Thursday, 24 April 2014

The Hunt (Project Paper Doll #2) by Stacey Kade

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Disney Book Group and Netgalley.
The Hunt (Project Paper Doll, #2)Blurb (from Goodreads):
Ariane Tucker has finally escaped GTX, the research facility that created her. While on the run, Zane Bradshaw is the only person she can trust. He knows who-and what-she is and still wants to be part of her life.

But accepting Zane's help means putting him in danger.

Dr. Jacobs, head of GTX, is not the only one hunting for Ariane. Two rival corporations have their sights set on taking down their competition. Permanently. To protect Zane and herself, Ariane needs allies. She needs the other hybrids. The hybrids who are way more alien and a lot less human. Can Ariane win them over before they turn on her? Or will she be forced to choose sides, to decide who lives and who dies?

The Hunt by Stacey Kade

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Hunt (Project Paper Doll, #2)(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Disney Book Group and Netgalley.)
Ariane has escaped GTX, taking Zane with her, but how long can she evade capture for? Can Zane’s mom help them? And what should Ariane’s next move be?

This was an okay sequel, but like the first, it seemed a bit slow, and I lost interest.

Ariane was okay in this, and it was admiral how she wanted to keep Zane safe and protect him from danger he was in just because he liked her. She did make some dangerous decisions at times though, and ended up in sticky situations because of it.

The storyline in this was okay and mainly revolved around Ariane and Zane’s escape, finding Zane’s mother, and discovering more information about the other hybrids. I did find the pace quite slow though, and I got a bit bored because of it.
There was some romance, which was pretty good, and it was nice the way that Zane still loved Ariane, even after finding out what she was.
The ending to this was okay, and we did get a bit of action and a couple of little twists. Again Ariane ended up putting herself in danger though.
Overall; okay story, but the pace was a bit slow.
6.5 out of 10.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

The Last Best Kiss by Claire LaZebnik

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.
The Last Best Kiss
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Anna Eliot is tired of worrying about what other people think. After all, that was how she lost the only guy she ever really liked, Finn Westbrook.

Now, three years after she broke his heart, the one who got away is back in her life.

All Anna wants is a chance to relive their last kiss again (and again and again). But Finn obviously hasn’t forgotten how she treated him, and he’s made it clear he has no interest in having anything to do with her.

Anna keeps trying to persuade herself that she doesn’t care about Finn either, but even though they’ve both changed since they first met, deep down she knows he’s the guy for her. Now if only she can get him to believe that, too....

With her signature wit and expertly authentic teen voice, Claire LaZebnik (the author of fan favorites Epic Fail and The Trouble with Flirting) once again breathes new life into a perennially popular love story. Fans of Polly Shulman, Maureen Johnson, and, of course, Jane Austen will love this irresistibly funny and romantic tale of first loves and second chances.

The Last Best Kiss by Claire LaZebnik

My rating: 3.12 of 5 stars

The Last Best Kiss(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)
17-year-old Anna has never gotten over the boy that she dumped in ninth grade because her friends thought he was below her. Now Finn is back though, and Anna is upset when he doesn’t seem to have forgiven her, and is instead flirting with her friend.
Will Finn ever forgive her? Or will he just date her friend instead?

This was an okay YA contemporary romance, but it just dragged a bit for me.

Anna was an okay character, but I really wished that she had a bit more of a backbone. She couldn’t possibly admit something that made her slightly different from her friends, even when it was something important to her, which really annoyed me.
Finn was also an okay character, but I really wished he’d just get over himself, and forgive Anna. Okay, what she did wasn’t very nice, but if he really liked her he should have stopped trying to punish her and started trying to find a way to be together.

The storyline in this was okay, but for me it was just too slow. It was all talk and no action, and it seemed to take forever for anything to happen. I wanted more excitement, I wanted more dilemmas and awkward situations, and instead we got wonderings and other inconsequential stuff that didn’t really move the story along.
There was romance, but it was quite brief really, we got a little bit at the beginning and a little bit at the end, and that was it basically.
The ending was okay, but it just took so long to get there, that I was kind of glad that I was at the end.
Overall; okay story, but the pace dragged a bit.
6.25 out of 10.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Don't Call Me Baby by Gwendolyn Heasley

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.
Don't Call Me Baby
Blurb (from Goodreads):
All her life, Imogene has been known as the girl on THAT blog.

Imogene's mother has been writing an incredibly embarrassing, and incredibly popular, blog about her since before she was born. Hundreds of thousands of perfect strangers knew when Imogene had her first period. Imogene's crush saw her "before and after" orthodontia photos. But Imogene is fifteen now, and her mother is still blogging about her, in gruesome detail, against her will.

When a mandatory school project compels Imogene to start her own blog, Imogene is reluctant to expose even more of her life online...until she realizes that the project is the opportunity she's been waiting for to tell the truth about her life under the virtual microscope and to define herself for the first time.

Don't Call Me Baby is a sharply observed and irrepressibly charming story about mothers and daughters, best friends and first crushes, and the surface-level identities we show the world online and the truth you can see only in real life.

Don't Call Me Baby by Gwendolyn Heasley

My rating: 3.25 of 5 stars

Don't Call Me Baby(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)
15-year-old Imogen and her best friend Sage both hate that their mothers post everything about their lives on their blogs, so when they’re asked to start their own blogs for a class project, they decide to get their own back, by posting things about their mothers that their mothers wouldn’t like.
Can Imogen and Sage ever stop their mothers from blogging about them? And will their blogging plan work?

This was an okay story about acceptance and compromise.

Imogen was an okay character, but at times she did come across as maybe a bit petty. I got her need for privacy, but I didn’t think she really considered that she would come off looking like the evil one, not her mom. I also thought that she didn’t give enough thought to the fact that her mother used her blog as a business, and at times it was the money and sponsorship from the blog that was putting food on the table.

The storyline in this was okay, but again, Imogen did come across as a little petty at times. I totally got why her mother annoyed her, she annoyed me as well, but I really did think that working things out with her mom was a better option than making petty comments on her blog. I get that she was trying to give her mother a taste of her own medicine – fair enough if you ask me, but she didn’t consider that she was actually trying to destroy her mother’s online reputation, which her mother relied on to make money!
There was a smidgen of romance in this one, but not much, you couldn’t really describe this as a romance story.
The ending was okay, and I liked the way things worked out, I do wish that Imogen and her mother had made it there in a slightly different fashion though.
Overall; okay story about mothers, daughters, and blogging.
6.5 out of 10

Monday, 21 April 2014

The Ring and The Crown (The Ring and the Crown #1) by Melissa de la Cruz

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Disney Book Group and Netgalley.
The Ring and The Crown
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Princess Marie-Victoria, heir to the Lily Throne, and Aelwyn Myrddn, bastard daughter of the Mage of England, grew up together. But who will rule, and who will serve?

Quiet and gentle, Marie has never lived up to the ambitions of her mother, Queen Eleanor the Second, Supreme Ruler of the Franco-British Empire. With the help of her Head Merlin, Emrys, Eleanor has maintained her stranglehold on the world's only source of magic. She rules the most powerful empire the world has ever seen.

But even with the aid of Emrys' magic, Eleanor's extended lifespan is nearing its end. The princess must marry and produce an heir or the Empire will be vulnerable to its greatest enemy, Prussia. The two kingdoms must unite to end the war, and the only solution is a match between Marie and Prince Leopold VII, heir to the Prussian throne. But Marie has always loved Gill, her childhood friend and soldier of the Queen's Guard.

Together, Marie and Aelwyn, a powerful magician in her own right, come up with a plan. Aelwyn will take on Marie's face, allowing the princess to escape with Gill and live the quiet life she's always wanted. And Aelwyn will get what she's always dreamed of--the chance to rule. But the court intrigue and hunger for power in Lenoran England run deeper than anyone could imagine. In the end, there is only rule that matters in Eleanor's court: trust no one.

The Ring and The Crown by Melissa de la Cruz

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Ring and The Crown(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Disney Book Group and Netgalley.)
Marie-Victoria is a princess, and her mother wishes for her to marry Leopold – a Prussian Prince, whether she likes it or not.
Will Marie wed Leopold? Or will something happen to change things?

This was an okay story, but it dragged a lot.

Marie was an okay character, although her plan at one point to abandon her crown did not seem to be in keeping with her general demeanour when it came to her position.
Wolf was a good guy, and probably my favourite of the lot.
Leopold was awful! He was just horrible, and was quite happy to screw people over whenever he got the chance; literally, and figuratively.
I liked both Aelwyn and Ronan, they were both good characters and did what they thought best.
I did think there were a heck of a lot of characters to try and keep track of in this book though, and having the evil Leopold in there did not do this book any favours.

The storyline in this was okay. The book started out introducing a lot of characters all at once, and I felt like it was really difficult to get a feel for them right off. The beginning was incredibly slow, and the first 30% of this book just dragged, and I was bored. The book did improve a bit after this, but it seemed that most of the book was simply about who was having sex with who, and behind who’s back they were doing it! I have to say that I expected a little more from this book that who was shagging who, but ultimately that was what it came down to.

There was romance, but again, this book was basically all about who was shagging who, and most of the time the people doing the shagging shouldn’t have been doing it. Leopold was quite obviously the worst for this. He seemed to go after anything in a skirt, and had his way whether his rutting partner liked it or not. I have to say that I really disliked Leopold, and was insanely pleased when he got what was coming to him.

The ending to this was the best part of the book. I liked that Leopold got what was coming to him. I liked that all the little trysts were revealed, and justice served, and I liked the marriage at the end. Considering everything that this lot had been through to get to that point though, it was one heck of a tangled web!
Overall; a bit slow and dull, but the ending saved it,
6 out of 10.

Not a Drop to Drink (Not a Drop to Drink #1) by Mindy McGinnis

Not a Drop to Drink (Not a Drop to Drink, #1)
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Regret was for people with nothing to defend, people who had no water.

Lynn knows every threat to her pond: drought, a snowless winter, coyotes, and, most importantly, people looking for a drink. She makes sure anyone who comes near the pond leaves thirsty, or doesn't leave at all.

Confident in her own abilities, Lynn has no use for the world beyond the nearby fields and forest. Having a life means dedicating it to survival, and the constant work of gathering wood and water. Having a pond requires the fortitude to protect it, something Mother taught her well during their quiet hours on the rooftop, rifles in hand.

But wisps of smoke on the horizon mean one thing: strangers. The mysterious footprints by the pond, nighttime threats, and gunshots make it all too clear Lynn has exactly what they want, and they won’t stop until they get it….

With evocative, spare language and incredible drama, danger, and romance, debut author Mindy McGinnis depicts one girl’s journey in a barren world not so different than our own.

Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis

My rating: 3.38 of 5 stars

Not a Drop to Drink (Not a Drop to Drink, #1)(Source: I own a copy of this book.)
16-year-old Lynn lives with her mother in the basement of their house by a small pond. There is a water shortage and so Lynn and her mother must defend their small water supply from anyone who would try to steal it from them.
How long can Lynn and her mother protect their pond? And will they ever let anyone else into their lives?

This was an interesting dystopian story, but there were just too many irritating little anomalies that made this less enjoyable.

Lynn was an okay character, but her mother had raised her maybe a little too hard. She seemed to see everyone who wasn’t her mother as an enemy, and maybe was a little too harsh at times. Her fire now, and think later attitude seriously got her into trouble.

The storyline in this was okay, and there were several exciting and unexpected moments, but the world-building just let it down a bit. I thought there just wasn’t enough information about how this water shortage had come about, and what the situation was. Lynn and her mother had been living by this pond for over 16 years, and a lot can happen in 16 years! I really wanted to know what was going on in the world, and how Lynn and her mother fit into this situation.

There were also other random little unexplained things that began to bother me in this book. Where did they get their coffee and hot chocolate from? Why was it okay to leave the pond unguarded one minute, and not the next? Why would you rinse animal blood off in your pond when it’s your only source of water? What do they use for a toilet? How did two women manage to get a piano into the attic?! Why do they never run out of petrol or bullets? Why was there even a water shortage in the first place? Why was there a limit on how many children you could have?

There was a touch of romance, but nothing much, and it wasn’t really a main storyline.
The end was okay, but I felt like there was a lot left unanswered. I think I will read the next book though, as I did like the story overall. I was a little upset with the sad thing that happened at the end though.
Overall; okay dystopian story, but too many unanswered questions.
6.75 out of 10.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

The Accident by C.L. Taylor

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins UK, Avon and Netgalley.
The Accident
Blurb (from Goodreads):
The person you trust most may only be telling you half the story …

Fast-paced, suspenseful, this is a book with more twists than a helter-skelter that will keep you reading late into the night. Perfect for fans of Before I Go to Sleep and Gone Girl.

Sue Jackson has the perfect family but when her teenage daughter Charlotte deliberately steps in front of a bus and ends up in a coma she is forced to face a very dark reality.

Retracing her daughter’s steps she finds a horrifying entry in Charlotte’s diary and is forced to head deep into Charlotte’s private world. In her hunt for evidence, Sue begins to mistrust everyone close to her daughter and she’s forced to look further, into the depths of her own past.

There is a lot that Sue doesn’t know about Charlotte’s life. But then there’s a lot that Charlotte doesn’t know about Sue’s …

The Accident by C.L. Taylor

My rating: 3.25 of 5 stars

The Accident(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins UK, Avon and Netgalley.)
43-year-old Sue is devastated when her daughter walks in front of a bus and ends up in a coma. The doctors say there’s nothing medically wrong with her, so Sue is convinced that if she can find out why Charlotte did it, she can get Charlotte to wake up. There’s more to the story than Sue expects though.
Why did Charlotte walk in front of a bus? And can Sue find out before it’s too late?

This was an interesting mystery story, but I wasn’t very impressed with the ending.

Sue was an okay character, but it wasn’t hard to think of her as delusional. I suppose that was part of the mystery – was she nuts or not? Was she imagining all these things that were happening? Was there more to Charlotte’s accident than everybody knew? But she did come across as bananas at points, and it really wasn’t difficult to question whether she needed psychiatric help.

The storyline was okay, and I liked the mystery element, I liked finding out about Sue’s previous relationship with James and how she had ended up where she was, and I liked her investigation into her daughter’s life. It was also quite intriguing trying to find out how the two stories finally came together.
The ending ruined this for me though. There were just too many questions left unanswered. Was Sue’s husband really up to something behind her back? And what became of Charlotte? Even though the question of James was tied up, we were still left with several things hanging, and although the interview with the author at the end of the book cleared one of those up, it wasn’t enough for me. I shouldn’t have to read the author interview at the end of the book to find out how it ended!
Overall; good mystery story, but the ending spoilt it,
6.5 out of 10.

How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr

How to Save a Life
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Jill MacSweeney just wishes everything could go back to normal. But ever since her dad died, she’s been isolating herself from her boyfriend, her best friends—everyone who wants to support her. And when her mom decides to adopt a baby, it feels like she’s somehow trying to replace a lost family member with a new one.

Mandy Kalinowski understands what it’s like to grow up unwanted—to be raised by a mother who never intended to have a child. So when Mandy becomes pregnant, one thing she’s sure of is that she wants a better life for her baby. It’s harder to be sure of herself. Will she ever find someone to care for her, too?

As their worlds change around them, Jill and Mandy must learn to both let go and hold on, and that nothing is as easy—or as difficult—as it seems.

How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

How to Save a Life(Source: I own a copy of this book.)
19-year-old Mandy is pregnant, but isn’t ready to raise a baby. 17-year-old Jill’s mother wants to adopt a baby, even if Jill thinks she’s crazy.
Can Mandy give her baby up? And can Jill’s mother raise the baby on her own?

This was an okay story, but I can’t say I really enjoyed it.

I can’t say I really liked any of the main characters in this book. Mandy was a little dull and annoying, and Jill’s chapters were hard to read because it was like her mind was in chaos, and the chapters were written like that making them hard to follow.

The storyline was interesting, but the whole thing just fell a bit flat for me and I got bored. I wanted things to work out for everybody involved, but it was obvious that Mandy was hiding something, and Jill was just angry.
That being said I did like the ending. I did guess the little twist with respect to the babies paternity, but I thought that the way the story ended was really nice and worked out well for everybody involved. It was the ending that saved this for me really.
Overall; an okay story, with a nice ending,
5.5 out of 10.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Goddess by Laura Powell

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Bloomsbury Publishing Plc (UK & ANZ) and Netgalley.
Blurb (From Goodreads):
Strikes. Starvation. Riots. Britain is at breaking-point and Aura is blind to it all. The Cult of Artemis is the only home she’s ever known. Enclosed in its luxury lifestyle, the unrest gripping the country seems to belong to a distant world. Her dream is to serve the Goddess and taking a vow of chastity and obedience seems a small price to pay. But days before Aura is due to be initiated as a Priestess, she meets Aiden, the rebellious son of a cult insider, whose radical ideas and unsettling charm force Aura to question everything – and everyone – she knows.

Goddess by Laura Powell

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Goddess(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Bloomsbury Publishing Plc (UK & ANZ) and Netgalley.)
Aura is a handmaiden in the cult of Artemis, and her only goal is to become a priestess. When the political climate is in uproar though, Aura begins having ‘oracles’, during which she speaks prophecies. The high priestess changes these prophecies to her own benefit though, and tells Aura to keep quiet.
Can Aura do what she is told? Or will she stick by her oracles instead?

This was an okay story, but it was a little confusing at times.

Aura was an interesting character, and I liked the way she refused to be swayed from what she knew was right. She was also incredibly brave to stand up to her superiors the way she did.

The storyline in this was quite interesting at points, but I also found myself bored at points too. The twists that were thrown into the story were good, and built tension, but I did feel like there was a bit of a lack of world-building, and I don’t know whether it was just the writing style, but I did find that my attention kept waning.
There wasn’t really any romance in this one, but there was plenty of scandal!
The ending was okay, and I liked that we got both a happy ending, and that things were tied up nicely. I did like this book in places, but it also irritated me the way it couldn’t hold my interest at points.
Overall; lots of ups and downs with this book,
6 out of 10.

Confessions of a Murder Suspect (Confessions #1) by James Patterson & Maxine Paetro

Confessions of a Murder Suspect (Confessions, #1)
Blurb (from Goodreads):
On the night Malcolm and Maud Angel are murdered, their daughter Tandy knows just three things: 1) She was one of the last people to see her parents alive. 2) The suspect list only includes Tandy and her three siblings. 3) She can't trust anyone--maybe not even herself.

As Tandy sets out to clear the family name, she begins to recall flashes of experiences long buried in her vulnerable psyche. These memories shed light on her family's dark secrets, and digging deeper into her powerful parents' affairs proves to be a disturbing and dangerous game. Who knows what any of the Angels are truly capable of?

Confessions of a Murder Suspect by James Patterson

My rating: 2.25of 5 stars

Confessions of a Murder Suspect (Confessions, #1)(Source: I own a copy of this book.)
16-year-old Tandy and her siblings are the only people in the house the night their parents are discovered dead.
Who killed Tandy’s parents? And why did they name her Tandoori?

The characters in this were all nuts, and the storyline was pretty darn boring considering that people were dead!

I didn’t like Tandoori, and not just because I wasn’t a fan of her name. She just said the strangest things, she thought the strangest things, her upbringing was bizarre, and she didn’t even show how upset she was that her parents were dead. It was no wonder that she was a suspect!

The storyline in this was okay I suppose, but the execution let it down. Every character in this book was psychologically damaged in some way, and even the stories about their childhood were just bizarre, and not in a good way. I got really fed up of this crazy nonsense pretty early on, and could not finish this fast enough. If these were real people I’d be calling a psychiatrist to section them all, and probably calling social services to have the children taken away, as Tandoori’s parents were pretty shocking parents. Telling your child that they’re ‘damaged’ because they show emotion is absolutely terrible, and disowning your three-year-old for being afraid on a rollercoaster is utterly nutty.
The ending was okay, and I was glad to find out what actually happened. I was also glad that it was over though.
Overall; crazy characters and a messed up storyline,
4.5 out of 10.

Friday, 18 April 2014

The Summer I Wasn't Me by Jessica Verdi

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to SOURCEBOOKS Fire and Netgalley.
The Summer I Wasn't Me
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Lexi has a secret.

She never meant for her mom to find out. And now she's afraid that what's left of her family is going to fall apart for good.

Lexi knows she can fix everything. She can change. She can learn to like boys. New Horizons summer camp has promised to transform her life, and there's nothing she wants more than to start over.

But sometimes love has its own path...

The Summer I Wasn't Me by Jessica Verdi

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

The Summer I Wasn't Me(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to SOURCEBOOKS Fire and Netgalley.)
17-year-old Lexi is going to an anti-gay camp for the summer because her mother found out that she was in love with another girl and didn’t like it.
When Lexi gets to camp she’s immediately attracted to another girl there called Carolyn, and though she tries to fight her feelings, it’s clear that Carolyn has wormed her way into her heart.
Will the anti-gay camp work? Or will things work out for Lexi and Carolyn?

This was a really cute story about a group of kids sent to an anti-gay Christian camp for the summer, to rid them of their SSA (same sex attraction).

I really liked the main characters in this book, they were all such good people!
Lexi was great. I totally got how she felt when her mother got upset with her for being gay; with her father dead it was difficult for her to feel like she had disappointed her mother, even to the point where she wondered if camp really could de-gay-ify her, just to please her mother.
Carolyn was so sweet! She was such a beautiful character, and it was easy to see how right Carolyn and Lexi were for each other. I really liked Carolyn.
Matthew was also a fave! He was so sure of himself and knew exactly what he wanted, even if that went against what everyone else wanted him to want. The way he tried to get Carolyn and Lexi together, and the way he compared Jesus to Harry Potter was pretty awesome!

The storyline in this was pretty good, and didn’t go exactly the way I thought (which was good). He little twists and turns in the story were pretty entertaining, and I enjoyed this book more because it wasn’t quite so straight-forward. There were some really interesting details such as the fact that the people at the camp wore t-shirts that said - "Say good-bye to homosexuality; say hello to your new life!" (so bad!)
The romance in this was between two girls Lexi and Carolyn, and while I wouldn’t immediately pick a GBLT romance over a heterosexual romance story, I really liked this! Lexi and Carolyn really were so sweet together, and so right for each other that their gender really didn’t make a difference, which is really quite a beautiful thing.
The ending to this was also pretty good, and I was so glad that we got a happy ending! Yay!
Overall; sweet GBLT romance, with some twists and turns!
7 out of 10.