Tuesday, May 26, 2015


Kelsey and David became best friends the summer before freshman year and were inseparable ever after. Until the night a misunderstanding turned Kelsey into the school joke, and everything around her crumbled—including her friendship with David. So when Kelsey's parents decided to move away, she couldn't wait to start over and leave the past behind. Except, David wasn't ready to let her go...

Now it's senior year and Kelsey has a new group of friends, genuine popularity, and a hot boyfriend. Her life is perfect. That is, until David's family moves to town and he shakes up everything. Soon old feelings bubble to the surface and threaten to destroy Kelsey's second chance at happiness. The more time she spends with David, the more she realizes she never truly let him go. And maybe she never wants to.

First thing you need to know about this book - it’s one of those books that makes you work for what you want. I’m not kidding. Have you ever read one of those books where you go through a couple of hundred pages just so that you can get an outcome? This is one of those books.
Kelsey and David were well written characters. They were real in the sense that they had strengths, weaknesses, and good background stories. I felt bad for David immediately, at least until he came in and started to act like a jerk (which of course only encouraged Kelsey to act like a jerk as well.)
To say the least, it was exhausting reading their many jabs back at each other. One second they’re best friends and hugging it out, and then they’re really mad at each other again and trying to be the one who hurts the other the most. From the very beginning of the book, it mentioned that something had happened in their past that was making their relationship this complicated. But after getting to that point, it wasn’t as painful of a memory as I was expecting. I thought it was going to be a truly terrible thing that had happened, but mostly it just made me roll my eyes. It was simple teenage drama, basically, and my biggest problem with this book. But I suppose I can’t hate too hard - I know, as a teenage girl myself, that we can be pretty ridiculous.
My second biggest problem was how often they threatened to shove each other out of their lives, when supposedly they “loved” each other. If you love somebody, wouldn’t you want them in your life no matter what? Even if you weren’t with them? Maybe wait for each other? But it could just be a character defining moment, and it wasn’t too far fetched. If somebody had hurt me a lot I would most likely try to distance myself as well.
Overall, I loved the emotion and I liked the ending. The pain was good as well. Call me masochistic, but I like when the feels are physically painful while I am reading. Crazy, I know, but that’s how it is.
Here’s my first complicated rating! It was better than 3.5 stars but maybe not as good as 4 stars, so somewhere around 3.8-3.9 stars.


Friday, May 22, 2015

BETTER OFF FRIENDS by Elizabeth Eulberg

For Macallan and Levi, it was friends at first sight. Everyone says guys and girls can’t be just friends, but these two are. They hang out after school, share tons of inside jokes, their families are super close, and Levi even starts dating one of Macallan’s friends. They are platonic and happy that way.

Eventually they realize they’re best friends — which wouldn’t be so bad if they didn’t keep getting in each other’s way. Guys won’t ask Macallan out because they think she’s with Levi, and Levi spends too much time joking around with Macallan, and maybe not enough time with his date. They can’t help but wonder . . . are they more than friends or are they better off without making it even more complicated?

From romantic comedy superstar Elizabeth Eulberg comes a fresh, fun examination of a question for the ages: Can guys and girls ever really be just friends? Or are they always one fight away from not speaking again — and one kiss away from true love?

At the very beginning of Better Off Friends I was nervous that it would be a seventh/eighth grade romance novel the whole way through, falling more under the genre of an eye roller than a YA contemporary. But I was pleasantly surprised by what Eulberg did with this book - instead of having Macallan and Levi meet for the first time at age sixteen or seventeen and deciding that they liked each other, it starts way back in seventh grade, where their friendship first begins. They are strictly friends for years, though in eighth grade some romantic tension starts to develop (only slightly) but it was there nonetheless. Considering the only real crush I have ever had was in eighth grade, I was able to relate to this. Oh, eighth grade romances.
Now let’s talk about the characters. As I have mentioned before, I am a very character motivated reader. If a book has an iffy plot but wonderful characters, I like the book. And Macallan and Levi didn’t disappoint. They were very real to me, and I loved how their weaknesses were shown and mentioned just as much as their strengths were. They weren’t “made for each other” nor were they attracted to one another simply because of looks. They liked each other because they knew each other and they liked who they were. Of course they had occasional problems, as to be expected from any relationship, but they worked it out eventually.
Aside from being relatable, I felt that both characters were great protagonists and role models. Macallan and Levi had a respectable relationship that was definitely something to aspire to. After all, I have always thought it better to be friends before pursuing a romantic relationship.
One last thing that really did it for me with this book -  the lack of profanity. I'm not a big fan of strong language (and strong for me may be considered mild for many others) but because I read Young Adult novels, it's only be expected that I would run into a lot of profanity in what I read. If I am remembering correctly, this book had a complete lack of such language. Along with this, the jokes remained pure (with the exception of two mildly mature cracks) and funny. I never once felt uncomfortable during the reading of this book.
All and all, I loved this book. I would give it five stars if it had had a bit more substance and originality. But because it was a lot like other books that I have read in this genre, I have to give it four stars. It may have just been that I have been in desperate need for a lot of fluff novels lately (for whatever reason) that I liked it so much, but nonetheless, it was an entertaining read.

Monday, May 11, 2015

LOVE, LUCAS by Chantele Sedgwick

A powerful story of loss, second chances, and first love, reminiscent of Sarah Dessen and John Green.

When Oakley Nelson loses her older brother, Lucas, to cancer, she thinks she’ll never recover. Between her parents’ arguing and the battle she’s fighting with depression, she feels nothing inside but a hollow emptiness. When Mom suggests they spend a few months in California with Aunt Jo, Oakley isn’t sure a change of scenery will alter anything, but she’s willing to give it a try.

In California, Oakley discovers a sort of safety and freedom in Aunt Jo’s beach house. Once they’re settled, Mom hands her a notebook full of letters addressed to her—from Lucas. As Oakley reads one each day, she realizes how much he loved her, and each letter challenges her to be better and to continue to enjoy her life. He wants her to move on.

If only it were that easy.

But then a surfer named Carson comes into her life, and Oakley is blindsided. He makes her feel again. As she lets him in, she is surprised by how much she cares for him, and that’s when things get complicated. How can she fall in love and be happy when Lucas never got the chance to do those very same things?

With her brother’s dying words as guidance, Oakley knows she must learn to listen and trust again. But will she have to leave the past behind to find happiness in the future?

This book broke my heart apart and then pieced it back together. It may have been that it hit me personally, because just a year ago I had my grandpa pass away from cancer. So while it was a little painful to read, it was also very heartwarming in the end.
The first two hundred pages, Love, Lucas was 3.5 stars for me - the writing wasn’t incredibly exceptional, and the characters were alright. It was sad and I connected with Oakley, but I wasn’t feeling anything too special between us. But it was good enough to keep me reading until around page 215, and then....WOW.
The next seventy pages amazed me. Sedgwick perfectly captures Oakley’s hopelessness, and I repeatedly had to look away from the book and air my eyes out because they were about to spill over and birth a river. And I’m not a big book crier - I am easily upset, but I don’t often cry or get so close. But the feelings from Oakley were so real, from the hopelessness turning into hope, and all of the words that were exchanged were so precious and perfect. Oh, and did I mention that her and Carson are total couple goals?
In those last seventy pages Love, Lucas jumped a whole star. That would make this book 4.5 stars, therefore incredible. I learned a lot from Lucas while I read his letters to Oakley. I have always wanted a big brother, and while reading this book I felt like Lucas was my big brother. He gave me great advice, made me laugh, and made me tear up plenty of times. I’m tempted to write down all of his tips in a notebook and carry it around with me everywhere I go, but since I own the book I will just settle for that :)
So do I recommend this book? Yes! Of course! And if you’re going to the beach anytime soon, I would especially recommend it!

***If you would like to win a copy of Love, Lucas go onto Instagram and enter my giveaway! My username is @book_believer. Giveaway ends on the 13th of May***

Thursday, May 7, 2015


Today, we have not just one book review, but TWO!!!! Now, remember not to read them if you haven’t read the previous books in the series…wouldn’t want to spoil anything for anybody! Anyway, let’s jump right in!

**Do not read if you have not read Hush, Hush**

Nora Grey's life is still far from perfect. Surviving an attempt on her life wasn't pleasant, but at least she got a guardian angel out of it. A mysterious, magnetic, gorgeous guardian angel. But despite his role in her life, Patch has been acting anything but angelic. He's more elusive than ever (if that's possible) and what's worse, he seems to be spending time with Nora's archenemy, Marcie Millar.

Nora would have hardly noticed Scott Parnell, an old family friend who has moved back to town, if Patch hadn't been acting so distant. Even with Scott's totally infuriating attitude, Nora finds herself drawn to him - despite her lingering feelings that he is hiding something.

If that weren't enough, Nora is haunted by images of her murdered father, and comes to question whether her Nephilim bloodline has anything to do with his death. Desperate to figure out what happened, she puts herself in increasingly dangerous situations to get the answer. But maybe some things are better left buried, because the truth could destroy everything - and everyone - she trusts.

At the end of Hush, Hush I was really excited to start reading Crescendo - because finally, FINALLY, Nora and Patch were together! Hallelujah! Now was the time for celebrations, where I would read of Nora and Patch having a perfect relationship with the occasional fight to keep it interesting, but they would be so happy and love -
Wrong. I got the romance for about four pages, but the kind of romance that I only want to see when I have gone through three books of a working relationship. Basically what happened was a car make out scene, Nora declaring her love (and how long have they been dating…? A couple of weeks most? I can’t remember but it was ridiculous. Like woman, please.) and giving him her DECEASED FATHER’S RING. That was, as she made sure to tell us all, her dearest belonging, because it was the only thing she had left from her dad. And she gives it to Patch, whom she “loves” after they’ve been dating for about a week.
Oh, and then they break up.
This whole book, my problem was mainly characters. Nora is selfish and whiny. Patch...is still a barbie doll. The whole time I was irritated at them, and just wanted to tell them to get over themselves and work it out. Really, if they would just talk about it…
Aside from Nora and Patch, I felt that the story was also predictable because of the characters. I’ve started to notice that almost  any character that comes into this story is automatically not a human, and as soon as that character is used up and done, they’re gone forever and they don’t come back no matter what. Elliot for example. Where’d he go? Isn’t he mad that they killed his best friend? I suppose not.
What I did like from Crescendo is that I started to see more of a plot and more world building. Despite my anger at the characters, I was still interested in what they were going through because there were more trials for them to overcome, oh and I’m a sucker for break ups because I just want them to get back together...that always keeps me reading…
Overall rating, I give it three stars.


Nora Grey can't remember the past five months of her life. After the initial shock of waking up in a cemetery and being told that she has been missing for weeks - with no one knowing where she was or who she was with - she tried to get her life back on track. Go to school, hang out with her best friend, Vee, and dodge mom's creepy new boyfriend.

But there is this voice in the back of her head, an idea that she can almost reach out and touch. Visions of angel wings and unearthly creatures that have nothing to do with the life she knows.

And this unshakable feeling that a part of her is missing.

Then Nora crosses paths with a sexy stranger, whom she feels a mesmerizing connection to. He seems to hold all the answers...and her heart. Every minute she spends with him grows more and more intense until she realizes she could be falling in love. Again.

I always hate when I seem to be the only person who doesn’t like a specific book...but it seems like I have done it again. This series has sort of been a downwards spiral for me - here is why.
The very beginning of the book, I was interested and excited to read. It felt like a fresh start, really. She’d lost her memory, maybe she could rebuild herself. Or something like that. I don’t really know what I was wanting, but it wasn’t what I got, I can assure you of that.
Nora suffers from amnesia, and though that has to be a traumatizing experience, for the first half of the book all I read is her moaning about it. Not to mention the question “Why me” which ended up appearing A TON OF TIMES. I have always accepted the answer “why not you?” and I’m not going to stop accepting it now. I understand that it would be hard to undergo what she went through, but in a four hundred or so book I don’t want to waste one hundred pages on whining. I never want to waste one hundred pages on whining, honestly.
And then we run into Patch...again...who, as you guys know, I think it just a glorified barbie doll. I feel like they use each other as eye candy because the only romantic moments I get from them is kissing and...that’s it, yep. Anytime either one of them would say something romantic verbally I kind of felt like I was watching those eighth graders in the hallways again. Infatuation, yes, but no real love or commitment.
This whole story, all I did was watch Nora and Patch make bad decisions. The action, I suppose, did intensify slightly, but not enough to satisfy me. And did I mention that it took me three and a half weeks to read this book? That doesn’t happen very often. It’s a bad book when it does.
I am going to take a reading break before I read the final book, Finale, because I need to read something that I will enjoy for now. I most likely will not be writing a review on it, either.
Overall rating, I give it two stars.