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Sunday, July 20, 2014


Blurb from

"Hi, I'm the guy who reads your e-mail, and also, I love you . . . "

Beth Fremont and Jennifer Scribner-Snyder know that somebody is monitoring their work e-mail. (Everybody in the newsroom knows. It's company policy.) But they can't quite bring themselves to take it seriously. They go on sending each other endless and endlessly hilarious e-mails, discussing every aspect of their personal lives.

Meanwhile, Lincoln O'Neill can't believe this is his job now- reading other people's e-mail. When he applied to be "internet security officer," he pictured himself building firewalls and crushing hackers- not writing up a report every time a sports reporter forwards a dirty joke.

When Lincoln comes across Beth's and Jennifer's messages, he knows he should turn them in. But he can't help being entertained-and captivated-by their stories.

By the time Lincoln realizes he's falling for Beth, it's way too late to introduce himself.

What would he say . . . ?

My Review:

  I absolutely loved this novel. It's perfectly balanced in every way, with just the right amount of realism to make it unpredictable and not cheesy, without being depressingly realistic. 

  There weren't any annoying sentences where the grammar hurts your eyes. The conversations between Jennifer and Beth are so fun to read, they're funny and don't take themselves too seriously.

  I honestly don't know how to write a review that will give this book the credit it deserves without sounding like an advertisement. 

  In short, it's a cute story that I think most people would enjoy, no sensitive subjects, really universal themes, great mixture of comedy, drama, and romance.

Ever Yours~

The Know-it-all

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Before I Go To Sleep

Blurb from

'As I sleep, my mind will erase everything I did today. I will wake up tomorrow as I did this morning. Thinking I'm still a child. Thinking I have a whole lifetime of choice ahead of me...' 

Memories define us. So what if you lost yours every time you went to sleep? Your name, your identity, your past, even the people you love — all forgotten overnight. And the one person you trust may only be telling you half the story. 

Welcome to Christine's life.

My Review:

Completely addictive, I just couldn't put it down. While I liked the idea and the writing style, there were too many loose ends that so conveniently tied together at the end that it didn't feel possible. I followed the story's timeline well enough, but I've heard many people complain that when the timeline slows down suddenly towards the last third of the book, it felt a bit jarring, especially since it's written in exactly the same style (like a journal entry), with no change to indicate that this is present day and not her actual journal. I did enjoy the novel, it really sucked me in and that hasn't happened to me to this degree with many books. 

But I also found that there were a lot of points that were completely unbelievable and they were kind of stuck in the back of my mind while I was reading, accumulating towards the end of the story, so the ending just didn't click.

I've written out a list of the things I didn't like. This isn't a summary+commentary, it's a randomly arranged list of things that I didn't like in the novel. If you haven't read the book and are still willing to risk the spoilers, chances are the following won't make much sense anyways, as I haven't written any sort of intro/summary/character list.

Be warned, spoilers ahead!

1. Yes, her husband and son couldn't be expected to visit her regularly if it disturbs her and she can't remember them, but they can call the administration every once in a while to check that she's doing okay. Four whole months she was missing and none of her family or friends noticed?

2. The care house she was in discharged her (an amnesiac with no way of caring for herself) to a man who claimed to be her husband, without making sure it was actually him? And I don't buy the b.s. that she was found to be independent enough to check herself out, I mean, come tomorrow morning she isn't going to remember her own name, let alone where her home is, how she's going to eat etc. Also I'm assuming that there was some kind of contact info for the real Ben (or maybe Adam) in her file before Mike the impostor came around. Even if Mike told them that the information was outdated, wouldn't they call the old number to confirm it or something? Multiple holes in this part of the story,

3. Christine figures out that her husband is lying to her, about herself, about her condition, about her son, her best friend, everything, he is a known liar. She is in a vulnerable, dependent position with a man she knows lies to her regularly, why didn't she have Dr.Nash or Claire with her when she confronted him about it? She remember's Claire, she remembers how close they were, why doesn't she have some kind of backup, I mean she's suspicious enough, why not be safe too? Maybe I'm being too harsh on her, but she seemed smart enough once she calmed down about the amnesia and read her journal, she could function as though she had a normal memory.

4. The ending annoyed me. After all that reading, we don't even know if she actually made any progress or if the journal only made it seem like she did. We don't know what she was like before she started the journal, maybe she's always had the flashbacks but didn't have any way of linking them day to day. Arghh...I just feel like we deserved a more concrete ending after the rollercoaster of the book.

All in all, I would recommend it to anyone who likes suspense and mystery, as this is hands-down the best mystery/thriller book I've ever read. 

Ever Yours~

The Know-it-all

Everything and the Moon

Blurb from

Seven years ago she broke his heart... 

When Robert Kemble stumbles across Victoria Lyndon in hedgerow maze, he can't believe his eyes. The girl who'd torn him in two, who let him plan on elopement and then left him standing by the side of the road, was suddenly within arm's reach, and even though his fury still knew no bounds, she was impossible to resist...

Seven years ago he left her all but ruined... 

Victoria's father had told her an earl would never marry a vicar's daughter, and he was right. Robert had promised her marriage, then danced off to London while she suffered the shame of a foiled elopement. But even though Victoria doesn't particularly enjoy her new life as a governess, when Robert offers her a job of a different sort—his mistress—she refuses, unable to sacrifice her honor, even for him.

But Robert won't take no for an answer, and he vows to make her his, through any means possible. Can these star-crossed lovers learn to trust again? And is love really sweeter the second time around?

My Review:

The first 1/3 of the book really annoyed me, I agreed with Victoria's father wholeheartedly, stay the hell away from the rich dude who only meets with you in the middle of the night, he obviously doesn't have the best of intentions. In the "7-years-later" part it felt like I was reading about two totally different characters who just happened to have the same names as those in the beginning of the book, these characters were a lot less idiotic, but over time became equally annoying. The book did have some redeeming qualities, I enjoyed the banter between the h/H, I liked Ellie's sister...yeah that's basically it.

I wouldn't  recommend this book to most of my friends, it was basically the story of a stupid girl who risked her reputation and future happiness on a spoiled rich guy. Sure, in the end it sort of paid off, but taking that risk in the first place was  on a plane of idiocy all on it's own. I can't enjoy a book very much if I'm constantly disgusted by the characters.

Ever Yours~

The Know-it-all

Rakes and Radishes

Blurb from

When Henrietta Watson learns that the man she loves plans to marry London's most beautiful and fashionable debutante, she plots to win him back. She'll give him some competition by transforming her boring bumpkin neighbor, the Earl of Kesseley, into a rakish gothic hero worthy of this Season's Diamond.

After years of unrequited love for Henrietta, Kesseley is resigned to go along with her plan and woo himself a willing bride. But once in London, everything changes. Kesseley--long more concerned with his land than his title--discovers that he's interested in sowing wild oats as well as radishes. And Henrietta realizes that gothic heroes don't make ideal husbands. Despite an explosive kiss that opens her eyes to the love that's been in front of her all along, Henrietta must face the possibility that Kesseley is no longer looking to marry at all...

My Review:

Good God! All of the characters (the secondary one's too) were annoying, the story moved along at a snail's pace, the interactions between the hero and heroine were stilted and unnatural. They're "best friends" with no apparent adult supervision throughout their friendship and yet they're about as familiar with each other as strangers. I just can't explain how much I disliked this book, might as well be titled "A Tale of Selfish Idiots and Whiney Fools". All the characters took turns either pining after someone, or being a reluctant pinee (seriously, Henrietta/Kesseley, Kesseley's mom/Lord Damien, Sara/Edward/Lady whatsherface...e.v.e.r.y.o.n.e.). They also all realized that they didn't know who they wanted, trading partners like pokemon cards. 

This opinion was formed completely disregarding the fact that I had to read the entire novel in a state of suspended disbelief, seeing as nothing that happened in the novel could possibly have happened in real life. No young, proper girl's parent's are going to let her romp around with a young man with no supervision all the time, no earl's parent's would let him spend all of his time with people of no social standing, no proper unmarried young woman would be allowed into a gaming hell, no Duke would beg a random gentleman he's only just met to marry his beautiful daughter who has no lack of suitors, etc. I could go on but won't, as it would be a waste of time...

Ever Yours~

The Know-it-all

The Boy Who Sneaks in My Bedroom Window

Blurb from

Amber Walker and her older brother, Jake, have an abusive father. One night her brother's best friend, Liam, sees her crying and climbs through her bedroom window to comfort her. That one action sparks a love/hate relationship that spans over the next eight years. Liam is now a confident, flirty player who has never had a girlfriend before. Amber is still emotionally scarred from the abuse she suffered at the hands of her father. Together they make an unlikely pair. Their relationship has always been a rocky one, but what happens when Amber starts to view her brother's best friend a little differently? And how will her brother, who has always been a little overprotective, react when he finds out that the pair are growing closer? Find out in The Boy Who Sneaks In My Bedroom Window.

My Review:

I don't think I've had this many issues with one book before. 

First off, the grammar was atrocious. Seriously, subject verb agreement errors? Was there no editing/proof-reading at all? I know some people don't care about grammar as much as the actual plot, but to me, if this book is being sold for actual money, I expect it to be edited well. 

I didn't like, at all. She came off as a supercilious, judgemental bitch 90% of the time, and a clueless airhead the other 10%. She is also the epitome of a Mary-Sue character, pretty but she doesn't think she is, "A" student, athletic, perfect body, no parental supervision whatsoever, the list goes on and on. 

Liam is basically Amber's boy-toy/slave, he sleeps in her bed every. single. night. for 8 years to stop her from having nightmares, he makes her breakfast every morning, he drives her around, tells her she's the most beautiful girl in existence, but all this means absolutely nothing to Amber, because she hates "man-whore" Liam. This same "player" sleeps in her bed every night, not random girls' beds, but he's still a player somehow.

The whole sexual abuse aspect of the story seems like it was added for the sole purpose of reeling people in when they read the blurb on the back of the book. Amber says she's traumatised but shows absolutely no sign of being so. She sleeps with a guy in her bed every night, cuddling up to him and his ever-present boner, has no problem at all with sitting around in her bra andthong in front of him (this was before they were together), has no issues with constantly making-out-with/dry humping him. Unless of course she remembers that she was molested as a child and puts a stop to the making-out/humping sessions. This happened twice in the entire novel, without any kind of conversation afterwards or progress or even an acknowledgement by Amber that she should see a psychiatrist and deal with her issues, or even that she has issues.

There were too many misogynistic words/phrases thrown into the dialogue carelessly by the characters. I think one of the worst moments for me was when Liam, the guy who supposedly loves and respects Amber says "don't you worry your pretty little head", like in a serious tone, not being sarcastic, and she just accepts it.

There were too many variations of "ho/whore/slut" used to describe basically all the females in the book...I don't think even one female character escaped unscathed.

Did I mention the complete and utter lack of parental supervision throughout the novel? They may as well have been college students, living on their own like that. I honestly don't understand why they had to be high school age if they didn't act at all like high school kids. No high school kids live with that little parental influence. No school would allow students to ditch that often without so much as calling a parent. Everything that happened at school sounded like it could have happened at the mall, there were no references to actual classes or actual teachers so much as the cafeteria and everyone ogling/fighting over/betting on the hot guys on campus. 

Another thing I don't get is the mother, if she was abused by her husband for years and is basically cowering in fear every time he sets foot in the house, and then she is freed, he's gone, why didn't she report her husband to the police? Get a restraining order while she can without the threat of violence hanging over her head? No, she decided to get a job that keeps her out of town for 3 weeks per month, leaving her (then 15 and 13 y/o) teenagers alone at home for 3 week stretches while their abusive angry MIA father is on the loose. Totally rational.

Then there's the fact that the abusive (alcoholic?) father waschased out of his home by a pair of 15 year old boys...I'm sorry, but I can't see that happening, ever.

Also, Liam and Jake are both supermodel-athlete good looking and have hordes of admiring female fans who follow them around because, being female, teenage, secondary characters, what else would they do at school? What do you mean attend classes? There are classes in high school you say? and teachers too? no way! 

Lastly, there were the completely random story arcs that didn't contribute a thing to the novel, except maybe to make it seem longer and more complicated. The whole pregnancy thing felt so out of the author was planning on ending the book with a HEA+baby and changed her mind but decided to keep the chapters in there anyways. The Kate/Johnny/Jake love triangle-ish thing was distracting and ended up fizzling out. Multiple male characters waltz into the story, attempt to maul Amber, get intimidated/beaten up by Liam and waltz right back out. It just feels like a bunch of random things stuffed into the novel that don't get elaborated on and just exist to add to the word count.

The only redeeming factor in the entire novel is "night Liam", which is how Amber refers to Liam when he's being sweet and not a jerk, and the one star is for his sake alone. I'm using the term to refer collectively to all the cute things Liam does throughout the book. I can't honestly say that I liked Liam as a character because the author couldn't seem to make up her mind about his personality and he ended up coming across as having multiple personality disorder. One minute he's an absolute ass and the next he's comforting Amber.

Ever Yours~

The Know-it-all

Cry Wolf

Blurb from

Anna never knew werewolves existed, until the night she survived a violent attack... and became one herself. After three years at the bottom of the pack, she'd learned to keep her head down and never, ever trust dominant males. Then Charles Cornick, the enforcer—and son—of the leader of the North American werewolves, came into her life.

Charles insists that not only is Anna his mate, but she is also a rare and valued Omega wolf. And it is Anna's inner strength and calming presence that will prove invaluable as she and Charles go on the hunt in search of a rogue werewolf—a creature bound in magic so dark that it could threaten all of the pack.

My Review:

I don't know if I missed something, maybe the prequel was essential to the storyline or something, but it felt like I was reading a sequel, not the first book. The story starts off suddenly, and picks up after a conflict, I felt like the past deserved to be told as a separate novel/separate preceding chapters. It was a bit jarring to start off with interactions between two characters who aren't really introduced. The first few chapters especially felt like I'd opened a book in the middle without reading the first half.

The story itself really sucked me in, the characters are very likeable, the writing is really good and the history and world setting were wonderfully described. The only thing that really bothered me was the abrupt start, which doesn't really matter, I suppose, as the story goes on and things become clearer. But even when the book ends, there are still quite a few things that were left unsaid about the past.

Some of the specific (Read: SPOILERY) things that annoyed me:
-There is no real "flashback" about how Charles found out about Leo the abusive alpha after years of Leo going undetected.
-The entire past was kind of mentioned in passing but not in detail in one go, which kind of annoyed me, you have to piece together the shreds of information as you get them.
-We don't find out why their mating wasn't complete after sex and suddenly becomes complete after fighting the witch.
-Asil never tells Charles the stuff about being mated with an omega like he was planning to.
-It bugged me that Anna seeing her family again was mentioned so casually, I mean give it a proper scene with dialogue, the poor girl hasn't talked to them in 3 years!
-Basically the entire book was jarring, you're dropped in the middle of a story, no gradual introduction to the setting/characters, then you follow them around for what is essentially a single event (witch hunt) and *poof* door slams shut in your face. Any history you've managed to glean during your short stay with the characters is obtained purely by chance. If someone thinks about the past, you hear about it, otherwise you're kind of left in the dark.

All in all, I enjoyed this enough to read the prequel and sequel. The world-building is amazing enough that I added the author's other series set in the same world (the Mercy Thompson series) to my TBR list.

Ever Yours~

The Know-it-all

Tall, Tatted, Tempting

Blurb from

She’s locked up tight. But he might be the key.

Logan Reed is tall, tatted and tempting. Kit’s a woman with a mean right hook and a secret.

Kit wants a tattoo, but Logan sees more than she intends to share in the drawing of the tat she wants. He sees her in ways no one ever has.

Logan’s not disabled; but he hasn’t spoken in eight years. He hasn’t needed to. Until he meets Kit.

Logan doesn’t know everything about Kit. Kit doesn’t know anything about herself, until she has to sacrifice all she ever wanted to save what’s most important to him.

My Review:


This book had the most anti-climactic, sudden ending I've ever seen. The buildup was enjoyable, but the ending was very underwhelming. So many annoying eye-roll moments, unrealistic plot points and magical solutions to unsolvable problems.

Kit annoyed the hell out of me, she was such a drama queen/martyr. Ok, you're homeless, you're scared of going home with this guy because you don't know what he expects in return. He hauls you over his shoulder, your response? Well I may as well just hang here like a sack of potatoes because he's deaf and wouldn't hear my protests. I can't argue with such faultless logic.

She mentioned that she's been away from home for "so long now" that she couldn't imagine going back? Imagine my surprise when her mother says it's been 6 months...that isn't a "long time" for a 19 year old to have run away for. I also don't get why she didn't just get a job at McDonalds or something and rent somewhere...why this absolute shutdown? Either I go to Juilliard or I'm homeless? There's no middle ground? Also she's a rich kid with her own trust fund etc. why not plan your escape more carefully? Withdraw enough money to keep you afloat, keep in with you in cash, that would still be untraceable to her father, but at least she'd be safe. If she's defiantly trying to prove to her family that she isn't stupid and that she's responsible enough to make her own decisions, this isn't exactly going to help her case. Endangering yourself when you have every opportunity to plan ahead and NOT put your safety at risk is stupid.

With the amount of worrying she does about people finding out about her true identity, I thought her dad was in the mafia or something. If her identity was such a secret, how did Paul know she was rich in the first chapter? "not one of us" and all that?

Also, Matt has cancer. Second round of chemo, he collapses, the doctor's say it's only a matter of time. But oh! Wait, there's this new magical treatment that can help an end-stage cancer patient and has a super high success rate! What mystical witchcraft is this? It's true, but it's expensive and will cost "hundreds of thousands of dollars". Such a hurried "perfect" solution, where nobody actually sacrifices/pays/learns anything screams of an impending deadline set by the publisher.

That being said, this is still a perfectly acceptable fluff book. You know the kind, mood boosting light reading material.

Ever Yours~

The Know-it-all

The Duke is Mine

Blurb from

Tarquin, the powerful Duke of Sconce, knows perfectly well that the decorous and fashionably slender Georgiana Lytton will make him a proper duchess. So why can't he stop thinking about her twin sister, the curvy, headstrong, and altogether unconventional Olivia? Not only is Olivia betrothed to another man, but their improper, albeit intoxicating, flirtation makes her unsuitability all the more clear.

Determined to make a perfect match, he methodically cuts Olivia from his thoughts, allowing logic and duty to triumph over passion…Until, in his darkest hour, Quin begins to question whether perfection has anything to do with love.

To win Olivia's hand he would have to give up all the beliefs he holds most dear, and surrender heart, body and soul…

Unless it's already too late.

My Review:

   This is the third book in Eloisa James' Fairy Tales series, which is one of the better historical romance series around. I'd definitely recommend the series as a whole for people who enjoy historical romance as E.J. is, in my opinion, one of the best authors in this genre. In general, I enjoyed this book, probably more than I enjoy the average historical romance because of the polished writing style and the wry humour, which, despite my less than stellar review to come, I did appreciate. 

   This book is all over the place, the author has a few witty phrases and clever ideas that she wanted to write into a book, so she smushed them all together into this one. Yeah, individually they were funny/entertaining/dramatic/good, but all in one book...can you say multiple personality disorder? So let's stuff a disabled character (who is first made fun of, then pitied, then taken advantage of, (highlight to see spoiler) then killed, a "perfect" twin sister, a duchess exam type thing (princess and the pea element), Justin Bieber, dead loved ones (you have to give the characters baggage!), physical insecurities, Asperger's?, and top it off with a mission impossible-esque finale. I thought there were just too many sardonic inside jokes (multiple Justin Bieber references for one thing) that distracted me from the main plot. 

   Personally, historical fiction is my choice of escapism in literature, the lack of modern anything is one of the aspects that I enjoy because I can pretend that real life doesn't exist beyond the pages that I'm reading.

Ever Yours~

The Know-it-all

Friday, February 8, 2013

The Demon Lover

Thank you Netgalley for giving me an eArc of this book :)

Blurb from

Since accepting a teaching position at remote Fairwick College in upstate New York, Callie McFay has experienced the same disturbingly erotic dream every night: A mist enters her bedroom, then takes the shape of a virile, seductive stranger who proceeds to ravish her in the most toe-curling, wholly satisfying ways possible. Perhaps these dreams are the result of her having written the bestselling book The Sex Lives of Demon Lovers. Callie’s lifelong passion is the intersection of lurid fairy tales and Gothic literature—which is why she’s found herself at Fairwick’s renowned folklore department, living in a once-stately Victorian house that, at first sight, seemed to call her name.
But Callie soon realizes that her dreams are alarmingly real. She has a demon lover—an incubus—and he will seduce her, pleasure her, and eventually suck the very life from her. Then Callie makes another startling discovery: Her incubus is not the only mythical creature in Fairwick. As the tenured witches of the college and the resident fairies in the surrounding woods prepare to cast out the demon, Callie must accomplish something infinitely more difficult—banishing this supernatural lover from her heart.

My Review:

I liked this book, but I wasn't blown away by it.

The protagonist, Callie, had an interesting background story, but didn't really feel fleshed out to me. She described her past and her family/bf with a kind of surgical indifference, like she was retelling a story of someone else's life, not her own. SPOILER, HIGHLIGHT TO VIEW When she discovers that she's a witch/faerie, she takes the news in stride, no big reaction, no doubts, nothing.  I honestly cannot understand what is going on in that girl's mind, first she wants a fancy NYC career, then, unexpectedly decides to buy a house in the middle of nowhere. My main issue is basically that Callie's actions were not well explained, unless everything she did was based purely on instinct and had no logical thought process behind it.

The setting was beautifully described and I could see it clearly in my mind's eye. Fairwick was described in detail, the architecture and the landscape, everything was clear and I loved it. We get a bit of an intro into the fantasy side of their world when Callie does, but the dean is a bit absentminded/busy/tired and doesn't give Callie/the reader the entire story, which was disappointing plot-wise and kept nagging at me throughout the book (you don't know what you're doing Callie!!!) 

I liked the phantom-prince character at the beginning of the book a lot, a shadowy knight in shining armor who comforts Callie in her time of need. When his motives became clearer though, I started to have second thoughts...SPOILER HIGHLIGHT TO VIEW especially later on in the book when it's revealed that he betrays a previous incarnation of Callie to be with the faerie queen, and comes back anyways to try and suck the life of present Callie..knowingly! %$&*!$%^.

The most interesting part of the book is the Faerie world, I'm intrigued by what we hear about it (very very little) and want to know more. So many questions! SPOILER HIGHLIGHT TO VIEW Are the borderlands on the faerie side or the earth side of the door? Why are stuff stuck there? Can't they just go back to Faerie once they see that they can't get through to earth? Where is Liam and can/will Callie set him free? (I don't think he deserves it, but if he makes her happy, SHE deserves it)

I will definitely be reading the sequel to hear more about Faerie and the borderlands.

Ever Yours~

The Know-it-all

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Destroy Me

Since this is only a novella between two books, I don't have much to say, but what I do have to say affected my opinion of the series as a whole.

Blurb from

Perfect for the fans of Shatter Me who are desperately awaiting the release of Unravel Me, this novella-length digital original will bridge the gap between these two novels from the perspective of the villain we all love to hate, Warner, the ruthless leader of Sector 45.

In Tahereh Mafi’s Shatter Me, Juliette escaped from The Reestablishment by seducing Warner—and then putting a bullet in his shoulder. But as she’ll learn in Destroy Me, Warner is not that easy to get rid of. . .

Back at the base and recovering from his near-fatal wound, Warner must do everything in his power to keep his soldiers in check and suppress any mention of a rebellion in the sector. Still as obsessed with Juliette as ever, his first priority is to find her, bring her back, and dispose of Adam and Kenji, the two traitors who helped her escape. But when Warner’s father, The Supreme Commander of The Reestablishment, arrives to correct his son’s mistakes, it’s clear that he has much different plans for Juliette. Plans Warner simply cannot allow.

Set after Shatter Me and before its forthcoming sequel, Unravel Me,Destroy Me is a novella told from the perspective of Warner, the ruthless leader of Sector 45.

My Review:

This really helped with the problems I found in the first book, it was a peek into their world in a way that we hadn't had in Shatter Me, and it clarified a lot. 

It really changed my mind about Warner, the kind of 180 degree turn that rarely happens with me. Mafi managed to completely revise my opinion on a character I thought I knew, without changing who that character was..I could see this new side of Warner in the old Warner that I knew, and it helped me understand the character better.

I'm impressed with the author even more than I'd been after reading Shatter Me and I can't wait to read the sequel.

Ever Yours~

The Know-it-all

Shatter Me

One of my friends recommended this book to me, I'm so glad that she did :)

Blurb from

Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war– and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

My Review:

I loved the idea, loved the writing style too, very descriptive. Juliette is a her diary entries at the beginning of the book, but gets better, more coherent, soon after. 

I didn't like that everything was so vague for a good-sized portion of the book. I didn't understand much about the world Juliette was living in because Juliette was going crazy and didn't tell me anything that wasn't completely vague and meaningless. Don't get me wrong, the writing itself was beautiful, but those first few chapters didn't contribute to the story very much in my opinion, just gave me a basic idea of Juliette's current mental health.

Mafi is really gifted at prose, she strings sentences together that I end up wanting to take a picture of. Seriously, or is just me who want's to clap when I read a perfectly formed sentence that manages to transmit an idea so accurately and eloquently? I love love love her writing style, but the story itself was too murky and confusing for me. I like the basic idea though, so the series has potential, as soon as the world around the character's starts coming into focus.

Ever Yours~

The Know-it-all

The Selection

Blurb from

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself--and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

My Review:

It was an okay read, but there were a lot of eye-roll moments for me. It just seemed like a halfheartedly dystopian version of The Bachelor...I can't say I liked either romance interest, nor, to be honest did I really like the main character.

It's not bad for a "fluffy" read, it was interesting enough, didn't bore me at any point. A lot of the characters were annoying though, and the setup of the selection process really bothered me; it seemed like the royal family/government was anti-feminist, endorsing/creating a "show" that stripped young women of their dignity spoiler: highlight to read If they are chosen, they get instructions to give the prince whatever he wants, including their virginity, whether or not they reciprocate the feeling. /spoiler At the same time this "show" was intentionally being aired to the entire country, making the prince's love life a national affair (their future leader, mind you) with his family's permission! 

I don't feel like we got a true "dystopian" story, the focus was not on the caste system or the world they're living in most of the time. America was mainly obsessing over her love life/social life, we get a few tidbits of information about the world around her, but it's mostly about Aspen/Maxon or the competitive/aggressive behavior of the other contestants/girls. It really feels like the dystopian aspect of the story was an afterthought.

At first, I thought America was just a typical lovestruck teenager, and that the irresponsible things she does at the beginning of the novel stemmed from that. Towards the end of the novel, my opinion changed a few times...she went from being irresponsible-lovestruck-teen to drama queen to naive pushover before finally making it to dignified and acting like she'd actually thought her actions through beforehand. 

Basically, I didn't like the plot (the bachelor meets semi-dystopian royalty imo), disliked most of the characters, but I'm giving this two stars because of character development, which I think was well done.

Ever Yours~

The Know-it-all


I'd heard a lot about this before finally picking it up on my last run to the bookstore. The recommendations and raves were definitely well-placed with Divergent. This book really deserves all the attention it's been getting. It was a refreshing read in so many ways, the writing style, the lack of cliche characters, the detail. It was well-paced, and so engrossing that I finished it in one sitting. On to the review:

Blurb from

In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue--Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is--she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are--and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

My Review:

I really liked Divergent, it somehow managed to be original, dystopian, and relatable, without being depressing or annoying. I don't usually like dystopian novels because they always make the entire universe seem bleak and pointless, and the scenario's that make the world a dystopia rarely make any sense if you think about it. 

It's different in this book, it's a (reasonably) fair system, everyone has a choice. I appreciated the lack of a love triangle, they're so overused in series and it's refreshing to see a straightforward love interest. It had a perfect (in my opinion, of course) balance of action, dialogue, flash-backs, history, romance etc. The pace was perfect, not too fast, not agonizingly slow.

Roth really sucks you into the world she created, providing vivid descriptions and a detailed background story for the alternate universe where the story is set. At the same time the characters are well fleshed-out, their thought processes are understandable and realistic (illogical main characters automatically deprive me of any enjoyment I may have had from a book), and they're perfectly flawed (no Mary Sue's in sight thank god). Roth didn't rely on any of the stale YA cliches (love triangle, orphaned main character, drop-dead gorgeous main character, idiot characters, personal-grudge-bearing archenemy etc.)

In the end it was a very enjoyable read which left me anxious to buy the sequel :)

Ever Yours~

The Know-it-all

Friday, August 12, 2011

Forgive My Fins

Forgive My Fins (Fins, #1)This is a really nice book few people have heard about. I was browsing a list of books my friend recently read and the title intrigued me enough to go out and get it. The book is really one of a kind, an amazing read with a quirky likable main character. The book is filled with amusing sea vocabulary that draws you into the world the author has created. The cover is beautiful and completely appropriate for the mermaid romance.

Blurb from

Lily Sanderson has a secret, and it’s not that she has a huge crush on gorgeous swimming god Brody Bennett, who makes her heart beat flipper-fast. Unrequited love is hard enough when you’re a normal teenage girl, but when you’re half human, half mermaid like Lily, there’s no such thing as a simple crush. 

Lily’s mermaid identity is a secret that can’t get out, since she’s not just any mermaid – she’s a Thalassinian princess. When Lily found out three years ago that her mother was actually a human, she finally realized why she didn’t feel quite at home in Thalassinia, and she’s been living on land and going to Seaview high school ever since, hoping to find where she truly belongs. Sure, land has its problems – like her obnoxious, biker boy neighbor Quince Fletcher – but it has that one major perk – Brody. The problem is, mermaids aren’t really the casual dating type – when they “bond,” it’s for life. 

When Lily’s attempt to win Brody’s love leads to a tsunami-sized case of mistaken identity, she is in for a tidal wave of relationship drama, and she finds out, quick as a tailfin flick, that happily-ever-after never sails quite as smoothly as you planned.

My Review:

I loved this book so much! The Protagonist, Princess Waterlily of Thalassinia (or Lily for short ;P), is a half human, half mermaid who goes to a regular highschool. She has a crush on Brody Bennet, the popular swim team champion at her school. Quince Fletcher is her annoying neighbor who's been making her life miserable for the three years she's lived on land. When she accidentally kisses Quince (thinking he was Brody) they both get more than they bargained for since the kiss instigates a "bond" between them. Lily takes Quince on an underwater journey trying to get the bond severed before its too late and they're joined for life.

This book is amazingly detailed, with lovable characters, and beautiful descriptions. The only thing I didn't like about the book is the way the author describes Lily. She's really bad at schoolwork, she's shallow, and she's stubborn, and blind to what's right in front of her. She actually describes her using those words. Its one thing to perceive a character as being less than bright, but its another thing completely to have the author describe her as a love-sick fool, drooling over Brody instead of doing homework, Gossiping with her best friend Shannen for hours on the phone instead of studying. I'm not saying she should describe the studying in detail, but she mentions that Lily is bad at everything school related, and she's in a few extra-curriculars, but only the ones Brody is in. And then she's acts like a blind idiot. All in all, despite the fact that she's a very nice character, I was not impressed by Lily at all. I kept wanting to bang my head against the wall at her obliviousness. Quince is another thing altogether, he lives with his mother who struggles to make ends meet. Quince goes to school and has a part-time job to help his mother, he's also unfailingly polite to everyone but Lily, who he take great pleasure in annoying. Because of the bond, Lily gets to know Quince better, as they are finally forced to have a few real conversations. I spent the entire book getting anxious whenever their bond was in danger of being severed because as the book progresses you can see that they are perfect for each other.

The Second book "Fins are Forever" came out last June. Planning to read that soon.

As an added tidbit, This is how I imagined Quince looking like:

Brody, but he should have longer darker hair:

I couldn't find one I liked for Lily, but she has crazy untamable curly blonde hair and big brown eyes. I imagined her as really skinny and of medium/short height

Ever Yours~

The Know-it-all


Demonglass (Hex Hall, #2)

The second book of the Hex Hall trilogy, Demonglass has been on my TBR list before it even came out. I love how they used the same theme for the covers of both books, and both covers are filled with symbolism that foreshadows what happens in the novels.

Blurb from
Sophie Mercer thought she was a witch.

That was the whole reason she was sent to Hex Hall, a reform school for delinquent Prodigium (aka witches, shapeshifters, and fairies). But that was before she discovered the family secret, and that her hot crush, Archer Cross, is an agent for The Eye, a group bent on wiping Prodigium off the face of the earth.

Turns out, Sophie’s a demon, one of only two in the world—the other being her father. What’s worse, she has powers that threaten the lives of everyone she loves. Which is precisely why Sophie decides she must go to London for the Removal, a dangerous procedure that will destroy her powers.

But once Sophie arrives she makes a shocking discovery. Her new friends? They’re demons too. Meaning someone is raising them in secret with creepy plans to use their powers, and probably not for good. Meanwhile, The Eye is set on hunting Sophie down, and they’re using Archer to do it. But it’s not like she has feelings for him anymore. Does she?

My Review:

 Now if you're a fan of mystery, action, romance, and fantasy all mixed into one book, you'll love the Hex Hall series. Demonglass is the second installment of the Hex Hall trilogy, and I must say that I enjoyed it much more than its predecessor. The first book struck me as a bit more fluffy than this one, if you read my review on Hex Hall, I mentioned that, at first, Sophie is very whiny and annoying, and we see her mature throughout the book. Demonglass is like a continuation of that, she is a lot easier to like in this novel. Archer, her love interest, returns, and we learn a lot more about him than we did in the first book. Sophie is suspicious of him, after everything he did, and he's trying to get back into her good graces, so we get to see quite a few satisfying scenes. Archer really went up a few notches in my estimation. He's more real in this book, we learn more about who he is, instead of Sophie's (frequent) monotonous "OMGZ, He's like so hot!!11!!!!1" monologues.

 The setting really pulled me in here, Sophie goes to London, and the description is amazing! I'd can almost see the creepy mansion she lives in. And we learn a lot more about her great-grandmother (resisting urge to give spoilers). Also, an interesting new love triangle is introduced, but the author doesn't really go into it much. In fact, she brings in a LOT of new story lines that she barely goes into, so there are a lot of loose ends at the end of the novel. So basically, she resolves some of the cliffhangers from the last book and introduces about a gazillion new ones, which she leaves unfinished. I wish I had just waited until all three books were out before starting this series, because, honestly, the suspense is killing me!

The last book of the trilogy "Spell Bound" is due to be released in March of 2012 (too long from now :()

Ever Yours~

The Know-it-all

Hex Hall

  So I read Hax Hall ages ago and hadn't gotten around to reviewing it yet, so, since I've read Demonglass since then, I've decided to write back-to-back reviews.

Hex Hall is the first book of a trilogy by Rachel Hawkins. Hex hall kind of reminded me of meg cabots novels with more action and fantasy. It was a pretty good book, and actually went quite a bit above my expectations. I'd gotten a lot of recommendations for this book, and I knew that it was a popular YA book so I put it on my to-be-read list. The summary and descriptions I'd read hadn't really pulled me in, that and the fact that the cover screamed "middle school" was why I wasn't really eager to start this book. Once I was past the first few chapters though it reminded me of a mixture of Meg Cabot and the House of Night series (which I am planning on reviewing soon). I loved the whole budding romance thing going on, but it was a bit creepier than I would have liked.

Blurbs from

Hex Hall:
Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. It's gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie's estranged father--an elusive European warlock--only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it's her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.
By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard: three powerful enemies who look like supermodels, a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock, a creepy tagalong ghost, and a new roommate who happens to be the most hated person and only vampire student on campus. Worse, Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her only friend is the number-one suspect.
As a series of blood-curdling mysteries starts to converge, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially her.

My Review:

This book was a surprisingly nice read, I went in expecting a fluffy YA book, with no depth. And much as I like fluffy books (light reading is always enjoyable) this turned out to be quite a bit more than that. With a perfect balance of romance, action, magic, and history, I was really impressed. The main character, Sophie, is a bit annoying at times, always whining about everything that happens to her. She really evolves in this novel, she tackles her problems head on and resolves them herself. No knight-in-shining armour to be seen. I love a novel where the heroine is actually a Heroine instead of the usual whiney damsel-in-distress, and Sophie is definitely a Heroine. Her main love interest, Archer, is a bit of a disappointment really, he's such a cliche, dating the most popular girl in school (who is, of course, a total witch), macho guy, handsome, and Sophie feels a "connection" with him and thinks he should be with her. Personally, I think she's too good for him. The book is about Sophie's journey of self-discovery, and I ended up liking her more and more with every page. A word to the wise, though, expect a cliffhanger, so don't start this book until you have the sequel(s) in hand. 

Ever Yours~

The Know-it-all