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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma

Publisher: Simon Pulse
Source: Bought (Barnes and Noble)
Edition: Hardcover
Pages: 464
Rating: A+

She is pretty and talented - sweet sixteen and never been kissed. He is seventeen; gorgeous and on the brink of a bright future. And now they have fallen in love. But... they are brother and sister.

Seventeen-year-old Lochan and sixteen-year-old Maya have always felt more like friends than siblings. Together they have stepped in for their alcoholic, wayward mother to take care of their three younger siblings. As defacto parents to the little ones, Lochan and Maya have had to grow up fast. And the stress of their lives—and the way they understand each other so completely—has also also brought them closer than two siblings would ordinarily be. So close, in fact, that they have fallen in love. Their clandestine romance quickly blooms into deep, desperate love. They know their relationship is wrong and cannot possibly continue. And yet, they cannot stop what feels so incredibly right. As the novel careens toward an explosive and shocking finale, only one thing is certain: a love this devastating has no happy ending.

I never thought I would read a book about incest and actually be able to sympathize with the characters. I mean, we're talking about incest here people. But, after I read so many good reviews of this one, I knew I had to pick it up regardless of it sounding disturbing. I can tell everyone right now that this is one book that I will never forget. It's going to stay with me forever because of how different it is from any other book I've ever read.

The lifestyle the characters have in Forbidden are so unimaginable to me. It was heartbreaking how these two teenagers had to take care of their younger siblings while they were still trying to figure their own lives out. I rely more on my mother now (I'm 21 and live at college) then they did when they were still in high school!

During the first half or so of the book, I kept hoping to myself that somehow these two characters weren't actually related. Then the second half, I honestly didn't seem to even care. The way the author writes this book makes you understand their situation and why they feel the way they do. While it's definitely a challenging read, I found myself rooting for these characters and their love story.

I can't recommend this book enough but I do have to warn you... you'll need some major tissues to accompany you during this read. It's beautiful, heartbreaking, and such an emotional rollercoaster.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

On the Island by Tracey Garvis-Graves

Publisher: Plume
Source: Bought (Barnes and Noble)
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 319
Rating: A+

When thirty-year-old English teacher Anna Emerson is offered a job tutoring T.J. Callahan at his family's summer rental in the Maldives, she accepts without hesitation; a working vacation on a tropical island trumps the library any day.

T.J. Callahan has no desire to leave town, not that anyone asked him. He's almost seventeen and if having cancer wasn't bad enough, now he has to spend his first summer in remission with his family - and a stack of overdue assignments - instead of his friends.

Anna and T.J. are en route to join T.J.'s family in the Maldives when the pilot of their seaplane suffers a fatal heart attack and crash-lands in the Indian Ocean. Adrift in shark-infested waters, their life jackets keep them afloat until they make it to the shore of an uninhabited island. Now Anna and T.J. just want to survive and they must work together to obtain water, food, fire, and shelter. Their basic needs might be met but as the days turn to weeks, and then months, the castaways encounter plenty of other obstacles, including violent tropical storms, the many dangers lurking in the sea, and the possibility that T.J.'s cancer could return. As T.J. celebrates yet another birthday on the island, Anna begins to wonder if the biggest challenge of all might be living with a boy who is gradually becoming a man.

Okay, so I know that this is primarily a YA blog, so I promise that there won't be Fiction titles constantly! I read a review of this little gem over at Parajunkee by Patti and knew that I had to try it. I'm so happy I bought this book because the story will stay with me for such a long time!

I wondered how the author was going to make the romance between the two characters not gross, since it is such a big age difference. She managed to pull it off beautifully and it found a spot in my top 5 favorite book couples, for sure. Also, I know this might sound wrong... but I've always had a soft spot for teacher/student relationships. I don't think it's right for it to happen in real life, but when it happens in books and movies, I can't get enough of it!

I read this book in one sitting. I've never done that before because there's usually a part of a book that might get a little boring, or I get hungry, or you know... nature calls. I. Did. Not get up once during this book! I kept reading until the last page and felt very satisfied. There honestly wasn't any part of the book that I didn't love.

The alternating view points made this story so easy to read. I loved reading how each of them were feeling instead of just Anna. I definitely had a huge connection to these characters and totally recommend everyone to read this book! If you're in your younger teens, maybe wait a few years to read it because there is some language and sexual scenes in it!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Source: Christmas Present!
Edition: Hardback
Pages: 452
Rating: A
Mara Dyer believes life can't get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.
It can.

She believes there must be more to the accident she can't remember that killed her friends and left her strangely unharmed.
There is.

She doesn't believe that after everything she's been through, she can fall in love.
She's wrong.
This is one of those books that you should read again.
This is one of those books that I have read again.
This is one of those books that I am currently reading again.

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer was one the better books I have read in a long time. Mara is not your average girl. She has been through, seen, and done things that would break the spirit of most people. Her witty humor and, dare I say, sassy-ness are what seem to get her through.

Well... all of that, and the help of the beautiful, British, Noah Shaw. This bad boy seems to have gone after every girl in the school, so Mara thinks that she will be nothing but his latest conquest. Oh how mistaken she is!

While there is an essence of the supernatural within the book, it's not your typical "dark, YA book". There's no werewolves or vampires. It's not a dystopian society. Quite frankly, there's not even a love triangle. I think it's wonderful how Michelle Hodkin is able to suck in the masses without all of the usual gimicks. Now, don't get me wrong, there are some things that are going on in the book that don't happen in real life, but it's still closer to reality than most books with a harder edge.

To the book!

Mara Dyer was in a terrible accident. Her three friends lost their lives, and she was the sole surviver. Too bad she has no recollection of that night. Much of the book is Mara coping. She's coping with depression, moving, and of course, PTSD. (A slightly insane teenage girl made me feel like my life was a little more normal, personally)

There were some parts of the book that I had to read over a few times to fully understand, but that's because Mara was having hallucinations, so I wasn't sure what was real and what wasn't. But, that aside, she does also have to deal with everyday teenage girl problems. Parents, boys, and school.

It's hard to explain, all I know is that I love this book. I can't wait to find out what happens next. I highly recommend reading it!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades #1-3) by E.L. James

Publisher: Vintage
Source: Bought (Target)
Edition: Paperback
Pages: Each book is about 500
Rating: A+

When literature student Anastasia Steele is drafted to interview the successful young entrepreneur Christian Grey for her campus magazine, she finds him attractive, enigmatic and intimidating. Convinced their meeting went badly, she tries to put Grey out of her mind - until he happens to turn up at the out-of-town hardware store where she works part-time.

The unworldly, innocent Ana is shocked to realize she wants this man, and when he warns her to keep her distance it only makes her more desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her - but on his own terms.

Shocked yet thrilled by Grey's singular erotic tastes, Ana hesitates. For all the trappings of success – his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving adoptive family – Grey is a man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a passionate, physical and daring affair, Ana learns more about her own dark desires, as well as the Christian Grey hidden away from public scrutiny.

Can their relationship transcend physical passion? Will Ana find it in herself to submit to the self-indulgent Master? And if she does, will she still love what she finds?

I really didn't expect to love these books as much as I did. The whole reason I read these books is because half of the people on Goodreads said it was incredible while the other half said it was a piece of trash. I had to find out for myself! And so I did...

When I was reading the first book, I kept telling my roommate how much it ticked me off and I honestly can't even remember why... other than the whole referring to inner-self (?) as "inner goddess". That part did bug me, but other than that I didn't have any issues with the books!

While the first book is pretty much porn, the second and third book seemed to simmer down (just a little!) to give the story some depth.

I found Ana really easy to relate to and found that I would probably be making a lot of the same decisions she made through out the books. I felt such a connection to her character. Usually, if I'm enjoying a book, I can imagine myself as the main character but never like this! I felt like I was Ana when reading these books and when she got jealous, I got jealous. When something great happened to her, I had a smile on my face probably just as big as hers would be if not bigger.

To be honest, I feel like I'm kind of choking writing this review because I'm having a hard time finding the words to why I adored these books as much as I did. Am I afraid of writing this review because others will judge me for liking the book? Yep. Am I going to let that stop me? Nope.

In my opinion, if you're wondering about reading the book, give it a shot. It might surprise you just like it did me! And if you don't like it, then you'll know! What I'm saying is don't feel like you shouldn't read it because a lot of people don't like it. I would also tell you not to feel like you have to read it because everyone else is... but then I would be contradicting myself because that's the exact reason I did.

*Ages 18+*

Monday, July 9, 2012

Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally

Publisher: Sourcebooks
Source: Borrowed from Bri
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 281
Rating: B
What girl doesn't want to be surrounded by gorgeous jocks day in and day out? Jordan Woods isn't just surrounded by hot guys, though–she leads them as the captain and quarterback of her high school football team. They all see her as one of the guys and that's just fine. As long as she gets her athletic scholarship to a powerhouse university.
But everything she's ever worked for is threatened when Ty Greeen moves to her school. Not only is he an amazing QB, but he's also amazingly hot. And for the first time, Jordan's feeling vulnerable. Can she keep her head in the game while her heart's on the line?

This book. This wonderful book was not was what I was expecting. Not at all. I think that I was expecting Jordan Woods, the protagonist of the story, to be a typical girl who just happened to play football. But I could not have been more wrong. Jordan is not someone who I would want to be up against in a fight. (And not just because she would have her entire football team behind her) She is a seventeen year old girl who would give you no mercy because she never had some herself. It's primarily about football and how the team gets along, and I found that extremely refreshing!

While the exact content of the book wasn't what I was expecting, after I started reading, the book did become a little predictable. Not that I'm complaining! It was nice to read a book about normal people who do normal things. It was very relatable, and I've been missing that! If you want to read a feel good book that you can talk about with your freinds, then this is what I recommend. You get to love the characters and watch how their relationships with each other unfold. It's like reading about the life you secretly wish you had!

This story about a not so average girl is one that is worth the time investment. Trust me. The ending is not something you'll want to miss!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Insurgent (Divergent #2) by Veronica Roth

Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: BEA
Edition: Hardcover
Pages: 525
Rating: A+

One choice can transform you--or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves--and herself--while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable--and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.


Holy mother of crap. I was beyond excited for this book and when I heard Veronica Roth was going to be signing Insurgent BEA, I got that feeling in my stomach as if I were at the top of a huge rollercoaster about to drop down a million feet.

While I loved every page of this book, the last few are what really made me fall head over heels in love. It was the most memorable ending that has ever crossed my path and I can honestly say that I would encourage people to read this trilogy purely based on the ingenuity of Insurgent's last few pages.

Even though Tris ticked me off during some parts of the book, I continued to love reading about her emotions, decisions, and consequences. Tobias... ick, I hate that name. I'm going to keep calling him Four. Four also ticked me off! Both Tris and Four were stubborn towards each other through out the whole book and I just wanted to yell at both of them because of it.

Veronica Roth pulled some crazy stuff in this book that I would not have expected. She completely pulled the rug out from under me... and I appreciate those kinds of gestures (unless we're being literal... in that case... how rude!) and try to savor them whenever they happen. It really takes a lot to shock me when it comes to books because whenever I'm not reading, I'm thinking about all of the different directions the book could take. Eventually there's so many theories that at least one is usually correct.

One of my favorite parts of this book was getting to know all of the other factions. I found it extremely fascinating and kind of satisfying since the previous book had me wondering at times what the others were doing for initiation.

Insurgent had me at a loss for words when I finished it, which is mostly the reason why it took me this long to write up a review for it. If you haven't read this series yet, do yourself a favor and indulge in amazingness.