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Reading, Writing and Being Generally Awesome

I have no idea what I'm doing.
The Chaos of Stars - Kiersten White I'm so conflicted right now.
Origins: The Fire - Debra Driza *shrugs* I may not have liked Mila 2.0, but what can I say? It was short, and free.There no denying that Driza can write. I liked this, but it also took me less than ten minutes to read. I'm glad I read the full book first, because this would've gone right over my head had I not.Still not convinced that I keep up with this series, but this was entertaining enough.
Her Mad Hatter - Marie Hall Have you ever seen the music video for Blink-182's song First Date? In the video, there's a scene where Tom (the lead singer of this song) just looks around and mouths "What the f*ck" with this confused look on his face. (It's such a hilarious video. If you haven't watched it, you should go here and remedy that.)That's me while reading this book (without the awesomeness of being Tom DeLonge).This was a clusterf*ck. I have no other words to describe it. I read the entire thing hoping that it would pick up, or something interesting would happen. I was really looking forward to it because I like book porn (or as the sophisticated people call it "erotica"), I like Alice in Wonderland and I like dark, moody, sexy guys. I (reluctantly) guess this had all of those things, but it was scattered and bizarre and definitely not the dirty retelling that I was hoping for. I really don't even understand what I just read. The author had a good idea, but the shortness of the book did nothing for it. Had it been expanded and the characters fully developed maybe I would've liked it. That's a big maybe though. I didn't like the way the story read either. The third person perspective did nothing for me in this case. Le sigh.I feel like I'm the mad one after reading that book. (I couldn't help it. I love me some puns.)
Battle Royale - Koushun Takami, Yuji Oniki I think I would rate this 4.5 Stars, but my mind is all screwed up right now. So I may come back and change my rating, but I really liked this....Is that morbid since so many people gruesomely die?
Recipe for Satisfaction (Madewood Brothers, #1) - Gina Gordon I skimmed most of this, which is sad because it's got a lot of sex scenes, which is exactly what I wanted when I picked this up. The only part I highlighted is the mention of Jack having a tongue ring, because let's be honest... That's hot. The rest of it did little to stimulate my mind (or body... TMI?). There were a couple of scenes that I liked, but I didn't like either of the protagonists, and everything was just so convenient that I got bored very quickly.
The Collector - Victoria Scott Just finished a reread in preparation for book two! Love this book. I'll be reviewing once I finish the semester from hell.
Jumped In - Patrick Flores-Scott There are some books that take awhile for you to decipher your feelings towards. Other books you know immediately that you are going to dislike. Then there are the little gems that you connect with from the very first page. For me, Jumped In fits into the third category. From the first mention of Nirvana--my favorite band, if you didn't already know that--I knew I would love this book. This was a fantastic debut that made me believe that this is an author to watch.Sam has mastered "slackerdom." He knows how to get by in school, and in life, without attention. He spends his times in the sounds of grunge classics and reminiscing about the days where he was happy with his mom and his two best friends, Dave and Rupe. When his English teacher pairs him up with Luis Cárdenas for a poetry assignment, the facade that Sam built slowly starts to unravel and he must rewrite everything he's come to believe.This book was not what I was expecting, and I loved it. Sam's voice is the best part of this story. It's raw, and real enough to pass emotions onto the books readers. I, myself, teared up at the end. This is a truly powerful story that had me bound. Jumped In teaches its readers a lesson that is invaluable, especially in the world in which we are a part of today. The author excellently weaves a contemporary tale that nails the nitty gritty, and leaves us feeling hope. The book moves at an excellent pace. It's an easy book to read through, and it's even easier to enjoy--it helps that there are constant references to the greatest grunge band of all time (and nothing anyone can say will ever make me change my mind about this).Jumped In is one of the few stories that doesn't have a focus of romance, or a main character even really thinking about romance, that has been able to hook me. Sam's a very realistic main character, I believe. He's afraid, and unsure of himself. He has trouble dealing with reality, which makes it impossible for him to do more with his life. He is very set in the past, which is why he acts the way he does. He's a smart kid, but he's lost. His emotional journey throughout this novel is breathtaking. It's one that I'm very glad I was able to witness because what Sam goes through is something to which everyone can relate. This is really a novel about growing up, and finding yourself through the blender into which life throws you. The minor characters tied in wonderfully, and each fulfilled their purpose in helping Sam complete his journey. I would definitely recommend this book to those who like their contemporaries a little edgy, and very heartfelt. This book is more than just a story, it has a deeper meaning that will hit its readers in their very core. It's gorgeous, and real, and even after more than a week later, the message still lingers. There are a few minor exaggerations, but they are easy to look past as this book really pushes its lesson. Jumped In tells us that there is more to a person than just their outer appearance. What matters is the person inside, and you can't know that until you take a chance and speak up.I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher for my honest opinion and review.This review can be seen here on my blog as well.
The Gentlemen's Alliance †, Vol. 01 - Arina Tanemura 2.5 StarsI like the art, but the storyline didn't do anything for me. I own the next one, but if it doesn't get any better, I'll probably drop the series.
About Last Night - Ruthie Knox This book was perfection. I wasn't a huge fan of the other Ruthie Knox book that I read, but this one... This one. I feel bad for blowing it off for so long. My dear friend, Sunshiny Me told me to read it MONTHS ago and I kept putting it off because I wasn't overly impressed by the author's other book. I'm kicking myself in the face for not pick it up sooner.The love interest, Nev/Neville/City may be my favorite man on the planet. I am ruined for all other men. He's that wonderful. I loved the characters. The plot was amazing.This book is just so, so, so good. I don't even know what else to say besides I'm so sad that this is only an ebook because I would love to own this in paperback format.Fangirl out.
No. 6 Volume 1 - 'Atsuko Asano',  'Hinoki Kino' ETA (7/9): Read and loved. This is a new series that I'm definitely going to pre-order and read all the way through. I'm so glad to be back in this world! The anime was brilliant, hopefully, this manga will be as well. With Shion and Rat living with his mom in No. 6, please? I JUST NEED SHION AND RAT 2GETHA 5EVA.YESSSSS. FINALLY. YOU EXIST. PRAISE.Good thing I get birthday money next week.
Can't Help Falling In Love - Bella Andre Can't Help Falling In Love is a sweetling, but didn't really do much for me beyond cheesy happiness. It's a short, fast read that is more than likely to entertain fans of this genre. I liked the romance, but actually ended up skimming the sex scenes. The characters were nice, but overall, not very memorable. I did like the plot though. Firemen stories are favorites of mine. This is a pretty cardboard cutout contemporary romance novel that will definitely make you smile. It's not brilliant, but it is enjoyable.
Dirty Little Secret - Jennifer Echols 3.5 StarsJennifer Echols' Dirty Little Secret proves to be an extremely entertaining, albeit enraging read. As impossible as it is to put down, there were some character actions that did nothing but infuriate me. It's a very good book, with an interesting plot that has a pretty original concept. Echols shows us yet again how wonderful she is at storytelling with this musical tale. Since her parents and younger sister, Julie, kicked her off to the side so that Julie could pursue her music career, Bailey's life has been on a downward spiral. The final straw is when her boyfriend crashes his car. After that her parents send her off to live with her granddad, who sets her up with a gig playing with tribute groups. When Sam, the son of an impersonator, sees Bailey's talent for the fiddle, he begs her to join his band and worms his way into her heart. But the secrets she's keeping just might break everything she has in her grasp.It's undeniable that Echols is an excellent writer. Her stories are compelling with realistically flawed main characters. Dirty Little Secret is no different in that respect. The difference is: I usually love Echols male leads and in this case, I wanted to poke out his eyeballs with a fork. The musical themes of the book were amazingly done. It was so cool to read about how this girl worked her way into the business, rather than what we usually see--where the characters are already thriving. I loved all of the lingo, and descriptions of the pitch, instruments, the gigs, etc. The descriptions were excellent and nothing stood out negatively for me. This was the first time I'd read a plot like this and I loved it. The setting was so well done, and besides a few minor things, very realistic. Echols writes a steady plot that will hook its readers immediately. This author has a serious knack for writing engaging, addicting stories!What I didn't like about this book: Sam. Actually, I didn't really like any of the minor characters, but Sam is the worst. The other minor characters have semi-understandable motives, but Sam was just despicable. He behaves cruelly towards Bailey and never redeemed himself, at least in my eyes. His transformation into a "good guy" happened too quickly and he wasn't forced to truly deal with the consequences of his actions. It infuriated me that when Bailey finally stood up for herself, she caved back in so easily. Bailey's parents were the other characters that I wanted to take a shank to. How someone could do what they did to their child is unbelievable. It made me sick to my stomach, and I wish we could've seen a bigger confrontation between them and Bailey. Bailey deserved nothing more than to shove their actions against her in their faces.Jennifer Echols is still an author I love, even if Dirty Little Secret didn't go as well as I had initially hoped. She has so much talent, which can be seen even with the faults shown in this novel. I sincerely look forward to reading her future work. Fair warning, this novel does have some sexual content, mentions drug and recreational underage alcohol use that makes this a good reader for older teens and new adults.I received an e-copy of this novel from the publisher for my honest opinion and review via Edelweiss.This review can be seen here on my blog as well.
I Only Have Eyes for You (The Sullivans, #4) - Bella Andre This book made me rage a lot. And roll my eyes even more. I didn't like the characters (especially not the pig of a love interest), or the way they handled their attraction/relationship/what-the-fuckery. Though the twist about Jake was really interesting--I did like that. That and the baby(ies) are the only part I actually liked about this book. I skimmed through the love scenes. This felt like wasted time, to be honest. It just didn't sit well with me. Too bad I'm a sucker for books with babies/pregnancy.

The Too-Clever Fox

The Too-Clever Fox - Leigh Bardugo This was a nifty little novella that read much like an old fairy tale. Really loved it, but now I want to reread the rest of the series!
Sophocles I - David Grene *Read for Classical Mythology class
Maybe Tonight? - Bridie Clark 1.5 StarsMaybe, Tonight? was not the book for me. While the cover caught my eye, the content lost my interest and never was able to pull me back in.Have you ever played a galge video game, or ever read a magazine that gives you situations and based on which you choose, you go to answer a specific question after that? (Did that sentence even make sense?) This book is like that. We are put in the life of a character, who has just entered a prestigious boarding school, and we the readers get to decide what decisions she makes. The main character is basically a puppet on a string who life is decided by the choices we make. Maybe, Tonight? is unlike anything I've ever read before, and that's not necessarily a good thing.It's… interesting, but I found it difficult to read because I had to flip around so much and miss entire sections of the books. It felt… wrong just skipping around and leaving so many pages unread. I'd never read anything like this! I had no idea that books like this even existed, so that may be from where much of my struggle developed. It was very different for the normal of literature today, and it wasn't written well enough to truly engage me as a reader. It was sloppy--the situations were unrealistic, over-the-top and extremely romance focused.It doesn't help that none of the choices are ones that I would make myself. There are two options at the end of each chapter. When you make a decision, that will lead you to the next chapter of your "situation." Of the two options, I chose ones that I was more likely to make, but they still were not ones that I would act on and that annoyed me a lot. Readers could find it difficult to connect to this novel because they don't agree with, and can't relate to, any of the actions of the main character. The options are the extreme of both options: go out to dinner with the nerdy boy and his cousin, or hit on her best friend's ex-boyfriend? Either way, you are led into a crazy adventure that made little sense, and seemed almost impossible.The characters in this novel were also very vapid, shallow beings. They are all rich (besides the main character), boy obsessed, looking to be famous, scandalous, etc. I didn't enjoy reading about them, I didn't care what happened to them and they really did not feel realistic. None of them were formed well enough to three-dimensional, not even the main character. The book moved too quickly for anyone to fully develop. Each full story is maybe one-hundred pages, so there is no time to really bond with the characters, or get a feel for the setting. It's in and out faster, making Maybe, Tonight? more of a teaser than a full story.Books of this nature are not for me, I've discovered. I'm pretty shocked that there is going to be a sequel--at least, it definitely left off at a point where a sequel seems inevitable. I most likely will not be reading it. This book felt very messy to me, and didn't leave the mark that I had hoped it would. This kind of novel would suit younger teenagers very well, though this novel has some pretty mature themes like drinking, drugs and hints at sexual abuse so I recommend treading with caution.I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher for my honest opinion and review.This review can be seen here on my blog as well.