Top 10 Books I've Read in 2012

Monday, December 31, 2012

Hiya'll! Been too lazy to finish this post but it's only an hour away from 2013 from where I am so I need to post this now. Haha! 2012 was the year I got into reading again. I initially set 25 books to read and accomplished that too fast. So 50 books. Poof, done. 70 books. Eeeeppp, I cheated and changed it to 65 when I knew there will be no chance of me completing the challenge. Hee.

So there'll be non-2012 releases here because I simply cannot not include Stargirl. So for the best books I read in 2012!

*Click on the cover thumbnails to go to the book's Goodreads page and the titles to my reviews!

Stargirl (Stargirl, #1)Gone GirlThe Night CircusWill Grayson, Will GraysonDivergent (Divergent, #1)Monstrous Beauty

1. Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli (One of my latest reads but simply one of the best. A novel that celebrates individualism, this is a must read especially for teens.)

2. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (Craziest book I read this year. Crazily effin' great, that is.)

3. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (Magical. Just plain magical.)

4. Will Grayson, Will Grayson (Hilariously rude yet deep. It wasn't THAT amazing but I definitely loved this book.)

5. Divergent by Veronica Roth (One of the most kickass heroines ever. Plus, this was a philosophical read for me, made me go muse like I did with Once and Future King.)

6. Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama (Hauntingly beautiful, hauntingly sensual, hauntingly poignant and bittersweet.)

The Book of JamesDash & Lily's Book of DaresThe Lover's DictionaryThe Hunger Games (The Hunger Games #1)Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2)Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3) 

7. The Book of James by Ellen J. Green (Probably my first indie book. SO GOOD. The mystery was super tight and what a rollercoaster of a read. Too bad it's so underappreciated.)

8. Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn (Super sweet and cute!)

9. The Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan (Achingly truthful yet sweet.)

10. The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins (Made me sink into reading again.)

Honorable Mentions

Tempest (Tempest, #1)The Sea of TranquilityAfter Hello

1. Tempest by Julie Cross (Made me squee in delight with the time travel and the sweet but broke my heart.)

2. The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay (Simply the best realistic contemporary YA I read this year.)

3. After Hello by Lisa Mangum (The sweetest contemporary YA I read this year. The SWEETEST!)

I know everyone already posted theirs but feel free to share it in the comments!

Here's to more books in 2013!

Review: The Vincent Boys by Abbi Glines

The Vincent Boys (The Vincent Boys, #1)
Title: The Vincent Boys (The Vincent Boys #1)
Author: Abbi Glines
Date of Publication: October 12, 2011 
Being the good girl isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Ashton Gray has grown weary of playing the part to please her parents, and to be worthy of the town’s prince charming, Sawyer Vincent. Maybe That’s why she’s found herself spending time with Sawyer’s cousin, Beau, while he’s away for the summer camping with his family. Beau is nothing like her perfect boyfriend. He’s the sexiest guy she’s ever seen, dangerous in ways she’s only day dreamed about, and the one guy she should stay away from. Beau never envied Sawyer his loving parents, his big nice home, or his position as quarterback. He loves him like a brother. Which is why he's tried everything in his power to keep his distance from Sawyer’s girlfriend. Even if he has loved her since the age of five, Ashton is Sawyer’s girl, so therefore she’s off limits. But when Sawyer leaves for the summer, Ashton, the one girl Beau would move Heaven and Earth for, decides she wants to get into trouble. Stabbing the one person who’s always accepted him and stood by him in the back, is the cost of finally holding Ashton Gray in his arms. Is she worth losing his cousin over?.... Hell Yeah.
Book Trailer

My Review

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

It was a quick read. The only reason why it took me days to finish this is because of school. I only got to read for ten to twenty minutes a time and just a few times in a day at that, sometimes not at all. I only got this for free on Amazon so I didn't really feel bad that it wasn't that good. Let's just get my gripes about this book out.

First and foremost, the cover. It was cute at first, I actually want to applaud it when I first saw it. It's so cute and colorful and very summery. But then when I was reading the book, the cover had no connection whatsoever with the story. I mean, book covers should provide a sneak peek into the story or tell something about it but this tells nothing. It has nothing to do with it. So yes, the cover is cute and it's successful in roping me in to read this book but it isn't really appropriate.

Secondly, gah, the typos. This book badly needs an editor. I'm no grammar expert myself but there were tons of typos and wrong punctuation and everything. My head was spinning and it's hard to ignore typos when there are so many! I wanted to mark every wrong with a red pen ala Lissa in Kody Keplinger's Shut Out. I hope they re-release an edited version.

Onto the more important part: the plot. The plot was so predictable and I knew that going in. I just wanted a light read, something familiar and brainless. But this was so brainless. I knew what's going to happen chapters away. I did not expect some but the backbone of the plot, it's like every good-girl-falls-for-the-bad-boy story out there. It didn't even try to present it as something new. Nadah. Oh well, I guess I was just disappointed that I was right. And well, I was on Team Sawyer. Oh well, I wouldn't want her to end up with Sawyer now because I want someone better and reasonable for Sawyer. So go make your babies, Ash and Beau, live in your forever bubble.

What else? I understand teenagers are hormonal but do you have to talk about the girl you're supposed to be in love with like she's an object? The same goes for the boy you supposedly love. Why do you treat and talk about them like they're an object? She's yours? Really, is she an object? Do you have a claim on her, on her life? Gah, I hate objectification of women. And here, men and women are objectified. Sigh.

And maybe the one thing I liked about this book was Lana. So I wanna read The Vincent Brothers for her just so I can read all about her and her spunky and reasonable attitude. You go, girl!

So go read this if you're an Abbi Glines fan or you're like me who just wanted to read something light and brainless. Don't expect anything new or groundbreaking or deep. Enjoy!

View all my reviews

About Abbi Glines

Abbi Glines can be found hanging out with rockstars, taking out her yacht on weekends for a party cruise, sky diving, or surfing in Maui. Okay maybe she needs to keep her imagination focused on her writing only. In the real world, Abbi can be found hauling kids (several who seem to show up that don’t belong to her) to all their social events, hiding under the covers with her MacBook in hopes her husband won’t catch her watching Buffy on Netflix again, and sneaking off to Barnes and Noble to spend hours lost in the yummy goodness of books. Her debut novel, BREATHE, can be found in digital format at Barnes and Noble and Amazon. Existence, a YA paranormal, was released December 13, 2011 by Wild Child Publishing. She also released a YA contemporary romance, The Vincent Boys this Fall. She just released her first New Adult contemporary, Because of Low. She is currently editing the second book in the Existence Trilogy, Predestined. If you want to find her then check Twitter first because she has a severe addiction to tweeting @abbiglines. She also blogs regularly but rarely about anything life changing. She also really enjoys talking about herself in third person.

Stacking the Shelves (7)

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Weee! Finally, I can read Spud! I bought Spud even if it's a bit expensive because I already have the sequel, which I got from a sale. Plus, it's an award-winning book and I'm all about knowing why they won. Heehee. Precious gifted me Gone #3 and #4 and that's my wish because I was planning on buying Hunger by myself. Lastly, The Unbearable Lightness of Being! I have this friend who always quotes this book and all the quotes sound lovely. I wasn't able to buy it before because it's expensive but Harper Perennial republished it with a new cover! I don't like the cover and I don't even get the cover but it's cheaper so I bought it immediately. Of course I sampled it a bit, checked if it's hard to understand and nope, it's not! I hope I can read it soon.

How about you? What books did you get this week?

*Btw, I don't include ebooks I got from NetGalley and from Amazon because I'm lazy. Haha! But I got MY EX FROM HELL by Tellulah Darling from NetGalley! That maybe is the most memorable ebook I got this week. Seriously, I screamed in joy when I saw it at NetGalley. Ever since I sampled it in July at the end of Sam Cruz's Infallible Guide to Getting Girls, I've been wanting to read it. And now it's here!

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

Cover Reveal: The Camp by Karice Bolton

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Title: The Camp
Author: Karice Bolton
Expected Date of Publication: TBA

Emma has always strove for perfection in her almost eighteen years of existence, but it has never been good enough. As she finds herself counting the days until she’s officially free from her parents’ reins, her stepfather hands her a plane ticket explaining that she must attend the Re-Boot Camp in the wilds of Alaska.

Once she lands in the middle of nowhere, she realizes the camp is nothing like she imagined, and she wants out immediately. That is until she meets Liam.

The camp is full of teens with dark pasts, but she finds herself drawn to Liam’s ability to see who she really is and who she wants to become. While Emma and Liam begin adjusting to a place neither want to be, frightening events begin to unfold. When people begin disappearing, it becomes apparent they can only trust one another as they fight for survival.

Cover designed by PhatPuppy Art

About Karice Bolton

Karice Bolton is a paranormal romance/urban fantasy author living in the Pacific Northwest. All three books in The Watchers Trilogy are available now, Awakening, Legions, and Cataclysm. Lonely Souls, which is the first book in her new series Witch Avenue, was released in June 2012!

Karice married the love of her life who she met in high school, and she still can't get over how cute and funny he is. They have two English Bulldogs that are the cutest bullies in the world, and they use their cuteness to get what they want. Karice loves the snow and gravitates towards the stuff as often as possible! She enjoys skiing and tries really hard to snowboard, but often makes a nice little area to sit while everyone zips by on their board. She enjoys writing, and she also loves to read just about anything with print.

Review: Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

Unearthly (Unearthly, #1)
Title: Unearthly (Unearthly #1)
Author: Cynthia Hand
Publisher: HarperTEEN
Date of Publication: January 4, 2011

In the beginning, there's a boy standing in the trees . . . .
Clara Gardner has recently learned that she's part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn't easy.
Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place and out of place at the same time. Because there's another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara's less angelic side.
As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she'd have to make between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?
Unearthly is a moving tale of love and fate, and the struggle between following the rules and following your heart.
My Rating: 3 of 5 stars
Due to the tons of raves and glowing reviews I saw and read over at Goodreads, I didn't hesitate to buy my own copy and read it asap. My paranormal weaknesses are mermaids and angels so I didn't doubt that I'll like this book. I was sure I will love it. And then I didn't.

Maybe it was the unreasonably high expectations, maybe. Maybe it was unfair to Unearthly and to Cynthia Hand, maybe. But I didn't love this book. I originally rated it 4 stars, which means I really liked it. But then, I was mostly pressured by all the reviews my friends gave. It felt like, I might be shunned by not loving this book. Then I realized that it is my own opinion and as a book blogger, I should be open and proud of my opinion. I thought long and hard about how I really felt towards the book and thus, I proclaimed that I only liked it.

See, a three-star rating from me is good. Because I follow the Goodreads rating system and a 3 means that I liked it. So I still recommend this book, especially that I heard that Hallowed, the second book in this trilogy, is way, way better than Unearthly. This came from those who reviewed it with the same rating for Unearthly as me. So I have hope, I do, for this series. Moreover, I am OCD in such a way that I must finish all books I read and I must finish all series that I start. Hee.

As I was reading Unearthly, I kept thinking, when will it get awesome? Where's that part where tables are turned, everything goes haywire, all hell breaks loose? Because it started so slow. I was starting to get bored, if not only for a certain hot, sensitive guy named Tucker. But I would like to applaud Cynthia Hand for deftly upping the ante. Surely, the details to Clara's purpose were revealed painstakingly slow and most of the novel tackled high school and romance. But by jove, the action at the end had me flipping and reading so fast! I admit, I was late for a class because I can't stop reading it. I just sat by the couch and went to class 30 minutes late, still reeling from Unearthly. I did not expect what's gonna happen, it all came by so fast. Definitely made me want to read Hallowed.

However, maybe I was a bit disappointed in the low-key ending. After the action-packed scenes and the ~BIG REVEAL~, eeepp, it just ended. Sure, it made the reader muse the heck out of his/her mind but I just wish it ended more strongly.

As for the characters. BOOM, I love everyone! Clara was popular in her previous school but ever since moving, she had to tread the murky waters of high school popularity all over again. It didn't help that the dye job at her hair failed, concealing her glowing angel hair perfectly with ORANGE. Yes, carrots. Eeeeepp! Doesn't help that her younger brother's so famous now, even if it's highly discouraged of them angels to be in the spotlight. Then there's Tucker. Oh, Tucker. Tucker's her new bestfriend's brother, who always teases her. And you know what it means when boys tease girls, amirite? Team Tucker all the way!

Unearthly kinda lost me on Christian's characterization. He was this perfect guy and then he just disappeared. Enter Tucker. And then he comes back at the end and of course, it's awkward because Clara and Tucker already spent A LOT of time together. Kinda like Peeta and Gale of The Hunger Games. How will I root for Gale if I don't know him? Same with Christian. So yes, Tucker all the way!

Overall, I recommend this to any angel-loving reader out there. People mostly loved this book and I'm part of the minority that didn't love it as much. Now, to get money to buy Hallowed...

Spotlight + Giveaway: The Harvesters by Ashley Hill

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Harvester Giveaway

So today, I have a book spotlight on The Harvesters by Ashley Hill. And a giveaway! Yes, a giveaway! So hop on and let's get to know Ashley Hill's short story, The Harvesters.

The Harvesters (Harvesting Series #1)
Title: The Harvesters (Harvesting Series #1)
Author: Ashley Hill
Date of Publication: November 27, 2012
Genre: YA horror

When she finds her boyfriend shackled to a white metal table Ashley feared for the worse.

On a small trip of dropping off a package for Jason’s father, the young couple never thought they would be running for their lives. Running away from supposedly friends whom in turned to be a family of harvesters. 

Human harvesters and they are looking for something specific. And Ashley just might be the perfect match for that something.

Isn't the cover creepy? Plus the plot sounds really morbid. I requested for a copy heehee, since it's just a short story. I hope I can read this soon!

Before I forget, the giveaway~

Good luck!

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas everyone! There might be no posts for days because I'm feeling lazy. Haha! And taking a break! Will come back with reviews, I promise. :D

Review: Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances by John Green, Lauren Myracle and Maureen Johnson

Monday, December 24, 2012

Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances
Title: Let It Snow
Authors: Maureen Johnson, John Green and Lauren Myracle
Publisher: Speak
Date of Publication: October 6, 2009 (First published on Oct 1, 2008)

The weather outside is frightful, but these stories are delightful! When a huge blizzard (that doesn't show signs of stopping) hits, Gracetown is completely snowed in. But even though it's cold outside, things are heating up inside, proving that the holiday season is magical when it comes to love. In three wonderfully (and hilariously!) interconnected tales, YA stars John Green, Lauren Myracle, and Maureen Johnson create a must-have collection that captures all the spirit of the holiday season.

I much prefer the blurb and the cover of the other version. Here's the blurb for that edition:

Sparkling white snowdrifts, beautiful presents wrapped in ribbons, and multicolored lights glittering in the night through the falling snow. A Christmas Eve snowstorm transforms one small town into a romantic haven, the kind you see only in movies. Well, kinda. After all, a cold and wet hike from a stranded train through the middle of nowhere would not normally end with a delicious kiss from a charming stranger. And no one would think that a trip to the Waffle House through four feet of snow would lead to love with an old friend. Or that the way back to true love begins with a painfully early morning shift at Starbucks. Thanks to three of today's bestselling teen authors--John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle--the magic of the holidays shines on these hilarious and charming interconnected tales of love, romance, and breathtaking kisses.


My Rating: 4 of 5 stars

Disclaimer: I did not read this book this Christmas season. I read it in September, a time where I was so sad nothing can make me happy but a love story. Seriously, that's how in the ends I was. I haven't reread the whole book, just my favorite parts, and it was as lovely as if I read it just this Christmas.  <3 Anyway, so I will review this per story and then as a whole at the end. It just seems logical and easier that way, in my opinion.

The Jubilee Express

Admittedly, this is my favorite out of the three. I love Jubilee and I definitely love Stuart. First and foremost, Jubilee's parents are in jail for getting rabid for a Flobie Santa Village piece. A piece of Christmas figurine buildings. I was already chuckling at that. Then you make Stuart a JEWISH guy (I don't know why, I am biased with Jewish characters, either in TV or in print), a very likeable one at that. Everything in this story tickled all the right bones in me and I ended a happy, happy girl. Maureen Johnson, you're funny. And good, really good.

A Cheertastic Christmas Miracle

This was my first foray to John Green's writing. I had high expectations, with all the raves. Actually, I already read a little bit of An Abundance of Katherines before this but I haven't finished that one yet. So I was glad not to be disappointed. John Green is hilarious! Chock full of pop culture references and eloquence you just wish you have, A Cheertastic Christmas Miracle was funny and maybe a bit over-the-top, with caricature characters. Yes, caricature characters. They got laughs out of me but still, they were too stock for me. But in the end, it made me feel warm and ready for a hashbrown. *wink wink* And yes, the characters of each story are related. It made me smile, more like grin, that these three authors were going to connect their stories.

The Patron Saint of Pigs

Lastly, The Patron Saint of Pigs. I don't want to pretend but this is my least favorite among the three. Actually, the first story is my favorite, the second my next and this one the last. The story was lovely but I just find Addie annoying. I think this is where I got my expression "yeah, 'cause it's all about you". Because seriously, she's so self-centered! It's always about her! I And poor, poor Jeb. I know she's just like that because she's going to be redeemed at the end but I don't find her likable, so I don't like her, diminishing my enjoyment of the story. The writing was good, the story good, it's just a personal preference against self-centered heroines. Heh. So yeah.

Overall, it's REALLY COOL how all of their lives are intertwined and how the authors actually weaved their stories, with its settings, characters and all, to fit into one short story collection full of the warm fuzzies. I truly recommend it for a holiday read and for any other time you need some cheering up. Totally a pick-me-upper. :D

Oh and I want my own Stuart Weintraub. <3

Stacking the Shelves (6)

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Earlier today was Pinoy Book Tours' Christmas Party and sixteen Pinoy book bloggers met up! Yeap, I am still a new blogger but it's so nice to meet your co-bloggers, idols and the people who understand your book hoarding the most. Heehee.

We played Human Bingo and a YA trivia quiz! We chatted until the time was up. It was so fun! We got lots of books. Merry merry Christmas to all of us!

So here are the books that I got a while ago!


Precious got me for the Kris Kringle and these two books are at the top of my list! Weehoo! Thank you Precious!

I was borrowing Precious' copy when Louisse tweeted me that she'll just give me a signed copy. Wow! I still can't believe it happened even though I'm cradling it now. Haha! Thank you so much Louisse! <3 It's signed! With a bookmark!

(We brought books we'd like to give away and we compiled them all. Then we each got at least two books!)

I think this is from Tiff... Or Chyna or Alyana. I'm not sure! Still, thank you! I don't need to buy it anymore, mwahahaha!


I won in Kate's giveaway and she brought it today for me to claim! Thank you Kate! <3


No one wanted it so I took them home! They're by a Filipina author. Thank you Kai!


From Precious

The Faerie Ring by Kiki Hamilton (So that I can join The Torn Wing tour!)
The Glimpse by Claire Merle (Been wanting to read this for so long!)
Fated by Sarah Alderson (I borrowed it because I already have Severed!)

From Kate

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl (This is it! I can finally read it in time for the movie!)

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews. Share your haul! :)

2013 YA & MG Time Travel Reading Challenge

Friday, December 21, 2012

2013 YA & MG Time Travel Reading Challenge

Hosted by Precious and Dianne

Who doesn't love YA time travel? Well yes, there are those who don't but these two book bloggers love it to bits! Maybe even a (lot) little obsessed. So after Dianne put it out there that Precious should host a challenge and Precious invited Dianne to co-host it, their sleep-deprived brains worked out all of the details, giving birth to the *drumroll* 2013 YA & MG Time Travel Reading Challenge!

So join us on a time-bending experience and read time travel books. We will bend backwards (and the time-space continuum, natch) just to read as many YA time travel books this year. 'Cause don't you know, time travel is the thing!

Challenge Guidelines:

1. The challenge will run from January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2013. You can sign up anytime of the year.
2. Anyone can enter. You don't have to be a blogger but you'd have to be a reviewer (Goodreads/Shelfari/Amazon/anywhere).
3. You can read any YA or MG time travel books. There aren't lots so we don't want to restrict you to a publication date, just with the genre.
4. If you're a blogger, make a post about your joining the challenge on your blog and put the direct link when you sign up for the linky. You can include a list of Time Travel books that you want to read for the challenge. It can serve as your guide. If you're not a blogger but a reviewer (you can post your reviews on Goodreads, etc) tweet about your joining the challenge and put the direct link when you sign up! 

Here is a sample tweet: I'm joining the #YAandMGTimeTravelReadingChallenge @precious_shusky @oopsireadagain!

5. You can move up levels but we do not encourage moving down.
6. At the end of each month, the hosts will put up a wrap-up post. It will feature a time travel book and an interview or guest post from its author (and maybe a giveaway). All you have to do is link up reviews to the YA & MG time travel books you've read for the month. For each review you link up, you will get one entry for the giveaway. The giveaway will run for one week and then we'll choose the lucky winner!
7. If you miss a wrap-up post and the giveaway, you can join the next one. Please be guided though that reviews can only be linked ONCE. We will definitely check your entries (and read your reviews).
8. Lastly, for bloggers, post the button on your sidebar and link back to us!



Nostalgic Traveler - 3 books
Year Hopper - 5 books
Time Slipper - 7 books
Era Switcher - 10 books
Temporal Explorer - 12 books
Time Travel Junkie - 15 or more

For a list of time travel books, refer to the Goodreads list we made. You can also add books to the list!

Perks of Being a Participant

What’s in it for you, aside from 365 days of time travel goodness, you ask? Here’s a list:

Free electronic copies of The Golden Scarab (Book 1) and The Cursed Nile (Book 2) by S.W. Lothian. All you have to do is email us at precious_shusky AT yahoo DOT com OR tomakunisnumberone AT gmail DOT com with the subject: I want The Quest Series!

Free electronic copy of The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis by Sharon Ledwith. Same, just email us to get your copy!

Free electronic copy of Time's Twisted Arrow by Rysa Walker. Same, just email us to get your copy!

Exclusive Giveaways! There will be books and swag giveaways that are only for you guys.

Easy Access to Authors. Have your questions answered and get writing inspiration from participating authors.

For any inquiries, feel free to comment or tweet us at @precious_shusky or @oopsireadagain. :D If the linky's not working, drop me an email so I can add you up. :)

For authors who'd like to be featured, please email tomakunisnumberone AT gmail DOT com or precious_shusky AT yahoo DOT com. Thank you!

Sign up for our newsletter!

Add your links~

Cover Reveal: Wrecked (Clayton Falls #3) by Alyssa Rose Ivy

Title: Wrecked (Clayton Falls #3)
Author: Alyssa Rose Ivy
Date of Publication: Spring/Summer 2013

When your past catches up, it's time to stop running.

Jake Mathews messed up yet again— but this time his misstep lands him in the hospital. He wakes up to find the girl of his dreams and the memory of having his deepest secret revealed.

Emily Taylor needs a break. She's been working double shifts as a nurse just to pay the bills while trying to heal a broken heart. The last thing she needs is to fall for a patient. 

Strapped with community service and the knowledge that he's disappointed everyone in his life, Jake is determined not to let Emily slip through his fingers. Emily wants Jake, but can she really open herself up to heartache again?

The cover was designed by Once Upon a Time Covers. Btw, the cover to Derailed (Clayton Falls #1) has been updated. Click the link to see it!

About Alyssa Rose Ivy

Alyssa Rose Ivy is a Young Adult and New Adult author who loves to weave stories with romance and a southern setting. Although raised in the New York area, she fell in love with the South after moving to New Orleans for college. After years as a perpetual student, she turned back to her creative side and decided to write. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and two young children, and she can usually be found with a cup of coffee in her hand.

Review + Playlist: Crushed by Dawn Rae Miller

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Title: Crushed
Author: Dawn Rae Miller
Publisher: FinnStar Publishing
Date of Publication: December 11, 2012

For seventeen-year-old serial womanizer Fletch Colson, life is a game and if he plays by the rules, he’ll win it all: his dream college, his parents’ money, and a hot (if a little vapid) girl on his arm. Really, it couldn't be easier. All he has to do is get good grades, live a privileged boarding school life, and try not to mess up too much. 

However, when he accepts the seemingly impossible bet to change his ways and be “just friends” with smart, beautiful, tempting Ellie Jacobs – a girl who seems hell bent on confusing him - Fletch’s whole world is turned upside down. 

Suddenly, what seemed simple and clear, no longer feels right and Fletch must decide if winning it all is worth losing a piece of himself.

CRUSHED is a New Adult book. It has profanity and sexual situations, and is intended for ages 16+.

Purchase from Amazon | B&N | Smashwords


Dawn has graciously provided the first five chapters of Crushed for free! Head over to her website to read chapters 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. Seriously, after I read the first chapter, I couldn't stop!


  1. Soft Shock (acoustic) …………….Yeah Yeah Yeahs
  2. Malibu ………………………………….Hole
  3. Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa ……….Vampire Weekend
  4. Shadowcasting …………………….. Ra Ra Riot
  5. Silver Lining …………………………Rilo Kiley
  6. You Only Live Once ……………….The Strokes
  7. Heart Skipped a Beat ……………..The xx
  8. Zero ……………………………………..Yeah Yeah Yeahs
  9. New Slang …………………………….The Shins
  10. You Make My Dreams …………….Hall & Oates
  11. Fader …………………………………… The Temper Trap
  12. If I Ever Feel Better ……………….. Phoenix
  13. The Last High ………………………… The Dandy Warhols

My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

After reading Gone Girl, I was so not in the mood for anything heavy. I needed a YA or an NA read asap! There came Dawn with her fantastic email, asking me if I can review Crushed. I immediately said yes after I read the synopsis. Sounds right up my alley. Fletch makes a bet with his friends that a player (or as they call him, a man-whore) like him can actually keep his hands to himself and be friends with a hot girl like Ellie Jacobs. We all know how this will end but that almost never stops us from reading, right?

This book is described as a new adult book and it doesn't waste its time establishing that. The first chapter has sex right from the start. Fletch and his pals attend a boarding school, an elite boarding school at that based on the descriptions. Their campus feels like a university with its many buildings and dorms, with a redwood forest at its property and a beach. Yeap. Plus, students here, or at least Fletch and his friends don't run out of money to buy weed. Yes, I can't count how many times they smoked pot or took some pills in this novel. Like I said, new adult or maybe upper YA. Sure, they're in high school but it sure feels like they're college students already.

I don't know how boarding schools are at USA but this novel colors them so wild. It's just very different here in the Philippines so it just might be me that I didn't find the setting that convincing. All the time I was reading, I kept thinking, "Is this real? Are they skateboarding in their campus while taking pills/drugs/weed?". Yes, this novel is about a teenager or teenagers getting wild, being alone and unsupervised in a boarding school where their parents pretty much funds everything. They get in trouble, yes, but their punishments are nothing rich Daddy can't get them out of. Yes, this novel is about privileged kids being rowdy and irresponsible. Yes, the characters seem easy to hate but you know what, I never hated them. I saw their flaws but I could never hate them because Dawn made these characters so real, you want to see them grow. And grow Fletch did.

Fletch is a rich character to explore. He's a player but he's been in love with only one girl ever since. He and his bestfriend, Brady, are both contenders for the spot of valedictorian. Basically, he's intelligent, rich and popular with the girls. He's a complicated character and definitely not your cardboard cut-out male protagonist. His problems are also legitimate (I will not spoil) and his internal conflict is so good. I love inner conflict because it brings out the character's personality more. You see his thought process, what he wants for himself, what he thinks, why he does things. Moreover, I like how Fletch and Ellie did not have an insta-love kind of love. Doesn't that make you happy? It made me really happy. Theirs was a slow dance, with passive-aggressive moves.

So why a three? I liked the novel, I really did, but it lost me at times. The novel was kind of slice-of-life-y in its style and so, each chapter kinda had its own scene, its own time frame. I'm normally okay with that but I guess I just noticed it much more here. The novel is character-driven and I don't have any problems with that but Crushed just felt like events tied together. Fletch and his pals buy weed. Next, they drink vodka and play video games. Ellie comes to the room one day. It's all jumpy in its narrative. So there's not much going on but there's enough in each chapter that drives the story forward. Maybe I just got tired of them being promiscuous and wild and all that because seriously, they've done nothing but that.

I like Ellie but I think she's like the manic pixie dream girl type in movies. She's cool and enigmatic. Maybe because Crushed is written in Fletch's perspective so Ellie seems like a conundrum, a puzzle waiting to be solved. She is actually, a puzzle, until we knew what she was thinking. So maybe Ellie is a stock character. However, a certain secondary character, Reid Yamashita, gets his own storyline and conflict and I really really like that. His conflict was also an internal one and one that I completely understand. I was cheering him on right from the get-go. And I really have to say this but I freakin' hated Calista. What's with the name? Ugh, bitch.

Overall, a nice, easy read written in the perspective of a complicated male protagonist. A plus for me because I love reading guy perspectives. And yeap,. this book is totally teenspeak. Never did I cringe for awkward dialogue and phrasings. I recommend this to anyone looking for a fast NA read (read it in 10 hours, where most of the time was spent not reading) which you'll enjoy. :)

Ooohh and the cover? Love love LOVE it! SO MUCH. It is so pretty I wanna have it displayed in my shelf. And you guys are lucky because Crushed is coming in paperback come January. Woohoo!

Thank you to Dawn for giving me a copy! I really appreciate it. Oh and yes, if you'd like to see Dawn's character board on Pinterest, clickie!

About Dawn Rae Miller

Dawn spends too much time on Twitter. And Pinterest. And running. Basically, she’s a master procrastinator with great time management skills. When she’s not dreaming up new book ideas, Dawn is most likely watching her three sons play lacrosse or trying to convince her husband he really does like vegetables.

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