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The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?

Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan’s life. She’s stuck at JFK, late to her father’s second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon to be step-mother that Hadley’s never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport’s cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he’s British, and he’s in seat 18C. Hadley’s in 18A.

Twists of fate and quirks of timing play out in this thoughtful novel about family connections, second chances and first loves. Set over a 24-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver’s story will make you believe that true love finds you when you’re least expecting it.

MY THOUGHTS:

This is not a love story.

Wait. What? What are you saying? But the description-

Trust me. I know what the description says; it’s what had me sold on the idea of the story to begin with. But trust me when I tell you this is a false advertising of sorts. If you’re looking for a cutesy romance full of kisses and flirting, this probably isn’t your best bet. Going by the description, you may think this story focuses on Hadley and Oliver. It does not. It focuses on Hadley, her father, and their broken relationship.

Yes, a chunk of the novel is spent with Oliver – but it’s not romantic. It’s merely human. And by that, I mean it’s just like catching glimpses of someone’s life. It reads as if you’re on the plane with both of them, maybe in the seat behind them, or maybe in the next row over, listening in. There’s nothing incredibly romantic about it in the way romance is displayed in YA novels – over the top, consuming, lustful and consisting of many make-out sessions. Instead it’s steady and subtle.

This probably would’ve been more of a bummer for me had I not already been warned prior to reading.

But I do like Hadley and her dad. They’re likeable. In the context of the story I expected them to be more drama-rific and annoying, but they’re actually pretty real in their actions and words. Oliver is as well, though I never quite warmed to the idea of he and Hadley as a couple; their attraction doesn’t seem to have lasting qualities, especially having known one another for only a mere 24 hours.

That being said, I still couldn’t help but enjoy the story. The third person point of view is refreshing and calming. Normally I prefer a story to be told in first person, but third person seems to really, really fit this novel; it adds time to what I think would be a too-short time period for a first person narrative.

If you don’t dive in expecting love, you’ll appreciate the familial growths.

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REVIEW! The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.

Jan
14

5 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Uncategorized

 

 

 

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

MY THOUGHTS:

If I could, I would make this review one word: Augustus Waters.

That would be it. That one name, that one character. It – he – speaks for everything about this story and my feelings for this book.

Please believe me when I say that The Fault in Our Stars is absolutely beautiful and magnificent. Neither my nor anyone’s words or praise could do this book the justice it deserves.

If you love Paper Towns and Looking for Alaska and An Abundance of Katherines and are thinking John Green could never outdo himself, prepare to be blown away.  The Fault in Our Stars is stylistically different than all of his previous novels, in a good way; it’s so funny, truthful, raw, thoughtful, and ultimately John Green.

If you’re familiar with the Vlogbrothers videos, you’ll be happy to see some references to Indiana aspects John has previously mentioned in his own videos. They serve as nice surprises to those aware of their existences.

All in all your heart will swell, break and grow. You may even cry. But it’ll be worth it.

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Deadly Little Voices by Laurie Faria Stolarz

High school junior Camelia thought her powers of psychometry only gave her the ability to sense the future through touch. But now she’s started to hear voices. Mean voices. Berating her, telling her how ugly she is, and that she’d be better off dead. It’s a troubling development that has Camelia terrified for her mental stability, especially since her deranged aunt with a suicidal history has just moved into the family house. More torturing, ex-boyfriend Ben, who has similar psychometric abilities, has been spending more time with their classmate Alejandra.

With the line between right and wrong fraying, Camelia turns to pottery to get a grasp on her emotions. She begins sculpting a beautiful figure skater, only to receive frightening premonitions that someone’s in danger. But who is the victim? And how can Camelia help them when she is on the brink of losing her own sanity?

MY THOUGHTS:

I love the Touch series. Contemporary horrors/thrillers are just my thing.

BUT… being the fourth book in this series, I expected Deadly Little Voices to give me a little bit more satisfaction than it did. This isn’t to say that it’s unsatisfying, because it is. It’s just that I’ve come to expect a bit more action, rather than stalling, from this series. The plot is always chilling and exciting, keeping me hooked and guessing from page one. But the whole situation between Camelia and Ben and Adam just makes me want to rip my hair out. I can’t even begin to explain how frustrating yet lackluster it is. You can tell there’s tension – in fact, it’s all up in your face. And so you wait. And you wait. And you wait. And then the tension explodes! ….And then two seconds later it dissipates. I think this is supposed to be some sort of love triangle, but I’ve honestly got no clue now.

I could go on and on about that horrific ending.

Okay, I’m exaggerating. But it really worked me up. You’ll know what I mean when you get to it.

As far as other characters are concerned, I was so happy to see Aunt Alexia’s involvement grow! Kimmie and Wes open up a bit more as well. Yet, there’s still more to them that we’re not quite getting, and again, it’s just making me frustrated. When I’m four books into a series, I want information. Progression. Interest. The constant pulling from all sides of the involved parties is waning.

Something’s gotta give, and it’s not me.

Hopefully everything will come together in Deadly Little Lessons.

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REVIEW! A Tale of Two Proms by Cara Lockwood.

Jan
07

2 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Uncategorized •

A Tale of Two Proms by Cara Lockwood

It was the best of prom, it was the worst of prom.

Miranda Tate returns for her senior year at Bard Academy and she is counting on two things: Prom with her boyfriend, Heathcliff, and then graduation from the haunted boarding school where fictional characters come to life. Fate, however, has other plans.

When Catherine Earnshaw, Heathcliff’s long-lost love, appears on campus, suddenly everything she thought she knew about Heathcliff is changed forever. Catherine seems determined to win Heathcliff back, even if that means destroying Bard Academy and banishing its ghostly teachers – for good.

Miranda and her friends face their most daunting challenge, yet, which will take them for the first time inside the classics that have powered their mysterious boarding school. It’s up to them to save Bard Academy – and prom. Can Miranda change her destiny and Heathcliff’s? Or is this one story that was written in the stars?

MY THOUGHTS:

Upon starting this series ages ago, I was hooked. The idea of the worlds of classic literature mixing with the present reeled me in. And at first, it was entertaining. Now, in A Tale of Two Proms, it’s simply redundant.

Aside from the worlds playing switcheroo and allowing the characters to travel into the classics, not much differs in the plot. Miranda, her friends and the school are still in danger, and she’s still trying to be together with Heathcliff. But as a reader, I just wasn’t convinced of the insecurity – or rather, the need of it . How much more could the poor boy do to prove his love? It felt straining even to me. The aforementioned danger is rather predictable (if you’ve read the previous books in the series); it’s new, but not new. New in the sense that it involves different classics and enemies, yet not new in that they’re all still after the same thing/ending. The drama is certainly at the forefront of A Tale of Two Proms, and not the story or character development. If you’re hoping for more from Miranda and the gang, you won’t find it in here.

And maybe it’s just me, but this time around I feel the writing itself is a bit lacking. Sentences don’t flow smoothly and the narration is highly repetitive. Most times I wanted Miranda to stop thinking and get a move on with the story. Then again, it didn’t help that I could predict the upcoming events.

What kept me holding on to the story was wanting to know its resolution.  I’d followed the series this far. I wanted to know how it ends.

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REVIEW! Love Story.

Dec
27

4 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Uncategorized •

LOVE STORY by Jennifer Echols.

SHE’S WRITING ABOUT HIM. HE’S WRITING ABOUT HER. AND EVERYBODY IS READING BETWEEN THE LINES.
For Erin Blackwell, majoring in creative writing at the New York City college of her dreams is more than a chance to fulfill her ambitions—it’s her ticket away from the tragic memories that shadow her family’s racehorse farm in Kentucky. But when she refuses to major in business and take over the farm herself someday, her grandmother gives Erin’s college tuition and promised inheritance to their maddeningly handsome stable boy, Hunter Allen. Now Erin has to win an internship and work late nights at a local coffee shop to make her own dreams a reality. She should despise Hunter . . . so why does he sneak into her thoughts as the hero of her latest writing assignment?

Then, on the day she’s sharing that assignment with her class, Hunter walks in. He’s joining her class. And after he reads about himself in her story, her private fantasies about him must be painfully clear. She only hopes to persuade him not to reveal her secret to everyone else. But Hunter devises his own creative revenge, writing sexy stories that drive the whole class wild with curiosity and fill Erin’s heart with longing. Now she’s not just imagining what might have been. She’s writing a whole new ending for her romance with Hunter . . . except this story could come true.

My rating: 3 stars.

MY THOUGHTS:
This is going to be a weird review, because typically in a review you’re supposed to point out the pros and cons of the story – what you liked and disliked.  But honestly I’m not sure I can pinpoint exactly what those qualities are for me, regarding Love Story.

I went into the story loving the concept of characters in college. HUGE plus.  Also, in a creative writing class, writing about one another? BIGGER plus! Awesome idea. And Erin’s and Hunter’s stories were actually enjoyable to read. They didn’t feel like intrusions to the overall story.  And yet, sometimes I felt that they were lacking… or not present enough.  I didn’t like that the narration would mention they’d written several more stories over the passing weeks, but as a reader I never got to read them.  Since they were such a key aspect beforehand, I figured they’d be prominent throughout.  This is not the case.

As for the characters, Erin and Hunter have that electric dynamic – hating but loving, flirty but zingy.  It’s good and all, but at times it’s also confusing.  I had a hard time deciphering what actions were “true” and which were not; going by Erin’s narration, I just couldn’t tell, and it seemed neither could she. This prevented me from ever forming an attachment to the idea of them as a couple.  I couldn’t trust Hunter, so I wasn’t invested in their relationship as much as I should/could have been. 

Another big big BIG component of the book is the background info.  There’s a lot of it that comes into play.  But… it’s all so fuzzy.  You never get the FULL stories.  Often I was like, Well what happened next?! But I never found out.  You’re just given the same information over and over.  The problem is that their past is so vital to the present, so to not have all of the info makes it seem like an unsolved mystery.  This constantly nagged at me. I kept waiting for explanations and meetings that I knew had to happen, yet didn’t.

Now for the biggest issue, and the reason why I couldn’t rate this higher: THE ENDING. Is there even an ending? I’m not so sure. I got to the last page and literally freaked out, thinking my copy was missing an entire last chunk of the story. But no. Upon checking page counts and chapters and everything, I found that my copy is indeed correct.  Let me just say that I’ve never had a book elicit such a reaction from me; I’ve never been so surprised at such an abrupt ending.  The story comes to no conclusion!  Okay… it comes to a miniature closure/resolution/THING.  But it’s not nearly satisfying enough to be considered an actual ending.

All I can say is read and see for yourself.  Really, it’s a good, entertaining story. It just left me puzzled and frustrated.

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