Posts Tagged: ARC

Friday, May 15, 2015

Review: Joyride by Anna Banks

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I received this book for free from Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Joyride by Anna BanksJoyride by Anna Banks
Published by Feiwel & Friends on June 2nd 2015
Genres: Contemporary, YA
Source: Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group
Buy on Amazon

A popular guy and a shy girl with a secret become unlikely accomplices for midnight pranking, and are soon in over their heads—with the law and with each other—in this sparkling standalone from NYT-bestselling author Anna Banks.

It’s been years since Carly Vega’s parents were deported. She lives with her brother, studies hard, and works at a convenience store to contribute to getting her parents back from Mexico.

Arden Moss used to be the star quarterback at school. He dated popular blondes and had fun with his older sister, Amber. But now Amber’s dead, and Arden blames his father, the town sheriff who wouldn’t acknowledge Amber's mental illness. Arden refuses to fulfill whatever his conservative father expects.

All Carly wants is to stay under the radar and do what her family expects. All Arden wants is to NOT do what his family expects. When their paths cross, they each realize they’ve been living according to others. Carly and Arden’s journey toward their true hearts—and one another—is funny, romantic, and sometimes harsh.

Another contemporary that covers stereotyping. I love these types of books. This one happens to have a forbidden type romance as well. I really liked the characters a lot. Especially Arden. He was fantastic and totally not what you are initially expecting. I really liked the story to this too. It’s much deeper than the town sheriff’s kid falling for the poor “Mexican” girl, which by the way, she was born and raised in the US, not that it matters either way. Also, it focuses on the pressure that are put on kids. They are sometimes forced to grow up way too quickly or to follow what is expected instead of finding what they want out of life. I thought it was well done with some extra messed up stuff going on. This book does have some things that might make you a bit ragey like they did to me. Racism and stereotyping really get to me, and some of the things the characters say or do is infuriating.

Carly is a bright young girl with high hopes for the future. She lives with her older brother in a small trailer in a Mexican community in FL. Her parents were immigrants who got caught and deported, so she works hard to help make money to smuggle them back home. Besides that, she wants to go to college to make a good living to provide for her family. She doesn’t draw attention to herself and she has no desire to. Her family is everything. Until she meets Arden. She finds that he isn’t what she expected, but more than that, learns who she wants to be. What things she might want besides all the responsibility that is expected of her. Of course, things are hard and dangerous. She has to find a way to get the things she wants out of life, and the things she needs. I really liked her a lot. She was under a lot of pressure, but also still treated like a child. Very few people could see what she was really made of.

Arden was great. Yes, he has his flaws, but that made him so much easier to really like. His father is the Sheriff of town, his mother is an emotionless shell of herself, and his sister is dead. Claimed by her mental illness that her father tried to hide. Arden is under pressure from his dad to play football, go to a certain college, and to be the perfect image for the community. Only he resents his father, and he wants to be reckless and  have fun like he used to with his sister. He wants to be able to be a kid without all the pressure to do something because it’s expected of him. He isn’t racist or stereotypical like his father. He’s a great kid who has had too much pressure and control in his life.

Yes, there’s a romance in here, but I love how it was done. Carly doesn’t just fall at Arden’s feet. In fact, she tries hard to push him away and to get him to leave her alone. Once she starts to get to know him though, she realized he is nothing like she expected. Even going as far as to defend her against his father when he is calling her trash and other mean things. He helps her by not only getting her a better job, but by showing her what fun is. That she needs to live too. Though things don’t always go so well, he is there for her every step of the way. Especially when it comes to things his father is doing.

This story just had so much!! It brings awareness to so many issues. Life, death, responsibility, family. I could go on and on. All of this was packed perfectly into a short book without feeling rushed or like you are missing anything. I really did connect with the characters and felt for them. I can’t say enough how books like this are important. For anyone who might be going through similar situations or just to get an understanding of those who are. I loved getting to know Carly and Arden, and the deeper things going on in not only their lives, but those around them. I highly recommend this book. It was fantastic!!


4 Hot Espressos

Review: Boys Don’t Knit by T.S. Easton

Review: Boys Don’t Knit by T.S. Easton

Posted by on 05/08/2015 • 13 Comments

You know when you read a book and it’s pleasant and you enjoy it, but have no feeling towards either way? This is one of those. It was a good read, but it didn’t really do much for me. It didn’t bring out my emotions, and I didn’t really feel connected to the character or the story, but it was still enjoyable to read. I have to say though, it did make me want to try my hand at knitting again, but I know it’s a lost cause. Anyways, I did enjoy Ben’s obsession with knitting, and what led him to it in the first place. It was an interesting story for sure, but a little too neat and tidy for me for the most part.

Ben is a good…

Review: Nil Unlocked by Lynne Matson

Review: Nil Unlocked by Lynne Matson

Posted by on 05/07/2015 • 3 Comments

I really enjoyed the first book in this series, so I was really looking forward to the second book. I really enjoyed this one. Maybe a bit more than the first, though I can’t really remember my reading experience with the first one. In this one things are more complicated. Many secrets are discovered, and the stakes are higher. Not only are they on a ticking clock the moment they arrive, but there are other threats in Nil. The island seems more restless. It was nice to see some old characters, and to get to know new ones. I really liked the cast in this. This was an exciting read that is full of suspense and of course adventure. I loved discovering more of the island secrets along with everyone…

Review: If I Were You by Leslie Margolis

Review: If I Were You by Leslie Margolis

Posted by on 05/05/2015 • 6 Comments

This was a super cute and fun read. It’s middle grade book, so the characters are quite young. About to go into middle school actually. They have been best friends forever, until a boy comes between them. Their looks are completely opposite. Where melody is blonde, curvy and pretty much perfect (not to mention the boys all want her), Katie feels frumpy and has no curves to show off. Both are secretly jealous of the other though, not because of boys, but because the others life seems so much better. When they both wish to start over summer as the other and the wish comes true, it’s like a second chance to save their friendship and to understand each other a little better. Maybe even be closer than ever. It’s…

Review: The Cage by Megan Shepherd

Review: The Cage by Megan Shepherd

Posted by on 05/04/2015 • 10 Comments

Everything considered, this is not a bad book at all – the writing is good and flows well, the world building is excellent, and the characters well developed – but I was kind of meh about a large portion of it.

My biggest complaint is how a big part or the book is spent bickering and pointlessly planning an escape. I mean, how do they expect to get back home? They’re in some alien world for gods sake and Cora’s plan is to make a run for it and hope for the best? It’s like she never even takes this into question until way later when she makes up some half-ass plan that seems to be all about blind luck and a whole lot of guessing. I’m all for…

Review: Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman

Review: Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman

Posted by on 04/28/2015 • 18 Comments

This book was so confusing at first, but ended up making so much sense and really stuck with me. The way it is written pulls you in right away. Even though I wasn’t quite sure what was going on when I started, I was compelled to keep reading. I hoped that it would make sense to me as I got further in. It did and it didn’t. What I mean is that I realized why it was written how it was, and I understood it, but it was still a very confusing story. It fit perfectly with the main character though, and the mental illness that it is about. This was a brilliant book, and I have already recommended it to many people.

Caden is the main character, and the…

Tour: All the Rage by Courtney Summers Review & Giveaway

Tour: All the Rage by Courtney Summers Review & Giveaway

Posted by on 04/27/2015 • 12 Comments

I’m super excited to be taking part in this blog tour. Today on my stop I have my review and a giveaway for one copy of All the Rage (US & CAN only)

This book is one of those gritty dark contemporaries, that although tough to read at times, is so engrossing that you don’t want to put it down. There is no fluff to this. It’s harsh reality and tragic circumstances. It covers small town politics, bullying, and rape among other things. It’s not an enjoyable book to read, but it is a good one. I find books like this refreshing actually. They represent real issues that people go through, and all the horrible things that go along with them. I really felt for the characters…

Review: In A World Just Right by Jen Brooks

Review: In A World Just Right by Jen Brooks

Posted by on 04/23/2015 • 12 Comments

This book was interesting. I really enjoyed being in Jonathan’s head and trying to figure out his different worlds and the whole “world making” thing. It was a bit confusing at times, but it kept me interested the whole way through. Especially when his worlds start colliding. I can’t say that I really liked the other characters much, but they weren’t horrible. The main thing that kept me engaged was wanting to know what was going on, and how it would all end up. I didn’t have strong character connection, but enough to want a happy ending for this. I wouldn’t say this is quite a parallel universe, but something kind of like it I guess. It was a unique story and I did enjoy it a lot. More than…