None right now

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Lefty's Double (Mini) Lowdown - Waiting on the Sidelines and Going Long by Ginger Scott

Waiting on the Sidelines by Ginger Scott
(Waiting on the Sidelines #1) 
Published: April 14, 2013 by Ginger Scott
Source: I received this from the publishers for review via NetGalley. All of the opinions stated in this review are 100% honest.
Summary from Ginger's website: Girls can be cruel. Young love can be devastating. And high school can make you question everything you thought you knew about yourself. Nolan Lennox had things figured out. Named after a baseball legend, she enjoyed being the Tomboy, her closet filled with her brother’s hand-me-downs, cut-off jeans and soccer shorts. But when she overhears the first boy who ever made her heart flutter and a girl she once thought a family friend verbally attack her, Nolan starts to question the very person she thought she was and wonders if being plain, humble and simple can compete with fast, rich and aggressive.

Reed Johnson came to Coolidge High School with a lot of fanfare. The son of a hometown football legend and the brother of a local football hero, Reed wore all the pressures of carrying a town without hope into the spotlight. Thankfully, he had the talent to back it up. But when he meets a girl who makes him think twice about exactly what being a hero means, he starts to wonder if following in his brother’s footsteps might be all wrong. Nolan Lennox was everything that was opposite of expected. She didn’t flirt, she didn’t drink and she didn’t sleep around. Nothing about her was easy, but something about her made Reed want to try harder. Though she didn’t look the part, she seemed to be spending a lot of time in Reed’s thoughts, and he wondered if she could be the one who made it all worthwhile. But could Reed handle letting her down? And would breaking her heart break him beyond repair?
Because I don't want to kick this mini-review off with negativity, let me preface by saying I did enjoy this novel. I think that it could have used a lot of work, but I did like this. Now, I think this story could have (and should have) been tweaked a little and broken into separate novels. It takes place over all four years of high school if that tells you anything. I just think that it would have been paced better over two novels, at the least. Also, while there was nothing fundamentally bad about the writing in this story, it could have used some trimming and some more polishing. 

But like I said, I truly enjoyed this reading experience. I stayed up into the wee hours of the night finishing this book. I became very invested in the characters and the romance, and I could not wait to see how it all played out. Reed and Nolan had some infuriating traits, but I still wanted the best for them. There was teenage angst and melodrama--but they were the kind that I like. The moment I finished this novel, I went on to request the sequel. 

In a sentence: This is the book for you if you're looking for a simply interesting read about a girl trying to figure life out.

(Waiting on the Sidelines #2)
Published: September 25, 2013 by Ginger Scott
Source: I received this from the publishers for review via NetGalley. All of the opinions stated in this review are 100% honest.
Summary from Goodreads: They fell in love in high school and found their way back to one another despite the odds. But can first loves really be forever? For Reed Johnson, the dream was always football. But then Nolan Lennox took over his heart. Is he willing to give up his first love just to keep his true love? Or will he be too late? 

The sequel has a lot of the same elements as the first novel, but I did not like this book nearly as much as it's predecessor. Once again, I still liked it. Despite all my problems with it, Reed and Nolan's story kept me interested and I had troubles putting it down. There's a lot more angst and melodrama in this installment, however it grows tiresome. Reed and Nolan are supposed to be in a mature, loving relationship but it doesn't feel very mature. I began to wonder if the only reason they worked so well together is because they kept crawling back to each other no matter how much they shouldn't have. I just felt like I should have been seeing more growth in the two of them. I'm not saying there is no character development, but their core issues were things we saw in the first novel. 

This duology had a very predictable, "sparkly ribbon" ending. A happily-ever-after, so to speak. This was totally okay by me, but I question the sparkly ribbon. I'm not completely convinced that Nolan and Reed aren't going to revert back to their old ways and just keep going through the dramatic cycle. Still, I am satisfied with the way everything turned out for these characters. I have a sense of closure. 

In a sentence: Though I experienced some frustrations, I think that it was definitely worth it to read these characters' conclusion. 

Side note about these books: It's been weeks since I've read this series. Even still, when I think back on this story and the characters, I get that ache in my chest that comes after finishing a series. I'll probably re-visit this series in the future. 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Top Ten Books That Made Me Cry

Welllll, I'm on a new laptop and don't have my preferred photo editor downloaded yet, so excuse the blahness of this post. 

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green - Didn't see this one comin', did ya? 


Beautiful Chaos by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl - This is by far my favorite book in the series. By the time I closed it shut, I was a sniveling, snotting, heartbroken mess. 

The Program by Suzanne Young - AH! The feels will bombard you throughout this entire novel. It's such a sad yet beautiful book. 

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare - I can't even. I'm still reeling from this, about a year after having finished it. 

If I Stay by Gayle Forman - For me, this wasn't a bawl-your-eyes-out kind of novel. This was a story that cracked my heart in the beginning and continued to break it all the way through. I shed a few tears, but it was more of an internal thing. 

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver - Obviously it had to end this way, but I was really really reallllllly hoping for a different outcome. Oliver has a way of doing that to me. Builds a person's hope, then, Miley Cyrus style, comes in like a wrecking ball and demolishes it. 

Delirium by Lauren Oliver - And, of course. I cried myself to sleep after I finished this. It was so beautiful, which made it even more heart wrenching. 

Frostbite by Richelle Mead - I think every novel in this series is loaded down with emotion, but looking back on it, this is the one that makes me the most sad. 

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins - In m opinion, this is the most emotional book in the series. Everything just feels so hopeless. 

The Truth About You and Me by Amanda Grace - I don't care what anyone says. I loved this book and even though I knew how it would end, it still broke me. 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Lefty's Lowdown: Crash Into You by Katie McGarry

Crash Into You by Katie McGarry
(Pushing the Limits #3)
Published: November 26, 2013 by Harlequin Teen
Source: I received this from the publishers for review via Edelweiss. All of the opinions stated in this review are 100% honest.
Summary from Goodreads: The girl with straight As, designer clothes and the perfect life-that's who people expect Rachel Young to be. So the private-school junior keeps secrets from her wealthy parents and overbearing brothers...and she's just added two more to the list. One involves racing strangers down dark country roads in her Mustang GT. The other? Seventeen-year-old Isaiah Walker-a guy she has no business even talking to. But when the foster kid with the tattoos and intense gray eyes comes to her rescue, she can't get him out of her mind.

 Isaiah has secrets, too. About where he lives, and how he really feels about Rachel. The last thing he needs is to get tangled up with a rich girl who wants to slum it on the south side for kicks-no matter how angelic she might look.

 But when their shared love of street racing puts both their lives in jeopardy, they have six weeks to come up with a way out. Six weeks to discover just how far they'll go to save each other.
Challenges: The Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge, Netgalley and Edelweiss challenge, The Prequel and Sequel Challenge
I am baffled, Ms. McGarry. Absolutely and utterly baffled that you have managed to do this to me once again. I am still reeling from this book. It was fantastic and I loved every second of it. Crash Into You stayed with me long after I reached 100% on my Kindle. I thought about it the next morning when I woke up, and I immediately wanted to read it again (I can't remember the last time that happened to me). Even still, thinking about this novel twists my stomach in the best possible way. 

Honestly, I wasn't sure how I would feel about this novel. I liked Dare You To a lot, but it was nothing compared to Pushing the Limits. And Isaiah wasn't necessarily my favorite character. I was sort of afraid that I'd like this novel less than DYT and that I'd never find the spark from PtL in any of McGarry's other books. 

I was wrong. 

Isaiah and Rachel won my heart within the first few pages. Isaiah (<333 love ya!) is still trying to figure out how to get the life he dreams about. Rachel is neurotic and spazzy, which makes her an absolute delight to read about. Yeah, her problems aren't, technically, as major as Isaiah's. She knows she has a house to go to every night, that she has a group of people always looking out for her. One might consider her problems "rich people probs" (her family loves her too much, people expect too much out of her) but that doesn't make them any less significant. What I love is that Isaiah and Rachel are working to conquer completely opposite issues, and yet they're ultimately working toward the same thing: living the life they want. I love them individually, and I love them together. In actuality, their relationship is probably a bit unhealthy, a bit dependent, but I just love it. It's intense and sexy! 

I think the thing that bothered me most in this was Rachel's family dynamic. They were all selfish. What was viewed as them being "over protective" of Rachel was really just them not wanting her to screw shit up. It was infuriating. I think that because I come from a really close family, it was really hard for me to read without wanting to beat each and every sibling. 

My favorite part of this novel, though? The drag racing aspect. It was so wonderfully interesting. That's all I can really say about it. This is what made the book so freaking awesome. 

Oh, and of course there are the feels! With McGarry, there are always the feels! There are the feels and fantastic writing and holy mother of intensity! Basically, I love this book. I love Katie McGarry. If you haven't read anything by her, you should probably get to it. If you are unsure about this book, don't be. It rocked my socks off. 

In a sentence: Katie McGarry has completely blown my mind once again with an intense novel of love, cars, and debts.