Goodreads Synopsis: The Mercer Corporation might rule the world through the control of pheromones. But nothing, and no one, is going to stand in Maggie's way. Especially Quentin Mercer. Ever since the development of M-chips which tap into human pheromones, M-Corp has become the new superpower. Ratings range from the rare 'perfect match' to the dreaded 'negative' and everything in between. Three years ago Maggie's father mysteriously rated as a 'neg' and was taken away from them. For the last two years, eighteen-year-old Maggie has had only one goal: to uncover the truth and bring him home. Her last hope is Quentin Mercer, her classmate at the elite Kingly Academy - and the heir to the Mercer Corporation. But Quentin isn't the person she thought he was... And while she can easily betray her morals in the quest to save her father, can she betray her heart?
Review: I love the dystopian genre, but let's face it: it has gotten a bit stale. It's unusual to find a dystopian book that is as unique as this one. I absolutely loved this premise. Remember that whole ridiculous rumor that Obama was going to implant all humans with microchips years ago? I think this book is basically what would happen if that were actually true. Humans resist the whole microchipping process, but then people get so hooked on all the information it provides and they start to love it. I can see that happening. But there are downsides: there are people called "negs" who basically rate as a negative match with anyone. People assume that negs are people who either have done something bad or will do something bad and therefore, they need to be removed from society. Maggie is the perfect main character here. She is snarky and independent and has a soft side that she desperately tries to hide. But she will do ANYTHING to find her father. Part of her plan involves Quentin Mercer, the son of the inventor of the M-chip. I loved the relationship between Maggie and Quentin. Their banter was funny and they had amazing chemistry. And man the slow burn of their romance was INTENSE. I just wanted them to kiss and to be together, but I was terrified because she was basically manipulating him and I had a feeling he wasn't going to take it well when he found out. Maggie has a one track mind. It's hard to like Maggie sometimes because of all the manipulation and the coldness and also, she makes awful decisions. Some of the things she does are kind of twisted. But I end up loving her because of all that imperfection. And the twists . . . HOLY CRAP!! That ending was crazy wild and twisted and insane and I NEED the next book!! I would highly recommend this one.
Buy/Borrow/Skip: Buy this one.
Title and Author: Kiss Cam by Kiara London
Goodreads Synopsis: Juniper, Jasper, and Lenny have been friends forever and co-own a vlog channel called WereVloggingHere. Their fans are huge "shippers" who believe that Juniper and Jasper are perfect for each other, and, despite warnings from friends and family, a simple Truth-or-Dare inspired kiss soon spirals out of control into a whole new world of making out and surprise kisses. Juniper and Jasper's relationship begins to shift. But as fan requests for different "Kiss Cam" segments keep pouring in, Juniper puts her worries aside and convinces herself that it doesn't mean anything. After all, it's just kissing… right?
Review: This book is responsible for getting me out of an awful reading slump so for that reason alone, it has a special place in my heart. Very few books have the ability to make me laugh out loud, but this one did. I loved the friendship and the banter and the silliness and the weird situation all the friends put themselves in and the romance and the chemistry . . . and okay, I just loved all of it. I know it's a weird premise: Juniper, Jasper and Lenny are running a Youtube channel and Juniper and Jasper decide to give the fans of their fake friendship what they want and they basically kiss on camera. It's a weird scenario and probably a bit unrealistic, but I still loved how fun and silly it was. You know how sometimes there is a slow burn where two people obviously like each other, but it takes them forever to admit their feelings and just kiss already? This is basically the story of two people kissing all the time, but refusing to admit their feelings for each other. At first, the kisses are silly. They try to one up each other by surprising them or pulling pranks that end with a kiss. There is also this one challenge where they have to deliberately give each other hickeys in the shape of a Christmas tree. Yeah, I just had to laugh. Their chemistry was so off the charts, but they were both too damn scared of ruining their friendship to give it a chance. I loved all the characters in this book. Juniper overhangs everything, Jasper is so silly and never takes himself (or anything) too seriously and Lenny is the calm one who has a not so secret obsession with Eva Longeria and Desperate Housewives. I love the whole best friends turned romance thing and I was rooting for them the entire time. I also loved Juniper's family. Her parents worked a lot, but they weren't neglectful. They tried to spend as much time together as possible with her when they were home, which was great. This was such a cute book.
Buy/Borrow/Skip: Buy this one.
Title and Author: The Row by J.R. Johansson
Goodreads Synopsis: Seventeen-year-old Riley Beckett is no stranger to prison. Her father is a convicted serial killer on death row who has always maintained that he was falsely accused. Riley has never missed a single visit with her father. She wholeheartedly believes that he is innocent. Then, a month before the execution date, Riley’s world is rocked when, in an attempt to help her move on, her father secretly confesses to her that he actually did carry out the murders. He takes it back almost immediately, but she cannot forget what he’s told her. Determined to uncover the truth for her own sake, she discovers something that will forever change everything she’s believed about the family she loves.
Review: This book started out pretty well. Riley's dad has been in prison for ten years for a series of murders that he says he never committed. He is on death row and has used his final appeal and his execution date has been set. Her world is turned upside down when her dad says he actually murdered those women, but then says he didn't the very next week. Riley was a very likable character. She desperately wants to believe her dad is innocent and she isn't sure what to think when he confesses. I thought the writing style was great, especially with showing Riley's conflict and her loneliness. I really wish the author could have given her at least one friend, but whatever. She also meets Jordan, the son of the detective who arrested her father years ago and immediately feels a kinship with him. He is very sweet and wants answers just as much as Riley and he is willing to help her get them. He doesn't want to believe that his dad would put an innocent man behind bars, but he definitely wants the truth, regardless of what that may be. I really wish theirs had been a friendship instead of a romance. The romance was minimal and moved slow, which was great, but I didn't really feel any chemistry between them. And I kind of hated how she confided in him so quickly. I thought that the story kind of went downhill when Riley starts investigating to see if her dad is innocent or not. First of all, her "investigation" begins with looking at old newspaper clippings and asking her parents what happened. Really? She expects to find a killer like that? She says she doesn't know if she can trust her father and then she finds out her mom lied to her, but somehow she thinks they will still tell her the truth because she asked nicely. Here is one thing that bugged me: Riley is sixteen years old (maybe seventeen, don't remember) and she still calls her father "Daddy." That just weirds me out when older people call their fathers out, but that's probably just me. But what really irked me was that EVERYONE else referred to him as "Daddy" as well. I mean, WTH? I THINK the author may have mentioned the guy's name once, but if she did, I don't remember it. Her mom would always say "your daddy" and even Jordan referred to him as "Daddy" once. Maybe that was a typo by the author or something, but I find it hard to believe that there wasn't a single person who could call the guy by his name. Also, I found it kind of hard to believe that Riley's dad ever would have been found guilty in the first place. There were three victims and he only knew one of them. And there was ZERO physical evidence to put him at any of the crime scenes. The ending was just as bad. I just thought this one was a bit unrealistic for my tastes.
Buy/Borrow/Skip: Skip this one.