Book Review #78: The Build-Up Season by Megan Jacobson (Review Copy from Penguin Random House Australia)

34854006

“Everybody’s good when they’re good, darling. You don’t judge a person by that. It’s how they act when things aren’t good that tells you who they really are.”

Title: The Build-Up Season
Author: Megan Jacobson
ISBN: 9780143573388
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Format: Paperback
Date Published: July 31, 2017
Publishing House: Penguin Random House Australia
Goodreads Rating: 4.31
Personal Rating: 4/5 

Synopsis

Seventeen-year-old Iliad Piper – Ily for short – is named after war and angry at the world. Growing up with a violent father and abused mother, she doesn’t know how to do relationships, family or friends. Her love-hate friendship with Max turns into a prank war and she nearly destroys her first true friendship with misfit Mia. She takes off her armour for nobody until she meets Jared, a local actor and someone who’s as complicated as she is.

From the author of Yellow comes a powerful exploration of family and identity set against the humid build-up to the wet season in Darwin. [Goodreads]

My Personal Thoughts

The Build-Up season is a young adult contemporary story that gave me the “feels”, literally and figuratively. I have always been cautious and feeling off whenever I review a book that contains sensitive topic like violence against women and children. I hate it, I just so despise the fact that this thing exists not just today but even before we were all aware of its modern term. I remember when I reviewed Colleen Hoover’s novel entitled “It Ends with Us” (check my review HERE)r , it was very delicate and I even revised my draft a few times just to make sure that I did not offend anyone or opened up a very controversial stuff. It’s hard if you know someone who’s a victim, but it’s even harder if you are the victim itself.

I would like to thank Penguin Teen Australia for providing me an advance copy in exchange for an honest and fair book review. This, however, does not change my view and opinion about the book.

First and foremost, let’s start talking about the setting. The story took place in Darwin (Australia), I actually do not have a vast amount of knowledge regarding the place but because it was here in the land down under, it made me appreciate the story more. The story and setting matches, it is a perfect place for someone who’s hiding from someone and wants to start over. I am guessing that some people in Darwin like the main character herself dreams of taking up a college degree in Sydney or in a more modernised state and it was perfectly portrayed in the story. Some simple high school students aspire to become popular in Sydney and excel in their chosen careers. I have nothing to say regarding the setting aside from the fact that the author chose the perfect place.

Moving on, I will discuss the characters briefly one by one. Iliad is the young female character in this novel that is named from the famous poem itself about war. She is fierce, loyal, and free-spirited. I love how Ily expresses herself without the fear of being judged and rejected. She does things that will satisfy her without giving a crap about other people’s opinion. The negative thing about Ily is that I hated the way she treated her mother. I don’t want to spoil anything but it’s one of the main reasons why you should pick up this book and dive in her story. The next character is Jared; he is ambitious, handsome, but has a temper. He could have been a perfect partner for anyone but I was so disappointed when I discovered his true identity. I love his chemistry with Ily but at the same time, I was afraid of him as well. There is a love triangle in the story (which I always enjoy! Ha!) and my ship has always been with the bad guy, and this time it is Max. He is Ily’s neighbour who happens to be her mortal enemy at the same time. I enjoyed their prank war and the way their story and characters developed. It may sound cliché but I find the love hate relationship highly entertaining especially at first. The last character that I want to discuss is Ily’s mother. I pity the woman so much. She loves Iliad unconditionally that she almost gave up everything and pretended to be the bad person just so she could protect her daughter. I personally felt her battles and feelings because I am also a mother. I find the heroic act of standing up and fighting for your child as the best action of all.

The writing style is superb. I already liked it just by skim reading the first page. Iliad’s name already caught my interest and curiosity and I wasn’t disappointed. I love how delicate the topic was and how the author gave justification to it. I cringed a couple of times and it also made my heart skip a beat. Everything was so intense and beautiful. I could never wish for a better ending. Everything went the way they should have ended and I could not ask for more. I love how the problem with her father was figured out. I am impressed with how the author made Ily realise all her shortcomings and how she made some amends to all the people that she unintentionally hurt. And of course, my OTP (one true pair) ship made it! Yay!

Overall, I highly recommend this story to YA readers who enjoy books that will give those bits and pieces of life and love advice. This is one hell of a book that one should read because it is an eye-opener and it is phenomenal. Plenty of women or family are suffering from this kind of crisis and immediate help must be sought. Please, wherever you are in the world, please be aware that you are not alone in this battle and there is help available. Do not be afraid to walk the path alone, being abused is not something to be ignored or be given a justification. Nobody has the right to hurt you, not even your spouse. We care, I care.

~JaNnA

Book Review #77: Stargazing for Beginners by Jenny McLachlan (Advance Reader Copy from Bloomsbury Publishing)

32021893

“When a huge star dies, there is a massive explosion, a supernova, and later, all that’s left is a dark, dense black hole where no light can get in or out. From brilliant lightness to total darkness.”

Title: Stargazing for Beginners
Author: Jenny McLachlan
ISBN: 9781408879757
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Format: Paperback
Date Published: April 06, 2017
Publishing House: Bloomsbury Publishing
Goodreads Rating: 4.14
Personal Rating: 4/5 

Synopsis [Goodreads]

Science geek Meg is left to look after her little sister for ten days after her free-spirited mom leaves suddenly to follow up yet another of her Big Important Causes. But while Meg may understand how the universe was formed, baby Elsa is a complete mystery to her.

And Mom’s disappearance has come at the worst time: Meg is desperate to win a competition to get the chance to visit NASA headquarters, but to do this she has to beat a close rival, Ed. Can Meg pull off this double life of caring for Elsa and following her own dreams? She’ll need a miracle of cosmic proportions…

Fans fell in love with the warmth, wit, romance and fierce friendships in Flirty Dancing, Love Bomb, Sun kissed and Star Struck, and Stargazing for Beginners has all that and galaxies more. This is the best kind of real-life fiction – with big themes and irresistible characters; it goes straight to your heart.

My Personal Thoughts

Alright, so I find this book cute, nerdy and totally awesome! I received my copy from Bloomsbury Publishing Australia along with other three newly released young adult contemporary novels. Frankly, young adult contemporary is not my thing, but since different publishing companies are sending me books with this type of genre lately, I am becoming more and more inclined to it. And I actually find myself liking it. I can’t believe that simple stuff and stories like this one can still make me feel giddy and excited. The story is simple, there’s really nothing unusual in all honesty, but I find myself enjoying it as the story progresses! It is highly entertaining because of the female character, Meg Clark is a certified Science geek and a smarty-pants. I even learned a lot from her and took down some notes. She is so obsessed with the galaxy and she was able to make me reminisce some of the stuff that I’ve already forgotten since my elementary days, and God knows how long it has been since. Let’s talk about Meg’s prince charming, Ed King, I like Ed! I love the idea that despite being an athlete and a heartthrob, he also happens to be Meg’s fellow Science geek and it’s just so cute that Meg and Ed are the contenders in class ever since. I know it may sound cliché but things like this still make me swoon so badly. I can relate to Meg’s character because obviously, she is an introvert but not until the Biscuit Club was founded (you have to read it to find out more). Her mother is a selfish and self-centered woman and I just hate the idea that she left Meg and her little sister alone with just the grandfather to look after them, and apparently, their grandfather is already showing signs of irresponsibility and dementia. So, yes, for me Meg’s mother is the antagonist-ish here. But I am so impressed with how the character handled all the chaos that she was put into and how all these stuff made her a better person. Furthermore, the friendships formed here are just too beautiful; you can see the transformation of each character from being mean and selfish to selfless and loyal. I also like the author’s writing style, it was a fast-read and even though that the story is predictable I still manage to enjoy and appreciate it so much. I highly recommend this for young adult readers. I gave it a four out of five rating and I was hoping for a sequel because I can’t get enough of Ed and Meg’s story. Lastly, I want to commend the cover! It is undeniably gorgeous and elegant! It is very enticing because purple and gold are always good together. Hope I was able to help you with my insight and thanks for reading my review, until the next book talk.

~JaNnA

Book Review #76: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

17453983

“I’m a little distracted by this English French American Boy Masterpiece.”

 Title: Anna and the French Kiss
Author: Stephanie Perkins
ISBN: 0307968537
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Chick Lit
Format: Audiobook
Date Published: October 11, 2011
Publishing House: Books on Tape
Goodreads Rating: 4.08
Personal Rating: 4/5

Synopsis

Can Anna find love in the City of Light?

Anna is happy in Atlanta. She has a loyal best friend and a crush on her co-worker at the movie theater, who is just starting to return her affection. So she’s less than thrilled when her father decides to send her to a boarding school in Paris for her senior year.

But despite not speaking a word of French, Anna meets some cool new people, including the handsome Étienne St. Clair, who quickly becomes her best friend. Unfortunately, he’s taken —and Anna might be, too. Will a year of romantic near misses end with the French kiss she’s waiting for? [Goodreads]

My Personal Thoughts

The very first time that I’ve read Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins was two years ago via digital copy and I wasn’t a book collector yet back then, I was just a plain book reader. I enjoyed this so much; it was cute and highly entertaining. Although the story is shallow, I still find myself immersed within Anna and Etienne’s up and down ride. This week, I decided to re-read this story through an audio book which approximately took me two days to finish while doing some coloring and stuff.

The setting is in a boarding school located in Paris. Who wouldn’t want to read a book that is set in one of the world’s most beautiful cities? When I read the synopsis before, I was already so eager to dive into their world because Paris is one of the places that I’ve been dreaming of going to and it’s even included on my bucket list. So, yes, the setting is definitely very appealing and romantic! It is undeniably perfect for the story line.

Let’s talk about the characters one by one and let me tell you something nice and annoying about them. Etienne St. Clair, he is the American/French boy who swept me off my feet two years ago. He is sweet and handsome. There is nothing to dislike about St. Clair except for the fact that he is afraid to be alone and to make big life decisions. It sucks right? You have all the beauty and everything but some of your principles in life are just off. Next is Anna Oliphant, the innocent girl from America who fell in love with her best friend. Anna is nice, an ideal girl to go out with but I find her pathetic and a certified boyfriend stealer! Sorry for the fans but Anna just annoyed the hell out of me when I read the book for the second time. I liked her so much before but then now I realized that she did things on purpose even though the boy is in a relationship. She did not actually resist his advances, she flirted with him as well. Oh gosh! I just hate girls and women like her. Anyway, they still made the perfect pair! It may be a cliché but the best friend to boyfriend thing is kind of cute but RISKY.

The story line is usual and there’s nothing special, to be honest. There is nothing in the story that I haven’t read from other young adult contemporary books before and it is not a good thing if you’ll ask me. I was expecting for something new and interesting but no, it was disappointing to realize that the story is plain, odd, and just simple. Nonetheless, I still enjoyed the story and I am not complaining.

Overall, it is highly recommended for young adult readers because it does not contain sensual scenes and it is full of innocence and pure fun, friendships, and first loves! New adult readers might find it boring though. Four out of five for giving me butterflies in the stomach because St. Clair is swoon-worthy, indeed.

~JaNnA

Book Review #62: Always and Forever, Lara Jean (To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before #3) by Jenny Han

30312860

“Disappointment is good for kids; it prepares them for the real world, where it’s not all about them and their feelings.”

Synopsis

Lara Jean’s letter-writing days aren’t over in this surprise follow-up to the New York Times bestselling To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and P.S. I Still Love You.

Lara Jean is having the best senior year a girl could ever hope for. She is head over heels in love with her boyfriend, Peter; her dad’s finally getting remarried to their next door neighbor, Ms. Rothschild; and Margot’s coming home for the summer just in time for the wedding.

But change is looming on the horizon. And while Lara Jean is having fun and keeping busy helping plan her father’s wedding, she can’t ignore the big life decisions she has to make. Most pressingly, where she wants to go to college and what that means for her relationship with Peter. She watched her sister Margot go through these growing pains. Now Lara Jean’s the one who’ll be graduating high school and leaving for college and leaving her family—and possibly the boy she loves—behind.

When your heart and your head are saying two different things, which one should you listen to?

My Personal Thoughts

Young adult contemporary books are really not my cup of tea since I started my reading habit, but Jenny Han’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before series definitely made an exception. OMG! I don’t know how to start drafting my book review about the 3rd and final installment of Lara Jean and Peter Kavinsky’s young love story. It is evidently innocent, pure, and overflowing with emotions! Just like what I mentioned a year ago when I read the 1st two books via audiobook during Valentine’s Day. I know, it’s so cheesy and everything but a woman can only fangirl and reminisce, right? The characters both matured and evolved into more fabulous and gorgeous beings! Lara Jean is someone to be proud of because she kept her thoughts and principles about love and sex until the very end. Peter, on the other hand, is a young man who changed a lot because of Lara Jean. He transformed into a real gentleman compared to the naughty and easy-go-lucky dude he was from the first 2 novels. I am so happy because this book is very inspiring and it contains a lot of life lessons which are suitable for young readers especially to those people nowadays who think that young love is not or will never be a real love. I am so proud of Lara Jean’s conviction and Peter’ not-taking-an-advantage attitude. Basically, this story is just so light and cute and realistic. Many young readers can relate and reflect about their own situation and views in life. The story is fast-paced which I was able to read and finish for 6 hours. The writing style has always been my favourite part, the author writes from the heart and it is evident in my e-reader because I highlighted plenty of inspiring lines and scenes. Jenny Han, Stephanie Perkins, and Nicola Yoon are my favourite YA contemporary writers at the moment and I just admire the way they write books that will make a person swoon. I am so happy that I immediately started this book after I did a whole day of reviewing for my upcoming final exam. It was worth it. Family, friendship, life, and love lessons are all here! I can’t think of anything negative to say, maybe the simplicity which I think New Adult story lovers would find boring but not with a 29 y/o mom of two like me who still enjoys reading stories that gives me butterflies in the stomach. It is highly recommended for readers of all ages. Five amazing stars for Jenny Han and cheers to Lara Jean and Peter K’s refreshing love story.

~JaNnA💖

Book Review #46: The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

16343939_963953020402756_372426860_n
Title: The Sun is Also a Star
Author: Nicola Yoon
Pages: 384
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Format: Ebook
Date of Publication: November 01, 2016
ASIN: B01DRXCPW2
Publishing House: Delacorte Press
Goodreads Rating: 4.21
My Personal Rating: 5 out of 5
SYNOPSIS
Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.
Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.
The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?
(Credit to http://www.goodreads.com)
MY PERSONAL THOUGHTS
Brilliant and captivating!
Wow! Just, WOW! The author gave me a different perspective when it comes to young adult (YA) contemporary stories! At this point in life, I’m not ashamed to admit that YA books are not my cup of tea, ugh! But, this one definitely made an exception! I enjoyed it a lot. Its simplicity and innocence made it more appealing and entertaining for me. I hate too-good-to-be-true and shallow stories that’s why I rarely read these kind of books (oopppsss.. sorry!). Oh well, I can always adjust and broaden my preferences anyway.
The setting took place in the USA where people in my home-land aspires and dreams of travelling one day. Who doesn’t want to anyway? I personally dream of being able to take a photo at the famous Golden Gate Bridge or at the Statue of Liberty and have a fun-filled day in Disneyland! This is the perfect setting for a one-day-old romance! Oh how i truly adore the simplicity and directness (obviously!) And the scenarios are not unusual. They are undeniably realistic. They tend to occur in our everyday lives and many undocumented people are really residing there. Not by choice, it’s just… it happens.
The characters are funny, cute and very lovable! The Asian-meets-the-Jamaican is so cute! It’s rare for me to enjoy books where the couple came from different heritage and cultural background so I really like the way the author made it multicultural and unbiased. It’s a plus point. Kudos!
Honestly, the twist is not surprising. The ending is actually predictable but the journey towards the ending is worth it. It’s like the saying “It’s not the destination that matters, it’s the journey!” So, yes! I love how a YA contemporary story brought butterflies in my stomach and taught me a lot of life lessons that I have chosen to neglect before. This book contains a lot of things that will make you realize how good life is; and that plenty of things that are happening around us are mainly brought by Science
Lessons that this book taught me:
1) Fate is real. So damn REAL.
2) Family should always be prioritised.
3) No matter what your cultural background is, there are people out there who will accept you for who you are and what you can offer.
This story deserves my precious 5 stars.
It is highly recommended for all type of readers.
~JaNnA~
Instagram: @BibliophileMom
Twitter: @bibliophilemom_
Inquiries/Collaboration: thebibliophilemom@gmail.com

Book Review #40 : Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige

14518817_882117938586265_2134086927_n

Title: Stealing Snow
Author: Danielle Paige
Series: Stealing Snow, #1
Pages: 384
Format: Paperback (Uncorrected Proof)
ISBN13: 9781681190761
Genre: Fantasy, Retelling, Young Adult
Date of Publication: October 3, 2016
Publishing House: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Date Read: September 27, 2016
Personal Rating: 4 out of 5

“Within you lies a great gift. You can control winter and have dominance over frost, over ice and snow.”

Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige is a retelling of the famous fairytale, The Snow Queen, written by Hans Christian Andersen in 1844. This story is about the continuous battle of good and evil. I think both stories resembled just on specific parts: the mirror, Kay (the character’s name here is Kai), Gerda, and the power of the snow queen. But mostly, they are totally different. I received my copy from Bloomsbury Australia in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. This will come out this October 3 so watch out for it and don’t forget to include it on your TBR list.

Synopsis

“First kisses sometimes wake slumbering princesses, undo spells, and spark happily ever afters.”

Mine broke Bale.

Seventeen-year-old Snow has spent her life locked in Whittaker Psychiatric—but she isn’t crazy. And that’s not the worst of it. Her very first kiss proves anything but innocent…when Bale, her only love, turns violent.

Despite Snow knowing that Bale would never truly hurt her, he is taken away—dashing her last hope for any sort of future in the mental ward she calls home. With nowhere else to turn, Snow finds herself drawn to a strange new orderly who whispers secrets in the night about a mysterious past and a kingdom that’s hers for the taking—if only she can find her way past the iron gates to the Tree that has been haunting her dreams.

Beyond the Tree lies Algid, a land far away from the real world, frozen by a ruthless king. And there too await the River Witch, a village boy named Kai, the charming thief Jagger, and a prophecy that Snow will save them all.

(Credit to http://www.goodreads.com)

My Personal Thoughts

First, I really got confused with the places. The story started in a contemporary setting which is pretty fine with me. The first part mostly took place in a mental asylum where Snow was admitted for almost a decade because of an incident that almost took her childhood friend’s life. After being comfortable with this setup, I was suddenly brought into a different world which is called Algid. And I don’t freaking know where exactly it is. Is it under the sea? Or is it deep within the forest? Or maybe it is somewhere over the rainbow? All I know is that Snow saw it in the mirror behind THE TREE. While being at Algid for a couple of days, Snow was suddenly in another place which drove me crazy, and with another group of people! How the hell did that happen? Like seriously? Ugh! I was confused as fvck because the places are just too much to take in. Hahaha! You cannot just take the character from one place to another without a proper transition. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the story; it’s just that I was really left puzzled on certain scenarios.

Snow. Ugh! Snow is a teenage girl with a loyalty problem. LOL. I don’t like the idea that she falls for every boy that she meets. There are three potential book boyfriends in the story, and I don’t know who exactly the author is shipping. Just when I was about to believe that this particular boy is swoon-worthy, another boy will appear in the picture, and Snow will instantly fall head over heels with him. Crap! So much about it, her character is okay. She is strong, obviously, but she doesn’t know how to use her powers properly. It’s just stupid to go on a suicide rescue mission. Despite knowing all the secrets about your real identity, your main agenda is still to save your dream boy and go back to the mental institution where you both belonged. That’s crazy. Her cluelessness also bothered me. I hope the next book will be better for Snow. I hope that she will have a transformation from a flirtatious slash clueless being into a stronger and wiser one. That last chapter is very promising, though. I will not talk about any male character because there are three of them. If I describe their relationship to Snow, it will basically blow up your reading experience.

The writing style is good. I enjoyed my reading time. It is slow-paced during the first half of the book then it became fast abruptly (too fast) during the last chapters. It is pretty gripping, I noticed that I continuously read it for three or four days and I found myself being curious and hooked with the story. I really do love fairy tale retellings so I think I might be a little bias here. Hahaha! The only thing that I adore about this story is how the author introduced a lot of mind-blowing twists! I just can’t handle all of them! I am not sure if for some readers those turn out of events are very predictable. For me, it’s so good! It is great, I mean. My heart can only handle one or two heart breaks but I admire Snow because she was able to withstand all those freaking revelations! Those are just too excruciating to bear. The first person narration is a plus point, I enjoyed it. I just hoped that there was an alternating point of view so that I will be able to see the other character’s perspective. The chosen words are fine, not too deep in the sense that you will need to check the dictionary often. Brace yourselves, rant coming! I don’t know why it seems like there is a flight of ideas. The author wants to show a lot of things which made it confusing. The story often jumps from one idea to another. New characters are constantly being introduced. It kind of lacked cohesiveness. Sorry but it is just my opinion. Despite this rant, I still like it and will definitely recommend it to my fellow readers. It is highly entertaining and the sprinkle of psychological mystery, in the beginning, is very appealing to me.

I have made a lot of realizations in this novel. First, it is very depressing when someone you love and trust wholeheartedly betrays you. I salute the character for overcoming that part of her life. No matter what happens, you still need to stand up and move forward after those upsetting incidents. Second, secrets will always ruin a relationship. I think people should just be honest so that things will not be that complicated. Lastly, this is from my favorite movie of all the time (The Fast and the Furious), you don’t turn your back to the family, even if they do. And that’s just how it is. Always.

Here are some of my favorite lines:

“How was it possible that not being normal saved me?”

“Destiny wasn’t exciting or romantic or epic. It was annoying.”

“We don’t always get what we want in this life. But we can control how we get there.”

“We breathe out the lies; we stutter the truth.”

“The more you see of evil, the more evil seems limitless.”

YEY! I hope I made some sense here on whether you should or should not read this. I honestly loved how it ended. I’m sure you will like it too.

~Janna

Book Review #39: The Vincent Boys by Abbi Glines

14458973_881618715302854_1095237172_n
Title: The Vincent Boys
Author: Abbi Glines
Series: The Vincent Boys, #1
Pages: 320
Format: Paperback
ISBN13: 9781442485259
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Date of Publication: October 30, 2012
Publishing House: Simon Pulse
Date Read: September 14, 2016
Goodreads Average Rating: 3.99
Personal Rating: 3 out of 5
“You choose one and let the other go.” –Abbi Glines
The Vincent Boys is my very first Abbi Glines’ book read. Honestly, new adult contemporary romance is really not my cup of tea, and only Colleen Hoover captured my heart when it comes to this genre. This story is very plain and simple. I actually find it cliché, but I surprisingly found myself being interested in Beau, Sawyer and Ashton’s story. This is the first book of The Vincent Boys series. It is pretty appealing especially if you are a new reader who seeks thrill and butterflies in the stomach-ish feeling. But in my case, I did not find this book extra special. Although overall, I will still recommend this to readers who are into this kind of stories where love triangles and cheaters exist.
Synopsis
Ashton is getting tired of being good, of impressing her parents and playing ideal girlfriend to Sawyer Vincent. Sawyer is perfect, a regular Prince Charming, but when he leaves town for the summer, it’s his cousin Beau who catches Ashton’s eye. Beau is the sexiest guy she’s ever seen, and even though he’s dangerous, Ashton is drawn to him.
Beau loves his cousin like a brother, so the last thing he wants to do is make a move on Sawyer’s girl. Ashton is off-limits, absolutely. That’s why he does his best to keep his distance, even though he’s been in love with her forever. When Ashton wants to rekindle their childhood friendship in Sawyer’s absence, Beau knows he should say no.
Ashton and Beau don’t want to hurt Sawyer. But the more they try to stay away from each other, the more intense their urges become. It’s getting way too hard to resist…
(Credit to http://www.goodreads.com)
Setting
It was set in Grove, Alabama where the three main characters grew up, became friends and eventually fell in love The setting is not bad considering that this is a contemporary novel. They all live in a decent neighborhood where people are church-goers and everyone seems to be too good to be true. The prominent family, the pastor’s daughter, the bad boy; this is the perfect combination.
Characters
Ashton is the good-girl-gone-bad. I have nothing against her character but I kind of hate her, seriously. Like with everything that you have, you still had the nerve to play with other people’s feelings? Considering the fact that she is the pastor’s daughter, she still gave in to temptation. Perfect life, perfect boyfriend, what more can she actually ask for? She did not even have the decency to end everything first with Sawyer before flirting with Beau. Gosh, I despise her character so much!
Beau is the bad boy! I have always been fascinated with the badass characters! They are my weakness since I started reading fiction books. It was very easy for me to like and love Beau right from the very first page. He is troubled and indeed a beautiful disaster but he knows who he wants and is very much willing to fight for that person. The character is very promising; I hope that he will have a major transformation from being a bad guy to a good one in the second book.
Sawyer is the perfect boyfriend; rich, intelligent and gentleman. He is very reserved and loyal. He loves Ashton so much but the only problem is that Ash finds him boring and a perfectionist. I like his character as well, because unlike previous characters that I have encountered, Sawyer is very forgiving.
Writing Style and Plot
The story is fast-paced. I finished it in two days and I literally did not put it down because I am always looking forward to Beau’s scenes. The story is very common, people who are bound by secrets then finding out in the end that everything about their personality is a lie. I am so used to this kind of stories and nothing surprises me anymore. It is just sad because I was expecting a lot. I was kind of disappointed because I thought this will be something new. I guess expecting too much is just not advisable. Overall, it is still good to add to your TBR list, if you are looking for a fast read story with a decent plot, this one will do. And by the way, those twists and turn out of events are not really mind-blowing at all. They are very predictable. I need to stop typing because it is too obvious that I am not that happy. Haha!
Conclusion
I just realized that despite having tons of rant about the story, I still learned a lot. First, blood is not always thicker than water. Sadly, Beau just proved me that when you are really into someone, you can betray anyone, even if they are close to you or related to you. Second, like Ashton, you have to be true to yourself. Do not pretend to be someone you are not. It will be a series of lies and pretensions if you will not show the world who you really are. Suppressing your feelings is not an option. Lastly, no matter what, your family will always be your number one supporter and they will always be there for you.
Favourite Lines
• Trouble can be a lot of fun. It’s the straight and narrow that makes life tedious and boring.
• He was definitely more than a little excitement. He was lethal.
• The right thing to do would be to say no, But I always did the right thing. Always. Just this once I wanted to do what I wanted to do. I let the bad girl out just a little.
• This was what I needed. This connection. A raw, needy, honest attraction. Not something controlled and careful. I need reckless.
• Bad company corrupts good manner.
~Janna