Book Review #7 – The Homecoming

“This ARC was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review”

The Homecoming by Stacie Ramey is a novel about finding yourself in times of insecurity and emotional strife.

John, thc975dc79924bab42d8efe55968f0e4e4e main protagonist, has been kicked out of his home and seen as the problem child ever since his brother got into an accident. His life hasn’t been the same since and he spends his time living with his other family members while he deals with his personal demons that are back home. In his last year of high school, John moves back home and back in with his mom, sister and brother. Angry most of the time, John yearns to run away from this life and to never look back. Along the way, he realizes his academic talents, develops a stronger bond with his little sister, falls in love, realizes that his parents aren’t all bad, and most importantly, he comes to terms with his ‘old’ brother being gone.

While this book did deal with heavy subject matter and the dark emotions of the protagonist, it failed to follow some form of flowing story-line throughout. It was well written and engaging, but felt more like a guide trough John’s self realizations than an actually dramatic novel. There was really no climax. While his feelings about the situation with his brother are resolved by the end of the novel, the death of his previous girlfriend is all but thrown at the back burner and we are left wondering, “What about her and all the pain he felt throughout the first 75% of the novel?” It was strange that the only resolution he had with that was telling her relative about his new girlfriend.

This book was an interesting read but it was not memorable. The beginning of the book was great and really explored the protagonist in depth. By the middle I had a full understanding of his struggles emotionally and his life. At the end, I was very confused as to what was going on and how he came to all of these conclusions and realizations. How did he resolve the issues in his life? This was not clearly gotten to. Also there was a lack of climax in this book. There were a bunch of little bumps to ride over, but no big hill and that took away from this novels potential.

The book had a lot more potential for growth. It had great components but left me wondering a lot towards the end. Having said that, I do not think that this book needs a sequel. Maybe a prequel so that I can understand the relationship he had with his deceased girlfriend with more clarity.

I would give this book 2.5/5 stars,  for as well written as it was, it was missing that kind hamburger style of writing (not saying that this is the only model), and it was more of a bun to meat to bun kind of book. Great intro, great middle, lack of a substantial ending.

 

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Summer Reads!

Thanks to NetGalley, I have been bestowed with the wonderful gift of free (e)books!!!

I read many blog posts on “How to get free books” that stated that it would be difficult to get my book requests approved on NetGalley, but, due to my current blog, wonderful readers and current book reviews section (I assume these reasons), I have already been approved for 25 of the books I have asked for. Well, that’s a ton of reading to do in the next 6.5 weeks (and maybe into the school year depending how it goes). In order to remember how many books I am reading will be reading and reviewing, I am listing the ones I have to read and bolding (or highlighting) the ones I have read and reviewed. This will definitely be a summer of stellar subway reads and I can already tell.

Reading List:

  1. Everything I Don’t Remember (By: Jonas Hassen Khemiri)
  2. 21 Myths (Even Good) Girls Believe about Sex (By: Jennifer Strickland) – Currently Reading
  3. The Homecoming (By: Stacie Ramey)
  4. 100 Days (By: Nicole McInnes)
  5. Imperfect Love (Book 1 of The 4Ever series) (By: Isabella White)
  6. Serena’s Plight (By: Carol Madison)
  7. Points of Departure (By: Emily O’Berine)
  8. The Bossman (By: Renee Rose)
  9. How Many Wrongs Make a Mr. Right? (By: Stella Hervey Birrell)
  10. Operating on Faith (By: Matt Weber)
  11. Fool for You (By: Rina Gray)
  12. Edge the Bare Garden (By: Roseanne Cheng)
  13. The Movie Version (By: Emma Wunsch)
  14. Correlation (By: Mia Grace)
  15. Nina is Not OK (By: Shappi Khorsandi)
  16. Secretly Hers (By: Jamie Beck)
  17. Hell Bent (By: Karen Crompton)
  18. This is What Goodbye Looks Like (By: Olivia Rivers)
  19. The Animators (By: Kayla Rae Whitaker)
  20. Gone to Drift (By: Diana McCaulay)
  21. Cutter Boy (By: Cristy Watson)
  22. Gone Wild (By: Jodi Lundgren)
  23. You Before Anyone Else (By: Julie Cross, Mark Perini)
  24. Unnatural Deeds (By: Cyn Balog)
  25. The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett (By: Chelsea Sedoti)

Follow me on my summer reading journey!

Book Review #6- A Midsummer’s Nightmare

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I definitely need to get back on my reading game. I have been lacking lately. Anyways, here is my 6th book review.

A Midsummer’s Nightmare is a teen fiction novel written by Kody Keplinger, a name many of you would recognize from the cover of her most famous book, The Duff. This novel follows a similar structure to The Duff  and even features characters from it as well. Here is my synopsis and review of this book!

A Midsummer’s Nightmare starts off with a rather cute story about a boy and a girl who meet at a party and become smitten with each other instantly. While they create memories as the night goes on, those minor few moments of happiness are put to rest when the protagonist, Whitley Johnson, chooses to move on and forget that they ever met. Leaving this boy slightly heartbroken, she quickly moves back into her old life and ways, as she knows she will be leaving for the summer and moving to university in the new school year.

Since her parents are divorced, Whitley normally spends the summer with her dad in his lakefront beach condo every year. She expects this year to be no different until her dad drops the biggest bomb shell of all – that hes engaged to be married and has moved to a suburban neighbourhood in a small town outside of the city with her and her two kids. Whitley is furious as she knows her summer will never be the same, but that is not what shocks her the most about this change. The guy she hooked up with at the end of year party was standing right in the house as she entered the door. Not only did she now know that his name was Nathan, but he was her soon to be step brother.

This book explores the ups and downs of the summer and the realization that people can influence positive change in others if they let them. This novel was about opening ones self up to love and acceptance and understanding your own self worth. This was about finding the deeper meaning to love.

I really did enjoy this book and I thought it was quite well written. I would give it a 4.5/5 rating. I didn’t think it was better than The Duff; I thought that they were similar in quality. They are both great teen fiction books about understanding self worth – which are things I think a lot of teenage forget to value or love about themselves.

 

Book Review #4: The DUFF (Designated Ugly Fat Friend)

The DUFFNow, I didn’t read this on my iPod (Yes, I purchased the actual book), but I know that you can still purchase and read this as an ebook so it still qualifies for an review!

The DUFF (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) is a Young Adult Novel by Kody Keplinger. I remember reading this book in 2011 when I was 16 and not really understanding the book at that time, but 2 nights ago, I finally watch the movie and I had a sudden urge to re-read this book. At age 20, I can finally say that I love this book, I can really relate to it and its characters, and I read it in under one day.

The DUFF is a novel about a young woman named Bianca Piper. She is neither pretty or ugly, but she is less attractive than her best friends, Casey and Jessica. While she knows this, it does not bother her until she bumps into Wesley Rush (her later on love interest) at her favourite chill spot, The Nest. He proceeds to tell Bianca that she should pretend to be happy with the fact that he is talking to her because she is the DUFF of her group. She gets angry and throws her favourite drink, Cherry Coke, in his face and storms off with her friends.

She begins to think about what her being the DUFF means about her life and social status as her life is beginning to ravel apart. She becomes overly distracted with the thoughts of her new found real unattractiveness and her parents impending divorce. At her next meeting with Wesley, he begins to irritate her just as he did last time, but they share a kiss in the Nest that will ultimately change the course of their relationship.

The next day, Wesley and Bianca are assigned to be partners on an upcoming English assignment. While working on the assignment at Wesley’s house, things get real intimate between the two of them, and their secret sexual relationship begins.

Bianca uses this relationship with Wesley as a way to escape her thoughts and the world that is crashing around her. Ultimately, he plan of using Wesley for an exhilarating escape backfires as she begins to fall for him.

My favourite line of this book has to be “Wesley Rush doesn’t chase girls, but I’m chasing you”. This line said so much about both characters transitions throughout the novel. It also made me feel warm and gushy inside and provoked a cute little “awww” so that’s also why I liked it. Wesley Rush is probably my fictional crush at the moment.

I rarely ever do this, but I would honestly rate the book 5/5. I can’t find anything really wrong with it. I LOVED reading this book and I crave a sequel (even though I know that probability is low). I fell in love with both the characters of Bianca and Wesley, as well as their additional friends and family members. This book didn’t leave me hating any characters or having second thoughts about them. It really was a feel good, coming of age book. I recommend it for all teens (over the age of 16).

The movie was also really good! Even thought it kind of deviates from the novel (because you really cant have those sex scenes in a teen movie) it was a very good film. It was funny, the roles of Bianca and Wesley were played well. I really did enjoy it. Its no mean girls, but I enjoyed it. And also based off of the movie, Wesley Rush is probably my fictional crush at the moment.

So, If you have not already read this book, I recommend that you do! It is such a good read!

eBook Review #3: A Long Goodbye

18625049I have just finished reading A Long Goodbye by Kelly Mooney. I stumbled upon this book while doing my usually iTunes rounds. Once again, this is another romance novel but I actually did quite like this one. This book is written from both the Female and Male protagonists point of view.

This book focuses on a young woman named Ashton, who is controlled by her politician father. He loves her but appears to love his profession more as he makes life decisions for her that will benefit him and his campaign in the long run. After Ashton’s mother passes away, her father becomes even more controlling and protective. As she is now an adult, she wants to have the freedom to make her own choices and to make her own mistakes. The tension between Ashton and her father begins when her dad encourages her to marry a man that she knows is bad for her. In light of this, she and her best friend Lu decide that it would be a good opportunity to go on a road trip so that she can experience what may be her last opportunity for freedom and happiness in her life. Her father agrees to let her go on this trip but hires someone to follow her, which she does not know.

Dane is a former Soilder. He has returned home due to trauma and injuries incurred while trying to save his friend in combat. He is unsure about whether or not he wants to return to the army when his brother provides him with a job that will benefit his company. He has been assigned to follow Ashton on her one week of travelling and to be discreet about it. He agrees and sets off on this new journey.

The long and the short is that Dane does not stay discreet and a romance begins between Woody and Grace (their alter egos). When they return back home, they will go through trails that will test their love for one another.

This was actually quite a good read. I enjoyed the fact that there was an element of mystery to this story. I also enjoyed the fact that there was so much at stake in this relationship and that class discrimination exists in this novel. The only thing I did not like about this book had to be the ending. Yes they do end up together and get married, and live happily ever after, I would have preferred if everything didn’t work out. There was so much against them throughout the novel that it kind of seemed strange that everything fell so perfectly into place, even with her friend Lu. For that, I would rate this book a 3.5/5.

eBook Review #2: Near & Far

Near and Far book coverTime for my second eBook review. This is for the sequel to the book Lost & Found, also by Nicole Williams. Near & Far is the continuation of Jesse and Rowen’s story. Rowen has decided that she wants to extend her education in art buy attending the community college a couple of hours away from Jesse and the farm. She has moved away and although they try to see each other as often as possible they still begin to grow apart in the way that young adult couples usually do when any type of distance is put between them. It is like things are changing for Rowen and she is growing as a person while Jesse stays the same because he is basically in the same place doing the same thing. As they begin to grow apart other trials take place that cause them to question their relationship, but just to follow the typical culture of romance novels, they find their way back to one another. I really did like this novel but I did not find it to be as amazing as the first. It was a good sequel that was enjoyable and a good extention of the first book. A third book about Rowen and Jesse is coming out in a couple of months and I hope that it will be as entertaining of a read as the first two were!

 

eBook Review #1: Lost & Found (Book 1)

lost and found - nicole williamsI normally blog about music but I thought that it was definitely time for a little change. Occasionally, I will be doing blog posts about eBooks that I have stumbled upon, read, and quite enjoyed. I don’t believe in negativity too much so I’m going to leave It out and only focus on the books that I liked. To start off with, I will write a short review on the book, Lost & Found by: Nicole Williams.

Lost & Found is a young adult (emphasis on the target audience due to latter themes) novel based around a troubled young woman named Rowen. Rowen faces challenges in her life and with her mother. In order to teach Rowen a lesson, her mother sends her off to live on a Ranch with he best friend from university. Upon arrival to the country side, she is greeted by a charming young cowboy named Jesse…and the rest is history (well its pretty typical). Rowen is gloomy. Jesse is positive and attractive. They fall in love despite their differences and they are better for it.

I really did enjoy this book for the fact that I was able to love both of the main characters. I loved the story line and way in which it progressed. I really have nothing that I would change about this book. The main thing that I liked was the reverse in gender roles. Rowen was more experienced in life than Jesse. This is an unusual theme in young adult books so it was refreshing to see a different perspective on youth romance.

I would rate this book a 9/10. It was really enjoyable and I recommend this read! I will post a review of the second one soon!