2015 Book #62 – I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios

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Title: I’ll Meet You There
Author: Heather Demetrios
Date finished: 6/20/15
Genre:  Young adult – romance-ish, coming of age tale
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Publication Date: February 3, 2015
Pages in book: 379
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
Where I got the book from: Terryville Public Library

Blurb from the cover:

If seventeen-year-old Skylar Evans were a typical Creek View girl, her future would involve a double-wide trailer, a baby on her hip, and the graveyard shift at Taco Bell. But after graduation, the only thing standing between straightedge Skylar and art school are three minimum-wage months of summer. Skylar can taste the freedom–that is, until her mother loses her job and everything starts coming apart. Torn between her dreams and the people she loves, Skylar realizes everything she’s ever worked for is on the line.
Nineteen-year-old Josh Mitchell had a different ticket out of Creek View: the Marines. But after his leg is blown off in Afghanistan, he returns home, a shell of the cocksure boy he used to be.
What brings Skylar and Josh together is working at the Paradise–a quirky motel off California’s dusty Highway 99. Despite their differences, their shared isolation turns into an unexpected friendship and soon, something deeper.

My rating: 4.25 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: This book will be counting towards my goal for the Pop Sugar Reading Challenge 2015 checklist under the “a book at the bottom of your to-read list” check box since it wasn’t even really on my to-read list to begin with. I saw this book in a BookPage publication earlier this year and while I thought it sounded interesting, I didnt add it to my TBR list at the time since the list is already just so overwhelmingly long. I did one of those calculator things and it was going ot take me like 15 years to read all the books on my current to-read list. And since I add more books to the list every week than I read and take off the list every week, its pretty much never going to end! But when I saw it at the Terryville Public Library a couple weeks ago I was on a YA rampage (I checked out 5 new YA fiction books that day) I decided to give it a try. And boy am I glad I did because it was excellent.
The main male character of the story was a Marine who was recently injured in combat and is home on leave while he recovers. Josh has always been a bad-boy and a ladies man in Creek View and even though he returns injured from the war, the town doesn’t really expect him to be any different. And Skylar is a straight-edge girl who is set on escaping this small ho-dunk town and plans to go to San Francisco for college in the fall. But these two can’t seem to stay away from each other and over the summer what used to be a casual friendship turns into something more.
Reading this book was an important experience for me. My husband is a Marine and spent some time overseas in Afghanistan, and while thankfully he came back uninjured physically, there are a lot of mental ramifications for experiencing what soldiers have to go through in a war. There were many times during the book during Josh’s point of view when I heard the parts in my husband’s voice, and (while I’ve never experienced what they experience personally and therefore can’t say this with certainty) I think the author did an outstanding job of capturing what it feels like when a soldier all of a sudden isn’t a soldier anymore. Transitioning back into civilian life is difficult and for some impossible. This book was moving and touching and talked about some extremely relevant topics. I think it was a great book and something everyone should read.
The bottom line: I thought this was a great book, I’m not sure if it meant more to me because I’m connected to a Marine but the characters in this story really moved me. I would definitely recommend this book.

Link to author website
Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

2015 Book #59 – Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver

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Title: Vanishing Girls
Author: Lauren Oliver
Date finished: 6/17/15
Genre: Young Adult – Thriller
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: March 10, 2015
Pages in book: 357
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
Where I got the book from: Terryville Public Library

Blurb from the cover:

New York Times bestselling author Lauren Oliver delivers a gripping story about two sisters inexorably altered by a terrible accident.
Dara and Nick used to be inseparable, but that was before the accident that left Dara’s beautiful face scarred and the two sisters totally estranged. When Dara vanishes on her birthday, Nick thinks Dara is just playing around. But another girl, nine-year-old Madeline Snow, has vanished, too, and Nick becomes increasingly convinced that the two disappearances are linked. Now Nick has to find her sister, before it’s too late.
In this edgy and compelling novel, Lauren Oliver creates a world of intrigue, loss, and suspicion as two sisters search to find themselves, and each other.

My rating: 3.25 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: This book was a little weird. Dara and Nick are supposed to be best friends and sisters and then an accident supposedly marks their separation and they don’t talk to each other for months. Its really what happens right before the accident but you’ll find all that out. Anyway, their supposed to be such good friends but the description of their relationship is awful. Also there is a LOT of underage drinking in this book. Like every person you are introduced with who is in high school is getting drunk on a regular basis. Where are they getting all this alcohol? And do their parents really just not notice that their kids are drunk every weekend? There are a lot of heavy drugs mentioned in connection with Dara as well. I know when parents get divorced they can sometimes become a little more absent in their children’s lives but still, no one besides Nick noticed that there were weird pills in Dara’s room?
Besides the drug thing and the slightly intense sibling rivalry for “best friends,” this book was pretty good. I was hooked fairly quickly, though the first half of the book was a little slower than the second half. I liked the story line and I was interested in what the reason for the accident was and where Madeline Snow was and what the hell was really going on. I can 100% say that I never saw the twist at the end coming and to be honest when it was revealed my first thought was “no way you read that right, better go backwards a little and read it over.” But turns out I read it correctly, it was just a little confusing. The plot twist at the end was a great twist but the way it was done was a little far-reached to me. Still very good though, I usually can see twists coming but I never saw this one coming. 
The bottom line: Eh. It was ok. Not my favorite but wasn’t awful either. There were some things about it that bothered me I little. You could try it I guess.

Link to author website
Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

2014 – Book #99

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The ninety-ninth book I read in 2014 was In Your Dreams by Kristan Higgins. I have been very excited about this book for awhile (in fact, here is my “Waiting on Wednesday” post on the book) and couldn’t wait to start reading it. And once I started I couldn’t seem to put it down! I finished this book on 11/3/14. I rated this book 5 stars out of a scale of 5. This is the fourth book in the Blue Heron series. I have read the previous three books in the series as well and loved them all, though only one is discussed on this blog since the others were read prior to 2014. You can read my post on the other book in the series here. This really is just such a great series by one of my favorite authors and I highly recommend it!! I devour her books, I already can’t wait for the next in the series (hopefully Connor’s story!) to come out!!!

So, In Your Dreams is about police woman Emmaline Neal and town favorite Jack Holland. (Just for reference, Jack is brother to Faith and Honor, who were the heroines in books #1 and #2 in the series.) Emmaline had her heart squashed by her fiance 3 years ago and moved to Manningsport, NY to start over. Unfortunately, the dating pool is limited in the area so when she receives an invitation to her ex-fiance’s wedding, she has to find a man and fast. Luckily, Jack is skilled in helping out damsels in distress. He has been a last minute date for many functions in the past for various women in town, though he doesn’t expect to enjoy spending time with Emmaline quite so much.

Hoenstly I just loved this book. I literally couldn’t put it down, I read it in two nights because I got lost in the world that Higgins created. She is so gifted in character development and drawing you into the story. I love the characters she’s formed in this series and I love their individual stories. It was a great read and I would highly recommend trying it! For that matter, I would highly recommend the whole series!!

Link to author website: http://www.kristanhiggins.com/index.html

Link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Your-Dreams-Blue-Heron-Series/dp/0373779313/ref=tmm_mmp_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1415105684&sr=8-1