MINI REVIEW: Ten Things We Did by Sarah Mlynowski

Ten Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn't Have)Title: Ten Things We Did (And Probably Shouldn’t Have)

Author: Sarah Mlynowski

Genre: YA Contemporary

Release Date: June 7th 2011

Purchase: Amazon (Kindle or Paperback)

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2 girls + 3 guys + 1 house – parents = 10 things April and her friends did that they (definitely, maybe, probably) shouldn’t have.

If given the opportunity, what sixteen-year-old wouldn’t jump at the chance to move in with a friend and live parent-free? Although maybe “opportunity” isn’t the right word, since April had to tell her dad a tiny little untruth to make it happen (see #1: “Lied to Our Parents”). But she and her housemate Vi are totally responsible and able to take care of themselves. How they ended up “Skipping School” (#3), “Throwing a Crazy Party” (#8), “Buying a Hot Tub” (#4), and, um, “Harboring a Fugitive” (#7) at all is kind of a mystery to them.

In this hilarious and bittersweet tale, Sarah Mlynowski mines the heart and mind of a girl on her own for the first time. To get through the year, April will have to juggle a love triangle, learn to do her own laundry, and accept that her carefully constructed world just might be falling apart . . . one thing-she-shouldn’t-have-done at a time.

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It is every teenager’s fantasy to move in with a friend and live parent-free so when the opportunity knocked, April didn’t hesitate to answer the door. April thinks it’s all gonna be alright because she is totally capable of taking care of herself. But when things didn’t go as planned, she has to deal with her own grocery, impending doom of her love life, and constantly lying to her father.
The book was really fun to read. The plot is really interesting, it’s a bit cliche but still worth the read. My favorite characters are Vi and April. I like April because she’s very relatable and I feel a connection with her. Vi is gutsy and smart and confident. If Vi existed in real life, I think we’d instantly click. Her personality would greatly complement mine.
I find the book a little tame though. The title sends off the impression “We are the bad girls your mamma warned you about”. But it wasn’t what I expected it to be. The book was okay and I genuinely like it, it just didn’t meet my expectation based on my first impression of the title.
I knew when I read the blurb for Ten Things We Did that it would be a totally fun book. And it turns out I was right. I recommend this book to anyone of you who likes to read light and funny YA books.

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City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments #1) by Cassandra Clare

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)Title: City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments #1)

Author: Cassandra Clare

Genre: YA Fantasy

Release Date: March 27th 2007

Purchase: Amazon (Kindle or Paperback)

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When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder — much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It’s hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing―not even a smear of blood―to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary’s first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It’s also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace’s world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know…

Exotic and gritty, exhilarating and utterly gripping, Cassandra Clare’s ferociously entertaining fantasy takes readers on a wild ride that they will never want to end.

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I have been hearing nothing but praise for the Mortal Instruments series and I am no stranger to the books in the series. I have a friend who has been a fan of Cassandra Clare’s books since City of Bones has been published. With the amount of popularity the series is gaining and the movie adaptation of the book, I decided to finally read the book.

When I found out that the story is essentially about angels versus demons, warlocks and faeries, I got totally excited. Who doesn’t love angels versus demons, good versus evil? It is classic. I am also a lover of different mythologies and City of Bones uses myths from different cultures as backbone for its plot.

One of the things that make me love a book so much is the strong heroine and Clary Fray is no exception. There are so many things I admire in her. She is one strong girl and even if she is bleeding and dying or even if she knows she is going to lose she still keeps on fighting.

Jace, on the other hand is one badass boy. At first glance he is all dark and mysterious but he is really charming and he is not bad with the ladies, either. He is witty and has a very good sense of humour.

The book has an abundance of lovable and memorable characters like Simon, Hodge and Luke to name a few. I also noticed it is widely compared to the Harry Potter series and it is said that there is a lot of similarities between the books. As for me, both of them are great reads and while there are some similarities between them, it doesn’t bother me at all.

Seeing that the series has made a legion of fans around the world, I knew a movie adaptation will come eventually. So I was not really surprised when news about its film adaptation broke out. I remember the film shot to Twitter’s Worldwide Trend when it was released and I am getting a mix of positive and negative feedback. I guess the only way to find out if the movie lived up to the book is to watch it myself and I must say I’m pretty excited.

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Burn for Burn (Burn for Burn #1) by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian

Burn for Burn (Burn for Burn, #1)Title: Burn for Burn

Author: Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian

Genre: YA Contemporary

Release Date: September 18th, 2012

Purchase: Amazon (Kindle or Paperback)

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Postcard-perfect Jar Island is the kind of place where nobody locks their doors at night, where parents can sleep easy, knowing their daughters are tucked away safe and sound in their beds.

But bad things can happen, even to good girls . . . and sometimes, the only way to make things right is to do something wrong.

Lillia used to trust boys, but not anymore. Not after what happened this summer. And she’ll do whatever it takes to protect her little sister from the same fate.

Kat is over the rumors, the insults, the cruel jokes made at her expense. It all goes back to one person–her ex-best friend. Someone needs to teach her a lesson, and, with Lillia and Mary behind her, Kat feels up to the task.

Four years ago, Mary left Jar Island because of a boy. But she’s not the same girl anymore. Now that she’s got friends who have her back, he’s going to be in big trouble.

Three very different girls who come together to make things right. Will they go too far?

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I was randomly surfing Goodreads when I came upon this book. The title burn for Burn instantly reminded me of the saying “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth”. The title intrigued me so I read the blurb. My first impression of the book is that the plot is somehow the same with Pretty Little Liars and Gossip Girl. I was hesitant to read it at first. I kept thinking, “Will this be a good novel?” There’s only one way to find out—read the novel. And read I did.

Burn for Burn is a story of three girls, Lillia, Mary and Kat. They want to seek revenge to the people who they think have wronged them. I find the main storyline too cliché. How many novels have had the same plot? But nevertheless I kept my mind open to the possibility that this won’t get too cliché and predictable as other novels.

This is Karma. I’m a bitch. Can you think of anyone who deserves a bitch slap?

Lillia, Mary and Kat each have very distinct personalities. Lillia is the popular, rich girl that everyone thinks is pretty and innocent and perfect. Mary is the emotionally-wreaked transfer student who has a dark past she doesn’t want to run away from anymore. And Kat is the headstrong, feisty chick who’s always capable of uttering the most vulgar words. I love how they are very different with each other and each of them is really intriguing in their own way.

I was really skeptical of the book at first. Would it measure up to my expectations? As I read it I find it okay, not really great but okay. But then the story kinds of grow on you and in no time I was engrossed with the book. I just think that the book was “tamer” than I expected. I expected there will be murder, blackmail or kidnapping or some crazy stuff like those things but there wasn’t. Still, I find the book good.

There’s only one thing I do not like about the book and that’s the supernatural element in it. I think the story will be more believable if there’s no supernatural element to it. But nevertheless I really like it and it definitely piqued my curiosity. I can’t wait to read the second book to the series—Fire with Fire.

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Waking Up Married by Mira Lyn Kelly

Waking Up MarriedTitle: Waking Up Married

Author: Mira Lyn Kelly

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: December 1st, 2012

Source: Netgalley

Format: ebook

Purchase: Amazon (Kindle or Paperback)

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Her first thought: “Who are you?”

It’s the morning after her cousin’s bachelorette party in Vegas and Megan Scott wakes up with the mother of all hangovers. Even worse, she’s in a stranger’s penthouse having woken up with something else as well – a funny, arrogant, sexy…husband!

Up until now, finding even a boyfriend had seemed impossible – been there, got the broken heart, sworn off men for good. Then a few martinis with Carter…no, Connor Reed and she’s gone from first meet to marriage in one night!

Megan wants a lawyer. But Connor’s shocking bombshell?

“I don’t want a divorce.”

 

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Some people marry for money, others for love but there are a few who decides to marry because of the intoxication of one too many vodka and Megan and Connor falls into that category. Whoever thinks it is a good idea to get yourself drunk and then drive to a 24-hour chapel in Vegas to get married clearly needs to sober up.  And when Megan realized she married a total stranger, she finds a quick escape route but Connor won’t have it. Connor is convinced he married the right woman—while he doesn’t love her, he is so sure she is the right woman because they both don’t need to involve love in their marriage. How silly, right?

“All the vital components that make a relationship successful, without any of the emotional messiness to drag it down. It’s about respect, caring, and commitment. Shared goals and compatible priorities. It’s about treating marriage like a partnership instead of some romantic fantasy. It’s about two people liking each other.”

Before Megan met Connor, she already had a plan. She’d undergo artificial insemination because she wants to have a family yet she’s had enough of the lying, thieving, deceiving ways of men and she lost her trust in them. Connor wants a family too but without the mess of being emotionally involved with the woman he is going to marry. And because they have this in common, they decided to keep the marriage. But of course, love works in mysterious ways and they fall in love with each other.

“And then he gave her a kiss that was meant to be the first of its kind, but tasted so familiar there was no denying those undercurrents of love had been there all that time… just waiting to be recognized.”

I admit Waking Up Married doesn’t have the most original plot there is. From the time I read the first chapter I could already predict how the story is going to go but I have no problem with clichés as long as they are presented and written very well. And this book was written and presented very well so I don’t really have problems with it. And there’s no such thing reading too much romance novels. It’s always good to feel giddy and hope that one day you’re going to meet the love of your life.

“You can believe I took you to be my wife. To honor, respect and protect, for all the days of our life.”

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BLOG TOUR: Mara by Veronica Bane

MaraTitle: Mara

Author: Veronica Bane

Genre: YA Fantasy

Release Date: August 3rd, 2013

Purchase: Amazon (Paperback)

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For years, Mara Tucker has used her power of manipulating flames to punish those who have done her wrong. But things are changing in the town of Jericho. Rampant disappearances have forced Mara to seek out others with special powers. In a story that confronts the violence and turmoil of adolescence, Mara and a group of other “unusuals” like her grapple with new alliances and the villains pressing in all around them.

“A tale of teenage rebellion in the tradition of classics ranging from The Outsiders to The Hunger Games, Veronica Bane’s fantasy novella explores the timeless themes of growing up, finding one’s inner strength, and discovering where one belongs. The titular antiheroine and her flawed-but-lovable band of “unusuals” are characters that will resonate with teen audiences and older readers alike.” –Ashley Heaton, Editor

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When I started reading Mara I had no idea what to expect. To be honest, I am not a big fan of novellas so I was really wary of reading Mara. But I thought, “Hey at least I should give it a try.”

The story revolves around Mara—obviously—and she has this power to summon and control fire. She lives in this town called Jericho. At first Mara thought that she is the only one who has that kind of power. And then later on she meets other people her age who also has the ability to summon other elements like thunder and water. One of them can even control stones and boulders. It was really cool to see those characters and their unusual abilities.

And let’s not forget the bad guys. Some of the people in Mara’s town are mysteriously disappearing and turns out there are people—bad people—who want to get rid of the Unusuals—that’s what they call people like Mara.

My favorite character is definitely Mara. She has a very strong personality and she is very brave. I think her ability to summon fire suits her personality. Miyuki is also a very likeable character, she has the power to control water. I like how each character’s personality fit the element that they can control and summon.

The plot of the book was great. It wasn’t like what I expected it to be—which is a good thing. But with it being a novella and given the word count, I thought the story lacked a little backbone. I expected to have a clearer and longer background story as to how those characters gained their abilities. I would have liked a little more back story but overall it was fine. The book is good and I really like it. It’s a quick read but was also very good and satisfying, I think.

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Author Info

author-veronica-baneVeronica Bane grew up in San Diego, California and spent her days writing in local coffee shops and at the beach. Her writing was and has always been fed a healthy diet of chai tea lattes and film scores.
Veronica studied Creative Writing at Chapman University and now lives in Los Angeles. 
Author Links
Site / Twitter / Goodreads

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