Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Mini Reviews: Out of Control by Sarah Alderson and The Fill-in Boyfriend by Kasie West

From Goodreads: When seventeen-year-old Liva came to New York City, all she wanted was to escape the painful memories of her past and finally find a fresh start. Her hopes for a new future were dashed the moment she became the sole witness to a brutal murder. When she's taken into police custody - supposedly for her own protection - she realizes something isn't right, but it's too late. Soon, bullets start flying, and Liva realizes that she is not just a witness, but the target - and she needs to escape before it's too late. With the help of a sexy car thief that she met at the station, Liva manages to get away from the massacre unharmed, but now the two of them are alone in New York, trying to outrun and outwit the two killers who will stop at nothing to find them. Liva and Jay are living on the edge, but when you're on the edge, there's a long way to fall. 

My Rating: 2 hearts 

Thoughts on the Novel: Although I enjoyed Sarah Alderson’s Lila series, I haven’t read any of her books since. So, I had some high expectations for her newest novel, Out of Control. Unfortunately, Out of Control turned out to be a rather disappointing read for a few reasons. Firstly, its fast pacing made it hard to learn much about the characters or care about them. Secondly, I found myself getting annoyed by Liva because of her priorities, – I wouldn’t be focused on a guy if there were people trying to kidnap me, – and complaints about her looks (but really, she’s pretty). Lastly, it drove me crazy that the Hispanic characters in Out of Control were portrayed so stereotypically. 

Out of Control was released in May 2015 by Simon Pulse. 

In exchange for an honest review, this book was received from Xpresso Book Tours.
From Goodreads: When Gia Montgomery's boyfriend, Bradley, dumps her in the parking lot of her high school prom, she has to think fast. After all, she'd been telling her friends about him for months now. This was supposed to be the night she proved he existed. So when she sees a cute guy waiting to pick up his sister, she enlists his help. The task is simple: be her fill-in boyfriend - two hours, zero commitment, a few white lies. After that, she can win back the real Bradley. The problem is that days after prom, it's not the real Bradley she's thinking about, but the stand-in. The one whose name she doesn't even know. But tracking him down doesn't mean they're done faking a relationship. Gia owes him a favor and his sister intends to see that he collects: his ex-girlfriend's graduation party - three hours, zero commitment, a few white lies. Just when Gia begins to wonder if she could turn her fake boyfriend into a real one, Bradley comes waltzing back into her life, exposing her lie, and threatening to destroy her friendships and her new-found relationship. 

My Rating: 2.5 hearts 

Thoughts on the Novel: While I loved Kasie West’s Pivot Point series, I haven’t found her contemporary novels quite as appealing. Sadly, The Fill-in Boyfriend was no exception. I had a tough time connecting with Gia because I found her to be very shallow. As well, the way the romance started off wasn’t very convincing, and it then veered into drama territory. I think in the future, I’ll just have to pass on any Kasie West contemporaries. 

The Fill-in Boyfriend was released by HarperTeen in May 2015.    


  1. Hm. I've had pretty good luck with Kasie's contemporaries (though none of them have been quite as good as Pivot Point!), so maybe The Fill-In Boyfriend will work a little better for me. Thanks for your thoughts Z!

  2. I felt the same way about Out of Control. It was just ridiculous at times and it didn't work for me at all. Flimsy plot, unbelievable characters and so on. I expected more from Sarah. But I had high hopes for West. i guess I'll read it, but I'll know not to get too excited.

  3. I still have to finish the Pivot Point duology, but haven't read any of West's contemporary romances. They sound cute butit looks like I'll have to lower my expectations a bit.

  4. I haven't heard of Out of Control but it sounds like I am not missing out on anything. Aw, too bad you didn't like Kasie West's new novel, I do enjoy her contemporary books so maybe I will like it a bit more? Nice reviews!

  5. Humm, two misses. That's too bad. I thought the Sarah Alderson book sounded good in your interview (or at least I like her as a person) so that's a bit disappointing that this one didn't work as well as the Lila books. But really, those things would've drove me crazy as well. As for Kasie West, I can't say I've been interested in her contemporaries (quelle surprise) but I do hope to get to Pivot Point someday.


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