Monday, August 29, 2016

Book Review: Unrivaled by Alyson Noel

My Rating: 1/5 Stars
Author: Alyson Noel
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery
Published: 2016

How do I even go about giving this book a review. It's been awhile since I've read such a horrible book. Nothing about this story appealed to me. Not the characters, not the plot, nothing.

Goodreads Review: 

Everyone wants to be someone.

Layla Harrison wants to leave her beach-bum days for digs behind a reporter’s desk. Aster Amirpour wants to scream at the next casting director who tells her “we need ethnic but not your kind of ethnic.” Tommy Phillips dreams of buying a twelve-string guitar and using it to shred his way back into his famous absentee dad’s life.

But Madison Brooks took destiny and made it her bitch a long time ago.

She’s Hollywood’s hottest starlet, and the things she did to become the name on everyone’s lips are merely a stain on the pavement, ground beneath her Louboutin heel.

That is, until Layla, Aster, and Tommy find themselves with a VIP invite to the glamorous and gritty world of Los Angeles’s nightlife and lured into a high-stakes competition where Madison Brooks is the target. Just as their hopes begin to gleam like stars through the California smog, Madison Brooks goes missing. . . . And all of their hopes are blacked out in the haze of their lies.

My Review:

Let's just start with the characters. 

The four main characters are Layla, Aster, Tommy, and Madison. None of the characters have any real depth. There's not much to them. Like if you really poked at them you'd go right through them. They all lie, cheat, and couldn't care a thing for anybody around them. I found it kind of hard that we had these four characters and there wasn't one redeeming quality about them. And it wasn't like a good thing either. No the characters were so annoying. Whinnying and moaning and very hard to read about. They all three had okay lives before the whole club thing and their need for money and fame so wrecked them that whatever few good qualities they had at the beginning of the story quickly disappeared. I found it hard to read about any of them. 

The actual story was terrible. We started at point A... Oh wait what was point A? We didn't seem to get anywhere. At all. There was no character growth, no build up, no real point to this story and that made it hard to read. Like here are three characters fighting over money. We get a few club scenes were nothing very exciting happens, we get a few scenes of them in their every day life and nothing to great happens. We see them at their  meeting over their clubs and some random character that you know just showed up to get knocked out of the game came up. 

We get no side characters, no suspense. This is under the mystery genre on goodreads but I couldn't really see much of  mystery. Madison had a bunch of vague stuff in her chapters were she met with this 'beige' man. How is a man beige?? And don't even get me started on the suspense. What suspense? Maybe like the last page something simi exciting happened but then again you could see everything coming from a mile away. 

This may sound harsh but this is my fourth book by Alyson Noel and I haven't enjoyed any of them. I was hoping that I'd at least like this one but pretty covers can be deceiving. I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone but if you wanna try it be my guest. 

Friday, August 26, 2016

ARC Book Review: The Female of The Species by Mindy McGinnis

My Rating: 3/5 Stars
Author: Jennifer Gilmore
Genre: Contemporary
Published: 2016

This story knocked me over. I came into expecting a story about a feminist and got bombarded with rape, sexism, and just overall the issues in today's society. Mindy McGinnis wove a story of pain and redemption and once you've read it there's no going back.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Alex Craft knows how to kill someone. And she doesn’t feel bad about it. When her older sister, Anna, was murdered three years ago and the killer walked free, Alex uncaged the language she knows best. The language of violence.

While her crime goes unpunished, Alex knows she can’t be trusted among other people, even in her small hometown. She relegates herself to the shadows, a girl who goes unseen in plain sight, unremarkable in the high school hallways.

But Jack Fisher sees her. He’s the guy all other guys want to be: the star athlete gunning for valedictorian with the prom queen on his arm. Guilt over the role he played the night Anna’s body was discovered hasn’t let him forget Alex over the years, and now her green eyes amid a constellation of freckles have his attention. He doesn’t want to only see Alex Craft; he wants to know her.

So does Peekay, the preacher’s kid, a girl whose identity is entangled with her dad’s job, though that does not stop her from knowing the taste of beer or missing the touch of her ex-boyfriend. When Peekay and Alex start working together at the animal shelter, a friendship forms and Alex’s protective nature extends to more than just the dogs and cats they care for.

Circumstances bring Alex, Jack, and Peekay together as their senior year unfolds. While partying one night, Alex’s darker nature breaks out, setting the teens on a collision course that will change their lives forever.

I'm not going to say a lot about this book. In my opinion you have to read it to fully understand it and I feel like if I were to write too much about it you'll decide not to read it. So just a few quick things. 

This story points out a lot of issues. The biggest being rape.  I applaud Mindy McGinnis for taking on such a sensitive subject. The word rape makes a lot of people uncomfortable. But in today's world it happens a lot more than you think. And it's something that people should be more aware of.

In the story our main character, Alex, is very careful with her words. The way you talk about someone or to someone can do a lot of damage. If you call someone something enough times they start to believe it. Actions speak louder than words but words stick around a lot longer than a bruise. 

I loved the part of the story where Alex tells Peekay that imagining something is much different from actually dong it. Like you can think about yelling and cussing that person out or pointing out all their faults or hitting them till they black out but if you were too actually do that the damage would be irreversible.

This is  a short review because to fully experience this book you have to read it. Slowly. This book opens your eyes to a lot of things that are commonly accepted today so I'm going to recommend it to everyone. I feel like it has something for everyone. 

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Book Review: We Were Never Here by Jennifer Gilmore

My Rating: 2/5 Stars
Author: Jennifer Gilmore
Genre: Contemporary
Published: 2016

This book was okay. I mainly read fantasy and I'm not a huge contemporary fan so every time I read that genre it's like a bucket of ice water being dumped on me. The shock of the real life situations, no magic, or crazy solutions to problems. Despite this not being a fantasy, and the half baked writing there was enough to the story to leave me hoping for better books by this author. 

Goodreads Synopsis: 

Did you know your entire life can change in an instant? 

For sixteen-year-old Lizzie Stoller that moment is when she collapses, out of the blue. The next thing she knows she’s in a hospital with an illness she’s never heard of. 

But that isn’t the only life-changing moment for Lizzie. The other is when Connor and his dog, Verlaine, walk into her hospital room. Lizzie has never connected with anyone the way she does with the handsome, teenage volunteer. However, the more time she spends with him, and the deeper in love she falls, the more she realizes that Connor has secrets and a deep pain of his own . . . and that while being with him has the power to make Lizzie forget about her illness, being with her might tear Connor apart.

My Review:

Our main character is Lizzie. She's a normal girl with a normal sister, normal parents, a couple half-time friends, and a dog. She's all set to finish her summer with a bang when her life changing instant hits. All of a sudden she's in a hospital, her parents are giving her worried looks, and she can't move, start school, or see her friends. Lizzie was an odd character to me. She didn't seem to have much of a personality. When she got sick she had all these angry thoughts and feelings and instead of telling her parents she just let it sit there. It was sort of frustrating for me, the reader, to know she had all the issues with her friends, her parents, and her sister and never see them work out. 

Connor and his dog were sweet. Though just like Lizzie, Connnor lacked personality. I didn't notice anything off about his character until all of a sudden he was telling Lizzie this terrible thing that happened to him. It was like he'd either be consumed by this thing or have completely forgotten about it. He always seemed to leave Lizzie hanging and always expected her to share her thoughts and opinions but would never share his. 

I went to set this book down  but something would always happen to keep me reading. The writing as I said earlier was half baked. I had to look up Lizzie's sickness because the author was so vague and I couldn't figure out what exactly it meant for the character. The whole 'life changing instant' didn't really seem to change her already crappy life. I didn't feel much sympathy for Connors's issue because he almost acted like 'oh poor me' instead of talking about it and trying to get help. Their relationship felt off. There was nothing there to make me think they actually loved each other. It was like they were two people throwing a pity party together. It was slightly depressing. 

I felt like this book had a lot of potential. The story line itself was good. The characters just lacked personality. The story didn't jump at you and leave you wanting more. I'm keeping in mind that it's the author's debut. I'll probably pick up future books by this author and hope for better results. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Book Review: A Gathering of Shadows by Victoria Schwab

My Rating: 4/5 Stars
Author: Victoria Schwab
Genre: Fantasy
Published: 2016

As soon as I finished A Darker Shade of Magic I grabbed this book and started it. I'm sorry but I think I'm just going to buy all of Victoria's books and read them and cry as I wait for book three of this series. This has go to be some of the best fantasy I have ever read.

Goodreads Review:

It has been four months since a mysterious obsidian stone fell into Kell's possession. Four months since his path crossed with Delilah Bard. Four months since Prince Rhy was wounded, and since the nefarious Dane twins of White London fell, and four months since the stone was cast with Holland's dying body through the rift – back into Black London.

Now, restless after having given up his smuggling habit, Kell is visited by dreams of ominous magical events, waking only to think of Lila, who disappeared from the docks as she always meant to do. As Red London finalizes preparations for the Element Games – an extravagant international competition of magic meant to entertain and keep healthy the ties between neighboring countries – a certain pirate ship draws closer, carrying old friends back into port.

And while Red London is caught up in the pageantry and thrills of the Games, another London is coming back to life. After all, a shadow that was gone in the night will reappear in the morning. But the balance of magic is ever perilous, and for one city to flourish, another London must fall.

My Review:

In this book we get all our favorite characters back plus some. We get more of Rhy, a dashing sea captain, a charming guard, and a cat.  Give or take some other characters. Lila still remains my favorite. She only managed to get better in this book. I loved seeing her without Kell. Her development since we first met her on he streets of Grey London is one of my favorite things. I love the way she presents herself, her obsession with daggers, and her mask. I love how she tries to act nonchalant over seeing new things but it but sometimes it shows through. Lila is just one of my favorite characters ever. 

I love Lila on her own but I may love Kell and her together just as much. In A Darker Shade of Magic we get a hint of romance but we get a little more to go on here. Though Lila is my favorite Kell is a close second. He's so loyal to his brother and seeing the way the royal family treats him hurts my heart so much. I hate that Kell feels he doesn't belong. I love seeing him open up with Lila though. Like he feels a little more like he belongs with the girl from a different world. I really want a short story of them on a pirate ship fighting against, ya know pirates, with magic and daggers and a coat with multiple sides and a dark mask.Can we get a graphic novel of this please?

The story started out a little slow for me but it didn't take long for it to pick up. We get so much more magic in this book! The tournament is absolutely brilliant and it kept me on my toes the entire book!!! I loved the parts where we got to see what was going on in white London. That place gives me that creeps. But like the first book everything flows together. Holes that were left open in the first story start to fill in this one, we get to see more of the characters every day lives, and lots of sword fights. The swords and daggers have got to be my favorite part of this series. 

I loved this book. If you haven't read this series than I suggest you go pick them up. Victoria Schwab's writing is amazing and the characters in this story are so lovable. Also did I mention sword fights and magic?