Book Review: The Lure by Lynne Ewing

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The Lure by Lynne Ewing

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Genre: Contemporary and Young Adult

Release Date: February 11, 2014

Pages: 288 (Hardcover)

good good

Fifteen-year-old Blaise Montgomery lives in the gritty outskirts of Washington, DC, where a stray bullet can steal a life on the way to school. Drugs and violence are the only ways to survive, so Blaise and her friends turn to gangs for safety, money, and love. When Blaise is invited to join Core 9, one of the most infamous crews, she jumps at the chance. Though her best guy friends, Rico and Satch, warn her about the danger, she agrees to be beaten for a minute straight as part of the gang’s initiation ritual.

Now Blaise is finally part of a crew. A family.

But things get only more dangerous when she becomes a member of Core 9 and tensions with a rival gang heat up. Trek, the head of Core 9, asks Blaise to be his “lure,” the sexy bait he’ll use to track down enemy gang members and exact revenge. Rico and Satch tell her it’s a death sentence, but Blaise can’t resist the money and unparalleled power. As Trek puts Blaise in increasingly dangerous situations, she begins to see that there’s more to lose than she ever realized-including Satch, the one person who has the power to get under her skin. With death lurking around every corner, should Blaise continue to follow the only path she’s ever known, or cut and run?

First of all, I would like to thank the publisher, Balzer & Bray for giving me an ARC of this book to review. Thank you so much! Really appreciate it! All right, now for my review.

opinion

Imagine you live in the worst part of your city/town (for me that would be the Jane and Finch area) where there are multiple gangs, constant drive-bys that leave many innocent people killed just by going to the park, and drug addicts and criminals are everywhere you turn. Pretty freaky stuff, right? Well, Lynn Ewing thinks that it’s too scary because she adds such unrealistic stupidity that this novel turns into a complete joke.

How, You might ask? Well, I’ll break this review up and go through everything that makes this novel so horribly stupid.

The setting: Whenever you see people who live in said neighbourhood they most likely talk differently with improper grammar and made up words, Ya nah’ I mean? So, of course when I started this novel I thought I would be getting some of this ghetto slang and tons of action, but everyone speaks perfect English and not very many people die and the action is limited and boring.

Characters: Everyone is stupid. Everyone is boring. Even with the setting and how unrealistic it all is, the things many characters do are out of stupidity. Rico has to be one of the dumbest characters in The Lure after Blaise because of the fact that he lets his emotions get the best of him. I don’t want to spoil anything but his whole act of ‘sacrifice’ is too dramatic and frankly, too late for me to change my impression of him. Oh, did I mention that they’re all beautiful? Because they are. Every single one and Blaise is the smoking hot gun that everyone wants.

Now, onto Blaise.

Blaise wants to be loved. She wants to get out of the ghetto but doubts she ever will so she joins a gang. She’s a great fighter because she never backs down. She goes around with her two best friends (who are absolutely gorgeous) Satch and Rico to do everything. She’s beautiful, a real show stopper which is why she’s chosen to be the gang’s new ‘lure’. Which is just someone who lures enemies into their territory/let their guard down so that her gang (Core 9) can beat the shit out of them. Again, she’s beautiful. But she really is an idiot who makes Bella Swan and Luce fucking Price seem bearable. Just reading about her made me want to scream and yell. She does many things that could jeopardize the relationship between her friends, yet she doesn’t even care. At all.

Not only are all of the characters beautiful and more boring than watching cement dry, but the whole gang in general felt very forced to me. I had expected more of a ‘family’ because Blaise keeps throwing this word around yet, only once is the whole gang together. Some people randomly meet with Blaise and Rico and Satch but not for long.

The romance: After the first chapter, I knew that the romance was going to get on my nerves. The whole love triangle is confusing, stupid, and unnecessary. There are many times where it could have been improved and things could have been clear. The Lure is probably the only novel that I’ve read where the choice between whom the girl likes more or whom she’ll end up with is annoyingly unclear and I stopped caring very quickly.

The Lure is just really bad. Nothing is explained properly, the characters are boring, and just because of the setting readers are forced to believe something that isn’t realistic nor is it engaging. I understand that gangs and living in the Ghetto are horrible and even though I will never live there, I have spoken and met people from bad neighbourhoods, and just… THIS IS SO UNREALISTIC AND I’M PISSED.

1 Lonely Cloud

1 Lonely Cloud

For quotes from this book, click here.

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Book Review: No One Else Can Have You by Kathleen Hale

18052934No One Else Can Have You by Kathleen Hale

Publisher: HarperTeen

Genre: Contemporary and Young Adult

Release Date: January 7, 2014

Pages: 384 (Hardcover)

good good

Small towns are nothing if not friendly. Friendship, Wisconsin (population: 688) is no different. Around here, everyone wears a smile. And no one ever locks their doors. Until, that is, high school sweetheart Ruth Fried is found murdered. Strung up like a scarecrow in the middle of a cornfield.

Unfortunately, Friendship’s police are more adept at looking for lost pets than catching killers. So Ruth’s best friend, Kippy Bushman, armed with only her tenacious Midwestern spirit and Ruth’s secret diary (which Ruth’s mother had asked her to read in order to redact any, you know, sex parts), sets out to find the murderer. But in a quiet town like Friendship—where no one is a suspect—anyone could be the killer.

First of all, I would like to thank the publisher, HarperTeen for giving me an ARC of this book to review. Thank you so much! Really appreciate it! All right, now for my review.

opinion

My reaction to this book from beginning to end.

Was reading this book worth my time? Nope, not at all. Maybe it’s the fact that I’ve read a stream of serious topic books lately that I had high hopes for this one but it fell so flat. Flat on its ass. I can’t count how many times I’ve fallen asleep while reading this.

The writing style feels too forced and awkward which made Kippy too awkward to even try to like. Readers are constantly told that she watches many TV shows and journalists yet she’ s constantly making childish mistakes while investigating crime scenes. I felt like the author was trying too hard to make the killer mysterious that she didn’t care that kippy is a horrible character who leaves her car in front of crime scenes, gloats about all the secrets she knows to suspects, and leaves evidence where people can just take it. I mean, come on! Did I mention that she treats her super nice dad like shit? Because she does every time she’s around him. In the story, there are a few eyebrow raising scenes because of the way they’re handed as jokes, whether it was Hale’s intention or not, it’s angering and disgusting the way abuse and mental illness es are treated in the book.

The cover is so creepy! I love it. That’s all I liked about this book.

No One Else Can Have You feels like a complete stupidly boring joke that’s more awkward satire than gritty and dark. I don’t recommend this to anyone unless you enjoy boring stories with a pretty predictable killer. Mystery novels should never be read one after another or else trends are easy to spot. I have learned my lesson.

1 Lonely Cloud

1 Lonely Cloud

 

For quotes from this book, click here.

Book Review: Broken by C. J. Lyons

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Broken by C. J. Lyons

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Genre: Contemporary and Young Adult

Release Date: November 5, 2013

Pages: 336 (Hardcover)

good good

The only thing fifteen-year-old Scarlet Killian has ever wanted is a chance at a normal life. Diagnosed with a rare and untreatable heart condition, she has never taken the school bus. Or giggled with friends during lunch. Or spied on a crush out of the corner of her eye. So when her parents offer her three days to prove she can survive high school, Scarlet knows her time is now… or never. Scarlet can feel her heart beating out of control with every slammed locker and every sideways glance in the hallway. But this high school is far from normal. And finding out the truth might just kill Scarlet before her heart does.

First of all, I would like to thank the publisher, Sourcebooks Fire for giving me an ARC of this book to review. Thank you so much! Really appreciate it! All right, now for my review.

opinion

Broken is told to be a thriller, which it is, but not until the very last half of the middle does that even come to play. Is it exciting? Not the beginning but definitely the ending. If it weren’t for the twist during the near ending of the mid-section, this book would have been a boring facsimile of every book ever written about a dying girl trying to make the best out of her last days. There are the mean bullies, the love triangle, the outcast friends, as well as the overprotective parents. Luckily, C.J. Lyons ditches this lame route for a more exciting one however she does it too late to change my rating by much.

The story starts off with a bang, I was hooked and excited how a girl with a rare heart disease will make it through high school without dying. Unfortunately, after a few chapters of her first ever experience the story becomes very tedious and pointless and felt like an after school special to me. Scarlet as well as most of the other characters felt really flat also. I couldn’t connect with them nor was I rooting for them when they face tough obstacles that most people wouldn’t. Maybe it’s the fact that I have such a short attention span that I might be being too harsh on this book but I was bored for more than half of it.

Getting onto the good things about this novel, Lyons does a nice job of keeping readers guessing even if it is only for a little while. Once most of the characters are introduced, I was starting to guess which one would be the suspect before it became obvious who the suspect is. I really liked how Lyons uses her past medical history as an element in this, most, if not all of the different medical terms that are mentioned in this story are not as well-known as they should be. But I’ve read many things about a few of them (one in particular) and her execution of these syndromes and conditions are done beautifully.

Overall, this story has a bit of an off tempo that ruins the story by going from slow to really slow to fast and then really fast with barely any build-up in between. But I still recommend this if you don’t mind very slow beginnings that are pretty pointless but also has a nicely done ending. Broken isn’t a thrilling novel that’ll keep readers at the edge of their seat but it will make them second guess the people they choose to trust in their lives. I know that it did for me.

3 Clouds

3 Clouds

 

For quotes from this book, click here.

Book Review: Killer of Enemies by Joseph Bruchac

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Killer of Enemies by Joseph Bruchac

Publisher: Tu Books

Genre: Dystopian and Young Adult

Release Date: September 17, 2013

Pages: 400 (Hardcover)

good good

Years ago, seventeen-year-old Apache hunter Lozen and her family lived in a world of haves and have-nots. There were the Ones—people so augmented with technology and genetic enhancements that they were barely human—and there was everyone else who served them.

Then the Cloud came, and everything changed. Tech stopped working. The world plunged back into a new steam age. The Ones’ pets—genetically engineered monsters—turned on them and are now loose on the world.

Lozen was not one of the lucky ones pre-C, but fate has given her a unique set of survival skills and magical abilities. She hunts monsters for the Ones who survived the apocalyptic events of the Cloud, which ensures the safety of her kidnapped family. But with every monster she takes down, Lozen’s powers grow, and she connects those powers to an ancient legend of her people. It soon becomes clear to Lozen that she is not just a hired gun.

First of all, I would like to thank the Publisher, Tu Books for giving me an ARC of this book to review. Thank you so much! Really appreciate it! All right, now for my review.

opinion

Going into this novel, I was expecting something quite different from what I received (to put it nicely). Joseph Bruchac does create nicely developed monsters, but that’s all that he creates that I could actually appreciate. But although I didn’t really enjoy this book, I think others will since it’s a dystopian novel that has a lot of action and a controlling government because really, who gets tired of those?

Straight away, I knew that Killer of Enemies and I were not going to click because of the main character, Lozen. Lozen is a very stuck up person who annoyed me to no end. At every chance Bruchac gets, he reminds us that Lozen is very ‘special’ and is much better than every other human alive with a few examples being:

1. My load weighs more than most men could easily carry. I’m deceptively thin, but few ordinary men are as strong as I am. 

2. I heal faster than most, so I should be fine. 

3. I can run faster than any other person I’ve ever met, so it won’t take me that long. 

(Bitch, please. Quit being so damn cocky.)

Another thing that annoyed me about Lozen is that she barely talks to anyone but her family and Guy yet, out of nowhere, there’s a romance with another guy named Hussein. How does that even work without a solid foundation?  Oh, because it doesn’t, that’s how. The idea for this story is also pretty typical with the controlling government, pretty random romance that’s sloppily done, and the ‘special’ main character. Without even finishing the book, I knew the ending which ultimately ruins this novel even more.

With that being said, Killer of Enemies does have a nicely developed monsters that are a bit different and a bit exciting. Instead of keeping to the typical crazy creatures, these ones are mutations and well as combinations of different animals to make them  and  Lozen is forced to kill them. I also like that there are different allies like a Sasquatch instead of another human. Because humans are typical and not as fun as Big Foot.

Overall, this book is not a fun read for me, I could barely finish it and it took me over two weeks just to. Hopefully, other readers will find it amusing more than I did since there is a lot of action and a Sasquatch and crazy monsters that try to kill people. I just found this book not to be one for me unfortunately.

2 Clouds

2 Clouds

 

For quotes from this book, click here.

Book Review: Somebody Up There Hates You by Hollis Seamon

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Somebody Up There Hates You by Hollis Seamon

Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers

Genre: Contemporary and Young Adult

Release Date: September 3, 2013

Pages: 239 (Hardcover)

good good

Chemo, radiation, a zillion surgeries, watching my mom age twenty years in twenty months: if that’s part of the Big Dude’s plan, then it’s pretty obvious, isn’t it? Somebody Up There Hates You.

SUTHY has landed me here in this hospice, where we—that’s me and Sylvie—are the only people under 30 in the whole place, sweartogod. But I’m not dead yet. I still need to keep things interesting. Sylvie, too. I mean, we’re kids, hospice-hostages or not. We freak out visitors; I get my uncle to sneak me out for one insane Halloween night. Stuff like that. And Sylvie wants to make things even more interesting. That girl’s got big plans.

Only Sylvie’s father is so nuclear-blasted by what’s happened to his little girl, he glows orange, I swear. That’s one scary man, and he’s not real fond of me. So we got a major family feud going on, right here in hospice. DO NOT CROSS line running down the middle of the hall, me on one side, her on the other. It’s crazy.

In the middle of all of this, really, there’s just me and Sylvie, a guy and a girl. And we want to live, in our way, by our own rules, in whatever time we’ve got. We will pack in some living before we go, trust me.

First of all, I would like to thank the Publisher, Algonquin Young Readers for giving me an ARC of this book to review. Thank you so much! Really appreciate it! All right, now for my review.

opinion

I think I knew I was going to dislike Richard from the beginning because he always repeats himself by saying, “see” or, “okay?” or “right”. It took all my strength not to jump into the book and punch him in the face. Hollis Seamon could have made this a killer book with such a sad and serious topic but instead she failed to do so. I was left underwhelmed and very upset with all the characters. And not in a good way.

Writing a realistic contemporary novel there has to be a realistic relationship between the main character and most likely the love interest. Unfortunately, the romance in Somebody Up There Hates You feels more like a fairytale than something that could happen in real life. Richard and Sylvie are already ‘together’ when the novel starts with little hints and snippets of how they met but not a full explanation of how they became so close and became a couple. There isn’t much if any character building either. All of the characters feel extremely stiff and are boring and I couldn’t connect to any of them. Another thing that I really disliked about this novel is the fact that everything is all over the place. The relationship between Richard and Sylvie, Richard’s life, all of it. Instead of reading one story I felt like I was reading ten different ones that randomly popped up out of nowhere. During many parts of the book I was left confused and uncertain about what I was reading.

One thing I did like about the book though, is the relationship between Richard and Edward. It is so cute because they depend on each other so much, whether they know it or not. I also liked Edward because he reminds Richard a lot that everyone has problems and that he’s not the only one going through a shitty time which I think everyone needs to be reminded from time to time.

Somebody Up There Hates You isn’t actually a story about a teen with cancer and how he fights through it. It’s more of a story about two teens going through a crappy time and having sex before they die. That’s about it. I recommend this only to people looking for a light read. Don’t let the summary fool you, it’s not heart-wrenching nor is it moving.

2 Clouds

2 Clouds

For quotes from this book, click here.

Book Review: Prep School Confidential (Prep School Confidential #1) by Kara Taylor

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Prep School Confidential (Prep School Confidential #1) by Kara Taylor

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

Genre: Contemporary and young adult

Release Date: July 30, 2013

Pages: 304 (Paper Back)

Prep School Confidential (Prep School Confidential #1)

Anne Dowling practically runs her exclusive academy on New York’s Upper East Side—that is, until she accidentally burns part of it down and gets sent to a prestigious boarding school outside of Boston. Determined to make it back to New York, Anne couldn’t care less about making friends at the preppy Wheatley School. That is, until her roommate Isabella’s body is found in the woods behind the school.

When everyone else is oddly silent, Anne becomes determined to uncover the truth no matter how many rules she has to break to do it. With the help of Isabella’s twin brother Anthony, and a cute classmate named Brent, Anne discovers that Isabella wasn’t quite the innocent nerdy girl she pretended to be. But someone will do anything to stop Anne’s snooping in this fast-paced, unputdownable read—even if it means framing her for Isabella’s murder.

First of all, I would like to thank the Publisher, St. Martin’s Griffin for giving me an ARC of this book to review. Thank you so much! Really appreciate it! All right, now for my review.

opinion

This is such a fun novel! I couldn’t put it down, it’s an easy read with lovely characters and great pacing. Some things are predictable, I knew who the killer was only after reading about Isabella’s death but there are a few surprises that kept me at the edge my seat as well. So many things going on in the book that I think Kara Taylor did a fine job organizing.

Prep School Confidential has a few flaws that I couldn’t overlook. Throughout the novel, there’s quite a few clichés concerning the new girl and the mean girl and quite a bit slut shaming. Some characters like Remy feel really choppy and underdeveloped. Readers are told that she’s nice and strong, etc. yet, there are only a few instances that proves this and she doesn’t feel as real as I wished she should. Also, Isabella plays a huge part in the novel, both dead and alive. After her death, readers are told that Isabella was actually a completely different person but I didn’t feel it. The information given is lacking and albeit there are points given that show that Isabella had a dark side, they could have been elaborated on.

The writing is so fun! It’s light and laid back which makes it for a amusing read (even with murder in it). The romance in Prep School Confidential is so laid back and relaxed, nothing felt too contrived or fake to me and I loved it. I could see Anne with either one of them. Most of the characters are well written and beautifully developed, I felt satisfied with Anne and the obstacles she faces.

Overall, this is something I was not expecting. I went in hoping that I didn’t want to punch every character and that the clichés were a small amount. Even with the clichés, Kara Taylor managed to entertain me with her tale of murder, mystery, love, and life without getting on my nerves too much. I recommend this to anyone looking for a great summer read to pass the time with some heavy tones but an overall light read. Now, I can’t wait for the next book to come out!

3.5 Cool Clouds

3.5 Cool Clouds

 

For quotes from this book, click here.

Book Review: Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend (Confessions#2) by Louise Rozett

15742858Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend (Confessions#2) by Louise Rozett

Publisher: Harlequin

Genre: Contemporary and young adult

Release Date: June 18, 2013

Pages: 288 (Paperback)
Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend (Confessions#2)

Rose Zarelli has big plans for sophomore year—everything is going to be different. This year, she’s going to be the talented singer with the killer voice, the fabulous girl with the fashionista best friend, the brainiac who refuses to let Jamie Forta jerk her around…

…but if she’s not careful, she’s also going to be the sister who misses the signals, the daughter who can only think about her own pain, the “good girl” who finds herself in mid-scandal again (because no good deed goes unpunished) and possibly worst of all…the almost-girlfriend.

When all else fails, stop looking for love and go find yourself.

First of all, I would like to thank the Publisher, Harlequin  for giving me an ARC of this book to review. Thank you so much! Really appreciate it! All right, now for my review.

(My Opinion)

It’s usually a hard thing for a sequel to beat the début. But, Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend is definitely better than Confessions of an Angry Girl on just about every level. In the first book we met Rose and figured out the problems that have changed her but haven’t changed her to be necessarily angry like the title has promised us.But in the sequel as I first began reading, I was expecting some of the same stuff. I was expecting Rose to whine a lot and for her to say things that the characters thought were really mean and bad but actually aren’t. But don’t get me wrong, all of this is still in Confessions of an Almost Girlfriend but there’s also more. There’s more anger, more fights, more pain, more heartache. I was really shocked upon finishing this to realize that I liked this. A freaking lot.

Unfortunately, most of the book revolves around Jamie Forta who is, one of my least favourite characters. Albeit he’s a caring character who puts the people he cares about before himself, I hate how the author has built him up as a ‘tragic hero’ with a huge flaw that is meant to be overlooked because all of the characters need him. I found this bit really annoying for me and I just could not bring myself to like him. Another thing I don’t like is how much Rose whines throughout the story. It’s one thing for her to start whining in her head for only us, the readers to know but she complains to Jamie about everything–him talking to Regina and what it was all about, how all of her friends are prettier than her, and how jealous she is of the Deladdo family. It’s just annoying.

As usual I love the writing. Louise Rozett has a lot of talent making even the simplest things seem complex and important. The second part of the novel is when everything starts to get good with everything coming at Rose all at once rather than one at a time. And she explodes! I especially love Christmas Eve because this is when her bitchy side comes out of nowhere. She reacts to everything on impulse rather than planing out what she wants to say which is the reason why I love it so much. Most of the characters are a lot more developed, we get to know bits and pieces of why Regina and the rest of the Deladdo family are so cruel towards Rose and other people which helps readers sympathize with them a lot more than I did in the first  book. And the ending. What an ending! Even though I had a sense that it was going to happen I was not expecting it to affect me as much as it did with the fighting and the heartbreak. This series is really moving their way up in my books!

All in all, I really liked this book. It’s funny, has a bunch of action, and it has suspense, something that a lot of YA books are missing nowadays. The first half of the book is quite annoying which forced me to bring the rating down but the second half is so unexpected and exciting, I couldn’t help but want Rose to pull on top and get what she wants. I recommend this to everyone who has read the first book and to anyone who’s looking for a new series to read. If you get through the first book, I promise hope that you’ll like the second one much better.

3.5 Cool Clouds

3.5 Cool Clouds

 

For quotes from this book, click, here.