Early Mini-Reviews: On The Fence by Kasie West & One Plus One by Jojo Moyes

June 29, 2014 Aman 8
Title: On The Fence
Author: Kasie West
Publication: HarperTeen | July 1, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Source: Netgalley
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She's a tomboy. He's the boy next door…

Charlie Reynolds can outrun, outscore, and outwit every boy she knows. But when it comes to being a girl, Charlie doesn't know the first thing about anything. So when she starts working at a chichi boutique to pay off a speeding ticket, she finds herself in a strange new world. To cope with the stress of her new reality, Charlie takes to spending nights chatting with her neighbor Braden through the fence between their yards. As she grows to depend on their nightly Fence Chats, she realizes she's got a bigger problem than speeding tickets-she's falling for Braden. She knows what it means to go for the win, but if spilling her secret means losing him for good, the stakes just got too high.

Fun, original, and endearing, On the Fence is a romantic comedy about finding yourself and finding love where you least expect.

On The Fence was a decent enough read, it didn't leave any lasting impression like West's debut, The Distance Between Us, but for a quick summer book, it was enjoyable. The story was more about growing up in a male dominant family and figuring out your feminine side without changing yourself completely, rather than a full on romance like the cover suggested, which I had no issue with. Charlie was an okay narrative, her being a tomboy and a sports enthusiast made it very hard for me to relate with her. Apart from her self exploration journey, I wasn't really into her story, hence I ended up skipping a lot of this book, the fence scenes mostly.

I Loved: Charlie's 3 brothers, Nathan, Jerom and Gage, and their silly little bets. This trio was utterly hilarious and undoubtedly, the best part about this book!

I Was OKay With: Charlie and her new girly side.

I Didn't Like: Everything else, especially the romance. There were no feels whatsoever! On another note: Authors, please don't name your character the same as someone who's already super famous in the book world. I couldn't care less about this Braden when I had a sexy Braden Carmichael on my mind everything this name was mentioned in this book. It was so distracting! Also, this Braden's personality wasn't that captivating.

On The Fence was not as good as I was expecting, but I love Kasie West and regardless, I will still be her loyal reader and countdown to her next book.


Well, this started as a mini review, but I couldn't control my rant. Sorry.

Title: One Plus One
Author: Jojo Moyes
Publication: Pamela Dorman Books | July 1, 2014
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Adult
Source: Netgalley
Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
One single mom. One chaotic family. One quirky stranger. One irresistible love story from the New York Times bestselling author of Me Before You

American audiences have fallen in love with Jojo Moyes. Ever since she debuted stateside, she has captivated readers and reviewers alike, and hit the New York Times bestseller list with the word-of-mouth sensation, Me Before You. Now, with One Plus One, she’s written another contemporary opposites-attract love story that reads like a modern-day Two for the Road.

Suppose your life sucks. A lot. Your husband has done a vanishing act, your teenage stepson is being bullied and your math whiz daughter has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that you can’t afford to pay for. That’s Jess’s life in a nutshell—until an unexpected knight-in-shining-armor offers to rescue them. Only Jess’s knight turns out to be Geeky Ed, the obnoxious tech millionaire whose vacation home she happens to clean. But Ed has big problems of his own, and driving the dysfunctional family to the Math Olympiad feels like his first unselfish act in ages . . . maybe ever.

One Plus One is Jojo Moyes at her astounding best. You’ll laugh, you’ll weep, and when you flip the last page, you’ll want to start all over again.

As my first Jojo Moyes book, One Plus One was a good read, but I failed to see the reason behind the hype. The writing was beautiful, the multiple perspectives was a nice touch and gave the story a whole feeling, but as for the story itself, it wasn't anything exceptionally brilliant or heartwarming. I enjoyed it for the most parts, the kids sections being my favorite because I related to them the most, but other than that, I wasn't happy with Ed's side of the story and Jess' was more in the middle, neither good nor bad. Maybe I need to read Jojo's better known work, Me Before You to fully understand her popularity in the literary world.

Jess is a single, struggling mom to her two kids, goth teenager, Nicky and Math prodigy, Tanzie. The father of these kids is pretty much useless, but Jess being a really nice, optimistic person, is soft on the guy and doesn't pressure him for child support. Money is tight in this family and I loved how the author showed the rawness of the struggles so accurately. I've been there, I get it, it's real but at the same time it's very depressing to read and I'm not sure if this was what I signed up for when I started this book. Also, I had major issues with one of the main characters, Ed. He is possibly the most stupidest person I've ever read about. At first, Ed made a terrible mistake, which I don't even want to call mistake because that was just careless on his part. I can't even wrap my mind around the "thing" he did, why do men always think with their dicks?!? Idiots! I would expect that Ed would learn a lesson from his "mistake", if that's what we're calling it and shut his mouth when it comes to women, but after a few days of road tripping with Jess and her family, there he goes blasting everything about his super secret case to stranger practically! WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT?!? MAKES NO DAMN SENSE!

Coming on the romance, I don't even know when that happened. Jess and Ed were having a really nice dinner one evening where suddenly Jess realizes that "Gosh, she really likes that man, and YOLO, wants to have sex with him". She really thought YOLO before proposing Ed for the one night stand. That was when I knew that this book wasn't going to be anything special for me. I read it for the kids and I'm glad that atleast there story was consistent and very inspiring. Seeing Nicky overcome his fears and share his thoughts with someone for the first time made me very emotional. I like that boy a lot. All in all, One Plus One gave me a glimpse into the Jojo Moyes writing world and I liked it. This might not be the book for me, but I'm very excited to read more from the author.


Review: The Half Life of Molly Pierce by Katrina Leno

June 23, 2014 Aman 4
Molly Pierce

Hi Everyone! Today is my stop on Katerina Leno's debut The Half Life of Molly Pierce's Blog Tour organized by The Fantastic Flying Book Club. This was by far one of the quickest reads I read this month and even though the end result was that satisfying, I enjoyed the book for what is was and can't wait to read more by the author. Thanks FFBC for letting me be a part of this tour! Check out my review :)

Title: The Half Life of Molly Pierce
Author: Katrina Leno
Publication: HarperTeen | July 8, 2014
Genres: Pschycological Thriller, Young Adult
Source: Edelweiss
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You take it for granted. Waking up. Going to school, talking to your friends. Watching a show on television or reading a book or going out to lunch.

You take for granted going to sleep at night, getting up the next day, and remembering everything that happened to you before you closed your eyes.

You live and you remember.

Me, I live and I forget.

But now—now I am remembering.

For all of her seventeen years, Molly feels like she’s missed bits and pieces of her life. Now, she’s figuring out why. Now, she’s remembering her own secrets. And in doing so, Molly uncovers the separate life she seems to have led…and the love that she can’t let go.

The Half Life of Molly Pierce is a suspenseful, evocative psychological mystery about uncovering the secrets of our pasts, facing the unknowns of our futures, and accepting our whole selves.  

I wish I could say that this was a terrific thriller, but the brushed off ending kind of spoiled my whole experience and made the story not that meaningful. Don't get me wrong, it was still a fantastic read that explored more into a person's mental health and the effects it has on not just the person suffering , but their family and friends as well. However, there's a part of me that still wishes that the book had a more fuller ending focused on the why of the situation rather than the "just because".

Molly is suicidal, the reasons are unknown but she feels sad all the time and wants to end her pain. She's been seeing a therapist for a year now and she's been keeping some secrets for him that might officially give her the title of crazy. Molly skips a period of time randomly, during which she has no clue where she's been, what she's done and who she's been, and just accepting the fact of missing time is hard for her. Fans of Pretty Girl-13 know exactly what's going on with Molly, but it's a great twist for someone who doesn't know of this particular disorder. The Half Life of Molly Pierce has one of the best opening scenes I've ever read, it gives us that terrifying feeling of being lost and makes the reader anxious for some answers. I love how cleverly the story was set, but more than that, I was a fan of how the missing chunks were revealed. The problem here was the I wasn't into the "other" story itself, I was more interested in seeing Molly reaction to the whole ordeal and her coping with what has happened during that time. I didn't care for the romance or love triangle because it wasn't very impactful compared to Molly's personal journey, yet I appreciated for what it meant to (spoiler)her other half(/spoiler).

The Half Life of Molly Pierce felt like reading a really good novella; it was short, to the point and informative enough to make a long lasting impression of the MC. Moreover, I loved that it wasn't written in a scary manner, Pretty Girl-13 creeped the heck out of me and legit made me scared for a whole week, but Molly Pierce's story was very subtle and hopeful. I would recommend it to reader's who enjoy a little mystery with a dash of some realness.

About Katrina Leno

I am a writer from the East Coast, currently living in Los Angeles.

My first book for young adults- The Half Life of Molly Pierce- will be published on July 8, 2014 by Harper Collins.


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Stacking the Shelves (30)

June 20, 2014 Aman 29
Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme created by Tynga’s Reviews.

I'm happy with all the books I bought/got for review this past few weeks. I'm limiting my hardcover purchases because I want to save money for all the July/August releases because let me tell you,  there are a lot of great books coming out during that time! Landline, Silver Shadows and Isla & Happily Ever After being my top priority reads :)




After reading Amy and Roger's Epic Detour this past month, I went ahead and bought Since You've Been Gone and I'm so excited to start it! I also bought The Bane Chronicles after finishing The Infernal Devices because one of the short stories features James [spoiler]Heronadale[/spoiler] and I'm dying to know more about him and his family! Fall From India Place was a MUST because of Samantha Young!!! And lastly, I know I said that I'm done with Abbi Glines, but both Sarika and Janhvi really enjoyed Bad For You, so I'm going to give it a try. I don't know why I do this to myself because I already feel I won't like it that much, but I still have that 1% hope.


boys like you

I won Boys Like You last month from Talk Supe and Sourcebooks Fire send me 2 copies individually by mistake. Well good for us because I'll give away the extra copy when I review it :)

For Review


 I saw Tape last week on Edelweiss and it reminded me of Golden by Jessi Verdi, so naturally I had to download it. Thanks HarperCollins! It's a bit late for Torn Away, nevertheless, thanks Little, Brown Books for Young Readers  for this pretty!

How was your week in books?


Review: City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare

June 18, 2014 Aman 4
Title: City of Heavenly Fire
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publication: Margaret K. McElderry | May 27, 2014
Genres: Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult
Series: The Mortal Instruments #6
Source: Bought
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In this dazzling and long-awaited conclusion to the acclaimed Mortal Instruments series, Clary and her friends fight the greatest evil they have ever faced: Clary's own brother.

Sebastian Morgenstern is on the move, systematically turning Shadowhunter against Shadowhunter. Bearing the Infernal Cup, he transforms Shadowhunters into creatures out of nightmare, tearing apart families and lovers as the ranks of his Endarkened army swell.

The embattled Shadowhunters withdraw to Idris - but not even the famed demon towers of Alicante can keep Sebastian at bay. And with the Nephilim trapped in Idris, who will guard the world against demons?

When one of the greatest betrayals the Nephilim have ever known is revealed, Clary, Jace, Isabelle, Simon, and Alec must flee - even if their journey takes them deep into the demon realms, where no Shadowhunter has set foot before, and from which no human being has ever returned...

Love will be sacrificed and lives lost in the terrible battle for the fate of the word in the thrilling final installment of the classic urban fantasy series The Mortal Instruments!

Note: Sorry for all those spoiler tags. I simply couldn't talk about this book without sharing some of my favorite and not so favorite parts.

The Mortal Instrument series finally ended with City of Heavenly Fire. Hallelujah! I wasn't a fan of the second trilogy to begin with, as most of you know, but CoHF gave us a pretty satisfying end, though too neatly tied up in my opinion. There was no shock value in this finale, everything seemed predictable and mediocre-ish. Earlier this year, Cassandra Clare teased us with the 6 deaths that were going to take place in this book, but all those deaths turned out to be so disappointing. The only one that affected me was [spoiler]Raphael's [/spoiler] for some reason. I formed a bond with him during the few scenes he had and reading his last scene really made me teared up. As a whole, I was okay with CoHF; for a book that's over 700 pages, it's really not that exciting. Adventurous? Sure. Funny? Definitely! Steamy? Hell Yes! Brother Zachariah contributing a lot to the steam factor ;) A strong plot? Sadly, no. The plot was all over the place with so many different storylines. A good ending? Sure. I enjoyed the epilogue, though I wish some of the main characters would have died for the dramatic effect. The ending felt too easy.

The Best of CoHF

1. The introduction to Carstairs and Blackthorn family: Reading about Emma, Julian and the kids were my favorite  parts in this book. It's funny that I loved the set up for the next series, The Dark Artifices, a lot more than the finale I was supposed to enjoy. I didn't care about Jace or Clary or even Alec throughout this book, I just wanted to read more about these new character, especially the badass Emma, which someone on Goodreads said was a tiny version of Isabelle and I couldn't help but agree a 100% with them! Some people also said that these additions were like an advertisement for CC's next series and I don't see anything wrong with that. I loved it and if the first book in this series was available for pre-order, I wouldn't think twice before hitting that button.

2. Brother Zachariah: Brother Zachariah was so fucking HOT in this book! [spoiler] We finally see him being cured and become a normal shadowhunter again, which was so unbelievably awesome! Here's the fangirl moment: It was a Herondale who did it!!!! I loved that Jem was such an active character in this book, he was present in mostly all of the Alicante scenes and even fought in the end with Jace and the gang, which brought out another fangirl moment. Basically, anything Carstairs and Herondale related had that effect on me.[/spoiler]

3. The epilogue: CC writes the most emotional epilogues, [spoiler] I was happy crying when Tessa and Jem showed up together at Luke and Jocelyn's wedding! They are so damn adorable. Also, Tessa and Clary having a heart to heart about Herondales and life in general was one of the most special scenes in this entire second trilogy. I loved how CC played out such a crucial scene so effortlessly. But the funniest part in the epilogue as when Jem and Tessa took back their cat from Magnus! :D [/spoiler]

There were no worst parts in CoHF, it's just that the rest were very meh and I'd rather not talk about them. All in all, I'm glad that this story is over. Throughout the second trilogy, I fell out of love with Jace, the Sebastian connection really messed him up and changed his personality as a whole, but I was so happy to see glimpses of the boy in fell in love with in City of Bones by the end of this book. There's nothing much to say except that Cassandra Clare wrapped up this series pretty nicely and simultaneously made us all excited about her upcoming project. I'll be desperately looking forward to that!

 The next part is super spoilery, so don't click on the tags below if you haven't read The Infernal Devices series. Siiri mentioned some comic in the end of the UK version and since I had the US one, I googled it and let me tell you, it was a tear jerker. I cried and cried and still can't stop crying. Will-Tessa-Jem fans, I present you the comic!


Click the image to enlarge



Waiting on Wednesday (54)

June 17, 2014 Aman 10
Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme created by Breaking The Spine.

This week's WOW is a short story I heard about yesterday and knew I had to feature it today because OH MY GOD!!!!! Anything from Lunar Chronicles series is a super hit for me and even though I hate this character right now, I know Marissa Meyer is going to change my opinion by the end of this story. I CAN'T WAIT! Plus, look at the cover!

Title: Fairest
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publication: Feiwel & Friends | Jan 27, 2015
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
Series: Lunar Chronicles #0.1
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Mirror, mirror on the wall,
Who is the fairest of them all?

Fans of the Lunar Chronicles know Queen Levana as a ruler who uses her “glamour” to gain power. But long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, Levana lived a very different story – a story that has never been told . . . until now.

Marissa Meyer spins yet another unforgettable tale about love and war, deceit and death. This extraordinary book includes full-color art and an excerpt from Winter, the next book in the Lunar Chronicles series.

Oh, this is gonna be a long wait...

What are you waiting on this week?



Character Interview + Giveaway: Fan Art by Sarah Tregay

June 16, 2014 Aman 2

Hi Everyone! Today, I'm so excited to share with you a LGBT themed book (my new favorites!) and also have one of the main characters answer some questions. Thanks YA Bound Book Tours for organizing this event and for letting me be a part of it. Don't forget to enter the giveaway by the end of the post, but before you do anything else, check out the premises of this book below!

Title: Fan Art
Author: Sarah Tregay
Publication: Katherine Tegen Books | June 17, 2013
Genres: Contemporary, LGBT, Romance, Young Adult
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When the picture tells the story…

Senior year is almost over, and Jamie Peterson has a big problem. Not college—that’s all set. Not prom—he’ll find a date somehow. No, it’s the worst problem of all: he’s fallen for his best friend.

As much as Jamie tries to keep it under wraps, everyone seems to know where his affections lie, and the giggling girls in art class are determined to help Jamie get together with Mason. But Jamie isn’t sure if that’s what he wants—because as much as Jamie would like to come clean to Mason, what if the truth ruins everything? What if there are no more road trips, taco dinners, or movie nights? Does he dare risk a childhood friendship for romance?

This book is about what happens when a picture reveals what we can’t say, when art is truer than life, and how falling in love is easy, except when it’s not. Fan Art explores the joys and pains of friendship, of pressing boundaries, and how facing our worst fears can sometimes lead us to what we want most.

Character Interview - Jamie Peterson

Hi Jamie! Can you tell us something about Fan Art?

Fan Art is about what happened at the end of my senior year.

So, you’re on the Gumshoe staff? I heard there was a little problem this year.

Yes, Gumshoe is our high school literary magazine. I’m the graphic designer so I put the layout together. And I might have, um, added a graphic short story that the others had rejected. It was a love story about two boys. It had to be published.

Who is your best friend?

Mason Viveros—the one with the mop of dark curls and the chunky black glasses. We’ve been friends since third grade. He’s really smart—speaks three languages—but he doesn’t brag about it. He’s also good at fixing cars, which can come in handy on a road trip.

Do you have a crush?

Yeah. On Mason. Not on purpose. Everyone knows friend crushes are the worst—even guy-girl friend crushes—drama, angst, broken hearts, you name it. It’s bad—real bad. And straight-guy-gay-guy friend crushes? I don’t even want to think about that apocalypse.

Are you out?

Sort of. I’m out with my mom and step-dad. And some of the girls at school know, not that I told them. Good gaydar, I guess. But I haven’t told Mason. I mean, how do you tell someone that you’ve been keeping a secret from him since middle school?

Will you be glad when senior year is over?

Hell, yeah. Between the many visits to the principal’s office for the Gumshoe incident and the Redneck—I mean Nick O’Shea—thinking I ratted him out about the senior prank. I can’t wait to get out of here.

Thanks for stopping by :)

About Sarah Tregay

Raised without television, Sarah Tregay started writing her own middle grade novels after she had read all of the ones in the library. She later discovered YA books, but never did make it to the adult section. When she's not jotting down poems at stoplights, she can be found hanging out with her "little sister" from Big Brothers Big Sisters. Sarah lives in Eagle, Idaho with her husband, two Boston Terriers, and an appaloosa named Mr. Pots. Her next book, Fan Art, will be released in June.


Two winner will receive ARCs of Fan Art. Open to US/CAN Only. Sorry Int peeps.

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Mini Reviews: Clockwork Prince & Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

June 15, 2014 Aman 12
Title: Clockwork Prince
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publication: Margaret K. McElderry | Dec 6, 2011
Genres: Historical, Paranormal, Romance
Series: The Infernal Devices #2
Source: Bought
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In magical Victorian London, orphan Tessa found safety with the Shadowhunters, until traitors betray her to the Magister. He wants to marry her, but so do self-destructive Will and fiercely devoted Jem. Mage Magnus Bane returns to help them. Secrets to her parentage lie with the mist-shrouded Yorkshire Institute's aged manager Alyosius Starkweather.

I call this My Cursed book. Clockwork Prince has been one of the hardest books for me to finish because of the extreme events that took place whenever I planned on reading it and no, I won't go in detail because that would take a lot of time (though one of those events was Hurricane Sandy, and I'm not even joking!). Anyways, I'm so utterly relieved to have read this book, not only because I'm a huge fan of this series and I wanted to know how the triangle plays out, but also because this felt like a task I needed to accomplish, rather than just a book meant for reading pleasure. Hard to explain, but overall, I liked it. The pace was very slow throughout the story, but the addition of new characters and romance arc really helped divert my mind from minor issue and focus on the overall quality of the book.

Clockwork Prince wasn't a bad read by any means, it's just that my "wrong book at the wrong times" experience took away from the enjoyment factor. Nonetheless, it was a good middle book. Jem scenes were my absolute favorite and as far as the love triangle goes, I'm in love with Will, but I think Jem is winning for me. He's so sweet and nice and super considerate of everyone. Boys like him are so hard to find and I don't know how Cassie Clare is going to end this threesome, but I hope it's done in a very gentle way because either result is going to break my heart. We shall see. Some of the things I loved: [spoiler]GIDEON LIGHTWOOD!, Jessamine being married to Nate (Who saw that coming?!? I loved this part for the shock value), Henry and Charlotte reconciling, Jem proposing (love!), Will's confession of his love to Tessa (swoon!) and ofcourse Magnus Bane! [/spoiler] All in all, not as good as Clockwork Angel, but it did shake things up in the end which I loved! I can't wait to see how it goes from here!




Title: Clockwork Princess 
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publication: Margaret K. McElderry | March 2013
Genres: Historical, Paranormal, Romance
Series: The Infernal Devices #3
Source: Bought
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Danger and betrayal, secrets and enchantment in the breathtaking conclusion to the Infernal Devices trilogy.

Tessa Gray should be happy - aren't all brides happy?
Yet as she prepares for her wedding, a net of shadows begins to tighten around the Shadowhunters of the London Institute.
A new demon appears, one linked by blood and secrecy to Mortmain, the man who plans to use his army of pitiless automatons, the Infernal Devices, to destroy the Shadowhunters. Mortmain needs only one last item to complete his plan. He needs Tessa. And Jem and Will, the boys who lay equal claim to Tessa's heart, will do anything to save her.

  I CAN'T EVEN! *bows down to Cassandra Clare*

Now this is how a finale is written!!! I love every part of Clockwork Princess to the point where I'm unable to form any coherent thoughts. Going in the book, I was mostly nervous about the love triangle because this is the only case where I love both guys for Tessa ([spoiler] though by the end, I was a bit partial towards Jem [/spoiler]). So the romance was my number 1 concern and number 2 was Tessa lineage. In Clockwork Angel, Mortmain said some really big statements regarding Tessa's birth, basically claiming that he made her, so naturally that was the one question I was desperately waiting to be answered and hoping that it all made sense. And ofcourse it did, Mortmain is a clever bastard, his evil scheming ways are one of the reason why I loved this series so much. You never know what goes on in his mind until this book, the built up for this character was fantastic!

Clockwork Princess proved that Tessa was not only an intellectually smart MC, but a complete badass when it came to defending herself. The end stunt she pulled with her shape shifting abilities was undoubtedly the highlight of this book. It showed us how much she's transformed from the first book where she wasn't even aware of her abilities to the finale where she basically acted as a Shadowhunter with some Warlock powers. Tessa's journey has impressed me the most in this series and seeing her get a happy ending with the boy she loved was basically a cherry on top moment. Speaking of the ending, [spoiler] initally I was very iffy about the epilogue. I thought the end was unfair to Will because, this is just my opinion, I don't think Tessa loved him that much. Yes, she professed her love for Will a bunch of times in her monologue, but we never saw them together until the very end, so somehow it took away the happy ending and instead left a bit of confusion in its place. Regardless, I'm happy for Will, but I wished Cassie Clare would've added atleast one scene of them being together, whether it was the day they got married, or when they had their first child, just something! However, knowing that Will and Tessa's daughter Lucie is going to a series of her own, in the next 5 years, I'm sure we'll see a lots of scene of W & T's marital life and that's the only reason why I've come to term with the epilogue. Since I'm Team Jem, I was more than ecstatic about the ending! What a brilliant way to handle a triangle! I LOVE IT! Tessa and Jem forever!!! [/spoiler]

All in all, The Infernal Devices is my new favorite series! It is the best Cassie Clare work so far, and one of the best series in the supernatural genre! Will, Tessa and Jem are all very special characters for me, their stories have made me cry, laugh and mostly cherish friendships like theirs. I love them and I can't wait to see more of them in CC's upcoming books! It's heartwarming to know that this is not the end.



Review: Take Me On by Katie McGarry

June 11, 2014 Aman 5
Title: Take Me On
Author: Katie McGarry
Publication: Harlequin Teen | May 27, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Series: Pushing The Limit #4
Source: Bought
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Acclaimed author Katie McGarry returns with the knockout new story of two high school seniors who are about to learn what winning really means.

Champion kickboxer Haley swore she'd never set foot in the ring again after one tragic night. But then the guy she can't stop thinking about accepts a mixed martial arts fight in her honor. Suddenly, Haley has to train West Young. All attitude, West is everything Haley promised herself she'd stay away from. Yet he won't last five seconds in the ring without her help.

West is keeping a big secret from Haley. About who he really is. But helping her-fighting for her-is a shot at redemption. Especially since it's his fault his family is falling apart. He can't change the past, but maybe he can change Haley's future.

Hayley and West have agreed to keep their relationship strictly in the ring. But as an unexpected bond forms between them and attraction mocks their best intentions, they'll face their darkest fears and discover love is worth fighting for.

Katie McGarry is a genius at creating beautifully broken character that just need some love in their lives. Noah has been my favorite so far, but with Take Me On, Haley definitely won me over with the amount of love and support she had for her family, especially her dad. This book was huge on family drama; Haley's family was hit with the bad economy and had to live their evil uncle, and West's family drama would probably require a book of its own. To be honest, it was a headache and part of the reason I didn't enjoy this book as much as I waned to. Here's the breakdown:

The Good

1. Haley & West: Excellent characters with equally in-depth and interesting backstory. Haley has been struggling with poverty which was very relatable and made my heart ache for her. On top of that, she just came out of a shitty relationship that ended on such a horrible note that she gave up professional Muay Thai fighting, her passion. Then there's West who comes from a very rich Young family and is known for getting in trouble at his private school. After being expelled from school and thrown out of his house, West's only home is his posh car and a few dollars on his name. Overall, a great setup for an emotional story.

2. The slow burning, full of feels romance: West has a reputation, but when it comes to Haley, West appears as if he's thrown all the rules out the window. Seeing him vulnerable and honest with Haley was one of my favorite things in this book. However, the new Haley has sworn off dating fighter men, hence leaving West with a challenge to change her perception and eventually make her fall in love with him. The shocking part in this book was when we found out[spoiler]that West was a virgin?!? Are we talking about the same person because that seems impossible[/spoiler] It was cute nonetheless. West and Haley had a very adorable romance, though nothing can beat the intensity Echo and Noah had.

3. West's transformation: Applause! Applause! Applause! Going in this book, I didn't have a very good impression towards West, but when bad things happens, people either go in the right direction or wrong, and I was so glad when West pulled his shit together and tried to change himself. I loved that his transformation wasn't just for some girl, it was mostly to prove his father that he didn't need his help. I loved the scene [spoiler]where he spends the night at Haley's and they share a bed and some heart wrenching realities. That was the most crucial point in their relationship and showed the reader that these broken character could probably have something solid and long lasting. [/spoiler]

4. Abby: What a mysteriously great character! Abby has her eyes and ears everywhere, she knows what's goes on in her town and even carries the latest updates on the enemy's plans. I love her!!! Though it makes me nervous about how she is going to get hitched by Ethan. Abby has a bad history and there is no way you could hide that, even if you are a Young. Can't wait to see how that unfolds!

The Bad

1. Memory Issue: I couldn't for the life of me remember what happened in Crash Into You, so imagine my surprise when I find out that Rachel was in a serious accident and probably won't be able to walk again. Did that really happen? Wow, that alone say what I think of CIY now (not very much!). In this book, West blames himself for Rachel's accident and add the fight he and his father had where words like trash and worthless were used, you bet that alone will straighten up any man, even if it is to prove something.

2. West's family drama: UGH! What a mess is that family! Everyone is hiding some secrets and each of them are dirtier than the other. If it's not the secrets, then it's the money manipulative game which I sincerely hate! Why can't Mr. and Mrs. Young be a good damn parent?!? [spoiler] Who throws their child out on streets? West didn't even do anything that bad! What kind of a mother are you if it takes you 2 weeks to realize that your son doesn't live in his house anymore?!? Pathetic! And don't even get me started on the "Real Dad" issue! WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT?!? [/spoiler]

The Meh

1. Fighting: I didn't care that much for it. It was nice to see the role it played in Haley's life and how it ultimately made her want to quit only to get back in the ring to train West. Fighting and Haley were very good, but fighting and anyone else was a skim. Maybe that's because I'm not interested in that sport and those parts made the book very slow for me, but to each their own. Maybe this would be the  reason you pick up this up.

2. Rachel's storyline: Even after I remembered what happened, I was hoping for Rachel's story to fast forward so we could get to Haley parts because she was AWESOME! Also, I wasn't a huge fan of Rachel in Crash Into You, so maybe that's one of the reason.

All in all, Take Me On introduced my all time favorite character in this book, Haley and for that reason alone, this book is very special to me! I loved her inner struggle when it came to fighting, I loved that Haley used her mind not heart and most of all, I loved that she sacrificed everything for her family to have a safe place to live! Haley is THE BEST! And then Noah, Echo and Beth.

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