Tag Archives: 3 stars

Review: No Attachments by Tiffany King

  • TitleNo Attachments
  • AuthorTiffany King
  • SourceReview Copy from Publisher
  • No. of Pages302
  • PublishedApril 30, 2013 by A. T. Publishing LLC
  • Rating3/5
  • Check it outGoodreads or Amazon
Ashton Garrison walked away from a privileged life in order to hide from the one thing she's not willing to face. She knows she left behind a trail of pain, but in the long run, her betrayal will hurt less than the truth. She now has one goal: Live life to the fullest with no regrets and no attachments. She has high hopes that a move to new surroundings will provide the escape she desires, but what Ashton doesn't count on is how fate always seems to find a way to screw up any good plan. Sometimes, when love comes knocking, the pull is too strong not to answer. Suddenly, what she thought she wanted to escape from is what Ashton now wants more than anything.

Nathan Lockton has one mission: find his target and complete the task he was hired to do—no attachments and no emotion necessary. He's done it over and over again. What he thought was a typical lost-and-found job has turned into a life examining moment as Nathan is forced to deal with something he has always ignored--his feelings. Now faced with a decision, Nathan must choose to either follow his heart or complete the job.

Love can come when you least expect it. The question is: If the odds are stacked against you, how far are you willing to go for the one you love?

RELEASE DAY LAUNCH + GIVEAWAY

Tiffany King No Attachments Release Day Launch FINAL

Embarrassingly enough, No Attachments was the first New Adult novel that I read. From the summary, though, I was already intrigued, seeing as I was hoping that this book would be a higher level of YA contemporary–with older, wiser characters that have a certain depth to them that the teens in YA novels don’t have yet. Despite this, I was also expecting certain flaws and imperfections to follow the characters in the book as well, so that they would stay real people in a real world.

No Attachments opens up in a pub, with Ashton trying to mark off an item on her bucket list: Have a no-strings-attached, one-night stand. Her target is Nathan, an incredibly handsome man, who actually happens to have a hidden agenda, and knows exactly who Ashton is. When she introduces herself, I get a peek at her character, a bubbly, clumsy, and enthusiastic girl, with a deep past and history that she ran away from. Their interactions were adorable and cute, especially when they involved alcohol, (lol) and I felt myself beginning to warm up to Ashton, who wanted nothing but to live her life to the fullest.

However, as the story progresses, I found myself increasingly uncomfortable with Ashton and Nathan’s relationship. Maybe my inexperience in NA plays a part in this, but I also felt like both of them were rushing into things much too quickly after the initial meet-up. Hormones, I understand. But deep emotion after something so casual irked me. Granted, I liked how the author was able to delay the supposed ‘one-night stand’ and make it into something with a little more emotion, but I couldn’t understand why Nathan felt so strongly about Ashton when she was supposed to be ‘just an assignment,’ and why Ashton felt so strongly about Nathan when he was supposed to be ‘just some hot guy.’

Near the end, the plot opens up to reveal a secret, which I actually had a hunch about, that develops the story a little bit more so that the plot isn’t just about sex. This is when Ashton and Nathan become better characters in my eyes, people who are serious and committed about relationships instead of impulsive adults with a whole lot of hormones. I felt like this twist should have opened up quicker, though, since I was already quite annoyed with both of the characters before the revelation. This is quite dangerous as well, since when the climax happens too late, there’s a risk of the book being labeled as a ‘no-plot’ or ‘petty.’ I liked King’s effort to flesh out the nuances in the scenes though, and I appreciated the little things she did to evolve the plot and characters.

Overall, I would probably recommend No Attachments to frequent NA readers who love playful bantering between characters and a lot of sexual tension. For veteran YA readers who have never touched a NA in their life, though, I would recommend starting small first and reading this when you get used to the whole different world New Adult novels present.

Author Bio:

Tiffany King is the author of The Saving Angels Series, Wishing for Someday Soon, Forever Changed, Unlikely Allies, Miss Me Not and Jordyn: A Daemon Hunter Novel book one. Writer by day and book fanatic the rest of the time, she is now pursuing her life-long dream of weaving tales for others to enjoy.

She has a loving husband and two wonderful kids. (Five, if you count her three spoiled cats). Her addictions include: Her iphone and ipad, chocolate, Diet Coke, chocolate, Harry Potter, chocolate, and her favorite TV shows. Want to know what they are? Just ask.

 GIVEAWAY

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Links:

Twitter- @AuthorTiffany

Facebook- Tiffany King

Pintrest- Tiffany King

Blog- authortiffanyjking.blogspot.com

Goodreads- Tiffany King

Review: The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

  • TitleThe Summer I Turned Pretty (Summer #1)
  • AuthorJenny Han
  • SourceBorrowed
  • No. of Pages276
  • Rating3/5
  • Check it outGoodreads or Amazon
Belly measures her life in summers. Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August. Winters are simply a time to count the weeks until the next summer, a place away from the beach house, away from Susannah, and most importantly, away from Jeremiah and Conrad. They are the boys that Belly has known since her very first summer--they have been her brother figures, her crushes, and everything in between. But one summer, one terrible and wonderful summer, the more everything changes, the more it all ends up just the way it should have been all along.

Some days, I long for a light, fluffy contemporary novel that reminds me all too much of the first YA genre I read and loved. The Summer I Turned Pretty was exactly what I needed on a drab, sick day with nothing to do.

Belly, the protagonist, is an ordinary teenage girl who longs to be finally noticed by her hot, broody, family friend, Conrad. But lo and behold, Jeremiah, the brother, is the one who does—and Belly considers him “just a friend.” And hereon, the cliché starts and develops into a plot which readers who aren’t looking for a complex read will definitely enjoy.

Throughout the whole summer, Belly realizes that her vacation is different from all the ones she experienced before at the beach house of their family friends. She literally “turns prettier” in a way that makes both boys notice her more. For the first few chapters, these little scenes of flirting/teasing/hormones irked me, but it was sort of sweet at the same time. Though I did think it was an enjoyable read, the hole-riddled, practically nonexistent plot ate at me at the same time. Belly seemed too petty at times, and sometimes it felt like I was reading an over-clichéd contemporary drama about a girl who wants boys in her life all the time. In fact, the only reason why the storyline had some substance was because of the subplots and the little quirks that made it different from other novels.

Afterwards, she finds another guy (am I sensing a love square?) and tensions mount with everyone vying for her affection despite her setting her sights on only one of them. Then, right when I thought the whole story was just going to stay that way, Susannah, the mother of Conrad and Jeremiah, sneaks in and shocks everyone with not one, but two surprising revelations. I like how Belly’s relationship with her mother evolves as well as the novel progresses, and trust me when I say there are some scenes that make you want to cry.

Conrad and Jeremiah were literally the shining stars for this book, in my opinion. They brightened up the fact that Belly was a slightly annoying character who was always vying for attention, and they lessened the ‘eh’ factor of the book. Their humor and typical cute guy-ness made The Summer I Turned Pretty all the more interesting.

I would recommend this book to fans of Stephanie Perkins’ books as long as they don’t mind a simple, plain plot. And although The Summer I Turned Pretty isn’t a book that will stand out of the huge wave of YA contemporaries, it is an arguably addicting romance read that is sweet and cute even in its imperfection.

Review: Tiger’s Curse by Colleen Houck

  • TitleTiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga #1)
  • AuthorColleen Houck
  • SourceGifted
  • No. of Pages403
  • PublishedJanuary 11, 2011 by Sterling
  • Rating3/5
  • Check it outGoodreads or Amazon
Passion. Fate. Loyalty.
Would you risk it all to change your destiny?

The last thing Kelsey Hayes thought she’d be doing this summer was trying to break a 300-year-old Indian curse. With a mysterious white tiger named Ren. Halfway around the world. But that’s exactly what happened. Face-to-face with dark forces, spellbinding magic, and mystical worlds where nothing is what it seems, Kelsey risks everything to piece together an ancient prophecy that could break the curse forever.

Tiger’s Curse is the exciting first volume in an epic fantasy-romance that will leave you breathless and yearning for more.

The way the story began really drew my attention. It immediately took place in the circus, wherein the main characters, Kelsey applied for a summer job. However, some things started going  downhill for me after a couple of chapters due to several reasons—one of the main ones being character development. I’m a huge believer in that sort of thing because for me, it’s the most crucial element, as well as the hardest thing to perfect in any novel.

Let me start with what I like in the novel, which is the plot. I loved it! It was unique, taking the Indian culture and adding bits of paranormal, romance and suspense in between. Another one is how Collen Houck was able to take tigers—just an ordinary animal—rather than those usual creatures like dragons, wolves… and transfrom them into something extraordinary. The plot was intruiging at all times and kept me guessing and thinking about the next chain of events.

Now with the things that I did not enjoy as much. First of all, the length of the novel. I felt that if you rip out a couple of pages here and there, you wouldn’t miss a thing. Tiger’s Curse was just too detailed for me, and it seemed like everything was taken as such a slow pace that I had to stop every few chapters because it grew tiring.

Second, the characters. I’m going to be blunt here. I disliked them, most especially Ren. There were just some huge gaping holes in their personalities, and the way that they were developed.

Kelsey. She’s supposedly the girl whose parents died, yet all throughout the story, they weren’t even mentioned properly so that the reader can have background about them—no memory, recollection, even a slight twinge of pain…nada, zlich, zero. Another thing that really irked me were her foster parents. Actually, it seemed like she didn’t even have any parents. I mean, they were perfectly fine with her going to India, which was halfway around the world with a stranger because she was going to take care of a tiger. Plus, when Kelsey called and said that she had to stay there for the rest of the summer for her job, they were absolutely okay with it.

Uh…what?

Forgive me, but that is truly horrible parenting. Heck, it was more believable to say that Mr. Kadam was her legal guardian instead.

The one last part that I found very, very unrealistic was how Kelsey so quickly agreed to go with Ren and break the curse. You would think that if some random guy asked you to come in the middle of the wild to save him, the most likely reactions you would have are probably: One, suspicion. Two, doubt. Three, fear. And the classic, call him crazy get away him as fast as possible.

But no, that is not what happened. As far as I was concerned, she took it all in like she was buying ice cream at the beach. And all it took was this:

“You see…, I need you Kelsey.”

And approximately five paragraphs later:

“Who was I to reject a handsome man—I mean, tiger.”

Um…how about every other, normal reasonable person?

It was even worse with Ren for me. He’s just…bipolar. One minute Ren will claim that he’s in love with Kelsey, and the next, he’s angry at her and stalking off into the woods because she won’t “return his love”. That’s probably the reason why I felt so strongly about the insta-love on the story, because it simply was not one bit realistic to me.

In my opinion, Kishan made up for the lacking character development. Though his character was not fully developed as well, I liked his charm, playfulness and witty personality. He was also reasonable, and thought before doing things and actually acted like a prince who was captive for four centuries.

As the reader, I truly felt that plot was a brilliant idea, though there can still be so much improvement that can be done with the characters as well as the romance in the novel. Though I don’t think that I’ll be diving in the next installment soon, I still will read it because I really see tons of potential in it. Overall, I awarded Tiger’s Curse with three stars. Though inadequate in certain areas, they were made up for in others. Thus, even though it is not in my immediate recommendations list, I still say that you should check it out sometime! The plot is something extraordinary that can’t be missed.

Review: Tempest by Julie Cross

  • TitleTempest (Tempest #1)
  • AuthorJulie Cross
  • SourceBorrowed
  • No. of Pages352
  • Rating3/5
  • Check it outGoodreads or Amazon
The year is 2009. Nineteen-year-old Jackson Meyer is a normal guy… he’s in college, has a girlfriend… and he can travel back through time. But it’s not like the movies – nothing changes in the present after his jumps, there’s no space-time continuum issues or broken flux capacitors – it’s just harmless fun.

That is… until the day strangers burst in on Jackson and his girlfriend, Holly, and during a struggle with Jackson, Holly is fatally shot. In his panic, Jackson jumps back two years to 2007, but this is not like his previous time jumps. Now he’s stuck in 2007 and can’t get back to the future.

Desperate to somehow return to 2009 to save Holly but unable to return to his rightful year, Jackson settles into 2007 and learns what he can about his abilities.

But it’s not long before the people who shot Holly in 2009 come looking for Jackson in the past, and these “Enemies of Time” will stop at nothing to recruit this powerful young time-traveler. Recruit… or kill him.

Piecing together the clues about his father, the Enemies of Time, and himself, Jackson must decide how far he’s willing to go to save Holly… and possibly the entire world.

When the opportunity to review Tempest through a book tour popped up, I didn’t hesitate to seize it. Tempest lured me in with its original plot and genre since it was one of the only time travel books that I realized had an interesting enough premise for people like me, who don’t usually read them.

At first, Jackson, the protagonist, used time travel for ordinary fun and experimentation with his sidekick and friend, Adam. He slowly learned his abilities bit by bit until a shocking, unfortunate event forced him to use his talent to the highest extreme. His girlfriend, Holly, got shot by EOTs (Enemies of Time) and Jackson is shoved back in 2 years in the past, stuck, with no way to return.  Though he is able to travel back, he is unable to move forward. During this period of time, though, Jackson experiences revelations and hidden truths that common people he knew kept from him. He learns exactly what he is and discovers himself in an utterly new way.

Though the plot was extremely rich, Julie Cross failed to develop the first key thing in a story. The characters. Holly, Jackson, and all the others didn’t captivate me, or have originality amongst them. Nothing made each character stand out from normal people or clichéd figures despite Jackson’s ability to time travel. Because of this, I found a lot of things falling short and flat though the scenes and subplots could have had a lot of potential.

The book, though otherwise bland and somewhat lacking, had extremely action-packed and descriptive scenes with twists that will make you gasp in wonder. Though some terms were entirely too technical and were confusing somewhere in the middle, it really does challenge a reader to think, and I can appreciate that in a book, as long as it isn’t overused. I guess in this case, it can be forgiven. The originality in the book amped up the hype, and the ending (though another cliffhanger-y, sad one) was enough to grab my attention and push me to read the next book. Strangely addicting, Tempest is a kind of book that will force you to think out of the box and suck you into an unknown world. If you aren’t big when it comes to character development, you should consider picking this book up.

Review: The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

  • TitleThe Scorpio Races
  • AuthorMaggie Stiefvater
  • SourceBought
  • No. of Pages409
  • PublishedOctober 18, 2011 by Scholastic Press
  • Rating3.5/5
  • Check it outGoodreads or Amazon
It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die.
At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them.
Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn’t given her much of a chance. So she enters the competition — the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.

The Scorpio Races was a really refreshing read, one of the few YA books I enjoyed that had next to no romance in it. Well actually, there IS romance in the book, but it’s more of between Sean and Corr than Sean and Puck, whom I expected to be all lovey-dovey at the end of the book when I first bought it. The concept of the water horses was foreign to me, but surprisingly, I enjoyed it a lot; Maggie’s twist of the water horse myth was exciting and complex. I was just utterly fascinated with the sea’s calling for the water horses, and Corr’s loyalty to Sean instead of to the sea, where it truly belonged. It was an unearthly kind of romance-totally different from other novels, and quite a nice change too.

The only thing I disliked about this book was that the race happened at the very end of the book. Three-fourths of the book was used up to build the tension for the race, but halfway into it, I was kind of bored, wishing for the race to start soon. But there always seemed to be something else happening that I wasn’t that interested in. So to be honest, I would have preferred the race to start somewhere in the middle, because I expected the plot to evolve around it and actually develop as a result of the race.

However, I do concede that the plot was very unique and very new, it’s not the kind of book that has been repeated and repeated in every other YA novel until the theme and content is already all wrung out and drained of any other possible plot twists and the lot. I was actually kind of impressed with this book because to be honest, I did not enjoy Maggie’s other books that much. Her writing, though, is exquisite.

If you’re the kind of person who expects super sweet love scenes, rainbows, and unicorns, I suggest you put this book down now and pick up a copy of some other title that I cannot possibly recommend. However, if you enjoy action, horses, and (sometimes) fast-paced scenes that leave you breathless and wanting for more, then buy this book now! Though you probably won’t LOVE the book, I’m sure you’ll at least enjoy it and say it deserves a three star or higher.

 

Review: Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult

  • TitleBetween the Lines
  • AuthorJodi Picoult
  • SourceBought
  • No. of Pages358
  • PublishedJune 26, 2012 by Simon Pulse
  • Rating3/5
  • Check it outGoodreads or Amazon
What happens when happily ever after... isn’t?
Delilah is a bit of a loner who prefers spending her time in the school library with her head in a book—one book in particular. Between the Lines may be a fairy tale, but it feels real. Prince Oliver is brave, adventurous, and loving. He really speaks to Delilah.

And then one day Oliver actually speaks to her. Turns out, Oliver is more than a one-dimensional storybook prince. He’s a restless teen who feels trapped by his literary existence and hates that his entire life is predetermined. He’s sure there’s more for him out there in the real world, and Delilah might just be his key to freedom.

Delilah and Oliver work together to attempt to get Oliver out of his book, a challenging task that forces them to examine their perceptions of fate, the world, and their places in it. And as their attraction to each other grows along the way, a romance blossoms that is anything but a fairy tale.

It was a cute, lighthearted story. The plot was interesting and so uniquely different though it felt a bit juvenile because of the colorful font and sketches inside the book. For me, this story could have gone two ways. Jodi and her daughter could have twisted it to become serious and darker, or a fairytale sort of fantasy. Well, with the way the plot was developed, it was the latter.

I liked how there were excerpts from the fairytale that Delilah was reading, so aptly named ‘Between the Lines’ as well. So throughout the whole story, you get to read two POVs, Delilah and Oliver’s, plus the story within the story, the book Oliver’s stuck in.

This book was a swift read, it wasn’t hard to stomach unlike some of Jodi’s books filled with court cases and adult issues that were sometimes a bit too much, but it didn’t have the feel of some of Jodi’s other books as well, which was what I was looking for. “The Pact,” for example, may have too graphic details and issues that aren’t really suitable for most other teens, but the way Jodi packaged it made it less of an issue and more of a book that readers will enjoy forever.

I don’t know if this story became disappointing because it wasn’t entirely written by Jodi (though I doubt this very much) or because it was too different from her usual style, but overall I still give it three stars because though it wasn’t a favorite read, it’s something I think a younger version of myself might enjoy. The plot, however, is genius in itself.