Monday, August 31, 2015

Mini Reviews: Damage Done by Amanda Panitch and Paperweight by Meg Haston

From Goodreads: 22 minutes separate Julia Vann’s before and after. Before: Julia had a twin brother, a boyfriend, and a best friend. After: She has a new identity, a new hometown, and memories of those twenty-two minutes that refuse to come into focus. At least, that’s what she tells the police. Now that she’s Lucy Black, she's able to begin again. She's even getting used to the empty bedroom where her brother should be. And her fresh start has attracted the attention of one of the hottest guys in school, a boy who will do anything to protect her. But when someone much more dangerous also takes notice, Lucy's forced to confront the dark secrets she thought were safely left behind. One thing is clear: The damage done can never be erased. It’s only just beginning... 

My Rating: 1.5 hearts 

Thoughts on the Novel: Damage Done by Amanda Panitch had the potential to be a much more engaging read than it was. After all, the main character, Julia, was the only witness to a school shooting committed by her twin brother! Sadly, I could muster no sympathy for Julia or her former classmates, who you end up learning little about. What was more frustrating though was the ending because it resulted in Julia acting very out of character.

A bland book with a rather unbelievable plot, Damage Done was released in July 2015 by Random House Books for Young Readers. 

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

From Goodreads: Seventeen-year-old Stevie is trapped. In her life. In her body. And now in an eating-disorder treatment center on the dusty outskirts of the New Mexico desert. Life in the center is regimented and intrusive, a nightmare come true. Nurses and therapists watch Stevie at mealtime, accompany her to the bathroom, and challenge her to eat the foods she’s worked so hard to avoid. Her dad has signed her up for sixty days of treatment. But what no one knows is that Stevie doesn't plan to stay that long. There are only twenty-seven days until the anniversary of her brother Josh’s death - the death she caused. And if Stevie gets her way, there are only twenty-seven days until she too will end her life.  

My Rating: 3 hearts 

Thoughts on the Novel: Paperweight by Meg Haston isn’t the easiest of reads as it features an initially unlikeable protagonist and deals with themes like eating disorders, grief, abuse, and toxic friendships. Thankfully, as I learned more about Stevie's past through flashbacks and the more she developed as a character over the course of the novel, I grew to like Stevie. I also liked the way Stevie’s relationship with her therapist was portrayed, and that Paperweight acknowledges that there are a number of causes that can contribute to the development of an eating disorder.

Paperweight was released by HarperTeen in July 2015. 

In exchange for an honest review, this book was received from the publisher (HarperCollins) for free via Edelweiss.  

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Review: Tangled Webs by Lee Bross

From Goodreads: Lady A is the most notorious blackmailer in the city. With just a mask and a gown to disguise her, she sweeps into lavish balls and exclusive events collecting the most valuable currency in 1725 London - secrets. But leading a double life isn't easy. By day Lady A is just a sixteen-year-old girl named Arista who lives in fear of her abusive master, Bones, and passes herself off as a boy to move safely through the squalor of London's slums. When Bones attempts to dispose of his pawn forever, Arista is rescued by the last person she expects: Jonathan Wild, the infamous Thief Taker General who moves seamlessly between the city's criminal underworld and its most elite upper circles. Arista partners with Wild on her own terms in the hopes of saving enough money to buy passage out of London. Everything changes when she meets Graeden Sinclair, the son of a wealthy merchant. Grae has traveled the world, has seen the exotic lands Arista has longed to escape to her whole life, and he loves Arista for who she is - not for what she can do for him. Being with Grae gives something Arista something precious that she swore off long ago: hope. He has promised to help Arista escape the life of crime that has claimed her since she was a child. But can you ever truly escape the past?

My Rating: 2 hearts 

Thoughts on the Novel: When I decided to read Lee Bross’ Tangled Webs, I thought I’d be getting a story with a badass heroine. Instead, I got a protagonist who was constantly thinking about romance!

Right from the start, I had a bad feeling about Arista as a character. In chapter 1, for example, rather than being focused on her job, Arista daydreams about what it would be like to kiss her bodyguard and best friend, Nic – that is, until she meets a mysterious stranger who she instantly connects with. From here on, the story became one of insta-love with a bit of a love triangle thrown in. Unfortunately, the hardened street rat I was expecting never showed up!

In addition, although Tangled Webs’ setting was London in 1725, there was very little detail devoted to the setting. This story could have easily been set elsewhere or in another time period and still remained the same.

Tangled Webs was released by Disney Hyperion in June 2015. 

Comments About the Cover: I like how if you look closer at the cover, you can see little illustrations of things that are significant in the book. 

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

Monday, August 24, 2015

Blogoversary Giveaway

I’m back … and just in time for my blog to turn five! I never would have imagined I’d be blogging for this long to be honest, and so have to thank you, my blog readers, who have kept me going when I’ve had blogging slumps. A very big thanks also goes to all the authors and publishers who have worked with me and continue to support me.

To celebrate my blogoversary, I’m having a giveaway; and one lucky person will win one of the books below as well as a book of their choice worth up to $10 CDN.
Assassin's Heart by Sarah Ahiers
Their Fractured Light (Starbound #3) by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Riders (Riders #1) by Veronica Rossi
Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

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