Lost and Found (Lost and Found, #1)

Lost and Found (Lost and Found, #1)Lost and Found by Nicole Williams

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I don’t know if maybe I’m just over the entire new adult genre or what, but I thought this book was terrible. It was free on Amazon and so many of my friends thought it was great, but I hated it.

It started out okay, but the melodrama VERY quickly escalated until it was almost like the whole book was a big joke that I wasn’t in on.

We’ve got Rowen (so tired of these stupid names), the emotionally damaged girl who can’t hide her overwhelming beauty with make-up, hair dye, and black clothing no matter how hard she tries because she’s just so pretty that nothing can stop the gorgeous from shining through.

Rowen has a bad relationship with her mom, she drinks, dabbles in drugs, and is over-sexed. Her mom sends her to a ranch in Montana to prove that she deserves to go to art school despite her bad grades. At the Greyhound station when she arrives, Rowen meets Jesse. Jesse is the most gorgeous adonis of a cowboy to have ever lived. Apparently. The way he is described is like he walked off of the set of gonzo porno film. He’s 19, but all man. Because everyone knows that 19 year old boys are super manly and physically mature. Obviously.

On the car ride to the ranch the author makes it apparent that every single character in this book thinks that are either the second coming of Gandhi, Aristotle, Plato, or some other dead person that people used to quote in their AIM away messages. I don’t know about you, but reading about teenagers waxing poetic about their lives and damages like they have all of the answers makes me want to stab sharp objects in my eyes.

“We all have secrets, Rowen. Every last person on the planet. And you know what else? We all experience the same kinds of things. We just go through them at different times and to different degrees [..] If we just were to accept we’re not so different from each other, we wouldn’t feel so alone.”

STFU Jesse. You’re 19. You don’t know about life.

BUT ANYWAY…

So Jesse is this perfect looking cowboy who is also perfect in every other way. So of course he inexplicably likes Rowen for no reason. As does the rest of his family and the rest of the town. I guess because this small town in Montana is a haven for superheros whose secret power is to see the “real you” regardless of your bad attitude or the weirdo clothes you wear. That’s the only explanation I can come up with as to why these small town country people seem to like her. They don’t know her, she looks like a criminal, and she has a bad attitude, but they automatically know that deep down she’s a good person. No hate crimes or prejudice in small town Montana! So obviously they have special abilities that the rest of hillbilly America lacks.

Jesse’s exgirlfriend also loves Rowen for no reason. Josie is obviously still in love with Jesse, but wants to be friends with Rowen and isn’t mad when she and Jesse get together.

The rest of Jesse’s family is perfect. Rose seems to have quit her day job as the mom on 7th Heaven to raise a family and work on a ranch. She is inexplicably best friends with Rowen’s god-awful mom though because it’s obvious that Annie Camden likes to run with the wrong crowd sometimes.

The dialogue in this book is ridiculous. I could never say the things these characters say out loud without laughing. If a man said the things Jesse said to Rowen to me, I would have to bite my tongue off to keep from laughing in his face.

Up until about 79%, I would have given this 2 stars, but the last 20% made me want to do this:

The thing with the mom’s boyfriend.. Oh my gawdddd…. To much. I died laughing.

&

Rowen is suddenly such a great horseback rider after 3 months that she goes on a rescue mission, in the rain, that men who have been riding for 20 years think is too dangerous to attempt.

This book. It was just absurd. I can’t.

Magnolia

MagnoliaMagnolia by Kristi Cook

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was a pretty mixed bag. There’s a ton wrong with it… And don’t worry, I’ll tell you all of those things. So why did I give it 4 stars?

BECAUSE I CAN.

The book was well paced, it was engaging, I liked the story. I read the whole thing in a couple of hours and enjoyed it. So 4 stars.

But man… There were a ton of things about this book that aggravated the shit out of me:

1. There was A LOT going on here. The Ryder thing, the storm, Nan’s health issues, Jemma’s relationship with Patrick, Jemma’s college decision, and then THAT OTHER THING with Patrick. The deal with Nan seemed forced and like it only existed to move us to Jemma and Ryder riding out the hurricane on their own. All of these things created confusion and a lot of unnecessary drama. For such a light book, there was a lot to remember.
2. Jemma annoyed the shit out of me. Almost everything about her infuriated me:

  • There’s nothing wrong with being a sorority girl. It’s not who I am, but a lot of people have really rewarding college experiences in sororities. The author seems to go out of her way to make it clear that Jemma doesn’t fit this stereotype, but doesn’t seem to know how to write a female character that doesn’t fit it. Jemma is entitled, manipulative, prissy, and stuck up. The things that are supposed to set her apart from that image are her desire to go to film school and the shooting thing, but you can be in a sorority and do those things!
  • he way Jemma treated Ryder was terrible. She was a total bitch to him, but didn’t want to tell him why she hated him. I have news for you sweetie, men are dumb. If Ryder said he had no idea, then he had no idea. They don’t pick up on this stuff. Especially if it happened years ago. You can’t expect him to read your mind. Ryder treated Jemma really well and she tugged him around. Hot, then cold.
  • Her inability to tell Patrick to frack off was aggravating. If she’s so stubborn and strong willed then this should have been no problem.
  • The gun thing. Gemma shoots a .22 Rugar Mark III and seems to think it’s the coolest, most badass thing ever. This annoyed the piss out of me. A .22 pistol is never cool. It’s not powerful at all and looks like a toy. It has a couple of things going for it: 1)The ammo is cheap so it’s a good weapon to fire a lot. 2) The 5″ barrel makes it accurate. So for Gemma’s accuracy purposes this would work well. 3)It could probably kill someone if you shot them in a strategic place and they were like 2 hours from a hospital. 4) and finally, since it’s not very powerful, you could shoot it over and over again with hurting your back/hands due to recoil.

    The fact that Gemma thinks this gun is so awesome just irked me because it made the book seem inauthentic. If Gemma is such a great shot, then she would practice with a variety of weapons, not just this .22 pistol (I can’t even type that without rolling my eyes). A .22 is a gun you buy a woman because you think she’s cute and can’t handle anything more powerful. To me, it was somewhat patronizing to have Jemma’s gun be a .22 pistol. This is a fictional story. She can shoot whatever the author thinks is cool. Put a S&W .357 revolver with a 5″ barrel in her hand.

Random peeve: the author references a vacation to Fort Walton Beach several times in this story. This is where I live. I want to know why you would vacation in FWB when Destin is like 5 minutes away? Ha. And the goofy golf she refers to as if it’s an idyllic little spot? It’s a rundown shithole.


It’s like you teleport to 1973 every time you drive past it. It’s in a TERRIBLE part of town. I found this picture online and it actually makes it look cute, I’m going to drive past it today and take my own picture. Ha.

So yes, this book was very annoying (kind of like this review I’m writing?) and on paper I guess I hated it, but for whatever reason I inexplicably enjoyed it. I’d buy a sequel about Jemma and Ryder’s subsequent adventures in college for sure.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown

The Coldest Girl in ColdtownThe Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This book was… disappointing. I want to rate it higher, but I can’t.

When I first started reading, I was HOOKED. I loved the way Holly Black dropped the action and gore almost immediately. From the second Tana wakes up, it’s action packed. I was completely sucked into this bizarre world where vampirism is a disease that’s overtaken the modern US.

Black’s writing in the first portion of the book is phenomenal. The characters she created for this story were so well-developed.

Tana really came alive for me. I hated her. I hated the way she acted with Aiden. I hated some of the stupid things she did, but she was also kind of a badass. She had complete control of herself and her actions and she didn’t make apologies. I was imagining a version of Faith from BtVS. Loved her. Yes, it’s true, these characters went through very little growth during the book. Everyone seems to care about this, I don’t. The book happens over like 9 days or something. How much growth can really occur during that time period?

The gore/horror aspect of this book was totally new to me. I don’t usually read books like this, but I loved it. It was gross and graphic and well-done. It painted a vivid picture of the dark and dangerous Coldtown.

The twist in the ending was super unexpected. Very cool.

So why only two stars? Well, three reasons:

1. The info dumps. I hated how there were these random chapters that dumped background info on us. I hated that Black paused the (action-packed) story over and over again to tell me boring crap about the characters. It was boring.
2. The last half of the book dragged on and on. I was never really clear on what the book’s objective/focus was until I was reading it. The twist at the end was really cool, but I literally thought “oh, that’s where she’s going with this,” *shrug* and was TOTALLY underwhelmed by it. It took so long to get to that point in the story with very little exciting plot development (I felt like the story just flopped around for 150 pages) that the ending (which should have been shocking and awesome) just kind of fell flat. The book lacked focus. It read like a first draft.
3. This romance sucked. It seemed to be thrown in as an afterthought to ride the Twilight coattails. The story was detailed and developed enough that it could have stood on its own without the weird, underdeveloped “love story” between Tana and Gavriel. This was truly the novel’s weak spot. There are so many things wrong with this romance:

  • The weird make-out scene. Why? This was sudden and happened with absolutely no build-up. The weird and sudden attraction was really off-putting. I get it, he’s hot, but you don’t go around kissing random hot people just because you think they’re hot- especially when they’re undead.
  • They’re supposed to be a romantic pairing? How? They don’t seem to have any romantic/emotional connection to each other. They probably spend like 6 hours with each other over the course of the book. The author was seriously grasping at straws with this pairing. There was nothing writing to make me believe that these two should be together. In fact, plenty was written to make me think the opposite: Gavriel is a murderer and does awful things throughout the course of the book (Tana seems to be able to overlook this) and every time the two are separated for (seemingly) the last time, Tana doesn’t seem to care. She seems to be thinking, “Whelp. Time to go our separate ways. Sucks, but OK.”
  • SPOILER ALERT:

The end where Gavriel confesses his love to Tana was the nail in the coffin for me (pun intended). WHAT. THE. FRACK.

Seriously? No. You do not. You have no reason to love her. You are insane. Both of you are crazy. GTFO.

I really hate to rate this so low because there were a lot of things I thought were great, but the execution was very poor. I can’t give it three stars though. I like my three star books more than I liked this. So while I think Holly Black writes like a bad ass, I can’t give this any more than 2 stars. Sorry!

COVER REVEAL!!

Title: The Duet
Author: R.S. Grey
Release Date: Nov 10, 2014
Find on
Goodreads

When 27-year-old pop sensation Brooklyn Heart steps in front of a microphone, her love songs enchant audiences worldwide. But when it comes to her own love life, the only spell she’s under is a dry one. 

So when her label slots her for a Grammy performance with the sexy and soulful Jason Monroe, she can’t help but entertain certain fantasies… those in which her G-string gets more play than her guitars'.

Only one problem. Jason is a lyrical lone wolf that isn’t happy about sharing the stage—nor his ranch — with the sassy singer. But while it may seem like a song entitled ‘Jason Monroe Is an Arrogant Ho’ basically writes itself, their label and their millions of fans are expecting recording gold…

They’re expecting The Duet.

          Summer Neilson BrooklynHeartAssist@gmail.com 7:00 P.M.

          Whattup Boss. Just an update about the meeting tomorrow with Global Records. It’s still at 8:00 A.M. at their downtown offices, but now Jason Monroe will be there as well. They haven’t briefed me about what they’ll be discussing with you guys, but I thought I’d give you a heads up incase you wanted to forget to wear a bra or something. I’ve attached a photo of him, just as a reminder of how seriously hot he is. (You’re welcome.)
 

          Your badass assistant,

          Summer

          PS. Let’s get lunch after your meeting so we can go over tour stuff.

I laughed and rolled my eyes. Some people might argue that my relationship with my thirty-year-old assistant crossed boundaries, but Summer had bright purple hair and usually sported black on black for all occasions. I don’t think I could have reined her in even if I tried. Not to mention, she got shit done and made me laugh while she did it, so I didn’t see any problems.

“Oh, no way. You have a meeting with Jason Monroe tomorrow? That guy can seriously rock,” the Brazilian model said over my shoulder. I hadn’t even realized he’d slid over to my bench while I was reading my email. Creepy.

I turned my phone away quickly, hoping he hadn’t had enough time to read the rest of the email where Summer had attached a shirtless photo of Jason. If so, I was going to have to find the guys from Men in Black so that I could use that pen thing to erase his memory.

“Oh um, yeah, we’re under the same music label,” I answered nonchalantly, trying to read his features for any tell of whether he read the bra-less comment.

“That guy has soul, have you seen his acoustic performances?” he asked, seemingly more interested in the idea of Jason Monroe than the idea of having sex with me. Something was wrong with this picture. “He headlined ACL and Coachella last year.”

I rolled my eyes and dropped my phone back into my purse. The rest of the ride to my condo, and even as we rode the elevator up to my floor, I wondered what the record label had up their sleeves concerning me and the seriously sexy, Jason Monroe. (Yes, of course, I went back to look at the photo Summer had sent me in the email. Here’s a hint: he was on stage at a music festival with his guitar. His eyes were closed, sweat was dripping down his neck, his brown hair was disheveled, and he was singing a song with every bit of soul he had in him. I couldn’t look away until the Brazilian model literally pried the phone out of my hand.)

 

I am a lover of books, chocolate, reality TV, black labs, and cold weather. Seriously, if I had it my way I would be curled up on the couch with all of those things… everyday. 

I live in Texas where I spend my free time writing and reading. My favorite authors are Mindy Kaling & Jonathan Safran Foer. I'm a comedy geek and love all things "funny". Women like Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Mindy Kaling are definitely the biggest inspirations for my writing, though I think my work tends to skew a bit smuttier than theirs.

Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads


This Sky

This Sky

author: Autumn Doughton
rating: 3/5
review:

Review to come, but the ending kind of killed this for me. The only reason I’m giving it 4 stars is because the writing is pretty and because of the great quotes. (Sorry, I have to give this 3 stars after thinking about it overnight. It’s not a 4 star book to me. I didn’t like it as much as my other 4 star books.)

UGH. What a let down.

I don’t know that I’ve ever felt so hot and cold about a book while reading it. The beginning was a little “meh.” I like a little bit of a slow-burn romance and it doesn’t take much for Landon and Gemma to get together. Sure, they’re only “friends with benefits,” (MURDERRRRR) but they act like a couple. COMPLETELY. They act like they’re totally in love. The way this book is written, they would both HAVE to know that they’re in love with each other unless they’re complete idiots. This infuriated me. They both obviously wanted to be in a relationship, but Gemma insisted on “no strings,” but there were strings. From the beginning.

Annoying.

The prose in this was beautiful though. For example:

“You see something you want? Then fucking take it. I took it and now I’m pretty sure my bones are melting.”

“I am incoherent. I am nothing but the shape of this thrashing moment. I am nothing but this boy’s mouth on me and his muscles expanding and contracting and the air and the blood raging inside of both of us. And when he touches me, the sky and the earth switch places.”

That’s Gemma’s inner-monologue right there. How could you possibly wax poetic like that and not know you’re in love with this person? I wanted to strangle her.

When the middle got going though, I though this book was going to be great. I thought it was going on my favorites shelf for sure, but no. The ending did this:

I saw it coming too. As Gemma was going after him I was thinking, don’t do it. Don’t end it this way. Please. Don’t do the cheesy ending. But she did. And in the WORST way possible. (Stop reading right here if you don’t want spoilers because I’m about to give this away, but it’s totally predictable so I don’t even really feel like it’s a spoiler.)

So Gemma chases after him and finds him at the beach. She tells him she wants him and he asks “why?” (because of course he does) and Gemma replies, “BECAUSE I LOVE YOU.”

GTFO of here with that!

Infinite (Strange and Beautiful #1)

Infinite (Strange and Beautiful #1)

author: Brittney Musick
rating: 4/5
review:

Infinite is the first book in the Strange and Beautiful series by Brittney Musick. It’s the story of Silly Granger and the trials and tribulations of a high school freshman. I had the pleasure of reading this book in its first iteration so I somewhat knew what to expect and was very excited to read the published version.

I wasn’t let down.

Don’t get me wrong, the book does have some issues (I’ll get to those later), but it is THE quintessential coming of age story.

Silly’s characterization is so thorough that it’s almost as if I became her while reading her story. The author weaves Silly’s web so tightly that I feel like I can tell you how she would feel about anything. I know Silly. I know her well. I’m doing a terrible job of explaining this, but Silly’s development and characterization is out of this world. I have never read a book where the author did a better job than Musick does here. It’s absolutely phenomenal.

This story isn’t about anything. There’s no overwhelming plot arch, no obvious rise and fall, no main conflict- this story is just about Silly and what happens to her during her freshman year of high school. It’s a day in the life. It’s sometimes tedious, but always well-written. I feel like this is something you need to know about the story going into it. If you’re not interested in reading about the day to day adventures of a 15 year old girl- her relationships with her parents and siblings, her struggles with bullying, her first crush/romance, puberty, her troubles with her best friend, her problems with teachers, etc.- then this isn’t the book for you. (But if you think it isn’t- you’re wrong.)

But guys, I really recommend you give it a try. Silly is a wonderful narrator. She’s smart, funny, and adorably fumbling her way through the school year. You’ll love her.

Other things to love about this book:
1. Every character is well written and developed- not a single one feels extraneous. Every single character experiences some kind of growth.
2. Silly’s relationship with her best friend, Tegan, is mutually beneficial. I feel like the author makes an effort here to show the reader that the relationship is not one-sided. Silly is the narrator, so we hear more from her, but Silly cares about Tegan’s issues and life too. In a lot of novels you get the best friend existing to act solely as a conscious or to encourage the main character to do things that would be out of character for them to do on their own. Tegan does these things as well, but they are not her only function. She has her own story to tell.
3. Jackson. He’s an adorable love interest. That’s all I’m going to say about him because I adore him and don’t want to ruin it by trying to explain it. He’s a cutie.

And now the negative… This book isn’t perfect by any means. The main issue I had with it was the “name dropping.” It’s rampant. The author is constantly naming specifics. The number of specific things mentioned in the novel is crazytown. It was infuriating. Some paraphrased examples from the top of my head:

-We went to Steak and Shake. Jackson ordered [insert long list of everything Jackson ordered here] and I got [insert long list of everything Silly ordered here]. *I feel like the author told me everything that Silly ate for an entire year.*

-I put on my ADIDAS classics.

Any book or movie or band that the novel references is done in excruciating detail- even when unnecessary. Sometimes, I feel like it would have been better for the author to write that Silly put on her shoes instead of explaining that she put on her black Converse Chuck Taylors. Or to say that Silly read her book- rather than Silly read [insert specific book name here]. This was extremely aggravating to me. Your reader doesn’t need to know all of these things. It makes your character too specific. If the reader hates these books, then you’ve just given Silly undesirable traits. She now likes stupid books instead of just being a reader. The author could have said, “I picked up Jackson’s latest recommendation,” instead of telling me that she’s reading an Abundance of Katherines by John Green.

It just seems like the author is trying too hard to make Silly “this way.” It’s too rigid. I don’t need to know ALL of Silly’s favorite bands or ALL of her favorite books. The Perks of Being a Wallflower was referenced what seemed to be about a million times. It was total overkill.

That was really the only thing about this that I just HATED. I loved that the author kept it mostly clean. The book is edgy and there’s some language, but the sexual content is kept at an appropriate level for a younger (14-15) reader.

In closing, I’m so glad I got my hands on the published version of this. It’s wonderful. I loved reading it. Infinite is an adorable story. Silly is adorable. Adorable is the perfect word for this book. If you’re in the mood for a coming of age story, give this a try.

Waiting on the Sidelines (Waiting on the Sidelines, #1)

Waiting on the Sidelines (Waiting on the Sidelines, #1)

author: Ginger Scott
name: Crazy. Something. Maybe.
average rating: 4.09
book published: 2013
rating: 5
read at: 2014/03/07
date added: 2014/09/05
shelves: best-book-boyfriends, coming-of-age, contemporary, high-school, new-adult, rich-kid, romance, favorites, sports, stupid-character-names
review:
Ok. I’ve been ruminating on this for 3 days and I finally decided what I want to say about this book. AS A READER, I loved it. I loved it this much:

You know why? Because it’s verrrrrryyyyyy similar to Remember When. And I f-ing adored Remember When. It’s solidly in my top 5 books of all time.

I know it’s possible for two people to have similar ideas independently. But guys, these books are SUPER similar in a lot of ways. I’m not going to say anything else, I’m just going to list the things I noticed:

[spoilers removed]

And that’s that.

Going Long (Waiting on the Sidelines, #2)

Going Long (Waiting on the Sidelines, #2)

author: Ginger Scott
name: Crazy. Something. Maybe.
average rating: 4.32
book published: 2013
rating: 5
read at: 2014/03/08
date added: 2014/09/05
shelves: best-book-boyfriends, coming-of-age, contemporary, favorites, fiction, new-adult, rich-kid, romance, sports, stupid-character-names
review:
I really enjoyed this story. It was well written and unique. If you read my review of Waiting on the Sidelines then you know that I had some issues with how similar that book was to another one of my favorite reads. So I was really happy that this book told a totally different story.

Nolan is dealt a really tough hand in this story, but I can’t say that she didn’t bring a lot of it on herself. If she would have just kept fewer secrets, a lot of the heartbreak could have been avoided.

HOWEVER, I LOVED the conflict in this book. It was thoroughly entertaining. I was engaged the entire time and felt like I didn’t know what was coming next. There was SO much going on, but it was easy to follow and realistic.

I would definitely recommend this book, even more so than the first in the series.

This is Falling (Falling, #1)

This is Falling (Falling, #1)

author: Ginger Scott
rating: 4/5
read at: 2014/09/04
review:

ARC kindly provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Ginger Scott will never be able to to Waiting on the Sidelines and Going Long for me. Those books are 2 of my all time favorites and though I keep reading her new work, I am convinced that I will never like anything more than I did Nolan and Reid.

Now that that is out of the way… Nate and Rowe (ugh at that name) are a close second. Ginger Scott should only write sports novels because she is FANTASTIC at it. This woman knows sports and she knows how to write women who know sports without making it seemed contrived.

I loved this book. I loved the pacing and the slow-burn of the romance. It was funny! I loved the playfulness of it. I laughed out loud several times during my reading. I read this book in one sitting- I was that into it.

Rowe was just a so-so character to me. The thing about these incredibly damaged characters is that sometimes the damage is all I see. I had a hard time knowing Rowe. Who is she without her damage? What does she like, what is she about, what’s important to her? I didn’t feel like these things were answered entirely by the author. People are complicated and more than one thing. I felt like Rowe was 95% damage and not much else about her was shown to the reader. I would have liked to get to know her a little more.

The problem with not giving Rowe more is that it’s kind of hard to see why everyone liked her. Did they think it was cute that she was so timid and wanted to save her? That may work for a couple of weeks, but it’s hard to build lasting friendships out of that. What was in it for Cass? What did she get out of her relationship with Rowe? Sure, Rowe was good at pranks, but what did she and Cass have in common? What were idiosyncrasies (unrelated to her trauma) make her unique? The development of Rowe as a FULL person and not just a damaged person was lacking, in my opinion.

Nate was lovely. I loved how he was the good guy, but not the saintly guy. Scott developed his character so that he was saccharine sweet, but not perfect. He had flaws and he made mistakes, but he always had good intentions.

TY. Ty was, by far, the best character in this book. He was hilarious. I can’t wait to read his and Cass’s story.

Read this. It’s good.