Category Archives: Reading

Favorite Books of the Summer

So you remember two months ago when I did a post about all the books I had read but hadn’t yet reviewed and promised I would never let myself get that far behind again?

Yeah, well, that was a lie. So sorry. I really meant to be better at this! I’ve read 12 books since then, and I’ve reviewed half of them on Goodreads. I’m still (mostly) planning to review the other half, but for now I’m going to focus on sharing the ones I’ve already done. Below are my three favorite novels that I’ve read so far this summer. For a longer review of each, click on the picture, and it will take you to my Goodreads review.

I’ve also included links below to the reviews of books I didn’t enjoy that much.

 

  I’ve always known that you shouldn’t throw around words like OCD if you don’t actually have OCD, but I didn’t really get why it was such a big deal until I read this book. It’s a hard story to read at times, as Bea does so many things that don’t make sense to me, but that’s the point. The characters in here were so realistically flawed that I had to keep reading, even when it was hard. If you’re looking for a light, quirky romance, this isn’t for you.

 

I don’t generally like football or stories that involve football players, but Cora Carmack changes that here. For those who still don’t know if New Adult is for them, I recommend this book. There’s romance without it being overpowering, and the characters are great.


This is a great fast-paced read with adorable yet flawed characters. I only meant to read the first page, but it was so hard to put down. The ending was a bit silly, but everything else was so entertaining that I didn’t really care. Great cast of characters!

 

Other Books I’ve Read and Reviewed:

Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend by Katie Finn – 2/5

Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira – 3/5

Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott – 4/5

Cover Reveal: ALL BROKE DOWN by Cora Carmack

I am so excited to get to share this cover with everyone! If you read my book reviews, you know how much I absolutely loved Cora Carmack’s first NA series, Losing It. (Seriously, if you still think you hate New Adult, go give her books a shot. They’re amazing!) I was even more excited when I learned that she had another series coming out. The first book’s already out, and the second one is coming out later this year! THE EXCITEMENT! You seriously have no idea.

But enough about me. You’re here to learn more about the book:

 

We are so excited to get to share the cover for Cora Carmack’s ALL BROKE DOWN today! A New Adult Contemporary Romance, and published by William Morrow-an imprint of HarperCollins, this is the second book in her Rusk University Series, and it is set to be released on October 28, 2014! But you can pre-order it NOW! Check out what it’s about and then fall in love with this gorgeous cover!

ABOUT ALL BROKE DOWN:

In this second book in New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Cora Carmack’s New Adult, Texas-set Rusk University series, which began with All Lined Up, a young woman discovers that you can’t only fight for what you believe in . . . sometimes you have to fight for what you love

Dylan fights for lost causes. Probably because she used to be one.

Environmental issues, civil rights, corrupt corporations, and politicians—you name it, she’s probably been involved in a protest. When her latest cause lands her in jail overnight, she meets Silas Moore. He’s in for a different kind of fighting. And though he’s arrogant and infuriating, she can’t help being fascinated with him. Yet another lost cause.

Football and trouble are the only things that have ever come naturally to Silas. And it’s trouble that lands him in a cell next to do-gooder Dylan. He’s met girls like her before—fixers, he calls them, desperate to heal the damage and make him into their ideal boyfriend. But he doesn’t think he’s broken, and he definitely doesn’t need a girlfriend trying to change him. Until, that is, his anger issues and rash decisions threaten the only thing he really cares about, his spot on the Rusk University football team. Dylan might just be the perfect girl to help.

Because Silas Moore needs some fixing after all.

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Pre-Order Your Copy Today!

Amazon ** Barnes and Noble ** iTunes

cora-carmacks-all-lined-up

And don’t forget to grab your copy of ALL LINED UP Today!

Amazon ** Barnes & Noble ** iTunes

HeadshotAbout Cora Carmack:

Cora Carmack is a twenty-something writer who likes to write about twenty-something characters. She’s done a multitude of things in her life– boring jobs (like working retail), Fun jobs (like working in a theatre), stressful jobs (like teaching), and dream jobs (like writing). She enjoys placing her characters in the most awkward situations possible, and then trying to help them get a boyfriend out of it. Awkward people need love, too. Her first book, LOSING IT, was a New York Times and USA Today bestseller.

Website ** Twitter ** Facebook

Author Goodreads ** ALL BROKE DOWN Goodreads

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Mid-Year Resolution Check-In

It’s only been a week and a half since my last blog post, so I guess that counts as progress. I wanted to write a post talking about what I’m working on and what my plans are for the summer, but I haven’t quite figured that out yet, at least not to the point where I have anything of interest to mention. That’s why I’ve decided to do a post looking at my goals for this year. I figured this might keep me on track and motivate me to keep going.

1. Learn Dvorak.
I’ve made no progress with this goal so far. Although now that I’ve thought about it, I am going to write the rest of this post using Dvorak. The good news is that I remember where all the letters are. The bad news is that it is taking me forever to type this. Of course, had I practiced this more, I would probably be faster by now.

2. Read 50 books, including the following: 10 classics, 10 New Adult, 10 nonfiction.
So far I have read 26 books. I am well on my way to hitting my overall goal. I’ve read half of the nonfiction, which is also good. I’ve only read 2 New Adult books and 2 classics. Definitely need to work on that.

3. Write 500 for WriYe.
Yeah, this is one goal I wasn’t even sure I would achieve when I made it. So far I’ve written about 22k, and while it’s possible that I might be able to hit 500k, I’m not really sure it’s going to happen.

4. Edit/rewrite Degeneration, For Real This Time, Alone, and Choices.
I’m a little over halfway through another edit of TILT YOUR HEAD AND SMILE, which is oddly not on this list. I have also started making notes in preparation for another edit of DEGENERATION. So…I’m slowly making progress.

5. Rewrite Trail Magic and The Story of Em.
These are more NaNo projects, so I haven’t even started to work on them.

6. Find a critique partner (or more).
This is a hard one. Technically I found two CPs, but I haven’t heard from either in a while. I should probably keep looking. (Along that line – if you write mostly contemporary and are looking for a CP, let me know!)

7. Win NaNo.
It’s not November yet, so this doesn’t really apply.

8. Lose 50 pounds.
I wish. I have lost a couple of pounds, but we’re not even in double digits yet. Still, this goal isn’t completely unrealistic if I actually focus the rest of the year.

9. Graduate and get my teaching certification.
As I’ve already mentioned on this blog (I think), I have graduated. Got my diploma in the mail a few days ago. I don’t have my teaching certificate yet, but they’re working on it.

10. Find a job.
Also has not happened yet, though I do have an interview Wednesday. Hopefully that’ll lead to something good.

So, looking over my goals, it’s clear that I haven’t really made that much progress with most of them. I wish I could say I were more surprised, but I knew that I wasn’t being as productive as I had hoped I would be. I still have six months, though. I can still turn this around.

What about you? Did you set any goals for yourself for this year? If so, how are you doing with them?

Book Review Catch Up – NA and Adult

I recently posted the links to all the young adult books I’ve read so far this year. Today’s post will feature the new adult and adult books I’ve read, which include classics and nonfiction books. I actually meant to post this, like, a week ago, but I forgot. Apparently I’m still not used to updating this blog regularly. I’ll try to get better at that.  Again, all links take you to my GoodReads reviews.

 

Contemporary (New Adult)

1. Easy by Tammara Webber
Jacqueline’s saved from a sexual assault by a stranger – a stranger who seems to be popping up all over campus. Can she find the strength to move on and fight back?

2. Unteachable by Leah Raeder
Maise is 18 when she starts dating her teacher. Can they keep their relationship a secret? Is Evan hiding something from her? Who can she really trust?

Classic (Adult)

3. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Hopefully everyone knows what this is about. Young girl grows up in the South during the 1930s and learns about race and gender relationships as her father tries to show that a black man can receive a fair trial in the South.

4. Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
Another story most people probably know – guy and girl fall in love in a single night, get married the next morning, and cause four other deaths before finally killing themselves about four days after they meet.

Nonfiction (Adult)

5. He’s a Stud, She’s a Slut by Jessica Valenti
A look at 50 double standards that women have to live with, along with suggestions for how to change them.

6. Pink Brain, Blue Brain by Lise Eliot
Everyone says boys and girls are different, but most of those differences are very, very small and only get bigger because of the different ways we treat boys and girls.

7. Ace Your Teacher Interview by Anthony D. Fredericks
A list of 149 questions you’re likely to be asked in a teacher interview, along with suggested answers and general tips.

8. 50 Ways to Improve Student Behavior by Annette Breaux
A short book with tips on how to treat students with respect and how to be that teacher with very few behavior problems.

9. The Reading Zone by Nancie Atwell
This book explains why having kids read for fun is the best way we can help them become critical thinkers.

Book Review Catch Up – Young Adult

As I recently mentioned, I’ve been horrible about keeping up with book reviews. I’ve read 22 books so far this year, but I’ve only posted 3 reviews so far on this blog. Instead of flooding this blog with book reviews, I’m just going to split the books into groups, tell you a little about each book, and then link to the review on GoodReads. Today, I’m going to focus on the young adult books I’ve read so far this year.

Contemporary

1. The Unwritten Rule by Elizabeth Scott
Girl is in love with her best friend’s boyfriend. She knows she shouldn’t be, but she can’t help it – and is it just her imagination, or is he starting to like her back?

2. Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A. S. King
Vera’s mother left her a long time ago, and now her best friend is dead. What does she know about the night he died that she’s not telling anyone?

3. Getting Over Garrett Delaney by Abby McDonald
Sadie’s been in love with her best friend for years, but she eventually realizes that she needs to get over him if she’s ever going to move on with her life. Will she be able to figure out who she is without him?

4. Confessions of an Angry Girl by Louise Rozett
Since Rose’s dad died, her life hasn’t exactly been normal. It doesn’t help that her best friend is obsessed with sex or that she likes a guy she totally shouldn’t, or that she cant seem to stop causing trouble. Can things get any worse?

5. The Boyfriend App by Katie Sise
Girl wants to create the best app ever and win scholarship money. But what if her app goes too far? WARNING: Worst book I’ve read this year.

6. The Space Between Us by Jessica Martinez
Amelia’s always been overshadowed by her younger sister, Charly, but what happens when Charly does something totally unforgiveable? Can their relationship survive?

7. Such a Pretty Girl by Laura Wiess
Meredith was supposed to have 9 years of freedom before her pedophile father was released from jail. Instead, she got 3, and now she’s 15 and trapped. How can she survive the next 3 years?

8. The Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr
Ever since her dad caught her having sex when she was 13, Deanna’s life has been horrible. Her dad won’t look at her. Everyone at school thinks they know what she’s all about. The more time goes on, the more Deanna starts to think they might be right.

Science Fiction

9. Pivot Point by Kasie West
Addison’s part of a special community where everyone has special powers. Hers is that she can see both outcomes of any decision she has to make. When her parents tell her they’re getting divorced, she has to See the next 6 weeks to decide which parent she wants to live with. But what if she’s faced with an impossible decision?

10. Split Second (Pivot Point #2) by Kasie West
Can’t really tell much about this plot without spoiling the first. Let’s just say there are more characters and more questions that need to be answered.

I can explain…

Loyal followers of this blog (assuming there are any left at this point) might notice that it’s been rather a while since I last posted anything. More specifically, it’s been about three months, or fourteen weeks if you want to be picky. I like to think I have a good excuse for my absence, but I’ll have to let you all decide that for yourselves.

See, I just finished up my last semester of grad school. In ten days, I will be graduating with my Masters degree in Secondary Education, which means I will soon be certified to teach English/Language Arts to students in grades 6-12. It’s very exciting. And terrifying. And soul-crushing as I’ve only had one face-to-face interview with a school I really wanted to join but never heard back from.

Anyway, as easy as the actual degree was to attain, this past several months have been rather stressful. For those who don’t know, the last semester of a teacher prep program is student teaching, which means that I was in a high school classroom every day from the start of the semester (the first week in January) to the end of April. Actually, my last day was April 25. Most of my time was spent observing my cooperating teacher and others. For a full month, though, I was the teacher in charge. I taught all five classes and graded their work. I liked it, but it was really stressful, particularly because I didn’t really know what I was doing half the time.

I taught Romeo and Juliet to a bunch of ninth graders. I actually had a lot of fun with it, and by the end of the unit I had a better understanding of how to actually engage them in what we were doing (wish I had figured that out sooner, but better late than never, I guess). I’m actually really sad that my time with them is done. They might not all have been the best students, but I’m going to miss getting to talk to them each day. There are so many kids, especially in the lower level classes, that need more help than I was able to give them, and I wish I could have done more to try to help them.

The reason all this is (sort of) relevant is because I didn’t really do much of anything else while this was happening. I read a bunch of books (I’m up to 20 total for the year, because apparently that’s still something I can do when I feel too tired to do anything else), but I didn’t really get much writing done. I didn’t even write reviews for most of those books, which means I still have 14 book reviews to catch up. I also didn’t finish editing TILT YOUR HEAD AND SMILE, which is now in its sixth draft.

But that is changing now. I’m done with school, and I’m going to start using this time to catch up on all the things I didn’t do before. I’ve already started, actually. I’ve edited three chapters in the past two days, which isn’t much but is a lot more than I have been doing. I’ve applied to more counties. I’ve exercised and made relatively healthy meal plans again. I’m getting back into the swing of things again. My goal is to get used to eating better and exercising and writing a little every day now, when I have free time, so that when I’m busy again in the fall, it’s not such a shock to my system.

I’ve also come up with a schedule to keep my on track for the next week and a half. I figure I have 21 chapters left to edit of TILT and 14 book reviews left to write. My goal is to write 2 book reviews and edit 3 chapters a day. I’m not entirely sure just how doable that plan is right now, but I’m going to start it tomorrow and see how that goes.

Book Review: Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

Title: Pushing the Limits (GoodReads)
Author: Katie McGarry
Page Count: 392
F/NF: Fiction
Genre: Contemporary YA

Goodreads Summary:
No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with “freaky” scars on her arms. Even Echo can’t remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal.

But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo’s world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible.

Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she’ll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again.

Opinion:
I’ve been hearing about this book forever, but it took me a while to get around to it. Now that I’ve finally read it, I understand why everyone loves this book.

Echo and Noah are interesting characters. They boy used to be part of the popular crowd, but then real life intervened. Noah’s parents died, leaving him to bounce between different foster homes trying to find comfort in drugs and sex while he struggles to gain custody of his younger brothers. Echo’s mother tried to kill her, but she can’t remember what happened – all she knows is that she has “freaky” scars on her arms that she constantly tries to hide.

I’ve read a lot of “good girl meets bad boy” stories, but this one seemed different. There were actual reasons behind all of their actions. They were complex characters that had relationships with other people. I liked reading both points of view, and I was actively cheering for this couple. They got involved a bit sooner than I thought, but this book also showed that just because you fall in love doesn’t mean you don’t still have to struggle to make the relationship work. I appreciated that a lot.

I also appreciated Echo’s relationship with her parents. At times I wanted to hit her for not hating her parents as much as I did, but of course they’re her parents, and it’s not always easy to hate people – especially when you’re still hoping for their love. Echo’s struggle to be good enough for her parents’ love was very relatable and heartbreaking.

I sort of wish the ending had been a bit longer. Things come together a bit quicker than I would have liked. There were also some parts in the middle where I felt the story dragged a bit. I started wondering what all we still had left to find out – or at least how what we had left to find out could possibly take up that many pages.

Still, this was a great book, one that I’m very glad I finally read.

4.5 stars

Book Review: Perfect You by Elizabeth Scott

Title: Perfect You (GoodReads) 
Author: Elizabeth Scott
Page Count: 282
F/NF: Fiction
Genre: Contemporary

Goodreads Summary:
Her father has quit his job to sell vitamins at the mall, and Kate is forced to work with him. Her best friend has become popular, and now she acts like Kate’s invisible.

And then there’s Will. Gorgeous, unattainable Will, whom Kate acts like she can’t stand even though she can’t stop thinking about him. When Will starts acting interested, Kate hates herself for wanting him when she’s sure she’s just his latest conquest.

Kate figures that the only way things will ever stop hurting so much is if she keeps to herself and stops caring about anyone or anything. What she doesn’t realize is that while life may not always be perfect, good things can happen — but only if she lets them…

Opinion:
I probably shouldn’t have read this book right after I read Something, Maybe, as the same sorts of problems I encountered with that one showed up in this one. The dad was the same as in that one – a grown man who refuses to deal with negative emotions, who thinks only of himself, and who has practically zero redeeming qualities. There’s also a main character who’s so oblivious to the world around her that I have a hard time finding the plot believable at times.

I did like this book more than the previous one. I found myself relating to Kate more than I would care to admit. I wanted to hate her for jumping to (obviously false) conclusions and cutting Will off before he even got to finish a sentence, but that still sounds like something I would do: be so afraid of rejection and humiliation that you hurry to reject the other person first. It’s stupid, but I can definitely look back and see when I did that, so I guess it’s realistic.

I didn’t find Kate’s father all that realistic, but maybe I’m just lucky and haven’t come across someone like that. I just found him so infuriating, and I ended up hating everyone else in the family for not yelling at him, for continuing to make excuses for him as he throws their savings down the drain so he can follow his “dream” of selling vitamins, even though he was constantly leaving the kiosk to go to the movies or get food or buy video games. He was just so selfish and irresponsible, and it takes forever until someone besides their grandmother finally noticed.

Really, the only character I really liked (besides Will) was the grandmother, whom everyone else seemed to hate. I get that she can be a bit judgmental at times, but she obviously cares about them, and she’s right about most everything (except for the bright purple shoes), and it was annoying to watch everyone else side with the father when she would put him down, when clearly she was the one who was right.

It sounds like I hated this book, but I didn’t. I found Kate rather immature at times, and she was kind of annoying, but I could still mostly understand her, and I was looking forward to the moment when she would finally stop getting in her own way and just be able to get along with Will. He was cute and amusing. I don’t really understand why he put up with her, but my boyfriend puts up with me, so I guess it’s at least realistic. I loved their “10 second rule,” which is pretty much how my boyfriend and I correspond most of the time.

Overall, this book was rather infuriating, but it wasn’t horrible. And I got the ending I was hoping for, so it was mostly worth it in the end.

2 stars

Book Review: Shades of Earth by Beth Revis

This review contains spoilers for the first two books in the series. You can check out my reviews for those books here:
Book 1 (Across the Universe)
Book 2 (A Million Suns)

Title: (GoodReads) 
Author: Shades of Earth
Page Count: 369
F/NF: Fiction
Genre: YA Science Fiction

Goodreads Summary:
Amy and Elder have finally left the oppressive walls of the spaceship Godspeed behind. They’re ready to start life afresh–to build a home–on Centauri-Earth, the planet that Amy has traveled 25 trillion miles across the universe to experience.

But this new Earth isn’t the paradise Amy had been hoping for. There are giant pterodactyl-like birds, purple flowers with mind-numbing toxins, and mysterious, unexplained ruins that hold more secrets than their stone walls first let on. The biggest secret of all? Godspeed’s former passengers aren’t alone on this planet. And if they’re going to stay, they’ll have to fight.

Amy and Elder must race to discover who–or what–else is out there if they are to have any hope of saving their struggling colony and building a future together. They will have to look inward to the very core of what makes them human on this, their most harrowing journey yet. Because if the colony collapses? Then everything they have sacrificed–friends, family, life on Earth–will have been for nothing.

Opinion:
First off, I have to complain about the cover. The first two book in the series had absolutely gorgeous covers. Why they decided to change everything for the last book, I have no idea. The current cover isn’t horrible, but it’s nowhere near as awesome as the covers for the first two. This has nothing really to do with the actual book, but it still bothered me.

Although, in hindsight, I guess the different cover of the book was sort of an omen that things were about to change. This whole book felt so different from the first two. And, really, it is different. They’re no longer in space. The frozens are about to wake up. They have this whole new planet to deal with. Everything is different. So I guess it makes sense for the cover to be different, too. And the fact that this cover is worse than the others sort of hints at something, too.

I don’t want this review to sound as though I hated this book. Because I didn’t. I quite enjoyed it for the most part. Or, rather, most of what I didn’t like wasn’t really a flaw. I don’t deal well with change. I don’t like to see people take over who I don’t feel deserve to be in charge. I don’t like feeling that Orion was right to kill off the frozens. But that’s how I felt for most of the book. I hated most of the frozens, and the other people on the ship already annoyed me from the second book, and Amy was acting strangely for part of it, and I just spent most of this book hating everyone.

Except that was also realistic. Because if you’re the head of the military personnel on a ship, and you find out that some sixteen year old is in charge of everyone, you would start to question things. I probably wouldn’t trust Elder, either, if I hadn’t already known what happened. So all of their reactions make sense, and I’m glad Revis wrote it like that because she didn’t take the easy way out. There was a real power struggle, and I liked that. It was realistic.

I also liked that there was some mystery. We don’t really know what’s with the aliens or whatever it is that’s trying to kill them. There’s more secrets about the ship that we don’t know. In a way, it was much more dramatic than the first two (or at least than the second one) because there’s more stuff going on. And more people keep dying. And you want to know why, and you keep thinking you have some idea, but there’s always more that you don’t quite know.

I could have dealt with that. And there was a lot that surprised me, and a lot of it was handled quite well. I still really enjoyed this book. But I couldn’t help feeling, once I got to the end, that so much of what happened could have been avoided very easily – so easily, in fact, that it sort of feels like that all happened for nothing, and it makes me question the whole book. There were so many great layers to this story, and I thought it would keep getting better, but it didn’t. It’s like she wasn’t quite sure what was going to happen, or she had a great start to an idea but needed to make it more dramatic so it would last for a whole book. I’m not sure.

Maybe I’m being unfair. Maybe the events were realistic and I’m the unrealistic one to think that it could have happened a different way. I just found much of this book to be a bit, well, anticlimactic for me. I felt like there were so many more things to wrap up in the end, and maybe instead of writing a bunch of stuff that didn’t really need to happen, she could have focused on a different aspect of the new world instead. But that’s just me.

Overall, this was still a great book. I’m glad I read it, and this is still one of my favorite series that I’ve read this year. I still highly recommend this series to everyone. It’s not nearly as big of a letdown as the last Hunger Games book was. This book just wasn’t quite as good as the first two.

Rating: 8/10

Book Review: Stolen by Lucy Christopher

Okay, only one more book review after this one! Promise!

Title: Stolen (GoodReads) 
Author: Lucy Christopher
Page Count: 301
F/NF: Fiction
Genre: Literary YA

Goodreads Summary:
Sixteen year old Gemma is kidnapped from Bangkok airport and taken to the Australian Outback. This wild and desolate landscape becomes almost a character in the book, so vividly is it described. Ty, her captor, is no stereotype. He is young, fit and completely gorgeous. This new life in the wilderness has been years in the planning. He loves only her, wants only her. Under the hot glare of the Australian sun, cut off from the world outside, can the force of his love make Gemma love him back?

The story takes the form of a letter, written by Gemma to Ty, reflecting on those strange and disturbing months in the outback. Months when the lines between love and obsession, and love and dependency, blur until they don’t exist – almost.

Opinion:
I really wanted to like this book. The summary sounded really interesting – in a sick sort of way – and I wanted to read it immediately. I wanted to see if she would end up falling in love with her captor. I mean, I’ve read enough YA and NA with unhealthy relationships that I figured it might be interesting to read one that was supposed to be an unhealthy relationship.

Except, this book really wasn’t all that interesting. Maybe I’ve gotten out of the habit of reading more lit fic-y type books. I don’t need car chases or anything, but I need something more than “I lay in bed. He tries to talk to me. I yell at him. He goes away.” A lot of people have commented on the beautiful descriptions of Australia, but since I hate scenery descriptions, all of that did nothing for me except drag the book out even more. I think I was expecting more suspense. There were some moments when I was scared for her, of course, but I ended up believing that Ty wouldn’t hurt her pretty early on, so it was just sort of annoying and boring to watch.

I’m not really sure what to make of the characters. On the one hand, I’m glad that Gemma didn’t just immediately give in to this guy. She notices that he’s attractive, and she hates herself for it, but she doesn’t let his good looks or the fact that he keeps talking about how he’s “saving” her make her forget that he also kidnapped her. She fought back. She didn’t fight back particularly well or anything, but she tried, so I’ll give her credit for that. But then there’s also a moment where she stops trying, and there’s a sudden character shift about halfway through the novel (maybe more), and it was just sort of sudden and unexpected. I was expecting a more gradual change.

I also don’t know what to make of Ty, her kidnapper. I don’t know if I find him believable. He has no family and spent some time living on the street, but he has enough money to build this house in the middle of nowhere and fill it with enough supplies to last them years. And he has expensive medical supplies. And he’s really strong and good looking and kidnaps a girl that he’s been stalking for quite some time, but he’s also really patient with her and never tries to hurt her. But he does put wire around the land so she can’t escape, and he lies to her. So he’s nice to her but also kidnaps her. But maybe that is realistic. People do horrible things because they get it in their mind that it’s the right thing to do.

Really, this book left me with mixed emotions. On the one hand, I felt sorry for Ty, and I hated when Gemma was mean to him. On the other hand, he freaking kidnapped her, so of course she was mean to him. But we also never really saw any reason for Gemma to want to go back other than that’s where she was used to being. It seems as though she never really got along with her parents, and she doesn’t really like her friends, and her ex-boyfriend was a jerk. So I guess I could sort of understand why Ty thought he was saving her from all of that, even though he still had no right to do that.

I’ve been struggling to figure out how to rate this one because I’ve been left with so many confliction emotions. I know I should hate Ty because he kidnapped Gemma and that is wrong, wrong, wrong – but I also feel a bit sorry for him, and part of me was hoping that she would end up feeling the same way. But then I hated myself for feeling that way because, again, he’s a creepy stalker/kidnapper.

But now I’m thinking that that’s what I was supposed to be feeling. This book deals with Stockholm Syndrome, and I would say Christopher did a good job of making me understand more of what those people feel like. So, I’m going to say that all of those confused feelings that made me question whether or not I liked the book – I’m going to say that was the point. So the author was definitely successful in that respect – I just wish the rest of the book hadn’t been so boring.

Rating: 7/10