By: Melanie | March 20, 2015 | (65) Comments

Hello my Midnightian Minions! If you missed my fangirling on Twitter over the past few weeks, then you wouldn’t know about the fact that I’m going to America!! By the time you’re reading this, I will probably be on the plane already. AHHHHH! Isn’t that exciting?  Along with this piece of awesomeness, Larissa will also be on vacation. She’s gonna be having the time of her life on this island in Hawaii called Kauai. We’re actually leaving and coming back from our holidays around the time time, which is pretty damn awesome. SO yes, Celine will have the blog alllll to herself for the time being. So, before I leave, I decided to do a quick catch up on some mini reviews (or just brief thoughts) as I haven’t had much time to blog lately due to school and slumps.


Better than Perfect

Better than Perfect by Melissa Kantor | DNF | Goodreads | Purchase

I ended up being very very VERY disappointed with this one. I loved Maybe One Day, which was Kantor’s début novel, but I couldn’t even finish this latest one of her’s. I got up to about 23% when I finally put it down. The main reasons why I stopped was 1) I couldn’t find any emotional link between me and the MC – this more was a personal thing because I just couldn’t click with the girl’s personality. 2) The pacing was slow and I felt like not much was happening… like I couldn’t even work out where the story was heading if it weren’t for the synopsis and 3) the girl cheated on her boyfriend with a guy she just met. WTF. And that was pretty much where I put it down. Cheating? Especially when you have a perfectly healthy and sweet relationship with another guy? No, I do not condone it and I cannot see any logic behind why the MC would just act like that.


Everything that Makes You by Moriah McStay | ★★ | Goodreads | Purchase

After loving books like Pivot Point by Kasie West, I was really hoping that I’d love this one just as much, as they both are about “what ifs” and alternate universes. Unfortunately, Everything that Makes You just didn’t manage to keep me engaged. I really liked the idea, but the execution was absolutely lacking. There wasn’t really a plot line, either – it was just us following the lives of a girl who could have lived two totally different lives because of her accident that left jarring scars on her face. So yeah, this book honestly didn’t feel like it had a purpose. It’s still rather enjoyable, that being said, but I soon lost interest because I didn’t have anything that I could invest in.


Falls the Shadow

Falls the Shadow by Stefanie Gaither | ★★ | Goodreads | Purchase

This had one creeeeeepy idea and it was the main reason why I wanted to read this one so much. The basic idea is that Cate’s sister dies but then a few hours after her sister’s funeral, they go to pick up her sister’s replacement. The replacement basically is the exact same replica of Cate’s sister, and many people are suspicious that these ‘replacement’ people are evil, and are not as benign as they seem. Again, there was not a great effort in terms of execution, in my opinion. Also, I couldn’t connect with Cate, she was too bland and didn’t offer anything new to the table for me. I ended up just skimming the last 1/2 of this book, due to my lack of interest.

Honestly, I can’t recommend this.


Love Bomb by Jenny McLachlan | ★★★ | Goodreads | Purchase

Love Bomb is a companion novel to Flirty Dancing. Now, I did receive a copy of that a while back but I’ve somehow lost it so I didn’t get the chance to read that. (I know, HOW ON EARTH CAN YOU JUST LOSE A BOOK?! ._.) However, Love Bomb is still very much readable even if you haven’t read the companion. I absolutely adored this book; it was cute, light and still had a nice moral in between the lines, here. I definitely recommend these to anyone books by Jenny McLachlan who wants a light and quick contemporary, with a little more substance. I do think the book might’ve moved a little too fast, but I guess that’s inevitable when the book is only about 300 pages in length.

I’m definitely looking forward to whatever this author has in store next!


There Will Be Lies by Nick Lake | ★★★ | Goodreads | Purchase

If you don’t mind being lied to constantly, this book is something you must look into. I didn’t really take that title seriously until a while in but yes, THERE ARE LIES, AND DECEPTION, BUT ALSO, TRUTH. I found it a little hard to get into but I had so many questions surrounding Shelby and her insanely conservative mother, so that’s what kept me going. As for the twists, I never saw them going. NOT A SINGLE ONE, DAMMIT. It was mildly frustrating but insanely witty on the author’s part. If you want a good thriller with lots of unexpected twists…

*shoves book down your throat*


The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski | ★★★★ | Goodreads | Purchase

Was there any doubt that I wouldn’t love this?

Though, I still think The Winner’s Curse was better. Only because first books are normally my favourites, and well, THE EXPECTATIONS WERE HIGH FOR THIS ONE, PEOPLE, SKY HIGH. And yet, Marie Rutkoski still delivered on all fronts. Especially the romance. Oh yes, the romance was truly delightful. AND LET’S NOT FORGET HER WRITING. I luff it all, basically.

OH. And if you haven’t heard of this series before, I REFUSE TO ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR EXISTENCE RIGHT NOW.


Winterspell by Claire Legrand | DNF | Goodreads | Purchase

Winterspell totally crushed me, and not in a good way. After falling heads over heels for The Year of Shadows, I was expecting something truly amazing from Legrand. However, the characters and plot line just didn’t sit well with me. Clare is basically attracted to a statue. A FREAKING STATUE.  I just no. NO NO NO NOPE. That didn’t sit well with me on so many levels.

Other than that, I did love Legrand’s writing. It’s something that never seems to fail, for it was certainly a highlight in The Year of Shadows, too. I know that Legrand’s books aren’t for everyone, but if you’re unsure, I still recommend you check out The Year of Shadows, because it’s truly magnificent and moving.


So that’s all from me for now, folks! I know our posting isn’t all that regular at the moment, but when our new design goes live, we’ll be right back on track. As for these books… have you read them? What are your thoughts?

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Owner (and crazy nut) at YA Midnight Reads
Melanie is one of the totally fabulous bloggers at YA Midnight Reads. She's a 16 year old student from Melbourne, Australia. She is normally found binge watching TV series, reading , blogging, procrastinating or fangirling about how Percabeth is the best ship ever. She's also a lover of caps lock and uses it excessively.

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65 Responses to Mini Reviews: In Which Mel Spams Y’all Before She Goes To America

  1. Hope you a lovely time, Mel!!!!!! Sadly I didn’t enjoy The Winner’s Curse as much as everyone else I’m afraid. Can’t wait to see your new design. See you when you get back. 🙂
    Emma @ Never Judge a Book recently posted…REVIEW – THE WINNER’S CRIME by Marie RutkoskiMy Profile

  2. Have fun Mel! When’s the new design going live?
    Bieke @ Istyria book blog recently posted…{Bookish Babble} Reviewing Can Be Scary To MeMy Profile

  3. Olivia says:

    Hiya! I just came across your blog and I love it- followed on Bloglovin! I love the idea of doing mini reviews too 🙂 I NEED to read the winners curse!

    Have a lovely day
    -Olivia xx
    Olivia recently posted…Film Review: InsurgentMy Profile

  4. I hope you have fun in America!! I really need to pick up The Winner’s Curse & The Winner’s Crime, I have them sitting on my shelf just waiting on me *sigh* hopefully soon 🙂
    Christy @ Novel Ink recently posted…ARC Review | Second Chance Island by Jenny SchwartzMy Profile

  5. Valerie says:

    HAHAHAH it’s okay the statue comes to life in Winterspell. WHICH IS EVEN CREEPIER. I didn’t like that book much either, it was weird. And as for The Winner’s Crime, well let’s just say I WILL be starting the series so please don’t shun me. I HAVE THE BOOKS FOR IT.

    Lovely reviews Mel! HAVE FUN IN AMERICA COME VISIT ME.
    Valerie recently posted…Review: Sleepaway GirlsMy Profile

  6. I was interested in Better than Perfect by Melissa Kantor but could not find much reviews to decided whether I should give it a chance or not. So thanks for sharing your thoughts. Seems like it is not for me after all…
    Lucia @Reading Is My Breathing recently posted…TWO QUICK REVIEWS: YA Contemporary FictionMy Profile

  7. I haven’t read any of these books but I recently just bought Better Than Perfect and now I’m worried. It was a random decision because I was supposed to buy Scarlet and Cress but Cress was unavailable at that time. I will still read it of course, but at least now I know not to expect much.
    Ella @ The Filipina Booknote recently posted…Review: Wide Awake by Shelly CraneMy Profile

  8. Shannelle C. says:

    I am so so jealous that you’re in America. :/ I’ll get there, someday!

    And it seems like this was just a whole bunch of disappointment, except for The Winner’s Crime. MARIE RUTKOSKI IS A GODDESS AND NO ONE CAN SAY OTHERWISE.
    Shannelle C. recently posted…Book Review: My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine WargaMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      I have my fingers crossed for you that you’ll be able to visit America! It’s a pretty sweet country xD Yep, there were many disappointments but obvious Marie’s book was glamorous as always.

  9. Diamond says:

    YAY!! You’re coming to America!! Where you gonna be at? IF you’re going to Los Angeles you NEED TO let me know! We should get together! But, for some reason I think you’re going to New York? ah, who knows my memory is crazy bad and mixed up lately. Anyway have an amazing time! 🙂

    That sucks Winterspell wasn’t that good. I really wanna read The Year of Shadows though! It looks so good 😀 I also wanna read the winner’s curse series, I’ve heard great things about it. the covers are gorgeous.
    Diamond recently posted…Spring Cleaning Giveaway HopMy Profile

  10. Benish says:

    I’m hoping to check out The Winner’s Curse & Winterspell sometime soon, great mini reviews Mel<3 Hope you're having fun in Hawaii!
    Benish recently posted…Across The Universe ♥ Beth Revis ReviewMy Profile

  11. I hope you have a great time, Mel. It’s too bad The Winner’s Crime was the only book you really enjoyed. And I guess I don’t exist because I haven’t read the series, haha. I want to read it, especially because I’ve read in some books that Kestrel is a really strong female protagonist.


    I'm definitely not going to read Better Than Perfect. I didn't like Maybe One Day and cheating is a big no-no for me, plus I'm really big on pacing, so I'm going to save myself from the frustration of picking this one up.

    Sorry that you didn't love Everything That Makes You. 🙁 I have been hearing a bit that there isn't too much to grasp in the story, and that worries me since this is on my TBR.

    Yes! I totally loved The Winner's Curse a lot more too. For some reason I just felt like not a lot happened here? But the romantic tension was ON ALL TIME HIGH.

    Again, HAVE FUN IN AMERICA AND TAKE ALL THE PICTURES. Tweet a lot too, kay?
    Aimee @ Deadly Darlings recently posted…Review: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky AlbertalliMy Profile

  13. YAY for loving The Winner’s Crime and boo for DNFing Winterspell, I really loved it!
    And an even bigger YAY for vacation time in the US! Have a blast and tell us all about it!
    Pili @ In Love With Handmade recently posted…Saturday Pages: ARC Review of LIARS, INC by Paula Stokes!!!My Profile

  14. Heather says:

    I haven’t read any of these, but I liked the way you analyzed what you did and didn’t like in each story. I might read Winner’s Curse, but we’ll see. Have fun here in the good old U.S. of A. 🙂
    Heather recently posted…Love a Blogger Saturday #5My Profile

  15. Hi Mel!! *waves* You know, since you’re coming to the U.S. you’re obviously close enough for me to just wave to you now. 😉 Where in the US will you be? I hope you enjoy yourself!! We got snow today, so hopefully you’re somewhere with nicer weather. 🙂
    Lisa @ Lost in Literature recently posted…Lost in Our Thoughts: Series… love ‘em or hate ‘em?My Profile

  16. Laura says:

    I hope you have an awesome time in the States! I live there and the crazy weather is just about ending 🙂

    THE WINNER’S CRIME IS BEAUTIFUL!! I almost died of excitement when I won an ARC – it’s the most beautiful series ever!! Well… right up there with the Throne of Glass series which is saying something 😀

    Laura @BlueEyeBooks
    Laura recently posted…Review Friday: The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. MaasMy Profile

  17. I still need to read The Winner’s Curse, but that’s good you liked the sequel. Sorry you didn’t really love much else. Have fun in America!!! 🙂
    ShootingStarsMag recently posted…Bittersweet by Kimberly Loth + ExcerptMy Profile

  18. HAVE FUN IN AMERICA!!!! *flails for you* It sounds so so exciting!

    I didn’t really like Flirty Dancing so I’ve decided to give Love Bomb a wide berth. xD And zomg The Winner’s Crime was like PERFECTION. I died and cried at that ending. *sticky-tapes heart back together* Winterspell is seriously disturbing. I sat there going “but what the actual heck” the WHOLE TIME. It just. No. And There Will Be Lies was a bit mind twisty but I think I actually did like it by the end. xD
    Cait @ Paper Fury recently posted…When Writers Can’t Remember // Also I Draw On Walls And Forget Quotes From My Own BooksMy Profile

  19. HAVE FUN IN AMERICCAAAAA!!! I’m glad you liked Love Bomb – I rated it three stars as well. A shame about Better Than Perfect 🙁 I really liked Maybe One Day.
    Emily @ Loony Literate recently posted…It’s a Loony Life (7) – the end of exams!My Profile

  20. Hilary says:

    I’M GOING TO AMERICA TOO. But in two months so obviously I won’t be able to see you there. *tear drop*.

    ROMANCE?! I’m astounded since I heard that there was very LITTLE romance in the second book but I’m still waiting for my library copy so I’ll have to see for myself.

    Have a lovely, lovely trip, Mel! <3
    Hilary recently posted…Review: Vicious by V.E. SchwabMy Profile

  21. Wattle says:

    Have a fabulous holiday!
    Wattle recently posted…Wattle’s Wonderings #2My Profile

  22. Have an amazing time here in America, Mel!!! That’s so awesome that you’re visiting!! I recently finished The Winner’s Crime and OHMYGOSH YES THAT ROMANCE… <3 *swoons* I have Winterspell sitting on my shelf (I bought it because of the cover mainly), but I've heard such negative things I'm nervous to read it…:/ Wonderful post and again: HAVE FUN!!! 😀
    Emily @ Books & Cleverness recently posted…I’m Still Alive, But I’m Barely BloggingMy Profile

  23. Ksenia says:

    Have a great time, Melanie!

  24. Romi says:

    I’m hoping I have a better time with Winterspell than you did, Mel, though I hadn’t been aware before reading your review that Clara is attracted to a statue. This worries me faintly and intrigues me. I must understand what is going on here! I actually thought this was a debut, too, so at least if I love it I’ll have another of the author’s work to go onto.

    Have a happy time in America! I hope you do many splendid things and buy a book to remember the trip by! Xx
    Romi recently posted…A Feature of Pictures (and books!) No. 9My Profile

  25. Hope you’re both having an awesome time in America! I’ve always wanted to go to Hawaii 😀 Especially since it’s still so cold here 🙁
    I didn’t really love Winderspell either. A bit weird at times.
    Stephanie@ThesePaperHearts recently posted…Follower Appreciation Giveaway (300)My Profile

  26. Cynthia says:

    Better than Perfect sounds awful! If there is nothing going on with the current relationship and there is no earth shattering life event, then why would she cheat . . . especially if she just met the guy?? Sounds like the author just wanted a love triangle for the heck of it.
    Cynthia recently posted…BOOK REVIEW: Taken and Frozen by Erin BowmanMy Profile

  27. Hope you are having a WONDERFUL vacation! Where in America are you? I can’t imagine you’d have any reason to be in my neck of the woods (Pennsylvania) but hey, who knows 😉 Better Than Perfect sounds so, so bad. I have read several reviews and… no one liked it. Like, no one. So good call on the DNFing from the sound of it. I am sad about Winterspell too. But at least you liked The Winner’s Crime!! I did too, SO good! Anyway, hope you’re enjoying your vacation, and I am excited to see the new design!!
    Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight recently posted…Books That Little Me LovedMy Profile


    Love Bomb is cute? Yay, I want fluff nowadays.

    Jess @My Reading Dress recently posted…Seeking Saturday’s Read #26: Technological Catastrophes, the Declaration of “Once A Fortnight” and Getting Re-InspiredMy Profile

  29. Amber Elise says:

    Are you still in the US??? I hope you’re having fun if you are!

    I DNF’d Winterspell as well, sooo slow! And I definitely agree that The Winner’s Curse was better than The Winner’s Crime. 🙂
    Amber Elise recently posted…Weekly Wrap Up: March 22, 2015-March 28,2015My Profile

  30. I hope you have a great time, Mel!!

    The Winner’s Curse – I am TERRIFIED to read it. I know Marie is gonna break my feels. D: I think waiting for book 3 is in my best interest haha.
    Danielle @ Love at First Page recently posted…Top Ten Books I Added To My TBR PileMy Profile

    • Melanie says:


  31. Man, your recent reads have been pretty subpar, Melanie! I’m sorry to see that you haven’t had a productive week when it comes to reading. I’ve tried a bit of Everything That Makes You, and I agree with your thoughts… I had to DNF it actually because it just wasn’t executed well; I didn’t even like Pivot Point but I thought that one was miles better.

    Have a great time in America, bb! :* :*
    Faye le Potato recently posted…ARC Review: The Diamond Conspiracy by Pip Ballantine & Tee MorrisMy Profile

  32. Oh my goodness! You loved The Winner’s Crime. Okay, I need to get the first and second book ASAP! You know I love your opinions of books and you gave it 4 freaking stars! Gahh! Okay, I’m calming down. OMG! Okay, forget calming down. It went out the window.
    Genesis @ GenGen’s Book Blog recently posted…Review: Stupid Girl by Cindy MilesMy Profile

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