Reviewing the Unreviewed: May

I read a lot of books that I don’t end up reviewing for whatever reason. Some because I wasn’t impressed. Some because I didn’t have the time. Some I just wasn’t feeling it on whatever particular day I finished. I thought I’d start doing a post once a month  with just the couple thoughts I shared on Good Reads.

Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1)

Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits #1) by Katie McGarry. Read May 3-6. 2 stars.

This series seems to be so beloved in the blogosphere, but I didn’t really find it to be my cup of tea. While the characters’ drama was a little to a lot heavier than your standard YA, every other thing about it was a list of clichés. However, it wasn’t all bad and I’ll get to the rest of the series just to see if I find the next books more enjoyable.


Dare You To (Pushing the Limits, #2)

Dare You To (Pushing the Limits #2) by Katie McGarry. Read May 12-14. 3 stars.

I actually liked this book a lot more than the first in the series. Beth – who I hated in the first book – grew on me in this one, though I still don’t love her. I do love Uncle Scott! Like so much. I also really like Ryan. He is basically a perfect boy living in imperfect circumstances. His character was a little unrealistic, but he was sweet and I don’t care.

The pace was a little slow and there were kind of long periods of time where NOTHING really happens. I feel like it could’ve been maybe a little shorter, but overall I enjoyed it and I’ll continue to the next book in the series.


Crash into You (Pushing the Limits, #3)

Crash Into You (Pushing the Limits #3) by Katie McGarry. Read May 14-19. 3 stars.
This book was ok for me. Isaiah was not my favorite character in the previous books and he’s still not my favorite, though I liked him a lot more in this book. I enjoyed the chapters from Rachel’s perspective the most. It was interesting to read about her anxiety since I suffer a bit from that myself. This series still isn’t my favorite, but I like it enough to continue it.
Omens (Cainsville, #1)
Omens (Cainsville #1) by Kelley Armstrong. Read May 24-27. 2 stars.
I think this book would’ve been better if it was about 100 pages less. It started strong and then was way slow and kind of boring and then it got exciting and then it ended on an odd note. I didn’t find it satisfying in terms of the mysteries of Cainsville, but I’ll probably end up reading the next book.
Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1)
What can I say? This book is so cute. I was thinking that the third book in the series was coming out in May, but I guess it’s not until August. But I still enjoyed the re-read.
Lola and the Boy Next Door (Anna and the French Kiss, #2)
I LOVE Cricket Bell. And his stupid name.


Review: Just One Day (Just One Day #1) by Gayle Foreman

Just One Day (Just One Day, #1)

Synopsis from Good Reads:

Allyson Healey’s life is exactly like her suitcase—packed, planned, ordered. Then on the last day of her three-week post-graduation European tour, she meets Willem. A free-spirited, roving actor, Willem is everything she’s not, and when he invites her to abandon her plans and come to Paris with him, Allyson says yes. This uncharacteristic decision leads to a day of risk and romance, liberation and intimacy: 24 hours that will transform Allyson’s life.

A book about love, heartbreak, travel, identity, and the “accidents” of fate, Just One Day shows us how sometimes in order to get found, you first have to get lost. . . and how often the people we are seeking are much closer than we know.

I just don’t get it. Why is everyone so in love with this book? I will say that Foreman is a good writer. I had no problem with her prose.  Or even the general storyline. It was just where it went. So for those that haven’t read it and plan on it, I will say this was just ok for me and I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it. However, a lot of people really love it, so if you’re a big fan of YA Contemporary you may enjoy it.


So Allyson is a high school graduate who has moped her way through a Trip of a Lifetime in Europe. While this is a little annoying, I get it. I can personally attest that having a Trip of Lifetime thrown at you when you are not in the right head space for it does not end well. But just before the trip ends, Allyson has a personality switch and decides to skip the last event to see some artsy guy in an artsy Shakespeare production. She takes the personality change even further when she leaves her best friend and goes with artsy guy, Willem, to Paris for a day.

This ONE DAY is supposed to be magical and romantic and change Allyson’s whole life. I just don’t get it. I don’t get why she likes Willem. Sure, he’s cute and foreign and charming, but it’s all in a narcissistic way. And I have no tolerance for his gypsy lifestyle.  They have a couple of moments where she “sees the real Willem” by his vague comments or a certain look in his expressive eyes, but she doesn’t really know him – or his last name, or his phone number, or his e-mail address. Their day together isn’t even that great, but Allyson romanticizes the fact that they avoid touristy things like the Lourve and the Eiffel Tower. When they break into a building to spend the night and she wakes up after having sex to find him gone, she freaks out. She ends up contacting her trip advisor who pays for her to reconnect with her best friend and extols these words of wisdom to Allyson after finding out he still has her super expensive watch:

“They’ll do that, sometimes. Take things as a sort of trophy. Like serial killers.”

So Allyson goes home and is so depressed (she thinks it’s because of being in love with Willem, I think it’s a cautionary tale of why you should wait to have some emotional maturity before having sex) and bombs her first semester of college. She finally decides to give herself a new start – by taking a class about Shakespeare. She finally makes a friend and he convinces her to look for Willem just so she can find out what happened. What if he didn’t really leave her?

So then some boring things happen where she fights with her parents and gets a job and she goes back to Paris to look for him. She meets up with some more gypsies who help her search. And by this time I’m hoping that she DOESN’T find him. I’m thinking, what a wonderful book this could be if she doesn’t find him. She finally stopped being mopey and stood up to her parents and made some friends and is feeling comfortable with herself for the first time in her life and wouldn’t it be wonderful to just end it right there? She met a boy, had an odd day with him that she eventually used as a springboard to become the person she was always supposed to be.

But, instead, after some amazing coincidences (or Accidents or Fate) she finds Willem in another country. He’s performing Shakespeare. And he has a girlfriend. Or just another girl. And she decides the door has closed and SHE’S FINE WITH IT. She doesn’t approach him and is in fact planning on leaving again. Then she realizes that since her day with him she’s grown so much and she just needs to be brave enough to tell him all about it. So she goes back after him. She introduces herself (because, yes, this guy she’s in love with never bothered to ask her real name) and he’s surprised.

The end.

What? So has he been looking for her? Does he think she’s a crazy stalker? Are they now in love forever? Does he start following her on Twitter? I feel like I must read the next book now. But I don’t want to.

And am I the only one that really hopes their relationship ends in nothing more than friendship? I would find it so much more satisfying for Allyson to just grow into herself and not for a guy.

Rating (out of 5):
Plot: 2
Characters: 1.5 (Allyson is well developed, no one else is even close)
Readability: 3
Enjoyability: 1.5
Overall Average:  2 Stars

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I read because of the Blogging Community


This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the Broke and the Bookish, is a freebie week where we can pick our own topic. I’ve decided to go with the Top Ten Books I read because of the Blogging Community. Perhaps my favorite thing about blogging is all the books I’ve discovered from reading other blogs. I wish I could remember who the blogger was that made me read these books, but I just can’t remember. So know, whoever you are, I thank you.

The Night Circus

1. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.

Unspoken (The Lynburn Legacy, #1)  Untold (The Lynburn Legacy, #2)

2 & 3. Unspoken and Untold (The Lynburn Legacy) by Sarah Rees Brennan

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1)

4. The Raven Boys series by Maggie Stiefvater.

Shadow and Bone (The Grisha, #1)

5. Shadow and Bone series by Leigh Bardugo.

Storm (Elemental, #1)

6. The Elemental series by Brigid Kemmerer.

The Fault in Our Stars

7. The Fault in our Stars by John Green.

Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1)

8. Anna and the French Kiss series by Stephanie Perkins

Submerged (Alaskan Courage, #1)

9. The Alaskan Courage series by Dani Pettrey

My Life Next Door (My Life Next Door, #1)

10. My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick.

What books have other bloggers inspired you to read????



Monday’s Minutes

Monday’s Minutes is my weekly post where I share what I’m reading and what I’m reading next.


Omens (Cainsville, #1)

Omens (Cainsville #1) by Kelley Armstrong. This book has been on my TBR list forever and finally became available at the library. I’m not quite half way through yet, but I’m a little disappointed so far. After a promising beginning, the pace has slowed way down and it’s just kind of weird and confusing instead of mysterious. I thought about putting this down, but I’ve waiting so long to read it and am far enough into it that I want to see it through.

Just One Day (Just One Day, #1)

Just One Day (Just One Day #1) by Gayle Foreman. Everybody loves this series. I was about four or five chapters in when Omens became available and this one hadn’t done anything to interest me so far, so I made the switch. However, I’m planning on trying this again for a few chapters to give me a little break from Omens.


Boy, Snow, Bird    Dorothy Must Die (Dorothy Must Die, #1)

Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi and Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige just came off the hold list from the library, so I think I’ll be going with one of them.



Review: Cop Town by Karin Slaughter

Cop Town

I received a copy of this title from NetGalley. It does not effect my review.

Atlanta, 1974: As a brutal murder and a furious manhunt rock the city’s police department, Kate Murphy wonders if her first day on the job will also be her last. She’s determined to defy her privileged background by making her own way—wearing a badge and carrying a gun. But for a beautiful young woman, life will be anything but easy in the macho world of the Atlanta PD, where even the female cops have little mercy for rookies. It’s also the worst day possible to start given that a beloved cop has been gunned down, his brothers in blue are out for blood, and the city is on the edge of war.

Kate isn’t the only woman on the force who’s feeling the heat. Maggie Lawson followed her uncle and brother into the ranks to prove her worth in their cynical eyes. When she and Kate, her new partner, are pushed out of the citywide search for a cop killer, their fury, pain, and pride finally reach the boiling point. With a killer poised to strike again, they will pursue their own line of investigation, risking everything as they venture into the city’s darkest heart.

Relentlessly paced, acutely observed, wickedly funny, and often heartbreaking, Cop Town is Karin Slaughter’s most powerful novel yet—a tour de force of storytelling from our foremost master of character, atmosphere, and suspense.

I’m a big fan of Karin Slaughter and her Will Trent series, so I was a little disappointed when I found out her next novel was a stand-alone and not the next installment of Will Trent. I should have known better. Of course Slaughter would deliver a well-paced, character driven crime thriller that would completely suck me in until the last page.

Cop Town did remind me a lot of Criminal, a Will Trent book that shares its present day timeline with the 70s. Like Criminal’s 70s storyline, Cop Town focuses on two young female cops trying to not just prove their place on the force, but survive it. With a cop killer on the loose and prejudices running high, Maggie and Kate set out to investigate on their own, below the radar of the good ol’ boys who aggressively dismiss them.

What I really love about Slaughter’s writing is her character development. While the mystery of the cop killer is front and center, the story really focuses on the journey and growth that Maggie and Kate go through. They are two very different women from very different backgrounds, yet they both have personal demons that drive them together. Slaughter does a great job of including enough background information to inform us of their motivations and give us real emotional connections to them without ever detracting from the main plot. I also found the cast of supporting characters to be well developed.

Overall, I really enjoyed Cop Town. It was very well-paced with a perfect mixture of mental investigation and action. I found the conclusion to the mystery to be satisfying with the reveal of the cop killer to be a surprise, yet made sense when looking back through the story. The only things I didn’t really care for were Kate’s relationship with a married man and Maggie’s unresolved relationship – or lack thereof – with her neighbor.  I would recommend this book to fans of Karin Slaughter, criminal novels, and 1970’s enthusiasts.

Rating (out of 5):
Plot: 4
Characters: 4
Readability: 4
Enjoyability: 4
Overall Average: 4 stars

Cop Town will be available June 24, 2014.

Wish They Would/Wouldn’t Wednesday


Welcome to my new feature: Wish they Would/Wouldn’t Wednesday. This is where I’ll discuss issues that I wish authors would or wouldn’t do. This could include favorite styles, themes, genres, or pet peeves. And my first topic is………


So we’ve all been there. We read a book and fall in love with not just the story, but the characters. Even if the plot wraps up in a satisfying way, you still crave more of the characters. And you’re in luck! It’s a series. HOWEVER, instead of focusing on these characters that you adore, a minor character from the first book takes center stage.

Now don’t get me wrong. There are a lot of series like this that I end up really enjoying, but each new book drives me a little bit crazy waiting for my old favorites to show up before I start to like the new characters. And even when I really get into the new protagonists, I still can’t get enough of the characters from the first installment. I wish these types of series at least included more of the previous primary characters in each new book.

Some examples of these series that I read and enjoyed, but was still annoyed with (click on the picture for summaries):

The O’Malley series by Dee Henderson

The Negotiator (O'Malley, #1)  The Guardian (O'Malley #2) The Truth Seeker (O'Malley #3) The Protector (O'Malley #4)  The Healer (O'Malley #5) The Rescuer (O'Malley #6)

The Alaskan Courage series by Dani Pettrey

Submerged (Alaskan Courage, #1) Shattered (Alaskan Courage, #2) Stranded (Alaskan Courage, #3)  Silenced (Alaskan Courage, #4)

Reviews: Shattered, Silenced

Pushing the Limits series by Katie McGarry

Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1)  Dare You To (Pushing the Limits, #2)  Crash into You (Pushing the Limits, #3)

Elemental series by Brigid Kemmerer

Storm (Elemental, #1)  Spark (Elemental, #2)  Spirit (Elemental, #3) Secret (Elemental, #4)

Reviews: Storm, Spark, Spirit, Secret

What do you think of series that change protagonists with each new book? Love them? Hate them? Read them, but are annoyed by them?

Top Ten Tuesday: Books About Friendship


This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish is: Top Ten Books about Friendship.

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1)

1. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. Gansey, Adam, Ronan, Noah, and Blue!

Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1)

2. The Vampire Academy Richelle Mead.  Lissa and Rose!


3. Attachments by Rainbow Rowell. Beth and Jennifer!

Unspoken (The Lynburn Legacy, #1)

4. Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan. Kami, Jared, Angela, Rusty, Holly, and Ash!

Storm (Elemental, #1)

5. The Elemental Series by Brigid Kemmerer. – The Merrick brothers!

Well, I’m going to stop at a top 5 for today! What books about friendship are missing from my list?

Monday’s Minutes


Monday’s Minutes is my weekly post where I share what I’m reading and what I’m reading next.


Crash into You (Pushing the Limits, #3)

Crash into You (Pushing the Limits #3) by Katie McGarry. So I know I wasn’t planning on continuing this series anytime soon after I finished the first book, but they were already available at the library, so I just went with it. I only have a few chapters left and I’m kind of ambivalent about it. I like the chapters from Rachel’s POV. Isaiah still isn’t my favorite, but he has grown on me a ton in this book.


I’m not sure. I think I need to do a re-read of Shadow and Bone and Siege and Storm


Review: Undetected by Dee Henderson


I received a copy of this title from NetGalley. It does not impact my review.

Synopsis from Good Reads:

When asked what he does for a living, Commander Mark Bishop is deliberately low-key: “I’m in the navy.”

But commanding the ballistic missile submarine USS Nevada, keeping its crew trained and focused during 90-day submerged patrols, and being prepared to launch weapons on valid presidential orders, carries a burden of command like few other jobs in the military. Mark Bishop is a man who accepts that responsibility, and carries it well. And at a time when tensions are escalating in the Pacific Rim, the navy is glad to have him.

Mark wants someone to come home to after sea patrols. The woman he has in mind is young, pretty, and very smart. She’s a civilian, but she understands life in the navy. And he has a strong sense that life with her would never be boring. But she may be too deep in her work to see the potential in a relationship with him.

Gina Gray would love to be married. She has always envisioned her life that way. But a breakup she didn’t see coming has her focusing all her attention on what she does best–ocean science research. She’s on the cusp of a breakthrough, and she needs Mark Bishop’s perspective and help. Because what she’s told the navy she’s figured out is only the beginning. If she’s right, submarine warfare is about to enter a new and dangerous chapter…

It took me several chapters to get into this story. The beginning is so weighed down by Naval description and procedures that I had to put the book down. While this got better – for the most part – as the story went on, there was way too much Navy procedure and scientific descriptions for me. It didn’t feel necessary to the story, as much as one of those instances when the author is stating, “Hey, look at all the research I’ve done for this book!” I also thought the formality was a little overdone. Almost every time the story comes back to focus on Mark, he’s introduced to the readers again as, “Captain/Commander Mark Bishop.” This got better after maybe ten chapters or so, but then it would do it sporadically. There aren’t so many characters in this book that I can’t keep track of one by their first or last name.

Gina Gray is a genius. She’s worked on many discoveries for the Navy, all with the intent on keeping her brother Jeff safe. She comes to his Naval base to visit him after she had a bad break-up and begins to work on her latest theory – which leads to another theory – and another theory…She’s super smart, guys. However, she’s not so smart with relationships and she wants to get married before she’s thirty, so she asks her brother to set her up. Jeff wants to set her up with his best friend, Mark, but Mark is hesitant since he’s about 11 years older than Gina. Jeff settles instead for the kind and funny Daniel.

However, Mark begins to develop feelings for Gina after spending some time with her and from there the love triangle begins. It’s not your normal  love triangle, though. Both guys are super chill with each other and go out of their way to help the other guy. Also, Gina doesn’t realize Mark is interested until late in the game. And he’s not just interested, he’s ready to get married interested.

I found Mark’s pursuit of Gina a little off-putting at first. Though he does love her and wants to be with her, I often got the feeling that he was talking down to her,

“Marry me, Gina. You need me. I want you as my wife. there are worse reasons to get married.”

“We’re going to disagree occasionally, Gina, on what is best to do with a discovery. That’s one of the reasons these kinds of decisions are never simple. There are two perspectives, and both might be valid. I’d like to think you’ll come to trust me on these difficult calls.”

Though it took awhile, I did begin to  like their relationship. I also really liked that all the romance in this book was based on more than attraction. There was never a statement of how Gina is the most beautiful woman ever created or description of how Mark’s muscles ripple under his t-shirt that just happens to be a little tight around his big, broad, tan shoulders. (Seriously, try to find a romance that doesn’t involve those type of statements.)

While the story focused on character and relationship development, I enjoyed it. When it veered off into the overly descriptive Navy/science scenes, I found it a little hard to get through. I did like how all the time spent on Gina’s discoveries didn’t go unused. I also was surprised to find out that this is either a book in a series or a companion book to another Henderson novel, Unspoken, that focuses on Mark’s brother (which I recently bought at a library sale, but haven’t had the chance to read it).

Overall, I did enjoy Undetected. I would have preferred less of the Naval and scientific jargon, but the rest of the story helped to make up for it. I would recommend this book to fans of Hendersons and Christian Fiction.

Rating (out of 5):
Plot: 3.5
Characters: 3.5
Readability: 3
Enjoyability: 3
Overall Average: 3.25 stars


Top Ten Tuesday: Books I almost put down, but didn’t.

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by Broke and the Bookish, is: Books I almost put down, but didn’t.  I usually CAN NOT put down books (or series) once I start them, but I’ve been working on it. My list are books I didn’t put down, but wish I did. So, it’s the TOP TEN WORST BOOKS I ALMOST PUT DOWN AND DIDN’T.

Friday Night Alibi

1. Friday Night Alibi by Cassie Mae. Silly premise. Silly characters. Waste of time.

Passion (Fallen, #3)   Rapture (Fallen, #4)

2. & 3. Passion and Rapture by Lauren Kate. The first 2 books were readable. These last two were AWFUL.

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)

4. Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas. Everyone seems to love this book, but I thought it was horrible.

Mini Shopaholic (Shopaholic, #6)

5. Mini Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella. I like Sophie Kinsella, but after the first couple of Shopaholic books, I just could barely stand them anymore.

What I Thought Was True

6. What I Thought was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick. I kept reading because I thought it would get better. It didn’t.

Cruel Beauty

7. Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge. Another book I kept reading because I thought it would get better.

The Innocents

8. The Innocents by Francesca Segal. I wanted to like this book. I did for awhile. I wish I would’ve stopped reading before it completely let me down.

The Dressmaker

9. The Dress Maker by Kate Alcott. I thought this was supposed to be this popular, wonderful book. I’m not sure how popular it became, but it was not wonderful at all.

Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful, #1)

10. Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire. There was so much hype about this book, so I made myself finish it. It was ridiculous.