Nicole William’s Crash makes me see red.

CrashCrash (Crash #1) by Nicole Williams

Genre: YA, romance, 

Published: December 2012, by Harper Collins

Format: Paperback

Rating: Could hardly feel it. 2 birdies. 

Jude Ryder and Lucy Larson are this generation’s Romeo and Juliet: Explosive. Sizzling. Tragic.

A steamy summer encounter with bad boy Jude means trouble for Lucy. Her sights are set on becoming a ballerina, and she won’t let anything get in her way . . . except Jude.

He’s got a rap sheet, dangerous mood swings, and a name that’s been sighed, shouted, and cursed by who knows how many girls.

Jude’s a cancer, the kind of guy who’s fated to ruin the lives of girls like Lucy—and he tells her so.

But as rumors run rampant and reputations are destroyed, Lucy’s not listening to Jude’s warning. Is tragedy waiting in the wings?

My honest opinion is that the plot was ridiculous, the characters were flat and I couldn’t connect with anything this story presented

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This book? I don’t know where to start.  I should probably admit that it was addicting and intense, I stayed up late to read it, and I was still keyed up when it finished. But, my honest opinion is that the plot was ridiculous, the characters were flat and I couldn’t connect with anything this story presented.

Crash tells the story of Lucy and Jude, as they fall in love, have ups and downs and release their demons. Sadly, I had an issue with the characters in Crash. They were hardly characters. I couldn’t connect to them, nor understand them. A big part that played in this, believe it or not, is the dialogue. It’s like these character are hiding behind this exaggerated teen speak the author uses. Fine; a witty, slightly sexy or sarcastic comment is great now and again. But constantly? Well, that’s all the character’s became, for me. Faces with witty words.

Despite this, I had difficulty putting Crash down. Even though I thought it was ridiculous, the suspense of “will they be together? How far will it go? What’s he done this time?” kept me reading. I really just wanted to see if they would end up together and how.

The plot was all sorts of ridiculous. Firstly, it is literally JUST about Lucy and Jude. There wasn’t any side plot (or rather, the romance wasn’t a side to some bigger plot). The romance was everything, and I decided I’m just not that big of a fan. It’s okay in some circumstances; though it would have to be done extremely well for me to like it. Reason being; the lack of plot or something else pushing the story, makes it flat and puts the pacing out.

The climax was just so utterly unbelievable. I won’t give away too much. But basically,

SPOILER ALERT (Highlight paragraph to view spoiler) I cannot fathom a teen boy not just being a rapist, but a serial rapist that takes lengthy, long measures (say, a year) to plan his attack. I just don’t believe it. I also don’t believe it not being reported, or figured out. The whole incident was swept under the carpet like it was no big deal. I see red, thinking of this.

Another thing I didn’t like, was the conveniences. Lucy has all these thoughts about her and Jude’s situation, and one day, Jude just pops up and says everything she was thinking. Exactly. Not cool.

Even though everything was tense, I didn’t like all the pointless arguments and crazy, protective, constantly changing behavior from Jude and Lucy’s clean plate. It’s why I won’t be continuing this series – I feel like it’s just going to be the same stuff all over again.

Sadly, I didn’t like Crash. If you like all encompassing, drama filled love stories, maybe this is for you. But I need more than just romance in my story. And I tire easily from drama.

myrating

barelyrockstheboat

DNF Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan – sci-fi gone bad

glow

Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan

Genre: Sci-fi, Romance

Published:October 2011, by  Macmillan Children’s Books 

Format: Paperback

Source: Bought 

 

I hate not finishing books. Luckily, this is only the second this year. But seriously. I wish I could finish this then say lots of great things about it and everything would be dandy with rainbows, unicorns and an unlimited supply of bookmarks.

But no. Books as bad as this somehow manage to make it mainstream and have a semi decent GR rating. So I pick it up, expecting something good, or at least readable, only to be deflated and have my breeze sucked out of me.

I don’t rate books I haven’t finished – just a personal rule. But I do write a mini review of why I couldn’t finish said book.

So, why was Glow so bad that I could barely read over 100 pages of it?

  1. The writing. I can’t remember the last time I read such a plain, boring style of writing. The descriptions were as basic as possible. The actions, scenes, explanations – everything was just so utterly boring to read.
  2. Has some of the most stupidest concepts I have ever come across in a sci-fi book – and that is seriously saying something.
    Get this – religion is a major, MAJOR theme in this book.Not that I have a problem with religion, just that it pretty much takes over the plot whilst attempting to be sci-fi. It just does not work and is way to over bearing
  3. The love triangle was obvious first chapter. The stinking first chapter.
  4. Humans = robots with bi-polar. One second their smiling, next their choking eachother, then hugging, then crying, admitting undying love. in a punch up – Just like that. No build up. Nothing.It was almost robotic. They just do it. And not only that, you can tell that female lead was meant to be kickass, but she was so so weak. Disappointing.

So, at just over a 100 pages in, I stopped and skipped to the end. Let’s say that I’m glad I didn’t bother.

On the other hand, sorry to dump all the negativity on you. I hate writing up things like this, but I feel as though I need to keep my blog as balanced and as honest as possible. Can’t have all the good and none of the bad.

 

Review: Angel Fire by L.A. Weatherly

Angle Fire (Angel #2) by L.A. Weatherly 

Genre: Fantasy, YA, Romance

Published: 1st October, 2011

Publisher: Usborne Publishing

 My Rating: 4 thumbs up!

9553503

Only half-angel Willow, 16, has the power to defeat the malevolent Church of Angels, out to destroy her. When her love Alex, 17, leads other trained Angel Killers, they treat her with mistrust and suspicion. Seb, also half-angel, has been searching for Willow all his life, and both finally feel less alone.

From Goodreads

My Thoughts

I was so not expecting this book! I thought the first book Angel, was a little mediocre, but Angel Fire was intense! There were still a couple of things I didn’t like, but overall, this is a must read for all Angel Fans!

The story goes on to follow Willow and Alex after their attempts to stop the Second Wave. They head to Mexico where they find a group of AK’s, and more importantly, another half-angel, Seb. With another chance at killing all the angels and a building romance between Seb and Willow, Willow and Alex’s relationship suffers greatly.

I just love Willow and Alex. They must be one of my favorite couples in YA. So you must realize my distress at Seb’s appearance with his unconditional love for Willow. I loved the intensity it created, though. From about halfway through the book, the intensity was so much that I could not put it down until it was finished.

By the end, I decided I liked Seb’s appearance. Willow needed a friend, a companion who understands her. I really liked how Willow and Alex are even more fleshed out in Angel Fire. Because their relationship is at such a breaking point, the character’s really get the chance to demonstrate the flaws and virtues. Alex’s anger, especially. Weatherly sure knows how to portray a realistic argument between couples!

I didn’t feel like Seb was as developed though. I think the author attempted to by letting us see his soul and whatnot, but he is still surrounded by a layer of fog to me. Maybe this will improve the third book.

I really liked all the new elements brought in this book – including Seb. There were so many surprises and hidden agenda’s to keep things interesting. I like how the Angel Invasion has stepped up from a somewhat minor thing to this crazy, insane whole world fiasco!

I didn’t like the flow of the plot though. The plot was mostly to kill these special 12 Angels, because they linked to the rest of the angles. However, I felt as if this took the backseat at times to make room for Willow’s love life and feelings. I just wish the plot was a little more present and pushing.

The multiple perspective in Angel Fire is done well. I was left wanting a different perspective at certain times, but each voice was distinct and clear. I never had to question who I was reading from.

The ending for Willow and Alex wasn’t as grand as I thought it be, but I still liked it, anyhow. It gave it a mellow feel, which was good after all that intensity. Overall, Angel fire had a few minor issues for me, but it was still an awesome, action packed story filled with emotion and depth. Four thumbs up from me!

4 thumbs up

Review: Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

Author: Katie McGarry

Published: 1st June, 2012 

Series: Pushing the Limits #1

Genre: Contemporary Romance, YA

My rating: 4 thumbs up!

pushing the limits

4 thumbs up

So wrong for each other…and yet so right.

No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with “freaky” scars on her arms. Even Echo can’t remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal. But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo’s world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible.Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she’ll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again. 

Goodreads

My thoughts

I did things the Brea way, and read Crash Into You first. So I wasn’t sure what to expect when I read Noah and Echo’s story. Overall I wasn’t disappointed, though I didn’t like it as much as Isiah’s story. Maybe it’s ‘cause he was my first (see what I did there? *winky face*). But anyway, I still loved the story for the same reasons – excellent character development, story line, using the plot as a driving force, ect.

Again, McGarry has blew me away with her excellent use of multiple narrative. The voices are always distinctive. Actually I think if all the characters had their own voice we could still tell the difference. She is that good at keeping them separate from each other. Other aspects of the narrative I loved was the pace – maybe a bit fast, but still able to read easily, and how the characters are developed without telling us a thing. For example, Echo never had to say she has a knack for art. She never had to say “It’s the only thing I’m good at” or “this is how I express myself”. We just know through showing and her personality. Also because most of her memories come back though visual incentives. Everything about her screams “artsy”!

Echo is greatly developed in this, and I just love that we know her story (I had quite a few questions after Crash Into You).  However, I don’t feel as though I have Noah worked out yet. Nothing really happens for him until the end, and by then we don’t have enough time to grasp the change (in my opinion), and I never once got the bad guy vibe from him, even though that’s how he is portrayed in the beginning. For him, I just feel as though there is something missing – like he was so love struck for the majority of the book for me to grasp what he was really like.

Another negative I have is that the book appears to be separated into two parts – before Echo and Noah got together and after Echo and Noah got together. It was really disorientating when I realized I still had half the book to go. Another problem I had was that towards the end, to many things were happening at once and it was jumping time. I was confused for a while there.

I liked that in this book, there was a plot that helped to pull it, but I feel that this was better done in Crash Into You (proving that Katie has grown in her writing abilities). In Pushing The Limits, it feels as though the major thing bringing the characters together was more of a side plot to come back to than something to urge onwards.

Despite the few problem I found, I still had an extreme emotional response to Pushing The Limits. The end suited the story perfectly, and (spoiler alert) I love how Noah finds himself a family. That bit made me tear up (a lot). And after seeing Beth go from wild tigress to domestic cat, I have to see what made that change come about. Come at me Dare You Too!

Review: Crash Into You by Katie McGarry

Title: Crash Into You

Author: Katie McGarry

Published Date: 1st December, 2013

Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary

My Rating: 5 Thumbs UP!

18334685

See Goodreads Summary.

I can honestly say that Crash Into You has been one of the best reads this year for me. I picked it up after one of my favorite authors, Jennifer Armentrout, recommended it. Now I cannot thank Jen enough, especially since Crash Into You has out-rated the Lux Series! (I still love aliens though)!

Crash Into You is sort of like J Lynn meets Jennifer Echols (Hee hee, two Jennifers). It mixes their writing styles (though with a more serious undertone) with a romance plot that’s in line with J.E’s style. A very, very good mix. Plus, it brings up issues such as street and gang crime, the poverty cycle, homelessness, stereotype discrimination and foster kids ageing out of the system. Along with the effects of cancer, gambling and common teen medical and mental issues such as anxiety, it is a very diverse though relevant insight to modern day issues.

Maybe the biggest reason I loved this book is because it was mostly realistic. The romance, the relationships, the characters (with a few exceptions). A big aid to this was the writing style. The serious and realistic way this is written has changed a seemingly stereotypic plot into something new and original. It left me wondering if it would have a happy ending or if it would be sad (I was not disappointed). I also loved how this was both plot and character driven. Stories generally seem to sway to one side, but McGarry has found a balance that is hard to come by.

The characters were very well rounded and realistic (besides a few). They all had clear motivations and personalities. Even the multiple perspectives were easy to tell apart. In fact, Isiah and Rachel are up there with the best in developed characters. Every move they made fit their personality, I didn’t find a single “off” moment. Rachel is motivated by her family’s crazy expectations of her whist dealing with anxiety and bullying. Isiah is motivated by his need to stay strong to protect the ones he loves, because he never felt that love and protection in his fostered life.

Then there’s Rachel and Isiah’s relationship. Though it only took about three hours for a bond to form, the relationship feels real and not instantaneous. They represent what is good in relationships – understanding each other, trust, dedication and fitting each other’s needs. It wasn’t love at first sight, but definitely “like”. What was best is that they surprised each other by not living up to the others negative opinion of their stereotype. Rich girl Rachel is surprisingly modest; Bad street boy Isiah is kind and loyal. Both have car obsession. Both are crazy about each other. Perfect.

Let me just add – Isiah makes me swoooonnn!

“Isiah Shares the same rugged, strong build, dark hair buzzed close to his scalp and a 5 o’clock shadow lining his jaw. He’s muscular thick. Like a jaguar”. – Rachel’s first impression.

Yum yum. Not to mention tats, pierced ears and “liquid silver eyes”. I might faint.

Plus, he has a bit of a poetic heart. His first impression of Rachel is something along the lines of “Angel”. Awh Man!

Any who, here’s the important bit that made me really fall in love with Crash Into You – It opened my eyes to issues I was not fully aware of. Katie has done a good job of demonstrating the hopelessness of the situations the teens are in and what they have to deal with – though still makes sure there is a light out of the tunnel. To understand, see my Bookish Tribute to Paul Walker.

After a quick Goodreads search, I found out that Crash into You is actually the third book in a series called Pushing The Limits. I had no idea. Haha, well then. Looks like I may have another favourite series, which I will be reading backwards. 😀

Overall, Crash Into You was a very good read and I do not regret the money I paid for it ($12..). It’s suitable for any and all YA readers – you don’t have to like fast cars to get into this book. Hell, I can’t even drive and I like this book. I even gave it a 5 thumbs up rating!

5thumbsup

Book Series Review – The Fallen Series by Lauren Kate

Author: Lauren Kate

Genre: Romance, Fiction, YA

Series Titles:

1. Fallen (December, 2009)

2. Torment (January, 2010)

3. Passion (January, 2011)

4. Rapture (January, 2012)

My Rating: 4 thumbs up!

Kate Lauren FALLEN series composite

4 thumbs up

What if the person you were meant to be with could never be yours?
Fallen
There’s something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori. Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price’s attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at Sword & Cross boarding school in Savannah. He’s the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are screwups, and security cameras watch every move.
Except Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce—he goes out of his way to make that very clear. But she can’t let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, Luce has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret . . . even if it kills her.”

Goodreads

The best thing about this is that if I were reviewing each book separately, the ratings would be low for most of them (around 3 thumbs up for each). However, after putting each individual book together, I realized what a terrific story it was! Meaning I get to write a good review! Yay!

I feel like banging my head against a wall. I should have read this sooner! The only reason I didn’t is because by the second book I had lost motivation and wasn’t into it. My opinion was that Daniel and Luce’s relationship was depthless and quick. I was also so confused about what was happening, frustrated with Luce’s lack of knowledge, wanting to kick Daniel in the head for not just telling her.

Then about 2 weeks ago I finally decided to pick up the third book. And geez, Passion could not have been a more perfect title. I finally, finally saw the depth of Luce’s and Daniels relationship. Their love was finally real. A week later, and I was balling like a baby. Rapture gave the most devastatingly beautiful ending. I did not see it coming. But then, I realized that it could not have ended differently, no matter how much it broke my heart.

So to why I gave the Fallen Series four and not five thumbs? Well, the first and second book were not exciting enough. If they had more oomph, then I would have read the series sooner. Looking back though, the way Fallen and Torment were written is actually really fitting. The vagueness that I was so frustrated at was actually perfect. If it wasn’t vague, then I would not have grasped Luce’s transformation and the meaning of the story would be lost.

Another thing I loved about the Fallen Series is the comic relief Lauren has utilized. The story is so intense and morbid at times, that it is great that she wrote in characters that have humor. Pennyweather Van Syckle Lockwood, AKA Penn (I just love her name), Arriane, Roland, Gargoyle version of Lucifer, Mike and Shelby, Dee – they all have their moments of light heartedness and slightly impossible, disbelieving actions and dialogue that break the intensity. She stayed true with this to the very end as well, having the angels and Mike and Shelby watch Luce and Daniel again as if they were watching a movie. Which was good, because the previous last two chapters had me wet eyed. But then that last line… Yeah. Let’s just say I had to relive the funny moments again to keep me sane.

So overall, the portrayal of Angels in the Fallen series makes it one of my favorites. And I usually don’t like these kind of loves stories; I prefer more realistic ones. But Lauren Kate has made me a believer in soul mates and true love. So I say “Amazing” to Lauren and “Farewell” to Daniel and Luce, and may they enjoy their mortal love for all eternity.