[Review] Bully by Penelope Douglas

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New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Penelope Douglas delivers an unforgettable New Adult romance that toes the fine line between love and hate…

My name is Tate. He doesn’t call me that, though. He’ll barely refer to me at all, and he’ll hardly ever speak to me.

But he still won’t leave me alone.

We were best friends once. Then he turned on me and made it his mission to ruin my life. I’ve been humiliated, shut out, and gossiped about all through high school. His pranks and rumors got worse as time wore on. I even went to Europe for a year, just to avoid him.

But I’m done hiding from him now, and there’s no way I’ll allow him to ruin another year. He might not have changed, but I have.

It’s time to fight back.

When one brave young woman stands up to her best friend Jared, now tormenter, the consequences go beyond anything either of them ever would have imagined…

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3stars

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Nope, this book was absolutely not for me. I would have rated it lower but I gave it three stars because I enjoyed it at some point.

Writing Style

Not even one complain here. Everything was great and I actually liked the way the book was written. There was a flow and the description of feelings was really awesome. I am a huge fan of authors who manage to make me feel and relate to the characters. There was first person POV, which I prefer at most times, because in order to write in third person and do it well requires skill and usually it’s a failure. I am not implying that Penelope Douglas has not talent, please do not misunderstand. The first person POV is safe in general. So what I am saying here is that the book was really good in this domain.

Plot

Here come my issues with this book. Bullying is bad but I don’t really blame the bullies all the time. I happened to be bullied back in junior high. A guy liked me, I rejected him and he bullied me to the point that he even started throwing rocks at me every time we happened to meet. He usually was trying to assault me by groping me in public and then there were the rocks. I should have stopped him earlier but I was just avoiding him. When a rock actually hit me and injured me I realized that this kid is a fucking asshole and he needs to be stopped. I talked to my parents and they talked to the police and that kid never bothered me again. What I am trying to say is that victims should not be victims and I understand that it’s difficult to speak to someone about being bullied, I’ve been there and I know, but we all have to be brave and stop this from happening. I blame myself for not stopping him the very first time he tried to do this to me and it’s really my fault that I let this happen.Bullies should be stopped. We need to be brave for our own good and we need to prevent these psychotic jerks from ruining our lives. We can do this.

At least there is a logical explanation as to why Jared was a bully and why Tate fell in love with him. I won’t spoil anything but I’ll just say that I’ve finished it because it was realistic and because Tate didn’t just accept this. She found the strength and fought back and stopped her bully. That’s what we’re supposed to do. If I was in her shoes I would have stopped this earlier but better late than never. We’re not all the same and for some people it’s harder to be brave. Eventually it has to be done.

So, the pace was good and the plot made sense. In general the story evolved perfectly well. There was suspence and I had so many questions that were answered the right time. Technically the book was perfect.

Characters

Both Jared and Tate made me so mad at first. I was so rooting for Tate, I was relating and I wanted her to be free of this torture and happy. I had high hopes and expectations and she was driving me crazy. Thankfully at some time she opened her eyes and realized some things and fought back. I was not disappointed.

Jared on the other hand… I wanted to punch his face every single time his name was appearing in front of me. I loved how determined, strong and smart he was was but at the same time I hated his jerk side. You can’t just treat a person like that. So when things got clear and I realized the hows and whys of his personality and all the reasons behind his stupid behavior, I kind of forgave him. Tate got it as well!

Overall

The book was not bad, actually. I’ve enjoyed parts but I was facepalming most of the time because of my own experience. So the reasons behind my own behavior and rating are mostly personal. I also realized that I should prbably avoid that kind of books. Not good for me.

abouttheauthor

[Penelope Douglas]

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Penelope Douglas is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author living in Las Vegas with her husband and daughter. Her books include the Fall Away series (Bully, Until You, Rival, Falling Away, and Aflame). Please look for her recent standalones, Corrupt and Misconduct. Available now.

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[Review] Tiger’s Quest by Colleen Houck

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Back in Oregon, Kelsey tries to pick up the pieces of her life and push aside her feelings for Ren. Kelsey Hayes’s eighteenth summer was crazy. The kind of crazy nobody would ever believe.

Aside From battling immortal sea monkeys and trekking the jungles of India, she fell in love with Ren, a 300-year-old prince.

When danger suddenly forces Kelsey on another Indian quest, with Ren’s bad-boy brother, Kishan,the unlikely duo begins to question their true destiny. Ren’s life hangs in the balance–so does the truth within Kelsey’s heart.

Tiger’s Quest, the thrilling second volume in the Tiger’s Curse series, brings the trio one step closer to breaking the ancient prophecy that binds them.

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3stars

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[“One’s enemy is often the best teacher of tolerance.”]

Tiger’s quest has the right dose of adventure and romance a reader needs. And admit it, it’s a combination us hopeless romantic readers can’t resist!

Writing Style

I think Colleen Houck succeeded in wrtiting this book. There are many different types of scenes and I was satisfied with the way they were discribed. There were romantic scenes were we could easily relate with Kelsey because we were inside her head all the time. There were thoughts, feelings and great transition to dialogue. I also find amazing that even though it was a first person POV, the rest of the characters were described that way that the readers could also catch a glimpse of their feelings.

There were action scenes, detailed enough yet not tiring and that’s important because I can’t stand too much information. I mean yeah ok it’s good to know the surroundings of the characters but get to the point cause I don’t really care about the rest. I could easily picture what was happening in my mind and it was like I was experiencing the adventure with Kelsey.

Last but not least there were descriptions about scenery and India and small villages and I loved the way they were portraited. I feel like I have to visit India after reading the book.

Plot/World Building

I think the first third of the book was absolutely unessacery drama. There was no point in writing it at all. Kelsey was in love with Ren and Ren was in love with Kelsey, the end. The book would be awesome if it wasn’t for the first (tiring) third. I felt like I was reading a different book at first and then transformed back into Tiger’s Quest. The pace was so slow and I was struggling to keep reading. At the end I got the adventure I was looking for.

Because of my lack of knowledge about Indian History and world’s history in general, I can’t really tell if any of these stories and information is real. My guess is that they’re based in history and in facts and that makes the author well informed. It’s good that she studied and researched about what to write and how to connect her story with facts or to come up with new facts. My congratulations!

I am not even sure If I make sense but I love it when the world that the author builds has no flaws and when I want to know more about it and that’s how I feel about Tiger’s Quest.

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[VS Battle Saturday] Stand Alone Books VS Book Series

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Hello my darlings! Saturdays are getting popular here in BookLand because of these VS battles and I am just so excited everytime I am back with a new battle for you. Today I am here to ask your thoughts about a dilemma many readers are dealing with.

Stand Alone Books

These are either completely stand alone books or spin-offs from other book series, Either way we have one complete story in one single book. That is really awesome if you can’t read to much and you want to read something quick and easy. Usually contemporary books are stand alones but there are a couple of paranormal books that do the job fantastically as well. I personally like quick stories when I am so tired of too long, never-ending series and I need a break. It’s like the sun after raining too much and it feels great!

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Book Series

Book series can be a precious, enjoyable treasures or a serious pain in the ass. I mean if the story is good and you can’t have enough of it and you need more and more books, it’s just amazing. But if the sequels are failures and disappointing then you just regret picking up a series. But how do you know if you will like the series? Are you willing to take a risk and pick a long series, just to read half of it? I do. Sometimes I just don’t care if I will be able to read all books. I just pick one and read it and then if it’s not to my taste I just drop it. I like series because they give me the feeling that they will last forever and the more details I read about the world the characters live in the more I excited I get. Book Series can be tiring but they’re are just a sweet temptation.

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What about you? Are you fan of both or you specifically prefer one of these and why? Let me know and let’s have an interesting conversation!

[Top 5 Monday] Books I want to read

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Yeah there are some books I want to read and yet they remain in my selves untouched. I don’t know why but I swear I want to read them badly. I just need to organize and finally start reading them.

no5

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In the violent country of Ludania, the classes are strictly divided by the language they speak. The smallest transgression, like looking a member of a higher class in the eye while they are speaking their native tongue, results in immediate execution. Seventeen-year-old Charlaina has always been able to understand the languages of all classes, and she’s spent her life trying to hide her secret. The only place she can really be free is the drug-fueled underground clubs where people go to shake off the oppressive rules of the world they live in. It’s there that she meets a beautiful and mysterious boy named Max who speaks a language she’s never heard before . . . and her secret is almost exposed.

Charlie is intensely attracted to Max, even though she can’t be sure where his real loyalties lie. As the emergency drills give way to real crisis and the violence escalates, it becomes clear that Charlie is the key to something much bigger: her country’s only chance for freedom from the terrible power of a deadly regime.

no4

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The Earth is dying. Darrow is a Red, a miner in the interior of Mars. His mission is to extract enough precious elements to one day tame the surface of the planet and allow humans to live on it. The Reds are humanity’s last hope.

Or so it appears, until the day Darrow discovers it’s all a lie. That Mars has been habitable – and inhabited – for generations, by a class of people calling themselves the Golds. A class of people who look down on Darrow and his fellows as slave labour, to be exploited and worked to death without a second thought.

Until the day that Darrow, with the help of a mysterious group of rebels, disguises himself as a Gold and infiltrates their command school, intent on taking down his oppressors from the inside. But the command school is a battlefield – and Darrow isn’t the only student with an agenda.

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[Review] Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

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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.

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3stars

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[“Anyone can betray anyone”]

Red Queen was a book that bravery, loyalty and faith were beaten but cruel betrayal. It’s is quite impressive how many life lessons this book teaches us. There is not always a happy end and that’s because this is how life works.

Writing style

It’s been a while since the last time I was that satisfied. Everything was flawless. The transition from thoughts to dialogue and from physical description to action were perfect. Everything made sense and the story was easy to follow. There was nothing confusing about any scenes and they were detailed enough to satisfy my fantasy and not tire my brain. There was ballance between Mare’s thoughts, feelings and action.

Plot/World building

While the world building was unique and intruiging, the plot was a bit boring and slow. That’s why my rating is minus two stars. Let me explain more.

 There is this dystopian universe were silver-bloods are creatures with powers and red-bloods are simple, lower class people. We get to see both enviroments and experience how both castes are living. The differences, sadly, are big and while the silver-bloods enjoy a good life, the red-bloods suffer and live like servants. So basically the Reds are trying to survive their hunger and the war and the Silvers only care about balls and dresses and politics. Then there’s this twist and a particular Red, Mare, seems to possess a gift that makes her as good as a silver and that’s how the story begins. A few rebellious Reds form the Scarlet Gaurd and they try to start a revolution.

These things were exciting and I was thrilled to read more but for about 70% of the book I was reading about Mare’s life in the castle. When I tried to adjust with how slow paced the book was I decided to focus on her romance but I was disappointed once again. Maven was everywhere and I disliked him since the very beginning. I thought Cal was going to be but we were just reading about Maven. Ok of course I admit that there were a few interesting scenes here and there that kept me going and then I reached the last 20% of the book and then everything happened. There was the twist I needed and finally some actual action. The last part of the book was the whole story and it wasn’t exactly what I was hoping for but at least it was realistic and just like what I said before bot every story has a happy end.

Characters

Mare was actually a pleasant character and I liked her. She was easy to relate and root for her. She suffered a lot and she gave up everything so that her family could live better. Because she is a human being, she is flawed and sometimes makes bad decisions but who doesn’t? She tried to fight for her rights and save all Reds from the Silvers. She put her faith on the wrong people and as excpected she was betrayed. She also allowed herself to lose the battle about love because she was naive but none of these matter because she could only think of her family. I am glad that the book showed as how important is the bond among family members and glorified the family love.

Cal and Maven are the two basic male leads. They’re brothers and they both have their eyes on our Mare. It was annoying that there was once again love triangle but at least it wasn’t the problem. Mare was bethrothed to Maven and Cal chose to marry Evangeline. Nobody tried to steal noone and there were no stupid fight between the brothers for Mare. There was the forbidden love but it was just there so it didn’t bother me at all. Things had a flow. Cal was a ruthless soldier the perfect heir to the throne and everyone was looking up to him, expecting him to be a great ruller. He was indeed prepared to do anything to keep his kingdom safe as it is, including not to show mercy to the Reds. Maven on the other hand was living in his brother’s shadow and he was kind and ready for a change. He was friendly to Mare and tried to help her through everything.

Overall

It wasn’t a bad book and I enjoyed it a lot. I was just expecting more and I was a bit disappointed. So, I decided to be generous and not to judge because no matter what I say, I hadn’t felt so excited for a while and even though it didn’t last untill the end, the feeling was there.

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[Victoria Aveyard]

[VS Battle Saturday] Werewolf Books VS Vampire Books

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I think now that I am completely done with vacation (I came home yesterday) I can focus on my poor neglected blog. Since it’s Saturday already and I didn’t manage to come up with a proper specific battle, I’ll go with a more loose subject.

Genre!

Personally I am more into werewolves. The whole mating thing, the pack, the loyalty and the strength they have to show off in order to be leaders intrigues me. Usually most of the werewolf books are written that way and they emphasize all these subjects. Well, most of the times where there’s a werewolf, there’s also a vampire.

Werewolves

    

   

VS

Vampires

  

  

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What about you though? Would you prefer to read a vampire book or a werewolf book and why? Let me know!

[Review] Remember by Shannon Dermott

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Death is a killer and not to those who’ve died but for those that survive. It’s also an opportunity to change.

I’ve resigned to my place in the shadows until the one person in the world that matters to me more than my own life is taken from me. Then I meet him.

He’s everything I’m not.

Tall, dark, face like an angel, mouth like a sinner and tattoos and piercings to rival that of rock gods, in one word, he’s cocky. And he comes with his own personal fan club, great. (as I secretly apply to be president, okay maybe not)

Only our every meeting is suspect. I’m left to wonder why he only ever turns up when my life is headed south, backwards or upside down. His explanations are shady, and his hot and cold give me whiplash. But his lips on mine burn and take me places I’ve never been.

If only I can trust him. If only he reveals what he is? Then hopefully we won’t end up on opposite sides of a frienemy line, and I’m forced to take him down. Worse case is that he’s already planned to take me out first and not on a date, but in a dead kind of way.

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1star

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Arc kindly provided by the publisher, via netGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

Remember is one of these books you have high expectations because of the interesting blurb and cover and then you get to read it and you realise how disappointing it is. I ended up having a headache and my nerves broken.

Writing Style

I can’t really say that I have a lot of complaints about the writing style. I mean, the book was easy to read, written in first person POV, without complicated sentences and difficult words. As an international reader, with flawed english skills I could easily follow. The physical description of the characters was awesome and I could picture them perfectly. I was alsmost satisfied. What bothered me a lot was that many scenes weren’t described fully and they didn’t make sense at all. They needed more details and work to be decent.

Plot/World building

I’ll start witht he fact that the story was predictable in many ways. Especially the romance; I knew what was coming and I wasn’t surprised not even once. The book starts and three HOT guys are head over heals for the heroine. COME ON! Why? Too much testosterone and too mainstream.

This is so passe and outworn and authors should try something new.

If you choose to ignore that, you still can’t enjoy the book. The pace is so slow and you have to reach the 88% of the book to remember that you’re reading a paranormal young adult book instead of a contemporary, high school drama. That’s not cool, okay? I’ve chosen to read the book because I was in the mood for ya pa.

Speaking of paranormal! In this universe there are shifters, vampires and angels/nephilim. I was excited because it has been a while since the last time I read about these kinds. The the author just ruins it by mixing them, writing about hybrids and curses and then a prophecy I still don’t understand what it is about. Why? Because I received all the information in the last 12% of the book. NO! That’s just wrong.

I get that the author tried to make something unique and impressive out of mainstream stuff but she failed big time. Keep it simple girl. If you haven’t figured out what you want to write and there’s a mess in your head then stick to the usual “normal” paranormal stuff.

Characters

All three basic characters were extremely boring and predictable and not to mention how annoying they were. The book goes straight to my ‘annoying characters’ and  ‘no no no no” shelves.

Charlie is obviously an insanely beautiful, 17-yearls old girl but of course she refuses to believe that she is and she dresses like a tomboy. She is just so different that the other ‘trashy’ girls. I hate when this happens. I hate hate hate hate it. Why would all girls be unworthy but the female lead?

I was this close to just dnf the book but I was so curious to see where this was going so I had to go on. So dear Charlie fell in love faster than the speed of lighting with mysterious Peter (who was not so mysterious after all) but she couldn’t decide if she wanted to be with him or with her former best friend Alex who ‘loved’ her since childhood but was in a relationship with another girl. I get that she was confused because she was afraid that a relationship would ruin their friendship and all. What I didn’t get was that she was sending him away with words and a minute later she would be all over him, touching him and provoking him. Then she would feel guilty because she also liked Peter and that was on repeat the whole book.

Alex was cute and friendly at first. He was treating his girlfriend just fine and he was keeping his distance. When we were introduced to Peter, he suddenly turned jealous without having the right to be and overprotective. Dude you have a girlfriend and you were rejected so mind your own business. He did stuff I didn’t approve in order to win Charlie’s heart and he kept too many secrets. No me gusta.

Peter on the other hand was dark and supposedly mysterious at first. Later he turned out to be predictable and boring. He was also bipolar. He was flirting with Charlie and when she was flirting back he was accusing her for doing so and he was repeating that it wasn’t right for them to flirt. Then he flirted again.

Overall

I am disappointed and angry. The story started sometime near 80% of the book and then I was overflowed by too much information and I couldn’t comprehend what I was reading. I still didn’t understand about the prophecy and I am not going to read it again in order to do so. I am done with this book.

abouttheauthor

[Shannon Dermott]

Shannon first love was reading, diving into other realities to explore and brave new worlds. To share her writing is the best experience of all. She writes both young adult, new adult and adult fiction. When Shannon isn’t writing she loves to shop and watch horror movies that make turning out the lights seem like a stupid idea. You can explore more about her at her website www.shannondermott.com. She can also be found on Facebook, Twitter and her blog www.shannondermott.net.

[Rant Tuesday] YA side characters

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Has anyone missed my rants? I’m back with another rant Tuesday and ready to just be bitchy.

Today’s theme is YA side charactres. You see, my problem here is that usually the basic side characters are either best friends, the third wheel and of course the villain. All three of them are usually the same.

The Best Friend

If the main lead is shy and inexperienced and all then the best friend is usually super crazy, social and experienced. That specific person always: tries to get the heroine laid, complains about her social status, sets her up with dudes she thinks are awesome but they’re not, warns her against her love interest and disappears when she is needed for real. Why would you, dear YA author write about such a bad friend? I need to read about a friend who is always there, knows that the heroine doesn’t have to get laid or have a boyfriend no matter what. She also doesn’t have to be prom queen and all. I need to read about a friend who will support the heroine and her decisions without complaining, except of course if the heroine is indeed stupid and wrong. Please stop writing about that kind of friend because friendship must be glorified, especially in YA books, read by teens. Friendship is important and the best friend shouldn’t be just a side character. We all have to understand that.

The Third Wheel

First of all, I hate love triangles. So if the third wheel is not a side character but a basic character that keeps annoying the hell out of me then I drop the book, simply as that! If the third wheel is just a side character, like a creepy ex or just someone who’s not important then I don’t mind. But my question is why should there be a third wheel in first place? There are so many other things that could be a problem for the main characters and a love triangle is a killjoy. (Ι guess my next rant will be about love triangles in general so I won’t talk about it a lot today.)

Usually the third wheel is the prom queen and she is a complete bitch. Beautiful, socially strong but brainless and a bad person. This also has to stop because it’s absolutely boring and mainstream.

If the third person is a male, then he is the exact opposite from the main hero. Our hero is a badass, treats the heroine badly and pushes her away in addition to the other who’s more like a gentleman and kind and he sees how special is the girl.That’s also not surprising. Come on dear author, you can do better than that.

I am asking you to be creative and start writing about characters with depth. it would be more interesting if the love rival wouldn’t be just a brainless cheerleader or if the other dude was also a badass or also mysterious.

The Villain

I am not really complaining about the villains because, thank god there are a lot of kinds.

1) The disguised into a good guy but evil.

2) The one we knew since the beginning.

3) The traitor.

4) The one that turns good because of regret.

I think I like the plot twists so if you write about option number 3, then please do a good job. Usually it’s predictable that villain number 3 will betray the heroes.

Also, I like option number 4 because if the villain is awesome (that happens) then I want a spin-off and I think that he could be a frienemy.I love that!

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What do you say about that? Do you agree? Do you know any other types of side characters I should check out?

[ARC of the month] netGalley arc presentation

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I am so excited because I have many ARCs to read this month and they will keep me busy. I have a difficulty reading books lately so knowing that I have to read the ARCs in order to review them will motivate me. I don’t know why I am not in the mood to read so much but I guess it’s because I am always on vacation and I have so many other things to do with my boyfriend and friends. I am so exhausted so when I finally have time to read I just can’t.

But enough of this, time for books!

1.

Remember by Shannon Dermott

Currently reading

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Death is a killer and not to those who’ve died but for those that survive. It’s also an opportunity to change.

I’ve resigned to my place in the shadows until the one person in the world that matters to me more than my own life is taken from me. Then I meet him.

He’s everything I’m not.

Tall, dark, face like an angel, mouth like a sinner and tattoos and piercings to rival that of rock gods, in one word, he’s cocky. And he comes with his own personal fan club, great. (as I secretly apply to be president, okay maybe not)

Only our every meeting is suspect. I’m left to wonder why he only ever turns up when my life is headed south, backwards or upside down. His explanations are shady, and his hot and cold give me whiplash. But his lips on mine burn and take me places I’ve never been.

If only I can trust him. If only he reveals what he is? Then hopefully we won’t end up on opposite sides of a frienemy line, and I’m forced to take him down. Worse case is that he’s already planned to take me out first and not on a date, but in a dead kind of way.

2.

Brown-Eyed Girl by Lisa Kleypas

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Avery Crosslin is a talented young fashion designer with a bright future ahead of her. But when the company goes into liquidation, Avery finds herself without a job and a boyfriend who decides to leave her.

When her father falls ill, Avery is by his side day and night. But one evening she notices a young man, Joe, in distress and offers to help. Their instant attraction to one another is magnetic but even though she is unexpectedly charmed by the good-looking stranger, Avery tells him that she has to leave. He asks for her name and number, but she lies and tells him she has a boyfriend. At this point in Avery’s life, the last thing she wants or needs is more complications.

The next day, as Avery returns to the hospital to thank the nurses for taking such good care of her father at the end of his life, one of them gives her an envelope from Joe. It is addressed to “Brown-Eyed Girl.”

Avery knows she wants to see Joe again but she faces a dilemma. When she learns that Joe is the man responsible for her father’s death she is troubled.

Is there any hope of a future for them both?

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[VS Battle Saturday] The Hunger Games VS Divergent

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Recently I had this conversation about Hunger Games and Divergent and I mentioned that I prefer Divergent over Hunger Games. I hadn’t read any of the series when I watched the movies but Hunger Games was disappointing because of the cast and the plot so I dropped the idea of reading the book. Divergent on the other hand had awesome cast and world building and excited me to the point I read the book immediatelly after watching the movie. Maybe I should have read both series before favoring one of the two but I felt that way. Please don’t hate.

So this week’s VS battle is about your own opinion. If you had to choose between these two dystopian book series, which one would be your choice?

The Hunger Games

by Suzanne Collins

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The thrilling trilogy expertly described by Suzanne Collins. You enter a future world where every year two tributes from each district are thrown into an arena expected to fight to the death or get knocked out by other means. Only one can survive.

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Divergent

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One choice can transform you. Veronica Roth’s #1 New York Times bestselling debut is a gripping dystopian tale of electrifying choices, powerful consequences, unexpected romance, and a deeply flawed “perfect society.”

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Can’t wait to hear your opinion!!