Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Summer Reading: Mini Reviews

This summer I've pretty much had my nose stuck in a book non-stop.
 (Ok, so maybe this is a regular occurrence... not just this summer)
 I wanted to get a lot of reading in before I start school in the fall because I knew I wouldn't have as much time to with schoolwork and required reading. 
I figured today I'd share what I've read this summer and post little mini reviews on each book!

Note: I'm not reviewing these in any order at all, it's purely random ;)
Synopsis are taken from Amazon

When You Reach Me

"By sixth grade, Miranda and her best friend, Sal, know how to navigate their New York City neighborhood. They know where it's safe to go, and they know who to avoid. Like the crazy guy on the corner.

But things start to unravel. Sal gets punched by a kid on the street for what seems like no reason, and he shuts Miranda out of his life. The apartment key that Miranda's mom keeps hidden for emergencies is stolen. And then a mysterious note arrives, scrawled on a tiny slip of paper. The notes keep coming, and Miranda slowly realizes that whoever is leaving them knows things no one should know. Each message brings her closer to believing that only she can prevent a tragic death. Until the final note makes her think she's too late."

This is a book that I couldn't put down until I finished because I just had to figure it out. And once you do, it's like mind-blown and I did NOT see the twist coming. 
This book is genius, I tell you. Pure Genius. I'm pretty sure it's actually a children's chapter book so I finished it rather quickly. Do yourself a favor and read this book. You won't be disappointed. 

The Marked Men Series
 (read in picture order)

Synopsis for Rule:
"Shaw Landon loved Rule Archer from the moment she laid eyes on him. Rule is everything a straight--A pre-med student like Shaw shouldn’t want--and the only person she’s never tried to please. She isn’t afraid of his scary piercings and tattoos or his wild attitude. Though she knows that Rule is wrong for her, her heart just won’t listen.

To a rebel like Rule Archer, Shaw Landon is a stuck-up, perfect princess-and his dead twin brother’s girl. She lives by other people’s rules; he makes his own. He doesn’t have time for a good girl like Shaw-even if she’s the only one who can see the person he truly is.

But a short skirt, too many birthday cocktails, and spilled secrets lead to a night neither can forget. Now, Shaw and Rule have to figure out how a girl like her and a guy like him are supposed to be together without destroying their love . . . or each other"

I'd recommend this series for anyone who loves a good love story. They're hot and sexy but also pretty darn romantic and I like really Jay's style of writing. These are easy reads that require no thought. Rule (#1 in the series) is by far my favorite out of the three I've read (there are 4 out now, and two more coming soon) with Rome being my second fav. I've added the fourth Nash onto my continuously-growing 'To Read' list.

Fahrenheit 451

Guy Montag is a fireman. In his world, where television rules and literature is on the brink of extinction, firemen start fires rather than put them out. His job is to destroy the most illegal of commodities, the printed book, along with the houses in which they are hidden.

"Montag never questions the destruction and ruin his actions produce, returning each day to his bland life and wife, Mildred, who spends all day with her television “family.” But then he meets an eccentric young neighbor, Clarisse, who introduces him to a past where people didn’t live in fear and to a present where one sees the world through the ideas in books instead of the mindless chatter of television.

When Mildred attempts suicide and Clarisse suddenly disappears, Montag begins to question everything he has ever known. He starts hiding books in his home, and when his pilfering is discovered, the fireman has to run for his life."

I never had to read this in school, but I've been told I really need to read it. They were right, it is a fantastic book. I actually added this to my top 5 favorite books of all time I liked it so much...haha!
There's not much to say, except that if you've never read this book before...READ IT!
I absolutely love Ray Bradbury and his writing style and I loved the little note he wrote at the end of the book. 
This is a classic book that I think everyone should read at some point in their lives!

Beautiful Disaster/Walking Disaster

Synopsis for Beautiful Disaster:
"The new Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate number of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance from the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University’s Walking One-Night Stand. 

Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby wants—and needs—to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the ultimate college campus charmer. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his appeal, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis’s apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match."

I just finished this series and liked it. It had some major plot holes for me that I felt weren't cleared up which kinda bothered me. But it's a cute romance love story and the characters will stay with me, nonetheless.
Once again, these are easy reads that require no thought but still are entertaining. Walking Disaster got a bit redundant at times because it is just retelling the story from the guy's point of view, but I still enjoyed peeking into his brain and feelings during the story.
  I'm hopefully going to finish the rest of the series (Beautiful Wedding and Beautiful Oblivion) soon!

Looking For Alaska

"Before. Miles “Pudge” Halter is done with his safe life at home. His whole life has been one big non-event, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave “the Great Perhaps” even more (Francois Rabelais, poet). He heads off to the sometimes crazy and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young. She is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart. Then. . . .

After. Nothing is ever the same."

You know my summer wouldn't be complete without a little John Green, would it?
Once again, I've fallen in love with another one of his novels. It's brilliant and witty and funny and heartbreaking. I love this one for its own reasons, but it's my third favorite out of the three John Green novels I've read. (TFIOS, Paper Towns and LOA) 
Oh, and if you've read it and wondering my opinion about "IT" (if you've read it you'll know what I'm talking about)  I feel though it wasn't planned, but still a spur-of-the-moment choice
Let me know what your thoughts are...I ask everyone who has read it because I love hearing the different opinions on it. 

Beautifully Broken Series
(read in picture order)

Synopsis for If You Stay:
"Twenty-four-year-old Pax Tate is an asshole. Seriously. He's a tattooed, rock-hard bad boy with a tough attitude to match. His mother died when Pax was seven, leaving a hole in his heart filled with an intense guilt that he doesn't understand. What he does know is that he and his dad were left alone, and they have never been close. Now, he uses drugs and women to cope with the black void in his soul. He pretends that the emptiness isn't there and this has always worked . . . until he meets Mila.

Sweet, beautiful Mila Hill is the fresh air that Pax has never known in his life. He doesn't know how to not hurt her-but he quickly realizes that he'd better figure it out because he needs her to breathe. When the memories of his mother's death resurface to haunt Pax, Mila is there to save him from his overwhelming guilt. Mila restores his broken heart, even as she evokes his powerful, sexual desires. Now for Pax to keep Mila, he needs to work on his issues-and stop being an asshole. But is that enough to make her stay?"

This series is also a good, cheesy romance with excellent no-brainer love stories. I'd recommend these if you need a good, easy read! 
I loved If You Stay and fell in more love with the second book, If You Leave. I'm pretty sure I need a Gabe in my life ;) 
Then I read the sample of Before We Fall and decided that that relationship was too broken for me...haha. It was just a little too raunchy for me, but my friend who read it filled me in on what I missed so I skipped to Until We Fly. I liked the first two the most and enjoyed the fourth. I'm kinda curious now about the third so I will probably just end up finishing it anyway. ;)

Flat Out Love

"He was tall, at least six feet, with dirty blond hair that hung over his eyes. His T-shirt read Nietzsche Is My Homeboy.
So, that was Matt.  Who Julie Seagle likes. A lot.  But there is also Finn.  Who she flat out loves.
Complicated? Awkward?  Completely.
But really, how was this freshly-minted Boston transplant and newbie college freshman supposed to know that she would end up living with the family of an old friend of her mother's? This was all supposed to be temporary.  Julie wasn't supposed to be important to the Watkins family, or to fall in love with one of the brothers.  Especially the one she's never quite met. But what does that really matter?  Finn gets her, like no one ever has before. They have connection.
But here's the thing about love, in all its twisty, bumpy permutations—it always throws you a few curves.  And no one ever escapes unscathed."

I loved this! It was a nice light read that had me guessing the entire way though. Another book that I couldn't put it down because I just had to figure out. It has a twist...which I kinda saw coming, but it was still awesome either way. It's a good, heart-warming read that had me laughing and wiping a few tears here and there. 
I just found out there are two other novels in the series: Flat Out Celeste and Flat Out Matt, which I am totally adding onto my list. 

What books have you been reading this summer? Any I should add onto my list?

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