Tuesday, 3 March 2015

The One That I Want by Jennifer Echols

The One That I Want
by Jennifer Echols

Summary: Gemma can't believe her luck when the star football player starts flirting with her. Max is totally swoon-worthy, and even gets her quirky sense of humor. So when he asks out her so-called best friend Addison, Gemma's heartbroken.

Then Addison pressures Gemma to join the date with one of Max's friends. But the more time they all spend together, the harder Gemma falls for Max. She can't help thinking that Max likes her back, it's just too bad he's already dating Addison. How can Gemma get the guy she wants without going after her best friend's boyfriend?
I used to really, really loved Jennifer Echols books but over the past few years I kind of fell behind with her new releases, then I stumbled across this one that I'd forgotten about and ended up reading it in one sitting last night. The book wasn't amazing, but it did remind me of all the reasons I love her books.

The story is predictable and it's full of rom-com cliches, but I always kind of loved these type of books for that reason, not in spite of it, and Jennifer always manages to write them well and add more original spins to them. They're the perfect books if you just want something cute to read for a few hours.

The characters in this one...I was so irritated by them a lot of the time but by the end, I really loved them (well, most of them). Gemma was likeable but also kind of frustrating because she was maintaining toxic relationships with people knowing the relationships were toxic, it wasn't like she was oblivious to it, she even comments on it quite a bit in the book. I really liked the way her weight issues were written too, showing that even after she lost weight, the body image issues she had and the way she was made to feel about it did leave a mark on her.

As for the other characters, Delilah, her friend, was adorable and I wish there was more of her in the book (I'd actually enjoy reading a story all about her, probably). I really liked Max too, he could be an ass at times, but then that made me like him more because he was flawed instead of being portrayed as perfect.

The thing I like most about Jennifer's books is how she can write romances that are so adorable. Seriously, I loved Max and Gemma together and even though I wanted to scream "USE YOUR WORDS!" at the book many times (because the whole plot hinges on terrible communication and it's obvious to the reader what's going on), it was really fun to read about and made me smile a lot.

The only thing about the book that I didn't like much was that it did that catty thing where it makes the best friend seem awful to justify the whole going after her boyfriend thing. And it pulls another one of the cliche (and obvious) twists that's meant to make the situation seem less wrong too. It didn't make me enjoy the book any less, it's just not something I particularly liked about it.

Anyway...I really enjoyed the book and while it's not my favourite book of hers, it did remind me why I'm a fan of Jennifer's work and made me want to go back and read all the books of hers that I've missed.

I'd rate the book 3.5 stars out of 5. It was cute and fun and exactly what I needed to cheer me up when I was having a bad week.


Monday, 2 March 2015

Review: Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

Rachel Hartman
Random House Books for Young Readers
[July 10, 2012]
Finished copy provided for review

In her New York Times bestselling and Morris Award-winning debut, Rachel Hartman introduces mathematical dragons in an alternative-medieval world to fantasy and science-fiction readers of all ages. Eragon-author Christopher Paolini calls them, "Some of the most interesting dragons I've read in fantasy."

Four decades of peace have done little to ease the mistrust between humans and dragons in the kingdom of Goredd. Folding themselves into human shape, dragons attend court as ambassadors, and lend their rational, mathematical minds to universities as scholars and teachers. As the treaty's anniversary draws near, however, tensions are high.

Seraphina Dombegh has reason to fear both sides. An unusually gifted musician, she joins the court just as a member of the royal family is murdered—in suspiciously draconian fashion. Seraphina is drawn into the investigation, partnering with the captain of the Queen's Guard, the dangerously perceptive Prince Lucian Kiggs. While they begin to uncover hints of a sinister plot to destroy the peace, Seraphina struggles to protect her own secret, the secret behind her musical gift, one so terrible that its discovery could mean her very life.

I tried reading Seraphina when it first came out and it didn't work out so well for us. It's beautifully written, but the beginning is rather unclear and cloudy. At the time, I didn't have the patience for me. This time around, I pushed through because everyone said the beginning was slow.

So. Incredibly. Slow.

What was happening was important and there was a rather large cast of characters and a number of intricate pieces to introduce to the story. It all just happens over a rather long period of time and didn't become a page turner for me until nearly half way through - not exactly something to be thrilled about in a 450 page book.

But I didn't put it down either. Like I said, there was a lot of set up going on and it was enjoyable to read. Rachel Hartman is an incredibly skilled writer so it was technically lovely. And because she has a large cast of characters, there are a number of really interesting character relationship dynamics running even during this set up and they're rather complex and keep changing even before the action starts to pick up. 

And you guys know I'm a sucker for character. Seraphina is a fascinating character with all her internal complexities and differences and needs. Not to mention how she changes. Even within a short amount of time, she develops in rather drastic leaps and bounds. Inside her head is where a good deal of the early action is.

There were still some elements missing for me and I don't think I can call Seraphina a favorite, mostly for what it's lacking in the beginning. But I was quite intrigued by the whole book and enjoyed it overall. I certainly hope to be checking out the sequel sooner rather than later.


Sunday, 1 March 2015

Weekly Wrap-Up (30)

On the Blog


I'm actually having a pretty good reading week this week, I've read three books and will probably finish a fourth one before the weekend is over too, so hopefully I'm out of my reading slump now and will be posting more reviews...but yeah, onto the new books I've gotten:
Book Haul

For review:

Black Dove, White Raven by Elizabeth Wein - I can't wait to read this, I loved her other two books.

Made For You by Melissa Marr (netgalley) - I started this one last night, I'm not far in but I love it so far.


Cress and Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

I think that's all...I did get another book, but it hasn't arrived yet so I'll add it next week instead. What've you all been reading? :)



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