Apr
23

Title: Seven Days Of You
Author: Cecilia Vinesse
Published: March, 2017 by Hachette Children’s Group
Pages: 304
My Rating: ★★☆☆☆ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

It’s Sophia’s last week in Tokyo, and she’s going to make it count…Sophia has spent her life ping-ponging between different countries and schools, so, in theory, saying goodbye should be easy. But now she’s leaving Tokyo – the place that finally felt like home. The only way she can get through this is to make her final week perfect. Then Jamie Foster-Collins shows up, just in time to ruin everything. Jamie and Sophia used to be friends …and his return stirs up feelings she thought she’d forgotten. Suddenly, hours and minutes become meaningless. Only time spent together, exploring the hidden streets of the city they love, is real.

Final Thoughts:
Fun at times, and at others, a bit of a snore, this one took me three weeks to finish. I was drawn to the idea of reading about Tokyo, and got a bit of that in the beginning, but eventually it became all about the romantic drama. I’m usually down for that. If the characters strike a chord with me, the book could be about anything and I’d still devour it. Unfortunately, I didn’t feel connected enough to Sophia (Sofa to her friends), Jamie or David to get on board with either of the pairings the book tried throwing at me. Basically, I just wanted to be in Japan and leave these people behind.

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Jan
20

Title: Unforgotten (Unremembered #2)
Author: Jessica Brody
Published: February, 2014 by Macmillan
Pages: 400
My Rating: ★★☆☆☆ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

After a daring escape from the scientists at Diotech who created her, Seraphina believes she is finally safe from the horrors of her past. But new threats await her and her boyfriend, Zen, at every turn as Zen falls prey to a mysterious illness and Sera’s extraordinary abilities make it more and more difficult to stay hidden. Meanwhile, Diotech has developed a dangerous new weapon designed to apprehend her, a weapon that even Sera will be powerless to stop. Her only hope of saving Zen’s life and defeating the company that made her is a secret buried deep within her mind. A secret that Diotech will kill to protect.

Final Thoughts:
Ranging from bored, to mildly interested, to disturbed, and to just plain annoyed—this book drew a lot of emotions out of me. I’m finding it hard to fathom how I gave the first book a five star rating, when this one was so hard to like. Its first mistake was that it took something like ten chapters before ANYTHING happened. I wanted to give up on it, but forced myself to go on. And then, boom, love triangle. Not the good, or even plausible, kind. No, she is inexplicably drawn to some random new character that’s been sent to capture her for the big evil organisation that created her. He shows no interest in her, forces her to do things, but on she goes wondering about how drawn she is to him. Um, Sera, you have a boyfriend. He loves you. Where is your head???

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Oct
29

Title: Taken By Storm (Raised By Wolves #3)
Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Published: May, 2012 by EgmontUSA
Pages: 320
My Rating: ★★☆☆☆ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

In the eye of a storm stands Bryn, the alpha of the Cedar Ridge werewolf pack. She is young. Female. Human. Physically weaker than any werewolf, she could never survive a battle with another alpha, the strongest, fiercest, and canniest of his pack.

Yet she cannot refuse a summons from the werewolf Senate. A rogue werewolf is attacking humans. The risk of exposure threatens to destroy pack life, and the center of the crisis is Cedar Ridge territory—her own lands.

Bryn has no choice but to attend the meeting, a gathering of the most powerful werewolves on the continent. The subject is the rogue wolf, but Bryn knows the other packs want what she has. Her territory. Her females. Her pack.

They want her death.

Werewolf law prevents the other alphas from making a direct attack. It also prevents her former alpha, the mysterious and powerful Callum, from coming to her aid. But it doesn’t prevent Bryn from knowing what she wants. To keep her lands. To protect her pack.

To survive.

Final Thoughts:
Not as good as it could have been. The majority of this one felt more like filler than the final book of a trilogy. With a new set of paranormals added into the mix, a new villain, and a trek or two across the countryside, I felt like much of the book was wasted. And with what did happen, it didn’t come across as gripping—not even the characters had much of an effect on me. Admittedly, it had been a while since I’d read the second book, but it was as if all of the character development had been done prior to this book and they were just there, going through the motions. I felt no connection to any of these people, and honestly, the “shock twists” had little impact because of this.

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Apr
19

Title: The Here & Now
Author: Ann Brashares
Published: April, 2014 by Delacorte Press
Pages: 256
My Rating: ★★☆☆☆ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

Follow the rules. Remember what happened. Never fall in love.

This is the story of seventeen-year-old Prenna James, who immigrated to New York when she was twelve. Except Prenna didn’t come from a different country. She came from a different time—a future where a mosquito-borne illness has mutated into a pandemic, killing millions and leaving the world in ruins.

Prenna and the others who escaped to the present day must follow a strict set of rules: never reveal where they’re from, never interfere with history, and never, ever be intimate with anyone outside their community. Prenna does as she’s told, believing she can help prevent the plague that will one day ravage the earth.

But everything changes when Prenna falls for Ethan Jarves.

Final Thoughts:
Definitely not what I was hoping it would be. Less time travel, more time dawdling. There was nothing epic about the plot, nothing exciting to captivate me. It was more like I was held captive by my desire to finish the book and justify purchasing it. I didn’t flat-out hate the book—it had its moments—but the characters weren’t developed enough for me to care about them. It felt like they were just tokens moving around the board, easily exchangeable for another one that could have played the part of heroine/love interest without a blip.

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Apr
16

Title: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer #1)
Author: Michelle Hodkin
Published: March, 2012 by Simon Pulse
Thanks: Simon & Schuster, AU
Pages: 452
My Rating: ★★☆☆☆ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

Mara Dyer doesn’t think life can get any stranger. She wakes from a coma in hospital with no memory of how she got there or of the bizarre accident that caused the deaths of her best friends and her boyfriend, yet left her mysteriously unharmed. The doctors suggest that starting over in a new city, a new school, would be good for her and just to let the memories gradually come back on their own.

But Mara’s new start is anything but comforting. She sees the faces of her dead friends everywhere, and when she suddenly begins to see other people’s deaths right before they happen, Mara wonders whether she’s going crazy! And if dealing with all this wasn’t enough, Noah Shaw, the most beautiful boy she has ever seen can’t seem to leave her alone… but as her life unravels around her, Mara can’t help but wonder if Noah has another agenda altogether…

Final Thoughts:
I went into this book with an open mind. I really tried to like it, but there were just so many obstacles that kept getting in my way. With clichés all over the place, it became increasingly clear what kind of book I was in store for. Mara is another one of those characters that thinks she’s pretty smart, but isn’t. Her internal dialogue grated on me early on. Listening to her rationalise her choices to herself, all I could think was, ‘this guy is a douche, you know he’s a douche, you’ve said so yourself. Oh, Mara, why?’

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Mar
24

Title: Nevermore (Nevermore #1)
Author: Kelly Creagh
Published: August, 2010 by Atheneum Books
Pages: 543
My Rating: ★★☆☆☆ 
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Cheerleader Isobel Lanley is horrified when she is paired with Varen Nethers for an English project, which is due—so unfair—on the day of the rival game. Cold and aloof, sardonic and sharp-tongued, Varen makes it clear he’d rather not have anything to do with her either. But when Isobel discovers strange writing in his journal, she can’t help but give this enigmatic boy with the piercing eyes another look.

Soon, Isobel finds herself making excuses to be with Varen. Steadily pulled away from her friends and her possessive boyfriend, Isobel ventures deeper and deeper into the dream world Varen has created through the pages of his notebook, a realm where the terrifying stories of Edgar Allan Poe come to life.

As her world begins to unravel around her, Isobel discovers that dreams, like words, hold more power than she ever imagined, and that the most frightening realities are those of the mind. Now she must find a way to reach Varen before he is consumed by the shadows of his own nightmares.

His life depends on it.

Final Thoughts:
While reading Nevermore, I was fully aware of Kelly Creagh’s talent and excited by her ability to meld the mysterious life/death of American writer Edgar Allen Poe into this twisted, exhilarating plot, and at no time did I tire of its macabre zaniness. However, I did ‘struggle’ with this novel which so far I have claimed to be enjoyable, and you’re probably wondering why.

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May
19

Title: True (Elixir #3)
Author: Hilary Duff
Published: April, 2013 by Simon & Schuster
Pages: 287
My Rating: ★★☆☆☆ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

Following the harrowing events of Elixir and Devoted—and the ceremony that almost killed Sage—Clea faces a new reality: With Sage’s soul in Nico’s body, the love of her life looks an awful lot like her best friend’s boyfriend. Can Clea and Sage really be happy under these circumstances?

Clea wants to try to enjoy their new life together, but Sage is acting different—angry—and she struggles to keep her friends from finding out what has happened to him. Something is clearly haunting Sage, and Clea is losing control. Can she trust her friends with the dangerous truth, or will she have to risk losing Sage to madness?

Final Thoughts:
Coming from a massive Hilary fan from way back, I have to say I didn’t like this book. What happened? Elixir showed a lot of promise, adding in mystery, warring factions, and a fun romance. It went downhill in the second book, but compared to this one, it was a masterpiece. Okay, it wasn’t a masterpiece, but it put this one to shame. There’s barely a plot anymore and the romance, it’s hardly setting a good example. Sage has become physically abusive and Clea just puts up with it. What’s worse is that she tells us she’s not one of those girls, but everything she does just shows that she is.

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