Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Book Review: Where the Stars Still Shine

Title Where the Stars Still Shine

Author Trish Doller

Release Date September 24, 2013

Stolen as a child from her large and loving family, and on the run with her mom for more than ten years, Callie has only the barest idea of what normal life might be like. She's never had a home, never gone to school, and has gotten most of her meals from laundromat vending machines. Her dreams are haunted by memories she’d like to forget completely. But when Callie’s mom is finally arrested for kidnapping her, and Callie’s real dad whisks her back to what would have been her life, in a small town in Florida, Callie must find a way to leave the past behind. She must learn to be part of a family. And she must believe that love--even with someone who seems an improbable choice--is more than just a possibility.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15826648-where-the-stars-still-shine
Review

This situation seems incredibly weird to me. I just want to point that out. How strange would it be to have to live with practical strangers because your mom kidnapped you?

When I decided to read Where the Stars Still Shine, I thought it was going to be a heavier book than what it is. There's nothing wrong with light books. This book isn't totally fluff, but it wasn't as deep as I (admittedly) assumed it would be. Truthfully, I just thought (and hoped) I was getting something different.

I did really enjoy Trish Doller's writing style. She had me hooked into the story within the first chapter. While I don't feel like there was a whole lot of things going on in the story, there weren't any lulls or boring parts.


Insta-love is such a huge disappointment. Seriously, if a book has to have romance, does it really have to feel so fake? Alex is supposed to be, according to Kat, a man whore (though, I suppose she could have been making that up as he rejected her before). Suddenly, Callie comes into town and he's reformed and head of heels for a girl that he knows nothing about? Sure. Totally believable.

The ending was rather abrupt, too. Like, I literally didn't think it was coming so quickly. It felt rushed. The ending combined with how light and surface the book felt left me feeling unsatisfied overall. I just wanted more.

Where the Stars Still Shine was a decent book, but definitely not was I was expecting when I picked it up.

Rating

3 out of 5 stars

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Book Review: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

Title Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

Author Becky Albertalli

Release Date April 7, 2015

Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/19547856-simon-vs-the-homo-sapiens-agenda
Review

Is a person supposed to review/rate a book based on how they feel when they read it or on how they would have felt it they had read when they were in the "right" mood? I'm asking because I feel like I've been in a book funk the past few days and that may have affected how I felt about Simon. Don't get me wrong, it was a great book. I just feel I might have liked it more if I was in the right mood for it.

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda was adorable and funny. I loved the email exchanges between Simon and Blue. I did wish we were clued in on who Blue really is sooner, but I guess it works. There were cute characters abound with realistic interactions and dialogue.

It's also about acceptance. It's about accepting that white and straight shouldn't be everyone's default setting when thinking of someone (the entire world needs more of this). It's about being honest with your friends and family and them still loving you. And it's not even preachy about any of it.

While it might not have been able to pull me out of my book funk, this was a genuinely good book.

Rating

4 out of 5 stars

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (#9)

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly event that's hosted by Breaking the Spine. It spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week, I'm waiting on...

Title Gena/Finn
Author Hannah Moskowitz & Kat Helgeson
Release Date April 5, 2016

The story follows the unlikely friendship of two young women forged via fan fiction and message boards, and is told entirely in texts, chats, and blog posts.

Gena (short for Genevieve) and Finn (short for Stephanie) have little in common. Book-smart Gena is preparing to leave her posh boarding school for college; down-to-earth Finn is a twenty-something struggling to make ends meet in the big city. Gena’s romantic life is a series of reluctant one-night-stands; Finn is making a go of it with long-term boyfriend Charlie. But they share a passion for Up Below, a buddy cop TV show with a cult fan following. Gena is a darling of the fangirl scene, keeping a popular blog and writing fan fiction. Finn’s online life is a secret, even from Charlie. The pair spark an unlikely online friendship that deepens quickly (so quickly it scares them both), and as their individual “real” lives begin to fall apart, they increasingly seek shelter online, and with each other.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/19254725-gena-finn
First, a story told is texts, chats, and blog posts is right up my alley. This is one of my favorite book formats (if done well) and I feel like I haven't read enough of them. Second, I've heard great things about Hannah Moskowitz (I have other books by her on my TBR list). Third and most importantly, Gena/Finn sounds pretty interesting. I can't wait to get my hands on this one.

What are *you* waiting on this week? Leave a link to your WoW and I’ll be sure to visit!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Book Review: Everything, Everything

Title Everything, Everything

Author Nicola Yoon

Release Date September 1, 2015

My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18692431-everything-everything
Review

It just didn't work for me. I seem to be in the minority here. It happens.

I think it's only fair to point out a book's positives first. I think the drawings, charts, emails, and whatnot were cool. I love seeing things like that added into novels. There were some great quotes sprinkled throughout the book. Unfortunately, that kind of concludes what I liked.

Sadly, the things I didn't enjoy seems to be a bit longer. First, I didn't feel any emotional connection to the characters. Nope, nothing. This was supposed to be the kind of heavy book that readers fall in love with, right? (Obviously many have done so.) I just can't do that if I don't care about the characters. Second, I can't be the only one that figured out what was going on before it happened. (I was pretty confident I knew what was going to happen when they were on the way to Hawaii). I know I can't. And what happened... sigh.

Overall, Everything, Everything was alright. It was a quick read and I don't regret reading it. It just didn't live up to my expectations (darn those high ratings/positive reviews).

Rating

2 out of 5 stars

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Stacking the Shelves (#9)


Stacking the Shelves is a weekly event hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

Stacking the Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in a physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts, and of course ebooks.


It's been a while since I've done a StS! Here's what I've added to my shelves (Kindle, really) since last time...

For Review - Netgalley



- Finding Hope by Colleen Nelson
- Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn
- Seven Ways We Lie by Riley Redgate
- Ugly by Margaret McHeyzer
- This Song is (Not) for You by Laura Nowlin
- Underwater by Marisa Reichardt
- The Guest Room by Chris Bohjalian
- The Truth by Jeffry W. Johnston
- Did I Mention I Need You? by Estelle Maskame
- He Will Be My Ruin by K. A. Tucker 

For Review - From Author



- Sam's Story: Book One by Amy D. Crusan-Kramer
- Rarity from the Hollow by Robert Eggleton
- Clean by Mia Kerick 

Purchased - Amazon Kindle



- Dearest Clementine by Lex Martin
- Verum by Courtney Cole
- Saira & the Magic Sword by Moira Katson
- Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry
- Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
- Seven Silent Witnesses by Cheryl Bramlett
- The Problem with Crazy by Lauren K. McKellar
- Unbreakable by Rebecca Shea
- Rippler by Cindey Swanson
- Denton Little's Deathdate by Lance Rubin
- The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
- Flat-Out Love by Jessica Park
- 120 Days... by M. Stratton
- Long Way Down by Krista & Becca Ritchie
- Butterfly Dreams by A. Meredith Walters
- The Air He Breathes by Brittainy C. Cherry

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Book Review: Rarity from the Hollow

Title Rarity from the Hollow

Author Robert Eggleton

Release Date March 11, 2012

Lacy Dawn is a little girl who lives in a magical forest where all the trees love her and she has a space alien friend who adores her and wants to make her queen of the universe. What’s more, all the boys admire her for her beauty and brains. Mommy is very beautiful and Daddy is very smart, and Daddy’s boss loves them all.

Except.

Lacy Dawn, the eleven year old protagonist, perches precariously between the psychosis of childhood and the multiple neuroses of adolescence, buffeted by powerful gusts of budding sexuality and infused with a yearning to escape the grim and brutal life of a rural Appalachian existence. In this world, Daddy is a drunk with severe PTSD, and Mommy is an insecure wraith. The boss is a dodgy lecher, not above leering at the flat chest of an eleven-year-old girl.

Yes, all in one book.

It is a children's story for adults with a happily ever after ending.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13603677-rarity-from-the-hollow
Review

I read/reviewed another book that was a children's story for adults back in 2013 (see here). While I found it strange, I ultimately liked it. (Originally rated a 3.5, I would likely rate it slightly higher now.) I have the same general feelings about Rarity from the Hollow.

The first few chapters were confusing and didn't really promise me an amazing book to come. I was worried, but I decided to push through and hope the story got better. Luckily, oh so luckily, it did. If you start this book and find the first few chapters cause you to question your decision to read the book, give it little longer before you decide whether or not to stop reading it.

This book was strange. I know I said it about The Children's Story, but I mean it this time. I meant it then, too, but not like this. This was really bizarre. There's science fiction aspects mixed with more normal every day issues. It was a bit unsettling.

I find this book hard to recommend (and hard to review and rate really) because it's such a unique book. It's not for everyone. Besides being weird, it's disturbing and dark (sexualized children, abuse). That being said, I ended up liking it more than I thought I would. Rarity from the Hollow was completely weird, but the writing saved it.

Rating

4 out of 5 stars

* This book was received from the author in exchange for an honest review. *

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday (#5)


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because everyone loves a good list, don't they? We love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Top Ten Best Books I Read in 2015

In no particular order:
Clicking on a cover takes you to the Goodreads page for that particular book.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22024907-long-way-downhttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23430483-cam-girlhttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25223115-just-visiting

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18045388-sam-s-story-book-onehttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23309634-before-we-were-strangers

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18460392-all-the-bright-placeshttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18829666-black-irishttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22024901-fuel-the-fire

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22253643-marrowhttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/19542841-more-happy-than-not


Which books make your top ten list in 2015? Leave your TTT in the comments below!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Book Review: Did I Mention I Love You?

Title Did I Mention I Love You?

Series The DIMILY Trilogy, book 1

Author Estelle Maskame

Release Date December 1, 2015

When sixteen-year-old Eden Munro agrees to spend the summer with her estranged father in the beachfront city of Santa Monica, California, she has no idea what she’s letting herself in for. Eden's parents are divorced and have gone their separate ways, and now her father has a brand new family. For Eden, this means she's about to meet three new step-brothers. The eldest of the three is Tyler Bruce, a troubled teenager with a short temper and a huge ego. Complete polar opposites, Eden quickly finds herself thrust into a world full of new experiences as Tyler's group of friends take her under their wing. But the one thing she just can't understand is Tyler, and the more she presses to figure out the truth about him, the more she finds herself falling for the one person she shouldn't – her step-brother.

Throw in Tyler's clingy girlfriend and a guy who has his eyes set on Eden, and there's secrets, lies and a whole lot of drama. But how can Eden keep her feelings under control? And can she ever work out the truth about Tyler?

Did I Mention I Love You is the first book in the phenomenal DIMILY trilogy, following the lives of Eden Munro and Tyler Bruce as they try to find their way in an increasingly confusing world.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25063750-did-i-mention-i-love-you
Review

For some people, unlikable characters completely ruin a book. However, I'm not one of them. I don't mind unlikable characters. Sometimes, I really enjoy them. I like books that mirror real life. In real life, people are messy. They make mistakes, they make questionable choices, they don't follow a specific predetermined path. They're FLAWED. My biggest request when dealing with unlikable characters is this... A character doesn't have to be likable, but I need to understand WHY they act they way they do. It's not justification for their actions that I need, just an understanding. However, after all of that is said, is there ever a point in which a character is just too unlikable? Is there a point in which no matter of understanding can excuse a characters behavior? Apparently so.

These characters completely ruined the story for me. Tyler is flat out toxic. He has no regard for anyone but himself. I get it, you've got issues. Doesn't excuse the fact that you're a complete douchebag. Eden seemed so... ugh. I just can't with her. She supposedly didn't like partying and drinking and all of that, but yet couldn't be bothered to do anything but go along with her new "friends." And what in the hell is up with the parents in this book? Are there actually parents out there that deal with their children this way? I mean, get angry that your kid is lying and getting arrested and partying and who knows what else... and everything is completely fine in a couple of hours? Ground your kid, but yet allow them to continue to do whatever they want? Really? And you wonder why your children behave the way that they do... okay. Ridiculous.

We do see some much needed character redemption in the epilogue. By the end of everything, I felt hopeful for the next two books. Perhaps not all is lost for Tyler and Eden?

What I find most interesting about the entire thing, though, is the writing. I really enjoyed the writing. It's clear that Estelle Maskame is a talented writer. There's so much potential here. So, while the characters ruined the story for me, the writing saved the book. So while I'll read the other two books to find out how things continue for Tyler and Eden, I'm really looking forward to seeing what else Estelle can come up with.

Rating

3 out of 5 stars

* This book was received from Sourcebooks Fire via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. *

Friday, December 11, 2015

Book Review: Sam's Story: Book One

Title Sam's Story: Book One

Series Skylar Trilogy, book 1

Author Amy D. Crusan-Kramer

Release Date January 15, 2013

In this captivating saga, Samantha Skylar experiences undying passion and endures one horrific act of brutality that sweeps her into the arms of the second most powerful man in the country. Samantha’s journey takes her from the poverty and close-minded attitudes of a tiny, coal-mining town in West Virginia, to the estate of one of Atlanta’s oldest and wealthiest families. This epic trilogy follows Samantha from the age of 14 to 40.

Book One opens in 1978. Sam is fourteen and living in Boone County, West Virginia, a place that isn't accepting of Roe v. Wade or the Equal Rights Amendment. Sam is different; she knows it and her doting grandmother knows it. Neither of them is content with the idea of her ending up the way her sisters did: married to a coal miner and raising another generation of miners and downtrodden women. As the beneficiary of her grandma's love, Sam absorbed her progressive outlook and beliefs, which caused her to question the status quo.

Of course, being different isn't a good thing in a small conservative town, both Sam and her grandmother discover that in the cruelest way possible. Tragedy strikes and we're given a glimpse of the strength that lies within Samantha and how she deals with adversity. The first book follows Sam to Atlanta and chronicles her first four turbulent months in her new city.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18045388-sam-s-story-book-one
Review

This book blew me away. I wasn't sure what to expect when I first picked up Sam's Story, but what I got was a genuine treat. I was drawn into the story immediately. The more I read, the more I wanted. I fell in love with the writing, the characters, the story. All of it was great.

This book was fantastically written. When I read a book from an author for the very first time, I get a bit nervous when the book is this long (over 500 pages). I get worried that there's going to be lots of unnecessary details or lulls in the story. This is, without a doubt, not a concern here. Every word felt important to the story. There weren't any useless details. There were no lulls in the story. Everything flowed together steadily and created a wonderful story.

The story line was much deeper than what I would have expected. It starts out pretty mildly, but things grow more seriously throughout the book. Sam takes you on a very emotional journey with some twists that I certainly couldn't see coming.

The characters are all so wonderful. You can't help but fall in love with them. From Sam to Gram to Phil to Al & Marie and beyond, they're just wonderful. They all could have been real people. And even the not-so-wonderful people are done well.

Sam's Story: Book One was one of the best books I've read in a long while. I thoroughly enjoyed the story and characters. I cannot wait until I have a chance to read book two.

Rating

5 out of 5 stars

* This book was received from the author in exchange for an honest review. *

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Spotlight/Giveaway: Did I Mention I Love You?

Title: Did I Mention I Love You?
Author: Estelle Maskame
Release Date: December 1, 2015
Publishers: Sourcebooks Fire
ISBN: 9781492632153

Love is everything but expected.

Eden Munro came to California for a summer of sun, sand, and celebrities- what better way to forget about the drama back home? Until she meets her new family of strangers; a dad she hasn’t seen in three years, a stepmonster, and three stepbrothers.

Eden gets her own room in her dad’s fancy house in Santa Monica. A room right next door to her oldest stepbrother. Tyler Bruce. Whom she cannot stand. He has angry blue eyes and an ego bigger than a Beverly Hills mansion. She’s never felt such intense dislike for someone. But the two are constantly thrown together as his group of friends pulls her into their world of rule-breaking, partying, and pier-hanging

And the more she tries to understand what makes Tyler burn hotter than the California sun, the more Eden finds herself falling for the one person she shouldn’t…

Did I Mention I Love You? is the addictive first book in Wattpad sensation Estelle Maskame’s DIMIY trilogy: three unforgettable summers of secrets, heartbreak, and forbidden romance.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25883610-did-i-mention-i-love-you
***

Estelle Maskame recently released the first book in her DIMILY trilogy, Did I Mention I Love You? To celebrate, we have a quick Q&A and an excerpt!

What was the most challenging part of writing Did I Mention I Love You?

I think the entire novel itself was difficult to write, because a lot of the time I was writing about things I didn't know too much about. I'm British, so writing from an American POV was hard at first, and I've never been to California, so writing about a city and state that I've never stepped foot in proved to be difficult at some points too.
***

An Excerpt:


I can almost see the road through the gaps in the fence by the side of the house, and I squint through. There’s music playing. More like blaring. I can hear it over the crappy music that’s already bouncing around the back yard, and as a sleek white car speeds up to the edge of the sidewalk and skids against the curb, I grimace in disgust. The music cuts off the second the engine is killed.

“What are you looking at?” Rachael asks, but I’m too busy staring to even attempt to answer.
The car door swings open roughly, and I’m surprised it doesn’t fall straight off its hinges. It’s difficult to see clearly through the fence, but a tall guy gets out and slams the door shut just as aggressively as he opened it. He hesitates for a moment, stares at the house, and then runs a hand through his hair. Whoever he is, he looks su-per depressed. Like he’s just lost all his life savings or his dog just died. And then he heads straight for the gate.

“Who the hell is this jackass?” I mutter to Rachael as the figure nears us.

But before either of us can say anything more, Jackass decides to hit the gate open with a fist, drawing the at-tention of everyone around us. It’s like he wants everyone to hate him. I figure he’s probably that one neighbor that everyone despises, and he’s only here in a fit of rage because he wasn’t invited to the lamest barbecue get-together that’s ever been hosted.

“Sorry I’m late,” Jackass comments sarcastically. And loudly too, with a smirk on his lips. His eyes flash green as emeralds. “Did I miss anything besides the slaughtering of animals?” He throws up the infamous mid-dle finger to, from what I can see, the barbecue. “I hope you guys enjoyed the cow you just ate.” And then he laughs. He laughs as though everyone’s expressions of disgust are the most entertaining thing he’s seen all year.

“More beer?” I hear my dad call out to the silent crowd, and as they chuckle and return to their conversations, Jackass heads through the patio doors. He slams them shut so hard I can almost see the glass tremble.

I’m stunned. I have no idea what just happened or who that was or why he’s just entered the house. When I realize I’m slightly slack-jawed, I close my mouth and turn to Rachael.
She bites her lip and pushes her sunglasses down over her eyes. “I’m guessing you haven’t met your step-brother yet.”

Buy Links:

BAM

Praise for Did I Mention I Love You?

“Readers will root for them, like they would with Edward and Bella—the mutual attraction and need for one another is palpable. It rings of passion, excitement, and first love.” –VOYA Magazine

“An edgy young adult romance with dark layers” – The Examiner

“A believable coming-of-age story and an unconventional romance, set against a present-day California summer... . The fallout of divorce, the insidiousness of substance abuse and family secrets, and especially the pangs of first love drive this emotionally resonant tale.” – Publishers Weekly

“Written in first person, Maskame’s trilogy opener is an excellent portrayal of a teenage girl’s life in the 21st century. Eden has to adjust to her blended family, try to feel pretty, be body conscious, and make friends, all while falling in love for the first time. She is someone all young people can relate to...Romance fans will be captivated by Eden and her journey to finding herself and true love.” – School Library Journal

About the Author

Estelle Maskame started writing at the age of thirteen and completed the Did I Mention I Love You? trilogy when she was sixteen. She has built an extensive fan-base for her writing by serializing her work on Wattpad. Fitting book writing between work, Estelle has amassed followers from all over the world. She lives in Scotland. For more visit estellemaskame.com.

Links

Sourcebooks
Twitter

Coming Soon

Did I Mention I Need You?
March 1, 2016

Pre-Order Links
Amazon
Apple
Barnes & Noble
BAM
!ndigo
Indiebound

Eden and Tyler have desperately tried to ignore their love for each other for the sake of their family. But they can’t seem to stay apart for long, especially once Tyler invites Eden to spend the summer with him in New York.

Away from their life in California and caught up in the excitement of the city, their summer fling turns into something much more serious. Unable to deny their feelings, Tyler and Eden must face reality. But how will their family react when they confess their romance? And is their relationship strong enough to survive the fallout?

Giveaway

Enter to Win a Copy of DIMILY & an advance copy of DIMINY. This giveaway is active December 1st-December 31st. Open to US & Canadian residents only:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Cover Reveal: Darkly, Deeply, Beautifully


Darkly, Deeply, Beautifully by Megan Tayte

Ceruleans, book 5


Release Date: February 16, 2016


DARKNESS HAS FALLEN, AND SHE ALONE WILL SEE THE LIGHT

With her mother’s life hanging in the balance, Scarlett is devastated – and done with being in the dark. She wants answers, all of them.

But when was her pursuit of the truth ever straightforward?

Pulling a single thread triggers a great unraveling. And each revelation will force Scarlett to rethink what she thought she knew about the Ceruleans, the Fallen, her family – herself.

All that came before was a mere prelude to this, the last journey. From London to Twycombe to Hollythwaite to Cerulea, Scarlett will be stalked by the ghosts of what has been, what may have been and what may come to pass. Until she reaches the place where it all began, and it all must end.

But in the final reckoning, none will survive unscathed. And some will not survive at all.

In this explosive conclusion to The Ceruleans series, all must be defined by their actions: sinner, saint… or something more beautiful entirely?

Pre-Order Links



Friday, December 4, 2015

Book Review: Ugly

Title Ugly
Author Margaret McHeyzer

Release Date October 26, 2015

If I were dead, I wouldn't be able to see.
If I were dead, I wouldn't be able to feel.
If I were dead, he'd never raise his hand to me again.
If I were dead, his words wouldn't cut as deep as they do.
If I were dead, I'd be beautiful and I wouldn't be so...ugly.
I'm not dead...but I wish I was.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25987654-ugly
Review

Part of me feels badly for giving Ugly such a low rating. It deals with tough subjects (domestic violence and sexual abuse), so I want to give the author props on writing a book that deals with something that most people would shy away from. However, if I'm being completely realistic, I just can't make myself rate this book any higher.

First, let's talk about the characters. All of the characters felt like cardboard cutouts. They didn't feel unique to the story at all and they all lacked any sort of depth. I didn't connect with Lily. I didn't feel her struggle and, in the end, I was left feeling lukewarm towards her. I don't understand her connection with Max. It was almost like she just latched onto the one "nice" guy in her life and that was it. I say "nice" because while he's not abusive, he still seems to have some controlling tendencies.

As for the story, it just didn't work. It's got such potential, but it didn't live up to it. Lily has no sense of self-worth (NONE at all). I suppose you could overlook that since she's been abused for numerous years. However, what I was unable to overlook was this... Lily is smart. She graduates high school with a 3.9 GPA and multiple scholarships. Yet, she doesn't seem to recognize abuse. No, sorry. I can't reconcile the two.

So, pretty unrealistic story and cliché characters make for a less than awesome book. It was pretty disappointing since I had high hopes for Ugly.

Rating

2 out of 5 stars

* This book was received from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. *

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday (#4)


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because everyone loves a good list, don't they? We love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Top Ten 2016 Debut Novels I'm Looking Forward To

In no particular order:
Clicking on a cover takes you to the Goodreads page for that particular book.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23947922-if-i-was-your-girlhttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24346235-south-of-sunshinehttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21945590-underwater

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22055480-save-me-kurt-cobainhttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26156985-american-girls

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25527908-the-forgetting-timehttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22692740-symptoms-of-being-humanhttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25613771-scarlett-epstein-hates-it-here

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25159262-liars-and-losers-like-ushttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21018154-bookishly-ever-after


Which debut books are YOU looking forward to in 2016? Leave your TTT in the comments below!