Showing posts with label Sharon Huss Roat. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sharon Huss Roat. Show all posts

Monday, September 18, 2017

Mini Reviews: How to Disappear by Sharon Huss Roat and These Things I've Done by Rebecca Phillips

From Goodreads: Vicky Decker has perfected the art of hiding in plain sight, quietly navigating the halls of her high school undetected except by her best (and only) friend, Jenna. But when Jenna moves away, Vicky’s isolation becomes unbearable. So she decides to invent a social life by Photoshopping herself into other people’s pictures, posting them on Instagram under the screen name Vicurious. Instantly, she begins to get followers, so she adds herself to more photos from all over the world with all types of people. And as Vicurious’s online followers multiply, Vicky realizes she can make a whole life for herself without ever leaving her bedroom. But the more followers she finds online, the clearer it becomes that there are a lot of people out there who feel like her - #alone and #ignored in real life. To help them, and herself, Vicky must find the courage to face her fear of being “seen,” because only then can she stop living vicariously and truly bring the magic of Vicurious to life. 

My Rating: 3 hearts 

Thoughts on the Novel: If you prefer plot-driven novels, Sharon Huss Roat’s How to Disappear is probably not the book for you since it involves Vicki just spending a lot of time online – either Photoshopping herself into different backgrounds, posting her pictures on Instagram and seeing what kind of feedback she gets, or checking out other people’s Instagram feeds. Yet even though nothing major happens over the course of How to Disappear, I didn’t think it was a bad read because it serves as a reminder of how powerful social media can be in connecting people. 

How to Disappear was released in August 2017 by HarperTeen. 

In exchange for an honest review, this book was received from the publisher (HarperCollins) for free via Edelweiss.
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From Goodreads: Before: Dara and Aubrey have been inseparable since they became best friends in sixth grade. However, as they begin their sophomore year of high school, cracks in their friendship begin to form, testing the bond they always thought was unbreakable. After: It's been fifteen months since the accident that killed Aubrey, and not a day goes by that Dara isn't racked with guilt over her role in her best friend's death. Dara thought nothing could be worse than confronting the memories of Aubrey that relentlessly haunt her, but she soon realizes it isn't half as difficult as seeing Ethan, Aubrey's brother, every day. Not just because he's a walking reminder of what she did, but because the more her feelings for him change, the more she knows she's betraying her best friend one final time. 

My Rating: 2.5 hearts 

Thoughts on the Novel: Alternating chapters between Dara’s sophomore and senior years, These Things I’ve Done by Rebecca Phillips shows the difference in Dara’s attitude and personality before and after Aubrey’s death. When reading a novel chronicling someone’s life after the death of a loved one, I need to connect with the characters; and unfortunately, Dara was someone I struggled to connect with because she keeps trying not to move on, despite knowing that Aubrey’s death was accidental. I also thought some of the secondary characters could have been better fleshed out. For example, there was no reason for Travis to think of Dara as a murderer and yet he does, even though Aubrey’s brother, Ethan, quickly befriends Dara again, making it clear he holds no ill will towards her. If you’re looking for a book where grief is a major theme, I’d recommend reading Cynthia Hand’s The Last Time We Say Goodbye or Emery Lord’s The Start of Me and You instead.

These Things I’ve Done was released by HarperTeen in August 2017.

In exchange for an honest review, this book was received from the publisher (HarperCollins) for free via Edelweiss.

Monday, June 01, 2015

Mini Reviews: Between the Notes by Sharon Huss Roat and Dead to Me by Mary McCoy

From Goodreads: When Ivy Emerson’s family loses their house - complete with her beloved piano - the fear of what’s to come seizes her like a bad case of stage fright. Only this isn’t one of her single, terrifying performances. It’s her life. And it isn’t pretty. Ivy is forced to move with her family out of their affluent neighborhood to Lakeside, also known as “the wrong side of the tracks.” Hiding the truth from her friends - and the cute new guy in school, who may have secrets of his own - seems like a good idea at first. But when a bad boy next door threatens to ruin everything, Ivy’s carefully crafted lies begin to unravel ... and there is no way to stop them. As things get to the breaking point, Ivy turns to her music, some unlikely new friends, and the trusting heart of her disabled little brother. She may be surprised that not everyone is who she thought they were ... including herself.

My Rating: 3 hearts 

Thoughts on the Novel: I’m not sure what I was expecting from Sharon Huss Roat’s Between the Notes, but it wasn’t what I got - a story where a formerly rich girl spends the majority of the book pretending to still be rich and looking down at her new neighbours. As a result, I had a tough time connecting with Ivy.

Another aspect of Between the Notes that I struggled with was the unnecessary love triangle. It was clear from the beginning of the novel who Ivy would actually end up with; so, I didn’t see why Roat chose to have Ivy be conflicted over two boys, neither of who were really fleshed out. It also made Ivy’s change of heart at the end with regards to her love life not very believable.  

Between the Notes will be released on June 16, 2015 by HarperTeen.  

In exchange for an honest review, this book was received from the publisher (HarperCollins) for free via Edelweiss. 
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From Goodreads: "Don't believe anything they say." Those were the last words that Annie spoke to Alice before turning her back on their family and vanishing without a trace. Alice spent four years waiting and wondering when the impossibly glamorous sister she idolized would return to her - and what their Hollywood-insider parents had done to drive her away. When Annie does turn up, the blond, broken stranger lying in a coma has no answers for her. But Alice isn't a kid anymore, and this time she won't let anything stand between her and the truth, no matter how ugly. The search for those who beat Annie and left her for dead leads Alice into a treacherous world of tough-talking private eyes, psychopathic movie stars, and troubled starlets - and onto the trail of a young runaway who is the sole witness to an unspeakable crime. What this girl knows could shut down a criminal syndicate and put Annie's attacker behind bars - if Alice can find her first. And she isn't the only one looking. 

My Rating: 2.5 hearts 

Thoughts on the Novel: Although it had murder, mystery, and blackmail; Dead to Me by Mary McCoy was a book that never felt suspenseful enough to me for several reasons. Firstly, I failed to connect with Alice and didn’t really care much about her sister, Annie. Secondly, I felt the plot was very sequential, and knew things were going to work out for Alice and Annie. Seriously, when was the last time you read a book where the protagonist died or was seriously injured? Finally, the bad guys were revealed much earlier than I anticipated, and so I was simply waiting to see whether the bad guys would be caught in the latter portion of the book. 

Dead to Me was released by Disney-Hyperion in March 2015.  

In exchange for an honest review, this book was received from the publisher (Disney Book Group) for free via NetGalley.
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