Friday, February 27, 2015

From the Ashes: City of Glass

From the Ashes is a feature here at Somewhere Only We Know where I re-read books that I read before blogging and finally review them.

City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, # 3)

By: Cassandra Clare

Published: March 24th 2009 by Margaret K. McElderry Books

541 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Angels, Demons, Vampires, Werewolves

Source: Personal Library

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Goodreads description--To save her mother's life, Clary must travel to the City of Glass, the ancestral home of the Shadowhunters - never mind that entering the city without permission is against the Law, and breaking the Law could mean death. To make things worse, she learns that Jace does not want her there, and Simon has been thrown in prison by the Shadowhunters, who are deeply suspicious of a vampire who can withstand sunlight.

As Clary uncovers more about her family's past, she finds an ally in mysterious Shadowhunter Sebastian. With Valentine mustering the full force of his power to destroy all Shadowhunters forever, their only chance to defeat him is to fight alongside their eternal enemies. But can Downworlders and Shadowhunters put aside their hatred to work together? While Jace realizes exactly how much he's willing to risk for Clary, can she harness her newfound powers to help save the Glass City - whatever the cost?

Love is a mortal sin and the secrets of the past prove deadly as Clary and Jace face down Valentine in the third installment of the New York Times bestselling series The Mortal Instruments.

City of Glass is going to be hard for me to review without spoilers. First off, the prior two books have had the major conflict going on about whether Jace and Clary are actually brother and sister or not. This was my biggest concern going into City of Glass the first time through. I wanted so bad for them not to be siblings. I mean for one if they turned out to be siblings I was going to feel slightly grossed out—more than I already did just reading about them potentially being siblings. I can’t tell you which way the book went. I can only tell you that if this aspect bothered you then just keep reading.

My first reading of City of Glass was years ago. I’m talking 6+ years ago. I’m surprised that I’m just now re-reading this series as it has been a favorite of mine for quite some time. But I do remember that there were aspects of City of Glass that I predicted fairly early on. I think one of the biggest twists was pretty easy to spot, and especially so since this was a re-read for me.

There’s so much going on in this book, and so many storylines have to come together starting from hints that were dropped in City of Bones and City of Ashes all the way through this book. Each character has a part to play and each part is of great importance. Alec and Magnus—while I like each character individually—officially annoyed me with this book. I guess truly Alec isn’t really my favorite at all. I enjoyed seeing Isabelle and Simon draw closer in this book. Even though this doesn’t spring into anything romantic at this point, I liked seeing them have a special sort of bond. All of the side characters: Luke, Amatis, Jocelyn, Sebastian, Maia had much to contribute to the book and the series up to this point. Each one feels fully fleshed out.

And of course we get more backstory on Valentine & Jocelyn—how she could even fall in love with a man like him. We find out more about the Circle. And we see why Jace and Clary have abilities and talents that no ordinary shadowhunter has. I liked that while Clary was involved in the final battle and saving the day, it wasn’t because she all of a sudden knew how to fight. Clary worked her magic in a way that was completely legit to who she was and what she can do.

There was one aspect involving Jace and a lake and a wish that I remember feeling like was too easy the first time I read this, and I can’t say I really felt any differently during this read-through. Especially considering the ending of Clockwork Princess.

***Highlight for spoiler: I do find it interesting that the major conflict throughout the first three books of this series revolves around Clary/Jace being in love with each other who they think for a period of time is their sibling. But yet when we find out that Jace isn’t Clary’s brother—instead Sebastian is—it still turns out that Sebastian has a twisted fetish about his sister in a very physical way. Of course we don’t know the extent of that at this point, but it’s there. End spoiler***.

I wish I’d taken notes on my favorite quotes, but since I was listening to an audiobook version this time through I decided not to worry about that. Audiobooks can be really hard to quote from sometimes.

All in all, City of Glass was a really good book. It was thought to be the series ender for The Mortal Instruments series until Cassandra Clare decided that these characters’ stories weren’t finished. I love how each piece of the puzzle from book 1, City of Bones, all the way through this book is tied together and means something. Very little is included that does not have a specific purpose. And even though I would have been happy with this book ending the series, I do think Cassandra Clare picks the right threads to pick back up and carry on with through the remaining three books. City of Glass gets 4.5 Stars. Have you read City of Glass? What did you think? Let me know!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Breaking the Rules - Review

Breaking the Rules (Pushing the Limits, # 1.5)

By: Katie McGarry

Published: December 8th 2014 by Harlequin Teen

304 pages

Genre: YA/NA, Contemporary

Source: Personal Kindle Library (from Husband)

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Goodreads description--A summer road trip changes everything in this unforgettable new tale from acclaimed author Katie McGarry

For new high school graduate Echo Emerson, a summer road trip out west with her boyfriend means getting away and forgetting what makes her so... different. It means seeing cool sights while selling her art at galleries along the way. And most of all, it means almost three months alone with Noah Hutchins, the hot, smart, soul-battered guy who’s never judged her. Echo and Noah share everything — except the one thing Echo’s just not ready for.

But when the source of Echo’s constant nightmares comes back into her life, she has to make some tough decisions about what she really wants — even as foster kid Noah’s search for his last remaining relatives forces them both to confront some serious truths about life, love, and themselves.

Now, with one week left before college orientation, jobs and real life, Echo must decide if Noah's more than the bad-boy fling everyone warned her he'd be. And the last leg of an amazing road trip will turn... seriously epic.

I love Katie McGarry’s writing. She hooks me. She sucks me in. She gets me to care about the characters on the page. And I usually love every word of it. But Echo and Noah had their happy ending. I’m always nervous when characters I love get their happy ending in one book, I think that’s the end of the story, and then bam more conflict, more fights, and more drama. So I was scared about what Echo and Noah would face in round two. Yet, (this is only a spoiler if you haven’t read Crash Into You) we know that Echo and Noah are together and happy later on in the series. Breaking the Rules takes place after Pushing the Limits but before Dare You To and consequently before Crash Into You. So I at least went into Breaking the Rules knowing that no matter what conflict Echo and Noah come up against they make it out on the other side together and happy. I can’t tell you how comforting it was to know that.

Echo and Noah are still the same Echo and Noah I came to love in Pushing the Limits, but both characters come with a lot of baggage. Both have scarred pasts (literally), and both have endured even more since finding each other. And as anyone who’s been through any kind of pain in their lives (which is everyone, right?) knows…painful experiences are…well…painful. And Echo and Noah can’t just skip over that part. Noah has to face the demons of guilt he feels over his parents death and knowing that his mother has a family that she kept from him. And Echo has to face her grief over Aires death and try to find some way to move forward toward forgiving her mother. All of that is on top of Echo and Noah figuring out how to pursue their separate dreams (art and college) while somehow, someway staying together through it all yet not holding the other back at the same time. Essentially, it’s a complicated equation.

There were times when both Echo and Noah frustrated me in this book. Not to the point of wanting to put the book down or loving them less, but enough for me to want to rough them up. We all make dumb decisions, right? And sadly it’s those decisions that we usually end up learning the most from, and that was true for Echo and Noah. Those times when I wanted to smack them, they kind of wanted to smack themselves. So that helps.

Katie McGarry did a great job of pulling in catch phrases from Pushing the Limits that really made me feel like I was back in Noah and Echo’s heads…like how Noah calls Echo his siren. And how Echo thinks Ms. Collins reminds her of a Labrador retriever. It’s the little things. Speaking of…here are my favorite quotes:

-”I’ll never let you get so far in front of me that I can’t catch you.”

-“The sole reason a constellation exists is because it’s a sum of its parts. To lose one of those parts…it’s painful and irreversible.”

-”I don’t want to lose the way you look at me—like I’m something…someone.”

-I bite my tongue, wishing I could utter the words, I love you more now, and it scares me. Please, please, please never leave.

-“I get it.” “You don’t.” He slams his palm over his chest, over his heart. “They left me too!”

-“God sifts us all like wheat. He refines us like flour. He works through the good in our lives and through the bad.”…

-“Tell me where she went, and I’ll take you.” “Naw,” says Isaiah. “You give us the keys, I’ll drive, he’ll save the girl and I’ll let you live.”

I loved the section with Noah’s uncle that I started to quote (next to last) above. I wanted to quote that whole paragraph, but decided to save it for you to just read in the book itself. So often characters in these books don’t believe in God (Noah battles with that himself), and often times I feel like that is a direct result of the author themselves not believing in God…or maybe it’s just the popular thing these days…or maybe it’s just easier for the author not to have to include God in a story that isn’t really ABOUT God. Whatever the reason for most YA books leaving Him out altogether, I absolutely loved that Katie McGarry included this section. I didn’t feel like she was pushing God on the reader. Noah still isn’t convinced what he thinks or believes, but I just loved that it was included.

Also, since Breaking the Rules has more adult themes than Pushing the Limits and Echo and Noah take things farther physically, I felt like Echo’s response to that aspect of their relationship was one of the most genuine that I’ve ever read. I think these are the things that every girl thinks and feels. And I find it utterly unrealistic that anyone can go from insecure and scared to confident and fearless in one jump. So I loved how honest this part was.

All in all, I really enjoyed Breaking the Rules. While I was emotionally involved, Breaking the Rules didn’t quite pull the emotion out of me that Pushing the Limits did. The writing was solid. I still love the characters. I can’t wait to read more of Katie McGarry. Breaking the Rules gets 4 Stars from me. Have you read Breaking the Rules? What did you think? Let me know!

*Also, I loved the small snippet of Nowhere But Here included at the end. I’m stoked to read more about Oz and the new series.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

2015 Series Enders Reading Challenge - February Wrap Up

It's time for our second Monthly Wrap Up for the 2015 Series Enders Reading Challenge hosted by Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know and Holly @ Words Fueled by Love!

Where did this month go? Since posting the 2015 Series Enders Reading Challenge - January Wrap Up, I finished one series ender: Until the End (Sea Breeze, # 9) by Abbi Glines. Holly didn't get any series enders finished this month.

Which series enders did you finish? Link the up below. Don't forget to include the title, your name, & your blog name (Ex: Requiem - Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know) Also, the February giveaway runs from February 25th - March 25th. On March 25th we will use and the linky entries to pull a winner.

Waiting on Asa

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Asa (Marked Men, # 6)

By: Jay Crownover

Expected Publication: April 21st 2015 by Harper Collins

416 pages

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--Jay Crownover’s New York Times and USA Today bestselling Marked Men series continues with the much anticipated story of southern charmer and certified criminal Asa Cross.

Starting over in Denver with a whole new circle of friends and family, Asa Cross struggles with being the man he knows everyone wants him to be and the man he knows he really is. A leopard doesn’t it change its spots and Asa has always been a predator. He doesn’t want to hurt those who love and rely on him, especially one luscious arresting cop who suddenly seems to be interested in him for far more than his penchant for breaking the law. But letting go of old habits is hard, and it’s easy to hit bottom when it’s the place you know best.

Royal Hastings is quickly learning what the bottom looks like after a tragic situation at work threatens not only her career but her partner’s life. As a woman who has only ever had a few real friends she’s trying to muddle through her confusion and devastation all alone. Except she can’t stop thinking about the sexy southern bartender she locked up. Crushing on Asa is the last thing she needs but his allure is too strong to resist. His long criminal record can only hurt her already shaky career and chasing after a guy who has no respect for the law or himself can only end in heartbreak.

A longtime criminal and a cop together just seems so wrong . . . but for Asa and Royal, being wrong together is the only right choice to make.

I've really enjoyed the Marked Men series by Jay Crownover. I'm sad to see it end, but I'm excited to finish it at the same time. What are you waiting on this week? Let me know!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Top Ten Favorite Heroes

Top 10 Tuesday is a post hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and this week's topic is Top Ten Favorite Heros.

I’ve done multiple Top Ten Tuesday posts about my favorite heroines, and I’ve done several posts about my favorite book boyfriends. But I’ve never done a favorite heroes post. Heroes and book boyfriends are similar but not quite the same thing. I had to cut the hot bad boys. And some of my other favorite leading males to really get the best of the best personality, actions, decisions, characteristics, etc. Every hero is flawed, but I tried to cull out those who made some really bad decisions.

  1. Duval – Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin, # 1) by Robin LaFevers – Duval’s affection and devotion to his sister is admirable. He thinks nothing of his own interest. He instead only seeks after her safety and the safety of her duchy.
  2. Beast - Dark Triumph (His Fair Assassin, # 2) by Robin LaFevers – Beast also plunges headfirst into danger with no thought to his own outcome. Plus he really works with Sybella to help her overcome her past.
  3. Evan - The Breathing Series by Rebecca Donovan – Evan is a saint. He’s 100% there for Emma through every step of this series. Even when he has reason to write her off or move on or want absolutely nothing to do with Emma, he sacrifices for her over and over.
  4. Matthew Cuthbert – Anne of Green Gables (Anne of Green Gables, # 1) by LM Montgomery – Even though Matthew doesn’t have the biggest role in this book, he is the silent hero behind the scenes. He’s the main reason why Anne ended up staying with them and not getting shipped back. And he supported Anne every step of the way, listening quietly, and yet he helped Marilla come around to Anne too. Matthew was the true hero of the story.
  5. Jasper Dent - Jasper Dent by Barry Lyga – Even though Jasper could have turned out completely screwed in the head due to his upbringing, he makes the choice to be different from his parents, and to hunt killers not to be a killer. He does the true self-sacrifice thing. He’s not trying to sabotage himself. He’s truly just trying to take down some violent, crazy people even if he doesn’t make it out on the other side.
  6. Noah – Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin – Ok so I’m not finished with this series yet, and I guess there’s the potential for Noah to let me down, but so far he has been such a solid rock for Mara through everything she’s experienced. He hasn’t once let her go through anything alone since they met. He does what she asks while also keeping her best interest at heart always. I heart him.
  7. Peeta - The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins – I mean here is another example of the right kind of self-sacrifice. Peeta is in love with Katniss. He’s at least starts out with a crush on her or something. And he knows that there can only be one winner of the games. He does whatever he has to do to keep her alive in the first and second games. And even though he got slightly mindjacked, he still ended up being the one person that Katniss could completely count on.
  8. Augustus Waters - The Fault in Our Stars by John Green – Funny. Full of life. He gave up his wish so that Hazel could have her real wish. He doesn’t shy away from being real or facing the hard choices. He mans up. And he gives Hazel Grace an infinite number of moments within a limited number of days. Seriously…Augustus is the best.
  9. Harry Potter - Harry Potter by JK Rowling – Because you can’t have a list about heroes and Harry not make this list. Harry was really thrust into his destiny. But yet he earns it each step of the way. Sure he makes mistakes. But he’s real. And he’s loveable. And my heart got tugged at his little orphaned self being faced against such a powerful enemy. He uses his friends for help and support. And he makes the hard choices—including yet again…true self-sacrifice—but he overcomes all obstacles.
  10. Michael Hosea - Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers – Michael is a fictionalized version of Hosea from The Bible. And so I guess I’m talking about both of them kind of. Michael follows God’s direction despite what he thinks in his own head. He doesn’t always see how God’s direction makes sense, but he does it anyway. And even though Angel hurts him multiple times, he remains open to her, open to forgiveness, and open to God. Michael doesn’t press. He doesn’t force. And he is yet again, one of those truly heroic heroes.

What about you guys? Who are your favorite heroes in books? Let me know!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Becoming Rain - Review

Becoming Rain (Burying Water, # 2)

By: KA Tucker

Expected Publication: March 3rd 2015 by Atria Books

320 pages

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--Luke Boone doesn't know exactly what his uncle Rust is involved in but he wants in on it-the cars, the money, the women. And it looks like he's finally getting his wish. When Rust hands him the managerial keys to the garage, they come with a second set-one that opens up the door to tons of cash and opportunity. Though it's not exactly legal, Luke's never been one to worry about that sort of thing. Especially when it puts him behind the wheel of a Porsche 911 and onto the radar of gorgeous socialite named Rain.

Clara Bertelli is at the top of her game-at only twenty-six years old, she's one of the most successful undercover officers in the Washington D.C. major crime unit, and she's just been handed a case that could catapult her career and expose one of the west coast's most notorious car theft rings. But, in order to do it, she'll need to go deep undercover as Rain Martines. Her target? The twenty-four-year old nephew of a key player who appears ready to follow in his uncle's footsteps.

As Clara drifts deeper into the luxurious lifestyle of Rain, and further into the arms of her very attractive and charming target, the lines between right and wrong start to blur, making her wonder if she'll be able to leave it all behind. Or if she'll even want to.

I’m a big KA Tucker fan. Ten Tiny Breaths blew me away. It’s one of the few books that I’ve actually made time to re-read in the last year. The other books in her Ten Tiny Breaths series were good, but not AS good to me. Then KA Tucker comes out with a new series, right? I thought Burying Water was just going to be released as a standalone initially, but I was immediately drawn to Luke from that book, and so I was excited to hear that he was getting his own book. Burying Water was actually a bit of a letdown for me. My issue wasn’t that Burying Water was so different from the Ten Tiny Breaths series but that one of the major plot points came up against something I just have a hard time getting behind. I didn’t feel like I could root for the characters like I wanted to. And that’s one thing I was worried about when I read the description of Becoming Rain as well.

Even though I was drawn to Luke from Burying Water, it was easy to see that Luke was way too comfortable with the world that he was getting pulled into. Despite it not being specifically stated that his uncle’s other businesses were illegal, Luke’s not an idiot. He knew that Rust was dealing with some bad people. Luke was involved with everything that went down with Alex and Jesse in Burying Water. He knows that although the garage and Rust’s other legit businesses are doing really well they don’t make Porche-911-kinds of money.

And here’s where I struggled with Becoming Rain, how can an undercover agent respect someone who is eyes open walking into this world? And that’s where I get frustrated with this book. Sure, Luke has a soft spot for animals, family, and the elderly/homeless. But does that equal enough reason for a police officer to fall in love with a criminal? And “fall in love” is the key there. Sure they spend time together, but more than anything, I just felt like Clara was attracted to Luke physically and she closed her eyes to everything else. I hoped Luke wouldn’t get drawn into Rust’s side businesses, but then that wouldn’t have made for much of a story would it?

When I try to look past my small issue of whether or not this relationship could actually work given the circumstances and whether or not these two could overcome the lies their relationship is built upon (IRL I think the answer to that would be a big fat “no”) then I found myself enjoying this book. I read it in one sitting. I pretty much made up my mind that I was going to read until I was done, and I did. The writing style was easy to read and flowed from one event to the next nicely. I highlighted a good bit, but most of that included notes like “idiot” and “I’m only going to back this relationship if she can respect him,” etc.

All in all (without spoiling as much as I can), Becoming Rain was also a letdown for me. Again, I felt like even though I liked the characters individually, I just couldn’t back their decisions. I couldn’t see why they were in love. And I don’t think a relationship built like this and lacking such a necessary component as respect could really stand the test of time. I enjoyed the story, but it didn’t feel realistic in these areas. I feel like there’s more to say, but that’s the gist of it. Becoming Rain gets 3.5 Stars from me. Here’s hoping that Chasing River will be about some characters I can fully get behind. Have you read Becoming Rain? What did you think? Let me know!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Sunday Post - 137 & Stacking the Shelves - 98

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ The Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~this meme was inspired in part by ~ In My Mailbox~ It's a chance to share News. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog.

This was a pretty great week. Work has been so busy that I've been quite exhausted by the time I get home, but that's better than having nothing to do. Husband and I took off work Friday. That was nice. We were pretty lazy most of the day. But Friday night was the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner for my friend Amanda's wedding. And then Saturday, of course, was the actual wedding day itself. Amanda was radiant. She's literally the sweetest person I've ever met, and I'm so happy for her and her new husband, Jim. And now I'm literally exhausted again.


Monday: Review of Riot (Mayhem, # 2) by Jamie Shaw (3.5 Stars)
Tuesday: My Top Ten Book Related Problems
Wednesday: Waiting on P.S. I Still Love You (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, # 2) by Jenny Han
Thursday: Review of The Body Electric by Beth Revis (2.5 Stars)


Monday: Review of Becoming Rain (Burying Water, # 2) by KA Tucker
Tuesday: Top Ten Favorite Heroes
Wednesday: Waiting on Wednesday
Thursday: Review of Breaking the Rules (Pushing the Limits, # 1.5) by Katie McGarry
Friday: From the Ashes: City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, # 3) by Cassandra Clare
Saturday: Discussions Only We Know (maybe)

Don’t forget to sign up for the 2015 Series Enders Reading Challenge! You have until December 15, 2015 to sign up. Each month there will be a giveaway for those participating with an end of the year giveaway too! Click on the picture below or the link above to find out more!

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

Paradise City (Paradise, # 1)

By: CJ Duggan

Expected Publication: April 28th 2015 by Hachette Australia Books

363 pages

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--There's bound to be trouble in Paradise . . .

When her parents decide a change will be good for her, seventeen-year-old Lexie Atkinson never expected they'd send her all the way to Paradise City. Coming from a predictable life of home schooling on a rural Australian property, she's sure that Paradise will be amazing. But when she's thrust into a public school without a friendly face in sight, and forced to share a room with her insipid, hateful cousin Amanda, Lexie's not so sure.

Hanging out with the self-proclaimed beach bums of the city, sneaking out, late night parties and parking with boys are all things Lexie's never experienced, but all that's about to change. It's new, terrifying . . . and exciting. But when she meets Luke Ballantine, exciting doesn't even come close to describing her new life. Trouble with a capital T, Luke is impulsive, charming and answers to no one. The resident bad-boy leader of the group, he's sexier than any boy Lexie has ever known.

Amidst the stolen moments of knowing looks and heated touches, Lexie can't help but wonder if Luke is going to be good for her . . . or very, very bad?

That's it for my shelves and recaps of my past and upcoming week. What did you add to your shelves this week? Any bookish news you want to talk about? Let me know!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Body Electric - Review

The Body Electric

By: Beth Revis

Published: October 6th 2014 by Scripturient Books

482 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopian

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon)

*Note: The above link to Amazon is an affiliate link. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--The future world is at peace.

Ella Shepherd has dedicated her life to using her unique gift—the ability to enter people’s dreams and memories using technology developed by her mother—to help others relive their happy memories.

But not all is at it seems.

Ella starts seeing impossible things—images of her dead father, warnings of who she cannot trust. Her government recruits her to spy on a rebel group, using her ability to experience—and influence—the memories of traitors. But the leader of the rebels claims they used to be in love—even though Ella’s never met him before in her life. Which can only mean one thing…

Someone’s altered her memory.

Ella’s gift is enough to overthrow a corrupt government or crush a growing rebel group. She is the key to stopping a war she didn’t even know was happening. But if someone else has been inside Ella’s head, she cannot trust her own memories, thoughts, or feelings.

So who can she trust?

I’ve heard good things about Across the Universe by Beth Revis, and I’ve had it on my TBR list for quite some time but just haven’t had the opportunity to get my hands on it yet. When I saw The Body Electric by her available for review, I jumped on the opportunity to read and review it. And by jump on it, I mean I requested it quickly. I don’t really know why I procrastinated on actually picking it up to read for so long other than maybe just because I’ve never read anything by Beth Revis before. If I have prior experience of an author then I usually feel more confident about how well I’ll like another book by that same author.

I went into The Body Electric wanting to like it. I’ve not heard much about this particular book—or well anything really. And I didn’t even remember what the description was when I finally picked it up to read. As sometimes happens, it turns out that this description isn’t quite accurate. The description says that “Ella’s dedicated her life to using her unique gift—the ability to enter people’s dreams and memories using technology developed by her mother—to help others relive their happy memories.” Well that’s about as inaccurate as a statement can be. 1) Ella is serving her mandatory year of service as an intern at the Reverie mental spa that her mother founded. Her mother’s technology and a trip to the spa is what allows people to relive their happy memories. So I’d hardly say that Ella’s one year of interning at this mental spa is dedicating her life. 2) Ella only recently discovers her ability to connect to another person while that person is having a Reverie because she desires to help her sick mother experience her own happy memories. This isn’t something Ella’s been actively doing for her entire life. And it wasn’t even something she was sure she could do until she tried it with her mother. After that, any other time she connected to another person in this way was with an agenda, and that agenda was NOT helping them to relive their happiest memories. So yeah…this description as a whole isn’t too far off, but there are a few misleading comments.

The Body Electric was an extremely slow book for me. I thought things might pick up once Ella meets Jack, but they didn’t. And so I really began to dissect why I was having such a hard time getting into this book and connecting. And what I came up with was just that—I had trouble connecting. Ella is essentially secluded. Her best friend is on the moon serving in the military. Her father’s dead. Her mother is sick. And Jack…well as the description accurately states, she has no memory of him. She has almost zero connection to any other character around her. And while that might normally make me feel her seclusion, really I just ended up feeling like most of it was her fault. I imagine it’s difficult to believe someone who tells you that you’ve been in love while you have no memory of them at all, but Ella also made no effort to get to know Jack—even after she realized that his memories of her were true. She shied away from him at every single opportunity for them to grow closer and develop a new connection.

The big plot twist didn’t really seem like a twist at all. There were logistics that I hadn’t quite figured out, but the main villain was pretty obvious. I didn’t have everything figured out that was going on with Ella—like why she was seeing and hearing the things that she was. But when all of that was revealed, I was left thinking “is that it?” I think The Body Electric is one of those books that had such a big concept that execution got lost in translation.

All in all, The Body Electric wasn’t an awful book, but I don’t think it was for me. The pacing was slow. The characters, I couldn’t connect with. The plot twist wasn’t really a twist at all, and the big reveal left me wanting. I hate to give it such a low rating, but the truth is, I didn’t really like this one. The Body Electric is getting 2.5 Stars from me. Have you read The Body Electric? What did you think? Let me know!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Waiting on P.S. I Still Love You

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

P.S. I Still Love You (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, # 2)

By: Jenny Han

Expected Publication: April 21st 2015 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

288 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--Lara Jean didn’t expect to really fall for Peter.

She and Peter were just pretending. Except suddenly they weren’t. Now Lara Jean is more confused than ever.

When another boy from her past returns to her life, Lara Jean’s feelings for him return too. Can a girl be in love with two boys at once?

In this charming and heartfelt sequel to the New York Times bestseller To All the Boys I've Loved Before, we see first love through the eyes of the unforgettable Lara Jean. Love is never easy, but maybe that’s part of makes it so amazing.

I really loved To All the Boys I've Loved Before. I can't wait to read this sequel! What are you waiting on this week? Let me know!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

My Top Ten Book Related Problmes

Top 10 Tuesday is a post hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and this week's topic is My Top Ten Book Related Problems.

Any book related problems I have are all “first world problems.” So please, don’t take me too seriously here. These are not legitimate things that I complain about in my life. The world has so many larger problems than these.

  1. When all of my kindles don’t sync. I’m usually reading on my Paperwhite at home and my phone on the go. I’ve got two other kindles but those are loaned to family members for now. But yeah. Annoying.
  2. While I’m on the subject of kindles, I’ve borrowed my SNL’s 1G/2G kindle (she has a Paperwhite too) so I can have access to her books ALL THE TIME, but that device doesn’t have a backlight and I can’t read in the dark or low light areas.
  3. I’ve got more books in my possession than I can read in a year. Surely this doesn’t sound like a problem to most people, but it stresses me out a bit because I WANT TO READ THEM ALL……NOW!
  4. The obvious problems. How when I finish a really good series it takes me a while to be able to cope with life and how I wonder if there will ever be another series as good ever again. Or if I’m in the middle of a series…having to wait 6 months to a year for the next book to be released. Torture. Double that if the book ends in a cliffie.
  5. Of course, there’s the times when as my friend Paula and I were discussing…someone’s going to take a test or do something that you’d normally wish them good luck on and instead you say “May the odds be ever in your favor.” And they just look at you with this blank, not registering look on their face.
  6. When you’re dying for a friend to read a book that you loved and for whatever reason they just don’t or won’t or whatever.
  7. When you’re problem isn’t not having a book to follow up the one you just finished, but determining which one out of the pile you already have will be the lucky winner to get started next.
  8. When real life responsibilities get in the way of reading time or finishing a book I want to read, I find myself battling a case of the irritables.
  9. Those times when people don’t know you’re a reader and ask you if you’ve read some popular book that you read ages ago and you’ve read like 50 better ones since then. Or when you overhear other people having a conversation about a book that you've read. You’re not exactly included in the conversation but you want to shout and jump up and down and say “You know nothing Jon Snow!”
  10. When someone doesn’t like a book that you loved and you want to punch them in the eye. Even if they only rated it slightly lower than you did. I still want to punch them in the face and tell them that they just didn’t “get” it. But alas, I mostly sit in silence and decide to never follow their reading advice again EVER. Until they love another book that I love and then we’re back to being best reading buds (in my mind anyway).

So what are your top book related problems? Let me know!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Riot - Review

Riot (Mayhem, # 2)

By: Jamie Shaw

Published: February 10th 2015 by Avon Impulse

384 pages

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary

Source: Publisher via Edelweiss (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--When Dee Dawson meets sexy mohawked guitarist Joel Gibbon, she knows it won’t be long before she has him wrapped around her finger. No guy has ever been able to resist her… but Dee’s met her match in a player like Joel.

Dee’s not the relationship type—not after seeing the pain “love” has caused her friends and family—yet she’s desperate to make Joel want her more than anyone else. He quickly becomes an obsession, and when a reckless attempt to make him jealous ends in disaster, Dee turns into the damsel in distress she never wanted to be. With her carefree world crashing down around her, the last thing she needs is Joel’s pity.

But Joel is suddenly determined to prove he cares, and no matter how hard Dee tries to push him away, he refuses to let her shut him out. Now the girl who swore she’d never say those three little words must choose between guarding her heart and losing Joel forever… or falling head-over-heels for the tattooed rock star of her dreams.

I was so pleasantly surprised by Mayhem. I knew I would want to continue this series. I was beginning to think that my review request wouldn’t get approved because release day for Riot was coming closer and closer. Finally I was approved. I had to wait a couple of days before I could start it because I was finishing up another review book, but that just made me even more excited to finally dive in once I was able.

The basis of Riot was established within Mayhem. Dee is Rowan’s best friend, and so Rowan introduced us to Dee’s background. We also see Dee and Joel hook up for the first time in Mayhem so the stage was set. Dee’s been in the habit of making guys fall in love with her and then dropping them to prove that she’s not going to end up broken and alone when they inevitably leave—just like her mother did to her father when she was eleven. While she’s trying so hard not to turn out like her father—broken and alone—she doesn’t realize that she’s essentially turned into her mother—crushing and insensitive. All of that being said, I think it was obvious what the conflict for Riot was going to be before I even went into this book. It was basically spelled out from Mayhem and even from the description above. Anyone remotely versed in human behavior could guess what would happen in Riot.

This book was like watching a train wreck. I couldn’t do anything to stop the wreck from happening, but I couldn’t look away at the same time. And I mean that in the best and worst ways possible. Yes it was predictable. Yes it was painful and frustrating at times. Yes it was even very similar to several other books that I’ve read in the past. (See my post about Repetitive Themes where Riot is included in several categories.) But at the same time, given Dee’s background, how could anything different have happened and been authentic?

I was torn on these characters. Joel’s apathy in the beginning was difficult to read at times. It was like he didn’t care if he was with Dee or any other girl. He did seem to have a particular fondness for her, but "meh any old girl will do." Of course, there’s a catalyst that causes Joel to wisen up on how he truly feels about Dee. Yet coming at Dee full force is like running up to a wild animal--it doesn’t work. You must approach with caution and strategy. Dee, too, was a difficult character to read. Sure we’re all different, but I don’t always relate to people who are vastly different from me. Dee’s casual attitude toward sex was just something that was hard to wrap my head around. Sure there are plenty of women and girls out there who look at sex the same way that Dee does, but that’s just not me.

As I mentioned earlier, I’ve been noticing repetitive themes in books for quite some time—I even did a post about it last week--specifically the theme I want to mention is where relationships begin with the physical and them move into more. This happens often in NA books, and I hate the impression that it gives about romance and relationships.

The conflict for Riot was obvious, and the solution to overcoming this conflict was SO EASY. It’s almost frustrating to even have this considered conflict. I want to say more, but I'm trying to avoid spoilers.

Favorite quotes:

-“Joel is a game.” “And what’s the prize if you win?”

-In a war of social combat, there’s one key to victory: Act like you’ve already won.

-“No one’s breaking your heart here but you.”

Of course, the setting has been laid for book 3, Chaos, which will finally feature Shawn’s story. Thankfully, unlike Riot even though the conflict is already established, I don’t know how Chaos will play out—well not entirely anyway. There are a few things that are a given.

All in all, I devoured Riot. Where I normally find myself saying that a book wasn’t what I expected it to be, Riot was exactly what I was expecting. There really weren’t any surprises. I was frustrated with the conflict and the resolution, but I was sucked in anyway. Riot gets 3.5 Stars from me. Have you read Riot? What did you think? Let me know!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Sunday Post - 136 & Stacking the Shelves - 97

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ The Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~this meme was inspired in part by ~ In My Mailbox~ It's a chance to share News. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog.

It has been a good week, but boy am I tired. Friday we got to dress down for work. That was nice. Friday night the Hubs and I went out to eat to celebrate Valentine's Day early. We're not usually a flowers and chocolate kind of couple. We're more of a brand new 3DS for him and new purse, Amazon gift card (for books), and something-else-that-still-hasn't-arrived-and-hubby-won't-tell-me for me kind of couple. HA! Saturday we really just relaxed. Next weekend is my friend Amanda's wedding and since I'm a bridesmaid it's going to be a busy weekend. I cannot wait to see her through her happy day!


Monday: Review of Just One Day (Just One Day, # 1) by Gayle Forman (4 Stars)
Tuesday: Top Ten Dislikes About Fictional Romance
Wednesday: Waiting on Sweet (Contours of the Heart, # 3) by Tammara Webber
Thursday: Review of Maybe Not (Maybe, # 1.5) by Colleen Hoover (4 Stars)
Friday: Upon Further Review: Carter Finally Gets It (Carter Finally Gets It, # 1) by Brent Crawford (4.5 Stars)
Saturday: Discussions Only We Know: Repetitive Themes


Monday: Review of Riot (Mayhem, # 2) by Jamie Shaw
Tuesday: Top Ten Book Related Problems
Wednesday: Waiting on Wednesday
Thursday: Review of The Body Electric by Beth Revis
Friday: No blog posting due to wedding events
Saturday: No blog posting due to wedding events

Don’t forget to sign up for the 2015 Series Enders Reading Challenge! You have until December 15, 2015 to sign up. Each month there will be a giveaway for those participating with an end of the year giveaway too! Click on the picture below or the link above to find out more!

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

Breathe Annie Breathe (Hundred Oaks, # 5)

By: Miranda Kenneally

Published: July 15th 2014 by Sourcebooks Fir

306 pages

Genre: Young Adult/New Adult, Contemporary

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--Annie hates running. No matter how far she jogs, she can’t escape the guilt that if she hadn’t broken up with Kyle, he might still be alive. So to honor his memory, she starts preparing for the marathon he intended to race.

But the training is even more grueling than Annie could have imagined. Despite her coaching, she’s at war with her body, her mind—and her heart. With every mile that athletic Jeremiah cheers her on, she grows more conflicted. She wants to run into his arms…and sprint in the opposite direction. For Annie, opening up to love again may be even more of a challenge than crossing the finish line.

"Breathe, Annie, Breathe is an emotional, heartfelt, and beautiful story about finding yourself after loss and learning to love. It gave me so many feels. Her best book yet." — Jennifer Armentrout, New York Times bestselling author of Wait for You

The Ruby Circle (Bloodlines, # 6)

By: Richelle Mead

Published: February 10th 2015 by Razorbill

384 pages

Genre: Young Adult (YA), Paranormal, Vampires, Fantasy

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--The epic conclusion to Richelle Mead's New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series is finally here...

Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets—and human lives.

After their secret romance is exposed, Sydney and Adrian find themselves facing the wrath of both the Alchemists and the Moroi in this electrifying conclusion to Richelle Mead’s New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series. When the life of someone they both love is put on the line, Sydney risks everything to hunt down a deadly former nemesis. Meanwhile, Adrian becomes enmeshed in a puzzle that could hold the key to a shocking secret about spirit magic, a secret that could shake the entire Moroi world.

Fate (Fate, # 1)

By: Elizabeth Reyes

Published: December 12th 2013

324 pages

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary

Source: Kindle Freebie Deal

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--When Rose tagged along with her big sister to a baby shower the last thing she expected was to meet a guy. But this wasn’t just any guy. This was the exciting, sexy as sin, way out of her league black sheep of his family--Vincent Moreno. Even more surprising, this heart-stopping bad boy seemed interested in her.

Fate always had a way of interfering in Vince’s best-laid plans. His forced attendance to his annoyingly perfect cousin’s baby shower was no different. He was sure to be bored out of his skull, but instead, he met sweet little Rosie Zendejas.

What begins as a unlikely friendship between two very different people turns into one of the most intense and passionate relationships that neither ever saw coming. But just like it had so many times in Vince’s troubled past, Fate steps in once again, threatening to take away the one thing he can’t seem to even breathe without now—Rose.

Mature YA - New Adult. Fate is a Moreno Brothers spinoff series. All books in the series are stand alone and can be read separately without the need to read the others in the series.

Wreck Me (Nova, # 4)

By: Jessica Sorensen

Publication: October 22nd 2014

350 pages

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary

Source: Personal Kindle Library

( Goodreads | Amazon )

*Note: The above link to Amazon is an affiliate link. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--Once upon a time there was a girl named Avery Hensley who thought she’d found the guy—the one that she thought she was going to spend the rest of her life with. They got married young and had the most beautiful son in the world.

Life seemed perfect.

But not everything is what it seems.

Turned out the guy had another side to him, one Avery didn’t see coming. He wrecked her and broke her into a thousand pieces that she had to put back together again. She swore off guys from then on, vowing never to let anyone hurt her or her son again. She built a wall around herself and planned on never letting anyone through it again.

But then she meets Tristan Morganson. He wrecks Avery in a different way, the kind of way that makes her feel free again, the kind of way that makes her think not all guys are bad. But can Avery trust him enough to let her wall come crumbling down?

Ruin Me (Nova, # 5)

By: Jessica Sorensen

Published: January 19th 2015

253 pages

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary

Source: Personal Kindle Library

( Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository )

*Note: The above links to Amazon and Book Depository are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--A part time student, CNA, and caretaker for her slightly deranged mother, Clara McKiney doesn’t have time for a relationship. That’s why her friends with benefits arrangement with sexy and ridiculously charming Jax Hensley works perfectly.

But Jax has other ideas.

The moment Jax met Clara he was instantly drawn to her wittiness, confidence, and gorgeous smile. Even though he agreed to the friends with benefits arrangement, he secretly hopes for more than their weekend hook ups.

When Jax's estranged mother mysteriously disappears, he sees an opportunity to spend more time with Clara. After convincing her to return home with him, a new agreement is made. One road trip and week together to find out why his mom vanished into thin air.

Things are about to get complicated.

That's it for my shelves and recaps of my past and upcoming week. What did you add to your shelves this week? Any bookish news you want to talk about? Let me know!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Discussions Only We Know: Repetitive Themes

Discussions Only We Know

Repetitive Themes

Today we’re talking about repetitive themes in books. I was going to ask if there are any repetitive themes in the books you read, but I already know the answer to that. The answer is yes. And I know that because there are repetitive themes in the books I read. That coupled with the fact that there is nothing new under the sun. So I guess the real question is what are the repetitive themes that you’ve noticed lately, and are you getting tired of them? Or do you think these themes are necessary?

(*NOTE: The statistics listed below are completely made up and probably exaggerated, but I think you get my point. Except for the ones where I link to an actual article.) Young Adult and New Adult books have a LOT of repetitive themes. I could spend days talking about each one, I'm sure.

Love triangles for one. People usually love them or hate them. I don't outright hate love triangles. As a matter of fact, some of them I really enjoy. I've noticed in the majority of the books I've read with love triangles there are two hot guys going after one girl. And the majority of those have ended with the girl still being in love with the first guy introduced to the story. The love triangles that work for me are the ones that include out growing one relationship which leads into moving toward a more mature relationship. As I said in my Top Ten Things I Dislike About Fictional Romance post, I think you can love two people at one time, but not in the same way. So love triangles that don't work for me have the main character head over heels in love with one character, but when in a situation with the other member of the triangle all thoughts of the other guy are out the window. (Love triangles that don't work for me: the Cambion series by Shannon Dermott and Unravel Me (Shatter Me, # 2) by Tahereh Mafi. *Note, I've not read the last book in either of these series, so the final book could sway my opinion on these triangles.) I actually did an entire post on Love Triangles That Worked For Me and Ones That Didn't.

How about bullying? Bullying has been such a hot button topic in the world of late. Bullying is a big problem, but I wonder if part of the problem is that we're not teaching our kids how to handle being bullied. But that's a different subject for a different kind of post. Bullying was present in 9 out of 10 YA books published through the years of 2012-2013 and 8 out of 10 published in 2014. The majority of the bullying I read during these years were gay kids being bullied. (Ex: Speechless by Hannah Harrington & Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend (Confessions, # 2) by Louise Rozett) Which leads into the next repetitive them...

Homosexuality is present in maybe not the majority of YA books that I've read over the past three years, but it is definitely present in a large portion of those books. The book might not be about a main character that is gay, but there is some character, somewhere within the book that is gay. With statistics showing that only 1.8% of the population of the United States reporting to be gay, the frequency of gay characters in YA & NA literature is potentially--dare I say—unrealistic. (Ex: Just One Day (Just One Day, # 1) by Gayle Forman, Hopeless (Hopeless, # 1) by Colleen Hoover, and Riot (Mayhem, # 2) by Jamie Shaw )

Within the paranormal subgenre, there always seems to be a self-sacrificing female lead character. She's put into a situation where the evil bad guy knows that they way to get what he wants is to threaten the people she loves. And inevitably the female lead will throw herself into the clutches of the evil being with no plan and no thought other than "I must save PERSONxyz." (Ex: Switched (Trylle, # 3) by Amanda Hocking & Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, # 3) by Cassandra Clare)

This last theme has even trickled over into contemporary literature where both male and female characters will break up with their significant other “for the other’s good.” This has become such a predominant plot device used in place of real conflict that I can only roll my eyes at this point. (Ex: Blindness by Ginger Scott, Jane's Harmony (Jane's Melody, # 2) by Ryan Winfield, & Out of Breath (Breathing, # 3) by Rebecca Donovan )

While we're on the subject of protagonists or the main character, I can't tell you how many YA books I've read recently where the MC makes a blatant statement that they don't believe in God. I can understand why an author wouldn't want to include anything religious or spiritual within their work. But what I don't understand is why even bring it up at all only to say the character doesn't believe? Can we have a MC that does believe without that dominating the entire story? That is possible right? (Ex: Anatomy of a Misfit by Andrea Portes, Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover, & Invincible by Amy Reed--I feel like there are better examples than these, but this is what I found when searching my kindle. )

Let's jump to more New Adult for a second. There’s quite a debate about the new adult genre. Is it even necessary? New adult books seem very similar to YA, and often include some of the repetitive themes mentioned above, but with the addition of descriptive--though not as descriptive as straight Adult books--scenes. I can't get what Anna from Anna Reads said about the new adult genre. She said she thinks this genre should be about the process of moving from high school to college, growing away from your high school friends, finding new friends, finding yourself, learning about what you want to do with your life, moving past the high school boyfriend to finding a new/different/possibly more mature college boyfriend.

Instead, the new adult genre features play boys in 9.9 out of 10 books. These boys will sleep with any woman who will allow them access, and often statements are made that they can’t even count the number of women they’ve slept with. Yet in 100% of these 9.9 books these bad boys find the one woman in the world who they want to be faithful to. I'm not even going to give you any examples because this is like every new adult book ever.

For sure the majority of new adult books include major conflict that is truly only a misunderstanding between characters. This conflict could be easily solved by the slightest bit of communication between characters who are often willing to share their bodies but not their hearts. (Ex: Riot (Mayhem, # 2) by Jamie Shaw, Jane's Melody (Jane's Melody, # 1) by Ryan Winfield, & Lick (Stage Dive, # 1) by Kylie Scott )

I’ve recently discovered that perhaps half of the new adult books I've read recently include the main couple having a physical encounter as their first real experience with each other. Relationships are built on sex and not anything of substance. (Ex: Beautiful Redemption (The Maddox Brothers, # 1) by Jamie McGuire, Riot (Mayhem, # 2) by Jamie Shaw, & Just for Now (Sea Breeze, # 4) by Abbi Glines )

And while this isn’t the last repetitive theme out there, but this is the last one I’m going to mention today. So frequently new adult characters turn to alcohol when conflict arises and things get tough. Most of these characters take their alcohol public—usually to a club or bar—and the other portion drinks in solitude. Seeking out alcohol in order to avoid dealing with life is just not a healthy way to cope with life. I wish this wasn't such a prevalent theme in new adult books. (Ex: Believe (True Believers, # 3) by Erin McCarthy, Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful, # 1) by Jamie McGuire, & Riot (Mayhem, # 2) by Jamie Shaw )

What about you guys? What are the repetitive themes that you see that get on your nerves? Have you noticed any of these themes before? Are there any major themes that I missed that you’ve noticed? Do these things not bother you? Do you ever feel like you’re reading the same book over and over again? Or does it not bother you to see a few things like this on repeat since the characters names and experiences are different?

Like I said, there really is nothing new under the sun. I think often times these themes are on repeat because they’re real. I think we all know the guy who would sleep with anyone. I think we all know the bully. We all know someone who turns to alcohol when life gets rough. And I have lived a love triangle myself. So this is one of the reasons why we see these themes so frequently. I don’t dispute that they’re often real (even if exaggerated), and thus people relate to them. But sometimes I feel like I’m reading the same book over and over again. I try to vary my reads by genre as that does often help break up repeating patterns, but sometimes the patterns travel across many genres.

What do you guys think? Have you noticed anything similar in your reading like? Let me know!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Upon Further Review: Carter Finally Gets It

Upon Further Review is an original feature here at Somewhere Only We Know. I have always loved re-reading my favorite books, and I wanted a way to incorporate re-reading into my blog. Thus From the Ashes and Upon Further Review were born. From the Ashes is where I re-read a book that I have never reviewed before and finally review it. Upon Further Review is where I re-read a book that I've already reviewed and see if my original rating stands or not. This is also the time for me to discuss any new revelations that my latest re-read has brought to my attention.

Carter Finally Gets It (Carter Finally Gets It, # 1)

By: Brent Crawford

Published: April 2009 by Disney-Hyperion

300 pages

Genre: YA, Realistic Fiction, Comedy

Source: Free Audio Download from Sync Audiobooks

( Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository | )

*Note: The above links to Amazon, The Book Depository, and are affiliate links. Affiliate links support giveaways for Somewhere Only We Know readers.

Goodreads description--Meet Will Carter, but feel free to call him Carter. (Yes, he knows it's a lazy nickname, but he didn't have much say in the matter.)

Here are five things you should know about him:

1. He has a stuttering problem, particularly around boobs and belly buttons.

2. He battles Attention Deficit Disorder every minute of every day unless he gets distracted.

3. He's a virgin, mostly because he's no good at talking to girls (see number 1).

4. He's about to start high school.

5. He's totally not ready.

Join Carter for his freshman year, where he'll search for sex, love, and acceptance anywhere he can find it. In the process, he'll almost kill a trombone player, face off with his greatest nemesis, suffer a lot of blood loss, narrowly escape death, run from the cops (not once, but twice), get caught up in a messy love triangle, meet his match in the form of a curvy drill teamer, and surprise the hell out of everyone, including himself.

HERE’s my original review of Carter Finally Gets It. Periodically, I just get in a mood where I want to read (or listen) to a book that I know what to expect from. When Top Secret Twenty-One (Stephanie Plum, # 21) by Janet Evanovich didn’t have me rolling on the floor or laughing out loud, I decided that I need something that was going to make me laugh and something that I knew what to expect and therefore, if I spaced out for a bit because of work then I wouldn’t miss anything too much. And so Carter Finally Gets It fit that bill. I remembered this book having me literally belly laughing when I first listened to it, and so I wanted that again.

Obviously, I knew where all of the funny parts where listening to this audiobook a second time, but man that did not hinder this book’s ability to have me rolling. I was trying so hard to hold my laughter in since I was listening at work, but it just wasn’t possible. One time a coworker came to my desk to discuss a work project, and I just had to sit there for like 5 minutes or so trying to get myself together. It was embarrassing. But oh so funny. Upon my second listen, I can see where this book might not be everyone’s cup of tea. Carter Finally Gets It appeals to a specific type of humor, but it just happens to fit mine perfectly.

Carter Finally Gets It has more of a story than I ever expected. It was hilarious to see how clueless Carter was in general but especially when trying to deal with the opposite sex. He has no clue and his hormones get him into more than one mess. As a female, I couldn’t help thinking “Is this how it really is for guys?” I want my husband to listen to this book, but he’s not been in the audiobook kind of mood lately—and if he finds that mood then we have to finish listening to Harry Potter first. But in an industry that is mostly dominated by female narrators—or at least dual narratives—this is probably my favorite young adult book solely narrated by a male character. The language was more noticeable to me this time. Even though Carter doesn’t drop any f-bombs, other language is used pretty frequently.

I sang and sang the praises of Nick Podehl in my original review of Carter Finally Gets It, but I just have to sing them again. This book would have still been funny without him, but it would not have been AS funny without him. I said it before, but I’ve never found a narrator that commits to a part or a book as Nick Podehl committed to Carter in this book. It was awesome. And I’m tempted to go hunt down other audiobooks that he’s narrated, even if the book itself wasn’t originally on my TBR list.

I originally gave Carter Finally Gets It 4 stars. I gave it a 5 for the narration and a 3.5 for the story. I don’t know guys, I’ve yet to overturn an original rating, but I think the storyline for Carter Finally Gets It might be better than I originally thought. Since this was my second time through this book, I picked up on a lot of the little details that escaped me last time. I feel good about bumping the storyline up to 4 Stars, which would give my overall rating of Carter Finally Gets It 4.5 Stars. Have you read (or listened) Carter Finally Gets It? What did you think? Let me know!

I also forced this audiobook on a friend who was in a major need of a laugh about the same time that I listened to it, and she loved it too. I always worry that I’ve built it up too much, but that’s just another validation for me that this book is as good as I originally thought—and shoot…better.