Review Round Up – Making Pretty, The Choosing, Proof of Forever

Review Round Up: I’ve been busy with placement these last 6 weeks so haven’t managed to read much and my reviews are rubbish so they’re all going together in a pile of rubbishness.

23110068Making Pretty by Corey Ann Haydu

Montana and her sister, Arizona, are named after the mountainous states their mother left them for. But Montana is a New York City girl through and through, and as the city heats up, she’s stepping into the most intense summer of her life. Her father is distracted by yet another divorce, and she’s growing apart from her sister. Then she meets wild, bold Karissa, who encourages Montana to live in technicolor and chase new experiences. But the more of her own secrets Karissa reveals, the more Montana has to wonder if Karissa’s someone she can really trust.

In the midst of her uncertainty, Montana finds a beautiful distraction in Bernardo. He’s serious and spontaneous, and he looks at Montana in the way she wants to be seen. For the first time, Montana understands how you can become both lost and found in somebody else. But when that love becomes everything, where does it leave the rest of her imperfect life?

*I received a free copy via Edelweiss for review purposes

When Montana meets Karissa, she begins to feel comfortable in herself. She feels like her own person, especially as she grows apart from her sister Arizona. But as Karissa’s secrets are revealed, Montana is not sure she knew her at all. In the midst of this, Montana meets Bernardo and she feels completely comfortable with him.

It took me a long time to finish this book and there were quiet a few occasions I wanted to DNF. Montana was not an easy character to like – in fact, none of them were. Booze and smoking is so casually thrown in there like it’s a thing all teenagers do, and should do, to be seen as ‘cool’.

I was interested in the narratives about plastic surgery and dysfunctional families, and Corey Ann Haydu has a way with words, but that’s where my enjoyment ended. I didn’t feel connected with the characters at all and the pace was mind-numbingly slow and I ended up skimming most of it. And not to mention insta-love. Bernardo was not interesting in the slightest and felt like a 2D character.

Overall, not a book I would personally recommend.

RATING: ★☆☆☆☆

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23627067The Choosing by Rachelle Dekker

Like all citizens since the Ruining, Carrington Hale knows the importance of this day. But she never expected the moment she’d spent a lifetime preparing for—her Choosing ceremony—would end in disaster. Ripped from her family, she’ll spend her days serving as a Lint, the lowest level of society. She knows it’s her duty to follow the true way of the Authority.

But as Carrington begins this nightmare, rumors of rebellion rattle her beliefs. The whispers contradict everything she’s been told; yet they resonate deep within.

Then Carrington is offered an unprecedented chance at the life she’s always dreamed of, but she can’t shake the feeling that it may be an illusion. With a killer targeting Lints and corruption threatening the highest levels of the Authority, Carrington must uncover the truth before it destroys her.

*I received a free copy via Edelweiss for review purposes

The Choosing ceremony is the most important day in Carrington’s life. It’s something she has been preparing for her entire life. But she isn’t chosen and is instead forced to serve out the rest of her life as a Lint – the lowest level in society, and she has to live with her mothers disapproval. As Carrington endures her first few months as a Lint, rumours of rebellion make her question her beliefs. Yet not all hope is lost as Carrington is thrown a lifeline – but Carrington might just be in a lot more danger than ever before.

It appears I’m in the minority about this one. I didn’t really enjoy it. There’s no doubt that Rachelle Dekker is a good writer and I really wanted to like this, but there were aspects of it that I just did not like. I hadn’t realised that this is classed as Christian fiction? That’s probably why I didn’t enjoy it because there was very religious messages and I’m not religious myself, so this aspect (which was a large one) left very little impact on me.

I also didn’t like Carrington much as a character either. She didn’t seem to have a personality. There was also that insta-love aspect which I loathed, even thought I found him a rather interesting character.

I probably won’t be continuing with this series, but if you’re a fan of dystopia’s and don’t mind a lot of religious messages then go for it, you’ll probably like it a lot more than I did.

RATING: ★★☆☆☆

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23215459Proof of Forever by Lexa Hillyer

Joy, Tali, Luce, and Zoe were once best friends. Now they barely speak. That is, until the fateful flash of a photo-booth camera transports them back in time, to the summer they were fifteen–the summer everything changed. Photos fade. Friendships dissolve. Summers end. But this one will change the girls forever … again.

*I received a free copy via Edelweiss

First Impressions: A little disappointed but a good summer read and a pretty unique premise. I think I would have liked it a lot more had it been more friendship focused but a lot of it was romance centric and insta-love which was a big turn off for me.

Review: Four girls, Zoe, Tali, Joy and Luce, were once best friends. One summer, everything changed. At their Camp reunion years later, the four girls meet up again, brought together by Joy, the one who left. A photo booth and a camera flash and the four girls are transported back that summer when they were fifteen and they have a chance to figure out where it all went wrong.

I was rather looking forward to Proof of Forever, and whilst I really enjoyed aspects of it and flew through, it’s safe to say I’m a tad disappointed. The blurb makes it seem very friendship orientated, and whilst some of it is, I felt it was bogged down with romance, and that romance was rushed considering it was something like five days they were there and they fell in love in that time. That’s really my only qualm with Proof of Forever and I quite enjoyed the characters, particularly Luce. There’s quite a bit of diversity within the cast, too. We have an African-American, a Filipino, (view spoiler)

The ending was quite sad, if not a little rushed and I enjoyed the message about friendship, but I do wish that it was more focused on that.

Overall, an enjoyable contemporary summer read, but a lot more focus on romance that I would have liked.

RATING: ★★★☆☆

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