Review Rendezvous: 7/28/18

Losing Adam by Adrienne Clarke
Book stats:
Genre(s): Young adult
Medium: Print
Number of pages: 217
Publish date: April 5th, 2018
Purchase: Amazon – Book DepositoryBarnes & Noble


What happens when the person you love most in the world suddenly becomes a stranger?

Adam and Jenny’s world is falling apart. Their dream of attending college together away from home quickly becomes a nightmare when Adam begins hearing the voice of the Snow Queen. Adam’s startling transformation from popular drama student into a withdrawn, suspicious stranger leaves Jenny frightened and confused. How can the person she loves most in the world suddenly become someone she doesn’t recognize? As Adam drifts farther and farther away into the Snow Queen’s mysterious world of ice and snow, Jenny believes she must fight to bring him back or risk losing him forever. 

Vividly narrated by Adam and Jenny, the struggle to understand the impact of Adam’s mental illness, forces both characters on a journey of self-discovery that leads to understanding about life’s uncertainty, the power of first love, and the pain of letting go. Drawing on elements of The Snow Queen fairy tale, Losing Adam is a unique combination of drama and romance.

This is a book that definitely deals with some heavier topics. I will admit though, it is good to have stories representing mental illness, because it is something that has been left out of many published stories for quite some time. The time of transition between high school and college is also stressful, so there are many things that stack on top of each other to give this story tension.

We see the split perspectives of Jenny and Adam. Jenny has to stand by and see her best friend slowly drop into a world that isn’t real. Having someone you care about lose to mental illness can be draining, disheartening, and hurtful, which Clarke portrays well. Jenny could b a bit needy and selfish at times, but overall her characters was well written. I did have a bit of an issue with the fact that she seemed to want Adam to get better for her own sake, for her happiness, instead of his however.

Seeing things from Adam’s point of view was also interesting. I personally do not have any mental illnesses nor do I know of anyone with them, so I cannot speak to the authenticity of the situation. However the prose was lovely, and it seemed like Clarke portrayed the illness well.

The only thing the really held me back from enjoying it more was the maturity level of Jenny’s character, but this was still overall a good book. I enjoyed reading it, and the cover art is also lovely.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.


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Review Rendezvous: 11/18/17

Cinder & Ella by Kelly Oram
Book stats:
Genre(s): Young adult, romance
Medium: Kindle
Number of pages: 254
Publish date: August 15th, 2014
Purchase: AmazonBook Depository


It’s been almost a year since eighteen-year-old Ella Rodriguez was in a car accident that left her crippled, scarred, and without a mother. After a very difficult recovery, she’s been uprooted across the country and forced into the custody of a father that abandoned her when she was a young child. If Ella wants to escape her father’s home and her awful new stepfamily, she must convince her doctors that she’s capable, both physically and emotionally, of living on her own. The problem is, she’s not ready yet. The only way she can think of to start healing is by reconnecting with the one person left in the world who’s ever meant anything to her—her anonymous Internet best friend, Cinder. 

Hollywood sensation Brian Oliver has a reputation for being trouble. There’s major buzz around his performance in his upcoming film The Druid Prince, but his management team says he won’t make the transition from teen heartthrob to serious A-list actor unless he can prove he’s left his wild days behind and become a mature adult. In order to douse the flames on Brian’s bad-boy reputation, his management stages a fake engagement for him to his co-star Kaylee. Brian isn’t thrilled with the arrangement—or his fake fiancée—but decides he’ll suffer through it if it means he’ll get an Oscar nomination. Then a surprise email from an old Internet friend changes everything.

That cover design though. Can anyone say adorable? So much better than the original one. With that said, remember how I adored last week’s book so much that I could buy it and read it six million times over? Yeah. Double that excitement for this book. I am a former Disney Cast Member, so anything remotely fairytale-related immediately strikes me. I will say though, I am all for those who actually put a spin on the tale (I’m looking at you, Lunar Chronicles), and I would say that this series does a fairly good job.

Ella begins by moving into a new home, which she was essentially given no option out of. She has scarring on much of her body, leaving her a bit of a social outcast and in pain fairly often. Her new family is certainly unwelcoming, though her dad does try. The relationships in her life are quite dismal, so it is a relief when things begin to look up for her.

On the other side of this story, we also see things through the viewpoint of Brian Oliver, resident Hollywood bad boy trying to clean up his image. He’s been forced into a fake relationship in order to resuscitate his public face, in hopes that he become a legitimate Hollywood A-lister.

The two know each other through Ella’s blog, with Brian only communicating under the screen name “Cinder”. With names like Cinder and Ella, you know it’s only a matter of time before they get together. I will admit though, there are quite a few obstacles in their way, and meeting face to face may in fact send Ella spiraling back to where she came from instead of providing the healing she most desperately needs.

I love this story so much, because there’s so much focus on character growth and their reaction to the situations. There’s also something to be said about the fact that they actually have a relationship beforehand, so there’s no case of instalove (which turns me off of a book big time). This is the first book in a duology, so fear not if you feel like you need more. There is a full-blown sequel that is even more adorable. If that’s possible.

I read both this series and the V is for Virgin series on Kindle Unlimited, so if you’ve haven’t tried it, you can get a 30-day trial. Or just sign up for a month or two because these books are seriously worth it!



If you liked this book, check these ones out:

Another feel-good romance from Kelly Oram
The story of what happens after the glass slipper
It’s Cinderella, but as a cyborg in SPACE!

Review Rendezvous: 11/11/17

V is for Virgin by Kelly Oram
Book stats:
Genre(s): Young adult, romance
Medium: Kindle
Number of pages: 360
Publish date: December 11th, 2012
Purchase: Amazon – Book Depository


When Val Jensen gets dumped for her decision to stay a virgin until marriage, the nasty breakup goes viral on YouTube, making her the latest internet sensation. 

After days of ridicule from her peers, Val starts a school-wide campaign to rally support for her cause. She meant to make a statement, but she never dreamed the entire nation would get caught up in the controversy. 

As if becoming nationally recognized as “Virgin Val” isn’t enough, Val’s already hectic life starts to spin wildly out of control when bad boy Kyle Hamilton, lead singer for the hit rock band Tralse, decides to take her abstinence as a personal challenge.

How can a girl stay true to herself when this year’s Sexiest Man Alive is doing everything in his power to win her over?

This book. THIS BOOK! So much yes. Well, this one and the sequel. I am a sucker for a cute story and a good resolution, so this duology is a must! Oram cemented herself with this series and the one I’m reviewing next week, so stay tuned!

The thing that first stuck out to me was the fact that this teenager was willing to take the hard road against most of her peers. This kind of choice belongs to you and you alone, so I was glad to see Val standing up for that. Of course, she kinda fell into it as she was retaliating for a broken heart, but it ended up good anyways.

This proclamation to her school quickly snowballs into a huge, nationwide movement. We see the struggle for Val as she wants to pursue this and see it through, but she doesn’t want to let it take over. Add in the fact that the lead singer of boy band Tralse, Kyle Hamilton, seems to personally make it his mission to discomfort her and push her boundaries, and you have a recipe for implosion.

Oram’s voice tells the narrative in a perfect way, and I would 100% buy this book (if I had money) and read it again six million times. Both of those statements are very high praise, because I am your “one-and-done”, library-only type of reader. I don’t spend money on unnecessary things, so to consider buying this is huge. You definitely need to read it.


(million) 😉

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Review Rendezvous: 11/4/17

Zero Day by Jan Gangsei
Book stats:
Genre(s): Young adult, mystery, thriller
Medium: Print
Number of pages: 368
Publish date: January 12th, 2016
Purchase: AmazonBook Depository

Zero Day

Eight years ago, Addie Webster was the victim of the most notorious kidnapping of the decade. Addie vanished—and her high-profile parents were forced to move on.

Mark Webster is now president of the United States, fighting to keep the Oval Office after a tumultuous first term. Then, the unthinkable happens: the president’s daughter resurfaces. Addie is brought back into her family’s fold…but who is this sixteen-year-old girl with a quiet, burning intelligence now living in the White House? There are those in the administration who find her timely return suspicious.

When a national security advisor approaches Darrow Fergusson, Addie’s childhood best friend and the son of the president’s chief of staff, he doesn’t know what to think. How could the girl he’s missed for all these years be a threat to the United States? Still, at the risk of having his own secrets exposed, Darrow agrees to spy on Addie.

He soon realizes that his old friend is much more than the traumatized victim of a political fringe group. Addie has come with a mission…but will she choose to complete it?

I read this one in an interesting form because I was quite hooked on it. I found it at my local library, but the physical copies were out and I really wanted to read it, so I settled for reading it on my laptop. If I e-read books, it’s always on my Kindle, but this wasn’t a bad format.

Moving on.

There’s a lot of plot lines and ideas that converge here, which is part of the reason why it seemed so interesting. We’ve got kidnapping going on, the presidential family, a bit of friendship/romance (but not too much, which would have complicated the entire plotline), terrorists, hacking…. I think that’s it. That sounds like a lot now that I type it out, but Gangsei has managed to weave it all together quite successfully.

There is something off about Addie from the very beginning. The book is told between both Addie and Darrow’s points of view, with the occasional third person thrown in whenever there is a major event. I did like the occasional third person chapter, but I also felt that the book could’ve done without it.

There was a very “two-faced” feeling I got from Addie to start with, so I don’t know if it was Gangsei’s intention to let us in so quickly, but it felt like I automatically was being told what side she was one. I’d much rather have decided that myself and then had it revealed later. But, with some of the things Addie does, it would’ve been hard to keep her neutral. I wasn’t sure if I was going to like Addie at first, but I did end up endeared to her because of certain revelations and sympathizing with how she was taught while she was kidnapped.

I felt bad for her family though, at first they were all trying to get to know her and help her, and she kinda just brushed them all off. But, Addie was coming back from quite the experience, to be fair.

While it took me a few days to actually begin the book, I ended up sucked in by the end. It sets up well for a sequel, but there is nothing in the works so far. I can only hope Gangsei decides to write one, because I’d certainly be interested in it.


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Review Rendezvous: 10/28/17

Premeditated by Josie L. McQuein
Book stats:
Genre(s): Young adult, contemporary, mystery
Medium: Print
Number of pages: 336
Publish date: October 8th, 2013
Purchase: AmazonBook Depository


A week ago, Dinah’s cousin Claire cut her wrists.

Five days ago, Dinah found Claire’s diary and discovered why.

Three days ago, Dinah stopped crying and came up with a plan.

Two days ago, she ditched her piercings and bleached the black dye from her hair.

Yesterday, knee socks and uniform plaid became a predator’s camouflage.

Today, she’ll find the boy who broke Claire.

By tomorrow, he’ll wish he were dead.

I haven’t read a revenge novel in a while, which is probably why this interested my enough to pick it up. I don’t normally agree with the actions taken by such protagonists, as I’m more of a peaceful resolution person, but the plot did intrigue me enough to go for it.

We first meet Dinah as the rebellious child in the family. She’s agreed to take over her cousin’s spot after her cousin is hospitalized right before school. I did think that her logic was a bit faulty (she told her family that she didn’t want her uncle and aunt missing out on tuition), but I feel as if, in this circumstance, the school would likely have refunded the family. But whatever.

Dinah zeroes in on her subject the moment she meets him. The problem that I see here is her preconceived notions lead her to automatically see the guy as 100% terrible, scum-of-the-earth type. While I can say that anyone who pushes another to suicide is terrible, usually they are not 100% terrible. Basically, Dinah sees herself as the personal scales of justice, which I really have a problem with because that is too much power for any one human being.

There is an interesting twist at the end that gives the entire situation a lot more context. It also proved my suspicions correct, as I had guessed the ending about halfway through and waited to see if it played out. All in all, the writing style was well done and I enjoyed reading it, the protagonist just ruffled my feathers and rubbed me the wrong way.


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