What I'm Reading: Get Even by Gretchen McNeil

Friday, June 14, 2013

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

This book seems to be very popular. Or, have a very good promotional team, because I've seen it everywhere. To be honest, I wasn't that interested in it, even after reading the summary. But since it was everywhere, and so many people were saying good things about it, I decided to give it a shot.

Here's the summary from Goodreads: After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one. Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother—or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.
I have a few things to tell you, my lovely reader, before you read this review: First off, this is deviating from my normal style of What I Liked/What I Didn't. I tried to write this review that way and it just wasn't working, so I went at it from a more natural conversational position. Second, it's kinda mean. I didn't mean for it to sound that way, but that's how it came out. So you're being exposed to my honest thoughts. Some of these sentences came directly from my mouth when I was talking about this book with a friend. Third, and most importantly, THERE ARE SOME SPOILERS. I try to avoid them at all costs, but I think one slipped in, and I can't find a good way to remove it.

I decided, since I wasn't that interested in the first place, to experience this one as an audiobook. Sometimes hearing a voice with the characters helps me feel connected. And the two narrators were very good, and played their roles very well.

But oh my god, snooze. I could not get into this one at all. I've read it twice now (once as an audiobook, and once on my ereader) and I can't even tell you much about it. We started off with Cassie. She's on the run from....something, someones that are basically unknown. Okay, that's a little interesting. Not totally unique, but interesting enough. Then we start having the flashbacks. This is important to the story, because otherwise how would we figure out what led her to be all alone, traveling in search of...well, ultimately her brother. And okay, The flashbacks for me were the most informative part of the story. So much of the story was dedicated to these flashbacks that, like I said, most of this story is told within the flashbacks. So we find out that some sort of alien life force has started taking over the planet. The first thing they do to begin infiltration is the First Wave, and so on and so forth until we come to the present with Cassie - known as The Fifth Wave. As a main character, I needed more from her. She wasn't up for giving away much information, even just to us readers. While she had a strong back story, her character wasn't developed nearly enough for me to feel connected to her. At all. Somewhere in the midst of learning about what's been going on on Earth, we jump to a new character. A sick (as in ill, not psycho) kid turned soldier nicknamed Zombie. Now we're gonna follow him around for a while. We spend more time inside Zombie's head than we do Cassie's, and definitely get to know him a little better. But other than his soft spot for a six year old kid they call Nugget, and the fact that he's pretty darn smart, there was very little redeeming about him. Oh wait, I forgot about Evan. Hermit-boy in the woods who nurses Cassie back to health after she is injured in the woods. Evan is keeping one hell of a secret, although I wasn't surprised AT ALL when he finally revealed it (although Cassie was.) While she's being cared for at the Walker family farm, she's lost more than just blood, because her brain cells seem to deteriorate every time hunky farm boy walks in the room. Pay attention Cass and you might have figured it out before shoving your tongue down his throat. Whoops, did I give something away? Snooze, because even their romance is pure insta-love and boring. Finally, we get to the plot. Normally, I don't have a problem with nonlinear plots. And that wasn't really my biggest issue with this one here either. It was honestly the amount of supplots. Pick a storyline and explore it fully before you give it a million different branches. There wasn't anything that kept me hooked on this story, and sadly, I breathed a sigh of relief when I was finally finished reading it.

I'm rating this book 2 shots for creativity (and mostly because one shot from me is the equivalent of DNF), but I will not be continuing with this series.

My Rating:

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Program by Suzanne Young

I was iffy when it came to deciding to read The Program. Just the topic of a teen suicide epidemic...I don't know. I wasn't sure about it. But when I found it on audible, I decided to see how it was in audiobook form. Okay, who am I kidding? Anything that stirs up emotions in me with just a summary is something I'm going to read.
Here's the summary from Goodreads: In Sloane’s world, true feelings are forbidden, teen suicide is an epidemic, and the only solution is The Program. Sloane knows better than to cry in front of anyone. With suicide now an international epidemic, one outburst could land her in The Program, the only proven course of treatment. Sloane’s parents have already lost one child; Sloane knows they’ll do anything to keep her alive. She also knows that everyone who’s been through The Program returns as a blank slate. Because their depression is gone—but so are their memories. Under constant surveillance at home and at school, Sloane puts on a brave face and keeps her feelings buried as deep as she can. The only person Sloane can be herself with is James. He’s promised to keep them both safe and out of treatment, and Sloane knows their love is strong enough to withstand anything. But despite the promises they made to each other, it’s getting harder to hide the truth. They are both growing weaker. Depression is setting in. And The Program is coming for them.
What I Liked: 1) I want to touch first on the narrator, since I listened to the audiobook of this one. The narrator was great. Seems to me that sometimes, with an AB, the narrator will make or break the book. In this case, narrator Joy Osmanski only enhanced the story. 2) The depth of the story. I understood going into it that this was going to be a tough topic to handle. Suicide isn't something that you think about when going into a book for pleasure. But I also knew that if it was handled well, it would give the reader a lot of things to think about. And it was done very well. The emotions were raw and I felt everything that Sloane and her friends were feeling. I think that this was really what made the book so good for me was that every emotion was right at the surface. 3) There is a lot of curiosity surrounding The Program (not the book) and it kept me hooked from beginning to end. I kind of started of believing that this "program" was too good too be true, but the more that is revealed, the more questions I had. To trust or not to trust is a big part of this story. 4) About the characters, well, I touched on this a little but when the emotions are as real as they were for me in this story, naturally I got attached to several of the characters. Sloane, and then her friends James and Realm. I personally liked Realm better than James, but in the other reviews I've come across, I've been in the minority. They both have their secrets of course, but who doesn't in YA fiction?

What I Didn't Like: I was shocked to find that I loved this one intensely.

Overall Thoughts: Again, I loved this so much that I'm ready to read it again. People, when I describe it as being about a tee suicide epidemic, look at me funny. But the suicide angle is only the tip of the iceberg. It's more about...what is driving the teens to this extreme and how extreme society has to be to stop it. It's emotional with characters who are easy to connect with, and there is even a touch of romance and humor. If you haven't read this one, and are at all interested in audiobooks I highly recommend you check this one out as an audio. The story really comes to life and I felt like I was experiencing the entire story.

My Rating: 5 shots

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (78)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine dedicated to bringing the books that we are most anxiously awaiting out into the spotlight!

 

 This week my WoW is.......

 
Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols
Release Date: July 16th, 2013

She had me at "country music" with this one. :)
Here's the summary from Goodreads: Bailey wasn’t always a wild child and the black sheep of her family. She used to play fiddle and tour the music circuit with her sister, Julie, who sang and played guitar. That ended when country music execs swooped in and signed Julie to a solo deal. Never mind that Julie and Bailey were a duet, or that Bailey was their songwriter. The music scouts wanted only Julie, and their parents were content to sit by and let her fulfill her dreams while Bailey’s were hushed away. Bailey has tried to numb the pain and disappointment over what could have been. And as Julie’s debut album is set to hit the charts, her parents get fed up with Bailey’s antics and ship her off to granddad’s house in Nashville. Playing fiddle in washed-up tribute groups at the mall, Bailey meets Sam, a handsome and oh-so-persuasive guitarist with his own band. He knows Bailey’s fiddle playing is just the thing his band needs to break into the industry. But this life has broken Bailey’s heart once before. She isn’t sure she’s ready to let Sam take her there again…

So what are y'all waiting on this week??

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

May Wrap-Up

I didn't get much reviewed during the month of May, and June is shaping up to be similar. :( Sorry y'all! Work and life have both been hectic. I'm still finding time to read, so I just need to split my focus a little better! But just in case you missed something in May, here is what all went on here on FCB!

5 Shots
Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell (I still get all fluttery thinking about this one. It's just so good!!)
The Rules for Disappearing by Ashley Elston
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

4 Shots
The Elite by Kiera Cass
Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan

3 Shots
Doomed by Tracy Deebs (3.5)
The Art of Wishing by Lindsay Ribar (3.5)
Orleans by Sherri L. Smith
Starstruck by Rachel Shukert

Okay, I need to get on the ball and get some more reviews done for y'all!


Friday, June 7, 2013

Cover Reveal and Giveaway!

Good morning everyone! I have something very exciting for y'all today! So you know how much I love the Phantom Island series by Krissi Dallas. I've definitely talked it up here as being one of my favorite settings to visit, and the characters who are like my friends! Feel free to check out my comments on the first three books of the series: Windchaser (book 1), Windfall (book 2), and Watercrossing (book 3). Well today I am excited to share with you the cover and plot synopsis for book 4, Watermark!

 

On my computer screen it looks a bit more turquoise than the Watercrossing cover, but I definitely like it! And the fish...well, if you've read the books and/or know Krissi, you'll know that it probably took a lot for her to put him on the cover! ;-P

Excerpt: I stared at her in frustration. “What is with you?!” I exploded. She was not acting like my best friend. Like my Morgan. “You’ve been so different this summer, and I don’t get it!” “Well, you’ve been different too! People change, you know,” she snapped back. “If I’ve changed, fine. But at least I’m still honest with you. You, however, have turned into a liar! If we don’t have trust between us, then what do we have, Morgan?”

Plot Synopsis: Relationships on the White Island are volatile and Whitnee, Morgan, and Caleb aren’t sure who they can trust—even each other. Politicians are lying, history is being rewritten, and motives are questionable. Whitnee sets out with Gabriel and a band of rebel spies to take back the enemy's biggest weapon—Whitnee's father. However, a shocking turn of events proves once again that the Island's secrets have the power to destroy more than just the truth. Separated from her friends, Whitnee battles her own fears in order to survive and protect the ones she loves. But when Morgan's illness finally comes to light, Whitnee faces a decision that could alter her future—and Morgan’s—forever. And whether she ultimately stays on the Island or leaves might not be her choice, after all.

“…[An] earnest tale of magic and romance that deals with the great distance between pain and recovery.” –Kirkus Reviews (Windchaser, Phantom Island Book 1)

If you enjoy fantasy books and haven't yet started this series, you don't know what you're missing. Also, Krissi has offered up an awesome giveaway of signed copies of the series, including Watermark which comes out in the Fall, plus some other cool stuff! See the entry form below to enter!

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Meet the Author:
 
Krissi Dallas loves pop music, mismatched socks, and fried chicken. She lives in Fort Worth, Texas with her youth minister husband, Sam, and their two wicked Yorkies, Elphie and Luna. Krissi enjoys hanging out with her quirky middle school students and building the dramatic, magical, and mysterious world that makes up the Phantom Island series. Be sure to check out Windchaser, Windfall, and Watercrossing. Krissi loves connecting with teens, as well as readers and writers of all ages! You can stalk her online at www.KrissiDallas.com.