Top Ten Tuesday • Characters You Wish Would Get Their OWN Book

top ten tuesday bannerTop Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme/feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.

Top Ten Characters You Wish Would Get Their OWN Book

You’re getting five from each of us this week! Be excite! (Be even more excite that we actually managed to eventually un-distract ourselves from our distractions.)

Gail Carriger's books

<.< Look, the thing is, Gail Carriger writes amazing characters, across all her books, and I love them dearly. It’s only normal for me to be wanting more about them! >.>

1. Genevieve Lefoux. Viiiieeeeeeevvvvvvveeeeee! I really really love Vieve, sorry not sorry, and ugh I wish we got more about her. Especially after the things that happened in Heartless and Timeless. I mean. Really. Seriously. I just want more Vieve. Vieve as a child, Vieve as a teenager, Vieve as an adult. Vieve. Give me Vieve.

2. Lord Akeldama. We know so little about him and he’s so interesting and flamboyant and ughhh, just give me more, okay? I want to know more about him and his history and his agendas and everything.

3. Sidheag Maccon. Pardon me, I mean Lady Kingair. I like saying that. Mhmm, Lady Kingair, fabbest of the fab Scottish folk. I don’t even like wolves and werewolves but I would not mind reading about her life with them. At all. Sidheag is amazing in a bajillion different ways.

Harry Potter

And then of course, there’s Harry Potter…

4. Padma Patil. Or any other Ravenclaw who is not Luna, tbh. I love Luna, but damn I just want some stuff about life at Hogwarts from a POV that isn’t Harry’s and frankly Luna’s is probably too cray (although maybe we’d find out that she listens to Stevie Nicks or something similarly beautiful). What’s life like at Hogwarts for the other students? What is living in Ravenclaw like? Just give me all the information!

5. Daphne Greengrass. Cause I want a Slytherin POV. They can’t possibly be all evil (well… they can, in JKR’s Gryffindor-favouring world but JKR is simply wrong on this) and I wonder what it’s like to be a Slytherin? And they can’t all be obsessed with Harry, the way Draco is, so you know? What do they do, what’s it like having Snape as a Head of House, what’s it like being hated by everyone, etc? Just gimme anything that is not a Gryffindor POV. (Though I would read a book about Fred and George.)

Temeraire

(Can you guess which blogger wrote which bits of this entry?)

6. John Granby. Also known as: my baby. Let’s be realistic, I have no idea when I’m going to read the next book, but you can bet than I will be pouting for 90% of the time wondering where Granby is. Will is an okay protagonist, but he’s just so nauseatingly proper all the time. I need Granby eyerolling at Will’s stupidity and fixing his problems for him to get through the books.

7. Emily Roland. Also my baby, and with good reason this time since she’s only like ten years old. I would read sequels about Emily fifteen years from now, riding dragons and kicking ass.

Grisha trilogy

8. The Darkling. Yeahhh I haven’t finished this series either, but Alina is so boring. Good is boring. I wanna read about the Darkling being all shady and evil back in the past, before good showed up to ruin the day. I might be okay with a book about Nikolai too, but since he only just showed up in the book I’m reading, who knows. I’ll stick with the devil I know.

Good Omens

9 & 10. Aziraphale and Crowley. It would be kind of pointless to put them in separate bulletpoints. Word of god (heh heh) says that they’re living in a cottage somewhere now, but I wish I could read a book about all their past shenanigans. Or two books, one about each of them, but then there’s bits in which they interacted, so it makes sense to just have one book with the two of them. It would be a dream come true — every single historical alternate universe rolled into one. Where were Aziraphale and Crowley during the Elizabethan era? What did they do in Ancient Egypt? Did they like the dinosaurs? So many pressing questions.

Ren and Isa

[Isa] Also Known As (Also Known As #1) by Robin Benway

Also Known As (Also Known As #1) by Robin BenwayyTitle: Also Known As (Also Known As #1)
Author: Robin Benway
Published: February 26, 2013
Rating: 3 out of 5 teacups
Find it at: amazonbarnesandnoblebookdepositorygoodreads

Which is more dangerous: being an international spy… or surviving high school?

Maggie Silver has never minded her unusual life. Cracking safes for the world’s premier spy organization and traveling the world with her insanely cool parents definitely beat high school and the accompanying cliques, bad lunches, and frustratingly simple locker combinations. (If it’s three digits, why bother locking it at all?)

But when Maggie and her parents are sent to New York City for her first solo assignment, her world is transformed. Suddenly, she’s attending a private school with hundreds of “mean girl” wannabes, trying to avoid the temptation to hack the school’s elementary security system, and working to befriend the aggravatingly cute son of a potential national security threat… all while trying not to blow her cover. — Goodreads Description

Also Known As was a really fun and quick read! You can always lure me in with promises about schools or teenage espionage and, oh look, this has both!

♦ On the upside ♦

Fun characters! Maggie was a lovely character to read about, especially since she was extremely realistic as far as my opinion goes. There’s the old teenage drama trope, sure, but it felt very close to the drama that I observe in the teenagers I encounter. Her best friend Roux was absolutely hilarious, to say the least, but could also be very serious when the situation required it. I really liked her and her attitute and I hope to see more of her in the sequels.

Maggie’s specialty: safe-cracking! It made for an intriguing premise — a teenager being raised as a spy but not necessarily to do some fancy martial arts kind of bad-guy-fighting, but rather as somebody who knows exactly how to do a specific job and that’s what they stick with. It made the story more down-to-earth, despite the general not-so-normal life as a spy.

The focus on wanting to be normal. Like any other teenager who is different, Maggie yearns to be normal and to lead a normal life. Maggie’s struggle with wanting to be normal and also a perfect spy was very authentic, as far as books about teenage spies go.

The writing was very straightforward and easy to follow along, which made for a quick read.

♦ Favourite Quote ♦

“Do the passport thing,” Roux piped up. “That’s really effective.”

♦ On the downside ♦

Having read Ally Carter’s books about teenage girl spies (and also the ones about teenage criminals because hell yeah Ally Carter ♥) I was a little let down. I don’t mean to compare them quite so intently but Ally Carter has spoiled me. Also Known As is a very nice book but there’s just something missing that gives it a little bit of a kick, you know? It doesn’t wow me. The story is nice, the writing is nice, the characters are nice, but nice isn’t omgwowamazing.

Occasionally the characters were a little too authentic. I shouldn’t complain, not after praising it, but I had trouble following Roux’s mood patterns and resulting attitude.

♦ Should you read it? ♦

Sure. It is a nice read after all. There’s room for improvement and if you’ve enjoyed Ally Carter’s books (or even Gail Carriger’s Finishing School series) you might want to lower your expectations, but I think it’s enjoyable all the same!
Isa

[Ren] The Heiresses by Sara Shepard

The Heiresses by Sara ShepardPick For Me badgeTitle: The Heiresses
Author: Sara Shepard
Published: May 12th, 2014
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 teacups
Find it at: amazonbarnesandnoblebookdepositorygoodreads

Summary of the story: there are five rich girls, who all have rich girl problems. My problem is that five is way too many characters, given that they all have the personality of cardboard cutouts. No, wait, cardboard’s too cheap… faux marble statues, maybe. The beginning was rather dull. I read on the back cover that one of the poor rich girls was going to die, and I looked forward to that because it meant one less POV to keep track of, but I still had to spend several long chapters reading about her organic baby food and her designer footwear. Then she died! Hooray!

But the book remained dull. I feel very disappointed, because I was in this for the torrid affairs and illegitimate love children and dirty secrets, but everything was told in such a dull way! This might be the problem: things were told. Every time that there was some buildup because a character hinted at some dark secret in their past, a couple of chapters later they told me about it. And those flashbacks were so dry, it felt like reading a newspaper article. Not even a juicy gossip magazine, just a boring newspaper that only gives you the bare facts. Oh, look, this character is a murderer. This one had an affair. This one likes to party. Yawn. The few bits of suspence came from Poppy’s death. Here at least the action took place in the present and there was something a stake. Was it murder? Were the other heiresses in danger? I was hoping more of them will die because I didn’t like them very much, but at least that part of the plot was entertaining.

The characters were also a disappointment. I read Pretty Little Liars and it was entertaining enough, but the characters were kind of immature since they were all dumb teens. This book has adult characters, so I assumed I would like it better — wrong. Despite their age, the Saybrook heiresses all act like dumb kids. The dialogue is a gold mine.

“That hat is hideous, by the way,” [Elizabeth] added, turning back into the bedroom.
It’s Hermès, Aster wanted to snap.

Poor Aster hasn’t grasped the idea that things can be both hideous and expensive. She might be my favourite character, just because she’s the dumbest. She spends the book miserable because her allowance is being cut and she’s forced to work and she doesn’t, like, know how to use Excel or anything.

Again, the plot about Poppy’s death is the one redeeming thing about the book because the girls finally start putting their heads together and they try to figure out the Big Dark Saybrook Secret. There was quite a lot of red herrings, and at one point nothing seemed to make sense, but the solution was very neat and made me want to smack my forehead because of course that’s what happened, that actually made sense! I was actually very pleased with the end and with the fact that tiny rays of character development started to appear over the horizon.

…Is what I would have liked to say, but then the epilogue is like “fuck that, maybe I was lying before and that is not the real solution of the mystery, maybe there are many Bigger Badder Darker Secrets yet to discover, so get ready for the next 12 books!!!” so I’m back to disappointment after all. If (when?) book #2 comes out, please bludgeon me over the head so I won’t read it. It’s for my own good.
Ren

[Ren] Black Dog (Bannon’s Gym #1) by Cat Grant

Black Dog (Bannon's Gym #1) by Cat GrantReview copy badgeAvengers vs X-Men badgeTitle: Black Dog (Bannon’s Gym #1)
Author: Cat Grant
Published: April 1st, 2014
Rating: 4 out of 5 teacups
Find it at: amazonbarnesandnoblegoodreads

Ever since Isa called it the “dog book by cat author” this book makes me giggle. It’s actually a pretty sad book about a runaway kid with an abusive father who is taken in by the owner of a diner. Then the kid starts training with the same boxing trainer who used to go out with the diner owner, but of course there are Issues and Emotional Baggage to deal with before everyone can get their happy(ish) ending.

What threw me most about this book is the three different POVs, one of which is in first person POV for whichever reason. That bothered me so much because it was like it made Eddie the protagonist in a way, while overall it felt as if Tom’s narrative was the most important. Even though at the end Eddie and Danny are together so by M/M romance standards this is “their” book. I don’t know, I felt as if my attention was being pulled in different directions without a clear focus. The ending too felt unfinished, like this is just a piece of a bigger story rather than a standalone book.

Character-wise, though, I liked all three protagonists and quite a few of the secondary characters. I actually got emotional towards the end because I was so invested in Tom’s story. To be honest I’m basing my rating almost only on feelings here; I might complain that the ending was predictable but it still had me worried sick over the fate of the protagonists.

I’m definitely going to check out the next book, and hopefully with a longer page count every character’s storyline will be tied together in a more cohesive way. For now I don’t feel like recommending this book to everyone, but if you’re looking for a quick read that first sucker-punches you in the feels and then pats you lovingly, this book is your book.
Ren

Top Ten Tuesday • Books I Want To Reread

top ten tuesday bannerTop Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme/feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.

Top Ten Books I Want To Reread

Harry Potter 1. Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
Because I always want to reread Harry Potter. I used to read all of the old books when a new one came out, which means I read Philosopher’s Stone dozens of times but Deathly Hallows only once. I tried to reread them all a while back but I only got up to Prisoner of Azkaban before getting distracted. Rereading all of Harry Potter is tough, as Isa knows well.
A Song of Ice and Fire 2. A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin
Even less likely than Harry Potter. I might eventually reread this when The Winds of Winter comes out, if only because it’s been so long I’ve forgotten half of the plot threads.
Discworld series 3. Discworld series by Terry Pratchett
I love this one, but with 30+ books it will take me a while. Usually I just reread Monstrous Regiment, which is my favourite and also a standalone, so I’ve quite forgotten what happens in the other books. It would be interesting to go back to the very start, though.
Good Omens 4. Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
If my sister hasn’t stolen it. This one’s easy, I’m definitely going to reread Good Omens every couple of year because it’s one of those books I’ll never get tired of.
Red Seas Under Red Skies 5. Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch
Every time I try to reread this book I just go and reread The Lies of Locke Lamora instead. It’s like a curse. Red Seas isn’t bad, but I just love Lies so much! And I’m scared to read the third book because terrible things will most likely happen to the characters, so I’m stuck rereading the first book, in which terrible things still happen but at least I know about those in advance.
Know Not Why 6. Know Not Why by Hannah Johnson
Another of the “must reread once a year” books. I’ll save it for a rainy day, because it’s just adorable and always warms me up from the inside of my cold frozen heart.
Temeraire series 7. Temeraire series by Naomi Novik
Like with the Scott Lynch books, I started rereading this series but didn’t make much headway. I’ve got to reread the first books if I want to find out what happens to Granby in the newest book, though, so sooner or later I’ll get around to them.
Sandokan 8. All of Emilio Salgari‘s Corsairs books and Sandokan books
I’m sure they will be quite terrible but they’re my childhood. Unfortunately my paperbacks are literally sellotaped together and I’m not sure I’ll find an ebook version. I’m not sure I even want an ebook version, I like my cheap paperbacks with the footnotes explaining about how Salgari basically didn’t research anything and just made up stuff. But the paperbacks are falling apart, so it’s a vicious circle.
Captive Prince 9. Captive Prince by C.S. Pacat
Except the author is still finishing the third book and if I reread the first two now it’ll be painful because I’ll be left with the cliffhanger. It’s not a really awful cliffhanger, but still…
Keeping the Castle 10. Keeping the Castle by Patrice Kindl
I’ve read it only a few months ago but it’s such an adorable book, I think it’s be another book I’ll reread again and again. I liked the light-heartedness and the humour.

Do you reread books? Which series would you reread?

Ren

[Ren] Bloodline (Whyborne & Griffin #5) by Jordan L. Hawk

Bloodline by Jordan L. HawkAvengers vs X-Men badgeTitle: Bloodline (Whyborne & Griffin #5)
Author: Jordan L. Hawk
Published: October 7th, 2014
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 teacups
Find it at: amazonbarnesandnoblebookdepositorygoodreads

In this new instalment of the series we go back to New England and foggy Widdeshins for a mystery that’s centered on Whyborne and his family. That’s… more or less all I can say without spoiling the story, but suffice to say that it’s a very solid entry in a very good series. I like some books better than others but so far there isn’t a single “bad” entry in the series — which is the highest praise I can think of. Every book has its place in the series, and all those details about the Whybornes that we learned in the previous books come together in Bloodline.

I complained a couple of books ago that the interactions between characters were starting to feel repetitive. It happens sometimes, with longer series, when the author finds a formula that they like and they don’t want to change it for fear of alienating their readers. I thought that was happening here too. I stand corrected: Bloodline not only changes the status quo, it blows it to smithereens.

Whyborne is still himself but he’s slowly gained confidence about his magical powers and he’s not second-guessing himself at every step like he used to. The genre doesn’t feel like horror any more, though, it’s more of a suspenceful story with occasional monsters. Maybe I’ve become inured to cosmic horrors after a while but I miss the chill down my spine that the first two books gave me. The mysterious fish people from the sea weren’t very scary at all, though they were certainly entertaining to read about.

Some of the plot twists (especially the one about Whyborne’s sister) were easy to guess but others were complete surprises; I still can’t believe the author went there! It’s a gamble, and I’m sure it will alienate some readers, but personally I loved that Jordan L. Hawk had the guts to take the characters in this direction. For the last several chapters I was convinced that this was the last book, because so much was happening and it felt like a series finale. And then in the last page… the announcement for the next book.

It will be interesting to see how the series goes forward after this. Whyborne and Griffin (and Christine!) are still favourites of mine and if you like M/M romance you owe it to yourself to check out this series.
Ren

Pick-For-Me • November

Pick For Me

Pick-For-Me is a monthly feature where each of us picks two books for the other to read. Click here for details.


October Thoughts

October Picks

Isa: Those were some neat picks! Since I can barely manage to read one book per month these days, I opted for The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. I liked it well enough, too!. Obviously I didn’t get around to Patrick Ness. Ren is not the first one to tell me to read it, so I swear I’m not going to just kick it off my TBR one day. It’s going to be read. I swear.

Ren: After last month’s picks were posted, I saw two or three reviews about Salt and Storm that were less than positive; in particular they said that the story was very romance-heavy, and since I was mostly interested in this book for the magic and the adventure, I’m not sure I’m going to read it any more. I did start The Kneebone Boy but unfortunately I’m not fond of the narrator so it’s slow reading. On a more positive note, though, I finally finished The Heiresses from August’s Pick-For-Me! It was hilariously terrible and I’m going to post a review soon!

Goodreads Links:
The Knife of Never Letting GoThe Sweetness at the Bottom of the PieSalt & StormThe Kneebone Boy


November Picks

Ren for Isa

The Perks of Being a Wallflower Witch for Hire

On Goodreads:
Witch For HireThe Perks of Being a Wallflower

Ren: Since it was Halloween and all, I thought Isa might like a book about witches. And, er, one about wallflowers, which has nothing to do with Halloween at all. I only have a vague idea of what The Perks of Being a Wallflower is about, so I’m hoping Isa will read it and tell me. I hope those books are short enough that you’ll find the time to read one of them!

Isa for Ren

Moon Called by Patricia Briggs The Midwife's Tale by Sam Thomas

On Goodreads:
Moon CalledThe Midwife’s Tale

Isa: Ren requested short books, so I picked these because they are short. Ish. They’re shortish, Rennie. I’ve been eyeing Moon Called for a while now, though not necessarily for myself, so I hope to get Ren’s opinion on it. The Midwife’s Tale I chose because midwives. I dunno why but I connect midwives with you now, Ren.


Are you also doing the pick-for-me challenge with a friend or over at Amy’s LJ community? What do you think of our picks this month? Let us know in the comments!
Isa and Ren

[Ren] The Circus of the Damned by Cornelia Grey

The Circus of the Damned by Cornelia GreyReview copy badgeAvengers vs X-Men badgeTitle: The Circus of the Damned
Author: Cornelia Grey
Published: November 3rd, 2014
Rating: 4 out of 5 teacups
Find it at: amazonbarnesandnoblebookdepositorygoodreads

The summary of this book ticked all my boxes — steampunk, m/m romance, set in a circus! And written by an author who’s from the same corner of the world as me. I was very curious to read this, and happily it did not disappoint. The Circus of the Damned is about magician Gilbert Blake, who has to skip town in a hurry after he’s caught using his magic to cheat at cards. He joins the titular circus to have a place to hide, but he realizes too late that all the performers are cursed never to leave the circus, not even after death.

I flip-flopped for a long while on the rating, because while I did enjoy the story a lot there were also some parts that made me roll my eyes. I even made a list of pros and cons. The pros were that it was a quick read, despite the 300+ pages I finished it in two days. I liked the minor characters (Humphreys!) and the setting was great, I loved the atmosphere of the circus. The reveal about the devil Farfarello was completely unexpected and I enjoyed that very much. Also, that sex scene with magic.

The pacing was mostly good: the book started off in the middle of Gilbert trying to cheat some guy at cards and then things kept happening one after the other. Unfortunately that made it even more noticeable when the action lulled. I felt like a couple of chapters could have been skipped entirely because nothing at all happened and they felt like padding. Some of the minor characters also felt like padding, there were so many people in the circus that I couldn’t keep all of them straight in my head. Is the bear Mildred or Matilda? And who the hell is Ramona again?

The cons were that I’m not completely sold on the two leads, there was a bit too much instalove and I much prefer UST and pining. For being as old as he is, Jesse acted like a fucking teenager who didn’t consider the (obvious) consequences of his actions. Also, I expected a little more out of the ending; after all the build-up to the final confrontation, everything was tied up too neatly. Gilbert’s mouse was completely useless: she’s mentioned often in the beginning, and then less and less, until I kept forgetting she was even around. I didn’t get the point of the mouse. Also, there was some weird phrasing here and there. My biggest pet peeve is that I have no idea where the story is set. The only city mentioned by name is Shadowsea so I’m thinking fictional universe with magic. But then the author mentions Italy and Asia, so… I got nothing.

Overall, though, I think this book is better than the sum of its parts. There are books where after a week I remember only the bad bits, while with this book what I remember most is that it was fun! So, four full teacups, and I’d definitely read a sequel or another story set in the same world, wherever that may be!
Ren

[Isa] The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie (Flavia de Luce #1) by Alan Bradley

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie (Flavia de Luce #1) by Alan BradleyPick For Me badgeTitle: The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie (Flavia de Luce #1)
Author: Alan Bradley
Published: April 28, 2009
Rating: 3 out of 5 teacups
Find it at: amazonbarnesandnoblebookdepositorygoodreads

It is the summer of 1950–and at the once-grand mansion of Buckshaw, young Flavia de Luce, an aspiring chemist with a passion for poison, is intrigued by a series of inexplicable events: A dead bird is found on the doorstep, a postage stamp bizarrely pinned to its beak. Then, hours later, Flavia finds a man lying in the cucumber patch and watches him as he takes his dying breath.

For Flavia, who is both appalled and delighted, life begins in earnest when murder comes to Buckshaw. “I wish I could say I was afraid, but I wasn’t. Quite the contrary. This was by far the most interesting thing that had ever happened to me in my entire life.” — Goodreads Description

This was a pretty lovely read, and I think if I had been younger, I might’ve enjoyed it more.

♦ On the upside ♦

Flavia was adorable! She’s into chemistry, very no-nonsense about the state of affection in her family and a very, very curious child.

There was a lot of culture shock on my part, most likely due to somehow expecting the story to be set much earlier than it was really set (it says 1950, so I have no idea why I thought differently), but it was a good kind of shock. It was really interesting to read about Flavia’s world and how things sort of worked back in the day.

♦ Favourite Quote ♦

Nobody loved me, and that was a fact. Harriet might have when I was a baby, but she was dead.
And then, to my horror, I found myself in tears.
I was appalled.

♦ On the downside ♦

Unfortunately, the mystery just dragged on for too long. I have a limited attention span as it is because I am a goldfish, and this was really trying for me. I wanted to know all about the mystery, but it just took forever and there was so much unnecessary yammering about things unrelated to it. :(

Flavia was often too adorable. I know, I said it was a good thing, but eventually it gets old when the kid is just reciting random chemistry babble. Especially to someone who gloriously flunked chem in high school.

I also think that the family dynamic could have benefitted from somebody who actually cares about Flavia. She must lead a pretty loveless life (obviously, because she’s dead serious in the quote I included) and that’s a shame considering that she has two sisters, after all. An absent father I understand, even some sort of sibling rivalry, but there’s hardly any love shining through at all. I never know whether they truly care when she’s missing or whether it’s just for appearance’s sake, you know? That’s pretty frustrating to read about.

♦ Should you read it? ♦

Tough question. You should pick it up if you like small mysteries and don’t mind that the book could’ve benefitted from some heavy editing to clean up some of the “useless” information. It’s a nice read for a younger audience around Flavia’s age.
Isa

[Ren] Reunited by Hilary Weisman Graham

Reunited by Hilary Weisman GrahamTitle: Reunited
Author: Hilary Weisman Graham
Published: June 12th, 2012
Rating: 3 out of 5 teacups
Find it at: amazonbarnesandnoblebookdepositorygoodreads

Alice, Tiernan and Summer used to be best friends but they broke up in freshman year over a quarrel. Now, in the summer after graduation, they decide to get back together and drive 2,000 miles to the reunion concert of the boy band they used to love.

I have mixed feelings on Reunited. The first few chapters were the ones I liked better, while towards the end the book definitely started to become boring and predictable. I’m a big fan of storied centered on friendship, and I really enjoyed that aspect of the book. My favourite bits were definitely the friendship, the road trip, and the way the girls were nostalgic about the past and at the same time worried and excited about the future.

However, I’m not sure I’d recommend this book to anyone who’s not in their teens. As you might know I read a lot of YA, and I don’t mind reading about characters who are younger than me, but in this case the girls wasted so much time arguing over the kind of issues that only bratty teens consider important. The whole book felt somewhat immature. Alice in particular frustrated me more and more as the book went on. She’s supposed to be the organized, anal-retentive one, but in the end she’s just the biggest ditz. If she typed a timetable detailing how many hours and miles they’ll have to drive every day to reach the towns where she planned to stay the night, and if she checked three different weather websites for those towns, how come she didn’t bloody book accommodations in advance?

Towards the end of the book especially, it felt as if the girls kept screwing things up, were saved by a really contrived stroke of luck, and then managed to screw things up again anyway. Rinse and repeat. I felt like there wasn’t any character growth at all — yes, the girls made up in the end, but they remained the same brats that they were in the beginning. It feels like a shame, given how much potential they had.

The other thing that bugged me to no end were the constant allusions to the Winter Wonderland Dance, which is when Alice, Tiernan and Summer stopped being friends. It came up in every single chapter but the author never elaborated and what precisely happened. I guess that since the end of the book is so predictable, she felt that she needed something suspenseful. But the big revelation about the Winter Wonderland Dance is that (spoiler!) had a row because Tiernan told Alice that Summer said that her new boyfriend didn’t like her. Or at any rate something as underwhelming as that, to be honest I wasn’t paying much attention.

It’s not a bad book, there definitely were some entertaining scenes and it made me smile several times. But it definitely emphasizes the Young in YA, rather than the Adult.
Ren