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The Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes: Frodo’s Review

The Art of Lainey

Summary From GoodreadsLainey

Soccer star Lainey Mitchell is gearing up to spend an epic summer with her amazing boyfriend, Jason, when he suddenly breaks up with her—no reasons, no warning, and in public no less! Lainey is more than crushed, but with help from her friend Bianca, she resolves to do whatever it takes to get Jason back.

And that’s when the girls stumble across a copy of The Art of War. With just one glance, they’re sure they can use the book to lure Jason back into Lainey’s arms. So Lainey channels her inner warlord, recruiting spies to gather intel and persuading her coworker Micah to pose as her new boyfriend to make Jason jealous. After a few “dates”, it looks like her plan is going to work! But now her relationship with Micah is starting to feel like more than just a game.

What’s a girl to do when what she wants is totally different from what she needs? How do you figure out the person you’re meant to be with if you’re still figuring out the person you’re meant to be?

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It’s time for another edition of Frodo’s Hobbit Sized Reviews! Short and sweet just like 2nd breakfast!

The Art of Lainey is a book that I’ve been very excited to read simply because of how amazing the author is. Luckily for me, not only did I finally get my hands on a copy of the book, but I got to hear the author’s thoughts on it at the first stop of the MMBB YA Tour (for more info on that click here). Paula Stokes gave her reasoning for why she went with this kind of character, one more preppy and a bit shallow, instead of the standard quiet bookish type. She said she wanted to prove that even the popular girls aren’t all that different from the rest, and in that she succeeded.

Lainey is a tad shallow, pushy, and is certifiably boy-crazy, or at least Jason-crazy. However, I will say that much of how I discovered what she was like was not from how she acted during the story, but from her friends telling her how she used to act, or her comparisons to another diva-type. When you come down to it, Lainey just seemed a bit lost, not as self-centered as I was led to believe, so her “transformation” wasn’t quite as effective as it could have been.

Easy A

As for the plot, well it felt very much like a lighter version of Easy A. For those who don’t know that movie (you should watch it) it’s about a girl who gets paid (in a variety of ways) to fake dates and sexual encounters with guys from her school. Eventually she wants a real relationship but her persona gets in the way until the end when she winds up with the good guy. The Art of Lainey doesn’t get as sexual, but the fake dates are here too, and the strategizing is similar too. With that movie in mind the arc was pretty obvious from the get go, she’d fall for the bad boy who turns out to not be so bad after all (Micah in this case), and well…you can guess the rest.

Despite a few cliches, The Art of Lainey is a well written, light-hearted, and plain fun book to read. Whether you know the outcome or not, it doesn’t make the journey any less fun to take part in. There are some hilarious scenes on some of the dates and they are worth the read by themselves. If you want a nice fluffy contemporary this is a solid option for you. You might even enjoy it more than I did since I had some preconceived notions going into it from the bookish event. Thanks as always for reading. ^.^

Three Smiling Frodos w Background

Booktubeathon 2014

Booktubeathon 2014

Hello everyone, as per usual I have found myself unable to resist joining a readathon mostly because they are freaking awesome, so I’ll at least be attempting to participate in Booktubeathon for the next week (it goes from July 14-21st). However, I don’t do booktube stuff myself, so I’ll be sticking to just the reading challenges, but if you want both those and the video challenges watch the video about all of that here. Without further ado, my books for the challenges!

Belladonna 1. A book with pictures – Joinville and Villehardouin: Chronicles of the Crusades. Yes, this is a history textbook, but it is told with two eyewitness accounts of the crusades, and I’m trying to get ahead for next semester. There aren’t a lot of pictures in this one (a couple maps mostly), but I need an excuse to read this and take notes, so there it is. :P

 2. Start and finish a series – This is a tough one, especially since you can only double dip and no more than that, but I went with the Secrets of the Eternal Rose series written by Fiona Paul, mostly because I should have ages ago. o_o

 3. A book with red on the cover – I’m double dipping here and using Belladonna (book 2 of SotER) as my book with red. :)

 4. A book someone else picks out for you – No one has told me recently, but Epic Reads has recommended Another Little Piece often enough that I’m going to finally get to it if at all possible. ^.^

Fear the Reaper 5. A book from the genre you’ve read the least this year – I haven’t read much horror this year, so I’ll go with Fear the Reaper, an anthology by a variety of authors including one of my favorites, Jeremy C. Shipp!

 6. A book to movie adaptation – In this one I need to watch the movie too, so I’ll go with Hearts In Atlantis, one of the few Stephen King books I haven’t read, and one of many that has a movie adaptation. The movie probably won’t be great, but I’m sure the book will be! :)

 7. Read seven books – I’ve already listed seven books, but I’ll throw another one on here just to be safe, and that’ll be Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson, simply because I’ve been looking at it for quite some time and I’d like to give it a go.

So there you have it, my books for the 7 reading challenges for this year’s Booktubeathon! Let me know if you are participating, if you are if you’ll be joining me in the challenges and/or what books you’ll be reading whether for them or in general. Thanks as always for reading, and good luck!

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Currently Reading:

Books Finished: The Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes, Venom by Fiona Paul

Pages Read: 809

Frodo’s Frisky Friday: The Price to be Paid

Frodo's Frisky Friday

The Price to be Paid (A Fairy Tale Romance) by Leigh Wilder

Summary From GoodreadsThe Price to be Paid

Dairymaid Kay’s life is one trial after another, mostly caused by her father’s drinking. When he drunkenly brags of her ability to spin straw into gold (she can’t even spin wool) he attracts the attention of the cruel king. She has two options. Spin the straw into gold…or off with her head.

Fortunately she has some help…but is the price to save her life too high? This is an adult fairy tale and contains sexual situations. Short.

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It’s time for another edition of Frodo’s Hobbit Sized Reviews! Short and sweet just like 2nd breakfast!

The Price to be Paid is a naughty version of the Rumpelstiltskin fairy tale and is written by Leigh Wilder, one of my favorite authors. However, I can’t say that this short story is very similar to her other works because the sexual scenes aren’t nearly as descriptive and are brief even if they are frequent enough. Normally Wilder offers some new twist or spin on the fairy tale and then gives depth to the naughtier bits by making the scenes vivid and entrancing. I can’t say that was the case for this.

The Price to be Paid does give a bit of backstory that many who are familiar with the Rumpelstiltskin tale will recognize as pretty close to the original, or some of the modern adaptations (such as Once Upon a Time), but it is much of the same really. There is more of a sexual twist and that theme carries through to the end of the story, but there doesn’t feel like much weight is behind it.

The “help” she has is an odd, lustful creature, that is mischievous and only in it for their own sake. While there is nothing wrong with that, they are the only real innovation of the tale, where as the MC is more of a shell that exists because the story requires it.  So when, at the end, the odd creature doesn’t change in personality or intention, the MC just goes along for the ride, and the rest of the world is the same as the original I was left disappointed.

There is nothing specifically wrong with The Price to be Paid. The writing is still solid, the plot flows smoothly, and if you just want to experience a sexier Rumpelstiltskin story than this could work for you. As for me, I think I’m just too spoiled with Wilder’s usual level of expertise, so this didn’t do it for me. It was fine, just not special. Thanks as always for reading.

Two Smiling Frodos w Background

Top Ten Blogging Confessions

TotallyRandomTuesday

Totally Random Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because they are particularly fond of lists at The Broke and the Bookish. They love to share their lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

This week on Top Ten Tuesday it is all about letting you lovely people in on some of what goes on behind the scenes. I’ll tell you a couple things you might not know about me and what I struggle with in terms of blogging. Let’s get into it!

1. This blog was not my first – Some of you know this already, but I had a sports blog before I decided to create the bookish one. While I have always loved reading, sports are another passion of mine and I thought I’d try my hand at writing about it. That didn’t last long and the blog no longer exists, however, there is a new one that I post on occasionally, so now you know.

2. I’ve wanted to be a booktuber, but I’m not confident on camera – That pretty much sums it up, but basically I love the format of booktubing and vlogging, but can’t stand how I look when I’ve recorded. There is so much you can express with that medium that blogs simply can’t, and I love watching booktuber content, alas I doubt I’ll try it myself.

3. I try not to care about stats, but do – This is a common one among bloggers I’m sure, but while I try to just post for the love of books, when I was posting daily and seeing little from it that was discouraging. Right now I’m back to posting only when I want to, so hopefully I can be less fixated. What are your thoughts on stats?

4. The first time I did the book/day challenge, toward the end I didn’t finish some of the books, but reviewed them anyway. That’s the whole thing, but I did feel guilty about it, and that’s why the second time around I structured things differently. However, I did go back later in the year and finished all of the ones I had done that with, so no more guilty conscience. :)

5. I mean to comment more, but am just lazy – I could argue that I am too busy, but there have certainly been times when that wasn’t the case and I still didn’t. Hopefully I can visit blogs more regularly and comment on posts because I know how much that means, at least when I get them. If not, I’ll at least respond via Twitter, and that’s something right? ^.^

6. I totally forgot about Netgalley – I try not to request much at all, but this year I did get a few and…spaced it. I’ve since read and reviewed those books, many of which I had posted reviews of on here on time, but I still feel bad. At least my ratio is alright now? >.>

7. I love memes, but I feel guilty for posting them – This isn’t always true, but often when I post memes, even this one, I feel like I’m “phoning it in” or the blogging equivalent. Maybe I feel like that because reviews take so much time (especially when you factor in reading time) and so it feels like I’m not doing enough? Idk. I’m weird. XD

8. Anytime I turn down authors/bloggers I feel guilty – I’m starting to notice a trend… People don’t contact me about that sort of thing to often, especially since the latest hiatus, but when it does occur I do feel really bad. I usually have a good reason (time, not posting that type of content, don’t read that kind of book) but that doesn’t make it easier. Blah. >.<

9. My Kindle library is insanity – Another common one, but goodness gracious. I’m often hesitant to even open the app on my computer unless I have a specific book I want to read because my face when I see the number is always. O_O and then -_-’ I should get my Killing My Kindle feature going again…

10. I’m back! Kinda – So this one is more of a semi-announcement/statement of the semi-obvious, but I have returned to book blogging, but only as much as I feel like. I won’t post every day, but I will likely post multiple times a week. I don’t know, and it is more fun that way. However, I have made it into the University of Minnesota and Fall semester does start in September, so idk what will happen then. I’ll keep you posted. ^.^

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There are so many other confessions I could make, but this should do for now. What confessions do you have in common? Do you have others that you’d like to share? Let me know! Thanks as always for reading! ^.^

Mini Review Monday: Crank by Ellen Hopkins

MiniReviewMonday

Crank

Summary From GoodreadsCrank

In Crank, Ellen Hopkins chronicles the turbulent and often disturbing relationship between Kristina, a character based on her own daughter, and the “monster,” the highly addictive drug crystal meth, or “crank.” Kristina is introduced to the drug while visiting her largely absent and ne’er-do-well father.

While under the influence of the monster, Kristina discovers her sexy alter-ego, Bree: “there is no perfect daughter, / no gifted high school junior, / no Kristina Georgia Snow. / There is only Bree.” Bree will do all the things good girl Kristina won’t, including attracting the attention of dangerous boys who can provide her with a steady flow of crank.

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It’s time for another edition of Frodo’s Hobbit Sized Reviews on Mini Review Monday! Short and sweet just like 2nd breakfast!

I know that I’m not breaking any new ground by talking about Crank, one of the more “popular” books that I have read during my time blogging, so I won’t be doing a traditional review so to speak. I’m just going to share a few thoughts I had on the book, okie? ^.^

Crank is far more than the meager description it is given. It is a warning to the entire spectrum of potential readers, from people who would never touch drugs to hardcore users, about the dangers of using heavily and with the strongest methods. However, the book is written entirely in verse, speaking a bit to the deranged mindset of a crank addict, but also softening some of the harder blows with freestyle. It leaves some of the detail out, though not much, and lets the reader imagine the rest. Sometimes you might wish it hadn’t.

Much of the book (the parts not trying to depress the crap out of you) sound like a ton of fun if I am to be honest. No, I’m not going to go out and do any of these drugs, but the dance party of ecstasy, the NASCAR type speed of crank, and the mellow groove of pot sound intriguing in their own ways. My guess is that is likely the point, Hopkins knows that people do this for a variety of reasons, but one of the main ones is that it generally feels really great while you are on your drug of choice.

The characters in the book were the weakest point for me. Most of them were cliche-ridden, one boyfriend an “I’ll love you forever” type despite them having only been together a few weeks (then turning on her in a blink), another with a more violent side (you know or can guess), and the knight in shining armor.

The main character is more of the same, and while she was likely very realistic in the mind of Hopkins for obvious reasons and cliches exist for reasons as well, watching the same old “girl with low self-esteem, bouncing from boy to boy, experimenting until she loses control” type of MC was a tad disappointing. Outside of the dual personality of sorts there wasn’t much that made her unique, and that was unfortunate.

Overall, though, I did enjoy Crank quite a bit. If there is someone reading this that somehow hasn’t read the book I would say that it does take a while to get used to reading in the verse style Hopkins employs, but that once you grow accustomed to it you will enjoy the book quite a bit. I don’t know that I’ll read the other books in the series, but we shall see. Thanks as always for reading. ^.^

Four Smiling Frodos w Background

Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen: Frodo’s Review

Stolen Songbird

Summary From GoodreadsStolen Songbird by Danielle L Jensen

For five centuries, a witch’s curse has bound the trolls to their city beneath the ruins of Forsaken Mountain. Time enough for their dark and nefarious magic to fade from human memory and into myth. But a prophesy has been spoken of a union with the power to set the trolls free, and when Cécile de Troyes is kidnapped and taken beneath the mountain, she learns there is far more to the myth of the trolls than she could have imagined.

Cécile has only one thing on her mind after she is brought to Trollus: escape. Only the trolls are clever, fast, and inhumanly strong. She will have to bide her time, wait for the perfect opportunity.

But something unexpected happens while she’s waiting – she begins to fall for the enigmatic troll prince to whom she has been bonded and married. She begins to make friends. And she begins to see that she may be the only hope for the half-bloods – part troll, part human creatures who are slaves to the full-blooded trolls. There is a rebellion brewing. And her prince, Tristan, the future king, is its secret leader.

As Cécile becomes involved in the intricate political games of Trollus, she becomes more than a farmer’s daughter. She becomes a princess, the hope of a people, and a witch with magic powerful enough to change Trollus forever.

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Stolen Songbird was nearly a DNF for me a few times over, and had I not received an eBook copy in exchange for a review I likely would have done just that. However, I decided to give the book the full run through, but unfortunately it really doesn’t get any better.

To start off, the writing is poor in many parts of the book, most notably at the beginning. The word choice is simplistic when it should be complex, the characters are inconsistent and tend to change based on what the story needs at the time, and the “funny” parts feel forced at best. The romance makes no sense, feelings spike for no apparent reason and then drop off just as suddenly, and don’t get me started on the potential Stockholm syndrome vibes, blah.

nope

The main character, Cécile, was one of the least likable and inconsistent characters I’ve had the misfortune of coming across. Toward the beginning of the book she is naive yet is prone to bullheadedness, is said to be well read but often comes off as a dimwit, and has seemingly no capability or desire to be courteous. At best she was play-acting, going off of fairy tales she had read in order to get by, resulting in her being arrogant, pompous, and irritating.

By the end of the book she has somehow convinced everyone that she’s their savior-to-be, a princess in not only name but in her actions, and a friend to all of the downtrodden. The problem is she didn’t do much at all to cause people to change their opinions of her. She is still a human in a troll world, has made remarks that are plain rude, and yet they come to love her. This isn’t a magical turnaround of character, it is simply weak storytelling. The effect is without cause.

Tristan is just as bad and inconsistent. Some of it is supposed to be written off by him “acting” a certain way because he had to keep a “persona” of sorts. I didn’t buy it and no one else around him should have either. He falls for Cécile even though there is little to see why he would besides his remarks of her looks (more lust than love) and voice (appreciation of a gift) which left a bad taste in my mouth.

Eww, gross

I’d tell you about the plot, but the summary for this book gives away any possible twist or turn that could have occurred. The magic “displays” are not descriptive enough, the “battles” (if you can call them that) get all of a sentence or two, and the drama feels forced and weak.

Overall there just simply wasn’t anything I found redeeming about Stolen Songbird. I know that this review was harsh and incredibly negative, but the writing was maybe MG level while trying to discuss YA topics, and it failed on both fronts. Avoid this one if you still can and thanks as always for reading.

One Smiling Frodo w Background

Complicit by Stephanie Kuehn: Frodo’s Review

Complicit

Summary From Goodreads

Two years ago, fifteen-year-old Jamie Henry breathed a sigh of relief when a judge sentenced his older sister to juvenile detention for burning down their neighbor’s fancy horse barn. The whole town did. Because Crazy Cate Henry used to be a nice girl. Until she did a lot of bad things. Like drinking. And stealing. And lying. Like playing weird mind games in the woods with other children. Like making sure she always got her way. Or else.

But today Cate got out. And now she’s coming back for Jamie.

Because more than anything, Cate Henry needs her little brother to know this one simple truth: she’s not the crazy one and never has been. He is.

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It’s time for another edition of Frodo’s Hobbit Sized Reviews! Short and sweet just like 2nd breakfast!

Complicit, to me, can only be described one way: it’s a mind-fuck book. The story is told from the point of view of Jamie who has a variety of mental health issues, many of which are present from the beginning of the story. This makes his character’s “voice” a bit muddled, as confused and unsure as he is at times, and often appear untrustworthy. However, what it does more than all of that is come off as genuine, it felt real. The detail Kuehn went into in terms of Jamie’s issues was excellent and made his various conditions come to life for me in a way that few books have.

Mind Fuck

The sheer amount of twists and turns in Complicit will make your head spin. Any hunches that I had during the first half of the book were proven completely incorrect. The way Kuehn shapes and molds the story around Jamie’s neuroses definitely kept me from being able to guess what would happen next at any point, but it didn’t make things so confusing that the story was too difficult to follow. That balance is so hard to do with mental illness main characters and I was really impressed.

headspin

It is hard to describe the other characters because they are seen through the untrustworthy eyes of Jamie, so how they actually are often proves much different then his reality. His sister is seen as wild, crazy, and deranged even, but there are motives behind her actions.

the_fuck_does_that_mean

The ending is worth the read by itself. It blew my mind in the best way and really made the book come together perfectly. Overall the book is fast paced, has a wonderful if slightly scary way of portraying mental illness, and will keep you guessing. I definitely recommend it to all lovers of mind-fuck books. Thanks for reading! ^.^

Five Smiling Frodos w Background

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