My Blind Date with a Book

Hello, all you beautiful humans!

Who here has read a Blind Date book?

For anyone who doesn’t know, blind book dates are usually orchestrated by libraries and bookstores around Valentine’s Day, and essentially consist of a mysterious book wrapped up with a clue on the front.

In case you haven’t already noticed, I did not read this in February when I was supposed to. I also did not post this in February when I meant to.

I’m a queen of library renewals and disappointment.

Aaaaanyway, I’d never done one before, so I figured I’d give it a go this year. I am very much a judge-a-book-by-the-blurb-and-cover girl–AKA the absolute OPPOSITE of the whole going-in-blind thing–so this was very much something I am not at all used to.

The book I turned out to have gotten is The Last Time I Saw You by Elizabeth Berg. When when I picked it up, it was covered in brown paper packaging (tied up with strings! These are a few of my favourite things!), labelled “It’s a 5-Star fluff with a little protein to make it stick.”

Clearly, that tells me NOTHING except that it’s probably contemporary. I’m still not entirely sure what possessed me to go “yeah! Let’s definitely pick the most ambiguous clue for the first time you’re doing this!”

I wanted to guess things! I had nothing to guess!

I decided, against my usual grain, that I would not look up the title and read the blurb, that instead I would go in totally blind. So in the book about a 40th high school reunion, I first had to piece out oh they’re all seniors, oh they’re from high school, oh it’s a reunion.

It’s an interesting experience to have gone in without any reservations at all, and I found it largely freeing that I didn’t have any expectations, meaning I couldn’t so easily be disappointed. Also, everything was a surprise. Blurbs will often contain or allude to spoilers, presumably as a way of hooking their readers, but then twist ceases to be a twist! The shock isn’t shocking! This time I had ZERO spoilers, and had to piece everything and everyone out as I went. I didn’t know about, as the description states, “Candy Armstrong, the class beauty,” I just knew everyone was jealous of her or wanted her, meaning okay she’s probably the cheerleader.

A downside I found was that I couldn’t get excited about something that was going to happen. I mean, okay, if two characters are gonna end up together, I kinda want to know about it! To anticipate it! Get pumped about it! But I didn’t, so I couldn’t, which didn’t affect me as much as it could have but bugged me more than I, who hates spoilers, might care to admit.

The book itself at the end was pretty good. It definitely took some getting used to the seniors acting like sex-starved teenagers and superficiality of some of the characters, but as the novel progressed it showed more and more depth, offering not only a picture of nostalgia, but also the reality of coping with life coming to an end. I gave it 4/5.

As an experience, the blind date thing was neat. I’m not entirely sure if I’d do it again, and the book wasn’t exactly my usual style, but I found the whole ordeal (yes, ordeal) more fun that I’d anticipated!

Maybe come next Valentine’s Day, it’ll be a solid alternative to my nonexistent love life–who needs a real date when you’ve got a book? 😉

Poison Princess

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Poison Princess by Kresley Cole

I’ve got a serious bone to pick with this one. And okay, part of it is my fault that I apparently didn’t read the synopsis carefully enough but mostly, it’s that so. Much. Bothered. Me.

I just barely avoided giving it a 1-star on goodreads, and even then the most I could bring myself to give was 2 stars. Let me make this clear: I hate giving books poor reviews. Often, enjoying a book is a very subjective thing and I feel like I’m doing a disservice to all the work the author put in, especially when by all accounts the book should have been good but it wasn’t good for me. If goodreads ratings are any indication, though, tons of people LOVED IT so I’m thinking this is more of an ‘it’s not you, it’s me’ kind of thing despite my first reaction being ‘no it’s totally just you.’

But nonetheless, this is gonna be angry. Continue reading

Wings

6677021Wings by Aprilynne Pike

I AM SO RIDICULOUSLY SURPRISED BY HOW MUCH I ENJOYED THIS!

I came so close–so! close!–to not reading this. I bought it years ago by a friend’s request and almost gave it away to my cousin, like, a week before reading it. Such a mistake! Holy!

Wings picks up with fifteen-year-old Laurel’s first day of Sophomore year, trading in her homeschooling for a new house and public education. Aside from her strange habits, everything is perfectly normal until a lump growing between Laurel’s shoulder blades blooms into a pale flower. What follows is a magical induction to the world of faeries, a discovery of surprising heritage, and a malicious ploy for power. Get excited. Continue reading

Sweet Venom

10429067.jpgSweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs

You know, it’s been a reeeaaaal long time since I read a Greek Mythology novel. Long time as in not-since-the-whole-Percy-Jackson-fad (Rick Riordan fan in da house!). Which makes sense because, you know, Sweet Venom has been on my shelf ever since then. Oops.

Okay but seriously guys, this book was really good!

Sweet Venom follows long-lost triplets Grace, Gretchen, and Greer, descendants of Medusa and her powerful Gorgon sisters. Turns out, not-yet snake-haired Medusa was getting a little too friendly with Posiedon for Athena’s taste so bibidi bobidi boo-hoo for you, Athena cursed Medusa, turned the gods against her, et voilà! Medusa’s a villain and her descendants are all forced to carry on the gorgon duty as guardians by saving the human population from mythical monsters plaguing the city of San Francisco. Continue reading

Bewitching

11859244Bewitching by Alex Flinn

Bewitching is so not what I’d thought it would be but in the best way possible–the things about it I was expecting, the parts I was not looking forward to didn’t actually exist!

When you read the blurb, it sounds as though the story will be told from Kendra’s (the witch’s) POV and focus on her efforts to help Emma, the Cinderella. This would have been a cool story in itself but… nope! The story actually takes place primarily from Emma’s perspective (with the occasional interjection from Kendra) and follows her battles with stepsister Lisette and efforts to win Lisette’s boyfriend. Lisette, who is Cinderella. Emma, the “evil” stepsister. You see, Lisette’s dad loved Emma a little too much and she got royally pissed. So she changed the game. Enter Kendra, friendless Emma’s best friend with magical powers, willing but not so ready to fix things. Continue reading

Geek Girl: Picture Perfect

18665259Geek Girl: Picture Perfect/Geek Girl Series by Holly Smale

Picture Perfect is numéro trois of Holly Smale’s Geek Girl series. Now, before anyone freaks out, I know that I haven’t reviewed either of the first two–I kind of might have read them during that super loooooooooong period of absence on here (shame shame shame)–but they’re just so damn cute I couldn’t not do at least one of them! That said, this review will be on both the individual book and the series as a whole. All right so quick, rough recap/series summary: Harriet Manners is a high school genius with an incredible memory, an arsenal of random facts, and a penchant for both making lists failing spectacularly at anything non-academic. She’s discovered by a top modelling agent when a beautiful teen male model finds her under a table. In Geek Girl, her step mom Annabel doesn’t want her modelling so she and her dad take off for her to shoot in Russia where she re-encounters ‘Lion Boy’ (AKA. Nick Hidaka), the model from the table. In Geek Girl: Model Misfit, Harriet is modelling in Tokyo where she must deal with a broken heart (courtesy of Nick) and hilariously horrible disasters (courtesy of Harriet herself). In Geek Girl: Picture Perfect we have Harriet navigating her repaired relationship with Nick in New York alongside her family where she’s not supposed to be modelling but is. Continue reading

Pushing the Limits

16145531Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

Pushing the Limits is about two high school seniors who’ve basically been through hell. Echo was Miss Popular (well, one of) until one fateful night Sophomore year leaving her with a mosaic of scars crisscrossing her arms and little memory of the experience. Her controlling, overbearing, image-obsessed dad is expecting a child with her former babysitter and her mother–who may or may not have been involved in Echo’s ‘accident’–suffers from a mental illness. Bad boy Noah’s parents died two years ago and after an unfortunate encounter with a former foster parent he’s spent his time trying to reunite with the family he has left. BTW, you learn all this in the first two chapters so I’m not spoiling anything. Anyway, Echo is for various reasons forced to tutor Noah and it is through this that the two become properly acquainted. The novel is spent fixing/discovering their issues, documenting the goings-on of therapist appointments, and sorting through the intense feelings the two have for one another. Continue reading

He’s So Not Worth It

9703097He’s So Not Worth It by Kieran Scott

WHAAAAAAAT!?!?!

WHY OH WHY DID YOU HAVE TO DO THAT TO ME, KIERAN? WHY?!

Okay, breathe, breathe. In, out. Whew.

Ahem, all right then. He’s So Not Worth It is the sequel to She’s So Dead To Us and the second in the He’s So/She’s So trilogy. If you’re here, I’m assuming you’ve already read the first one (if not, you may not want to see this) and know about the nasty little video and Shannen’s all-around evilness. The sequel follows Ally and Jake as they attempt (not so successfully) to deal with the fallout. Continue reading

She’s So Dead to Us

8341148She’s So Dead to Us by Kieran Scott

I really need to stop underestimating contemporary novels.

She’s So Dead to Us follow formerly rich and popular, now broke and hated Ally Ryan and her humiliation, victimization, loss, and love upon her return to Orchard Hill. Here she meets the super-sexy, super-flirty, super-off limits Jake Graydon (our other POV) who took her place among the ‘Cresties’, the rich kids of Orchard Hill and also Ally’s former best friends.

This is not the quick, light read the title would have you believe. The story actually deals with a lot more than simple romance and betrayal. Ally’s father talked a bunch of Crestie families into some bad investments resulting in the loss of millions, trust funds, houses, spouses, and more. Her dad immediately disappears and she and her mom move away for two years, severing all contact with their former close friends. Continue reading

Girl Online

22510983Girl Online by Zoe Sugg

Bleh.

It’s bleh.

Let me just say that had it not been for my best friend’s incessant pleading that I read this, I wouldn’t have. It’s not that I regret reading it–it wasn’t positively horrible–but I’m just saying that there are much better uses of my time. Like studying.

Girl Online is the first novel written by Zoe Sugg. For those of you who don’t know her (like me, before the aforementioned incessant pleading), Sugg runs an ubër famous YouTube channel under the alias ‘Zoella’. Her book was published by Penguin Random House after consulting the CEO’s 13-year-old daughter (theverge.com). Continue reading