Monday, April 28, 2014

Review: The Break-Up Artist by Philip Siegel

The Break-Up Artist
By: Philip Siegel
Pub. Date: April 29, 2014
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pages: 336
Source: Netgalley

Some sixteen-year-olds babysit for extra cash. Some work at the Gap. Becca Williamson breaks up couples. 

After watching her sister get left at the altar, Becca knows the true damage that comes when people utter the dreaded L-word. For just $100 via paypal, she can trick and manipulate any couple into smithereens. With relationship zombies overrunning her school, and treating single girls like second class citizens, business is unfortunately booming. Even her best friend Val has resorted to outright lies to snag a boyfriend.

One night, she receives a mysterious offer to break up the homecoming king and queen, the one zombie couple to rule them all: Steve and Huxley. They are a JFK and Jackie O in training, masters of sweeping faux-mantic gestures, but if Becca can split them up, then school will be safe again for singletons. To succeed, she'll have to plan her most elaborate scheme to date and wiggle her way back into her former BFF Huxley’s life – not to mention start a few rumors, sabotage some cell phones, break into a car, and fend off the inappropriate feelings she’s having about Val’s new boyfriend. All while avoiding a past victim out to expose her true identity.

No one said being the Break-Up Artist was easy.
 I received this galley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Netgalley and Harlequin Teen.

I was in the mood for a fun and entertaining quick read and that is exactly what I got with The Break-Up Artist! The writing was perfect, the characters were realistic and wonderful, and I thought that all the different plot lines going on complemented each other perfectly.

Becca is a break-up artist. She sees how "being in love" ruins peoples lives. So for $100 she will manipulate couples into breaking up. Despite her doing this, it is hard to not like Becca. She's a nice person. She's funny. She loves her family and friends. Things start to get really intense when she is paid $300 dollars to break up the golden couple at her high school. Steve and Huxley have been going out for almost 5 years, and while they are still in high school, they seem to actually be in love. To make matters worse, Huxley and Becca used to be best friends, before Huxley got a boyfriend and became popular. At the same time, Becca's best friend Val just started dating a guy who Becca starts to develop feelings for. Everything is very complicated, but as I said, it all works. I never felt like it was too much. I seriously loved every moment of this book.

While what Becca was doing wasn't right, I saw her point. In high school, and even when you get older, most people do become "relationship zombies" once they fall in love. Friendships break apart over guys all the time and it's so stupid to me. Another thing I never understood is why people would rather be unhappy in a relationship, then not in a relationship at all. I think you need to be true to yourself and not lie to yourself or to the other person. While I may not have agreed with Becca's secret job, I understood where she was coming from.

A character I was surprised that I ended up really liking was Huxley. I thought I was going to hate her, and how can you not? She is the Queen Bee of the high school. She flaunts her relationship, she's manipulative and she's a bully. But deep down I was able to connect with her. She loved her boyfriend, and not puppy love, but soul mate love and was afraid to lose him. She's made mistakes, but haven't we all in high school?

I heard that Philip Siegel is writing a second book, I can not wait to find out what happens to these characters and to see Becca use her powers for good! 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Review: The Taking by Kimberly Derting

The Taking
(The Taking # 1)
By: Kimberly Derting
Pub. Date: April 29, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 368
Source: Edelweiss

A flash of white light . . . and then . . . nothing.

When sixteen-year-old Kyra Agnew wakes up behind a Dumpster at the Gas ’n’ Sip, she has no memory of how she got there. With a terrible headache and a major case of déjà vu, she heads home only to discover that five years have passed . . . yet she hasn’t aged a day.

Everything else about Kyra’s old life is different. Her parents are divorced, her boyfriend, Austin, is in college and dating her best friend, and her dad has changed from an uptight neat-freak to a drunken conspiracy theorist who blames her five-year disappearance on little green men.

Confused and lost, Kyra isn’t sure how to move forward unless she uncovers the truth. With Austin gone, she turns to Tyler, Austin’s annoying kid brother, who is now seventeen and who she has a sudden undeniable attraction to. As Tyler and Kyra retrace her steps from the fateful night of her disappearance, they discover strange phenomena that no one can explain, and they begin to wonder if Kyra’s father is not as crazy as he seems. There are others like her who have been taken . . . and returned. Kyra races to find an explanation and reclaim the life she once had, but what if the life she wants back is not her own?
I received this galley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Edelweiss and HarperTeen.

I had the highest hopes for this book. I love Kimberly Derting and the synopsis sounded absolutely amazing. But the story just fell flat to me. While I enjoyed the characters, I didn't feel any connection to them, and I thought the plot was just a little to out there for me (no pun intended).

Within a few pages of the story, Kyra's life is forever changed when she sees a white light and disappears for five years. The reader only gets a few pages of Kyra's life before this. We only meet her dad, best friend, and boyfriend, Austin for a minute and we don't even meet her mom or Tyler, Austin's younger brother, who plays a big part in her life after. This made it hard for me to connect to anyone or to her life before. It made it hard for me to care about what was going on and the changes in her life.

At first, I was really invested in the mystery surrounding what happened to Kyra, but the more I read, the more stupid everything ended up being. I would have liked to learn more about what happened, especially after she met others like her.

My last issue was the relationship between Kyra and Tyler. Before she was "taken" she was madly in love with Austin, but after five years he has moved on and she has to also. But within a matter of days she's madly in love with Tyler. It just didn't feel real to me. While Tyler was so adorable and I liked the two of them together, it just all felt so rushed to me.

I don't think I am going to continue with this series, but I am still a fan of Derting.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Review: A Song for Us by Teresa Mummert

A Song for Us
(White Trash Trilogy # 3)
By: Teresa Mummert
Pub. Date: April 22, 2014
Publisher: Gallery Books
Pages: 220
Source: Netgalley

In this highly anticipated follow-up to White Trash Damaged, Cass and Tucker have finally found their happily ever after, but can Eric, the band’s brooding drummer, ever let go of his past and find love?

From a small-town boy with fantasies of superstardom to rock star on tour with the suddenly famous band Damaged, Eric’s life has not been an easy journey. Now he struggles to let go of his past of physical abuse, a past that still haunts him. His anger is causing him to spiral out of control and he risks losing everything he has worked so hard for.

Only one person has ever gotten him to open up about his past: Sarah, the lead singer of Filth, the opening act on their first national tour—a fellow rocker with a confident façade that masks her own painful secrets. But their bands’ rocky past and Sarah’s tumultuous relationship with her bandmate and boyfriend Derek force her to keep Eric at a distance. As their friendship begins to grow into something more, Eric has to find a way to let go of his tortured past, or it could jeopardize his only chance for a happy future.

I received this galley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Netgalley and Gallery Books.

I've read the first book in the series, White Trash Beautiful and really enjoyed it. I didn't read the second book though, and I don't really know why. I definitely want too! Because I hadn't read book two, I definitely was a little lost. I thought it would be ok since book three is about different characters then book one and two, but I was wrong. It seems that Eric and Sarah had a huge part in the second book. It was easy to overcome that, but at the same time I felt like I lost out on getting to know these two characters and watching their friendship grow into something really special.

Sarah and Eric understand each other in ways no one else does. They can be honest in ways that they can't be with anyone else. I loved their connection. I thought it was so sweet and honest. Their connection was the only thing I really enjoyed about the story though.

For me, the rest of the story was slow and boring. Nothing exciting was happening and the only parts I did enjoy was when Eric and Sarah were talking. Sometimes I felt that they were playing games with each other, which I didn't like. They were so honest about everything else, I don't understand why they couldn't just be honest with their feelings. It definitely got frustrating at times.

While I still want to read the second book, this is a series that I am glad is over. I don't think I would have continue with it if there were going to be more books. 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Review: Catch a Falling Star by Kim Culbertson

Catch a Falling Star
By: Kim Culbertson
Pub. Date: April 29, 2014
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Pages: 304
Source: Netgalley

Nothing ever happens in Little, CA. Which is just the way Carter Moon likes it. But when Hollywood arrives to film a movie starring former child star turned PR mess Adam Jakes, everything changes. Carter's town becomes a giant glittery set and, much to her annoyance, everyone is starry-eyed for Adam. Carter seems to be the only girl not falling all over herself to get a glimpse of him. Which apparently makes her perfect for the secret offer of a lifetime: playing the role of Adam's girlfriend while he's in town, to improve his public image, in exchange for a hefty paycheck. Her family really needs the money and so Carters agrees. But it turns out Adam isn't at all who she thought he was. As they grow closer, their relationship walks a blurry line between what's real and what's fake, and Carter must open her eyes to the scariest of unexplored worlds - her future. Can Carter figure out what she wants out of life AND get the guy? Or are there no Hollywood endings in real life?
I received this galley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Netgalley and Scholastic.

Carter lives in a small town in California where nothing exciting ever happens. But then Hollywood former child star and heartthrob, Adam Jakes begins shooting a movie there and everything changes for Carter. Her family needs money, and Adam hires her to be his pretend girlfriend so he can get some positive press, instead of all the negative press that usually follows him. I really enjoyed watching the fake relationship between Carter and Adam grow into a real relationship. She's the perfect small town girl who does no wrong and he's the stereotypical actor who can definitely be a dick sometimes. The more you get to know him though, the more you realize what a sweet guy he is.

I know that Catch a Falling Star is a short, sweet contemporary but I was hoping for a little bit more. This story, or variations of this story has been done so many times, so I was hoping for a different spin on it. Unfortunately, it was the same exact story that I have read before. Which left me with feelings of disappointment.   

I did enjoy the posts written by a mysterious person. It's pretty easy to figure out who was actually writing them, but I thought they were really interesting to read. I learned some things about space that I did not know. 

Overall, this was a cute story, I was just hoping to have more of a connection with the story and the characters.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Review: A World Without Princes by Soman Chainani

A World Without Princes
(The School for Good and Evil # 2)
By: Soman Chainani
Pub. Date: April 15, 2014
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: 400
Source: Edelweiss

In the epic sequel to the New York Times bestselling novel, The School for Good and Evil, Sophie and Agatha are home, living out their Ever After. But life isn’t quite the fairy tale they expected.

When Agatha secretly wishes she’d chosen a different happy ending, she reopens the gates to the School for Good and Evil. But the world she and Sophie once knew has changed.

Witches and princesses, warlocks and princes are no longer enemies. New bonds are forming; old bonds are being shattered. But underneath this uneasy arrangement, a war is brewing and a dangerous enemy rises. As Agatha and Sophie battle to restore peace, an unexpected threat could destroy everything, and everyone, they love—and this time, it comes from within.
I received this galley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Edelweiss and HarperCollins.

I really enjoyed the first book, The School for Good and Evil, so I was very happy to see the second book on Edelweiss. What I love most about these books is that even though it seems like a book for younger children, it isn't. There are many dark themes throughout it, and it is so much more then just fairytales. It's also about friendship, honesty, and being comfortable in your own skin.

I really love each and every one of these characters and I enjoyed watching them grow from book one. Sophie and Agatha, who were friends in the real world way before the magical world changed their lives, are so honest and real. I love the bond the two of them share. I also liked Tedros so much more in this one. He was a lot stronger in book two, and him and Agatha are just so sweet together!

The writing was fast paced and kept my attention the entire time. I also enjoyed the illustrations that are seen throughout the chapters. I am excited to see what is next for these characters!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Review: The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith

The Geography of You and Me
By: Jennifer E. Smith
Pub. Date: April 15, 2014
Publisher: Little, Brown for Young Readers
Pages: 352
Source: Edelweiss

Lucy and Owen meet somewhere between the tenth and eleventh floors of a New York City apartment building, on an elevator rendered useless by a citywide blackout. After they're rescued, they spend a single night together, wandering the darkened streets and marveling at the rare appearance of stars above Manhattan. But once the power is restored, so is reality. Lucy soon moves to Edinburgh with her parents, while Owen heads out west with his father.

Lucy and Owen's relationship plays out across the globe as they stay in touch through postcards, occasional e-mails, and -- finally -- a reunion in the city where they first met.

A carefully charted map of a long-distance relationship, Jennifer E. Smith's new novel shows that the center of the world isn't necessarily a place. It can be a person, too.
 I received this galley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Edelweiss and Little, Brown for Young Readers. 

Jennifer E. Smith is becoming known as the author with the adorably cute stories and she definitely did it again with the The Geography of You and Me. I really enjoyed the characters of both Lucy and Owen and I love that the story was told in both of their point of views. I was expecting a different kind of story though, which put me off a little bit.

Lucy and Owen meet for the first time in an elevator when all of New York City is under a blackout. While they are only stuck in the elevator for a couple of hours, they decide to spend the rest of the blackout together. Both of them are dealing with their own problems, but they enjoyed the time the spent together. I thought that they had a really cute connection and I liked that they kept in touch through postcards. It was really unique and sweet.

I was under the impression that they kept in touch for a few years after the blackout. I thought that through college and new friends and new relationships they were still going to have this connection. That wasn't the case. The whole story took place in a span of about a year. This totally disappointed me.

Other then that, I thought this story was a sweet love story with such a perfect ending. I also love the cover and I thought it captured the story wonderfully.

3.5 stars rounded up to 4. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Release Day Launch~Review, Excerpt & Giveaway: How to Say Goodbye by Amber Lin

How to Say Goodbye
By: Amber Lin
Pub. Date: April 7, 2014
Publisher: Self
Pages: 220
Source: Ink Slinger PR

Amy has a secret: no one’s ever held her hand. She doesn’t even know how to hug. Everyone thinks she’s smart, but straight A's are way easier than making friends. Then she meets Dane, a golden-haired surfer whose easy charm and hot touch teach her what she longs to know.

Dane lives for the salty breeze and a sweet wave, because that’s all he has. He’s been on the streets since he was fourteen. A drifter. Homeless. Then he meets Amy. Smart and accomplished, she’s everything he’s not. He wants to be the sort of man who deserves her.

Except that means facing down his past—and that past might very well swallow them both.
 I received this galley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to the author and Ink Slinger PR.

As soon as I read the synopsis for How to Say Goodbye, I instantly knew I wanted to read it. I really loved this story because I loved both characters so much. Both Amy and Dane were so, so broken, each for very different reasons. It was easy to feel connected to them and I definitely experienced their pain right along with them.

Before Amy met Dane, she has never really been close to anyone. After her father died, her mother dropped Amy off at her Uncle's and she went back home to Japan. This to me was heartbreaking. Amy is 20 years old and hasn't even held hands with someone. At 18 years old, Dane has been living on the streets for the past four years. We don't learn much about him at first because he holds everything inside. We just know he has been forced to do some terrible things to survive. I was so fascinated by him, and wanted to learn everything there was to learn about him. Despite everything he had to overcome, he will do anything to protect those he cares about. Once we finally learn what caused him to run away, I felt so bad, but at the same time I felt he had other options then to just run away. Either way, Dane's story killed me. 

The book was told in alternating point of views between Amy and Dane, which I loved. I felt I got to know them more and got more out of the story because I was able to get inside of their heads. I really loved the two of them together but wished that Dane would have been more honest with Amy. I understand his need to hold some things back, but he was way to hot and cold for my taste. It definitely got annoying at times.

Overall I really loved How to Say Goodbye and looking forward to Amber Lin's next book!

He smiled with the barest hint of irony. “Guess you have better things to do than build a sand castle.”

She hated how his words echoed her thoughts, how they put him down. Didn’t he know how much she would give to be like him? Relaxed. Confident. God, she didn’t want to be afraid anymore.

“I’ve got time.”

He pointed behind the castle. “There’s an enchanted forest right there.”

She knelt down. “Here?”

“No, over. A few inches to the left. Don’t you see it?”

He was…teasing her. It took her a second to understand just because it had never happened before. Not that she could remember.

She looked down to hide her smile. “I think I’ve got it now.”

He grinned. “Then get building, Cornell.”

Her first attempt was more like a molehill with a pointed top. By her second she’d learned to pack the sand more tightly, earning a brief nod from him. After that she worked steadily, forming the little conical pine trees in varying sizes. A vision sketched in her mind, of lush trees and woodland creatures, of fancy and imagination.

Kneeling in her oh-so-practical shoes was impossible, so she took them off. Her skirt hiked up her thighs as she scooted around the forest. Sand squeezed between the mesh of her stockings.

She hoped it would never come out.

When he finished carving arched windows, he stood back and dusted the sand from his palms. She trailed a finger down the last tree—this was how he’d feel, gritty and soft—before standing up to join him.

He was tall. His height shouldn’t have been a surprise; she was often the shortest one in the room. But she’d been equal to him on the ground, both of them dirty and eager in the sand. Now he was the tall, handsome stranger, and she the shy girl who hardly spoke.

She’d aced fluid mechanics, for God’s sake, so why should this matter? It didn’t, it didn’t. But her heart double-timed when she asked, “What do you think of the forest?”

With mock solemnity he studied the trees. They lined up neatly in rows like a Christmas tree farm she’d passed once in rural New York.

“It’s pretty,” he said, repeating her words. Then he smiled, almost shy. “Very pretty. Do you want to grab some dinner?”

Her breath caught. Had he just asked her out? It had sounded like that. Exactly like that. Her heart beat a rapid pace.

Daylight traced tiny lines radiating from his eyes, from the corners of his mouth. A smattering of blond hair covered the tanned skin of his chest, highlighting lean muscles beneath. Even the tips of his eyelashes were bleached, every part of him touched by the sun. A golden boy, a rippling-surface stereotype, while hidden depths lurked beneath. What would it take to dive under? In that moment she wanted to find out. Right then she wanted to drown.

But she’d had a lifetime of treading water, of survival. Only one answer made sense.

“I’m sorry.” Her voice sounded hoarse with disuse, as if she hadn’t spoken in years instead of seconds. “I’m not going to be here long. In Florida.”

She kicked herself. He hadn’t asked her to marry him, for God’s sake. He’d only wanted a date, and she should be able to do that. If she were more normal, she could have.

Fleeting emotions flickered across his face. Disappointment first, followed by others she couldn’t understand. But resignation—that one she recognized like an old friend.

“All right. Take care then.” His voice rang with finality. They would part now. She wouldn’t see him again, because she didn’t know how to be close to another human being. No textbook had ever taught her. No monthly phone call had told her how to feel.

Her face heated.      

“You too,” she murmured. “I’ll see you around.”

But even that presumed too much. A slight shake of his head said no, she wouldn’t. His lips curved in a cold shadow of his former smile.

“Bye, Cornell.” He crossed the beach, heading for the water.

He walked right past the frothy edge and dived underneath, leaving only ripples in his wake. His head came up once for air, and again, and again, growing smaller, farther away.

She waited for hours. Or seconds, really. She stood with sand caked to her hands and her knees, feeling abraded and raw. Every other time in her life, she’d pretended not to want this. Friends and laughter. Easy camaraderie. Touch. Standing on the cooling sand, her stomach grumbling with hunger, she could no longer pretend.
Amber Lin writes edgy romance with damaged hearts, redemptive love, and a steamy ever after. Her debut novel, Giving It Up, received The Romance Review’s Top Pick, Night Owl Top Pick, and 5 Blue Ribbons from Romance Junkies. RT Book Reviews gave it 4.5 stars, calling it “truly extraordinary.” Since then, she has gone on to write erotic, contemporary, and historical romances. She has been published by Loose Id, Carina Press, and Entangled.

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Friday, April 4, 2014

Review: The Here and Now by Ann Brashares

The Here and Now
By: Ann Brashares
Pub. Date: April 8, 2014
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Pages: 288
Source: Netgalley

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.
I received this galley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Netgalley and Random House Children's.

I think I am the only female on the planet who has not read The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants books, so The Here and Now was my first book written by Ann Brashares. Maybe I went in with too high expectations, but I was not impressed. I feel like this book could have had so much potential, but the story and characters just fell flat for me.

I am a huge fan of time traveling books, and while usually they leave me confused and with a gigantic headache, this one wasn't confusing at all, which I appreciated! Prenna, her mom and a whole group of others have come from 100 years into the future. In their time, a plague has wiped out almost everything and the planet isn't really livable anymore. Things are bad so this elite group was chosen to go into the past to live. There is a whole bunch of rules that they must follow, and if you screw up too much, you disappear. This group definitely reminded me of a cult. The leaders just controlled the people and didn't allow anything out of their norm.

Prenna is fine with following the rules, she knows it's for the best. But that changes when she meets Ethan. Ethan turns her world upside down and makes her realizes that she has most likely been lied to about everything she has known. I did like Ethan. He had a good personality and he was a good guy, but I didn't see any real connection between him and Prenna.

Overall, while the story was a bit predictable, and I found myself getting bored, the story had a good concept. I think I was just expecting and hoping for more.

2.5 stars rounded to 3.


Thursday, April 3, 2014

Review: Noggin by John Corey Whaley

By: John Corey Whaley
Pub. Date: April 8, 2014
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Pages: 356
Source: Edelweiss

Listen — Travis Coates was alive once and then he wasn’t.

Now he’s alive again.

Simple as that.

The in between part is still a little fuzzy, but he can tell you that, at some point or another, his head got chopped off and shoved into a freezer in Denver, Colorado. Five years later, it was reattached to some other guy’s body, and well, here he is. Despite all logic, he’s still 16 and everything and everyone around him has changed. That includes his bedroom, his parents, his best friend, and his girlfriend. Or maybe she’s not his girlfriend anymore? That’s a bit fuzzy too.

Looks like if the new Travis and the old Travis are ever going to find a way to exist together, then there are going to be a few more scars.

Oh well, you only live twice.

I received this galley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Edelweiss and Atheneum Books for Young Readers.

I loved this book. I fell in love with absolutely everything. Noggin is so original and different then anything else out there. The writing was perfect and the characters, each and every one of them was written wonderfully. Each one was so relatable and fleshed out. I couldn't get enough of this book, which is why this review is so hard to write. I just want to gush about it and fangirl over it instead!

Five years ago, Travis was dying of cancer. He and his parents decided to try an experimental surgery which would freeze his head and maybe, 40 or 50 years down the line, his brain could be transferred to someone else's body. Turns out medicine advanced a lot quicker then anyone could have expected and now Travis is back, his head attached to a boy named Jeremy Pratt. Travis is still a 17 year old and he feels like he just took a nap, where his high school girlfriend is engaged to another man and his best friend has his own life in college.

Travis had the most realistic voice. Everything was so hard for him to deal with, but he handled everything in such a great way. Sure, some things he did was a little immature and his ex girlfriend and best friend would get angry. But Travis is still technically 17. For him, he took a nap and woke up to everything being different. His friends and family actually had to deal with his death, so him being back was equally as hard for all of them.

There were so many funny parts to this story, much more then I would have imagined. For being kind of a dark story, there was so much light. I think Noggin could be enjoyed by everyone because it is so much more than just a young adult book.

And that cover! The cover is just absolutely perfect and really captures the story perfectly!

This is my first book I've read from John Corey Whaley and now I can't wait to read his first book, Where Things Come Back!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Review: This Side of Salvation by Jeri Smith-Ready

This Side of Salvation
By: Jeri Smith-Ready
Pub. Date: April 1, 2014
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: 384
Source: Edelweiss

Everyone mourns differently. When his older brother was killed, David got angry. As in, fist-meets-someone-else’s-face furious. But his parents? They got religious. David’s still figuring out his relationship with a higher power, but there’s one thing he does know for sure: The closer he gets to new-girl Bailey, the better, brighter, happier, more he feels.

Then his parents start cutting all their worldly ties in to prepare for the Rush, the divine moment when the faithful will be whisked off to Heaven…and they want David to do the same. David’s torn. There’s a big difference between living in the moment and giving up his best friend, varsity baseball, and Bailey—especially Bailey—in hope of salvation.

But when he comes home late from prom, and late for the Rush, to find that his parents have vanished, David is in more trouble than he ever could have imagined.
I received this galley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Simon & Schuster and Edelweiss.

I really enjoyed This Side of Salvation. I usually stay away from books about religion and/ or cults, but I loved the cover and I am a fan of the author, so I gave this story a shot. I am so glad that I did. The writing was wonderfully done and I loved every single character.

David's parents are convinced that the Rapture, also known as the Rush is going to happen soon. When this occurs, everyone who is worthy is going to disappear and be safe, while God destroys the rest of the earth. You always have to laugh at people who believe religious fanatics such as David's parents. But in this case, Smith-Ready makes you understand. The death of David's older brother, John completely destroyed the family. I can even understand why a young kid like David would turn religious. The way his brother died was horrible and tragic, and David had first hand experience with what happened.

On the night that the Rush was supposed to happen, David and his sister, Mara were at a party. Coming home late, they expect to come home to angry parents, but there parents have disappeared. Neither of them believed that the Rush was going to happen, but what other explanation can there be? I loved trying to figure out the mystery along with David, Mara, Bailey (David's gf) and Kane (David's best friend). All of the characters were written in a way that made me feel connected to them. They were all really fleshed out, especially David.

We only get David's POV in This Side of Salvation, and I think for this story, having one point of view worked perfectly. I think it would have been too much if the author decided to add different POVs. The story is also told during "Now" and "Years, Months, Days, ect Before the Rapture". I liked this aspect of the story and thought it added a lot to it.   

Overall, I really loved This Side of Salvation and I can't wait to see what Smith-Ready has in store for us next! 

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