The Assassin and the Princess - Sarah J. Maas Everything is derivative, so let's not get started on all the other ya novels that this book resembles.
Instead, I'll just say that the love triangle we all saw coming from a mile off was pretty straightforward, with not too much unbearable angst, so I'm fine with what happened there.
But her being 'the greatest assassin the world has ever known' and 'queen of the underworld' and all types of other nonsense was pretty stupid sounding. If we weren't going to get any in-novel backstory (or any assassin action at all, for that matter) the innumerable mentions of teenaged assassin-hood should have been kept to a minimum.
The whole blonde teen assassin novel thing was pretty disappointing when it turned out to just be an ex-assassin exercising for several hundred pages thing.
That's not to say that I won't read the sequel though, because I totally will.
Breathe (Sea Breeze, #1) - Abbi Glines This is what I imagine a Justin Bieber fanfic would be like if one were halfway decent enough to get published. But those would probably read a lot better. Every sentence spoken aloud by a character in this book sounds wooden and robotic. Nobody talks like these people. I could hardly get through the first chapter, it was so insufferable.

Here's some of what you can expect:
–“I get tired of the silliness and shallowness of girls. You’re like a breath of fresh air.”
"You are the youngest one here. I forget my old crowd has all aged just like me."
-"Your legs are sexy as hell, and your eyelashes are so thick and long that when you blink it looks like you are batting them, and it is very attractive."
-"I am actually impressed. I haven't met a girl with compassion before and I am intrigued." (Whoa, chill out bro.)

Is it weird that after awhile I began to read everyone's lines in robot voices? It's like a super long badly dubbed foreign language film, where the English is incredibly proper and uptight, and nobody knows how use a contraction. Also, the characters and everything they do and say are super lame.
Warm Bodies - Isaac Marion

This is the least stupid zombie book you will read this year, and considering what else is out there right now, that's a serious compliment. It's no wonder Warm Bodies has managed to rise above the rest of the world's zombie novels. Its hype is well deserved.

It felt so great to read something pulpy and fun, and so distinctly of the moment, but with actual, beautiful, very well-articulated thought running through it. I held out for several weeks (the Stephanie Meyer cover endorsement was like an ominous Do Not Enter sign) but from the first page I was hooked on the story of R and Julie, the zombies who know them, and how their positive collective consciousness begins to change the world.

The Silver Linings Playbook - Matthew Quick As someone who grew up in South Jersey and travelled to Philly on a weekly basis, this story struck a homey, familiar chord and was immediately endeared to me.
The images of sadness and depression and losing touch with reality make it an emotionally touching story, but Pat's childish inner monologue got on my nerves until the very end, even after it's suggested he might be living a sort of second childhood after his mental break.
It's kind of like Girl, Interrupted but with football. And racist caricatures of black people. Black person, I should say. The one black character has an Afro and was a "gangsta rapper" and says things like 'Bros b4 hos'.
I've had the book forever, and loved the movie, so I figured I might as well give the book a try. But while I don't feel like I wasted my time reading this, I could have done without.
Ready Player One - Ernest Cline I used to read books in which the authors skimmed over tiny details and stuck to the bigger picture and I'd think Man, I wish I knew so much more about this character's life. And then I read Ready Player One. I will never wish for more detail again.

All the minutiae about showering and security doors and suits and furniture and masturbation tools and exercise equipment and virtual items up for auction was exhausting. I found myself skimming over every few paragraphs in several areas of the thing because I just got so fed up with all that junk that absolutely did not advance the plot in any way.

I did like the story, though. I appreciate the imagination of the writer and his obvious enthusiasm for science fiction and technology, and I'd definitely give this another go if it were re-edited with a mind toward streamlining. There's practically an entire second novel's worth of extraneous matter. It's what I imagine Harry Potter would have been like had JK Rowling inserted the full text of each and every book after every single mention of books. And there are a lot of books mentioned in Harry Potter.

My only other complaint with Ready Player One was that descriptions and synopses had me expecting something dark and gritty and slightly dystopic, with a slick futuristic bent. It actually ended up being kind of kiddish. More Big than Blade Runner.
Sanctum - Sarah Fine I admire Lena's dedication to and love for her best friend, but her ass-kicking ability was way too good to be true. I'm sure they get in scraps in juvie, but I don't know that a kid will come out with natural martial arts ability, not to mention knife-throwing skills.

Because of this, I had to put my suspension-of-disbelief goggles on high beam during a book that I already knew going in was about unbelievable stuff. Other than that, it wasn't a bad read.

And for those of us who don't know our Jewish prophets, its Malachi as in "mall-uh-kye" not "mal-ah-chee". I Googled it, because I was like, Wth kind of name is Malachi? You're welcome.
A Hopeless Romantic - Harriet Evans If you just read A Hopeless Romantic and want to read Happily Ever After, or vice versa, I'm going to spoiler it for you. Never mind— you've ruined it for yourself, because they're identical.

Both synopses are exactly this: Girl who dreams of romance has secret affair with man who is totally inappropriate for her. After everything crashes down around her she finds a man who truly cares for her, but because she holds warily on to her past behavior as an example of how not to proceed with life, she over corrects by excelling professionally, dating casually, and becoming boring and unromantic overall. The main mother figure in her life dies while she's out with the man she loves. She gets together with the man in the end. Ta da.

So okay, they aren't exactly the same. They're like an experiment in opposite ways to take one set of plot points. One is light and sweet and funny (Austen), and the other is just dark and morbid, what with all the self hate and casual cruelty coming off nearly every character (including the main one). Not to mention the alcoholism. Very Brontë. I personally prefer the upbeat modern Regency romance novel elements of A Hopeless Romantic to that horror show that was Happily Ever After.

All in all, Laura is likable, but forgettable (as is her story). Something I really want to see come out of this is a Grandmother Mary spin-off novel. That, I think, would be a great read about an unforgettable woman.
The Age of Miracles - Karen Thompson Walker This novel is beautifully written, but lord, what a downer. I really wish someone had been a lot less vague about the exact nature of the book in its synopsis. And the cover seems a bit childish once you've actually read the thing and then close the book and look at this cheery, star-filled image. Maybe that's the point, though. I don't know. I'm just so depressed now.
Dead Sky Morning (Experiment in Terror) - Karina Halle I'm enjoying this series so much I read the first three during work this week. I noticed they all end pretty abruptly, and there's really no resolution in any of the stories. Perry and Dex go experience horrific supernatural events and then manage to narrowly escape with their lives while the ghosts and monsters live on wherever they are, and then it's over. This would work really well in a tv show format, but in novel form it's a bit jarring.
I also thought that by the third book and Dex seeing the Creepy Clown Lady for himself and experiencing Old Roddy in the lighthouse and skinwalkers in the desert he'd believe more in the creepy stuff they chase by now. It doesn't make sense to me that he'd just be willfully ignorant to the point of accusing his partner of being mentally unstable because she sees ghosts. Is this guy joking? He's seen and felt a ton of crazy stuff and he doubts the existence of the supernatural? I hope he gets it together in the next one and stops being such an obnoxious little girl.
The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight - Jennifer E. Smith Why did this get so many mediocre reviews? I know that it isn't epic, that it doesn't contain vampires or demons or soul crushing dystopia, but The Statistical Improbability of Love at First Sight feels like a little gift. This is one of those stories that's perfect in its smallness, in its mundanities and ordinary circumstances. Everything about it felt familiar and sweet, and I'm grateful for the uncomplicated style it was written in and a female protagonist without a terrible image of herself who needs a boy to tell her how different she is from every other self-hating sad sack in the world. If I had to slog through one more overly dramatic book about girls with extremely low self-esteem and their perfect hero boyfriends I was about to quit contemporary novels forever. The statistical improbability of getting to read something new that is refreshing, simple, and honest has been narrowing down to about 12%, but because of this book I'll be looking out for more from this author, and any like her, and staying hopeful about finding more pleasant surprises like this that feel true to life.
Edenbrooke - Julianne Donaldson I absolutely love this book. It's fresh and exciting and while it follows the traditional romance route, doesn't stick to terrible cliches like going on and on incessantly about how special and different the heroine is from other young ladies. She's not angsty or whiny or obnoxious, and makes sound decisions. And the love interest isn't some typical romance cardboard cutout who's a bad boy womanizer with a nightmarish past that he's holding on to way too tight. They're regular people who fall in love. And I think that's great. It's satisfying, and I love it.
Burn for Burn - Jenny Han, Siobhan Vivian I honestly don't know what to make of this one. It was way darker than I expected, and the paranormal aspect was confusing. It's basic high school revenge thriller, plus random acts of magic. You get a kind of Great and Terrible Beauty vibe, but with less likable characters.
Emily Hudson: A Novel - Melissa Lynn Jones Emily Hudson is very Bronte in its lengthy recitation of horrors and misfortune visited upon a spirited young woman, her journey from innocence into jaded adulthood and eventually, the gaining of her independence and personal freedom.

It all started very promisingly, but quickly became tedious when I realized how slowly everything was moving. The summary of it made me believe Emily would go to London, realize her cousin was a manipulative creep, and then find adventure as an artist once she escaped to Rome, where the story would really start. But Rome turned out to be at the very end of the book, so the synopses basically gave it all away, which was unusual and not a little disappointing.

Emily herself was at first a character I really liked because she was so spirited and loved to go on adventures with her best friend, but I began to hate her after awhile. It's admirable that she is a pacifist, and hates war on principle, and with good reason. But her absolute refusal to see it as an inevitable necessity was childish and obnoxious.

It's absolutely incredible to me that in the entirety of a book about an American girl during the Civil War there is not one single mention of slavery, or secession, or President Lincoln. What does she think they're fighting the war for? Catfish and cornbread? She was overly naive about pretty much everything, and it seems a massive oversight that nobody ever says anything about the reasons for a war that ate up an entire nation.

Emily was actually pretty dumb, in my opinion. She lives in a self-centered bubble where hanging at the beach, protesting a war that's being fought to secure human freedoms, and looking down on girls who like to giggle and shop for hair accessories makes her really special. She's the original loner girl who thinks she's too cool for everyone because she's got opinions and makes art. If she lived today she'd have a really dumb blog.

Now that I've written that last part of this review (which started at 4 stars) I realize I don't like this book or its heroine as much as I thought I did.
The House At Riverton - Kate Morton The story of what really happened at the infamous midsummer's night party was tragic enough, and not a little unsettling, but something about it didn't feel right. It took forever to slog through the trivial details and get to the real action in this book.
Dirty (Dan and Elle #1) - Megan Hart This book was dark, dark, dark. Megan Hart is a very talented writer, and I appreciate the depth of her characters, but I'm not buying that bit of Hallmark at the end of the book where her mother suddenly and conveniently admits the things she was wrong about and they exchange a mother/daughter hug.
On the Island - Tracey Garvis-Graves On The Island was surprising and thought-provoking, and I'm really glad that I read it. I'd have rated it 5 stars, but the epilogue was so long and drawn out and overly detailed. I love a happy ending with all loose ends tied up, but it went a bit too far for me and some of the magic was lost.