How To Keep My Eyes Rolling & Tracking Unicorns

Posted August 8, 2016 by Bee in Reviews / 11 Comments

How To Keep My Eyes Rolling & Tracking Unicorns

How to Keep Rolling After a Fall

by Karole Cozzo
Published on August 2nd 2016
by Swoon Reads
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley, Xpresso Book Tours
Amazon | Goodreads

Also by this author: How to Say I Love You Out Loud

After a cyber bullying incident turns her life upside down, a handsome wheelchair rugby player shows a former mean girl that everyone deserves a second chance.

The party was at her house. The photos were posted to her Facebook account. That's all the evidence anyone needed to condemn Nikki Baylor for a cyberbullying incident that humiliated a classmate and nearly resulted in the girl's suicide. Now Nikki's been expelled from her old school, her friends have abandoned her, and even her own parents can't look her in the eye. With her plans for the future all but destroyed, Nikki resigns herself to being the girl everyone hates - almost as much as she hates herself. But then Nikki meets Pax, a spirited wheelchair rugby player who knows what it's like when one mistake completely shatters your life. Refusing to judge her because of her past, he shows her that everyone deserves a second chance... and everyone deserves to be loved.

I received this book for free from the publisher or author in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

2 Stars

To quote one of my favorite book-dogs, Manchee from The Knife of Never Letting Go: Poo, Todd.

So I really wanted to love this book. Because I love YA Contemporary and this one sounded great. I also love the cover. I didn’t have high expectations because I tend to do that when it’s a new-to-me author. And it didn’t even manage to meet my low expectations. I was severely disappointed. I am not happy right now. This story had a lot of potential. A mean girl that redeems herself? A cute guy in a wheelchair? Oh yes, this could have been SO great. But for me, it wasn’t. Let me list my disappointments, because lists are the way to go right now.

The writing was choppy and awkward and felt so stiff and cliche to me. There were so many tacky and stupid lines of dialogue I was afraid that my eyes were gonna roll out of my face. I groaned out loud (waking the boyfriend in the process) and sighed a lot. It just didn’t flow well and I noticed that a lot in the other elements of the book. Which we’ll get to now.

The story was all over the place. There was way too much drama that I just couldn’t get behind and some of the elements, which I’ll touch upon later, just completely pissed me off. Because NO. NO NO NO NO. I didn’t like the way this story is executed at all. I read it in one go just because I knew I would never pick it back up again if I didn’t and I don’t want to DNF books too much anymore. So there. Good thing it wasn’t that long.

The romance was blahh. Very very blah. Its pacing, like the story, was all over the place. It went fast, then slow. Then fast again. Then stupid drama stopped it. Then it was back. I didn’t buy it. I didn’t like it. Go away. This is no OTP ship for the ages. Not even for a minute.

♦ The characters. OH MY THE CHARACTERS. I’m not even talking about the main character, who I’ll get to later. The rest was just as stupid. The parents were just… what? Their daughters did a horrible thing, yes, but I didn’t like how the parents treated Nikki. At all. They didn’t even believe their daughter’s side of the story and just went with what everyone else said. Because reasons. Bad Parenting 101. The love interest, Pax, was the best part of the story and he wasn’t a very good one. His personality felt all over the place and the drama near the end was very much against his character judging by the rest of the book. It just didn’t make sense. At all.

♦ Nikki. Our main character. OH NIKKI. HOW I LOATHE THOU. Nikki could have been a great character. I could have felt for her, have compassion. I wanted to root for her to redeem herself. BUT OH NOPE. I did no such thing. And you know why? I’m not even talking about all the amazingly stupid decisions she makes in this book. I’m not even takling about how horrible she deals with the things thrown her way in this book. OH NO. Because, and this is not a spoiler, Nikke did a bad thing. She let her friends post horrible pictures of a girl on her Facebook. Said girl attempted suicide because of it. This is a serious thing and I completely understand that girl. But nobody believes Nikki’s story that she didn’t do anything and she gets all the crap thrown on her. Her life is ruined. AND THERE’S THE PROBLEM. All Nikki thinks about is Nikki. HER life is ruined. People treat HER like crap for something she didn’t do and she doesn’t get it. She acts like SHE’S the victim in this story. SHE IS NOT. She’s a horrible person that didn’t do anything to stop her friends from doing a horrible thing. She is just as guilty. Because she should have and could have stopped the bad thing from happening. “When will people treat me like crap? I didn’t do anything?” That’s the point. You didn’t do anything. You let it happen. YOU’RE A HORRIBLE, EGOCENTRIC, WHINY LITTLE GIRL NIKKI. And I do not like you. Go away.

So no, I did not like this one, as you might have noticed. Now excuse me while I go sulk in a corner, because blah. BLAH.

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How To Keep My Eyes Rolling & Tracking Unicorns

Unicorn Tracks

by Julia Ember
Published on April 21st 2016
by Harmony Ink Press
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, LGBT
Format: eBook
Source: Author
Amazon | Goodreads

After a savage attack drives her from her home, sixteen-year-old Mnemba finds a place in her cousin Tumelo’s successful safari business, where she quickly excels as a guide. Surrounding herself with nature and the mystical animals inhabiting the savannah not only allows Mnemba’s tracking skills to shine, it helps her to hide from the terrible memories that haunt her.

Mnemba is employed to guide Mr. Harving and his daughter, Kara, through the wilderness as they study unicorns. The young women are drawn to each other, despite that fact that Kara is betrothed. During their research, they discover a conspiracy by a group of poachers to capture the Unicorns and exploit their supernatural strength to build a railway. Together, they must find a way to protect the creatures Kara adores while resisting the love they know they can never indulge.

I received this book for free from the publisher or author in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

4 Stars

This was such a nice read! I’ll be honest though and say that it’s hard for me to review shorter books because there’s usually not that much to talk about. Not that this book lacked substance. Not in the least. Unicorn Tracks managed to meet my expectations and then some!

The writing in this book was very vivid and I really felt like I was there with Mnemba and Kate sometimes. I haven’t read many books with Africa as a backdrop and it was very nice. It definitely would make want to visit the place if I wasn’t so sensitive to the heat. I mean, I would die there. For real. But I really liked the world-building with all the creatures. Also major props to the author for managing to work unicorns into the story without making it corny!

I do believe the story itself could have benefited from more development, which is what I usually think with short stories like this. There’s a lot going on in this book and it defintely would have brought this book to the next level. It also would have helped with the secondary characters. They felt a little too one-dimensional to me, though they weren’t uninteresting, if that makes sense. I just wanted more from them. But the two girls, Mnemba and Kate were really well-developed and I loved them. Their romance is very very sweet and well-paced. It gave me flutters in my stomach on multiple times.

Overal, Unicorn Tracks is very magical, adventurous and romantic. It’s a fun and quick read that I do highly recommend. So check it out, if you can.


About Karole Cozzo

KAROLE COZZO is a school psychologist by day, a wife and mother of two by night, and a writer of YA romance in the wee hours of the morning. She loves camping out at Starbucks, breakfast cereal at all hours, and watching every movie made from her favorite YA books. How to Say I Love You Out Loud is her debut novel.

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11 responses to “How To Keep My Eyes Rolling & Tracking Unicorns

  1. Tasya

    I really want to read How To Keep Rolling After A Fall, but I think I’ll skip it now. I just can’t stand whiny characters that just can’t see what they did wrong, do nothing and instead just whine about it!

  2. Any review that starts out with a Manchee quote wins best review of the week, no question! Sorry you didn’t like the book though. I feel like I wouldn’t either, sadly. I was afraid it would be cliche, but the crappy characters make it sound even worse. Definitely a pass.

    I am SO glad that you liked Unicorn Tracks though! I cannot WAIT to start it! I have heard great things about the world/writing, and I am excited about the relationship, since it gave you the fluttery feelings! Those are the BEST relationships in books! 😀 Great reviews- glad at least one of these was a win!

  3. In all honesty, I find the review pretty decent! This is how all reviews should be, it must gives you that spine-tingling at one point. If you have read it already, it should make you want to read some more. Thank you so much for this! It would let me explore what is out there in the highlands.

  4. Sigh, I really had a lot of hope for How to Keep Rolling After a Fall. I don’t often read contemporary, but since it has a character with a disability, I wanted to see how it was done. As the MC in my own book uses a wheelchair too. But if it establishes the MC as a victim when another character was driven to a suicide attempt, well… I’m not really interested anymore. Mind you, I already thought the cover was a bit odd because I was like “isn’t the love interest in a wheelchair? Why is he on the cover without?” Sometimes people get out of their chairs for sure, but it seemed like an odd choice. I’m sorry you had such a bad experience with it.

  5. Oh no! I just read a good review for How to… so reading this hurts. I read How to Say I Love You Out Loud and while I liked it, I didn’t exactly love it. It was just a good or okay read. It’s why I kind of pushed this book back because I wasn’t sure if I would love it. And now, I don’t know if I will :/ A lot of the things you mentioned would bother me a lot.

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