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Paper Valentine by Brenna Yovanoff (@brennayovanoff)

There’s this weird thing that happens when you start reviewing the books you read. You start to really understand exactly what it is that you like about books and what you don’t. Things I’ve come to realize – I’m not a fan of flowery writing and metaphors and I’ve got a big o’ girly hard-on for books that don’t give me all the answers. Books that leave you hanging. Books where the mystery is simply a tool and not the goal. I fall in love with books that seem to make other people insane. I started to realize this with Tana French but Brenna Yovanoff solidified it. This is the first of her books I’ve read and holy crap, I cannot explain how much this book punched me right in the metaphorical gut (yeah, I see how that contradicts what I just said a few sentences ago). Her writing style is so straightforward. It’s just there. In your face. But there’s something under the surface that’s positively magical. Now I’m going to talk about the book. This is the part where I get cranky about having to warn that I’m going to talk about the book content while I talk about the book.

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Free- For-All-Friday Brenna Yovanoff (@brennayovanoff )

Today’s post is short and sweet. I don’t have a lot of time, and the little I do have, I just want to be reading. I can feel the pull of my book from inside my purse. This week I started reading my first Brenna Yovanoff book. I’ve noticed her books before. They always have the most eye-catching covers. I realized in a recent Top Ten Tuesday post that I actually own one of her books. I’ve owned it for quite a while. Not reading it is my own damn fault.

I’m in the middle of Paper Valentine and I’m hooked. There’s something about her writing style that just sucks me right in. I can feel this world. We’re quickly moving into winter in my neck of the woods, but I can almost feel the heat of Ludlow while I’m engrossed in her book. I was in a local bookstores last week (shop local!) and noticed that they were having an amazing sale – all hardcover YA for $9.98 and buy three get one free. I’m pretty sure I’m going to be making a visit over there in the next week and picking up the rest of Yovanoff’s books.

She’s fantastic guys. I’m saying that not having finished a single book yet. Hopefully, I’m not proven wrong!

Seriously, I love these covers. And I adore finding a new author to love!

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Top Ten Tuesday – Addictive Authors I’ve Only Read Once

The girls over at The Broke and Bookish have set our task for the week – authors who you’ve read once and know you must read more from. I’m a bit of an authorsnob. Not an I only read this level of author type snob, but an I must ignore all other authors kind of snob. When I find someone whose style I really like, I generally pull another one of their books immediately. That means that several of the authors I’ve chosen only have one book out. But, this also goes back to my post a couple weeks ago about being a bad fan and forgetting to be diligent about checking for release dates. That all being truth, I found a list of authors who I have only read one book from and would genuinely love to read more.

 

Tess Sharpe – Book read: Far From You

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She writes exactly my kind of book. Contemporary YA. Mysteries. A little romance thrown in for spice. This is the only book she has published. I’ll be keeping an eye out for more of her books. I like that she does not sugar coat the shitty side of growing up.

 

Joshua Braff – Book read: The Unthinkable Thoughts of Jacob Green

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He actually has another book out – Peep Show. I want to read it. I’m not sure why I haven’t. Maybe my library doesn’t have it. Nope. They have it. This is entirely my fault. I’ve put a hold on it and will rectify this problem shortly.

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The Thousand Dollar Tan Line by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham

Normally, I take a couple days (weeks) between when I finish a book and when I write the review. Mostly, this is a timing issue, but it’s also a mulling period. Sometimes, I just like to get some distance from what I’ve read to really figure out how I feel about it. This is not the case with Thomas’ first Veronica Mars novel (this book actually has two authors, but I’m going to refer to Thomas because it’s easier). Do I really need to take that much time to think about a bunch of characters I already know I love and a writing style that I already know I’m sold on? Nope. I literally closed the book on this one minutes before I started writing this. I am a huge fan of the Veronica Mars franchise, so this is a totally biased review. Remember when I listed my favourite minor characters? You can only do that if you’ve spent enough time with the show to know the minor characters off the top of your head. I love the tv show. I love the movie. I rewatch both of them all the time. I even love the spotty, uneven third season and its strange twist on the theme song (which I did not hate – even though everyone else seemed to). I’ll give most of Thomas’ projects a chance (go watch Party Down, just do it). However, I was hesitant to go into the books. I tend to shy away from the spin off books for series I like – they’re rarely relevant to the story and often end up confusing the cannon. I only decided to pick up this book because a friend of mine who also loves the Mars family had read it and said it was worth it.

I trust her opinion on books basically 100% of the time. This one was no different. Because the mythos of this world is so ingrained on my fangirlness, it was easy to jump right into the story. I didn’t need to get to know the characters or the town and its cast of characters. It made some of the world building a little annoying, but new fans are good fans and they need this info. The novel picks up just months after the movie ended – if you’re planning to read the book, you must watch the movie first. It’s crucial to the story, especially if you watched the tv show. Also, if you haven’t read the book yet, stop reading reviews before you read the book, that’s just a silly order to do things in (cough cough spoilers). So, Veronica and Logan have gotten back together, but he’s in the Navy and he’s off at sea for the entirety of this novel. At first, I was a little sadface, no Logan girl, but as I kept reading, I realized it was nice to have a Logan free storyline. That hasn’t happened since what, first season? Logan and Veronica are delightful, but they often steal the thunder of the mystery. I wanted a good, noir style read. Dark alleys, girls in ice machines, stolen art, seedy motels, rich dudes gone bad. And that’s exactly what I got – not exactly, but close enough.

Veronica agrees to take a case to help the Neptune City Council fix their tourist problem when a young girl goes missing during spring break. She has to work in conjunction with the corrupt and seriously challenging Sherriff Lamb – brought to life so perfectly by Jerry O’Connell – and has to find her way around his obstacles. Mac has left her job with the devil, I mean Kane Software, and is now Mars Investigations resident background information gatherer. But money is tight, and before this job comes along, Veronica isn’t sure how much longer she’ll be able to keep the doors open. As loathe as she may be to work with Lamb, this is the only way she know to keep things going while her dad recovers. Continue reading

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Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas (@abbymcdonald)

Have you ever read a book that you know is good, possibly really good, and you just can’t get into it? That’s how I felt about Dangerous Girls. In fact, I DNF’d it. It’s exactly my type of book – dark, gritty, mature YA. It doesn’t sugar coat the interactions between teens. Sex. Drugs. Parties. Friendship. It’s exactly the type of story I usually love. The writing is excellent. The style is unique. The characters are superb representations of a certain class of teen. I should have loved this book. I want to love this book. I don’t even dislike this book. I think what I read was good – but I just couldn’t connect with the characters.

This one is 100% on me. I can’t put my finger on what my problem was – but it was totally my problem. It’s like when you go on a date with someone who’s really hot, you want to like them cause – hot – but you have zero chemistry with. I’d pick the book up, read a page or two and then put it down for hours, if not days. I didn’t feel compelled to read more than that. I often have books that I read in spurts, but normally, I’ll hit a point where I just have to take the book and read until it’s finished. I never felt the urge to do that with Dangerous Girls. Well, I did once, but then I moved onto the next chapter and the feeling went away. I think it might have been the style. None of the chapters were long enough to allow me to get into the character before we shifted to a different time and we had to jump to a different point in that person’s personality.

I also could not get behind Tate. I had to keep going back and looking up his name. The other characters, sure, they all felt like they had their own personalities, but Tate felt a little generic. Maybe because I couldn’t feel his appeal, I couldn’t really get into both of these girls being interested in him. Continue reading