Friday, June 13, 2014

Review: Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend

Release: May 13, 2014
Source: ARC from publisher

Summer, boys, and friendships gone sour. This new series has everything that perfect beach reads are made of!

Gemma just got dumped and is devastated. She finds herself back in the Hamptons for the summer—which puts her at risk of bumping into Hallie, her former best friend that she wronged five years earlier. Do people hold grudges that long? 

When a small case of mistaken identity causes everyone, including Hallie and her dreamy brother Josh, to think she’s someone else, Gemma decides to go along with it.

Gemma's plan is working (she's finding it hard to resist Josh), but she's finding herself in embarrassing situations (how could a bathing suit fall apart like that!?). Is it coincidence or is someone trying to expose her true identity? And how will Josh react if he finds out who she is? 

Most people judge a book by their cover. I know I do this many times. But what drew me to this book was the title.

While long, the title is cute, charming, and creative.

At the Nashville Fierce Reads tour stop, Katie actually said that her idea for this book came from the titles. So there's something to be said about a good title. 

Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend is all about broken heart and mending bonds. Gemma did something awful to her friend, years ago. After a terrible break up with her boyfriend, Gemma returns to the Hamptons and runs in to her ex-best friend, Hallie. From then on, she determines to win back Hallie's friendship. Things don't go as planed, though. 

Overall, this book was a fun, quick, and entertaining read. Perfect for Summertime. I think Gemma is a very relatable character. While she is not perfect, I understand her motivation. What frustrated me, though, how many times Gemma had to "cover up" her mistakes. Unfortunately, I felt that the side-characters were rather bland. I wanted more from them, and from the Hampton setting. There was a lot of potential, and the book fell short. 

Still, that ending? So twisty! I guessed part of that twist, halfway through the book, but there was another aspect of the twist that had my mouth opened in confusion. With that cliffhanger ending, I definitely plan to get my hands on the next installment. I didn't take this book seriously, and I didn't have high expectations. Perhaps that's why I managed to enjoy the book.

ALSO,  Katie is also Morgan Matson. How did I not know this? I didn't know this until the Fierce Reads tour stop, which is embarrassing for someone like me. I don't know if this is on par with her "Morgan Matson" works, but I'm excited to read more of her work. 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Review: The Thousand Dollar Tan Line

by: Rob Thomas and Jennifer Grahm
Release: March 25, 2014
Source: Audiobook/Purchased

Ten years after graduating from high school in Neptune, California, Veronica Mars is back in the land of sun, sand, crime, and corruption. She’s traded in her law degree for her old private investigating license, struggling to keep Mars Investigations afloat on the scant cash earned by catching cheating spouses until she can score her first big case.

Now it’s spring break, and college students descend on Neptune, transforming the beaches and boardwalks into a frenzied, week-long rave. When a girl disappears from a party, Veronica is called in to investigate. But this is no simple missing person’s case; the house the girl vanished from belongs to a man with serious criminal ties, and soon Veronica is plunged into a dangerous underworld of drugs and organized crime. And when a major break in the investigation has a shocking connection to Veronica’s past, the case hits closer to home than she ever imagined.

I only started watching Veronica Mars last year, in the midst of the kickstarted frenzy. I thought, a TV show that can garner so much love and support from fans must be good. And the fans were right. I loved the TV show, even if the third season wasn't exactly a satisfying conclusion.

But that didn't matter anymore, because the movie was going to come out and tie up all the loose strings.

Like most "marshmallows", I loved the movie and was thrilled to discover that a book series would be released. These books follow the events of the movie, so if you haven't seen the movie, then you probably shouldn't read this book. And if you haven't watched the TV show, what have you been doing with your life? Go now and watch! I promise that it will make reading this book so much more entertaining.

As for The Thousand Dollar Tan Line--it was a great book. A fun, quick, and entertaining read. I picked up the audiobook, mainly because Kristen Bell was narrated. I was not disappointed. Kristen does an amazing job with tone infection, and voicing other characters. Some were done better than others, of course, but never once was I turned off by her narrative style.

In this book, Veronica is just as strong, and determined, as ever. Support cast--Mac, Wallace, Weavil, and Dick--all return. If I had any complaints, it's that I wished to see more Weevil and Dick. Both of them could have certainly played a big part in the investigation, but each character has only one scene and that's not enough. I wanted more. I also missed Logan, even if he had good reason to not have a physical presence. Overall, the movie and this book confirmed how much love I have for Veronica, and the other characters. I was pleasantly surprised by a return of one character, and I hope she shows up in future installments. I won't say who this character is, though, because I think it's best to be surprised.

As for the plot, it definitely took some unexpected twists and turns.  There were a couple of CRAZY twists at the end, when it appeared that the case was solved. And I enjoyed every minute of listening to it unfold.  Trust me, you don't want to be spoiled.

So as a fan of Veronica Mars, I love this book. And I think most Veronica Mars fans will love it to. If you choose to read the book, without having watched TV show or film, I don't think you'll be as blown away. I don't think you'll enjoy it to it's fullest potential. After all, this book is for the fans (as it should be).