Blonde Ops by Charlotte Bennardo and Natalie Zaman


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“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,

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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”:

 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…

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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.


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!!