Monday, June 23, 2014

PrePub REVIEW: One, Two, Three by Elodie Nowodazkij

Posted by Jenn Christensen at 12:00 PM 0 comments
Title: One, Two, Three
Author: Elodie Nowodazkij
Format: eBook ARC
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date: June 26 2014







One, Two, Three is marketed as being a cross between Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles and the movie Save the Last Dance. Now, not many people know this about me but Save the Last Dance is my FAVORITE movie of all time. So as soon as I was approved for this book I turned to my fiance and told him "I am going to critique the life out of this book because its being marketed as similar to Save the Last Dance." He just smiled and shook his head but I was completely serious. You can't market something as "like" my favorite movie without being analyzed. So.... What did I think?

I loved the book itself. It was an amazing story of a girl who only wanted to become a ballerina. Nothing else. She had no other real goals for herself until a car accident took her father and her ability to dance away. But even after sustaining another injury Natalya is still able to push her life forward and keep a somewhat positive attitude.

Natalya is a strong girl. Her father is gone. Her mother is a raging alcoholic who says the worst things and she is starting school in a new area. Luckily she has her best friend from when she used to visit her babushka, Becca, so things aren't as hard as they could be.

With being friends with Becca comes another friendship. Tonio is an unexpected and, at first, an unwelcome surprise. But Nata warms up to him until things take a turn for the worst. She finds out that maybe their "relationship" might just be a bet between friends.

There are so many shocks and emotional parts in this book. The situation with Tonio and the bet for the kiss. The Yuri thing... OMG that was insane. I never expected that and it's nice to be surprised while you are reading.

I am glad that Nata finally decided to let Tonio in. With how her parents were and all the bad things that happened to her she was unsure whether she should let anyone into her life. But I think Tonia was a good mix for her. He helped her more than she even knew. And the same can be said for how much she helped him. They were both very mature for their ages.

Nata was very stupid when she ran away from the truth about Yuri and danced to the point where she wrecked her knee even more. She should have thought more clearly. She had a chance to maybe dance again but after this huge mistake she might never dance again. And then directly after hurting herself again she started to turn into her mother. But luckily she turned that around.

I really loved the Russian aspects of the books. The phrases and words thrown in there were great but then the author went and explained what they meant which made it even better because I didn't have to search online for their meanings. There was a lot of culture intertwined in the book that gave it some of its life.

The ending was kind of vague. She was starting to mend things with her mother but it just ends there. I want to know what happened with Tonio and his soccer scholarship. I REALLY want to know what happens with Yuri and Nata.

As for whether or not the book lived up to its movie comparison, I think it was pretty good. There definitely were some similar aspects between the book and Save the Last Dance. It was also pretty true to the comparison to Perfect Chemistry mainly in the fact that there were Hispanic bad boys in the book.

Overall, I gave the book 4/5 Kitties.

Monday, June 16, 2014

REVIEW: The Monster Within by Kelly Hashway

Posted by Jenn Christensen at 11:00 AM 0 comments
Title: The Monster Within
Author:Kelly Hashway
Format: eBook ARC
Source:Netgalley
Publisher:Spencer Hill Press
Publication Date: June 17 2014












If you are looking for a quick, exciting read then this is the book for you. I read the entire book in one 3 hour sitting. It's got drama, death, witches, zombies and some decent romance.

Samantha(Sam) died of cancer and her boyfriend couldn't live without her so he found a way to bring her back. YIKES! That is where everything started going down hill. Sam has to kill in order to stay alive and in my opinion she should have told Ethan the truth instead of trying to protect him. It was his fault she turned out like this so she should have told him.

Ethan was a little too soft. I know he just got his girlfriend back and everything but he should have pushed her for more answers and he should have also been a little bit more forthcoming with the information about how he brought Sam back. It was her life after all. She deserved to know how she was brought back.

Nora was predictable for a villain. I knew Sam shouldn't have trusted her but then again Dylan didn't make it easier to believe him either. Nora had to correct approach to make someone believe her. Dylan just stalked and scared Sam and didn't seem like he wanted to help like he said.

I keep going back and forth between liking the book and it just being okay. It was a very short book with plenty of drama and other aspects but I just feel like something was missing.

Overall, I gave the book 3.5/5 Kitties.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Going on Hiatus

Posted by Jenn Christensen at 3:44 PM 0 comments
I just wanted to let everyone know that I am going to be taking a step back from blogging for a little bit. I will still be posting my reviews for netgalley books and books I am sent by authors but I wont be doing any person reading reviews until I come back.

My parents lost our home due to fighting and not caring so my fiance and I are looking for a place to move ASAP no matter the size. We have 45 days to get out of the house so I am putting everything on hold.

I am also selling A LOT of my books on Instagram if anyone would like to check that out. www.instagram.com/hellojennyreviews

Thank you for understanding. I really appreciate all of my followers!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Author Spotlight: Cyn Balog and Nichola Reilly

Posted by Jenn Christensen at 1:22 PM 0 comments








While the other neighborhood children were out getting fresh air and sunlight playing Zim Zam and freeze tag, Cyn Balog preferred to be locked in her bedroom, writing. When she emerged, with her growth only slightly stunted, she graduated from Rutgers with a degree in Shoelace Tying or something. She'd wanted to major in Writing, but certain "wise elders" in her life told her that career writers must learn to subsist on three Saltines a day, and being part-Italian, Cyn adamantly refused to give up Pasta Sundays. 

Cyn now lives in Bucks County, Pennsylvania with her husband and daughters. She rarely listens to "wise elders" anymore, still eats pasta regularly and is currently looking for a way to get back her figure, possibly by taking up Zim Zam or freeze tag. Her first novel, FAIRY TALE (Delacorte), is a 2009 RITA finalist in the young adult category, and her second novel, SLEEPLESS, which School Library Journal calls "an interesting, quick-paced, and compelling paranormal romance" and Kirkus calls "a lovely read," released this year. Two more young adult paranormal novels, STARSTRUCK and LIVING BACKWARDS, will be released in 2011 and 2012. Visit her online at www.cynbalog.com. 

She also writes under the pen name Nichola Reilly. Nichola Reilly is Cyn Balog's post-apocalyptic fantasy-writing alter-ego. The first book in her series, DROWNED, will be releasing from Harlequin TEEN sometime in 2014, followed by a sequel, BURIED, in 2015.

Twitter - @CynBalog











I haven't read any kind of actual scary book in a long time so this book was a semi-new experience for me.

Kiandra was a pretty strong character. I didn't like her at first but as the book progressed it wasn't so much about the characters as it was about the story-line and events going on.

Lying to her father about going to the cabin with her boyfriend and cousin wasn't exactly a a smart move and was one of the reasons I didn't like her very much. And wanting to go someplace where your mother had a tragic end doesn't seem like something a normal person would do. I know I wouldn't do it. Also, who misses prom to go to some creepy cabin?

I liked the campfire stories. They were actually pretty creepy. The ghostly elements were pretty nice too. I love how the ghosts stories and death are told throughout the book as well. It gives the ghosts more a real aspect.

I really enjoyed the book but I couldn't sit down for long periods of time and read it. I felt like I had to absorb what was going on so I would put the book down and go do something else while I thought things through. It was a slow book but for a good reason. There was a lot to take in. The ending was also a little unexpected. Which was a nice change from the books you can predict.

Overall, I gave the book 4/5 Kitties.













Nichola Reilly is Cyn Balog's post-apocalyptic fantasy-writing alter-ego. The first book in her series, DROWNED, will be releasing from Harlequin TEEN sometime in 2014, followed by a sequel, BURIED, in 2015.

Twitter- @NicholaReilly











Royalty that doesn't care if their people die? Check. A heroin as unique as a unicorn? Check. A love interest that will cause a lot of drama? Check!

I am not big on fantasy type books. But when you throw a bit of dystopia/post apocolyptic aspect into the mix then you have my attention. 

Coe, is such a shy and timid character. Well, in the beginning. She has always been the bottom of this weird islands totem pole. I feel like she does use her disability to make excuses for herself though.

Tiam is such a strong male character. He is wounded and still tries to protect the people he cares about. Even though caring is what can get you killed on this island.

I like the way the author made up her own "year" format. Instead of years there are seasons. Coe is in her 16th soft season, almost her 16th hard season. Which I believe means that Coe is 16 and less than 6 months. Hard season would be 16 and 6 plus months.

Princess Star is a spoiled, annoying, delusional brat. In the end she does prove to be somewhat helpful.

I loved the diary from Coe's ancestors. It was nice to get some back story as to what put them on the "island" which turns out to really be a mountain under water.

I don't want to give too much away because this book isn't even out yet but I really enjoyed everything about it. I even enjoyed the fact that the human race reverted back to having Kings and Queens. It shows how weak we are when you take away out technology. We wouldn't survive without air conditioning. We would need guidance from someone else and that is actually pretty sad.

That ending! Oh my god, I need to know what happened to Tiam. The next book won't be out for a year! The agony...

Overall, I gave the book 5/5 stars





*Thank you to Goodreads and Amazon for author pictures and bios*

Thursday, June 12, 2014

REVIEW: To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han

Posted by Jenn Christensen at 7:30 AM 0 comments

I can't be sure whether I really liked this book or if it was just okay for me. At times I was really into it and the pages just flew by. But at other times I found myself thinking that I have read a lot of other books similar to this.

The one thing that did get to me was Lara Jeans inability to live. She was such a weak minded character. She couldn't function without her older sister and to me that shows weakness. I despise weak female protagonists.

The whole Josh situation also got on my nerves. He is a PERSON, a human being, not a piece of property for two sisters to fight over. If Lara Jean wanted Josh then she should have just tried for him. Margot and Josh has broken up so that means he was available. Regardless of him having dated her sister.

Margot was a little bit stuck up and thought she was better than everyone. Or, at least, that's how it appeared on the outside. On the inside she was just a scared little girl who was put in charge of her sisters at a young age. She tried to appear strong for Lara Jean and Kitty but inside she was cracked and torn.

I think Lara Jean got what she deserved with the whole hot tub sex scandal situation. If she wanted to stay off the radar and continue to be little miss innocent then she never should have done the fake relationship with Peter. Especially since she knows what Gen is capable of.

I didn't see the book ending the way it did. I didn't think she would really want Peter. I was actually rooting for Josh. But in the end it wasn't clear what happened. It was just clear who she had actually fallen for. I just hope she doesn't end up getting her heart broken in the next book.

I also have a theory. I thin Peter bought Lara Jean that necklace she was looking at all the time. For some reason I just feel like that will be in the beginning of the next book.

The book had a pretty good concept. A girl having written love letters and they accidentally get mailed out. But the good concept was covered up with your typical, unoriginal Young Adult Contemporary theme. Girl in high school, dead parent, boys and random love.

Overall, I gave the book 3.5/5 Kitties.

*Thank you to Goodreads for the synopsis and the book photo*

Monday, June 9, 2014

Mini Review Monday[15] Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland

Posted by Jenn Christensen at 7:00 AM 0 comments


First, I just want to say, I loved Nantucket Blue sooo much that I put Nantucket Red on hold at the library before I even finished the book. I need to know what happens.

The first forty pages or so are very intense. You are thrown into a world of sports, teenage emotions and death. So be prepared for strong emotions to be felt.

Jules really irritated me. I really don't see why she did what she did to Cricket. I understand that Jules might be upset and mixed up about her mother but that doesn't give her an excuse to treat Cricket as badly as she did. You aren't supposed to shut out the people who care about you. Nina treated Cricket as a daughter and Jules should have respected that too.

Zach was such an unexpected twist in the story. I thought Jay was going to be the guy on the cover. NOPE! Wrong. So very, very wrong. But for some reason I kept picturing Zach as some weird nerdy kid with a pocket protector and boogers hanging out of his nose. I didn't see him as a love interest until near the end of the book.

I loved Cricket. She was kind of weak at the beginning but after Jules, Jay, Zach and her father, she built up a new personality and stopped caring so much what other thought about her and started worrying about what she thought of herself. For lack of a better phrase, Cricket finally grew a pair by the end of the book. They might be tiny right now but I'm sure they will grow in the next book.

I didn't like Cricket's dad. He was one of those dads that get a new family and completely forget about his old one. He treats his wife's adopted son better than he treats his own daughter. Cricket's mom wasn't exactly much better but she was crappy in a different way. She couldn't move on and was wasting her life away. But, in the end, she also grew a pair and came out of her "scorned woman" shell.

Overall, I gave the book 5/5 Mini Kitties.




*Thank you to Goodreads for the synopsis and book picture*

Thursday, June 5, 2014

REVIEW: Pieces of Me by Amber Kizer

Posted by Jenn Christensen at 7:00 AM 0 comments
Title: Pieces of Me
Author: Amber Kizer
Format: Hardback
Source: Bought
Publisher: Delacorte Press

REVIEW:
I am normally not a big fan of multiple POV books but this is Amber Kizer, so obviously I had to read it. And I loved it!
At first I was like, uhh, please tell me this isn't going to be a book about some poor girls hair going to little girls with cancer and that's all. I am glad to report that that definitely wasn't ALL.
Jessica Chai is our main character and her name is awesome. She is an outcast and, in my opinion, dies trying to fit in. She should have stuck up for herself when the cheerleaders "assaulted" her.
When Jessica dies her parents decide to make her an organ donor so she is essentially in pieces and Jessica is not too happy about that.
Her spirit follows around the kids that her organs went to and she lives vicariously though them.
Jessica witnesses her recipients fall in love, fight with parents, give up, try to deal with life and even die. It is so heart breaking going through each persons story.
Sam is a anti-social blogger/gamer who had kidney disease. Misty ends up with liver disease and her family has no way to really pay for her recovery. Leif was the all star football player at Jessica's school who ends up badly injured. Vivian has Cystic Fibrosis and is an amazing painter. These are the teenagers that Jessica must follow around.
Vivian is a sweet girl but she doesn't feel like she should live her life because she knows it won't be long anyways. I was hoping she would change every time I read her parts. Leif was good for her.
Leif has very pushy, athletic parents who end up pushing him too hard. I think Misty's brother ended up in the right place though.
Misty's story was the most heart breaking of all. I actually cried through the end of the book.
Sam, I think, had the best and worst story. Not only did he find love but within a few short weeks he also lost love. 
Amber Kizer is one of my favorite authors and she has yet to disappoint me. I cannot compare her books to any other author but I do suggest you guys check her out if you haven't.
Overall, I gave the book 5/5 stars.
*Book synopsis courtesy of Goodreads.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Mini Review Monday[14] Struck by Jennifer Bosworth

Posted by Jenn Christensen at 7:00 AM 0 comments

I tried to read Struck 3 times. For some reason I just couldn't get into it. But after signing up to participate in an interview with the author I sat down and pushed myself to read the book. I can't say that I am disappointed but the beginning of the book was hard to get through.

If you enjoy books that have to do with natural disasters, religious cults, human suffering, high school and a weird love story then this book is probably for you. Oh, and did I mention the weirdest addiction I have ever heard of? Yeah, that's in this book too.

Mia is one of the characters that annoy me but without her the book wouldn't have been what it was(besides the obvious fact that she was the main character). She was very insecure about her scars and felt that she was a freak.

Jeremy confused the living heck out of me. He was a very sweet, cute guy but I totally didn't see the plot twist in the end happening.

The whole war between The Seekers and The Followers seemed a lot like any high school clique situation. One side hated the other and they were both trying to recruit the same person.

The ending is what really sold me on this book. I thought it was very adorable. The Tower and The Lovers wasn't how I pictured the book ending. I am also glad that Mia and Parker's mother was okay. I teared up a bit at that part.

Overall, even after the very rough start, I gave the book 4/5 Mini Kitties.


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