Sunday, December 21, 2014

December | Bookshelf #4 ♥ New Reads - Effortless With You, The Perfect Witness & Beautiful You.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Effortless With You
Lizzy Charles
Publisher: Swoon Romance
 (October 29, 2013)
ISBN-10: 0615876250
ISBN-13: 978-0615876252

Genre: Young Adult, Romance
Buy it: Amazon

Image and video hosting by TinyPicSynopsis: School is out and Lucy is ready for the perfect summer: lazy days at the pool, invitations to the most exclusive parties, and romantic dates with her hot new boyfriend. That is, until she lands in trouble one too many times and her parents issue the ultimate punishment: a summer job. Suddenly, the summer can't end fast enough.To make matters worse, the job is painting houses with Justin, the most popular, egotistical guy in school. Spending all summer with Justin might be other girls' dreams, but definitely not Lucy's. After all, Justin is cocky, annoying, and a jerk. So what if he's the most beautiful jerk Lucy's ever seen? Or that his grin makes her forget she’s mad at the world? Or that maybe, just maybe, there's more to Justin than Lucy realizes. Only one thing is certain: it won’t be the summer she wanted, but it might be exactly the one she needs.

The first thing I noticed was the cover, catchy covers always seems to make me want to read the book, although, I do believe in not judging a book by it's cover. I liked reading this book, it reminded me about typical high school drama in the first chapter so I wasn't sure if I would like it, but as the novel progressed further - I really liked enjoyed reading it.

  • Characterization: Lucy's character is so real and believable. She's blunt, and sometimes horrible, but you can't help but sympathize with her. She's not a true mean girl, incidents in life made her harsh towards others. Although, she doesn't bully others, she doesn't step in either to stop bullying. She's one who watches like a bystander, wishing she should do something, but doesn't have the courage. I find her quite similar to half of the high school population, a lot of people feel guilty but never step in to help others. At least they still have a conscience. Many people believe if you think something is wrong, but don't speak out against it - it's like doing the actual crime. I disagree with that. It's called being human, some people are just scared and can't find the voice at that time. I still believe, you should always speak out against what's wrong though.
  • In Effortless With You, Lucy reinvents herself after being called a "loser" in the freshman year, even though she was on the basketball team. She was bullied severely, so she ultimately chose to leave sports behind and became a different person. This was a love story. The male interest Justin, was kind and sweet- he is portrayed as a jock and the most popular guy at school, but I'm glad he has a useful brain. Sometimes, I felt he was too kind for his own good. I loved reading about the relationship between Lucy and her parents the most. Lucy doesn't get along with her mother, and they constantly has bitter fights which was upsetting to read about.
  • Concept: I liked that Lucy's character isn't acclaimed perfection, she has flaws. I thought she lacked common sense in the beginning due to her boyfriend incident, but as her character progressed, you begin to understand her better. Effortless With You is a great novel, that I would recommend.  It has high school reality of bullying, homosexuality, love, and child- parental issues. The ending was good, but I was expecting something a little more different. This novel have a sequel, so I do look forward to reading more of the author's work. It's a four butterflies from my side.

*Disclosure: Ebook was sent free of charge courtesy of the author Lizzy Charles.

The Perfect Witness
Iris Johansen

  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; First Edition first Printing edition (September 30, 2014)
  • Genre: Paranormal, Romance
  • ISBN-10: 1250020050
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250020055
  • Buy It: Amazon | B & N
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
  • Synopsis: She had the perfect life.She had the perfect cover. She was the perfect witness. Until they found her.

  • When Teresa Casali was young she discovered she had a strange gift:  the ability to read people’s memories.  But the gift seemed more like a curse as her mob boss father used her to gain the upper hand in his world of corruption and violence.  Exposed by her own family to the darkest impulses of mankind, Teresa is alone and unprotected.  She realizes that if she is to survive, she has to run.Out of nowhere, or so she believes, a man by the name of Andre Mandak appears. He kills her pursuers—but that’s not nearly enough for Teresa to trust him. It is his promise to get her into Witness Protection, along with his mind-blowing ability to help her control her gift before it consumes her, that convinces Teresa Casali to become Allie Girard. Living a normal life with a new family, she shuts the door to the past …although Mandak is clear: when the time is right, he too will benefit from her powers.For years Allie flourishes …until the day her cover is blown and the truth comes tumbling out.  Once again she is on the run, with her own life and those of her loved ones at stake.  But this time she will not be a pawn.  This time she will use her finely honed gift to end the threat that began with her family’s betrayal. From perfect target to perfect witness, Allie Girard is ready to take on the past even if it kills her.

The Perfect Witness had a fantastic premise, I thought this would be a great read. The cover is catchy as well, I like the shadows and the blurriness of the picture. I like art, I can't help but notice. Teresa/Allie Casali has the gift to read people's memories, she has been used all her life by her abusive parents. One day, she decides to run away and tries to survive. She is saved by Andre Mandak, I mean, she is literally saved by him from the mob. That's where the story truly begins. He begins to train her to control her because surprise surprise - he has a gift of his own! 

  • Characterization: There is a an age difference between the two, she is only sixteen years old and he is middle aged. People would scream that this would be wrong on so many levels, since she is not legal. It is freaky that the hero is twice the heroine's age .. there can be some exceptions sometimes though. It doesn't bother me much in novels because they're fictional, whereas in reality it would. Even if she was eighteen and legal, she would still be young for him - two years later won't make her that much mature. The legal age consent is eighteen which makes no sense to me though, because sixteen year olds can make decisions for themselves. I'm done with my age consent speech, anyway, to each and their own. I'm not sixteen before you ask, I'm actually turning twenty-two soon.
  • Plot: I thought the concept was really interesting, but the book somewhat disappointed me. I couldn't understand the characters, because they felt flat for me at times. I thought they were lifeless and it was hard to attain my attention and to keep it throughout most of the book. I believe it was mainly the writing for the most part that fell flat, otherwise the plot is unique and quite interesting to read about. It would have been a great story with the paranormal mind reading concept, if the writing was improved much more. It has it's flaws, but I did like the plot so I would rate it 3 butterflies.

*Disclosure: Review Copy was sent free of charge courtesy of St. Martin's Press

Beautiful You
Chuck Palahniuk
  • Publisher: Doubleday (October 21, 2014)
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385538039
  • Genre: Literary Fiction, Thriller
  • Buy It: Amazon | Barnes & Nobles
*Warning: Not recommended for 17 year old's and under. This has adult content.
Image and video hosting by TinyPicSynopsis: "A billion husbands are about to be 
replaced." Penny Harrigan is a low-level associate in a big Manhattan law firm with an apartment in Queens and no love life at all. So it comes as a great shock when she finds herself invited to dinner by one C. Linus Maxwell, a software mega-billionaire and lover of the most gorgeous and accomplished women on earth. After dining at Manhattan's most exclusive restaurant, he whisks Penny off to a hotel suite in Paris, where he proceeds, notebook in hand, to bring her to previously undreamed-of heights of gratification for days on end. What's not to like? This: Penny discovers that she is a test subject for the final development of a line of feminine products to be marketed in a nationwide chain of boutiques called Beautiful You. So potent and effective are these devices that women by the millions line up outside the stores on opening day and then lock themselves in their room with them and stop coming out. Except for batteries. Maxwell's plan for battery-powered world domination must be stopped. But how?

Well .. Beautiful You is as crazy as it sounds, it blew my mind away .. When I first had read the premise it sounded fascinating and unique. I liked the writing style of the author, it attained my attention since the beginning to the end. Beautiful You has a lot of graphic scenes so be aware, if you have a strong stomach - then you might be able to read it. This makes Fifty Shades of Grey look like pony's play.

  • The protagonist Penny falls for a famous, handsome, and a billionaire name Maxell solely because of those three reasons. I didn't feel any intimacy between the two though, there was no character development. Penny is not aware of his sinister intentions to create feminine products called Beautiful You for women to control their own sexual needs. However, these products take femininity to a whole different level. The character does promote feminism, but it also promotes anti-feminism.
  • The very first beginning of the page begins with a rape scene, but it's nothing like you have imagined. It's not quite brutal, but afterwards during one third of the book, you realize the rape scene is something you might never have imagined. This book made me think, what did I just read??

  • Beautiful You has a great concept, it is an extremely dark and twisted novel about the human obsession with pleasure. I did find it interesting to read the novel beginning to the ..middle though. During halfway with the book, I lost the plot though because I couldn't understand what was happening now. Possible elements of paranormal and witchcraft might play a role in this novel, although, it does not explain why and many of my questions were left unanswered. Beautiful You was quite a crazy ride.
*Disclosure: Review Copy was sent free of charge courtesy of Doubleday Publishing.

Shukran for reading this! Leave your blog links in the comments & I'll be sure to check them out & follow :) Stay in tuned pretty creatures..

“Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.” —Nora Ephron


  1. Oh dear, lifeless and bland characters do no good for me at all :( I'm not sure I could deal with the age difference either! I would be very paranoid, ugh.

    Nice review, Benish! <33

    1. Thank you Mel<3 & I agree, the age difference was a tad too much sometimes. I think my limit is five years, sometimes that might even seem a lot.

  2. Wow! You have read so many books! I read a ton in high school, but stopped after I graduated. I need to get back into it, though! :)

    1. Yes, I love reading. Good luck catching up some reads<3

  3. Just gotta ask... How many books do you go through on average in a month? You've already got so many new books posted!

    1. I try to read 2 books each day/night if I can, otherwise I usually read around 20 books each month :)

  4. Looks like something I'd like to read in my spare time!
    @Vanilla Reads

  5. I used to love Iris Johansen's books. I haven't read any in a long time, though. Not for any reason except there are so many books in my TBR. I'm sorry to hear this was a disappointment, though.

    1. Yes, this one was a bit disappointing- although the premise was unique and I loved the cover.

  6. You really do write such amazing book reviews! Even the books you weren't so keen on you take time to make the write-up something special - very talented!
    I've taken a bit of a break from reading this past month but I can't wait to pick up a book again in the new year once things have mellowed down xx

    1. Aw thank you so much! I just write down my thoughts that come to me then edit them - I always try to be honest & fair with my reviews, hope you're doing well though! You should pick up a good read soon, take care xx

  7. Effortless looks like a great read (even if it wasn't spectacularly different from other books in the genre) - I'll have to give that one a read!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    1. Yes, it's not much different - I did enjoy reading it though. It's a beautiful book.

  8. It's a shame you didn't enjoy all these reads. They all sound like promising reads. Fantastic reviews

    Naomi @ Nomi’s Paranormal Palace

    1. Thank you Naomi. The concepts were unique, but two of the books disappointed me a bit.

  9. Thank you for taking the time to read and review Effortless With You, Benish! You have a really great blog. Best wishes to you!

    1. Thank you Lizzy for your kind words & the review copy! Happy holidays to you.

  10. I love finding good books through your blog, thank you!

  11. Effortless with you does have a gorgeous cover! And yes, covers always happen to catch my eye as well. I think that a lot of people are bystanders when it comes to bullying, but when people write about bullying cases they usually take the point of view of the bully or victim. This might be a nice change and an interesting perspective to see!

    It's a shame the Perfect Witness wasn't as great as you hoped it to be. I would agree, the promise of a character who can read memories sounds pretty cool! I think it's a shame about the characters, but it does sound like a reasonable read.

    Eh, I don't really like the cover of the third one, and it doesn't sound like something I would be interested in either. Great reviews! You keep them short, and yet they are still informative :D

    1. Thank you for stopping by Olivia and for all the kind comments & compliments! :) ♥ I hope you had a great holiday, I'm actually going on holidays this tues. lol!

      Effortless With You is overall a beautiful book, I did like it much more from other YA novels - the other two books disappointed me quite a bit. Thank you!


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