Book Review- Dreamology

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Dreamology by Lucy Keating
Published by HarperTeen on April 12, 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Fantasy
Pages: 336
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Amazon

For as long as Alice can remember, she has dreamed of Max. Together, they have traveled the world and fallen deliriously, hopelessly in love. Max is the boy of her dreams—and only her dreams. Because he doesn’t exist.

But when Alice walks into class on her first day at a new school, there he is. Real Max is nothing like Dream Max. He’s stubborn and complicated. And he has a whole life Alice isn’t a part of. Getting to know each other in reality isn’t as perfect as Alice always hoped.

Alarmingly, when their dreams start to bleed into their waking hours, the pair realize that they might have to put an end to a lifetime of dreaming about each other. But when you fall in love in your dreams, can reality ever be enough?

This book made me SO MAD. It was infuriating to the point where it became an almost hate-read. Honestly I don’t even know where to start with this one. UGH.

Okay, firstly, the characters were awful. Alice was SUCH an idiot. I wanted to grab her by the shoulders and shake her and tell her to stop being so stupid. I mean honestly, how is it possible to have that little common sense? My gosh.

And Max. UGHHHHHH. He was so annoying. I honestly hated him as a character. I hated his relationship with Alice. I hated everything about him. Actually, I really didn’t like any of the characters. They all were so unrealistic and annoying and infuriating.

Phew. Okay. So secondly, can we just talk about how UNREALISTIC the whole situation with the dream-doctor guy is? I don’t know if this counts as spoilers or not (it probably does, so if you haven’t read this and don’t want to know some of the goings-on in the middle of the book, you might want to skip ahead), but seriously the whole dream/experimenting thing is illegal in like 10 different ways. Both Max and Alice are under 18, but still the doctor guy is like “oh yeah just come in and don’t tell your parents and we’ll experiment on you guys.” WHAT THE HELL. THIS IS SO STUPID. AND THEN NOTHING EVEN HAPPENS TO THE DOCTOR BECAUSE OF IT? HE SHOULD BE IN PRISON AND UNLICENCED. And then, not only does nothing happen because of that, but he gets in trouble for PARROT TRADE?!?!?!?!? WTF. UGHGHGHGHHGHGGHHGHGGH

Thirdly, I HATE THE RELATIONSHIPS IN THIS BOOK. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. OF THEM.
Honestly I am just so mad at this book. And the whole reason for Max and Alice being in each other’s dreams was idiotic. What an anti-climax.

I just had so many problems with this book. So. Many. Problems.

I can’t even. Ugh.

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

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Book Review- Hunting Prince Dracula

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Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco
Expected publication by Little, Brown on September 19th, 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Mystery, Horror, Romance
Pages: 448
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Amazon

Following the grief and horror of her discovery of Jack the Ripper’s true identity, Audrey Rose Wadsworth has no choice but to flee London and its memories. Together with the arrogant yet charming Thomas Cresswell, she journeys to the dark heart of Romania, home to one of Europe’s best schools of forensic medicine…and to another notorious killer, Vlad the Impaler, whose thirst for blood became legend.

But her life’s dream is soon tainted by blood-soaked discoveries in the halls of the school’s forbidding castle, and Audrey Rose is compelled to investigate the strangely familiar murders. What she finds brings all her terrifying fears to life once again.

Stalking Jack the Ripper was one of my favorite books, so when I was able to get my hands on a copy of Hunting Prince Dracula (through a trade) I was over the moon!

Hunting Prince Dracula was every bit as dark, spooky, haunting, and swoon worthy as promised. Audrey Rose and Thomas travel to Romaina, only to find there is a murderer on the loose, and the dead bodies are drained of blood.

I loved this book, but not quite as much as I liked the first one. There were some things throughout the book that put me a little off (nothing major or worth mentioning, but still, every once in a while I would pause and go like “what? why would you put that in there? That does absolutely nothing for the plot/characters/novel at all”). But I was able to get past that pretty easily, and it didn’t really bother me that much.

As in Stalking Jack the Ripper, I picked out the killer the first time they were introduced. Literally the second that character met Audrey Rose I said to myself “and there’s the killer.” I only doubted that thought once in the book (which was some pretty good plotting on Maniscalco’s part), but in the end I turned out to be right.

I would definitely recommend this series to anyone who likes spooky, thrilling, mysterious, or gothic/dark books. These are amazing!! I honestly can not wait for the next book to come out (and this one to come out so more people can read it!), and I’m going to spend every second from now until the title is announced trying to guess just what legend Wadsworth and Cresswell are going to be chasing next.

ALSO THE SWOONS GUYS. SO MANY SWOONS I DIED.

I am going to give Hunting Prince Dracula four out of five hearts.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Book Review- Gemina

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Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Published by Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers on October 18th, 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Pages: 608
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Amazon

Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.

The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminae continues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault.

Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.

When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station’s wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.

But relax. They’ve totally got this. They hope.

After not really loving Illuminae (read my review here), I went into this with relatively low expectations. Maybe that’s why I liked this one so much more. Or maybe this one was really just that much better.

I liked Hanna and Nik a million times more than Kady and Ezra. They were more entertaining, more unique, and just better characters in general. All of the characters in Gemina were more dimensional than in Illuminae, even if they still were a little too similar for my taste.

The plot in this one was pretty similar to the plot in Illuminae, and none of the twists surprised me (not that they did in Illuminae…. you know what? I’m just going to stop talking about Illuminae now.), but I still found them enjoyable. Even though the twist in this one was more “out-there”, I found it much more believable and enjoyable (than Illuminae… Ugh why am I still talking about this? I’m hopeless).

I loved that in this second installment in the series, I could actually tell the difference between who the characters were, and it didn’t sound like they were all 12 year olds. It was great.

I would definitely recommend reading this one if you’ve read the first one (even if you didn’t necessarily like the first one… like me) because this was So. Much. Better. Like 10000% better. Also, if you like sci-fi, you should give this series a go. It’s not so bad after all. Also I can’t wait for Obsideo now!! If it follows this pattern of getting better, than it is going to be amazing!!

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

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Novella Reviews- Cruel Crown (Red Queen 0.1-0.2)

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Cruel Crown by Victoria Aveyard
Published by HarperTeen on January 5th, 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Dystopia
Novellas: Queen Song and Steel Scars
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Amazon

Queen Song


Queen Coriane, first wife of King Tiberias, keeps a secret diary—how else can she ensure that no one at the palace will use her thoughts against her? Coriane recounts her heady courtship with the crown prince, the birth of a new prince, Cal, and the potentially deadly challenges that lay ahead for her in royal life.

Steel Scars

Diana Farley was raised to be strong, but being tasked with planting the seeds of rebellion in Norta is a tougher job than expected. As she travels the land recruiting black market traders, smugglers, and extremists for her first attempt at an attack on the capital, she stumbles upon a connection that may prove to be the key to the entire operation—Mare Barrow.


25005214.jpgQueen Song (Red Queen 0.1)

Pages: 53

This novella follows Coriane from when she is 16 to her death.

The story feels a little cramped, and I wish there was a lot more detail, but then again it is a short novella, so I didn’t expect it to be super detailed. I loved to learn more about Coriane, and Tiberius (or Tibe) as they met and got married and eventually had Cal.

This novella definitely gave me a lot more of the King’s background, and it’s so interesting to see him in this vs. how he is in the Red Queen books. It just goes to show how much Coriane’s death and Elara really affected him.

It was also really interesting to be able to see into Coriane’s head, through her diary entries, as she spiraled into Elana-induced insanity. It did feel a little rushed, but again, it is a short novella, so I didn’t expect it to be too detailed.
Although I don’t think this is a “must-read”, I am glad I read it, and it gave me a lot of insight into some of the less explored characters of the Red Queen series.

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

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥


untitledSteel Scars (Red Queen 0.2)

Pages: 94

Farley is one of my favorite characters from the Red Queen books, but sadly this novella fell a little short for me.

Farley was as cool as ever, but this story was a little confusing. There were these correspondences between the Scarlet Guard that took me forever to figure out how to decipher, which was pretty frustrating.

And then there was Shade. Beautiful, lovely Shade who I seriously love so much. I just don’t feel like this novella did him justice at all. Yeah, it was cute seeing how he and Farley met and started working together and stuff, but it felt like I was reading about a different Shade who kind of had the same characteristics as the Shade from the main novels… if that makes any sense.

This novella wasn’t bad at all, it just wasn’t as amazing as I hoped.

I am going to give Steel Scars three out of five hearts.

♥ ♥ ♥

Thanks for reading!!

And don’t forget to check out my reviews of the rest of the Red Queen Series:

Red Queen
Glass Sword
King’s Cage

Discussion: Why do we DNF books? What books were not worth picking up?

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I’ve been putting off writing this post for a while. It’s actually painful for me to write, because some of these books were just SO TERRIBLE that it hurts my soul.

In this post, I’m going to be talking about why I DNF books, and about some books that I have DNFed.

It’s important for me to say, before I start this post, that I honestly gave these books everything I had. I hate giving up on books, and usually force myself through them in hopes of them getting better. That is stupid of me. So I’m also going to give you a list of books I definitely should have DNFed and didn’t because I’m stubborn and sometimes an idiot.

What does it mean to DNF?

DNF, or “did not finish” refers to a book that you never finished.

It literally just means that you didn’t finish the book.

Why do I DNF?

There are a lot of reasons people might not finish a book. But, usually, it’s because 1) the book is so bad that it is painful to read, 2) the book is super boring and you lose interest and can’t bring yourself to pick it up again, or 3) the book has some kind of offensive or harmful content.

I personally have DNFed for all of those reasons at some point or another.

What books have I DNFed?

I decided to write this post because I DNFed 2 books in the month of July. TWO!!! Here they are:


29868610Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick was given to me by my librarian to try out. I usually like memoirs (even if I don’t read a whole bunch of them) but I just could not get on board with Kendrick’s writing. I’ve never really liked Anna Kendrick, but I don’t dislike her either, so I thought that this might be a fun book to read. But I found myself cringing at how she wrote. Everything about this book just annoyed me, and I got antsy every time I picked it up and tried to read a little more of it. Finally, after two weeks of trying, I DNFed at about 50%


28220701I’ve had an ARC of The Infinity of You & Me by J. Q. Coyle sitting in my room for about a year (I know, I know, that’s way too long, also thank you to the published and authors for getting this to me), and I finally got myself to read it. I was immediately confused, and found both the writing style and the plot cringey. I kept thinking that the book was going to sort itself out and get exciting at some point, but no matter how hard I tried, I did not enjoy any of it. The characters seemed forced and I didn’t like them at all. The plot was trying too hard and full of annoying clichés. Honestly I think this book could have used a few more drafts. I DNFed at about 30%.


Besides those two books, I can only remember DNFing two others… both over a year ago.


22510983If you couldn’t tell by my recent Hate-Haiku, I really REALLY didn’t like this book. At. All. I wrote a review for it a long time ago, right after I read/DNFed it (you can read that here if you so desire), and honestly this is one of the worst books I have ever laid eyes on (which is painful to say considering how beautiful the book looks). It’s hard to talk about this book without getting mad. I had such high hopes for this one and the premise was super amazing and the FLOP. So. Painful. Everything. About. This. Book. Was. Terrible. I can’t remember exactly how far into it I was when I DNFed, but it was before the 50% mark… and I’m honestly surprised I made it that far.


6186357I’m pretty sure that I watched the movie before I tried the book. Yeah, that’s kind of a no-no, but I’m kind of a rebel (haha I wish) so I do it anyway sometimes….

But I didn’t really like the movie. So then I picked up the book, thinking “well, the movie wasn’t so bad… I’ll probably like the book more.” I WAS WRONG. I tried to read this for so long and I actually made it to around 90% when I just couldn’t anymore. It was too bad… too painful. But I should have known. If Dylan O’Brian can’t make it good, no one and nothing can.


Books I definitely should have DNFed.

For every book that I DNFed, there are 10 books that I should have DNFed. Why didn’t I DNF these? Because some silly part of me kept whispering “it will get better… just hang in there.”

Whoever said to listen to your gut obviously hasn’t met my gut…

So here are some of the books that I should have DNFed. Consider yourself warned:

I pushed through these books with sheer will power, but I honestly regret reading them. I didn’t really enjoy any, and I certainly didn’t get anything out of them. I think the only one I didn’t review on my blog was Quarantine (because I read it before I started blogging), but you can read my reviews of the other books here:

Fangirl // Unscripted // Fallen // As I Wake // The Love Interest

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, so obviously there are people out there who loved the books I couldn’t stand.

I’m not trying to tell you that you have to hate the books that I hate. If you loved any of these books, that’s great! I’m honestly glad that someone was able to find something in these books that I couldn’t.

Talk to me:

What books did you DNF? Have you read any of the books I mentioned above? Did you like them? What is the last book that you had to DNF?

Book Review- P.S. I Like You

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P.S. I Like You by Kasie West
Published by Point on July 26th, 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 330
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Amazon

While spacing out in chemistry class, Lily scribbles some of her favorite song lyrics onto her desk. The next day, she finds that someone has continued the lyrics on the desk and added a message to her. Intrigue!

Soon, Lily and her anonymous pen pal are exchanging full-on letters—sharing secrets, recommending bands, and opening up to each other. Lily realizes she’s kind of falling for this letter writer. Only, who is he? As Lily attempts to unravel the mystery and juggle school, friends, crushes, and her crazy family, she discovers that matters of the heart can’t always be spelled out…

This book was straight up adorable.

I’m usually not one for contemporary novels (so I keep saying…) but when I read the synopsis for this one, I couldn’t resist. It just sounded so cute. And it was…

I was really worried when I first started reading this book. The story wasn’t new or surprising or original. I knew who Lily’s “secret” pen pal was within the first five pages, and pretty much guessed the entirety of the plot. So yeah, I was scared that this book was going to be one cliché fluff piece that would leave me even more reluctant to pick up contemporary novels than I already am.

But honestly this book surprised me, even if I was right about what happened. Everything was just adorable. I fell in love with Lily and Cade. They just seem honest and real, and the character development is SO GOOD.

While this may not be my favorite book in the world, how much I enjoyed it was definitely a surprise to me, and I really want to read some more books from Kasie West (and hopefully find one with a bit more of an original and less predictable plot).

I would recommend this to anyone who loves YA contemporaries, and anyone who is not-so-big on them, but is looking for a good place to start.

I am going to give P.S. I Like You four out of five hearts!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Book Review- A Week of Mondays

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A Week of Mondays by Jessica Brody
Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux on August 2nd, 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 464
Goodreads
Amazon

Sixteen-year-old Ellison Sparks is having a serious case of the Mondays. She gets a ticket for running a red light, she manages to take the world’s worst school picture, she bombs softball try-outs and her class election speech (note to self: never trust a cheerleader when she swears there are no nuts in her bake-sale banana bread), and to top it all off, Tristan, her gorgeous rocker boyfriend suddenly dumps her. For no good reason!

As far as Mondays go, it doesn’t get much worse than this. And Ellie is positive that if she could just do it all over again, she would get it right. So when she wakes up the next morning to find she’s reliving the exact same day, she knows what she has to do: stop her boyfriend from breaking up with her. But it seems no matter how many do-overs she gets or how hard Ellie tries to repair her relationship, Tristan always seems bent set on ending it. Will Ellie ever figure out how to fix this broken day? Or will she be stuck in this nightmare of a Monday forever?

I’m honestly a little confused about my feelings for this book. On one hand, it was a cute YA romance (or at least trying to be). On the other it was confusing. And on the other (can we pretend I have three hands for a minute?) it was just another cliché trying-too-hard contemporary YA romance.

Okay so what really confused me about this book is how Ellie is reliving Monday? I get that she made a wish in her head as she was going to sleep… but how that wish got granted was never really explained, and it was just CONFUSING. I don’t get it. Hear me out: if you don’t know what caused the repeating day, then you don’t know what stops it. So who/what decided when she fixed everything? Like I said: confusing.

I also had a problem with Ellie. She was SUCH AND INFURIATING CHARACTER. She did go through some good development in the last two Mondays, but for the majority of the novel she was whiny and full of self-pity and always like “why is my life so terrible/why does nothing ever go my way?” Also, she was entirely self-absorbed except when it came to her rock-star boyfriend. Like I get that her character was made this way because it was essential to the novel’s plot yada yada, but the way it was pulled off just got under my skin a little. Not too much… but just enough.

The plot/ending of this novel was pretty easy to guess. I don’t really mind that, but I was kind of hoping that there would be a curve ball thrown in there somewhere. Oh well.
I also wish that the side characters, like Ellie’s little sister and parents, were given a bit more character development. They felt a bit flat. Also her boyfriend felt kind of flat, except for one scene near the end… but that was like 3 pages (barely) out of a 400+ page novel where he is one of the most talked about topics (okay, THE MOST talked about topic).

Anyway… would I recommend this book? Ehh, it’s not at the top of my list. Although if someone were looking for a YA contemporary romance version of Groundhog day, then yeah sure. This book is for you. Knock yourself out!

I am going to give A Week of Mondays two out of five hearts.

♥ ♥