Romance is in the Air Blog Hop

It has been FOR-EVER since I have participated in a blog hop. Forever! When I saw the sign-ups for this hop, I had the perfect books! 

I received copies of Daria Snadowsky's Anatomy of a Boyfriend and Anatomy of a Single Girl some time ago for review. I read and enjoyed them, but then I faced a dilemma. I couldn't decide what to do with them next. Usually I have a perfect reader in mind, and my books find a new home. But this time I was stuck. That my dear friends, works to your advantage. This hop is the perfect time for these books to find a new home! 

What is up for grabs? BOTH copies of the books-- you can't split a series! AOASG is a hardback and AOAB is a paper back. All you have to do is enter the Rafflecopter below.  

Anatomy of a Boyfriend (Anatomy, #1) Anatomy of a Single Girl (Anatomy, #2)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Review: Anything to Have You (Paige Harbison)

The Deets:

Audience: YA
Pages: 304
Publisher: January 28th 2014 by Harlequin Teen
ISBN: 9780373210886
Genre: contemporary, romance
Source: eARC from Netgalley

Anything to Have YouNothing should come between best friends, not even boys. ESPECIALLY not boys.

Natalie and Brooke have had each other's backs forever. Natalie is the quiet one, college bound and happy to stay home and watch old movies. Brooke is the movie—the life of every party, the girl everyone wants to be.

Then it happens—one crazy night that Natalie can't remember and Brooke's boyfriend, Aiden, can't forget. Suddenly there's a question mark in Natalie and Brooke's friendship that tests everything they thought they knew about each other and has both girls discovering what true friendship really means.

Oh my goodness, this book. Sigh.

There were so many things wrong here. So, so many.

This is the second book I've read by Paige Harbison, and I'm noticing a trend. Apparently, this young author thinks that all teenagers spend their out of school hours at lavish parties full of sex, drugs, and alcohol. Wow, I basically summed up the whole plot in one sentence. Huh.

I cannot begin to express how annoyed I am with the way teenagers were portrayed in this book. If they were young college students, I would be more willing to accept the plot. But these kids were 17. I know there are some pretty uninvolved and clueless parents out there, but I find it VERY hard to believe that a father would willingly let his only daughter sleep over at boys' homes during parties. I also find it hard to believe that that same father figure would give his consent to his underage daughter's drinking at said party. Are you kidding me? Am I really supposed to buy that? I feel insulted because it's so far fetched.

So, daddy-o irritated me. But it didn't stop there. There were some seriously messed up characters in this book. For starters, let's examine Brooke. Can we say psycho? Best friend from hell. Hands down. She's a liar, manipulative, and a complete skank. It was a train wreck that you just couldn't pull away from. If her character is supposed to portray teenage best friends, then girls take this as a warning-- you are better off alone. Brooke was everything I would find in an enemy, and nothing worthy of being a friend.

Then there was Natalie. There wasn't much difference in her character either. She tries to be honest, but she leaves a lot of truths out. You might as well tell a bold faced lie if you're only going to tell half truths. Natalie is supposed to be super smart and "with it" but she's a complete idiot in the game of life. I could not believe how willingly she accepted her party outcome. No trip to the doctor. No second guesses. She just rolled with the punches like you might do when you bomb a test you know you didn't study for. Um, no. When STDs and pregnancies are on the line, I need the characters to be more intuned with reality. You don't just shrug and go about your business.

Then there was Aiden-- a sneaky pile of flaming poop. I wanted to like him because he channeled my inner nerd, but I just couldn't not get beyond what he did. AND what he continued to do. Why was is portrayed as okay in this book to have a guy take advantage of a girl that was so wasted she blacked out at a party? It was if it wasn't a big deal, and that he didn't actually date rape a girl. If I had students reading this book, I would be livid. I would not want them to read this and think it's not a big deal if a guy advances on you because you were drunk. No way! Wrong is wrong.

This book screwed up every message that young females need to learn. It was a disgrace. It just pisses me off because it makes light of very important issues, and paints teenage life in a horribly unrealistic way. Do not waste your time reading this. 

Review: Pawn (Aimee Carter)

The Deets:

Audience: YA
Pages: 346
Publisher: November 26th 2013 by Harlequin TEEN
ISBN: 9781848452756
Genre: dystopian, sci-fi
Source: eARC from Netgalley

Pawn (The Blackcoat Rebellion, #1)YOU CAN BE A VII. IF YOU GIVE UP EVERYTHING.

For Kitty Doe, it seems like an easy choice. She can either spend her life as a III in misery, looked down upon by the higher ranks and forced to leave the people she loves, or she can become a VII and join the most powerful family in the country.

If she says yes, Kitty will be Masked—surgically transformed into Lila Hart, the Prime Minister's niece, who died under mysterious circumstances. As a member of the Hart family, she will be famous. She will be adored. And for the first time, she will matter.

There's only one catch. She must also stop the rebellion that Lila secretly fostered, the same one that got her killed …and one Kitty believes in. Faced with threats, conspiracies and a life that's not her own, she must decide which path to choose—and learn how to become more than a pawn in a twisted game she's only beginning to understand.

Aimee Carter strikes again! Pawn was so much more than I expected.

I'll be honest, I wasn't expecting much. I totally judged the book by its cover (which doesn't do much for me). BUT, when I started reading I was hooked.

Aimee Carter is an amazing story teller. A-mazing. I was captivated, and I couldn't pull myself away until I finished.

I love dystopians. I devour them. Reading do many books in the same genre makes it very hard to find something that feels fresh and original. I was worried that Pawn would not be new. I worried for nothing! It was like nothing I have read before. NOTHING. Imagine part Scott Westerfield's The Uglies series with serious spy action. If you can do that, you might have Pawn slightly figured out.

What is so great about this book you might ask? That's a hard one to pin down.

First, the plot is incredible. It's super fast paced, but doesn't feel rushed. It's complicated. You feel torn because your emotions are tested. Who do you hate? Who do you support? Is that guy that's growing on you "good" or is he some dastardly character in disguise?

Then, there is the writing. The dialogue is very witty. Kitty is another great female lead. She's resourceful, but also too quick to make decisions. She's constantly doing things that might not end up so well for her. But that's ok, because she can think on her feet. She's also devoted to the one she loves. As I read, it felt like I was living the scenes. The dialogue was perfectly paced and believable. It didn't feel forced.

Which brings me to another thing I loved about Pawn: the characters. Kitty feels emotions with an intensity that is heart wrenching. She has to watch so many people she cares about suffer, while others live lavishly. She is sick of it all, and ready to take a stand... but where is that going to lead her? The heroes are extra bold, and the villains are sinister. (Think "The Most Dangerous Game" here.) They are also layered more than a Floridian in a snow storm. Every time you think you have one character figured out, there is a twist.

I would be kidding myself if I didn't say I consider The Blackcoat Rebellion series to be "the next big thing" in dystopians. There is going to be a lot of buzz about these books, mark my words. I've already added it to my YA book club list for next year!

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