: 240
Rating: 5 out of 10 (Maybe...I guess...)

Summary (I have no snappy thing to relate this to the fact that I used GoodReads for the summary, if you do than please put it in the comments): A hilarious and irreverent illustrated book based on the popular Twitter feed (@tweenhobo), featuring a young spunky girl who packs up her glitter pens and sneaks out of math class one Monday afternoon to traverse the railroads in search of freedom, adventure, and her own personal obsession: Justin Bieber tickets.

Get ready to laugh and learn with the littlest hobo. She's only twelve years old, but a hard twelve. You'll meet her friends: Stumptown Jim (a hero who tried his best to homeschool her on the road); Tin Cap Earl (who's always up for shooting a Call Me Maybe parody video in a graveyard); Toothpick Frank (who loves Pinterest); Salt Chunk Annie (a woman of the night, whatever that means) and Hot Johnny Two-Cakes (who Tween Hobo swears she does NOT have a crush on).

Find out how she survives, thanks in part to the kindness of park rangers. You'll hear her take on major cultural events (I go off a fiscal cliff every time I go near a Claire's.). And you'll enjoy beautiful hand-rendered illustrations that bring out the beauty in her words just like how eyeliner makes a hobo's look really pop.

Often snarky and frequently ridiculous, this imaginative journal-like book includes maps, jokes, laughs, doodles, tips, hobo symbols (House with a triangle on top means PIZZA PARTY!!!), games, stories, and more. So grab your iPhone and wrap it in a handkerchief, tie it to a stick, and let's roll!

I'd like to take a moment to complain about the fact that I had to edit the Goodreads page. It needs to get it's shit together ASAP. Yet, I still cannot live without it.

My Thoughts on this particular matter: Sooooooo much Bieber...Soooooo sooooo much. It was awful. It was so much of the horrible. Also, there was a lot of The Hunger Games. There was a lot of pop culture references. I thought it was cool how the author swung it but still...it was a lot and all the time.

I wasn't really certain what age group this novel was written for. The main character was, as one might guess, a tween and talked a lot about things that a tween would care about; however, there was a lot of larger words. There were also concepts, references, and jokes that would only be funny for older people. It all just confused me a little bit. It was funny though, since I got most of the jokes. You really need to be up on pop culture or else you will be a little bit lost.

I thought the drawings were perfect when they were used. They were cute especially since I decided that it's for a younger audience. I really liked the different formats of writing used. There were tweets and lists and images. I liked the variety. 

The slang and text lingo was, because this novel was short, acceptable. However, the grammar mistakes were not acceptable. The question marks in the middle of sentences really freak me out. I do not like those at all. They need to be stopped before they take over the world. Trust me, if they aren't controlled than they will take over the world.

My favourite parts were (you'll need to buy the book and look them up for the laugh as I will not be quoting the pages for you) Histories Greatest Tweets, the Rowling Family Tree, and Great American Poem since it uses parts from real poems.

Sadly, this novel was mucho unrealistic...obviously, cause somebody would have been looking for the fifth grader. I also really doubt that she's manage to get away from the slammer in the same way she did. I agree with her about one thing though. School would be better if we actually learned things and travelling is a wonderful way for one to learn.

Honestly, the only reasons its a 5 out of 10 is because it was a bit too young for me and also I don't care about Justin Bieber...Plus, I feel so bad for people who are this attached to social media. I really relate to her, the main character...I can't do fractions either.

I loved that it all came together.
Plus, the acknowledgments page was cute. Man, I say cute a lot. I apologize and will go look up more words for cute right now.

So: It was cute but a little bit too young for me. I'd recommend it to someone who is, in fact, a tween. Then their parents can read it and enjoy the older people jokes. It's the perfect buy for pairs like that. It's pretty good.
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