Book Review: Top Ten Clues You’re Clueless

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*This book is part of my POPSUGAR 2015 Reading Challenge*

Synopsis from Amazon:

Top Five Things That Are Ruining Chloe’s Day

5) Working the 6:30 a.m. shift at GoodFoods Market

4) Crashing a cart into a customer’s car right in front of her snarky coworker Sammi

3) Trying to rock the “drowned rat” look after being caught in a snowstorm

2) Making zero progress with her crush, Tyson (see #3)

1) Being accused—along with her fellow teenage employees— of stealing upwards of $10,000

Chloe would rather be anywhere than locked in work jail (aka the break room) with five of her coworkers . . . even if one of them is Tyson. But if they can band together to clear their names, what looks like a total disaster might just make Chloe’s list of Top Ten Best Moments.

It’s been way too long since I’ve read a book for my POPSUGAR reading challenge so I’m glad I finally got around to picking up this book. I picked this book based on it’s cover, apparently. Honestly, I no longer remember what I liked about it but I liked the book itself so it’s fine.

This was a typical, short YA novel that had a Breakfast Club vibe. Chloe, along with five of her other coworkers that are all around her age, are forced to stay late after work because someone accused them of stealing money that was supposed to be donated to those in need.

Through this unfortunate situation these six kids get to know each other, learning about their pasts, families, and school life. They realize they’re not as different from each other as they once thought and that maybe instead of just being coworkers, they could be friends too.

Overall, this book was cute. It had a good amount of diversity amongst the characters, which I really liked. And there was little bit of romance, a lot of friendship bondings, and a plot twist that you’ll see coming but is still interesting. Will I read this again? No, probably not. Did I enjoy it? Sure did.

If you’re looking for a quick, fun read this is the perfect book for you.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow. It’s a cute, fun read but not one you’ll want to reread.

Stars:

4 stars

Favorite Line:

I keep hearing that being a geek is cool now, but I’m not sure the rest of the world has gotten the memo.

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Book Review: Gilded

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Synopsis from Amazon.com:

Sixteen-year-old Jae Hwa Lee is a Korean-American girl with a black belt, a deadly proclivity with steel-tipped arrows, and a chip on her shoulder the size of Korea itself. When her widowed dad uproots her to Seoul from her home in L.A., Jae thinks her biggest challenges will be fitting into a new school and dealing with her dismissive Korean grandfather. Then she discovers that a Korean demi-god, Haemosu, has been stealing the soul of the oldest daughter of each generation in her family for centuries. And she’s next.

But that’s not Jae’s only problem.

There’s also Marc. Irresistible and charming, Marc threatens to break the barriers around Jae’s heart. As the two grow closer, Jae must decide if she can trust him. But Marc has a secret of his own—one that could help Jae overturn the curse on her family for good. It turns out that Jae’s been wrong about a lot of things: her grandfather is her greatest ally, even the tough girl can fall in love, and Korea might just be the home she’s always been looking for.

*I received a free digital copy of this book from Skyscape via NetGalley. This did not influence my review of this book in anyway. This is an honest review of the novel as I saw it. This novel is now on sell at Amazon.com.*

According to Amazon, this book has been on my wish list since February 22, 2014. Therefore you can only imagine my excitement when I received a free copy of it. You can then fully understand my disappointment when I didn’t love it.

Now don’t get me wrong, I didn’t hate this book. It had a great plot filled with mystery and a romance that I really enjoyed. But the spark wasn’t there. I was excited to keep reading. I was never on the edge of my seat to find out what would happen next. The protagonist, Jae Hwa, didn’t draw me in. I wanted to feel bad for her and everything she was struggling with but I just didn’t. I couldn’t get invested in her character.

My biggest issue with Jae Hwa was how often she discovered she was wrong about something. “I was wrong. Again,” was one of her most popular lines. At first it was fine because of course she wouldn’t fully understand how to fight against an ancient demi-god that’s been kidnapping the ladies in her family for centuries. Who would? But after a while it just got annoying. At some point you’d think she’d get the hang of things. Or, at least not be so surprised when she was, once again, wrong.

Moreover, her father infuriated me. I could understand why he wouldn’t believe that a demi-god was after his daughter. What I couldn’t understand was him not being around a lot but towards the end of the novel suddenly being really stressed about losing his daughter, especially since he lost his wife to cancer. He was so adamant about how he’d be devastated if something happened to Jae Hwa but dismissed her concerns about living in Korea over and over again. I understand plot wise why he couldn’t very well say, “Yes, Jae Hwa. Let’s leave Korea.” But if that’s the case don’t make it seem like his greatest desire in life is to keep her safe or at least don’t wait until the end of the book to make those feelings evident.

My favorite characters of the whole novel were, Marc, the love interest, and Michelle, the best friend who in my opinion did not get enough scenes in this novel. I really liked Marc. The romance between him and Jae Hwa is mostly what made me push through this novel. And I loved Michelle. She was honest and a little sassy; my favorite combination.

Overall, this book had it’s downfalls but I think the idea behind it was good and maybe it just wasn’t for me. Either way, I’d say if you’re going to read it, borrow it.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow.

Stars:

2 stars

Favorite Line:

“Disbelief is the root of the impossible.”

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Book Review: The Girl On The Train

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Synopsis from Goodreads:

Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

Honestly, I’m not sure if The Girl on the Train or Go Set Watchmensold more copies this year. Either way, The Girl on the Train was a runaway bestseller and I can see why.

I absolutely loved this novel. This is what I like to call “Miss Your Stop On The Train” good. I was so sucked into everything going on this novel. Told in three different women’s point of views: Rachel’s, in the present; Anna, the wife of Rachel’s ex, also in the present; and Megan (“Jess”), in the past.

Recently divorced and an alcoholic, Rachel is having a tough go at it. She’s struggling to let go of her past with her ex-husband, Tom, and gets enthralled with a couple that lives a few houses down from her former home. Referring to them as “Jess and Jason” Rachel sees them as the perfect couple she wishes she and her ex-husband could be, or rather, could’ve been.

Paula Hawkins perfectly weaves the narratives of these three women together, giving readers and air of mystery by making us wonder who to believe. Each woman has her own story of events and it’s impossible to figure out the truth until the near end. I was happily shocked once I figured it out and wasn’t disappointed by the ending at all.

At times, I will say, Rachel and the other narrators did annoy me with their whining, but I’d say the only one I really couldn’t stand was Anna and I believe she had the smallest parts so that was fine. Rachel was my favorite. Although she definitely has her faults, I couldn’t help but root for her to get better. Of course a lot of her troubles were of her own doing but not all of it was and I felt sorry for her. More than that, Rachel consistently tried to do what she believed was right and I loved her all the more for it.

I greatly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it. I’m interested to see what Hawkins will come up with next.

Borrow or Buy: Buy!! So great. I’d love to give it a second read, knowing how it ends now.

Favorite Line:

It’s possible to miss what you’ve never had, to mourn for it.

Stars:

5 stars

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Book Review: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society

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Synopsis from Goodreads:

“ I wonder how the book got to Guernsey? Perhaps there is some sort of secret homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers.”January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she’s never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb….

As Juliet and her new correspondent exchange letters, Juliet is drawn into the world of this man and his friends—and what a wonderfully eccentric world it is. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society—born as a spur-of-the-moment alibi when its members were discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island—boasts a charming, funny, deeply human cast of characters, from pig farmers to phrenologists, literature lovers all.

Juliet begins a remarkable correspondence with the society’s members, learning about their island, their taste in books, and the impact the recent German occupation has had on their lives. Captivated by their stories, she sets sail for Guernsey, and what she finds will change her forever.

Written with warmth and humor as a series of letters, this novel is a celebration of the written word in all its guises, and of finding connection in the most surprising ways.

Besides the crazy long title I absolutely loved this book. I loved the letter form (and sometimes telegraphs and journal entries) and I loved the characters.

The story follows Juliet Ashton, this quirky author who has a love for books and writing (like me!). She’s looking for inspiration for her next book and after writing about World War II throughout the war she’s searching for something different.

Little did she know that what she was looking for was on this little British island that was occupied by the Germans during the war. After she receives a letter from a man named Dawsey who found her copy of a book by Charles Lamb, Juliet is led on this awesome adventure discovering the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society and the wonderful people in it.

If you don’t want to get spoiled stop reading here. This is your warning!

After much letter correspondence Juliet finally goes to Guernsey and discovers not only an awesome novel idea about the society now deceased leader, Elizabeth, but she also finds a family in her love with Dawsey and Kit, Elizabeth’s daughter.

The only thing I wanted more of from this novel is Dawsey’s point of view. I could kind of see that he had feelings for Juliet but he’s so quiet and shy that we don’t get to really hear him say anything about it until the very end and then the book’s over.

Otherwise I thought the book was brilliant. Also, I have a theory about the way this book is written. First, the fact that Dawsey’s name sounds very close to Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice leads me to believe the authors did that on purpose. Especially since the book is brought up in the novel and it is Isola who falls in love with it and then it is later Isola who finally leads to Juliet and Dawsey being together. Also, when discussing Pride and Prejudice Juliet says, “[Isola] might actually die of suspense before she finished it” and that’s basically how I felt when I was (impatiently) waiting for Juliet and Dawsey to finally admit their feelings for each other.

That’s just my theory though. I want to ask the authors if I’m right though because I’m pretty confident I am.

Overall, this book was great and I’d definitely recommend it. It’s also not that hard to get through because it is in letter form and the characters are hilarious and will keep you laughing the whole way through even though the tale is kind of sad.

Favorite Line: 

Men are more interesting in books than they are in real life.

Stars: 5 out of 5. I wasn’t sure if I was going to like this book because I’ve never been a big fan of historical fiction but I truly enjoyed it and would read it again (if only to get clues about Dawsey’s feelings for Juliet).

Borrow or Buy: Buy! So good and definitely worth a reread.

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Book Review: Complete Nothing

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Synopsis from Amazon.com:

True’s matchmaking skills are the stuff of legend! The second novel in Kieran Scott’s delightful teen romance series that TeenVogue.com called “the next Twilight.”

True is not exactly loving New Jersey. Banished from Mount Olympus and tasked with helping couples find love without using her powers, the goddess-formerly-known-as-Cupid is having a tough time. Especially now that True’s immortal love, Orion, has also appeared at her New Jersey high school—but with no memory of their relationship.

To distract herself from seeing Orion flirt with another girl, True focuses her efforts on making a match: Peter and Claudia. Peter is the star quarterback and the most popular guy in school. But he’s insecure about his future, so he preemptively dumps Claudia, his girlfriend. (If she won’t want to be with him later, why stay together now?) Claudia doesn’t take the breakup too well, and she’s ready to show the quarterback of their rival school just how ready she is to get over it.

But True sees something in these two seniors. She believes they should be together—but can she help them find their way back to each other (and get herself closer to home)? Or have things already spun too far out of control?

Complete Nothing is the second book in Kieran Scott’s True Love trilogy and I really liked this one. When Only Everything left off Orion, True’s love, showed up but had no recollection of who True is or even who he really is.

I liked the added factor of Orion in the story and also learning more about Hephaestus, Aphrodite, and Ares. As someone who minors in the Classics I thought the back stories and how Scott used them was perfect. Additionally what made this book so interesting was the added conflict in True’s life. She begins to question who she can really trust and struggles to juggle seeing Orion on a daily basis, trying to make another true love match, worrying about oncoming threats, and questioning who her real friends really are.

I also really liked the human love story between Peter and Claudia. It was cute, realistic, and again demonstrated that True still has a lot to learn when it comes to love. Also, I enjoyed seeing True adapt more to the human world in this novel. Although watching her struggle in the first book was hilarious I was happy to see True adjusting and actually making friends and even enjoying her human life.

Scott again left us with a cliffhanger and it was brilliant. I clicked next page on Kindle and was so disappointed when I realized it was really over. I won’t spoil it but it’s a great ending and even though you kind of expect it I was still a little shocked.

Overall, this novel was a cute, romantic story that will take only about a day to read. Definitely a nice refresher after reading something as intense as Fifty Shades of Grey.

Favorite Line: 

Here I was, with my friends and the boy I loved, eating lunch, playing with my new cell phone. For five whole seconds, I felt like a normal teenage girl. And I kind of liked it.

Stars: 3 out of 5. This is a cute love story but there’s nothing that makes it crazy memorable. Still an enjoyable read though.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow. Again, there’s nothing that memorable about it. Definitely not one you’ll be rereading over and over.

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Book Review: Fifty Shades Darker

51+-uGIDqELSynopsis from Amazon:

Daunted by the singular tastes and dark secrets of the beautiful, tormented young entrepreneur Christian Grey, Anastasia Steele has broken off their relationship to start a new career with a Seattle publishing house.

But desire for Christian still dominates her every waking thought, and when he proposes a new arrangement, Anastasia cannot resist. They rekindle their searing sensual affair, and Anastasia learns more about the harrowing past of her damaged, driven and demanding Fifty Shades.

While Christian wrestles with his inner demons, Anastasia must confront the anger and envy of the women who came before her, and make the most important decision of her life.

*WARNING: This review will be filled with spoilers*

First if you haven’t read my review of the first book, Fifty Shades of Cray Grey, definitely go do that then come back.

As I was reading this book I felt multiple types of ways and had to tell my friend who got me sucked into these books all about it. Here’s some highlights:

The Beginning

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The freaking hair salon

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Pay my tuition!

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FINALLY!!!

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Leave Mrs. Robinson

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Christian = Submissive???Screen Shot 2014-10-18 at 12.12.07 PM

“The richter scale”?

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*faints*

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I was right! Sort of.

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Overall I did enjoy this book. There were a lot of ups and downs and plot twists I just wasn’t ready for. If I wasn’t in school I probably would’ve finished this in a day, I was that hooked.

What I loved most about this book was it wasn’t focused on all the “kinky” freaky stuff that these books are known for. Instead Christian actually stops being so possessive and crazy and becomes a pretty loving guy. Plus we finally got to learn more about his scary childhood and it did make me sympathize with him a little bit more.

I still hate Ana’s inner goddess versus her subconscious thing. If they don’t put that in the movie I’ll be a very happy camper. Also Ana’s insecurities got a little annoying as well. Her struggles to believe Christian could really love her were incessant. I was like girl he’s changing his whole way of being for you. Just let him love you.

Besides that I was really concerned with how E L James was going to write a third book when this one seemed so finished. But then she went and made Ana’s former boss, Jack, a psycho who’s now trying to kill Christian. Well that will definitely keep the story going. Crazy. But also I love it because now it’s Ana and Christian against this other force and it really reemphasizes their strong relationship now. I’m excited to see how this will all end.

Also, I’m so glad Mrs. Robinson is finally out of the picture and Christian finally recognized how crazy she is. And also that his mother now knows the truth (some of it anyway). That was driving me crazy. More accurately, Mrs. Robinson was crazy.

There was definitely still a few parts I didn’t understand or like. For example, when Christian gave his ex-submissive, Leila, a bath. I didn’t get that nor understand why that needed to happen and it just seemed like E L James was trying to make Christian more messed up than he needed to be. Or the fact that he brought Ana to the hair dresser Mrs. Robinson owned. It seemed like a huge misstep in character development. Shouldn’t Mr. Cray be smarter than that by then?

Even so, I really enjoyed this novel which is very hard for me to admit because I thoroughly wanted to hate it. But now I’m hooked up so I might as well go pick up the third book now because I won’t be able to resist for long.

Favorite Line:

‘I love you, Anastasia. I will do everything in my power to protect you. I cannot imagine my life without you.’

Stars: 4 out of 5. I enjoyed it but there were still a lot of things I didn’t like and a few parts that I just skimmed.

Borrow or Buy: Buy. This is a tough call but I could see myself rereading this book. Maybe not the whole book but definitely certain parts are worth a second read. For example the house or the “hearts and flowers” scene. Totally worth a second glance.

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Book Review: A Hard’s Day Night

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Synopsis from Goodreads:

Penny Lane Bloom, founder of The Lonely Hearts Club, has never loved Halloween. Her dad’s a dentist, so she’s never been allowed much in the way of candy. And forget being a witch or a ghost or a superhero–Penny is always one of the Beatles, along with the rest of her family.

But this year, she’s got the Club, and the support of an amazing group of girls who all have each other’s backs. So when someone tries to ruin Halloween for one member, the Club sets out to prove revenge is a dish best served en masse.

It pains me to write this review because I love Elizabeth Eulberg but honestly I did not enjoy this short story.

I’m not sure if it’s because I read The Lonely Hearts Club so long ago but to me this book just seemed very childish to me which I found strange because I love young adult fiction and believe I always will. This book just didn’t do it for me though.

If worried about spoilers stop here but honestly if you’ve read The Lonely Hearts Club I don’t think you’ll really be upset by any of these spoilers. Nothing that happens in this story really changes anything for the future because it happens during the first novel.

The story is very centered around the club getting back at these boys who pranked one of the members. That’s about it. Ryan makes an appearance but he and Penny don’t speak so nothing exciting there.

Really the most exciting part of this book was the sneak peak of the sequel, We Can Work It Out. Otherwise this story was just really annoying to me. I was annoyed by Penny and the club because the whole revenge scheme just seemed very childish to me. First of all it seems the ringleader of the group of bandits was one of the members little brother so it could’ve easily been handled by a call to her parents but then there really wouldn’t be much of a story.

I think it was well written I just did not enjoy this short story as much as I thought I would.

Stars: 1 out of 5. Well written but the characters drove me crazy.

Borrow or Buy: Buy. It’s free so you wouldn’t be wasting anything if you don’t like it.