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Vicious
Vicious
Offered by Macmillan
Price: $9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Complex Story of Friendship, Family, and Good vs. Evil, October 18, 2015
This review is from: Vicious (Kindle Edition)
It's been a long time since I've read a novel that compelled me to keep turning the pages. You know - the type of book that makes you stay up late reading, wake up early to read some more, and sneak in a few pages when you should be doing anything else but reading. Even when you aren't reading, it's that story that lingers in the back of your mind when you should be thinking about something else. But, Vicious is simply one of those novels that demands your attention, and you'll be glad to give it.

HIGHLIGHTS: Schwab writes the multiple points-of-view (and time jumps) expertly, and handles the complex issue of morality with ease. The lines between good and evil are muddy and blurry, which makes our "heroes" and "villains" all the more fascinating. Each 3rd person point-of-view is distinct, and every character is intriguing and unique in their own way. Plus, superpowers. That is always a highlight.

LOWLIGHTS: I NEED A SEQUEL. Like, right now.

FINAL THOUGHTS: I was in the middle of a reading slump when I started this novel, and Vicious managed to snap me out of it. Schwab pulled me into this complex story of friendship, family, and good vs. evil. It was exciting, surprising, and completely captivating. I'd highly recommend Vicious.


Daughter of Deep Silence
Daughter of Deep Silence
by Carrie Ryan
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $11.38
90 used & new from $3.82

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thrilling and Exciting, May 30, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
HIGHLIGHTS: Frances Mace reinvents her entire life after surviving a brutal night aboard the Persephone. After the only person she has left dies, Frances, posing as her best friend Libby, resolves to get revenge on the people responsible, and it makes for quite a thrilling story. Frances is cool, calculating, and somewhat vicious in her exploits. She has everything planned, and once she starts digging, there are quite a few surprises. But while the revenge plot and discovery of why the Persephone was attacked proved to be interesting storylines, I quite enjoyed France's struggle with herself the most - she is both Frances (who lost everything and everyone, even herself) and masquerading as the deceased Libby, and she finds difficulty in figuring out who she even is anymore. If you like the TV show Revenge, you'll probably enjoy this story. Thrilling and exciting, it's a hard book to set aside!

LOWLIGHTS: There are some aspects where you have to suspend disbelief, in order to fully enjoy the story. The romance was a bit too insta-love for my tastes. Not everything is believable, but this novel is nonetheless entertaining.


More Happy Than Not
More Happy Than Not
by Adam Silvera
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $10.59
82 used & new from $6.01

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Highly Impressive Story, May 7, 2015
This review is from: More Happy Than Not (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
HIGHLIGHTS: MORE HAPPY THANT NOT is an intriguing book that reads like a contemporary novel with a sci-fi twist. Aaron's life is kind of a mess - his father committed suicide, and Aaron's still coming off a failed attempt of his own. But things quickly start turning around - life is great with his girlfriend, and he even makes a new friend in Thomas. But as the pages turn, relationships and feelings change as truths are revealed. The concept of the Leteo Institute is kind of terrifying and fascinating. Silvera develops Aaron wonderfully, and provides an equally excellent cast of side characters. This book is realistic, despite the Leteo / mind-altering concept. Relationships seem genuinely complex, and nothing is going to be easy for any of these characters. All in all, this is a highly impressive story.

LOWLIGHTS: As much as I enjoyed this book, it didn't click with me emotionally. I should have been bawling my eyes out by the end, but the writiing did not have that much affect on me. But, that doesn't mean it wasn't a good story - this is a great book, but it didn't tug at my emotions the way it seems to be doing with everyone else.


The Wrath and the Dawn
The Wrath and the Dawn
by Renée Ahdieh
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $7.61
79 used & new from $5.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Debut Full of Surprises, May 6, 2015
This review is from: The Wrath and the Dawn (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
HIGHLIGHTS: Shahrzad is an impressive protagonist - tough, unapologetic, and determined, I was rooting for her from the beginning. She marries Khalid, the Caliph of Khorasan, despite the fact that he kills all of his new brides. But Shazi is crafty, and manages to stay alive long enough to figure out Khalid's weaknesses so she can kill him in order to avenge her best friend (who was one of Khalid's murdered wives). Khalid is surprisingly complex, and his reasons for killing were a surprise to me. I think what fascinated me the most was the world - it was so detailed, vivid, and I wish I could watch a film version of this story. The romance is slow, the descriptions are rich, and I never quite knew what to expect next since this is a debut full of surprises. THE WRATH AND THE DAWN features a cast of complex, realistic characters, a nice balance between humor and seriousness, and a romance brimming with tension.

LOWLIGHTS: I kept reading reviews about how this was the best book ever, so the hype set my expectations a bit too high. It's a great story, but it felt very incomplete at the end, and I wish some of the side characters had been given more page-time so I could get to know them better. And while it was nice to see what was happening outside of Shazi's story with the other 3rd person POV's, I would have preferred to only have hers.


Stay with Me: A Novel (Wait for You Saga)
Stay with Me: A Novel (Wait for You Saga)
by J. Lynn
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.99
67 used & new from $0.59

4.0 out of 5 stars Highly Entertaining, March 26, 2015
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HIGHLIGHTS: Calla is scarred for life, in more ways than one. She's battling quite a few issues and quite the history, but J Lynn keeps everything realistic without overwhelming the story. From the first chapter, I knew I'd like this book - Calla's determined, funny, and sure as hell going to speak her mind when she needs to. The chemistry between her and Jax is off the charts (as expected, since J Lynn / Jennifer Armentrout is an expert at writing romance), sweet and sexy at the same time. The focus on positive body image was nice to see. And it's probably weird to say, but I thought it was a nice touch to have all the college talk in the beginning (because I can definitely relate to financial aid woes).

LOWLIGHTS: I do wish some of the minor relationships (particularly the familial ones and friendships) had been displayed a bit more. They were there, and added more to the story, but it would have been nice to see more. Some aspects of the plot seemed a bit far-fetched, but it didn't bother me too much.


Sea Creatures
Sea Creatures
by Susanna Daniel
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $21.46
76 used & new from $0.01

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Potentially Interesting For Others, But Not For Me, March 26, 2015
This review is from: Sea Creatures (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
HIGHLIGHTS: I enjoy family-focused books, so I loved reading Georgia's relationship with her son, Frankie. She may not be a perfect mom, but she does a lot for her son and cares for him deeply. Charlie was a fascinating side character, although I found him to be more intriguing during the first half of the novel.

LOWLIGHTS: There are books where you feel like you're watching a story come to life - it's growing, becoming, and bursting to life with every turn of the page. Then, there are stories where you feel like you're trying to politely escape from a conversation with a person who wants to tell you every detail about their life (in the most boring way possible). This book felt like the latter, but without any genuineness. Everything felt flat - the characters, the emotion, the plot.

FINAL THOUGHTS: This is one of those moments when a book simply wasn't for me. The story was underwhelming, I felt no connection to the characters or plot, and I think this is a case where an author's writing style does not match my own tastes. I'd still recommend checking it out, because this might be a good story for you, even if it wasn't for me.


We All Looked Up
We All Looked Up
by Tommy Wallach
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $10.58
107 used & new from $0.53

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Thought-Provoking But Slightly Underwhelming, March 26, 2015
This review is from: We All Looked Up (Hardcover)
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HIGHLIGHTS: For a novel with four 3rd person POV's, WE ALL LOOKED UP does an excellent job with keeping everyone distinct, and keeping the story moving. Multiple POVs are tricky, but each one flows nicely into the next. The jock, the slut, the slacker, and the intellect all turn out to (unsurprisingly) be more than their labels, although I found Eliza to be most fascinating of all four. The story moves quickly, with time passing in what feels like a rush. The writing itself is quite beautiful, and the conclusion was nicely done, leaving the story feeling complete and yet still full of questions.

LOWLIGHTS: Even though the characters do eventually start shedding their stereotypical shells, they still didn't seem to be as developed as I would have liked. It felt like Wallach was forcing their teenager-like qualities, and failing slightly (the slang was used a bit too much, and not always in an authentic fashion). For such a thought-provoking story, I didn't care about it (or any of the characters). So, ultimately, this one was a bit more underwhelming. The drama, while likely possible given the situation, became a bit too much for me to really believe in.

RATING: 3.5 out of 5


In a Handful of Dust
In a Handful of Dust
by Mindy McGinnis
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $14.90
71 used & new from $1.01

4.0 out of 5 stars were quite nice to see, March 22, 2015
This review is from: In a Handful of Dust (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
PROS: Sequel / companion novel to Not a Drop to Drink, In a Handful of Dust features a new main character (while still featuring the MC from the first novel). Disease finds its way into the community Lynn helped to build in the last novel, and forces Lucy (the MC) and Lynn to set out on a dangerous journey to California. The changes in Lucy and Lynn, from the last book and even throughout this book, were quite nice to see. Lynn’s still tough as ever, but Lucy’s growth was much more fun to observe. Side characters come to life with their own vibrant, unique personalities. The world is nicely developed, and McGinnis doesn’t hold back in showing how brutal life is in this story. Nothing is easy, everything is a challenge, and not everyone will survive. A story with a little romance and plenty of compelling characters, In a Handful of Dust is a story worth reading (although I’d recommend the NaDtD first, since this novel spoils the end of that story).

CONS: The overall pacing was a bit slower than I expected, and a few scenes felt a bit rushed.


Me Being Me Is Exactly as Insane as You Being You
Me Being Me Is Exactly as Insane as You Being You
by Todd Hasak-Lowy
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $15.64
72 used & new from $0.01

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining & Creative, But Also Too Long, March 22, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
PROS: A novel told entirely in lists? I’m sure someone else has done it before, but it was the first time I’ve read anything like it, and it made the format of this story incredibly unique. Hasak-Lowy manages to convey Darren’s personality easily through each list (truly - this was very well done), as well as the people in his life. Because it is written only in lists, it is incredibly easy to breeze on through this story in a few hours.

CONS: Unfortunately, as much as I wanted to love this book, it didn’t quite work for me. The lists, while wonderful, were too long. Some seemed unnecessary, and I think this could have been a stronger story if some sections had been discarded. Also, this story seemed very predictable, which made reading a bit less fun.

OVERALL: A good book worth checking out. I'm sure many people will love it, but I'd recommended reading a few pages first, to see if you'll be a fan of the list style or not.


Boomerang: A Boomerang Novel
Boomerang: A Boomerang Novel
by Noelle August
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.21
69 used & new from $0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Highly Entertaining, But Also Predictable, March 22, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
PROS: BOOMERANG is one of those books I knew little about before I started reading, and so I was pleasantly surprised by the humor and lightness of the story. Most of the new adult that I’ve previously read delved into serious issues or topics, but BOOMERANG keeps everything light, fresh, fun, and oh so very entertaining. The two POV’s are incredibly well written and easy enough to differentiate, and the tension between these Mia and Ethan is off the charts. To my surprise, there’s more to the story than just romance, as familial and friendship dynamics play a large part of their stories (I particularly enjoyed Mia’s relationship with her grandmother – those scenes were sweet and sad to read). Hilarious, cute, sweet, and sexy, BOOMERANG is the perfect story to read when you want to kick back, relax, and have a few laughs.

CONS: Once you start reading, it’s easy to see where the story is going. I feel like many of the side characters were underdeveloped, which was unfortunate.


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