Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Ultimate Blog Challenge

Hi guys! 
Happy New Year!! 
So I've decided to do this thing called the Ultimate Blog Challenge. ( DUN DUN DUN!)
It's this blog event where you post at least 31 blog posts for the entire month of January.  

I'm really excited to try it out, as I've been *sort of* training for it these two weeks during break (lol). 
Again, I can't guarantee I'll be able to keep up with all 31 posts (school and life), but I'm going to try my absolute best!
If you guys do decide to do this challenge (which I totally encourage everyone to!), leave a comment below!
Wishing everyone luck!:) 

Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas Challenge: Defy

 Author: Sara B. Larson 
Release Date:  January 7th, 2014 
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Genre(s): YA Fantasy
Pages: 336
*1st book in a series*


Summary (Goodreads):
A lush and gorgeously written debut, packed with action, intrigue, and a thrilling love triangle.

Alexa Hollen is a fighter. Forced to disguise herself as a boy and serve in the king's army, Alex uses her quick wit and fierce sword-fighting skills to earn a spot on the elite prince's guard. But when a powerful sorcerer sneaks into the palace in the dead of night, even Alex, who is virtually unbeatable, can't prevent him from abducting her, her fellow guard and friend Rylan, and Prince Damian, taking them through the treacherous wilds of the jungle and deep into enemy territory.

The longer Alex is held captive with both Rylan and the prince, the more she realizes that she is not the only one who has been keeping dangerous secrets. And suddenly, after her own secret is revealed, Alex finds herself confronted with two men vying for her heart: the safe and steady Rylan, who has always cared for her, and the dark, intriguing Damian. With hidden foes lurking around every corner, is Alex strong enough to save herself and the kingdom she's sworn to protect?


*~Thank you so much to Scholastic for sending me this copy via Netgalley!~*

 So before I start this review I just wanted to say:

This is my first arc!!!!:D
OMG!!!!! THIS IS SO EXCITING!!!!!!!!!!!
okay I'm done:)

Maybe one more:D

OK I'm really done now:)
Time to get serious:


So going into this book I was a little wary.  Why? Well, the first thing I see in the plot blurb is thrilling love triangle

My opinion on love triangles changes depending on a number of factors (my mood, how well it’s written, etc.)  By my low rating, you can guess how well that was written.  But it wasn’t just the love triangle (which will be discussed more later) that contributed to my rating.  There was also the fact that Alexa was a Mary Sue and a “great” conversationalist. And cardboard characters? EVERYWHERE.  However, despite everything, this book did have a few redeeming qualities, which I'll address at the end.

So let’s start with the love triangle aspect.

The love triangle just consumed the book.  Literally.

Pretty much like that

The first half of the book was actually okay.  I was enjoying the plot, despite the Mary Sue girlie over there.  The world building was okay too: jungles, a few kingdoms here and there, mention of sorcerers.  It wasn’t much, but I’ve seen worse; besides I’m assuming the world is going to be explained more in the second novel.  (Am I going to stick around for that sequel? Eh.  That’s up in the air right now.) Then we hit the half way mark, BAM!  Suddenly revelations fly out from all sides. Bam! Character A: I knew Alexa was a girl! Bam! Character B: I knew too! Bam! Character B: I’ve been hiding someone! Bam!

 You get the idea.

After everyone “finds” out Alexa is a girl, that’s when the real love triangle begins- but really, it’s no contest.  It was extremely obvious, even before everyone confessed they knew already found out actually, who she liked in the beginning and who she was going to stick with.   So I guess this book really doesn’t have a love triangle? Usually those words would be music to my ears, but then we’re left with the witty dialogue:
“I love you! But I don’t want to hurt Rylan!” *insert anguish here*
Repeat. And repeat.  One more time.  Repeat again.

In the second half of the book, pretty much everything revolves around that, and since she was the book (first person narration), her thoughts were consumed by her supposed anguish between the two guys- which, frankly, was just a waste of time, when we all know who she was going to go with.  The whole love triangle mess was just pointless, and it took away from the real meat of the story. 

*knock knock* 
Mary Sue? Meet Alexa.  I’m pretty sure you two are very well acquainted- after all, Alexa is you. 
Has rare powers: check
She is the ONE: check
Everyone is in love with her: check
Hardcore and kicks butt: check
Beats the captain of the guard who is twice her size and has never been beaten by ANYONE (*rolls eyes* even if she does have a magical power, that’s pushing it): check

See, I’m okay with Mary Sues at times- if they have some redeeming quality or have actually have a great/unique personality (rarely, but it’s happened before) or something like that.  But Alexa?  She’s exactly like the tons of generic YA heroines out there.  Replace her name with any other hardcore, "special" YA heroine, and the story would be able to function just as well.  She had no personality.   I thought she did at first; when she lost her brother, she had this internal struggle between wanting to keep up a stoic facade, but also to keep up the guise of being a boy.  It seemed like one of those moments where it was going to define her- make or break her.  But no.  She was blander than unsalted soup- which leads perfectly into my next point: cardboard characters.

 NO ONE (save Prince Damian) was developed character-wise.   I felt no connection to any of the characters because of their lack of development and for their lack of personality.  Rylan could be synonymous with wall.  Not even a brick wall. Just wall. He’s not worthy of any adjectives or articles.  Nothing about his past is explained; nothing about him is explained.  And the few instances I do get some personality it's just disguised anguish and regret- which isn’t even personality at all.

Alexa=unsalted soup.  

The rest of her guards= unsalted soup. 

Prince Damian? I had mixed feelings for this guy, but I can assure you none of those feelings included swooning.  He was actually the most complicated (I use this word very lightly) character in the novel.  He also showed a wide range of emotions, which was definitely something to celebrate. Damian was frustratingly picky with giving out information, but he had actual motives and reasons as to why he did the things he did. And actually, this book did have a decent plot underlying all that mess with the love triangle- and Damian helped to sort of bring focus to that hidden plot, even if Alexa was so preoccupied with his abs. (um???)

But there were a few redeeming qualities about this book.  The plot for one.  The first half of the book was pretty good.  I was really getting into it.  It's too bad that the plot gets lost in the second half of the novel, and I felt like a lot of it was sacrificed for the love triangle.  Everything was rushed, and things just started happening at once at the end.  (So it was that bam! Bam! Bam! episode all over again.)  But for the first half of the book, it was alright.

  Lisbet was also a character I sort of thought was a redeeming point okay maybe not a redeeming point, but I liked the quote of hers (about inner beauty and scars being a mark of courage) at the end.  The reason she wasn’t exactly a redeeming point was because she was frustratingly quiet throughout the novel.   She wouldn’t answer any questions, and she wouldn't explain why she didn't answer any questions. To be honest, I was getting annoyed with her.

Did that quote at the end make up for her attitude?
 No. Not really.  I liked it, but not that much.  

And she was really bitter towards Alexa (understandably) throughout the book, but at the end suddenly turned friendly.  Um?? I mean Alexa saved the world and all, but the level of hostility Lisbet had shown Alexa could not have been dropped that easily.

 The last redeeming point (and this has to do with the quote too) was the underlying theme about appearances (of course- the main character was dressed as a guy); I really liked the direction the book took it. It wasn’t about a drop dead gorgeous girl who needed constant reassuring that she was beautiful.  It also wasn’t about a drop dead gorgeous girl who knew she was beautiful.  Alexa knew she was plain, but she didn’t dwell on it.  Yes, every once in a while, she wanted to look/feel like a girl and wanted to be noticed as a girl, but that’s different than constantly whining about how ugly/gorgeous the heroine is.   I can't say she didn't change her appearance (because, well, she was dressed as a guy), but she did accept how she looked like and who she was.  And yes, she was insecure about her scars, but who wouldn’t be?  The thing that stood out to me was how Alexa accepted her scars as a mark of her courage and moved on.    

Final thoughts?  It was okay at first, but the bad outweighed the good in the end. 

Thanks for reading!:)

Rating: 2 out of 5

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Christmas Challenge: My Fair Godmother

4346365Author: Janette Rallison 
Release Date:  January 6th, 2009
Publisher: Walker Childrens
Genre(s): YA Fantasy
Pages: 311
*1st book in a series (has a companion novel)* 

After her boyfriend dumps her for her older sister, sophomore Savannah Delano wishes she could find a true prince to take her to the prom. Enter Chrissy (Chrysanthemum) Everstar: Savannah’s gum-chewing, cell phone–carrying, high heel-wearing Fair Godmother. Showing why she’s only Fair—because she’s not a very good fairy student—Chrissy mistakenly sends Savannah back in time to the Middle Ages, first as Cinderella, then as Snow White. Finally she sends Tristan, a boy in Savannah’s class, back instead to turn him into her prom-worthy prince. When Savannah returns to the Middle Ages to save Tristan, they must team up to defeat a troll, a dragon, and the mysterious and undeniably sexy Black Knight. Laughs abound in this clever fairy tale twist from a master of romantic comedy.

Sweet and fluffy fun!:)

There wasn’t much substance to this book, and the pacing was fast (like cheetah fast).  We went from one fairy-tale to another, and much of the details were sacrificed in order to get to the main plot with Tristan and the whole prince mess.  The part that did have substance was the message about inner beauty/personality over outer beauty.  That was a nice touch:) 

I totally didn’t expect that plot twist at the end.  I had thought it was Simon who was the Black Knight; I didn’t even dream that Prince Hugh would be on it.  Savannah was an okay character, not one of my favorite Janette Rallison heroines, but she’s still pretty cool.  She was a little annoying in the beginning, but she grew and changed throughout the novel, so there was pretty nice character development there. Tristan wasn’t very sah-woon worthy mainly because he was made from cardboard. (Not literally, but you know what I mean:-( ) I did enjoy Chrissy, despite her extreme snarkiness and unpunctual nature.  She was brutally honest, and I really appreciated that about her.  Chrissy (somewhat indirectly and with impatience) helped Savannah to see that what was inside mattered more than outer beauty,  and she helped bring about Savannah's character change by revealing her (Savannah's) shallowness to herself.  

I didn’t really have any major complaints about this one, except to say it wasn’t very memorable.  Just a one time read.  Great for easing book hangovers though. :)

Happy readings!
Rating: 2.5 out of 5

Sidekick Showcase Wk 2

Sidekick Showcase is a weekly meme hosted by the fantastic Jaclyn over at JC's Book Haven
My sidekick for the week:
Ms. Sweeney from There You'll Find Me
So I was going back and forth between neuro-science crazy Erin (who watches documentaries on brains when she gets nervous) and cranky, tough-on-the-outside-but-soft-on-the-inside Ms. Sweeney.  So this week I'm going with Ms. Sweeney and next week I'll go with Erin.  :)

There You'll Find Me rivals the Percy Jackson series as one of my all time favorites.   Ms. Jones writes with a lot of wit, humor,  and heart.  I feel like it's impossible to not love all the characters in this book from broken Finley to sah-woon worthy Beckett to mischievous Sister Maria.

Ms. Sweeney has gone through a lot in her life, and her story will pull at your heartstrings.  I can't say a lot about her at the risk of spoilers, but no matter what other impression you get of her, she has a BIG heart.  She's a woman who, much like Finley, is in need of healing, which makes her an unlikely perfect companion to Finley.   
So what are your side kicks this week?:)
Leave a comment!!:)

Friday, December 27, 2013

Feature and Follow #1

Hi there! *waves enthusiastically*
So this is my first time participating in a blog hop (hosted by the wonderful Rachel over at Parajunkee and the fabulous Alison over at Alison Can Read) , and I'm totally excited and ready to make new friends! :D


I don't bite! (So hopefully, you won't highlight this, but I cannot tell a lie. I do bite; I have a biting problem. BUT only when someone insults Percy Jackson! Honest! I mean, it's a side effect of passion and extreme love right? xD) 
Yep; there goes my potential friends. 


This week's question:

Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays! What books did Santa stuff your stocking with this holiday season? Do a holiday book haul for us! If you don’t celebrate just show off your books that you got this week. Pictures!!!

My answer:

wellll I don't quite have a llama face, but you get the idea xD

But it's to be expected (LOL).  My family/friends usually don't give me books or anything bookish related because they don't want to encourage "solitude," and they're always telling me how crying/muttering over fictional characters is not healthy..... PFFFFT! Passion I say! It's passion!

You tell 'em doctor!

On the bright side, I got this really cool Polaroid  camera- which I will be using to take pictures of the books I do have! xD

(side note: I'm really not this weird.  Honest! I'm just like this when I'm meeting new people :D)   

Leave a comment below (about anything! Your day, your books, your new fictional boyfriend, etc)!! I love comments!!

Happy New Year!

Christmas Challenge: Companions of the Night

248533Author: Vivian Vande Velde 
Release Date:  September 1st, 2002
Publisher: Magic Carpet Books
Genre(s): YA Paranormal
Pages: 212
*Stand alone ;(* 


When Kerry’s little brother forgets his stuffed bear at the laundry, Kerry ventures out at 11:00 p.m. to retrieve it for him. The laundry is deserted and kind of spooky, and while she’s there three men burst in, dragging a bound and bloodied young man they insist is a vampire. Kerry helps him escape, only to be caught up in a desperate game between vampire hunters and their prey.  

All of Vivian Vande Velde’s books NEED A SEQUEL!

So far I’ve read Dragon’s Bait and this one, and I need to know what happens to ALL OF THEM! DO THEY STAY TOGETHER? ARE THEY IN LOVE (well, in the case of Alys and Selendrile, there was a teensy weensy hint that they liked each other)?? I NEED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS AFTER!!

But I digress.
There will be another time to rant about the lack of sequels… another time…


Everything (the world, the vampires, etc) is all explained in bits (no info dumping, and maybe a little skimping, but not so much that I didn’t know what was going on). There is an equal amount of telling and showing, which I appreciated a lot! It’s like I was Kerry, discovering this whole other world that had been under her feet all along.  The vampires in this book are nothing new (as in the stereotypical blood thirsty, manipulative, shrivel up under sun kind of deal), but I guess they are new to YA. (Insert rant about YA vampires here.) I just wish we found out more about Ethan’s past; except for the fact that he’s French, we really don’t know much about him.  (THAT’S WHY WE NEED A SEQUEL. Please J) Even though the important bits about the vampires are covered in this story, I want more details!  I want to get to know other vampires! But alas, it’s not so…

The plot, the writing- everything is so well done!  This book is really fun- not as in light and fluffy fun, but intense, keep-you-on-your-toes, great plot fun.    I esp. love the dynamic between Ethan and Kerry.  You could almost feel those subtle shifts in their relationship throughout the novel. Not necessarily romantic shifts (that was at the end; more on that later), but shifts in trust on both parties. They're both dancing a delicate waltz on the line between trust and mistrust.  There never is a time when there's 100% trust on both sides- and the really cool part is is that you could feel it. There's always this wary anticipation underlying everything, and this anticipation just sucks (no pun intended) you into the novel.

Kerry and Ethan's relationship really shows the idea of trust being earned, not given (esp. with that scene where Kerry starts to doubt Ethan).  So, instead of face palming when Kerry suddenly changed sides (although, inwardly I was groaning because I wanted them to end up together, and that was a damper on those dreams), I understood why she did it.   

Kerry's inquisitive nature and the romance between her and Ethan are really what kept this book from getting a higher rating.   My biggest complaint about the romance was that there wasn't more of it.  (Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you a YOUNG ADULT book that needs more ROMANCE. *gasp*) There were small hints here and there that they liked each other, and just when we were  FINALLY getting somewhere (A love confession! A few kisses!), the book ends in a vague way. L   

And Kerry?  She was getting a little annoying. More than half her dialogue in the book was just questions, questions, and more questions- and it was starting to get redundant. I feel like she could have asked those same questions (have I used this word enough? lol) in a more concise manner. I don't know. Maybe it was just me. 

But otherwise, I really like this book.  The plot and the dynamic between the characters are pretty intense.  It's a good story overall.

Happy readings!:D

Rating: 3 out of 5

Thursday, December 26, 2013

"Quote Me" Thursday Wk 1

Quote Me Thursday #11 New Year’s Edition: Dec 26- Jan 1
Quote Me Thursday is a weekly book meme hosted by the fabulous Brenda over at Daily Mayo

My quote for this week:

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
    for his compassions never fail.
 They are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.

I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;

    therefore I will wait for him.”

Lamentations 3:22-24

I love this verse a lot because as the new year comes, it's a great way to remind our selves that every morning is a new morning, and that the past is the past. It's time to start anew. God's mercies will keep us afloat in the coming year, and He will be with us always!:)

Merry (late!) Christmas everyone, and have a Happy New Year!

What are some of your quotes this week?:)

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas:)
Happy birthday Jesus!
May your days be filled with light and joy!
God bless you!
Hope you and your loved ones have a wonderful week! 
(Can you believe 2013 is almost over?)

Monday, December 23, 2013

Making Up For Monday Wk 1

Making up for Monday is a weekly meme hosted by the wonderful Tiffany over at An Avid Reader; A Wannabe Writer
Today's question: What is the best Christmas (or other holiday you observe) book you have ever read or received as a gift?

The best (and only!) book I've received for Christmas is Junie B., First Grader: Dumb Bunny

Yes, I still have every single Junie B Jones books, and yes, I still do re-read them! This series has become especially dear to me after I found out Barbara Park, the author of this series, had passed away due to cancer.  I will always and forever be grateful to Ms. Park for providing me with the bestest friend a girl could have, and also for opening up to me a wonderful world of reading.  I hope she rests in peace! 

So what are some of your favorite books you've gotten for Christmas? :)

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Cover Characteristic Wk 1

Cover Characteristic is a weekly meme hosted by the fabulous people over at Sugar and Snark
Today's cover characteristic: Green covers


(From left to right)
1. Splintered by A.G. Howard
2. The Royal Diaries: Eleanor, Crown Jewel Of Aquitaine by Kristiana Gregory
3. The Maze Runner by James Dashner 
4. Love, Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli 
5. Archenemy by Frank Beddor

My personal favorite is the cover for Eleanor, Crown Jewel of Aquitaine (great book too btw;)). The teeny picture here doesn't really do it justice, but the details on the cover (esp. on her gown) are gorgeous! Plus, the cover is really soft lol. xD

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Christmas Challenge Day 2: The Book of Broken Hearts

15805597Author: Sarah Ockler
Release Date:  May 21st, 2013
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Genre(s): YA Contemporary 
Pages: 352
*Stand alone*
*Part of the Christmas Challenge!*


Summary (Goodreads): 

 When all signs point to heartbreak, can love still be a rule of the road? A poignant and romantic novel from the author of Bittersweet and Twenty Boy Summer.

Jude has learned a lot from her older sisters, but the most important thing is this: The Vargas brothers are notorious heartbreakers. She’s seen the tears and disasters that dating a Vargas boy can cause, and she swore an oath—with candles and a contract and everything—to never have anything to do with one.

Now Jude is the only sister still living at home, and she’s spending the summer helping her ailing father restore his vintage motorcycle—which means hiring a mechanic to help out. Is it Jude’s fault he happens to be cute? And surprisingly sweet? And a Vargas?

Jude tells herself it’s strictly bike business with Emilio. Her sisters will never find out, and Jude can spot those flirty little Vargas tricks a mile away—no way would she fall for them. But Jude’s defenses are crumbling, and if history is destined to repeat itself, she’s speeding toward some serious heartbreak…unless her sisters were wrong?

Jude may have taken an oath, but she’s beginning to think that when it comes to love, some promises might be worth breaking.

(Phew, just barely got this review in!)

Wow... just wow.

It seems light and fluffy on the top, but this book is incredibly deep.  

I love Jude as a character.  She's both vulnerable and incredibly strong at the same time.  Her growth in this book is amazing; she goes from being the "accident" child to someone who knows who she is and someone who knows she has a place in this family.  Her bond with her sisters and especially her father is very sweet.  The scenes where her father has his melt downs are heartbreaking. It's not just the contrast between how he had been a few minutes ago and how he's acting now; Jude is just now getting to learn about her father and form that special bond with him that she couldn't form with him before.  It's devastating to know that one day he won't remember this bond they had.  It's also really sad to see how much hope Jude placed on fixing the bike, because even if Jude was blinded by this false hope, we, as readers, can see that nothing is going to bring her father back.  In that sense, this book reminds me a lot of Second Chance Summer because in both cases, you wish there was some miracle drug or something magical to come and fix this situation, but this is life.  It's brutal, it's harsh, but it's beautiful too.

Can I just tell you how awesome Emilio is?  He's a ginormous sweetheart, and I'm so glad Jude had someone like him-so kind and understanding (even if he is a bit flirty ;))- through this rough time.  He helps Jude to actually live, to remember the past but not hold onto it, and to become her own self, and I think that's the best kind of relationship: he's not just eye-candy, and he's not just there for kisses.  He's there for her, and to bring out the best in her, even when everything seems so hopeless.  His own scars teach Jude that it is possible to still remember the past, but to let go of it to live to the fullest.

I love how the book of broken hearts fits into all this.  It's ultimately, I think, a symbol of the sisters' bond- minus Jude.  Jude's always been the outcast in the family, the baby, the one left behind.  When the book is finally given to her, it should have drawn her into her sisters' "Holy Trinity"- but it doesn't.  Jude's broken heart doesn't come from some guy, but from the love of her father who will soon forget who she is. Her summer with her father can't be written with words or handed down/shared, like her old cut offs and t-shirts from her sisters, but it's something of her own and will forever be hers through her memories and who she becomes in the future.  And that ending when she burns it? It's incredible to see how far she's come, from that shaky girl to this woman who knows life's harsh, but she's going to live it to the fullest-just like her father wants her too.

There's more I can say about this book, but none of it will do it justice. The best thing would be to read it ;). It's ultimately about family and about letting go of the past (but never forgetting it) to live.  Heartbreaking and sweet, I guarantee it won't disappoint.

Happy readings! :)
Merry (early!) Christmas everyone :)

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Sidekick Showcase Wk 1

Sidekick Showcase, previously known as Sidekick Saturday, is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by the awesome Jaclyn at JC's Book Haven

My "sidekick":
Bobbi from Savvy by Ingrid Law

Bobbi is the teenage older sister of Will Jr.  She's a reluctant tag a long in the adventure to get to Mibs' dad.

So technically, this isn't a December related book, but Christmas is a time to look back at the year and be nostalgic, so I guess this counts xD.

When I first read this book waaaay back in middle school, I adored Mibs (I still do!) and was annoyed by Bobbi.  I mean, by the end, I understood her better and was warming up to her, but Bobbi represented the thing I dreaded the most then: becoming a bubble gum popping teenager. Mibs, on the other hand, was me. She was in that in between stage of becoming a teenager and still being a kid, and I could totally understand that; I didn't want to grow up either, but at the same time, I didn't have a choice, and a small part of me (infinitesimal, but it was still there) wanted to see what the big deal was. Years later, I picked this book back up again, and while I still adore Mibs (she'll always be my favorite!), I understand Bobbi a lot better now, since I AM a bubble-gum popping teenager myself.  Just like how I related with Mibs way back then, I can relate better with Bobbi now, and that's what I love so much about this book: whether you read it when you're 12 or 16, it still resonates with you.  And being a teenager? I think Lill said it best when she said, "Sixteen can feel older and scarier than forty-two..."


So what are your noteworthy sidekicks this week? :)

Friday, December 20, 2013

Christmas Challenge Day 1: Revenge of the Cheerleaders

613934Author: Janette Rallison
Release Date:  October 2nd, 2007
Publisher: Walker Childrens
Genre(s): YA Contemporary 
Pages: 256
*2nd book in series (companion)*
*Part of the Christmas Challenge!*


Summary (Goodreads): 
Chelsea's school year has taken a turn for the worse.  After being dumped by her boyfriend and humiliated at the pep assembly by her younger sister's boyfriend, Rick, she's just concentrating on avoiding any other major embarrassments.
That's when Rick and his band debut their new album, complete with a whole set of songs bashing cheerleaders.  Chelsea's humiliation has reached a whole new level now that everyone is walking down the halls singing the words to "Dangerously Blonde."  
It's time to make Rick pay.  All he wants is to win the High School Idolaudition, so he can be on his way to rock star fame and fortune. But with the help of her best friends, Aubrie and Samantha, Chelsea is going to steal his victory right out from under him. 
The characters from All's Fair in Love, War and High Schooare back, only this time it's payback.

Ahhhh this book is sooo cute!! >.<

I absolutely love Chelsea. She’s HILARIOUS!  Oh my goodness, her subtle quips and snarkiness had me laughing like a lunatic the ENTIRE time (which, btw, brought awkward stares from other people in the waiting room… but whateves.  This book was soo worth it ;-)).  I also love the appearance of Samantha and Logan! They’re so adorable, and I’m glad to see their story didn’t end in All’s Fair in Love, War, and High School.:)

I absolutely adore how even though this book is fluffy and cute, it’s also unexpectedly deep.  Chelsea isn’t just some airheaded blonde cheerleader whose seeking petty revenge (okay, she is seeking revenge, and okay, her revenge is a little extreme: training to beat Rick at a competition Rick's spent his entire life preparing for, but that's not the point LOL); she’s a very caring and loving girl (despite her quirks and sarcasm ;), esp. when it comes to her sister.  Her over protectiveness over her younger sister, despite the way Adrian is acting out, is very sweet, and I think that's the heart of the book: family always and forever.  I could relate with Chels so well, being the oldest child in my family as well.  Despite what our younger siblings think, we do care, and we do love them, but we're human too.  What we might think is best for them might not exactly seem like it's the best (or is the best), but hey, we're trying! :D  

And of course, the romance ;).  NO INSTA-LOVE!!!! *squeal!*
(Yep, gonna mention it every single time;)! It’s like a party in my world whenever I stumble across a book with an actual relationship between the main characters!).

 To be honest, going into this book, I thought Chels was going to fall in love with Rick (in my defense, the blurb didn't mention any other guy! And the love interest didn't show up until like 40 pages in! Usually they appear sooner! Esp. in a Janette Rallison book! And I thought he was a minor character! I didn't know what to assume!).  So at first I was like


Clark Kent Romeo Tanner shows up, and

So, my dear readers, do not be deceived like I was.   

But I digress.


Back to the romance. ;)

There were many sah-woon worthy moments, but the main thing that stood out to me was how both Chels and Tanner, no matter how strong their attraction was to each other, put family first.  So many books I’ve read in the YA category always have the girl revolving her life around a guy (and usually a guy she's just met).   I absolutely loved how family was the prominent theme here, even if that blurb in the beginning made it *seem* like revenge was.  (In truth, it was a little bit, but even revenge gave way to "family first" (the romance was extra! ;). )    

Oh! And how could I forget Molly and Polly? ;) Chels, at first, reluctantly takes them on so her music teacher would help her with her singing. BUT THEN, Chels gets to know the real Molly and Polly, and let me tell ya, their antics are HILARIOUS as well.  (That scene with that guy Joe!!!! Read the book! You’ll understand!!) xD

Final thoughts?  Belly-laughter funny, cute, and deep.  A great read for a “cold” (read: 73 degrees T.T) winter night.

Thanks for reading!

Rating: 3 out of 5

This review participated in the weekly meme hosted by the wonderful Sherry over at Semicolon!