The Boy Most Likely To by Huntley Fitzpatrick

28756053Title: The Boy Most Likely To
Author: Huntley Fitzpatrick
Date Started: September 21
Date Finished: September 25
Format: Hardcover from local library

Tim Mason was The Boy Most Likely To find the liquor cabinet blindfolded, need a liver transplant, and drive his car into a house Alice Garrett was The Girl Most Likely To . . . well, not date her little brother’s baggage-burdened best friend, for starters. For Tim, it wouldn’t be smart to fall for Alice. For Alice, nothing could be scarier than falling for Tim. But Tim has never been known for making the smart choice, and Alice is starting to wonder if the “smart” choice is always the right one. When these two crash into each other, they crash hard.

Like with What I Thought was True, I was really excited to read The Boy Most Likely To, and if it was possible even more so because this was a true ‘companion’ book to My Life Next Door. Instead of dealing with Sam and Jase, you had Tim – Sam’s best friend’s brother – and Alice – Jace’s older sister. I liked the dynamic that those two had in MLND and I couldn’t wait to see where there story went.

And when the book started it looked great. Alice was dealing with her life post-father’s accident. But things aren’t looking good when the bank sends a letter saying that Grace – Sam’s mom – won’t be paying any more of Mr. Garrett’s hospital bills. And at the same time there’s Tim, who moved out of his parents house and whose dad gives him until Christmas to ‘become a man’ aka get his shit together. And so far, things are looking good. He moved in above the garage at the Garrett’s place. He’s trying to stay sober. He quit smoking. And he’s been flirting, rather successfully with Alice, who seems to tolerate him a little bit more.

It was great. And then….Hester shows up. Hester is a girl that Tim knew back at one of the schools he got kicked out of during his dark days. And apparently, at a party, they drunkly hooked up…and surprise. Tim is a dad. *wipes hand over face dramatically* Look, I know that this sort of stuff happens, goodness knows I went to a high school where every new semester someone new showed up pregnant (thank you, school district’s abstinence only, sex-ed policy), but…

*sigh* I really don’t like contemporary/romance novels when kids get involved. It throws everything, and I do mean everything – from the character’s character development, to romantic plot lines – off. And sure, in this book, the baby bomb wasn’t too bad. It did add some interesting tension between Alice and Tim, and it did help Tim’s character development, I just wished that this wasn’t where the plot was going to go. They couldn’t have focused on Brad’s stalker like behavior instead?

Final Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. Even though I didn’t like the kid angle, this book was still rather good. Alice and Tim have an interesting relationship and it was also nice to check in on Sam and Jase. Maybe another companion book about Nan?

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Because You Love to Hate Me Edited by Ameriie

31450752Title: Because You Love to Hate Me: 13 Tales of Villainy
Authors: Renée Ahdieh, Ameriie, Soman Chainani, Susan Dennard, Sarah Enni, Marissa Meyer, Cindy Pon, Victoria Schwab, Samantha Shannon, Adam Silvera, Andrew Smith, April Genevieve Tucholke & Nicola Yoon
Date Started: September 19
Date Finished: September 21
Format: Hardcover from local library

In this unique YA anthology, thirteen acclaimed, bestselling authors team up with thirteen influential BookTubers to reimagine fairy tales from the oft-misunderstood villains’ points of view. These fractured, unconventional spins on classics like “Medusa,” Sherlock Holmes, and “Jack and the Beanstalk” provide a behind-the-curtain look at villains’ acts of vengeance, defiance, and rage–and the pain, heartbreak, and sorrow that spurned them on. No fairy tale will ever seem quite the same again!

I haven’t read an anthology of short stories by different authors since I was in junior high. Back when Stephenie Meyer was the Meyer that I really wanted to read. This time around I picked this anthology up for two reasons: Marissa Meyer was writing a story about villains (who doesn’t love a villain?) and this anthology was about villains. And for some odd reason since my college years I’ve been completely fascinated by villains and their origin tales. I blame Naoko Takeuchi who turned a hero – Tuxedo Mask – evil (Prince Endymion) and who’s descent to darkness I’ve been intrigued with ever since. Add in Cole from Charmed and I’m just a dark twisted mess, aren’t I?

Anyway, as expected I loved Marissa Meyer’s challenge of putting the sea witch into the Little Mermaid’s shoes. It was beautifully written. But that wasn’t the only story I loved in this book. I also liked Beautiful Venom from Cindy Pon. That twist on Medusa was pretty damn awesome. I even liked the BookTubber’s analysis of it afterwards – which I have to admit wasn’t always the case. And I also liked April Genevieve Tucholke’s take on Gaston from Beauty and the Beast. Talk about a twist that I didn’t see coming. Wow.

Final Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. While I found all the stories in this anthology remarkable and imaginative, I have to admit that some of the BookTuber’s analysis of their challenges to their respective author’s weren’t always that great. There were some that I even skimmed through or just skipped all together just so I could get to the next story. I also think that the challenge to the author’s should have prefaced the actual story, because there were a few stories in here that I didn’t know what was going on until I read the challenge at the end.

Bookshelf worthy? Support your local library!

Posted in Book Reviews, Fairy Tale Retellings, Fantasy, Favorite Authors, Marissa Meyer, Paranormal, Soman Chainani, Young Adult Fiction | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ice Like Fire by Sara Raasch

51jjs9u8sel-_sx330_bo1204203200_Title: Ice Like Fire
Author: Sara Raasch
Series: Snow Like Ashes Trilogy
Previous Book in the Series:
1. Snow Like Ashes
Date Started: September 18
Date Finished: September 21
Format: ebook from the digital library

It’s been three months since the Winterians were freed and Spring’s king, Angra, disappeared—thanks largely to the help of Cordell. Meira just wants her people to be safe. When Cordellan debt forces the Winterians to dig their mines for payment, they unearth something powerful and possibly dangerous: Primoria’s lost chasm of magic. Theron is hopeful and excited—with this much magic, the world can finally stand against threats like Angra. But Meira knows that the last time the world had access to so much magic, it spawned the Decay. So when the king of Cordell orders the two on a mission across the kingdoms of Primoria to discover the chasm’s secrets, Meira plans to use the trip to garner support to keep the chasm shut and Winter safe—even if it means clashing with Theron. But can she do so without endangering the people she loves?

Mather just wants to be free. The horrors inflicted on the Winterians hang fresh and raw in Jannuari—leaving Winter vulnerable to Cordell’s growing oppression. When Meira leaves to search for allies, he decides to take Winter’s security into his own hands. Can he rebuild his broken kingdom and protect them from new threats? As the web of power and deception is woven tighter, Theron fights for magic, Mather fights for freedom—and Meira starts to wonder if she should be fighting not just for Winter but for the world.

Um…whoa. Just. WHOA. So let me just start off by saying that I really wasn’t sure about this book and series. The first one was okay, but I finished that book just to finish it, you know? I wasn’t completely invested in these characters because there was a good chunk of time that I didn’t know their history and what was really going on. That being said, I had a better idea of what was going on in Ice Like Fire when it started, but I still had an issue with the characters. Mostly the trio: Meira, Theon, and Mather. But Sir – or William – was driving me nuts too.

Meira was driving me nuts because she was so…spineless. She was trying so hard to be what she thought a Queen should be that she lost a good chunk of the spunk that she had in the last book. By chapter five I really wanted to reach in this book and wring her neck. It wasn’t until they were in Yakim and she finally came clean to her fellow Winternians about what was going on that I felt that she was starting to slowly become herself again. Even if it turned out that it was too late for that.

As for Mather and Theon. Jeez. Boys will be boys. I mean, I get Mather is trying to adjust to his new role as just a citizen of Winter and not the future king like he has thought all his life. But dude. Did you really need to take it out on Meira? And why is it that someone has to die for you to realize that Meira is the one you really want? Seriously. And Theon…I don’t even know where to start with him. I get that he went through hell when Agra had him prisoner, but so did Meira and she’s somewhat okay. *sigh*

Final Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. This book was so much better than the previous one. I actually really care about these characters and all the crazy politics that is going on in these pages was just. WHOA. I’m completely mind blown over those last five chapters and I hope my hold for book 3 comes available soon.

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Fireworks by Katie Cotugno

29523625Title: Fireworks
Author: Katie Cotugno
Date Started: September 14
Date Finished: September 19
Format: ebook from Bookshout

It was always meant to be Olivia. She’s the talented one, the one who’s been training to be a star her whole life. Her best friend, Dana, is the levelheaded one, always on the sidelines, cheering Olivia on.

But everything changes when Dana tags along with Olivia to Orlando for the weekend, where superproducer Guy Monroe is holding auditions for a new singing group, and Dana is discovered too. Dana, who’s never sung more than Olivia’s backup. Dana, who wasn’t even looking for fame. Next thing she knows, she and Olivia are training to be pop stars, and Dana is falling for Alex, the earnest, endlessly talented boy who’s destined to be the next big thing.

It should be a dream come true, but as the days of grueling practice and constant competition take their toll, things between Olivia and Dana start to shift . . . and there’s only room at the top for one girl. For Olivia, it’s her chance at her dream. For Dana, it’s a chance to escape a future that seems to be closing in on her. And for these lifelong best friends, it’s the adventure of a lifetime—if they can make it through.

*rubs temples* Okay, look…after the disaster that was 99 Days, I don’t know what possessed me to read another book by Katie Cotugno. Maybe I thought that book was just a dud and that her other books were better? But when I completed another EpicReads Insider survey and I saw that this book was one of the options I could get for free, I thought why not? I bet it will be fine.

How wrong I was. Don’t get me wrong, the storyline itself wasn’t the problem. Dana and Olivia working together to become the next hot girl band, until it gets narrowed down to the two of them against each other. But that’ s where I got really annoyed with this story. How quickly these two best friends turned against each other and then reconciled and then fell apart again. And then that ending? You just spent forty-one chapters about that summer and a small little epilogue about what happens to Dana, which isn’t fully explained? Really?

Final Rating: 2 out of 5 stars. I’m done with this author. I’m not even going to go for a third try.

Bookshelf worthy? Watch The Cheetah Girls instead.

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The Last of August by Brittany Cavallaro

30256105Title: The Last of August
Author: Brittany Cavallaro
Series: Charlotte Holmes
Previous Book in the Series:
1. A Study in Charlotte
Date Started: September 16
Date Finished: September 18
Format: ebook from the digital library

Jamie and Charlotte are in a chase across Europe to untangle a web of shocking truths about the Holmes and Moriarty families. Jamie Watson and Charlotte Holmes are looking for a winter break reprieve in Sussex after a fall semester that almost got them killed. But nothing about their time off is proving simple, including Holmes and Watson’s growing feelings for each other. When Charlotte’s beloved uncle Leander goes missing from the Holmes estate—after being oddly private about his latest assignment in a German art forgery ring—the game is afoot once again, and Charlotte throws herself into a search for answers. So begins a dangerous race through the gritty underground scene in Berlin and glittering art houses in Prague, where Holmes and Watson discover that this complicated case might change everything they know about their families, themselves, and each other.

My uncertainty for this series continues. Charlotte and Jamie are the weirdest friends/lovers. Things that happened in the last book have a big impact on this one. Especially with what happened to Charlotte. Chapters are still very lengthy, although they do not drag like they did in the last book. There were times though when there was just too many details given and the reason it annoyed me was because most of the time they were not relevant to what was going on.

I’m still not one hundred percent sure I understand what was going on here. I mean, the Holmes’ past with the Moriarty’s impacts this. Because of what happened between Charlotte and August years ago, the other Moriarty’s want the Holmes’ blood and that leads to not only the disappearance of Charlotte’s uncle, but the poisoning of Charlotte’s mother as well. And it isn’t until the very end that you see how all of this coincides, which is absolutely crazy. And if I’m being honest really annoying too.

Final Rating: 3 out of 5 stars. Even though this book was a little bit more action-packed than the last one, I still felt that it was a little bit unnecessary in parts. I mean to go through everything that they went through only to… *sigh*

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A Grimm Warning by Chris Colfer

61jlibol2bal-_sx342_bo1204203200_Title: A Grimm Warning
Author: Chris Colfer
Series: The Land of Stories
Previous Books in the Series:
1. The Wishing Spell
2. The Enchantress Returns
Date Started: September 13
Date Finished: September 16
Format: ebook from the digital library

Conner Bailey thinks his fairy-tale adventures are behind him–until he discovers a mysterious clue left by the famous Brothers Grimm. With help from his classmate Bree and the outlandish Mother Goose, Conner sets off on a mission across Europe to crack a two-hundred-year-old code. Meanwhile, Alex Bailey is training to become the next Fairy Godmother…but her attempts at granting wishes never go as planned. Will she ever be truly ready to lead the Fairy Council? When all signs point to disaster for the Land of Stories, Conner and Alex must join forces with their friends “and” enemies to save the day. But nothing can prepare them for the coming battle…or for the secret that will change the twins’ lives forever.

My biggest complaint with the previous two books in this series was the fact that these books were a little bit too much youth fiction. The writing was very simple and descriptions were a little bit too forced. And while book 3 did have similar problems, the story line was much better than it’s predecessors. It wasn’t just a rinse and repeat with the whole there’s a spell and we have to find all the items adventure. This time the adventure went through our world through Europe and Conner has to follow clues that the Mother Goose left behind to see if the portals really are closed for good. Because if they aren’t the Land of Stories is in for a very gruesome situation.

As for Alex, she’s becoming her grandmother’s heir but that has disastrous effects to. Once she becomes officially becomes a fairy, her grandmother allows herself to cave in to the tiredness that she is feeling and begins to move on. Which starts to undo all the spells that she’s ever cast, including the locked portals, which means that a large French army from the days of Napoleon is finally coming to take over the Land of Stories. Yikes. Add in some dragons and a Masked Man and I found myself really captivated by this tale. And that cliffhanger ending? I knew I should have looked for book 4 while I was at the library last week!

Final Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. I actually enjoyed this tale the most out of the three so far. The writing was still a little juvenile where things were a little bit over explained, but the characters have really grown since book 1. I’m curious to see what happens next for the twins.

Bookshelf worthy? Support your local library!

Posted in Book Reviews, Chris Colfer, Fairy Tale Retellings, Fantasy, The Land of Stories Series, Youth Fiction | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Realms of the Gods by Tamora Pierce

51skbxj2byol-_sx331_bo1204203200_Title: The Realms of the Gods
Author: Tamora Pierce
Series: The Immortals Quartet
Previous Books in the Series:
1. Wild Magic
2. Wolf-Speaker
3. Emperor Mage
Date Started: September 13
Date Finished: September 14
Format: Hardcover from local library

During a dire battle against the fearsome Skinners, Daine and her mage teacher, Numair, are swept into the Divine Realms. Although they are happy to be alive, they are not where they want to be. They are desperately needed back home where their old enemy, Ozorne, and his army of strange creatures are waging war against Tortall. While trapped in the perilous realms of the gods, Daine discovers her mysterious parentage. But as the secrets of her past are revealed, so is the treacherous way back to Tortall. And so Daine and Numair embark on an extraordinary journey home, where the fate of all Tortall rests with Daine and her wild magic. Continue reading

Posted in Book Reviews, Fantasy, Favorite Authors, Romance, Tamora Pierce, The Immortals Quartet series, Young Adult Fiction | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment