Category Archives: 3 Stars

*Review* Before I Fall – Lauren Oliver

Before I Fall Cover Before I Fall

Lauren Oliver

470 pages

ISBN: 9780061726811

Read 10-16-13

Source: Library

Format: Audiobook

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 What if you only had one day to live? What would you do? Who would you kiss? And how far would you go to save your own life?

Samantha Kingston has it all: looks, popularity, the perfect boyfriend. Friday, February 12, should be just another day in her charmed life. Instead, it turns out to be her last.

The catch: Samantha still wakes up the next morning. Living the last day of her life seven times during one miraculous week, she will untangle the mystery surrounding her death—and discover the true value of everything she is in danger of losing.

Well, I had heard so much about this book and seen some of the great quotes on Goodreads and people’s blog, so I was excited to read this one.   Unfortunately, it didn’t live up to my expectations.  I think I am one of the rare few that didn’t really care for this book.  The writing was really good, but I wasn’t crazy about the characters or the things that happened.  I think the story had a lot of potential to be really great, but it just fell kind of flat for me.

Sam and her group of friends were really quite shallow and mean.  I don’t like those kind of people and I don’t like those kind of characters.  I didn’t realize they were going to be like that.  Several times I wanted to stop, but as stated before, I am not a DNF kind of person, so I trudged through.  Though Sam did change a lot through the book, I was still very annoyed with everybody else.  I also wasn’t big on the way the narrator of the audiobook did the voices, everybody sounded high or slow or tired.  Maybe I would have enjoyed it more if I had read it in regular book format instead of audio.

The plot was an interesting idea, but it just could have been better, in my opinion.  I wanted to hit Sam so many times because of how shallow and self centered she was being.  The story made good points in some places, but I just think it could have been so much more.  Sam was definitely a slow learner and it took her quite some time before she was really starting to GET it.  I am not trying to dissuade anybody from reading it, but this just wasn’t for me.

Great writing, unlikeable characters, had potential, not for me.

2.5 bookmark


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Filed under 3 Stars, Audiobook, Contemporary, Fiction, Review, Romance, Science Fiction, Young Adult

*Review* The Awakening – L.J. Smith

Awakening Struggle Cover The Awakening (Vampire Diaries #1)

L.J. Smith

276 pages

ISBN: 9780061020001

Read 6-6-13

Format: Audiobook

Source: Library

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A Love Triangle of Unspeakable Horror… 

Elena: Searching for the ultimate thrill, she vowed to have Stefan.

Stefan: Haunted by his tragic past, he struggled to resist her passion.

Damon: Driven by revenge, he hunted the brother who betrayed him.

The terrifying story of two vampire brothers and the beautiful girl torn between them.

Well, this wasn’t exactly what I was expecting it to be.  I watched the first 3 seasons before I read this book.  I love the TV series, but I wasn’t in love with the book.  At least not this first one.  It is quite different from the show!

Elena was very different between the book and the show.  In the show she is a caring person who puts others before herself, but in the book she was the queen bee at school and manipulated people to get whatever she wanted.  I just didn’t like her very much.

And this book was the worst I have read on insta-love.  It was unreal how fast the insta-love was.  There was no real connection between Elena and Stefan for me.  I understand why Stefan would want Elena, but I don’t know why she wants Stefan other than she feels the need to take whatever she wants.  There was no relationship development.

Stefan on the other hand I actually did like.  He is very mysterious and wants to protect Elena.  We get a good history on him and he is a deeper character than Elena and has a better attitude.

There was soooo many things that were different between this book and the show, I really wouldn’t know where to start with it.  There are characters in the book not in the show and vice versa, characters who have totally different personalities and names where changed and mixed around.  Gotta say I like the TV show better than what I have read so far.  I will keep reading however because I want to see more of Damon (I’m Team Damon all the way) and hopefully I won’t be so annoyed with Elena past the first book.

Annoying main female character, good writing, major insta-love, enjoyed the TV show better.

3 bookmark


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Filed under 3 Stars, Audiobook, Fantasy, Fiction, Paranormal, Review, Supernatural, Young Adult

*Review* Forgotten – Cat Patrick

Forgotten Cover Forgotten

Cat Patrick

304 pages

ISBN: 9780316094610

Read 1-2-13

Format: Audiobook

Source: Library

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Each night at precisely 4:33 am, while sixteen-year-old London Lane is asleep, her memory of that day is erased. In the morning, all she can “remember” are events from her future. London is used to relying on reminder notes and a trusted friend to get through the day, but things get complicated when a new boy at school enters the picture. Luke Henry is not someone you’d easily forget, yet try as she might, London can’t find him in her memories of things to come.

When London starts experiencing disturbing flashbacks, or flash-forwards, as the case may be, she realizes it’s time to learn about the past she keeps forgetting-before it destroys her future.

This book sounded like it was really going to be a good read, but it actually turned out to be a bit disappointing for me.  The second half of the book was better than the first half, but it was still not wonderful.  This story concept was a really good idea, but it had potential to be so much better.  There were a couple of spots where the memory explanations seemed to contradict each other, so I was never completely clear on certain aspects of how her memory worked.

As for the characters, London was not wonderful, but she wasn’t bad, either.  She has it rough because of her memory, but she doesn’t let that stop her from doing things, so she makes herself a bunch of notes to know what she needs for the next day.  Her best friend, Jamie, I couldn’t stand.  She made stupid choices (especially considering the choices she still made even after her friend that can see the future told her she shouldn’t do), she was selfish and she acted like a total slut.  I know I couldn’t have a best friend like her.  I really liked Luke.  He was very sweet and understanding and I felt like London was too harsh with him when she would get angry over things.

The writing was pretty good; it was the story itself that fell flat for me.  There were so many great turns the story could have taken or been improved on.  For me, the most disappointing part of the story was the ending.  The way the story was building I was expecting this nice big finish or some sort of high tension finale, but, no; it was actually very anticlimactic, and I hate to say this book didn’t live up to my expectations.

Good male character, had potential, contradicts in spots, anticlimactic ending.

3 bookmarkVyki Signature Trans 2


Filed under 3 Stars, Audiobook, Fiction, Paranormal, Review, Romance, Young Adult

*Review* Kissing Shakespeare – Pamela Mingle

 Kissing Shakespeare

Pamela Mingle

352 pages

ISBN: 9780385741965

Read 8-31-12

Format: Hardcover

Source: Borrowed

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 Miranda has Shakespeare in her blood: she hopes one day to become a Shakespearean actor like her famous parents. At least, she does until her disastrous performance in her school’s staging of The Taming of the Shrew. Humiliated, Miranda skips the opening-night party. All she wants to do is hide. 

Fellow cast member, Stephen Langford, has other plans for Miranda. When he steps out of the backstage shadows and asks if she’d like to meetShakespeare, Miranda thinks he’s a total nutcase. But before she can object, Stephen whisks her back to 16th century England—the world Stephen’s really from. He wants Miranda to use her acting talents and modern-day charms on the young Will Shakespeare. Without her help, Stephen claims, the world will lost its greatest playwright. 

Miranda isn’t convinced she’s the girl for the job. Why would Shakespeare care about her? And just who is this infuriating time traveler, Stephen Langford? Reluctantly, she agrees to help, knowing that it’s her only chance of getting back to the present and her “real” life. What Miranda doesn’t bargain for is finding true love . . . with no acting required.

After a synopsis like that, I was really looking forward to reading this book.  I added it to my TBR back in November and was thrilled when it finally came out.  I was looking forward to a fabulously romantic book, but unfortunately, it was not what I was hoping for. Continue reading


Filed under 3 Stars, Fiction, Romance, Science Fiction, Young Adult

*Review* Kiss Me Kill Me – Laura Henderson

 Kiss Me Kill Me

Laura Henderson

272 pages

ISBN: 9780385734875

Read 7-10-12

Format: Paperback

Source: Library

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When 16-year-old Scarlett Wakefield transfers from St. Tabby’s to Wakefield Hall Collegiate, she is relieved that no one knows her dark, haunting secret. A few months ago, Scarlett was invited to an elite party with a guest list full of the hottest names in British society, including Dan McAndrew. Before the party, Scarlett had only imagined what it would be like to have her first kiss with Dan, but on the penthouse terrace, Dan leaned in close and she no longer had to wonder. Their kiss was beautiful and perfect and magical, and then . . . Dan McAndrew took his last breath as she held him in her arms. No one knows how or why Dan died, and everyone at St. Tabby’s believes Scarlett had something to do with it. But now that she’s safely hidden away at Wakefield Hall, Scarlett would rather forget that it ever happened. Only she can’t. Especially when she receives an anonymous note that will set her on the path to clearing her name and finding out what really happened to the first and last boy she kissed.

Ok, so I already wrote up one review, and that was before I realized what a dunce I was.  I don’t know why I didn’t know that this was the first in a series and I thought the story just…ended.  I was not happy with it, and then, I saw on Goodreads that it said Scarlett Wakefield #1 and found that there are 3 other books.  I admit that sometimes, I can be a doofus, so now, I am rewriting the review because the fact that it is one of four makes a big difference!  So…on to the new review…. Continue reading


Filed under 3 Stars, Fiction, Mystery, Young Adult

*Review* Shooting Stars – Allison Rushby

 Shooting Stars

Allison Rushby

265 pages

ISBN: 9780802722980

Read: 6-25-12

Format: Hardcover

Source: Library

Meet Josephine Foster, or Zo Jo as she’s called in the biz. The best pint-sized photographer of them all, Jo doesn’t mind doing what it takes to get that perfect shot, until she’s sent on an undercover assignment to shoot Ned Hartnett—teen superstar and the only celebrity who’s ever been kind to her—at an exclusive rehabilitation retreat in Boston. The money will be enough to pay for Jo’s dream: real photography classes, and maybe even quitting her paparazzi gig for good. Everyone wants to know what Ned’s in for. But Jo certainly doesn’t know what she’s in for: falling in love with Ned was never supposed to be part of her assignment.

Finally, it is time for another review!  Buying and moving into a house takes up a lot of time!  Thanks to everybody for the warm wishes on my new house 🙂 I still have to unpack and do some wall painting.  I’m most excited about getting my new office/library set up!  My desk is so big, it barely fit through the door, had to do a bit of furniture contortioning.  Now, on to the review!

I picked up this book because of the cover.  I thought it was cute and interesting with the camera’s flash trail making a heart.  I love photography, so this one got my attention because of that aspect.  Really, I was kind of hoping for more than what I got.  It was a cute story, but it wasn’t a fantastic story.  I don’t know what it is like in paparazzi life, so I question if there really are serious paparazzi kids like she is.  It wasn’t quite as realistic to me either.  She got a huge job that I would think only a professional would be allowed to get and was going to be paid a HUGE sum of money to do it, like twice my salary huge.  Everything just kind of felt exaggerated.

As far as the characters went, they were ok also, but not super wonderful.  They lacked the personality strength I wanted to see.  There wasn’t much of a love story, mostly just her and the camera.  But, it was a fun book and a quick read, I read the whole book in one sitting, except for the last 11 pages because I was late getting into bed.  All in all, if you want a fast, cute read, then give it a shot.

Cute, fun, flat characters, a bit exaggerated.

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Filed under 3 Stars, Contemporary, Fiction, Young Adult

*Review* The Poisoned House – Michael Ford

The Poisoned House

Michael Ford

319 pages

ISBN: 9780807565896

Read 11-8-11

The year is 1856, and orphan Abigail Tamper lived below stairs in Greave Hall, a crumbling manor house in London.  Lord Greave is plagued by madness, and with his son Samuel away fighting in the Crimea, the running of Greave Hall is left to Mrs. Cotton, the tyrannical housekeeper.  The only solace for the beleaguered staff is to frighten Mrs. Cotton by pretending the house is haunted. 

So when a real ghost makes an appearance – that of her beloved mother- no one is more surprised than Abi.  But the spirit has a revelation that threatens to destroy Abi’s already fragile existence: she was murdered, and by someone under their very own roof.  With Samuel returned to England badly wounded, it’s up to Abi to nurse him back to health, while trying to discover the identity of the killer in their midst.  As the chilling truth dawns, Abi’s world is turned upside down.

With this book, I was hoping for something scary that might keep me from sleeping soundly since I am trying my best to find a book to scare the bejeezus out of me, unfortunately, that was not the case with this book.  Though it was an OK, mostly enjoyable read, it wasn’t what I wanted.  The book was pretty slow and it wasn’t scary at all.  The main point of the book wasn’t even the ghost, it was more of what happened to her, and she seldom showed up.
The book was well-written and the author did well portraying the more formal language of the older days of London.  I also thought the imagery the author created was very strong, but I really would have liked creepier ghost scenes.  If I had been able to sit and read it (work got in the way), I would have zoomed right through this book even though it was a slower story.
Another unfortunate negative for this book is that it was very predictable.  One of the major secrets of the book I guessed within the first few pages I read.  I hate to say that the book was a letdown for what I was trying to find, but it just didn’t satisfy what I was looking for.  Don’t get me wrong, it was a mostly enjoyable read, but it wasn’t overly so.

Predictable, slow, not so creepy, well-written, good imagery.


Filed under 3 Stars, Fiction, Supernatural, Young Adult

*Review* Memento Nora Review


Memento Nora

Angie Shibert

192 pages

ISBN: 9780761458296

Read 7-16-11

     This is a pretty short novel about a teenage   girl, Nora, who lives in a very violent world with numerous bombings and many other bad things.  After she witnesses a horrendous event, her mother takes her to a TFC clinic where she can simply take a pill to forget the whole incident.  Upon learning what her mother has come to forget, she makes the decision not to take the pill.  She meets new friends, Micah and Winter, and together they start a comic to let people know about the things that are going on and the comic spreads like wild fire.
     The story itself was a very good concept, but I think it had a lot more potential that was not tapped into.  There wasn’t as much focus on the comic strip as I thought there would be and it was rather short lived.  The characters, however, were well written and had development, especially Nora.  I felt Nora was a very strong and mature person with the choices she made and the situations she was part of.
     I did enjoy the way the author painted Nora’s world and the chaos that was in it.  There were a few twists to the story, a few I figured out, a few I didn’t, and I really liked the way it ended.  There will be a sequel to this book, and I will be reading it to see how Nora’s world changes after everything she went through. 

Chaotic, short-lived, fast-paced, had more potential.   3 stars.

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Filed under 3 Stars, Dystopian, Fiction, Science Fiction, Young Adult