Review : Endless Summer

Posted by on April 10, 2012 6:02 am in 3 stars reads | 4 comments

Endless Summer by Jennifer Echols
Pages : 587
Genre : YA, Romance
Stand Alone
My Rating :

What it’s about :

Ever since she was a kid, Lori has been friends with the boys next door, three brothers who share her passion for wakeboarding. As far as she can remember, she also has always been in love with Sean.

This summer Lori will turns sixteen, and she has decided the time has come for her and Sean to be together. And if updating her wardrobe and adding a little makeup isn’t enough to get noticed, Lori has another plan : pretend to be in love with Adam, the youngest of the three boys, to get Sean a little jealous. Surely this plan can’t go wrong… right?

My Thoughts :

Endless Summer is a volume grouping The Boys Next Door, previously published in 2007, and Endless Summer, its sequel. My summary describes mostly what happens in the first half, although the second book follows a very similar path.

I will be upfront and say that yes, I found Lori’s plan a little silly. Even her narration is at times so naive that I sometimes just wanted to sigh, roll my eyes and close the book.

Fortunately Lori is, despite her young age, a fun character to follow. I loved that she had a passion for wakeboarding, and that she refused to purposefully fail at it just to get a guy’s attention! Even though she did try to change who she was to please him, she didn’t completely erase her personality. I also appreciated her brother and father, who were reasonably protective of her.

The romance also was totally adorable. It was clear very early on that Lori’s plan had some flaws. It was also obvious enough how and why her plans would or wouldn’t fail. Still, the author managed to make the story fun, cute and charming and I didn’t get bored. The Boys Next Door was perfect as a light, adorable romance and I could see why the fans asked for more.

Sadly, I do think the story should have ended there. While the second part of the book had a few nice moments, the games between Lori and the boys felt over-the-top silly, and it totally killed the romance for me. It started to feel more like an insane, negative relationship. Plus, why the dual narration? It wasn’t necessary to have someone other than Lori’s point of view, not at all. I really didn’t enjoy it much, to be honest.

Overall, Endless Summer was a cute summer romance with a strong beginning. It reads easily and makes you wish it was summer already. And it definitely had me watching some wakeboarding videos on youtube!

Filling the Shelf – 56

Posted by on April 9, 2012 12:29 am in Book talk | 15 comments

Filling the Shelf is basically Mailbox Monday (this month hosted by Cindy’s Love of Books) or In my Mailbox (created by The Story Siren ), but with a title that suits my blog :D If you’re interested in joining the fun or seeing what other bloggers added to their shelves, I invite you to visit those two awesome features!

Happy Monday to everyone! :) I hope you had a nice Easter weekend. Here, we ate a lot of chocolate. Yum!

I had, once again, great books in my mailbox this week! Not sure which one I’m the most excited about; probably Sacré Bleu, which sounds perfect for me!

Sacré Bleu by Christopher Moore : This. Sounds. Awesome!!! I have only read one book of Moore before, but I really, really can’t wait to put my nose in this one. It’s beautiful!

Fear by Michael Grant : I’ve been a fan of the series and I am really looking forward to see what happens next in this fifth book. Grant has a crazy imagination, for me he’s like the YA version of Stephen King.

Uglies; Shay’s Story by Scott Westerfeld : The graphic version of the Uglies series. Already read, review coming this week.

Soulless by Gail Carriger and Rem : At first I thought I would wait until I finished reading the series before reading the graphic novel, but then I realized it would be the perfect way to refresh my memory before reading the following books!

Stay by Deb Caletti : Heard a lot of good about this one, and I enjoyed Caletti’s The Nature of Jade.

Something like Fate by Susane Colasanti : I have read one book of Colasanti before and didn’t particularly enjoyed it, but I like to give authors second chances and I read good reviews of this one.

What did you add to your shelves recently? Have you read one of these two books?

Review : Poison Study, Magic Study, Fire Study

Posted by on April 8, 2012 2:19 am in 2 stars reads, 3 stars reads, 4 stars reads | 8 comments

Poison Study;  by Maria V. Snyder
Genre : Fantasy
Series : Study series : Book 1
My Rating :

Magic Study;  by Maria V. Snyder
Genre : Fantasy
Series : Study series : Book 2
My Rating : 

Fire Study;  by Maria V. Snyder
Genre : Fantasy
Series : Study series : Book 3
My Rating : 

Sentenced to death, Yelena will seize any opportunity to stay alive; so when she is offered the position of  food tester for the Commander, she immediately accepts. It’s an offer that comes with a twist; to ensure that she doesn’t try to escape, she will be poisoned, and given daily her dose of antidote -which she would die without. But danger might come from unsuspected sources, and as Yelena steps into what she believes to be a temporary situation, her true story is revealed and her life is forever changed.

The Man of the House and I first read Poison Study when it came out in 2007, and we loved it. I thought the setting, the characters, the plot, everything was great and just different enough to be refreshing when compared to the traditional fantasy I was devouring at the time. So when the following books came out, we added them to our shelves. It took me a while to get to them though, so last year I finally reread Poison Study and followed with the next two books.

I was happy to discover that I still loved Poison Study, even after a second reading. I loved Yelena, found her story intriguing, and felt her relationship with Valek was paced perfectly through the pages. It was a great mix of mystery, romance and worldbuilding, without stepping into the overfantastical-fantasy type of fiction (you know, the kind with magic and elves and mythical creatures and wars and demons, etc). I did feel that some part of the plot was a tad too obvious, but the ending itself had a few surprises.

Sadly, the amazement I had felt in the first book evaporated as I started reading Magic Study. What had been an original setting became a more traditional one of fantasy, with magic school and all that. Yelena was still a nice character and I loved the part that was about her reuniting with her family, but the plot itself was less surprising. Also, not enough Valek.

Which is a trend that continued in Fire Study. At that point, I had a very hard time reading. I will be honest and say I was bored. Had it been the first of a series, I would probably have given up, but after spending so much time with Yelena, I wanted to know where this led. Again, I missed Valek, and despite the action, there wasn’t enough to keep my interest. Plus, I found that Yelena hadn’t developed as a character. To me, her voice was more adult in the first book. It might have been that I wasn’t paying attention enough though.

A side note about age : I was very surprised to see this book being shelved as YA on Goodreads! Here, the books are sold in the regular fantasy section, not with the YA literature, and I have always thought of them this way. It doesn’t really matter really, but I thought it was funny; adult YA readers often argue that good YA doesn’t have an age, and this seems to prove that. I personally think the characters are a bit too old to be considered YA (Yelena is 21, and I imagine Valek is older? I guess?), but honestly, I don’t think the tags matters much. If you want to read it, read it! :)

So, I’m not sure what happened between book one and three, but I didn’t like it. I would not hesitate to recommend Poison Study to readers, but I would advise to lower your expectations before getting to the following books. Hopefully, you will enjoy them more than I did, and will be able to appreciate the complete series.

On My Wishlist – 38

Posted by on April 7, 2012 8:00 am in Book talk | 5 comments

On My Wishlist is a fun weekly event hosted by Cosy Books and runs every Saturday. It’s where we list all the books we desperately want but haven’t actually bought yet. They can be old, new or forthcoming. Click on the link to Book Chick City, sign the Mr. Linky and join the fun!

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These first two books are coming out this month, and I am so excited to read them, for two different reasons. The Immortal Rules  sounds a lot like something I was working on a few years ago, so it will be exciting to read what this author made of it, and the second is the sequel to The Gathering, which I really really enjoyed. Then there is Venom, coming this October, which has an intriguing setting.

The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

On Goodreads :

In a future world, Vampires reign. Humans are blood cattle. And one girl will search for the key to save humanity.

Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a vampire city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten.  Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of them. The vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself is attacked—and given the ultimate choice. Die… or become one of the monsters.

Faced with her own mortality, Allie becomes what she despises most. To survive, she must learn the rules of being immortal, including the most important: go long enough without human blood, and you will go mad.  Then Allie is forced to flee into the unknown, outside her city walls. There she joins a ragged band of humans who are seeking a legend—a possible cure to the disease that killed off most of humankind and created the rabids, the mindless creatures who threaten humans and vampires alike.

But it isn’t easy to pass for human. Especially not around Zeke, who might see past the monster inside her. And Allie soon must decide what—and who—is worth dying for.

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The Calling by Kelley Armstrong

On Goodreads :

Maya and her friends–all of whom have supernatural powers–have been kidnapped after fleeing from a forest fire they suspect was deliberately set, and after a terrifying helicopter crash they find themselves pursued by evildoers in the Vancouver Island wilderness.

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Venom by Fiona Paul

On Goodreads :

Cassandra Caravello is one of Renaissance Venice’s lucky elite: with elegant gowns, sparkling jewels, access to the best balls, her own lady’s maid, and a wealthy fiancé, she has everything a girl could desire. Yet ever since her parents’ death, Cassandra has felt trapped, alone in a city of water, where the dark and labyrinthine canals whisper of escape.

But when Cass stumbles upon a murdered woman—practically in her own backyard—she’s drawn into a dangerous world of secret societies, courtesans, and killers. Soon, she finds herself falling for Falco, a mysterious artist with a mischievous grin… and a spectacular skill for trouble. Can Cassandra find the murderer, before he finds her? And will she stay true to her fiancé, or succumb to her uncontrollable feelings for Falco?

What is at the top of your wishlist right now?