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This Is What Happy Looks Like

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I really liked Smith's previous book "The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight," and I really loved this cover, so I picked it up the day it came out. I was pretty let down by it, though. I enjoyed the first couple of chapters with the e-mails back and forth more than I liked the part where the two were actually together. The book is sweet, and it's not that I disliked it, it was just very low-key and unexceptional. The ending was a let-down and in the end it was like nothing happened in this book at all. I had such high hopes!
The Great Gatsby

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How did I make it to almost 30 without reading The Great Gatsby? I'm not sure, but I'm glad I finally made time for it. I thought it was a great book, and a nice change of pace for me. Every sentence seemed rich and deep compared to my usual fare. I didn't give it five stars because I didn't feel connected to any of the characters and I wasn't sad when anyone died. I just really prefer longer books where you really get invested in the characters.
A Game of Thrones: The Story Continues Books 1-4: A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, A Feast for Crows (A Song of Ice and Fire)

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I loved the show and decided to pick up the books since my husband has read them all and kept going on and on about them. I'm very happy I did, because it was simply awesome, but it is disappointing to me that I watched seasons 1 and 2 of the show before picking up the book. I wasn't on the edge of my seat the whole time because I already knew what was going to happen. There was a little bit more in this first book than in the first season, but not very much. Having learned my lesson, I'm going to do my best to fit in books 2 & 3 before season 3 starts on HBO this March.
Dead to You

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I definitely liked this better than McMann's Crash, but it still had a lot of problems. The ending was meant to be a shock, but I absolutely saw it coming the entire time. Parts were very repetitive as well which is surprising as this was a very short book to begin with. I wish there was a little more closure at the end, like an epilogue or something. It seemed very abrupt. Overall I think I'd like this book more if I hadn't read so very many books who were similar but with better writing. I can see some young teens enjoying this.
The One and Only Ivan

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I thought this was a good but not great story. I am all for stories that teach kindness towards animals, but this one just seemed a little too... precious. There was a problem (Ruby's captivity) and Ivan solved it, but it seemed so easy to solve. He really didn't run into any roadblocks to speak of and it just seemed so unbelievable. It also seemed so... cutesy or something when it spoke about zoos. "A good zoo is how humans make amends.” Umm... yeah. If you say so.
Out of the Easy

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This was a darn good book. It sat on my shelf for months before I picked it up, and then I just couldn't put it down. There is really something about Sepetys' writing that hooks you. All of the characters were really well thought out and well-rounded. The plot was good and kept you reading. There were a couple of places where I was wondering if something was meant to be a surprise, such as Patrick's secret, which were all really easy to see coming, but that was a small complaint. This was a great glimpse into 1950s New Orleans and I enjoyed all the details and name-dropping that came with it. I'm really going to have to pick up Between Shades of Grey now!
Rule (The Marked Men, Book 1)

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This was okay, but nothing special. The whole story reminded me a lot of the movie Grease. Similar to my reaction to Grease, it does bother me a bit that in the end you find the girl covered in piercings and tattoos like the boy. Not that I'm against stuff like that, but I think it would make for a more interesting book if she kept her original classy look and stayed with the tattooed and pierced boy. THAT is what not caring what others think is about. The book was full of grammar mistakes and misspellings. It also screamed middle-aged woman author... the dialogue was often extremely unbelievable. Not worth the read.
Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch

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I thought this was hilarious. I do wish I had been to London or was more of an anglophile so I would understand 100% of the jokes rather than... what... maybe 90ish percent? Pratchett and Gaiman definitely did a great job and it was impossible to tell which author was writing which part. I felt it got a little bit long in parts and maybe they stuck in a few too many jokes just for the heck of it (which didn't add to the story whatsoever), but overall I really enjoyed it.
Easy

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This is a quick read; finished in a day. I thought the first chapter or two were boring and not very well-written, but after that I got into it. There were several great scenes that had me hooked, but there was also an overload of drama. The secret about his mother was a surprise, but ultimately unnecessary. Why can't he just respect women because it's the right thing to do? There doesn't need to be some huge REASON. Overall I got what I expected.
Perfect Chemistry

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I had been hearing about this book forever and finally got a chance to read it. I can definitely see the appeal! I really wish I knew more Spanish, though. Every so often I'd google a word or phrase, but I hated feeling like I was missing part of the book (even if it was just an insult or term of endearment). The whole story was so cliched, but the author seemed to recognize it and even made mention of Grease in the beginning of the book, which made me forgive her a bit. It's like she was saying yes this story has been told before, but it's a good story worth being told again. The ending of the book REALLY wrapped up everything, so I don't understand what the rest of the books in the series are about. I don't really have the urge to pick any of them up.
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