Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday #244: A Week of Mondays

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases.

A Week of Mondays
By: Jessica Brody
Release Date: August 2, 2016

When I made the wish, I just wanted a do-over. Another chance to make things right. I never, in a million years, thought it might actually come true... Sixteen-year-old Ellison Sparks is having a serious case of the Mondays. She gets a ticket for running a red light, she manages to take the world’s worst school picture, she bombs softball try-outs and her class election speech (note to self: never trust a cheerleader when she swears there are no nuts in her bake-sale banana bread), and to top it all off, Tristan, her gorgeous rocker boyfriend suddenly dumps her. For no good reason! As far as Mondays go, it doesn’t get much worse than this. And Ellie is positive that if she could just do it all over again, she would get it right. So when she wakes up the next morning to find she’s reliving the exact same day, she knows what she has to do: stop her boyfriend from breaking up with her. But it seems no matter how many do-overs she gets or how hard Ellie tries to repair her relationship, Tristan always seems bent set on ending it. Will Ellie ever figure out how to fix this broken day? Or will she be stuck in this nightmare of a Monday forever? (Goodreads) 

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman

By: Nicole Castroman
Released: February 9, 2016
Source: Edelweiss
Purchase the Book: Amazon

Blackbeard the pirate was known for striking fear in the hearts of the bravest of sailors. But once he was just a young man who dreamed of leaving his rigid life behind to chase adventure in faraway lands. Nothing could stop him—until he met the one girl who would change everything. Edward "Teach" Drummond, son of one of Bristol's richest merchants, has just returned from a year-long journey on the high seas to find his life in shambles. Betrothed to a girl he doesn’t love and sick of the high society he was born into, Teach dreams only of returning to the vast ocean he’d begun to call home. There's just one problem: convincing his father to let him leave and never come back. Following her parents' deaths, Anne Barrett is left penniless and soon to be homeless. Though she’s barely worked a day in her life, Anne is forced to take a job as a maid in the home of Master Drummond. Lonely days stretch into weeks, and Anne longs for escape. How will she ever realize her dream of sailing to CuraƧao—where her mother was born—when she's stuck in England?  From the moment Teach and Anne meet, they set the world ablaze. Drawn to each other, they’re trapped by society and their own circumstances. Faced with an impossible choice, they must decide to chase their dreams and go, or follow their hearts and stay. (Goodreads) 

I really enjoyed Blackhearts a lot. It was an interesting take on the origin story of Blackbeard and it was not easy to put this book down for long.

Blackhearts is the story of Blackbeard before he became Blackbeard and a young woman named Anne. Edward "Teach" Drummond is the son of a rich merchant and has just returned home after a year on the sea. He is betrothed to a girl he isn't in love with and wants nothing more than to return back to sea. Anne has recently lost both of her parents and has taken a job as a maid at the Dummond household. She wants to be free and sail to where her mother was born. 

Teach and Anne were both interesting and well developed characters. I really liked how the chapters alternated between both of them. At first, I didn't like Teach all that much. However, as the story progressed, I started to like him a lot more. He feels trapped by his father's expectations, but doesn't want to let him down either. It was just really interesting to read this spin on his life before he becomes Blackbeard. 

I especially loved reading the chapters in Anne's point of view though. Anne is tough, stubborn, and determined to get her freedom. I really loved the way the relationship developed between Teach and Anne too. The chemistry is there between them and they both share a lot in common.

The plot was paced well and as I mentioned earlier, it was difficult to put this book down. When I wasn't reading, I couldn't stop thinking about jumping right back in to this story. I did expect there to be a lot more action in this book though. It is Blackbeard's origin story after all. However, this didn't bother me all that much because the story still kept me captivated. There was a lot of drama, romance, and even a few twists to keep things interesting. I also really loved the setting in England and Castroman did a great job at immersing the reader in to the time period. 

Overall I really enjoyed Blackhearts a lot! I definitely recommend picking this one up because you won't want to put it down once you do! I will certainly be keeping my fingers crossed for another book set in this world with these characters.  

My Rating:

Monday, February 8, 2016

After Hours by Claire Kennedy

After Hours 
By: Claire Kennedy
Released: June 16, 2015
Source: Purchased
Purchase the Book: Amazon

Isa, Xavi, Peter, and Finn know that a job at the high-end Waterside Cafe isn't just about waiting tables. It's about the gossip, the hook-ups, the after-hours parties and, most of all, it's about Tips. Tips--the high-stakes game based on dares. Whoever completes the most dares wins the collected money. A sum that could change a wasted summer into a Summer to Remember. Isa is the new girl with an embarrassing secret, and as long as she stays on top of her game, she sees no reason why anyone could ever find out. Xavi will do anything for the money...absolutely anything. Peter, Xavi's stepbrother, has been in love with her for years, and he thinks the game is the perfect time to confess his feelings. Finn is in the game just for the thrill. He has enough tips coming in to keep him happy...even if those tips come with some conditions. From seduction to stealing to threats, the dares are a complete free-for-all, and only the best can win. The sophisticated Waterside Cafe is anything but classy behind the scenes...and things are about to get dirty. (Goodreads)

I liked After Hours and finished this book in one sitting. I expected this one to be a light and fun read, but it surprisingly took a more serious turn.

After Hours is the story of four teens who work at a cafe. Isa is the new girl at the cafe. Xavi wants to make enough money to get away from home. Peter is Xavi's new stepbrother and hiding his true feelings about her. And lastly there is Finn, who has a secret side business. After closing some nights, the staff plays a game of tips and if the person completes the dare, they win the jackpot of money.

Isa, Xavi, Peter, and Finn were interesting characters and each are hiding a secret. I liked how the chapters alternated between the four of them, but I really wanted to get to know each one of them better. I just felt like because it alternated between four characters, it didn't give me the chance to get to know them all that well. At times the voices weren't that distinctive either and I would need to check the chapter heading to remember which character's point of view I was reading in. It got much better as the story progressed though. I especially thought that Xavi and Finn were the most interesting characters and I was the most invested in their story lines.

The plot was paced fast and as I mentioned earlier, I finished this book in one sitting. I really liked the setting in the cafe a lot. It was the center for a lot of drama. The plot definitely had the fun and light moments that I expected, but there were also some really serious themes in this book too. I wished that the pacing wasn't so rushed when it came to dealing with the serious themes though. I felt like those themes just weren't given enough attention or given the time to really develop. 

Overall I liked After Hours, but this book just left me wanting more. 
My Rating:

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Don't Even Think About It By Sarah Mlynowski

Don't Even Think About It
By: Sarah Mlynowski
Released: March 11, 2014
Source: Netgalley
Purchase the Book: Amazon

We weren't always like this. We used to be average New York City high school sophomores. Until our homeroom went for flu shots. We were prepared for some side effects. Maybe a headache. Maybe a sore arm. We definitely didn't expect to get telepathic powers. But suddenly we could hear what everyone was thinking. Our friends. Our parents. Our crushes. Now we all know that Tess is in love with her best friend, Teddy. That Mackenzie cheated on Cooper. That, um, Nurse Carmichael used to be a stripper. Since we've kept our freakish skill a secret, we can sit next to the class brainiac and ace our tests. We can dump our boyfriends right before they dump us. We know what our friends really think of our jeans, our breath, our new bangs. We always know what's coming. Some of us will thrive. Some of us will crack. None of us will ever be the same. So stop obsessing about your ex. We're always listening. (Goodreads)

There are people who will love Don't Even Think About It, but unfortunately I wasn't one of them. I actually started this book a couple of years ago, but never finished it. I recently decided to give it another chance and I started from the beginning all over again. This time I made it through to the end, but my overall opinion didn't change all that much.

Don't Even Think About It is the story of a group of teens who receive more than just their flu shots one morning. They also get telepathic powers and can now hear the thoughts of others.   

I really wanted to like these characters, but I struggled to connect and care about them. This is mainly because I felt like I never got to know each character all that well. There are a lot of characters and this book is told through all of these different point of views. Plus these characters are also hearing the thoughts of others around them. It's a lot to take in and keep straight, especially at first. It did get a bit better as the story progressed, but I still felt like there were just too many characters to try to keep straight. I would have preferred to read this story from the perspective of just one or two characters instead. That way I could have gotten the chance to know them better and see them develop more. 

Then the voice and tone were really difficult to get used to. For me personally, the tone made it sound like these characters were better than everyone else. I especially got that feeling in the first couple of chapters. Out of all the characters, I liked Tess the most though. She was the most interesting and I was the most invested in her story line.

The plot wasn't what I was expecting it to be at all. I thought the story would focus more on the telepathic powers and the bigger picture of having powers, but it was more focused on the drama of hearing each others thoughts instead. This wasn't necessarily a bad thing though. The plot was filled with a lot of drama and paced fast. The story started right away and the drama began immediately too. The humor definitely took me by surprise and I mean this in a good way. Hearing the thoughts of others led to some really funny and awkward moments. The humor was certainly my favorite aspect of this book and what kept me reading at times.

Overall I thought that Don't Even Think About It was okay. I could definitely see how others could get past the way it was written and really enjoy it. However, this one just wasn't for me.  

My Rating: