Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: How To Love by Katie Cotugno

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine (link if you click the picture). This weeks WOW is How to Love by Katie Cotugno set to debut on October 1, 2013. Not too far away as it is!

Before: Reena Montero has loved Sawyer LeGrande for as long as she can remember: as natural as breathing, as endless as time. But he’s never seemed to notice that Reena even exists…until one day, impossibly, he does. Reena and Sawyer fall in messy, complicated love. But then Sawyer disappears from their humid Florida town without a word, leaving a devastated—and pregnant—Reena behind.

After: Almost three years have passed, and there’s a new love in Reena’s life: her daughter, Hannah. Reena’s gotten used to being without Sawyer, and she’s finally getting the hang of this strange, unexpected life. But just as swiftly and suddenly as he disappeared, Sawyer turns up again. Reena doesn’t want anything to do with him, though she’d be lying if she said Sawyer’s being back wasn’t stirring something in her. After everything that’s happened, can Reena really let herself love Sawyer LeGrande again?

In this breathtaking debut, Katie Cotugno weaves together the story of one couple falling in love—twice.

Book Review: Life After Theft by Aprilynne Pike

Book: Life After Theft by Aprilynne Pike
Pages: 352
Publication Date: April 30, 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult
Obtained: Bought on Nook

Moving to a new high school sucks. Especially a rich-kid private school. With uniforms. But nothing is worse than finding out the first girl you meet is dead. And a klepto.

No one can see or hear Kimberlee except Jeff, so--in hopes of bringing an end to the snarkiest haunting in history--he agrees to help her complete her "unfinished business." But when the enmity between Kimberlee and Jeff's new crush, Sera, manages to continue posthumously, Jeff wonders if he's made the right choice.

My Thoughts:

Let me admit it right now. I like covers. Chances are that I'll buy a book, more often than not, if the cover is pretty or just makes me swoon. With this one, I just loved it. It was pretty and the scene that reflects back from the glasses is just to die for. I could tell right away that it was going to take place somewhere with a beautiful view. I didn't even read the synopsis and I didn't even give the title a second thought. I saw the title Life After Theft and thought that it might have to do with someone who was a thief and wasn't anymore and how it affected them. Yeah, I was wrong. See, I warned you. Total book cover crusher. So when I finally started reading it and found out that: A) It was told in a male perspective and B) it was about a kleptomaniac who happened to be a ghost. To tell you I was surprised is an understatement.

I'll admit. At first, the book didn't hook me in. I put it down regularly and would pick it up, just to put it down again. I did this for the first few chapters up until we got some decent action going. The main character Jeff isn't too bad. He's a brand new kid, who transfers to this ritzy school, after his parents acquire some money. The kids at this school are kind of meh and then of course he has to fall for the bad girl turned good Sera. Oh and to make matters worse, he sees the ghost of a girl who died about a year before he got there named Kimberlee. She has a sticky finger problem, a very large one at that. So large, that when she takes Jeff to the cave so that he can help her return everything she did steal, he is horrified. Kimberlee got on my nerves most of the time. She was this selfish and problematic character. Even though she tries righting her wrongs, I can't help but be annoyed because she does it because she doesn't want to be stuck in the world where she can't steal anymore, rather than because she truly is sorry. I just didn't find her genuine as I did with Jeff and even Sera.

Throughout the entire book, I was just kind of snoozing. Even when things picked up, they slowed right back down. It had the potential to be a total 4 or even 5 star for me. It was def a 4 star up until the end. This book ended up leaving me with a weird type of feeling. I don't know what to feel. My emotions are just all over the place. I can't get over how the book just ended.


Even as I think about it now, I still don't know what to feel. There were a lot of questions left unanswered. It felt like a stand alone book, so my hope for another book giving me some answers just went out the window.

Leaving my review at that, I liked the book for the most part. It was funny, cute and the romance was just completely adorable. I give this book a 3.5 out of 5 rating, just because of that ending. If you do decide to read it, you will understand why.

Comment Question of the Blog:

If you had a ghost stalking you, what would you do? Lemme know in the comment section below!

As always,
That Chick That Reads

Monday, September 23, 2013

Review: What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang

Title: What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang
Pages: 368
Publishing Date: September 18th 2012
Publisher: HarperCollins
Audience: Young Adult
Obtained: Bought for Nook

I should not exist. But I do.

Eva and Addie started out the same way as everyone else—two souls woven together in one body, taking turns controlling their movements as they learned how to walk, how to sing, how to dance. But as they grew, so did the worried whispers. Why aren’t they settling? Why isn’t one of them fading? The doctors ran tests, the neighbors shied away, and their parents begged for more time. Finally Addie was pronounced healthy and Eva was declared gone. Except, she wasn’t . . .

For the past three years, Eva has clung to the remnants of her life. Only Addie knows she’s still there, trapped inside their body. Then one day, they discover there may be a way for Eva to move again. The risks are unimaginable-hybrids are considered a threat to society, so if they are caught, Addie and Eva will be locked away with the others. And yet . . . for a chance to smile, to twirl, to speak, Eva will do anything

My Thoughts:

There are two things that I look for in a dystopian novel, world building and a great plot. Without those two, I just don't know how I could possibly get into it. I ended up getting this book on my Nook because of the amazing price. There wasn't anything special about the cover. The thing, I think that drew me most to this book was the story line. I've never read anything about hybrids. About supernatural figures that are some sort of hybrid, yes. Humans, not so much. So when I saw that there were a society of humans where they were born with two spirits and had to coexist until one won out, I hit that buy button immediately. I just thought that it sounded sort of Darwinism, survival of the fittest and all.

The story is about Eva and Addie. They are two souls trapped in one body. Eva was marked as the recessive, while Addie was the dominant. She should have faded but guess what? She didn't. They were the exemption to the rule. They had to keep themselves secret because the government was after kinds like her. They'd heard the stories about what happens to those that are like them and they were terrified. To be honest, I would be too. The world in which Zhang introduced us in started off with a bang and we were introduced to the good, the bad and the ugly. I have to give her major kudos because she completely took me by surprise.

Addie and Eva are complete polar opposites. There have been books I've read in the past that I couldn't tell characters apart because they were so bland but there was an art to the way Zhang created these two characters. I just could never imagine being a completely independent being and then being stuck with another independent soul. How could you go on and fool everyone else and make it seem like you are one person instead of two? How could you keep your individualism when you are constantly hearing another persons thoughts? Somehow they make it work and when the opportunity comes when Addie could give control over to Eva for just a moment she takes it, even with her constant fear of being detained. Their love for each other just poured through the pages. Their emotions were so powerful that I times I was surprised at the sudden change of emotions.

I could feel Eva's frustrations as if they were my own. How would you feel if you had to take a back seat to everything. Could no longer see your parents tell you that they loved you, or do things that you once loved to do? Hug your friends, write a poem, read that book that's been on your bookshelf forever. I wanted to reach out and hug Eva and tell her it's ok and to hold Addie's hand. Even though Eva was caged in while Addie had the freedom, I never got the impression that she was bitter toward her or even anger at her. She understood why it was the way things were. I could only imagine how hard it would be to be in that position.
The storyline and the characters were just all sorts of amazing. After a certain point in the book, I became so in tune with the characters that I knew who was speaking before I was even told who was speaking. You have to pay close attention to be able to tell, a twitch in your eye, the way a person smiles, the way they speak. It all leads up to this crazy and dangerous world, where being different is wrong. I could not even begin to tell you the times that I just had to put down my nook because I could not believe the kind of things that happened in this society. The things that people are willing to do to end the different, to produce normal.
Ending my review with that, I fell in love with Zhang's world. I began to care about every single one of the characters and long to be able to help them with whatever they are going through. There was a bit of everything in this book. Action, conspiracy, heroes, villains, romance, a dystopian world that I am eager to go into again.
Comment Question of the Day:
If you could be born with another soul in your body, who would it be and why? Lemme know in the comment section below.
As always,
That Chick That Reads

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Review: How I Lost You by Janet Gutler

14950168Title: How I Lost You by Janet Gutler
Pages: 309
Publishing Date: April 23, 2013
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Audience: Young Adult
Obtained: Bought

There are a few things Grace Anderson knows for sure. One is that nothing will ever come between her and her best friend, Kya Kessler. They have a pact. Buds Before Studs. Sisters Before Misters. But in the summer before senior year, life throws out challenges they never expected. And suddenly the person who's always been there starts to need the favor returned. Grace and Kya are forced to question how much a best friend can forgive. And the answer is not what they expected

My Thoughts:

I actually bought this book without even looking at the back of the cover for once. I wanted to just randomly pick up a book and so this is the one that ended up at my hands at the bookstore. I picked it mainly because the title screamed romance. I mean, come on! How I Lost You could easily be a story about a love that was lost and maybe found or not found and so forth. What I didn't expect was that this story was way more than that. It was about friendship, and what you do when it's finally time to let go.

Being an army wife, we move so often that I mostly don't have any friends in the real world. Before I was married, I was a social butterfly. I was always the one that talked to the entire room, I smiled, I made friends, I was friends with pretty much everyone. That completely changed the year I got married. My newlywed husband was always at work, and when he was at work, I was alone at our newly owned house with our 8 week old puppy, in a new town where I was to terrified to navigate. Then came the hard part, he left for a month to train for deployment. By then, I was newly pregnant with our daughter and I was alone for most of it, until he kind of introduced me to his friends wife. He told me they had a young son together and that she loved to read and that he thought we would hit it off. Honestly, he was right. She was my best friend. The one that I always cried to and that had a shoulder to lean on. She was my right hand. I protected her fiercely, as she did me. Flash forward a year+ later and our friendship was over. It was bitter, it was anything but a clean break. This book took me right back to that.

Grace is our lovely narrator. The story is told through her and she has such a voice. You could completely tell how fiercely she took care of her best friend. She defended her with her own reasons, reasons that she could not even tell their other best friend. She's always been there to help her through whatever was going on. She was Kya's voice of reason. She always put her before even herself. Maybe that's exactly why I liked Grace so much. She had this selfless attitude. She cared about people and was always such a level headed person. The first paragraph hooked me in. I just can't get past all the emotions and feelings.

I don't usually care for sports, well other than running. I just don't understand the dynamics, or the strong bond between teammates. I'm a total individual sport person. So when we're introduced to Kya's and Grace's world of paintball, it took me by surprise. To be fairly honest, I didn't even know there could be such a thing as a tournaments and any national teams and such for this. Also, when people say paintball, I always picture guys. Almost never a female. You have no idea how happy this made me! I love strong female characters. Introduce a kick butt dual like them and I'm a complete goner. The way that they know how they each play and know their moves before they even make them is kind of amazing to me. You have to be so in tune to a person to do that. To know where a person will be and what a person's moves are. That's what made Grace and Kya so great together.

The one thing that I absolutely loved most about this book was that there was no insta-romance. It was a background type of love and didn't take center stage like I expected it. Levi was this boy that she just met at her fathers paintball facility and they became friends. He was her shoulder to cry on when things between Kya quickly spiraled out of control. It was definitely one of the cutest things that I read. I longed to hear about their conversations and he completely took my breathe away. I honestly can not explain how cute that was.

Let me also introduce you to parents that are present! I can not tell you the amount of books where I have read that the parents don't care or they leave them to fend for themselves. Grace's parents are what I wished my own parents would have been like and what I hope I will be like for my own daughter. They cared and were always so in tune with their daughter. They knew when something was wrong before she even knew herself. You could clearly tell how much they loved their daughter. Their love poured throughout the pages. It never let up, if anything it intensified.

The only thing that I didn't like was that I knew exactly how the story would play out. Although, it was predictable, I really enjoyed it. I loved the characters, I connected to them in more ways than one. By the end of the novel, I wanted to know more. I wanted to find out answers to some of the questions that the book left off with. That right there shows me that at some point in the book, I was completely over taken by these characters. I began to care about them and even as I'm writing now, wonder what happened to them.

Leaving my review with that, I definitely recommend it unless you don't like predictability. This book was a fresh glass of water in the YA world and I can't wait to see more of it.

Comment Question of the Blog:

Have you ever had a fall out with your best friend or ex best friend? Lemme know in the comment section below!

As always,
That Chick That Reads

Friday, September 20, 2013

The relationship between Authors and Bloggers when they give negative reviews

I started this novel the other day and it started out ok and then toward the end of the book I was completely engrossed until this happened. I'm usually pretty anal about putting my books on Goodreads. I just like to remind myself what I have reviewed and what I hadn't. Well, I usually scroll down and look at what my Goodreads friends think about a certain novel that I'm reading. I just like to see where I am with other people. As I scrolled down I noticed this book on someone's bookshelf that was filled with authors that have bashed bloggers. This kid had screenshots of the tweets this author decided to write on twitter.

I seriously could not believe what I read! Right when I was beginning to like the book, I fell into a reading slump because of the terrible things this author had to say about bloggers. A lot of bloggers do not get paid to review books. They like sharing and enjoy talking to others about what they have read. Saying that bloggers are pretty much useless and unnecessary is a bold statement. The best way of advertising is by word of mouth and I admit, when people say they abs hated a book, I go and buy it just to see what the hype or hate is about. I tend to stay away from things like this because sometimes opinions like these from some of the authors you love can def hurt. I would hate to miss out on a great book because of someone's poor attitude. I won't come on here to say what author said such things, because I don't believe in bashing their opinion but I def won't forget.
The relationship between bloggers and authors can sometimes be very tense. Some readers will adore the book and rave and rave and continue to fan girl about a book on their blog and I'm sure authors love that. Then there are those bloggers who abs hated the book, despised it, and completely bash the author. In a sense, I can see where they are coming from. Hearing that someone hated your book that you spent hours, days, months, years, and so on can def hurt. It can lead to say things that only apply to that one person, but say it to include the rest of bloggers and that potentially can hurt good relationships with some loyal readers.
My question to you all is, do you find yourselves staying away from authors who have such opinions? Does it affect the review for their book(s)? I would love to hear your opinions. Lemme know in the comment section below.
As Always,
That Chick That Reads

Thursday, September 19, 2013

I've been gone for a long time but i'm back!

It's been so crazy lately and I haven't been posting at all but I promise to start posting on here every couple of days! So get ready for giveaways and more awesomeness!