Review: Finding Fate #1, Best Kind of Broken by Chelsea Fine

18360175Blurb from Goodreads

Pixie and Levi haven’t spoken in nearly a year when they find themselves working―and living―at the same inn in the middle of nowhere. Once upon a time, they were childhood friends. But that was before everything went to hell. And now things are… awkward.

All they want to do is avoid each other, and their past, for as long as possible. But now that they’re forced to share a bathroom, and therefore a shower, keeping their distance from one another becomes less difficult than keeping their hands off each other. Welcome to the hallway of awkward tension and sexual frustration, folks. Get comfy. It’s going to be a long summer.

ebook, 336 pages
Published March 4th 2014 by Forever
Edition language: English
Series: Finding Fate
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, New Adult
My Thoughts
ARC was provided by the author/publisher via NetGalley in exchange for honest review.

“There’s no such thing as too broken. Anything can heal.”

When I saw Chelsea Fine latest book is up on NetGalley, I felt like I wanted to jump up and down was so relieved because it’s been a while since she writes a book. I know it isn’t easy writing a book, but come on I miss her stories. So I literally did everything I can to read this book as soon as possible.

So let’s meet our new characters Sarah Marshall aka Pixie and Levi Andrews aka Leaves. Pixie and Levi had been best friend for a long time, since they were a child. They knew each other through Levi’s little sister, Charity. Pixie has a dysfunctional family but she has other family full of love whose she can run to, the Andrews. Charity teaches her to be brave, confident and always feel beautiful when her mom always says the opposite. And Levi always stands beside her, be there for her. He is her hero and their parents love her just like they love their children. Basically, the Andrews are a place to call home for Pixie. But then, a terrible thing happened which cause them fall apart. This is when the story takes place.

Unlike The Archers of Avalon (it’s one of my favorite YA series, by the way), this book is told from Pixie and Levi POV which makes me so happy because I love reading from first POV. It was so enjoyable reading from Pixie and Lexi POV. I love their banter, love the way they ogle and check each other out, I even love when they thinking each other. I just love being in their mind and seeing through their eyes. Hence it was so easy to connect with their story. I laugh, sad, happy and proud with them.

I also like the way Chelsea Fine build the story. To be honest there is nothing new in Pixie and Levi’s story but Ms. Fine wrote it really well it can make me glue to the book er…to my ereader, to be exact. I read it in one sitting, that’s how addictive it is.

“No,” I say, loud enough to be heard over the roaring wind and rain.
She blinks. “No?”
“No, we can’t be just friends.” Rain drips down my face as my heart hammers against my rib cage. “Because we’re more than just friends, and we always have been. And I’m not talking about sex, Pix. I’m talking about trust and comfort. I’m talking about home.” Lightning strikes nearby and the wind picks up. I raise my voice. “You are not my friend, Pixie. You are a piece of my heart and a part of who I want to be.”

However there is one thing I didn’t quite satisfy. In first part of the story, what happened with Pixie and Levi in Willow inn happens in the same pattern. Everyday has similar story. Levi and Pixie fighting over hot shower which build sexual tension, doing they work a whole day and then remembering their past. All of them happen in the hallway east wing, the kitchen and/or living room in Willow inn. It was like there is nothing new in their present life in 40% of the book. But at the same time, I really like reading their past whenever they memorize it. It intertwined their present life really well.

In the end, I really liked this book, though it still can’t beat my love for Anew. And look forward to book 2 which will be about Daren and Kayla. I’m so curious of them, like, really want to know about them ASAP.

Result: 3 out of 5 stars

Review: The Ascendance Trilogy #1, The False King By Jennifer A. Nielsen

12432220Blurb from Goodreads

THE FALSE PRINCE is the thrilling first book in a brand-new trilogy filled with danger and deceit and hidden identities that will have readers rushing breathlessly to the end.

In a discontent kingdom, civil war is brewing. To unify the divided people, Conner, a nobleman of the court, devises a cunning plan to find an impersonator of the king’s long-lost son and install him as a puppet prince. Four orphans are recruited to compete for the role, including a defiant boy named Sage. Sage knows that Conner’s motives are more than questionable, yet his life balances on a sword’s point — he must be chosen to play the prince or he will certainly be killed. But Sage’s rivals have their own agendas as well.

As Sage moves from a rundown orphanage to Conner’s sumptuous palace, layer upon layer of treachery and deceit unfold, until finally, a truth is revealed that, in the end, may very well prove more dangerous than all of the lies taken together.

An extraordinary adventure filled with danger and action, lies and deadly truths that will have readers clinging to the edge of their seats.

Kindle Edition, 1st Edition, 352 pages
Published: April 1st 2012 by Scholastic
Edition language: English
Series: The Ascendance Trilogy
Genre: Fantasy, Children
My Thoughts
Sage, the main character and narrator of this book is a 14 years old boy who lives in orphanage. He’s well known as a very good thief. His life changed when he gets caught and someone bought him from the orphanage to become a pawn in Carthya kingdom political intrigue. He, along with two other orphans, Tobias and Roden have to compete each other to become a false prince, an impostor of Prince Jaron of Carthya who everyone thought has already died 4 years ago but his body never been found.

One thing I loved most from this book is the characters. The author created her characters in gray area. There is no one who actually kind and be a good character as well as there isn’t anyone who is truly evil either. They have their own reason to act and think the way they did. In some point I agree with them or at least I can understand why they did it, but then in other part I think what they did is wrong. Each character has virtues and vices both I liked and disliked. Sage, for example although from the very beginning I already liked him with his witty and mischievous, he also annoyed me with his rebel attitude. He didn’t take what happened to him seriously and seem didn’t care either, though it’s also obvious that he is smart, kind, and brave. It’s just there was time when I think he wasted his time and virtues just to prove to Connor that he can. And Connor is interested me more than other characters. He is one of the regents of Carthya, the one who bought Sage and other orphan and prepare them to become Prince Jaron. Most of the time I was questioning his motive, whether he is a good regent who care about his kingdom or has hidden agenda.

However there is also one thing that I didn’t quite like. The paced was too slow for my taste. For the setting that only takes place in two weeks and a lot of things happened to prepare the false prince, it didn’t feel like Sage, Tobias and Roden only have two weeks to prepare themselves. Hence, it couldn’t make me glue to the book. I needed 3 days to finish it. And there is one teeny tiny little thing that kinda distracted me, the words choice that I don’t think are used in regent era. It might be just my thought, though because English isn’t my first language so I maybe don’t know much about it but I don’t think c’mon (instead of come on) is used in 19th century, the setting I assumed the story takes place.

Note: Everybody wants to rule by Lorde is my soundtrack when I read it.

Welcome to your life
There’s no turning back
Even while we sleep
We will find you

Acting on your best behavior
Turn your back on Mother Nature
Everybody wants to rule the world

It’s my own design
It’s my own remorse
Help me to decide
Help me make the most of freedom
And of pleasure
Nothing ever lasts forever
Everybody wants to rule the world

There’s a room where the light won’t find you
Holding hands while the walls come tumbling down
When they do, I’ll be right behind you
So glad we’ve almost made it
So sad we had to fade it
Everybody wants to rule the world
Everybody wants to rule the world
Everybody wants to rule the world

Result: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Review: Horrorscape #1, Fearscape by Nenia Campbell

16161543Blurb from Goodreads

He followed her because he wanted to own her. She trusted him because she wanted excitement. There’s a saying that curiosity can kill … but Valerian Kimble is beginning to learn that satisfaction might just be worse.

Fourteen-year-old Valerian lives in an age where antiheroes and bad boys are portrayed as the romantic ideal, and good guys are passe and boring. So when Gavin Mecozzi, the school’s brilliant but twisted loner, begins to show an interest in her after a chance meeting in a pet store, Val is intrigued. He’s charming and poetic and makes her feel things that she thought were only possible in books–

Fear.

Because somebody is stalking Val. Somebody who wants to hurt her. Own her. Possess her. Maybe even kill her.

As her meetings with Gavin unravel into a more complex and frightening relationship, Val can’t help but wonder if the new boy in her life is her depraved and obsessive stalker.

And whether he’s capable of murder.

Time is running out.

Kindle Edition, 165 pages
Published: November 29th 2012 by Amazon Digital Services
Edition language: English
Series: Horrorscape
Genre: Thriller, Young Adult
My Thoughts
Before I read this book, I didn’t read reviews or anything regarding of this book aside its blurb. So I didn’t know and expect much about it. First couple chapters, I think this is quite an odd story and the way Val describes her love for animals is kind of bored me. And then it’s hard for me to picture her that she is fourteen years old. I think she’s too young and sometimes she seems too mature than her age while other time I can’t feel her at all. But the more I read it, I think the clearer I get why Ms. Campbell wrote her story and characters that way. In the end I understand Val story better than what I thought before I read it.
I don’t know why but this book reminds me of Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. There isn’t one single scene that similar to it, yet I got Twilight vibe here and there while I read this book. Well…I can assure you there isn’t any dangerous paranormal characters here, they are all human but human can be dangerous too, right?
This is where the suspense takes part. It can make me wondering about who the bad guy is and when I think I can guess who it is, I wish that I was wrong, though at the same time it’s so obvious who it is. I think it’s because I mostly read about those kind of “bad” guy who are mostly romanticized it becomes acceptable heroes in most YA books I read nowadays. That’s what I liked most about this book. It doesn’t contain with those kind of hero. Once he acts wrong, he is indeed wrong, no matter what his reason is. And no need to romanticized the creepy thing he does, just because he’s attracted to the heroine.
All in all, I really liked this book but there are also things I’m not sure about. So I think I’m going to save my star for its sequels because I surely need to read it.
Result: 3 out of 5 stars
Favorite quotes:
“If she was mean, it was because she’d learned that she had to be, and not by choice.”
“It was harder to tell with humans, which was what made them so distinct from other animals. Sometimes the nice ones could look mean, and sometimes the mean ones could look nice. And sometimes it was impossible to tell at all. “

Review: The Ivy Chronicles #1, Foreplay by Sophie Jordan

17254035Blurb from Goodreads

Pepper has been hopelessly in love with her best friend’s brother, Hunter, for like ever. He’s the key to everything she’s always craved: security, stability, family. But she needs Hunter to notice her as more than just a friend. Even though she’s kissed exactly one guy, she has just the plan to go from novice to rock star in the bedroom—take a few pointers from someone who knows what he’s doing.

Her college roommates have the perfect teacher in mind. But bartender Reece is nothing like the player Pepper expects. Yes, he’s beyond gorgeous, but he’s also dangerous, deep—with a troubled past. Soon what started as lessons in attraction are turning both their worlds around, and showing just what can happen when you go past foreplay and get to what’s real…

ebook, 304 pages
Published: November 5th 2013 by William Morrow Paperbacks
Edition language: English
Series: The Ivy Chronicles
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, New Adult
My Thoughts
This is my first Sophie Jordan books and I honestly didn’t expect much. I mean just from the blurb I basically have already known what will happen with the characters and what is the story about. It’s just as cliché as it can be. But surprisingly I really liked and enjoyed reading it.

I love everything in this book, including the lack of angst and that cliché thing. Yup…you read right. I usually like contemporary romance with angst and drama but here, the lack of it makes the story simple yet it’s so engaging and fast-paced. I can’t stop reading it till I finished it. It’s an unputdownable story.

I love the characters, all of them, the main and supporting characters. They play their role perfectly. The main characters, Pepper and Reece are lovable. I fall in love with them instantly. Reece’s so sweet and kind to Pepper and I loved Pepper’s honesty and straightforwardness. She’s surprised me with those qualities. They are perfect for each other. And for the supporting characters they make me want to meet them again. I kind of hope they will have their own story soon.

Result: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Review: Unteachable by Leah Raeder

17978680Blurb from Goodreads

Maise O’Malley just turned eighteen, but she’s felt like a grown-up her entire life. The summer before senior year, she has plans: get into a great film school, convince her mom to go into rehab, and absolutely do not, under any circumstances, screw up her own future.

But life has a way of throwing her plans into free-fall.

When Maise meets Evan at a carnival one night, their chemistry is immediate, intense, and short-lived. Which is exactly how she likes it: no strings. But afterward, she can’t get Evan out of her head. He’s taught her that a hookup can be something more. It can be an unexpected connection with someone who truly understands her. Someone who sees beyond her bravado to the scared but strong girl inside.

That someone turns out to be her new film class teacher, Mr. Evan Wilke.

Maise and Evan resolve to keep their hands off each other, but the attraction is too much to bear. Together, they’re real and genuine; apart, they’re just actors playing their parts for everyone else. And their masks are slipping. People start to notice. Rumors fly. When the truth comes to light in a shocking way, they may learn they were just playing parts for each other, too.

Smart, sexy, and provocative, Unteachable is about what happens when a love story goes off-script.

Kindle Edition, 356 pages
Published: July 27th 2013 by Velvet Pony Press
Edition language: English
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, New Adult
My Thoughts
“I’m not going to do the whole rollercoaster/falling in love metaphor. I didn’t fall in love with him up there. Maybe I fell in love with the idea of love,..” This book is so intense and felt wrong at some point I wanted to stop reading it. I don’t read much about teacher-student relationship story, especially the one with a huge different age. At first Maise and Evan relationship reminded me of Lake and Will from Slammed by Colleen Hoover but Maise and Evan story were much more intense. Then there was a huge different age, I couldn’t help myself to not connect it with Julianne and Isaac from Want by Stephanie Lawton.

“Don’t judge me. You have no idea what you’re talking about.” Maise, the main character of this story shocked me since the first time she entered the story. So yes….it was from the very first page. She’s one of uncommon female characters I’ve read in YA/NA books. She’s bold, straight forward, fearless, shameless, reckless, and honest. She knows that she’s beautiful, smart and a good liar. And she doesn’t pretend that she’s not in those qualities. She’s aware of her beauty and uses it for her own good. Why I think she’s unlike most of female characters in YA/NA books I read? Usually they are described so beautiful but they don’t realize it. But not Maise, she knows it very well. Her boldness, reckless, shameless and honesty made me wanted to stop reading it. I didn’t mean to judge her and Evan but I can’t help myself to not questioning their sanity. In some part it felt wrong but I think it was just because she’s so honest telling me her story. I felt like I have to divert my eyes to look different things instead of their love just because they have an uncommon love from normal eyes. I have to read more to understand it. And did I understand them, in the end.

”The soft clack of the spokes, the groggy drone of bees and locusts, the honey-thick sunlight drizzling over us—I was in love with the world today. A big dumb smile climbed onto my face every time my mind drifted. The air tasted like sherry, sweet and light, a pleasant sting on my tongue.” What do you think of that sentence above? I think it’s poetic in romantic way. I loved the way it was written. It was beautiful in an honest way, just like Maise. Reading this book was like watching Terrence Malick movies, Maise favorite director, poignant, harsh yet beautiful. I can even imagine it in my mind clearly, every scene with every dialogue and monologue.

I really liked this story wrote in first person POV, from Maise POV, that way I can connect and feel her easily. But in some part I wished I can also read from Evan POV. For first part of the story, though their love is so intense I just couldn’t understand what made him drawn to her instantly. Hence, I thought it was just an infatuation or an obsession.

“So if we’re both so happy, why are we sad?” I think most of the time I felt like this is about obsession rather than a love story. Maise and Evan are obsess with each other they couldn’t see anything and anyone except themselves. There’s no one else aside them in the world. It might be romantic but on the hand I don’t think it’s a healthy relationship.

I also liked the way the author wrote Maise’s mom. She doesn’t has much scene even compare to Wesley, Maise’s friend, but every time she appears she can bring the worse of herself and boy…the way she talks made me think that either she’s not smart enough or she’s uneducated. And how ironic reading Maise always wants to be treated and act like an adult while she couldn’t and kind of ignorant as an adult. Thus, she can make me dislike her and felt sorry for Maise.With all the drama and angst that I loved in this story, I still couldn’t give it 5 perfect stars, though. It was because I was a little bit bored at second part of the story. There weren’t a lot of things happened here but don’t worry it was only a couple of chapters. I also can figure out Evan’s big secret and who Eric was. It didn’t mean that it was predictable, far from it. It was, on that particular scenes it didn’t surprise me either. I guess I was kind of expected it was more like Want by Stephanie Lawton when I felt like I didn’t know what I read till I finished it. And although I love the feeling reading it like watching movie, I didn’t quite satisfied with the ending which was as cliche as in romance movies. I was kind of hope it will be more grand than that.

However, it’s one of the intense NA books I’ve read. If you like story with angst and drama I recommend it to you.

Result: 4 out of 5 stars
Favorite quotes:
“…You should love something while you have it, love it fully and without reservation, even if you know you’ll lose it someday. We lose everything. If you’re trying to avoid loss, there’s no point in taking another breath, or letting your heart beat one more time. It all ends.” His fingers curl around mine. “That’s all life is. Breathing in, breathing out. The space between two breaths.”
“Part of falling in love with someone is actually falling in love with yourself. Realizing that you’re gorgeous, you’re fearless and unpredictable, you’re a firecracker spitting light, entrancing a hundred faces that stare up at you with starry eyes.”
“That’s another thing about lies: if you convince yourself they’re true, they become true. A lie is a discrepancy of belief, not fact.”
“That is all life is. Breathing in, breathing out. The space between two breaths.”
“I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul and all that jazz.”