“The Girl From The Well” – Rin Chupeco

  
Okiku is a 300 year old wandering spirit, seeking the destruction of those who wrong children. Tark is a 15 year old boy who holds the secrets to a mysterious family past. When their paths cross it is a swirling upheaval of past and present.  Told in a thrilling multiple perspective this novel has a quick pace and smooth flow. 

I really liked this book. I read it on Sunday and I meant to post about it then. It’s a quick read (half a day or so). It flows very seamlessly so it’s easy to get lost in. It’s not scary (in my opinion). It is a bit paranormal-thriller. There’s definitely dark elements and upsetting material. It was sad. I found myself really caring for the characters. (Then again I tend to over care). But I was really invested in Tarks secrets and Okiku’s past. 

Very well done story. I would recommend. 

“The Promise Of Amazing” – Robin Constantine

 Wren Caswell is average. Ranked in the middle of her class at Sacred Heart, she’s not popular, not a social misfit. Wren is the quiet good girl who’s always done what she’s supposed to—only now, in her junior year, this passive strategy is backfiring. She wants to change but doesn’t know how.

Grayson Barrett was the king of St. Gabe’s: star of the lacrosse team, top of his class, and on the fast track to a brilliant future—until he was expelled for being a “term-paper pimp.” Now Gray is in a downward spiral and needs to change but doesn’t know how.

One fateful night, their paths cross at Wren’s family’s Arthurian-themed catering hall. What follows is the complicated, awkward, hilarious, and tender tale of two teens shedding their pasts, figuring out who they are—and falling in love.

This was the exact kind of book I needed. I started this morning, thinking a rainy Saturday was the perfect day for a book. And boy I was not mistaken. I was instantly gripped into this world. The rebel bad boy, the  cliché good girl. Whirlwind romance. Secrets. Lies. Sure it all sounds like an amped up drama troupe. And okay so maybe it is. But it’s absolutely perfect too. 

The characters have essence of Gilmore Girls, Gossip Girl (easy to do with this kind of setting and these kinds of characters). I loved the drama. The crazy fast paced romance. I loved the characters. I was instantly in love with Grayson (flawed and frustrating. I more than once yelled at the book “baby no why stop!”). I got annoyed with Wren, growling in annoyance at my book. There was just something about Constantine’s writing; the way she effortlessly weaved the story together to make the characters both flawed and lovable. It was such a good read. 

I would recommend. 

The Cellar – Natasha Preston

  
Summer is out with her friends one night when a chilling voice calls to her, “Lily”. Cue Summer being abducted by a creeper in a van and carted away to an even creepier basement apartment that she will now share with three other “flowers”. Summer must try and survive to get out of this horrible nightmare.

Now usually my reviews are pretty positive. I even had someone ask me “do you just like everything you read or do you not review the bad ones?” Well. Both. I generally know what topics I like and which topics will bore me. So usually I pick only things I will likely enjoy. In addition, if I don’t like a book I don’t feel the need to criticize the author on the Internet. My cup of tea might be someone else’s bitter prune juice, my cup of bitter prune juice might be someone’s cafe au lait. And I really try and fill the world with positivity more than negativity. So really, who am I to cast aspersions. But I do sometimes get the book or two that I did read all the way through and it just wasn’t for me. And that’s okay. They’re just fewer and far between. So I can critique without being rude. I hope. 

This book was sadly one I just couldn’t get into. I felt the author was repetitive at times to the point of causing the reader (I.e. me) severe frustration. I felt the characters were underdeveloped and I felt nothing for any of them.  The plot was a good idea, I liked the concept a lot. But I just couldn’t get into it. I’ve seen a ton of reviews that call it a “heart-stopper” and “thrilling” but I didn’t feel any of those things. I hope that people like it and that I’m the odd duck but overall it wasn’t for me and I do not recommend. 

On Writing

I’ve been working on my novel a bit (one of them and finally). And I just hate when I have to torture my babies. When something heartbreaking has to happen for plot advancement. Or when they go through an emotional crisis. I just want to hug them and tell them everything will be okay. But then it’s my fault this is happening to them anyway. And isn’t that just kind of how life goes? 

Lola Carlyle’s 12-Step Romance – Danielle Younge-Ullman

 
When Lola Carlyle’s “best” friend Sydney calls her from rehab out of the blue and tries to convince Lola to join her at Sunrise Rehab Lola thinks Sydney is insane. But the more she thinks about the long and boring summer looming ahead of her  – and the fact that the love of her life Wade Miller just so happens to be at the same rehab center – Lola starts to formulate a plot to join Sydney and win over her crush. 

Initially I thought “Lola Carlyle’s 12-Step Romance” sounded like just a cutesy summer read. A little quirky. A bit different. I wasn’t sure how deep into “rehab” it would delve or if it would remain fairly on the surface (a mix of both FYI). The book hits on some pretty intense feelings and points (I teared up a bit at one point), but at the same time it really stays fairly light for a book dealing with a bunch of kids in rehab. 

I think, for me, one of the reasons the book was such a hook and why I ended up reading it in one sitting was because of how much I felt like Lola. Not in the sense that I’m a – to use her term – celebu-spawn but in the sense that sometimes terrible awful stuff is happening to you and yet you’re still stressing about what outfit to wear or something equally as mundane. And the way Younge-Ullman wrote Lola is so genuinely flawed that it makes you almost uncomfortable because it’s easy to see yourself in her. At least for me. 

I thought it was well done. I do have some questions I can’t possibly pose without spoilers. But alas, some questions remain unanswered. 

Good book though.

Happy reading. 

Saint Anything – Sarah Dessen

  

“Peyton, Sydney’s charismatic older brother, has always been the star of the family, receiving the lion’s share of their parents’ attention and—lately—concern. When Peyton’s increasingly reckless behavior culminates in an accident, a drunk driving conviction, and a jail sentence, Sydney is cast adrift, searching for her place in the family and the world. When everyone else is so worried about Peyton, is she the only one concerned about the victim of the accident?

Enter the Chathams, a warm, chaotic family who run a pizza parlor, play bluegrass on weekends, and pitch in to care for their mother, who has multiple sclerosis. Here Sydney experiences unquestioning acceptance. And here she meets Mac, gentle, watchful, and protective, who makes Sydney feel seen, really seen, for the first time.

The uber-popular Sarah Dessen explores her signature themes of family, self-discovery, and change in her twelfth novel, sure to delight her legions of fans.” – Goodreads Normally I try and come up with my own brief summary but that was pretty perfect. 

Sarah really hits the mark on this one. The characters were flawed, and eerily relatable. It’s hard to keep up with being original and fresh and by your twelfth book it’s probably damn near impossible to feel like what you’re writing matters; but Sarah really gets people and targets issues that make readers want to read more. 
I devour Dessen books as fast as I can as soon as I can. And I normally have no complaints. But as amazing as this book was and despite that I read it in about 6 hours I do have just one small critique. There is a character who had/has a self-image issue and the way that it was written out didn’t do the character justice. The character was fantastic, well crafted, realistic, but the way that his body image problem was presented and subsequently thrown out did not work well with the flow of the story. It actually made me delv deeper into the way that body image disorders are presented in modern literature. I would like to discuss more with people who have also read the book but I will leave it at this for now. 

The book overall was definitely wonderful and I love the way Sarah Dessen crafts tales. I highly recommend the read! 

“Lost Lake” – Sarah Addison Allen

After the death of her husband Kate and her daughter Devin leave Atlanta for a trip to visit Lost Lake, a summer get-away resort that was owned by Kate’s great-great-Aunt Eby. Not even sure if Eby’s still around but needing some spark of change to wake her up Kate and Devin visit the Lost Lake, finding more than they bargained for when they arrive.

“Lost Lake” is told in a beautiful way, connecting stories of crazy and quirky characters threaded altogether by this magical lake. The characters are otherworldly and gripping, the story is beautiful and alluring. Once again I couldn’t put the book down except for basic human functions. I wasn’t lying when I said I had become addicted to Sarah Addison Allen. She just knocks them out of the park with every publication. All of her books leave you feeling so… full. They’re all so rich with the story they need to tell and the way they captivate you stays with you longer than the novel goes on. I will preach to the choir about these books and this author because man, she is compelling.

To read excerpts or to buy click the picture for information.