Shiirleyy's Bookshelf has migrated to Dear Shirley ! I will continue to post book reviews but there will also be a lot of personal and travel-related posts :)

Blog Tour: Nerve - Review

22 Sep 2012

by Jeanne Ryan
Publisher: Dial Books (Penguin) 
Release Date: September 13th 2012
Format: e-ARC

A high-stakes online game of dares turns deadly When Vee is picked to be a player in NERVE, an anonymous game of dares broadcast live online, she discovers that the game knows her. They tempt her with prizes taken from her ThisIsMe page and team her up with the perfect boy, sizzling-hot Ian. At first it's exhilarating--Vee and Ian's fans cheer them on to riskier dares with higher stakes. But the game takes a twisted turn when they're directed to a secret location with five other players for the Grand Prize round. Suddenly they're playing all or nothing, with their lives on the line. Just how far will Vee go before she loses NERVE? Debut author Jeanne Ryan delivers an un-putdownable suspense thriller.

Do you remember those days as pre-teens, or teenagers when the game Truth or Dare seemed like the most exciting and most-played game at parties? Well... imagine, instead of the dares being hugging the nearest boy or confessing to your crush,  you're dared to do something illegal, something out of your comfort zone, something that involves embarrassing yourself a million times over in exchange for a large sum of money or something valuable you've lusted after for a long time? Would you accept the dare? Would you resist the temptation?

Nerve offered an insight into the commercially driven society that we live in today.  It was thought-provoking and filled with mystery from beginning to end! It was so exciting to see what new dare Nerve had in store for Vee (I've always loved truth or dare so I was bubbling with excitement every time Vee had to perform a new dare!) Nerve was fast-paced and at times incredibly thrilling-you'll be at the edge of your seat wondering what the hell was going to happen next!

While I enjoyed the plot, I had problems with the characterisation and romance between Vee and Ian. Not one single character was memorable nor interesting in any way. There was also very little information (say, very basic) about any of the character's lives, so it was extremely difficult for me to connect with any of them. I guess the author focused too much on the plot and mystery rather than creating a cast of brilliant, memorable characters. 

The romance unfortunately felt forced; almost as if it was written just because it seems every YA book MUST have romance for people to like it (especially one between a ‘hot’ guy and not-so-noticeable girl). I wouldn’t say that was insta-love BUT Vee and Ian’s relationship progressed awfully fast…literally jumping from semi-strangers to lovers. There was no spark nor chemistry between the two – it was more like “oh hey I only met you 3 hours ago, but let’s make-out” :S. Personally, I think Vee and Ian would be better off as allies in the game or just normal friends.

The best way to describe Nerve would be ‘fun’ and ‘enjoyable’. It was flawed and I had hoped some of the dares could’ve been more…daring and intense, BUT I was still impressed with what Nerve offered! J Fast-paced and exhilarating, fans of action-packed thrillers should definitely give this a go!

Book Review: Beautiful Disaster by Jamie Mcguire

3 Sep 2012

Beautiful Disaster 
by Jamie McGuire 
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Australia/Atria Books 
Release Date: August 14th 2012
Format: Paperback

The new Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate percentage of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance between her and the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University's Walking One-Night Stand.

Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby needs—and wants—to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the ultimate college campus charmer. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his appeal, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis’s apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match.

I don’t think I’ve ever read a book as addictive as this one. I have to admit, I was captivated from the very first page;and no matter how much I tried to not like it, I couldn’t stop myself from continuing on. McGuire’s writing is like my own personal drug- it killed me to stop reading it for even 1 second. I just had to know what would happen next, and what would become of Abby and Travis’s relationship. Beautiful Disaster may not be my favourite book ever, but it’s certainly the most addictive book I’ve read to date.

Our main character, Abby, was surprisingly likeable considering I had already decided that I most likely wouldn’t like her based on the blurb. Despite the blurb mentioning Abby as a “good girl”, I personally wouldn’t call her that. Yes, she works hard. Yes, she enrolled at Eastern Uni hoping to begin afresh. But she drinks. She swears. She partys.. We only see her “good girl image” for literally 2 pages, and then she starts partying and going out.  I guess it was the fact that she wasn’t such a “goody-goody” that made me like her. I had initially thought (before I even read the first word) that she was the soft, submissive type who agreed to anything and did everything the first guy she meets asks of her. But I was pleasantly surprised when Abby turned out to be determined, tough and stood her ground. There were definitely a few times when I was annoyed with her *cough*two-timing*cough*, but for the most part, I found her likeable.

Travis’s behavior in the book has certainly garnered much attention from readers everywhere. I’m not going to lie; he’s violent. He’s impulsive. He’s hot-tempered. He’s unpredictable; and he certainly meets the criteria for the kind of guy that girls (or maybe just me) avoid. But he’s hot. He’s sweet. He’s loyal. And no matter how dysfunctional relationship with Abby is at times, I couldn’t stop loving the two as a couple. I think that Travis’s character should however, only exist in fiction; in the real world, I’d think the relationship/his character would be a different story. But regardless, I adored the two as a couple!

I should probably warn you (yet again) that this book is insanely addictive. It’s not the sort of book I’d purposely encourage you to read - I’d tell you to tread with caution rather than scream at you to devour it immediately. It all depends on what sort of book you tend to enjoy. However, if you DO decide to give this a shot, make sure you read it during a time when you won’t be interrupted. (Chances are, if you end up loving it, you won’t be able to put it down, OR you’ll have to suffer 20+ hours of not reading it and almost dying in the process. Like me!)

Beautiful Disaster surpassed every expectation I had, and despite it being a lengthy novel, I wanted it to never end. I didn’t want to stop reading about Travis and Abby. Even after I finished the book, I was desperate to re-read some of my favourite scenes! I’m officially in love with this book! I officially cannot for Walking Disaster, out next year! :)