Thursday, May 29, 2014

Review: A Little Too Much

Title: A Little Too Much (A Little Too Far #2)
Author: Lisa Desrochers
Published: November 12th 2013 by William Morrow Impulse
Source: eARC/bought

"In the follow-up to Lisa Desrochers’ explosive New Adult novel A Little too Far, Alessandro Moretti must face the life he escaped and the girl he loved and left behind.

Twenty-two year old Hilary McIntyre would like nothing more than to forget her past. As a teenager abandoned to the system, she faced some pretty dark times. But now that’s all behind her. Hilary has her life on track, and there’s no way she’ll head back down that road again.

Until Alessandro Moretti—the one person who can make her remember—shows up on her doorstep. He’s even more devastatingly gorgeous than before, and he’s much too close for comfort. Worse, he sees right through the walls she’s built over these last eight years, right into her heart and the secrets she’s guarding.

As Hilary finds herself falling back into love with the man who, as a boy both saved and destroyed her, she must decide. Past or future? Truth or lies?"

First line: "The fake blonde with the fake lips and the fake double Ds is glaring at me."

Thoughts: Whenever I heard that the sequel to A LITTLE TOO MUCH was going to be a continuation of Alessandro's story, I rejoiced in what can only describe as a very clumsy happy dance combined with squealing. The good news is this story is told through alternating points of view. Not only do you get to meet Hilary, you also get to view things from Alessandro's point of view. Both characters are broken in their own way and sadly, the person that broke them is each other. While I really liked the overall story, I have to be honest and say it didn't captivate me the way A LITTLE TOO MUCH did.

One of the main things I loved about this novel was all the small glimpses and flashbacks from when Hilary and Alessandro lived in the foster house. Their lives were not easy, especially considering Alessandro's brother wasn't exactly the nicest guy. Both had so many personal issues and even still, years later, deal with the demons from their past. I've always wondered about Alessandro's past and finally got to read about it. Talk about being a troubled guy.

Though I loved and still love Alessandro, I just felt like he was a completely different person in this book than he was in the previous novel. He's not necessarily better but not worse either. Just different. There are moments and glimpses where he lets his true self out around Hilary, and those moments are priceless to say the least. Oh, and FYI, there is an update on Lexie in this book. Just saying.

Though I liked Hilary, I never really connected with her. I didn't understand why she was with her boyfriend for so long. Honestly, the best way I can think to describe him is douchebag. So why is this beautiful, talented but troubled girl living with him and dealing with his crap? Is the sex really that good? From the few paragraphs I read, it doesn't sound like it. Also, I loved that Hilary is a performer and even though it's hard, she still attempts to pursue her dreams. Her ambitions make her this wonderful girl I'd love to meet.

Now the ending...what can I say about that ending? I didn't really love it. Secrets unfold, and I personally didn't like how they were handled. I understand where everyone is coming from, but it's just not what I wanted. Alas, it's not about what I want. It's about what's best for the story, and I suppose this was the best, most logical path. Logic...PFFT!

All in all, I very much enjoyed A LITTLE TOO MUCH. It had its ups and downs (mainly ups), but I still rushed to finish it and would reread it again. Heck, I read an eARC and immediately bought it. That says something, eh?


4 Stars

Favorite quotes:

“I think about you all day and I dream about you all night. I want your days and I want your nights. I want all of you.”

“I have no right to want to touch you, and yet I want that more than anything – to convince all of my senses that you're really here after all this time.”

“All I can off you are painful memories and my broken soul, but I love you, and if you'll allow it, I promise to always love you. If that's enough for you, then, yes, I'm back.”

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted but Jill at Breaking The Spine. It features each bloggers most anticipated books! This week my pick is SALT & STORM by Kendall Kulper.

"Sixteen-year-old Avery Roe wants only to take her rightful place as the witch of Prince Island, making the charms that keep the island’s whale men safe and prosperous at sea. But before she could learn how to control her power, her mother, the first Roe woman in centuries to turn her back on magic, stole Avery away from her grandmother. Avery must escape from her mother before her grandmother dies, taking with her the secrets of the Roes’ power.

When Avery awakens from a dream foretelling her own murder, she realizes time is running short—for her and for the people of her island, who, without the Roes, will lose their ships and the only life they know.

With the help of Tane, a tattooed harpoon boy from the Pacific Islands, Avery plots her escape from her mother and unravels the mysteries of her mother’s and grandmother’s pasts. Becoming a witch may prevent her murder and save her island from ruin, but Avery discovers it will also require a sacrifice she never expected—one she might not be able to make."

Why I Can't Wait: You guys, I haven't read a book about witches in ages, and this one sounds the perfect book to break this curse. I mean, the main character wakes up from a dream that foretells her own murder? Whoa. This book sounds like an intense and fabulously amazing novel. Plus, heeeey...tattooed harpoon boy. He sounds like a hottie, rawr!

Expected publication: September 23rd 2014 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Review: Tease

Title: Tease
Author: Amanda Maciel
Published: April 29th 2014 by Balzer + Bray
Source: ARC courtesy of the publisher for an honest review

"Emma Putnam is dead, and it's all Sara Wharton's fault.

At least, that's what everyone seems to think. Sara, along with her best friend and three other classmates, has been criminally charged for the bullying and harassment that led to Emma's shocking suicide. Now Sara is the one who's ostracized, already guilty according to her peers, the community, and the media.

During the summer before her senior year, in between meetings with lawyers and a court-recommended therapist, Sara is forced to reflect on the events that brought her to this moment—and ultimately consider her role in an undeniable tragedy. And she'll have to find a way to move forward, even when it feels like her own life is over.

In this powerful debut novel inspired by real-life events, Amanda Maciel weaves a narrative of high school life as complex and heartbreaking as it is familiar: a story of everyday jealousies and resentments, misunderstandings and desires. Tease is a thought-provoking must-read that will haunt readers long after the last page."

First line: "'Did you ever have a physical confrontation with Miss Putnam?'".

Thoughts: I think some of the best books are the ones that make you uncomfortable and challenge you. To be honest, I absolutely despised the main character in this novel. She never grew on me, and I spent the majority of the time wanting to throw the book against my wall, and pull my hair out. Well, if one book can provoke this much emotion from me, that has to mean it's good and worth reading, right? Right!

The one main thing I loved about this book is how honest it is. Not once did Sara feel any remorse for the part she played in Emma's suicide. She defended her actions by calling Emma a slut, believing this without question, and telling us, the reader, how Emma deserved the harsh and downright cruel actions conducted by Sara and her friends. Quite frankly, not only did it frighten me, it also disgusted me.

The truth of the matter is, Sara is just a teenage girl. We know she is in the wrong, but she's still more of a child than an adult. She has a lot of growing up to do, and a lot of teenagers nowadays have a sense of entitlement and their own way of depicting "justice". Does this make it okay? Absolutely not, but let's be honest... It doesn't matter how some people were raised or whatever the case may be. Some people and often their friends are just awful people. Her moral compass is off (way off), but that's for her to figure out as she grows up.

It didn't help that Sara's friendship with Brielle is just downright toxic. Brielle encouraged Sara and though Sarah believes Brielle is giving her strength, making her strong and helping her stand up for herself, what Sara doesn't see is the damage they're both doing to their lives and the lives of everyone around them. It's like mixing hydrogen, sulfur, and oxygen together. Though they create a compound when merged, all you can smell is rotting eggs.

"I didn't know how to stop all the stuff we did to Emma. I should have said it as wrong. It felt wrong, but it felt good, too, to be angry and hateful an mean."

Now, I'm not saying all teenagers are like this. God save us if they were. I'm just saying there are people like this who exist, and I'm sure each of us can think of at least one bully, one person that either made your life or another person's life a living nightmare. This book helps you view possibly why bullies are the way they are. It's not pleasant, and it's definitely not right, but maybe future or current bullies will read this and rethink their actions. It's all anyone can ask for.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading this novel. It made me cringe and angry and not happy (not even once), but I enjoyed the reality check. I hope this book will help other teenagers realize that bullying is never the answer and to try and listen to your conscience, even if your best friend is telling you otherwise.


4 Stars

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Top Ten Books About Friendship

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the fabulous ladies at The Broke and the Bookish. This week's topic is your Top Ten Books About Friendship. I seriously LOVE this topic! Here we go!

1. Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson. Essentially, this book is about grieving and the things that help us not necessarily move on but cope. While this is also more of a romance novel, the friendship Amy and Roger developed along the way is one of my all time favorites.

2. Roomies by Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando. Anyone who went to college and took the "potluck" path knows what it's like to move in with an essentially total stranger and try to develop a lasting friendship with him/her. I can personally relate to this novel on so many levels. My roommate my freshman year was a complete nightmare (she actually stole my stuff and claimed they were her's), but my suitemates? Still two of my best friends to date. They were actually bridesmaids in my wedding. :)

3. Maybe One Day by Melissa Kantor. Proof that not all books about friendship are fluff, but it doesn't make them any less beautiful. Have a box of tissues ready!

4. Into The Deep by Samantha Young. Everyone should either have a friend like Charley, Claudia, or Lowe. Though the romance and angst in this novel is fantastic, the friendships are what make this book spectacular.

5. Tease by Amanda Maciel. Not all friendships are good. Some are insanely toxic, and this novel explores that plus bullying and all sorts of things that will make you cringe.

6. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. I really shouldn't have to explain why this is on my list. The friendships are amazing, and the romance is to die for!

7. Ten Things We Did (And Probably Shouldn't Have) by Sarah Mlynowski. This book is HILARIOUS and has the best friendships. There's even a thing involving cats. CATS!

8. A Match Made In High School by Kristin Walker. Another hilarious novel to add to your collection. I swear, there's something about school nerds and popular guys building a possible friendship that I can't help but love. I'm telling you, I laughed out loud a good number of times, and I think you will too!

9. From What I Remember by Stacy Kramer and Valerie Thomas. A gay best friend who is so funny, I almost spat my latte all over this book? Yeah, expect lots of awesomeness.

10. Reunited by Hilary Weisman Graham. What can I say? I love books about road trips and friendship. Plus, this one involves MUSIC. Hello, road trip to see a band reunion. Can you smell the win wafting off of it? Exactly.

There you have it! Going through my "read" list on Goodreads to find some of these lost treasures was more fun than I'd like to admit. What books were on your list?