Saturday, May 31, 2014

Monthly Wrap Up — April & May

So some of you may have noticed (hopefully someone noticed) there was no monthly wrap up at the end of April. That is the result of finals week, my friend. College was hard. I use "was" because I GRADUATED! I literally have never been happier about a single event in my life. So I'm combining the two into what you will see below, and I'll attempt to go in order, though I can't promise anything. :)



That was a lot of books for two months! I have recently been on a reading rampage, too, so there should be a lot more coming your way!

In Case You Missed It

These past two months I also talked about rereading books, how I feel about recent movie adaptations, participated in Rock the Drop 2014 (and even made a video!), and shared an opinionated piece on swearing in books
I'm also currently in Florida! I got a college internship working for Disney World! I was placed on Main Street, USA in Magic Kingdom working in some of the shops! It's been exhausting going through training, but a lot of fun so far, and I'm very excited for the next 8 months. 

Friday, May 30, 2014

Withering Tights

Withering Tights by Louise Rennison
Publication Date: July 8, 2011
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 351
Keywords: theatre, england, romance
Format Read: library book
Get It: Book Depository
Picture the scene: Dother Hall performing arts college somewhere Up North, surrounded by rolling dales, bearded cheesemaking villagers (male and female) and wildlife of the squirrely-type. On the whole, it’s not quite the showbiz experience Tallulah was expecting… but once her mates turn up and they start their ‘FAME! I’m gonna liiiiive foreeeeeever, I’m gonna fill my tiiiiights’ summer course things are bound to perk up.
Especially when the boys arrive. (When DO the boys arrive?)

Six weeks of parent-free freedom. BOY freedom. Freedom of expression… cos it’s the THEATRE dahling, the theatre!
I picked the British cover because I thought it was so cute! And I've read Louise Rennison's Georgia series (it holds a special place in my heart, and I love them so much). So I found this whole series at the library (before I left for Florida) and got them all. I got through the first two and a half before I had to turn them back in because I was leaving.

They were younger than I expected they would be, but it was still so funny to get a first-hand account of how to make one's corkers (boobs) larger and the spastic dancing around the tree. Rennison delivered once again with a hilariously written book series, and I was never once bored while reading.

The best part about the books are the world-building and character development. All the characters were so realistic, I could easily relate to them and believe they were truly romping around the forest behaving like lunatics. I also loved that Tallulah was not necessarily the most talented in the bunch, she was known for her comedy mustache (courtesy of her cousin Georgia) and falling at inappropriate times. It was a wonderful representation of how literally all 14-year-olds feel, and even as she got older in the following books, she still was awkward and clumsy and very real for a book character.

Read When: You're looking for a laugh. Like, a real, genuine, belly laugh from some ridiculous characters and plot lines. But they'll leave you wanting more.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Reboot

Reboot by Amy Tintera
Publication Date: May 7, 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 365
Keywords: dystopia, military, rebellion
Format Read: library book
Get It: Book Depository
Five years ago, Wren Connolly was shot three times in the chest. After 178 minutes she came back as a Reboot: stronger, faster, able to heal, and less emotional. The longer Reboots are dead, the less human they are when they return. Wren 178 is the deadliest Reboot in the Republic of Texas. Now seventeen years old, she serves as a soldier for HARC (Human Advancement and Repopulation Corporation).
Wren’s favorite part of the job is training new Reboots, but her latest newbie is the worst she’s ever seen. As a 22, Callum Reyes is practically human. His reflexes are too slow, he’s always asking questions, and his ever-present smile is freaking her out. Yet there’s something about him she can’t ignore. When Callum refuses to follow an order, Wren is given one last chance to get him in line—or she’ll have to eliminate him. Wren has never disobeyed before and knows if she does, she’ll be eliminated, too. But she has also never felt as alive as she does around Callum.
The perfect soldier is done taking orders.
I grabbed this at the library back during finals week (hallelujah, still can't believe I'm done with school!), and then I saw that EpicReads was doing a re-read-along with this book, so I jumped right in, and it was a lot of fun meeting new people reading the same book that I was. Of course, it was my first time through, so I was coming at this totally new. And man, was I hooked.

One of the biggest things that struck me was the difference between the Reboots' numbers. The lower numbers were dead for less time than the higher numbers, so they were considered more human. And the book easily could have been from the point of view of a more human reboot. But it was from the highest number, the one that was supposed to be far from human. And I loved that.

I didn't get why now, all the sudden, Wren was okay making some of the decisions she did. It never made much sense to me, but actually, I was kind of okay with it. It didn't bother me too much because the story was so good anyway that I could easily move past it.

The best thing was by far the world-building. Everything was planned out, I had no questions about how the society or government worked (I mean, everything was dreary and sad, but it was well-explained), and the character development was spot-on. I knew everyone's personalities well, and I felt like these characters were real and human (even though they are considered not to be). There were multiple issues within the plot going on at once, but it never felt overbearing or like too much. In fact, everything blended together and moved the book along so well that I finished it in about two days.

Read When: This is one of those that you should go get now. It was really good. Like, I am about to go order the second one from Barnes and Noble because I want it so much. Cliffhangers are great, but I HATE THEM.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Great

Great by Sara Benincasa
Publication Date: April 8, 2014
Publisher: Harper Teen
Pages: 263
Keywords: summer, family, parties
Format Read: library book
Get It: Book Depository
Everyone loves a good scandal.
Naomi Rye usually dreads spending the summer with her socialite mother in East Hampton. This year is no different. She sticks out like a sore thumb among the teenagers who have been summering (a verb only the very rich use) together for years. But Naomi finds herself captivated by her mysterious next-door neighbor, Jacinta. Jacinta has her own reason for drawing close to Naomi-to meet the beautiful and untouchable Delilah Fairweather. But Jacinta's carefully constructed world is hiding something huge, a secret that could undo everything. And Naomi must decide how far she is willing to be pulled into this web of lies and deception before she is unable to escape.
Based on a beloved classic and steeped in Sara Benincasa's darkly comic voice, Great has all the drama, glitz, and romance with a terrific modern (and scandalous) twist to enthrall readers.
Honestly, by the time I found this at the library and read it, I had completely forgotten it was a retelling of The Great Gatsby. And I think it was better that way. Obviously, it's not written as classic literary fiction. It's not meant to. And I think that was where a lot of people were getting hung up with the story, was because they wanted it to be this big, revolutionary novel like the original. Come on, people. This is YA book (a really good one, at that) that is telling it's own story that similarly parallels that of Fitzgerald's book. That's pretty much it.

That said, I loved the premise of the whole thing. I loved that Naomi was a reluctant Hampton-er, and it took a lot to even get her to the house, let alone to play along with everything her mother had set up for her once there. I really wanted to know more about Jacinta, but, like Gatsby, that's the point of his character non-development. To be this big mysterious person who turns out to be just like everyone else, but I still wanted more and felt like I didn't get enough. So it was really well done that Jacinta was annoyingly mysterious and puzzling. Her relationships with Naomi and Delilah were also super interesting and totally believable. There wasn't a moment in this book that the characters felt unrealistic or out of place. And while I have never been to the Hamptons, I still saw every action as something that would happen.

And I want to talk about hate. How much I love to hate characters that are super hate-able. And there was one in here. I loved him mainly because I wanted to rip his eyeballs out.

I was also surprised by courses of events, mainly I think because I forgot the book was a retelling of Gatsby, but it was still really well done for a book's plot, and I enjoyed the way the plot took the reader, in all sorts of different and interesting directions. And then once I realized, I saw the end coming, which made it that much better/horrifying and I found myself not wanting to turn the pages because I knew what was going to happen, but I couldn't stop myself.

Read When: Honestly, this is an excellent pool-side read, and I would go grab it before the summer is over. Now is prime time.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Reshelved (3)

This is the third installment of books I didn't finish. I don't like to do full posts because it's not fair to the book for me to not like it and review it if I didn't finish it. So these just weren't for me, but I still want to give them publicity because maybe you all read them and thought differently or they sound spectacular to you.

The Break-Up Artist by Phillip Siegel
Publication Date: April 29, 2014
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pages: 336
Keywords: contemporary, romance, high school
Format Read: ARC from publisher (thank you!)
Get It: Book Depository
Some sixteen-year-olds babysit for extra cash. Some work at the Gap. Becca Williamson breaks up couples. 


After watching her sister get left at the altar, Becca knows the true damage that comes when people utter the dreaded L-word. For just $100 via PayPal, she can trick and manipulate any couple into smithereens. With relationship zombies overrunning her school, and treating single girls like second class citizens, business is unfortunately booming. Even her best friend Val has resorted to outright lies to snag a boyfriend.
One night, she receives a mysterious offer to break up the homecoming king and queen, the one zombie couple to rule them all: Steve and Huxley. They are a JFK and Jackie O in training, masters of sweeping faux-mantic gestures, but if Becca can split them up, then school will be safe again for singletons. To succeed, she'll have to plan her most elaborate scheme to date and wiggle her way back into her former BFF Huxley’s life – not to mention start a few rumors, sabotage some cell phones, break into a car, and fend off the inappropriate feelings she’s having about Val’s new boyfriend. All while avoiding a past victim out to expose her true identity.
Why I Put It Down:
I read a lot of this one. I loved the premise. The idea of someone breaking up couples for money? Sounds really interesting, and I was totally on board. But the further in I got, the more ridiculous and idiotic everyone was acting. And I'm not one to quit a book for unlikeable main characters. But this whole book featured people "falling in love" in 3 days, and seriously cheesy dialogue that wasn't at all believable. And Becca basically threw all her morals and beliefs down the drain super quickly, and I didn't buy any of what was happening. I made it to page 285 before I realized that the book was putting me in a reading slump, and I just didn't want to do it anymore.

Camp Boyfriend by J. K. Rock
Publication Date: July 2, 2013
Publisher: Spencer Hill Contemporary
Pages: 324
Keywords: high school, camp, summer
Format Read: eARC via NetGalley
Get It: Book Depository
The summer of her dreams is about to get a reality check.
They said it couldn't be done, but geeky sophomore Lauren Carlson transformed herself into a popular girl after moving to a new school halfway across the country. Amazing what losing her braces and going out for cheerleading will do. Only trouble is, the popular crowd is wearing on Lauren's nerves and she can't wait to return to summer camp where she's valued for her brain instead of her handsprings. She misses her old friends and most of all, her long time camp-only boyfriend, Seth. This year she intends to upgrade their relationship to year-round status once she's broken up with her new, jock boyfriend, Matt. He doesn't even begin to know the real her, a girl fascinated by the night sky who dreams of discovering new planets and galaxies.
But Matt isn't giving her up without a fight. As he makes his case to stay together, Lauren begins to realize his feelings run deeper than she ever would have guessed. What if the guy she thought she was meant to be with forever isn't really The One? Returning to Camp Juniper Point was supposed to ground her uprooted life, but she's more adrift than ever. Everything feels different and soon Lauren's friends are turning on her and both guys question what she really wants. As summer tensions escalate, Lauren wonders if she's changed more than she thought. Will her first big discovery be herself?
Why I Put It Down:
There's no one who loves camp books more than me (okay, there might be, but I'm definitely in the top percentile on this one). I went to camp for 8 years in a row and then was a camp counselor at same said camp. Now I have a tattoo of the tree from the camp logo on my foot. I really love camp. It's such a cool place. So naturally, I love camp books a lot. This one failed to deliver. I got to 23% before I called it quits. The book jumps in so I felt like there was a book before it and I missed a gigantic chunk of the story. It kind of assumes you know a lot about what's going on and who people are, so I was trying to play catch up right from the very beginning. And the suspension of disbelief was way too high for the beginning of a book. None of what was happening seemed believable — the instalove, the ridiculous break ups, and the whole dynamic of how the characters interacted.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Strange Gift of Gwendolyn Golden

The Strange Gift of Gwendolyn Golden by Philippa Dowding
Publication Date: February 18, 2014
Publisher: Dundurn
Pages: 200
Keywords: coming-of-age, family, growing up
Format Read: eARC via NetGalley
Get It: Book Depository
This morning, she woke up on the ceiling. So begins the strange story of Gwendolyn Golden. One perfectly ordinary day for no apparent reason, she wakes up floating around her room like one of her little brother’s Batman balloons.
Puberty is weird enough. Everyone already thinks she’s an oddball with anger issues because her father vanished in a mysterious storm one night when she was six. Then there are the mean, false rumours people are spreading about her at school. On top of all that, now she’s a flying freak.
How can she tell her best friend or her mother? How can she live her life? After Gwendolyn almost meets disaster flying too high and too fast one night, help arrives from the most unexpected place. And stranger still? She’s not alone.
After reading the description (you know I do that after I read the book, not before), this book exceeds that description quite a bit. It sounds extremely juvenile in that blurb, but it's not the case with this book. While the age group was on the younger side (think before puberty), it was still a pretty cute and well-written book for that younger age.

Not only does Gwen have to worry about fitting in in middle school and dealing with her first party (and first crush), she's also got this problem of just floating randomly and not being able to control it. We don't actually know that people think she's an oddball with anger issues (I actually didn't get that at all), until something happens in the book, and then I think she has every right to be angry.

It moved along pretty quickly (I think a little more backstory on the character and what happened to her family in the past would have been helpful, it was kind of confusing when things were revealed), and the book overall had a nice pacing and cute quality to it.

Read When: This would be one I would buy for my younger cousins as they're growing up and getting ready to turn 10. It had that great early reader quality to it with a little bit of meaning that I think would be a really good one for that age group to read.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Book Swearing

*Warning*
I am an opinionated person. This is a blog. With opinions. And swearing.
If you don't want that, you may want to find another post.

:)

Something that's plagued me for a while:

Swearing in books.

I understand it may not be for everyone, but I recently stumbled onto a blog that put down books like Eleanor & Park, We Were Liars, The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August (which I'm reading now and it's extremely good), Gone Girl, and a bunch more that I won't list because it made me extremely upset to see how many good books were on this list.
And the reason this person put down all these books?
Swearing.





This person said they were sad to not "be able" to finish the books because they were good and the person was enjoying them, but they couldn't stand the swearing in them.

Really?

You are perfectly "able" to finish them. You're electing not to. If you're going to make decisions, don't blame it on the author/book. It's your choice.

Is this a thing that bothers people? Maybe I just never realized it?

But moving on, it doesn't seem like a thing that should be a reason (the only reason) to put a book down. They are just words made of letters that we all use. You're not hearing them out loud, you're not saying them. No one is requiring you to like it. But individuals that are not you use these words in every day language (*raises hand*), and you can't make them stop using them.

After all, isn't the point of writing to be able to express oneself without reservation? To tell a story about a character who may or may not swear, but that character should be free to do so no matter what? Because it's their decision, and it's the author's decision to let them?

This just seems like a crazy reason to put down a book to me, and I was so frustrated that so many good and thought-provoking and wonderful books and writers were on this list.

And that's the fucking truth.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Frozen

Frozen by Erin Bowman
Publication Date: April 15, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 368
Keywords: dystopia, rebellion, apocalypse
Format Read: ARC won from A Good Addiction (thanks!)
Other Books Read by Author: Taken
Get It: Book Depository
The Heists were only the beginning.
Gray Weathersby escaped from the primitive town of Claysoot expecting to find answers, but what he discovered shook him to the core: A ruthless dictator with absolute power. An army of young soldiers blinded by lies. And a growing rebellion determined to fight back.
Now Gray has joined a team of rebels on a harsh, icy journey in search of allies who can help them set things right. But in a world built on lies, Gray must constantly question whether any ally—or enemy—is truly what they seem.
I'm going to start with the covers and how I got to reading these. Last year, I had seen a ton of hype for Taken, and the cover was absolutely gorgeous, and I knew I had to get my hands on it. I did, and I liked it enough. It held my interest enough, and I defended Gray because apparently he wasn't a likeable main character, but I thought that was dumb, and I enjoyed him.

So when I saw the cover for Frozen I was still reasonably excited to read it. And then I started. This book put me in a pretty bad reading slump. And I feel like I'm the only one. I'm glad a lot of people liked it, there's nothing I hate more than not liking a book, but I will always be honest. This one didn't do it for me. It took me forever to read it because I found myself not wanting to read it, and the plot seemed all disjointed and confusing, in addition to the characters behaving strangely.

In the last one, there was the whole love triangle situation, which I'm not a big fan of anyway, but this one just seemed to get worse. I didn't like either of the girls and couldn't pick a team to root for, and ended up just being mad at Gray for liking either of them when they both treated him like shit.

There was a lot of info-dumping for the world-building parts, and I got bored and confused with it and feel like I missed a lot. But I wasn't interested enough to really go back and try to figure it out. Because why would I? And even moving further into the book, there was the BIG THING that happens that's supposed to be shocking, and yes, I was surprised, but not emotionally invested or like, truly deep-down shocked. I kind of shrugged and thought, "At least I'm closer to the end." Which is not how I want to feel about a book at all.

Sadly, I will not be on the lookout for the third installment. Just not my taste.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Friday Book Drinks: Mixing it up at the Derby

Okay, yes, I realize the Kentucky Derby happened already. This would have been a perfect post for last Friday. But you see, finals week happened and it's my senior year. Oh wait. I'M FINISHED WITH SCHOOL FOREVER! Commence celebratory happy dance, John Green style.

In celebration, and because it's Friday, and because I missed all the Derby and Oaks celebrations (here's why the Oaks race is better than the Derby, plus some other funny Louisville stuff), my Friday Book Drinks this week is a mint julep paired with Jennifer Echols' Love Story.

Mint juleps are one of my favorite drinks because BOURBON (see article linked above), and this is just a really classy way to drink it. Plus, they're only made at Churchill Downs for Derby specifically. I mean, you can technically make them whenever, and they serve them at the Oaks, but it's a special seasonal drink that's iconically Derby.


Other than the obvious reason that it's for horse racing and Kentucky (okay, that's really the whole basis for my reasoning on this one), it's just a super classy drink that I also envision writers (and on occasion experience myself) sipping casually while working on their stories. The main character in the book is a writing major entering college, and a lot of what takes place is about writing. There are also stories written by her intermittently throughout the book. The whole thing exudes Kentucky, and I really enjoyed it. 

Here's how to make your own mint julep. If you are under 21 or just don't like alcohol, I recommend substituting ginger ale for the bourbon and adding a touch of lemon juice just to spice it up a little more.

Cooking note: heat up the sugar and water together and it helps it dissolve much better. Don't burn it, just heat it a little bit.

Image sources via and via.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Here and Now

The Here and Now by Ann Brashares
Publication Date: April 8, 2014
Publisher: Random House
Pages: 288
Keywords: time travel, forbidden love, supernatural
Format Read: eARC via NetGalley
Get It: Book Depository
Other Books Reviewed: 3 Willows
Follow the rules. Remember what happened. Never fall in love.
This is the story of seventeen-year-old Prenna James, who immigrated to New York when she was twelve. Except Prenna didn’t come from a different country. She came from a different time—a future where a mosquito-borne illness has mutated into a pandemic, killing millions and leaving the world in ruins.
Prenna and the others who escaped to the present day must follow a strict set of rules: never reveal where they’re from, never interfere with history, and never, ever be intimate with anyone outside their community. Prenna does as she’s told, believing she can help prevent the plague that will one day ravage the earth.
But everything changes when Prenna falls for Ethan Jarves.
I want to start by saying I adore this cover. I want the face to be a little more obscured because I don't like people on the covers of my books, but this is still a really great cover to a book.

I really wanted this to be a cool, futuristic, quality sci-fi book. It fell short of that, but it wasn't bad. I want to clarify that at the beginning. I did enjoy this book, it was just not what I expected and/or wanted out of this, and my criticism comes from it not being as science heavy as I wanted it to be.

Though the story did contain a reasonable need for suspension of disbelief. Other than the time traveling part. Prenna's whole world basically died because of some sort of mosquito plague, but we don't get any sortof explanation as to how it happened, or why people died, or why these 1000 people or so were chosen to switch times, or anything about their society. This is where the science-y part came in. I really, truly wanted to know about it, and I was frustrated because of things. I'm going to talk about those in the next paragraph.

So instead of the sci-fi stuff that I wanted, the majority of the book was focused around Prenna and Ethan's forbidden love. Barf. I mean, okay, she's cute, and I get that Ethan likes her. But he didn't recognize her from before (there's a thing that happens at the beginning of the novel) and she just shows up and doesn't talk and you're convinced you're in love with her? Please. But whatever, fine. It's just frustrating when it's another teen couple thinking they can suspend all the rules of their society because TRUE LOVE.

I mostly just wanted this to be a cool, kick ass, sci-fi future story, and instead, found myself reading a sappy romance with some sort of time travel stuff in the background. It needed to be flip flopped in my opinion.

Read When: If you are the type of person who loves the instalove and love triumphs all, by all means, this is the book for you. But if you're in the mood for a sci-fi time-travel, I'd recommend something else.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Marie Antoinette: Serial Killer

Marie Antoinette: Serial Killer by Katie Alender
Publication Date: September 24, 2013
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Pages: 304
Keywords: murder, popularity, travel
Format Read: eARC via NetGalley
Get It: Book Depository
Colette Iselin is excited to go to Paris on a class trip. She’ll get to soak up the beauty and culture, and maybe even learn something about her family’s French roots.
But a series of gruesome murders are taking place across the city, putting everyone on edge. And as she tours museums and palaces, Colette keeps seeing a strange vision: a pale woman in a ball gown and powdered wig, who looks suspiciously like Marie Antoinette.
Colette knows her popular, status-obsessed friends won’t believe her, so she seeks out the help of a charming French boy. Together, they uncover a shocking secret involving a dark, hidden history. When Colette realizes she herself may hold the key to the mystery, her own life is suddenly in danger.
I remember being excited for this one when it actually came out, and it got buried under my never-ending pile that is my NetGalley downloads. So when I had a break in classes, it seemed like something fun that I could break up the time with. Sadly, I was pretty disappointed.

It started off kind of confusing, but I grasped what was going on. There was a flash scene separate from the rest of the book about the first murder, and then it went into the story. The main issue I had with this plot is that it felt like it was trying to do too many things with one story. The murder mystery I could handle. It was campy and fun and I was totally behind it.

But there were two other whole things going on that I thought brought in way too much. There was an element that the main character was friends with the popular crowd, and trying to realize who her true friends were, etc. Then there was also a thing with her family who were in for about 4 pages at the beginning and then kept making references to later on. It was weird because we didn't know them, but the MC kept thinking things like "I should be better to my brother" and moral stuff like that, but it was weird since we had no concept of her relationship with him before.

Also the instalove. I mean, it wasn't terrible or anything. But there was a considerable suspension of disbelief required. Like, the teacher just turned a blind eye to her high school student buddying up with their tour guide? Please.

It just seemed written for an incredibly juvenile crowd and strayed in too many different directions all at once. Not terrible, and the book still made sense, and I finished it, but by no means was it one of my favorites.

Read When: If you really want to, read it on a plane ride or something where you have nothing else to do. Otherwise, not really one I would recommend at all.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Dangerous Girls

Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas
Publication Date: July 16, 2013
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: 388
Keywords: murder, mystery, vacation
Format Read: Hardcover from publisher (thank you!)
Get It: Book Depository
It's Spring Break of senior year. Anna, her boyfriend Tate, her best friend Elise, and a few other close friends are off to a debaucherous trip to Aruba that promises to be the time of their lives. But when Elise is found brutally murdered, Anna finds herself trapped in a country not her own, fighting against vile and contemptuous accusations.
As Anna sets out to find her friend's killer; she discovers hard truths about her friendships, the slippery nature of truth, and the ache of young love.

THIS BOOK.

Those are pretty much my feels. And it's been like a month since I actually finished it (Sorry, I've been super behind on reviewing due to my impending GRADUATION FROM COLLEGE in like, 8 days. ACK!)

This book started off intriguing, and I'm realizing more and more I love the rich, party-type, pretentious family books. I'm so not that in real life, and I generally hate those people. But it's so much fun to read about! (i.e., We Were Liars and Great, which I just finished) And it begins with a bang, with a big murder and not knowing what's going on.

From there we move to a series of flash backs and what's happening in present time, so you learn a little bit as you go, and I flew through this book simply because I needed more. I couldn't stand it, and it was written in such a way that gave the exact right amount of information at the right time to peak my interest a ton and make me not want to put the book down ever.

I loved the narrator, she had a ton of personality and flaws, and I liked that she was so human. She's desperate because she's stuck in a foreign country in jail with no one to turn to, and she narrates so well with such a good voice.

I was also pointing fingers like crazy. Seriously, like every other page, I was thinking, "OMG IT WAS (insert any character's name here)!" And then the BIG THING and by the end I was speechless. Like, it was one of those times I shut the book and was confused at how life was still moving because THIS BOOK.

Read When: It's a great summer read, but also really good for a late-night binge session. Begin after dinner. Stay up until 4 reading. And you won't know how to continue functioning, but it's great.