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outofbluebooks

Out of the Blue

Italian book blogger. Loves Jane Austen, ice cream, and the colour blue.
Cracked - Eliza Crewe E-galley received through Netgalley for review.

Hilarious. This book had me snorting from the beginning to the end.
Beautiful prose.
Now, where's book 2????
Unleashing Mr. Darcy - Teri Wilson E-galley received through netgalley for review.

*loved it loved it LOVED IT*
Fall For You (The Jane Austen Academy Series #1: A Modern Retelling of Pride & Prejudice) - Cecilia Gray E-galley received for review through Netgalley.

I liked it. I want more!

*Full review to come*
Inhuman - Kat Falls E-galley received through Netgalley for review

Sunset Rising

Sunset Rising - S.M. McEachern Copy received for review for book tour with Enchanted Book Promotions.

Argh the final cliffhanger is *mean*.
Where's the next book in the series??

In 2024, nuclear war breaks out. A group of civilians discover a secret government bio-dome. They are grudgingly admitted entry, but at a high price. In 2307, Sunset (Sunny) O'Donnell is a seventeen-year-old girl living in the Pit. Like her, the descendants of the civilians who came to the Dome live a life of slavery and are culled (executed) at thirty-five. Sunny works in the kitchens and has delayed her wedding to Reyes in order to take care of her ailing father.

One evening, Sunny is ordered to serve in a bachelor party for the Bourge, the people who live in luxury in the Dome. There, she catches the eye of Leisel Holt, the president's daughter, and her fiancé Jack Kenner. Leisel is worried that someone might kill her during the wedding ceremony. So she comes up with a plan: Sunny will wear a bullet-proof vest and pose as the bride. The plan, however, goes horribly wrong.

Jack and Sunny are now forced into hiding and working together to save their lives. They also want to provide better living conditions for the people in the Pit. Sunny had never imagined she would start a rebellion.

Sunset Rising starts out slow, but then the pacing picks up. The dystopian plot is not terribly original (nuclear war, survivors living in a dome, the rich vs the poor), and the characters are not fully explored, save for the two protagonists Sunny and Jake.

Sunny is a determined heroine. After losing her mother to the Cull, she know sher has to take care of her grief-stricken father. Her boyfriend Reyes, however, is not happy with having to postpone their wedding again. They've been bethroted to each other for four years, and with a life span of only thirty-five, seventeen is almost too old to find a new wife. People in the Pit are practically slaves in the coal mines, kitchens, laudry, and sewage: they work for a measly salary, are fed leftovers, and are often beaten if their work is not satisfactory. It's necessary to be married in order to qualify for your own apartment.

The Domers are strictly controlling the population in the Pit, as they have grown from the initial 300 to almost 30,000. I wonder how that might work, though: in 2024, the general complains that with the civilians' arrival there are now additional three hundred people in the dome, and there might not be room and resources for everyone. Then how could 30,000 people fit in the same space?

The government in the Dome is a democracy only by name. The power has been seized by a general, who is now a dictator passing the title to his children. It's not clear how this situation came to be so easily, since when people started to fill the dome, there was a democratically elected president. Did people forget so promptly what a democracy was? Or did they have to accept the situation because it was the only alternative to getting killed? The survivors are forced to live in the Dome because as a result of the nuclear war, the air outside is toxic and would poison human beings. Does this mean the entire world population outside of the Dome died? This is not clear, although one would assume so.

The book ends in a terribly mean cliffhanger. Seriously, I could not believe that was the last page of the book. I need the second book in the series, like, yesterday.
From Rum to Roots - Lloyd G. Francis Copy received for review in blog tour.
Definitely, Maybe in Love - Ophelia London E-galley received from the publisher for review

Definitely, Maybe In Love is a modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice. Spring Honeycutt is a junior at Stanford, studying Environmental Studies. She's very passionate about it. For her independent study thesis, her advisor suggests that she might want to find the help of an Economics student to strenghten her thesis.

Enter Henry Knightly, a new student at Standford who is attending law school and is Spring's new next-door neighbour, together with his best friend. Henry comes from a wealthy family of landowners, is studying to be a lawyer, and stands for all the things that Spring detests. They first meet at a party, in which Spring overhears Henry saying he's not attracted in the slightest to a tree-hugger like her. He also acts very aloof and snobbish. Spring tries to avoid him, but when her roommate falls in love with henry's best friend, they are often thrown together. Until the boys disappear one day without notice...

I loved the progression of Spring and Henry's relationship. In spite of him being snobbish towards her, he agrees to help her with her thesis and flirts with her on a number of occasions. I almost combusted while reading about the Thanksgiving food fight scene. Spring is a stubborn, determined heroine who is bent on saving the world. She doesn't know what to do about her attraction to Henry, as she's bveen too busy with her coursework and her job to be interested in guys. However, when she goes out with her classmate Alex, Henry acts all jealous and warns her to stay away from him.

I found Definitely, Maybe In Love to be a very fun and fresh retelling of the original. I enjoyed the banter between Spring and Henry, as well as the sexual tension between them. If this author were to write another Jane Austen retelling, I think I'd give it a try.

Hopeless For You

Hopeless For You - Hayden Hill Review copy received through Itching for Books for review

Ash Jensen is a rule-abiding pre-med sophomore from Tennessee. Together with her best friend Gina, she spends a summer interning at a Canada conservation reserve. There, she meets Kade, a tattoed, bad-boy member of the staff with a heart of gold. It's attraction at first sight, but they both repress it; Kade because staff isn't supposed to sleep with the interns; and Ash because her fiancé died eighteen months before, and she's afraid to love again.

When Ash and Kade are stranded together in the woods during a field trip gone wrong, things change between them.

First of all, I found this book very compelling and raced to find out the ending. It was very readable, in spite of some flaws. The biggest issue I had with it was insta-love. I can understand instant lust, but insta-love? Kade practically falls in love with Ash after seeing her picture from the intern application. Who falls in love with a picture? (He wonders about that himself.) Especially since it was a work-related picture, not a photograph of her in a skimpy bikini.

Ash has always followed all the rules. Her parents are somewhat controlling, and pushed her into a premed program while her dream was to become a veterinarian. She still feels guilty about her fiancé's death in a drunk-driver accident and is punishing herself by staying well away from other men. At first, Kade is almost rude to her, but then she understand it's because he's actually attracted to her.

The core of the novel is about Ash and Kade going on a field trip, and finding themselves alone against a thunderstorm, an almost-flood, the wild animals, and a couple injuries. They get close pretty quickly, but it might be just the adrenaline and the situation talking. As a matter of fact, when they're rescued, Kade acts very distant from Ash and she's heartbroken.

I liked this book, and the field trip provided original among the sea of new adult novels. It abided to all the other tropes of the genre, though. Can we have a guy in a new adult novel who isn't a tattoed bad boy? What's with tattoos anyway? I don't find them sexy in the slightest.

The Harvesters (Harvesting Series #1)

The Harvesters (Harvesting Series #1) - Ashley  Hill E-galley received from the author for review in a book tour.

I'm not sure I understand what the final cliffhanger is about. I hope it's not what i think it is.

This is a very fast-paced story. It's 30 pages full of action. You don't get much about the characters, except that Jason has a troubled past and there's definitely more to him that meets the eye.

I wonder why the author decided to publish this as a short story. I understand the cliffhanger factor, but I think it could have been more satisfactory with a bit more "meat" on it - maybe publishing a single book instead of a series of stories?
Sidelined (Entangled Teen) - Kendra C. Highley E-galley received from the publisher for review.

Imogen (Genna) Pierce has trained her whole life to play basketball in college. It's her mother's dream as well as her own. Now she's a senior in high school, the team captain, and has a chance of winning the state tourney. University scouts are inviting her to visit colleges, and she's now dating the football quaterback on whom she's had a crush for years. However, during an important match, she has a bad accident and can no longer play.

Genna is broken and defeated; she doesn't know who she is anymore, if she can't play basketball. Her parents keep fighting, and her mother buries herself into work. Genna also can't understand why Jake would still want to be with her. Frantic to make the pain stop, she turns to Vicodin.

I read Sidelined in one sitting. It sucked me in and I had to know how it ended. It also broke my heart. It's the story of a girl who gets addicted to medicinals and does whatever she can to get her next dose. At first she's doing it unconsciously; the pills help her relax and forget about her dailyu troubles. Then she can't control it any longer. It's a vicious addiction , even more so because Genna denies, at first, that she has a problem. Her boyfriend tries to help, but she pushes him away.

Genna's relationship to her parents is not ideal. Her bond with her mother seems to depend on basketball; her mother was a player herself when she was younger and has always coached Genna. When the girl can no longer play, she feels her mother grow distant, more focused on work than ever. then she learns that her mother has been having an affair. With Genna's dad, things go better; he's always been the more accomodating parent. But when he's the only one left to take care of Genna, things get strained.

The romance subplot is also present. I loved Jake; he was a sweet, supporting boyfriend. The love story was nice to read.
The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger Did not finish.

I foudn this book really terrible. The constant back-and-forth between past and future was very confusing. I'm also somewhat grossed out by his being a grown-up man in love with a child. Ew.

I don't get why this book seems to be universally loved, but I guess this is not for me.
Struck - Jennifer Bosworth Is this book really the first one in a series? It feels like it could be a stand-alone to me. Well, let's say the ending is satisfactory and I couldn't have chosen a better one.
3:59 - Gretchen McNeil I didn't like this at all. Plus, the whole physics talk was lost on me.
The Left Hand of Darkness - Ursula K. Le Guin I was somewhat bored with this book. Also, I didn't know it was the fourth in a series (??).

All right, so it's a group of stand-alone books with the same setting. That makes sense.
Le affinità alchemiche - Gaia Coltorti Non pensavo mi sarebbe piaciuto, e invece sì; l'ho divorato.
Forse l'intenzione dell'autrice era di scrivere una storia tipo "Romeo e Giulietta" vista l'ambientazione a Verona.

Personaggi: Giovanni è senza spina dorsale. Selvaggia è una pazza, astuta manipolatrice.

Per quanto riguarda il dialetto veneto: fail. A Verona non si parla come a Venezia.

Il linguaggio è abbastanza seccante - molto ampolloso e ricercato, pieno di termini desueti. Quale maschio diciottenne parla/pensa così? Ho capito io che Giovanni si legge un sacco di libri difficili, ma a tutto c'è un limite, anche lui dovrà pur fare una pausa!


What I Came to Tell You - Tommy Hays E-galley received through Edelweiss for review.