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Sarah (Leicester)

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Camp Payback (Camp Boyfriend)
Camp Payback (Camp Boyfriend)
Price: 3.61

3.0 out of 5 stars an okay story, but not a favourite., 29 April 2014
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Spencer Hill Press and Netgalley.)
17-year-old Alex is out for revenge after her ex-boyfriend sent her a text message that her parent’s deemed inappropriate, which got her enrolled at an all-girls boarding school.
Javier is a kid whose mother is in prison, and he needs to be extra good if he’s to be allowed to live with her when she’s released.
How much trouble can Alex and Javier get into though, when they know they’re not allowed to be together?

This was an okay story, but it did have issues.

Alex was an okay character, and I got why she was so annoyed by her parents and the way they treated her, and it seemed pretty unfair the way they never listened to what she wanted.
Javier was also an okay character, although his chat up lines needed some serious work; telling a girl that she reminds you of your mother (who to top it off is in prison) is not much of a compliment.
I have to say that I am still miffed that the rest of this series is not about Lauren though. I really didn’t like how her story ended, but it seems like that really was the end unfortunately.

The storyline in this was okay, but it was a bit cliché still. I wasn’t impressed how one moment Javier was all about his mother, and in the next completely forgot about her just to kiss a girl, and I wasn’t impressed about the way he’d kiss her, then push her away again – talk about mixed signals.
The romance was the main storyline I suppose, with the added storyline of Alex’s parent’s imminent TV show. I didn’t really find the TV show stuff all that interesting though, as it just seemed a little unlikely. For me the story dragged in places as well. The kisses between Alex and Javier were alright, and probably the best part of the book for me, but the rest of the story didn’t really keep me interested.
The ending was okay, but everything turned out just a little too perfect for me. I also didn’t really get why Alex would want to start a blog and follow in her parent’s footsteps, when she had hated it so much all her life!
Overall; an okay story, but not a favourite.
6.25 out of 10.


The Taking
The Taking
Price: 4.31

3.0 out of 5 stars strong start, but I lost interest half way through., 29 April 2014
This review is from: The Taking (Kindle Edition)
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)
When 16-year-old Kyra wakes up behind the Gas’n’sip, the last thing she remembers is arguing with her father about which college she should attend.
She returns home expecting some kind of repercussion after being out all night, only to find that her home isn’t her home anymore; she’s been missing for 5 years.
What happened to Kyra? Where has she been for 5 years? And why doesn’t she look a day older than the day she disappeared?

This was an okay story; it started off strong, but I lost interest as it went along.

I have to say I was a little wary when starting this book, because I was worried that Kyra would be like Violet from the ‘Body Finder’ series, but thankfully Kyra was nothing like her!
I liked Kyra, I liked how forthright she was, and I liked how she made the best of a bad situation, and didn’t just accept things at face value. I did think that she maybe didn’t wonder quite enough about where she’d been for 5 years, and maybe didn’t consider possible reasons for her disappearance, but otherwise I liked her.

I liked the storyline in this at the beginning. I found it quite surprising, and I liked the little twists and turns. I was a bit concerned about the romance, because it was a bit of a weird situation that Kyra had ended up in, but I was enjoying the book. Then, the book lost its appeal. I don’t know why, I just lost interest, and ended up feeling like I was forcing myself to keep reading, which was a real shame after I liked the beginning so much. In the end this book took me at least twice as long to read as I expected.
The ending was okay, but I really had lost interest by that point. It will be interesting to see what happens next, but if I had the next book here right now I wouldn’t be picking it up right after finishing this one.
Overall; strong start, but I lost interest half way through.
6.75 out of 10


Starstruck
Starstruck
Price: 1.83

3.0 out of 5 stars Slow, clean contemporary romance., 28 April 2014
This review is from: Starstruck (Kindle Edition)
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Sweenix Rising Books and NetGalley.)
Lex is alone and trying to raise her 3-year-old son, when her ex-best-friend Jarod comes back to town to shoot a movie.
Can Lex and Jarod be friends again now that Lex’s husband is out of the picture? Or could they even possibly be more?

This as an okay contemporary romance story, you’ll like this if you like characters with issues, detailed descriptions of things that happened in the past, and romance with behind-closed-doors sex.

Lex and Jarod were both okay characters. It was sad that they’d been apart for so long, but it also seemed as if they needed that time apart to finally come together as a couple. Lex had obviously been through some difficult times with her husband, and it was nice that she had a second chance at happiness.

The storyline in this was okay, but it did have issues. Why this book is called ‘Starstruck’ I don’t know as it doesn’t really fit. This isn’t about a girl falling in love with a movie star, it’s about a girl falling in love with her old best-friend, who just so happens to now be a movie star. Jarod’s profession wasn’t important to Lex, and it wasn’t important to the story either.
The story in this was quite slow, there were lots of instances where either Jarod or Lex would have thought of things that had happened in the past, and the story would jump back to that time to ‘relive’ the moment as it was. This slowed the book down even more, and it felt longer than 300 pages to me.

The romance in this was very slow-building, to the point where there was very little real romance going on, it was just Jarod and Lex living their lives, and slowly coming to trust each other. We did get a couple of romantic scenes towards the end, but not a lot, and when they did have sex it was behind closed doors, making this a clean romance.

The ending to this was happy, and I was pleased with the way things worked out. I think this story is more for people who want a slow, clean romance though, and not really for people wanting a ‘girl falls in love with a film star’ sort of book.
Overall; okay contemporary romance,
6 out of 10.


Don't Look Back
Don't Look Back
Price: 4.49

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay story, but dragged a bit,, 23 April 2014
This review is from: Don't Look Back (Kindle Edition)
(Source: I was able to view a digital galley of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Hodder & Stoughton and Netgalley.)
17-year-old Samantha wakes up covered in blood and not knowing who she is. When she is eventually reunited with her family she finds that she has been missing for 4 days, and that her best friend Cassie is still missing.
What happened to Sam? And what happened to Cassie?

This was an okay mystery story, but the answers were a long time coming.

Sam was an okay character, and it wasn’t nice for her the way she lost her memory. I don’t think I’d have liked the person she was before the amnesia though.

The storyline in this was okay, but it did start to drag after a while. The mystery of what had really happened took a long time to surface, and it wasn’t always an entertaining journey finding out what happened.
There was some romance, but it was a little odd. I didn’t really like either of the boys that Sam was with, and she seemed to go from like to love very quickly.
The ending to this was okay, and I didn’t guess who the killer was. I had lost interest a bit by the end though as I just wanted to know who the killer was, and was fed up with not knowing.
Overall; okay murder/mystery story, but it dragged a bit.
6.5 out of 10.


Blackout (Valleyview Tales Book 2)
Blackout (Valleyview Tales Book 2)
Price: 2.65

3.0 out of 5 stars 2.5 stars, 23 April 2014
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Heron's Nest and Netgalley.)
18-year-old Alice finds herself walking along the side of the road, with no idea how she got there, or even what her real name is.
After getting help from a passing stranger, and finding a place to live, Alice begins to work at a care home where it seems the residents are being murdered.
Who is Alice? Why can’t she remember her life before? And who is murdering the care-home residents?

This was an okay story, but there was just way too much stuff in here that didn’t move the story along.

Alice was an okay character, and I felt a little sorry for her and the way she couldn’t remember who she was or where she belonged. She was a bit of a sheep at times though, and allowed other people to make decisions for her.

The storyline in this was okay, but it was buried beneath so much other stuff that it was just silly. While the main storylines were Alice’s amnesia and the murders at the care home, most of the book was devoted to Alice learning the ropes at the care home, which whilst informative wasn’t exactly entertaining. A book about looking after people in a care home belongs more in non-fiction than a murder-mystery story.
There wasn’t really much romance in this one, although it did seem obvious that one person really liked Alice in a romantic way.
The ending to this was okay, but I had lost interest a bit by that point. I got so bogged down in all the mundane stuff that the rest of the story was lost, which meant that I didn’t enjoy this as much as I could have.
Overall; too much stuff that didn’t move the story along,
5 out of 10.


Fragile Line (Entangled Teen)
Fragile Line (Entangled Teen)
Price: 3.61

3.0 out of 5 stars Okay story, but the ending was disappointing, 21 April 2014
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Entangled Publishing, LLC and NetGalley.)
16-year-old Ellie is scared and confused by the blackouts she suffers from, which leave her waking up in strange places with no idea of where she has been or what she has done.
What is the cause of Ellie’s blackouts? And what happens to her when she’s not in control?

This book started out okay, but the last third was just weird.

Ellie was an okay character, and I felt really sorry for her and the way she was constantly getting these blackouts. I totally got how upsetting it would be to wake up with a tattoo and have no idea how you got it, and to not be able to confide in anyone would be awful.

The storyline in this was pretty good, although it did remind me of another book – ‘The Half-Life of Molly Pierce’. The girl in that – Molly, suffered from exactly the same medical condition as Ellie, and even had the same unnerving experience of coming out of a blackout to find herself driving a car.
I did like this story for the most part, but the last third was just odd, and I didn’t really like it. In theory it might have been a good idea, but for me it just didn’t work out well, and I ended up feeling quite confused by the ending.
There was some romance, but it wasn’t really a really good romance so much as just a part of the storyline.
The ending was odd, and I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it. That last third of the book, and the strangeness and confusion of the ending really ruined this book for me.
Overall; okay story, but the ending ruined it for me,
6.5 out of 10.


Adaptation
Adaptation
Price: 3.49

3.0 out of 5 stars Okay story, but had it's slow moments, 17 April 2014
This review is from: Adaptation (Kindle Edition)
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Hachette Children's Books and Netgalley.)
17-year-old Reece is shocked when several planes across the US are brought down by flocks of birds, and together with her friend and her debate team coach, decides to drive home instead of flying.
When the car they are in crashes, and Reece wakes up 27 days later, she finds herself having been given an experimental treatment, and is sworn to secrecy.
What was this secret treatment? Why were birds bringing planes down? And what is so secret that she has to sign a non-disclosure statement?

This was an okay story, but it dragged.

Reese was an okay character, but she did seem a bit hesitant about things, and seemed to be led by other people rather than making her own decisions.

The storyline in this was a little odd. We started out with a fairly interesting event, got a bit of action, then suddenly leapt 27 days into the future, by which time the original exciting event was all over! Bit of an odd one that. We then had a very slow mystery playing out, along with a lesbian love affair, and a spot of redecorating. The pace was slow, the interesting moments were few and far between, and I constantly felt like I was waiting for the story to move on.

The romance was a bit of a surprise, as I hadn’t initially realised that the main character was going to fall in love with another girl. I didn’t have a problem with that, but it was a bit of a surprise. I have to say that Reece’s mother was very laid back about it though, if my mum caught me kissing another girl I doubt she’d laugh it off!

The ending to this was okay, but it was very open. I am interested to see what becomes of the love triangle more than anything, but another 480 pages of this seems like a lot to go through just to find out!
Overall; okay story, but dragged a bit
6.15 out of 10


The Ring & the Crown (Ring and the Crown)
The Ring & the Crown (Ring and the Crown)
by Melissa de La Cruz
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 10.59

3.0 out of 5 stars the ending saved it,, 12 April 2014
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Disney Book Group and Netgalley.)
Marie-Victoria is a princess, and her mother wishes for her to marry Leopold – a Prussian Prince, whether she likes it or not.
Will Marie wed Leopold? Or will something happen to change things?

This was an okay story, but it dragged a lot.

Marie was an okay character, although her plan at one point to abandon her crown did not seem to be in keeping with her general demeanour when it came to her position.
Wolf was a good guy, and probably my favourite of the lot.
Leopold was awful! He was just horrible, and was quite happy to screw people over whenever he got the chance; literally, and figuratively.
I liked both Aelwyn and Ronan, they were both good characters and did what they thought best.
I did think there were a heck of a lot of characters to try and keep track of in this book though, and having the evil Leopold in there did not do this book any favours.

The storyline in this was okay. The book started out introducing a lot of characters all at once, and I felt like it was really difficult to get a feel for them right off. The beginning was incredibly slow, and the first 30% of this book just dragged, and I was bored. The book did improve a bit after this, but it seemed that most of the book was simply about who was having sex with who, and behind who’s back they were doing it! I have to say that I expected a little more from this book that who was shagging who, but ultimately that was what it came down to.

There was romance, but again, this book was basically all about who was shagging who, and most of the time the people doing the shagging shouldn’t have been doing it. Leopold was quite obviously the worst for this. He seemed to go after anything in a skirt, and had his way whether his rutting partner liked it or not. I have to say that I really disliked Leopold, and was insanely pleased when he got what was coming to him.

The ending to this was the best part of the book. I liked that Leopold got what was coming to him. I liked that all the little trysts were revealed, and justice served, and I liked the marriage at the end. Considering everything that this lot had been through to get to that point though, it was one heck of a tangled web!
Overall; a bit slow and dull, but the ending saved it,
6 out of 10.


The Summer I Wasn't Me
The Summer I Wasn't Me
by Jessica Verdi
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.88

4.0 out of 5 stars 3.5 stars, 5 April 2014
This review is from: The Summer I Wasn't Me (Paperback)
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to SOURCEBOOKS Fire and Netgalley.)
17-year-old Lexi is going to an anti-gay camp for the summer because her mother found out that she was in love with another girl and didn’t like it.
When Lexi gets to camp she’s immediately attracted to another girl there called Carolyn, and though she tries to fight her feelings, it’s clear that Carolyn has wormed her way into her heart.
Will the anti-gay camp work? Or will things work out for Lexi and Carolyn?

This was a really cute story about a group of kids sent to an anti-gay Christian camp for the summer, to rid them of their SSA (same sex attraction).

I really liked the main characters in this book, they were all such good people!
Lexi was great. I totally got how she felt when her mother got upset with her for being gay; with her father dead it was difficult for her to feel like she had disappointed her mother, even to the point where she wondered if camp really could de-gay-ify her, just to please her mother.
Carolyn was so sweet! She was such a beautiful character, and it was easy to see how right Carolyn and Lexi were for each other. I really liked Carolyn.
Matthew was also a fave! He was so sure of himself and knew exactly what he wanted, even if that went against what everyone else wanted him to want. The way he tried to get Carolyn and Lexi together, and the way he compared Jesus to Harry Potter was pretty awesome!

The storyline in this was pretty good, and didn’t go exactly the way I thought (which was good). He little twists and turns in the story were pretty entertaining, and I enjoyed this book more because it wasn’t quite so straight-forward. There were some really interesting details such as the fact that the people at the camp wore t-shirts that said - "Say good-bye to homosexuality; say hello to your new life!" (so bad!)
The romance in this was between two girls Lexi and Carolyn, and while I wouldn’t immediately pick a GBLT romance over a heterosexual romance story, I really liked this! Lexi and Carolyn really were so sweet together, and so right for each other that their gender really didn’t make a difference, which is really quite a beautiful thing.
The ending to this was also pretty good, and I was so glad that we got a happy ending! Yay!
Overall; sweet GBLT romance, with some twists and turns!
7 out of 10.


The Winner's Curse (Winner's Trilogy)
The Winner's Curse (Winner's Trilogy)
by Marie Rutkoski
Edition: Audio CD
Price: 30.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay story, but had it's slow moments, 3 April 2014
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Bloomsbury Publishing Plc (UK & ANZ) and Netgalley.)
17-year-old Kestrel is the daughter of a distinguished General, in a world where her father’s empire has taken over and enslaved another. When Kestrel buys a slave at an auction, she doesn’t realise quite what she has done until it is too late.
Who is the slave? And why is he plotting against Kestrel?

This was an okay story, but it dragged in places.

Kestrel was an interesting character, and I liked her intelligence. I liked how her strengths were in planning and knowledge rather than fighting, and I loved how she found clever ways to turn a situation to her advantage.

The storyline had a lot of peaks and troughs; some parts were really good, whilst other bits were boring. I did like the little twists we got here and there, and I liked the concept of ‘the winner’s curse’, and how that was tied in to the story. Unfortunately though the slow bits ruined this book for me.
There was some romance, but it was both obvious and sudden, and I didn’t really like it. To go from nothing to love with a snap of the fingers was a little strange, and I didn’t see how they had suddenly decided they loved each other.
The ending was quite good, but it felt like it was a long time coming. Without the slow parts this book could have been amazing, but with them it was only okay. Quite disappointing really.
Overall; okay story, but had its slow moments.
6.5 out of 10.


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