Review: From a Distant Star by Karen McQuestion

24036088On one hand, this latest book from Karen McQuestion is your typical young adult-love found-love lost-love found again story. But on the other hand, it’s just a little bit different…

Young Emma has found the love of her life in Lucas. They’re meant for each other, and she just knows they’re destined to spend the rest of their lives together. There’s just one problem, however. Lucas has cancer, and it’s not the kind of illness he’s expected to rebound from. Everyone, even his family, has given up on him. They’re resigned to the fact that he only has a short time left. But Emma isn’t having any of this. She’s certain that he’s going to survive.

And sure enough, he does make a seemingly miraculous recovery. It’s a miracle, everyone says. He’s come back to us, everyone proclaims. Emma couldn’t be happier to have her soulmate back from the brink of death.

But is it really Lucas? Little pieces of a puzzle begin to add up, and Emma has her doubts. Who is actually residing in Lucas’ newly healed body? And what has happened to Lucas? And why are mysterious federal agents tracking their every move?

I admit, I’m not a huge fan of spacey, alienish science fiction. While I’ve read a few keepers from the genre, it’s not my go-to choice of reading material. And this book is a little bit of that. But it’s not the biggest part of the story. It’s more of an afterthought, a supporting character even. This is a love story, sure. But it’s more of a friendship story, a story with a little bit of suspense and a lot of hope.

~Thalia

Buy It Now: From a Distant Star

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Review: Ghosting by Edith Pattou

20140629-124617-45977646.jpgWhere to begin with this review? First off, it was everything I expected while not being what I expected at the same time. Make sense? When I requested an ARC of this book, I had never heard of Edith Pattou so I wasn’t familiar with her work. The title of the book didn’t mesh with the description, so of course that made me curious enough to give it a try.

So exactly what is the story about? Think “butterfly effect” for the young adult audience. It’s a story about how quickly the world can go wrong, even if you’re young and have your whole life in front of you. Classmates, some friends and some not, thrown together because of a set of circumstances that all come together in one horrible moment. A night of partying, some drinking and drugs thrown in, guns where they shouldn’t be, a teenage prank gone horribly wrong, and nobody is brave enough to stand up for what is right.

My thoughts? In one word, wow. I was a bit thrown off at first because the story is written in free verse, which I wasn’t familiar with in narrative form. But once I got past that initial hurdle, I saw that this style of writing is part of what makes this story so engaging and easy to read. We hear from all of the main characters, almost as if we’ve been invited into their heads to hear their internal conversation. They’re not all likable. In fact, some of them are just plain horrible people. Still, we come to feel their pain and to see them as human as this tragic story unfolds. And this isn’t one of those books that leaves the reader wondering what happens, although those have their place on my bookshelf as well. We end the story with a good feeling of where everyone is, and where everyone is going after that final page. And we’re left thinking if only….

~Thalia

Buy It Now: Ghosting

Melpomene’s Top 10, in other words, Angstfest 2014

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I was looking through Goodreads and I decided to make a Top 10 list of my favorites. By the end, you will get a glimpse into what I look for in a book, as if you don’t already know.

#1 Beautiful Disaster: A Novel, by Jamie McGuire
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Travis is my very first book boyfriend and no one will ever take his title. This book was my first introduction into the New Adult, angst filled romance books, and it set a pretty high standard. It is usually one of two books I always tell people to read. Beautiful Disaster is pure perfection. My review doesn’t even do it justice. It’s just perfect. Read it for yourself and you will fall in love with it. I promise you.

#2 Poughkeepsie (The Poughkeepsie Series), by Debra Anastasia
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This is by far the wildest romance book I’ve ever read. I am in love with this book so much, I can’t put it into words. I made the tattoo as my phone cover, a poster in my reading corner and even a book bag. I just love all thing Poughkeepsie. It’s real and raw and so very romantic. It’s basically the perfect combination of everything I love in a romance book. I judge every other romance book against this one.

#3 Point of Retreat: A Novel (Slammed), by Colleen Hoover
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I am a lifetime CoHort. Seriously. I love EVERY book Colleen Hoover writes, but Point of Retreat is my all time favorite. I can’t pinpoint the reason, but the emotions that this book caused was so overpowering, I was devastated. This is another NA/romance book that will not disappoint. But be sure to read Slammed first, or you’ll be completely lost. 🙂

#4 The Edge of Never, by J.A. Redmerski
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I actually grabbed this book, based on the cover. I had no idea what it was about. I new it was NA, which seems to be my theme, but I never read the description. This book had a rather unconventional love story, but I think my review does it justice. It can be read as a standalone, even though she wrote a second book. This one was my favorite.

#5 The Sea of Tranquility: A Novel, by Katja Millay
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This was another book that I grabbed, based on the cover. And it shocked the emotions right out of me. It’s hard to put in words how I felt. I wanted to reach inside this book and hug every single person. They were so broken, my heart was breaking for them. Beautiful and gut wrenching. Another perfect book.

#6 Gabriel’s Inferno, by Sylvain Reynard
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I remember picking this up and thinking, “How in the world is a guy going to be able to write a romance and make it beautiful?” HA!! I was totally surprised. This book was absolutely beautiful. I was shocked by the tears that fell from my eyes. The words were so romantic and beautiful.

#7 The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green
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OK. This book DESTROYED me. Honest to goodness killed me. I was ripped to pieces and shredded. I have never cried more in my life, than when I read this book, TWICE. This book gets into your soul and changes you. It’s beautiful and sad. If you need to release some pent up emotions, read this. You will feel whole, when you are done.

#8 When I Look to the Sky (The Rock and Roll Trilogy), by Barbara Stewart
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This is the second book in a trilogy and it was very hard to decide which book I liked more. The first one, Rock & Roll Never Forgets, I can’t even review. It was so beautiful and epic and I was sobbing by the end. I tried to write a review, but every time I think of this book I cry. Big, fat, ugly tears. This book killed me even more, but I HAD to post about it. I can’t have another day go by without people hearing about this book. My review took forever to write. In between all the tears and emotions that were pouring out of me. My family thought I lost my mind, after I was done. It was that good. On a side note, this story helped me get through one the hardest times in my life. I ordered a complete set of signed books and they arrived at my house on the day I received such horrible news. They were such a comfort to me. I can never truly explain how much I love Barbara for these.

#9 Easy, by Tammara Webber
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I remember searching for books similar to Beautiful Disaster, and stumbling upon Easy. I was completely blown away. I fell for Lucas, instantly. I love reading about broken guys who try desperately to put it all behind them and move forward. And I love the girls who help them. 🙂 I am anxiously waiting for Lucas’ story to come out, in May. I am already anticipating on needing tissues for that one. 🙂

#10 Left Drowning, by Jessica Park
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I remember reading Flat Out Love and completely falling in love with Jessica Park. So when I found out that she was going to write another book, I was super excited to read it. This book…..To quote the last line of my review, “I may never get over this book.” This was the perfect combination of romance, angst, silliness and devastation. Another perfect combination. I can’t wait to see what’s coming next from her. But it will be awesome.

WOW!!! Typing this out, brought all the emotions back to the surface. Now I need a tissue, or two…perhaps a hug.

~Melpomene

Review: Left Drowning, by Jessica Park

17325147 “Your parents died. Your world fell apart.”
I nod.
He puts his hand on my cheek. “You were left drowning”
I nod again.
“And you’re struggling to breathe”
I am. It’s a constant struggle to stay near the surface I have just enough air to stop me from going totally under, but not enough to thrive.
“So do it. Breathe. Just Breathe.”

WOW!! I am speechless…I can’t even think enough to type this out. I haven’t read such a perfect book in a very long time. Well…perfect for me. This had love, loss, tears and great deal of angst. See?? Perfect. Most definitely belongs in my Top 10 books of all time.

Blythe’s parents died in a fire, four years ago. She has been drowning ever since. She pushes people away, without even trying. She knows she’s depressed, but she doesn’t know the first thing about how to get out of it. She’s just trying get through her last year of college and move one.

What she doesn’t anticipate, is meeting Chris Shepherd.

He is the past, the present, and the future.

Chris is a very sweet guy, with a past that is so hard to read, I had to take breaks. I don’t know how he managed to get through it all without losing his mind. But he had to do it for his siblings.

The Shepherd siblings bring the necessary comedic breaks this really needed. Sabin was the best!! I wish I had a Sabin in my life. He was the “Cakest of all my baby cakes.” You’ll understand that when you read it.

Watching the love bloom between Blythe and Chris was very sweet. There were a few saucy scenes that made me quite happy. 🙂

“Chris may be imperfect, and he makes mistakes, but I can feel his heart and I know that he is mine.”

*swoon* Seriously, major swooning.

“I was born to love you.”

It was all going well, til about 68%, then it all bottomed out and I though I was gonna die of heartache. I seriously wanted to through my Kindle across the room. Devastation that we never saw coming. I wanted to reach in and slap someone.

When Chris reveals his past and what he’s gone through, I thought I was gonna get sick. Unimaginable what someone is capable of.

We find out why they bonded so quickly. When their stories come together, it was amazing. It was fate. Plain and simple, it was fate. They don’t wanna believe in fate, but that’s what it was. They were each other’s savior.

“We’re like…puzzle pieces that fit together.”

There was a happy ending, after much crying and seething. I almost didn’t make it though. Ms. Park sure knows how to cut our hearts up and then glue the pieces back together.

“What are we doing? What are you doing?”

“Loving you,” he says simply. “If you’ll let me.”

“Always. God, Always.”

I may never get over this book.

~Melpomene

Buy it now Left Drowning

Review: Out of Breath, by Rebecca Donovan

What an amazing end to a powerful and emotional series!!

I wasn’t sure if I really wanted to finish it, but I knew I had too. The first two books were quite draining and pushed me way over. I’m glad I didn’t read them back to back. I don’t think I could’ve handled that. My nerves would’ve been shot. That being said, I’m glad this is over. 🙂

The book starts off about two years after Emma walks out on Evan and leaves him barely conscience. She is trying to move on, but still, she will never be the same. Her friends have tried to help her. They even encouraged her to date. But her heart’s not really in it. Her heart’s back in Weslyn, but she won’t admit that.

Unfortunately, life has a way of pushing us to do things and face things we really don’t want to. When Emma finds herself back in Weslyn, she can’t face it.

Evan and Sara find her passed out, from alcohol, and they realize that she is not the girl they knew and loved. They decide to spend all summer trying to put her back together. Emma doesn’t think she is worth the trouble. She still thinks that she has done unforgivable things and that no one should love her, especially not Evan. She wishes everyone would just leave her. But they know they can’t.

I wasn’t happy to see how she was behaving, in college. Part of me wanted her to be waiting for Evan, but I know that was unrealistic. So seeing her with someone else was hard. I don’t think she was very smart about her choices. She needed a good whack across her noggin.

Evan has had a horrible two years, since she left. He never understood why. But he wants closure and the truth, from her. He is determined to get it, even if he has to go through the hurt again. He wants her to be honest, for once. He spends all summer trying to crack her shell and see what she’s hiding and how she’s feeling.

Their friends are super supportive and don’t wanna see either of them hurt again. But they do try and help push things along. And not very subtle either. 🙂

I don’t wanna say anymore, at the risk of spoiling it. However, this ended just like I’d hoped. I was so very happy. It was a long time coming, but I’m glad I stuck around. Now I can put my Xanax away. 😉

-Melpomene

Buy it now Out Of Breath (The Breathing Series, #3)