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Review: Sword Art Online: Aincrad, Vol. 1 by Reki Kawahara

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Set in the year 2022, Sword Art Online is a unique game which has been released and the protagonist of the book Kirito is one of the few thousand people who are amongst the first to log in when the game goes live. To enter the game, players wear a NerveGear, a piece of technology which fully immerses the wearer in the game. Everything is amazing until players find that the game is missing a log-out button. Confusion turns to horror as an announcement is made that for players to leave the game unscathed, they have to pass all 100 floors of the structure known as Aincrad. Until the game is beaten, removing the NerveGear is impossible without harming its wearer.

The premise and plot of Sword Art Online 1: Aincrad was nothing short of epic! We follow Kirito, a solo player, and his experience through the game. It was fun recognising the aspects of MMORPGs mentioned in the book. Despite the overhanging knowledge that in-game death meant real-life death, it wasn't all depressing in the book. There were some funny moments such as the Kirito's decision of cooking a rare meat or selling it on the market for a hefty amount of kol/coin.

The only thing I didn't like was the way Kirito's relationships with the other characters were written. Rather than reading about how he met each character, it was a given that Kirito knew these people some time before. I would have preferred it if I read about the very first encounters. Having said that, the book was fast paced and I guess that was one way to show how much time had passed since Kirito entered the game.

Overall, I really enjoyed Sword Art Online 1: Aincrad. It was pretty awesome!

Review: Evercrossed by Elizabeth Chandler (Kissed by an Angel #4)

Tuesday, November 11, 2014
Goodreads summary:
It’s been a year since Ivy’s boyfriend, Tristan, died. They’ve both moved on—Tristan to the other side of the afterlife, and Ivy to sweet, dependable Will. Now Ivy’s heading to Cape Cod, hoping to leave the horror of last summer behind. She wants nothing more than to lie on the beach, sip lemonade, and hang out with her friends.

But then a car crash ends Ivy’s life.

As she floats to the beyond, looking down on the life she’s left behind, Tristan breathes life back into her with a passionate kiss. She wakes up in the hospital, surrounded by Will and her family, but all she can think about is the love that she lost.

But memories aren’t all that’s come back from the past. And this time, Ivy’s not sure love will be enough to save her.

Evercrossed picks up a year after Tristan's death. Ivy seems to have moved on with Will but a chain of events brings her back to longing for Tristan.

Ivy and her girlfriends play with an Ouija board one night, accidentally allowing a spirit to enter the world. On a separate night, Ivy is involved in a car crash and sees Tristan telling her he will always be with her.

With her mind on nothing but Tristan after waking up in hospital (convinced that he saved her from death), she bumps into another patient, an amnesiac aka Guy, who intrigues and pulls her in with his likeness to Tristan. Ivy gradually drifts away from Will and spends a lot of time with the mysterious Guy.

I didn't like how Will was treated by Ivy in this book. He's nice, caring and likable but Ivy just didn't have regard for his feelings. Whenever Ivy and Guy were on the page there was no doubt they shared something special. I was convinced Guy was Tristan with memory loss, just like Ivy was.

Ivy's life is in danger when it is revealed the spirit that she and her friends summoned could be Gregory back with a vengeance and being able to possess anyone. The book was quite suspenseful as I analysed anyone who came in contact with Ivy. The book ended with a cliffhanger revealing the possessed person who I never even suspected!

Evercrossed was definitely a book I couldn't put down.

Review: Heist Society by Ally Carter (Heist Society #1)

Friday, October 31, 2014
Goodreads summary:
When Katarina Bishop was three, her parents took her to the case it. For her seventh birthday, Katarina and her Uncle Eddie traveled to steal the crown jewels. When Kat turned fifteen, she planned a con of her own--scamming her way into the best boarding school in the country, determined to leave the family business behind. Unfortunately, leaving "the life" for a normal life proves harder than she'd expected.

Soon, Kat's friend and former co-conspirator, Hale, appears out of nowhere to bring her back into the world she tried so hard to escape. But he has good reason: a powerful mobster's art collection has been stolen, and he wants it returned. Only a master thief could have pulled this job, and Kat’s father isn’t just on the suspect list, he is the list. Caught between Interpol and a far more deadly enemy, Kat’s dad needs her help.

For Kat there is only one solution: track down the paintings and steal them back. So what if it’s a spectacularly impossible job? She’s got two weeks, a teenage crew, and hopefully just enough talent to pull off the biggest heist in her family’s (very crooked) history--and, with any luck, steal her life back along the way.

Was Heist Society meant to be an exciting mystery? I hoped that was the case yet I didn't get this feeling at all. It lacked seriousness and the characters were too 2D. A bit too cartoon-like.

The main characters (a group of teens) were meant to be top thieves but it was unrealistic to believe this as their actions were sloppy and they relied a great deal on luck. In the teenage team aka the Heist Society, there's Katarina (plain Kat), the good-looking Hale who excels in life by charming his way through (or with his abundant supply of money), Gabrielle the long legged beauty who distracts people with her short skirts, Simon the technology nerd and lastly Hamish and Angus the comedic pair of brothers. Oh I nearly forgot Nick. A really forgettable character. There was not much depth in any of the characters really. They played a role and didn't surprise me by straying away from their script.

The story has a good concept but I think the execution could have been better. The heist society apparently travels the world in their quest to track down some paintings but I never experienced the change in scenery and culture (all I got was a page stating the city and country) or felt there was a significance/beauty to the paintings. Descriptions of the paintings and places would have made it better but they weren't provided so I had to rely on my own limited perception and Google.

The book was by no means boring as I easily finished it. I could hope for some character development in the second book but I'm not in a hurry to pick that up any time soon.

Review: Wish You Were Dead by Todd Strasser (Thrillogy #1)

Monday, October 27, 2014
Goodreads summary:
The day after anonymous blogger Str-S-d wishes the popular girl would die, Lucy vanishes. The students of Soundview High are scared and worried. Especially frightened and wracked with guilt is Madison Archer, Lucy’s friend and the last person to see her the night she disappeared.
As days pass with no sign of the missing girl, even the attention of Tyler, an attractive new student, is not enough to distract Madison from her growing sense of foreboding. When two more popular students disappear after their names are mentioned on Str-S-d’s blog, the residents of Soundview panic.
Meanwhile, Madison receives anonymous notes warning that she could be next. Desperate to solve the mystery before anyone else disappears, Madison turns to Tyler, but can she trust him when it becomes clear that he knows more than he’s sharing?
The clock is ticking. Madison must uncover the truth behind the mysterious disappearances . . . before her name appears in Str-S-d’s blog.

The blurb of Wish You Were Dead lured me in right away. I liked how it didn't give everything away though and there was more to the story.

Madison, a popular girl, is the book's narrator. I was glad she was likable; she wasn't a bully (the label which could be applied to some of the popular kids) but was nice to everyone. One night Madison drops her friend Lucy off after a party and the next day Lucy is gone and nowhere to be found. Madison's other friends Adam and Courtney also go missing one by one. What makes it even scarier is that each of them were mentioned in a post written by an anonymous blogger, who wished they were dead.

The chilling atmosphere and the shroud of mystery surrounding the disappearances was well crafted. I was made to suspect each character as the culprit behind the disappearances. It was not very predictable or obvious at all!

I found the book to be well paced but the ending was a bit rushed and and I wished there was more on the aftermath. One loose end was tied sloppily but that was okay since the overall story was quite solid.

Wish You Were Dead is a great read if you're after a suspenseful thriller.

Review: Catch Me When I Fall by Vicki Leigh (Dreamcatcher #1)

Thursday, October 23, 2014
Goodreads summary: Recruited at his death to be a Protector of the Night, seventeen-year-old Daniel Graham has spent two-hundred years fighting Nightmares and guarding humans from the clawed, red-eyed creatures that feed off people’s fears. Each night, he risks his eternal life, having given up his chance at an afterlife when he chose to become a Protector. That doesn’t stop a burnt-out Daniel from risking daring maneuvers during each battle. He’s become one of the best, but he wants nothing more than to stop.

Then he’s given an assignment to watch over sixteen-year-old Kayla Bartlett, a clinically depressed patient in a psychiatric ward. Nightmares love a human with a tortured past. Yet, when they take a deep interest in her, appearing in unprecedented numbers, the job becomes more dangerous than any Daniel’s ever experienced. He fights ruthlessly to keep the Nightmares from overwhelming his team and Kayla. Soon, Daniel finds himself watching over Kayla during the day, drawn to why she’s different, and what it is about her that attracts the Nightmares. And him.

A vicious attack on Kayla forces Daniel to break the first Law and reveal his identity. Driven by his growing feelings for her, he whisks her away to Rome where others like him can keep her safe. Under their roof, the Protectors discover what Kayla is and why someone who can manipulate Nightmares has her in his sights. But before they can make a move, the Protectors are betrayed and Kayla is kidnapped. Daniel will stop at nothing to save her. Even if it means giving up his immortality.
Catch Me When I Fall started off intriguing when the premise of Dreamcatchers and Dreamweavers were introduced. It was refreshing to have the book written in a male point of view as well.

The main character Daniel, is a Dreamcatcher who's assigned to protect Kayla from Nightmares. I found it cool how these nightmares were physical creatures Daniel had to fight. In Kayla's case, an unusual amount of nightmares appear and Daniel begins to stay with her day and night.

Whilst watching over Kayla, Daniel starts to develop feelings for Kayla (fast! too fast? In my opinion, yes). I didn't feel like I got to know much about Kayla apart from her backstory of how she came to live in a psych ward hence I couldn't understand why Daniel fell for her (What made her so different from other people he had to protect over his 200 years as a Dreamcatcher?). It was disappointing how Kayla was mostly helpless and required Daniel to save her in numerous situations seeing as there was potential at the start for Kayla to be a strong character!

I lost interest in the story when the run-of-the-mill save-the-girl-in-the-name-of-love mission came about. Kayla is kidnapped and it's up to Daniel and his friends/colleagues to find her.

Overall, Catch Me When I Fall started off unique but lost it about half way. It was still a decent read to pass the time while commuting.

Note: I received an advanced reader's copy from Curiosity Quills Press via NetGalley to review. This review is my honest opinion.

Review: Sacrifice by Brigid Kemmerer (Elemental #5)

Monday, September 1, 2014
Goodreads summary:
One misstep and they lose it all. For the last time.

Michael Merrick is used to pressure.

He’s the only parent his three brothers have had for years. His power to control Earth could kill someone if he miscalculates. Now an Elemental Guide has it out for his family, and he’s all that stands in the way.

His girlfriend, Hannah, gets that. She’s got a kid of her own, and a job as a firefighter that could end her life without a moment’s notice.

But there are people who have had enough of Michael’s defiance, his family’s “bad luck.” Before he knows it, Michael’s enemies have turned into the Merricks’ enemies, and they’re armed for war.

They’re not interested in surrender. But Michael isn’t the white flag type anyway. There will be blood on the ground tonight…
--- WARNING: Minor spoilers ahead ---

After finishing this book, I am left with conflicting feelings. On one hand I loved getting back into the Elementals world and this book served up the long-awaited point of view of Michael. We get a glimpse beyond the calm exterior of Michael Merrick. On the other hand, this book felt quite inadequate as a conclusion to the series. The other Merricks barely showed up for anything and I kind of expected everyone to be working together as a united front in the 'final showdown' rather than Michael bearing the physical and mental weight alone. As a result, the potential epic factor was lost. I expected Elemental powers to come into play a lot more after the build up of an impending confrontation with the Guides since Storm, but I was a let down as the antagonists turned out to be your run-of-the-mill bad guys who liked to instill fear and didn't have much depth or reason.

Whereas in the previous books I felt the closeness in the relationships between the brothers and enjoyed the family dynamics, in Sacrifice I felt like I was being distanced from that. Hannah plays a large role here and it was interesting to see what family issues she had to sort out though. The author excels in setting up back-stories for the characters despite narration in third-person. I liked the introduction of Irish but his time was cut short and I felt there was more to be explored about him. I wished there was more about the other Merrick brothers too!!!

The book was thrilling and fast-paced. Danger was around every corner. I was in for a unpleasant shock at the terrible fate of one of characters. My heart was ripped out and I was left feeling very hollow during this particular scene. That's how much I was genuinely invested in that character!

I wouldn't have minded if this installment lasted for a few hundred pages more because I didn't want to say goodbye so soon. The Elemental series has a special place in my heart (and on my shelf!). I definitely see myself revisiting the series in the future.

Note: I received an advanced reader's copy from Kensington Books via NetGalley to review. This review is my honest opinion.

Review: What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang

Friday, August 15, 2014
Goodreads summary:
Imagine that you have two minds, sharing one body. You and your other self are closer than twins, better than friends. You have known each other forever.

Then imagine that people like you are hated and feared. That the government want to hunt you down and tear out your second soul, separating you from the person you love most in the world.

Now meet Eva and Addie.

They don’t have to imagine.
What's left of Me introduces us to a unique, thought-provoking and eerie world where life starts out with two souls sharing a body. As people grow older, they settle; one soul takes over completely while the other disappears. Eva is a recessive soul sharing the same body as Addie. She is unable to control the body but has held on for years pretending not to exist. Addie and Eva are forced to hide the fact they are hybrid since the government sees hybrids as dangerous and a sickness that must be cured. I would've liked more explanation of why ALL hybrids were seen as dangerous because the reason given was weak: a few incidents here and there involving hybrids. Would it have been a big deal if these incidents were committed by settled people? I'm sure more answers will be given throughout the series though.

Throughout the book Eva and Addie go through many internal struggles and battles and I thought these were the highlights of the book. Eva's situation was really heartbreaking and frustrating. The writing was superb, capturing the trapped-in-a-cage helplessness of Eva as a lot of the time, Addie made the final decision of what they did. A little romance was thrown into the story which added another interesting concept to explore what with Eva and Addie sharing the same body but not the same feelings.

A compelling read and a promising start to the series!

Review: Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone

Sunday, August 10, 2014
Goodreads summary:
Anna and Bennett were never supposed to meet: she lives in 1995 Chicago and he lives in 2012 San Francisco. But Bennett has the unique ability to travel through time and space, which brings him into Anna’s life, and with him a new world of adventure and possibility.

As their relationship deepens, the two face the reality that time may knock Bennett back to where he belongs, even as a devastating crisis throws everything they believe into question. Against a ticking clock, Anna and Bennett are forced to ask themselves how far they can push the bounds of fate, what consequences they can bear in order to stay together, and whether their love can stand the test of time.

A completely captivating bittersweet story about two young people falling in love in the worst possible scenario - being separated by time!

I loved the pacing of the book and the writing kept my interest all the way through. I was engrossed in the initial meeting of Anna and Bennett and the strangeness in the way Bennett acted around Anna (interested in her one moment and the next, cold and indifferent). I was interested in finding out all there was to know about his ability which was hinted in the book blurb and I wondered how their relationship would work. I experienced the heart tugging and miserable moments in the book along with Anna.

The explanation of how time travel worked was a bit questionable. There were quite a few holes which failed in making me suspend my disbelief. Other than that, the story had a great message: live life for yourself. The time travel aspect of the story was great medium in delivering this message.

Time Between Us works as a stand-alone but I'll definitely be continuing Anna and Bennett's story in Time after Time.

Review: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Friday, August 1, 2014
Goodreads summary:
On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne's fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick's clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn't doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife's head, but passages from Amy's diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge.

Under mounting pressure from the police and the media - as well as Amy's fiercely doting parents - the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he's definitely bitter - but is he really a killer?

As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn't do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?
The book was quite slow in the build up but you could just sense that a shitshorm was brewing. Divided into three parts, each increased the intensity in which the characters toyed with my mind. Alternating chapters told from Nick Dunne's POV and Amy Dunne Elliot's POV, my opinions of each of them and of all the people they associated with were constantly changing based on who was narrating.

The husband and wife were really hard characters to like but I was compelled to figure out their story. I was constantly changing my take on what happened that morning when Amy went missing and what events had led up to it. I was thoroughly disturbed by the last page! Gone Girl was a well plotted dark and sinister tale.

Review: Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini

Saturday, July 26, 2014
Goodreads summary:
Helen Hamilton has spent her entire sixteen years trying to hide how different she is - no easy task on an island as small and sheltered as Nantucket. And it's getting harder. Nightmares of a desperate desert journey have Helen waking parched, only to find her sheets damaged by dirt and dust. At school she's haunted by hallucinations of three women weeping tears of blood . . . and when Helen first crosses paths with Lucas Delos, she has no way of knowing they're destined to play the leading roles in a tragedy the Fates insist on repeating throughout history.

As Helen unlocks the secrets of her ancestry, she realizes that some myths are more than just legend. But even demigod powers might not be enough to defy the forces that are both drawing her and Lucas together - and trying to tear them apart.
I was really excited to dig into this book after discovering it had greek mythology in it. The book starts off interestingly enough with the non-traditional meeting of the main characters Helen and Lucas; they start of hating each other for no reason (180 degrees from love at first sight!).

It might have been the third person narrative but I could not for the life of me like Helen. She was completely devoid of personality. All she wanted to do most of the time was scream or run away. The reason why the Delos family pays her any attention is because of the heritage running through her bloodstream and the special powers she's got. Lucas wasn't much better, a typical pretty boy with a questionable attachment to the incredibly dull female lead.

I did like some characters of the book which included Helen's best friend Claire (a really good friend who stuck by Helen through Helen's unpredictable-bordering-on-crazy mood swings) and Lucas' cousins Jason and Hector who were way more interesting than Lucas. Man, the book would have been more enjoyable with them as the main characters.

The book tries so hard to create a forbidden romance it seemed like the greek mythology served to explain how forbidden Lucas and Helen's love for each other was. Frankly their love was so instant and boring. When they declared their love for each other it felt so meaningless because there just wasn't any chemistry or development to support those words.

Another problem I had with the book was there was no epic factor. Come on, if a book's based on mythology, it's got to be epic! The story just wasn't that exciting (plus most of it was focused on the drab romance).

To sum up my feelings for this book: expected better, disappointed.

Review: Clockwise by Elle Strauss

Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Goodreads summary:
Casey Donovan has issues: hair, height and uncontrollable trips to the 19th century! And now this - she’s accidentally taken Nate Mackenzie, the cutest boy in the school, back in time. Awkward.

Protocol pressures her to tell their 1860 hosts that he is her brother and when Casey finds she has a handsome, wealthy (and unwanted) suitor, something changes in Nate. Are those romantic sparks or is it just “brotherly” protectiveness?

When they return to the present, things go back to the way they were before: Casey parked on the bottom of the rung of the social ladder and Nate perched high on the very the top. Except this time her heart is broken. Plus, her best friend is mad, her parents are split up, and her younger brother gets escorted home by the police. The only thing that could make life worse is if, by some strange twist of fate, she took Nate back to the past again.

Which of course, she does.
Free book at Smashwords

Clockwise was such a cute and delightful read. Casey, our main character, gets transported to the past in 1860 and she can't control when she goes back. This was definitely an interesting time period and I was surprised at the plot since I was just expecting this whole book to be a fluffy romance about a girl getting a popular cute guy to notice her. Wrong! The book also explores the prejudice against certain people and the way of life back in the past!

I liked the parts of the story when Casey gets transported to the past infinitely more than her story in the present. In the present, Casey is a nobody in high school and she has problems with her appearance and she's at the bottom of the social ladder. The cliches were piled on. She sets her eyes on the cutest guy in school, Nate, who happens to be a jock and taken by a popular girl who conforms to the bitchy perfect-made-up-clothed-hairstyled bitchy cheerleader archetype. How could a guy like this type of girl and what does it say about him? There was also the annoying way that the main character kept concentrating on her bad physical traits (unruly hair and knobbly knees) when loads of people were complementing her on her prettiness.

Thankfully, much of the book was focused on Casey and Nate's venture into the past and them getting to know each other better and running into some interesting situations! Casey's thoughts were focused less on her appearance and her likable personality came through to us (and to Nate!).

Clockwise had a pretty cool surprise at the end. I'm happy there's a continuation of the story because just when it was revealed the book ended so suddenly!

Review: Endlessly by Kiersten White (Paranormalcy, #3)

Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Goodreads summary:
In Endlessly, pink-loving, butt-kicking Evie has way too much on her to-do list. Paranormals are begging her to open a faerie gate so they can leave the human world, something Evie’s not sure she has the power to do. The Dark Queen is torturing humans and must be destroyed.

On top of all that, Evie’s prom is coming up. She’s not sure what to wear, and, oh, yeah, her shape-shifting boyfriend, Lend, has been cursed so that he falls into an enchanted sleep whenever he and Evie are in the same room…and even Evie’s ex-boyfriend, the faerie Reth, can’t reverse the dark magic.

An epic battle is looming, and the choices Evie makes will determine the fate of whole paranormal world—and her own life.

A good conclusion to the Paranormalcy series but I kind of expected more. I counted on the nice dosage of comedy and funny dialogue when I got back into the world and the book delivered. The bad thing was sometimes this comedy got in the way of developing the characters and especially the relationship between Lend and Evie.

Lend and Evie were cute in this book but they kind of lacked spark. I found myself once again (as I did in Supernaturally) missing the Lend I met in the first book, the mischievous and unpredictable Lend. Lend didn't do much in this novel which I hated. Trying to live a human life just made him somehow... boring. What made it worse for me was Reth, the manipulative faerie, had so much more page time and his character was more complex and developed.

The author did create a memorable cast of characters but I was left craving for more. We just skimmed the surface of Jack and Raquel and David's story. If those had been touched upon more in this book, I would have surely felt more emotional leaving the world after I turned the last page. Nevertheless, a great series that was easy to devour and a fun adventure ride.

Review: The Diviners by Libba Bray

Saturday, July 19, 2014
Goodreads summary:
Evie O’Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City—and she is pos-i-tute-ly ecstatic. It’s 1926, and New York is filled with speakeasies, Ziegfeld girls, and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is that she has to live with her uncle Will and his unhealthy obsession with the occult.

Evie worries he’ll discover her darkest secret: a supernatural power that has only brought her trouble so far. But when the police find a murdered girl branded with a cryptic symbol and Will is called to the scene, Evie realizes her gift could help catch a serial killer.

As Evie jumps headlong into a dance with a murderer, other stories unfold in the city that never sleeps. A young man named Memphis is caught between two worlds. A chorus girl named Theta is running from her past. A student named Jericho hides a shocking secret. And unknown to all, something dark and evil has awakened.
This book sure is the berries!

The Diviners had a 1920s setting which was confusing and overwhelming at the start when the author describes speakeasies, the theatre, parties and clothing items back in the day (culture shock!), but I adapted into the world eventually and I loved it!

The scene is set at a rooftop party where the hostess takes out an Ouija board and the guests gather and summon a spirit. They reach 'Naughty John' who delivers some creepy messages. The guests are frightened and leave the board without spelling goodbye (a big no-no!), releasing Naughty John into their world. He hides in a basement and prepares to cook up something evil.

In New York city, there dwells The Diviners, people with magical powers, one of them being our main character Evie. Evie was sent from a small town to live with her uncle at a museum in the city as punishment after her 'special power' caused a scandal back home (not much of a punishment if you ask me!). Evie was po-si-tute-ly spunky! Her antics were funny and she was such a colorful character. One day Evie's uncle Will is called on by police (due to his knowledge of Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult) to help investigations in a mysterious series of murders and Evie gets caught up in helping. I really liked the contrast of Evie's personality with the horror brought on by the gruesome murders committed. She was just a big ball of sunshine lighting up the otherwise dark tone of the book.

I also liked the other characters introduced; Sam, Jericho, Will, Mabel, Theta, Memphis! They all had such interesting pasts and lead interesting lives. The character building in this book was the cat's meow!

The Diviners was a lengthy book and I was worried I'd be bored by a good chuck of it but that didn't happen at all. It was unlike anything I'd ever read before and I had a swell time reading it!

Review: If He Had Been with Me by Laura Nowlin

Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Goodreads summary: Throughout their whole childhood, Finn and Autumn were inseparable - they finished each other's sentences, they knew just what to say when the other person was hurting. But one incident in middle school puts them in separate social worlds come high school, and Autumn has been happily dating James for the last 2 years. But she's always wondered what if...
Autumn and Finn had been close childhood friends. They started drifting apart in high school, hanging out in different cliques and barely exchanging words despite frequently seeing each other during 'family' dinners where their mothers (aka The Mothers) bring them together for meals.

This book details the events leading up to that tragic August night when Finn passed away due to a car accident (which is no spoiler since it's given in the book summary). Autumn also reminisces her childhood past with Finn and we are left wondering how they were the best of friends and transitioned to being practically strangers within the span of a few years. All the could'ves, would'ves and should'ves are lain out by Autumn's recount.

Autumn's obsession with Finn was so strong, it was very annoying how many times she kept acting like she didn't care in front of him. She kept having to convince herself that settling for another boy (if he loved her more than she loved him) was a good thing, whilst she was constantly imagining how Finn would have acted in situations she experienced with that boy. It was maddening but somehow I couldn't put the book down! I just had to find out if Autumn confessed her feelings to Finn, whether Finn felt the same way and whether Finn's death would affect me more than it did when it was revealed in the first chapter.

I didn't like the book's ending as I felt it was a bit of a cop-out. It was like the author served us two bombshells on a plate and then told us to conjure up our own resolution.