[Tour Stop: Review & Giveaway] Motocross Me by Cheyanne Young

Blog tour organized by Itching for Books.

Motocross Me
Author: Cheyanne Young
Publisher: 336Love
Publication Date: June 26th, 2013
Genre: YA – Contemporary

When Hana Fisher moves to the small town of Mixon, Texas to live with her dad, she dreads having to work at the boring pile of dirt he fondly calls a motocross track. But when she gets there, she finds the rinky-dink dirt bike track from her childhood has grown into the most respected racing track in the state.
Now popular by association, Hana endures the pain and sweat of working in the summer heat in order to fit in with a sport she’s growing to love. She gets a real family, a best friend and not just one, but two of the fastest racers trying to win her heart.
When Hana abuses her status as the track owner’s daughter to help the gorgeous Ryan Russo cheat in the biggest race of the year, she risks more than just losing her job. Every good thing in her life is at stake now- her friends, her dad’s trust, and Ash Carter- the kind-hearted racer who may not be as alluring as Ryan, but is proof that nice guys don’t always finish last.

Review:

What feels like the weirdest night of my life floats naturally through this house, as if random guests are an everyday thing and leftover lasagna is the cure for every ailment. An hour ago I didn’t belong anywhere in the world, and now I’ve been recharged with several hugs and one forehead kiss, and there’s a bed upstairs with clean sheets on it just for me. Sometimes the dumbest thing you’ve ever done is actually a work of genius in disguise.

The motocross concept is what got me hooked in the first place. Honestly, I knew absolutely nothing about motocross before I read this book. I was as clueless as Hana when it comes to this sport and luckily there are some explanations about motocross terms so I wasn’t as lost as I initially thought. The explanations are done nicely without being too info-dumpy so I was able to process the information.

Hana is an okay main character, but I had mixed feelings with her. I think the author successfully portrays her as a teenage girl who has this massive crush on a guy, the way Hana pays attention to her appearance whenever she wants to see her crush. While Hana didn’t really stand out to me as a character, I really liked her friendship with Shelby. Shelby just seems like an awesome girl who is fun to be with. I think she’s quite mature but can be overenthusiastic as well, like when it comes to motocross obviously! The other secondary characters such as Molly and Teig are likable too. 
There’s a love triangle blooming between Hana, Ash (Shelby’s twin) and Ryan. Ash is – hands down – my favorite character in this book. He may look like a criminal with those dreadlocks, but in the inside… he’s pure goodness! He’s kind-hearted and definitely not an arrogant jerk. He’s honest, patient and just like Shelby, Ash is also mature to the point that he thinks that “looks aren’t everything”. 

“Sorry Shell, I just don’t want you changing anything about yourself to win the attention of a guy. Especially a motocross guy.” He [Ash] puts his forehead to hers for a moment. “You’re way too good for that, okay?” 

Ryan is the complete opposite of Ash. He is clean-cut and handsome too but his attitude is way too arrogant for my taste. I felt the romance is a bit rushed and I think Hana falls in love – or extreme attraction whatever that is – too fast that I had difficulty buying it. However, I really liked how this book ends, it concludes the story well. Overall, it’s a nice and light and enjoyable summer read. 🙂
Rating:

3 Cakes

About the Author:
Cheyanne is a native Texan with a fear of cold weather and a coffee addiction that probably needs an intervention. She loves books, sarcasm, Xbox and paid holidays. She lives near the beach with her daughter, one spoiled rotten puppy and a cat who is most likely plotting to take over the world.




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[Review] Investigating the Hottie by Juli Alexander

Investigating the Hottie

Author: Juli Alexander
Publisher: Createspace
Publication Date: December 27th, 2012
Pages: 200 (Paperback)
Genre: YA – Contemporary, (slight) Espionage
Peterson. Amanda Peterson. When my life suddenly turns into the Princess Diaries meets Mission Impossible, can I do in a week what I haven’t managed to do in all my fifteen years—reel in a hottie? 

Investigating the Hottie is a completed young adult romance. When Amanda spends a week with her aunt, Christie, she learns that her aunt is a spy. Christie admits that Amanda has security clearance and has already started her training. When her aunt asks her to investigate a teenage hacker, Amanda thinks that spending time with a nerd should be doable despite her social ineptitude. Unfortunately for Amanda, the hacker is a hottie. 

“Juli Alexander displays skill in this laugh-out-loud spy romp. With non-stop action and a budding romance, fans of the Gallagher Girls will love Investigating the Hottie.”
–Amanda Brice, author of Pointe of No Return

Review
Amanda Petersen gets sent to her education-geek aunt’s house for a week because her parents are getting a divorce. Nothing is as it seems and apparently, Amanda’s aunt – Christie – has been a spy all these years. When her aunt gives her a mission to investigate a hot teenage hacker, Amanda is reluctant at first because she knows that she’s shy and socially inept. But she gradually starts to enjoy this mission and the worst thing happens: she ends up having a crush on this boy!

Amanda is an okay character – but just okay. In the beginning she is a bit shallow and later she becomes a lovesick teenager. To be honest there’s nothing really special about her aside from the fact that she’s fluent in Spanish, Italian, French and German. The rest of the characters are okay too. A bit bland but probably that’s because I think this book is too short so there aren’t many rooms for development…

I found the plot to be rushed and quite unrealistic. However, one twist did catch me off guard and it was a pleasant surprise! And some scenes made me smile, some made me grinning and giggling like an idiot. Nic and Christie’s bickering is hilarious! The writing is fun enough; it has the right amount of teenage slang without being awkward or tedious. Despite all the negatives, I still liked this book because it’s very light, quite entertaining and easy to devour. I read this in around four hours and that’s really quick for me.

Investigating the Hottie was a very fluffy and light read that I couldn’t help but to enjoy! This book is more of a contemporary with a little espionage so don’t expect much of espionage when you decide to pick it up. Very girly read indeed. Definitely a great past-time if you’re looking for a break from all the heavy reads.

Huge thanks to CrushStar Mulitimedia LLC and Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review this book!

Rating:
3 Cakes

[ARC Review] Paparazzi Princesses by Bria Williams & Reginae Carter (with Karyn Folan)

Paparazzi Princesses
Author: Bria Willams & Reginae Carter (with Karyn Folan)
Publisher: Cash Money Content
Publication Date: June 4th, 2013
Pages: 336 (Hardcover)
Genre: MG – Contemporary

Money and designer clothes. Fame and red carpet events. Front row concert tickets and expensive parties. 

That’s the good stuff . . . but being the daughter of a music mogul or a famous rapper isn’t easy. Step inside the lives of Kayla Jones and Promise Walker. As the daughters of two legends of rap music, trips, cash, designer labels and famous friends are just business as usual for Kayla and Promise. But so are the high expectations of super-successful parents, the drama of having two-faced friends, the not-always welcome glare of constant media attention and the hurt of nasty gossip. Add to that the ugly reality that some people would do anything to take their parents down—and Kayla and Promise face a daily struggle to figure out who to trust when everyone is blinded by their dad’s power. To make matters worse, sometimes, they’re not even sure of each other!

Review
You know, when I first read the synopsis for Paparazzi Princesses, I immediately thought of 52 Reasons to Hate My Father and how much I enjoyed that book. I’ve been wanting to read something light – basically not dystopia – and Paparazzi Princesses seemed right up my alley.

Paparazzi Princesses follows the story of Kayla and Promise as they face the challenges of being celebrities’ children. Told in Kayla’s and Promise’s point of views, at first I found it was easier to sympathize with Kayla. But as the story progresses and we get to know more of them, Promise grew on me and eventually I was rooting for her too. Their characters develop throughout the story and I liked that in the end they aren’t as shallow as they were in the beginning.

If only I could say the same about the supporting characters. Well, the parents are okay but I never liked Kayla’s friends and Promise’s too. They are annoying and they just wanna gain benefits from their friendship with the girls. Seriously, they’re the definition of fake friends. But that’s part of the girls’ challenges too and ultimately I was pleased with how Promise handles it. This book was predictable for me, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it. I think it is well written and suitable for middle grade audience because the language choice isn’t that complicated and easy to devour.

Paparazzi Princess is a fairly enjoyable and drama-filled read that tackles the challenges of being celebrities’ kid, why it’s important to be honest and stay true to yourself and figuring out who to trust might not be easy.

Huge thanks to Simon & Schuster and Edelweiss for the opportunity to read and review this book!!

Rating:
3 Cakes!

[Mini Reviews] The Son of Neptune & Requiem

Hey! I re-read The Son of Neptune a couple weeks ago and haven’t written a review for it. I just finished Requiem last Saturday but I was too lazy to write a proper review so that’s why I wrote mini reviews for them!

(Heroes of Olympus #2)
by Rick Riordan
MG – Adventure, Fantasy
Percy is confused. When he awoke from his long sleep, he didn’t know much more than his name. Somehow he has managed to make it to a camp for half-bloods, but it doesn’t ring any bells with him. The only thing he can recall from his past is another name: Annabeth.

Hazel is supposed to be dead. When she lived before, she didn’t do a very good job out of it. Now, because of a mistake she made back then, the future of the world is at risk. Hazel wishes she could rise away all on the stallion that appears in her dreams.

Frank is a klutz. His grandmother says he is descended from heroes, but he doesn’t see it. His bulky physique makes him feel like an ox, especially in front of Hazel, his closest friend. He trusts her completely – enough to share the secret he holds close to his heart.

Beginning at the “other” camp for half-bloods and extending as far as the land beyond the gods, this breathtaking second installment in the Heroes of Olympus series introduces new demigods, revives fearsome monsters, and feature other remarkable creatures, all destined to play a part in the Prophecy of Seven.
Review
This is the second time I read The Son of Neptune and it was still amazing. In fact, I think I loved this book even more after re-reading. I liked Hazel and Frank more. I actually felt for Hazel, when she had those flashbacks, and her character developed well until the end of the book. I appreciated her bravery and her determination to protect the ones she loves. I sympathize with Frank and what I liked the most from him was his commitment to put duty first before his own life. He also became more confident in the end as he accepted his weaknesses and realized that he, too, has a gift. Before, I thought that Percy was the highlight of this book but now I realized that Hazel and Frank are as important as he is. Each character has his/her own moment to shine. The plot was unquestionably full of actions and I thoroughly enjoyed this book despite knowing the ending and all. I got to pick up the little things I missed and I was struck when I spot a few quotes that might foresee the future in the next books. And that made makes me scared. 🙁 But this book also gave me a good amount of humor. 🙂

5 Cakes!

***
(Delirium #3)
by Lauren Oliver
YA – Dystopia, Romance

As her country erupts in open rebellion, Lena fights for the resistance and must make a heartbreaking choice between two loves.
After saving Julian from a death sentence, Lena escapes with him and other members of the resistance. But as she embraces her love for Julian, a boy from her past returns and causes her to question everything.
In the meantime, Lena’s best friend, Hana, is engaged to Portland’s young mayor and is living a safe, proscribed, loveless life. The story is told from both Lena and Hana’s points of view.
As Lena struggles to save the people she loves, everything comes to a head in this exciting finale to Lauren Oliver’s epic trilogy. Requiem is a sophisticated, wide-ranging novel that explores the large issues of society, government, and resistance, and of course, there is romance.

Review
I really loved Delirium. And I thought Pandemonium was not as good as Delirium, but still loved it anyway. As for Requiem… You could say that I was disappointed. There were still elements that made me fall in love with this series in the first place (for example: beautiful writing). But there were also things that made Requiem less enjoyable for me. I felt the pacing in the beginning was slow to the point I almost wanted to throw this book away and do something else instead. Requiem is told in Lena’s and Hana’s POVs. I could distinguish who is who, but at times I thought the multiple POVs were useless. I would rather have a single POV, although Hana’s POV was quite interesting sometimes. The love triangle didn’t really work for me. The love interests were likable in the previous books but in this… I didn’t feel anything for them until the end I was leaning towards Alex (again). Speaking of the ending, most people thought it was disappointing. However I, surprisingly, was quite satisfied by it. I mean, when I first reached the ending I was like, “What?? Did it just end? That was the ending?” *checked the pages afterwards and found nothing other than the acknowledgement* Lots of questions popped up on my mind but not long after that, I actually felt pleased. 🙂

3 Cakes!

[Review] Blood Red Road by Moira Young

Blood Red Road
(Dust Lands #1)
Author: Moira Young
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Pages: 459 (Hardcover)
Genre: YA – Adventure, Post-apocalyptic
Summary

Saba has spent her whole life in Silverlake, a dried-up wasteland ravaged by constant sandstorms. The Wrecker civilization has long been destroyed, leaving only landfills for Saba and her family to scavenge from. That’s fine by her, as long as her beloved twin brother Lugh is around. But when a monster sandstorm arrives, along with four cloaked horsemen, Saba’s world is shattered. Lugh is captured, and Saba embarks on an epic quest to get him back.

Suddenly thrown into the lawless, ugly reality of the world outside of desolate Silverlake, Saba is lost without Lugh to guide her. So perhaps the most surprising thing of all is what Saba learns about herself: she’s a fierce fighter, an unbeatable survivor, and a cunning opponent. And she has the power to take down a corrupt society from the inside. Teamed up with a handsome daredevil named Jack and a gang of girl revolutionaries called the Free Hawks, Saba stages a showdown that will change the course of her own civilization.

Blood Red Road has a searing pace, a poetically minimal writing style, violent action, and an epic love story. Moira Young is one of the most promising and startling new voices in teen fiction.


Review
Moira Young has succeeded creating a rough world and in that world, not all people know how to write so the language is unique. Blood Red Road might look like a draft of a book and that writing style really annoyed me in the beginning. My thoughts still wandered a lot as I read it. It was easy to believe that the world is rough, but hard for me to connect with the characters, especially with Saba. I also spotted that the unique writing style is a bit inconsistent. Not many, though. Here’s the example:

“They are afraid of me.” – Saba (page 158)
“The other girls’re afeared of you.” – Helen (page 159)
“That’s who  you gotta be afraid of.” – Helen (page 164)

My main problem with this book is Saba. I like strong heroines, but Saba just seem too… bad. I was really frustrated with her because she’s too mean to her little sister, too stubborn and basically too unlikable for me. Aside from those negative traits, I thought she had a determination and always set her eyes on her goal. But apparently, when she’s so close to reaching her goal, she becomes doubtful and I was like: What?? That was the only thing that’s on your mind for the entire book! And now you decide to hesitate?

And there’s Jack, oh Jack, it’s so good to have you here. Jack literally knocks her sense all the time when Saba does something wrong or inappropriate. The side characters are generally okay, but I also got annoyed with Emmi because she’s too stubborn and clumsy. I know that she’s only nine years old but can’t she be a little careful?? I guess Emmi inherits her stubbornness from Saba ._.

Probably the best thing in this book is the tension. The writing did bug me a lot, but whenever there’s a fighting scene or at the climax of the book, the writing did a good job of creating tension.

If you’re looking for a book with amazing and likable main character, I will not recommend this book but I definitely won’t stop you from reading it. If you’re looking for a uniquely-written book with exciting tension, maybe you’ll like Blood Red Road

Rating: 
3 Chocolate Cakes!