What Pretty Girls Are Made Of by Lindsay Jill Roth
**This review is based on an ARC from Netgalley, release date 8/3/15.
This book description grabbed my attention immediately because it is supposed to be like The Devil Wears Prada in a makeup company. Seems like just my style!
Alison has tried and tried to be a success in the acting world, but decides it’s finally time to give it a rest and tries to find a new job. She knows a little about Sally Steele Cosmetics, a well-known brand on QVC, and walks right into the studio and makes herself known. Sally Steele decides she likes Alison’s charm and bravery and hires her to be her assistant. Though it takes a bit, Alison starts to see the ugly side of Sally, the side the other girls have warned about and she becomes miserable. In the meantime, she is working the dating scene and finally finds Bret and is falling in love….until he makes a business deal that she just can’t handle. Though she is having a rough time at the makeup company, she starts to learn to assert herself and be more open about how she feels as she tries to advance in the company. This is all taking place while she is also looking for other jobs, preferably some kind of hosting gig. Will Alison learn to deal with Sally or finally have her fill of the woman’s horrible attitude and manners?
I liked this book because Alison grew so much as a character, it made it seem so realistic. She was a very well-developed character and easy to relate to. I can’t imagine dealing with a boss like Sally and still keeping my cool or my sanity. It was nice that there was no insta-love in this book either, I hate when a relationship is “too easy” because it is just not real. I will recommend this book to friends.
My rating: 4/5
Alive by Scott Sigler
**This review is based on an ARC from Netgalley, release date is 7/14/15.
This will not be a very detailed review, by request of the author in the advanced copy. He asks that no spoilers be given, as he wants all readers to experience the book’s surprises on their own.
I finished this yesterday and am still unsure what I think of it. It kept me reading and I wanted to know what was going to happen, but I also thought it was just plain weird. Remember, this comes from me–a fan of YA dystopian, but not really a fan of Sci-fi–so your reaction may not be the same. From the beginning, you are hooked by the way the main characters “wakes up” and you want to know what is going to happen next. I never saw the outcome in the way it actually happens. I do have to say that this author has a very active imagination!
My rating: I couldn’t decide between 3 and 4 stars, so I’m going with 3 since I can’t do 3.5, BUT I will still purchase this for my high school library because I think some students will find it very interesting.
Chasing River by K.A. Tucker
**This review is based on an ARC from Netgalley, release date 7/7/15.
I was excited to read this story mostly because of the author, she is one of my favorites, but also because I have really enjoyed the characters in the companion novels to this title. Though they don’t need to be read in order, it is nice to know who she is referring to with other characters and their stories. I also enjoy a book that can teach me something new, but in a way that is fun, which is what this one did. I learned some new pieces of history about Ireland and, specifically, the potato famine.
Amber is the little sister of a character from the other two titles in this series, Burying Water and Becoming Rain (read them if you haven’t already!). She has always had a wanderlust and has planned her ultimate trip all over the world. One of her first stops is Ireland, where she finds herself in the wrong place at the wrong time and almost dies due to what most would consider as a terrorist attack. She is saved by a man whom she knows nothing out, but recognizes a symbol from his t-shirt on another patron at a local restaurant and ends up tracking him down at his family’s bar. This is where she meets River (the man who saved her) and becomes quickly involved with him, to her own reluctance. She knows that she is only in Ireland for a short time, but she does have something she needs to check off her travel bucket list that he may be perfect for. As she falls for River, and his family, she learns pieces of Ireland’s history and some not-so-good (in her opinion) things about his family and their background. She ends up in the middle of a criminal case and doesn’t know what will end up happening. Amber has always been a planner and a follow-the-rules type of girl, so she is stuck trying to figure out what to do. I will not say much more, don’t want to ruin any of the story!
Again, I enjoy a book that teaches me something new without even seeming like I’m “learning”. I have enjoyed this author since the first title I read, Ten Tiny Breaths, and will continue to pick up her books with no hesitation. Her characters are extremely likeable and very real. The titles are a little too “new adult” for my high school library, but I consistently recommend them to friends and have loaned out my copies of her first several books to get them hooked. I can’t wait for the next one!
My rating: 5/5
The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
***This review is based on an ARC from Netgalley, release date 7/7/15.
I was sold by just the author on this book, but then I read the description and knew I had to try to get approved for the ARC. It made me think of a teen version of Scandal, which is one of my favorite shows of all time.
Tess is forced to go live with her sister, Ivy, in DC when her grandpa falls to ill to continue taking care of her. She is unsure of what it is that her sister actually does, but finds out quickly at her new school, Hardwicke, which is where all the children of important people in DC attend. Ivy is considered a “fixer” among all the nation’s politicians and most wealthy people. She is the one they all go to when they need a problem covered up or fixed, maybe in an illegal way. Tess quickly gets a reputation amongst her peers as being the junior fixer of the family. Once a fellow classmate’s relative is possibly murdered, the mysterious activities begin. Tess, and her friends, are trying to figure out on their own what happened, because the adults are keeping them out of the loop. Along the way, they uncover a lot of secrets that can, and do, put them in danger; with Tess finding out a secret that changes everything about the life she’s known.
Like most of the titles I’ve read by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, I enjoyed this one. It was a fast-paced, fun read with lots of twists and turns. I will be buying for my library and recommending to students.
My rating: 4/5