Review: Antisocial

Antisocial

 

What in the ever loving crap was this?! If you ever want to talk to me about a dated and disappointing book, you talk to me about this one.

Short recap: Anna is not socially rebounding well after the breakup from her basketball all-star boyfriend. She is forced to sit with her former friends who reminder her every chance they get about how she ditched them to hang out with the popular kids. Things get worse for everyone when someone anonymously sends an email to everyone with a list of Goggle searched words/phrases. Nobody knows who sent the email but it makes everyone wonder, is anything they do online really secret? Will everyone’s secrets become public?

Sounds like a gripping thriller, right? WRONG. There is so little mystery in this story it is almost a joke. I spent a good majority of this one reading about the insecurities of all the characters. Yawn. When the list with search results was sent to everyone, that was the most suspenseful thing that happened and even that was short lived. It was as if nobody cared who sent it. It seemed that the adults didn’t care who sent it either so that felt like a worthless threat. I wanted there to be so much more suspense in this story! Was someone hacking into their school system? Emails? Texts?

Let’s talk about the MC, Anna. Her character reminded me of a tiny meek mouse. She apparently had a severe social disorder but she chose not to mention that to anyone. Not even after she was admitted to a hospital for treatment. Uh… wha? Why wouldn’t you want your friends to help you with this? Idiot. On top of that, it was as if her mental illness seemed to ease up and almost disappear when it was convenient. She was by no means “cured” by the end of this book but it certainly did not add to the overall story. It felt like a bad representation of what could be a serious issue/illness for some people. That made it very unbelievable and therefore added no value to the story. This was supposed to tie into the leaked Google search list but it was a hell of a stretch. So much so that Evil Knievel could not have made that kind of leap. Also, she was not the most popular or the prettiest but she still attracted the attention of the star basketball player. Good for her! Only no, not good for her. Her friends were not supportive, nor were they sympathetic when they broke up. They were vicious and had claws extended to attack at all times. They made Anna feel like absolute crap because she had a boyfriend for a couple of months. Sorry, but I wouldn’t consider those people “friends”. They were jerks and a lot of other words I cannot say here. The rest of the characters were stereotypical so I won’t bore you with details. There was a Queen Bee with her minions, the group of Plastics (think Mean Girls), and her true friends. This is high school we are talking about and teens can be nasty at that age.

Would you like to know what really caused me to give this a 1 star rating and strongly dislike this story? It is heavily and badly dated. The references throughout this story made me want to pluck my eyes out. The references were done in lieu of the author actually describing anything. There was no world building and therefore no place for the reader (ME!) to visualize. Example: Instead of the author using the right words and phrases to describe a boy’s hair, she simply said it was “Heimsworthian hair”. What in the ever loving does that mean? What if I didn’t know a Heimsworth? What if I had no clue who they were? HELP ME BY PAINTING ME A PICTURE. I need you to properly explain it to me so I can sink into this story you’ve created. Don’t just throw out descriptions that reference a very specific person/place/thing and hope for the best. That’s not how you write a good book. It did not just stop there, it went on throughout the entire story. When the girls were trying to describe their first time having sex, they said, “It was like a Nicholas Sparks movie but without Zac Efron”. I’m sorry. What? Are you serious right now? Stop talking in hip terms that are going to heavily date this book and not age well. The author continued this path throughout the entire story only she started making references to people/places/things that I didn’t know. That’s when she really lost me and I gave up on this.

No big surprise but I did not like this book. It actually read like a first draft of a story. Someone should have marked it up with edits, told the author to take out anything referring to current trends/fads/hotties/movies/social media and tried again. This was by no means a thriller. I’m not even sure what it was besides maddening for me to read. I would not recommend this to anyone.

 

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Review: Can’t Look Away

Can't Look Away

 

Don’t go gentle into this book. I’m here to tell you this is not an emotional tear jerker, this is the same story that has been done hundreds of times before, only this time with new fluffier words.

Short recap: Torrey, a popular fashion vlogger that is mourning the death of her sister. Torrey’s family moves to another state in hopes of a fresh start and a chance for healing.

There, that seemed simple enough to say and it didn’t invoke the horrible feelings I felt towards this story. Torrey’s character is not the protagonist I felt any sympathy for. My heart did not go out towards her nor did I feel anything towards her. Why? She was more worried about her social status and the perception her sister’s accident would have towards her vlogger count. I cannot make this up. Video is leaked (and even Torrey admits it) of how she got into a fight with her sister, who then stomped off. That started the chain reaction: a drunk driver plowed through the crosswalk her sister was in the middle of, killing her instantly. Torrey is essentially a shallow, self involved  brat who cannot think of anyone but herself. When she is moved to another state to start school, she keeps wondering if someone will recognize her from her videos. WHO CARES. Your temper tantrum caused your sister to leave and be in the way of the car! How could you possibly care if you would be recognized?! Throughout the entire story, there were just so many things Torrey said or thought that made me believe she was only upset so much simply because of what people were saying about her. Absolutely nothing to do with her sister’s death! Not for one single moment did I believe that Torrey was ever sorry for her sister’s death. I think she acted upset and in mourning because she was caught on video acting like the bitch she was.

No need for me to remind you, yet again, that Torrey was all about perception and popularity. That being said, she seemed to overlook the Mean Girls attitude in her new school just so she could move up the social chain. She wants the attention, wealth, status, and adoring fans and it is clear she doesn’t care how she got it. All of these qualities and then some made me dislike the character even more. Now, you may be saying to yourself, “Sounds like the this character is written as someone I’d love to hate! What’s the problem?” The problem is that you are not supposed to hate Torrey, you are supposed to feel bad for her losing a sister, what she and her family are going through, and the fact she has to start over at a new school. Yeah… I felt none of those things. Not one single drop.

There is a bit of a love interest in this story but it wasn’t really that great. Torrey used poor Luis (the hottie) and threw him away. They were not good as a couple. He completely supported her yet she didn’t give two flips about him. (See a pattern going on with her? Thought so.) The rest of the girl squad was just as bad and I chose not to remember them. I can’t even tell you their names. I can say there was nothing unique or memorable about any of them. They all played their part and that was that.

So why didn’t I DNF this book? Such a good question. I kept holding out that small speck of hope that Torrey would grow just a little, or develop enough to own up to her faults. Did she? NOT ONE BIT. She talked a lot about wanting to make a victim statement at the drunk driver’s sentencing but she never did. She chickened out at the last minute and her mom stepped in. And her mom did a pitiful job of giving a statement. This was supposed to be the time the victim’s family was to speak openly to the driver to let him know exactly what they were going through but it fell short of what should have been said because Torrey’s mom was just too fragile to do something like that. Yet again, Torrey let everyone down.

Overall, no – I did not like this story. There was a lot of potential here but it was not developed or delivered properly. The ending was left open for whatever reason. So many unanswered questions! What happens to Torrey and her family? Will she ever move back to her home state? Personally, I didn’t care what happened to Torrey. She was a nasty character and a horrible person so she could have stayed right where she was, I didn’t care (and I still don’t care). Why she was obsessed with her vlog status and popularity over her family is beyond me. I would not recommend this to anyone because I didn’t see the silver lining at all. I wanted more but never got it.

 

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Waiting on Wednesday: The Ends of the World

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 Ends of the World By Maggie Hall

The Ends of the World (The Conspiracy of Us, #3)

From Goodreads:

The Circle is hers.

But Avery West has lost everything else: her mother, the family she’d just found, and the one boy she trusted. In their place are unfathomable power, a staged relationship that makes her question every real feeling she’s ever had, and a mission to find the cure to the virus that’s made her own blood a weapon.

Then disaster strikes, turning Avery, Stellan, Jack, and Elodie into the most wanted people in the world. To clear their names and the growing rift between the families of the Circle before the world dissolves into World War Three, they’ll have to make a desperate, dangerous final race for Alexander the Great’s tomb. What they will find inside will mean the world’s salvation—or destruction.

Avery will have to decide how much she’s willing to sacrifice—for the world, for family, and for love—in this thrilling conclusion to the Conspiracy of Us series.”

 

Have you read this series? If so, what do you think of it? Are you excited for the conclusion? Let me know!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Best Books I’ve Read So Far In 2017

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…

Best Books I’ve Read So Far In 2017

 

 

The Hate U Give

The Hate U Give

 

 

Geekerella

Geekerella

 

 

Defy The Stars

Defy the Stars (Constellation, #1)

 

 

Little Monsters

Little Monsters

 

 

Flame in the Mist

Flame in the Mist (Flame in the Mist, #1)

 

 

What I Lost

What I Lost

 

 

Dreamland Burning

Dreamland Burning

 

 

Alex, Approximately

Alex, Approximately

 

 

Warcross

Warcross (Warcross, #1)

 

 

Aftercare Instructions

Aftercare Instructions

 

What are the best books you’ve read so far this year? Let me know!

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ARC Review: We Come Apart

We Come Apart

 

**I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.**

 

I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect when I started this as I had not read anything by Crossan before but the premise sounded amazing. I was not prepared to be hit directly in the feels. When I finished this, I was ugly crying and I regret nothing.

Short recap: Nicu, an immigrant from Romania who is being forced into an arranged marriage, and Jess, a teen with a very troubled home life, cross paths in an unusual way. As they become closer their dark secrets are revealed. Just how far are they willing to go to help each other out of their bad situations?

This story hit me right in the feels. Hard. The writing style too me a minute to get used to but once I did, this story flowed. It was beautiful, emotional, heart shattering, and raw. I loved every minute of this story. It is told in alternating POV so when it was Nicu’s chapter, the broken English made me feel as if he were sitting next to me telling me his story. It felt real. It felt believable. It was captivating. It made me connect to him even more. Same with Jess’ chapters. The horrors that girl went through on a daily basis hurt my soul. I wanted to save her myself. These two together just worked. Nicu was trying to escape his parents and the arranged marriage they are setting up. He does not want to marry a stranger, he wants to live his own life. Jess wants to escape her abusive stepfather and enabling mother. Together these two try to save each other from what could be a terrible future. The ending is one I did not see coming. Just when I thought I had it figured out, Crossan threw a wonderful curve ball that knocked me for a loop. Well done!

This is a very quick read but it is a powerful story. Crossan did a fantastic job of breathing life into her characters, as did Conaghan. This is not just a story of two teens trying to run away from a bad life, it touches on heavy, serious social issues like domestic violence, racial profiling, and racism. Some of the comments made toward Nicu were hard to read. That may be because things like that are said every day whether we realize it or not.

I hope everyone gives this story a chance. It is an important and current story. I think this is one that needs to be told. It is about transcending barriers and testing friendships. As I mentioned, this was an emotional read and it has stayed with me long after I put the book down. Please, add this to your TBR. Read it and come back to talk to me about it. Let me know your thoughts.

 

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Books Left Unread #82

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:

The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine

The Shadow Queen (Ravenspire, #1)

 

This has been on my TBR for quite some time but as always with fantasy books, it sits waiting for me to be ready to read it. If you couldn’t guess… that hasn’t happened yet. Have you read this one? If so, let me know.

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Review: The Memory of Light

The Memory of Light

 

I had such high expectations for this book but it just did not work for me. I feel bad giving it a low 2 star rating but I could not get into this story.

Short recap: Vicky is a teenager having a very difficult time with her life and as a result she tried to kill herself. Many issues pushed her to this decision but she is not willing to openly talk about any of them. She is forced into a treatment facility for the help she needs.

For a book that deals with teens trying to commit suicide, this was not an engaging story. I never connected with any character or the story itself. It did not read like a work of fiction, it read like a textbook chapter on teens with depression. Vicky’s character was not a relatable character so it forced me to really keep my distance. I was not given the opportunity to connect with her or any character because I was never given the chance to see exactly how depression affected her. I read about all of her interactions with doctors, psychiatrists, and some of her friends but those barely scratched the surface of the problem. Maybe there was more to Vicky’s depression than her mom’s passing, her father remarrying, and her nanny being forced to retire and move back to Mexico. Those are all significant events but I was not given the chance to see exactly how they all compacted so much to force Vicky to try to take her own life.

I went into this hoping and expecting an emotional tear jerker of a story but instead it was really, really boring. I know it is a serious topic but I truly believe it was not delivered properly. It was not believable in my eyes. I can’t say I have ever read an article or heard a doctor say they would take suicidal patients outside of the facility to their own personal farm as a form of treatment. Especially teens that just tried to end their life five days beforehand. I also don’t believe a doctor and/or facility would let said suicidal patients (teens or not) leave the facility to attend a family dinner. I won’t go into it too much about how I also don’t believe a facility would house both adults and teens on the same floor of said health facility. I could keep going but items like the ones above gave me even more cause to not enjoy this book.

The one thing this author did correctly was put a whole cast of diverse characters together. I commend him for that. They were portrayed very well so I cannot fault him for that. What I can fault him for is not delivering a book about a serious topic well. I appreciate that he included “advice” on how to fight depression and how he included talks of how real peer pressure can be to a teenage girl. But that’s about as far as it goes. Stork got the informational part of depression and possible suicide right, but he didn’t quite capture the human/emotional element of it.

Overall, I wanted more from this story. I feel Stork could have told a more compelling story if the treatments used were a little more realistic. Also, add the human element and allow readers to connect with the characters. I wanted to be able to relate with Vicky but it never happened.

 

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