Review for Model Misfit (Geek Girl #2) by Holly Smale

Model Misfit by Holly Smale

TITLE: Model Misfit
SERIES: Geek Girl #2
AUTHOR: Holly Smale
PUBLISHER: Harper Teen
PAGES: 400 pages
FORMAT: E-ARC / Paperback
SOURCE: Publisher via Edelweiss / Won from Zili In The Sky
RATING: 5 bows

After Harriet Manners summer plans are ruined, she decides that modelling in Japan is the best alternative to sitting at home waiting on her life to change when the new baby arrives. Once she arrives in Tokyo, she is overwhelmed by the sights and sounds and her new flatmates. Plus, she sees Nick EVERYWHERE and since Lion Boy dumped her, that is not ideal. As she navigates her way through a summer away from home, she worries how life will be once she returns and the new baby arrives. She also wonders how she’ll make it through another day listening to her flatmate go on and on about how perfect Nick is. One thing is certain, after this summer, her life will never be the same!

Before I started this, I didn’t think it was possible to love this series more. I adored Geek Girl. It was one of the best books I read last year. I know, it technically came out in the US this year, but I read it last year. You can read my review for it here. Anyway, I loved it to pieces and generally books don’t step up the content much with a sequel, but that is not the case here. I loved this even more than I did Geek Girl. It’s pages contain everything you loved about GG and more. You get the wit and the snark and the awkwardness and the brave girl trying to step out of herself, and you also get so much heart and love and realistic situations that you can just imagine these things happening. There will be more fangirling later in this review, but I just wanted to get that bit out of the way first.

Harriet Manners is the same girl we learned to love in Geek Girl. She’s smart and funny and 100 % an unrepentant geek. We get to see a more morose side of here because Lion Boy has dumped her. She doesn’t understand why. She thought they were getting along well and she was always happiest in his company, but his mind seemed to be made up and there was no changing it. She soldiers on. Even when her epic plans of a fun summer with Natalie and Toby crash and burn. Nat & Toby both have other plans. With nothing better to do, she heads to Tokyo to do some modeling. She has always been fascinated with Japan anyway, so why not? In this installment, Harriet really puts her all into trying to be the best model she can be. While that may not work out as fabulously as she planned, it’s nice to see her really put effort into doing as she is directed.

We get to see some of the old cast as well as a few new members. We don’t get as much of Toby as we did in Geek Girl. The book was perfect, but I did miss his stalking a bit. He is such as amusing character. Nick is present, though we are not very happy with him. Harriet gets two new roommates, who I won’t say anything at all about because doing so might spoil something. And then we have Harriet’s dad and Step-Mom. Once again, I am in awe of that woman. If I am half the mom she is to Harriet when I have kids, then I will be satisfied with myself. The way she handles everything on top of her pregnancy hormones is phenomenal. And that scene, the one at the very end, with the list. Let me just say ALL THE FEELS! Also, I love their baby name…just sayin! 😉

Have you ever read a novel that was just so perfect that you actually cried after it was over? I don’t mean sobbing because the story was depressing a la The Fault In Our Stars, but just at the sheer perfection of this thing you have just read? That this book for me. I literally cried after it was over because I loved it so much. I don’t think that was the intended response, but that was what it got. This book is bloody perfect. I wouldn’t change a single thing about it. It made me laugh, it made me cry, and it has an ending so well written that I am just in awe of it. I’m a little surprised I worked up all the words you see in this review because my brain is more or less just screaming “IT’S PERFECT! GO BUY THE DAMN BOOK!” So that is what I’ll leave you with. This book is perfect and it’s a must read to everyone with the ability to comprehend it.

****Thank you to Harper Teen for providing me with an eARC via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review****

5 bows
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Review for Kissing Ted Callahan (& Other Guys) by Amy Spalding

Kissing Ted Callahan (& Other Guys) by Amy Spalding

TITLE: Kissing Ted Callahan (& Other Guys)
AUTHOR: Amy Spalding
PUBLICATION DATE: April 14, 2015
PAGES: 320 pages
SOURCE: publisher via NetGalley
RATING: 4 bows

After walking in on their bandmates making out, Riley and Reid are a little freaked out. Everyone knows that relationships between band members are a bad idea. This also points out that they are both lacking in relationship experience. They make a pact and start a journey to help each other find someone to make out with and win over their crushes. Since this is an experiment, it’s best to record it all, right? So they keep a journal of romantic events, as well as tips for each other. While Reid struggles to catch the attention of a girl he likes, Riley is suddenly surrounded by cute guys. Ted Callahan is really the one she wants, but there is no harm in playing the field while your young and that is what she does. But both Riley and Reid may get more than they bargained for with this pact. Can they make it all work out or are their love lives (and the band) doomed to failure?

This novel is pitched as Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist
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meets Easy A
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Naturally, I wanted to read it immediately. Those are easily two of my favorite movies. You know those movies that you want so many times that you have memorized all of the dialogue and can speak along with the film? Yeah, that’s me with these films. I’d devour anything even remotely similar to them. Conversely, that is also part of why this gets 4 stars instead of 5. I has super high expectations. You can’t compare something to those films and expect me to go in with low expectations. This was one of those books that I was overjoyed to be approved for. I couldn’t wait to dive into the beautiful pages and dig into the the story. Once I started it, I enjoyed it, but I didn’t love it like I expected to.

I was initially on the fence about Riley. On one hand, she is totally dedicated to her band and music in general. On the other, she seemed a bit shallow. Maybe that’s just my take, but I found her to be a bit annoying. The fact that she was freezing out her best friend infuriated me. Yes, she fucked up, but you aren’t perfect either and things are never going to be fixed if you don’t speak. If you just ignore her every she shows up or refuse to tell her anything about what’s going on with you even when that is your first instinct, things will never improve. Her obsession with music was also a bit….unbelievable? Or maybe it was the fact that there seemed to be a gig for a band that she loved every single night. Maybe things are different in Los Angeles, but how is it possible for there to be so many gigs? Some of them are local bands, but seriously, every single night? That seems a bit farfetched. Either you are exaggerating your love for these acts or you love everything. This is probably just a personal issues since I’m particular about my music, but still. Every time a new show was mentioned, it drew me out of the book and back into real world thinking land and that isn’t where I wanted to be.

I think Ted Callahan was actually my favorite character of the novel. It might just have achieved 5 stars if it has been told from his perspective. He’s smart and cute and honest. He has an almost sweet quality to him that I loved immediately. I wanted him to be with Riley because she wanted it so badly, but I almost felt like he deserved a little better. Riley wasn’t necessarily cheating on him, but she was definitely lying to him. He’s so honest and I hated the idea of someone he obviously liked lying to him.

The rest of the cast were all interesting. Riley has a fully functional, normal family. Parents, sibling, all present and accounted for. The parents even pop in here and there to lay down the law and we see Riley actively checking in with them when she is out or won’t be home. I really liked that small detail. The parental units seemed like a nice bunch and they are pretty easy on Riley, letting her go out and be a teen more often than not.

This story was pretty good. It has a good plot, good writing, and it’s populated with a group of entertaining characters. I feel like that is the best word to describe the novel, good. It wasn’t spectacular and I wasn’t blown away by it or grabbed by it in that must keep reading sort of way. It was just good. There is one more thing that influence me, whether I intended to allow it to or not. It’s something I’m hesitant to speak about because it’s a generally agreed about rule that author behavior should never influence your opinion of the book itself. Or rather, you can allow it to influence you, but it’s frowned upon to speak about it. I think that is unfair because no one berates you if your sole reason for reading a book is because you meet the author and they were awesome. No one turns up there nose at anyone who picks up a John Green novel simply because his youtube channel is amazingly entertaining. Either way, I was affected by a certain minor scandal and I’m compelled to mention that here for the sake of honesty. A little while back, the author of this novel posted a self-made bingo card online, poking fun at the reviewers of her work. I won’t go into the whole thing, but you can read more about it here. I tried to not be offended by that. I get that authors need a way to let off steam because people are ripping their work to shreds. Even though they must be aware that negative reviews come with the territory, I’m sure it’s a hard thing to take. However, I still found myself turning that over in my mind. I think my big issue was that she made it a public thing. That was something you should have shared via email with other author friends. That is not something that should have been published on any form of social media. It made me feel she would rather I didn’t read her book at all as opposed to reading it and not loving it. That whole controversy stayed in the back of my head the entire time I was reading this. I felt like she was mocking me and everyone like me. I can’t speak for all reviewers, but for me, this is a hobby. This is not my job. This is something I squeeze into whatever spare time I can find. I don’t have the time or the patience to read over my reviews endless times looking for errors in syntax or grammar. I try to stay grammatical, but I also try to write as I speak and we all know that is never as grammatical as we’d like it to be. I also don’t have a league of copy-editors proofing my work for these and other types of errors. I tried to ignore it. I tried to not think about it and concentrate on the novel and it’s qualities. But every time the story hit a lull, I was brought back to that.

Regardless of all else, this novel was pretty entertaining. It was funny and emotional. It will never be my favorite thing and it doesn’t quite live up to the standard it’s tag line created, but it was still an enjoyable read. I think anyone who enjoys contemporary YA will like it. Just try not to get bogged down in the drama and you’ll be fine!

****Thank you to Poppy for providing me with an eARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review****

4 bows
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Review for Virgin by Radhika Sanghani

Virgin by Radhika Sanghani

TITLE: Virgin
AUTHOR: Radhika Sanghani
PUBLICATION DATE: August 5, 2014
PUBLISHER: Berkley Trade
PAGES: 304 pages
SOURCE: Publisher via NetGalley
RATING: 3.5 bows

Twenty-one year old Ellie is a virgin and she is sick of feeling like a pariah because of it. She’s determined to shed this particular label and move on to the world of sexually active-ness. She’s not a virgin due to religious beliefs or the need to save herself for “the one,” she has just lacked the opportunity to break her hymen. Can she find someone to shag or will she remain untouched for the rest of her uni days?

Okay, normally I go through my thoughts on characters and their relationships and that such nonsense, but here I only really have one comment. This novel is revolutionary in many ways, but it felt very immature to me at moments. I needed to get that out there first, before I go into character description.

Ellie is a very smart character who is portrayed as hilariously funny, but she didn’t come off that way to me. Maybe my humor is different than hers, but half the time she was amusing and the other half she was annoying. I can relate to her in a many ways, being a size 12 with self-confidence issues and a general awkwardness around people. Yay, finally a lead character who isn’t portrayed as a stick, yay for a normal size woman. But she just seemed ignorant in a lot of ways that I wouldn’t expect a twenty-one year old who hasn’t lead a sheltered life to be. For someone who claims to have scoured magazines for tips on how to do sexual things well and general life tips, she sure doesn’t know much. I read Cosmo as a teenager and I know they have much more information in there than she seems to know. Now I could be completely wrong because I’m not a virgin and haven’t been for a very long time, nor am I a 21 year old college student, but she just irritated me a lot.

She spends a lot of time with her two friends, Emma & Lara. They are different, each with good and bad qualities. I won’t go into a lot of detail, but they were both a good influence on her in the end. Then there is Jack, the main guy in this story. He is far from perfect, but he seems to be a straight forward enough guy. He is nice to Ellie, they go on several dates and spend more than one evening making out. He was generally not a jackass, which is why I don’t understand the ending. He was sweet to her and patient, never pushing her further than she wanted to go, and then he turns out to be a clueless idiot? Maybe I’m out of touch with these university kids just a few years younger than me, but when you go on dates and makeout, you are more than friends, yes? Unless there is some sort of discussion spelling out the friends with benefits plan, you assume a romantic relationship, right? I know I would.

Despite those issues, this novel really has some shining moments. It gives you a no holds barred account of Ellie’s attempts to transform herself into what society expects. We get the gory details of everything from bar flirting to her very first Brazilian wax (something I hope never to experience). Even though I wanted to yell at her for some of the questionable decisions she made, I got to see them and feel them with her, which is truly a remarkable experience. Most authors aren’t brave enough to give an in detail description of a Brazilian wax (again, never never never) or a first trip to a sex shop. We get it all from Ellie’s embarrassed perspective, until she finally gets some confidence.

In the end, though Ellie bugged me, I would highly recommend this novel. It was truly raw and unlike anything I’ve ever read. The best way I can describe it is a grown-up version of The Confessions Of Georgia Nicolson and that in itself is a high compliment indeed because I loved those books. It’s does lack a traditional happy ending, but I like the girl power message it leaves you with. If you are unsure, give it a try and you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

****Thank you to Berkley for providing me with an eARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review****

3 bowshalf a bows
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Review for Gorgeous by Paul Rudnick

Gorgeous by Paul Rudnick

TITLE: Gorgeous
AUTHOR: Paul Rudnick
PUBLICATION DATE: April 30, 2013
PUBLISHER: Scholastic Press
PAGES: 336 pages
SOURCE: Publisher via NetGalley
RATING: 3 bows

Becky Randle is just an ordinary eighteen year old girl with no real goals in life. She just graduated from high school when her mother dies and she is tasked with going through all her mothers stuff. Within it she finds a mysterious phone number which leads her to meet Tom Kelly, world famous designer, who makes her an impossible offer. He will transform her into the most beautiful women in the world. Clearly, he’s off his rocker, but what else do she have to do? Go back to her job at the Sav-A-Lot? She says yes and is instantly drawn into a world of Hollywood superstars and worldwide celebrities. She doesn’t know how the magic works, all she knows is that is she is alone and looks in the mirror, she sees her normal self, but if anyone else is in the room, she sees Rebecca. Rebecca, the uber-pretty version of herself. The woman so pretty it almost hurts to look at her. Then she meets Prince Gregory and begins to fall for him. There’s only one problem. When the year is up and she goes back to being Becky, will the Prince accept her or will he throw her out because she is no longer the gorgeous woman he fell for?

I’m not sure exactly what to say here. I liked it? Sorta? Parts of it? Becky is an interesting character, someone I think we can all relate to. For once, the leading lady isn’t the prettiest woman on the planet, at least not initially. She’s just a normal girl with normal looks and a small town upbringing. And when opportunity knocks giving her a chance to get out of the small town, she jumps at it, after thinking it over. Gregory was also very interesting. The banter between him and Becky/Rebecca was hilarious and kept me giggling with amusement.

The issue? It was all a bit too over the top. Now before you go screaming “But Tabitha, it was a satire, it was supposed to be over the top!,” I get that. I do, really. It’s impossible to get 20 pages into this without realizing it’s a satire and that might be my point. I feel like it could have been a bit more awesome to me if it was sneakier with it. Everything he is meant to be making fun of is exaggerated beyond comprehension. I feel like the magic of satire is when it sneaks up on you but that wasn’t the case here. There were too many moments where the outlandish topics where pushing me out of the story. There were moments that had me shaking my head, pulling me out of the moment and away from the story and more towards my thoughts, which isn’t a good thing. A great story keeps in enthralled in the content, pushing me to continue, not stopping me with ludicrous plot points. The best example is there is a scene where Rebecca is acting for a movie and the director literally gets off on her just saying her lines really well, which had me rolling my eyes. ****SPOILER****Plus the whole plot idea is a little preposterous in general because not only is it never explained how Tom manages to transform Rebecca simply by having her wear these dresses, but Tom himself is a mystery. At the end, we learn that Tom is Becky’s father, which I think we all see coming. We also learn that he died before her birth. DIED. How the blazin’ hell is he here now? We never find out. It is never explained how Tom is mysteriously alive for an entire year. It seems to be implied that the great divine thought it necessary to grant him zombie status due to a promise he made Rebecca’s mother to make sure she has a good life, but ummm…about that. If people get to rise from the grave for life changing promises they made before their deaths, we’d have a bunch more dead people running around.****END SPOILER****

I did like the ending. Once Prince Gregory enters the picture, things pickup quite nicely, with the mystery of how we are going to get the whole mess with Becky/Rebecca/Gregory sorted out properly. Plus, I’m a sucker for a love story, so things are always that much interesting when romance is involved. I also liked that some of it was funny. As I said, the banter between Becky/Rebecca and Gregory was downright hilarious.

In the end, I’m glad I read it, but it’s not my favorite thing ever. A big reason I decided to request it was because of the Libba Bray blurb on the cover, and I just feel it didn’t live up to that. It had it’s funny moments and then it had it’s over the top crazy moments. The beginning is so dull and slow I had a hard time reading it. Then the rest, while interesting, is a just a bit too much. I think it was a nice effort but it just isn’t for me to love and praise…which sucks because I like the idea of satirizing the movie/model industry with it’s crazy life demands.

****Thank you to Scholastic Press for providing me with an eARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review****

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Review for Don’t Even Think About It by Sarah Mlynowski

Don't Even Think About It by Sarah Mlynowski

TITLE: Don’t Even Think About It
AUTHOR: Sarah Mlynowksi
PUBLICATION DATE: March 11, 2014
PUBLISHER: Delacorte Press, a imprint of Random House Children’s Division
PAGES: 320 pages
SOURCE: Publisher via NetGalley
RATING: 4 bows

Everyone in homeroom 10B had a fairly normal life. School, home, significant others, same shit as any other teenager…until they go to get their flu shots from the school nurse. Suddenly they all develop telepathy and start hearing things that they’d rather not. The hope to keep their secrets is not looking good, since the entire group can hear their inner workings and a secret split between 22 people is difficult to keep. Mackenzie cheated on her devoted boyfriend, Tess is secretly in love with Teddy, and BJ is the class perv. That and much more is in store for this group of kids who go from a bunch of “I”s to a singular “we”.

This is probably the only book I’ve read that does such a great job of keeping up with such a large ensemble cast. The cover is a bit deceiving because there are 22 kids “infected” with ESP and all of them have at least a minor role. Obviously you get a bit more from some than others, but it wasn’t nearly as confusing as I thought it would be to follow so many characters stories simultaneously. Each character is fleshed out with their own individual personality, no two being overly similar. Olivia, Mackenzie, Pi, Tess, and Cooper are the “main” characters, at the forefront of most of the novel, but we get quite a bit from the rest. I could sympathize with all them, but I have to say that I am not a fan of Pi, especially after that stunt she pulls at the end. Not cool lady, not cool.
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I’m not Mackenzie’s biggest fan, but it’s hard not to empathize with her. Yes, she fucked up and cheated on Cooper and that is a terrible, unforgivable thing, but she is so damn contrite that it’s hard to stay angry at her. Don’t get me wrong, I think Cooper should dump her and stick to that decision because it’s bound to happen again, but I could feel Mackenzie’s pain over everything that was happening. Olivia and Tess were probably my favorite two, the two I could relate to the most. BJ was also a favorite because he becomes so sincere and sweet.

I knew going in that this would be that great combination of funny and realistic, despite the paranormal aspect. I love Mlynowski’s Ten Things We Did (And Probably Shouldn’t Have) because it was funny and insightful and beautifully realistic. Mlynowski’s voice is similar here. These kids get ESP and learn that they should be more worried about what their friends are really thinking than anything else. The fight and grow closer and struggle with personal dilemma’s with a true to life fashion that you can’t help but fall in love with them. They grew into that sibling mentality of I can bitch about you all I want but nobody else better fucking dare. Despite the telepathy, this is much more about this bunch of kids finding themselves and their relationships than the actual ability. It helps, and makes for amusing reading, but it’s not the heart of the story.

I really enjoyed this little novel. My biggest issue is that the ending seemed less than realistic. I know, I’m reading about a group of teens who accidentally become telepathic and here I am bitching about realism,
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but I just didn’t quite believe it. I also think it was a bit too short. There was a lot of plot to get through and I felt like a story or two deserve a bit more time to fully develop and wrap up. You have an ensemble cast of 22 teens who suddenly develop telepathy and you somehow cover everything that needs to be addressed within 320 pages? Maybe I’m just snippy because I would have loved a hundred more pages of this humors, heart-felt text, but I just think it deserved a bit more.

Despite the minor complaints, I really enjoyed this novel. These characters will make you laugh and cry and curse their stupidity. Why, Mackenzie, did you cheat on Cooper? Why do you just go along with what Lazar says Olivia? Tess, can you just let Teddy go because you deserve better? One of my favorite things about it was the group’s running commentary. You get things from specific characters points of view, but even then, the entire group gets to weigh in at times, giving their opinions on whatever is going on, trivial or otherwise. It was exactly what I was looking for, a witty, humorous tale about learning the truth, whether you are ready for it or not.

****Thank you to Delacourte Press, an imprint of Random House Children’s Division, for providing me with an eARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review****

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Review for Enchanted (Woodcutter Sisters #1) by Alethea Kontis

Enchanted by Alethea Kontis

TITLE: Enchanted
SERIES: Woodcutter Sisters #1
AUTHOR: Alethea Kontis
PUBLISHER: Harcourt Children’s Books
PAGES: 308 pages
FORMAT: Audiobook
SOURCE: Audio Book Sync
RATING: 5 bows

Sunday Woodcutter is the seventh daughter of a seventh daughter, so her life was destined to be magical. However, beyond having everything she writes somehow come true, Sunday’s life is on the boring side with her large family. Until she meets Grumble, a talking frog who insists on hearing the stories about her family’s past exploits. After a few days and a magical kiss, Grumble transforms back to Prince Rumbold of Arilland. Too bad Sunday was too far off to see the transformation and has no clue…also that her family hates the Prince. Now he returns to his life of privilege determined to find Sunday and make her fall in love with him in human form. The task will be far from easy, but the can’t live without he’s lady.

I’m a bit unsure what to say here. This is the first novel that I’ve “read” entirely via audiobook. I’ve listened to quite a few novels, but I always end up lapsing back to the physical or ebook form within the story because it’s faster. Or because it’s easier to sneak and read during class or while waiting than it is to get out headphones and start listening again. I can say that the narrator was amazing. Katherine Kellgren has this great British accent and different voices for each character. I don’t know why audiobook form makes it harder for me to review, but it does. Let’s see what if I can work my way through it, shall we?

Sunday was quite an interesting character to follow. She’s a bit more mousey than the heroine’s I’m used to, but still brave enough to stand up for herself when the moment is right. Her strange family and magical ability made her a bit unique from her siblings. She does get a touch insta-lovey with Grumble because they are only acquainted a few days before her kiss magics him back to his human form which is far too quickly for love to blossom in my humble opinion, but this issue is solved when Rumbold spends so much time and energy to woo her back to him.

Rumbold is a prince easy to sympathize with. He finally gets back into a human form only to realize that he was a much better individual as a frog than as the bratty prince he used to be. He desperate wants Sunday to love him as he is but is terrified she’ll only see the prince he was. He wants to just demand that she marry him so he can have her by his side always but can’t bring himself to do anything so drastic and take her choice away.

The two make an adorable couple, once they jump through all the necessary hoops. My only real complaint is that this was a bit too short. I hear/read a lot of people complain that too many things are too long and how they prefer books that are 250-350 pages. I can completely understand that logic because it’s quicker to get through if it’s terrible, but it’s still enough space to adequately tell a story, but with stuff like this, it always feels too short. There are many characters here and we don’t get enough time to marvel in the wonderful world Alethea has created.

All you need to know is that this is the best kind of fairy tale retelling and if you like that sort of thing, give it a try! I’ll be reading the next one shortly, you can bet on that!

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Review for My Life From Hell (The Blooming Goddess Trilogy #3) by Tellulah Darling

My Life From Hell by Tellulah Darling

TITLE: My Life From Hell
SERIES: The Blooming Goddess Trilogy #3
AUTHOR: Tellulah Darling
PUBLICATION DATE: March 20, 2014
PAGES: 279 pages
SOURCE: Publisher via NetGalley
RATING: 5 bows

This is it, the final showdown is a week away and Sophie must prepare to forever win the battle and be humanity’s savior or die trying…and take everyone on the planet with her when she fails. No pressure, right? Add the stress of that on top of trying to heal from psycho Bethany’s stab wound, trying to get Kai to talk through his feelings, and working through the revelation that Felicity is actually Demeter (AKA Persephone’s mom) in disguise and this poor girl is literally developing stress rashes. Can she get it together and save the world or is humanity doomed?

I intentionally read this slowly trying to make it last longer. As excited as I was to get my hands on it, I was equally sad because I don’t really want Sophie’s journey to come to an end. Well…I do because a longer journey means more conflict and poor Soph has been through enough, but I know I will miss her wit and her charm and her massive amounts of snark. Yes, I can (and probably will) re-read the novels, but it’s not the same, you know? I’m going to try to keep my weepy, maudlin-ness to a minimum, because it won’t do the book justice, but I suspect it might creep in here and there.

If we thought Sophie had been put through the ringer before, we were sorely mistaken. Here, Sophie more or less gets shoved into Persephone’s last week of life and the fall out from having to see Kai loving her or Demeter actually showing affection should be enough to send her over the deep end. Add that to the stress that she still must figure out a way to save humanity and I’m surprised she never seriously contemplated suicide. Not our Soph, though, because she’s too determined and resilient to give up. She’ll save the world or die trying, and force her friends to help, even if they can’t remember who she is.

The Kai we get is a mash-up between book 1 dickhead Kai and book 2 charming and swoony Kai. He’s obviously still not recovered from the knowledge that Persephone planned to betray him and takes a good bit of that frustration out on our undeserving Sophie. He gets better, though, and he’s good-guy side takes over once again. You know all those banners up right now that say “I sigh for Kai” for Wendy Higgins Sweet Evil Trilogy? Well I want one, but for this trilogy because this Kai is beyond sigh-worthy. That speech he makes to Sophie at the end?
Beauty & The Best Swoon Gif

The rest of the gang is all present, though we don’t get as much of Hannah and her nerdiness as I would have liked. Theo and Festos are the most adorable couple ever and Hannah’s new found obsession with Pierce is lovable, even if it does make her into one of those girls who is more interested in her boyfriend than anything else. Poor Hannah actually is as human as the rest of us, with hormones and imperfections.

There was a point while reading this when I panicked. Though I won’t say who, someone dies. An important character dies. I HATE character death and I instantly went into a tailspin. I’m going to have to write a negative review. How can I write an negative review about one of Tellulah’s books?!?!? I love her and all her work. I think I even started hyperventilating at the prospect of putting negative thoughts out about an otherwise amazing series. But I hate character death and I can’t not mention it, right? I can’t write a review without being completely honest and I can’t love something where a favorite character bites the dust. Luckily for me (and all of you) this character doesn’t stay permanently dead. We get a perfectly acceptable loophole for him to be…not dead.

Though I am sad to see it end, the ending itself is perfect. I loved the way Sophie saves the world and the uplifting message that leaves you with. I can’t say much more than that without spoilers, but more novels should end with that particular moral in mind. This is everything I wanted when I started it. You get deep emotional drama and trauma along with Sophie’s signature level of snark. You get Kai’s swooniness (though it takes a bit of time to manifest). You get to see all your favorite characters get the happy ending they deserve. The only thing it’s missing is comeuppance for Bethany, but it’s okay because the way the last scene with her is written is better. I can’t express how thrilled I am to have had the opportunity to read this amazing series and how utterly sad I am to see it end. I feel the textbook definition of a book hangover. What am I supposed to do now?
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When all is said and done, I truly recommend not only this book and this series, but anything Tellulah Darling plans to write. She will surprise you with her ability to make you laugh and cry. Her ability to write in a realistic teenage voice never fails to surprise. She writes in a way that truly reminds me of Jennifer L Armentrout and that is a compliment of the highest order. Seriously, pick up My Ex From Hell if you haven’t already because it’s exactly what you didn’t know you were looking for and you’ll thank me later.

****Thank you to Tellulah Darling/Te De Media for providing me with an eARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review****

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Review for A Date Of Godlike Proportions (The Blooming Goddess Trilogy #2.5) by Tellulah Darling

A Date Of Godlike Proportions by Tellulah Darling

TITLE: A Date Of Godlike Proportions
SERIES: The Blooming Goddess Trilogy #2.5
AUTHOR: Tellulah Darling
PUBLICATION DATE: December 20, 2013
PAGES: 28 pages
SOURCE: Purchased
RATING: 5 bows

Theo and Festos are finally going on their second date. After several thousand years of waiting, there is a lot of pressure on them for this to go well. Festos is over the moon excited and Theo is terrified. Can they make it work.

Theo & Festos? Bring. It. On. This was way too damn short. Can I have more? Please?

Our poor dear Sophie is unconscious, healing from the knife wound to the gut from that crazy bitch and Theo doesn’t want to leave her side, but the rest of the crew more or less drag him out of the house for this epic date. He’s determined to be difficult because he’s scared it’ll turn out badly, even though it’s obvious to anyone with eyes that Festos still loves him. These two are so fucking cute together.

Seriously, more please? No? Well, I already have the next book in the series so I’ll get more soon enough. This tinsy little novella gives you just enough of a taste to whet your appetite for more. I’m gonna tear through the book I’m reading now to get the My Life From Hell. I can’t fucking wait!

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Review for Erasing Time (Erasing Time #1) by C J Hill

Erasing Time by C J Hill

TITLE: Erasing Time
SERIES: Erasing Time #1
PUBLICATION DATE: August 28, 2012
PAGES: 368 pages
RATING: 5 bows

Sheridan & Taylor are far from home with no hope of ever getting back. They were yanked 400 years into the future and now must work together to find a way out of the city before the new controlling government can orders the crystal tracking implants to be surgically implanted or, worse, decide they can’t risk the liability of the girls and order their memory erased. The only way out of the city is to trust Echo, a future boy with more secrets than they can ever hope to uncover. Without him they are lost, but with him, they may end up in worse trouble. Can they trust him?

Though this book has vaguely caught my eye in the past, it wasn’t until I learned that C J Hill is a pseudonym for Janette Rallison that I really grew interested in it. I have only read one of her books, but it was full of sparkling wit that kept me giggling the entire novel, yet somehow still managing to be heartfelt. Once that little tidbit was revealed, I was super-excited to see what she did in this dystopian. Would her humor translate to the new genre? The answer is yes! It really does, so, even though this is a serious dystopian, with all the serious issues that entails, Hill’s/Rallison’s humor still shines through. We get much more than her humor here, with a depth to the story that I wasn’t entirely expecting. I knew the writing would be competent, but I wasn’t quite expecting the world to pull me in the way it did.

Something else I loved was that the main character was the “normal” twin. Sheridan is not stupid by any stretch of the imaginations, but her sister Taylor is overly intelligent, graduating from college before her eighteenth birthday. Sheridan is still in high school with plans to pursue a degree in literature when they are pulled into the future. Feeling even more out of place because she doesn’t have the scientific mind of her sister and she isn’t pestering people with questions, just trying to take it all in. She is the one who comes up with the majority of the ideas and she is the one they end up relying on in the end. Something that should have bothered me but didn’t was how religious Sheridan is. Somehow Hill manages to write a preacher’s kid who is devote in her belief without coming off as pushy. Imagine my surprise, right? From the moment Sheridan mentions her beliefs, I prepared for the inevitable push of religious beliefs onto the audience. It was almost like I could feel it coming, but it never really did. Bravo, to say the least.

Then we had Echo****SPOILER****Or should I say Joseph?****END SPOILER**** He was a bit of a conundrum before we learn his big secret. He claims to not be part of the local gang, but knows all about them, even the deep secret stuff. He swears to protect Sheridan, but doesn’t really back it up in the beginning. He tells them one thing in his translations, but says something completely different when he speaks to everyone else in the new English. He is a big part of the humor element because of his mistake beliefs and ideas of the 21st Century. When he asks about the talking animals, I almost feel in the floor laughing so hard. Once you learn his secret, one that I really didn’t see coming by the way, you can’t help but empathize with the guy. ****SPOILER****All the lies to pretend to be his brother, stepping into the gang role his brother had played out and deceiving his father. Not to mention having to live with the fact that his brother died for him, right in front of him, and he has to live with that.****END SPOILER**** I just wanted to give the poor guy a hug, not to mention hug the author for the ability to keep the charade up until the very end. The light romance between him and Sheridan was so sweet, especially because she is never the twin that gets a date, they always prefer Taylor.

Taylor is a character I both loved and hated. The bond between the twins is obvious, but sometimes I became really irritated at how she reacted to Sheridan. She looks down on her desire to study literature, believing that science degrees are much more important and the way she treats Sheridan’s attraction to Echo ****SPOILER****::coughs:: Joseph****END SPOILER**** was highly irritating. The fact that she is the “smart” one but can’t come up with the answers in the end is what redeems her and her anger at Sheridan for always taking her place in dangerous situations.

There are several side characters that all play a role, but really it’s all about these three. This was gloriously free of a love triangle, no playing the sisters off each other for their affections or an additional male lead. No major cliffhangers, just the knowledge that the fight to save civilization isn’t over, and no insta-love. Sheridan and Echo ****SPOILER****::coughs:: Joseph****END SPOILER****are very attracted to one another, but they don’t go beyond the liking phase. It was amazing and refreshing and I cannot wait to get my hands on the next one. I have added all of C J Hill’s/Janette Rallison’s books to my wishlist….well all the ones that weren’t already there and I now truly want to get my hands on Slayers!

That’s a bit off the subject. If you are looking for a dystopian a little off the beaten past, this is for you. You are looking for a story to make you smile, this is it as well. If you are looking for a twist you don’t see coming, well, do I really need to say it again? This has something for everyone and manages to bring in religion without it being overpowering! What more can you ask for?

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Review for The Promise Of Amazing by Robin Constantine

The Promise Of Amazing by Robin Constantine

TITLE: The Promise Of Amazing
AUTHOR: Robin Constantine
PUBLICATION DATE: December 31, 2013
PUBLISHER: Balzar + Bray, An Imprint Of HarperCollins Publishers
PAGES: 384 pages
SOURCE: Edelweiss
RATING: 4 bows

Wren is average. She is ranked somewhere in the middle of her high school and the only comment her teachers ever have about her is that she is a bit too quiet. She is sick of it and desperate to change. Speak up more, live in the moment, and not let people push her around. She definitely gets people’s attention when she performs the Heimlich on a guest at a wedding at her parents catering hall and saves his life. Grayson was that guest and he can’t get Wren out of his mind ever since. He used to be the big man on campus at St Gabriel’s, but after being expelled for selling term papers, he’s a bit lost. Not sure who he is anymore or who he wants to be, he only knows that Wren saved his life and he has to find out more about her.

Wren was a character I could instantly sympathize with. I can completely understand that feeling of being labeled “average” when it’s anything but accurate and letting people walk all over you because your too quiet to speak up. I enjoyed watching her try to step out of her comfort zone, especially when Grayson was around. There were moments when I wanted to slap her because, as much as I like Gray, I couldn’t believe she was buying his bullshit. That whole mall thing would have sent me over the deep end and no amount of kisses and sweet-talk could have convinced me to forgive him at that exact moment. I get that she a bit under-experienced when it comes to boys, but come on lady, open your eyes and demand answers in a now-or-never fashion and he either fesses up or moves on. Speaking of her experience with guys, can I just say that I love the fact that she isn’t a virgin and is still portrayed as a “good” girl?!? Too many times in YA, a girl can’t be the goodie goodie if she dares to have sex and it’s sickening. But that’s not to be found here, with Wren being an honors student, a great worker at her parents catering hall, and a loyal friend.

Grayson was a bit of a jackass in the beginning. In fact, I think Wren’s first description of him was something similar because he was doing obnoxious tricks at the wedding she was “waitressing.” He improves though. I am delighted to say that this is told in duel perspectives, so we get to see Gray’s side of things as well. The more time I get behind his eyes, the more I just wanted to hug him. He seems so lost. He has basically lost his identity because everything changed when he got booted from St Gabes, his friends even ignored him all summer. But they are back now, demanding his help with “Operation Amsterdam,” a scheme that would bring shame to anyone with a lick of sense. I thought it was a weed selling business, because Amsterdam always implies marijuana, but oh how wrong I was. I think the truth is much worse than that. That’s really sayings something for me because I’m extremely anti-drug. He’s out of the game and doesn’t want to get back in, especially because of what Wren would think if she found out, but his friends are pressuring (and threatening) him to come back for just one last score. I think he is trying to grow up and move on, but they just won’t let him.

What is really adorable here is the interactions between the entire cast. Grayson is so sweet to Wren and I love them together, her presence pushing him to be better and his pushing her to step out of her comfort zone. Even though it felt a bit insta-lovey, I still enjoyed the two pairing up. But it isn’t just them I enjoyed, I liked the banter between Wren’s entire group of friends and family, as well as seeing Gray’s half-siblings. Wren and Jazz do that whole movie quotes/references thing that puts me in nerd-girl heaven.

One bit of advice though? When you are doing a reference or a quote, don’t go back and say what you’re quoting. In a real conversation, if I quote The Princess Bride, I know enough to know that my friends will understand the reference and I know there is no need to explain it. I felt like the book was almost dumbed-down a bit to make sure everyone understood the film references and that brought down the magic level a bit. It may sound a little silly, but it took me out of the moment and if it bugged me, I’m sure it’ll bug someone else too. Another minor issue was the insta-love I referred to early. I know they are teenagers and become connected because she saves his life, but saying the L word within two – three weeks is a bit too soon. I think it would have been entirely feasible to just leave that out and the novel would have progressed fine. The attraction was enough to bring the two together and keep them together, no need to throw love in the mix. Maybe just a hint of it, but no declarations until the end, please! The final issue is just my personal thought, but it felt like Gray used too much teen-speak. Maybe I’m too adult now to know how “kids” really talk these days, but there were a few moments when Gray’s inner monologue (or dialogue) felt wrongly worded.

Despite the minor problems, this book really gets massive amounts of love from me. Wren and Gray’s journey to one another is adorable, while still managing to have enough drama to provide adequate conflict. It’s filled with sweet romantic moments, humorous dialogue, and an addictive quality that made it impossible to stop reading. I devoured this book in just a few days and considering this is exam week and all my spare time has been ear-marked for studying and taking my exams, that’s really saying something. Anyone who enjoys contemporary YA’s will love this. It reminded me quite a bit of Anna & The French Kiss and that alone should recommend it!

****Thank you to Balzar + Bray, An Imprint Of HarperCollins Publishers, for providing me with an eARC via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review****

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