Category Archives: Teen Romance

Book Reviews
September 29, 2014 posted by Nichole

Sacrifice (Elemental #5) by Brigid Kemmerer

SacrificeOne misstep and they lose it all. For the last time.

Michael Merrick is used to pressure. 

He’s the only parent his three brothers have had for years. His power to control Earth could kill someone if he miscalculates. Now an Elemental Guide has it out for his family, and he’s all that stands in the way. 

His girlfriend, Hannah, gets that. She’s got a kid of her own, and a job as a firefighter that could end her life without a moment’s notice. 

But there are people who have had enough of Michael’s defiance, his family’s “bad luck.” Before he knows it, Michael’s enemies have turned into the Merricks’ enemies, and they’re armed for war. 

They’re not interested in surrender. But Michael isn’t the white flag type anyway. There will be blood on the ground tonight…

 

My Review:

I had to take a couple of days after finishing this book to process my thoughts because I was left emotionally devastated and didn’t want to make any hasty comments or decisions on my review or its rating. I’m going to start this review by saying how amazing Brigid Kemmerer is. I don’t say that lightly. I mean, I don’t really fall head over heels in love with authors all that frequently. When I do, there’s usually a 3 star book thrown in the mix or the series goes downhill after too much time. Brigid Kemmerer is the exception to that rule. I have loved this series from book 1 and I loved this last book in the series. She’s just a writing genius!

This book was packed full of action from the very get go. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I jumped, covered my eyes, and then bounced up and down from excitement. There was just so much going on. I loved the entire thing from page one.

One thing that I would have changed in this book is the amount of exposure the other characters had. I felt that, with this being the last book, the other characters should have had a lot more face time. I know that’s difficult since this is Michael’s book, but I wanted to see more of Adam and Nick…and I don’t think I saw Becca at all. And what about her relationship with Nick? For that reason, I feel that this series needs at least a couple more books to tie it closed because it’s not really finished. I’m going to be pretty let down if this is officially the end.

Another thing that was absolutely amazing about this book was the magic and powers. Woah, baby, was there a lot going on this book or what? I loved that the characters were really giving their powers a chance to shine and I really enjoyed the new characters (both good and bad) who made appearances.

Now let’s talk about the end because that’s what caused me to take some time before writing this review. The ending sucked. It literally crushed my heart into little pieces and left me breathless and shattered for days. I remember looking at the book and saying loudly out loud “Is she for real?!” The worst part is that there are a couple things that made me do that. On one hand, I liked the realism of the ending. On the other hand, it pissed me off that she messed with my characters. I still don’t have an official opinion on the ending, but I do know that it caused me to dock the book half a star.

Overall, I loved this book. I’m so sad that it’s over and I can’t wait to read everything else that Brigid Kemmerer creates! Go buy this entire series!!!!

 

Pages: 324

Publisher: Kensington Teen

Publication Date: 9/30/2014

Rating: : ★★★★½

 

Book Reviews
September 16, 2014 posted by Nichole

Blackbird (Blackbird Duology #1) by Anna Carey

blackbirdFrom the author of the Eve trilogy comes the breathless story of a girl racing to figure out who she is–and how to stay alive. When a nameless girl wakes up on the subway tracks, she knows only one thing for sure: people want her dead. Can she find them before they track her down? This pulse-pounding contemporary thriller is perfect for fans of The Maze Runner, The Darkest Minds, and Legend.

Things I know are true: I am in Los AngelesI woke up on the train tracks at the Vermont/Sunset stationI am a teenage girl I have long black hairI have a bird tattoo on the inside of my right wrist (FNV02198)People are trying to kill me.

 

My Review:

 

There is a possibility that I could have really liked this book. I could have even loved it. My biggest problem with it, though, was the fact that it’s written in second person. So it’s constantly in the “you, he, she” POV. Some people may argue that style added suspense and tension making the reader feel like they were reading about themselves. I didn’t feel that. Instead, I was bored out of my mind and reading in the second person tended to give me a slight headache. I also felt that style took away from all of the characters, especially the main character, and really made them bland.

Another problem that I had with this book was how confusing it was. I didn’t understand how the main character came to her conclusions about what was going on. I didn’t see any clues that led up to that and it felt forced to get to the point. I felt that there should have been more buildup and more background information. I understand that the entire book is supposed to be about the main character not remembering who she is or anything about her life, but I was still really confused at the end of the book. I also didn’t understand how her vague dreams were turning into the Island and this whole back story that she now understood. It just didn’t flow.

Right next to the fact that this book was written in second person, I hated how insta-lovey this book was. It wasn’t helped by the fact that I already didn’t like the characters. I felt like they met each other and then BAM they were making out and making plans and all over each other. I didn’t ship them. I didn’t like them. And I didn’t understand them.

Honestly, I really don’t have anything positive to say about this book. I just didn’t care for it. The writing itself wasn’t bad, but the story was really boring and written in a really annoying POV.

 

Pages: 256

Publication Date: 9/16/2014

Publisher: HarperTeen

Rating: : ★★☆☆☆

Book Reviews
September 2, 2014 posted by Nichole

The Jewel (The Lone City #1) by Amy Ewing

the jewelThe Jewel means wealth. The Jewel means beauty. The Jewel means royalty. But for girls like Violet, the Jewel means servitude. Not just any kind of servitude. Violet, born and raised in the Marsh, has been trained as a surrogate for the royalty—because in the Jewel the only thing more important than opulence is offspring.

Purchased at the surrogacy auction by the Duchess of the Lake and greeted with a slap to the face, Violet (now known only as #197) quickly learns of the brutal truths that lie beneath the Jewel’s glittering facade: the cruelty, backstabbing, and hidden violence that have become the royal way of life.

Violet must accept the ugly realities of her existence… and try to stay alive. But then a forbidden romance erupts between Violet and a handsome gentleman hired as a companion to the Duchess’s petulant niece. Though his presence makes life in the Jewel a bit brighter, the consequences of their illicit relationship will cost them both more than they bargained for.

 

 

My Review:

The best way that I can describe this book is “the female contestants in the Hunger Games go live with the females in the Capital and are forced to have their babies.” I actually think that’s a pretty accurate statement when reflecting upon this book. The concept of the book sounded really cool, but I felt that it wasn’t edited or executed strongly enough to push out a powerful read. If anything, I was left a little disturbed and uncomfortable – not to mention confused – for most of the book.

Throughout most of the entire book, I just felt a wave of confusion. I didn’t understand why the royalty couldn’t have their own children and were sterilized; I didn’t understand the Auguries that the surrogates had; I didn’t understand why these surrogates were even important since other people without the Auguries were able to have children. I mean….did it have to do with the powers? Because I didn’t feel that every royal woman was after using their powers. I also didn’t understand why the surrogates were treated so badly when they were carrying the babies for the royal women. So there were a lot of gaps and holes in this book that needed to be refined and edited a little more. I feel that this could have been an amazing book, but it didn’t quite hit that level for me.

Besides my confusing throughout the entire book, I was also really offended over the treatment of the surrogates. It was difficult for me because it wasn’t like there was sexism going on. This book didn’t feature a male dominant world. Instead, it featured a royal female dominant world. The royal females were the ones who treated the surrogates so horribly, and it really messed with my brain to realize that these females were treating other females so harshly. There were several scenes that I was unable to finish because of how uncomfortable they made me. For example, I was unable to read the scenes where Violet goes to see the doctor or when the Duchess was being overly harsh with her. This isn’t something that’s going to bother everyone, but I had a huge problem reading about such an abusive world.

The romance in this book was way too rushed for my taste. All I know is that Ash and Violet were introduced and the next thing I knew they were in love and kidding and doing it. I mean…where did that come from? They met once and then were all over each other? It was also really weird because Ash isn’t even introduced until halfway through the book. So there were 100+ pages of just Violet and then BAM! There’s Ash and insta-lovely-romance ensues. Due to that rushness there wasn’t a lot of chemistry between Ash and Violet. I mean, sure, Ash seemed pretty hot to me, but I didn’t overly care about them as a couple.

Another problem with this book was that it was very repetitive. I felt that at least three scenes happened 2-3 times each. I mean, seriously? SERIOUSLY? That’s not very original. Towards the end I started skimming a little bit because I had already read all that in earlier chapters.

The ending was both predictable and unpredictable. I pretty much expected one thing to happen from the very beginning of the book. The second thing shocked me a little bit, but I wasn’t overly shocked either. I think that the final thing that happens in this book was a great cliff hanger and sets it up nicely for the second book, but I wasn’t wow’d or anything. I was just kind of like “eh.”

Overall, I would probably recommend this book to huge dystopia lovers with a caution that it’s kind of mediocre.

 

Pages: 358

Publication Date: 9/2/14

Publisher: Harper Teen

Rating: : ★½☆☆☆

Book Reviews
August 31, 2014 posted by Nichole

DNF: The Dolls by Kiki Sullivan

The DollsEveny Cheval just moved back to Louisiana after spending her childhood in New York with her aunt Bea. Eveny hasn’t seen her hometown since her mother’s suicide fourteen years ago, and her memories couldn’t have prepared her for what she encounters. Because pristine, perfectly manicured Carrefour has a dark side full of intrigue, betrayal, and lies—and Eveny quickly finds herself at the center of it all.

Enter Peregrine Marceau, Chloe St. Pierre, and their group of rich, sexy friends known as the Dolls. From sipping champagne at lunch to hooking up with the hottest boys, Peregrine and Chloe have everything—including an explanation for what’s going on in Carrefour. And Eveny doesn’t trust them one bit.

But after murder strikes and Eveny discovers that everything she believes about herself, her family, and her life is a lie, she must turn to the Dolls for answers. Something’s wrong in paradise, and it’s up to Eveny, Chloe, and Peregrine to save Carrefour and make it right.

 

 

My Review:

*I made it 100 pages into this book before I DNF’d it*

 

I had several problems with The Dolls that I don’t really no where to start. So I’m just going to list them down as bullet points and give a little description. It’s a little different than my normal review style but that’s how I’m going to do it.

  • The main character – Oh my gosh was she annoying or what? I had no patience for Eveny’s character whatsoever. She was a very whiny character and she just grated on my nerves.
  • The Flashbacks – I’m sorry…but I just couldn’t get past the fact that Eveny and all of her new “friends” remembered everything from when they were three years old. The only thing I remember from when I was three is my cousin shoving a big glob of sunscreen in my eye. I don’t remember my play dates or my family or anything else. I also have a three year old nephew and have witnessed his attention span. It was really annoying that Eveny “remembered” something every other page. I’m sorry…you don’t remember that much from when you were three. And it was really ridiculous how everyone else did too….it wasn’t just her.
  • All of the other characters – There wasn’t a single character that I liked during those 100 pages. I pretty much found everyone to be annoying.
  • How over the top it was – This book is very bold and flashy. It’s very unrealistic and over the top. It’s not a surprise that I ended up not liking this book, because I don’t tend to like books like that.

 

I can definitely see this book being a big hit and am not surprised at all that I didn’t like it. Fans of Natalie Whipple and Tara Hudson should definitely check this book out!

 

Pages: 384

Publication Date: 9/2/2014

Publisher: Balzer & Bray

Rating: DNF

Book of the Month
August 22, 2014 posted by Nichole

Book of the Month Review: Deadly Little Sins (Prep School Confidential #3) by Kara Taylor

Book of the Month

deadly little sinIn Kara Taylor’s Deadly Little Sins, Anne Dowling investigates a mysterious disappearance in this fast-paced, twisty conclusion to the Prep School Confidential series.

It’s August and Anne is back in New York City for the summer, but she can’t escape the memories of the terrible things that happened at the Wheatley School last spring— and the possibility of being expelled looming over her. When an unexpected— and suspicious— turn of events gets Anne sent back to Wheatley, she’s determined to figure out what happened to her favorite teacher and only adult ally at the school: Ms. Cross.

After a shocking, gruesome murder with connections to the Wheatley School occurs, Anne is convinced there’s more to Ms. Cross’s sudden disappearance, and that her favorite teacher is in danger. But after an ugly breakup with Brent and a new, inexplicable distance between her and Anthony, Anne isn’t sure who she can trust. And even worse, someone at Wheatley knows the truth about what happened to Ms. Cross— someone who will stop at nothing to keep Anne from learning the truth in this engrossing, unputdownable read.

 

My Review:

I AM SO SAD THAT THIS SERIES IS OVER!

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That’s going to be my face for days. Weeks. Months. Well, until Kara Taylor comes out with another book that blows me away.

 

Deadly Little Sins was an amazing finale to the Prep School Confidential series. It was packed full of tension, suspense, action, and spooky goodness. I won’t even lie, I had to turn on the light to be able to finish this one because I was terrified that something dark and sinister was lurking right around the corner. And that’s a good thing, right!? A YA murder mystery that actually scares the crap out of me is awesome and unexpected! I loved it!

I read a review on Goodreads that said that the mystery was lacking a little bit. I want to be the first in line to tell you all that IS NOT TRUE. Omg. I had no idea what was going on or who did it. When I finally made it to the big showdown at the ending I was like WHAT?! What the heck is going on?! I was blown away. The only thing I will say, though, is that it was kind of short lived. All that build up for maybe two pages at the end? I wanted a little more than that for the finale.

One slight problem I had with this book was the romance. We previously had two books that really focused on the two boys and then the third one really only focuses on one and barely at that. The other boy (no spoilers here!) is completely knocked out of the picture and has maybe two scenes in this entire book. To make matters worse, he was also made to look kind of psychotic toward the end which wasn’t really appreciated it. Of course, it also didn’t bode well with me that the guy I didn’t like won the girl.

Overall, I loved this book. It was amazing and I loved the fact that it kept me on my toes and scared me senseless. I’m devastated that this series is over and hope that Kara Taylor returns to it in the future. Go buy yourself this entire series today!

 

Pages: 288

Publication Date: 8/5/14

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

Rating: : ★★★★½

Book Reviews
August 15, 2014 posted by Nichole

Isla and the Happily Ever After (Anna and the French Kiss #3) by Stephanie Perkins

Isla and the Happily Ever AfterFrom the glittering streets of Manhattan to the moonlit rooftops of Paris, falling in love is easy for hopeless dreamer Isla and introspective artist Josh. But as they begin their senior year in France, Isla and Josh are quickly forced to confront the heartbreaking reality that happily-ever-afters aren’t always forever.

Their romantic journey is skillfully intertwined with those of beloved couples Anna and Étienne and Lola and Cricket, whose paths are destined to collide in a sweeping finale certain to please fans old and new.

 

My Review:

 

It was so weird for my to physically hold and read to this book because it’s the first one I’ve read. I listened to the first two books on audio and I swore I was going to do the same with this one because they’re such good audiobooks. When I received an email from the publisher asking if I would like a copy and to join the #Isla campaign, I just couldn’t resist. I knew that I had to get my hands on this book because lord knows when the audiobook is going to come out. Let me tell you that I was not disappointed. This book was amazing!

What I love about Stephanie Perkins’ writing is that it’s so realistic. She doesn’t play that boy meets girl and they fall in love and all of the emotions are so exaggerated compared to real life. All of the books in this series are definitely romantic and feature the characters falling in love, but it’s so much more than that. The characters that Perkins develops act like how I would expect kids their age to act. They have those enhanced emotions and the petty drama that a lot of contemporary authors either ignore or exaggerate too much. I love the realistic quality that Perkins brings to these books.

I remember when I listened to Anna and the French Kiss on audiobook and Isla was introduced at the very end of the book, and I remember thinking that Isla and Josh would eventually get their own book. I was so excited to learn that I was correct. Isla and Josh are, by far, my favorite couple in this entire series. Not that I didn’t love Anna and St. Claire and Lola and Crickett, but there was just something uniquely special about Isla and Josh. Not to mention that Josh is probably my favorite character in the entire series. I’m really devastated that I don’t have more to read about them.

There did come a point in this book where I started not wanting to read it because I anticipated sudden doom. I knew that something bad was going to happen, and I honestly was not looking forward to the ending of this book. I don’t want to give anything away about the ending, but I will say that I was not disappointed in the ending at all.

Another thing that slightly bothered me was something that was mentioned in the first few chapters that really felt like a spoiler alert. I don’t want to say what it is because that will give away a big chunk of the book. However, I was really annoyed because I knew that that was going to happen at some point during the book. Obviously, it did happen. I kind of wish that Perkins would have maybe made that more of a surprise than to just leave the reader wondering when it was going to happen.

Fans of the whole series need to be prepared to blush and smile your widest smile toward the very end of the book. I’m sealing my lips, but I will say that SOMETHING happens that will leave you squealing [;

Overall, I loved this book. Stephanie Perkins is one of my all time favorite contemporary authors and I really do hope she take this series further sometime in the future. I know that I would love to read about Kurt and about Isla’s little sister Hattie, whether that be their own story together or two separate stories. I feel like there is so much more that needs to be written about these characters and I really hope that eventually becomes part of Perkins’ plans.

 

Pages: 339

Publisher: Dutton

Publication Date: August 14th, 2014

Rating: : ★★★★★

Book Reviews
June 19, 2014 posted by Nichole

DNF: #scandal by Sarah Ockler

17415348Lucy’s learned some important lessons from tabloid darling Jayla Heart’s all-too-public blunders: Avoid the spotlight, don’t feed the Internet trolls, and keep your secrets secret. The policy has served Lucy well all through high school, so when her best friend Ellie gets sick before prom and begs her to step in as Cole’s date, she accepts with a smile, silencing about ten different reservations. Like the one where she’d rather stay home shredding online zombies. And the one where she hates playing dress-up. Andespecially the one where she’s been secretly in love with Cole since the dawn of time.

When Cole surprises her at the after party with a kiss under the stars, it’s everything Lucy has ever dreamed of… and the biggest BFF deal-breaker ever. Despite Cole’s lingering sweetness, Lucy knows they’ll have to ’fess up to Ellie. But before they get the chance, Lucy’s own Facebook profile mysteriously explodes with compromising pics of her and Cole, along with tons of other students’ party indiscretions. Tagged. Liked. And furiously viral.

By Monday morning, Lucy’s been branded a slut, a backstabber, and a narc, mired in a tabloid-worthy scandal just weeks before graduation. 

Lucy’s been battling undead masses online long enough to know there’s only one way to survive a disaster of this magnitude: Stand up and fight. Game plan? Uncover and expose the Facebook hacker, win back her best friend’s trust, and graduate with a clean slate.

There’s just one snag—Cole. Turns out Lucy’s not the only one who’s been harboring unrequited love..

 

My Review:

I absolutely, positively ADORED the first half of #Scandal by Sarah Ockler. I thought that it was super cute and totally original. Coming from someone who’s not the biggest fan of contemporary, that’s a huge compliment. There was no doubt in my mind that this was going to be a 4 or 4.5 star review. I was so ready to start promoting and gushing about it. And that’s when things started to go downhill during the second half of the book.

My biggest complaint with this book was how freaking dramatic it was. It was so drama filled that I was rolling my eyes every two seconds. Now, I know that this book is set in a high school setting, and high school is dramatic, but oh my goodness. There was only so much that I could take. Seriously. It was drama after drama after drama, and I was just burnt out.

My second complaint was how unfreakingrealistic this book was. I’m not talking about the scandal. Obviously that could happen and all the fall outs from that. And if that was the ONLY thing going on, I probably would have finished the book and adored it. But the author started throwing in a famous sister and letting the students run the school and having the school faculty doing stuff that would never really happen in real life….and it got to be too much. Realistically, no one would have ever kept Lucy’s secret about her sister. That whole thing was just eye roll worthy. And as a teacher, I had to question where the author was coming from with some of the things that went on in the school. If this was a paranormal book, I might have looked past it. However, this is a contemporary book. And contemporary to me means that it has to be fairly realistic. This wasn’t.

My third complaint with this book was the bullying. I was very uncomfortable reading about it. It also was a trigger for me at times and brought back some memories. I don’t think there was anything wrong with having it in the book, but I definitely didn’t like reading about it.

Finally, I didn’t care for the characters all that much. Probably because they were all super dramatic. I think that this is going to be a great book for a younger audience and maybe for some diehard contemporary lovers, but it just wasn’t for me. Again, I think that if a couple elements were eliminated from this book it would be awesome. But it was just too much.

 

Pages: 368

Publication Date: June 17th 2014

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Rating: DNF