Mini ARC Review: Eleven Things I Promised by Catherine Clark

Title: Eleven Things I Promised
Author: Catherine Clark
Series: N/A, Standalone
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publication Date:  April 5th 2016
Pages: Kindle, 304
My Rating: 2.5 Stars

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  Seventeen-year-old Frances wouldn’t describe herself as adventurous. She certainly isn’t the kind of person who would sleep under the stars or bleach her hair or have a truly epic kiss. Until now.

  For the next week Frances will be away from home, competing in a bike race with friends from her high school. But while her teammates are determined to get first place, Frances has another goal: Before she crosses the finish line, she will have done every single thing on the Fix-It List. Ten crazy, totally out-of-character ideas her best friend, Stella, came up with to make the ride unforgettable. Ten things that Frances has to do on her own because of the accident that left Stella broken and angry…and Frances struggling to find a way to reconnect with her friend.

  However, as each item on the list opens Frances up to new adventures, new friends, and possibly even a new romance, it becomes increasingly difficult for her to keep the one promise that she knows she absolutely must obey—her promise to not tell anyone the truth about what happened to Stella. When it comes to friendship, Frances must decide what distances she’s willing to go and what risks she’s willing to take for the person she cares about the most.

  I was given an ARC by the publisher through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. 

  To be honest, I almost gave up on this when I reached about 25% of the book. I felt like the writing was kind of raw and amateur, and the flow just felt off to me. I decided to continue, however, because it’s always been hard for me to put down books just like that.

  When I finished the book, I felt glad that I read because the story truly is a good one. It’s about coming to terms with the things that happened, about forming new friendships, being the best-est friend ever, having a sense of purpose and being strong enough to allow others to help you. Eleven Things I Promised made me learn so much, and for that, I would always be thankful.

  Now, you might ask, “If it’s so great, then why did you only give it 2.5 stars?” Well, my inhibitions still didn’t change. Although the overall idea for the story is amazing, the execution is just not for me. I felt like I was reading a final draft of a book, but still a draft nonetheless. Not to put down books on Wattpad, because there are a lot of amazing books out there, but this felt like a Wattpad novel instead of a published one. It’s hard for me to give this book only 2.5 stars when the impact on me is so great, but there’s still a lot to be desired in terms of writing.

2.5 i-wish-i-can-give-more stars

ARC Review: Reign of Shadows by Sophie Jordan

Title: Reign of Shadows
Author: Sophie Jordan
Series: Reign of Shadows #1
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publication Date:  February 9th 2016
Pages: Kindle, 304
My Rating: 2.5 Stars
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  Seventeen years ago, an eclipse cloaked the kingdom of Relhok in perpetual darkness. In the chaos, an evil chancellor murdered the king and queen and seized their throne. Luna, Relhok’s lost princess, has been hiding in a tower ever since. Luna’s survival depends on the world believing she is dead.

  But that doesn’t stop Luna from wanting more. When she meets Fowler, a mysterious archer braving the woods outside her tower, Luna is drawn to him despite the risk. When the tower is attacked, Luna and Fowler escape together. But this world of darkness is more treacherous than Luna ever realized.

  With every threat stacked against them, Luna and Fowler find solace in each other. But with secrets still unspoken between them, falling in love might be their most dangerous journey yet.

  With lush writing and a star–crossed romance, Reign of Shadows is Sophie Jordan at her best.

  I was given an ARC by the publisher through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. 

  Reign of Shadows was a surprisingly easy read for a fantasy book. I didn’t exactly fly through it but it was a quick read nonetheless. I really liked the pacing of the book as well. The romance of this book is just one of my favorite things ever! It really made me feel the tension and the feels between Luna and Fowler, and this is the type of romance that I really enjoy. It’s intense, and it just made me feel so much in general. I really enjoyed the story, but I think this is the type of book that if you don’t think about anything much, you will really enjoy it. However, once I thought about what to write for this review, I just couldn’t get past the fact that it was abruptly stopped and that there wasn’t much world building.

  Okay, so this book is full-length but the thing is it felt abruptly stopped at a weird point. I thought that the ending was just the end of one chapter, so I was surprised to find out that it was already the end of the book. I know this is a series, but it doesn’t feel like a cliff-hanger as much as an unfinished book that has more chapters to come. This is exactly what I felt after I finished reading Never, Never: Part One, which is why I liken this to part one of a book.

  I also didn’t like how there was so little background about the world and the characters. Yes, there were some things revealed, and maybe it’s the author’s plan to reveal more things towards the next books in the series, but I still felt like I know so little about the world and the situation the characters are in. For instance, I don’t get the origin of the creatures (sorry, I forgot what they’re called) in the book, and I just felt like there could have been more explanation for them. Also, not much was revealed about the lives of Luna and Fowler, although there was an interesting bomb dropped towards the end (which I really loved). 

2.5 in-between stars

ARC Review: Soul Corrupted

Title: Soul Corrupted
Author: Lisa Gail Green
Series: Of Demons and Angels #2
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Fantasy
Publication Date: September 9th 2015 by Full Fathom Five
My Rating: 2.5 Stars

In Soul Corrupted, the sequel to Soul Crossed, life in Heaven isn’t all “happily ever after” for Josh and Grace. Now Guardian Angels, they are entrusted with finding and saving the next potential Antichrist. But Grace is consumed with worry about her family, which is dealing with the aftershocks of her death. She’s particularly concerned about her brother Noah, who has turned down a dangerous path of drugs and violence—and she’s frustrated by the rules of Heaven, which forbid her from contacting them.

Josh has troubles of his own. A former Demon, he questions his ability to guide troubled souls to the light. When he discovers that Noah made a deal with Lucifer and has even been hanging around with Josh’s old Demon pal, Keira, he makes a forbidden counter-deal with the Devil to save Noah’s soul. Josh’s side of the bargain? He has to sever his relationship with Grace.

Josh and Grace’s world is about to spin out of control, testing the limits of true love and blurring the border between Heaven and Hell.

Soul Corrupted is the second installment in Lisa Gail Green’s Of Demon and Angels series, which started with Soul Crossed.

  I was given an ARC copy of this book via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This review is a review of the ARC copy, not the final version. 

  Of Angels and Demons is a very unique story with a great plot. However, I didn’t think that it was executed well enough. From the first book, I’ve been hooked by the idea of the book, but not actually by the book itself. Unlike the first book, there were no grammatical or typographical errors in this one, but I still enjoyed the first book more.

  I don’t know if it’s because I’m getting older or something, but I somehow felt that this book is more juvenile in comparison to the first book. There were numerous times when I rolled my eyes at the characters, and I sometimes wanted to bump their heads into each other.

  To be honest the plot of this book is really great. It’s very interesting and unique at the same time, however it lacks that factor that would just grab at the readers to keep on reading. I have to admit that I want to read the third book because of the ending, but I want there to be something like that throughout the whole book as well and not just the ending.

  I’m not sure if I’m going to read the third book still. To be honest, for now, I don’t feel like reading it, but I do want to find out what happens. Maybe if I can find a detailed summary of the book, then I guess that would be fine for me.

2.5 it-could-have-been-better stars

ARC Review: A Drop of Night

Title: A Drop of Night
Author: Stefan Bachman
Series: N/A, Standalone
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Fantasy
Publication Date: March 15th, 2016
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Pages: Kindle, 384 pages
My Rating: 2.5 Stars

Five gifted teenagers are selected out of hundreds of other candidates to fly to France and help with the excavation of a vast, underground palace buried a hundred feet below the suburbs of Paris. Built in the 1780’s to hide an aristocratic family and a mad duke during the French Revolution, the palace was sealed after the aristocrats fled there. No one has set foot in it for over two centuries.

Now, in the present day, the teenagers enter with cutting-edge technology, state-of-the-art security, scientists and chaperones. And then a brutal accident occurs. No way out. Caught in the dark.

They will have to fight to survive. But are they really alone in the depths? 

  I was given a review copy of this book by the publisher through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

  The main problem that I have with this book is how misleading the synopsis is. After reading the synopsis, I thought this was going to be an contemporary adventure book, but instead I got a fantasy horror book. As a result, I was thrown off-guard and wasn’t able to completely appreciate the novel.

  If I was given enough warning on what this book is really going to be about – which I can’t tell you because it might become somewhat of a spoiler (I’m not really sure.) – I might not have picked this book up because I generally don’t enjoy these types of books. But if I still chose to read this, then I wouldn’t have been as confused as I was when I was reading this, and I would actually be able to appreciate the story.

“There’s this special talent humans have that they can be unhappy no matter where they are. But humans have another special talent: We can be happy almost anywhere, too. We can be happy because we’re not alone.”

  That said, after learning what this book is really about, I tried to change my mindset to finish the novel. And I must say, I do appreciate the unique plot. The writing style is unique and the novel is well-paced. It’s as interesting as I thought it would be, only in a different manner. I really liked their teamwork and the friendships that blossomed. However, I wasn’t able to connect with any of the characters. I imagine that I would enjoy this better as a movie than as a book, but I also might be creeped out by it haha!

  Overall, this just seriously not what I expected. I don’t fully blame the book nor the author for the low rating, but I blame the misleading synopsis because I would not likely have picked this up otherwise. However, I cannot fully say that I regret reading this book, because I really love the idea.

2.5 unexpected stars

Review: Distraction

Title: Distraction
Author: Laura Clark
Series: Westbrook Series Book 1
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Publication Date: August 22nd, 2015
My Rating: 2.5 Stars

Seventeen-near-old, Laila Patterson, would never describe her heart as fickle. She understands the difference between reality and fantasy, which is why Sam Woodson is not realistic boyfriend material. After all, he is in college, and college boys simply do not date high school girls. Plus, he is Laila’s older brother’s best friend. According to the unspoken bro-code, messing around with your friend’s little sister is pretty high on the list of forbidden taboos.

What happens when Laila discovers that her secret crush on Sam isn’t quite so one-sided? What if the only way to keep him is to keep their relationship hush-hush? Is Sam worth all of the lying and sneaking around?

As if things weren’t confusing enough with Sam, an old family friend suddenly shows up after being gone for more than three years. She isn’t expecting Trevor Maddox to move back to Westbrook. She isn’t expecting him to attend her high school, and she certainly isn’t expecting him to be so damned gorgeous.

Laila doesn’t want or need this unexpected distraction. . . or does she? 

  I was given a copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review.

It’s so hard for me to rate this book because I liked the love story – it made me feel the feels – however I have problems with other things. When the author approached me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, I immediately said yes despite having a pile of other review books since I thought that this book was my type. Then I started reading this and I was just annoyed at first because of the excessive use of italics and the main liking three different boys at the beginning of the book. I couldn’t help but roll my eyes because I felt like it was so juvenile.

However, after pushing through, the love story of Sam and Laila won me over. Sam is a very sweet guy and I really enjoyed their relationship. Not only did it make me feel all the feels, it also made me wish that all guys were like Sam Woodson. Despite their relationship blossoming into love within just a short span of time, I couldn’t complain because it felt so natural to me. Despite being quick, it felt like it was slow-burn to me.

I also liked the main character’s best friend, Avery. I liked her attitude and personality, and I think that she added a distinct voice to the book. I also liked the family element in this story, and how Laila’s family treated Sam like one of their own. Her indecisiveness really annoyed me and I would just like to strangle her.

Another thing that I didn’t like about this book is the abrupt ending towards the end. It felt like this book is only the first part of the story instead of the first book because of how things ended. It didn’t wrap things up and it ended with a weird sentence that didn’t feel like a conclusion to me, which is why I was so surprised to see the word “acknowledgements” at the next page.

I don’t know if I want to read the next book or not, but I sure do want to find out what is in Sam’s letter!

2.5 conflicting stars

Review: Incubus

Title: Incubus (Alternative Title: Demon Lover)
Author: Carol Goodman
Series: The Fairwick Chronicles #1
Genre: NA, Paranormal, Romance
Publisher: Ebury Press
Publication Date: July 21st 2011
Pages: 466
My Rating: 2.5 Stars

Callie McFay has just moved to Fairwick, New York in the search of a job in the local University, despite her dreams of working in New York City.

Obsessed with Gothic Literature, when she finds out an old, abandoned house in the town was once inhabited by author Dahlia LeMotte; she can’t help but move into it, drawn in by the mystery of it. But it turns out that the house isn’t the only mystery in Fairwick. When she moves into the house, she is stalked by erotic, haunting dreams of a dark stranger and she finds notes from LeMotte that suggest she was also visited by this stranger. The towns people start to tell her about the foundations that the town is upon, magic. Incubi, Demons, Witches, Fae…

In Fairwick, you better watch what you dream…It might just be true.

My first impressions of this book were great, the cover was stunning and as much as I hate to admit it, I do judge books by their covers. I’m a very aesthetic person, looks are important when it comes to books in my opinion and Incubus by Carol Goodman did not disappoint.

 I went in completely blind, not even bothering to read the blurb, it had been recommended by Benjaminoftomes on Youtube so of course it must be good, or so I thought. I quickly realised that this book was more NA than YA due to scenes a bit too saucy for my liking. The writing was coherent and straight to the point, so the story was very easy to follow. However, many of the scenes just seemed irrelevant to the overall bigger picture of this book.

 Callie was a self-obsessed and annoying character who rarely thought outside of her own bubble. The only times she showed concern was when something major happened, she didn’t seem overly bothered when she noticed one of her students losing a large amount of weight, she didn’t really seem to care about other people, especially her long-time boyfriend, Paul. Since they don’t live together, apparently it was totally okay to kiss strangers at your front door or dream about having a demon lover and not pay your boyfriend a second thought.

 Maybe this just wasn’t my story. I love Paranormal, demon reads but this just didn’t win my affections. I mightn’t be ready to tumble into the world of NA just yet, I’ll happily stay in my bubble of YA witchy reads. I would however recommend this book if you’re a fan of NA paranormal romance novels.

2.5 not into it stars

ARC Review: Just Like Fate

Title: Just Like Fate
Author: Cat Patrick & Suzanne Young
Series: N/A, Standalong
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Publication Date: August 27th, 2013
My Rating: 2 Stars

  Caroline is at a crossroads. Her grandmother is sick, maybe dying. Like the rest of her family, Caroline’s been at Gram’s bedside since her stroke. With the pressure building, all Caroline wants to do is escape–both her family and the reality of Gram’s failing health. So when Caroline’s best friend offers to take her to a party one fateful Friday night, she must choose: stay by Gram’s side, or go to the party and live her life.

  The consequence of this one decision will split Caroline’s fate into two seperate paths–and she’s about to live them both.

  Friendships are tested and family drama hits an all-new high as Caroline attempts to rebuild old relationships, and even make a few new ones. If she stays, her longtime crush, Joel, might finally notice her, but if she goes, Chris, the charming college boy, might prove to be everything she’s ever wanted.

  Though there are two distinct ways for her fate to unfold, there is only one happy ending…

  I was given an ARC copy of this book via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This review is a review of the ARC copy, not the final version. 

  We all make lots of decisions everyday – from small things like what to wear, to big, life-changing decisions. Just Like Fate shows us how making a decision can make an impact on our lives.

  I really loved the concept of this book. I definitely took a lot from it, and it was just an amazing experience. With just one decision that didn’t seem significant at all, many of Caroline’s experiences changed. It shows us that even small decisions can make a big impact on our lives. But the book also showed us how some things are just meant to happen. In some way, whatever choice we make is the right choice, because it made us who we are today. I really loved this quote near the ending of the book:

“He wasn’t saying that I’d end up in the same place either way so it didn’t matter. He was trying to say that whatever life I lived because of the choice I made is important. And maybe I found my way back to basically the same place – who really knows – but the mistakes I made make me who I am. We may be drawn to our fates like magnets, but whatever we pick up along the way means something. Mistakes mean something.”

  So why am I only giving it 2 stars? The thing is, if it were based solely on the above points, this book would easily be a five-star read. However, there are still a lot to consider – the plot, the writing. As much as I love what I took away from the book, I hated the story. I was literally forcing myself to continue reading since I had to use this book for a challenge.

  I was ready to hurl the book across the room after reading the first 30% because ugh, I just hated the story! I hated how stupid and selfish Caroline was and how she was whiny and drowned in self-pity. She knew her mistakes, but she didn’t make an effort to do anything about it.

  I also didn’t like the writing much. There were times when there was no flow in the story. One minute she’s talking about something, then the next paragraph she’s with her friend Simone. It should have been in a new chapter if that was what’s going to happen! Also, the text messages were capitalized, which just made me mad because IT LOOKED LIKE I WAS BEING SHOUTED AT RIGHT AT MY FACE, and there were so many texts.

  I seriously hated the reading it right until the last 15%, which made me smile and made my heart soar. I wish the whole novel could have been like the last 15% of the book, but sadly, that’s not the case. You know, if I didn’t love the lessons I learned from here so much, this book might have been rated just a star.

2.5 disappointing stars

ARC Review: Most Likely to Succeed

Title: Most Likely to Succeed
Author: Jennifer Echols
Series: Superlatives #3
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Publication Date: August 4th, 2015
My Rating: 2.5 Stars

  The “Superlatives Series” is about seniors at a Florida high school who are selected for their class Who’s Who categories, and how the labels change the way they view themselves and alter the course of their lives.

  Most Likely to Succeed will focus on characters Kaye and Sawyer.

  Thank you Simon Pulse and Edelweiss for giving me a copy of this book!

  Kaye and Aiden, her boyfriend, have been nominated for Most Likely to Succeed by the senior class, which is just as well because Aiden is the president of the student council, while Kaye is the vice president. But ever since Kaye learned that there was a glitch in the results and Kaye and Sawyer were actually voted for Perfect Couple That Never Was, Kaye has been giving Sawyer more attention, and Kaye and Aiden’s relationship has been going downhill. The attraction between Kaye and Sawyer is undeniable, and everyone knows it besides the two of them.

  Most Likely to Succeed was one of my most anticipated books of 2015. Ever since I read Perfect Couple (the first book I read in the series), I have loved Sawyer and I was curious regarding his and Kaye’s relationship. So of course, I was looking forward to this book. But when I read it, I was sadly disappointed. I must say, this is my least favorite out of the three books.

  I have loved Sawyer’s character since Perfect Couple and I continued to love him in this book. He was funny, charming, caring, hardworking, responsible and there’s more to him than what meets the eye. Kaye, on the other hand, was whiny, annoying and bitchy, and I just couldn’t help but hate her. There were times when I couldn’t help rolling my eyes at Kaye’s behavior because she was just too much!

  The pacing of this book was moderate, but when it got to the ending, it became rushed. The whole thing happened so fast, and I was really annoyed at how it ended. Nevertheless, there were still some parts of this book that I enjoyed, especially those time that I was able to look deeper into Sawyer’s character, and those times when the four from the first two books were present.

2.5 disappointing stars

ARC Review: Because You’ll Never Meet Me

Title: Because You’ll Never Meet Me
Author: Leah Thomas
Series: N/A, Standalone
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Publication Date: July 2nd, 2015
My Rating: 2.5 Stars

  In a stunning literary debut, two boys on opposite ends of the world begin an unlikely friendship that will change their lives forever.

  Ollie and Moritz are best friends, but they can never meet. Ollie is allergic to electricity. Contact with it causes debilitating seizures. Moritz’s weak heart is kept pumping by an electronic pacemaker. If they ever did meet, Ollie would seize. But Moritz would die without his pacemaker. Both hermits from society, the boys develop a fierce bond through letters that become a lifeline during dark times—as Ollie loses his only friend, Liz, to the normalcy of high school and Moritz deals with a bully set on destroying him.

  A story of impossible friendship and hope under strange circumstances, this debut is powerful, dark and humorous in equal measure. These extraordinary voices bring readers into the hearts and minds of two special boys who, like many teens, are just waiting for their moment to shine.

I received an ARC copy of this book from the publisher through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

Ollie and Moritz start writing letters to each other as recommended by Ollie’s doctor to come to terms with what has happened to me. As the letters increase, so does their friendship. But these two boys can never meet. Aside from the fact that Ollie lives in America and Mo lives in Germany, Ollie is ‘allergic’ to electricity, while Mo has a pacemaker. Meeting will kill one of them.

When I first read the synopsis for this one, I was really interested. I mean, I have never heard of anything close to this before, and I definitely wanted to read it. Imagine my delight when I got approved for an advance copy! However, I was seriously disappointed by this book.

The first half of the book was so horrible that I really had to force myself to read on. I was really bored because it was all narration. Had it not been for the “twist” mentioned in other people’s reviews, I wouldn’t have found the strength to read on. It didn’t help that the version that I got on my Kindle got words without spaces, justlikethisone, and didn’t have apostrophes. Ollie’s letters didn’t contain quotation marks to indicate conversations, and I was really just confuse. It was an effort on my part to understand the book and to keep reading.

However, I am glad that I continued to read on because by the latter half of the book, it became better. Maybe it became more interesting for me, or maybe I just got used to the tone of the whole book and how the letters were written. I actually started enjoying it towards the the 30% of the book.

I really liked how even though this book has ample amount of romance in it, it centered on the friendship between Ollie and Mo, and how they were very encouraging to each other, despite being blunt. Especially because they were being blunt. Even though they’ll never meet, their friendship is real and true. Props to the author too, for having a really original and imaginative plot.

On the other hand, I was just confused regarding the kids. What are they, mutants? Aliens? Are those “superpowers” they have, what with Ollie’s electromagnetism and Mo’s echolocation? In another note not related to this, I felt like Liz was just a plain bitch. I have no idea why, but she just gives that vibe off to me.

There were a lot of things that I disliked about the book, but there were also things that I liked. Although I didn’t really enjoy this book like I thought I would have, I know that many people enjoyed this, and it’s worth giving this book a shot.


Review: Love Like Crazy

Title: Love Like Crazy
Author: Megan Squires
Series: N/A, Standalone
Genres: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Publish Date: October 14th, 2014
Rating: 2.5 Stars


  All things that can be considered—and oftentimes are—just a bit crazy.

  With an alcoholic father and an absentee mother, seventeen-year old Eppie Aberdeen has learned firsthand that life’s circumstances aren’t always sunshine and roses.

  So Eppie doesn’t expect the fairytale, because reality certainly isn’t one. She’s not waiting on the handsome prince with his white horse to come to her rescue. But even though she’s not waiting on it, that doesn’t stop nineteen-year-old Lincoln Ross from driving straight into her heart with his teal and white campervan and his too tall stature and perpetually goofy grin.

  It’s difficult to believe in a happily ever after when a happy now is quite hard to find. But Lincoln gives Eppie hope that despite the odds, a true and unconditional love might actually be out there. A revised fairytale. A new kind of love story.

  But then again, that might just be plain crazy.

  Love Like Crazy seemed like such a promising read, and I couldn’t help but be excited by the prospect of reading it, but when I finally read it, it was not what I expected at all. Judging by the cover of the book, it seemed like a light, fluffy and cute read, but the synopsis and the book clearly says otherwise. I went into this expecting a great, meaningful book, but what I got was definitely not that.

What I loved:
  I loved that this book maintained a light feel to it despite tackling heavy subjects. I know it sounds weird, but I really liked it. Most books like this one would leave me feeling depressed after reading them, but amazingly, this one didn’t, and for that I am glad. It’s refreshing, in a weird kind of way. I also loved that there were many great quotes from this novel, and there were a lot of lessons to be taken away from them. I also loved Phil, my favorite character, because of everything he did for the main character.

What I hated:
  The pace was slow at times, and then it became fast, events congested in a few pages, and then slow again, which I really, really hated. That made it hard to read and made me confused at times. Towards the end, I found myself just skimming the words, until it came to a point where I skipped all the narratives altogether and just read the conversations. I hated how cheesy Lincoln was, because there came a point when everything he said became excessive, and there were times when the speeches didn’t sound natural. It was annoying, and I couldn’t help but roll my eyes a couple of times. I also hated how unexpected the turn of events became. There was a big twist towards the end, but there weren’t anything AT ALL pertaining to it in the first parts of the novel. It was like the idea just sprang out of nowhere, and I was left confused.

  I couldn’t say that I hated this book, because clearly, there were some things that I enjoyed, but I couldn’t say that I liked it either. I’m giving this book 2.5 stars.