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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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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Aug
05

Title: Landline
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Published: July, 2014 by Orion
Pages: 310
My Rating: ★★★★★ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

Georgie McCool knows her marriage is in trouble. That it’s been in trouble for a long time. She still loves her husband, Neal, and Neal still loves her, deeply — but that almost seems besides the point now.

Maybe that was always besides the point.

Two days before they’re supposed to visit Neal’s family in Omaha for Christmas, Georgie tells Neal that she can’t go. She’s a TV writer, and something’s come up on her show; she has to stay in Los Angeles. She knows that Neal will be upset with her — Neal is always a little upset with Georgie — but she doesn’t expect to him to pack up the kids and go home without her.

When her husband and the kids leave for the airport, Georgie wonders if she’s finally done it. If she’s ruined everything.

That night, Georgie discovers a way to communicate with Neal in the past. It’s not time travel, not exactly, but she feels like she’s been given an opportunity to fix her marriage before it starts . . .

Is that what she’s supposed to do?

Or would Georgie and Neal be better off if their marriage never happened?

Final Thoughts:
I stopped mid-way through another book when this one arrived. It was calling to me. Rainbow Rowell and her magic phone…I couldn’t put it off. Her books warm me up in a way that not many others do. I just find myself immersed in the characters, really caring about their struggles, bursting out in fits of laughter at the wit, tearing up—all of it. The fact that the characters here were in their late thirties played no bearing on how well I could relate to them. No matter what age bracket, all of Rainbow’s characters have managed to strike a chord with me.

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Jul
22

Title: Time Between Us (Time Between Us #1)
Author: Tamara Ireland Stone
Published: October, 2012 by Doubleday
Pages: 371
My Rating: ★★★½☆ 
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Anna and Bennett were never supposed to meet. Why would they? Anna is sixteen in 1995, fiercely determined to leave her quiet town and finally travel the world. Bennett’s seventeen in 2012, living in San Francisco and trying to control his ability to travel through time – an incredible gift, but also an unpredictable curse, which constantly threatens to separate him from the people he loves.

When Bennett suddenly finds himself in Anna’s world, they are inescapably drawn to one another – it’s almost as if they have met before. But they both know, deep down, that it can never last. For no matter how desperate Bennett is to stay with Anna, his condition will inevitably knock him right back to where he belongs – and Anna will be left to pick up the pieces.

Final Thoughts:
I’ve always been quite fond of time travel, and recently, I’ve gotten into contemporaries. This book seems to combine the two in a way that could easily pass as a contemporary romance; and not just if you took out the fact that the boy is from the future. It focussed quite a bit on the romance. Still, it was a bit hit-and-miss for me, though. I found stretches of the book had me hooked, keeping me speeding through the chapters, yet others fell a bit on the slow side. It was still good though, and I hand that to the characters. Anna actually had some personality to her, and while I may not have agreed with her at every moment, she wasn’t one of those characters too stupid to live—definitely a plus when you’re trying to enjoy a book.

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May
30

Title: Unremembered (Unremembered #1)
Author: Jessica Brody
Published: March, 2013 by Farrar, Straus, & Giroux
Pages: 320
My Rating: ★★★★☆ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

When Freedom Airlines flight 121 went down over the Pacific Ocean, no one ever expected to find survivors. Which is why the sixteen-year-old girl discovered floating among the wreckage—alive—is making headlines across the globe.

Even more strange is that her body is miraculously unharmed and she has no memories of boarding the plane. She has no memories of her life before the crash. She has no memories period. No one knows how she survived. No one knows why she wasn’t on the passenger manifest. And no one can explain why her DNA and fingerprints can’t be found in a single database in the world.

Crippled by a world she doesn’t know, plagued by abilities she doesn’t understand, and haunted by a looming threat she can’t remember, she struggles to piece together her forgotten past and discover who she really is. But with every clue only comes more questions. And she’s running out of time to answer them.

Final Thoughts:
Though this took place over only a matter of days, possibly a week, Unremembered felt like such a journey, character-wise. Even from the beginning, I knew it would be. This girl woke up in the middle of the ocean, clinging to a piece of plane wreckage, no memories of herself or the world. She was an enigma, such a deviation from the usual YA heroine we usually get handed. I kept bursting into fits of laughter at all of her inane responses to things that would seem like basic knowledge to most people. I mean, this girl didn’t know what a hug was.

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May
16

Title: All Our Yesterdays (All Our Yesterdays #1)
Author: Cristin Terrill
Published: August, 2013 by Bloomsbury
Pages: 362
My Rating: ★★★★★ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

Em is locked in a bare, cold cell with no comforts. Finn is in the cell next door. The Doctor is keeping them there until they tell him what he wants to know. Trouble is, what he wants to know hasn’t happened yet.

Em and Finn have a shared past, but no future unless they can find a way out. The present is torture – being kept apart, overhearing each other’s anguish as the Doctor relentlessly seeks answers. There’s no way back from here, to what they used to be, the world they used to know. Then Em finds a note in her cell which changes everything. It’s from her future self and contains some simple but very clear instructions. Em must travel back in time to avert a tragedy that’s about to unfold. Worse, she has to pursue and kill the boy she loves to change the future.

Final Thoughts:
Un-put-down-able, that’s what this book would have been had I not needed to work, eat or sleep. Every chance I got, I had this book in my hands, frantically trying to see how things would play out. The first page had me hooked, which was certainly a good sign. Some books you just trudge through, but this one had me actually wanting to read, just for the enjoyment of reading. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of time travel YA out there, so I usually jump on them whenever I spot one. And unlike Julie Cross’ Tempest, which was ‘Boy loves girl. Girl dies. Boy goes back to save her’, All Our Yesterdays shook things up with ‘Boy tortures girl. Girl hates boy. Girl goes back to kill him’.

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May
09

Title: The Future of Us
Author: Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler
Published: November, 2011 by Simon & Schuster
Thanks: Simon & Schuster, AU
Pages: 356
My Rating: ★★★★½ 
Purchase: The Book Depository

It’s 1996 and very few high school students have ever used the internet. Facebook will not be invented until several years in the future. Emma just got a computer and an America Online CD. She and her best friend Josh power it up and log on – and discover themselves on Facebook in 2011. Everybody wonders what they’ll be like fifteen years in the future. Josh and Emma are about to find out.

Final Thoughts:
I wasn’t into contemporaries back in 2011 when I got given a copy of this at a Becca Fitzpatrick event that Simon & Schuster were hosting, so I’m glad I waited before finally jumping into it. Perhaps I’ve grown tired of paranormals, but it’s as if a switch has since flicked and I can’t get enough of these kinds of books. While this one does feature Time Travel by way of a computer, it’s done in a way that I’d still class this as a contemporary read. It’s full of romance, high school angst, hanging with friends, fretting over possible futures. Basically, it was a lot of fun. I didn’t want this one to end. The fact that it was a standalone made saying goodbye to the final page even harder.

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