Jan
16

Title: Signs Point To Yes
Author: Sandy Hall
Published: October, 2015 by Swoon Reads
Pages: 288
My Rating: ★★★☆☆ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

If only Jane’s Magic 8 Ball could tell her how to get through the summer. With her “perfect” sister, Margo, home for her “perfect” internship, Jane is not going to be able to spend the summer writing fan fiction, as she had planned. And her emergency babysitting job requires Jane to spend the whole summer in awkward proximity to her new crush, Teo, a nerdy-hot lifeguard with problems of his own. With his best friend out of town, Teo finds himself without anyone to confide in…except Jane. Will Jane and Teo be able to salvage each other’s summer? Even the Magic 8 Ball doesn’t have an answer…but signs point to yes.

Final Thoughts:
Fluffy romance is what you’ll find here. The stakes are low to point where pretty much nothing goes wrong for the main character, Jane. The romance, I’d say it’s marshmallow (enough to bite into, but not a lot of substance), and the family drama, it doesn’t go far beyond Jane and her mum arguing over what she’ll do after high school. So if you’re looking for a meaty contemporary to rage over your emotions, this isn’t it. However, it is a quick little book to devour, have some mild fun with, and move on from.

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Nov
25

Title: Toxic (Denazen #2)
Author: Jus Accardo
Published: October, 2012 by Entangled Teen
Pages: 317
My Rating: ★★★☆☆ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

When a Six saved Kale’s life the night of Sumrun, she warned there would be consequences. A trade-off. Something taken for the life they gained. But Dez never imagined she’d lose the one thing she’d give anything to keep… And as if it’s not enough Dez finds her immunity to Kale fading, the Six brought in to help Kale learn to control his killer touch starts drooling on him the moment they meet. Worse than that? Jade can touch Kale. But bimbo Barbie is the least of Dez’s problems.

After Dez and Kale got away at Sumrun, her father lost not only his most powerful weapon but an important piece of the Supremacy project. Forced by Denazen to remedy the situation, he poisons Dez and offers her a choice–surrender to Denazen for the cure…or die. Determined to find a solution that doesn’t involve being bagged and tagged–or losing someone she loves–Dez keeps the poison a secret. But when a rash of Denazen attacks hit a little too close to home, Dez is convinced there’s a traitor among them. Jade.

Sacrifices, broken promises, and secrets. Dez will have to lay it all on the line if there’s any hope of proving Jade’s guilt before they all end up Residents of Denazen. Or worse, dead…

Final Thoughts:
Second-Book-Syndrome strikes again. I really wanted to love this one as much as I did Touch, but just couldn’t get over the decline in Kale’s character. Once loveable, and cute in his blank-canvas of a guy ways, that trait seemed to bring him down here. With so much angst holding up Dez and Kale’s relationship—a lot of it due to Kale’s inability to see what was going on around him, or how to treat someone’s feelings with respect—I found it quite to enjoy the romance, or lack of it. And with the rest of the plot revolving around Dez keeping secrets from everyone, as a reader, it just wasn’t a fun ride to be on.

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Nov
10

Title: Shine (Shade #3)
Author: Jeri Smith-Ready
Published: May, 2012 by Simon & Schuster
Pages: 399
My Rating: ★★★☆☆ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

In this dramatic conclusion to the Shade trilogy, Aura and Zachary’s relationship sizzles as the secrets of the Shift are revealed.

Life can change in an instant, and no one understands that better than Aura. It’s been almost a year since her boyfriend tragically died. She’s finally letting go of Logan’s violet-hued ghost, but not her search to uncover the truth about her past.

As the first in a generation that can see ghosts, Aura is convinced she has a connection to the Shift. She’s trusted Zachary, ever patient and ever by her side, with all that she knows. But when the government threatens his life in an attempt to learn Aura’s secrets, she will stop at nothing to protect herself and the one she loves…even if that means betraying her own heart.

Final Thoughts:
With a heavy focus on Aura and Zach’s relationship, fans of that aspect of the series will eat this one up. I don’t know if too much time has passed since I read the last book, but for me, I thought we got too caught up in all of that. It started out great, with Zachary out of the picture, the stakes high, and Aura and her friends taking on the DMP, but after a while, the evil organisation plot slipped onto the backburner. Still, we did learn pretty much all of the secrets, but I could have used more of an ongoing struggle against the DMP. The ending just felt like it had been tacked on the end—like it could have been placed at any point in the second half of the book and we would have gotten the same result.

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Oct
10

Title: Firewalker (Worldwalker #2)
Author: Josephine Angelini
Published: August, 2015 by Macmillan
Thanks: Pan Macmillan, AU
Pages: 339
My Rating: ★★★☆☆ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

Lily Proctor has made it back to her own universe, and it’s finally time for her and Rowan to be happy and relax. True, she almost died in the Pyre that fueled their escape, and they must hide her new magic for the safety of the world, but compared to fighting the monstrous Woven and leading armies in the alternate Salem, life is looking good.

‘You think I’m a monster, but my choices, as ruthless as they seem, are justified.’

Unfortunately, Lillian, ruthless ruler of the 13 Cities, is not willing to let Lily go that easily. Lily is the closest version of herself she’s ever seen in all her worldwalking, and Lillian’s running out of time. If she can’t persuade Lily and Rowan to return to her world, she’ll have to find a way to make them come back.

Final Thoughts:
It had its good plot points, but the journey just didn’t feel worth it. I was never enthralled, and really, I just wanted to get to the end of it so I could start the book I was actually interested in reading. So what happened? I quite enjoyed Trial By Fire, but Firewalker, not so much. With the use of the contemporary and fantasy settings split pretty much in half, the ‘world-walking’ concept doesn’t really come into play much. The book was either set in one world or the other, giving the story two distinct arcs. I thought of them as the ‘training’ one and the ‘quest’. And I’m not one for quests, so that didn’t help things improve.

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Aug
23

Title: Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy #3)
Author: Richelle Mead
Published: November, 2008 by Razorbill
Thanks: Penguin, AU
Pages: 443
My Rating: ★★★☆☆ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

Lissa Dragomir is a Moroi princess: a mortal vampire with a rare gift for harnessing the earth’s magic. She must be protected at all times from Strigoi; the fiercest vampires – the ones who never die. The powerful blend of human and vampire blood that flows through Rose Hathaway, Lissa’s best friend, makes her a Dhampir. Rose is dedicated to a dangerous life of protecting Lissa from the Strigoi, who are hell-bent on making Lissa one of them.

Rose knows it is forbidden to love another guardian. Her best friend, Lissa – the last Dragomir princess – must always come first. Unfortunately, when it comes to gorgeous Dimitri Belikov, some rules are meant to be broken…

Then a strange darkness begins to grow in Rose’s mind, and ghostly shadows warn of a terrible evil drawing nearer to the Academy’s iron gates. The immortal undead are closing in, and they want vengeance for the lives Rose has stolen. In a heart-stopping battle to rival her worst nightmares, Rose will have to choose between life, love, and the two people who matter most… but will her choice mean that only one can survive?

Final Thoughts:
It’s hard to really settle on one feeling for this series. They can be thrilling, sending you speeding through the pages, but that only seems to happen once you reach the fourth quarter of the book. The majority of it just seemed to drag on, with little to no action in the plot to keep it interesting. I spent over a month trying to get through this book. It was more of the same—academy drama, Rose keeping things from Lissa in order to ‘protect her’, and the Rose/Dimitri forbidden-relationship tension.

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Nov
24

Title: Pivot Point (Pivot Point #1)
Author: Kasie West
Published: February, 2013 by HarperTeen
Pages: 352
My Rating: ★★★☆☆ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

Knowing the outcome doesn’t always make a choice easier . . .

Addison Coleman’s life is one big “What if?” As a Searcher, whenever Addie is faced with a choice, she can look into the future and see both outcomes. It’s the ultimate insurance plan against disaster. Or so she thought. When Addie’s parents ambush her with the news of their divorce, she has to pick who she wants to live with—her father, who is leaving the paranormal compound to live among the “Norms,” or her mother, who is staying in the life Addie has always known. Addie loves her life just as it is, so her answer should be easy. One Search six weeks into the future proves it’s not.

In one potential future, Addie is adjusting to life outside the Compound as the new girl in a Norm high school where she meets Trevor, a cute, sensitive artist who understands her. In the other path, Addie is being pursued by the hottest guy in school—but she never wanted to be a quarterback’s girlfriend. When Addie’s father is asked to consult on a murder in the Compound, she’s unwittingly drawn into a dangerous game that threatens everything she holds dear. With love and loss in both lives, it all comes down to which reality she’s willing to live through . . . and who she can’t live without.

Final Thoughts:
I have wanted to read this one for a while now. I’m a fan of time travel and stories with alternate timelines so I thought this would be just the thing for me. While it may not have lived up to the self-imposed hype I’d given it, Pivot Point was still enjoyable in its own contemporary romance kind of way. It has a mystery and a bit of suspense, but for the most part, it plays out very much like a lot of other YA romances. I guess the real point of difference comes from the fact that there were two stories running parallel to each other that we switched back and forth between every second chapter.

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Oct
22

Title: Oh Yeah, Audrey!
Author: Tucker Shaw
Published: October, 2014 by Amulet Books
Thanks: Amulet Books via NetGalley
Pages: 256
My Rating: ★★★☆☆ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

It’s 5:00 a.m. on Fifth Avenue, and 16-year-old Gemma Beasley is standing in front of Tiffany & Co. wearing the perfect black dress with her coffee in hand—just like Holly Golightly. As the cofounder of a successful Tumblr blog—Oh Yeah Audrey!—devoted to all things Audrey Hepburn, Gemma has traveled to New York in order to meet up with her fellow bloggers for the first time. She has meticulously planned out a 24-hour adventure in homage to Breakfast at Tiffany’s; however, her plans are derailed when a glamorous boy sweeps in and offers her the New York experience she’s always dreamed of. Gemma soon learns who her true friends are and that, sometimes, no matter where you go, you just end up finding yourself.

Final Thoughts:

I must confess that, as an Audrey fan, I may have jumped into this book expecting too much. The idea of following Gemma and her friends on a Breakfast at Tiffany’s inspired tour of New York City sounded great; I expected a lot to come from this group of teens that share no more than one fan-base in common, and who are meeting in person for the first time. It took me longer to finish reading than it should have, however, and while Oh Yeah, Audrey! seemed to end on an emotional high note, the beginning and the middle could’ve been better.

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