Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Review: A Midsummer's Nightmare by Kody Keplinger

A Midsummer's Nightmare by Kody Keplinger

Published: June 5th 2012
Publisher: Poppy
Page Count: Hardcover, 304

Source: Bought
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Find the Author: WebsiteGood ReadsTwitterBlog, Tumblr

Buy This Book: 
Amazon, Book Depository
Add It To Your Good Reads Shelf
Whitley Johnson's dream summer with her divorcé dad has turned into a nightmare. She's just met his new fiancée and her kids. The fiancée's son? Whitley's one-night stand from graduation night. Just freakin' great.
Worse, she totally doesn't fit in with her dad's perfect new country-club family. So Whitley acts out. She parties. Hard. So hard she doesn't even notice the good things right under her nose: a sweet little future stepsister who is just about the only person she's ever liked, a best friend (even though Whitley swears she doesn't "do" friends), and a smoking-hot guy who isn't her stepbrother...at least, not yet. It will take all three of them to help Whitley get through her anger and begin to put the pieces of her family together.
Filled with authenticity and raw emotion, Whitley is Kody Keplinger's most compelling character to date: a cynical Holden Caulfield-esque girl you will wholly care about. - Good Reads
This is my first Kody Kepling book and it definitely will not be my last. I've been meaning to read her other books, but never managed to get to one until A Midsummer's Nightmare. Something about the cover drew me in. I think because that cover girl looks a little fierce. And the main character of this story; Whitley Johnson is definitely fierce. A fierce bitch. I hated her at first. She was mean. She was heartless. She was whiny. And then the amazing author that Kody Kepling is, made me slowly start to feel for Whitley and begin to sympathize with why she is the way she is and it felt legit. No convenient excuses for her actions. You see it all played out over the course of the book. And I started to feel angry for Whitley, rather than angry at her. I think that is half because of the authors skill and half because I can totally relate to Whitley's situation. I still get those feelings of jealousy with my Father and step family at 27 years old. When her Father kept repeatedly blowing her off, I felt for her. I also loved the secondary characters, who really weaved into the story perfectly. They didn't feel like props just thrown in there: they definitely belonged there and added feelings and momentum to the book. I didn't really feel the love story a whole lot until a bit later into the book and I think what shone more in this book was the character growth, but the romantic interest was good and I felt those required (well, a requirement for me, that is. I love feeling that way when I read...) flutters a few times! 

Overall, a good read and one I'd definitely recommend to those who love the Contemporary Young Adult genre.

                                               4 out of 5 Hello Kitties!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Review: Shadow and Bone (The Grisha Trilogy #1) by Leigh Bardugo

Shadow and Bone (The Grisha Trilogy #1) by Leigh Bardugo

Published: June 5th 2012
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co
Page Count: Hardcover, 358

Source: Bought
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Find the Author: WebsiteGood ReadsTwitterBlog

Buy This Book: 
Amazon, Book Depository
Add It To Your Good Reads Shelf
Alina Starkov doesn’t expect much from life. Orphaned by the Border Wars, the one thing she could rely on was her best friend and fellow refugee, Mal. And lately not even that seems certain. Drafted into the army of their war-torn homeland, they’re sent on a dangerous mission into the Fold, a swath of unnatural darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh.
When their convoy is attacked, all seems lost until Alina reveals a dormant power that not even she knew existed. Ripped from everything she knows, she is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling. He believes she is the answer the people have been waiting for: the one person with the power to destroy the Fold.
Swept up in a world of luxury and illusion, envied as the Darkling’s favorite, Alina struggles to fit into her new life without Mal by her side. But as the threat to the kingdom mounts, Alina uncovers a secret that sets her on a collision course with the most powerful forces in the kingdom. Now only her past can save her . . . and only she can save the future. - Good Reads
This book started out and I was rolling my eyes. That's to be expected: there are A LOT of mistakes made regarding Russian culture and it honestly did bother me (Again! Her "inspiration" research reminded me a lot of...ahem, Richelle Mead!). Besides the lack of the a at the end of Starikov that would imply she was female and not a male... one of the male characters had a feminine surname. But I think what bothered me the most is how the author represented kvas. Which, by the way, is not a hard alcoholic drink that burns going down. Though my husband and I have been having fun pretending it is every time we drink some since reading this book. That was good for some laughs. 

Putting all of that aside though, which I was able to, I really started to enjoy the book. The world was fascinating and it really caught me. I found Grisha to be interesting, even though that is the name of my 3 year old brother in-law. 

The romance! It was GOOD! I was in loooove! And then Leigh Bardugo pulled a fast one. And I mean... a fast one! I was left with my mouth open and wondering where the hell THAT came from. I know I'm being cryptic here as I don't want to ruin the surprise, but I was sadly left disappointed in how the romantic development twisted towards the end of the book. Though I can't bring myself to believe that'll be the end of it and I want to see what happens, so I will definitely be awaiting the next book! With no patience. 

                                                           3 out of 5 Stars!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Review: Underworld (Abandon Trilogy #2) by Meg Cabot

Underworld (Abandon Trilogy #2) by Meg Cabot

Published: May 8th 2012
Publisher: Point
Page Count: Hardcover, 318

Source: Bought
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance
Find the Author: WebsiteGood ReadsTwitterBlog

Buy This Book: 
Amazon, Book Depository
Add It To Your Good Reads Shelf
Escape from the realm of the dead is impossible when someone there wants you back.
Seventeen-year-old Pierce Oliviera isn’t dead.
Not this time.
But she is being held against her will in the dim, twilit world between heaven and hell, where the spirits of the deceased wait before embarking upon their final journey.
Her captor, John Hayden, claims it’s for her own safety. Because not all the departed are dear. Some are so unhappy with where they ended up after leaving the Underworld, they’ve come back as Furies, intent on vengeance…on the one who sent them there and on the one whom he loves.
But while Pierce might be safe from the Furies in the Underworld, far worse dangers could be lurking for her there…and they might have more to do with its ruler than with his enemies.
And unless Pierce is careful, this time there’ll be no escape. - Good Reads

I read Abandon last year and if you read my review, you’ll know I was a little disappointed in it. I cannot tell you how much I adore Meg Cabot. I think she’s a really good writer and I’ve enjoyed all of her books. This series though… not so much. When I read, I gravitate towards romance. I adore a good love story. I look for it in a book and it is important to me. I love the stepping stones that lay out a love story that gets me all a flutter  - cocky heroes who appear a little jackassy, but are pure sweetness on the inside. All that unrealistic bs. Looking back at my review of Abandon, my mind is a little fuzzy on the details of what went on, but I seemed to feel that I was rooting for them towards the end in my review. Scratch that. It seems as if Pierce just throws herself into loving him and even seems to cater to him way beyond what she should. And there are a lot of convienent misunderstandings. And I just wasn’t feeling any of it. I hate saying that considering the author, but it’s what I feel and I like to be honest. I’m not sure if I’ll be reading the third book. I might just to see what happens and hope for some improvement, but I’m very doubtful, just because the love story isn’t working for me. I’m just not feeling it! 

                                 2 out of 5 Hello Kitties!

Another Update!

On the 23'rd of June I had a son! His name is Tikhon (pronounced Tee-han, for those who are curious) and he's lovely! I'm now relaxing in Russia and enjoying the summer! I've  been reading a lot and trying to catch up. Breastfeeding and my kindle = magic! I've also been working on a bunch of reviews and if anyone has some recommendations on what to read -- shoot them my way!

With the past few months and all the stress I've been going through and travel, it'll be nice to be back in the book blogging world! I really, really miss it!