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Tuesday, April 30, 2013
The Rules (Project Paper Doll, #1)
Stacey Kade
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Release Date: April 23, 2013
Source: Publisher
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository
1. Never trust anyone.
2. Remember they are always searching.
3. Don’t get involved.
4. Keep your head down.
5. Don’t fall in love.
Five simple rules. Ariane Tucker has followed them since the night she escaped from the genetics lab where she was created, the result of combining human and extraterrestrial DNA. Ariane’s survival—and that of her adoptive father—depends on her ability to blend in among the full-blooded humans in a small Wisconsin town, to hide in plain sight at her high school from those who seek to recover their lost (and expensive) “project.”
But when a cruel prank at school goes awry, it puts her in the path of Zane Bradshaw, the police chief’s son and someone who sees too much. Someone who really sees her. After years of trying to be invisible, Ariane finds the attention frightening—and utterly intoxicating. Suddenly, nothing is simple anymore, especially not the rules…




CATCHALL
I really enjoyed Stacey Kade's The Ghost and the Goth series, so when I heard about her new series I knew that I had to get my hands on it. And don't get me wrong, I really loved her G&G series. But that is literally nothing compared to how much I loved this book. I honestly adored this book so much I don't even know what to do with myself. It was gorgeous, a little bit heartbreaking, and so passionate with feelings and painful choices that it drew me in. I loved it, I adored it, it is easily a favorite.

THE HEROINE
ARIANE
Ariane is awesome from the very first page. Her entire life, she's wanted to follow the rules that her father set for her, and yet while she passes off normally enough for everyone else she can't seem to fool Zane. She has several quirks that I honestly find adorable, but Ariane is no fluffy cupcake. She's strong, kickass, and will do what she has to to survive. Despite that, she has a surprisingly kind heart. At the same time, she doesn't let people walk all over her. She has vulnerabilities, and she struggles, but that's what really makes her humanity show.

THE HERO
ZANE
I love Zane. Saying that I am in love with him is probably more accurate, actually. He is gorgeous and wonderful and I love him. He's also really perceptive and stubborn but not to the point where he's too clever or dull. It's like the perfect, dream balance. Oh, and he is most definitely a charmer. He doesn't back down from a challenge, and though he hangs out with people who often find amusement at the expense of others he doesn't really actively participate, and in fact starts to break away from him. He's a little bit of a bad boy, but he was so well-written and not stereotypical at all that it was basically kind of perfect.

THE PLOT
The Rules reads a lot more like a paranormal romance than the science-fiction it officially is, but that totally doesn't mean it isn't just as fabulous. It's not as fluffy as you'd think, and it actually gets really intense in some parts. It's unique and a lot of fun, but more than that it's something I can easily see myself reading again and again.

Ariane has never really had a problem obeying the rules. She knows what she can do and what she can't. She has one friend who really isn't a good one because it's easy and she doesn't really challenge anything. Zane changes all of that for her. With a few words, with one offered challenge and a little bit of a reward, Ariane is ready to break every one. Though, of course, she doesn't know that yet.

Sometimes I have to admit that I got frustrated with the pacing. For the most part things moved along smoothly and I really liked the even flow, but I cannot deny there were two or three times where it seemed to drag and I really wished whatever was going on would be over. I suppose those scenes were important in their own way but apparently I have issues anyway.

There were so many plot twists, too, and they always fit in nicely without creating plot holes. There were betrayals I never saw coming and certain spouts of knowledge that I definitely didn't expect. I loved that we were kept guessing while being teased with the truth, and yet it wasn't overly predictable.

The Rules was for the most part fast-paced, but overall a ton of fun and intensity. I loved it from the first page to the last and was definitely swooning by the last page.

THE ROMANCE
Romance tends to be my favorite part of a book. In some ways I know maybe it should't be, but it's not like I can help it, so there you have it. I am a total slave to romance. I can never get enough of it. Anyway, this specific romance is seriously, seriously wonderful. The way both of them go from not really trusting the other to starting to fall in love really gets to me in a good way, and the best part is that there's no instalove. Yay. Of course, sparks fly from the very first time their eyes meet. They just don't know it.

THE WRITING
Stacey's writing has really matured from her first book–it has always been loaded with tons of talent, but now it is even better. The dialogue is fantastic, and I love the way her characters describe the people and things around them. I love the alternating first person. I love everything about it. The book is also packed with tons of humor that just feels so perfectly natural that I definitely caught myself giggling more than once.

THE ENDING
I loved the ending of this book. I mean, I kind of hated it too, because it was sort of mean. But, you know, I get why it ended that way. I appreciated that it was a cliffhanger without being a cheap trick and intriguing without resorting to tactics such as massive infodumps at the end or sudden nonsensical revelations. It really stuck to the facts and yeah, revealed some new stuff, but was honestly pretty much the best ending it could have been. So, yay!

WRAPUP
I'm going to assume it's fairly obvious that I would recommend this book. I would recommend this book to pretty much everyone. There's really not much to not love about it, and it's so cute and yet surprisingly deep that it's sure to be a classic. I am very much in love with this book and totally think that everyone else should give it a chance, too. Not to be pushy. Anyway, I am eagerly awaiting the next installment of this series and I absolutely cannot wait! Yesterday is already too late.




*****FINAL RATING: 4.75 RED ROSES*****

Lovelovelove,

Monday, April 29, 2013

Hello, there. It's Monday. Again. I know, right? It seems like it was just Monday yesterday. This Monday is particularly stressful for me because IB testing starts this week. Not fun. I hate studying. Sigh. But anyway. You don't read my blog to hear my endless complaints, probably. Well, the book this week is good at least. It's one of my all-time favorites! In honor of that the excerpt I chose this week is extra-long. I did cut out some things in the middle but it's still longer than usual. It's also one of my favorites.


The Rose Throne
Mette Ivie Harrison
Publisher: Egmont USA
Release Date: May 14, 2013
"You will kill us," he said, and then he leaned closer to her, inch by inch, until at last it was she who had to cross the distance between them. The kiss was hot and hard. […] It should have been wonderful. It should have been perfect. Instead, it was the most exquisitely painful thing she had ever experienced. Because she knew it had to end.

So, there you all go. I love, love, love this quote. It just makes my heart really happy and warm. I love this book hardcore. I really, really do. I haven't loved a book this much in forever. I literally want to take this book and like display it on a pedestal or something. I love it so freaking much.

Please read my giveaway page before entering. I am unforgiving in this particular instance because it is seriously annoying to go through entries and then realize I have to disqualify someone for not doing things correctly.


a Rafflecopter giveaway



Good luck, muffins. I am starting to get all giddy over how much I love this book, so I should probably shut up and leave before I weird y'all out too much. So, have a fantastic week dearests!

Lovelovelove,

Sunday, April 28, 2013


The Iron Traitor (The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten, #2)
Julie Kagawa
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: October 22, 2013
IN THE REAL WORLD, WHEN YOU VANISH INTO THIN AIR FOR A WEEK, PEOPLE TEND TO NOTICE
After his unexpected journey into the lands of the fey, Ethan Chase just wants to get back to normal. Well, as "normal" as you can be when you see faeries every day of your life. Suddenly the former loner with the bad reputation has someone to try for-his girlfriend, Kenzie. Never mind that he's forbidden to see her again.
But when your name is Ethan Chase and your sister is one of the most powerful faeries in the Nevernever, "normal" simply isn't to be. For Ethan's nephew, Keirran, is missing, and may be on the verge of doing something unthinkable in the name of saving his own love. Something that will fracture the human and faery worlds forever, and give rise to the dangerous fey known as the Forgotten. As Ethan's and Keirran's fates entwine and Keirran slips further into darkness, Ethan's next choice may decide the fate of them all.


PREORDER THE IRON TRAITOR!
   



Revelations (The Elysium Chronicles, #2)
J. A. Souders
Publisher: Tor Teen
Release Date: November 5, 2013
The follow-up to J. A. Souders’s riveting SF psychological thriller for teens, Renegade.
Six weeks ago, Evelyn Winters was locked away in Elysium, a city hidden miles beneath the sea, brainwashed into submission. With the help of Gavin, she fought free of her captors and the fog in her own mind. He took her back with him to the Surface, a world she's never known. Now she will begin a new life.
But her past is closer than she thinks...


PREORDER REVELATIONS!
   



Stormbringers (The Order of Darkness, #2)
Philippa Gregory
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: June 4, 2013
The second book in a YA quartet filled with intrigue, mystery, and romance, from #1 New York Times bestselling author Philippa Gregory.
Italy, 1453. Luca and Isolde grow more and more attracted to each other as they continue their journey to unravel the mysteries throughout Christendom. But their travels are delayed by the uprising of an intense religious crusade that threatens the balance of the civilized world. Death lingers in the air as war ravages on, but this religious conflict is nothing compared to the arrival of an intense and deadly storm.
Caught in the midst of unimaginable chaos, Luca and Isolde must rely on one another in order to survive.
The second in Philippa Gregory’s four-book series delves further into a forbidden romance and an epic quest. And the tension builds as secrets about The Order of Darkness are finally revealed...


PREORDER STORMBRINGERS!
   


Lovelovelove,

Saturday, April 27, 2013
The Rules for Disappearing
Ashley Elston
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Release Date: May 14, 2013
Source: Publisher
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository
She’s been six different people in six different places: Madeline in Ohio, Isabelle in Missouri, Olivia in Kentucky . . . But now that she’s been transplanted to rural Louisiana, she has decided that this fake identity will be her last.
Witness Protection has taken nearly everything from her. But for now, they’ve given her a new name, Megan Rose Jones, and a horrible hair color. For the past eight months, Meg has begged her father to answer one question: What on earth did he do – or see – that landed them in this god-awful mess? Meg has just about had it with all the Suits’ rules — and her dad’s silence. If he won’t help, it’s time she got some answers for herself.
But Meg isn’t counting on Ethan Landry, an adorable Louisiana farm boy who’s too smart for his own good. He knows Meg is hiding something big. And it just might get both of them killed. As they embark on a perilous journey to free her family once and for all, Meg discovers that there’s only one rule that really matters — survival.




CATCHALL
Honestly, when I went in to read this one, I thought it sounded cute. However, I really didn't have very high expectations. I thought it might be kind of a fun, light read to pass the time, and because I knew the concept would be so difficult to execute I was nervous about seeing how it would be done. Happily, however, The Rules for Disappearing exceeded all of my expectations and quickly became a favorite.

THE HEROINE
MEGAN
Obviously her name isn't actually Megan–it's just the current name she chose for herself–but giving away her actual name would be way lame, so I'm not going to do that, even though it feels really weird to call her Megan now. So anyway. I really like her. She's strong but she's also vulnerable, and very much a teenager. She keeps to herself and doesn't really want to open up to anyone when she knows she'll just leave again. Despite this, part of her still craves human company and she wants to confide in someone. She also ruthlessly searches for the truth. She was kind of annoying sometimes, but I let it go for the most part.

THE LOVE INTEREST
ETHAN
Ethan is sweet; he's the strong, local farm boy who instantly can tell there's more to Megan than she's letting on. He doesn't let her avoid him and he drives her to dig harder for the truth she's been wanting to find. He's very loyal to her, and he stands up for her even against his old friends. I liked his courage, and I really admired the way he didn't let her push him away. He really works hard to gain her trust.

THE PLOT
A plot like this could so easily be overdone. It involves the Witness Protection Program and a girl who seems to have gaps in her memory. Yet, it never felt that way to me. Oh, yes, it had flaws. But being overdone was certainly not one of them.

From the very beginning, I was drawn into the plot. There always seemed to be this idea tucked away, an inkling that there was something we were missing, that didn't really get explained until very far into the book. The whole mystery aspect deepened the thriller aspect and made it that much more exciting and intriguing.

I loved the way Ethan supported Megan throughout her journey. He supports her from the beginning and gets her to put her faith in him, and he doesn't abandon her when some of the darker secrets from her past begin to surface. Instead, he stays right there beside her and even really comes through for her when she realizes what she has to do.

My main complaint is that some components of this book are awfully predictable. There was one thing in particular that I guessed at the beginning of the book and that should just never happen. There was at least one other significant thing too that I figured out early on so some of the suspense was really ruined for me. It didn't reveal everything, and it didn't keep me from loving the book, but it definitely affected me.

So, overall, I don't have any complaints other than that of predictability, which bothered me a lot less in this book than it probably should have. Eh.

THE ROMANCE
The love story here is honestly adorable. There is literally no other way to describe it. It is absolutely, purely adorable and I love it hardcore. It actually develops and there's a lot of mistrust, suspicion, and hurt before they really learn to love each other. It's a very realistic romance and I think that's what really drew me to it so much. I do feel Ethan maybe put up with a bit more than any normal guy would have but hey. It's totally excusable.

THE WRITING
My favorite part about this writing is the way Megan's voice matures throughout the book. At first, she comes across as rather childish and only near the end does she really start to mature. Seeing that progress directly was amazing. I also love the way everything is described. I could practically smell the pizza parlor, see the acres of farm stretching on. It was all so vivid and gorgeous. I do think the dialogue could have used some work but honestly, it was still marvelous.

THE ENDING
I loved the ending. When I read it, I wasn't sure if this was a standalone or a series. For a standalone, the ending was gutsy but I would've loved it. Even so, I was relieved when I found out there was a sequel in the works. The ending is most definitely a cliffhanger and ominous without being cheesy. It was honestly the best ending and I really liked the way it was messy, because that was exactly how it needed to be.

WRAPUP
So, yeah, though I didn't expect to, I really loved this book. I don't mean that in a bad way. I really loved this book, and I will definitely be adding the sequel to the list of books I absolutely must have. Now, who would I recommend this to? Honestly, there's really no one I wouldn't recommend this to. It's fast-paced and brill and the romance is cute and something I think most people will enjoy. So go on, give it a shot.





****FINAL RATING: 4.25 RED ROSES****

Lovelovelove,


Friday, April 26, 2013


Hello there! It's my stop today on the Fairy Godmothers, Inc. blog tour, something I'm very excited about. I loved, loved, loved this book, and I have some fun things here for you today including my glowingly positive review and a really awesome guest post from Jenniffer. So sit back and enjoy!

Fairy Godmothers, Inc.
Jenniffer Wardell
Publisher: Jolly Fish Press
Release Date: April 27, 2013
Source: Publisher
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository
In a world where fairy tale situations are as much a fact of life as death and taxes, everyone knows hiring Fairy Godmothers, Inc. is the best way to assure that your beautiful daughter or enchanted frog of a grandson will get the happily-ever-after he or she deserves. Sure, sometimes a little love potion is required to make sure those quotas stay up, but what Prince Charming doesn’t know won’t hurt him.
Kate, an experienced Fairy Godmother, who’s enough of a romantic to frustrate her rigidly rule-bound boss, has just received a specialty assignment from one of the company’s board of directors. Cinderella—Rellie for short—was placed with an appropriately wicked stepfamily years before, and now needs the dress, ball, and handsome prince to complete her happily-ever-after. The fact that Rellie isn’t sure this is her dream come true—balls are fun, but princes tend to be less interesting than fluffy bunnies—isn’t something management considers a problem.
Complicating things a bit is Jon, the youngest son of the royal family, who meets Kate, and is smitten, but isn’t quite ready yet to reveal his true identity. After all, it’s his older brother Rupert who’s supposed to marry Rellie, which means pretending to be a lowly civil servant will give him the chance to spend more time with Kate. (As long as he can get the ball arranged, and stop Rupert from getting himself into trouble over his “self-actualization” business, he should have the perfect opportunity to explain everything and get started on making a little magic with the Fairy Godmother of his dreams.)
But, of course, things never ever happen as planned.



CATCHALL
Fairy Godmothers, Inc. surprised me by being one of my favorite reads of the year and ever. Books that rely heavily on humor tend to be hit-or-miss for me since I apparently have a weird since of humor, but I loved it in this one. The two main characters are enormously entertaining, the plot was the fairytale-esque one you expect it to be and there were more twists than I could count. It is a brilliant concoction of laughter and love set in a gorgeous fairytale world.

THE HEROINE
KATE
Kate is a fairy godmother whose job is to help poor, abused girls find true love and marry princes, much like a Cinderella story. She doesn't approve of her company using "true love" potion, however, which is basically an aphrodisiac, and she never uses it herself. She won me over to her side the minute I found that out about her. She doesn't blindly follow what she's told, but she does her best to ensure that he clients are actually happy. Kate is strong-willed, a little stubborn, and has a sparkling sense of humor. She's no-nonsense, maybe a little bit dense, but cute.

THE LOVE INTEREST
JON
Jon is a hero who definitely had me swooning; I admit it freely. He's a gentleman from the very beginning and is willing to do almost anything to win Kate over (not that he really needs any help there). He, like Kate, has a wonderful sense of humor. He's also the one in the castle who really runs everything, even though his mother and older brother should really be doing that. Even so, he takes over. Jon is kindhearted and puts other people first, though like anyone he has his selfish moments.

THE SECONDARY CHARACTERS
RELLIE
I love Rellie. For some reason, it's impossible not to love herm even though she's the type of person that if you met them in real life you'd be hard-pressed to resist the urge to shut them up violently. Her ditziness works for her somehow, and she's sweet without trying to be. I also love how she has her moments, and that even if she's often silly she's genuine. And whimsical.
NED
Ned is sensitive and yet passionate; he's in love with Rellie from nearly the beginning but he doesn't want to act on it because he wants to let her get her happy ending with the prince. I love that he puts her happiness above his own. We also see him change surprisingly a lot from the beginning to the end of the book.

THE PLOT
Fairy Godmothers, Inc. is officially an adult novel. The heroine and hero are both adults, as are the other characters. However, it reads very clean, and as far as I'm concerned it's got loads of crossover appeal. It's something I myself loved, and I have faith that YA readers will absolutely fall in love with it too. I think honestly that it is a book that can be enjoyed by people of all ages.

I love the world, too. It's very definitely a fantasy world, but there's also a very modern feel to it. It's the type of fantasy world you want to crawl into and live in. It's set up so vividly that it's easy to imagine and there's so much to love about it. There are illusions to several fairytales and even a nod to Greek mythology. It's actually similar to the world of Ella Enchanted–the movie version, the book is way different–but like, infinitely better.

There were so many plot twists–a few of which I probably should've seen coming, but never did. It was more fun that way, though. This book was fluffy and fun but it was also really intense and it actually physically made my heart race. It was thrilling and I got myself really invested into the story. Whenever something unexpected happened it would make me jump a little bit.

The fairytale lore was so much fun too. It's definitely in some ways drawing from several different fairytales, but it is also in many ways its own unique plot. I've certainly never read anything like it although I really wish there was more like this. Kate is a spunky heroine, and she really made this story just come to life.

I honestly don't really have any complaints about this book. There's just nothing I really feel the need to complain about! Every once in a while, that has to happen. This was pure fluffy fun, and yet it was  more than that.

THE ROMANCE
Surprisingly, I wouldn't call this instalove. I'm not sure why, bur I don't want to. Though the feelings seem to come quickly, they're not immediately acted upon, which I really liked. They get to know each other before that, even if there's strong attraction and chemistry on both sides. The romance is also messy–there were so many factors keeping everyone apart that at times it seemed unfixable. But hey, true love conquers all, right?

The secondary romance did happen a bit quickly for me, too quickly for me to really believe, but it didn't bother me all that much. I kind of just let it slide, but it's still notable.

THE WRITING
This book is beautifully written. It tells the story from the alternating POVs of Kate and Jon–with someone else featured a few times. I won't say what other characters we get. I thought it was confusing at first to suddenly add in the POV of a new character but when I understood why it was done I could just kind of relax and enjoy the ride. It was nice getting the chance to see things from a new perspective. And of course, this writing is so much fun. There's so much humor evident in every word, and the descriptions are gorgeous.

THE ENDING
You know that feeling when you're nearing the end of a book and everything is so messed up you feel like it can't possibly be fixed in time? That's how I felt reading this book. I was so, so worried that not everything would work out. There were definitely some unexpected endings. But I got the one I wanted, so I'm happy. I was very pleased with the way everything turned out and satisfied 100% with the way the story wrapped up. Neat and pretty, but with imperfections.

WRAPUP
Fairy Godmothers, Inc. is one of the cutest books I've ever read, easy. I am definitely looking forward to more from Jenniffer! I'm sure she'll come up with something even more brilliant and I cannot wait to read it. I would definitely recommend this–to adults, to teenagers, to fans of contemporary romance, to fans of fantasy an retellings. It's one of my favorite books, so it comes with my high praises. Even if you think it wouldn't normally be your thing I really think you should give it a try. You might find yourself pleasantly surprised.


*****FINAL RATING:  4.70 RED ROSES*****



My Favorite Fairy Tale: The Story Within the Story
The fairy tales that always fascinated me most are the ones that were never actually told. In every well-known fairy tale, I could always find at least three or four invisible stories that were hinted at but never actually explained. For an insatiably curious child, they were like bright, shiny toys that transformed into something new every time I played with them.

Take “Rumpelstiltskin,” for example. The basic story is pretty simple – a girl gets caught in a bad situation, agrees to things she shouldn’t, then uses a combination of cleverness and trickery to win at the end. There’s also a fantastic magical visual, an important part of any proper fairy tale.

Through it all, however, we hardly hear anything about Rumpelstiltskin. Where did he learn to spin straw into gold? Was it just a hobby, or did he lurk around castles waiting for people to make ludicrously impossible claims he could help back up? If he could make all that gold, why hadn’t he already bought himself his own enormous castle? And what exactly was he planning to do with that kid?

“The Twelve Dancing Princesses” also had more than enough questions to satisfy anyone looking to do a little imagining. We never really hear how the sisters ended up finding the secret, magical ballroom in the first place, or anything at all about the men waiting there to dance with them. Was it all part of a malicious plot, or were the men just looking for love? Did a romance or two blossom between one of the older princesses and her dancing partner that we never saw?

I was never dissatisfied that the stories never answered my questions, because it was always so much more fun to come up with my own ideas. I’d roll the few facts I knew around in my head, coming up with different histories and possibilities depending on what interested me at a given moment. If I decided a particular explanation didn’t interest me anymore, I could start all over again and go an entirely different direction.

I could also read everyone else’s adaptations, inevitably filled in with new twists that the authors found when they went looking for their own unspoken stories. Even now, I’m happy to read 13 different versions of a single tale, exploring how a single change to plot or character can affect everything around it.

I can’t pick a single fairy tale to love, because no fairy tale I’ve ever found is just one story. Each tale of love, loss and happily-ever-after is really a dozen different stories braided together, which can then be multiplied by a thousand depending on who’s doing the telling. You could listen for a thousand years and never hear the end of them.
~Jenniffer



JENNIFFER WARDELL is the arts, entertainment, and lifestyle reporter for the Davis Clipper. She's won several awards from the Utah Press Association and the Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. She currently lives in Layton, Utah.






And yes, there is a giveaway for this tour. It's for a $25 Amazon gift card, so feel free to enter! And if you win, you can totally use the money to buy this book. I'm just pointing that out.

a Rafflecopter giveaway



So, that's basically it for today's post. The gist of it is that you should totally go and read this book because I really, massively loved it. Also, you can follow the tour here. You should definitely go check out some of the other reviews and fun things. I love you. I love this book. (See, you have something in common with it already.)

Okay, okay, I'll stop now. But seriously, this is one of my most highly recommended books.

Lovelovelove,

Thursday, April 25, 2013
Transparent
Natalie Whipple
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release Date: May 21, 2013
Source: Publisher
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository
Plenty of teenagers feel invisible. Fiona McClean actually is.
An invisible girl is a priceless weapon. Fiona’s own father has been forcing her to do his dirty work for years—everything from spying on people to stealing cars to breaking into bank vaults.
After sixteen years, Fiona’s had enough. She and her mother flee to a small town, and for the first time in her life, Fiona feels like a normal life is within reach. But Fiona’s father isn’t giving up that easily.
Of course, he should know better than anyone: never underestimate an invisible girl.




CATCHALL
Transparent was a fun dystopian read, and while there were some new and different concepts it didn't really feel like it brought all that many new things to the table of the dystopian. The heroine is invisible, yes, but other than that, I was hard-pressed to find things about it that were truly unique. Now, don't get me wrong, I loved this book. But on a purely objective standpoint, I have to say that it did not blow me away the way I would have wanted it to.

THE HEROINE
FIONA
Fiona is a sassy heroine with insecurities. She's terrified of her father and wants to live a normal life, and she wants to protect her friends more than anything. I related to her a lot and really sympathized with her on a deeper level. She's friendly and warm, and she tries to push people away at first but eventually finds herself drawn in. She's protective and loyal, but she has a fierce side too. She has fears but she doesn't let them hold her back.

THE LOVE INTERESTS
BRADY
Brady isn't really that remarkable, but he's certainly notable. He's massive and strong, and he wishes he weren't. He's sweet and protective, but honestly boring as hell. It's not that I don't like him, I just don't really have strong feelings for him either. He has, like, zero passion. He just kind of exists in this lethargic and utterly unentertaining way.
SETH
Seth got my blood racing, which is embarrassing but true. His attitude is sexy, and even though he's kind of a jerk at first that's hot too. (No, I don't know what's wrong with me.) It was obvious from early on that he cared about Fiona but was they type of guy to tease the girl he likes rather than just admit how he feels. He's not perfect, but he's passionate, and he's willing to make sacrifices. He makes mistakes, like anyone, but he always wants to set them right. He is also probably at least fifty percent of why I loved this book so much, but we won't mention that.

THE FRIEND
BEA
I really, really like Bea. She pushes her way into Fiona's heart even before she wants to make any friends, and she's fierce and brave. She's a tad stereotypical, but I loved her anyway. She isn't afraid to say what she thinks and she's a large part of helping Fiona to really open up.

THE PLOT
Transparent doesn't have the most original plot, which is it's biggest flaw. Yes, it's enjoyable. but in too many ways it just felt like something I had read before.

It blends several different aspects, which I did like. Many people have paranormal powers, and Fiona's is that she's invisible, which is unusual. Her father is the leader of a mafia-like crime organization, which isn't too unusual to read about. There's something of a love triangle although not really.

I liked the tension and the suspense, and the not knowing when who was going to show up next. It was exciting. Thrilling. I was kept on the edge of my seat.

It was unfortunately also too predictable, however. Though I looked forward to more minor plot points, I essentially knew where the story was going to go. I could often predict things before they happened and some things was seriously just way too obvious.

But, you know, sometimes love has no rational explanation. I know I'm cheating, but really, I did love this book. It certainly had its flaws, and I'm not going to excuse them. But this book also brought me a fun afternoon and a relatable heroine. So I am absolutely not ashamed of loving it.

THE ROMANCE
I love the romance here. I love the way it develops, that it isn't instalove, and that the characters to me really seemed to have a bond. They're alike and they're not, and they get along and tease each other but mostly seem to care about each other. It's also partially that he can really see Fiona, and see past what everyone else sees and understand her true feelings even when other don't. It's literally impossible not to love that.

THE WRITING
Natalie's writing isn't always the most intellectual, but I like it. This isn't to say that it's stupid. It just lacks a lot of descriptors, and veers a bit towards dull. Still, I think it actually improves over the course of the novel which was really nice to see. There's a lot of life in Fiona's words and I really felt like her emotions got across clearly, which is a definite strength.

THE ENDING
The ending was cute, yet moving. It's messy and imperfect, but so is life. It isn't an easy choice for Fiona to make, even though it seems like it should be, because everything changes in the moment when you actually have to choose. In the end, though I loved the way everything turned out. There'a  sense that life goes on, and that there's always more to the story, but it was a satisfying place for the novel to end.

WRAPUP
Though Transparent wasn't perfect, nor was it the most original read, something in me still adored it. I loved the characters, and I loved their connections and chemistry. The romance was sweet and yet hot. I would most definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for something to read, honestly. I myself will definitely be looking into whatever Natalie is putting out next.


***FINAL RATING: 3.45 RED ROSES***

Lovelovelove,


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Welcome to my young adult reading blog! Sparkles and Lightning has young adult book reviews with the occasional children's or adult's book review sprinkled in. It will also be totally and completely fun :) Have a look around, have some laughs, and most of all, have a perfectly sparkly, electric time!

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I'm a university student and ballroom dancer who spends too much time curled up with a good book. Red roses are my favorite and I love a good love story.

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