Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Review: Breaking Nova by Jessica Sorensen

Breaking Nova (Nova #1)
Jessica Sorensen
Publisher: Forever
Release Date: September 3, 2013

Nova Reed used to have dreams-of becoming a famous drummer, of marrying her true love. But all of that was taken away in an instant. Now she's getting by as best she can, though sometimes that means doing things the old Nova would never do. Things that are slowly eating away at her spirit. Every day blends into the next . . . until she meets Quinton Carter. His intense, honey brown eyes instantly draw her in, and he looks just about as broken as she feels inside.

Quinton once got a second chance at life-but he doesn't want it. The tattoos on his chest are a constant reminder of what he's done, what he's lost. He's sworn to never allow happiness into his life . . . but then beautiful, sweet Nova makes him smile. He knows he's too damaged to get close to her, yet she's the only one who can make him feel alive again. Quinton will have to decide: does he deserve to start over? Or should he pay for his past forever?

(This review may contain slight spoilers, but nothing major)

I have been read a lot of Sorensen's novels lately. I haven't read her Fallen Star series but I love all of her contemporary new adult novels. When I found out that another of her books was available, I got it right away and started reading.

Breaking Nova is a lot different than Sorensen's other novels, or anything I'm used to reading for that matter. It's really dark and really intense. This is not a novel filled with angsty characters that are redeemed by love, like I initially thought. Like I said, it is a lot darker and more intense than I expected. This isn't necessarily a bad thing; I just wasn't expecting it and it's out of my comfort zone.

The two main characters in this novel are completely, utterly lost. They've both been through separate tragedies and are struggling to survive. Because of their situation, I found it was hard to connect with these characters. I could sympathize with them, sure, but it was hard to understand a few of their decisions.

This story is mostly about Nova. Throughout the novel, she has to lose herself more and more. Breaking Nova is the story of how Nova is able to find herself again after a tragedy. Even though I questioned Nova's decisions, I was so proud of her by the end of the novel.

Breaking Nova is not a romance--at least not in the sense I was thinking when I first picked it up. I honestly (and I never say this) did not think that the two main characters were good for each other. Quinton was not able to redeem himself like Nova. However, there is going to be a sequel so I'm not completely go against their relationship--hopefully things will get better for these two in the next book.

With an emphasis on drugs and suicide, Breaking Nova took me out of my comfort zone. These characters are deeply scarred, and for them, things have to get worse before they can get better. This dark novel is not one I'm likely going to reread, but I am anxiously waiting for the sequel.


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Review: Right of Way by Lauren Barnholdt

Right of Way
Lauren Barnholdt
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: July 9, 2013

Can a road trip repair a romance gone wrong? Find out in this standalone companion to Lauren Barnholdt’s Two-way Street.
Here are Peyton and Jace, meeting on vacation. Click! It’s awesome, it’s easy, it’s romantic. This is the real deal.
Unless it isn’t. Because when you’re in love, you don’t just stop calling one day. And you don’t keep secrets. Or lie. And when your life starts falling apart, you’re supposed to have the other person to lean on.
Here are Peyton and Jace again, broken up but thrown together on a road trip. One of them is lying about the destination. One of them is pretending not to be leaving something behind. And neither of them is prepared for what’s coming on the road ahead…

I will read pretty much read anything by  Lauren Barnholdt. When I found out she was not only writing another novel but it was a companion to Two-Way Street I was very excited.

I'm just going to start this reviewing by saying what I didn't like about this book. I had a similar problem with Right of Way as I did with Lauren's last book, Sometimes it Happens. I hope it's not becoming a thing with her. Anyway, throughout the novel we know that Peyton and Jace were together before, but something happened and now, at a wedding, there is tension between them. It is slowly revealed what happened. When what happened between them was finally revealed I just thought, "that's it? That's what all this drama is about?" The same thing happened in Sometimes it Happens; there was this build up and I was let down when it was finally revealed. 

Other than that aspect I enjoyed the novel. I couldn't stop reading it. Plus, it's a road trip novel! If you don't know by now novels about road trips are my favorite! I also appreciated the ending. It wasn't exactly wrapped up in a pretty bow; there was the unknown but I still knew the characters were going to be okay.

I also liked Peyton and Jace, even though they were both really frustrating at times. Jace overreacted to something incredibly stupid (back to the whole drama thing). And Peyton could be just as frustrating at times. But overall I was rooting for them. 

Overall, not my favorite Lauren Barnholdt novel. I still enjoyed it along with Lauren's writing and I'm looking forward to her next book. 


Thursday, September 5, 2013

Review: The Originals by Cat Patrick

The Originals
Cat Patrick
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: May 7, 2013

A riveting new story from Cat Patrick, author of Forgotten and Revived.
17-year-olds Lizzie, Ella, and Betsey Best grew up as identical triplets... until they discovered a shocking family secret. They're actually closer than sisters, they're clones. Hiding from a government agency that would expose them, the Best family appears to consist of a single mother with one daughter named Elizabeth. Lizzie, Ella, and Betsey take turns going to school, attending social engagements, and a group mindset has always been a de facto part of life...
Then Lizzie meets Sean Kelly, a guy who seems to see into her very soul. As their relationship develops, Lizzie realizes that she's not a carbon copy of her sisters; she's an individual with unique dreams and desires, and digging deeper into her background, Lizzie begins to dismantle the delicate balance of an unusual family that only science could have created.

I am a huge fan of Cat Patrick. I'll read anything by her and I was very excited to read The Originals. However, I didn't enjoy it as much as Patrick's other novels. It was still an interesting and unique, but it fell short in certain areas.

One of my favorite aspects of Patrick's novels is the originality. She always has a unique story to tell and The Originals was no different. It's a clone story, but with a twist. The world sees the three "sisters" as one person. Even though these three are clones, they all have different personalities and it was interesting to get to know each of them. 

One thing that I didn't like about this book was the love aspect. I really liked Sean, don't get me wrong, but can you say insta-love? I know this really bothers a lot of people, but it's something that I can normally get past if it isn't too much. But in The Originals, Lizzie trusts Sean with her secrets way too quickly and Sean accepts everything way to quickly. 

This is a fast-paced book and a fast read. However, the ending was too abrupt. Not only was it abrupt, but everything wrapped up too easily. I would have really liked to see this book expanded.

Honestly, a lot of the problems in this novel (the romance, the ending) could be fixed if it was expanded and developed more. I'm not saying it needs to be a series, but this is a unique concept and it could easily be a five-hundred page novel rather than a three-hundred. I am still a Cat patrick fan and will continue to read her novels.