Probably My Last Cora Carmack Book…

Finding It by Cora Carmack

DNF

Instalove?

Cutesy nicknames?

Immature main character?

All present and accounted for.

As it turns out, I’m just not interested in watching a spoiled white girl drink and sleep her way through Europe. I’m actually surprised at this because I generally like characters who aren’t afraid of their sexuality and aren’t afraid of casual sex. But it all felt really shallow and superficial. I never felt any depth from Kelsey and I couldn’t work up any sympathy for her at all. From reading reviews apparently she’s been through some tough shit but I never would have guessed that since the first quarter of the book just makes it seem like she’s killing time and money until she has an epiphany about life. I finally called it quits when Hunt started calling her “Princess” and things started getting a little too melodramatic.

I thought I really enjoyed Cora Carmack, but now I think that Faking It was just a one off. Since the elibrary likes to get books out of order, I started with Faking It and loved it! The characters were refreshing – bad girl meets good boy – and the chemistry between them jumped off the page. But then I read Losing It and felt very meh about it. And now having not even finished Finding It, I’m not sure that I’d try anything else by this author again. Not my cup of tea apparently.

Next up, The Bride Wore Size 12. Think I can get past the first 25% of a book? We’ll see!

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Vampire Academy – lame name, good book

Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1)Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This came as a shock to me, but I loved, loved Vampire Academy. I was expecting very little and had actually started the first chapter of this book years ago but it didn’t hold any interest to me at the time. But maybe because of my recent interest obsession with YA novels, it was much more enjoyable this time around.

I was warned to stick with it because it started off a little slow but that wasn’t the case at all (I am perhaps the only person who thought this). I enjoyed Rose so much that just reading about her was enough to keep me going. She’s my kind of character. Strong. Resourceful. Funny. Sarcastic. Sexy. She’s not afraid to just go for it. A lot of YA books seem to taboo activities like sex, drugs, etc, but it was refreshing that Rose, while maybe didn’t partake in all those actives, certainly didn’t look down on people for doing them.

And I loved that while there was a romantic element to the book, it didn’t take over the whole story. Rose’s every thought wasn’t “Dmitri.” I actually wish there was more on her everyday training with Dmitri, I think that’s where the attraction came from and we didn’t necessarily see a lot of that in the book. I wanted them to get to know each other a little better and watch their attraction (more than just the physical part) grow a little more. I also loved friendship between Rose and Lissa and thought the idea of their bond was really interesting.

I could have done with a few less “I-what?”s – and a lot less hyphens – but overall the writing was easy to read through. There were a couple of spelling/grammatical mistakes but I’m not sure if that was because I was reading the ebook copy.

I’ve got book two on standby and am super excited to jump back into the series.

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Pushed to My Limit

Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1)Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I read this book a few weeks ago and I still haven’t been able to put together what I want to say about it, other than I really did not like this book.

I think my biggest problem was the execution. The first person POV traded off between Echo and Noah, but there’s 50 chapters in 350 pages and the transition between POVs was really choppy. For example when Noah calls her out on why she would want to try to be normal, I wanted the next chapter to be Echo explaining why she’s trying to so hard (to the reader, not to Noah), but it cuts to something else instead. And despite being in these characters heads, you never really get a feel for any sort of emotion other than being obsessed with the other person. Both characters have gone through some pretty terrible events and I especially wanted Echo to be more torn up about it, or at least feel like she’s fighting to move on. Most of the book was spent describing what was happening, not reacting to it.

The book got a little repetitive in its descriptions, Isaiah had tattooed arms, Noah had hair, Echo was a siren who smelled like cinnamon buns, etc, etc (though, if I smelled cinnamon buns all the time I’d just be hungry, not turned on. I mean, can anyone walk by a Cinnabon and not think “yum”!?)

And then there were the small things… What teenage boy person narrating says “the laughter between the two of us echoed into the night”? In another scene, someone asks, “Are you any good at xbox?” I felt like maybe a few more details could have been added/changed to make it more believable. For example, “Are you good at Halo?” because I can play Lego Star Wars no problem, but in Halo I run around shooting at the sky. Later, Echo goes into the room Noah shares and the laundry is folded neatly into baskets. Huh? What “deadbeat” teenager folds their laundry neatly after it comes out of the dryer? Hell, I usually pick clean clothes out of the dryer until I need to use it again, and then I pick clean clothes out of the laundry basket until it’s empty.

I liked how Noah’s story ultimately ended up but I thought that the foster mom’s reasoning to keep his brothers away from him was a little off (view spoiler)[Originally she was worried Noah would hurt them, but then she was worried that by letting Noah have access to them, he would take the boys away from her when he turned 18. But I would think that if they showed Noah how great the boys were doing, he’d ultimately want them to stay with the foster parents because they could offer so much more than him at his fast food job. No? (hide spoiler)]. And I thought after all the lead up between Echo and her mom, it would have been more climactic (view spoiler)[and maybe the mom should have been more apologetic about TRYING TO KILL HER OWN DAUGHTER! (hide spoiler)]

Sigh. 1/5 stars.

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This book makes me thirsty…

50 Shames of Earl Grey

50 Shames of Earl Grey by Fanny Merkin (aka Andrew Shaffer) – Book Review

I found this book really hit or miss on its jokes and overall, it was just ok. I expect parodies to be LOL funny, most times I’m let down and 50 Shames of Earl Grey was no exception.

It was funniest when it directly referenced things from the original:

“You’re a mystery to me, baby,” he says, biting the tip off the banana. 

I blush, “Oh, stop.”

“No, it’s true,” he says. “I have no idea what’s going on inside that pretty little head of yours…”

“To be honest, I have no idea either,” I say, looking down at the table to avoid his powerful gaze. “Most times, my mind is just an ongoing, present-tense, first-person monologue. It’s like I’m writing a novel, constantly, but only in my brain. A really bad novel.”

and

… I gaze at him, and then Earl gazes at me, and then we all take turns gazing at each other gazingly.

There were also some other gems such as:

 “No man is an island” he says. “Islands are made of dirt and rocks and trees. I don’t know any people made of such things. Therefore, people are not islands.”

50 Shames had a lot of potential since the original book was so hilariously bad but it kept repeating it’s own lame jokes over and over again. I think for me, the funniest parodies are the ones that are true and this book was just so far fetched that it lost any relatable humour.

I’ll leave you with some so-funny-because-it’s-so-true parodies:

Lola and the Not-So-Great Review

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins – Book Review

really wanted to like this book. I loved Anna and the French Kiss and I was expecting something equally cute and funny and charming. Instead I found Lola to be immature, annoying, and ultimately unlikable. How did she find two older men willing to jump through hoops for her? The story begins when twins Cricket and Calliope move back next door to Lola and Lola basically has a mental breakdown. The impression is that Cricket did something terrible to her a few years ago. Naturally, I’m thinking something pretty terrible. Maybe he held her panties up in the locker room? I don’t know. A few chapters later, we find out what did happen and I almost stopped reading the book. That was it?! Chapters of build up, her near panic at the thought of them (him) moving back, and that’s it?!

Not only was Lola not normal, but there was nothing normal about anyone or anything in this book. Her neighbour’s names are Cricket and Calliope, they are related to Alexander Graham Bell, Cricket is an inventor, Calliope is a famous figure skater, her best friend is a wanna be detective and her mother runs a Neil Diamond fan site, blah blah blah blah. There was so much going on that I think we lost Lola as a person. I think she would have been more likable if there was more focus on Lola’s normal day to day life. There’s a good chance I just skimmed over this, but why did Lola want to dress up as Marie Antoinette for the dance, why did she want to wear these costumes all the time? I wanted her to be passionate about something other than Cricket. She had a single track mind. I found her the most likable near the end when she was working on Calliope’s dress, I finally thought: oh I get it, maybe she wants to go to fashion school and become a designer or costumer, maybe she wants to be on Project Runway. Instead her inner goddess dialogue was Cricket! Cricket! Cricket! It felt very Twilight-esque where her world revolves around a boy. And I think Stephanie Perkins needs to get away of this “the one” business in YA novels. Why is Lola going around looking for “the one” – she hasn’t even graduated high school! Ugh.

I also hated all the lying from Lola. Which is weird because it’s not something that consistently bothers me, especially in books. I think it’s when the MC lies and just expects things to be ok. I hated Tris constantly lying to Four in Insurgent, I just wanted to reach into the book and shake her. I had those same angry feelings while reading Lola, I just wanted her to snap out of it. Maybe because I know she’s better than that and expected more from her. Maybe if she was at heart a dirty sleaze ball, I wouldn’t care if she lied to everyone. Or maybe it’s because they don’t feel enough remorse over the lies that they told, it seems inconsequential to them while their lies are eating me up inside! Or maybe I only get this emotionally invested when I do nothing all day but read this book. Ok, maybe it’s the last one, but it still bothered me.

I’m trying not to compare Lola with Anna, but when I know that Stephanie Perkins can write a character that I love, it’s hard to get over the mess that is Lola. Delores. Lolita. Whatever. But even Anna is annoying in this novel which makes me wonder if maybe she was actually this annoying in her own book? Oh, the horror! I didn’t even really like Cricket, he was a little wussy. I’m all for a nice guy, hell, I’m engaged to one, I get it, but there’s a fine line between nice and a total pushover: “let me do your hair for you, Lola.” Barf.

From Stephanie Perkin’s next novel, which we all know I’ll read, I’d like to see more of the actual relationship. Both Anna and Lola have these buildups and you know exactly how it’s going to end, but you only get to see then together for a few pages and then the book is done. I’m sure she could write a great relationship but maybe she needs to add a little more of a plot to her story so that it doesn’t have to end when the characters finally hook up.

2/5 stars.