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Brooke Reviews: Adrenaline Crush by Laurie Boyle Crompton

Adrenaline CrushAdrenaline Crush by Laurie Boyle Crompton

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Won this book in a giveaway (thanks Shae!) and couldn’t be happier!

Summary: When a daredevil teen pushes herself too far, she must choose between two boys: the one who wants to keep her safe, and the one who dares her to return to her old self.

Seventeen-year-old Dyna comes from a family of risk takers and is an avid thrill-seeker herself, until the day she splinters her ankle in a terrible fall. Her whole life goes from mountain biking and rock climbing to sitting at home and attending group sessions at the bizarre alternative healing center that her hippie mother found. The boy who witnessed Dyna’s accident believes her injury is a wakeup call and he encourages her mild new lifestyle, but a young Afghanistan War veteran she meets at the healing center pushes her to start taking chances again. Forced to face the consequences of her daredevil impulses, Dyna finds herself in danger of risking the one thing she’s always treated with caution—her heart.

While I’m not typically fond of love triangles, Dyna’s dilemma intrigued me and I wanted to know who she’d fall for. The premise of this novel is entirely realistic, and I found myself wondering which of the two boys I would choose.

At the beginning of the novel, Dyna is a reckless thrill seeker. I could understand her passion for the outdoors and for adventure (though I’m nothing like her!) but her inability to think about the consequences (aka, her stupidity) was really bothersome. Personally, I found her recklessness to be rather selfish, as she doesn’t consider what a possible accident might do not only to herself but to the people who care about her. Don’t get me wrong – I liked Dyna’s character even from the beginning. I just recognized she had room to grow…

And Dyna’s growth is what I liked best about the book. I thought the author walked a fine line – exploring the relationship between bravery/courage and recklessness. Dyna has to learn the difference between being stupid and challenging oneself. Ultimately, she realizes she shouldn’t let her accident and her fears hold her back, and I think that’s a noble message for anyone who allows fear to be an obstacle.

The supporting characters of the book defied stereotypes, and that’s always something I look for in a good book. Dyna’s parents are tattooed motorcycle riders who encourage their kids to take risks. But they were also caring and conscientious. The role Dyna’s parents played in her life was a huge plus for me, as I think healthy child-parent relationships are sorely lacking in many YA novels.

This was a fairly quick and easy read. It was somewhat predictable, as it becomes pretty clear which boy Dyna will choose, but in a good way – and this predictability did not slow the pace. Overall, I really enjoyed this novel. 🙂

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Have you read this book? Share your thoughts!


Brooke Reviews: The Elite by Kiera Cass

The Elite (The Selection, #2)The Elite by Kiera Cass

The Elite, written by Kiera Cass and sequel to The Selection, was a book I could not put down.

Although it rather annoyed me at times, I was completely engrossed until I read the last line. In The Elite, America (the protagonist I love) must make her choice. She must choose either Maxon (the prince) or Aspen (her first love), because time is running out.

Only five other girls remain in the competition to win Maxon’s heart and become princess. America knows that Maxon is in love with her, but she continues to ask for more time to learn where her heart lies. Meanwhile, the conflict with the Rebels and the general civil unrest moves to the forefront of the novel’s plot.

The reason I had such a love/hate relationship with this book was due to America’s indecision throughout the novel, because (in my opinion) it was very unlike her true character. America was very emotional. She had good reason to be, but I felt as though she questioned herself in every chapter. The reader thinks she’s made her choice at the beginning, (Maxon vs. Aspen), but it becomes clear that America does not know what she wants.

However, I really enjoyed reading more about Maxon’s relationship with the remaining girls of the competition. I thought it was refreshing to read about America’s jealousy.

When I realized I’d have to wait nearly a year for the release of Book 3, I was crushed. It’s going to be a long wait.

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Brooke Reviews: A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin

A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1)A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’ll begin by saying I don’t think I’ve ever read a book quite like Game of Thrones. It’s thrilling and intriguing and the plot is intricate.

There are so many characters it’s difficult to keep count. However, each one is unique and memorable.

Game of Thrones is a story about a kingdom which is slowly falling apart. Winter is coming…and it could last for years, bringing not only bitter cold weather but also death. As Eddard Stark, Lord of Winterfell in the north, discovers secrets and scandals surrounding his friend King Robert, everything begins to fall apart. His family is in danger, threatened by the Lannisters, but Lord Stark must serve as the King’s Hand to attempt to keep the peace.

The story is narrated by each of the characters in turn, which keeps the reader on their toes. I flipped ahead just to see if my favorite characters were alright, because just when things got interesting the author would switch perspectives. But let me warn you…George Martin spares his characters nothing. And perhaps that’s why the book is so, so captivating.

The subplots, each somehow connected, moved the story forward. Martin develops each character by giving him/her back-story and personality.

Read the book. Read it, read it, read it.

I’ve got four more books to go…and if this first book is anything to judge the rest of the series by, I just know it’s going to get even better.

– Brooke

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Brooke Reviews: Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi

Ship Breaker (Ship Breaker, #1)Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi

This book was recommended to me, so I decided to give it a shot. Sometimes, my favorite books are books I would not have normally chosen to read myself.

Ship Breaker was a good book, but it did not make my list of favorites. I liked the futuristic setting, and the plot, which was very original. The book is unlike the other dystopian novels I’ve read, as there is no controlling government and rebels hoping to break free. Just the opposite, actually. The world is in disrepair, and there is a very large gap between the rich and the poor. Nailer is a ship breaker, a boy who strips grounded ships of their copper wiring to earn his living. He has never been fortunate, with few loyal friends and an abusive and unpredictable father.

Competition is fierce because resources are scarce. It’s a dog-eat-dog world.

However, when Nailer discovers a beautiful beached ship and a rich “swank” girl, he realizes his luck might have changed. Nailer embarks on an adventure to return Nita to her father, but the pair is chased by both Nailer’s father and the people who wish to kidnap Nita. Although the action moved quickly and there was plenty of high-seas adventure, I still found myself slightly uninterested and unconvinced by the characters.

I would like to read the sequel, The Drowned Cities, to see how Nailer’s story ends. Overall, I enjoyed the book but I probably would not read it again.

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Brooke Reviews: Matched by Ally Condie

Matched (Matched, #1)Matched by Ally Condie

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a fantastic dystopian fiction novel. Author Ally Condie presents the reader with a very intriguing situation, which makes it quite difficult to put the book down. This is what I love about dystopian novels: the authors dare to ask the “What if…?” questions that plague us all.

Cassia, a teenage girl who lives within the confines of the Society, is ready to be Matched. After their 17th birthday, Citizens of the Society are “matched” with other citizens based on their personalities and genes. There is absolutely no free will or choice in the Society – the Society chooses your wardrobe, what you eat, where you work, who you will marry. When you will die.

Cassia has nothing against the Society at first. She believes, as does nearly everyone else, that the elimination of choice is a good thing. The Society keeps things under control. The Society can fix any problem.

Everything changes when Cassia sees a different face flash before her eyes – a boy who is not her Match (best friend Xander), but a boy named Ky Markham. As Cassia struggles to decide which path is right for her, she faces for the first time real decisions and real consequences.

I loved both Xander and Ky, and as the reader I am sympathetic to Cassia’s plight. I can’t wait to read Book 2, Crossed, as I am eager to finish Cassia’s story.

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