Showing posts with label Swoon Reads. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Swoon Reads. Show all posts

Monday, August 21, 2017

Mini Reviews: Wesley James Ruined My Life by Jennifer Honeybourn and Our Broken Pieces by Sarah White

From Goodreads: Sixteen-year-old Quinn Hardwick’s having a rough summer. Her beloved grandmother has been put into a home, her dad’s gambling addiction has flared back up and now her worst enemy is back in town: Wesley James, former childhood friend - until he ruined her life, that is. So when Wesley is hired to work with her at Tudor Tymes, a medieval England themed restaurant, the last thing Quinn’s going to do is forgive and forget. She’s determined to remove him from her life and even the score all at once - by getting him fired. But getting rid of Wesley isn’t as easy as she’d hoped. When Quinn finds herself falling for him, she has to decide what she wants more: to get even, or to just get over it.

My Rating: 2.5 hearts 

Thoughts on the Novel: With a far-fetched premise – five years after her parents’ divorce, sixteen-year-old Quinn still believes Wesley James is responsible for her parents breaking up – and a rather rushed transformation of feelings from hate-to-love, it’s no surprise that Jennifer Honeybourn’s Wesley James Ruined My Life failed to captivate me overall. However, I did enjoy reading the parts involving Tudor Tymes, the restaurant Quinn works at, because the concept of the restaurant was so well-developed and unique. If something like Tudor Tymes actually existed, I know I’d be interested in popping into it to take a peek. (The food unfortunately, as described by Quinn, didn’t sound very appetizing, lol.)

Wesley James Ruined My Life was released by Swoon Reads in July 2017.

From Goodreads: The only thing worse than having your boyfriend dump you is having him dump you for your best friend. For Everly Morgan the betrayal came out of nowhere. One moment she had what seemed like the perfect high school relationship, and the next, she wanted to avoid the two most important people in her life. Every time she sees them kiss in the hallways her heart breaks a little more. The last thing on Everly’s mind is getting into another relationship, but when she meets Gabe in her therapist’s waiting room she can’t deny their immediate connection. Somehow he seems to understand Everly in a way that no one else in her life does, and maybe it’s because Gabe also has experience grappling with issues outside of his control. Just because they share so many of the same interests and there is an undeniable spark between them doesn’t mean Everly wants anything more than friendship. After all, when you only barely survived your last breakup, is it really worth risking your heart again?  

My Rating: 1 heart 

Thoughts on the Novel: Our Broken Pieces by Sarah White was a book that annoyed me to no ends! Perhaps I’m too old for books like this now, but every time Everly considered how different her senior year was turning out to be due to Brady’s betrayal, I just wanted to be like, “Move on, already!” In my opinion, if somebody cheats on you, they don’t deserve you so why waste your time thinking about what could have been? It also drove me crazy that Everly seemed to be more upset by losing Brady than the loss of her friendship with Elle. Lastly, sometimes the interactions between Gabe (who occasionally didn’t sound like a guy but a female thinking about what the perfect guy would say) and Everly were so cheesy that they made me cringe.

Our Broken Pieces was released on August 8, 2017 by HarperTeen.

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

*Just an aside, the sex in Our Broken Pieces is surprisingly descriptive for a YA novel.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Mini Reviews: You Don’t Know My Name by Kristen Orlando and Poison's Kiss by Breeana Shields

From Goodreads: Fighter. Faker. Student. Spy. Seventeen-year-old Reagan Elizabeth Hillis is used to changing identities overnight, lying to every friend she’s ever had, and pushing away anyone who gets too close. Trained in mortal combat and weaponry her entire life, Reagan is expected to follow in her parents’ footsteps and join the ranks of the most powerful top-secret agency in the world, the Black Angels. Falling in love with the boy next door was never part of the plan. Now Reagan must decide: Will she use her incredible talents and lead the dangerous life she was born into, or throw it all away to follow her heart and embrace the normal life she’s always wanted? And does she even have a choice? 

My Rating: 3.5 hearts 

Thoughts on the Novel: An entertaining read while it lasted, You Don’t Know My Name by Kristen Orlando begins with Reagan being tired of constantly having to be undercover and feeling indecisive about her future – should she follow her parents’ footsteps and join a covert government organization or go to college and ultimately have a normal life? One of the reasons Reagan wants to be a regular girl of course is because there’s a boy … who coincidentally wants to go into the military and therefore knows how to shoot and not be a liability on a mission. Considering that Reagan is a teenager, it’s not surprising then that there are many plot holes in You Don’t Know My Name; but I chose to overlook those in favour of the action and suspense. 

You Don’t Know My Name was released in January 2017 by Swoon Reads.  .................................................................................................. 
From Goodreads: Marinda has kissed dozens of boys. They all die afterward. It's a miserable life, but being a visha kanya, a poison maiden, is what she was created to do. Marinda serves the Raja by dispatching his enemies with only her lips as a weapon. Until now, the men she was ordered to kiss have been strangers, enemies of the kingdom. Then she receives orders to kiss Deven, a boy she knows too well to be convinced he needs to die. She begins to question who she's really working for. And that is a thread that, once pulled, will unravel more than she can afford to lose. 

My Rating: 1.5 hearts 

Thoughts on the Novel: With a synopsis promising an assassin – an instant addition to my want-to-read list – capable of killing with a kiss as well as elements of Indian folklore, I was really excited to read Poison’s Kiss by Breeana Shields. It’s too bad then that the aforementioned assassin turned out to feel guilty about killing so many boys! It’s very annoying when I think I’ll be reading about a deadly assassin and instead end up reading about a person drowning in remorse! On top of that, Marinda was so na?ve and ignorant, believing everything told to her and never bothering to ask questions! As if that wasn’t bad enough, making everything worse was the fact that there was an insta-love romance. Seriously, like after two conversations with Deven, Marinda was willing to risk her life for Deven! 

A book that definitely didn’t live up to its potential, Poison’s Kiss was released by Random House Books for Young Readers in January 2017. 

Monday, February 01, 2016

Review: These Vicious Masks by Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas (and Giveaway)

From Goodreads: England, 1882. Evelyn is bored with society and its expectations. So when her beloved sister, Rose, mysteriously vanishes, she ignores her parents and travels to London to find her, accompanied by the dashing Mr. Kent. But they’re not the only ones looking for Rose. The reclusive, young gentleman Sebastian Braddock is also searching for her, claiming that both sisters have special healing powers. Evelyn is convinced that Sebastian must be mad, until she discovers that his strange tales of extraordinary people are true - and that her sister is in graver danger than she feared. 

My Rating: 3.5 hearts 

Thoughts on the Novel: I first heard about Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas' These Vicious Masks when I attended Raincoast’s Winter + Spring 2016 TeensRead Preview. Pitched as “Jane Austen meets X-Men,” I was immediately interested in it because I love books set in Victorian England and novels where the characters have superpowers. 

The worldbuilding in These Vicious Masks was well-done, and I liked how the paranormal element was introduced and incorporated slowly. I thought the premise was quite believable because of the time period since people were starting to make scientific advances, and it was nice that attempts were made in the book to explain why some people developed superpowers. 

I also really liked Evelyn. She was so sassy, and I loved that she refused to follow the rules of society when her sister was kidnapped. Rather than staying home and pretending her sister was simply vacationing at her aunt’s house in order to preserve her family’s reputation, Evelyn decided to take matters into her own hands and investigate her sister’s disappearance. I did, however, think that Evelyn sometimes took unnecessary risks when she could have had backup in the form of either Mr. Braddock or Mr. Kent. 

Speaking of Mr. Braddock and Mr. Kent, it seems that there may be a love triangle in the future because both men appear to have feelings for Evelyn. I personally think the brooding Mr. Braddock is a better choice, but Mr. Kent did manage to surprise me a few times.

These Vicious Masks will be released by Swoon Reads on February 9, 2016. 

Comments About the Cover: Masks always promise intrigue!

In exchange for an honest review, this book was received from the publisher for free via Xpresso Book Tours. 

These Vicious Masks can be bought from: [Amazon] [Barnes and Noble]

If you're interested in reading These Vicious Masks and live in the US or Canada, you can enter to win a physical copy by filling out the form below.  

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Monday, April 27, 2015

Review: A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall

From Goodreads: The creative writing teacher, the delivery guy, the local Starbucks baristas, his best friend, her roommate, and the squirrel in the park all have one thing in common - they believe that Gabe and Lea should get together. Lea and Gabe are in the same creative writing class. They get the same pop culture references, order the same Chinese food, and hang out in the same places. Unfortunately, Lea is reserved, Gabe has issues, and despite their initial mutual crush, it looks like they are never going to work things out. But somehow even when nothing is going on, something is happening between them, and everyone can see it. Their creative writing teacher pushes them together. The baristas at Starbucks watch their relationship like a TV show. Their bus driver tells his wife about them. The waitress at the diner automatically seats them together. Even the squirrel who lives on the college green believes in their relationship. Surely Gabe and Lea will figure out that they are meant to be together ...

My Rating: 1 heart 

Thoughts on the Novel: Have you ever looked at a book, and despite the great reviews for it, known instinctively that it wasn’t for you; but you read it anyway because so many other people liked it … and you end up wishing you hadn’t? Well, that was my experience with A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall.

One of the reasons I was so resistant to reading A Little Something Different was because I thought the concept sounded gimmicky. And I was right! The book just had too many unnecessary narrators. For example, I could have done without the POVs of the bench that thought Gabe’s derriere was perfect and could tell what he was doing or how he was feeling based on the way he was sitting, or the squirrel that claimed to not understand human but could still somehow recap exactly what Gabe and Lea were saying. As well, I found it hard to care about any of the narrators, and thought some of the guys sounded a bit like they were written by a female trying to get into the mindset of a guy.

The romance – it took Gabe and Lea almost a whole school year to get together! (Seriously, grow a pair, and stop wasting my time!) – also got annoying after a while because it involved so much telling. I really have no idea why all these characters kept talking about how much chemistry Gabe and Lea had when in reality, the two were barely even talking to each other and were pretty much strangers. Here’s what I wanted to say to some of them:
  • Inga (Gabe and Lea’s professor) – Just because you think Gabe and Lea belong together in your head, it is not okay to belittle another female student (Hillary, who is portrayed as a ditz) for having a conversation with Gabe. Please act like a professional! (Inga is not the only female character in the book to call Hillary names.)
  • Frank (a Chinese delivery guy) – You deliver to college students living in dorms. Why is it such a big deal for you if two people living in the same building have the same order? How could this not have happened to you numerous times before?
  • Bob (a bus driver) – Yawn, moving on!
  • Charlotte and Victor (a Starbucks barista and a classmate) – I liked you guys until you had a personality transplant (and started shipping Gabe and Lea). (Also, I worked for a year in a coffee shop during high school, and never stood around making up stories or wondering about the people that I served.) 
I considered DNF’ing A Little Something Different before reaching its midpoint, but then kept on reading it because I wanted to know why Gabe was – as Lea says – so weird. Once I found out, I figured I might as well finish the book because there was only a little more left to read. 

A Little Something Different was released in August 2014 by Swoon Reads. 

Comments About the Cover: It’s cute, and all the red can be associated with love.