Deliverance by C.J. Redwine: Part 1

 It has definitely been a long time since I’ve written a post on this blog, but I have two good excuses:

1. I haven’t had any good books to read up until this point,

2. and I’m a freshman in college who’s getting used to the mass quantity of writing/studying that is required.

Thankfully, though, after two weeks of preparation, I got ahead enough to start reading C.J. Redwine’s, “Deliverance.” I’ve got one day to finish this puppy before school requires my attention, so I am currently speed reading.

fast baby reader

SLEEP IS FOR THE WEAK! As I stated above, I don’t have a lot of spare time to read and watch television, but I found out today that “Once Upon a Time’s” third season just came on to Netflix. Really? All summer long I’ve been waiting for something like this to happen, and then of course everything I want to watch/read is released simultaneously. WHY?!!!!!

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I kinda want to forget about school,

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but that’s probably not the best idea this early in my college career. But all of THIS is beside the point. The true purpose of this post was to say that I am halfway through “Deliverance,” and that I will (hopefully) finish it today and have a post written by the end of the week. Here’s to miracles happening ’round the world.

have fun with that

Blonde Ops by Charlotte Bennardo and Natalie Zaman

 

blonde ops book

“Blonde Ops” by  Charlotte Bennardo and  Natalie Zaman

Quality of writing: 3 out of 5 stars.

My rating: 2 out 5 stars.

Goodreads Summary:

Pitched as The Devil Wears Prada meets James Bond for teens, featuring a fashion magazine intern in Rome who uncovers a plot to kidnap the First Lady.

Expelled from yet another boarding school for hacking, sixteen-year-old Rebecca “Bec” Jackson is shipped off to Rome to intern for Parker Phillips, the editor-in-chief of one of the world’s top fashion magazines. But when a mysterious accident lands Parker in a coma, former supermodel and notorious drama queen Candace Worthington takes the reins of the magazine. The First Lady is in Rome for a cover shoot, and all hands are on deck to make sure her visit goes smoothly.

Bec quickly realizes that Parker’s “accident” may not have been quite so accidental, and when the First Lady’s life is threatened, Bec is determined to uncover the truth. On top of that, Bec must contend with bitchy models, her new boss, Candace, who is just as difficult as the tabloids say, and two guys, a hunky Italian bike messenger with a thousand-watt smile and a fashion blogger with a razor-sharp wit, who are both vying for her heart.

Can Bec catch the person who’s after the First Lady, solve the mystery of Parker’s accident, and juggle two cute boys at the same time? Blonde Ops is a fun, action-packed romp through the hallways of a fashion magazine and the cobblestone streets of Rome.

I was excited for this book, I really was. I had seen “Blonde Ops” in Barnes and Noble and had wanted to buy it because its description made it sound like a cute, light summer read, but I didn’t end up purchasing it on that visit since I don’t have much cash to just randomly buy books with, unless, of course, I have a great coupon. Eventually, though, amazon had it for a reasonable price and I really needed a fun book to read, so I bought it. Whenever I talk to my sisters about this book and its purchase, I start the conversation with, “In a moment of mental obstruction…” because of how much I ended up disliking this book.

I feel awful for disliking this book so much because it wasn’t technically a “bad” book, but it wasn’t a  good one either. It sounded so cute, but while I was reading it, I was like,

pushing daisies 6

It just baffled me how a girl could be such a good hacker, yet SOOOO stupid. If you have a hacker of sorts as a main character, shouldn’t they be smart? I’m assuming (since I don’t have a lot of computer skills) that being a good hacker requires a lot of brains, talent, and commitment, especially to become as good as Bec supposedly was. But Rebecca was completely lacking all of those qualities. She was unable to commit to anything (other than hacking), she never seemed to have used her brain cells during this book, and as a reader, I never figured out if she was good at anything (other than hacking, of course).

My complete and utter disdain for this female character made me graze most of the book (I do feel bad about that), and I just wanted to get away from Bec as soon as possible. I couldn’t even enjoy the descriptions of Rome because of how irritatingly delusional Bec was (this made me very sad because I adore Italy and reading descriptions of it)! And Bec wasn’t just stupid in “Blonde Ops,” she was also delusional. I say delusional because there were moments where she would go gallivanting off with boys who were total strangers to her while in a foreign country, and somehow managed to not think that maybe she shouldn’t hang out with these guys because they could be potential kidnappers or killers. *Slow Clap* She also come to a point where both the guys she liked could have possibly been her guardian’s almost-killers. Whoops! her bad! Oh, but even worse is the fact that she continued to hang out with them and sneak off without anyone’s knowledge. Maybe while I was grazing over this book, she did something really smart that justified her actions, but I really don’t think so; plus she didn’t have any character growth, so that’s another downside to this book.

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Another thing about this book was that I never felt endeared to a character. I thought that I might like Dante because he seemed to be nice, but I didn’t have enough time with him in this book to actually care. It made me sad because, given a chance, he would have been a great character to read about. *Sighs* “Blonde Ops” had the potential to be a really fun and cute read, but it just didn’t do it for me.

I am truly sorry for my harsh review, but for me, “Blonde Ops” was not a good fit.

Outcast by C.J. Redwine (Defiance #0.5)

outcast by c.j. redwine

“Outcast” by C.J. Redwine

 5 out of 5 stars.

Link to Goodreads Summary of “Outcast”:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18652243-outcast

 I found out that C.J. Redwine was coming out with this novella soon after I finished “Deception,” and I had REALLY wanted to read it because, well, I love this trilogy. The only problem was that I had to wait from September until now (July) to get my hands on it. Waiting for it felt like this:

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It felt like an eternity!!! But the wait is now over, and (God bless her) I got to read it on my sister’s ipod touch a few days ago. Once it was downloaded onto the ipod and I got to touch it, I was like…

ansel elgort1

It was a magical feeling, and this novella is also magical.

I had really liked Quinn in “Deception,” so I was curious to see his life before he met Jared, Rachel, and Logan, and before he and his sister, Willow, got cast out of their Tree Village. Thank God, this was one of those times when curiosity didn’t kill the cat!!

What I liked about this novella was that it made me love Quinn as a character even more than I originally had. Quinn is such a fantastic character to read about, and I wish that this was a full size book instead of just a novella because I wanted to get to know Quinn as a person, not from Rachel or Logan’s point of views, but from his own. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely ADORE Logan and reading from his point of view and I enjoy Rachel’s too, but I just really connected with this character and I wanted to continue with his story as long as possible. I am just hoping that he is in “Deliverance” a lot and that (crossing our fingers) C.J. doesn’t kill him off at the end of this trilogy.

Another thing that I really enjoyed about “Outcast” was that it helped me to appreciate Willow as a character more because I now understand the circumstances that shaped her into the girl we see in “Defiance” and “Deception.” Willow has a more harsh and cynical personality than Quinn does, and so he’s the one who’s been carrying around the burden of a heavy conscience. I also liked seeing how they were before they got cast out, and what events caused them to be removed from the only home they’d ever known. It was awful how their father had treated them, and I was glad that Quinn and Willow got to break free of that, but it was also sad because they had to leave everything that was familiar behind them.

I really liked reading this novella because not only was it fantastic, but it got me excited for “Deliverance,” which is coming out in August. Oh, and after you finish the e-book, there are four chapters from the third book available.

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I’m going to say it again: MAGICAL! I want to read the rest of it, but I also dread the time when it comes out; a reader can only take so much. I’ve had lot of authors who’ve ripped my heart out (not in the good kind of way), and a lot who’ve been really good to me. I’m just hoping that C.J. is a part of the latter group because this trilogy is very dear to me. Here’s to hoping…

Overall, “Outcast” is a must read for any C.J. Redwine fan. Loved it!!

 

The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand

A while ago I had heard that Cynthia Hand (one of my favorite authors) was coming out with a new book and that it was going to be a standalone. 

screams jimmy

Some people like standalones, some people don’t. I, however, am cool with both, but I do love the fact that I won’t have to wait another two or three years before the story wraps itself up. Oh, and I am also glad to announce that said novel now has a cover.

austen powers

As happy as I am that the cover came out for this book, I am a little perturbed that I have to wait until February before  I can actually get a copy of “The Last Time We Say Goodbye.” Alright, enough talking/writing, here’s the cover…

cynthia hand

“The Last Time We Say Goodbye” by Cynthia Hand

Release Date: February 10, 2015

Publishing House: HarperTeen

Format: Hardcover 400 pages

Goodreads Summary:

There’s death all around us.
We just don’t pay attention.
Until we do.

The last time Lex was happy, it was before. When she had a family that was whole. A boyfriend she loved. Friends who didn’t look at her like she might break down at any moment.

Now she’s just the girl whose brother killed himself. And it feels like that’s all she’ll ever be.

As Lex starts to put her life back together, she tries to block out what happened the night Tyler died. But there’s a secret she hasn’t told anyone-a text Tyler sent, that could have changed everything.

Lex’s brother is gone. But Lex is about to discover that a ghost doesn’t have to be real to keep you from moving on.

From New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Hand, The Last Time We Say Goodbye is a gorgeous and heart-wrenching story of love, loss, and letting go.

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

 

jenny han to all the boys i've loved before book

“To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before” by Jenny Han

4-4 1/2 out of 5 stars.

Everyone has their own way of dealing with a broken heart. Some eat chocolate or ice cream, some watch endless amount of romantic movies, and some listen to love songs, wallowing in their pain. The options are practically limitless, but the way Lara Jean Covey prefers to ease the pain of a broken heart is by writing a letter to the boy who broke it. She holds nothing back while writing the letter, and once written, it is to be placed it in her teal colored hat box. No one will ever read the letter but Lara Jean; somehow, writing about what she felt while she was with that person helps her to let them go. Why should she dwell on a relationship that was only ever in her head, on someone who will never feel the same way that she does? Why not write a goodbye letter, and move on in life?

Her letters always seemed harmless, but when they get sent, Lara Jean has to decide how to clean up the mess she made in writing them. The problem with tidying up her mess, though, is that she doesn’t know where to start! Lara Jean has a long journey ahead of her if she is to resolve this catastrophe that has affected everyone she cares about. Can she protect herself from getting hurt while she tries to fix things with her family and friends, or will Lara Jean end up with another letter in her hat box and a broken heart?

I really liked “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before.” It was one of those reads that you’ve heard about from people or seen on the shelves of Barnes and Noble, but you just never thought to pick it up on you own. I probably wouldn’t have read it if it wasn’t for my sister; her description of the characters and story made me want to read it, and I am very glad I got the opportunity.

Lara Jean is in my top five favorite female characters (America from “The Selection” is #1 at the moment) because of how real she was. A lot of heroines that I have read about are so unrealistic, and I guess a lot of times I don’t connect with them. I may like the book, but it’s like there is something holding me back from really liking the main female character; they’re not someone (usually) who I would want to be friends with in real life. Lara Jean, however, would be an awesome friend to have. She’s funny, sweet, smart, and a little quirky, and I could imagine her being a real high school student just trying to survive after something REALLY embarrassing had happened to her. If I was in her shoes, I would have crawled under a rock to wait it out so I wouldn’t have to deal with the humiliation.

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Lara Jean, though, took the situation in stride (granted, she’s fictional) and it made for some very funny situations. They were so funny in fact, that I would actually burst out laughing (at inopportune times, I might add). I tried to stop myself from laughing out loud, at least while I was hanging out with people, but it could not be contained.

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I haven’t had a book do that to me in a long time and I forgot what it was like to have one make me burst out laughing like this one did.

“To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before” is worth a lot more than laughs, and it deals with some pretty big topics that I think a lot of teens/people eventually deal with in life. I also loved that this book didn’t ended up being one of those awful, empty, vain books where the characters’ minds are so vacant that there is no potential for character growth. I was so proud of Lara Jean for how much she grew as a person in this book. Jenny Han didn’t compromise her character’s (unlike a lot of authors I’ve read) personality, making her someone she wasn’t, she just helped Lara Jean grow up a little and moved her in the right direction. It was cool to see that happen in a more realistic way. Now that you know a little about Lara Jean (I can’t tell you too much because it will ruin the story), let’s talk about some of the other characters.

Josh, Josh, Josh…

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At first, I kind of liked his character and I wanted to know more about him and his relationship with Margot, but the longer I read this book, the more I came to dislike his character (you’ll understand why I disliked him once you read this book).  In the beginning I felt bad for Josh, and I wanted Margot and him to resolve their issues because you knew that they wanted to get back together, but then he started to get all moody towards Lara Jean (kind of unintentionally, but still), and it was really irritating. I felt like he didn’t deserve to have Lara Jean as a friend and that she was way too good for him. The final nail his coffin (for me) happened in the last couple of chapters; it was just SOOOOO selfish of him, and what he did put a lot of other people in bad positions.

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I was done with the character long before that scene had happened, but it made me dislike him even more.*Sighs*

Josh and his awfulness aside, I felt like Jenny Han did a really good job of creating believable situations between friends and siblings, especially between the Song sisters. Margot, Lara Jean, and Kitty all love each other, but that doesn’t make things easy, and I liked seeing their dynamic as they went about life. I do have to say that Margot was a bit cold for my taste, and the scene that really made me dislike her attitude was when she came home for Christmas break. Something happened and she treated Lara Jean really terribly when it wasn’t even her sister’s fault. I get that people lash out, but that was unwarranted! I do have to give props to the author, though, because after all their fights, the sisters decide to mend their broken fences and forgive one another. It reminded me of the last epic scene in “Frozen.” I’m always up for a story about sisters sticking together!

The last person I want to discuss in Peter. In the beginning of the book you know that he’s the popular, super good-looking guy at school. Peter’s the kind of guy that everyone either has a crush on, or they want to be like him. He was a good guy character, but when I first started this book, I didn’t like or dislike him; I guess you could say I was neutral when it came to Peter. I didn’t care whether he was in a scene or not, I was just reading “To All The Boys I’ve Love Before” because of how much I liked Lara Jean. But the more he was in the book, the more he endeared himself to me. His character snuck up on me when I wasn’t paying attention, and once I finally took a moment in the middle of the book to absorb what I liked and disliked, that’s when I realized how much I loved his character.

I don’t  know all the reasons why I ended up liking Peter so much, but I do know that I loved that he got along so well with Kitty and how nice he was to her and Lara Jean, and I also liked that he fit in with the Song/Covey family so well. It was really cute and sweet, and I liked what his character brought to this story. Lara Jean’s and Peter’s fake relationship was also quite funny at times (there’s a scene that involves a car, antiques, and competitive spirit. I was laughing so hard I almost cried!), and I really loved that Lara Jean brought out the best in him.

“To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before” by Jenny Han ended well, but it was on a bittersweet note and it even made me tear up a bit.

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This was a beautifully written and sweet book. I so enjoyed Lara Jean as a character, and I loved seeing her grow into a young woman. This is a really great coming of age story. Loved it!!

 

Winter by Marissa Meyer: Release Delay

This morning I read something about Marissa Meyer’s book, “Winter,” being released nine months later than it should be. It was supposed to come out in February of 2015, but now it is set for November. My reactions to this discovery:

shockedI was quite shocked since it was supposed to come out in February,

jack sparrowthen I started to calculate how long my wait from “Cress” to “Winter” will be, and I started to scream internally…

frozen disneythen I was like, what the **** is happening to make her delay it so long?!

sheldonCrap, it’s sinking in (again) that it’s a year and five months until this book comes out.

Supernatural blahI am also wondering why Marissa had enough time to write a novella if “Winter” is so delayed? We want “Winter” not another novella/miniature book. We don’t have time for this!!

angstI miss Thorne already…

schmidt new girl 1If “Winter” is delayed into 2016, I am gonna be really angry.

not funnyI wonder if they (authors) find our pain funny, or something? Well, it’s not.

little mermaid 2I wonder if authors know what we go through for them?

Please forgive the rant, but I can’t take this from authors anymore.  I love Marissa Meyer dearly, but I find this to be cruel of her and her publisher to make us wait so long, and I hope that by the time “Winter” comes out I’ll still be into this series. Tastes change a lot in a year or two, and I hope for Marissa’s sake (and mine) that we’ll all still care about the story that has yet to be finished.

“Chasing Shadows” is Finally Coming Out

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I am so proud of my sister for getting her second book published!!!

Originally posted on Ashley Townsend:

It’s finally happening! “Chasing Shadows” is being released this year. . . . In PAPERBACK! That’s right people: my precious sequel to “Rising Shadows” (and my favorite overall storyline of the trilogy to write and read) is coming out in September of this year in ebook AND physical formats. Can you smell the enthusiasm? I am already envisioning that moment when I get to hold and sniff and—yes—more than likely lick it. But, hey, I’ve waited for what feels like forever to hold my precious in my hands. I might even strap it in a car seat, pop it in a perambulator, and take it for a stroll around the park, laughing all the way. . . . You think I’m joking. -_- When I unwrap my arc copies, I’m going to be like this old lady and go all “My precious!” on them.

      Funny GIF My precious

A long, long time was spent holding…

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