Right of Way by Lauren Barnholdt is a companion book to her story, Two-Way Street (my review) and follows the cousin of Courtney. The two books are very similar in premise that they are almost interchangeable. The only real differences are the names, there is a dog and Jace is driving Peyton home and they are not heading off to college together. They have an existing relationship but unlike Courtney and Jordan theirs is more of a summer time fling but like Jordan, Jace just cuts off all contact without a word leaving Peyton all sorts of heart-broken. These aren't a grouping of books that you want to read back to back as you'll just get frustrated at the almost copy & paste of the story. But with some time in between the two the similarities aren't quite as glaring though still pretty obvious.
Peyton, like Courtney, is a bit of an unlikable character and I just don't get what Jace sees in her and the reason he had for cutting off all contact was just dumb. With as close as they were supposed to be the fact that he didn't ask her to explain was just rage inducing. Ugh to the ugh ugh ugh with the pointless breakup!! Nothing frustrates me more than that and this was just made me sigh and roll my eyes.
Overall though, Right of Way, is a quick brain candy type of read and its a good follow-up to an emotionally draining book. Its not a deep story and it doesn't take long to read which makes it a great pallet cleanser. While I didn't like Peyton at first she does change during the story and I do cheer for her and Jace's inevitable coming back together. While this isn't a book that I will re-read its not one that I feel like I wasted my time on either. Even with all the similarities to Two-Way Street.
Places Traveled To: Fayetteville, Arkansas // Tucson, Arizona // Los Angeles, California // Phoenix, Arizona
First Line(s): "Celebrity Seeker claims that I'm dating Troy again," I say as I skim the pages of the gossip magazine.
Not in the Script is the debut novel of Amy Finnegan and the third installment in Bloomsbury's If Only Series. This story focuses on a group of young actors who are pulled together to film a tv show in Arizona and is told from the perspective of Emma and Jake, two of the stars. Normally I really love alternating perspectives in a book because I love to know what the other person is thinking but in this instance I didn't love it as much as I normally would. This was because there was only one narrator used for the entire book and while Vanessa Johansson was a good narrator I really really really wish that a male narrator was employed for Jake's POV chapters. Listening to the audio it was sometimes hard to tell which POV perspective that I was in and Johansson didn't have a ton of distinction with her voices. There was enough to tell who was who once I got used to her style but things would have just been better all around if there was a male narrator in the mix especially since there was such a clear distinction between the two different POVs.
Other than my issue with the narration I did really enjoy this story. I enjoyed the budding romance between Jake and Emma and even liked her interactions with her two other co-stars, Brent and Kimmi. Though I could have done without the initial love triangle aspect because since one of the guys didn't get a POV chapter you pretty much know who Emma is going to end up with. Another character that features promenantly is Emma's BFF Rachel and like so many BFFs in young adult books Rachel isn't much of a friend to Emma. Rachel is bitter and jealous and all sorts of passive aggressive all because Emma became a star and she hasn't when its something that she wants more than anything. This is a sour friendship and I don't see why Emma puts up with Rachel's antics other than the fact that Emma is super nice and Rachel is a link to who she was before she became a big star. If there was a character that I wanted to smack in this book than it was Rachel even Emma's terrible mother would get a pass over my very strong dislike towards Rachel. *hulk smash*
My dislike of Rachel aside, I did really like Emma's character there were all sorts of ways that this girl could have become snobby, shallow and elitist because she entered Hollywood at such a young age. Instead she was genuinely nice and down to earth and cared about those around her. She not only worked a full time job since she was in elementary school but she also finished high school and worked in college classes where she could. She could have coasted on her salary but Emma is the sort of girl who always wants more and knows that she might not want to be a Hollywood A-lister forever. Which is why she and Jake make such a good match
Overall, Not in the Script, was a really cute read and one that has me on the hunt for read-a-likes. If I'd read the print version over the audio than I probably would have read it in just a day or two. Its a great book for when you need something light and not too serious and is just one of those feel good reads.
First Line(s): Jason was going to Brain Camp. It had another name, a real name, but that's what everyone called it.
Its no secret that I've read much Sarah Dessen but she is definitely one author that gets recommended to me a lot and most recently people have been telling me about The Truth About Forever so I decided to give it a shot. The Truth About Forever is told from the POV of Macy who at the start of the book is dating a robot named Jason. He's pretty boring and emotionless and as she is as well I almost didn't read much further. Coupled with one of the most vile mothers on the written page I spent a lot of time being annoyed by this book. That is until I met Wes. Wes was an amazing character and he turned Macy from being a robot into a real girl.
The start of The Truth About Forever was very slow and the ending felt rushed and inconclusive but I liked the middle. I liked when Macy was ditched by her boyfriend and when she started to actually live her life. Although this causes her much trouble at home as her mother prefers her to be an emotionless robot who does nothing but sit at home and study. All while complaining that she doesn't have friends. But when Macy starts to meet people and to show some emotion her mother goes ballistic and then grounds her.
While the pacing was off here I did really like how Wes and Macy interacted and I would have loved to have more scenes with them. They had this wonderful chemistry that simply lept off the page. I also liked Wes's brother and his friends and how they all breathed life into Macy. Despite the things that I didn't like about The Truth About Forever it was a fast read. I read this one in a single sitting and if the ending was just a little bit more then I probably would have rated this one higher. I also liked this one better than the first Sarah Dessen book that I read and so I am now more curious about her other books than I ever have been before. The only question is, which one?
Cute but dragged in a few bits & that whole thing with Dylan just sort of fizzled the narration - it became more tell than show and so there was tCute but dragged in a few bits & that whole thing with Dylan just sort of fizzled the narration - it became more tell than show and so there was this wall between reader and story. Made potentially tense moments into something flat. 3...maybe 3.5 stars (full review to come)...more
First Line(s): It was dawn, and the zombies were stumbling through the parking lot, streaming toward the massive beige box at the far end.
I remember when I started to read Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix someone in my Twitter stream made a comment that they didn't think that a book set in an Ikea could be scary. My response was to ask if they'd ever worked in a large department store, because if you've ever been in one after hours when all the main lights are off then you know just how spooky they can be. With the lights off and the customers gone every sound seems to echos and your fellow employees are just shadows in the dim light if you spy them across the store. So I think that my experience working in such a chain store helped to make Horrorstor just a little more scary than it might for those who haven't.
One thing that I really liked about Horrorstor was how the book was formatted. It was set up like it was a furniture store catalog with pictures and diagrams and descriptions that got creepier and creepier as the story progressed. The story starts off innocently enough but then as it moves along and you learn more about the store and the back story of the area it all begins to come together and the creep factor intensifies. To me Horrorstor reminded me a little of the movie Poltergeist which terrified me royally when I was a child so if you like that movie then you will probably like this book. Though, luckily for me and my over active imagination, this book wasn't as scary as Poltergeist.
Horrorstor is a quick read and I read it in a single sitting as I wanted to see just how this story would progress. Even with all of its supernatural bits I found it to be believable and a very odd little book. It made me laugh at times and cringe in others and at the end I wanted there to be more to the story. There are parts of me that hopes for a sequel and then there are other parts that are happy with how it ended. Its not a story where everything is tied up in a neat little bow so if you like that sort of thing then you will be disappointed. Horrorstor is more open ended in which there is an ending but there are still open threads so that we, as readers, are left to imagine where the story goes from the final page and that is something that I like....from certain types of books. Hendrix wrote a good story that was evenly paced and while this was my first read by this author it won't be my last.
Place(s) Traveled To: Los Angeles, California // Antigua, Guatemala // Chichicastenango, Guatemala // Panajachel, Guatemala // Santa Lucia, Guatemala // Guatemala City, Guatemala // Rio Dulce, Guatemala // Flores, Guatemala // Tikal, Guatemala // Livingston, Guatemala // Punta Gorda, Belize // Belize City, Belize // Laughingbird Caye, Belize
First Line(s): As soon as I see the blond girl bouncing down the aisle, I know she's heading for the empty seat beside me.
Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard is a book that has been on my radar since it was released in 2012 and a book that has been recommended to me more times than I can count. But for whatever reason I didn't pick it up until now and then proceeded to read it in about a day. Wanderlove started out a little slow for me but as I kept reading it just settled in nicely into my brain and clung there like the memory of an old friend. Its a book that fully woke up my travel bug and made me want to pack a bag, grab my passport, head to the airport, and jump on the first plane out of Massachusetts. (It also didn't help that this was the THIRD road trip type book I'd read in a row.)
I love the concept of what wanderlove is: “Wanderlust is like itchy feet. It’s when you can’t settle down. But Wanderlove is much deeper than that . . . it’s a compulsion. It’s the difference between lust and love.” as described by Rowan and Starling, two characters in the book. This book just ended up hitting all the right notes with me and I was sad to have reached the end of the story. This book is filled with adventure as Bria leaves her guided tour and takes off for places unknown with people she just met. And for those romance lovers out there, it has a slow burn romance that will make your heart ache even as you want to shake the characters to get them to just act on what we all know they are feeling!
I loved how Bria changed and grew over the course of the novel. At the beginning of the story she was a bit lost and didn't really know herself after dealing with the pressures of school and an asshat of an ex-boyfriend. But her friendship with Starling and Rowan along with her own personal journey she found her way back to who she was before but also discovered a bit of the person that she was always meant to be. I liked how she changed those around her just as they changed parts of her too. Because we all give pieces of ourselves to others and this book really highlights that.
Wanderlove is a book that I know that I will be revisiting in the future and its a book that I wish I'd read sooner but also know that now was the perfect time for me to find it. It was well written and well plotted and I just wanted it to go one for another 100 pages or so. These are characters that will stay with me and ones that I hope you all take the time to meet one day.
First Line(s): The flash of the camera blinds me as I take my seat at the front of the room.
I don't know about you but sometimes I pick up a book to read even when I have every expectation of not liking it. There I times when I swear I am a glutten for punishment and I don't know why I do this thing that I do. Although sometimes, the reason is simple, the book I do not think I'll like is part of a series and in order to move to the next book I need to get through the dreaded on. For I am also the sort that perfers to read all books in a series and then to read that series in order. Its rare for me to read a book series out of order though it does happen. My reluctance to read All Broke Down began when I saw that the male hero of the story was going to be Silas who we first meet in All Lined Up. I did not like Silas much in that book and I may have groaned aloud when I saw the synopsis for All Broke Down.
I was determined to read this story though because as we all know sometimes what we expect in a book isn't what we get at all. There are books that I've longed for desperately thinking I was going to love them only to chuck them across the room. And there are bookes like Lead and now All Broke Down that I expected to suffer through and dislike only to fall deeply in love with them. Expectations are funny like that. Silas is a character that defied all of my expectations of him. I expected an ass of a male lead, a person to roll my eyes at and long to toss my ereader across the room. But he's the sort of character that makes your heart break, your eyes fill up with tears, and wishing he was real so you can give him a hug and say that everything will be ok. All Broke Down is a book that made my heart ache in that oh so wonderful way that I love as Silas and Dylan work towards their happily ever after.
I loved how strong Dylan was and how she and Silas were just so perfect for each other. Both characters are flawed and strong and they just complement each other and make each other better. I loved their first meeting and felt the sparks between them and smiled delightedly as I settled in to read their story. For once I started All Broke Down I wasn't able to stop until I hit the final page. I was sucked into Dylan and Silas's love story and it wouldn't let me go. I did get frustrated when the cliched pointless breakup happened because its just all so very unnecessary. There are other ways to create tension in a story and you don't always have to break a couple up just to get them to their HEA. The pointless break up just makes me sigh, roll my eyes and wish that I had the ability to reach into the story and shake some sense into the lovebirds who are just being dumb.
Another thing that keeps me from giving All Broke Down 5 stars is an event that happens towards the end of the book just as our couple is getting ready to get back together and ride off into the sunset. Its an intense scene and one that made me gasp and have feels. Its an important scene but one that I don't think was quite right to happen in this story at that time because it distracted from the main story being told. It was like a fist to the gut and I am in no way dismissing it but I just feel like it wasn't the right time for these events to happen. I think the scene may have worked better earlier in the story or as an opening to a new story involving the character that was part of this event. This event made the ending feel rushed and inconclusive because shortly after it happened the book was over. Instead of a happy sigh of contentment that I usually feel at the end of a good romance I was left with this void as Dylan and Silas never actually declared their love to the other. As a reader you know how they feel as you are in both of their heads but they actually told each other how they felt.
They were about to when the afore mentioned event happened and then their was the aftermath of that and then the book was over. Its also a bit disappointing that the event that happened at the end of All Broke Down will still be left open as the next book in the series, All Played Out, will deal with two new minor characters that we met in this book. Although I do get that there needs to be a little time for the dust to settle before that particular storyline can continue. All in all though I really did like All Broke Down and loved how Cora Carmack took a character that I thought I would dislike and turned him into one of my favorite male romance heroes. I adored Silas Moore and know that All Broke Down is a book that I will be rereading. All Broke Down is a great installment in the Rusk University series and a must read for all lovers of New Adult romance....or just lovers of a good love story. If, dear reader, you and I share similar reading tastes than I don't think you'll be disappointed if you try this one out.