Review: No More Confessions by Louise Rozett

Review: No More Confessions by Louise RozettNo More Confessions by Louise Rozett
on January 25, 2015
Series: Confessions #3
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Format: eBook
Source: Bought
Goodreads
4 Stars
For Rose Zarelli, freshman year was about controlling her rage. Sophomore year was about finding her voice. With all that behind her, junior year should be a breeze, right? Nope. When a horrific video surfaces, Rose needs the one person she wants to be done with, the person who has broken her heart twice—Jamie Forta. But as the intensity between them heats up, Rose realizes she isn’t the only one who needs help. The thing is, Jamie doesn’t see it that way—and that could cost them both everything.

pireviewI loved the first two Confessions books so much. I think I could read at least a dozen books about Rose and Jamie, so I was thrilled to see there was a book 3. No More Confessions picks up not long after Confessions of an Almost Girlfriend ends. Rose is in yet another bad place and she turns to Jamie to help her.

 I do think Rose was in a better place than past books, but things outside of her control send her in a bit of a tailspin. Jamie was still swoon-worthy, but I was also pretty frustrated with him in this one. You’ll have to read to find out why, but I still have a lot of love for him.

Once again, I loved all the minor characters so much. I’m almost just as invested in their happenings as Rose and Jamie’s. Louise Rozett has a way of making characters shine off the page. You want to be their friends and to help them, or to give them a good shake.

I was surprised at the ending of No More Confessions. I foolishly thought it was going to be a tidy conclusion, but things were left pretty open. That’s fine with me. As long as Louise Rozett keeps writing Confessions books, I’ll keep reading. It’s a very underrated, but recommended series.

pialso

Review: Open Road Summer by Emery Lord

Review: Open Road Summer by Emery LordOpen Road Summer by Emery Lord
on April 15, 2014
Also by this author: The Start of Me and You
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Format: eBook
Source: Gift
Goodreads
3 Stars

After breaking up with her bad-news boyfriend, Reagan O’Neill is ready to leave her rebellious ways behind. . . and her best friend, country superstar Lilah Montgomery, is nursing a broken heart of her own. Fortunately, Lilah’s 24-city tour is about to kick off, offering a perfect opportunity for a girls-only summer of break-up ballads and healing hearts. But when Matt Finch joins the tour as its opening act, his boy-next-door charm proves difficult for Reagan to resist, despite her vow to live a drama-free existence. This summer, Reagan and Lilah will navigate the ups and downs of fame and friendship as they come to see that giving your heart to the right person is always a risk worth taking. A fresh new voice in contemporary romance, Emery Lord’s gorgeous writing hits all the right notes.

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So I had the prefect first line for this review planned out within the first half of the book. Really, it was a good line, but now I don’t get to use it because I didn’t love the book like I wanted to.

I had high hopes for Open Road Summer. Lots of fellow contemporary lovers adored it so I thought I’d feel the same way. Nope. I did like it, but by the end of it Reagan’s actions just annoyed me.

Open Road Summer is about friendship and learning to trust again. It has a lot of great things going for it. A summer road trip feel, a feel good best friend relationship, and famous people. If I could’ve liked Reagan more I’m sure I would have loved the book. But alas…

I didn’t have much of a problem with Reagan at first. She has that tough girl exterior but I had hopes that it would get cracked. Her friendship with Dee was the best part of the book (and Dee was the best character in the book). That was really the only time you see a softer side of Reagan.

I enjoyed the romance aspects. It was maybe a tad too drawn out but it still kept me interested. Though, by the end of the book I was so disgusted with Reagan’s actions that it ruined it for me. I felt like she didn’t deserve Matt at all. She was immature, stubborn and careless with other people’s feelings. I kinda wanted to strangle her.

That sounds harsh but I honestly did enjoy most of the book. I just wanted to love it so much and obviously that didn’t happen. Don’t let my review put you off! Most people seem to really love Open Road Summer.

Review: The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord

Review: The Start of Me and You by Emery LordThe Start of Me and You by Emery Lord
on March 31, 2015
Also by this author: Open Road Summer
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Goodreads
3 Stars

Following her pitch-perfect debut Open Road Summer, Emery Lord pens another gorgeous story of best friends, new love, & second chances.

Brimming with heartfelt relationships and authentic high-school dynamics The Start of Me and You proves that it’s never too late for second chances.

It’s been a year since it happened—when Paige Hancock’s first boyfriend died in an accident. After shutting out the world for two years, Paige is finally ready for a second chance at high school . . . and she has a plan. First: Get her old crush, Ryan Chase, to date her—the perfect way to convince everyone she’s back to normal. Next: Join a club—simple, it’s high school after all. But when Ryan’s sweet, nerdy cousin, Max, moves to town and recruits Paige for the Quiz Bowl team (of all things!) her perfect plan is thrown for a serious loop. Will Paige be able to face her fears and finally open herself up to the life she was meant to live?

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The Start of Me and You sounds fantastic, right? Best friends, nerdy boy, and a wounded girl. All those things usually add up to a great read, but unfortunately I didn’t love it like I wanted to.

Paige was a fun main character. She had a very close nit group of friends and that was probably my favorite part of the story. Emery Lord writes beautiful friendships. Both of Lord’s books have left me hoping for a spin off book about one of the side characters. I’ll keep my fingers crossed on that.

I really enjoyed the romance. I loved that they started out as such good friends. I do wish that it wouldn’t have taken quite so long for the romance to take off, but it did make for a good ending.

There were two things that kept me from completely loving the book. One, the dead boyfriend story line fell a little flat for me. Sure, it was a sad situation but it felt forced. Two, Paige was pretty snobby. She made several comments about nerds that just rubbed me the wrong way.

The Start of Me and You was a good read. While I didn’t love it, I’ll continue to read Emery Lord’s books. They’re nice summery read.

pialso

Open Road Summer by Emery Lord
Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
Sean Griswold’s Head by Lindsey Leavitt
Love and Other Foreign Words by Erin McCahan

 

Reading with Finn: Red Wagon by Renata Liwska

Reading with Finn: Red Wagon by Renata LiwskaRed Wagon by Renata Liwska
Genres: Picture Books
Format: Hardcover
Source: Imagination Library
Goodreads
5 Stars

All Lucy wants to do is play with her brand-new, bright red wagon. But her mother has other plans for her-and the wagon. Lucy must go to the market and buy vegetables for dinner. Lucy doesn’t want to do chores! But she sets off for the market nonetheless, hauling her red wagon with her. Before long, her ordinary trip becomes a high-seas adventure, a ride through outer space, and a day at the circus. As long as she has her red wagon, not even chores can get in the way of Lucy’s fun.

New York Times bestseller Renata Liwska’s most vibrant art ever takes center stage in this imaginative book for the youngest of readers.

pireviewRed Wagon is such a fun and adorable book. The actual story is very simple, Lucy gets a new wagon and uses it to go to the market for her mother. What was a unwanted chore soon turns into a big adventure all thanks to their vivid imagination.

What mom likes:

I love, love, love the illustrations. The are absolutely gorgeous. Each little animal is adorable and has so much personality.

What Finn likes:

Finn really took a liking to this book a couple of months ago. He must like looking at all the vivid pictures, and I don’t blame him. He really loves the scene where the wagon is a train. He happily says ‘choo choo’ as soon as we get to that page every time.

Red Wagon by Renata Liwska is a delightful picture book. We love getting swept up in Lucy’s adventure.

readingwithfinn

Review: Half Bad by Sally Green

Review: Half Bad by Sally GreenHalf Bad by Sally Green
Series: Half Bad Trilogy #1
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Goodreads
5 Stars

Wanted by no one.
Hunted by everyone.

Sixteen-year-old Nathan lives in a cage: beaten, shackled, trained to kill. In a modern-day England where two warring factions of witches live amongst humans, Nathan is an abomination, the illegitimate son of the world’s most terrifying and violent witch, Marcus. Nathan’s only hope for survival is to escape his captors, track down Marcus, and receive the three gifts that will bring him into his own magical powers—before it’s too late. But how can Nathan find his father when there is no one safe to trust, not even family, not even the girl he loves?

Half Bad is an international sensation and the start of a brilliant trilogy: a gripping tale of alienation and the indomitable will to survive.

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I have always been a fan of witch books. It’s one of the few paranormal sub-genres that I still get excited about. I was really excited about Half Bad by Sally Green from the moment I heard about it and it absolutely did not disappoint.

I knew going in that there was some mixed reviews about Half Bad, but I was completely enthralled after just a couple of chapters. It was a darker book than I was expecting. I’ve never been one to shy away from dark reads, so that wasn’t a problem for me.

The world building was fabulous. Half Bad takes place in our world with witches hidden among us. The witch history and politics was really fascinating. I enjoyed the magical aspects a lot and I feel like we’ll get to see even more magic in Half Wild.

Nathan has had such a troubling life. He’s an outcast amongst the small world of witches. He’s bullied and then tortured. It’s was sometimes hard to read, but it made me feel for Nathan so much. Through all the horrible things that happen to him he’s so strong. He has to do some unsavory things to help himself, but he really only wants to be good. I’m rooting for Nathan so hard. I can’t wait to see how his story unfolds.

The paranormal genre is pretty saturated but Half Bad stands out because of Sally Green’s gorgeous writing. I’m looking forward to seeing how Nathan’s story turns out.

pialso

Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood
Cold Kiss by Amy Garvey
White Cat by Holly Black

 

Review: Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

Review: Ruin and Rising by Leigh BardugoRuin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo
on June 17, 2014
Series: Grisha series
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: eBook
Source: Bought
Goodreads
5 Stars

The capital has fallen.

The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne.

Now the nation’s fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army.

Deep in an ancient network of tunnels and caverns, a weakened Alina must submit to the dubious protection of the Apparat and the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Yet her plans lie elsewhere, with the hunt for the elusive firebird and the hope that an outlaw prince still survives.

Alina will have to forge new alliances and put aside old rivalries as she and Mal race to find the last of Morozova’s amplifiers. But as she begins to unravel the Darkling’s secrets, she reveals a past that will forever alter her understanding of the bond they share and the power she wields. The firebird is the one thing that stands between Ravka and destruction—and claiming it could cost Alina the very future she’s fighting for.

pireview

I have been in love with the Grisha series since sometime around the end of the first chapter in Shadow and Bone. It’s such an incredible fantasy series. One that I feel like I could read over and over. Ruin and Rising was a dark conclusion, but a magnificent one.

To be completely honest with you, I did feel like the first half of the book was a little slow. That could’ve just been me. Since I was a little fuzzy on the way the Siege and Storm ended, I had some catching up to do. Once the story took off for me, it really took off!

Ruin and Rising is filled with the same imaginative places as the previous two books. I love the Grishaverse so much. It’s definitely not an easy place, but Leigh Bardugo has done such an amazing job of bringing it to life.

The boys in this series just seem to keep getting better. Well, except for The Darkling. He just gets more evil. I’ve always sided against Mal for some reason, but Ruin and Rising made me forget why. That’s all I’m going to say. That and Leigh Bardugo sure knows how to writes swoony boys.

There’s been so much turmoil and heartbreak in this series. It’s hard to fathom how it could end. I would’ve never guessed what happened. It’s not often that I read a book that takes me completely by surprise but this one did. It broke my heart and then mended in the last chapter. What an amazing conclusion to a extraordinary series. I couldn’t be happier with how it ended.

pi5pialso

Shadow and Bone and Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rea Carson
Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta

Review: The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski

Review: The Winner’s Crime by Marie RutkoskiThe Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski
on March 3, 2015
Series: The Winner's Trilogy
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Goodreads
5 Stars

Book two of the dazzling Winner’s Trilogy is a fight to the death as Kestrel risks betrayal of country for love.

The engagement of Lady Kestrel to Valoria’s crown prince means one celebration after another. But to Kestrel it means living in a cage of her own making. As the wedding approaches, she aches to tell Arin the truth about her engagement…if she could only trust him. Yet can she even trust herself? For—unknown to Arin—Kestrel is becoming a skilled practitioner of deceit: an anonymous spy passing information to Herran, and close to uncovering a shocking secret.

As Arin enlists dangerous allies in the struggle to keep his country’s freedom, he can’t fight the suspicion that Kestrel knows more than she shows. In the end, it might not be a dagger in the dark that cuts him open, but the truth. And when that happens, Kestrel and Arin learn just how much their crimes will cost them.

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I was so completely enthralled by The Winner’s Curse last year. It was such a unique world and an amazing premise. That’s why The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski has been at the top of my want to read list for a long time. I’m so happy to say that it didn’t suffer from the sequel syndrome and it did not disappoint!

I’m not sure how much I can say about The Winner’s Crime without giving something away. Everything that made us love the first book, the politics, the romance, the deception, is very much alive and well in this follow up. Kestrel is juggling so many important pieces. I was sitting on the edge of my seat the entire book just hoping that she didn’t drop any.

The tension and romance is still a main story line, although maybe not as prevalent as in the first book. I did get just a tiny bit frustrated at Arin and his inability to see obvious things. But that really just made the tension better.

Then there’s the ending. I woke up randomly at 3am the night I finished the book and could not stop thinking about that ending. The wait for book 3 is going to be a very hard one.

This is an utterly stunning series. I can’t recommend The Winner’s Trilogy enough to everyone. Not just fantasy lovers. It’s beautifully written and so addicting.

pi5pialso

The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski
Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo