Top 10 Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books I Refuse to Let Anyone Touch (Because I Gave Them Such a Low Rating)

If I’m being honest, there is only ONE book I won’t let anyone touch. Won’t let anyone borrow. It’s a look, don’t touch situation.

My signed first-edition Kingdom of Ash (which I’m fortunate enough to have two copies of). But since I have a third copy that is the B&N special edition I would let people borrow that one. JUST NOT THE SIGNED ONE.

So instead, I turned this post on its head and decided to now give you nine books I refuse to let anyone touch because I don’t recommend them.

I apologize now for any ranting that may occur. But I’m hoping to also explain why I wouldn’t recommend, but you could still enjoy (…in some cases).

Dorothy Must Die (Dorothy Must Die #1) by Danielle Page

I gave this 3 stars by the skin of its teeth. It dragged on soooo much. I started book two, and realized I was OVER IT. So now I have the first 3 on my shelves and really need to unhaul them. I think my biggest turn-off was that I realized I’m not a Wizard of Oz fan in general. It’s fine, and I’ve seen the original movie, but that’s it.


Rock-A-Bye Baby (The Sand Maiden #1) by L.R. W. Lee

Purely a oh look it’s free on Kindle and I love this artist who created the cover! kinda buy. Y’ALL. I didn’t even write a review because I made it 30%. I had briefly heard this was like ACOTAR so why not? WRONG. WRONG. WRONG. WRONG.

THIS IMMORTAL, 400+ YEAR OLD ACTED LIKE A FULL BLOW CHILD. She has a stuffed unicorn that she had to sleep with every night (and I can give you more ridiculous things) and the time line was all over the place. I never knew what year it actually was and what in the world was happening.


Me and Mr. Darcy by Alexandra Potter

…I made it 8 pages. That was it. The amount of f-words and just poor writing in that small time span had me question every thing in my mind as to why I picked it up in the first place.


Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis

I feel this was a money grab book. She is a very popular blogger and owner of a media company that kept trying to tell me stories so I could feel like she was connecting with me. It instead felt like a celebrity trying to tell me how to fix my life, and I was NOT into that at all.


Carry On (Simon Snow #1) by Rainbow Powell

I never connected on this and I know it’s loved by a lot of people. I made it through maybe half of it before I set it aside and never picked it back up. Because of that I generally wouldn’t recommend it if I couldn’t bother getting through it. It’s been 2 years now and I still have no desire to finish it.

I’ve heard a lot of people thought it was Harry Potter-ish so that’s probably why I didn’t like it, I’m not a HP fan anyways.


The Dysasters (The Dysasters #1) by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast

My original review here. This was all sorts of hot mess and I ranted about it on my review. Just…no.


Evermore (Everless #2) by Sara Holland

I WISH SO MUCH THAT I HAD LOVED THIS. I loved book one so much and am still upset that this was such a big letdown. My original review is here!


The Boy Most Likely To by Huntley Fitzpatrick

This had some of the least likable characters ever. I thought it would be a cute quick read, NOPE. There was SO MUCH DRAMA and like crazy, what is happening, why are we throwing that into the plot, drama. I was so annoyed with the insta-love and the way everyone acted.


The Crown (The Selection #5) by Kiera Cass

I absolutely ADORED books 1-3. Then with 4 and 5 there was a change of main characters and it ruined it for me. I was really attached to America and Maxim. Then moving to everyone else left me hanging. Oh well, I know others did love this whole series!

Did you hate or love any of these on my list? Would love to hear other opinions! Lets talk in the comments!

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Book Review

ARC Book Review: Again, but Better by Christine Riccio

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Contemporary (+romance)
Length: 384 pages
Author: Christine Riccio
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Expected Release Date: September 18th, 2018
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

From one of the most followed booktubers today, comes Again, but Better, a story about second chances, discovering yourself, and being brave enough to try again.

Shane has been doing college all wrong. Pre-med, stellar grades, and happy parents…sounds ideal—but Shane’s made zero friends, goes home every weekend, and romance…what’s that? 

Her life has been dorm, dining hall, class, repeat. Time’s a ticking, and she needs a change—there’s nothing like moving to a new country to really mix things up. Shane signs up for a semester abroad in London. She’s going to right all her college mistakes: make friends, pursue boys, and find adventure! 

Easier said than done. She is soon faced with the complicated realities of living outside her bubble, and when self-doubt sneaks in, her new life starts to fall apart. 

Shane comes to find that, with the right amount of courage and determination one can conquer anything. Throw in some fate and a touch of magic—the possibilities are endless.

Note: Thank you to the publisher, Wednesday Books, and Netgalley for the e-ARC and opportunity to read Again, but Better. All opinions are my own.

I HAVE A LOT OF THOUGHTS.

I was really nervous going into this book. I had heard time and again that Shane is essentially a fictionalized version of Christine. I have only seen a few videos of hers and honestly, you can’t miss the similarities. I tried my best to keep my bias about this at bay (which is why I have maintained a 4* rating), but it did sway me on the character originality. I luckily don’t know her channel that well which helped me to overall enjoy this book.

This is what I consider a book version of a TV Hallmark movie. We have the girl trying to find herself, a cute boy, some traveling and a hint of magic. I thought this worked well for this debut rom-com. I loved the wanderlust aspect and about packed my bags while reading because it gave me the travel bug (and we’ve established, I hate flying).

Shane is definitely…quirky. She struggles with social anxiety (my life). I was able to connect with most of her inner dialogue about deciding what to do in a given situation. Putting yourself out there is hard. I liked that this was in a college-aged setting because a lot of self-discovery happens in this part of our lives.

Now, while I understood her inner dialogue most of the time, it got annoying at other times. It was extremely repetitive and a little sporadic. It was too much inside her mind. I like when a book generally cuts some of that rambling down so we get what we need for being in their thoughts. This felt as if every single thought was put to the page.

I adored Pilot (hate his name though *shrugs*). He was cute and sensitive. I loved most of the banter between he and Shane. They were simple and sweet and reminded me of Anna and the French Kiss. The one real iffy thing I didn’t appreciate was this gray area cheating. He’s definitely in a relationship when things fire up with Shane (that even lead to a kiss at one point).

This book had its struggles. It’s a booktuber turned debut author. Again, but Better reads that way. At times it was naive and I think over time her future books will have a more mature sound. There were absolutely way too many pop culture references. I got so tired of reading about HP, Miley Cyrus’s Wrecking Ball, Angry Birds, etc. We don’t need all of that to understand the change in time periods.

I wasn’t expecting the magic element. It was peculiar, but once I’ve considered the entire novel, makes sense. The novel needed this change of pace, and I enjoyed seeing the characters in a new light. I thought they had grown a bit and were more understanding of the situation. I can’t imagine we all, at one time or another, haven’t considered starting something over.

Is it funny that I liked that the parents were alive and present? I feel in a lot of YA they aren’t often represented (or they are already killed off). While this can add some character complexity, I think there was plenty present by having Shane’s parents alive and in her life. I really found this a quick and easy read. I flipped the pages continually and realized I liked the story at its core. I really appreciated watching Shane find what her passion is and seeking out how to have that continually in her life.

Overall audience notes:

  • YA Fiction with romance
  • Language: some, not heavily present
  • Romance: some kisses and make-outs, an almost love scene, a skipped over night spent together
  • Violence: a slap
  • Trigger warnings: gray area cheating (which does lead to a kiss), assault (forced and unwanted kiss)

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