Tuesday, July 29, 2014

On Vacation From Sanity by: Elizabeth Ross Yurich

On Vacation From Sanity

Edition: E-book
Pages: 327
Published: May 20th, 2014
Publisher: Grid Media

Purchase: Amazon | BarnesandNoble

Goodreads Synopsis: What do you do when your world is turned upside down and you're forced to recreate your life?

Life is perfect for sixteen-year-old Jenna Webb. She lives with her rock-star dad in New York City, she has a perky, fun, beautiful best friend, and a super-model, sort-of stepmother. An artist, writer, bass player, Jenna has her life planned to precision—well, until her dad is killed instantly by a New York City cab driver.

With every aspect of her life turned upside down, Jenna is forced to recreate a life in Los Angeles with her Mom, stepfather, and his two daughters—a life she did not want. Travel along on the journey that includes rock and roll, the Buddha, crazy friends, a creepy stalker, unexpected romance, and a downward spiral into a world Jenna never imagined, but needed in order to find herself.

My Thoughts:
* I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
From the time I first started reading this book, I knew that I was going to like the main character Jenna.  In the beginning of this book Jenna is faced with drastic changes after her father Sean dies and has to move all the way to L.A. from her comfortable home in New York.  I found this book to be very enjoyable and lighthearted at times, so I think it would be a great summer read.
The style of this book is written quiet differently than most of the books that I have read before because the events that took place seem to skip around a bit, so I found myself confused on a few sections. Once I got use to the writing style I can truly say I really liked it and enjoyed the characters. The things that I loved about this book is how everyone was so close and went out of their way to help others. I felt like the whole concept of this book being surrounded by music was a great idea, especially since Jenna's dad was in a band.  I also thought that James was incredibly charming but found myself to heavily dislike him in the middle of the book, just to start liking him all over again towards the end. And I can't forget Gavin because he has to be my favorite character in this whole book for the simple fact that he was always willing to help others, stayed positive, and was always so nice to Jenna even if James wasn't. For the character that I hated the most, which shouldn't be a shock is Will. I knew something was up with him as soon as he was introduced in the book. At the same time I am really glad for his character because he added a very interesting twist to this whole story.

One of the things that I had a problem with while reading this book is how at first everything seemed to just click into place for Jenna and that no matter what happened to her she was extremely nice (not in all instances but most), so it would've been nice if she had a little edge to her.  The second thing that I felt was odd was how Ryan, Jenna's step-dad, yelled at her after finding out where she spends most of her time and then her mom just assumes the worst. I guess I could see why they behaved that way but to me it just felt over the top considering how mellow Ryan is. Lastly, I felt like in the first half of the book the characters lacked emotion, so when I read what they thought I didn't really believe it, but most of that went away in the last half of the book.

I am actually going to keep my review as is, as to not spoil the book for anyone.  I feel like so much goes on in this book that it's best to not know anything and to just take it all in on your own. I do have to say though, that Jenna is an outstanding character because she is hit with so much negativity I don't know how she keeps going everyday! So, I will recommend this book to anyone that wants a light book to read and likes contemporary style books.

Final Verdict: 4 Stars

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Edge of Shadows by: Cege Smith

Edge of Shadows
Book 1 in the Shadows Trilogy

Edition: Paperback
Pages: 276
Published: November 2011
Publisher: N/A

Purchase: Amazon | Bookdepository

Goodreads Synopsis: "Beware what lurks in the darkness of Cege Smith's paranormal Shadows series..." Darkness has been Ellie Coulter's constant companion since her parents' untimely death when she was eight, and she harbors a secret that never fails to remind her that she's different than everyone else. Fresh off a failed marriage with a man who harbored his own dark secrets, Ellie shut herself off from the world as a form of self-preservation. For months, Ellie's protective bubble includes nothing but her coffee shop, her few friends, and her dog. The attention of a handsome young doctor, David Mitchell, pushes her out of her comfort zone, and Ellie warms to the idea that she may have found a risk worth taking. Then one of Ellie's friends abruptly leaves town; entrusting her home to Ellie's care. The house has its own mysterious past that draws Ellie into a tangled web of deceit. Her ex-husband resurfaces with premonitions of Ellie's death. And suddenly Ellie's life is being turned upside down yet again. Something old and evil has found Ellie, and wants to keep her all to itself. Edge of Shadows (Shadows #1) is the first book in the Shadows series. Shadows Deep (Shadows #2) is available now!

My Thoughts:
*I had received this book from the Author in exchange for an honest review*
When I began reading this book I had absolutely no expectations for this book, I just wanted to go into with an empty mind, so to speak.  Let me just tell you I was very surprised!  I didn't know that this book was going to draw me in the way it did.  Ellie was a character that at times annoyed me because of how down in the dumps she would always be.  As the story progressed I grown to love her character because she is actually strong and not broke down as she comes off as.  This book as an element of surprise because really it is hard to tell what is going to happen, it just keeps taking several different turns and ends so wonderfully making you want to hurry and read the next book in the series.  I really don't have anything bad to say about the characters or the character development because I think that everything was exactly how it should be.  Linda's character was awesome, weird, and creepy at the same time!  There were a few things that I do wish I knew more about, like why twas he Realtor acting the way he did, it just seemed odd to me how he started to change into a completely different person.  And what is the importance of one of the characters ( I won't say who so I don't spoil anything) seeing Auras, besides of course being able to tell what mood they were in?  I guess those are things that I will learn as I read the next book in the series.  As I keep thinking about this book I find that I really didn't like Jenny, she annoyed me so much and had this terrible attitude throughout the book.  I guess I can forgive her though because she did go through a lot :)
Overall, I feel like this is a book that more people need to read, it is definitely underrated.  There are a few areas in the book where there are typos but if you look past those it truly is a great story that draws you in.  I can't wait to read the second book in this trilogy because I feel like the terrible ghost/demon like things have just begun.

Final Verdict: 4 Stars

To All The Boys I've Loved Before by: Jenny Han

To All The Boys I've Loved Before

Edition: E-book
Pages: 288
Published: April 15th, 2014
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Purchase: Amazon | Bookdepository

Goodreads Synopsis: 
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister's ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.

My Thoughts:
I literally just finished this book, and I have to say that I am highly impressed.  Going into this boo I thought that it would be pretty interesting to hear about a girl who writes loves stories to the boys that she loved at one point in time. Especially since I knew a lot of people could relate to this topic (being young and having a lot of crushes).  I can say though that this book made me go through so many emotions to the point that I wasn't quite sure if I liked the book, and then other times I was head over heels for it. So, I'll start by saying what I liked about this book...  I think Jenny Han's character's were so realistic and each one had a completely different personality, so it made me feel like I was actually reading about someone else's life.  Kitty, the youngest of the Song girls, had to be my favorite character because she was so mature for her age, and at times would put Lara Jean in her place when she was having one of her moments (If you read the book you will know what I mean). At times I found myself just LOL and asking myself what's with this kid!!! She was amazing. I also liked how this book portrayed school for teens and displayed how mean girls can be to one another because those are the things that girls are having to deal with today.  Lastly, believe it or not I really did like Peter K. I felt that he made Lara Jean's life a bit less predictable and made her live a little, because she was definitely uptight.

There are only a few things that I didn't like about this book and the main thing was how Margaret treated Lara Jean. I know that she was just trying to keep her sister in the right direction but I felt like it was too much pressure constantly telling Lara Jean to sign up for this and that, and volunteer at this place, etc.  I am glad that Lara Jean started to become her own person at the end of the book.  Lastly, I didn't like Lara Jean at the start of this book because I felt like she didn't act her age and that she was way to dependent on her sister Margaret. I think that that was the main reason why I struggled to get through the first half of this book.

Overall, I think that this is a great book and would recommend to anyone who likes love stories with a splash of some high school drama in it.  Plus, I felt like there were so many things left unsaid so I will def be reading the next book (I heard there will be a sequel and I sure hope so, I need more!!).

Favorite Quote:
"Josh, you break my heart. And you're a liar. Because you know me, you know me better than almost anybody, and you don't love me."

Final Verdict: 5 stars