Book Review: Shatter by Aprilynne Pike

Book: Shatter by Aprilynne Pike

Published February 2018 by Random House|378 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the e-book from the library

Series: Glitter #2

Genre: YA Fantasy

Danica planned to use beauty, blackmail, and a glittering drug to control her own fate. Her escape from the twisted world of the Palace of Versailles was perfectly orchestrated and paid for. Or so she thought. 

Betrayed by the man who had promised her freedom, Dani is now married to the murderous King. It’s a terrifying position to be in…and yet it’s oddly intoxicating. Power may be an even stronger drug than Glitter–a drug Dani can’t resist, in the form of secrets, manipulation, and sabotage.

In her new position at the head of the court, Dani must ask herself who she really is. Can she use her newfound power to secure her real love, Saber’s freedom and a chance at a life together outside the palace? Or is being Queen too addictive to give up?

After reading Glitter last year, I figured I’d pick up the sequel to see how things turned out for Danica.  Shatter was just okay for me, and I didn’t like it nearly as much as the first book.

I’m still not sure why they’re re-enacting Versailles and Marie Antoinette, and like Glitter, I’m not sure what Pike was going for with this series.  The setting is interesting, but I wanted more backstory.  Unfortunately, we didn’t get it in this book, though we did learn a few things about the world that we didn’t know in Glitter.  Still, it wasn’t enough for me.  I had some questions on the outside world, and they weren’t answered in this one.

Danica is still trying to escape Versailles (and take Saber with her) but being Queen really changes her.  And not in a good way.  She does do some good at the very end of the book, but for me, it was too little, too late.  I didn’t particularly care for Danica in this book, but she is surrounded by some horrible people, and I can understand why she changes into someone who’s terrifying and manipulative.

I don’t remember Saber at all from the first book, but he was barely around in this one, it seemed like.  If he had completely disappeared, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have noticed.  It felt like there was nothing between him and Danica.

As for Danica and Justin, I didn’t particularly like them together.  I know it’s just a way for Danica to get what she wants, which is freedom, but Justin was pretty terrible.  Honestly, it seemed like pretty much everyone was terrible, and I didn’t particularly like anyone.

2 stars.  I had a hard time getting into this one, and I really do prefer her Wings series to this one.  Maybe this series isn’t for me, though the idea behind it is pretty cool.

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Book Review: Smoke And Iron by Rachel Caine

Book Review: Smoke And Iron by Rachel Caine

Published July 2018 by Berkley|368 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the e-book from the library

Series: The Great Library #4

Genre: YA Steampunk/Alternate History

To save the Great Library, the unforgettable characters from Ink and Bone, Paper and Fire, and Ash and Quill put themselves in danger in the next thrilling adventure in the New York Times bestselling series.

The opening moves of a deadly game have begun. Jess Brightwell has put himself in direct peril, with only his wits and skill to aid him in a game of cat and mouse with the Archivist Magister of the Great Library. With the world catching fire, and words printed on paper the spark that lights rebellion, it falls to smugglers, thieves, and scholars to save a library thousands of years in the making…if they can stay alive long enough to outwit their enemies.

I really liked Smoke And Iron!  Overall, I’ve really liked this series, and this book was no exception.

I was slightly surprised by how things ended, and I can’t wait for the next book to see how it’s all going to end.  There are a lot of changes in store for the Library, and I just really want to know how everything is going to go.

I was wondering what would happen in this book with the plan that Jess had in place.  We definitely find out but considering what the plan was, I had to remind myself of who was who and what was going on.  I think if people had been made aware of what the plan was, some things could have been avoided, and maybe even turned out differently.  But maybe not.  We’ll never know.  Either way, there were a lot of twists and turns in this book, and I liked seeing how the plan actually worked out.

I really liked seeing so many people narrate, especially because our band of fugitive scholars are split up.  It worked really well because we saw what was going on with everyone and it was great once everyone was together.  Hopefully, it will stay that way for the next book, but we shall see.

I really liked seeing more of the Obscurists, especially since this is the most we see of them.  Morgan just wants to be free, and while she wants that for the other Obscurists, I also like the perspective that it would be hard for a lot of the Obscurists because they don’t know anything outside the tower.

Khalila was amazing in this book and she’s just awesome.  I want good things for her- well, I want good things for everyone- but she’s pretty amazing.  She’s grown into someone who would make a great leader, and she’s strong and one of my favorite characters in the series.  She really wants the library to be the best version it could be, and she really believes in the library and what it can do.  It was really obvious in this book that she wants the library to exist, but not in it’s current form.

There’s a lot of action, and the book moves along pretty quickly.  There are some unexpected deaths, and one in particular was really hard.  I’m actually surprised that our main group of characters have survived so long, and I’m terrified that one (if not more) will die in the last book.  As long as it’s not Wolfe, Santi or Khalila, I think I’ll be fine.  I hope so, anyway.

4 stars.  I really liked Smoke And Iron, and while there’s a lot of resolution in this book, things are still hanging in the balance.  I can’t wait to see how Caine wraps everything up.

ARC Book Review: A Curse So Dark And Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

Book: A Curse So Dark And Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

Published January 2019 by Bloomsbury YA|489 pages

Where I Got It: I got an e-ARC from netgalley.com in exchange for a fair and honest review

Series: A Curse So Dark And Lonely #1

Genre: YA Fantasy

In a lush, contemporary fantasy retelling of Beauty and the Beast, Brigid Kemmerer gives readers another compulsively readable romance perfect for fans of Marissa Meyer.

Fall in love, break the curse. 

It once seemed so easy to Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he knew he could be saved if a girl fell for him. But that was before he learned that at the end of each autumn, he would turn into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. That was before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother barely holding their family together while constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, she learned to be tough enough to survive. But when she tries to save someone else on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s instead somehow sucked into Rhen’s cursed world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom. 

A prince? A monster? A curse? Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. But as she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.

I was really intrigued by this book when I saw it on Netgalley, and I knew I had to request it.  Unfortunately, it was just okay for me, and I didn’t like it as much as I wanted to.

I had a really hard time getting into it, especially at the beginning.  It was about a quarter of the way in that I started to like the story a little more.  The dual POV didn’t work for me, and it was hard to tell who was narrating because Rhen and Harper’s chapters were really similar, and they sounded pretty much the same to me.  I could only read a few chapters at a time before needing to put it down.  I just really struggled with it.

I think a lot of my struggles with A Curse So Dark And Lonely come from me being bored.  I really liked the idea of a modern day re-telling where Belle ends up in a magical land to break the curse.  It just took a while to get there.  I couldn’t completely root for Rhen and Harper, and I felt like they had no chemistry.  I had a hard time with the fact that they basically abducted girls, hoping they would be the one to break the curse.  And for a while, it seemed like she would end up falling for Grey.  I was surprised it didn’t go that way.

Speaking of Grey, I was surprised by everything that happened with him at the end of the book.  I know there’s a sequel, and while I don’t think I’ll pick it up, I am curious to see where things go for him.  It’s strange, because this book read like a stand-alone, but with how things ended, there is room for more story.

I wish we had more of Harper’s life before Emberfall.  All we really know about her is that her mom’s dying of cancer, her dad’s not in the picture, and her brother has taken up her dad’s work because of the debt he left them in.  I honestly couldn’t tell you anything else about her and her life.  Still, it was interesting to see her get settled into life at Emberfall.

It did get a lot more exciting at the end, and it was nice to actually have some action, as opposed to all of the traveling that happens in the book.  I don’t mind a bit of traveling but I needed something to break it up a little bit.  It was too bad we didn’t get more of it throughout the rest of the book.

2 stars.  I liked Grey, and Harper was a really thoughtful, kind character but I really struggled to get through it.  It’s a cool take on Beauty And The Beast, though.

Book Review: Dance Of Thieves by Mary E Pearson

Book: Dance Of Thieves by Mary E Pearson

Published August 2019 by Henry Holt & Co|508 pages

Where I Got It: I own the paperback

Series: Dance Of Thieves #1

Genre: YA Fantasy

A new novel in the New York Times–bestselling Remnant Chronicles universe, in which a reformed thief and the young leader of an outlaw dynasty lock wits in a battle that may cost them their lives—and their hearts.

When the patriarch of the Ballenger empire dies, his son, Jase, becomes its new leader. Even nearby kingdoms bow to the strength of this outlaw family, who have always governed by their own rules. But a new era looms on the horizon, set in motion by a young queen, which makes her the target of the dynasty’s resentment and anger.

At the same time, Kazi, a legendary former street thief, is sent by the queen to investigate transgressions against the new settlements. When Kazi arrives in the forbidding land of the Ballengers, she learns that there is more to Jase than she thought. As unexpected events spiral out of their control, bringing them intimately together, they continue to play a cat and mouse game of false moves and motives in order to fulfill their own secret missions.

I really liked this one!  When I heard that there was going to be another book set in the same world as the Remnant Chronicles, I knew I had to read it.

I didn’t love Jase and Kazi the way I love Lia, but I still really liked both of them…though if I had to pick a favorite from Dance Of Thieves, I think it would be Kazi.  Her story was really interesting, and it’s hard not to like her.  I like Jase and I definitely understood where he was coming from.  It’s a part of the world that we never saw in the Remnant Chronicles, and since it’s been awhile since I’ve read that series, I can’t remember if his family was even mentioned in those books.  It might be time for a re-read.

At any rate, it was really cool to see this world grow.  I loved seeing the Ballenger family and how hard things were for them.  Their part of the world is definitely different, and it really added to the world.  This book also had the little bits of history we saw in the Remnant Chronicles.  We also saw the addition of writings/histories from Jase’s family and I really liked that.  It’s always fun to see this world through these histories, and I’m really glad that those histories continued in this book.

I feel like I’m talking more about the Remnant Chronicles than I am about this one.  I mean, some of the things we saw in that series are in this book, and it does add to that world.

Since I’m starting to repeat myself a little…let’s talk about about Dance Of Thieves.  I liked the cat-and-mouse game, and since both Jase and Kazi are narrating, we know what’s going on, but they don’t know what the other one is doing.  There wasn’t a lot of communication between them, which I understand, considering what they were both trying to do.  Still, a lot of what happened may have been avoided if they hadn’t lied to each other.

It did take a while for me to get into it, and I think it’s because we’re getting backstory for both Kazi and Jase.  Once we got past that, I wanted to keep reading to see what would happen next.  I’m curious to see where things are headed with how the book ended.

If you haven’t read the Remnant Chronicles, but are thinking about picking this one up…just know that you don’t need to read it in order to know what’s going on in this book.  While it’s set in the same world, and some of the characters from that series make an appearance or two, it’s not necessary to read it before reading this one.  There are some things that happen in that series that will be spoiled, and there is some world building you get in that one that you don’t necessarily get in this one.  That series is amazing, and if you haven’t read it yet, you should.  But this series is completely separate, so don’t worry about not knowing the world or some of the characters.

4 stars.  I didn’t love it, but I still really enjoyed it.  It is Mary Pearson, after all, and she’s pretty amazing.

ARC Book Review: White Stag by Kara Barbieri

Book: White Stag by Kara Barbieri

Published January 2018 by Wednesday Books|368 pages

Where I Got: I got an e-ARC from netgalley.com in exchange for a fair and honest review

Series: Permafrost #1

Genre: YA Fantasy

White Stag, the first book in a brutally stunning series by Kara Barbieri, involves a young girl who finds herself becoming more monster than human and must uncover dangerous truths about who she is and the place that has become her home. 

A Wattpad break out star with over a million reads! Now expanded, revised and available in print and eBook.

As the last child in a family of daughters, seventeen-year-old Janneke was raised to be the male heir. While her sisters were becoming wives and mothers, she was taught to hunt, track, and fight. On the day her village was burned to the ground, Janneke—as the only survivor—was taken captive by the malicious Lydian and eventually sent to work for his nephew Soren.

Janneke’s survival in the court of merciless monsters has come at the cost of her connection to the human world. And when the Goblin King’s death ignites an ancient hunt for the next king, Soren senses an opportunity for her to finally fully accept the ways of the brutal Permafrost. But every action he takes to bring her deeper into his world only shows him that a little humanity isn’t bad—especially when it comes to those you care about.

Through every battle they survive, Janneke’s loyalty to Soren deepens. After dangerous truths are revealed, Janneke must choose between holding on or letting go of her last connections to a world she no longer belongs to. She must make the right choice to save the only thing keeping both worlds from crumbling.

When I saw this book on netgalley, I was intrigued enough to request it.  The cover is beautiful but unfortunately, I didn’t like this book as much as I wanted to.

One of the things I didn’t like was how bored I was.  The world didn’t make a lot of sense to me, and it’s not really clear how the humans and goblins came to be.  The Stag and it’s importance to the Goblin King wasn’t clear, and the hunt didn’t make a lot of sense.  It’s an interesting idea, but I just needed more details.

The mythology was a little odd to me.  It seemed like a mix of different mythologies, which could have been cool but didn’t work because it made things more confusing than they should have been.  It felt like the goblins weren’t really goblins- they felt more like faeries to me than actual goblins.

The book was also pretty forgettable and even though I finished the book pretty recently, I also couldn’t tell you most of what happens in the book.  It felt like a blur, and I think I kept reading in the hopes I would end up liking it more.  Unfortunately, that didn’t happen, and while I can see why people really like it, I just needed more from it.

I also wish I had more to say about White Stag, but I really don’t.  Unless I want to start repeating myself, of course.

1 star.  The cover is beautiful and I liked the premise of the book.  But I was bored, and thought there needed to be more world-building.  We get too little about the world, and what we do get is too confusing.

Book Review: This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E Smith

Book: This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E Smith

Published April 2013 by Headline|404 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the hardcover from the library

Series: None

Genre: YA Contemporary

If fate sent you an email, would you answer?

When teenage movie star Graham Larkin accidentally sends small town girl Ellie O’Neill an email about his pet pig, the two seventeen-year-olds strike up a witty and unforgettable correspondence, discussing everything under the sun, except for their names or backgrounds. 

Then Graham finds out that Ellie’s Maine hometown is the perfect location for his latest film, and he decides to take their relationship from online to in-person. But can a star as famous as Graham really start a relationship with an ordinary girl like Ellie? And why does Ellie want to avoid the media’s spotlight at all costs?

I thought This Is What Happy Looks Like was just okay.  I really wanted to like it more but I just wasn’t into it.

It was cute, I’ll give it that.  Smith is really good at the cute romance that takes place over a pretty short period of time.  I just thought it was weird and a little creepy that after a few emails, Graham decides that her town is a great place for his new movie.

It could have been really cute, and had they met in a different (and not weird and creepy) way, I might have liked it more.  Smith definitely thought a lot about their stories and what she wanted for both Ellie and Graham.  I liked their emails to each other, but I didn’t actually feel like there was anything between them.

I was bored reading it, and I’m honestly not sure how I got to the end.  I kept waiting for something interesting to happen, or for the book to get my attention in some way but that never happened.  It was hard to stay interested but I think I kept reading to see what would happen.  So the book wasn’t all that bad, and it was cute, even though it wasn’t for me.

2 stars.  This Is What Happy Looks Like wasn’t for me and even though it was cute at times, I was bored and had a hard time getting into it.  I also wish I had more to say about the book.

Book Review: Canary by Rachele Alpine

Book: Canary by Rachele Alpine

Published August 2013 by Medallion Press|400 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the paperback from the library

Series: None

Genre: YA Contemporary

Staying quiet will destroy her, but speaking up will destroy everyone.

Kate Franklin’s life changes for the better when her dad lands a job at Beacon Prep, an elite private school with one of the best basketball teams in the state. She begins to date a player on the team and quickly gets caught up in a world of idolatry and entitlement, learning that there are perks to being an athlete. 

But those perks also come with a price. Another player takes his power too far and Kate is assaulted at a party. Although she knows she should speak out, her dad’s vehemently against it and so, like a canary sent into a mine to test toxicity levels and protect miners, Kate alone breathes the poisonous secrets to protect her dad and the team. The world that Kate was once welcomed into is now her worst enemy, and she must decide whether to stay silent or expose the corruption, destroying her father’s career and bringing down a town’s heroes.

Canary is told in a mix of prose and verse.

I really liked Canary!  I wasn’t sure about it at first, especially since it took quite a while to get to get going.  I didn’t mind, since you really did need to get thrown into Kate’s world and what the school was like.

What’s sad is that I wasn’t surprised by Kate’s story or that people were so horrible to her.  I was sad and angry at her dad for checking out after her mom died, and for placing sports and his team ahead of Kate ad her brother.  I was angry that the team and the championship was more important than what happened to his daughter.  And while he was eventually there for her, I was angry at him for not having an immediate reaction to it.  I was angry that it took so long for him to go to the police station with her and that he didn’t want her to say anything about it.

I wasn’t surprised by anything that happened, but I really liked Kate.  You see her get caught up in the world at Beacon, and how quickly things change once word spreads about what happened to her.  I also liked her blog posts, and while there is an actual website listed, I never actually checked to see if it went somewhere.  It would be cool if it did but Canary has since been returned to the library and I can’t remember what the website.  I still liked reading it, and how much writing seemed to help her.

I will say that for a book that centers around the rape of a teen girl, it takes a really long time to actually get to that point, and we didn’t get a lot of what happened after.  We get some, but it didn’t feel like enough time to completely resolve things.  Not that things have to be resolved, of course, but I felt like more time was given to life before than life after.  It should have happened a lot earlier in the book, and I really thought it happened too late in the book- there was too much build-up and not a lot of resolution.

4 stars.  I really liked Canary, especially the blog posts but I thought that it took too long to build up to the main premise of the book.

Audio Book Review: Days Of Blood And Starlight by Laini Taylor, Narrated by Khristine Hvam

Book: Days Of Blood And Starlight by Laini Taylor, Narrated by Khristine Hvam

Published November 2012 by Hachette Audio|Length: 15 hours, 21 minutes

Where I Got It: I own the audio book

Series: Daughter Of Smoke And Bone #2

Genre: YA Fantasy

In this stunning sequel to the highly acclaimed Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Karou must come to terms with who and what she is, and how far she’ll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, mysteries and secrets, new characters and old favorites, Days of Blood and Starlight brings the richness, color and intensity of the first book to a brand new canvas.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone was declared a “must read” by Entertainment Weekly, was named a Best Book of the Year by Amazon.com, and The New York Times called it “a breath-catching romantic fantasy.”

I liked this one!  This is one of those series I keep meaning to finish, and I never seem to get around to it.

For this one, I switched to the audio book because I tried reading it a couple of times but never got very far.  I really like the narrator (Khristine Hvam is one of my favorites), and I figured I’d give the audio book a try.  I thought Hvam did a great job narrating, and she was great at bringing Karou to life.  I’m pretty sure I would not have gotten through the book this time if it weren’t for the audio book.

I really liked the world, and how much this book added to it.  We only got a glimpse of Karou’s world in the first book, and we got a lot more of it in this one.  We see more of the war between the seraphim and the chimera, and we get more of the conflict between the two.  It had this huge mpact on Karou’s life, and she lost her family because of it.

I understand Karou better (and why she might ally with Thiago, and not want Akiva around) but she wasn’t the same Karou we see in the first book.  I get why, with everything that happened, but I think I was expecting the same Karou we see before.  It will be interesting to see how Karou changes in the next book.

I really wish I liked this book more.  I’m not sure why I couldn’t get into it, and it makes me a little sad because I really do like the world and the characters.  Maybe it’s just not my thing, which is fine…I just wish it were, since I know how much people love Taylor.

3 stars.  I liked it, especially the world that Taylor created and the narration.  I wish I had more to say about Days Of Blood And Starlight but I don’t.  I’m curious to see how it all comes together and to see how it ends.

Book Review: Ten by Gretchen McNeil

Book: Ten by Gretchen McNeil

Published September 2012 by Balzer + Bray

Where I Got It: I borrowed the hardcover from the library

Series: None

Genre: YA Horror/Thriller

It was supposed to be the weekend of their lives—an exclusive house party on Henry Island. Best friends Meg and Minnie are looking forward to two days of boys, booze, and fun-filled luxury. But what starts out as fun turns twisted after the discovery of a DVD with a sinister message: Vengeance is mine. And things only get worse from there.

With a storm raging outside, the teens are cut off from the outside world . . . so when a mysterious killer begins picking them off one by one, there’s no escape. As the deaths become more violent and the teens turn on one another, can Meg find the killer before more people die? Or is the killer closer to her than she could ever imagine?

In an effort to read some of the books that have been on my virtual TBR for ages, I decided to pick up Ten by Gretchen McNeil.  It’s a cool idea but it ended up being just okay for me.

Part of why it was okay was that I had a hard time telling Meg and Minnie apart, especially at the beginning.  For some reason, it seemed like the story switched back and forth between, and I felt like I needed to write who was who and who dated who just to tell everyone apart.  It’s not how I want to start off a book, and it was more confusing than it needed to be.

The ominous movie they watch kind of reminded me of that one horror movie where you watch it and then you die some time period after.  I can’t remember the name of it, and I know I can google it, but I just don’t feel like it right now.  I don’t watch a lot of horror movies, but I vaguely remember that one, and I was initially reminded of that one movie.  Then it turned into a murder mystery, and it wasn’t as scary as I thought it would.  There is this very mysterious, creepy vibe the entire book, but what actually happened wasn’t particularly scary or thrilling.

The idea is pretty cool, though I wasn’t particularly surprised by anything that happened.  A pretty deserted island, a storm, someone out for revenge…it was a story I was pretty familiar with even though I haven’t read this book.  I might have liked it more had I read it years ago.  I’m pretty sure teenage me would have liked it.  Or maybe YA horror isn’t really my thing.  I feel like I try to read YA horror and mysteries and thrillers and then I never really like it.  More often than not I don’t, but you don’t know until you read it, right?

2 stars.  Ten was okay, and I’m clearly not the audience for this book.  I thought it was pretty predictable but I did like the idea of getting people to an island for revenge.

Book Review: Open Road Summer by Emery Lord

Book: Open Road Summer by Emery Lord

Published April 2014 by Walker Childrens|352 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the hardcover from the library

Series: None

Genre: YA Contemporary

After breaking up with her bad-news boyfriend, Reagan O’Neill is ready to leave her rebellious ways behind. . . and her best friend, country superstar Lilah Montgomery, is nursing a broken heart of her own.

Fortunately, Lilah’s 24-city tour is about to kick off, offering a perfect opportunity for a girls-only summer of break-up ballads and healing hearts. But when Matt Finch joins the tour as its opening act, his boy-next-door charm proves difficult for Reagan to resist, despite her vow to live a drama-free existence.

This summer, Reagan and Lilah will navigate the ups and downs of fame and friendship as they come to see that giving your heart to the right person is always a risk worth taking. A fresh new voice in contemporary romance, Emery Lord’s gorgeous writing hits all the right notes.

I’ve been in a YA contemporary mood lately, and I figured Open Road Summer was a great choice for my next read. Even though I didn’t love it the way I loved her other books, I still really liked it.

I liked Reagan and Lilah, and they have such a great friendship.  Lilah’s tour was definitely an adventure for both of them, and I think it was a great way for the two girls to get away.  Reagan in particular seemed to have a lot going on, and things with her stepmother, while rocky, seemed to get at least a little bit better at the end of the book.  At the very least, Reagan seems to understand her a little bit better.

There are a lot of ups and downs over the summer, and I liked seeing Reagan and Lilah navigating the tour and fame and how it changed and affected their friendship.  I liked that they have each other, and that it didn’t change their friendship drastically.

I loved that Lilah was the same Lilah mentioned in one of Lord’s other books, and that the t.v. show that Reagan watches is mentioned in another one of Lord’s books.  It just makes me feel like her books are all set in the same universe, and I hope we see things like this in her other books.  It’s a nice touch, and I’m not sure why I like it so much but I do.

It definitely made me cry at the end, and if I need a good cry, her books are always a good choice.  This book was no exception, but not to the degree that her other books did.  I did like it, just not as much as I thought I would.  And not as much wanted to.  Still, it has the complicated family relationships, romance and friendships that I’ve come to know and love, and she’s great at writing very complicated relationships.

4 stars.  I really liked it but I didn’t love it.  I also wish I had a lot more to say about Open Road Summer, but I don’t.   It’s worth checking out, especially if you like books about road trips!