Posts Tagged: ARC

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Review: On the Edge by Allison van Diepen

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

Review: On the Edge by Allison van DiepenOn the Edge by Allison van Diepen
Published by HarperCollins on November 25th 4014
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, YA
Source: HarperCollins
Buy on Amazon

From Allison van Diepen, author of Snitch and Street Pharm, comes a sexy, dangerous novel about a teen who witnesses a murder and gets caught up in the seedy world of Miami’s gangs.

Maddie Diaz never should have taken that shortcut through the park. If she hadn't, she wouldn't have seen two members of the Reyes gang attacking a homeless man. Now, as the only witness, she knows there’s a target on her back.

But when the Reyes jump her on the street, Maddie is protected by a second gang and their secretive leader, Lobo, who is determined to take down the Reyes himself. Lobo is mysterious and passionate, and Maddie begins to fall for him. But when they live this close to the edge, can their love survive?

On the Edge is a compelling story about fighting for what’s right and figuring out where you belong. The novel showcases a gritty, realistic voice and earth–shattering romance that will intrigue readers of Simone Elkeles and Paul Griffin and captivate fans of Allison van Diepen's other novels.

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 ever feel true emotion for them.

Let me start by talking about Maddie. She is a smart girl. Editor of the school newspaper, and has a talent for writing a good story. She works at McDonalds, has a scholarship to a decent school, and can’t wait to escape her town. Like a lot of teenagers, she likes to party with her friends and is a bit stubborn and defiant. She also has a good heart and wants to do what is right. That is how she gets herself into a bit of trouble. She sees some gang members kill someone and she identifies them to the police. Tough luck for her that now they are after her. Seemed a bit far fetched for me honestly that this big gang would waste the time and trouble on some girl who turned in some thugs that were barely a blip on the gang leaders radar, but anyways. She gets in deep when she falls for another “good gang” member, Lobo. Good heart, stupid choices. That was pretty much how I felt about her.

Lobo saves Maddie when she is attacked by the Reyes and even though at first she doesn’t know him, instantly she is drawn to him. When she discovers who he is, she doesn’t care and still wants to be with him. Then she becomes involved in the whole gang thing and saving the girls from Trafficking. Along the way there is some sweet romance, but I couldn’t help but feel it was a bit silly. Not that Lobo and Maddie are falling for each other, just the whole gang thing and how much one seemingly insignificant girl is caught in it all. I did think that they were good together, and he is really sweet and thoughtful. I actually really liked his character a lot.

Really it was a pretty intense story with all the danger and the subject matter. It really made me think about all the girls in these unfortunate situations looking for a better life and getting sucked into the trafficking. Not only that, but people who live in these areas where gangs are just a normal part of everyday life and people just turn a blind eye out of fear for their own lives. That is the main reason I liked this story. Not that it was eye opening because it’s not that I didn’t know that this happens, but because it painted such a vivid picture of it. Even though the characters didn’t pull strong emotion out of me, I did feel for them. Just not as strongly as I would have liked. A story like this should have broken my heart. Should have had me grabbing for the tissue box for all the people who were affected by this horrible place. I wanted to feel that, but sadly I didn’t. That is why I can only give this a middle rating.


3 Hot Espressos

Review: Love and Other Unknown Variables by Shannon Lee Alexander

Review: Love and Other Unknown Variables by Shannon Lee Alexander

Posted by on 11/13/2014 • 11 Comments

Love and Other Unknown Variables ended up being a much more emotional read than I expected, and one that has substance and depth. Not the fluffy story I somehow expected after seeing this cover and blurb (which, to be fair, I only skimmed). There were things that were a tad annoying like the prank story arc, but aside from that it was a really good read.

We’re treated to a brilliant, literal narrator, Charlie, who, despite his genius level of intelligence, can be very oblivious and awkward especially in social and romantic situations. This makes for a very endearing read at times, and humorous at others. I loved his bluntness and no-bull way of thinking. I also loved that even if he was socially inept when it came to girls,…

Review: Shutter by Courtney Alameda

Review: Shutter by Courtney Alameda

Posted by on 11/11/2014 • 31 Comments

The Helsing Corps only showed up when someone didn’t stay dead.

Do you hear that? Those are the sounds of my tears dropping, because shit just got serious, and I am overwhelmed with emotions over the fact that YA does know how to write a horror-filled, action-packed book. I nearly gave up! Hallelujah! Huzzah! Huzzah!

If you liked Fatal Frame, you would like this. Even though I only played 15 minutes of that game, it was enough to permanently scar my brain for the rest of my life. Everything was going so well with the slow prologue, and then a ghost appeared from out of nowhere and I threw my Playstation controller at the TV and ran out of the room like shrieking like a baby (I am not kidding. My little brother…

Review: Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick

Review: Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick

Posted by on 11/07/2014 • 13 Comments

There is a lot I could complain about with this book, but I was still strangely entertained by it all. I also think the fact that it was an audiobook made me enjoy it more than if I had read a paper copy – the narrator was great and really brought the MC to life. As if she was telling me her story.

But man, the romance. *pokes out eyeballs*. First, I’m sorry but that was totally Stockholm Syndrome. Or at least it started that way, which creeped me out more than it made me swoon. This dude is forcing you to bring his criminal ass back to civilization so he can run from the cops, but you fall for his charms because he’s hot? Eh, okay.. But anyways, I’m…

Review: Falling into Place by Amy Zhang

Review: Falling into Place by Amy Zhang

Posted by on 11/05/2014 • 13 Comments

I was so torn on rating this one. While I truly enjoyed the writing and the depth of the story itself is incredible, I really did not like the main character. I realize she is a character we’re not supposed to like, per se. She’s not likeable, period. But contrary to many books I’ve read with unlikeable characters (Courtney Summers’ Some Girls Are come to mind), I never got to the point where I “got” her despite it all. She never learned, she never wanted to change, it was like she figured she was going to kill herself anyways so why bother being a better person.

So this was my only issue, but it was a big one. I could not get myself to be sad about a bully…

Review: The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place by Julie Berry

Review: The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place by Julie Berry

Posted by on 10/23/2014 • 14 Comments

Super cute! The plot is more-or-less a game of clue, but more MG-like, with a large cast of funny, resourceful, and charismatic young girls.

Much like its cover, The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place is intriguing and fun with a touch of humour. We begin by being introduced to the girls with the help of some illustrations and a quick look into why they were sent to St. Etheldreda’s School for Girls. I had the ARC so the illustrations were sadly missing, but the cover accomplished the same and it was fun to have a visual to go with all these great personalities. Then shortly after, we have the death of the headmistress and her brother, leaving the girls to solve a mystery while trying to hide the events…

Review: The Walled City by Ryan Graudin

Review: The Walled City by Ryan Graudin

Posted by on 10/20/2014 • 25 Comments

“There are three rules in the Walled City: Run fast. Trust no one. Always carry your knife.”

I admit, this is all I read of the blurb before I dived into this book in line at BEA, so what I expected was some kind of dystopian. And in a way, it is a dystopian-like setting inside the city itself, but this book is not a dystopian/post-apocalyptic story at all. It’s a contemporary thriller. Outside the Walled City, the world is just like ours today, with modern civilization and normal people living normal lives. Inside this city, however, we’ve got another story. In a gist, this book is about the horrors of human trafficking in a city without laws, controlled by gangs and criminals, ruled by brothel owners and drug…

Review: Famous in Love by Rebecca Serle

Review: Famous in Love by Rebecca Serle

Posted by on 10/16/2014 • 14 Comments

Being from a small town in the middle of nowhere, Canada, where we hardly get anything exciting happen more than concerts from washed up artists, stardom is really something like another world for me. I’m fascinated by their lifestyle and by how… wildly different living that kind of life must be. So while this book may not be the next Great American Novel, it’s a whole lotta entertainment in a guilty pleasure sort of way.

Paige is just your regular high school girl with big dreams, until one day these dreams become reality when she’s cast in the next big Hollywood book-to-movie. This movie is clearly made to be akin to Twilight in how huge it is. And honestly, how is it not fun to imagine yourself being cast…