Review: My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century by Rachel Harris

April 13, 2014 Reviews 0 ★★★★

Review: My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century by Rachel HarrisMy Super Sweet Sixteenth Century by Rachel Harris
Series: My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century #1
Published by Entangled Teen on September 18, 2012
Pages: 260
Format: Paperback
Goodreads
My rating: four-stars
On the precipice of her sixteenth birthday, the last thing lone wolf Cat Crawford wants is an extravagant gala thrown by her bubbly stepmother and well-meaning father. So even though Cat knows the family’s trip to Florence, Italy, is a peace offering, she embraces the magical city and all it offers. But when her curiosity leads her to an unusual gypsy tent, she exits . . . right into Renaissance Firenze.

Thrust into the sixteenth century armed with only a backpack full of contraband future items, Cat joins up with her ancestors, the sweet Alessandra and protective Cipriano, and soon falls for the gorgeous aspiring artist Lorenzo. But when the much-older Niccolo starts sniffing around, Cat realizes that an unwanted birthday party is nothing compared to an unwanted suitor full of creeptastic amore. Can she find her way back to modern times before her Italian adventure turns into an Italian forever?

I’ve had My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century (MSSSC) sitting on my TBR since August 2013 when I was lucky enough to score an eARC of A Tale of Two Centuries (ATOTC), the sequel. I had heard that ATOTC was more of a companion and could be read on its own, so I read ATOTC and then planned on reading MSSSC soon after – Well, it’s not exactly “soon after,” but I DID finally read it and man, oh man – Rachel Harris has done it again! A gorgeous story, amazing characters and a swoon-worthy guy, all set within the breathtaking back-drop of sixteenth century Renaissance Italy.

I loved Cat almost from the beginning. At first, I even thought I liked her more than Alessandra (from ATOTC). In the end, I still like Alessandra more (sorry, Cat!) but Cat was an amazing character. She was strong-willed and defiant, the exact opposite of what a sixteenth century girl should be. But when she’s thrown into the past, she has no choice but to do what she can to fit in and not draw attention to herself. Along the way, she has some lessons to learn.

I loved, loved, loved seeing Alessandra in her own time-period, considering that in ATOTC, we *Spoiler alert* almost exclusively see her in the twenty-first century. She was the same kind-hearted, generous person, if even more modest and demure in MSSSC than she was in ATOTC (since she has yet to come out of her shell). She embraces Cat from the start and even believes and trusts her later on, when Cat confides her in.

Lorenzo!! We met at last, Lorenzo. I can see what everyone was swooning over now! And wow… Let me just say, wow! Rachel Harris sure knows how to write swoon-worthy hotties! Lorenzo, Lucas, Austin, Jason and Cane = all swoon-worthy! However…. Don’t hate me Lorenzo fangirls, but I think I like Lucas better! *Hides from the egg-throwers and mob with pitchforks* HEAR ME OUT! Because I read ATOTC first, I met Lucas first. I fell head over heels for him and I saw how things ended for him and Cat. So though I LOVED Lorenzo, I do like Lucas more and I like Lucas and Cat together more! I just do! *Nods firmly*

I knew who Lucia was almost immediately. I loved, loved Aunt Francesca – she was so kind and loving, something Cat definitely needed. I adored Cirpriano – he was the over-protective big brother where both Alessandra and Cat were concerned.

Now, I think I’ve mentioned this before. But I want to say that Rachel Harris renewed my faith in time-travel stories. Before I read ATOTC (and now MSSSC), I read a HORRIBLE book with time travel. It was pre-blogging, but if I were to rate it as a blogger now, it would probably have been 2 stars, if not lower. After that book, I swore off reading time-travel books because I was just too scared to. Well.. Clearly Rachel Harris fixed that problem! She does such an incredible job, I can’t help but love everything she writes. Her characters are amazing and lovable and her plots are intriguing. I also wasn’t a fan of romance until I started reading her books. So, yeah, that all says a lot!

Overall, once again, Rachel Harris wrote a gorgeous, fun, amazing tale of time travel, love and self-discovery. She is one of my favorite authors – one of my auto-read authors. I highly recommend her books. If you haven’t read them, definitely check them out ASAP! You won’t be disappointed, I promise!

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Review: The Here and Now by Ann Brashares

April 11, 2014 Reviews 1 ★★★

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: The Here and Now by Ann BrasharesThe Here and Now by Ann Brashares
Published by Delacorte Press on April 8, 2014
Pages: 288
Format: ARC
Source: the publisher
Goodreads
My rating: three-stars
An unforgettable epic romantic thriller about a girl from the future who might be able to save the world . . . if she lets go of the one thing she’s found to hold on to.

Follow the rules. Remember what happened. Never fall in love.

This is the story of seventeen-year-old Prenna James, who immigrated to New York when she was twelve. Except Prenna didn’t come from a different country. She came from a different time—a future where a mosquito-borne illness has mutated into a pandemic, killing millions and leaving the world in ruins.

Prenna and the others who escaped to the present day must follow a strict set of rules: never reveal where they’re from, never interfere with history, and never, ever be intimate with anyone outside their community. Prenna does as she’s told, believing she can help prevent the plague that will one day ravage the earth.

But everything changes when Prenna falls for Ethan Jarves.

From Ann Brashares, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series, The Here and Now is thrilling, exhilarating, haunting, and heartbreaking—and a must-read novel of the year.

The Here and Now left me feeling more conflicted than any other book I’ve ever read. That probably sounds like a giant exaggeration, but it’s not. While the writing was bland and stiff and I didn’t like the main character, Prenna, I loved the plot and the terrifying future that felt like an all too-real possibility. Not to mention the fact that, though it was a short read (clocking in at 242 pages), I couldn’t put it down and finished it in six hours – a record for me. I can’t remember the last time I finished a book that fast.

I didn’t like or connect with Prenna for about 90% of the book. I don’t have a specific reason why, and I didn’t hate her by any means. But I can’t think of one single thing she did that made me like her, feel for her, worry about her, etc. She was a bland person who always skated along – either she was following along with her “community” to stay out of trouble, or she was following along with what “Ben” wanted her to do in order to stay alive. She wasn’t really pro-active about anything.

But then, near the end of the book, she did several things that finally made her come alive. The first time she did something that stood out, I was impressed and thought maybe I’d grow to like her. And then the second time? She did something so awesome, my whole opinion about her changed. Though I doubt I’d like her any better if I were to re-read the book, knowing what I know now, I do feel like I would understand her better, at the very least. And I absolutely feel she went through some major character growth from the beginning to the end.

I don’t know how I feel about Ethan, honestly. He had a few great lines and he was kind of adorable, too. I think the relationship he had with Prenna moved a little bit too fast, though. It wasn’t exactly insta-love, but there was something about it that just felt too… quick. Too much, too soon. I also didn’t really like them together and I didn’t buy the chemistry between them. And then the ending… Well, that still broke my heart a little bit. But I understand why it happened.

I had a theory about who “Ben” was almost immediately upon being introduced to him. It was completely obvious and that took some of the fun out of it, but I was really excited when I got the confirmation that I was right. Also, there was one huge twist that I DIDN’T see coming, so that countered the fact that I figured out the twist with “Ben” so early on. I also liked Katherine, though we didn’t learn too much about her. Prenna’s mother was intriguing too, but I can’t explain why without a spoiler.

Though the future Prenna grew up in was horrifying, I also found it fascinating – especially some of the technology and science we learned about. Some of it seemed insane and silly, but some of it also sounded so plausible, like it could actually happen at some point in the near future – and I emphasize the word “near.”

As I mentioned earlier, despite all the negatives about this one, I finished it in six hours. I started it at 9pm and finished it at 3am. I pretty much couldn’t put it down. Though I didn’t enjoy it nearly as much as I hoping, I found myself fascinated by the story, desperate to see how things played out. For the most part, I’m satisfied with how it ended, though I wouldn’t have minded an epilogue, showing the future Prenna came from and whether or not it had changed for better or worse. I’m pretty sure this was a stand-alone, though, and if it is, it definitely wrapped up nicely. Almost everything was explained, so I don’t feel like I have a million unanswered questions – but there was just enough left unanswered that my mind is free to wander and wonder a bit.

Overall, The Here and Now was an interesting read. I’m not sorry I read it, though I wouldn’t re-read it and I don’t think I’d go out of my way to recommend it. But I do think people should give it a chance – what I didn’t like, others might love. Do I think this should be a series? No, not really. Would I read a sequel? Possibly, depending on the plot. Am I satisfied enough with where it ended, if it IS a stand-alone? Absolutely.

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Cover Reveal: Call Me Grim by Elizabeth Holloway

April 11, 2014 Cover Reveal 0

Welcome to the Cover Reveal for

Call Me Grim by Elizabeth Holloway

presented by Month9Books!

Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

Call Me Grim

The truck should have turned Libbi Piper into a Libbi Pancake — and it would have, too, if Aaron hadn’t shown up and saved her life. The problem? Aaron’s the local Grim Reaper… and he only saved Libbi’s life because he needs someone to take over his job. Now, Libbi has two days to choose between dying like she was supposed to, or living a lonely life as Death Incarnate. Talk about a rock and a hard place.

And the choice goes from hard to sucktastic when her best friend shows up marked: condemned as a future murderer. Libbi could have an extra week to stop the murder and fix the mark… but only if she accepts Aaron’s job as Reaper, trapping herself in her crappy town forever, invisible and inaudible to everyone except the newly dead. But, if she refuses? Her best friend is headed straight for Hell.

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Title: CALL ME GRIM
Publication date: November 11, 2014
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Elizabeth Holloway

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Elizabeth Holloway

Elizabeth Holloway is a registered nurse living in Southern Pennsylvania with her two teen children, Bam-bam the dog, and Tinkerbell the cat. CALL ME GRIM is her first novel.

 

Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

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