Saturday, November 5, 2016

Reveiw: How To Make Out by Brianna R. Shrum

How to Make Out
How to Make Out
By Brianna R. Shrum
My Rating: 4.5 Stars
Date Read: October 2016
Publication Date: September 6th, 2016
Hardcover, 284 pages

                                                           Summary From Goodreads: 

Sixteen-year-old Renley needs three thousand dollars for the math club’s trip to New York City, and she knows exactly how to get it: she’s going to start a how-to blog where people pay for answers to all of life’s questions from a “certified expert.” The only problems: 1) She doesn’t know how to do anything but long division and calculus. 2) She’s totally invisible to people at school. And not in a cool Gossip Girl kind of way.

So, she decides to learn to do . . . well . . . everything. When her anonymous blog shifts in a more scandalous direction and the questions (and money) start rolling in, she has to learn not just how to do waterfall braids and cat-eye makeup, but a few other things, like how to cure a hangover, how to flirt, and how to make out (something her very experienced, and very in-love-with-her neighbor, Drew, is more than willing to help with).

As her blog’s reputation skyrockets, so does “new and improved” Renley’s popularity. She’s not only nabbed the attention of the entire school, but also the eye of Seth Levine, the hot culinary wizard she’s admired from across the home-ec classroom all year.

Soon, caught up in the thrill of popularity both in and out of cyberspace, her secrets start to spiral, and she finds that she’s forgotten the most important how-to: how to be herself. When her online and real lives converge, Renley will have to make a choice: lose everything she loves in her new life, or everyone she loves in the life she left behind.

                                                                            My Review: 
I liked this book. And I'm going to ignore the fact that it makes no sense for Renley to start a Blog where people have to pay to learn how to do things, when there is Google... That will tell you what you need to know for free...Yeah, ignoring that...

Renley drove me crazy at times. The fact that she was so dense and couldn't see that Drew was head over heels in love with her. She never even let it be a thought that they could be a couple. And she was just so consumed with being obsessed with Seth... and yeah, he's cool and everything, but I mean, DREW. I think that he was my favorite part about the book. He was so patient with Renley, and he was an amazing friend. He put up with a lot when it came to Renley. Things that would usually obliterate a friendship. He would do whatever for Renley, even if it was breaking his heart, because he loved her so much. Even when he was majorly ticked at her, if she needed him, he was there.

I get that Renley started up the Blog as a way to earn money, I really do. But why not just get a real job? You know, where you earn a paycheck every week (or every other week) doing normal worky type things... That seems like it would be less of a headache. But I'm ignoring it!

I wish that there had been a little more closure with different people by the end of the book, but I get that not every story is going to end with a happily ever after, and tied up with a little bow. But I loved that Ren figured things out with her dad, and her stepmom was pretty amazing too.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Review: The Flame Never Dies by Rachel Vincent

The Flame Never Dies (The Stars Never Rise, #2)
The Flame Never Dies
By Rachel Vincent
My Rating: 3 Stars
Date Read: September 2016
Publication Date: August 16th, 2016
Hardcover, 343 pages

Summary From Goodreads:
One spark will rise.

Nina Kane was born to be an exorcist. And since uncovering the horrifying truth—that the war against demons is far from over—seventeen-year-old Nina and her pregnant younger sister, Mellie, have been on the run, incinerating the remains of the demon horde as they go.

In the badlands, Nina, Mellie, and Finn, the fugitive and rogue exorcist who saved her life, find allies in a group of freedom fighters. They also face a new threat: Pandemonia, a city full of demons. But this fresh new hell is the least of Nina’s worries. The well of souls ran dry more than a century ago, drained by the demons secretly living among humans, and without a donor soul, Mellie’s child will die within hours of its birth.

Nina isn’t about to let that happen…even if it means she has to make the ultimate sacrifice.

My Review:

Oh. My. Gosh. I think my brain may have exploded while reading this book. So many things happened. So. Many. Things.

I said in my review for The Stars Never Rise that I had my suspicions about how things were going to go down, and I'm glad to say that I was wrong for the most part. I've never been so happy to have been wrong about something actually.

This book seemed a little more graphic than the last one... Either that or I was just so in love with The Stars Never Rise that I just didn't notice it.

I didn't know that this was a duology until after I finished reading the second book. But when I did find out, I was super upset. Like, throw the book against the wall upset. {No, I did not throw my book against the wall, but I wanted to.} Sure a lot of things wrapped themselves up quite nicely, but there were some others that I'd have liked to see answered. I wish that there had been an epilogue where it tells you where the gang is now, and how Nina's little nephew is, and how things are going since the big ol' revelation about Nina and some of the others... I don't know, the end of this book made me want to cry. I wanted more of Nina and Finn. Oh well, you win some, you lose some... I still love Rachel Vincent.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Pokemon Go...

Photo Source: Google Search

Unless you're living under a rock {which I suppose is possible} you've probably heard about this thing called Pokemon Go, which has pretty much taken over the world.

I was super resistant to the idea at first. Like totally and completely 100% against it. I was definitely not going to download anything... especially since I had to use data and my poor
battery was going to suffer.

But alas, my nerdiness won out in the end and I downloaded it to my phone. This, of course, ended up with lots of teasing from my friends because I swore that I wasn't going to download it, because I felt like it was a waste of time (don't judge me!)

Friend: *messing with my phone* Wait, is that Pokemon Go?! I thought you said you weren't going to play because it's a waste of time??
Me: It is a waste of time!
Friend: Well then, why do you have it??
Me: Because it's Pokemon.
Friend: Oh, uh huh, I see...And how do you like it so far?
Me: Ugh, I have a love-hate relationship with it.
Littlest Sister: She keeps deleting it, and then re-downloading it.
Friend: Why?
Me: Because it's a waste of time! But it's also Pokemon!!
Friend: Oh, well... let me go catch Pokemon for you!
And so now every time I see my friend, he always makes sure to ask me if I still have the Pokemon Go app on my phone, or if I've decided it's too much a waste of time that day. And then proceeds to give me a bad time no matter what my answer is. It's always good-natured teasing though, and it never fails to make me laugh.

Poke Pros:

1. I like that you get to catch Pokemon. That's so much fun. And you get to see them in the "real world" too so that's always entertaining. Especially when they turn up in awkward places.
2. You get to meet people. I thought it was kinda cool that this game encourages people to get out there and meet other people who share their love for Pokemon.
3. That exercise though. It makes people get out there and walk, and get more exercise than they probably ever got before. Especially if they're super devoted to the game. You wanna hatch that 5.0 km egg?? Betta get your butt up off that couch.
4. Same old music. When I had the sound turned up, and I heard the same familiar music that I heard so much playing Pokemon when I was younger... Ahhh, my nerdiness high-fived me in the face. It was great

Poke Nos:

1. But my Data! I have a very itty bitty data plan. Like, it's so minuscule I never turn it on unless there's an emergency. And it really sucks that I can't catch Pokemon unless I'm connected to WiFi or my data is on. That makes it really hard to take it with me out to the middle of nowhere while I'm hiking, camping, or whatever. Ugh.
2. Bye bye battery. I hate when my battery drains so fast. It's kind of annoying. And I'm the girl who usually forgets her back up charger at home... so yeah.
3. The people. Yeah I know I said it was a good thing up there, but I meant for other people. I personally am very selectively social. And a bit of an Introvert. So I try to avoid people that I don't know if at all possible. I mean, I'm still super friendly, and I will talk to people. But If I am playing a game or reading, or blah blah blah, I'd rather be left alone so that I can concentrate.
4. ALL THE DUMB THINGS. Okay, so I know people do stupid things no matter who they are, what they're doing, but Pokemon Go seems to have given people even more of an excuse to be stupid. Stopping the car in the middle of a busy highway, not paying attention to where they are walking, plus all the other things I've heard on the news, but can't remember right now.
5. I gotta go where?! Okay, so the thing that bothers me the most is the fact that there are a few Pokemon you can only catch if you live in certain places. Tauros, Mr. Mime, Farfetch'd, and Kangaskhan. WHYYY? I can't afford to hop on a plane to Australia, England or Asia! And I really want a Kangaskhan!! It's been said that you can hatch these Pokemon.. If you're lucky... But I really don't believe it, because there's been no proof whatsoever {unless there is and I haven't heard. Which is entirely possible. So if I'm lying, sorry}

So over all, I'm pretty sure that I will continue to play Pokemon, and keep catching millions of Pidgey's and Ratata's {because that's like, the only thing I'm ever able to find} I do think it's pretty neat, although I'm going to say that my old Pokemon Gold and Pokemon Ruby are my absolute favorites. I could sit and play for hours, and actually make some freaking progress, and the only money I had to spend was the money I earned from battling other trainers. Oooh, and the Pokemon contests that they had. Those were pretty dang cool too. Waaahhh, I'm making myself wish my Gameboy hadn't decided to die on me.

I'm sure I have other pros and cons that I can't remember because I'm putting this post together super fast, but if I remember anything else I'll add it in later. So enough of me blabbering on. Give Pokemon Go a shot, and see what you think about it.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Review: The Way To Game The Walk Of Shame by Jenn P. Nguyen

The Way To Game The Walk Of Shame
By Jenn P. Nguyen
My Rating: 5 Stars
Date Read: June 2016
Publication Date: April 26th 2016
Hardcover, 342 pages

Summary From Goodreads:

Taylor Simmons is screwed.

Things were hard enough when her single-minded dedication to her studies earned her the reputation of being an Ice Queen, but after getting drunk at a party and waking up next to bad boy surfer Evan McKinley, the entire school seems intent on tearing Taylor down with mockery and gossip.

Desperate to salvage her reputation, Taylor persuades Evan to pretend they’re in a serious romantic relationship. After all, it’s better to be the girl who tames the wild surfer than just another notch on his surfboard.

My Review:

Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh. Oh. My. Gosh. I loved this book. La la la la lovvvvved this book. Seriously, I just want to sit and pet it for awhile. I had such high expectations for this one, when I first heard about it once upon a time, forever ago... And that made me a little bit nervous, because usually when that happens, I don't like the book at all, and that's a bit heartbreaking. But when I picked it up and started reading it, I fell in love with it right away. I was sucked in from the very start, and I didn't want to have to put it down {And I did, [boo] because I started it during my dinner break at work, and for some reason, they actually wanted me to come back and do stuff [lol]}

Don't be put off by the title of the book, despite what it sounds like, this is actually a very cute, age appropriate book. Kind of similar-ish to Anna And The French Kiss. Sure, it's got your basic teenage drama, but it's not so much that I'm sitting there rolling my eyes the whole time either.Or cringing at the absurdity of it all.

Taylor was a super focused, super perfectionist, and all she wants is to get into the school of her dreams. Sometimes I just really wanted to smack her and tell her to get a hold of herself and just, I don't know, calm the heck down. But on the other hand, I get it. I understand what it's like to want something so bad, that's the only thing you have time to think about. I can be a bit of a perfectionist myself, and I'm kind of OCD about some things, especially if I'm working on an assignment. If it's not exactly how I think it should be, I get so upset.

And then we have Evan... The ever so swoon-worthy Evan. He's popular, sexy-licious {a fact that he is absolutely aware of} and also slightly cocky, with a playboy reputation to go along with it. He's also extremely sweet and kind. I loved Taylor and Evan together. They were totally opposites in personality, but they complimented each other so well.

I absolutely loved this book {if that wasn't obvious from my opening statement} and I cannot wait to see what Jenn P. Nguyen writes next!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Review: One Paris Summer By Denise Grover Swank

One Paris Summer
My Rating: 5 Stars
Date Read: July 2016

Publication Date: June 7th, 2016
Paperback, 272 pages

Summary From Goodreads

Most teens dream of visiting the City of Lights, but it feels more like a nightmare for Sophie Brooks. She and her brother are sent to Paris to spend the summer with their father, who left home a year ago without any explanation. As if his sudden abandonment weren't betrayal enough, he's about to remarry, and they’re expected to play nice with his soon-to-be wife and stepdaughter. The stepdaughter, Camille, agrees to show them around the city, but she makes it clear that she will do everything in her power to make Sophie miserable.
Sophie could deal with all the pain and humiliation if only she could practice piano. Her dream is to become a pianist, and she was supposed to spend the summer preparing for a scholarship competition. Even though her father moved to Paris to pursue his own dream, he clearly doesn't support hers. His promise to provide her with a piano goes unfulfilled.

Still, no one is immune to Paris’s charm. After a few encounters with a gorgeous French boy, Sophie finds herself warming to the city, particularly when she discovers that he can help her practice piano. There’s just one hitch—he’s a friend of Camille’s, and Camille hates Sophie. While the summer Sophie dreaded promises to become best summer of her life, one person could ruin it all.

 My Review: 

*I received a free copy of this book from book look bloggers in exchange for an honest review*

I really enjoyed this book. It was like Anna and the French Kiss meets Cinderella {minus the wicked step mother bit} but it still manages to be a unique and fun story. Just like with Anna and the French Kiss, I was scolding Sophie for not wanting to be in Paris. {I mean, yeah, I know that the circumstances were not ideal for her, but come on. It's Paris for crying out loud... But that aside...

I loved that in this story there was a good relationship between Sophie and her step mom {instead of the hate/hate relationship that can sometimes happen with step-parents. I really disliked Dale and Camille. Camille was petty and mean spirited. And Dale was a dou--- jerk. Dale was a jerk.

Sophie was such a relatable character. She can be awkward and she's definitely unsure of herself at times, which can make her come off as immature. But I think she does the best that she can in the situation that she'd been put in.

I liked Matthieu, he was tres swoony and mysterious... Although I was a bit skeptical of him and his reasons for keeping their relationship hush hush... I think that Sophie had waaaay more patience with him than I would have.

All in all, this was a sweet, summertime read that is perfect if you are looking a good contemporary novel.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Review: Everland by Wendy Spinale

By Wendy Spinale
My Rating: 4 Stars
Date Read: June 2016
Publication Date: May 10, 2016
Hardcover, 312 pages

Summary From Goodreads:
London has been destroyed in a blitz of bombs and disease. The only ones who have survived are children, among them Gwen Darling and her siblings, Joanna and Mikey. They spend their nights scavenging and their days avoiding the ruthless Marauders -- the German army led by Captain Hanz Otto Oswald Kretschmer.

Unsure if the virus has spread past England's borders but desperate to leave, Captain Hook hunts for a cure, which he thinks can be found in one of the survivors. He and his Marauders stalk the streets snatching children for experimentation. None ever return. Until the day they grab Joanna. As Gwen sets out to save her, she meets a daredevil boy named Pete. Pete offers the assistance of his gang of Lost Boys and the fierce sharpshooter Bella, who have all been living in a city hidden underground. But in a place where help has a steep price and every promise is bound by blood, it will cost Gwen. And are she, Pete, the Lost Boys, and Bella enough to outsmart Captain Hook?

 My Review:
It seems to me that there has been an influx of Peter Pan retellings as of late. And I can't help but wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that Once Upon A Time has made it so popular with the whole #CaptainSwan thing. I don't know. Some of the retold versions are superb (like Unhooked by Lisa Maxwell) and others are just kind of... meh. I personally like it when they don't stick straight to the original... I love when things are shaken up, and have been twisted and things happen that I don't expect. Read on to find out where this book falls on my loved It/Meh list.

This one actually ranked pretty high on my "like list" It had twists and turns, and it was a little darker, and more violent than the original Peter Pan Story. It was set in a Dystopian world, and it had bits of Steampunk thrown in as well {which I was surprised that I liked, because usually steampunk is just not my cup of tea} It's the Peter Pan we all know and love, but with so many different things thrown in there as well.

There were Cogs and Doc, who, at first, I was comparing to the dwarves from Snow White... And while that still holds true, now I realize that they were more like the fairies from the Tinkerbell movies. I liked that Bella {Tinkerbell} Was this sassy little 12 {maybe... I don't remember her age now} year old, but she had a heart of gold, and only wanted to be seen as an equal to all the other Lost Boys.

I didn't really *get* why they needed the "Pixie Dust" other than the  fact that they were just using it to make the story more similar to Peter Pan... It was kind of weird, and if they'd left it out, I would have been okay with it...but oh well.

I had a love-hate relationship with Gwen. I liked her, and the fact that she was so fiercely protective of her brother and sister, and even Bella and the Lost Kids... But at sometimes she came off as a little bit whiny... which I suppose is normal for a 15 (16? I don't remember... I'm so terrible) year old who has the weight of the world on her shoulders.

Usually I'm a bit skeptical of Peter Pan... I mean, he's okay and all in the original... But in most retellings he's kind of.. I don't know, sketchy? Like he has a hidden agenda or something. But I have to say, I'm pretty impressed with him in this version. He's not just this goofy, care free kid. He's got all of the lost kids counting on him to keep them safe.

Then we have Captain Hanz Otto Oswald Kretschmer (Captain Hook for those of you who didn't know) I'm rather fond Captain Hook (or at least the one that has been made so popular by Once Upon A Time... Ah, that dashing, rapscallion scoundrel with his guy-liner and sassy attitude.. oh my, I can't even *SWOON* *INSERT HEART EYES HERE* 

What? Oh, yeah, I'm getting distracted again, sorry... As I was saying. I have a fondness for the good ol' Captain now, and whenever there's a story, I hope that he gets to be the good guy and at least get a chance at a happily ever after. Well, that's not really what he gets here, but we also get to see more than just the surface. He's not just a bad guy. He's got his reasons for doing what he does.

This is the first book in a trilogy I believe... I'm not sure how their going to intertwine the stories, but I'm curious. When it ended, it was pretty much tied up the way it should have been, so maybe it's going to be a different fairy tale with new and old characters... I don't know, I guess I'll have to wait and find out.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Review: Nobody's Lady by Amy McNulty

Nobody's Lady (Never Veil #2)
Nobody's Lady
By Amy McNulty
My Rating: 3.5 Stars
Date Read: June 2016
Publication Date: April 12, 2016
Paperback, 300 pages

Summary From Goodreads

For the first time in a thousand years, the men in Noll’s village possess the freedom to love whom they will. In order to give each man the chance to fully explore his feelings, the lord of the village decrees all marriages null and void until both spouses declare their love for one another and their desire to wed again. What many women think will be a simple matter becomes a source of village-wide tension as most men decide to leave their families and responsibilities behind.

Rejected by the lord and ashamed of her part in the village’s history, Noll withdraws from her family and lives life as an independent woodcarver. This changes when her sister accuses her of hiding her former husband Jurij from her—and when Jurij eventually does ask to move in. Determined not to make the same mistakes, Noll decides to support her male friends through their new emotional experiences, but she’s soon caught up in a darker plot than she ever dared imagine possible from the men she thought she knew so well. And the lord for whom she still has feelings may be hiding the most frightening truth of them all.

My Review

*BOOM* That was my brain exploding, okay? I didn't review the first book, because I couldn't get my thoughts to make any kind of sense, so we'll see if I can do any better here.

This book was sooo confusing at times, and I had a hard time keeping track of what was going on. And it was kind of weird too... But I still really liked it. Makes perfect sense, right?

I got sucked into Noll's world once again, and I found myself sitting on the edge of my seat, trying to figure out what in the heck was going on. There were lots of twists and turns. It was kind of crazy all the things that were going on, and sometimes it was hard to keep track, which is why I didn't give this book a higher rating even though I really liked it... That and the fact that I found some of the characters a little annoying and in need of an attitude adjustment.

The ending of the book killed me just a little, and also left me a little confused... So now I can't wait to get the next book to see how everything is going to work itself out.