Saturday, May 31, 2014

Stacking the Shelves (#75)


Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews, in which bloggers share the books and swag they've received in the past week!


So, what did I get in the week of Sunday, May 25th to Saturday, May 31st?


(all links to Goodreads are provided!)


In the mail:




Thank you so much, Jane! You are so awesome!


A paperback copy of Rules of Summer by Joanna Philbin

I'll have a huge giveaway on my blog on Thursday, for these books! Be sure to stop by on Thursday :D


From NetGalley:




Excellent! I cannot wait to read this one! It was a Waiting on Wednesday choice a few weeks ago.


From Edelweiss:



For the blog tour!



I'm interested in this book! Although it reminds me of The Selection, which I didn't really like.



I'm curious about this one, because so many other people are really excited about it!



THERE ARE NO WORDS FOR MY EXCITEMENT!! :D



Sounds good to me! And the cover is gorgeous!


First week of summer classes - four more weeks to go! 

Friday, May 30, 2014

Review: Phoenix by Elizabeth Richards


Phoenix by Elizabeth Richards
Book Two of the Black City series
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Publication Date: June 4, 2013
Rating: 4 stars
Source: Goodreads giveaway

Summary (from Goodreads):

Ash and Natalie are just starting to build a life together when things in the United Sentry States go from bad to worse. Ash and Natalie find themselves at the center of turmoil when dictator Purian Rose threatens Natalie’s life unless Ash votes in favor of Rose’s Law—a law that will send Darklings and other dissenters to a deadly concentration camp known as the Tenth.

When Ash can’t bring himself to trade Natalie’s life for those of millions of Darklings, her fate is sealed. Enter Elijah Theroux, the handsome Bastet boy Natalie once saved from her mother’s labs, where he’d been experimented on and tortured. It was his venom the Sentry used to create the lethal Golden Haze, the heart of the government conspiracy that led to Black City’s uprising and Ash’s rebirth as the Phoenix, the face of the rebellion. Elijah is back and Ash doesn't like him; it’s clear he’s taken with Natalie, and Ash fears she may have feelings for him as well.

But Elijah also may have the answer to taking down Purian Rose for good—a powerful weapon called the Ora. Ash, Natalie and Elijah just have to escape Black City undetected to find it. But fleeing the city and finding this weapon (if it even exists) are easier said than done, and the quest could tear Ash and Natalie apart, even pushing them into the arms of others.

This enthralling sequel to Black City is just as absorbing, delicious and steamy as the first book, leaving readers hungry for the series conclusion.

What I Liked:

I don't know what I was expecting when I started this book, but it certainly was not what I got! I remember starting this series, thinking that I wasn't going to be too invested in this series, because it hadn't been a series that I had been dying to read. BUT. I loved Black City, and I really enjoyed this book! As a sequel, it was outstanding, and it functioned really well as a sequel. It sets up beautifully for the finale, Wings.

Ash is the Phoenix, the boy who rose from ashes. But Purian Rose will not let Ash and Natalie get away with leading the rebellion against his government. It's time to vote for or against Rose's Law, and Purian Rose is out to guarantee that the law will pass. And that's what he does - he messes with the elections, and when Rose's Law passes, Purian Rose gives Natalie, Ash, and the rebels seventy-two hours to submit to his control. But Ash and the rebels hit back, obliterating Black City and fleeing to seek a biological weapon that will infect Trackers with the v gene. With the help of Elijah, the Bastet that Natalie freed in book one, Natalie and Ash set out to find the weapon.

I really like the plot of this book - many things happen, and constantly. First we're in Black City, then Destroyer ships, then Natalie and Ash are leaving, and then they're being chased by Lupines and Trackers, and then they're trying to find people from Ash's mother's past. I feel like this book and plot were constantly moving, things were always happening. People died left and right, which was sad, but definitely necessary. Richards gave the ax to so many characters, and she sure knew how to make them count.

This book is a great sequel - it advances the series' plot well, and it has a plot of its own. Find the weapon - that's the plot of this book. BUT, find the way to destroy Purian Rose and his regime - that's the plot of the entire series. This book sets up really well for the conclusion novel, which is exactly what a sequel novel should do. I can't tell you much about the ending of this book, because that will involve spoilers, but let's just say that you'll want Wings really badly once you finish this book. Really REALLY badly.

The romance takes a weird turn in this book. Enter Elijah, the Bastet Darkling that Natalie freed in book one. He definitely has a crush on her from the start, but it turns into more than a crush. And then Natalie finds out something horrible, and she doesn't want to tell Ash, so she confides in Elijah instead. This is bad, because Ash feels like Natalie is pulling away from her, AND he catches her ad Elijah together, alone, in weird situations. So Ash gets jealous, then heartbroken, Natalie is blind to this, and thinks he is grumpy or whatever. Meanwhile, Elijah is enjoying himself and the attention he is getting from Natalie.

Again, the romance is weird. But I'm glad Ash treated Natalie coldly at times - she deserved it. She should have just told him everything as soon as she found out! I'm being vague, I know. It's on purpose. I know all of this sounds like negative stuff, but it was good in a way. It taught Natalie to grow up and really trust Ash. I like Ash a lot. How dare Natalie hurt him!

The romance was the only thing that bothered me - and it wasn't too bad. I liked the flow of this book, the way this book worked with the rest of the series, the writing style (so great!), the characters. I'm definitely NOT a fan of Elijah (I was in the beginning though), so I'm curious as to what his role will be in book three. Book three! Must read immediately! 

What I Did Not Like:

The romance irked me a little. Natalie was keeping secrets from Ash, and that made Ash suspicious of Natalie - which he was totally within his rights. Natalie kept putting herself in awkward positions with Elijah, and Ash would catch and/or see them together, so what was he supposed to think?! Even though Natalie was relying on Elijah as a friend, Elijah legitimately liked Natalie in that way, so it wasn't all that innocent.

So that bothered me a bit. I like that Natalie got the cold shoulder from Ash though. Ash didn't deserve to not get the truth from Natalie for so long. She should have told him from the start what had happened. But eh, whatever! It didn't bother me too much. I know it will bother other people though.

Would I Recommend It:

I would high recommend you read this book! Especially if you loved the first book (or read the first book, not even liked it or anything). This book definitely does not suffer from sequel slump, which is fabulous! The ending will leave readers wanting more, but hey, only a few weeks left until the final book is available! So basically, yes, read it. 

And if you haven't read either book, DO IT! Don't miss this series! 

Rating:

4 stars. An interesting, engaging sequel that is definitely worth the read! I cannot wait to read Wings - check back next week for my review of the final book in this series!


Was this review helpful? Please let me know in the comments section!

Armchair BEA Day Five: Topic of Choice (Book Conventions in General) and Middle Grade/Young Adult


Topic of Choice (Book Conventions):

...


Middle Grade/Young Adult:

I don't read too much Middle Grade, but I have in the past. Here are a few of my favorite series:


I'd like to read these series:

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Review: On the Fence by Kasie West


On the Fence by Kasie West
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: July 1, 2014
Rating: 4 stars
Source: eARC from Edelweiss

Summary (from Goodreads): 

She's a tomboy. He's the boy next door…

Charlie Reynolds can outrun, outscore, and outwit every boy she knows. But when it comes to being a girl, Charlie doesn't know the first thing about anything. So when she starts working at a chichi boutique to pay off a speeding ticket, she finds herself in a strange new world. To cope with the stress of her new reality, Charlie takes to spending nights chatting with her neighbor Braden through the fence between their yards. As she grows to depend on their nightly Fence Chats, she realizes she's got a bigger problem than speeding tickets-she's falling for Braden. She knows what it means to go for the win, but if spilling her secret means losing him for good, the stakes just got too high.

Fun, original, and endearing, On the Fence is a romantic comedy about finding yourself and finding love where you least expect.

What I Liked:

My first Kasie West book, and what a time for me to read it! This book broke my heart, in the best of ways though. It didn't end sadly - it ended perfectly - but my heart, it hurts. A little background about my situation - a boy broke my heart and doesn't even know it. Or maybe he does. But he didn't do anything, and that's why my heart is broken. The kicker? He's one of my best friends. 

Charlie is a hardcore athlete (LOVE! because I'm one too!), with three older brothers and a next door neighbor who might as well by a fourth older brother. Charlie is not girly at all - so, surprise surprise when she starts working at a clothing boutique, and finds herself getting used as a makeup test model, and picking out clothes, and things like that. Charlie feels like guys don't notice her because she isn't a "normal" (read: girly) girl, but she wouldn't have things any other way. When she finds a guy that she likes, things get complicated, because it seems like Charlie harbors some feelings for her neighbor, Braden.

I love best friend romances! I love neighbor romances! This book reminded me of Huntley Fitzpatrick's debut novel, but it was quite different. I love that Charlie is so athletic, not the typical heroine we'd expect in YA novels. I also play lots of sports, and watch lots of sports, so I really liked how present the aspect of sports is in this book. I'm also not girly when it comes to makeup, so I can really relate to Charlie. 

I really like Braden! He has his own voice in this book, despite there being so many characters (especially males). I feel like we get a good feel of Braden, and he is swoony. Kasie West captures the teenage boy really well! Although, most of the hardcore male athletes that I know are more of the player-and-kinda-jerk type. The Guy that I mentioned? He's a hardcore athlete at the university. Trust me when I say I know what I'm talking about.

This book has a beautifully written romance. It's not overbearing, overwhelming, etc. There are barely any physical scenes between Charlie and Braden, and yet, it's so clear to readers that the two of them share feelings for each other, but neither of them want to act on them. Neither character are SUPER jealous or ridiculous, but they're jealous and ridiculous enough for readers to cheer for them when they one-up each other. Yes, I'm competitive like that - so are Charlie and Braden!

This book is more than just a romance though! There are "tough issues" present in this book - both Charlie and Braden have demons they need to handle. The "tough issues" aspect isn't heavy though, so that was nice. You all know how I hate the heavy stuff.

In this book, Charlie and Braden play this game where they try to one-up each other, in terms of who knows the other better. Like, they exchange facts about each other. Charlie knows that Braden doesn't like guys who wears loafers. Braden knows that Charlie doesn't like when girls wear pants with sparkly letters printed on the butt. This is such a beautiful part of the book - the exchanges occur during their nightly fence chats. It made me a little sad though, because The Guy and I know each other super well, and we used to hash out personal tiny little details about each other, like Charlie and Braden.

I loved the romance. I loved the story. I loved the nightly fence chats. I love the characters. The character development is really nice - you can see how Charlie grows in this story, physically and mentally. There are a lot of great relationships in this book, including friend-friend, sibling-sibling (older-younger, heh), father-child, friend-friend-turned-boyfriend-girlfriend... this book was so great. I definitely want to check out West's other three novels! And I'll be following her for upcoming novels!

So I mentioned that this book broke my heart - in a good way. When I finished, I almost cried, because I wished so much that things could work out for me (in terms of The Guy) like they worked out for Charlie and Braden. This novel is sooo well-written, and the story spoke to me, it made me heartsick. In a good way though - perhaps I need this story to keep going, if that makes sense. Anyway.

What I Did Not Like:

This isn't really a complaint or a "bad thing", but I wanted MOAR CHEMISTRY between a certain two characters :D

Would I Recommend It:

YES! Contemporary fan or not, this is a really well-written novel. I usually dislike contemporary novels (they're too fluffy or too cliche or I hate the heroine, etc.), but this one is definitely a good one. If you liked My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick, you'll LOVE this one!

Rating:

4 stars. I really liked this novel! My Kasie West cherry is popped, heh. I feel like this will be the year in which I read a ton of YA contemporary novels, and I'll really enjoy them! It's already happening, I'm turning into a contemporary convert.


Was this review helpful? Please let me know in the comments section!

Swoon Thursday (#70): On the Fence by Kasie West

Swoon Thursday is a hot meme hosted by the fabulous ladies at YA Bound!


- From the book you’re currently reading, or one you just finished, tell us what made you SWOON. What got your heart pounding, your skin tingling, and your stomach fluttering


- Try to make the swoon excerpt 140 characters (or less), if you are going to tweet about it. Use the hashtag #YABOUND when tweeting


This week, my swoon is from On the Fence by Kasie West!



"So what, then? What were you going to tell me today?"

"The timing is wrong now. I'll tell you later."

"No. Please I want to know. I'm tired of secrets."

He started at me for a long time, as if trying to read my sincerity. His breath touched my lips. It took everything in me not to close the distance between us. When his lips brushed against mine, I let out an involuntary gasp. Had I done that?

"Am I reading you wrong?" he asked.

I shook my head no. I couldn't find my voice, couldn't dare to believe this meant what I thought it meant.

- eARC, 91%

Author Blog | Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Check out my review of this novel!


My first Kasie West read - a success! I really enjoyed this book :D

Armchair BEA Day Four: Giveaways & Beyond the Borders



Giveaways:





Beyond the Borders:

- Fire by Kristin Cashore: hands-down the BEST fantasy novel I've ever read. I can literally dream about the world Cashore has created.
- Wounded by Jasinda Wilder: I'd never read a book about a girl-turned-prostitute before. It's very interesting to see things from Rania's perspective.
- Heartbeat by Elizabeth Scott: this book held a personal meaning to me, because something very similar happened to my aunt. I FELT so much while reading this book.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Armchair BEA Day Three: Expanding Blogging Horizons & Novellas/Short Stories


Expanding Blogging Horizons:

I kind of want to start my own meme, something related to science and mathematics. Environmental science is kind of my specialty (environmental engineer, hey!), so I'm actually in the process of making this idea happen.

I definitely want to create (or have someone else create) a new design for my blog - this is also in the works!

I might switch to Wordpress one day - or at least get my own domain. In the future!


Novellas/Short Stories:

Personally, I'm not a huge fan of novellas. I think they're a waste of time and money, most of the time. Extra content? Usually it's like five chapters of new content, and two chapters of the next book. For $1.99? No thank you. And most of the time, the new content doesn't advance the plot, or aren't necessary to read in order to continue with the full-length novels. Useless!

But, I've enjoyed a few novellas! Here are some of my favorites:

  

Anthologies... I don't read too many of those. Or any at all? I would like to read:

Waiting on Wednesday (#74): Captive by Aimee Carter


"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.


This week, I'm featuring:


Captive by Aimee Carter
Book Two of the Blackcoat Rebellion series
Publisher: Harlequin TEEN
Publication Date: November 25, 2014

Summary (from Goodreads): 

For the past two months, Kitty Doe's life has been a lie. Forced to impersonate the Prime Minister's niece, her frustration grows as her trust in her fake fiancĂ© cracks, her real boyfriend is forbidden and the Blackcoats keep her in the dark more than ever. 

But in the midst of discovering that her role in the Hart family may not be as coincidental as she thought, she's accused of treason and is forced to face her greatest fear: Elsewhere. A prison where no one can escape. 

As one shocking revelation leads to the next, Kitty learns the hard way that she can trust no one, not even the people she thought were on her side. With her back against the wall, Kitty wants to believe she'll do whatever it takes to support the rebellion she believes in—but is she prepared to pay the ultimate price?





I'm definitely going to try and catch this sequel!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Review: In the End by Demitria Lunetta


In the End by Demitria Lunetta
Book Two of the In the After series
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: June 24, 2014
Rating: 3 stars
Source: eARC from Edelweiss

Summary (from Goodreads):

It’s been three months since Amy escaped New Hope, and she’s been surviving on her own, like she did in the After. Until one day, her former fellow Guardian’s voice rings out in her earpiece. And in a desperate tone, Kay utters the four words Amy had hoped she would never hear: Dr. Reynolds has Baby.

Now it’s a race against time, for Baby is in imminent danger, her life threatened by the malevolent doctor who had helped start the end of the world. In order to save Baby, Amy must make her way to Fort Black, a prison-turned-survivor-colony, where she will need to find Ken, Kay’s brother. He alone holds the key to Baby’s survival.

One small slip-up on this quest could spark a downward spiral that would not only cost Baby and Amy their lives, but threaten the very survival of the people in the After.

What I Liked:

Another series, over! This was only a duo series, but still, look at me, finishing those series! Commitment is a wonderful thing. I didn't like this book as much as I liked the first book, but I'm glad I read this one. I almost didn't bother with an advanced copy!

Amy is heading to Fort Black. Kay's brother Ken is there, and Amy is hoping that Ken will help her, because Doctor Reynolds has Baby. Reynolds is experimenting on Baby, and Amy is hoping that Ken will protect Baby from Reynolds (since Ken is also a doctor and researcher). But Fort Black isn't exactly a paradise compared to New Hope.

There are three parts to this book, but really, there are too: Fort Black, and New Hope. Fort Black isn't like New Hope, but it isn't amazing, either. There really isn't a government, but there is a Warden, and his word is law. Yet, everyone must fend for themselves. There are very few women in Fort Black, so immediately, Amy is claimed by Jackson, the Warden's nephew. Jacks is a really good person, but he is tough, strong, respected. I definitely liked Jacks a lot - he always had Amy's interests in mind, despite not knowing her for very long.

So Amy lives in Fort Black for a while, looking for Ken. At first, it's like chasing ghosts, because no one has seen Ken. Meanwhile, it seems like everyone is trying to kill or hurt Amy. I think the author started to go in circles, honestly, and I was not amused. But I kept reading.

 Amy leaves Fort Black when she finds out that Baby is doing really badly. All the blood loss (the doctors are drawing blood for research) is making her sick and lifeless. So Amy has it in her mind to take down New Hope, save Fort Black (which is in chaos) - but first, save Baby. If Baby can be saved.

The plot wasn't something I really enjoyed, especially once Amy goes back to New Hope. But I liked the romance! I can't say much about it, but I'm happy with the direction that Lunetta took the romance. Even if the boy only seemed like a love interest, he was as excellent love interest, and a really great character.


See below for what I did not really like! There were some things.

What I Did Not Like:

I mentioned that I wasn't a fan of the plot. I felt like the author kept going in circles, when Amy was at Fort Black. Looking for Ken, some tries to jump Amy. Looking for Ken, someone attacks Amy. Jacks protects Amy, Jacks defends Amy, Jacks is a perfect person. But literally, the Fort Black part of the story goes around and around and around. 

And that's the majority of the book. When we get to New Hope, things happen quickly. Attempt to rescue Baby, waitwaitwait, then the climax. I wasn't really impressed with the structure of this book, nor was I impressed with the plot.

It felt like Lunetta was grasping for straws, honestly. The curveball thrown in the beginning, about Baby being taken by Doctor Reynolds, seemed really forced. I definitely rolled my eyes when I read that. Could it be more cliche?! Or predictable?! Or forced?! I knew it wouldn't be long before Baby would be taken by Doctor Reynolds - and it's amazing how the author made that the whole story in this book.

Also, way to throw a somewhat love triangle in this series. The series is only TWO BOOKS LONG, and yet, Lunetta includes a love triangle in this series. In my opinion, it's pretty obvious where Lunetta is going with the romance, and I'm happy with the boy that Amy chose, but still. Seriously?! One book spent with one boy, one book spent with another... no. No thank you.

The "scare" factor was missing. I didn't feel like terror, the fear, the paranoia that I felt in the first book, involving the creatures. The Florae dominate the plot in the first book, but it didn't seem as important in this book as the first book. Baby was more important. Honestly, is one person more important than the survival of hundreds? Thousands? I know it seems like a difficult choice, but it's not.

I think in general, this book just wasn't impressive. The first book wow-ed me, but this one was a bit of a letdown, honestly. I had some pretty high standards for this book, but it just felt forced and cliche. Meh.

Would I Recommend It:

If you read the first book, be sure to read this one as well! It's not AMAZING, but it's definitely worth the read, for closure. Book one left much to be discovered. But if you haven't read book one, then ehh, don't bother with this series. You could skip these two and not be missing out.

Rating:

3 stars. Something wasn't there, comparing this book to the first book. What sucked me into the first book - the energy, the fear, the survival mode - wasn't quite there in this book. However, it was a pretty good sequel and conclusion novel. I'm glad I read this one, especially for closure!


Was this review helpful? Please let me know in the comments section!

Armchair BEA Day Two: Author Interaction & More Than Just Words


Author Interaction:

I've been to a handful of signings. I went to the Shine release party (May 2013) with Jeri Smith-Ready, and I attended the YAGB Baltimore workshop (June 2013) with authors Jodi Meadows, Erin Bowman, Susan Dennard, Sarah J. Maas, and Kat Zhang. I attended the Baltimore Book Festival (September 2013) and met Jennifer L. Armentrout, Brigid Kemmerer, Alethea Kontis, and Diana Peterfreund. 

Honestly, I LOVE signings and events. I'm not shy at all, and I don't think I'm awkward, so I love going to these events. I don't go to more because there actually aren't many in Baltimore - most are in D.C., and I don't have a car. And I'm in college for most of the year. Traveling via Metro to D.C. isn't super easy or convenient or time-efficient. But I love going to book events.

I love it when authors interact with readers online. Twitter is a beautiful thing, for that purpose. Paula Stokes, Lynne Matson, Lori M. Lee, and many other authors KILL IT with the author/blogger interactions - they are so social and talkative. It's wonderful! Some authors respond to a select few "popular" bloggers, which kind of pisses me off a little, because sometimes, those bloggers haven't even read those authors' books. But whatever. I'll talk to anyone and everyone who will talk with me. 


More Than Just Words

I'm a little confused by what is being asked. I read books. I don't read comic books or graphic novels... I read books. So I'm not really sure what to say here.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Review: #scandal by Sarah Ockler


#scandal by Sarah Ockler
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: June 17, 2014
Rating: 4 stars
Source: eARC from Edelweiss

Summary (from Goodreads):

Lucy’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. And especially 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...

What I Liked:

Before I start this review, can we all just take a moment to stare at the male model's hair?! Ahh, it looks so silky and soft, I totally want to run my hands through his hair. Tell me I'm not the only one? What - I'm crazy? That's fine, I'll have him and his wonderful hair all to myself. *feels satisfied*

Anyway. What a novel. I definitely walked into this one thinking that I'd get a great romance and a hilarious story, and most likely I'd love it, because I have a good feeling about Sarah Ockler's books. Well. That's not quite what happened. There IS a great romance, a hilarious story, and I did love this book. But this book went deep into the social norms and culture of teenagers and the presence of social media. #scandal is heavy on the repercussions of social media usage - it's quite heartbreaking in this book.

Lucy went with her best friend's boyfriend to the prom - her best friend said she was sick, but didn't want Cole NOT to go. Lucy has been in love with Cole for four years - little does she know that he has been in love with her the whole time as well. They kiss at prom, they fall asleep, and the next morning, pictures of them - and everyone at prom - are posted all over Lucy's Facebook page. Someone took her phone, created an album for prom pictures, and posted pictures of Lucy and Cole, and so many other teenagers messing around the night of prom.

Everyone, including the school's principal, thinks Lucy did it, that she is cyberbullying others. Things escalate quickly; Lucy is slut-shamed (she kissed her best friend's boyfriend), Lucy is harassed and attacked (she allegedly posted all of those embarrassing pictures of everyone else on Facebook), and Lucy is alone (Ellie, Cole's girlfriend, won't speak to either of them, and neither will Lucy's other friends, or anyone else at school). Lucy turns to the anti-social-media group, the valedictorian, and Cole, to find out who took and posted those pictures.

I was angry as I was reading this book. How dare everyone blame Lucy! How dare the principal ignore Lucy's protests of innocence! How dare everyone slut-shame Lucy! It's funny, because Ellie and Cole broke up before prom - that's why Ellie faked being sick, and asked Lucy to step in - she thought Ellie would be a harmless date that wouldn't try anything with Cole. I felt so bad for Lucy, and for Cole, because they definitely got the short end of the stick, out of everyone affected.

Lucy is so one-of-a-kind. She's a hardcore gamer, somewhat goth-ish, a total geek (meant in the nicest of ways). I really like her! She handles everything with controlled panic and some confidence. She's torn up about being blamed for everything and having to apologize for something she didn't do, but I like her character, and how she reined in her outbursts.

The Jayla Heart/Angelica Darling thing is confusing. Apparently, Lucy's sister is a TV star. Her real name is Janey, her star named is Jayla Heart, and her character's name (in the show) is Angelica Darling. Jayla comes home mysteriously, and takes over as Lucy is thrown into the prom scandal. It was weird, but interesting - the inclusion of a TV star/famous sister. Confusing, but interesting.

The story is pretty straightforward - find out who took those pictures and then uploaded them to Lucy's personal Facebook page, via her phone. I had a feeling who did it, and I was right, but I didn't solidify that conclusion until it was revealed, so that was cool. Ockler kept me going, trying to figure out who did it. It's like a whodunit type of story, but no one died.

I like how Ockler inlcudes the underlying theme of the danger of social media. It's important to understand that social media is pretty harmful. These days, you can access everything from your phone, and while that's cool, it's scary. All of your information, already logged in, right there for anyone to control. Clearly, that hurt Lucy (and others) in the end. One malicious act, and lives were ruined.

I also like the other underlying themes that Ockler including - the ones dealing with relationships. Lucy makes friends with people she would never talk to otherwise (the anti-vanity-technology guys, Franklin the valedictorian, etc.). She also develops a better relationship with her sister, who learns her lesson.

And there's the romance. It's not a romance that is in your face, all the time. Cole and Lucy do not have chemistry that flies off the page. Their stolen night is what caused this whole situation, but they fight to be together. Together, with the new friends, they find out who put up the pictures. This romance is less about the physical romance, and more about the mental and emotional side of the relationship. I love how Ockler created and progressed their relationship. The romance was really well-done, in this novel.

Heck, everything was really well-done in this book. I seriously enjoyed it! I spent most of the novel with simmering blood, but not at Lucy - at the unfairness of the situation. But Ockler teaches us several important lessons in this book, and that is excellent. 

What I Did Not Like:

I know I just said that I really liked the romance how it is, but maybe a little more between Cole and Lucy? It makes sense, that they would back off, after being "caught", but ahh, I wanted more scenes between them! Yes, mental and emotional bonds are important. But physical bonds are important too. Heh.

I can't really think of anything else! This book was really solid. Good stuff.

Would I Recommend It:

Yes! The non-contemporary-romance-fan likes another contemporary romance novel - what is happening!? That being said, I'm not usually a fan of contemporary romance novels, but I liked this one. The messages behind this book are super important, so there's that. The romance isn't overwhelming or dominant, so there's also that. This one is a good one, I promise!

Rating:

4 stars. I'm two for two with Ockler's books! And both are contemporary novels, huh. I'll definitely be checking out her future novels!


Was this review helpful? Please let me know in the comments section!

Armchair BEA Day One: Introductions & Literature


Hello everyone! Happy Monday! I know most of you are actually at BEA, but I'm not, so this year, I am participating in Armchair BEA for the second time! Here I go!


Introductions:

Please tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? How long have you been blogging? Why did you get into blogging? Where in the world are you blogging from? 

I'm Alyssa, and I just completed my freshman year at Johns Hopkins University! I started blogging December 29th (2012), so I've been blogging for a year and a half. I love blogging because I get to do more of what I already love to do (read and write opinions), and I get to network with people all around the world. Also, I'm exposed to so many new books, that I might not see in my public library!


Describe your blog in just one sentence. Then, list your social details -- Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. -- so we can connect more online. 

The Eater of Books! is a book blog for people who need their daily dose of the printed word.



What genre do you read the most? I love to read because ___________________ . 

Epic fantasy! I love to read because it's the perfect escape for me.


What was your favorite book read last year? What’s your favorite book so far this year? 


This year, so far, I seriously LOVED To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han. But wait! Midnight Thief by Livia Blackburne (my most anticipated novel of 2014) is coming up on my review pile!


What does your favorite/ideal reading space look like? (Pinterest encouraged!) 

Uhhh, my room. My bed. Super clean (I swear I have OCD or something). Honestly, I'm not picky with where I read though. Just don't bother me!


What is your favorite blogging resource? 

... Blogging resource? Maybe this sounds snobby, but I don't have one? If I have a blogging or reviewing question, I look for the answer myself, from a variety of (random but credible) sources.


Spread the love by naming your favorite blogs/bloggers (doesn't necessarily have to be book blogs/bloggers). 

Jess of Lovin Los Libros (who will be at BEA!)
Nereyda of Mostly YA Obsessed
The Team at The YA Bookcase
Jessica of Step Into Fiction (who will be at BEA!)
Alexis of Alexis Adores Books (who will be at BEA!)
Rachel of Paper Cuts
Nikki of Fiction Freak


Share your favorite book or reading related quote. 

"I thought you wanted to go."
"I wanted you to ask me to stay."


Describes my love life perfectly. Sort of. Sigh.


If you were stranded on a deserted island, what 3 books would you bring? Why? What 3 non-book items would you bring? Why? 

1. Fire by Kristin Cashore: it's my favorite book of all time!
2. Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers: one of my favorite books of all time!
3. How to Survive on a Deserted Island by Tim O'Shei: heh

(I) Machete: because DUH.
(II) A lighter: again, DUH.
(III) A bag: to gather all my valuables when I build my raft and sail away!


 What book would you love to see as a movie? 

Rush by Eve Silver! It's kickbutt :D


Literature:

I generally don't read too much "literature" or classics - I'm not a fan. I have read plenty of classics, either as required reading for school, or just because I felt like it. One novel that really stuck with me was:




So much love for this book. It's pretty short, as far as classics go, and a wonderful, lighthearted novel that goes so much deeper than what is presented at its surface.