Thursday, March 27, 2014

Mini-Reviews ~ Elusion, Ask Again Later, & Maybe One Day


Elusion by Claudia Gabel & Cheryl Klam
Genre: YA science fiction
Pages: 400
Publication date: March 18th, 2014
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Goodreads Description: 
Soon, Elusion® will change the world and life as we know it.

A new technology called Elusion is sweeping the country. An app, visor and wristband will virtually transport you to an exotic destination where adventure can be pursued without the complications—or consequences—of real life.

Regan is an Elusion insider. Or at least she used to be. Her father invented the program, and her best friend, Patrick, heir to the tech giant Orexis, is about to release it nationwide. But ever since her father’s unexpected death, Regan can’t bear to Escape, especially since waking up from the dream means crashing back to her grim reality.

Still, when there are rumors of trouble in Elusion—accusations that it’s addictive and dangerous— Regan is determined to defend it. But the critics of Elusion come from surprising sources, including Josh, the handsome skeptic with his own personal stakes. As Regan investigates the claims, she discovers a disturbing web of secrets. She will soon have to choose between love and loyalty…a decision that will affect the lives of millions.

Suspense, thrills, and romance fuel this near-future story about the seductive nature of a perfect virtual world, and how far one girl will go to uncover the truth behind the illusions. 
Source: I received an e-arc of this book from the publisher through Edelweiss in return for an honest review. 

Oh, Elusion. What do I say about you? 

Sadly, not much stood out to me about this book. It was by no means bad. It just wasn't . . . great. I'm not really disappointed, but I'm not jumping to recommend it either. The concept of Elusion® made the story a good one, as did the mystery aspect. Those were what held my interest throughout the entire book. Also, the last ten percent of the book was so bizarre, but in a good way--it was cool and different, and it made me interested in reading the sequel someday. There wasn't much about the characters, plot, or world that jumped out to me, though. 

Nevertheless, I enjoyed reading the book. Overall, Elusion was actually a pretty nice read. It just didn't hold much memorability or stand out very much.

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Ask Again Later by Liz Czukas
Series: standalone
Genre: YA contemporary
Pages: 336
Publication date: March 11th, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Goodreads Description: 
Despite what her name might suggest, Heart has zero interest in complicated romance. So when her brilliant plan to go to prom with a group of friends is disrupted by two surprise invites, Heart knows there's only one drama-free solution: flip a coin.

Heads: The jock. He might spend all night staring at his ex or throw up in the limo, but how bad can her brother's best friend really be?

Tails: The theater geek...with a secret. What could be better than a guy who shares all Heart's interests--even if he wants to share all his feelings?

Heart's simple coin flip has somehow given her the chance to live out both dates. But where her prom night ends up might be the most surprising thing of all... 
Source: I received an e-arc of this book from the publisher through Edelweiss in return for an honest review. 

Ask Again Later was a cute, fun, and creative read--ultimately, it was a book I was glad I got the opportunity to read. I don't have a lot to say about it, but I'll briefly tell you why I enjoyed it.

First of all, it's as cute as its cover! It's not at all a heavy read. Instead, it was really lighthearted. I initially thought the book would be too light for me, but thankfully, other parts balanced the lightness out. There was a super sweet romance that I think many readers would enjoy (no insta-love, no love triangle). Most of the romance wasn't until the end, though, but it was led up to really nicely. Many fun and creative events were spread throughout the book (the trunk scene is a personal favorite), which kept me interested the entire way. The way the story was set up--alternating between two versions of prom night--was really creative as well. Lastly, the prom was relatable. I could imagine, and remember in some cases, some of the things in the book's prom happening at my own in junior year. That just made the book all the more enjoyable and memorable.

Overall, Ask Again Later is so worth reading! It's lighthearted and fun, but because it was creative and relatable, the book was a memorable one.


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Series: standalone
Genre: YA contemporary
Pages: 382 (for ARC)
Publication date: February 18th, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Goodreads Description: 
Critically acclaimed author Melissa Kantor masterfully captures the joy of friendship, the agony of loss, and the unique experience of being a teenager in this poignant new novel about a girl grappling with her best friend's life-threatening illness.

Zoe and her best friend, Olivia, have always had big plans for the future, none of which included Olivia getting sick. Still, Zoe is determined to put on a brave face and be positive for her friend.

Even when she isn't sure what to say.

Even when Olivia misses months of school.

Even when Zoe starts falling for Calvin, Olivia's crush.

The one thing that keeps Zoe moving forward is knowing that Olivia will beat this, and everything will go back to the way it was before. It has to. Because the alternative is too terrifying for her to even imagine.

In this incandescent page-turner, which follows in the tradition of The Fault in Our Stars, Melissa Kantor artfully explores the idea that the worst thing to happen to you might not be something that is actually happening to you. Raw, irreverent, and honest, Zoe's unforgettable voice and story will stay with readers long after the last page is turned.
Source: I read an ARC copy I received through ARCycling.

I loved every moment of Maybe One Day. It was such an amazing story of friendship and love. It made me cry (a lot), but not every one of my tears were out of sadness. There were happy tears, too. Everything from the romance to the characters to the story itself worked for me. There was a very negative main character that saw a lot of character growth. There was a great friendship between Olivia and Zoe. There were many small details from early on in the story that became much more important and meaningful later (like the hair). There was even an amazing ending that tied up the book really well.

Overall, Maybe One Day was a heartbreaking book that left me with a book hangover. I know I didn't do a very good job explaining the book in this review, but I absolutely loved reading this book and I think many more readers will love reading it too.

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My questions for you:

Do you ever feel at a complete loss of what to say about a book?
What makes a lighthearted book memorable for you?

6 comments:

  1. Completely agree about Ask Again Later - I had so much fun reading that book, and the end had me swooning. :)

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  2. Ahhh the cover for Elusion looks amazing, and the idea of being able to travel to any destination/world you want? I might still read it, but I've already read so many reviews saying that the concept wasn't executed right, or that so much more could be done.

    Maybe One Day sounds like a really good tear-jerker. I'm glad you liked it :)

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    1. I say try Elusion if you can check it out from the library or a friend! It's worth at least trying. :)

      Maybe One Day is definitely a tear-jerker. So sad, but so good!

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  3. Itty bitty baby reviews! Cute! I've never done mini-reviews because I feel like I'm cheating the (review) book a little if I don't fully express myself. But it saves time and post space so I see the benefits :)

    I loved Elusion! It was actually my first read of 2014. I've heard some glowy amazing things about Ask Again Later from several trusted bloggers, and now a good rating from you, so I will have to look into reading it! I don't plan on reading Maybe One Day (it's not really my thing, unfortunately), but I do love the new purple cover - purple is my favorite color :D

    Great mini reviews, Kaitlin!

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

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    Replies
    1. I'm not very good at fully expressing myself (I've always had a problem with details, but thankfully I'm getting better), so my reviews tend to be shorter ones (though usually longer than these ones).

      I hope you do read Ask Again Later! It's worth reading. :) Purple is my favorite color too!

      Thank you, Alyssa.

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