Dante’s Girl

I AM BACK WITH A VENGEANCE. Just kidding, but I will be posting a review tonight for a book that I read recently. I received an advanced reader copy a couple of weeks ago and I am happy to report that the book was entertaining and cute. Dante’s Girl was a very quick read (I think I finished in 4 hours) but the whole way through it was enjoyable and just plain fun. One thing that I adored about this book was that it brought fantasies that so many young girls (myself included) imagine, to life.

The book begins as Reece, our protagonist, is traveling to London to visit her father for the summer, as she has been doing ever since her parents divorced. In a scene right out of a movie, Reece meets Dante, a charming handsome guy with an accent. An accent guys – swoon! After bumping into Dante (quite literally) Reece goes on her merry way to catch her flight. After she gets on the plane, something (I won’t spoil) happens and she and Dante (who was also on her flight) are forced to get off the plane. Dante takes her along with some guys in suits (huh?) and they board a private plane headed for Caberra. A country in which Dante happens to be a “prince” (AKA Prime Minister’s son). And thus, Reece’s summer kicks off with a bang.

Reece was a great protagonist, I absolutely adored her. Her voice was so appropriate for a teenage girl and it never felt whiny or annoying. She was hilarious – I loved reading the story from her point of view because she was so funny and positive. Although at times her confidence wavered and she said stupid things, she was no Bella Swan (AKA she didn’t annoy me and wasn’t self deprecating). Dante was a pretty good love interest (nowhere near as interesting/funny as Reece was). I liked that he was chivalrous without being annoying and “manly” about the whole thing. Some of the decisions he made were really dumb but hey that’s teenage guys for ya! The supporting characters weren’t fantastic but they did what they were there to do – add juiciness to the story. Mia was the fun, archetypal “best friend” character and I enjoyed her, but she wasn’t anything to write home about.

The plot of the story was very predictable. However, I didn’t really mind because that’s how books of this type/genre are supposed to be. This book wasn’t meant to be a shocking build up kinda thing, but rather just a love story with some kind of plot twist and climax. If you are looking for something that will really get your mind going and make you think, this book really isn’t something I’d recommend. If you are looking for a fast, fun read, however, this book would be totally appropriate. The ending of the book felt a little rushed and was definitely a very “fairy tale” ending, but I didn’t really mind it too much. The fairy-tale ending didn’t bother me mostly because for a story like this, you can’t expect some bleak, dark ending. It’s pretty predictable that the ending wouldn’t be too dreary.

Overall, this novel was just a fun and fast read. Although it really wasn’t a book to write home about, I liked it and didn’t regret reading it at all. This book is definitely one for younger girls but it works for older ones as well. This is a really big fluff read but if you are looking for a book to get your spirits up – this will definitely work.

 

Obsidian (Lux Series #1)

Review number four will basically consist of me fangirl-ing over how obsessed I am with this series. I ADORE IT SO MUCH. Witty, spunky protagonist? Check. Hunky, brooding love interest? Check. Cute, energetic best friend? Check. I’m also going to add that Katy is a book reviewer, and as her own blog. SHE IS SO AWESOME! As if I needed another reason to be obsessed with this book. This book is so cool and I especially love it because it is an indie book that has had a lot of success. This author has really impressed me in that she made aliens attractive and cool, not slimy, green, and gross like I always imagine them.

The novel begins with our protagonist, Katy, moving to a town in the middle-of-nowhere, West Virginia right before her senior year begins. After she is almost settled in, she decides to go buy supplies to fix the garden outside her new home. As she is on her way out, her mother encourages her to make friends with the neighbors so she goes to the house across the street to ask for directions to the hardware store. When a smokin’ hot shirtless guy opens the door, she is stunned into silence until he opens his mouth. Katy does not understand why her new neighbor is so hostile towards her but brushes it off. As the story moves along and weird things begin happening whenever she is around Dee and Daemon, Katy begins to suspect that things aren’t so boring in West Virginia after all.

I ABSOLUTELY ADORED KAT AS A PROTAGONIST. I wrote that statement in all caps because I wanted to emphasize how obsessed with her I am. She was so feisty, flirty, witty, and quirky. The fact that she was a blogger who adored books was icing on the cake for me. I liked the fact that although Katy was very new to the situation, she wasn’t naive or dumb about anything. She understood that she was a risk to both Dee and Daemon’s safety and behaved accordingly (but not in a “omg you’re so much more important than me” Bella Swan way). Daemon was definitely SAH-WOON worthy and I really liked him a lot. A lot as in: If you were real I would marry you or stalk you. He was cocky but charming and trust me, that’s not easy to do so kudos to Mrs. Armentrout. Dee was really lovable and fun as well! The relationship between Dee and Daemon was interesting and it made me want to pick up Shadows the prequel to Obsidian. Overall, the characters were great and I liked them a lot.

The fact that this is an alien story really intrigued me. I haven’t really seen a lot of alien stories in YA so I felt pretty new to the concept of Aliens in YA. I honestly don’t know if this book should be considered sic-fi or not…hmmm. I loved the way the aliens were explained by the author and the fact that they weren’t the run-of-the-mill nasty gross aliens that want to kill everyone. Maybe I’m just really naive about aliens, I don’t watch/read a lot of sic-fi sorry! Although the story only takes place in one town, it didn’t feel like the scope was too small for me which has been a problem in other books. I really found myself intrigued by Katy’s story and by the end of the book I was absolutely DYING for more (lucky for the people who haven’t read it yet, Onyx the sequel is out now). Let it be noted that there was no insta-love in this book *throws a small celebration*.

To be honest with you, when I picked this book up I really didn’t know what to expect. I mean come on, aliens in a small town sounds SO Roswell haha. This book was an awesome surprise and I’m so glad that I picked it up. I can’t remember how much I bought it for on my Nook but I know that it was under $5, and I would like to tell you that I would’ve gladly payed the usual $9.99 for this book over some other more expensive books I’ve bought! This book has love, action, and a bit of mystery so if you’re looking for a cheap, fun read you should definitely pick it up!

Shadeland

The cover is pretty interesting!

For my third review of five, I have decided to review an indie book that I got for free on Smashwords. Now if any of you have been on Smashwords looking for a good free book, you know that it’s pretty much a gamble. I really wasn’t expecting much from this book and I was actually pretty surprised to find myself getting interested in this book. Although there were a couple of parts that were a bit slow, the book was a surprisingly refreshing and interesting read.

The book starts one years after the massive “coming out” of the Eidolon (there are many different species) as we are introduced to our protagonist Liv and her best friend Luke. Liv has known about the eidolon for a while because Luke told her his secret a while back. After the “coming out” there were waves of protests and riots, but things are relatively calm present day. The biggest challenge that the Eidolon face is the discrimination and disgust that come from certain humans. After a girl that Luke dropped off the previous night is murdered, Luke is deemed a suspect in her murder and imprisoned (mostly because he is not human). As Liv tries to solve the mystery and help prove Luke’s innocence, she meets a hunky bounty hunter named Jared and finds herself on a surprising adventure.

The characters of this book were a little more than decent. I liked Liv just fine, but I wasn’t totally enamored with her like I would have been with an awesome protagonist. I like the fact that she stood up against Jared, Luke, and anyone else who tried to tell her what to do. I liked the fact that she really didn’t talk unless she had something important to add, and I also enjoyed the fact that when she voiced an opinion/thought/comment, she expected everyone to listen and not to brush her off. Liv and Luke’s relationship was a little weird, but cute! They really understood each other well and I liked the way they interacted. Jared was not totally sah-woon worthy, but he was a pretty good love interest. Although at times he was a little sexist, it wasn’t overbearing or pig-like. There is potential for a love triangle but as of right now it seems pretty straightforward.

I really liked the idea of this book. I liked the fact that the “coming out” was still pretty recent and that we got to see the world as it was going through this adjustment period. One thing that I didn’t really like was that this book occurred over such a short period of time so we didn’t really see as much growth and development with the characters. Another thing that bothered me was the scope of the book, as they pretty much just stayed in one area and didn’t travel beyond – I would’ve liked to see how another area interacted with the Eidolon. Although I liked the premise of this book, I believe there were some parts of it that could’ve been improved upon.

I don’t know if this book is available for free on Smashwords still, but if it is, I do think that it is worth the time. If this book had cost money, I think that it would be a different story. While it is not a bad book by any means, I don’t know if I would spend more than maybe $3 on it. If you like paranormals and are looking for a quick read, this might be a good book for you. If you are looking for something with a little more substance, I would check out another book. Now on another topic: THIS IS DAY THREE AND THE FIVE DAYS ARE ALMOST UP!!!! *does happy dance*. I hope that you all have been checking out my reviews because let me tell ya, these things are stressing me out. Until tomorrow guys!

Withering Tights

So for review number two I’ve decided to go in a different direction than my usual action/adventure/paranormal/crazy stuff. I have decided to review a book that has *gasp* no vampires, werewolves, aliens, ect. However what it does have an abundance of is (SAH-WOON) hunky boys! Now as you all may know by now, I am NOT a fan of love triangles/squares/pentagons, WHATEVER. However, this book is a completely different story. If you all have read the Confessions of Georgia Nicolson series, this one is by the same author so you know what to expect. After reading and loving Georgia, I didn’t know if I would be able to relate to Tallulah as well. However, Mrs. Rennison pleasantly surprised me with another batch of lovable characters, laugh-out-loud moments, and boys to swoon over.

Our story begins as our protagonist, Tallulah (Lullah) Casey travels to Dother Hall performing arts college. When she arrives, however, she finds that shobiz isn’t all it’s cut out to be. With her wacky lovable friends by her side, the literal boys-next-door, and the-weird-family-she-is-staying-with by her side, she attempts to conquer Dother Hall’s biggest challenge – getting into the actual school and not just the summer program. 

The characters in this novel were completely hilarious. I absolutely adored them all, especially Tallulah. Tallulah was sosososososososo funny; she had me dying laughing with her descriptions and thoughts of people. The way she viewed the world was very distinct and wacky – just like she was. I loved the fact that she never took herself too seriously and she actually embraced her funky-ness. She was pretty dramatic at points but not in an annoying way, more in like a naive-cute way. She had TONS of love interests, but she didn’t handle them in annoying ways like most YA protagonists would’ve. Her an Georgia were very alike in the way that they handled boys, meaning that they didn’t become obnoxious about their problems. I absolutely adored Tallulah’s group of friends because they shared her wacky-ness while also each having their own distinct qualities that made them rememberable. The aforementioned boys-next-door were actual boys-next-door as they went to the college that was next to Dother Hall. I loved the fact that they liked the girls even though they were pretty kooky. GOD I could go on forever about how much I loved each individual character but I won’t because that’d be boring.

The plot of the book was (expectedly) pretty unserious and quirky. With books like these, there really isn’t as much substance as in other genres of fiction. This book is definitely one of the best of it’s kind, as it is funny, cute, and enjoyable. There wasn’t a point within this book that I was bored. Mrs. Rennison has really captured the essence of the perfect chick-lit book in this novel, and I completely enjoyed every minute of it.

Overall, if you’re looking for a fun and quick read, I would definitely recommend this for you. I know if I say funny one more time you’ll probably kill me, but that seriously is the word to describe this book. It is laugh out loud, grab your stomach, funny. Another feat that the book has is a short dictionary of terms that Tallulah and her friends use that may be confusing to us Americans (the author is British). If you have read the Georgia Nicolson books and you thought these books couldn’t live up to that legacy, I beg you to give these books a try because they are every bit as good as Georgia’s if not more (SORRY)! Until tomorrow’s review, good night lovely readers!

Shatter Me

This book definitely surprised me a lot. I mean the premise was pretty original, and the main character seemed pretty likable but being my cautious self, I thought “There has to be something that ruins it!” (See what Twi-copies have done to me??) But as I read on, I can say I was pleasantly surprised.

The book focuses on a 17 year old girl named Juliette. Juliette has been locked in an asylum for almost a year, and yet she seems totally sane to us readers. One gets the impression that she is dangerous, and yet we have no idea what she can do. Mysteriously and randomly, Juliette is given a cellmate. A male cellmate named Adam. So of course we expect some type of insta-love to strike, but Juliette ain’t that kinda’ gal. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that he can’t touch her. Hmmmmm.

The characters in this book were intriguing and fun to read about. Juliette kind of got on my nerves sometimes with her low self worth and all, but I understood because the author slowly feeds us bits of her past that help us make sense of why she is the way she is. Adam was cool, not the male lead that made me SAH-WOON or anything, but he was a good lead for the situation. Warner was very intriguing and I’d be interested to learn more about him in future books. As for the secondary characters, they were all pretty well-rounded and seemed pretty supplemented.

An interesting thing about this book was the format in which it was written. At times it felt almost like a diary and yet Juliette kept a diary and talked about it as if it wasn’t the book we were already reading. It also had words or sentences that were crossed out like this  so it gave a feel of forbidden-ness. I felt as if it gave a deeper insight into who Juliette was because we saw the thoughts she didn’t want to have, the opinions she didn’t voice, and the feelings she tried to hide. It definitely made Juliette a more three dimensional character.

The plot was original, fast paced, and dangerous but always enticing. I liked the fact that it never stood still- there really weren’t any parts of the book that I felt were too excessive or overbearing. The romance was definitely there and happening, and although there wasn’t outright sex, there were many hot and heavy scenes. I felt that the best part of the book was the end. The ending left room for a sequel but didn’t feel incomplete or dependent on another book. It definitely added a twist to the book and really surprised me.

While I came in with low expectations for this book, it really reached/exceeded my expectations and surprised me. It was well written, romantic, adventurous, and exciting and I didn’t want to put it down. If you are looking for a book that never stops moving and gets your blood pumping, this is definitely a book for you!

Dead is the New Black (Dead Is series #1)

If you are looking for a paranormal romance-y type book that isn’t a total Twilight cut copy, Dead is the New Black (and the rest of the series) is definitely for you! We have a super spunky protagonist, the evil-but-somewhat-likeable-has-a-good-heart cheerleader, and of course the best friend/love interest! This story introduced so many elements that really make it stand apart from the paranormal romances in this day an age, because let’s face it: many of them are Twilight with a different abnormality and names. Daisy Girodano and co. add a refreshing twist to a genera that is slowly but surely loosing new material.

Our story begins with Daisy’s junior year in high school in the small (fictional) town of Nightshade. Daisy is pretty much the opposite of popular, thanks to her used-to-be best friend Samantha “The Divine” Devereaux who humiliated her in middle school. Her only friend happens to be one of the hottest guys in school, Ryan Mendez (convenient – where can I get one?). As the story progresses, we learn that Daisy comes from a family of psychics (except for her dad, who disappeared mysteriously when she was in middle school). Daisy feels like an outsider to her own family as she is the only one in the house that has not developed psychic powers. The story centers around mysterious cheerleader behavior, a missing girl, and some very spooky secrets lurking in this paranormal little town.

I absolutely loved all of the characters in this book (except Penny because she was SO annoying). Daisy was an excellent main character as she had a good head on her shoulders, and a good sense of right and wrong. She also had a healthy curiousity that made the book interesting. She was very respectful, courageous, witty, and she really stayed true to who she was throughout the course of the novel. Samantha was also a very interesting character because she had all the elements that you would expect from an antagonist in a teen novel and yet I couldn’t help but fall in love with her hard-headedness and sass. She was a character I expected to hate but she actually ended up being one of my favorites in the book. Ryan (SAH-WOON) was a good love interest for Daisy, as he wasn’t clingy or obsessive (which is SO not cute) and he went along with Daisy’s plans because he was a good friend. Daisy’s sisters (Rose and Poppy) were also likable and fun characters. All the characters in this book had a lot of depth to me and that is something that I really value in teen books these days, because honestly we really have a lot of crappy novels out there.

The plot was somewhat predictable but fun anyways! It had a few unexpected twists and turns but overall it wasn’t really that surprising to me. What I really adored about this book was the premise of a supernatural town, psychics, and mystery. I felt that the concept of this book (while not exactly totally new) was refreshing in the genre of paranormal romance! I liked the fact that there were a few subplots that presented mysteries for future books in the series. The whole book had a very original vibe and fun mood throughout and it was definitely worth the read!

If you are looking for a refreshing, fun read this summer, I definitely recommend this! It was full of mystery and romance and had good characters. The reading level was fairly easy but it didn’t feel like a pre-teen book, but rather a book for teenagers. I actually got this book from the library and devoured the series in 2 days, but I ended up buying the books again on my Nook  because they were so cute and well written and I wanted my own copies! This is definitely a lighter, fluffier, and faster read but it is worth every penny!

Want me to review a specific book? Let me know! Post a comment or email me!

youngadultbookmuncher@gmail.com

Anna and the French Kiss

Can I talk about how much I ADORE this book. While often in YA Fiction, we find substance-less, shallow reads that end up making us happy, this book had something that made me want to read it over and over again. Like-able protagonist? Check. Hot guy? Check. Adventure? Check. Good supporting characters? Check. Stephanie Perkins really impressed me with this novel and I am going to stop short of shoving it down your throats until you read it!

The book begins with our main character, Anna, moving to Paris. Her dad is an author that is eerily similar to Nicholas Sparks, and once he hits the jackpot with his weepy romances, he sends his daughter off to Paris to impress his cultured friends. Now you might be thinking “Paris? How amazing!”, however Anna doesn’t quite have that same reaction. While many people her age (i.e. 17 year old high school seniors) would jump at this opportunity, Anna is less than thrilled. She was basically given no choice in the matter and that removes the allure of Paris for her. On her first night in Paris without her parents, Anna cries her eyes out until her next door neighbor, Meredith, invites Anna to her room. After being comforted, Anna leaves the room and bumps into the hunky St. Clair. And thus, our romance begins.

One thing that I adored about this book was the main character, Anna Oliphant. Anna was the kind of character that everyone can relate to. She had her imperfections (such as a gap between her two front teeth), which made me like her more. I find it a lot harder to relate to protagonists that are perfect looking. Anna also had a really cool personality: she was goofy, smart, funny, and real. I loved the way that she reacted to tense situations, and how she tried to make the best of everything. She actually had a film-reviewing blog, and I thought that was a cool quirk of hers as well.

The supporting characters were all fantastic. They all had a lot of depth and I appreciate that because sometimes authors just can’t do it. All the supporting characters were likable even though they all had some quirks and irritating qualities. I’d have to say my favorite supporting character (besides St. Clair of course!) was Rashmi. Rashmi was cynical, sarcastic, and unique and that really appealed to me. She was always very up-front about things and did not shy away from confrontation, which showed how strong she was. Anna’s friends were so easy to fall in love with and that really made the book a lot more enjoyable. When an author can make a fantastic cast of characters in a book, it increases not only the likability of the book, but it makes it feel more complete. At the end of the novel, I was attached to each and every one of these characters.

Now onto our complicated but to-die-for romance. Étienne St. Clair was definitely a swoon-worthy love interest. Not only was he smart and funny, but he was also unavailable which made the love plot even juicer. St. Clair was a character with so many different levels: on the outside you have the good looking, cocky, but nice boy; as we delve deeper into his character, we see that things haven’t always been so hunky-dory for him and yet he still manages to be a good person. His protectiveness of Anna was sweet, not stalker-y, and trust me there is a VERY thin line between the two. Although some of his actions frustrated me, I could never bring myself to dislike him if only for the fact that he was such a good friend to Anna and the others. His friendship with Anna was so cute and real, and although we root for them to become more for the majority of the novel, their friendship was very satisfying. Stephanie Perkins definitely gets points for not going for the “insta-love” option which we see so much in YA Fiction today.

The plot of the novel, while a bit predictable, was very satisfying. I found myself laughing out loud a few times and I may have shed a tear or two at some parts. There were a few unexpected twists and turns in the novel, which only made it more interesting. Although some might feel that the book was too predictable, I think that the amazing characters brought a brand new feel to it. This is definitely more on the romance-y side of YA Fiction, but don’t be discouraged; I never felt like it was one of those “girl swooning over boy for the majority of the novel” books.

All in all, I highly recommend this book to you if you are looking for a light, quick, read that you can’t put down. I wouldn’t suggest starting this book before you get to sleep on a school night, because I couldn’t put it down until I finished it at 3:00 in the morning. Happy Reading!

Remember, if you want me to review any specific book, let me know and I will be happy to help save you some time and money if it isn’t worth it!

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