Review | Segregated Proms & Fake Love

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Kindle Price: $10.00

Official Rating: 1/5

Synopsis:

‘It’s not like I never thought about being mixed race. I guess it was just that, in Brooklyn, everyone was competing to be unique or surprising. By comparison, I was boring, seriously. Really boring.’

Culture shock knocks city girl Agnes “Nes” Murphy-Pujols off-kilter when she’s transplanted mid–senior year from Brooklyn to a small Southern town after her mother’s relationship with a coworker self-destructs. On top of the move, Nes is nursing a broken heart and severe homesickness, so her plan is simple: keep her head down, graduate and get out. Too bad that flies out the window on day one, when she opens her smart mouth and pits herself against the school’s reigning belle and the principal.

Her rebellious streak attracts the attention of local golden boy Doyle Rahn, who teaches Nes the ropes at Ebenezer. As her friendship with Doyle sizzles into something more, Nes discovers the town she’s learning to like has an insidious undercurrent of racism. The color of her skin was never something she thought about in Brooklyn, but after a frightening traffic stop on an isolated road, Nes starts to see signs everywhere – including at her own high school where, she learns, they hold proms. Two of them. One black, one white.

Nes and Doyle band together with a ragtag team of classmates to plan an alternate prom. But when a lit cross is left burning in Nes’s yard, the alterna-prommers realize that bucking tradition comes at a price. Maybe, though, that makes taking a stand more important than anything.”

My Review:

I don’t think you all even know how difficult it was to write this review. There was just so much I wanted to rant about that I didn’t know where to start, what to include, what to leave out (for the sake of length), and gosh, this was just difficult.

If this book was two and a half pages, it would still be too long for all of the irrelevant and unnecessary discourse that Reinhardt put in Rebel Like Us. This is going to be a doozy everyone, protect your books, I’m about to rip some pages.

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Book Blitz | Pushing Perfect by Michelle Falkoff

Pushing Perfect by Michelle Falkoff
Genre: YA Contemporary Mystery
Release Date: October 25th 2016
Publisher: HarperTeen

Summary from Goodreads:

A girl’s quest for perfection results in dangerous consequences in this layered, suspenseful YA novel by the author of Playlist for the Dead.

How far would you go to be perfect?

Kara has the perfect life. She gets perfect grades. She never messes up. Until now. Because perfection is an illusion, and Kara has been struggling to maintain it for as long as she can remember. With so much pressure to succeed, it’s hard not to do whatever it takes.

But when Kara takes a new underground drug to help her ace the SATs, she doesn’t expect to get a text from a blocked sender, telling her to follow a set of mysterious instructions—or risk her dark secret getting out. Soon she finds herself part of a group of teens with secrets of their own, who are all under the thumb of the same anonymous texter. And if they don’t find a way to stop the blackmailer, their perfect futures will go up in flames.

This dark, emotionally resonant contemporary YA novel is perfect for fans of We Were Liars and The Secret History.

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Buy Links:
Amazon | B&N | Indiebound

Read an Excerpt:

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How to Keep Rolling After a Fall by Karole Cozzo

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Kindle Price: $7.09

Official Rating: 5/5

Synopsis:

“After a cyber bullying incident turns her life upside down, a handsome wheelchair rugby player shows a former mean girl that everyone deserves a second chance in this swoonworthy new novel from the author of How to Say I Love You Out Loud.

The party was at her house. The photos were posted to her Facebook account. That’s all the evidence anyone needed to condemn Nikki Baylor for a cyberbullying incident that humiliated a classmate and nearly resulted in the girl’s suicide. Now Nikki’s been expelled from her old school, her friends have abandoned her, and even her own parents can’t look her in the eye. With her plans for the future all but destroyed, Nikki resigns herself to being the girl everyone hates – almost as much as she hates herself. But then Nikki meets Pax, a spirited wheelchair rugby player who knows what it’s like when one mistake completely shatters your life. Refusing to judge her because of her past, he shows her that everyone deserves a second chance… and everyone deserves to be loved.”

My Review:

Gracious. I haven’t read a romance novel in quite a while (at least at the time I wrote this), but I’m very pleased that How to Keep Rolling After a Fall was the book I read.

Cozzo has an amazing skill in writing. In fact, and please hold your gasps, I found nothing wrong in the book. Isn’t that wild? Me, of all people, not only enjoyed the book but had no complaints.

Let’s talk about Nicole. I actually really liked Nicole. She was funny, down-to-earth, had a rather dark past that was defining her, and she had obvious flaws. I loved it. She was a realistic and enjoyable character and despite everything, I ended up rooting for her. I appreciated that she didn’t feel entitled to things and that she was always respectful, even when people weren’t being fair. There was constant growth within her throughout the book and it was obvious through her thoughts and reactions.

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Forever Kinda Love by Clara Stone (Review)

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Kindle Price: $1.99

Official Rating: 3/5

Synopsis:

“Life’s. Little. Surprises.

The last thing seven-year-old Carrigan “Ace” Casper foresaw was an eight-year-old Heath Lovelly walking into her life the day her mother died. From that moment on, Heath sticks by her side, slowly becoming her strength, her confidant, and her entire world. What she doesn’t know is, she’s his saving grace, too.

Ten years later, Ace is handed another crippling challenge that threatens everything in her almost perfect life. Only, this time, she doesn’t turn to Heath, hiding the truth instead. But Heath knows Ace too well and won’t back down easily. He’s ready to do whatever it takes and will stay by her side until she accepts that their love is the kinda love worth fighting for.

Will he be her forever triumph or her unexpected downfall?

Two lives.

One story.

And an unexpected journey to falling in love.”

My Review:

It would be a stretch to say that I’m disappointed in Forever Kinda Love, but also a stretch to say that I’m thrilled with it.

Now let me be clear, I can enjoy a romance novel so I’m not biased against them. I started off by liking Forever Kinda Love, I thought it was really cute. Sometimes I even had to put the book down so my mind could process the cute moments. But I don’t know, after a while, it wore off for me.

I didn’t like the characters, but I didn’t dislike them either. They were rather in-between. I’ll talk about Heath first.

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Voyage of Defiance by S.E. Smith (Review)

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Kindle Price: $4.99

Official Rating: 1/5

Synopsis:

An act of defiance that will either kill her or change her life forever…
Sixteen year old Makayla Summerlin enjoyed one thing in her crazy, messed-up existence: hanging with her friends at school. Her life is uprooted when she suddenly finds herself forced to live with the grandfather she barely remembers.
One act of defiance will change her life forever when she sets sail in her grandfather’s old sailboat after she has trouble adjusting to her new home. On a journey that will challenge everything she has ever believed about herself, Makayla must overcome her fears if she, and a surprising stowaway, are to survive.”

My Review:

This was an embarrassing book to read. I found it to be poor in writing and in content which is a shame because the synopsis and the cover are what drew me in. It looked fairly good and thus is how I was misled.

I couldn’t stand Makayla and that’s a huge issue. But it’s not my fault, she didn’t attempt to get me to like her. Makayla was rude, irrational, judgmental towards people she doesn’t know, insensitive, disrespectful, disobedient (but it is praised as defiance), irresponsible, and severely lacks the required skills to make good decisions. And it’s all wrapped up in an “I didn’t have the best childhood” bundle which, of course, gets everyone to excuse her behavior.
Don’t get me wrong, Makayla doesn’t have a great childhood. She’s gone through a lot and some of her behavior is understandable. However, the entire reason for her defiance is to prove that she’s better than her circumstances, but I didn’t buy it. Firstly, Makayla doesn’t understand how an addiction works. In many cases, it’s difficult for the person who is addicted to go cold turkey or stop in general. It’s difficult and stressful and it takes lots of support and encouragement from those around them. Instead of at least attempting to understand this, Makayla angrily demands that they choose ‘her’ instead of the drugs that have rendered the person unstable in a heated moment where it is obvious that the person in question is in no shape to make such a decision. It’s an addiction, Makayla. The addict is suffering too, this isn’t all about you and how you “obviously aren’t [wasn’t] good enough…” On top of that, when that person goes to get help and is improving, Makayla insists that she should be able to go back to her hometown to be with them. She doesn’t take into consideration that maybe that person doesn’t want her there right now so that they can focus on getting better. Instead, Makayla focuses on how she feels and how she’s suffering instead of trying to understand other perspectives. I won’t say that Makayla hasn’t gone through a lot because of this situation, but I still found her to be very selfish and insistent on thinking about herself no matter what.
Secondly, as I said, she’s just so rude. First, she insults Henry’s (her grandfather) home seconds after he finished saying how he considers it to be paradise. Then, once she gets it into her head that she desperately needs to go home, when another character approaches her and says he wants to work on the project they were assigned, she tells him she isn’t doing it and that “I just don’t care.” Even after hearing that he needs this project to be good so that he can graduate, she still blows him off. Makayla is stuck in the attitude that the world revolves around her and I found it tasteless.
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Star Struck by Jamie Campbell (Review)

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Kindle Price: Free!

Official Review: 5/5

Synopsis:

Melrose Morgan was your typical teenager, flipping burgers and surviving high school the best she could. Yet all that changed after a chance encounter took her face to face with the world’s biggest superstar.
Living every girl’s fantasy, Melrose falls for one fifth of the most successful boy bands on the planet, Cole Newton. He invites her on a date and she can’t help but fall in love with her idol.
But in a world that is full of shining stars, can one small town girl really capture the heart of a supernova? Find out in the first installment of the Star Kissed series.

My Review:

WARNING: NOVELLA/NOVELLETE/SHORT STORY AUTHORS TAKE NOTE

This is a short story done right. After all of the novelettes that I have read, this one has actually felt like it was worth my time. It took me maybe thirty minutes to read; I was bored, it was late, I didn’t want to try to tackle a two-and-a-half-hour book at nine at night so I thought, “Why not?” And as it turns out, that was a really great idea.

I feel that the main issue in novelettes is that authors feel the need to make their characters develop somehow. If you have around seventy pages to impress a reader, you don’t have the time to have a character develop. For the most part, at least. Unless you can write a seventy page book and make it feel like a two hour long action or romantic comedy or adventure movie, don’t try to include character development. That doesn’t go to say that these authors can’t write if they can’t pull that off, far from it, because Campbell can write.

Melrose Morgan isn’t your average teenager working at a fast food joint. It’s obvious that she isn’t, but you aren’t explicitly given a reason why, which was fine. It wasn’t necessary. What I did notice about Melrose, and I’m not sure if it was just placed to add depth or if it was foreshadowing for the next book, was how observant she was about how her sister Jemma was feeling. Even when Melrose wasn’t in the mood to talk, she still made sure that Jemma was okay and if she wasn’t, she spent time with her until she was. When I think about it, that might have been just to add depth, but it added the right amount of depth. It showed me, as a reader, that Melrose wasn’t the type of person to discount a person’s emotions just because they were younger. Instead, she truly cared and did her best to ensure that Jemma knew she cared.

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A Hairy Tail (A Hairy Tail series) by Jamie Campbell

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Kindle Price: Free

Official Rating: 2.5/5

Synopsis:

Please note: This is a short story. Flash fiction is a fun and quick read, not a novel.
Hannah needed a project to get her through the long summer. Signing up at the local animal shelter, she finds exactly what she needs in the sad, lost dog Basil.
She sets her sights on finding his owner, promising him he would be reunited with his family. What she didn’t anticipate was being distracted by her gorgeous co-volunteer, Harry.
Overcoming her inner shyness, Hannah needs to reel in Harry the hottie, find Basil’s owner, and try to be a normal teenager for her mother. And do all this before the summer ends.
Love, paws, and fur balls abound in this fun short story that is bound to make your tail wag.

My Review:

Don’t take my rating as a bad 2.5, A Hairy Tail was a decent read, which is why it received a 2.5.

The main character is Hannah and she was kind of cool. She was more interested in school and homework and schedules than summer parties and wildness, which I respected. There was actual no obvious character development from what I could see, but that was fine. Mostly because there was no need for development, it wasn’t a thirty-two chapter novel about a teenager who finds herself. It was about down-to-earth Hannah who finds something to do while she wants for the last ninety-three days of summer to end. There wasn’t much to her, since, again, this wasn’t a long novel, but it was enough.

I think what I didn’t like of anything was Hannah’s mother, Coco. I didn’t appreciate that Coco was almost shaming Hannah for not liking the party scene. Multiple times she asks or tells Hannah that she isn’t normal or not doing what normal teenagers do by not enjoying parties. I have known teenagers who don’t appreciate the party part of life and it wasn’t as abnormal and unimaginable as Coco made it seem.

The romance was surprisingly subtle. I thought that this was a romance story so I had expected a lot more of the romance aspect, but the ending was cute. Would I recommend A Hairy Tail? I don’t see why not. If you have an hour of your time that you won’t feel guilty about spending on a book, definitely go for it.