3.5 stars. ALWAYS YOU was a solid NA romance between an 18 y/o high school student and a handsome 23 y/o substitute t Oh, the angst of forbidden love!
3.5 stars. ALWAYS YOU was a solid NA romance between an 18 y/o high school student and a handsome 23 y/o substitute teacher. I really liked the main characters of Wrenn and Dalton, and their story kept me captivated from beginning to end. It was a nice mix of light romantic fun, some hot steamy moments, and then some deeply emotional angst.
I should mention that I normally prefer romance books with older heroes and heroines, and so I typically shy away from reading the NA genre. Too many NA romances seem to focus on -- and blow way out of proportion -- silly teenage issues that really won't matter in the real adult world, but this one had a surprisingly mature storyline for such young characters.
If I had any complaints, it might be that Wrenn's character felt a bit too mature and experienced for an 18 y/o girl. But I liked her character regardless. I also have no doubt if I read this book when I was half my current age, I would probably be rating this much higher. But at my current age, it is just really hard to recognize an 18 y/o as a true adult.
The storyline has a 'forbidden romance' element with him being the teacher and her his student. While they certainly cross the line and put his career at risk, I thought they handled the situation with a lot of maturity. They understood the risks fully, and wasn't blindsided by the reality of what they were doing. Nor did they try to make excuses for their actions, they owned them. Bravo. I had a lot of respect for both of them on how they handled their situation.
I was less thrilled with the 'mean girls' spoiled teenagers and their silly drama games, but given that this is a story written about high school students those type of characters are to be expected. I was just glad they didn't get much time in the story. However, their action toward the end pissed me off. Warning - MAJOR SPOILER:(view spoiler)[The false accusation was as seriously wrong as the accusation itself, and I felt the school should have held her accountable legally, or at least threatened legal action, for such heinous and destructive behavior. She got off way too easy. (hide spoiler)]
I did enjoy this one, but that is not to say there weren't some clunky moments. The sex scenes were hot and well done, but a few issues bother me. Warning - SPOILER: (view spoiler)[The first couple of time they get together, only Dalton gets off. But the part that bothers me was how he didn't seem to even notice Wrenn was left out, and that Wrenn never seemed to mind either. It made me reread those sections, and scratch my head with a WTF? (hide spoiler)]
Overall, I really enjoyed this one. It had many of the romantic elements I enjoy in contemporary romances, especially a likable hero and heroine I can route for and a mature storyline that is relevant to a real adult world.
Thank you to Missy Johnson for providing an ARC for me to read!!["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Summary: I liked it, but no "OMG!" gushing here folks.
Charade is a quick YA-M read with some emotional 3.5* 'Where are the last names, folks?!' stars.
Summary: I liked it, but no "OMG!" gushing here folks.
Charade is a quick YA-M read with some emotional twists that will guarantee to make you cry at the end, but the romance and relationship was pretty standard fare. Fans of angst-filled college life stories with some steamy parts, some family life drama, and a budding romance between two opposite types will enjoy this one.
There was an odd generic simplicity with the story, which didn't bother me too much but it did leave me wanting to know more about these people and their lives. Nothing seemed to have full names and identities. None of the characters had last names, the college name was unspecified, the town and state was unspecified and could be Anywhere, USA. Even Colt's mothers cancer type was unspecified. She just had cancer. The coffee shop was just that - the coffee shop. And so forth.
Cheyenne catches her boyfriend of two-years, Greg, in bed with another girl, Red, which triggers her to lie about having another guy interested in her. Colt, a tattooed college junior, and Greg are fast enemies. When Cheyenne witnesses a confrontation between these two, she approaches him with a game plan of Charades. This is meant to sooth her ego more than it is to make Greg jealous. Colt refuses at first, but later agrees. Cheyenne and Colt start off on a rocky path and many small fights occur, but in no time the game of Charades fades away and it becomes something real.
Despite the generic tone of the story, it did have a surprising amount of depth (but I would have liked more!) We might not learn their last names or even what town they live in, but we learn enough about their personal lives to believe in these two. Their family lives are center to the story, and it will absolutely tug at your heart.
The romance moved pretty fast, despite being fresh out of a two year relationship. The ex-boyfriend Greg was a bit of an anomaly. He didn't have much of a role except to incite problems every few chapters. Colt was probably the best part of this story, I think we learn the most about him and see him go through the most emotional angst. The bad-boy who doesn't want to get serious finds his match with Cheyenne.
I did enjoy this one, but wasn't blown away. The romance took time to warm up and make me believe that these two really cared for each other, but by the end I was convinced. There is a secondary story between Colt and his mother which was quite tender, and IMO it out shined the main romance story between him and Cheyenne.
4.5! Wow, really enjoyed it. A kind of deja vu of 'Beautiful Disaster', but improved on all levels and without all the WTFery. Better writing, more li 4.5! Wow, really enjoyed it. A kind of deja vu of 'Beautiful Disaster', but improved on all levels and without all the WTFery. Better writing, more likable H/h, smarter story line, a hero who uses his fighting skills for good, and a far more fitting ending, IMHO.
Easy was such an emotionally deep story, realistic in nature, and had a wonderful steamy romance between a tortured hero who is obsessed/possessive over Jacqueline, and a heroine who must now come to terms with the choices she made.
Lucas was AWESOME. A hot tortured guy who was obsessed and possessive of Jacqueline, but in a way that never crosses the line. He defends and protects her from a violent sexual rapist on campus, and gives her reason to believe that her decision to attend the college that her now ex-boyfriend chose might not have been a bad decision after all. If you like a hero with some tats, a small lip piercing, and rides a motorcycle, you'll love Lucas.
After the altercation,Jacqueline finds herself drawn to Lucas. He is a student in her economics class, and oddly one of a few she truly trusts. Because she is so drawn to him, she lets her girlfriends convince her to play hard to get with him in hopes he could be a rebound man from her ex-boyfriend. Too bad he didn't take class very serious, he spends his time sketching images instead of listening and taking notes.
She soon finds herself a bit torn between Lucas and her online tutor Landon. Landon and her have never met, but he is smart, motivated and interesting. They exchange a ton of emails, and he becomes an invaluable resource and help so she doesn't flunk out of economics.
Campus Party Life
The author did a great job portraying the reality of college life. Partying, studying, flirting as well as the risks and how to protect oneself. As much as I didn't agree with Jacqueline's decision early in the story, I do realize (sadly) how common that is.
The story has quite a few twists and kept me fully engaged all the way through. While the subject matter is rather dark at times, it never gets bogged down with the drama. The main focus remains on Jacqueline and her building attraction and relationship with Lucas. The romance story was the best part, and it never goes overboard on angst and self inflicted drama, as BD was notorious for.
In a nutshell, this story really is about Jacqueline's journey after making her rash decision to follow her boyfriend(now ex) to his college. Wonderful things happen for her too, including meeting some great friends and the oh-so-hot Lucas. She was a very likable character, smart and deserving of good things. Her chemistry with Lucas felt real.
I rarely read YA, but this one is actually considered more adult in nature, and I agree. Think of this as a blend of YA with more adult material and some steamy sexual scenes mixed with some fade-to-black moments. The make out scenes get super steamy hot, but when it is more than that it will fade to black. The relationship is right for their age and maturity, too. I am so glad I took the chance on this one, I highly recommend it.
Thank God for good endings, otherwise I’d be kicking myself for reading this one. In the end I ended up nearly loving it, but it wasn’t until the lastThank God for good endings, otherwise I’d be kicking myself for reading this one. In the end I ended up nearly loving it, but it wasn’t until the last third of the book that I found myself fully engaged in the story and characters. So what began as a ‘Hunger Games’ de-ja-vu kind of read, did turn into a unique and (dare I say it?) riveting story towards the wee end. Heck, I may even read the sequel too.
The first third of this book sets up the world building and introduces us to the many characters living in a dark futuristic Chicago where factions control peoples actions and beliefs. We discover that 16 year old Beatrice is a Divergent -- a person who has personality traits from all the factions. And this is a bad thing. Bad, bad, bad. Sadly, I don’t know why it is bad, or why I should care. Honestly, don’t know.
The middle of the book we spend a lot of time reading about the characters while they go through a rigorous boot camp training that transforms people into drones for their new faction. Beatrice/Triss learns to dress trampy, fight like an action hero, inks herself up with some tattoos, and get a big ol’ boy crush on a hot and mysterious 18 y/o trainer named Four. We learn who the good and bad people are now, and a mysterious plot starts to unfold. We also begin to understand why being a Divergent is so dangerous for Triss. And while I’m still not sure why I should care about these people, the story is now getting interesting.
The last part of the book is where it finally all gels together, the plot thickens, and several unpredictable twists of events has me glued to the rest of this book. Surprisingly this was not a simple good vs. evil type story, as it actually had layers and layers of well-developed plot. I just didn’t see it coming until the final third of the book. So now I not only like Triss, I love Triss. I get her, and hope her crush on Four turns into something great for her. Because I now care! Yes, I now care about these people. Whew. ...more
I love a book that can live up to the hype, and this one really did. Which is saying quite a bit since the hype is huge for this one. I also can't belI love a book that can live up to the hype, and this one really did. Which is saying quite a bit since the hype is huge for this one. I also can't believe this was a debut novel, which blows me away even more.
This is a YA romance dystopian book set in an apocalypse world where gods, angels, demons and other wicked creatures now dominate the earth. Humans are not prepared to fight for resistance, but between the human Penryn, the angel Raffe, and other great characters, leadership emerges to give the human world new hope.
This story ended with a satisfying conclusion, but it left me wanting more, more and more. I am so glad book two, World After, is coming out in just a few more days.
3.5 stars. Told in first person through the eyes of the heroine Abby Abernathy, Beautiful Disaster chronicles the college freshman journey of two very3.5 stars. Told in first person through the eyes of the heroine Abby Abernathy, Beautiful Disaster chronicles the college freshman journey of two very young, emotional charged, highly idealistic but oh-so-clueless people trying to act like grown up lovers. I honestly did enjoy it, but I think I am just too old to really care about so much self inflicted angst. They were young with raw and unchecked emotions, too prideful to say what they really wanted to say, and loved those dramatic exit scenes every single time they had a fight (which was OFTEN!) I'm glad I read it, but wont be searching out more books like it. In fact, I would probably avoid any book likened to this one.
The hero, Travis "Mad Dog" Maddox. Age 19 or 20?: A tortured and tattoo'd mega stud that all women want and all men fear, prefers brutal and violent solutions then using logic and clear thinking, gets straight As with little studying and lots of whiskey drinking, and suffers from severe OCD when it comes to Abby Abernathy:
He was the worst kind of confident. Not only was he shamelessly aware of his appeal, he was so used to women throwing themselves at him that he regarded my cool demeanor as refreshing instead of an insult.
His amazing communication skills shines through:
“Don’t you fucking look at her. Look at me you spoiled shit stain.” Parker focused on Travis’ eyes and waited. “If you so much as breathe in her direction, I’ll make sure you’ll be limping through med school.”
POW,POW,POW!!! Blood squirts everywhere!! POW, POW, POW!!! Repeat a few chapters later. (Yawn, that got old. And he never gets in the slightest trouble with the school or law? Yeah right.)
The heroine, Abby Abernathy (aka Pigeon) Age 19: She a good girl with a MYSTERIOUS past, she both loves and hates being the center of everyone's attention, gets PO'd really fast about anything and everything, and is desired by all men -- but only when she is with Travis.
First she cares what every one think...
I was certain the gossip had soared to a new level since Travis had kissed me in full view of everyone in our History class, and I dreaded walking out onto the stage the cafeteria presented.
Then she doesn't care what they think...
“We don’t care what they think, remember? You can’t start now,” I said, smiling with confidence. I had more of an effect on him than I ever thought possible.
The she cares again...
“You know that’s a bunch of bullshit, right? It’s not true.” “I’m sure that’s what everyone is thinking,” I grumbled, noting the interest of those walking by. “Then I’ll prove them wrong.”
The endless fight, angst and drama. Oh, and plenty of PDA make up scenes! Here's just a sample:
“Pigeon,” he said, taking a step toward me. “Get OUT!” I said, grabbing the glass from the night stand and throwing it at him.
“You’re going to have to tone down the jealous boyfriend-thing, Travis. I didn’t do anything wrong.” Travis shot me an incredulous look. “I walk up here, and some guy is buying you a drink!”
“I’m sorry, Pigeon, I didn’t know he had a hold of you.” “Your fist was two inches from my face!” I said, catching the oil-stained towel Shepley had thrown at me. I wiped the blood from my hand, revolted. The seriousness of the situation darkened his face and he winced. “I wouldn’t have swung if I thought I could have hit you. You know that right?” “Shut up, Travis. Just shut up,” I said
“We’re leaving!” “What?” Finch yelled over the music. “Travis is in a pissy mood! We’re leaving!”
He nodded. “I’ll do anything you want. Just…tell me you love me.” “You know I do.” “I need to hear you say it,” he said, his brows pulling together. “I love you,” I said, touching my lips to his. “Now quit being such a baby.”
“We are dysfunctional, Travis. I think you’re just obsessed with the thought of owning me more than anything else.” “That’s not true. I love you more than my life, Pigeon,” he said, hurt. “That’s exactly what I mean. That’s crazy talk.”
The secondary characters seem to under stand what Travis and Abby do not:
"You two are a disaster.” I smiled at the ceiling. “It doesn’t matter what or why it is. When it’s good, Kara…it’s beautiful.”
“I wish you and Travis would just get your shit together! You’re a goddamn tornado! When you’re happy, it’s love and peace and butterflies. When you’re pissed, you take the whole fucking world down with you!”