"Meg is a professional secret keeper." This sentence and the book cover is what prompted me to read Gridley Girls. It sounded mysterious aRating 4.5/5
"Meg is a professional secret keeper." This sentence and the book cover is what prompted me to read Gridley Girls. It sounded mysterious and the cover screamed summer, and I love stories about friendships and growing up, so I thought it was a perfect read for me. I'll admit that while I was reading the story and enjoying it, it took me longer than I anticipated to finish it. That had to do more with me and not the story, but once I committed my time to this book, I really got into the story and the lives of Meg and her friends.
Meg is an interesting and amusing character and there are many things about her that I identified with. Her tell it like it is, honest attitude is refreshing. She is contemplative and sincere and her friends took notice. And while these qualities are her gift, they are also her burden. The secrets she keeps become too much for her.
What I liked:
*Meg's relationship with her sister Rowan. She found wisdom in her sister's words. Rowan was more than Meg's sisterm she was her friend too. *The idea of The Virgin Diaries and Meg keeping an account of their high school days and Anne's need to read them. *Dan Stone - he was "a great guy." I loved the final scenes with him in the story and Meg's "high school romance." Their "romance" was sweet and Meg's uncertainty rang so true when she tried to break up with him because she was scared of being in a relationship. *Meg's friendship with Anne and the support and the love that she has for her from childhood into adulthood. *Understanding Meg's secret.
From the prologue: "Join me now, in Gridley, where the land is lush, the fruit is sweet, and the girls are more fun than you would ever guess. Where we might not live happily ever after all the time, but we have each other, and that's all we need. Life isn't so boring in a small town." (pg. 2) - This is the hook and a good one!
"I don't believe in sweating." (pg. 6) - Adult Meg at spin class. This line cracked me up and I just knew that Meg was full of personality. And she is and her humor and perspective makes Gridley Girls entertaining.
"I guess just growing up and getting older scares me. I don't like the unknown. I like to know what's going to happen and that we're all safe. Ever since I started high school, I feel like we're not safe. It seems like bad stuff happens so quickly, . . ." (pg. 227) - Meg pinpointing that growing up is hard. In adolescence, they are dealing with new experiences, making their own decisions, and how overwhelming and scary that can be when they are still so young.
"No good ever comes from a story that begins with "I was just trying to be cool." (pg 234) - You know that time when you do something really dumb and are lucky you didn't get caught. This is that time for Meg.
GRIDLEY GIRLS is filled with humor and contemplation, and so much honesty about dealing with uncertainity. Uncertainty is scary can be paralizing and this story shows that, but it also shows how to get beyond it. I really enjoyed reading about the friendships and secrets and growing up and getting wiser. It's a fantastic read and I'd recommended it to readers who enjoy stories about friendships and growing up. ...more
After finishing CRAVE ME, the fourth book of the Good Ol' Boys Series, it is safe to say M. Robinson can definitely write heartache, for sure! When yoAfter finishing CRAVE ME, the fourth book of the Good Ol' Boys Series, it is safe to say M. Robinson can definitely write heartache, for sure! When you feel like you are experiencing the same emotions as the characters, you know that you are reading something special.
It wasn't until I got into the heart of CRAVE ME that I realized that I really didn't know a lot about Austin from the first three books of the series. This makes complete sense because that is what he struggled with as a teenager - being himself, being misunderstood, and not being able to fully express himself, and this eventually led to the problems he dealt with as he got older.
In the previous books Briggs is a complete mystery, with a minor appearance, and I wanted to know more of who Briggs is. Who was this tattooed girl in Austin's life who was so important to him that he would bring her to Lucas's mother's funeral. In the first half of CRAVE ME, I got to see a lot that she went through, but I needed that emotional connection, and I hate admitting this but I wasn't emotionally connected to her. But then EVERYTHING happened, and Briggs became real, and it hurt my heart. I got that connection that I so desperately needed and wanted. Austin and Brigg's story is tragic and full of sorrow. But it is also powerful and oh, so good!
I'm so glad to have been introduced to this series by a friend, and even more grateful that I didn't start reading it until most of the books were available. It would've been torturous to have to wait for each book to be released....more
I liked how encouraging Jasinda is throughout the book and her willingness to share her journey and personal struggles. It is upbeat and motivating. II liked how encouraging Jasinda is throughout the book and her willingness to share her journey and personal struggles. It is upbeat and motivating. I'm extremely excited to start the plan set forth in the book. ...more
After reading AIR by Ryan Gattis, I realize that I want to read more books with male main characters and I need to step out of the young adult and aduAfter reading AIR by Ryan Gattis, I realize that I want to read more books with male main characters and I need to step out of the young adult and adult romance genre more often. I need to make more time for books like this one. AIR is eye-opening and thought provoking, and it expresses the power of voice and action. It's a book that is timely and should be read by teenagers and adults alike.
Grey is an interesting character because he's in that stage of life where he's discovering the world around him and how is life is shaped by his experiences and how he perceives these experiences. His life has been turned upside down and he's been separated from his siblings after the death of his mother and he must find his way and his place in his aunt's home in a new city. In doing so, readers get to know about him and his passion.
I love the relationship that Grey has with his aunt, Aunt Blue. She's not only his guardian, but she is a confidant too. Grey realizes that he does need guidance and can go to her for help, for advice, he has someone who will listen to him and someone who cares for him. It's an honest relationship. Aunt Blue speaks truths and that's something that Grey needs. Their interactions are some of my favorite moments in the book.
What I liked:
Grey's relationship with his aunt The friendships that develop from purpose The use of extreme sports as an expression of self and as an expression of art Teens taking action and taking control of their own lives
"It's important, you know," she says, "if you don't know it already, that there's a difference between textbooks and art, Grey." "Art is ideas in action, " she says. "Art is feelings felt, and possessed, and put in a new way." "Art -- real art, art from sorrow and pain -- lets you into other people's worlds. Good art makes you feel. Great art changes how you see the world. And it's in that feeling, and it's in that perspective, that we find that we're not alone and we can keep going. Even under the worst of circumstances." - Aunt Blue (pgs. 39-41)
"I mean, realizations are all good, as you say, but you can never be great just thinking anything. Eventually you've got to stand up and do something about it. Action's the only way . . . Philosophy in action is way more that just that. It becomes contagious so long as it's true" - Kurtis (pgs. 135 -136)
"I might not agree with you, but I believe in you, so I'll stand by you." - Aunt Blue (pg. 232)
I'm so glad that I took the time to read AIR because it offers a voice that is rarely heard. I can imagine AIR becoming a classroom favorite appealing to all readers, in fact I plan to recommend it to all of my high school English teacher friends. A great read!...more
COMPLICATE ME was filled with heartache and angst. UNDO ME is in a completely different realm - complete and total devastation.
Aubrey was one of my faCOMPLICATE ME was filled with heartache and angst. UNDO ME is in a completely different realm - complete and total devastation.
Aubrey was one of my favorite characters in COMPLICATE ME and I was really looking forward to knowing her story. She didn't have a major role in the second book of the Good Ol' Boys series, FORBID ME, but the glimpse that I did get to see, I knew her story was going to be rough. And oh man was it.
I loved finding out how Aubrey and Dylan met - she was fiesty and defending her friend, and then learning how they eventually got together. The tender moments between them were my favorites like when Dylan would make Aubrey place her hand over his heart so that she could feel his heartbeat for her. To calm her. To reassure her. His love for her exuded from him.
But when things fell apart (can't really say why because SPOILERS), Dylan was the womanizer, the jerk, and sometimes unforgivable. And Aubrey had her own role in their demise and secrets that she kept for far too long. I wondered how would their love be redeemed? How could their love survive?
I'm not always the fan of the Alpha Male - yes they love their women hard, but the women they don't love are just casualties left in their wake. Sometimes that is difficult for me to read. I would be like how Aubrey is at the beginning of UNDO ME - telling Dylan off - in fact, I was that girl. For now, I'll just take these boys (men) in books, thank you very much.
I read the first books in the series one right after the other and I am thankful that book four, CRAVE ME, isn't out yet. I needed this time to breathe. I need the time for my emotions to regulate, for my heart to heal. Time to recover. Because there is a lot of sorrow in UNDO ME for sure.
I joke and say that I curse my friend for recommending these books to me because I am destroyed. And yet, I give her much love because she's introduced me to books that I couldn't put down. She knew that I would like them and she was right. ...more
Stories about first love are some of my favorites to read. That is what drew me to read PIECES OF YOU AND ME (and I love the title). It's about friendStories about first love are some of my favorites to read. That is what drew me to read PIECES OF YOU AND ME (and I love the title). It's about friendship and young, tortured, and inevitable love. It was a fun read with some really special sweet moments between former best friends who become more.
What I Liked:
*The fierce loyalty of friendship - especially Mya's relationship with Rylee - Mya may have stepped out of line when protecting Rylee, but it always came from a good place *The parents giving "the talk" - Rylee and Chase aren't kids anymore *Teachers who care *The history of the composition books and how Chase and Rylee opened up to each other through the books *All of the moments when Rylee wouldn't give Chase an inch. She believed in him and in them Favorite Quotes/Moments:
Rylee misinterpreting the signs: "Chase ..." "I want you . . ." I closed my eyes. "Okay." But after a moment, I didn't feel his mouth on mine, so I opened my eyes. He was grinning down at me, almost like he was struggling to hold in a laugh. "I want you to come with me."
The inevitable: "God I missed you," he said. "It wasn't that long." "It was too long."
I would have liked to know more about what happened with Chase during the five years he was out of Rylee's life - especially his relationship with his stepdad Mark. There is more to that story that needs to be told. Chase had a lot of pain that he wasn't dealing and knowing his past would have helped me know him a little bit better.
PIECES OF YOU AND ME is another book from the Entangled Crush imprint that I have come to enjoy. It is the first book by Erin Fletcher that I've read and am looking forward to reading more of her books (I already have her first book on my e-reader, so I'll get to it soon!) Rylee and Chase's story was a pleasure to read and I would love to see them in future books! ...more
Rating 4.5/5 - My first Kylie Scott book and definitely not my last! I liked it a lot, a lot! Full review coming soon.
My full review:
When DIRTY on audRating 4.5/5 - My first Kylie Scott book and definitely not my last! I liked it a lot, a lot! Full review coming soon.
My full review:
When DIRTY on audiobook was presented to me, I was more that happy to give it a shot because Kylie Scott is a new-to-me author. DIRTY is the first in a new series, and I've been on an audiobook kick lately, so I thought, why the heck not? I freaking loved this book! Andi Arndt did a fantastic job portraying Lydia with just the right amount sass and humor.
The shocking opening scene immediately caught my attention - how could it not? Then Vaughan discovers Lydia in his shower, fully dressed - wedding gown and all, and Lydia sees all of Vaughan - that's an image burned in my brain that I will likely never forget. I knew that if the beginning of the book was this attention grabbing and hilarious, then the rest of the book would be just as entertaining. And I was right! As soon as I finished listening to it, I started listening to it again. Yes, sometimes I skipped to my favorite sexy parts. (Don't judge)
I loved Lydia. She's smart and sassy and, in light of recent events, she is a bit uncertain about herself and choices. But ultimately she knows what wants and who she wants and has no problem going after him.
And Vaughan - the former musician-turned-bartender - is tough and sexy and not a jerk! His appreciation for the fuller figured female form is adds another check in the plus column for him. He has some of his own stuff to work through and Lydia fell right into his life at just the right time to make it the right amount of complicated.
My Favorite Quote: "You're my favorite person on the planet," I told him honestly. - Lydia
Listening to DIRTY now has me seeking out more books by Kylie Scott and more books narrated by Andi Arndt. My TBR list is about to get a lot longer. AND, to add to the fun, the author has created a DIVE BAR board on Pinterest that enhances the visual experience of DIRTY with some rough and tumble men, gorgeous women, and there are some great beverage recipes for the 21 and older crowd.
DIRTY is a funny and sexy and entertaining start to a new series. It makes me want to pull up a stool at the Dive Bar and have a drink. I loved it!!!...more
Even before I knew what THE DARKEST LIE was about I wanted to read it because of the gorgeous cover. The shades of blue of blue and the girl looking oEven before I knew what THE DARKEST LIE was about I wanted to read it because of the gorgeous cover. The shades of blue of blue and the girl looking out over the lake captured my attention and I had to know what she was thinking about and what she went through.
THE DARKEST LIE combines the thrills of a mystery with the realities of young adult contemporary which make for a heart-pounding, heart-stopping, and sometimes, heartbreaking read. I read it almost straight through because from the get-go, this book had a hold of me, making me reading it furiously until the very end. When a book takes control of me like that, nothing else matters.
I love that THE DARKEST LIE has the Veronica Mars vibe to it. It's serious and smart, with wit and romance and danger. It takes a look at the many relationships changed, broken, and destroyed because of the scandal. The mystery surrounding CeCe's mother's death was multi-layered with the truth blurred in with gossip leaving the town in an uproar and devastation all around, and we get to know how CeCe dealt with the aftermath of all of it.
"My mother was chaos and passion, devastation and joy. Dad used to say you could reach deep into her eyes and pull out a song." (page 2) - CeCe thinking of her mother how she remembered her and not how she is currently presented to her in the casket at her funeral
"I'm not going to kiss you," he says in a strained voice." After the night you've had, I don't want you to mistake a kiss for anything that other that what it is. But I want you to know, just because I don't kiss you doesn't mean I'm not thinking about it. Doesn't mean I'm not going to dream about it. Doesn't mean I won't want to do it, next time we're togother." - Sam to CeCe after an emotional day and devastating discovery. This is one of my favorite scenes in the book. I fell in love with Sam's character when he first appeared on this scene and this made me love him even more.
"Walking around this school is like wading into a pit of alligators. I never know which body part they're going to chew up and spit out." (page 146) - CeCe describing her high school (or any high school for that matter). Nailed it.
Immediately after finished THE DARKEST LIE, I wished that I had someone to discuss it with. This is exactly the type of book that I would want to read with my book club. I'm sure that when other people finish reading THE DARKEST LIE, they will feel the same way. They will recommended it to their friends. This book has too interesting to keep it to themselves. It's an overall fantastic read. It's one that I will definitely keep on my shelf for future rereading.
After reading Best Friends with Benefits, I told numerous friends:
"You need to read this book - hot sexy times! You need it, you'll love it. And thenAfter reading Best Friends with Benefits, I told numerous friends:
"You need to read this book - hot sexy times! You need it, you'll love it. And then you'll thank me."
"'I've read the book and loved it, totally stand behind it, die laughing from it, want the guy on the cover - not really him, but the character he is supposed to portray."
"I loved it! I need more Candy Sloane books! Seriously, loved it. It was sweet and sexy and adorable and just right. I've already recommend it to my BFF!"
As evidenced above, I have only good things to say about Best Friends with Benefits. I loved how it made me laugh over and over again like I knew that I would. Candy Sloane has a knack for perfectly balancing heart, heat, and humor. I loved it so much that I'm already reading it again. ...more
I enjoyed these insightful and funny bits of wisdom by Betty White. A tweet from a friend was all it took for me to decide to read and immediately dowI enjoyed these insightful and funny bits of wisdom by Betty White. A tweet from a friend was all it took for me to decide to read and immediately download this book. Well worth the time it took to listen....more
I loved this story about being young and falling in love and lust and figuring out what you want and who you want it with. The chemistry between ColeI loved this story about being young and falling in love and lust and figuring out what you want and who you want it with. The chemistry between Cole and Sonia is scorching - I could read another hundred pages about these two! It was fun to read about the tour stops with Soft - Stars on the Floor, and experience all of the wild and fun and crazy nights with the band. A great read!...more
I've mentioned it many times how I love reading novels in verse. The sparse storytelling makes every word that more significant. Last year, I read andI've mentioned it many times how I love reading novels in verse. The sparse storytelling makes every word that more significant. Last year, I read and enjoyed Hepperman's Poisoned Apples: Poems for You, Me Pretty and when I learned that ASK ME HOW I GOT HERE was by the same author and a novel written in verse, I knew that it was a book that I wanted to read.
ASK ME HOW I GOT HERE is multi-layered and deep. It's smart and emotional. I'll admit that I've read this book a couple of times (twice in the same day actually) and I'm still trying to gather my thoughts about it.
What I liked:
*How there are Addie's journal entries interspersed throughout the poems *Her openness with her parents and their response to her pregnancy and her decision to have an abortion. *The support that she receives from her boyfriend, Nick. He's in this with her just as much as she will allow. It's obvious that he cares about her even when she begins to separate herself from him. *Addie isn't shamed for her decision. It was the right thing for her to do. *The humor in the ridiculous song titles of Nick's band *How well Addie's emotions are expressed and how she questions all that she thinks she knows. I appreciate her uncertainity and her vulnerability. *The cover - it stands out and if saw it on the shelf at the bookstore, I would immediately pick it up to find out what the book is about.
One of the poems that made a lasting impression is Not Just the Dirty Parts (page 55): I made Nick promise not to tell anyone else because when people look at me I want them to see all of me
Addie doesn't want to be seen only as the girl who was pregnant, the girl who had an abortion. It wasn't shame that made her feel this way, but she knew that is all she would be known for if her classmates found out. This idea is again expressed later in the book with the poem Reduced to a Womb (page 165) - where Addie considers what Mary would have been like, what she dreamed to do, but those things aren't known because all she is known as is the Virgin mother.
ASK ME HOW I GOT HERE isn't a story about judgment and the need for redemption. It's not a story about guilt and the need for forgiveness. It's a story about a girl who made the decision to have an abortion and how things changed afterward. I'm glad that I read this book and got to know Addie's story. I'm sure that I will read it a few more times and I look forward to reading more books by Christine Heppermann....more