Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Review: Rules of Rain by Leah Scheier

Rules of Rain

 Rules of Rain
By Leah Scheier
My Rating: 3 Stars
Publication Date: December 5th, 2017

Date Read: February 2018
Audiobook 9 hours 22 minutes


















 Summary From Goodreads

A dramatic new novel about the bond between a teen and her twin brother.

Rain has taken care of Ethan all of her life. Before she even knew what autism meant, she's been her twin brother's connection to the hostile world around him. She's always prepared—when her father abandons them, when her mother gets sick, when Ethan is tortured by bullies from school—Rain is the reliable, stable one holding them all together. She's both cautious carer and mad chef, preparing customized meals for her family and posting crazy recipes on her cooking blog.

Each day with Ethan is unvarying and predictable, and she's sure that nothing will ever change—until one night when her world is turned upside down by a mistake she can't take back. As her new romance with her long-time crush and her carefully constructed life begins to unravel, she discovers that the fragile brother whom she's always protected has grown into a young man who no longer needs her. And now, for the first time, she finds that she needs him.






 My Review


I feel like this review is going to be a repeat of what everyone else has been saying about it... But here goes. There also may or may not be spoilers ahead, so proceed with caution if you haven't actually read the book yet.

I thought Rain was annoying at times, but then during others, I really could see where she was coming from. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that her trying to "fix" Ethan is okay because he's perfect the way he is, and yes, she was selfish at times, and then there were the times when she thought about how she wished that she had things that she wanted to do that were separate from Ethan.

But I think we all need to remember that Rain is, what? 17?  you can't honestly tell me that there are any 17 year olds who aren't selfish brats from time to time. Teenagers do/say/think things they don't really mean all the time. And if you're saying that you didn't and no one you know has, then you're lying.

And you can just stop right there, because I am NOT condoning it, or saying that the way she handled certain situations was okay, because it wasn't. I'm just pointing out the fact that she's a teenager, so maybe people should stop being so harsh on her

She does grow up throughout the book. It's a slow process, but it happens. She stops trying to control and fix everything.

If you want to talk about how immature people were, I’d like to point fingers at their mother. Even though she was originally portrayed as “the good parent” I had issues with her. How she refuses to accept the fact that Ethan is autistic. Instead of trying to focus on all the good and positive things with Ethan, and encouraging him, she just didn’t… I know the dad was the one who was “out of the picture” and he cheated on the mom and fell in love with someone else. But, he was way more supportive of Ethan and Rain. He talked to them, he encouraged them to follow their dreams. He was the one who helped Ethan go outside of his comfort zone, and he was all for Rain going away on their own little adventure. Again, I’m not saying that his cheating was okay, but for all the bad things that he did, he was still way more supportive of his children. Their parents--their mom more specifically-- set them up to fail from the start.
I loved Ethan, okay. He was just so adorable, and I loved everything about him. I don’t have Autism, so I have no idea if that’s portrayed well or correctly, but I know that I really liked his character. He tried so hard throughout the whole book. He was just so… I don’t know, authentic. And sweet. And I really enjoyed getting to read his journal entries.  All of his Ethan-isms made my heart smile. His character is what made the story.

BIG SPOILER ALERT BIG SPOILER ALERT 
I was so confused by the whole Rain was pregnant for a minute thing. That was weird. And I don’t think that it was really important to the story. Other than just to prove once again how amazing Ethan is (because without him, Rain probably would have died)

END OF THE BIG SPOILER ALERT 
though there still may be more little ones coming


I liked Rain and Liam's relationship, and I was so sad when they broke up. Like, it actually hurt my heart. They were so cute together. They had their moments of awkwardness and uncertainty, and those imperfections are what made them so cute together. I'm a big fan of the HEA, and yes, I know, you don't need to have a significant other to be happy, but I for sure wanted them to be together. Liam was good for Rain.

Hope was a fantastic friend, even if she was a little overzealous at times. She always jumped without thinking, and sometimes it worked for her, and sometimes she needed to backpedal herself out real fast. She was so supportive of Ethan and Rain, and I liked how she told Rain that she knew Rain was jealous about her spending time with Ethan, and that's why she backed off for a little bit. To give Rain and Ethan time to figure things out.

I also love love loved the "Secret Rule" that actually melted my heart and made me tear up a little bit. It's the most wonderful thing I've read about in my entire life.

     "I said the phrase once just to see his reaction," she muses. "Secret Rule. He looked confused at first, but then he replied immediately, like it was part of a script. 'What can I do?' I didn't understand, so I asked him what he meant."
     "He was asking, 'what can I do to make you happy?'" I conclude softly.
      "Yes," she says. "It was so sweet. Like an algorithm for showing love." --Rules of Rain pages 343-344

Right? isn't that just the most heart melting thing you've read? There are still a lot of things that are said after this, that would make it make more sense, but you get the general idea of what;s going on.

But yes, this book is definitely worth a read. So what are you waiting for? Go get it!!

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Review: The Secret Heir by Siobhan Davis

The Secret Heir (Alinthia #2)The Secret Heir
By Siobhan Davis
My Rating: 4 Stars
Publication Date: March 31, 2018

Date Read: March 2018
Kindle Edition

























Summary From Goodreads:

Is it her destiny to save them … or destroy them?

Now that Tori finally understands who she is and what’s expected of her, she’s in full-on freak-out mode. How will she save the galaxy from General Arantu’s clutches when she can’t even control her powers?

Add that to the lack of retaliation by enemy alien forces, and everyone is on edge. Especially when they uncover evidence of a strange alien symbol with possible links to humans, and the mystery deepens, along with their frustration.

But that’s not the only thing keeping Tori awake at night.

Confused over the horrific vision she experienced the night of the Herassan attack, Tori is terrified of revealing details of her protectors’ supposed fate, so she says nothing. Keeping stuff hidden never ends well, and as evil forces conspire against Tori and her four protectors, secrets and lies threaten to destroy everything they hope to achieve. While Tori grows closer to Coop, Maddox, and Beck, Dane remains distant, creating more tension and jeopardizing their bond.

Then an unexpected newcomer arrives, casting suspicion over everything they believe they know.

When Tori finally figures out what’s going on, will she have time to warn the guys? Or is their fate already sealed?
 
  




My Review:




I was super stoked when I was able to get my hands on a copy of this book, especially with the way that the last one ended. Like, I've been really anxious to find out what was going to happen next!

And I just...

Umm...

I think I'm still processing my feelings!

I read through this one at lightning speed, because that's how excited I was to be able to read this.

This book starts up literally right after where the second one left off, and Tori is feeling sorry for herself, and blaming herself for what happened to you know who. And right away, I just wanted to shake her and say "GET A HOLD OF YOURSELF!!" which she did, eventually.

There was so much world building and character building in this book, which I absolutely love. I like getting to see book characters grow up and progress from being unsure and insecure about who they are, to kick @$$ characters who won't take crap from anyone.

I loved getting to see Tori spend more time with her guys, and seeing their relationships grow closer, it totally made me smile. I love all the guys, but my favorite is still Beckett (because I usually go for the cute nerdy ones, lol)

There were surprises in this book, some that I expected and others that I absolutely did not.

This was a fantastic continuation to the Alinthia series, and I'm very very very much looking forward to the next book, especially since this one ended with a cliffhanger *SIGHS* authors are trying to kill me with cliffhangers, I swear.

If you've read and enjoyed the first one, then you should definitely continue on with the series. Or if you love a good SciFi book packed with action, romance, and mystery, then this is the series for you!

*I am voluntarily reviewing complimentary Advance Readers Copy of this book. All of the thoughts and opinions that are expressed above are completely and totally %100 percent mine, and I have not been compensated in any way for this review.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Review: Restore Me by Tahereh Mafi

Restore Me (Shatter Me, #4)

Restore Me
By Tahereh Mafi
My Rating: All The Stars
Publication Date: March 6th, 2018

Date Read: March 2018
Hardback, 448 Pages




















Summary From Goodreads



Juliette Ferrars thought she'd won. She took over Sector 45, was named the new Supreme Commander, and now has Warner by her side. But she's still the girl with the ability to kill with a single touch—and now she's got the whole world in the palm of her hand. When tragedy hits, who will she become? Will she be able to control the power she wields and use it for good?







My Review



So.  Okay. You guys. I am NOT okay right now. This book... I loved it so terribly much, but it... it DESTROYED me. I'm just. Oh lord. Okay, let's see if I can make any sense of my words, which are jumbled in my head right now, because I haven't fully processed what I read.

*Deep Breath In*

Here we go

There will probably definitely be spoilers. Who knows what's going to come out of my mouth, because I'm in a very fragile state right now, and very prone to rambling, not to mention the fact that I have feelings and thoughts that I need to get off my chest. So. If you haven't read this one yet, or any of them at all, then you might not probably want to continue reading this review. Also, this will probably be one of the longest posts I've had on here, because of all the rambling I'm about to do

First, a little backstory before the actual review

So let me start off by saying that I bought this book on it's release day. Like, moderately early in the day. But I had to wait a freaking half an hour, because the only bookstore in my town didn't even have them out on the shelf yet. Excuse me? What? As the only bookstore in town I felt like they should have been better prepared, but no. They had to search all over Hell's Half Acre to find it for me.

And then I didn't even get to read it right away. Because I had a midterm to take and then I had to go to work and adult. Boooo (I'm mostly kidding, because I love my job.) So on my dinner break, I made a pretty good size dent in it. I had an hour to eat and made it about 25 percent through the book. Not too bad. I was so fidgety afterwards though, because the part I left on, was the part where Castle is telling Warner the truth about Juliette and who she is. I kid you not. The last freaking line I read before I had to go back and work was this:

Castle shakes his head as he says, "He never told you where she really came from, did he? He never told you the truth about her parents."

Um. What? WHATTT?!  

Though to be honest, I figured we'd learn more about her parents in this one, but I was not prepared for the truth bomb that was dropped on us

Let's just say that it was a good thing that I had actual tasks to accomplish to keep my mind sort of off the book.

And it didn't help that my best friend was at about the same spot, except she didn't have to work so she was plowing straight through it. And she kept texting me. And just a little bit after I got off work, she called me in near hysterics talking about how it had destroyed her, but she loved it, and she didn't know how to deal with it.

Uh-oh. That didn't make me nervous at all *she says sarcastically*

And then a few minutes later she called back, asking if there was information on when book 5 comes out. No, I told her. But, my guess would be next March.

I stayed up until I had the entire thing finished. And I was shook. I had so many emotions going through me, it was crazy. So I did what any best friend would do. I sent her about a million texts so she'd see them when she woke up in the morning, because I had to say something to someone about it.

Okay, I think that's it? On to some sort of actual review

I want to start off by talking about Warner. Because he's my favorite part about everything in this series. I love the fact that we get dual POV in this book. It's nice getting to be inside Warner's head. Warner and Juliette balance each other out quite nicely, if I do say so myself.

I was initially scared, because I thought that my wonderful Smol-bean Cinnamon Roll Warner was going to turn into an emotional wreck. I've seen it happen to characters before. I wanted my cocky self-assured bad a$$ Warner back, and I wanted him back now. 

But then I realized that he actually is still the same old, wonderful Aaron Warner. We just never got to see inside his head before. The last 3 books, we just saw his calm, cool, controlled exterior, which we all know by now, he tried so hard to make himself that way. He's got so many thoughts and emotions going on in his head, but he does an amazing job keeping it all internalized, so all we get to see--when we're not actually seeing things from his perspective--is the mask of calm that he does so well. He's had no choice in that matter. He grew up with a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad father, who did everything to make sure Warner turned into a non-feeling robot.

And just the fact that, even though Warner can be ruthless when the situation calls for it, but at the same time, he takes no joy in hurting others, and he does what he can to keep people safe, (like when he killed that one soldier and everyone thought the worst of him, but we find out later that he was a drunkard who beat his wife and kids) . And the fact that he cares so deeply for Juliette, and for his mother, and that he cared even just a little about his father despite the horrible person that he was, makes me love him even more.

His emotions run so deep and so strong

He would literally do anything for Juliette to make her happy, even throwing himself in harm's way. He tries hard to be friends with Kenji, though he makes it difficult in typical Kenji fashion. He cleared off a whole floor to take in people.

And, and, and! Throughout the whole thing, he never doubts Juliette and her ability to handle things with or without his help. He has %100 percent faith in her. Something he says to her multiple times. Even when everyone, including herself is doubting whether or not she can in fact handle everything that's being thrown at her.

People are idiots, love. Their opinions are worthless

And how, instead of going to her like Castle said he should when Haider showed up, he went to their room, because she hadn't told him or asked him for advice, and he didn't want to hurt her, or undermine/make her think he doubted her ability to handle the situation without him. So many times through the book, did he repeat to her how much faith he had in her and reassure her that she was doing a great job.

Adam and James

We don't really get to see a lot of Adam and James in this book. Just short snippets here and there, and I have mixed feelings about that. I mean, I get it. This is Warner and Juliette's story now, but I wanted some bro-bonding time with the guys. I love how James is still so young and honest, and some of the things that come out of his mouth make me laugh. He made Warner feel better, just by being himself and saying things that big people know better than to say to someone who's obviously hurting. It took Warner by surprise, and did make him feel slightly better if only for a moment.

Adam, I am happy to say, is slowly redeeming himself from his douchebag self that he was in books 2 and 3. He was an idiot, and he actually openly admits that now. He knew what he did was awful, and he told Warner that he's glad Juliette is with Warner, and that Juliette was right about him (Adam) wanting the insecure girl that she used to be. He is slowly starting to accept the fact that Warner is his brother, and he even said that he knows what's important (family) and that's what he wants to start focusing on.

What I am actually not happy about in that whole Adam-Warner-James thing, is the fact that Adam still won't tell James that Warner is their brother. Um. Excuse me? Adam. If you don't put your big boy panties on soon and tell him, I'm going Blue-Skadoo right into the book and tell him myself. He can handle it. He may be young, but he's an old soul, and I think he'd be delighted to learn that he has another big brother. And besides that, I think he'd be good for Warner. Warner needs James just as much as James needs Adam, or vice versa. James and Adam are the only family that Warner has (I mean, so far. Who knows what the heck is going to happen) and James would be good for Warner.

Kenji and Castle

Castle kind of annoyed me ever so slightly. We didn't get to hear too much from him, but what we did get to see... I don't know. He seemed so frazzled and shifty, like he was hiding something. And gosh, he was being so vague about everything. I think the most honest and straight up he was, was when he told Warner about who Juliette really was.

Kenji on the other hand. He hasn't changed at all. And I love him for it. He's still a smart a$$, and cocky, and says and does the worst things at the worst times, and doesn't know when to keep his mouth shut about anything. Like when he buzzed off Warner's hair. (I about died, because... HIS HAIR! Warner's beautiful locks are gone!!) but I forgave him even if Warner hasn't yet. Kenji still manages to bring a bit of comedic relief to situations when things are going bad, and he can take charge even if he has absolutely no idea what he's doing.

Heck, he's even supportive of Warner, and will lend him a listening ear when he needs it. Like when Kenji walked in on Warner having a panic attack, and stayed there with him until he was better, even though Warner kept telling him to leave. Then he stayed longer to listen to what Warner had to say about why he and Juliette were so upset.

And he's got himself a crush. He makes such a fool of himself, which is really nothing new, but it was actually adorable. And when he's talking about it with Juliette:

"She's, like, batshit pretty. The kind of pretty that makes a man think getting murdered in his sleep might not be a bad way to go."
"Yeah," I say, but I say it quietly.
"Right?"
"I guess."
"What do you mean, you guess? I wasn't asking a question. That girl is objectively beautiful."
"Sure"
Kenji stops, takes my shoulders in his hands. "What is your deal, J?"
"I don't know what you're--"
"Oh my God," he says, stunned. "Are you jealous?"
"No," I say, but I practically yell the word at him.
He's laughing now. "That's crazy. Why are you jealous?"
I shrug, mumble something.
"Wait, what's that?" He cups his hand over his ear. "You're worried I'm going to leave you for another woman?"
"Shut up, Kenji. I'm not jealous."
"Aw, J."
"I'm not. I swear. I'm not jealous. I'm just--I'm just..."
I'm having a hard time.
But I never have a chance to say the words. Kenji suddenly picks me up, spins me around and says, "Aw, you're so cute when you're jealous--"
And I kick him in the knee. Hard. --Restore Me, Tahereh Mafi pages 162-163

Seriously. This makes my heart so happy. The relationship between Juliette and Kenji has always made me happy He's a great friend to Juliette, and will listen to her problems, and tell her when she's being a whiny baby, but still manages to be supportive when she needs it. I think everyone should have a best friend like Kenji in their lives. Someone to be real with you and tell you when you're being crazy, but is always supportive, and has your back. #BestFriendGoals

Random Extra Characters

Nazeera and Haider were interesting, and I'm curious to see what role they play in the next two books. I liked Nazeera better, and how she flipped Kenji off when he questioned her about wearing her head wrap. I was like. Yeah! You go girl. Tell him! And how she admitted that she didn't want to come with her brother to spy on Warner and Juliette, but she decided that since her father was making her go no matter what, she had decided that she was going to do her best to watch out for Juliette. I don't really know how I feel about Haider though. Because he wasn't really all that prevalent for the majority of the story. And when he was, he was either being a jerk, or doing/saying something that confused me. He had me perplexed. They're both still hiding things though, and that makes me  suspicious and wary of them.

Nicolas and Valentina

Well. I'm not sure what to think about them. They were introduced at kind of the last second in the story, so we didn't really get to learn much about them . I didn't get the feeling that they had malicious intentions, but then again what do I know.

Stephan
He's cute, and swoon worthy and I don't get the feeling that he's going to be an enemy, but if he tries to hurt any of my babies in the future, then it's on. I won't forgive him. Also, he can't have Juliette, so he better not try anything funny. Juliette and Warner are my OTP, and I will fight for them.

Lena
Lena, Lena, Lena. You better just take a step back and stop being such a b with an itch. Okay? Because let me tell you right now, no matter how big and bad you think you are, you're not going to win. Not against Juliette. And especially not with who she has backing her up.

My hope, is that all of these kids will end up banding together to overthrow their parents and taking control of the different sectors and turning the whole world around and making it better place, blah blah blah.

Juliette

Okay. So. In this book we get to see how young and inexperienced she is. The comparisons that she finally realizes exist between her and Warner, and her and everyone in Warner's world are big. She's starting to lose faith in herself. One of the biggest things that really throws her for a loop, was when she met Haider, and she just felt so... out of her league? All because of what she was wearing vs. what he was wearing.  She still doesn't think she can handle it, and she's getting overwhelmed by everything that's happening. She thought that being in charge would be different, and she's starting to panic. Despite the fact that she has Warner who has her back, and believes in her 200%





Juliette does so much growing up in this book. Like. A lot. And it was all at once too. After everything that was thrown at her, she finally woke up and decided that she was sick of it. It was kind of an impressive transformation. But she's still the same Juliette. She's still insecure, but she does a much better job at keeping it hidden. AND SHE SHAVED HER HEAD! You go Juliette. YAAAS! (Not that she needed to shave her head to be fierce, but it helped her) You got this, love.


But I'll be honest, I'm still having a hard time reconciling the hissy fits/meltdowns she had in this book. I mean, Castle made the comment that Juliette was very volatile and almost killed them when she thought they were hurting Adam, but almost any other time she was able to stop herself, because she was terrified of hurting people. I fully understand that I am way overthinking this. I know all of this is building up to something even more wonderful. I hope so at least. I am putting all of my faith in Tahereh Mafi, because I have yet to be disappointed by her books.

The Part That Destroyed MY FREAKING HEART

So now here's where I'm going to actually freak the heck out a little. And have even more spoilers, so read with caution

I get that Juliette is upset with Warner because he kept secrets from her. I would be upset too. However, the amount of upset that Juliette was, astronomical. Bordering on No, not even bordering on, it was definitely too much.

The whole Juliette has a sister thing definitely threw me for a loop. And the fact she's been locked away for years, and Warner had a part in that, but had no idea who she was, or what she was to Juliette. It killed me. Because it's tearing him up because he knows how much that little revelation hurts Juliette.

And what do you mean that Juliette was upset because Warner's had girlfriend (s) before her... OF COURSE HE HAS. Have you seen him? Who wouldn't want to go out with Warner? I'd go out with Warner. Gosh. Yeah, that had me shaking my head at her. Silly Juliette. 

And now, are you ready for my giant freak out? The one I've been holding in since foreverago?

WHAT WAS WITH THAT ENDING?!?!?!?!!!!? I'm not okay, I'm not okay, I'm not okay. That's not cool. What happened to Kenji? He's not dead is he? No. He can't be. And Castle? And the others? Like... no. I'm in denial here big time, because if I start thinking about it, I start hyperventilating. I'm hoping that everyone (and by everyone I mean Kenji, Alia, Brendan, Ian, and Castle) aren't really dead. And what are they going to do with Warner, huh? They put him in handcuffs. Is he okay? is he in jail? What? I hope, hope, hope, this was part of a plan. Or that they're not really dead, they're just hurt and Sonja and Sara can fix them. Jeeeeze, I really can't handle this. AND WHAT DO YOU MEAN THAT JULIETTE AND WARNER KNEW EACH OTHER WHEN THEY WERE LITTLE, AND SHE'S THE DAUGHTER OF OCEANIA???!

Sorry. I'm still stuck on the fact that MY SMOL PRECIOUS BABIES MIGHT BE DEAD, THANKYOUVERYMUCH

I'm still not okay. I might have screamed.

And almost threw the book.
Then freaked out about it to my little sister.

Then texted my best friend a million times.

Then tossed and turned in bed the rest of the night.

And now here I am impatiently waiting for any sort of news about book 5, that doesn't come out until sometime next year.

I think that what I love most about this series, is the fact that it makes me feel so many different emotions, and there are so many plot twists and revelations that I absolutely never see coming. And the character and world building are out of this world.

Tahereh Mafi, even though you're DESTROYING my heart right now, I absolutely adore your books. They've never done me wrong before.

So here I sit.

Waiting

Waiting

Waiting...