Monday, April 28, 2014

Book Blogger Summer Reading Program

Hosted by Katie at Katie's Book Blog.

I am challenging myself to read 18 books from the beginning of May to the beginning of September.

My Goodreads Shelf.

Books Read:
1. Year of Mistaken Discoveries by Eileen Cook
2. What Mario Scietto Says by Emmy Laybourne
3. City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare
4. The Fear Trials by Lindsay Cummings
5. City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare
6. City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare
7. Gasp by Lisa McMann
8. Nothing to Lose by Lee Child
9. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
10. Gone Tomorrow by Lee Child

Don't Look Back by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Book: Don't Look Back
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
# of Pages: 276 (ebook)
Challenge: 2014 Ebook Challenge
Rating: 3.5 stars

Goodreads Summary:
Samantha is a stranger in her own life. Until the night she disappeared with her best friend, Cassie, everyone said Sam had it all-popularity, wealth, and a dream boyfriend.

Sam has resurfaced, but she has no recollection of who she was or what happened to her that night. As she tries to piece together her life from before, she realizes it's one she no longer wants any part of. The old Sam took "mean girl" to a whole new level, and it's clear she and Cassie were more like best enemies. Sam is pretty sure that losing her memories is like winning the lottery. She's getting a second chance at being a better daughter, sister, and friend, and she's falling hard for Carson Ortiz, a boy who has always looked out for her-even if the old Sam treated him like trash.

But Cassie is still missing, and the facts about what happened to her that night isn't just buried deep inside of Sam's memory-someone else knows, someone who wants to make sure Sam stays quiet. All Sam wants is the truth, and if she can unlock her clouded memories of that fateful night, she can finally move on. But what if not remembering is the only thing keeping Sam alive?

My Thoughts:

While I did like Don't Look Back a lot more than Obsidian, I just did not end up liking it as much as I hoped I would. 

I was instantly sold when i read the synopsis for this book, and couldn't wait to dive into it. 

I thought Samantha was a good, likable protagonist. I felt bad for her with the stress and struggle she had to go through after losing her memory and the disappearance of her best friend. I did like that she was willing to redeem herself of her previous ways. I also liked her brother, Scott, and his girlfriend, Julie. They were both very supportive of Samantha. I just wish that they had more appearances throughout the book. Carson was kind and patient with Samantha despite the way she had treated him before she lost her memory.

As for Samantha's friends, I couldn't stand them. And her boyfriend, Del? Ugh! He was such an asshole. I just didn't see how Sam could have put up with them before or after she lost her memory.

The thing that disappointed me the most about this book was the mystery or lack thereof. The storyline was pretty predictable and it was obvious who the evil doer was. And the reasoning behind the evil doer's actions wasn't even that believable.

Though Don't Look Back did have some high points and I really wanted to love it, I found it to be somewhat underwhelming.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Splintered by A.G. Howard

Book: Splinted (Splintered #1)
Author: A.G. Howard
# of Pages: 297 (ebook)
Challenge: 2014 Ebook Challenge
Rating: 3 stars

Goodreads Summary:
This stunning debut captures the grotesque madness of a mystical under-land, as well as a girl’s pangs of first love and independence. Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.
When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own.

My Thoughts:

I was very excited about this book, but in the end I ended up having mixed feelings about it..

A.G. Howard's writing was amazing. I was hooked within a couple pages. Her depiction of Wonderland was vivid and intriguing. Though I do have to say that the pacing was a bit slow at times.

At first I thought Alyssa was a different but cool protagonist. But, when she came face to face with Morpheus, she sort of becomes a different person. She develops a semi insta-love for him and that's after reading ninety or so pages about how much she wants to be with Jeb. And although she does prove herself to be clever, she does make some reckless decisions.

Of the two love interests, I prefer Jeb. He is sweet, smart, and an awesome friend to Alyssa. It was easy to see why she liked him so much. I'm probably in the minority when I say this, but I hated Morpheus from his very first appearance in the story. He was a greedy, manipulative jerk. There were several instances when I really would have loved to punch him in the face.

The big twist in this story was an interesting surprise. I thought it added a witty uniqueness to this retelling. And even though there are a few unanswered questions, I really liked the ending.

Overall, Splintered was an okay read for me. I liked getting to see Wonderland from a different perspective, but Morpheus and the love triangle were a letdown.