Genre: YA

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Review + Giveaway: Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend by Louise Rozett

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Review + Giveaway: Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend by Louise Rozett
Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend
Louise Rozett
Series: Confessions #2
Genre: Contemporary, YA
Publication date: June 25th 2013
by Harlequin Teen

Rose Zarelli has big plans for sophomore year—everything is going to be different. This year, she’s going to be the talented singer with the killer voice, the fabulous girl with the fashionista best friend, the brainiac who refuses to let Jamie Forta jerk her around...

...but if she’s not careful, she’s also going to be the sister who misses the signals, the daughter who can only think about her own pain, the “good girl” who finds herself in mid-scandal again (because no good deed goes unpunished) and possibly worst of all...the almost-girlfriend.

When all else fails, stop looking for love and go find yourself
-A copy was provided by Harlequin Teen for review-

*Spoiler free for the series*

After enjoying Confessions of an Angry Girl more than I expected to, I’m happy to report that this is a strong sequel with impressive character growth. I may even have enjoyed it more than the first.

What surprised me in the first book was the amount of depth there was to the story. You think it will be this whiny drama-filled book, but while there is definite drama, everything feels so realistic and raw. The protagonist, Rose, does come off as someone very confused at first, especially in the first book. She’s mean to herself and lacks self confidence, in this sequel, however, her character comes out of her shell and she finds where she truly belongs; where she wants to belong. I loved this dramatic change in her. She’s realizing that being like everyone else is not what will make her happy. She figures out who she’s really meant to be and takes the leap, transforming into a confident, passionate girl who had me cheering her on. Her supporting characters don’t let down either. We have the same old charismatic friends who bring it up a notch. With everyone a year older, we have louder, more distinguished personalities of people who are… can I be cheesy and say “spreading their wings”? >.< My favorite side character is Angelo; he just amuses me. Though Tracy is pretty fabulous, too!

As for the romance… GAH! It’s just as frustrating as the first if not moreso. It’s realistic in its high school-ish mess, I’ll give you that, but it has me wishing Rose would let Jamie go. He has obvious issues and plenty of secrets, I don’t trust him nor his intentions. It feels like he’s stringing Rose along just because he can – exactly as Conrad told her. They do have swoony chemistry, but he either has to give in or leave her alone. I think Rose is finally thinking the same way by the end, at least, so hopefully in the next book she’ll kick him to the curb if he doesn’t figure himself out stat! I’m actually hoping she ends up with Angelo to be honest. That guy is just so caring and… uncomplicated. I think that’s exactly what she needs.

The first book touched a lot on Rose’s grief from the death of her father, this sequel follows this largely through emotionally charged therapy sessions with Rose and her mother who are both struggling with anger and heartache. Her brother is more present as well; we learn what changed him so much since starting college while he reconnects with his family. Family oriented books always touch my heart. I found the complicated relationships to be full of realistic conflict and heartfelt emotions. Furthermore, we also explore some serious topics in this book: anti-gay bullying, drugs, physical abuse. Each one is handled skillfully without being cheesy after school special-ish or stereotypical. It’s honest, even a little gritty. It all adds up to being a surprisingly profound novel.

Confessions is a perfectly balanced series with just enough drama, just enough humor, and just enough emotion to get us invested without being overwhelmed. I’d recommend it for when you’re looking for a quick, vibrant read speckled with life’s turmoils.

4 Stars
4 Hot Espressos

Find my review of Confessions of an Angry Girl 14, here!

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Review: Truly, Madly, Deadly by Hannah Jayne

Review: Truly, Madly, Deadly by Hannah Jayne

Posted by on 06/27/2013 • 34 Comments

A fun and creepy thriller, Truly, Madly, Deadly is a perfectly entertaining read. It does take some suspension of disbelief in certain aspects of the story, but I can see it being a hit by fans of the genre nonetheless.

Sawyer’s boyfriend’s death was only the beginning, it seems. Since the accident, Sawyer seems to have taken on a stalker who’s set on framing her for all the accidents-ruled-murders that have been happening in her town. Aside from the aforementioned, we also have the topics of bullying and abusive relationship that Sawyer has to learn to fight through. What I liked the most about Sawyer’s character was her voice; how she dealt with what was happening felt very real and emotionally gripping. The flashbacks to her past had my heart…

Review: Another Little Piece by Kate Karyus Quinn

Review: Another Little Piece by Kate Karyus Quinn

Posted by on 06/21/2013 • 31 Comments

Whoa! This book has to be one of the strangest reads I’ve come across. I can see how its eccentric nature will not be for everyone, but for me the beautiful, often disturbing, writing style captivated me and never let go. It’s not the type of story that just anyone could pull off, the author definitely did some thinking outside the box for this one, and Quinn has my two thumbs up.

Calling this book Another Little Piece is quite fitting, as it felt like with every turn of a page, another piece of this mind-boggling puzzle was put in place – or at least moved a tiny bit closer. And this review is especially hard, because in almost every piece lies a spoiler. The first of these spoilers comes…

Review: In the After by Demitria Lunetta

Review: In the After by Demitria Lunetta

Posted by on 06/17/2013 • 39 Comments

A stronger first half than the second, but overall this is a highly entertaining post apocalyptic book! I mean: zombie aliens! The world in In the After has just been attacked by an alien species who are terrifyingly similar to zombies. These creatures eat humans, they’re dumb, and they’re relentless (they keep trying to get at you no matter how painful it may be to them). It is a tad reminiscent of The 5th Wave, although that book philosophizes more on what it means to be human and the consequences of such an event on humanity as a whole, whereas In the After concentrates on the main characters’ direct survival story. It’s fascinating to see the adaptive capacity of human beings. This book is Amy and Baby’s story, and a…

Review: Born of Illusion by Teri Brown

Review: Born of Illusion by Teri Brown

Posted by on 06/14/2013 • 34 Comments

Magicians, mediums, old school theatre entertainment, and a historical New York setting; I absolutely loved the atmosphere in every aspect of this novel!

Anna Van Housen-the opening act of her mother’s magic show-is the real deal: she’s a medium, she has visions of the future, and she can feel others’ emotions. Plus, she’s rumored to be Houdini’s illegitimate daughter. With a premise like that, how can I not be intrigued? Plus, just look at this amazing cover! I was excited to finally sink my teeth into this one and it was definitely worth it. Not only is our protagonist a wonderfully compelling character with a great personality, the book is set in 1920’s New York City which is utterly fantastic in and of itself. I’ve always loved a New York…

Review: Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

Review: Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

Posted by on 06/11/2013 • 31 Comments

Siege and Storm continues the enchanting story of Alina, Mal, and the Darkling, in their world full of danger and secrets. Starting with a bang, we’re reacquainted with Alina and Mal trapped in a less than stellar situation on the Darkling’s ship. This is sure to immediately captivate any fan of the series, pulling us again in this magic-filled story of the Sun Summoner. It didn’t take long until the characters carved their way into my heart again. I wasn’t as impressed with this sequel as I was with Shadow and Bone, but the characters are still as charming as ever, and the world building is simply fantastic.

In an action packed beginning, we meet a new mysterious character that becomes quite a big part of this sequel. However, I…

Review: Ashes on the Waves by Mary Lindsey

Review: Ashes on the Waves by Mary Lindsey

Posted by on 06/10/2013 • 31 Comments

“He’s cursed. He’s human flesh worn by a demon.”

A fantastically atmospheric Gothic novel, Ashes on the Waves is based on an eerie Edgar Allan Poe poem – which is really all you need to know, right?

In a way, this novel reminded me a little of Teeth by Hannah Moskowitz. It’s set on a secluded island where people live in the old ways without much as far as laws and structure goes. There is also paranormal presence that makes the island unique, and a little chilling. Like in Teeth, you will need to go into this with an open mind as the novel is not considered a paranormal, but a Gothic story. Meaning the paranormal aspects are not examined in detail as far as their history or…

Review: Dare You To by Katie McGarry

Review: Dare You To by Katie McGarry

Posted by on 06/03/2013 • 20 Comments

After Pushing the Limits became one of my favorite reads of last year, I went into this one with a lot of enthusiasm and high expectations. I’m sad that I didn’t en up loving it as much, but I still quite enjoyed it and am happy that I read it. I also can see why so many are enamored by it, if I had read it at another time I might have enjoyed it much more as well. As it stands I’ve been reading a string of similarly plotted books lately so my patience for certain elements of the book has been worn thin.

Unlike with Pushing the Limits, I had a difficult time with the characters and romance in this sequel. I liked the characters okay, and the chemistry…