Yawn:The Hunt by Stacey Kade

 

Ariane Tucker has finally escaped GTX, the research facility that created her. While on the run, Zane Bradshaw is the only person she can trust. He knows who-and what-she is and still wants to be part of her life.

But accepting Zane’s help means putting him in danger.

Dr. Jacobs, head of GTX, is not the only one hunting for Ariane. Two rival corporations have their sights set on taking down their competition. Permanently. To protect Zane and herself, Ariane needs allies. She needs the other hybrids. The hybrids who are way more alien and a lot less human. Can Ariane win them over before they turn on her? Or will she be forced to choose sides, to decide who lives and who dies?

Source: GoodReads

How can a book about aliens be…well, so boring?

Really, if there was one word to describe The Hunt it would be boring.

Of course, it’s really not that boring.  There’s suspense.  There’s action.  Romance.  But at the end of the day, it’s a typical middle book in a trilogy suffering from middle book predictability complete with a ridiculous cliffhanger.

Sigh…

It isn’t completely horrible though.  To be honest, it’s not that bad of a book.  It does have a lot going for it.  Like, the characters.  I really do like both Zane and Arianne.  They do have chemistry and both of them are fully formed.  However, I don’t know at the end of the day this book didn’t wow me.

As I said before, I sort of knew what to expect on this one.  The jacket summary is pretty straight forward.  There’s really nothing that takes you by surprise.  Even the alien hybrid mythology was nothing weirder than one of the more calmer theories on Ancient Aliens.

Though to be honest, all the alien stuff in the Project Paper Doll series hasn’t impressed me.  Oh, it’s a little bit better than what you’d see in some YA series (cough, Lux series, cough) but it’s more or less a plot point.  Actual world building, with this aspect does not occur.

A couple of Google searches or episodes of some H2 conspiracy show you’ll find that there’s actually a pretty big mythos involving grey aliens.  However, hardly any of that mythos is used other than the bare minimum.

Of course, you could view the book as being more about humanity and coming to terms about what humanity is and all that, but I think there did need to be a little bit more of those urban legends coming out.

The whole hybrid program scheme really was a bit of a bore.  Complete with alien hybrid in jars full of amber colored liquid.

Oh yeah, that cliche.  Where’s Bill Birnes and his cockamamie theories when you need them?

The action scenes were written to be obviously suspenseful and maybe if I hadn’t been hardened to a thousand YA trilogies already, I would’ve been excited by this one.  But as it was, I just felt that I was going through the motions.  Even the revelations with Ford weren’t that exciting. There were no curve balls it was all predictable.

And that’s where this one failed.  The lack of curveballs.  Even the cliffhanger ending wasn’t that surprising.  It was in essence predictable.  Like everything else about this book.

Overall Rating: B-.  It wasn’t a terrible book, but I did struggle through it.  There wasn’t anything about it that really held my attention and at the end of the day that what makes or breaks a series.  Will I finish the trilogy.  Probably.  But I will be library-ing it.

Tuning In: The Time Which I Binge Watch and Hate Myself

So, this somehow got renewed.  I didn’t know until I checked my DVR and saw too episodes.  So let’s get down to the recaps shall we (we won’t defeat the Huns)…

 

If you Forgot What Happened Last Season:

  • Ingrid made an ass of herself in ill colored cardigans
  • Freya threated about her love life and nothing else.
  • Dash walked around without a shirt for ten episodes.
  • Killian made an appearance as additional eye candy
  • Dash and Killian’s momma went bananas.
  • No one in The Halliwells’   Bechaumps’ stupid town watched the Thor movies.
  • Wendy was awesome.
  • And Ingrid opened up a portal in another horrible cardigans.

 

A Moveable Beast:

The episode opens with a lot of dark cinematography with Latin being thrown in every now and then to give it a spooky effect.  It’s too dark to actually see anything and not get a migraine so these scenes I really just sort of use to multi-task.  The only thing I have halfway sort of gathered is that Ingrid is now sleep walking in evening wear that’s suppose to be a nightgown.  They then flash to the woods, which she’s apparently walking around before showing the credits.  I’m hopeful for now that there will be dialogue.

It appears Jo is being poisoned and her estranged husband is treating her, though with the way it’s played out its like a recreation of some god awful scene from an EL James’s sad excuse of a novel.

As usual, Freya is obsessed with her love life and nothing else.  Wendy is the only character that makes sense.  Given the fact she is a Lifetime addition and not part of the original series, it really is quite surprising.

Dash is trying to get his Harry Potter on, but it’s not working.  Perhaps, he should go to Diagon Alley instead of talking to a Killian  hallucination.  Sadly, he is wearing a shirt.  As he does pretty much throughout the rest of this episode.  Guess, he got that Jacob Black cause removed from his contract.

Pity.

Freya again bemoans about her love life.  I really don’t care as I neither care about Jo’s condition since the promos show her alive and well.  More time to multi task.

There’s a stranger lurking in the woods…I have a bad feeling about who it’s going to be.  And Lifetime better not stick to the source material on this one is all I have to say.

And now cut to the hospital with scenes of Dash trying to be McDreamy.  The scrubs are good.  Though not as good as him going shirtless.  Swim some of that frustration off, Dash.

Freya meanwhile has some vision about Killain.  It’s always oh woe is me with her and I really don’t care about her love life at this point.

Ingrid’s at the library talking to her token best friend.  She apparently applied to a job that she’s under-qualified for and lied on about having a doctorate degree.  She acts like she’s more qualified than most people because she really loves the subject matter.  Having actually suffered through a doctoral program I’m giving Ingrid the stink eye on this.  And for wearing ANOTHER cardigan.

Joanna and her estranged husband have bonding time.  It’s just sort of awkward.  Though they have more chemistry than Ingrid did with every single one of her boyfriends.  But her estranged husband is no Harrison Ford or Brad Pitt.

More moaning about Freya’s love life.  Apparently, she now has Phoebe Halliwell powers.  Really, show, really?  When will you not rip off Charmed.

Seems they’re trying to give Wendy a love interest.  I approve. She’s the only decent character on this show. The love interest seems to be a rift on the guy that Melissa de la Cruz paired up Ingrid with in the books.  He has better chemistry with Wendy-just saying.  Then again, TV Ingrid has tainted any love I had for that character.  Well, it didn’t help with the whole annoying virgin subplot in the book.

Back to Dash trying to figure out what’s wrong with him…boring.

Annoying family bonding moment where Ingrid does magic to lighten up the mood and laughs.  She’s become even more annoying this season.  How is that possible?

Jo is getting sicker.  This of course leads to Lifetime melodrama which let’s daddy dearest (the estranged husband) make a quick exit.

Ingrid’s Interview: she’s unkept, late, and her future boss is unimpressed.  Unimpressed with her lying too.  Good for him. He tells her she’s a loser (stating the obvious) and leaves.

S0 what does Ingrid do?  She goes to the bar to bemoan in a neutral color cardigan (instead of the nasty green one she wore to the interview)  to bemoan about why she didn’t get a job she wasn’t qualified for.  Her token friend tells her to use a spell, Freya agrees.  Aren’t you NOT suppose to use magic for self gain? Whatever.  She ends up doing a ritual with her lame glass of white wine, gets the job and then falls on her ass (no joke about that).

And Dash gets more freaked out while getting his McDreamy on.

Meanwhile, Freya’s bemoaning about her love life gets interrupted by Ingrid’s stupidity and Wendy has to fix it (like everything else) and flirts more with the cute EMT.

Dash goes into the bar glares at Freya and gets a phone call telling him his brain is as messed up as Ingrid’s.  Boy do I feel for him.

Joanna talks about how she’s okay with dying and then Freddie…

Oh, Lifetime.

Really?

Really?

This is the character that ended up ruining the book series.  Did you really bring him on here?

At least he’s cute and he’s not as stupid (so far) as the book one.  But I was really hoping he’d never appear despite your foreshadowing last season.  Why didn’t you get the message.  Are their actually Freddie fans out there?

Dear lord.

At least Wendy has common sense.

While at the bar Freya makes an ass of herself in front of Dash by asking about the welfare of his brother.  That she was having an affair with.  You just don’t do that Freya.  Just don’t.

Poor Dash.  That and the I Know What You Did Last Summer threats have to kill him.  Oh, and finding out your a wizard with no Hogwarts letter.

Really, that blows.

As Freya bemoans about Killan the camera pans out to the Caribbean.  Yep, the boat apparently floated all the way down there with no one finding it.  He has himself a Freya replacement and they are getting it on.

You know, Freya will be having a pity party in a couple of episodes over that with a bunch of slut slamming included.

I’m not even going to go into the end other than that it was stupid and probably won’t make sense till the last episode.  Overall, this particular episode wasn’t horrible.  It wasn’t great either.  It was fairly typical of the show so I’m giving it a C.

Best Moment: Wendy’s moments with the EMT

Worst Moment: Freddie being a cast Member

Cringe Worthy Moment: Anytime Ingrid’s on My  Screen.

Shirtless Moments: Unfortunately, none.  But lots of scrubs moments.

 

The Son Also Rises:

We open up with a shot of Halliwell Manor when it’s not Hollywood Manor.  Jo is concerned because her thirty year-old daughter wasn’t home at the crack of dawn making an ass of herself.  Instead, she’s laying in the back yard making an ass of herself.  We know she was sleep walking in the previous episode.  So, it’s not a big deal.

More of Dash unsuccessfully trying to get into Hogwarts and a blackmail call.  Given the state of evidence, I’m betting he could chalk it up on bad video editing not murder.  But that’s just me.

Ingrid’s alive-unfortunately. She sounds like she’s high on something with the way she’s talking about her appetite and waking up in the backyard but since she’s Ingrid I really doubt she is on something.  Jo  and Wendy tell them they have a brother they take it pretty well.

Wendy like me is still less than impressed with Freddie.  Once again, the only character with common sense on this show.

Freddie and Freya start talking about astral projection and twin stuff.  All I have to say is Prue Halliwell and why would anyone want to willingly be related to Freddie.  Yes, I know I’m talking about book Freddie not TV Freddie.  But still, if he’s anything like book Freddie that’s someone’s DNA I would not want in common.They also talk about how Freya is a princess.  She acts shocked.  I just sort of nod my head.  I mean, only royalty gets away with talking about their pathetic love life so much.

There is something up with Freddie as we find out later on.  At this point, not exactly how to describe it other than I think Lifetime wants us to find it creepy and we fade to commercial (finally).

I use this opportunity to do important things like check the weather.

Wendy does some spying in her cat suit.  I really do like Cat Wendy which reminds me I really want a cat.  The EMT she was flirting with pets her another point for him guys who like animals always get a plus sign on the likability factor.  Wendy the cat spies on him and finds out he has a kid.  Obviously, a misunderstanding will occur.

Ingrid starts her new job and her new boss tells her he was forced to hire her and that she’s a loser (I like this guy).  I should also note, Ingrid is wearing the same cardigan as she wore when she fell on her ass drinking white wine in the last episode.

Dash’s paranoia at this point is getting predictable so I am hitting the FF button.  Thank God for the DVR.

Oh, wait I have to watch Jo and Wendy and their pie get ditched by Dash.  Yeah, I have to say I’m amused with him telling them to get lost.

A big Fourth of July Party-well, their timing is off-is going on.  Wendy claims to feel a chill in the air (this is only stated five hundred times the rest of the episode) just like her starring at the EMT while Jo talks to her drip of a son when Freya isn’t.

Trying to show that twin bond which really isn’t working since Freya more or less looks like she’s into her twin.

 

Between the champagne glasses they try to astral project for Killian and of course fail.

Ingrid’s boss says she’s a loser because she’s a librarian.  Now, I’m starting to hate him.  You can diss Ingrid as much as you want, God knows I do, but do not diss librarians.  They are bad ass.  Unless of course, they try to torment their patrons by putting really horrible YA books on their feature shelf like Ingrid does.

Freya is not doing her work because she’s trying to book a flight (Jesus, girl just use Priceline)  and is talking to her brother.  Outrageously enough, patrons are getting upset with her and a little rowdy.  Of course, her new screw partner   twin defends her honor as any good brother should.  However, because magic is involved Freya must use the power of love to soother his tormented magical soul.

Seriously, he would’ve been better off NOT being related to her.

Lifetime does not know how to write sibling relationships.

Ingrid gets yelled at for improperly handling a book.  And gets into an argument.  Her boss leaves and is Lifetime punished-he’s dead.  It’s actually a rather dramatic death at the Fourth of July picnic (apparently).

Back in the Caribbean, Killian performs some sort of ritual with his love buddy that reveals he has magic.  She says its because of their love. Oh, Lifetime, we know you are totally going to be slut slamming her.  It’s not even funny at this point.  And it sort of upsets me, because this girl could be an interesting diverse character, but their just going to make her a stupid impediment to the Freya/Killian love fest.

The show ends sort of on a low note.  The fireworks are rained out and Ingrid tells everyone she’s moving out.  Given the fact she’s randomly sleep walking this probably isn’t the best idea, but she actually thinks that’s the reason she’s sleep walking (living with her mother).  Honestly, I could care less about Ingrid’s living situation and just want to get this double viewing done by watching the painfully induced magic fireworks on top of the ceiling.

Overall Rating: D a very droll episode.

Best Moment: Ingrid being told she’s useless

Worst Moment: Actually, siding with Ingrid.

Cringe Worthy Moments: Freya and Freddie.

Shirtless Moments: None.  Again.  What’s wrong, show. Seriously.

 

 

 

 

 

Do Judge a Book by Its Cover: Packing Heat

Note, before I begin this installment I have tentatively started up a Meme for this feature.  There’s a page that talks about it  and on the side of the blog there’s a link that will take you to a page where you can sign up if you want to participate.

 

It’s summer time-at least in the northern hemisphere.  So, I decided that this month I’d look at covers that “pack heat”.

 

 

What the Cover Says: Maybeth Carroll has lived her life with nomads.  She’s not a nomad though.  She has stayed at the same sad hotel that is her supposed heritage for the past eighteen years and is gosh darn tired of it.  If someone asks for the honeymoon suite one more time…then one day he comes in.  He being Master Smith.  The rock star. The one who Rolling Stone  says has hit burn out.  Master is not Maybeth’s type (she might be poor white trash but she does have standards after all and those standards do not involve burnouts), but getting the scoop on Hollywood’s latest burnout may get her out of nowheresville.  Now, how to get Master to pay attention to her?
What the Book Is Really About:

If seventeen-year-old Skyler Evans were a typical Creek View girl, her future would involve a double-wide trailer, a baby on her hip, and the graveyard shift at Taco Bell. But after graduation, the only thing standing between straightedge Skylar and art school are three minimum-wage-months of summer. Skylar can taste the freedom—that is, until her mother loses her job and everything starts coming apart. Torn between her dreams and the people she loves, Skylar realizes everything she’s ever worked for is on the line.

Nineteen-year-old Josh Mitchell had a different ticket out of Creek View: the Marines. But after his leg is blown off in Afghanistan, he returns home, a shell of the cocksure boy he used to be. What brings them together is working at the Paradise—a quirky motel off California’s dusty Highway 99. Despite their differences, their shared isolation turns into an unexpected friendship and soon, something deeper.

Gritty, romantic, and ultimately hopeful, I’ll MEET YOU THERE explores the complicated lives of an unforgettable cast of characters. This is the story of teens outside the picket fence. It doesn’t soften the edges of adolescence or the individual consequences of war; it’s life on the fringes—maddening, weirdly endearing…and completely screwed up.

Source: GoodReads

Verdict: Oddly, I like it.  It’s at least sensible enough to take out in public and not feel like your going to be given judgmental looks like one does when they read a Katie McGarry book-yeah, those looks I got in the office are still scarring me for life. It also has a nice summer vibe to it with the colors on the cover.

 

 

 

What the Cover Says to Me:

Getting sucked into a worm hole was not how Ivanna Schultz wanted to spend her senior year.  Especially with David Hastings, the weirdo band geek who wears bow ties to school and is obsessed with that stupid British show.  But that’s exactly what happens.

But that’s exactly what happen. And somehow she ends up on the other side of the wormhole in a spandex bodysuit.

What the Book Is Really About:

The second installment in the epic Starbound trilogy introduces a new pair of star-crossed lovers on two sides of a bloody war.

Jubilee Chase and Flynn Cormac should never have met.

Lee is captain of the forces sent to Avon to crush the terraformed planet’s rebellious colonists, but she has her own reasons for hating the insurgents.

Rebellion is in Flynn’s blood. Terraforming corporations make their fortune by recruiting colonists to make the inhospitable planets livable, with the promise of a better life for their children. But they never fulfilled their promise on Avon, and decades later, Flynn is leading the rebellion.

Desperate for any advantage in a bloody and unrelentingly war, Flynn does the only thing that makes sense when he and Lee cross paths: he returns to base with her as prisoner. But as his fellow rebels prepare to execute this tough-talking girl with nerves of steel, Flynn makes another choice that will change him forever. He and Lee escape the rebel base together, caught between two sides of a senseless war.

The stunning second novel in the Starbound trilogy is an unforgettable story of love and forgiveness in a world torn apart by war.

Source: GoodReads

 

Verdict:  Love the background.  Hate the costumes.  Seriously, body suits?  And while I’m all for shirtless male models, I sort of feel for them the way I feel for girl models being forced to wear skin tight suits.  It’s a bit undignified.  But hey…nice chest muscles.

 

 

 

What the Cover Says To Me: Elena Phillips always knew she’d go to hell.  She is, after all, part demon.  However, her dear old dad said nothing about demon boarding school.  Figures.   He always was sort of a tool.  The good thing is as hellish-ha, ha, funny- as the school is, she is learning how to control her powers and soon will be able to wreck havoc when she returns to the mortal world and ruins everybody’s life that she hate-so far there are fifty-two people on that list if your not counting sometimes kill worthy Jonas, the paperboy.  Though he does have those YA baby blues.  But when your in Inferno School for the young and evil love isn’t something you think about.  Especially when you have revenge to look forward to.

What the Book is Really About:

Love burns. Worlds collide. Magic reigns.

This world is trying to kill Lily Proctor. Her life-threatening allergies keep her from enjoying many of the experiences that other teenagers take for granted…which is why she is determined to enjoy her first (and perhaps only) high-school party. But Lily’s life never goes according to plan, and after a humiliating incident in front of half her graduating class Lily wishes she could just disappear.

Suddenly Lily is in a different Salem – one overrun with horrifying creatures and ruled by powerful women called Crucibles. Strongest and cruellest of all the Crucibles is Lillian . . . Lily’s identical other self in this alternate universe. This new version of her world is terrifyingly sensual, and Lily is soon overwhelmed by new experiences.

Lily realizes that what makes her weak at home is exactly what makes her extraordinary in New Salem. It also puts her life in danger. Thrown into a world she doesn’t understand, Lily is torn between responsibilities she can’t hope to shoulder alone, and a love she never expected.

But how can Lily be the saviour of this world when she is literally her own worst enemy?

Source: GoodReads

Verdict: It’s okay.  The summary intrigues me more than the cover, but I can take it out in public without feeling heavily embarrassed.

 

What the Cover Says To Me: Emma High Boots of the dystopian desert is out to kill.  Obviously, can’t you see she has her hair braided up and she’s wearing tight pants?  That means she’s a badd ass.  Add the desert landscape with odd weather going on you have dystopia.  What is she out to kill?  Something big and bad obviously.  A sand monster caused by man abusing the environment.  Sounds good enough.  Now where is that option button.

What the Book Is Actually About:

Ares, God of War, is leading the other dying gods into battle. Which is just fine with Athena. She’s ready to wage a war of her own, and she’s never liked him anyway. If Athena is lucky, the winning gods will have their immortality restored. If not, at least she’ll have killed the bloody lot of them, and she and Hermes can die in peace.

Cassandra Weaver is a weapon of fate. The girl who kills gods. But all she wants is for the god she loved and lost to return to life. If she can’t have that, then the other gods will burn, starting with his murderer, Aphrodite.

The alliance between Cassandra and Athena is fragile. Cassandra suspects Athena lacks the will to truly kill her own family. And Athena fears that Cassandra’s hate will get them ALL killed.

The war takes them across the globe, searching for lost gods, old enemies, and Achilles, the greatest warrior the world has ever seen. As the struggle escalates, Athena and Cassandra must find a way to work together. Because if they can’t, fates far worse than death await.

Source: GoodReads

Verdict: Ugh.  I don’t like the revamp.  The bloody feather was actually pretty cool looking.  It was simple, understated, yet compelling.  This cover it just looks like a cliche. Total burn out.

 

 

What the Cover Says To Me:

Burn, baby, burn!

That’s what Celeste Harper thought when her wings were burnt because of a boy.

A stupid human boy.

Dumped on her ass.  Celeste now has to deal with the fallout of not only being a fallen angel, but a broken hearted mortal girl.  Will she get redemption or will she get the revenge that girl’s like Bella Swan could never even think of.

Never mess with a fallen angel.  Especially if she is crazy enough to ditch heaven for a stupid human boy.

What the Book Is Really About:

Time is slipping away….

Tella Holloway is losing it. Her brother is sick, and when a dozen doctors can’t determine what’s wrong, her parents decide to move to Montana for the fresh air. She’s lost her friends, her parents are driving her crazy, her brother is dying—and she’s helpless to change anything.

Until she receives mysterious instructions on how to become a Contender in the Brimstone Bleed. It’s an epic race across jungle, desert, ocean, and mountain that could win her the prize she desperately desires: the Cure for her brother’s illness. But all the Contenders are after the Cure for people they love, and there’s no guarantee that Tella (or any of them) will survive the race.

The jungle is terrifying, the clock is ticking, and Tella knows she can’t trust the allies she makes. And one big question emerges: Why have so many fallen sick in the first place?

Victoria Scott’s breathtaking novel grabs readers by the throat and doesn’t let go.

Source: GoodReads

Verdict: I actually like the cover a lot.  No big surprise since I just got done talking about simplicity of feather covers.

How My Stomach Got Pumped: The Rest of the Perfect Chemistry Series by Simone Elkeles

I used to think I had a high tolerance for garbage.  I read twelve of the House of Night books.  Finished Collen Houck’s stupidity that was before I read The Perfect Chemistry series.

Maybe part of the problem was that I binge read the last two books in the series, but it’s not my fault the library decided to put both of these gems in my box the other day.  And I thought it might be better not dragging this little experiment out for a couple more months.  Of course, now that I’ve actually read them my brain and my liver sort of hate my logical sense of self.

 

 

When Carlos Fuentes returns to America after living in Mexico for a year, he doesn’t want any part of the life his older brother, Alex, has laid out for him at a high school in Colorado. Carlos likes living his life on the edge and wants to carve his own path—just like Alex did. Then he meets Kiara Westford. She doesn’t talk much and is completely intimidated by Carlos’ wild ways. As they get to know one another, Carlos assumes Kiara thinks she’s too good for him, and refuses to admit that she might be getting to him. But he soon realizes that being himself is exactly what Kiara needs right now.

Source: GoodReads

Carlos Fuentes is probably the biggest asshole out of the Fuentes brothers.

In fact, if you want to have a drinking game for Rules of Attraction, more than likely it would be him being an asshole.  Though you’d probably be dead.

Funny thing, Simone Elkeles drinking games have a tendency of doing that.

Killing any participants of drinking games.

Because everything she does wrong is so over the top wrong.  I almost think she’s unintentionally trolling with these books.

While not as overt with the stereotypes as the other two books in the series, it’s probably the most covert of using horrible stereotypes.  Mainly the fact, that Carlos Fuentes is the definition of a stereotypical Latino Alpha male.  And it sucks big time.

He reminded me a lot of Ramon.

Ramon if he was French and a Disney character.

Who is Ramon, might you ask?  The most egotistical and offensive  contemporary romance novel character I’ve ever made.  But at least Judith McNaught had the excuse of the time period she wrote her book in.

Elkeles doesn’t.

I wondered if she was trying to have an even more jerk of a character than Alex, because if that was the case oh how she did succeed.

Carlos makes Alex look like a gentleman.  And if you’ve read my previous review…well, you know how I feel about Alex.

Apart from Carlos though, this book was better than its predecessor.  Though bland, Kiara wasn’t terrible.  I did think she caved into Carlos a little bit fast, but at least she wasn’t an outright idiot and racist like Brittany.   I also have to begrudgingly say that I liked her family and b.f.f.  Elkeles didn’t completely fail on that part of the novel.

But the whole gang aspect.

It’s just a rehash of the first one.

And it happens again in a more ridiculous fashion in the third book.

Is it really that hard to think that other social issues might exist amongst teens of Latino origin besides gang violence?

You know, Katie McGarry contemporaries-though somewhat repetitive all have different issues to explore.  I’m sure that there are just as many issues to explore with Latino teens as there any other teens.

Though try telling that to Elkeles.

Overall Rating: D+ I liked Kiara and her family.  Carlos and the plot though…sucks big time.

 

Like his brothers, Luis Fuentes is a risk taker; whether he’s scaling the Rocky Mountains or dreaming of a future as an astronaut, Luis is always looking for the next thrill.

Nikki Cruz lives her life by certain rules ― don’t trust a boy who says “I love you”, boys lie to get their own way and never date a boy from the south side of Fairfield. Then she meets Luis at his brother Alex’s wedding and suddenly she’s tempted to break all her rules.

Getting Nikki to give him a chance is Luis’s biggest challenge, until he finds himself targeted by the head of the gang that nearly destroyed his brothers’ lives. Will Luis’s feelings for Nikki be enough to stop him from entering a dark and violent world that could prove to be the ultimate risk?

Source: GoodReads

 

By this point you’d think that that asshole Carlos had probably whipped out any sort of sensibilities I might’ve had.  But even though I might make a joke about how reading these books could send a person into liver failure, I don’t actually drink when I read them.  I just don’t have enough money to pay the hospital bills and more importantly I have to sort of review them for you.  But if you thought Carlos was bad…well, Luis is just as bad as worse.

Well, it really depends, do you prefer out right in your face assholes or sneaky bastards.

If you hate sneaky bastards more than this book is really going to piss you off more than Rules of Attraction.

It’s also going to piss you off if you hate generalizations that fuel stereotypes.

Oh yeah.

With Rules of Attraction  I got annoyed with Elkeles’s little remarks about Mexican American culture, but compared to  Chain Reaction this was nothing.

The female lead, Nikki, is Latina.  Which should be instant points for Elkeles its not based on the poor generalizations the character occurs:

1) She must be saucy because she’s Latina.

She might claim she’s a full blooded American, but I’d bet my left nut she’s got some Mexican blood running through her feisty veins. (25)

2) She must know Spanish because she’s Latina.

In regards to knowing Spanish: “All the Mexicans I know do,” he says. “Hell, a majority of Mexicans I know don’t even speak English.(213)

3) Because  Nikki lives in a fairly affluent neighborhood, doesn’t know Spanish, and doesn’t know how to make tacos she’s dissing her heritage.

Yeah…

I wish I could say that despite the gross generalizations the rest of the book made up for this.  But it didn’t.

Not at all.

Oh, where do I begin?

Okay, I know what I’m going to do.  I know that she’s a fictional character, but I’m going to advise Nikki to seek out a divorce lawyer when she marries Luis because girl-he’s lying to you now and he’s not going to change his mind.

Seriously.  I mean, if you really wanted to get drunk you could just take a drink every time Luis did something semi-douchey to Nikki.

Actually, you’d probably be dead so that’s not a great idea.

But maybe if you divided it by lie….

Yep, dead.

So, how can you possibly get through this installment having a drinking game and not killing yourself.

Not possible.

Because every bothersome detail, it’s going to drive you crazy.

The good news is that this book is mercifully short.

Though I really wish Nikki would’ve kicked Luis’s ass to the curb. Or at least yell at Mama Fuentes for being a horrible mother (really, someone needed to do that).

Oh, and did I mention that there was a painful Lifetime message of not having sex before marriage thrown in there complete with an over the top life time event.

Yeah.

Don’t even bother with this one.  Your sanity will thank you.

F

 

Needs More Seasoning :Salt & Storm by Kendall Kulper

 

 

 

Sixteen-year-old Avery Roe wants only to take her rightful place as the witch of Prince Island, making the charms that keep the island’s whale men safe and prosperous at sea. But before she could learn how to control her power, her mother, the first Roe woman in centuries to turn her back on magic, stole Avery away from her grandmother. Avery must escape from her mother before her grandmother dies, taking with her the secrets of the Roes’ power.

When Avery awakens from a dream foretelling her own murder, she realizes time is running short—for her and for the people of her island, who, without the Roes, will lose their ships and the only life they know.

With the help of Tane, a tattooed harpoon boy from the Pacific Islands, Avery plots her escape from her mother and unravels the mysteries of her mother’s and grandmother’s pasts. Becoming a witch may prevent her murder and save her island from ruin, but Avery discovers it will also require a sacrifice she never expected—one she might not be able to make.

Source: GoodReads

I recieved an ARC from Netgalley this has in no way shaped my opinion of this book.

Witches are big in YA.

However, about half of the time they fail epically.

The other half.  Well, does the name Harry Potter ring a bell.  Okay, so part of that series is classified as middle grade and that new short story would be classified as middle adult, but if does right witches/warlock/wizards can be a big hit.  So, I was excited about Salt and Storm especially since it was going to be a historical and since one of my favorite childhood books was a historical and was about witches (sort of), I was interested in reading Salt & Storm.

The result though…

Yeah, I don’t know.  There were some lovely things about this book, but at the same time there were some fundamental flaws with Kulper’s novel.

I’ll start with the good first.  The world is nicely formed.  It’s lush.  You really get the island atmosphere and even though the prose can feel a bit tedious at times, it does add to the mood of the story.  I really felt like I got to know the small island enough and how the magic in Avery’s family worked.

Another nice thing about this book, was that it wasn’t a walking cliche.  I didn’t expect the ending it had.  And even though I’m sure that there are some people who won’t like it, it worked enough for me.  Sure, I wasn’t exactly happy with the choice that Kulper made.  But it tied the story up nicely, and I think (well, 98% sure) that this book is a standalone.  That is rare in YA where most everything is a trilogy, but I like the sense of having a sense of finality after one installment for a change.

And now for the bad…

Yeah, I know.  I don’t want to be a Debbie Downer, but I have to say there were lots of things about this one that bothered me.  And for awhile I wondered if it was just me.  And maybe it was, but I’m still going to talk about them.

1) The Character Avery:

I just couldn’t get her or her motivations.  Yes, I get she wants to be a witch.  But why?  She doesn’t seem to have that many connections with most of the islanders.  And while we are told over and over again that magic’s in her blood, I don’t get how she feels incomplete.

At times I’d almost say she was TSTL, but I don’t know if that’s so much about the character or about the overall plot structure.  Based on the way the novel is shaped, I understand why Kulper has shaped the novel the way she did-especially since this seems to be a standalone, but at the same time it just doesn’t work.  It makes the main character, Avery, seem dumb and unlikable.

2) The Plot Itself:

Sigh.  It worked, but it didn’t.  Overall, there is a simple arc to the story.  I think what bothered me about the plot was the fact that it was, in essence, sort of simple but disjointed at the same time.

This probably once again is because it’s a standalone.

And I hate complaining about this book for this reason, because YA is in desperate need of standalones, but the pacing really did feel whacked because of what Kulper was trying to accomplish.  Also, it probably didn’t help that the first half moved at a snail’s pace.

As for the actual story, I don’t know. I thought it really didn’t focus on witchcraft in the way I wanted to.  It was more about I want to be a witch and then I don’t want to be a witch.

The magic itself: not so magical.

3) The Love Interest:

Well, props for having a diverse love interest.

Minus big points for having it be essentially insta love.

Once again, the relationship seems rushed in order to finish the story.  But even if this book was-say would’ve been expanded into a series-I still don’t think I’d see the chemistry between these two.  In fact, the relationship is so fragmented that I think the mother’s five page romantic history made more sense than the relationship between Avery and her insta love.

4) The Last Fourth of the Book:

WTF?

Seriously. It sort of changed the whole tone that the book was trying to earlier to establish.  Once again, I think this goes back to the overall structure of the novel.  If things were emphasized earlier on, the ending would’ve made more sense.

Overall, this isn’t a horrible book.  It has its moments and in a lot of ways it really did work.  However, at the same time there were some problems with the structure that made  Salt & Storm  a little less than perfect.

Overall Rating: C+

Top Ten List: Never Say Never But…I Probably Won’t Read It

Sometimes I just can’t join a popular bandwagon.  Believe it or not there are some big name books I have no intention of ever reading.  Here are some of them:

 

1)

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

Source: GoodReads

Yeah, yeah, I know. It’s suppose to be poignant and as sad as a Nicholas Sparks book, but I can’t.  For a lot of reasons.  Cancer stories just don’t sit well with me.  For one thing, I had a relative who passed away from it so it always bring back some sad memories.  Another reason, I feel like I’m being manipulated by the author when they pull out the C card.  Plus, John Green has put his foot in his mouth a few times on Twitter so it’s really not for me.  Despite the fact that my mother has been talking about what a sweet movie it was (seriously, my mother went to see that stupid movie for her anniversary despite my protests and being the resident YA reader in my house).  There really is something wrong with that.

 

2) 

The nation of Panem, formed from a post-apocalyptic North America, is a country that consists of a wealthy Capitol region surrounded by 12 poorer districts. Early in its history, a rebellion led by a 13th district against the Capitol resulted in its destruction and the creation of an annual televised event known as the Hunger Games. In punishment, and as a reminder of the power and grace of the Capitol, each district must yield one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 through a lottery system to participate in the games. The ‘tributes’ are chosen during the annual Reaping and are forced to fight to the death, leaving only one survivor to claim victory.

When 16-year-old Katniss’s young sister, Prim, is selected as District 12′s female representative, Katniss volunteers to take her place. She and her male counterpart Peeta, are pitted against bigger, stronger representatives, some of whom have trained for this their whole lives. , she sees it as a death sentence. But Katniss has been close to death before. For her, survival is second nature.

Source: GoodReads

If you knew me, this wouldn’t be that much of a surprise.  I am really not that into dystopia, even though I’ve read my fair share.  There has to be some sort of gimmick that pulls me in, and even though I’ve heard wonderful things about The Hunger Games, I just can’t commit.  Blame it on being tortured to read The Giver for six weeks back in middle school.  I haven’t seen the movies either.  And probably won’t until their on TV and I just catch them.  I know, I’m horrible.  But I just can’t commit.

In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue–Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is–she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are–and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she’s chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she’s kept hidden from everyone because she’s been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, Tris also learns that her secret might help her save the ones she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

Source: GoodReads

I know how this series ends.  And no, just no.  I don’t consider the ending brave.  And for that matter, the whole premises of this book isn’t that original. And it’s a dystopia.  And I don’t really like dystopias.  So there you go.

 

When literature student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant, and intimidating. The unworldly, innocent Ana is startled to realize she wants this man and, despite his enigmatic reserve, finds she is desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her, too—but on his own terms.

Shocked yet thrilled by Grey’s singular erotic tastes, Ana hesitates. For all the trappings of success—his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving family—Grey is a man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a daring, passionately physical affair, Ana discovers Christian Grey’s secrets and explores her own dark desires.

Erotic, amusing, and deeply moving, the Fifty Shades Trilogy is a tale that will obsess you, possess you, and stay with you forever.

This book is intended for mature audiences.

Source: GoodReads

They should say its intended for people  with dirty minds.  To be honest, I read a few chapters when it was on fanfiction.net and it was bad then.  And since only eleven percent of it changed, I doubt it’s any better.  Plus, it’s P2P.  And my personal ethics makes me find P2P repugnant.  So yes, despite its popularity and endless parodies.  I won’t be paying money for this one.  And as for a library copy…I’d have to have latex gloves and a can of Lysol on me.  Really, I don’t even want to think about where those books have been.

Poor, poor, trees.

Arielle Sawyer is freaking out because she’s the last person in her class to be kissed. Frustrated by her kissably-challenged lifestyle, Arielle allows herself to be talked into selling her first kiss to the highest bidder—on eBay. The media soon catches wind of her story and all of a sudden she’s giving interviews and appearing on popular late-night talk shows. Due to her newfound fame, the former wallflower suddenly finds herself the focus of everyone’s attention, including that of the most popular guy at school, an actor who just happens to be the teen heartthrob of the moment and even the local bad boy. But as her popularity grows and her friendships begin to weaken, Arielle starts to wonder why she put up the post in the first place. In the end there will be a winner, but will Arielle’s first kiss end up being everything she’s ever dreamed of?

Source: GoodReads

I already gave Gergagotelis a second chance with her witch series.  I just can’t give another.  Those books were heinous.  The fact that this one is self pub has me even more weary, since there’s less editorial control.   The summary also has me raising some eyebrows.  Selling your first kiss on Ebay?  Did this kid ever watch To Catch a Predator–clearly, not.

 

 

 

rom NEW YORK TIMES bestselling authors Holly Black and Cassandra Clare comes a riveting new series that defies what you think you know about the world of magic.

From two bestselling superstars, a dazzling and magical middle-grade collaboration centering on the students of the Magisterium, an academy for those with a propensity toward magic. In this first book, a new student comes to the Magisterium against his will — is it because he is destined to be a powerful magician, or is the truth more twisted than that? It’s a journey that will thrill you, surprise you, and make you wonder about the clear-cut distinction usually made between good and evil.

Source: GoodReads

Yeah, it’s not even released yet, but I’m probably not going to read this one even though Holly Black is a cowriter.  The summary just seems too Harry Potter to me-well.  Plus, three kids-two boys one girl-on the cover.  Harry freaking Potter.  You know, I would just love to know what JK Rowling thought about Cassandra Clare, but JK Rowling lives on Planet Awesome and Clare doesn’t exist there.

A BIG NOVEL ABOUT A SMALL TOWN …

When Barry Fairbrother dies in his early forties, the town of Pagford is left in shock.

Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty façade is a town at war.

Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils … Pagford is not what it first seems.

And the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity and unexpected revelations?(

 

Source: GoodReads

Speaking of JK Rowling…as much as I love her, I don’t think I’ll be reading this one.  It just sounds like something one of those pretentious book critics on NPR would read.  And even though I listen to NPR every day, I don’t want to spend my reading time reading an NPR-ish novel.  To be honest, being an English major has sort of made me hate reading books I actually have to think in so this is a no go (for now).

Two misfits.
One extraordinary love.

Eleanor… Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough…Eleanor.

Park… He knows she’ll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There’s a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises…Park.

Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.

Source: GoodReads

I actually have this one on my bookshelf at home, but I doubt I’ll read it.  I’ve heard the book is sort of depressing, and I’m not really a fan of depressed.  Also, I hear that stereotypes are used relentlessly in this book, and I just don’t do stereotypes.  So, it will probably be a pass even though I did throughly enjoy Fangirl.

The Beautiful Disaster and Walking Disaster phenomenon continues in the first heart-pounding new adult romance in The Maddox Brothers series.

Fiercely independent Camille “Cami” Camlin gladly moved on from her childhood before it was over. She has held down a job since before she could drive, and moved into her own apartment after her freshman year of college. Now tending bar at The Red Door, Cami doesn’t have time for much else besides work and classes, until a trip to see her boyfriend is cancelled, leaving her with a first weekend off in almost a year.

Trenton Maddox was the king of Eastern State University, dating co-eds before he even graduated high school. His friends wanted to be him, and women wanted to tame him, but after a tragic accident turned his world upside down, Trenton leaves campus to come to grips with the crushing guilt.

Eighteen months later, Trenton is living at home with his widower father, and works full-time at a local tattoo parlor to help with the bills. Just when he thinks his life is returning to normal, he notices Cami sitting alone at a table at The Red.

As the baby sister of four rowdy brothers, Cami believes she’ll have no problem keeping her new friendship with Trenton Maddox strictly platonic. But when a Maddox boy falls in love, he loves forever—even if she is the only reason their already broken family could fall apart.

In the first installment of the Maddox Brothers books, readers can experience the rush of reading Beautiful Disaster for the first time, all over again.

Source: GoodReads

Can someone go back in time and tell Mrs. Maddox to get her tubes tide after having asshole number one?  Thank you.  Humanity appreciates it.

 

 

 

From the New York Times bestselling author of Halo comes the start of a beautiful and powerful new series.

After the loss of her mother, Chloe Kennedy starts seeing the ghosts that haunted her as a young girl again. Spending time at her grandmother’s country estate in the south of England is her chance to get away from her grief and the spirits that haunt her. Until she meets a mysterious stranger…

Alexander Reade is 157 years dead, with secrets darker than the lake surrounding Grange Hall and a lifelike presence that draws Chloe more strongly than any ghost before. But the bond between them awakens the vengeful spirit of Alexander’s past love, Isobel. And she will stop at nothing to destroy anyone who threatens to take him from her.

To stop Isobel, Chloe must push her developing abilities to their most dangerous limits, even if it means losing Alex forever… and giving the hungry dead a chance to claim her for their own.

Source: GoodReads

Have you read the Halo Trilogy?  Yeah, if you had you’d be running too.  The thing is, if I do see this one at the library there’s a good chance my inner curiosity will pick it up.  I mean, I really hope that I can resist.  I know that this sort of book would drive me crazy, but unlike the other ones I’m morbidly curious.  However, I’m putting it on this list because I will not buy it when it’s released.  So, I think that counts (sort of).

 

This Book is Too Cute: Behind the Scenes by Dahlia Adler

 

 

High school senior Ally Duncan’s best friend may be the Vanessa Park – star of TV’s hottest new teen drama – but Ally’s not interested in following in her BFF’s Hollywood footsteps. In fact, the only thing Ally’s ever really wanted is to go to Columbia and study abroad in Paris. But when her father’s mounting medical bills threaten to stop her dream in its tracks, Ally nabs a position as Van’s on-set assistant to get the cash she needs.

Spending the extra time with Van turns out to be fun, and getting to know her sexy co-star Liam is an added bonus. But when the actors’ publicist arranges for Van and Liam to “date” for the tabloids just after he and Ally share their first kiss, Ally will have to decide exactly what role she’s capable of playing in their world of make believe. If she can’t play by Hollywood’s rules, she may lose her best friend, her dream future, and her first shot at love.
Source: GoodReads

 

Hollywood YA books and me are like this.

Yes, I know they can be cliche.  But I really do love a decent movie star YA story.  Of course, it has to have semi-decent characters and  it can’t be that big of a cliche because then I’ll just grow bored (see Will the Real Abi Saunders Please Stand Up).  

Behind the Scenes was a book that I actually looked forward to.  Instead of having the traditional girl being an actress or wannabe actress, we have a main character who actually has no intention of being involved in La La land and who had some actual real life problems other than teenage drama going on in her life.

I was kind of grimacing when I found out that Ally’s father was dealing cancer, mainly because that can be such a cliche plot line.  I mean, look at all those Lurlene McDaniel books or Lifetime movies.

The thing is, the whole cancer plot was for the most part perfectly tolerable  It’s resolution to me seemed a little too unrealistic, but given the alternative I’m happy with the ending.  And for a book with the big C in it it wasn’t that overwhelming.

I also liked the romance in the book.  Liam and Ally  weren’t overly mushy and the chemistry was good.  Good not great, mind you.  But it was an enjoyable enough fling that I was able to read the book without grimacing.  Also, unlike a lot of YA celebrities, Liam didn’t feel wooden.  There were dimensions added to his character that were an added bonus.

Overall, I liked most of the characters in this book.  There weren’t any of them that I particularly hated which is odd because usually in all YA books there’s one character I hate. In fact, I have to say for the most part I liked all them.  And there were some I actually wanted to give a fictional hug to and that doesn’t happen often.

 

We’re told that Ally is mature for her age and that’s actually reflected in the writing-well, she does have her stupid moments.  But for the most part, she’s actually mature.  Not only does she have the requisite A+ average that so many YA bimbos have, but her decision making for the most part is actually rational.

I think the parts that annoyed me were the parts that actually made the conflict of the novel.

I understood Ally’s frustration and her predicament, but at times I wanted to shake her and go all look at her choices on her.

But the book had to have conflict, right?  And it did setup for conflict in the book. And we did have to have some conflict, otherwise it would’ve been very fluffy.

The other qualm I have is Ally’s parents reactions to some of the scenes.  I get that they were dealing with a life crisis, but having your daughter come home at three in the afternoon the next day should get some reaction other than did you have fun.

If you like light frothy books, this is probably one for you.  If you get annoyed with fluff.  Skip it.  Is it the most memorable book I’ve ever read-no.

Grade: A solid B.

The Outdated Pop Culture Reference Should’ve Been a Clue: Will the Real Abi Saunders Please Stand Up? by Sara Hantz

 

 

Abi Saunders might be a kickboxing champion, but when it comes to being the center of attention, she’d rather take a roundhouse kick to the solar plexus any day. So when her trainer convinces her to audition to be the stunt double for hot teen starlet Tilly Watson, Abi is shocked—and a little freaked out—when she gets the job.

Being a stunt double is overwhelming, but once the wig and makeup are on, Abi feels like a different person. Tilly Watson, to be exact. And when Tilly’s gorgeous boyfriend, Jon, mistakes Abi for the real star, Abi’s completely smitten. In fact, she’s so in love with her new life, it isn’t long before she doesn’t have time for her old one.

But when the cameras are turned off, will she discover running with the Hollywood A-list isn’t quite the glamorous existence she thought it was?

Source: GoodReads

I like fluff.

I like books about celebrities.

And if the book has a girl that can kick box, even better.

Except the book wasn’t better.

To be honest, this was a pretty awful contemporary.  And I’m just sort of perplexed about how it got published because there’s nothing that original about it.

In fact, the only remotely original thing about it is the kick boxing. And therenot that much in this book.

Sigh…I guess I need to stop my complaining and get on with the reviewing.

First let’s talk about the cover and the title.  The title is a play on an old Enimem song that was popular about fourteen years ago.  It’s outdated.  I get that a lot of people my age will recognize it, but the targeted market group-not so much.

Then there’s the cover.  It looks pretty awful.  The poor model’s hair looks pretty messy for a professional shoot and then there’s the get up she’s wearing.

Seriously.

I know that most people wouldn’t be caught dead in such garb.  It looks uncomfortable.

 

Yes, I know these are superficial things I’m claiming about.  But presentation will have some effect of how I view this book.  And it’s not good.

Now for the actual contents.

Maybe it will wow me like Pushing the Limits or Dare You To, those books had covers you couldn’t take out in public but the story was juicy enough to keep me entertained.

This one though, as I said before total snore fest.

Nothing remotely original about it.  At all.

I was psychic when it came to this book.  I guessed its every twist.  And when it comes to reading that usually isn’t a good thing.

Well, it’s okay when you have decent characters.

But Abi…I wanted to deck her through about half of this book.

I should like her.  I really should.  She’s a character who doesn’t have a stereotypical female hobby and has a disability (she stutters).  That should be enough to make her a somewhat interesting character, but it’s not.  Because she has the maturity of an eleven year-old and thinks its perfectly fine to cheat on another girl’s boyfriend because said girl is mean.

I’m not lying.  That’s how she justifies her actions.  And I guess you could say she learned her lesson at the end but she really didn’t.

Then there’s the other characters.  Yeah, they had a right to be pissed at Abi, but their not pissed at her for the right reasons.  It comes off freaking ridiculous to the point where I thought DNF only a two hundred and thirty page book.

Two hundred and thirty pages.

Put this in perspective The Tiger Curse Saga’s books average about five hundred pages.  I could put up with that more than this.  Grant it, the booze might’ve helped.

I think what infuriates me more than anything else was that this book felt like the author wasn’t even trying.  Which I’m sure probably wasn’t the case.  But there just seemed like no effort towards creativity and with a MC as annoying as Abi I needed something.

Anything.

But nope.

Instead, all I got was a book where I was informed the love interest looked like a hotter younger brother of Henry Cavill.

Not joking about that.

Once again, Hantz you’re dating yourself.

Even Meg Cabot who uses pop culture references probably the best out of any other author out there, doesn’t make her books sound so dated.  This book sounded dated though and it’s only been out for a couple of months.

Seriously though, Entangled, you should’ve said something about that title.

Overall Rating: A big fat F.  No originality.  Unlikeable characters.  What do you expect?

 

Second Chances: Rain by Amanda Sun

American Katie Green has decided to stay in Japan. She’s started to build a life in the city of Shizuoka, and she can’t imagine leaving behind her friends, her aunt and especially Tomohiro, the guy she’s fallen in love with. But her return is not as simple as she thought. She’s flunking out of Japanese school and committing cultural faux pas wherever she goes. Tomohiro is also struggling—as a Kami, his connection to the ancient gods of Japan and his power to bring drawings to life have begun to spiral out of control.

When Tomo decides to stop drawing, the ink finds other ways to seep into his life—blackouts, threatening messages and the appearance of unexplained sketches. Unsure how to help Tomo, Katie turns to an unexpected source for help—Jun, her former friend and a Kami with an agenda of his own. But is Jun really the ally he claims to be? In order to save themselves, Katie and Tomohiro must unravel the truth about Tomo’s dark ancestry, as well as Katie’s, and confront one of the darkest gods in Japanese legend.

Source: GoodReads

I give too many second chances.

If you read my review of Ink you’ll know that I wasn’t overly impressed by this series.  But I decided to give it a second chance for two reasons:

1)Japan: Let’s face it.  If a book is halfway readable and if it takes place in Japan I’m going to read it.

2) Non-Western Mythology: Again.  If it’s halfway readable, I’m going to read it.

However, those two things alone aren’t enough to make a good book.  As Ink and Rain is proof of.

I really was hoping for more.

There was lots of potential with the Paper Gods series even if Ink was basically Twilight set in Japan.

And I will say that there was some (being the optimal word) improvement with Rain.  Not enough to make it a better book than Ink, but enough where I wouldn’t say this was a complete bomb.

What did Rain have to offer that Ink didn’t have:

1) Consequences: There are actually some consequences to Katie, Tomo, and Jun’s stupidity.  Some.  And there’s also consequences for Katie being completely illiterate in Japanese school.  That was something right?

Well, almost.  Of course, these consequences would ultimately be jacked up.  But hey….it was an attempt at consequences.

2) The plot deviates a bit more from romance: A little bit, mind you.  We still have to deal with some stupid YA love melodrama which I’ll get to in a minute.  But Sun did try to flesh out the romance aspect a bit more.

3)The characters are a little bit more developed: Well, sort of.  At least I know more about Tomo and Jun besides their different hair colors.

Now for the bad:

You know I feel bad about this.

People were asking me why I was giving this book a chance since I didn’t like its predecessor that much.  But I told them I saw the potential.

And now I’m kicking myself.

While I tried to write down the improvements I saw with Rain, it really was hard for me to say it was that much of improvement.

In a lot of ways, Rain was a reminiscent to New Moon as Ink was to Twilight.

I’m not joking in this book we had:

1) Relationship Trouble

2)Break Ups

3) Love Triangles

4) And Mopey Main Characters.

Yeah, sounds like New Moon to me too.

The love triangle aspect was probably the most annoying out of the New Moon tropes to me.

Dear lord, Sun, why do you have to have Jun and Katie making goggly eyes at each other.  And for that matter, why slut slam Tomo’s pregnant friend?  Why have her suddenly jealous of Katie all people and making speeches like a villain in a Bond movie?

The fact that the majority of the book was spent  building a relationship between Katie and Jun and that relationship is essentially torn into shreds within a matter of pages,

So, I’m like why?  Just why?  Did you have all that build up.

And that twist.  Well, while it was good for this installment, I don’t think it’s going to have quite the impact that Sun wanted it to have if you keep in perspective the next book.

Oh yeah, everything’s not resolved, but I think it would’ve been a better story without the twist.

Sigh….

As for the mythology aspect, it’s not that bad.  It could be better, but I at least have an idea of where Sun is going with the mythology here.  Occasionally, it did feel a bit like a anime show-at one point there’s a transformation scene that’s a little bit more than reminiscent of Sailor Moon.

I really have to think about whether I’m going to continue this trilogy or not.  I mean, there’s only one more book but…I just don’t know.  I feel like there’s something about this series that seems half formed.

But is Rain the worst book or worst sequel I’ve ever read.

No.

Overall Rating: C

Whatever Happened To: Lots of Princesses and a Fan Girl or Two

Welcome back to that recurring feature where I think about what happens after happily ever after…

 

1) Kelsey (Tiger’s Curse Colleen Houck)

When We Last Saw Kelsey:

She was having a sappy happily ever after with Ren that made the ending of The Twilight Saga look sad.

What Happened:

Unfortunately, there was no happily ever after.  Because despite what Kelsey and ultra high seed metabolism may think, eating enough food to feed twenty people via the Golden Fruit every day will still plug up your cholesterol.  And at the ripe old age of twenty-five, Kelsey had a full blown coronary.

But her cardiologist was cute.

That always was a saving grace.

The problem was the cardiologist looked just like Kishan and Kelsey was once again on a merry-go-round love triangle that made anyone who was watching her life want to vomit.

Like Ren.

Who ended up taking their son and joining a commune that spoke only in sonnets.  It was actually the first time in his life he felt at peace since everyone-like him-spoke only in sonnets.

As for Kelsey, her cardiologist that looked like Kishan could care less about her sine he actually was already married to an exotic animal veterinarian who spent her days sterilizing tigers.

2) America Singer (The Selection Trilogy by Kiera Cass)

The Last Time We Saw America:

She was getting married to Maxon in the cheesiest wedding ever.  Complete, with her ex  playing the role of the father of the bride.

What Happened:

As much as Kiera Cass would like you to think that wedding where Aspen gave America away-drama filled.  At least during the reception after everyone had gotten drunk on that dystopia open bar.  Aspen, dude, it is not cool to fill up the bride during the ex-boyfriend/girlfriend dance.  And America, you shouldn’t look like your enjoying it that much.  Needless to say, Maxon wasn’t that happy but considering the state of finances in their nonsensical dystopia world, he had to put up with America until their new reality show made money.  Of course, since their show was nothing like Here Comes Honey Boo BooMaxon remains married to America for a long, long, time.

Maxon’s current state of mind.

3) Becca (Royally Lost by Angie Stanton)

The Last Time We Saw Becca:

She was having her happily ever after for now with her prince at a McDonalds in ‘merica.  Cause you know those European people suck and are all fuddy duddies.

What Happened:

Majesty Magazine.

That’s what happened.

Unfortunately, for Becca, there was a huge write up about what a nasty person she was with a McDonalds obsession and of course the royals didn’t take kindly to that.

And of course, her lovie buddy defended her.

The only thing is, the queen and king were now more than a little pissed off at their son and decided to disinherit him since they did have that spare.

So what did Nikolai do with his limited education and TSTL attitude?  Well, he couldn’ t do much except get a job at McDonalds.

Which oddly made Becca extremely happy since she can use his discount to get a Big Mac.

4) Robin (See Me by Wendy Higgins)

The Last Time We Saw Robin:

She was happily engaged to a leprechaun who had the leprechaun  giantism and lacked a penis-okay, he had one.  But the way he was characterized he was like a Ken doll.

What Happened:

TLC decided to cash in on the leprechaun commune.  The only thing was that the Network thought it would be confusing if Robin and McKale were on set since they were just sooo tall.  So, they essentially became pariahs in their own community.  Especially since everyone else was building McMansions and they were still living in their wannabe Bilbo Baggins’ hovel.

Of course, tension then started brewing between McKale and Robin since they were the only ones living in a hovel and Robin started to resent the fact that her husband wasn’t short.

Needless to say, they ended up dissolving their arranged marriage.  And of course WWIII started amongst the leprechauns and the fairies-not.

Honestly, the fae and leprechaun community could care less since they were more concerned about getting picked up for another season.

 

5) Cath (Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell)

The Last Time We Saw Cath:

She was finally able to get over her anxiety disorder with no meds and was writing literary gibberish that managed to get her some sort of pretentious prize.

What Happened:

Cath gets a call from one of the Big 6.  But instead of wanting to publish her work focusing on death, destitution, and despair (the big three d’s in literary fiction) they want to publish her fan fic.  But instead of having the beautiful (if cheesy) slash relationship she wrote in her fan fic, they want her to make Simon a woman*.

This Cath will not stand.  She gets changing the name.  But to make a Simon a woman.  No, no.

That just ruins her story.  As she tells her publisher who’s less than sympathetic since they want to be “mainstream”.

Luckily, Cath’s former roommate-and newly minted agent-has enough gall to tell the publishers to shove it. And has Cath rework her fan fic changing only the names (a la EL James) and start a new publishing company that focuses on slash P2P.

Needless to say, Cath becomes filthy rich.  Of course, some people won’t read the work because it’s P2P, but everyone who doesn’t think of copyright law eats up the newly deemed Sheldon and Benedict series that Cath created like their hot cakes.

Except her university.  Who still wants her to write about the three Ds.

 

*Believe it or not, this has actually happened before with Sherlock slash.