Saturday, February 16, 2013

Winner: Signed Copy of The Downside of Being Charlie

And the winner is...

Thanks to all the entries and all of you who participated!


Thursday, February 7, 2013

Significance (Significance, #1) by Shelly Crane

Title: Significance
Author: Shelly Crane
Series: Significance, #1

Genre: Contemporary, Fantasy

Paperback: 318 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Publication Date: March 26, 2012
ISBN-10: 1463695403
ISBN-13: 978-1463695408
Maggie is a seventeen year old girl who's had a bad year. She was smart and on track, but then her mom left, her dad is depressed, she's graduating - barely - and her boyfriend of almost three years dumped her for a college football scholarship. Lately she thinks life is all about hanging on by a thread and is gripping tight with everything she has.
Then she saves the life of Caleb and instantly knows there's something about him that's intriguing. But things change when they touch, sparks ignite. Literally.

They imprint with each other and she sees their future life together flash before her eyes. She learns that not only is she his soul mate, and can feel his heartbeat in her chest, but there is a whole other world of people with gifts and abilities that she never knew existed. She herself is experiencing supernatural changes unlike anything she's ever felt before and she needs the touch of his skin to survive.
Now, not only has her dad come out of his depression to be a father again, and a pain as well, but Caleb's enemies know he's imprinted and are after Maggie to stop them both from gaining their abilities and take her from him.

Can Caleb save her or will they be forced to live without each other after just finding one another?


So I knew going into Significance that I was in for a cheesy ride. I feel like, along with Significance, there's a type of book on Amazon that is sold for a cheap price, has raving reviews, and tells the same story as so many other insta-love novels whose covers blatantly give away what you are getting yourself into. You can't expect anything of depth in these types of books, unless you consider saying 'I love you' a million times, or cliche insecurities, to be profound. I'd lowered my expectations for Significance, and I'm glad I did. Or else I'd be way more critical as to the cheesiness I mentioned before.

We start with a bit of a typical back story. Maggie Masters is graduating from high school a year early and she can't wait to get out of school and not have to deal with the people she used to hang out with only a year ago. After her mother left them, her father fell into the deepest bitter depression and lost the job he'd had for almost all his life. Rubbing salt in the wound, Maggie's mom made off with everything they had, including her college fund. Adding insult to injury, three days after she left, Maggie's boyfriend, Chad, broke up with her because he thought since he was going away to college in Florida, there last year together would best be spent as friends. As Maggie faces her father on graduation day, she can't take his negativity and decides to go for a walk, and whose life does she save from being run over by a car? Sweet Caleb, cousin to the very guy who has been begging for a date with her, and who she was going to see later that day. This is where I was a bit surprised when the book took a sort of fantasy-esque turn.

Imprinting. That's the main thing driving this story that's all consumed with Maggie and Caleb's relationship. I can't lie and say this is one of the best romantic books out there, but it will serve as a good distraction into an unrealistic, easy love story. I use the word 'easy' because, though the protagonist does face struggles and other tough obstacles, the actual relationship with Caleb was, in essence, effortless. Imprinting in this book means pretty much the same thing it did in Twilight. Another coincidence I didn't realize until I was telling a friend about this book, was that Caleb and Kyle's (his cousin) family name is the JACOBsons. I mean, really? That is way too big a coincidence not to be intentional. I felt like I had to at least give the book props for not being about werewolves and vampires. Instead, the Aces--that's what they are called--have abilities they gain after imprinting--essentially meeting their one true love, soul mate, etc.--and ascending--developing their abilities and fully become 'themselves'.

I suppose I stuck out till the end because, if nothing else, this book is consistent with this story line, though it is character-driven. Sure, you could throw some rival Aces in there and add a twist to say that there hasn't been an imprint for the last twenty years, but what the author focuses on is what's happening with the characters and how are they reacting to each other and this new situation they're in. In this is where the book turns a little too corny/sweet, because the author is into piling on all the mushy-gushy, lovey-dovey, honeymoon-phase, of falling in love with someone by a single touch.

Even though I'd expected this coming in, it was a little hard to rationalize away some of the conveniences the author added in order not to mess with the plot she had mapped out for the book. This came too easy sometimes, and Maggie got over too quickly over certain things that she probably should have reflected over for at least a few days.

Significance was an easy, uncomplicated read, and that's its charm and redeeming quality. You'd have to be willing not to look too deep into the reasoning behind some things, and be able to forget some questions you'll undoubtedly be left with, in order to just appreciate the book for what it is.


Source: Bought