Sunday, September 21, 2014

Review: Blue by Lisa Glass


By Lisa Glass

Blurb: Surfing is sixteen-year-old Iris’s world, and when the ultra-talented Zeke walks into her life, it soon becomes her passion.

Over one amazing summer, as she is drawn into his sphere, she experiences love, new friendships, but also loss, with an intensity she never dreamed of.

But is Zeke all he seems? What hides beneath his glamorous and mysterious past? When Iris decides to try for her own surfing success, just as her ex-boyfriend comes back into her life, she will test her talent, and her feelings for Zeke, to the limit…

 Genres: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction, Romance 

Publication Date: May 2014

Series: Blue (book 1)

Pages: 375

My Rating: 3 stars

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Blue, described in one word, is meh. I didn't hate it, but it never really achieved the 'great' level for me. I thought it was starting to pick up in the middle, but after a few good fifty pages or so, it went back to being a melodramatic romance with a bit too much going on plotwise.

I think the reason that I didn't dislike this, because I did have a lot of complaints about Blue and yet still gave this three stars, is that it is a subject that is very new to me. Aside from Soul Surfer, which is a verrrry different book than this, I had never picked up anything to do with surfing. I'd never even found anything to do with surfing. So this book introduced me to a whole new type of story, and it's one that I actually might be interested in exploring some more.

However, there were a lot of issues with this book at the same time. Iris was a very blah main character. I never really liked her; she came off as rather Mary-Sueish, with her only redeeming quality being the passion she had for surfing and the ocean in general. Being a newbie to any books about surfing, I found that refreshing. Other than that, though...she was very negative about most people, and she refused to get rid of her ex-boyfriend completely even though he was a total dousche to Zeke. It reached stupidity level. (SPOILER, HIGHLIGHT TO READ: Her ex STABBED Zeke, and she's still talking to him. Who does that?)

I had mixed feelings about Zeke. He started off as a unrealistically perfect, cliche love interest (and he also had a YOLO tattoo, which made me giggle a bit) but he ended up being really cool. He was an adrenaline junkie, but he was actually pretty likeable. His flaws come out later, which made him seem more human.

On a scale of 1-10, the insta-love in this book rates at about an 8.5. (Some people might actually argue higher, but I've read worse.) The romance happened really quickly; there was barely any actual development of Iris and Zekes' relationship--instead, it just seemed to magically appear.

The plot went like three directions all at once and it was a big hot mess that could not be saved by the coolness of Zeke whatsoever. I'll try to keep this vague so I don't ruin the plot, but there were drama filled surfing competitions, secrets revealed about Zeke and his family, a bunch of romance, and Iris' ex, Daniel, causing a bunch of trouble and being a dousche in general. After a while, I just zoned out, read for the sake of getting it finished, and checked how long this book was going to go on. There was so much that the plot tried to do, and it accomplished none of those things very well.

Would I go on reading this series? No, probably not unless I read a lot of really good reviews for the second. But was Blue a complete letdown either? No; I did like the surfing aspects of the book, just not the other multiple, slightly overdramatic plotlines.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Review: Torn True Love by K.D. Ferguson

Torn True Love

By K.D. Ferguson

Blurb: Everyone has a choice. Abide by the government’s rules and regulations and you may live the average life. Or you can become a Sweeper. Krissa Channing’s destination was clear until Braiden entered her life and clouded her future.

Krissa’s future, which once seemed so promising, is compromised when her relationship with Braiden is forced by the hands of the government. The pressure of an automatic pairing pushes them both down a path they never dreamed they’d travel.

While Krissa accepts the change, Braiden revolts against the government leaving Krissa alone, her heart torn. Should she follow the rules and regulations and continue down the road mapped out for her? Or should she go against everything she’s been taught and follow after her true love?

Genres: Young Adult, Dystopian, Romance

Publication Date: May 7, 2014

Series: N/A

Pages: 230
My Rating: 1 star

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Aside from the poem at the beginning of the book, there were absolutely no redeeming factors in Torn True Love. I did not know how much hate I could have for a love triangle--or a love interest--until I read this. That wasn't only problem, though; it seemed like I was constantly rolling my eyes while reading this.

However, the main problem was the love triangle. Braiden is straight up verbally abusive to Krissa. And Krissa could not see it whatsoever, but instead, hung on to him and refused to face up to the fact that he was the most horrible boyfriend ever. Chance, who, God help me, I wanted to physically hurt throughout the course of the book seemed to a) be just thrown in the plot for the sake of some more drama. b) was almost as douschey as Braiden and c) was a creep extraordinaire (though, to be fair, so was Braiden.) If a boy cheats on you, breaking your heart, and then wants to get back together, I really don't think that it's a good idea to even consider it. Plus, Krissa kept saying she was over Chance, so why was he even an option?

Krissa was a very weak heroine. This whole book revolved around her love life, and it was a pretty horrible love life. I wanted more substance than that. She does pretty non-dystopian things like go to parties and be a cheerleader. Quite honestly, if it hadn't been for the fact that this was dystopian, that probably wouldn't have bothered me too much, though I may have labeled it as a tad stereotypical. But the thing is--this is dystopian.

Practically none of the book felt like a dystopian novel, in fact. If it had not been for the infrequent mention of the 'sweeper unit', and the fact that society now 'pairs' instead of marries, I probably would have forgotten that Torn True Love was not a realistic teen drama.

The large amount of 'mature' content in this book really did not sit well with me; it had more than any of the adult books I've read. I didn't take off stars due to this because I think that's more personal, but honestly, I think that even someone who is usually fine with mature content might start to get annoyed as well because it seemed to get in the way of the actual plot a few times.

The end was...oh dear. All it did for me was reinforce that makes terrible choices when it comes to men. I was actually somewhat relieved that the book was over.

I am not recommending this book. Not even for dystopian fans, because it really was not a 'true' dystopian. It was rather painful for me to read, and had I not needed to read the sequel for a blog tour, I definitely would have stopped very soon into the story.