Thursday, 31 May 2012

Review: The Vincent Boys by Abbi Glines

from goodreads

Being the good girl isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Ashton Gray has grown weary of playing the part to please her parents, and to be worthy of the town’s prince charming, Sawyer Vincent. Maybe that’s why she’s found herself spending time with Sawyer’s cousin, Beau, while he’s away for the summer camping with his family. Beau is nothing like her perfect boyfriend. He’s the sexiest guy she’s ever seen, dangerous in ways she’s only day dreamed about, and the one guy she should stay away from.

Beau never envied Sawyer his loving parents, his big nice home, or his position as quarterback. He loves him like a brother. Which is why he's tried everything in his power to keep his distance from Sawyer’s girlfriend. Even if he has loved her since the age of five, Ashton is Sawyer’s girl, so therefore she’s off limits. But when Sawyer leaves for the summer, Ashton, the one girl Beau would move Heaven and Earth for, decides she wants to get into trouble. Stabbing the one person who’s always accepted him and stood by him in the back, is the cost of finally holding Ashton Gray in his arms. Is she worth losing his cousin over?.... Hell Yeah.

review

With the fluorescent green cover font, unbelievably hot boys and events that unfold over the summer, The Vincent Boys screams GUILTY PLEASURE. I cannot say this book changed my life but luckily I don't think that was the intended purpose of the book either! It was a fun summer read and I enjoyed reading about Ashton coming out of her shell and coming away from her years of practised perfection.

The Vincent Boys takes place the summer Sawyer, Ashton's boyfriend, is away camping with his family. Ashton spends the summer hanging out with Beau, Sawyer's cousin and the town's resident bad boy. Ashton and Beau used to be friends and partners in crime but then Ashton grew up into Sawyer's perfect girlfriend and things changed. But now, as she spends more and more time with Beau, she loosens up more and her feelings for Beau threaten to ruin everything she's ever had with Sawyer and make her and Beau the talk of the town.

The breezy writing style drew me into the story and there were many one liners that had me laughing. It was a nice and quick read and I enjoyed the small town setting! Both of the Vincent boys had me swooning and I definitely enjoyed getting to meet both of them! Since they were the highlight of the book, here's what I loved about both of them...

BEAU 

"Girl, there ain't a boy in this town who can hold a candle to Beau with his shirt off." 

And I'm sure that's true!!! Beau had me swooning right from the beginning! I loved that apart from his bad boy charm, he was kind and considerate and so protective of Ashton! A good part of the story was told in Beau's point of view and the depth of his feelings for her made me root for him! I also liked how despite everyone in town saying he was trouble with a capital T, beneath his reputation, there was no doubt that he was a good guy. He liked Ashton for what she was and not what she pretended to be and I loved how he was there for Ashton when she needed him the most!

Beau had been my friend since he'd pulled my hair on the playground and I in return grabbed his hand and twisted his arm behind his back. After the preschool teacher corrected us both and threatened to call our parents Beau had looked over at me and asked, "Want to sit by me and my cousin at lunch?"

SAWYER

Honestly, I didn't think I'd like Sawyer. He was good looking, sweet and well, you know, nice and everything. He doted on Ashton and had their whole future planned. But towards the end of the book, I warmed up to him. He wasn't that perfect either and somehow his flaws only made him seem sweeter in a you-make-me-weak-in-the-knees way. I guess that's because it made him more real and approachable.

"I love you. I know the real you too. You think I don't but how easily you forget I was the one who bailed you out of trouble over and over again as kids. I didn't ask the perfect Ashton to be my girlfriend when I was fourteen years old. I asked the only Ash I'd ever known..." [Sawyer]

The Vincent Boys is the perfect summer read. There were a few typos and one or two dialogues that almost sounded like monologues but it's easy to ignore them while reading this witty, fun and light book that's heavy on southern charm. I was left feeling light headed and with a huge smile on my face!

Publication date: 12th October, 2011
Source: Bought (Kindle edition)

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Review: Charlinder's Walk by Alyson Miers (Novel Publicity Blog Tour stop)

from goodreads

In 2012, the Plague ended the world as we know it. In 2130, Charlinder wants to know why.

The origin of the disease remains a mystery. Their ignorance of its provenance fuels a growing schism that threatens to destroy the peace that the survivors' descendants have built. Unwilling to wait for matters to get any worse, he decides to travel to where the Plague first appeared and find out the truth-which means walking across three continents before returning home. 
Charlinder has never been more than ten miles from home, has never heard anyone speak a foreign language, and he's going it alone.

He survives thousands of miles of everything from near-starvation to near-madness before he meets Gentiola. By then he's so exhausted that the story she offers to tell seems like little more than a diversion...until he hears it. 
Nothing could have prepared him for what he learns from her, and no one ever told him: be careful what you wish for. The world is a much bigger place than Charlinder knew, and his place in it is a question he never asked before.

review

I might sound a bit gushy and all over the place while saying this but I LOVED THIS BOOK! I spent the whole of this week reading Charlinder's Walk in bits and pieces till I reached the heart of the journey and was glued, as aware that I was getting closer to the "origin", the original purpose of the journey as Charlinder and I wouldn't have preferred to read it any other way.

THE STORY

Charlinder's Walk takes place in the year 2130. The world as we know it was destroyed in 2012 due to an airborne-disease with a frightfully long incubation period. The Plague spread from Italy to the rest of the world leaving few survivors who were scattered all over. They were in many ways taken back a few centuries with the absence of technology and with stronger ties to the land. 

The brewing conflict between the Faithfuls and everyone else about the origins of the Plague and how life should go on in the Paleolan community leads Charlinder, a teacher who hasn't even ventured ten miles away from home, to decide to embark on a journey all the way to Italy to find out the actual origin of the Plague. Maybe that, he decides, will bring an end to all the unrest... 

Charlinder WALKS across three continents... that's right, walks!... over the span of three years with only a sheep, Queen Anne's Lace or Lacey for short as his companion. He does this by stopping by various villages at various points of time and meeting people from various cultures and communities with different beliefs about race, gender, sex and the Plague itself. By the time he quite literally finds the origin of it all, he wonders if the source of the problem was all he came for and if that alone is enough.

THE JOURNEY

I loved everything about Alyson Miers' Charlinder's Walk because of the Walk itself. Charlinder's journey wasn't easy and I felt like I was there with him as he crossed several barriers, encountered several hardships, was confronted with so many different types of living and attitudes towards gender, division of labour, sex and life and that, in many ways, helped him grow and fully live up to his potential. I loved Charlinder, with his fondness for knitting, weaving and teaching and how he was bright, unusual and yet completely true to himself. I enjoyed getting to know him as he grew out of his old shoes, ragged from his travel, into newer and bigger ones.

What the journey was like for me...


It started out relatively slow as Charlinder encountered a variety of communities and societies as he walked across North America. A lot of the communities were not avuncular like the Paleolan settlement and the Hyatt's dictatorship-like regime was a startling depiction of how even though post-Plague, the whole haves vs. haves-not classification had been practically wiped out, it was only a matter of time before it could reemerge.

I could appreciate Charlinder's bond with Lacey, his sheep and only constant source of companionship, especially after Charlinder ventured into Eurasia where there was the language-barrier between him and the locals that presented a whole new challenge! I adored Lacey and grew extremely attached to her. There were so many light hearted moments that had me giggling, especially one with Charlinder, Lacey and a wolf!!

I could feel Charlinder's feelings of isolation and distance from everything around him as the winter approached. Halfway through the book, I was filled with a sense of heartache and loss but really, that's where it all began. By the time Charlinder reached Italy, I could feel his confusion and wonder about what he'd actually came for and the actual implications of the origin of the Plague.

It was an amazing journey, especially the journey back to North America when I could feel the growth in him and how his experiences had caused him to question his role in the world rather than just the state of the world! It was a teary, difficult and realistically long journey and I loved the insights, details and richness of it!


I started reading Charlinder's Walk at a photocopy shop, read a little on the bus on my way back from my summer internship and most of it at home on particularly sunny days. This book has traveled places and I loved every minute of my journey with it! Charlinder's Walk was an extremely long read for me which made me appreciate the length and breadth of Charlinder's walk even more. With a pleasant writing style, an engaging and diverse bunch of characters and the exploration of Charlinder's inner struggle alongside the exploration of much broader themes, this is a book that will stay with me for a long time.

FINAL THOUGHTS

This is a coming-of-age post-apocalyptic novel that will make you think and envision a world that is strangely reminiscent of the world we live in. I feel Charlinder's Walk is definitely not for anyone looking for a quick read. If you are, you might be a little put off with this book because it is not exactly fast-paced. But spending time with this book is a rewarding and enthralling experience!

Publication date:15th October, 2011
Source: A hardcopy (paperback) of this book was provided as a part of the blog tour
Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Rating: FIVE OUT OF FIVE STARS!
I apologise for my insanely massive review! It's just that I loved this book so much ❤
- - -

Wanna win a $50 gift card or an autographed copy of Charlinder's Walk? Well, there are two ways to enter...
  1. Leave a comment on my blog. One random commenter during this tour will win a $50 gift card. For the full list of participating blogs, visit the official Charlinder's Walk tour page.
  2. Enter the Rafflecopter contest! I've posted the contest form below, or you can enter on the official Charlinder's Walk tour page--either way works just as well.
About the author

Alyson Miers was born into a family of compulsive readers and thought it would be fun to get on the other side of the words. She attended Salisbury University, where she majored in English Creative Writing for some reason, and minored in Gender Studies. In 2006, she did the only thing a 25-year-old with a B.A. in English can do to pay the rent: joined the Peace Corps. At her assignment of teaching English in Albania, she learned the joys of culture shock, language barriers and being the only foreigner on the street, and got Charlinder off the ground. She brought home a completed first draft in 2008 and, between doing a lot of other stuff such as writing two other books, she managed to ready it for publication in 2011. She regularly shoots her mouth off at her blog, The Monster's Ink, when she isn't writing fiction or holding down her day job. She lives in Maryland with her computer and a lot of yarn. Connect with Alyson on her website, blog, Facebook, Twitter or GoodReads.

Get Charlinder's Walk on Amazon and Barnes & Noble!

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Sunday Post #4



The Sunday Post is a meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer!
~ Inspired by the meme In My Mailbox.~
It's a chance to share news.
A post to recap the past week,
showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog.

It's been a pretty slow week for me. I finished reading one book and started reading a gazillion books at once. Am I the only one who does that? I couldn't help it. So much of good stuff out there! This is going to make the currently-reading section of today's post a little complicated! I hope everybody else had a great week and hope you have an awesome week ahead :-)


My week in review

Review: The List by Siobhan Vivian
Review: The Hunt (The Hunt #1) by Andrew Fukuda [Audio clip from the audio version added]

I reviewed The Hunt two weeks back but I have also included a link to an audio clip I was provided with that's from the audio book of The Hunt, read by Sean Runnette and from Macmillan Audio. Click HERE [direct link to audio clip] to listen to the clip!

Also, check out my interview with Lisa Burstein, author of Pretty Amy as a part of the Pretty Amy blog tour!

I am currently reading

ACK. This is all over the place. I would tell you but, um, it's just way too many books at the same time. I feel very weird listing all of them! I'm just going to add that I've started reading Torn by Amanda Hocking in addition to the books I was already in the middle of reading. I couldn't resist since I've been wanting to read it ever since I read Switched and... I love it so far! It is so amazing and I LOVE all the new characters. I like Duncan and oh my goodness, LOKI!! ❤ But *hangs head in shame* I need to stop reading a million things at once!

And here's my book haul for the week

From NetGalley

Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry * BEA Buzz Books: Excerpts from over 30 Top Fall 2012 Titles from Publishers Lunch

I'm so excited about Pushing the Limits!!! It sounds intense and unputdownable! Thank you so much, Harlequin! I also got an email from NetGalley shortly after saying I'd been auto-approved for Harlequin's NG titles which made my day! ☺

BEA Buzz Books is a read-now galley and I loved reading the excerpts from several Fall 2012 titles. They were quite a few YA excerpts and I loved reading all of them. I will be posting about the BEA Buzz Books whose release I'm most excited about soon!

Kindle Freebies

Glimpse (Zellie Wells #1) by Stacey Wallace Benefiel * Farsighted by Emlyn Chand

I don't know much about Glimpse but it caught my attention since its cover is similar to Intangible by J. Meyers and both the covers are pretty in totally different ways! The synopsis also sounded pretty awesome! When it was free in the Kindle Store, I snatched it up! Can't wait to read it!

Farsighted sounds totally unique as well and I can't wait to read it!



What are you currently reading? And what books did you get this week?

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Pretty Amy blog tour stop: Interview with Lisa Burstein


Amy is fine living in the shadows of beautiful Lila and uber-cool Cassie, because at least she’s somewhat beautiful and uber-cool by association. But when their dates stand them up for prom, and the girls take matters into their own hands—earning them a night in jail outfitted in satin, stilettos, and Spanx—Amy discovers even a prom spent in handcuffs might be better than the humiliating “rehabilitation techniques” now filling up her summer. Worse, with Lila and Cassie parentally banned, Amy feels like she has nothing—like she is nothing.

Navigating unlikely alliances with her new coworker, two very different boys, and possibly even her parents, Amy struggles to decide if it’s worth being a best friend when it makes you a public enemy. Bringing readers along on an often hilarious and heartwarming journey, Amy finds that maybe getting a life only happens once you think your life is over.

8th May, 2012  Entangled Publishing 

Click on the image to check out the rest of the super awesome Pretty Amy blog tour stops!

I'm thrilled to be a part of the Pretty Amy blog tour! Pretty Amy was out on 8th May and has already been making waves. I am super lucky to have Lisa Burstein, author of Pretty Amy, on my blog today to answer a couple of questions about her book and why she writes Young Adult fiction!

Hello Lisa! It’s so great to have you on my blog, on books! Tell us a bit about yourself and what you like most about writing contemporary Young Adult fiction!

Pretty Amy is my first novel. I like writing contemporary YA fiction because it allows me to get out all the things I couldn't get out when I was in high school. Kind of like a diary time machine.

Can you give us a quote from the book that brings out what it is all about?
I am one of the legions of middle-class white girls who search malls for jeans that make them look thinner, who search drugstores for makeup to wear as a second skin, who are as sexy and exotic as blueberry muffins.

What was high school like for you?

It was not easy for me. I had friends, but I was depressed and tended to feel lonely even when they were around. I think this is another reason I write YA, I am attempting to figure these feelings out.

If you could tell your high school self one thing, what would it be? 

Don't be so hard on yourself.

Do you have a favourite moment from writing Pretty Amy? Tell us about it! 

Probably just all the funny, snarky lines she has. She has a lot. :)

Do you have that one book that inspired you to write? Which book was it for you? 

A Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

If Pretty Amy could have a theme song, what would it be? 

Criminal by Fiona Apple.



What are you reading at the moment? What’s your favourite summer read of 2012? 

The best book I have read recently is The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.

What are you working on post-Pretty Amy? How different is it from Pretty Amy?

I am working on a companion novel about her best friend Cassie, titled Dear Cassie. It will be out next March. It is told as diary entries and Cassie has quite a sense of humor, so it has been fun.

Thank you so much for answering my questions, Lisa J Do you have anything else to tell your readers? 

Just that I hope they enjoy reading Pretty Amy as much as I enjoyed writing it.

About the author

Lisa Burstein is a tea seller by day and a writer by night. She received her MFA in Fiction from the Inland Northwest Center for Writers at Eastern Washington University and is glad to finally have it be worth more than the paper it was printed on. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her very patient husband, a neurotic dog and two cats. Pretty Amy is her first novel. She never went to her senior prom. 

Find Lisa on:

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Review: The List by Siobhan Vivian

from goodreads

An intense look at the rules of high school attraction -- and the price that's paid for them.

It happens every year. A list is posted, and one girl from each grade is chosen as the prettiest, and another is chosen as the ugliest. Nobody knows who makes the list. It almost doesn't matter. The damage is done the minute it goes up.

This is the story of eight girls, freshman to senior, "pretty" and "ugly." And it's also the story of how we see ourselves, and how other people see us, and the tangled connection of the two.

review

Every year, a List is posted all over Mount Washington High during Homecoming week. No one knows who the maker of the List is and how the responsibility is passed on every year but the List contains the names of the "Prettiest" and "Ugliest" girl of each grade. The List by Siobhan Vivian follows these eight girls over the course of the week. These girls may have nothing in common but whether they are the "Prettiest" or "Ugliest", it affects them and people around them in ways they would've never imagined.

The eight girls in the List couldn't be more different from each other; which made me wonder who the maker of the List is more than once. Yet, as different as they are, it changes them forever as being on the List caused them to suffer the consequences that come with being labeled. A superficial label like Pretty or Ugly is enough to change the way others perceive you and even how you perceive yourself. The fast pace and breezy writing style drew me in and I got equally attached to all of the eight girls, trying desperately to figure them out. The root of their turmoil and motives for some of their actions weren't exactly on the surface most of the time.

I'm usually not a fan of stories told in more than four perspectives, let alone eight. It has the potential to get confusing but the multiple perspectives were handled well and the issues dealt with were intense: involving an eating disorder, an overprotective mother, self fulfilling prophecies, heartbreak and emotional turmoil. Truths are revealed about the rules of attractiveness in high school. Even being declared Prettiest is not necessarily a perk.

Unfortunately, while I finished this book within twenty four hours... I was left wanting more. There was so much that was left unsaid and some of the details that were revealed were too ambiguous to be made sense of. Even if they could be interpreted, they didn't stop driving me mad. I like open endings and everything but it just didn't work for me in The List. For instance, the maker of that year's List was deliberated on and finally revealed but we were left wondering about the fate of the List in the later years...

And there was no final showdown! We were just left... hanging. Even fifteen more minutes with the characters would've been enough to fix that. I mean, sure, the crux of the plot was dealt with. But it still felt like a movie with the climax cut out. I had just got attached to the characters and it was like they faded into thin air without any explanation. Sadly, that alone made the book as light as air for me. While thought provoking and amazingly written with extremely memorable characters, The List left me waiting for some any kind of closure.

Publication date: 1st April, 2012
Publisher: Push
Source: Bought
Links: Amazon | The Book Depository | Goodreads

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Sunday Post #3



The Sunday Post is a meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer!
~ Inspired by the meme In My Mailbox.~
It's a chance to share news.
A post to recap the past week,
showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog.

I couldn't make a Sunday Post last week... so this week's Sunday Post is for the last two weeks. It's been a pretty good week for me! Aside from being able to read a book a day, I finally got to watch The Avengers which was AMAZING. Especially the second half and The Hulk!!


My week(s) in review

Review: The Unbearable Book Club for Unsinkable Girls by Julie Schumacher
Review: Intangible by J. Meyers + author interview and giveaway (closed)
Review: The Hunt (The Hunt #1) by Andrew Fukuda
Review: Arranged by Catherine McKenzie
Review: Jersey Angel by Beth Ann Bauman

I am currently reading

The Peculiars by Maureen Doyle McQuerry
This is so... refreshing and I love it! I guess I love that this is very different from what I usually read. The goodreads summary says it's for fans of steam punk, fantasy and romance. I'm a total newbie to the steam punk genre and I've leaned more towards paranormal romances than urban fantasy.

Journey, there is always a beginning by Munaf Shaikh
Won this in a Goodreads First Reads giveaway. Just got started on this!

And here's my book haul for the week

For review

ALIBI: Volumes I-IV: The Complete Series by Annie Miles (Author), John Byrne, Isabel Eckersley, Sorrel Provola, Twist Literary (Editor) * Moa by Tricia Stewart Shiu * Statue of Ku by Tricia Stewart Shiu

Thank you so much, Twist Literary, for ALIBI: Volumes I-IV! It sounds very Pretty Little Liars-esque and I cannot wait to read it! I got Moa and Statue of Ku for a Novel Publicity Whirlwind Tour. Both the books in the series sound amazing!

Bought

Torn by Amanda Hocking * iBoy by Kevin Brooks

Got shiny paperback copies of both! But I'm in my grandmother's place so don't have them with me to take pictures. I'm happy to be able to finally read Torn! I heard it's even better than Switched!

My brother bought iBoy and it sounds like a lot of fun. It's about a boy getting superpowers after shattered fragments of an iPhone are embedded in his brain!

And the giveaway winners

Winner of my 100 followers giveaway: Colleen. B
Winner of the Intangible e-giveaway: Fran. C

Congratulations Colleen and Fran and thanks to everyone to took the time to enter both or either of the giveaways! :)

What are you currently reading? And what books did you get this week?

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Review: Jersey Angel by Beth Ann Bauman

from goodreads

It’s the summer before senior year and the alluring Angel is ready to have fun. She’s not like her best friend, Inggy, who has a steady boyfriend, good grades, and college plans. Angel isn’t sure what she wants to do yet, but she has confidence and experience beyond her years. Still, her summer doesn’t start out as planned. Her good friend Joey doesn’t want to fool around anymore, he wants to be her boyfriend, while Angel doesn’t want to be tied down. As Joey pulls away, and Inggy tours colleges, Angel finds herself spending more time with Inggy’s boyfriend, Cork. With its cast of vivid and memorable characters, this tale from the Jersey shore is sure to make some waves.

review

In many ways, Jersey Angel seemed like it could be a light yet memorable read. I could feel the sun and sand in my toes just by reading the synopsis back in January. Unfortunately, the book failed to deliver.

Angel lives in the Jersey Shore all year round. Jersey Angel starts out in the beginning of summer with Joey, her on-again off-again boyfriend, deciding that he needs to be taken seriously. He tells Angel he's not going to get back together with her until she's ready to take him seriously; as more than someone she hooks up with and breaks it off with as and when it suits her. And um, for the most part of the book (which stretches into fall and then winter)... Angel is Angel. All she wants out of life is to remain young, pretty and carefree forever. She sleeps with almost everyone, including her best friend's boyfriend and seems vulnerable and confused about what awaits her after high school.

I couldn't stand most of the decisions Angel made, especially decisions related to sex. But more than anything, I was concerned and worried about where those decisions would lead her as there was so much more to Angel. She seemed smart and like she maybe did care about how one decision of hers might affect her best friend but she kept pushing it to the back of her mind. She seemed strong and independent and I wanted to scream, Stay when she ran out in the middle of her SAT exam and stop her every time she did something stupid and fell back into the same old pattern.

Angel wasn't mean-spirited. She was confident and in some ways more mature than the average seventeen year old. She knows that she's probably going to community college as she doesn't have the grades or money to make it beyond that. I loved how she wasn't rattled when she overheard an overly pompous high schooler say as much. High school was probably as good as it got for Angel and she seemed to accept that. There were many instances in the book, particularly towards the end, when I wanted to give her a big hug.

BUT:
She slept with her best friend's boyfriend. More than once. And justified it in a million ways. I couldn't respect her after that.

There were many instances in the book when I realised that there were not many books that had main characters like Angel. Girls like her are usually secondary characters who are badmouthed. I was curious about Joey and the history he shared with Angel and by the time I'd got to know him better, I definitely liked him best. His conversations with Angel were different and hilarious and he brought out the best in her.

I wish I found the other characters just as likable but most of them were one-dimensional and some I downright detested. I think other than Joey, the only other character I sort of found endearing was Mimi, Angel's sister. I wish the plot had gone somewhere. I wish I could've liked this book more... I wanted to, just like I wanted Angel to get somewhere in her life. The writing was great and some parts felt real and poignant. Unfortunately, most of the book was full of bad decisions and lacked real plot or direction to make any sort of impact.

Publication date: 8th May, 2012
Publisher:
Wendy Lamb Books/Random House Children's Books
Source: NetGalley

Links: Amazon | The Book Depository | Goodreads

Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Jersey Angel wasn't the book for me but you may enjoy it. Though I didn't love the main character, I can see how others might find her refreshing and as I said before, the writing is pretty good. 

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Review: Arranged by Catherine McKenzie

from goodreads

Anne Blythe has a great life: a good job, good friends, and a potential book deal for her first novel. When it comes to finding someone to share it with, however, she just can't seem to get it right.

After yet another relationship ends, Anne comes across a business card for what she thinks is a dating service, and she pockets it just in case. When her best friend, Sarah, announces she's engaged, Anne can't help feeling envious. On an impulse, she decides to give the service a try because maybe she could use a little assistance in finding the right man. But Anne soon discovers the company isn't a dating service; it's an exclusive, and pricey, arranged marriage service. She initially rejects the idea, but the more she thinks about it-and the company's success rate-the more it appeals to her. After all, arranged marriages are the norm for millions of women around the world, so why wouldn't it work for her?

A few months later, Anne is travelling to a Mexican resort, where in one short weekend she will meet and marry Jack. And against all odds, it seems to be working out-until Anne learns that Jack, and the company that arranged their marriage, are not what they seem at all.

review

Arranged was easily the most fun book I've read this summer: it was cute, charming and swept me off my feet! As someone who adored Anne of Green Gables, as someone who crushed on Gilbert Blythe while growing up and as someone who is constantly spoiled by fictional hotties that real life can never match up to, I could relate to the main character, Anne and her predicament.

After a string of relationships that all ended the same disastrous way, a business card that Anne finds lying on the road leads her to Blythe and Company. She approaches them thinking they are a dating service but as it turns out, they are a little more than that. Blythe and Company is an arranged marriage service and after a lot of thought and research Anne asks herself, why not enter into an arranged marriage? She is tired of dating and failed relationships and while pricey, Blythe and Company has an impressive success rate. And that is how Anne meets Jack and marriage is just the beginning of their relationship.

I'm from India and arranged marriages are pretty much the norm here though not necessarily the only option.  It's how my parents and grandparents and great grandparents got married and when it works out, it's pretty amazing; when marriage is a mixture of friendship, adjustments and gradually, maybe even love. It was interesting to read about a fresh perspective on arranged marriage, when it takes place in an environment where it's not the norm at all. I loved how Anne didn't just jump into it: she did the research and tried to make an informed decision.

Jack, Anne's match/husband, was a surprise. I loved how he was flawed, down to earth and yet so charming. Even when he was sarcastic to the point of being intimidating and made some pretty bad decisions, he was so open and real, he made me smile so much! I could feel the chemistry between Anne and Jack and it was amazing how we got to see their relationship grow and develop.They both had issues of their own and there were a lot of twists and rude surprises thrown into the mix but there was no doubt that they were made for each other!

But Arranged wouldn't have been half as awesome without Anne's Anne of Green Gables-crazy mother and the rest of her really fun and supportive family. Anne's brother was called -wait for it- Gilbert Blythe and I absolutely loved their banter and that he jokingly calls her Cordelia. It made me nostalgic for Anne of Green Gables (and made me want to pick up the other books of L. M. Montgomery's series, save the two other Anne books I'd read out of sequence). The book was filled with so many Anne references, I loved it and if you are high on the Anne of Green Gables love, I'm sure you'll be charmed by it too!

Though I liked Catherine McKenzie's debut Spin a tiny bit more, Arranged was a fresh, fun and thought provoking read. After Spin and Arranged, I'm sure I'll read anything by this author! I love that her books always deal with real issues with a unique spin to it and are so heartwarming! I think it goes without saying that I wholeheartedly recommend reading Arranged and anything written by Catherine McKenzie, really.

Publication date: 15th May, 2012
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Source: ARC obtained from publisher
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Announcing: Almost-50 posts and 100 followers giveaway winner!

It took me a while to get around to picking and emailing the winner, I apologise for the delay. But now I can officially announce the winner of my 100 followers giveaway:

And the winner is... Colleen. B

Congratulations, Colleen!

A big thank you to everyone who took the time to enter my Almost-50 posts and 100 followers giveaway! You guys are made of awesome! Don't forget to enter my giveaway of Intangible by J. Meyers. There's still two more days left to enter! 

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Review: The Hunt (The Hunt #1) by Andrew Fukuda

from goodreads

Don’t Sweat. Don’t Laugh. Don’t draw attention to yourself. And most of all, whatever you do, do not fall in love with one of them.
Gene is different from everyone else around him. He can’t run with lightning speed, sunlight doesn’t hurt him and he doesn’t have an unquenchable lust for blood. Gene is a human, and he knows the rules. Keep the truth a secret. It’s the only way to stay alive in a world of night—a world where humans are considered a delicacy and hunted for their blood. 
When he’s chosen for a once in a lifetime opportunity to hunt the last remaining humans, Gene’s carefully constructed life begins to crumble around him. He’s thrust into the path of a girl who makes him feel things he never thought possible—and into a ruthless pack of hunters whose suspicions about his true nature are growing. Now that Gene has finally found something worth fighting for, his need to survive is stronger than ever—but is it worth the cost of his humanity?
review

The Hunt by Andrew Fukuda: terrific or horrific? I cannot seem to decide.

Let's assume that it really is possible to spend years without breathing hard, coughing, laughing, crying or emoting in any way in the presence of unnamed predators who have hunted hepers (that's what they call humans) to the point of endangerment. It seems unbelievable but let's assume the need for survival makes the main character that good at hiding in plain sight; at being one of them.

Few chapters into the book, when I stopped wondering how the main characterGene managed to keep up the act and where the creatures featured in this book came from, I found myself getting sucked into the story. It is definitely a very creative and unique premise, there's no doubt about that. Fukuda has created a horrifying world that's hundred times scarier than any dystopia I've ever read: it involves unnamed creatures who resemble humans and even talk like them but the similarities end there. They don't smile, cough, laugh, the sunlight reduces them to mush, they are not hairy and cannot swim. They scratch their wrists when they are amused, kiss by shoving their elbows into armpits and drool a lot!

I was okay with the main character, Gene, in the first few chapters. He seemed to be a survivor and did everything necessary not to draw attention to himself. When he gets picked to be a part of the Heper Hunt, a chance to hunt down the last remaining humans and drink their blood, he's obviously in a bit of the fix. How long will it take before his fellow hunters, who are a pretty aggressive lot, realise he's a heper?

But eventually, as I learned more about Gene, I found it hard to like him. Acting like one of the vamp-like creatures all his life had clearly turned him into one of them. Gene refers to humans as hepers, a term given to humans by these creatures, even in his head and when he meets the humans who are to be hunted down, he is actually surprised that they are clever and resourceful and thinks he is better than them. This made my blood boil.

Gene's love interest, Ashley June, is still a bit of a mystery to me but I enjoyed the way their relationship blossomed. Amidst the hardened blood-spattered climate, the moments they shared were like little splashes of colour and sparkle that filled me with warmth. There was that one scene in the ballroom that made my heart melt. ❤

But the rest of the book? The gore-filled scenes were brilliantly written. Definitely made me squirm but ultimately also hooked me in and made it impossible for me to stop reading. Yet I despised most of the characters. The ones I didn't despise, I still didn't care all that much about. And characters are everything. They make the story. The characters who were one-note, save few situations and the plot holes almost made me decide this series was not for me. That was until the super huge cliffhanger that made me stop breathing and read the last page over and over again in shock. Now I'll have to read the sequel.

The Hunt is flawed in terms of world building and was too gory for my liking. I found it hard to get attached to any of the characters but the plot is extremely creative and original. Certain scenes were memorable while others made me want to throw something at the main character. But I was hooked throughout. I had a love-hate relationship with this book, which makes it so hard to rate it. I'll have to go with the infamous three stars.

Publication date: 8th May, 2012
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Source: NetGalley
Links: Amazon | The Book Depository | Goodreads

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

The Hunt is also available in audio format from Macmillan Audio. It's read by Sean Runnette! I was provided with an audio clip that's from the first chapter of The Hunt and it sounds pretty great! I've posted the link to the clip below!


Audio-book Buy Links: Amazon | The Book Depository

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Intangible by J. Meyers: Review, author interview and giveaway!

Hello everybody! I'm happy to be able to, along with posting my review of Intangible by J. Meyers, a book that I loved to bits and hope you will too, also have her here on my blog for an author interview! J has also been generous enough to donate an ecopy of Intangible for a giveaway on my blog! Don't forget to stick with me till the very end of this post to enter the giveaway :-)

 From goodreads

Twins Sera and Luke Raine have a well-kept secret—she heals with a touch of her hand, he sees the future. All their lives they’ve helped those in need on the sly. They’ve always thought of their abilities as being a gift.

Then Luke has a vision that Sera is killed. That gift they’ve always cherished begins to feel an awful lot like a curse. Because the thing about Luke’s ability? He’s always right. And he can’t do anything about it.

review

Intangible cuts right to the chase: it opens with Luke having a vision in which Sera, his twin sister, is killed. Luke's visions have never been false and he's never been able to change them, as much as he has tried to. But since it is Sera, his twin sister, he has to try. There is a prophecy, there are vampires and we are introduced to a boy controlled by The Shadows. There is much more to Luke's vision, much more to his and Sera's lives, than he could ever imagine.

Intangible was the kind of book that slowly crept up on me and before I knew it, I was hooked. It took me a while to get acquainted with Luke and Sera. They kept their powers a secret from the rest of the world and used them responsibly (except for instance when Sera, in a fit of rage, succumbs to pettiness). They shared a strong bond and I liked how well they got along. It was obvious that they depended on each other and they shared a pleasant and easy going relationship that brought a smile to my face.

The other Gifteds also fascinated me. Marc's conflict and situation disturbed me. It was so sad to watch him get caught in the crossfire. I totally understood his anger towards the end of the book. I couldn't help wondering what Quinn was throughout and hope we'll see more of him in the second part of the series. 

But more than anything, I loved the Realm and the creatures of the Realm. I enjoyed meeting the different kinds of vampires, Light Elves and Dark Elves. I loved the sheer variety and how they weren't cardboard cut-out versions from every other paranormal story. They were well crafted and original. Among the vampires, Jonas was such a well developed character. He had carved his own path for himself and was extremely unpredictable. I also liked what I learned about the Light Elves and would love to learn more about them and their lore in the future books.

The story is told through varying perspectives and for once, that didn't really bother me. It was the perfect way to tell this story as so much was going on! The different perspectives made it possible to get a full picture of what was going on as the plot thickened.

At the end of the book, a lot was revealed and yet, it is just the beginning and I'm so glad! I cannot wait to meet these characters again and learn even more about them! The way it ended made me love this book all the more. It has got to be one of my favourite endings! We were introduced to a host of new characters who charmed me right away. 

Intangible is a thoroughly engaging and original novel that I'm sure you will enjoy reading! I cannot wait to see where this series is headed. I will definitely be on the lookout for the release of the next book of the series!

Publication date: 31st January, 2012
Source: A copy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

THE INTERVIEW

Hello J and welcome to my blog! It’s so great to have you here! Tell us a bit about yourself and what made you start writing.

Hey, Ajoop! Thanks so much for having me—I’m happy to be here. I actually hated writing when I was in high school and college. HATED it. With a passion. Went out of my way to not take a writing class. EVER. I’d always loved words, word play, and reading, but never writing. Then a couple of years out of college I started freelancing at a small educational text production house (we made the text books for the big boys). I think I got the job because I was very familiar with Microsoft Word, in all honesty. I started with simply inputting changes to manuscript. Bit by bit I moved up to proofreading, then copy editing, and then eventually writing. It kinda snuck up on me, the writing did. I got to the point where what I was doing was all writing. And I really enjoyed it. I eventually co-authored a couple of parenting books and then decided to take the leap into fiction. (It was a *really* good leap!)

Could you describe the crux of Intangible in one sentence?
Twins Sera and Luke must figure out how to change the future to save Sera’s life.

How did you come up with the premise of Intangible?
My original idea was for a girl who could heal with a touch of her hand. But as I thought about it, I wanted it to be a book that my boys would enjoy reading when they’re old enough, so I gave her a twin brother who could see the future. The healer premise was inspired by Reiki, an alternative hands-on healing method. And the gifted teens all over the world was inspired by comic book superheroes. :-)

Vampires versus Light Elves versus Dark Elves. Who would you pick?
Light Elves, without a doubt. (But I would hope they’d spare Jonas because he’s helped them. And because I love him.) 

(Aww! )

If you could be one of the Gifteds, what would you want your ability to be?
I’d want to be a healer like Sera. There are people close to me that could use that kind of power to save their lives right now. I wish I could do that.

Which book would you say changed your life? What are you reading at the moment?
The Oxford English Dictionary. My husband gave it to me one Christmas when we were dating, and proposed to me by circling the words will, you, marry, and me. (I’ve always loved the OED. Even more so after that.) ;-) At the moment, I’m reading ReVamped by Ada Adams.

That is such a sweet story! :,) Who is your favourite fictional character of all time?
Calvin from the Calvin and Hobbes comic strip by Bill Watterson. I LOVE Calvin!

The ending of Intangible left us with a lot of possibilities as to where the next book of the series was headed. What’s in store for Luke and Sera?
They’re going to spend some more time in the Realm and meet more Gifteds. Luke and Fey get closer. It’s life or death again, of course. Other than that, I can’t tell you. I’m working on it right now and things may change from how I think it’ll be now to how it ends up being in the end. :-)

Thank you so much for answering my questions, J :) Do you have anything else to tell your readers?
Please come visit me online! I’ve really loved meeting people from all over who I’d never have met otherwise. It’s a wonderful thing. Links to find me on Twitter and Facebook are on my site, or you can just chat with me there via my blog or email: www.jmeyersbooks.com.

Thank YOU, Ajoop! It’s been a real pleasure.

THE GIVEAWAY
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  • You have 48 hours to respond before I pick another winner
  • Giveaway open till 17/05/12
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Monday, 7 May 2012

Review: The Unbearable Book Club For Unsinkable Girls by Julie Schumacher

from goodreads

I'm Adrienne Haus, survivor of a mother-daughter book club. Most of us didn't want to join. My mother signed me up because I was stuck at home all summer, with my knee in a brace. CeeCee's parents forced her to join after cancelling her Paris trip because she bashed up their car. The members of "The Unbearable Book Club," CeeCee, Jill, Wallis, and I, were all going into eleventh grade A.P. English. But we weren't friends. We were literary prisoners, sweating, reading classics, and hanging out at the pool. If you want to find out how membership in a book club can end up with a person being dead, you can probably look us up under mother-daughter literary catastrophe. Or open this book and read my essay, which I'll turn in when I go back to school.

review

I was VERY excited to read this book. I love book clubs and books about book clubs and that was enough to get me psyched about The Unbearable Book Club For Unsinkable Girls. And I did enjoy reading it, not just because I loved the literary references and banter between the four very different girls who are (well, three of them are) forced by their parents to be a part of a mother-daughter book club, but also because it was very different from what I expected!

The Unbearable Book Club For Unsinkable Girls is in the form of Adrienne's summer essay to her teacher. Every chapter starts out with her definition of one of the several things a story consists of- the protagonist, antagonist, dialogue (why isn't it called a trialogue when it's a conversation between three people?, Adrienne asks), metaphors, the climax and so on, and the chapter that follows relates to the theme. I enjoyed reading Adrienne's thoughts about what a story contains and so I really enjoyed the structure of this book.

Adrienne was an amazing narrator! Adrienne is pushed by popular-girl-who-messes-with-people's heads, CeeCee (you know the type) into questioning who she really is, what she's all about as well as the absence of her father and her relationship with her mother. All these issues were dealt with a little erratically, but believably. Adrienne was someone I could connect with from the beginning. Her love for books is described so well in several places and yet, she's not someone who is opinionated. She loses herself in a book and at the end of it, all she can say is, I liked it. I could relate to that. It was one of the reasons why I started this book blog. 

The relationship between Adrienne and her mother was also very realistic. I loved the mother-daughter element of this book. The mothers weren't just relegated to the background like they usually are in YA; their presence was felt throughout. The relationship between the girls was also very realistic. Adrienne, Jill, CeeCee and Wallis were the four girls in the book club and they couldn't be more different. Arienne was, in her words, a question mark, Jill was an over achiever, CeeCee was popular and Wallis was a mystery. It was refreshing how all of them recognised how different they were and none of them expected to bond and become insta BFFs (and they weren't just telling themselves that, they accepted it from the beginning).

Naturally, as a result of being practically the only people left behind in Delaware for the summer, the four girls had to spend a lot of time together. They talked and they learned unexpected things about each other. CeeCee surprised me, there was more to Jill and we were tortuously kept in the dark about Wallis's family life. But that didn't make them any less different at the end of the summer and the book club remained their only common ground. They will probably go back to their different groups at the beginning of the school year but maybe their experiences in the summer did change them a bit and helped them do things they usually wouldn't have done.

All in all, I enjoyed reading this book. It was the perfect summer read that made me think, laugh and kept me constantly entertained! I liked reading about the books that were read in the book club and how Adrienne said that in a way, those books shaped her summer and made her who she was. In many ways, while Adrienne narrated the story, it was like CeeCee practically engineered most parts of it. I was amused yet at the same time disturbed by her happy-go-lucky way of creating drama and towards the end, things were revealed about her that maybe explained why she was the way she was. 

Adrienne will probably get an A for her essay (and she deserves it!) but sadly, I couldn't give this book five or even four stars. I really wish I could because for the most part, I loved this book but towards the end, there is a death, there are parts that were built up that lead nowhere (which I guess, should've felt fun and realistic) and sadly, at that point, the book lost its steam for me. The ending wasn't rushed or anything but I really stopped feeling it in the last thirty or so pages. Maybe I got too attached to the characters and the paths they took were logical but way too normal and realistic for me.

But despite that, you should give this book a shot! It's snarky and fun, it's realistic yet such a summer read and it's about a mother-daughter book club! I'm glad I read this book, despite not liking it that much towards the end.

Publication date: 8th May, 2012
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Source: NetGalley

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Sunday Post #2: Is it Sunday already?



The Sunday Post is a meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer!
~ Inspired by the meme In My Mailbox.~
It's a chance to share news.
A post to recap the past week,
showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog.


Is it Sunday already? It felt like the past week just whooshed by! But it was a very calm and nice week, especially when it came to my reading schedule! I read a lot of really fun books that put a big smile on my face!


My week in review

Review: Obsidian (Lux #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

I am currently reading

Ashton is going through a lot and it's bringing out a whole other side of her! I cannot wait to see where this is going.

This is shaping up to be totally different from the kind of book I thought it would be! I can relate to Adrienne in so many ways and I am both amused and disturbed by CeeCee at the same time. Is that possible?

And here's my book haul for the week

Bought

Insurgent by Veronica Roth * When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle

Both books that I've heard so much about! I cannot wait to finally dive into Insurgent. I read Divergent only a month back, so it's still fresh in my mind and if I could, I'd drop all the other books on my TBR and read Insurgent right away.
That's all for this week! :o)

What are you currently reading? And what books did you get this week?

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Review: Obsidian (Lux #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

from goodreads

Starting over sucks.When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I'd pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring.... until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.And then he opened his mouth. Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something...unexpected happens. The hot alien living next door marks me.You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon's touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I'm getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades. If I don't kill him first, that is.

review

Obsidian worked for me because it had all the right elements. Smart, level headed and snarky book blogger meets TOTALLY HOT, arrogant, kind of annoying and moody alien? YES PLEASE.

Obsidian takes place when Katy moves to West Virginia with her mother just before her senior year. That's when she meets alien next door, Daemon Black and sparks fly during their very first encounter.

Daemon infuriates Katy with his snark and obnoxiousness. Katy just about tolerates him because she becomes fast friends with his twin sister Dee, who unlike him, is bubbly and a really sweet person. When he interferes there as well, saying Katy should stay away from Dee, Katy is reasonably more than annoyed. And then there are the stares Daemon and Dee get from others, how fast they seem to move though she's sure she's imagining it and the perpetual absence of their parents. The triplets they hang out with, Ash, Adam and Andrew, are also almost too close knit and quick to point out that Katy is not "one of them". So who are they?

I loved that Katy was funny, loyal and had a review blog. It was so much fun to read about her taking part in the usual memes like Waiting on Wednesday and In My Mailbox, obsessing over comments and reading fun books.  I'd heard a lot about Daemon's hotness even before I started reading the book and he was as swoon-worthy as I'd expected! I could not get enough of him. The scenes in Daemon's point of view at the end also revealed that there was a gentler side to him and I loved that.

The fireworks between Katy and Daemon was one of the main things that made me love Obsidian to bits. It was love and hate and lust all rolled into one and honestly, it was like watching a tennis match. I loved how Katy was more than a match for Daemon. She could put him in his place more than once and match up to his snarky retorts.The last page had me yearning for even more of Daemon and Katy.

One thing that kind of threw me off was how for there being grave consequences if their true identities were exposed to humans, Daemon, Dee, Ash and the others seemed kind of... careless. Even before it was  revealed to Katy, after a series of events, that Daemon, Dee and the triplets were from another planet, Daemon seemed pretty carefree about using his powers. And the discussions about Katy not being "one of them" and "not belonging" were not very discrete either. Did they think Katy was too stupid to add two and two together and realise they were not normal?

But overall, Obsidian was a fun and fast read. It was hard not to be amused by the Katy-Daemon banter and get sucked into the action-packed climax. If you're looking for an entertaining paranormal romance, Obsidian is definitely for you! I'm glad I got to read this. Now I can count down the days left for the release of Onyx with everyone else!

Publication date: 29th November, 2011
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Source: Bought

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Friday, 4 May 2012

Follow Friday #8: To my favourite authors


 Feature and Follow is a weekly blog hop hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read!

Question of the week: What is one thing you wish you could tell your favourite author?

To my favourite authors:

You guys are amazing and if you've had a favourite author, you'd probably know how much. Your books either made my childhood more special or were a source of escape in the later years. I love how with words you create worlds I get lost in. I love how you help me find more meaning, depth and colour in little things. How you make me laugh, cry and feel a part of the world you create. You make me want to create such worlds too; hoping to one day make someone's day, year and life like you do.

Sometimes, reading your book helps me get over a really bad day or makes a good day even better as I get back home and get back to reading your book. Some of your books, I've read over and over again and each time it's different. And let's not forget the fantastic characters you create that encourages me to look beyond the two dimensions. All that with words.

You are awesome!

That's all for this week's Feature and Follow Friday. Hope you have a great weekend!

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Review: Welcome Caller, This is Chloe by Shelley Coriell

from goodreads

Big-hearted Chloe Camden is the queen of her universe until her best friend shreds her reputation and her school counselor axes her junior independent study project. Chloe is forced to take on a meaningful project in order to pass, and so she joins her school’s struggling radio station, where the other students don’t find her too queenly. Ostracized by her former BFs and struggling with her beloved Grams’s mental deterioration, lonely Chloe ends up hosting a call-in show that gets the station much-needed publicity and, in the end, trouble. She also befriends radio techie and loner Duncan Moore, a quiet soul with a romantic heart. On and off the air, Chloe faces her loneliness and helps others find the fun and joy in everyday life. Readers will fall in love with Chloe as she falls in love with the radio station and the misfits who call it home.

cover

I love the cover! It's bright and colourful and very Chloe!

review

"People need best friends." I waved my arms in the air. "Like oxygen. Without friends I'd die. I'd be all alone."

A lot can change over one summer. Chloe finds this out the hard way as she skips across the road, dressed up as a burrito for her job at Dos Hermanas while wearing vintage shoes to meet her friend Brie and Brie startles her with harsh words and a quit exit. When the school year begins, Chloe's shocked to discover her BFs, Brie and Mercedes, don't want her anywhere near them. They find her self centered and their issues with her obviously built up over the summer. Brie has even started to spread rumours about Chloe. Add her new counselor Ms. A. Lungren making her change her Junior Independent Study Project (JISP) to the mix and her mother and grandmother being at war for most of the year and happy-go-lucky Chloe is confused and well, not-so-happy.

Let me start by saying that Chloe's probably someone you'd either love or hate and it was full on love for me! She was cheerful and sweet and there was no doubt that she had a big heart! Her obsession with vintage shoes was cute and I loved how she doted on her Brad-Pitt-loving grandmother. But at the heart of it all, she was also a very mature person and this, I did not expect. Despite Brie's attempts to spread rumours about Chloe and impersonate her online, Chloe surprisingly took these things in her stride. She did not attempt to retaliate even once. She seemed beyond payback or revenge!

But Chloe's not perfect. And I liked that too. She had this compulsive need for everyone to like her and there was some truth to her BFs label of her as self centered. Which probably accounts for her need to talk all the time and how she feels personally responsible for other people's problems as well.

Over the course of the book, Chloe ends up having to work at the school-run radio station and hosts a radio talk-show. She meets a bunch of people who aren't very Chloe-crazy and gets to know them better. She bonds with Duncan, a boy at the station who is in desperate need of cheer and fun. Chloe learns to listen and not to chase away solitude all the time. 

This book was very Chloe-centric. (Which I guess, I should've expected!) It makes sense as the story is told from Chloe's perspective which is probably why there were these really unique and memorable characters like Clem, Hayley, Ms. Lungren and even Mercedes who I would've loved knowing even more about but we only get little peeks into their lives. Still, I loved what I got to know about these characters. Even Brie, the former best friend who gives Chloe hell, seems justified for hating Chloe in her own way. 

Just like Chloe herself, Welcome Caller, This is Chloe is every bit of the cutesy and charming debut it seems to be but also, surprisingly, deals with heavier issues -like drug addiction and Parkinson's- as well. Chloe's grandmother has Parkinson's and the toll it takes on Chloe and her family who struggle to come to terms with it is portrayed well. It's also not very easy to deal with your best friends suddenly hating you. It would make me question the core of myself and even after Chloe makes peace with them, it's obvious that they've outgrown each other. It was a simple yet heart wrenching premise.

Filled with personality, cute shoes, fun and surprises, Welcome Caller, This is Chloe is about a boy in need of laughter, a "princess in skates" who realises that not everybody loves her all the time, a radio station and the coolest grandmother ever. I loved meeting Chloe and I hope you do too!

Publication date: 1st May, 2012
Publisher: ABRAMS/Amulet Books
Source: NetGalley

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars