The Chase Book Review

Title: The Chase
Series: Briar U #1
Authors: Elle Kennedy
Publisher: Elle Kennedy Inc.
Publish Date: August 4, 2018
Genre: New Adult, Fiction – Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 378
Format: Kindle eBook

Everyone says opposites attract. And they must be right, because there’s no logical reason why I’m so drawn to Colin Fitzgerald. I don’t usually go for tattoo-covered, video-gaming, hockey-playing nerd-jocks who think I’m flighty and superficial. His narrow view of me is the first strike against him. It doesn’t help that he’s buddy-buddy with my brother. 

And that his best friend has a crush on me. 

And that I just moved in with them. 

Oh, did I not mention we’re roommates? 

I suppose it doesn’t matter. Fitzy has made it clear he’s not interested in me, even though the sparks between us are liable to burn our house down. I’m not the kind of girl who chases after a man, though, and I’m not about to start. I’ve got my hands full dealing with a new school, a sleazy professor, and an uncertain future. So if my sexy brooding roomie wises up and realizes what he’s missing? 

He knows where to find me.

Diving back into the stories of the college students of Briar U was something I was really looking forward to! I remember loving the original four books of the first series, instantly hooked on the hot hockey dudes and the beautiful girls they fell in love with.

This story, though? It… kind of fell flat for me. But that’s not to say that it still wasn’t enjoyable as far as entertainment value is concerned.

So let’s talk about the characters first:

Summer is Dean’s sister (he’s the main lead in The Goal) and as such, she’s drop dead gorgeous like her brother and has just a big of a personality as he does. And as much of a sex drive as he does. Of course she’s more than just that, and it’s often revealed and talked about throughout the story how she wants to be seen as more than just her family’s money or more than just her looks: she may not be academically smart, but she’s got a lot of passion for fashion, which is what she’s studying; she believes in woman power and building other women up instead of tearing them down; and she had an orbit about her that draws people in.

She’s also a lot of drama. Like. Holy crap, a lot of drama. I found myself often thinking that a lot of her reactions were over the top and that they didn’t really warrant to be as such for the situation. I get that’s supposed to be her personality, but a lot of the reactions seemed forced or even out of character.

Colin Fitzgerald is one of the hockey players for Briar U and he’s a tattooed, video game designing man who wants to work for a big game company when he graduates. He’s even made his own video game and has others he knows beta test it, which is pretty cool. He’s also very sexually driven, I found throughout this story, which is fine but sometimes I thought it was a bit much. He also has a bit of social anxiety, which is understandable given his back story and the way he grew up.

So, as far as plot goes: there was a lot of back and forth between Summer and Fitz (obviously, it’s not called “The Chase” for nothing) where they would often inner monologue how they’re very attracted toward the other and they want to get in each other’s pants, but never know what the other is thinking.

My biggest issue with this was how it made the characters feel so shallow and kind of two dimensional. So much of the plot centered around the sexual aspects that I felt it took away from the characters and their growth, because I actually did find the stuff happening outside and around them interesting.

I found that the anxiety was handled really well, though, and it was very believable how the characters tried to cope with their anxiety, either on their own or with help from another.

Overall, I found this to be a book that focused highly on entertainment value than on character development, which is fine, but I still wish we could have seen more come out of the characters. Some of the situations felt forced or rushed or pretty unbelievable, but otherwise it was a fun story with steamy scenes and some laughs.

★★★☆☆

My Lady Jane Book Review

myladyjaneTitle: My Lady Jane
Authors: Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, & Jodi Meadows
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publication Date: June 7, 2016
Genre: Young Adult – Historical Fiction, Romance, Comedy
Pages: 491
Format: Received Hardcover in Uppercase Box for June

EDWARD is the King of England. He’s also dying, which is inconvenient, as he’s only sixteen and he’d much rather be planning for his first kiss than considering who will inherit his crown. . . .

JANE is Edward’s cousin, and far more interested in books than in romance. Unfortunately for Jane, Edward has arranged to marry her off to secure the line of succession. And there’s something a little odd about her intended . . .

GIFFORD is a horse. That is, he’s an Eðian (eth-y-un, for the uninitiated). Every day at dawn he becomes a noble chestnut steed—but then he wakes at dusk with a mouthful of hay. It’s all very undignified.

THE PLOT THICKENS as Edward, Jane, and G are drawn into a dangerous conspiracy. With the fate of the kingdom at stake, our heroes will have to engage in some conspiring of their own. But can they pull off their plan before it’s off with their heads?

The comical, fantastical, romantical, entirely true story of Lady Jane Grey but not really

Lady Jane Grey, sixteen, is about to be married to a total stranger—and caught up in an insidious plot to rob her cousin, King Edward, of his throne. But that’s the least of Jane’s problems. She’s about to become Queen of England.

Like that could go wrong.

I had been in a reading slump before I picked up this book and I am so glad I chose to read this when I did because OH MAN, there is so much humor in this book!

This is an historical fiction retelling novel about a young woman by the name of Jane Grey who, upon her cousin’s surmised “death,” she becomes queen for about nine days before the proverbial poop hits the fan.

The book is divided into two parts: the first part being all of the events before and leading up to when Jane becomes Queen and when she is almost killed because of it; and the second part being where the narrators (who break into the story every once in a while) change history.

Of course there are actual differences in real history and their history for this retelling, such as the magic in this world being ones in which humans, depending on their lineage, can turn into animals – these kinds of people were called Eðian (pronounced eth-ee-uhn). And, like any ruling country of the time in the 1500’s, not a lot of people liked those who could change – and these people were called Verities. And then you get the common folk who don’t bend one way or the other.

The plot of the book was engaging and had me wanting to turn the page to find out what happens next, who can be trusted, what kinds of twists and turns were going to happen, and oh. The humor. Yeah, there was that, too. It followed three main characters: Edward, Jane, and Gifford (call him G!) and each chapter was in the point of view of one respectively. I thought this was a great move because it allowed us to have different perspectives and takes as to what was going on in their surroundings and how each person would react in those situations. It started off with a few common problems that needed to be fixed, to betrayal being had, to a forced wedding, more betrayal, and so on.

Edward – or rather, King Edward VI – is a sixteen year old boy-king who doesn’t really rule the country; he lets his advisors do it for him, signing what needs to be signed when he’s told about the changes and such. He hasn’t really come into his own at the beginning and I thought that was interesting and a bit of a refresher because I’m so used to reading about princes and kings that are stuffy and cautious and all of that. Edward was kind of a hot mess, and I appreciated that. He has the worst sense of timing and direction, easily offends the ladies (without meaning to), and he is kind of a whiner. But as the book progresses into the second half, he starts to become much more open minded and accepting of a lot of things and he becomes stronger as a result of the people and circumstances around him. I was actually quite impressed with him at the end.

Jane is a stubborn girl who loves – LOVES – to read books, and carry books with her, and put puts ahead of people. She hates the idea of marriage, but she hates being told what to do more because she believes she has her own mind to make her own decisions, thank you very much. I found that she was kind of lost and troubled in the beginning due to the circumstances surrounding her, but as the story progressed she proved that she is not only brave, but also a risk taker and willing to help those she cares about. She’s very much a modest young lady of sixteen, but I found that she really grew on me and that she was definitely a strong young woman.

Gifford – or G, as he prefers to be called – just wants to be free to run and live without having to worry about the pressures his father may put on him, or his father looking down on him. We learn very early on that G is an Eðian, and that he views himself to be cursed as he changes into a horse when the sun rises, then back into a man when the sun sets. He has some secrets, and he lets people think what they want to about him, but I found that he was one of my favorite characters. He was so willing and ready to protect Jane a lot throughout this book and he also was a great asset to the whole plot. I found him to be stubborn as well, but also so full of emotion.

There were also secondary characters in this story that played a big role, such as Gracie – a Scottish lass with a fiery tongue and wore trousers (gasp!), Pet (Edward’s pet dog), Gran (Edward & Jane’s grandmother), among others. I loved each of these characters because they brought so much life into the story, and obviously helped to further along the plot.

And the romance was also adorable and sweet as we watched the love between characters blossom, and one character being a silly git, and oh man. All the warm, fuzzy feels at the end.

Overall, I really, really enjoyed this book. The humor was fantastic and referenced a lot of phrases and sayings that we say today or that would have been said during a later time period, the romance was adorable, the characters each grew in positive ways, and the plot was interesting and made me want to know what was going to happen next.

I rated this book 5/5 stars and highly recommend it!

Uppercase Box June Unboxing

Hey peeps, I’m here with another Uppercase Box unboxing for you! If you don’t know what Uppercase is, as it says on the website, it’s “a young adult book-of-the-month subscription box. Simply put: You sign up and receive a recently published YA book and awesome book-related items every month! Plus you’ll access exclusive book content and a one-of-a-kind reading experience to dive deeper into each story.”

I’m soooo excited for this month’s box! It had a book I’ve been really excited about reading and now I don’t have to go out and buy it myself!

IMG_3276

This month’s box included:

Ahhhh, I’m flailing because the tote bag is the cutest thing EVER and the book!? Oh man, a YA historical fiction novel? They’re a rare breed, so I’m very excited to read this book.

And I’m going to admit that when I first saw the magnet I thought it was an illuminati symbol. Haha… ha…

Let’s Chat! ≧◡≦

Have you read MLJ yet? What were your thoughts? Have you ever read an historical YA novel? Also, do you have any cool bookish totes and what do they say/have on them?

 

Top 5 Wednesday: Intimidating Books

Welcome to another Top 5 Wednesday as hosted by Sam of Thoughts on Tomes. Today’s topic is about five books that intimidate us when it comes to reading them. I actually did the My Intimidating TBR Tag on my channel last week, so I thought that this would be perfect to mention some of the books from that tag, but also talk about a few different ones.

5. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

prideandprejudice

Why is this one on here? Because it’s such a well known and beloved classic that I’m afraid I’m not going to love it as much as others do. I’ve watched a bunch of movie renditions of Austen’s books, and Pride and Prejudice is definitely my favorite, but I’m still worried I won’t enjoy the book as much because I read Sense and Sensibility by her and it was a lot of old language and kind of hard to get into. But I hope that I enjoy it! This is my smallest book on this list coming in at just under 500 pages long.

4. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

thebookthief

Again, another well beloved modern classic, I think, and I’m just intimidated by it because soooo many people like this book. And it’s large. I got the special anniversary edition as soon as I saw it and decided I’m finally going to try reading it. The synopsis sounds awesome and I hope that I like it when I get around to reading it. This one’s 592 pages, which isn’t horrible, but I think it’s just because of how well known and loved it is that makes this intimidating.

3. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

outlander

Can we just talk for a second about how GINORMOUS this book is? It’s as long as A Game of Thrones. And it doesn’t really even fall into any sort of genre because it’s a mix of romance, historical fiction, fantasy… There’s just a lot going on with this series. And I’ve watched the first episode of the TV show, which really made me want to read the book before watching the series, so I want to try to do that, but this is a time commitment piece. The edition I have is 850 pages long, so there’s that, too.

2. A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin

agameofthrones

I’m making it my mission this year to finish this first book in this series. I WILL DO IT, DAMMIT. I’ve been reading this for years now, and I’m almost half way through. I’ve watched the first season of the show, and spoilers run free on the Internet, so I know a lot of things that happen, but I still want to read this series because it is really interesting! I find that even though there’s way too much death and a whole lot of sexual things, it’s still a good series for politics and fantasy read. Just… over 800 pages for the first book alone, and the rest are well over 1000 pages each.

1 . The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson

thewayofkings

Can we just talk about this book for a second? I got this on audiobook because I’ve seen the MONSTER in stores and thought, “Maybe the audiobook will be better.” Well, I’ve started the audiobook a while ago, and it is interesting and I’m enjoying the narrator and the story so far, but it’s over 45 hours long. Forty. Five. HOURS. And if I had bought this in book form is would have been over 1000 pages long – and this is just the first book in this ongoing series. Talk about a time commitment, but I really love Sanderson’s writing and storytelling, so I hope to finish this eventually. It’s just hard when the only times I really listen to my audiobooks are when I’m driving long distances, which isn’t too often.

And there you have it! I didn’t notice until I was writing out the pages for each book that I wrote it in ascension order. Yup, from the smallest to the biggest, this is what I’m intimidated by. But I’m determined to finish all of these at some point in my life, it’ll just take a while to get there.

Accompanying video: Top 5 Wednesday | Intimidating Books

What are some of the books on your TBR that you’re most intimidated by? How many pages are they? Are they well known and beloved? Let me know!

This Is Where It Ends Book Review

thisiswhereitendsTitle: This Is Where It Ends
Author: Marieke Nijkamp
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date: January 5, 2016
Genre: Young Adult – Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Contemporary
Pages: 282
Format: Purchased Hardcover

10:00 a.m.
The principal of Opportunity, Alabama’s high school finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.

10:02 a.m.
The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.

10:03
The auditorium doors won’t open.

10:05
Someone starts shooting.

Told over the span of 54 harrowing minutes from four different perspectives, terror reigns as one student’s calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival.

This story is on a sensitive topic of school shootings, so please take that into consideration before reading it.

I knew as soon as I picked this book up that it would be a controversial one. I knew that people were going to die in it. I knew I’d be sad. But wow, I didn’t expect to be blown away.

The story follows four individuals who are all linked through one person in some way: Tomas, Sylv, Autumn, and Claire. Each chapter has each person’s point of view during that set time of what is taking place, so each section of story is happening at the same time as another within that time frame, which I thought was actually pretty cool.

Normally I would talk about each character individually, but this book didn’t really allow for a lot of growth or anything like that in the characters because everything did happen within an hour’s time. But I will say that I believe each character learned something about themselves during that time and that, though terrible as their experience was, if we were to see them a length of time from now that they would have learned and grown from that tragedy.

It was a fast paced story that took place over the course of 54 minutes, which is incredible to think about, because while the characters talked about what they were doing and how they wanted to get through it, there were also flashbacks that they would have as they remembered memories that were joyful to them, or sad, or significant. Many of these memories traced back to the shooter, but some of them were memories for the sake of remembering. I think that including these flashbacks was important because I’m sure that for many in life or death situations, these kinds of things are going to come up in your mind.

I did have a few problems with the book, though, such as in some ways I’m not entirely sure the gravity of the situations was truly reached from certain characters’ perspectives, and that there were a few lines that I don’t think would actually have happened in real life that were in there, but then again, people react to situations differently, so maybe those lines are possible (like Tomas flirting with the cheerleader…sort of).

I also felt that, at the end, I was sad for many reasons but one of them being what happened with the shooter. I just wish more had been explored into his own psychology and that maybe we could have gotten a perspective from him. I think that definitely would have made the story even more interesting and gripping than it already was.

Other than that, I felt completely gripped by the story and couldn’t put it down; I needed to know what happened next. Each perspective lead to something hidden and meaningful and I felt so much sadness and shock over the situation that I was reading about. I know these things happen in real life, and I really wish they didn’t, and I was glad to read about a book that dealt with the issue.

I gave this book 4/5 stars and recommend it.