December 27, 2014

Mini Reviews: Autumn Falls and Escape Theory

Autumn Falls by Bella Thorne with Elise Allen
Grade: C-
This ARC was provided by Read Between the Lynes in exchange for an honest review.
Summary: With her fiery red hair, new-girl outsider status, and tendency to be a total klutz, Autumn Falls definitely isn’t flying below the radar at Aventura High. Luckily, she makes some genuine friends who take her under their wing. But she also manages to get on the wrong side of the school’s queen bee, and then finds out the guy she’s started to like, funny and sweet Sean, hangs with the mean crowd. Now her rep and her potential love life are at stake. 

When Autumn vents her feelings in a journal that belonged to her late father, suddenly her wildest wishes start coming true. Is it coincidence? Or can writing in the journal solve all her problems? And if the journal doesn’t work that way,  is there a bigger purpose for it—and for her?

The Review: This whole book was like a Disney Channel movie, and not in a good way. It seemed wholly unoriginal. I'm also uneasy about the whole potential ghostwriter idea. How much of this did Bella actually write? Did she come up with the basic plot ideas and Ms. Allen developed them and turned them into this book? But anyways, back to the story. Too many of the plot points were much too unrealistic. The whole journal thing needed more explanation, and I didn't appreciate that Autumn used it for revenge. Many characters were caricatures.
There was fairly mild language and some romance.

The Verdict: Meh, I wasn't a big fan. It's not worth your time.

Escape Theory by Margaux Froley
Grade: C-
This ARC was provided by Read Between the Lynes in exchange for an honest review.
Summary: Sixteen-year-old Devon Mackintosh has always felt like an outsider at Keaton, the prestigious California boarding school perched above the Pacific. As long as she’s not fitting in, Devon figures she might as well pad her application to Stanford’s psych program. So junior year, she decides to become a peer counselor, a de facto therapist for students in crisis. At first, it seems like it will be an easy fly-on-the-wall gig, but her expectations are turned upside down when Jason Hutchins (a.k.a. “Hutch”), one of the Keaton’s most popular students, commits suicide. 

 Devon dives into her new role providing support for Hutch’s friends, but she’s haunted by her own attachment to him. The two shared an extraordinary night during their first week freshman year; it was the only time at Keaton when she felt like someone else really understood her.  As the secrets and confessions pile up in her sessions, Devon comes to a startling conclusion: Hutch couldn't have taken his own life. Bound by her oath of confidentialityand tortured by her unrequited love—Devon embarks on a solitary mission to get to the bottom of Hutch's death, and the stakes are higher than she ever could have imagined.

The Review: I'm not sure what I was entirely expecting from this book. It certainly wasn't a story filled with drug usage. The protagonist, Devon, never misuses prescription drugs but pretty much every other character worth mentioning does. I swear, various pharmaceuticals were mentioned on quite possibly every page. Also, I found the mystery to be a bit predictable. I had a few guesses as to who the murderer was, and I gradually narrowed it down and was right. So that was disappointing. Additionally, Devon and her "best friend," Presley, are constantly calling each other slut, whore, and variations of the two words and I wasn't okay with that. Finally, Devon had this thing for Hutch (and he apparently had one for her) but they never acted on it. Spoiler alert: they said they'd go to their senior prom together, but if they really wanted to be together before then, than they should've become a couple.

The Verdict: Wasn't a big fan. Wish I could've liked it more.

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