Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Review: Entangled

Title: Entangled
Author: Nikki Jefford
Series: Spellbound #1
Publisher: Nikki Jefford
Publication Date: Feb 19, 2012
Source: I received a free ecopy in exchange for a honest review (Netgalley)

Two months after dying, seventeen-year-old witch Graylee Perez wakes up in her twin sister Charlene’s body.

Until Gray finds a way back inside her own body, she’s stuck being Charlene every twenty-hour hours. Her sister has left precise instructions on how Gray should dress and behave. Looking like a prep isn’t half as bad as hanging out with Charlene’s snotty friends and gropey boyfriend.

The “normals” of McKinley High might be quick to write her behavior off as post-traumatic stress, but warlock Raj McKenna is the only person who suspects Gray has returned from the dead.

Now Gray has to solve the mystery of her death and resurrection and disentangle herself from Charlene’s body before she disappears for good.

***Entangled is a young adult paranormal fantasy romance suitable for ages 15 and up.***
Entangled was a fun YA paranormal read. I enjoy books about witches and wasn't disappointed. 

Graylee and Charlene are twin witches. Graylee, our main character, is a nice, likable girl. Charlene, on the other hand, was a terrible person. She's a sort of 'mean girl,' but to the next level. The girls' mother seemed pretty decent, but I don't understand why she let Charlene act like that.

There was a hint of a love triangle, but thankfully, it didn't last long. The love interest was a good-at-heart bad-boy who, while I wasn't in madly in love with him, was still likble once you get to know him.

I feel like a bit more world-building could have been done so that the reader could have a better understanding of how magic works, since I felt most of that was glossed over.

Overall, Graylee was a relatable and likable main character who kept me invested in the story and enjoying the book. While this wasn't an amazing read, I still enjoyed it enough to keep my eye out for the sequel.

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Sunday, February 14, 2016

Weekly Recap #5

I'm running behind again, but better late than never!

Last Week's Posts:

Review: The A Circuit by Georgina Bloomberg and Catherine Hapka

New Arrivals:

Tides of Honour by Genevieve Graham - Thanks to Genevieve Graham and Ambur from Burning Impossibly Bright for the awesome giveaway!

Pages Read:

2/7 -
2/8 - 72
2/9 - 54
2/10 - 133
2/11 - 70
2/12 - 9
2/13 - 0

Average = 48 pages

So close! I think the font must be huge on the physical book version of ebook I was reading, but whatever, I'll take it!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Review: The A Circuit

Title: The A Circuit
Author: Georgina Bloomberg & Catherine Hapka
Series: The A Circuit #1Publisher: Bloombury USA Childrens
Publication Date: May 16, 2011
Source: Purchased.

The A Circuit is the top of the top when it comes to horse shows. It's a world with its own rules and superprivileged lifestyles. Teens travel the circuit all year, showing horses that cost as much as some homes.

Tommi, Kate, and Zara are all elite competitors on the circuit, but they come from totally different backgrounds. Tommi is a billionaire heiress trying to prove she has real talent (not just deep bank accounts). Kate puts the working in working student-every win has been paid for with hours of cleaning stalls. She's used to the grueling schedule, but Fitz, the barn's resident hot guy, is about to become a major distraction. And then there's Zara. She's the wild child of a famous rockstar, but she's ready to take riding seriously. Can a party girl really change her ways?

Readers who enjoy peeking into the elite world of Gossip Girl orThe A-List will feel right at home in this new series with its friendships, drama, and privilege set against the backdrop of competitive horseback riding.
I enjoyed this one, mostly because I'm a giant horse nerd. I think it's definitely possible that if this story had been set in any other sport or activity, I probably would not have liked it at all. But because it featured horses, it got heaps of bonus points.

I think my favourite thing about this book is that Georgina Bloomberg knows her stuff. She competes at the top of the sport, so her descriptions of anything involves horses are authentic and spot on. I don't know how self-explanatory or confusing this would be for non-riders, since she doesn't overly explain everything, which was a big plus for me, since that would have been boring for someone who already knows.

Besides the horses, which I obviously loved, the characters didn't wow me. Tommi and Kate weren't bad, but didn't jump off the page for me. Zara was super annoying. Occasionally in the second half of the book, I'd start to feel a bit bad for her, but then she'd go do something really stupid or mean and I'd go back to being annoyed at her. Fitz also pissed me off.

Really, this book reminded me of Gossip Girl (the show, since I haven't read the books. Oh and I just realized GG is mentioned in the synopsis too). A bunch of insanely rich teenagers who tend to be spoilt and full of drama. Right down to the token "poor kid" (ie: middle class).

I feel like this book is aimed at people who know a thing or two about horses, but also enjoy high school drama. And it's exactly that. So if that's you're thing, you'll enjoy it. If you're not interested in either horses or teenage drama, pass on this one.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Weekly Recap #4

Not too much to report in my life lately. Happy to see the end of January though!

Last Week's Posts:

The Yearbook by Carol Masciola

New Arrivals:

Nothing to report. Not a bad thing though, as I was trying to read the books I already have.

Pages Read:

1/31 - 59
2/1 - 11
2/2 - 7
2/3 - 6
2/4 - 75
2/5 - 115
2/6 - 0

Average = 39

I still didn't quite meet my goals, but it's better than last week, so that's good I guess. Still very inconsistent.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Review: The Yearbook

Title: The Yearbook
Author: Carol Masciola
Publisher: Merit Press
Publication Date: October 2, 2015
Source: I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.

Misfit teen Lola Lundy has every right to her anger and her misery. She’s failing in school, living in a group home, and social workers keep watching her like hawks, waiting for her to show signs of the horrible mental illness that cost Lola’s mother her life. Then, one night, she falls asleep in a storage room in her high school library, where she’s seen an old yearbook—from the days when the place was an upscale academy for young scholars instead of a dump. When Lola wakes, it’s to a scene that is nothing short of impossible.

Lola quickly determines that she’s gone back to the past—eighty years in the past, to be exact. The Fall Frolic dance is going full blast in the gym, and there she makes an instant connection with the brainy and provocative Peter Hemmings, class of ’24. His face is familiar, because she’s seen his senior portrait in the yearbook. By night’s end, Lola thinks she sees hope for her disastrous present: She’ll make a new future for herself in the past. But is it real? Or has the major mental illness in Lola’s family background finally claimed her? Has she slipped through a crack in time, or into a romantic hallucination she created in her own mind, wishing on the ragged pages of a yearbook from a more graceful time long ago?

I love a good time travel books and, while The Yearbook wasn't my favourite, it was an enjoyable ride.

Lola Lundy has a tough life. She's a orphan, in a group home, has a crappy job, no friends and not a great outlook for the future. Here's the thing about Lola: I only liked her half the time. When she was in the present, she frustrated me. She would keep making bad decisions that only made her situation worse. In the 1920's she became much more normal and level-headed and I enjoyed her character much more. Also, clearly the school system failed Lola (or Lola failed it) because there were a lot of things that seemed like common knowledge about the past that Lola was clueless about.

I really enjoyed the parts of the story that were set in the 1920's. I find that to be such a fascinating time and I'm a sucker for anything vintage. However, I didn't find the time travel to be well-explained. So if you don't want to be bogged down by cumbersome technical explanations, you'll be fine, but if you're one of those readers who likes things like that built up and explained, be warned.

One thing that did bother me was the romance. Unfortunately, this one fell prey to instalove. Seriously, these two had had probably 3 conversations (2 of which were pretty whack) and then all of a sudden they are in love? Nope, not buying it. Thankfully, the romance wasn't too prominent in the book, so it didn't spoil the whole thing.

One thing I did like was the uncertainty in the last third of the book. As a reader, I really found myself doubting what was true and what wasn't, which is something I like in a book.

Overall, I enjoyed The Yearbook, despite a few issues along the way. Definitely recommended for fans of the 1920's especially.

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