Genre: Romance

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Review: Hold Me Like a Breath by Tiffany Schmidt

Posted by 21 Comments

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

Review: Hold Me Like a Breath by Tiffany SchmidtHold Me Like a Breath by Tiffany Schmidt
Series: Once Upon a Crime Family #1
Published by Bloomsbury on May 19, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Retellings, Romance, Thriller, YA
Source: Bloomsbury
Buy on Amazon

Penelope Landlow has grown up with the knowledge that almost anything can be bought or sold—including body parts. She’s the daughter of one of the three crime families that control the black market for organ transplants.

Penelope’s surrounded by all the suffocating privilege and protection her family can provide, but they can't protect her from the autoimmune disorder that causes her to bruise so easily.

And in her family's line of work no one can be safe forever.

All Penelope has ever wanted is freedom and independence. But when she’s caught in the crossfire as rival families scramble for prominence, she learns that her wishes come with casualties, that betrayal hurts worse than bruises, that love is a risk worth taking . . . and maybe she’s not as fragile as everyone thinks.

This is probably the first time in a long while since I’ve gotten this infuriated and angry and just fuming over a book. I chose to read this novel expecting great things (especially with such a title as romantic as that), but I ended up putting the book down at certain times and pacing around the room just to cool off the steam coming out of my ears. was that seething. 

(And I’m not the only one. I buddy read this with Aimee and we kept ranting about the book to each other.)

I don’t even know where to start with this thing. It had so many factors that could have given us an amazing story – underground family-syndicates that deal with black market organ transplants, a heroine who has an autoimmune disorder, assigned guardians and protectors who are a part of the Family – but all of these were taken for granted and flushed down the drain by the book’s seemingly unnecessary emphasis on the romance, which was the most rushed and cheesy and instalove-y romance that I’ve read yet.

First of all, let’s talk about the heroine, Penelope Landlow. She is a descendant of a family that has done countless organ transplants for those who can afford it (read: illegal). She is very frail and everyone is very careful with her because she bruises and bleeds easily due to her autoimmune disorder, a condition where her body keeps destroying her platelets count. I wouldn’t really have minded this tidbit and would normally have embraced it, but it felt like her condition was more of a cop-out in order not to explore the syndicate aspect of this book. Since we see the events unfold in her perspective, we keep getting brushed off whenever it comes to the business and ongoings in said family business, because such were“not good/right for her” or that “she shouldn’t bother herself with it”. The only time she was actually in a meeting that discussed the business, the heroine was fucking spacing out. When she came back to reality, the meeting was finished. FINISHED.

What the fuck???

Here I am, not already getting enough info about the politics and internal affairs of this goddamn business, and the remote chance that we do, the heroine conveniently spaces out. She’s already isolated from everything as it is! This goes on until the rest of the novel… where it consequently becomes a hundred pages of cheesy dialogue and feewings between the girl and a guy who she falls in love with at first sight… I mean, he saves her from falling in the streets and she later dreams about kissing him… take note: at this point, they still haven’t conversed with each other decently (at least not a conversation with her thinking straight), and they do not know each other’s names. So consider me flabbergasted when she later talks about how she dreamt about him while unconscious! (and I’m here, wondering, how the hell would someone know that if they were bloody unconscious?!).

I mean, get this: she later wakes up and finds this guy followed her to her apartment, and instead of, I don’t know, panicking that her location got found out so easily (since her life is in danger), she tells him this:

“And I thought rock-hard jaw lines only existed in romance novels.”

DO YOU SEE NOW WHY I HAD TO TAKE BREAKS WHILE READING THIS BOOK?! IT WAS FUCKING IMPOSSIBLE TO KEEP GOING AND NOT WANT TO STAB SOMETHING. I was actually scolded by my mother for continuously walking around the room muttering incoherent curses, but I assure you, I had to put the negative energy somewhere or else I was going to explode. The heroine and her lack of self-preservation just made me want to bang my hand on a granite wall.

And this continues for a loooong, looong time. A repetition of her going out with the dude, of them saying sweet nothings to each other, of them going to places and acting like an old married couple despite the fact they know zilch about each other, despite the fact they’ve only met a few days prior. I had to resort to skimming because it wasn’t just annoying, it was also so cheesy. I mean, she gets told she’s “the best thing in the whole city” and she thinks he’s the one “keeping her alive”. Take bloody note: they only met a few days ago.

And it really annoyed me how she made everything about her. Her brother is having a life? She doesn’t get happy and instead gets angry at him for “getting ahead of her”. She is hesitant to share about her life, and she notices this certain guy is hesitant to tell her about his life, and she has the bloody gall to feel offended at this. She lies about herself and someone else lies about themselves, and she jumps the gun and accuses him of being a liar. WHAT THE FUCK. JUST WHAT THE BLOODY HELL.

God, don’t ask me how I lasted this long. I don’t even know.

I did like the ending, though. The ending was promising. The ending made me see a Penelope that was more mature and more determined. However, even if this is so, that doesn’t invalidate the fact that reading this book was like watching Teletubbies on TV: unbearable and just so horribly painful. Hopefully you guys will like this more than I did, and if you did, don’t forget to tell me what you liked so I can go back and reminsce if I may have liked it somewhat, too. At this point, the negatives are just so glaringly obvious.

Did you find my review helpful? Consider liking it on Goodreads!


1 Cold Espresso

Interview with Colleen Hoover + Giveaway!

Interview with Colleen Hoover + Giveaway!

Posted by on 03/18/2015 • 12 Comments

I’ve got the wonderful Colleen Hoover, NA rockstar, on the blog today for a short interview about her newest book, Confess! First let’s take a peek at this pretty for those who hadn’t heard of it yet:

Interview with Colleen Hoover Hi Colleen! Thanks so much for dropping by my little space on the web! Hopeless was the first New Adult book I ever read and I absolutely loved it! But today let’s talk about your newest release – Confess! 🙂

Let’s start with giving us a brief description of Confess using only 2 sentences.

Boy meets girl. Crap, I’m out of sentences.

What was the whole confessions part like – the book mentions they’re actual confessions you received – did you get some that will…

Review: On the Island by Tracey Garvis-Graves

Review: On the Island by Tracey Garvis-Graves

Posted by on 12/18/2014 • 15 Comments

We’ve all been asked something along the lines of “What would you bring with you on a deserted island”, but for Anna and TJ, this is not rhetorical anymore. And unfortunately they didn’t even get that choice. All they have on the island they’re stranded on, is what has floated in from their plane crash. A suitcase full of mostly useless stuff, but stuff nonetheless. Stories like these really make you appreciate everything we have, here. The choices that we have. For Anna and TJ, they’re only hoping to survive from one day to the next.

One thing I appreciated from this novel is that it isn’t overly dramatic. There’s not a new crisis in every chapter, they don’t have near death experiences and close calls every 3 pages….

Audiobook Review: Burying Water by K.A. Tucker

Audiobook Review: Burying Water by K.A. Tucker

Posted by on 12/09/2014 • 8 Comments

Books about loss of memory are always intriguing to me. I also love a contemporary that sounds like it will be all sorts of emotional. This book delivered well for the most part. The thing that turned me off was the infidelity. I don’t ever think it’s okay no matter what. Yes, her husband was a cheating bastard first, but it doesn’t make it okay for her to do it too. Anyways, putting all of that aside, I really enjoyed this book. I loved how the past is told by Jesse, and the present told by Water and how they finally converge. I did wish for a bit more of an emotional impact, but I think because I was put off by certain things it made it harder for me…

Review: Into the Night by Suzanne Rigdon

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Posted by on 11/24/2014 • 8 Comments

I don’t read a lot of Adult or Vampire novels that often anymore, but this one sounded interesting so I figured I would give it a go. (I am assuming it’s an adult book due to the age of the characters) I did like it, but it wasn’t anything that blew me away. I guess it has to be really unique in order for me to really love it. The characters were done pretty well, and the story was engaging enough, but I just felt like I needed more out of it. I didn’t feel like we got enough back story on any of the characters, especially the main ones. Things also seemed to just be kind of rushed through when it got to the action parts.

Selina was an…

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Review: Breathe, Annie, Breathe by Miranda Kenneally

Posted by on 11/19/2014 • 16 Comments

It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of this series. With every new book I fall a little bit more in love with this town and its characters, which I thought was impossible by now. What I appreciate the most is how even though it’s a series, each book is a stand-alone with new main characters who tell us their story, and if you have read the others, you get a kick out of the familiar faces that return for secondary roles. I love hearing what Jordan and the others are up to, and they’re all so grown up now *sniff*.

In Breathe, Annie, Breathe, we meet a girl who’s dealing with grief and self-blame after the death of her boyfriend. A boyfriend she knew she was eventually going…

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Posted by on 11/18/2014 • 9 Comments

This book was a bit different than I expected, but not in a bad way. I suppose when you just barely skim the synopsis that’s bound to happen. In short, it is a book about a girl who lives in a shitty area with her mom, hasn’t had the best life, and wants something more. Oh, and add in the super hot “bad boy” who is actually not really all that bad. And gangs and trafficking too. So, now that we’ve covered that, I will say that I enjoyed this book. While I didn’t love it, it wasn’t a book that I thought about putting down at any point. The characters were done pretty well and it kept me wanting to know what would happen with them, but I didn’t…

Review: A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall

Review: A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall

Posted by on 08/08/2014 • 24 Comments

Awww! What a cute and sweet read. A Little Something Different is exactly that – a romance story that is different from any I’ve read before, and one that leaves you with a silly smile on your face. The perfect rainy-day read, that’s for sure!

In short, this is a love story about two people who keep misreading each other. One is extremely shy, the other is quiet and reluctant, not realizing they’re both into each other. What makes this book unique, though, is the way it’s told. We don’t go into this story with the perspective of our main characters, but rather everyone around them, even including a squirrel and a bench who, unsurprisingly, talks a lot about butts. The number of perspectives is at a whopping 14, rotating…