Friday, August 29, 2014


UnteachableUnteachable by Leah 3.5 STARS

Maise O’Malley just turned eighteen, but she’s felt like a grown-up her entire life. The summer before senior year, she has plans: get into a great film school, convince her mom to go into rehab, and absolutely do not, under any circumstances, screw up her own future.
But life has a way of throwing her plans into free-fall.
When Maise meets Evan at a carnival one night, their chemistry is immediate, intense, and short-lived. Which is exactly how she likes it: no strings. But afterward, she can’t get Evan out of her head. He’s taught her that a hookup can be something more. It can be an unexpected connection with someone who truly understands her. Someone who sees beyond her bravado to the scared but strong girl inside.
That someone turns out to be her new film class teacher, Mr. Evan Wilke.
Maise and Evan resolve to keep their hands off each other, but the attraction is too much to bear. Together, they’re real and genuine; apart, they’re just actors playing their parts for everyone else. And their masks are slipping. People start to notice. Rumors fly. When the truth comes to light in a shocking way, they may learn they were just playing parts for each other, too.
*A copy was provided by net galley for an honest review.
**Recommended for those 17 or older due to mature content

Genre: New Adult/Forbidden Love
Overall Thoughts:  Interesting but out of my comfort zone 
Characters: Evan and Maise 
Page Turner: Sometimes
Series Cont.? No
Recommend if You Like…Slammed, Captive in the Dark, Pieces (Taboo/Forbidden Love) 
Book Boyfriend: Um. Evan
Sex Scenes: Yes

Wow. Just. Wow. I don't even know how to describe what I think about this book. I'm...not speechless but confused. I guess I have a moral dilemma with this one....Unlike Slammed, (Captive in the Dark and Pieces) this book really tested boundaries, and overstepped them frequently, in a way I was uncomfortable with, throughout the entire novel. While I commend the author for her risk, and her incredible ability to write, I really missed a connection here. Forbidden love is a popular theme, whether its star crossed lovers, family drama, aliens, kidnapper/victim, human trafficker/victim, teacher/student, I've read them all (genre that is), and each one carries its own weight, and hardships, in their own individual way. Unteachable is no different. In fact its an extremely well written and provocative novel. The author really caught my attention, right away, and I absolutely LOVED Maise's voice. She  of course was provocative, but it was more than her personality, or her dialogue, I could literally feel her attitude and connect with her emotions on a completely different level. I truly felt like a fly on the wall of her story. I was captivated. No doubt about that.
megan fox as Maise - unteachable
Megan Fox as Maise

I, however, struggled with the content. Even though I appreciate and enjoyed other novels on this taboo topic, this particular one was a moral dilemma that I struggled with more than any other Ive read. Now I understand there is no "legal issue" i.e. the main character is 18, however,  it is still illegal to be in a relationship (or to just have sex) with your teacher, so while she is legal their actions aren't, even if consensual. So its a moral issue primarily, and while I had no issue with Captive in the Dark (okay I had issues with it, but it was different), I really struggled to get through this one, because of the topic.

Okay, so now on to the actual book...while I struggled to get through this book, honestly even though it was well written, I couldn't get past the moral issues, it was well written, an well developed. The book starts off with Maise at the carnival before her senior year starts and we follow her throughout her senior year. Maise doesn't have it easy, and her attitude definitely provides a thick shell to avoid getting hurt by others. Maise manages to fall for her teacher, prior to knowing he's her teacher. Yeah sure that makes it better but the guy is like 14 years older than her, I think thats what i struggled with, his age. Maise goes through her senior year, sometimes going through the motions, dealing with the sh*t life has thrown at her, and somehow finding a friend through all of it. As she falls further and further into the depths of her forbidden love, she also finds herself, and I think this is really where the magic of the book is. I kept reading, even when I was uncomfortable, was Maise's strength. She was confident even when she was scared and refused to show her fear. She owned her problems in a way that most characters aren't able to.
matthew davis - Evan Unteachable
Matt Davis as Evan

Evan, the teacher and love interest, was actually a decent enough guy. The author did such an amazing job of making his character flawed in a normal and beautiful way. Showing the readers that frankly, he just fell for the wrong girl, and that sometimes you can't help who you fall in love with. Evan isn't cruel, he isn't kinky, he never pressures her, he is a nice guy, but he was doing something wrong. So I was uncomfortable, but I was also kind of rooting for them. Truth is, how often is the one you love neatly packaged, before during or after? almost never.

There certainly struggled throughout the relationship, between his job and her status as his student, and the moral dilemma he faced, and of course the other drama (won't give it away here) but in the end the struggle all couples face, whether their love s enough.

The pacing of this book is great, things really moved at a nice and steady pace throughout the year, it never felt like it was too slow or too fast. Towards the end, things gain momentum and the couple are faced with a lot of "final" decisions, decisions that forever change the life of both. And while the ending was a "happy" one, I did want a little more from it, I mean I did just read this entire book, and the ending just left me feeling eh about it. But it does end on a good note.

I will definitely look at other books by this author, but this was just not for me. 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014


Extraction by Stephanie Diaz - 4 STARS

Extraction (Extraction, #1)Synopsis"Welcome to extraction testing" Clementine has spent her whole life preparing for her 16th birthday when she'll be tested for Extraction, in the hopes of being sent from Kiel's toxic Surface to the much safer Core, where people live without fear or starvation. When she proves promising enough to be “extracted,” she must leave without Logan, the boy she loves. Torn apart from her only sense of family, Clem promises to come back and save him from brutal Surface life. What she finds initially at the Core is a utopia compared to the Surface—it’s free of hard labor, gun-wielding officials, and the moon's lethal acid—but life is anything but safe, and Clementine learns that the planet's leaders are planning to exterminate Surface dwellers—and that means Logan, too. Trapped by the steel walls of the underground and the lies that keep her safe, Clementine must find a way to escape and rescue Logan and the rest of the planet. But the planet's leaders don't want her running—they want her subdued.
* A Copy provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 

Overall: Young Adult Dystopian  
Characters: Clementine 
Page Turner: towards the end 
Series Cont.? Yes
Book Boyfriend:
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian
Sex Scenes: No
Setting Future....
recommend if you like...Divergent, Burn Out, Across the Universe 


This book started off a little slow, and took time to really build...the first half of the book focuses on the characters and the world building before getting in to the real problem which was alluded to frequently, but isn't all that different from the other books in this genre. There were definitely problems in the book,  couldn't figure out why one character in particular was even needed, or why that issue was driven, period. It seemed pointless. There were a few times like this though where I was unclear on the direction or purpose of a plot point or character, sometimes it was revealed and sometimes I felt we were left hanging.  I think the similarities between Divergent and Across the Universe were a bit too much to make this a stand out, but its still a decent book!

Now I won't say it was all bad, those were just my gripes, there were some good points. There was a good amount of action at the end, and quite a few twists towards the end that I really didnt see coming! I knew something sinister was going on, of course, but I certainly didnt figure it out. I was pleasantly surprised with Clementines relationship with Logan, I appreciated that the author really built their friendship and love for one another over time and it had a true foundation. 

Clementine-I found this character to be a little annoying at times. Based on her background having come from "above ground" and living in a harsh life she was quite naive and surprised by the behavior of those around her. I was irritated by some of the stupidity. But she was also strong when she needed to be, and rose above all else (reminds me a lot of Divergent though). Clementines best characteristic though is her loyalty to her friends. I really appreciated this aspect of her character, that no matter what happened, her thoughts ALWAYS went to Logan or to those she cared about. It was also refreshing that there was no love triangle. I think as Clementine develops more over the novels that I will like her more and more. 

Logan- I like Logan but I don't love him. I don't know why he needed to have a limp, or what it added to the book (unless he had gotten during his testing....but he that would have been interesting!) I found him to be sweet, kind caring, charismatic. Except he was lacking in the strength department, and as a male lead, I tend to want someone who is strong, more so than mentally (and I don't mean intelligence) he seemed like a good person, someone to be friends with, but I wasn't entirely sure what type of romance Logan and Clementine really had. Perhaps over time it will develop, as this romance was not developed while their friendship was. 

Other Side Characters- (Beechy, Ariande, Oliver)- I really liked the different dynamic that Clem had with the different characters. Clem was her own person, and even when she was trying to fit in, the other characters really help mold her. I didnt feel like the characters were simply "there" , they actually added value to not only Clems character but to the book, the process, the plot, and moving things forward.  I was confuse by Beechy at first, and thought there might be a love triangle but the author went in a different direction, which I appreciated. Im most interested though in seeing where the series goes from here, it was evident from the ending that the characters had a continued story, but where it will go, is a little up in the air...