17 June 2015

Bite Sized Books #3: The Ones I Forgot To Review

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As the title says, these are all books I forgot to review. I think forgot is the wrong word, though. I didn’t forget about them, I had all the info written out for a review, I just hadn’t created them into a workable post. Then, the thought of expanding upon my ideas was too daunting. I loved these books, and attempting to explain why was terrifying, especially in a full length review, which is why I’ve decided to do mini reviews, although I’m not too sure how mini they will end up being.

19854790On The Road To Find Out – Rachel Toor

Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Realistic Fiction, Young Adult

My Rating:

A funny, uplifting debut about running, romance—and dealing with college rejection and other hurdles


On New Year’s Day, Alice Davis goes for a run. Her first ever. It’s painful and embarrassing, but so was getting denied by the only college she cares about. Alice knows she has to stop sitting around and complaining to her best friend, Jenni, and her pet rat, Walter, about what a loser she is. But what doesn’t know is that by taking those first steps out the door, she is setting off down a road filled with new challenges—including vicious side stitches, chafing in unmentionable places, and race-paced first love—and strengthening herself to endure when the going suddenly gets tougher than she ever imagined.

A book about not getting into your chosen college and running, why would I find that interesting? I’m not sure either, but for some reason I’ve been watching the price drop on this book until it was under £2 on the Amazon Kindle store where I promptly bought it. It then lingered for a few weeks on my kindle waiting for me to be in the mood to begin reading. Once i picked it up I wasn’t sure what to think.

 

You follow the character of Alice as she struggles with the rejection from her first choice college and follows through her struggle in taking up running as a new year resolution and her struggle to connect with her mother and her relationship wither her best friend Jenni. She is quite a difficult character to like as she is so self-centred, thankfully her Friend Jenni calls her our on this at one point in the book, which I was glad for. I also couldn’t understand her total despair about getting rejected from her first choice college, but I think that is more to do with the difference in the UK university process and the US one. I think maybe Alice was too much of a drama queen for my liking. Her total breakdown at one point was a bit farfetched, if you read it you’ll know what I’m talking about. I’ve gone through the same thing and surprisingly I didn’t linger in bed for days on end, I sucked it up and carried on.

 

Now, I am complaining a lot, you’re probably wandering why on earth I gave it 4 stars. I’ll tell you why, because Toor’s writing about running was inspiring, I wanted to take it up it sounded that good. And she wrote genuine characters, I hated how Alice was such a drama queen, but I believed everything that happened to her, and her romance was adorable and funny, it felt genuine. I wasn’t even the main part of the story. It was Alice’s growth as a person and discovering that which she was passionate about that was important, and I loved that journey.

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The Wrath & The Dawn – Renee Ahdieh

Genre: Romance, Fantasy, Fairytale Retelling, Young Adult

My Rating:

A sumptuous and epically told love story inspired by A Thousand and One Nights


Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. But she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls. Shazi's wit and will, indeed, get her through to the dawn that no others have seen, but with a catch . . . she’s falling in love with the very boy who killed her dearest friend.


She discovers that the murderous boy-king is not all that he seems and neither are the deaths of so many girls. Shazi is determined to uncover the reason for the murders and to break the cycle once and for all.

You would think I would want to write a dedicated review for this one, but I loved it so much I’m not sure I could find the words to explain to you why I loved it so much. I read this book a while back now, and kept putting off writing this review for no other reason that I wasn’t sure what I wanted to say at the time. I knew I loved the book and I also knew it frustrated the hell out of me, how do you write a review for those feelings?

 

I adored this book, I know it had it’s flaws (I genuinely just wrote that as floors and had to question what I was on) with the story and the characters and some of it being a bit too obvious for my liking, but I just didn’t care. When I finished I was tempted to throw my book with great force across the room due to my frustration with how the story went, but that just shows how well written it was that I was that invested in the story. It wasn't the poor story writing or bad characterisation that put me off either, it was simply a case that she has chosen to write the story in such a way as that it will frustrate the hell out of you. You can see everything happening in the book and the characters can’t and there is nothing more frustrating than seeing a character make the wrong choice because they don’t have all the information.

 

It was fantastic retelling. One of my favourites of this year, I’m just upset that I’ve invested myself to read another series. I’ve got to stop doing this to myself.

 

15831291Easy – Tammara Webber

Genre: Romance, Contemporary, New Adult

My Rating:

When Jacqueline follows her longtime boyfriend to the college of his choice, the last thing she expects is a breakup two months into sophomore year. After two weeks in shock, she wakes up to her new reality: she's single, attending a state university instead of a music conservatory, ignored by her former circle of friends, and failing a class for the first time in her life.


Leaving a party alone, Jacqueline is assaulted by her ex's frat brother. Rescued by a stranger who seems to be in the right place at the right time, she wants nothing more than to forget the attack and that night - but her savior, Lucas, sits on the back row of her econ class, sketching in a notebook and staring at her. Her friends nominate him to be the perfect rebound.


When her attacker turns stalker, Jacqueline has a choice: crumple in defeat or learn to fight back. Lucas remains protective, but he's hiding secrets of his own. Suddenly appearances are everything, and knowing who to trust is anything but easy.

I love to reread book but I don't do it as much as I used to. When I was younger rereading a book was a comfort on a bad day, now it sometimes feels like its taking time away from other books I could read. I do still reread some books when the mood takes me and when I saw a used copy of Easy online I knew it was time for a reread.

 

I enjoyed this book first time around as shown by my rating. It was my first proper foray into the NA genre. I’d found a recommendation list of NA books on blogs and this one kept cropping up along with Hopeless by Colleen Hoover. I read Hopeless first and it was a bit too overly dramatic for my tastes. I enjoyed it but at times I wished it had been a bit toned down .I now know that’s just how Hoover writes and have grown to love that from her but I think that's my tastes changing too. Anyway, this was one of my first forays into NA and I really enjoyed it, and rereading it was just as good.

 

This book deals with the sensitive issue of rape maturely and sensibly. It was used as a story device, which is always a touchy subject, but it wasn't a throwaway thing. The subject of rape and thoughts and attitudes towards it were explored throughout the book.It broached the topic that women should be sensible and always be on alert when out and about, which is ridiculous, men should be taught not to rape not women being taught how to avoid it. It also reiterated that the victim is never at fault and there is no such thing as asking for it. A poignant line for me is that whoever thought up the idea of asking for it are sadists or dumbasses or something like that.

 

This book also features such a dreamy male lead. I fell in love with Lucas just as Jaqueline did and it was understandable why, he is the perfect tortured male lead that is always fun to read about. This book is just a perfect romance read for me, some angst, some drama, and good romance is all I need for a good book.

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Saint Anything – Sarah Dessen

Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult

My Rating:

Peyton, Sydney's charismatic older brother, has always been the star of the family, receiving the lion's share of their parents' attention and—lately—concern. When Peyton's increasingly reckless behavior culminates in an accident, a drunk driving conviction, and a jail sentence, Sydney is cast adrift, searching for her place in the family and the world. When everyone else is so worried about Peyton, is she the only one concerned about the victim of the accident?


Enter the Chathams, a warm, chaotic family who run a pizza parlor, play bluegrass on weekends, and pitch in to care for their mother, who has multiple sclerosis. Here Sydney experiences unquestioning acceptance. And here she meets Mac, gentle, watchful, and protective, who makes Sydney feel seen, really seen, for the first time.


The uber-popular Sarah Dessen explores her signature themes of family, self-discovery, and change in her twelfth novel, sure to delight her legions of fans.

I know I don’t really need to say this but I adore Sarah Dessen. She is a favourite of mine, I’ve been reading her books ever since I was a teenager, and will probably keep reading them until I’m old, or she stops writing, whicever comes first. Saint Anything was refreshing though, it felt like a return to some of Dessen’s older books for me. This book had a bit more grit in this book than the last few I can remember. It was nice, and you could tell this one a had some of her own personal feelings included in it.

 

I find it hard to explain why I love Dessen’s books because in a lot of ways they are all similar, but then at the same time they are all quite different from one another. I think it’s her way of writing which makes them feel similar, whilst the stories always change. I always love the characters she creates, and the friendships she writes about in her books. They always make me want to go see my friends and just act like idiots together, and I don’t know why. This book invoked the exact same feelings as all her others and it was amazing.

 

I don’t think I can properly explain my feelings, which is why I ended up including this in a mini review, all I can say is you should read it, especially if you’ve never read any of Dessen’s books before.

 

24500150Always the Bridesmaid – Lindsey Kelk

Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Chick-Lit

My Rating:

Maddie Fraser has never been anything other than the girl in the background: golden boy Dan’s little sister, crazy Shona’s minion, workaholic Sebastian’s ex and now she’s also the girl in the middle of her warring best friends.


Lauren has announced she’s getting married – just as Sarah’s husband asks her for a divorce. Nothing in Maddie’s career in event organising has prepared her for this particular combo of planning and real pain. The news that her ex is also tying the knot is the final straw. While the magazines say she should be leaning in, all she wants to do is sleep in. But whether she likes it or not, everything is about to change for Maddie. For better or worse, this grown-up bridesmaid is taking centre stage…

I adore Lindsey Kelk books. She is an author I don’t shout about enough, but when I’m looking for a light fluffy read I know she can provide that. Her characters are always funny and genuine and there is something to enjoy. The story was great, a woman who has still not gotten over her break up from 2 years ago and hates her boss. It has the makings of an excellent book. Her best friend turns into a bridezilla who takes her help with her wedding too far by viewing her as an employee yet she isn’t even getting paid. Her other best friend has announced she is getting a divorce and she has to deal with the fallout from that which dredgers up all those feelings from her own break up. And she seems to have found the perfect guy, expect, why doesn’t he want to be seen in public with her?

 

I think you can all see where this one goes, and it is predictable, but it’s funny and light and the perfect summer read so I’m glad I picked it up at the supermarket.

 

24845064A Darker Shade of Magic – V.E. Schwab

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Historical Fiction

My Rating:

Kell is one of the last Travelers—rare magicians who choose a parallel universe to visit.


Grey London is dirty, boring, lacks magic, ruled by mad King George. Red London is where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire. White London is ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne. People fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. Once there was Black London—but no one speaks of that now.


Officially, Kell is the Red Traveler, personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red London, carrying the monthly correspondences between royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell smuggles for those willing to pay for even a glimpse of a world they’ll never see. This dangerous hobby sets him up for accidental treason. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs afoul of Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She robs him, saves him from a dangerous enemy, then forces him to another world for her 'proper adventure'.


But perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, Kell and Lila will first need to stay alive—trickier than they hoped.

I was so excited about this book before it’s release, I then proceeded to put off reading it for months. I do that a lot with books I’ve been looking forward to because I don’t want to be disappointed after the excitement I’ve felt waiting for it’s release.

 

I finally decided to read it because I have only ever heard good things, and it was amazing. I read Vicious a few weeks back and enjoyed it, it was a fantastic read with the least likable characters which I adored. A Darker Shade of Magic blew Vicious out of the water for me. It had the coolest characters in Lila and Kell and t had such a cool and different approach to magic. I always enjoy seeing new concepts of magic in books because for some reason it makes it more real to me.

 

This book is unputdownable (I don’t think that’s a word, but I’m making it one). Once you get into it you are committed to the end. My only frustration was that I wanted more after finishing, but more importantly it only touched upon the stories of Lila and Kell. I wanted far more than the basic backstory I got. It was hinted about there being more depth, but it wasn’t given in the book, I can only hope that the next one has a bit more information to give because I hate being tempted with info and than having to wait for the follow through. That is a very minor complaint, I adored the book and there is little more I need to say. Check it out and thank me later.

 

Do you ever find it hard to review the books you love? That’s how I felt with most of these books, I loved them but how do I write about them?

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