Saturday, April 26, 2014

Book Review: Better Off Friends

Title: Better Off Friends
Author: Elizabeth Eulberg
Publisher: Point
Rating: 5

Synopsis (via Goodreads): For Macallan and Levi, it was friends at first sight. Everyone says guys and girls can’t be just friends, but these two are. They hang out after school, share tons of inside jokes, their families are super close, and Levi even starts dating one of Macallan’s friends. They are platonic and happy that way.
Eventually they realize they're best friends — which wouldn't be so bad if they didn't keep getting in each other’s way. Guys won't ask Macallan out because they think she’s with Levi, and Levi spends too much time joking around with Macallan, and maybe not enough time with his date. They can't help but wonder . . . are they more than friends or are they better off without making it even more complicated? From romantic comedy superstar Elizabeth Eulberg comes a fresh, fun examination of a question for the ages: Can guys and girls ever really be just friends? Or are they always one fight away from not speaking again — and one kiss away from true love?

Review: This book is automatically my new favorite from Elizabeth Eulberg. It causes me to squeal, it makes me happy, everybody who loves reading young adult and Elizabeth Eulberg needs to get their hands on a copy of Better Off Friends. Everybody. "Why did I fall in love with this book?" you might ask. The answer is simple: it is beyond relatable.

Macallan and Levi's story is not the typical cookie-cutter boy-next-door adventure. Instead, the two meet in 7th grade and become instant friends after discovering they are both addicted to the show, Buggy and Floyd, something Macallan's other friends could care less about. The friendship gets to the point where the two are inseparable, creating a few bumps along the road like any other relationship.

I loved Macallan, and boy, did I love Levi. Both characters were strong throughout the book and continued to grow chapter after chapter. Their personalities were never dull and the situations they got into made me smile. The best conversations were those between Macallan and Levi before every chapter. The added side dialog was fun, quirky, and something no writer has ever done before.

Personally, I really connected with this book because, like Macallan, I met my guy best friend in 7th grade. We were really close in middle school, but once freshman year started, things changed. We're still friends, but not as close as Macallan and Levi. I couldn't help but cheer on their friendship until the end of the book, kind of like how I won't stop buying the "real life Levi"  gummy bears for his birthday. Some things never change. (:

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Book Review: Shadows

Title: Shadows
Author: Ilsa J. Bick
Publisher: Egmont USA
Rating: 2

Synopsis (via Goodreads): The Apocalypse does not end. The Changed will grow in numbers. The Spared may not survive. Even before the EMPs brought down the world, Alex was on the run from the demons of her past and the monster living in her head. After the world was gone, she believed Rule could be a sanctuary for her and those she'd come to love. But she was wrong. Now Alex is in the fight of her life against the adults, who would use her, the survivors, who don't trust her, and the Changed, who would eat her alive. Welcome to Shadows, the second book in the haunting apocalyptic Ashes Trilogy: where no one is safe and humans may be the worst of the monsters.

Review: Just a heads up that this one contains, yet again, spoilers. Reader discretion is advised. 

I was determined to read Shadows after I finished Ashes, but now I don't know if I want to get a copy of Monsters to even finish the trilogy. That's how frustrated I am with Alex's story.

First off, we found Tom. BUT WHERE IS ELLIE? (I have no clue where she is. Best bet is that she's dead or Changed). Tom almost found Alex, but she got herself trapped in a hole. I don't remember how she ended up in that hole because at least five different stories were being told at once.

Don't get me wrong, I love reading from different points of view in a book, but FIVE?!? That's overkill. And it doesn't help when the character's name isn't the chapter title or the font is kept the same throughout the book. It would take me four or five paragraphs to find out who the narrator was and that got me distracted from the story as a whole.

Which reminds me, I don't think any of the characters grew at all. They stayed the same throughout the whole novel, making it a little dull for me. If anything, Alex's intelligence is going down the drain. Instead of being a kick-ass heroine, she's becoming a damsel in distress. She got herself stuck in a hole for crying out loud!

I was so excited for this book, but once I finished it, I was disappointed. I think I would've enjoyed it if it wasn't for the multiple character point of view and if it would've stuck to the main plot that started in Ashes. If only...

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Interview with Miss Aprille Legacy

I feel pretty special saying that I knew Aprille Legacy via Goodreads before she became published, but I feel even more honored to be able to feature her on my blog! I'm sure this won't be the last time, either. (: So, without further ado: Miss Aprille Legacy, author of Soul Fire and Soul Blaze (released on March 29th).

Why the change in cover images for Soul Fire and Soul Blaze?
I decided to change the covers to make them more eye-catching. Also, it was a lot of fun bringing the images together! I’m actually on the cover of Soul Fire and cringe everytime I remember, but the model for Soul Blaze is the beautiful Skye Foster. We had a lot of fun with that sword out in the Adelaide Hills!

Do you plan on publishing any other books besides those in the Soul Fire trilogy?
Absolutely! Ruthless, my Victorian Steampunk, will probably come out later this year, and then after that I have another series cooking away in my head.

Who is a character you would be in one of your books and why?
I’d love to be Dena, because I’ve always wanted the ability to heal, and whilst all the mages in my series can heal, Dena is the best at it.

What ignited your spark for writing?
I don’t remember, I’ve just always had to write. I get these ideas in my head and I feel compelled to write them down, to tell their story. Ainsley from Ruthless was so demanding I couldn’t have ignored her if I wanted to!

Five years ago, did you see yourself where you are now?
Haha no! I was in my final year of high school, when I was there. I’m from a coastal city, so we’d always skip class to go to the beach. Now I’ve moved to the capital, am dating a wonderful guy and about to publish my second book. I never saw this coming!

Mind telling us about your journey becoming an author?
After publishing the old version of Soul Fire on Goodreads and receiving the overwhelming response from people, I decided to rewrite the story and sent it to publishers. I wrote the new manuscript in about a month, and started sending it off. After a few rejections, I investigated self-publishing and liked what I saw. I liked the idea of being my own boss and there was no threat that Soul Fire would be changed to what an editor thought would sell. With some encouragement from my amazing mother, I made the decision to self-publish.

What is your favorite book? Why?
My favourite book… I don’t think I could pick a favourite! I do quite love A Series of Unfortunate Events however. I loved the unique style of Lemony Snicket. It taught me a lot as a young reader.

What inspires you the most? 
The encouragement of Goodreaders and my friends. Without them I don’t think I would’ve been brave enough to embark on this journey!

Who is your favorite author? Why?
My favourite author would have to be Tamora Pierce. Her incredible worlds awoke something in me as a kid that shaped me as an adult. My love of fantasy comes directly from her work.

Do you have any “book crushes?” If so, who?
Perry from Under the Never Sky *swoons*

Time for a game of this or that!

Coke or Pepsi?
Pepsi!

Cat or dog?
Dog!

Summer or winter?
Winter! (blankets and hot chocolate!)

The Hunger Games or Divergent?
The Hunger Games!

Reading or writing?
Um, um um… reading :D

Thank you Aprille for giving me the opportunity to interview you! Be sure to check out the second installation of the Soul Fire trilogy, Soul Blaze, available now!