Review: Dissonance by Erica O’Rourke
Delancy Sullivan has always known there’s more to reality than what people see.
Review: Breathe, Annie, Breathe by Miranda Kenneally
No matter how far she jogs, Annie can’t escape the guilt that if she hadn’t broken up with Kyle, he might still be alive.
Review: Complicit by Stephanie Kuehn
Cate Henry needs her little brother to know the truth about their past. A truth she’s not supposed to tell.
Review: 17 First Kisses by Rachael Allen
With true love and best friendship on the line, Claire suddenly has everything to lose.
Review: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
A private island. A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy. A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive. A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Review: Pointe by Brandy Colbert
Donovan isn’t talking about what happened, and even though Theo knows she didn’t do anything wrong, telling the truth would put everything at risk. But keeping quiet might be worse.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Review: Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer

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Review: Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer
Belzhar
Meg Wolitzer
Genre: Magical Realism, YA
Publication date: September 30th
by Dutton Juvenile

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If life were fair, Jam Gallahue would still be  at home in New Jersey with her sweet British  boyfriend, Reeve Maxfield. She’d be watching  old comedy sketches with him. She’d be kissing  him in the library stacks.

She certainly wouldn’t be at The Wooden Barn, a therapeutic boarding school in rural Vermont, living with a weird roommate, and signed up for an exclusive, mysterious class called Special Topics in English.

But life isn’t fair, and Reeve Maxfield is dead.

Until a journal-writing assignment leads Jam to Belzhar, where the untainted past is restored, and Jam can feel Reeve’s arms around her once again. But there are hidden truths on Jam’s path to reclaim her loss.

From New York Times bestselling author Meg Wolitzer comes a breathtaking and surprising story about first love, deep sorrow, and the power of acceptance.
-A copy was provided by Penguin Canada for review-

It took me months to get through this one, I kept forgetting I was even reading it, so let’s just say it wasn’t a memorable read for me. It is unique, don’t get me wrong, but I just didn’t really care about any of these characters. Then when the magical element got introduced, it made the book even less interesting, not more as I had hoped.

Ok so let’s start with this premise. After her boyfriend dies, Jam gets sent to boarding school for troubled teens, and in one of her classes she’s given a journal that, to her surprise, sends her to a magical place whenever she writes in it. This place is free of pain and heartache: it’s a world where the tragedy that brought them to this school has not happened. Although this might sound cheesy, I thought it was a really creative premise with tons of potential. I expected a lot of depth and soul searching, but instead I found myself getting bored while we did nothing but skim the surface, emotionally. The characters themselves were not bad, but they weren’t especially interesting either. This “deep bond” that apparently connected them was brought up so much it only made it feel forced. So in turn, I quickly grew frustrated with it all.

This might just be my being used to extreme emotional situations in the books I read, but I couldn’t stop from rolling my eyes at a few aspect in this story. Look at this class of people, for instance: a handful of teens selected from a pool of damaged kids because the teacher thought they needed special help to get through this difficult time. One is there because she was in an accident and got paralyzed, another is there because she’s blaming herself for her brother’s disappearance, and then we have this guy who’s there because he found out his father cheated. Oh and also, because he’s now getting Cs instead of As. Umm ok. That sucks and everything, but that hardly makes you a tragedy. Another instance that made me roll my eyes until they hurt, I unfortunately can’t talk about. It’s the “big reveal” of what really happened during the last day of Jam’s boyfriend’s life. And oh my freaking word you are not freaking kidding me! Kudos for being unpredictable, at least.

Then there were added details and sub plots in the book that were not really necessary and only distracted from the main storyline. The a cappella thing, the whole deal with her brother’s snarky/changed behaviour, a freaking doe giving birth?? Why? I get that it can help to develop characters and give them a realistic life with family dynamics and such, but it just felt like pointless plot additions in this case.

All in all, Belzhar is an intriguing read, one that uses anticipation and curiosity in a way that makes you want to keep reading to find out the truth. With that said, despite my problems with it I do think it deserves 3 stars. It simply falls short emotionally and failed to live up to my expectations at the end.

3 Stars
3 Hot Espressos

Guest Post & Giveaway: A Trick Of The Light

Guest Post & Giveaway: A Trick Of The Light

Posted by on 09/18/2014 • 0 Comments

I am so excited to be able to share with you today a guest post and opportunity to win a novel that I read and loved last year. To celebrate the paperback release of A Trick of The Light, Lois Metzger is here to talk about the unique POV of the novel and let me tell you, this is one perspective you have probably never read from before. First here is a little about the novel:

Click Here To Read Jenni’s Review of A Trick Of The Light

Guest Post from Lois Metzger

How I Came to Write a Book Narrated by a Voice in Someone’s Head

Years ago I wrote an opening scene for my novel, “A Trick…

I NEED to Read More From These Authors!

I NEED to Read More From These Authors!

Posted by on 09/16/2014 • 31 Comments

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish where we list top bookish things.

Author lovin’ fail!

Colleen Hoover: I read Hopeless maybe a year or so ago, and I loved it so hard and immediately bought all of her other books (at the time), but I still haven’t read any of them. I know I would love them too just by the reviews and my feelings towards this one. #FailIsMe V.E. Schwab/Victoria Schwab: I reeeeeallly want to read the Archived by Schwab, and even more so ever since I read this one and saw how much of an incredible writer she is. Dude! I even swore in my review I was going to read the Archived next!…

DNF Round-Up [2014: Part 2]

DNF Round-Up [2014: Part 2]

Posted by on 09/15/2014 • 18 Comments

The post where I post mini reviews on why I DNFed (did not finish) these books! For my past DNF posts, click here!

Mortal Danger Ann Aguirre

Goodreads Purchase

Revenge is a dish best served cold.

Edie Kramer has a score to settle with the beautiful people at Blackbriar Academy. Their cruelty drove her to the brink of despair, and four months ago, she couldn’t imagine being strong enough to face her senior year. But thanks to a Faustian compact with the enigmatic Kian, she has the power to make the bullies pay. She’s not supposed to think about Kian once the deal is done, but devastating pain burns behind his unearthly beauty, and he’s impossible to forget.

In one short summer, her entire life changes, and…

Stacking the Shelves [September 14th]

Stacking the Shelves [September 14th]

Posted by on 09/14/2014 • 17 Comments

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews featuring the books we got this week, and I also mention blog news/happenings of the past week. Hiya guys! I hope everyone is doing awesomely even as the weather gets colder. At least for those up north like me. So even though Jenni is not blogging anymore, I still plan to only post an STS every 2 weeks, mostly because I rarely get enough in just one week to bother making a book haul post about it. Also this week, if you missed it, was my 3 year blogoversary. I did up a post with a sweet giveaway here! I also shared a fun sneak peek at The Gifted Dead here. So the past weeks were a tad slow for…

Fresh Batch (New Releases September 14th – 20th)

Fresh Batch (New Releases September 14th – 20th)

Posted by on 09/13/2014 • 9 Comments

Fresh Batch, posted weekly, keeps you up to date on the hottest releases of the upcoming week.

Flavor of the week:

I’ll Give You the Sun Jandy Nelson Publication date: September 16th 2014by Dial

Goodreads Purchase

A brilliant, luminous story of first love, family, loss, and betrayal for fans of John Green, David Levithan, and Rainbow Rowell

Jude and her twin brother, Noah, are incredibly close. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude cliff-dives and wears red-red lipstick and does the talking for both of them. But three years later, Jude and Noah are barely speaking. Something has happened to wreck the twins in different and dramatic ways . ….

Review: Rooms by Lauren Oliver

Review: Rooms by Lauren Oliver

Posted by on 09/12/2014 • 14 Comments

I didn’t love this, but it’s a very unique – I’d even say peculiar – story with some candid personalities and buried secrets. And of course, Lauren’s writing makes the storyline so intriguing that it compels you to read even if it’s not blowing your mind. This review will be short, because the whole of this (also short) book is one haunting secret after another being unearthed into a story full of tragedy.

Brought together in this house by the death and upcoming burial of a husband and father, this story encircles the lives of half a dozen people who make up our narrators of this novel. While we learn the ins and outs of what makes these people who they are, we also learn that, ultimately, this is the…

Review: Night Film by Marisha Pessl

Review: Night Film by Marisha Pessl

Posted by on 09/11/2014 • 20 Comments

Night Film is a book that I can say is unlike any other. And now I’m going to contradict that and say it reminded me a bit of The Girl with a Dragon Tattoo. Not in story or plot, but in its atmosphere and compelling nature. Night Film gives us a mystery like no other, following a horror movie director – Cordova – who has become a cult favorite and a huge enigma; his entire life is an endless puzzle. After his daughter commits suicide, Scott’s journalist nature can’t help but dig into this story. What he finds is at once fascinating and horrifying. But… what’s the real truth?

At 640 pages, this is one whopper of a book. Don’t let this intimidate you, though, it never has a chance…