Friday Find: Reached

Goodreads
Title: Reached
Author: Ally Condie
Finished: January 12
Purchased: Kindle Fire

After leaving Society to desperately seek The Rising, and each other, Cassia and Ky have found what they were looking for, but at the cost of losing each other yet again. Cassia is assigned undercover in Central city, Ky outside the borders, an airship pilot with Indie. Xander is a medic, with a secret. All too soon, everything shifts again.

I must be honest with you, this was my absolute favorite book of the entire series. All those loose ends and pieces of information included in the second book that made me sleep through it were made interesting and tied together in this book. 
I wish still, that the other books show cased Ally Condie’s writing and story telling abilities as this one did. Reached literally “reached” an entire new level. I found Matched  to be a good book as did many other readers. Crossed fell entirely flat and Reached finally “reached” what all us readers wanted. Not only was the plot developed further, but it began to be more complex and interesting. This book really made sense, unlike the other books. 
It almost seemed to me that Ally listened to the reviews that Crossed  was given and in a sense corrected them. The characters that didn’t make sense had a full circle story in this book as well as the characters that were not so liked were well.. done away with in one way or another. 
I was very unhappy to have to struggle through the rest of the series to get to this point, but I view it as all worth it. The main reason this book only has four stars is the rough journey I had to take to get to this point. I can’t really find anything I dislike about this book. It was fast paced and a million times more interesting that the first two. The love triangle dissipates and valuable lessons are learned and shared between all characters. 
xox Cat

Thirsty Thursday Review: Crossed

Goodreads
Title: Crossed
Author: Ally Condie
Finished: January 
Purchased: Kindle Fire
★★★
The Society chooses everything. 
The books you read. 
The music you listen to. 
The person you love. 
Yet for Cassia the rules have changed. Ky has been taken and she will sacrifice everything to find him. 
And when Cassia discovers Ky has escaped to the wild frontiers beyond the Society there is hope.
But on the edge of society nothing is as it seems…
A rebellion is rising.
And a tangled web of lies and double-crosses could destroy everything

I liked this book, I didn’t particularly love it though. To me, Crossed was one of those books you read so you’re able to continue the series, almost like a filler book. It wasn’t horrid though. I just feel like it could have been done in 20 pages.

Let me just start by saying that I adore the love triangle in this book. One round of applause for Ally Condie for truly capturing the essence of what a love triangle should be. Cassia loves Ky and Xander. The boys don’t even hate each other which makes it all the more painful to experience. The love triangle Ally Condie crafted does not have an easy choice, I can’t personally decide who I like better, and obviously neither can Cassia. 
I believe it is time to state what anyone else who has read this book is most likely thinking. Crossed dragged on. It had a surprising lack of action as well as interesting content at all. Like I mentioned in the Matched review, their society is boring, not much goes on. But the characters are all embarked on journeys that take them outside of society and I still felt as if I was nodding off. The short, choppy chapters are probably what I hated the most. One chapter would start to get good, I would snuggle in deeper with anticipation and then BAM. Either the chapter ended or Cassia found a leaf that she decided to write a poem about. Or Ky would begin to explain a memory, that is directly from Matched right when you knew something exciting was going to happen. And then, these moments just died and nothing exciting happened. 
So the whole book, it was reiterated to the read that Xander had a huge secret he was hiding from Cassia. Well, If Cassia’s new friend Indie can figure it out without meeting Xander, come on, how important or secretive could it be? Not to mention that when it is finally revealed, my feeling was yeah, so? I knew that. Not a huge secret. I felt like it could have been built up to so much more and it just fell flat, like the rest of the novel.
I don’t even want to get started on the society because it simply does not make sense. Sure, I can overlook it for the good of the story if it’d actually a good book, but Crossed just pointed out all the flaws. I don’t understand how everyone can be so shocked when someone can write, it’s not as if they have never seen letters before, they can all read!! The stupid war everyone is fighting makes no sense. Societies goal doesn’t begin to make sense. It was all just a jumble of unsorted (pun!) information. 
Crossed simply fell flat. I was mid sprint running out of Matched when Crossed tripped me. I still have enough motivation to continue the series, mostly because the entire book was dedicated to characters and a painful lack of action, I feel attached to them.

xox Cat

Mini Update

Hey everyone! Hope you all had a great winter break, I know I did. I’m sad that I must be back off to classes now on campus, it leaves me with limited time for things I love like reading. I will be busy for the next few weeks and reviews with be sparse. I am currently undergoing the process to switch my major to English (yay!) which is actually something that I love. I am excited but super stressed out. This switch may be good for you guys as well because many of the classes that I must take require real books as texts books for class! So that will be fun and I will be able to write reviews on those books as well as whatever books I can fit into my schedule! I am by no means leaving or stopping my blog and other sites related to books. I am simply not going to be as present until I get back into the swing of things at school, and my stress level dissolves a bit!

xox Cat

Afternoon Delight: Life Eternal

Goodreads
Title: Life Eternal
Author: Yvonne Woon
Date Finished: December 3o
Purchased: Kindle Fire
★!
 

Rene Winters has changed. When she looks in the mirror, a beautiful girl with an older, sadder face stares back. Her condition has doctors mystified, but Ren e can never reveal the truth: she died last May, and was brought back to life by the kiss of her Undead soul mate, Dante Berlin.
Now, her separation from Dante becomes almost unbearable. His second life is close to an end, and each passing day means one less that she will spend with the boy who shares her soul.
Just when Ren e has almost given up hope, she learns of the Nine Sisters-brilliant scholars who, according to legend, found a way to cheat death. She can’t shake the feeling that they are somehow connected to her dreams, strange visions that hint at a discovery so powerful, and so dangerous, that some will stop at nothing to protect it.
Ren e thought she knew the truth about life and death. But there is a secret woven through history that holds the only hope for Dante and Ren e. Unless they find answers soon, their time together is doomed to be cut short.


I have to say, I gave it five stars but it deserves like a hundred. I recently read the first in this series, Dead Beautiful and I am not sure which I liked best.  I have a sweet spot for academy/ boarding school books. I’m not sure why, maybe because I didn’t attend a school of that nature until college, so the unknown is interesting to me. I typically find myself not liking books that are sequels as much as the original book, but this one is hard not to enjoy.

I love that in book two, there are still things as a reader, you know you don’t know but can’t wait to find out. Like what really happened to Reene’s parents, you know there is something being hidden from you and the only way to find out is to read more. Something esle hidden from the reader is what her connection is with Dante, you know besides a soulmate

I really enjoyed that in this book, Dante isn’t a huge focus. It becomes a snore fest when the second book is all about the new romance that developed in the first book, so I am happy to report that is not how this book went.

I loved how Yvonne Wood developed Renee as a character. Usually characters just somehow manage to be lucky enough to not get kill, but I felt that Renee is alive because she is smart. She didn’t do too many cringe worthy things, actions that make you want to scream and throw your book because of how dumb they are. She acted as most would assume someone would in the situations presented to her. My only complaint is how much she tells her new friend and Noah. Oh my gosh Noah. I think I am the only one that was silently praying that her soul mate was not Dante and they were mistaken. Or for some explanation that they shared a soul, but not romantically. I don’t know. All I know is I loved Noah. Although, I felt that Renee told him too much sensitive information. In her position, I would not have told anyone anything until I could fully trust them.

I am really not a fan of the whole soul mates bit, mainly because this book shows how well Renee and Dante don’t know each other. And I find him to be a creeper.

Overall, I think anyone who read this book can agree that the ending is the absolute  best part ever. Things that you could only speculate, and most of the time not accurately, throughout the book finally start falling into place. So well, in fact, that I started to question why I hadn’t figured it out.

Life Eternal is a real page turner, only five more days (as of January 2) until the third book, Love Reborn  is released. I am holding my breath!!

xox Cat

Friday Review: Requiem

Title:  Requiem
Author:  Lauren Oliver
Finished: January 3d
Purchased: Kindle Fire

hey have tried to squeeze us out, to stamp us into the pastBut we are still here.
And there are more of us every day.
Goodreads
Now an active member of the resistance, Lena has been transformed. The nascent rebellion that was under way in Pandemonium has ignited into an all-out revolution in Requiem, and Lena is at the center of the fight.
After rescuing Julian from a death sentence, Lena and her friends fled to the Wilds. But the Wilds are no longer a safe haven—pockets of rebellion have opened throughout the country, and the government cannot deny the existence of Invalids. Regulators now infiltrate the borderlands to stamp out the rebels, and as Lena navigates the increasingly dangerous terrain, her best friend, Hana, lives a safe, loveless life in Portland as the fiancée of the young mayor.
Maybe we are driven crazy by our feelings.
Maybe love is a disease, and we would be better off without it.
But we have chosen a different road.
And in the end, that is the point of escaping the cure: We are free to choose.
We are even free to choose the wrong thing.
Requiem is told from both Lena’s and Hana’s points of view. The two girls live side by side in a world that divides them until, at last, their stories converge.

The beginning of the book moves painstakingly slow. Let me just start with a little rant here for a second. The fact that this story alternated between Hana and Lena’s point of view/ story drove me absolutely crazy. The majority of things happening to Hana I didn’t even care about. People lose friends in stories and in real life all the time. Hana just annoyed the living everything out of me. I wanted to skip over Hana just to get to the juicy stuff with this dumb Lena girl and her complete lack of decency with the boys that she likes. 
While we are on the subject of people I hate, I have to mention Julian. I don’t like him and I never will end of story. Team Alex for life. At the end of Pandemonium I was personally ready to murder Lena because of what she feels for Julian. Throughout reading I just felt so… awful. Poor Alex sacrifices his life to save stupid Lena, endures the crypts and finally escapes only to find her in the arms of another person. Yeah, I’d crawl myself into a hole. 
Lena was also a little baby in this book. This character is one of the most aggravating characters I have ever read. I started to like her in Pandemonium but she just flopped for me in this book. She needed to get her head out of her *cough, cough* and decide who she really loves and wants to be with because all us readers know the truth. She was acting like a child pretending to hate Alex, thinking that he was dead with no proof.. come on. Let’s be smart for a second. 
I thought that last half of the book was amazingly written, and I even got over my hate for Hana just a little. The beginning moved to slowly, the middle was perfect and the ending was horrid. It’s not a cliff hanger, because we will never find out what happens, but it also didn’t explain or give the reader the details that they want, neeeeeed. It was one of the dumbest endings I have ever read. The ending could have saved the entire book, sure I gave it three stars, but the ending honestly deducted a whole star. It’s like she just got lazy and didn’t want to finish the book. 
Obviously I liked it enough to give it three stars, but it was still my least favorite book of the whole series. I wish it ended differently and I wish that the beginning was as interesting as the middle/end. Honestly, if you have read the other two, you are better off writing your own ending for the series because this will only be a disappointment. 
xox Cat

Cup of Coffee Review: A Betty’s Pledge

***Mature Content***

Goodreads


Title: A Betty’s Pledge
Author: Emma Husher
Purchased: NetGalley
Finished: January 12
Release Date: April 24, 2014

There is an exclusive group known as the Grants who only allow the most seductive women into their circle, and Madeline “Mady” Chase would give anything to get in. After years of mundane, disappointing sex, Mady is ready for more. Much more. Too many men out there favor the trashy crap that often parades around the local bars and college hangouts. To Mady, it seems like they’d rather drool over a girl with a fifty thousand dollar plastic surgery bill and clothes that would better fit a five-year-old than find some substance and passion in a woman. She wants more than stale, bland, fake sex, and the Grants could be just what she needs.

Isaac Wilson has been dissatisfied more times than he can count in the past two years. Being one of the Grants definitely has its privileges, but now he finds himself wanting more. Usually, it just meant another long month of disenchantment on his part when the Grants realized their new batch of women were no good. Each year, the program found several candidates that fit their needs, but as was often the case, they lacked that certain spark Isaac was looking for. To him, it didn’t matter. Either way, he’d have a lot of fun wading through the rejects.



I want to include some bits of information to add to the summary of the book. I found that the summary given on Goodreads and NetGalley is quite confusing and doesn’t summarize it to its full potential. So the Grant club is basically a dating/training service for the wealthy. It is portrayed as extremely well respected. Many of the members have long term relationships with other members that developed within the club, and those who don’t find love are please with just the knowledge of their bodies and sex that the club offers. Mady has no luck finding the man of her dreams, or even being satisfied in bed, so when she is invited to audition to be in the exclusive club Grant, she is mostly thrilled, but also a bit nervous. Isaac Wilson is already a member, and has been for years with women throwing themselves at him but he has not found the one girl who haven’t lacked something… 
Let me start off my review by saying I surprised myself in reading this book, but I am even more surprised that I enjoyed it. I am not a huge fan of a book that’s explicitly about sex. I read Fifty Shades of Gray and while I can find the plot in that book, it was just too much for me. Don’t get me wrong, I can enjoy a good sex scene in a book now and again, but I am not a fan when that is the only thing in the book. When character development and plot get thrown up in the air only for a bit of raunchy play. 
I find that I enjoy reading the erotica genre much more when there is a developed plot. And in this case, I found the plot to be extremely unique. I must admit I don’t get around to reading this genre often but I think I read it enough to notice a good idea when I see one. I loved the idea that the characters were in a sex club. Now that makes it sound dirty, but, I mean it’s really not. I found this book extremely well written and interesting. I honestly read it in an entire day because I just couldn’t get enough. I hope with my entire heart that this book takes off and becomes something huge.
Only a few more months until the book is released, I’d be adding it to my TO READ SHELF if I hadn’t read it yet! Or check it out on NetGalley and apply for an ARC!
xox Cat