{Book Review} The Second Book Syndrome

what I thought was trueSo it’s been a little while since I’ve read What I Thought Was True, the second offering from Huntley Fitzpatrick who wrote the amazing My Life Next Door. I knew that there was no way her new book would stack up to her first one and I’m sad to say that after reading it, it’s still true.

One thing I did love about this book is the beach town. Can all books be in a beach town? I just love the fact that I can feel the sand getting in my shoes (which is never annoying when you’re near the beach), feel the spray of the water on my face, and I basically crave ice cream at every page turn. Beaches are good. All cities should be made near beaches.

One thing I wasn’t a huge fan of was the characters. I wanted to like Gwen and Cassidy, I really did, but they never did grab me anywhere throughout the story. Gwen seemed to make herself out as being some huge slut when really she wasn’t, so it was kind of annoying to see her constantly thinking everyone just wanted her body. And throughout the book there are these big flashbacks to things that happened in the past which I think were supposed to be shocking, but really weren’t.

There are also the adults in the book. The old lady who Gwen was attending to was definitely awesome, but from the old lady’s nurse (who was bitter beyond belief) to the lady who called everyone Jose or Maria (is that really a thing??) to Gwen’s parents … everyone got on my nerves! I hated Gwen’s dad because he was just a slimeball from the start and I did not empathize when Gwen when she seemed to think he was okay, when really he was still a slimeball. His ethics were pretty much nonexistant so I hope we weren’t supposed to take him as a role model anywhere in the book. Maybe it’s just me, but I prefer someone in a book to be the voice of reason and sometimes that boils down to the parents, so when everyone seems to have their head on backwards, it just doesn’t jive with me.

There’s even the fact that all the old people liked their super sexy romances to be read out loud to them. In what universe is that a thing? Have they not heard of audiobooks? I can understand old people having their quirks, but this just seemed weird and kind of icky to me.

I’d like to say that the romance justified the parts I didn’t like, but it was just kind of okay. I like the whole class division aspect in books, but I was kind of annoyed with Gwen always seeming to have an issue with Cass being rich and her not being so well off. I liked how Cass didn’t let it bother him, but Gwen seemed to have a stick up her butt for a lot of the story in regards to this (and in regards to the big secret), so it was more annoying than anything else.

Anyway, I really wanted to like this one because of My Life Next Door, but that book had a lot more innocence, a lot more heart, and just a lot more to it than this one. I can only hope that the next book is much better.

Have you read this one? What are some of your favourite beach theme stories? 

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Mini Reviews (Maya Banks, Sarah MacLean, Kenneth Oppel)

I seem to love letting the read books pile up after I finish them, so I’ll be doing a mini review post for some of the ones I’ve finished to save some space. Of course “mini” review means short, so we’ll see how longwinded I get … 

never seduce a scotNever Seduce a Scot (The Montgomerys and Armstrongs, #1) by Maya Banks

Genre: Historical Romance
Source: Bought (ebook)
Rating: 5/5

So this was my very first Maya Banks book! I had heard SO many wonderful things about her books and decided to finally – FINALLY! – give her a try since I love historical romance and wanted something fun to read. This one fit the bill perfectly! Although, when I started reading, I was a little nervous since the main character was deaf — not a bad thing about her, but how would that convey in the book? Would we constantly be in her head? Would there be chemistry between her and the male lead? Soon I was completely devouring the book and loving the fact that even though one of the characters really didn’t speak, there was still TONS of chemistry between her and the male lead and SUCH a great story to be had! The characters in this story were very engaging and had such depth to them. And I kind of loved the whole family-hating-family aspect of it all, like a forbidden romance. It was kind of predictable towards the end, but I had so much fun reading this story and know that I’ll have to go back to the series soon — as well as try some of Maya’s (many) other series.

rogue by any other nameA Rogue By Any Other Name (The Rule of Scoundrels, #1) by Sarah MacLean

Genre: Historical Romance
Source: Won (Paperback)
Rating: 4/5

Just like Maya Banks, I had heard so many good things about Sarah MacLean. I had won this book and was very interested to read it, but thought I might not like it because of the hype. Turns out, it was a nice little book, though I definitely didn’t love it like everyone else. I think a lot of this was because of the whole “adventure” part of Penelope’s life. All she wanted was adventure and really, what she got didn’t seem very adventurous to me, and by the end of the book I was kind of annoyed by the whole “adventure” prospect. However, I did kind of love Bourne and I felt like him and Penelope had some great chemistry, AND I loved that they were getting together after knowing each other as children. This was one of those books that went on and on and had me thinking that all things could be resolved if only the two characters would just talk to one another, for goodness sake, BUT it was still a nice historical romance read. I’m still interested in the rest of the series … I’m sure it has to do with Penelope’s sisters, or the other men at Bourne’s gambling hell, but either way I’m sure they’ll be fun as well.

such wicked intentSuch Wicked Intent (The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein, #2) by Kenneth Oppel

Genre: YA Horror
Source: Won (Hardcover)
Rating: 5/5

When I won a copy of Such Wicked Intent from the publisher, I was so excited. I had just finished the first book in the series and was eager to dive into the second. This was two years ago. Clearly, I wasn’t as eager as I had thought. I was hesitant about diving in this past week because I figured I would forget everything from the first book and this one wouldn’t make sense, BUT I just don’t have time to reread ALL the books now, so I dove in. And was pleasantly surprised at how engaging the whole story was, how super creepy aspects of it were, AND how easy it as to really get into it, having read the previous one years ago. Kenneth Oppel sure knows how to write creepy! And it’s written in such a gothic and interesting way. I loved all of the characters, especially how different Victor, Henry, and Elizabeth were from one another. And for most of the book I wanted to strangle Elizabeth, but that was a good thing. I’m pretty sure the reader was supposed to feel that way. What else can I say? Mud babies. No, no thank you. Super awesome book – I’m not sure if there are going to be more in the series, but I sure hope so! It ended in a way that made me think there could be more, so we’ll see. At any rate, I do want to read more Kenneth Oppel!

Have you read these books? What are your thoughts?

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{Book & A Cuppa} Wednesday’s Book & Tea

It’s Wednesday! The middle of the week! What better way to celebrate than with a book and a cup of tea? OK, maybe I celebrate every day with a book and a cup of tea! I thought it would be fun to try and have a day a week, though, where I share with you what I’m reading and what’s in my teacup!

Today I’m drinking a delicious blend, Coconut Calypso!

Coconut Calypso

When I first opened up this bag of Steeped Tea white tea, I was a little taken aback because the smell was quite overwhelming. I figured that the tea itself might taste way too strong for me — and for other people who like coconut but don’t want their tea to taste like they’re drinking it out of a coconut shell. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the taste. It’s very subtle and smooth, with a very nice light aroma of coconut.

The nice thing, too, is that it’s a white tea, so I can steep it 3 times! Sadly, I made a carafe using up all of my steeps, but that just means I get to enjoy it all morning, right?

The Summoning And Coconut Calypso

Now, onto today’s book! I had just finished my Kenneth Oppel book yesterday, so it was time to start another one! I knew I wanted something spooky, since Halloween is well on its way, so I started Mary: The Summoning by Hillary Monahan.

mary the summoning

Here’s the synopsis:

There is a right way and a wrong way to summon her.

Jess had done the research. Success requires precision: a dark room, a mirror, a candle, salt, and four teenage girls. Each of them–Jess, Shauna, Kitty, and Anna–must link hands, follow the rules . . . and never let go.

A thrilling fear spins around the room the first time Jess calls her name: “Bloody Mary. Bloody Mary. BLOODY MARY.” A ripple of terror follows when a shadowy silhouette emerges through the fog, a specter trapped behind the mirror.

Once is not enough, though–at least not for Jess. Mary is called again. And again. But when their summoning circle is broken, Bloody Mary slips through the glass with a taste for revenge on her lips. As the girls struggle to escape Mary’s wrath, loyalties are questioned, friendships are torn apart, and lives are forever altered.

A haunting trail of clues leads Shauna on a desperate search to uncover the legacy of Mary Worth. What she finds will change everything, but will it be enough to stop Mary–and Jess–before it’s too late?

Spooky, right? I remember when I was younger, my friends and I would try and “summon” Bloody Mary and I would always, always get so freaked out! I mean, I love ghost stories, but the idea of being all by yourself in a bathroom with a candle in the dark staring into a mirror waiting for a ghost to appear is so scary!

I’m not too far into this one yet, only about 10%, but I’ve heard really good things, so I hope it’s a gooder!

Have you read The Summoning? What’s in your tea cup this morning? 

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