Monday, October 31, 2011

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Synopsis: Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn’t believe in fashion . . . she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit -- more sparkly, more fun, more wild -- the better. But even though Lola’s style is outrageous, she’s a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood.
When Cricket -- a gifted inventor -- steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.

   Somebody please give Stephanie Perkins an award. I am freaking out right now because I have to wait until 2012 for her third book to come out. Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door are just too amazing. Swooooon.
   I was just a tiny bit hesitant when diving into Lola. I had just finished AatFK and was doubting that Lola could be just as good. It wasn't. Wha-bu-but, hold on! I still totally loved this book. A whole lot. Very much, indeed. I just didn't like it as much as AatFK.
   I think the main reason why is that I loved Anna's character so much, whereas Lola was too wishy-washy for me. Don't get me wrong, Lola was an awesome character. It was just that I went insane with her always going back and forth from Max to Cricket. Also, she cried quite often. Not exactly my favorite trait in a protagonist.
   And that's basically all I have to say on the negative side. The rest of this review will be me fangirling. Cricket! Oh my goodness, one of my favorite male leads, if not number one! At first, I hated him. He had hurt Lola before and he just seemed like a spiteful character. I was wrong. He was just too sweet and too cute and too perfect and too delicious. I honestly wanted to scream at Lola for not going after him. Cricket, despite his awful name, was absolutely fantastic.
   One of the things I really loved about this book is how some characters overlap. I loved reading about Anna and Etienne's relationship and how it has grown since the last book. It was very fun and added to my pleasure.
   The plot was twisty and dramatic, just like AatFK. It made my heart race and my stomach flip, especially in the scenes with Cricket. I still cannot get over how much I love Cricket. He's too perfect. Have I said that already? Well, whatever, he's still too perfect.
   After reading Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door, I say with full confidence that Stephanie Perkins is the queen of chick lit. Can Stephanie Perkins please direct my life? Please and thank you!
   4.5 keys.

Cover note: WHY. WHY DOES SUCH A GOOD BOOK HAVE TO HAVE SUCH A BAD COVER? Lola looks kind of scary. Like a robot. And THAT IS NOT CRICKET. *sob*

Friday, October 28, 2011

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Synopsis: Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris - until she meets Etienne St. Clair: perfect, Parisian (and English and American, which makes for a swoon-worthy accent), and utterly irresistible. The only problem is that he's taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her almost-relationship back home.

As winter melts into spring, will a year of romantic near - misses end with the French kiss Anna - and readers - have long awaited?

   Look at that cover. Look at that title. How can a book that looks and sounds so awful be so completely fantastic? This book completely blew my mind. I loved every word, every scene, every chapter. Stephanie Perkins might just be my new favorite contemporary author.
   Anna wants to be a movie critic. She wants to date Toph, the cute rocker boy who works at the movie theatre with her. She wants to have fun with her best friend, Bridgette. But all that comes tumbling down when her father sends her to the School of America in Paris (SOAP). Thus, Anna's French adventure begins!
   Anna was a fabulous protagonist. I really, really loved her. She was so quirky and different. She was also a hilarious and relatable narrator. What I loved most about her was that she always redeemed herself. She has flaws, yes, and she acknowledges that and tries to fix things. I never grew tired of Anna's voice or her story.
   The other characters were just as great! Rashmi was probably my favorite out of all of Anna's friends. I loved how real she was and how she never let anyone know her problems. Josh and Meredith were fun as well. Amanda... Oh goodness, I hated her. Stephanie Perkins truly knows how to write wonderful characters that I feel emotions for.
   And that brings me to... you guessed it, Etienne St. Clair. The absolute heartthrob of every reader, I'm sure. I, personally, did love him, but not a ton. He has flaws, which I completely admire, and sometimes those flaws get the better of him. He has a great sense of humor and I would love to have him as a best friend. But I didn't absolutely love him. I don't know how to phrase it... I loved him, but I didn't love him.
   The romance and sexual tension was incredible. The angst and fury and confusion, it was all so real. That's what I really love about contemporaries. They feel real. This book was filled with so much angst, I wanted to rip my own hair out while reading this. Luckily, the plot was fast and always super fun. I never got tired of reading it. There were so many twists in this book! I would read a scene and then exclaim something, causing my friends to throw me a questioning look.
   I loved this book. Loved, loved, loved. It was so mushy and gushy and frustrating and absolutely adorable.
   I would recommend this to all readers, even those who aren't fans of mushiness. Anna and the French Kiss is a phenomenal debut that combines friendship, romance, drama and a dash of French culture; a perfect read for any reader.
   5 keys. Without a single doubt. I'm wondering whether I should start Lola right now or take a break from Perkins to absorb Anna's awesomeness.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Gaia's Secret by Barbara Kloss

Synopsis: Eighteen-year old Daria Jones feels trapped in the cow-strewn suburbs of Fresno, California. And with a dad so overprotective he’s installed video and thermal surveillance down the street, she doesn’t get out much. Until the night he disappears. Following the trail of notes he left, Daria gathers three things: someone’s after her, her dad’s gone to another world on a cryptic mission, and the only one left to trust is her ex-best friend, Alex. 
After a heart-wrenching break and three years of silence, Alex is the last person she wants to see. But the more she learns about her dad’s absence, the more she realizes she must go to that other world to find him. Even if it means trusting the guy she hates. She agrees to follow Alex through the nearest of seven portals—the heart of Yosemite National Park. But finding her dad in a magical world isn’t easy with a brigade of dark sorcerers chasing her trail.
Amidst a world of diabolical creatures, ancient magic, and bizarrely intuitive vegetation, Daria discovers the truth of her past. But unless she conquers the dark force that’s hunting her, Daria will never see her dad again. And if the dark force gets its way, the world as she knows it will never be the same.

   To be honest, fantasy is not my favorite genre. Not even close. This is the reason why it took me about a week to finish this book, which is far too long. But despite the time it took me to get through this book, I still liked it. Barbara Kloss's writing was fun and entertaining, but at times could get repetitive.
   The protagonist, Daria, is extremely stubborn. Honestly, I do not know if I have ever read of a protagonist more stubborn than she is. Sometimes, I felt annoyed with her but I could also understand why she was so hardheaded. Being lied to for all her life and being betrayed by her closest friends, I can completely comprehend why Daria would be sort of bitter.
   Barbara Kloss does a really great job on creating the whole magical world of Gaia. It's very unique and extremely dangerous. It was fun discovering all the different aspects of this different world. Also, the characters and creatures in Gaia were all intriguing.
   I thought that the plot was rather slow. It took me a while to get into this book, but fantasy has never been a favorite genre of mine. For the majority of the novel, it seemed like nothing extremely important happened. But when it got to the last quarter of the novel, the plot picked up and I couldn't flip the pages fast enough.
   My favorite part of the novel was definitely the romance and chemistry between Alex and Daria. It was really well done. No insta-love (thank the spirits)! I'm so completely heartbroken over the ending. I don't want to believe it's true!
   Gaia's Secret is a fascinating story of a magical world that will entice fans of the fantasy genre. Although I am not one of those fans, I still enjoyed Gaia's Secret.
   3.5 keys.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: Article 5 (10)

Breaking The Spine hosts this weekly meme! WoW is when bloggers spotlight a book they are eagerly anticipating the release of.

This week I am waiting on...
Article 5 by Kristen Simmons
Publication Date: February 14, 2012

Synopsis: New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, DC have been abandoned. 

The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes.

There are no more police — instead, there are soldiers. There are no more fines for bad behavior — instead, there are arrests, trials, and maybe worse. People who get arrested don’t usually come back.

17-year-old Ember Miller is old enough to remember that things weren’t always this way. Living with her rebellious single mother, it’s hard to forget that people weren’t always arrested for reading the wrong books or staying out after dark. That life in the United States used to be different.

In the three years since the war ended, Ember has perfected the art of keeping a low profile. She knows how to get the things she needs, like food stamps and hand-me-down clothes, and how to pass the random home inspections by the Federal Bureau of Reformation. Her life is as close to peaceful as circumstances allow. That is, until her mother is arrested for noncompliance with Article 5 of the Moral Statutes. And what’s worse, one of the arresting officers is none other than Chase Jennings…the only boy Ember has ever loved.

Dystopian! Love! This book sounds so very good, and I'm so excited for it! What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

Monday, October 17, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Books Whose Covers or Titles Made Me Buy Them (6)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish in which bloggers share their lists that comply with the prompt of the given week.

My list...

1. Fallen by Lauren Kate - Look at that gorgeous cover. I couldn't resist! Sadly, the content was a bit disappointing.

2. The Cinderella Society by Kay Cassidy - Another super pretty cover. And the title is totally great as well, but unfortunately, the insides fell flat.

3. Thanks for the Memories by Cecelia Ahern - I was in love with the cover and the title. The story was really good too. 

4. Matched by Ally Condie - Love, love, love the cover!

5. Entwined by Heather Dixon - Gorgeous cover! I loved the story even more.

6. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver - Can you blame me? The cover's so pretty!

7. Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin - My very first and favorite Zevin book. :)

8. An Abundance of Katherines by John Green - Don't kill me when I say that I had never even heard of John Green before I read this book. It was the colorful cover that drew me in! And, at the time, I was obsessed with the word "abundance."

9. The Year of Secret Assignments by Jaclyn Moriarty - This had a cute title! The book itself is one of my favorites.

10. The Mephisto Covenant by Trinity Faegan - I have not read this book yet, although it's on my "to-read-for-review" list. The cover is so gorgeous though. :)

What's on your top ten? :)

Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez

Synopsis: Now is not the time for Carmen to fall in love. And Jeremy is hands-down the wrong guy for her to fall for. He is infuriating, arrogant, and the only person who can stand in the way of Carmen getting the one thing she wants most: to win the prestigious Guarneri competition. Carmen's whole life is violin, and until she met Jeremy, her whole focus was winning. But what if Jeremy isn't just hot...what if Jeremy is better? 
Carmen knows that kissing Jeremy can't end well, but she just can't stay away. Nobody else understands her--and riles her up--like he does. Still, she can't trust him with her biggest secret: She is so desperate to win she takes anti-anxiety drugs to perform, and what started as an easy fix has become a hungry addiction. Carmen is sick of not feeling anything on stage and even more sick of always doing what she’s told, doing what's expected. 
Sometimes, being on top just means you have a long way to fall....

   I was genuinely surprised at how much I loved this book. Glancing at the cover and skimming through the summary, I thought'd it just be a meh book, but Virtuosity absolutely blew me away! Carmen was a very strong protagonist that I grew to love. She was used to being controlled by her intense mother, Diana, and her whole life was centered around violin. But throughout the book, Carmen grows a backbone and she becomes an independent and admirable character. I loved seeing her transformation.
   Everything felt so, so, so real to me in this novel. It was absolutely believable and whatever Carmen felt, I felt as well. Jessica did a great job with her characters. Diana is Carmen's controlling mom. She organizes everything and pushes Carmen into doing things for her career. Basically, Diana runs the whole Carmen show. She even got Carmen attached to a calming drug, which is kind of against the rules. Diana was scarily similar to my own mother in the way that she was the one pulling all the strings. But, of course, Diana was much more extreme. A lot of people hated Diana's character, but I personally didn't. I understood why Diana took certain actions and although I strongly disagreed with about everything she did, I never hated her.
   The plot was the perfect pace and Jessica's writing is really easy and fast to read, mixed with just the right amount of humor. The only things I didn't like were these: the insta-love and the ending. Virtuosity isn't too insta-love-y, but it was definitely there. (Kiss on first encounter insta-love.) That said, the romance wasn't bad. It started off iffy, but it gradually grew into a great romance that I really enjoyed. The ending, I felt, was a bit improbable and kind of rushed. Readers didn't get to experience any of the decision making, thus I was just a tiny bit lost.
   Virtuosity is a stunning debut that pulled on my heartstrings and at times made my heart race. Filled with fantastic characters, realistic issues and a surprising romance, this book is one you should definitely pick up.
   4.5 keys.

Friday, October 14, 2011

City of Glass by Cassandra Clare

Synopsis: To save her mother's life, Clary must travel to the City of Glass, the ancestral home of the Shadowhunters -- never mind that entering the city without permission is against the Law, and breaking the Law could mean death. To make things worse, she learns that Jace does not want her there, and Simon has been thrown in prison by the Shadowhunters, who are deeply suspicious of a vampire who can withstand sunlight.  
As Clary uncovers more about her family's past, she finds an ally in mysterious Shadow-hunter Sebastian. With Valentine mustering the full force of his power to destroy all Shadow-hunters forever, their only chance to defeat him is to fight alongside their eternal enemies. But can Downworlders and Shadowhunters put aside their hatred to work together? While Jace realizes exactly how much he's willing to risk for Clary, can she harness her new found powers to help save the Glass City -- whatever the cost?

   I have no idea why but this book took me way too long to finish. Five days! D: However, it was a very good book. It might be my favorite Mortal Instruments book so far. If I didn't know any better, I would have thought that this was the conclusion of the series, but it's not.
   In this book, readers finally get to experience the wonderful country of Idris, the home to all Shadowhunters. Too bad Clary's visit is ruined by a demon attack. Thus starts the usual trouble surrounding Valentine and his demon army.
   Lots of new characters are introduced in this book, and honestly, I didn't like any of them. (Especially Aline. Gosh, she was so annoying.) The old characters grew a lot in this book which I really liked. I was surprised at how much I really liked Simon in this novel. Usually, I'd find him bothersome, but in this installment, he seriously matured and became a great character. Plus, there was a ton of Luke in this book, who happens to be one of my favorite characters ever. Oh, and Alec! Yay for his courage with Magnus! :) I really didn't like Clary. She got on my nerves. And I don't like her power. It's just... I mean... I don't even know. It's like, "Really? Why not just become Super Woman while you're at it?"
   A lot of people hate "angsty Jace." I, personally, liked his angst, especially because it was reasonable. I mean, honestly, his father is the biggest enemy, he's in love with his "sister," and he thinks he's a monster. Do you really expect him to maintain his cool, collected, snarky attitude that we first encountered him with in CoB? I loved how Jace was so open in this book. It was really great, knowing how he truly felt, and what his inner thoughts or turmoils were like.
   The action was so non-stop in this book, it's pretty insane. The plot never pauses to take a breath. Problems would pile on top of one another until I, as a reader, felt like I was getting swallowed. There were so many intense scenes, evil mysteries, and other fun stuff. The book seems like it completes the whole series and ties it up with a bow, so I'm wondering where Cassandra Clare is going to go in City of Fallen Angels (and the two books after that). Is there even more of Jace and Clary's story to write?
   Although the plot was fast and filled with awesome content, I did feel like it dragged on a bit. Maybe that's why I took a while finishing this book.
   I would definitely recommend this series to everyone. This book basically has everything: fantasy, drama, romance and thrills. Clare has crafted an unforgettable series.
   4 keys.

*SPOILER* omg FINALLY. Cassandra FINALLY reveals that Clary and Jace are not related. I mean, honestly, did anyone even believe that to begin with? Seriously.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: Shatter Me (9)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill @ Breaking The Spine in which bloggers spotlight a book they are eagerly waiting the release of.

This week, I am waiting on...
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi 
Publication Date: November 15, 2011
Synopsis: Juliette hasn't touched anyone in exactly 264 days. The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette's touch is fatal. As long as she doesn't hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don't fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color. 

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war- and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she's exactly what they need right now. Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior. In this electrifying debut, Tahereh Mafi presents a world as riveting as The Hunger Games and a superhero story as thrilling as The X-Men. Full of pulse-pounding romance, intoxicating villainy, and high-stakes choices, Shatter Me is a fresh and original dystopian novel—with a paranormal twist—that will leave readers anxiously awaiting its sequel.

Although I'm a big fan of the cover, this book sounds so fantastic! "Pulse-shattering romance"? Does that sound awesome or what? Luckily, I don't have to wait too, too long for this one. :)

What are you waiting on this week?

Monday, October 10, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Wish I Could Read Again for the First Time

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Broke and the Bookish in which bloggers create a list that complies with the prompt of the given week.

This week's topic...
Top Ten Books I Wish I Could Read Again for the First Time

1. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins - I read this book about two years or so ago, and I remember how hard my heart would thud or how my insides would turn into jelly when I read this book. I'm planning on rereading this book soon, but I wish I could have my first experience again.

2. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer - I was in the FIFTH GRADE when I first read Twilight, and I've reread it three times since then. Now that I'm older, I wish that I could have read this book at, like, my age right now, and see if I would like it as much as I did when I was in the fifth grade. (I was obsessed with it in the fifth grade.)

3. Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson - Remembering how much fun this book was when I read it two summers ago, I wish I could read it for the first time. This was very cute.
4. Someone Like You by Sarah Dessen - This was my first Sarah Dessen book, I think. I was a little young when I read this, so I wish I could read it for the first time at my age now, to fully appreciate Dessen's writing.

5. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K. Rowling - ...isn't this just a given? ;)

6. The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan - This started my huge obsession with Greek mythology that I've kept ever since I picked this book up in the fourth grade. It's depressing because I barely remember anything about it... But I somehow remember everything from the other four books in the series. I wish I could read it again for the first time, because it was an awesome book.

So, I don't quite have ten books on my list, but that's okay for me! :)

What's on your top ten list?

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Synopsis: Mara Dyer doesn't think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there. 
It can. 
She believes there must be more to the accident she can't remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed. 
There is. 
She doesn't believe that after everything she's been through, she can fall in love. 
She's wrong.

   Just hold on a moment. I'm trying to collect my thoughts on this novel. If I were to describe it in three words, those words would be: creepy, intense and romantic. That last one doesn't fit in with the first two, does it? Well, it does for this story.
   Mara Dyer is crazy. Insane. And totally powerful, although she doesn't know it in the beginning. This book was just so mysterious, I felt like I was going insane myself. Michelle Hodkin created a creepy mystery that Sara Shepard could never do with the PLL series.
   Mara was a fantastic protagonist. We only know what she knows; so basically, we know nothing. Being in the dark was nail-bitingly torturous. What happened the night at the asylum? How is Mara unharmed? Why can't she remember anything? Why is she seeing dead people? This book was incredibly eerie; I just wanted to close my eyes and hide under the blanket sometimes, but even then, I would be scared. And then some parts, I was just tingling all over. Butterflies would errupt in my stomach and I'd devour the pages.
   What would make me have butterflies if the book was so scary? Two words: Noah Shaw. At first, I wasn't sure if I'd like Noah, but after the sketchbook incident (readers: read this book to find out!), I was in love. I'm having trouble deciding who I love more: Four or Noah. Noah was an amazing and sexy character. He was hilarious, sometimes a total jerk, and then other times, the best boy in the whole world. Gah, he was frustrating, but so understanding. The chemistry between Noah and Mara could start a forest fire. Although throughout the first three quarters of the novel, they don't kiss, I felt like they had. They were just so intimate with their words and confessions that physical interaction was practically unnecessary.
   Hodkin's writing is utterly captivating. I couldn't put this book down. The chapters were short and dramatic, just forcing me to keep on reading. I only put it down every thirty minutes or so because I wanted to prolong my reading experience. Oh, and to catch my breath after reading an intense scene. It's very hard to believe that Michelle Hodkin is only a debut author. 452 pages was not enough.
   The relationship I had between this book and myself was the kind of love where it's so intense that you're scared. I was so scared of Michelle Hodkin because with just a paragraph, she had the ability to kill off a character. Or turn one evil. Or just change everything about it. Haha, does that even make sense?
   There's a cliffhanger ending in this novel. And it's absolutely dreadful. I want to scream and yell and cry and smile and laugh hysterically all at the same time. This book gave me a roller coaster of emotions.
   Michelle Hodkin has crafted an amazing debut novel that will keep readers on edge with the scary and romantic story of Mara Dyer. I can't wait to see what Hodkin will reveal in the next installment.
   4.5 keys.

Cover: omg the cover is absolutely gorgeousgorgeousgorgeous
Additional Notes:
-Yes, Divergent is still my favorite 2011 book.
-I had been waiting on this book for ages.
-I will have to reread this book because it was very good.
-I felt like Noah Shaw just completely took a line from Edward Cullen when Noah said, "It just becomes background noise, mostly. Until I focus on one person in particular." But don't worry, folks. Noah does not read minds.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: Under The Never Sky (8)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill @ Breaking The Spine in which bloggers spotlight a book that they're eagerly waiting the release of.

This week, I am waiting on...
Under the Never Sky 
by Veronica Rossi
Publication Date: January 3, 2012
Synopsis: Exiled from her comfortable home, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland – called the Death Shop – are slim. Violent energy storms can strike suddenly, and even the very air she breathes might kill her. Then Aria meets an Outsider named Perry. He’s wild, dangerous – a savage. He’s also her only hope. 

Because Aria alone holds the key to his redemption, Perry needs her, too. Their unlikely alliance will determine the fate of all who live under the never sky. Debut author Veronica Rossi is accumulating fans from all over the globe—the book has already sold to more than twenty countries. It’s not surprising that foreign rights for this title have been flying off the shelf. It’s a tantalizing romance in any language.

Does this book sound incredible or what? I love the title, I love the summary, and I love the cover. I can't wait for this one to come out. :) Plus, Veronica Rossi has the same first name and initials as the author of my favorite 2011 book, Veronica Roth. Am I being obsessive? Yeah, I think so too. But what can I say? Divergent is just too good.

What are you waiting on this Wednesday? Feel free to leave links below :)

The Sweetest Thing by Christina Mandelski

Synopsis: In the world of Sheridan Wells, life is perfect when she's decorating a cake. Unfortunately everything else is a complete mess: her mom ran off years ago, her dad is more interested in his restaurant, and the idea of a boyfriend is laughable.  
But Sheridan is convinced finding her mom will solve all her problems - only her dad's about to get a cooking show in New York, which means her dream of a perfect family will be dashed. 
Using just the right amount of romance, family drama, and cute boys, The Sweetest Thing will entice fans with its perfect mixture of girl-friendly ingredients.

   This book is as cliche and cheesy as it gets. Now, cliches aren't necessarily bad things, but in this book, it was a bit overwhelmingly predictable. I think one of the main reasons I didn't enjoy this book very much is that I could not connect with the main character, Sheridan, at all. I found her very stubborn and extremely childish. I found it really ironic that almost every single secondary character in the book told her that she was being a baby or being immature, and she did nothing to redeem herself. Annoying main characters are a big turn off for me.
   This book is a prime example of the typical YA love triangle and the infamous, dreaded insta-love. I sincerely despise insta-love, but there are a few books I've read that pulled it off. This book, unfortunately, did not. Sheridan immediately said yes and fell in love with Ethan when he randomly asked her out. This book was VERY insta-love. I mean like making out on the very first meeting. The love triangle in this book was the cliche love triangle: best friend who the girl doesn't notice is cute/likes her vs super hot, popular guy that girl swoons over. This book was just cookie-cutter YA material (you see what I did there? Cookie? And the girl works at a bakery? Oh, how not clever of me...).
   Ethan was a character I really did not like from the beginning. He was the stereotypical popular boy who likes a girl because she's different and pretty. Never heard that before... Jack, on the other hand, I really liked. He was a really great friend to Sheridan, although Sheridan was too absorbed with finding her mother to even notice.
   Finding Sheridan's mother was a really big part of the story. I actually really enjoyed that part! It was mysterious and all the remarks that her dad and her nanny would make gave just vague clues on what actually happened. Although the scene where Sheridan truly finds out the mystery behind her mother's departure was a tad bit anticlimatic, I still genuinely liked the subplot.
   I also really liked how Sheridan's relationship with her dad was super duper rocky in the majority of the novel, but by the end, they become close. I always like to see relationships being mended in stories. Sheridan baking cakes was always really nice as well, because my sister likes baking cakes and so I used to watch her do it all the time.
   In conclusion, The Sweetest Thing is not a book I would recommend to readers, but it was cute enough and worth a read.
   2.5 keys.

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