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review 2015-08-14 15:23
Jesse's Girl - Miranda Kenneally
"Family can't always fix a difficult situation, and everybody makes mistakes. We shouldn't expect perfect. But we can hope that the people we love love us enough to try to make it right."

Miranda Kenneally has truly become one of my go-to authors for sweet contemporary stories. Whenever I need a break from devouring fantasy stories, I always turn to her books. Her first book, Catching Jordan while not a favorite of mine, had interesting characters that intrigued me. The kind of light, easy-read story that it was, lead me to read the next book, and the next book, the book after that and so on. And while each book introduces different sets of characters, seeing that it happens at the same environment, plus finding them connected with each other in some way, was fascinating.

Jesse's Girl is probably the lightest story of all the Hundred Oaks books to date for me. It doesn't have as much drama as the others and yet still remains an enjoyable book to read. I guess it's because Maya reminded me so much about myself when I was her age. I was too insecure and too intimidated to do something I had always dreamed of wanting to do. I felt I wasn't good enough for it to happen. But you know what they say about dreams.. If it doesn't scare you, it's not big enough. So watching her chase after it made me really happy for her.

The love story was already set in the beginning, you already know they're going to end up together. And to be honest, there isn't much to say about it. It was cute, but not the kind that will leave me in a puddle of goo for giggling and fan girling too much.

What I appreciate most about this story is how it showed the importance of family, in all forms (you'll get what I mean once you read it). And of course, following your dreams.

Jesse's Girl is a feel good, minimal drama story that will make any dreamer want to pursue their goals even more.

*Thank you, Sourcebooks Fire, and NetGalley for granting my request to view Jesse's Girl.

For more of my reviews, please visit my blog:
The Blair Book Project @ www.theblairbookproject.blogspot.com
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review 2015-06-02 07:46
Such Sweet Sorrow - Jenny Trout
Romeo and Juliet, and Hamlet mash up!

If you've read [or know of] these Shakespeare stories, you know they end in tragedy. As most of his plays do I suppose. Anyway, get ready to see a whole new twist to these stories.

Such Sweet Sorrow is one of those books that reel you in with such a great and unique idea for a story. So I didn't find it surprising that I took it upon myself to request for a copy on Netgalley.

While Shakespeare's plays came off gloomy and well, tragically, Jenny Trout take on them was lighter and rather spunky.

I didn't really find the original Hamlet to be a likable protagonist but, Ms. Trout's version of him was one I prefer. A teen rightful king Hamlet with a cheerful personality, although impulsive most of the time, was definitely an interesting take.

Romeo and Juliet were also interesting characters. They're still hopelessly in love but I really appreciated how their characters grew throughout the book. [This may be a bit spoiler-ish]. From an ever so serious and blood thirsty Romeo, in the end we find a more mature and light hearted man. And from a damsel in distress, Juliet turned into someone who need not be saved.

The lore of this book was impressive. I loved the idea that there can be multiple dimensions in the afterlife much like how people of different cultures view them.

Now while characters and lore are swell and all, I still have a few issues with the book. My problem with Such Sweet Sorrow would probably be the journey through the underworld. I like seeing the different dimensions, but the journey was a bit too long for me, or maybe the narratives of the characters' thoughts were getting in the way. Also, I find the creatures descriptions a bit vague, it's either the descriptions weren't vivid enough or I wasn't in an imaginative mood to visualize them properly.

I did love the idea that although this book didn't turn out a tragedy like the plays it was inspired of, it's not a definite happily ever after either.

Overall, Such Sweet Sorrow was an enjoyable read. It had all the elements I was looking for in a story: a great adventure, action packed fight scenes, and a terrific reimagining of the classics.

*Thank you, Entangled Teen and NetGalley for granting my request to view Such Sweet Sorrow.

For more of my reviews, please visit my blog:
The Blair Book Project @ www.theblairbookproject.blogspot.com
 
Source: theblairbookproject.blogspot.com/2015/06/such-sweet-sorrow-by-jenny-trout-arc.html
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review 2015-05-19 07:24
Hidden Huntress: Malediction Trilogy Book Two - Danielle L. Jensen
  "It seems to me, that no matter what we do, no matter what choices we make, there isn't a happy ending waiting at the end of the long road... But that doesn't mean we give up. It doesn't mean we stop fighting"

So much death! It hurts!

Danielle L. Jensen has baffled me once again! She came out strong with debuting Stolen Songbird last year and here she is again keeping readers hanging at the edge of their seats with Hidden Huntress.

Following shortly with the events that ended in Stolen Songbird, Hidden Huntress opens up to a whole new adventure for Cecile.

Cecile was a strong character during the first book, but I have to admit that book two gave me a different perspective on her personality. It may not have been a pleasing one, but it was understandable considering her situation. I can't blame her that desperation and longing might have tipped her off balance.

Tristan remains to be the ever heroic prince that he is. While circumstances from book one gained him more enemies than before, he redeems himself otherwise.

Plot-wise, Hidden Huntress is a solid and well developed story. You may make presumptions and guesses with the events that follow, but you'll never be truly sure what happens next. Ms. Jensen's writing makes it so that the story remains intriguing and unpredictable each step of the way. The pacing is much faster than its predecessor, although still keeps readers well informed. Be warned though, expect it to be a bit on the slow side. But do not fret, the story flows smoothly and progresses well albeit slowly, and I promise you the patience you draw out will be worth it in the end.

I really enjoyed reading Hidden Huntress and it pains me that I have to wait until next year for book three, although I shouldn't be surprised. Stupid sequels! I hate you! Okay I take that back, I love sequels, but the waiting just kills me!

*Thank you, Angry Robot Books and NetGalley for granting my request to view Hidden Huntress.

For more of my reviews, please visit my blog:
The Blair Book Project @ www.theblairbookproject.blogspot.com

 

Source: theblairbookproject.blogspot.com/2015/05/hidden-huntress-danielle-l-jensen.html
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review 2015-04-17 11:48
The Girl at Midnight - Melissa Grey

“But memories make us who we are. Without them, we are nothing.”

This would actually be the first time I witnessed a book meet its hype and book comparisons. When the blurb mentioned that this was for fans of Cassie Clare’s City of Bones and Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone, it truly was fitting. Hooray!

To be honest, I kind of thought this was another overrated, hyped up debut novel. I’ve been lucking out since last year with debut novels that sadly do not meet my expectations, so I was really happy to find my experience with this book take a different turn.

The Girl at Midnight has an impressive set of characters and POVs – not to mention an interesting mix of species, [way to go creative, Ms. Grey!] – that would keep readers turning page after page after page. I’m quite surprised to find that although we have a witty, snarky female protagonist in Echo, we have with us a not so brooding, non-enigmatic love interest, Caius, who also happens to show a fairly humorous side. Normally when we have an amusing female, the male comes off the mysterious, serious type. I say, “yay!” to that change!

The plot does not fail either, this was way more adventurous than I expected. Readers will find themselves immersed in a unique and well thought of storyline, filled with funny banters, intense escapes and bold discoveries. It’s not the type of book that you’d make predictions ahead and they turn out exactly the way you thought. Although you might come close, The Girl at Midnight has its fair share of twists and surprises that would leave you impressed. This is an exciting new series to watch out for! Kudos, Melissa Grey!

*Thank you, Random House Children's, Delacorte Press and NetGalley for granting my request to view The Girl at Midnight.

For more of my reviews, please visit my blog:
The Blair Book Project @ www.theblairbookproject.blogspot.com

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review 2015-04-02 06:17
This Shattered World - Amie Kaufman,Meagan Spooner
“Maybe we wouldn’t even like each other if we weren’t fighting for our lives every second of every day.”

I think majority of those who’ve been anticipating This Shattered World were readers who have been hooked over Tarver and Lilac’s story in These Broken Stars, hoping to see more of these two lovable characters take on a new adventure. Boy, were we all crushed to find out that there are new sets of characters taking hold of the second book!

But that feeling of disappointment was short-lived. Once readers have gotten to know Jubilee and Flynn, you get to fall in love with them just as well. True, they’re not Tarver and Lilac, but they come off just as memorable and worth rooting for all the same.

Now, like me, you probably felt cheated that Tarver and Lilac aren’t our main heroes in this book. Do not fret! Tarver makes a very significant appearance, Lilac as well, although a rather shorter one.

The big difference with These Broken Stars and This Shattered World would probably be their story’s direction. With These Broken Stars, I was so engrossed with the love story of Tarver and Lilac, while This Shattered World made me focus on the world and mystery encased within. Sure there are sweet moments for Jubilee and Flynn but their love story did take a bit of a step back.

While These Broken Stars made me feel mostly giddy and swoony, This Shattered World offered a more action-packed, heart-stopping story that I think would make any fan of the first book find it satisfying and enjoyable. You’ll find this book as compelling and just as original as the first.

I’m really eager to see where the Starbound trilogy’s story would go to next. The plot’s progression is precisely laid out in a way that eases readers into it in a steady and comprehensible approach. Book three could not come any sooner!

*Thank you, Disney-Hyperion and Netgalley for granting my request to view This Shattered World

For more of my reviews, please visit my blog:
The Blair Book Project @ www.theblairbookproject.blogspot.com
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