ARC Review: When We Collided

When We Collided

Publication Date: April 5, 2016

 

I am going to start this review by telling you, my darling readers, that I will be the black sheep when it comes to this book. I was excited to read this based on the blurb but when I started reading, I thought was reading a different story. I had to check the cover several times to make sure I was reading the correct book.

This is the story of Vivi and Jonah, two completely different personalities that met by chance. Vivi is staying in the small town of Verona Cove with her mom. She is still new to the town but it is apparent that she is not afraid of anything or anyone. She has never met a stranger and makes friends everywhere she goes. While working at a pottery store, Vivi meets Jonah and his little sister Leah. Jonah is the third of six children and carries the weight of the world on his shoulders. Jonah’s father passed from a heart attack six months earlier and he, along with the two eldest children, are left to take care of the littles (the nickname for the youngest three children) and everything else because his Mom has withdrawn into a terrible depression. Vivi’s passion for life helps Jonah remember that life is still out there for him to live but she is all over the place. Jonah is the perfect boy next door that Vivi has always wanted. What Jonah does not know is that Vivi has a terribly dark secret that will eventually come to light and may turn everyone’s world upside down.

I was powerfully bored during this book. I never once connected to any character and soon I found myself not caring what happened to anyone. I knew from the first few pages that there was something wrong with Vivi, it was painfully obvious, which might have been Lord’s plan all along. When it was finally mentioned exactly what mental illness she had, it was more predictable than surprising. Vivi’s narrating voice was over the top and unbelievable – and not in that good way. There was no way I could take her character seriously.

There was supposed to be an intense spark between Vivi and Jonah but I felt no chemistry between them. I found myself cringing when they got together, as their romance was forced and rushed. I had no swoony feels for these two together.

I applaud Lord for writing about mental illness because it is a tough topic. I don’t feel it was properly executed in this book. The whole story felt predictable and boring. There was a lack of substance to this story which made it difficult to forgive Vivi for everything she has done, which is what she ultimately wants. This was my first Lord book to read and I will now struggle to pick up more of her work.

 

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Review: Just One Day

Just One Day (Just One Day, #1)

 

This. Book. I’m not sure I have the correct words to describe how much this book got to me. It got to me so much that I was honestly crying at the end… and it takes a lot for a book to make me do that.

This is the story of Allyson and how her life changed forever because of a three-week European trip. Allyson crosses paths with Willem by chance one day when he suddenly asks her to abandon her existing plans to travel with him to Paris. Allyson finds that she cannot resist the charming, incredibly good looking Willem and throws caution to the wind. It is the start of a beautiful love story written in the stars. But this story does not have an immediate happy ending when Allyson wakes from their one night together to find Willem gone, no note. Allyson starts to question everything about herself, starts to panic thinking he used her for one thing. She runs away from the loft they spent the night in and makes the trek from Paris to London to catch back up with her tour group. Unfortunately Allyson cannot stop thinking about Willem and how he left her. She spends the next year trying to track him down, even though they only spent 24 hours together. How will this end? Will Allyson be able to find Willem? Will he even want her to find him?

I really enjoyed Allyson as the MC. I felt I connected with her because she starts out as the shy, slightly introverted girl that typically does everything she is supposed to do… that is until she meets the cute boy. I really liked how she was so determined to find Willem, following up on every possible lead she could get her hands on. Throughout the entire story, she remained true to herself and her feelings – that was important. I loved reading her ups and downs, highs and lows, throughout this entire journey. Like every other reader, I kept wondering if Willem even thought of her after that night and what happened to him.

I don’t think I can say enough good things about this story. As I mentioned, it had me crying at the end. It was absolutely beautiful and perfectly written. I cannot recommend this enough to everyone. Please, read this if you have not already and join me in a good crying session.

 

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Waiting on Wednesday: The Geek’s Guide to Unrequited Love

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!

This week’s pre-publication “can’t-wait-to-read” selection is:

 

The Geek's Guide to Unrequited Love

The Geek’s Guide to Unrequited Love

Publication Date: June 2016

From Goodreads:

“John Hughes meets Comic-Con in this hilarious, unabashedly romantic, coming-of-age novel about a teenager who is trying to get his best friend to fall in love with him from the author ofThree Day Summer.

Graham Posner has fallen for his best friend Roxanne and has planned (in excruciating detail) a perfect weekend for her at Comic-Con, where he intends to confess his love. But things start falling apart before the weekend even starts, and Graham has to make a lot of crazy promises to get things to go his way. When Roxanne meets her “ideal guy” at the convention and Graham finds himself with some stiff competition, the stakes are raised even higher. Will all of his geeky knowledge and charm be enough to win her heart?”

 

Just look at that cover! Read that blurb! This sounds like it is going to be a great and hilarious book!

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Review: The Orphan Queen

The Orphan Queen (The Orphan Queen, #1)

 

I recently featured this book in one of my discussions posts of Books Left Unread. It had been sitting on my shelf when I finally decided to read it in preparation for the release of The Mirror King. I am sad to report that I may be the black sheep with this book because for me it did not live up to the hype.

Our main character is Wilhelmina, the former heir to the throne of her homeland. However, her kingdom was conquered when she was a small child and now she is an Osprey – a kind of street gang of thieves. Wil and her female companion, Melanie, assume the identities of nobles from a fallen kingdom in order for them to gain entrance to the Skyvale palace in hopes of learning secrets that could help defeat them. In the palace live the royal family, the same family that murdered Wil’s family and took her kingdom. Wil comes face to face with Prince Tobiah, who she grew up but has to act like she does not know him while she fights to win back her kingdom.

I felt completely underwhelmed by this story. It felt slow and unsurprising. It was a super slow start with what felt like zero world building. I had hoped things would be a wee bit more difficult for Wil and Melanie, but it felt as if everything was handed to them on a silver platter.

You want to enter the palace as a noble? SURE! Come on in!

You want maps? WHY NOT? We have maps for days that you can have! Nobody will ask questions at all!

You want to know the entire history of the kingdom starting from the beginning? ABSOLUTELY! Allow us to provide all of the important people in the kingdom to answer all of your very direct questions about how the inter-workings of the kingdom operate!

 

It cannot ever be that easy but apparently it is. Who knew? And do not worry if you do not remember that Wil’s family was murdered by Prince Tobiah’s parents because she will tell you several times on every page. She will constantly remind you that she is the rightful princess and her land was taken from her. The fact that these points were mentioned numerous times throughout every chapter gave the impression that the reader would not remember on their own. I knew Wil’s mission and her end goal, but to constantly say the same phrases over and over was a little insulting. Wil’s mind set and feelings have already been established.

The topic of magic was briefly introduced when Wil performed magic herself. I wish they talked about that more but instead, it was only to say that it was illegal. Why introduce it only to say it isn’t something that should be done?

There was also a lot of talk about a “masked vigilante” known as Black Mask running through the kingdom. I won’t lie – it was very predictable who it was. There was no real mystery or guessing involved. I knew from the moment the character was introduced.

I never connected with any of the characters and found myself not caring what happened to them. The pacing was off but not terrible. The saving grace for this book was that it was a fast read. Sometimes it felt as if Meadows rushed through scenes that should have been expanded upon just to jump into another slow scene. I wanted more depth in the characters and more world building. I gave this book a chance and very sadly, it did not live up to my expectations.

 

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Ten Books I Have Recently Loved and Hated

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Every week they have a different theme for bloggers to post their top tens about, and this week I’m listing my…

 

5 of my Latest Five Star Reads & 5 of my Most Disappointing Reads

 

The books I’ve recently rated 5 stars. These are books I have truly enjoyed.

 

The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas

The Darkest Corners

 

Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry

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The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski

The Winner's Kiss (The Winner's Trilogy, #3)

 

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

My Life Next Door

 

Summer Days and Summer Nights edited by Stephanie Perkins

Summer Days & Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories

 

 

The 5 latest books that disappointed me. I’m sorry to say but I was deeply let down by each of these stories that others rave about.

 

The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows

The Orphan Queen (The Orphan Queen, #1)

 

Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard

Glass Sword (Red Queen, #2)

 

The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead

The Glittering Court (The Glittering Court, #1)

 

Just One Year by Gayle Forman

Just One Year (Just One Day, #2)

 

The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig

The Girl from Everywhere (The Girl from Everywhere, #1)

 

Have you read any of these books? If so, what did you think? Do you agree with either of my lists? Let me know!

 

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ARC Review: Girl in the Blue Coat

Girl in the Blue Coat

Originally posted on Readingteen.net

 

I typically am not the biggest fan of historical books but the blurb about this book made it feel different. It was a mix of YA, history, and mystery and it had me tearing through it. I couldn’t get enough of this book.

Girl in the Blue Coat is set in Amsterdam, 1943. The Nazis have invaded and the Jewish population is either in hiding or has been deported. Hanneke is the MC, who has found a way to make a living during these incredibly difficult and trying times. She holds a good paying job, which means she is able to support her parents, but her boss has other jobs that he entrusts her with – locating and delivering items found only on the black market. During one of her regular deliveries, an older lady asks her to complete a very important mission for her – find a young Jewish girl that disappeared from the secret room in her home. Hanneke does not want to get involved with finding a teenager, a Jewish teenager, but ultimately cannot resist the chance to do something to help on a bigger scale. During her investigation, she becomes involved in something much bigger than just her trying to find one teenager, she becomes involved with the Resistance and finally her eyes are open to the true horrors that are taking place all around her.

I was hooked on this story from the first chapter. It did not feel like other historical fiction books, it was not heavy historical facts but more mystery with history woven in. Yes, the author did extensive research before writing the book to ensure a good bit of the story was true, but the rest she admits is fiction. Regardless, the characters are beautifully written and so complex. The intense situations the characters find themselves in felt so real. I could feel the terror and anxiety of the characters and that kept me engrossed in this story. The ending threw me for a loop – I did not see that coming.

Overall, I really did enjoy this book more than I thought I would. I simply had to find out if Hanneke found the Jewish teen and I liked reading about that time in history. I would recommend this to readers looking for a good mystery read with some history mixed in. I gave this 4 out of 5 stars.

 

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Books Left Unread #18

Wallpaper-Books

Books Left Unread

Welcome to my blog post where I talk about the books I have been meaning to read, but just have not yet. You know what I am talking about – the books that have remained unread for various reasons yet when you see them you think, “You know, I really need to read that.” Instead you get distracted by another book, series, or something in your TBR pile. It happens to the best of us. I want to spotlight those books in the hope that I can persuade myself to move them up on my TBR list.

 

This week’s post is dedicated to Kasie West’s Pivot Point.

 

Pivot Point (Pivot Point, #1)

 

I know that a lot of people have read this book and loved it. I cannot figure out why I haven’t picked it off of my shelf yet to read it. Have you read it? What did you think? How would you sell me on reading this book?

 

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