Monthly Archives:: March 2017

Goodbye Paradise Review

March 31, 2017 Reviews 0 ★★★★

Goodbye Paradise ReviewGoodbye Paradise (Hello Goodbye, #1) by Sarina Bowen
Published by Rennie Road Books on March 21st 2017
Pages: 266
Source: Purchased
Also by this author: Bittersweet (True North, #1), Rookie Move (Brooklyn Bruisers, #1)
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four-stars
Most people called it a cult. But for twenty years, Josh and Caleb called it home.
In Paradise, there is no television. No fast food. Just long hours of farm work and prayer on a dusty Wyoming ranch, and nights in a crowded bunkhouse. The boys of the Compound are kept far from the sinners’ world.
But Joshua doesn’t need temptation to sin. His whole life, he’s wanted his best friend, Caleb. By day they work side by side. Only when Josh closes his eyes at night can they be together the way he craves.
It can never be. And his survival depends on keeping his terrible desires secret.
Caleb has always protected Josh against the worst of the bullying at the Compound. But he has secrets of his own, and a plan to get away — until it all backfires.
Josh finds himself homeless in a world that doesn’t want him. Can Caleb find him in time? And will they find a place of safety, where he can admit to Josh how he really feels?
Warning: Contains a hot male/male romance, copious instances of taking the Lord's name in vain, and love against the kitchen counter. This book was previously released under the title: In Front of God & Everyone.

I’ve been a fan of Sarina Bowen’s books for over a year now. Some of her books are kind of hit or miss for me, but I can proudly say that this one was definitely a hit for me. Though it was so heartbreaking at times, it was still such a romantic and refreshing romance between two fabulous men. If you’re looking for an m/m love story that doesn’t have ridiculous drama, has a unique setting, and has wonderful characters that you can’t help but cheer for, this book is probably for you. I recommend picking it up! Sarina hasn’t let down here with this new series. I only wish that I had read it when it was first published under a different name a few years ago.

Josh is such a sweet and caring guy. There honestly isn’t anything that I disliked about him. He had such a wonderful and pure personality. I really sympathized with all the years that he spent inside the cult. He was bullied by a particular group of people inside of it that targeted him for being gay. I can’t say this enough, I just enjoyed him as a character. He had so many awesome personality traits that made him instantly likable. For example, Josh is great at taking care of Maggie’s baby. More on her later, but through taking care of her, he learned how great he is at taking care of babies in general. I loved getting to see him figuring out his strength and true passion.

On the other hand, we have Caleb. I also loved Caleb. I loved how passionate and sure he was about Josh, even when Josh had his doubts about whether or not them being together was okay. Caleb was always very careful and understanding when Josh had these doubts, and I loved that about him. He’s a decent guy all around. He may not be good with kids like Josh is, but he discovered his passion for working with cars while still in the cult. I’ll admit that I did get frustrated with Caleb for a hot minute towards the end. I’m not going to say much about it, but it made me want to shake him. Thankfully, the drama didn’t last longer than a couple of pages so it didn’t turn out to be a huge deal.

Caleb and Josh make such a powerful and beautiful couple. I was a little surprised by how early on in the book that they get together. As soon as they leave the cult, they end up hooking up, which was surprising. However, they did already have an established friendship so that made it believable. They are such a sweet and lovely couple, you can’t help but cheer for them to have a happy ending because of all the bullshit they were put through for most of their lives. So the romance was hot and fantastic. It was one of my favorite aspects of the book for sure!

So the supporting characters were memorable as well. Once they escape, they hitch hike a ride from a kind trucker named Washington. This dude is so freaking nice and you can’t help but instantly love him. Though he’s mostly in the first part of the book, he doesn’t go away, and the boys never forget all he did for them. The boys move in with Maggie who escaped the cult years back and is now married. Her husband Daniel is just as hilarious and caring as his wife. They become Caleb and Josh’s family, and you fall in love with those two (and baby Chloe) just as much as you do with the boys. Sarina Bowen is amazing at writing well developed characters, even if they are simply supporting.

As a whole, this was a fun book to read. I won’t lie, I wasn’t able to stop reading once I first picked it up. I was just automatically swept away by the characters, both main and supporting. Caleb and Josh are two compelling and well written characters. I can’t talk about them enough without just continually rambling. So I’m going to repeat that you should read this if you’re looking for something sad, but not completely heartbreaking. It might have some sadness, but there’s a lot of funny moments in there as well. You should just read it and judge it for yourself!

four-stars

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ARC Review: The Hidden Memory of Objects

March 30, 2017 Reviews, Young Adult 0 ★★★

ARC Review: The Hidden Memory of ObjectsThe Hidden Memory of Objects by Danielle Mages Amato
Published by Balzer + Bray on March 21st 2017
Pages: 336
Source: Edelweiss
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three-stars

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

Megan Brown’s brother, Tyler, is dead, but the cops are killing him all over again. They say he died of a drug overdose, potentially suicide—something Megan cannot accept. Determined to figure out what happened in the months before Tyler’s death, Megan turns to the things he left behind. After all, she understands the stories objects can tell—at fifteen, she is a gifted collage artist with a flair for creating found-object pieces. However, she now realizes that her artistic talent has developed into something more: she can see memories attached to some of Tyler’s belongings—and those memories reveal a brother she never knew.
Enlisting the help of an artifact detective who shares her ability and specializes in murderabilia—objects tainted by violence or the deaths of their owners—Megan finds herself drawn into a world of painful personal and national memories. Along with a trusted classmate and her brother's charming friend, she chases down the troubling truth about Tyler across Washington, DC, while reclaiming her own stifled identity with a vengeance.

The cover of The Hidden Memory of Objects is what initially drew me into this book. I wasn’t really sure how I was going to feel about the actual plot going into this though. I’ve tried to steer clear of books about death here lately since I’ve read so many, but I decided to try this one out anyway. Thought it wasn’t completely memorable for me, I’m still glad that I read this. I think readers who like contemporaries combined with a bit of history/mystery/paranormal. If it sounds like your cup of tea, then you should give this a try!

Megan is a decent protagonist. Honestly, there’s not a ton of things about her that really stand out to me. But I did appreciate how brave and bold she was throughout the entire novel. She never backed down from what she believed in, and that’s something that I always like to see. I’ll likely explain this more later on in the review, but I felt like her ability didn’t work at times. It was an interesting and unique thing for the character to have, but it didn’t totally make sense to me as a reader.

The romance isn’t a huge part of the plot, so I’m not going to touch on it all that much. I will say that the love interest is her brother Tyler’s friend that she didn’t know about until Tyler died. Nathan was a charming and sweet guy. I really enjoyed learning more and more about him as the book progressed. I won’t lie, I wanted more romance in the story, but I get that there were obviously more pressing matters. Another character that I wanted to talk about is her friend Eric. Oh man, Eric is absolutely hilarious. When he first learns about the power that Megan has when she touches certain objects, he’s obsessed with discovering her origin story. He might be a bit of a geek, but you can’t help but love him and his story so much.

As mentioned earlier, it’s the elements that go beyond contemporary that lost me somewhat. I can appreciate a good mystery, but the history and paranormal side wasn’t all that strong to me. Specifically, the paranormal element of Megan having the ability to touch objects and instantly be able to see a certain scene that took place. Like she was able to see the assassination of Lincoln and some specific details about that night. It was a unique plot that I’ve never seen done this specific way, but it still didn’t fully make sense to me. I’m a contemporary reader generally, and I like it when things are realistic to at least an extent, so some of this stuff just didn’t belong in my opinion.

If you don’t mind a combination of genres that might not seem to really go together, then you might like this one. I felt like the first half of the novel was very slow paced. In about the middle though, it did pick up speed and I was hardly able to put it down. Though I highly doubt this book will stay with me all that long after reading it, I don’t exactly regret reading it. It had some solid parts to say the least. The characters were all well developed and strong. The romance may haven’t been such an essential part of the plot, it was still sweet. I’m looking forward to the next book that this author writes!

three-stars

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ARC Review: Things I Should Have Known

March 29, 2017 Reviews, Young Adult 0 ★★★½

ARC Review: Things I Should Have KnownThings I Should Have Known by Claire LaZebnik
Published by HMH Books for Young Readers on March 28th 2017
Source: Netgalley
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three-half-stars

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

From the author of Epic Fail comes the story of Chloe Mitchell, a Los Angeles girl on a quest to find love for her autistic sister, Ivy. Ethan, from Ivy’s class, seems like the perfect match. It’s unfortunate that his older brother, David, is one of Chloe’s least favorite people, but Chloe can deal, especially when she realizes that David is just as devoted to Ethan as she is to Ivy.
Uncommonly honest and refreshingly funny, this is a story about sisterhood, autism, and first love. Chloe, Ivy, David, and Ethan, who form a quirky and lovable circle, will steal readers’ hearts and remind us all that it’s okay to be a different kind of normal.  

Things I Should Have Known is a fast paced and refreshing story. I’ve never read anything by this author before, but I’m definitely going to look into her other stories now. I was looking for a heartfelt and not overly heavy contemporary read, and that’s exactly what I received here. The plot is a rather unique one, and we need more YA novels that deal with teens caring for their sibling who is autistic. The romance was also realistic, sweet, and charming. I recommend reading this if you want to read something relevant and important, with some swoon thrown in for good measure. I’m happy that I read this!

Chloe is a fierce and great character. She’s not perfect but what teenager is? I really respected her for being able to step up and take care of her sister when her mom isn’t so great at doing it. She’s a seventeen year old girl who has responsibilities that most teens never have to worry about. I wasn’t always a fan of how she didn’t stand up for her sister more when her friends/boyfriend would make rather offensive offhand comments about her. She didn’t want them to think that she was overreacting, which is something that I do understand. She made mistakes, but she was still a solid character as a whole.

The main thing that you need to know about David is that he’s a feminist. Some people may not love him right off the bat (or maybe at all) but I still liked him in the end. He’s a grumpy jerk for basically no reason at all. He doesn’t have some tragic backstory or anything. I ended up liking him so much because as the book progresses, we learn how sensitive and sweet he really is. The fact that he cries is awesome to me. We don’t get the chance to see that side of most love interests in YA books so I thought this was specifically refreshing. He was so sweet to his brother Ethan (who is also autistic) and I loved his relationship with him as well. So just keep in mind that while he has a grumpy exterior in the beginning, he’s a true softy underneath and I truly enjoyed seeing this.

So let’s talk about Chloe’s sister Ivy. As mentioned, she’s autistic and Chloe takes care of her for the most part since her mom is too concerned with her husband to primarily care for her. Anyway, I thought that Ivy was so sweet and brave. I thought that her autism was written in an honest and well researched fashion. The relationship between Chloe and Ivy is pretty much the entire purpose of the book. I felt like it was definitely well written and realistic. I loved the bond that they shared.

If you’re not a fan of hate to love romances, you’ll probably not like this one. There’s A LOT of hate going on. And it’s not like they used to be friends but now they hate each other. Nope, they’ve just always hated each other for whatever reason. There’s also the fact that Chloe has a boyfriend, which I didn’t love. I did appreciate how the relationship between them slowly and realistically progressed. The romance wasn’t my favorite, but it still had a little swoon.

Although it wasn’t exactly perfect, this was still a nice novel. Chloe was a funny, sarcastic, and kind teenager. I know a lot of people who aren’t a fan of some of the themes/tropes like hate to love, mean girls, and a love triangle, so you should probably stay clear if that’s you. If you’re able to overlook this, you get a clever and fairly unique story. I enjoyed this one for the most part. I felt like the author did a decent job at writing realistic teenagers. I’m glad that I had the chance to read this one.

three-half-stars

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Authors I’m Dying to Meet

March 27, 2017 Features 12

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This is a place where you can share all of your lists with other list lovers out there. There’s a new theme every week to center your list around. This week, the theme is all about authors that you REALLY want to meet or authors that you’ve already met. I’ve only met two popular authors, so there’s no way I could make this about authors that I have already met. Anyway, this topic is a lot of fun and I can’t wait to share my picks! I look forward to seeing what everyone else comes up with for this topic.

1. Sarah Dessen

It’s no secret that she’s been my all time favorite author since middle school. I’ve read all of her books (besides the one that hasn’t been released yet) and can never get enough of her words. Not to mention the fact that she just seems like such a cool human being in general. I love her so much! It would be a dream come true to finally get the chance to meet her. Thankfully, my brother lives in North Carolina now so hopefully I can visit one of her events if it’s a local one.

2. Morgan Matson

Morgan Matson is one of absolute favorite authors. She also is so witty and hilarious in her books and on Twitter. I would totally freak out if I ever met her!

3. Kasie West

She’s another one of my favorite authors. You can probably sense a theme already, these authors all write mostly contemporary. I’m just such a huge fan of all of her works, especially P.S. I Like You. Kasie West can do no wrong in my opinion.

4. Becky Albertalli

I love Becky! Though she’s only written two books so far, she’s an amazing author who I adore. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is one of my all time favorite books, and I push it on people all of the time. The Upside of Unrequited hasn’t been released yet, but get it on your radar if you haven’t picked it up yet because it’s SO amazing. She’s also another one of those authors who just seems like such a humble and wonderful human being.

5. Heather Demetrios

I’ve only read her contemporary novels, but both of those are two of my all time favorites. Heather is just an absolutely incredible author. Everything that she writes is so compelling, unique, and beautiful. I love everything about I’ll Meet You There and Something Real. I can’t wait for Bad Romance to come out! I would just love to tell her how powerful and one of a kind her books are.

6. Rainbow Rowell

So you should know by now just how awesome Rainbow and her books are. I haven’t read Carry On yet, but it’s still on my list. Anyway, her books and the characters that she creates somehow stick with you long after you close her books. She also seems like such a fun person to meet and talk to!

7. Stephanie Perkins

Who doesn’t like Stephanie Perkins? Though it seems like its be forever since she’s released a book (the anthology doesn’t totally count) she’s still one of my favorites. She’s also so much fun to talk to on Twitter. She seems like such a chill and down to earth person. I would love to meet her one of these days.

8. David Levithan

Every Day was one of the most unique and compelling books that I’ve had the pleasure of reading. I also really loved his book The Lover’s Dictionary. David has such a brilliant mind, and you know that whatever he writes is going to be something completely different from the last book that he wrote. It would be so great to have the chance to meet him.

9. Jennifer L. Armentrout

Image result for jennifer l armentrout

Even though we’re actually from the same state, I’ve never gotten the chance to meet her. It sucks, but it seems like she doesn’t have many events in West Virginia since she goes to so many awesome places like Las Vegas. Hopefully I’ll get the opportunity to meet her sooner rather than later!

10. Adam Silvera

Seriously though, Adam seems like the coolest guy ever. Even though both of his books (and it looks the third one will be too) are depressing as hell, he always seems so friendly on Twitter and in pictures that I’ve seen of him with fans at book signings. I also respect him so much for being vocal and honest about his personal struggles with depression. I’d be thrilled if I ever got to go to one of his events!

I could honestly keep going and going with my list of authors that I would love to meet. I think I’m going to stop there though, so I don’t bore you guys with all of my ramblings. Hope you liked my picks! I hope you guys have a great rest of the week.

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Big Little Lies Review

March 27, 2017 Reviews 0 ★★★

Big Little Lies ReviewBig Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
Published by Berkley on July 29th 2014
Pages: 460
Source: Library
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three-stars
Big Little Lies follows three women, each at a crossroads:
Madeline is a force to be reckoned with. She’s funny and biting, passionate, she remembers everything and forgives no one. Her ex-husband and his yogi new wife have moved into her beloved beachside community, and their daughter is in the same kindergarten class as Madeline’s youngest (how is this possible?). And to top it all off, Madeline’s teenage daughter seems to be choosing Madeline’s ex-husband over her. (How. Is. This. Possible?).
Celeste is the kind of beautiful woman who makes the world stop and stare. While she may seem a bit flustered at times, who wouldn’t be, with those rambunctious twin boys? Now that the boys are starting school, Celeste and her husband look set to become the king and queen of the school parent body. But royalty often comes at a price, and Celeste is grappling with how much more she is willing to pay.
New to town, single mom Jane is so young that another mother mistakes her for the nanny. Jane is sad beyond her years and harbors secret doubts about her son. But why? While Madeline and Celeste soon take Jane under their wing, none of them realizes how the arrival of Jane and her inscrutable little boy will affect them all.
Big Little Lies is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive.

Wow, so this wasn’t what I was expecting at all. I figured this would be similar to Girl on the Train or Gone Girl since I thought that the book was about a murder that happened, though we don’t know who died or who did it. However, Big Little Lies centers more on three mothers in a little Australian town who all have children that are in the same first grade class. It’s about their lives, and the secrets that they keep. It’s definitely more Women’s Fiction than I thought it would be. I have no problem with Women’s Fiction, I just wasn’t totally anticipating all of these rather heavy personal problems that went down. This wasn’t a bad book, just pretty underwhelming as a whole for me.

Like I said, the story focuses mainly on three different women. Each of them had very complicated lives and secrets that they kept from each other. These women are Madeline, Celeste, and Jane. Madeline just turned 40 years old, and she has a teenage daughter from a previous marriage in addition to two younger kids from her second. She’s dealing with issues regarding her ex-husband and his new wife, they have a first grader who is in Chloe’s class. Madeline was a seriously entertaining character. She had the lightest story of the three women. Madeline was the most dramatic and loves to start stuff with one particular mom. She’s been friends with Celeste for awhile now, but she also takes in Jane, who is new to the town.

Celeste is a heartbreaking character to say the least. I don’t know what I should or shouldn’t say about Celeste. But we find out rather early on that she’s being abused by her husband. It’s particularly touching and hard to swallow because she often blames herself for hitting him back and believes she deserves it. Although I’ve never personally been in an abusive relationship and don’t know many people who have, a lot of cases that I’ve read about were ones where the victims felt like they provoked their partner and deserved it.

Jane was a really well written character as well. She’s new to town for reasons that aren’t fully revealed until later in the novel. She’s a very young mom at 24, she had Ziggy when she was only 18. The father of the baby is far from being in the picture, he was the result of a one night stand. I think it’s extremely commendable that she’s such a fabulous single mom to her little boy. She also manages to work part time on top of all that. Jane is haunted by her past, and has kept it a secret for a long time now.

As you can tell, I liked the characters. I’ve seen some reviews and articles about the characters being unlikable in the TV show, but I didn’t feel that way at all. So what didn’t I like then? I’m glad that you asked! I thought that the random addition of testimony from the parents to the police was interesting but also a bit scattered. There was just quite a lot of parents, many of which I personally couldn’t keep track of. I thought it could have been better organized as a whole. I felt as if the pace was WAY too slow. I felt like a lot of it seemed to drag on. It was a long book, and some of the details probably weren’t necessary. I was seriously disappointed by the ending. I won’t go into details, but I will just say that I felt like it was weak. I get what the author was trying to do, but I felt like it wasn’t fully effective.

Big Little Lies isn’t a bad book and I can see why people enjoyed it. It just wasn’t completely my kind of book. I’m still planning on reading more from this author since I’ve heard such positive things about her work. I decided to read it before I watched the TV show so I’d know what to expect going on. I’m happy that I did. I’m only on episode two right now, but I seriously enjoy it so far, especially the awesome music. I’m glad that I read it, but it wasn’t my favorite.

three-stars

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Fixing Delilah Review

March 20, 2017 Reviews, Young Adult 1 ★★★★

Fixing Delilah ReviewFixing Delilah by Sarah Ockler
on December 1st 2010
Pages: 308
Source: Library
Buy on AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository
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four-stars
Things in Delilah Hannaford's life have a tendency to fall apart.
She used to be a good student, but she can't seem to keep it together anymore. Her "boyfriend" isn't much of a boyfriend. And her mother refuses to discuss the fight that divided their family eight years ago. Falling apart, it seems, is a Hannaford tradition.
Over a summer of new friendships, unexpected romance, and moments that test the complex bonds between mothers and daughters, Delilah must face her family's painful past. Can even her most shattered relationships be pieced together again?
Rich with emotion, Sarah Ockler delivers a powerful story of family, love, and self-discovery.

This is the second book that I’ve read by Sarah Ockler, and I’ve heard nothing but positive things about all of her novels. I have to admit that so far, I haven’t totally loved her books as much as everyone else has, but I do like her so far. Fixing Delilah wasn’t my favorite book by a long, but I still really enjoyed reading it. I thought that it was fast paced and fascinating from the first page. I was completely immersed in the world that Ockler has created here. The characters were all so well rounded, complex, and imperfect. I will admit that Delilah probably wasn’t my favorite, but I loved that she had her flaws and had a lot of character growth as the book progressed. I feel like one of the last people to read this book, I’m still happy that I finally got around to picking it up. Eventually, I’m sure that I’ll manage to read all of Ockler’s books.

As mentioned, Delilah has her flaws, but what teenager doesn’t? I believe that her flaws and imperfections make her all the more complicated, intriguing, and relatable. A lot of what Delilah goes through throughout the novel are many things that myself and other teenage girls also went through, so it’s reassuring and comforting to see this happen here. At the beginning of the novel, Delilah definitely has an attitude problem. Some of her actions did frustrate me at times, but I was also able to understand where she was coming from. She was a lost girl, and she gradually found herself more as the novel went on. Delilah was a beautiful character. I think that a lot of people will really be able to identify with her.

Patrick is seriously my dude. I thought that he was so charming, witty, hilarious, and amazing. He was beyond swoony in literally every single scene that he was in. This dude had very few flaws to him. I loved that he and Delilah shared a history, they were both close were younger and spent their summers together until Delilah was eight. Anyway, he grew into a cute and confident older guy, who is next to impossible to ignore. He’s completely my type: artsy, musician, swoony, he’s basically got it all. I thought he was just such a lovely and fascinating guy. Though I like to think that he’s perfect, he has his flaws as well. At the end of the day though, he’s simply crazy about Delilah and you have to love and respect him for that.

Like I said, the romance between Patrick and Delilah is even more adorable due to the fact that they were friends when they were younger and spent the summers together. Though they spent eight years apart, they’ve come together yet again like no time has passed at all. I found them to be such a great and strong couple. They weren’t perfect, but they were still pretty strong as a whole. I thought that they just somehow worked together. They were able to balance each other out in such a real and relatable way. I wasn’t a fan of all of the drama that went down at the end of the book. I get that there has to be some angst for the couple towards the end, but it still seemed as if this one was out of control and went on about twenty or thirty pages too long.

All in all, I thought that this was a beautiful and well written novel. Was it my favorite? No, it wasn’t. But it still had some beautiful and complicated characters that made me feel such a strong variety of emotions. Although I didn’t have a fabulous experience with Ockler’s book Twenty Boy Summer, I’ve found this one to be pretty great, and plan on reading more from her extremely soon. There was quite a bit of angst in this one, but also a lot of parts that really surprised me and kept me engrossed in the story. I’m so happy that I was able to finally read this one!

four-stars

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Cover Reveal: The Hot Shot

March 17, 2017 Features 0

the hot shot release date

 

TheHotShot Amazon-2

 

 

 

TheHotShot Amazon-2First we were friends. Then we were roommates. Now I want more…

What can I say about Chess Copper? The woman is capable of bringing me to my knees. I know this about five minutes after getting naked for her.

No one is more surprised than me. The prickly photographer my team hired to shoot our annual charity calendar isn’t my usual type. She’s defense to my offense, a challenge at every turn. But when I’m with her, all the regrets and darkness goes away. She makes life fun.

I want to know Chess, be close to her. Which is a bad idea.

Chess is looking for a relationship. I’ve never given a woman more than one night. But when fate leaves Chess without a home, I step up and offer her mine. We’re roommates now. Friends without benefits. But it’s getting harder to keep our hands off each other. And the longer we live together the more I realize she’s becoming my everything.

Trick is… Now that I’ve made her believe I’m a bad bet, how do I convince her to give this player a true shot at forever?

 

ADD TO GOODREADS

 

 

 

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KCauthor

Kristen Callihan is an author because there is nothing else she’d rather be. She is a three-time RITA nominee and winner of two RT Reviewer’s Choice awards. Her novels have garnered starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly and the Library Journal, as well as being awarded top picks by many reviewers. Her debut book FIRELIGHT received RT Magazine’s Seal of Excellence, was named a best book of the year by Library Journal , best book of Spring 2012 by Publisher’s Weekly, and was named the best romance book of 2012 by ALA RUSA. When she is not writing, she is reading.

WEBSITE / FACEBOOK / TWITTER / AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

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Before I Fall Review

March 16, 2017 Reviews, Young Adult 0 ★★★½

Before I Fall ReviewBefore I Fall by Lauren Oliver
Published by HarperCollins on October 25th 2010
Pages: 470
Source: Library
Also by this author: Replica (Replica, #1)
Buy on AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository
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three-half-stars
With this stunning debut novel, New York Times bestselling author Lauren Oliver emerged as one of today's foremost authors of young adult fiction. Like Jay Asher's Thirteen Reasons Why and Gayle Forman's If I Stay, Before I Fall raises thought-provoking questions about love, death, and how one person's life can affect so many others.
For popular high school senior Samantha Kingston, February 12—"Cupid Day"—should be one big party, a day of valentines and roses and the privileges that come with being at the top of the social pyramid. And it is…until she dies in a terrible accident that night.
However, she still wakes up the next morning. In fact, Sam lives the last day of her life seven times, until she realizes that by making even the slightest changes, she may hold more power than she ever imagined.
Named to numerous state reading lists, this novel was also recognized as a Best Book of the Year by Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, The Daily Beast, NPR, and Publishers Weekly. It has been optioned for film by Fox 2000 Pictures.
Supports the Common Core State Standards.

Wow, so I’m honestly not entirely sure how I feel about this book. I took such a long time to read it because I wasn’t really sure if this would be my kind of book. I wasn’t sure what to make of the whole mean girl thing or the concept overall. I ended up picking it up because of the recent movie adaptation. The trailer seemed interesting enough so I wanted to give the book a shot before I saw it in theaters. Anyway, this was definitely a unique book. I’ve seen so many people who absolutely adored the book and felt like it was the best thing ever. I didn’t have the same reaction, though I didn’t exactly dislike it either. I think that Oliver has crafted a beautifully written novel, but it still just wasn’t entirely my type of story. So this book has been out for seven years now and so I’m going to have some serious spoilers. I’m sorry if you haven’t read it, but you can just skip this completely if you don’t want to know major details about the ending.

At the beginning of the book, Sam is a total mean girl. She wasn’t always this way, she used to get made fun of herself, but that all changed when one of the most popular girls wanted to be her friend and her popularity automatically rose. So yeah, she’s extremely difficult to relate to and sympathize with for the first couple hundred pages. As she mentions, no one deserves to die, but I still wasn’t a fan to say the least. Thankfully, she became easier to identify with as the book progressed. By the end, you can’t help but love Sam and hope that she’s able to find a way out of reliving her death and figure out how to save herself. I loved that she was able to see her flaws and be able to change that around for the better. She had some of the best character development that I’ve ever come across. However, I wasn’t sure what to make of her complete attitude change towards the end of the book. Like on day six, she was determined to find a way to save herself and Juliet but then on the last day of her life, she had somehow accepted it all. Maybe I missed something, but I wasn’t sure what to make of that.

The main issue that I had with the novel was the mean girls. Yes, Sam does change in the middle of the story, but her friends sure as hell don’t. I get that Sam didn’t want Lindsay, Elody, and Ally to die in the car accident, but I still don’t understand why she would still be friends with them after all the shit she learned. She discovered that Lindsay hated Juliet now, but she actually used to be best friends with her in elementary school. Then Lindsay peed in her sleeping bag on a Girl Scout trip and blamed it on Juliet, leading everyone to call her a horrible name for years. Juliet has a difficult home life and all the terrible bullying obviously doesn’t help matters, which leads her to attempt suicide. After learning all this, how can Sam even look at Lindsay the same way? Even when Sam confronted her about it, she didn’t seem to show that much remorse, not enough to change anything about herself anyway. Who knows, maybe Sam’s death will make these girls better people.

All in all, this wasn’t a terrible book, but it wasn’t my favorite either. I think maybe my expectations were too high going in since everyone loved it so much. The book was also rather thick considering the fact that it only had seven chapters total. I did really enjoy that even though she relived the same day over and over, it wasn’t repetitive. There was always something new going on and different dialogue happening. I thought this was a nice touch that made it even more enjoyable to read. I thought that Kent was absolutely precious. I wanted more and more from him, and wished that her boyfriend (I honestly already forgot his name) didn’t exist at all. I thought the ending was obviously depressing, but also surprising and refreshing. Regardless of some of my mixed feelings, I can’t deny the fact that this book totally makes you think.

three-half-stars

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ARC Review: Undeclared

March 13, 2017 Reviews 0 ★★★

ARC Review: UndeclaredUndeclared (Burnham College, #2) by Julianna Keyes
Published by Julianna Keyes on February 27th 2017
Pages: 236
Source: Netgalley
Also by this author: Undecided
Buy on AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository
Goodreads
three-stars

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

Kellan McVey is Burnham College’s most prolific athlete, partier, and ladies’ man—and that’s just how he likes it. Returning to reign for his third year, he wants nothing to change. Then Andrea Walsh shows up.
It wasn’t too long ago that Andi and Kellan were lifelong friends, mortal enemies, and, for one hot summer, more. Then Kellan left and Andi stayed behind.
Kellan thought he’d moved past that last summer’s heartbreak, but with Andi sitting next to him in class, befriending his friends, and battling for the same once-in-a-lifetime job opportunity, he’s starting to remember why he hated her…and why he loved her.
Kellan has a long list of reasons that falling for Andi again is a terrible idea, though every new moment together challenges that theory. But Andi’s all too familiar with Kellan’s love ’em and leave ’em approach—and she’s found someone else to get serious about.
Burnham’s campus king has never had to fight for a girl, but if he wants Andi to give him another chance, he’ll have to do the one thing he’s never had the nerve to do: admit it.

Undecided was one of my favorite books last year, and easily the best NA book that I read. It was hilarious, easy to relate to, and memorable. I was beyond excited for Kellan’s story, but sadly, I didn’t find him to be as compelling and swoony as Crosbie. Honestly, I was just even more prepared to read Undecided all over again after reading this one. It definitely wasn’t bad, I just didn’t fully relate to it in the way that I was anticipating. This one had a bit more angst to it and a lot more side stories and characters. I would totally read a third book if Keyes decides to continue on, but this wasn’t my favorite. Hopefully I’ll have better luck next time.

Like I said, I didn’t love Kellan as much as my boy Crosbie. I found him intriguing in Undecided and in dire need of a girl to set him straight. I’m never a major fans of big playboys, and that’s exactly what Kellan is. Fortunately though, we don’t see that side of him in this book, he’s now a lot more grounded and less focused on women as a whole. He had his swoony moments, but I just wasn’t blown away by him for the most part. I thought he was a good guy, but not overly memorable. My standards might have been too high to begin with, but they still weren’t met. I’m glad that he received his own story, it just wasn’t exactly what I was expecting.

Andi was Kellan’s love interest. She and Kellan have serious history with each other. I’ll talk more about their relationship and how it started in the next paragraph. So basically I feel like we don’t know enough about Andi. The main thing that we know about her is that she’s a tomboy who is on the volleyball team and loves playing all sports. She also has a strong idea about what she wants to do for the rest of her life. Other than that though, I didn’t feel very connected to her. I wanted to learn more about her personality and interests. Maybe part of it was that we didn’t get her perspective at all, I’m not sure. All I know is that I wanted more information. With what we knew, I wasn’t completely able to relate to her like I did with Nora. She was a good character with a good personality, but not memorable since I didn’t fully understand her and what she was all about as a person.

So as I mentioned, Kellan and Andi have some serious personal history. They were next door neighbors and best friends growing up. They also had a summer fling the summer before Kellan left for college. Andi was the person that the big playboy lost his virginity to. I’m typically a fan of second chance romances. I wasn’t 100% okay with this one because I thought that it was messed up how he knew that Andi was in love with him for so long but he still strung her along and treated her like crap. Sometimes he wasn’t even aware of what we was doing, but he still knew how she felt about him. I thought his past behavior was wrong, he could have handled how things went between them towards the end of their first romance way better. I did think that things between them were pretty steamy. I did like them as a couple once they got everything figured out, it just took them a very long time to finally get there.

Undeclared wasn’t a bad story by any means, but I simply didn’t enjoy it as much as I did Undecided. I’m not sure exactly what it was about it that didn’t completely click with me, I think it might have been the characters and the plot. I felt like some of the plot was a little scattered in how it focused on other characters outside of Andi and Kellan. I know that sounds weird to say, but there was this freshman who Kellan briefly goes out with and I thought it was weird how the plot spent some time on her. In my opinion, that time could have been spent on giving us even more insight into who Andi is and more of her friendship with Kellan. The writing was great, I just didn’t love this one in the end.

three-stars

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Catching Carly Review Blitz

March 8, 2017 Blog Tours, Reviews 0

 

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Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000035_00027]My name is Carly Porter… And I’m really good at bad decisions.

How do I know this, exactly? Well, not including the time I accidentally bleached my eyebrows or sprained my ankle changing a lightbulb…

I had sex with my best friend’s brother.

Zeke Elliott has been a thorn in my side for eleven years. A very sexy, very tempting, very freaking annoying one. With big…hands.

And now my clitoris has a crush on the guy.

Seriously. I can’t look at him without my vagina performing accidental kegels. Which would be fine, but he’s Cain’s brother. I hate him. He’s off limits, right?

Right.

 

AMAZON US | AMAZON UK | AMAZON AU | AMAZON CA | B&N | iBooks

 

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REVIEW:

I thought that Being Brooke was a fun and witty story, so I was eager for Brooke’s best friend Carly to get her own story. I also love the fact that her love interest is Zeke, Cain’s cocky brother. This was a sweet and fast paced romantic comedy that I really enjoyed reading. It made me laugh out loud many times, and also cringe at some of the particularly awkward moments. I’m glad that I read this one and I’ll definitely continue reading anything that the awesome Emma Hart writes. I recommend this if you’re looking for a lighthearted and funny romance.

Carly is a hot mess but you have to love her for that. Her life isn’t quite as messy and complicated as Brooke’s was in the last book, but she still doesn’t have her dating life together. She’s hilarious and full of witty comments. She’s also extremely sassy and doesn’t take anyone’s crap. I wouldn’t say that she’s my favorite character, but she was still pretty solid as a whole. It was a little difficult for me to connect with her at times, but she was still a fun person.

Zeke was an awesome character, and he was a little different from your average Emma Hart hero. His personality is cocky and very sexual, but he uses it as a front to cover up his real insecurities from finding out that his fiancee was cheating on him right before he got married. So he has a lot of understandable trust issues and doesn’t open up to others easily. Other than that though, he was still swoony in his own way. He had some really sweet and adorable moments that I liked seeing. The only problem was that some of his swoony scenes just kind of came out of nowhere. He’s the type of guy who expresses his feelings in other ways than just saying it, so it was a bit out of character for him to say these amazing things.

The romance between Zeke and Carly was pretty great for the most part. They start out as being enemies but it gradually becomes a lot more than just that. I liked all of the banter that went down between them. It was hilarious and witty, and I’m always a fan of that. For the most part though, the relationship is built on the physical attraction that they have. I felt like the emotional part wasn’t explored as well as it could have been. I also didn’t really understand why they were enemies in the first place. I won’t lie though, the sex was pretty steamy for the most part.

Catching Carly wasn’t my favorite book by any means, but it was still a pretty decent novel as a whole. The pacing was rather quick, and I wasn’t able to put it down once I started reading it. It’s a quick and light read that doesn’t contain a lot of angst. If you enjoyed Being Brooke, you’ll be happy to know that both Brooke and Cain as well as some of the other characters feature pretty heavily in this one. Emma Hart is such a great author, and is now one of my go to authors when I’m looking for a light romantic comedy.

three-stars

EXCERPT:

I close my eyes and slip one leg out of the window.

Everybody can see my panties.

Not that anyone is here, but I just know everybody can.

This is horrible. And it hurts.

I’m never dating again.

I’m going to buy fifty cats. They’ll never make me climb out of a bathroom window.

“You’re looking at my underwear, aren’t you?” I ask, unfortunately pausing with my legs wide open.

“No.”

“Liar.”

“It’s nice underwear.”

“Oh god.” I swing my other leg down a little too quick.

My dress rides up.

Right over my ass.

And my feet can’t reach the crates.

Zeke chuckles.

“Help me, you pig!”

More laughter.

“I’m gonna be stuck here forever. Oh my god.”

The bathroom door opens.

Can this get any worse?

A fifty-something woman I don’t recognize freezes in the middle of the restroom.

I smile sweetly.

She eyes me suspiciously before shuffling into a cubicle.

“Get me down!” I hiss, kicking my legs. “Now, Ezekiel!”

Something scrapes and knocks together.

“Still so hot when you call me that. Especially when your ass is out.” Thud. “All right, sweetcheeks. I’ve got you.”

“Sweetcheeks? What is wrong with you?”

“Look, you can hang there all night bitchin’ at me if you want, but it’s not my bare ass in the middle of the alley. As much as I’m enjoying the view.”

“Oh my god,” I groan. “You swear you’ll catch me?”

“I swear.” His fingertips brush against my bare legs.

My shudder is disguised by the trembling of my arms as I lower myself down.

Zeke’s fingers trail up the outsides of my thighs until he grasps my waist. “Let go.”

I freeze, tensing up.

“Carly, let go. I have hold of you. I won’t drop you.”

Still tensed, I let go of the window ledge.

My life flashes before my eyes. Seriously. I see everything from my first memory to the moment I let go of the ledge and I squeal because I’m going to die and I know that he’s going to drop me and—

Zeke’s strong grip solidifies when he wraps his arm around my waist and holds me against him. “There,” he says calmly into my ear. “You dropped about six inches. You’re hardly cliff-diving.”

I open my eyes and look down at where his arm is pressed across my stomach. His grip is tight, and the popping veins on his forearm trace tantalizing lines across his skin.

And my dress is still around my hips.

I reach down and tug the material over my upper thighs. “Thank you.”

“You’re welcome.” He releases me, and when he jumps down from the crates, I see a flash of his cocky grin. “Nice thong.”

That explains the grin.

I clear my throat. “Thank you. It took me an hour to pick.”

“From your drawer?”

“No. From Victoria Secret. Have you seen how many panties are on that website?”

Zeke holds his hands out for me to take. “Oh, yeah. I’m wearing a pair right now.”

My lips curve slowly as I step down onto the ground. “Interesting. What type? Brief? Thong? Boy short? V-string?”

He blinks at me when I put my shoes on. “Why do you need so many different types? It’d be much easier if you just wore none at all.”

 

 

 

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emma-hart

By day, New York Times and USA Today bestselling New Adult author Emma Hart dons a cape and calls herself Super Mum to two beautiful little monsters. By night, she drops the cape, pours a glass of whatever she fancies—usually wine—and writes books.

Emma is working on Top Secret projects she will share with her followers and fans at every available opportunity. Naturally, all Top Secret projects involve a dashingly hot guy who likes to forget to wear a shirt, a sprinkling (or several) of hold-onto-your-panties hot scenes, and a whole lotta love.

She likes to be busy—unless busy involves doing the dishes, but that seems to be when all the ideas come to life.

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