Thu, August 14, 2014

Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins Review

Isla and the Happily Ever After book cover

Isla and the Happily Ever After book cover

Isla and the Happily Ever After (Anna and the French Kiss #3)
By Stephanie Perkins
Publication date: Aug. 14, 2014
Dutton, 339 pages
Source: Borrowed the galley from a lovely book friend

From the glittering streets of Manhattan to the moonlit rooftops of Paris, falling in love is easy for hopeless dreamer Isla and introspective artist Josh. But as they begin their senior year in France, Isla and Josh are quickly forced to confront the heartbreaking reality that happily-ever-afters aren’t always forever.

Their romantic journey is skillfully intertwined with those of beloved couples Anna and Étienne and Lola and Cricket, whose paths are destined to collide in a sweeping finale certain to please fans old and new.

— Goodreads.com description

AHHH I HAVE SO MANY FEELINGS.

GOOD feelings (albeit complex) for those of you who were concerned. I’m happy to report that Isla and the Happily Ever After is well worth our wait for it.

Because I fail at organizing my thoughts, here they are at random:

- Stephanie Perkins is hilarious

- I loved Kurt

- I will never ever ever send my kids to boarding school

- This book is more ADULT than I remember the other being and yes I mean that in the ALL CAPS way

- Barcelona is described perfectly; Stephanie Perkins so wonderfully captures setting in her stories

- Josh cries a lot (not judging, just observing)

- The romance is really overwrought, but um, that’s sort of the point; I mean, look at the title of the book

- There were about 100 things about the book and the romance specifically that, as I said above, would have driven me INSANE were it not so damn well done

- Most of this was a big ole case of Old Lady Syndrome, especially when Etienne and Anna came back into the picture

- But again, it was like “This should be bothering me but it ISN’T so maybe Stephanie Perkins is a sorcerer because I don’t know what else explains it”

- PS: I don’t remember Cricket and Lola being so OUT THERE; I still love them best

- Even though I definitely don’t love some of her other characters, Stephanie is so fantastic at making me “get” them — which I think it more important than loving them

Wow. This was probably a very un-useful review if you couldn’t follow my train of thought. To sum up: Did I love every little thing? No. Did I love the sum of those parts? Absolutely. If you wanted to you could pick it apart, but the writing is so superb and the tone so perfect that it overwhelms anything else. You guys will not be disappointed.

Anna Reads young adult book blog

Posted by: Anna   •   In: boarding school, romance, stephanie perkins, travel
14

Mon, August 11, 2014

Silver Shadows by Richelle Mead Review

Silver Shadows book cover

Silver Shadowsbook cover

Silver Shadows (Bloodlines #5)
By Richelle Mead
Publication date: July 29, 2014
Razorbill, 380 pages
Source: Purchased

Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets—and human lives.

In The Fiery Heart, Sydney risked everything to follow her gut, walking a dangerous line to keep her feelings hidden from the Alchemists.

Now in the aftermath of an event that ripped their world apart, Sydney and Adrian struggle to pick up the pieces and find their way back to each other. But first, they have to survive.

For Sydney, trapped and surrounded by adversaries, life becomes a daily struggle to hold on to her identity and the memories of those she loves. Meanwhile, Adrian clings to hope in the face of those who tell him Sydney is a lost cause, but the battle proves daunting as old demons and new temptations begin to seize hold of him. . . .

Their worst fears now a chilling reality, Sydney and Adrian face their darkest hour in this heart-pounding fifth installment in the New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series, where all bets are off.

— Goodreads.com description

Usually my reviews of the Bloodlines series are spoiler-free. But this time around? ALL SPOILERS ALL THE TIME.

WARNING: Do not read further if you haven’t read the book, because I really want to discuss it without tiptoeing around things.

Okay, here we go.

Poor, poor Sydney. And, wow, Richelle Mead you are DARK. This series — and the Vampire Academy books before it — has always been equal parts humor and dark, dark twistiness. As Sydney endured torture at the hands of her fellow Alchemists, it was as dark as ever. And REALLY difficult to read those torture scenes.

Despite being 380 pages, I don’t feel like a lot of the plot moved forward in this book, which is hard when we all have such a long, desperate wait between installments. I was a little disappointed — not because I didn’t love this book — but because I wanted more more MORE.

It set us up for plenty of “more” to deal with in the books to come — Sydney’s PTSD is sure to be a major issue, as is Adrian’s bender (more on that later)” — but didn’t satisfy any of my Bloodlines cravings NOW. So, yeah, I’m a little pouty.

But, still, any time spent with these lovely characters does feel like a gift. I LOVE THIS SERIES SO MUCH.

Okay, Adrian. Freaking Adrian. I love the guy. I do. But GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER, SON. I was so disappointed by his backslide into partying and booze in Sydney’s absence. And Nina. WOW. I am so angry with him about Nina. This better come out to Sydney…I’m so irked it didn’t in Silver Shadows.

Actually, I’m irked with both him AND Sydney. They really need to learn to communicate…can’t you just see how everything is set up to hit the fan because they’re avoiding talking about anything real?

But, okay, that wedding was adorable. I cannot believe that actually happened. I loved it and didn’t see it coming at all and this was the big plot point that I was so so so pumped about. Oh, and that cliffie! Where is Jill?! AHHH!

So that’s where I’m at with things: Devoured it. Enjoyed it. But felt it left me hanging a bit and sort of served to set up the next book more than anything. And I’m impatient so that is tough for me!

Have you read it? Thoughts? Let’s talk!

Anna Reads young adult book blog

Posted by: Anna   •   In: richelle mead, romance, torture, vampires
5

Thu, August 7, 2014

Of Metal and Wishes by Sarah Fine Review

Of Metal and Wishes book cover

Of Metal and Wishes book cover

Of Metal and Wishes
By Sarah Fine
Publication date: Aug. 5, 2014
Margaret K. McElderry Books, 320 pages
Source: Publisher

There are whispers of a ghost in the slaughterhouse where sixteen-year-old Wen assists her father in his medical clinic—a ghost who grants wishes to those who need them most. When one of the Noor, men hired as cheap factory labor, humiliates Wen, she makes an impulsive wish of her own, and the Ghost grants it. Brutally.

Guilt-ridden, Wen befriends the Noor, including their outspoken leader, a young man named Melik. At the same time, she is lured by the mystery of the Ghost and learns he has been watching her … for a very long time.

As deadly accidents fuel tensions within the factory, Wen must confront her growing feelings for Melik, who is enraged at the sadistic factory bosses and the prejudice faced by his people at the hand of Wen’s, and her need to appease the Ghost, who is determined to protect her against any threat—real or imagined. She must decide whom she can trust, because as her heart is torn, the factory is exploding around her … and she might go down with it.

— Goodreads.com description

My relationship with Of Metal and Wishes might have been a case of bad timing. I unwisely chose to read this book on a beach vacation. And “beachy” it is not.

Besides the wrong book at the wrong time, I was a bit surprised when the book turned steampunk on me unexpectedly. And I’m sooo not into steampunk.

Even though it was a little all over the place, I was rooting for the romance and am dying to know what happens next after the ending left me hanging. So, hmm. A unique story should be applauded (especially one that leaves me wanting more), but I’m still a little uncertain it was a good “unique.”

Anna Reads young adult book blog

Posted by: Anna   •   In: romance, sarah fine, steampunk
0

Mon, August 4, 2014

The Bridge from Me to You by Lisa Schroeder Review

The Bridge from Me to You book cover

The Bridge from Me to You book cover

The Bridge from Me to You
By Lisa Schroeder
Publication date: July 29, 2014
Point, 336 pages
Source: Publisher

Lauren has a secret. Colby has a problem. But when they find each other, everything falls into place.

Lauren is the new girl in town with a dark secret. Colby is the football hero with a dream of something more. In alternating chapters, they come together, fall apart, and build something stronger than either of them thought possible–something to truly believe in.

— Goodreads.com description

What I love most about Lisa Schroeder’s books is how wonderfully READABLE they are. Her verse is beautifully written but not overwrought and I just seem to breeze through them.

The Bridge from Me to You was a wonderful book that kept me just enough in the dark about Lauren’s past to be intrigued but not annoyed. I loved Colby’s friendship with Benny and loved Lauren’s extended family — her aunt and uncle and cousins were all so sweet.

The romance was adorable — though Lauren and Colby have an instant attraction, they get to know each other as friends before they take it to the romantic level. It built and it grew until I was really rooting for them.

The character growth is definitely my favorite part of The Bridge from Me to You. Lauren and Colby learn to believe in themselves and follow their hearts in this story, and you can’t help but love that in a good YA. Definitely, definitely, recommended.

Anna Reads young adult book blog

Posted by: Anna   •   In: family, friendship, lisa schroeder, romance, Uncategorized, verse
5

Mon, July 21, 2014

Boomerang by Noelle August Review

Boomerang book cover

Boomerang book cover

Boomerang
By Noelle August
Publication date: July 8, 2014
William Morrow Paperbacks, 304 pages
Source: Publisher

The first book in a sensational New Adult trilogy from Noelle August

Welcome to Boomerang.com, the dating site for the millennial gen with its no-fuss, no-commitments matchups, and where work is steamier than any random hook-up

Mia Galliano is an aspiring filmmaker. Ethan Vance has just played his last game as a collegiate soccer star. They’re sharp, hungry for success, and they share a secret.

Last night, Ethan and Mia met at a bar, and, well . . . one thing led to another, which led to them waking up the next morning—together. Things turned awkward in a hurry when they found themselves sharing a post hookup taxi . . . to the same place: Boomerang headquarters.

What began as a powerful connection between them is treated to a cold shower courtesy of two major complications. First, Boomerang has a strict policy against co-worker dating. And second, they’re now competitors for only one job at the end of summer.

As their internships come to an end, will they manage to keep their eyes on the future and their hands off each other, or will the pull of attraction put them right back where they started?

— Goodreads.com description

First thing you should know: Noelle August = YA fave Veronica Rossi and author Lorin Oberweger.

Second thing: This is the type of new adult read I am sooo into.

Boomerang is more rom-com than your typical NA angst fest, and THANK GOODNESS for that.

It’s cute, definitely more grownup than YA (ifyouknowwhatimean) and there’s ton of chemistry between Ethan and Mia from the get-go.

If you’re ready to graduate from YA and want something a little less dramarama than most other NA books out there, this book is a great one to start with!

Anna Reads young adult book blog

PS: I hate this book cover, though. If you turn it around, the dude is wearing some SERIOUSLY high-waisted jeans…

Posted by: Anna   •   In: new adult, noelle august, romance, veronica rossi
6