ARC Reviews – June 2015

This month, half of my ARCs had a musician love interest, which is funny, but also says a lot about me personally.

  • Grunge Gods and Graveyards – Kimberly G. Giarratano: “I was intrigued by the cover, and I’m automatically drawn to books where the love interest is a musician (it was an bonus that he also happened to be a ghost), so I figured I’d give this one a shot. I ended up enjoying it a lot more than I thought I would!” (4 interrobangs)
  • The Lady in Blue – Kimberly G. Giarratano: “..since I was intrigued by the Lady in Blue in [Grunge Gods and Graveyards], I was more than happy to find out a little bit more about Lana Bloom.This self-published sequel came out a couple of months ago and it does a fine job of filling in the gaps.” (5 interrobangs)
  • Devil’s Daughter – Hope Schenk-de Michele and Paul Marquez: “It had a great plot and some interesting moments but, while it had an open ending, I’m not tearing down the house in anticipating for the sequel. Definitely a good change from most of the other angel-based YA out there, though.” (3.5 interrobangs)
  • Fractured Dream – K.M. Randall: “It wasn’t the worst book I’ve ever read ever, but I couldn’t really get into it (despite finishing it!). I’m certain there are people who will devour this, but I just couldn’t connect with anyone enough to care what happened to them.” (2.5 interrobangs)
  • Date with a Rockstar – Sarah Gagnon: “This was one of those books where part of me was going “wow, this is cheesy/dramatic/over-the-top” and another part of me was going “I LOVE EVERYTHING THAT’S HAPPENING RIGHT NOW”.” (4 interrobangs)
  • The Heartbreakers – Ali Novak: “If you’re in the mood for a fluffy fanfic, then this will be your jam. There are some serious moments (Cara does have cancer, after all), but it veers around truly emotional territories.” (2.5 interrobangs)

Overall, it was an interesting month for ARCs, with a nice mix of hits and misses. What have you read this month?

ARC Review: Date with a Rockstar – Sarah Gagnon

Date with a Rockstar – Sarah Gagnon

23230475Monet isn’t just another lust-struck teenager trying to win the heart of Rock God Jeremy Bane–she needs the prize money from his new reality show to cure her illness.

Monet has Fluxem, a contagious disease that’s spread through saliva. It’s completely curable if you have enough money, which she and her single mother don’t. Now that she’s on the show, Monet has to work harder to keep her Fluxem hidden. She only has to keep the secret long enough to woo Jeremy Bane so he picks her as the winner. She doesn’t even care about the love part; the prize alone will change her life.

But the real Jeremy Bane is nothing like she imagined. Monet finds herself fighting against feelings that make her want to give in to her attraction and Jeremy’s attempts for a kiss. The further she goes in the competition, the more impossible it becomes to resist him–and when the producers turn the tables and start digging up dirt on the contestants, Monet fears her secret will be revealed before she’s ready and ruin everything.

The only way to win Jeremy’s heart is to tell him the truth, but confessing her disease could cost her the competition, the prize money, and him.

Release Date: June 23rd, 2015

Thank you to NetGalley for providing a free copy in exchange for an honest review!

This was one of those books where part of me was going “wow, this is cheesy/dramatic/over-the-top” and another part of me was going “I LOVE EVERYTHING THAT’S HAPPENING RIGHT NOW”.

What I liked:

-the premise. I was a little worried it would be one of those tragically sad stories where they finally hook up and then someone dies, but SPOILER ALERT, my fears were unfounded. Instead, Monet’s disease forced her to work twice as hard as the other girls to keep from being discovered while she found herself falling hopelessly for Jeremy.

-the setting. I didn’t realize this was set in the not-to-distant, somewhat dystopian future. In fact, I find it fascinating that they didn’t put that into the synopsis, because I think it would change the way people view the book. Their story takes place about 50 years from now (I think?), so things have changed: people have bank chips in their arms, there are robotic perfume spritzers in malls, and China has called in their debts so much of America is struggling (I like to think Canada made it out safely in this future, but probably not). It gives an interesting background to Monet and Jeremy’s relationship and, since it’s not all “everybody has to fight each other to the death” like most dystopian novels, you can almost believe that this future is possible.

-the characters as a whole. The ten contestants are varied and some are more intense than others. You almost immediately empathize with Monet – she’s had a harder life than the others and is not nearly as privileged. And from their very first meeting, you start rooting for her and Jeremy (who is your standard YA hero i.e. charming, handsome, has a secret sweet/sensitive side no one ever sees, etc).

What I didn’t like:

-it might have been a formatting issue, but there were times when Monet’s thoughts and actual dialogue were mashed into the same paragraph which made it feel disjointed.

-while Monet was a complex and well-drawn character, she (her thoughts) could be repetitive sometimes.

-there were a few contestants who we didn’t get to know very well and who Monet didn’t see as a threat. They were almost unnecessary and could have easily been cut, which would have raised the stakes even more.

Admittedly, there were some predictable moments, many cheesy lines of dialogue, and a handful of super-dramatic scenes…but since I stayed up late to finish this, I guess that formula worked!


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