Contemporary

All posts in the Contemporary category

4 stars to This Is Not A Test by Courtney Summers

Published June 19, 2014 by katheryn13

It’s the end of the world. Six students have taken cover in Cortege High but shelter is little comfort when the dead outside won’t stop pounding on the doors. One bite is all it takes to kill a person and bring them back as a monstrous version of their former self. To Sloane Price, that doesn’t sound so bad. Six months ago, her world collapsed and since then, she’s failed to find a reason to keep going. Now seems like the perfect time to give up. As Sloane eagerly waits for the barricades to fall, she’s forced to witness the apocalypse through the eyes of five people who actually want to live. But as the days crawl by, the motivations for survival change in startling ways and soon the group’s fate is determined less and less by what’s happening outside and more and more by the unpredictable and violent bids for life—and death—inside. When everything is gone, what do you hold on to?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Review

Well this was different to what I usually read, but I think that was part of the appeal. I had heard about This Is Not A Test for so long, but when I first opened the book, I had no idea zombies were involved.
Many on reviews say this is not strictly a zombie apocalyptic story, because while they are apart of the plot, they are not CENTRAL. The story is about the teenagers and their survival. They don’t know how long they’ll be alive for before the zombies fight their way through. It was definitely gruesome in parts, but I have read some pretty gruel stories and this was tame in comparison. The characters were intriguing and tough. Some were more central than others, and Sloane was the main character. Since her twin left her to her abusive father, Sloane has just wanted to end her life. But then she runs away when the dead come to life and start attacking, and her reasons to die become less coherent. It’s quite a powerful story, and at times I thought: this is it. She’s going to kill herself. But you gradually see she’s getting stronger and finding a reason to live, even if it takes time.

I’m really glad I picked this up from the library and will look out for more books by this author.

–Kat

4.5 stars to The One (The Selection #3) by Kiera Cass

Published June 14, 2014 by katheryn13

THE SELECTION changed the lives of thirty-five girls forever. Now, only one will claim Prince Maxon’s heart…

It’s swoon meets the Hunger Games in the final instalment of THE SELECTION trilogy!

For the four girls who remain at the palace, the friendships they’ve formed, rivalries they’ve struggled with and dangers they’ve faced have bound them to each other for the rest of their lives.

Now, the time has come for one winner to be chosen.

America never dreamed she would find herself anywhere close to the crown – or to Prince Maxon’s heart. But as the competition approaches its end and the threats outside the palace walls grow more vicious, America realises just how much she stands to lose – and how hard she’ll have to fight for the future she wants.

 

 

Review:

PRAISE YOU, KIERA! *high fives* I loved that bit in the Acknowledgements! lol

If I had any doubts about how this would pan out, then I wish I could go back to myself three days ago and slap my face. Shake my shoulders and tell me that I’m being silly. I won’t spoil it because it’s a pretty  big ending.

Anyway, America…wow she became so much more in The One. I’ll admit she got on my nerves a bit in The Elite because of her “indecision” over Maxon and Aspen. I mean, really. There is NO comparison. (pssst I love Maxon!) But I could also see her point of view. She’d only ever known Aspen and change isn’t always good, sometimes it’s freaking scary and if you don’t know what’s waiting on the other side, why would you want to change?

There were plenty of sad moments, however in this final instalment. I cried. I know, I know, I try not to. But…those letters. *zips lips* I can’t. You’ll know what I mean if you’ve read it.

I wanted to slap America at one point, though. Her attention to secrecy regarding Aspen was bound to slip at one point and when it did I was ready to start an intervention. This girl…hasn’t she learned anything by now? Secrets aren’t good.

The romance in this is swoooooon worthy and awww man….can i just grafitti my love for Maxon MAXON MY DARLING MY DEAR COME TO MEEEE! (I’m not crazy, I promise!)

I love her family, though. May…however overly giddy, she is a sweetie. Kota bugged me. Such a self-righteous git. Grr. We get to meet Kenna properly this time.

There are also new characters involving the Northern Rebels, and there are some surprises that took me by surprise.

I’m so sad this is the end of America’s story but I will forever love it. Such a roller coaster of feelings. I wish I could be a princess. *sighs*

Kat

!!!TEASER!!! from Runaway by SM Knowles

Published May 9, 2014 by katheryn13

HELLO EVERYONE!

We have a great surprise for all your lovely readers. Anyone a fan of SM Knowles? Well today is your lucky day. Here at Perks, we have a special teaser from her latest novel, Runaway (written as Aubrey Kendall)!Check it out below and then go add this book to your lists on Goodreads and check out the link where you can buy:

EXCERPT:

Another loud bang beats at the door. Her father growling as he begins to speak. “Courtney! You had best get your ass out!” He hits the door just right, it busts open, and catches her ankle…. She looks down, watching a line of blood surge from her opened skin. A tear falls from her face. She knows what’s next. Her father is like clockwork. Immediately, she covers her head as her towel slips down her waist and she leans over trying to get as close to the floor as possible. If she leans into the floor, she won’t have to worry about her face bouncing, causing more bruising.
He begins pushing his way through the door. “God damn it girl! You get out when I tell you to.”
A hard punch to the back of the head. She shivers as she waits for him to hit her again, pushing her way deeper into the back of the toilet. Anything to keep him from hurting her. This time he uses an open hand slap to her lower back. She jumps hugging the toilet. “Please,” she whimpers.
“Please, what? More?” He kicks her rear at that, and her legs are the only thing exposed by this time.
She continues laying down, shoved as far as she can get herself beside the toilet. Waiting for whatever else her dad might throw at her. Courtney is shaking uncontrollably, tears are streaming down her face and mingling with the snot coming out of her nose. More whimpers as she lays, waiting…..

 

Goodreads

Amazon UK – Kindle

Amazon UK – Paperback!

Amazon U.S – Kindle  – There’s also a paperback version for U.S.!

~*~ABOUT THE AUTHOR~*~

S.M. Knowles was born in Elmira, New York where she was swept away in a whirlwind to the Land of Oz—Independence, Kansas. Her parents were relocating for working opportunities and decided that this would be the perfect place to start new roots. Little did she know that this place would contribute to the inspiration for the first book she wrote in her Rylee Everley Series.

While growing up, S.M. would travel the roads around her house while imagining she was somewhere else. Her imagination would take her everywhere, making the long hot summer days seem shorter throughout her fantasies.

At the age of twelve, she decided to write her first book. Filled mostly with dialog, she filled up one-hundred pages, front and back. After taking the book downstairs to show her mom, and persuading her to buy her more paper, she excitedly ran back to her room. As she barreled through the door, S.M. tripped over items left on her floor, and her papers came raining down in her room. Discouraged, she stood there in tears, picking up her papers and throwing them in the trash. Her work had no organization, no numbers on her pages, just a child fulfilling a joy that she would put down and not pick up again.

When she became older, she joined the military for something different. In that time, she was able to explore many places and even met her husband in Iraq. After coming home, she started her family in Arizona and went back to school, earning a Master’s degree in Adult Education and Training.

~*BOOK LIST*~

The Rylee Everley series

Runaway (as Aubrey Kendall)

 

4 stars to Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Published March 12, 2014 by katheryn13

Cath and Wren are identical twins, and until recently they did absolutely everything together. Now they’re off to university and Wren’s decided she doesn’t want to be one half of a pair any more – she wants to dance, meet boys, go to parties and let loose.

It’s not so easy for Cath. She’s horribly shy and has always buried herself in the fan fiction she writes, where she always knows exactly what to say and can write a romance far more intense than anything she’s experienced in real life. Without Wren Cath is completely on her own and totally outside her comfort zone. She’s got a surly room-mate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words

…And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone. Now Cath has to decide whether she’s ready to open her heart to new people and new experiences, and she’s realizing that there’s more to learn about love than she ever thought possible …

Review:

Smart, witty, charming…this is just what I needed. Something fun. Although the main character, Cath, reminds me too much of myself. (minus the looking cute and getting boys attention and being young) I had heard such good things about Fangirl and so many people had said I should read it. I did and I loved it. Made me cry, though, and it was so romantic…Damn you Levi.

He wasn’t even good looking, well, not in the conventional sense. He was the great example for personality being more important than looks.

I liked the relationship between Cath and her twin Wren. Although I don’t have sisters, I think their behaviour is closer to real sister sister relationships than what you see in other books or TV shows.

It’s been a while since I’ve read a contemporary. It was refreshing.

The hype regarding Fangirl has not disappointed me and it surely won’t disappoint you. It’s a highly recommended story with a rush of emotional value. (Does that even  make sense? Probably not.)

Go read it! :D

 

Kat

5 stars to I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella

Published October 10, 2013 by katheryn13

I’ve lost it. :( 

The only thing in the world I wasn’t supposed to lose. My engagement ring. It’s been in Magnus’s family for three generations. And now, the very same day his parents are coming, I’ve lost it. The very same day. Do not hyperventilate, Poppy. 

Stay positive!! :)

A couple of glasses of bubbly with the girls and Poppy’s life has gone into meltdown. Not only has she lost her engagement ring, but in the panic that followed, she’s lost her phone too. When she spots an abandoned phone in a bin it seems it was meant to be.Finders Keepers!

Except the phone’s owner, elusive businessman Sam Roxton, doesn’t agree. He wants his phone back, and doesn’t appreciate Poppy reading all his messages and wading into his personal life. Can things get any more tangled?

 

Review:

“Please stand by while the reviewer cries her heart out” Okay so maybe that’s a bit dramatic, but OH MY GOD.

Someone could have warned me how much I’d turn to mush after reading this!

I’ve not read Sophie Kinsella books for years, and man, have I missed them?! They’re always so quirky and easy to read, and generally make you want to laugh and awwwwww at the same time.

I fell in love with this book. I’ve Got Your Number is one of those books that’s hip enough for the modern generation, but also wistful and romantic for older folk (although I’m not that old so yeah…). The text messages in this…whose idea was that? It was genius, romantic, funny, sweet. I just….*melts*

Poppy Wyatt is what I would call a fairly common example of the average woman. She’s strong but also has her issues, she’s clumsy, she’s logical, she’s funny, and she’s nice. I mean okay so maybe not a COMMON example. I’m not quite as stupid as she was when she would send off certain emails and then shit hits the fan. Hahaha. I swear, I wish I could have been there to tell her, “NO! STOP IT, POPPY!”

Sam Roxton. WHAT can I say? He started off as a moody, uptight businessman. And he turned out to be one hell of a guy. Dare I say it? Poppy + Sam = OTP! (OKAY cheesiness out of the way. ooh I rhymed.)

I love these books where you, the reader, can feel the connection between two characters BEFORE the characters, themselves, do. It’s like you’re having a birds eye view of this extraordinary encounter and they have no clue what’s about to happen. Literally, NO clue. And at the same time, it was like watching a tv show, or movie. So…clear in my head of who these people were, and what was happening.

There were a lot of adult-y subjects (weddings, political matters, cheating scandals, etc etc) but at the same time, it didn’t seem to take away the fact this is a fun, romantic story about two people, completely different in personalities and lifestyles, who find themselves thrown together through the most ridiculous of situations possible. Who throws a nice phone in a BIN?!  *note to self: cherish phone forever. It may one day hop, skip, and leave you.*

I can’t say much more than that I really really really REALLY loved this book. Sure, certain characters (Willow. Lucinda. And at times, Magnus.) got on my bloody nerves, but that was part of the point. All of the other characters had their own intricate ways of being important, and that’s what I like. Not just standbys that don’t really say anything.

But can I just point out: THE ENDING! OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG! (no spoilers, though.) I slapped my legs so hard, I’m pretty sure I left hand prints on them. >_<

I don’t know why I left so long to read this, but I am so damned glad I read it and I must, MUST read the other books of Sophie’s I have lying around. This is the kind of Adult Contemporary that is just right for me. No explicit sex, no unnecessary swearing (although there is SOME so be warned if you’re sensitive to bad language) just modern fun, typical girl behaviour, and romance that’ll have you hugging the book (well, I did.) and curling into a ball because you wish that had happened to you. Just saying.

Kat

 

 

 

3 stars to Breathing Ghosts by Laekan Zea Kemp

Published October 9, 2013 by katheryn13

She is a winding cosmos, bleeding and bursting into night. She is a dream. She is dead.

River has just lost the one thing that matters most to him—Nia—and all she’s left behind is a pile of scribbled love notes detailing their past and a pin-holed map planning out their future. Hopes and dreams confined to one dimension now that she’s gone and River’s too afraid to leave his hometown, crippled by the same anxiety that’s plagued his mother for as long as he can remember.

But after a strange encounter with the only girl he ever loved a week after laying her to rest, River, armed with nothing but her map and his memories, decides to finally leave and never look back. And with the help of a pair of eccentrically named siblings as well as a mutt with three legs, he sets out to do the very thing Nia always knew how to do better than he ever could—live.

From the moonlit beaches off of Florida’s east coast, to the forests of Mississippi, to Bourbon Street, Cadillac Ranch, and the Arizona desert, River is faced with not only Nia’s ghost but his own and he learns that in life there are no accidents, only miracles.

A copy of this book was given in exchange for an honest review. 
Review:

“In that moment something shifted […] I couldn’t tell her that she wasn’t just my girlfriend. That she was the tether keeping me strung here.  She was the moon against my tide.  A constant push and pull.  She was my gravity.”

 Breathing Ghosts is the story of River, who’s stuck in a rut. River’s home life is less than ideal. His step-father is an abusive alcoholic and his mother, a once free spirit, has turned hollow and afraid, a shell of her former self thanks to her husband who not only hits her, but her son as well. Crippled by his mothers fear, River is afraid to break the habit of his monotonous life: Work, school, repeat. His only salvation is his girlfriend, Nia.

Nia is a whimsical, artistic character, who encourages River to get out of his life and see the world the way see does. Nia, due to her own less-than-ideal home life, wants to get out of her small home town and have experiences. The good and the bad.

When Nia tradigally dies so suddenly, River’s whole world is turned upside down. After yet another blow up with his step-father and running into trouble with the men his step-father conducts his business with, River flees. Armed with nothing but a backpack stuffed with clothes, stolen money, mementos of his relationship with dead girlfriend and the map she spent hour and hours pouring over, River decides to flee and take Nia up on her proposal for an adventure after all.

Hindsight is a huge theme in Breathing Ghosts as after Nia dies, River replays their conversations and memories in his head and wishes he would’ve taken Nia up on her offer to drop everything and leave instead of letting his fear of change stop him. With an incredibly descriptive narrative, the reader joins River in his hallucinations of Nia, leading the reader to question weather or not she was truly there as River is determined to see her at every stop in the map.

Considering Nia dies within the first few pages, the author did well in continuing to develop their relationship through the use of jumps in time, pre and post Nia’s death, allowing the reader to see how they interacted and give us more insight into Nia’s personality.  Though easy to follow, due to the heavy themes of abusive parents, death and illness it’s a quick but heavy read.

Breathing Ghosts, which started out as a story of a boy chasing the memory/ghost of his recently deceased girlfriend, turned out to be a journey of self discovery and finding ones self which River finally achieved after letting two annoyingly persistent twins, Carter and June, who were on the run from their own terrible home life too, join him in his mission to experience everything Nia wanted to.

The reason I gave this book only three stars is because although River runs away from home, travels to all these “islands of misfit toys” accompanied by Carter and June, it still seems to me like not a lot happens. I don’t know, maybe it’s just because I’m used to reading more plot based stories, action packed books with huge exciting story lines that a story of this scale seems dull to me.

Don’t let my three stars put you off, if you think this story might interests you then go ahead. I thought the writing style was very good, descriptive and enticing in parts, but for me, there was just something lacking.

Sophie

3.5 stars to Hearts in Darkness by Laura Kaye

Published August 11, 2013 by katheryn13

Two strangers…

Makenna James thinks her day can’t get any worse, until she finds herself stranded in a pitch-black elevator with a complete stranger. Distracted by a phone call, the pin-striped accountant catches only a glimpse of a dragon tattoo on his hand before the lights go out.

Four hours…

Caden Grayson is amused when a harried redhead dashes into his elevator fumbling her bags and cell phone. His amusement turns to panic when the power fails. Despite his piercings, tats, and vicious scar, he’s terrified of the dark and confined spaces. Now, he’s trapped in his own worst nightmare.

One pitch-black elevator…

To fight fear, they must reach out and open up. With no preconceived notions based on looks to hold them back, they discover just how much they have in common. In the warming darkness, attraction grows and sparks fly, but will they feel the same when the lights come back on?

Review:

Hearts in Darkness. I have been dying to read this book for awhile now. The cover is just so sexy that I was like, how have I not read it yet?! I finally did! And literally… it took me from about… 9:45 in the morning until about noon. I devoured this book in a matter of a few hours I had to kill. I didn’t want to put the book down! It was really good! And it’s different and interesting and rather unique in my mind.

Meet Makenna and Caden. Makenna is a young woman about 25, working as an accountant of forensic. A rather smart, intelligent girl. A gorgeous red head at that, too. Caden; paramedic, 28, and FINE AS ALL GET OUT; tattoos, piercings, tall, buff. Yummy. These are your characters.

The plot? They are in an elevator. Going down, leaving for the day. No, they do not know each other, AT ALL. No, Makenna doesn’t even get a glimpse of Caden. Caden got a sneak peak as he held the elevator door for her as she came frantically in trying to manage her bags and her phone. Going down? Not quite yet. The elevator STOPS. LIGHTS OUT. It’s pitch BLACK. They are literally stuck. So, what is the most logical thing to do? They talk. For 4 hours. They talk about a lot of things. They truly get to know each other on a different level because they are basing their knowledge of one another off of who they are on the inside because they can’t see the outside.

I will start off with this. This short novella is rather interesting and it’s different. I like the concept because it is actually something that could happen. Getting stuck in an elevator? That may be my worst nightmare. Claustrophobic and slightly scared of the dark? Not a good place for ME to be. Nor Caden actually… but you will learn about him when you start reading! It’s just such a different concept for a story that I really enjoyed that.

On the other hand… how things end up happening… I was like, really? It’s only been a couple of hours and that happened? And now this… what? Really? Why? I mean I get why, and I probably would have done the same because of the heightened emotion, but still. Some components were slightly unbelievable.

In the end, it was really sweet. I won’t give it away, but I liked the ending. I felt it completed the novella well and I was happy with what happened.

Overall, it’s a good story. Interesting, different, sort of realistic in certain components. I just really loved watching the characters get to know each other on a verbal connection. It wasn’t because they thought the other was hot or whatever. They talked, they shared, they felt compassion. It was refreshing to see that.

Like the tattooed boys? It’s worth the read for Caden. I need me one of those!!  Definitely a good short summer read! Sexy, unique, and short. Go Caden! And Makenna as well ;)

 

-Christy Lyn