Catalyst by Lydia Kang

Publication Date: March 24, 2015

Publisher: Kathy Dawson Books

Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction

Series: The Control Duology, Book Two

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 388 pages

Source: Purchased

Buy It: Amazon | Book Depository

Rating: 2½ sm

In the past year Zel lost her father, the boy she loves, her safety, and any future she might have imagined for herself. Now she, her sister, and the band of genetic outcasts they’ve come to call their family are forced on the run when their safe house is attacked by men with neural guns. But on the way to a rumored haven in Chicago, Zel hears something–a whisper from Cy, the boy who traded himself for her sister’s safety. And when she veers off plan in order to search for him, what she finds is not what she expected. There’s more to their genetic mutations than they ever imagined…aspects that make them wonder if they might be accepted by the outside world after all.

I was a little bored reading this. I originally read the first book, Control, two years ago and really enjoyed it. I reread it earlier in December and didn’t enjoy it as much as the first time I read it, but still enjoyed it. I had fairly mediocre expectations for this. Like, I wasn’t expecting to be spectacular, but I was expecting to enjoy it a little bit more.

After reading almost 400 pages of this, I’m still a little confused as to what the actual plot of this novel was. To me, it felt more like she threw a few subplots together and tried to make them all work as the overall plot. Like, here’s problem number one. Oh, we solved problem number one. Let’s move on to problem number two. Oh look, we solved problem number two. Let’s move on to problem number three. Oh look, we solved problem number three. And that would have been fine, but each individual problem didn’t have much to do with the others? I just don’t think it worked as well as she wanted it to.

One of the big draws for me in the first book was the science that was involved. I’m a huge, huge fan of science fiction, and this second book felt very lacking in the actual science part. I just wanted more from this novel.

Pretty much every character in this book switched personalities from what they were like in the first book. And it just made me go “ughhhhhhh” while reading. I just don’t like it when characters change that much randomly. There were a few characters, such as Caliga, that I enjoyed more in this second novel. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that the changed so drastically.

This book was just overall very anticlimactic for me. Which is not at all what I wanted in this conclusion novel. The ending didn’t feel creative and was just rather boring to be honest. There is this kind of fight scene right before the ending that just didn’t really seem to serve a purpose? It felt almost like it was there because she felt like she needed to have a fight scene at the end.

Overall, I would not recommend this book. This series overall was kind of a letdown. I’ve left it with a “meh” feeling, and that’s never a good thing.

*The image and synopsis were both taken from Goodreads. Clicking on the “add to Goodreads” image above will take you to the Goodreads page for this book.*

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

Publication Date: November 1, 2016

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 344 pages

Source: Purchased

Buy It: Amazon | Book Depository

Rating: 2½ sm

Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?

This isn’t a three stars book but isn’t quite a two and a half. More like a 2.75, but I don’t really like to rate books that way, haha. I think the reason I had a hard time rating this is because of how much I loved the writing and the style that it was written in. I wanted to give it a high rating for that reason, but I can’t ignore the issues I had with it.

I really wanted to love this book. I did. I like the idea of love at first sight, and I think it was handled fairly well in this novel. Although, I did feel like Daniel was a little obsessed with Natasha and that made me a little uncomfortable.

I loved the diversity represented throughout the novel, with the two main characters being a Jamaican immigrant and a Korean American. I appreciated that it dealt with issues regarding immigration.

However, I absolutely hated the characters. There was not a single character in this book that I liked, and that’s a big thing for me. I have to like the characters that I’m reading about (or at least appreciate the roles that they play throughout the story). I found both of the main characters to be extremely selfish and not at all open-minded toward how the other thought/believed.

I didn’t really appreciate how the differences in belief between the two main characters all of the sudden basically became a nonissue. Especially when it was such a big deal between through the first 75% of the novel.

Overall, I didn’t really enjoy this book between disliking the characters and not really connecting to the romance. I think it just wasn’t the book for me, and that’s okay. I still would recommend picking it up and giving it a chance. I’ve heard a lot of people have really loved it and I’ll say it again, Yoon’s writing is fantastic. This won’t be my last book by her.

*The image and synopsis were both taken from Goodreads. Clicking on the “add to Goodreads” image above will take you to the Goodreads page for this book.*

What You Do to Me by Barbara Longley

Publication Date: November 1, 2016

Publisher: Montlake Romance

Genre: Adult Contemporary

Series: The Haneys, Book One

Format: eBook

Pages: 260

Source: NetGalley

Buy It: Amazon | Book Depository

Rating: 3 sm

Whether it’s repairing a home or taking care of clients’ other needs, Twin Cities handyman Sam Haney is in demand from his mostly female clientele. Despite Sam’s lothario reputation, love isn’t part of his portfolio. He’s built a lot of walls in his time, but the one that’s surrounded his heart ever since the death of his parents is his most solid yet.

Haley Cooper has had enough heartache for a lifetime. Her high school sweetheart up and moved to Indonesia—alone—just two weeks before their wedding. Her mother thinks it’s time for Haley to move on and contracts Sam to work on Haley’s wreck of a house—and anything else, if he’s got the notion.

Sparks fly and passion ignites. But Haley isn’t into Sam’s love-’em-and-leave-’em act. She wants something more. Fixing a house is one thing, but for this handyman, building a relationship will need a whole different set of skills.

I enjoyed this book more than I thought I would. Though it did take me about 35% of the way in till I reached that point. It’s sweet and fairly well-written. However, there were a few things about the writing that I didn’t enjoy all that much. Longley used an excessive amount of italics throughout the book and some of the language she used made me cringe a little. It just felt cheesy at times. I also found the story to be occasionally cliche and predictable.

There wasn’t a whole lot of character development up until the very last bit of the story. Although it felt a little sudden, I think it worked well and made sense for the book. I enjoyed the revelations that Sam’s character experiences. I found Haley’s character to be just okay. I liked Sam’s family members, I found them all to be very endearing. The character I couldn’t really stand was Haley’s mother. I found Trudy frustrating and some of her action’s not very believable.

Sam and Haley should win some kind of award for the slow burn romance between the two of them. I’m serious, if you like slow burn romances, this is the book for you. The attraction toward one another happened immediately, but that’s a fairly normal thing. The romance definitely was not instantaneous. It was like the perfect amount of flirting and sexual tension and it worked really well for the story.

Overall, I enjoyed this novel. If you enjoy slow burn, kind of cheesy romances, you would definitely enjoy What You Do to Me.

*I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to both NetGalley and Montlake Romance for the opportunity to read and review this book. The image and synopsis were both taken from Goodreads. Clicking on the “add to Goodreads” image above will take you to the Goodreads page for this book.*

Bender by Gene Gant

Publication Date: June 16, 2016

Publisher: Harmony Ink Press

Genre: New Adult Contemporary

Format: eBook

Pages: 86 pages

Source: NetGalley

Buy It: Amazon | Book Depository

Rating: 3 sm

At nineteen, college freshman Mace Danner works as an escort, hiring himself out to customers who want a submissive they can dominate. Having no carnal urges himself, the sexual side of his job leaves him cold, but he sees the pain inflicted on him by his clients as punishment for causing his brother’s death when he was in high school. Pain is not enough, however, to wash away his guilt, and Mace starts binge drinking in an effort to escape his remorse.

The dorm’s resident advisor, Dex Hammel, sees Mace spiraling out of control and strives to help him. Despite the mutual attraction between them, Mace is disturbed that he still feels no sexual desire for anyone. Even with Dex’s support, Mace’s self-destructive behavior escalates, leading to a situation that endangers his life.

Trigger warnings for physical abuse, rape, and alcohol abuse. If this triggers you in any way, I do not recommend picking this book up. Please beware and take care of yourselves. ❤

Bender was a very dark story. I was very intrigued by the synopsis when I saw it on NetGalley, which is what drew me in to read it. A young male escort dealing with a fair amount of guilt who deals with it by specializing in submission as an escort. Along with the fact that Mace is asexual.

I had not, until this novella, read about an asexual main character. And although I am not asexual, it felt like a fairly good representation of asexuality. Or at least, my understanding of it.

I enjoyed the characters, for the most part. I think they fit their roles well and each had their own purposes. I appreciate Mace’s character for the struggles that he deals with. I liked the fact that Dex wanted to help Mace and be there for him. Troy is lovable and has unwavering integrity, which is always a great attribute to have.

I think the way that Mace decides to deal with his guilt is interesting, but I’m not entirely convinced that it made a lot of sense. I also wasn’t extremely attached to the romance, but I feel like that had more to do with the size of the novella than anything else. There really wasn’t much time to get attached to it.

For the first little bit of this novella, the line between consensual BDSM and sexual violence seemed fairly clear. However, as the story progresses and more events take place, that line became more blurred. I was not a huge fan of the murkiness there, but I suppose it made sense for the direction that the plot took.

Overall, this was a good, quick read. There’s a lot of hurt/comfort throughout this novella, so if you’re a fan of that I would definitely recommend giving it a read.

*I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to both NetGalley and Harmony Ink Press for the opportunity to read and review this. The image and synopsis were both taken from Goodreads. Clicking on the “add to Goodreads” image above will take you to the Goodreads page for this book.*

Teaser Tuesday | 44

Hello, lovely readers!

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme that is hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along.

Here are the rules:

  • Grab your current read.
  • Open to a random page.
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page.
  • Be careful NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS. (Make sure what you share doesn’t give too much away, you don’t want to ruin the book for others.)
  • Share the title and author too, so that readers and other TT participants can add the book to their to be read lists if they want. (You can directly access the Goodreads page from this post by clicking on the title and author of the book, posted just below this.)

Control by Lydia Kang

When a crash kills their father and leaves them orphaned, Zel knows she needs to protect her sister, Dyl. But before Zel has a plan, Dyl is taken by strangers using bizarre sensory weapons, and Zel finds herself in a safe house for teens who aren’t like any she’s ever seen before—teens who shouldn’t even exist. Using broken-down technology, her new friends’ peculiar gifts, and her own grit, Zel must find a way to get her sister back from the kidnappers who think a powerful secret is encoded in Dyl’s DNA.

“I thought Marka said I was in good hands.” I squint at Hex.

“She did. These hands.” He waves his lower pair of hands. “But these”-he waves his upper pair-“are all naughty, all the time.” -pg. 140

December 2016 TBR

Hello, lovely readers!

It’s extremely hard to believe that 2016 is almost over. It feels like January wasn’t that long ago, but here we are. I’ve been taking a look at my unfinished series and decided I wanted to read some of the one’s that I have only one or two books left before I’m finished or caught up with the series.

So, that is what this TBR will be mostly made up of. There are a couple of other things that don’t fit into that category. We’ll see how many of these I’m actually able to read this month.


  • A Mother’s Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy by Sue Klebold
  • World After by Susan Ee


  • End of Days by Susan Ee
  • The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
  • Catalyst by Lydia Kang
  • After You by Jojo Moyes
  • Gemina by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
  • Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

*WARNING: Possible spoilers for the previous book.*

Publication Date: May 3, 2016

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens

Genre: New Adult Fantasy

Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses Series, Book Two

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 624 pages

Source: Purchased

Buy It: Amazon | Book Depository

Rating:5 sm

Feyre survived Amarantha’s clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can’t forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world torn apart.

“No one was my master— but I might be master of everything, if I wished. If I dared.”

I hope you are prepared for the length of this gush review, because I think it’s going to be a really long one. Now, when I read A Court of Thorns and Roses last year, I absolutely loved it. So going into this book, I had extremely high expectations, and this book just blew me away. It was a thousand times better than the first. Now let me see if I can figure out where to start…

Feyre and all of the character development in this novel. Feyre’s character development in this novel is on point. Something that has always bothered me about fiction is when a character goes through something extremely traumatic and comes out pretty much unscathed emotionally. It’s not realistic and it’s not believable. Feyre, on the other hand, has a very real case of PTSD and it was done so well. It was such a refreshing thing to see, that the events Under the Mountain were haunting her. It made her character believable.

It wasn’t just her character development though. It was everyone in this novel except maybe Tamlin, the little asshat. I love that she came to the realization throughout this novel that she didn’t need someone to protect her. That she was perfectly capable of protecting herself, that she is a strong woman. And I loved that she was so unapologetic about it.

Rhysand’s character was everything that I wanted and more. I love that he’s this funny, flirty, playful guy. But under all of that, is someone who is brave and selfless and who honestly just wants the best for everyone that he loves. I love his backstory, and the reasoning he has for doing everything. The banter between Rhysand and Feyre gave me life. I live and breathe Feysand, I’m just saying.

It also helps that he’s pretty much the complete opposite of Tamlin. He doesn’t try to hold Feyre back. He’s able to find a way to care for her and not be controlling or overprotective or take on the typical male role of “savior”. He just wants someone who is his equal, and I love and respect his character so much for that fact.

The night court. Every single thing about it. I don’t really think I expand on this a whole lot without a few spoilers, so I won’t say too much. I think it’s safe to mention that I love his inner circle. All of the new characters that are introduced, the new places, it was all wonderful.

It made me see the first book in a new light. More specifically, Feyre’s relationship with Tamlin. It really showed the flaws in their relationship, and in Tamlin and Lucien’s relationship. It also shined light on some of Tamlin’s actions in the first book, that I don’t think I looked at properly when I read it. Which is definitely my fault, but I’m glad I was able to see things from a different side. Like his actions Under the Mountain.

Speaking of Tamlin the asshat. I absolutely hate his character. I find it amazing that he was absent for about 80% of this novel and I was able to hate him so wholly. I cannot tell you why without spoiling certain events in the novel. I can tell you he’s a control freak, because that obviously hasn’t changed from the first novel. But that just multiples tenfold in this second book.

The plot was also really amazing. It revolves a lot around Feyre coming to terms with the person that she is now, and this new threat to their world. Not only the Fae world, but the human world also. Feyre is obviously really close to both of those things, so it’s something that is really important to her. It was also really nice to see some of the loose strings from the first book tied together in A Court of Mist and Fury. Then also some strings that I hadn’t even realized were still loose, that were tied together and made a lot more sense after reading this book.

I loved that Maas made his novel about growth. Not only about specific character growth, but just growth in general. She really showcased the way that what people need and what they want can change over time. We don’t always want the same things for years and years, and the things that we experience in life can change the things that we need or want. She wasn’t shy about showing this, and I loved it.

And last but certainly not least, that ending. Oh my lordy how am I ever going to survive until next May? I don’t know how to put into words how much I need the next book right now.

I mean, if it wasn’t obvious, I would definitely recommend you pick up this book. Even if you didn’t like the first book. This second book was ten thousand times better than the first.

*The image and synopsis were both taken from Goodreads. Clicking on the “add to Goodreads” image above will take you to the Goodreads page for this book. The gif in this review came from a Google image search.*

the girl and the books