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Monday, June 22, 2015

[Guest Review] Don't Ever Change by M. Beth Bloom

Title: Don't Ever Change
Author: M. Beth Bloom [Facebook]
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult Fiction - Contemporary
Release Date: July 7, 2015
Source: ARC provided by the publisher, opinions are honest and the reader's own. – review policy here.

I'm a writer. I love to read books about writers because it's like reading the story of a kindred spirit. But when that writer is Eva Kramer, well...the book isn't quite so enjoyable.

Don't Ever Change was such a YA cliche, that I'm still not even sure if it was serious or satirical. Now don't get me wrong - certain YA tropes can work quite well...but not all together and not like this. Eva seemed like she was supposed to be unlikable. She was snobby, pretentious, and judgmental. Now, if a character can mature and grow out of those bad behaviors realistically than I'll accept them. But Eva becomes downright detestable. She takes a job as a day camp counselor as a life experience for her writing. Consequently, she abandons her campers way too often and doesn't actually seem to engage with them much. It was almost like the job was a joke to her. She treated her friends like they existed only for her convenience, calling them up when she wanted something and not really caring about their lives. Eva strung guys along and her relationships with all of them were weird. Foster, the guy she knew from high school and who got her the job at the camp, summed it up pretty well when he said she just wanted experiences to write in a book.

And then, overall, not much happened in Don't Ever Change. Eva was mostly just gathering life experiences (and ones that I think wouldn't make a great book at that) and making bad choices. Don't Ever Change is honestly a miss. (Also, as a side note, I'm pretty sure most teenagers don't text like that anymore. The ones I text don't use excessive abbreviations.)

1 Star from Emma at Awkwordly Emma

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Stacking the Shelves #39 + Books Up For Review!

Hi there strangers!! I've been kind of hit and miss on the blog this past spring but school is out!!! I'm not in school but I work at a university so it gets a bit chaotic. :/

Anywho... last month I kicked off book for review under the #booksfortrade tag on Twitter. So far so good! So after attending BEA and doing some spring ARC cleaning I'm hosting a round 2. The deal is simple, you receive an ARC and have three weeks to submit your review to becomingbooksblog [AT] I'm not super strict or anything but communication is key. Those that have been guest reviewers in the past will get priority. Scroll to the bottom of this post to see the books up for review.

In the Mail



From BEA 2015

I tried really hard to limit the books I picked up at BEA after having way too many last year. I did get lucky and picked up a number of finished copies. :) Thanks to all the awesome publishers and authors!

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, special edition and signed!

Available For Guest Review

Please email your requests to becomingbooksblog[AT] if you're interested in reviewing any of the following titles. Reviews should be at least three paragraphs long. *More ARCs may become available as I evaluate my reading schedule. So check in on future StS posts.

Early 2015 ARCs

 2014 ARCs

June/July 2015 

August 2015

September 2015

October 2015

What have you added to the shelves lately?

Thursday, June 18, 2015

[Guest Review] Proof of Forever by Lexa Hillyer

Title: Proof of Forever
Author: Lexa Hillyer [Twitter | Website]
Publisher: HarperCollins
Genre: Young Adult Fiction - Contemporary, Science Fiction
Release Date: June 2, 2015
Source: ARC provided by the publisher, opinions are honest and the reader's own. – review policy here.

Proof of Forever follows four former best friends---Joy, Tali, Luce, and Zoe--that end up reuniting in a very bizarre way. At their camp reunion, they step into a photo-booth that transports them back in time. To be specific, they travel back to the summer they were fifteen. Pretty out there, right?

This just screams summer read. Camp, friendships, drama...what else could you ask for? I've been campaigning for more stories about friendship so I was very excited to read this book. I think I can say this is a pretty solid friendship story. Well, kind of.

This story is very captivating. I was drawn to the plot from the very beginning. You're not sure why the main characters are not friends anymore so the mystery kept me reading. The time travel element was unique and I really enjoyed reading the craziness that ensued. I have to get technical for a second and say that this novel is beautifully written. Every description is vivid, the four points of views are very unique, and the prose is so lyrical. I can't say enough nice things about this. Just gorgeous.

To be honest, I did find the story boring at times. I had a hard time at the beginning but it does improve (quite a lot actually) so stick with it if you feel like you want to stop. Also, I have a hard time connecting with characters when the narrative is written in third person. I wasn't as invested in the story because of it but this is more of a personal issue than anything else. The way the story is written works well since the author is juggling four points of view. I just prefer books that are not in third person.

Overall, I enjoyed this book enough to recommend it. If you're looking for a well-written summer read, definitely picked this one up!

3 Stars from Paola at

Monday, June 15, 2015

[Mini Guest Review] The Cage by Megan Shepherd

Title: The Cage
Series: The Cage #1
Author: Megan Shepherd [Twitter | Website]
Publisher: Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins
Genre: Young Adult Fiction - Science Fiction, Dystopia
Release Date: May 26, 2015
Source: ARC provided by the publisher, opinions are honest and the reader's own. – review policy here.

This book reminded of few other books that i read recently that are along the same lines kids are kidnapped, some rules are set in place, you got the leaders, those that want to escape, those that want stay extra. Don't get me wrong that not a bad or a good thing it just a standard format i seen in a few books the Maze Runner, Alive, and Hunger Games. It a format that works it keeps you guessing you never quite sure what going to happen. The Cage kept me guessing on who the bad guys where and the fact that it aliens and your not sure if Earth is gone or not is a pretty interesting concept. I like all the twists and turns in the story and excited to see what happens in book two, also liked the ending as it was not cliff hanger but makes me want to read the rest of the series.
4 Stars from Jan at J.R.'s Book Reviews