Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Third Degree by Julie Cross

Third Degree
By Julie Cross
Published: March 25, 2014
Publisher: Flirt
Pages: 240

Fans of Monica Murphy and Tammara Webber will savor this New Adult novel—a story about coming of age in the heat of the moment—from Julie Cross, the internationally bestselling author of the Tempest trilogy.

I used to be “Isabel Jenkins, child prodigy.” As lame as that sounds, at least it was an identity. But now I’m not sure what I am. I just failed the most important exam of my life—the emotional readiness test required to get into a medical residency program—and it turns out my parents can’t stand each other. Now I’m trying to figure out how to pick up the pieces of my life, and that means re-enrolling as a college freshman, but this time I’m shutting the books and majoring in being eighteen.

But so far, my roommate hates me and I’m not into the party scene. The only good thing about school has been getting to know my insanely hot RA. Marshall Collins makes me wonder about everything I missed while I was growing up too fast. Pretty soon we’re hanging out constantly, but for the first time, I find myself wanting more than a no-strings-attached physical relationship. And the lesson I really need is one Marsh definitely can’t teach me: love. Because I’m going to be alone forever if I don’t learn fast.

*Novel provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

My Rating: 4.5 stars

My Thoughts:
I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  It has definitely earned a place on my favorite new adult books.  
I really loved all of the characters in this book.  I could see people not really being able to relate to Izzy, but I'm very similar to her, we both are kind of isolated and don't really interact with people.  We're kind of emotionally detached from the rest of the world and we process things in a very statistical and analytic way.  Of course, my IQ isn't quite as high as her's, nor do I have a photographic memory but we so think in a very similar manner.  I thought that her growth from the beginning of the book where she was very cold and emotionless to the end of the book where she gained so much empathy and understanding for what the patients she was caring for are going through progressed very naturally and was interesting to read about.  I also loved all of her random medical facts, those were super interesting and the way she would just kind of throw them out into a conversation at the most inopportune times reminded me of myself because that's something that I do all the time.  I also loved that she was a hacker because I thought that that brought a closer focus on the ethical side of the medical field.  Marshall I also really liked.  I thought his character was very sweet and complemented Izzy's perfectly.  I also liked that their relationship was very adult and essentially the opposite of most new adult romances because though there was always a physical attraction between them, they didn't act on it until a more emotional attraction had developed, whereas in most new adult novels, it starts off as a purely physical relationship and then evolves into a more emotional one.  The only thing that kind of irritated me about Marshall was that I felt that there were times when he knew that he was pushing himself farther than was healthy but he did it anyway because he didn't want to appear to be weak.  Though I understand why he did it, I wish that he hadn't.  I also really liked Kelsey, I thought that she was really funny and I liked Marshall's siblings as well, I thought that they were very supportive of him.  
The plot was fast-paced and engaging.  A lot of romances tend to be very angsty and have a lot of unnecessary drama, but that wasn't an issue at all in this book.  Everything that happened I was 100% interested and I thought that the ending was a perfect conclusion.  Overall, I'd recommend this book to anyone, though you need to be comfortable reading sex scenes, though they aren't nearly as descriptive as other new adults I've read.  Even if you don't normally like contemporary, still pick it up.  It's a fast and easy read and I think that anyone could enjoy this.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Devil In The Corner by Patricia Elliot

The Devil In The Corner
By Patricia Elliot
Published: March 6, 2014
Publisher: Hachette Children's Books
Pages: 400

A gorgeously gothic historical tale from the author of THE PIMPERNELLES

Penniless, and escaping the horrors of life as a governess to brutal households, Maud seeks refuge with the cousin-by-marriage she never knew. But Juliana quashes Maud's emerging friendships with the staff and locals - especially John, the artist commissioned to restore the sinister Doom in the local church. John, however, is smitten with Maud and makes every effort to woo her.

Maud, isolated and thwarted at every turn, continues to take the laudanum which was her only solace in London. Soon she becomes dependent on the drug - so is this the cause of her fresh anxieties? Or is someone - or something - plotting her demise?

Is the devil in the corner of the Doom a reality, or a figment of her imagination?

*Novel provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

My Rating: 3.75 stars

My Thoughts:
Overall, I thought that this was a very good book.  I definitely would've given it four stars but it did start off very slow and I had a hard time getting into it.
I really liked both Maud and John as well as their relationship with each other.  I thought Maud was a very deep character and she had a lot of layers that took a very long time to uncover and though I was impatient to find out the secrets that she was hiding, I did think that the pacing of her character development in particular was very good.  John was a very fun character and I liked the way he cared for Maud but also his relationship with Edie.  I thought that he had a very adult relationship with her and even if he unintentionally led her on a little bit, if Edie did pick up on hints from him, the majority of them were little details blown out of proportion by a lovesick teenager.  Juliana was a very interesting character and I never knew whether I liked her or hated her because she was very up and down and kind of just all over the place.  I did like her as a character overall and I do wish everything hadn't gone down the way it had, though I did like it.
The plot started off very slow and I had a very hard time making myself read it, but once it started picking up I did enjoy it very much.  I would recommend this book to people who like historical fiction, and people who have a bit more patience.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Blood Orange Soda by James Michael Larranaga

Blood Orange Soda
By James Michael Larranaga
Published: March 15, 2014
Publisher: JML
Pages: 350

Darius Hunter is a bullied high school freshman. When he drinks Blood Orange Soda to transform into a Vampire and earn respect, he soon learns life as a Vampire has its own challenges.

Set in the future on the rural landscape of St. Cloud, Minnesota where pre-Vampire teens are required by the government to take a daily Red pill to prevent their urge to bite, Blood Orange Soda is a coming of age story of love, life and death.

*Novel provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

My Rating: 2.5 stars

My Thoughts: 
This book was an incredibly interesting take on vampires.  It wasn't like the normal, popular vampire books that are being published now where no one knows that the vampires exist.  Instead, humans or Normals, mingle with the Vampires, they live together in harmony.  It kind of reminded me of Holly Black's The Coldest Girl In Coldtown, just in that aspect of it.  
I thought that the characters were decent.  The main character, Darius, was kind of detached and I had a really hard time connecting to him.  We never really learned a whole lot about him, and his interests and hobbies and such.  All that we really knew was that he liked music and I think that not knowing almost anything about him made it very difficult to connect to him.
Darius's best friend, Weezer, is the comedic relief, and kind of reminded me of Link from the Castor Chronicles.  He had a few funny lines but overall I just found him to be a really unnecessary character.
And then we come to the two sides of the love triangle, Shelby and Angel.  Now, I really liked Angel.  I thought that she was really nice and she kind of reminded me of myself a little bit.  My only problem with her was at the very end where she threw herself in front of Darius, or pushed him out of the way or whatever it was that she did because Darius was a Vampire and he could have dodged it himself and I felt it was really stupid of her to do that.  I also could tell that she was in love with Darius from the beginning so that kind of diminished my enjoyment of the romantic aspect of this book, which leads me into talking about Shelby.  Now I never trusted Shelby.  I just thought her reasoning for transferring schools was very odd and there was just something off about her.  And then as her and Darius's relationship starts progressing, there were just a bunch of little things that she did that made me question her motives.
Overall, I'd recommend this book if this is the kind of book that you normally would enjoy or if this is the age range that you enjoy because I do think that this book was a little young compared to what I normally read. If this isn't something that you would normally go for then I wouldn't bother picking it up

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Don't Even Think About It by Sarah Mlynowski

Don't Even Think About It
By Sarah Mlynowski
Published: March 11, 2014
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Pages: 336

Contemporary teen fiction with romance, secrets, scandals, and ESP from the author of Ten Things We Did (And Probably Shouldn't Have).

We weren't always like this. We used to be average New York City high school sophomores. Until our homeroom went for flu shots. We were prepared for some side effects. Maybe a headache. Maybe a sore arm. We definitely didn't expect to get telepathic powers. But suddenly we could hear what everyone was thinking. Our friends. Our parents. Our crushes. Now we all know that Tess is in love with her best friend, Teddy. That Mackenzie cheated on Cooper. That, um, Nurse Carmichael used to be a stripper.

Since we've kept our freakish skill a secret, we can sit next to the class brainiac and ace our tests. We can dump our boyfriends right before they dump us. We know what our friends really think of our jeans, our breath, our new bangs. We always know what's coming. Some of us will thrive. Some of us will crack. None of us will ever be the same.
So stop obsessing about your ex. We're always listening.

*Novel provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

My Rating: 2 stars

My Thoughts:
This was my first Sarah Mlynowski book and I have heard good things about her better known book, Ten Things We Did (And Probably Shouldn't Have), so I had high hopes for Don't Even Think About It.  Unfortunately, it did not quite live up to those expectations.
The title is actually quite clever because the kids have ESP, so they hear what you're thinking.  I thought it was a pretty stupid title before I started reading it because I didn't know what it was about at all, but once I got into it, it all started coming together.
This is a stand-alone and I felt that it could've been longer.  I liked the ending, but I felt like there were a lot of things that weren't really explained at all.  If you're going into this book expecting it to be super sci-fi-y and figuring out why they have it and things then you are going to be sorely disappointed.  This is really just a contemporary novel, but the kids have ESP.  It's very overly dramatized and every little thing is a huge deal to them, the way it really is when you're in high school.  I would say that this book would definitely be more enjoyable for the 12 to 14 or 15 age range rather than being good for people all the way up through their twenties.
I liked most of the characters.  I found Mackenzie to be very overly bitchy at times, which normally wouldn't have bothered me because every book needs a character like that.  What really irritated me about her was that she kept telling people how sorry she was for being so mean and superficial but she never actually did anything to change it, she just kept apologizing over and over again.
I also had a few issues with Cooper.  I thought that yes he was a nice guy, and he was funny and attractive, but he was so naive and then when he develops ESP and he's hearing everyone's thoughts and he just freaks out and goes crazy, I was just like, really?  Are you really that naive?  So that was pretty annoying.
On to a more positive note.  I really liked BJ and how he was super super perverted and all of his lines were super hilarious, some of them even made me laugh out loud.  He also showed a more sensitive and sweet side towards the end with Tess and Teddy and I really liked that, though I wish  had seen more of their relationship.
Overall,  I thought that Don't Even Think About It was an okay book, but it wasn't really the kind of thing that I enjoy.  I thought the writing was kind of sloppy and the story didn't really explore the points that I wanted it to.  I would recommend this to people who are really into the high school drama side of things but if you're looking for a good sci-fi read, don't waste your time.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

March TBR

Here is a compilation of the books I hope to read within the month of March.

Forgotton - Cat Patrick
Covenant series - Jennifer L. Armentrout
Splintered - A.G. Howard
Under the Never Sky series - Veronica Rossi
Divergent - Veronica Roth
Dreamland - Sarah Dessen

Thanks for reading!

February Wrap-Up

As you will be able to see below, I've made some changes to the way I do my wrap-ups.  I'm now writing out my star rating instead of using asterisks to accommodate for half stars and the like.  I'm also marking a book if it was a reread which I don't believe I did in January.

All of the books I read in February:

Infinity - Sherrilyn Kenyon - 2 stars
Shatter Me - Tahereh Mafi - 4 stars - reread
Unravel Me - Tahereh Mafi - 4.5 stars - reread
Ignite Me - Tahereh Mafi - 5 stars
Goddess - Josephine Angelini - 3 stars
Grave Mercy - Robin LaFevers - 3.75 stars
Dark Triumph - Robin LaFevers - 3.75 stars
Attachments - Rainbow Rowell - 3 stars
What Really Happened In Peru - Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennen - 3 stars
The Runaway Queen - Cassandra Clare and Maureen Johnson - 3 stars
Altered - Jennifer Rush - 3 stars
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe - Benjamin Alire Saenz - 3 stars
The Coldest Girl In Coldtown - Holly Black - 4.5 stars
Control - Lydia Kang - 4.25 stars
Cinder - Marissa Meyer - 4.5 stars - reread
Scarlet - Marissa Meyer - 4 stars - reread

I read 14 books this month and 2 novellas.
Thanks for reading!