Friday, August 30, 2013

Relativity by Cristin Bishara

Relativity by Cristin Bishara 3.5 STARS

RelativitySynopsisIf Ruby Wright could have her way, her dad would never have met and married her stepmother Willow, her best friend George would be more than a friend, and her mom would still be alive. Ruby knows wishes can't come true; some things just can't be undone. Then she discovers a tree in the middle of an Ohio cornfield with a wormhole to nine alternative realities. 
Suddenly, Ruby can access completely different realities, each containing variations of her life—if things had gone differently at key moments. The windshield wiper missing her mother’s throat…her big brother surviving his ill-fated birth…her father never having met Willow. Her ideal world—one with everything and everyone she wants most—could be within reach. But is there such a thing as a perfect world? What is Ruby willing to give up to find out?

* Received ARC for honest review via netgalley.

Cover- Interesting...
Rating: PG
Characters: Ruby, George, Kandy, Mom, Patrick 
Page Turner: Sometimes
Series Cont.? No
Book Boyfriend: None...
Genre: Young Adult  Sci-fy
Sex Scenes: Nope
Setting- Ohio
Recommend if you liked - The Unraveling, When the World Was Flat, Unremembered, Conjured

large oak tree - Google Search
Overall- I liked this book, it was an enjoyable read and I would certainly recommend it to anyone thats interested in the butterfly effect, or multiple/parallel universes. The premise of this book was truly interesting. While the idea of mutliple universes has been a popular theme lately in young adult books, I felt that this author provided a new and different twist.  I liked the plot a lot and felt that the pace moved very well, and helped the character development of Ruby, as she learned who she is, and what life is really all about.

lightning storm - Google Search

Plot- This plot was truly interesting. I have always wondered, if I went left instead of right at that fork in the road called life, what would be different.  Of course, if that was the case then there would be thousands of different worlds, every time a decision was different, in this book, there arent that many however, its never mentioned whether this number is the exact number of universes or the only ones she can visit.  I really liked the different scenarios that the author put Ruby in, and the different interesting facts about her family and friends that she picked up along her journey. Although I do wish the author had taken the novel a little further, specifically, showing the effects of her being in the universe had on the life of those that belonged there, or what had happened while she was gone from hers. There was plenty of mystery, suspense, drama, and action which kept me interested, and by the end, I had to know what was going to happen next. There wasnt a whole lot to figure out at the end, other than will she live or will she get home, so I felt that the mystery stayed with the character throughout the book.

lucy hale as rubyRuby--Ruby is sweet and geeky, shy, but kind and always interested in learning something new. Shes not open to change, as most teenagers are not, but I found her change to be interesting because it didnt occur all at once, or out of nowhere but instead the author did an excellent job of transitioning the thoughts and feelings of Ruby through every universe and experience, driving Ruby to really do some thinking about what she really wants in life. The point of this novel is quite intense, and the authors message really got through. Ruby's thought process also felt so natural and normal, as if reading a semi journal, and I didnt think it was too juvenile, it was exactly what I expect a 15 year science geek to be like! She was funny and quirky and unsure of herself, but willing to take a risk to find a better place. She's definitely a fighter and a dreamer which is a great combination!
George, Erik Knudsen

Patrick, Dad, George, Willow-- I lumped these people together because theres just not enough on them to do individually. Personally, I loved Patrick! I think he was way over protective, and wish we could have learned why, but I enjoyed seeing the dynamic with Ruby and him. I also enjoyed George, though on some level I was quite confused as to how he could possibly end up in Ohio, but agree that fate is the answer. Dad/Willow- I dont know much about these characters, and could have benefitted from having more of them in the book, Ruby described her dad as not all there now that he has Willow, but he did seem to care about her well being, perhaps it was her perception of a new situation...regardless there wasnt enough of them in the book, at all.

Patrick is Robbie Amell
Mom- This one was most interesting and I think most well place character in the book. Without giving too much away, I felt that this character was what pushed Ruby to delve into her pysche to figure out what she needs and wants in the life she has versus what she thought she was missing. I liked that she pushed the limits.

Kandy--Wow What a vicious girl! I dont really like Kandy, and I know Im not supposed to, but quite frankly I thought her behavior was absolutely ridiculous and they idea that she would injure Ruby so badly seemed completely bizarre to me. I didnt like this characters behavior, and could have done without.

What I didnt like- slight spoilers maybe...
The author never reveal where displaced Ruby goes.
Ruby is very selfish
The butterfly effect is discussed, but it doesn't seem as though the reader ever sees the results.
I felt like there werent enough differences between some of the universes she went to.
I also didnt care for the ending, I felt that there was not enough information at the end, of what happened while she was "gone"
And I REALLY didnt like the therapist. It felt off putting considering the rest of the book.
I was also disappointed that after everything Ruby learned, she didnt use it when she got back to get answers, or that she never learned again, what happened while she was gone.
There was no love story involved.
I didnt like that she had injured her leg so badly, I felt it detracted from the plot.
I didnt like Kandy, having this character would have been fine, even a mean step sister is fine, but cruel and violet and vicious, not so much.
Ultimately, the above reasons are why I gave the book a 3.5.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Tent City by Kelly Van Hull

Tent City By Kelly Van Hull 3.5 STARS

Tent CitySynopsisAfter a devastating plague, introverted 17-year-old Dani Campbell and her family find themselves living in a very different America, one run by a cult-like leader, who forces children to move to "safety camps" designed to protect the human race. Encouraged to flee by her parents, Dani and her five-year-old brother seek refuge in the Black Hills of South Dakota. On the run with danger around every corner, Dani must fight to ensure their survival in this new world while trying to unmask the mystery of how it all came to be

Overall- Im a left a bit baffled by this very intriguing novel. There were a lot of things I liked about this book, but there a few things that really got under my skin, and I struggled severely with the ending...regardless...I liked the story and the characters a lot. And even though I was missing a few connections, I felt attached to Dani, like I had grown with her. I enjoyed seeing her grow over time and become the woman she is. I really enjoyed the authors writing as well, she kept things simple, but continued to add layers over the course of the book, building the plot, the mystery and the characters to pull it altogether for the ending. It was in some instances inspiring and I love that the story got me thinking and creating. This is a great story for anyone looking for a clean, young dystopian novel.

tentsCover- alluring 
Rating: PG
Characters: Bentley, Jack, Dani, Kit, Brody   
Page Turner: Sometimes
Series Cont.? Not sure 
Recommend if You Like...Ashes, Ashes; Eden (AKA The Bane) 
Book Boyfriend: Jack and Bentley 
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian 
Sex Scenes: Nope
Setting- Midwest (South Dakota) 

Plot- This plot is quite interesting and even though pieces of it have been heard before, overall its still captivating and intriguing and I found myself enjoying the book more and more as I got further invested. There are some lulls in the book, where I found myself wondering where the book was going to go, but it was short lived as it felt like every chapter kept the book and characters moving forward and on ward in their journey. The book was more about surviving and coming of age in a world that is divided and not so simple any more. I found the love story interesting, though a triangle is frustrating at times and I would have preferred a bit more on how Dani felt, rather than consistently feeling unsure.

tent cityish
The plot though generally predictable, kept me interested, and knowing there may be a sequel, keeps me quite intrigued in this story! I liked the added issue of having a child to care for, it really forced Dani to grow up. As for the different events the occurred, I really enjoyed these, they were unexpected and different, not your typical scenes. The action, the learning, the self discovery was all very interesting and kept me intrigued. Im disappointed that the book was left with a semi cliffhanger, and if there is a sequel, I am DYING to read it. I MUST know WHO she picks and what happens. But If Im left with the ending now...Ill survive, but Im VERY upset. 

Shelley Hennig as Dani

Dani: I actually REALLY liked Dani, (and the boys) and these relationships are what kept me most interested, figuring out where they would be going, the feelings, the lies and the secrets, they were most intriguing. I loved watching her grow over the course of the book.  I think what the author did best, was that she was able to create and grow the heroine without forcing it upon the reader. The changes appeared gradually and by the end of the book I am amazed at how strong, even though foolish at times she has become, and more so she is passionate and fearless for her family. I only wish I could have felt more of her feelings towards the love triangle, I felt like while we got to know the boys, her feelings were never there and present for the audience to get to know.  

Chase Crawford as Jack
Jack- Wow. At first I was a little wary of this one. I wasnt sure we would trust him. But mid way through the book, Im in love. I want to kiss him, I want a Jack in my life. This guy is quite the knight in shining armor. Whats great about Jack is that his mystery is not so scary, he feels somewhat safe to me, and even though he is hiding something, he doesnt seem sinister about it, instead he seems kind, and caring, but keeps his past behind him and chooses not to discuss it. His caring nature is what I like most though, he is so selfless! Ah...I cant believe what he does in the end though! How could he!!!

Hayden Christensen as Bentley
 I cant decide how I feel about Bentley, but right now I love him. I think he has a tough exterior but a soft spot for Dani. I dislike that he is distant, and untrusting, but understand that its part of the life he lives, he cant divulge everything to someone he just met! Its obvious as the reader that he likes Dani and I find myself rooting for him, even when he is a little mean. But I think he has her best interest at heart and truly cares about her and her family. Even I fell for him. Whats great about Bentley is that even though we dislike him, we love him, the author does a great job of showing the reader that he isnt the bad guy, hes just doing the best he can to protect himself and the people he's trying to help. Deep down he is a great guy.

Brody Tent City
Brody- Such a sweet little kid! OMG He is such a doll. I cant imagine doing what Dani did at her age, and I think this is one of the reasons that I like the novels, he brings a new different layer of complications and complexity. He was a great insert into the dystopian world and this story would be incomplete without him! I like that he really helped Dani grow into her own, in some ways to grow up and mature but also to become responsible to see that the world can be cruel, AND beautiful.

What I didnt Say Sam?
Sara Paxton as Kit 
Kit-- I like Kit, but I find her to be quite superficial and not that helpful. She may be "free spirited, but quite frankly, I wanted to leave her behind a few times on the trip. Her inability to recognize the situations they were in, constantly over sharing, and disregarding their safety was by far the most annoying part about her, and then when we got to camp it seemed like all she did to interact with Dani was baby sit or make her over...I understand their friendship is deeper than that, but I felt that Kits heart was more invested in gossip and boys than survival.

Callie/Jess- I liked these supporting characters, their roles each served a purpose for Dani, helping her to grow up and to be a sounding board at times and that was appreciated. There are always people like this in our lives.

What I didnt Like:
I dont like that there is what I consider a cliffhanger, whats known to me as a story that ends and leaves the reader with some finality but open enough for a sequel, think Inception, or the Bourne Movies.
Every once in a while it felt like I missed something, like I skipped a paragraph that contained the information necessary to move from one point to another, but that was not the case.
Jack is supposed to look like a young tall Tom Cruise. Personally, this just bothers me because Im not a fan of his...
I felt it could have been more developed, especially the characters and their relationships with one another.
Pieces of this book were extremely predictable, and the fact that the main heroine didnt connect some of these dots herself, really annoyed me, especially when she acted like the victim because of it.

Throughout the novel Im a little annoyed with Dani the heroine for being so trusting and willing to go along with things so easily. Given the environment they were in it would seem like this was not the norm, they should have been a little more paranoid. And Kit seems quite trusting, and somewhat selfish...I could go on, their attitudes just got to me at times.
There were a couple of instances where the scene was so completely unrealistic (in a novel where realism was ever present) that I struggled with why it was even one point someone is shot and then only a few hours later is out running through the woods...unnecessarily!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Perception By Lee Strauss

Perception by Lee Strauss 4 STARS

Perception (Perception, #1) Synopsis: Eternal Life is To Die For.
Seventeen year old Zoe Vanderveen is a GAP—a genetically altered person. She lives in the security of a walled city on prime water-front property along-side other equally beautiful people with extended life spans. Her brother Liam is missing.
Noah Brody is a natural who lives on the outside. He leads protests against the GAPs and detests the widening chasm they’ve created between those who have and those who don’t. He doesn’t like girls like Zoe and he has good reason not to like her specifically.
Zoe’s carefree life takes a traumatic turn. She’s in trouble and it turns out that Noah, the last guy on earth she should trust, is the only one who can help her. PERCEPTION is a (SF/mystery/romance) Young Adult novel that takes place in the not-too-distant future in a world changed by climate extremes, natural disasters and impending wars, and where scientific breakthroughs cause class divisions—both financially and philosophically. It explores the clash between faith and science and how differences can separate us as enemies or ally us together. And in some cases, even in the midst of betrayal and personal crisis, there’s room to fall in love.

This book took me by surprise. It was one of those books that was recommended to me by Goodreads or Amazon, that I thought, 'hmm. Could be interesting...' then I saw it was for free on Amazon, and I thought, 'Why not?!' And I was NOT disappointed. This was quite the future dystopian young adult book! I fell in love!!! I dont think the title does this book justice, and it certainly doesnt have the hype it should. If you are a fan of young adult dystopian, then this book is for you. If you like futuristic books with lots of action, adventure, and a little romance, you will like this one, especially if you have read books like Found, Evolution, Bane (Eden) and Talented.

Cover: OK
Rating- PG
Characters:   Noah and Zoe mainly. 
Page Turner: Yes
Series Cont.? Yes
Recommend if You Like...Found, Evolution, The Bane, Talented 
Book Boyfriend: Noah
Genre: Sci-Fi, Futuristic Dystopian 
Sex Scenes: No 
Setting California 

I like that this book starts out with an imaginable future, albeit distant, where genetically altered people exist (meaning your parents pick your physical traits, or they can change their appearance for a cost at a later age) that allows them to be essentially "beautiful" and live longer. They are of course the wealthy people and have their own gated communities. This book focuses on technology and big brother and how this could effect the human race, both the wealthy and the blue collar communities. 

The really interesting part of this book is that the plot is truly intriguing and I was glued to my kindle after the first chapter. The authors ability to world build is amazing. I could literally imagine a world like this, and the surroundings felt normal. I felt as if I was in this world, watching it through Zoe's eyes. I really enjoyed Zoe, her ambition and drive, her curiosity were so interesting, and I wanted to know her, I wanted to follow her story and find out the truth as much as she did. 

I felt the author did a nice job of pacing, providing information as we go, twisting things in the right place so that I wasnt able to pin point exactly what was going on, and I felt the plot point was good, it followed appropriately  nothing felt out of place or that the timing was wrong. I liked the drama that was involved to, and felt that the situations, all things considered, and because its a futuristic book, were pretty real. What I loved about this book though and made it stand out from all the others, is that this is the book that is what brings about the end that you usually read. This is where the technology started, before it took over. I loved that part. I couldnt wait to read the next installment! 

Big Brother is Watching...

Dean Geyer Noah perception
As Noah
Noah-Well well well...Noah is not your typical bad boy, but he isnt the goody two shoes either. Hes just a boy trying to make it and take care of his family. His story reminds me of the other side of the track love stories. He is responsible and caring, and his story and character develops far beyond this book and my expectations. I like in this book that we get to see Noah from Zoe's perspective for most of the book, until the end when we the POV changes to Noah and we get to see his true feelings and thoughts which are very clear. What I love most about Noah is that once he makes up his mind, he is set, and goes through with his plan and his love. I love his determination and passion, and wish I had my own Noah to save me (as well as put me in peril since as of now I dont need saving...semantics!) 
brittany snow -Zoe Perception
Brittany Snow as Zoe 

Zoe - I loved Zoe. She is so spunky. She reminds a lot of Penny from Found, who I loved. She is fiesty and charasmatic, shes passionate, and determined, and would not half ass things. I think what makes her most interesting though is not just that she is naive, but that she pushes herself to become a knowledgeable person and engaged in the real world and not just the world she was used to. Once her brother died, it was like something inside her snapped, allowing her to see everything around her in color for the first time, whereas it used to be in black and white. She really grows into her own, and even though at times she is reckless, fearless, the author does a great job of showing Zoe grow throughout the book. And of course when the unfortunate and inevitable occur, she, Zoe trusts her inner voice to show her the way when she is unsure. She is so strong, and I loved reading her story. 

There were a few things I didnt care for that are worth noting and kept me from giving it more.

What I didnt like: 
This series  was somewhat religious at times, which I dont care to read about, and felt that the undertones were at times, annoying. 
Political References could also be annoying at times. 
There are references to what could be considered WW2 references, the GAPS tend to be blonde haired and blue eyed while naturals tend to everything else. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

When the World Was Flat (and we were in Love) By Ingrid Jonach

When the World Was Flat (and we were in Love) By Ingrid Jonach 4 STARS

When the World was Flat (And We Were in Love)Synopsis:
When sixteen-year-old Lillie Hart meets the gorgeous and mysterious Tom Windsor-Smith for the first time, it’s like fireworks — for her, anyway. Tom looks as if he would be more interested in watching paint dry; as if he is bored by her and by her small Nebraskan town in general.
But as Lillie begins to break down the walls of his seemingly impenetrable exterior, she starts to suspect that he holds the answers to her reoccurring nightmares and to the impossible memories which keep bubbling to the surface of her mind — memories of the two of them, together and in love.
When she at last learns the truth about their connection, Lillie discovers that Tom has been hiding an earth-shattering secret; a secret that is bigger — and much more terrifying and beautiful — than the both of them. She also discovers that once you finally understand that the world is round, there is no way to make it flat again. 
An epic and deeply original sci-fi romance, taking inspiration from Albert Einstein’s theories and the world-bending wonder of true love itself.

* I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review 

Overall- WOW. I dont even know what to think. Im still processing. This book took me by surprise. After reading the synopsis I was hooked. I had to read this book. At about 10% I was intrigued but I little confused as to where the story was going. At 30% I was getting involved but still a little skeptic. By 50% I was HOOKED. No way did I see these curveballs. I am so impressed by the authors imagination and ability to put this down on paper, creating such a great world and amazing characters. This book reminds me a little of Grasping at Eternity, and a little of the butterfly effect. And if you like the Unraveling, this has that aspect to it as well. 

Ill be honest though, there is a great deal of world and character building through the first half of the book, and very little science fiction. HOWEVER, stick it out! You will not be disappointed. This is one of those books, where after Ive read it, and know the ending, I want to re-read it, so I can see all the hints the author has magnificently crafted and placed throughout the novel, unbeknownst to the reader until everything comes together in the end. This story was not only beautifully written but woven together with great care and imagination. Surely will stay with me for a while! 
Cover: Dark and Intriguing 
Rating: PG or PG-13
Overall: Pretty good! 
Characters: Jo, Sylv, Jackson, Tom and Lillie 
Page Turner: halfway through YES
Series Cont.? No
Recommend: Yes
Book Boyfriend: Tom
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction
Sex Scenes: NO
Setting: Nebraska high school 

Plot--When the World was Flat is an interesting take of high school drama and love. And I mean REALLY interesting. It is very difficult for me to put into words what this book did to me. I wouldnt say the book is Epic. But it was captivating and monumental. What makes this book great though is the development and interweaving of the purpose and premise of the book through out the book as a whole without giving away the ending. While reading the novel its easy to recognize some of these points in retrospect, but at the time, Im feeling like the main character, Im sensing what she sense and feeling her feelings. It isnt until we get towards the end of the book, that I realize, holy crap the author wove all that into the whole book and THATS the ENDING. WOAH. I needed time for everything to sink in. 

When I originally read the book, I thought to myself, wow, this is a lot of background. This is kind of immature, boring, blah...but then there always these moments that kept me going. And looking back, after knowing the ending and the purpose. Im in awe. The author's pace was perfect. The style (for this age group) was also great. Ah I want to unknow the ending so I can re-read it!!!   

Elise Gatien as Lillie
Lillie --Ah my Lillie. I liked her. I liked that over time her character developed in so many ways. In some ways its hard to explain without giving anything away, but overall her character truly developed over the course of the book from a young girl just living, to a young woman falling in love and then dealing with the backlash of that love and the consequences of her actions. A coming of age novel with a sci-fi twist. I appreciated her juvenile behavior, beacuse it reminds the reader that she is a teenager, and will make mistakes, and learn as she goes. Shes naive but does attempt to become less so. 

Steven McQueen as Tom

Oh Tom--Tom is so handsome, and loyal. Getting to know him was so frustrating at times, which is of course explained, finally. But it all makes sense. His loyalty and devotion is charming, and beautiful, I think he is quite the gentlemen and friend. I found his development different from the norm, he progressed as a character to Lillie, as she was interested, I was interested, as she was intrigued, or mad, or in love, I felt it too, without actually knowing or falling in love with Tom, all the while I fell in love with Lillie loving him and his undying devotion and love. It was such a timeless story, my heart goes out to Tom. **swoons**

Supporting Cast--
AnnaLynn McCord as Sylv 
Jo and Sylv--I found these two girls to be really interesting. The dynamic that they created was what took this book to that next level. The interactions between the three and the changes the group and girls as individuals go through throughout the book are not only coming of age related but were so interesting when you through in the sci fi aspect. Once you begin to use the knowledge from the last half of the book to rethink the first half their roles and development become more interesting.  
Shay Mitchell as Jo 

Jackson- I found Jackson to be a good additional character (same with Melissa) these are characters that I enjoy because they are necessary to propel the novel and move forward with not only the plot point but also the character development for the main characters.
Blonde Short Men Hairstyles Short Hairstyles for Men

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Stay with Me by Elyssa Patrick

Stay with Me by Elyssa Patrick 3.5 STARS

Stay With Me (With Me #1)SynopsisWith one look, I’m his . . .
With one touch, he’s mine . . .
With one kiss, it changes everything between us . . .
I’ve been famous since I can remember. Singing, acting, dancing—I’ve done it all. The tabloids cover my every move, but I don’t want that anymore. I want to be normal, whatever that is.
When I leave Hollywood for college in Vermont, I’m on my own for the first time in my life. This is my chance to figure out who I am and what I want in life.
But it’s a lot harder than I expected. I can’t escape my image. Classes are difficult, and I’m struggling. And then there’s Caleb Fox.
Sexy, intriguing Caleb Fox.
Caleb is the one man who doesn’t want to use me. He breaks down my walls. He challenges me. He wants me. And I just don’t know if I can give him the same—or if he’ll stick around when he finds out my shameful secret that the tabloids haven’t managed to uncover.
Dating him is risky enough, but loving him could break me.

*I received ARC copy in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley

Future couple in one of my books...
 I liked this novel. It was my first Elyssa Patrick book and I would certainly continue with the series and the author. What I loved about this book was the characters. I fell in love with each of them. I think the author did a great job of creating characters that were easily relatable, with a personality of their own. In fact the author flawlessly created characters through a first person narrative without even trying (so it felt). I was disappointed that I didnt get more of Nick and Daphne! But I was really happy with Caleb and Hailey.

Cover: Sexy
Rating: PG-13 with sexual content
Overall: Pretty good 
Characters:  Hailey, Caleb, Nick, Daphne
Page Turner: No
Series Cont.? Yes- Characters 
Recommend if You Like...Wanted
Book Boyfriend:
Genre: New Adult 
Sex Scenes: Yes
Setting Vermont College

Caleb - Jared Padalecki
The plot point of this particular novel is what drew me in. Its different than other rock star or famous person books. There is no Hollywood glam and instead its just the opposite. Its the reverse of all things Hollywood and I LOVED that idea. Its intriguing and interesting, so very different than anything Ive heard of lately. Lately its all about rock star guys who are man-whores, and the innocent girl getting him to settle down. Instead, this was about a girl leaving behind the high life to find something more meaningful. Hailey is my kind of girl. I liked that she was confident on the outside but insecure on the inside. I liked that Caleb wasnt some big shot on campus and wasnt a "manwhore" but in fact a genuinely nice guy. I loved that he was devoted and loyal, he was confident and sexy, yet a sweet and kind soul.

I loved Hailey too. She was very interesting and her inner turmoil that as the reader we hear, I was able to connect and understand her, her reasons, her thought process, everything. Her secret wasnt too hard to figure out, and I knew it would obviously come out, but I was sincerely pleased with the way the author handled the situation/secret and the reactions of the other characters felt genuine and normal.  Daphne was quite interesting and dynamic, I loved her sarcasm and spunk!

The pacing of the novel was also good. I didnt think anything moved too slowly or too quickly. Time seemed to move at a normal pace. Attraction and lust are things that come quickly and can fade quickly, but love takes time to build and the author did just that. She took the time to build the love story, allowing the characters to get to know each other, to learn and grow from one another. It was interesting to see how the characters are interacted with one another and grew into their own relationships.

 What I didnt like:
Some scenes were overly descriptive to a point where I didnt really care or need to know the intricate details.
I felt like I didnt really get to know Caleb until halfway through the book. I didnt understand what the pull of Caleb was to Hailey.
I felt that it was a little dull at times. While I cant say I was "bored" per se, since the book was fairly short, I didnt really think there was much story line throughout the book. It was essentially, a famous girl finding herself when she went to college after getting away from Hollywood and her mother, falling in love and figuring out what she wants to do with her life. But in between all that....theres not much going on...
I didnt like that the Nick/Daphne thing was left so unmentioned, but look forward to reading Nicks book!
I also didnt care for the focus on the art. I just didnt like it.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Everything Changes by Shey Stahl

Everything Changes by Shey Stahl 4 STARS

Everything ChangesSynopsis: I knew a boy once.
He was a boy that changed everything.
I didn't know Parker O’Neil outside of the occasional smile and wink. The AMA Supercross racer came to our small town one winter, and I had no idea what he was capable of. How could I have known that he would change my life forever that summer? Eventually, the occasional smile became a smile I grew to love and longed to see. The occasional wink became a gesture that made my soul sway and my heart ache. In the canyons of the desert, he showed me his lifestyle and his love.
What I didn't see was the control he had over me. It was a power the glitz and glamour of his professional lifestyle had and eventually what tore apart any life I thought I knew. In his world of banging bars and soaring jumps, there was no room for someone like me. But for five years, every time he called or touched me, everything changed again. It was a touch that could heal anything and a smile that could light even the darkest nights.
Everything Changes by Shey Stahl
I cant quite decide how I feel about this book. I went through a range of emotions during the novel. I laughed, I cried, I screamed (internally) I was frustrated and annoyed, but empathetic and understanding. Im not sure a rating is appropriate on this one. At times, I hated the book (rightfully so for my roller-coaster emotions!) and other times I was utterly in love :-) Shey Stahl did a great job of creating such an emotionally raw, and genuine novel of falling in love and finding yourself at a young age. I loved that this story felt real, there were so many moments throughout the book, that any person could relate to, and moments that felt like they could have happened in my own life. it was incredible. But it wasnt without its faults. For me and my style. Much of the book felt negative, and sad. The story was told over the course of 5 years starting in 1997 through 2009. (focusing on the 1997 time frame) the first half of the book I spent falling in love with the story, but the 2nd half of the book I spend my time trying to figure out why the author built the love story only to literally tear me apart. Young love was sweetly written and beautifully described, but the constant lack of communication got to me, and I was irritated that no one was willing to be brave and speak up. I was pleasantly surprised though with the way the author turned things around for the characters. 

My pick for "Parker O'Neal in Everything Changes   BY Shey StahlCover: Attractive and interesting
Rating: PG-13 with sexual content
Overall: Pretty good 
Characters:  Addy, Justin, Rick, Parker, and Rowan
Page Turner: At times
Series Cont.? No
Recommend if You Like...Crush; Waiting for You;  (coming of age love stories)
Book Boyfriend: Parker
Genre: New Adult 
Sex Scenes: Yes
Setting Northwest Region

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Plot--The story line is completely relatable. Not in the way some might think, not many of us know people who get famous after highschool and stay in touch with this love they had. BUT most people can relate to young love, first love, and the possible heartbreak, the definite confusion and the intense emotional toll it takes on a girl (and probably a guy) For Rowan and Parker, they share a number of firsts together, but most importantly they share their first love, and the heartache that follows this couple is something I could completely FEEL. The truth is at 17, heartache comes easily, we're naive, everything is unknown and new, and reading Rowan and Parkers story felt real, as though I could relive my own first love. As usual things change. Such is life. Hope and Love keep us going, and certainly in the book thats what kept Rowan going and likely Parker. Hope that things could wok out, and love, the strongest emotion that helps us hold onto the hope through our fears. I was amazed at the authors ability to weave such strong emotions through such raw, genuine and sincere reactions, and plot lines. (ie going to different colleges) I was right there holding my breath with Rowan as she waited for Parker to call, and crying with her when she left him each time. Thats what made this book amazing. Not just the plot or the characters, but the authors ability to string everything together so much so that I feel as one with the main character. I could relate to that shy mentality, that idea of not really wanting to know, yet wanting to know without asking, hoping that the answer was what you wanted to hear, but fearful that it might not be....

Thankfully here is there is a HEA too because everyone wants that in their own personal love story. 

googleRowan- I could relate to Rowan in her frequent emotional states and immense love and passion for Parker, her first love. Its hard to let go of the one who first stole your heart. I was only bothered in the beginning of the book, when they first started hanging out, I was slightly confused. But once I got the vibe, I fell hard just like Parker and Rowan. Experiencing their love story first hand, felt as though I was with them, as a fly on the wall. Their intimate moments felt raw, completely genuine and on point for the 17 year old they were, and as their relationship developed and their feelings evolved so did everything else about their (except maybe their communication). Rowan's outlook felt normal, her reactions were typical of that age, and it was infuriating yet completely understandable. I could completely see her reasoning, no matter how irrational. I knew why she wanted stability, I knew why she couldnt say no and that longing feeling that she felt for Parker every moment. It was the emotional side of Rowan that made me fall in love with Sheys novel. And while as an adult I am mad at their lack of communication skills, I got it. As a shy girl in love, no one wants rejection and its easier to be blind than to face things head on. But the changes that Rowan went through over time, her strength and honesty eventually won out and that was also something for her to be proud of but that I could clearly see. 

Derek Theler
Parker- Wow. What do you say about Parker O'Neal. He is bat shit crazy sometimes, but quite the lover. In more ways than one Im sure. Parker is a lover and a fighter, even when he arrived to the fight late, he never gave up. I think thats true in more than one scenario for this character and book. I felt bad for Rowan because it was so hard on her, but when she visited it was easy to see why it was hard on him to make time. I only wish he would have communicated to her his wants and needs more and in a better way. His emotional wants and needs and his physical desires sometimes got in the way of what a womans emotional needs really are. I was frustrated with him and Rowan though for their inability to just say what they wanted and needed, but overall  I liked Parker, he was sweet and genuinely loving of Rowan, all around he was the guy that defends his girl to the end and loves without knowing there could even be a end. He was always supportive and understanding, and reading him grow into a man was the best part of the novel, seeing him go from teenager to man in love with Rowan was really fun and beautiful.

Riley Smith
Addy and Justin--I loved this couple. It was nice to provide the constant for Rowan, I think this was really the stability in her life (not Sean) and it was obvious that Addy cared deeply for Rowan as more than a friend. I only wish that Addy would have been more honest and open with Rowan and pulled Rowan out of her depression. It was hard to read Rowans sadness, because I felt that Addy could have stepped up more. But at that age, its different, you dont know how to respond or behave or help, and in that I could understand the reactions and lack thereof at times. But when it mattered Addy always said what needed to be said and didnt hold back. Justin was a great wingman to this story and I appreciated that there was a good guy through and through with the brothers. (I would take either one!)

Kirsten Prout as Addy
Rick and Sean- I loved Rick, as a parent, I couldnt quite understand how he was always so understanding and willing to accept Rowans behavior, but I can see how in his position he felt that he needed to do what he could to keep her connected and I appreciated that. 
Sean- I felt so bad for this kid (ok hes not a kid) but it was very saddening to see Rowan settle, not that I can blame her. I can relate to that feeling of needing stability after a whirlwind relationship. 

Monday, August 5, 2013

Saving Grace by Christine Zolendz

Saving Grace by  Christine Zolendz 5 STARS!!!

Saving Grace (Mad World, #2)Synopsis: After spending over 2,000 years being a lost soul looking for the angel I was forbidden to fall in love with, I finally found him. Lucky for me he has taken up residence inside the hot body of NYC’s local bad boy, tattooed rock star, Shane Maxton. Turns out, not only is he absolutely perfect, so is the whole Grace Taylor life that I’m stuck in. The only problem is Gabriel. An archangel who wants me all to himself so he kind of kidnaps me. Now I have to find my way back and hope everything works out

Overall -- Holy Smokes! I couldnt believe that it could get any better. And Im so glad that i didnt have to wait for this one to come out! I was dying to find out what happened. I really really love this series and the ending was awesome! I really liked the book and I was surprised that I would like it as much as I have. I could not put this book down.

Cover: Sexy and appealing
Rating: R
Characters: Grace, Shane, Lea, Conner ...
Page Turner: YES
Series Cont.? YES
Recommend: YES!!!
Book Boyfriend: Shane
Genre:  New Adult Romance, Paranormal
Sex Scenes: YES
Setting: New York City

Plot--Wow. After the cliff hanger from the last book, I couldnt wait to get into this one!And it did not disappoint. It was absolutely amazing and heart wrenching, beautifully crafted and so incredible. I didnt want the book to end I was enthralled. The author did yet another wonderful job of crafting this angelic tale of two people torn apart, trying to put the pieces of their life and love back together. This book continues Grace's story from the moment the 1st book ends. And it does not dwell on the negative. Which I appreciate. But I love the mystery that remained, trying to figure out what happened without actually asking or telling, trying to figure out thoughts and feelings. The journey was spectacular and I loved the ending. I was absolutely stunned. Nothing about this book disappointed me. And after reading everything from Shanes POV. I now understand why some pieces were missing and I think this book was even more perfect!

Characters --

Grace--I still love Grace. Yep. I love this character. She is stubborn, but loving, amazing, and talented, beautiful with sass and wit, sarcasm and humor and shes such a fighter. Her story is gut wrenchingly beautiful, saddening, maddening, humoring, sexy and above all else, it is loving. The love story that has been crafted by the author and the intrigue behind it all was addictive. And Im still reeling from the intensity of it all. I couldnt put it down I couldnt forget these characters and believe it is by far one of my favorite books and characters and love stories of all times!!!

Shane- Hm. Shane. Such a bad boy. He is so mysterious and dangerous, but intrigung and he pulls you in with those eyes and his small touches. It really is the little moments that are built upon that made me fall in love with him. He shows how much he cares in the littlest of ways, ways in which normal human beings think its simple, but for him the gesture means so much more. Its obvious he was fighting himself and his feelings. Reading it from Graces point of view was at times hard, because I want to punch him for his stupidity, but everyone has their reasons and their demons and they deal with them their own way...still by the end of the book, Im in love and wishing I had my own Shane.

Luke Guldan photo Luke-Guldan-male-models-17953914-1000-669-738x493.jpg
 photo Lea.jpg
Lea and Connor- As side characters they are great, their comedic relief and tension relievers are welcome at times, and create the awkward real life moments that truly occur.

While there are the annoying characters I think overall the cast here is really interesting and far more developed than many other books Ive read.