Tag: Melissa Kantor

Rowena’s DNF Round Up

Posted July 2, 2015 by Rowena in Reviews | 7 Comments

I’ve never been one to review the books that I didn’t finish but after reading Kat’s post about her DNF reads over at Cuddlebuggery, I thought I’d take a page out of her book and do the same here. Mostly, I just want to remember why I didn’t read certain books, gave up on them or whatever.

Thanks for the inspiration, Kat.

The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand.

There’s death all around us.
We just don’t pay attention.
Until we do.

The last time Lex was happy, it was before. When she had a family that was whole. A boyfriend she loved. Friends who didn’t look at her like she might break down at any moment.

Now she’s just the girl whose brother killed himself. And it feels like that’s all she’ll ever be.

As Lex starts to put her life back together, she tries to block out what happened the night Tyler died. But there’s a secret she hasn’t told anyone-a text Tyler sent, that could have changed everything.

Lex’s brother is gone. But Lex is about to discover that a ghost doesn’t have to be real to keep you from moving on.

From New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Hand, The Last Time We Say Goodbye is a gorgeous and heart-wrenching story of love, loss, and letting go.

This book was one that was really slow going for me. I kept waiting to connect with the main character Lex but that never happened and then about 35% through the book, I threw in the towel. It’s not a bad book, the writing is actually good but it’s one that was really sad and I just wasn’t in the mood for it so I put it down. I haven’t wanted to pick it up again either so I doubt I will, not any time soon anyway.

You can purchase this book here or here in e-format.

Better than Perfect by Melissa Kantor.

Juliet Newman has it all. A picture-perfect family; a handsome, loving boyfriend; and a foolproof life plan: ace her SATs, get accepted into Harvard early decision, and live happily ever after.

But when her dad moves out and her mom loses it, Juliet begins questioning the rules she’s always lived by. And to make everything even more complicated there’s Declan, the gorgeous boy who makes her feel alive and spontaneous—and who’s totally off-limits. Torn between the life she always thought she wanted and one she never knew was possible, Juliet begins to wonder: What if perfect isn’t all it’s cracked up to be?

Melissa Kantor once again delivers a tale that is equal parts surprising, humorous, heartbreaking, and romantic. Powerful and honest, Juliet’s story brilliantly portrays the highs and lows of life in high school and will resonate with any reader who has experienced either.

This is another book that I thought I’d like but just couldn’t get into. The beginning was slow and after trying and not being able to read past the 20% mark, I gave up.

You can purchase this book here or here in e-format.

Still the One by Jill Shalvis.

Darcy Stone is game for anything — except sexy Navy veteran and physical therapist A.J. Colten, the guy who’d rejected her when she’d needed him most. Now the shoe is on the other foot and he needs her to play nice and help him secure grants for his patients. Unfortunately, Darcy can’t refuse. She needs the money to fund her passion project: rescuing S&R dogs and placing them with emotionally wounded soldiers.

A.J. admits it — Darcy is irresistible. But he’s already been battle-scarred by a strong-willed, vivacious, adventurous woman like Darcy, and he’s not making the same mistake twice—until he and Darcy are forced to fake a relationship. Growing closer than they’d ever imagined possible, Darcy and AJ have to ask themselves: how much between them is pretend? What’s the real thing? And where does it go from here?

This is a DNF that surprises me because I love Jill Shalvis’ books. I adore her contemporary romances and her heroes but Darcy got on my hot damn nerves in her brothers book and the first part of this book, she did the same until I just couldn’t be bothered to finish her story. Poor AJ, I just know that I could have loved the hell out of him but I just couldn’t connect with Darcy and all of the lovey dovey crap that Wyatt and Emily were pushing. I get that they’re happy but it felt like every time they were mentioned, they were ALWAYS all over each other and being completely annoying in their love that I gave this one a pass.

You can purchase this book here or here in e-format.

Kissing Ted Callihan by Amy Spalding.

Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist meets Easy A in this hilariously realistic story of sneaking out, making out, and playing in a band.

After catching their bandmates in a compromising position, sixteen-year-old Los Angelenos Riley and Reid become painfully aware of the romance missing from their own lives. And so a pact is formed: they’ll both try to make something happen with their respective crushes and document the experiences in a shared notebook.

While Reid struggles with the moral dilemma of adopting a dog to win over someone’s heart, Riley tries to make progress with Ted Callahan, who she’s been obsessed with forever-His floppy hair! His undeniable intelligence! But suddenly cute guys are popping up everywhere. How did she never notice them before?! With their love lives going from 0 to 60 in the blink of an eye, Riley and Reid realize the results of their pact may be more than they bargained for.

This is a book that I probably would have loved but every time I picked it up, I thought about the YA Reviewer Bingo Card she put together, the one where she’s making fun of reviewers/readers and I got pissed off all over again so I kept putting it down. It’s been months since that went down and I’m still not over it so nope, I’m not touching this book.

You can purchase this book here or here in e-format.

These books are available from Harper Teen, Berkley and Poppy. Buy links are provided below each review. These books were provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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Review: The Darlings in Love by Melissa Kantor.

Posted January 12, 2012 by Rowena in Reviews | 3 Comments

Rowena’s review of The Darlings in Love by Melissa Kantor.

Main Character: Jane, Natalya, Victoria
Love Interest: Simon, Colin, Jack
Series: The Darlings, Book 2
Author: Facebook|Twitter|Goodreads

The Darlings have just begun their second semester of ninth grade, and love is in the air.


Victoria: The sweetheart Jack: The irresistible songwriter…but is he writing off Victoria?


Natalya: The overachiever Colin: The perfect match, if only the game were less complicated


Jane: The drama queen Simon: The Greek god… of mixed signals


In the face of both joy and heartbreak, the Darlings know that they’ll always have each other. Boys come and go, but the Darlings are still forever.

What a fun book this turned out to be.

I’m pretty sure this isn’t the first book in this series but that didn’t stop me from enjoying the book anyway. Kantor does a fabulous job of writing this story so that it seems like a standalone, even though it isn’t. In this book, we’re front and center as Jane, Victoria and Natalya go through obstacles surrounding the boys in their lives. Jane meets a new boy named Simon who sweeps her off her feet and seems to be too good to be true. Victoria and Jack are still going strong but they don’t have much in common and it’s becoming a problem that everyone is seeing except Jack. Natalya still likes Colin, the boy that she ditched and she’s regretting her decision to ditch him for his sister (the popular girl) and when Colin invites her to play Chess again, things start to get pretty complicated, pretty fast.

This book was cute. I really enjoyed getting to know all three of the Darlings and be a part of their love lives. Each girl is going through different things and I was right there with each of them. I can’t say that I had a favorite storyline in this book because I enjoyed all three storylines. I liked all three boys even when I wasn’t really sure where they loyalty was.

Victoria and Jack were going through a rough patch that isn’t really anything with couples their age but I still enjoyed getting to know both Jack and Victoria. I loved that Victoria had strict parents even though we didn’t get to see much of them because so many kids have strict parents these days and it made Victoria’s story come alive that much more for me because I know exactly how she feels. I was right there with her when I was in high school, strict parents and at a complete loss as to how to hang out with my boyfriend outside of lunch period at school. The way that her and Jack fought and then talked things out was too cute for words.

Natalya and Colin were a cute couple too. They’re not together or anything but their story hurt my heart. After Natalya ditched Colin in the first book (which is where I’m assuming it happened but I don’t know for sure since I didn’t read that book), the two of them didn’t really talk much. Natalya was all bummed about losing him because she really liked him but thought that it was a lost cause because that ship has sailed and she blew her chance. When he comes sprawling back into her life, she’s all excited until she’s not anymore and all of the drama behind this one had me connecting with Natalya because who hasn’t had their heart broken before? Too cute, these two were. I loved their texts back and forth and their chess game.

Last up is Jane. Jane is a drama student who’s being pursued by Mark, a guy that she is sold on being a poser. He said that he was a great actor and what not and then doesn’t even audition for the part. He comes back in this book and wants to direct so he asks Jane to act in a scene that he’s directing for school and only after she meets her hot co-star does Jane accept. Simon (the hottie co-star) and Jane were cute but for me, I was more of a fan of Mark. He just seemed more sincere than Simon was and even though I liked Simon, my heart hurt for Jane because it couldn’t have been easy for her to deal with all of that drama and then not talk about it since everyone else was going through their own personal drama’s.

Overall, this book was a great treat for me to read. It’s got a little bit of everything for lovers of contemporary YA. It’s cute and cuddly and I really enjoyed it. I definitely recommend it.

..and that’s your scoop!

This book was received through NetGalley.

Buy the book: B&N|Amazon|Book Depository
Book cover and blurb credit: http://barnesandnoble.com

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