Random Music Moment #135

Another Christmas song from a movie, this time, from Love Actually.  Billy Mack performing Christmas Is All Around.

Quote #165

From Jim Butcher (Proven Guilty)….

“When everything goes to hell, the people who stand by you without flinching — they are your family. ”

**[Notes] I’m not a mother, but I am a sister and a daughter, and today I watched my little brother check into the airport to fly to China for his internship, and I felt like I was a mother watching her chick flying the nest.  He’s only a year younger than me and well even though he’s all grown up, he’s my little brother to me, and I already miss him.  Can’t wait until he comes back!

Pivot Point (Pivot Point #1). Kasie West.

Pivot Point (Pivot Point, #1)Pivot Point
by Kasie West

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I had quite a time deciding how I should write this review. Honestly, I have no qualms about spoiling anything, mostly because I am the kind of person who would be more than willingly listen to and read about spoilers simply because they make me more excited about the book or movie in question. However, I won’t destroy it for others. In fact, I want you whoever you are, to go out there and read this. If you’re someone who’s a fan of plot twists and paranormal abilities, then heck, this will definitely keep you guessing and interested. Well you might guess which it is until the end anyway.

The end was shocking.

You see, Addie has the ability to see the future. However, its not the kind of precognition ability that allows her to see all futures. Oh no, Addie’s ability is far from that. Addie can only see two futures and make her decision based on that. But when neither of the two futures look appealing….what do you do? So Addie rarely uses her ability. Even though the people around her, other genetically superior individuals with powers, who live in the compound, and are isolated from the rest of the world in order to preserve their uniqueness.

In Pivot Point, Addie reaches a point early on in the story where she must search her future and decide which is better.

From that point on, the story alternates between her future norm life — when she decides to go with her father after he divorces her mother — and her Paranormal life, that is if she stayed back in the compound.

Of course at first, either path seems very ordinary, and while there are two (I suppose) delectable guys to get to know and date. Duke (para) is overly nice and much too flirty. While Trevor (norm) is not like Duke at all, and more like Addie’s kind of guy.

The Guys
Okay, I wont lie, I really loved meeting Trevor for the first time. Not only was the description to die for, but Addie’s first words to him:

“Your eyelashes make mine want to commit suicide from shame.”

….was awesome! But really, I won’t lie, I will gush a bit about Trevor, since, well, even if guys in boots can be smexy, the way Kasie West wrote Trevor was somewhat even smexier. To add on top of this already smexy image, the fact that he used to be quarterback, and has a injury, and well he’s secret cartoonist too, it’s not really a surprise that Addie likes him. And that’s not a spoiler peoples! Because really…it’s obvious from the beginning, and while I could have rolled my eyes, their side of the romance was really cute and easy going, and well, likeable, I was more interested in the other stuff…

On the other side, you have Duke. Also on the team, and with telekinetic abilities. Not to mention that he whacked Addie in the face with a ball to begin with too. If Addie stayed on in the compound, and continued living as a norm, then she would have started dating Duke. And while it’s cute to begin with, as the novel progresses, things don’t look or feel as crystal clear any more, with a series of other events happening Addie doesn’t notice it immediately. Unfortunately, to be honest, despite the parallel futures, Duke pales in comparison to Trevor in terms of ultimate romance. And while it was cute for when it lasted, and the same goes to Addie’s romance with Trevor, I really became wayyyy more interested in the other stuff.

The Other Stuff aka The Plot
So, my favourite kind of plot is the kind that takes off from the ground and does nothing but go up, up and even higher, climaxing, before dropping steadily. I don’t even mind if it goes up and up, before lulling, and then rocketing right up there again. Because really, so long as it had a lot of action, then it was definitely going to keep me interested. This started slow. There’s no denying that West spends a good portion of the first 100 pages setting up Addie and setting up the two alternate futures. Once she is established in both futures, then the story gets really interesting. And believe me, the interesting part is not directly to the guys. It’s rather related to her father’s work and the thing is, at first, when you read this, you see the similarities in the two parallel futures. You see the same characters, but that’s it. It’s not until 2/3 into the book does everything seem to line up, and well, you gotta say, whenever someone writes a story like this, it’s just genius really. Genius when done well. And West did it really well. So well, by the end, you really feel the weight of Addie’s choice and know that Addie had no other choice.

Wow, that’s my blabbering on there, just goes to show that it’s a story to die for. Nah, it’s a twist to die for. I’m not usually a champion of plot twists (since really, some are very easy to see through), but this one was pretty good.

Pretty Good is an understatement to some, and probably an overstatement to others but this is my opinion, and I really would recommend this to anyone who wants a story that has both action and romance (of an equal quantity) and well, more action, and a character who (while sometimes I might question her choices, eventually I accepted them because the reasons behind why she would make those choices became very clear) is not whiny or a pain, and who I actually quite liked, mostly. I think her character is interesting, and I felt she was a well thought out and rounded character overall. What’s more I liked the friendship between her and Laila, and the sequel, Split Second, will be told from both their perspectives rather than just Addie’s (which I’m definitely interested in seeing! Even though normally I raise my brows at the sudden additional voice. But this is different since Pivot Point was told by two Addie’s (technically), so it makes sense that Split Second is told from two perspectives as well).

Overall, yep, I definitely recommend this. Something new, and interesting and makes me wonder where Split Second will go, and if there are additional sequels, where they would go too. It’s kind of a nice refreshing change from dystopia.

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For The People We Love

For the people we love,

We hope and pray.

For the people we love,

We cry our tears.

For the people we love,

We would do anything.

For the people we love,

We never want to lose them.

For the people we love,

We will protect them.

For the people we love,

We will be their sacrifice.

For the people we love,

We will never turn away.

And for the people we love,

We never ever want for them,

To be the spectacle of a public charade.

They are the people we love,

And we love them the most,

In the way that no one else can.

For the people we love,

We will hold our own.

For the people we love,

We will grieve

And we will live.

Random Music Moment #134

For old times sake, and for those who were around when  Mean Girls was popular lol:  Jingle Bell Rock performed by Lindsey Lohan, Amanda Seyfried, Rachel McAdams, and Lacey Chabert.  In celebration for Christmas coming :).

Cryer’s Cross by Lisa McMann

8543252Cryer’s Cross
by Lisa McMann

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A long review to come.

But for now, like her trilogy, there is something haunting about Cryer’s Cross. I love the briefness of her writing, and how it’s written, it’s adds to the tension.

So wow, it has officially been too long since I read a good decent novel and reviewed it as a suggestive read. Well, the last one I read was Throne of Glass which I loved, duh, even if I had my cons about it, I still loved it and wanted to read more. Cryer’s Cross, on the other hand, is something completely and utterly different from TOG. Well duh, that’s because they’re different genres Nina! And also, different in general. Sooooo…..FAST FORWARD all my ramblingness, and let’s get to the review:

Kendall loves her life in small town Cryer’s Cross, Montana, but she also longs for something more. She knows the chances of going to school in New York are small, but she’s not the type to give up easily. Even though it will mean leaving Nico, the world’s sweetest boyfriend, behind.

But when Cryer’s Cross is rocked by unspeakable tragedy, Kendall shoves her dreams aside and focuses on just one goal: help find her missing friends. Even if it means spending time with the one boy she shouldn’t get close to… the one boy who makes her question everything she feels for Nico.

Determined to help and to stay true to the boy she’s always loved, Kendall keeps up the search–and stumbles upon some frightening local history. She knows she can’t stop digging, but Kendall is about to find out just how far the townspeople will go to keep their secrets buried….

I liked the plot. It wasn’t oh so fabulous that I would gush about it, and it wasn’t so terrible that I have nothing to say at all. I think, overall it was actually quite good. As to whether I think it was predictable or not, I find it hard to answer. I didn’t guess the story behind the mystery that was one thing. I also didn’t guess how people disappeared. I did guess, however, what happened to Kendall. Funnily enough I read this jut short of Halloween, though we don’t make it into a whole shebang down under, I do know what day it is, and I do like to delve into creepy books when it’s time! Of course, McMann’s book was somewhat very creepy, the decent into madness and longing, and then the twist that gets Kendall. I liked it. I really did like this book. Though there is a bit that bothered me, and that was…there were no suspects in the story (none that I fell for anyway) but yet I also had no actual idea who was the culprit.

The Writing
So for those who usually read my reviews, this section usually comes after characters and setting, but today, I feel like writing about the writing first. Why? It’s because I consider McMann’s style unique. When I read her other series, Wake, I was intrigued by her style. In my opinion it adds to the creepy factor. The lack of descriptiveness, the briefer the sentences, the more intense the feeling, and for people with really hyperactive imaginations, like myself, it’s brilliant because it gives us the space to creep ourselves out as much as possible. So hence I liked the brief present tense writing. It was a bit of shock though to read such briefness after spending so long working on descriptive works and reading more descriptive books. But that by no means mean that this book lacks substance. Oh no, in fact, it very full of substance, and not one word is wasted. In fact, every word in the book is used wisely to convey the thriller aspect of this book.

The Characters
>Kendall is an unbelievable person. She was very interesting. I can’t think of many books that depict an OCD person the way McMann depicted Kendall’s OCD. It was very realistic (well as far as I can tell and as far as I’ve seen in people who do have OCD) and as someone who does not entirely experience or possess OCD herself, I found this very interesting. Reading Kendall’s story I really felt her OCDness. It was very alive, and even I felt the itch to straighten up a desk or chair, make sure they were all in order, and in the right place. As a character, I liked her complicatedness, even though sometimes I thought she was a bit whiny, but then considering her character, and her situation, I didn’t mind the whininess. In fact, without it, I think I would have hated her. I love that she really, really loved her boyfriend and childhood friend, and I love her determined dedication to him right til the end. Even though for a long time, she questioned Nico, but still, she chooses only to believe him.

And then there is the boy, the bad boy, darkly mysterious, and not entirely as much of an asshole like most men in YA novels, Jacian. Hmm…okay, so I generally like the men in McMann’s work. They’re not annoying even though they are usually your brooding kind of great athletic males, or the gorgeous loner types. I’m being stereotypical here, but then, how can I explain it without being so? So Jacian is introduced as your typical new to town kind of guy, and he’s not happy, plus with the disappearance of the girl at the start of the novel, he’s been under suspicion. Anyway, in a long distance relationship and living not far from Kendall (well farm wise…it’s a very isolated place after all), he’s a bit of an ass to begin with. But as he and Kendall spend more time, playing soccer while Kendall dealt with the loss of those important to her, and also, dealing with the changes in her life that are coming, and which she can’t stand. Jacian has some depth to him, but not as much as Kendall in this book. I didn’t mind that because this book is mainly focussed on Kendall, but in a way Jacian is like the required male love interest in the book that is seen in all YA novels, and doesn’t really play a deeper role than that. Which is a shame, I would have love to have seen more of him.

The Setting
The creepily small town of Cryer’s Cross which has a small number of people making it easy to know who is who and easy to know when someone is missing.

I like creepy books that actually give what they promise. I read one book once that prommised a thriller and even had an awesome cover to match the premise, but was severely disappointing when I got to reading it. Although this book isn’t as creepy or thrillery as The Ruins, it’s still creepy enough to make you wonder what the hell is going on, and who the hell is doing it. And then there are the moments where you want to shake Kendall out of her stupor (induced) and tell her to let go. So I guess I would recommend this as a creepy Suggestive Read.

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