Here They Lie by D'Ann Burrow is a new adult southern gothic roman**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Here They Lie by D'Ann Burrow is a new adult southern gothic romance. I love these kinds of reads during this time of year. I have a confession to make. Normally I am not a seasonal reader. I will read a "beach read" romance every single day of the year, and same goes for sci fi, fantasy and paranormal. But for some reason, the exception to this is during fall, and more particularly during the month of October. October brings out a desire in me to read creepy, horror books. But my favorite of all are southern Gothic paranormal/magic romances. I want to light a candle and curl up in a warm sweater (with cool weather, please!) and read books just like Here They Lie. The cover practically screams fall/Halloween to me. And the story was great too.
The description of Here They Lie initially reminded me of the Heirs of Watson Island series, with the mention of the three families and a secret that bound them together, plus the whole southern Gothic things, but it is really nothing like that series at all. I loved getting to know Aunt Kate through Reese's eyes, and I was really into the budding romance between Reese and Colton. I can't speak too much about the whole secrets aspect because, while we did find out a little bit about it, it was not nearly enough for my liking and it was kind of all crammed into the end of the book. I will have to wait until the next book to dive into that part of the story.
Here They Lie was a really good book to set the stage and meet the characters. It read more like a romance to me, which I really enjoyed. I would have also liked a little more time spent on the family secrets, and why some people in the families seemed to know about them and why others did not. That didn't make a whole lot of sense to me, but I am thinking there will be more clarity on that question and dozens of other questions I have surrounding the families. I will definitely be continuing this series because it has been ages since I have found a good pure magic story, without a paranormal element. So even though I do wish we got some more answers throughout the story, the basis of the plot is more than enough to keep me interested. I really like Reese and the plot is intriguing.
**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore is a beautiful story in t**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore is a beautiful story in the young adult magical realism genre. The Weight of Feathers has been called The Night Circus meets Romeo and Juliet. Now I haven't read the Night Circus yet (I know, don't shoot me!) but I can totally see the circus meets Romeo and Juliet comparison. Throw a little magic in and you have it. I loved The Weight of Feathers so much. I was equally fascinated by the Palomas and the Corbeaus.
The story starts out with the Palomas, but then shifts for much of the book to the Corbeaus. At first, I started out on the Palomas side and then switched over to the Corbeaus camp, but I soon realized that there are no good guys and bad guys here. Just two families that each have a bit of their own special magic and each have a whole lot of judgment and confusion over what the other family has done. It was almost comical the way that they blamed the other family for everything. It all centers around one event that took me by total surprise near the start of the book. I really liked how everything fit together around this event.And I loved that the two families acts were so totally different. The Palomas have a water act and the Corbeaus have an act high up in the trees. The big difference in their acts, just served to justify to each family just how different they thought they were from the other. I can't emphasize enough how fantastically executed this story is. It felt like I was reading something really special.
Author Anna-Marie McLemore did such a beautiful job with this story. The writing is moving and the characters will have you rooting for them until the very end. I was swept up in the magic of The Weight of Feathers. I think this is a book that will appeal to young adult and all ages of adults alike. (I was going to say old adults, but I thought better of that almost immediately.) I cannot wait to see what Anna-Marie McLemore will come up with next.
Jillian Cade: (Fake) Paranormal Investigator by Jen Klein is a young ad**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Jillian Cade: (Fake) Paranormal Investigator by Jen Klein is a young adult book that made me so happy because it totally surprised me. It is the first book in an unnamed series, and I am so crazy happy that there are going to be more of these books especially because of the direction that Jen Klein took Jillian Cade in. Jillian is the daughter of a paranormal expert, whom she lovingly (not really) refers to as a con artist. That should tell you all you need to know on Jillian's stance on the paranormal.
I felt so bad for Jillian. I mean, her mom passed away, her dad is always off traveling so you can guess that there is a bit of a strain on their relationship because of that. Not to mention Jillian is kind of bitter about the whole paranormal thing because her father has basically abandoned her to tour the world, leaving her alone and without money to even pay the power bill at her house. Talk about child neglect. To keep things going Jillian heads up her dad's paranormal investigation private eye business. I loved that she made her clients jump through password hoops to protect her identity from them. She is a savvy one, which is one of the things that I immediately liked about her. She is a fighter. A sassy fighter.
Jillian and her cousin help people rid ghosts from their house, or help out with curses, and the like, even though Jillian doesn't believe in any of it. (think Psych or monk or the mentalist.) But when a new guy shows up in town, and is a big groupie of her dad he basically forces her to come along on her next assignment. Saving the popular girl at school's boyfriend from a curse. And that is about all I am going to tell you about the plotline from the book because this book is just so darn good, I don't want to spoil a thing. Whether you are going into Jillian Cade expecting a contemporary or more of a paranormal, it doesn't matter, because I guarantee you will be surprised and pleasantly so while reading. (and nope, I am not going to tell you which one of those I expected. I've even included both contemporary and paranormal in my genres as a kind of pathetic attempt to throw you off. It's not actually both. winkwink)
If you love spunky characters, a riveting plotline, some romance to boot, and not to mention the set up for what looks like it is going to be a great series, then you have the right book. Jillian Cade exceeded all of my expectations. And then some.
Coercion is a serial series that makes up books 1-3 in the Montana Drag**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Coercion is a serial series that makes up books 1-3 in the Montana Dragons series by Chloe Cole, who is the alter ego to NY Times best selling author, Christine Bell. The Montana Drags series is a paranormal romance series that follows two different dragons. (Where do they live, I wonder? Could it be Montana??) Books 1-3 are Drake's story and books 4-6 are Etienne's story. I liked that this serial romance was split into two sub parts like that. I grabbed Coercion book 1 because it was free on amazon. (Still is! Grab it HERE) And when I finished reading that I immediately bought the complete Coercion set. (it was only 99 cents!! Such a deal!)
Willa is a wolf shifter that was jilted by the Alpha in her pack. That whole story has an entire spin off series, in case you are interested. But You don't need to read it to enjoy and understand this series. Willa's parents leave the pack and are looking for allies to get revenge on behalf of their daughter. In the process of their plan they sign a marriage contract with a dragon shifter. Only problem is Willa had no idea. Willa's parents totally handled this situation badly. They don't tell Willa what is going on, they pull up to an abandoned road and basically strand her there. Talk about messed up and scary.
But that is only the start of the story, because then we meet Drake. Willa and Drake clash and butt heads the whole time. That was what I loved about them. They are both so strong willed and stubborn that it is an interesting match. Their story was great for a quick read that felt new and fresh. I have been really interested in Dragon shifters lately and to see one paired with a wolf shifter was not something I expected. Coercion is a great 3-part serial for fans of shifter romances. i would recommend you check it out! I want to read more Willa and Drake.
**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**My Thoughts A Sweet Possibility is the second book in the new adult/adu**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**My Thoughts A Sweet Possibility is the second book in the new adult/adult contemporary romance Archer Cove by Natalie Charles. I had no idea that this was the second book in the series at all, and it read a like a complete standalone. This line from the summary totally sold me on the book, "All baker Jessica Mallory wants is a modest thigh gap. And her own chocolate shop." I have no idea why but I love the modest thigh gap and chocolate addict conundrum. It is totally adorable and cute, just like Jessica. I also loved Nate. Pretty hard. So I think it is safe to say that A Sweet Possibility was a really sweet book. Definitely.
Jessica is quirky and funny. Kind of like a smidgen of Bridget Jones mixed in with spunk and something that is uniquely her own. And Nate is just pure adorable-ness. I could not get enough of him. I loved how infatuated he was with Jessica. Those kind of sweet crushes get me every time. Jessica gets dumped and decides to make some changes in her life to get herself together and to open her own chocolate shop. (She does it for all the wrong reasons, but nonetheless the reader knows what is going to happen.)
Nate steps in to help Jessica and watching the two of them together just made me smile. A Sweet Possibility is a bit of a predictable read, but it is predictable in all the ways you want it to be. I can't wait to read the first book in the Archer Cove series, because I am sure that it is just as fell good as this one. My only holdback with this book was something that I only noticed after I had finished reading. I know that might seem a little strange, but I was just loving every page of this story that this point didn't even cross my mind until I was done. Click to see what it was. (view spoiler)[I wanted more Jessica and Nate together. By the time the really good together stuff was happening it was the end. (hide spoiler)]
Bottom Line: A sweet Possibility is a really sweet friends to more contemporary romance. I would totally check it out, when you ate looking to satisfy your romance sweet tooth.
**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**Tangled Up in Blue is the first book in the new adult contemporary roma**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**Tangled Up in Blue is the first book in the new adult contemporary romance series, Ikana College by author J.D. Brick. I really liked that Tangled Up in Blue was told in dual narrative, and I really did like the two main characters- Blue and Keegan. But the story fell a little flat for me. On one hand, the romance was interesting and the story was solidly good. Fans of new adult will enjoy the romance and the college setting. But people who are getting burnt out on new adult, or who dislike new adult that is all the same, this may not be the book for you.
For the record, let me say, that I am not burnt out on New Adult. New Adult contemporary romance is my favorite age group for contemporary romance. But Tangled up in Blue felt very generic as far as new adult romances went. It was good, but it wasn't anything different to make it stand out in my mind. But now, let's talk about what I did like in Tangled up in Blue. I liked the set up. I liked that Keegan was thrown into this big party house, which was totally not her scene. It made for lots of built in roommates (characters) for the story. I liked the way J.D. Brick used dramatic elements in this story. She didn't just keep throwing drama in your face, but it was kind of there in the background, in the form of a kind of sort of ex, Blue's mysterious past and Keegan's stalker of course.
The stalker storyline, by the way...totally creeped me out! I would have flipped if that happened to me. Keegan way handling it too calmly in my opinion. So why wasn't this story a bigger hit with me? Something about Blue's connection with Keegan felt off. Cheesy maybe? I'm not exactly sure. I liked it, and it has all the ingredients that would make this a new adult hit with me. And while the end result was something that I enjoyed, it didn't become the home run I was hoping for. The story felt long in parts.
Bottom Line: This is a good, but kind of generic new adult contemporary romance. If you can't get enough of the new adult genre and like your romances a little on the cheesy side, Tangled up in Blue would be a great pick for you. If you are a little worn out on New Adult, I would say pass on this one. Will I be continuing on in the series? Maybe. I am interested in what is going to happen next, so we will see.
**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net** Alive is one of those young adult books that has such a cool concept, t**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net** Alive is one of those young adult books that has such a cool concept, that you can't not read it. Alive is about a teenage girl that gets a heart transplant, and then some strange and dare-I-say-it... creepy, things begin to happen. You cannot tell me that story doesn't sounds, original and flat out awesome, can you? Nope, I didn't think so. Alive is a great read. One that will leave you more than a little spooked.Stella is a character that I think could be very polarizing in the young adult book world. I can certainly see people getting frustrated with her, but it was really easy for me to put myself in her shoes and imagine how hard her recovery and every day life must be. I haven't gone through anything as traumatic as having a bad heart or needing a transplant, but Stella is a very easily relate-able character.
Sure, she gets a bit of first boyfriend tunnel- vision, and sure she takes a couple craps on her friends, but put in context of everything that was going on, I got it. Now, don't get me wrong. I didn't give her a free pass for being a crappy friend more than once during Alive. In fact, I wanted to shake her every single time I imagined Henry's hurt feelings. Stella kind of went on a path of teenage destruction in parts of Alive. She is lucky that her friends are so awesome, because I know a lot of people that wouldn't not put up with half of her decisions. I know it seems like I am hating on Stella. but I'm not. Because even through everything I just mentioned, I was still on Team Stella. Why? Because of Chandler's writing. Chandler Baker made me care for Stella, because I understood Stella's motivations.
I love Henry. I shipped hard for him in this book. Levi totally creeped me out. He was not a bad boy that made me swoon at all. But then again, how could anyone steal my attention from Henry. I just wanted to hug him from the very first text that Stella sent him. (and I hadn't even met him yet!)
Chandler's writing was the highlight of Alive for me. It was thought provoking writing. I loved the idea that an organ might not just be an organ. That it might carry some impressions, and history from its' previous owner. That concept alone has a ton of ramifications, and interesting ideas to explore. Alive is the product of that thought, and I loved seeing where Chandler Baker took it. So whether you end up loving Stella or hating Stella, I think there is something for everyone to enjoy, and to think about, in Alive.
3.5/5 Wild Hearts is the fourth standalone title in Bloomsbury's young a**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
3.5/5 Wild Hearts is the fourth standalone title in Bloomsbury's young adult contemporary "If Only" romance line centered around an impossible problem: you always want what you can't have! Each of the books has a cute if only sentence, and Wild Hearts' is "If Only...their fathers didn't hate each other." Brie's father is a land developer and he is hired to create a new hotel in a small rural town...where wild mustangs run. I bet you can guess that the town is not too happy with that. And cue, Logan's father being the mad ranch hand. Along with the rest of the towns people.
I thought Wild Hearts was a very cute little romance. It was very light hearted and a read that will make you feel good. For being an irate town of protesters, I thought that Logan was actually very welcoming. Maybe a little too welcoming, if that makes any sense. My only snag with Wild Hearts was that most of the town was so nice and understanding. Which normally, I would love. But these people hated Brie's father, they were protesting on their front yard the first night they were there, but the sheriff told them to stop and they all backed off. I would have thought that if the community was as small as it seemed that the sheriff would be on the side of the townspeople, but everyone seemed so logical. At one point Logan was like, well your dad has all the proper permits so there isn't really anything we can do. WTF? haha it just seemed bizarre for a teenage boy that was so connected with the horses to act so calm and rational about everything.
But I suppose if my only hang up on the story was that everyone in the town was too nice, I guess that isn't really a bad thing. It was just a little surprising how quickly Logan took to Brie because I would have thought he would have really disliked her. At least at first. But Logan and Brie were super cute together. I loved watching them with the horses. Wild Hearts was just a whole lot of fun. I have read a couple of the books in the If Only story line, and they are true standalones. I wouldn't even call If Only a series. It is just a line of books, by different authors that center around the theme that you want what you can't have. Which is the perfect thing for young adult books. There are so many ways authors can go with it. And Wild Hearts was a great take on the If Only line. A cute read for any time of the year.
**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net** Awake is a young adult thriller. I absolutely love the cover of Awake w**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net** Awake is a young adult thriller. I absolutely love the cover of Awake with the rose and the barbed wire, and the concept of a cult, because I don't read too many books with cults in them. I was in the mood for something creepy, and I had heard amazing things about Natasha's last book, the Cellar. Alas, Awake didn't work out quite the way I wanted it too. I liked it alright, but it certainly wasn't my favorite. Most of the reason that I didn't flat out hate this book was because the concept was intriguing to me, and I genuinely wanted to see where the author was going to go with it. Which to me means that Natasha's Preston's writing was not the issue for me. Awake was a technically solid book, as far as writing goes.
First, and this is a minor point, but the summary says that Scarlett couldn't remember anything before the age of 5, but the story has the age at 4. I know that is a little point, but honestly 5 in the story would have been better. Because I can't remember anything before the age of 4! (or 5 for that matter) The things that I do remember, I am pretty sure are not my own memories, but rather memories of stories that other people have told me. But fine, if Scarlett is freaked out because her lack of memories feels scary or weird to her, I could get on board with that. It is everyone else's reactions that had me pulling me hair. They were flat out shocked whenever they found out that she couldn't remember. Like it was the weirdest thing they had ever heard. And that was where the author started to lose me. It felt like a disconnect with the summary and with the story. I know that sounds weird so let me try and explain that means. (I have seen different versions of the summary floating around as I format this post, but the issues with the story remain the same. These things still bugged me even though the summary cleared it up. I am glad that the summary was modified though, I think that will help with other readers checking out Awake.)
My other main issue was with Summary Noah and Noah in the story. In the summary, it makes Noah seem like he is going to be protecting Scarlett from the cult, but then when I was reading the book, it really did not seem to be that way. You do get more answers as the story progresses but I couldn't connect with either of the characters because they just seemed so out there to me. Noah is creepy beyond belief and Scarlett just fell flat for me. I found Awake to be confusing and too many things just didn't jive and add up in my mind to make this story work. Fans of creepy stories and cults and darker versions of people (think really messed up) might get the appeal of Awake. I wanted this book to work out for me, but it just didn't. I didn't hate it, but I really didn't love it either.
I loved Like Candy! I have read Debra Doxer's other books, and I really**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
I loved Like Candy! I have read Debra Doxer's other books, and I really enjoyed them as well, so I expected to read a solidly good book with Like Candy. But revenge is normally not an instant love plot point for me, so I was unsure how much I was going to love this book. I know you are thinking, then why did you read it Michelle? Well, I will tell you. Debra's writing is really great, and her last books were so powerful and wonderful that I just couldn't pass this one up. And boy oh boy am I glad that I didn't miss it. Because I think Like Candy is one of my top picks of 2015 so far! I loved that it was age appropriate for the young adult genre in the romance department, and I loved Candy and Jonah. That end though! Debra is clearly trying to kill me.
The summary for Like Candy makes revenge out to be a central theme of the story, but I didn't really think it was. And that was totally fine with me. I thought when Candy moved back to her high school that she was going to have some grand scheme to get revenge on everyone (or certain people) but the story didn't unfold that way at all. And I was really happy about that. Sure, there were revenge pranks pulled and one was even pretty serious, but they were sprinkled far apart in the story. The really focus was on Candy and Jonah. And what a focus they were. I loved that Jonah seemed to instantly see beyond the image that Candy was projecting for the world.
I need the second book so desperately because there are so many unanswered questions that I have now. And honestly for the first 3/4ths of the book, I didn't even think I was going to have unanswered questions. Everything was progressing great, but then I started to see hints of another layer, and bam the end of the book happened (really the last 1/4th of the book) and I was left with my mouth agape. Those last few chapters put so much into question for me, and I was left going back through the story, trying to gather more hints. But all it did was bring up for unknowns. I need the next book, because I cannot wait to see where this story is going to go next.
Debra Doxer write really great characters, and really great stories that draw the reader in and doesn't let go. I just love losing myself in her books. And the romance is wonderful in Like Candy too. If you have not read any of Debra's books, you really should!
As soon as I read Beauty and the Mustache by Penny Reid, and I was intr**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
As soon as I read Beauty and the Mustache by Penny Reid, and I was introduced to the 6 Winston Brothers, I was hooked. I knew that I wanted to read their stories. And of course Penny answered. Penny Reid is incredible at listening to her fans and giving them exactly what they want. I love that about her. And what I love even more is her writing. No one writes romance like Penny Reid. Her books are always witty, gripping and so, so, much fun to read.
Truth or Beard is the first book in the Winston Brothers series. It features Duane, one of the two twins. I could not get enough of Duane and Jessica. I loved their back and forth bickering, almost as much as they seemed to love it. I really really want to see more of them, because as much as I absolutely loved this story, it didn't seem finished to me. I felt like the last 1/4th of the book was more focused on the other huge thing going down in the plotline (which, don't get me wrong, was pretty darn important) but I wanted to see more cabin scenes with Duane and Jess. I felt like there was all this build up with them, and I want more dammit! That was literally the only critical thing I can say about Truth or Beard- that I want more. And that is pretty awesome.
I loved Jessica and I loved Duane even more. I thought it was hilarious that Jessica had a crush on Duane's twin brother for her whole life. But I love that this was not a back and forth love triangle book at all. Penny Reid did a fantastic job with that. Once the book got going it was all Duane for Jess. I can't wait to see who is going to be the girl for Beau, but Jess and Duane were made for each other. Or as Duane would say, they are suited.
Penny Reid has a winning formula on her hands with this family. Each of the Winston boys has such a big personality. That paired with Penny's talent for blending kick ass romance with spot on humor and comedic timing is pure gold. I get excited when I see that one of Penny Reid books is coming up on my TBR pile because I just know that it is going to be something great. And she has not let me down yet. Penny, give me more Duane and then give me more Cletus because he is freakin' hilarious. He is so quite, but whenever he opens his mouth, he has me cracking up. I could not stop laughing during the sausage grilling scene at their family dinner.
If you have not yet experienced the magic that is a Penny Reid romance, this is the series you need to start with. You will fall head over heels for the Winston Boys! I will take a hot look from any of them.
**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net** 4.5/5 Confessions of a Queen B* is the first book in the young adult Que**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net** 4.5/5 Confessions of a Queen B* is the first book in the young adult Queen B* series by Crista McHugh. I loved this book so much!I found it to be a breath of fresh air. The mean girl cliche has seemed overdone and tired to me lately, but Crista McHugh breathes new life and heart into this story of self professed Queen B* blogger, Alexis. Her blog is like a mixture of gossip girl and Harriet the Spy. And what I loved was that each chapter started off with a mini excerpt from her blog, the Eastline Spy. (Eastline is the high school name by the way.)
While the blog and Alexis' status as Queen B* of the high school is a central theme of the story, it almost felt secondary to the wonderful friendship that was forming between Lexie (as he calls her) and Brent. Brent is uber popular, and is paired up with Lexie for a very high tech baby project. Together they are responsible for raising a baby. (which I am beyond happy they did not have when I was in high school, because that would have been a nightmare for me.) Brent is so great. I loved how grounded and stable he is. He is just an all around great guy.And he actually took the time to tell Lexie that he wasn't buying her mean girl act, listen to her and actually get to know her. It melted my heart.
And Confessions of a Queen B*, while being a really sweet budding relationship between the two of them with flirting and cutesy banter, it was so innocent and developed at what I thought was a wonderful and appropriate pace. There is a hint of more to come but I kind of love Crista McHugh for setting up the series the way she did. She didn't rush into romance just for the sake of having romance. When I finished the book I flipped out and immediately checked goodreads to make sure that this was part of a series. But never fear, dear readers, it is. There will be more in store for Lexie and Brent. Crista I hope you have something great in store for them in the next book, because I really really like them together. They are probably in my top 5/10 book couples of 2015.
Fans of Young Adult high school setting books that are craving something fresh and so, so well done. Check out Confessions of a Queen B*. I think you will love it just as much as I did.
**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**Playing the Player is a young adult contemporary romance that totally m**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**Playing the Player is a young adult contemporary romance that totally made me smile. I think it is safe to say that I am a huge fan of new adult contemporary romances, but young adult contemporaries are tougher for me to fall in love with. I feel like they have realistic and age appropriate for them to be well done, and for some reason I think that is harder in the young adult arena. I think Lisa Brown Roberts did a fantastic job keeping these high schoolers true to themselves and true to actual high school students in Playing the Player. That does not mean that they were perfect. Not by a long shot, but they were just like so many high schoolers that I knew growing up.
Playing the Player takes an age old concept- the good girl reforming the player, and breathes new life into it. It is not that Lisa Brown Roberts did something totally different with the cliche, but she executed the story so so well. And I have said time and time again, cliches are not a bad thing. They are proven concepts for a reason. They work- if they are well done. And this one was so well done. I absolutely loved the slow burn romance between Trina and Slade. No insta love here.
Trina is type A and organized to a fault. It actually hinders her in her every day life. (some of her little quirks did irk me momentarily. Like her hang up on people "ditching" her. I'm sorry, she was not ditched at any point in the story.) Slade mellows her out. And Trina helps Slade in all the best ways too. Slade gets to be vulnerable and himself around Trina. Not all at first, but it creeps up on him. Day after day working together and they each get a little bit closer, a little more crush worthy to the other. It was just so darn cute. I can't even take it. (I am smiling just thinking about this book, as I write my review.)
If you like young adult contemporary romances, Playing the Player is one you will not want to miss. I can't wait to read more books by Lisa Brown Roberts because she tells a story so well. This book brought me back to my summers as a camp counselor. It is totally easy to see Trina and Slade fall for each other because I watched it happen every summer. It is inevitable. But are they just for right now, or something more. Who is truely playing the player? Read the book to find out.
Never Always Sometimes is a young adult book by Adi Alsaid. This was my**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Never Always Sometimes is a young adult book by Adi Alsaid. This was my first time reading Adi's works and I have to say Never Always Sometimes was much more emotional than I was expecting it to be. This book tugged on my heartstrings man. Never Always Sometimes is the story of Dave and Julia, two best friends. I loved that the story was broken up into a Dave section, then a Julia section, and then Dave and Julia sections. By giving the reader larger chunks of multiple chapters in a row of one perspective, rather than alternating every chapter, it really gives you a chance to get to know Dave and Julia's very different personalities.
Never Always Sometimes starts out right before Dave and Julia begin high school. They decide to make a list of "nevers". Things that they never want to do in high school. (you all know how much I love a good list.) Then the story jumps ahead to their senior year, and not much has changed. Dave and Julia are still best friends and they still consider themselves to be different than most of their peers. Never mind that fact that by wanting to avoid all stereotypes, they kind of became a stereotype themselves. (but then again, that is kind of how I see hipsters, so it was fitting for the kind of hipster vibe I was getting from Dave and Julia. But I digress.) Dave finds the list of Nevers when he was cleaning out his locker, and they decide to do a social experiment of sorts (first people in the history of high school to have this idea. I think ever.) and check off every item on their list. And that is the set up for Never Always Sometimes. Kind of cliche, kind of cute, lots of promise.
The great thing about Never Always Sometimes is the emotion that Adi Alsaid is able to evoke with his writing. He takes this cute, but a little cliche idea of a list of things to accomplish before high school with you best friend, and also secret crush, and turns it into a really poignant story of love heartbreak, friendship and growing up. I loved all the feels that Adi Alsaid was able to bring out in me. I was just expecting this to be a fun cute read. And it was, but it was also really heartbreaking. And happy. And nostalgic. Never Always Sometimes is so many things. There are things that I wanted to turn out differently, sure, but looking back on the book as a whole, I don't know that I would have changed anything. Never Always Sometimes is an imperfectly perfect and special read.
If You Dare is a really fun, really cute feel good romance. Lily and Ma**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
If You Dare is a really fun, really cute feel good romance. Lily and Marcus have the most hilarious competitive relationship going on. I loved that the book was told in their dual narrative, so we could really get inside both of their heads. And I loved that once the main "dare" was over, they kept the dare theme going all the way to the very end of the story. Some of the things they dared the other to do were too funny. This book made me laugh, which was just what I wanted.
Lily is a competitive one, that is for sure. Because I can tell you one thing, if I were dared to spend the night is a super creepy abandoned mansion, no way would I do it. But I admired he way Lily hunkered down, and when I saw everything that she brought with her, I knew I would like her. That girl did not pack light. Haha! If I were Marcus I would have tried to sabotage the night too. And speaking of the night, some pretty freaky stuff went down. And I do not mean sexy times. That night in the house would have scarred me for life, and it was left up in the air. I loved that! It was so much creepier that way.
As for the rest of the story, it was a really cute romance. I loved the back and forth between Lily And Marcus. They were all over the place and try as she might, Lily was just not able to stay away from Marcus. But they also just could not help themselves to keep trying to one up the other one. That was my favorite aspect of their relationship. It help things interesting between the two of them. I didn't realize until after I finished If You Dare, but this book was once a novella. The Author expanded it into a full length novel just this year. I think it works great as a full length story, and I never would have guessed that it was just a novella. Although, now that I know, I would bet that the novella was just the night in the mansion.
If you are looking for a light, fun and hilarious contemporary romance, I dare you to read If you Dare. It will put a smile on your face.
Racing the Sun is the second book in the Where Sea Meets Sky series, bu**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Racing the Sun is the second book in the Where Sea Meets Sky series, but it is a complete standalone. I didn't read the first book, but I did read the summary and those characters did not show up in Racing the Sun. Not to mention it takes place in a totally different area of the world. Racing the Sun takes place on the island of Capri, and I have to say that Karina Halle has made me bump Capri up on my list of places that I need to visit ASAP. It sounds absolutely gorgeous! Maybe a country is more gorgeous with a sexy budding love story though, who knows.
Racing the Sun is told entirely from Amber's point of view. Amber takes a tutoring position with a broken family in Capri after spending all of her money on her jaunt through Europe, leaving her with no money for a plane ticket home. I thought that was hilarious. I have no idea why, but I for some strange reason, I absolutely loved that she has been traveling so long and she just up and got a job in a foreign country to make more money to get home. (I know, I sound like a crazy person, but that is so far out of my comfort zone, that I just loved she was brave enough to do all of it.)
I loved Racing the Sun. The romance, the writing, the setting, all of it was a homerun. Karina Halle was inside my head with Amber. Even though she is way more impulsive and brave in a much different way than I am, I feel like our feelings and thought process were so similar. I felt like I was in capri tutoring those kids. At any given point in the story, I could take a situation that Amber was in and think "oh man, this is what I would do." or "uh uh, that would not stand with me." and then lo and behold, not more than a few pages later, Amber was doing just what I would do! Get out of my head Karina Halle. (or rather, stay but make me a Derio ::winkwink::) And I loved that while this was a heartwarming romance, it was a complete romance- with all of the ups and very realistic downs.
And the romance in Racing the Sun was great. I lurveed Derio. A lot. He only did one thing to annoy me in the whole story (and it certainly annoyed Amber too...of course) But watching Amber peel Derio back layer by layer until they each admitted their feelings was a beautiful thing to witness. Racing the Sun is the perfect book for summer. You will be instantly transported to Capri. Karina Halle's writing is pure magic. Grab a copy, lay out by the pool or on the beach (or under covers if its' raining) and enjoy.
Right from the first page, you can tell that Nothing Left to Burn**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net** 3.5/5
Right from the first page, you can tell that Nothing Left to Burn is going to be an emotionally raw and powerful story. It is told in dual narrative between Amanda and Reece. Nothing Left to Burn really got to me. I loved that the book starts out featuring the male protagonist, Reece. Reece really touched me. I felt for him so badly. If anyone needs a hug, it is Reece. Luckily, I was also able to tell right away that he has a kick ass friend in Alex.
Nothing Left to Burn is a great young adult emotional contemporary. Reece's older brother Matt died a year prior to the start of the story, and Reece is still reeling from the loss. That and the fact that everyone around him (except for Alex) seems to be blaming him in varying degrees for his brother's death. (which, side note, kind of bugged me for the whole story.) In order to honor a promise he made to his brother, Reece joins the local junior firefighter program to get close to his dad. (since said dad was being a major jerkface.) And at this program Reece meets Amanda. I bet you can guess what happens next.
Yep, emotional romance. I liked the romance in nothing left to burn, but for me it came secondary for Reece's journey. Amanda has her own issues, but they didn't really measure up to Reece's. I don't mean that they weren't as important as his. She hasn't really had a place to call home, other than the firehouse, but her emotions didn't bleed out of the pages quite like Reece's did for me. Still, it was nice to see Amanda and Reece impacting the other one. Amanda has to deal with all sorts of crazy with her current foster family, so there were plenty of roadblocks in store for our young friends.
Nothing Left to Burn is a great young adult book for readers that like their romance with a heavy side of emotional and deeper issues. This is not a lighthearted, beach read. But it is a worthwhile read. I had a few minor annoyances throughout the story, but it didn't take away from author Patty Blount's powerfull-ness to her prose. She has a very strong book on her hands with Nothing Left to Burn.
When an Omega Snaps is the third book in the adult shifter series, call**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
When an Omega Snaps is the third book in the adult shifter series, called A Lion's Pride. I have not read any of the other books in this series, but when I saw the premise for this one, I was just so darn excited for it that I knew I had to read it. From what I can tell each book is on the shorter side, and features a different member of this pride. I wanted to start with Leo's story because I loved the idea 1) of the pride omega. I had no idea, but omega's are the peacemakers of the group. Leo is known for being calm and clear headed. I like that because it is such a contrast to how you typically hear shifters described in stories. I thought Eve did an awesome job at painting Leo out to be this levelheaded guy.
And then I love the idea of such a calm force becoming jealous and a bit crazy. I think we all know by now I like my book boyfriends with a touch of possessiveness or a wee bit of a jealous streak. And they extra points if this is out of character for them typically. Because I also love my book boyfriends to be sweet, or at least to have a gooey marshmallow center. With Leo I got the best of both of these worlds. I loved seeing him so out of sorts with Meena.
And Meena was a force all on her own. Oh wow is she forceful and in your face. She was a bit too forward for my liking, but I respected that she went after what she wanted. And she is the complete opposite of Leo, which was fun to watch how they mixed, meshed and even clashed sometimes. When an Omega Snaps is a fun and quick read . People that dislike in your face loud women, might have an issue with Meena, but I thought her big personality worked well in the story. I would love to read more books about Omega's, and I am interested to see if this is always their role in the pride (or pack) or if this was a new take on Eve's part.
**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**No Kissing Allowed is a new adult contemporary romance by Melissa West.**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**No Kissing Allowed is a new adult contemporary romance by Melissa West. I have read a couple of Melissa's other books and I have to say this one was not my favorite. Don't get me wrong, I liked it. But I just didn't love it. No Kissing Allowed is a fun, quick and flirty new adult romance. And I liked it for that purpose. But I had some snags with some of the characters. But much like the book overall, I didn't dislike any of the characters per se, I just didn't love the main character Cameron as much as I wanted to.
Cameron is a driven, impulsive and incredibly stubborn young lady. I loved how driven she was and that she went after what she wanted at work, but her impulsiveness led to foot in mouth disorder so many times throughout the story. I get it. She wants to be able to say whatever she wants to say, whenever she wants to say it. No one should oppress her or make her bite her tongue. #AmIRight? But maybe the line should be drawn just before you are talking back to your boss in the middle of a meeting on your first day at work. Moments like those just had Cameron grating on my nerves just a little bit. She struck me as the kind of person where while sweet, and compassionate (and she was! I loved her sweet and caring side)she was also the type of person that held their ideals on their sleeve. And that doesn't bother me, but when they feign to be open minded but really think everyone who disagrees with them is wrong...that kind of does. I know, you must think I hate Cameron by this point...and I really don't. I liked her and I really enjoyed the very bumpy but always fun romance between her and Aiden. It was just these little details in Cameron's personality held me back from falling in love with the story.
But what saved No Kissing Allowed for me was Melissa West's writing. I love her easy and conversational style. It made reading this book feel good. I loved Aiden, and I loved the friendship between Cameron and her friends. I would love to see their stories next. I feel like I would like Lauren a lot more than I liked Cameron. Now let's talk romance! The romance between Aiden and Cameron is of the forbidden variety and while this doesn't always work for me, it did this time because there wasn't a huge age difference between Cameron and Aiden. I loved the romance. It was fun and sexy and downright addicting. But for a book whose title is No Kissing Allowed, there certainly is a lot of kissing going on. I didn't really get the title because it didn't tie into any of the rules that Aiden and Cameron laid out. But I get that it was a theme thing, so it didn't bug me, I was just surprised to find out there wasn't a no kissing rule when I started reading the book. If you are looking a quick and fun read, and you like forbidden romances, this might be a great one for you. And like I said, I do hope that Melissa West makes stories for Cameron's friends.This review was originally posted on Book Briefs...more
**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net** Lust is the second novel in the Allure Chronicles, a new adult paranorm**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net** Lust is the second novel in the Allure Chronicles, a new adult paranormal romance series. Lust picks up right after Lure left off, with Daisy and Owen having just found each other and the bomb of what Daisy having allure essence in her really means. It was one doozy of an ending, but then again the end of Lust was also pretty gut wrenching. Alyssa why do you do this to me?? Ugh I just love her books so much. And the Allure Chronicles has to be one of my favorite series of hers.
I love all of the characters, not only just Daisy and Owen, but Violet and Roland have special places in my heart as well. I was kind of hoping that we would see more of Roland in this book. Not because I dislike Owen. I really love him, I am just also intrigued by Owen and his connection with Daisy. Luckily, I have a feeling that I will be seeing a lot more of him in the next book. Wink wink.
Lust takes all of the characters on a world-wind high speed journey to try and fix what is happening to Daisy. I won't go into too much more detail about what exactly is happening because I love all the Allure history and characteristics Alyssa Rose Ivy explains in Lust. Things that I so want them to fix or find a workaround from because I love Daisy and Owens connection. I think there is something so pure and innocent about their feelings and the way they treat one another. I know that seems strange given everything you know about the series- the titles, the covers and the series name, but it is true! haha, they are just too cute together.
Another exciting moment in Lust for me, was when mention of Energo was made! Alyssa, you master you. (for those of you new to Alyssa's books, Energo is a land in another two of her series- the Forged Chronicles and the Afterglow Trilogy.) All of her series and worlds are coming together and linking up! I absolutely love it. I want to see some kind of chart or map made of all of Alyssa's series lands and the creatures that live there. Someone please make that!
Fans of New Adult paranormal romance need to read the Allure Chronicles. And it is great series to start with if you are new to Alyssa's works because it touches so many of her other series. Start with this one and then move off to any of the numerous other series that overlap. Comment below if you want suggestions for reading order, or more information about the other series. This review was originally posted on Book Briefs...more
The Dreamer is the first book in a new, New Adult fantasy series,**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net** 4.5/5
The Dreamer is the first book in a new, New Adult fantasy series, called the Dreamland Series. I loved this book. I found it to be well written, fresh, engaging and really creative. I loved the world within a world that Author E.J. Mellow created. The book starts out by Molly getting struck by lightening and ending up in the hospital. I thought it was funny that the doctor made an offhand comment that she might experience some weird dreams, which then sets off the whole rest of the story.
Because Molly does experience some weird dreams. Dreams that have her questioning what is real and what isn't. Molly gets transported to the same, very strange looking world in each of her dreams. A world where she is a special person called a dreamer, and that she might just play a pivotal role in their society and survival. I don't want to tell you much more than that because I loved the way E.J. Mellow painted the picture. She did a fantastic job with her world building, and I want you to experience terra sominum (can't remember the spelling, and can't find it in my kindle) for yourself.
And for my romance fans out there- you need to read the Dreamer. I love Dev and Molly so much. That is also the only reason that I knocked 1/2 star off. Because of Molly's "real-life" boyfriend. Who is also very nice (kind of like Dean in Gilmore Girls. He was nice, but kind of boring, when put next to Rory's other choices.) And it is really, really hard to compare to Dev. I want the other guy out of the picture completely, and until that happens I will be a little sad. I hope to see lots more Molly and Dev in the next book.
And speaking of the next book, I already know it is going to be epic and action packed. So what does that mean for you? You need to read the Dreamer ASAP. This is a great find as a favorite series for me. I can't wait for the next book. I want it in my hands right now!
3.5/5 Alice Takes Back Wonderland by David Hammons is a young adult fair**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
3.5/5 Alice Takes Back Wonderland by David Hammons is a young adult fairy tale mash up, that will remind fans of a younger version of Once Upon a Time. I have a love for all things Wonderlandian, so it is no wonder that I was immediately drawn to Alice Takes Back Wonderland. The book starts out when Alice is about 7 and is somehow in Wonderland. But she is not the Alice from the story, she is an American Alice from the Midwest. Her first trip in Wonderland is short, but it left a lasting impression on her. Fast forward 10 years, and she Alice has almost convinced herself that it was just a dream. But then the Rabbit shows up at her door and takes her back to a very different wonderland.
Although I found the start of the story a bit slow, I really did love the set up. I loved that this was not the Alice from the story, and I loved the idea that the Villain in this story- the Ace of Spades, didn't want to just take over Wonderland. He wanted to change Wonderland into something more ordinary. Something more like Alice's world. What a fresh take! I have never read a story like this one. Author David Hammons did a great job with nonsense. I don't mean that in a negative way, nonsense is essential in a story about Wonderland. And Alice is a very nonsensical girl. I felt like she truly belonged in Wonderland.
Alice Takes Back Wonderland brings us characters from many different story worlds, and they overlap in delightful ways. I had never guessed some of the pairings that David Hammons treated us readers to. The literary geek in me was super excited to see some of the crossovers. This is why I love Wonderland as the backdrop for fairy tale mashups and re-imaginings, because there is so so much that can be done with this fantastical setting. Alice Takes Back Wonderland is a really interesting read. Fans of fairy tale re-tellings and of Once Upon a Time should check it out. And keep reading, if you found the beginning a bit slow like I did, keep going because it really picks up speed after Alice's return.
**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net** Dare is the first book in a new, new adult paranormal romance series, c**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net** Dare is the first book in a new, new adult paranormal romance series, called The Nox. I have read, and loved, a bunch of T.A. Foster's new adult contemporary romances, but I have never read any paranormal book from her. So I was really excited to see about the Nox. Dare is the leader of the Nox, a group of panther shifters that protect the town of Sullen Grove. I really enjoyed the concept of Dare. The nox are formed of all female panther shifters that don't want to fulfill the destiny laid out for them by the council (the ruling body for shifters). Basically in shifter land, each female shifter is destined to a male shifter of some kind, and when they marry, or bond, the male shifter takes over their land and moves on to get his next wife. And then when the female shifter becomes pregnant with his cub, she loses all of her power to that cub. Totally not cool.
Dare doesn't want to give up her territory, or lose her powers and ability to shift. She she gathers a group of other girls and tries to rebel, which is the set up for Dare. I love this idea and I also loved the more intricate details of the council and the bonding, which you will have to read to find out for yourself. I was fascinated by the way the magic worked with the shifters in this regard. T.A. Foster did an excellent job making Dare flow right along, and with making the nox her own.
Not to mention is has an addictive romance. I love T.A. Foster's romances, and I was happy to see that this was was just as wonderfully satisfying as her contemporary romances. Dare and Zac totally melted my heart. I love the way they were so drawn to each other. And I have to say, T.A. Foster really surprised me with several of the plot twists. Normally, I am pretty good about pinning down what is going to happen in books that are not thrillers or mysteries. And I had my idea of how this one was going to end in my head for about the whole second half of the book. But holy cow, I was totally off base! And I kind of loved that. T.A. Foster, you continue to surprise me in all the best ways! The Nox is already one of my favorite new adult/adult shifter series.This review was originally posted on Book Briefs...more
Jesse's Girl is the 6th standalone book in the hundred oaks**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net** My Thoughts
Jesse's Girl is the 6th standalone book in the hundred oaks series. The hundred Oaks series are each young adult contemporary feel good romances. In Jesse's Girl we meet Maya, who is the younger brother of Sam (from Catching Jordan.) Sam and Jordan show up throughout the book, which I am sure will be a fan favorite, but I haven't read catching Jordan yet. Please don't stone me. I have read Breathe, Annie, Breathe and I plan to read all of the rest of the books in the series. Someday. I liked Jesse's Girl even more than I liked Breathe Annie Breathe. Miranda Kenneally does such a wonderful job with contemporary romances. Her books just make me feel good.
Maya is a tough cookie, but also one of the sweetest people ever. She wants to be a musician, but she has a little issue with stage fright when she sings solo. I liked that she wasn't this super talented, super amazing- no faults kind of girl. I really liked that she had some talent issues to work through. It made her seem more real. And I loved her with Jesse.
Maya and Jesse each have their own trust issues, for their own reasons. But watching them bicker until they couldn't help but get along was just way too cute for me. Yes, even though they had a hard time initially trusting one another, once they moved past it, they were both so supportive of the other. And that was heartwarming for me to read about. Each one of them had multiple times where they could have reverted, but Miranda handled every road block wonderfully, in my opinion.
Jesse's Girl is a great feel good read. This is the kind of read that I want to come home to after a long day of work, or a read that I want to pull out poolside. I really do need to read the rest of the series because I know that I will love them all. If you are looking for a well done young adult contemporary romance, try one of Miranda's books. This review was originally posted on Book Briefs...more
3.5/5 Oh, holy hell! Black Iris is INTENSE! Leah Raeder certainly grabbe**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
3.5/5 Oh, holy hell! Black Iris is INTENSE! Leah Raeder certainly grabbed my attention with this book, that is for sure. I don't read books this dark and, well...messed up that often. Sometimes I will read a dark book. Or sometimes I will read a book with a totally f-ed up in the head main character, but I hardly ever read books that take it to the level that Leah Raeder did. Black Iris took me out of my comfort zone...and then some. And I have to say, I really, really liked it. Maybe that makes me a little dark and messed up too. I don't know. But what I do know, is that this book deserves every bit of attention it has gotten and more.
Black Iris is first and foremost a revenge story driven by the main character, Laney. From the moment, that Laney broke the "fourth wall" and told us that she was not going to be likeable or a hero, I knew I was going to like her. And her idea for revenge molts and changes so many times throughout the story. It really becomes a journey of self discovery, however unintentional that may have been for her. This book will not be for everyone. Laney is crass, and out there and so totally unapologetic in everything she does. I loved that about her, but I can see that she (not to mention the abundant drug use in Black Iris.) might be off putting to some. But Laney is Laney.
Black Iris is hard to explain. It almost took on a life of its' own for me. It is dark, and crazy, and so different from what I normally read that I just kept lapping up every well placed word Leah Raeder wrote. And let's talk about her writing for a second. I really really dug her writing style. It was all at once conversational, and then also metaphorical, abstract, poetic and kind of grandiose. I know that makes no kind of sense, but I swear that is what it seemed like while I was reading Black Iris. I felt like I was sitting in the same room as Laney watching the events unfold, and then in the next scene I was removed and watching something important unfold far away. Black Iris has layers, man. So many layers. If you are brave enough to take a dip in a deep, dark pool of depravity with truly beautiful writing, you should be reading Black Iris. But be warned, this is not just another contemporary new adult romance.
The Darkest Frost is the first book in a two book series of the same n**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
The Darkest Frost is the first book in a two book series of the same name by author, Tanya Holmes. This is my first book I have had the pleasure of enjoying by Tanya, but I know it won't be my last. When finishing a book fills me with an almost all consuming want and need to have the next book in my hands at that very moment, I know I have found a winner. And that is exactly what happened with The Darkest Frost, it ends on a cliff hanger and I was dying to get my hands on the next book. Tanya-please! I need part two right now, and make it a nice long book because I do not want The Darkest Frost to be over.
It was so strange because the first couple of chapters of The Darkest Frost seemed so unassuming. I was reading along kind of ho-hum, thinking this would be a "like" book, but nothing more. And then somewhere around the 4th or 5th chapter- bamn! It hit me all at once, and from that point on I could not put this book down. I was riveted and a helpless passenger on the journey with Danielle (yes, I know that is not her name, but that is how I know her) Braden, and Xavier. Everything about this story fascinated me. I loved the idea of a psychic detective. I loved the mystery surrounding Dr. Death AKA Braden. And I ended up loving what was going on with him even more than I loved the idea of a psychic detective. Danielle was so cool. Her gift wasn't just one thing, it manifested itself differently in different situations. I really liked how much thought Tanya Holmes put into Danielle's abilities.
And then there is Braden. Closed off, and totally mysterious, he grabbed my attention right from the start. And before I go any further, i would be doing you all a disservice if I didn't mention that the romance in The Darkest Frost is out of this world. I lurved it so very much. And the cliffhanger reached right inside my body and clenched my heart. I need the second book to see what is going to happen. There are lots of hints as to the mystery surrounding Braden and his brother, and I peeled back that riddle pretty easily I have to say, but there is so much more to The Darkest Frost than solving that mystery. (the reader is told the secret anyway.) so the fact that I was able to deduce it didn't take anything away from my enjoyment of the book.
If you are a fan of gothic romances, paranormal romance, or urban fantasy this is the series for you. Check it out. I promise you won't be disappointed. I loved it so much, and I found a great new author in the process. This one is a hidden gem!
**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**Sweet is a new young adult thriller/horror novel by Emmy Laybourne. Whe**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**Sweet is a new young adult thriller/horror novel by Emmy Laybourne. When I was finished with sweet, I assumed it was a standalone, but goodreads says it is the first in the Sweet series. Now I am even more intrigued by the book than I was when I finished it, because I cannot wait to see what the author is going to do next with the series. It is going to be freakin' insane.
I really enjoyed Sweet. The idea behind it is scary as all get out...because of how realistic it seems. Solu is a brand new sweetener that is also a weight loss supplement. To celebrate the launch of this innovative new product that is promised to change the weight loss game, Solu pairs up with a luxury cruise line- bringing in celebrities along with normal cruise goers to partake in a luxury weight loss cruise! I love the idea of that, but what happens next is straight out of a horror film. (view spoiler)[And I can even count this as a kind of zombie-adjacent book. (which you may know that I hardly ever read.) Because that is what these people seemed like to me, after a few days taking solu. (hide spoiler)] I loved the idea behind the cruise taking a group weight and and after weight as a cruise theme. And the ship seemed first class, but everything else I want no part of. haha It made for a great read though! It was crazy seeing people trying to get more Solu. I thought it was brilliant the way Emmy Laybourne layered the undercurrent of addiction throughout Sweet.
Sweet is told in dual narrative between Tom and Laurel. Tom is the celebrity host of the cruise and Laurel is dragged along by her friend. Both Laurel and her friend can be called curvy, but Laurel's friend is obsessed with losing weight, and Laurel likes herself the way she is. I love how what a positive body image Laurel has of herself. And I really liked Tom's interactions with Laurel on this topic. Sweet was really interesting because on one hand, you had this crazy Solu epidemic, and on the other hand you have this really sweet budding romance between what seems to be an unlikely pair at first glance. The horror/thriller aspect of the book competed perfectly with the romance. It was a very entertaining pairing.
Sweet took me by total surprise. Once I started reading, and I got my first glimpse at what the solu was going to do, I didn't know how much I would end up enjoying Sweet. But I am so happy to say that this book surpassed all of my expectations. I really liked it and I want to read the short story prequel now. Not to mention that the ending, which I initially thought was a great ending to a standalone in this genre, now has me salivating for the next book. This review was originally posted on Book Briefs["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Dirty Thoughts is the first book in a new New Adult series from Me**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net** 4.5/5
Dirty Thoughts is the first book in a new New Adult series from Megan Erickson, called the Mechanics of Love series. I love Megan Erickson, so I was extremely excited that she had a new series out, and I don't know why I was a little slow on the uptake, but I only realized who this series was about as soon as I started reading the book. Remember Max and Lea from Make it Right? Remember Max's yummy older brothers- Cal and Brent? The Mechanics of Love series is their stories! Super exciting, right?
Dirty Thoughts is Cal's story. And it is a really sexy, fun and beautiful second chance love story. Cal was totally head over heels in love with his high school girlfriend, Jenna, and the feelings were mutual. For reasons that are revealed pretty early on in the story, they break up and Jenna moves away for ten years. Well, now she is back and Cal and Jenna's chemistry is stronger than ever. Cal is a stubborn one, so there are lots of ups and downs between the two of them. Even when they weren't "together" you could tell they could hardly resist each other. I am such a sucker for a good second chance romance with out of the world chemistry. And Megan Erickson can write chemistry like whoa.
Dirty Thoughts is told in dual narrative between Cal and Jenna, which as you know is my favorite narrative method for books that feature a strong romance element. I was thinking that Dirty Thoughts was going to be wonderful second chance romance with witty banter and out of this world sexual chemistry- and it totally was- but Megan Erickson threw a wrench in my nice easy plot when Asher showed up. So who is Asher? What does this mean for Cal and his family? What about Jenna and Cal? I will let you find out. But you do know right off the bat that it will be a fun and sexy journey with excellent writing, characters and of course top notch romance. The mechanics of love series is going to be another homerun for sure. I love it already! Give me more Megan!
The Abbie Diaries is a bind up of the complete three part romantic**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net** 2.5/5
The Abbie Diaries is a bind up of the complete three part romantic comedy serial. It comes in at about 200 pages total. I really like the cover of the series, and I really liked Parker. I was rooting for him and Abbie to get together the whole time. And the book was funny enough, but... (and I know you could feel the but coming.) But, the whole storyline felt really immature to me. The Abbie Diaries is a New Adult romantic comedy about a blogger who has a dating misadventures blog. She prides herself on just telling her dates how they are, but here's the thing. She lies in her blog. She says that she doesn't but it seemed like all of her posts were lies. She made up some pretty awful things about Toby. (as in he he would have a decent case if he decided to sue her for defamation if he wanted to, awful.) And then she lied a whole bunch more as the revenge games spiraled out of control. But I could get on board with the lying. It made for a funny story at least.
So here is a basic rundown. Abbie dates her co-worker Toby. She is mad that he was boring a little late so she goes home, gets drunk and proceeds to completely bash him on her blog. The next day at work everyone sees it and basically sees her accuse him of assaulting her. Toby is understandably mad, so he decides to get back at her. Insert his friend Parker who researches Abbie on her blog to become her perfect guy with the end goal being to embarass her in some way after she falls for Parker. Still ok with everything. I really liked Parker and I really liked that he started to like the real Abbie. But then it gets crazy! Toby out of no where goes from hating Abbie to liking Abbie, to calling it off, to calling it back on. To other people finding out and new revenge plots getting planned. It was a big mess. Like I said this book is New Adult because of content, but young YA when it comes to maturity level.
The whole thing reminded me of a not as funny friends episode. The one where Rachel and Phoebe find out that Monica and Chandler are secretly dating. It started out as a way to get back at them- "they don't know we know." and then when Monica and Chandler find out they get in on the action. "They don't know we know, they know."And then back to Phoebe and Rachel who notch it up again. You get the picture.
Parker was great. If there was more of him and Abbie and less of all this other insta love with Toby and crazy immature twisted actions, I would have loved this book. I can see some people really enjoying this and thinking it is a fun kooky read. It was amusing, it was just too immature for me. Give it a read if you like funny revenge plots and drunken blogging.
Crimson Bound is a standalone young adult fantasy. I am hesitant t**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net** 4.5/5
Crimson Bound is a standalone young adult fantasy. I am hesitant to call it a re-telling or even a re-imagining of Little Red Riding hood (or the Girl with No Hands, which I have not read) because it is so utterly unique and different from anything I have read, that it almost isn't fair to Crimson Bound to be making those comparisons. I have not had the chance to read Cruel Beauty yet, but the book is basically at the very tippity top of my wishlist! I want it so bad, and I have to admit that I want it even worse after reading Crimson Bound.
It is hard for me to put into words the way that Crimson Bound made me feel, and exactly why I loved it so much. But I do know this...it was the writing. Rosamund Hodge is an incredible story teller. Her writing feels rich and thick. Her words wrap you up so completely until you are a part of the world she is creating. And oh, what a world! I bow down to her world building abilities. I loved the way she initially wove in the basics of the world and their myths through young Rachelle's lessons. After the first two chapters it took a couple more chapters for me to gain my bearings because the events jump ahead a bit in the beginning. But once you get your fantasy legs on, it is like a very creapy and wonderfully detailed playground for your imagination. I loved reading about the palaces and the Great Forest. I was all at once fascinated and terrified of it, alongside of Rachelle.
And speaking of Rachelle, I really liked her. Even when I was shaking my head at her, I still really really liked her. There is something compelling about her. She is complicated and her view of herself endeared her to me. She wasn't easy on herself. But the great characters didn't stop at Rachelle, the whole cast were excellently portrayed. I love that this book was set in French history. The salon's and salon ladies were a great addition, that I wouldn't have thought of with this book.
I am kind of in love with this book, and I know I am head over heels in love with Rosamund Hodge's writing. I need her to write more books because she transported me to another world that I could have sworn I could see, smell and touch while I was reading Crimson Bound. And if the beyond brilliant writing, and characters aren't enough, the plot of Crimson Bound will have you guessing up until the very end. I really enjoyed this book. You need to experience its' magic for yourself.