Megan @ The Book Babe's Reads

I'm a seventeen year old girl from the states, and I love love love to read! I spend a lot of my time on the internet, and I'm totally addicted to books!

The Bone Season

The Bone Season - Samantha Shannon

I had this really great intro planned, but unfortunately, I didn't write down when I thought of it; so it's just completely buried in the crevices of my mind - a truly scary thought. So that's been lost. But I have a new one... kind of.


I guess I'll start out by saying that I did enjoy The Bone Season - and the reason the rating is only because of how slow the reading went. Otherwise, it would have been a solid four stars. But as is, it's only 3.5. I guess it was just a little hard for me to process everything as I was reading it - I had to keep taking breaks. But other than that, I really didn't have any problems with it.


I liked the futuristic world building, which was rich and interesting. It's always a good thing when the author makes such an effort to make the world something special. The descriptions and experiences were weird and lucid and beautiful.


Also, the dystopian society was very interesting. I'd have never thought of such a complex world of seers and Rephaim; not to mention the tinfoil hat-ness that made my inner conspiracy theorist so happy!


On another note, the relationship between Paige and Warden really confused me. For most of the book, it felt like Paige really hated Warden, but it also felt like she just had to help him, no matter how much she despised him. Which was kind of amazing. We rarely see badass female characters that have a sense of compassion, and I loved that Samantha Shannon gave us that. She was softhearted, but she tried to hide it behind a tough exterior.


Warden, on the other hand, was much harder to get a read on. He was compassionate as well, but he just wasn't around near as much as Paige, so I didn't really form a big attachment to him. He was okay, but not that fabulous. I liked them together, and that kiss was fantabulous, but I'll have to read more about him before I truly make a decision on his character.


All in all, The Bone Season was an interesting read. I liked it, even if it was a little slow. And I really liked the fact that the ending was a huge surprise. I wasn't disappointed about it at all, but it was definitely a shock.



Wildflower - Alecia Whitaker

Due to copy and paste, formatting has been lost.

I'll be straight up with you - I didn't know what to expect from Wildflower. I loved Aleica's debut novel, The Queen of Kentucky, but I didn't know if I would like this one or not. So when I got the chance to read this one, I jumped straight on it. I was expecting a story similar to Ricki Jo's, and while I didn't get that, it was actually just as good.

I loved Bird's voice! She seemed like a totally normal teenager, aside from the living in a travel trailer for the past ten years... (is it ten? I think so). She was pretty down to earth, and she was very set in her ways, which I found really endearing. She was a terribly sweet girl, and insanely enthusiastic. Which was really cute, but sometimes her enthusiasm ran the show, which caused some problems. But she never intentionally hurt anyone, even if she did accidentally.

I found the traveling thing to be so cool - it just seemed very fun and interesting. And it really strengthened the relationship between Bird and her siblings, whose relationship I found to be very true to life. They all had a very normal, joking relationship, which I just adored! It's not very often that you find a good sibling relationship within a young adult book.

Now I'll move on to the actual plotting of the novel. It was pretty good! I liked the way that it all played out. But I'm really not sure that Bird thought about the ramifications of the deal when she took it. It seemed like the record company tried really hard to change Bird, and I didn't really like that. But I did like the fact that they couldn't change her personality - she stayed the same old bubbly Bird throughout the book.

I will admit to thinking that Adam was going to break Bird's heart, though. It just seems logical, with all of the broken hearts make the best songs and such - and that's true, but it just kind of freaked me out. Fortunately, it didn't all go down the way I thought it would, and I liked that. I really had to reevaluate my opinion of Adam, which I rarely have to do, and it was a good experience for me.

Wildflower didn't have the ending I expected at all, and I just had to love that surprise. It was a tiny bit bittersweet, but I still liked it. All in all, I'd have to say that Alecia Whitaker still has it, even after her debut novel being such a winner. Four stars!


Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend

Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend  - Katie Finn

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Let's just be honest here: doesn't this just look like the cutest summer revenge read? It does. But it really fell short of it's potential for me. For me it's sometimes just a little too hard to understand the motivation for revenge, and BHFaOTtM just didn't have a very plausible plot for me. Why spend most of your life plotting revenge for something that happened when you were a kid? You should just build a bridge and get over it!

Once I finished reading it, all I could think was "bleh, this is a series? Why?" Because it seemed like this all should have ended in the first book, since it was stupid to begin with. But I digress. BHFaOTtM was pretty cheesy on top of being dumb... which kind of upset me. It was easy to guess what would happen next, and I found myself predicting everything before it happened.

And don't even get me started on the characters! BLEH. First, we have the boy that Gemma is hopelessly in love with - Teddy. Who is a crunchy hippy who keeps all of his ducks in a row, does everything right, and is the perfect person. Except he's boring as all get out, is one of those people who has to be involved in anything (even things that don't concern him), and has to have the perfect, sweet, innocent girlfriend. Ick.

I like him already, don't you folks? Besides the debatable love interest, we also have Gemma herself. I'll tell you straight up that she's a liar, and that she has to have everything her way... which I just couldn't stand. She whines too much, schemes a lot, and doesn't really appear to be very smart. Not only is she decidedly not-smart, she's also extremely dense.

Basically, Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend was really not for me. I couldn't get into the plot or the characters, and the revenge angle of the story seemed very one-sided to me. But who knows, this just might be your cup of tea!



Great - Sara Benincasa

Due to copy and paste, formatting has been lost.

The reason that I rated Sara Benincasa's Great three stars isn't because I didn't like it - in fact, it's just the opposite. But I ran into the same problems in this one that I did in the original one. Sometimes, the drama of this one (and the original) was just too hard to keep up with. It's not that they're bad reads, not at all... but sometimes they're just a bit too complicated for my taste.

I really loved the writing style of Great. It has the same elegant, descriptive narrative of the first one, but it was much easier to understand this time around. It was interesting to see the parallels of the story, but it was also interesting to see the differences. For instance, Nick was genderbent into Naomi, which honestly makes more sense. And then we have Jacinta, the female counterpart of Jay, who was just as over the top and weird as the original. And then, of course, we have Delilah... and I'm sure you can all guess exactly where that goes. It was really an interesting update, to say the least.

Naomi did a good Nick, and I feel like we got to know her better than we got to know Nick in the original. Her voice was a lot less disconnected. She was very even keel, and she wasn't annoying or anything - which Jacinta could be. It was nice that she balanced out.

As for Jacinta, I really don't know exactly what to say about her character. It was obvious that she was Jay, but her personality was a bit different, and truly a lot more twisty. Not to mention the fact that she's obviously a girl, but... her and Delilah end up being in a relationship, and it was a bit confusing.

Great mostly follows the original plotline of The Great Gatsby, but there are a few new twists here and there. All in all, I'd say that it was an interesting enough read; and I'd definitely recommend it if you enjoy the original story.


Two Lies and a Spy

Two Lies and a Spy - Kat Carlton

As I know you've all guessed by my rating, I didn't really care for this one, and I'm sure you all know that I'm going to tell you why in this review. And really it's simple - I was expecting Two Lies and a Spy to be more like the Gallagher Girls' series, or even Heist Society; but it had none of the qualities that I expect from either of those series, which turned out to be a huge disappointment. You'd think that I would've figured out how to control my expectations, now that I've been doing this for a couple of years, but you'd be wrong.


In an unfortunate twist, I really didn't care for Kari. I couldn't get a feel on her at all. You all know that character depth is very important to me, so it should come as no surprise that I couldn't love the book after meeting Kari. She was just too juvenile for my tastes, and sometimes it just seemed like she was way too dramatic. Everything was made so much more complicated than it was, and I just didn't care for that aspect of the book at all. In normal terms, I'm not so sure that I could have been friends with Kari.


I could, however, have been friends with Evan. I really liked his sense of humor, and his all around jovial personality. He was very persistent, and he never let anything get him down. I liked that about him. The other characters were all kind of unappealing and unmemorable, though.


On the over-dramatization subject, there's also the plot. Not only was it over-the-top, but at many points it was just unbelievable. We were immediately thrown into a world we knew nothing about, and the statistical probability of any of their hare-brained schemes working out are like zilch; so the plotting really was a bust. I couldn't buy the fact that everyone in the 'agency' had children that went to the same school, and that in some weird twist they all kind of knew each other. That is way too far-fetched, in a big school like that.


Not to mention the fact that everything was way too easily resolved - like 'okay you stole it's okay go free'. Real life doesn't work out like that, and not everything ties up in a perfect little bow like that. I didn't like that everything worked out just fine. Plus I just can't get behind Kari's decision making skills, but whatever.


All in all, Two Lies and a Spy was okay, but it's nothing like I expected; and I can't really say that I would recommend it to you guys.



The Symptoms of My Insanity

The Symptoms of My Insanity - Mindy Raf

I liked this book just a tad less than I expected, but I really can't say that it was bad at all. I enjoyed it as fluff, but not really as an extreme substance read or anything. I mean, what can I say? It was enjoyable, but not the best book I've ever read or anything.


I liked Izzy, she was fun in a quirky way - but I wasn't really looking for character development in The Symptoms of My Insanity - what I was really looking for was romance. I've really been in the mood for a romantic read lately, and while this had a cute romance, it wasn't really what I was looking for at the time.


I shipped Marcus and Izzy, rather than the other guy that she tried to be with - Marcus was just so much funnier and nicer! The other guy (who's name I can't even remember) was actually a total jerk, and throughout the book I got the feeling he was using Izzy. But Marcus... he was freaking adorable. He was sweet and awkward and made the perfect love interest for weird (yet fun) Izzy.


And I have to say, straight up - I liked the solidarity of the girls in Izzy's high school - they cleared the name of the girl in the scandal no problem. I wish girls acted like that in real life, but in reality we rarely see such... compassion from teenage girls. Maybe one day that will change.


All in all, The Symptoms of My Insanity really wasn't a bad read - it just wasn't exactly what I was expecting at the time.



To All the Boys I've Loved Before

To All the Boys I've Loved Before - Jenny Han

If love is like a possession, maybe my letters are like my exorcisms. My letters set me free. Or at least they're supposed to.

I just have a little remark to say about the cover, before I get started with the review - I love it. I like the way the title appears to be written in Sharpie, and how the girl is writing in her diary, and the simple layout and everything. To me, this is just the perfect cover style. It's just too pretty.


Now let's get down to business - I actually really liked this one, a bit more than I thought I would... but also a bit less on some points. I enjoyed the actual letters a lot, and the bit of a side romance, but I'm not so sure about some of the side characters, such as Margot. She was such a jerk! I couldn't stand her, not even a little bit. But I liked Lara Jean herself. She was really quirky, and it was pretty cute. I also liked the fact that most of the time she was pretty even keeled. Which is always nice, in a more dramatic storyline such as this.


And I really, really, really liked the fact that I got to read the letters that Lara Jean wrote - those were such fun!


Throughout To All the Boys I've Loved Before, I will admit to having one question that plagued me - and was never answered. How did the letters even get sent out? I don't understand, and while there were several moments where I felt like the book was pointing towards one certain person, it was never truly resolved, and I'd be lying if I said that didn't bother me.


But in the end, I really did end up enjoying this one - it was a fun read, and as you all know - I really love Jenny Han, so it was great to read another book by her. I'd definitely recommend this one for your next contemporary read. :)


Dorothy Must Die

Dorothy Must Die - Danielle  Paige

Dorothy Must Die has been on my radar for a long time - but the real reason I got to it so quickly is because of something ridiculously simple - a girl at the book store. She told me that it was amazing, and that I just couldn't miss it - so the first chance I got, I cracked this bad boy open. And I haven't regretted it, since getting past the first two chapters.


I'm not going to lie about it, the first couple of chapters were really a drag. They were all about how Amy's life sucked, and how she was poor white trash, and I was THIS far from throwing the book away. But I kept reading, hoping that somehow we would get out of the real world and into Oz. And once we did, BAM! Everything was better. It was like the writing suddenly went "BOOM" and we were there. And the story got completely amazing. Because Oz is more twisted than I ever would have imagined.


Every single character that we've come to love from the movies? They've all become twisted and terrible versions of themselves, and you can't trust a single one of them. The scarecrow spends all of his time making terrible experiments in his lab, with the help of his new brains. The Cowardly Lion has become fierce, but by doing so he destroys everything. He eats people, and their fears. And then we have the Tinman, who is desperately in love with Dorothy, which eats up his heart from the inside and makes him a man without compassion. Dorothy herself? Well, she's just living the high life. The high and cruel life. Dorothy is greedy and cruel and full of herself.


They're essentially everything that we never imagined them to be, and it's pretty damn awesome. I liked all of the new characters that had been added to the story, and the way that none of them were without purpose. They were all well fleshed out, and it made for an interesting take. I also enjoyed Amy, once she got over her white trash kick and into Oz. She had a lot of spunk, and she was definitely fierce. But she was also compassionate and funny and even a little bit scared.


Interestingly enough, I didn't feel like any of the characters except Amy could be trusted. Everyone was working from their own motives, and that meant that nearly everyone was a suspect for anything.


The one disappointment that I had from Dorothy Must Die was the fact that it didn't have a fully resolved ending. Originally, I thought that it was a standalone, and while I'm excited to have a series to read, I enjoy standalones more, if you get my meaning. I would definitely recommend this one, though!

The Selection

The Selection - Kiera Cass

To be completely honest with you, I didn't really think that I would enjoy The Selection. I only tried it because of the hype around it, but I actually ended up really enjoying it! I loved the writing style - it was done very simply, but it just kind of flowed, which made it beautiful. I also liked the storyline, which came as a bit of a surprise to me. I mean, I love romance, but I've never been a fan of those bachelorette type storylines - until this one.


I found the world to be pretty interesting, and I liked the idea of a caste type system and a monarchy used in a dystopian USA, but I didn't really understand how it came about. There was some explanation throughout the book, but it didn't give me enough information to really get it, if you know what I mean. To be honest, it was actually really confusing. Like, say, a six. How did they come to be slaves and servants, based on what their grandparents were? Because, well, how were they picked? We have people who cook and clean as a job, but no one who's really a servant for a living. (At least, no one that I know.) And the fives, the entertainment? The people who entertain for a living are usually not starving. Just, everything was so screwed up that I just couldn't help but question the very foundations of their caste system. Every single bit of it was questionable, in my opinion.


America was an okay character, and I liked how she was fierce, but there wasn't much else to her. And I can tell you right off, that if she goes for Maxon rather than Aspen, I just won't be able to respect her. Trust me, as much as she talked and thought about Aspen... I'd go for him.


I've seen a lot of mentions on the names used in The Selection, and I have to agree. They are pretty ridiculous. Aspens are a type of tree, and it's ridiculous to have a King Clarkson. Not to mention the fact that America Singer is in fact, a singer. And living in America. I'm so proud of the creativity employed here. *sarcasm*


But in spite of the goofy names, and the world-building flaws, it really was a good read, mostly for the light and fun stuff. It reads kind of like a contemporary romance book, and you all know how much I adore those. If you think you can get past those problems, I would give The Selection a shot.

Memoirs of a Geisha

Memoirs of a Geisha (Random House Large Print) - Arthur Golden

It took me a really long time to read this one. Around three weeks, actually. And if you know me well, that's bad. That rarely ever happens to me - and never without good reason. And I hate to say it, but if ever there was a good reason, this book was it. I feel like Memoirs of a Geisha was just... boring.


Yep, I said it. Boring. That's the best way to describe it. Don't get me wrong, the storytelling itself was pretty - but it just dragged and dragged until I could barely take it anymore; and then it continued. It was a sad story, but I think the saddest part was the way that it seemed to go nowhere.


I liked the descriptions of the Geisha world - it was obviously a cruel and harsh place, and I'm glad that the author went out of his way to make it seem real. But this book just wasn't for me, unfortunately. I'm sorry for the really short review, you guys!


Bridget Jones's Diary

Bridget Jones's Diary - Helen Fielding

This may come as a huge surprise to all of you, but Bridget Jones is not me. I do not count my calories as if all of my self worth depends on how much I eat, and I sure don't check to see how much I've gained/lost in the last day or so. I don't drink and I don't smoke, and I can't say that I would've had anything to do with the guy she was dating - he was a douche.


Personality-wise, we are nothing alike. She's British, I'm not. So we don't even have a similar nationality! So it's no wonder that we didn't connect at all. I actually really thought that Bridget was annoying. She's too altogether concerned with herself and things that have to do with her - while having no concern over anyone else. She's self-absorbed.


And her diary? It reads a bit like a text message - there were several abbreviations that I just ended up guessing at, and hoping I was right! She worried about trivial things all throughout the book, and then, towards the end... it appears that someone has fallen in love with her! AFTER they have a COUPLE conversations, of course. Because she's just that lovable and wonderful. Gag.


All in all, I can't say that Bridget Jones's Diary was a book for me. I didn't particularly care for it. 

Cruel Beauty

Cruel Beauty - Rosamund Hodge

Cruel Beauty was a surprising read - and it was little to nothing like I expected. I was expecting twisted fairytales, but I never went so far as to throw demons and alternate universes and ghosts and Greek mythology into the mix, that's for sure. I never saw any of those things coming, and it was a tad bit shocking, to tell you the truth! But I still enjoyed the story.


The main character, Nyx, was kind of fun to pick apart. Her personality is definitely not rainbows an puppies! Actually, I'm going to say that about 90% of her personality is resentment and hatred. And for the first half of the book, that's all there really was to her. I'm glad that she grew as a person, because I doubt that I could have handled that for the entire book. When she fell in love with Ignifex, it was kind of like she became a different person, just a little. She still had her anger and resentment, but it wasn't nearly as strong - and now she has love and forgiveness and other emotions! She becomes compassionate.


On the other end of the spectrum, we have Ignifex - who has no moral compass to speak of. I mean, it's not his fault - but I think it never occurs to him that some of the things he does are wrong. He's very childlike in that way, and he's also extremely trusting. He may be a merciless king, but I don't think it's entirely his fault.


The romance was a bit on the insta side, but it wasn't too bad. It was what you would expect from a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. Nyx hates Ignifex for a while, but she falls in love with him pretty quickly once they've talked once or twice.


I have to say, the most surprising part of Cruel Beauty was the sheer number of twists that it employed! We have the Kindly Ones from Greek mythology, a shade (that has more meaning later), a castle full of demons and the world inside a castle. Not to mention the alternative universe! I had no idea how this could possibly have a happy ending, but it was pretty good, even if it was nothing like the retellings I'm used to.


The Taste of Apple Seeds

The Taste of Apple Seeds - Katharina Hagena The wheels of destiny have always been set in motion - in our family as well - by a fall. And by an apple.


While The Taste of Apple Seeds was an alright kind of book, I can't really say that I enjoyed it very much. Don't get me wrong, it was okay... but I feel like it was missing something. For instance, it was missing a pull - there wasn't really anything interesting happening. To put it bluntly, it was pretty dang boring. I feel like it was just pages of description that lead up to an ultimately anticlimactic ending.


The pacing was extremely strange, to go along with all of that description. Sometimes it just went so slowly, just dragging along, and then suddenly it would pick up - like a whirlwind, suddenly everything would be happening at once, and it was so confusing! I felt like the slow writing made me sleepy, and the fast writing just made me confused!


Now, I liked the style - but the pacing definitely needed some work. Something that I found odd was the sheer amount of family history we got in this novel - it honestly seemed to be exclusively about her history, and while that was okay... it was a bit strange. Little bits of history would just pop up randomly; and sometimes I wondered if they even had anything to do with the story!


It was very hard to get a hold on what the story was actually about, that's for sure. I'm pretty sure it was supposed to be about the main character finding herself, and who she wants to be - but I'm not positive about that. I can honestly say that the best part of this story was the ending - everything was resolved, and it made a little bit more sense. I just didn't love this one.


Lovely Vicious

Lovely Vicious  - Sara Wolf

I really didn't think that I would like Lovely Vicious near as much as I did. I was expecting a bit of cliche, and while there was that, it didn't bother me a bit, because I loved the characters! Isis, the main character, really had some fire about her. I loved her sense of humor, and even if she was a bit out there, she really was lovable. She was very genuine, and though she can take things a bit far sometimes, I think she means well.


I didn't care for her immature insults, and I cringed a couple of times, but other than that, she really was an awesome character. While I loved her instantly, it took me a bit to like Jack. There's nothing wrong with him per say, but man he chapped me!


Mostly, it was because he was such a jerk! And for a long time, too! While Isis can be rude, she's usually not intentionally mean. (At least, I never got that vibe from her.) Jack pushes the boundaries, then he runs right over them, with his ego in tow. We got to know him a bit better with the chapters from his point of view, but he could still be a jerk sometimes.


There was plenty of heart clenching throughout their romance, that's for sure! I really enjoyed that part of the book, and I liked the fact that lots of things were implied, rather than thrown in your face. It gives you a chance to fill in the blanks for yourself, which was nice.


My only real problem with Lovely Vicious? It just ends, with no warning and no resolution. Such a cliffy!


Perfect Escape

Perfect Escape - Jennifer Brown

I generally like Jennifer Brown's books, so it's really not a surprise that I enjoyed Perfect Escape. Her writing is good, and she writes about good topics - but the endings of her books tend to be a tad bit unresolved, and that was my problem with this one.


The characters were good - I understood Kendra, and even Grayson to a point. And while they both have some serious issues, they're an okay kind of people. Kendra is argumentative and tempestuous, but she's just a regular rebelling teenager. And Grayson? His OCD can definitely be hard to deal with, but when he's not struggling - he's really a good guy. You just have to talk him down quite a bit.


I liked some of the side characters that we met - Rena, for one. She was interesting, but I wish that her life had turned out better. I mean, she was seventeen and she had a kid with someone who could be her dad. Her life could have been better. And I'll admit to shipping a relationship between her and someone else in the book, but it didn't happen.


The road trip was fun. I liked that it was more about self discovery than anything else. And it was nice to see Kendra and Grayson finally healing their relationship. All in all, Perfect Escape was a good read, but I wanted more from it.


How to Lead a Life of Crime

How to Lead a Life of Crime - Kirsten Miller

How to Lead a Life of Crime was nothing like I expected - I'll admit that I've heard some bad things about it, and I just wanted to see if they were true. And in my opinion, they weren't true at all. I thought that it was really gritty and interesting; and the world was just as well done. This was a crazy book, truly.


Our main character, Flick, was a good guy. He may be a pick pocket, but his moral compass points straighter than some I've met. He was loyal as all get out, and really, he just did what he had to do. No one should really blame him for that. And in that school, he may have been one of the only remaining sane people.


How to Lead a Life of Crime was a conspiracy theory and a half - with a crazy scientist, an underground school, and lots of psychopaths. And a few sociopaths, to keep the mix interesting. I liked it. I liked it a lot. It was an amazing read, in a psychotic thriller kind of way.


And some of the side characters? Whoa. Gwendolyn's back story was freaking insanely well crafted, and just like most of the events throughout this read, it was crazy. I loved the fact that the author could create characters that even as teenagers could be seen as psychotic.


The imagination used to create this book was great - I never expected it. It was a tad bit slow, but it definitely makes up for it in the end - I really liked the ending.


How to Lead a Life of Crime shows that no matter how psychotic you are, or how bad people think you are - everyone has a capacity for goodness inside.