Review: Headfirst Falling by Melissa Guinn

18329954Blurb from Goodreads

Falling in love. It doesn’t seem to fit, like falling shouldn’t be used in conjunction with love. We don’t fall gracefully. In fact, there’s nothing graceful about it. We crash into things—hit them hard, bounce around, give ourselves cuts, bruises or break bones… And it’s never planned. It takes you by surprise. You lose control.

Charlie Day fell in love with Jackson Stiles a long time ago. But that was before he and her brother enlisted and went to Iraq. Before Jackson came back different. Before they told Charlie her brother would never come back at all.

A lot of things have changed since then. But when Jackson takes a job at the company where Charlie works, she discovers that one thing hasn’t changed—the spark between them. She’s not sure she can love this new Jackson, or forgive him for the part he played in her brother’s death. It’s too bad for Charlie that, with love, you don’t always have a choice.

Kindle Edition, 262 pages
Published September 23rd 2013 by Carina Press (first published January 1st 2013)
edition language: English
genre: Contemporary, Romance, New Adult
My Thoughts
When I read the blurb, I thought I will read more about grieving, PTSD, and how hard Chalie & Jackson’s relationship since there will always be Adam’s death between them. But sadly, I didn’t get much about those things. Chalie’s grieve doesn’t show up until the last few chapters. Most of the time she can hide her grieve well but that makes me hard to believe that she’s grieving, not until *SPOILER* Stewart almost rape her *End of SPOILER*. And so does with Jackson, I know the war affected him so much and he has problems dealing it but again I didn’t see him struggling with his PTSD. Maybe it’s because this story told from Chalie’s but I still think it is way better if Jackson at least open up his pain, though a little bit to Chalie. The more he hides his pain, the more I can’t connect to him. In this kind of book, I often look for for the grieving part and waiting for the characters to face their anxiety. So when I didn’t feel it most of the time, I can’t connect to the characters. They hide their pain so well I can’t feel them while I really want to feel them to get to the story.It makes the story feels flat for more than half part of the story. There isn’t anything that made my heart beat fast or angry or anything while in some part it is quite predictable to me. I was quite bored with Chalie’s life I have to skip a lot of her daily habit and her preparation for her date with Jackson.

But I liked Chalie’s relationship with her father and he made me smile every time he comes to the story. I also enjoyed Taylor and Devin and kind of wish they have their own book. In the end I think this is an okay story, though lack of things I look forward and based on Goodreads, an okay story means 2 stars worthy so 2 stars from me for Charlie and Jackson story.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for honest review. Thanks to Melissa Guinn, Carina Press and NetGalley.
Result: 2 out of 5 stars

Review: This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith

15791430Blurb from Goodreads

If fate sent you an email, would you answer?

When teenage movie star Graham Larkin accidentally sends small town girl Ellie O’Neill an email about his pet pig, the two seventeen-year-olds strike up a witty and unforgettable correspondence, discussing everything under the sun, except for their names or backgrounds.

Then Graham finds out that Ellie’s Maine hometown is the perfect location for his latest film, and he decides to take their relationship from online to in-person. But can a star as famous as Graham really start a relationship with an ordinary girl like Ellie? And why does Ellie want to avoid the media’s spotlight at all costs?

ebook, 416 pages
Published April 2nd 2013 by Poppy
edition language: English
genre: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
My Thoughts
What happy looks like for me is reading a book, enjoying it and get lost in it. In some part reading this book was a happy moment for me but I also have a not-so happy thing.

I know that this will be a cliche kind of story so I didn’t expect anything from it aside of a sweet YA story. I like the main characters, Graham and Ellie, they are cute together. I really enjoyed reading their emails, especially in prologue. And when they finally meet, their emails feel a little bit different. I think it’s a good thing because in those emails I can feel that once they meet everything is different now they know each other. They encounter and feeling kind of a fairytale, he with his fame and she with her struggle to provide money for her poetry course at Harvard. Although Graham is a well-known actor, Ellie doesn’t feel insecure about herself. Despite the differences, she’s comfortable with her skin, believe in Graham feeling for her and she trusts him. That’s quite a refreshing in YA books I usually read hence I love her because of it.

But, I didn’t quite satisfy with Ellie and Quinn, her bestfriend, relationship. When they have problem and doesn’t talk for weeks, the closure is kind of awkward, I like and understand it but it feels too ordinary. I mean, they are bestfriend for a long time, doesn’t talk for weeks and it’s definitely the biggest fight they ever have I just assumed there have to be a lot of hard efforts to fix it. It also happens to Ellie’s father relationship. While I like the way she meet him, I didn’t expect her mother thought about him will be like that. I guess I just wish there will be more drama on those part, to make the story more interesting. I also didn’t quite enjoy its slow-paced. While in prolog and the beginning of the book feel too fast, the rest is slower than I can enjoy. In some part I didn’t feel like I get lost in the story therefore there’s a room for me to get distracted by other things.

So, there are things I liked and disliked from this book. I think it is okay book which mean I supposed to give it 2 stars. It’s the ending that made me think twice. I like the way Graham and Ellie’s relationship still unsure and just left it that way. It feels more real and made me wish there will be its sequel, so 3 stars from me for they flaw-sweet story.

Result: 3 of 5 stars

Review: Losing It #2, Faking It by Cora Carmack

17200465Blurb from Goodreads

Mackenzie “Max” Miller has a problem. Her parents have arrived in town for a surprise visit, and if they see her dyed hair, tattoos, and piercings, they just might disown her. Even worse, they’re expecting to meet a nice wholesome boyfriend, not a guy named Mace who has a neck tattoo and plays in a band. All her lies are about to come crashing down around her, but then she meets Cade.

Cade moved to Philadelphia to act and to leave his problems behind in Texas. So far though, he’s kept the problems and had very little opportunity to take the stage. When Max approaches him in a coffee shop with a crazy request to pretend to be her boyfriend, he agrees to play the part. But when Cade plays the role a little too well, they’re forced to keep the ruse going. And the more they fake the relationship, the more real it begins to feel.

ebook, 352 pages
Published June 4th 2013 by William Morrow Paperbacks
edition language: English
series: Losing It
genre: Contemporary, Romance, New Adult
My Thoughts
This is a sequel of Losing It but I have to admit that I’m kind of forgot it. I mean, I remember that I love Garrick Taylor because he loves reading and the story is about Bliss who wants to lose her virginity and fall in love with her professor but other than that, I forgot about the detail of the story. Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy and like it but it didn’t wow me. So I have to skim it again when I want to read this book, to remember who Cade is. Glad I decided to read this book because I think Cade and Max’s story is much better and more emotional than Garrick and Bliss’ story.
Their problem seems heavier than Garrick and Bliss yet I can relate and feel it. Both of them have flaw with real problems. I love reading how Cade needs time to ‘fix’ his heart, the way he speaks and acts really shows it. I also love reading Max’s POV, I can feel her fear and understand her facade. I guess in some part I see her a little bit as myself. That’s why I can relate her story. Aside the ‘heavy’ problems, it still has funny moment that makes me giggling and laughing. Cade and Max are different from each other but in their banter I can see that they are perfect for each other.

One thing that I love most from Cora Carmack’s writing is she surely can create an awkward situation for her characters. Similar to its prequel, this book
has many good awkward moments I love to read and think how awkward it will be if I’m in the same position. By the way, Hearts A Mess by Gotye is my soundtrack while reading it.

Pick apart
The pieces of your heart
And let me peer inside
Let me in
Where only your thoughts have been
Let me occupy your mind
As you do mine

Your heart’s a mess
You won’t admit to it
It makes no sense
But I’m desperate to connect
You can’t live like this

You have lost
(Too much love)
To fear, doubt and distrust
(It’s not enough)
You just threw away the key
To your heart

You don’t get burned
(‘Cause nothing gets through)
It makes it easier
(Easier on you)
But that much more difficult for me
To make you see…

Love ain’t fair
So there you are
My love

Your heart’s a mess
You won’t admit to it
It makes no sense
But I’m desperate to connect
And you, you can’t live like this

Your heart’s a mess
You won’t admit to it
It makes no sense
But I’m desperate to connect
And you can’t live like this

Love ain’t safe
You won’t get hurt if you stay chaste
So you can wait
But I don’t wanna waste my love

Result: 4 of 5 stars

Review: Thompson Sisters #1, Just Remember to Breathe by Charles Sheehan-Miles

15924661Blurb from Goodreads

Alex Thompson’s life is following the script. A pre-law student at Columbia University, she’s focused on her grades, her life and her future. The last thing she needs is to reconnect with the boy who broke her heart.

Dylan Paris comes home from Afghanistan severely injured and knows that the one thing he cannot do is drag Alex into the mess he’s made of his life.

When Dylan and Alex are assigned to the same work study program and are forced to work side by side, they have to make new ground rules to keep from killing each other.

Only problem is, they keep breaking the rules.

The first rule is to never, ever talk about how they fell in love.

Kindle Edition, 290 pages
Published August 30th 2012 (first published August 29th 2012)
edition language: English
series: Thompson Sisters
genre: Contemporary, Romance, New Adult
My Thoughts
This is definitely a good bittersweet love story, though I have to admit that I’m kind of surprise it was written by male author. Don’t get me wrong but I rarely read a NA romance book from male author, so I don’t know what to expect when I read it. I love the characters in this story, Dylan and Alex with their strength and weakness complete each other, Alex’s best friend, Kelly and her boyfriend, Joel, they are interesting to read and I kind of want to read their own story. And also Alex’s sister, Carrie and Dylan’s friend, Sherman I’m sure I’ll read their story soon.

As for the story, I like that Dylan and Alex’s relationship aren’t easy since they are so different from each other, though I feel that their love have too many drama and obstacles for my taste. It Dylan’s stories that interesting me more. In some part, I want to read more about his PTSD. It well described yet somehow I feel that it’s only a little part of it. I think since it influences his life and his relationship with Alex, it supposed to be more than it described here.

Result: 3.5 stars of 5 stars

Review: Covenant #1, Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout

9680718Blurb from Goodreads

The Hematoi descend from the unions of gods and mortals, and the children of two Hematoi-pure-bloods-have godlike powers. Children of Hematoi and mortals-well, not so much. Half-bloods only have two options: become trained Sentinels who hunt and kill daimons or become servants in the homes of the pures.Seventeen-year-old Alexandria would rather risk her life fighting than waste it scrubbing toilets, but she may end up slumming it anyway. There are several rules that students at the Covenant must follow. Alex has problems with them all, but especially rule #1: Relationships between pures and halfs are forbidden.Unfortunately, she’s crushing hard on the totally hot pure-blood Aiden. But falling for Aiden isn’t her biggest problem–staying alive long enough to graduate the Covenant and become a Sentinel is. If she fails in her duty, she faces a future worse than death or slavery: being turned into a daimon, and being hunted by Aiden. And that would kind of suck.

ebook, 242 pages
Published September 20th 2011 by Spencer Hill Press
edition language: English
series: Covenant
genre: Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult
My Thoughts
I keep this book on hold since many reviewers said it has similarity with The Vampire Academy. I love Vampire Academy it was my first vampire book after the shocking Twilight saga. Hence, I kind of hesitate to read it because I’m not quite sure I can enjoy it and see it differently from Vampire Academy. But now, after 2 years on hold I try to read it with my friends as buddy reads.I really can see the similarity and understand why readers keep saying it. In this case, I think I can’t help to not compare it. While I love Rose Hathaway, I have opposite feeling to Alex. She’s kind of annoyed me. It is okay she has dry wit and sarcastic personality it’s kinda cool, actually. I like this kind of heroine but Alex is also careless and reckless. I think she doesn’t know how to act properly. I mean Aiden saved her from Marcus, her uncle but she doesn’t understand what it means for herself. She keeps cause troubles and what she said and asked to her uncle when she trains with Aiden is unbelievable to me. I don’t mind her playing around with her friends but it’s a big no in her training. That’s reckless and it can make you die. On the other hand, Aiden is way too kind, too soft as her instructor. Yes, he isn’t instructor but he is a Sentinel. He supposed to be more menacing than as an instructor, if It possible. Along her training I couldn’t feel that he’s roughest, toughest, meanest Sentinel as Alex’s friends said.

Aside the similarity, the story is quite predictable. I can guess what *SPOILER* actually happened with Alex’s mom *End of SPOILER*
less than half of the story, though I’m kind of hope I’m wrong. When my guess is right, the only thing I hope is there is something epic will happen so that I can see it differently from The Vampire Academy but nothing major happened. In the end, I think this book is like a recap from The Vampire Academy with different characters’ name and different setting. A few chapters to the end are my only reason gave it 2 stars. Those chapters slightly different from The Vampire Academy and for the sake of my curiosity, I think I want to read its sequel, Pure.

Result: 2 of 5 stars

Review: The Avery Shaw Experiment by Kelly Oram

17660979Blurb from Goodreads

When Avery Shaw’s heart is shattered by her life-long best friend, she chooses to deal with it the only way she knows how—scientifically.

The state science fair is coming up and Avery decides to use her broken heart as the topic of her experiment. She’s going to find the cure. By forcing herself to experience the seven stages of grief through a series of social tests, she believes she will be able to get over Aiden Kennedy and make herself ready to love again. But she can’t do this experiment alone, and her partner (ex partner!) is the one who broke her heart.

Avery finds the solution to her troubles in the form of Aiden’s older brother Grayson. The gorgeous womanizer is about to be kicked off the school basketball team for failing physics. He’s in need of a good tutor and some serious extra credit. But when Avery recruits the lovable Grayson to be her “objective outside observer,” she gets a whole lot more than she bargained for, because Grayson has a theory of his own: Avery doesn’t need to grieve. She needs to live. And if there’s one thing Grayson Kennedy is good at, it’s living life to the fullest.

ebook, 278 pages
Published May 4th 2013 by Bluefields
edition language: English
genre: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
My Thoughts
Due to reading challenge I joined, I have to read books that one of my friends loves. The Avery Shaw Experiment is one of 4 stars book from my friend, Novel. Therefore I decided to do my own experiment to this book.

1. My friend, Sarah who has similar taste with me, loves this book so much. She even said that this is one of her favorite YA chick-lits of all time. Apparently she is one of 1225 readers who praise this book.
2. This is a YA contemporary romance story. I feel the more I read it, the clearer I see its formula. In some cases, it becomes predictable to me.

Predict: I may or may not enjoy this book.

– prologue: I’m quite surprised with the main character’s hypothesis of the cure from the broken heart and kind of disbelieve it will success, yet it intrigued me.

– chapter 1-14: Avery Shaw is 16 year old science geek who just have heart broken from her life-time best friend, Aiden Kennedy. They are partner in science club and have to prepare an experiment for 2013 Utah State Science Fair. Because of the unexpected heart-broken she has and Aiden’s bailed from science club, she doesn’t have a partner anymore. On the other hand, Aiden’s big brother, a jock-popular-senior student, Grayson, is in the edge of taken off the basketball team and needs extra credit to avoid it. In order to cure her broken heart, Avery believes she has to experiencing the seven stages of grief. And she chose it as her experiment for Utah State Science Fair. Since she is the subject for her own experiment, she needs a partner who can make unbiased opinion and also a decision maker for her project. Grayson is a perfect solution and then their experiment begins.

I never thought that seven stages of grief can be a perfect subject for science project. I know that this is a fiction story, I’m aware of that but Avery’s experiment is somehow makes sense to me. She and Grayson provide it with hypothesis, prediction and in the end result. I love reading their experiment.

The alternating POV is a plus for me to love this book even more. While reading Avery’s POV quite make me blue, you know because of her broken heart, Grayson’s POV is hilarious. His cocky-confident nature is hard to resist. They are a perfect partner. I think they’re one of the best couple I’ve read. They and their friends made me giggling and laughing like crazy.

I also love how Kelly Oram builds the story. I can see the changes in Avery, as Grayson intended to do. She begins her story as a shy with panic anxiety teenage girl, slowly but sure Grayson makes her become a confident girl. Their relationship also build in no rush, Grayson let Avery experience the stages but always right beside her to cheer her up. It makes their relationship more natural.

As a popular vs unpopular type book, I love that there isn’t any evil popular stereotype character who bully a helpless nerd/geek character. The different classes in this book quite refreshing to me because they don’t act like common stereotype I read in similar book. Here, popular student can also intimidated by geek student while geek student can speak their opinion freely and stand for themselves.

– epilogue: Avery & Grayson’s story is definitely one of the cutest YA contemporary book I’ve read. I don’t want their story end.

Result: This book has same formula like many of YA contemporary romance, but somehow Kelly Oram can mix the elements perfectly. I enjoy and love reading it. I even want more. I wish she can make its sequel because I want more Avery and Grayson, more Aiden and even more Libby, Avery’s best friend.

Result: 4 of 5 stars

Review: Four Summers by Nyrae Dawn

17666999Blurb from Goodreads

Charlotte Gates is tired of being Charlie Rae. She loves the lake she was raised on, their rental cabins, and spending her nights under the stars…but inside she yearns for more.

After his freshman year, Nathaniel Chase’s family spends their first summer at The Village. From the beginning Charlotte intrigues him. She’s the girl who always says what’s on her mind, wins at night games, and each time she looks through her telescope, gets lost in the sky.

Over the course of four summers together, Charlotte and Nathaniel become best friends, share firsts, mend broken hearts, protect each other’s secrets, overcome tragedies…fall in love. And say goodbye…

Charlie wants out of The Village. Nate wants her to have her stars. And they dream of being able to do it all together. But life isn’t as easy as their summers.

Each summer is told in alternating points of view between Charlie and Nate. Journey with the pair, and their friends, as they share their story about growing up, discovering who they are, making tough choices, and falling in love again and again.

Kindle Edition, 322 pages
Published April 27th 2013 by Nyrae Dawn
edition language: English
genre: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
My Thoughts
I like reading book with first POV and love if it has multiple POV. It makes me more understand and feel the characters. This book has 2 POV, Charlotte’s and Nathaniel’s. What makes it more interesting to me is those POV doesn’t alternating in each chapter, just I usually read in other books, instead it takes turn in each summer. It has four parts or four summers, in each summer Charlotte and Nathaniel take turn tell the story from their eyes. Hence, I don’t have to read the same scene from different eyes because both Charlotte and Nathaniel have their own story.Four summers mean four years for the characters to tell their stories. In those four years, I can really see how they grow up. I can see the awkward teenager, first boy crush in Charlotte as much as a boy-turn to be a man in Nathaniel. And so does with other characters, they all grow up in The Village and the way Nyrae Dawn write, makes me believe it. Although I can guess of what happened with one of the characters

from the beginning of the story, she doesn’t make me sure of it. I mean there are moments when I doubt it. It’s how good she wrote it.This is slow-paced kind of book, but in a good way. The paced is needed to build the story, to see the characters are growing up and learn from their mistakes. In the end, the book is like the summer it selves, we want it to be slow so we can take time to enjoy it.

Result: 3.5 stars