WoW: AFTER HOURS

I’M DOING A LOT OF WAITING

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly post about a book you’re excited for, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. If this is my first post since last week’s WoW, I sincerely apologize- I’m almost done with a book, but I’ve been forced to do a lot of family things the past few days and haven’t had a lot of time to read between that and working. But I’m trying to be faithful to you at least once a week, my dear (few) readers, and here’s this week’s pick, coming to us June 16 of this year.

OFFICIAL SUMMARY:

     Isa, Xavi, Peter, and Finn know that a job at the high-end Waterside Cafe isn’t just about waiting tables. It’s about the gossip, the hook-ups, the after-hours parties and, most of all, it’s about Tips.
Tips–the high-stakes game based on dares. Whoever completes the most dares wins the collected money. A sum that could change a wasted summer into a Summer to Remember.
Isa is the new girl with an embarrassing secret, and as long as she stays on top of her game, she sees no reason why anyone could ever find out.
Xavi will do anything for the money…absolutely anything.
Peter, Xavi’s stepbrother, has been in love with her for years, and he thinks the game is the perfect time to confess his feelings.
Finn is in the game just for the thrill. He has enough tips coming in to keep him happy…even if those tips come with some conditions.

WHY I’M PUMPED:

I don’t really know why. I get a gut feeling that this is a breakout book for this author, and I think the concept is really intriguing and, of course, very dramatic. Usually when there’s kissing on the cover I’m kind of wary, but they say not to judge a book by that (even though I usually do). But I think this one could be really good, and once I’ve read it I’ll let you all know what’s up!

Questions? Comments? Books you’d like me to review? Post a comment below and I’ll be sure to check it out!

WoW: THE SUMMER OF CHASING MERMAIDS

ANOTHER ROUND OF WAITING

It’s Wednesday again! I don’t know if I’ve mentioned that WoW is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, but it is, so check that out! This week’s pick holds a special place in my heart: the newest from Sarah Ockler entitled The Summer of Chasing Mermaids. Here’s the cover for you all:

Can you say beautiful?

I love everything about this book, from the cover to the summary to the fact that it’s Sarah Ockler, one of my favorite authors. Speaking of the summary, here it is, from goodreads.com.

OFFICIAL SUMMARY:

The youngest of six talented sisters, Elyse d’Abreau was destined for stardom—until a boating accident took everything from her. Now, the most beautiful singer in Tobago can’t sing. She can’t even speak.

Seeking quiet solitude, Elyse accepts a friend’s invitation to Atargatis Cove. Named for the mythical first mermaid, the Oregon seaside town is everything Elyse’s home in the Caribbean isn’t: An ocean too cold for swimming, parties too tame for singing, and people too polite to pry—except for one.

Christian Kane is a notorious playboy—insolent, arrogant, and completely charming. He’s also the only person in Atargatis Cove who doesn’t treat Elyse like a glass statue. He challenges her to express herself, and he admires the way she treats his younger brother Sebastian, who believes Elyse is the legendary mermaid come to life.

When Christian needs a first mate for the Cove’s high-stakes Pirate Regatta, Elyse reluctantly stows her fear of the sea and climbs aboard. The ocean isn’t the only thing making waves, though—swept up in Christian’s seductive tide and entranced by the Cove’s charms, Elyse begins to wonder if a life of solitude isn’t what she needs. But changing course again means facing her past. It means finding her inner voice. And scariest of all, it means opening her heart to a boy who’s best known for breaking them . . .
Oh. I just can’t even breathe. This novel comes to us June 2, 2015, and I simply cannot wait. I’m not trying to wish my life away, but I love everything about this book’s possibilities, and I know Ockler will deliver- because she always does. There’s nothing like a reliable author to get me excited about summer reading, and Sarah Ockler certainly fits that description. Let’s start June off right, with a little bit of love and just a couple mermaids!

ACROSS A STAR-SWEPT SEA

“If they didn’t take you seriously, they would never see you coming.”  

OFFICIAL SUMMARY:

Centuries after wars nearly destroyed civilization, the two islands of New Pacifica stand alone, a terraformed paradise where even the Reduction—the devastating brain disorder that sparked the wars—is a distant memory. Yet on the isle of Galatea, an uprising against the ruling aristocrats has turned deadly. The revolutionaries’ weapon is a drug that damages their enemies’ brains, and the only hope is rescue by a mysterious spy known as the Wild Poppy.

On the neighboring island of Albion, no one suspects that the Wild Poppy is actually famously frivolous aristocrat Persis Blake. The teenager uses her shallow, socialite trappings to hide her true purpose: her gossipy flutternotes are encrypted plans, her pampered sea mink is genetically engineered for spying, and her well-publicized new romance with handsome Galatean medic Justen Helo… is her most dangerous mission ever.

Though Persis is falling for Justen, she can’t risk showing him her true self, especially once she learns he’s hiding far more than simply his disenchantment with his country’s revolution and his undeniable attraction to the silly socialite he’s pretending to love. His darkest secret could plunge both islands into a new dark age, and Persis realizes that when it comes to Justen Helo, she’s not only risking her heart, she’s risking the world she’s sworn to protect.

MY THOUGHTS:

Did that synopsis confuse you as much as it did me? I mean, it sounds kind of interesting, right? But all those new words and the whole Reduction premise seem so confusing. I’ve read Peterfreund’s other books (most of them, anyway) and they were

Well, let me tell you, it doesn’t get any less confusing. The entire book, I struggled to keep straight the Reduced, the post-Reduced, the terminology- everything. I liked the book, when I did understand it, but I feel like I missed out on a lot of important plot points that could have made a really big impact- that could have made me love the book- because the backstory was explained in such a roundabout way.

The characters I liked. They were dynamic, they changed, they served a purpose, and especially Persis didn’t give up her purpose because ‘that there Helo is pretty cute. He’s my mortal enemy, but whatever. My country doesn’t matter anymore.’ That was refreshing. Persis was a strong lead, and I really liked her personality and the fact that she was willing to sacrifice her reputation to serve a greater cause. Most heroines won’t do that, at least not to this extent. And the princess regent was also not swayed by what her friends thought- a true depiction of what a ruler should be. So I really did enjoy the character interaction when they weren’t talking about all the details of Reduction and forced Reduction and whatnot.

As for the length, normally I like a good, long book, but this felt like forced length. Too much time was spent on describing the math and science of the genetic mutations- and that’s big, coming from me, because I love the details of things like this. I usually want to know the logic behind the genetics, but this time it fell flat to me- too much roundabout explaining and never a solid, direct, ‘This is what happened.’ So that was a problem for me, but to others, maybe it was great. I’m just one person.

Overall, I might recommend this book to a select few people that I think could enjoy the details and the deep world-building that was done (impressive, but confusing) but to the general public, I would say to find another book that isn’t this intense. It’s not a light fluff read, and you should only read it if you’re ready to really put thought into it.

WHAT TO WATCH:

This was a solidly clean read. The only thing that I would even consider is the fact that the descriptions of the Reduced and the violent lengths the Galateans are willing to go to for their revolution. Other than that, I can’t think of anything that I found objectionable to my sense of morality. Kudos to Diana P. for that!

Questions? Comments? Books you’d like me to review? Post a comment below and I’ll be sure to check it out!

EVERYTHING THAT MAKES YOU

“You sound like Lorde. But like, with maple syrup.”  

OFFICIAL SUMMARY

(goodreads.com)

One girl. Two stories. Meet Fiona Doyle. The thick ridges of scar tissue on her face are from an accident twelve years ago. Fiona has notebooks full of songs she’s written about her frustrations, her dreams, and about her massive crush on beautiful uber-jock Trent McKinnon. If she can’t even find the courage to look Trent straight in his beautiful blue eyes, she sure isn’t brave enough to play or sing any of her songs in public. But something’s changing in Fiona. She can’t be defined by her scars anymore.

And what if there hadn’t been an accident? Meet Fi Doyle. Fi is the top-rated female high school lacrosse player in the state, heading straight to Northwestern on a full ride. She’s got more important things to deal with than her best friend Trent McKinnon, who’s been different ever since the kiss. When her luck goes south, even lacrosse can’t define her anymore. When you’ve always been the best at something, one dumb move can screw everything up. Can Fi fight back?

Hasn’t everyone wondered what if? In this daring debut novel, Moriah McStay gives us the rare opportunity to see what might have happened if things were different. Maybe luck determines our paths. But maybe it’s who we are that determines our luck.

MY THOUGHTS:

Everyone needs to read this book. Everyone, everywhere, in every world with every choice, needs to read this book. We’ve all finished a book and wondered what the character’s life would have been like if it had never happened- what if she didn’t go to the coffee shop that night? Would she still have met her best friend? What if he got injured and didn’t go to that college? Would he have met the love of his life? This book answers that about its character. Fiona- or Fi, as she’s called in another life- has two different paths, two different universes that show us just how twisted life can be- how no, you won’t always have the same ending.

Fiona is a great character in both her stories. She shows the same basic qualities- strength, loyalty, kindness- to those she cares about, even though those people differ in each story. She’s a dynamic character, and it’s easy to see how the events in both realities shape her life, change her, make her…more. And those events are so huge and so different that there’s really no way to compare them. She climbs these obstacles that seem insurmountable- and her weaknesses are made different as well. Toward the middle of the book, you can see where the two paths come the closest, but while one soars, with Fiona finding herself in the place she’s meant to be, the other plummets, showing us that even those with the most possibilities can still sink to the depths of human despair. And yet, even when her story is at its worst, both girls find a reason to keep going.

Now, the secondary characters, which are most notably the guys. Oh, they’re great. Ryan, the brother. Marcus and Jackson King, the brother-duo that make appearances in both stories for different reasons, at different times. David, the one who sees beyond the scars first, and Trent, the ‘demi-god’. Personally, Jackson and Trent were my favorites, and I couldn’t breathe through all the twists and turns in Fi’s relationship with the four of them that weren’t related to her. Romantic and non, each relationship was intricate, perfectly carved, and in Fiona’s story, there is an ENORMOUS shocker that leaves you gasping when it comes to the Kings. There were, in fact, two different endings (in fact, you might call them beginnings) for each girl, and it was amazing to see how each story intertwined while you knew things about the characters from their other lives that they hadn’t realized themselves.

The only complaint I had (and this is unfixable, because it was just my brain short-circuiting) was that I got kind of confused in the middle of the book. I couldn’t keep track of which Fiona had done what, which college they had chosen, which boy they liked, so I had to skim a little bit so as to not get lost in the details. That’s it. But my oh my, the endings made my heart sing. They were fantastic, and I’ve never had my heart torn between two possibilities and had BOTH of them come true! It just amazed me. I love this book. So much so that even though it stomped on my heart a couple times, I want to read it again. Right now. And forever.

WHAT TO WATCH:

Honestly, not a lot that I can remember was objectionable in this book, making it all the more wonderful. Of course, I haven’t been able to write my review until now and I finished it a week ago, so I may have missed a bit. But really, there’s no sex, very little language, no drugs, and only violence in that one of the girls breaks a bone in a lacrosse tournament. However, her best friend is a lesbian, and while it’s not discussed in detail, there are some mentions of that, such as her friend in college who’s found ‘a girl she’s in love with’ and so on. But I think that’s about it.

I still highly recommend this book for all readers, teen and up. It was so different from anything that I’ve ever read, and I love that it was so well-written that it accomplished its purpose, which was to show that no path is set- the what-ifs in our lives are all very possible. Five stars and two thumbs up for Ms. McStay.

Questions? Comments? Books you’d like me to review? Post a comment below and I’ll be sure to check it out!

WoW: THE FILL-IN BOYFRIEND

 IT’S HERE AGAIN

It’s time for another Waiting on Wednesday! A full review of Moriah McStay’s Everything That Makes You is coming soon, but I’ve been sick for a few days, so I wanted to give you all at least something to chew on while I recover in bed with cartoon reruns and Sprite. This week my book of choice is one that I’m really, really, really excited for: Kasie West’s fifth book, The Fill-In Boyfriend, out May 5, 2015 (LESS THAN A MONTH EVERYONE!). Here’s the deliciously delectable cover for you:

SO CUTE, RIGHT?

HERE’S THE SUMMARY:

(courtesy of goodreads.com) 

When Gia Montgomery’s boyfriend, Bradley, dumps her in the parking lot of her high school prom, she has to think fast. After all, she’d been telling her friends about him for months now. This was supposed to be the night she proved he existed. So when she sees a cute guy waiting to pick up his sister, she enlists his help. The task is simple: be her fill-in boyfriend— two hours, zero commitment, a few white lies. After that, she can win back the real Bradley.

The problem is that days after prom, it’s not the real Bradley she’s thinking about, but the stand-in. The one whose name she doesn’t even know. But tracking him down doesn’t mean they’re done faking a relationship. Gia owes him a favor and his sister intends to see that he collects: his ex-girlfriend’s graduation party — three hours, zero commitment, a few white lies.

Just when Gia begins to wonder if she could turn her fake boyfriend into a real one, Bradley comes waltzing back into her life, exposing her lie, and threatening to destroy her friendships and her new-found relationship.

Doesn’t it just sound so awesome!? West’s books are funny, creative, and always have a happy ending. Her previous books in this genre, The Distance Between Us and On the Fence, are two of my favorite books- and they’re all clean as a whistle. I adore her writing- it’s concise, just descriptive enough, and she always delivers a feel-good read that leaves you excited for her next novel. Definitely mark this as a to-read, everyone, because it’s going to be sweet!

Questions? Comments? Books you’d like me to review? Post a comment below and I’ll be sure to check it out!

IT’S HAPPENING

THE SLUMP IS OVER

At least, I really hope it is. But I’ve started a new book (one of many) and this one finally caught my attention, even though I hadn’t planned on reading it the first time I saw it on Goodreads. But I got that breathless feeling that you get when you realize that finally, finally this could be the one that makes you fall in love with reading after a short hiatus. So here’s the culprit, the one you can all be grateful to for resurrecting me from the death of TV and sleep:

     Look at the beautiful cover. So creative and unique- eyecatching, wouldn’t you agree? This is two stories- of Fiona, who was in a terrible accident as a child that left her face scarred and the girl herself reclusive, and Fi, the girl who could have been. Told in alternating voices, it’s a tribute to the “what-if”s in life, nad I’m eager to see what happens- will the stories merge? Will one girl be happier than the other? Will something terrible happen to Fi as well? THE POSSIBILITIES ARE ENDLESS!

     I mean, that’s true of most books, but here, just coming out of my slump, it’s making me all squishy with excitement inside. I can’t wait to read more than the two chapters I’ve already made it through! You all should also give it a try and tell me what you think- I don’t want to be alone in loving this book. Hopefully that love will last through the final pages.

     Tell me what books got YOU out of your reading slump!

Questions? Comments? Books you’d like me to review? Post a comment below and I’ll be sure to check it out!

WAITING ON WEDNESDAY

IT’S WEDNESDAY, AND I HAVE A COMPUTER

It’s a rare occurrence, I assure you. Usually I’m out and about on Wednesday, but today I’m stuck by a computer. What a sorry life I lead ;). But since I still haven’t made it through a book, I’ve decided to bring out a blog post I’ve never done, but always wanted to-

Waiting on Wednesday!

This is basically just one book that I’m excited about the release of- and believe me, the choice is very, very difficult. However, for my first WoW, I choose Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke, by Anne Blankman. Her first book was reviewed by me and can be found by clicking on this link. That book is one of my favorites- EVER- and that’s a big deal. I’ve read a lot of books. So here’s the cover and summary from goodreads.com:

Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke:

     The girl known as Gretchen Whitestone has a secret: She used to be part of Adolf Hitler’s inner circle. More than a year after she made an enemy of her old family friend and fled Munich, she lives with a kindly English family, posing as an ordinary German immigrant, and is preparing to graduate from high school. Her love, Daniel Cohen, is a reporter in town. For the first time in her life, Gretchen is content.

But then, Daniel gets a telegram that sends him back to Germany, and Gretchen’s world turns upside-down. And when she receives word that Daniel is wanted for murder, she has to face the danger she thought she’d escaped-and return to her homeland.

Gretchen must do everything she can to avoid capture and recognition, even though saving Daniel will mean consorting with her former friends, the Nazi elite. And as they work to clear Daniel’s name, Gretchen and Daniel discover a deadly conspiracy stretching from the slums of Berlin to the Reichstag itself. Can they dig up the explosive truth and get out in time-or will Hitler discover them first?

Coming April 21, 2015

Why I’m Excited:

As mentioned, the first book in this series knocked my socks off. I’m desperate for more- and I didn’t think, initially, that there would be more. I’m really hoping that the second book lives up to the wow factor of Prisoner of Night and Fog- if it doesn’t, I’ll be sorely disappointed.

Questions? Comments? Books you’d like me to review? Post a comment below and I’ll be sure to check it out!

I’M SORRY!

HIATUS

Ach, a thousand apologies. I know this next review is a long time in coming, but due to life being suckish I am in somewhat of a reading slump. I believe I am coming out of it though, so hopefully I’ll be zooming through books and letting you know how they were in a jiffy! Menawhile, I’ll try to find a fun blog post to do soon- like the Disney song tag I did just a week or two ago! Thank you all for your patience and faithfulness

XOXO, Kayla