Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Pre-Pub Review: The Trouble With Destiny by Lauren Morrill

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 1:00 PM 0 comments
Title: The Trouble With Destiny
Author: Lauren Morrill
Publisher: Delacorte
Publication: December 8th 2015
Cover Rating: 4/5

This one time, at band camp... Oh man. If you like drama, semi-romance, reading about cruises and some good, old fashioned, rivalry, then you will probably like this book. I finished it in less than a day. It was very light, fluffy and cute. There was a lot of shenanigans, both good and bad. 

Liza is our protagonist. The first few pages she is this no nonsense, drum major who has everything planned out and scheduled and all it took was five seconds to turn her around entirely. And what caused the five second turn around you might ask? A boy. More specifically....

Lenny. This assbag... He seemed like he could have been such a good guy but he was entirely self absorbed and played games with peoples heads and hearts. A cute face isn't everything. Plus, why would you want a cute face that is attached to an assbag when you can have a cute face attached to a football player who has been nothing but nice to you?

Russ was sweet, kind, funny and overall just everything you normally don't find in a quarterback. Well, genuinely find. Most guys can fake anything. But Russ was actually a nice guy. He spends this entire cruise getting shat on by Liza, helping her out of stupid situations and all for what? NOTHING.

The entire book was basically about trying to win this contest so the band could be saved and Liza acting like a total buttwipe. Chasing the wrong guy, being horrible to her friends and losing focus of everything that was important to her. The she magically comes to her senses after being humiliated. Why did it have to come to that? You were chasing after some cute guy that you bonded with when you were twelve over that fact that your parents were both divorced. Yup, Liza, sounds like GREAT boyfriend material. 

The ending was perfect. And by perfect I mean unrealistic. It was nice and cute for the book to end so great but that just isnt how reality is. I still enjoyed the book but the ending made it even more of a fluffy read.

Overall, I gave the book 4/5 stars.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Release Day - December 1st 2015 Entangled Teen

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 10:00 AM 0 comments
Experience the epic love story of OBSIDIAN as told by its hero, Daemon Black…

I knew the moment Katy Swartz moved in next door, there was going to be trouble. Lots of it.

And trouble’s the last thing I need, since I’m not exactly from around here. My people arrived on Earth from Lux, a planet thirteen billion light years away. Plus, if there’s one thing I know, it’s that humans can’t be trusted. We scare them. We can do things they only dream about, and honestly, we make them look weak as hell. ‘Cuz they are.

But Kat is getting to me in ways no one else has, and I can't stop myself from wanting her—or wanting to use my powers to protect her. She makes me weak, and I’m the strongest of our kind, tasked with protecting us all. So this one simple girl…she can mean the end for us. Because the Luxen have an even bigger enemy—the Arum, and I need to stay on my game.

Falling for Katy—a human—won't just place her in danger. It could get us all killed, and that’s one thing I’ll never let happen...

Freedom comes at a cost...

Ella was genetically engineered to be the perfect pet—graceful, demure...and kept. In a daring move, she escaped her captivity and took refuge in Canada. But while she can think and act as she pleases, the life of a liberated pet is just as confining as the Congressman’s gilded cage. Her escape triggered a backlash, and now no one's safe, least 
of all the other pets. But she's trapped, unable to get back 
to Penn—the boy she loves—or help the girls who need her. 

Back in the United States, pets are turning up dead. With help from a very unexpected source, Ella slips deep into the dangerous black market, posing as a tarnished pet available to buy or sell. If she's lucky, she'll be able to rescue Penn and expose the truth about the breeding program. If she fails, Ella will pay not only with her life, but the lives 
of everyone she's tried to save...

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Tough times + no Christmas + a lot of other downfalls = I will be back

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 3:12 PM 1 comments
Hey guys. Some of you may have noticed that I haven't been posting as much. Well, there are a few reasons for that. 

1) My external hard drive where all my blogging stuff is kept isn't working properly and ALL my reviews are on there.

2) I am working my butt off to keep my parents house out of foreclosure again. 

3) I have been busy trying to make Christmas happen for my brother. He has downsyndrome and still believes in Santa so if Santa doesn't bring him anything he will be really upset.

4) I am depressed. MAJORLY depressed. I haven't felt like living or doing anything else lately. 

So that is what is going on with me right now. I need chocolate and hugs. But I can't afford chocolate and hugs are hard to come by right now. So, sadly, I am taking a break from blogging. Just a short one. But I need to focus on other things right now. 

I hope you guys understand. 

Thank you for listening!


Thursday, November 12, 2015

REVIEW: A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle + Gris Grimly

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 1:00 PM 0 comments
Title: A Study in Scarlet
Author: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Gris Grimly
Publisher: Balzer and Bray
Publication: December 1st 2014
Cover Rating: 3/5

First: The illustrations, that's what is different from the original so that's what ill talk about first xD
I was NOT expecting the characters to look like that at all xD But that doesnt mean I didnt like them lol A LOT, they were entertaining to look at. I probably spent more time looking at the pictures than I did reading the book.

Onto the book. I was kind of confused towards the middle, there was some funny parts and I liked that, its .. The way its written is super formal but keep in mind the time period in which it was written, so some of the writing seems odd. Okay so there was a part 2 inside of this book that I had no idea existed. When I first started reading it I was super confused, it was a complete opposite of what I had read in the first part, but the scenes were so beautiful, and soon enough it started making sense. It would've made better sense to me if I had paid total attention to the book in the first part xD Like I was later like "DUHHHHH get your stuff together Vale!"

Anyways, its was enjoyable, the illustrations were pretty cool, kid friendly, you could say but since it IS Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur, its more like.. middle school kids..

Recommend it?
Of course, its a classic

Overall, I gave the book 4/5 stars.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Author Spotlight: Beyond Clueless by Linas Alsenas

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 1:00 PM 0 comments

Linas Alsenas has spent – OK, spends – way too much time singing show tunes to himself in the mirror. He has written several books for children and young adults, including GAY AMERICAMRS. CLAUS TAKES A VACATION,PEANUT and THE PRINCESS OF 8TH STREET. His latest book, BEYOND CLUELESS, is a young-adult novel about teens in a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio, that is very much like Linas’s hometown. Today Linas lives in London with his husband and works as an editor at a children’s book publisher. 

Title: Beyond Clueless
Author: Linas Alsenas
Publisher: Amulet
Publication: August 18th 2015
Cover Rating:

I... liked this book. Very much. Beyond Clueless is how I feel high school really is. I have read sooo many books where there are these nasty popular people who beat kids up and, yea, I know that this does happen, but this book feels more like what a normal high school life is. Or at least how MY high school life was. But then again, social dynamics are dictated by common behaviors seen in everyday life. So this book might not be how your high school is. But it is pretty close to mine. Just go read the book. It's so great.

If I have to choose one word to describe this book it would be: Diversity.

Marty is a great character. She has her moments where I don't like her way of thinking but overall, she was very easy to connect with. For some reason I feel like Marty should have been a guy. I have no idea why. Sometimes I just found myself reading as if she was a guy and then she would say something that was obviously female and I was like ooooops... Oh.. and TWIX. I was eating one. Read the book to get the reference, haha!

I have never seen Glee but I seriously imagine that this is Glee in book form. It is so funny at times and the entire theater theme is great. I remember the theater people from when I was in school and they were such awesome people. I, unfortunately, had no acting bone in my body so I was stuck in chorus. They weren't afraid to be themselves! 

One thing I did notice about this book is the main character is a freshman in high school but she seems older, along with other characters as well. Maybe maturity levels have changed since I was in high school? I'm not sure but I didn't feel like Marty was a freshman. 

This book is pretty relatable for anyone, really. When Jimmy came out to Marty I was laughing because Marty was like DUH. I have experienced that a few times in my life. I have had a few good friends come out to me and I was just like... okay? and? I've known that. Moving on.... And because of situations like this I sometimes feel like people coming out actually WANT it to be a big deal. I see things saying the gay community doesn't want to be singled out yet they expect something when they "come out". So what? You're you. I am glad you are who you are but you could be a Narwhal for all I care and you would still be my friend. 

Honestly, with the entire sexuality theme in this book it really has me thinking about so much. I wanted to say something, not entirely related to this book but still relevant. One of the characters comes out as gay and he starts hanging out with different people. That is all find and dandy. My problem is that people feel the need to be like "Hi, my name is Bob and I'm gay." Like, uhh, hi? I truly don't care if you are gay. And I am not saying that in a mean way. You are who you are. By saying stuff like that it's almost like YOU WANT people to put you into a category. I don't go up to people and say "Hi, I'm Jenn and I am bisexual." Stop using your sexuality, and for that matter skin color, to place yourself into a category. You are a person. We are all people. It is find to be proud of who you are. Everyone should be proud of who they are. But don't use being gay to define you. It doesn't define you. It is a part of you. YOU DEFINE YOU. This book isn't exactly meant to be so heavy but it did get me thinking about a lot of things. Maybe it will make other readers open up their minds as well.

In the end. My final thought on this book is, be yourself. If you feel like you can't be yourself around your family or friends then its THEM who are wrong. Not you. It is never wrong to be yourself. EVER.

Overall, I gave the book 4.5/5 stars.

1) What was the inspiration behind Beyond Clueless?
I can’t really answer that question without talking about the ending, so, SPOILER ALERT! Reader, skip to the next question if you haven’t read the book. But I wrote the first chapter of Beyond Clueless many years ago, when I was just starting out in book publishing, in New York. I started with a vague idea for a book, that it would be about a girl's impossible crush on a gay male friend, with a twist at the end in which she realizes that she had been wrong about his sexual orientation the whole time. You might say it was meant to be a wish fulfilment story for my girl friends from college, who would complain to me, "All the good ones are gay!" I wanted them to be able to get a good one, too – at least once. There are a lot of stories about boyfriends who would become gay friends, but I didn’t know of any books about gay friends who would become boyfriends.   

2) Do you think the Young Adult book community needs more diverse books?(race, sexuality, etc.)
Yes! Definitely! The more perspectives we can have in books, the more books as a whole will represent and be better able to connect with book readers. And diversity shouldn’t be limited to the books themselves; the book community, too, needs diversity, from publishers to librarians to reviewers to – most important – readers. Books should be inclusive, open for everyone’s participation. And you can’t just be told that you belong; you have to see it for yourself.

3) Did you plan on becoming and author?
As a teen, I really wanted to become a children’s books illustrator rather than an author. At the time, I thought that the most interesting, relevant art was happening in children’s books rather than in galleries, and I wanted to be part of that. But I had a lot of such interests, and it was nothing I was deadly certain about. I just knew I wanted to do something creative and, well, not boring! Looking back it seems like a pretty straightforward progression, from studying art history in college to learning about editorial work at an interior design magazine – to becoming a children’s books editor. Then, working at the publisher, I felt that I could create books like those I was editing. But, really, it was all just drifting towards a vague goal, taking advantage of whatever relevant opportunities arose. The novel was a task I set for myself, and, after a very long road, I managed to finish it and was lucky enough to get it published. I’ve written several books, but I still feel weird calling myself an “author”. I just … tell stories! Everyone tells stories all the time; it’s just part of being human.

4) If you had to pitch Beyond Clueless to a potential reader what would you say?
Do you like the TV show “Glee”? Do you like the movie Clueless? Do you like chatty teen novels? If you said yes to those things, then you will probably enjoy this book. It’s a really funny, easy read about a girl’s various dramas as she makes new friends at an all girls’ Catholic high school, tries not to lose her best friend to his new group of gay friends at another school, and tries to make a new boyfriend out of a fellow cast member in the school musical. Fear not, the book has been scientifically engineered to keep you fully entertained.

5) Are you currently working on any new books?
Yes! I’m pretty much always “working” on something, so it’s really just a question of whether I can get my act together enough to wrap it up. But I’m halfway through a novel about modern royalty that seems promising, and I have a few picture-book ideas bouncing around, so I have my work cut out for me these days.

6) Did you do any extracurricular activities in high school?
Like the kids in Beyond Clueless, I was very involved in theater in high school. I was part of a group that would perform one-act plays at competitions, and I loved it. I also did a lot of art, illustrating for the newspaper and the yearbook. 

7) What bit of advice would you give teenagers today?
That’s such a tough question, because I’d like to think I’d give very different advice to different teens! But one piece of advice I would give to someone like my teen self would be to do whatever you can to get good grades. I know, it’s such a boring, annoying piece of advice, but it’s true, for two main reasons. One, good grades usually correspond with learning things, and if you develop of love of learning, that makes life so much easier in the long run. The second reason is that even if grades don’t mean that you’re learning things – and they will definitely seem arbitrary at times! – they can be your ticket to many other things, better things. Make good grades a priority – not for your parents, not for your teachers, but for yourself. But education gives you so many options in life, or at least it has for me, opening doors that I never thought I could get to, or doors that I never even knew existed. (You can also read a letter I wrote to my teen self here.)

Release Day: November 10th 2015 St. Martin's

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 10:00 AM 0 comments
A complete re-imagining of Clarissa Explains it All as 20-something Clarissa tries to navigate the unemployment line, mompreneurs and the collision of two people in love.She was a smart, snappy, light-hearted girl who knew it all at fourteen. Now a woman in her late twenties, her searching blue eyes are more serious, but mostly amused by the people around her. The gap-toothed smile that made her seem younger than she really was is gone, but she still lightens up the room. Her unpredictable wardrobe rocks just like when she was a kid, but her fashion sense has evolved and it makes men and women turn their heads.

After leaving high school early, Clarissa interned at the Daily Post while attending night school. At the ripe old age of twenty- two she had it made – her own journalism beat (fashion, gender politics and crime), an affordable apartment in FiDi and a livable wage. She was so totally ahead of the game. Ah, those were the days! All three of them. Remember the Stock Market Crash of 08? Remember when people actually bought newspapers?

All of Clarissa’s charming obsessions, charts, graphs, and superstitions have survived into adulthood, but they’ve evolved into an ever-greater need to claw the world back under control. Her mid-twenties crisis has left her with a whole set of things she can’t explain: an ex-boyfriend turned stalker, her parents’ divorce, a micro relationship with the cute coffee guy, java addiction, “To-Flue Glue,” and then there’s Sam. Where’s Sam anyway?

Things I Can't Explain is about knowing it all in your teens and then feeling like you know nothing in your twenties.

Sweet, innocent Coco has always been the good one. But when she catches her boyfriend cheating on her, she decides it's time to break bad.

Coco swiftly goes from spending all her time baking and reading to working nights in (and dancing on) a bar, falling in and out of love (and lust), stealing education - and along the way discovers that she is stronger than she ever knew… In a time when her best friends are suddenly plunged into break ups, break-downs, big breaks, and on the verging of quitting New York City altogether, it's up to Coco to keep them together and find herself along the way.

Gemma Burgess' The Wild One: A Brooklyn Girls Novel is the inspiring story about the turmoil, uncertainty, and heartache that every twenty something faces and survives - with the help of her friends.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

REVIEW: Her Dark Curiosity by Megan Shepherd

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 1:00 PM 0 comments
Title: Her Dark Curiosity - Book 2
Author: Megan Shepherd
Publisher: Balzer and Bray
Publication: January 28th 2014
Cover Rating: 5/5

2 things I will mention about this book. So she is fearing the madness that runs in her family, she is kind of scared to be like her dad, but there is a part of her that kind of likes the madness.


There are times in my life that I'm just like, this is it, I'm officially going to go insane this time around, I am going to finally loose it, and it's scary as hell, fearing that you WILL truly go insane. But other times, when its this like... anger, that makes you kind of loose it, you embrace it, and by YOU I mean me xD It's kind of what gives me strength, I get a bit revengeful you know? and by revengeful I mean that I get a bit female doggish.

Another thing I will talk about from this book. The love triangle got on my nerves. Like... BIG TIME!!!! How do I say this without spoiling... Shes like.. I love pepper, let me put pepper on this and then 2 seconds later she's like I hate pepper! Let me use salt instead and this goes on a lot. It was too much for my tastes.

Okay 3 things. While the triangle irked me, it was all super well written, I can see why people like this series, I really do. Juliet is more about finding herself in this one, but not just that, to try to understand herself a bit more. Discover it.

Recommend it?
Aaaahh.. its not bad, yeah I recommend it.

Overall, I gave the book 3.5/5 stars.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

REVIEW: The Sea of Monsters Graphic Novel by Rick Riordan

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 3:00 PM 0 comments
Title: The Sea of Monsters Graphic Novel
Author: Rick Riordan
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Publication: July 2nd 2013
Cover Rating: 4/5

So I feel like the graphics got a bit better than the first book. 
That could just be me, but hey.. This is MY review after all xD
As I said before, I like the fact that it brings out all the important points to make it a quick read. 
However, I feel like some important images where left out of the book.
As I was reading this novel though, I remembered just how different the book is from the movie D: So I was yet again disappointed by the movie u.u LOL
Back the book. Percy sassyness was missing yet again u.u I don't have the third installment of this graphic series, sadly enough, but I do hope that the third book will have a sassy Percy. I have hope that the books start to improve as they go.

Recommend it?
Mmm... Yeah, I do. 

Overall, I gave the book 4/5 stars.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Author Spotlight: From Where I Watch You by Shannon Grogan

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 1:00 PM 0 comments

Shannon Grogan is a second grade teacher who writes at night (and while her kids are at ballet and baseball) in a small logging town east of Seattle. She holds degrees in education, and graphic design/Illustration. When she isn’t writing, she's baking, reading, watching scary movies, and wishing she were at the beach. You can find out more about her online at

Title: From Where I Watch You
Author: Shannon Grogan
Publisher: SoHo Teen
Publication: August 4th 2015
Cover Rating: 5/5

Oh, man. This book... From Where I Watch You was not AT ALL what I expected it to be and I think the author was aiming for that. Within the first 15 pages you get a holy roller, dead sister, horrible friends, 

Kara. Dear lord, Kara. That girl went through hell. Literal hell. I won't say anything that went on but I definitely didn't expect all of it from a book I thought was going to be a light read about a girl who had a dream of becoming a pastry chef. Romance, yeah, sure. But romance plus everything else I got? Nope... There were times when I wanted to smack her though. The weed thing for one. Then the way she was towards Charlie. UGH, girl! She was very naive and I think the story would have turned out differently had she been okay with Charlie from the first snowflake inspired kiss. 

Charlie was so cute and VERY patient. 99.9% of guys would have said screw you, Kara and left to find an easier target. But with that being said... Hayden 'liked' her too. Maybe if she had been a bit easier to talk to or not so secretive she might not have ended up where she did. Not saying it's her fault but her personality obviously attracted two guys. Two extremely different guys, but two guys nonetheless. Charlie's personality is also how I knew he wasn't THE guy who did the crap to Kara.

GOD. Kara's mother, Meg, was such a horrible Holy Roller. She treated her customers, complete strangers, with such kindness and compassion but she treated Kara like she was the scum of the earth. Most parents WANT their child to succeed in life. It seemed like Meg only wanted Kara to fail and end up in the same town with no future except "the lords plan" that Meg apparently knows sooo much about. At the end she sort of becomes a mother again but she didn't redeem herself in my eyes, not yet, at least. 

I am still trying to decide how I feel about Noelle. She was a good friend sometimes but other times she was terrible. And she obviously wasn't good enough to make Kara feel she was reliable enough to tell her secrets to. I feel like Noelle was kind of a replacement for Kellen. She had a lot of the same personality traits and treated Kara badly most of the time. 

I liked the who cookie contest that the book revolved around. The fact that Kara actually had a passion about something should have been enough for her mother to accept it. Considering Kara had such a terrible time as a kid finding her place in the world. Her mother should have LOVED and helped Kara's passion flourish. Instead she tried to put out the flame and put down her daughter for her passion. But Meg has noooo problem at all using Kara's baking skills to sell her cookies to make money for HER shop. I don't even think she paid Kara for them. It wasn't stated but I just get the feeling she didn't.

The ending was amazing and scary. I knew it had to be who it was but the truth about Kellen was shocking. I was so happy that Kara found the strength to win. She has been through so much and i felt like she had either given up or stopped caring. She seemed like a girl that was hiding behind someone that wasn't her. But that was her downfall and exactly why HE said he liked her... And the award for the vaguest book review ever goes to....MEEEEE.

Overall, I gave the book 4.5/5 stars.

1) Where did the inspiration for From Where I Watch You come from?
The inspiration for the story came from a Campbell’s Soup radio commercial! I heard it on the radio while driving and had to pull over quick to jot notes about a character that popped into my head based on this radio ad! She ended up being my MC’s mom—a crazy, born-again Christian who thinks she can heal everyone with the pea soup she sells in her cafĂ©!

2) When Kara made the Halloween skull cookies her mom sold, did her mom pay her for the cookies she sold?
Nope. Their deal was Kara got a little corner of the kitchen reserved for her baking, and in return Mom got to sell the cookies.

3) Do you enjoy baking?
Yes I do! My favorite thing to bake is pie. But I have to bake gluten-free now and that isn’t as fun.

4) Did you always want to become an author?
Yup! I originally wanted to be primarily an illustrator. When I was a kid I’d write crappy stories just to draw the pictures to go with them. Didn’t care much about the words back then.

5) If you had to choose between never reading a book ever again or never having any sort of bakery item ever again which would you pick?
Sadly, never eating a bakery item again.

6) What is your favorite junk food?
I think ice cream. Specifically Ben & Jerry’s New York Superfudge Chunk

7) If you were in Kara's shoes, would you have told someone about being stalked?
Knowing who she associated with and those closest to her, no, I wouldn’t have.

Release Day: November 3rd 2015 Entangled Teen

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 10:30 AM 0 comments

Ivy Westfall is beyond the fence and she is alone. Abandoned by her family and separated from Bishop Lattimer, Ivy must find a way to survive on her own in a land filled with countless dangers, both human and natural. She has traded a more civilized type of cruelty--forced marriages and murder plots--for the bare-knuckled brutality required to survive outside Westfall's borders.

But there is hope beyond the fence, as well. And when Bishop reappears in Ivy's life, she must decide if returning to Westfall to take a final stand for what she believes is right is worth losing everything she's fought for.

Imagine a world where your destiny has already been your future self.

It's Callie’s seventeenth birthday and, like everyone else, she's eagerly awaiting her vision―a memory sent back in time to sculpt each citizen into the person they're meant to be. A world-class swimmer. A renowned scientist.

Or in Callie's case, a criminal.

In her vision, she sees herself murdering her gifted younger sister. Before she can process what it means, Callie is arrested and placed in Limbo―a hellish prison for those destined to break the law. With the help of her childhood crush, Logan, a boy she hasn’t spoken to in five years, she escapes.

But on the run from her future, as well as the government, Callie sets in motion a chain of events that she hopes will change her fate. If not, she must figure out how to protect her sister from the biggest threat of all—Callie, herself.

Release Day: November 3rd 2015 St. Martin's

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 10:00 AM 0 comments
An emotional contemporary YA novel about love, loss, and having the courage to chase the life you truly want.

Reeling from her mother's death, Georgia has a choice: become lost in her own pain, or enjoy life right now, while she still can. She decides to start really living for the first time and makes a list of fifteen ways to be brave - all the things she's wanted to do but never had the courage to try. As she begins doing the things she's always been afraid to do - including pursuing her secret crush, she discovers that life doesn't always go according to plan. Sometimes friendships fall apart and love breaks your heart. But once in a while, the right person shows up just when you need them most - and you learn that you're stronger and braver than you ever imagined.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Release Day: November 2nd 2015 Entangled Teen

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 2:30 PM 0 comments
The world isn't just black or white. Sometimes it's red...

They think I'm next. That I'll be the seventh kid to step in front of a train and end my life. With the rash of suicides at my school, Mom's shipped me off to my dad's Wyoming ranch for “my own safety.” They think I’m just another depressed teenager whose blood will end up on the tracks. They don't know my secrets...or what I’ve done. 

I wasn't expecting Dad to be so sick, for the ranch I loved to be falling to bits, or for Jake—the cute boy I knew years ago—to have grown into a full-fledged, hot-as-hell cowboy. Suddenly, I don't want to run anymore, but the secrets from home have found me...even here. And this time, it's up to me to face them—and myself—if I want to live...

Review: Little Peach by Peggy Kern

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 1:00 PM 0 comments
Title: Little Peach
Author: Peggy Kern
Publisher: B+B
Publication: March 10th 2015
Cover Rating: 4/5

Little Peach wasn't what I was expecting. I was thinking it would be about some run away white girl who thought her life would be better if she was on her own. But that isn't what it was about. Not by a long shot. It was a very hard book to read. It was a QUICK read but I had to put it down sometimes and just really think that this lifestyle isn't fictional to a lot of people. 

Michelle, "Peach",  led such an iffy life. It was sort of okay when her grandpa was there but once he wasn't there everything changed, and not for the better. Having the kind of life she was given made me kind of surprised that she turned out as good as she did. YES, she did get involved with some horrible stuff. But, had she been given the choice, I know she wouldn't have ended up going down that path. I do wonder what to call her situation. Human trafficking? Kidnapping and prostitution? I know it isn't exactly kidnapping because she went with him willingly. Plus she didn't exactly run away, she was told to leave. So, it's not like Devon took her from anywhere. 

The synopsis made Devon sound like this business man in a suit and tie looking to pick up unsuspecting runaway girls. Yes, he did pick up runaway girls, but after getting to be around his characters for a bit I started to feel like he was just a somewhat nicely dressed guy. Michelle, being from where she was from, made it seem like he was so well dressed and different than what he really was. 

I didn't like Cat at all, in the beginning, at least. She felt very cold. She did change towards the end of the book and for a good reason. She didn't deserve what happened to her. She shouldn't have been caught up in the lifestyle and thinking that Devon would change for her. But she didn't deserve what happened and in the end it still isn't entirely clear what actually DID happen to her. Devon does say what happened but who knows if that's true.

I sort of liked Baby a little bit but she was really messed up and when I got to the end of the book I really wanted to know what had happened to her to make her the way she was. She was so numb in the hotel but she was just a child when they were all home. She had a horrible obsession with Finding Nemo and it made me wonder if maybe she was lost from her parents. Maybe she didn't run away?

This is one of those books where you aren't exactly told the race of the characters but the ethnic aspects in the book lead you to believe that the characters are of African American decent. I really liked that. You can draw your own conclusions. But being raised in the area I was raised in I came to my conclusion because of things I have seen growing up. The music, conversations, hair and clothing styles, gang names and just overall feel of the book are what you have to focus on to really see what the book is about. 

One last thing I wanted to mention. Going back and reading the synopsis is very haunting. The first line is "What do you do if you're in trouble?". Michelle's grandpa sad that to her a lot throughout her life and I think him teaching her that helped shape her. It is just haunting reading that because Michelle repeats that to herself throughout the entire book and that statement is what eventually led her to be brave and do what she did in the end. 

Overall, I gave the book 4.5/5 stars.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Horrorween Reviews: Author Spotlight: We'll Never be Apart by Emiko Jean

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 1:00 PM 0 comments

Hi, I’m Emiko.

When I am not writing, I am reading. Most of my friends are imaginary. Before I became a writer I was an entomologist, a candle maker, a florist and most recently a teacher. I live in Washington (with my husband and very large dog) and love the rain.

My debut novel, WE’LL NEVER BE APART, was inspired by my work with children in foster care, and will be published by HMH Books for Young Readers Oct 6, 2015. I am represented by Erin Harris at Folio Literary Management.

Title: We'll Never be Apart
Author: Emiko Jean
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Publication: October 6th 2015
Cover Rating: 5/5

Psychological. Thriller. If there was to be a picture next to the definition of psychological thriller, We'll Never Be Apart, would be that picture.

Alice and Celia are twins. They grew up living with their grandfather. They have a pretty normal life but then one thing goes wrong and the entire balance gets upset.

Alice is the good twin. She is quiet, smart and she doesn't burn things down. But she does her her flaws. Cellie being one of them. She doesn't want to hurt her sister even though her sister has done nothing but hurt her. Loving someone can be a fatal flaw.

Cellie is terrible. She hurts everyone, she starts fires and she is very cynical. She apologizes to Alive after each thing she has done but isn't that what sick people do? They keep apologizing but then they just go and do something horrible again. 

Jason is an anchor for Alice and Cellie. He is home. They haven't been given much love or any reason to trust anyone but Jason has given them those things. He sadly gives a little more to Alice than Cellie and he ends up paying the price for it. He seemed like a scumball to me, though. Some of the things he did and said were just nasty. 

I liked Chase. He seemed kind of like an asshole for the majority of the book but in the end he was still there for Alice when he didn't have to be. He could have left and moved on with his life but he came back and he was there for her. It's actually kind of sad and spooky, really. He could be the next Jason. I know he felt like he could save Alice and he wanted to try because he couldn't save his sister but he still didn't have to stay after he got out.

The girls have been in and out of foster homes since they were six. They have been to mental health facilities as well, which is to be expected with the whole fire starting thing. But Alice is always punished right along with Cellie. No matter how horrible Cellie's crime is, Alice always says that she did it just to protect her sister. 

The way the book is told, you really don't expect the ending at all. At least, I didn't. I cannot comment about how the book ended or anything really because that would spoil everything. Saying the book is a psychological thriller is kind of a spoiler too. But I say, if you liked Mara Dyer then you should give this a try. I got the same mind screwed feeling after finishing this as I did with the Mara Dyer Trilogy.

And, a word of advice, or whatever you wish to take this as, Mother's, Ball's, and Toilet Seats make everything much more enjoyable. 

Overall, I gave the book 4.5/5 stars.

1. What was the inspiration behind We'll Never Be Apart?
Firstly, thanks so much for having me on your blog today! 

When I graduated from college my undergrad work was in entomology and I spent a very short time working in that field. I love bugs, but I didn’t feel like it quite satisfied my creative drive so during that time I pursued other avenues like candle making and flower arranging J. Finally, I decided to go back to school and become a teacher (I’m from a long line of teachers, education is in my blood). Since the book sold I’ve left teaching. I really loved being a teacher but found balancing writing full-time and teaching full-time was almost impossible! 

My first year teaching I worked at a school with a large population of foster kids. 
It was there the characters for We’ll Never Be Apart originally appeared to me, inspired by some of the foster kids I dealt with. In my head Alice and Cellie grew as characters taking on their own unique life story until I felt compelled to write it. 

2. Can you do Origami?
Yes! Although, I would consider myself a novice at origami. 

3. Have you ever been inside a Psychiatric Hospital?
I haven’t, but I did consult with adolescent mental health experts while writing WE’LL NEVER BE APART. I fact checked with them and also ran through logistical details of the novel – such as the schedule, the layout, and the health services provided. 

4. How hard is it to write a book?
I won’t lie. It is difficult. Writing a book is a true labor of love. But as difficult as it is, it is equally rewarding. 

5. If you have to choose between never writing again or never eating chocolate again which would you pick?
Ha! Tough choice. I eat a lot of chocolate while writing. To me chocolate = writing and writing = chocolate, if you know what I mean. But if I had to make a choice I suppose it would be writing.  

6. What did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be lots of things! A teacher (which I did for a long time), an astronaut (turns out it’s not as easy as it sounds), a photojournalist (I found out quickly this involved more risk than I was willing to take). My path to publishing wasn’t clear from a young age. And as I grew, I tried on different hats to see what fit me best. 

7. Are you currently working on any new books?
I am always writing something. Right now, I am working on another thriller. That’s all I am willing to say (don’t want to give away any spoilers J).

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