Bad Girls Don’t Die by Katie Alender

Screen Shot 2016-01-25 at 11.27.26 AM

Screen Shot 2015-12-08 at 9.43.44 AM

 

Bad Girls Don’t Die

Bad Girls Don’t Die #1

Katie Alender

2009

Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 11.24.25 AM

Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository


Alexis thought she led a typically dysfunctional high school existence. Dysfunctional like her parents’ marriage; her doll-crazy twelve-year-old sister, Kasey; and even her own anti-social, anti-cheerleader attitude. When a family fight results in some tearful sisterly bonding, Alexis realizes that her life is creeping from dysfunction into danger. Kasey is acting stranger than ever: her blue eyes go green sometimes; she uses old-fashioned language; and she even loses track of chunks of time, claiming to know nothing about her strange behavior. Their old house is changing, too. Doors open and close by themselves; water boils on the unlit stove; and an unplugged air conditioner turns the house cold enough to see their breath in.

Alexis wants to think that it’s all in her head, but soon, what she liked to think of as silly parlor tricks are becoming life-threatening–to her, her family, and to her budding relationship with the class president. Alexis knows she’s the only person who can stop Kasey — but what if that green-eyed girl isn’t even Kasey anymore?


From August 2014-August 2015, I lived in Michigan because my boyfriend was going to law school (he’s since transferred to Baltimore–THANK GOD.  No offense to Michigan, but I’ve grown to love the DMV–well not so much the V–in the past decade).  But anyway.  I didn’t have a job and I didn’t know anyone outside of the people he met through school, so I was constantly home with only the cats to keep me company.  Because of that I used to go to the bookstore like three times a week.

Every time I was there I would pick up this book read the back and then put it back down.  I am so mad at myself!  I wish I had read this months ago!

I did not expect to like this as much as I did  And I definitely did not expect to be scared. It is very rare that a book actually creeps me out.  I don’t think I’ve ever really read any Adult horror but I’ve tried my hand at quite a few YA “horror” stories  and none of them have ever really successfully clicked.  But this one did. It really did.

It was so good. And so freaking creepy. Leave it to demonic children and dolls to really scare me.

I literally had to put this book down at one point because I was home alone and was so freaked out.  I had to talk myself into picking it up a few minutes later because I just had to finish it. I moved out of my bedroom into my brightly lit living room  and proceeded to freak out at every single little noise my apartment made.

So on top of this book scaring me much more than I thought possible it was also really funny.

Alexis is the MC of Bad Girls Don’t Die.  She is your typical YA outcast: brooding, pink hair, into photography, has no friends, hates the cheerleaders, and is a trouble maker. You know, the norm.   Basically, no one understands her.  She can also be pretty rude and sarcastic. But WHATEVER. I loved her. Everything that should have annoyed me about her just didn’t.  I don’t know what it is that allows me to look past normally frustrating stereotypical characters and fall in love.  Maybe it was the humor.

Another thing I really enjoyed was that it was so atmospheric. My childhood home was built in 1899 and I know what it is to sleep under an attic that creaks and to grow up half convinced that there are people walking above you.  So a creepy old house is a perfect setting for me.  Add dolls and demonic children into the mix and you’ve got a recipe for success.

There was no instalove.  In fact I might have enjoyed a little more romance.  Chapters would go by without Alexis even mentioned Carter…which of course IS A GOOD THING. This is not a paranormal romance.  I probably would have been annoyed if instead of Alexis worrying about the fact that her house is haunted and her sister is possibly possessed she were focused on her relationship.  But he was just so adorable that I wanted more of him.

There were of course some flaws. It’s not really brimming with character development  and the characters  are pretty stereotypical, and there is a cheesy, perfect ending.  But with this book, the good definitely outweighed the bad.  It wrapped up really neatly so I’m interested to see where the next 2 books of the series go.

If you are looking for a quick, addicting, SCARY YA book totally check this one out.

WoW: The Girl Who Fell by S. M. Parker

Screen Shot 2016-01-25 at 11.46.19 AM.png

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

Screen Shot 2015-12-09 at 9.30.23 AM

The Girl Who Fell

S.M. Parker

3/1/16


 

His obsession.
Her fall.

In this dark kissing book, high school senior Zephyr Doyle is swept off her feet—and into an intense relationship—by the new boy in school.

Zephyr is focused. Focused on leading her team to the field hockey state championship and leaving her small town for her dream school, Boston College.

But love has a way of changing things.

Enter the new boy in school: the hockey team’s starting goaltender, Alec. He’s cute, charming, and most important, Alec doesn’t judge Zephyr. He understands her fears and insecurities—he even shares them. Soon, their relationship becomes something bigger than Zephyr, something she can’t control, something she doesn’t want to control.

Zephyr swears it must be love. Because love is powerful, and overwhelming, and…terrifying?

But love shouldn’t make you abandon your dreams, or push your friends away. And love shouldn’t make you feel guilty—or worse, ashamed.

So when Zephyr finally begins to see Alec for who he really is, she knows it’s time to take back control of her life.

If she waits any longer, it may be too late.


 

Why I’m Waiting

This one has actually been on a lot of my 2016 anticipated releases lists! I am so looking forward to this and have been for months now.  I really hope it takes a look at the reoccuring theme of unhealthy and abusive romances in YA.

A Somewhat Disappointing Finale: Unmade by Sarah Rees Brennan

Screen Shot 2016-01-25 at 11.27.26 AM

unmade

Unmade

The Lynburn Legacy #3

Sarah Rees Brennan

2014

3stars

Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository


 

Kami has lost the boy she loves, is tied to a boy she does not, and faces an enemy more powerful than ever before. With Jared missing for months and presumed dead, Kami must rely on her new magical link with Ash for the strength to face the evil spreading through her town.

Rob Lynburn is now the master of Sorry-in-the-Vale, and he demands a death. Kami will use every tool at her disposal to stop him. Together with Rusty, Angela, and Holly, she uncovers a secret that might be the key to saving the town. But with knowledge comes responsibility – and a painful choice. A choice that will risk not only Kami’s life, but also the lives of those she loves most.

Set against a centuries-old legacy of blood, power, and vengeance, the truth does not seem like much of a weapon. But it is all Kami has.


This isn’t going to be a very long review. Mainly because it took me so long to read that I don’t really remember that much of what happened in the beginning. And that probably isn’t a good sign.

I am sad to say that this series went downhill from where it started. Not so much that I didn’t like the books, I just didn’t love them the way I did the first. Kami was still amazing (as the majoirty of the characters still were. I especially enjoyed the banter between Lillian Lynburn and Jon Glass), and I really did enjoy the ending, but the middle really forced my opinion. I was much more aware of the failures of Brennan’s writing, and the pace was a bit too slow and the relationship drama was over the top. JUST BE HONEST WHEN YOU TALK TO EACH OTHER. STOP BEING SO GOD DAMN MOPEY.

At the same time, a lot of what happened was a too convenient for me.  There were multiple times where the characters were pretty much about to die and then miraculously they were saved! Once would have been fine, but it happened 3 or 4 times.

Plus, I’m kind of really angry over a certain aspect of the plot. I get it, but I don’t have to be happy about it.

In the end I’m going to give it 3 stars, even thought it took me over a week to read and I didn’t particularly enjoy the majority of this book. I just can’t bring myself to give a series that started off so well anything less than 3 stars. I just wished it had remained at the same level of awesomeness that was Unspoken.

s2f

A Charmed Week 1/11-1/17

Screen Shot 2016-01-25 at 11.29.16 AM

It’s snowing for the first time in Baltimore this year! It’s only flurries but still!

Last Week on the Blog

Reviews:

Untold by Sarah Rees Brennan

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Posts:

None this week.

Features:

Currently Reading

Memes:

TTT: Top Ten 2015 Releases I Meant to Get to But Didn’t

WoW: The Rule of Mirrors by Caragh M. O’Brien

Challenges:

2016 Discussion Challenge

 

All About The Books

ARCs for Review:

Thegirlwhofelltellthewindandfire

Bought/Received

None! The Book Buying Ban is going strong!

Borrowed:

None this week!

 

Last Week in My Life

A Month of No Spending

It actually isn’t really that hard. It really helps to have a boyfriend who is willing to pay for things that he wants to do.  Last Sunday he wanted to go out to breakfast and then to a bar later in the day to watch the Washington Redskins and he understood that he would have to pay for me in order for me to go.  Usually we split things or take turns paying.

I’ve realized how much I actually spend on groceries, and it’s a lot.  And a lot of the food ends up going to waste! But I’ve made some meal plans based on food we already have in the fridge/pantry so I hope to get better at not wasting food.

The boyfriend is back in law school.  I love him, but I am so happy he will be out of the apartment a few hours every day.  Now I will definitely have more time to read without ESPN distracting me from the other room.

It was a pretty boring week for me.  I have a 4 day weekend because tomorrow is MLK Day and the library is closed.  I spent my Friday watching 5 hours of The Wire.  The boyfriend and I watched all 5 seasons about 4 years ago when I was taking a class on it in undergrad, and now he is taking a class on it in law school, so we are watching it again.  And now we live in Baltimore so we are constantly looking things up to see where they happened in relation to where we live.  It’s even harder to watch the second time around because I know when everyone dies and I dread it, even when it’s 3 seasons away.  Except that one death. I’m ok with that one.

Upcoming:

Reviews:

Unmade (The Lynburn Legacy #3) by Sarah Rees Brennan

Up to this Pointe by Jennifer Longo

Bad Girls Don’t Die by Katie Alender

Vampire Academy (VA #1) by Richelle Meade

Hope everyone has a wonderful Sunday!

SundaypostSTSmall_thumb%255B2%255D

I’m linking up with the Sunday Post, hosted by The Caffeinated Book Reviewer and Stacking the Shelves, hosted by Tynga’s Reviews for the first time!

Currently Reading: Way Too Many Books

Screen Shot 2016-01-25 at 11.38.14 AM

I haven’t done a “Currently Reading” update in awhile! Right now I am a bit overwhelmed by the fact that I am in the middle of 5 books, but I think I’ve got it covered.  A 4 day weekend is a great time to spend reading (except I wasted yesterday by spending 5 hours watching season 2 of The Wire and 5 hours of HGTV’s Flip or Flop.  Hey, sometimes you just need to take a break!)

The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa

around 56% finished

I’m actually listening to this one. It is the second time I tried to read it.  The first time was a year ago and it was with a physical book, but I put it down and never went back to it.  Now, I really only listen when I’m in the car or doing stuff around the house.  The MC, Meghan is really annoying in this book, so it’s making it hard for me to really enjoy it.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

around 62% finished

This is my January pick for the classics challenge I am participating in. This month’s theme is “A classic you’ve always wanted to read” and while I can’t say it was at the top of my list, it was a book that I’ve always had interest in.  Mainly I wanted to see what all the fuss was about.  I’m switching between the new audiobook and actually reading, but I find it much easier to listen.  If I have to read it I get so bored.  It’s finally getting towards the end so I’m happy about that.

Unmade by Sarah Rees Brennan

70% finished

I’m super sad to report that this is taking me a very long time to read.  The plot is very slow moving and I think a lot of relationship drama is also keeping me from enjoying it as much as I did the first two books.  We’ll see.

The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

25% finished

This is my “Series to Start” pick for January.  Again, I tried reading this book a few years ago, got pretty far and put it down.  I didn’t “DNF” it but I never went back to it.  So here I am, trying again.  I know it’s about to get interesting, but right now Elisa is pretty annoying.

Rebel Bully Geek Pariah by Erin Jade Lange

30% finished

This is an ARC I have.  I haven’t really been interested in reading any of my assigned ARCs this month, but this one is ok.  The characters make a lot of stupid choices, but apparently there is a twist coming up, so I’m going to keep on reading.  Hopefully it gets better.

What are you guys reading this weekend? 

My first “Nope” Review: Beautiful Creatures

Screen Shot 2016-01-25 at 11.27.26 AM

Before I even started my blog, I knew I wanted to set a few challenges for myself in 2016.  There were a bunch of series I wanted to start and a bunch to finish.  I also wanted to actually take a second look at books that I had previously labeled “Nope” for some reason or another.  Usually due to others reviews I decided not to read certain books, and I decided that simply wasn’t fair and I wanted to give the books a try, because maybe I would find a book that I actually really enjoyed.  You can check out the original post here.

My first book in this “Nope Challenge” was Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl.

beautifulcreatures

 

Beautiful Creatures

Caster Chronicles #1

Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

2009

2stars

Goodreads


Is falling in love the beginning . . . or the end?

In Ethan Wate’s hometown there lies the darkest of secrets . . .

There is a girl. Slowly, she pulled the hood from her head . . . Green eyes, black hair. Lena Duchannes.

There is a curse. On the Sixteenth Moon, the Sixteenth Year, the Book will take what it’s been promised. And no one can stop it.

In the end, there is a grave.

Lena and Ethan become bound together by a deep, powerful love. But Lena is cursed and on her sixteenth birthday, her fate will be decided. Ethan never even saw it coming.


 

Obviously since this was on my “Nope” shelf, reviews had warned me against it.  But I really just had to see it for myself.  So where should I start?

The writing is really bad. Honestly, I recognized this on the second page. I can sometimes look past bad writing if I’m invested in the plot.  Hell, I’m not winning any awards for my writing.  But, it was really, really bad in this. And, on top of bad writing, the pacing of the plot is too slow, yet oddly jumbled and confusing at many points.  I mean, I enjoyed the overall plot.  I thought the world Garcia and Stohl created was interesting and deep, if only a bit confusing, but this book did not have to be 500 pages.  There are some books that do.  There are some books that NEED to be 800 pages long and every single word is important.  This is not one of them.  Again, take 200 pages off, speed up the plot and it probably would have gotten a better rating, bad writing and all.

I liked the setting.  I haven’t read too many “Southern Gothics” and this book really made me interested in them, mainly because it didn’t do that great of a job creating the South for me. I mean, I know the South can still be pretty backwards (well America can just be pretty backwards sometimes, so it’s wrong to just point to the South), but I have a real hard time believing that this book is supposed to take place in the present day with how they treat Lena.  Totally not believable.  But I am totally interested in reading more Southern Gothic stories.

I did like that it was a male POV, except for the fact that it was so hard to remember that Ethan was a dude.  He didn’t sound like any 16 year old boy I ever met.  I’m not trying to say that he wasn’t manly enough, I just think that the authors don’t know how to write from the male perspective.  I wasn’t a huge fan of Ethan, but he wasn’t half as bad as Lena.

Lena, hmm I don’t even know what I can really say about her except I hated her. Like if there is nothing you can do about possibly going dark, then get the fuck over it.  She was so god damn melodramatic I wanted to rip my hair out.  Honestly, Ridley was the best character and it made me realize that I am sick of reading about the “good” side.  The dark side might be a nice place to set a story.

Both Ethan and Lena are extremely stupid. I mean they have this whole conversation over what the clue “Claim Yourself” means.  That’s when I lost it.  I would have thrown the book across the room if I hadn’t been reading on the computer or if I hadn’t been at work. Their romance was so disgustingly gag-worthy.  It’s insta-love of epic proportions, even if they don’t admit it right away.  The way Ethan thinks about Lena makes me want to throw up.  Not even my high school boyfriend was that cheesy.

The ending was entirely too convenient and it made me pretty angry.

This would have been a great book. If not for the characters.  Or the pacing.  Or the writing.  Obviously I finished it. I read 567 pages, so it gets 2 stars because I just need to prove to myself that I didn’t waste my time.

nopechallenge

Why I didn’t want to read it:      Reviews

Why I changed my mind:    Popularity

Do I regret reading it?:    Not exactly

Will I continue the series?:    Probably not

Hurry Up and Release it!

Screen Shot 2016-01-25 at 11.46.19 AM

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking The Spine

Screen Shot 2015-12-09 at 9.30.31 AM

 

The Rule of Mirrors

The Vault Of Dreamers #2

Caragh M. O’Brien

2/16/16


Spoilers for the 1st Book!
The entire country was watching when Rosie Sinclair was expelled from Forge, the prestigious arts school that doubles as a reality TV show. But few know how Dean Berg was mining students’ dreams in laboratories deep below the school. And no one, least of all the Dean himself, knows that when Rosie’s dreams were seeded into the mind of another patient, Rosie’s consciousness woke up in that body–a girl far from Forge, a girl with a completely different life from Rosie, a girl who is pregnant.

Told from alternating points of view between Rosie as she makes sense of her new identity and the shattered subconscious that still exists in her old body, this sequel to The Vault of Dreamers will keep readers on the edge of their seats and leave them hungry for more.


I really enjoyed the first book in this series and I’m interested to see where it goes now that Rosie knows the truth!

 

 

Reviewing the Sequel: Untold by Sarah Rees Brennan

Screen Shot 2016-01-25 at 11.27.26 AM

untold

 

Untold

The Lynburn Legacy #2

Sarah Rees Brennan

2013

3.5stars

Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository


It’s time to choose sides….

On the surface, Sorry-in-the-Vale is a sleepy English town. But Kami Glass knows the truth. Sorry-in-the-Vale is full of magic. In the old days, the Lynburn family ruled with fear, terrifying the people into submission in order to kill for blood and power. Now the Lynburns are back, and Rob Lynburn is gathering sorcerers so that the town can return to the old ways.

But Rob and his followers aren’t the only sorcerers in town. A decision must be made: pay the blood sacrifice, or fight. For Kami, this means more than just choosing between good and evil. With her link to Jared Lynburn severed, she’s now free to love anyone she chooses. But who should that be?

A darkly humorous take on Gothic romance, Sarah Rees Brennan’s Lynburn Legacy weaves together the tale of a heroine desperate to protect those she loves, two boys hoping to be saved, and the magical forces that will shape their destiny.


Some spoilers for the first book.

So since the last book, Kami and Jared have broken the link between them, Jared hates her and Kami has no power. Rob is raising a Sorcerer army, and Lillian wants nothing to do with Kami, Ash, or Jared.

This was another reread for me.

This was my original review:

not as good as the first one, but I have hope for the third. I don’t really consider Kami Jared Ash to be a love triangle because it’s obvious at this point that she really doesn’t care for Ash the way she does Jared. There is no competition at this point. Also, where the fuck is Kami’s mom and why does she suck so much?

It wasn’t as good as the first one, but I think I will change my original 3 star rating to 3.5. I still really enjoyed the book, it’s just not much really happened. It was kind of a filler book, with a weak battle scene at the end. There was a lot of relationship drama and SO MUCH could have been avoided if Kami and Jared had just had a conversation where neither jumped to conclusions about what the other one wanted/meant.

Again, the characters make this book, and again Kami comes out as the true winner.

She cried quietly, hands pressed to her eyes, and as she cried she was almost relieved. Here she was, lonely and miserable, and she was still going to go into the gym and do what needed to be done. She had wondered who she was without Jared, stripped of all her supports and forced to stand on her own. She had worried that she would break if her heart broke, but she wasn’t broken. She had lost everything, but she was not lost.

NOW THIS IS HOW YOU HANDLED A BREAK UP.   Honestly, I don’t think I can think of another book, especially a paranormal romance book where a character so maturely handles a break up. Honestly, for all it’s faults, this one paragraph alone makes up for a lot of the bullshit drama. Kami NEVER lets the fact that she is upset over a break up stand in her way. I mean, that is seriously bad ass. At her age, I would have taken a day or two off from trying to fight evil. But NOPE. Not Kami. And that is why she is possibly one of my favorite heroines ever.

Oh, and lets not forget about the fact that throughout this book, Kami is literally powerless. Yes she was a source in the first book, and was at some points able to control the magic, but she has lost that link. All she has is her brains and her mouth and she kicks serious ass. I mean, not exactly in the fight scene that comes at the end, but just in general. She doesn’t need special magic powers to be awesome. And I love that.

The other characters were just as awesome, with the exception of Jared. He was funny again, but way too melodramatic. And I really hate Kami’s mom. She is completely useless as a human being. Jon Glass for the win. Rusty Montgomery was another winner in this book. I just love him so much. I really want Kami to forget the Lynburns and be with him, but you know…platonic friendships are cool…I guess.

Ooh, just something else, the book actually mentions bisexuals!! An actual mention, which is almost unheard of in, ANY form of entertainment.

All in all, I enjoy these books mostly for the characters. Untold read almost a bit too much like a filler book and the drama was a bit much, but I would still totally recommend it.  I am super excited to FINALLY read the last book and find out once and for all how this all ends!

s2f

2016 Discussion Challenge

fo2pY0xREoOtDNik8vGA9rjZb8Vv97mpaaJdGGkucPp4HZcY6fk2BL6IebGCg8Qhb7sprvP0RnR23YUtE6vwx0G0kaKZnm9AO4WtfIxLmA18jbiqAeUTK0VAuuG8hT55WFS5EBNCL-6-NDnpe1VjbpzJvElEsYGGumkh_w=s0-d-e1-ft

I’ve decided to join the 2016 Discussion Challenge hosted by Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction and Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight!


Rules:


 Here’s All You Have to Do:

  • The 2016 Book Blog Discussion Challenge runs from January 1st until December 31st, 2016.
  • Sign-ups will remain open until December 31st, 2016 at 11:59 p.m. Central. (So, you can sign up all year long! Come join us!)
  • You DO NOT have to have a book blog to join this challenge. If you don’t have a book blog, you may link up to discussions that you’ve started on Goodreads groups.
  • Create a sign-up post announcing your intention to participate and link up below. If you don’t have a blog, you can link up to your Goodreads profile. There is no need to say what your discussion posts will be about – just tell us that you’re joining and let us know what your goal is. (Please note, you may do this in an update post, or a post of other challenges- you’re not required to make a completely separate post- but you can if you’d like!) 
  • Please link back to both challenge hosts and include the challenge button in your sign-up posts.
  • Every month, we’ll update this 2016 Book Blog Challenge Page with the links to that month’s Challenge linky – so you’ll always know where to find the latest link-up!
  • Share it! The more people we get to participate in this, the more awesome discussions we can all be a part of and the more fun it will be! So, invite your friends to join us!
  • This challenge is to help get us discussing books and book blogging, so talk about whatever you want as long as it’s relevant to book blogging. Discussions can be book related or book blogging related (or generally blogging related – no discussions about things that are completely off-topic like travel or fashion, etc). Discussions can also be about you personally if it’s a get-to-know-you type post.
  • There will be a kick-off post on January 1, 2016 on both Feed Your Fiction Addiction and It Starts at Midnight where you’ll be able to leave your links for any January discussions. At the beginning of every month, a new post will go up on both blogs for that month’s links. New this year – Every month, we’ll feature one randomly chosen discussion from the month before.
  • If you forgot to leave your discussion link in the challenge month in which you posted the discussion or the linky list closed before you had a chance to leave it, you can leave it in a future month. (No duplicates, though.)
  • There will also be monthly giveaways, so make sure you check in each month!
  • Use the hashtag #LetsDiscuss2016 to share your progress and connect with other participants on Twitter.
  • Have questions? Feel free to ask in the comments!


     The Levels:

    1-12 – Discussion Dabbler
    13-24 – Creative Conversationalist
    25-36 – Chatty Kathy
    37-48 – Terrifically Talkative
    49+ – Gift of the Gab

 

I’m going for 1-12: Discussion Dabbler!