Mini Reviews – Once Upon a Quinceañera, Incendiary & Bruja Born

Hey ya’ll!

I finally got arount to writing up this post for ya’ll. My birthday was last week and then I went on a mini vacation with my mom so I’ve been super busy recently. However, I wan

t to do my best to update this blog with what I share on Instagram so wherever you see me, you’re up to date on what I’m doing. Now, I’ll be sharing the first three reviews I added on that platform: Once Upon a Quinceañera by Monica Gomez-Hira, Incendiary and Bruja Born by Zoraida Cordova.

SO let’s get started!

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Book Review – See How They Run by Ally Carter

See How They Run (Embassy Row #2)

Author: Ally Carter

Publication: December 22nd, 2015

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Format: Kindle Edtion, 336 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Thriller, Mental Health

Read: February 2017

Ally CarterGoodreads

 

Synopsis
Digging up lost secrets is always dangerous.
For the past three years, Grace Blakely has been desperate to find out the truth about her mother’s murder. She thought it would bring her peace. She thought it would lead her to answers. She thought she could put the past to rest.
But the truth has only made her a target.
And the past?
The only way to put the past to rest is for Grace to kill it once and for all.
On Embassy Row, power can make you a victor or a victim; love can turn you into a fool or a fugitive; and family can lead you forward or bury you deep. Trust is a luxury. Death is a very real threat. And a girl like Grace must be very careful about which secrets she brings to light.

Critically

Plot – 3.5 out of 5 stars
This book was very similar to the first one. It had mystery, suspense, drama and violence. There’s a lot of dark themes and twists and turns throughout the whole story. I loved learning more about the history of the world in this book and I think it was more entertaining than the first book. When I first finished this, I thought I’d liked it more but thinking on it, it was pretty much the same as the first book in regards to the plot.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
I really like this author’s writing style. It’s simple and easy to read. The medium pace feels kind of weird with everything that happens and some things can get confusing enough for me to need to re-read passages sometimes. It was descriptive and detailed, but still had a lot of repetitive elements within the narrative.

Characters – 3 out of 5 stars
I’m still not the biggest fan of this cast of characters. The main character is still hard for me to connect to and while there’s more side character page time, I still don’t think they have enough interaction within the story overall.
Grace is kind of melodramatic to me. She’s an unreliable narrator and has had a lot of emotional and physical trauma before and during this series. I feel for her and all but sometimes it’s just a little bit too much. I don’t connect with her because she isolates herself from other people and the book is basically her internal paranoid monologue. I try to be conscious of her mental health and what that entails for her but it kind of took away from what I could’ve enjoyed of the story. She’s angry, confused, depressed and kind of rude to the people around her. Her character is still frustrating but getting better slowly.
Like I said above, there’s definitely much more interaction between the side characters and the main character but not enough for my liking. There’s also no character development for the side characters themselves. I feel like they’re just kind of there to help Grace out and I haven’t learned anything new about them from the first book to this one and that’s really disappointing.

Emotionally

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Book Review – All Fall Down by Ally Carter

All Fall Down (Embassy Row #1)

Author: Ally Carter

Publication: January 20th, 2015

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Format: Kindle Edtion, 325 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Thriller, Mental Health

Read: November 2016

Ally CarterGoodreads

 

Synopsis
Grace Blakely is absolutely certain of three things:
1. She is not crazy.
2. Her mother was murdered.
3. Someday she is going to find the killer and make him pay.
As certain as Grace is about these facts, nobody else believes her — so there’s no one she can completely trust. Not her grandfather, a powerful ambassador. Not her new friends, who all live on Embassy Row. Not Alexei, the Russian boy next door, who is keeping his eye on Grace for reasons she neither likes nor understands.
Everybody wants Grace to put on a pretty dress and a pretty smile, blocking out all her unpretty thoughts. But they can’t control Grace — no more than Grace can control what she knows or what she needs to do. Her past has come back to hunt her . . . and if she doesn’t stop it, Grace isn’t the only one who will get hurt. Because on Embassy Row, the countries of the world stand like dominoes, and one wrong move can make them all fall down.

Critically

Plot – 3.5 out of 5 stars
The plot of this book was really mysterious and intense. It was really slow and sometimes it was kind of boring to be honest. The setting was really unique and there were lots of twists and turns throughout the story. I feel like this whole book was just set up for something bigger to come. There were a lot of positives but I just didn’t end up enjoying it as much as this author’s other books.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
It’s very simple and easy to read. This particular book has a slow to medium pace but also really intense writing style. It got kind of confusing at times since it had the tendency to get repetitive a lot. Some of the narrative felt light and kind of young for YA, but at the same time, it was really emotional too.

Characters – 3 out of 5 stars
I think this is the part that I enjoyed the least in the book. I have a lot of issues with the main character and the side characters and their development and it’s really disappointing since the characters have always been my favorite part of these author’s series.
Grace is one of the most unreliable narrators that I’ve ever come across in YA. She’s very paranoid and angry. She’s dealt with a lot of trauma and mental health issues in the last three years. She’s suffering from a lot of emotional wounds and she pushes people away because of that. She can be kind of rude and she really frustrated me because I felt like she purposely dragged her feet through what could’ve been really great and supportive relationships around her.
I was really disappointed with the side characters. There was a really big cast involved in this book but I felt like they weren’t fleshed out enough. They were only there like 10% of the time and they wasn’t enough interaction between them and the side characters. They should’ve been instrumental for Grace, but they didn’t even spend that much time together on page.

Emotionally

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Book Review – Maid of Deception by Jennifer McGowan

Maid of Deception (Maids of Honor #2)

Author: Jennifer McGowan

Publication: August 26th, 2014

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Format: Kindle Edtion, 432 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Espionage

Read: April 2017

Jennifer McGowanGoodreads

 

Synopsis
Beatrice Knowles is a Maid of Honor, one of Queen Elizabeth I’s secret protectors. Known for her uncanny ability to manipulate men’s hearts, Beatrice has proven herself to be a valuable asset in the Queen’s court—or so she thinks. It has been three weeks since the Maids thwarted a plot to overthrow the Queen, and Beatrice is preparing to wed her betrothed, Lord Cavanaugh. However, her plans come to a crashing halt as rumors of a brewing Scottish rebellion spread among the court.
Beatrice’s new assignment is to infiltrate the visiting Scottish delegation using her subtle arts in persuasion. The mission seems simple enough, until the Queen pairs Beatrice with the worst of the lot—Alasdair MacLeod. Beatrice cannot help but think that the Queen is purposefully setting her up for failure. But Alasdair could be the key to unlocking the truth about the rebellion…and her heart. Caught in a web of ever-more-twisting lies, Beatrice must rise up among the Maids of Honor and prove what she’s known all along: in a court filled with deception and danger, love may be the deadliest weapon of all.

Critically

Plot – 3 out of 5 stars
This story is full of historical court drama, mystery and espionage. The main character is the master of secrets and being able to use them to her advantage so there’s a lot of political and social action going on. However, it was a bit slow and sometimes it felt boring. It wasn’t as entertaining as the first book and that was disappointing.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
This book was really easy to read and the writing style was detailed and descriptive. It was quite simple but sometimes it felt too modern for the time period it was set in. The narrator was honestly kind of annoying. She spent a lot of time blind to things or in denial and her voice was really dry.

Characters – 3 out of 5 stars
I was a little disappointed with the characterization in this book. I was really looking forward to reading from another Maid of Honor’s point of view but I didn’t connect with her the same way. It just made the book less entertaining and lacked the charm of the first one.
Beatrice was really annoying. I don’t like saying that she was. She’s made her whole life on the fact that she can lie her ass off and lying is one of my deal breakers so I kind of knew we weren’t going to get along that well. She’s oblivious to a lot of things around here even though she’s supposed to be the most observant of them all. She’s really manipulative and has a haughty attitude so not that big of a fan.
On the other hand, I loved the side characters! I’m glad I got to have the other Maids of Honor around even though not as much as I was hoping to. And the new characters that were introduced as well as looked into more were amazing. I just felt like everyone around Beatrice outshined her and I almost wanted a different POV to be the center in this book.

Emotionally

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Book Review – Sinner by Maggie Stiefvater

Sinner (The Wolves of Mercy Falls #4)

Author: Maggie Stiefvater

Publication: July 1st, 2014

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Format: Hardcover, 357 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal

Read: April 2017

Maggie StiefvaterGoodreads

 

 

Synopsis
found.
Cole St. Clair has come to California for one reason: to get Isabel Culpeper back. She fled from his damaged, drained life, and damaged and drained it even more. He doesn’t just want her. He needs her.
lost.
Isabel is trying to build herself a life in Los Angeles. It’s not really working. She can play the game as well as all the other fakes…but what’s the point? What is there to win?
sinner.
Cole and Isabel share a past that never seemed to have a future. They have the power to save each other and the power to tear each other apart. The only thing for certain is that they cannot let go.

Critically

Plot – 3 out of 5 stars
The plot of this book is really slow and it’s really dramatic. It got really boring sometimes and the story felt like it stretched out too long. I liked the setting since it was a change of pace from the rest of the series but the narrative was full of angst and I’m not a big fan of that. Also, I feel like for how big the problem felt to the characters, the resolution went by too quickly.

Writing Style – 3 out of 5 stars
I’m feeling kind of meh towards the writing in this entire series. It’s descriptive and detailed which is good but it’s really slow paced. This book is told in dual point of view but both of the voices sound really similar to each other, something that’s not easy to see in the original trilogy. In general, the writing is poetic but super dramatic as well.

Characters – 3 out of 5 stars
I haven’t had the best connection with the characters in this series and now that half the original cast is gone and there’s new characters in this book that we don’t really have a lot of space to get to know, I’m even more like meh towards this cast of characters.
Cole is really intense and kind of depressed. His narration was really emotional. He’s confused about a lot of things but also determined to create the life he wants for himself. However, he’s still a bit lost and not sure how to deal with everything that’s going on around him.
Isabel is the other point of view in this book but honestly, her narrative wasn’t that much different than Cole’s. She’s very angry inside but also working hard to ignore the affects the world has on her. She’s kind of cold and stoic though all of that is just hiding her vulnerability and her emotional side. I don’t think their relationship is the most healthy honestly.
I feel like there were too many new side characters and none of them had enough page time to really get to know sufficiently. It just made the story like depth and realness.

Emotionally

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Series Review – The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

book-review-the-lunar-chronicles

Cinder, Scarlet, Cress and Winter (The Lunar Chronicles #1, #2, #3 and #4)

Author: Marissa Meyer

Publication: January 3rd 2012, February 5th 2013, February 4th 2014 and November 10th 2015

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Format: Kindle Edition 400 pages, Kindle Edition 464 pages, Kindle Edition 560 pages and Kindle Edition 833 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Science Fiction, Retellings

Read: December 2015, October and December 2016

Marissa MeyerGoodreads

Cinder Cover

Cinder

3.5-stars2

Synopsis
Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.
Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

Critically

Plot – 3 out of 5 stars
This book is really interesting and entertaining but oh my goodness, it was so predictable. I’m pretty sure I figured out everything that was going to happen in this book in the first quarter of it. That was disappointing because I expected so much more considering how much hype this book has. However, I liked the mystery involved (even if I figured it out) and how the author incorporated the original story line with her world.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
I liked Meyer’s writing style. It’s really simple and straight to the point. There’s a lot of detail and description and it was engaging enough to keep me interested in the story although I knew where it was going. It was captivating enough but there wasn’t much distinction between character perspectives.

Characters – 3.5 out of 5 stars
Characters are what make books for me. If I’m not feeling the characters, its a sure fire way to make me lose interest in a book which was what happened here. There’s nothing particularly wrong with the characters, but they didn’t really captivate me much. They were all just… there.Cinder is cool. She’s really jaded and kind of has a rude/sassy attitude. Some of her lines were kind of funny and I like how she tried not to take shit from other people around her. She’s really strong, specially after the life she’s had. I liked her determination and how independent she was. While she’s kind of a closed off person, she’s also really kind. I think all the things she had to deal with in her family and as a cyborg really made her conscious of how she should treat people and thinking beyond herself, even when that wasn’t reciprocated to her. However, there wasn’t anything about her that stood out to me and made me her fan or to want to root for her as I read.
There are also quite a few side characters. Kai, the prince in this story, was okay. He’s really young and inexperienced and the poor guy has the whole world on his shoulders. However, he’s determined to do the best job he can to keep his people safe and I admired that. I want to also mention that I love Iko, she’s amazing haha. There’s a lot of great changes with the characters and what they represent but they are still close to the original.

Scarlet Cover

Scarlet

4-stars1

Synopsis
Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.
Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.

Critically

Plot – 4 out of 5 stars
Plot wise this book definitely stepped it up in the series. The various story lines as well as the original stories are starting to intertwine which makes it much better for me because this one didn’t feel as predictable as the first. It was interesting and entertaining. It was action packed, fast paced and much more gruesome than I expected. I definitely enjoyed this particular story much more.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
Again, the writing style is really simple and straight forward. I think the author does a great job with connecting the existing stories together as well as with the original ones. It’s detailed, descriptive and engaging. I think the distinction between POVs was much better than the first book, I felt like I was reading about and from different people.

Characters – 4 out of 5 stars
I wasn’t the biggest fan of the characters from the first book, there was nothing that really captivated me about them. However, this book got so much better! Not only did I feel like they were more distinct in their voices and personalities, but I think the fast paced plot helped make me care more about what was happening to the characters.Scarlet became an instant favorite. She’s just so fierce! She’s determined and stubborn. I love how caring she is and how she doesn’t back down. She listens to her gut and follows it no matter what, that’s so inspiring to me. She’s loving to the people she cares about and takes awhile to warm up to others. I think she’s badass and I want to read more from her point of view.
There are also many more side characters introduced in this book. Wolf is one of them and he’s pretty great in my opinion. He has such a powerful presence and he’s fierce and apologetic. But you still get the sense there’s more to him than meets the eye. However, there was one character that was introduced in this book that blew everyone else out of the water and that is Thorne. I absolutely loved him, he stole the show for me. He’s hilarious, a bit self-centered and just a great character overall. I’m a big fan of him.

Cress Cover

Cress

4.5-stars1

Synopsis
In this third book in Marissa Meyer’s bestselling Lunar Chronicles series, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and prevent her army from invading Earth.
Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl trapped on a satellite since childhood who’s only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she’s being forced to work for Queen Levana, and she’s just received orders to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.
When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is splintered. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a higher price than she’d ever expected. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai, especially the cyborg mechanic. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.

Critically

Plot – 4.5 out of 5 stars
I’m really glad to say that these books keep getting better and better as the series continues. This one was entertaining, action packed and intense. It was definitely much more unique than I was expecting since the ones before were predictable in some ways. This one deviates from the original story a whole lot more and I loved it! This original science fiction, revolution story is taking over the series and it’s pretty great. The plot of this book was also so much more emotional. It’s getting down to the wire and you can definitely feel it as you read.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
I’ve come to really enjoy Meyer’s writing style. It’s simple and engaging, it’s easy to slip back into the world and the story because of that. It’s very detailed and descriptive, specially this book because there is so much traveling. These books are very fast paced and the author has gotten much better at creating distinction between all the POVs she’s working with which I really appreciate.

Characters – 4 out of 5 stars
This part of the books just keeps on improving which each one. When I read the first book, I wasn’t really feeling most of the characters, but now that there’s more of a crew and the cast has gotten larger, I’ve warmed up to and am rooting for them much more. I was really interested in meeting Cress since I heard about this series, I really wanted to know how the author was going to work with the Rapunzel story and I really enjoyed her. She has such a sweet disposition despite all that she’s gone through. I found her naivety to be really endearing and cute. She’s so amazed by everything around her and even when she’s terrified of something, she does the best she can and is determined to push through no matter what.
I already knew I loved Thorne and that feeling just grew tenfold in this book. He’s charming, funny, smart and strong. I also like that he has character development in this book, he goes beyond just comic relief.
A lot of the side characters make appearances together as a group and I’m really loving their dynamic now. Shit got complicated but they did their best to stick together and to make it work with each other. I still love Iko and Wolf and Scarlet. I liked how Kai and Cinder were reunited in this book, it definitely got me to like them a bit more individually and together than I had in the past.

Winter Cover

Winter

5-stars1

Synopsis
Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.
Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend–the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.

Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters? Fans will not want to miss this thrilling conclusion to Marissa Meyer’s national bestselling Lunar Chronicles series.

Critically

Plot – 4.5 out of 5 stars
This is my favorite book in the series by far. I don’t know if its just because its the finale and the culmination of everything the gang has been trying to do for so long but I loved it. It was action packed, intense and powerful. There was a lot more blood shed and violence than the previous books but it was just as exciting and emotional as I wanted. The books have shifted so much from the original stories but there are so many correlations and intricate connections. However, this book was really, really long.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
Again, the writing style really works with making the story shine. It’s simple yet engaging and easy to read. It’s really descriptive and detailed. I love how there’s so much more distinction between the different POVs now and I can tell who’s telling the story just by the first few lines. It was intense and action packed and really fast paced, though this book was definitely a bit too long for me.

Characters – 4 out of 5 stars
I’ve definitely become a fan of this cast of characters as the series went on. The group as a whole has a really great dynamic and they bring out the best in each other. I loved seeing how they all worked together and how they watched each other’s back through this crazy finale.
I really, really wanted to meet Winter. She sounded like such an interesting character but I was not prepared to being inside of her head. She’s really sweet and kind, an all around good person. However, she has delusions which affect how she sees the world which makes her very vulnerable. I just wanted to put her in a little bubble and protect her but at the same time, I wanted her to leave her comfort zone and kick butt haha.
Jacin is a character that annoyed me since coming onto the page, I couldn’t really understand him and his motivation… until I read this book. His relationship with Winter is so pure and open and just ride or die (I don’t know how else to say it haha). His personality, however, gets on my nerves. He has such a singular focus that his protective nature and his determination can rub me the wrong way. But I can’t fault him for being so dedicated.
SO MUCH HAPPENED TO THE CREW. I can’t even wrap my mind around everything the characters went through. I can say though that I really liked seeing them all together as a team and getting shit done together. Their fierce protectiveness of each other is just amazing.

Emotionally

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ARC Review – Because of the Sun by Jenny Torres Sanchez

book-review-because-of-the-sun

because-of-the-sun-cover

Because of the Sun

Author: Jenny Torres Sanchez

Publication: January 3rd, 2017

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Format: e-ARC, 272 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mental Health, Realistic Fiction

Read: January 2017

Jenny Torres SanchezGoodreads

I received an e-ARC of this book from Delacorte Press and Random House Children’s via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

3.5-stars2

Synopsis
From the backyards of suburban Florida to the parched desert of New Mexico, Because of the Sun explores the complexity of family, the saving grace of friendship, and the healing that can begin when the truth is brought to light.
Dani Falls learned to tolerate her existence in suburban Florida with her brash and seemingly unloving mother by embracing the philosophy Why care? It will only hurt. So when her mother is killed in a sudden and violent manner, Dani goes into an even deeper protection mode, total numbness. It’s the only way she can go on.
But when Dani chooses The Stranger by Albert Camus as summer reading for school, it feels like fate. The main character’s alienation after his mother’s death mirrors her own.
Dani’s life is thrown into further turmoil when she is sent to New Mexico to live with an aunt she never knew she had. The awkwardness between them is palpable. To escape, Dani takes long walks in the merciless heat. One day, she meets Paolo, who understands how much Dani is hurting. Although she is hesitant at first, a mutual trust and affection develop between Dani and Paolo, and Dani begins to heal. And as she and her aunt begin to connect, Dani learns about her mother’s past. Forgiving isn’t easy, but maybe it’s the only way to move forward.

Critically

Plot – 3 out of 5 stars
I don’t really know how to explain the plot of this book because it’s not really a common one. It was really easy to get pulled into and was really easy to read which means I flew through it. It’s divided into three parts with no chapters which was a little hard for me to get used to but made so much sense when I look back. This book deals with loss, grief, violence, abuse, honestly, pain, overwhelming emotions and acceptance. It’s a little strange but very powerful.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
The writing style is very particular and unique. It’s engaging, powerful and intense. The author uses a lot of descriptions and details to paint a very emotional and heart breaking picture. Some of the scenes were kind of confusing and it took me awhile to suspend my belief and immerse myself in the main character’s perspective. But the best thing ever is that there’s Spanish and it’s written correctly which YES! However, it was italicized which threw me off but I still appreciate it.

Characters – 3 out of 5 stars
This story is about Dani and her relationship with her family, there’s no way around that. Even though I enjoyed the side characters, they definitely don’t have that big of a role in the story as a whole. We see from Dani’s POV and it’s all about her, most of the time. I had a hard time connecting with Dani. I felt for her and what she was going through but I didn’t feel any connection to her. I’m blessed to have never lost a parent and even then, I most likely would not feel as conflicted and shut off to it as Dani does. She’s angry and sad but also numb to all those things and letting life go on around her. She’s practically silent and mute, very introverted and lost within herself. She’s grieving but not really allowing herself to go through the process completely because she’s full of rage at the same time. I loved reading about her growth and her journey through all these tumultuous emotions though. She meets a guy named Paulo and his grandmother Doña Marcela and they are so amazing. They bring Latinx culture into this story which I really loved. I really liked Paulo and his interactions with Dani. He understood her in a way that I didn’t and I connected with him on a different level, so getting to see him talk and help Dani, helped me to understand her better as well. Doña Marcela says very little but she’s definitely tough. One of those grandmothers with a no nonsense attitude but the kindest soul and touch of anyone else in your life. I loved her silent support. Finally, Dani learns of her family through Shelly, her aunt she’d never known she’d had. They both struggle so much in this book but I really enjoyed the progression of their relationship and how they slowly began to open up to each other. That was definitely my favorite part of this book.

Emotionally

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ARC Review – Dead Girls Society by Michelle Krys

book-review-dead-girls-society

Dead Girls Society Cover

Dead Girls Society

Author: Michelle Krys

Publication: November 8th, 2016

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Format: e-ARC, 304 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Thriller

Read: October 2016

Michelle KrysGoodreads

I received an e-ARC of this book from Random House Children’s and Delacorte Press via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

3.5 Stars

This review talks about the Cystic Fibrosis representation from an #ownvoices reviewer perspective, check it out as well.

Synopsis
You are cordially invited to participate in a game of thrills and dares. Tell no one, and come alone. If you dare.
Hope is sick of everyone treating her like she’s breakable. Sure, she has cystic fibrosis (basically really bad lungs), but she’s tired of being babied by her mom and her overprotective best friend, Ethan, not to mention worrying about paying for her expensive medication and how she’s going to afford college. And she’s bored with life in her run-down New Orleans suburb.
When an invitation arrives from a mysterious group that calls itself the Society, Hope jumps at the chance for some excitement. This could be her ticket out. All she has to do is complete a few dares and she might win some real money.
But the Society isn’t all it seems . . . and soon Hope finds that playing the game isn’t a choice—it’s a requirement.

Critically

Plot – 3.4 out of 5 stars
This book was really mysterious and intense. It’s full of adrenaline and action packed because of what the main characters are going through. Sometimes it could get a little cheesy and almost immatureish. I feel like the romance that was introduced and carried out was unnecessary and didn’t really do anything for the plot. And the ending was really annoying and infuriating.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
The writing style was really simple yet fast paced. It was easy to read and it had an emotive and creepy quality to it. The mystery was really entertaining and well done. I think the choice of narrator was really interesting and I think unconventional but it had it’s moments where it felt whiny, immature though the character definitely showed off her smarts.

Characters – 3.5 out of 5 stars
I had a problem connecting with the characters in this series. I don’t know if it was because of the point of view or because of the way they were presented but I didn’t care about them as much as I wanted or expected to. Hope is the main character and I found her to be an interesting choice, most notably because she has cystic fibrosis. I can’t say if it was a good or bad representation of the disease and what it does to the body and to the person but I thought it was an interesting aspect of her character. However, she’s really immature and whiny. She can be very petty and though smart, sometimes things felt like they were too easy for her. She’s brave and a fighter but some of her choices throughout the book are definitely questionable. There are four other side characters that take on a primary role in the book but I felt like they were stereotyped and very predictable. Even the main characters notices! Though at some point the other makes sure to point out parts of her individuality, I still saw that coming and pretty much continued the predictable characterization.

Emotionally

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ARC Review – The Lost and the Found by Cat Clarke

Book Review - The Lost and the Found

The Lost and the Found Cover

The Lost and the Found

Author: Cat Clarke

Publication: September 13th, 2016

Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers

Format: e-ARC, 368 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Thriller

Read: September 2016

Cat ClarkeGoodreads

I received an e-ARC of this book from Random House Children’s and Crown Books for Young Readers via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

3.5 Stars

Synopsis
LOST.
When six-year-old Laurel Logan was abducted, the only witness was her younger sister. Faith’s childhood was dominated by Laurel’s disappearance – from her parents’ broken marriage and the constant media attention to dealing with so-called friends who only ever wanted to talk about her sister.
FOUND.
Thirteen years later, a young woman is found in the garden of the Logans’ old house, disorientated and clutching the teddy bear Laurel was last seen with. Laurel is home at last, safe and sound. Faith always dreamed of getting her sister back, without ever truly believing it would happen. But a disturbing series of events leaves Faith increasingly isolated and paranoid, and before long she begins to wonder if everything that’s lost can be found again…

Critically

Plot – 3.5 out of 5 stars
This book was intense and powerful the entire way through. It’s so emotional and shocking and complicated. There was mystery and suspense. The whole story was complicated and you never really know where you stand with what’s happening. There were some things that were predictable, which I’ve had a tendency to do lately but the ending was mind blowing and unexpected. The only thing that really bothered me about the plot was that I felt like the romance was unnecessary.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
I don’t know what it was about the writing style of this book but it was totally addicting. It’s fast paced and easy to read. It’s intense and powerful and every time I sat down to read, I was consumed by the story. I even stayed up to 2 am once. It was full of depth and it was captivating. But at the same time the narrative was jarring and sometimes it was hard to grasp my mind around what the main character was thinking and feeling.

Characters – 3.5 out of 5 stars
I am torn between my feelings on all the characters in this book. I liked some and did not like others. Faith, our main character, is interesting. I had a hard time connecting with her at first. The narrative is really hard to connect with in the beginning. But in general, Faith is really emotional considering everything that is happening in her life. She’s torn on what she’s feeling. She’s angry and vulnerable and annoyed. But at the same time, she’s happy and looking forward to getting to know her sister. She has a sarcastic kind of personality and voice and I liked her a lot more when she was annoyed and bothered by the actions of the people around her so it was frustrating when she was happy because it felt a little fake haha. I was torn with how I felt about the side characters. Some felt complex and interesting. They intrigued me and made me question what was happening in the story. But there were others that I felt were simple and not needed. One in particular I felt was only used for the movement of the plot instead of actually having a meaningful presence in the story. However the relationships between the characters were so intense and complex and I definitely didn’t see that ending coming, it affected everyone in different ways which blew my mind.

Emotionally

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ARC Review – The Debt by Karina Halle

Book Review - The Debt

The Debt Cover

The Debt

Author: Karina Halle

Publication: August 29th, 2016

Publisher: Metal Blonde Books

Format: e-ARC, 264 pages

Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Read: August 2016

Karina HalleGoodreads

I received an e-ARC of this book from a giveaway on the author’s Instagram in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

3.5 Stars

Synopsis
Her life changed in an instant.
And he’s the only one who could have prevented it.
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Pact and The Lie comes a new standalone contemporary romance about those McGregor men.
Jessica Charles shouldn’t have even been in London when the unthinkable happened.
She should have been back at home in Edinburgh, perhaps hanging with her boyfriend, having drinks with her sister or doing yoga with her group of friends. She should have been going on in her normal, dependable life as always.
But on that fateful day in August, when a mentally-ill ex-soldier opened fire in public, Jessica’s world changed forever.
Now single and crippled from the gunshot wounds, Jessica finds herself scared and alone, losing faith in herself and humanity with each agonizing moment that passes.
That is until a stranger enters her life. A stranger who makes her live again.
Keir McGregor has always been the strong, silent type. Throw in tall, dark, and handsome and you’ve got pretty much the perfect Scotsman.
Except Keir is anything but perfect. He’s got a past he’s running away from and a guilty conscience he can’t seem to shed. But the more time he spends with Jessica, the more he falls in love with her.
And the more his secret threatens to tear them apart.
He may have been a stranger to her.
But she’s never been a stranger to him.

Critically

Plot – 3.5 out of 5 stars
I always find it really hard to describe the plots of contemporary books but I’m giving it a go! This book is a story about growth. It’s intense and powerful. It’s about romance yes but also about a lot of different things. It’s about honestly, guilt, confidence, trust and forgiveness. It also deals with PTSD and its affects on different people and it was really well done.

Writing Style – 3 out of 5 stars
It took me awhile to get into the writing style, but I’m not really sure why still. It just didn’t feel emotional enough for me maybe. It was simple and a bit dry at times, but it had powerful moments. The descriptions and the details were amazing and it really made me fall in love with the setting of the story. But while there was angst and the PTSD aspect was well done, I still felt like there wasn’t enough distinction between the main character’s voices.

Characters – 4 out of 5 stars
I liked the characters in this book but I didn’t fall in love with them. Jessica is a great main character. She’s been through something really traumatic, we even get to see it through her eyes, and she’s vulnerable and she puts a lot of pressure on herself. However, she’s determined to move on and to feel better even through the bouts of self pity and weakness. She’s doing everything in her power to keep going and push on but sometimes it seemed like she was trying too hard, even if I enjoyed her spirit. Keir on the other hand was really sweet and adorable. But he also frustrated me to the ends of the earth! He’s consumed by guilt and haunted by his past. He’s a huge freaking liar and he’s really insecure and it was so annoying. The conflict of the story surrounded his attitude and his actions and it’s something that could’ve been taken care of super easily and painlessly (in general) but then there would be no book right? I was really disappointed with how little development the side characters had. They only seem to appear when the main characters needed some sense knocked into them and it’s a real shame because they all had the potential to be great and interesting. I really wanted to get to know Jessica’s sister a lot more but she didn’t really have a lot of page time. And the other McGregor’s showed up as well and even though this book is supposed to be a standalone, their names and their relation to Keir weren’t really explained well which left me confused.

Emotionally

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