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The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

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My Summary: The last thing Hadley ever wanted was to be forced to attend her father's wedding. Angry and bitter, it seems like a sign from above when she misses her flight to London by a measly four minutes. Forced to wait in the airport for the next flight, she befriends a cute guy who, like her, is traveling alone to London for a family event. She doesn't expect to see him after their plane lands in London, and she really doesn't expect to fall for him...It's amazing how drastically things can change over the course of a day.My Thoughts: This novel was light and sweet. At just over 200 pages long, it was easy to read in one sitting. The writing was really well done, and the plot had just enough twists to keep you wanting more. The chemistry between the main characters was evident, and I liked that though both had been scarred by family issues, they were able to find solace in each other. My personal favourite character was Oliver - he was complex and intelligent and incredibly sweet (and who wouldn't love a cute British guy who offered to help you with your luggage?).I also really enjoyed the author's use of flashbacks to give us information about Hadley's past. It's a difficult thing to pull off - trust me - and she managed it wonderfully. Final Thoughts: If you're looking for something short and sweet, The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight is the novel for you. I recommend it for fans of cute contemporary lit and lighter YA romance.
The Love Song of Jonny Valentine

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My Summary: Being a kid on the verge of puberty is hard enough, but for Jonny Valentine it's only the tip of the iceberg. Jonny is a pop star at the ripe old age of eleven. Having grown up in the spotlight, Jonny never got to experience things normal kids do. With every second of his life planned out, Jonny doesn't even have time for fun, let alone friends or school.Sheltered by his psychotic 'momager' Jane, Jonny doesn't even know what became of his absentee father... until the day he logs onto his mom's computer and finds a message from his dad on every fan site. But is it really him? As Jonny begins a mission to reconnect with his dad, he'll discover just how far he'll have to go to maintain his fame and his career.My Thoughts: This book was heartbreaking. Jonny is probably one of my favourite narrators of all time - his mix of innocence, cynicism, and humour will soften event he hardest of hearts. Growing up in showbiz has taken everything from Jonny, but he still manages to put on a show. Jane was reminiscent of those crazy pageant moms you see on T.V. - so obsessed with being the best that she ignores what is happening to her child and forgets to treat him like a real person.Wayne's commentary on the way we treat our celebrities - especially child stars - resonates with the reader. "We always want to have as much control as possible over my image, but the Lisa Pinto exposure made sense from a packaging-strategy perspective, since even if it was driving off some of the fat girls, it would bring in more of the pretty girls, and if they liked me then the fat girls would like me more to try to be like the pretty girls, plus the pretty girls would bring their boyfriends to my concerts, which effectively doubled gate receipts and they also had to buy them crap merch to make them happy, but the fat girls didn’t have boyfriends. They had to buy the crap merch for themselves to feel happier. But Jane says we’re in the business of making fat girls feel like they’re pretty for a few hours and that most pretty girls are afraid other people think they’re fat anyway, so maybe it’s all the same." Jonny has been made into the perfect product by his team, and you can see the way it morphs his thoughts. The theme of slavery works perfectly with the novel, as Jonny is what we come to see as a slave to the masses and his celebrity itself. And as he fumbles through his first teenage experiences, we see just how much of a tole growing up as a pop star has had on Jonny. Final Thoughts: Wayne has written an honest and unflinching account of child stardom. I recommend it to anyone and everyone looking for a great read.
Breed: A Novel

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My Summary: Alex and Leslie's relationship was always strong. They were happily married for years, and even the age difference couldn't make a dent in their blissfully happy lives.That is, until the couple began wishing for a child. After years of trying with no success, Alex and Leslie begin to look into unorthodox methods, with disastrous results.Ten years later, the Twisdens have everything they could ever have wanted: a pair of lovely twins, perfect in every way. But something is not quite right in the Twisden house, and the twin fleeing sparks a string of events that will call into question everything - especially how far people are willing to go for a child of their own.My Thoughts: Wow. Just... wow. I was struck speechless at the end of this novel, unable to put my thoughts into words for quite some time. Going into Breed, I had no idea what to expect. I've always been an avid fan of sci-fi, but this didn't seem like your run-of-the-mill sci-fi novel. Regardless, I dove in head-first. And I loved every minute of it. I devoured (ha!) every page, staying up well into the night to squeeze in any extra pages. Novak's style of narration was perfect for this eerie novel, revealing little tidbits of information at the perfect moments. I loved the dark, creepy atmosphere. Actually, I loved the whole book.Final Thoughts: I definitely recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys darker, creepier novels. Chase Novak has found a fan in me - I can't wait until his next novel is released. Seriously. I'm expecting nothing short of perfection!
Enshadowed: A Nevermore Book

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Varen has been missing for over two months, and though nobody has any idea where he went, the general consensus of the student body is that Isobel had something to do with his disappearance. But Isobel doesn't care - the only thing she's cared about for the past few months is getting to Baltimore and confronting the mysterious figure who calls himself Reynolds. She's convinced that he's the only way back into Varen's dream world - the only way she can keep her promise to rescue him from the living nightmare he's created.The minute I received this book in the mail, I knew I wouldn't be putting it down for a while. The first book in the series, Nevermore, was definitely one of my favourite reads of this year. Everything about the story pulled me in - the premise, the setting, the characters... and of course the fact that it was based on the works of Mr. Edgar Allen Poe. I flew through the book, refusing to put it down for more than ten minutes at a time. I had no doubt in my mind that the second installment would be just as amazing as the first.I was not disappointed in the least. Kelly Creagh draws you back into Isobel and Varen's world effortlessly, with haunting imagery and enough suspense to keep you glued to the pages. Readers will see a lot of character growth in Isobel in this installment, as she is both figuratively and literally haunted by Varen. We also see a lot of changes in Varen, and a little bit more insight into his past. I was freaking out when I read the ending - IT WAS SO GOOD! You wanna know the only thing I disliked? I have to wait an entire year for the final installment! If you haven't already pre-ordered Enshadowed, then you need to. Right now. Get on the computer and order it, okay? Promise?!If you haven't read the first book in the series, I definitely recommend you check it out as soon as possible. Fans of paranormal YA, darker fiction, romance, and - of course - Edgar Allen Poe will love it.
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

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My Summary: Before, Mara lived a relatively normal life - she had a boyfriend, a best friend, and her art. After an accident she doesn't remember in which she loses her friends and her boyfriend, Mara and her family pack up and move to Florida so she can move on. But moving on, it seems, is impossible when your past is haunting you...My Thoughts: This was a really entertaining, quick read for me. The main character, Mara, is as normal as it gets until the accident rips her life apart, and the way the author portrayed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder made it seem really believable. The dialogue in the novel was really well done - I can vouch for teens everywhere when I say it was pretty close to the way we usually speak (unlike some novels, which totally, like, make it seem like everyone, like, says like a bunch of times...). The writing was really good, but there were a few cliche YA paranormal elements that took away from the story. I think this is one of those novels (like Hush, Hush) that you people either love or hate; it wasn't my personal favourite, but it was pretty entertaining. I'll probably be purchasing the sequel.Final Thoughts: I recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys YA paranormal romance and is looking to read something that's not about werewolves or vampires. I can't say I'd recommend it to teens under 16, but older teens will enjoy it.
The Fault in Our Stars

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This book was extremely difficult for me to review; and no, it's not because I'm a fan of John Green and his writing. There was so much emotion packed into this book, and the writing makes it hit you so deeply... let's just say the top of my pillowcase was soaked through by the time I'd turned the last page. To say this book was a tear-jerker would be an understatement. Hazel and Augustus are the kinds of characters that'll stay with me for a long, long time. I know my reviews are usually a lot more organized (and probably make more sense than this), but this boko affected me in a way that rendered me unable to form coherent thoughts about it. All I can say is please do yourselves a favour and pick up a copy of The Fault in Our Stars (and some tissues while you're at it).
Lock and Key

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My Summary: Ever since she can remember, it's been Ruby and her mom against the world. Until the day her mom doesn't return home, and Ruby's left to fend for herself. For a while it was fun, until things started going wrong and Ruby was picked up by child services and sent to live with her sister Cora and her husband. Cora and Jamie give Ruby everything she could ever want, but she can't shake the feeling that she'd be betraying her mom by suddenly forgiving Cora for abandoning them 10 years ago...My Thoughts: This was my second Sarah Dessen novel, and I really enjoyed it. I loved the way Dessen wrote the dynamic characters and the growth experienced by Ruby, Nate, and even Cora - it wasn't too fast (like some miraculous transformation or something) and it wasn't too slow either. Dessen set a believable pace, and her characters felt genuine and easy to relate to. The characters were definitely my favourite part of the novel.I liked the way the author approached the themes in this book as well - Dessen shows us that there are no perfect solutions, and that sometimes you just have to let people go. I found this really refreshing, because there's nothing I hate more than reading a novel where there's a huge problem or conflict and the characters stress about it for 99% of the book, and when the time comes for a solution it's quick, painless, and lasts for less than 5 pages (you know what I mean, right?). I hate it when all the loose ends in a contemporary lit novel are tied into a nice little bow, because real life isn't like that; not everything is going to work out, and big problems don't go away with 'quick fixes'.Final Thoughts: I recommend this novel to anyone who is a fan of Sarah Dessen's work, and also to anyone who likes edgier contemporary literature. There are some mature themes so its probably best to leave it to readers 16 and up, but other than that I think a lot of readers will enjoy this book!
The Demonologist

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My Summary: David has never believed in demons, or Hell, or anything even closely resembling the things on which he finds himself an expert. His work has brought him fame in the literary community, but David refuses to believe in anything that cannot be explained.When a mysterious woman appears offering David a chance to test his expertise and make a lot of money in the process he reluctantly agrees, thinking it is just what he needs. With his daughter Tess in tow, he travels to Venice to bear witness to the strange 'phenomenon'. But things are not what they appear to be, and a string of events leads to David's daughter being taken from him by a mysterious demonic entity with a keen interest in David. With nothing but his knowledge on Paradise Lost - a book he thought he knew inside out - David must journey to rescue his daughter from the Unnamed, all the while fighting the very things he refused to believe existed.My Thoughts: I've always been a huge fan of the paranormal, so I did a little happy dance when I found this book in my mailbox. Years of watching Supernatural taught me a very important lesson: don't mess with demons. But that's exactly what our main character does. Stubbornly refusing to believe in anything paranormal - all while claiming to be an expert on the topic - gets our MC into quite the situation. I loved the flow of the story, as well as the backdrop: there's something about Venice that just invites the supernatural, don't you think? David's love for his daughter was endearing, and his journey to save Tess had me on the edge of my seat. The author is incredibly skilled at combining a variety of paranormal elements and still managing to make the story work. Pyper's use of Paradise Lost had me itching to re-read it myself to see if I could discover any hidden codes of my own.The Demonologist was incredibly well-written. I ended up finishing it in just over eight hours, so you know it's definitely worth a look!Final Thoughts: I definitely recommend this novel to fans of the paranormal, as well as anyone who enjoys shows like Supernatural.
Nevermore

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My Thoughts: I pride myself on being a well-versed, well-read person with a great vocabulary. Really, I do. But when I finished Nevermore at around 6 am last night (after starting at around 11 pm) the only word I could think of to describe what I'd just read was OMG!!!! (I know it's not even a word, guys. Also, it wasn't even an adjective. I am aware.).I adored everything about this book. The author's use of imagery was amazing; you could vividly imagine each and every scene, and the eerie atmosphere of the entire thing was reminiscent of one of Poe's poems. I loved loved LOVED the inclusion of Poe's works into this novel - it added so much depth to the story, and rekindled my love of all things Poe (if for some strange reason you have made it this far in life and haven't read any of Poe's work, this novel will definitely make you want to). And you know what else? There was no insta-love! (Thank you, Ms. Creagh. Thank you so much for not ruining a great story with that. I happen to loathe the YA habit of 'OMG our eyes locked and we were in love after only three hours it was meant to be!' with the fiery passion of one thousand imploding suns. And you can quote me on that, guys). I adored Varen and all his complexity, and even Isobel started to grow on me after a while (after standing up to those jerks who called themselves her friends). With this long of a book (around 550 pages) you usually find yourself wishing the story would hurry up and conclude, but with Nevermore I found myself dreading the last 100 pages because it meant the book would be ending soon. And the ending! It broke my heart, so, so bad. I put the book down and raced to the computer to find out when the sequel, Enshadowed, would be coming out, and my heart (or what was left of it) sank when I found out I had to wait until AUGUST (8 months!) to find out what happens next. Oh well. It's going to be worth it.Final Thoughts: If you haven't already picked up Nevermore, get yourself to the nearest bookstore and pick up a copy ASAP! I recommend it to anyone who loves paranormal YA, romance, and anything by Edgar Allan Poe - especially if you're looking for an original, fresh story. It's definitely one of my favourites so far this year.
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