Tag Archives: Teenage Romance

How to Fall….off a cliff?

 How to Fall

Title:  How to Fall
Author: Jane Casey
Rating: 4.5 stars
Genre: Young Adult Mystery
Length: 
352 pages

Synopsis:

 Jess Tennant is a little less than thrilled about being hauled to a small English town by her mother to visit family they’ve never met and her mother doesn’t talk about. Jess is even more surprised to learn that her cousin Freya died in what appears to be a freak accident and could be her long lost twin. As she copes with meeting new family, and shocking a town with her appearance, Jess begins to delve into the world that Freya lived. Soon Jess begins asking questions that no one seems to want answers to such as, did Freya kill herself, did she just happen to fall by accident, or was it something more sinister? It seems that the people of this sleepy town have a lot to hide.
Review:

All in all I loved it. Jane Casey is one of those authors on my “Read Everything They Publish” list. She writes some great mysteries that I can’t stop telling people about. I absolutely love her and this venture into YA is right up my alley combining two of my favorite things: murder and young adults!

I loved the creation of Jess and felt that she was very believable. I didn’t feel as if her fascination with Freya was far fetched. All the characters had the right amount of personality where they could have been real. I couldn’t help picturing this as a tv show and easily visualizing everything that was happening and all the characters.

One thing I quite enjoyed was the sort of uninterested, slightly aggressive flirting. Jess would act as if she cared less about Will, but then she would find herself thinking about him and admiring him, then chastising herself.

One problem I had was that I didn’t find the killer to be believable. It seemed a little far fetched, so that lead me to dropping it down from 5 stars. Typically, I am right there with Jane Casey, but she kind of lost me on this one.

I really was hoping to get more out of the situations with Will’s dad. There seemed to be a lot of potential in that story and almost as though the author was hoping to explore that avenue, but maybe in another story? Perhaps that tale wasn’t right for this one, I could see that. I am hoping that the situations involving him are explored more in the next book, which I am so excited for!

In the grand scheme of things, this was a great read and I recommend it for those that like their mysteries, but perhaps aren’t into the ones that are super dark and want some young adult elements.

Disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of How to Fall from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Raven Boys: a taste of psychics, birds, and the kiss of death

Well, it has been quite a while since I’ve read a book that wasn’t part way through a series. I would say that Raven Boys was a good way to start again.

Like all good places to begin, let’s start with that cover. I mean, look at it. I wanted to read this just because of that cover. I don’t like the cover for Dream Thieves quite as much, but my expectations were clearly high after book 1. Now, onto what is actually between the covers.

Blue, our main character, is funny and independent. I liked that the kiss prophecy reminded me a bit of fairy tales. “Kiss your true love and he dies” a bit backwards from the kiss that solves all the world’s problems, but more realistic. Relationships are messy and dating sucks. Anyone that tells you dating is great lies. Run the other way now. I liked that there wasn’t this ridiculous love at first sight passion, but there were so many feelings! You could imagine the kinds of kissing that could go on if people weren’t going to literally die from it. I’m sure Ronan knows all about that since he is totally a loose cannon.

I sort of got this weird Donna Tart Secret History group feeling while I read this book. I couldn’t quite figure it out until I sat down to write this review, but I think that may be why I loved this so much. A group of weird kids, someone new tossed in the mix, murder, plots, magic. I can dig it.

Gansey. Yes. I loved him. I loved everyone in this book. Adam is wonderful. I simultaneously feel bad for him, want to punch him, then hug him, and Noah is great. Even Ronan that totally freaked me out and I worried he was going to go flying off the handle and kill everyone. In fact, maybe that is why I liked Ronan. YA books are usually straight forward and I take what they say at face value, so if they can trick me I instantly love them for it. This could have been that kind of book.

Like all good things the end of the book came and it left me feeling a bit dejected. Not because the ending wasn’t good, but because there wasn’t enough ending! I want the whole story and I want it now!! Ok, fine, I will just wait and read the other books. I look forward to it and I hope I love book 2 just as much.

The Theory of Everything

I saw this book while shelving and was drawn to it because of the blue cover and the trees in the letters of the title. I flipped to the back and without reading the premise of the book, I knew I had to check out. On the back cover is a chart. A CHART! Listing percentages of things in the book. I was sold. 5% possum? Done. I had to see where the possum fits in. It already seemed like my kind of humor and it was a chart!

The premise of the book sounds like a sad one. Our main character, Sarah, lost her friend in a tragic accident and is still not over it. Her family, friends and boyfriend aren’t sure how to help her and are frankly getting a little upset with her seeming lack of ability to move on. Add to this a Christmas tree farm, some snarky behavior, and a main character that felt like she could be my best friend, and I was so excited to read this. I was not let down.

Sarah is awesome. I loved that while she was being a bit snarky and bitchy, even she was getting fed up with her own behavior. She wanted to change but couldn’t figure out how and I can relate to feeling unsure of how to change yourself. I loved that she would say something and instantly in her head, “Why can’t you just be normal?! Why are you like this?” I couldn’t put this down because I had to see what happened in her life.

I was a little bummed out by the ending and after reading many other reviews, I was not alone. I won’t give away any information, but I felt like one aspect seemed a bit out of character and there could have been more resolution. I wanted this to have the bow tie ending where everything was in its final place and that was that.

I need to request the other book by this author and see if I love it just as much. I will be on the lookout for future books as well!

5/5 stars! I loved this one.

Unspoken

I loved this so much. This was hilarious!!! I should not have been reading any part of this book in public because there was a lot of laughing out loud. If I wasn’t laughing out loud, I was chuckling to myself. I looked mental. This book was totally worth it. The writing was witty and the characters were well written.

The main character, Kami (Ok, I really didn’t like her name.), was fabulous. I also really loved that Kami didn’t fully depend on the male lead. She wanted to do things on her own and was not afraid to tell him that. She wasn’t immediately in love or totally suckered by him. There was enough romance to satisfy romance needs and enough distance that it wasn’t overdone. THIS NEVER HAPPENS ANYMORE! Why is the new trend to just instantly fall in love? Where is the getting to know him, being excited yet unsure how we feel, THEN the mistrust in our feelings phase AND THEN we are falling in love. She didn’t spend pages pining over him and I thank the author for that. Sarah Rees Bennan deserves a high five and maybe even a hug.

There is a bit of a love triangle but not really. There are some reasons I can’t get into without giving away some plot points but just know that it isn’t really a love triangle. It’s more of a third wheel triangle….that isn’t a triangle…just go with it.

Not absent parents? What? This is unheard of. They care where she goes and appear more than the beginning and end of the book? What? Back up…nope..there they are.

We have to talk about Angela. The best friend that isn’t totally forgotten once the boys show up. She is gorgeous but could care less and she HATES people. She wants to avoid them because they suck. I love her. She is so wonderful. There are three strong females in this book but they aren’t over the top and you can still relate to them.

I can’t wait for the next book in this series. I hope that it is just as hilarious or I will be upset. If the characters have totally different personalities I might lose it because they are so great as they are now. The next cover is so far a let down but I am more than willing to still read it.

4.5 stars. I loved this but the very last part made me hostile for reasons I can’t get into. If you read it you know what I’m talking about. That knocked it down to 4.5 stars so still fabulous.

The Fault in Our Stars

Warning: This review contains spoilers. If you haven’t read The Fault in Our Stars, proceed at your own risk!

Even though The Fault in Our Stars by John Green is centered around two teens with cancer, it does not end up cliched or seem as if the author were trying too hard to make this story about cancer. This isn’t a perfect book, but it doesn’t disappoint.

Sixteen-year-old Hazel started off with thyroid cancer, but now it has moved to her lungs. Her and her oxygen tank go to a support group for teens with cancer every week, and it is there that she meets sweet, suave Augustus Waters. She is instantly attracted to him because he’s hot and because he is of course smart, witty and sweet. Augustus or Gus had osteosarcoma and lost half of his leg due to the disease, but it seems that he is in remission. Hazel tries to resist falling in love with him because she knows she is going to die soon and doesn’t want to hurt him, but it is inevitable (I mean he’s gorgeous, intelligent, and sweet, so how couldn’t she?!). The two lovebirds bond over Hazel’s favorite book entitled An Imperial Affliction, and they travel to Amsterdam to visit the author, and it is there that they truly fall in love. It is only when they get back that Gus tells Hazel that his cancer has returned in full force. So, instead of Hazel dying and breaking Gus’ heart, the opposite happens.

This book was well-written, and was very honest about what it means to have cancer and cope with all that comes with it. However, I didn’t like how predictable it was in terms of Gus having cancer and dying instead of Hazel. I saw that coming right away. Even so, their love story is so real and believable. Green has done a wonderful job making these two teenagers come to life despite their bouts with cancer. I don’t like some of the name-dropping of bands and movies and such in the dialogue but the story and characters were so great that I didn’t mind too much.

Because I knew that someone was going to die, it was difficult to let myself love the characters because it was going to be a heartbreaking ending. I did not want to spend an evening sobbing on the couch. In consequence, I distanced myself from the characters so I wouldn’t be so devastated when one of them died. I think this made the book less enjoyable since I wouldn’t let myself become too caught up in the story and emotions.

I had heard so many good things about this book before reading it, that I had pretty high expectations. The Fault in Our Stars was all I expected it to be, but I wish I could have discovered it without having any preconceived notions about what kind of a book it would be.