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Book Review: Untethered by Katie Hayoz

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Untethered

Book Title: Untethered
Author: Katie Hayoz
Series: Standalone
Publication Date: April 3rd 2013
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
Age Range: 14+ years old
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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Sylvie isn’t comfortable in her own skin. In fact, there are times she can’t even manage to stay inside it. But if there is one thing she’s sure of, it’s her love for Kevin Phillips. She’s willing to stake everything on it –her family, her friends, and possibly her soul.

Sixteen-year-old Sylvie has been best friends with Cassie forever. But everything is turned around when the boy Sylvie’s loved since fifth grade falls for Cassie. Devastated, Sylvie intends to get Kevin by any means possible, even if it involves treachery, deceit, and the dark side of astral projection. She is positive her plans will give her what she wants, but she doesn’t count on it all spiraling out of control.

Untethered explores the intoxicating and dangerous world of jealousy and obsession when coupled with paranormal ability. Finalist in Mslexia novel competition.


I received a copy of this book from Xpresso Book Tours (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review.

MY THOUGHTS

I never knew that my brain could function really well when it’s 3:00 in the morning. I didn’t notice that I stayed up until 2:00 a.m. finishing this book, and I wrote a draft of this review in the next hour. Now, editing it, I realized that this post is gonna be way too long so I might cut off some things here and there. But I hope this post will help you in some way!

So, the book is divided into two parts: the first part and the second part (duh) and I have really different feelings about them. Let me talk about the first part. In terms of the characters, I already felt detached to the main, Sylvie Sydell.  I must admit that I relate to Sylvie in the sense that don’t fit in my own skin either (but I obviously do not astral project). Also, there are times that I sympathize with her because she’s obviously going through more than what she can handle. But Sylvie can get really boring, selfish and insensitive at times and that irks me.

While on the topic of characters, let me say that I really like Cassie. She’s very mature, especially when compared to Sylvie. Cassie puts aside her problems just to help others with their own. She never does things she actually want to do because she always thinks of everyone first. And personally, I think Cassie needs a story of her own.

Story and plot-wise, the first half of the book dragged on. It was a bit too boring and too slow. It took me days to finish reading the first part! I think Sylvie’s personality (as I mentioned earlier) contributed a lot to it too.

Now, the second part of the story. To say that it pleasantly surprised me is an understatement. I was dead set on giving this 2 out of 5 stars when I was about 50% in but when the first part ended and the second one started, oh my God. Just wow. I devoured the rest of the book, I can’t believe it.

Despite saying that I felt indifferent to Sylvie, I warmed up to her eventually when her character development started to show. Although at one point, I started to worry that the dispute with Sylvie and someone—I won’t say because I don’t like spoilers either—wouldn’t be resolved properly because I’m getting dangerously close to finishing the book without the problem getting dealt with yet; but it turns out that there was nothing to be worried about. The author did a great job of settling the dilemma in such little amount of pages left.

On the other hand, the issue between two people (again, you’ll have to read the book to find out) weren’t cleared up. That was a bit bothering, but what can you do? And the story was wrapped up pretty good, but I think it’s better off without the last chapter.

I’m sorry if the stuff I’m talking about makes no sense at all, my eyes are literally closing on their own. But overall, I’m amazed at how much I enjoyed this. This is kind of like a cliche contemporary romance with a paranormal twist, and it’s surprisingly great. I think it’s creative how the author put in astral projection with the main issue which is self-acceptance. I understand the feeling of not being comfortable in my own body, and astral projection seems like something I would do too, if I could.

Would I recommend it?

Yes, definitely check this out! If you’re a fan of paranormal—heck, even if you’re not—this is a fantastic read. I don’t normally reach for the paranormal genre but I’m super glad that I requested (and got approved) for this copy.

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Teaser Tuesday: Reboot by Amy Tintera

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by Books and A Beat.

Teaser

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This week’s book:

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Book Title: Reboot
Author: Amy Tintera
Series: Reboot #1
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: May 7th 2013
Genres: Apocalyptic, Romance, Sci-Fi, YA
Age Range: 13+ years old

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In this fast-paced dystopian thrill ride, perfect for fans of The Hunger Games, Legend, and Divergent, a seventeen-year-old girl returns from death as a Reboot and is trained as an elite crime-fighting soldier . . . until she is given an order she refuses to obey.

Wren Connolly died five years ago, only to Reboot after 178 minutes. Now she is one of the deadliest Reboots around . . . unlike her newest trainee, Callum 22, who is practically still human. As Wren tries to teach Callum how to be a soldier, his hopeful smile works its way past her defenses. Unfortunately, Callum’s big heart also makes him a liability, and Wren is ordered to eliminate him. To save Callum, Wren will have to risk it all.

Wren’s captivating voice and unlikely romance with Callum will keep readers glued to the page in Amy Tintera’s high-stakes alternate reality.

Teaser:

“Are we going to do my leg next?” he asked. “Can I get some warning next time? A quick ‘Hey I’m going to snap your bone with my bare hands right now. Brace yourself.”


Have a teaser of your own? Leave a link to your post in the comments section, or if you don’t have one you can just comment a teaser below too. Thanks for stopping by!

 

Reading order: from left to right

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All book cover photos and book info (like summaries, publisher, etc.) are taken from Goodreads.

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Book Review: When We Collided by Emery Lord

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Book Title: When We Collided
Author: Emery Lord
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Publication Date:
April 5th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Mental Health, Romance, YA
Age Range: 14-17 years old
My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

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We are seventeen and shattered and still dancing. We have messy, throbbing hearts, and we are stronger than anyone could ever know…

Jonah never thought a girl like Vivi would come along.

Vivi didn’t know Jonah would light up her world.

Neither of them expected a summer like this…a summer that would rewrite their futures.

In an unflinching story about new love, old wounds, and forces beyond our control, two teens find that when you collide with the right person at just the right time, it will change you forever.


MY THOUGHTS

I started reading this with really high expectations because I’ve seen so many great reviews about this. After reading though, I don’t know how I feel; I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would but it doesn’t mean that it’s not good.

The main reason why I didn’t give this a higher rating is because the romance bothered me a lot. It was 100% insta-love. Girl sees boy and boy sees girl, and then BOOM! they have feelings for each other? A big no for that! I kept trying to find (or feel) the chemistry between Vivi and Jonah, I swear I did, but no such luck. It feels completely forced and rushed.

There were times that I found it hard to sympathize with Vivi. I feel really bad for saying that but I was just so frustrated about how she bosses Jonah around.

Despite saying that, Vivi eventually grew on me and I hate the fact that I was starting to actually like and understand her better when the book is coming to an end. (I feel like that’s because I knew more about her feelings and condition near the end.)

Another thing, how Emery Lord describes everything in the book is incredible. How she portrays the things that make Verona Cove so special made me want to live there too. How she explains Jonah’s dishes made my mouth water. How she details the characters’ feelings made me empathize with them—well, not all the time for Vivi, but you know what I mean. The writing is just wonderful.

The ending was just so beautiful and precious. Around that time was the most I’ve felt for Vivi and Jonah.

I don’t know much about topics like this, to be honest, but I feel like I understood it on a whole new level. I love how mental health was so candidly talked about in the book. I think it’s difficult to write about this topic and generate awareness to its readers at the same time. This is a story that can certainly change one’s perspective on this area.

Would I recommend it?

Yes! Definitely yes. You might learn a thing or two about mental health here, who knows? Although beware of the romance, I didn’t like it so much.

All book cover photos and summaries are taken from Goodreads.

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Book Review: The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

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Book Title: The Distance Between Us
Author: Kasie West
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publication Date: July 2nd 2013
Genres: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Romance, YA
Age Range: 13-17 years old
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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Seventeen-year-old Caymen Meyers studies the rich like her own personal science experiment, and after years of observation she’s pretty sure they’re only good for one thing—spending money on useless stuff, like the porcelain dolls in her mother’s shop.

So when Xander Spence walks into the store to pick up a doll for his grandmother, it only takes one glance for Caymen to figure out he’s oozing rich. Despite his charming ways and that he’s one of the first people who actually gets her, she’s smart enough to know his interest won’t last. Because if there’s one thing she’s learned from her mother’s warnings, it’s that the rich have a short attention span. But Xander keeps coming around, despite her best efforts to scare him off. And much to her dismay, she’s beginning to enjoy his company.

She knows her mom can’t find out—she wouldn’t approve. She’d much rather Caymen hang out with the local rocker who hasn’t been raised by money. But just when Xander’s attention and loyalty are about to convince Caymen that being rich isn’t a character flaw, she finds out that money is a much bigger part of their relationship than she’d ever realized. And that Xander’s not the only one she should’ve been worried about.


MY THOUGHTS

First of all, let me tell you that I bought this book because of its cover. I know, I’m a horrible human being. Don’t judge a book by its cover, and all that… blah blah. But when I read the summary, I thought it would be another really cliché rich-boy-meets-poor-girl love story. Well, it kind of is—but this is different in its own way.

Before I explain why I absolutely loved this, let me tell you the two things I didn’t like about this. First was the lack of depth for Xander’s character. I just didn’t know more about Xander’s character (and life) outside of their relationship, so as a result, I didn’t quite connect to him more than I would like to. The other thing is the ending. Granted, the ending is sweet and adorable and all but I think that it was just too good, too convenient.

Now let me mention the things that made me swoon over this book.

First of all, I love a book that could make me laugh and this one made me laugh out loud loads of times. The banter in this book is really entertaining and I savored every bit of it.

Another thing I adored is how the story doesn’t just revolve around Caymen’s love life. It actually tackles problems: poverty, indecisiveness of what to do in the future, family history/drama and struggles in health.

If Caymen Meyers, the main character, was a real person, there’ll be no doubt that we would be the best of friends. I relate to her so much. We share the same dry sense of humor or at least I think we do. Much like her, I also don’t have a clue on what the future holds for me. When reading, I always just find myself thinking about how similar we are. She is definitely my favorite character in the story.

There wasn’t insta-love. That was another thing I was worried about before reading this. Luckily, it turned out really good. It wasn’t rushed I loved how I could feel Caymen and Xander’s chemistry.

When I hear the word “doll store” the first thing that comes to mind are creepy dolls. Now in this story, Caymen’s mother runs a doll store. I didn’t feel uncomfortable whenever the shop was being described; it almost feels homely. I don’t know if you even care about that but it’s a pro for me. I just think I should include that.

I heard a lot of great things about the author’s works and I’m looking forward to trying out her other books.

Would I recommend this?

If you like contemporary books or you’re in the mood for a cute romantic story that would make you laugh and feel for the characters, this one’s for you!

All book cover photos are taken from Goodreads.

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Teaser Tuesday: My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by Books and A Beat.

Teaser

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This week’s book:

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Book Title: My Heart and other Black Holes
Author: Jasmine Warga
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: February 10th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Death, Mental Health, Realistic Fiction, Romance, YA
Age Range: 14+ years old

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A stunning novel about the transformative power of love, perfect for fans of Jay Asher and Laurie Halse Anderson

Sixteen-year-old physics nerd Aysel is obsessed with plotting her own death. With a mother who can barely look at her without wincing, classmates who whisper behind her back, and a father whose violent crime rocked her small town, Aysel is ready to turn her potential energy into nothingness.

There’s only one problem: she’s not sure she has the courage to do it alone. But once she discovers a website with a section called Suicide Partners, Aysel’s convinced she’s found her solution—Roman, a teenage boy who’s haunted by a family tragedy, is looking for a partner. Even though Aysel and Roman have nothing in common, they slowly start to fill in each other’s broken lives. But as their suicide pact becomes more concrete, Aysel begins to question whether she really wants to go through with it. Ultimately, she must choose between wanting to die or trying to convince Roman to live so they can discover the potential of their energy together.

Teaser:

I pull the charcoal-gray comforter over my head and pretend like I’m in the middle of the ocean, waves crashing over me, my lungs filling up with water, the whole world turning black. I try to imagine my potential energy turning into kinetic energy turning into nothing.


As weird as this might sound, I actually felt those two sentences. Like really felt it.

Have a teaser of your own? Leave a link to your post in the comments section, or if you don’t have one you can just comment a teaser below too. Thanks for stopping by!

All book cover photos and summaries are taken from Goodreads.