Saturday, January 24, 2015

Mini Reviews: Perfect Couple, Finding It, Trial by Fire, Sinner

Hey, guys! It's been so long since my last review. I'm all done with exams, yay! Now I have a week long break before spring semester starts. Going to re-energize and hopefully get some commenting done. I hope you've all been wonderful! *hugs* I was going to write full reviews for all of these, but I decided to write a post with multiple mini reviews instead. Let me know what you thought of these books :)

Title: Perfect Couple (Superlatives #2)
Author: Jennifer Echols
Published: January 15th 2015
Read: Nov 29th, 2014
Add It: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository
*An ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review*
Can your heart be put to a popular vote?

As yearbook photographer, Harper is responsible for capturing those candid moments that make high school memorable. But her own life is anything but picture perfect. Her parents' bitter divorce has left her wondering what a loving relationship would look like. And ever since the senior class voted her and star quarterback Brody the “Perfect Couple That Never Was,” her friends have been on her case to ask Brody out.

Brody doesn’t lack in female admirers, but Harper can't see herself with him. He seems confused about why they were matched together, too. They’re total opposites—the last people in the world who would ever be compatible, let alone the “perfect couple.” Yet ever since the class paired the two of them, they've found themselves drawn together--first by curiosity, then by an undeniable bond.

The trouble is, though they're very attracted to each other and both of them admit this, they have a hard time getting along or even communicating clearly. If they’re the perfect couple, this shouldn’t be so difficult! Soon it becomes clear their class was wrong, and they throw in the towel. But after they walk away, both of them feel so changed from making the effort that they can’t forget each other. What if that means this match made in hell is the perfect couple after all?
It's more like 3.5, I think. Loved the main ship a whole bunch and they are ridiculously cute together. Plus swoony kissing, you guys!!! I didn't connect with the MC, to be honest, and the book was often over dramatic, but regardless, still enjoyable. Echols doesn't shy away from sex talk and sexier themes which is good seeing as it's YA and teenagers aren't oblivious to these things after all. It also has different races when it comes to characters and LGBT themes which is very appreciated. [Highlight to see a slight (?) spoiler] I'm so glad that it didn't have any L-bombs because the book takes place within a week or so and expressing love would have been just too much. DID I SAY SWOONY KISSING ALREADY???

Overall rating: 3.5 out of 5.0
Stars: ★★★

Meet the author

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Thank you to Simon Pulse and Edelweiss for providing an arc. My thoughts are my own 
and in no way did the review copy affect my opinion on the book.

Title: Finding It (Losing It #3)
Author: Cora Carmack
Published: October 10th, 2013
Read: Dec 4th to 15th, 2014
Add It: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository

Sometimes you have to lose yourself to find where you truly belong...

Most girls would kill to spend months traveling around Europe after college graduation with no responsibility, no parents, and no-limit credit cards. Kelsey Summers is no exception. She's having the time of her life . . . or that's what she keeps telling herself.

It's a lonely business trying to find out who you are, especially when you're afraid you won't like what you discover. No amount of drinking or dancing can chase away Kelsey's loneliness, but maybe Jackson Hunt can. After a few chance meetings, he convinces her to take a journey of adventure instead of alcohol. With each new city and experience, Kelsey's mind becomes a little clearer and her heart a little less hers. Jackson helps her unravel her own dreams and desires. But the more she learns about herself, the more Kelsey realizes how little she knows about Jackson.
Ok, so Cora Carmack is a NA author whose books I adore! She makes me laugh, gives me butterflies and her books are simply the kind you just fly through. However, this is the first occasion where I've found myself.. very lukewarm towards a book of hers. I loved the traveling aspect and the "finding-oneself" storyline, because I can relate to that, but as a whole, this book was a big disappointment for me. It was so predictable, the whole plot was [highlight to view a major plot spoiler] Chasing Liberty or First Daughter  in a book form and most of it had me rolling my eyes, because even though I can relate to Kelsey wanting to find herself as a person, she annoyed me so much that I wanted to dnf. There were times where I found myself enjoying the book and those were mostly the traveling parts. A few butterflies-in-my-stomach moments aside, this book just didn't impress me. I know this is an exception to the rule when it comes to Cora's books, and my love for them, but it's still an unfortunate exception. I hope that if you haven't read it yet, you'll enjoy it a whole lot more!

Overall rating: 2.0 out of 5.0
Stars: ★★

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Title: Trial by Fire (Worldwalker #1)
Author: Josephine Angelini
Published: August 28th, 2014
Read: Dec 19th to 23rd, 2014
Add It: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository

This world is trying to kill Lily Proctor. Her life-threatening allergies keep her from enjoying experiences that others in her hometown of Salem take for granted, which is why she is determined to enjoy her first high school party with her best friend and longtime crush, Tristan. But after a humiliating incident in front of half her graduating class, Lily wishes she could just disappear.

Suddenly, Lily is in a different Salem—one overrun with horrifying creatures and ruled by powerful women called Crucibles. Strongest and cruelest of them all is Lillian . . . Lily's other self in this alternate universe.

What makes Lily weak at home is what makes her extraordinary in New Salem. In this confusing world, Lily is torn between responsibilities she can't hope to shoulder alone and a love she never expected.

The world is pretty awesome, but we still don't really know why Lillian picked Lily for her world and not another version of herself from a different world. I liked some of the characters (Caleb, Lily's sister), but some just annoyed me (Lillian, for instance). I'm not really sure why all of these killings, bans etc are necessary and how they help to achive her peace or whatever. Plus her reason for doing this made me really question her as a decent character and a semi-villain. Also, while there was a decent plot and I liked Lily's quest to finding the power within her, I found that she got the hang of her powers really easily. Too easily even. I would have liked to have seen her struggle with it.

What else? Ummmm. Oh! It's pretty insta-loveish, but in a way it's understandable considering the parallel universe thing. Good thing the romance plotline was more on the background. I saw some major twists coming and it felt as if Angelini was trying to explain everything in detail and I was in physics class all over again. Which is fine seeing as the novel's idea is pretty much based on thermodynamics laws, but I felt as though some of the things were over explained.

As a whole, I felt compelled to listen to the book (though the narration wasn't my favorite since all the voices sounded the same), but at the same time, it wasn't as special as I thought it would be. It was a decent first book in a series. Maybe I'll even pick up the 2nd book since the ending was a cliff hanger and a pretty interesting one. We'll see!

Overall rating: 3.3 out of 5.0
Stars: ★★★

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Title: Sinner (The Wolves of Mercy Falls #4)
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Published: July 1st 2014
Read: Dec 30th, 2014 to Jan 3rd, 2015
Add It: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository
A standalone companion book to the internationally bestselling Shiver Trilogy.

Sinner follows Cole St. Clair, a pivotal character from the #1 New York Times bestselling Shiver Trilogy. Everybody thinks they know Cole's story. Stardom. Addiction. Downfall. Disappearance. But only a few people know Cole's darkest secret -- his ability to shift into a wolf. One of these people is Isabel. At one point, they may have even loved each other. But that feels like a lifetime ago. Now Cole is back. Back in the spotlight. Back in the danger zone. Back in Isabel's life. Can this sinner be saved?
Really loved it! I didn't remember how much I loved Isabel and Cole until I picked this up. I cried a single tear (though it would have been more if I hadn't been fighting it; it was like Battle of the Five Armies all over again where those tears just wouldn't back down and one single tear still managed to escape regardless of rapid blinking), had goosebumps all over my body and loved the writing as always with Maggie's novels. What I had problems with were the ending parts, because I felt like they were a little rushed? I wanted more and I wanted for Cole and Isabel to talk it out not just.. this? Idk. Dan Bittner is so amazing as a narrator and Emma Galvin was pretty decent. May raise the rating one day, but for now it's 4 stars simply because of the ending. Regardless, a great start to 2015 reading wise!

Overall rating: 4.5 out of 5.0
Stars: ★★★★

Meet the author

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  1. I haven't read any Cora Carmack books yet because I've heard mixed reviews, at least you were able to find something in that book that you liked with the travelling. I loved Trial By Fire but strangely now I can't remember much about it! Sinner seemed to be a little unresolved, definitely. Happy reading Siiri!

  2. Yay, I'm so glad that you adored Sinner! I loved it as well! I'm so glad that Maggie Stiefvater decided to add another book onto the series. I always enjoy reading about the secondary characters as main characters. :D


    AND HAHAHAHAHAHAHA THOSE CARMACK COVERS. They're still so unappealing to me. Very hilarious. Well I guess she's finding it super hilarious, isn't she? That first sentence sounded so positive hahaha and then I saw the star. I'll steer clear of this one and read the other ones. BUT WHICH ONE IS THE BEST THOUGH???

    I felt the same about Trial By Fire. Too much of that science and man oh man, I remember how much the science department hated me. They totally cheered when I dropped it. That cliffhanger though. Dammit. I'm so curious.

    HOW DID YOU SUPPRESS THOSE TEARS IN BATTLE OF FIVE THOUGH?? I kind of bawled in the end. Hard out. But I digress. Despite loving Stiefvater, I don't really like this series of hers. SHOCKER I KNOW. But nothing will ever get me to warm up to werewolves. NOTHING.

    Your reviews were fabulous, Siiri. Just like you, love <3

  4. I read only one book by Cora Carmack and I wasn't impressed. To be honest, the way you described Finding It is the same way how I felt about her Losing It book #1 ... Well, IMO, not everyone can write NA novels as Krista & Becca Ritchie do ;)

    Anyway, Trial by Fire sounds interesting. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Siiri!

  5. I started to read the Superlatives series, but just stopped and I don't know why if I'm honest. But after so many great reviews for Perfect Couple, I really want to start them again. I'm a HUGE fan of Cora Cormack and I loved the previous books in the Losing It series, but I don't think I've read this one yet, I will still give it a go though still as I loved the others so much. Trial by Fire and Sinner I haven't read yet read them, but I can't wait! Great mini reviews, and its so good to have back Sirri! I hope all your exams went ok! :)

  6. I agree with you about the ending of Sinner, Siiri. It was too rushed for me, but as you said, Maggie's writing is beautiful, still this felt so different to the previous books in the series I was disappointed. Glad to hear you loved it, though. I know Jasprit loved Perfect Couple and it does sound really cute. Great minis and nice to hear you have a little break! :)

  7. This is one of the few positive reviews I've seen for Trial by fire. I quite like the cover. It's a shame that there is insta-love, but seeing it kinda makes sense makes it less annoying. I haven't read the wolves series by Maggie yet, but I might start it soon. I absolutely love The raven boys *although there seem to be less fans of her wolves series*

  8. Oh I love these mini reviews Siiri, I'm so glad that you enjoyed Perfect Couple overall too, I loved the build up of the relationship between Brody and Harper, I have high hopes for the next book in this series. I still need to read Trial by Fire, I'm all for parallel universes, but not so fond of insta love. I'm glad though its still left you with high hopes for the next book! Lovely reviews! :)

  9. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, lovely lady! I *still* need to pick up Sinner! And I will, SOON. Disappointed that the end is rushed though. :( Sorry you didn't care for Finding It - its my favorite of that series, but I don't really *love* any of the books in it. I much prefer her newest stuff!

    Hope all is well with you!!! <3

  10. Of all these books, I've only read Sinner and I really liked it as well. Like you, even I didn't realise how much I missed and now love Cole and Isabel.

    As for the Jennifer Echols book, is it LGBT themed? How cool is that! I want to read it ASAP then. I'll pick up the series soon for sure.

    Oh darn, you didn't like Finding It! I never continued with that series, and i'm glad I didn't. The first book was great, but I just never felt like reading ahead.

    Trial by Fire is new to me, but it does sound very interesting.

    Great reviews, Siiri!

    Sarika @ The Readdicts

  11. Perfect Couple: Eep! Didn't like this one as much as book one. D: Definitely too over dramatic for me.
    Finding It: I've tried two Cora Carmack books (Losing It and All Lined Up) and pretty much hated them both, so this one's not going on my TBR anytime soon. So sorry you didn't love it as much as Carmack's other books, Siiri. :(
    Trial by Fire: I'm dreading the insta-love, girl! But I'm still pretty curious about the plot, so I'll still give this a shot.
    Sinner: I DNFed Shiver (gee this comment's getting really negative), but I've heard amazing things about this and I'm so stoked that you love it! Will I be able to understand this even if I never finished the Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy?


    Anyhoo, this is clearly indicating that I need to move my butt and go off to read Sinner. I cannot remember much of what happened in the previous books though whoooooops. IT'S BEEN 2 YEARS, OKAY?!

    Gah instalove? NOOOOO. I've heard good things about Trial By Fire but instalove? I DON'T THINK I CAN HANDLE IT D:


    Okay, now back to commenting. DUDE...SO MANY BOOKS.
    I have to comment on the Carmack book though. I liked "Losing it" by her but than gave up on all her other reads. They just weren't doing it for me. I did read the first one in her new University series but i just couldn't find it in me to rate it higher than 3 stars. It was an average NA story.
    Also, TRIAL BY FIRE. I quite liked this one and the ending was SUPER GOOD, but yeah there was a bit of insta-love (althoughi could let it go since there were certain cirucumstances that made it seem reasonable)

  14. The books in this series sound too cute to pass up on. I will definitely be checking them out. :)

  15. First of congrats on acing your exams (you don't have to say you did, as I know, you my little geeky friend). Anyhow of all of these I have only read Sinner and surprisingly I didn't like it as much as you did. Though Battle of the Five Armies tore my hear to pieces. Alas I'm really glad you loved it. I was thinking about reading Trial by Fire but people keep saying that it's not as fantastic as my fantasy reads usually are. So we shall say. I won't go into the first two as I abandoned all hopes of me reading contemporary stories these days. Great review, hon ;)

  16. I haven't read the third Cora Cormack book, but now I'm even more iffy about picking it up. :( I loved Losing It, and enjoyed Faking It, but you're right about how cliche they are. I have Sinner on my shelf as well...didn't realise it was the fourth book in the series noooo! I haven't read the first three eep! Hope your exams went well lovely!! I'm sure you aced them. Enjoy your time off xx

  17. Oh so many different books there and well different feelings as well. I haven't read any I confess but I heard about them. Thanks for sharing, it's interesting to see how you felts with all of them.

  18. I thought perfect couples was cute.

    I just wanted to stop in and say hi! I'm a new follower of your blog :)

    I love the look and feel of it. The swirls are so pretty.

    Michelle @ Book Briefs

  19. Congrats on your exams! Out of these, I've only read Trial by Fire, but I enjoyed it! I definitely agree about the magic though - she learned it waaay too easily. I did like Lillian as a villain though!