Saturday, 31 August 2013

The 100 by Kass Morgan

The 100
Kass Morgan
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
[September 3, 2013]

 In the future, humans live in city-like spaceships orbiting far above Earth's toxic atmosphere. No one knows when, or even if, the long-abandoned planet will be habitable again. But faced with dwindling resources and a growing populace, government leaders know they must reclaim their homeland... before it's too late.

Now, one hundred juvenile delinquents are being sent on a high-stakes mission to recolonize Earth. After a brutal crash landing, the teens arrive on a savagely beautiful planet they've only seen from space. Confronting the dangers of this rugged new world, they struggle to form a tentative community. But they're haunted by their past and uncertain about the future. To survive, they must learn to trust - and even love - again.

I wasn't totally sure about The 100 going in. It sounded interesting, but I'd heard little about it, and what I had heard wasn't great. I'm also rarely a fan of Little Brown books if they aren't out from Poppy. But I went in with an open mind and enjoyed the read a lot more than I thought I would.

One thing I was really wary about as I started was the number of perspectives. But each point of view was valuable and entertaining and different. The voices of each character weren't as distinct as I would have preferred, but they definitely all had their place. And each character's story was interesting, so there was never one perspective I was rushing to get to, because I wanted to know all of the stories.

The writing was nothing spectacular, but it did keep me hooked on the book. I read it in about two sittings, which is a rarity for me these days. It was well paced so there was something interesting on almost every page.

The one thing I wasn't a huge fan of was the flashbacks. They definitely served a purpose, but when they popped up, somewhat randomly, things did slow down and I would get a bit bored. It was a good way to avoid a lot of info-dumping, but it was a slower pace and of less interest and some of them probably could have been cut all together, unless they're necessary for book two.

But I thought the relationships between the characters were all very realistic and very interesting. None of them were rushed or pushed into things, there's a definite development going on and it's not going to get pushed along for the sake of timing or quick resolutions to some problems.

I also really appreciated that this book, while part of a series, can pretty easily stand on its own. It had a good arc and you can see why it's part of a series arc as well. There were definitely some loose ends that were TOO loose, but not enough to feel cliffhanger-esque. 

Overall, I really enjoyed reading The 100 and I'm excited to see the TV show and see where this goes next. I definitely recommend this book for anyone who likes sci-fi, good relationships, and quality characters.

--Julie

Monday, 26 August 2013

From Page to Screen: Book to Movie Updates (4)

*Updated with the full Divergent trailer I did one of these not too long ago (and updated that one to include the Vampire Academy trailer), but a few trailers have been released in the past few days and I wanna talk about them. You've probably already seen them, but let me know your thoughts in the comments?


Trailers:

Divergent teaser trailer:

 
I think it looks really good, and pretty faithful to the book. I'm excited for this one now.

The Book Thief trailer:

DFGDGdfjngvldkjfv. That 'bout sums it up. The voice over is kind of awkward (especially the American one) but apparently Markus Zusak confirmed on his facebook that Death will be narrating the movie. The cast looks so great and just...Max...and Liesel...and Rudy...and and and - I approve.

Casting: 
  • Addison Timlin and Jeremy Irvine have been cast as Luce and Daniel in the movie adaption of Fallen by Lauren Kate.

I'm not really in the mood to search for rights sold or set photos/stills and other casting updates, so I'll save that for next time. What do you think of the trailers and cast choices? Excited? Disappointed?

Later.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

The Ugly Duchess by Eloisa James

The Ugly Duchess
by Eloisa James

Summary: How can she dare to imagine he loves her... when all London calls her The Ugly Duchess?

Theodora Saxby is the last woman anyone expects the gorgeous James Ryburn, heir to the Duchy of Ashbrook, to marry. But after a romantic proposal before the prince himself, even practical Theo finds herself convinced of her soon-to-be duke's passion.

Still, the tabloids give the marriage six months.

Theo would have given it a lifetime... until she discovers that James desired not her heart, and certainly not her countenance, but her dowry. Society was shocked by their wedding; it's scandalized by their separation.

Now James faces the battle of his lifetime, convincing Theo that he loved the duckling who blossomed into the swan.

And Theo will quickly find that for a man with the soul of a pirate, All's Fair in Love — or War.
I loved the first book in this series that I read (A Kiss at Midnight, the Cinderella retelling), and the summary for this one sounded good but it was kind of a let down. I didn't hate the book, it was just okay.

I guess my problem with the book was that I didn't like the romance that much (considering the book is a romance novel and I was reading it mostly for that aspect, well...). It had little moments of okayness but in general it would alternate being being bland and infuriating.

The main female character, Theo/Daisy, is a decent character. She's tough, she stood up for herself and she handles everything life threw at her pretty well--the only times I liked her character less were in the second half of the book, the way she was with James (when she'd be too forgiving of his behaviour and things like that).

James was...well, he had his moments when he wasn't so bad, but in general he was kind of an asshat and a total hypocrite ("Oh, I *only* slept with X women, which isn't nearly as many as people thought so you see I'm really quite a faithful husband. Anyway, I thought you said our marriage was over? So it wasn't really adultery... You didn't sleep with anyone while I was gone did you? I won't have that, because you're MY wife!" Eugh. Infuriating double standard).

He makes mistakes, then expects to be able to waltz back into his old life and have things go his own way. He tries to justify his actions instead of genuinely apologizing and making up for the crap he does. He plays games to try and win her back instead of just being honest. He never really fought for her (seduction does not count) not when it mattered. He was selfish.

Actually, that is probably the problem: James. I didn't think he deserved Theo at all and he did little to redeem himself. It felt like his only redeeming quality in their relationship was supposed to be that he always saw her as beautiful while she was considered ugly* by other people. His "love" for her seemed more like lust the majority of the time, the only moments it seemed genuine were when he was describing their friendship pre-marriage.

So, yeah...while I did want them to get the cheesy Happily Ever After that romance novels are known for, I was never particularly invested in them as a couple because of James. I'd rate the book 2.5 stars out of 5.

Later.

*although, the way she's described actually makes her sound more like a model--unusual features, tall, very slim, not very curvy...and I guess there was a time when that would've been considered unattractive.

Friday, 16 August 2013

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

Crown of Midnight
by Sarah J. Maas


Summary: After a year of hard labor in the Salt Mines of Endovier, eighteen-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien has won the king's contest to become the new royal assassin. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown – a secret she hides from even her most intimate confidantes.

Keeping up the deadly charade—while pretending to do the king's bidding—will test her in frightening new ways, especially when she's given a task that could jeopardize everything she's come to care for. And there are far more dangerous forces gathering on the horizon -- forces that threaten to destroy her entire world, and will surely force Celaena to make a choice.

Where do the assassin’s loyalties lie, and who is she most willing to fight for?
With the first book in the series, people seemed to either love it or hate it. I was one of the people that loved it--it had me so caught up in the story that the flaws other people seemed so hung up on barely registered with me while I was reading. With this book, in the end, I think I loved it just as much as the first.

Celaena annoyed me quite a bit in this one...but then, that's okay because characters should be flawed so when she'd say something or do something that was annoying or selfish, it may have irritated me for a while but I like that she wasn't portrayed as being perfect. I loved her relationships with Chaol and Nehemia.

The book was kind of split in half for me. In the first half of the book, the plot tended to drag sometimes, but the romance kept me totally hooked (can I keep Chaol?) so even when there wasn't much else to hold my interest, I kept turning the pages for that. While in the second half, the plot picked up and that was what kept me reading in that part and I really like the direction the story has started to take--it ended in a way that left me desperate to read the next book in the series.

The book wasn't perfect (like, there were little things that didn't quite make sense*), but I pretty much loved it. It's addictive, kept me hooked from start to finish, and it I love the characters. Can it be 2014 now so I can read the next one?

Rating: 4 (or 4.5) out of 5.

(Sorry this review isn't very good, most of what I wanted to talk about was too spoiler-ish to make it into the review.)

Later.

Thursday, 15 August 2013

From Page to Screen: Book to Movie Updates (3)

Edit: Instead of giving it its own post, I've just updated this one to include the Vampire Academy trailer.

So I was going to wait to post this until next week or the week after, because I read that some more book-to-movie adaption stuff will be out by then, but I really want to know what people think of the ones mentioned in this post.

Trailers, clips and cast interviews:
There's been a lot of new stuff released for The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. You can watch a five minute clip of the movie here, a clip from the institute scene here, and you can find a bunch of B-roll footage and cast interviews if you click here. I'm really excited for the movie now, it has its imperfections (the way the clothes off scene was done was kind of awkward) but I'm pretty optimistic about it being a good adaption after seeing all that.

How I Live Now (based on the book by Meg Rosoff) finally has a trailer (one of the main reasons I'm posting this now):

I may have fangirled a bit. Aside from hating the styling decision made for Saoirse's Daisy hair, I think the movie looks awesome (love the song choice in the trailer).

The first trailer for Vampire Academy is out now:
I'm...kind of disappointed. What are your thoughts on it?

Catching Fire international trailer was released. I'm not sure how different it is from the trailer from the last page to screen post, but it looks good. You can also read about some of the differences between the book and the movie here.

The final Ender's Game trailer was released.

Some clips and interviews and stuff for the new Percy Jackson movie here.

There's a new trailer for the 2013 Romeo and Juliet movie. The first one was a bit meh, but this one is slightly better.

And there's trailers for the Seventh Son (based on Joseph Delaney's Wardstone Chronicles) and Half of a Yellow Son (based on the book by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie - I keep meaning to read that book, it always shows up in the recommendations for people who like A Thousand Splendid Suns).

Stills/posters/pictures:
There's a bunch of stills from The Book Thief movie out (cjbkdhjfbvkdjhbv!!!), you can see them all and read more about the movie here. I can't wait for this one, if it's done right then it could be amazing. (Oh, and this still isn't shown on that site but it's my favourite.)

There's been some Maze Runner movie stills posted, you can see those here (although there's probably more floating around somewhere). And here's an interview with the author about the movie.


Movie rights sold:
Some movie updates for Ally Carter's Gallagher Girls and Heist Society books. You can read more about that here (linking that one instead of the ones that announced the updates because Ally is awesome and her post is awesome).

Apparently Lifetime is going to do another adaption V. C. Andrews Flowers in the Attic with Heather Graham and Ellen Burstyn starring as Corrine (crazy mother) and Olivia (Corrine's crazy mother). I'm not sure how I feel about that one...mainly because it's Lifetime and given the subject matter of the book I don't have much faith in their ability to do it well.

Other updates:
Some casting updates for the adaption of The Giver by Lois Lowry have been released, with Brenton Thwaites as the lead, Alexander Skarsgard as his dad, and Merly Streep as...I'm not quite sure, but you can read more about it here.

This news is old-ish now, but for anyone that missed it, the cast of The Fault in Our Stars that we know so far is here (love the Isaac casting choice), John talks about some other movie related stuff too (I may have gotten a bit fangirl-ish when I saw who would be doing the score).

There's bound to be loads of interviews and updates I've missed, especially since Comic-Con wasn't too long ago but this is all I can think of just now. If you can think of anything, just say in the comments.

So, what are your thoughts on the new trailers and stuff? Excited? Disappointed?

Later.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

A Kiss at Midnight by Eloisa James

A Kiss at Midnight 
by Eloisa James

Summary: Miss Kate Daltry doesn't believe in fairy tales . . . or happily ever after.

Forced by her stepmother to attend a ball, Kate meets a prince . . . and decides he's anything but charming. A clash of wits and wills ensues, but they both know their irresistible attraction will lead nowhere. For Gabriel is promised to another woman—a princess whose hand in marriage will fulfill his ruthless ambitions.

Gabriel likes his fiancée, which is a welcome turn of events, but he doesn't love her. Obviously, he should be wooing his bride-to-be, not the witty, impoverished beauty who refuses to fawn over him.

Godmothers and glass slippers notwithstanding, this is one fairy tale in which destiny conspires to destroy any chance that Kate and Gabriel might have a happily ever after.

Unless a prince throws away everything that makes him noble . . .

Unless a dowry of an unruly heart trumps a fortune . . .

Unless one kiss at the stroke of midnight changes everything.
I don't really have too much to say about this book really, except that I enjoyed it and it served its purpose.

When I'm in a reading slump, aside from just whining and being miserable and waiting, there are two kinds of books that can sometimes snap me out of it--really amazing books (those ones that are insta-favourites and just leave you with that wow feeling)...and books like this one (predictable, mindless entertainment that don't have much substance beyond being ridiculously addictive).

I loved the book. It was exactly what I needed it to be. It hooked from the first page to the last, it had me smiling a lot, I became attached to the characters (even the dogs), I liked that it wasn't one of those stories that portray the step-sister as ugly and awful or makes the "competition" catty and mean, and I just really enjoyed reading it. I read it in one sitting (when I'm in a reading slump, that is normally a struggle).

The book wasn't perfect but the flaws didn't bother me much because I wasn't reading it expecting a literary masterpiece, I didn't care if the writing was wonderful or if the story was original, I just wanted to read a book that would keep me entertained with a romance that would be predictable and fun to read about, and this was exactly that. I really want to read the rest of the books in this fairy tale series, hopefully the others will be just as good.

I'm not going to rate the book, because I judge books like this on a different scale--if I measured it against the standards I hold my favourite books to then the rating wouldn't be great, but for what it was and what I wanted it to be, the rating would be higher. So...yeah, if you want some fun, predictable, historical romance then I recommend this one. And if you like these sorts of books, are there any you'd recommend?

On a kind of related note: why, why, why must these books have such bloody awful covers? I think I've yet to see one with a cover I actually like and wouldn't cringe to be seen reading in public. Even the redesigned ones are just...eugh.

Later.

Monday, 12 August 2013

This is Not a Drill by Beck McDowell

This is Not a Drill
Beck McDowell
Nancy Paulsen Books
[October 25, 2012]

When high school seniors—and former couple—Emery and Jake find themselves held hostage in a first grade classroom, they must do all they can to protect the kids. Brian Stutts, a U.S. soldier suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after serving in Iraq, pulls out his gun to convince the teacher to hand over the son he’s not allowed to check out because of a custody battle. The situation turns deadly when a security guard appears at the door and Stutts impulsively opens fire. When the teacher is carried from the room, the children's fate is in the hands of Emery and Jake. While Jake searches for a way to communicate with the policemen surrounding the building, Emery, fighting her shyness, fear, and POTS symptoms, tries to reach out to the soldier. She gains a new understanding of what he faced in Iraq, and discovers remarkable strength in his small son.


So, I read this book at the very end of 2012, which wasn't really the best timing to pick up this book, but I wanted something short I could read so my goodreads count for 2012 would be a nice round number and this was the first book I grabbed. And it was a pretty decent read.

I had some issues with the way the story was told. This is obviously a really serious subject and an awful situation, but it...didn't really feel like it. We'd get random flashbacks to how the two characters were before so we can understand their relationship which, okay, understandable for the story. But it drew away from the danger and the concerns of the story. As this is kind of a major topic - especially when I was reading it - that was disappointing.

I think because that annoyed me, I couldn't connect with the characters. They were acting appropriately in the present day and being good people and the flashbacks definitely added some level of depth to them, but I just never really clicked with them, I guess.

As for the story itself, once I got past the flashbacks throwing me off, it was really interesting. The writing kept me turning pages without a problem as I sped read to get that nice round number for the year. It was intriguing and well written and I was really interested in seeing how this turned out for the kids, Emery, and Jake. It could've used more tension and more serious moments, but I care enough about the end of the book to keep reading.

Basically, this isn't the kind of book I'd shout from the rooftops about. It's the kind of book you read because you need a quick read or just when you want to see how an interesting idea ends. I'd also recommend grabbing it from a library. My disappointment in this book does leave me wondering about how other books in a similar vein to this are in YA and if you have any recommendations, I'd be happy to hear them.

--Julie

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Book Haul (157)

Lanna:
So I haven't done a book haul since the middle of June, I think? So all of these books are ones I've gotten since then. I'd just skip them completely except I've been really slow at reading these past few months and this way at least the books get some attention even if it takes me forever to get a review up. So...yes. Onto the books:


For Review:

Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson
Teardrop by Lauren Kate
Linked by Imogen Howsen
Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas
Winter Damage by Natasha Carthew (this one came in a box with a bar of chocolate, a packet of hot coco, fingerless gloves, and a packet of tissues, which was pretty cool)

Also, this one showed up after I'd already written up this post:

Stay Where You Are and Then Leave by John Boyne (and it came tied up in string with a little bag of sweets and a print out of a news paper from when the book was set--I think it's set during the first world war?). 

Bought:

Books 1-3 in Maria V. Snyder's Poison Study series (not sure what the series name is?)
Books 3 and 4 in the Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa
The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa
The Cuckoo's Calling by J. K. Rowling/Robert Galbraith
The White Queen by Philippa Gregory (which I had no desire to see until the mini-series put me in the mood to read some historical set in that time period)

I got some e-books too, and I think there may have been another couple of review books too, but it was a while ago now and I can't remember which ones.

What'd you guys get? And have you read any of these ones (particularly the Poison Study ones, I wanna know if those are good)?

Later.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Infinityglass by Myra McEntire

Infinityglass
Myra McEntire
EgmontUSA
[August 6, 2013]

The stakes have risen even higher in this third book in the Hourglass series.

The Hourglass is a secret organization focused on the study of manipulating time, and its members — many of them teenagers -­have uncanny abilities to make time work for them in mysterious ways. Inherent in these powers is a responsibility to take great care, because altering one small moment can have devastating consequences for the past, present, and future. But some time trav­elers are not exactly honorable, and sometimes unsavory deals must be struck to maintain order.

With the Infinityglass (central to understanding and harnessing the time gene) at large, the hunt is on to find it before someone else does.

But the Hourglass has an advantage. Lily, who has the ability to locate anything lost, has determined that the Infinityglass isn't an object. It's a person. And the Hourglass must find him or her first. But where do you start searching for the very key to time when every second could be the last?

This...is a really hard review to write.

If you've been following the blog for a while, then you know how big this series is for me. You know how much I utterly adore this series. It's kind of seeped into my life, really. In the past couple of years since I began this trilogy, I've wanted to wallpaper my room with the covers. I've named my Kindle after the main character in the first book. Hourglass is my go to recommendation for people who want books. I've connected with the characters in this book in such an intense way, that I think I'm kind of in denial that this series is over.

To say the least, I absolutely loved this book. 

Myra's writing never fails me and it was, again, engaging and really drew me in. She still had that same, fantastic banter between the characters and the book was full of sarcastic one liners that made me grin. Their inner thoughts really enabled them to jump off the page. In Infinityglass, if you haven't heard, there are two narrators.  Both of them were fantastic and very much their own person with their own voice.

Then the characters themselves. Dune and Hallie were two very different characters. Dune was sweet and patient and came from this wonderful support system that was more of a family. Hallie was sharp and jaded and overprotected as she grew up. Both characters had these aspects that made me connect with them right from the get go. And as a couple, they were a team. I think that's the best way to describe it. It really felt like they were working together and improving each other and it was all incredibly sweet and swoony. 

And I can't not write about the nerdtastic references all throughout this book. Monty Python, a number of Doctor Who mentions, Sega Genesis...it was like a nerdy paradise. Each reference made me giggle a little bit because they're subtle or small but they're very much there and you know that it shows a little bit about Myra and a little bit about the characters and a little bit about the reader who catches them. 

Infinityglass also has this wonderful balance of older characters we already love to go with Hallie and Dune. There's a healthy dose of my beloved Michael, Emerson, Kaleb, and Lily. Poe and Ava and Nate and Clarissa rounded out the little crew that was so important to the book. I loved getting to see so much of characters I already loved and so much more of characters that we barely knew before. 

And while it sounds like this book must be incredibly full...it wasn't. It was a remarkable balance of old characters and new, the series arc and the individual story's arc, a new relationship and some reminders of old ones. It's one of the best examples of a final book in a series I can think of. The fact that I actually finished the series is enough to be amazed over, because it's incredibly rare that I finish a series. When I do, it's a pretty good sign of how lovely those books are.

I love this series, I truly do, and if I haven't yet convinced you to read this series, I may not be cut out to be a reviewer. Or maybe it's just because I lack the words to do it justice. But this seriously is one of my absolutely favorite series. It got me fascinated by time travel and hooked on Doctor Who. It makes me smile and grin and squeal and nearly throw my phone as I was trying to finish this book at 3:30 in the morning. Myra's writing is always enthralling and magical and just oh so wonderful and I'm going to sit here in a ball and rock back and forth until I can get my hands on more of Myra's writing, even if it's just a grocery list to hold me over. 

Seriously. Please. If you haven't started this series, I hope you weren't spoiled (but why were you reading this???), and now is the time to fix that. And if you've been eagerly waiting for Infinityglass too, I promise it won't disappoint.

--Julie

Monday, 5 August 2013

The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner

The Thief
by Megan Whalen Turner

Summary: The king's scholar, the magus, believes he knows the site of an ancient treasure. To attain it for his king, he needs a skillful thief, and he selects Gen from the king's prison. The magus is interested only in the thief's abilities.

What Gen is interested in is anyone's guess. Their journey toward the treasure is both dangerous and difficult, lightened only imperceptibly by the tales they tell of the old gods and goddesses.
So pretty much the only reason I read this book was because it was recommended by Melina Marchetta and by fans of Melina Marchetta, but I still wasn't expecting to enjoy it as much as I did.

Some people had said the book is amazing, some said it wasn't very good but it was worth reading because the sequels are amazing...and my opinion of this one falls somewhere between those two, I can definitely see both sides.

There are elements of the book that are done really well. Like the characters, for example--that was my favourite thing of the whole book. Right from the start I loved Gen. He could be whiny and pathetic at times, but he was funny (especially when he was being whiny and pathetic) and he was smart and I dunno, I just really liked him. I liked the side characters too, although there wasn't many of them.

I think the thing that stops me from thinking the book is amazing is just that it dragged a lot. Half the time, there wasn't much going on and it was just the same thing over and over again and it got a bit monotonous to read...but it's also one of those books that has a reason for everything, and when you get to the end and all the reasons start clicking into place then you end up appreciating the stuff that seemed a bit boring in the rest of the book (kind of like what happened when I read Code Name Verity).

Basically, to sum up: I think I loved the book in the end. The characters were great, the relationships, the way the story came together--the only negative I can think of is that it is slow and can be a bit dull at times, but it's worth reading (and I can tell already that I'm probably going to love the rest of the series, because this one set it up so well). 

I'd rate it 4 stars out of 5.

Later.

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Book Haul (156)

I really should stop skipping around on these, you know? I'll work on it.

Anyway, this past week was my annual vacation, which, usually, means a lot of books. It did again this year, but not one book I bought was YA. Their YA section is a lot of books I've already read or have no interest in. I did pick up 11 romance novels. I'm not going to go through them all because that's a lot and this isn't a romance blog, but basically, you can find them on my new romance shelf. I have it set to organize by date added, so the first eleven books? Those are the ones I picked up. I'm also hoping to do another Romance Review soon, so you may see a couple featured there.

Purchased:
Secret Society Girl by Diana Peterfreund (paperback from Strand)
Under the Rose by Diana Peterfreund (paperback from Strand)
Gossip Hound by Wendy Holden (paperback from Strand)
OCD Love Story by Corey Ann Haydu (hardback from Strand)
By Referral Only by Lyla Pane (ebook from Amazon)
This Duchess of Mine by Eloisa James (ebook from Amazon)
A Royal Pain by Megan Mulry (paperback from Hooked on Books)
Snobs by Julian Fellowes (paperback from Hooked on Books)

For Review:
Perfect Lies by Kiersten White (eARC from Edelweiss)
The Promise of Amazing by Robin Constantine (eARC from Edelweiss)
Delia's Shadow by Jamie Lee Moyer (eARC from Netgalley)
Warrior by Ellen Oh (eARC from Edelweiss)
Elusion by Claudia Gabel and Cheryl Klam (eARC from Edelweiss)
Faking Normal by Courtney C. Stevens (eARC from Edelweiss)
Avalon by Mindee Arnett (eARC from Edelweiss)
Dance of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin (eARC from Edelweiss)
All That Glows by Ryan Graudin (eARC from Edelweiss)
Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge (eARC from Edelweiss)
Foreplay by Sophie Jordan (eARC from Edelweiss)
Witchstruck by Victoria Lamb (eARC from Edelweiss)
The Shadow Prince by Bree Despain (eARC from Edelweiss)
Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas (hardcover from publisher)
Because of Low by Abbi Glines (paperback from publisher)
Dead Set by Richard Kadrey (ARC from publisher)
The Beautiful and the Damned by Jessica Verday (ARC from publisher)
The 100 by Kass Morgan (ARC from publisher)
Once We Were by Kat Zhang (ARC from publisher)

Gifted:
Beautiful Bitch by Christina Lauren (thanks Pam for the ebook!)

I'm fairly certain I'm missing a Georgette Heyer book, but it's at my apartment and I'm at my parents' so...oh well. I'm a bit more concerned about trying to make it through this list, you know? I've already read three of these books and I'm working on the first romance novel from my new stack. I really want to make a dent in these before my classes start at the end of the month. I'm also probably going to put up a Stack of Five (Misty explains what that is here) sometime this week, so if there's any books up there you might want to see on my Stack of Five, let me know!

How about you guys? Anything good for you? Anything I should bump up the TBR?

--Julie

Saturday, 3 August 2013

New Adult on the Block: Wait for You by J. Lynn

Wait for You
J. Lynn
William Morrow Paperbacks
[September 3, 2013]

Some things are worth waiting for...

Traveling thousands of miles from home to enter college is the only way nineteen-year-old Avery Morgansten can escape what happened at the Halloween party five years ago--an event that forever changed her life. All she needs to do is make it to her classes on time, make sure the bracelet on her left wrist stays in place, not draw any attention to herself, and maybe--please God--make a few friends, because surely that would be a nice change of pace. The one thing she didn't need and never planned on was capturing the attention of the one guy who could shatter the precarious future she's building for herself.

Some things are worth experiencing...

Cameron Hamilton is six feet and three inches of swoon-worthy hotness, complete with a pair of striking blue eyes and a remarkable ability to make her want things she believed were irrevocably stolen from her. She knows she needs to stay away from him, but Cam is freaking everywhere, with his charm, his witty banter, and that damn dimple that's just so... so lickable. Getting involved with him is dangerous, but when ignoring the simmering tension that sparks whenever they are around each other becomes impossible, he brings out a side of her she never knew existed.

Some things should never be kept quiet...

But when Avery starts receiving threatening emails and phone calls forcing her to face a past she wants silenced, she's has no other choice but to acknowledge that someone is refusing to allow her to let go of that night when everything changed. When the devastating truth comes out, will she resurface this time with one less scar? And can Cam be there to help her or will he be dragged down with her?

And some things are worth fighting for...

This is the kind of New Adult book I'd been avoiding. Not because there was anything wrong with it, but Avery's back story, which is a major plot point, was the kind of plot point that just didn't seem interesting to me. Too angsty, I guess. But everybody raves about Jennifer Armentrout/J. Lynn and it was at BEA, so there wasn't really any harm in me grabbing this one (and her other NA title). There wasn't all that much NA to be had at BEA since it's fairly new, so I was happy to grab any I could find.

And honestly, I was pleasantly surprised.

I started reading because my reading has had a SERIOUS lack of sexy times lately, so why not? Plus, with SO many people loving Jennifer/J. Lynn, I figured this couldn't let me down as my stuck-in-a-car-for-three-hours read. It was lighter on the sexy times than I expected, but it was engaging. Engaging enough that I flipped through most of the 500 page ARC in the car and finished the last 40 or so pages within an hour of getting out of the car, despite everything I should have been doing. Like eating.

Avery was the kind of character I could really sympathize with. I've never been in her situation, but the general distrust of people, the friendship problems, I totally understood it. I didn't always agree with her decisions, but I understood where they were all coming from. She was the kind of character that just made sense and it felt pretty real.

Cameron, on the other hand, was not at all real. Don't get me wrong, he was sweet and smart and just a genuine good guy, and - of course- gorgeous. But he was way too good to be true. Just...too perfect. I was in the kind of mood reading it where I didn't really mind, but it's something to be aware of.

I think the story was well paced. The book takes place over about a year, but it's a fast, page-turning read. I never got bored. A lot of care was definitely taken to make sure we skipped the boring parts and focused on the important scenes. Sometimes the time jumps weren't given enough real feeling, so I'd forget a few days had gone by, but it was largely done well. The side characters could've been given some more depth, but I really liked them. For the most part, they were well built. I did have problems with her one friend, Jacob, being a bit of a stereotype, but not enough to totally throw me off. I loved the banter the characters had. I definitely smothered a giggle a couple of times.

This is not going to be a book for everyone. It definitely has its' issues and it's nothing that blows you out of the water. This might not have been the right book for me if I'd been in a different mood. But the story itself and the way I read it made me pretty much love this book, despair over the fact my copy of Frigid isn't here, and add all of the other books in the Wait for You series to my goodreads wishlist. Do with that what you will.

--Julie

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