Monday, January 28, 2013

Mini Reviews: Lullaby by Amanda Hocking and Meant To Be by Lauren Morrill

From Goodreads: Harper only wanted a safe, normal life. But when her younger sister Gemma runs off with a dangerous clique of beautiful girls, Penn, Thea, and Lexi, everything changes. Vowing to get her sister back no matter what the cost, Harper must face dangers unlike any she's ever experienced. Fortunately, she has Daniel by her side, a gorgeous guy who's devoted to helping her find her sister - and who's immune to the girls' dark powers. While Harper searches for her sister, Gemma struggles to adjust to her new life.  Gemma's powers are growing by the day, and the longer she lives with her new "sisters," the harder it is to resist entering their magical world.  It's a realm both dark and beautiful, and where she's plagued by strange hungers and unspeakable needs.  Just as she's drifting far away from her old life,  Harper and Daniel find her ... but no one can deny how much she's changed.  All she wants is to return to her family and the mortal world, but how can she do that when she's become something else entirely - and will they still love her once they learn the truth?

My Rating: 3.5 hearts 

Thoughts on the Novel: Lullaby by Amanda Hocking delves further into the siren mythology and is a tad more gruesome than its predecessor, Wake. However, like with Wake, it still feels as if there’s something missing, preventing me from falling in love with this series. The characters – other than Daniel and possibly, Marcie – continue to be merely okay, and the romances aren’t really anything special.

Lullaby was released by St. Martin’s Griffin in November 2012. 

From Goodreads: It's one thing to fall head over heels into a puddle of hazelnut coffee, and quite another to fall for the - gasp - wrong guy. Straight-A junior Julia may be accident prone, but she's queen of following rules and being prepared. That's why she keeps a pencil sharpener in her purse and a pocket Shakespeare in her, well, pocket. And that's also why she's chosen Mark Bixford, her childhood crush, as her MTB ("meant to be"). But this spring break, Julia's rules are about to get defenestrated (SAT word: to be thrown from a window) when she's partnered with her personal nemesis, class-clown Jason, on a school trip to London. After one wild party, Julia starts receiving romantic texts ... from an unknown number! Jason promises to help discover the identity of her mysterious new suitor if she agrees to break a few rules along the way. And thus begins a wild goose chase through London, leading Julia closer and closer to the biggest surprise of all: true love. Because sometimes the things you least expect are the most meant to be.

My Rating: Wavering between 3 and 3.5 hearts 

Thoughts on the Novel: While I liked Lauren Morrill’s Meant To Be because of its London setting and a couple of surprising twists, it wasn’t as cute a romance story as I thought it would be. Perhaps that’s because I wasn’t overly fond of either Julia or Jason. Although I found Julia relatable in some aspects (e.g. she’s a nerd), she’s also terribly judgmental. As well, I found it ridiculous that just because they “married” each other at the age of five, Julia couldn’t get over her neighbour who moved away when she was seven. Jason, meanwhile, often acted like a douche and came off as very immature at times. 

Meant To Be was released in November 2012 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers.

In exchange for an honest review, this book was received from the publisher (Random House) for free via NetGalley.


  1. Hmm...I heard good to lukewarm reviews for "Meant to Be" and I was hoping for a cute story. I think I'll have to lower my expectations to read this one after reading your review, Z. Hope your next reads are much more fulfilling.

  2. I think most people have been feeling the same way about that Amanda Hocking series. The vast majority of the reviews I've read (for both Lullaby and Wake) have been positive, but not raving. I do have a copy of the first book on my bookshelf somewhere though. I may have to dig that out. Meant to Be is one I had high expectations for, but I'll be sure to lower them now. Great reviews, Z!

  3. Awwww I really liked Meant To Be, but yes, Julia could be ridiculous at times with her her MTB notions. I found her kind of naively endearing, but I can definitely see how both she and Jason would have frustrated you. I guess I was just in the mood for this one Z!

  4. Oh, sorry to hear that about Meant To Be! I've been sort of curious about that one - same as you, because of the London setting - but I just wasn't completely sold from the reviews that I had read and now after reading your review, I feel satisfied with my choice to not read it because of the characters. I'm sure there are plenty of other similar and better books out there to take up my time!

  5. Meant To Be is high on the wishlist. Too bad it isn't that cute! At times I need a cute romance.

  6. Aww, too bad about Lullaby, I was really looking forward to it. I liked Wake, but you're right, there was something missing that I kind of hoped would get sorted out in this book. But alas, I'd probably feel the same way you did. Daniel was my favorite too so it's good to know he remained as good, and I AM curious about the more gruesome parts.
    Meant To Be isn't really my kind of book anyway so I'll probably just skip.

  7. I keep hearing mixed things about the Wake series--and I'm sorry MTB was a bit of a disappointment, too. I think I'll still read that one eventually, though--I have a hard time resisting books with UK settings. ;)

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

  8. Love the honest reviews. Cracked up at your description of Jason. LOL I'd probably be a sucker for the setting.

    I haven't read either of these but I'll keep an eye out for them, although I'd probably have to read WAKE before I could read Lullaby.

  9. It is like you read my mind on both novels! While I haven't read Lullaby, I did read Wake and did feel that something WAS missing. As for Meant To Be, I also felt that it wasn't a complete cute romance, I don't know why.

    Great mini reviews!!
    - Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf


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