Thursday, July 23, 2015

Book Review: Scorched by Jennifer L. Armentrout

I really wanted to love Scorched.

As the second book in Jennifer L. Armentrout's Frigid duology, I was really looking forward to getting my hands on this. I loved
Frigid when I first read it. Actually, Frigid was the very first new adult book I ever read. When I heard about a companion novel being released, I was so excited. Andrea and Tanner had such a complicated relationship in the first book, and I was glad to get the opportunity to see the depth of their companionship.

Scorched follows two main characters; Tanner and Andrea. In the first book, they were the best friends of Kyler and Sydney. When the group goes to a vacation in a cabin, Tanner and Andrea's relationship evolves.

The novel itself is quick and fun for about half of the novel. That part of the book is the one I really enjoyed, and it reminded me of how quickly I delved into Frigid. The story starts off with a bang and never slows down. I literally just sat down in my bed and kept on reading until I was done. As fast-paced as the novel was, I did get annoyed at times. While the plot itself was fun, it reminded me a bit too much of the first book. Andrea has a lot of issues communicating their feelings and insecurities. While it is explained throughout the book as to why, it was so infuriating to see two characters be pulled about by only themselves. Do keep in mind this is a new adult novel, so it is more promiscuous than young adult novels.

At the halfway point, the book took a turn. All of a sudden, the plot revealed itself to be deeper than what I expected, and was blown away. Though it was interesting to see how the characters dealt with Andrea's internal struggles, I just couldn't get into it. Though Armentrout handled a serious matter extremely well, I couldn't relate. I wanted a fun novel filled with  non-stop "oh my god" moments. When the book became deeper, it wasn't as fun. Though I loved Andrea and Tanner together, Andrea annoyed me when she was alone. Tanner was an amazing character; I loved him. He was such a better man than what I presumed from the first novel.

To say that I liked this book would not be a false statement. I did enjoy the story for what it was, but nonetheless, I was slightly disappointed. Scorched was not what I expected, and I think that is why I was slightly thrown off. If you loved the first book and want to know more about Andrea and Tanner, than I would recommend this to you. Just know that when you do read this novel, it is deeper than what it seems.

With that, I give this book

3 out of 5 Stars!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Book Review: Deception by C.J. Redwine

Deception was everything I wanted and I had an amazing experience reading this kick-ass sequel!

The second novel in a trilogy, Deception follows our two main characters, Logan and Rachel, as they fight to survive after their city-state was destroyed and against new enemies. While Logan now has more than 100 people looking up to him for leadership, Rachel tries to cope with her new reality and tries to face her new life without those she held dear.

Logan and Rachel are both such strong characters. In fact, Rachel is one of the strongest female protagonists I have ever read in young adult novels. Both are so fierce in their beliefs and I love how their partnership is not only romantically inclined, but politically as well. They face everything together, which is something I really appreciate. There is nothing that they hold back from each other and it was extremely refreshing to read.

The plot never slows down and always captured my attention throughout the whole entire novel. In Deception, Logan and Rachel are headed to a city-state looking for allies. Along the way, they not only gain followers, but enemies as well. The plot twist at the end of the book was astounding. A character that is introduced in Deception is revealed to be more than they say they are, andd I never would have guessed the twist in a million years! The shock value of it was off the charts, and that alone made the book so much better. I'm interested to see how it's going to turn out in the next novel, which is also the conclusion.

My only complaint is that it was hard to get back into reading through Rachel's perspective. Reading from her mind does have a bit of a learning curve just because her voice is so different that most young adult female protagonists. There were times I did not like her as much as in the first novel, but she did have some amazing character development later on in the story, and I am so excited to see this new Rachel in Deliverance.

Since the series has been completed, I would recommend reading these right after each other. I forgot a lot of key points from Defiance when I started reading this one. Because of that, I am planning on reading the concluding novel sometime around August, or at least before the year is over. I definitely recommend this series if you are looking for a refreshing and unique dystopian that will keep you on your toes.

With that, I give this book

4.2 out of 5 Stars!

Want to read some more reviews about this book? Click here for the goodreads page!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Currently Reading #2!

Hey guys! Welcome back to Ready, Set, Read! Today I'll be talking about what I'm reading right now. I'm actually reading two different novels and a short story collection.

I'm about 70% done with The Journey of the Marked by Rebecca P. McCray. I'm actually struggling to finish this just because I still haven't connected with the characters. The plot is really interesting, I just can't get into it for some reason. As the first book in the Miyran Heir series, the novel follows five main characters as they face an evil government that tries to kill them due to markings on their ear that show that they are warriors. If this sounds interesting, click here to go to the goodreads page.

I'm also reading Deception by C.J. Redwine. This is the second book in a trilogy, and I am loving it so far. Deception follows two main characters, Rachel and Logan and their fight against the leader of the corrupt city-state they live in. The second book is even more high stakes than the first book and it is amazing so far. Defiance is the second book in a trilogy. What I really like about this book is that it doesn't seem like a bridge to the third book, like much books fall to when its the second in a series. I definitely recommend this series to anyone who is looking for a dystopia that is a bit different. Instead of being ultra futuristic, the future governments in these books have reverted back in time when city-states were the most powerful places to be.You can find the goodreads page here. I started reading this around the same time I was reading Opal by Jennifer L. Armentrout, which I just finished yesterday. Opal is the third book in the Lux series. I did really enjoy reading it, but I'm not going to write a review just because my thoughts are about the same as my views about Onyx. You can find my review on Onyx, the second book, here on my blog.

Last but certainly not least, I'm reading The Future Collection, which is a compilation of short stories by Beth Revis. Though I've only read three so far, they are really good. I keep on thinking about them long after I've read them. All of these take place in the future, and all are interesting. While they can be a bit confusing at first, you get the gist once you get into the story.  So far the first three that I have read are darker than I anticipated them to be, but I was blown away by each and every one of them. If you liked Beth Revis' Across the Universe trilogy, for sure check this out. I bought this on my nook for around 2.99, and it is definitely worth it. You can find The Future Collection on goodreads here.

Thanks for visiting! Have you read any of these and what did you think? See you soon in another post!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Recommendations: Young Adult Contemporary Authors YOU Should Read! (pt. 1)

The following books are young adult contemporary reads that I have given five stars to. Keep in mind that the following are due not include new adult or middle grade novels. These are strictly YA and I love each and every one of them!

1.) Jenny Han, aka The One Who Will Tear You to Pieces, aka The Queen

I love Jenny Han to pieces! Everything she puts out is a must-read for me, and I've never been disappointed with her yet. Her Summer I Turned Pretty Trilogy really got me into reading again, and I have such great memories about them. Han is a master at making you feel all the feels. Her To All the Boys I've Loved Before duology is lighter than her aforementioned trilogy, but I recommend both to you, whether or not you're an avid reader or a beginner just getting back into it.

To All the Boys I've Loved Before and P.S. I Still Love You

To All the Boys I've Loved Before and it's sequel, which came out earlier this year, follow Lara Jean, a high school girl. Lara Jean has always written letters to all the boys she has ever "loved." Though she never sends them, she seals them up, addresses them, and puts them in an old hat box that once belonged to her mother. When these letters are mysteriously sent out, Lara Jean has to deal with the aftermath. Not only is Lara Jean a genuine character, the family dynamics and culture are represented really well and there are some hilarious scenes as well.

 The Summer I Turned Pretty Trilogy 

Once again written by Han, this trilogy includes The Summer I Turned Pretty, It's Not Summer Without You, and We'll Have Summer. This trilogy was what actually brought me back into reading as much as I do know and introduced me into the young adult genre. I always have such a special place in my heart for these novels, and if you're just getting into books I definitely recommend these. The story follows Isabel, or Belly, as her friends call her and just her life as a teenager. The plot itself in the first book centers around another summer Belly has a house she shares with another family, as she has her whole entire life. However, this summer, the boys from the other family, Conrad and Jeremiah start to notice her. Over the course of trilogy, many deep and emotional subjects come to play and Belly really evolves into such a great young woman. Whenever I feel like I'm about to get in a slump, I just re read parts of the last book.

2.) Gayle Forman, aka The One that Makes You Cry, Queen of Duologies

I started reading Gayle Forman in late December 2013, and by the end of January, I read read four of yer novels. Though I haven't read her most recent release, I Was Here, it is on my TBR list. If you're looking for a deeper young adult contemporary, then I definitely recommend Forman's novels. Just One Day and Just One Year are lighter than If I Stay and Where She Went, so if you don't want to cry, than I recommend the former. If you do, the latter is the one for you.

Just One Day and Just One Year
Even though its been a year and a half since I've read this duology, I still think about this every now and again. The plot follows a high school graduate, Allyson, right before her first year of college as she goes to a European tour. She bumps into a man named Willem, and things take off from there when they go out of this great adventure. Later on we follow Alysson throughout the whole entire year and her college experience herself. Just One Year is the same story, but in Willem's point of view. If you're looking for a contemporary that is a perfect mix of light and deep, then this is the one for you. There's also a novella that takes place after the end of this duology called Just One Night that's amazing as well.  

If I Stay and Where She Went

If I Stay and Where She Went is much darker than Forman's other duology. The first book, If I Stay, follows Mia as she has to make the decision whether she wants to live or not while in a coma. Where She Went follows of the aftermath of If I Stay but in Mia's boyfriend, Adam's point of view. This duo is such a fast read. If you're looking for something that will fly by, these books are the one for you. Also, If I Stay was turned into a movie with the same name, so you can also check that out as well!

3.) Susane Colasanti, aka The One that Makes You Laugh and Cry, aka The Beginner Reader's Best Friend

If you're just starting out reading young adult and are looking for some quick reads that you don't have to think about, then Susane Colansanti is the author I recommend for you. Though I've actually read several of her novels, When It Happens and Something Like Fate are the only ones I have loved. I think this is because I was just getting back into reading, so I wasn't as picky with what I was reading at the time.

When It Happens

Almost published ten years ago, When It Happens is still relevant today. The plot is about two high school seniors, Tobey and Sara. Though Sara has always noticed Tobey, she's never had a thing for him, unlike Tobey who has liked Sara for the longest time. Seeing their relationship evolve is very cute, and overall this novel is just so light hearted and fun. Though it does get a bit deeper towards the end, I will always love When It Happens

Something Like Fate

My other favorite of  Colasanti's is all about a girl falling in love with her best friend's boyfriend. Keep in mind that there is no cheating in this book, so don't be put off by the premise. Something Like Fate is deeper than her other novel, as it approaches people growing up and growing apart. Erin and Lani have been best friends for the longest time, but when Erin gets a boyfriend, Jason, things take a turn for the worse in their friendship. Lani, the main character, can be annoying at times but her and Jason have the best chemistry. The novel handles this love triangle really well and even better is that Lani values her friendship with Erin just as much as she does with  her and Jason's relationship, even though they've been growing apart , which was very touching.

4.) Simone Elkeles, aka The One that Crosses Ethnic Barriers, aka The One that Gets Deep

Last but not least, Simone Elkeles is one of my other go to contemporary authors. Her novels always have a barrier that is the main reason why the two protagonists can't be together. Elkeles handles the drama in her novels really well, and I never thought that it was overbearing.

Leaving Paradise and Return to Paradise

Another duology in this list, these novels are all about the intense relationship of Maggie Armstrong and Caleb Becker. The reason I love these books so much is because at first these two characters hate each other. Maggie had always liked Caleb, and he was her best friend's brother. However, it all changes one night when Caleb drives home drunk and hits Maggie with his car. Maggie now has to endure grueling physical therapy and walks with a limp. The first book has such a huge twist and I could not recommend a more compelling read. This duology is fast paced and you will not want to put it down for anything.

The Perfect Chemistry Series

The Perfect Chemistry series is much like the Pushing the Limits series by Katie McGarry, except shorter and more compelling. If you've had trouble connecting with main characters, I highly recommend this series. These novels are just so much fun to read, and just like Leaving Paradise and Return to Paradise, you won't want to put these down. You can actually read these is any order that you want because they are all companion novels. In fact, I accidentally read Rules of Attraction, the second book, before Perfect Chemistry because I didn't realize it was part of a series. My favorite is actually Rules of Attraction, by far. If you're looking for what seems like a fun quick read that actually is deeper than what it seems, then these of the books for you.

I hope you guys found some books you haven't heard of before! Who are your favorite contemporary authors and/or books? Sound off in the comments below!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Book Review: Onyx by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Onyx, the second book in the Lux series, kept me reading until the wee hours of the night.

When I started reading Onyx I was very hesitant. I enjoyed the first book, but didn't love it and didn't know whether or not I wouldn't continue with the series. Boy, am I glad I did. Onyx was so much better than Obsidian, the first book in the series. The novel started out with a bang and never slowed down. I won't be giving much of a synopsis because it is the second book and there would be a ton of spoilers. Onyx is now also found in a bind up set called Lux: Beginnings, so if you're trying to find this one, keep an eye out for that edition.

I did have my issues with Onyx, but it drew me in so much I could not stop. Katy and Daemon's chemistry was spot on. There were some scenes where Daemon was so sincere and I wish I could have seen more of those moments, because that is when I really liked him. Daemon is still a major jerk a times, but he was much more likable and I definitely liked him and Katy more as a couple. My main issue was that they would not communicate to each other what was happening. Katy finds out some pretty big stuff throughout this book, and dear lord, if she just told him everything would have worked out much smoother. Their communication skills are completely lacking and it really frustrated me at times how they would both not tell each other things that could have stopped so much drama for happening. My only other problem is that the antagonists, even when it's supposed to be a twist, are so painstakingly obvious to me. I guessed who it was right when they were introduced and I wish it was a bit more subtle, because I was never really surprised at any time while reading this.

Just because I didn't get the shock value of the book does not mean that I did not enjoy it. Some of the more minor characters were really fleshed out and I liked seeing more of them. Hopefully by the next book there will be more scenes with Ash, Daemon's ex girlfriend, because she seems like a character we've only scratched the surface on so far. The plot in this book, like I said before, kept me hooked right from the beginning. I seriously could not put this book down.  I started reading this at ten at night until three in the morning. Sure, I took breaks a time or two, but I went straight back to Onyx. I needed to know what happened next and it was so hard to finally put it down and go to sleep.

Daemon and Katy were such stronger characters this time around, and I finally started shipping them. I still hate it when Daemon is a jerk, but I hope that tough-guy exterior mellows out next book. Their scenes together are always filled with such chemistry, but what I really liked about them is that the got to truly know each other. It made me believe that if they were just both normal people, they would eventually end up together anyways. The one character that I really hated this whole entire time was Blake. He didn't get what was coming to him at the end of the novel, and I'm sure he is going to stir up a whole bunch of shit in the next book, Opal. On the other spectrum, there were some characters that I wish I saw more of. Katy's friends, Dee, Lesa and Carissa were really great and I loved reading the high school moments that were in the book. I'm assuming we won't be seeing much of Lesa and Carissa just because things are getting more intense on the alien plot as the series progresses. I really loved Dee in the first book and in this one, and I hope I see more of her in Opal.

Overall, I did have issues with the book as whole, but I still really liked it and will continue on with the series. In my opinion, Onyx is a much stronger novel in comparison to the first and I look forward to what is coming.

With that, I give this book

3.75 out of 5 Stars!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Book Review: Fairest by Marissa Meyer

Fairest is exactly what I needed to hold me over until Winter, the conclusion to the Lunar Chronicles that is coming out late this year.

Fairest is book 3.5 of the Lunar Chronicles and centers around the antagonist of the series, Levana. The novel is a flashback to Levana's childhood and her rise to the throne. We first see Levana at the age of 15, and by the end of the novel, she is somewhere in her mid-twenties. It was captivating to read how Levana became this dark and sinister character. She is so horrific in the first three books, and seeing her become who she is now was disturbing but addictive.

 Reading this book was such a pleasure and I read it in almost one sitting. I never expected someone to be so evil and malicious. Levana has dark thoughts at an early age, and never seems to have remorse over her decisions until it's too late to make any reprimands. One of my favorite aspects of this story was that we saw Levana's older sister Channary. It's hard to believe, but if you think Levana is bad, Channary is on a whole other level. While Levana becomes evil due to the way she was always raised and the situations she was forced into, Channary was born purely evil. Her only one redeeming quality was that she was a good mother, but who knows what she might have done to Princess Selene when she grew up?

Fairest itself is a prequel novella to the series, so it is nowhere as long as the first three books and only has 222 pages. As a prequel, there isn't anything that is developed with the story that takes place in modern time, but I do recommend reading the first three books before Fairest. This is because as a reader, you'll be able to understand things more clearly and also grasp how Levana's evil actions affect the future.

I didn't really have any issues with the novel itself, but when I was reading it, it seemed as if something was missing. When I read Meyer's previous novels in the series I was blown away and thought that the series couldn't get any better, but I was wrong. Reading this book, I know the series is a whole is better than this book. I wasn't blown away by it, but I was intrigued and couldn't put it down. If you're hesitant to pick up Fairest and just wait for the conclusion, Winter, I would say you were going to be missing out an a great story that made me understand Levana better as a character.

With that, I give this book

A solid 4 out of 5 stars!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Book Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses

A Court of Thorns and Roses was nothing like what I thought it would be. 

As the first book in Sarah J. Maas' new series, I expected to immediately be drawn in and sympathize with a stereotypical female heroine. In reality, I didn't. It took me a while to really invest in this book, about 130 pages actually, and at first I did not like Feyre that much. Her pessimistic view on life grated on me, and the first 50 pages seemed very Hunger Games-ish as we follow a hard headed and stubborn girl who hunts for her family due to their incompetence. However, the story soon takes a turn and embraces a completely different plot line than any dystopian novel I have read. Though I haven't read that much of high fantasy, I can truly say I have never read a book like this one before. True, it has the familiar tropes of a girl being receptive to a great love after resisting for quite a while, and of a character trusting and loving someone that she should truly hate. Needless to say, the story is one of a kind. A loose Beauty and the Beast retelling, the similarities are found easily in the beginning of the book, with only underlying themes apparent in the whole story.

The plot itself follows our protagonist. Feyre,  as she "unknowingly" kills a fae when out hunting for her starving family. When word gets back to the dead fae's master, he spares her life on only one condition, she must live at his estate for the rest of her life. The reader will soon realize that the story is not simple as it seems and the line between evil and good is hazy to say the least. The humans know next to nothing about what has occurred in the fae world for the past century, and the stories they tell about the creatures are almost always inaccurate. Further on, the plot becomes intricate, and I was truly sucked in. I started caring and rooting for the characters to get their happy endings. About halfway through the novel, I got hooked and could not put it down for the life of me.

The characters in A Court of Thorns and Roses are lifelike to say the least. They all have distinct personalities and no one in the story is bland. The character that I loved to hate was, of course, our villain of the story. Though I'm not going to reveal her name, she's a total badass and she gets what she deserves. Feyre's family members at first were so annoying. When I was reading the first third of the book, I just wanted to shout at them to help Feyre out. It's unfair for one person to feed and take care of four people and they never lifted a finger. When we see them again later in the novel, I liked them much more as we saw different sides to them and they seem much more fleshed out and relatable, especially Nesta, Feyre's eldest sister. Feyre and Tamlin were characters I rooted for all story long, and I'm excited to see how what happened at the end of the novel is going to affect them. Lucien was my second favorite character. Even when he wasn't supposed to be likable, I still liked him. There's just a charming quality about his character that I can't help but like. Of all the characters, my favorite is definitely Rhysand. He's very complex, and I can't wait to see what's going to happen with his character in the next novel.

A Court of Thorns and Roses took me by surprise on how dark it is. The story itself is just so good. Truthfully, that's the reason I enjoyed the book so much. The romance plot was solid, but it didn't draw me in as much as the fae world itself with all of its complexities. The relationship between Feyre and her love interest was very well developed, and I'm glad it wasn't a insta-love relationship. I do see a bit of a love triangle developing, but I think it's really clear so far who the end game couple is. Out of all the things I loved about this book, the element I enjoyed the most was the character development of Feyre. She grew so much in this book. At first, she's a pessimistic fae-hating girl who is living day by day and has no real point in her life. Near the end of the book, Feyre has learned not to hate based on a character's species, but their personality as a whole. She's able to love and be accepted into a community she desperately hated in the exposition, and I found her growth to be stunning. Feyre's character became so much more enjoyable as the story progressed.

I only have three complaints about this novel. First, it became pretty predictable near the end of the book. I knew what was going to happen right before I read it, and though it was a great adventure to follow, I wanted a bit more. For instance, Feyre is given a riddle to solve within three months that will help a whole bunch of people out if she just solved it. She can't make sense of it though.  I knew the solution to the riddle right as I read it. I even joked about it on a goodreads update and thought, "It couldn't be that simple." Another thing I didn't like that much is that one of the villains in the book is defeated so quickly. One battle, and then bam! It seemed like it was too good to be true. Last but not least, the romance got really cheesy at the end. I understand that they're in love and all that, but the two characters were so dramatic.

The ending was, overall, really solid. Things were set up for the next couple of books, which I am extremely looking forward to. There's this weird scene between Feyre and Rhysand at the very end, and now I have all of these crackpot theories of what Rhysand saw when he looked Feyre dead in the eyes. Mysterious, indeed. The guilt that Feyre holds is going to be interesting to see through the next book, and possibly those after it. My only hope is that she doesn't become too mopey. Overall, this was a really great book with amazing characters and a strong story. Even if you don't like a big romance plot, don't be hesitant to pick it up. I am absolutely going to be picking up the next one when it comes to my library in the future, and I 100% recommend this to anyone who wants to pick up a good fantasy novel.

With that, I give this book

4.3 out of 5 Stars!


Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Book Review: Angelfall by Susan Ee

I LOVED Angelfall!

The first book in the Penryn and the End of Days series, starts with a bang and never slows down. The premise is about Penryn, our main character, and her fight to get back her disabled sister, Paige, once an evil angel kidnaps her six weeks after an angel apocalypse occurs. Penryn strives to reunite with her dysfunctional family, which also consists of her schizophrenic mother. Our main character teams up with the enemy of her enemy, Raffe. The twist is, Raffe is also an angel, a being Penryn has learned to hate. I haven't read a ton of angel books, but this one has beat them by far. The angels aren't good at all in these, and the story itself has a deliciously dark tone that made the story so much better.

This story itself was so unique! I loved it to bits and I devoured the book! Penryn was such a strong character and it was refreshing to read from a point of view like hers. She was kick ass and fought for herself and her family. Raffe, the angel that Penryn allies with, was amazing. Him and Penryn have some great scenes together. They're both so sassy and quick witted, and there was never a slow moment between them. I really appreciated that they're romance was slow building. At first, they despised each other, and it was great to see a camaraderie develop between them. They only shared one kiss, yet they had such great chemistry. I'm looking forward to seeing how they're relationship will build in the next two books.

As for the other characters, I loved them to bits. Penryn's mom is so twisted and the things she did were insane! Paige, even though she wasn't featured much in the book, was a great character. Though what happened to her was horrifying, I'm excited to see how it's incorporated into World After, the sequel. The other angels that were introduced were really cool, too. The whole entire political plot line was really intriguing to me.

Susan Ee's writing was perfection. Her world building was great; I could imagine everything that was happening when it was.  The realtionships between didfferent characters are complex and intricate. I'm excited to learn more about Raffe's backstory and about the angel world in general. Hopefully we'll learn more about the politics within the angel world as the series progresses. I don't really have any faults at all with this novel. The story did lag just a little bit for a chapter or two about halfway through for me, but picked up right soon after.

All in all, Angelfall is a great opening novel to the Penryn & the End of Days trilogy and I'm highly anticipating the next novel in the series, World After. If you're hesitant to pick this book up because it has to do with angels, know its not you stereotypical paranormal apocalyptic novel. Angelfall is dark, gritty, and powerful. This is a definite must read!

With that, I give this book

4.9 out of 5 Stars!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Book Review: Off the Page

Off the Page was a dream come true. 

The companion novel to Between the Lines, which I also have a review of, takes place about a month after the first book. The story focuses on three main characters: Delilah, Edgar, and Oliver. In  Between the Lines, Delilah is able to take Oliver, who used to live in a book, out of the pages and replace him with Edgar. Soon into the story, the characters realize that their plan wasn't fool proof and things start to go awry.

In comparison to the first book, Off the Page had much stronger characters. I related and sympathized more with all of them, especially Edgar. I actually didn't like Edgar in the first book and he became one of my favorite characters in this novel. As a reader, we also see more of Delilah's world now that she isn't obsessing over the children's book anymore. It was really fun to see and experince high school with her. There were some great scenes were Oliver tried to fit in with high
school and I laughed out loud a couple of times. Delilah and Oliver grew so much as a couple in this novel, and I'm much more assured in their relationship than I was before. We also see more of some characters, particularly Delilah's best friend, Jules, and Seraphima. All the scenes with Jules in them were hilarious and I loved her character. As for Seraphima, I wasn't as annoyed with her as I was in the first book, but after awhile I couldn't handle her. Delilah grates on my nerves sometimes just because she doesn't really think of others that often, but I still liked reading from her point of view. She's a classic outcast high school girl. Oliver is by far, still my favorite out of all the characters in both of the books.

The alternate cover
Off the Page itself just shows more into both of the worlds. We get to see more about the characters and what life is like in the storybook, while we also see more of Delilah's world. Edgar's chapters where it was his point of view were really eye opening into what the differences were between our world and theirs, and I found it really cool to learn more about it. Throughout the story, we also learn more about the magic of the book. My complaint about the world building  is that the magic is never really explained as to why the book is that way, it's just given to us and we're supposed to roll with it. As for any of my other complaints, I liked the ending, but I feel as if two characters (Edgar and Jules) didn't get the happy ending they deserved. The first book's message was that everyone deserved a happy ending, so to see not all the characters get one was sad, but realistic. Unfortunately, I don't see a third book happening just because of the two characters and I don't think there would be a lot of material to even write about.

All in all, Off the Page was an endearing read and satisfying conclusion. I would recommend to read Between the Lines before you pick up this one, just because I think you'll appreciate the story and characters more. For me, there was just something missing in the book. While I really enjoyed it, I didn't love it like I did Between the Lines. 

With that, I give this book

4.2 out of 5 Stars!

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Recommendations: Books About Sexual Abuse

If you're looking for a book that has a darker side, you've come to the right post! Sexual abuse is a major problem that unfortunately still takes place today. Hopefully, some of these books I'll be posting down below have helped someone cope or have opened eyes for people who were ignorant to the issues that occur due to abuse. All of these have trigger warnings, so keep that in mind.  These novels  listed down below are books that I've read that I found to be truly beautiful and approach abuse in a great way, at least, in my opinion! I will be naming which character has been assaulted in these books, unless it's a spoiler.

1.) Hopeless by Colleen Hoover
Goodreads Rating: 4.4 Stars
My Rating: 4.75 Stars

Hopeless follows a girl, Sky, and her first year in a public school as a senior after being home schooled her whole life. While at first the novel seems as if it's your classic good girl meets bad boy romance, the story delves a lot deeper later on in the book. The reason I liked Hopeless so much was because the characters were so strong, that I could relate to them and support them as well. If you want a dark contemporary that has a passionate and intense romance with a massive plot twist, this is the one for you.

2.) Easy by Tammara Webber
Goodreads Rating: 4.15 Stars
My Rating: 4.8 Stars

I absolutely loved Easy when I read it earlier this year. The novel was the first new adult book I've ever read. Comparing this one to Hopeless, I liked this one just a smidgen more because I liked the romance more in Easy than in Hopeless. The story follows college student Jacqueline who is reeling after breaking up with her long term boyfriend. Soon in the book (no spoilers, I promise! It happens in the first couple of chapters!) Jacqueline is sexually assaulted and almost raped when Lucas, a boy from one of her classes, saves her. Easy not only follows the question of whether to report the rape or not, it also shows how a person deals with being assaulted and how they cope with it and return to physical intimacy. My only problem is that when I read the book, it didn't seem as if Jacqueline struggled to become intimate, it was more along the lines of dealing with the fact that there would always be a threat out there and she didn't know how to protect herself.

3.) Just Listen by Sarah Dessen
Goodreads Rating: 4.07 Stars
My Rating: 3.8 Stars

Just Listen is one of the many books by contemporary queen Sarah Dessen. I read this book a while ago, so I don't remember much. What I do remember is that the booked wowed be with its plot centering abuse, I couldn't really sympathize with Annabel, our main character, and the family drama she had in the novel. This, I think, was the very first book I have read that dealt with abuse, and I do remember it handled it very well. I would recommend to have Just Listen to be one of your first Sarah Dessen books if you haven't read anything from her so far, just because at the time I read this, I started seeing a pattern in her works.

4.) Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson
Goodreads Rating: 3.8 Stars
My Rating: 4.25 Stars

Twisted is an extremely dark contemporary read. The story focuses on bad boy Tyler Miller. After an eventful night, the next day Tyler is accused of assault by his long time crush Bethany Milbury. The novel focuses on Tyler's struggle of being innocent and being ostracized by his small town.  I read this just under a year ago, and I remember being so astounded by this book. It was much darker than I expected, and while it surprised me, I remember loving it! If you're looking for an intense, dark contemporary, then I recommend Twisted.

5.) 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher
Goodreads Rating: 4.06 Stars
My Rating: 4.25 Stars

13 Reasons Why is the debut novel of Jay Asher. This debut novel follows Clay Baker, and his reaction to the fact that his long time crush, Hannah Baker, has just committed suicide. Soon after receiving the news, he gets tapes from Hannah explaining why she killed herself. She states that if a person receives the tapes, then they are a reason for her killing herself. When Clay listens to the tapes, there are horrific events that Hannah experienced that come out. I really enjoyed this book, but I know I'll never reread this just because it is so dark and took a large toll on me.

The five books above are the ones that come to me at first, but if you're not interested in those, feel free to check out Every Last Promise by Kristin Halbrook, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, and The Ring & the Crown by Melissa de la Cruz. Hope this list introduced some books you haven't seen before! Enjoy!

Friday, July 3, 2015

TBR for July 2015

This month of July is going to be busy for me! I have my birthday coming up soon, and marching band camp starts later in the month. However, I am going to try to read at least ten books this month.

As of right now I'm reading two books, Off the Page by Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer and The Journey of the Marked by Rebecca P. McCray. I'm about have way done with the former and just started The Journey of the Marked. Hopefully I'll finish these two in the next couple days. Off the Page is about a girl, Delilah, and her relationship with Oliver, a character who used to live in a book. The Journey of the Marked is a story that follows several characters who a marked to be warriors. These warriors are hunted down by the imposed government.

After those two, I will probably be reading Fairest by Marissa Meyer, which is book 3.5 in the Lunar Chronicles. It's a pretty short read, and I'm looking forward to learning more about Queen Levana's backstory. I'm also itching to pick up Angelfall, the initial book in the Penryn & the End of Days trilogy. Angelfall follows our main character, Penryn as she tries to find her sister after she has been taken by angels that have come to the earth and caused an apocalypse about a month before.

I'm also looking forward to reading A Court of Thorns and Roses, the much hyped up first book in Sarah J. Maas' latest series. My friend recently read this book and loved it, so I'm eager to pick it up. After that, I'm not too sure. I might pick up Miss Mayhem by Rachel Hawkins, which is the sequel to Rebel Belle. After those, I don't really know what I'll pick up! I'll just see what happens. What are you reading this month? Comment down below!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Top 5 Wednesday: Favorite Chapter Headings

This week's Top 5 Wednesday, hosted by gingerreadslainey on youtube, is our Top 5 Chapter Headings! Down below are some really cute headers on the beginning of each chapter. Enjoy!

1.) Off the Page by Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer

As you can see, each chapter header has it's own illustration pertaining to that chapter, and they're so cute! I can't help but adore these drawings. Another bonus is that each point of view is written in different colors!

2.) Something Real by Heather Demetrios

 These chapter headers (to the right and left) are from Something Real by Heather Demetrois. I really love these chapters because not only do they have really good chapter titles, the season and episode header is really cool because the main character, Bonnie, used to be on a reality TV show. She's always wanted to unplug from and I think the headers are really witty.

3.) Meant to Be by Lauren Morril
The chapter headers in Meant to Be are really nice because not only due to the cute font and chapter title, but because of the text messages really add to the story and plot line. These text messages also are a big part of the twist at the end, which I didn't expect at all, so they're actually vital to the story!

4.)Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson

These chapter headings were so cute! Each chapter is a dare that Emily's lost best friend, Sloane, left for her to do over the summer. This book is so cute and a definite staple summer read!

5.) These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Megan Spooner

Though they're not really chapter headers, before each chapter in These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Megan Spooner, there are conversations between Tarver and an officer. These really add to the mystery of the story and kept me reading the book so I could figure out what happened. These were also really reassuring because I knew that Tarver would make it out in the end.