Lauren O'Halloran


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Smashwords book reviews by Lauren O'Halloran

  • Brunswick on July 22, 2012

    In the beginning I was having a hard time getting into the story, I actually read a very small amount over about 4 days which is unlike me. The closer it got to the weekend, I decided I had to commit to this book and when I sat down and actually focused on reading it, I really enjoyed it. The reason it was not a 4 or 5 star rating for me is because I believe it was a bit of a younger story and that's the reason I could not get into it as much as I would have liked. Most YA that I do read seems to be targeted at older teens whereas this story seems targeted to pre-teens or early teens. I definitely recommend it to someone in the 11 to 15 age category. Ann Haines did a wonderful job of world building with the imaginary land of Brunswick. I could really envision what Brunswick looked out and picture it in my mind and that is something that I really look for, if I can't imagine the world it takes place in, the story will fall flat for me. I also very much enjoyed how much of Jonathan's real life tied in with the imaginary land as well, I thought that was a unique factor and I liked how it also tied in Jonathan's father. The ending was a twist I did not expect, which I shall not spoil for anyone, but it was really a twist that I did not even think of! All in all this was a nice, cute read about a young boy who travels to an imaginary land.
  • Barbie Girl on Jan. 26, 2013

    Barbie is the bad girl at school. She does her own thing, doesn’t have any friends and is seen as a slut. One day her Math teacher tells her that she needs tutoring… the best option is Dylan, a boy she has known since grade school but they haven’t spoken in years. Barbie doesn’t have any way to pay him so she makes a deal, that she will get Dylan the girl of his dreams. The girl of his dreams is stuck up, smart and perfect to a tee… the total opposite of Barbie. At first it’s just a deal they made but suddenly both Barbie and Dylan are fighting off whirlwind feelings… and there is more to be exposed than just feelings. Holy SMOKES! This was not the average contemporary but I went into it thinking it was. I thought it would be the normal bad boy/girl falls in love with said good girl/boy, there is some rocky patches but eventually they are together. And don’t get me wrong, I love that story… it never gets old to me, lol but there was SO much more to this story. It touched on a lot of raw, deep, emotional issues. First off I loved Barbie. She was such a bitch… but such a deep character. She had a lot of layers, and I wasn’t expecting that. (OK, forgive me… her name was Barbie!) She was also very free-spirited and didn’t care what anyone thought… and I loved that about her. I adored Dylan as well… the sexy, nerdy boy. Mmmhmm… who could ask for more really! And one of my favorites had to be Third. He was such a sincere honest character and I loved his loyalty(to a fault) for his friends. Not only did this book have an amazing story, but it also made me laugh. I actually laughed out loud at several points… the Mean Girl references… and especially Dylan’s younger sister. I’m not sure why I found her so funny, but the things she would comment on were just so innocent. Barbie Girl blew me away honestly… I absolutely adored it and I cannot wait for the second book. It ended at a place that is really open for interpretation what is going to happen and I just need to know! If you love romantic contemporaries, that will make you laugh but also touch on your emotions, absolutely try this one.
  • Project Five Fifteen - First Light on May 04, 2013

    First Light was sooo much different from what I expected it to be. First off, I was overwhelmed by how incredibly sad I was immediately. The main character, Ronnie, has just lost her father… is basically alone as her sister is flighty and is always off with her boyfriend or partying and even her best friend has left her alone. The fact that Ronnie has just lost her father got to my core, it made my heart twist for her. I absolutely adored Ronnie. I thought she was a great main character; incredibly strong and determined especially for someone so young that was just faced with quite a bit of despair. I also adored Kalen. At first I thought he was strange but, oh my, I loved him by the end of this book. He comes off as so cold but yet so loving by the end of First Light. I also absolutely adored the boys, Denver, Nash, Ace… I can’t explain how much I loved them especially Ace. I hated Laith… he instantly made me feel uneasy and I couldn’t trust him. When I first started reading First Light I thought the story was a bit unbelievable. A government conspiracy? A young girl who is recently orphaned allowed to live in her house by herself? Come on… but the more I read the more I forgot about those things and instantly feel in love with the characters and was completely addicted to the story. It’s a fly by the seat of your pants type of novel and there is barely a moment without action. I adored Samantha Summer’s writing, it was soooo easy to read and I felt more like I was in the story, not reading it. I dove into the second book immediately… you have no choice, it ends in such a way you NEED to pick up As You Were! I highly recommend First Light, wonderful start to an exciting thriller series.
  • Project Five Fifteen #2 - As You Were on May 04, 2013

    I could not wait to pick up As You Were. I was dying for more Ronnie, Kalen, Ace… just all of them. I loved the characters so much and I was sooo attached to them. As You Were starts off with Kalen & Ronnie in hiding, alone. Out of nowhere Ace discovers them and gives drastic news, Nash is missing and he still hasn’t met up with Denver. Kalen sets off to find them and things go down hill from there. It thrusts the group into a run across Europe.. and they are in danger. I don’t want to go into a lot of detail as I do not want spoilers for First Light.. and a main part of this plot is a major spoiler for the end of First Light but I’ll do my best There was so much heartache for me in As You Were. I was constantly on the verge of tears because it always felt like you were about to witness the death of one your most loved characters. The action was absolutely non stop.. it was incredible, it when I thought everything had died down of course it hadn’t! We are also introduced to a few new characters, and some other Project Five Fifteen boys. My favorite part about this, that sets it apart from First Light is the fact there are alternating chapters every so often that have flashbacks to the time when the boys were with the agency. It really gives you a clear perspective of what they were subjected to and their relationships with one another. I thoroughly enjoyed that, and it softened my heart to a lot of the hard edges the boys had. I adored Ronnie still(and more so) in the second book, Kalen more… and my love for Ace has grown tenfold. I adore that kid. All in all, this was a great continuation to the series. I was shocked to learn there is a third part and it’s such a cliffhanger! I need it NOW!!! I 100% recommend this to series to anyone that loves contemporary, thrillers and great main and supporting characters. Fantastic read.