Book Review- Fallen

6487308

 

Fallen by Lauren Kate
Published by Delacorte Press on December 8 2009
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance
Pages: 452
Goodreads
Amazon

What if the person you were meant to be with could never be yours?

17-year-old Lucinda falls in love with a gorgeous, intelligent boy, Daniel, at her new school, the grim, foreboding Sword & Cross . . . only to find out that Daniel is a fallen angel, and that they have spent lifetimes finding and losing one another as good & evil forces plot to keep them apart.

Get ready to fall . . .

The prologue was the best part of Fallen. Honestly, the rest of the book was a painfully drawn out version of those first few pages with a different ending.

I barely finished this book. When I first started it, I was excited by the prologue. It was dark and sexy and made me think that this book was going to be awesome. I WAS SO WRONG. SO WRONG.

Honestly Luce annoyed me. Daniel annoyed me. Cam annoyed me. EVERYONE annoyed me. They were all just annoying characters. They were flat and boring and didn’t make me interested in them AT ALL. It was like trying to care about the romantic life of a mosquito. Okay, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but you get the point.

When Luce wasn’t ogling over Daniel, Cam, or both at the same time (which happened quite frequently) she was crying about something. About what you may ask? I have no idea because usually it didn’t really matter to the plot in the long run.

The whole romance aspect of the book was cringe worthy. It wasn’t cute or sexy or anything. It was just painful. There was no spark between any of the characters except what was said out loud… and even that was painful to read. I just couldn’t get on board with it.

Also, although there were moments thrown into the book that were meant to be shocking, they ended up just being kind of boring and didn’t have the surprise factor that they were meant to. This book was just a flop for me. Needless to say, I won’t be reading the next one.

I am going to give Fallen one out of five hearts. 

Book Review- Kanye West Owes Me $300

26892114

 

Kanye West Owes me $300 & Other True Stories from a White Rapper who Almost Make it Big by Jensen Karp
Published by Crown Archetype on June 7 2016
Genres: Memoir, Rap, Humor
Pages: 300
Goodreads
Amazon

After Vanilla Ice, but before Eminem, there was “Hot Karl,” the Jewish kid from the L.A. suburbs who became a rap battling legend—and then almost became a star.

When 12-year old Jensen Karp got his first taste of rapping for crowds at his friend’s bar mitzvah in 1991, little did he know that he was taking his first step on a crazy journey—one that would end with a failed million-dollar recording and publishing deal with Interscope Records when he was only 19. Now, in Kanye West Owes Me $300, Karp finally tells the true story of his wild ride as “Hot Karl,” the most famous white rapper you’ve never heard of.

On his way to (almost) celebrity, Jensen shares his childhood run-ins with rock-listening, southern California classmates, who tell him that “rap is for black people,” and then recounts his record-breaking rap battling streak on popular radio contest “The Roll Call”—a run that caught the eye of a music industry hungry for new rap voices in the early ‘00s. He also introduces his rap partner, Rickye, who constitutes the second half of their group XTra Large; his supportive mom, who performs with him onstage; and the soon-to-be-household-name artists he records with, including Kanye West, Redman, Fabolous, Mya, and will.i.am. Finally, he reveals why his album never saw the light of day (two words: Slim Shady), the downward spiral he suffered after, and what he found instead of rap glory.

Full of rollicking stories from his close brush with fame, Karp’s hilarious memoir is the ultimate fish-out-of-water story about a guy who follows an unlikely passion—trying to crack the rap game—despite what everyone else says. It’s 30 Rock for the rap set; 8 Mile for the suburbs; and quite the journey for a white kid from the valley.

I don’t read a lot of memoirs, but when I do, I like them to be just like this. This book was the perfect mix of humor, incredibly entertaining and almost-too-good-to-be-true stories, struggle, and sadness.

Jensen Karp’s journey as “Hot Karl” (don’t look that up on Urban Dictionary) was amazing. It was a wild ride from beginning to end, and the experiences he had during his brief time as a rapper were just out of this world.

I enjoyed the honesty in this book. It felt like Jensen was sitting down with me and telling the story to me, complete with pictures and rap lyrics. It was so cool how even though his rap career was that long, he still worked with a lot of people who are still big today (read: Kanye West, Will.i.am, etc.). By the end of reading this, I was actually really sad that he didn’t blow up like he could have. I wonder if people would go through a “Hot Karl” phase the same way they go through an Eminem phase (which I definitely did).

I ended up listening to a few of Hot Karl’s raps, and they are actually pretty good. Although he is kind of right, there is a definite similarity to Eminem. And it makes me really sad to think that Eminem’s success had anything to do with Hot Karl not having any.

This book shown a light on the music industry that revealed a lot of surprising aspects of the industry. I really enjoyed reading it, even though (despite my Eminem phase) I don’t really know anything or care much about rap or hip-hop music. I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a moving memoir that has a great voice and story.

I am going to give Kanye West owes me $300 four out of five hearts.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Book Review- Scarlet

13206760.jpg

 

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
Published by Feiwel and Friends on February 5, 2013
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Dystopia, Retellings
Pages: 454
Goodreads
Amazon

Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.

After reading Cinder, I knew that Scarlet was going to make or break this series for me. I was pleasantly surprised.

Scarlet, Meyer’s version of Little Red Riding Hood, turned out to be AWESOME. Her character was tough and determined, and the combination of her and Cinder (even though they are not facing the world together) make for a very interesting story.

I was worried (mostly based on the title of the book) that the continuation of Cinder’s story wouldn’t be explored in detail. But I was wrong. Both Scarlet and Cinder went on awe inspiring and heart pounding journeys, along with some pretty awesome side kicks. I loved the mystery of Wolf and Captain Thorne’s personality.

The character development in Scarlet really surprised me (in a good way), and the plot was amazing. This is one of the few books where both the characters and the plot drew the story onward. There was this beautiful balance of the two that made Scarlet a wonderful read that I had a hard time putting down. And even then I finished it in two days!

If you read Cinder and aren’t quite sure if you should read Scarlet, DO IT. SCARLET WAS SO MUCH BETTER.

I am going to give Scarlet four out of five hearts.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

 

Book Review- Cinder

11235712

 

Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Published by Fiewel and Friends on January 3 2012
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Dystopia
Pages: 390
Goodreads
Amazon

Sixteen-year-old Cinder is considered a technological mistake by most of society and a burden by her stepmother. Being cyborg does have its benefits, though: Cinder’s brain interference has given her an uncanny ability to fix things (robots, hovers, her own malfunctioning parts), making her the best mechanic in New Beijing. This reputation brings Prince Kai himself to her weekly market booth, needing her to repair a broken android before the annual ball. He jokingly calls it “a matter of national security,” but Cinder suspects it’s more serious than he’s letting on.
Although eager to impress the prince, Cinder’s intentions are derailed when her younger stepsister, and only human friend, is infected with the fatal plague that’s been devastating Earth for a decade. Blaming Cinder for her daughter’s illness, Cinder’s stepmother volunteers her body for plague research, an “honor” that no one has survived.
But it doesn’t take long for the scientists to discover something unusual about their new guinea pig. Something others would kill for.

So, not the most original book in the world.

Let me introduce you to Earth, hundreds (?) of years in the future. We have new nations and new laws. We have a prince and an evil foreign queen who is threatening war on Earth. We have a not-so-common girl with a hostile step-family (minus, of course, her younger step-sister) who might just become a savoir. But, what was I expecting? I knew what I was getting myself into when I picked Cinder up.

To be fair, I actually enjoyed this book a lot. It was entertaining, even if it was slightly (read: totally) predictable. I could see the “twist” at the end from a mile away, and there was nothing super surprising. But, the characters were interesting and multi-dimensional, and I liked learning more about them. 

What I did really like about this book (that set it apart from other dystopias) was that it is a kind of retelling of Cinderella. I thought that was pretty cool. I also really liked the technology in the book, and the fact that Cinder was a cyborg.

I would recommend this book to anyone who loves dystopia and is looking for another series to dive into. This also would be a great first dystopia, for those of you who are looking for a place to start.

I am going to give Cinder three out of five hearts.

♥ ♥ ♥

Book Review- Unscripted Joss Byrd

24755483

 

Unscripted Joss Byrd by Lygia Day Peñaflor
Published by Roaring Brook on August 23 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Fiction
Pages: 224
Amazon
Goodreads

Hollywood critics agree. Joss Byrd is “fiercely emotional,” a young actress with “complete conviction,” and a “powerhouse.”

Joss Byrd is America’s most celebrated young actress, but on the set of her latest project, a gritty indie film called The Locals, Joss’s life is far from glamorous. While struggling with her mother’s expectations, a crush on her movie brother, and a secret that could end her career, Joss must pull off a performance worthy of a star. When her renowned, charismatic director demands more than she is ready to deliver, Joss must go off-script to stay true to herself.

I was really excited to read Unscripted Joss Byrd. I’ve been having luck with the last few contemporaries I’ve tried, and I love stories that explore life behind-the-scenes. This one promised to be awesome. But, I was sadly disappointed.

Let me just start by saying that it took me half the book to even figure out how old Joss was. At first I thought she was 14 or 15, and then she would say something that would make me think she was 8 or 9. Finally, it was revealed that she was 12, but gosh did that take FOREVER.

As for the characters, they felt so fake. This book didn’t throw me behind the scenes of a movie; it sat me awkwardly in front of cliché characters that were trying too hard to create a story that might be worth reading. I don’t mean to bash the book, I just was really REALLY disappointed by it. The characters were all so ONE DIMENSIONAL and PREDICTABLE, I could barely stand it.

In books where the characters are lacking, usually the plot is the savior. NOT IN THIS CASE. The plot was kind of boing, and was not original by any means. There were no surprises, no major twists, and nothing that made it special. The whole thing was just kind of “blah.”

Now, I’ve never  been big on contemporary novels, so that could be why I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I was hoping. But I really just felt like it was trying too hard, and didn’t deliver. I didn’t feel anything for this book. NOTHING. NONE OF THE FEELS. So disappointing.

I wouldn’t really recommend this book to anyone, unless they are big fans of contemporary. Maybe they will be able to find something in the pages that I didn’t.

I am going to give Unscripted Joss Byrd two out of five hearts. Its not the worst book I’ve ever read, but it was not anywhere close to what I image it could have been.

♥ ♥

Book Review- Grit

31706530

 

Grit by Gillian French
Published by HarperTeen on May 16 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery
Pages: 304
Amazon
Goodreads

It’s summer in rural Maine; when seventeen-year-old Darcy Prentiss isn’t raking berries with her sister, Mags, and cousin, Nell, during the day, she’s drinking and swimming with the boys in the quarry by night. She knows how to have a good time, just like anyone else, but when you’ve been designated the town slut, every move you make seems to further solidify your “trashy girl” reputation.

But the fun is what’s been keeping Darcy’s mind off the things she can’t forget: a disturbing secret she shares with Nell, the mysterious disappearance of her ex-best friend, and that hazy Fourth of July party that ended with Darcy drunk, on her back, wondering how she let it get this far.

Then someone in town anonymously nominates Darcy to be in the running for Bay Festival Princess—a cruel, almost laughable gesture that can only be the work of someone with a score to settle. Everything Darcy has been trying to keep down comes bubbling to the surface in ways she wasn’t prepared to handle…and isn’t sure if she can.

Grit was a lot different than I thought it would be. Honestly I’m not quite sure what I was expecting, I just know that it was not what Grit turned out to be.

Darcy was surprisingly easy to relate to, and had so many dimensions that I’m not sure one book was able to explore them all completely. What I loved even more than that, though, was how dimensional ALL of the characters were. Each character felt like a real person. I wish that some of the characters were more explored *ahem Mason* but for the most part all of the characters had a chance to give some of themselves to the story.

I loved the emotions in the book, and I found myself at the edge of my seat on more than one occasion. Emotions are a large driving force in the story, not just for Darcy, but for the other characters too. Everything that happens feels so real, because of what causes each event to happen.

The ending of the book was amazing, but I wish there was a little more explanation of what happened to all of the characters. I feel like there are a few loose ends to be tied up. But, for the most part, I really liked it.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a good, short summer read, or anyone who likes contemporary mystery. I am going to give Grit four out of five hearts.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

* An ARC of this book was provided to me by the author, however this in no way influences my review.

Book Review- The Red Queen

22369406

 

The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
Published by Orion on February 12, 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult, Dystopia, Science Fiction
Pages: 383
Goodreads
Amazon

This is a world divided by blood-red or silver.

The poverty-stricken Reds are commoners, living in the shadow of the Silvers, elite warriors with god-like powers.

To Mare Barrow, a 17-year-old Red girl from the Stilts, it looks like nothing will ever change.

Then Mare finds herself working at the Silver palace, in the midst of those she hates the most. She quickly discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy Silver control.

After having this book recommended *ahem, shoved in my face* multiple times by multiple people, I decided I should probably just read it- so at least I could tell people to back off if I didn’t like it. But, I was actually really surprised by this one.

I’ve been trying to move away from the dystopia book, mostly because after a while they just all sound the same. Maybe that’s why I enjoyed this so much- because I haven’t read a dystopia in quite some time.

Anyway, I’d be lying if I said that this book doesn’t remind me of others. It reminded me A LOT of The Selection series (which I also enjoyed, so I didn’t mind that at all), and had some similarities to a bunch of other dystopias, like the Hunger Games (the whole area/fighting aspect), and pretty much any dystopia where the main character finds out they have powers.

I loved the characters in this book, and the depth they had to them. Yes, some of the *ahem* not as important characters were a little one sided *ahem* Evangeline *ahem*. But for the most part, the characters were interesting and some had some very surprising sides to them.

The one thing that really sets the Red Queen apart from other dystopias was the theme repeated throughout the book: Anyone can betray anyone. It was so relevant throughout the story, and I felt like it really tied the events of the book together.
BUT THE END. OH THE END!!!!!! I wont spoil anything, but that just threw me for a loop. UGH. WHYYYYYYYY.

Anyway, I would definitely recommend this book to people who love YA, The Selection, and/or dystopia (or are looking to get into/back into dystopia). But just be sure to have the second book on hand, because if you are anything like me then you’ll have about two seconds to breathe before your nose is buried in the Glass Sword!

I am going to give Red Queen four out of five hearts.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥