4 Followers
32 Following
hayleyhillman

what am i doing?

found my way here from goodreads. currently trying to figure this place out.

Going Under

Going Under - S. Walden I'm so conflicted on my feelings for Going Under. The rape/revenge part of the storyline was amazing, but the whole Ryan storyline did nothing for me. Honestly, at times I felt like I was switching between two different books.

Walden handled the rape part of the story superbly. She used the right amount of drama, the right amount of sheer sickening horror in that scene. Brooklyn's entire revenge storyline was gripping.

And then there's Ryan. I wish he'd just been cut out. His romance with Brooklyn bordered on instalove. There were just so many more interesting things going on than he and Brooklyn painting or sexually playing video games or his oh-so-mysterious big secret. I wanted to skip all the parts with him in it.

I'm not sure whether I love or hate Brooklyn. At times she came off as really stupid, although I think it was just overconfidence and the passion she felt toward avenging Beth. Although HOW it didn't occur to her that Cal was going to drug her Sprite was beyond me. I figured it would happen the moment he asked if he was thirsty. She even KNEW that other girls had been raped because the boys were drugging their drinks... She's also easy to hate because she snuck around with her best friend's boyfriend, continued hooking up with him even after Beth confessed her rape and her worries about the relationship, and was actually caught hooking up with her best friend's boyfriend in said friend's bed. But Brooklyn grew through the book, from a girl naive enough to believe she could handle coercing boys to rape her to one who realizes too late what a sick thing she really got herself tangled in.

There was also something about almost every secondary character that felt a little false to me. I can't quite name it, but Terry, Gretchen, Brooklyn's father, and even minor characters like Melanie and the girl Brooklyn stopped from going on the date at the movies (very big sidenote, but since when is every girl wired to use the bathroom before the see a movie? I know I don't), all lacked some sort of authenticity. They were all likeable enough. They just didn't feel real. Maybe it was in the dialogue.

Without the Ryan storyline, I definitely would've rated this 5 stars. The rape part of this story was just handled so, so well, as graphic and horrifying as it got. This is a hard book to read, and it does contain triggers for rape and abuse victims, and had such an emotional story, in good ways and definitely bad ways. If you're in the mood for a relatively quick, gripping, and eye-opening read, I totally recommend this.

Dare Me

Dare Me - Megan Abbott Every character in this book is fucked up. But for some reason, this is one of those books that, although part of me hated every second of it, I couldn't stop reading. Everything is so fucked up - I just had to see how far things would go.

And, Jesus, Abbott's writing is beautiful. Sometimes, phrases wouldn't always make sense if you thought about them (for example, "wishbone arms"), but it still sounded gorgeous, I still got lost in this book, and, even though I can't pinpoint exactly what I liked about this book, I did really enjoy reading it.

Walking Disaster: A Novel

Walking Disaster - Jamie McGuire Sooo tempted to read this for the laughs, but I refuse to pay for it. If I find some way to read it for free somewhere, maybe I'll give it a go (and if I finish it, a scathing review).

Where We Belong

Where We Belong - Emily Giffin will never read because "Authors Behaving Badly: How I Pissed Off Legions of Emily Giffin Fans"

Curbchek-Reload

Curbchek-Reload - Zach Fortier It's not a joke that the title says this is Curbchek's "darker, meaner cousin." The fact that such sick fuckers live in this world is hard for me to handle - I can't imagine being Zach Fortier or any other cop who has continuously seen things like the ones in this book. No wonder it haunts them. This shit is going to haunt me, and I've only read about it. Chapter 2, in particular, I can't seem to get out of my head.

I thought I was going to be able to write a better review than this one. Apparently, that's not going to happen. I can't find the words to convey how horrifying yet utterly compelling Curbchek-Reload is. While I was reading it, I put it down quite often - not because I didn't like it, but to process things. Just - go read it. I'm going to quit rambling and tell you to just go read it. It will make you see things differently.

Fifty Shades of Grey: Book One of the Fifty Shades Trilogy

Fifty Shades of Grey - E.L. James just read the fanfiction.

Real Live Boyfriends: Yes. Boyfriends, plural. If my life weren't complicated, I wouldn't be Ruby Oliver (Ruby Oliver Quartet)

Real Live Boyfriends: Yes. Boyfriends, Plural. If My Life Weren't Complicated, I Wouldn't Be Ruby Oliver - E. Lockhart
Meghan pushed her chocolate cheesecake across the table to me. I hadn’t gotten paid yet for November, so I had only ordered coffee. “Here,” she said.

“Don’t you want it?”

“Sure I want it. I ordered it. But I’m giving it to you.”

“Why?”

Meghan stood up and got me a fork. “Remember what Nora said about love? In your movie?”

“Love is when you have a really amazing piece of cake, and it’s the very last piece, but you let him have it,” I said.

“So it’s really amazing cake,” said Meghan. “And I want you to have it.”


Go read these books. Now.

The Greek Seaman

The Greek Seaman - Jacqueline Howett blacklisted because of this

False Memory

False Memory - Dan Krokos what with all his comments here, i will never read his books

Hex Hall (Book 1)

Hex Hall - Rachel Hawkins here.

Friendship on Fire

Friendship on Fire - Danielle Weiler will never read based on this comment.

Hollowstone

Hollowstone - Dennis R. Upkins Jr. will never read because of this and this.

Flight to Paradise

Flight to Paradise - Mike Coe blacklisted because of this

The Lucky One

The Lucky One - Nicholas Sparks I'll admit I only read this book because I saw the trailer for the movie, which involves a very shirtless and good-looking Zac Efron. I should have stuck to my self-imposed ban on Nicholas Sparks books, though. After reading The Notebook (hated the book and movie), A Walk to Remember (amazing movie—hated the book), Dear John (even Channing Tatum couldn't save that one), and The Last Song (I actually immensely enjoyed the book, and the movie wasn't dreadful), I had sworn off Sparks novels. Because—let's face it—Sparks has a formula to his novels, similar to Sarah Dessen (not that I don’t love Dessen). Every book is set around the same place, has basically the same shallow characters, and a vaguely similar plot to every other book the author has written. But it was a rainy day, my mom had this book laying around for some reason, and I needed something to spend the day reading. Since I already had the book and I try to read the book before I see the movie, I figured I'd read it. Plus, Zac Efron.

I wouldn't say The Lucky One is bad, exactly, but more extremely predictable and extensively boring. Before getting ten pages into the novel I could have told you that Thibault and Beth would fall in love, Beth would find out about the picture and they'd break up for a short time only to get together again, in love forever and always. And, of course, somehow at least one person would die. The moment the kid was like, "Yeah when I'm mad I go up in my rickety old tree house that is practically in shambles" (obviously, not a direct quote) I jumped to the conclusion that the kid would get mad, go in his treehouse, and it would fall down and a lot of drama would ensue in the attempt to save him. Hey, guess what happened? ALL OF THAT.

While reading The Lucky One, I kept getting distracted by the clichéd mess of characters. The one who stuck out the most to me as feeling like the same exact character from another novel was Keith Clayton. Especially in the chapters written from his point-of-view, I was reminded of the few chapters that we had from Marcus' POV in The Last Song (although the only reason that might have stuck out the most is that The Last Song is the only Sparks novel I can say I enjoyed, and it's the one I know and remember best). Keith and Marcus' thoughts and speech sounded exactly the same to me—although every character speaks in essentially the same way. I didn't connect with any of the characters. None felt real. It's like Sparks writes all his characters in extremes, and he has molds for them all. Bad Guy, Attractive Female Protagonist, Attractive Male Protagonist, Cute Kid, Lovely Older Person—with spots where he fills in the variables.

The one thing I really liked about The Notebook was that there was a choice. Lon wasn’t a bad guy—Allie actually had a decision to make between Lon and Noah. But in The Lucky One, Keith is a perverted asshole who abuses his privileges as a cop and almost becomes a rapist at the end. He also treats his son poorly by throwing a baseball at his eye and, as I interpreted it from the book, never bothers cleaning his kitchen because he has a son who can do it for him every other weekend. On the other hand, Thibault is an ex-Marine. He is attractive, great with kids, a hard worker, and likes walking a lot. He also has a badass dog who would have made a more interesting main character than any of the people we were introduced to in The Lucky One. In the end, we don't get to make the decision for ourselves on who Beth would be better with—more or less, Sparks has it spelled out for us. Should Beth be with the rapist who makes her son clean his kitchen all the time or the mysterious sexy man who literally walked across the country with his ingenious German Shepherd? Oh wait! There's no choice.

Nana and Ben weren't memorable supporting characters. Every so often Nana had an interesting metaphor to offer but Ben didn't seem to do much besides go to his dad's house and play with Thibault's dog. Again, they both felt a lot like characters I’d read about before.

And then there's the plot. I quite liked the bits about the picture and Victor, but everything just seems to get resolved too quickly after Beth finds out Thibault has been carrying around a photograph of her and has gone so far as to track her down using what little information he could glean from observing the background of the picture. Two pages after she gets upset, she's over it and they're back together. I don't know; I just felt sort of disappointed there. I wanted a big argument or something, not Beth showing up at Thibault's house to exchange a few sentences before they make love while the creepy ex-husband watches through the window. The ending tree house-storm event felt extremely unnecessary. It's as if Sparks was like, "Alright, now that I'm at the end of this book, someone needs to die... I’ve already made Ben's father into the worst person ever, but now I have to make him a likable person. So I'll have him die while trying to save his son from the fallen tree house in the stream during a psychotic flood." No. You don’t get to give someone a heroic death in the hopes that suddenly we’ll like him, completely forgetting that he was a total asshole.

I guess what I really didn't like about The Lucky One is how boring it is. Everything is flat and predictable. Sparks is one of the writers who takes a more "tell, not show" approach in his writing, which is fine. I can see why some people might like this book, but I definitely did not, and until another movie based on a Sparks book comes out starring a sexy male (i.e. Ryan Gosling, Shane West, Liam Hemsworth, Channing Tatum, Zac Efron) I will be steering clear of all Nicholas Sparks novels.

Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful, #1)

Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful, #1) - Jamie McGuire 02/25/12:

Now that I've read this book twice, I can say absolutely without a doubt that I hate it. It wasn't me being stupid and not realizing how great a book was until the second reading, like it was the first time I read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and Milkweed. It really is just an awful book.

Every single character in this book is an absolute idiot - with the exception of Kara, who is the only character without her head firmly shoved up her ass. Actually, she nailed Abby and Travis right on the head when she said, "Do you know what co-dependency is, Abby? Your boyfriend is a prime example, which is creepy considering he went from having no respect for women at all to thinking he needs you to breathe." The one damn character who wasn't a total idiot - and every time she was mentioned in the book Abby made her sound like a complete bitch. Actually, I suppose Parker wasn't half bad either, save for his strange (but healthy!) interest in Abby. Oh, and he liked to call her "Abs." BIG FUCKING DEAL. Personally, I'd prefer "Abs" to "Pigeon". But besides Kara and Parker, everyone sucks.

Travis is irresistible. To everyone. Absolutely everyone. Girls literally throw themselves at him in sickening, unrealistic ways, despite how motherfucking clear it is that he only wants sex. He is extremely smart and gets perfect grades but never studies at all. He doesn't even bother to pay attention in his classes. Not only that, but Travis Maddox is the hottest boy on the planet. He has a perfect, mind-blowing body although he doesn't work out. I'm sorry, but that is fucking impossible. Ask any guy with a six-pack and I'm sure he'll tell you what hard work it is to look like that. It is also fucking impossible for a guy who never, ever works out to easily take out two members of the God damn Las Vegas mob. Travis often says stupid things that clearly indicate the relationship between himself and Abby will turn to an abusive one sooner or later - when he makes her change her clothes before they go out because he thinks what she's wearing is too revealing, for instance. He is not only mentally destructive, but physically as well. He destroys his apartment when he wakes up and Abby has left him. He kicks the shit out of anyone who even looks at Abby. He breaks his fucking phone because if he doesn't, he won't be able to stop himself from calling Abby. THIS BEHAVIOR IS NOT NORMAL.

I think the most annoying thing here is that everyone acts like Travis' behavior is okay. It's not, "Abby, Travis is destroying the apartment. Maybe he needs to visit a psychologist and talk his dead mommy/drunken father/rambunctious older brothers problems through." It's, "How could you do this to him, Abby?!" Instead of, "Why the fuck is an asshole with anger problems breaking into song in a cafeteria?" everyone joins him in song. Nobody, not once (besides Abby herself a few times), questions why Travis addresses Abby as Pigeon at the end of every other sentence. I know that if I heard someone addressing someone as an ugly ass bird I would question the origins of that nickname. But no. Travis calls Abby "Pigeon" a total of 97 times and "Pidge" 28. HE GETS "PIGEON" TATTOOED ON HIS ARM. What the fuck is this book?!

Abby Abernathy just sucks because she's so damn stupid. She is so dumb that although taking Travis to Vegas was the cause of their most serious breakup, she decides she wants to go back there to marry him. In what way does that make sense? You don't need to fly all the way to Vegas to vow yourself into a mistake marriage, you fucking idiot. It's possible to go to a courthouse. I also don't really understand her rationing for needing to stay at Travis and Shepley's while the water heater was broken. She can just go there, shower, and go back to her dorm. That is possible. Apparently, none of the fucking characters in Beautiful Disaster were able to reach that conclusion themselves, though.

The irritating thing about Abby is that she has her moments where she's so close to a breakthrough. I remember specifically one time she was telling Travis they should take their relationship more slowly (naturally, he was on the brink of flying into a rage in response). That's very good. It's sensible. Then a couple chapters later she runs off to Vegas to get hitched and have herself "branded" as "Mrs. Maddox." In what world does this make sense?

The bottom line is that Beautiful Disaster is a shitty book. I could go on forever about it. I could post all the completely moronic pieces of the story I highlighted while reading, but it's really not worth my time. I've read it twice, and I still fucking hate the book, and I still don't see at all what other readers see that is so great. Believe it or not, this is not me bashing McGuire or her readers. While McGuire hasn't made the most mature comments or blog posts, I'm sure she's really a fantastic person. While I don't have a fucking clue about what people see in this book, I don't think less of a person for enjoying it - and don't give me reason to by attacking me and telling me why you liked it. I don't care. At all. I don't want to hear about your love affair with this story. I don't want you to list all the great things about it. You're not going to change my opinion or the opinions of others who disliked it. If you want people to gush with, go comment on a 5-star review and save your time commenting on this one. I've quit reading all the comments anyway, and skim at best.

TL;DR I hate this fucking book, I feel justified in hating it now because I gave it a second chance and it was worse reading it a second time, and nobody should waste their time reading this stupid book unless they're really into reading about stupid motherfuckers with such deep co-dependency issues they can't even function apart.

-

01/14/2012:

I've just realized people are actually reading, commenting, and liking this review, and I feel like I should really review this book instead of angrily rant about it. So I'm (very slowly) going to force myself to reread Beautiful Disaster and hopefully be able to write a better review with fewer fucks. We'll see.

-

11/17/2011:

Beautiful Disaster: a total disaster.

Talk about a book with seriously messed up people who can't even function by themselves. These two are worse than even Edward and Bella. Abby and Travis are two absolutely psychotic people who should never have gotten together. Beautiful Disaster glorifies everything that should be discouraged in relationships.

These two people are so fucked up. It's portrayed as normal that, upon waking up alone, Travis completely destroys his apartment. He has outrageous jealousy issues and instead of being freaked the fuck out by that Abby is head over heels for him. Abby continuously makes the most idiotic damn decisions. These two fuckers have so many codependency issues that they can barely even function apart. Travis needs her in the room while he's beating the shit out of people or he can't even concentrate on punching the guy because he's so distracted wondering what she's doing. He literally threatens (if not beats up) EVERY. SINGLE. GUY. that looks at Abby--and that's supposed to be attractive. This shit is all viewed as normal. Travis bursting out into song in the cafeteria prompts everyone to sing along. Everyone. What in the HELL? Not to mention the random mob plot line? Or how somehow Abby is a fucking moron but is a card-playing genius? OR HOW EVERY FUCKING CHARACTER THINKS IT FINE AND DANDY THAT TRAVIS TERRORIZES THE SHIT OUT OF EVERYONE.

How in the HELL did this get nominated for Goodreads awards? Or any award ever? How was this even PUBLISHED? This love story is not normal. Stalkers are not good. I don't know what the hell all these people rating it five stars and gushing over Travis are thinking, but if I dated someone who treated me like Travis treated Abby I would run for the fucking hills as fast as I could.

And, last but not least:
IF I HAD TO READ THE WORD 'PIGEON' ONE. MORE. TIME...

Before I Die

Before I Die - Jenny Downham I'm not sure quite what it is about Before I Die, but although I've read it through three times now, I outright sob through the last 25% of it. Every. Time. It breaks my heart. The rollercoaster ride of the story is amazing. You despise some of the characters through the beginning but by the end love them completely. This book will always be one of my favorites because it hits me so emotionally.