Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Review: Forget Me by K. A. Harrington - Mysteries & Doppelgängers

Forget Me
Title: Forget Me
Author: K. A. Harrington
 Penguin Canada
Publication date: August 7, 2014
Genre(s): Young Adult (Contemporary/Mystery)
Source: Publisher
Format: ARC
Pages: 288
On the three-month anniversary of her boyfriend Flynn’s death, Morgan uploads her only photo of him to FriendShare to get some closure—but she’s shocked when the facial recognition software suggests she tag him as "Evan Murphy." She’s never heard of Evan, but a quick search tells her that he lives in a nearby town and looks exactly like Flynn. Only this boy is very much alive.

Digging through layers of secrets and lies, Morgan is left questioning everything she thought she knew about her boyfriend, her town, and even her parents' involvement in this massive web of lies.
Forget Me started off really really good, very mysterious but kept on the contemporary feel. The intro was very creepy and it made me want to read more. I really liked the main protagonist, Morgan as well as her best friend, they both were logical and were very realistic (i.e.: didn't jump to outrageous conclusion, etc). However when the romance element of the story was introduced.. it kind of slowed the book down. 
Let's backtrack a bit. This story is about Morgan finding out on a Facebook like social media site a guy who looks exactly like her dead boyfriend.. as in, he could be his doppelgänger. Both Morgan and her best friend devise a plan to meet him face to face, which Morgan does. Before then, I enjoyed all the theories that kept on getting thrown between the two girls. I was just as creeped out as them and I liked how they didn't take seriously some of the absurd theories they threw at each other. However I felt the mystery with her parents was sort of random as well as Morgan's passion for photography. It was heavily mentioned in the book and while I'm all for creating three diminutional characters.. I would have thought with the amount of photography talk that maybe Morgan took an incriminating picture or the clue to solving this whole mystery. 
Forget Me was a solid four star read though until the romance emerged. I'm confused on how Morgan can suddenly start crushing hard and falling in love with a guy who looks exactly like her dead boyfriend. That's just weird and not something I was able to get past. Also, the insta-love.. I understood later on why it happened.. I mean he looks exactly like her old boyfriend, but still.. not something I was completely comfortable with. As for the mystery, it was pretty good and exciting up until the mystery was actually revealed.. I expected something mind blowing or at least worthy of the build up but unfortunately I was let down by it. I won't say more in regards to why but my expectations because of the mystery atmosphere the author has created was a bit too high. 
Overall I did enjoy the book, but it wasn't one without issues. It is a quick read and interesting, with the first half of the book being more exciting than the second. I would recommend it to mystery fans mainly because I wasn't really able to predict the mystery (even if it was disappointing). I like Morgan and thought she was pretty kick butt and reminded me slightly of Veronica Mars with her love for photography. Forget Me was fun to read and a good mystery, definitely pick it up if you're interested. 

Monday, 28 July 2014

Mini Reviews: Exile by Kevin Emerson and The Heiresses by Sara Shepard

Exile (Exile, #1)Exile (Exile #1) by Kevin Emerson 

April 29, 2014

4/5 stars

Source: Edelweiss 

Exile was definitely an interesting read. I went into it expecting a fluffy contemporary with a bit of music but it actually has a bit of mystery intertwined in all the music and contemporary. I liked the main protagonist, Summer, and how she didn't lose focus and basically logic because of it. She gave herself time to wallow but after that, she turned a new page and moved forward. I also loved how she's a music manager and how her school is music, and all types of art, oriented. The introduction of a new guy in her life, also a lead singer of a band (her ex-boyfriend is a lead singer too), had me a bit suspicious. I grew a bit protective of Summer but Caleb was such a great guy. Plus, the book isn't about the romance.. it is about a secret that Caleb reveals to her that takes them on a chase around their city. Exile was fun, cute, and a very fast read. Another thing that I think is pretty cool is that Kevin, the author, released the songs found in Exile.. ones he wrote and sang himself. So definitely check his playlist out because I was really curious about some of the songs in the book and I would have loved to have been able to listen to them while reading the book!

The Heiresses

The Heiresses (Heiresses #1) by Sara Shepard
May 20, 2014
2/5 stars
Source: Edelweiss 

Sara Shepard.. and her mysteries. Sigh.. I was excited to pick up a new series of hers and I love the cover of it. Unfortunately, this book was a miss for me.. there are so many things I disliked but the one thing I couldn't get past is the amount of cheating going on. Every character has or was cheating on their partners in the book.. it disgusted me and I just couldn't root for the characters anymore. The mystery was decent.. I thought it was a bit flat because there were so many POVs in the book.. and each character had their own leads on who the killer was.. which meant we only really got to spend a chapter or two with each theory.. something that isn't really sufficient for a fleshed out mystery to develop.  Also, there were too many characters to wrap my head around in the beginning and it was a bit confusing. Lastly.. this isn't a standalone.. something I've come to expect with Sara Shepard.. however I don't think I will be continuing on with this series because God knows how many books it'll be before this series is over and frankly.. i really am not invested in any of the characters to invest anymore of my time for them. 

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Cover Reveals: 9 beautiful covers!

HELLO EVERYONE! Don't you guys just LOVE looking at new covers? I sure do! These past few weeks I have come across a few pretty covers that I'd like to share with you! Some are sequels to other books, and some are just standalones! hope you enjoy!

Unleashed (Uninvited, #2) by Sophoe Jordan: I LOVE this cover! Uninvited was such a great read I'm super excited for this!
Frostfire by Amanda Hocking: A new series by Amanda Hocking? YES! and the cover is so gorgeous!
The Stars Never Rise by Rachel Vincent: I just LOVE the butterfly, and the typography is perfect!
Half Wild (Half Life #2) by Sally Green: I absolutely love the simplicity of these covers! Love them!

Forged (Taken, #3) by Erin Bowman: I ABSOLUTELY LOVED Taken, and I'm so happy that all three covers are beautifully similar! yay!
The Memory Key by Liana Liu: I would definitely BUY this book just because of it's cover! Its GORGEOUS! I LOVE the typography and the colors <3 so pretty!
Shadow Scale (Seraphina, #2) by Rachel Hartman: Love the detail of this book! It also perfectly matches Seraphina! 
A Cold Legacy (The Madman's Daughter) by Megan Shepherd: Owning this whole trilogy would look so pretty on my bookshelf!! 

But seriously you guys, this has to be my favorite cover of all the ones I showed. What do you guys think?

Friday, 25 July 2014

Review: The Lure by Lynne Ewing

The Lure
Title: The Lure
Author: Lynne Ewing
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Publication date: February 11, 2014
Genre(s): Young Adult (Contemporary)
Source: Publisher
Format: ARC
Pages: 288

From the bestselling author of the Daughters of the Moon series comes a gritty, sexy novel about a teen who is forced to become a "lure"-a beautiful girl who is used to lure victims of gang violence.

Fifteen-year-old Blaise Montgomery lives in the gritty outskirts of Washington, DC, where a stray bullet can steal a life on the way to school. Drugs and violence are the only ways to survive, so Blaise and her friends turn to gangs for safety, money, and love. When Blaise is invited to join Core 9, one of the most infamous crews, she jumps at the chance. Though her best guy friends, Rico and Satch, warn her about the danger, she agrees to be beaten for a minute straight as part of the gang's initiation ritual.

Now Blaise is finally part of a crew. A family.

But things get only more dangerous when she becomes a member of Core 9 and tensions with a rival gang heat up. Trek, the head of Core 9, asks Blaise to be his "lure," the sexy bait he'll use to track down enemy gang members and exact revenge. Rico and Satch tell her it's a death sentence, but Blaise can't resist the money and unparalleled power. As Trek puts Blaise in increasingly dangerous situations, she begins to see that there's more to lose than she ever realized-including Satch, the one person who has the power to get under her skin. With death lurking around every corner, should Blaise continue to follow the only path she's ever known, or cut and run?
Blaise is such a cool name. Like, I am slightly jealous of her name. Anyway, Blaise Montgomery lives just outside of Washington D.C, and it's a hard life. Her grandma works two jobs, and barely spends any money because she tries to put it towards Blaise's college fund. In desperate need of a family and money, Blaise takes up an offer to be beaten into Core 9, the most notorious gang in her town. Her best friends Rico and Satch warn her against it, and they had reason to. A little while after, Trek, the leader of the gang, asks Blaise to dress in provocative clothes and lure other gang members to their impending doom. All the money and power he offers her sways Blaise's decision, and she agrees. Will Blaise regret this decision-and possibly pay with her life?
When I opened to the first page, I was a bit wary. I've never read a book like this. At first, the read was very tedious, and I would have to force myself to focus on the book. Then, things started picking up. I liked Blaise as a character, although I couldn't really relate to her. I mean, if someone gave me the chance to make money by becoming a "lure" like Blaise had, I would've gave a very firm "No" and then run for my life. I can say that I didn't like Rico. He was a bit too explosive and impulsive for my cautious, thirteen year old self.
The ending hurt me. It was unexpected, but it was expected. It's like a tiny part of your brain was like Hey! This is totally going to happen. And you brush the idea aside. 50 pages later, said thing happens and you get surprised, but not entirely. I hope that made sense. I was trying to describe it without spoiling it. Anyway, the ending was well written, and it made me kind of happy to read such a good ending to such a good book. Recommended to teens 13-17, The Lure has definitely earned a place on my bookshelf.

Monday, 21 July 2014

Review: One Plus One by Jojo Moyes - Road trip anyone?

One Plus One
Title: One Plus One 

Author: Jojo Moyes 
Publisher: Penguin Canada 
Publication date: July 1, 2014
Genre(s): Chick Lit 
Source: Publisher
Format: Finished Copy 
Pages: 384
Suppose your life sucks. A lot. Your husband has done a vanishing act, your teenage stepson is being bullied and your math whiz daughter has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that you can’t afford to pay for. That’s Jess’s life in a nutshell—until an unexpected knight-in-shining-armor offers to rescue them. Only Jess’s knight turns out to be Geeky Ed, the obnoxious tech millionaire whose vacation home she happens to clean. But Ed has big problems of his own, and driving the dysfunctional family to the Math Olympiad feels like his first unselfish act in ages . . . maybe ever.
One Plus One was fabulous, a perfect book with a well written plot line. I don't think I've ever read a chick lit road trip book. This is my first try at Jojo Moyes's writing and it is definitely not my last. The plot was refreshing and definitely unique in the way that the romance was presented as well as the issues the characters face and the relationship between them. It was told from multiple POVs that included the main protagonist, Jess, the love interest, tech millionaire Ed, Jess's math genius daughter and bullied step son. 
Jess is trying to make ends meet with working two jobs and trying to keep her family afloat. Her husband left her two years ago and hasn't helped with child support because of his "illness" which is apparently depression? anyways, that's not where Jesse's problems end. Her step son is being bullied and beaten up on a weekly basis and her young daughter just got the best opportunity of her life, to go to a private school with a 90% scholarship. However the 10% is still too much money for Jess. The struggle she goes through, trying to figure out a way to make it work, the desperate feeling she experiences is very sad. I really felt sad for Jess, she really was a good mom. She wants the best for both her children, even though one of them isn't even her biological son and was dumped on her, something people that she meets always find confusing. Still, she treats them both equally and with so much love, it makes me teary eyed thinking about it. 
Ed however, is in deep trouble. He did something stupid and is now being investigated and banned from getting near his company or touching any work related material. One night Ed was driving, trying to occupy his time before he goes full on crazy when he sees Jess and her kids on the side of the road, car not working, and police talking to them. Next thing we know, Ed is driving the whole family to Scotland. What's hilarious is that Tanzie, Jess's daughter, will throw up if she's in a car that's at a speed higher than 40 mile/hr. Also, another someone worth mentioning was the family dog. Even though he doesn't speak (obviously) he had a very big presence in this book and I loved him! The road trip was all kinds of hilarious scenes but witnessing all the people getting closer together, forming connections, trust, and leaning on each other really made me teary eyed multiple times. The relationship between Ed and the kids was especially sweet. 
One Plus One was more about the people, their issues, and how leaning on each other and trusting each other and opening up your heart to them is sometimes what is missing in your life. Of course a romance in a chick lit is inevitable but I felt that Jojo Moyes focused more on each individual. Not that the romance wasn't good, because it was really well done. I Truly loved her writing and her storytelling style. I already own Me Before You and I am excited to pick it up. I'm definitely going to make it a goal of mine to go through her bibliography and read all her books.