Review for Wilde’s Meadow (Darkness Falls #3) by Krystal Wade

Wilde's Meadow by Krystal Wade

TITLE: Wilde’s Meadow
SERIES: Darkness Falls #3
AUTHOR: Krystal Wade
PUBLICATION DATE: November 4, 2012
PUBLISHER: Curiosity Quills Press
PAGES: 314 pages
SOURCE: Publisher via NetGalley
RATING: 2 bows

It’s time for war. In the previous novel, Kate built an army to go to war with a god and it’s go time. Kate knows the battle will be hard and lives will be lost, but it must happen for Encardia to have light and happiness. Can she do what she was destined to or will she fail and doom her people.

I’ve been relatively nice in the reviews for the previous books in this series. None of them are bad, but they aren’t particularly good either. That ends here. I found this novel to be boring and just plain annoying. Had I not gotten an audio copy, I would have never made it threw this. I found myself listening at every possible moment not because I needed more of the story, but because I needed it to be over. I needed to be done with this and mark it off my list.

Kate is just as bad here as she is in the previous novels. I found her to be just plain annoying and I was wholly ambivalent to her situation. Had she died, I probably wouldn’t have cared. That, my friends, is saying something. We all know I hate character death. We all know that is one of my biggest pet peeves. If I can’t bring myself to care if the lead character lives or dies, we have a problem, a big fucking problem. But I didn’t care. I’m so sick of the special little snowflakes and their destinies. Plus, she’s as dense as a box of rocks. She doesn’t realize obvious things and her minor screw ups just had me rolling my eyes, instead of sympathizing with her, as I’m sure was the author’s intent.

Then we have Arland, Kate’s perfect love. That’s just what he is, perfect.
Star Trek Eye Roll gif
He is too damn perfect. He’s a goodie too shoes who always says the right thing and does the right thing and I just wanted to punch him. The man needs some flaws to bring him down to Earth and he just doesn’t have any. He’s a damned robot and I hated him.

Even though I didn’t care about most of the cast, I found the fact that almost everyone dies incredibly irritating. If you like any particular character besides Kate and Arland, don’t hold high hopes for their survival because there is a lot of death and “sacrificing.” Kate isn’t worth all this. One of my big issues with this series is that once Kate gets control of her powers, all she has to do is ask her magical god for help in fighting or protecting or healing or whatever she needs and he complies. He sends a bunch of magical sprites to help. This guys do everything from heal mortal wounds to terminate bad guys to lighting the way. Once you learn that, WHY THE FUCK DO YOU CONTINUE FIGHTING?
Doug Walker WHAT gif
Why do you do anything except that? Get in the middle of the battle, ask for help, BAM. You win. Oh? The process drains her?
Rise Of The Guardians thinking gif
Give the bitch a sandwich, let her take a nap, and then proceed to the next damn battle! I had big issues with that. That is an insta-win for the battles.

Basically this novel annoyed the hell out of me and I’m glad it’s over. I can’t say I’ll be recommending this series to anyone. The first two are mediocre and this conclusion wasn’t particularly satisfying. Maybe you’ll like it more than I did, but I doubt it.

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

2 bows
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Review for The Twisted Tragedy Of Miss Natalie Stewart (Magic Most Foul #2) by Leanna Renee Hieber

The Twisted Tragedy Of Miss Natalie Stewart by Leanna Renee Hieber

TITLE: The Twisted Tragedy Of Miss Natalie Stewart
SERIES: Magic Most Foul #2
AUTHOR: Leanna Renee Hieber
PUBLICATION DATE: November 1, 2012
PUBLISHER: Sourcebooks Fire
PAGES: 332 pages
SOURCE: Purchased
RATING: 4 bows

You would think that after all they went through in Darker Still, Natalie Stewart and Jonathan Whitby, Lord Denbury, had earned a reprieve from the dastardly spirits that wish them harm. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Their plan to get away from the negative magic, taking a vacation of sorts with Jonathan’s old friends turns out badly when they realize that Samuel, Jonathan’s pal, is unwittingly involved in the society that trapped Jonathan in that painting. So now, our dear Lord Denbury is back to London to do some investigating and Natalie is going back home to deal with a very upset father. It’s obvious something new is afoot and that the old demon is not yet finished with out lovely couple. Can they finally defeat this foe or will their inevitable doom come sooner rather than later?

Natalie is a feisty heroine determined to save Jonathan (and herself), regardless of the cost. She has finally regained her ability to speak, though her voice does still desert her on occasion, but she’s lost a bit of her fire. She’s still haven’t the clairvoyant dreams, predicting things she hopes never come to pass, and she’s terrified they’ll never be free of this mess. All she wants is to have a normal(ish) courtship with Jonathan, then marry and have that happily ever after that we all dream about. But the demon that possess Jonathan is still haunting her, along with the new nightmares about resurrection.

Jonathan was just as charming as all the British lords in historical romances normally are. Proper, with a hint of the rake hiding beneath the surface. It’s hard to not feel sympathy for him, after being locked in a painting for years and now having to impersonate the monster who trapped him there, it’s a miracle he doesn’t lose his mind. He’s obvious affection for Natalie is so cute. I adore him. He’s definitely on my list of swoon-worthy males.

The side characters are all interesting in their own right. Mrs. Northe with her paranormal abilities and saving the day tendencies is a character I’d love to know more about. Her life with her late husband, her youth, and all things past because I feel that would be an intriguing tale. Rachel, who can’t speak or hear people, but hears spirits speaking to her, is also fascinating. This poor girl gets tormented in these pages, but they’ll sort it out. Then there is Nathaniel Veil. ::swoons:: He’s plagued with melancholy. He is an actor and playwright, starring in a play about the sadder things in life, doing versions of Poe and the like. He’s so flirty! If Denbury wasn’t perfect for Natalie, I’d be throwing myself onto Team Nathaniel straight-away!

What this novel really excels at is the luscious writing. Hieber is a master of this beautiful style of writing that captivates you. Maybe I’m biased because I spent my teenage years devouring historical romance novels, but there is just something magical about this time period and Hieber always manages to do it justice. The novels only real fault is I feel like it was trying to tackle too much in just one short book. We’ve got the Natalie/Jonathan romance, then Jonathan impersonating a demon, Rachel being used for nefarious purposes, demonic possession, resurrection, and more. I feel like we should have focused a bit more on the resurrection than trying to look at the larger picture just yet. Also, it seemed like this one was just a tad more religious than the previous one. It didn’t feel pushy, just Natalie’s Christian faith was more prevalent than before.

It does suffer just a bit from middle book syndrome, not quite living up to Darker Still’s awesomeness, but it’s still completely enjoyable. Jonathan makes it worth it, not to mention meeting Nathaniel. This isn’t exactly what I was expecting, but a bit more. It contains that mystical quality that I loved in the first one. It has love, adventure, and a bit of humor, what more can you want?

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Review for The Edge of Never (The Edge of Never #1) by J.A. Redmerski

The Edge Of Never by J A Redmerski

TITLE: The Edge Of Never
SERIES: The Edge Of Never #1
AUTHOR: J A Redmerski
PUBLICATION DATE: November 15, 2012
PUBLISHER: Forever, an imprint of Grand Central Publishing
PAGES: 426 pages
SOURCE: NetGalley
RATING: 1 star

Camryn Bennet is tired of the monotony of her life. She watched her parents’ marriage fail, watching years of two people who used to love each other pretend to be satisfied with how things have turned out. After a bad night out in a club with friends, she boards a cross-country bus going to Idaho, for no apparent reason, just because she must get away. On this bus, she meets Andrew Parrish. She is immediately intrigued by him, but after her first loves tragic death, she vowed to never failfall in love again and she won’t get close to Andrew because she can tell he would be able to push her off that cliff. How long can she fight her attraction to him?

Wow, just fucking wow. My mind has been blown in the worst way. I didn’t think anything this terrible could not only because published, but adored by so many people. Maybe I missed something? I disliked this novel almost immediately and though I patiently waded through the entire novel, I was never rewarded with an improvement. I can already warn you, if you liked this book or don’t like overly rant-y reviews (seriously, why do you follow me, if not for the overly rant-y reviews?!?!?), then you had best stop here. I did not enjoy this and will spell out why below, in graphic detail. You have been warned!

First off, Camryn is annoying and immature and completely self-centered. This is one of the few heroines where I can honestly say that Bella Swan had more personality.
Yeah, it was that bad. At the beginning she lets her BFF, who by the way doesn’t have many BFF-y qualities push her into doing things she isn’t comfortable with and then when said BFF’s boyfriend hits on her, BFF goes ballistic and choosing boyfriend over Camryn, which sends her into a downward spiral leading to her boarding the fateful bus to nowhere. As the novel progresses, her personality regresses further. She’s also a big hypocrite. Claiming fast food and sodas are disgusting and vomit inducing, which is a fine opinion to have, but has no problem scarfing down food from a Waffle House, a chain notorious for its overly greasy food and drinking sweet tea, which is WAY fucking worse than any soda. It’s also pretty well established that she has only been employed once, for about a week, before running off because “it just wasn’t for her” yet she has no problem spending money. Seriously? I vaguely recall her mentioning that her dad was relatively well off, but you should still show some remorse or though before charging buttloads of necessary things on daddy’s credit card. I felt the need to scream “grow the fuck up” on more than one occasion. If you are going to trek cross country for no apparent reason, at least do so with your own money. If you have no money, then the wanderlust is just going to have to wait. I’m so sick of novels where the heroines parents are rich and that allows her/him the freedom to just blow money like it’s grows on damn trees. Newsflash, it doesn’t work that way.

Then there was Andrew….oh Andrew. I initially liked him just a little. He was hot and snarky and that’s always a good combination, but he was too secretive, not to mention the aggression. I’m sorry, but I don’t see an overly muscled guy who wants to pound in the face of every guy who so much as speaks to me as attractive. I see that as serious trust issues and possibly a hormone imbalance.

Seriously, stop taking the steroids, stay away from gamma radiation, and calm the fuck down. I can sort of see where the attraction is, but I found him to be too much. Not to mention that whole “if you were to let me fuck you, you’d have to let me own you” line. WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT?!?!?!? Are you a dom looking for a sub? Is this 1801 and all women are legally the property of their husbands or fathers? Oh hell no! Fuck that shit. Even though I knew Cam was a moron, I was still screaming at her to get far the fuck away when he spouted that line.

Then there was how the entire plot felt like bullshit. The entire concept for Cam is she is leaving behind her normal life because she can’t understand how people live their whole lives doing the same thing day after day, which is an understandable thing. Life does get monotonous and we all need a break, fine. But what her trip really felt like was her running away. Away from her past with Ian, away from her dead-beat brother and father, away from the shit with Natalie, all of it. Then, the second half was nothing but sex, sex, and more sex. I’m fine with sex, but come on! There should be more to it than that. And don’t even get me started on the bullshit ending! ****SPOILER****About 50 or so pages before the end, we discover that dear Andrew has a brain tumor that he has basically been ignoring for the last eight months and now the doctors say without surgery he is going to die and even with it, the chances are slim to none. But someone he miraculously makes it through, with no side effects besides a major amount of bed rest.


Basically, that is my long winded way of saying that this definitely wasn’t my kind of novel. I guess firsts are bound t o happen and this is the first new adult that I have truly despised. I hate that I’ve found one that I’ve hated. This sounded so good and I really wanted to love it. I just didn’t. I hope everyone else out there has better luck than me, but just remember that I warned you.

****Thank you to Hachette Book Group, Grand Central Publishing, and Forever for providing me with an eARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review****

Review for Days of Blood & Starlight (Daughter of Smoke & Bone #2) by Laini Taylor

Days Of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor

TITLE: Days Of Blood & Starlight
SERIES: Daughter Of Smoke & Bone #2
AUTHOR: Laini Taylor
PUBLICATION DATE: November 6, 2012
PUBLISHER: Little, Brown, And Company, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc
PAGES: 513 pages
FORMAT: Hardback
SOURCE: Purchased
RATING: 4 stars

So…I don’t really know how to summarize this story. I’m not even going to try. I’m just going to jump right into the review. This is yet another book that I can’t give 5 stars to. What is it lately with me not being completely satisfied? Am I just becoming too picky? Was it really possible for me to become more picky? Anyway, this one can’t get the top score because the first half was so boring that I had to force myself to read it ****SPOILER****and because Hazael dies, which made me incredibly sad.****END SPOILER*** Considering how well the first one was written and how I couldn’t get enough of it, that’s really saying something. I understand that we are talking about war and that we need to see the different perspectives, but that doesn’t mean I need to read several chapters about a random girl and her sister escaping from their Seraph captors and running to freedom. Seriously? I don’t care. I wanted to read this book because I wanted more of Akiva and Karou (and Zuzana, the best friend a good could have, not to mention amazing comic relief), not the hardships of war. Yeah, I know Akiva fucked up majorly last time and there is no way Karou can forgive him, after all, he did murder the only family she’s ever know, but I at least wanted to see the confrontation between the two!!! Which you do get to see, if you can get through the first half.

Almost literally at the halfway point, everything starts to pickup. Zuzana finally tracks Karou’s ass down and Akiva realizes that Karou isn’t dead and the war on both sides starts to get a little more complicated. Karou’s fiery spirit is finally resurrected and the beautifully lyrical writing returns. It’s everything you imagined the sequel to Daughter Of Smoke & Bone to be. You finally get to see the chimera world, present day, and you learn more about their land in general. Zuzana is by far my favorite character, though Akiva’s siblings, Hazael and Liraz give her a run for the money because they are amazing as well. Then there is Akiva himself who has done so many bad things for reasons so twistedly wrong that they almost seem right. He is definitely in the running for my favorite male angel ever. How can you not love a guy whose nickname is Prince Of Bastards?!?!?

Then there is the cliffhanger ending, which I surprisingly didn’t mind. I think it’s because the main storyline ties itself up nicely and it’s one of those cliffhangers that basically says “tomorrow, there will be doom, but tonight, we are gonna enjoy ourselves a bit while we can.” And I really don’t mind those.

If you enjoyed DOSAB, then this will definitely be something you want to read, if you can just stomach the first 250 pages. Once you get past that, you’re in for the ride of your life!

Review for Witch World by Christopher Pike

Witch World by Christopher Pike

TITLE: Witch World
AUTHOR: Christopher Pike
PUBLICATION DATE: November 13, 2012
PUBLISHER: Simon Pulse, a division of Simon & Schuster
PAGES: 528 pages
RATING: 2 stars

I can’t decide between 2 or 3 stars for this book, so I’m going with 2. The basic blurb about this book doesn’t even scratch the surface. It basically says this is a story about Jessie’s graduation trip to Las Vegas where she reunites with her ex but also meets someone new who teachers her about magic. I guess, that does do if you want to put it in a non-spoiler-y nutshell, but it didn’t prepare me for the story ahead. Once you get past the first hundred pages and find out more about Jessie’s witch-y heritage, the story is so complicated that I had trouble keeping up, and not in a good way.

The gist of it is that in this strange world, there are actually two separate “worlds”, which I’m going to refer to as dimensions to simplify things. Jessie lives in the Real World and after she dies (which is how the witches are “awakened”), she finds herself in Witch World, the parallel dimension. Most things are similar in this world, the biggest difference seems to be that that everyone plays Red Queen instead of Black Jack and everyone goes by their full first name instead of a diminutive nickname (ie Jessie becomes Jessica, Jimmy becomes James, Russ becomes Russell and so on). In his explanation, Jessie’s dad basically says that the two worlds are connected and everything that happens in one happens most of the time in the other, but not always and lately there have been some differences. Awakened witches have to live the same day twice, literally going to sleep in the real world at dawn and waking up in Witch World to repeat the same day. In theory, it’s all the same, but throughout the story, Jessie’s days are never even remotely similar.

This just feels like a novel tha t was written in an half-assed way, you know? Like it could have been great if the author had put in a bit more effort and fleshed things out more. How he managed to make the book 500+ pages and still make me feel like he didn’t put enough effort into it is amazing, but it’s how I felt. The whole idea of a parallel world felt a little preposterous in the way Pike explains it and then it felt like he focused all his energy into making Jessie as annoying as possible and let everything else fall away. It all felt so underdeveloped that I could cry. The best example I can give is that they don’t even give the real world a name, but it’s implied that calling it the real world isn’t proper. Witch World is Witch World, but every time one of the important witch’s speak about the other world, they simply say “what you refer to as the real world.” Geez, wouldn’t it be easier to NAME the other fucking dimension? Instead of this song and dance, just give it a proper goddamn label and be done with it. Another thing that really bugged me were the names. All the characters have very generic feeling names. Jessica, James, Alexis, Russell, Frank, Michael….it’s like the author looked at a top 100 baby names list and just picked at random.

Normally at this point, I would rant endlessly about the cliffhanger, but to be honest, this one didn’t bother me at all. I think it’s because I wasn’t invested enough with these characters to truly care what happened next.

I really wanted to like this story. I went in with relatively high hopes because I always end up loving witch tales, but this just didn’t do it. I see a lot of raving reviews, so maybe I’m missing. I can say that I don’t plan to read the sequel to this tale or anything else by Christopher Pike. I’m sure he’s other books are great, but this was just too much of disappointment to do again.

Review for Lust for Life (WVMP Radio #4) by Jeri Smith-Ready

Lust For Life by Jeri Smith-Ready

TITLE: Lust For Life
AUTHOR: Jeri Smith-Ready
PUBLICATION DATE: November 27, 2012
PUBLISHER: Pocket Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster
PAGES: 352 pages
FORMAT: Paperback
SOURCE: From publisher
RATING: 4 stars

Lust For Life is the last book in the WVMP Radio series. Maybe that’s why I was so sad starting it. I don’t want this series to be over. I don’t think I’ll ever get enough of Ciara’s sarcasm and anti-holy powers. Plus, there is Shane. Damn he is fine…even if he’s Catholic. I really can’t say too much about the plot without giving anything away. Most of the things I want to say are uber spoiler-y and I’m just not in the mood to spoil things for anyone. I will say that I don’t think this one was quite as good as the first one. Things are mostly the same formula. Ciara and Shane are happy, something bad happens, someone tries to kill them, they struggle, then defeat the bad guy. Not a bad formula, but it felt a little boring in this one. It was a mite too predictable.

Well except for the very end which I didn’t see coming at all. Complete shock and what a way to end the series. All in all, it was great, but I am incredibly sad to see this series go. You will be missed.

****Thank you to Pocket Books for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review****

Review for The Future We Left Behind (Point 4 #2) by Mike A. Lancaster

The Future We Left Behind by Mike A Lancaster

TITLE: The Future We Left Behind
SERIES: Point 4 #2
AUTHOR: Mike A Lancaster
PUBLICATION DATE: November 13, 2012
PAGES: 384 pages
SOURCE: NetGalley
RATING: 3 stars

Peter Vincent has lived his life trying to please his father. He takes extra science courses, follows every rule, and doesn’t question authority. But lately, he has spent more time disconnected to the Link than on it and when he meets Alpha, his whole world is thrown off its axis. Suddenly every day things that he doesn’t even think about seem wrong to him and he can’t help but be drawn to Alpha and her secrets.

It’s been a little while since I read a dystopian YA. I’ve been rather disconnected from them because they are so prevalent right now, I just don’t want to run the subject into the ground. It’s a little bit of a different take on the future ****SPOILER****what with aliens implanting software in our human minds and controlling us remotely. Seriously, that is the conclusion it comes to.****END SPOILER**** and I found that interesting and a little off-putting. For once, it’s not about a society that has evolved into a government system so rigid that it controls everything you do, which was exciting, but I’m not entirely sure I really like the spin that was put on it.

The story is well written and suspenseful. I couldn’t help but keep reading to find out what secrets Alpha was hiding, what the deal was with Peter’s parents, and exactly why it told the way it was. The story opens up with futuristic computer programmer running across a bit of code that doesn’t feel write and spends days decoding it until it finally turns out to be Peter’s diary. From this point, the story is told from Peter’s perspective. But at the same time, I just didn’t love it. I just couldn’t connect with the characters and they did seem real to me. I know, it was dystopian and that means things are different, but I should still be able to connect with the characters on some basic level. I felt an instant connection with Katniss when I started The Hunger Games, so don’t tell me that it isn’t possible. Once I found out the main plotline ****SPOILER****AKA, that the aliens were behind all their problems…oh for fuck’s sake it really bugged me.****END SPOILER**** I found most of the rest of the story preposterous. About halfway through the novel, I really just lost interest and found myself web surfing instead of reading. This is never a good sign.

The relationship between Peter and Alpha was lack-luster a best. Though this doesn’t fall into dreaded insta-love territory (thankfully the L word is never is never mentioned between the two), they just don’t click well for me. They have little to nothing in common except past history that neither of them are really aware of and a love for the same fruit soys (aka food in the future). They felt more like Hermione & Harry instead of the Hermione & Ron vibe I feel sure the author was going for. Wow…..I just used a Harry Potter reference…

Anyway, I just didn’t feel the teenage attraction pouring through the pages like I wanted to. Essentially, it had all the right ingredients for a good dystopian, but it just fell flat for me. I think dystopian fans may enjoy it, but it is a coin toss.

****Thank you to Egmont USA for providing me with an eARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review****

Review for Easy by Tammara Webber

Easy by Tammara Webber

AUTHOR: Tammara Webber
PUBLICATION DATE: November 6, 2012
PUBLISHER: Berkley Trade
PAGES: 310 pages
FORMAT: Ebook / Paperback
SOURCE: Borrowed / won from Confessions Of A Book Addict
RATING: 5 stars

Jacqueline’s sophomore year of college has been anything but easy. Seemingly out of nowhere, her boyfriend of three years dumps her so he can sow his wild oats, which causes her to spiral into depression and miss class (including a midterm), then her bestie drags her to a frat party to pull her out of her breakup depression and she narrowly escapes rape. Before that night, she had never seen Lucas before, but after he stops her attempted attacker, she can’t escape him. He’s in her economics class, he works at Starbucks, and she can’t help but notice him. There is obviously more to Lucas than what meets the eye and she becomes curiouser and curiouser about him. Can she get over her ex and make things work with Lucas?

Jacqueline was an interesting main character. In the beginning, I was a little annoyed with her because she allows her break up to cause her to almost fail her economics class and she doesn’t tell her best friend about the attempted rape. She just wants to forget about it which is understandable, but considering the attacker is someone she is bound to see at school, she really needed the support of her BFF to help her through it all. She gets better after a few chapters. She comes to her senses and begs her econ teacher to let her do extra credit work to make up for what she has missed. By the end of this book, she goes from timid and scared to strong and brave. It was a slow transformation, but it was great to watch.

Then there is Lucas. This whole story is told from first person through Jacqueline’s perspective so you never find out exactly what is going on in his head, but damn did I want to. Holy hot tattooed-ness Batman! I think Lucas is that guy that every girl wants, bad ass with a bad boy vibe that is only skin deep, with a troubled passed, and a lot of, well I want to say “heart underneath,” but I feel like I overuse that phrase. He’s that guy that turns every head on the walk by, but only really has eyes for one girl. Tall and dark with broody looks and tattoos covering his arms, he’s that guy that all girls mom’s fear. And yet, he’s really not. He’s also the guy who gives his time to help teach a self-defense class for women and tries to help in any way he can. He’s completely swoon-worthy.

This novel blew me away. I was so caught up in it that it felt like life has stopped for me to finish it. I couldn’t concentrate on anything else. Before reading it, I’d heard a lot of things about the new genre, New Adult, and was a little weary of it. It seemed to me that it was basically renaming the YA genre so adults could read them without feeling embarrassed about it. I was not amused. But boy was I fucking wrong. New Adult may just be my new favorite genre. It takes all the things I love about YA and the things I love from adult books and combines them. The characters can swear realistically instead of that imitation shit that is so prevalent in YA (every time Zoe Redbird said “bull-poop” I wanted for fucking punch her) and that need to have teenagers shy away from sex is also gone. Basically, to me, it reads like a real college student would think.

It was so well written and dealt with the mature content so beautifully. In regards to the rape issues, it was done so elegantly, with Jacqueline struggling to come to terms with what happened. Her fear of even practicing the ways to get out of the holds in the self-defense class is so understandable. You guys just don’t even know. If you haven’t read it, you really should. This book caused me to do something I NEVER do. I was so wrapped up in the world that when it was over I couldn’t let it go and ended up reading the damn thing over again. And I mean reading, not just skimming over the parts I liked, actually re-reading the whole fucking thing. That says something because I don’t think I have ever done that. It really makes me wish I could give a label higher than “favorite” because that just doesn’t seem like enough. Maybe I should make one along the lines of “Epic, Awesome, Amazing, Phenomenal, Unparalleled”….too much?

Review for Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill

Meant To be by Lauren Morrill

TITLE: Meant To Be
AUTHOR: Lauren Morrill
PUBLICATION DATE: November 13, 2012
PUBLISHER: Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc
PAGES: 256 pages
SOURCE: NetGalley
RATING: 4 stars

Julia Lichtenstien’s world is just the way she wants it. From her 4.0 GPA to her triumphs on the swim team, to the secret pining over her MTB (that’s “meant to be” for those of us in the know) who hasn’t spoken to her since coming back into town. The only downer is when she realizes that none of her friends will be attending the spring break field trip to London. Her excitement level goes from ecstatic to less than thrilled in .2 seconds flat, but since she’s always wanted to see London, she’s trying to take it all in stride. Then she gets assigned to be Jason Lippincott’s trip buddy and she’s seeing red again. She can’t stand him, he’s a moronic jerk with the attention span of an eight year old hyped up on caffeine. What she doesn’t see coming is how well they will get along.

I love love love Julia! She’s a geeky bookworm who loves to swim and doesn’t give a damn about the social ladder. She’s sees nothing wrong with the way she views the world and has no interest in changing. Even though she could use a little change, I loved that she liked who she was. I loved that for once, the heroine wasn’t pining over being the popular girl or having money or anything like that. All Julia wanted, at the beginning of this novel at least, was to take in the culture of London and go back home to the states where she might finally win over Mark (her MTB). Her inner dialogue was snarky and raw and utterly believable.

Jason was a break from the typically leading man role as well. The class clown is what Julia initially labels him, but there is so much more to him than that. Underneath that manic goof-ball exterior, is an intelligent, kind, and thoughtful guy who truly likes Julia though she’s too blind to see it. I knew from minute one that he would win her heart and I’m glad I predicted it right. Throughout their romp through London, Julia learns a lot, just not what she was expecting too. Sure, she sees Shakespeare’s birth place and learns new facts about paintings and authors, but what she really learns is more about herself. Maybe there is a bit of a rule-breaker hiding underneath that nerdy façade, maybe she doesn’t know all there is to know about Mark, maybe her view of her classmates is a bit skewed, and maybe, just maybe, there is more to her life than just books, school, best friends, and pining over a guy she doesn’t know as well as she thinks.

This novel was exactly what I expected it to be, cutesy romance about a girl who doesn’t know everything she think she does. Was it a bit cheesy? Sure. Predictable? Definitely. I don’t see anything wrong with that though. Sometimes you need a sweet love story to perk up your life. Even now, I can’t stop smiling over the ending.

****Thank you to Random House Children’s Books for providing me with an eARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review****