ARC Review: The Summer I Found You by Jolene Perry: Releasing TOMORROW!

Title: The Summer I Found You
Author: Jolene Perry
Publication: March 1st 2014 by Albert Whitman Teen
Genre: YA Contemporary
Source: Provided by the kind publisher...

All they have in common is that they're less than perfect. And all they're looking for is the perfect distraction.

Kate's dream boyfriend has just broken up with her and she's still reeling from her diagnosis of type 1 diabetes. Aidan planned on being a lifer in the army and went to Afghanistan straight out of high school. Now he's a disabled young veteran struggling to embrace his new life. When Kate and Aidan find each other neither one wants to get attached. But could they be right for each other after all?

-- My Rating --
3/5 Oscars: liked it.

-- My Thoughts --

     This author is totally new to me. I haven't heard anything about her or her book so I was very excited to know if the book would fulfill my expectations and prove itself. it totally did.
     Kate has been through a lot in her life. She has discovered that she has diabetes. And then, her sweet boyfriend dumps her. She's scarred but so is Aidan. Aidan loved his job as a soldier but now he's a retired veteran at such a young age with only one arm. These two people are polar opposites but they just might be each other's safe haven.
     I loved the author's writing style. She perfectly voiced both characters, even though they're much too different from each other but she kept two distinct personalities throughout the whole book. That takes talent. And the plot is really just a simple story but she pimped it up, adding tension and back-story.
     The characters, the main ones are broken and even if they want to, they can't trust each other easily. I felt both Kate and Aidan's fears and insecurities and I fell for them both. This book had only one flow, and that was its slow-moving plot. It wasn't like that all the time, but sometimes, it really was slow and i found myself just dozing off for a while or leaving it to do something else.

     The ending was perfect. That's it. Nothing was left out and no loose ends were seen. It gave a hopeful future without giving too much of the imagination away. I loved that. I wasn't surprised when I saw tears pooling in my eyes after I finished it. It is really an amazing read for all hopeful romantics out there in the world. This is a thought-provoking and sometimes intense read. It proves that our feelings are what truly cripple us not our bodies. 

Review: Pure by Julianna Baggott

Title: Pure (Pure #1)
Author: Julianna Baggott
Publication: February 8th 2012 by Grand Central Publishing
Genre: YA Dystopian
Source: Owned

We know you are here, our brothers and sisters . . . 
Pressia barely remembers the Detonations or much about life during the Before. In her sleeping cabinet behind the rubble of an old barbershop where she lives with her grandfather, she thinks about what is lost-how the world went from amusement parks, movie theaters, birthday parties, fathers and mothers . . . to ash and dust, scars, permanent burns, and fused, damaged bodies. And now, at an age when everyone is required to turn themselves over to the militia to either be trained as a soldier or, if they are too damaged and weak, to be used as live targets, Pressia can no longer pretend to be small. Pressia is on the run.

Burn a Pure and Breathe the Ash . . . 
There are those who escaped the apocalypse unmarked. Pures. They are tucked safely inside the Dome that protects their healthy, superior bodies. Yet Partridge, whose father is one of the most influential men in the Dome, feels isolated and lonely. Different. He thinks about loss-maybe just because his family is broken; his father is emotionally distant; his brother killed himself; and his mother never made it inside their shelter. Or maybe it's his claustrophobia: his feeling that this Dome has become a swaddling of intensely rigid order. So when a slipped phrase suggests his mother might still be alive, Partridge risks his life to leave the Dome to find her. 

When Pressia meets Partridge, their worlds shatter all over again.

-- My Rating --
5/5 Oscars: Loved it

-- My Thoughts --

     This is one of the most well-known books in the dystopian genre, as a whole. It is a national bestseller, if I am not wrong and I have been hearing constantly about it for two years. I just never had the time to read, or when i had the time, another book had the priority. Right now, I wish I had read it sooner.
     Pressia Belze is a Wretch. She lives in the land outside the Dome with her grandfather. She doesn't remember much of her childhood, but she knows the big explosion left her with a doll-head instead of a hand and her mother dead. Partridge is a Pure. He lives inside the Dome and there's physically nothing wrong with him and he's supposed to take his father's place in the future. But Partridge knows the secrets inside the Dome are sinister and that he has to venture outside to find out the truth, once and for all.
     World-building is one of the strongest suits of this book. Julianna Baggott has a vivid imagination that she perfectly phrases into words. She has created a truly new world within her head and on paper, a world that you cannot escape from. Her imagery is so vivid that you feel like you are there, with the characters, at all times.
     This plot was just epic. I don't really know how the author came up with the idea of Wretches and Pures, but it was amazing! All these little details that added up, and the huge explosion that ended the world as we knew it. All the characters with their impurities. A doll-head as a fist? A fan stuck in the throat for breathing? Birds fixed to the back of a guy? Words burned into a person's face? This plot was full of these deliciously creepy moments that I adored.
     I cannot begin to describe how the characters are. I fell in love with all, every single one of them. We have different chapters from different POVs. There's Pressia, our main character, which I truly absolutely LOVED. This girl is so tough, so real, it was beautiful to watch her grow through the course of this book. Then there's Partridge, our sweet innocent boy who gets thrown into a cruel world, he was annoying sometimes, but I still loved him, his loyalty. Bradwell and Lyda take appearances too. But my most favorite character is definitely El Capitan. He acts like he is much older than he actually is, and he acts cruel. but he has a heart of gold and I fell in love with everything he said, every single word.
     The romance is not the center on the stage in this book, but it does make an appearance. There's Partridge and Lyda and they make a cute couple, but you don't see much of them in this book. Then, there's Pressia and Bradwell, they have a lot of difficulties and nothing major has happened yet. And I am waiting for El Capitan to fall in love, too. With whom, I do not yet know.
    If you haven't already started this series, what the hell are you waiting for? This is one of the greatest masterpieces in YA literature, and the whole dystopian genre. I know that everyone will love it, you just have to.

Review: Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

Title: Eleanor and Park
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Publication: February 26th 2013 by St. Martin's Griffin
Genre: Contemporary
Source: Owned

Set over the course of one school year in 1986, ELEANOR AND PARK is the story of two star-crossed misfits – smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love – and just how hard it pulled you under.

-- My Rating --

5/5 Oscars: Loved it...

-- My Thoughts --

     This book was getting a lot of buzz from the blogging world last year and when it won the Goodreads Choice Awards, I knew it was special, but I didn't really  know what it was about, so I was pleasantly surprised and i LOVED every moment of it.
    Eleanor is the new kid with the chubby body and the bright red hair. Park is the quiet guy with the Korean looks and love of comic-books. These two are just so different from each other, but together, they find their missing pieces and they remind you the beauty of your first love.
     Okay, so I didn't know this book was set in the 80s, but that didn't bother me at all. Actually, it was extremely refreshing and wonderful reading something from that decade. I loved the references to the music and Eleanor's love of the Beatles. the whole no-cell-phone thing was also amusing, since I really can't forget the time before we had cellphones. It was like, we didn't really care but now that we have them, we can't digest the idea of not having them.
     Rainbow Rowell is definitely a talented author. Especially in character building. Eleanor and Park are both totally unique and they feel so real. They are two distinct personalities and the author was able to keep the personalities throughout the whole book. She makes you fall in love with both of them. Feel for all they have been through or are going through. It is a truly emotional read that almost made me cry a couple of times.
     The romance is at its peak. It is the main point in this story. Eleanor and Park are each others' first love, and it's beautiful. It was amazing watching their feelings unfold. Reading their feelings. It almost felt like the author ripped these feelings right from my own heart, it felt so real and so true. They go through a lot of obstacles in this book but that never stops them from loving each other. The ending was perfect. I didn't expect it to end that way, but I was not disappointed. And the last few lines were amazing.

     This book will touch you to the core. it will remind you of YOUR own first love. Of how hard and how reckless it was. But it will also remind you of its beauty, its sweetness, the reasons why you'll never forget the person you first fell in love with.

ARC Review: Grim by Christine Johnson (Anthology)

Title: Grim
Author(s):  (Editor)Kimberly Derting Sonia Gensler Tessa Gratton Claudia GrayRachel Hawkins Amanda Hocking Ellen HopkinsShaun HutchinsonJulie KagawaMalinda LoMyra McEntireSaundra MitchellJackson PearceSarah Rees Brennan, Dia ReevesJon SkovranJeri Smith-Ready
Publication: February 25th 2014 by Harlequin Teen
Genre: Parnormal, Fantasy
Source: Provided by the kind publisher..

Inspired by classic fairy tales, but with a dark and sinister twist, Grim contains short stories from some of the best voices in young adult literature today

-- My Rating --
4/5 Oscars: Really liked it

-- My Thoughts --

     When I found out that these talented and famous authors were publishing such an anothology, I was as excited as everyone else in the Paranormal and Fantasy genre. I love it when these two genres are mixed up, so I was very, very pleased with these short stories.

+ The Key by Rachel Hawkins: THREE STARS. I thought this would be a romantic love story from the start but it was anything but. This is a very interesting introduction to this anthology that is quite short, but the ending will put you off. I liked it.
+ Figment by Jeri Smith-Ready: THREE STARS. This one was really, really imaginative. I LOVED the idea of the Figments and how they are attached to people and how they thrive on imagination and belief in fantasies. You might not get what I am saying at this moment, but this book was really fun in a cute kind-of-way.
+ The Twelfth Girl by Malinda Lo: THREE STARS. This was really creepy with a paranormal vibe about it. It's the kind of story, that even when you finish, you don't really get what just happened, but you liked the mysterious part. I felt like that, even though the end was a bit of a stretch and there were things that irked me.
+ The Raven Princess by Jon Skovron: THREE STARS. This one started with a very twisted beginning and I thought it would take a dark path that I love. But it didn't. Actually, this one was really mild and didn't interest me a lot. I kind-of breezed through it without giving it much thought. This is a kind of quest journey that I am sure some people will adore.
+ Thinner Than Water by Saundra Mitchell: FOUR STARS. This was the kind of story that has some moral aspects that are just wrong. Not cruel, not bad, just you know, deep inside, that this is as disgusting as it can be. So, I loved how our main heroine handled her relationship and all the things that came without. A gown made of sunlight? You will sure be interested in this.
+ Before The Rose Bloomed: A Retelling of the Snow Queen by Ellen Hopkins: TWO STARS. This is a star-crossed lovers story about a girl going on a journey to rescue her beloved. This was just boring and I really hate that. These kind of stories just can't interest me and i finished this as fast as I can. Moving On.
+ Beast/Beast by Tessa Gratton: FOUR STARS. I really liked this one. As a hopeless romantic I am, I am in love with the whole Beauty and the Beast theme and this really executed it well. Tessa Gratton expressed a ton of emotions in the span of such a short story and I fell in love with the Beast. The end was romantic and happy and just what I expected.
+ The Brothers Piggett by Julie Kagawa: TWO STARS. I expected a lot from this one. It's Julie Kagawa, after all. I really like her writing style but this story was just not the same and kind of stupid, really. I mean the characters. they're just silly and i didn't want to care for them, at all. This was a turn-off but the witch mythology was interesting.
+ Untethered by Sonia Gensler: FOUR STARS. This is one of my favorites in the anthology. The author used one of the most amazing techniques, that I LOVE in both movies and books. Don't really know what it's called, but it's when the author builds this whole world and this story and these characters, and in the end, she just turns everything upside down, the story ends, and you are left flabbergasted, mouth-wide-open, standing in awe of the author's talent. This is that kind of story.
+ Better by Shaun David Hutchinson: FOUR STARS. This was a really good science fiction story. it's the kind of story that can be turned into a series and will surely succeed. I liked the whole imaginative little world of the story and the characters and end, OMG! the end felt wrong and right at the same time, and I was really shocked.
+ Light It Up by Kimberly Derting: THREE STARS. Our lovely main characters in this story, Hansen and Greta, does their names ring a bell? Yape, Hansel and Gretel. But with a really modern twist and a really creepy old man instead of the witch. This is like the kind of movies that not just scare you, they make you feel disgusted. WHICH I just love.
+ Sharper Than a Serpent's Tounge by Christine Johnson: TWO STARS. This was a very weird story but with a very interesting twist and premise. I can't really tell since it will be counted as a spoiler but I asure you that it was interesting, just not my kind of story, or if longer, not my kind of book, at all.
+ A Real Boy by Claudia Gray: FIVE STARS. Officially, my favorite story in the whole series. I loved Claudia Gray's writing and I loved her characters. Rowan is such an amazing character and i wanted to feel her stretched out in a whole series, not just a short story. The beginning, I really liked and the love story it contained I really loved, but the end was the best of all. This was the most memorable one.
+ Skin Trade by Mira McEntire: THREE STARS. This reminded me of the typical paranormal romance. The likes of Twilight and the others. It doesn't really have anything in common with Twilight, but it has become a habit that whenever I read something with a damsel in distress and a guy who wants to hide his feelings for her while hiding his true cruel nature, it just screams TWILIGHT at me. The ending was very interesting, if not a bit chilly and gross.
+ Beauty and the Chad by Sarah Rees Brennan: TWO STARS. This was just silly and weird and something that I just didn't get. So, our beast here is a guy from the modern world who has been trapped in the castle and he was plain annoying. I hated him and he kind-of destroyed the story, for me.
+ The Pink: A Grimm Story by Amanda Hocking: THREE STARS. This was a really cute short story with a touch of romance in the fantasy world. I really liked the characters and hated the bad ones, as I always do. It was a really great story, just not AMAZING.

+ Sell Out by Jackson Pearse: THREE STARS. The whole concept of this story interested me a lot but the execution was not perfect. And it was just too short. I wanted more from the characters which I didn't get. But I'm not complaining and kissing people back to life is really intriguing concept to behold.

Review: Racing Savannah by Miranda Kenneally

Title: Racing Savannah (Hundred Oaks #4)
Author: Miranda Kenneally
Publication: December 3rd 2013 by Sourcebooks Fire
Genre: YA Contemporary
Source: Owned

They’re from two different worlds.

He lives in the estate house, and she spends most of her time in the stables helping her father train horses. In fact, Savannah has always been much more comfortable around horses than boys. Especially boys like Jack Goodwin—cocky, popular and completely out of her league. She knows the rules: no mixing between the staff and the Goodwin family. But Jack has no such boundaries.

With her dream of becoming a horse jockey, Savannah isn’t exactly one to follow the rules either. She’s not going to let someone tell her a girl isn’t tough enough to race. Sure, it’s dangerous. Then again, so is dating Jack…

-- My Rating --
3/5 Oscars: Liked it

-- My Thoughts --

     So, I have heard a lot about Miranda Kenneally and her debut novel, Catching Jordan. Her take on sports and kick-ass protagonists definitely had me intrigued and I was glad that I finally got the chance to read her book. although I have not read the other three books in the series, I am planning to.
     Savannah just moved into the Goodwin farm, her father got a job working with horses. Savannah always knew she had a thing with horses, so when she gets the chance to take care of one, she is delighted. But she knows that there should be no encounters between her and the Goodwin son, Jack. Because Jack is kind-of her boss, and it's forbidden to have feelings for him, even though he flirts and teases her and makes the butterflies in her stomach dance.
     I have always been a fan of the taboo romance theme. This was not such a big deal, if you look at it closely. Since Savannah is poor and Jack is rich, their statuses are different and a romance between them seems impossible. Miranda Kenneally knew how to perfectly capture Savannah's insecurities and hidden feelings from the world. I loved getting to know the girl beneath the hard exterior and I fell in love with how cute she was, even though she did a LOT of stupid things, which I cannot mention. You might as well read the book and find out.
     What I really loved about this book was the reference to horses. It's familiar in Miranda's books to have some kind of sport in them, but this one was definitely different. Racing is so intriguing and dangerous and for a girl to do that, the author definitely needed to capture the perfect background and make it believable. Which she succeeded at totally.
     This book was really good. But the reason it got three stars is that , apart from a couple of points i mentioned, this book was a typical contemporary romance. I wanted something unique and i wasn't sure that I really got that. So, this is my opinion and a lot of people might actually like this much more than I do. So, read for yourself and judge!