Friday, November 27, 2015

Stacking the Shelves (89) ~ How to Be Brave Beyond the Red

This is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews where we share what books we have recently added to our physical or virtual shelves. I like to use the meme to also give a recap of the week's posts.
Book Haul
Giveaway Prize
Thank you to Melanie Hays @ Melanie's Musings and St. Martin's Press for How to Be Brave!

E-ARCs
Thank you to Sky Pony Press and Edelweiss for a review copy of this book!

A Non-Bookish Haul
Thank you so much to Stephanie @ Reading is Better With Cupcakes (my #OTSPSecretSister) for these goodies!! 
Weekly Recap
Posts
Review ~ The Awesome by Eva Darrows
Shorter Review Roundup

Reading
I finished Winter and Not If I See You First, I'm currently reading Come Back To Me, The Girl From Everywhere, and The Walls Around Us. I have a large pile of books that I'm picking my next reads from (as well as a list of ebooks).

Life
This week was horrible (school stress, bad mood, life stress, everything else), and I don't see things looking up for another couple weeks. *buckles self in for bumpy ride* Things will get better eventually, though. I just have to be patient.

I did some Black Friday shopping on BookOutlet, so I'll have some new books to share in a couple weeks. I'm participating in the #holidaycramathon, which is going on until December 13th! Is anyone else participating?

That's it for me this week! How about you? How did your week go?

Monday, November 23, 2015

Shorter Review Roundup

Until We Meet Again by Renee Collins
Series: standalone
Genre: YA time travel romance
Publication Date: November 3rd, 2015
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Goodreads Description: 
They exist in two different centuries, but their love defies time

Cassandra craves drama and adventure, so the last thing she wants is to spend her summer marooned with her mother and stepfather in a snooty Massachusetts shore town. But when a dreamy stranger shows up on their private beach claiming it's his own—and that the year is 1925—she is swept into a mystery a hundred years in the making.

As she searches for answers in the present, Cassandra discovers a truth that puts their growing love—and Lawrence's life—into jeopardy. Desperate to save him, Cassandra must find a way to change history…or risk losing Lawrence forever. 
Why I Read This Book
I may be guilty of reading this one mostly based on the cover. Whoops. :D I was curious about the time travel aspect, too! The romance sounded nice. Plus, I've heard of Renee Collins, but hadn't tried anything by her until Until We Meet Again.
Review
Source: I was given access to an e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Until We Meet Again started out well. It was a romantic notion, two strangers meeting on a beach to find out they're in different centuries. They fall in love and try to defy time and a seemingly inevitable event. However, that's it. After about 60% through, I started realizing there just was not much to this book. It's disappointing!

Since I DNFed it, I know I missed important time travel explanations, but the time travel wasn't the lackluster element. There wasn't much to the characters. I kinda liked the girl's voice and the way her personality popped off the page in the beginning. The other characters we're lacking, though. There were family members in both time periods, but they weren't fleshed out. There were a couple characters that the main ones were expected, in a way, to date. They weren't love interests, but I would've liked to see them fleshed out.

The romance...*sighs* Insta love. It seemed to come out of thin air. It became too deep too quickly and there didn't seem to be a big enough foundation for it to be convincing. I didn't see a strong connection between them, and when they started saying things that indicated deeper feelings, I was thrown off. Where did they come from? Why did those feelings develop? It was tough to want to continue reading, especially when there seemed to be so little else to the story.

I wish this went better for me, but it wasn't for me. I wanted more from the book than it was giving me.
Did Not Finish
The Unquiet by Mikaela Everett
Series: standalone
Genre: YA science fiction
Publication Date: September 22nd, 2015
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository
Goodreads Description: 
For most of her life, Lirael has been training to kill—and replace—a duplicate version of herself on a parallel Earth. She is the perfect sleeper-soldier. But she’s beginning to suspect she is not a good person.

The two Earths are identical in almost every way. Two copies of every city, every building, even every person. But the people from the second Earth know something their duplicates do not—two versions of the same thing cannot exist. They—and their whole planet—are slowly disappearing. Lira has been trained mercilessly since childhood to learn everything she can about her duplicate, to be a ruthless sleeper-assassin who kills that other Lirael and steps seamlessly into her life.

An intricate, literary stand-alone from an astonishing new voice, The Unquiet takes us deep inside the psyche of a strong teenage heroine struggling with what she has been raised to be and who she really is. Fans of eerily futuristic and beautifully crafted stories such as Never Let Me Go, Orphan Black, and Fringe will find themselves haunted by this unsettling debut. 
Why I Read This Book
Doesn't it sound amazing? I was so excited for this book the moment I discovered it. The cover definitely caught my eye, but the description is what piqued my interest the most. I love the concept of parallel universes/worlds! 
Review
Source: I was given access to an e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The Unquiet is one of those books I've DNFed because I lost too much interest in over time. It started off a little rocky--it was hard to get into--but then it became really interesting. There was a unique world and a dreamlike vibe that intrigued me. I really liked the writing! It gave the feeling things weren't completely grounded in reality. The characters felt numb, which makes sense considering they were raised to not feel much. They were raised to be tools of war, and I looked forward to seeing how they would break out of that.

However, I started losing interest quickly around halfway through. I just wasn't interested in reading further in the book. I wasn't invested in the story enough to want to know what happened next. It's possible that I'll try The Unquiet again because it really did have some great elements, but that probably won't happen soon.
 
Did Not Finish
This Monstrous Thing by Mackenzi Lee
Series: standalone
Genre: YA steampunk/historical fiction
Publication Date: September 22nd, 2015
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository
Goodreads Description
In 1818 Geneva, men built with clockwork parts live hidden away from society, cared for only by illegal mechanics called Shadow Boys. Two years ago, Shadow Boy Alasdair Finch’s life shattered to bits.

His brother, Oliver—dead.

His sweetheart, Mary—gone.

His chance to break free of Geneva—lost.

Heart-broken and desperate, Alasdair does the unthinkable: He brings Oliver back from the dead.

But putting back together a broken life is more difficult than mending bones and adding clockwork pieces. Oliver returns more monster than man, and Alasdair’s horror further damages the already troubled relationship.

Then comes the publication of Frankenstein and the city intensifies its search for Shadow Boys, aiming to discover the real life doctor and his monster. Alasdair finds refuge with his idol, the brilliant Dr. Geisler, who may offer him a way to escape the dangerous present and his guilt-ridden past, but at a horrible price only Oliver can pay… 
Why I Read This Book
I picked it up because of the hype. I had a feeling that I would regret not picking it up from Edelweiss, so I downloaded it! 
Review
Source: I was given access to an e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I could tell This Monstrous Thing was well written. It was just the feeling--I knew I was reading a great book. The atmosphere was intriguing and the take on Frankenstein was creative. I loved that it focused on brothers and had a mechanical side. I also loved that the original book was IN this retelling. There was very little romance, which seemed to suit the book well. The book had a nice ending and good themes.

Sooo . . . why didn't I like it very much? You would think that if I know reading a great book, I would like reading it. Nope. This Monstrous Thing just wasn't my thing. We didn't click. It had a lot of nice parts and I can see why so many people have praised it, but I didn't find myself swept up by what I was reading.
My Rating:

Review ~ The Awesome by Eva Darrows

Series: standalone
Genre: YA paranormal
Publication Date: May 26th, 2015
Publisher: Ravenstone
Purchase: Amazon | B&N
Goodreads Description: 
Seventeen-year-old Maggie Cunningham is tough, smart, and sassy. She's also not like other girls her age, but then, who would be when the family business is monster hunting? Combat boots, ratty hooded sweatshirts, and hair worn short so nothing with claws can get a grip, Maggie's concerns in life slant more toward survival than fashion or boys. Which presents a problem when Maggie's mother informs Maggie that she can't get her journeyman's license for hunting until she loses her virginity.

Something about virgin blood turning vampires into pointy rage monsters. Blood and gore and insides being on the outside and all that. 

Maggie's battled ghosts and goblins and her fair share of house brownies, but finding herself a boy - fitting in with her peers - proves a much more daunting task than any monster hunt. Did you know normal girls don't stuff their bras with holy water balloons? Nor do they carry wooden stakes in their waistbands. And they care about things like "matching" and "footwear." Of course, they also can't clean a gun blindfolded, shoot a crossbow, or exorcise ghosts from a house. Which means they're lame and Maggie's not. Because Maggie's awesome. The Awesome, in fact. Just ask her. She'd be more than happy to tell you. 

After she finds herself a date. 
Why I Read This Book
This book looked like so much FUN. It also looked like it had some pretty good themes. When it was included in the October #DahlBC, I decided it was time to read it.☺
Review
Source: Giveaway prize

I have to say that the title of The Awesome fits the book very well. It proved to be an awesome read!

I really liked how crass Maggie was! (She may not come off that way to everyone . . . it depends on the reader.) She said a LOT of "rude" (or what could be considered rude by several people) things. Her voice was very different from so many others in YA, which helped make this book stand out. Her thoughts were honest and unfiltered, and I LOVED THAT.

Maggie's relationship with her mom was one of the best parts! There was an open relationship, though there were still a lot of tension between them. Her mom felt like she had screwed up, which helped throw up some hurdles in the relationship. She was awesome, though. She was a badass. This woman wasn't someone you would ever want to cross because she would probably break down your door. She was also very understanding and protective of her daughter. Maggie and her mom had quite few fights, but they still managed to talk things out and resolve their issues. There was a lot of communication despite the moments where they didn't do so well with talking to one another.

Sex was handled pretty well, I think. The book was incredibly open about it. There was awkwardness and the scenes weren't made out to be more sensual than they actually were. Maggie's unfiltered thoughts especially made an impression here because she worried about a lot of things that weren't mentioned in most of the YA I've read. It all seemed very . . . realistic (from what I can gather). Plus, there was no fade to black. One of my favorite things about how the subject was handled was how Maggie's approach and attitude towards sex changed throughout the book. At the beginning, she set out to just get it done and over with so she could get her journeyman's license, but that changes as her story progresses.

The feel of The Awesome had a certain frankness to it. It wasn't censored or pulled back in order to appeal to readers, which just made it more appealing. The language sure isn't for everyone, but it fit Maggie and the book as a whole. It wasn't "polite" or "ladylike" or whatever. I loved how that made the book feel more honest and memorable.

Overall, The Awesome was a fun ride that is sure to leave an impression on readers. There were positive and honest portrayals of mother/daughter relationships as well as sex. Plus, there were vampires and other supernatural creatures! I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for an awesome read!
My Rating:

Friday, November 20, 2015

Stacking the Shelves (88) ~ Stocking Up on More Review Copies (Part Two)

This is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews where we share what books we have recently added to our physical or virtual shelves. I like to use the meme to also give a recap of the week's posts.
Book Haul
Print ARC
Thank you so much to Erin L. Schneider for the Summer of Sloane ARC and all that beautiful swag! :)

E-ARCs
I received quite a few more contemporaries. :D About 3/4 of 2016 review pile is made up of contemporary novels right now.

Thank you to Random House Books for Young Readers, Simon Pulse, Chronicle Books, Scholastic, Doubleday, Atria Books, Netgalley, and Edelweiss for these review copies!

Bought
The Archers of Avalon is one of Holly's favorite series and therefore it's on the list of recommendations I need to read. I got this one for $0.99 for my Kindle! It may still be that price...
Weekly Recap
Posts

Soo...all reviews!
Reading
I finished Underwater this week! I'm still reading Winter and I've made it about halfway through Come Back To Me.

Life
What DID happen? *tries to remember* Not much happened! It was a good social week. I spent a lot of money on Christmas gifts. I also spent way too much time playing games on my phone and procrastinating.

Random story: I had lunch with friends the other day, which is slightly out of the ordinary. I mean, we normally hang out each day I'm at the college, but we rarely ever eat at the same time. We all got food at the same time that time, though, and it was really nice. There's something nice about sitting down and having a meal with a group of people. (Can you tell I rarely do this?)

That's it for me this week! How about you? How did your week go?

Review ~ Frosh: First Blush by Mónica B. Wagner

Series: Frosh #1
Genre: NA contemporary
Publication Date: October 20th, 2015
Publisher: The Studio/Paper Lantern Lit
Purchase: Amazon | B&N
Goodreads Description: 
During welcome week at Hillson University, the FROSH will hit the fan.

Type-A aspiring journalist Ellie plans to take freshman year by storm. But hell-bent on breaking a huge on-campus scandal, she risks becoming one herself—and getting the mysterious, heart-melting QB in serious trouble. 

Grant, star quarterback and charismatic chick-magnet, is hiding a life-altering secret. The last thing he needs is an overeager (absolutely adorable) journalist asking questions. He’s got a reputation to protect.

High-society legacy student Devon is ready to catch the football hottie of her dreams. If the tabloids feature her with the “it” boy on her arm, her tainted past will be buried—or so she thinks.

Charlie, pre-med, is done being the sweet and funny geek that girls like Devon ignore. But if he tries to impress her with a new edgy, spontaneous attitude, will his heart end up in the emergency room?

FROSH intertwines the stories of Ellie, Grant, Devon, and Charlie in Mónica B. Wagner’s sexy NA debut series, about falling in love and falling apart. 
Why I Read This Book
It's NA! And it looked fun! There's really not much else to add. :D
Review
Source: I was given access to an e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Hmm . . . I don't know about this one. There were sure parts that I enjoyed, but the book as a whole felt like it stuck to the surface. There was more to the characters than met the eye, but it still didn't dig deeper. It made the book feel shallow and surface-bound. There could've been MORE to the characters and the story.

What was good? I rooted many of the characters on! I really liked Charlie and Devon as love interests. They were opposites, which tends to make me more interested in a romance (I like seeing how differences are overcome). I would've loved to see more of them. More interaction. More connection. I didn't like the other couple quite as much, though they seemed pretty good in the beginning. Their relationship felt a bit meh after something actually happened between the characters. Their connection was buried by the drama instead of flaring despite it.

There were four characters with 3rd person POVs, and it felt a bit too much. I had a tougher time connecting to the book because of it, which probably helped give the book a shallow feeling for me.

Overall, Frosh: First Blush had its fun and dramatic moments. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't great either. There is a lot of potential for the sequel, though. There was a hint of scandal that I can see being brought more to light. The romance has the potential to get better, too.
My Rating:

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Review ~ Something in the Air by Marie Landry

Series: standalone
Genre: NA contemporary
Publication Date: November 10th, 2015
Publisher: Marie Landry
Purchase: Amazon | B&N
Goodreads Description: 
Her life hasn't gone as planned, but she's about to realize that sometimes the best things happen when you stop expecting life to be a certain way...

When Rose Morgan put off her college plans to help her mother through a difficult time, she thought it would just be a bump in the road of her journey. She got a job to help pay the bills and started picking up the slack at home. But three years later, her bumpy ride hasn’t smoothed out yet, and Rose feels stuck. She’s working at a job she hates and living with a manipulative mother. She’s tired of feeling like her life has stalled, tired of the resentment and anger building inside her with each passing day.

Then Declan Connelly appears in her life, and even though the hot Irishman is seriously tempting, Rose is determined not to let him in. She’s afraid to suck anyone into her bizarre life, especially someone who seems too charming for his own good. She soon learns there’s more to Declan than his sexy accent and charismatic personality, though. He’s a good man, and he wants Rose in his life, baggage and all. He’s got his own, and he isn’t scared away like she originally feared he would be. 

Everything in Rose’s life is changing quickly. It’s finally her time--time to figure out what she wants and what her future holds. Time to get swept off her feet and not fight it. But when her plans might take her away from all the amazing new things in her life, including Declan, Rose has to make a choice. Is she willing to chase her dreams, even if it means letting go of love? 
Why I Read This Book
I've been wanting to read one of Marie Landry's books ever since I interviewed her in the beginning of the year! When I got a review request from her publicist, yes was the only answer. I was pretty excited to get an opportunity to review Marie's latest book.
Review
Source: I was given access to an e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Something in the Air was a sweet New Adult novel about following your dreams and starting a new adventure. I had quite a few issues with it, but I still liked what I read.

Let's start with the good parts! Their was a fantastic platonic relationship that I was so happy to see. I don't see strong ones as much as I should, so that was one of my favorite parts of this book. Their was also a family focus. Rose had a very rocky relationship with her mom, and I kinda . . . liked seeing that. That's weird to write, but it added conflict--way more conflict than the rest of the book seemed to have. It sucked that the relationship was so bad, but I liked seeing how Rose handled it. Other than that part, the book didn't have much drama. It had a nice story! Also, the love interest was really sweet and lovable. 

Now, for the not-so-good parts. I'm not quite sure how to explain this, but I didn't get a great vibe from the book. It didn't feel genuine. So many of the feelings, reactions, etc. carried a forced positive/happy/optimistic feeling that didn't even disappear when the characters were unhappy. It felt the way platitudes or small talk oftentimes feel (for me, at least). The positive vibe of the book would've been fine if it didn't seem so forced.

Also, most of the conflict seemed to be smoothed over in a . . . quick, easy way, even when the characters said they were having a hard time. This kinda threw me off a little. I got the impression that more telling than demonstrating of feelings was going on. 

Overall, Something in the Air was a decent NA, but I can't call it great. I wish it had a more genuine feel to it. It could've made the book so much better! I'll still check out more of this author's books, though, since I've heard great things about the other ones.
My Rating:

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Review ~ Just Visiting by Dahlia Adler

Series: standalone
Genre: YA contemporary
Publication Date: November 17th, 2015
Publisher: Spencer Hill Contemporary
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository

Goodreads Description: 
Reagan Forrester wants out—out of her trailer park, out of reach of her freeloading mother, and out of the shadow of the relationship that made her the pariah of Charytan, Kansas. 

Victoria Reyes wants in—in to a fashion design program, in to the arms of a cute guy who doesn't go to Charytan High, and in to a city where she won't stand out for being Mexican. 

One thing the polar-opposite best friends do agree on is that wherever they go, they’re staying together. But when they set off on a series of college visits at the start of their senior year, they quickly see that the future doesn’t look quite like they expected. After two years of near-solitude following the betrayal of the ex-boyfriend who broke her heart, Reagan falls hard and fast for a Battlestar Galactica-loving, brilliant smile-sporting pre-med prospective... only to learn she's set herself up for heartbreak all over again. Meanwhile, Victoria runs full-speed toward all the things she thinks she wants… only to realize everything she’s looking for might be in the very place they've sworn to leave. 

As both Reagan and Victoria struggle to learn who they are and what they want in the present, they discover just how much they don't know about each other's pasts. And when each learns what the other’s been hiding, they'll have to decide whether their friendship has a future. 
Why I Read This Book
Pretty much all I remember knowing about this book before going into it was that 1) it was by Dahlia Adler, 2) it focused on two friends, and 3) it was YA contemporary. I don't think I even read the official description for it until drafting this post. I guess that means Dahlia Adler is officially one of my auto-read authors!
Review
Source: I was given access to an e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Just Visiting was a breath of fresh air! It was nice, quick read. It wasn't too heavy, but I wouldn't call it fluffy. The story was one that can give you a lot to think about. The best thing, though, was the friendship.

There was a much stronger focus on friendship than on romance, which I absolutely loved. A lot of times (in the YA and NA I usually read), it feels like romance is a Big Thing and the friendship is something on the sidelines that contributes to the story. In Just Visiting, it was the opposite. There were hookups, crushes, banter, and a date or two, but the spotlight on romance stayed very small. Instead, it was mostly on friendship (and college/life after high school stuff). Reagan and Victoria had a fantastic bond! Even though they went through some issues, that bond never weakened. It just got stronger. Their friendship strengthened as they discovered new things about each other. There was a lot of support between the two of them, too.

Reagan had a certain roughness to her. She didn't let people in. She jumped into things quickly. She made soooo many mistakes, which just made her more relatable and realistic. Reagan was also . . . actually kinda annoying, but not in a way that made me love her any less. I had a similar attitude as her (not quite rough, but I really wanted to get out of my home town) in my senior year. She also struggled with disclosing certain personal info to her closest friend, which is similar to what I went through this year. So, she had qualities that I didn't like seeing in myself in the past. My little bit of annoyance was mainly due to me feeling the urge to shake her and say, "hey, snap out of it!" It actually made me like her more.

Victoria was also a pretty relatable character, but in different ways. My road to college was more like hers than it was Reagan's (well, disregarding my attitude towards the process). I found Victoria to be very fun and supportive. She had a huge heart and a lot of enthusiasm.

The focus on college/life after high school was GREAT. It felt realistic and very helpful. I also loved the focus on going down the path you want to go down, not the one you think you're supposed to choose.

I do have one negative thing to say about this book. I had a tough time distinguishing Reagan and Victoria's POVs in the beginning! Sometimes I had to backtrack to check what name was at the beginning of the section. I had a tough time sorting out which background info and family details belonged to who. Later on in the book, the voices became much more distinct. The differences in their personalities helped with that.

Overall, Just Visiting is the book you want to read if you're looking for a fantastic YA friendship. I especially recommend it to those in their junior year or at the start of their senior year. I also highly recommend it to anyone who have had bumps in friendships (which I imagine applies to everyone). No matter which of those groups you're in, there's so much for many readers to relate to in this book.
My Rating:

Review ~ Surviving Ice by K.A. Tucker

Series: Burying Water #4
Genre: NA contemporary/suspense
Publication Date: October 27th, 2015
Publisher: Atria Books
Goodreads Description
The USA TODAY bestselling author of the Ten Tiny Breaths series and Burying Water—which Kirkus Reviews called “a sexy, romantic, gangster-tinged page-turner”—returns with a new novel packed with romance, plot twists, and psychological suspense.

Ivy, a talented tattoo artist who spent the early part of her twenties on the move, is finally looking for a place to call home. She thinks she might have found it in San Francisco, but all that changes when she witnesses a terrible crime. She’s ready to pack up her things yet again, when a random encounter with a stranger keeps her in the city, giving her reason to stay after all.

That is, until Ivy discovers that their encounter wasn’t random. Not at all… 
Why I Read This Book
I've really enjoyed the Burying Water series! Ivy has been my favorite character since she was introduced in book one. There was just something about her that made her stand out from all the others. I was so excited to read her story!
Review
Source: I was given access to an e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Surviving Ice was my favorite book of the Burying Water series! I connected to this one more than I did the previous books. I liked the characters, plot, and romance more as well.

I loved Sebastian! He was a little strange because he was so still (as in, the way he carried himself), yet very flirty. He was a former Navy seal with lots of baggage and many big secrets. He didn't think he was the best guy to be with, so he didn't get close to people.

Ivy was amazing. I discovered she would have her own story right after I met her in Burying Water. She only showed up for a little bit, but I was so excited to read her book. She's a very memorable character. Her personality was one that came to life one the pages, and she was a wonderful character to get to know. I loved how tough she was and how well she handled situations. I loved that she also had a vulnerable side, though, because it allowed me to get to know her more.

Ivy and Sebastian were very well matched. Both had tough exteriors. Neither got close to many people, but they still had their soft sides. Ivy's was more pronounced because she was a more vulnerable than he was in this book. Hints of his softer side was shown as he started to care more and more for Ivy. He also carried a lot of guilt and worry. Ivy and Sebastian's shells cracked in different ways, and I really liked seeing how they handled it individually and how they reacted to one another. He came on pretty strong sometimes, but Ivy could handle it. I loved seeing how close they became.

I really liked the plot and suspense. The Alliance, the video tape, the secrets: there were intriguing elements. The suspense was exciting! It was easy to be absorbed in what was happening.

All of the other K.A. Tucker books I've read felt a little flat, but Surviving Ice didn't come off that way. I could easily feel the emotions the characters were feeling. (I find that kinda funny since both Ivy and Sebastian tried not to be very emotional.)

Overall, Surviving Ice ended a romantic, suspenseful companion series strongly. I loved getting to know Ivy and Sebastian and watching them grow through overcoming hurdles both individually and as a couple.
My Rating:

Saturday, November 14, 2015

DNF Review ~ Rikki by Abigail Strom

Series: standalone
Genre: NA contemporary
Publication Date: September 22nd, 2015
Publisher: Abigail Strom
Goodreads

Goodreads Description:
Ever since junior high and an ill-fated game of seven minutes in heaven, Rikki Eisendrath and Sam Payne have hated each others’ guts. But when they end up at the same college—and the same dorm—they figure it’s time to declare a truce. 

They even become friends… sort of. But when Sam asks Rikki to model for his sculpting project, they start spending more time together—and her feelings for him get more complicated. 

She tries to focus on the guy she’s been crushing on instead. But Sam’s the one she can’t stop thinking about, even though their arguments are starting to heat up as much as the chemistry between them.

With antagonism and attraction this intense, there’s bound to be an explosion. But when the dust settles, will Sam and Rikki be enemies, friends… or something more? 
Why I Read This Book
I've been really into New Adult lately, and this caught my eye as I was browsing Netgalley. It looked like a story I would like!
Review
Source: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rikki wasn't a horrible book. I loved the idea of the story. Sam and Rikki had decent chemistry. Rikki's roommate was pretty cool. There was a variety of characters. The sculpting scenes were fun.

However, I had some big issues the book that made me give up on it at 88 percent (even though I didn't have much left to read).

First, the book seemed to try almost too hard to be positive (about sex, body image, choices, etc.), which rubbed me the wrong way. Positivity is a great thing! Forced positivity isn't as great. It didn't feel genuine in this book. Such a big point was made to ensure that positivity actually did exist in the characters' attitudes. I would've preferred it if it felt like a natural thing. I started feeling put off by this early on, and it never faded.

The cast of characters were flat. I would've loved to get to know them, like Rikki's moms or her new friends, a lot more than I had. Even Rikki and Sam weren't fleshed out enough for me to love them. The characters had the potential to be amazing, but they weren't.

There was a twist around 88 percent that made me realize how formulaic the book was. A book can follow a formula and still be amazing, but when it starts feeling obviously formulaic, I have a tough time wanting to continue reading it. That's what happened with Rikki. A twist I see over and over and over again popped up. I may have not minded it if it was pulled off better or if I liked the book more, but that wasn't the case. I lost all interest in continuing the book, so I decided to move on.

Overall, I wasn't happy with Rikki. Despite the good parts I mentioned at the beginning of this review, the issues I had far outweighed them.
Did Not Finish