No Place to Fall by Jaye Robin Brown

No Place to Fall by Jaye Robin Brown

Expected Publication: December 9, 2014

How I Acquired This Book: ARC Tour

4stars

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Amber Vaughn is a good girl. She sings solos at church, babysits her nephew after school, and spends every Friday night hanging out at her best friend Devon’s house. It’s only when Amber goes exploring in the woods near her home, singing camp songs with the hikers she meets on the Appalachian Trail, that she feels free—and when the bigger world feels just a little bit more in reach.

When Amber learns about an audition at the North Carolina School of the Arts, she decides that her dream—to sing on bigger stages—could also be her ticket to a new life. Devon’s older (and unavailable) brother, Will, helps Amber prepare for her one chance to try out for the hypercompetitive arts school. But the more time Will and Amber spend together, the more complicated their relationship becomes . . . and Amber starts to wonder if she’s such a good girl, after all.

Then, in an afternoon, the bottom drops out of her family’s world—and Amber is faced with an impossible choice between her promise as an artist and the people she loves. Amber always thought she knew what a good girl would do. But between “right” and “wrong,” there’s a whole world of possibilities.

(Summary from Goodreads)

Oh my goodness, when I began reading this book I thought it was going to be light story about a small town girl who falls in love with her best friends brother. It was much better and more intense than that. I love storylines where the main character falls in love with their best friends brother, not quite sure why that it but maybe because the relationships are so much deeper since the characters have known each other for so long before they get together. Anyhow, I loved the whole storyline. There was a ton of family drama, but it didn’t really kill my mood overall for the book. I felt like the family drama actually added a lot to the book and the reader a good insight on Amber and why she makes the choices she does.

I really liked the two main characters, Amber and Devon. Amber is determined and although she made some not so smart choices in the book, I really liked her. She seems super sweet, caring, and like your typical teenager. Like I said, she made some not so smart choices, but she always has the best intentions at heart. Her best friend Devon gave me mixed feelings, but in the end I really liked him. He is like a typical teenage boy, putting his love interest before many other important things. When he was in that stage he got on my nerves a few times, but he soon realized and changed his ways. Amber and Devon together made a great pair of friends. Devon supported Amber even in some difficult times.

There were other characters that I didn’t care for as much, but the story would not have been the same without them. Two of the characters were Amber’s sister and her sister’s husband who is a local drug dealer and has her sister under his control to do what he wants and when he wants it. Amber tries to be there for her sister, but her sister constantly pushes her away even after she is arrested and child protective services comes to investigate. The other character was Devon’s love interest, the new boy at school, whose name I cannot remember at this time (opps :-/ ). He seemed like your typical high school jocky, douchebag. My only wish would have been for Amber to sock him real good in the face and put him in his place.

In No Place to Fall, so much was happening at once and the story never had a chance to slow down to a boring speed. Whether Amber was dealing with her family, her singing, her confusing relationship with Devon’s brother Will or just typical high schooler issues, the story was always interesting. I finished this book in a day which surprised me. It was a bit lengthy compared to the last book I finished and I don’t have as much free reading time as I did before. Granted I did stay up way too late and was super groggy in class the next day, but it was so completely worth it.

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Top Ten Clues You’re Clueless by Liz Czukas

So the first week of classes is over and today starts the second week/first full week of classes. I was able to still finish 4 books last week which isn’t saying much. I haven’t had much homework yet, but as classes pick up I imagine I will drop down to 2-3 books a week. This week is only going to feature three of those books. I will schedule the other for next week. If I can keep ahead of myself than I should always have reviews scheduled for the following weeks to come. Thursday I will be hosting a book tour so come check it out. I also have an awesome offer that comes with that book tour that is available both Thursday and Friday. Now enough of my babbling and onto the first review of the week!

Top Ten Clues You’re Clueless by Liz Czukas

Expected Publication: December 9, 2014

How I Acquired This Book: ARC Tour

4stars

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Top Five Things That Are Ruining Chloe’s Day

5) Working the 6:30 a.m. shift at GoodFoods Market

4) Crashing a cart into a customer’s car right in front of her snarky coworker Sammi

3) Trying to rock the “drowned rat” look after being caught in a snowstorm

2) Making zero progress with her crush, Tyson (see #3)

1) Being accused—along with her fellow teenage employees—of stealing upwards of $10,000

Chloe would rather be anywhere than locked in work jail (aka the break room) with five of her coworkers . . . even if one of them is Tyson. But if they can band together to clear their names, what looks like a total disaster might just make Chloe’s list of Top Ten Best Moments.

(Summary from Goodreads)

When I read the summary I was expecting something completely different than what the book was really about. Top Ten Clues You’re Clueless takes place on Christmas Eve, but for some reason I was thinking she was working the 6:30am shift before school. TTCYC is a funny, quick story with a light mystery mixed in. I really enjoyed this book for numerous amounts of reasons.

First, the characters are all so different and aren’t your usual “cookie cutter” characters you read about in every other young adult book. They all come from completely different backgrounds and that really shapes who their character is and how they act throughout the book. They were also all pretty likeable. Some got annoying, but usually because the character was purposely being annoying at that part of the story. I also liked how even though they didn’t know each other too well, some never even talking to each other before, they all stuck together when getting blamed for the money being stolen.

Second, I loved the lists throughout the book. I myself am a list maker for so many things, some have a point while others are just for fun. I liked how it broke up the chapters every now and then and some of the lists had me cracking up. My favorite was the one around the lines of the weirdest things that Chloe ever experienced at GoodFoods. Some seemed so strange, but I could picture them in my head and I am sure they have happened at stores before. (My first guess would be at a Walmart, I mean have you ever seen the website peopleofwalmart.com?) It also helped up understand Chloe better too because we learned a lot about her from her lists.

Third, I loved although it was a cute romance book, there was a mystery thrown in. This mystery was so much different than most of the mystery books I have been reading lately. While the issue itself wasn’t light, compared to the past mystery books I’ve read, this mystery was light. At first I honestly had no clue what character had done it. Toward the end I was getting suspicious of one character, the right character. I was pretty surprised of who it was as well. It was something I hadn’t been expecting and it gave the book a nice surprise element. I also like the cute romances featured in the book. They weren’t anything serious, but were a cute little touch.

Overall, I definitely enjoyed Top Ten Clues You’re Clueless a lot better than Liz Czukas’ other book, Ask Again Later. It only took me a few hours to finish reading this book which was great considering I’m short on time now with my fall courses. It’s one I’d reread in the future and I have already added it to my birthday/Christmas wish list.

Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer

I know practically everyone says, don’t judge a book by it cover, yet I feel like we all still do it. I will be the first to admit that 9 times out of 10 I pick up a book or click on a book online because I like it’s cover. From there though, the summary is the ultimate deciding factor if I will actually read the book or not. Belzhar was included.

Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer

Expected Publication: September 30, 2014

How I Acquired This Book: ARC Tour

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If life were fair, Jam Gallahue would still be  at home in New Jersey with her sweet British  boyfriend, Reeve Maxfield. She’d be watching  old comedy sketches with him. She’d be kissing  him in the library stacks.

She certainly wouldn’t be at The Wooden Barn, a therapeutic boarding school in rural Vermont, living with a weird roommate, and signed up for an exclusive, mysterious class called Special Topics in English.

But life isn’t fair, and Reeve Maxfield is dead.

Until a journal-writing assignment leads Jam to Belzhar, where the untainted past is restored, and Jam can feel Reeve’s arms around her once again. But there are hidden truths on Jam’s path to reclaim her loss.

From New York Times bestselling author Meg Wolitzer comes a breathtaking and surprising story about first love, deep sorrow, and the power of acceptance.

(Summary from Goodreads)

The first few times I scrolled past Belzhar on both Goodreads and Edelweiss, I never once clicked on the title to find out more about this book. At first glance the title made it seem like it would be a strange book and the cover itself didn’t grab my attention. Thank goodness I finally clicked on  it (after seeing it pop up several times) because Belzhar was absolutely, without a doubt amazing. It took me a few hours to read this book from cover to cover. It was so much better than I ever could have expected. I’ve called other books I have read and reviewed original before, which they were, but I feel that Belzhar was original on a completely different level. First, it dealt lightly with some difficult topics that a lot of teens in our society go through everyday/year. Second, the added “magic” I guess you could call it just took the story so much further.

I enjoyed that although the book was focused around one main character, Jam, the reader got to know the other four students in the Special Topics in English class as well. We were able to learn all of their stories and knew them as well as we did Jam. Out of all the characters in the book, there were only two I did not like. One was a very minor character, while the other was pretty important but my dislike was not present until some of the final chapters. The rest of the characters I fell in love with. I loved seeing them open up to the other students and deal with their pasts with the help of their journals. When beginning this book, I have no idea the power of these journals that each student had.

It’s hard to go into too much detail without giving anything away. There are a few surprising moments throughout the book and it will have you unable to put the book down. I really, really love Belzhar and cannot wait to buy my own copy when it is published later this month. I am also really hoping that the author writes a sequel to follow up with the students during their winter break and spring semester. In a way the ending was left open where a sequel could definitely be possible, but at the moment I do feel like this was written as a standalone novel. I cannot wait to see what other young adult books Meg Wolitzer writes in the future.

Magnolia by Kristi Cook

Magnolia by Kristi Cook

Expected Publication: August 5, 2014

How I Acquired This Book: ARC Tour

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In Magnolia Branch, Mississippi, the Cafferty and Marsden families are southern royalty. Neighbors since the Civil War, the families have shared vacations, holidays, backyard barbecues, and the overwhelming desire to unite their two clans by marriage. So when a baby boy and girl were born to the families at the same time, the perfect opportunity seemed to have finally arrived.

Jemma Cafferty and Ryder Marsden have no intention of giving in to their parents’ wishes. They’re only seventeen, for goodness’ sake, not to mention that one little problem: They hate each other! Jemma can’t stand Ryder’s nauseating golden-boy persona, and Ryder would like nothing better than to pretend stubborn Jemma doesn’t exist.

But when a violent storm ravages Magnolia Branch, it unearths Jemma’s and Ryder’s true feelings for each other as the two discover that the line between love and hate may be thin enough to risk crossing over.

(Summary from Goodreads)

“Wow”, is the first word I thought of after finishing Magnolia. I also had a bit of a book hangover afterwards, it was just so good. I absolutely loved everything about this book. I loved the characters, I loved the storyline and I cannot wait to go out and buy myself my own copy so I can read it over and over again. Magnolia is definitely my current favorite book at the moment. Magnolia is the type of book that when you finish, you wish it could have just gone on a little bit longer, if not forever.

I really loved both main characters, Jemma and Ryder, and their backstory. I’m your typical young adult female. I love a good contemporary romance with some extra drama added in. While both Jemma’s mother and Ryder’s mother want the two of them to be together, Jemma and Ryder cannot stand each other. Their moms often did get annoying and I can’t even begin to imagine if my own mother and her best friend did this to myself and her son. I think I’d go crazy and because of this, I can understand why there is so much hostility between the two of them.

I am also terrified of tornados (mind you I live in New Jersey where we rarely ever get anything more than a warning, so I’m not sure why I am so terrified of them) so my heart was pounding while Jemma and Ryder are stuck alone together during the storm. My heart was also racing because I couldn’t wait to see what was going to happen next between them. There were a few times I wanted to yell, “Just get over it already and admit your feelings!”, but refrained myself from doing so. Although being terrified of tornados, I did enjoy that part of the book the most. Perhaps because there were no outside influences on how Jemma and Ryder acted around each other. I also liked that it focused on just the two of them because I was able to get to know them better as characters.

I tried to not really give anything away in my review. It really was just an amazing young adult book and I would recommend for anyone and everyone to read it. It’s a super quick and easy read because you never want to put it down.

Roomies by Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando

Roomies is a book that has been on my radar and TBR list for a while now. I was originally waiting for it to come out in paperback, but I have no clue if it has or not yet. Thank goodness my library had it because it was one of the books I wanted to read the most from my TBR list.

Roomies by Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando

How I Acquired This Book: Library Rental

4stars

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It’s time to meet your new roomie.

When East Coast native Elizabeth receives her freshman-year roommate assignment, she shoots off an e-mail to coordinate the basics: television, microwave, mini-fridge. That first note to San Franciscan Lauren sparks a series of e-mails that alters the landscape of each girl’s summer — and raises questions about how two girls who are so different will ever share a dorm room.

As the countdown to college begins, life at home becomes increasingly complex. With family relationships and childhood friendships strained by change, it suddenly seems that the only people Elizabeth and Lauren can rely on are the complicated new boys in their lives . . . and each other. Even though they’ve never met.

(Summary from Goodreads)

First off, the cover of Roomies just instantly pops out at you. I loved the cover and the simplicity of it. It definitely was one factor that had grabbed my attention when I first saw Roomies online. (The hardcover is way brighter than the paperback too.) I also started this book thinking it was going to be just emails back and forth, kind of like the format of yolo, ttyl, and l8r, g8r. Thank goodness it wasn’t because so much was happening in each chapter and a lot would have been left out if it was only written in emails. I am also now assuming Sara Zarr wrote one character’s story, while Tara Altebrando wrote the other. Sometimes when I read a book that alternates authors for each chapter, it isn’t as smooth as a single author book. Roomies though was great. Everything flowed from one chapter to the next.

In the beginning, I really liked Lauren and Elizabeth. Further into the story they tended to annoy me pretty often. That is the only reason why I gave Roomies 4 stars instead of 5. They just would do, say or think/justify stupid things way too often. They both overreacted a couple times too which was unnecessary. I liked both of their stories and how it showed that no one is perfect. Lo and EB only knew each other from their emails and they both assumed stuff about one another and as they got to know each other more, they realized they were more alike than they thought. I wish there was a final few chapters where we could have actually read about them meeting for the first time. I would also love to see a sequel to see what happens during their first year of college and what happens between them and their boys/boyfriends.

Roomies is a perfect book if you are in college or heading to college, although it’s great for anyone to read. It’s so real and so easy to relate to some issues. Reading Roomies made me wish I had gone away or at least chose to live in a dorm while at college.

The Fine Art of Pretending by Rachel Harris

The Fine Art of Pretending by Rachel Harris

Expected Publication: September 30, 2014

How I Acquired This Book: ARC Tour

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According to the guys at Fairfield Academy, there are two types of girls: the kind you hook up with, and the kind you’re friends with. Seventeen-year-old Alyssa Reed is the second type. And she hates it. With just one year left to change her rank, she devises a plan to become the first type by homecoming, and she sets her sights on the perfect date—Justin Carter, Fairfield Academy’s biggest hottie and most notorious player.

With 57 days until the dance, Aly launches Operation Sex Appeal and sheds her tomboy image. The only thing left is for Justin actually to notice her. Enter best friend Brandon Taylor, the school’s second biggest hottie, and now Aly’s pretend boyfriend. With his help, elevating from “funny friend” to “tempting vixen” is only a matter of time.

But when everything goes according to plan, the inevitable “break up” leaves their friendship in shambles, and Aly and Brandon with feelings they can’t explain. And the fake couple discovers pretending can sometimes cost you the one thing you never expected to want.

(Summary from Goodreads)

I am a total sucker for young adult romance books like The Fine Art of Pretending. Ever since I saw 10 Things I Hate About You, I have enjoyed watching movies and reading books where someone, or both people, go into a fake relationship but end up really falling for each other. The fact that it’s two best friends in The Fine Art of Pretending just made it even better. I absolutely loved reading this book and was sad to have to send it on to the next person.

I loved the characters in The Fine Art of Pretending. Aly was so easily relatable because I feel like most girls have that one guy friend they have crushed on but it has never been anything more than friends. For me, there was several. I was like Aly myself where I was friends with a lot of the guys, but that is all they ever saw me as, a friend. I could completely understand where Aly was coming from when she launches Operation Sex Appeal and it’s something I’ve done myself in the past. Brandon, Aly’s best friend and pretend boyfriend, seems like a total sweetheart. He is so protective of Aly and is always there for her. It killed me to see them both so in denial about their feelings for each other. I liked Aly’s two girl friends although they weren’t in the book as much as Brandon. As for Justin, at first I had mixed feelings about him but then I ended up really liking him and feeling bad for him (but I’m not giving anything else about him away).

The Fine Art of Pretending has just the right amount of drama and heartache in it. Every chapter was eventful and exciting and I was never sitting there bored while I was reading. If anything, I was kind of annoyed at myself for trying to read this on vacation. If I had read this while at home, I would have finished it in a day, but because I was away and only had a little bit of time here and there to read, it took me 3 days to read! When it is published I am definitely buying my own copy and reading it again.

#scandal by Sarah Ockler

Ever since I read Sarah Ockler’s Twenty Boy Summer a few years back, I have been meaning to read another one of her books. I never got around to reading another one until now when #scandal came out. I loved the story line and I have read several other books that have a similar concept and usually enjoyed them. While #scandal was good, Twenty Boy Summer still is my favorite Sarah Ockler novel.

#scandal by Sarah Ockler

How I Acquired This Book: Library Rental

3stars

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Lucy’s learned some important lessons from tabloid darling Jayla Heart’s all-too-public blunders: Avoid the spotlight, don’t feed the Internet trolls, and keep your secrets secret. The policy has served Lucy well all through high school, so when her best friend Ellie gets sick before prom and begs her to step in as Cole’s date, she accepts with a smile, silencing about ten different reservations. Like the one where she’d rather stay home shredding online zombies. And the one where she hates playing dress-up. And especially the one where she’s been secretly in love with Cole since the dawn of time.

When Cole surprises her at the after party with a kiss under the stars, it’s everything Lucy has ever dreamed of… and the biggest BFF deal-breaker ever. Despite Cole’s lingering sweetness, Lucy knows they’ll have to ’fess up to Ellie. But before they get the chance, Lucy’s own Facebook profile mysteriously explodes with compromising pics of her and Cole, along with tons of other students’ party indiscretions. Tagged. Liked. And furiously viral.

By Monday morning, Lucy’s been branded a slut, a backstabber, and a narc, mired in a tabloid-worthy scandal just weeks before graduation.

Lucy’s been battling undead masses online long enough to know there’s only one way to survive a disaster of this magnitude: Stand up and fight. Game plan? Uncover and expose the Facebook hacker, win back her best friend’s trust, and graduate with a clean slate.

There’s just one snag—Cole. Turns out Lucy’s not the only one who’s been harboring unrequited love…

(Summary from Goodreads)

I have read countless amount of YA books dealing with scandals such as the one that happens in this book. While it’s usually two best friends and then one friend kisses the other’s boyfriend, the outcome and ending it always different, #scandal included. The back story of the characters was a bit like all the other ones I have read though. Two best friends befriend a boy, girl A has a crush on the boy but says nothing and so girl B who also has a crush on the boy begins to date him. #scandal dealt with issues that a lot of high schoolers face daily, cyber bullying and bullying in general. While the real “scandal” of kissing her best friend’s boyfriend is what starts all the bullying, a majority of the book deals with how Lucy deals with the constant bulling and name calling in school, and goes home to “hate pages” created about her on social networking sites. Lucy doesn’t deal with the issue as well as she could have. Understandably she was more interested in finding out who took and posted the pictures so she could get her friend back, rather than taking the issue to the principal who does try to get involved and gives her several chances to tell her what is going on. I think the culprit was pretty obvious from the beginning. I may have just had a lucky guess, but who knows.

As for the characters, I had mixed emotions about them. I didn’t exactly love any of them and I didn’t exactly hate any of them. I had thought Lucy was going to be this super gamer girl who is all about zombies. She only mentions them a couple times here and there even though it seems like that was all she did before prom night. She also never talks about how she feels. I know that opening yourself up like that is difficult to a lot of people, but she kept everything in and didn’t ever try to defend herself once to the bullies. I also thought Ellie would be present more in the novel considering she’s Lucy’s best friend and Cole’s girlfriend, but she only is in a few chapters throughout the book. She would also stick up for Lucy and then just walk away and never once came to Lucy to ask what really happened. Doesn’t sound like she was that great of friend… Cole was probably the character I liked the most in the whole book. He seemed like a sweetheart and was genuinely sorry about what had happened. There were some other characters in the book, some were obnoxious and other’s were just okay. Like I said, I didn’t really love any of the characters. None of them did anything special and even though some were main characters, they just kind of seemed to be there.

I think it would have been nice to have included a final chapter labeled, “Three Months Later”, so we could see what happens between Lucy and Ellie, and Lucy and Cole. I kind of want to know if Lucy and Ellie still went to UCLA and roomed together or if they decided to go their separate ways on campus. Overall, I did enjoy #scandal. It was a contemporary romance with a bit of a mystery thrown in (because you don’t know who took and posted the prom night pictures until one of the last chapters).

Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick

Hooray for second amazing book in a row. I really needed a giant dose of amazing when it came to reading lately and between the book I reviewed yesterday, Rites of Passage, and Black Ice today, I got that giant dose of awesome.

Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick

Expected Publication: October 7, 2014

How I Acquired This Book: ARC Tour

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Sometimes danger is hard to see… until it’s too late.

Britt Pfeiffer has trained to backpack the Teton Range, but she isn’t prepared when her ex-boyfriend, who still haunts her every thought, wants to join her. Before Britt can explore her feelings for Calvin, an unexpected blizzard forces her to seek shelter in a remote cabin, accepting the hospitality of its two very handsome occupants—but these men are fugitives, and they take her hostage.

In exchange for her life, Britt agrees to guide the men off the mountain. As they set off, Britt knows she must stay alive long enough for Calvin to find her. The task is made even more complicated when Britt finds chilling evidence of a series of murders that have taken place there… and in uncovering this, she may become the killer’s next target.

But nothing is as it seems in the mountains, and everyone is keeping secrets, including Mason, one of her kidnappers. His kindness is confusing Britt. Is he an enemy? Or an ally?

(Summary from Goodreads)

Black Ice delivered the thrills that the past young adult thriller books I read lacked. In every new chapter there was some unexpected turn or surprise and I loved that I couldn’t put it down because I had to know what happened next.

When I began reading this book, I didn’t think anything major was going to happen at first, but it did. Something huge happened within the first two chapters and it only became more intense from there on out. I was terrified for Britt and had no idea what her two kidnappers were going to do. About halfway through something completely crazy and unexpected happens. I think my jaw may have hit the floor. The story line only became even more interesting and thrilling from there.

I definitely fell in love with the main characters Britt and Mason. Even though Mason is one of Britt’s kidnappers, the author makes you love him. His character was also very interesting and the his story is very unexpected. Britt on the other hand, I had to agree with almost all of the choices she made. Once again here is another book the featured a strong, female lead character. She stood her ground even when she was in danger and she also knew her way around the mountain without help. As for a the other characters, some were okay and only present for a couple of chapters and others I absolutely despised. You can say I was pretty happy how the story ended.

This was a great young adult thriller/mystery with an original story line and it actually delivered the thrills as well. I loved how we got a definite ending at the end and we weren’t left asking questions about what happens next when you know there will never be a sequel (HUGE pet peeve). When Black Ice comes out in paperback, I will be buying it and adding it to my bookshelf.

Rites of Passage by Joy N. Hensley

Rites of Passage was exactly the book I needed. After not being too happy with the past couple of books I have read, I absolutely loved Rites of Passage and devoured the book in 1 day. This is a book I will be able to read again and again and enjoy it every single time.

Rites of Passage by Joy N. Hensley

Expected Publication: September 9, 2014

How I Acquired This Book: ARC Tour

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Sam McKenna’s never turned down a dare. And she’s not going to start with the last one her brother gave her before he died.

So Sam joins the first-ever class of girls at the prestigious Denmark Military Academy. She’s expecting push-ups and long runs, rope climbing and mud-crawling. As a military brat, she can handle an obstacle course just as well as the boys. She’s even expecting the hostility she gets from some of the cadets who don’t think girls belong there. What she’s not expecting is her fiery attraction to her drill sergeant. But dating is strictly forbidden and Sam won’t risk her future, or the dare, on something so petty…no matter how much she wants him.

As Sam struggles to prove herself, she discovers that some of the boys don’t just want her gone—they will stop at nothing to drive her out. When their petty threats turn to brutal hazing, bleeding into every corner of her life, she realizes they are not acting alone. A decades-old secret society is alive and active… and determined to force her out.
At any cost.

Now time’s running short. Sam must decide who she can trust…and choosing the wrong person could have deadly consequences.

(Summary from Goodreads)

When trying to find a good book, there are always certain things you look for and Rites of Passage had all of them and more. For a debut novel, this was absolutely amazing and really delivered a great, original story. I have never felt so many different emotions when reading a book and am not sure if I ever tore through a book the way I did with this one.

I loved the main character Sam. She is determined when she sets her mind to something and never once gives up. She is such a strong, female character and I think more books need characters like her in them. The rage and hatred I felt towards the antagonists of the book were on a whole new level from any other antagonist in any other books. You wanted to see them get what they deserved and then some because of how they behaved and treated Sam. There were a few other characters I really enjoyed, including Sam’s drill sergeant, his brother, and Sam’s mentor. A couple other characters I had mixed feelings about, which is what I am thinking the author wanted. They had some good moments and some bad ones, and sometimes they surprised you when you least expected it.

I loved the setting of the story. I myself never had any interest in joining the service or going to a military school like Sam attended, but it was actually really interesting to see what it would be like for new recruits during their first year. Plus, there was a secret society and I mean come on, secret societies always make the book better and more interesting. While generally most secret societies seem to not usually have everyone’s best interests at heart, the secret society in Rites of Passage takes it to a whole new level and made the book more thrilling. There were times when my heart was racing because I had no idea what was going to happen next or even what to expect. I love when a book has the power to do that to me.

This has definitely been one of the best books I have read so far this year and cannot wait for it to come out in September so I can buy my own copy to add to my bookshelf. I seriously urge everyone to go get a copy and read it. If you’re unsure, rent it from the library because I promise you will fall in love with it and want your own copy to reread over and over again. It’s so different from many of the young adult books out there and it has an original story with such a strong, female lead character which we don’t get to see too often. I would love to see a sequel to Rites of Passage to see what the following year has to bring for everyone and of course I would love to see where Sam and her love interest (because I’m not going to name names and spoil the story) are now. If I wasn’t able to convince you to read it with my 5 star rating and amazing review, so far there is over 200 ratings on Goodreads and Rites of Passage has a whopping 4.14 stars. Pretty sure that has been the highest of any book I had read to date. So seriously, go read it when it comes out and you can thank me later! 🙂

Monthly Wrap Up – July 2014

MWU

Wow, I cannot believe it is already the last day of July. Only one more month until classes start September 3rd and that means only one more only of doing some crazy reading. Once school starts I will probably cut back to 2 books a week, but if I have enough time I will definitely read more. I will continue posting 2-3 times a week as well. Of course, school will come first and I may be posting at odd hours depending on homework and studying, but I do not plan on letting these classes slow down my blog.

In the coming months, I am going to try to change some things about my blog. In my posts I am going to try to add some more pictures and/or GIFs in that are relevant so the posts aren’t so plain. I am also going to start using a new star design I found on Google for my rating system. Those are the only two things that will be changing look-wise when it comes to my blog. As for the reviews and content, I am going to try to include more ARCs in the review mix and also join some reading challenges. I have a few challenges I am completing on Goodreads in August and September and will be including the reviews of those books on my blog. In every review, I will now be including where I got the book from (example: bought, library, ARC, ARC tour, book tour, giveaway, ect.) because sometimes I do review ARCs, but I usually do not include where I get them from. In my monthly wrap ups starting from this post on, I am also going to include a short TBR list for the next month. It will give you an idea of what books I will be reading and reviewing. I may not get to all of them and I may read and review ones that I didn’t originally put on the list as well. Lastly, I will be linking the titles to the reviews of the books I have read so you can easily access them just by clicking the title. Overall, those are all the changes I am planning on making and hopefully it all works out.

reviewed this month

 ~07/07/14 – The Prince of Venice Beach

~07/14/14 – Don’t Look Back

~07/14/14 – Such a Pretty Girl

~07/16/14 – To All the Boy’s I’ve Loved Before

~07/22/14 – Even in Paradise

~07/23/14 – Liv, Forever

~07/25/14 – The Sound

~07/29/14 – Welcome to the Dark House

~07/31/14 – Rites of Passage

*Also read but did not review, Miles from Ordinary*

I was hoping to round out the amount of reviews I did this month to 10, but I was unable to finish my next book in time (I did actually finish it today but am going to wait to post the review until tomorrow so I am not posting 2 reviews today). I am going to try to squeeze in as many books as book in August. My goal is going to be 15 reviews and those reviews will be from these books that are on my August TBR list:

#scandal, Ashes to Ashes, Forget Me, After the End, Famous Last Words, Vivian Apple at the End of the World, Forbidden, Roomies, Riptide

Like I said, I will read and review books not on this list. I obviously don’t know what ARCs I may receive in the next couple of weeks, as well as what books I may have to read for any challenges, so those on my list are just a few I am hoping to get to in August. Most have been on my TBR list for quite some time and some are being released in August so I’d like to post the review two weeks before it’s release date. So, keep your eyes on my blog as it will be insanely active the next few weeks. If you have any suggestions of any books I should read in August leave a comment below and I will definitely consider it!