ARC Review: Modern Monsters-Kelley York

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Release Date: June 2, 2015

cooltext1889161239 copyVic Howard never wanted to go to the party. He’s the Invisible Guy at school, a special kind of hell for quiet, nice guys. But because his best friend is as popular as Vic is ignored, he went…

And wished he hadn’t.

Because something happened to a girl that night. Something terrible, unimaginable, and Callie Wheeler’s life will never be the same. Plus, now Callie has told the police that Vic is responsible. Suddenly, Invisible Vic is painfully visible, on trial both literally, with the police, and figuratively, with the angry kids at school. As the whispers and violence escalate, he becomes determined to clear his name, even if it means an uneasy alliance with Callie’s best friend, the beautiful but aloof Autumn Dixon.

But as Autumn and Vic slowly peel back the layers of what happened at the party, they realize that while the truth can set Vic free, it can also shatter everything he thought he knew about his life…

cooltext1889171582 copy3.5/5 Stars

***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review via Entangled Teen.

+++Triggers: Deals with subjects of rape and suicide. While not explicit/graphic, discussed throughout. 

Modern Monsters is a thought-provoking glimpse into the life of the accused. Kelley York succinctly delves into the psyche of the accused and the reactions of those around him. Hurt, confusion, trauma, and fierce determination reign in this unexpected and extremely relevant story.

PROS:

  • Vic is unlike any male protagonist I’ve read and it’s a good thing. So often we’re presented with guys that are popular, bad boys, oozing sex appeal, or nerdy, Vic is none of those things. I LOVED that Vic was unsure. He didn’t have a particular hobby or goals about what he wants to do with his life, he’s confused and still figuring it out. I think a lot of people are and because of that Vic is incredibly real. He’s not suave or reclusive, he’s in-between and it’s perfect. When he talks to Autumn, he’s scared, shy, and yeah, he has no clue how to interpret girls, it’s adorable and intensely endearing. Vic is a great guy. Compassionate, kind, and all he wants is to feel cared about-loved. It’s heartbreaking how disconnected he feels from his classmates and even more so, how hurt he feels by his mom’s rejection. The pain is potent and raw, you’ll want to shake some sense into his mother, how can she not see what an amazing guy he is?
  • Autumn is the best friend anyone would love to have. She’s quirky, sarcastic, fiercely protective, and a tad violent. She loves with everything and she brings a lightness and determination to the story. She’s like a bloodhound sniffing out the perpetrators. The gentle way she handles Vic is sweet and soft, she protects him despite her doubts. 
  • When we hear about sex crimes, things as horrific and disquieting as rape, we often are consumed with the plight of the victim and hunting down the guilty part-for justice. But what about the accused? It’s reality that not everyone blacklisted and marked as the culprit actually is. It’s important to consider the accused and their perspective. Vic, in this case, was wrongly accused and his suffering and harassment are brutal. He doesn’t deserve the dirty looks, the beatings, the comments but he deals. Kelley York does a fantastic job making the story about the victim without making her the protagonist and really makes you question the role of indirect victims. 

CONS:

  • The pacing was sporadic. The whole first section of the book sort of drifted by in a steady languid pace and the end was one reveal after the other before cutting off. It felt rushed, like there was a lot more to be said and characters didn’t work all the way through their feelings. 
  • For a girl who all out hated and physically attacked Vic, who was so sure of his guilt, the turn around is unbelievable and way too fast. It’s obvious that Autumn is desperate to find her best friend’s rapist but to flip so quickly and trust the guy she decked in the face, it just didn’t make sense. 
  • Brett and Vic’s friendship is tentative and parasitic at best. It’s kind of toxic for Vic. While he is supportive, he never pushes Vic to find his niche, he drags him to places he doesn’t want to go, and for so called best friends, their interactions feel off, the warmth and connection aren’t there. 

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Review: Connections-Erin V. Moore

Connections e-book coverGoodreads/Amazon

cooltext1889161239 copy“Nothing’s been the same since that night. One fateful night among a million ordinary ones. The night I pray to forget but painfully remember. No, everything CHANGED on that night. Even if I didn’t want to believe it.”

18 year old twins-Ana and Brian have an unusual connection-a supernatural link through the same dreams. Their connection has been a long held secret… until now.

When one of their nightmares bleeds into reality, leaving a mark and changing the way the twins see their connection.

As the twins start their first year of college, Brian wants to explore the possibilities of the dreams’ meaning. Ana just wants to forget. But there’s no escaping when the dream becomes reality.

When the ones Ana cares for are in danger, she must conquer her fears to delve into the mysteries of the dreams. With the help of a new friend, Aiden, Ana pushes the limits of their twin abilities. Along the way, Ana and Aiden’s friendship grows quickly and the special connection she has with Aiden surpasses her own dreams.

Can the twin connection save Ana’s brother and her friends or cause them to lose more than any of them can endure?

cooltext1889171582 copy3/5 Stars

***I received this book as a gift in exchange for an honest review via the author.

Connections takes (t)winning to a whole new level. 

PROS:

  • The premise of shared dreams, emotions, and memories through twin connections was fascinating and sucked you right into the storyline as their nightmares became increasingly more gruesome. 
  • Action scenes were two-fold bursts of adrenaline and terror as Ana’s premonitions became reality. Seeing the chaos and fear through Ana’s eyes and then first hand upped the adrenaline and overall suspense. 
  • Ana and Brian are playful, their love is deep and precious, full of insight and adoration. You can feel every ounce of their connection. 
  • Aiden and Ana are adorable together. Despite their blossoming affection being tinged with great anxiety and fear for their friends, it strengthens their bond. They find ways to balance the search, their abilities, and attraction while learning each other and succumbing to their intense chemistry. 

CONS:

  • Repetitive word choice was a little grating at times. The constant allusions to butterflies tumbling, somersaulting, fluttering, etc., was distracting and took away from the easy flow of the story. 
  • Occasional typos and misuse of words. 
  • The complex relationship between Caleb and Ana was a guessing game. Besides the knowledge that they’d been friends since childhood, the blossoming chemistry and interactions between them were few. I would have liked to have seen more glimpses of their past, their childhood, and how the shift in feelings happened. 
  • The connection between Aiden and Ana developed quickly, almost too quickly and was extremely trusting. In a matter of days, secrets Ana kept buried were shared with little thought. The fact that Ana’s parents were so understanding was borderline unbelievable, and that they put so much faith in her abilities when for the most part Ana was just winging in.

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