Review: Finding Fate #3, Right Kind of Wrong by Chelsea Fine

20455344Blurb from Goodreads

Sometimes wrong can feel oh so right . . .

Jenna Lacombe needs complete control, whether it’s in the streets . . . or between the sheets. So when she sets out on a solo road trip to visit her family in New Orleans, she’s beyond annoyed that the infuriatingly sexy Jack Oliver wants to hitch a ride with her. Ever since they shared a wild night together last year, he’s been trying to strip away her defenses one by one. He claims he’s just coming along to keep her safe-but what’s not safe for her is prolonged exposure to the tattooed hottie.

Jack can’t get Jenna out from under his skin. She makes him feel alive again after his old life nearly destroyed him-and losing her is not an option. Now Jack’s troubles are catching up to him, and he’s forced to return to his hometown in Louisiana. But when his secrets put them both in harm’s way, Jenna will have to figure out how far she’s willing to let love in . . . and how much she already has.

ebook, 336 pages
Published September 2nd 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.

I think Jenna and Jack’s story is far more engaging than previous books in the series. I liked reading they banter throughout the story. They easy-going personalities are really enjoyable to read. And their families are just funny I want them to have their own story (Jenna’s cousins and Jack’s brothers). And Jack…I love him from the first time he comes into the story. In a way, I much prefer reading his POV than Jenna’s. I also think that the author did a good job in building the tension. At first I thought it’s all about road trip and independent, Jenna’s main issue. But then the more they do that road trip, the clearer that they have something else in their plate, especially Jack. He isn’t the Jack Jenna know about.

However, I feel the way Jack handles his old (or is it real?) life is too easy. I mean what happen to his brother is a dangerous thing and deals with dangerous people, but it can be solved just with one call from Jack that those people don’t even questioning him. Jack keeps saying that they are dangerous. Some kind of evil drug dealer but I think they are quite stupid for dangerous-secretive gangs.

As much as it’s engaging, the writing is too flowery for my taste.

This is Jack and he will not be conquered. Jack will not be owned. Jack will not be taken. He is the victor and king. With him, I am not the hurricane. He is the storm and I am the ravaged.
His force will destroy me; wrap me up in the fierce wind of his passion and the heavy water of his love. And that’s what it is: love. Undeniable and irrevocable love. And it is his stormy love that terrifies me most of all.
The storm will come, flatten me completely, and I will never be the same.

This kind of sentences made me cringe so many times.

I also quite annoyed with Jenna’s independent declaration. I do understand her feeling and why she needs to take control all the time. I support her independency and I love independent girl but there is a fine line between stubborn and naïve (if not stupid). She’s so stubborn with so many things while at the same time it can make her and people around her, particularly Jack, in danger and can slow him down, especially regarding of his past.

All in all, I actually love Chelsea Fine books. But I still haven’t found my favorite in this Finding Fate series so far. I really hope her next books will be as good as her old one (The Archers of Avalon series and Sophie & Carter).

Result: 3 out of 5 stars
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Review: Attachment by Rainbow Rowell

10600010Blurb from Goodreads

By day, two young women spend their hours emailing each other, discussing every aspect of their lives. By night, Lincoln, a lonely IT guy, spends his hours reading every exchange. Soon Lincoln is drawn into their lives, and finds himself falling for one of them. Lincoln decides it’s time to muster the courage to follow his heart.

Paperback, 357 pages
Published February 2012 by Orion (first published April 14th 2011)
edition language: English
genre: Contemporary, Chick-lit, Adult
My Thoughts
Here’s the thing, I really liked Eleanor & Park and Fangirl, but it doesn’t mean that I expect much to this book. My friend said it’s quite different from Rowell other books I’ve read and it’s basically similar with You’ve Got Mail the movie minus the encounters between the main characters and the back and forth emailing each other. Both of them only in one way, the heroine, Beth sends her email to her bestfriend, Jennifer, without realizes that the hero, Lincoln, read them. And they indeed meet each other but she’s the only one who knows it since he doesn’t know what she looks like. So I prepare myself to get bored and the slow-paced story. I even prepare myself for not-so-good ending because most of reviews said so and the fact that Beth and Lincoln finally meet only at the end of the story.

Yet I have to admit that I enjoyed it more than I expect. It’s hilarious! I love reading Beth and Jennifer’s emails. They feel real, as real as when my bestfriend and I emailing each other. They talk about anything and nothing. The story feels more mature than both Eleanor & Park and Fangirl as the characters are older than both in Eleanor & Park and Fangirl, but somehow it’s much lighter and funnier than both of them. And just like in Fangirl, in a way I can relate to the characters with my own life. Hence it so easy connects to the story.

I think the setting, 1999, is perfect for the story. It’s where the internet was still relatively new. Thus, Lincoln job sounds important, though he doesn’t feel that way. The internet itself was important but not enough to take over people’s life, just like nowadays. Most people still read newspaper, rather than e-newspaper. People still read The Curier, a newspaper where Beth and Jennifer work. And the Y2K issue was quite big at the time. I didn’t know much about it but I remember that it was such a big issue I read and saw it made headline so many times, especially at the end of 1999. So I couldn’t agree more with Jennifer and Beth about it.

As for the characters, I always love Rowell characters. I think she has a thing for nerd/geek characters which I love since I have a special place in my heart for nerd/geek characters. I really enjoyed reading Lincoln’s POV. I can see his geekiness. But I also have to say that I didn’t quite like him at the beginning of the story. He seems too clingy for me. I think it was necessary for his character, though. And that way I can see that he is a shy-awkward guy. But it was so easy to like Beth from the first line she was introduced. I think her emails helps me a lot to love her. I kinda wished she has her POV too. So I can see more about what she thinks of Lincoln and other characters.

So you see, without a doubt I really liked this book. However I couldn’t round it up to 4 star rating because I didn’t quite like the ending. I feel Beth and Lincoln ending is a bit in a rush. I don’t know…I think I need them to talk more or knowing each other more before it finally finish. And also I don’t believe in fall in love at first sight or love before love at first sight, so there! As much as I think their story is sweet and cute, I can’t get my mind to believe it 🙂

Result: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Review: Dangerous to Know & Love by Jane Harvey-Berrick

17383763Blurb from Goodreads

Silence is only skin deep.

Nineteen year old Daniel Colton is the guy all the girls want to date, and the man all the guys want to be. Moody, with an explosive temper, closed off and sullen, he’s also beautiful, tatted in delicious ways, with a pierced eyebrow and spiky black hair. It’s rumoured he has piercings in other places, too. Is he really mad, bad and dangerous to know?

Daniel lives with his older brother, Zef, and their home is party central. You want drugs, a good time, liquor, no questions asked? Colton’s is the place to go.

When Daniel and good girl Lisanne Maclaine have to work together on an assignment, Lisanne finds there’s a lot more to the college’s bad boy than his reputation. He’s intelligent and funny and good company. And then she discovers his secret, why he’s so closed off to everyone, and determined to keep people at arms’ length. But being his secret-keeper is harder than she ever dreamed.

Recommended for readers 18+ due to sexual references and sex scenes, some coarse language, drug references and drug use.

ebook, 387 pages
Published May 17th 2013 by Harvey Berrick Publishing (first published May 15th 2013)
edition language: English
genre: Contemporary, Romance, New Adult
My Thoughts
I’m so relieved I finally finished this book. I think it’s one of the thickest NA books I’ve ever read. Unfortunately the thickest page doesn’t mean it’s a good reading since I didn’t enjoy it. The story keeps dragging on and on and on I think if I skip some of them, I won’t lose much. And it has obvious pattern that I can guess what will happen next easily. So the main characters will talk, one of them (but mostly) the hero, Daniel Calton, will mad at the heroine, Lisanne McLaine, he then will storm from the room or run away or something like that, Lisanne will cry and apologize though it isn’t her fault, and then they have sex. In a couple pages they will get along well before it repeats the pattern. Reading their story is like listening to one melody in an album, though it has different song titles.

And then the characters are judgmental and have double standards.

He was different alright. In fact, Lisanne was pretty sure that he’d wandered into the wrong classroom by mistake. No way someone like him was taking the Introduction to Business class.. […]Lisanne felt unreasonably irritated with him. Her parents had paid good money for her to attend college, and losers like that guy were just there for the ride. Lisanne couldn’t stand people like that – people who were fake.

I get that Lisanne meant to be a judgmental person in the beginning of the story so there is development character in her along the way. But the thing is even when she realizes that she’s being a judgmental person and seeing and thinking as stereotype as can be, she keeps being a judgmental person. I didn’t see much her changing. Well…maybe just a bit at the end of the story, even Daniel whom people think as stereotype often has prejudice himself. Not to mention Lisanne’s parents who are teachers assume the worst/the best from physical appearances.

Lisanne, as an 18 year old college girl seems so naive, lack of confidence and is insecure about herself while at the same time she acts all tense around Daniel I want to tell her to lose herself and relax once in a while.

It was second nature for Lisanne to doubt anything positive that someone said about her.

She asked for a bottle of water and both of the guys had beers. She frowned but didn’t say anything.

And it’s kinda annoying reading she calls herself as LA whenever she texts Daniel while only one time he call her that way. I mean why she declares herself with one nick name that hardly use by the characters?

And Daniel, boy…I’m kinda afraid of him, to be honest. His emotion is like a rollercoaster and he’s like a ticking bomb at the same time.

“What’s the matter, Lis?”She shook her head. “Nothing.”His temper flared instantly.“Don’t do that! Fuck! I miss enough of what’s going on around me, without you saying ‘nothing’ when I can see by your face that you’re upset.”

“Just give me the fucking chance,” snarled Daniel, instantly losing his good mood. “Mother fucker.”

“But you slept with her,” hissed Lisanne.Daniel’s patience was fracturing fast. “For fuck’s sake, that was when I was a kid. My dick hasn’t been anywhere near her in nearly three years!”

“Why don’t you want us to meet?” she said, tightly. “You said you’d introduce us.” Her expression was challenging and Daniel immediately felt his hackles rising.“Because I can’t take any more fucking drama right now, Lis, and you look like you want to start yanking her hair.”

Daniel knew that his hold on his temper was tenuous and tried not to take out his constant anger on Lisanne, but it was hard.

Most of the time he takes everyone words wrongly. He gets mad easily because of it. He even gets mad to Lisanne’s parents just because they worry about their daughter.

So once again I’m being in minority side. I guess it’s another it-is-just-me-not-you kind of book, then.

Result: 1 out of 5 stars

Review: Throne of Glass #3, Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

20658347Blurb from Goodreads

Lost and broken, Celaena Sardothien’s only thought is to avenge the savage death of her dearest friend: as the King of Adarlan’s Assassin, she is bound to serve this tyrant, but he will pay for what he did. Any hope Celaena has of destroying the king lies in answers to be found in Wendlyn. Sacrificing his future, Chaol, the Captain of the King’s Guard, has sent Celaena there to protect her, but her darkest demons lay in that same place. If she can overcome them, she will be Adarlan’s biggest threat – and his own toughest enemy.

While Celaena learns of her true destiny, and the eyes of Erilea are on Wendlyn, a brutal and beastly force is preparing to take to the skies. Will Celaena find the strength not only to win her own battles, but to fight a war that could pit her loyalties to her own people against those she has grown to love?

Kindle Edition, 565 pages
Published September 2nd 2014 by Bloomsbury USA Children’s
edition language: English
series: Throne of Glass
genre: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
My Thoughts
I don’t think I can tell you how much I was so eager to get my hand on this book. I started the series with a doubt. Celaena has potential but she has things that I didn’t quite like both in Throne of Glass and The Assassin’s Blade. And then I read Crown of Midnight, it literally changed my perspective on her and the story. I loved it and counted down till the release of Heir of Fire.

Then I finally got the book. I read it and there are a lot of things that remind me of the Lord of the Rings (book but mostly the movie). To be honest, I was quite surprise about it. There were things that also reminded me of LoTR in Crown of Midnight, but I thought I won’t get the feel again here. I tried to ignore it just like what I did in Crown of Midnight. The problem is Crown of Midnight has so much more to offer than the similarities of other epic fantasy story. So in a way I can keep my focus on it, rather than the similarities. But here, I couldn’t ignore it since there is barely anything in more than half of the book. It was boring. I was bored to death I kept putting it down and fell asleep every time I tried to read it. I think the author tried too hard to make the book become a more complex epic fantasy story she forgets to add something to engage readers, at least me, to the story. This is indeed an epic fantasy book, with all of those descriptions, worldbuilding, the setting and even the characters own languages. But somehow, it’s just all about those things, there isn’t much thing that happen in it to intertwine each one of them. There aren’t much happen with Celaena and other characters to the story. It’s all about building the power, the abilities, and allies but forget to add something to make those building process more interesting.

However, I was quite surprised in the last 40% of the book. When 60% of the book was so boring, I didn’t have any hope to the story. I just read it to finish it. I can’t tell you how happy I am when the author finally showed me what she didn’t show in first part of the book. The slow-pace story and many POVs that keep changing that seem didn’t connect to one and another, especially the witches POV are finally pick up and I can’t help not to enjoy it. I think in that last 40% is where things finally happen and there are tensions in it. I especially liked that most of characters here show their vulnerability. It makes them more real and they grow as characters.

To be honest, I was thinking to dnf it, I really did. If it wasn’t my love for Chaol, I might not finish it. Now I’m glad that I keep reading it because that last 40% turn my thoughts about this book, from didn’t like it to really like it.

Result: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Review: Vampire Academy #5, Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead

6479259Blurb from Goodreads

Dimitri gave Rose the ultimate choice. But she chose wrong…

After a long and heartbreaking journey to Dimitri’s birthplace in Siberia, Rose Hathaway has finally returned to St. Vladimir’s-and to her best friend, Lissa. It is nearly graduation, and the girls can’t wait for their real lives beyond the Academy’s iron gates to begin. But Rose’s heart still aches for Dimitri, and she knows he’s out there, somewhere.

She failed to kill him when she had the chance. And now her worst fears are about to come true. Dimitri has tasted her blood, and now he is hunting her. And this time he won’t rest until Rose joins him… forever.

Paperback, 489 pages
Published February 22nd 2011 by Razorbill (first published January 1st 2010)
edition language: English
series: Vampire Academy
genre: Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult

My Thoughts

I started reading Vampire Academy series years ago, a few years after I read Twilight. At first I was kinda hesitant to read it after my not-so-good experience with Twilight but my friends convince me that it’s a good series. I picked Vampire Academy up just to shut my friends up 😀 And then Rose Hathaway shut me up with her kickass attitude and her wth-I-don’t-care-what-you-think-of-me personalities. She is the main reason I really liked the series.

Then two years ago I read book 4, the one that I really looking forward after major cliffhanger in book 3. Turn out what I was looking forward didn’t live my expectation. Rose Hathaway in Blood Promise wasn’t the kickass heroine I know from the first three books. I was so disappointed and (once again) hesitant to pick its sequels up.

When I finally picked this book up, I kinda wished that Rose will be back to the Rose I love, not Rose from Blood Promise. Unfortunately she’s still true to her personalities that I didn’t quite like. She likes to whine and gets all emo every time she faces Dimitri. She keeps telling me seeing him as a Strigoi had been hard for her. I know she loves him but reading that particular sentence over and over was so annoying. She’s self-center and takes everything and everyone for granted.

After 4 books, I thought she can be more mature and responsible. But nope, she’s still reckless and in the process she drags her friends down and doesn’t even realize it. As a guardian, I really hope she acts like a true guardian, the guardian whom Dimitri taught in St. Vladimir. But I never see her as a guardian here. She’s still Rose I-don’t-care-what-you-think-of-me from St. Vladimir. And it really annoying and frustrating me!

If it wasn’t because my promise to finish series I’ve started and its spin-off, Bloodliness series (love Adrian!), I might not finish this series. But here I am, reading book 5 and so eager to read final book just so I can read Bloodlines series.

Result: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Review: Finding Fate #2, Perfect Kind of Trouble by Chelsea Fine

18656446Blurb from Goodreads

Sometimes when perfect falls apart, a little trouble fixes everything . . .

Twenty-one-year-old Kayla Turner has lost everything. After spending most of her life taking care of her ailing mother, she just wants to spot a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. So when her late father-a man she barely knew-leaves her an inheritance, she finally breathes a sigh of relief . . . until she learns the inheritance comes with strings. Strings in the form of handsome playboy Daren Ackwood, her father’s protégé. To see any of her inheritance, she’s forced to team up with him. From his expensive car to those sexy dimples, Kayla’s seen his type before. But Daren isn’t who he seems to be . . .

Struggling to make amends for his family’s mistakes, Daren has a life more Oliver Twist than Richie Rich these days. He’s beyond grateful that James Turner included him in his will, but working with Turner’s princess of a daughter to fulfill his cryptic last wish is making Daren wonder if being broke is really so bad. Still, she’s just as beautiful as she is stubborn, and the more time he spends with Kayla, the less it feels right being without her. Soon Daren and Kayla begin to wonder if maybe the best gift Kayla’s dad could have left them . . . was each other.

ebook, 336 pages
Published June 17th 2014 by Forever
edition language: English
series: Finding Fate
genre: Contemporary, Romance, New Adult
My Thoughts
I think this second book of Finding Fate series is better than Best Kind of Broken. I more enjoyed reading it and didn’t bore me, things that I felt in Levi and Pixie’s story.

I liked the way Chelsea Fine tells the back story of Kayla and Daren. It’s told through the scavenger hunt that they have to do and letters and/or quotes from Kayla’s father, James Turner, can trigger their memory. That’s when they mostly tell me about their past. It felt like each letter and/quote connect to their younger life. I also really enjoy their scavenger hunt. It’s so much fun and since I love scavenger hunt myself, it makes me wondering about the clues with Kayla and Daren.

However as much as it’s an interesting scavenger hunt, I think the handcuffs thing is kinda ridiculous. I didn’t quite believe that James makes Kayla and Daren handcuffs each other while they are barely know each other in the first place.

Result: 3 out of 5 stars

Review: Brutal Youth by Anthony Breznican

19838559Blurb from Goodreads

Three freshmen must join forces to survive at a troubled, working-class Catholic high school with a student body full of bullies and zealots, and a faculty that’s even worse in Anthony Breznican’s Brutal Youth

With a plunging reputation and enrollment rate, Saint Michael’s has become a crumbling dumping ground for expelled delinquents and a haven for the militantly religious when incoming freshman Peter Davidek enrolls. On his first day, tensions are clearly on the rise as a picked-upon upperclassmen finally snaps, unleashing a violent attack on both the students who tormented him for so long, and the corrupt, petty faculty that let it happen. But within this desperate place, Peter befriends fellow freshmen Noah Stein, a volatile classmate whose face bears the scars of a dark past, and the beautiful but lonely Lorelei Pascall —so eager to become popular, she makes only enemies.

To even stand a chance at surviving their freshmen year, the trio must join forces as they navigate a bullying culture dominated by malevolent administrators like the once popular Ms. Bromine, their disturbed guidance counselor, and Father Mercedes, the plotting parish priest who plans to scapegoat the students as he makes off with church finances. A coming-of-age tale reversed, Brutal Youth follows these students as they discover that instead of growing older and wiser, going bad may be the only way to survive.

Kindle Edition, 416 pages
Published June 10th 2014 by Thomas Dunne Books
edition language: English
genre: Contemporary, Young Adult
My Thoughts
ARC was provided by the author/publisher via NetGalley in exchange for honest review.

“Everybody is somebody’s bully.”

I don’t think I ever read books with most of the characters I dislike so much. There are at least 44 characters here but I only liked 2 of them, Noah Stein and Peter Davidek. Of course, my level of dislike is different for each character. There are characters that I only slightly dislike, like Davidek and Hannah Kraut. But there are that I hate I can’t believe the author can write them down.

Another thing is Brutal Youth has one brutal prologue. I often consider prologue as a glimpse into the story. If I like it enough, I’ll mostly love the whole story. This prologue intrigued me to read more but it’s so long I wonder whether it’s actually a few chapters combine. In fact each chapter in this book doesn’t even that long. It’s definitely the longest prologue I’ve ever read. As much as I liked it, it was just too long for me and made me put the book on hold especially after my friend who was buddy reading it with me has finished and disliked it so much.

I still feel indifferent about this book, to be honest. As a fictional story, I didn’t enjoy reading it. Too much brutal things happen with too many characters that made me sick. I just couldn’t believe the way the teachers pretend they don’t know what happen in St. Michael the Archangel High School. They are often reasoning things to make it look more acceptable. Again, it’s just sickening. The worst is they also bully the students, in a way. And I think the story is too long. There are the similar things happen again and again. And reading brutal bullying so many times was quite a torture for me.

“But remember that big speech of his? The one about how people do bad stuff to get what they want, but people only do good stuff out of selfishness, too? Well, maybe he was wrong. Maybe sometimes, people just do … stuff. Because they don’t know what else to do. Or out of pure craziness. Or who-knows-why.”

And the students are truly brutal. They bully other students in the name of revenge and/or have their own reason. Their motive is different from each other, but it ends at the same thing, avoiding the bullying. So it’s just like a cycle, there are never ending bullying. The bully can also be bullied. Everybody is somebody’s bully.

[…]”Excuses. Maybe it’s the way you talk, or the color of your skin, or the color of your underwear, or whether you’ve got a clip-on around your neck. Assholes will find a reason to fuck with you. So I’m going to wear your clip-on proudly. Let them mess with me. The way I see it, this tie is a shithead detector.”

Since I dislike most students, the one that I liked more than any character, Noah Stein, seems so much different from all of characters. He sounds more mature and ‘deep’ compare to other students.

Stein didn’t try so hard to make anyone else like him. He was never the go-along type,[..]
I liked that he stand up for himself and for his friends and disagree with the bullying, though it doesn’t make much different for him. I think I see him as a tiny light in a dark place, there is still hope around that brutal school.

Stein dropped his bag and said, “To hell with it, I’m fighting these assholes.”

As contemporary/realistic story, I think I can relate it to real life. There is initiation tradition at most schools in my country. It usually happens in the beginning of school year, to freshman from the senior and/or in the beginning of extracurricular activity. It’s mostly about doing ridiculous things and wearing humiliating things. As you can see in these pictures (they are freshmen of Junior High School. Indonesia educational level is 6 years in Elementary School, 3 years in Junior High School and 3 years in Senior High School)

But it doesn’t happen for a whole year like in St. Michael. It happens a week before they start the school year and that’s it. No more humiliation ritual that are supported by the school. Well…at least that’s what I know and from my experience when I was in junior high school and senior high school. In a way I can say I can connect to the story since it once happened to me too, though it weren’t that worse and nothing like in St. Michael, thank goodness.

As a book, it’s more than good. It’s well written with good plot.

The world forgets easily, and then forgets that it forgot.

I liked the words choices the author chooses. Sometimes it’s beautiful in a brutal way, if it’s even possible. I also like the way the author describe everything in the story. It’s vivid and honest. But there are so many characters I easy to get lost about who is who, though some of main characters are also easy to identify since but he managed to give them specific personalities or physical appearance in one way or the other.

All in all, I didn’t quite enjoy reading it. The characters made me sick and angry. However, it’s a good book about brutal story and I liked the way it’s written. My reviews are mostly about my subjective thoughts and my rating is based on how I enjoy and like the books. But I think in this case, I should think it differently.

Result: 3.5 out of 5 stars