Book Review: Hopeless by Colleen Hoover

cvr9781476743554_9781476743554_hrHopeless by Colleen Hoover

Release Date: December 19th, 2012
Publisher: Atria Books
Pages: 408
Price: $16.00

“Not everyone gets a happily ever after. Life is real and sometimes it’s ugly and you just have to learn how to cope.”

Sometimes discovering the truth can leave you more hopeless than believing the lies…

That’s what seventeen-year-old Sky realizes after she meets Dean Holder. A guy with a reputation that rivals her own and an uncanny ability to invoke feelings in her she’s never had before. He terrifies her and captivates her all in the span of just one encounter, and something about the way he makes her feel sparks buried memories from a past that she wishes could just stay buried.

Sky struggles to keep him at a distance knowing he’s nothing but trouble, but Holder insists on learning everything about her. After finally caving to his unwavering pursuit, Sky soon finds that Holder isn’t at all who he’s been claiming to be. When the secrets he’s been keeping are finally revealed, every single facet of Sky’s life will change forever.

As a Colleen Hoover fan, this book was quite a disappointment. The plot was all over the place. First, I thought it would be a cute love story where Dean was a good guy with a bad boy past. Nothing about the book was as it seemed. Sky’s entire background was a hot mess. It was one reveal after another of things that, as I mentioned earlier, seemed to have nothing to do with the plot.

As Hoover novels go, this one was low on my list. I was missing the usual spark that her novels contain and that steamy sexual tension between the characters. There was some in the beginning, but when things got weird, I just did not understand what was happening. I really didn’t want to keep going, but I paid for the book, so I felt like I owed it to my money to trudge on until I finished. With all my disappointments, I can’t say that Hoover isn’t a good writer. I’ve enjoyed every book I’ve read by her so far besides this one, so that’s saying something for her. I will still look forward to reading her other novels, but this one wasn’t her best.

Rating: 2 Stars

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I believe in the magic of books. I believe that during certain periods in our lives we are drawn to particular books–whether it’s strolling down the aisles of a bookshop with no idea whatsoever of what it is that we want to read and suddenly finding the most perfect, most wonderfully suitable book staring us right in the face. Unblinking. Or a chance meeting with a stranger or friend who recommends a book we would never ordinarily reach for. Books have the ability to find their own way into our lives.

~Cecelia Ahern

“I think the act of reading imbues the reader with a sensitivity toward the outside world that people who don’t read can sometimes lack. I know it seems like a contradiction in terms; after all reading is such a solitary, internalizing act that it appears to represent a disengagement from day-to-day life. But reading, and particularly the reading of fiction, encourages us to view the world in new and challenging ways…It allows us to inhabit the consciousness of another which is a precursor to empathy, and empathy is, for me, one of the marks of a decent human being.”

~John Connolly

Book Review: The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg

Paper MagicianThe Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg

Release Date: September 1st, 2014
Publisher: 47 North
Pages: 224
Price: $14.95

“Perhaps in a heart, knowledge was more stable than memory or thought.”

Ceony Twill arrives at the cottage of Magician Emery Thane with a broken heart. Having graduated at the top of her class from the Tagis Praff School for the Magically Inclined, Ceony is assigned an apprenticeship in paper magic despite her dreams of bespelling metal. And once she’s bonded to paper, that will be her only magic… forever.

Yet the spells Ceony learns under the strange yet kind Thane turn out to be more marvelous than she could have ever imagined — animating paper creatures, bringing stories to life via ghostly images, even reading fortunes. But as she discovers these wonders, Ceony also learns of the extraordinary dangers of forbidden magic.

An Excisioner — a practitioner of dark, flesh magic — invades the cottage and rips Thane’s heart from his chest. To save her teacher’s life, Ceony must face the evil magician and embark on an unbelievable adventure that will take her into the chambers of Thane’s still-beating heart—and reveal the very soul of the man.

The story of Ceony and Thane was quite interesting. I wasn’t sure where the story was going to go initially, and that made it hard to focus. However, I did love the intricacies in how the paper magic was described. It was so lovely, and dare I say, magical. Ceony was a bit high strung in the beginning, having to give up her lifelong dream of working with metal. It was sweet how Thane taught her and took his time slowly revealing the magic to her. It gave Ceony an appreciation for the magic she was bound to, but also showed her the importance of the craft.

When the Exisioner arrives and things begin to pick up pace, I didn’t know what to expect. The portion of the story that comes after this was a little fuzzy for me to wrap my head around. It felt in a way, almost too simple of a solution. I realize that the book is part of a series, but I don’t feel compelled to run to the next book to find out what happens moving forward. It will be on my list, but I’m not in a hurry to get to it.

Rating: 3 Stars

 

Book Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

cinderCinder by Marissa Meyer

Release Date: January 3rd, 2012
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Pages: 390
Price: $9.99

“Vanity is a factor, but it is more a question of control. It is easier to trick others into perceiving you as beautiful if you can convince yourself you are beautiful. But mirrors have an uncanny way of telling the truth.”

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past to protect her world’s future.

I had checked out this book on numerous occasions, but I never picked it up. For whatever reason, it just didn’t interest me, or I wanted a different genre. With thorough prodding from my friend, she lent me the first book and urged me to give it a try, and if I didn’t like it, she would stop bothering me about reading it.

I’m a lover of the classic Cinderella tale. I love everything involving that tale, so I guess I needed just a little push to try a unique twist on the classic. Cinder is a character that I wish I were more like. She has an attitude that offers no apologies about who she is, but she cares very deeply about the people she loves and goes to extreme lengths to protect them. In the face of danger, secrets, and massive changes, Cinder shows her true self—a girl just trying to be herself but tasked with saving the world. She accepts this challenge with bravery, and I love her for that.

Prince Kai is a pure cinnamon roll. Although he angered me and broke my heart towards the end. He said something to Cinder that was just…it was awful. I had to take a minute because it was a low blow. Anyway, Kai has the weight of the world on his shoulders, and he just wants to help his people and be the best leader he can be. Unfortunately, he takes the throne during a time where no matter what choice he makes, the whole world is in danger.

Within the first 100 pages, I texted my friend excited that I had come up with a possible plot twist. I was correct in my guess, and I was pleased with myself. Being a writer sometimes helps me predict things, and I enjoy being right.

I didn’t expect to enjoy this book as much as I did. Subsequently, the rest of the books were amazing and I fell into a big book hangover because I just couldn’t stop thinking about those characters. I had become so absorbed into their world, that nothing else felt right when I would start to read another book. Almost like I was cheating by moving on so soon after finishing. It’s a unique series, and each book dabbles in a classic fairytale. What I like the most is that every character has flaws, but they remain strong and true to themselves as their stories progress.

Rating: 4 Stars

Book Review: Perfect Timing by Laura Spinella

17165610Perfect Timing by Laura Spinella

Release Date: November 5th, 2013
Publisher: Berkley
Pages: 384
Price: $15.00

“That’s what happens when you wear the triple crown of fame-talent, looks, and filthy rich. With this, you can add the fantasy element of wickedly untamed.”

Isabel Lang buried her past long ago, leaving behind the blissful and painful memories of Catswallow, Alabama for a sweet life in Providence working at a radio station. Her life has been set up wonderfully, a great boyfriend who wants her to succeed and a job that brings her joy. But everything changes when Isabel requires help from an unlikely source to keep her job and potentially her sanity.

Aiden Roycroft and Isabel Lang were best friends in the small town of Catswallow, Alabama during their childhoods and teen years. Aiden was the golden boy, handsome and musically gifted. All the boys wanted to be him, and all the girls wanted to be with him. He was trouble, but to Isabel, he was a best friend and someone she could trust.  They shared in the secrets that their families tried to keep in the past and reveled in the memories they had with one another. But when Aiden is accused of a vicious crime, the two flee to Las Vegas where Isabel’s future unravels and crumbles before her.

Seven years later, their friendship is just a long drifting memory. Isabel is content with her life with Nate Porter, a handsome and perfect doctor who plans on giving her the ideal life she has longed for and working hard on running a radio station. Plans change and life becomes jumbled when the new station management demands more ratings putting everyone’s jobs in jeopardy. Everything seems hopeless until Isabel decides to call on a lifeline from the past and contact the only rock star she has ever known.

I love Spinella’s way of weaving the past and the present. Her characters are always so wonderful and quirky; they jump off the page. There were some uncomfortable moments in the story and it may *TRIGGER WARNING* some things for people, so be careful. I feel like Spinella’s love stories are honest in the fact that things are messy. Life is chaotic, and everything doesn’t work out the way you planned, but eventually good things happen. I know that consistently having a happy ending bothers some people, but honestly, I feel like it gives me hope for my own life. I loved this book, and I will be looking for more of Spinella’s writing.

Hello my lovely followers!

 

I’m so sorry about my absence. Life has been crazy. Some health problems and then a hectic work schedule has kept me away, but things are starting to settle down. Hopefully I can have some new things posted and get back to a regular schedule of book reviews and fun quotes.

 

Happy reading!