Review Rendezvous: 6/30/18


Top Choice by Sophie McAloon
Book stats:
Genre(s): Young Adult, dystopian, romance
Medium: Print
Number of pages: 330
Publish date: April 16th, 2018
Purchase: Amazon – Book Depository

TCAs a future leader of the female-led regime her grandmother fought hard to establish, Alice Kearns is no stranger to pressure. Being the best in a society where women are expected to be high-achieving is the only option her powerful mother has ever accepted for her, and now that Ali’s a senior in high school, the pressure to succeed is greater than ever. But fortunately, as of her eighteenth birthday, Ali has a place to blow off steam: she’s finally allowed into the Choice Clubs.

Filled with an enticing mix of music, drinks and gorgeous guys, the Choice Clubs were founded to ensure that smart girls wouldn’t get distracted in their real lives by anything as trivial as a shallow crush or a pretty face. Choice guys are fun, flirty, and the perfect eye candy, but Ali would never dream of actually falling for one—until she meets Tag.

Tag McPhail is Top Choice. With his mischievous grin and chiseled abs, he is exactly the kind of boy that Ali’s mother believes needs to be kept contained. But after he kisses Ali at the Choice Club, she suddenly sees him everywhere—and she’s surprised to learn that there’s more to him than his perfect looks. Tag is sweeter, smarter, and funnier than Ali ever expected… and, she soon discovers, he’s also dangerous. Because Tag leads a double life: when he’s not working at the clubs, he’s leading a rebel group trying to overturn the girl power society that the women in Ali’s family have worked so hard to put in place.

Getting closer to Tag upends everything Ali thought she knew. But will she betray everything she was raised to protect for a guy she’s not even sure she can trust?

In the current setting of politics and shows like The Handmaid’s Tale, this book was quite the interesting shift in perspective. Too often we see dystopians where female characters are put down and treated improperly, but what if it was the other way around? There is plenty of objectifying of not just women but men as well, so what if it was all combined in a future society?

That premise alone is what drew me to this book. The writing style was well done and easy to follow. I enjoyed the descriptions of setting and character, and McAloon seems to be able to get into her character’s heads well. She did well with fitting her character’s attitudes and personalities to the society they’ve grown up in, instead of taking characters that existed in today’s society and tried to fit them with a future government.

There were plenty of surprises to keep me on my toes which I highly enjoyed. There’s always a rebel group going against power in futuristic settings, and this one is no different. But the fact that the main love interest has a double life just brings depth to his character instead of him being the typical ‘cute boy’ stereotype that the others like him seem to fall into.

Overall, great work. Would definitely read this one again.

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

Rating:

HeartHeartHeartHeartHeart


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Review Rendezvous: 6/2/18


The Hauntings of Cold Creek Hollow by Alexie Aaron
Book stats:
Genre(s): Paranormal, mystery, romance
Medium: Print
Number of pages: 342
Publish date: January 6th, 2012
Purchase: Amazon – Barnes & Noble

tHoCCHLittle Mia Cooper’s ability to see the dead made her an outcast in her hometown. Several years later, she has finally managed to blend in, but her hard-won peace is threatened by the arrival of a bumbling team of paranormal investigators. Mia is drawn in reluctantly as an advisor on what, at first, seems to be a fairly straightforward case, only to discover that the Hollow has much more in store for her. An ancient evil is rising in Cold Creek Hollow. What begins as a ghost hunt will become a fight for survival.

The premise of this particular novel is certainly intriguing. I’m all for the story of an unwilling former gifted child dragged into a paranormal investigation. There’s quite a bit of mystery and suspense involved, but on the flip side there was also some out of place moments.

First of all, this is the beginning book in a series that has stretched to 19 books already, so the premise definitely has promise. The thing that really bugged me though about this book was how much focus was put onto romance relationships. Sure, add in some romance now and then to hooks readers who look for the kind of thing, but the main focus should be the mystery. Better yet, develop the kind of relationship throughout the series that has everyone going “Just get together already!”.

There also happens to be quite a few characters. I would expect to collect a large group of characters throughout the series as a whole, not in the first book. It was a bit overwhelming to try and read them all.

In the end though, it was a fairly good read. I did enjoy the mystery aspects, I ust wish it had been a little easier to follow the plot. I suppose I could try out the next one in the series, as it has the potential to be better. Although, the covers could use a bit of work, none of the books in the series look like they belong together.

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

Rating:
HeartHeartHeart


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Review Rendezvous: 5/19/18


Strings: A Love Story by Megan Edwards
Book stats:
Genre(s): Romance, fiction
Medium: Print
Number of pages: 210
Publish date: September 12th, 2017
Purchase: Amazon – Book Depository – Barnes & Noble

SThe Merino Rose. Ted Spencer has a hard enough time believing the celebrated violin really exists. To find it sitting on his coffee table is nothing short of incredible. The stuff of legend, the exquisite Guarnerius has been missing for centuries. 

But even though the renowned instrument is a violin lover’s dream come true, it holds only heartache for Ted. The value of the Merino Rose may be beyond measure, but he has acquired it at too high a cost. 

Ted found his soul mate when he met Olivia de la Vega his senior year in high school. In the school’s production of Camelot, Ted was cast as Lancelot, Olivia as Guenevere. They should have spent their lives together but strings got in the way–family ties, career objectives, and the tangled web of fate. 

Will the Merino Rose bring the two star-crossed lovers together at last, or will their love always remain the melancholy sound of distant violins?

More beautiful covers! I can’t get over the simplicity and yet how amazing it looks!

Alright, momentary graphic design fawning over. Back to the actual content.

In this particular book, we follow the two characters Ted and Olivia through quite some time, watching their relationship progress. While present day is down the line, we see a lot of flashbacks showing what life was like for them in younger years. What is interesting is that the main character is actually Ted, something you don’t usually find in romance fiction.

As you may have guessed, music is also a large draw for this story. Ted is very passionate about it, and then you have the idea of this mysterious violin. I do wish there was more background or involvement with the violin, but it was still a nice plot line.

This book definitely falls into the “more feely, less plot-driven” type of book. I mean, I have read others with a similar plot line, but this was still different enough to be intriguing. If you’re looking for a shorter (but not too short) piece to read curled up on the couch and to give you fuzzies, you’ve found a good option in this book. Definitely pick it up if that’s your cup of tea!

I was provided this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

Rating:
HeartHeartHeartHeart


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Review Rendezvous: 5/5/18


Speed of Life by Carol Weston
Book stats:
Genre(s): Young adult, romance, contemporary
Medium: Print
Number of pages: 320
Publish date: April 1st, 2017
Purchase: Amazon – Barnes & Noble

SoLSofia wonders if 14 might be the worst possible age to lose your mom. Talking with her dad about puberty and s-e-x is super-awkward (even though he is a gynecologist). And when she wants to talk about her mom, her friends don’t know what to say and her dad gets sad.

When Sofia discovers Dear Kate, an advice columnist from Fifteen magazine, she’s grateful to have someone to confide in about everything from crushes to mourning—someone who is completely, wonderfully anonymous. It feels ideal—until Sofia’s dad introduces her to his new girlfriend, Katherine Baird, a.k.a., Dear Kate…

Even though this book deals with harsh topics, there is still a sense of childish-ness and young discovery. I ended up loving Sofia’s character, despise the occasional flaws like a bit of naivety. These moments only serve to make her character that much more developed, and I loved her for it. She doesn’t instantly get over her family’s tragedy, and the journey to healing is very well represented, coming from someone who went through a similar situation.

You’ve gotta admit, Sofia’s situation is a bit of a pickle. The person who was once an anonymous comfort is now a real life person she can interact with, and it can be difficult to deal with that, no matter who you are. There are so many topics that a girl her age needs help with, and without her mom to guide her, Sofia is at a bit of a loss.

I loved reading in this writing style, Weston has a beautiful voice in her prose. There is such a broad range of characters the simply bring her story to vivid life, matching the equally brilliant (and lovely!) cover. I was hanging on every word, and even though I am several years past this age, I still loved it and found myself enthralled.

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

Rating:
HeartHeartHeartHeart


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Review Rendezvous: 3/10/18


Fallen by Lauren Kate
Book stats:
Genre(s): Young Adult, paranormal, fantasy, romance
Medium: Print
Number of pages: 452
Publish date: December 8th, 2009
Purchase: Amazon Book Depository

FallenWhat if the person you were meant to be with could never be yours?

17-year-old Lucinda falls in love with a gorgeous, intelligent boy, Daniel, at her new school, the grim, foreboding Sword & Cross . . . only to find out that Daniel is a fallen angel, and that they have spent lifetimes finding and losing one another as good & evil forces plot to keep them apart. 

Get ready to fall . . .

So I’m about to admit to the biggest sin in book-kind: I watched the movie for this book before I actually read it. I mean, according to Goodreads I read this back in 2014, but it’s only after I just saw the movie that I really re-read it and got interested. So it’s basically the first time I cared for the story.

But I must say, I did enjoy the book much more than the first time I read it. The take on angels is quite intriguing, and I need to know more about how Daniel and Luce ended up back together, because that has to happen in the end. It’s basically required.

Anywho, quick spoiler-free summary before I continue. Luce has been called psychotic her whole life (at least, until she pretends that she can’t see the shadows that plague her), but it came to a head when a cabin spontaneously combusted and killed the boy she was with. That got her sent to reform school, because no one believes Luce is entirely innocent. Even her parents are on edge, but they still love her, which is refreshing to have for once instead of the entirely absentee parents seen so often in YA.

It is at Sword & Cross, the reform school she’s sentenced to, that Luce meets Daniel. She can’t get over the fact that she’s known him somewhere before, and also can’t fight her need to stay away. She’s shocked when he realizes what he’s been keeping from her, and thus the problems begin.

I will admit, there was a bit of the classic love triangle that I am not entirely a fan of. It’s bad fallen angel vs. good fallen angel. We’ll see if it stretches out over more books, because then I really might have more problems with it. But, I digress. There is also some of that insta-love going on with Luce, which is why I ended up docking two hearts even though I did enjoy the book. Those two literary sins are just two of my least favorite things as they’re quite unrealistic. But then again, so is the concept of fallen angels and soulmates being reincarnated for each other. Either way, I’m still reading the rest, so that tells you it’s good enough to pick up anyways.

Rating:
HeartHeartHeart


VA

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A girl discovers she’s a witch and is sent to a school for all types of magical creatures

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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