Jul 29, 2015

Burning Blue

I had no knowledge about Burning Blue when I picked up a copy, but I knew one thing, the cover was stunning and had me hooked. The story itself has a way of hooking you even when you don't feel very connected with its characters.

How far would you go for love, beauty, and jealousy?

When Nicole Castro, the most beautiful girl in her wealthy New Jersey high school, is splashed with acid on the left side of her perfect face, the whole world takes notice. But quiet loner Jay Nazarro does more than that--he decides to find out who did it. Jay understands how it feels to be treated like a freak, and he also has a secret: He's a brilliant hacker. But the deeper he digs, the more danger he's in--and the more he falls for Nicole. Too bad everyone is turning into a suspect, including Nicole herself.

Award-winning author Paul Griffin has written a high-stakes, soulful mystery about the meaning--and dangers--of love and beauty.

Nicole Castro is beautiful. Drop dead, stop and stare beautiful. So when someone throws acid in her face you bet people take notice, become obsessive with figuring out who did it and why.

I feel like this is the kind of story where you can't trust any of the narration. You get the sense that even though Jay is trying to figure out who burned Nicole that his narration isn't all that trustworthy. Because in his mind everyone is a suspect until he rules them out. Despite me being hesitant to trust his narration I really did like him as a character. His sense of humor was very dry and often made me chuckle.

Very much like Jay, Nicole felt like an untrustworthy character. We don't get a point of view from her but we do get some journal entries that make you stop and question everything you thought in the last chapter. That was a big trend with this book. Just when you thought you had it figured out something would happen and you'd toss that idea out the window. Nicole doesn't want to be defined by her beauty but of course everyone sees her beauty and everything else about her is gone to them. I liked the dynamic between Jay and Nicole. Their friendship felt very natural.

Burning Blue is equal parts contemporary story and thriller, mystery story. One chapter will feel super intense and mystery like while the next with be totally chill and normal. I liked that about this book because just when you think you can close the chapter something happens to make you keep reading.

Overall I enjoyed this story but I felt like the solving of the mystery was a bit rushed. That being said even though it felt rushed to me there was this oh shit moment and everything came together in Jay's head that justified the way things played out. I honestly didn't see that connection coming. It was a good twist.

Burning Blue is getting 3.5 out of 5 birds from me. Though I enjoyed this story I didn't feel very connected to any of the characters. I liked them enough and I really liked the style of Paul Griffin's writing, but it wasn't a favorite. I'd definitely recommend it to people who want a easy, short thriller.

Jul 28, 2015

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted over at Should Be Reading were you grab a book, open it up, find something that isn't going to spoil the book and share it. Which is what I plan to do today! I will be sharing two teasers from Burning Blue by Paul Griffin!

"If you're going to pretend to be listening to music," she said, "you should also pretend not to hear what I'm saying." (pg 46)

"So how does that make you feel, that my ridiculously beautiful girl here thinks your hot?" "My experience is that girls often confuse hot with tall." (pg 132)

I'm almost done with this book and have enjoyed it so far. I haven't ever read anything by Paul Griffin before but I think I just might be reading more from him, let you know in my review which should be up in the next few days. Hope you enjoyed the teasers!

Jul 24, 2015

Saving June

I had no idea how much I was going to love this book or how much it would move me. Saving June became a favorite quicker than I thought a book could ever become a favorite of mine.

‘If she’d waited less than two weeks, she’d be June who died in June. But I guess my sister didn’t consider that.’

Harper Scott’s older sister has always been the perfect one so when June takes her own life a week before her high school graduation, sixteen-year-old Harper is devastated. Everyone’s sorry, but no one can explain why.

When her divorcing parents decide to split her sister’s ashes into his-and-her urns, Harper takes matters into her own hands. She’ll steal the ashes and drive cross-country with her best friend, Laney, to the one place June always dreamed of going, California.

Enter Jake Tolan. He’s a boy with a bad attitude, a classic-rock obsession and nothing in common with Harper’s sister. But Jake had a connection with June, and when he insists on joining them, Harper’s just desperate enough to let him. With his alternately charming and infuriating demeanour and his belief that music can see you through anything, he might be exactly what she needs.

Except June wasn’t the only one hiding something. Jake’s keeping a secret that has the power to turn Harper’s life upside down again.

Harper's older sister June killed herself leaving nothing behind to explain why she did it. Harper is angry, so angry and feeling a kind of grief she just doesn't know how to process. She decides to take June's ashes to California with her best friend Laney and a boy she can't stand who seems to know June more than Harper did.

This book. This book was so good. Harper Scott is one of the most unlikable characters but she is so real that despite her I don't give a shit attitude you slam face first into her narration wanting more, more, more. Harper struggles with understanding why her sister killed herself, why even when she is gone she is constantly compared to June. I say Harper is unlikable, but I loved her. I loved every bit of her narration. I loved the way her train of thoughts always went. Loved how she called people out on their shit, even herself from time to time.

Saving June doesn't fail when it comes to the characters. They are expectantly real, disfuncitonal, messed up and completely loveable. Laney, Harper's best friend, never failed to make me laugh. Everything that tumbled from that girls mouth was hilarious. She seems perfect, perfect life, parents who don't really think twice of what she does. I loved the aspect of this story that despite what we see everyone has these faults in their lives, cracks in the exterior and eventually those cracks shatter and you finally see that even if they seem perfect they have a lot of heavy stuff going on like the rest of the world.

Jake Tolan, music obsessed, gonna call you out on your shit guy. I loved him. Scratch that I adored him. Like with Laney and Harper, he was so real. He wasn't a knight in shinning armor. He often said some really stupid shit that got him punched in the shoulder, often. But then he would say some of the most brilliant things that would make you stop and think. Jake Tolan and his crazy hair is certainly a keeper in my book, he's complicated but in the best way.

I have a thing for books that feature a lot of music. I don't know about you but someone who really appreciates music there's something really great about reading a book with characters who appreciate it too. I'm not going to lie I'm like Jake. I can sometimes be a music snob. Granted, he is a bit more extreme than me and is way more obsessed.

Saving June is getting 5 out of 5 birds from me! I couldn't stop reading this book the moment I started it. I loved the relationship between Jake, Harper, and Laney. There's something about a book set on the road that makes you want to go yourself and figure everything out. This book covers a pretty tough topic but it's done in a real way that doesn't sugar coat anything. I would recommend this book to anyone. I can't wait to get my hands on another book by this author! She is a new favorite for sure.

Jul 22, 2015

The Diplomat's Wife

I've read two books by Pam Jenoff now and both I really enjoyed but there was something about The Diplomat's Wife that left me with such a happy feeling. This is a book that I know I will find myself rereading.

 How have I been lucky enough to come here, to be alive, when so many others are not? I should have died.… But I am here.

1945. Surviving the brutality of a Nazi prison camp, Marta Nederman is lucky to have escaped with her life. Recovering from the horror, she meets Paul, an American soldier who gives her hope of a happier future. But their plans to meet in London are dashed when Paul's plane crashes.

Devastated and pregnant, Marta marries Simon, a caring British diplomat, and glimpses the joy that home and family can bring. But her happiness is threatened when she learns of a Communist spy in British intelligence, and that the one person who can expose the traitor is connected to her past.

The Diplomat's Wife has Marta as the main character. If you read The Kommandant's Girl than you will be familiar with this character. I was skeptical at first about this book because I wasn't so sure I liked Marta in The Kommandant's Girl. I am so glad that Pam Jenoff decided to tell Marta's story because she is a character that if you don't understand her thoughts and where she is coming from you won't understand her at all. I loved, loved, loved Marta by the end of this book. After reading this book I can't believe I didn't like her at first. She is an incredible character.

I have read a lot of books with great love stories. Love stories that leave you breathless, leave you with a fluttering heart and butterflies in your stomach. There was something about the love story that had me feeling way more than any love story has. In fact I haven't felt this kind of feeling since I was a kid and first watched Titanic. Granted, this love story isn't really anything like Titanic but I felt so attached to Marta and Paul, so badly wanted them together despite knowing it would be a tragic love.

Paul was such an amazing character. He isn't exactly what Marta remember's when she meets him a second time, but I loved how she could say something and he instantly would realize he needed to change the way he was living. He didn't brush it off he listened and he took everything she said into account. Not only did he listen but his sense of humor made me smile because a lot of the things he said Marta didn't quiet understand because they were American sayings. I could go on and on about what I love about Paul. He is one of those characters that you love so much about.

Pam Jenoff writes such fantastic books. She makes me want to read everything and anything with a history backdrop. Specifically this time period with the Nazi's and the aftermath of the hell they brought. It's a piece of history I don't think we should forget and the way she writes about it is so natural. Buildings are described and you feel as if you are with Marta walking down these streets, ducking into alley's.

I loved that some of the characters from The Kommandant's Girl are present in this book. We get some insight into their lives. It's really interesting to see these characters from Marta's point of view. It makes you see them in a different way, while remembering how certain characters viewed Marta.

The Diplomat's Wife is a getting 5 out of 5 birds from me! This is a new favorite. Pam Jenoff is quickly becoming a favorite. I love her books and already plan on reading more. Can't wait for her newest book to come out real soon. If you love a history backdrop or a story with twists you don't see coming then read this book! Such a great read!

Jul 21, 2015

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted over at Should Be Reading were you grab a book, open it up, find something that isn't going to spoil the book and share it. Which is what I plan to do today! I will be sharing two teasers from The Diplomats Wife by Pam Jenoff!

"What are you thinking?" Paul asks. "Lots of things. Mostly about what I lost during the war." He smiles. "Careful, you're starting to sound like me." (pg 100)

"I brace myself, waiting for the rough grasp and blows that will surely come." (pg 12)

I am so close to finishing this book. I've really enjoyed it and am really curious how it's going to all end for Marta. Pam Jenoff keeps being a hit for me. Hope you enjoyed the teasers I picked out. Happy reading!