Genre: Contemporary


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Review: Hopeless by Colleen Hoover

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I received this book for free from Simon & Schuster in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Hopeless by Colleen HooverHopeless by Colleen Hoover
Series: Hopeless #1
Published by Atria Books on May 7th 2013
Genres: Contemporary, NA
Source: Simon & Schuster
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five-stars

Sky meets Dean Holder, a guy with a reputation that rivals her own. Holder has the ability to invoke feelings in Sky she's never had before. In just one encounter he leaves her terrified yet captivated and something about him brings up a rush of memories from the past that she’s worked so hard to bury away.

Sky knows Holder is nothing but trouble and tries to keep him at a distance, but he is adamant about learning everything he can about her. Sky finally caves to his unwavering pursuit, but she soon finds out that Holder isn't the person he's been claiming to be. When the secrets he's been keeping are finally revealed, every single facet of Sky's life changes forever.

Wow where do I start? At the amazing characters? At the sky rocketing chemistry? At the scenes that are so powerfully emotional that you want to curl into a ball and cry for days? I have nothing but praise for this gem that Colleen has created. This book rocked my world, and then it broke it in two.

Before we get down and heavy into the depths, let’s talk about what started it all, and that is the characters. Sky is our protagonist and she could not have been a more enjoyable character for me. She does not have an ounce of superficiality on her body. This girl is honest, so honest that she blurts out the most random and embarrassing things because she doesn’t want to play games or make assumptions. She’s probably the most authentic character I have met in a book thus far. Her straightforward attitude is the cause of a few comical moments between her and Holder, but moreover, it’s the reason she fits so well with him. Holder is definitely intense–especially at the beginning. He clearly has issues that he has a hard time voicing, which leaves him balancing on the edge of his abyss. I found their personalities to fit together perfectly, actually. I was not sure about Holder as the love interest at the start as he came off as a little forceful, but I was left intrigued by the reasons behind these actions. It’s obvious he has motives beyond our understanding, and he never crossed any lines in my “book of unforgiving behavior”, he’s just a little… determined. It didn’t take long until we got to see more sides to him, showing that his character is much more complex than the bad boy he’s rumored to being. Together, these two sizzle! I have rarely come upon a romance that sparked as much as this one. Their chemistry is coupled with a shared connection that is positively explosive, yet convincing. I was lost to lala-land entirely while reading this novel.

Much darker than I had expected, Hopeless is a harsh read that will clobber your heart, leaving you bloody and broken. While I did guess at a lot of the events that would occur, this novel still left me disturbed and shocked, even when I did know what was coming. It’s the kind of story that is not meant to leave you flabbergasted by the sudden twist of events–although the less perceptive than I might be–rather it’s meant to rattle your bones with its raw, visceral intensity. The last half of the novel delivers some violently emotional scenes that displays exactly what kind of talent Colleen possesses to be able to embed so much power into the written word. I’m telling you, some of it took my breath away–I literally had the urge to look away until it passed, not because of anything gory (though one part is a little bit), but because of how much pain it entails. I was not expecting so much grit from such a pretty blue skied cover.

On the subject of covers, take a look at the full mockup and tell me you don’t get chills (especially those who’ve read it):

Such a perfect representation. I’m hoping the published version is not changed as the front cover was modified slightly for the Atria release.

What else can I say? This novel was an honest to goodness extraordinary read that mesmerized me every step of the way. It’s undeniably haunting, crazily romantic, and the type of story that you just don’t get over.

five-stars

5 Hot Espressos

Review: If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Review: If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Posted by on 04/16/2013 • 31 Comments

A powerfully emotional novel, If I Stay is a journey through life and death, in the eyes of a young girl who has lost just about everything.

After a disastrous car accident, Mia finds herself looking down at her own battered body, barely alive. This is one case where, immediately, you get a feel of who these people are, their realness, the love they have for each other. With only a few minutes of getting to know them before the accident, I already felt a connection with Mia and her whole family, turning an already emotional novel into a gutting one. Mia’s loss and grief is tangible through Gayle’s effortless writing style. It’s a tragic tale of unimaginable life changing loss that will make you thankful for everything and everyone…

Review: Cracked Up to Be by Courtney Summers

Review: Cracked Up to Be by Courtney Summers

Posted by on 03/18/2013 • 31 Comments

Already being a big fan of Courtney Summers since I read This Is Not a Test, I knew before going into this that it was going to be a ride with a lot of feels! So much feels!

Parker is the definition of a snarky bitch. She has an attitude you want to slap her for, but as a protagonist she’s especially amusing and definitely entertaining. The used-to-be cheerleading captain turned angry emo tells us that something has happened to this girl to change her so drastically. This “something” is told to us via strange behavior from Parker which seem insignificant at first, but as the book progresses the feeling gets more urgent, and is mixed with flashbacks that leaves us wondering what the heck exactly happened here. These flashbacks…

Review: If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch

Posted by on 03/15/2013 • 31 Comments

A deep and emotional journey into the lives of two very special girls, If You Find Me is a wonderfully inspiring story that brings us past the unimaginable horror it inhibits and makes it about hope instead, about second chances.

We meet Carey and Jenessa who are living–or surviving–in their mama’s old camper in the woods. This immediately captured both my heart and rapt interest, seeing two very young girls having to fend for themselves in such cruel ways. I could see from the start how much Carey had matured way beyond her years, caring for her sister more than any mother for her child. This brought me so very close to her. She quickly wedged herself right into my sympathizing heart. Easily, I could feel the deep bond these…

Review: On Every Street by Karina Halle

Posted by on 03/13/2013 • 18 Comments

Having already met Ellie in Sins & Needles, I was excited to get the before: What happened to make her run away, and how she fell in love with Javier to begin with. I must say, I feel very torn after this. In Sins & Needles, Ellie meets Camden with whom she develops a very chemistry filled, eccentric relationship that takes the reader by storm. Then she makes Javier out to be someone she fears, someone she must stay away from at all costs. He’s the villain no one wants to see swoop in. In On Every Street, however, we see what made her fall in love with Javier. Knowing their unfortunate downfall doesn’t make their romance, nor Javier himself, any less enticing, either. I didn’t think I would like…

Review: Sins & Needles by Karina Halle

Posted by on 01/21/2013 • 40 Comments

Sometimes when you finish a book, you loved it so completely, so thoroughly, that you don’t even want to give it a 5-star rating. Because then you start thinking of all the other 5-stars you’ve given, and it just doesn’t compare. You don’t want it to be compared. This was one of them. Having read a copy the minute it was made available, there were no reviews or feedback yet, giving me absolutely zero expectations, and I. Was. Blown. Away! (!!) I have both been dying to, and dreading, reviewing this book, because I want to just pour my heart out, but at the same time I’m afraid nothing I say can do it justice. So… it may not completely make sense, you have been warned.

First and foremost, this…

Review: Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

Review: Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

Posted by on 07/20/2012 • 52 Comments

It’s no secret that this book has been getting insane reviews. Being the persistent black sheep that I am, I was incredibly wary of the hype it was garnering, certain that it would fail to impress me. Oh boy. Oh freaking boy!! Was I ever wrong. I loved this so hard!

Echo and Noah… Echo. Noah. Nocho?

Echo has been through an extremely distressing, life altering ordeal because of which she’s suffering post-traumatic stress, with the worst side effect being memory loss. She doesn’t remember what happened. All she has are the scars. From popular to outsider, Echo’s troubled state-of-mind is harsh and unstable. One of the best character development I’ve read, she made me a part of her. With only the span of a few pages, she had me…

Review: A Midsummer’s Nightmare

Review: A Midsummer’s Nightmare

Posted by on 06/02/2012 • 29 Comments

After hearing so much about Kody Keplinger, I finally took the plunge and picked this one up – it will not be my last. It may be a bit formulaic, but I enjoyed the characters immensely, and Whitley’s story is full of drama, attitude, and misgivings that makes it a real page turner.

Whitley’s constant partying and flirting has given her quite the reputation, and her only vacation from all of this has turned out to be more of a nightmare. Whitley’s problems are intense. She’s the kind of character that is not necessarily likeable as she makes dumb, reckless choices and complains incessantly. Strangely, however, I didn’t find this irritating; her less than endearing qualities is what makes the story all the more appealing. It gets us to care,…