Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson | Book Review

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Title: Second Chance Summer

Author: Morgan Matson

Publishing Details: Published May 8th 2012 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Pages: 482 pages

Format: Kobo e-reader


Summary: Taylor Edwards’ family might not be the closest-knit—everyone is a little too busy and over-scheduled—but for the most part, they get along just fine. Then Taylor’s dad gets devastating news, and her parents decide that the family will spend one last summer all together at their old lake house in the Pocono Mountains.

Crammed into a place much smaller and more rustic than they are used to, they begin to get to know each other again. And Taylor discovers that the people she thought she had left behind haven’t actually gone anywhere. Her former best friend is still around, as is her first boyfriend…and he’s much cuter at seventeen than he was at twelve.

As the summer progresses and the Edwards become more of a family, they’re more aware than ever that they’re battling a ticking clock. Sometimes, though, there is just enough time to get a second chance—with family, with friends, and with love.


Review: This book is just so hyped, even now, after 4 years of publishing which led to me having very very high expectations for it. I’ve never read Morgan Matson books although pretty much all she writes is a big hit.

50% – I’m waiting for something to happen. ANYTHING!
The protagonist, Taylor has no healthy relationship with anyone in the world. We get it. Yet we’re reminded that OVER and OVER again of that and the fact that something really bad happened 5 years ago which changed her life! She was 12 years old. I don’t even remember how I was back then! I don’t understand what could possibly be so terrible to have happened at such a tender age that she just completely changed?! As far as I recalled there was no such traumatic event covered in the book like – suicide, rape, murder, depression? Nothing! Something traumatic does happen, but when she’s 17. Not the same incident.

We’re info dumped about the family and that they visit the Lake house together. But that’s all they do mostly. None of them seems interested in bonding with one another, ignoring each other most of the time, getting annoyed by them, etc. You’d believe that after whatever was happening, they’d do more than just get groceries twice.

I don’t get how Lisa and Henry are still pissed for whatever went down when they were 12. Honestly. Kids don’t hold grudges that long. Henry being her neighbor STILL doesn’t bump into her as often as a normal neighbor would. Its also really irritating how we’re reminded AGAIN and AGAIN that Taylor has no special skills at all and how everyone else is superior that way.

*le sigh*

100% – Now that I know what happened 5 years back, I just feel disappointed. Its so stupid I can’t even. You can’t hate someone for something like this so early in your life. It’s just not how childhood works. Even so, I was so glad things worked out between those three.
The only part I liked about the book was probably the fact that Warren, Taylor’s brother overcame his shyness and was brave enough to face his fears head on with smart decisions, unlike Taylor herself. I feel like her character didn’t much develop throughout, and just did in the last page all of a sudden.

Also, MURPHY! I love him. ❤

*awww*

The book deals with sickness and trauma too. How everyone has a different way of coping with sadness. I especially liked how even though she was not at all close to her mother, who seemed to prefer her sister, in the end it all worked out.

I really liked Henry, and I definitely believe that he deserves much better than Taylor. #NoHate
There’s friendship, loss, family, love, heartbreak. The entire mix needed for a good contemporary. Even so I did not enjoy it as much as other people do. Most of the time I’m not bothered by such tropes, but those were all I could think of during reading this.

I know I’m in the minority here, but I really hope Matson’s other books surprise me and end up on my favorites shelf.


Rating: 3

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The Mind Games Duology Review

Title:

Mind Games | Perfect Lies


Author:

Kiersten White


Published:

2013 | 2014 by HarperTeen


Stand Alone/Series:

Duology


Pages:

256 | 256 pages


Format:

Kobo ePub


Genre:

YA/ Fantasy/ Paranormal


Why I read it:

Recommendation from someone


Summary:

Mind Games –  Fia was born with flawless instincts. Her first impulse, her gut feeling, is always exactly right. Her sister, Annie, is blind to the world around her—except when her mind is gripped by strange visions of the future.

Trapped in a school that uses girls with extraordinary powers as tools for corporate espionage, Annie and Fia are forced to choose over and over between using their abilities in twisted, unthinkable ways…or risking each other’s lives by refusing to obey.


Perfect Lies – This explosive sequel to Mind Games, which New York Times bestselling author Holly Black called “a brutal, exciting gem of a book,” is a lightning-fast, wickedly smart tale of two sisters trapped in a web of deceit—perfect for fans of Sara Shepard’s Lying Game series.

For years, Annie and Fia have been in an endless battle for survival against the Keane Foundation. Now the sisters have found allies who can help them escape. But Annie’s visions of the future and Fia’s flawless instincts can’t always tell them who to trust. The sisters can only rely on each other—and even their extraordinary gifts may not be enough to save them.


Review:

Mind Games –  This was yet another quick read. There were a few plot twists I did not see coming. The book was a bit confusing in the end, but I guess the whole thing will get resolved in the second book of the duology.
The characters were interesting, although the one thing I found annoying was Fia’s way of thinking/speaking a word thrice together. Annie was more sensible and kind. Whereas Fia was more on the violent and crazed side.
The concept of girls with powers was not something new, but I would have liked it more if the author had explored the same more.
The whole book was so short I think it could have been merged into one book instead of two books.
There were instances which were out of context and completely unnecessary. But I kept reading, so I wasn’t entirely bored. Therefore, the kinda high rating.
Definitely looking forward to how Keane will go down.


Perfect Lies – This was a bit better than the first book.
Fia continued to remain annoying and confusing and frustrating and not at all developing as a character as she did what she did and never listened to any damn advice from me or she might have gotten any smarter. I wanted to smack her in the face a few times.
Annie, on the other hand developed a lot. She learned stuff and was helping, and also, since the first book focused more on Fia, this one was on Annie.
The writing style was confusing since all the chapters are alternatingly Annie and Fia and they’re set in the past, so its kinda weird and you don’t understand what happened when.
The love interests, if we talk about, I knew it would be the guy for Annie before they revealed it. No plot twist/shock/surprise there. Fia chose the wrong guy. That’s all I’m gonna say. She takes stupid decisions even though her instinct is perfect. HA! So ironic.
This was more fast paced, with a mission while the first book focused on survival.
I didn’t love it though. Fia put me off.


Quotes:

“I am the ocean we lived on for two months. I am empty. I am nothing.”

“If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around, does anyone give a crap?” I mutter.”

“I’m nobody. I’m collateral damage with a lot of training.”

“She told me only people we love the most can destroy us, because no one else has that kind of power.”

“Love is a choice, like anything else.”

“I need to be nothing for a very long time until I can decide what something I want to be.”

“Her voice is as casual as a knife in the gut.”


Rating:

3


P.S – I really liked the book covers though.

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The DUFF by Kody Keplinger

Title:

The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend

Author:

Kody Keplinger

Published:

1st January 2010

Stand Alone/Series:

Stand Alone

Pages:

280 pages

Format:

Kobo

Genre:

YA/Contemporary

Why I read it:

Great ratings from the people I follow on booktube/goodreads

Summary:

Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn’t think she’s the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She’s also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her “the Duff,” she throws her Coke in his face.

But things aren’t so great at home right now, and Bianca is desperate for a distraction. She ends up kissing Wesley. Worse, she likes it. Eager for escape, Bianca throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with him.

Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out Wesley isn’t such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she’s falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.

Review:

This was a cute quick read. I’ve been in a mood for sarcastic female protagonists and this was an absolutely perfect pick for that.

I really liked the characters even though the plot has been used a lot over the past years. It felt a lot original though, then those stories ever did. There were some elements which took me by surprise. The relation of the protagonist with her parents, her friends and her crushes was portrayed really well.
I really liked the cliche bad boy portrayed in Wesley and the not so nerdy Bianca. Sometimes being the DUFF is an amazing thing, and this book just teaches us that no one is perfect or imperfect, we’re just us and that we should accept it.
I like how the pretty ones aren’t a bunch of bitches like they usually are in most of the other books..and its evident that one cannot really judge a person by what people say about them.

P.S – I saw the movie trailer and can’t wait to see the movie!

Quotes:

“No matter where you go or what you do to distract yourself, reality catches up with you eventually.”

“Your sense of humor needs some work, then,” Wesley suggested. “Most girls find my jokes charming.” “Those girls must have IQs low enough to trip over.”

“I was the Duff. And that was a good thing. Because anyone who didn’t feel like the Duff must not have friends. Every girl feels unattractive sometimes. Why had it taken me so long to figure that out? Why had I been stressing over that dumb word for so long when it was so simple? I should be proud to be the Duff. Proud to have great friends who, in their minds, were my Duffs.”

“Spanish, huh?” he said, glancing down at the scattered papers as he grabbed them. “Can you say anything interesting?”
El tono de tu voz hace que queria estrangularme.” I stood up and waited for him to hand over my papers.
“That sounds sexy,” he said, getting to his feet and handing me the stack of Spanish work he’d swept together. “What’s it mean?”
“The sound of your voice makes me want to strangle myself.”
“Kinky.”

Rating:

4

If you have read the book, lemme know what you felt and if you haven’t I suggest you get onto it before the movie comes out! 🙂 What was your last read? 

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Ashes To Ashes By Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian

Title:

Ashes to Ashes

Author:

Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian

Published:

Published September 16th 2014 by Simon & Schuster

Stand Alone/Series:

Book #3 in the Burn for Burn trilogy

Pages:

390 pages

Format:

Kobo

Genre:

YA/Paranormal

Summary:

New Year’s Eve ended with a bang and Mary, Kat and Lillia may not be prepared for what is to come.
After Rennie’s death, Kat and Lillia try to put the pieces together of what happened to her. They both blame themselves. If Lillia hadn’t left with Reeve… If Kat had only stayed with Rennie… Things could have been different. Now they will never be the same.
Only Mary knows the truth about that night. About what she is. She also knows the truth about Lillia and Reeve falling in love, about Reeve being happy when all he deserves is misery, just like the misery he caused her. Now their childish attempts at revenge are a thing of the past and Mary is out for blood. Will she leave anything in her wake or will all that remain be ashes?

Review:

Holy mother of god, this book was creepy. It took a paranormal turn in the plot and definitely got more exciting. The romance part was meh, didn’t enjoy it as much. The revenge just turned super serious and now two of the three girls are a target too. This book was very fast paced and super action packed. However, it was kind of predictable too.
But the writing was gorgeous and I read it in one sitting and was excited, so it wasn’t really that bad. Also, both the authors have a different style and so you catch on that the book is written by two different people, so that’s kind of cool.
The book in itself was not better than the other two, I think. For me, the first book was the best followed by the second and the third book in a tie.
*le rant begins* I was not satisfied with the ending at all, cause my OTP sunk and it irritated me to death. Ugh. I did get annoyed because of the cover change. Why change the design for the last book in a trilogy? Idiots.
*rant over*

Quotes:

*sorry for the lack of quotes in this one, I didn’t highlight any while reading cause I was on a roll and this one is the only one I found on goodreads*

“Years from now this will be what I remember when I remember my spring break senior year. It will be this moment right here. The smell of chlorine on his skin. The way the sun dips slow into the water before it disappears. The first time I ever told a boy I loved him.”

Rating:

4

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Fire With Fire By Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian

Title:

Fire With Fire

Authors:

Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian

Series/Stand Alone:

Burn For Burn #2

Pages:

528 pages

Genre:

YA

Publisher:

September 3rd 2013 by Simon & Schuster

Format:

e-ARC

Summary:

Lillia, Kat, and Mary had the perfect plan. Work together in secret to take down the people who wronged them. But things didn’t exactly go the way they’d hoped at the Homecoming Dance.

Not even close.

For now, it looks like they got away with it. All they have to do is move on and pick up the pieces, forget there ever was a pact. But it’s not easy, not when Reeve is still a total jerk and Rennie’s meaner than she ever was before.

And then there’s sweet little Mary…she knows there’s something seriously wrong with her. If she can’t control her anger, she’s sure that someone will get hurt even worse than Reeve was. Mary understands now that it’s not just that Reeve bullied her—it’s that he made her love him.

Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth, burn for a burn. A broken heart for a broken heart. The girls are up to the task. They’ll make Reeve fall in love with Lillia and then they will crush him. It’s the only way he’ll learn.

It seems once a fire is lit, the only thing you can do is let it burn…

Review:

I was so excited to read the second book in the trilogy and holy shit it was great. Some part of it was totally expected and everything, but the end was so unexpected that I couldn’t even begin to comprehend it. I just sat down pondering after I completed it for some minutes and tried to bring myself to understand everything. But after that I literally started reading the last book in the middle of the night not caring about the time or any other thing. The series is very fast paced with more or less no room for the reader to be bored. Although I did like the first book better because the plot was so much better than this one.

Quotes:

“If you’re super tall, don’t be a dick and stand in front of a short person.”

“I’m clenching my fists so tight my fingernails leave red crescent moons on my skin. I feel a surge, a heat roar up inside me. As bad as I’m hurting now, he’ll hurt ten times worse. That’s the only thing that keeps me going.”

“It’s crazy, how similar we are. Here’s both of us, working through our stuff, trying to make something positive out of something really bad.”

“An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. a burn for a burn. a life for a life. that’s how all this got started. and that’s how it’s going to end.”

Rating:

4

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Burn For Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian

Title:

Burn For Burn

Authors:

Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian

Series/Stand Alone:

#1 Burn for Burn Trilogy

Pages:

368 pages

Format:

e-ARC

Publishing Details:

Published September 18th 2012 by Simon & Schuster.

Genre:

YA/Contemporary

Summary:

Postcard-perfect Jar Island is the kind of place where nobody locks their doors at night, where parents can sleep easy, knowing their daughters are tucked away safe and sound in their beds.

But bad things can happen, even to good girls . . . and sometimes, the only way to make things right is to do something wrong.

Lillia used to trust boys, but not anymore. Not after what happened this summer. And she’ll do whatever it takes to protect her little sister from the same fate.

Kat is over the rumors, the insults, the cruel jokes made at her expense. It all goes back to one person–her ex-best friend. Someone needs to teach her a lesson, and, with Lillia and Mary behind her, Kat feels up to the task.

Four years ago, Mary left Jar Island because of a boy. But she’s not the same girl anymore. Now that she’s got friends who have her back, he’s going to be in big trouble.

Three very different girls who come together to make things right. Will they go too far?

Review:

‘I really liked this book’ is what I’d say to anyone who’d ask me about it. I read it in one sitting and was really loving the writing of two amazing authors thoroughly. Gossip Girls + Pretty Little Liars + Revenge. I found this combination intriguing as well as fun.

Each chapter is written from all the three protagonist’s view and it didn’t get confusing because their personalities were different and the way they saw the same things was different.

I can’t wait to get into the other two books in the trilogy. I like the covers for this book and the second one. The cover change in the third book annoyed many people including me.

Quotes:

“This is Karma. I’m a bitch. Can you think of anyone who deserves a bitch slap? – Kat”

“Although I’m tired, and it feels like years since I had a good night’s rest, I can’t bring myself to fall asleep. It’s like I’ve forgotten how.”

“It took a long time for me to get better, but I did. I got better. But suddenly it’s like the last four years never happened, and I’m feeling all the same terrible feelings about myself that I did back then.”

Rating:

4

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We were Liars by E. Lockhart

Title:

We were liars

Author:

E. Lockhart

Genre:

Young Adult

Pages:

227 pages

Format:

Kobo glo

Summary:

A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.

Review:

We were liars is a book centered around fear, lies, love, greed, friendship and hate with jealousy.

I read the book fairly quickly seeing that it was considerably very short. I was bored at times and intrigued at the same time. This book was kind of weird, but I liked how the plot slowly revealed itself maintaining the suspense. I went in expecting a lot since it was SO over-hyped and that was what made me rate it only 3.5 stars. The writing is beautiful, no doubt about that. The fact that I couldn’t connect with the story itself is a pity, however I did connect to the characters somewhat. The ending was totally unexpected….and weird.
I enjoyed it but not quite.

Note:

This book is a Goodreads Choice 2014 Winner!

Quotes:

“Do not accept an evil you can change.”

“The universe is seeming really huge right now. I need something to hold on to.”

“Someone once wrote that a novel should deliver a series of small astonishments. I get the same thing spending an hour with you.”

“Silence is a protective coating over pain.”

“Divorce shreds the muscles of our hearts so that they will hardly beat without a struggle.”

Rating:

3 HALF