12 Followers
16 Following
kimreads

Kim

Peace. Love. Books.

SPOILER ALERT!

Not Quite SLN Status

Where the Stars Still Shine - Trish Doller

3.5 stars

Being the emotional reader that I am, I knew that I was headed for good things when I started to tear up early into the story. Callie is a seventeen-year-old girl who was abducted by her mother when she was only five. She knows this, yet she stays with her mother because she was made to believe that her father didn't love and want her. They spend their lives constantly on the run, squatting in model homes, abandoned houses and overstaying in cheap motels. During an unplanned move in the middle of the night, they are caught and Callie's mom is arrested. Callie is then returned to her father and must now learn how to live with a new family while coming to terms with the consequences of her mother's actions.

read more »

I Levi You!

Fangirl - Rainbow Rowell

4.5 stars

 

Immediate thoughts after finishing Fangirl:

 

1. I need to read Attachments to find out if Ms. Rowell has a habit of ending her books abruptly. I needed an epilogue. BADLY.

 

2. I wish I had read Harry Potter (I have yet to read past HP#1) at the time when the books were still being released. Reading about Cath's obsession with Simon Snow made me want to be part of something that big. Sadly, I don't think the HP phenomenon will ever be repeated in my lifetime.

 

3. Where was THIS when I was a freshman in college? I didn't understand what it meant to be an introvert. I didn't think other people clammed up the way I did in social situations.

read more »

A different kind of bookstore splurge this time ❤

Newb.

Hey guys. I decided to check out Booklikes yesterday and now here I am with an account set up and an import on its way. I'm not the most organized person when it comes to managing multiple social network platforms so I don't know if I can keep a steady online presence here. We'll see how things progress :)

Jagged (Colorado Mountain, #5) - Kristen Ashley Rating and review to be posted closer to release day :)

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


The epic BR is happening here:

http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/1498694-jagged-br-with-my-girls--d#comment_83277419

Come one, come all :)
Close to You: A Downside Ghosts Story (A Heroes and Heartbreakers Original) - Stacia Kane That was what, 35 pages? Such a tease! Short as it was, I was happy to get a glimpse of Chess and Terrible again. Chess needs to go to rehab right now, and I need to play hide and seek with Terrible.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Available to read on Heroes and Heartbreakers for a limited time!

http://www.heroesandheartbreakers.com/closetoyoustory/register
This Song Will Save Your Life - Leila Sales 3.5 stars

I don't know anyone who wouldn't be able to relate to Elise's story in some way. After all, the need to be accepted or to belong is universal. So are fears of being socially excluded and humiliated. I don't think there's anyone who hasn't committed social faux pas and didn't want to crawl into a hole after. Regardless of age group, there are certain unwritten rules you need to follow in order to avoid awkward social situations. For unknown reasons, Elise just can't fit in. She doesn't have friends. She never says the "right" things, and she can't stop being the object of ridicule among her peers.

During one summer break, she decided that she has had enough, so she did her research: studied cool people, bought magazines and listened to pop music, listened to gossip in order to be "in the know." She bought nice clothes, practiced smiling more often, and swore to make friends at the start of her sophomore year. But when that day came, her plan backfired when a particular event made her realize that no amount of preparation can make people like her.

I've been there. I know that pang of something Elise felt in the pit of her stomach when people made her feel like they've uncovered her mask. I know what it's like to overthink things before saying what's on your mind because you care too much about what others think. I know what it's like to not speak up because no one else might find what you have to say interesting. I know what it's like to be clueless. At times I'd like to believe that I was a pretty self-confident child but my old blogs tell me otherwise. Frankly, at that time, it seems as though everyone else has it all figured out, but I don't think that's true anymore.

I know we feel things differently and I don't intend to make light of Elise's problems but I had a few issues with her constant whining and feeling sorry for herself. I know that high school is full of bullies and exclusive cliques, but I also know that not all kids are mean and deliberately hurtful. Elise has poor social esteem. And while it seems that the constant rejection from her peers enabled her insecurities, I think it stems from somewhere deeper than that. I don't know, her parents' separation maybe? She introduced her half sister and brother as her mom and stepdad's kids, not as her siblings. Maybe she felt excluded at home too. I'm not about to psychoanalyze but I had to ponder on this when her stepdad sent her away and said that he can't allow her to be near his family when she did that horrible thing to her sister. Oh, so it's his family.

There was also that time in middle school when Elise confided in her dad about the kids who made fun of her. His response? "They're just jealous." I HATE THIS LOGIC. I know he was just trying to make her feel better, and I know for a fact that jealous people do have a tendency to put others down so they can feel better but it's not always the case. Sometimes, people make fun of you just because they can.

I don't doubt that Elise is a good person who just happened to be a victim of bullying. But being a good person doesn't equate to being likable. She's a musical elitist, judging people who do not appreciate her type of music. She hangs out with Sally and Chava, but thinks that they're beneath her. But she used them - to sit with during lunch and to drive her when she needed a ride. And then when that whole thing with Char blew up, she goes on the Internet to find what she could and use that information to make herself feel better. He was a douchebag, yes, but he is also just a boy who's still trying to figure himself out. I would think that after the fake blog incident, she knows better than to judge a person based on what she finds online.

While I found the beginning of the story to be very relatable and realistic, the events leading to the end weren't as believable. I believe in talent and hard work, but I also believe in the invaluable lessons of experience and sound counsel from elders. I am glad she learned her lessons and found her niche through DJing at such a young age. Some of us aren't so lucky. Some of us won't get it until much later in life. I think the impact of this book will greatly depend on the reader's personal experience. And while there were plenty of shared experiences and feelings, I am just not 100% in agreement with Elise's self-realizations.
Forbidden - Tabitha Suzuma 4.5 stars

I've avoided reading this for the longest time not only because of the controversial subject but because the promise of a heartbreaking ending required mental preparation that I never seem to be ready to do. I love depressing books, I really do. I connect most with lonely characters who're broken and misunderstood. But no amount of spoilers, self-encouragement and peer support prepared me for the anxiety and the devastating direction that this book took.

This book is about consensual incest, no spoilers there. But the romance between Lochan and Maya Whitely was so believably built that I found myself rooting for their relationship even though I resisted the idea of it so much. Because when you read about their situation and how they've had to rely on each other for support as they took on the role of parents to their younger siblings, you can't help but believe that it could happen. I'm not here to convince you that this kind of relationship is acceptable. I don't think that was Tabitha Suzuma's intention either. I believe that a story like this was written to show us that there are kinds of love other than the ones we know, that you can love a person in every kind of way.

Inasmuch as I want to take that lesson and make it the focal point of the story, I can't. Because the ending left me thinking, what is the point? In previous books I've read with similarly somber themes I can at least take away something positive from it, but in this case I can't help but feel as though evil triumphed over good. It's depressing. It's heartbreak raised to the highest exponent possible. It's a reminder of how unfair life is.

A therapist I knew once likened victims of neglect and abuse to a house. Children who are victims of abuse are houses that have been damaged or have collapsed, but children who are neglected do not even have the foundations of a house to begin with, which equates to a poorer or no understanding of their identities. Lochan and Maya have never had a good parental figure growing up. As normal as they try to make it for everyone else, they too experienced the abandonment. They needed nurturing and guidance just as much as their younger siblings. They had their own fears and insecurities, but the fear of being taken away and being separated from each other was greater. There's no room to be emo or to show weakness. There's no time to work on Lochan's stunted social growth. The kids have to be fed, bathed and assisted with homework. Who can blame them if the reprieve they found was in the form of the other?

Their relationship is inexplicable. This book demands to be read and to be felt. And while I don't think it can be understood by everyone the way it intended to be, it's worth a shot. I am still in denial over the turn of events, because a boy as lonely as Lochan shouldn't have to be alone at the scariest point in his life. He shouldn't have been humiliated the way he was. And he shouldn't have felt that there was no way out. My heart bleeds for the Whitely kids, who will be scarred by this, especially Kit who will likely face a lifetime of self-blame and depression, and Maya, who now has a bigger burden to carry and a sorrow that will never be understood by anyone. Like others, I wished for this to have ended differently, to be given some semblance of hope. At the least, I wished that they could have been given more time, even just for Lochan to tell his siblings how much he loved them.

I feel stupid for even thinking that I'm emotionally experienced enough (book-wise) to handle the feels. This is one of those reads that I feel I will never recover from, and for that reason I don't know if I can ever reread it. I can't say that I enjoyed the story, but I loved the power Tabitha Suzuma's writing had on me, because unthinkable as this love story was, I completely bought it.
You can close your eyes to the things you do not want to see, but you cannot close your heart to the things you do not want to feel.



I braved this reading experience because of these wonderful ladies: Ana Rita, Angie and Raquel. Thanks for the BR! And for my determination to read this book in this lifetime I have Rosalinda and Ash to credit for their incessant pimping.


~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


BR with Ana Rita, Angie and Raquel!

The Sweet Gum Tree - Katherine Allred Happy to have finally read this! Review to follow :)

Thanks, Raquel, for BRing it with me!
A Song for Julia - Charles Sheehan-Miles One of the authors whose books I swore to read prior to attending the Toronto Author Signing was Charles Sheehan-Miles. I only knew that he was Andrea Randall's mentor, and after finishing In the Stillness and reading the preview for The Last Hour, I was intrigued. I bought that book when I caught it on sale earlier this summer, and while the books in this series are standalones, a reviewer I came across recommended to go with A Song for Julia first. For some reason, maybe largely due to 9/11's anniversary, I had this strong urge to start this yesterday. By the time I finished it it was 2 AM and my eyes were puffy and red already.

I'm so bummed to find out that CSM is no longer in the author lineup, but I'm positive I'll be reading his other books soon. It's fascinating for me to read romance written by a male author, probably because I haven't read many. At this time only Ian McEwan and Sylvain Reynard come to mind. A Song for Julia was done in alternating POVs, and Julia's voice sounded authentic to me. The distinction between her and Crank's narration was explicit in the beginning, but as the story progressed, there may have been an instance or two when Crank didn't sound male enough for me. I don't know. It could be because he had it bad for Julia by that time, and we all know how love can turn the coldest of us into a bunch of emo saps.

Julia may not be a heroine most people would instantly warm up to. But I easily connected with her, maybe because at one point in my life, I was that freshman with an emotionally-abusive senior boyfriend. On one hand, I wanted to shake her and tell her to just let her goddamn guard down a bit and let people in, and she did have moments of clarity, but I do understand that you can't undo many years of conditioning the moment a loving man comes along. I loved that their romance was slowly paced and that Crank was so patient with her.

And Crank. My goodness. That boy breaks my heart.
"What do you want from me, Crank?" Her voice was raw, desperate.

I looked at her. She was so close, but might as well have been a thousand miles away. I said, "I want you to love me."

He may be that stereotypical hero who was a manwhore prior to meeting the one. But his character has so many layers, from being the protective brother, to the rebellious yet respectful son, to being a struggling artist desperate to take the first crappy offer, to being an insecure boy who just needed someone to believe that he can do anything.

This is not a story of two people rescuing each other. It's about self-discovery and learning that people aren't always what they seem, and that things don't always go your way despite your best efforts. The relationships that Crank and Julia have with their families add so much insight into their characters, especially that with Sean, who brought tears to my eyes every time he said "sorry", and Julia's mother. I do feel that she was "villainified" quite extremely, but the point was definitely not missed. I thought that the inclusion of war as a subject was also sensitively handled, and I appreciated that instead of pushing a strong political opinion on the matter, it focused instead on the impact it had on the lives of the families left behind, Crank's in particular.

Given the influx of New Adult Contemporary Romance nowadays with little depth and highly sexually-charged pages, this was a welcome breath of fresh air. It was surprisingly meatier than I had anticipated and also as emotional and heart-tugging as I wanted. But if there's anything new to take away from this, it's that playing NIN's Closer is a sure way to get your date hot and bothered. Much less inexpensive than oysters and chocolate-dipped strawberries, no?
Tear You Apart - Megan Hart 4.5 stars

Kat stands quietly in front of the triple mirror, studying her reflection and smoothing the fabric of a simple satin gown in a vintage style. But when I ask her if she wants to buy it, she just shakes her head.

"No, Mom," she says. "I'm not sure about it."

"Then you shouldn't get it."

Kat, face solemn, nods. She smooths her hands down the front again, then gives me a small smile. "It's pretty, right?"

"It's beautiful, honey. Very you." I haven't checked the tag on this one, but what is money for if not to spend? "But you shouldn't settle. Not when it should be something so special. You should make sure it's what you really, really want. And even then," I say with a small laugh, "you'll probably look back on it in twenty years and wonder what on earth you were thinking."

She turns to me. "Do you?"

I think of my own wedding dress. I'd wanted to wear my grandmother's 1940s suit with its padded shoulders and peplum, the sleek skirt. My mother had talked me into a mermaid-style dress, a monstrosity of lace and satin that had never fit quite right no matter how many times we'd had it altered. I haven't looked at my wedding pictures for a long time.

"Yes. I'd have picked something different. So you should make sure," I say, looking across the room to where her sister is now twirling in front of the mirror in a fourth choice, "to pick something you really really love, at least right now, because that way even when you look back and can't believe you picked it, you'll remember how much you loved it when you did."

There are countless elements in a story that give me goosebumps, but one of my favourites is the use of allegories to drive the point home. This book had a handful of those. And they were done really, really well.

Tear You Apart is the story of Elisabeth Amblin, a forty five year old married mother of grown twins. Her girls have long moved out and her husband is constantly away on business trips and social activities with his buddies. At first it's easy to assume that she is that bored wife who is just looking for something to stir up excitement in her monotonous life, but her poor relationship with her husband has been going on for years. They continue to share a bed even though there's nothing left between them.

I don't remember the first day I resented this. I don't remember wondering why all the years I'd made the effort were not reciprocated. Nothing jumped up and bit me or slammed like a door in my face. That's not how it happens. What happens is you get married, you raise your kids, they go off to school, and you look at your spouse and wonder what on earth you're supposed to do with each other now, without all the distractions of having a family to obscure the fact that you have no idea not only who the other is, but who you are yourself.

At her work's art gallery opening in New York, she meets Will, one of the artists. She's instantly drawn to him and the heartbreaking love affair begins. There was hesitation from them both, more so from Will, because he refuses to be the reason for the breakup of a marriage, but Elisabeth assures him that whatever undefined thing they have will remain just that. It's not that simple though. If there was ever a button to turn your feelings on and off whenever appropriate it would've been easy to maintain a strictly sexual relationship, but the heart is an unreliable thing and before you know it, you're unequivocally, emotionally invested.

It's hard to judge Elisabeth when I can't imagine what it is like for her. What do you do when you realize that the love is no longer there? Would it have been easier to keep her marriage vows if she actually liked her husband instead of just tolerating him? What is it exactly that took him away from her? Or her away from him?

In no way do I feel that this book intended to romanticize infidelity. Will represented escape and possibility. It was a realistic portrayal of what I can only assume happen to many long-term couples everywhere. And for the unmarried, it gives you something to think about if you haven't entertained those questions already. Is getting married because you're in love and it's the most logical thing to do a good enough reason? Is it ambitious to look for something beyond contentment?

Reading this was a painful experience, not only because of chapters 21 and 36, but because it was as if Megan Hart took the thoughts out of my subconscious and put them into paper. There is so much raw honesty that socked me in the gut, and I feel ashamed because some truths applied to me. There was also the predominant theme of wanting what you cannot have, which may just be the most heart-shattering hurt of all.

I appreciated that Elisabeth recognized the good in her husband and made realistic choices with carefully thought out consequences. I don't think it could've ended any other way, because Will has as much at stake as Elisabeth. His fears were valid. What happens when the sexual fascination is gone? There's no other option but to choose well. I have so much respect for the course this story took and the thoughts it provoked. This was my first Megan Hart novel, but it definitely won't be my last.
...no matter what happens, I hurt. No matter what I do, there is casualty.
Two Boys Kissing - David Levithan 4.5 stars

Two Boys Kissing is the story of Harry and Craig, ex-boyfriends who are attempting to beat the world record for longest kiss. They initially have the support of Harry's parents, a few friends and teachers. As the hours pass they receive more attention, thus eliciting both support and criticism from people worldwide. One of those confused and angry was Craig's family, who didn't know, or was in denial about their son's sexuality up until his mom saw the live footage on television and came to the site to confirm what it meant.

While the main event is centred on the two boys we also get to know about Tariq, a recent victim of a hate attack by a group of boys, leaving him beaten up with broken ribs on the pavement of a dark street. We meet Neil and Peter, who have been going out for a year, disillusioned with their relationship and not noticing that they're growing apart. There is Cooper, who seeks temporary highs by going on the Internet with fake identities and chatting dirty with strangers in sex chatrooms. And we witness the blossoming relationship between Ryan and Avery, two boys from different towns who meet at a gay prom one night.

They all have important stories to tell, and I don't know if the message would have been delivered as effectively had they narrated the stories themselves. The use of a chorus of gay men who died of AIDS was original and fascinating, but it was hard for me to get used to, and as a reader I felt removed from the story at times, if that makes sense. There were also times when the book felt preachy, but since the expected audience are mostly teenagers, the directness of certain passages was appropriate. I loved how the writing didn't try to sugarcoat the realities of life for these boys. Being a teenager is a difficult and confusing period for some as it is already. To be crucified for being different and misunderstood is just heartbreaking. Many of the feelings and difficulties faced by these boys are universal - unrequited love, approval from parents, the desire to belong, the fear of rejection, and the need to be understood and accepted.

The writing, if you can get past the initial oddness of narrative choice, is beautiful and honest. I have abused the highlighting capabilities of my reader once again, because so many statements just hit close to home. You. Will. Cry. You will want to hug these characters. You will want to root for human rights. It's enlightening, thought-provoking, powerful and inspiring, emotionally moving from the first page to the author's note and acknowledgments in the end. A must read for everyone.
There is the sudden. There is the eventual. And in between, there is the living.

We do not start as dust. We do not end as dust. We make more than dust.

That's all we ask of you. Make more than dust.

Something like Normal - Trish Doller
"She has big boobs and -"

"There is no comparison," I interrupt. "Everything about you is better."

"You didn't think so in middle school."

"I was fourteen," I say. "I was thinking with the wrong head back then. As opposed to, you know, now. When I only think with the wrong head sometimes."

Ladies and gents, meet Travis Stephenson, my latest favourite YA/NA male narrator. He is my male Francesca Spinelli, that character who isn't really all that special but managed to pinch my heart in the most effortless kind of way anyway.

Travis is on a 4-week leave after being deployed in Afghanistan over a year ago. After his best friend, Charlie, was killed while they were on duty together, Travis has been plagued with guilt, nightmares, and hallucinations of him. His homecoming isn't promising to be a reprieve from his physical and internal wars either, seeing that he still doesn't get along with his overbearing father and his younger brother has basically taken over his car, his girlfriend and his friends. Currently, there is only one person who Travis wants to spend time with, but Harper Gray doesn't want anything to do with him after he started false rumors about her back in middle school.
"You might not remember me, but -"

"Travis Stephenson," she interrupts, her words like a roadblock. "Welcome home. Now leave me alone."

Damn, she's hostile.

Still, he persists, and the two form a friendship unlike anything he had prior to leaving for Afghanistan. The romance is cute and realistic - devoid of weighty promises of undying love and commitment. There were so many scenes between them that had me grinning, and this was mostly due to the unbelievably teenage-maleness of Travis's voice and how realistically his character was portrayed. Some might frown at one "mistake" in particular, but I think it was true to the portrayal of a confused mind that had just gone through something traumatic. I'm not excusing the act in question, but I certainly understand how it could've happened under his circumstances and history.

There wasn't a particularly strong message about the war and its cause in the book, and I don't think the author was aiming for that anyway, so I didn't mind the "lightness" of it in the book. I thought the delivery of PTSD and how it affected Travis and those around him was pretty effective. The distance between Travis and his family and old friends was highlighted because he now has this group of people whom he has a shared experience with. I loved the banter between him and the members of his platoon, how they joke and insult each other but still regarding each other like close friends or brothers.

I think I easily identified with Travis because his flaws were so honestly depicted. There's no traumatic childhood event that shaped his douchebaggery ways. Girls and booze seem like a normal constant in a nineteen year old. He might be someone you know or you might see a bit of yourself in him. I mean, how many of us have made a decision not because it was something we really wanted but because staying put wasn't an option?

I can't really pinpoint why I loved this book as much as I did. I just knew that after I finished it I wanted to reread it again right away. It was especially refreshing to read a contemporary romance through a male's POV. His post-traumatic stress was believable and understandable. In the romance department, some parts borderlined on the chessy, but instead of rolling my eyes I found myself smiling a lot. Travis is such an endearing and lovable hero. You just can't help but cheer him on, you know? I loved how his character grew and how he found supportive people to get him through the tough times. There was a perfect amount of humor, romance, family and relationship drama, internal struggles and tears. It might not have any life-altering effect on me. It might not have taught me anything new or insightful. It didn't even make me cry buckets - my usual criteria for highly rating something. But it just worked on so many levels. I finished three books and six novellas in the course of my weeklong staycation and while I liked them all, this was the one that compelled me enough to lift my reviewing ban. I highly recommend this to readers of character-driven contemporaries who'd want a rollercoaster of emotions type of reading experience.
"It fucking sucks. I just want to be normal again."

"Maybe, it's time to find a new normal."
Shooting Scars - Karina Halle I want to say that this series is bigger than its love triangle, or that this is Ellie's book through and through, but when you have such a strong and impressively depicted cast of complex characters it's hard to just have one person shine. It's the overall concoction - the socially relevant plot and the grittiness of it, the gray areas of morality, the demystification of ugly truths, and the complicated erm.. everything!

This installment was definitely action-packed, although I wouldn't say that it was eventful. The entire book was a non-stop chase - Javier and Ellie going after Travis, and Camden and Gus trailing them to rescue Ellie. The dual POV narration helped me understand Camden a lot better, because initially I couldn't connect this determined and ballsy badass from the Camden I knew from S&N. I liked him then, but what I felt had more to do with sympathy than character attraction or admiration. And while I enjoyed reading about his and Gus' highly dangerous and action-filled scenes (Coffeemate, anyone?), I can't deny that I looked forward to getting to Ellie and Javier's scenes more. And it's not because I am unreasonably smitten with that hot Mexican. Okay, fine, it's mainly because of that. But it's also because Ellie's thoughts and struggles are utterly gripping. I mean, what would YOU do? Here's a guy you were once in love with, and you fell for him knowing what he does for a living. You have history, albeit an unresolved one, and he's offering you a life with him again. Knowing that your present love is rebuilding his life with his family, and that you basically have no way out of this shithole, would you just do what is necessary to survive, or would you give in, make the most out of it and accept the life that the universe seems to be shoving at you anyway?
"I opened you up to the life you were born to live. You came from... you only knew this growing up. It is in your blood just as it is in my blood. We lead the lives we were meant to, lives that are exciting and dangerous and full of power. We are strong. We are so alike, so very alike, that sometimes I wish you had told me back then who you really were."

It's a desperate situation, one that I really wouldn't know what to do if I found myself in Ellie's shoes. And I don't believe that the pull towards Javier entirely has to do with Camden not being available. Power is a hypnotic thing. It's funny. Every time I get to Javier and Ellie's scenes it always made me think of the saying "like calls to like." When I looked up that quote to remind me where I read it I couldn't stop laughing because it turned out to be from another book I loved, coincidentally, one where I rooted for the villain unabashedly.

There is not one character whose intent and action I didn't question. For one thing I can't help but wonder if Javier is only in love with the idea of Ellie. I don't know if he'll ever put her above his need for vengeance or his empire, or if he can fulfill Ellie's longing for normalcy and a home. But I honestly don't know if Camden can provide stability either. If things didn't go south with Sophia, would Camden have gone after Ellie? Or if Gus didn't talk some sense into him would he have walked away so easily? I'm not saying that fucked up people don't have a chance to have healthy, functional relationships but I just don't understand the depth of their crazies sometimes!

This was a sexy, thrilling, and mindfucking follow up. I'm very satisfied with the emotional drama but I really need a resolution soon. Thank goodness Bold Tricks is out next month because the twisted needs to be untwisted. Now.


~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

2 more days!!!




~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


I feel like everyone is reading this but me.



#12days #teamJavier
Feral Sins - Suzanne  Wright Well! I quite enjoyed that *smirk*

Quickie review for a not-so-quickie read.

I haven't read a lot of wolf erotica but it seems like I should just turn to these instead of seeking alpha males in contemporary romance because they've been making my eyes roll quite a lot lately. The story doesn't seem original to me. Female is caught in a rut. Male has the solution to get her out. They fake a union to accomplish whatever, and they fall in love in the process. The end.

However, I picked this up because I needed something to get me out of my book depression after having cried my eyes out from the last three books I read. I just wanted something light and smutty. Well, this book served its purpose. Again, the story wasn't anything I haven't read before. The plot twist was predictable and even the characters weren't, uhhh... true to character. Taryn and Greta's fights grew old after some time and I didn't feel any real threat or angst for Taryn and Trey. The editing flubs were also hard to ignore. I can't say that I didn't wince every time Taryn called Trey Flinstone, and she called him that A LOT. So yeah, that's a big fat F for street cred there. Oh, and did I mention that it was long? I could have done without the extra hundred pages.

But despite all that, I still really enjoyed this. Because when Trey "scents" Taryn, it's normal shifter behaviour. It does NOT make my eye roll. It's mindlessly entertaining, just how it's supposed to be. And it's hella SEXY! Whew! Thankfully, I got the unedited version, because while the act in question did seem out of character, that was just a really fun scene to read about. Yes, I'm a perv like that.

Taryn and Trey are alright, but you know who were my favourites? Dante, Dominic and Tao! This might be due to my preference for "the other guy" and the beta males, but I thought those three had a lot more to bring to the table than their leader. That's just me though. Plus, Taryn might have her witty comebacks but Dominic's cheesy lines do it for me for me every, single time. The dude needs a bro-code manual or a blog like Barney Stinson's. Seriously.

So if you're looking for a light, sexy romp, this one might just be for you. Bring out the fan. You'll need it.

A Monster Calls - Patrick Ness, Jim Kay **August 26, 2013**

Now that I've calmed down and gotten some sleep let me try to write something less melodramatic.

Conor is a thirteen-year-old boy who recently had to pick up more responsibilities at home while his single mother is undergoing treatments for her cancer. It's not easier at school either, because he's been targeted by bullies and somehow, people kept their distance once they found out about his mother. When her condition started to worsen, a monster showed itself to Conor and started telling him stories, stories which seemed insignificant to him at first, but later proved to be invaluable lessons about life.

I won't sugarcoat it. This book was heartbreaking. Patrick Ness had perfectly translated the emotions of a young boy into something any one of us can easily identify with. The feeling of not being wanted. The feeling of being misunderstood. The feeling of being invisible. The feelings of desperation and helplessness. The crushing disappointment. The anger. The guilt. The pain.

This book was perfection - from the writing to the illustrations to the message. It is a sad thought to know that Siobhan Dowd will never get to read her idea come to fruition, but if she had the chance to I am sure she would approve. I recommend this to everyone, because as H. Jackson Brown Jr. said, "...everyone you meet is afraid of something, loves something and has lost something." If you're willing to read it, this book has something waiting for you.
"You do not write your life with words, the monster said. You write it with actions. What you think is not important. It is only important what you do."

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

**August 25, 2013**

I know there are lessons to be learned from all that has happened, but at this moment my heart is too shattered to make out anything from it. If there is one truth that can even provide an ounce of comfort to me right now, it's knowing that it's okay. Without a doubt, this book is a life-changer. Read it. And then gift it.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

**August 15, 2013**

Bought this today after seeing the gorgeous illustrations. I heard this one will trigger the ugly sobs. It also has one of the most beautiful book trailers I've ever seen.

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8-psqOON-Y