Jul 30, 2015

Forget You

I have read and enjoyed books by Jennifer Echols but I had forgotten just how much I loved her style of writing. She writes with no limits and I love that about her stories.

There’s a lot Zoey would like to forget. Like how her father has knocked up his twenty-four-year old girlfriend. Like Zoey’s fear that the whole town will find out about her mom’s nervous breakdown. Like darkly handsome bad boy Doug taunting her at school. Feeling like her life is about to become a complete mess, Zoey fights back the only way she knows how, using her famous attention to detail to make sure she’s the perfect daughter, the perfect student, and the perfect girlfriend to ultra-popular football player Brandon.  But then Zoey is in a car crash, and the next day there’s one thing she can’t remember at all--the entire night before. Did she go parking with Brandon, like she planned? And if so, why does it seem like Brandon is avoiding her? And why is Doug--of all people-- suddenly acting as if something significant happened between the two of them? Zoey dimly remembers Doug pulling her from the wreck, but he keeps referring to what happened that night as if it was more, and it terrifies Zoey to admit how much is a blank to her. Controlled, meticulous Zoey is quickly losing her grip on the all-important details of her life--a life that seems strangely empty of Brandon, and strangely full of Doug.

Zoey's life seems to be a spiral that only goes down. Her parents are divorced. Her dad knocked up his twenty four year old girlfriend. Her mom has a nervous breakdown. And then Zoey has a car accident that makes her forget everything from the night before and from the way certain people are acting she really should remember what happened that night.

I have not devoured a book as quickly as I have this one in a long time. There was something about Zoey's story, the way it was written that had me hooked so completely that I had to read it all in a day. Zoey wants everything to go perfect, be the one in control of everything. I really loved Zoey. She felt real, imperfect, honestly portrayed. Some authors can write good teenage characters that lack a little something, but Jennifer Echols always writes them to the tee. She nails and pin points every little detail and thoughts so perfectly.

Doug Fox. Holy cow. Just when I think I can't possibly have another guy from a book to crush on Doug Fox just saunters in with his tall body, dark hair and sarcastic wit. He was so imperfectly perfect I could just smother him with hugs. I don't even know if I can really tell you why I love Doug. He was so sweet and annoying and caring and then completely frustrating again. He and Zoey are a new favorite. The dynamic between these two is just...wow.

There was one thing about Zoey that did bother me. And that thing happened to be a douche bag named Brandon. Granted, Zoey knew all about his sleeping around but I still wanted to throttle her. She held onto the fact that they were together despite never actually being together because Brandon always pushed her aside. It frustrated the hell out of me.

Jennifer Echols does not hold back. She writes about things some authors hold back on. I love that she doesn't hold back. That she makes everything as real as possible. Tackles topics others only hint at. Crafting a story with family drama, friend drama, every day normal drama and portraying it all so accurate.

Forget You is getting 5 out of 5 birds from me! I finished this book in a day and would recommend everyone read it. I have read a few books by Jennifer Echols now and I can't believe it took me this long to read Forget You. It most definitely is my favorite of hers. I can't wait to read more from her.

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!

Jul 17, 2015

The Death Code

It isn't often that I go buy a sequel right away if I don't already own it. But that's what I did after finishing The Murder Complex. I knew if I didn't read The Death Code right away I would be thinking about what happens to Meadow and I wouldn't be able to focus on any other book.

With short, fast-paced, alternating point-of-view chapters, The Death Code starts several weeks after The Murder Complex ended. Zephyr keeps the secret about Meadow close—that if she dies, The Murder Complex will be destroyed, too. Meadow, desperate to find her brother, father, and little sister, is determined to fearlessly fight to the end, even if it means sacrificing herself and her friends, new and old. The Death Code introduces a memorable cast of secondary characters and delivers a vivid and scary thrill ride read.

The Death Code picks up a few weeks after The Murder Complex and things are fast paced, intense and full of the same gory fight scenes we had in The Murder Complex.

Holy crap, poor Meadow. If you thought she had it rough in The Murder Complex you were not prepared for The Death Code. The Death Code puts Meadow's mental and physical strength to the test. She is strong through out this book but there comes a point when she has to break down, no longer able to bare the weight of it all. Meadow kept herself very distant from others in The Murder Complex and she does the same in The Death Code only she does it a bit more coldly. I love Meadow as a character and considering everything she goes through there wasn't a moment when I didn't understand here motives or why she was doing what she was doing. She is such a fantastic character. I'm going to miss reading about her fearlessness.

Zephyr James man, he has some major character growth. I loved the fact that he started to think for himself. He loves Meadow and he focused a lot on her in The Murder Complex but in The Death Code he finally has a mind of his own. He's become stronger than The Murder Complex. Sure he still feels the pull but he fights it. I love this character and I love that he never once let Meadow push him away. He put up with her cold bullshit. Their relationship from start to finish was frustrating, slow burning and totally the best. 

Speaking of characters with a fantastic relationship. The banter and tough love between Sketch and Zephyr was my favorite. It was the comic relief in a mostly dark book. I didn't expect to grow to like Sketch as much as I did. 

I don't think I talked much about the family aspect of The Murder Complex but with this book I can't help but talk about it. Family plays a big role. Meadow makes it her mission in life to find her brother, sister and father. I loved her devotion to them. I loved Koi so much in this book. I didn't realize just how awesome he was. I wasn't to sure about Meadow's father. He's a badass for sure and the hard loving type but you see a side of him in The Death Code you don't expect. It made me realize everything he did was so they'd survive and even though it seemed like some really cruel things to do he did out it all out of love.

The Death Code is just as vivid as The Murder Complex was. I love that I can see every little detail in my head. The fights. The Ridge. The Shallow's. Everything is vivid and feels so real while reading these books. Lindsay Cummings writes in a way that keeps you turning the page. Just one more chapter turns into five more.

There was something about the ending to this book that made me really happy. Yes, it left an opening for a possibility of more, an ending that lets your mind wander into the possibilities that could or could not happen. For me I wouldn't want another book. These characters have been put through enough hell and that ending was really satisfying for me. I don't normally say that about books. I want more, more, more and though I would totally read more about these characters I like to think that the survivors are happy and no longer being put through hell. Not everyone makes it in this book. That's all I'm saying. And so to be able to let my mind think of where the characters who did survive end up makes me a happy reader.

The Death Code is a kick ass sequel that is getting 5 out of 5 birds from me! This book leaves you on the edge of your seat. I devoured these books quick and they aren't small reads. The story and writing is just so good it's nearly impossible to not sneak in as much reading time as you can. I can't wait for more from Lindsay Cummings. I will be reading everything and anything from her that's for sure. I'd recommend this series in a heart beat. Read it! Super good!

Jul 11, 2015

The Murder Complex

The Murder Complex--why in the world did it take me so long to read this book is the question I am asking myself. This book was incredible. I knew it would be good but I had no idea the amount of goodness it contained inside the pages.

 An action-packed, blood-soaked, futuristic debut thriller set in a world where the murder rate is higher than the birthrate. For fans of Moira Young’s Dust Lands series, La Femme Nikita, and the movie Hanna.

Meadow Woodson, a fifteen-year-old girl who has been trained by her father to fight, to kill, and to survive in any situation, lives with her family on a houseboat in Florida. The state is controlled by The Murder Complex, an organization that tracks the population with precision.

The plot starts to thicken when Meadow meets Zephyr James, who is—although he doesn’t know it—one of the MC’s programmed assassins. Is their meeting a coincidence? Destiny? Or part of a terrifying strategy? And will Zephyr keep Meadow from discovering the haunting truth about her family?

Action-packed, blood-soaked, and chilling, this is a dark and compelling debut novel by Lindsay Cummings.

Oh, my goodness. This book from page one to the last has left me with my jaw on the floor. I knew I would be dying to read the next book right after finishing The Murder Complex. That feeling not once went away. In fact it just grew. I, just wow. Okay, time to gather my thoughts...

Meadow Woodson is one well crafted, fleshed out character. She was one of those characters that while reading you half expected to jump off the page. Badass, strong, trained to survive Meadow is incredible. I loved every bit about her. Most though I loved how true she stayed to her roots. She was trained to survive and her survival training was not to run in fear, but to be fearless and smart.

Zephyr James is just as an incredible character as Meadow but in a different way. He is strong but his strength lies within him. He has much more emotion than Meadow, in fact he softens Meadow in some ways. I really loved that about the way these two characters were written. There's this misconception that the love interest in the book has to swoop in a save the girl. And yeah Zephyr can save the girl, maybe he does, maybe he doesn't but the point is that Meadow doesn't need the saving. She needs the knowledge that he's there to help her, but he doesn't step in and overshadow Meadow's strength.

I will be the first to tell you I am not a big reader of dystopian reads. I'm getting much better about reading them. My problem has always been that I haven't really read a dystopian that right away I just understood the world that was created--until now. The Murder Complex has left me with the desire to pick up not only the next book but other dystopian reads. The way Lindsay Cummings writes was so amazingly vivid and natural that not once did I feel any confusion. I felt a lot of emotions while reading this book mostly "This is epic!" and "Oh, man shit just got real." but never once was I left with the overwhelming feeling of being lost like I so often get with dystopian reads.

Lindsay's way of writing was something I haven't found in a book in a long time. The fluidity of it. The way it didn't even really feel like reading. What I mean by that is that I got so caught up in this story that time kind of flew and the imagery was so vivid in my head it felt like I was watching everything unfold rather than reading it. In short Lindsay Cumming's way of writing is something to be marveled.

This book is dark and there are so many intense scenes that at first you wonder if the fighting will become stiff or boring but not once did that happen with The Murder Complex. Everything about this book felt scarily real. I shiver at the thought of having to live in a world like Meadow's.

The Murder Complex is getting 5 out of 5 birds from me! This book was a quick read because I literally could not stop reading. When I wasn't reading I was thinking about what could possibly happen next. It's so fast paced and intense. There are lots of twists and turns in this book that some I kind of thought would happen and others that left me in shock. In case you haven't figured it out yet I loved this book and I would recommend this book to anyone. Maybe you are like me and don't have the best luck with dystopian reads. I would tell you to read this book because it has made me love dystopian. Such an incredible book. Read it! But be prepared to need book two after that amazing cliffhanger!

Jul 7, 2015

Something Borrowed

Something Borrowed wasn't a book that I had an urgency to read. Honestly I don't know if I would have ever picked up a copy had I not found it at a used book store for such a good deal. It wasn't as quick a read for me like I thought it was going to be.

 Something Borrowed tells the story of Rachel, a young attorney living and working in Manhattan. Rachel has always been the consummate good girl---until her thirtieth birthday, when her best friend, Darcy, throws her a party. That night, after too many drinks, Rachel ends up in bed with Darcy's fiancĂ©. Although she wakes up determined to put the one-night fling behind her, Rachel is horrified to discover that she has genuine feelings for the one guy she should run from. As the September wedding date nears, Rachel knows she has to make a choice. In doing so, she discovers that the lines between right and wrong can be blurry, endings aren't always neat, and sometimes you have to risk all to win true happiness. Something Borrowed is a phenomenal debut novel that will have you laughing, crying, and calling your best friend.

Rachel and Darcy have been best friends for well, practically forever. Darcy is engaged to Dex who never should have been with Darcy in the first place. When Dex and Rachel share a kiss on her 30th birthday it's safe to say it's a spiral of drama from there.

I enjoyed Rachel's narration...until I didn't anymore. I could relate to Rachel in a lot of ways. We share a lot of the same personality aspects, but her constantly putting off talking to Dex about what their relationship was, where it was going drove me crazy. It got the point that Rachel needed to walk away or make Dex choose. Eventually she does put her foot down but she does it far to late for my liking. Despite being frustrated with her half of the book I did like Rachel. She just always saw herself as second best that it held her back from being assertive with certain things.

Very rarely do I not like the love interest in a book. I could not like them at first, but eventually they always grow on me. With Dex that didn't happen. He never grew on me. He felt flat to me like he wasn't fully developed. I think partially it felt that way because the main focus of the story is Darcy and Rachel's friendship. Yeah, Dex is a main role but he was written in a way that felt like he was not meant to overshadow the friendship. Dex always drove me crazy in general with tagging Rachel along and all. Man needed to man up already.

Darcy is the poster child of a wicked friend. Despite wanting to bitch slap Darcy anytime she was around I didn't actually hate her. Trust me there were moments when I was really close to hating her but the problem with a character like Darcy is she's so used to getting everything she wants and everyone always does it. She needed a wake up call from all the people in her life and then maybe she wouldn't be such a bitch...maybe.

One of my favorite characters wasn't present in the book much, but has a much bigger role in the movie. Ethan was not only hilarious but he was much better developed than any of the other male characters. I so wish there had been more Ethan. He would have made up for all the other lack luster characters.

I enjoyed the first half of this book. It kept me hooked and engaged but by the middle nothing seemed to progress and it made me want to read less and less. Something Borrowed is getting 3 out of 5 birds from me. This definitely isn't a favorite but I did like it enough in the beginning and towards the end to give it 3 birds. I wouldn't recommend this book to everyone but if someone was looking for a light read with a story about a friendship that is tested I'd say read it.