One of my book goals this year is to write more reviews for the books I read. As a published author, I now understand how important even a few sentence-review is. Rating a book on Goodreads is great (it’s the first thing I do when I finish a book), but without a review authors don’t know what drove that reader to give it that number of stars. Even when it’s a five-star review, we still want to know why. Partly because it just feels really damn good, and partly because we want to know what we did right so we can make sure to do it in the next book too.
So I’m starting a (hopefully) weekly post where I’ll give quick reviews of the book(s) I’ve read in the past week. I’ve been known to read as many as five books in a week, while other times weeks will go by without me finishing one (which can almost always be blamed on writing my own books). We’ll see how this goes.
This week I read…
For the teens at The Haven, the outside world, just beyond the towering stone wall that surrounds the premises, is a dangerous unknown. It has always been this way, ever since the hospital was established in the year 2020. But The Haven is more than just a hospital; it is their home. It is all they know. Everything is strictly monitored: education, exercise, food, and rest. The rules must be followed to keep the children healthy, to help control the Disease that has cast them as Terminals, the Disease that claims limbs and lungs—and memories.
But Shiloh is different; she remembers everything. Gideon is different, too. He dreams of a cure, of rebellion against the status quo. What if everything they’ve been told is a lie? What if The Haven is not the safe place it claims to be? And what will happen if Shiloh starts asking dangerous questions?
What I Thought:
I was so excited when I got The Haven as an ARC from Net Galley. The premise is so smart and intriguing that I couldn’t wait to read it. Then once I started, it took me a while to get into. The characters were purposely a little flat (b/c of what they are as Terminals) and the dialogue and emotions were stilted so it was hard to connect with Shiloh and the others. The big twist was pretty cool and not quite what I was expecting (I had all sorts of ideas about what Terminals really were), but some other revelations seemed obvious and I was confused that the characters hadn’t already figured them out too. Overall, I enjoyed the book, I just didn’t devour it like I thought I would.
Lexie Boggs needs out of her house… away from her alcoholic mother and far away from the “white trash” label that’s been smacked across her chest. She’s saved every penny from her multiple jobs so she can dart out of there as soon as she graduates. But there’s something else she wants so badly she’s willing to spend every dime she has. Her senior class trip and the chance to seduce the senior hottie, Sean Dixon.
Ryan Parker knows how much college means to his best friend, Lexie. He also knows Sean is a player on a search for how many girls he can get in his bed. So instead of letting Lexie drain out her piggy bank, he forks out the dough to get her on the senior ski trip. Not only because she’s his best friend, but because he’s face-planted in love with her.
When Ryan and Lexie get jammed in the same cabin, with one king-sized bed and a whole lot of history, Ryan fights to keep his feelings hidden, while Lexie discovers some of hers.
What I Thought:
King Sized Beds & Happy Trails (written by authors Cassie Mae and Theresa Paolo under the pen names Becca Ann and Tessa Marie) is a super cute story. Lots of swoony Ryan moments and oh-my-God-why-doesn’t-Lexie-see-how-perfect-he-is moments. Real friendships and real teen problems mixed in with the kind of awkward and loveable characters that make you think about them long after you’ve put the book down. It’s a little cheesy, but since I love that, I couldn’t put it down.