Open Road Summer by Emery Lord | Review

YAY!!! So after a downer book I was looking for something fresh, something new, and a feel good book to get me out of my sad state. This book was highly anticipated and was just waiting for me on my shelf! With Spring arriving (hopefully it’s ready to stay in the Northeast) I’m gearing up with summertime reads already and Open Road Summer is a MUST-READ this year!! (pre-order! right now! GO! ….I’ll wait….)

Open Road Summer
Author: Emery Lord
Publisher: Bloomsbury – Walker Childrens
Release Date: April 15, 2014
Pages: 352, Paperback
Received Copy: ARC at ALAMW

Synopsis (via Goodreads)

After breaking up with her bad-news boyfriend, Reagan O’Neill is ready to leave her rebellious ways behind. . . and her best friend, country superstar Lilah Montgomery, is nursing a broken heart of her own. Fortunately, Lilah’s 24-city tour is about to kick off, offering a perfect opportunity for a girls-only summer of break-up ballads and healing hearts. But when Matt Finch joins the tour as its opening act, his boy-next-door charm proves difficult for Reagan to resist, despite her vow to live a drama-free existence. This summer, Reagan and Lilah will navigate the ups and downs of fame and friendship as they come to see that giving your heart to the right person is always a risk worth taking. A fresh new voice in contemporary romance, Emery Lord’s gorgeous writing hits all the right notes.

When I opened the book and started reading I already had a sense of how I thought the book would play out but thankfully I was wrong–my version would’ve been a lot of heartbreak and scandal haha, so thank god I was wrong on that! I ended up flying through it and definitely think this is a great summer read for all! Reagan has a bit of baggage with having both mommy/daddy issues, living a little less dangerously going into her senior year, and dealing with her best friend who’s a country music star. Throughout the book I was sort of jealous of Reagan: this girl who has this summer to figure things out–I wish I had had that when I was her age. To work on herself and her flaws, being a better Reagan and supporting her best friend, Dee, otherwise known as superstar musician Lilah Montgomery. I will admit, there were times when I was picturing a Taylor Swift equivalent and had Taylor’s songs as a running soundtrack for a good chunk of the book (don’t worry, you can phase it out) but the book definitely stands on its own. And adding Matt Finch, former family band heartthrob does not hurt, which makes a rather enjoyable summer for the girls. It’s not only a story of friendship–summer fun & summer love, but it’s about finding oneself. And Reagan’s journey is one you need to read!

Things I Liked:

the Friendship…
Dee and Reagan have a strong bond that any girl yearns for and values while..frankly being alive, haha that sounds a lot weird when you read it but it’s true. We want the person who knows us inside and out, who’s there for everything, and who you can be your complete self around. Both girls are in need of their friendship at this point in their lives and the summer tour is the perfect place to help keep it strong.

the Music…
There’s a lot of song lyrics and songwriting throughout the novel and it’s kind of a cool process to read about. How artists use so much of their emotions and life situations to help shape memorable lyrics for us as fans to enjoy. Even if the songs aren’t playing on the radio, the reader can make up their own little country melody to help bring the song to life in their head.

the Love…
Ohhhh the love that is shown in this book–there’s so much! Reagan’s love for her best friend, for her new romantic love, her love for both her parents and Dee’s parents, and maybe my favorite love that she has: photography!

Things I Didn’t Like:

….where’s the sequel? Outtakes? Novellas? I NEED MORE!

Haha, not an actual drawback to the book but I’m telling you ladies & gentlemen, you’re going to want to read this! It’s fun, it’s an escape, it’s a book you’ll need for your shelves 🙂 Make sure you own your copy this April!! Also take a sneak peak at my Books-on-a-Vine page to see my 6 second Vine review 🙂

xx Linz

Side Effects May Vary: Review

In early February I wanted to participate in a ARC tour that I saw via my Twitter feed, for the blog On the Same Page (former LitLushes). I was looking forward to joining and started right up as soon as the book arrived in my mailbox. I had seen it’s title pop up on my social media but wasn’t actually sure what the plot was about.

Side Effects May Vary
Author: Julie Murphy
Publisher: HarperCollins/ Balzer + Bray
Release Date: March 18, 2014
Pages: 336, Paperback
Received Copy: ARC tour at On the Same Page/Literary Lushes blog courtesy

Synopsis (via Goodreads):

What if you’d been living your life as if you were dying—only to find out that you had your whole future ahead of you?

When sixteen-year-old Alice is diagnosed with leukemia, her prognosis is grim. To maximize the time she does have, she vows to spend her final months righting wrongs—however she sees fit. She convinces her friend Harvey, whom she knows has always had feelings for her, to help her with a crazy bucket list that’s as much about revenge (humiliating her ex-boyfriend and getting back at her arch nemesis) as it is about hope (doing something unexpectedly kind for a stranger and reliving some childhood memories). But just when Alice’s scores are settled, she goes into remission.

Now Alice is forced to face the consequences of all that she’s said and done, as well as her true feelings for Harvey. But has she done irreparable damage to the people around her, and to the one person who matters most?

.  .  .  .

Side Effects May Vary features Alice, and her guy best friend’s, Harvey, lives that weave through past and present scenes as well as his/her points of view throughout the novel. Alice is a sophomore who gets the shock of her life when she gets told that she has cancer and the outlook for her future seems short. She’s in the prime of her teenage life: Prom, learning to drive, love, friendships, college decisions to look forward to–which now have all come to a halt because of her ailing health. Alice relies on Harvey, her best friend to lean on, and help her carry out some revenge on a not so nice ex-boyfriend and the school’s popular, bad girl as well as Alice’s nemesis. In the process Harvey and Alice have their friendship lines blurred and strengthened all throughout the book.

Overall this was a tough book to rate because I wasn’t much of a fan, but here goes…

Things I liked:

the Cover…
It’s colorful and very appealing to the eye. While looks may be deceiving, I knew looking forward to a heartfelt book that I wanted to invest my time in reading.

the Book Length…
I don’t think the book needed to be any longer than it should’ve been. Definitely just the right amount of pages–maybe a little more to the ending to thicken it out.

Things I didn’t like:

the Characters
Honestly, I don’t believe any of the cast of characters had any redeeming qualities about them. It’s difficult to immerse yourself in a story when you don’t enjoy either protagonists–they kind of drove me crazy. I could probably break down each one but I won’t. I also couldn’t identify myself with any of the characters, not on any real level. Yes I may have the desire to act out like Alice, be desperate like Harvey but in the end, their behavior just didn’t flow very well, I just wasn’t much of a believer.

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the Ending
With everything that had happened to both Alice and her behavior and Harvey in his naivety, I had hoped the ending could save this and maybe for some readers it did get better, but for me, I stillwas not into it.

 

While I participated in the ARC tour, I still wanted to give my opinion. Truthfully I do not want to be a blog catered to just reviewing everything that I loved reading–I feel it’s important to focus on the good and not-so-good. Unfortunately, I haven’t had to write many not-so-good reviews–this is really my first. But the important thing is I want to give an honest opinion. I say if you were looking forward to reading the book you still should! I’d most likely borrow it from a friend or get it from the library in case you’re still skeptical and don’t end up liking it. Hopefully this wasn’t too harsh–there are tons of books that I fall head over heels reading and some just don’t appreciate them like I do, which is okay…I may be side-eyed and judging you, LOL, but I get it. You do have opinions too. I’d love for you to have the same respect for mine as I do for yours.

If you read it, let me know what you thought about it….did you like it? Agree or disagree? Thanks in advance!
Linz xx

Dorothy Must Die: a must Review

It’s a pretty amazing thing when someone can take a familiar world you understood and flipped it entirely upside down, making you forget what you thought you knew. That’s what happened in today’s review, Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige.

I was super intrigued because who hasn’t watched The Wizard of Oz at some point in their life? You’ve had to have heard the song “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” at least once or know about Munchkin Land. Even though the film is celebrating it’s 75 years since first produced by MGM Studios, the film is beyond classic and more importantly, a world created originally by author L. Frank Baum. Danielle Paige seriously took this world and turned it all crazyland and I absolutely loved it! *Side-note: I was initially reading this in prep for the Oscars this year since they were honoring The Wizard of Oz and I owned both this and the kindle version of Baum’s story and wanted to do a bit of a comparison. I decided in the end that I actually loved the new world Danielle had created so the post won’t be a comparison, just a regular ol’ review, but a fun read nonetheless!*

Dorothy Must Die (Dorothy Must Die #1)
Author: Danielle Paige
Publisher: Harper Teen, HarperCollins
Release Date: April 1, 2014
Pages: 452, Paperback
Received Copy: ARC at ALAMW

The story starts off in present time, main character Amy Gumm comes from a rough background–divorced family in a shambles, drunk mother, trailer park life….in Kansas. After getting a suspension from school and sent home, weather reports warn of a tornado possibly touching down in her area. Deserted by her mom and left with the pet rat, Star, as her only companion, the winds of change arrive and take Amy to a place so foreign, so Oz, so magical…or so she thought.

Amy learns that she indeed has come from the same place as, ahem, Princess, Dorothy originated and after several locals she encounters on the way down the yellow brick road, she discovers she is in a world far from the story she grew up with. Amy gets bound by magic to Mombi, a witch, to be the heroine of the hour and take down Dorothy’s reign because Oz is no longer recognizable. The Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman, and the Lion are all completely warped and have taken their gifts from the wizard: heart, brain, courage, and used them for evil…to terrorize the inhabitants of Oz. After spending time and training with the Order who are ready to take down Dorothy and her lackeys, Amy must infiltrate and destroy them: Dorothy Must Die!

Things I liked:

the World…
It was so incredible that Danielle created this warped alternate universe with such a magical place. It would be like if someone took Hogwarts and turned it into a school torture chamber. There’s great detail and I never felt confused, I was always as fascinated as Amy had been when she discovered something.

the Characters…
I really enjoyed this good vs wicked. I literally was just as disorientated as Amy about who’s trustworthy and who is not. Amy is a great lead–just your average girl trying to find herself and be who she’s supposed to be. Find her strength, find her courage, herself. The rest of the supporting characters cast is great as well and again they’re always believable because nothing it what it seems.

Book Length/Cover…
I love a good, thick book. It’s not too long but not too short! And there’s more–yes, a series to look forward to reading and more excitement is in-store! The cover is also soooooo cool! I just love everything that goes on here–the red, killer font, the famous outfit, just so pretty!

the Quotes…
I would catch myself finding quotes from the original movie/book randomly sprinkled in DMD which was fun! “We’re not in Kansas anymore” or “Follow the yellow brick road” and “There’s no place like home”, phrases that you’ve heard relating to the Oz world were great to see throughout the pages.

When April comes around, (release date April 1st) I would definitely say that this is a must-own book! It’s a strange, fun read because it’s the opposite of what you know and can’t wait to read more! Just remember that it’s okay that Dorothy must die because after this, you’ll never think of Oz the same way.

xxLinz

Check out what’s new!

Hey all!

Oh man have I been busy!! Way behind on book thoughts but I added two new pages that are really cool to the blog: the Book Corner and Bookish Events!

A glimpse into what’s been hanging out on my shelves for the Book Corner and the awesome authors & events I’ve been able to attend. Check them out 🙂

 

xxLinz