Wednesday, January 30, 2013

{Review} The Dead and Buried by Kim Harrington

Title: The Dead and Buried
Author: Kim Harrington
Format: Netgalley e-galley
Publisher: Scholastic Point
Release date: January 1st 2013
Date Read: January 30th 2013
Rating: ✭
A haunted house, a buried mystery, and a very angry ghost make this one unforgettable thriller.

Jade loves the house she's just moved into with her family. She doesn't even mind being the new girl at the high school: It's a fresh start, and there's that one guy with the dreamy blue eyes. . . . But then things begin happening. Strange, otherworldly things. Jade's little brother claims to see a glimmering girl in his room. Jade's jewelry gets moved around, as if by an invisible hand. Kids at school whisper behind her back like they know something she doesn't.

Soon, Jade must face an impossible fact: that her perfect house is haunted. Haunted by a ghost who's seeking not just vengeance, but the truth. The ghost of a girl who ruled Jade's school — until her untimely death last year. It's up to Jade to put the pieces together before her own life is at stake. As Jade investigates the mystery, she discovers that her new friends in town have more than a few deep, dark secrets. But is one of them a murderer

Just so everyone knows, I'm trying to limit my cursing in this review because someone *glares accusingly at that someone who knows who she is* told me that I do that too much. I'll be substituting every expletive with the name of a fruit or vegetable.

THE DEAD AND BURIED is a book that I had really high hopes for since at that time, I seemed to think that I have pretty good luck with these sorts of books (I don't really have that good luck with mystery ghost books actually - I have no idea what I was thinking). However, THE DEAD AND BURIED really disappointed me.

The book actually started off really well, like many of the evil books do. The main character Jade was interesting and compelling. I really liked her gemstone hobby and the fact that she knew useless things about practically every gemstone was awesome. In case you don't know, I collect useless facts so this was right up my alley. 

So, I had this crazy idea that maybe, just maybe, the rest of the book might be great too.

Crazy idea, I know. I have no idea what I was thinking at the time. Obviously, not much.

The main problem I had with the book has the romance plot. It was just URGH no. Horrible. I suppose the best thing I can say about the romance was that the two loves interests weren't total mushrooms but that wasn't because they were nice and cute. 

It was because they were nothing.

No, what I hated about the romance was Jade. Jade turned into a complete orange when it came to the two guys. Minor spoilers ahead but nothing major really since the whole cheating scandal is treated like it wasn't cheating at all. 

Jade enters a non-relationship with Kane. Non-relationship because she tries to tell her dad that she's not dating him even though they go on numerous dates - I mean non-dates. Kane however thinks they're dating and so does everyone. I think Harrington was trying to excuse what Jade did by saying that the dates are "non-dates" even though she makes it clear that Kane thinks they are and so does every pickle-ing person in the whole town (even the dad).

She then cheats on Kane and with Donovan who insists that they not tell anyone. Donovan and Jade have numerous make out sessions all while Kane and Jade go on their "non-dates". On one of these non-dates, Jade goes to the bathroom to make out with Donovan before returning to Kane who calls her "his girl" and gives her hot chocolate. She accepts without feeling bad that she cheated on her boyfriend.

Next is a spoiler for the rest of the plot, not just romance. It turns out that the dead girl, Kayla, was cheating on her boyfriend with Kane and guess who is the boyfriend?

That's right: Donovan. 

DONOVAN. The guy that broke up with his girlfriend because she was cheating on him is making Jade cheat on her boyfriend for him. 

... I'm speechless. I'm banana-ing speechless.


Jade ends up with the apple Donovan. So guess what girls? It's ok to cheat as long as your cheating for a hot guy.

Ok, I've spent long enough detailing the romance. Onto the characters.


Jade started off really awesome but that awesomeness tapered until it hit rock bottom and didn't work on climbing back up - at all. After about 40%, Jade as an awesome character slipped further and further until I could barely remember that Jade was an awesome character at one point.

I've already detailed why I hate her somewhat so this will be a fairly short part but there are some other parts which made me see red.

Number one, she was hypocritical. She was saying how horrible a person Kayla the dead person was even though she copied some of those qualities in her own actions. As everyone says, actions speak louder than words. Judging everyone? Check. Cheating? Check.

The next part I hated was the slut shaming. Jade was saying how horrible it was that she slept around. It was obvious that Kayla wasn't a virgin and personally, I found Jade's words to have a minor slut-shaming feel to it. 

The rest are simple, everyday YA heroine occurrence which honestly, most of you know about already and there's no reason to talk about them. Pick pretty much any of my reviews and take the qualities from there.

The other characters were unoriginal and bland. I found no personality to them and didn't hate any of them really. Just disliking. No need to cover that really.

Plot and Writing


The plot mirrored the standard plot of basically every murder paranormal mystery there is - ever. 

- Girl moves into haunted house. 

- Girl goes to school and everyone is like "OMG she moved into zeh haunted house".

- Girl gets scared. 

- Someone (usually little sibling) gets possessed. 

- Girl needs to find out who killed ghosty. 

- Ouija board. 

- Kissing. 

- More kissing. 


Yup. That's it. Except sometimes, this can be done really well sometimes.

THE DEAD AND BURIED was not one of those cases however. It was done really really badly. And the murderer exposed scene? One of the worst I've ever read. Just terrible and I can't see the person's motive. Seriously people. It's like Harrington said "Umm... we gotta wrap this up quickly so... yeah, that person works. Let's make up some random backstory to it. And we're done." I’m not even overreacting. 


Not terrible, but not fantastic either. Horrible tension building and very little plot twisting. I have to say that the writing was engaging enough to keep me reading. I finished the book in a day because I just had to keep reading.

Likes and Dislikes


- the beginning


- Jade

- plot
- writing
- everything

In conclusion

Definite not recommend. In fact, unless you're Ade and can't resist it, don't read it.

ps I made it through a review without any cursing. *party*

Lisbeth is an American teenager who blowing shit up in videogames and discussing decapitation in great detail. She's also obsessed with Oceana, but you're not supposed to know that.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

{Random} Lisbeth's Interview with Author Libby Heily

Here, I, Lisbeth Avery, interview author Libby Heily. I hope you enjoy the interview!

Lisbeth Avery: Hello guys, I have Libby Heily here with me. Say hi to the readers!

Libby: Why hello there!

Lisbeth Avery: What prompted you to write a novel?

Libby: ‪I've been writing since I was a little kid.  The moment I could make letters, I was writing.  I got serious about writing fiction in college while studying acting.  I started off with plays, then moved to screenplays.  Writing a novel was always my goal, but I was incredibly intimidated.  I had to work up to it.  After writing a good amount of short stories and getting a few published, I figured it was time to attack my white whale, the novel.

Lisbeth Avery: Your book, Tough Girl, is very different from what I've read before - in a good way. What do you think inspired this idea?

‪Libby: I always knew I wanted to write a story about a young girl and her dream world. Alice in Wonderland was a huge influence on me.  That was the basic idea and I held onto it for years trying to figure out what I wanted that dream world to be like.

‪The story morphed in time to include a second story I w
as interested in writing, the one of Tough Girl.  That dream world worked well for Reggie and the challenges she was facing. I used a lot of things I had seen during my childhood, many in Dale City where the book is placed.

That's the long version, short version is that I held onto the idea of a young girl escaping into dream world and added and subtracted elements until they all came together to make Tough Girl.

Lisbeth Avery: Wow, thanks for the very in-depth answer! I thought I sensed a bit of Farscape in it as well but that may have been just me as I had been watching Farscape before reading.

Libby:  ‪Oh, you know it.  I got into science fiction after getting married.  It was actually in my vows to watch and read more sci fi.  Farscape and Battlestar Galactica were big influences.

Lisbeth Avery: As an amateur writer myself, I've always found it hard to have multiple POVs in a single story. Did you ever have trouble keeping the two POVs apart in your story?

‪Libby: Not really.  They were pretty unique.  The hardest part I had with POV was deciding how to tell Reggie's part of the story.  The advice I was given was 3rd closed which made sense.  It would have put the reader right in Reggie's head without being 1st person

‪‪But, the problem was that Reggie is working hard to distance herself from her life and making her POV immediate would have undercut that (in my opinion).  In the end I opted for more distance using 3rd person.

Lisbeth Avery: Have you found it hard to be a self published author? I know many reviewers are a bit biased against self pubbed.

Libby:  ‪Great question.

In some ways yes.  It is more difficult to get reviews and I don't have the credibility of being signed to a publisher. However, the freedom is kind of worth it.  I had the ability to do Tough Girl in the exact way I wanted to and I've had ultimate control over the story and the presentation. Since it's difficult to make money writing, I'm happy to have freedom.  I will probably search for a traditional publisher for my next novel, but I was pretty psyched to go at it alone for my first.

Lisbeth Avery: What are some of your favourite books? Did they also influence your writing?
Libby: Gosh, talking about long answers!

Favorite plays: 

A Dream Play, Iceman Cometh, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Zoo Story, The Goat or Who is Sylvia.


Anything by Virginia Woolf or Muriel Spark (in love with the Driver's Seat), the entire Thursday Next series, Absurdistan, Nothing's Fair in 5th Grade, Candide, On the Road, the Discworld series, The Color Purple, ect.

I owe a debt to so many writers and I just keep hoping to one day be as good as them.

Lisbeth Avery: What are a few of your favourite writing (and/or reading) moments?

Libby:   ‪Writing moment for Tough Girl:  Ultimately, it took me 4 drafts to write Tough Girl (as well as tons of editing).  The plot was intricate and it was difficult to tell how much to involve the dream world in her life and how all the characters affected her.  Half way through draft two, I quit.  I didn't quit delicately, but with a vengeance.  I had erased an entire character, changed the flow of the story, but could not get it to work.  It was the middle of the afternoon and I went to bed crying.  I sobbed myself to sleep.  I then woke up a few hours later and started working again.  I started a new draft two weeks later.

Reading moment: The Driver's Seat by Muriel Spark.  I read it because a book group I joined on Goodreads picked it.  I don't think I would have found it otherwise.

I recommend this book to everyone.  It's quick, about 125 pages, and it pulls you along at a screaming pace through this insane lady's day.  And then you get to the end, and you have no idea how you got there or why, but it makes sense.  I've read 3 other books by her since then and am going to reread the Driver's Seat in January, for my birthday.  I don't know the last time I was so incredibly blown away by a story.  It wasn't really because of the twists, there can be good twists in bad stories, but it was the overall excellence of the book.

Lisbeth Avery: ‪Thanks for the interview Libby! Is there anything you'd like to add?

Libby:  ‪No, I'm good, but thank you!

Lisbeth is a American teenager who enjoys blowing shit up in videogames and discussing decapitation in great detail. She's also obsessed with Oceana, but you're not supposed to know that.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

{Random} Oceana's Message to STGRB

Yes, I, Oceana Fern, have been added to Badly Behaving Goodreaders list on Stop The Goodreads Bullies, a hypocritical site dedicated to exposing, harassing, and insulting Goodreads and Amazon reviewers.

Their hypocrisy is astounding.


They bashed two friends of mine for 'harassing' an idiot minor, and yet, here I am, along with some other minors, on their list, where we will probably be attacked and exposed.


STGRB has two posts on 'defending' the minors of Goodreads from pedophiles (written by Caroll Byrant, BAHAHA, THE IRONY) and sexual role-players. They claim they'd kill to protect their own child, and go on and on about how parents deserve to know what 'Goodreads is really like'. They say how horrible it is that these minors are harassed and have conversations about sex with adults.


Now, I have personally been featured on Caroll's bully blog, and he is fully aware that I am a minor - in fact he had a discussion about it with another blogger.

Yet... here he preaches about saving the children on Goodreads.


Saturday, January 26, 2013

{Review} The Assassin's Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke

Title: The Assassin's Curse
Author: Cassandra Rose Clarke
Format: Paperback
Publisher:  Strange Chemistry
Release date: October 2, 2012
Date Read: January 22, 2013 - January 23, 2013
Rating: ✭✭
Ananna of the Tanarau abandons ship when her parents try to marry her off to an allying pirate clan: she wants to captain her own boat, not serve as second-in-command to her handsome yet clueless fiance. But her escape has dire consequences when she learns the scorned clan has sent an assassin after her.

And when the assassin, Naji, finally catches up with her, things get even worse. Ananna inadvertently triggers a nasty curse — with a life-altering result. Now Ananna and Naji are forced to become uneasy allies as they work together to break the curse and return their lives back to normal. Or at least as normal as the lives of a pirate and an assassin can be.

I don't think there are words to describe my severe disappointment after finishing THE ASSASSIN'S CURSE.

I began the book with high expectations after individually going through the glowing reviews my co-blogger friends wrote. I was ridiculously excited for THE ASSASSINS' CURSE - but not only did it let me down... I disliked it heartily in general.

I, along with a majority of the readers, found the idea of the plot to be interesting and original - a strong, independent pirate-chick on a quest to cut the bond between an assassin and herself. Plus, the blurb promised melting romantic tension, and I adore that in my novels.

It's because I'll be forever alone, so might as well read about other teenagers falling in love, eh?

But I found myself totally unimpressed with the plot, the characters, the writing, and the romance throughout the whole novel - not just the beginning, which was said to be the weakest part.

The storyline dragged on and on, and I could completely imagine THE ASSASSIN'S CURSE as a prequel novel. Why? The blurb lied, because Ananna and Naji only begin the quest to sever the curse at the very end.

The world-building was subtle and well-done, but there also weren't enough details. I'm still in the dark about the Empire and the Confederacy, because Clarke didn't expand on it enough.

In case you haven't noticed, Ananna is a pirate. The opening sentence contained the word ain't in it, and from there on, I could barely focus on the story because I was too busy translating her bad grammar and language in general. She didn't even sound like a freaking pirate in my head - she sounded Southern, because, you know, that's the first thing that comes to my mind when someone says ain't.

I only got a break from it when Naji or another character spoke.

The writing flowed perfectly with Ananna's thoughts: choppy, simple, and easy to understand, but lacking in elegance, too.

Nearly every character was flat and two-dimensional - especially Leila, a river nymph who's only purpose was to spite Ananna, sabotage them, and act like a high-school bitch. No one gives a shit about Leila, right? Because there was no point in having such a flat character.

While various bloggers and reviewers found Ananna to be a hilarious badass, I can barely even express my hatred of her. Annoying, bratty, naive, stupid, and whiny (YOU WANT SOME CHEESE WITH THAT WHINE, SWEETHEART?), I despised her with a passion. The world revolved around Ananna and her constant complaining about how ugly she was irked the crap out of me. 

Now, Ananna was also very realistic. She was a survivalist, and I appreciated that. But when she's throwing out quotes like these, I lost all the remaining respect I had for her:
She's beautiful. It means she ain't trustworthy... Beautiful people, things are too easy for 'em. They don't know how to survive in this world. Somebody's ugly, or even plain, normal-looking, that means they got to work twice as hard for things. For anything. Just to get people to listen to 'em, or take 'em serious. So yeah. I don't trust beautiful people.
First of all, Miss Pineapple (yes, her name means pineapple in French), you ungrateful little girl, 'beautiful people don't know how to survive in this world'? That's the most ignorant thing I've read this year. And I don't think life is going to be any easier for, let's say, a model gang-raped and murdered. Because in the end, if you're dead, and the model is dead, you're BOTH FUCKING SIX FEET UNDER, AREN'T YOU?

Don't trust good-looking people, guys, because they'll all stab you in the back.

I can't stand heroines without a backbone: heroines who need the guy to always save them, heroines who can't stand up for themselves. Heroines who have absolutely no confidence in themselves, and most of all, I can't stand damsels in distress.

Hi, I'd like to introduce you to Naji.

Please meet the weakest, blindest, most sensitive, mysterious, and unconfident hero in young-adult literature I have read to date.

Just because you're a guy doesn't mean you get a free pass on this bullshit, because I am not sexist, believe it or not. Having a hero who looks at themselves in the mirror and goes 'boo-whoo-whoo, I'm so fugly', is just as frustrating as having a heroine who does it.

I would literally not be surprised if Naji looked at himself in the mirror and imagined that happening.

As part of the curse, Naji is supposed to 'protect' Ananna, but it really just ends up as Ananna going all Avatar on his ass. All. The. Time.

Except that it wasn't scarce, like in Avatar, and it definitely wasn't as sexy as that scene. Sure, Naji had an excuse for being such a damso-in-distress - using magic took up his energy and life force.


I want a guy who can take care of himself and a girl who can too. Having a girl constantly protect a guy, and vice versa, is equally tiring.

And there was one area that had me tearing my hair out:


There is absolutely no bloody romance in THE ASSASSIN'S CURSE, and sure, I can deal with that. But when I'm told that it's a swooning romance and it's actually a nonexistent, ill-founded, unrequited love, I am going to get annoyed.

I was promised some damn romance and I was lied to, because there was no chemistry, no kiss, and no attraction at all. I hate insta-love as much as the next person, but this can't even be called slowly falling in love BECAUSE THERE WAS NO EFFING ROMANCE. STOP FEEDING ME BULLSHIT. How about you just tell me that they're friends in this book, and in the next book, tell the truth?

Literally, the closest thing to 'romance' was their bickering, and it wasn't even good fighting. No romantic undertones, no fun bantering. Nada.

THE ASSASSIN'S CURSE was a serious miss for me. A lot of people adored it, and I'm sad to say that I was not one of them. Perhaps the second book will be better, because I'm fairly certain my co-blogger Lisbeth will murder me if I don't start loving the series.

Oceana is a French-blooded teenager who enjoys stalking British boys and asking them to marry her. She was diagnosed with severe fangirl disorder in 2011. Able to curse like a sailor with an angelic voice.

Friday, January 25, 2013

{Review} Pivot Point by Kasie West

Title: Pivot Point
Author: Kasie West
Format: Edelwiess e-book
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release date: February 12, 2013
Date Read: January 22nd - January 23rd 2013
Rating: ✭✭✭✭
Knowing the outcome doesn’t always make a choice easier...

Addison Coleman’s life is one big “What if?” As a Searcher, whenever Addie is faced with a choice, she can look into the future and see both outcomes. It’s the ultimate insurance plan against disaster. Or so she thought. When Addie’s parents ambush her with the news of their divorce, she has to pick who she wants to live with—her father, who is leaving the paranormal compound to live among the “Norms,” or her mother, who is staying in the life Addie has always known. Addie loves her life just as it is, so her answer should be easy. One Search six weeks into the future proves it’s not.

In one potential future, Addie is adjusting to life outside the Compound as the new girl in a Norm high school where she meets Trevor, a cute, sensitive artist who understands her. In the other path, Addie is being pursued by the hottest guy in school—but she never wanted to be a quarterback’s girlfriend. When Addie’s father is asked to consult on a murder in the Compound, she’s unwittingly drawn into a dangerous game that threatens everything she holds dear. With love and loss in both lives, it all comes down to which reality she’s willing to live through . . . and who she can’t live without.


If you read any of my earlier status updates for PIVOT POINT, you are probably a very surprised person as it looks like I really hated this book. But, if you look at the book I read just before this, I think you'd understand better.

The last book I read was FROM ASHES and if you just do a quick look over my review, it's pretty obvious that I hated it with all my heart.

Whenever I read something that I hate with a burning passion, the next book is almost always a book I don't like. I think that I was still in that "RAWR I HATE YOU BOOK" mindset which makes every tiny little flaw look gargantuan. This of course makes me sound like a huge bitch while reading.

Thankfully, I got out of that mindset around halfway into PIVOT POINT and was able to enjoy it like I would in any other case - which may have caused a huge confusion because part of my statuses are "Grrrrr this sucks" and the other half are "ASDFGHJKL; I LOVES IT". 

TL;DR Version: Don't listen to me. Actually, no, um, please do. My whole reviewing career sorta depends on it.

Annnnnyyyway, here's this whole review thing now. 


Ok, YA authors, what's with the name Addie? It just seems to be everywhere now. Abbie and Addie. It's weird. I don't get it! Not that I have anything against the name Abbie or Addie, it's just an observation.

Now, on to the actual Addie character. Addie is a character who at first I didn't like - at all. She was whiny, clichéd, and had this woe-is-me attitude. Not good. I really just wanted to strangle her.
Now, I'm not sure if this is "RAWR" attitude speaking or actually what I thought of her because her character personality seemed to do a total 180 on me - which most characters do not do. The first 30% Addie was terrible, the 30 - 50% Addie was bland, and the rest was AWESOME ADDIE.

First 30% Addie basically was a girl complaining about how unfair and terrible her life is. It's both annoying and bland. There's hardly any character in there, just that walking cliché really. I really wanted to strangle her during that time. 

30 - 50% Addie was bland. She was funny, sure. She wasn't stupid, but not exactly the best character in the world. I didn't connect with her at all during this time. 

Ok, the next part is really, really hard to explain since PARANORMAL and NORMAL Addie differed so greatly. I really think that they were different characters. PARANORMAL Addie is one of those heroines that I want to kill most of the time while NORMAL Addie is one that I want to cuddle. I'll be discussing NORMAL Addie because I love her and hate PARANORMAL one.

After that middle slump, everything really picks up. Addie grows up a bit and becomes an awesome, squeal worthy heroine worthy of being part of that amazing group I call "My Favorite Heroines". I can't really explain how it's possible for such a monumental change, but it was and it did.


Now, there's the matter of the two love interests. I'm not sure if it really is a "love triangle" until the very end because both alternate story lines are basically dreams that Addie is having at the same time. I think it'll only make sense if you read the book. Anyway, one is the NORMAL dream, aka the one where she goes to live with her dad, and the other is the PARANORMAL dream, where she lives with her mom.

I'm also very certain that Trevor is the main LI, since after some moments in the book it's obvious that Duke, the other guy, isn't really a contender. 

Trevor = sweet, adorable, geeky, wonderful = YES

Duke = douche, weird, controlling, possessive = NO

The only character I hated, other than the other LI, is Addie's best friend Laila, who I despised. She was occasionally funny but most of the time? Boy crazy (nearing obsessed) and idiotic. I really found no growth for her character nor any little thing that made me say "Well... maybe she ain't so bad" (that may or may not be because I'd never say 'ain't').

Plot and Writing


The plot of Pivot Point is very low action for the most part. It's basically about a girl who has a power to see possible futures. It's not really a "if I get write this answer on my math test, will it be wrong?" kind of thing but it only works for big problems (I think). 

It's a beautifully developed power, unlike some of the random ones I've seen in YA lit. Usually, they involve some sort of elemental power or immediate future. Annnyway, this girl finds out her parents are getting a divorce and she has to decide whether to stay in the Compound (a super secret place for people with powers) or go into the world with her Dad.

Like a little cheater, she decides to see what the futures hold for her.

But seriously, it's a good idea and was done fabulously by West. The plot is a bit weak in this book at times since this is a very character driven novel - which is a good thing and the right way for this book. It still stands however, the plot can get pretty weak at times.

There's also this pathetic attempt at a murder mystery which I hoped would get bigger as the book moves along but it's mentioned halfway through and dropped until the end where all of sudden it gets VERY LOUD AND VIOLENT.

The ending surprised me a lot. Instead of doing what I was sure Addie would do, she actually did the smart thing! Usually, YA books end with a happy ending but personally, the ending was kind of depressing. Awesome twist there.

Overall, I liked the plot well enough but the murder mystery? Better left out because it didn't feel like it really belonged with the book.


Kasie West is such an amazing writer. I really loved living in her world for a bit (well for the most part). I would read anything she writes, if only you could skip the pathetic weeping girl whose parents just divorced. 

Likes and Dislikes


- Addie

- Trevor

- Addie + Trevor togetha foreva

- Characters

- Plot


- Addie 

- Duke 

- Laila 

In conclusion

I really enjoyed PIVOT POINT, even though the beginning should have put me off it. I'm overall very happy that I decided to finish it.

Lisbeth is an American teenager who enjoys blowing shit up in videogames and discussing decapitation in great detail. She's also obsessed with Oceana, but you're not supposed to know that.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

{Review} From Ashes by Molly McAdams

Title: From Ashes
Author: Molly McAdams
Format: NetGalley e-book
Publisher: William Morrow
Release date: December 11th 2012
Date Read: January 19th - January 20th 2013
Rating: ✭
When Cassidy Jameson's best friend Tyler took her to Texas with him when he left for college, she was expecting his cousin, their new roommate, to be a Stetson-wearing cowboy since his family owned a ranch; not this incredibly gorgeous guy with a husky Southern drawl that seemed to make the world stop whenever she looked at him. Because of her past, she's only ever trusted two men in her life, Tyler and her dad whom passed away when she was six. But there's something about Gage that draws her to him in a way she can't explain, only problem? He's always telling Tyler that he doesn't want Cassidy living there and sees her as nothing more than his little sister.

Gage Carson was excited his cousin Tyler was coming to live with, and go to college with him. When he'd called to ask if he could bring his friend Cassi with him, Gage didn't care. Gage had heard about this mysterious friend since they were kids and felt like he already knew her. Nothing would prepare him for watching her jump out of Ty's Jeep though. Not only was Cassi the most beautiful girl he'd ever seen, but there was something about her that within seconds of meeting her, made Gage want to protect her, and make her his. Too bad Tyler made it a point to remind Gage on a daily basis that he was dating her and she was completely off limits.

For a year and a half, Gage and Cassidy dance around their feelings for each other as Tyler continues to keep them apart; until one day Tyler unknowingly pushes her right into Gage's arms. With Tyler unable to keep lying to them, they finally start a relationship both have been craving since their first meeting. But when an accident and disaster sends her back to Tyler and California, will Cassidy be able to come face to face with the demons from her past to live a life she and Gage deserve; or will the fact that she once again ran to Tyler be the final push that ends Cassidy and Gage for good?


This review rant will not be in normal format, instead it will be in freehand like most of my rants.

I really shouldn't review this book. I really shouldn't. It's just going to make me angry, plus I have other books to review. But, books that make me so angry like FROM ASHES, I need to review, no matter how bad it is for my sanity.

FROM ASHES is pretty much the worst book I have ever read. I know I'm going to say it again and probably will till the end of time but at this time, I cannot imagine a worse book. The only reason I finished this piece of utter shit is because FROM ASHES is the most readable book ever. 

Yes, I know, that makes no sense since I mentioned (once or twice) that I HATE this book but it's true. 

Molly McAdams has succeeded in making a book you hate to love to read (I'm pretty sure that's the first of its kind). I wanted to know what happened next even though I was literally screaming at the book. 

The characters in this book are just terrible. I could go on forever but here is a basic summary:
Cassidy: Cheating, bitchy, judgmental girl who thinks she's better than everyone. One of the main characters whose only problems in life are: trying to decide which guy (out of 5 guys) she loves, handling a real life job, and being unable to have sex 10 times a day.

Gage: Boring, possessive, and bland all describe Gage. Me no like.

Tyler: THIS GUY IS WORSE THAN TRAVIS MADDOX. He is one of the worst love interests - no characters - I've ever encountered. Ever.

The plot of FROM ASHES makes absolutely no sense, at all. It was just terrible. In fact, I will recap the book's plot for your enjoyment/torture. Get ready guys because this is one really, really messed up book.

The books starts off with Cassidy recounting how she's so scared and has so many problems. These problems range from bad to not being bad at all. The worst being her parents abusing her as a kid not being able to decide if she loves Tyler or Gage this week and the least being that she's too pretty.

I know, I know, it's so horrible.

Somehow, these abusive parents allow Cassidy to leave her home and travel to Texas. Note, this is realistic fiction and everyone knows that this is all very plausible. Anyway, she moves to Texas with her hot best friend (but he doesn't have aaanny romantic feeling towards her). There, she meets his even hotter (OMG how is this possible?) cousin Gage.

Let's examine some quotes now.

What with Tyler's possessiveness and all no one even attempted to get close enough to me. Not that it bothered me...

Cassidy says this after stating how Tyler could never like her romantically. Also, how can you be okay with this amount of obsessiveness.

Gage was like a brother to him [Tyler] and Tyler hadn't seen him in a few years, so their sharing an apartment would be good for Ty.

HAHA you can guess how long Tyler thinks of Gage as a brother instead of a rival.

Tyler dropped my hand, only to put his on the small of my back as he led me over to Mr. New [Gage] and the leggy blonde.

You just met Gage and you're already calling his girlfriend a "leggy blonde". 

"I'm Brynn [this is the leggy blonde], Gage's girlfriend." Her eyes narrowed.

Woah, already jealous huh? Now the next few quotes are from Gage's point of view.

All I could think about was closing the distance between us [Gage and Cassidy].

You just met this girl a few hours ago. Slooooww down cowboy.

I was frozen in place, taking in the most beautiful girl I'd ever seen.

DUUDE you met her a few minutes ago.

I couldn't even stop the growl that came from my throat when I saw it [Tyler holding Cassidy's hand].


And yeah, I'm not gonna lie, I'd already pictured her beneath me.






"She's mine Gage, Let's get that clear right now." [said Tyler]

Dude, no. She's not.

"Damn, when you said your cousin was bringing a chick, I wasn't expecting her to be so hot," Jake said.
"Jake, touch her again.... see what fucking happens." [said Gage]

Ok, so Gage is already threatening people to lay off "his woman". At 3%.

How was I already so into this girl that it physically hurt to think of her being with Ty?

Trying to figure that one out myself honestly.

"...she's been cooking for herself since she was six..." [Ty on Cassidy]

Why does the main female character always have to know how to cook and seem to be the only one who does?

Anyway, a bit more plot and then we'll go over quotes because I have the whole book highlighted (well pretty much all of it). The next 10% or so is Cassidy lusting over Gage's body while sincerely denying that Ty could ever love her all while Ty continually tells Gage that Cassidy is "his". At 10% in, Tyler forces himself onto Cassidy.

Before he does that, Tyler visits Gage. 

I already hated thinking about what happened between Tyler and Cassidy, but having Tyler tell me he was about to go screw her made it that much worse. I'm sorry, not screw her, bang her. Like it was no big deal, just announced "I'm gonna go bang my girl." [from Gage's POV]

God, what is wrong with Tyler? How could anyone like this guy? This is disgusting especially since this is coming from a guy who supposedly loves Cassidy like a sister. Just disgusting. 

After that, Cassidy semi - smartly decides not to sleep in Ty's room like she always did before. So what does she do? She sleeps on the couch and then lets Gage pick her up and put her on his bed. She's not even scared when she wakes up on the bed of some guy she met a few weeks ago.

A bunch of random and un-noteworthy things happen (including Cassidy's eighteenth birthday). Let's examine some of these quotes shall we?

... there was no doubt in my mind I was in love with Cassidy. [Gage's POV]

First of all, what kind of sentence is that? I mean, does it make any sense to you? The second thing is that this is 12% into the book. Twelve percent and Gage is confessing his love.

I loved everything about him.
I loved him.

Sometimes, Sassy Gay Friend is the only way to express my feelings... *sigh*

I cook for six ridiculously obnoxious college guys while they take turns playing Xbox.

Why? Why the fuck do you do is Cassidy? You say hate doing it yet you do.

Ok, back to boring plot summaries. Gage and Cassidy sort of, kind of get together then Cassidy does something and Gage gets all macho man angry and dumps her. Cassidy gets all depressed cause "O NOES HE DON'T LIKE MEH".

Then Cassidy meets Gage again and they make up. Somehow. I really have no idea how that happened. If anyone figured this out, I'd be happy to add it in. One chapter Gage is like "RAWR SHE HATE ME" and Cassidy is practically mirroring that feeling, and in the next?

"Cassidy," I breathed.
She launched herself at me and wrapped her arms around my neck, whispering into my ear. 
"I missed you so much, Gage."

Uhhh.... kthen.

In a few pages, Cassidy has already attracted another guy who tries to force her into having sex. All I can say is, girl get yo rape whistle out. Doing his Travis Maddox thing, Gage goes and breaks Max's nose. Why do love interests need to break people's noses?

Is that cool or something?

Gage's pants get tighter a few dozen times and then Tyler tells Gage that Cassidy preformed oral sex to him and Gage goes insane. I think Tyler and Cassidy get together in this time but I'm not sure because Tyler kisses Cassidy all the time.



Cassidy get's a job and everything is quiet for a bit before (yep there's always a before...) TYLER TRIES TO FUCKING RAPE HER. This part made me so angry. It wasn't the worst part in the book but, god, it was close. This time, he doesn't do anything that bad, but just wait ok?

Gage gets pissed and goes out whoring. He brings home a couple of girls and has sex with them (but there was this funny moment when he screamed out CASSIDY during sex and got slapped). What happens on the next page?

Tyler tries to, more forcefully this time, rape her. This is where I'm going to share a few of the GRRRR quotes.

"You'll enjoy it, Cassi. I promise."

Dear Tyler and other men out there like him, just because it's sex, doesn't mean people enjoy always enjoy it. You are forcing yourself upon a girl and just because you think, "she'll like it", doesn't mean it's not RAPE. R. A. P. E. RAPE. 

"You want this, Cassi, don't tell me you don't. Your little moans and sighs, and damn it, Cassi, you're wet as fuck. So why are you telling me to stop?" Tyler searched my face and shook his head slightly. "I swear to God, if you say you don't want this...."

THIS IS A LOVE INTEREST PEOPLE. HE'S NOT THE ANTAGONIST, HE'S THE FREAKING LOVE INTEREST. This is just sick, ok? There is absolutely no excuse for rape, and out of all the ones people tell the victim, this is the worst.

No. Just no.

Now, what does our favorite love interest do after he stops humping her? He goes out, gets drunk, and brings home a girl to have sex with. WHAT WHAT WHAT. NO. This is NOT ok. Ever. NO. Why are these guys going all Travis on me?

Cassidy goes into a rage and Tyler kicks her out of the house without phone or proper clothes. Cassidy almost dies of hypothermia before being saved by the amazing, strong, wonderful Gage. Once she warms up, Gage yells at her telling her that he's mad at her for being kicked out and almost dying.

Nothing happens for a while (except for Cassidy's friend trying to get her to date someone even though she's stringing along two other guys). Gage tells Cassidy that he loves her and she goes too. They go through that "OMG I THOUGHT YOU WOULD NEVA WANT MEH?" conversation.

Gage and Cassidy have lots and lots of sex everywhere (bed, shower, couch, and the kitchen table) and he calls Cassidy his girl around 15 times. Jesse is introduced and he's in lurve with Cassidy as well. I'm still trying to figure out what they all see in her.

Cassidy cooks for some guys and this is what one of them say to her:

"I want a damn SMB too! Doesn't matter if she thinks it's 'nothing fancy' or not, there isn't another SMB out there like Cassi. That's it, I'm kidnapping and keeping her." Jake sounded exasperated.
"What the hell is a SMB?" Ethan asked, but we all looked confused.
Jake looked at us like we should know this already. "SMB? Sandwich-Making Bitch."

What. The. Fuck.

But, wait, it gets better. 

Cassidy was wiping tears from her eyes when her laughs turned into soft giggles ... "And I didn't take it as offensive. It's like that whole women-belong-in-the-kitchen-barefoot-and-pregnant thing; it's funny."


After that, Cassidy basically turns into a sex addict and has sex everywhere. Gage hits some more people and accidentally hits Cassidy. She then finds out her old house had been burned down - yes, parent's house got burned down with them in it.

She leaves and meets Connor Green who she has an affair with. She then has the gall to confront Gage about his one night stand a few months ago. Whaaaa? Cassidy is also the one who says she doesn't trust guys.

Gage and Cassidy get together and Connor comes to ask Cassidy to go live with him. She declines and moves in with Gage. Turns out he made her a house and what do they do the moment they enter? Have sex. Then have more sex (ON THE KITCHEN ISLAND PEOPLE).

They get married; Cassidy almost dies (twice - scorpion bite and labor issues) and has three kids. The end. All I could get out by the end of the book was RAWR I HATE THIS. It was just terrible. Never, ever recommend. In fact run away.

Lisbeth is an American teenager who enjoys blowing shit up in videogames and discussing decapitation in great detail. She's also obsessed with Oceana, but you're not supposed to know that.