Mini Reviews: January 2015

There aren’t many one star reviews on my blog because I don’t finish books I really don’t like. If I don’t finish a book, I don’t feel like I can write a full review on it. I don’t want to ignore those books completely, though, so I’ve decided to do a roundup and include them all in one post. In most cases, the book description will be probably be longer than my mini-review.

Wild Roses by Deb Caletti

You would have never recognized the Dino I lived with in the books that had been written about him before the “incident.”

No one had a clue. No one seemed to see what was coming.

Seventeen-year-old Cassie Morgan lives with a time bomb (a.k.a. her stepfather, Dino Cavalli). To the public, Dino is a world-renowned violin player and composer. To Cassie, he’s an erratic, self-centered bully. And he’s getting worse: He no longer sleeps, and he grows increasingly paranoid. Before Cassie was angry. Now she is afraid.

Enter Ian Waters: a brilliant young violinist, and Dino’s first-ever student. The minute Cassie lays eyes on Ian she knows she’s doomed. Cassie thought she understood that love could bring pain, but this union will have consequences she could not have imagined.

In the end, only one thing becomes clear: In the world of insanity, nothing is sacred….

Title: Wild Roses
Author: Deb Caletti
Source: Purchased (used, thank God)
Publication date: December 21, 2006

Wild Roses status updates

DNF. I refuse to continue reading a book when I want nothing more than to punch the main character in the face. I hate this stupid girl and her stupid instalove.


Elusion by Claudia Gabel and Cheryl Klam

Soon, Elusion® will change the world and life as we know it.

A new technology called Elusion is sweeping the country. An app, visor and wristband will virtually transport you to an exotic destination where adventure can be pursued without the complications—or consequences—of real life.

Regan is an Elusion insider. Or at least she used to be. Her father invented the program, and her best friend, Patrick, heir to the tech giant Orexis, is about to release it nationwide. But ever since her father’s unexpected death, Regan can’t bear to Escape, especially since waking up from the dream means crashing back to her grim reality.

Still, when there are rumors of trouble in Elusion—accusations that it’s addictive and dangerous— Regan is determined to defend it. But the critics of Elusion come from surprising sources, including Josh, the handsome skeptic with his own personal stakes. As Regan investigates the claims, she discovers a disturbing web of secrets. She will soon have to choose between love and loyalty…a decision that will affect the lives of millions.

Title: Elusion
Author: Claudia Gabel &Cheryl Klam
Source: Won
Publication date: March 18, 2014

I won Elusion in a Goodreads giveaway.

DNF: boring storyline and boring characters. I just couldn’t work up an interest in Regan at all and I wanted to punch both Patrick and Josh. (Apparently DNFs bring out my violent side.)


The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

Tana lives in a world where walled cities called Coldtowns exist. In them, quarantined monsters and humans mingle in a decadently bloody mix of predator and prey. The only problem is, once you pass through Coldtown’s gates, you can never leave.

One morning, after a perfectly ordinary party, Tana wakes up surrounded by corpses. The only other survivors of this massacre are her exasperatingly endearing ex-boyfriend, infected and on the edge, and a mysterious boy burdened with a terrible secret. Shaken and determined, Tana enters a race against the clock to save the three of them the only way she knows how: by going straight to the wicked, opulent heart of Coldtown itself.

Title: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown
Author: Holly Black
Source: Won
Publication date: September 3, 2013

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown started out well, but by the time Tana got to Coldtown things had gone way wrong. Who knew vampires could be so dull? And was I supposed to like, or even care a tiny bit, about Tana? I felt nothing for her. Absolutely nothing.


Since You've Been Gone by Mary Jennifer Payne

Is it possible to outrun your past? Fifteen-year-old Edie Fraser and her mother, Sydney, have been trying to do just that for five years. Now, things have gone from bad to worse. Not only has Edie had to move to another new school she’s in a different country.

Sydney promises her that this is their chance at a fresh start, and Edie does her best to adjust to life in London, England, despite being targeted by the school bully. But when Sydney goes out to work the night shift and doesn’t come home, Edie is terrified that the past has finally caught up with them.

Alone in a strange country, Edie is afraid to call the police for fear that she ll be sent back to her abusive father. Determined to find her mother, but with no idea where to start, she must now face the most difficult decision of her life.”

Title: Since You’ve Been Gone
Author: Mary Jennifer Payne
Source: ARC from Netgalley
Publication date: January 24, 2015

I received Since You’ve Been Gone from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

DNF. I wish I had known when I requested this that a cat gets abandoned in the first chapter. In Toronto. In winter. Outside.

I did a search on the cat’s name before deleting the book from my Kindle. The cat gets found by the main character’s friend and is, apparently, safe. At least I won’t have to worry about the fictional cat, but I’m still not reading the book. The cat, not being a real cat, didn’t need to exist in the book at all. To include her and to have her be abandoned is emotional manipulation.




  1. I love this collection of mini reviews! It’s helpful to share a little about the books you end up not finishing and I’m always interested to know what other readers don’t like and why they don’t like those books. You give good reasons as to why these books didn’t work out for you. I don’t blame you about the book with the abandoned cat–I would have such a hard time with that!!
    Katie @ Bookish Illuminations recently posted…Top Ten Books For A Valentine’s Day Reading BingeMy Profile

    • I’ve read several reviews of the abandoned cat book that say it’s a good book, but I just couldn’t make it past that. It wasn’t even necessary to the plot.

      I’m thinking of doing a mini-review roundup of books I read last year but didn’t review. I hate it when I wait too long and then don’t feel like I can do an adequate review.
      Jenna recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Free Books I Plan to Read in 2015My Profile