Thursday, December 4, 2014

Rite of Rejection

Rite of Rejection- by  2.5 STARS

Rite of RejectionSynopsis
"Before you stands the future."
Straight-laced, sixteen-year-old Rebecca can't wait for her Acceptance. A fancy ball, eligible bachelors, and her debut as an official member of society. Instead, the Machine rejects Rebecca. Labeled as a future criminal, she's shipped off to a life sentence in a lawless penal colony.
A life behind barbed-wire fences with the world's most dangerous people terrifies Rebecca. She reluctantly joins a band of misfit teens in a risky escape plan, complete with an accidental fiancé she's almost certain she can learn to love.
But freedom comes with a price. To escape a doomed future and prove her innocence, Rebecca must embrace the criminal within.

*Netgalley provided a copy in exchange for an honest review 

Generally, the book was an easy read that was interesting. The ending was terrible. I actually hated it. It left me uncertain as to whether there would be another book. Not quite a cliffhanger but leaving it open enough. Except, honestly, this book does not need a sequel. And if there was one, I wouldn't read it. While I liked the book while reading it. I was less than impressed and feel minor contempt towards the book. Frankly, the book had a unique plot, but failed to develop fully and provide enough depth and plot movement to really capture my attention. The book was easy enough to read, but there was no connection for me and so once I was finished, I just wanted to move on. 

This book sounded right up my alley! But it fell a little flat. In basically every department there was something wrong. Except for maybe the writing. I didnt feel as strongly as some of the other reviewers regarding the purpose of the delinquents in the long run, but i certainly questioned it.Specifically, I wondered their long term purpose. If they cant reproduce and dont work, what are they providing to life. But the logical side of me understands, this is what prisons are, this is what internment camps were, and in the respect I get it. But at the same time, its truly hard outside the book to understand why the author failed to provide some purpose of the exile. i.e. good behavior = redemption or the like.

I recognize that the main character is naive, as most progatonist start off. And I enjoyed that she blossomed into her own throughout the book. Unforutnately the love aspect, and attempt at a triangle seemed awkward and weird. With all the characters. Elizabeth, Molly, Eric, Rebecca and Daniel as a group were interesting, collectively I liked them. But individually, I dont think I knew any of them. Each one on their own seemed irrelevant. I was actually really frustrated with the way certain aspects turned out, because there is never resolution or discussion, or explanation. I want to WHY! I had to read between the lines for a lot things. And thats okay sometimes, but this book missed the mark on multiple occasions. Especially with Elizabeth.

There seemed to be a VERY sorry attempt at a love story. There was no story. Each part was odd and mysterious. Why didnt anyone ever tell Rebecca? Why was Eric so drawn to Rebecca? Was she drawn to him or Daniel? Why did she like either? Both? One? This whole storyline just seemed so off putting and awkward.

The escape could have better executed. In more than one way. In fact, I was extremely disappointed with the outcome. So many things could have happened here. I understand why the author did what she did. But, I felt that the book became extremely stagnant after this point in the book. I also didnt understand nor did I feel that I got closure on a number of issues. Especially Eric. I was VERY confused about that and believe a better explanation could have benefit the reader greatly. 

In fact, I felt there was not only a lack of connection to many of the characters and the plot was lacking in depth but I think the entire book lacked depth. Generally, the book was an easy quick read, with an interesting and unique plot. But the execution was sorely lacking. I ended up disappointed. I would have preferred more depth, and action, the constant observant feel left me wanting more.

I was drawn to Eric and Daniel equally but could have done without the awkward love triangle "angle". While I see where this was going, it didnt work. much to my dismay, the author should have just developed this book better with beta readers.

I wasn't fond of Elizabeth or Molly and quite frankly didnt understand why Rebecca bothered to really fit in with them but for Eric (and see what happened there?!) I was disappointed with the lack of character development on all fronts.

Monday, December 1, 2014

One Song Away

One Song Away- Molli Moran - 2.5 STARS

She needs a fill-in boyfriend. He needs a favor. It’s the perfect, no-strings arrangement until they both realize it’s too real…
Sophie-Claire Wright’s life is like a bad country song on repeat. She keeps running into her cheating ex, her songwriting career isn't taking off, and her roommate just kicked her out of their apartment. With nothing to lose, she decides to do the one thing she said she’d never do: she moves back home. She left her small Southern town with big dreams, but now she’s going home with empty pockets.
Life moves at a slower pace in Sophie’s blink-and-you’ll-miss-it hometown, but her well-meaning, matchmaking mama doesn't have a slow gear. Sophie invents a boyfriend to hold off her mother’s efforts, but she’s out of luck when her mom wants to meet him. Sophie panics until she runs into Jake Cooper. Her high school crush (and former best friend) is back in town, too, and when he asks her for a favor, she agrees...on one condition. He says he’ll be her fill-in boyfriend, so it should be simple: re-introduce him to her family and then “break up” with him after a few weeks.
Sophie is sure she’ll be able to resist Jake this time. Sure, she was in love with him years ago, but that was then. This is now, no matter how great he looks, or how she feels around him. But she didn't bargain for moments that feel all too genuine. Dates that don’t seem fake. Kisses that leave her shaken and wanting more. Sweet moments where she forgets they aren't really dating. And she didn't count on old feelings resurfacing and complicating their arrangement—which is starting to feel less like acting and more like the real deal.
Soon, Sophie can’t tell which kisses are real or fake, but she knows she’s in deep...and she thinks Jake is, too. When she gets a chance to go back to Nashville and chase her dreams again, she has a choice to make: stay or go? Continue hoping that the life she wants is one song away, or finally write her own song?

*received a copy from net galley in exchange for an honest review 

Do you ever like a book, but not really? Thats how I felt about this one. This was a short, easy and fun read. It isnt too emotionally deep, or ridiculous. The plot line is fine, its cute. I enjoyed the book as I read it. But I didnt have any strong desire to keep reading either. I wasn't invested in the characters. Or their story. I liked Jake a lot, and I liked Sophie Claire but, they seemed so one note. And so obvious. There was no mystery to me, Jake was plain as day.

Plot- I was really drawn into reading this based on the synopsis, it sounded just up my alley. But I was a little disappointed. The plot summary seemed to be far more intense and complicated than the book itself. The biggest problem with this book is the lack of intrigue or mystery. There are no problems for the couple to face. No obstacles to overcome. Not really. The ones that are there are extremely superficial. While there was no problem with the Authors writing, the book was just too simplistic for me. 
The book started really well, I was gripped immediately. But it was short lived. I felt like we were in Sophie's head non stop, with less true interaction, which is necessary but felt overwhelming at times.  I really liked the idea between Sophie and Jake but felt there was something lacking. It was a lack of chemistry and seemed underwhelming. 

Sophie Claire- Sophie Claire was interesting and charismatic. I liked her personality and her internal thought process a lot. As a character, I was fond of her generally. Her POV was great. It was interesting to go through the motions from her perspective, because at that age, I would have gone through the same gambit of emotions she did. And I think thats what saved this book at all. I actually liked the characters. I also enjoyed the side characters that Sophie interacted with. I felt that her relationships with people were solid, strong and built to last. Every one she was close with, didnt necessarily serve a purpose but did show a level of depth for Sophie Claire. I liked the reminiscent part of the story too, where she would relive a memory or a moment with Jake, showing the reader a glimpse of who these two people once were compared to now. Towards the end of the book, I grew frustrated. I felt there was a lack of connection to the reader. Things seemed too easy and obvious, and Sophie started to annoy me. In the end, it was a HEA, but It was never really a question...

Jake - I liked Jake, he was charming and handsome and quite the gentleman! I felt that Jake was almost too perfect though. There were no family problems or girl issues or even money or job issues, there was NOTHING wrong with him (more than personality) it was almost like his existence was too perfect. It was a little annoying/bothersome.  Its not that Sophie had problems (other than internally over analyzing life).  I was less than intrigued by their romance or story. It was frustrating because it felt like everything for Jake really just fell into place so easily. Without any issues. And Jake being perfection, made the story that much less relatable. 

In the end...I would give the author another chance, on another book, but don't recommend this one. Not because it was bad. But simply because there was not much purpose reading through this. For me at least.