Review: Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls

Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls

 

Nope.

Nope.

Nope.

Do not be fooled by the blurb of this one. It promises a story of betrayal, suicide, and hidden pasts full of secrets. What it actually turned out to be was something much different and I don’t mean that in a good way.

Short recap: June’s friend, Delia,that she distanced herself from has committed suicide by burning herself in a fire. June doesn’t believe it and vows to find out what really happened. What she uncovers shakes her to her core.

Well, after writing that recap maybe I should change professions because I made this story sound good. I struggled to finish this book and often thought about DNFing. Once it was over and the big plot twist was revealed, I wish I had DNFd. It was not that much of a twist, I saw it coming a mile away. The story started out with so much potential – a suicide that may possibly be a murder instead. Who did it?! What happened?! Lies! Mystery! Betrayal! Secrets! Sigh This story just did not deliver the suspense and mystery I expected.

Let me start with the characters. I could not stand June. She was in school when it was announced over the speakers that her former best friend Delia had passed away. It is a sad and tragic announcement, as it should be. But what really stood out to me is that June took it personally. She openly admits that she and Delia used to be inseparable until June decided to distance herself. June decided that Delia was not a good friend anymore and chose to not talk to her. But after the announcement, June felt it was her responsibility to find out what really happened? Riddle me this – WHY. This girl chose to not be friends with the one person who was nice to her and then, what, out of grief chose to get to the bottom of Delia’s suicide? Why was it any of her business? She chose to leave Delia’s life, that doesn’t entitle her to anything. It felt like a long (boring) story of June sticking her nose where it didn’t belong. Now Delia. What a cluster eff of a character. I felt bad for her home life after learning her side of everything. I stress it that way because we are talking about the churched up version of what happened from a very troubled teen that didn’t like being told what to do. Let that sink in and soak for a few moments. The friendship Delia and June did share was nothing but toxic. Delia was a very bad influence on June and she used that to her advantage to get what she wanted. June just wanted a friend to like her so she went along with whatever Delia told her. Everything between them got worse as the story continued and I ended up despising both characters.

The plot. This was supposed to be about misdirection and betrayal. I’m here to tell you that nothing was really as mysterious as Weingarten was trying to make it out to be. She tried to include a plot twist about 40 or 50% of the way into the book but it is painfully obvious what it was going to be. There was to shock factor or gasp moment. What did throw me for a loop and really made me dislike the story was how it started out as a typical high school drama story where a teen doesn’t like how her parents are trying to parent her (rules! OMG!) and it turned into a story about running away, lies, stealing, and murder. That’s right! MURDER. This went from high school stuff to MURDER. Slow down, Speed Racer. How did that escalate so quickly?!

The pacing of the story was bad. There were long stretches of moments where nothing happened and longer chapters where nothing made sense. There were weird flashbacks thrown into chapters randomly – either at the end or they were chapters all on their own. Regardless, they did not make sense, they did not help propel the story forward, they did not give great insight into the characters. They felt like weird fillers to make the story longer.

You can probably guess that I did not like this story. I’m all for a good messed up story of betrayal, secrets, and hidden truths, but that did not happen in this book. It was an unoriginal concept that I have read many times before in other books (Gone Girl, what?) I am still kicking myself for not DNFing because I will never get that time back. I do not recommend this to anyone. It was not clearly developed or executed. Do yourself a favor and pass on this one.

 

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Waiting on Wednesday: The Love Letters of Abelard and Lily

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 Love Letters of Abelard and Lily by Laura Creedle

The Love Letters of Abelard and Lily

 

 

From Goodreads:

When Lily Michaels-Ryan ditches her ADHD meds and lands in detention with Abelard, who has Asperger’s, she’s intrigued—Abelard seems thirty seconds behind, while she feels thirty seconds ahead. It doesn’t hurt that he’s brilliant and beautiful.

When Abelard posts a quote from The Letters of Abelard and Heloiseonline, their mutual affinity for ancient love letters connects them. The two fall for each other. Hard. But is it enough to bridge their differences in person?

This hilarious, heartbreaking story of human connection between two neurodivergent teens creates characters that will stay with you long after you finish reading.

 

I haven’t heard a lot of buzz around this book but it certainly sounds good. Is it on your TBR?

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Review: Girls Made of Snow and Glass

Girls Made of Snow and Glass

 

I had a small idea of what this book was supposed to be about but what I read was so unexpected… and not in a good way.

The title of this book is to be taken literally. This a story of a girl made of glass and another made of snow. That’s all I’m going to say about that. There really is no hidden meaning, it is quite actually a story about one girl made from glass and another made from snow. While that sounds as if it had the potential to be a great fantasy story, this was anything but. It was painfully slow. It lacked that excitement to make this story good.

The girls in this story are not well developed at all. They felt flat, weakly defined, and blah. There was nothing that stood out about either of them, Mina or Lynet. Their voices came across the same so it was difficult for me to tell  who I was reading as the chapters alternated POV. I’m not sure how many ways I can say how boring and bland this story was. It just did not go anywhere. If this had truly been a Snow White retelling, which I thought it might be, it would have been loads better. Instead, I read an incredibly slow tale of two girls in an ice kingdom. One never gets cold while the other has no idea what she is really made of. Apparently she was made in honor of her mom? Either way, this story needed to be revamped, vetted, and re-edited. I saw where the author tried (and failed) to pull the reader (me) into a magical tale of fantasy but it not accomplished correctly.

Overall, it is no secret this was not a good story. I have already said it enough what I thought of this story. It is difficult for me to give more examples as I never connected with this story, nor do I remember much of it other than what I mentioned above. I found myself skimming just to finish the book. This was not good and I walked away very disappointed.

 

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books On My Winter TBR

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…

Books On My Winter TBR

 

 

Freed by Flame and Storm

Freed by Flame and Storm (Bound by Blood and Sand, #2)

 

 

The Last Namsara

The Last Namsara (Iskari, #1)

 

 

Love, Hate, and Other Filters

Love, Hate & Other Filters

 

 

The Hazel Wood

The Hazel Wood

 

 

Gunslinger Girl

Gunslinger Girl

 

 

A Girl Like That

A Girl Like That

 

 

Eliza and Her Monsters

Eliza and Her Monsters

 

 

Everless

Everless (Untitled #1)

 

 

Defy the Worlds

Defy the Worlds (Constellation, #2)

 

 

Berserker

Berserker (Berserker #1)

 

 

What books are on your Winter TBR? Are some of your books on my list? What would you like to read this winter? Let me know!

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Review: This Darkness Mine

This Darkness Mine

 

WHAT THE HELL DID I READ WHEN I READ THIS STORY.

It is a little difficult to say exactly what this book is about other than it’s a trip and it will mess with your mind. It’s dark, twisted, psychotic, and captivating. I couldn’t put this down. When people tell you that this book was confusing, believe them. The way this story started was not where it ended. McGinnis took this story down a dark and disturbing path that I couldn’t look away from.

This story focused around Sasha Stone, a good girl by nature. She was exceptional in school and music (clarinet). She never fought with her parents, never snuck out at night, never did anything wrong. She was perfect. All of that changed when she found a sonogram picture in a box inside of a closet… but the sonogram was of twins. Sasha was supposed to be a twin but her sister was reabsorbed by the mother’s body and never developed. This, along with other events, caused Sasha to change dramatically. She started hanging out with the bad boy, having sex with this bad boy (even though she had a boyfriend), started fighting with her parents, talking back to everyone, and doing everything uncharacteristic of Sasha. Let’s just say things get much darker and more intense after that. I won’t give anything away but if you want to know, pick up this book.

Now, while everything I mentioned above should be enough to hook you, know that this book was not 100 percent packed with OMG and WHAT?! moments. There were parts that were painfully boring and seemed to go on forever. The shock factors McGinnis put into this story was what kept my attention and me at the edge of my seat. When the story got into a lull, I started to lose my connection with the story. But no matter what – stick with this until the end. I want you to read it and come back to tell me your thoughts. Or if you have read it, tell me your thoughts! I cannot be the only person with so many questions.

 

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Sunday Street Team: This Mortal Coil – Review and Giveaway

This Mortal Coil

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This Mortal Coil (This Mortal Coil #1)

Goodreads Link:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33876440-this-mortal-coil

Preorder Links:

Amazon- US: This Mortal Coil

Barnes & Nobles: This Mortal Coil

Book Depository:This Mortal Coil

Author’s Social Media:

Blog: http://emilysuvada.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/emilysuvada

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16320871.Emily_Suvada

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/emilysuvada

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/emily.suvada/

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Synopsis (GR):

Catarina Agatta is a hacker. She can cripple mainframes and crash through firewalls, but that’s not what makes her special. In Cat’s world, people are implanted with technology to recode their DNA, allowing them to change their bodies in any way they want. And Cat happens to be a gene-hacking genius.

That’s no surprise, since Cat’s father is Dr. Lachlan Agatta, a legendary geneticist who may be the last hope for defeating a plague that has brought humanity to the brink of extinction. But during the outbreak, Lachlan was kidnapped by a shadowy organization called Cartaxus, leaving Cat to survive the last two years on her own.

When a Cartaxus soldier, Cole, arrives with news that her father has been killed, Cat’s instincts tell her it’s just another Cartaxus lie. But Cole also brings a message: before Lachlan died, he managed to create a vaccine, and Cole needs Cat’s help to release it and save the human race.

Now Cat must decide who she can trust: The soldier with secrets of his own? The father who made her promise to hide from Cartaxus at all costs? In a world where nature itself can be rewritten, how much can she even trust herself?
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REVIEW:

HOLY SMOKES. This story freaking blew me away. Prepare yourself for one heck of a gushing and gloating review because I loved everything about this story.

Suvada did not waste time easing me into the story because the action started within the first chapter. Cat lives in a time when the infected people basically become zombies and can explode. That’s right – explode. POOF. This new post-apocalyptic world is not for the faint of heart nor for the weak stomach. In order for Cat to remain immune to this plague… well, she has to do things that even made my stomach turn but I would have done it if it meant surviving. It is also a time of corruption by corporations, there is no law but that of the strongest corporation, and the strongest stall survive.

The thing that stood out the most to me was the science woven in this story – marvelous. Suvada made me want to learn about gene hacking. Nobody has ever made me want to learn about science or gene hacking. Well done, Suvada. The way it was all explained in this story was so clever. When something was introduced, it was then explained so I would know what was going on. I never felt like I was talked down to or as if I was simple minded. It was clear and logically talked about. Plus, it was just brilliant. Everything came across in a very clear and simple way. By doing that, Suvada made this story more believable. She made me truly believe this type of future would be possible. Not that I would want it to be (unless I could be Cat…) but it felt very, very believable. It also made me very curious about how I would possibly change myself, if given the opportunity. So many possibilities! With that said, know that there are some seriously disturbing parts to this story. While I would say you need a strong stomach to read, you don’t. Go into it knowing not everything is sunshine and rainbows. Suvada does a damn fine job of telling it like it is. A post-apocalyptic world would be nothing but dog-eat-dog and a place where only the clever & strong survive.

Not only is the plot compelling, but the characters are so complex. They felt so real, as if I could be friends with them in real life (again, if this society were real and I was a cyborg-badass). Cat was such a well developed character that she constantly kept me guessing as to what her next move would be. I found myself quickly trying to solve the problems like Cat, or think about the science behind what was happen and try to guess what Cat would do. Now let’s talk about Cole… purrrrr. I know he’s the guy sent to protect Cole but he, too, was so well rounded and intricate that I wanted to know more about him. He was slow to reveal the skeletons in his closet but once they started to come out, I just wanted more. He was a fantastic character. And then put Cat and Cole together and sparks fly. WHOOOOO BABY. give me a moment to fan myself. I know some people didn’t like the romance in the story but it was such a small part of the story that I believe it added, not took away from.

Overall, I loved this book. Loved. Loved. Loved. I want more from Suvada, especially book two of this series! I am proclaiming myself a forever fan of Emily Suvada. No matter what she writes, I will read. Make sure you grab yourself a copy of this one because it is a story that you will never forget.
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GIVEAWAY:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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About the Author:

Emily Suvada

Emily Suvada was born and raised in Australia, where she went on to study mathematics and astrophysics. She previously worked as a data scientist, and still spends hours writing algorithms to perform tasks which would only take minutes to complete on her own. When not writing, she can be found hiking, cycling, and conducting chemistry experiments in her kitchen. She currently lives in Portland, OR, with her husband.

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Tour Schedule:

11/5 Tour Stops

Interview – Megan Manzano

Review  – Books N Calm

Review – Dani Reviews Things

Interview – Fly Leaf Chronicles

Unique Post – Book Stacks Amber

 

11/12  Tour Stops

Guest Post – Mikayla’s Bookshelf

Interview –Reading is Dreaming with Eyes Wide Open

Review – Sarcasm and Lemons

Unique Post – Downright Dystopian

Review – Here’s To Happy Endings

 

11/19  Tour Stops

Interview – Books, Boys, and Blogs

Review – Emily Reads Everything

Guest Post – The Book Corps

Unique Post – Life of a Literary Nerd

Review – Bay in Wonderland

 

11/26 Tour Stops

Review – A Gingerly Review

Review –  Pretty Deadly Blog

Interview – Library of a Book Witch

 

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Review: Witchtown

Witchtown

 

I’m still struggling to write my review on this one. I borrowed it from my library with the pretense this will be a fantasy mystery thriller type story. WRONG. It was a slightly boring read with very little to do with actual witches. The ending was predictable and I was less than thrilled.

Short recap: Macie and her mother, Aubra, have been moving from witch haven to witch haven claiming to need shelter and safety. That’s a lie as their master plan is to rob the city folks and move on to the next town/haven. Their big finale plan is to rob the infamous Witchtown.

This story was a let down. I know that is a harsh way to start a review but it is true. I wanted so much more but quickly realized it was never going to happen. Macie’s character was not engaging. She was the stereotypical “But I don’t want to be bad, Mom! I’m a good girl!” character. She tried to fight her mom, her mom manipulated her daughter into helping, and Macie stewed in her growing disgust for her mom. The thing that should have been a bigger part of the book was the fact it was about witches. You could have made it all about blondes and it would have had the same effect. Calling these characters “witches” felt like it was for a way to enhance the story. Well, it didn’t work. The witches in the town of Witchtown (sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it?) did very little witching. Very little witchy power was used at all. Most of them knew more about baking or herbs than powers.

I knew I should have DNFd this story when Macie grew to really like Witchtown. She liked the teens within because there was a cute boy. Groan. No surprised but Macie starts to develop feelings for this one cute boy but has constant flashbacks to the first boy she really liked but her mom took away from her. (I won’t give away the secret as to how she did that…) But because of the heavy “friendship is all the strength I need!!” montra from Macie and the “I want this boy to like me” vibes she was throwing off, I lost all interest in the outcome of the story. I did not care one bit what was going to happen.

Nothing about the story felt flushed out. The characters were all weak, flat, and one-dimensional. They had no substance to them whatsoever. They all filled one of the stereotypical roles (outcast, innocent who has a dark secret, brooding dreamy boy, vally girl who is too popular, etc). The setting was also underdeveloped. I read that there were streets, a bakery, a bank, a city hall, etc, but nothing more than that. I didn’t feel as if this place could actually exist. It did not feel believable at all. Even the overall plot itself was painfully predictable. I was not surprised by anything that happened. Hence the reason I wish I had DNFd.

This was just a disappointment of a story. There are heavy religious undertones and messages sprinkled throughout the entire story so expect that if you do read this. I won’t recommend it to you because I don’t want you to walk away as frustrated as I was… still am for reading this.

 

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