Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Update: From Where to Find Me From Now On

Hey guys!
I have SUPER exciting news for you today. 

I feel like every single year around this time I suddenly start to suck with blogging.
I don't have time to organize weekly memes and as I start to miss more and more of them, I just eventually stop blogging altogether. I still read, but I just don't feel like blogging anymore. 

But now... things are going to change.
And it's all because of the fact that I WON'T HAVE TO BLOG ALONE ANYMORE!

I was accepted to become a part of the wonderful WinterHaven Books blogging team and I could not be more excited. 


I really hope you all come check out the blog and hopefully fall in love with it as much as I did. 
Since there are several of us in the blogging team, your interests are also very varied, which means that you'll get reviews from several different genres! Like here at Read.Read.Read., I will mostly review contemporary - there are some awesome review titles in my hands at the moment and you should totally come and check out those from the blog!

I will keep this blog up, answer comments etc. as often as possible, but I do hope that you come and check out Winter Haven Books so we can chat actively. I am not saying that this is it for ReadReadRead, but for now, I will focus my energy and attention on being a part of an awesome blogging team.

To get to WinterHaven, click here.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Book Review: Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

Release date: May 8th, 2012
Info about the author: Goodreads - Twitter - Website
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Age group: YA
Pages: 468
Buy the book: Amazon - Book Depository

Description (from Goodreads):

Taylor Edwards’ family might not be the closest-knit—everyone is a little too busy and overscheduled—but for the most part, they get along just fine. Then Taylor’s dad gets devastating news, and her parents decide that the family will spend one last summer all together at their old lake house in the Pocono Mountains.

Crammed into a place much smaller and more rustic than they are used to, they begin to get to know each other again. And Taylor discovers that the people she thought she had left behind haven’t actually gone anywhere. Her former best friend is still around, as is her first boyfriend…and he’s much cuter at seventeen than he was at twelve.

As the summer progresses and the Edwards become more of a family, they’re more aware than ever that they’re battling a ticking clock. Sometimes, though, there is just enough time to get a second chance—with family, with friends, and with love.


After reading and falling in love with Amy&Roger's Epic Detour, I was definitely in the mood for more of Morgan Matson's writing. Amy and Roger managed to make me both laugh and cry and after reading the synopsis and some reviews for Second Chance Summer, I had a feeling I could expect the same.

The Edwards family hasn't been a very close-knit unit for years. For the past five years, they have spent the summers in Connecticut, the kids participating in their own activities, the father working and the mother spending time at the club playing tennis. When the father of the family is given bad news from the doctors - only about 4 more months to live - the family drives to their old summer house at Pocono Mountains in order to spend one more summer together.

Taylor Edwards is the middle child and not book smart like her big brother or talented dancer like her little sister. For years she has felt like she doesn't really fit in ad comes face to face with the problem again once she tries to figure out what to do during the summer. Her brother is already prepping for college and her sister is taking tennis lessons and keeping up with her dance practices. When Taylor ends up spending most of her time just wandering around the house and keeping her eye on her father, her father makes her to apply for a job at the beach. She gets the job and on her first day encounters someone from her past, someone she left behind without saying a word - her ex-best friend Lucy.

Lucy is not the only one who Taylor left behind - there's also Henry, her first boyfriend. Now her neighbor, Taylor notices that the last give years have been good to Henry - he has got much cuter than he was before. Taylor knows that it is inevitable that she has to see both Lucy and Henry, but is there a possibility that they could give her a second chance? 

The words "one last summer" in the synopsis pretty much give it away - the father is going to die. I'd been wanting to read this book since it was published, but due to personal reasons, I am very wary with books that deal with death/dying fathers. Knowing that it was coming, I had time to prepare myself for the devastation, just like the characters in this book. I loved how this was mostly story about Taylor getting  a second chance with her father - she has been close to him always, but during the summer she realizes that does not know that much about him. With the time that she still has with him, she makes sure that she gets as much information as possible, making sure that when she has to say goodbye to her father, she is saying goodbye to someone she knew as well as possible.

Taylor is such a real and honest character. She is used to running away when she's faced with problems and situations she is not comfortable with, but once her father gets sick, she realizes that she has nowhere to run. Even if she would leave, the problems would follow her. She has to deal with the illness of her father and once she gets to Poconos, she realizes that she finally also has a chance to deal with her past - to ask for forgiveness from those she has hurt and left behind. It was so easy to identify with Taylor, to feel for her, to wish for the best for her. 

Both Henry and Lucy are such wonderful side-characters. Henry is cute, honest, caring and romantic. Lucy is strong, funny and a wonderful friend. I also really loved the family dynamics - the relationships between the siblings and especially between Taylor and her father.

Second Chance Summer was such an emotional read and one that I definitely want to reread at some point. It hit right home and I am not even embarrassed to admit that I cried through the last 10% or so. It was so easy to connect with these characters and the situation they are in and to feel for them. And I have to give bonus points for the appearance of some characters from Matson's previous writing. ;)

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday (#23): Top Ten Most Anticipated Young Adult Debut Novels for 2015

For more information, click here.

This week's topic is Top Ten Most Anticipated (YA) Debut Novels for 2015 (not in any particular order)

1. We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach (March 31, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers) - First of all, LOOK AT THAT COVER! Seriously, I feel like I start to drool a little every single time I see that cover just from the thought that one day that book will hopefully be part of my collection. 

In this contemporary novel, four high school seniors (a basketball star, a girl with questionable reputation, a perfect-on-paper student who is running away from her real dreams to an ivy league school and a boy who does not really have any plans for the future) have to put their future plans on hold when an asteroid starts to hurl toward Earth. 

The set of characters might sound a bit standard for a YA contemporary, but the whole asteroid thing makes it sound unique. AND I MEAN THAT COVER... I WANT IT NOW!

2. My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga (February 10, HarperCollins/Balzer+Bray) - Already the title of this book alone makes me want to pick this book up. This deals with suicide, so it definitely won't be one of those easy breezy YA reads that are often published during the summer months, but I am more than fine with that because I love reading YA contemporaries that really dig into serious issues. I've read from early reviews that this one is quite a tear-jerker, so I guess I should start to stock up on tissues for February. 

3. Shutter by Courtney Alameda (February 3, Feiwel & Friends) - CREEPY MUCH? The main character of this novel, Micheline Helsing, is one the last descendants of Van Helsing and since her childhood, she has been trained to destroy monsters. What makes this book sound super awesome is the fact that Micheline uses an analog SLR camera to capture the spiritual energy of ghosts on film.... DOESN'T THAT JUST SOUND FREAKING AWESOME? 

"Lock, stock, and lens, she’s in for one hell of a week."

4. City of Savages by Lee Kelly (February 3, Simon & Schuster) - Set in New York City, where two decades after the Red Allies first attack, Manhattan has become a prisoner-of-war camp ruled by brutal warlords. When two girls find a journal their mother used to write in before the attacks, they start to realize that there's more to Manhattan and their world in general. 

"Their flight takes them into subways haunted by cannibals, into the arms of a sadistic cult in the city’s Meatpacking District, and, through the pages of their mom’s old journal, into the island’s dark and shocking past."

I mean, only that one sentence from the description makes me want to do my happy dance!

5. Made You Up by Francesca Zappia (May 19, Greenwillow Books) - This has been described as appealing to fans of Wes Anderson and The Silver Linings Playbook. I don't need to hear more. This deals with mental health issues (the main character has schizophrenia) and I am really looking forward to seeing how this is approached by Zappia. The Goodreads description also mentions an unreliable narrator, which ALWAYS makes me really excited for some reason.

6. The Night We Said Yes by Lauren Gibaldi (June 16, HarperTeen) - This one looks and sounds like the perfect summer read. Before Matt moved into town, Ella had a plan - graduate high school and move away from Orlando, Florida. One night, Matt and Ella attend a party that gets interrupted by the police just as it is beginning. To continue the night of fun, they end up spending the night saying "yes" to every crazy, awesome thing they can think of. Then Matt suddenly disappears, breaks Ella's heart as well as the hearts of the friends Matt leaves behind. A year later, he comes back with a plan to relieve that one awesome night from the previous year. 
Apparently this one is told in alternating then and now chapters, which sounds super interesting. And though the synopsis kind of makes me hate Matt for leaving, I am sure there's so really good reason for it - a reason that probably makes me fall in love with him. 

7. The Wrong Side of Right by Jenn Marie Thorne (March 17, Dial) - Though these books are not in any particular order, I can without doubt say that this is the debut I AM MOST EXCITED ABOUT! I did a Waiting on Wednesday post about this book ages ago and I seriously haven't stopped thinking about it since. It has been described as perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen and The Princess Diaries.... AND APPARENTLY IT INCLUDES A DASH OF AARON SORKIN! AARON FREAKING SORKIN. THE GUY WHO CREATED THE WEST WING. If this book is anything even close to Sorkin's work, I will cry from happiness.
When Kate's mother dies she has to face someone she thought she would never meet - her father. Soon Kate understands that her father is no ordinary man - in fact, he is running for U.S. president. (YA NOVEL THAT DEALS WITH POLITICS.... SERIOUSLY I AM DROOLING.

"Set against a backdrop of politics, family, and first love, this is a story of personal responsibility, complicated romance, and trying to discover who you are even as everyone tells you who you should be."

8. Skyscraping by Cordelia Jensen (June 2, Philomel) - Once again a book with an absolutely beautiful cover!! Mira is preparing for the beginning of her senior year when she finds her father with a male lover. This discovery shatters her family and everything she thought she knew, as a result of which she finds herself having a hard time to comprehend the lies, betrayal and secrets that have been keeping her family together. When a serious health issues is brought up, Mira needs to try to forgive in order to spend time with her father for as long as it is possible.

This novel sounds completely heartbreaking and the fact that it is written in free verse just makes it sound more awesome and interesting.

9. Love Fortunes and Other Disasters by Kimberly Karalius (May 12, Swoon Reads)  - It really was the cover of this book that caught my interest - it is absolutely beautiful and so full of little details. I feel like Swoon Reads books in general always have great covers! 
When Fallon Dupree hears at Zita's famous Love Charms Shop that she has been destined NEVER to find love, Fallon feels both stunned and devastated. But when she discovers there are others like her in the town of Grimbaud, she joins the rebellion and becomes determined to take control of her own fate despite what she heard at the Love Charms Shop. 
This one sounds cute and imaginative and in general like a perfect book for summer! Can't wait!

10. Hello, I Love You by Katie M. Stout (June 9, St. Martin's Griffin) - This has been described as perfect for the fans of Anna and the French Kiss, which means that I am going to be all up on it once it is released. The main character of this novel, Grace, wants to run away from her family and the life she has been born to - her father is a successful recond producer, her brother a number one country music star in the country and her mother seems to blame Grace for something she necessarily did not do. To escape her reality, Grace decides to enroll to a boarding school in Korea in hopes of finding a new beginning. 
Though Grace has decided she wants nothing to do with music, the thing that seemed to have destroyed her family, she suddenly finds herself from the world of fame when Jason, the brother of her roommate becomes a Korean pop super star. Though at first she cannot stand Jason and his ego, she finds herself spending time with him for the sake of her roommate. But things of course get more complicated and different sorts of feelings start to develop.
This one sounds like a lot of fun and since I don't think I've ever read any books set in Korea, I am really looking forward to reading this one!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Book Review: Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1) by Tahereh Mafi

Release date: November 15, 2011
Info about the author: Goodreads - Twitter - Website
Publisher: HarperCollins
Age group: YA
Pages: 340
Buy the book: Amazon - Book Depository

Description (from Goodreads):

Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war – and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

My expectations before starting with Shatter Me were extremely high. I feel like it is one of those series I've only heard good things about. Honestly, now that I think about it, I don't think I've read/heard any bad reviews about it. Well, now that I've read it, I can say that I wasn't disappointed and the first book definitely made me curious to see how the story develops.

Juliette hasn't touched anyone for 264 days. Since she was born, her touch has done things to people that she has not meant. Her touch has hurt, it has made people scared of her, and finally, it had killed someone. Now she's locked up in a cell, sitting in darkness and counting the days, the minutes and the seconds she has been alone. Outside the cell walls, the world is falling - diseases are ravaging the population, food is becoming nonexistent and the clouds are not white anymore. Then, after months of loneliness, someone is thrown into Juliette's cell. Someone she knows. Someone she might have had feelings for before. Quickly, it becomes clear that her cellmate might not be there under shady circumstances, and finally, Juliette is taken to one of the Reestablishment leaders who wants to use her as a weapon. Her touch is fetal, and what is a better weapon than that? But Juliette does not want to kill, which means that she has to take risks and make decisions that might have consequences she cannot erase.

From page one, Mafi's writing blew me away. The way she gives Juliette a voice is so masterfully and lyrically done that I found myself gasping my breath and reading some parts out loud, just to get everything out Mafi's writing. Though I am not a fan of audio books in general, this is one that I would definitely like to listen to as an audio book, just because at parts this novels reads like the most beautiful poetry known to man. The voice Mafi gives to Juliette makes her so real - she is vulnerable, but also extremely strong and ready to fight for what she believes in. She is also confused of her identity and what she should stand for.

Adam, a boy Juliette used to go to school with, is so sweet and protective and just heroic in so many different ways. He does not see Juliette as a monster, but as someone he wants to help. Warner, a believer in the reestablishment is kind of wacky and obsessive, which makes me even more curious about the following novels, because I've heard so many (female) readers identifying themselves as members of "Team Warner".

The description of the future is interesting and gets better towards the end of the book, and I'm really looking forward to see how it all turns out.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Bout of Books 12 Sign-up

It's Bout of Books time! The couple last times Bout of Books hasn't been a thriving success for me, but since I am stubborn and just don't like to admit defeat, I am here again to tackle this week long reading challenge. I know this is not a competion or anything and that it is all about fun and the enjoyment of reading, but HEY, I AM COMPETITIVE! But since it is the new year and all that jazz, I will not set any goals. I will just read as much as I feel like reading, at the end of the day count my pages and in the end of the week see how much I have read. 

Next week is kind of perfect reading week for me because it is the last official holiday week from uni (though I am staying at home for one extra week). It is also a time I probably won't work much on my dissertation (I'll leave that for the first week uni is back, the week I am still spending at home) and probably the only thing that will take me away from books are hockey games (I think there are two games next week....). 

I won't make a TBR either, because I feel like every single time I have made one, I have started to feel like all the books I have picked are ones I am not in the mood for, as a result of which I have started to read less and less and eventually have "failed" with the challenge. So I am just going to read whatever I feel like reading.

I am not sure yet whether I will be participating in any of the challenges/twitter chats etc... It would be awesome to chat with someone though - hit me with a tweet to @milkamilka and we can talk about books! PLEASE? 

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Stacking the Shelves (#25)

"Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!"

For more information, click here.

Stolen Songbird by Danielle L Jensen
For those who have loved Seraphina and Graceling comes another truly fabulous fantasy...

For five centuries, a witch’s curse has bound the trolls to their city beneath the ruins of Forsaken Mountain. Time enough for their dark and nefarious magic to fade from human memory and into myth. But a prophesy has been spoken of a union with the power to set the trolls free, and when Cécile de Troyes is kidnapped and taken beneath the mountain, she learns there is far more to the myth of the trolls than she could have imagined.

Cécile has only one thing on her mind after she is brought to Trollus: escape. Only the trolls are clever, fast, and inhumanly strong. She will have to bide her time, wait for the perfect opportunity.

But something unexpected happens while she’s waiting – she begins to fall for the enigmatic troll prince to whom she has been bonded and married. She begins to make friends. And she begins to see that she may be the only hope for the half-bloods – part troll, part human creatures who are slaves to the full-blooded trolls. There is a rebellion brewing. And her prince, Tristan, the future king, is its secret leader.

As Cécile becomes involved in the intricate political games of Trollus, she becomes more than a farmer’s daughter. She becomes a princess, the hope of a people, and a witch with magic powerful enough to change Trollus forever.
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
An audacious, darkly glittering novel set in the eerie days of civilization's collapse, Station Eleven tells the spellbinding story of a Hollywood star, his would-be savior, and a nomadic group of actors roaming the scattered outposts of the Great Lakes region, risking everything for art and humanity.

One snowy night Arthur Leander, a famous actor, has a heart attack onstage during a production of "King Lear." Jeevan Chaudhary, a paparazzo-turned-EMT, is in the audience and leaps to his aid. A child actress named Kirsten Raymonde watches in horror as Jeevan performs CPR, pumping Arthur's chest as the curtain drops, but Arthur is dead. That same night, as Jeevan walks home from the theater, a terrible flu begins to spread. Hospitals are flooded and Jeevan and his brother barricade themselves inside an apartment, watching out the window as cars clog the highways, gunshots ring out, and life disintegrates around them.

Fifteen years later, Kirsten is an actress with the Traveling Symphony. Together, this small troupe moves between the settlements of an altered world, performing Shakespeare and music for scattered communities of survivors. Written on their caravan, and tattooed on Kirsten's arm is a line from "Star Trek: " "Because survival is insufficient." But when they arrive in St. Deborah by the Water, they encounter a violent prophet who digs graves for anyone who dares to leave.

Spanning decades, moving back and forth in time, and vividly depicting life before and after the pandemic, this suspenseful, elegiac novel is rife with beauty. As Arthur falls in and out of love, as Jeevan watches the newscasters say their final good-byes, and as Kirsten finds herself caught in the crosshairs of the prophet, we see the strange twists of fate that connect them all. A novel of art, memory, and ambition, "Station Eleven" tells a story about the relationships that sustain us, the ephemeral nature of fame, and the beauty of the world as we know it. 
Top Ten Clues You're Clueless by Liz Chukas
Top Five Things That Are Ruining Chloe’s Day

5) Working the 6:30 a.m. shift at GoodFoods Market

4) Crashing a cart into a customer’s car right in front of her snarky coworker Sammi

3) Trying to rock the “drowned rat” look after being caught in a snowstorm

2) Making zero progress with her crush, Tyson (see #3)

1) Being accused—along with her fellow teenage employees—of stealing upwards of $10,000

Chloe would rather be anywhere than locked in work jail (aka the break room) with five of her coworkers . . . even if one of them is Tyson. But if they can band together to clear their names, what looks like a total disaster might just make Chloe’s list of Top Ten Best Moments.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Book Review: On Dublin Street (On Dublin Street #1) by Samantha Young

Release date: January 17th 2013 (first published August 2012)
Info about the author: Goodreads - Twitter - Website
Publisher: Penguin
Age group: Adult
Pages: 414
Buy the book: Amazon - Book Depository

Description (from Goodreads):

Jocelyn Butler has been hiding from her past for years. But all her secrets are about to be laid bare ...

Four years ago, Jocelyn left her tragic past behind in the States and started over in Scotland, burying her grief, ignoring her demons, and forging ahead without attachments. Her solitary life is working well - until she moves into a new apartment on Dublin Street, where she meets a man who shakes her carefully guarded world to its core.

Braden Carmichael is used to getting what he wants, and he's determined to get Jocelyn into his bed. Knowing how skittish she is about entering a relationship, Braden proposes an arrangement that will satisfy their intense attraction without any strings attached.

But after an intrigued Jocelyn accepts, she realizes that Braden won't be satisfied with just mind-blowing passion. The stubborn Scotsman is intent on truly knowing her . . . down to the very soul.

Oh On Dublin Street, I really wanted to like you. I really wanted to fall in love with you and your characters and take the book with me to visit its locations in Edinburgh. But unfortunately you can't always fall in love with things you would like to. The idea of you was beautiful, but once I got to know you better, I realized that your love will never become reality. 

There are so many things I want to write about in relation to this book that I don't even know from where to start. The dissapointment I felt after seeing how little Edinburgh was actually used as a setting? The annoying lovers? The quite horrible writing and the sex scenes that made me wince? The overall feeling of disappointment after I read the last page? 

I was SO excited about the fact that this book is set in Edinburgh. I moved to the city in 2011 from my hometown in Finland to attend university and during the past three years or so I have really learned to embrace the beauty and history of the city. I was hoping for romantic scenes set around Edinburgh and its beautiful parks, gardens and historic locations. Instead I got a couple of mentions of the castle, Dublin Street and some bars on George Street. How I wish the city would have been used more in this novel to build up the story - the potential of it is incredible, but unfortunately Young does not take advantage of it. 

Jocelyn... Oh Joss. I did not like you. I did not like you AT ALL. At first I tried to feel for Joss and I understood why she was so withdrawn and tried to avoid getting herself in situations where she has to let her emotions run free. I totally got her fear for falling in love because of previous losses and I cheered for her when she decided to go to therapy. But after a while her bitchiness and her tendency to make everything that happens somehow exclusively about her. Her friend in London has problems - YES IT MUST BE HER FAULT! Her roommate gets sick - TOTALLY HER FAULT! Also, I did not really like the whole "I have a huge inheritance but I don't use it" aspect of the novel, because pretty much from the first chapter onwards that theory is kind of proven to be wrong - she rents a place that is super expensive, she shops at the most expensive shops in Edinburgh, she buys elaborate gifts etc. Nothing against using money if you have it, but if you do use it, I don't think it needs to be established that she does not use it - trying to seem like she is not rich and privileged just makes her look like a hypocrite. 

I love to fall in love with fictional guys. You all should know that by now. Braden really made me question whether fictional guys really are all that. HE IS AN ASSHOLE. There's no nicer way to put it. Yeah, he is supposedly a good brother and son, but that does not really triumph over the fact that he is possessive, manipulative and kind of scary to be completely honest. Yeah, he does own the apartment Joss and Eline live in, but I don't think that gives him a right just to walk in to the apartment whenever he feels like it. He has serious issues with accepting any sort of boundaries and despite the fact Joss repeatedly tells him to get out and leave her alone, he does not seem to listen to her at all. I get the whole "ego being a hot thing" aspect, because I do like cocky (fictional) guys as well, but when it gets kind of stalkerish and just not appreciative, I start to get really angry. He is also extremely temperamental and his possessiveness towards Joss is scary - he is ready to get violent to show that Joss is "his", which is something I never see as acceptable. It is okay to get involved if someone is in danger, but it is not okay to just hit someone if you see him talking to the woman you think you own somehow. Braden is also extremely manipulative and clearly likes to play games - he lies, teases and plain bullies Joss just to get what he wants. 

The issues I had with the writing are very much connected to how these characters speak to each other. I have to admit that I somewhat enjoyed the book to the moment the first sex scene takes place, but after that I just wanted it to be over. I have written about this before in some other review as well, but oh man, DO I HATE WHEN MALE CHARACTERS CONTINUOUSLY CALL THE FEMALE CHARACTERS 'BABE'. Seeing that just lights up something in me and makes me SO PISSED. Also, in reference to sex scenes, WE GET THAT BRADEN IS HARD AND JOSS IS WET! We do not need to read about that over and over again. I feel like every single sex scene in this novel was the same - Braden does not give up even when Joss says that they should not do it because she has issues, she ends up ignoring her worries because her "sex" is getting excited and they end up having sex that makes her orgasm multiple times. I don't know what I was expecting from the sex scenes, but it definitely wasn't this.

Throughout this book I had a nagging feeling about Joss's back story and the lack of it. Yes, her family dies in an accident and she starts to party and have sex after she is put into the foster system. She does not really establish what kind of experience the foster system was for Joss and I kind of started to question why? Did Young just not want to address this in her novel, either because she did not see it as relevant to her story or either because she did not really have much knowledge about system that takes place in America after an under-aged child is orphaned? Her family is established as this wonderful, loving unit with close neighbors (there is a flashback to a scene where it is told to the reader that the neighbor couple used to have dinner with Joss's family extremely often) and I had a hard time believing these people would have just left Joss to the hands of the foster system that is described here as one of the reasons for Joss's wild years. Also, Joss has this big inheritance and all, but no family, except a horrible uncle, who I feel like sounds exactly like the type of guy who would take someone in just for the inheritance just due to the description of him being "horrible". 

The more I read this book, the more annoyed I started to feel and I think by the end I started to over-analyze everything and pick out things that I really hated, eventually turning the overall book into something that just could not stand. I know I am really in minority with these opinions in comparison to the highly praising reviews and ratings on Goodreads and other outlets, but I feel like I wanted to be honest about my opinions. I hope they won't necessarily keep you out of reading the book if you haven't already done so, but at the same time I hope they work as a warning about the fact that not everyone is going to love this book. I identified issues with it, but I know that among other readers, those issues might be something that they actually like reading about, or issues that they just don't want to over-analyze like I did. We all form our opinions, and this time, this happened to be the one I formed.  


Thursday, January 1, 2015

2015 Reading Challenges

The truth is... I suck with challenges. I feel like I get so occupied with trying to fulfill them that I eventually stop reading altogether because of the pressure. But since I am stubborn and want to believe that I CAN DO IT, I will attempt to participate in a couple of reading challenges for 2015. 

This will be my first time participating in the debut author challenge. In previous years I have felt like I've hard a hard time with the challenge because I haven't owned an E-reader and physical copies of new books tend to always be expensive. Now that I have both a Kindle and a tablet, I have easier access to new books through the purchasing of electronic copies. 2015 looks like an amazing year for YA/NA/MG debuts, so I am really looking forward to this challenge.

I am hoping to read a total of 12 debuts (at least)!

For more information about the challenge, please click here

Some of the debuts I really would like to read in 2015:

- Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard (I read this in 2014, so it won't count in the challenge, but I just wanted to mention it here anyway)

Since I LOVE YA contemporary and read a lot of them yearly, I thought that this challenge would be PERFECT for me.

The level I am aiming for is "Peony", which means that I should read 16-20 contemporary titles. 

For more information, click here

I know there are a lot of other wonderful challenges out there, but for now, these will be the ones I will attempt to participate in. If you think there is a challenge I should check out, please let me know in the comments section.