I loved Gray, but I fell hard for Dylan. Quirky, independent aDay Five (last day!) of Goodreads Romance Week 2015! My book choice is First Comes Love.
I loved Gray, but I fell hard for Dylan. Quirky, independent and honest to a fault, she's one of my favorite female leads ever. Think Stargirl goes to college - that's Dylan: naïve and wise in one package. Gray, who's drifting through life, attempting to avoid experiencing anything that makes him FEEL, goes from thinking she's a nut case to being more intrigued by her than he's ever been about anyone.
A crack baby - abandoned, left in a bMy Day Four of Goodreads Romance Week 2015 book choice is The Law of Moses. What a beautiful, magical love story.
A crack baby - abandoned, left in a basket at the laundromat - Moses is taken in by his great-grandmother after being shuffled through multiple relatives, none of whom want him. The boy has trust issues out the ying-yang. But to Georgia, the horse-loving rodeo girl next door, he's beautiful and intriguing. She's drawn to him, no matter what anyone else thinks. What does everyone else think? That he's dangerous and odd. To be honest, he's both of those things. He's also an artistic genius - but his art comes at a high cost. When he paints, the creation itself takes over and he's compelled to produce it - even when doing so seems to implicate him for terrible things he knows nothing about.
Georgia is such a breath of fresh air for Moses (ex: her Five Greats lists) that she's like a high altitude. He's astounded by her beauty and her honesty and her need for him, but the air near her is so pure and clear that he can't breathe. Because Moses has demons to fight, and he's unwilling to let anyone in to help him do it. Even a girl willing to sacrifice everything for him.
My Five Greats: 1) My husband's arms around me 2) The fact that my grown children are friends 3) Cats 4) Coffee 5) My mother-in-law's from-scratch apple pie...more
Day Three of Goodreads Romance Week 2015! The book I'm adding to my Favorites Shelf today is Flat-Out Celeste. This book is part of the Flat-Out LoveDay Three of Goodreads Romance Week 2015! The book I'm adding to my Favorites Shelf today is Flat-Out Celeste. This book is part of the Flat-Out Love series, but the story can be read as a stand-alone, and it's ADORABLE. (Caveat: It will "spoil" the others, so if you were planning on reading those, be forewarned.)
Celeste is a quirky and smart high school senior, and she's always been a bit to the left of Normal. Her social awkwardness and the formal way she speaks, along with her raw honesty and curious nature about everything isolated her growing up. Add in some painful family issues, and the girl has some understandable trust issues. So she's looking forward to that thing everyone promises you about college - that you will find your tribe.
Along comes Justin - college sophomore and recruitment dude at a small non-Ivy college - on the other side of the country! - that Celeste is considering. Dare she move so far from her family and everything familiar? Dare she shun the Ivies courting her with their aged campuses and Big, Important Reputations? All she's ever expected of college is that she will work hard - which, luckily, she enjoys. But Justin makes college sound... fun. And Justin seems fun, too. Just wait until she meets him. <3...more
Love Show is my Day Two choice for Goodreads Romance Week 2015. I admit to being swayed by a pretty cover, and this one definitely caught my eye. ThatLove Show is my Day Two choice for Goodreads Romance Week 2015. I admit to being swayed by a pretty cover, and this one definitely caught my eye. That said, I always read samples before buying. I sent myself the sample for this book along with several others. I don't remember the others - I probably didn't buy any of them. But I got to the end of the sample of Love Show and couldn't press BUY fast enough.
Hadley is strong, serious and ambitious - and she's got an aversion to the "L" word like nobody's business. Jack is cocky and hot but lovable instead of obnoxious. He's laid back - the direct personality opposite of Hadley. These two are like magnets (the first kiss - like magnets, I tell you). Here's the thing Ms. Bell did that floored me - she took the usual arrogant guy/ awkward girl thing and swapped them... without Jack losing his masculinity. Because Hadley's independence was fear-based (her mother jumped from one relationship to another and she'd sworn to avoid that kind of crazy altogether), and Jack's vulnerability was based on courage - it works.
Hadley is fabulous is every possible way... except for the glaring fact that she lets no one close to her heart. Jack is a serious f*ckup in many possible ways... but he's willing to put it all out there when he falls (and he does, immediately and hard). If you like your heroines non-hair-twirly and your heroes ready to do whatever it takes (when no one is asking him to and might not appreciate it if he does), this book is for you. ...more
I stopped reviewing on Goodreads in 2013, when life got overwhelming and a few things had to go. Writing reviews went; reading didn't. I was asked toI stopped reviewing on Goodreads in 2013, when life got overwhelming and a few things had to go. Writing reviews went; reading didn't. I was asked to participate in Goodreads Romance Week 2015, during which I agreed to add a book per day to my shelves. The Understatement of the Year is my first choice.
It's the third in a trilogy of stand-alones (plus a novella), wonderfully written, and just blew me away both in the heat between the characters, Michael and John, and the tear-jerking, realistic angst they'd each survived to get to the point where they were thrown back together years later and forced to reexamine everything that went wrong the first time around. This book - this entire series - is hands-down NA as I want to read it.
I read The Ivy Years trilogy out of order - which is a little spoilery for obvious reasons (the characters all go to university together). The first book is The Year We Fell Down and the second is The Year We Hid Away. I wholeheartedly recommend all three....more
I'm the author of this New Adult novel, a spinoff, stand-alone Contours of the Heart novel. No prequel. No sequel. No need to read anything before orI'm the author of this New Adult novel, a spinoff, stand-alone Contours of the Heart novel. No prequel. No sequel. No need to read anything before or after. Releases April 27, 2015. :)...more
I'm the author of this YA-M/New Adult series. (This digital-only edition is the complete four-book Between the Lines series originally published May 2I'm the author of this YA-M/New Adult series. (This digital-only edition is the complete four-book Between the Lines series originally published May 2011-August 2013. Contains: Between the Lines, Where You Are, Good For You and Here Without You.)...more
New Adult gem. I dare you not to fall for Bennett, a guy who's determined to wait (yes, that means what you think it means) for just the right girl. HNew Adult gem. I dare you not to fall for Bennett, a guy who's determined to wait (yes, that means what you think it means) for just the right girl. He never expects Avery - the girl who doesn't wait for anything, or commit to anyone - to be her. But when Avery moves in downstairs, she'll test every resolve Bennett's got... or maybe he'll test hers....more
This is what happens when an author writes what she knows. Wonderful, heartwarming story about loss and healing and learning to choose your own path iThis is what happens when an author writes what she knows. Wonderful, heartwarming story about loss and healing and learning to choose your own path in life. Recommended....more
Highly recommended to anyone who loved Hopeless and couldn't get enough of Dean Holder. His more clear memories of the early events, his relationshipHighly recommended to anyone who loved Hopeless and couldn't get enough of Dean Holder. His more clear memories of the early events, his relationship with Lesslie, his take on the Best First Kiss Ever... and of course, his lovely, slow seduction of Sky, the girl who believes she's hopeless, until Holder teaches her to feel again.
Oh. My. Word. The fantasy world-building in the Lumatere Chronicles was so detailed I would have had to take notes to keep up completely, but I simplyOh. My. Word. The fantasy world-building in the Lumatere Chronicles was so detailed I would have had to take notes to keep up completely, but I simply couldn't take time away from the story to do so. I need a reread of this trilogy (beginning with Finnikin of the Rock - the first book I bought on Kindle and then turned right around and bought the hardback, too). (And a movie, please now and thank you.) Marchetta's courage to write the fierce, plain-speaking, untrusting Quintana - one of the most unlikable female heroines ever (emphasis on heroine, IMO) - is only paralleled by her ability to make me fall for Froi in the second installment and keep falling for him in this one. Considering the fact that I wanted to strangle him to death in Finnikin... that was quite a feat. In Marchetta's skilled hands, Froi moves from a wild, selfish boy to a man willing to risk everything - his life as well as the hard-earned respect of his friends - for the woman he loves.
Side stories of Finnikin and Isaboe (*sigh*), and Phaedra and Lucian were woven throughout. Way back when, I was leery of Marchetta setting her contemporary story-telling aside to embark on this trilogy, but she simply killed it. Highly recommended....more
Recommended only if you've read and enjoyed Flat-Out Love - and I'd recommend a reread before beginning this one if you're like me and a little distanRecommended only if you've read and enjoyed Flat-Out Love - and I'd recommend a reread before beginning this one if you're like me and a little distance makes you fuzzy on details. Matt's POV was perfectly Matt, and gave a clearer portrait of Finn and their relationship, as well....more
I'm horrible about waiting to read series until they're almost over... leaving me saying things like, "I have to wait a whole year for the last one?"I'm horrible about waiting to read series until they're almost over... leaving me saying things like, "I have to wait a whole year for the last one?" - Counting the days until the film... Which means I get dirty looks from those who waited patiently for each installment. Oops.
This was great - I enjoyed every one and am on pins and needles waiting for the film in August 2013......more
In a small town, it's difficult to keep a secret. If you do manage to keep it, it's impossible to get people to stop making assumptions around it to fIn a small town, it's difficult to keep a secret. If you do manage to keep it, it's impossible to get people to stop making assumptions around it to fill in the holes. For Sophie Quinn ("Q"), those assumptions began simply enough: she was the girlfriend of town hero and golden boy Carey Breen, a Marine deployed to Afghanistan.
This assumption leads to another when she's caught kissing Blake Kelly - best friend to Carey, long-time secret crush to Quinn. The initial assumptions turn sharply to the jumping-to-conclusions phase. But Blake is held blameless for that kiss, while Q is branded with her own scarlet A - traitor and whore carved into her locker by people she called friends days before. Why? Because he was facing away from the camera, so he wasn't recognized.
Lt. Col. Cole Quinn believes the assumptions about his daughter for the reasons many people believe bad things about someone they're supposed to love and trust - because they're using the person in front of them as a handy mental punching bag for another someone who hurt them and is no longer around to be held accountable. For the Lt. Col., that someone is his ex-wife, who ran off with his brother six years prior. He began calling his daughter Quinn then instead of Sophie, her cheating mother's name.
Carey's parents believe the assumptions.
Q's friends believe the assumptions.
The whole town believes the assumptions.
And still, she keeps Carey's secret - even when he goes MIA, and her existence as the town outcast turns into one of public humiliation and open contempt.
She's keeping Blake's secret, too. Like Hester Prynne, she wears her A alone, waiting for someone, anyone, to believe that she's not a cheater. Especially the boy she's falling in love with, who agonizes over a secret she won't allow him to tell. I wonder what the hell I would do in his shoes, and I can't help thinking I wouldn't be such a coward. I guess that's an assumption, too.
The bright light in her life comes from the most unexpected place - the VA Medical Center where Q volunteers, and where George is a long-term-care patient. A gruff, plain-spoken veteran and a photographer (like Q), George is the only person in her life who really sees her. "I'd known you five minutes when I knew what kind of person you are," he tells her - or barks at her, in my mind's eye - at which point I fell in love with George.
In the mood for a well-written, character-driven, tightly-woven, tear-jerker of an issues novel? Here it is. Grab your tissues, dude. You'll need 'em....more
The notion of fatally ill people falling in love isn't new, but it feels especially heart-rending when those people are so young. When that love should be their first, not their last. When its intensity should burn bright so that it's remembered fondly later in life, no matter how it ended. When that love should bring life lessons, growth, and personal development. When it is not only first love, but last love.
Green let this story unfold and simmer in his mind and heart just long enough, I think, to get this right. Hazel and Augustus aren't perfect little cancer patients - tragic figures wasting away and accepting their own fates - or each other's. They are inquisitive rebels, demanding answers before they go. Their greatest gifts to each other are those of any other two people in love: the freedom to be themselves while conversing in a language that only they understand, where one word ("okay") contains a world of meaning. They learn that to love is to be allowed to fully feel. To give. To take. To hold on. To let go....more
Set in a boys' boarding school in the early 1980s, this novel is short but heavy. Though the main characters are adolescents (high school juniors), thSet in a boys' boarding school in the early 1980s, this novel is short but heavy. Though the main characters are adolescents (high school juniors), the condensed, descriptive writing style suggests coming-of-age literary fiction, not YA. Told from the main character's point of view as though written in a journal, Paper Covers Rock is a narrative of confession and guilt. Alex's friend, Thomas, died in a questionable accident at a pond on the grounds of their school, and there are possible implications for the boys present (Alex, his volatile roommate, Clay, and Birch School's "golden boy," Glenn) as well as a young female teacher (the subject of Alex's fantasies) who may have witnessed the accident. If nothing else, it's clear that no one is telling the whole truth. The focus of the novel is what Alex knows or believes, what he may be hiding, and why.
Alex details the days immediately following Thomas's death in a journal which he hides in the library (within Melville's Moby Dick - the theme of which mirrors Alex's journey) for fear of it being discovered if he keeps it in his room. Through original poems (many concerning his crush on his literature teacher, Haley) and flashbacks of the weeks leading up to the day of the accident, his thought processeses are often stop-start and contradictory. He goes along with Glenn's harassment of Haley, for instance, even while fantasizing about being with her and declaring his love for her. Though often frustrating, the self-protective decisions Alex makes are authentic, as are those of the more sinister and clever Glenn, and I found myself picturing boys I knew in high school as I was reading....more