Thursday, May 29, 2014

Book Review: Small Circles by Megan Duke (#1)

I got a free copy in exchange for a review, preferably an honest one. My laptop kept crashing, which prevented me from posting this at six a.m, so I started typing on my Ipad. Needless to say, Safari wiped away my review when I went to switch a song. Why am I telling you this? Because it's my sheer love for this book that keeps me forward to continue writing this review. I mean, I could just type a paragraph on how I love this book, and everyone should read it, ect, but... It's more than that. I want people to read my honest opinion and as to why I love this book and why people should read it. Besides, I'm not one to break promises.

Small Circles is one of those books where you stay up 'till God-knows-when or wake up at the crack of dawn to finish, because you can't stand not knowing what happens next. For me, that's when I know that I love a book. First off, I'd like to thank Megan for sending me a copy, it's an honor.

The plot was fantastic, it drew me in on a roller-coaster full of laughs, emotions, and heartbreak. Nothing felt unimportant or out-of-place, everything fit perfectly. The book was well-paced, and it felt as if everything was actually happening in real life, to the point where I had to remind myself that it wasn't. I liked how there were so many trials they had to go through, because that's how life is. It throws curveball after curveball, hitting you in the face repeatedly, knocking you down.

The characters are phenomenal, I really came to care for all of them. They're three-dimensional, some days, they're having a good time, enjoying life, but their lives also happen to be messy and just catastrophic. They're not near to perfect, heck, Paxton even had a screw just a little unhinged. I loved how their relationships between each other grew. (view spoiler) These relationships didn't just happen all of a sudden, it took time.

The themes throughout the novel were just.... wow. My thoughts are stars I can't fathom into constellations, right now. It's one of those things where you have to read the book to know where I'm coming from, I guess, because I just can't adequately describe it. I'd just like to say thank you, once again, to Megan, because she helped me realize that it really is okay to be happy.

All in all, Small Circles is a fantastic book, one you'll cherish for a lifetime.


Friday, May 23, 2014

Book Review: Branded by Abi Ketner and Missy Kalicicki

So about a month ago, I got asked whether or not I'd like to take part of the Branded blog tour for the novel Branded by Abi and Missy, obviously I couldn't resist, so I said yes. When I read the blurb on goodreads, I thought to myself, Finally, some originality. I have to hand it to them, Abi and Missy created an awesome premise, something I've never read about before. Overall, I liked the book, but some things prevented me from loving it, like everyone else. 

At the beginning, like, literally, the beginning, you see our protagonist Lexi about to hang herself. Well that's something you definitely don't read everyday, especially not at the start. I also caught myself empathize for her as soon as the action started, and Lexi said, "Help me, Daddy, I need your strength now." I just wanted to give her a giant hug. And then there's the branding of her tattoo—blue for lust, and being taken to the Hole. Throughout the whole process, Lexi stayed strong and put on her game face, who doesn't love a strong character, right? Although I gave to point something out, while her actions were admirable, as soon as she got to her room-of-cell, she started cringing, cowering, and screaming at everything. But, hey, we all have our limits, right? 

Enter Cole, the strong guard who's assigned to our lovely protagonist. At first he's all, "These are the rules, and if you break 'em, you're dead." But then he starts actually getting to know Lexi, and that's when we get to know the guy under the mask. I have to say, that guy's pretty funny, even though his singing is... unique. What happens next, you ask? Well, they fall in love, that's a no-brained. I thought it was nice, although it felt slightly rushed, and, to me, it felt like we don't really know Cole all that well. Unless that's saved for the next book. 

Every male lead needs a faithful companion, enter Zues the "guard dog." From what I've heard, he's everyone's favorite, mine included. He's that ice-breaker kind of character. He actually reminds me of a dog I used to have. But that's not all. Who can forget Alyssa and Stutton? I love Alyssa. I love how she's such a great presence in such a bleak and horrible place. I love how she brought out the best and brightest in everyone. I thought it was so cute how she went on a "date" with Cole. Ah, memories. I've gotta admit, I was pretty sad when she died. I mean, we all knew it was coming, but I didn't like it. But, to quote Charles Xavier, we all have to die sometime. And Stutton, one of the few decent people in the Hole. I love how blunt he is with Lexi, threatening to cut her hand, or at least I think it was her hand, off. There was a moment, that's unforgettable, when Cole was gone on a mission, and Lexi was sulking and couldn't think about anything else. Stutton sets it straight and knocks some well-deserved sense knocked into her. Yay, applause! This is another thing that bothered me. Lexi switches her personality left and right constantly. It was hard to understand, well, her at some times. Especially the part with Cole gone. She tells Stutton that she's got it all under control and then proceeds to mope around, not taking into consent the repercussions of her actions, like how she can get everyone killed. Like, c'mon, Lexi, you dint need a man. 

Lexi's background. I felt so sorry for her. I mean, if I got stuck with a douche of a step-dad like she did, I'd probably lose it and punch him in the face. When she wrote that letter to Cole, it felt like someone stabbed my heart. 

KEAGAN. three words: I wasn't expecting that. Okay, four words, I can't count. 

Once again, I liked the book. I did, and have I mentioned that I adore the cover? It was just those things that threw me off. That's not to say I won't pick up the next book, of course I will. Although I hope to see some character development and getting to know Cole better. I'd like to thank Abi and Missy for having me a part of this blog tour, even though my post is two days late. (I apologize.) every time I'd see a post on Instagram or Twitter, I'd start crying, no kidding. Congratulations once again, you two, I couldn't be more proud. 

Stay tuned for an interview with Abi and Missy about Branded, which will be in a seperate post, and happy reading. 


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Book Review: Ninety Degrees by Megan Duke (#3)

Okay, so here's my real review of Ninety Degrees. I finished it on Friday, when I should've started studying for exams, oh well, no harm done, right? Once again, Megan has done it again, with new characters, new settings, and new things to be uncovered, she wrote yet another book that I absolutely loved.

Whenever there are new characters added into a story, I'm always scared that I'll end up despising them or something, but with Ninety Degrees, there's nothing to fear. I was really excited to see--or shall I say read--Silas' side of the story. I mean, he is dating Larson after all, even though that's at the end of the book. Enter Charleigh, the girl with the pink in her hair and lyrics on her sneakers, the free spirit. It didn't take me long at all to fall in love with her, probably because I want to be her. Okay, not necessarily be her, so to say, but have her personality and free spirit; that's one of the things I love about her. And of course there's Logan, the best friend to the other two, aren't they lucky? Of course they are. I absolutely adore these three, so much that I wish I could pluck them from the pages and call them my own. I love how they're so diverse from each other, and their friendship isn't all rainbows and dauntless cake. What else do you expect from a Megan Duke book?

There were so many conflicts throughout the novel that just tore me apart, I loved it. I loved how there were inner-character conflicts as well as character-to-character conflicts. It felt as this was happening and as if I'm the bystander. Say, for instance, Tucker stealing the drugs from Logan for Maddox. That just broke my heart into a thousand pieces, right there, folks. It's like Megan just took any ole person walking down the street and decided, hey, I like you and threw them into the story, and I loved that.

The plot was just mind-blowing, truly fantastic. I still can't wrap my mind around it, it left me pretty speechless. No, really, I don't know what to say, well, type. So I'll make this brief: I loved it.

I'm sorry that this review is shorter than the other two, personally, I blame exams for frying my thought process, but I feel like I can't express the awesomeness of these books--and Megan herself--enough. If you haven't read Ninety Degrees, or Small Circles, well what are you waiting for? Go, go, go, and pick up your copy now.

P.S. Thanks again, Megan, for the copy and poster.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Book Review: Three Sixty by Megan Duke (#2)

NOTE: Please don't read this review if you haven't finished Three Sixty, this review contains spoilers, only because I'm too lazy to actually put the "spoilers" thing on Goodreads.

I finished Three Sixty in the middle of the week, and to say that I was rendered speechless would be an understatement. I honestly wing it with reviews and type as thoughts fill my brain, but I just can't, right now. Thinking back on the novel, it was just a crazy ride of ups and down, as to be expected, but wow, it was quite intense, and I applaud Megan for that. Okay, enough rambling, let's get in with the review.

I really loved how we got an insight of who Audrina really is; in Small Circles, we only really see her as Larson's little--by a year--sister who did it with Paxton. Authors have the opportunity of taking a great secondary character with potential and screwing them up, but fear not! You really get a grasp of who Audrina is, what her motives are, her relationship with Paxton, life before Jade came into the picture, and even her "status" at Foster and Allan. I loved how all of this tied into her said motives and her actions.

The plot is absolutely fantastic, it exceeded all of my expectations. So much has happened in 120 pages, it's unreal, but not that it's unrealistic, if you know what I'm sayin'. Things happened for a reason, they didn't just happen. It's like, they didn't just go to a party, things led to other things, and that affected not only Audrina as a character, but also Carter. And not just those two--eve33ryone else was impacted in some way throughout the novel, and I loved it. It just feels like this could happen to very real people, and that's what I liked best about it.

Speaking of characters, they were phenomenal. I love the relationships they have with each other, how Larson and Audrina are so close, her friendship with Paxton, just all of them. Starting with Larson and Audrina, you clearly see how their relationship as siblings are, what their lives were like before when they were kids, and it's like you get to know them better, because in Small Circles, Audrina was really just a secondary character. With her relationship with Paxton, it was more than just a thing, it's more than just her coming to him when she needed to forget. She really does care for him and vice-versa, and it just broke my heart when she told him that he doesn't need her, anymore. And it's not your typical "oh, you have her now," and for good reasons. she's genuinely scared that he doesn't need her around and for good reasons.

And then there's Carter, Yeah, I don't like him, but I have to say, he's a great character. You can see his motives and why he does what he does, but for his actual actions? No, I'm not feelin' it. I liked how we got to see some of his background and how he was as a kid. I especially liked how we fond out the reason as to how and why he came to be the person he is now. It makes him seem as if he's doing everything for a purpose, which he is, rather than doing it just to screw with everyone. I just hated what he did to Audrina, someone needs to punch him, oh, wait, Paxton already took care of that. Overall, I hate him, but he's such a great, rounded character.

And last, but not least, Silas. As much as I miss Owen, I really do want Larson to find someone else, because it's okay to be happy. Although I do agree that I don't want Owen to become just another guy, I feel  like that'll never happen. I like Silas, I like his hipster glass, I loved how Audrina "interrogated" him, but most of all, I love how he makes Larson happy.

The letter. Oh, the letter. Larson, please, stop, you're pulling on my heart strings. I love how he came to peace with everything, and by everything, I mean Owen. I'm sorry, I just can't say anything else other than that I loved it and the fact that they named their son Spencer.

The pregnancy, aagghh.That's all.

I just wanted to thank Megan for sending me a PDF and giving me a chance to review this incredible companion novel.