Saturday, October 3, 2015

Speechless by Hannah Harrington

Everyone knows that Chelsea Knot can't keep a secret

Until now. Because the last secret she shared turned her into a social outcast—and nearly got someone killed.

Now Chelsea has taken a vow of silence—to learn to keep her mouth shut, and to stop hurting anyone else. And if she thinks keeping secrets is hard, not speaking up when she's ignored, ridiculed and even attacked is worse.

But there's strength in silence, and in the new friends who are, shockingly, coming her way—people she never noticed before; a boy she might even fall for. If only her new friends can forgive what she's done. If only she can forgive herself.

I read Hannah Harrington’s Saving June maybe a year or so ago, and I loved it. So of course I looked up the author and tried to find out if she’d written any other books. But when I looked at Speechless, I was . . . skeptical, to say the least. I can be really picky when it comes to books, and I didn’t think I’d like the main character in this one, so I decided to pass on it and move on.
But I’d been going through kind of a book drought (basically, I couldn’t find anything to read because I’m so picky), so I decided to give this one a try because I like Harrington’s writing style. Now I really wish I hadn’t passed on it when I first looked at it.
Writing about a so-called “mean girl” (not quite the “On Wednesdays we wear pink” mean girls, but still sort of mean), even a former one like Chelsea, is risky. Sometimes the reader won’t enjoy the story as much if they don’t like the main character.
As predicted, Chelsea isn’t entirely likeable. She makes bad decisions, sometimes with good intentions and sometimes with bad ones. It would be easy to hate her if Harrington hadn’t developed her so carefully and thoroughly. She’s definitely a round character, with many different sides to her. Even though she makes choices that I don’t agree with, Harrington makes sure that the reader at least understands Chelsea’s reasons.
The whole not-speaking thing isn’t an entirely new topic. There’s The Summer of Chasing Mermaids, Until Friday Night, and probably a plethora of other books that I haven’t read. But Harrington handled the concept a lot more nicely than Abbi Glines did in Until Friday Night (sorry, just my opinion). I understood a lot better why Chelsea makes the decision to stop speaking.
Another difference from Until Friday Night is that the whole book doesn’t revolve around the romance between the main character and the love interest. Don’t get me wrong, I like a good love story just as much as the next girl. But what I liked about this book was that it actually had a message other than “love conquers all” or . . . I don’t know, “your soulmate is out there” or something like that.
This story is, most obviously, about thinking before you speak. You have to be careful of what you say because there can be some very serious consequences. I’m not saying that every accidental diarrhea of the mouth will have an outcome as serious as the one in Speechless, but people could still get hurt, one way or another. And this book shows that the people getting hurt don’t have to just be the victim. Especially with an explosion like the one Chelsea inadvertently triggers, there can be a lot of collateral damage.
There’s a lot that one can learn from this book, whether it be about forgiveness or regret or, despite my insistence that this book doesn’t revolve around romance, even love. Overall, I think that this book has some very powerful messages, along with some very powerful characters, as well. Even the secondary characters left an impact.
I would definitely recommend this book. It was sad but hopeful at the same time, and I would give it a 9.2 out of 10.
Thanks for reading,
JC <3

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter

She won't rest until she's sent every walking corpse back to its grave. Forever.

Had anyone told Alice Bell that her entire life would change course between one heartbeat and the next, she would have laughed. But that's all it takes. One heartbeat. A blink, a breath, a second, and everything she knew and loved was gone.

Her father was right. The monsters are real.

To avenge her family, Ali must learn to fight the undead. To survive, she must learn to trust the baddest of the bad boys, Cole Holland. But Cole has secrets of his own, and if Ali isn't careful, those secrets might just prove to be more dangerous than the zombies.

For those of you who hate romance and gooey, gooey love stories, I suggest you pass on this book. Put it down and go read something like . . . I don’t know, To Kill A Mockingbird (one of the greatest required reading books my school has assigned) or something. Because this book was super focused on Ali’s love interest, with many gooey, gooey love scenes.
Not that I didn’t enjoy it. I like reading romance books, and I really did like Alice in Zombieland. The characters are well-developed (though all the boys were basically really, really macho and kind of mama bear-ish), the zombies are creepy, and the story is lively and entertaining. The title, to me, could use a little work, but I exercised my ability to not judge a book by its cover and gave this one a try. I was not disappointed.
First off, the characters. Ali, the main character, is your typical kick-butt, tough-as-nails heroine. She’s smart, she’s funny, and she’s brave. Her relationship with her little sister, Emma, shows her softer, gentler side, too, adding on to the dynamicness of her character.
Ali’s new best friend Kat is my favorite character, hands-down. She’s just awesome. And she definitely knows it.

“Of course.” She fluffed her hair. “I don’t want to brag, but I’m very high maintenance.”
“Uh, I think low maintenance is what’s desirable.”
“Low maintenance is what’s forgettable. You might want to write that down, underline it, circle it, and put a star by it. It’s golden.”

Seriously, I don’t even know what else to tell you.
Moving on to the boys. Cole, Ali’s love interest, and his band of merry, super scary misfits are pretty interesting to read about. Let’s just say that you can tell that the author, Gena Showalter, writes New Adult romance books, as well. Because the guys in this book are, like . . . animalistic. They snarl. And growl.
Cole’s okay, but he’s not exactly a teddy bear. He’s kind of . . . Hulk, smash! You know? Just very macho-man and violent. I don’t know, though. Ali can be pretty violent, too, so I guess it makes sense. They’re both very sarcastic and snappish, and they can both their own against each other when they talk. I feel like that’s kind of a summary of their entire relationship. Ali’s fierce, Cole’s cocky, and their mutual snarkiness causes them to fall in love with each other.
And the zombies. Showalter doesn’t bother mincing words or softening blows. The fight scenes/death scenes/bloody scenes of any kind are detailed and kind of creepy sometimes, so this book can be a pretty exciting read. It’s not like those other books where the fighting is either hard to follow or way too simple or easy to be real. I really liked Showalter’s style of writing, and she kept me interested throughout the entire story.
Overall, the book is exciting, interesting, and funny, if not a bit overly romantic. I would recommend it to those who like confident, strong characters and an intriguing storyline. I would give this book an 8.9. Okay, that’s it! :)
Thanks for reading,
JC <3

Friday, September 25, 2015

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

Synopsis credit to

I read this book on a recommendation from my sister. At first I skeptical, but then I discovered that this book is a surprisingly easy read yet still enjoyable. If you enjoy a book that combines fantasy and sci-fi, you will enjoy "Cinder." This will be a spoiler free review.

The plot for this book is fairly simple and easy to follow. There is a sub-plot at the same time, but it does neither hinder nor really help the story at the moment (although I'm told it does later). Cinder is a cyborg mechanic who lives in New Beijing. It turns out Cinder is "special" in more ways than one and it sends her life spiraling into chaos after her sister catches the disease. There is also the arrival of Queen Levana who is trying to make herself empress, but to do so, she has to marry Cinder's love interest, Prince Kai. There's a bunch politics and war stuff that is more interesting than I make it sound. Don't worry though, it's not an awkward love triangle. Like I said, the plot is easy to follow, but kind of predictable. If I mention much more than I could give it all away. The plot was one of the highlights of the book, but the characters and romance were one of the lower points.

If you're looking for a romance filled book, this is not your thing. There is romance, but not a lot of it. It's sprinkled in with nothing scraping anything that "intense" at all. There's a few cutesy moments, but nothing that gratifying to anyone who want to see the main characters get together.

The main character of this book are Cinder and Kai, with the later being the love interest and more of a side character. There wasn't anything about Cinder that really stood out to me however in terms of personality. She was a stereotypical heroine that we see in anything sci-fi today. She was a cyborg though, but the author didn't fully play out that attribute. I would have liked to have learned more about her cyborg part like maybe how they worked. Cyborgs are a cool aspect in themselves and I hope the concept is explored more in later books. The author did a good job of writing in character descriptions and I actually had an idea of what the main character looked like. I kept on imagining her with her work gloves on. She is a bit slow in the brain though. She takes a while to make a conclusion that I'm sure most people figured out as soon as they saw the hint. I do like the way Kai is written in though.

  The author didn't just add the prince prefix to make it sound cooler, she actually wrote him like, well a prince. We saw him attend political meetings and make decisions with other country leaders. He had character quirks/habits that were recognizable and nicely reoccurring. Character quirks, in my opinion, make a character feel more real and personable.

Overall, I would give this book a 8.5 out of 10. It's an easy read and you should definitely check it out.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

This thriller YA is Scandal meets Veronica Mars.

Sixteen-year-old Tess Kendrick has spent her entire life on her grandfather's ranch. But when her estranged sister Ivy uproots her to D.C., Tess is thrown into a world that revolves around politics and power. She also starts at Hardwicke Academy, the D.C. school for the children of the rich and powerful, where she unwittingly becomes a fixer for the high school set, fixing teens’ problems the way her sister fixes their parents’ problems.

And when a conspiracy surfaces that involves the family member of one of Tess's classmates, love triangles and unbelievable family secrets come to light and life gets even more interesting—and complicated—for Tess.

Perfect for fans of Pretty Little Liars and Heist Society, readers will be clamoring for this compelling teen drama with a political twist.

    I’ve read the majority of Jennifer Lynn Barnes’ books (Raised by Wolves, Tattoo, etc.), and I have mixed feelings about them. They have great storylines and great characters, but what her series lack are good endings.
Honestly, the stories really are great, and I really enjoy reading them--up until the very end. I’m not really sure how to explain it . . . let’s just say that Barnes’ series tend to end more with a ba-- than with a bang.
Let me clarify: the endings are just not satisfying. I mean, when I was finished with the third book of Raised by Wolves, I was seriously confused as to whether or not there was another book in the series, even though I knew that it was a trilogy. I don’t regret reading the books (I mean, hello--werewolves), and I keep reading her books in the hope that she’ll finally finish her books while actually making them feel finished, but I always seem to be disappointed.
Okay, so on to the actual book. For those of you who have read Barnes’ The Naturals, you might have seen, as I did, that the book was like a YA version of the TV show Criminal Minds. Well, The Fixer is like Scandal for teens. I haven’t watched a lot of Scandal, but from what I’ve seen, Tess’s sister Ivy kind of seems like this book’s Olivia Pope.
A lot of the political stuff would have went straight over my head (unfortunately, I can honestly say that I don’t really know what a congressman does . . . kind of sad, I know) if not for the thorough explanations that Barnes fit in throughout the book. She does a great job keeping the reader interested by making sure that we can understand everything.
The characters are pretty impressive, as well. Lots of dimension--everyone seems to be pretending to be something they’re not, and seeing glimpses of their true selves makes me want to learn more about them. Tess in particular is pretty awesome; she’s completely capable of taking care of herself and she’s an easy character to cheer for.
The summary is slightly deceiving--Tess doesn’t really fix a whole lot of problems at her new high school. But her intelligence and the likeness to her ‘fixer’ sister Ivy is clearly shown in the main plot of the story.
The plot was really interesting, and I think that Barnes did an amazing job at not being predictable. There are tons of plot twists, and just when you’re convinced that you’ve figured it all out, Barnes throws you for a loop again. The story managed to keep my attention throughout the entire book, and I’m really looking forward to reading the next book when it comes out. Let’s just hope that this series ends just as well as it started.
So overall, I thought this book was really interesting and intriguing, and I definitely recommend it. I know I say that for all the books that I review on here, but I kind of tend to review books I either really liked or really didn’t like (and there aren’t a lot of books that I really don’t like). I’ll try to remedy that.
Wow, this was a long review. Sorry for getting off-track so often, but anyway, my rating for this book is an 8.9 out of 10. Okay, that’s it! Comment below or email us at if you have any suggestions, questions, or comments! :)
Thanks for reading,
JC <3

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Red Queen

Graceling meets The Selection in debut novelist Victoria Aveyard's sweeping tale of seventeen-year-old Mare, a common girl whose once-latent magical power draws her into the dangerous intrigue of the king's palace. Will her power save her or condemn her?

Mare Barrow's world is divided by blood—those with common, Red blood serve the Silver- blooded elite, who are gifted with superhuman abilities. Mare is a Red, scraping by as a thief in a poor, rural village, until a twist of fate throws her in front of the Silver court. Before the king, princes, and all the nobles, she discovers she has an ability of her own.

To cover up this impossibility, the king forces her to play the role of a lost Silver princess and betroths her to one of his own sons. As Mare is drawn further into the Silver world, she risks everything and uses her new position to help the Scarlet Guard—a growing Red rebellion—even as her heart tugs her in an impossible direction. One wrong move can lead to her death, but in the dangerous game she plays, the only certainty is betrayal.

Synopsis credited to

The concept for this book was good. I've read a lot of reviews that compare this book to The Red Rising, which I can't say I read. Other reviews claim this is the holy grail of everything fantasy and sci-if related. This is going to be a spoiler free review, so do your thing readers and read on.

Let's start with the characters. Mare is a good main character. She's not overpowered and she's not a complete snob either. Cal and Maven were okay. To me, they felt sort of the same and I didn't really prefer either of them. They gained more individual personality later on though, and a warning, there was a love triangle. It's not the type of love triangle that makes you feel like pulling out your hair though.

Was this book focused more on romance or the rebellion? A little bit of both, I think. I didn't really get into the romance and I didn't really care who Mare ended up with. Of course, the ending mixed things up a bit and even if you don't like this book in the beginning, read the ending, because you might be surprised. I was impartial towards the character, but I can see why the ending was massively shocking to those committed readers, if you are one.

What was really cool in the book was the sibling relationships between the characters. There was an older sibling overshadowing a younger one. There was also a younger sibling exceeding an older one. Relationships with other characters more relatable and interesting. I really love when authors put in different types of relationships because a reader can usually connect with at least one.

Now, what about the plot? It was good, but not as good as the hype made it out to be. It revolves around Mare's life as a lost silver princess. It's her struggle to live in the palace even as she worries about her family. She also has a hand in the Scarlet Guard, which I felt could have been written a little better. I didn't get a sense of mystery, darkness or interest in them. They were just a rebellion like the one seen in different books. There's nothing that different that made them that interesting.

Before I end this review, I'd like to make one comparison to another book that's not Red Rising, but to Legend, by Marie Lu. There's actually quite a few similarities. There's a rebellion and a girl who doesn't know who she really wants to help. There's two love interest (eventually). The ending also has its similarities, which I won't really go into.

Overall, I would give this book a 9 out of 10. You should give this book a check out if you ever find yourself without something to read. JC, have you read this?

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The Awakening of Ren Crown by Anne Zoelle

Florence Crown was a normal seventeen-year-old girl quietly navigating her senior year in the shadow of her popular twin, then came magic, and devastation.

Taken to another layer of the world where magic reigns supreme, transportation is instantaneous, mages transcend death, and creatures perform their own enchantments, Ren is locked away--a secret inside a secret world.

Possessing a rare form of art and creation magic, Ren breaks free and illegally haunts the libraries and laboratories of the prestigious Excelsine University, where every crevice of the mountain campus is filled with extraordinary magic, and where anything within the realm of imagination is possible--including overturning death.

Determined to reverse what happened the night her world transformed, and surrounded by brilliant magic users who could help--or enslave--her, Ren becomes part of an elite group of unconventional students who delight in skating the edge of the forbidden.

But caught up in a painted universe of layers, hidden agendas, and factions on the brink of war, Ren has to discover just how far she can bend reality before she breaks--and annihilates every layer of the world around her.

Overall Review:
Wowowowow. Seriously, wow. When I first looked at the book, I honestly wasn’t expecting much since it was listed as a free book in the “Featured” category of iBooks (I still had to pay for it, so I’m not really sure what’s going on there . . . I guess the author changed the price and the iBooks people didn’t notice?).
A lot of the free books that I’ve read have had decent but very clichéd storylines, horrible grammar, and irritating and/or holier-than-thou characters who knew everything and could do no wrong (okay, maybe there aren’t a ton of those characters, but I just read a book with one, and it’s still annoying me). Some of them were okay, so I tried to keep an open mind, but I know I definitely wasn’t expecting the amazingness that was this book.
First off, the heroine herself, Ren, is hilarious and really, really easy to like. She’s loyal (almost to a fault), super trusting, and perfectly aware of how imperfect she is. She also tends to form connections with random things (i.e. dancing gophers, a drawing of a butterfly, and some rocks), which I found super adorable. Everything just seemed so alive in this book, and honestly, I loved those rocks almost as much as she did.
The other characters are really great and dynamic, too--even Olivia, Ren’s seemingly cold and unfeeling roommate. The world that Anne Zoelle created in this book is exciting and intriguing. I seriously wish I lived in Ren’s world, even with all of the scary, dangerous parts. Though some of the descriptions were kind of hard for me to follow . . . I couldn’t really picture some of the stuff that was in this book, probably because I just didn’t really understand some of the explanations. A lot of the descriptions went right over my head, even in the second book (which, by the way, I bought immediately after reading the first one).
Also, unlike a lot of YA fantasy books, the romance in The Awakening of Ren Crown (if there really even is one) is present (kind of?) while definitely not being the focus of attention. The book instead focuses on some of Ren’s other relationships, particularly her friendships and her connection to her twin brother, Christian. I thought this was interesting, though I really do hope that the romance further develops as the series goes on.
My only complaint, really, is that the explanations and descriptions are a little confusing. The grammar wasn’t . . . perfect, but it was pretty close (honestly, the whole grammar complaint is just me being annoyingly nitpicky . . . it really wasn’t all that bad). Overall, though, I seriously loved this book, so much so that I’ve already purchased the third book, even though I haven’t finished the second one yet. I really hope that more people decide to read the awesomeness that is this book (and that Anne Zoelle writes her next book soon), and I’m definitely recommending it to anyone who enjoys YA fantasy books.
My rating for this book is a . . . 9.2. Comment or email us at if you want to hear more about the book or if you have any suggestions for our next review(s). Okay, that’s it!
Thanks for reading,
JC <3

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler

The youngest of six talented sisters, Elyse d’Abreau was destined for stardom—until a boating accident took everything from her. Now, the most beautiful singer in Tobago can’t sing. She can’t even speak.

Seeking quiet solitude, Elyse accepts a friend’s invitation to Atargatis Cove. Named for the mythical first mermaid, the Oregon seaside town is everything Elyse’s home in the Caribbean isn’t: An ocean too cold for swimming, parties too tame for singing, and people too polite to pry—except for one.

Christian Kane is a notorious playboy—insolent, arrogant, and completely charming. He’s also the only person in Atargatis Cove who doesn’t treat Elyse like a glass statue. He challenges her to express herself, and he admires the way she treats his younger brother Sebastian, who believes Elyse is the legendary mermaid come to life.

When Christian needs a first mate for the Cove’s high-stakes Pirate Regatta, Elyse reluctantly stows her fear of the sea and climbs aboard. The ocean isn’t the only thing making waves, though—swept up in Christian’s seductive tide and entranced by the Cove’s charms, Elyse begins to wonder if a life of solitude isn’t what she needs. But changing course again means facing her past. It means finding her inner voice. And scariest of all, it means opening her heart to a boy who’s best known for breaking them . . .

Overall Review:
Before I get into the book, I just wanted to say that Sarah Ockler is easily one of my favorite contemporary YA authors. The Book of Broken Hearts and Twenty Boy Summer were both amazing books with amazing characters. Despite this fact, however, I was skeptical when I read the synopsis of The Summer of Chasing Mermaids. I wasn’t sure how Ockler was going to handle the main character’s inability to speak, and the whole bad-boy-turned-good thing with Christian Kane is kind of a cliché. But since I loved Sarah Ockler’s other books (and also because I love The Little Mermaid, upon which this story was partially based), I decided to take a chance with this novel.
Surprisingly, I loved the book. I loved the characters--even Christian--and I loved the story. Elyse is a completely relatable character, and the memories of how things were before the accident made me mourn for her old self almost as much as she did. I felt frustrated right along with her as she struggled to communicate with the people around her without the use of her voice.
She meets some amazing people throughout the course of the story, like Vanessa and Christian. Vanessa and Elyse’s cousin Kirby are amazing friends, supportive and understanding. And Christian is pretty interesting to read about, cliché or not. He’s really sweet to Elyse, and he’s really patient and encouraging when it comes to Elyse’s inability to speak. He helps Elyse learn how to really live again.
Sarah Ockler’s writing style was as amazing as ever in this book. It was poetic and flowing and just really nice to read.
I tried desperately to grab on to the moment, to the feeling, to hold it in my heart. But beauty is by its very nature elusive, slippery.
A fragment, a flash.
Here and gone again.
The trees shuddered with my heart, and the clouds shifted, returning the forest to its misty gray.
The butterflies took flight.
Then the other.
See? I mean, I’m not totally sure what all that meant, but it sounds pretty, doesn’t it?
So, my rating for this book is about a 9 out of 10. Overall, I would definitely recommend reading it. It’s a sweet, light read that’s perfect for the summer, and if you’re a fan of contemporary YA, you should totally read this book and check out some of Sarah Ockler’s other books, as well.
Thanks for reading,

JC <3

Monday, July 6, 2015

Seraph of the End

Before I start, I would like to apologize to JC for making her do all of the work even though I had a month without school. Please note I haven't read the manga.

Reduce, reuse, recycle. Great for the environment, but not so great for our anime. If you're a fan of Attack on Titan, then you have probably heard of Seraph of the End. The set ups are very similar, very similar. And let me just say this, the pacing is bad as the female titan arc. In other words, it was really slow. This is not a spoiler free review and I recommend watching at least the first episode before reading this review. I will try to keep the spoilers to a minimum though. Please note that I did enjoy this anime, but there's too many similarities between Seraph of the End than I could ignore. I know this is not entirely the fault of the animators/ Wit Studio, but the writer of the source material. It could have been presented in a different way.

As before, Wit Studio did a great job at animating and painting the backgrounds. The way the characters move and the fight scenes are nicely done. It's easy to get caught up in the action. Hiyori Sawano should get about a million rewards for the amazing sound track. The opening was great, too and will give some people the feels.

The characters feel very cookie cutter like though.  I'm using their nicknames, because it is faster to type. There is the main character Yuu. After (episode 1 and other spoilers from here) his family is killed, he swear vengeance on the vampires. He has a hard time making friends and doesn't like listening to the rules. Then there's the wimpy side character, Yoichi who is the main characters friend. And there's also Mika, who is the protector sort of character who is not on the same side as everyone else. I'm most interested in learning about Mika. Shinoa is the female lead and love interest. Her I like. Usually I don't like female characters, because they are usually over sexualized, useless blobs of fan service. She has personality and can hold her own. Oh, and there's Guren, who is the captain, military leader person. He has a mysterious side that I want to learn more about, too.

Let's talk about the first episode. It felt ineffective. Yuu's family is killed by a vampire named, Ferid when trying to escape. You can kind of tell where the episode is leading up to. You know they are not going to all escape. Mika is killed as well, sort of, but you know he's not really dead even if you didn't read the manga. He is on the poster and clearly very much alive. It seems like they were trying to use the same shock method that Attack on Titan used. It doesn't really work though and seems kind of lazy especially since it's the same company that made Attack on Titan. The pacing is bad, too. There's one more comparison I would like to make but I won't because spoilers.

A lot of episodes felt extra long and unnecessary. It felt like the characters took the long way to solve their problems. Was the source material too short maybe? I can't even remember the plots of most of the episodes and the only episode I really really remember is the 11th episode. Watch it and you will understand why. I thought the episode where they were getting their cursed gear was good, too.  It's feel very long and not worth the week wait, but still worth it at the same time. The anime is still good though. There is character development, which is just awesome.

It's action packed and still is better than other animes. The fight scenes were well placed. Just when you were getting bored of all of the explanation, there was a fight scene. Overall I would give the anime an 8.5 out of 10 and you should definitely check it out.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Stolen: A Letter to my Captor by Lucy Christopher

It happened like this. I was stolen from an airport. Taken from everything I knew, everything I was used to. Taken to sand and heat, dirt and danger. And he expected me to love him.

This is my story.

A letter from nowhere.

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.

Source for synopsis and image:

Overall Review:
    This really isn’t normally the kind of book I’d read. It’s not that I’m opposed to books with darker topics, but I’m usually pretty hesitant to read books that are written in letter form. It’s not really the style I’d prefer, so I probably wouldn’t have chosen to read this book on my own. But I asked one of my friends from school (not Kalee) for a recommendation of something to read, and she immediately started raving about this amazing book she was reading. She insisted that I read it so that we could talk about it after, and I did, and it was . . . definitely not what I expected.
    The storyline is supposed to be about a girl who gets kidnapped and taken to the Australian Outback. It’s kind of a darker topic, but I think that Lucy Christopher handled it fairly well.
    When I started this book, I expected it to be this totally scary, creepy book about what happens when a girl is kidnapped by some scary, creepy guy. I expected it to be dark and kind of hard to get through at times. But although some aspects of it were definitely unsettling, I found myself feeling a lot more conflicted about the storyline than I expected to feel.
    A lot of times, TV shows and books show things like this in black and white: kidnapping = horrible. Kidnappers = disgusting. Kidnappers going to jail = great, end-of-story, everything-wrapped-up-in-a-nice-little-bow perfect. And although I don’t necessarily disagree with this philosophy, this book gave me more mixed feelings than other storylines using this concept usually do. I had a hard time seeing the “bad guy” as a bad guy (lol that reminds me of Wreck-It Ralph--“. . . you are bad guy, but this does not mean you are bad guy”). I kind of felt for him even though I wanted to hate him for this awful thing that he did.
Maybe it’s because he truly believed that he was doing the right thing. Maybe it’s because the main character didn’t even really know what to think of him. I don’t know. But I think it’s really impressive that the author could make a seemingly obviously bad person seem like a not-so-bad person after all.
After I finished the book, I was still feeling conflicted about the book. I wasn’t really sure what to think. I didn’t feel satisfied--even though I probably would have if the storyline wasn’t so debatable. It does make for good discussion, though. Maybe if Kalee reads it, then we can write a post that discusses our opinions on the book.
The book definitely made a lasting impression on me, so that’s good. I was thinking about it long after I’d finished. And the letter form of the story turned out to be a really good fit for the type of book it was.
The main character was decent. She seemed nice enough, and she was pretty brave.
. . . that’s pretty much all I remember about her. She wasn’t really the most intriguing person, in my opinion. But she was strong, mentally and (I guess?) physically. So I liked her okay.
In conclusion, although the book didn’t necessarily leave me satisfied, it was definitely an interesting and surprising read. I’d recommend it to anyone who likes books that really make them think. Maybe book clubs, too. It’s interesting to talk about with your friends (is that what people do at book clubs? I’m just assuming . . . I’ve never been part of one).
Sorry this review wasn’t really enthusiastic, but I didn’t feel very strongly about it one way or another. I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t absolutely love it either. It was interesting and something to think about, but I’m not sure I’d read it again. Still, I don’t regret giving it a try.
Thanks for reading,
JC <3

P.S. Sorry we haven’t really been posting. :)

P.P.S. Do you guys have any suggestions for more reviews?

P.P.P.S. Shucks, I forgot the rating again. I’d give this book a 7.8 out of 10. Not bad, but not amazing. Okay, thanks for reading (again), and bye (for real this time)!