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review 2016-04-10 20:37
A Stolen Kiss
A Stolen Kiss (The Stolen Royals) (Volume 1) - Kelsey Keating

**A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review**

 

What to say about this one...it's a tough one to talk about, in my opinion, because it's not bad per se, but not good either. (Ugh, these books are the worst to review.)

 

Mainly, I didn't care. I thought about giving up pretty much the whole way through, which is just never good. But some of the actual issues I had with this beyond lack of interest are that this is labeled YA but the writing, the dialogue, everything is juvenile, and not in a good way. Especially as the oldest MC is supposed to be 18, with the rest of them a few years younger, but they all pretty much have the same maturity level. Ellis was the best character, and there was a definite lack of the shapeshifter, alas.

 

Also, for being near 350 pages, it's actually quite surprising how basically nothing happens. For that reason, it also moves very slow.

 

 

Pretty sure this whole thing could have been solved so much quicker if Derric had just FRICKING kissed her as soon as he realized he was the one who had cursed her in the first place. Could have saved like 100 pages but whatever. 

(spoiler show)

 

 

Honestly, it's not terrible, but it didn't hold my interest, and is the exact opposite of what you might call memorable.

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review 2015-04-08 14:42
Review: The Secrets Between You and Me
The Secrets Between You and Me (Stolen Kiss Book 2) - Shana Norris

I received a copy from Netgalley.

I didn't really know what to expect when I started this title, I saw it on Netgalley and thought it looked like a fun easy summer romance. I was really surprised at how much I loved it. Hannah is normally the sort of picture perfect over achiever I can't stand, however, I really admired her character. Her dad has been sent to rehab and her nightmare of a mother has taken off to Paris rather than dealing with things leaving Hannah alone for the summer to be shipped off to an eccentric aunt.

Hannah is less than enthused. She’s had it grained into her for all her life a certain set of rules from both parents on how to be basically perfect and do the right thing in their eyes. She’s class president, super smart, president of half a dozen or more clubs in school, a perfect teen in any parent’s eyes. Internally she’s screaming.

Hannah’s inner struggle with The Rules and What’s Expected of her is gut-wrenching. She wants to be free to make her own choices in life. But doesn’t know how to do it. The parental dynamic in this was really fascinating. Granted, these are some of the worst parents I have come across in YA fiction. But their influence over Hannah is shown constantly as she flits back and forth between what she wants to do and thinking well Mom would so not approve.


The parental relationship with her mom goes from bad to worse throughout the book but is very realistic and resolved in a realistic way as well. Hannah is also mortified by the fact her dad is in rehab and it’s a big influence on pretend everything is okay and normal.

This is played out over the novel and there’s a bit of drama involved as well. But again, it seems to be very well done and was believable. The Dad is a much more sympathetic character than the mother. While the aunt is the more “care free” adult in the story, she’s also a sensible woman with a good mind and a good voice of reason for Hannah.

A lot of the things that were bothering Hannah about the problems with her parents were actually addressed and things taken on board which was great to see. Everything didn’t get resolved overnight and it looks like there’s a lot of work for everyone here but at least its being dealt with rather than ignored.

In the small town where she’s staying with her Aunt she finds herself making friends she wouldn’t normally consider and a love interest with as much inner guilt and struggle as her own. Jude was a wonderful character, as was Hannah with a very fleshed out personality and not an insta love summer interest. The romance was swoon worthy and both Jude and Hannah brought out the best in each other. Through their own insecurities they were able to come together and bring out parts of each other that had been either ignored or forgotten about.

Beautifully written, so easy to picture and I just loved the people in it. A little dramatic in parts, but when everything seems to be going well, something is going to go hideously wrong, and like everything else, its realistically handled. I loved the resolve and wrap up. I pretty much loved everything about this book.

I'm also going to use this book for my Spring 2015 Book Bingo Challenge for the square Strong Parental Relationships.

Huge thanks to Netgalley and Paper Lantern Lit for approving my request to view the title.

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