Monthly Archives:: September 2013

Monday, September 30, 2013

Review: Made of Stars by Kelley York

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Review: Made of Stars by Kelley York
Made of Stars
Kelley York
Genre: Contemporary, YA
Publication date: October 1st 2013
by Entangled Teen, Harlequin Teen

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When eighteen-year-old Hunter Jackson and his half sister, Ashlin, return to their dad’s for the first winter in years, they expect everything to be just like the warmer months they’d spent there as kids. And it is—at first. But Chance, the charismatic and adventurous boy who made their summers epic, is harboring deep secrets. Secrets that are quickly spiraling into something else entirely.

The reason they've never met Chance’s parents or seen his home is becoming clearer. And what the siblings used to think of as Chance's quirks—the outrageous stories, his clinginess, his dangerous impulsiveness—are now warning signs that something is seriously off.

Then Chance's mom turns up with a bullet to the head, and all eyes shift to Chance and his dad. Hunter and Ashlin know Chance is innocent...they just have to prove it. But how can they protect the boy they both love when they can’t trust a word Chance says?
-A copy was provided by Entangled Publishing for review-

I didn’t love this as much as Hushed – which was more my genre being a horror and all – but it does have an overall dark theme with a constant flow of mystery regarding a certain character. It’s a story told under a looming grey cloud where you know a disaster is forthcoming, giving it a suspenseful tone throughout. The narrative voices are where I wasn’t fully sold and ultimately stopped me from giving it my all.

Made of Stars is told through a dual perspective of a brother and a sister who have met Chance during summer break at their dad’s place. Every year they meet up and have a memorable summer, then have no contact with him until next time . This year, however, things have changed. They’re now a bit older and are realizing that Chance’s life is not what he made it out to be. While I didn’t dislike the characters- they’re actually pretty likeable with their great group dynamic and unwavering bond – I found both narratives hard to distinguish. I regularly had to make a conscious effort to remind myself which perspective I was currently reading. The ebook format on my reader didn’t help, surely, as twice I completely missed that the POV had changed.

With Ashlin and Hunter narrating this book, one would assume it is telling their stories, however Made of Stars is not Hunter or Ashlin’s story at all. This is Chance’s story. Chance is definitely my favorite of the 3. I found his character arc incredibly engaging and complex. He’s broken, obviously lying about, and running from, his home life. Being a master of hiding behind a tough facade, I feel like I didn’t get to know the real Chance; him to the core. Though I believe this is how Kelley intended it. We do learn just how broken he really is, as well as what’s behind it, which is often the most we can hope for with tragic stories like these. However, being kept at arm’s length from Chance together with the lack of distinctive voices made it impossible for me to emotionally immerse myself in these characters. I didn’t feel all the feels with this one. I also was not a fan of the way it ended, it offers no closure at all. I can’t say it wasn’t realistic, or maybe even perfect for what this story was meant to be, but nevertheless…

I do appreciate the non-stereotypical approach Kelley takes with her books. Especially how she implements LGBT themes which, frankly, I find refreshing for a YA romance. It involves characters that lack any stereotypes in and of themselves. The realism is also a strong factor where we see Hunter beginning to realize his feelings for Chance and the internal conflict this elicits.

There is an honest, raw quality to Kelley’s writing that I truly love. It’s what made me a fan of hers in the first place. I think Chance’s story, which is twisted and somewhat bittersweet, deserves to be read and despite my problems with the narratives I’m glad that I did.

3 Stars
3 Hot Espressos

Stacking the Shelves (71)

Stacking the Shelves (71)

Posted by on 09/29/2013 • 28 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. Hey pals! Sorry for no STS last week. I passed out at like 8 o’clock and didn’t wake up until morning so I figured my big haul of a whopping 1 book could wait. We are now officially in fall! I’m excited for Halloween already! I get to trick-or-treat again with my lil one woot! So yeah, I added a new division to my tour site to adult and erotica books. If you read those genres and you want to sign-up head over to Xpresso Book Tours: After Dark. It won’t be taking on as many tours as XBT but there are some…

Fresh Batch (New Releases September 29 – October 5)

Fresh Batch (New Releases September 29 – October 5)

Posted by on 09/28/2013 • 10 Comments

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

Flavor of the week:

Wild Cards Simone Elkeles Series: Wild Cards #1 Publication date: October 1st 2013by Walker Books for Young Readers

Goodreads Purchase

After getting kicked out of boarding school, bad boy Derek Fitzpatrick has no choice but to live with his ditzy stepmother while his military dad is deployed. Things quickly go from bad to worse when he finds out she plans to move them back to her childhood home in Illinois. Derek’s counting the days before he can be on his own, and the last thing he needs is to get involved with someone else’s family drama.

Ashtyn Parker knows one thing for certain–people you…

Review: Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano

Review: Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano

Posted by on 09/27/2013 • 22 Comments

Perfect Ruin has a fantastic concept with the same easy flowing writing from DeStefano’s Chemical Garden series. Constrained on this island the size of a fist, we’re taken into the life of Morgan who’s been starting to wonder what’s over the edge. The one thing that is forbidden to all residents of this floating city. Oh did I forget to mention that part? Yes, the city is floating somewhere above earth. This lone city. With people. Living there!

Not only is this place the size of a cracker, but now people are being found dead. Murdered. And not nicely either – if there is such a thing. Not only do I love the fitting name – Perfect Ruin – but this story had me captivated from the get go….

Book Girls Don’t Cry: Money and Blogging

Book Girls Don’t Cry: Money and Blogging

Posted by on 09/26/2013 • 37 Comments

Book Girls Don’t Cry is a weekly feature where we each discuss/vent/advise on the chosen weekly bookish topic. Don’t miss Jenni on Mondays, and Amy on Saturdays:

 

Nothing in Life is Free?

On this week’s Book Girls Don’t Cry we’re talking money! Is blogging free? Is any hobby free? Very very few of them are, unless you are a very boring person whose hobby consists of staring at walls… or something. To me, blogging is a hobby just like car modeling, hunting, gaming, etc. Blogging is cheap in comparison to those – if it costs anything at all, other than your time of course.

Books: Some consider buying books a cost of blogging, but I don’t agree. Books is a cost of being a reader in general. And actually,…

Review: Unbreakable by Kami Garcia

Review: Unbreakable by Kami Garcia

Posted by on 09/25/2013 • 19 Comments

What a nail biter! Unbreakable has a creepy cover with an equally freaky story. For all of you supernatural thriller fans out there this one is not to be missed!

I made the mistake of starting this book at midnight; a book that has crazy happenings and intense goosebump-worthy scenes right from the beginning. Every page had me delving deeper and deeper under the covers just so I would stop imagining hellish demon ghosts at the foot of my bed! And by hellish demon ghosts I mean exactly that! You won’t find Casper in here. By page 32 my heart was already pounding from the horror of this unexplained supernatural evil that started to haunt Kennedy. Ok if I’m being honest, I kind of loved it. I’m a sucker for…

Kobo Aura Giveaway! (US/Can)

Kobo Aura Giveaway! (US/Can)

Posted by on 09/25/2013 • 16 Comments

Hi peeps! I’ve got some exciting news for you today! The new Kobo Aura has just recently come out and thanks to Kobo, I have one very lucky reader who will be getting their very own! I’ve always been a fan of Kobo readers and I’ve been reading on a new Aura myself this past week and I’m already loving it! It’s eInk which is a must for me for an ereader. It also has an integrated adjustable light that makes it awesome for nighttime.

You can read all about the Kobo Aura here!

Giveaway Details

The lovely people at Kobo have generously offered up a Kobo Aura for giveaway to one of my readers.

Open to US…

Review: All the Truth That’s In Me by Julie Berry

Review: All the Truth That’s In Me by Julie Berry

Posted by on 09/24/2013 • 23 Comments

A strange, yet captivating book; All The Truth That’s in Me gives a reading experience like no other. I can’t say I’ve read anything quite like this before. It’s different! This is the best, if most simple way to describe it.

The way this book is written is as if, especially during the first part, we’re seeing a story unfold through bursts of random flashes of a life. There’s an editor’s note at the beginning of my copy that describes it as “a pinhole narrative – you start out looking through a tiny hole that allows you to see only a fraction of Judith’s world, and as the story goes on, the pinhole widens” It’s the the perfect way to exemplify the storytelling style. As you can guess, it’s not…