Review: The Spring Girls by Anna Todd

36135426The Spring Girls by Anna Todd

Published January 2nd 2018

Four sisters desperately seeking the blueprints to life—the modern-day retelling of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women like only Anna Todd (After, Imagines) could do.

The Spring Girls—Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy—are a force of nature on the New Orleans military base where they live. As different as they are, with their father on tour in Iraq and their mother hiding something, their fears are very much the same. Struggling to build lives they can be proud of and that will lift them out of their humble station in life, one year will determine all that their futures can become.

The oldest, Meg, will be an officer’s wife and enter military society like so many of the women she admires. If her passion—and her reputation—don’t derail her.

Beth, the workhorse of the family, is afraid to leave the house, is afraid she’ll never figure out who she really is.

Jo just wants out. Wishing she could skip to graduation, she dreams of a life in New York City and a career in journalism where she can impact the world. Nothing can stop her—not even love.

And Amy, the youngest, is watching all her sisters, learning from how they handle themselves. For better or worse.

With plenty of sass, romance, and drama, The Spring Girls revisits Louisa May Alcott’s classic Little Women, and brings its themes of love, war, class, adolescence, and family into the language of the twenty-first century.

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I’ve tried several times before to enjoy a book by Anna Todd, she seems like such a nice person and I really want to jump on the hype wagon that is her books, but The Spring Girls is no different from her other books.

I felt like the writing was poor and needed better editing, the characters are shallow, boring, and unlikable, and the plot could use a revamp or two.

After about 20%, I decided to speed read through the rest of the book, hoping it would get better towards the end but it didn’t.
I haven’t read Little Women since I was a kid so I don’t remember enough of it to compare to The Spring Girls so I can’t really speak on that aspect of the book. I did think the idea of a modern Little Women was really cool but this book just didn’t do it for me at all.

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Review: The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead

27272506The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead

Published April 5th 2016

Big and sweeping, spanning from the refined palaces of Osfrid to the gold dust and untamed forests of Adoria, The Glittering Court tells the story of Adelaide, an Osfridian countess who poses as her servant to escape an arranged marriage and start a new life in Adoria, the New World. But to do that, she must join the Glittering Court.

Both a school and a business venture, the Glittering Court is designed to transform impoverished girls into upper-class ladies who appear destined for powerful and wealthy marriages in the New World. Adelaide naturally excels in her training, and even makes a few friends: the fiery former laundress Tamsin and the beautiful Sirminican refugee Mira. She manages to keep her true identity hidden from all but one: the intriguing Cedric Thorn, son of the wealthy proprietor of the Glittering Court.

When Adelaide discovers that Cedric is hiding a dangerous secret of his own, together they hatch a scheme to make the best of Adelaide’s deception. Complications soon arise—first as they cross the treacherous seas from Osfrid to Adoria, and then when Adelaide catches the attention of a powerful governor.

But no complication will prove quite as daunting as the potent attraction simmering between Adelaide and Cedric. An attraction that, if acted on, would scandalize the Glittering Court and make them both outcasts in wild, vastly uncharted lands…

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I received a copy of The Glittering Court in a subscription box last year and it took me forever to pick it up. I heard a few negative things about it but I also heard a couple positive things so I didn’t really have any expectations. Interestingly enough, none of the few negative things things I heard could have prepared me for The Glittering Court.

I just didn’t like anything about this book. I tried to find something, anything at all, but I didn’t like anything.
It lacks any kind of depth or world building that should come with a fantasy novel and the romance is over the top and kind of cringey. To be completely honest, most of the book was cringey. It was like a draft instead of the finished story.
The thing I disliked most about The Glittering Court is how the religious persecution is never dealt with. There was some other problematic issues in this book that weren’t dealt with but for me personally, the religious persecution was the last straw and was very personal to me.

I didn’t understand the world because it wasn’t built well or explained. There was so many plot holes and nothing made sense. I don’t think the author thought anything through before writing it down. The whole book felt lazy. It felt like there was no thought or effort put into this book.

I didn’t like the characters, especially the main character. Adelaide was not only boring beyond belief, she was also extremely stupid and annoying. None of her dialogue sounded natural and half the time I was wondering what the heck she was even saying.

And the whole book is sexist so there’s that. It pretty much teaches girls that we’re good for nothing but looking pretty and pleasing a man. And all men are stupid. That was what The Glittering Court teaches young readers.

“Mister Thorn has made it all sound very lovely,” she replied. “But I kind of feel like some trinket being bought and sold.”
“Women always feel that way,” I said.

I’ve seen a few other reviews that contain this quote but it’s one of the worth things in the book so I’d like to include it in my review as well. I wanted to include more quotes to show how sexist and terrible this book is but there’s so many quotes that showcase the sexism that my review would be more quotes than my thoughts.

Overall, this book was sexist, cringey, and problematic. I didn’t like it at all and I won’t be reading the sequel. I think there’s hundreds of other YA books out there that will empower readers instead of making young girls feel like they’re only good for pleasing a man and being sold to men like property. I don’t recommend this book at all but if you’ve read The Glittering Court and liked it, that’s totally fine. I’m not here to shame you. You’re free to read and enjoy whatever book you want.

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Review: Piper Perish by Kayla Cagan

30364140Piper Perish by Kayla Cagan

Published March 8th 2017

Now is the time for fearlessness.

Piper Perish inhales air and exhales art. The sooner she and her best friends can get out of Houston and get to New York City, the better. Art school has been Piper’s dream her whole life, and now that senior year is halfway over, she’s never felt more ready. But in the final months before graduation, things are weird with her friends and stressful with three different guys, and Piper’s sister’s tyrannical mental state seems to thwart every attempt at happiness for the close-knit Perish family. Piper’s art just might be enough to get her out. But is she brave enough to seize that power, even if it means giving up what she’s always known?

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I loved the synopsis for Piper Perish. It sounded really fun and the cover is beautiful so I was pumped. I was super excited. I was ready to read a cute, fun YA contemporary. However, this book was a massive disappointment.

First off, I wasn’t super into the writing style. It was written in a diary-like format but it was so over detailed, it would have been better if it was just written normally.

Okay. So. I hated the main character. She was very whiny, ungrateful, pretentious, immature, and incredibly over dramatic. She complained so much. I’m not a fan of people who complain a lot, especially when they’re fortunate in many ways. Piper was very fortunate and blessed but she just complained about everything. Her immaturity was sky high. I felt like I was reading the diary of a bratty, privileged eight year old.
Piper also had a problematic and immature view on her (ex)boyfriend. Within the first few pages we find out that her (ex)boyfriend has an interest in boys. Piper goes on a weird rant about how she might have turned him gay because she has short hair. It was odd and surprising to find something like that in a YA book written within the last few years. Piper is an awful example for young readers. She single handedly ruined this book in the first 15 pages. I didn’t like any of the other characters either so this book was pretty much hopeless for me.

I also wasn’t a fan of the relationship between Piper and her sister, Marli. They hated each other for no reason and it was such a poorly written example of a relationship between sisters. I’m so sick of sibling relationships being so poorly written. I’m tired of girls being pitted against each other.
Piper and Marli didn’t have to be besties but there is no excuse for such a terrible representation of sisters.
Honestly, all the female characters in this book are poorly written. This isn’t a book I want young girls reading. There are so many more YA books out there that young girls can read that will empower them. Piper Perish just promotes the image that teenage girls are nasty and that it’s okay to consistently compete with each other.

Overall, I didn’t like this book at all. I found it to be very problematic and had a terrible representation of girls. This book was almost sexist against women. I don’t think the author intended that at all but it’s very unfortunate that this book has such a terrible cast of characters, especially the female characters. Maybe if you’re not a critical reader, you’ll enjoy this book but I definitely don’t recommend it. There are many more YA contemporaries out there that aren’t problematic and will empower the reader.

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ARC Review: Seven Days of You by Cecilia Vinesse

26138370Seven Days of You by Cecilia Vinesse

Expected publication: March 7th 2017

Sophia has seven days left in Tokyo before she moves back to the States. Seven days to say good-bye to the electric city, her wild best friend, and the boy she’s harbored a semi-secret crush on for years. Seven perfect days…until Jamie Foster-Collins moves back to Japan and ruins everything.

Jamie and Sophia have a history of heartbreak, and the last thing Sophia wants is for him to steal her leaving thunder with his stupid arriving thunder. Yet as the week counts down, the relationships she thought were stable begin to explode around her. And Jamie is the one who helps her pick up the pieces. Sophia is forced to admit she may have misjudged Jamie, but can their seven short days of Tokyo adventures end in anything but good-bye?

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Seven Days of You sounded like a super cute book and I was so excited to read it. However, this book was a hot mess.
My biggest problem with this book is the main character. She’s in high school but she acts like she’s seven years old. Everything from the way she talks to how she handles situations is shockingly immature. Not to mention how her name is Sophia but her friends call her Sofa. I found that incredibly annoying and just weird. Her relationship with her best friend was messed up and very shallow. The guys in this book are all awful and I couldn’t stand them. To be honest, I couldn’t stand any of the characters.
I was so excited that this book took place in Tokyo but nothing about Seven Days of You said Tokyo. This book could have taken place anywhere in the world because it brought nothing Tokyo to the table. It was just another YA with a boring setting. I was expecting Japanese culture but I got none.
I wish I had loved this book, I really do, but I didn’t like it at all. It was poorly written with awful characters and a disappointing setting.

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Review: Blitzed by the Billionaire by Alice Ward

29636300Blitzed by the Billionaire by Alice Ward

Published March 27th 2016

After a lifetime of traveling the world with my uncle, I was ready for a normal, routine life. I thought I found it too. A job teaching kindergarten, good friends, and a stable man by my side. I was happy… mostly. Until I walked in on a surprise that shook my world.

Luckily, my friend Ethan McAlister was there to pick up the pieces.

“Friend.” Who was I kidding?

The star quarterback for the country’s newest football team, Ethan was charming, sexy, and the last thing I needed. His life was the opposite of normal and routine. Our passions very different.

But when he touched me… none of that mattered.

Except to the people dedicated to ripping us apart.

Would anything ever be normal again?

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I didn’t have high expectations for this book when I started it, I just felt like reading a fluffy romance, but the first 10% or so of this book was amazing. I loved it so much. I was laughing and giggling and having a grand time. But out of nowhere, this book took a massive turn for the worse.
I really liked Emily at first but she made terrible decisions. Some of the things she did made no sense.
The fact that she didn’t even care that much about the fall out with a man that she was totally ready to marry was mind blowing. She barely even cared. Within 24 hours she went from being 100% ready to marry a man to sleeping with a guy she barely knew. What the heck was she thinking?
I loved Ethan at first but his insane insta-love was so disturbing. I get that he’s an all in or all out kind of person (I am too) but after one night, he was so insanely attached to Emily in such an unhealthy manner.
I’m a huge fan of sports so the outrageous mistakes regarding football wanted me to pull my hair out. The author should have done her research before writing about a sport. There’s no way an athlete can just walk out mid-season on a team, he’s signed a contract. There was a whole slew of mistakes like that and it drove me insane.
Overall, I was not a fan of this book. The characters were poorly written and the mistakes regarding football were a complete deal breaker.

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Review: It’s Not You, It’s Me by Kerry Cohen

5134601It’s Not You, It’s Me by Kerry Cohen

Published January 1st 2009

Zoe loves Henry.

Henry dumps Zoe.

Zoe wants Henry back—at any cost.

Zoe’s two best friends come up with a plan to help Zoe get what she thinks she wants. The plan: make Henry jealous.

But the plan takes a surprising turn. . . .

Spanning thirty-one days in the cycle of a breakup, Kerry Cohen Hoffmann’s humorous and poignant novel depicts a girl whose single-minded focus on her ex-boyfriend has pulled her far from the person she most needs to win back—herself.

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I had accidentally bought this book a while ago and I really wasn’t interested in it. I had it for about a year before I picked it up and I kind of wish I had just left it on my shelf.
The main character of this book, Zoë, is awful. She’s completely insane. The things she does after her breakup are crazy and she’s so stupid. Like, that boy needed to get a restraining order. I don’t understand if the things she did were meant to be funny or she was just a very poorly written character. I wish I could find a redeeming quality about It’s Not You, It’s Me, but I really can’t think of one.

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Review: Nothing More by Anna Todd

27274334Nothing More by Anna Todd

Publication: September 20th 2016

New York’s skyscrapers and hectic pace are a far cry from where Landon Gibson grew up, and the transition to New York University has been jarring. But he’s getting the hang of things, found a job that pays (some of) the bills, enjoys school, and only occasionally runs into his ex, Dakota. You know, the one he chose NYU for…before she dumped him.

Luckily, his best friend, Tessa, shares a (terribly small) Brooklyn apartment with him. And given the ups and downs she’s had with her own ex, she’s a good listener when he finds himself in something of a love triangle—a love knot? Whatever it is, it’s a mess. An exciting mess. Maybe an addicting mess, because beautiful girls.

Being young and finding your way in the world is hard. Landon’s always been a positive person. But such a loud, demanding city so far away from home means you only get by with a little help from your friends. And a good pair of headphones.

Landon’s going to be okay…but the journey sure will be fun to watch.

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I tried to like this book, I really did. I tried so hard. But I just couldn’t.
I read Anna’s other book, After, last year and I really hated it. I didn’t have extremely high hopes for Nothing More but I did expect a little bit more from this book. It is, in my opinion, miles above After though. I think the writing is a million times better than After but that being said, I still don’t like the writing. It still reads like fanfiction but higher quality fanfic. But it’s still lackluster and unpolished.
I’m not a fan of love triangles and this book perfectly represents why. It didn’t help that I despised the characters involved. Dakota is such an awful person. She’s so controlling and mean. I didn’t care about the characters at all because they were all so annoying. And yet, I still didn’t hate them as much as the characters in After.

Overall, I didn’t like this book at all. I’m giving it 1.5 stars because I do think it’s way better than After and I seen a lot of improvement in the writing. I think there is a very particular audience for this type of book and I’m definitely not it. I feel like this book is like trashy reality tv shows. It’s not for most people but it’s really enjoyable for others.

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Review: Waking Olivia by Elizabeth O’Roark

29103642.jpgWaking Olivia by Elizabeth O’Roark

Published March 12th 2016

“That girl isn’t just trouble of the not-a-team-player, not-a-reliable-runner variety. She’s trouble of the devious, manipulative, too-f***ing-hot-for-her-own good variety. She’s the kind of girl who causes trouble merely by existing, and then makes sure to cause more.
And the last thing I need right now is more trouble.”

A failing farm.
His father’s debt.
And a struggling college track team.
Will Langstrom has too many responsibilities, and the last thing he needs is Olivia Finnegan, a beautiful but troubled new transfer student.

A smart mouth.
A strong right hook.
And a secret that could destroy her.
Olivia is her own worst enemy, with a past she can’t seem to escape, and the last person she wants help from is a cocky track coach she can never seem to please.
Refusing to be pushed away, Will is determined to save her.
And determined to resist an attraction that could destroy them both.

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I’ve been really in the mood for a New Adult contemporary and Waking Olivia seemed like the perfect book to get my NA fix. It kind of did but not really in a positive way.

I really liked the plot of this book and the sports aspect. There was a lot of great plot points and it did keep my interest the whole time I was reading. I really liked how the author took the time to introduce the reader to the characters and didn’t just dump a bunch of backstory on the reader.

However, I didn’t like the characters. Olivia was so negative towards herself and it was annoying and a very typical trait in books that needs to end. She was always saying how she’s unlovable and no guy is ever going to see past her flaws. Honestly, I’m so sick of authors writing girls with no self esteem. They can write confident male characters but use a girl’s lack of self esteem to further the plot. Plus, Olivia was just a bitch pretty much 100% of time. Sure, she’s had a crappy life but that doesn’t excuse her bad behavior.
Don’t even get me started on Will. He was a jerk from the second he was introduced and he only gave a crap about Olivia when he felt sorry for her. He was always thinking about her physical appearance and was always alluding that Olivia used her good looks to get what she wanted and that men are so helpless around girls like her. On top of that, he cheated on his girlfriend and that is never okay. He treated his girlfriend like crap almost the entire book and I couldn’t stand to read from his perspective. There was so much angst and it made this book exhaustingly boring.

Overall, I wanted to like this book but the characters are awful and I hated them both. Olivia and Will sum up everything I hate in New Adult books and just reminded me why this genre needs severe help.

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Review: Consent by Nancy Ohlin

24853763Consent by Nancy Ohlin

Published November 10th 2015

Bea has a secret.

Actually, she has more than one. There’s her dream for the future that she can’t tell anyone—not her father and not even her best friend, Plum.

And now there’s Dane Rossi. Dane is hot, he shares Bea’s love of piano, and he believes in her.

He’s also Bea’s teacher.

When their passion for music crosses into passion for each other, Bea finds herself falling completely for Dane. She’s never felt so wanted, so understood, so known to her core. But the risk of discovery carries unexpected surprises that could shake Bea entirely. Bea must piece together what is and isn’t true about Dane, herself, and the most intense relationship she’s ever experienced.

I read one of Nancy Ohlin’s other books, Thorn Abbey, years ago and I didn’t really like it that much but I really wanted to give Consent a chance. And honestly, I wish I hadn’t.
Consent started out kinda slow and the writing was weird and even though the writing did get better, it still wasn’t that great. I didn’t like the way the teacher-student “romance” was portrayed. It didn’t really discourage or warn the reader about what could happen when you get involved in a bad relationship. There was a very pedophilic nature about the relationship and I just didn’t feel right about this book. It was written in such a weird way. Like, the relationship was written in a normal way. Like it was a love story. Like everything was okay.
Every time the author compared the teacher to Kit Harrington, I died a little inside. Honestly, it was just awful. High school student/teacher relationships should never be romanticized in any way but Consent did just that.

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Review: I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes

18144124I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes

Published May 27th 2014

A breakneck race against time…and an implacable enemy.

An anonymous young woman murdered in a run-down hotel, all identifying characteristics dissolved by acid.

A father publicly beheaded in the blistering heat of a Saudi Arabian public square.

A notorious Syrian biotech expert found eyeless in a Damascus junkyard.

Smoldering human remains on a remote mountainside in Afghanistan.

A flawless plot to commit an appalling crime against humanity.

One path links them all, and only one man can make the journey.

I’d never heard of this book before it was recommend to me on Instagram. I started it a few weeks ago and I really had to push to finish this book. It was fast paced but there was so many cliches and I just didn’t like the dialogue. It felt fake and unnatural. And this book is over 600 pages. After about 200 pages, I was ready to quit. I wasn’t a fan of the main character. He was really unlikable and I just didn’t want to read about him. I didn’t like the way most of the women in this book were written. The main character is sexist and awful. I didn’t like the way Islamic culture was talked about in this book.
Honestly, I hated this book. I don’t even know how I managed to finish.

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