Monday Mini-Reviews…AKA Summer Time Makes Jamie LAAAAZY.

I’ve got quite a backlog of books to talk about so I figured I’d do mini-reviews for 3 books I’ve read this summer! It’s hard to get my act together in the summer so this seemed like a good idea to me!


A Really Awesome Mess Trish Cook

A Really Awesome Mess by Trish Cook & Brendan Halpin
July 23, 2013 – Egmont USA
I received this for review consideration — this in no way influenced my opinion.

I LIKED this one in but I expected to love it MORE than I did. I tend to love books that feature unlikely friendships/rag-tag group of people who are kind of forced to come together. I loved the circumstances in which these teens had to come together — being sent to this boarding school that deal with “issues” like suicide, anger, eating disorders, etc. I enjoyed getting to know the main characters and seeing them work through their issues while learning to lean on each other. It was SUPER funny and I loved some of the banter in this group that was thrown together because of a class in which they needed to learn to work together/depend on each other to get something they wanted. There were some emotional moments in their journey but it didn’t quite come altogether for me where I really felt super invested. I liked what it was but it needed more to be GREAT for me and really leave its mark. (Goodreads // Amazon)




Complicit by Stephanie Kuehn
June 24, 2014 — St. Martin’s Griffin
I received this for review consideration — this in no way impacted my opinions.

This is one where I must have completely missed something because everyone told me how amazing it was and how SHOCKING it was. And not a thing shocked me. I guessed everything. And I just wasn’t feeling it. Despite my mixed feelings, I was really impressed with the writing and how Stephanie was able to really reel you in with this sense of mystery about what Jamie’s sister did and the truth about their past. It was very controlled and precise and I loved how truly she was able to slowly make you feel like something sinister or not right was going on….all the way to the very last page. However, despite all that, it all seemed obvious to me and I could have lived with that had I not been kind of bored in a way. So in the end I kept thinking MAN I was hoping to be blown away but I sadly wasn’t. I’m definitely going to give Charm & Strange a try but this one sadly didn’t do much for me. I wanted to be SHOCKED but I was sadly not and altogether kind of bored despite her writing and the impressive way she could spin this mystery and make this an interesting psychological thriller-ish novel. (Goodreads // Amazon)





A Girl Called Fearless Catherine Lanka

A Girl Called Fearless by Catherine Linka
May 6, 2014 — St. Martin’s Griffin
I received this for review consideration — this in no way influenced my opinions.

MAN, I’m conflicted with this one. I had a WHOLE review written about it trying to explain my crazy feelings but in the end I scrapped it because it was just too confusing. About a week after I wrote it I came across THIS review that seriously took the jumble that was my brain and SO ACCURATELY described all that I was mixed on which kind of prompted me to scrap my own rambling thoughts so go read that if you are curious. I LOVED the premise of this one (scary because it was so plausible in a way) and that it was a standalone dystopian. I was hooked from the start because the society was so fascinating and unique plus it really brought a lot to the table in terms of talking about gender and power.  There was SO MUCH GOOD in this one but then it fell apart in ways as it went on and I wanted MORE from it — in how I felt towards it and some pivotal areas when it came to building this world that had all the makings to make this an AMAZING book. I read it very quickly and kept turning the pages especially as the danger heightened but I finished being like, “Sigh I wish I could have known this” or “I don’t get quite get this or “I wish this part would have given more explanation to build a stronger world for me.”  (Goodreads // Amazon)




Have you read any of these? Interested in any of these? I’d love to hear your thoughts if you’ve read them!!

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 32 year old married lady (with a new baby!!) who is in denial that she's actually that old to be a married lady and a mom. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, belting out Hamilton (loud and offkey) and having adventures with her husband, daughter and rescue dog.


  1. Damn. I gave A Girl Called Fearless 4/5 – I really enjoyed it and had some minor issues with it, but liked it overall. BUT I really thought it was the start of a series. That ending?! The build-up?! Come on, it was screaming series, right? If it isn’t I might have to change my final review figure, because now I have all these questions.

    • See that’s the thing…if it was the start of a series…I would have given it a MUCH higher rating but as far as I know it’s a standalone but I SO AGREE WITH YOU. It would make a great series and that ending left room. I REALLY hope it is part of a series (even though I’m wary of them) because I wanted MORE and it had great potential. I’d be moving up my rating if it was a series!

      • At the time I read it, I was SO done with series, so sick of waiting for stories to finish that I wanted to read a standalone, and when I got to the end of this I was disappointed because it felt and read like the start of a series and I though, “oh no, another one!”, but I just went and checked Goodreads and it doesn’t look like it is a series, which is awful. That story had so much scope for what could happen next. Why leave a standalone on a cliffhanger???? Argh!!! I need to edit my review. I’m annoyed lol R x

      • OK, so I got restless and contacted Catherine Linka on GRs. And she replied!

        Hi Rachel,

        Thank you so much for asking about the sequel and conclusion to A Girl Called Fearless. Yes, I’m thrilled to tell you that Avie’s story concludes in A GIRL UNDONE which is scheduled to be released 5/5/15.

        As far as the story is concerned–expect the worst! Avie will be tested in ways she never expected.

        Happy reading,

        I’m excited. Looks like it’s a duology.

        R x

        • Ahh thanks for letting me know that!! Now I wonder if I should change MY review!! Also, dammit…I wish books came with a “this will potentially be a series warning.” Can’t wait to read it though and we will have to make sure we read it around the same time so we can chat!!

          • I think the fact there’s a follow-up does bump the rating up for me, because you can kind of see where the plotholes may go… Haha I usually check GRs (that’s how I found out there’s a sequel to The Rosie Project) but for A Girl Called Fearless it STILL doesn’t say that it’s #1 in a series. We’ve a while to wait yet… 🙁 but definitely – I’ll schedule you in for May 2015! Haha. R x

  2. Thanks for the fantastic reviews, Jamie! I haven’t added any of these to my TBR yet, but I’m thankful for being able to read your mini reviews – I think I’m going to have to check out A Really Awesome Mess just for that interesting cover!

    • You are welcome! A lot of other people I trust rated A really Awesome Mess even higher than I did so definitely check it out! Complicit definitely seems to be just a me thing among my friends so if you like those kinds of books check it out!

  3. How you felt about Complicit is how I felt about Charm & Strange. People told me how awesome it was, and I just felt like I missed something by the time I finished it. Hope you like it more than I did!

    • Yeah I’ve heard that one described similarly as Complicit. I hope I enjoy that one more!! So hard being the oddball out on a book everyone is raving about!!

  4. I loved Complicit! I think it really resonated with me for several different reasons. I loved the writing, and the unreliability of the characters, and the uncertainty of what was coming next.

    • Yes I really loved the way she was able to create that feeling of unease with the unreliability of the characters and that suspense…definitely got high marks from there! I just don’t know what happened with me feeling bored and then pretty much guessing the whole thing. I always struggle with that! Is it the book’s fault or am I just a damn good guesser??

      • I would say a combination of book’s fault and good guesser. I sort of kind of guessed, but at the same time, it was still an emotional shock when all was revealed. Especially the uncertainty of the ending.

  5. I haven’t read any of these and they sound like ones to skip for now, especially since I have 8 billion other books to be reading.

    • Yeah, none of them really stood out for me to say move them up!! But lots of people have raved about Complicit so maybe see what others thought??

  6. I’ve only read one book in this collection, and it’s A Really Awesome Mess. We definitely shared the same feelings on that one! I really wanted to love it a whole lot more than I did, but apart from the fun characters, it just fell a bit flat for me.

  7. Thanks for the reviews and sort-of-recommendations. LOL I’ve never heard of any of these books, but they all sound intriguing. Well, except for maybe the second book.