Bianca

Skinny

Skinny - Donna Cooner *Originally reviewed on Pages of Forbidden LoveEver is only 15 and weighs 302 pounds. She wasn’t always so big but food became a comfort mechanism in her life and she kept gaining weight. Most, if not all, people have things we are self conscious about and sometimes worry that other people will notice those flaws we are so adamant we have but Ever has a voice in her head that will never let her forget it. Skinny whispers horrible things to her and refuses to let Ever forget her size. Skinny tells Ever what people are thinking about her and refuses to let her just be. From the very first chapter I felt bad for Ever. No one deserves to go through that much self doubt.When a very public accident happens Ever decides she can’t take it anymore and decides to get surgery. People just want her to be healthy but they worry about her getting the surgery. Is it safe? Can’t she lose the weight another way? But Ever can’t and she insist the surgery is what she needs to do and with the help of her best friend Rat she begins her weight loss journey. Ever hoped so much that the surgery would solve everything. That she would be skinny and her troubles would be gone. As she begins to lose weight though Skinny is still their whispering to her, telling her the same hateful things, and Ever finds out that things aren’t going to magically change with her jean size.Although, I felt so bad for Ever she made it very easy to dislike her as well. I hated hearing about all her self self doubts. It was just heartbreaking to read about how much she struggled with things but she had irritating qualities that came along with that doubt that made me very mad at her. Like I didn’t really like how often she spoke about her amazing singing voice that she was hiding from the world. I loved that she had an amazing voice and had something to be proud of but I feel like she was too confidant about it. Another thing I didn’t like was how she just assumed no one else had problems. Her step sister Briella was thin and beautiful so Ever just blew her off like her life was perfect. She never stopped to think or even notice that she had problems too. I was pained by Ever’s story but I really felt for Briella as well. Ever also ended up pushing people away. She didn’t really mean to but it still happened.I had a lot of ugh moments but also a lot of awww moments while reading Skinny. I really did enjoy the story and could connect with Ever and how she was feeling. I loved reading about Briella’s character and Rat was a great best friend. He was always trying to help Ever and really got her through the beginning weeks post surgery. I loved how it would flash back to Ever thinking about the past. I felt like the emotions and doubts Ever had were very well written and believable. For me there was a lot to like about this book but I was sad that it was such a quick read. I felt like there were a couple things that should have been talked about more and that more could have happened before it was over but I was still very happy with the ending at the same time. I’ll definitely be looking out for what Donna Cooner comes out with next.

Luminosity (The Raven Chronicles)

Luminosity (The Raven Chronicles) - Stephanie Thomas Luminosity was certainly something new to me. Beatrice is a Seer who is known to have the clearest visions, with the exception of the Keeper, in the Institution. She is only 17 but got her raven wings when she was only 12. With her ability comes all kinds of attention she wished she wouldn’t get and a duty to be a leader to all other seers but how can she lead her team when she doesn’t even know what to believe in? Her people know disaster is on its way and war is looming with their enemy. They are told they must protect the Citizens of the City but at what cost? Like any other heroine Beatrice just wants answers so when someone starts to call out to her in her dreams she really wants to know what is going on. She has let the enemy into her head and quickly finds herself asking who can she really trust.Although she wasn’t everything I thought she would be I liked Beatrice. She questioned everything that was happening but continued to remain cautious in order to protect herself and others. She was never trusted people 100% and in her world that was a good thing. She’s been trained to use a gun but she is still like any other girl. She still liked to be silly, to have fun with her girls (Connie and Mae) and worry about boys. And speaking of boys both Gabe and Echo have potential. I am not really rooting for anyone in particular but I liked her friendship with Gabe and that even though he got mad at her a lot for keeping things from him he still promised to always be there for her. Echo is the enemy and that always makes things interesting.*Originally reviewed on Pages Of Forbidden LoveIt took me a while to really get immersed into the story but it was always, even if just a little bit, intriguing. It was a little disappointing that Beatrice wasn’t as badass as I thought she would be. Her visions were awesome and she did have other training but I felt she was lacking a bit there. The romance wasn’t all I thought it would be either. It was there but I just wasn’t able to become fully invested in it. I am hoping as the series continues I can connect with them more.Overall though I thought Luminosity was a good book and a good start to a series. It was really interesting reading about this new world of Seers and Dream catchers. I liked how it went back and forth between real time, Beatrice’s visions, and her dreams. I liked how it could always keep me suspicious. I always had my guesses but in the end I was still left in doubt just like Beatrice was. There was quite a bit of action and some parts made me sad but I what I liked the most is how this book really points out that we usually only ever get one side of a story. The end was a big “Wait it’s over!?” and I have no idea what is to come so I am looking forward to the second book in the series.

Blind Spot

Blind Spot - Laura Ellen *Originally reviewed on Pages Of Forbidden Love*3.5 Roz is a legally blind teen, she isn’t completely blind but she has spots in her vision that are hard to see around. The last thing she wants is for everyone to know she has the disability and she definitely doesn’t want anyone’s pity or help with anything. Unfortunately for her the school makes it mandatory for all students to take their Life Skills class making it harder for Roz to hide it and turning her world upside down. All of a sudden Roz is doing things she never thought she would and then one night really changes everything, too bad she can’t remember it. After Tricia is found Roz tries her best to remember but really all she has are vague memories and what people tell her. She decides she has to know what happened though and doesn’t quit looking for answers.I liked how Blind Spot went back to before Tricia was found and then after she was found. I was able to get to know the characters better which helped me make guesses and assumptions of what really happened. I liked how not everything was obvious and I went back and forth questioning what was real just as Roz did. My guesses never changed drastically but as new information came in I would become skeptical. I think Laura Ellen did a good job with that. I think the characters were also well written, even though a majority of them made me mad off and on, they each had distinct personalities. The only characters that didn’t upset me were some of the people Roz meets in her Life Skills class. I really liked them. I felt like Roz was kind of dumb sometimes but other times I still felt bad for her and understood some of the things she did. I sort of loved Greg but unfortunately even he upset me sometimes. Although Tricia was clearly troubled, I really liked her character and wished I could have gotten to know even more about her.Honestly though I am very confused as to how I feel about this book. I am not sure how many times I have gone back and forth deciding how many hearts to give it. When I read the summary I was really excited to read it. It sounded like it would be an exciting book full of suspense that would really keep me on my toes. Although it did keep me curious and not sure about the ending it just wasn’t filled with all the excitement I thought it would have. I won’t lie I did find it enjoyable many times but it just wasn’t exactly what I expected. I wanted more out of it. The thing that has me the most confused about my feeling though is the ending. I have this thing with endings. I can love a majority of a book but if I don’t like the ending it ruins the whole thing for me. I wouldn’t say I hated the ending but I was disappointed with it. It wasn’t at all what I expected and although most of the time that would be a good thing it just wasn’t right for me. Overall, I thought it was a pretty okay/good book though and I am curious to see what Laura Ellen writes next.

Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood Series #1)

Dark Lover - J.R. Ward *Originally reviewed on Pages of Forbidden LoveSo a while back I was asking for recommendations of adult books that I should read. I mostly read YA but I was ready to dive in and begin to read some adult books. Eventually I did a poll asking which book I should read first and Dark Lover won. The poll and the fact that Alexa said I must read it made me eager to give it a chance and OMG I loved it! I even read it twice before even writing this review.I have said it before (many times) and I will say it again, I love Vampires and the fact that Dark Lover wasn’t just like any other vampire story brought me joy. Of course like I said I haven’t read many adult books and that could be a big reason why it was so new to me but I really though J.R. Ward did a great job introducing me to a new kind of vampire.There was so much going on in this book. There were unknown terms I had to learn (glossary in the beginning that I skimmed) that could make things a little confusing for a second but you eventually just pick it all up. There were also many points of view in this story. So many that you would think it would get annoying or confusing but it is all written so well that it all flows together. I really enjoyed how all the pov’s tied together in some way. There are many characters and how everything and everyone connected was great.Wrath isn’t the type to do favors and he definitely isn’t the warm and fuzzy type so when Darius asks him to help his daughter through her transition Wrath has no qualms about turning him down. But then Darius is gone and Wrath feels like he owes him. All Wrath has to do is protect her long enough to help her make it through her transition and then he can cut all ties but once he actually meets Beth things get more complicated than he could have predicted.Beth doesn’t have much of a social life. She works at a paper where her boss is a dick and she isn’t given much credit. Work and home is pretty much it for her and she hopes for change, for something exciting. Growing up in a foster home she has no idea about the change that is about to happen to her. She doesn’t know Wrath and definitely doesn’t know what to think of him but when she meets him she does know one thing, she is insanely attracted to him. She wanted excitement and she definitely gets it.I loved both Beth and Wrath. Wrath just had so much responsibility he didn’t want to take on and didn’t feel like he could even manage if he tried. He has a past he can’t come to terms with and hard decisions to make about his future. I loved Beth because she didn’t back down. No one told her what to do and even in the worst situations she could hold her own. She was far from weak.Dark Lover had great characters, both ones I loved and hated, with depth and histories. It was full of action, romance, steamy scenes, and funny dialog. Oh and don’t even get me started on all the brothers. This book had a focus on Wrath but from what little I got to read about the personalities of Rhage, Phury, Vishous, Tohrment, and Zsadist I can’t wait to read more!

Sam Cruz's Infallible Guide to Getting Girls

Sam Cruz's Infallible Guide to Getting Girls - Tellulah Darling *Originally reviewed on Pages Of Forbidden LoveWhen I first signed up for NetGalley I was so excited to see what kind of titles they had and I stumbled upon this one. The second I read the summary I was like “Hell yes! This sounds like a fun read.” I expected it would be extremely funny and inappropriate (in a good way). Sometimes you need something that is just fun. I don’t like to read books that are very deep all the time. It was exactly what I wanted and what I expected.I was laughing from the very beginning after reading Sam’s Rules. You immediately get to know how this boy operates. Then I read the first lines of chapter one and laughed out loud. Honestly, to begin with I wasn’t sure if the book was going to be just cheesy funny or funny funny. It was a little of both but it was still very humorous. I laughed a lot throughout the book. Anyways, back to Sam. Sam was the hit it and quit it type. I kind of made Toot it and Boot it his theme song (I only know the chorus lol). He truly believes girls ruin everything by wanting a relationship and he wished they could be more like him.He isn’t all about just getting laid though. He is a actually a really great friend to Ally. They are best friends and the book actually alternates between their points of view. These two have known each other forever. They have established traditions, are comfortable with each other, and know how the other operates. Ally knows how Sam is so its no surprise that when her boyfriend dumps her she asks him to help her out. She wants to be more like him and its Sam’s chance to see if he can really make the “perfect” girl. Ally is super smart. She is an honors student and she also helps do research with Parrots. With that she doesn’t have much of a fashion sense so Sam must teach her his ways and turn her into a bombshell. They take it on as a sort of experiment and it is hilarious. Can you see where this little experiment could go very wrong for the two? Well, I don’t want to go into detail but it was definitely interesting.I am telling you now though that this isn’t for the easily offended. It says right in the summary that it “contains language , drinking, euphemisms, and lots of “bow chicka wow wow” so expect just that. I wouldn’t say it was too much but it all depends on who you are. It is still very much tame enough to be considered YA but not intended for a younger YA audience. Ally and Sam were equally funny and at times clueless. Their friendship and the way they interacted with each other was the best part of this book. Their friends were also a good addition. I really liked Rachel (Ally’s cousin), Ian, and the group of people always at the diner they went to. Like I said it was mostly very funny but of course there was romance and awww moments. This isn’t a book that gets really deep but it does mention some things that give a hint to deeper issues. Did I mention there is an adorable kitten? Well, there is.I am glad I got the chance to read this and I am looking forward to reading more of Tellulah’s work.

Where She Went

Where She Went - Gayle Forman *Originally reviewed on Pages Of Forbidden LoveI read If I Stay (review here :) ) in July and I really liked it. It was so sad and when it ended I wasn’t ready for it to. It wasn’t a bad ending but I needed to know what was next. How would life be for Mia and the rest of the people in her life now that she had decided to live (to stay)? Obviously things aren’t going to be the same after a tragedy like that and you would have to adapt to a new “normal” but with If I Stay you don’t get to know about the after. Where She Went filled me on what I wanted to know and was everything I wanted. I really liked If I Stay but I can truly say I loved Where She Went.Where I Went didn’t start off right where If I Stay ended instead it starts three years later. Also, instead of being told from Mia’s point of view Where She Went is told by Adam. I love this. I haven’t read many books from the male perspective but I have really liked all the ones I have read. Now when I read the summary I was like what?! No! but I am not quite sure why I was surprised to read that Mia and Adam didn’t last long after If I Stay. There was no way Mia was going to be the same after the accident and Adam made a very heartbreaking promise (one I was hoping he wasn’t going to have to keep) to Mia to try and get her to stay. It was so sad to hear they hadn’t even spoken to each other in so long and I really wanted to know what happened in between all that time.“A day might just be twenty-four hours but sometimes getting through just one seems as impossible as scaling Everest.” -Pg. 27Adam had finally made it big with his band, the people that used to be like family, and was dating another celebrity but you could tell he was still far from being truly happy. He didn’t stay with his band mates and he traveled to shows at different times than them. He even did his interviews on his own and he had major anxiety issues. When Adam has an interview to do, before leaving for a three month tour, the reporter brings up things that have already been taken off of ever interviewers list of acceptable things to talk about. She wants to know what really inspired Adam’s music, the story behind it all. When she brings up Mia (she did her digging) Adam loses it. He can’t take anymore and his manager gives him the day off to try and relax. He only has one more night/morning before he leaves for London but that night/morning is filled with a lot of answers and discoveries.I felt so bad for Adam. Reading about how he was feeling and where his life has brought him so far made me hurt for him. I loved learning about his relationship with Mia and her family in If I Stay and getting a peek inside his head in this book was amazing. As I read I got to experience his loss and his feelings. It was written so well and it was so easy to understand him. Since the book went back and forth between the past (from right after Mia woke up to after she first left him, what he did after that, meeting his current girlfriend, getting famous, etc) and present I got all the answers I wanted. Even though none of Where She Went was told through Mia I still felt like I could understand her as well and I still felt like I knew what she was thinking and feeling.I loved how it stuck with going back and forth between the past and present just like with the first one. I love how easily I could feel for both characters still. I loved the beginning awkwardness of when Adam and Mia have there first face to face meeting again. The tension and awkwardness never stayed gone for too long and that was realistic. Even through all that though it is great that Mia offers to give Adam a tour of her New York and he accepts. They were always skirting around what they really needed to talk about and that drove my crazy but it was a great build. I also loved how each chapter had lyrics to the songs that Adam had written along with their title and track number. Plus, I just loved Adam.

Beautiful Disaster

Beautiful Disaster  - Jamie McGuire *Originally reviewed on Pages Of Forbidden LoveAwwwwwwww…Oh wait you came here to read a review didn’t you? Not to hear me squeal :) Well I just can’t help it I fucking absolutely loved it. I first heard about Beautiful Disaster through Miss Vain. She had an amazing review of it (you should totally check it out here) on her blog and I knew I had to read it. When I saw it was an automatic approval on NetGalley I got so excited. It was the first book I ever requested and lucky me I didn’t have to wait since like I said it was automatic. I wanted to start it immediately and after getting it on to my nook (which took forever. I kept having malfunctions) I told myself I would read a chapter or two before bed…Big mistake. Once I picked it up and started reading I could not put it down. There was no just reading a chapter or two and I found myself still up at three in the morning forcing myself to go to bed (I had an eye doctors appointment I had to walk to just a few hours later or I would have kept reading). It only took another hour or two after my nap to finish it off. It was just so good.Beautiful Disaster started off great. I was sucked in immediately and throughout the whole thing I never got bored. The second Abby and Travis met I knew things were going to be very interesting. Abby goes to watch a fight with her best friend America and America’s boyfriend Shepley. Instead of staying back Abby quickly gets caught up and finds herself closer and closer to the middle of he crowd, extremely close to the fight, and gets sprayed with some blood. The fight is over and the crowd is rowdy and that’s when she meets Travis. He helps her out by keeping people away from her and he immediately gives her a nickname, Pigeon (which I think is just adorable).If you looked up bad boy in the dictionary there would probably be a picture of Travis Maddox as an example. He is a great looking, tattooed, motorcycle riding ladies man who fights for money. That’s not all though he is actually super smart and of course he has his flaws (but I will get to that later). He’s popular (but he could probably care less), other guys are intimidated by him (with good reason), and all the ladies want him (he’ll be around for the night but don’t expect a phone call the next day or ever really). Abby isn’t impressed though and as Travis pushes her to hangout she gets straight to the point and tells him she’s not sleeping with him. Of course he insists they be friends and that’s when everything becomes crazy, funny, sweet, and heartbreaking. Ugh those two just brought out so many emotions.The title of this book is just so perfect. That is exactly what their relationship was. Friends is all they were going to be (mmmhhh…Right….) and that made for one extreme story. They were always so funny together. I loved all their banter. They just clicked together. It was always totally obvious how much Travis cared for Abby but this is where his flaws kicked in. He was extremely protective of her and he was definitely the jealous type. He didn’t always deal with things the way a normal and rational person should. Abby wasn’t flawless herself. Even though she didn’t take all of Travis bad habits and just accept them (she did stick around for the most part though) at times she was in denial and she could be naive when it came to their “friendship”. Also, she was so busy running from her past and worrying that her future was going to end up the same anyways that it made it almost impossible for her to even try to work things out in order to have the future she wants. I felt like she just assumed there was only one way to insure her future wasn’t like her past. They both could really piss me off. They made mistakes and yes I will admit their relationship wasn’t the healthiest one, they both have a lot of shit they need to work out in their lives, but it just felt so real. I loved them and just wanted them to get their act together.No matter what I say I don’t think I can really explain everything I loved about it. I loved how emotional it could make me get. I wasn’t just like “aww, thats sad” I actually teared up, laughed out loud, started mumbling in spanish (I do that when things really piss me off), etc. Even with all their issues happening I loved Abby and Travis (there isn’t anything amazing about reading about an easy relationship). Besides Abby and Travis I would have to say my favorite characters were America and Finch. They just cracked me up. Again, I loved, loved, loved Beautiful Disaster. It has to be one of my favorite reads of the summer and I am going to buy it in paperback the second I have some extra cash. Ohhh and I heard there is going to be another book in Travis’ point of view so I am extremely excited for that!

Arson (for fans of Stephen King, Alex Flinn and Pittacus Lore)

Arson (Arson #1) - Estevan Vega *Originally Reviewed on Pages Of Forbidden LoveArson Gable just wanted to be normal, something he will never be. He can start fires, no lighters or matches needed. He only see’s himself as a freak and wished his unwanted ability would just go away. He lived with his grandmother and they had a very sad relationship.The fact that he still loved her so much but hated her at the same time made reading about their relationship even harder. The way she treated him just broke my heart.Arson kind of just went through the motion of everyday life. He went to work where Mandy, the character i liked the least, took advantage of the crush he had on her and then he would return home again. Home was anything but normal though and Arson’s past always seemed to be the cause of his grandmothers unkindness. Knowing Arson had a past I didn’t know about yet kept me very interested. A little bit of information was given at a time so I was always wondering what the whole story was.The story wasn’t told just from Arson perspective. After a while a family moved in next door and the story is told through different point of views. This family also had a past of their own (but who doesn’t?) Emery lived behind a mask, not figuratively but literally. She never took it off and for her that had become normal. I really liked Emery. She always said what she wanted and she was funny and sarcastic. Just like with Arson you slowly are let in on her and her families lives and past.Although it really wasn’t what I initially expected it to be it was still enjoyable to read. The writing was really good. It was full of great descriptions and damaged characters just trying to get through life. I love how it just shows how no matter who the person is they are going to have their own story, their own past. We all have our demons. There was one chapter though that really confused me but I was lost for only a second and by the time I moved on to the next chapters I was right back on track. I was also bummed that Arson’s ability wasn’t really explained but since this is a series I am sure there is some time for that. I have more questions than I have answers and with Arson’s unexpected ending (it was more of what I expected the whole book to be like when it started but as I got into the book my expectations changed and then it hit me with a bang) I’m definitely looking forward to reading the next one.

Justice (Deck of Lies, #1)

Justice - Jade Varden *Originally reviewed on Pages Of Forbidden LoveUmm…What?! My exact words (and I said them out loud) the second I finished Justice. Justice starts with Rain Ramey, and her family, getting ready to start her first day at Sloane Academy. Sloane Academy is a fancy/expensive school but Rain has been accepted as a scholarship student. Her mom is excited and anxious for her to be going and she decides to do a card reading. When Rains pulls the Justice card her mom gets extremely distant and distracted. From the moment this happened I knew the day would bring something big and it definitely does. Rains first day is anything but spectacular. She is assigned a “big sister” Laurel Riordan who is a a straight to the point, no nonsense, lets get to business, and we aren’t friends kind of person. She is one of two queen bee’s of Sloane and Rain quickly gets on the bad side of the other queen Carsyn VonShelton. When Carsyn pretends to make nice with Rain though she ends up setting her up and Rains life gets turned upside down. After this everything really begins and Rain has to keep asking herself “Who am I?”Rain didn’t leave expecting something so dramatic to happen and she is left throughout the book feeling confused, angry, lonely, and so much more. Her school day wasn’t what anyone would wish for, her afternoon was even worse, and the rest of her time throughout the story wasn’t much better. She was left not really knowing who she was anymore or what to really think about her situation. She had lots of questions that weren’t being answered and instead of just pushing them under the rug and forgetting about them she searched for what she wanted to know. The more she digs though the more she finds and the questions pile up further. Nothing is ever truly answered and Rain finds that their is a lot she doesn’t know about multiple people.I loved that Rain didn’t just take everything that was thrown at her and accept it. She asked questions and she wanted answers. When no one would supply them she sought them out on her own. I loved the fact that things weren’t found so easily though. There are a lot of layers Rain has to and is still going to have to go through to get to the bottom of everything. Oh and the end. What?! I couldn’t believe something else was just thrown out like that with no time (pages) left. It was like bam! It was just this one thing she had to worry about but hey why not add some more drama, more problems, and some more mystery. In case you weren’t sure I in no way think this was a bad thing. It was what has me eager to read the next one.The whole love aspect of this book was also really confusing but I liked that. I was never really sure who would be her love interest. First she see’s (but doesn’t really meet) River Scott and without even speaking to him she feels like she understands him. When she first see’s him he radiates anger and she is angry herself. Later when they actually speak he becomes a friend (sure we will call him that for now lol) and helps her out a lot. Then there is Owen, Carsyn’s boyfriend, and he is nice to Rain and becomes her science partner (is it just me or is it always science in books haha). Finally she meets Tom and he is charming and also very nice to her. I know, three guys! Sometimes two is bad enough but it didn’t really bother me because she didn’t fall madly in love with any of them. Yes she had connections with them but she didn’t really string them all along while she tried to make a decision like some books go.t played a part in the book but their relationships weren’t really the main focus.Justice is full of mystery, problems, and drama. If it wasn’t one thing it was another. There was always something happening and there is still a lot that needs to be solved. There are a lot of questions that need answers for Rain and me. I enjoyed the characters. They weren’t always predictable (sometimes but not always) and I found that they all have history. I didn’t like that I felt that Rain was forgetingt to think about some very important things sometimes and that upset me. She would eventually mention them again or think about them but I think it should have been even more. There were some chunks that I would be like “why are you worried/talking about that” aren’t you forgetting about something?” I do want to know the answers to everything and see how things unfold in the future so I am looking forward to reading the sequel.

If I Stay

If I Stay - Gayle Forman *Originally Review on Pages Of Forbidden LoveOne second…Got to wipe away an extra stray tear. I thought this was a very sad book. I haven’t had a book make me cry in a while but this one sure did. I couldn’t imagine going through what Mia went through but through the whole book that is what I was doing. What if this really happened to me or even someone close to me? How would I handle it? What would I choose? Too many questions I definitely wouldn’t want to have to answer. Mia on the other hand doesn’t have a choice. She thought she had hard decisions to make before but after a tragic car accident there is only really one decision that is going to matter and it definitely will affect the people in Mia’s life. This decision has Mia asking herself whether if this decision is really in her own hands or is it up to someone else. It would so much easier if it wasn’t up to Mia but the longer she has to watch herself and the people around her while she floats around outside of her body the more she wonders whether she can handle waking up and whether she wants to stay in the first place. Either way nothing will be the same for anyone.Mia had such a hard decision in front of her. For a while I couldn’t help but think that the decision wasn’t that hard. There are people that care about you, you’re young, and you have such a long life ahead of you. As I kept reading and kept thinking about it I still wanted it to be a simple decision but it really wasn’t. Mia had a lot to think about.I really liked how If I Stay went back and forth between Mia walking around the hospital, thinking about what she might do and observing the people around her, to the past where the reader gets to know more about her, her life and the people in it. It was one of my favorite parts of the book and it was what made it easier to see how hard the choices Mia had to make were to make.I really liked all the characters in this book. Mia was just a teenage girl with a family, a boyfriend, best friend, and a passion for classical music. She played the Cello and was even on her way to getting in to Julliard. Her parents were awesome. They were loving, fun, and supporting. I absolutely loved her dad. Her little brother was also really adorable. Her grandparents seemed like really good people and her grandpa just about broke my heart. Kim, Mia’s best friend, was nice to read about. The development of their relationship was great. And then there was Adam, her boyfriend. I loved reading about their relationship. They were two very different people who both had a passion for different music. Adam was in a rock band. Although they were different they each tried things to be a part of the others world. I loved that it took a while for them to be a couple and even then Mia talked about how things weren’t perfect between them, they still had their ups and downs.Overall, If I Stay was a quick read that really got me thinking. It also had me very emotional. It just shows that life isn’t easy and anything could happen. The choices we think are hard today may mean nothing tomorrow. Gayle Forman did a wonderful job at helping me really relate and understand Mia and the decisions in front of her. The only thing I didn’t love was the ending. For most people I am sure they were/would be satisfied with it but no it had me saying “No! What now?!” So although for some this could be a standalone I am extremely grateful that their is a second one told from a different point of view and I am hoping to read it very soon.

The Virgin Diaries

The Virgin Diaries - Kimberley A. Johnson, Ann Werner, Ralph Faust *Originally posted on Pages Of Forbidden LoveI mainly read YA with other genres of fiction mixed in every once in a while but I rarely read non-fiction. It is the genre I read the least often. Usually it just doesn’t call to me but when Kimberley emailed me about reviewing this book I couldn’t say no. I am currently working of getting a degree in Human Development and this is a topic I am very interested. Not the topic of virginity specifically but sex and youth in general. The age they begin to become sexual active, the reason for it, contraceptive use, teen pregnancy, and their knowledge on the topic all together. Don’t even get me started on abstinence only education. I am thinking I could do a whole other post on that topic alone. I’m just going to say I think a lot of people should be more educated before they start becoming sexual active. Some people don’t really know exactly what they are getting themselves into, what they should expect, what could happen, etc. This book is all about people’s first times and answers some of these questions.The Virgin Diaries wasn’t centered on one age group though. People of all ages where asked a set of questions that they wanted in an essay format. There were questions about how old they were now and when they lost their virginity, if they used protection, where it happened, how they felt about it, prior advice, etc. The answers were compiled to make this book. Nothing was extremely detailed and I don’t think anything was shared to make people too uncomfortable (there was a story or two that was definitely not okay but I will get to that).What I LikedEvery story was different. There were so many different ages for when their first time was. There were stories from both straight and gay males and females. Although the majority of the stories were from straight men and women I was glad to see that not all of them were. It makes the book more open for anyone. The circumstances varied. The outcomes and how people felt were all different. There was a lot of variety and I think that is very important because it shows it isn’t the same for everyone. Yes, some things are the same for everyone but the experience as a whole will vary. The fact that one of the questions was about what kind of advice you would give someone was also cool because those people had already been through it. A lot of the advice was the same but I think it was good. The other thing I liked about the book was that it had quotes and statistics throughout it. They were interesting and some funny. There were even pictures. Probably not the kind of picture you are thinking about though. They were just little drawings of people and things (no nudity. The most intimate picture has to be two people hugging so don’t be concerned). One thing pretty much all the stories did have in common was the advice they had gotten from their parents or religious figures. I think this has a strong message and shows that parents should be a little more involved.What I Didn’t LikeOkay, so it isn’t that I really didn’t like it and I completely understand why it was done this way but I think it is what keeps this book from being for a younger audience. One of the things stated in the introduction was “It is important to note that this was done informally. Neither one of us is a psychologist, a psychiatrist or a scientist. Because we don’t want the reader to view the accounts through the prism of our perception, we have declined to comment on any of the stories, with one exception.” I totally understand this, I do. The only problem (in my opinion) is that when dealing with a younger audience some (definitely not all. I know a lot of younger people that are more mature than some adults) people might be too naïve and immature to handle this book on their own. There were some stories where they had lost their virginity to someone much older than they were and in that scenario (depending on the state) it would have been illegal. Then there are some other things I am sure would bring up questions and they might not be sure about. For example, in a story or two the girl did want to stop but it happened anyway. I just thought it needed to be clear that she or he should be able to say no and stop whenever they decide. One story in particular was not okay but it did have a footnote that explained how disturbing and wrong the scenario was. It was just these things that make me think it the book shouldn’t just be given to anyone. Thought needs to be put into it and parent’s should be open and prepared for questions. They should definitely read beforehand also so they know what questions might come up or if there are none they can point out a specific thing they feel the other person should know more about.Sorry, I didn’t expect to write such a long review but it just kind of happened. Overall, I think this was a wonderful idea. It did take me a long time to read but that was only because it is not the genre I am used to. I loved the variety and I think it is an important thing to talk about. I just don’t feel like the book can just be given to anyone without some prior planning.

An Innocent in Paradise (Harlequin Desire)

An Innocent in Paradise - Kate Carlisle *Originally Posted on Pages Of Forbidden LoveSo I am still starting to dip my toes into reading some more adult books and I saw this sitting on the shelf at my library so I said why not. I liked the cover and the story intrigued me so I checked it out. I am glad I did. It was a quick but enjoyable read. Sometimes (okay most of the time) with shorter books I feel like I don’t get everything I want out of it. I always feel like there isn’t enough time to connect to the characters, things happen too fast, there should have been more, the list could go on. An Innocent In Paradise was only 187 pages but I really didn’t feel any of the things shorter books, at times, make me feel. It was shorter so things did progress more quickly (I have found that’s the case for all the adult books I have read so far, which isn’t many) than in longer books but I didn’t feel like it was too quick and I did have a chance to get to know both Logan and Grace. I was able to root for them as a couple.Logan and Grace meet at Alleria Resort. Logan and his brother design cocktail bars in expensive hotels and they own most of the island that the resort rests on. Grace got a job at the resorts bar but she knows nothing about being a cocktail waitress and when she breaks a glass it becomes all too clear that she lied on her job application. Logan tries to fire Grace but she isn’t one to give up easily and she refuses to go. She has scientific business to take care of on the island and she can’t leave. I love that she stood up to him the second he tried to fire her. I couldn’t help but smile. I doubt people stand up to Logan often. Besides being passionate about her work she also has a distrust of men. The fact that Logan distrusts women doesn’t help their situation. He agrees to let Grace stick around for a while but all he can think about is sleeping with her. Just one night and he think he can kick her off the island. Their both passionate about their work, they both have their issues and they can both be stubborn so it made for quick, but cute, and interesting read.

Frostbite: A Vampire Academy Graphic Novel (Vampire Academy Graphic Novels (Quality Paper))

Frostbite: The Graphic Novel - Richelle Mead, Leigh Dragoon, Emma Vieceli *Originally reviewed on Pages Of Forbidden LoveOh man. I do not know why I do this to myself. I just love this series and reading the graphic novels makes me want to read all of the books all over again. So far I am really enjoying the graphic novels but they only cover some of the most important things to move the story along quickly. I miss all the in between stuff and even though I got to see it happening I feel like I can experience it all better as I read it.With only 144 pages a lot has to be condensed but I feel like they do a good job deciding what they keep and decide to show. I don’t want to go into detail on what they included since I know some people might just be reading the graphic novels and have not read the books. It was really nice getting to see the new characters come in to this one. My favorite? Adrian of course. I was totally looking forward to getting to see him. The introduction to Rose’s mother and Christian’s aunt was also great. I think all the characters were drawn pretty well. I wasn’t disappointed in any of them.I think everything was done well. The scenes I knew were coming up hit me the way I thought they would. Just like the first one it was a great and fast way to get into the series again. I am really looking forward to see how the rest of the series will turn out

Daemons in the Mist (The Marked Ones Trilogy book 1)

Daemons in the Mist (The Marked Ones Trilogy book 1) - Alicia Kat Vancil,  Scott Aleric Vancil *Originally posted on Pages Of Forbidden LoveFirst of all I love, love, love… this cover! I think it is absolutely gorgeous. Alicia did such a wonderful job with the cover and I enjoyed reading the story inside.Patrick and Nualla have gone to Bayside Academy for years. Over those years Patrick has been developing a huge crush on Nualla and she has never even noticed him. All that changes though when Patrick steps up and interrupts a confrontation between Nualla and Michael. Nualla finally knows who Patrick is and they are even going to a school dance together. It all sounds innocent enough until Nualla, in an attempt to avoid Michael, asks Patrick if he wants to get out of town and they end up in Vegas. After one crazy night everything changes and Patrick becomes a part of a world he never knew existed. Nothing will ever be quite the same for either of them.Daemons in the Mist went back and forth between Nualla and Patrick’s point of view. It was nice getting to read how both characters felt about the situations they got into. I also liked how each chapter had the month and day so that you could see how fast things were progressing. Above all, I enjoyed reading about a new subject, Daemons. I do wish I could have learned a little more about them and the differences between the two kinds while reading.The characters were great. I enjoyed reading about them all and there really wasn’t anyone I strongly disliked. Patrick was absolutely adorkable. He was just too cute. He was sweet, an artist (he liked to draw), and it even said he knew how to dance (woo hoo :D ). The only thing he was seriously lacking was self-esteem. I feel like I still need to get to know Nualla better but what I got from reading so far was that she cares strongly about the people close to her and she isn’t one to give up. Towards the beginning she did have a couple moments were I felt she was being a little dramatic. She did make an effort with Patrick’s friends and I really liked that about her. As for their relationship, I appreciated how for at least half of the book no one was saying “I love you”. Those words did come up before I was completely convinced about their relationship but by the end I was totally rooting for them.Nikki (Nualla’s cousin) and Shawn (her friend) were fun and very open towards Patrick. Connor (Patrick’s friend) was always there when Patrick needed to talk but also knew how to stop asking questions when Patrick said he couldn’t tell him. Beatrice was always reading a book so of course I loved her and Jenny was a drama queen that I wished would have toned it down a bit. I feel like Patrick’s friends weren’t around as much as Nualla’s so I am hoping to get to read more about them in the future. Travis, a longtime friend of Nualla and a young genius is another character I really want to read more about.There was a lot that happened in this book. Things never settled down for long and although this left little room for a dull moment at times I felt like that was it and that there wouldn’t be a big ending which brought me down (it made it hard for me to read sometimes). Fortunately, I was wrong and I got the ending I was hoping for. It was sad, suspenseful, and surprising. I think surprises make everything better in stories.While reading Daemons in the Mist I had a lot of questions that I felt the characters should have been asking. Thankfully most of the time they eventually brought it up though. I also didn’t care for how Patrick found out Nualla’s secrets and how he reacted to them. It was just instant acceptance and didn’t feel right. There were also some grammatical errors but I did really enjoy the subject, the characters, and the ending really grabbed my attention making it an enjoyable read. I look forward to seeing what happens next in Patrick and Nualla’s lives.

Red River, Vol. 1

Red River, Vol. 1 - Chie Shinohara *Originally reviewed on Pages Of Forbidden LoveFinally, after saying I am going to try to read some manga for months I have finally picked one up. I had no idea where to start or even what I would like but my cousin gave me a huge list of the manga she likes to read but I tried to put a couple on hold and there were hundreds of people ahead of me (who would have known). Instead of waiting forever I just decided to see what my library had (which wasn’t much) and found this one. Okay so I wasn’t totally loving the cover but it was the only one I could see that actually began with volume one so I decided to go ahead and read the back. It sounded interesting so I checked it out and read it the same day.Yuri is on top of the world. She is doing great in school and her longtime friend has final kissed her. It seems like everything is going wonderfully and that nothing could go wrong but then water starts to act funny around her. When it tries to grab her she does all she can to stay away from it. She even refuses to go out because of the rain. When her boyfriend begins to question her feelings and asks her out on a date she can’t refuse even though there is snow outside. Things are going well and then in the middle of a conversation hands come out of the water and grab Yuri taking her to the past where a queen wants her blood in order to make her son heir to the kingdom.I’m not always interested in books that take place in the past but the fact that she was from a more present date and sucked into the past made things more interesting. Plus, she was brought to the past through magic to be sacrificed which made for one messed up adventure. I do wish I could have seen what was also going on in the present but it wasn’t too big of a deal. I was just curious since Yuri disappeared with no warning.I don’t have too much of an opinion about the characters yet. I don’t love anyone yet but I do not dislike any of them either. Well except for the queen since she is evil but I like how she comes across so far. Nakia is a greedy queen who already has a lot of power but wants even more. Her plan is to use Yuri to get that power. There wasn’t much that Yuri could do but be captured and saved. She was in a place she didn’t know and only wanted to go home. The queen captured her and Prince Kail came to her rescue. She did try to do some things on her own so she wasn’t completely helpless but she did them at the worst times without much thought. I am hoping for more out of her in the future and I would like to know exactly why it was her that was chosen to be sacrificed. Now, I feel like Prince Kail has a lot of potential but I still don’t know if I can really like him yet. He was pretty cute saving her and all but he also thinks he can have whatever he wants and whoever he wants when he wants them. At one part I thought he was going to go way too far but thankfully he didn’t. I look forward to getting to know all the characters better.Overall, I quite enjoyed this and I am glad it was my first manga. It was interesting and I liked the drawing (even though i don’t have much to compare it to). I am glad I finally gave some manga a try. I can’t wait to read more.

Kiss Me Kill Me (Kisses and Lies Series #1)

Kiss Me Kill Me  - Lauren Henderson *Originally posted on Pages Of Forbidden LoveI first read this book years ago and loved it so I was pretty excited to read it again. Although I didn’t love it the second time around I still enjoyed it. Scarlett is a 16 year old who has her little group of friends and loves gymnastics. One day after practice Nadia, one of the schools popular girls, asks Scarlett to sit with them. Without a second thought Scarlett ditches her friends and claims a spot among the popular crowd. She couldn’t be more confused or excited when that same day she gets invited to attend one of their famous parties. At the party Scarlett feels out of place but that doesn’t last long because Dan McAndrew, her crush, begins to talk to her. All of a sudden an innocent first kiss turns Scarlett’s world upside down.At the very beginning I couldn’t totally like Scarlett. She dropped her friends without hesitation just because she got a little attention from someone higher up on the social ladder. I understand that she is young and status means everything to some people in high school but the fact that she jumped so quickly at Nadia’s offer disappointed me. As the story progresses though I can’t help but feel sorry for her. She has pretty much been on her own since her parent’s died when she was younger. It was sad to read how little family support she got. Her grandmother just expected her to get over the drama of watching Dan die in just a matter of a couple months. No one consoled her just told her not to dwell on the past. The teachers at her new school were really rude and just assumed she would think she would get off easy because her grandmother ran the school. If anything Scarlett knew things would be harder for her because of it. One of the hardest things for Scarlett is living with the fact that after her first kiss the boy died in her arms. She can’t even think of ever kissing another boy again. She already blames herself for one death what if she caused another one? All she wants to know is what happened and after she gets an anonymous note she begins to dig and find out what really happened.You don’t really get to know who Dan was because he was gone so quickly but there are some other characters you get to read about. For example Taylor was an interesting character. Taylor and Scarlett didn’t hit it off when they first met. In fact they didn’t really care for each other at all but after Taylor finds out Scarlett’s secret they work together to solve the mystery together and let me tell you these two are an interesting pair. Taylor is pretty scary. I wouldn’t want to be on her bad side. As for a love interest this book was more about dealing with and figuring out what happened to Dan. There is some future potential with a cute gardener named Jase though. I look forward to seeing where that goes. It was a nice change reading a book that wasn’t all about falling in love but I still hope to see a little romance in Scarlett’s future. The girl deserves it.In the end the mystery wasn’t solved but the girls do uncover some important things. I am sure more secrets will be uncovered in the rest of the series and that is exciting to think about. I have read the second book but I don’t really remember it all so I look forward to reading it again and finally getting to read the third and fourth one.