April Wrap Up:

Although I managed to read twenty three books this month, it really wasn’t full of goods books, with more than a third of them only getting two heart ratings. Still though,  it was a strong start and there were a few stand outs that kept this month from being a total failure.

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Rebel Spring by Morgan Rhodes: I read the first book in this series and feel in love. This second book did not disappoint and I found myself devouring this book in a few hours, totally immersed in the world and characters. 

Gathering Darkness by Morgan Rhodes: The third book in this series and definitely the most intense by far. I was lucky enough to get these books one after another, because I honestly don’t think I would have survived waiting. This story just gets more and more intriguing and I can’t wait for the next book! 

Sex Criminals Vol 1: One Weird Trick by Matt Fraction: I’ve heard a lot about this graphic novel so I picled up at Comicon a few weeks ago. I wasn’t sure what to think going into it but it ended up being so hilarious and clever, I loved it! It has really positive but funny messages about sex and the story line it so out there and keeps you laughing through the whole thing. 

Deadly Class Vol. 1: Reagan Youth by Rick Remender: Another graphic novel that I picked up at Comicon, the cover on this one caught my eye and I know that I had to buy it. Set in an awesome time period, a tale of revenge, assassins and crazy acid trips, this one was such a cool ride, I couldn’t put it down. 

The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancey: I’ve been hearing so much about this book, so maybe my expectations were too high. The beginning was eerie and wonderful, but it was the second half of the book that I really had a hard time with. I think I would have loved it much more as a survival story instead of having romance taking up a big chunk. 

Across the Universe by Beth Revis: I’ve owned this series for a while but never got around to reading it until now, when my Goodreads reading group picked it as one of our read-along books of the month. The premise was really interesting, but the lack of good characters and writing that didn’t really stand out, made it hard to get into. 

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Pure, Deity, Apollyon, and Sentinel by Jennifer L. Armentrout: I’m just going to clump these ones together because I gave them all the same rating for the same reason. This series was tons of fun, not the most amazingly well written books in the world, but I had a huge blast while reading them. 

Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins: I decided to re-read this book since I was planning on getting my hands on the sequel, and I enjoyed it just as much as the first time that I read it. Full of witty banter, hilarious situations, and a spunky heroine, this book is a girly blast. Not to mention that the love interest is a mega cutie pie. 

Miss Mayhem by Rachel Hawkins: This was one of the most disappointing sequels I’ve read in a long time and to be honest, I’m not sure what to think of it. It was missing a lot of the things that I loved so much about the first book and the plot wasn’t nearly as fun or exciting. 

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Alienated by Melissa Landers: Another re-read I did in preparation for the sequel and it was just as bad as I remembered. This book has a lot of potential with an interesting story, a message about prejudice, and sci-fi goodness. Instead, it’s a book full of mushy romance and teenage drama. At a certain point, I was hoping aliens would swoop down and blow the whole place up. 

Invaded by Melissa Landers: I’m still not sure why I read this one after I disliked the first one so much, but it was definitely what I expected. Still full of cliches and sappy romance, this book really misses the mark. 

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman: Yet another re-read before getting the sequel… Noticing a trend yet this month? I really enjoyed this book more the second time around since it wasn’t nearly as confusing now that I knew what was going on. Seraphina is a super fun and daring heroine and the world is interesting, though not as fantasy as I had expected. 

Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman: Compared to the first book, this one had a lot of interesting developments and much more world building going on. However, it was so slow and dense and it had a hard time keeping my interest. I honestly just skimmed the last fifty pages or so.

The Nightmare Affair by Mindee Arnett: I read this book years ago and remembered absolutely nothing about it, but it sounded pretty fun and cutesy, kind of like Hex Hall. Ultimately, this book ended up lacking lots of the charm and things that kept me interested with Hex Hall had and I didn’t enjoy or connect with many of the characters. 

The Nightmare Dilemma by Mindee Arnett: This month was just all about giving the sequels of bad books a chance, only for them to disappoint just as much as the first; this book was no exception. Full of cliches and predictable plot twists, this book ended up being a bit of a snore-fest.  

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Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch: I had so much anticipation for this book, but I ended up finding it kind of cheesy and cliche. I didn’t like the heroine or the love triangle or the predictable plot and had a hard time trudging through this one.  

Dream a Little Dream by Kerstin Gier: I love dreams and the idea of traveling through other people’s dreams, so this book sounded right up my alley. Although the plot was a little slow and the romance was forced at best, the witty heroine and fun dream aspects kept my interest. 

Attack on Titan Vol. 1: I recently watched this anime and fell beyond in love with the world, the story, and the characters. I’ve never read any manga before so I wasn’t sure what to expect going into this, but it was so perfect and everything I had hoped it would be. The feels I have for this manga and anime can’t be put into words. 

Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier: After being less than wowed by Dream a Little Dream, I decided to give this series a chance since I’ve heard so much good about it. Once again, I found myself underwhelmed and a little confused by the amount of hype it gets. While the time travel aspect makes me drool, I really didn’t like any of the characters and the insta-love is just yucky. 

The Storyspinner by Becky Wallace: As much as I hate to admit it, I completely judged this book by it’s hideous cover and expected nothing good. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the intriguing story, engaging characters, and fantasy elements. I actually flew through this book and enjoyed the whole thing. 


Review: Rebel Belle

Title: Rebel Belle (Rebel Belle #1) 8475505

Author: Rachel Hawkins

Publisher: Putnam Juvenile

Publication Date: April 8th, 2014

Summary: Harper Price, peerless Southern belle, was born ready for a Homecoming tiara. But after a strange run-in at the dance imbues her with incredible abilities, Harper’s destiny takes a turn for the seriously weird. She becomes a Paladin, one of an ancient line of guardians with agility, super strength and lethal fighting instincts.

Just when life can’t get any more disastrously crazy, Harper finds out who she’s charged to protect: David Stark, school reporter, subject of a mysterious prophecy and possibly Harper’s least favorite person. But things get complicated when Harper starts falling for him—and discovers that David’s own fate could very well be to destroy Earth.

With snappy banter, cotillion dresses, non-stop action and a touch of magic, this new young adult series from bestseller Rachel Hawkins is going to make y’all beg for more.


You might not know this about me, but I’m actually not a huge girly girl. I don’t really like pink, I don’t wear makeup, I wouldn’t dream of casually wearing heels, and I think beauty pageants are just ridiculous. Instead, I usually rock jeans and a nerdy t-shirt, spend my time reading fantasy books or gaming with my guy friends, and I swear worse than my sixteen year old brother. So just looking at this cover had me a little hesitant, and when I read the summary, I was ready to chuck this book in the fire. But, through the sheer power of will and the overwhelming fear of being murdered by my reader friends if I didn’t finish this book, I started the first page. And didn’t put the book down once. Yeah, you heard me. I busted this book in a few hours, finishing at about one in the morning, very alarmed to see it was that late because I hadn’t even noticed the time passing. I liked this book. I liked this book with it’s pink cover and perky heroine and silly dresses and lighthearted magic stuff. It was actually kind of… cute.

In Rebel Belle, we meet Harper, the sort of girl that I probably would have avoided in high school. She’s head of practically every club or leadership related thing in the school, she says cutesy little things instead of swear words, she spent over a thousand dollars on her Homecoming dress and she keeps her lips perfectly glossed at all times. Right off, I did not like Harper one bit. But as the pages flew by, she started to grow on me. Under that perfect, perky exterior, Harper had a tough, loyal, fun side to her that I adored. She ends up getting super Paladin powers from her janitor, and suddenly she can kick ass. Like, really kick ass. Like, she stabbed someone in the throat with her heel. Suddenly, girly shoes became a lot more interesting to me. She was fierce and strong and confident, and I love how self sufficient she was. This girl doesn’t need anyone, and I loved it. Harper actually had more layers than I expected, an unending arsenal of witty comebacks, and a whole lot of spunk.

Then we meet David, the boy that Harper is supposed to protect with her new-found powers. Because he may or may not be very very special. The only problem is, they absolutely despise each other. I mean, they hate each other with a fiery passion. David is the hipster guy that wears corduroy pants and writes stories for the school newspaper, occasionally pointing out bad things about Harper, which is unacceptable. But when they are forced to work together, she realizes that David might not be so bad after all. I adored David. Let’s just say that it takes a special kind of guy to deal with Harper. And he is such a cutie, I almost couldn’t handle it. Did I mention that he likes Doctor Who and Lord of the Rings and probably a plethora of other adorable nerdy things? Cue the wistful sighing. Anyways, David has some secrets of his own, but most importantly, under those layers of v-necks and striped sweaters, he has a big heart of gold.

One of the only problems I had with this book was the big fat love-triangle that was determined to drag itself out through the whole book. Harper of course, starts to deal with some questionable feelings about David, all while she is dating the most perfect boyfriend possible, Ryan. And Ryan is a good guy and a pretty awesome boyfriend, I’ll give him that. The things is, as far as love triangles go, this is probably the type that I find to be the most acceptable. Where the girl has a steady boyfriend then meets the new guy and starts to like him. That’s an okay thing to happen and a lot less annoying then two guys suddenly taking an interest in a girl and fighting to the death over her. No thanks. The problem in this book though was that it just went on and on. And I get that Harper has this weird thing with having to be the best and keeping things perfect, so possibly not liking her perfect boyfriend is scary and all, but she should have dropped him from like page one. Watching her run back and forth between the two of them got frustrating after like the first ten times it happened.

As far as the plot goes, it was really cutesy and fun. Rachel Hawkins really has a way of making her books just an enjoyable, lighthearted read while still making you care about the characters and I love it. Since I adored the characters and their interactions, it made the book a million times better. The only problem was that not a whole lot really happens. The beginning took right off with Harper getting her powers and killing a guy, then finding out what all she could do and a few things including a car chase. I mean, it was a great start and it really draws you in. But then, things start to slow down. Now I obviously loved this book and raced through it, but once I was done, there was kind of that moment where I looked back and realized not a whole lot actually happened. Most of the book is just character interaction and trying to solve a few mysteries and a few bad guys trying to do bad stuff, but not a whole lot besides that.

Also, the whole Paladin, while original, was a little lacking. I enjoyed it just because it was a new thing I’d never read about, but there just wasn’t really anything about it to make it unique or memorable. Basically, Harper being a Paladin just meant that she has super fighting skills now and a strong urge to protect David from harm. So while I did like the magic elements in this book, everything seemed kind of mashed together with no clear connection. We are given some back-story to the whole Paladin thing, but it wasn’t really a strong mythology and seemed a little discombobulated. But by the end of this book, it feels like there are still lots of things that Harper and David don’t know yet, so maybe we will get more explanations in the next book, and hopefully it can bring the mythology together a bit better.

The thing about this book though is that despite the few things that I didn’t like, I still had a great time reading this book. I was giggling and cheering and covering my eyes at the embarrassing parts. I loved Harper and David and their friends and the little Southern town they live in and all the people in it. This book is definitely a cutesy book, but it still won me over purely because it is so cute and fun. Honestly, if you have any girly bone in your body, something about this book will probably appeal to you, as long as you can deal with the few technical issues.