The Summer I Wasn’t Me by Jessica Verdi

17586458The Summer I Wasn’t Me by Jessica Verdi

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Genre: Contemporary and Young Adult

Release Date: April 1, 2014

Pages: 352 (Paperback)

good good

Lexi has a secret…

Ever since her mom found out she was in love with a girl, seventeen-year-old Lexi’s afraid that what’s left of her family is going to fall apart for good.

You are on the road to truth. Help is on the way.

The road signs leading to New Horizons summer camp promise a new life for Lexi—she swears she can change. She can learn to like boys. But denying her feelings is harder than she thinks. And when she falls heads over heels for one of her fellow campers, Lexi will have to risk her mother’s approval for the one person who might love her no matter what.

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

Wow. What a fucking ride this book is!

Upon starting, I thought I was getting just a bunch of insta-love and maybe some “Okay. I okay with myself yay!” kind of stuff. But what I got is something different. A lot different. Okay, so I did get the insta-love (mutual by the way. Ugh) and the romance did take over some times but all in all, it’s great. I loved how Verdi teaches the lesson between right and wrong. Like how some people believe that being gay is wrong and is a sin but know that abuse of any sort is certainly wrong for everyone.

The worst part of this novel has to be the romance. It’s just so infuriating. I didn’t want to read about how much Lexi wanted to kiss Carolyn when she’s supposed to be focusing on herself and what she really wants. From the very first day, there’s romance and it really takes away from the story. I also felt that the characters for the most part were choppy. This is evident because the only time anything is told about the characters is at the very beginning and that’s it. There’s not much of a back story except then. The activities that the characters do are all right, but are quite confusing because they’re either too simple or too silly.

The Summer I Wasn’t Me is still a fairly beautiful story about acceptance. Lexi is a strong character, especially by the end of the story and I loved the way she accepted herself and her friends. Beautiful! The best thing about the camp is the cult-like feel it has, the exorcism that goes on is really well described and intense. I was shocked and enraged by it. It’s pretty awesome in a very sadistic way.

I was really skeptical when I first read this simply because many authors have tried this (not in YA) and have failed miserably. However, Verdi does a good job and had me at the edge of my seat more than once. Lexi’s story is pretty typical and so is the romance, but the execution is lovely and I felt connected to her. I recommend this to anyone who’s curious to see what it might look like inside of a “de-gaying” Christian camp.

3 Clouds
3 Clouds

Book Review: Truly, Madly, Deadly by Hannah Jayne

15942674Truly, Madly, Deadly by Hannah Jayne

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Genre: Mystery and Young Adult

Release Date: July 2, 2013

Pages: 362 (Paperback)

good good

They Said It Was An Accident…

Sawyer Dodd is a star athlete, a straight-A student, and the envy of every other girl who wants to date Kevin Anderson. When Kevin dies in a tragic car crash, Sawyer is stunned. Then she opens her locker to find a note:

You’re welcome.

Someone saw what he did to her. Someone knows that Sawyer and Kevin weren’t the perfect couple they seemed to be. And that someone—a killer—is now shadowing Sawyer’s every move…

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

What’s the best thing about mystery novels? Oh, right, the mystery part. Which sadly, this had none of what-so-ever. It seems that this novel tries too hard getting the romance started and the deaths exciting and freaky that it hopes that that’ll distract readers from how predictable the killer is. Because I promise you, it’s the first person you suspect it to be.

It’s actually sad how much I wanted to like Sawyer, really. She’s been through a shit load of mishaps and her life totally sucks. But instead of that pushing her forward she cowers and keeps her head down. She doesn’t act upon normal instincts until it’s almost too late and well…she’s really slow. Even when the killer revels them-self to her, she just can’t believe it and keeps asking. “why?”. Hell, even the stalker person calls her dumb! Multiple times! All of the characters are flatter than a piece of paper and did I mention just how predictable this story is?

On a better note, I did find the writing to be okay which is saying a lot because I hate third person writing especially when the characters suck ass. There are a few well done scenes, like some of the deaths that left gruesome, freaky images in my mind.

Overall, Truly, Madly, Deadly is a really disappointing book. It’s predictable and has nothing but boring characters in it. So, no, I don’t recommend this book to anyone unless you don’t mind really predictable books that you figure out who done it after like, ten pages.

1.5 Odd Clouds
1.5 Odd Clouds

Book Review: Broken by C. J. Lyons

17520996

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.