Monday, March 30, 2015

I'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios [Review]

I'll Meet You There4 out of 5 Robots!

I'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios

Genre: YA Contemporary
Release: February 3, 2015
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co
My Copy: Purchased
Reviewer: Shannon

Book Summary:
If seventeen-year-old Skylar Evans were a typical Creek View girl, her future would involve a double-wide trailer, a baby on her hip, and the graveyard shift at Taco Bell. But after graduation, the only thing standing between straightedge Skylar and art school are three minimum-wage months of summer. Skylar can taste the freedom—that is, until her mother loses her job and everything starts coming apart. Torn between her dreams and the people she loves, Skylar realizes everything she’s ever worked for is on the line.

Nineteen-year-old Josh Mitchell had a different ticket out of Creek View: the Marines. But after his leg is blown off in Afghanistan, he returns home, a shell of the cocksure boy he used to be. What brings Skylar and Josh together is working at the Paradise—a quirky motel off California’s dusty Highway 99. Despite their differences, their shared isolation turns into an unexpected friendship and soon, something deeper.

(Courtesy of the Publisher)

Shannon's Thoughts:
This book was very different than Heather's first book I read (Something Real).  It was much more raw and I felt the character's hopefulness and hopelessness even more keenly.  But it still had that great relationship push and pull that I liked in Something Real, especially where the family relationships were concerned.  I'll Meet You There is definitely not as sweet as Something Real, but that's what I appreciated the most about it.

Here is what I liked:
**I loved the friendship/romance between Skylar and Josh.  It was sweet, but certainly not perfect.  They recognize the demons they are fighting and find solace and comfort in each other.  I especially liked how Sky treats Josh.  I wouldn’t say this is a “love saves the day” sort of story, but their romance definitely makes them both think outside of themselves and see there is more to their lives than depression, oppression, poverty and PTSD.

**I liked how Josh’s PTSD was dealt with.  I liked that even though he found some hope in Sky, it was still not “fixed” and that he knew it was a long road to recovery. 

**I loved most of the supporting characters.  Especially Marge the motel owner, who was truly a friend to both of them.  I also like Sky’s best friend, Dylan, who represented everything Sky didn’t want in life.  I even liked how the Sky’s mom was handled.  I didn’t particularly like her, but I liked how she didn’t just magically come around and their relationship was sticky and complicated.  

**Lastly, I loved the rawness.  The “good” characters are certainly not angels.  They have baggage, they make mistakes.  There is a lot of despair all around and these characters are trying to dig themselves out of their holes. 

Here is what I didn't like:
**I clashed a lot with Sky.  I found her condescending attitude to be very off putting.  She really felt she was better than everyone and it showed.  It bothered me a lot actually.  Especially where her best friend was concerned.  Sky constantly makes these little side comments about her friend’s morality.  Basically, she thinks her friend is slutty and it starts to devolve into some light slut-shaming, which is a HUGE pet peeve of mine.  But because her friend wears short dresses and is a teenage mother, while Sky is a virgin then obviously Sky is a better person.  Right?  Wrong!  Grr.  Authors, please stop this.

**As much as I liked the rawness (hey, look!  Teenagers swear!), sometimes Josh was hard to take.  I really liked him as a character, but man, some of the things that came out of his mouth are not okay.  Granted, he starts to recognize how offensive his words can be, but it can be uncomfortable to read. 

Overall, a really good read! I loved Josh and Sky's friendship/romance.  I loved the complicated relationships between everyone.  And I enjoyed Josh and Sky becoming better versions of themselves.  Plus the banter is fun and cute and sweet.  

Sunday, March 29, 2015

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

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight4 out of 5 Robots!

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

Genre: YA Contemporary
Release: January 2nd, 2012
Hardcover: 236 Pages
Publisher: Poppy/Little Brown
My Copy: Purchased
Reviewer: Shannon

Book Summary:
Four minutes changes everything. Hadley Sullivan 17 misses her flight at JFK airport, is late to her father's second wedding in London with never-met stepmother. Hadley meets the perfect boy. Oliver is British, sits in her row. A long night on the plane passes in a blink, but the two lose track in arrival chaos. Can fate bring them together again?

(Courtesy of the Publisher)

Shannon's Thoughts:
This book was adorbs.  Why did I wait so long to read it?!  Well, actually, I can answer that.  I read So This is What Happy Looks Like and I wasn’t very impressed.  So this sat on my Kindle for over a year.  But I finally broke down and read it.  I ended up devouring it in one day! I didn’t realize how short it was, but also I just didn't want to stop reading.  

It was the perfect mix of fluff and serious.  It is the kind of book where you want them to chase after each other.  You want that “running-through-the-airport” scene.  And you don’t even care that you want it.  That, my friends, is how a YA romance book should be.  But as much as I enjoyed Hadley and Oliver falling in love, I also liked the more serious things too.  I liked Hadley working through her feelings about her dad.  She had every reason to be upset, but it's hard when you find yourself still angry when everyone else is moving on.  Sometimes it is more comforting to stay wrapped up in that anger than to accept your new normal.  Change is scary.  I also liked Oliver's complicated relationship with his dad.  Everyone works through everything, of course, but who cares!  This book is that adorable!  Need something sweet, fluffy, and fun?  This may be your book.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Unleashed by Sophie Jordan [Joint Review]

Unleashed (Uninvited, #2) 3 out of 5 Robots!

Unleashed by Sophie Jordan

Series: Uninvited #2
Genre: YA Dystopian
Release: February 24, 2015
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Harper Teen
My Copy: Purchased
Reviewer: Julia & Shannon

Book Summary:
Unleashed, the romantic, high-stakes sequel to New York Times bestselling author Sophie Jordan's Uninvited, is perfect for fans of James Patterson's Confessions of a Murder Suspect.

Davy has spent the last few months trying to come to terms with the fact that she tested positive for the kill gene HTS (also known as Homicidal Tendency Syndrome). She swore she would not let it change her, and that her DNA did not define her . . . but then she killed a man.

Now on the run, Davy must decide whether she'll be ruled by the kill gene or if she'll follow her heart and fight for her right to live free. But with her own potential for violence lying right beneath the surface, Davy doesn't even know if she can trust herself.

(Courtesy of the Publisher)

Julia and Shannon's Thoughts:
1.  In a sentence or two, describe how you felt about this book.
Julia:  Unleashed is frustrating and disappointing. As excited as I was to read this book, the excitement died pretty quickly... There isn't really any action and the novel turned into Davy's love story/self-loathing. 
Shannon: I'm not even sure what I just read.  This book feels like a large departure from the first book which dealt a lot more with HTS and the government's response to it.  This book is all about Davy's identity crisis and her love triangle.  I...wasn't a fan.

2. What was your favorite part?  Least favorite part?
Julia: My favorite part is probably Caden... He is a new character and he commanding, compassionate and a little badass. My least favorite part is the development of the story. Nothing happens! Literally, nothing happens. The ending is so anticlimactic! 
Shannon: I agree, I liked Caden well enough.  And I liked that the book dealt with the consequence of killing someone - even if it is in self defense.  My least favorite part was that this book barely dealt with anything it set up in the first book!  Davy finds herself involved with The Resistance...but they literally do nothing.  Instead, all the focus is on Davy and Caden.  And the ending is incredibly anti-climatic.  I don't get it.  It's like Sophie Jordan got bored with HTS and wanted to write a romance novel instead.

3. How did you feel about Davy's character development?
Julia: Frustrated! Her character development... In one breath, she is haunted by murdering someone to save someone she cares about survive. But then, she has no problem at all and is totally guilt free for killing to save her own life? But she also doesn't accept herself.......uhhh... Merp. In my mind she walked around this entire novel with a scowl on her face.
Shannon:  Agreed.  Davy is hard to take in this novel.  She is prickly and defensive and I honestly cannot see what Caden sees in her.  Like, why would he want to with her when all she does is act cold towards him?  I don't get it.  I appreciate that Davy was haunted by the events that happened in the first book, but it still didn't make me root for her at all.

4. What did you think of the new characters?
Julia: I enjoyed them. I did really like compassionate Caden. We really don't get to know any other characters except Junie, Tabatha and Phelps and though they're pretty major secondary characters... I also feel like they were kind of glazed over because I had no inkling of care or entertainment from them.
Shannon: They were alright.  I had no real complaints, although they seemed pretty standard.  But I did miss the old characters.  They really are not in this book at all.  

5. How does this book compare to the first one?
Julia: This book blows compared to the first one. Uninvited made my heart ache and I literally couldn't put it down. 
Shannon: I felt like I was reading a different book.  I liked the first book more than I expected and I liked this one less than I expected.

6.  How many stars would you rate this book?  Who would you recommend it to?
Julia: 3 stars. I don't have much to say even about the rating, it was good enough to keep me reading but I wasn't pumped about it. Definitely suggest reading this if you read Uninvited so you can see how the characters end up
Shannon: I would still give it 3 stars.  I was fairly entertained while I was reading.  It was really only afterwards that I felt a little cheated.  I think fans of Uninvited should read it and see if they felt the same way we did.  


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