Review: P. S. I Still Love You (To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before #2) by Jenny Han

Book Title: P. S. I Still Love You
Author: Jenny Han
Published Date: May 26th, 2015
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Genre: YA Contemporary 
Series: Book Two in To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before duology
Book Link: Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Lara Jean didn’t expect to really fall for Peter.
She and Peter were just pretending. Except suddenly they weren’t. Now Lara Jean is more confused than ever.
When another boy from her past returns to her life, Lara Jean’s feelings for him return too. Can a girl be in love with two boys at once?

In this charming and heartfelt sequel to the New York Times bestseller To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, we see first love through the eyes of the unforgettable Lara Jean. Love is never easy, but maybe that’s part of what makes it so amazing.

Disclaimer: Library book.

Review:
I feel so conflicted about this book guys. I mean, I absolutely LOVED To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, so I had every reason to believe that I would feel the same about P. S. I Still Love You. I’m utterly conflicted because while I enjoyed a lot of the book, I didn’t feel the same way about this one as I had in the first one.

Lara Jean was maddening in a lot of the book this time around. Sometimes she would be really awesome and mature and then sometimes she would show exactly how sheltered she had been for so long. 

She seemed to not think very highly of herself as a person and that really showed when she obsessed about Peter’s ex, Genevieve and the fact that she had bigger boobs and the fact that Gen and Peter had had sex before. Lara Jean seemed so hung up on the sex thing even though Peter never even mentioned it until she did. It was obvious to me that she wondered why Peter was with her.

Peter wasn’t entirely blameless himself though. Look I have no issues with exes being friends as long as there are boundaries set in place. Peter clearly had issues establishing boundaries with Gen and it was infuriating and I felt bad for poor Lara Jean. She was trying so hard in the relationship, but it didn’t feel like Peter was trying as hard as he could have. Yes, as it turns out Gen was having family problems, but Peter shouldn’t have been her confidant anymore.

It was the adult characters that really struck a chord with me this time around. Stormy and Alicia and Mrs. Rothschild all had words of wisdom for the often naive Lara Jean.
“You’ll go about your day and you will miss him at first, but over time it will ease.” -Alicia

I think it was really important for Lara Jean to hear this because despite the fact the breakup was Peter’s fault, she was definitely hurting a lot and I hurt for her. She needed to know she wouldn’t always feel so sad.

Her dad was also very important in this book. While she was dealing with some craziness, she along with her older sister, Margot & younger sister, Kitty, were trying to set their dad up on dates. They didn’t want him to be alone. 
I do wish there had been more sister stuff, but I still loved Margot and Kitty to death. I loved how they were when some stuff happened and poor Lara Jean was freaking out. They supported her without question.

He also had some insights about love that he shared with his middle daughter.

“It’ll get easier, I promise. Peter Kavinsky isn’t the only boy in the world.” -Dad
“I just don’t want to hurt like this ever again.” -Lara Jean
“There’s no way to protect yourself against heartbreak Lara Jean. That’s just part of life.” -Dad

I actually really loved John, and I kept hoping that something would happen between Lara Jean and John. Not while she was with Peter of course, because cheating makes my skin crawl, but after they break up. Lara Jean was different with John, less aggravating, and I liked that a lot. They seemed to be a better fit.
Overall, I enjoyed this book. I didn’t like Lara Jean as much as I did in book one, and I heartily disliked Peter in this book. I am going to give it 4 stars because there was a lot of friendship stuff in there which I loved. I would recommend this book only if you are patient because Lara Jean really drove me crazy through a good chunk of this book.

Review: Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

Book Title: Jellicoe Road
Author: Melina Marchetta
Published Date: March 9th, 2010
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Mystery
Standalone
Book Link: Goodreads
Purchase Links: AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository

Synopsis from Goodreads:
I’m dreaming of the boy in the tree. I tell him stories. About the Jellicoe School and the Townies and the Cadets from a school in Sydney. I tell him about the war between us for territory. And I tell him about Hannah, who lives in the unfinished house by the river. Hannah, who is too young to be hiding away from the world. Hannah, who found me on the Jellicoe Road six years ago.

Taylor is leader of the boarders at the Jellicoe School. She has to keep the upper hand in the territory wars and deal with Jonah Griggs – the enigmatic leader of the cadets, and someone she thought she would never see again.

And now Hannah, the person Taylor had come to rely on, has disappeared. Taylor’s only clue is a manuscript about five kids who lived in Jellicoe eighteen years ago. She needs to find out more, but this means confronting her own story, making sense of her strange, recurring dream, and finding her mother – who abandoned her on the Jellicoe Road.

The moving, joyous and brilliantly compelling new novel from the best-selling, multi-award-winning author of Looking for Alibrandi and Saving Francesca.

Disclaimer: Library book.

Review:
To be honest, I don’t know if I am going to be able to keep this review in any kind of order. This book was indescribable in the best way possible. I had already DNFed it once before, but on the advice of Bekka, a blogger and one of my favorite people, I decided to give it another chance to dazzle me.

And it did dazzle me.

Normally I am not very patient, so the idea that I had to read 125+ pages before I really got into it, initially turned me off. I mean that’s a long time to read something before it gets really good. A lot of people don’t want to wait that long and I totally understand that. But with Jellicoe Road, it is so worth it.

There were two major storylines that were going on and then there were several other subplots. I was never sure how it would all play out, but I’m thrilled how it actually played out. I was a bit confused by the storylines and the subplots at first, but I finally was able to sort them out in my head. The secondary characters were every bit as fascinating as the main characters. Very rarely does that happen, so I was excited to see this.

JONAH GRIGGS! I think I fell in love with this guy quicker than I’ve ever fallen in love with any other book boy. He was hilariously funny one minute, and then sweet and kind to Taylor in the next minute. He wasn’t perfect of course, but he was pretty damn awesome. I now understand why everyone was always telling me about this guy.

I want to keep talking and talking about this book, but I have to be careful as so much of it could be considered spoilery. Make sure you have buckets of tissues for the ending because you will use them a lot in the final 50 or so pages. I wish I could give it the full 5 stars, but since it took so long to really get into it, I’ll be giving it 4.5 stars.  I recommend this book to everyone.

Review: The Cellar (The Cellar #1) by Natasha Preston

The Cellar (The Cellar #1)
Book Title: The Cellar 
Author: Natasha Preston
Published Date: March 1st, 2014
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Genre: YA Contemporary
Series: Book One in The Cellar duology
Book Link: Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Nothing ever happens in the town of Long Thorpe – that is, until sixteen-year-old Summer Robinson disappears without a trace. No family or police investigation can track her down. Spending months inside the cellar of her kidnapper with several other girls, Summer learns of Colin’s abusive past, and his thoughts of his victims being his family…his perfect, pure flowers. But flowers can’t survive long cut off from the sun, and time is running out….

Disclaimer: Library book.

Review:
I was sure I’d love this book. It looked like it was straight out of a script from Law and Order: SVU. I looove crime shows, always have.  So I was excited about this book from the start. Plus the cover was perfect.

Unfortunately this book bored the heck out of me. I couldn’t get into it. I normally love the creepy books, but this psychopath was anything but exciting and interesting. In fact his supposed reasons for murder, rape & kidnapping were so overdone, I was bored. He did all this crappy stuff to protect women from the dangers of the real world. He wanted to keep girls pure, and that’s why he kept girls in his cellar, and named them after flowers.

His mom had been cheated on, and so Clover/Colin, whatever the hell he was called, felt the need to murder the “other women” His mother loved flowers so that was another reason why he named them Lily, Violet, Rose & Poppy. He considered them “his family” His perfect, pure and whole family. It didn’t matter to him that Summer/Lily came from a loving family. What mattered was that she was “allowed” to walk alone in the dark at night.

Summer herself was exasperating. I could not understand why she thought it was a good idea to walk alone in the dark. I was pissed at her boyfriend for not insisting that he come with her. Of course I’m not blaming her for what happened to her, and I’m also not blaming Lewis, her boyfriend. 

The pacing was very jerky. Sometimes it would be intense and mildly fascinating, and other times it was boring and uninteresting. I wasn’t excited about picking it up, and in fact I got really excited when I got to put it down. The editing was pretty crappy, and if I had to see one more exclamation point, I was going to scream. The author used an abundance of them, usually when it was completely pointless.

I was hoping for a creepy, bone chilling, thrilling ride. What I got was a predictable story with unlikeable characters and a jerky plot. I’ll be giving this book 2 stars, and I will not be reading the next book. I would not recommend this book to anyone.

Review: Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys

Book Title: Out of the Easy
Author: Ruta Sepetys
Published Date: February 12th, 2013
Publisher: Philomel Books
Genre: YA Historical
Standalone
Book Link: Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads:
It’s 1950, and as the French Quarter of New Orleans simmers with secrets, seventeen-year-old Josie Moraine is silently stirring a pot of her own. Known among locals as the daughter of a brothel prostitute, Josie wants more out of life than the Big Easy has to offer. 

She devises a plan get out, but a mysterious death in the Quarter leaves Josie tangled in an investigation that will challenge her allegiance to her mother, her conscience, and Willie Woodley, the brusque madam on Conti Street. Josie is caught between the dream of an elite college and a clandestine underworld. New Orleans lures her in her quest for truth, dangling temptation at every turn, and escalating to the ultimate test.

With characters as captivating as those in her internationally bestselling novel Between Shades of Gray, Ruta Sepetys skillfully creates a rich story of secrets, lies, and the haunting reminder that decisions can shape our destiny.

Disclaimer: Library book.

Review:
Normally I shy away from these books because historical books are not really my thing. However my blogging friend, Bekka pretty much forced this book on me. I trust her opinion, so I decided to give this book a try. This book really surprised me in a lot of ways. I ended up really liking it more than I expected to.

I loved Josie as a main character. She knew what she wanted as well as what she didn’t want. She didn’t allow herself to fall into the same habits her mother had adopted. Unlike her mother, Josie had dreams that had nothing to do with breaking the law. She wanted to go to college, to make something of herself. She was under a lot of pressure from her mother to put out in order to make a boatload of money.

Josie had many people who were extremely supportive of her desire to not become anything like her mother. From Willie Woodley, the madam on Conti Street, to Charlie and his son Patrick. Even the other girls in the house ran by Willie. Sweety, Evangeline, Sadie. Cokie was also an integral part of the story. 

There was a bit of a love triangle between Josie, Patrick and another boy, called Jesse Thierry. The triangle was resolved exactly the way I was hoping it would be. I was even happier to see an opposite sex friendship in this book. Opposite sex friendships are seen so infrequently in YA, so whenever I do see one, I get excited and happy. It’s even more rare to see one in a historical YA book.

I was not expecting the feels with this book, but I was given them with two separate character subplots. I loved Charlie so much, and at times, he stole the book for me. I wish he had gotten a bit more book time, but I loved what I did see in him. I loved his devotion & love towards his son, Patrick. It was really awesome to see.

I have a weird fascination with brothels & prostitutes during this time in history, I honestly don’t know where it came from. I am so glad I decided to read this book. I will be giving this book 4 stars and I will read other things that Sepetys’ writes. 

Review: Diamonds in the Rough (The Secret Diamond Sisters #2) by Michelle Madow

Book Title: Diamonds in the Rough
Author: Michelle Madow
Published Date: October 28th, 2014
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Genre: YA Contemporary
Series: Book Two in The Secret Diamond Sisters Trilogy
Book Link: Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads:
All-access doesn’t mean no problems.

The three Diamond sisters survived the summer in style after coming to live with their long-lost billionaire father. But making a place for themselves at their exclusive new Las Vegas private school is throwing them any number of gold-plated curves. Savannah’s YouTube stardom turns into a Sweet Sixteen reality show extravaganza—with complimentary enemies on the side. Dangerous flirtations don’t keep Peyton from a gamble that will risk far more than she planned to bet. And when Courtney and the sisters’ archenemy, Madison, uncover two explosive secrets, it will rock even this town of glittering illusion—and turn their lives upside down all over again.

Sisterhood, first crushes, and scandalous secrets explode in book two of Michelle Madow’s riveting series, The Secret Diamond Sisters.

Disclaimer: Library book.

Review:
Yes!

I wasn’t a huge fan of Book One, so I was nervous about continuing the series. I didn’t want to be disappointed, but thankfully I wasn’t. Diamonds in the Rough is a significant improvement over The Secret Diamond Sisters in many ways, so I was very excited about that.

It was no longer a problem for me to keep all the POVs straight. Each girl had their own distinct voice, and there was so much more character development for all three of them which really made me happy. There seemed to be a concentrated effort on Madow’s part to explore each of the sisters individuality in this second book, and I think that really helped out a lot. 

I am very character minded and if the characters are well developed, then I’ll definitely enjoy the book more. Character development was fairly weak in The Secret Diamond Sisters, but thankfully that issue did not carry over into Book Two.

I got answers to so many of my questions from book one, and the two explosive secrets were revealed. One of them I had guessed before I started the book and the other one came as a complete shock to me and left me in tears. That was another thing that the first book didn’t have. It didn’t have any truly feels-y moments so I was grateful for the feels-y moments in Diamonds in the Rough.

I really want to talk about two supporting characters from The Secret Diamond Sisters, who really became main characters in Diamonds in the Rough:

Adrian for starts, I was dying to know more about him after the first book, and while I did get to know a whole lot more about him in Diamonds in the Rough, I still feel like there’s something else we don’t know about him yet. I really hope the third and final book of this series will give me the answers I’m looking for about him.

Madison, I really did not like her at all in the first book, but man did I warm up to her significantly in the second book. She seemed much nicer and less bitchy overall and I responded well to that and she quickly became one of my favorite characters. She goes through an emotional roller coaster in this book, but I was happy to see that she was a different person and she was a different person due to the secret she had found out. I actually started to like the idea of her and Oliver together despite the fact that Oliver is a bit of a tool.

As for Courtney, Savannah & Peyton, they too go on a crazy ride full of ups and downs throughout this entire book. Courtney in particular struggles with certain things she learns in the course of this book. Savannah and Peyton willingly stand by her as she struggles to figure out how she should handle certain things.

This book was much better than the first book. I am giving it four stars and I am so excited to see where things go from here. I think Madow could take it in a lot of different directions, but I don’t know what’s going to happen. I am now eagerly awaiting book 3, Diamonds are Forever.

Review: The Secret Diamond Sisters (The Secret Diamond Sisters #1) by Michelle Madow

Book Title: The Secret Diamond Sisters
Author: Michelle Madow
Published Date: February 25th, 2014
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Genre: YA Contemporary
Series: Book One in The Secret Diamond Sisters series
Book Link: Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Savannah. Courtney. Peyton. 

The three sisters grew up not knowing their father and not quite catching a break. But it looks like their luck is about to change when they find out the secret identity of their long-lost dad—a billionaire Las Vegas hotel owner who wants them to come live in a gorgeous penthouse hotel suite. Suddenly the Strip’s most exclusive clubs are all-access, and with an unlimited credit card each, it should be easier than ever to fit right in. But in a town full of secrets and illusion, fitting in is nothing compared to finding out the truth about their past.

Disclaimer: Library book.

Review:
I really really needed to read something fluffy after my last read and I had just rechecked this book out from the library. I really wanted to give this series a shot as the author, Michelle Madow is an absolute sweetheart. 

It was interesting at first to see how these girls reacted about being plucked from their poverty and being thrown into riches and glamour and excitement almost overnight. They never knew their father was a billionare Las Vegas hotel owner. I gotta be honest, I envied that. I had often wished that my biological father, who I never knew, was a billionaire.

I had never been to Las Vegas, but I was still able to picture it perfectly in my imagination. Madow described Las Vegas in a way that I could not only picture it, but imagine myself in it and that right there, is pretty darn awesome. So kudos to Madow for describing Las Vegas so vividly.

Now of the girls, Courtney was my favorite. She really seemed to have her head on straight, and she wasn’t overly distracted by boys and clothes like so many other teenage girls are. With that said though, Peyton is very similar to how I am. Like Peyton, I am outspoken, a night owl, a coffee nut and several other things. It actually felt like I was Peyton a couple of times so that was a wee bit disconcerting. Now Savannah is the least like me. We are complete opposites in basically everything.

I wasn’t into the romances all that much, I thought it added another layer to a confusing summer. An unneeded layer which to be honest bugged me a bit. I did like their soon to be stepbrother, but as a stepbrother, not as a love interest.

I desperately wanted more interaction between the girls and their dad and it bothered me a lot that he didn’t seem to be able to carve out any time for them. I really hope we see more of him in Diamonds in the Rough, because I think there’s a lot he’s not telling the girls and I cannot wait to see what that is. 

I am going to give this book 3.5 stars. It teetered more on the side of enjoying it than on the side of indifference and I am curious enough to continue reading the series.

Review: The Young Elites (The Young Elites #1) by Marie Lu

Book Title: The Young Elites
Author: Marie Lu
Published Date: October 7th, 2014
Publisher: Putnam Books For Young Readers
Genre: YA Fantasy
Series: Book 1 in The Young Elites series
Book Link: Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads:
I am tired of being used, hurt, and cast aside.

Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever. A decade ago, the deadly illness swept through her nation. Most of the infected perished, while many of the children who survived were left with strange markings. Adelina’s black hair turned silver, her lashes went pale, and now she has only a jagged scar where her left eye once was. Her cruel father believes she is a malfetto, an abomination, ruining their family’s good name and standing in the way of their fortune. But some of the fever’s survivors are rumored to possess more than just scars—they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and though their identities remain secret, they have come to be called the Young Elites.

Teren Santoro works for the king. As Leader of the Inquisition Axis, it is his job to seek out the Young Elites, to destroy them before they destroy the nation. He believes the Young Elites to be dangerous and vengeful, but it’s Teren who may possess the darkest secret of all.

Enzo Valenciano is a member of the Dagger Society. This secret sect of Young Elites seeks out others like them before the Inquisition Axis can. But when the Daggers find Adelina, they discover someone with powers like they’ve never seen.

Adelina wants to believe Enzo is on her side, and that Teren is the true enemy. But the lives of these three will collide in unexpected ways, as each fights a very different and personal battle. But of one thing they are all certain: Adelina has abilities that shouldn’t belong in this world. A vengeful blackness in her heart. And a desire to destroy all who dare to cross her.

It is my turn to use. My turn to hurt.

Disclaimer: Library book.

Review:
It was no secret that this book was one of my most anticipated reads of 2014. I hadn’t read Lu’s previous work, but this one sounded so good and I was so excited for it. It was described to me as a dark fantasy and that it would cause me pain, but that I would enjoy it.

My blogging friends were right on the money. I loved this book, and especially Adelina. The role of “evil” character is usually reserved for the man in the story, so I loved that in this story Adelina was the one who was “evil” and instead of being sweet and demure, she was passion and anger filled. Awesome-sauce.

It took me a long time to warm up to Violetta, I was actually angry with her for not defending her sister against their abusive father. We later found out more about her which definitely changed my opinion of her. I still don’t love her, but I’m warming up to her definitely.

For a little while there I was convinced that this story was going to include a love triangle between Enzo and Raffaele and Adelina, thankfully I turned out to be wrong. I adored Raffaele though and he did remind me a lot of Finnick Odair from The Hunger Games trilogy. Finnick was another character I adored. The light romance was beautiful, and I was glad that not much emphasis was put on the romance. I think any more romance would have made me not love the book.

The world building was utterly glorious, it was so vivid an I could totally picture it in my mind’s eye. It was beautifully described and it made me want to jump into the book and live in it. It’s been a long time since a Fantasy book has made me feel like this. Good world building always makes me happy and this world building was beautiful so kudos to Lu for creating this world.

5 stars to this fantasy novel that has the power to turn into an epic series and I think it will do just that. I now need to go pick up Lu’s previous trilogy from the library because her writing is so fabulous.

Review: Fire with Fire (Burn for Burn #2) by Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian

Book Title: Fire with Fire
Authors: Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian
Published Date: August 13th, 2013
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Genre: YA Contemporary
Series: Book 2 in Burn for Burn trilogy
Book Link: Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads:
When sweet revenge turns sour… Book two of a trilogy fromNew York Times bestselling author Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian.

Lillia, Kat, and Mary had the perfect plan. Work together in secret to take down the people who wronged them. But things didn’t exactly go the way they’d hoped at the Homecoming Dance.

Not even close.

For now, it looks like they got away with it. All they have to do is move on and pick up the pieces, forget there ever was a pact. But it’s not easy, not when Reeve is still a total jerk and Rennie’s meaner than she ever was before.

And then there’s sweet little Mary…she knows there’s something seriously wrong with her. If she can’t control her anger, she’s sure that someone will get hurt even worse than Reeve was. Mary understands now that it’s not just that Reeve bullied her—it’s that he made her love him.

Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth, burn for a burn. A broken heart for a broken heart. The girls are up to the task. They’ll make Reeve fall in love with Lillia and then they will crush him. It’s the only way he’ll learn.

It seems once a fire is lit, the only thing you can do is let it burn…

Disclaimer: Library book.

Review:
Holy mother of God.

Usually in a series, the 2nd book is not as good as the first book. It’s normally referred to as a “sophomore slump” and I was worried that Fire with Fire would find itself in that sophomore slump, especially given how awesome Burn for Burn was. Thankfully, I didn’t need to worry too much about it. Fire with Fire was even better than Burn for Burn.

This time around, it was less about the sweet revenge and more about trying to figure out where each of these girls belonged in their own lives, on Jar Island. Mary is still living with her aunt, but things are getting weirder in the home. Her parents are seemingly refusing to come visit her. It doesn’t make sense to me for Mary’s parents to not visit her. Especially knowing that her family was pretty close to each other before she moved back to Jar Island to live with her aunt.

Kat’s going through her own problems. She wants to get away and go to the college that her mom never got a chance to go to. Despite having a rough childhood, she’s a smart young lady. She doesn’t want to use her mother’s death as the “pity me” statement for college applications. She doesn’t want to be known as “the student whose mom died” She wants to reinvent herself. She doesn’t want anything to do with her former best friend, Rennie.

Lillia still values her family, but she’s realizing that maybe she needs to think for herself. Maybe she doesn’t want to go to Wellesley like her parents seem to want her to do. She wants to show her parents that she has a plan for her life and she doesn’t want her parents to interfere as much as they currently do.

This book had a lot of stuff with Mary in it. A lot of other reviewers have said that this book was mostly about Mary, but it wasn’t. It also involved Lillia falling for Reeve, which I didn’t get it at first. But things changed as the book continues on. Reeve slowly endears himself to me. I ended up actually liking him, despite him being a total douche at first. It also included Kat putting a lot of pressure on herself. She wants more than anything to get that early decision acceptance to college and to get the hell out of Jar Island.

The ending was absolutely freaking amazing. I never in a million years would have guessed the twist. It was so amazing and unexpected. The hints were there but I never guessed how it would turn it out. The last 25-50 pages were absolutely unexpected and I absolutely loved it. This book was so, so, SO much better than the first book and I never thought that would happen.

This book gets an easy 5 stars from me. I am so excited to see what happens in the final book. I’m excited to pick up the third book in the trilogy at the library this week. Siobhan Vivian & Jenny Han are a dynamic duo and I love their collaboration.

Review: Burn for Burn (Burn for Burn #1) by Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian

Book Title: Burn for Burn
Authors: Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian
Published Date: September 18th, 2012
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers 
Genre: YA Contemporary
Series: Book 1 in Burn for Burn trilogy
Book Link: Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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?

Disclaimer: Library book.

Review:
I had been wanting to start this series ever since I saw the ARC’s of the third book floating around.  I had never read anything by Siobhan Vivian, but I had read and loved To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han. I was excited to get this series started. The library was my friend, this time around. I honestly didn’t know what to expect, but I couldn’t wait to find out.

What I got, were three drastically different girls. Shy, quiet Mary, outspoken and blunt Kat and Lillia, family-oriented, fierce protector of her sister. Each of these girls want nothing more than to get back at the people who had hurt them, and make them pay dearly for the heartbreak they’ve caused.

Mary wants desperately to go after Reeve, the kid who taunted and teased her when they were children. The boy who coined the term “Big Easy” This awful name is only one of the reasons Mary’s family left the island. Now, she wants nothing more than to get back at him for all the years he spent helping to isolate her to the point where she had no friends.

Kat has been best friends with Rennie for a very long time. Now things have shifted and she’s now the target of cruel remarks, insults and rumors, all at the hands of a girl who used to be her best friend. Kat is realizing now that Rennie isn’t the kind of person she wants to be friends with. She wants Rennie to get a taste of her own medicine.

Lillia always trusted boys, but when things changed over the summer, she realized that boys are not to be trusted and that she needs to protect her little sister, Nadia. Especially from Alex Lind. Alex needs to pay for taking advantage of Nadia and Lillia is going to make sure that he suffers.

This book was a great surprise. Each of these girls were so different, and since the book was divided up into 3 points of view, I got a taste of what all three girls were thinking as the story unfolded. I got to see little connections between others in the book and they were able to tie into the story seamlessly.

Each of these girls had a different home life, and different motivations to work with. I loved how they banded together to help each other. Especially Kat and Mary, because they were complete opposites and didn’t have history together. Not like Kat and Lillia did. Seeing all three of these girls come together to take down other teens that had made their lives hell was really awesome.

I wasn’t sure what I was going to get with this book, but what I got was the beginning of a friendship that involved trust and helping others. I am infinitely pleased that there was no romance in this book (at least for the three main characters) as I feel like that would have weakened the book. I am giving this book 5 stars and I’m super excited to see what happens to Kat, Mary and Lillia next.

Review: Racing Savannah by Miranda Kenneally

Book Title: Racing Savannah
Author: Miranda Kenneally
Published Date: January 1st, 2013
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Genre: YA Contemporary
Standalone/Companion
Book Link: Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads:
They’re from two different worlds.

He lives in the estate house, and she spends most of her time in the stables helping her father train horses. In fact, Savannah has always been much more comfortable around horses than boys. Especially boys like Jack Goodwin—cocky, popular and completely out of her league. She knows the rules: no mixing between the staff and the Goodwin family. But Jack has no such boundaries.

With her dream of becoming a horse jockey, Savannah isn’t exactly one to follow the rules either. She’s not going to let someone tell her a girl isn’t tough enough to race. Sure, it’s dangerous. Then again, so is dating Jack…

Disclaimer: Library book.

Review:
Yay, finally we get a book set on a horse farm! Like most girls, I loved horses as a child. I even took horseback riding lessons from 4th to 8th grade and I loved it. I was never all that good, but I loved doing it all the same. Some of my favorite books were The Saddle Club series and it’s spin-off Pine Hollow. My other favorite horsey series was Throughbred. So of course I had to get this book. It seemed like it was right up my alley and I couldn’t wait to dive in.

It started off a little slow for me. It wasn’t until I was about 100 pages into it that I really started to get into it. I’m not even sure why that was. It could have just been my mood, because by the time I hit page 105 I was really getting into it and I loved all the horse racing stuff. It brought me right back to my childhood.

I liked Savannah, yeah she had some issues with rich people, but once you got the backstory behind that, I wasn’t bothered by her attitude towards the rich people anymore. She had a totally different life than the Goodwin’s or the Whitfield’s. Savannah’s dad, his pregnant girlfriend Cindy, and Savannah struggled to make ends meet. College wasn’t even something Savannah was entertaining because just to apply cost money and her grades weren’t great.

I didn’t love the romance in this one. It got better towards the end, but I never really liked Jack for Savannah all that much. I wanted to feel the heat, the sexual tension between them and I just didn’t feel it at all. That really bummed me out as I think it had the potential to be a very hot romance.

Savannah’s journey was absolutely fascinating and heartwarming to watch. Her journey from thinking that horses were all there was to realizing that she could go to college if it was important to her. Watching her relationship with her dad’s girlfriend evolve was definitely good to see. Despite it having been 5 years since her mother had passed, I think Savannah struggled with the fact that her dad was in love & having a baby with someone else. 

I did enjoy this book a lot, despite not liking the romance and I think it’s because there was a lot of self discovery happening for Savannah. I’m always a sucker for those stories. I am going to give it 4 stars, and Miranda Kenneally has earned herself a spot on my auto-buy authors list. I’m definitely a fan of her books.