Posts By: Rachel Geiger

Flying Lessons and Other Stories Review

February 9, 2017 Reviews 0 ★★★★

Flying Lessons and Other Stories ReviewFlying Lessons & Other Stories by Ellen Oh, Kwame Alexander, Kelly J. Baptist, Soman Chainani, Matt de la Pena, Tim Federle, Grace Lin, Meg Medina, Walter Dean Myers, Tim Tingle, Jacqueline Woodson
Published by Crown Books for Young Readers on January 3rd 2017
Pages: 225
Source: Netgalley
Also by this author: Summer Days & Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories, The Great American Whatever
Buy on AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository
Goodreads
four-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.

Whether it is basketball dreams, family fiascos, first crushes, or new neighborhoods, this bold anthology—written by the best children’s authors—celebrates the uniqueness and universality in all of us.
In a partnership with We Need Diverse Books, industry giants Kwame Alexander, Soman Chainani, Matt de la Peña, Tim Federle, Grace Lin, Meg Medina, Walter Dean Myers, Tim Tingle, and Jacqueline Woodson join newcomer Kelly J. Baptist in a story collection that is as humorous as it is heartfelt. This impressive group of authors has earned among them every major award in children’s publishing and popularity as New York Times bestsellers.
From these distinguished authors come ten distinct and vibrant stories.

I haven’t read Middle Grade in a LONG time. I honestly missed reading it. When I read that We Need Diverse Books was going to be creating a MG anthology, I knew that I had to read it. I actually ended up reading it the day of the inauguration instead of watching that, I felt like picking up this diverse book was a great response to that. Anyway, I thought that this was a wonderful collection. I’ve only read one (maybe two) of these authors previously, but I definitely plan on reading more of them in the future after this awesome introduction. The way this review is going to work is that I’m going to briefly touch on and rate all ten of the stories the best that I can.

How to Transform an Everyday, Ordinary Hoop Court into a Place of Higher Learning and You at the Podium by Matt de la Peña – 4 Stars

I’ve heard nothing but good things about this author, so I was excited to finally read something by him for myself. I felt like the use of the pronoun “you” throughout the story was a little weird and difficult to follow at times. However, the story itself was still really interesting and enjoyable. I thought that it was so cool how motivated the main character was to play basketball. He dedicated his entire early morning summers to improving his basketball skills. I found his character to be inspirational in general.

The Difficult Path by Grace Lin – 3 Stars

If I’m being honest, this was probably one of my least favorite stories in the collection. It’s really not anything personal, it’s just rare for me to love a fantasy/historical fiction story in an anthology. It’s typically the contemporary stories that stand out more to me, and it was no exception in this case. I thought that the writing itself was pretty good, I just didn’t feel extremely invested in this particular main character like I was hoping that I would be. I’m sure that some people will absolutely love this one because it involves pirates and some history mixed in there for good measure. The message is a solid one, but it just didn’t totally click for me.

Sol Painting Inc. by Meg Medina – 4 Stars

This was a wonderful and heartbreaking story that touches on a young girl who’s father works for a painting business, which she and her brother help out with in the summer, and she gets a big surprise when they get a job at her new school. This story is so important because it touches on the subject of racism in a heartbreaking and honest take on it. Though it touches on a heavy subject, it also had some lovely humor sprinkled in there. It was well written, and I’m going to be reading more from this author in the future.

Secret Samantha by Tim Federele – 3.5 Stars

I’ve actually read a YA short story by Tim in Summer Days and Summer Nights. It was one of my favorites in that collection so I was looking forward to reading this one as well. It was obviously a bit different just based on the genres alone, but it was still pretty good anyway. I personally preferred the YA story because I feel like it was longer and had more character development, but this was still cute and fun in it’s own way.

The Beans and Rice Chronicles of Isaiah Dunn by Kelly J. Baptist – 4.5 Stars

This was easily one of my favorites in the collections! I looked this author up and it seems like this is the first thing she’s ever written. I find that completely astonishing. This author writes like an old pro writer, and I love it. I can’t wait to read more from them in the future! I think this is such a good book because it’s emotional and touching. I’m always a sucker for a wonderful and heartbreaking story. It focuses on poverty, death, and grief, which are always relevant subjects that never get old.

Choctaw Bigfoot, Midnight in the Mountains by Tim Tingle – 2 Stars

I hate to say it, but this story just didn’t work for me. I can’t exactly pinpoint what it was, it just didn’t click for whatever reason. In my opinion, it was the weakest story in the collection. This is about an uncle telling a legend that’s been within the family for a long time now, and he’s telling the story to his young nieces and nephews. Maybe this particular story was just meant for younger readers and that’s why I wasn’t totally a fan of it.

Main Street by Jacqueline Woodson – 3.5 Stars

To be honest with you guys, this wasn’t all that memorable to me. I know that Woodson is a treasured author, and I am a fan of her writing and plan to read more from her. But the story itself didn’t completely make an impression on me. It wasn’t bad or anything, it just wasn’t one of the standouts from the collection for me. I do understand why other people have loved it though. I guess it just wasn’t my thing.

Flying Lessons by Soman Chainani – 5 Stars

If I had to pick only one, I’d have to say that this was likely my favorite story in the collection. It was filled with such memorable and lively characters, even besides the main character. This is a difficult thing to do in a short story, but somehow the author did it with ease. Nani is one of the funniest supporting characters that I’ve ever read. It’s about a grandma who decides that her grandson needs to have more adventure in his life the way that she does, so she takes him on an exciting trip. I think it’s also important and intriguing because it touches on the issue of sexuality and I believe that’s important to note even in MG books. I know that Tim Federele also does this wonderfully in the genre, but I think there can never be enough voices that are writing these stories. I will say that I was super confused by the ending, but I didn’t let that change my rating since the rest of it was so strong.

Seventy-Six Dollars and Forty-Nine Cents by Kwame Alexander – 3 Stars

This was another story that wasn’t a standout to me. It started out pretty strong, and I love how unique the writing style itself is. It’s not written in traditional verse, which is obviously a very different choice to make. However, it got pretty weird around the middle part of it. I wasn’t sure what direction the story was taking at all. In the end, it turned out to be rather entertaining and funny. But it was A LOT longer than basically all of the other stories. I feel like this didn’t need the extra pages the way that some of the other stories really needed them.

Sometimes a Dream Needs a Push by Walter Dean Myers – 5 Stars

He’s the only author on here who I’ve read a complete work from. I read Monster and thought that it was just so powerful and striking. This short story followed the similar theme of heartbreaking and touching, like a lot of the stories in this collection have done. It’s such a sad story, but it’s also filled with hope. It was a story that I desperately needed to read right then. I’m not going to talk much more about it because I feel like I could ramble for days about its greatness. I’ll just say that if you choose to read one short story from this collection, it should be this one, if you’re in the mood for something sad but also filled with hope.

All in all, Flying Lessons and Other Stories was such a well written anthology. I’m so glad that it was put together! I think that Ellen Oh has formed such a diverse and lovely group of authors here who contributed such powerful and beautifully written stories. I truly believe that younger readers need diverse stories like these, and I’m so glad that this anthology is out there in the world. I can’t wait to read more middle grade this year, especially from this fabulous group of authors.

four-stars

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Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books I Wish Had More Kissing

February 7, 2017 Features 3

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 top ten things that you wish that books have more of. I stuck with the original theme of kissing since kissing books are simply my thing. I look forward to seeing what everyone else comes up with.

1. The Truth About Forever

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There are a number of Sarah Dessen books out there that belong on this list. I settled on The Truth About Forever because it’s the one that really stands out to me due to it’s lack of kissing. Come on Wes and Macy, you need to kiss A LOT more than you actually do.

2. First & Then

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Devon and Ezra were one of my absolute favorite couples last year. However, there is definitely a severe lack of kissing throughout the book. I’m not going to lie, I swoon over literally every single interaction that the two have throughout the story. But I believe that they would have been made even better with more kissing.

3. The Sky is Everywhere

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I’m honestly still pissed off about the kissing that happens between Lennie and Toby. However, I absolutely adore Joe and Lennie together. Joe is one of my all time favorite book boyfriends for sure. Joe and Lennie need more kissing scenes, and poor Toby needs to be gone entirely.

4. Anna and the French Kiss

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I do like that the romance in this book moves at a realistic pace. However, I will never ever object to even more kissing scenes between them. There honestly wasn’t enough for me.

5. Jellicoe Road

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This is one of my all time favorite books. Jonah and Taylor are probably my OTP. I go back and read literally every single kissing scene that happens probably a little too frequently. There’s really only like three or four BIG kissing scenes between them, and I need about one hundred more than that.

6. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

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My feelings on Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda are pretty similar to Jellicoe Road. I go back and read the adorable scenes that happen between Blue and Simon all the time. It just never gets old to me. However, I would be cool with Becky revealing Blue’s identity a little earlier just so we get more actual kissing.

7. Faking Normal

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Faking Normal is a pretty heavy book that touches on the serious subject of rape and the aftermath of it. Bodee was such a swoony and amazing friend to Alexi even before they started dating. I don’t think that Courtney could have written this book any better, it’s already basically perfect. Selfishly though, I’d love to have more kissing scenes.

8. The Scorpio Races

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Wow, this book is seriously amazing. I wanted a ridiculously long time to read it, but I’m glad that I finally got to it. Anyway, Sean and Puck make an awesome team to say the least. I get that there’s more important issues going on in the book like the actual races. But the romance was also a highlight for me and I would’ve loved to have more kissing scenes.

9. P.S. I Like You

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Kasie West isn’t capable of writing a bad novel in my book. She always writes the cutest and swooniest romances. P.S. I Like You is probably one of my absolute favorites. I loved the whole hate to love thing that they had going on, but I could have used even more kissing scenes.

10. More Happy Than Not

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This is actually the only book on this list that I don’t really consider to be a romance. Yes, there’s romance that goes on throughout it, but it’s rather subtle and not the central focus. It’s more about the main character coming to terms with his sexual identity. I think that it could use more kisses and romance just because it’s depressing as hell. There needs to be more kissing just to lighten things up a bit. Seriously, the title is extremely misleading, there’s not much happiness in it. But it’s still a fabulous book and I highly recommend it! It’s just more heavier than what I normally read.

So that’s my list for the week. I felt like the topic this week was such a fun one to do! Truthfully, I could probably come up with a lot more titles than just these ones, but I’ll spare you guys the rest of them. What books did you guys  pick for your list? Share them with me! I love looking at what other people come up with. I hope you guys have a great rest of the week!

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ARC Review: Accidentally on Purpose

February 6, 2017 Reviews 0 ★★★★

ARC Review: Accidentally on PurposeAccidentally on Purpose (Heartbreaker Bay, #3) by Jill Shalvis
Published by Avon on January 24th 2017
Pages: 384
Source: Edelweiss
Also by this author: Sweet Little Lies (Heartbreaker Bay, #1), The Trouble with Mistletoe (Heartbreaker Bay, #2), One Snowy Night (Heartbreaker Bay, #2.5)
Buy on AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository
Goodreads
four-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.

There’s no such thing as a little in love…
Elle Wheaten’s priorities: friends, career, and kick-ass shoes. Then there’s the muscular wall of stubbornness that’s security expert Archer Hunt—who comes before everything else. No point in telling Mr. “Feels-Free Zone” that, though. Elle will just see other men until she gets over Archer . . . which should only take a lifetime . . .
There’s no such thing as a little in lust…
Archer’s wanted the best for Elle ever since he sacrificed his law-enforcement career to save her. But now that she’s earned happiness and success, Archer just wants Elle 24/7. Their chemistry could start the next San Francisco Earthquake, and Archer doesn’t want to be responsible for the damage. The alternative? Watch her go out with guys who aren’t him . . .
There is such a thing as…
As far as Archer’s concerned, nobody is good enough for Elle. But when he sets out to prove it by sabotaging her dates, she gets mad—and things get hot as hell. Now Archer has a new mission: prove to Elle that her perfect man has been here all along…

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Jill Shalvis’s Heartbreaker Bay series. Ever since I first read Sweet Little Lies, I’ve been looking forward to getting the chance to read Elle and Archer’s book. From the previous stories, readers could tell that they had an electric chemistry that both of them were refusing to acknowledge. Anyway, I’m happy that we didn’t have to hold out any longer on getting a happy ending for the pair! I’m not sure if it’s my favorite in the series, but it’s definitely a memorable and awesome one to say the least. I recommend reading the other books in the series first due to how all the characters are connected and the small town life in general.

Elle has been an intriguing character to me from book one. She’s such a loving friend who is there for her girls automatically with no questions asked, but she’s also someone who doesn’t like needing people to be there for her. She’s stubborn and likes to take care of herself, and she’s pretty good at doing just that. Though she’s a badass boss, she does have a big heart. Basically, I love everything about this girl. She’s fierce, confident, and unapologetic about who she is but she has her vulnerable side as well. She isn’t as quirky as some of the other girls from the series like Pru, but she is still very unique and special nonetheless. She’s completely her own person, and that’s what is so great about her as a whole.

So Archer has always been this badass and mysterious guy who knows basically everything. He protects the people that he cares about at all costs, and he does everything he can to help out his friends, who might as well be his family. But like Elle, he’s also ridiculously stubborn and as some of his friends put it, he’s an “alpha.” Meaning, he feels like he has to dominate people and be in control at all times. Though he’s a tough egg to crack at times, I’ll be the first to admit that he’s an extremely swoony guy. Once you get down to it, he has a huge heart and at times it’s really adorable how he shows that he cares and loves Elle. He’s a guy who puts himself in danger all the time to help others, which is a seriously awesome and difficult thing to do. Sometimes he can be frustrating at times, but he’s a great character.

You guys, the romance between Elle and Archer was obviously a highlight of the book for me. It’s blatantly obvious to literally everyone but them that they have crazy chemistry, so it’s refreshing once they finally figure it out for themselves. At times, the romance gets rather hot, including a scene where they have “hate” sex. I’m always a fan when the characters have a history, and I thought that the story was well written. This isn’t a second chance love story though, they’ve never actually been together, but they have a sort of “platonic” history that we gradually learn about as the book progresses. I keep on saying it, but the romance is just seriously so fabulous that I have to ramble out it a little bit.

Accidentally on Purpose is a great addition to a wonderfully written series. There’s still so many characters in the series that have yet to receive a story and I can’t wait for that. Elle and Archer made an explosive couple from the start. I’m beyond happy that they were finally able to get their shit together and be happy as a couple. Although I clearly was a major fan of them as a couple, I also loved them separately. I thought they were both well developed characters who were just full of personality. This was a nice story and I recommend it! Next up, we finally get Spence’s story and I can’t wait for that.

four-stars

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ARC Review: By Your Side

February 4, 2017 Reviews, Young Adult 0 ★★★★

ARC Review: By Your SideBy Your Side by Kasie West
on January 31st, 2017
Source: Edelweiss
Also by this author: The Distance Between Us, The Fill-In Boyfriend, P.S. I Like You
Buy on AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository
Goodreads
four-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.

In this irresistible story, Kasie West explores the timeless question of what to do when you fall for the person you least expect. Witty and romantic, this paperback original from a fan favorite is perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins and Morgan Matson.
When Autumn Collins finds herself accidentally locked in the library for an entire weekend, she doesn’t think things could get any worse. But that’s before she realizes that Dax Miller is locked in with her. Autumn doesn’t know much about Dax except that he’s trouble. Between the rumors about the fight he was in (and that brief stint in juvie that followed it) and his reputation as a loner, he’s not exactly the ideal person to be stuck with. Still, she just keeps reminding herself that it is only a matter of time before Jeff, her almost-boyfriend, realizes he left her in the library and comes to rescue her.
Only he doesn’t come. No one does.
Instead it becomes clear that Autumn is going to have to spend the next couple of days living off vending-machine food and making conversation with a boy who clearly wants nothing to do with her. Except there is more to Dax than meets the eye. As he and Autumn first grudgingly, and then not so grudgingly, open up to each other, Autumn is struck by their surprising connection. But can their feelings for each other survive once the weekend is over and Autumn’s old life, and old love interest, threaten to pull her from Dax’s side?

As you can probably tell by now, I’m a big fan of Kasie West. There isn’t a book by her that I haven’t really enjoyed. I’ve given her past two books five stars because I loved them so much. I’m happy to report that By Your Side is pretty great as well. It has a lot of angst going on here, but I really did enjoy the main storyline. I was just honestly expecting a little more focus on the whole library part of the story since that’s what the synopsis talks about. Anyway, it was yet another solid and swoony book from my girl Kasie, and I can’t wait to read her next book! Seriously though, is she capable of writing a bad book? I don’t think so.

Autumn was a wonderful protagonist. I have to admit that she probably isn’t the most memorable, but she’s still a real and relatable character that I really enjoyed all around. I felt like her struggles with anxiety were well discussed and portrayed. As someone who’s struggled with anxiety, I’m happy to see that authors are representing it more and more since it’s a topic that needs to be discussed in YA books specifically. So yeah, I liked Autumn and I felt like she was well written and well developed as a whole. Was she perfect? Of course not, but who is? She’s your average teenager who makes some dumb mistakes along the way, but that’s what makes her so easy to relate to.

Dax was definitely a troubled character. I normally don’t really go for the “bad boy” types, but she actually makes this one work for the most part. Dax has a lot of baggage and a history that is extremely tragic and heartbreaking all around. As far as I can remember, Kasie has never written a love interest quite like him. Because of his past, he was understandably pretty closed up and refused to let anyone close to him. At first this was a little annoying because we weren’t sure why he acted this way, but as the book progressed, we learned more and more about his history. I think that Kasie did a great job writing his character. I honestly just wanted to hug him again and again at certain points in the book.

As a couple, they make a pretty cute one eventually. They have a great deal of drama that gets in the way of things at times, but they are a sweet couple once it really comes down to it. The romance is a rather slow-moving one, but I thought it was at a realistic pace. Although at times I just really really wanted them to get it together already. As I mentioned, Dax has a rough background, and he’s very very careful about who he lets in. As they are trapped in the library, they slowly begin to rely on each other a little bit more and he slowly lets his guard down with her. It’s a beautiful moment once this finally happens. There were so many cute scenes that happened between them during their time in the library. They didn’t kiss or anything, but the moments where they were just getting to know each other was so adorable and I loved reading it.

Kasie West has written another fun and easy book to read. I started this one with absolutely no intention of reading it in one sitting, but somehow I managed to do that anyway. It’s a wonderful and sweet read. Who hasn’t thought about being trapped in a library? I know that I have, but especially if someone hot was trapped with me. There was a lot of drama, and some of it was a little much at times. However, I think that Kasie did the best that she could. Though this wasn’t my favorite, it was still pretty good.

four-stars

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Blog Tour: Long Way Home Review

February 2, 2017 Blog Tours, Reviews, Young Adult 2

LONG WAY HOME - Tour banner

 

 

The highly anticipated third book in Katie McGarry’s Thunder Road Series is finally here! LONG WAY HOME is a Young Adult Contemporary Romance being published by Harlequin Teen! Order your copy of the next book in this emotionally charged series, and don’t miss Violet and Chevy’s story! Check out all of the stops on this awesome tour and be sure to grab your copy today!

 

 

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LONG WAY HOME Synopsis:

Seventeen-year-old Violet has always been expected to sit back and let the boys do all the saving.

It’s the code her father, a member of the Reign of Terror motorcycle club, raised her to live by. Yet when her dad is killed carrying out Terror business, Violet knows it’s up to her to do the saving. To protect herself, and her vulnerable younger brother, she needs to cut all ties with the club—including Chevy, the boy she’s known and loved her whole life.

But when a rival club comes after Violet, exposing old secrets and making new threats, she’s forced to question what she thought she knew about her father, the Reign of Terror, and what she thinks she wants. Which means re-evaluating everything: love, family, friends . . . and forgiveness.

Caught in the crosshairs between loyalty and freedom, Violet must decide whether old friends can be trusted—and if she’s strong enough to be the one person to save them all.

LONG WAY HOME Order Links:

Amazon | Kobo | BAM | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | IndieBound

 

 

“An intoxicating and unforgettable story that kept me glued to the page.”

Kami Garcia, #1 New York Times bestselling author, on Walk the Edge

Add it to your Goodreads Now!

 

 

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Don’t Miss the First Two Titles in the Thunder Road Series! Grab your copies today!

NOWHERE BUT HERE

WALK THE EDGE

My Thoughts:

Long Way Home was just as amazing as I hoped that it would be. I love absolutely anything that Katie McGarry writes, but I especially loved the Thunder Road books. Since Nowhere But Here, I’ve been dying to read Violet and Chevy’s story and I’m so glad that the wait for it is finally over. McGarry has written yet another intense story filled with memorable characters that you cheer for every step of the way. I really hope that she writes more books in this series because I feel like it’s far from over! I recommend this if you’re a fan of YA romance that gives you the feels and has a little bit of angst as well.

You guys, Violet is seriously my girl. I thought that I related to Breanna from the last book, but it turns out that I loved and related Violet just as much. The thing about Violet is that she’s full of fire and that she doesn’t take crap from anyone. Most of Katie McGarry’s heroines have similar qualities, but there was still something unique and special about this character. At the beginning of the book, she’s not totally herself since she’s still hurting from the loss of her father and still resents and blames the motorcycle club for it. However, her old personality gradually comes out more and more as the book progresses. She’s seriously a force to be reckoned with, and I loved every second of it. Have you ever met a character who isn’t afraid to bad mouth big and scary motorcycle club leaders? I didn’t think so, but that’s just who Violet is and it made me happy to see that.

Going into this, I was definitely afraid that Chevy wouldn’t be as swoony as Razor from Walk the Edge, but it turns out that he comes pretty dang close. Chevy is his own character and is completely different from both Razor and Oz. Chevy is still seventeen and can’t officially join the club yet. But he’s also a very great football player, and he feels torn between playing football and joining the rest of his family in the club. When it comes to Violet though, Chevy totally has a soft spot. He loves that girl, and it kills him to be apart from her. I really sympathized with Chevy, and felt like McGarry did an excellent job at adding all these layers to who he is.

I love the romance between Chevy and Violet. What makes them unique is that they already have a whole history between them. They’ve already had all of these memories together as childhood best friends turned lovers, so there’s no process of falling in love since they’ve already fallen. I’d love to have like a prequel where we get to see how they first got together, but I think it was still well written anyway. The two have been separated for awhile due to the death of her father and her basically forcing him to choose between her and the club. The romance has quite a bit of angst, but the fact that they loved each other was never a question.

Long Way Home was an amazing addition to a fantastic series. As mentioned, Katie can do no wronfour-starsg in my book. She’s coming out with a new book not related to this series, but I’m automatically reading it if it’s by her. This book has it all: drama, love, family, friends, action, intensity, adventure, and everything else. I always like the second chance romance trope and the author absolutely nailed it here. I recommend that you read the two other books in this series before reading this one just because they are all connected. But McGarry still provides a nice recap of events that you might have missed if you didn’t read the other books. All I can say is read this one, you won’t regret it!

 

 

Katie McGarry’s LONG WAY HOME – Review & Excerpt Tour Schedule:

January 23rd

Aaly and The Books – Review & Excerpt

Angel Reads – Review

Books,Dreams,Life – Excerpt

Feed Your Fiction Addiction – Review & Excerpt

Girl Plus Books – Review & Excerpt

Letter Shelves Blog – Review & Excerpt

The Book Hammock – Review & Excerpt

January 24th

Book Boyfriend Reviews – Review & Excerpt

Ficwishes – Review

Lovin’ Los Libros – Review

MrsLeif’s Two Fangs About It Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt

Nose Stuck in a Book – Excerpt

Whatever You Can Still Betray – Excerpt

Zach’s YA Reviews – Review & Excerpt

January 25th

Always YA at Heart – Review & Excerpt

Bridget’s Book Bungalow – Review & Excerpt

Friends Till The End Book Blog – Excerpt

Mythical Books – Excerpt

Resch Reads and Reviews – Review

Swoony Boys Podcast – Review & Excerpt

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Book Boyfriends – Review & Excerpt

January 26th

A Bookish Escape – Review & Excerpt

Book Sojourner – Review & Excerpt

Crazii Bitches Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

Dark Faerie Tales – Review & Excerpt

Guilty Indulgence Book Club – Review

SnoopyDoo’s Book Reviews – Excerpt

January 27th

Bookshelf Adventures – Review & Excerpt

Little Read Riding Hood – Review & Excerpt

Nerdy Soul – Review & Excerpt

Random Book Muses – Review & Excerpt

The Silver Dagger Scriptorium – Excerpt

Writing My Own Fairy Tale – Review & Excerpt

January 28th

Abibliophobia Anonymous Book Reviews – Excerpt

Zili in the Sky – Review & Excerpt

Greyland Reviews – Excerpt

Chasing Faerytales – Review

Brittany’s Book Blog – Excerpt

Dog-Eared Daydreams – Review

Movies, Shows, & Books – Excerpt

January 29th

Book Angel Booktopia – Review & Excerpt

BookWorm221 – Review & Excerpt

Confessions of 2 Book Lovers – Review & Excerpt

It’s All About the Romance – Excerpt

Milky Way of Books – Review & Excerpt

Waiting For Wentworth – Excerpt

January 30th

Collector of book boyfriends – Review

Latte Nights Reviews – Review

Margie’s Must Reads – Review & Excerpt

Oh My Growing TBR – Review & Excerpt

Readers Live A Thousand Lives – Review & Excerpt

So Bookalicious – Review & Excerpt

January 31st

A crazy vermonters book reviews – Review

Desert Divas Book Addiction – Review & Excerpt

Little Bookworm Reviews – Review & Excerpt

What Is That Book About – Excerpt

With Love for Books – Review & Excerpt

The Cover Contessa – Review & Excerpt

February 1st

A Leisure Moment – Review

Book Bite Reviews – Review & Excerpt

Never Judge a Book by its Cover – Review & Excerpt

Pages to Explore – Excerpt

Red Hot + Blue Reads – review & Excerpt

Stuck In Books – Review & Excerpt

February 2nd

Actin’ Up with Books – Review & Excerpt

2 girls who love books – Excerpt

Books, Coffee & Passion – Excerpt

Contagious Reads – Review & Excerpt

Go Read A Book – Review

The Book Maven – Review & Excerpt

The Heart of a Book Blogger – Review

February 3rd

A Gingerly Review – Review & Excerpt

Bookish Hollow – Review & Excerpt

G & T’s Indie Café – Excerpt

Lovely Reads Publishing – Review & Excerpt

Mary Had a Little Book Blog – Excerpt

Vera is Reading – Excerpt

I Heart YA Books – Review & Excerpt

 

 

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Katie McGarry - author picKatie McGarry Bio:

Katie McGarry was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings, reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan.

Katie is the author of full length YA novels, PUSHING THE LIMITS, DARE YOU TO, CRASH INTO YOU, TAKE ME ON, BREAKING THE RULES, NOWHERE BUT HERE and WALK THE EDGE and the e-novellas, CROSSING THE LINE and RED AT NIGHT. Her debut YA novel, PUSHING THE LIMITS was a 2012 Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction, a RT Magazine’s 2012 Reviewer’s Choice Awards Nominee for Young Adult Contemporary Novel, a double Rita Finalist, and a 2013 YALSA Top Ten Teen Pick. DARE YOU TO was also a Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction and won RT Magazine’s Reviewer’s Choice Best Book Award for Young Adult Contemporary fiction in 2013.

 

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Hope Was Here Review

January 29, 2017 Reviews, Young Adult 1 ★★★★

Hope Was Here ReviewHope Was Here by Joan Bauer
on June 2nd, 2005
Source: Library
Buy on AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository
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four-stars
Hope is a 16-year-old girl, living a nomadic lifestyle with her aunt Addie. Addie is a chef and restaurant manager, and Hope works as a waitress. They're always moving from place to place, and the story opens with them up-rooting from Brooklyn, New York. Before she leaves, Hope scribbles 'Hope Was Here' onto the menu board - it's become her motto, a ritual she carries out whenever they have to hit the road - again. Hope's a city girl and she isn't sure how she's going to tackle life in 'cow country'. Things start hotting up for her, though, when she gets embroiled in the local politics of Mulhoney, Wisconsin while working at the Welcome Stairways diner- Soon, Hope is tackling big issues about her own past, while grappling with some surprising developments in her new home town.

This was a wonderfully short yet beautiful novel that I really enjoyed. It only takes you a few hours to read it, which is a definite perk to picking it up in the first place. I’ve only read one book from Joan Bauer in the past and that was Rules of the Road. I found that one to be completely touching and a fun read as a whole. Not going to lie, it definitely made me cry. Hope Was Here also had similar emotions: funny but also sad. Strangely, this one was rather accurate to what’s going on in the world when it comes to politics. Really though, there’s a rather crooked politician who manipulates pretty much everyone in the town except a few good people who are made aware of what exactly is going on. Sounds familiar, right? Anyway, this was a nice read and I’m happy that I picked it up.

Hope was easily the highlight of the book for me. She has a wonderful and fierce personality from the very first page. She just had some of the best and laugh out loud funny lines. She was a character that I was personally able to identify with. Though she could be a little immature at times, she was still relatable and fascinating. She’s one of my new favorite female characters! She’s an inspirational character, and she reminded me a lot of a Sarah Dessen heroine.

There isn’t much romance in this book so I’m not really going to touch on that at all. However, the romance between Hope and a cute cook at the restaurant where her and her aunt worked. That wasn’t really that big of a plot point, but it was still a sweet little side story that went on. A lot of the romance isn’t actually between Hope and anyone, it’s actually between her aunt and the kind owner of the restaurant who is also running for mayor. The main focus of the story is really about non-romantic relationships. Hope doesn’t know much about her mother besides the waitressing tips that she gives her when she visits her every now and then. Her aunt Addie is the one who takes care of her and does everything she can to provide for her. They move to a lot of different places and work at a lot of different restaurants but this place is one of their favorite places yet.

I found Hope Was Here to be a wonderful and charming short little read. I’m happy that I had the chance to read another book from Joan Bauer. She’s written yet another memorable story filled with a fantastic cast of characters. I mentioned it earlier, but this story reminds me a lot of a Sarah Dessen book, specifically Keeping the Moon, which also featured characters who worked in a restaurant. This was a refreshing and enlightening read. Though it was written awhile ago, it still felt just as timely as ever. It wasn’t a perfect book by any means, it could have been a little longer which would have allowed for more character growth. However, it was still pretty freaking good and I look forward to reading more from Joan Bauer.

four-stars

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ARC Review: The Room Mate

January 26, 2017 Reviews 0

 

 

 

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room-mate_amazonThe last time I saw my best friend’s younger brother, he was a geek wearing braces. But when Cannon shows up to crash in my spare room, I get a swift reality check.

Now twenty-four, he’s broad shouldered and masculine, and so sinfully sexy, I want to climb him like the jungle gyms we used to enjoy. At six-foot-something with lean muscles hiding under his T-shirt, a deep sexy voice, and full lips that pull into a smirk when he studies me, he’s pure temptation.

Fresh out of a messy breakup, he doesn’t want any entanglements. But I can resist, right?

I’m holding strong until the third night of our new arrangement when we get drunk and he confesses his biggest secret of all: he’s cursed when it comes to sex. Apparently he’s a god in bed, and women instantly fall in love with him.

I’m calling bullshit. In fact, I’m going to prove him wrong, and if I rack up a few much-needed orgasms in the process, all the better.

There’s no way I’m going to fall in love with Cannon. But once we start…I realize betting against him may have been the biggest mistake of my life.

 

 

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My Thoughts:

Surprisingly, I’ve never read a book by Kendall Ryan before. I’ve met to, and I definitely have some of her books on my Kindle, but I haven’t gotten around to reading any of them for whatever reason. Anyway, this was a great introduction to her work and I really look forward to reading more from her in the future! The concept of this book isn’t a new one to me. In fact, I’ve read several books here lately that basically revolved around a guy and a girl who were platonically connected in some way had to move in together.  The description of this one still managed to stand out to me and I just knew that I had to read it. This turned out to be a fast and fun read and I recommend it if you’re looking for that type of story.

Paige was a solid main character. I thought she was a funny and interesting character. Sometimes I felt like she tried a little too hard to please people instead of just standing up for herself and doing what she wanted, but I still respected her for some of the choices that she ultimately ended up making. I also thought that she was a great friend to Allie, Cannon’s sister, maybe too good at times. As a whole though, she wasn’t super memorable to me. She was a good character, but not a great one.

Not going to even lie, Cannon was pretty swoony. He might be a little too perfect at times, but he’s still rather human other times. Believe it or not, he actually makes a lot of crazy but real mistakes that made me want to kick him. He was swoony through the things that he did for Paige. He also was just an all around smart dude who also happened to be insanely hot. I feel like he had a lot of character growth going for him as well. He became more fascinating to me as the book progressed.

I’m a big fan of the best friend’s brother trope. I haven’t read a lot of books that have this set up: the female lead’s best friend’s little brother who used to be a major geek. I typically read it where the heroine has a huge crush on her older brother’s best friend that eventually develops into something more. I feel like this story really worked here and I was pleased with how the trope was used as a whole. He’s only a few years younger than Paige and Allie, but she didn’t see him that way when he was just the boy that followed them around back then. Paige was the first girl that Cannon fantasized about in that way, and that made a huge impact with him. I felt like the romance moved at just the correct pace. It wasn’t too fast, but them getting together didn’t drag on either. The romance was pretty hot and I thought those scenes were well written. The chemistry between them was very much there. There was maybe a bit too drama for my taste, but most of it was still realistic for the most part.

The Room Mate was a nice first book for me to read from this popular romance author. It featured a different spin to a trope that I truly enjoyed, and I thought it was well done here. Cannon and Paige made a hot and intriguing couple from the start. They definitely ended up balancing each other out in the end. Though her attitude towards her best friend bothered me at times, I still want Allie to get her own story and I hope that we get to read that book in the future! Despite the angst, this is still a relatively light and quick read that I enjoyed. three-half-stars

 

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kendall-ryan-headshot-1-picA New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of more than two dozen titles, Kendall Ryan has sold over 1.5 million books and her books have been translated into several languages in countries around the world. She’s a traditionally published author with Simon & Schuster and Harper Collins UK, as well as an independently published author. Since she first began self-publishing in 2012, she’s appeared at #1 on Barnes & Noble and iBooks charts around the world. Her books have also appeared on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists more than three dozen times. Ryan has been featured in such publications as USA Today, Newsweek, and InTouch Magazine.

Visit her at: www.kendallryanbooks.com for the latest book news, and fun extras

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ARC Review: Casanova

January 25, 2017 Reviews 0

 

CASANOVA-availablenow

 

 

 

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000035_00027]I loved him more than life.

He broke me and he didn’t even know it.

I ran from him.

He didn’t chase me.

He never needed to, because he knew I’d come back.

He was right.

Death brought me home to him.

Brett Walker.

Drop dead gorgeous and filthy-mouthed with a smile that turns saints to sinners.

A casanova to his core.

My ex-best friend.

And the bad boy whose reputation precedes him—the same reputation I’m tasked with turning to gold… Or so they think.

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My Thoughts:

So Emma Hart is really really great at writing characters that you care about and relate to. She also never fails to write stories that are seriously laugh out loud funny. I have never read a book by her that I disliked. However, this one does have a bit more angst than some of her other ones. Casanova is a fast and entertaining read that I’m happy that I picked up. All in all, this is still a charming and sexy novel that fans of hers are sure to truly enjoy! If you’ve never read any of her books before, you should really try one out for yourself and see if you like her writing style.

Lani is the kind of heroine that I’ve come to expect from Emma, but I still love her. Like a lot of her other heroines, she’s independent, strong, funny, and has a huge heart. She’s an awesome character and I really enjoyed the chapters that were through her POV because I was able to seriously connect with her character. I also liked the fact that she was a journalist, since that’s a career path that I personally love reading about in books. I’m not sure if she was my all time favorite Hart heroine, but she was still a solid, enjoyable, and fun one anyway.

Brett was a little more complicated for me. I didn’t always enjoy reading his POV just because I’m not a huge fan of playboys in general. For the most part though, he was a pretty great guy underneath it all. I’m still not fully convinced that he’s a “bad boy” since he was a nice guy, just made some bad choices along the way. I didn’t always support the choices that he made for sure, but he was still a decent and interesting character. I thought his character development was pretty great as a whole.

The romance between Brett and Lani was definitely electric. They had great chemistry from the very start. I’m always a fan of characters that have real history, and these two have just that. I think that it was really slow learning about the history of their friendship and why it ended way back when. Once they got past all the drama that happened, they did have a wonderfully hot romance to say the least. Emma Hart is also fantastic at writing these scenes and she’s done it yet again here. They weren’t my favorite couple, but they were still a decent and believable one for the most part.

I’m happy that I read Casanova. Was it my favorite? No, but it was still very funny and charming all around. Lani and Brett were fascinating characters that had great and memorable character growth throughout the story. The romance was sizzling and I really enjoyed that side of the plot. I recommend this if you’re a fan of fairly light romantic comedies and have loved Emma Hart’s previous novels in the past. three-stars

 

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1p0a9045By 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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ARC Review: Here We Are: Feminism for the Real World

January 24, 2017 Reviews, Young Adult 1 ★★★★½

ARC Review: Here We Are: Feminism for the Real WorldHere We Are: Feminism for the Real World by Kelly Jensen
on January 24th, 2017
Source: Edelweiss
Buy on AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository
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four-half-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.

Let’s get the feminist party started!  Here We Are is a scrapbook-style teen guide to understanding what it means to be a twenty-first-century feminist. It’s packed with contributions from a diverse range of voices, including TV, film, and pop-culture celebrities and public figures such as ballet dancer Michaela DePrince and her sister Mia and politician Wendy Davis, as well as popular authors like Nova Ren Suma, Malinda Lo, Brandy Colbert, Courtney Summers, and many more. All together, the book features more than forty-four pieces and illustrations.
Here We Are is a response to lively discussions about the true meaning of feminism on social media and across popular culture and is an invitation to one of the most important, life-changing, and exciting parties around.

I’ve been tremendously picky about giving five star reviews, I have still yet to give one out in 2017. However, this one comes about the closest to getting one so far. I really enjoyed this because it’s a beautiful and intriguing take on feminism. It’s also the most inclusive collection about the topic that I’ve seen yet. Kelly Jenson did an incredible job at picking from such a huge variety of voices from all walks of life. Regardless of your thoughts on feminism, this is an important thing to read. This was extremely easy to read, I read it in just a sitting or two. Like I said, you need to read Here We Are: Feminism for the Real World, that’s honestly all there is to say on the matter.

So I could go on and on about how important this is, but I won’t bore you with those repetitive details. Feminism is something that people have very strong opinions about. A lot of people that I know, particularly girls my own age, think that it isn’t important. There’s this one article in particular that a Facebook friend recently shared (she called it ridiculous thankfully) that made me absolutely crazy. The author says that she’s so “over” feminism and that she completely twists around basically everything that feminism stands for in the first place. I personally learned even more about feminism and how much I needed it when I was a junior or senior in high school. At the same time though, I’m still constantly learning more about feminism and how exactly it works. My rant about this subject here is to show my own personal history with feminism. The reason why I think this is such an important matter to talk about is due to people like the college student who wrote that piece totally trashing it. At it’s core, feminism simply means that both men and women are equal, and what’s so wrong about that? Yes, there is obviously a lot more to it than just that, which I think the book explains in a fabulous and informative way.

I never really know how to review anthologies like this one. In this case, I’m not going to go over them one by one since there’s a lot of them, but just going to discuss some of my personal favorites. After reading the introduction of the book, I was afraid that there would be tons of essays that were previously published elsewhere. For example, an excerpt from Roxane Gay’s book Bad Feminist is included here. I loved Bad Feminist and highly recommend that you read all of it. I was afraid that there wouldn’t be a lot of totally creative content here, but I was definitely wrong about that. Though they’ve included some other work that was previously published somewhere else, each of them makes complete sense in this specific collection. I love that Lily Myers’ “Shrinking Women” is included here. I heard this spoken word poetry a few years back and absolutely loved it. At the same time, I feel like I understand the true meaning of it a lot more clearly now that I’m a little bit older. Some new content that I loved were fantastic essays by Senator Wendy Davis, Sarah McCarry about growing up hating girls, Siobhan Vivian’s personal letter, Ashley Hope Perez about being a nice girl, and Brenna Clarke Gray’s take on fandom and fanfiction, and many more!

This book was a wonderful and unique take on feminism. I truly hope that it will make a difference on the lives of teenagers who know very little about the topic. I’m not sure if it will change minds that are already fully against feminism, but I think that it just might be able to do that. If you want to read a more in-depth and powerful review about this collection, go check out Emily’s because she makes some awesome points that I didn’t touch on. As I keep saying, we need this book now more than ever. Feminism shouldn’t be a dirty word, we need to embrace that and I hope that this book will help get that started even more than it already has. I can’t recommend it enough!

four-half-stars

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The Female of the Species Review

January 22, 2017 Reviews, Young Adult 0 ★★★

The Female of the Species ReviewThe Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis
Published by Katherine Tegen Books on September 20th 2016
Pages: 341
Source: Library
Buy on AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository
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three-stars
Alex Craft knows how to kill someone. And she doesn’t feel bad about it. When her older sister, Anna, was murdered three years ago and the killer walked free, Alex uncaged the language she knows best. The language of violence.
While her crime goes unpunished, Alex knows she can’t be trusted among other people, even in her small hometown. She relegates herself to the shadows, a girl who goes unseen in plain sight, unremarkable in the high school hallways.
But Jack Fisher sees her. He’s the guy all other guys want to be: the star athlete gunning for valedictorian with the prom queen on his arm. Guilt over the role he played the night Anna’s body was discovered hasn’t let him forget Alex over the years, and now her green eyes amid a constellation of freckles have his attention. He doesn’t want to only see Alex Craft; he wants to know her.
So does Peekay, the preacher’s kid, a girl whose identity is entangled with her dad’s job, though that does not stop her from knowing the taste of beer or missing the touch of her ex-boyfriend. When Peekay and Alex start working together at the animal shelter, a friendship forms and Alex’s protective nature extends to more than just the dogs and cats they care for.
Circumstances bring Alex, Jack, and Peekay together as their senior year unfolds. While partying one night, Alex’s darker nature breaks out, setting the teens on a collision course that will change their lives forever.

So this book was a difficult book for me to rate. On one hand, I really adored the message of this book and basically everything that this story represented. However, I also personally wasn’t completely able to look past some of the plot and characters. In my opinion, this story isn’t going to be for everyone. It’s especially not for people who aren’t into dark books or strong violence. This contains a solid amount of violence, and even some acts against animals, which I think people will likely have the most issues with. I also found myself struggling with the animal violence in the story, which I’ll explain more later on in my review. That being said, this was a fast paced story that was extremely intense, but it was far from perfect. I can’t say that this is my favorite, but I’m still happy that I read it.

There’s three main POV’s in this story. First we have Alex, who’s older sister was brutally raped and murdered years ago and her killer wasn’t arrested. Alex ends up taking matters into her own hands and killing him herself. I don’t consider this to be a spoiler since we learn this very early on in the book. Anyway, we can basically consider Alex to be like a younger Dexter who isn’t really a serial killer, she just believes in getting justice for those who are being wronged. We also have Peekay, which isn’t her real name, but everyone calls her that because she’s a Preacher’s Kid. I liked her, but I wasn’t sure what to make of her views on her parents and religion. She talked a lot about how she no longer believed in religion and said bad things about her parents, but I didn’t really understand why? I did think that she was a strong and powerful character as a whole. She was also a solid friend to Alex, and I enjoyed their friendship. Our final main character is Jack, who I probably liked the least. However, I do think that he evolved a lot as a character throughout the story. At the beginning, he was a major douchebag who only acted on his hormones. By the end of the story, he still was very much dominated by those hormones, but he was still a better person who had changed his way of thinking to an extent.

So one of the problems that I had with this book was the animal violence. Though it wasn’t exactly a major point of the plot, it still disturbed me that it was included at all. In the beginning, I was excited that Alex and Peekay both volunteered at the animal shelter. Though Alex can be a ridiculously violent person, she shows nothing but pure kindness towards animals. There were a few brief scenes that featured some really graphic instances of what happens when the shelter has to deal with dead animals. I think the point of the scene was that it showed extreme violence towards these animals, which brought out some equally violent images from Peekay, who views these as awful and wrong thoughts. Though I’ve tried to justify it to an extent, it still doesn’t make sense to me. I also felt disconnected from the characters a lot of the time. I respected the fact that this was a take on rape culture, but that still doesn’t mean that I really identified with the characters. I also realize that characters being likable isn’t a reason to like or not like a story, in this case though, I just wasn’t able to feel that much of an emotional attachment to the characters, mostly Jack. The ending also caused me to knock about half a star or even a full star off of it. It honestly caught me off guard entirely, it just didn’t feel like an appropriate ending to me!

The Female of the Species is a different kind of book to say the least. I’ve never read anything by Mindy McGinnis before but I’m sure I’ll pick up her stories in the future. This book was pretty well written. I think she did a solid job at making all three of these POV’s unique. That can be a particularly difficult thing to pull off, but the author did this with ease. This was an interesting take on rape culture that I’ve never really seen before. I seriously enjoyed this aspect of the book. There were just some other parts that I wasn’t a huge fan of and so that affected my rating. I do recommend it, but only to those who are okay with a good amount of violence.

three-stars

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