[Book Talk] Lullaby (Watersong, #2) by Amanda Hocking (Audiobook)

lullabyBook Details:

Format: Audiobook
Source: Borrowed
Listened: August 2016

The Watersong Quartet series

  1. Wake
  2. Lullaby


Don’t miss the next chapter of Watersong, a bold new series that will enchant you, entrance you, and hold you captive under its spell

Now that Gemma Fisher has inherited Penn, Lexi, and Thea’s curse – and all the strange new powers that come along with it – she has no choice but to run away with them. Devastated that she has to leave everyone she loves behind, she’s still determined not to give in to the unspeakable hungers that plague her.

Unfortunately, they’re growing stronger every day, and she’s not sure how much longer she can resist.

Harper won’t give up on finding her sister Gemma, vowing to get her back no matter what the cost. The search draws her closer to too-gorgeous-for-his-own-good Daniel, and tests her fiercely guarded independence like never before. She’s always been the strong one who everyone else depends on…. Can she let herself depend on Daniel?

As Gemma and Harper plunge deeper into a magical world they barely understand, it becomes painfully clear that Gemma’s old life may be lost forever. But can she still hold on to her humanity?

My Thoughts

I’m never sure what I’m going to think when I read the second book in a series. YA series can be tricky because the stories tend to be broken up so much that there’s always cliffhangers and some books seem more like filler books than a full story on its own. I definitely have my preference – I’d rather read a book that seems like an entire story on its own, rather than just a part of a big story.

The Watersong series is definitely one BIG story, rather than a quartet of four stories that fit together. Therefore, this book does have moments of being the “second book” rather than something new and exciting, like the first book was. Harper is on a mission to save Gemma and we’re still learning more about these beautiful girls, these sirens, that might be beautiful, but are also very dangerous.

I liked the romance in the story and look forward to more of it in the next books, and I liked the suspense of what was going to happen. I liked Gemma’s determination to not give up everything and just become what she’s now destined to be, but thought some of her actions were foolish and not really thought out.

Still, this was a good book to listen to and I still really like the narrator (probably more so this book since Penn doesn’t talk as much in her baby-ish voice). I wish my library would get the next book in audio version since I think I prefer reading them that way. It left on another definite cliffhanger, so I can’t wait to see what happens next in the series! I do hope that the next book is a little more action-packed than this one and that we start getting some resolution to the story. I’m not sure what I would do if I were in Gemma’s situation (wouldn’t that be crazy if we could be in her shoes??) so I guess I’ll just have to wait and see what she does!

[Book Talk] Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway (Audiobook)

emmy and oliverBook Details:

Format: Audiobook
Source: Borrowed
Listened: July 2016


Emmy and Oliver were going to be best friends forever, or maybe even more, before their futures were ripped apart. In Emmy’s soul, despite the space and time between them, their connection has never been severed. But is their story still written in the stars? Or are their hearts like the pieces of two different puzzles—impossible to fit together?

Emmy just wants to be in charge of her own life. . . . She wants to stay out late, surf her favorite beach—go anywhere without her parents’ relentless worrying. But Emmy’s parents can’t seem to let her grow up—not since the day Oliver disappeared.

Oliver needs a moment to figure out his heart. . . . He’d thought, all these years, that his dad was the good guy. He never knew that it was his father who had kidnapped him and kept him on the run. Discovering it, and finding himself returned to his old hometown, all at once, has his heart racing, and his thoughts swirling.

Readers who love Sarah Dessen will devour these pages with hearts in throats as Emmy and Oliver struggle to face the messy, confusing consequences of Oliver’s father’s crime. Full of romance, coming-of-age emotion, and heartache, these two equally compelling characters create an unforgettable story.

My Thoughts

When I went into reading Emmy & Oliver, I never really got what I was expecting. I thought it might just be a simple, fun love story between two teenagers, but it really wasn’t – it was a lot more complicated than that.

When I realized that the story was about young Oliver, who disappeared when he was a young child, my ears perked up. This is the kind of story that I love to listen to or read, but I also hate reading because of being a parent. I’m realizing, almost three years into parenthood, that having children is terrifying. You’re in charge of these little creatures who, at this age, don’t quite realize that they need to stay with you to be safe. They could wander off, get hurt, get kidnapped, or worse and it’s really, really scary to read a story like this. While I enjoyed the story between Emmy and her friends, I really empathized with the parents and how they wanted to keep their kids safe after Oliver’s disappearance. As a daughter, I can see how frustrated Emmy would be, but as a mother, I can see her reasoning for being so cautious.

Anyway, this was a really good story to listen to. It wasn’t just a sweet romance (though that was a really good part of it), but it also had lots of friendship. It kind of made me think of those people who I still think of as friends, who I don’t ever see. It made me think about how we never see each other and how we all change and can so much change keep a friendship strong and true? With Oliver being taken away so long ago, how does he fit in now? Be it one year or ten years, I wonder how I fit in with my own friendships when I don’t see a friend for years. When do you go from being friends to acquaintances? How do you fit back into the same life you had when you’re not really the same person?

As I write this review now, I realize that this book made me think a lot more than I thought it did! It was still very cute, funny, sweet, and charming, but definitely one of those books that is hard to read. Maybe not so much as a teenager, because I don’t think they quite understand, but as a mother this is the kind of book I read that makes me realize how much love I have for my own kids, and how fierce that love is – and maybe all those times my parents were (then unfairly) keeping me safe, I can tell them that now I totally and completely get it.

[Book Talk] Five Summers by Una LaMarche (Audiobook)

five summersBook Details:

Format: Audiobook
Source: Borrowed
Listened: August 2016


Four best friends, five summers of camp memories

Emma, Skylar, Jo, and Maddie have all come back to camp for a weekend of tipsy canoe trips to the island, midnight skinny dipping in the lake, and an epic game of capture the flag—boys versus girls. But the weekend isn’t quite as sunwashed as they’d imagined as the memories come flooding back. . . .

The summer we were nine: Emma was branded “Skylar’s friend Emma” by the infamous Adam Loring . . .
The summer we were ten: Maddie realized she was too far into her lies to think about telling the truth . . .
The summer we were eleven: Johanna totally freaked out during her first game of Spin the Bottle . . .
The summer we were twelve: Skylar’s love letters from her boyfriend back home were exciting to all of us—except Skylar . . .
Our last summer together: Emma and Adam almost kissed. Jo found out Maddie’s secret. Skylar did something unthinkable . . . and whether we knew it then or not, five summers of friendship began to fall apart.

A young adult book with a friendship story that will last long after the last s’more is gone.

My Thoughts

I love summer books. When I read too many serious books, or long books, or heavy books, it’s just nice to bust out something light to read or listen to. This book is one that I’ve had on my shelf for a bit now (I think I got it from Raincoast books, but I can’t be sure – it’s a finished copy, not an ARC) so it was due time that I read it. I downloaded the audiobook from the library, popped it onto my phone, and listened to the entire thing in one day while I ran all the errands and made roughly 1,000 hamburgers (okay, 42, but still).

First off, I loved the narrator for the story, Abigail Revasch. She did a perfect job of all the different characters, male and female alike, and had such perfect pacing that I managed to double the speed and still listen comfortably!

I’m not sure I thought this when I was younger, but now that I’m in my mid-thirties I wish that I had had the experience of going to sleepaway camp. I would have loved to have more outdoor experience, to have learned to canoe or swim better or just be less shy. I’m sure I would’ve hated it when I was younger, but maybe I would’ve grown to love it. At any rate, it was fun to go away to camp in a book! This book was very reminiscent of Ann Brashares’s The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and scandalous things DO happen, but I had to keep in mind that these aren’t 14 year olds. Instead, this is a reunion for old campers (well, if 17 is old).

I also had to remind myself that I am an adult. These are teenagers. The things that drove me crazy in the book – like some of the issues Emma and Skylar had – isn’t something that would happen to me these days, but when I think of it, it’s totally a teenager thing. I also think it helped that I listened to the book entirely in one day. Had I spread it out over a few days I might have gotten bored with the childhood antics and might have lost interest in the characters. Taking it as a summer day read, during one of those times when I wouldn’t have been able to read a book, it was good!

My only real gripe with the story was listening to it versus reading it. The story is told in both past and present from four different people. When you can’t flip back in the pages to keep track of who is talking about what and when, it’s a little difficult, but I did get the gist of it all. It’s one of those light stories where you have to keep track, but if you lose your spot for a few minutes, you’ll figure it out.

Anyway, this was a fun read! Like I said, it made me long for camp days in my youth, and maybe for a cabin by the lake now in my adulthood. At any rate, it’s always nice to knock one off the TBR list!