Friday, June 23, 2017

Spinning Pages (13): Perfect Cover/ Bad Girl


Oftentimes, while I'm reading a song will pop into my head because the book makes me think of it; sometimes the reverse happens and a random song will make me think of a book I have readSpinning Pages is a combination of my love for books and music. More often than not, the inspiration for these posts strikes while I have music thumping in my ears while exercising (kind of like how this feature came to be). 



I had entirely too many songs that could have worked for this book. I seriously considered pairing more than one song up with Perfect Cover, but decided that it would be best to keep it down to one song. It might just be me, yet I think that the characters might, albeit mildly, approve of the song selection- Bad Girl by Ladies' Code.

Bad Girl by Ladies' Code-
I’m a bad girlYes, I’m that kind of girlA person who deceives for loveWho doesn’t knowHow to hurt or cryA bad girlIs what you would call meBad Girl bad girl bad bad girlPlease leave me alone now
“You’re a weak girlYou’re a nice girl in my eyesA pitiful girl”Don’t view me like thatI’m sick of this now

There were about five other songs that I considered using, yet this was the one that stood out the most for Perfect Cover. From being underestimated, by everybody, to their various attempts to use a certain boy to get behind enemy lines, this song just really worked for the book. 

To be quite honest, I selected this song with two characters in mind, Toby and Brooke, as both like to pretend that nothing gets to them. 

I almost did not use this song simply because it still makes me somewhat sad to listen to Ladies' Code after they loss two members a couple years ago. But in the end, the song is just too good and perfect to not use it; that and I've liked it since it first released.

You can listen to all of Ladies' Code's Bad Girl below!!

           

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

I Want to Read It (58): The Naturals



I Want to Read It, a hybrid between WLW (or WOW) and what's on my to-be-read pile. Well, instead of focusing just on books I would like to acquire, I will be using it to feature books that I just want to read. From the one's I want to buy to the one's sitting on my TBR at home.



The Naturals (The Naturals, 1) by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, November 5, 2013. Published by Disney-Hyperion. Source: Wishlist.
Seventeen-year-old Cassie is a natural at reading people. Piecing together the tiniest details, she can tell you who you are and what you want. But it’s not a skill that she’s ever taken seriously. That is, until the FBI come knocking: they’ve begun a classified program that uses exceptional teenagers to crack infamous cold cases, and they need Cassie.

What Cassie doesn’t realize is that there’s more at risk than a few unsolved homicides—especially when she’s sent to live with a group of teens whose gifts are as unusual as her own. Sarcastic, privileged Michael has a knack for reading emotions, which he uses to get inside Cassie’s head—and under her skin. Brooding Dean shares Cassie’s gift for profiling but keeps her at arm’s length.

Soon, it becomes clear that no one in the Naturals program is what they seem. And when a new killer strikes, danger looms closer than Cassie could ever have imagined. Caught in a lethal game of cat and mouse with a killer, the Naturals are going to have to use all of their gifts just to survive.
Why

Having just finished Jennifer Lynn Barnes' The Squad duology, I was curious to see what her newer books looked like. Then I ran across The Naturals and I'm thinking that I need this series in my life!! 
 I really like the premise of this one; it just sounds so exciting. Sure, it's a skosh similar, with teens being drafted by the government for special jobs, to the Squad books, but it sure sounds fascinating. 

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Teaser Tuesday: Killer Spirit


Teaser Tuesday is hosted by MizB of Books And A Beat. To participate, simply do the following: Grab your current read Open to a random page Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, June 19, 2017

A Vintage Reads YA Review: Killer Spirit



Killer Spirit (The Squad, 2) by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, February 12, 2008. 324 pages. Published by Laurel Leaf. Source: Own.
Saying Toby Klein is an unlikely cheerleader is like saying Paris Hilton might be into guys--understatement of the year. But the varsity squad at Bayport High gives new meaning to the phrase All-American, and Toby's double life as a varsity cheerleader and a government operative means balancing protocol, pep rallies, computer hacking, and handsprings.

Now something's about to go down in Bayport, and the Big Guys Upstairs need to know what. The Squad is on the case, but it looks like this mission could put the "l" in lethal. And if the spy business doesn't kill Toby, it's starting to look like Brooke, the team's captain, might. The nominations are in for homecoming court, and rumor has it that Toby is the unlikely front-runner for queen.

Terrorist threat? Bloody mission gone wrong? Demented squad captain?

Bring it on.
First Sentence
Once upon a time, I thought that the cheerleaders at my high school were no more capable of intelligent thought or true athleticism than the average dachshund.



Well, I decided to just go ahead and review Killer Spirit this week instead of pushing it off till, well, who knows when. It would be nice to see the series reprinted with new covers; you know since the Squad was pretty entertaining. Now that I have finished this series, I'm looking forward to reading, one day, some of Jennifer Lynn Barnes' newer books.

  • I actually liked this one more than Perfect Cover. It felt more complete; and that my suspicion of a certain character, who was briefly introduced at the beginning of book one. Can you say exciting!! I love when my theories are proved correct and the way it tied in was, well, to be perfectly honest oh so fitting for the series. I refuse to say more on that plot piece because a) it's very spoiler filled and b) because it is best enjoyed in the moment when the "big" reveal is made. 
  • Well, my feelings about Toby were still the same as they were in the first book, but as much as I disliked her, the story was more interesting than book one. Perhaps my increased enjoyment  of the second volume came down to the fact that not everything went as planned for them; that and the backstory on a couple of the characters. Personally, I liked that they struggled more in this book. Not only with their missions but also with internal rivalry over the homecoming queen. I'll say this, Jennifer Lynn Barnes knows how to write a great snippy scene; those girls went straight for the kill with some of their cutting remarks.
  •  Honestly, the writing was much better in this one and the plot felt more complete. Generally, I just enjoyed the concept of this one more. It gave more depth to the characters, hello backstory, and even the side characters were more interesting. Though I must say that Toby's brother nearly killed me with laughter; frankly, I am very surprised that he survived the series after his actions. Though they did add some comedy.
Final Verdict: Killer Spirit- From a high stake mission that puts not only the Squad's existence but also their lives in jeopardy to high school, queen-bee cattiness, this book will keep you entertained. Even though there was more in-fighting, I still enjoyed reading it because, like sisters, you fight yet still know they'll have your back.

Don't forget, you can see my thoughts on Perfect Cover, the first book in Jennifer Lynn Barnes' The Squad.

Killer Spirit earns
  

A copy of this book was purchased by me. All thoughts are my own.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

DNF Review: Blood Rose Rebellion



The Blood Rose Rebellion (Blood Rose Rebellion, 1) by Rosalyn Eves, March 28, 2017. 416 pages. Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers. Source: Publisher.
Sixteen-year-old Anna Arden is barred from society by a defect of blood. Though her family is part of the Luminate, powerful users of magic, she is Barren, unable to perform the simplest spells. Anna would do anything to belong. But her fate takes another course when, after inadvertently breaking her sister’s debutante spell—an important chance for a highborn young woman to show her prowess with magic—Anna finds herself exiled to her family’s once powerful but now crumbling native Hungary.

Her life might well be over.

In Hungary, Anna discovers that nothing is quite as it seems. Not the people around her, from her aloof cousin Noémi to the fierce and handsome Romani Gábor. Not the society she’s known all her life, for discontent with the Luminate is sweeping the land. And not her lack of magic. Isolated from the only world she cares about, Anna still can’t seem to stop herself from breaking spells.

As rebellion spreads across the region, Anna’s unique ability becomes the catalyst everyone is seeking. In the company of nobles, revolutionaries, and Romanies, Anna must choose: deny her unique power and cling to the life she’s always wanted, or embrace her ability and change that world forever. 

First Sentence
I did not set out to ruin my sister's debut.



I was really excited at the chance to read The Blood Rose Rebellion as it sounded interesting and right up my alley. Unfortunately, it took me three weeks to read a hundred pages; which led me to DNF-ing it because I just did not care about the story nor the characters. There was nothing keeping me invested in the story.

  • I was really hoping that this would be a good read. Or at least one that I could happily get lost in the world; as it sounded promising when I first came across it. The premise, that of magic being bound to certain bloodlines, was what first piqued my interest. Sadly, The Blood Rose Rebellion failed to live up to my expectations. 
  •  All things considered, even though I did not finish nor like this one, there was one thing that I did sort of like. It's from pretty early on in the book so I do not think it is spoiler-ish so... The weirdness of debuting into society aside, I did like how those who debuted, like Anna's sister in the beginning of the book, where they would display their brand of magic. It was interesting to see them have to prove themselves, even if I did not like that it would decide whether or not they would be accepted into the higher echelons of society. The descriptions of the illusions made, as well as the mentions of the other powers, were well done. You could almost mentally see what the author was describing. 
  • My biggest complaints when it came to this book were the characters and the overall storyline. I just could not stand Anna. On the one hand, I applaud Anna for going after what she wants and trying to change her lack of power; yet, her quest for power made it impossible for me to like her. I apologize, I just cannot put into words why it bothered me so. It just flustered me! 
  • Even though I enjoyed the descriptive way the world's magic was told, I overall felt nothing about the writing. It, unfortunately, failed to capture my attention. While there were tiny glimmers that it could have been a decent book, there were just too many things about it that kept me from enjoying it. The story tropes, nay its whole "ness", just felt tired and "been there, done that". 
  • I have neither the time nor the patience to talk about the romance of this book. Other than to say that, yeah, saw that coming like when I first watched Frozen

Final Verdict: The Blood Rose Rebellion- A little over a hundred pages and nothing of consequence ever happened. I am highly disappointed because I was expecting something so much more exciting than what it turned out to be. 

The Blood Rose Rebellion earns


A copy of this book was received through Blogging for Books in consideration for review. All thoughts are my own.

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