Into the Still Blue (Under the Never Sky, #3)

Into the Still Blue (Under the Never Sky, #3)

author: Veronica Rossi
name: Crazy. Something. Maybe.
average rating: 4.24
book published: 2014
rating: 4
read at: 2014/05/30
date added: 2014/05/30
shelves: best-book-boyfriends, dystopia, fantasy, favorites, fiction, romance, young-adult
review:
I LOVED this. By far my favorite Dystopian series I’ve read so far. Divergent is a smarter trilogy, but this one out shined it in every other area for me. The story was better, the relationships were better. I could FEEL the author’s passion for the story. I was a ball of nerves while reading the entire thing. I want to read it again and again. Maybe I will.

But am I the only one who felt like their were a couple of loose ends that were never tied up? Did Perry ever tell Aria what he was going to tell her? How did she know what rendering was? [spoilers removed]

Under the Never Sky (Under the Never Sky, #1)

Under the Never Sky (Under the Never Sky, #1)

author: Veronica Rossi
name: Crazy. Something. Maybe.
average rating: 4.08
book published: 2011
rating: 5
read at: 2014/05/29
date added: 2014/05/30
shelves: dystopia, fantasy, favorites, fiction, romance
review:
I absolutely loved this. This is one of those books that you wonder why you waited so long to read. It may be my favorite dystopian series now (at least based on the first book). This is grittier than Divergent and less righteous than The Hunger Games. I loved these characters. The slow burn romance was great. I loved it.

The Year We Hid Away (The Ivy Years, #2)

The Year We Hid Away (The Ivy Years, #2)

author: Sarina Bowen
name: Crazy. Something. Maybe.
average rating: 4.31
book published: 2014
rating: 3
read at: 2014/05/29
date added: 2014/05/29
shelves: best-book-boyfriends, college, contemporary, drugs-obviously, families, fiction, insta-love, insta-sex, new-adult, predatory-creep, romance, sports, virgin-trope-alert
review:
I really like this author. I like the way she writes relationships. She has a way of writing that makes her characters seem real. She writes as if she’s spent a lot of time rolling them around in her head to the point where she knows them backwards and forwards. Reading her novels always kind of seems to me like I’m reading about someone’s very good friends. There’s a warmness and familiarity that emanates off of the pages.

Her characters always seem to handle their issues rationally. There isn’t any inexplicable conflict (that could have easily been solved by any rational human) where you’re beating your head against the book wanting to reach into it and strangle the characters because real people don’t act like they do. It happens too often in other books where a character does something less than stellar (and for good reason) and the other characters make it about them and the relationship self-destructs. The central characters in Bowen’s books always behave like breathing humans would. They are empathetic to the needs of others and do their best to resolve problems and forgive. It’s incredibly refreshing to read.

That being said, this book does not compare to its predecessor The Year We Fell Down. Everything about The Year We Fell Down was more organic. The story pushed forward at a steady pace with plenty of time for the reader to get to know the protagonists (and the secondary characters) before the main story arcs occurred. Unfortunately, in every area that The Year We Fell Down was strong, The Year We Hid Away is weak. It lacks the well-developed supporting characters of the first book in the series (Andrew, Bridger, Fairbanks, Corey’s roommate, etc.). The Year We Hid Away has none- save for Lucy. It seems like Bowen attempts to set up Andrew as the next protagonist of the Ivy Years, but doesn’t give the reader enough time with him. Yeah, he seems like an OK guy, but I’m not invested in his story.

The Year We Fell Down was an interesting idea- Crappy things, beyond anyone’s control, happening to good people. I was invested. I wanted their incredible friendship to turn into something more. I wanted them to overcome the bad hand life had dealt them. The Year We Hid Away was just DARK. The conflict in this novel was just so hideous and despicable on Scarlet’s side that it was almost out of place and comical. It didn’t seem to fit with the story. I felt like Bowen could have created enough conflict with just Bridger’s unfortunate (and out of his control) situation. And if she did feel the need to give Scarlet such a HORRIBLY DARK back story, then she could have done it a little more believably/subtly. Every “bad guy” in the novel reminded me of some version of a Disney villain. I was picturing Azzan as Jafar from Aladdin and Scarlet’s mom as the step-mother from Cinderella. It was cheesy and unrealistic. I expected more from Bowen based on her work in The Year We Fell Down.

I also wish we would been able to see Scarlet and Bridger’s relationship develop more. It seemed like we only got to know them through the lens of their issues. I wanted to see them do normal things. I wanted to get to know them as people and as a couple, but everything hinged so heavily on the drama unfolding that it never occurred. I’m left not feeling like I know the character’s as well as Bowen does. I know how they handle difficult obstacles, I know how they support each other during tough times, and I know that they’re resilient, but I feel like I’m missing pieces of who they are. I got more in The Year We Fell Down in that regard. I wanted the same thing here.

HOWEVER, like I said in the beginning, Bowen has the ability to write extremely relate-able MCs and though this book was a little more heavy on the tropes (insta-love/attraction, insta-sex, etc.) I couldn’t help but fall in love with Bridger, Scarlett, and Lucy and their relationships with each other. Lucy is adorable and wise beyond her years. Bridger is a great boyfriend, person, and brother. Scarlet is a great person and wants to do what’s best for everyone. These characters and the way they were written and developed is what saved the story for me. Without Bowen’s signature character building, I may not have finished this story. So I give it a very hesitant 3 stars (2.5, but I’m rounding up because I have a soft spot for this author). I was expecting a lot more and am extremely disappointed that the novel fell so far from the first book in the Ivy Years series, but I did enjoy reading it.

The Year We Fell Down (The Ivy Years, #1)

The Year We Fell Down (The Ivy Years, #1)

author: Sarina Bowen
name: Crazy. Something. Maybe.
average rating: 4.13
book published: 2014
rating: 4
read at: 2014/04/04
date added: 2014/05/29
shelves: college, contemporary, favorites, fiction, new-adult, romance, sports
review:
I can’t believe I didn’t review this after reading it. I adore this book. When I started it, I wasn’t sure I would enjoy reading about someone wheelchair bound (because I’m a asshole? -Just being honest!) because I wasn’t sure I would relate to the character. I was wrong as all get out. Corey is just like any other college freshman except shes dealing with a recent sports injury that left her partially paralyzed from the waist down.

It was really fun to read about how she adjusts to college life and her blossoming friendships with her roommate and the hockey stud across the hall, Adam Hartley.

Speaking of Hartley, the book’s story is told from dual POVs, Hartley and Callahan’s. So we get a glimpse into his head as well. He’s both charming and kind of an asshole, but not enough that you ever hate him. He seems to do the best he can and always cares about Callahan- coming through for her when it matters.

The pacing of this book is wonderful. No insta-love. The characters are well developed. The relationships are well developed. It’s “laugh out loud” funny.

I’m excited for the next book in this series, The Year We Hid Away. I’m sure it was be a favorite as well!

City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6)

City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6)

author: Cassandra Clare
name: Crazy. Something. Maybe.
average rating: 4.46
book published: 2014
rating: 3
read at: 2014/05/28
date added: 2014/05/28
shelves: fantasy
review:
By all accounts, I should have loved this book. Everything I hoped would happen did. I should be elated. And maybe I would have been, if this book would have been cut by about 200 pages (AT LEAST).

Seriously, this thing droned on and on. It was over 700 pages. It was like she wanted to take as long as possible to tell the story. Probably 100 pages of it was people just sitting in rooms.

I have never had more mixed feelings about a book. It was good, but it was fracking exhausting. Just entirely exhausting. And not because I was so emotionally invested, but because I was reading and wading through so many unnecessary words. It took way too long for the plot to progress. It was baby steps. It was exhausting.

And what was with the introduction of all of these secondary characters? I was completely inundated with new people to remember. I didn’t read the Clockwork Princess or Infernal Devices or whatever else the other shadowhunter books are called so sometimes I was very confused. It was hard to file all of the new info away with not back story and be able to recall it later. I feel like my book was missing chapters- which is totally horrifying because if this book was any longer I would have just put myself out of my misery.

Overall, I’m glad I read it. I think it was a great ending to the series. It could have been done in 400 pages.

Of Neptune (The Syrena Legacy, #3)

Of Neptune (The Syrena Legacy, #3)

author: Anna Banks
name: Crazy. Something. Maybe.
average rating: 3.92
book published: 2014
rating: 0
read at:
date added: 2014/05/26
shelves:
review:
I am going to pass on this out of nowhere love triangle. The last book tied up the story pretty well and I was satisfied with the ending.

I did read the epilogue just to make sure all was well.

Of Triton (The Syrena Legacy, #2)

Of Triton (The Syrena Legacy, #2)

author: Anna Banks
name: Crazy. Something. Maybe.
average rating: 4.05
book published: 2013
rating: 4
read at: 2014/05/25
date added: 2014/05/26
shelves: fantasy, fiction, romance
review:
This was a great follow up to Of Poseidon. The world continues to be developed and brought to life. I was so fully sucked into this story that I read it all in 3 hours. I loved it.

It seems like Banks kind of “sacrificed” the first book in order to set-up conflict and character redemption in Of Triton. I’m not sure this was the best game plan. I know a ton of people couldn’t wade through all of the misogyny in the first book in order to even get to the second. If they did, they may have chose not to continue the series.

I am a little confused as to why a third book was needed. Everything was tied up in this one. I’m hoping that whatever new arc the third book holds doesn’t seem forced. This honestly, could have been a conclusion. So we will see.

Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1)

Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1)

author: Anna Banks
name: Crazy. Something. Maybe.
average rating: 4.08
book published: 2012
rating: 3
read at: 2014/05/25
date added: 2014/05/26
shelves: romance, fantasy, fiction, young-adult
review:
First thing’s first: the accusations of misogyny.

Unfortunately, it’s rampant. This book sends a bad message to girls. Women are not property. They can’t be owned or possessed. They are not subject to the whims of men. None of this is romantic. It’s scary and dangerous. If I had a young daughter, I would not let her read this book without discussing with her, in detail, how completely F’d the Syrena are in their view of women.

There’s one scene in particular that made me want to jump into the book and strangle Galen. That. Damn. Backpack. Emma and Galen are at school and Galen wants to carry Emma’s backpack. So he takes it from her (is this a metaphor?). Emma tells him she doesn’t want him to carry her backpack and tries to take it back from her. HE WON’T GIVE HER THE BACKPACK. This is called stealing. When you take someone’s property against their will, you are stealing. This made me furious. The kicker is… GALEN THINKS HE’S BEING POLITE.

But I am an adult. So I know this is a story. And despite the misogyny it’s a pretty good one. Honestly, it’s a rough start to the trilogy- it didn’t seem to really take off until about 70-75% into the book. It starts off cheesy, and misogynist, and Emma seems like a clueless moron, but the world-building is fantastic. Banks does a great job of drawing you into the Syrena world.

Read it if you can tolerate the patriarchal BS.

Forever & Always (The Ever Trilogy, #1)

Forever & Always (The Ever Trilogy, #1)

author: Jasinda Wilder
name: Crazy. Something. Maybe.
average rating: 4.03
book published: 2013
rating: 2
read at: 2014/05/24
date added: 2014/05/25
shelves: stupid-character-names, cheating, college, coming-of-age, contemporary, families, emo, fiction, high-school, insta-sex, new-adult, romance, summer-camp, tragedy
review:
This book was good UNTIL Ever and Caden got together. Then it was cheesy confession of love, sex, cheesy confession, sex, sex, sex, cheesy confession, cliffhanger.

Ugh. I will not be reading the sequels. This had a lot of potential, but very quickly did this:

Free on Kindle right now if you have absolutely nothing better to do.