Thursday, April 30, 2020

Down The TBR Hole 17


I just want to say I have no idea how these books all ended up on my TBR next to each other. Kind of interesting they're all titled the same.

Breathless by Cole Gibsen

Obituary-reading emo girl Edith Small is broken - the end result of forcing herself inside a mold that doesn't fit. All she wants is to conform to her strict sergeant stepfather's rules long enough to make it to graduation day. But a boat accident threatens to unravel the life Edith has worked so hard to keep. After waking up in a hospital with a lacerated shoulder, Edith fakes amnesia. Because admitting she received her injuries from a blue-haired girl who breathes underwater is all the reason Sir needs to send Edith on the first bus to military school. Safe at home, Edith struggles to put the nightmare behind her. But the mysterious creatures that live in the ocean aren't about to let her forget. After meeting Bastin - a strange boy with silver hair and black eyes - on a secluded dock, Edith learns about the war raging undersea to end human existence. A war that Edith, unwittingly, has become the key to winning. In a world where death is an ever-present shadow and motives are as dark as the bottom of the ocean, Edith must decide if her life is worth risking for a love that can't survive past the shore.

This one certainly looks interesting, though I'm not sure about "emo girl" part. I'll keep it for now. 

Breathless by Jessica Warman

When Katie Kitrell is shipped off to boarding school, it doesn't take her long to become part of the It Crowd. She's smart, she's cute, and she's a swimming prodigy who has a first-class ticket to any Ivy League school of her choice. But what her new friends, roommate, and boyfriend don't know is that Katie is swimming away from the secrets of her past, and from the schizophrenic older brother, Will, who won't let her go. As Katie's star rises, Will descends deeper into insanity. And when he does the unthinkable, it's all Katie can do to keep her head above water. Largely based on the author's own experiences, Breathless is a stunning debut that explores illness and health, love and lust, friends and enemies, and the moneyed world of prep school with a deft, expert hand.

This one looks really good. So I'll keep it too. 

Breathless by Lurlene McDaniel

"What is the toughest request anyone can be asked to fulfill?"
Travis Morrison is a champion diver and one of the most popular kids at school. On the first day of summer vacation, while boating on the lake with his friends, Travis attempts a silly stunt dive that goes wrong. He fears he has broken his leg. Instead, his trip to the hospital reveals he has a rare form of cancer, and to save him, the doctors tell his parents they must amputate. In an instant, Travis's life and the lives of everyone around him are forever changed.
Travis is determined that he and only he should decide the course of his life. He has a plan, but he can't carry it out alone. Will he convince one of his friends to fulfill his most important request?
Lurlene McDaniel tackles a controversial subject, probing the issues of personal choice and quality of life.

I don't think I'm going to keep this one. 


My tastes have really changed and I'm so over all of these. 

Pandora Gets Jealous (Mythic Misadventures #1)
Mythic Misadventures series by Carolyn Hennesy

13-year-old Pandora Atheneus Andromaeche Helena (or Pandy, for short) has no idea what she’ll bring for her school project. By accident she discovers a simple box, said to contain something so terrifying and horrible that no one must ever, ever touch it for fear of inflicting all of mankind with the wrath of the Gods and Goddesses. This, of course, makes the box the perfect thing for Pandora to bring for her school project. Unfortunately, things don’t go quite the way she was hoping, and the box accidentally gets opened, unleashing all kinds of evil and misery into the world. Hauled before Zeus, Hera and the rest of immortals, Pandy’s given the task of collecting all the evils within a year’s time.

Leaving Paradise (Leaving Paradise, #1)
Leaving Paradise by Simone Elkeles

Nothing has been the same since Caleb Becker left a party drunk, got behind the wheel, and hit Maggie Armstrong. Even after months of painful physical therapy, Maggie walks with a limp. Her social life is nil and a scholarship to study abroad—her chance to escape everyone and their pitying stares—has been canceled.
After a year in juvenile jail, Caleb’s free . . . if freedom means endless nagging from a transition coach and the prying eyes of the entire town. Coming home should feel good, but his family and ex-girlfriend seem like strangers.
Caleb and Maggie are outsiders, pigeon-holed as "criminal" and "freak." Then the truth emerges about what really happened the night of the accident and, once again, everything changes. It’s a bleak and tortuous journey for Caleb and Maggie, yet they end up finding comfort and strength from a surprising source: each other.

The Bar Code Tattoo (Bar Code, #1)
The Bar Code Tattoo by Suzanne Weyn

Individuality vs. Conformity
Identity vs. Access
Freedom vs. Control
The bar code tattoo. Everybody's getting it. It will make your life easier, they say. It will hook you in. It will become your identity.
But what if you say no? What if you don't want to become a code? For Kayla, this one choice changes everything. She becomes an outcast in her high school. Dangerous things happen to her family. There's no option but to run...for her life.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Review: Keep This to Yourself by Tom Ryan

Keep This to YourselfTitle: Keep This to Yourself
Author: Tom Ryan
Publisher: AW Teen
Publishing Date: May 21, 2019
Pages: 320
Audio Length: 8 Hours and 40 Minutes
Genre: YA Mystery Thriller
TW: Murder
Series:  Standalone
Source: Audio

It's been a year since the Catalog Killer terrorized the sleepy seaside town of Camera Cove, killing four people before disappearing without a trace. Like everyone else in town, eighteen-year-old Mac Bell is trying to put that horrible summer behind him—easier said than done since Mac's best friend Connor was the murderer's final victim. But when he finds a cryptic message from Connor, he's drawn back into the search for the killer—who might not have been a random drifter after all. Now nobody—friends, neighbors, or even the sexy stranger with his own connection to the case—is beyond suspicion. Sensing that someone is following his every move, Mac struggles to come to terms with his true feelings towards Connor while scrambling to uncover the truth.
This was my first read of April and let me tell you that it started everything off with a bang. I was really excited to read this and I feel like it set the mood for the rest of the month.

The cover feels very ominous to me, I feel like it's creepy and matches the book well. 

I think it's a really interesting story, even if not very unique. I almost always love serial killer books, because it keeps me on my toes and the edge of the seat, gives me a creepy crawly feeling, makes me hold me breath, clench my jaw while reading. 
As I said this one isn't very unique, the MC's best friend is killed by a serial killer and a year later he's trying to figure out who and why. 
But there was something that was unique about this story all the same, I just can't exactly put my finger on what it is. 

The pace was done pretty well in this one. It had a lot of build up, but not the slow kind of grueling kind of build up. It had the right amount of build up that had me just wanting to read more and more and not at all put it down. 
Then once it got going it really got going. It was a constant that made me want even more than I already wanted. 

Keep This to Yourself is really well written. As I said above it had a great build up. I felt myself really getting into this book. I could see myself there with the characters. Which I will talk more about in the world building. Oops.

Either way. Tom did a great job with the thrill part of this book, and not only the thrill, but the twist! Oh that twist! I thought I saw it coming and then I doubted myself and then it was so much more than I ever thought it would be. So I feel like he did a great job in leading up to it, and making you think it was one thing and then BAM it was something else. 

I did feel like the romance part of this was forced and a bit rushed. I didn't find it to be a cute romance, kind of an awkward one. And not because it's a M/M one, I feel like the characters didn't connect together. 

I liked the characters I think, for the most part. I've read a lot of books between this one and when I'm writing this. But I can't think of anything huge I didn't like.

Mac's obsession was a bit much. I feel like if it was dialed down just a bit that it would have still been a great book with the same result. I feel like it was just a bit... over the top. And weird.

And I did NOT like Connor. Man he got on my nerves. And the more I read about him I just hated him. I didn't see why Mac liked him so much. 

So I rated this one a three for a couple reasons. I did feel like the author did a good job in the description of the characters and I could picture myself there with them, as I said above.
But at the same time, I wish there was a bit more description of the area they were in. While I could picture myself talking among the characters I couldn't picture the area they were in, or their surroundings and I feel that would've bumped the book to a 5 star, because I feel like that really makes or breaks a thriller. 

As I said the twist was amazing. Well written and crazy and just whoooa. So the ending was a good one, it was satisfactory and I was okay with the book ending. 

Overall everything I hoped it would be and more. This was one of my most anticipated of 2019 and it did not disappoint. 

Swipe Right for MurderI Know You RememberEarth to CharlieThe Gravity of UsThe Missing Season

Tom Ryan is the author of several books for young readers. He has been nominated for several awards, and two of his young adult novels, Way to Go and Tag Along, were chosen for the ALA Rainbow List, in 2013 and 2014. He was a 2017 Lambda Literary Fellow in Young Adult Fiction. Tom, his husband, and their dog currently divide their time between Toronto and Nova Scotia.

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