The Last One by Tawdra Kandle is the first book in a contemporary roma**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
The Last One by Tawdra Kandle is the first book in a contemporary romance series, called the One Series. It is told in dual narrative between Sam and Meghan, and I absolutely loved it. It is technically adult contemporary romance but I think it will appeal to fans of new adult and adult romances alike. The Last One allowed me to totally tune out the world. I could not put this book down, for anything or anyone. I was so engrossed with their story. I loved the dynamic between the two of them. They started out on the total wrong foot and became bicker buddies for a long time after that.
Sam had the wrong first impression of Meghan, but I loved the happenstance that brought them into each others lives for longer than their first meeting. Let me back up and explain. Meghan is a junior in college that has been having a rough time with some family stuff. So her and her best friend go out one night for carefree fun so Meghan can just let loose. Megahn and her friend end up broken down on the side of the rode and Sam comes to their assistance. Meghan is totally wasted and Sam thinks she is just some party college girl. Meghan meanwhile signs up to do a volunteer ArtCorps over the summer. A program that assigns an art student to be a volunteer teacher for a community in need of one. The student stays with a host family for the summer and gives free art classes to the kids in the community. Three guesses who is a part of Meghan's host family for the summer. And just like that you have all the ingredients you need for a sizzling and banter laced-, unresolved sexual tension filled, summer of a good time.
Sam and Meghan are so great together but man oh man are they ever thick-headed. They are each so focused on not getting tied down, that they don't see a good thing when it is staring them in the face. They each need a good shaking from time to time, but that is all part of their journey. And what a journey it is. Fans of new adult and of contemporary romance alike will love Tawdra Kandle's writing. I could not get enough of Meghan and Sam. I can't wait to see what is going to be next in the series. It is Ali's story and I am super excited about that because that girl deserves her HEA.
*Note: I have seen this as Adult contemporary romance as well as New Adult contemporary romance. I think it would work for either of those categories.
Fair Game is the first book in a new, new adult contemporary romance s**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Fair Game is the first book in a new, new adult contemporary romance series from Monica Murphy. It's called the Rules Series and it is off to a very strong start. I thought one thing from reading the summary of the book, and thought it had potential to be interesting and funny. And it was all of those things, but in a different way than I was expecting. Shep "wins" Jade in a poker game in one of the first scenes of the book, so I thought she was going to be stuck running errands and completing tasks for him, but what actually happened was so much better. Jade is too spunky to let anyone win her, and I loved that! She took the book in a whole new direction, and it was great.
Shep comes from old money. So much old money that no one for generations has to work in his family if they don't want to. That kind of money can be a great thing, or it can really mess someone up. I think for Shep it was a little bit of both, but he seemed to at least have a healthy grasp on what his life of privilege was doing to him as a person. I couldn't get a good read on Shep at the start of the book, but as the story unfolded we saw bits and pieces of who Shep is. And I have to say that even though he initially comes across as an arrogant jerk, I love who he was with Jade. He has moments of such sweetness that I think even took him by surprise. But what was great, was that he didn't shy away from them. Yes he was shocked that Jade was making him act like someone foreign to his college persona, but he didn't try and hide or bury that side of him. He embraced it with her. And that is what made me like him.
Jade is skeptical of this Shep, just as she should be. I wouldn't have liked her nearly as much if she wasn't. She was guarded, sure, but I don't think she came across as cold or uppity. I thought she was just being cautious. I could really relate to Jade. And watching her reluctantly warm up to Shep had me grinning like an idiot. These two were just so...something...together. Cute isn't the right word, but they did work. They challenged each other constantly. It made reading about their interactions so much fun. And their chemistry is undeniable. That is for sure.
The Rules Series is going to follow Shep, his friend Gabe and his cousin Tristan. I can't wait for Gabe's story, but I have to admit that I am hesitant about Tristan's. He seems like the biggest jerk. Monica Murphy is going to have to work her magic on him. Fair Game is a great start to a very promising series. I know it is going to be a big hit with tons of readers of new adult contemporary. This was a great, sexy and fun read.
Resignation is the second installment in the young adult dystopian ser**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Resignation is the second installment in the young adult dystopian series, called Worlds Apart. It has been compared to Divergent and The Hunger Games, and I think that while there may be some parallels, there was enough difference in the plot that the author made this book her own. The first book took a while a to build up on the world building, but by the end of the story I had a good picture of this unique world. As you will recall, the world is set up with an outer sector, which is the poorest, an inner sector, and central, which is like the capitol. So I was in a pretty good place to start reading the second book. The last book left off at a very action packed place, so I expected to be dropped right into the action in Resignation, but the author kind of eased us into it.
This is a series that you must read in order, and I would suggest reading books 1 and book 2 pretty close together. I spent a little bit of time in a couple of places of Resignation, trying to remember why something was relevant or where someone/something fit in from the first book. Nessa is still a bit closed off and harder to read. She guards her heart and her feelings fiercely. Ty seemed a bit different than he did in book one. I still liked him but there is a love triangle as predicted from the first book, and I expected to be more upset about it. I thought Ty would be the clear cut winner for me, and now I am not so sure. And not really because of Garret, but more because of Ty himself. I wanted to decide on my feels centering Garret, but it was hard because he wasn't in this book as much as I would have liked. The book is split between Nessa, Ty and Garret's point of views, and Amanda Thome did a very nice job at not making the 3 POVs confusing.
I liked Resignation, but probably a little bit less than I liked the first book. It just felt like it was missing something. It didn't feel quite as intense and gripping as the first story did. It is still interesting and I still want to read on to find out what the heck is going to happen after that crazy cliffhanger. The worlds apart series has the feel of a classic dystopian. I also love the new covers for the books. If you love dystopians, I think the worlds apart series is one that you should check out. It has action, adventure, a bleak and extremely fascinating world and a love triangle that has me uncertain on which side to pick. Check it out.
Seriously Wicked is a young adult paranormal book that is full of spel**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Seriously Wicked is a young adult paranormal book that is full of spells and witchy fun. It is a on the younger end of young adult, but I think it will appeal to fans of all ages looking for a quick and light read that is all kinds of fun. Cam is not a witch, but she is raised by one. And not the nicest of witches either, she has Cam working as her personal assistant basically- always making her run crazy errands and and fulfill zany requests. I loved the tone of Seriously Wicked. It was funny and irreverent and Cam is great.
She is not overly dramatic like most teenagers her age, and she doesn't fall in any traps that the mean girls lay for her. I just really liked her good attitude. And trust me, living with the witch, I would understand a little bitterness or drama coming from her but it was like a breath of fresh air to not have it. Seriously Wicked is a quick read- at just about 200 pages, you can knock it out in a couple of hours. But I also think the shorter length will attract some younger readers, which is great. This would be a good transition book for tweens looking to step up from middle grade.
I loved how Cam explained the way witches lay out their spells. I thought that was great. Like logic problems. And I liked that the witch actually surprised me. When I started the book I had it pretty ingrained in my head the way that she was going to be, but I think readers will enjoy where Tina Connelly takes us on this tale. There are lots of paranormal creature appearances to keep you flipping the pages with interest, and even a sprinkle of romance throughout. Overall this was a fun read. Somewhere between 3.5 and 4 stars, but it was just so cute that I have to round up. For those looking for a lighthearted paranormal book, check out Seriously Wicked. It is seriously fun.
Fall For Me is the first book in the Ladder Company Series. The Ladde**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Fall For Me is the first book in the Ladder Company Series. The Ladder Company Series is a group of new adult standalone contemporary romances each about a different brother (or sister) in a family of 14 firefighters. I think there are 4 Hayes siblings currently working at Ladder Company One. I like this series style and I think it works best with a large group of friends or a family dynamic so I am predicting great things for the Ladder Company Series. Told in dual narrative between the main guy and main girl it is sure to be a hit with fans of new adult contemporary romances.
I read a lot of new adult contemporary romance and I read them in all romance tropes. But I have to say, one trope that I do not read that much is one where one of the ultimate couple to be is in a relationship with someone else for much of the book. Because it can leave me feeling conflicted. This was not a cheating book. Jameson and Mel only shared one kiss and both of them felt awful about it, but it was clear that they had feelings for each other. So that made me feel a little better about the setup. And Jameson's girlfriend was a crazy B. But still I did feel kind of bad for her at some points in the story, but then she would go and do something so crazy that I kind of wanted to kill her and I was back to wanting her out of the picture, like, yesterday.
Mel is beyond great. I loved her as the main character of Fall for Me. She is a sweetheart, and freakin' hilarious. She is great, it is no wonder that the entire Hayes family is half way in love with her as soon as they meet her. She has a streak of crazy in her but it is the interesting kind of crazy, not the kill you in your sleep kind of crazy. Which makes her a perfect match for Jameson.
Jameson and Mel are great. I did want to shake Jameson about a million times though. I have no idea why he continued to stay with his crazy girlfriend. There were no feelings there, not even really friendship. They were just awful to each other, so I didn't get why he continued to stay. But to each their own. The story line of Fall for Me was a really cool mix of romance, a dash of drama and even a bit of suspense thrown in. I love that the mystery aspect was not solved in this book and will most likely be something that is carried over into the next book. I would read these books in order for that reason.
This is a great steamy and flirty new adult contemporary romance with a good amount of humor thrown in. I think it will be great for fans of Sawyer Bennett. This was my first JC Emery book, but I know it won't be my last. Not by a long shot.This review was originally posted on Book Briefs...more
Finding Paris is a young adult contemporary/mystery. The set up i**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net** 3.5/5
Finding Paris is a young adult contemporary/mystery. The set up is instantly intriguing. It is a story about two sisters in Las Vegas. Paris, the older sister demands a post break-up pie trip in the middle of the night and ends of disappearing in the middle of it. She leaves her sister a clue and tells her to come find her and that she needs help. What starts out as a kind of unconventional scavenger hunt, becomes more and more mysterious as the book progresses. I really liked Finding Paris. It is part scavenger hunt, part mystery, part romance, and more secrets than you can count. Hold on to your seat and get ready to go on a twisty, turn-y adventure with this one.
I don't know whether to be impressed with Paris or disturbed. Maybe a little bit of both, but I will say one thing for her. No matter what it seems like at any given time, she really loves her sister Leo. And the sibling relationship aspect of Finding Paris is kind of beautiful, even amidst all of the chaos that is happening. I loved hearing about their memories and the things that they did together.
On that pie run, Leo meets Max, and he kind of gets wrapped up in the whole adventure. I liked Max. I am a little unsure what kind of person would go on a middle of the night scavenger hunt with someone he just met, but I was happy that he was a part of the book. I loved reading and learning everyone's secrets. And his was a doozy. Actually, everyone's were.
I think Finding Paris will take a lot of people by surprise. I don't think there is anyway for someone to predict just all the twists and turns and plot reveals that Joy Preble has waiting around corners for readers. This book was very masterfully done. A few of the reveals were very shocking, and while It wasn't the ending I was hoping for or even guessing as a possibility, it was a very cool real. I liked that each page was a surprise for me. I just let go and enjoyed the ride.
Dream of Me is the first book in the young adult (potentially young ne**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Dream of Me is the first book in the young adult (potentially young new adult) paranormal romance series, called the Dream Maker Series. Lately, I have been really drawn to paranormal books that feature different or new creatures. Something that I haven't read a bunch of times before. And 2015 has been great for that. So far I have read my first Genie book and now I have a sandman book to add to my lists. The idea of the sandman is interesting and I have to say, I kind of love what Quinn Loftis did with him
The sandman doesn't visit every person every night. That is a myth. People are capable of generating their own dreams. But, instead in Quinn Loftis' dream world, the sandman visits people that he is told will have some sort of big impact and his job is to give them a hint or glimpse of their potential destiny. Things don't always world out as planned though, because people still have free will. He has no influence on their waking actions.
And then when you insert the romance aspect of the story, it gets really interesting. Dair has become more than infatuated with the kind hearted Serentiy and wants to make himself known to her. I liked Dair a lot. He is very old fashioned and a perfect gentleman. Serenity is a sweet heart too. I liked them together and she is right, their chemistry is off the charts. Together they seemed almost too polite and too proper. But it worked for them. But there is more to the story than just the romance. There is also a bit of a mystery with Serenity and another young girl Emma that shows up in dreams as well. I thought that was a cool addition to the story.
I liked Emma, but she seemed wayy too old for an eight year old. I know she is supposed to be some kind of genius, but she didn't seem like a child at all. She seemed like a worldly woman in her 40s. I wish she still has some remnant of the eight year old she was in her genius little brain. Putting that aside, Dream of Me is a solid start to an interesting series. Plus, look at that cover? I just love to stare at it. I know this sounds silly, but I hope the next book has another wow worthy cover. If you are looking for a new paranormal creature to learn about, try dreaming about the sandman.
Halfway Perfect is a young adult novel by Julie Cross and Mark Pe**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net** 3.5/5
Halfway Perfect is a young adult novel by Julie Cross and Mark Perini. It is about the not so pretty underside of the modeling world. I loved that Julie Cross paired up with a model turned writer to collaborate on this book. I thought that both Julie Cross and Mark Perini did an excellent job. I felt like I was at the castings with Eve, Elana and Alex. And while this book was darker than I initially thought it would be, it was a really good read.
Eve used to be an up and coming model when she was a young teenager, and then something happened and she walked away from the whole world right after she landed a huge designer shoot. It was scandalous. But Eve didn't care so much about the rumors that spread about her, and she starts the story enrolled at Columbia. I loved that she worked hard against everything working against her and got herself to an ivy league school. Props to her! In fact, overall I really loved Eve. There were a few minor incidents and things where I didn't agree with her decisions, but overall, I thought she was a great character. And the way that Julie Cross and Mark Perini slowly fed you more breadcrumb tidbits about her life and her past made it seem like we were always getting to know her better and better. I liked that. She was constantly developing as a character.
And her and Alex are so darn cute together. I loved the nicknames that gave each other in their phone. And I really liked how each of them interacted with Elana, who I thought was the most mature 14 year old in the world. I don't know how she did it all at such a young age. Halfway Perfect is part drama, part romance, part fictionalized expose, and totally addictive. I think this would make a great CW show. It has all the juicy drama that makes those shows fun. Halfway Perfect is a great read for those people that enjoy upper young adult romances with a side of drama and a dash of grit.
The Night We Said Yes is Author Lauren Gibaldi's debut book. It is a r**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
The Night We Said Yes is Author Lauren Gibaldi's debut book. It is a really fun and cute story about a group of friends about to graduate high school. I love the layout and idea behind the story. The Night We Said Yes is told on two parallel timelines, featuring two different nights about a year apart from each other. Each night features the same group of friends, and each night is a night of saying yes. Meaning that whatever any one of the friends suggested doing, they did it. I love the idea of a night where you have to say yes to everything because you have no idea where it is going to lead to. Anything could happen. The Night We Said Yes is told in alternating chapters between the Now night and the Then night from a year prior. it was really cool reading back and forth between the two nights. I think I liked "then" night more, but I was more anxious to read the "now" chapters because I really wanted to know how things were going to turn out between some of characters.
There is a cute romantic element in the Night we Said Yes as well. Ella, the main character and the narrator for the story, met a guy in the "then" night. And sometime after he left town and she basically never heard from him again until he showed up in the now time line. I liked Matt. I liked that he tried to hard to make Ella have fun and to grab back some of their cute moments from before. But I have to say that I didn't really like the reason he left without a word. I understood where he was coming from, but I still felt like he could have kept in touch. (Side Note: one of the questions from the Q& A with Lauren revealed that she changed the reason that Matt left multiple times. I wonder what some of the other reasons were?)
The Night We Said Yes is such a fun book that made me reminisce about summer breaks after high school and during college. Hanging out with friends during summer did kind of make you feel like anything could happen. This book made me want to go back and relive some of those nights, and maybe grab some friends and have a Night We Say Yes now too! Next, Lauren is coming out with a novella from Matt's point of view, where we get to see what he was up to in that year that he went away. I think that will be a fun addition to The Night We Said Yes. I think this is a great story of friendship, growing up, and a need to read summer book for anyone. Oh heck, I am going to go for it- Say YES to The Night We Said Yes!
Persuasion is the second book in the awesome southern Gothic romance, t**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Persuasion is the second book in the awesome southern Gothic romance, the Heirs of Watson Island series. I read, reviewed and completely and totally LOVED Compulsion last year. So, I was super excited to dive into Persuasion. If you have not checked out the series yet, now is the perfect time because Compulsion is releasing in paperback and Persuasion releases next month. I think it is a good idea to read these books back to back because they really do build on each other. It took me a moment to get back into the swing of things and to remember what each of the three families "gifts/curses" were. But once I did, I was once again completely swept up in the magic that Martina Boone weaves with her words.
I love how vivid and rich this series feels. I can feel the mansion, the fire, the spirits, and all the tensions among the families. Not to mention the suspicion and distrust that was a tangible force on every page. I could literally feel it surrounding everyone, and especially Barrie. I swear, I still am not 100% sure who I can trust. I second guessed my intuition more than Barrie did! Martina Boone is amazing at subtly and character building and atmospheric writing. With a new character that will leave your head spinning (Obadiah) and all your old favorites back in the game with even more secrets of their own, Persuasion will leave you questioning intentions and will keep you totally riveted.
The gifts of the families are something else. They still have me totally fascinated. They will mess with your mind. I can totally sympathize with Barrie. How does she know for sure what Eight really wants? Does he want it because she wants it or because he does? That is a hard one to get past for a relationship. What I loved the most about Persuasion was that the storyline was a perfect continuation of Compulsion. It didn't feel forced, or like they had to push a new problem on the characters to keep things interesting. Obadiah and the continued mysteries of Watson Island built on the foundation of the first book perfectly. Old and new fans of the Heirs of Watson Island series will love Persuasion. It is every bit as good as the first book! I cannot wait to see what the third book will bring.
The Fill-in Boyfriend is Kasie West's latest young adult contempo**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
The Fill-in Boyfriend is Kasie West's latest young adult contemporary romance. I loved her last book, On the Fence, so I was super excited to read The Fill-in Boyfriend. And I thought it was really cute. It dealt with some deeper friendship and self identity issues that were unexpected for me. I really liked the growth that Gia went through. She was a real winner in my book. That paired with the cute romance, made the Fill-in Boyfriend a hit for me. I ran into a couple of bumps with her friends, but I think they were intentionally pretty awful.
Gia is a popular girl in her senior year. She is going to UCLA in the fall with scholarship and a best friend as her roommate. Life seems pretty sweet, right? Well the book opens with Gia getting dumped in the parking lot before prom. So maybe not so sweet. But luckily for Gia, she meets Hayden- her fill-in boyfriend. I thought it was super cute how he wouldn't tell her his name, and it was a big build up between them. So why did Gia need a fill in boyfriend? Because in her group of friends, there is a total mean girl that is hell bent on taking Gia down it seemed. I couldn't stand Jules. Even when Gia tried to make an effort Jules was a total snob. I have no idea why the rest of Gia's friends couldn't seen through to Jule's mean girl act, but oh well. The silver lining is that it was a big component in Gia's character growth.
I loved getting to know Gia, and really watching her become her own person. And I loved watching her with Bec and Hayden. Hayden is a great guy, but even he made he have a sad moment towards the end of the book. I was really protective over Gia and I felt like he let her down a bit, but don't worry- he makes up for it. The Fill in Boyfriend does and does not have a happily ever after. I want to see another book to see what is going to happen with the unresolved characters. I think there is a great follow up book still laying in wait.
The fill-in boyfriend is a great book for fans of cute contemporary romances, but also like a surprise side of tension and friendship issues thrown in. While some aspects of the Fill-in Boyfriend were predictable (just like I wanted them to be), Kasie West did take me on a few turns that I wasn't expecting. I do kind of wish that one of those turns would have been to push Jules and Gia's brother over a cliff. (oh come on, not to die...but just to get a little scare....) Kasie West please do a follow up book! I want to see what is going to happen next year with all of the characters!
Hello, I love You is a standalone young adult contemporary romance tha**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Hello, I love You is a standalone young adult contemporary romance that was so much fun to read. I should tell you, right off the bat that I don't know very much about Korean culture of KPOP-y things, so I am not an authority on how authentic Hello, I Love You was, but I will tell you this- I had a lot of fun reading this book. Sure, Jason bugged the heck out of me at times, but this was such a stinkin' cute romance that I didn't care. I think so many people will love Hello, I Love You.
The story is told through Grace's point of view. Grace has had some kind of fall out with her family, and she decides to finish out her senior year of high school at an international school in Korea. I'm not really sure how she picked the school, but I do know that she wanted to get far away from her home in Nashville. We don't know too much about what the issue was that she was running from, but we learn that Grace's family is pretty famous. Her dad is a huge country music producer and her brother is a country mega star.
Grace seemed like a fish out of water at her new school. But I loved her roommate Sophie- who also had a famous brother. Jason, her twin, is the lead singer of a very popular KPOP band. I thought it was hilarious that Sophie and Grace were basically in the same situation. Sister with famous singer brother, but no one really ever brought that point up. And each of their families has their fair share of secrets. Grace and Jason start out really not liking each other- which lead to some pretty delicious bickering and bantering. Of course we all know, that later turns into flirting, and I ate it all up. I really like when couples go from annoyed with each other to liking each other. Is that weird?
Grace and Jason bonded over music. Jason writes a lot of his band's songs and Grace has an eye for music composition herself. Their romance unwound at a great pace. They went from annoyances to truce to friends and the something more didn't come for a long time. It just added to the cute factor of their story. There was also an adorably cute/cheesy moment at the end that had me sporting a huge grin. Jason will make you feel just like Grace did. You start out wanting to punch him and you end up loving him. Just like I loved Hello, I Love You. If you are looking for a fun read, this is your summer book!
I love C.J. Duggan's books. She can write the heck out of New Adult co**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
I love C.J. Duggan's books. She can write the heck out of New Adult contemporary romances. As an author on my auto-buy list, I was super excited to be a part of the Paradise City blog tour. Paradise City is the first book in C.J.'s Paradise series, which is a new adult contemporary romance series. Even though the main character is in high school, this had more of a new adult feel to it. Maybe younger new adult or a ya/na crossover. It is a little different than her Summer Boys series, in that each book does not work as a standalone. Here, you will need to read the series in order. And here, there is a cliffhanger. It caught me off guard because I have never experienced a cliffhanger in any of C.J. Duggan's other books, so I wasn't expecting it at all. And it is quite the cliffhanger, at that.
Cliffhanger aside, Paradise City is the same brand of feel good, fun and sexy romance that I have come to love from this author. I can't wait for the next book in the series already. Lexie grew up home schooled in a tiny Australian town. She is super smart, and for her 11th grade year in high school, her parents have finally agreed to let her move in with her aunt and cousin in the bigger town of Paradise. Lexie was so adorably excited about moving and going to a real high school. She was like a kid in the candy store when she got to Paradise. I loved it. She wanted ALL THE TEENAGE EXPERIENCES. And any good reader of new adult knows that means teenage romance.
I loved the way the students at school were divided into one of three different houses. I have no idea if that is how it is actually done in high school in Australia, but I would like to imagine that it is. Lexie totally got the best house too- Gilmore. (Gave me a total Gilmore Girls flashback) That is the house for the smart kids. The house for the beach bums, or cool kids was Kirkland, and that is where Boon and Luke and some of Lexie's cousin's friends are in. I knew right off the rat that most of the action was going to come from Lexie's interaction with this crowd. It took me a couple of minutes before I could get a read on Luke as a love interest, but once I did, I really enjoyed his interactions with Lexie.
Paradise City is a great romance with a great main character. I loved Lexie. A lot, a lot. And I liked the whole group of secondary characters as well. I am looking forward to seeing more of them in the next book, and getting to know them a little bit better. If you loved C.J. Duggan's Summer series, you should give Paradise City a try! And if you are new to C.J. Duggan's books, you need to get in the loop and grab all of her books. You will become addicted.
As Red As Blood is the first book in the Snow white trilogy, or t**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
As Red As Blood is the first book in the Snow white trilogy, or the Lumikki Andersson trilogy. I struggled with this book. It was originally written in Finnish and it takes placei n Finland, so maybe something was lost in translation, but I just could not get into this story. And that seems like a real shame to me, because I really, really liked the main girl Lumikki. I thought she was resilient, and smart. But the story was too jarring for me. The book felt kind of choppy and all over the place. The pace was brisk but the story felt like, scene. event. new person. confusing thing. scene. scene. without any explanations or time to catch your breath. I think for people that enjoy foreign or noir gritty crime thrillers might really love this, but it is not my normal read so the flow of the story was almost too big of a hurdle for me to overcome.
As I said before Lumikki is a great character. I went back and forth many times on what rating to give this book. I almost gave it 3 stars because I really enjoyed Lumikki. I loved how tough she was and when she stood up to the principals son early on, I cheered her on in my head. And I also liked the premise. She finds blood covered money hanging to dry in her school dark room. Umm, what??? That sounds like a crazy story! So I decided to give it a try, and it was kind of crazy, but it just wasn't really my thing. I feel like it might translate better on the tv or movie, but in a book, at least with this translation, something wasn't adding up for me to really get into the story.
As Red As Blood deals with a Finnish crime ring. Again a cool concept, and people that read crime thrillers or noir crime novels I think will love the snow white trilogy. The writing style is very distinct and the landscape felt very pungent, and fitting. It is a quick read, so I was glad that I stuck this one out. It was a good story, but not great for me. Lumikki is the winner of As Red As Blood. I wish I could have liked this one more, but I do hope people give this a shot if it sounds like your kind of read.
Note: I will try my best, but there will probably be some spoilers from the first two books. If you are new to the series, check out my review of The Collectors' Society HERE and my review of the Hidden Library HERE. These books need to be read in order. The Forgotten Mountain is the third book in the New Adult Fantasy Series, The Collectors' Society. And I have to first mention how much I love these covers. They are some of my favorite covers for any series. Which is fitting because The Collectors' Society is ONE OF MY FAVORITE SERIES OF ALL TIME. The First book, The Collectors' Society, was one of my favorite books of 2014, and The Hidden Library was another favorite. I can't remember a series where every single book has gotten a full 5/5 stars from me. But truth be told, the books in the Collectors' Society deserve more than 5 stars each. This is such an amazing series, and Heather Lyons really ripped my heart out with the Forgotten Mountain.
The Forgotten Mountain picks up right where the Hidden Library left off, with that awful ending. Because of what is going on with my poor Finn, a lot of this book is told through Alice's point of view. I really do love Alice. She is so strong and loyal and sharp. I love her ability to see through everything and read people so well. And I love that we still get words of advice from the catepillar. Heather Lyons has such a way with words, everytime I see her talk about someone from wonderful, I feel like I am reading Lewis Carroll himself. She has captured the essence of the books in her timelines so well, all the while putting her own crazy spin on them. In the Forgotten Mountain we get to see some Grimm Brother tales and their time lines. Creepy places, they are. Think the Brother's Grimm movie with Matt Damon, and not the Disney version of the tales.
I was so proud of myself for calling one of the villians in this book, but that one thing (lygari) was the only thing I seemed to get right. Heather Lyons continues to surprise and delight me with her masterful writing and story telling. I am so in awe of Heather and her writing. I read The Forgotten Mountain with wide eyes and dropped jaw, bouncing on the edge of my seat the whole time. The characters all hold a place in my heart, some I hate, some I love, and some totally creep me out, but everyone in this very large cast of characters are so distinct that they stay with me long after I put this book down.
Heather is the best at weaving different characters, clues, and minor plot points that come into play later. I just love reading her books, even when she does things that make me want to cry. Her writing is so exciting and emotional. I want to live inside this series. I just love it so much. Everyone needs to read these books. If you are looking for a fantasy series, an action series, a series for lovers of classic literature, a romance, or just a series that is original and so well done- you are looking at the Collectors' Society Series! It is all of those things and so much more. The ending of this book completely wrecked me. I need the next book now. I cannot say it enough, this is one of my all time favorite series. Read this series! If you haven't you are doing yourself a disservice.
Words cannot express how excited I was when I found out this book was**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Words cannot express how excited I was when I found out this book was happening. It is a continuation/the novel length version of a short story published in a new adult anthology, called Breakaway. It was my favorite of the 14 stories in that anthology, and I wasn't the only one that thought that. This is what I wrote about Bunsen Burner Bingo in my review of the spring break anthology, "beyond adorable. I want to see a full length book with the story of Katy and Martin. I loved that Martin was both this super smart science geek and a hot frat guy. Katy was someone who was burned in the past and hides behind her clothes and her science. This short story was laugh out loud funny and I want more!" Penny Reid got an overwhelming response, asking for more Kaitlyn and Martin, and she answered our calls! Elements of chemistry was born! It is going to be told in 3 parts, Attraction, Heat and Capture, and I think those three parts make up the book Elements of Chemistry, which I think is book 1 in the Hypothesis series. It is a new adult romantic comedy.
Attraction starts off just where bunsen burner bingo started off, so you don't need to read the short story first to read this one. Penny Reid did a great job incorporating the short story, and expanding it to what I knew I would be an excellent novel. And she made the short story flow effortlessly into a longer story. It worked perfectly.
This is exactly the kind of new adult romance that I love. It is funny, sexy, well written with great characters, and the chemistry is sizzling. Elements of Chemistry: Attraction, is going to be a favorite of mine, so doubt about it. Kaitlin and Martin are o multidimensional, and such fantastic characters on their own that you can't help but root for them together. I love how special Katy is to Martin, without her even knowing it. It is a great spring break read, or heck, an anytime read. The three parts are being released in fairly quick succession, so you can enjoy parts 1 and 2 back to back if you wait until the end of April.
Martin and Kaitlin are making their way up the ranks of my favorite book couples. All in one short book. If you like romances that are laugh out loud funny, and sweet and sexy at the same time, the elements of chemistry series is for you! Read this series. Just do it.
Denton Little's Deathdate is a really funny, and strangely sweet read.**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Denton Little's Deathdate is a really funny, and strangely sweet read. I can honestly say that I have never read anything quite like it. It is not the most believable book ever, but you just have to embrace the concept and go with it. If you can do that, you will have a blast on Denton's last 24 hours alive adventure. Denton Little's Deathdate takes place in a world in the future that is very much like the world we know today. Technology and living hasn't advanced too much, but there is one minor difference. In Denton's world, as soon as you are born they can tell you the date that you will die. They can't tell you how you will die, but they can predict 100% of the time, the day that you will die. And as you can imagine, this has caused some pretty strange customs to pop up.
Reading about the customs surrounding your deathdate were one of my favorite parts about this book. For instance, how would your funeral be if you actually spoke at it? And what kind of party would you throw if you knew it would be the night before you died? And Denton was an extra special case, because he was an "early". An "early" are those not so lucky individuals that die before they turn 18. Denton goes through all kinds of mini existential crisis's, so to speak in his last 24 hours, but he never stays down for too long.
This book is a ton of fun. I loved Denton. I loved, loved, loved his best friend Pow. I thought he was a great guy and so freakin' hilarious. Pow and Denton became friends in kindergarten because they were both earlies. Pow has a deathdate 1 month after Denton. So without spoiling the book, let me set the stage for you. Denton knows he is going to die in a day, but he has no idea what from. So he goes to his funeral, he goes to his party, and then he is supposed to sit in his house until "it" happens. But then Denton gets a weird purple splotch on his leg, and he freaks thinking that is he is going to die from, which yeah, I think is a valid concern. So he sets off to try and find out what it is, and he ends up unraveling a mystery. The mystery aspect of the book took me by surprise, but I was already in a jolly mood from Denton and Pow's adorable antics, so I happily went along for the ride.
Denton Little's Deathdate is a lighthearted read that is the most fun I have ever had reading or thinking about death. I don't think it is meant to be taken too seriously, and yes the deathdate thing didn't make a lot of sense the way it was explained, but who cares? The result was a story that will have you laughing your butt off and falling in love with a 17 year old guy that just wants to figure out what the heck is going on before he dies- "literally any minute now." This book was great. It is fresh and doesn't feel like every other ya out there. Give it a read.
3.5/5 Becoming Jinn is the first in a Young Adult series of the same na**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
3.5/5 Becoming Jinn is the first in a Young Adult series of the same name, about genies. I love the tagline for the book- "Forget everything you thought you knew about genies". Because right away, this tells me that it is going to be a pretty cool re-imagining. And it was. It took awhile to gain momentum, but once it did, I thought Becoming Jinn was a magical tale. I thought the world of Jinn that Lori Goldstein created was very rich and multifaceted. I liked how creative and detailed she was, but at the same time I do feel like it slowed down the start of the story a lot. There was a lot of world building but not a lot else. But once you push past the beginning, you not only have a good idea of what it is like to be a Jinn but also the plot starts to move along at a more brisk pace. It was easy for me to fall into the story then.
Azra just turned 16 and for her birthday gift she is given a cuff bracelet and a lamp. The lamp is a joke between all the sisters and cousins of the family because Jinn don't live in lamps, they live in houses. But still the youngest Jinn gets to be the keeper of the lamp. I thought that was cute. Much less cute was the bracelet that was the symbol of being enslaved as a Jinn to the ruling class of the Afrit. And Azra was less than excited to come into her Jinn powers, because it meant losing control. I liked Azra. I can see how she would be a love her or hate type character, but I choose to love her. I thought she was spunky. She was a little whiny, but I think it is important to note that she is 16. What 16 year old is not ever whiny. And I think she had just about as good of a reason as any to be a little bitter and whiny- she was becoming a genie- and is now at the total whim of other people. That would grind my gears a bit too.
I'm not going to say much about the romance. It was good. There is a love triangle, and love triangles are the hardest part of reviews for me to write about without giving anything away, so I will leave you with the two dudes names, and nothing more. Henry- Azra's long time friend, and Nate. More to come on this sub-plot after I read the second book.
Becoming Jinn is a really cool story. I have never read a young adult, or other, so this was a new experience for me. I don't have a lot to compare it to except Aladdin, and this is nothing like Aladdin. If you don't mind love triangles and you can push past the bit of info dump, for background purposes at the start, Becoming Jinn is a really great story. I think a ton of YA readers will love this one, and I am more than interested enough to continue the series. Lori Goldstein did a great job with her imaginative Debut Novel, Becoming Jinn.
The Summer I Fell is the first book in a contemporary New Adult s**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
The Summer I Fell is the first book in a contemporary New Adult series called, The Six. I felt like it should have been called the Seven, since all of the guys admitted that Riley was one of them and always has been. The Six are a group of six guys, Jared, Ace, Mark, Josh, Aiden & Eli , that are always together. They grew up together and they are a great group of friends. I really liked watching them interact, and I loved the way that they were with Riley. The Summer I fell is both a beautiful story and a heartbreaking story. The first half felt so carefree and fun, and I was smiling the whole time. You get to watch Riley discover her first love and hang out with a great group of friends. It is really great.
And then life starts to get in the way. They have all graduated high school and some are going in different directions. The second half of the book had a distinctly different feel than the first half. The second half of The Summer I fell took me by surprise. Without getting into spoilers, there are some pretty crazy events that happen that got my waterworks going. And I really wasn't expecting that. I thought we would continue to cruise on the good times and the smiles from the first half. But I guess I couldn't expect that to happen even if the "bad thing" didn't because all the guys were no longer together. They weren't "the six". They were individual guys each off doing their own thing. It was very bittersweet. It is one of the few new adult books that I will call a coming of age story. It was watching each of the members of the seven come into their own. The Summer I Fell is marked as New Adult, but I feel it is more of a crossover book. Falling somewhere in the range of upper YA to younger NA. Great for readers of both genres.
The Summer I Fell is part smiles, part tears, super sweet and heartbreaking all at the same time. It is reminiscent of the bittersweet feeling of summer ending. I really enjoyed this read, and I kind of need to continue on with the story. The Summer I Fell took me down a different emotional road than I was expecting. I had no idea it would make me feel quite as deeply as it did. And yes, there is a cliffhanger. And yes it is a big one. That is most of the reason why I need to continue on in this series. The ending completely GUTTED me. I have to know what happens next.
Bound is the first in the new adult paranormal romance series of**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Bound is the first in the new adult paranormal romance series of the same name. I really enjoyed Bound. I thought it was a great mixture of atypical romance, lots of paranormal creatures, curses, and magic. Yes, there is a lot going on in this book. AM Hudson kept revealing new layer after new layer as the story went on. I wouldn't really call them twists, but I felt like the plot just kept getting more developed and more complex as the story evolved. It was kind of a neat story telling technique. And I loved that while Bound had a very strong romance element, it was totally unlike any romance I have been reading. Ric and Lora are not like YA and NA couples. Not at all. You will have to read the book to know what I am saying because I don't want to ruin the story. But there is no insta love in this one. Ric and Lora are a series long work in progress kind of romance. And I am really digging that about them. A lot!
After I was done reading Bound, I found out that Lora's parents have a whole series devoted to their story. I had no idea! I don't know how much it will benefit you to read their story first since we never actually met her parents in Bound, but we did see them through phone calls. I kind of liked starting with Bound first before reading her parents series because like Lora, I was kept completely in the dark with what she was and what the mystery surrounding her and her family was. And if I had read the other series first, I might have known too much to fully enjoy Bound. Maybe not, though? I would be curious to see reader's thoughts that read Lora's parents series first.
Bound was a good read. It took a while for the story to initially get going. It wasn't a slow start per say. I thought the book moved at a consistently moderate pace, but I felt like the story took a while to pick up. And there were various minute intricacies of the story that I didn't love, but overall, I thought Bound held my attention enough and was a fun enough read that I will for sure be continuing on in the series. And I really want to give A.M. Hudson's other series a read. I think I will enjoy them. Fans of New Adult paranormals and fans of paranormals that involve a whole host of creatures, the Bound series would be a great match for you.
Whoa! That is honestly the thought that keeps running through my**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net** 3.5/5
Whoa! That is honestly the thought that keeps running through my head. I just finished Push by Claire Wallis and my head is still spinning. This book is so totally messed up and crazy. And I don't care if it makes me messed up and crazy too, but I liked every send of this dysfunctional and dark thriller romance. The book is told in Emma and Davids point of view, and it alternates back and forth between the past and the present. But each chapter is clearly labeled, so I had no problem following the flow of the story. The book starts out with a chapter from each Emma and David's point of view describing the same event, and you are like "HOLY COW! Is what I think's about to happen, really about to happen??" And that sentence right there, should set the tone of the book. There will be a lot of Holy cow moments while reading Push.
You need to know right off the bat that Emma and David are messed up characters. They are. Know that and be ok with that because if you are a reader that can't handle dysfuntion, this is not the book for you. But if you like that kind of thing or if you are intrigued like I was, you should totally give Push a try because this will take you on one heck of an emotional and jaw dropping ride. And all I can say is you better hold on tight. Claire Wallis, I bow down to you. You totally messed with my head until I didn't know which way was up.
David has had 6 ex girlfriends that have all disappeared. And Emma acts like she has to prove to the world how strong she is, so when David comes into her like as a total creeper she doesn't immediately push him out. He is the apartment complex's handyman and when he comes in and immediately destroys her kitchen, I had another WTF moment. They are forced to spend time together and he rebuilds her kitchen and thus the crazy convoluted relationship they share glows into something kinda fascinating, kinda scary, and totally addictive. I won't even tell you how many times, I thought I had a theory about the crazy David, and how many times I was wrong. Well played Ms. Wallis. Well played.
Another thing I really liked about Push was that each of David's 6 ex girlfriends got a chapter spread out throughout Push so that you could get a glimpse into her story. And I have to tell you, each story delved a little bit into the madman that is David. I thought it really completed the picture that Claire Wallis so creepily and beautifully depicted. Push is a great read. Totally messed up, and totally different than anything else I have read in a long time. There is the mother of all cliffhangers though, so be prepared. Expect the unexpected.
I used to love R.L. Stine so much as a kid. I read the books, I watche**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
I used to love R.L. Stine so much as a kid. I read the books, I watched the shows. I just loved it. So when I found out that his Fear Street series was being re-launched I was super excited. What actually started my love of R.L. Stine was the tv show, "Are You Afraid of the Dark?" with the midnight society. I loved that show so much that I started looking for things like it, and I discovered the creepy magic that was R.L. Stine. Don't Stay Up Late is actually the second book in the Fear Street series, but I never read the first book and I was fine. They are each a different scary story. I liked Don't Stay Up Late. It transported me back to my childhood. It was a bit on the younger side for YA, so I think MG readers will enjoy it as well. It will be a great scary book for younger readers, and for YA readers looking for some new R.L. Stine to enjoy.
It was certainly not the scariest young adult book that I have read, but it did feel like his other books, which is honestly what I was looking for. I was looking for that Classic 90s fear street/midnight society sitting around the campfire and telling scary stories feeling. Don't stay up Late is the story of Lisa and a babysitting gig gone terribly wrong. I liked the babysitting aspect because again it added to the throwback feel of the stories. The writing is different than I am used to. It feels slightly more disjointed, but most of that I attributed to the main character Lisa and everything she was going through. She was jumping back and forth between personal tragedies, and therapists and then everything that was going on with Harry and in his house.
My hope is with this book that younger kids will get introduced to his work and go back to some of the original goosebump and fear street novels and read them. I think they will still have appeal today with the younger crowd. So while this book did scary me too much, I can see it being a fun and spooky hit read for some MG readers. I liked it for it's throwback feeling, and it really made me want to watch some Are You Afraid of the Dark?
I loved Awakening. It's a young adult dystopian. I don't read too many**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
I loved Awakening. It's a young adult dystopian. I don't read too many dystopians anymore, and I am pretty picky when it comes to choosing which ones to read. I heard that Darian was going to be a swoon worthy guy, and I liked the technology aspect of Awakening, so I decided to give it a try. And I am very glad that I did. This was a dystopian that worked really well for me. I loved the romance in it and I thought the world was very well done. The idea of the dreamscape seemed half invasive and scary but a pretty big part of me wanted to try it out, especially since you get to see who your mate was revealed in the dreams. I thought that was a really cool idea, and for the most part people seemed to love it and the relationships seemed genuine and good fits for so much of the society. And then there is the terrorscape, which seemed just as terrifying as the name implies. However, I was left with lots of little questions, while reading the first half of the book. Click to view spoiler for some examples of the questions I had.
(view spoiler)[All of these thoughts were running through my head when started reading the book. Like why would the days of the week link up with how long you would have to live? And why did they start killing off the ones so young? they only get to live until 25? Doesn't the society need workers for longer than that? And also, why was Darian able to use other people's dreamscape machines while he was on the run? They sound super high tech, and everyone is chipped under the skin, so why couldn't the machines pick up on who the user was? And i'm not talking about the mixer that he used, that scrambles the brainwaves that the machine can read. But why doesn't the machine pick up on the id info from the users chip. That seemed like an oversight on this controlling government's part. (hide spoiler)]
Now don't get me wrong, I thought the world building was great, and I am sure that some of these questions will be answered and explained later on, but when I was initially reading, all of this stuff was running through my head. I have come to the conclusion that right now the dystopians that work the best for me are ones that center around technology. Something about them makes me feel like it could be possible for the world to end up like that, which makes it all the more interesting and terrifying to me. Does that make me weird? haha
I really loved Darian. I think he is such an easy guy to root for, even if he is noncompliant and thinks everyone else in the society are "sheep." He's not wrong, by the way. What surprises me the most is that anyone is capable of thinking that this guy could be a murderer. He is such a decent, stand up guy. And his lifetime crush on Desiree was adorable. Awakening starts off at a brisk pace and honestly only picks up in speed as the story goes on. I loved that, there is honestly not a boring moment in Awakening. I read this book in a single sitting and I didn't even realize how much time had passed when I finally looked up when I was done. That is a feeling I will never get sick of, because it means I was transported to the author's world and I was totally immersed in it. I can't wait to continue this series. Awakening is great for fans of YA dystopian and I would even encourage people who might be burnt out or new dystopians to try Awakening. I think it will be a series tons of people will love! I smell a hit all over this one and I can't wait for more.
Between Now and Never is a standalone contemporary/realistic fiction r**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Between Now and Never is a standalone contemporary/realistic fiction romance story. I loved Laura Johnston's first novel, Rewind to You and I really loved it. It was a super sweet and light romance. I am going to tell you up front that Between Now and Never has a very different feel to it than Rewind to You did. It is not as sugary sweet, certainly not as light. I didn't love it as much as Rewind to You, but it was still a good story. (What can I say, I am just more of a happy and fluffy kind of gal.) Between Now and Never had kind of a forbidden romance, Montague and Capulet feuding family feel to it.
Julianna and Cody come from very different families and you can tell that it has impacted the way they grow up. Julianna's family is poor and her brother uses/deals drugs and because of that has money problems. To try and help, their mom committed a crime at her job and got sent to jail. Cody's dad is the FBI agent that sent her there. So you can see where there would be issues.
I ended up really liking and rooting for Cody and Julianna but it didn't start out that way. Cody is a really nice guy, but for some reason whenever he got around Julianna for the first couple of times, he acted like a cocky jerk. I have no idea but he wasn't like that in any other scenes or when she wasn't around. It was like he was putting on a very bad show for her. Not that it worked to impress her. It only turned her more off to him. And then there was Julianna. I get that she has had it rough, but it is a pet peeve of mine that when people get a tough break, that they act overly bitter and entitled to everyone and everything around them. Even the people that are being nice and did nothing wrong. They see the worst in everyone and think everyone is giving them the short end of the stick for no reason. Julianna grated on my nerves at the start and I had no idea how her and Cody were ever going to get a shot at working out.
But that is what kept me reading. I just had to see where the heck this story was going to go from the humdinger of a start that it had. Julianna was a little brat and Cody was involved in something so incredibly dangerous and awful. He was thrown into it. I felt so bad for him because he clearly didn't want to be in that situation but he wasn't given any choice. But Laura Johnston's writing is kind of magic. Even with my character annoyances, she made invested in their story. She made me like them. Which is incredible! When I don't initially like a character it is hard for me to come back from that. But I did.
Between Now and Never was different than my average read. But I liked that about it. It is good to step outside of your comfort zone every now and again. The character growth in Between Now and Then is the most impressive part. For these two star crossed individuals, I can guarantee you won't be able to predict their journey from the first page. Between Now and Never is a good read. Give it a try if you like your contemporaries with a little more drama and grit, and don't mind some darker issues thrown in.
Summer by Summer is a standalone young adult contemporary. Summer by S**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Summer by Summer is a standalone young adult contemporary. Summer by Summer has so many layers to it, and it will take you by surprise. The cover seems unassuming enough, with a pretty girl on a beach, and the start of the summer is much of the same. Summer takes a summer nanny gig with a rich family vacationing in Belize. But then it shifts. Bray, the families older son, and Summer are stranded on a deserted island. And then when you are reading, it shifts again and again, but I won't give those away. Just know that every time I thought I got a grip on what this book was, it changed. I loved that because the pace and new layers kept me on my toes. Summer by Summer was a very nice story, and way more exciting than I originally anticipated.
It is published by Blink, an imprint of HarperCollins Christian publishing line Zondervan. It is a clean young adult novel, and the main character Summer used to be involved with her church youth group, so up front warning that religion is a theme in this book. It is not overly preachy, but it is a strong vein in the storyline. It comes up in a few different ways. I thought it tied in very nicely with the plot, but I did want to include that in my review because I know that some readers will want to know up front. The religion stemmed from an event that happened in Summer's past, and I loved the way the author kept digging and bringing up this event because each time she wove it into the storyline, I felt like I got to know Summer a little better. And my heart broke for the poor girl. Bray was right, she is super strong.
The romance in Summer by Summer is very predominant and such a sweet romance. I really liked Summer and Bray. I thought they jumped all over the place in their feelings at the start. They were annoyed, they disliked each other and then Bray did a 180 and was all of a sudden very nice, and then they liked each other. That was my only hiccup with the story, but very soon after that rollercoaster Summer and Bray were stranded and from that point forward, I thought their relationship progressed my more naturally. My only other gripe with the story was something that happened in the epilogue. I thought it was all very nice, but it is something that I just don't like seeing in the young adult books that I read. Personal preference of mine, but I can't say what it is without spoilers. (the event/action not the message)
Summer by Summer was a nice read. I enjoyed it, and the part that I liked most of all was that Heather Burch was able to keep me on my toes while reading. Just when I would start to think the plot was dragging a bit, she would change things up drastically and some whole other element that I wasn't expecting would be introduced. I am determined not to ruin the fun of this book with spoilers, so if you have read Summer by Summer please let me know because I would really liked to talk to someone about it! If you are looking for a very sweet, keep you on your toes clean YA- check out Summer by Summer.
I loved Open Road Summer by Emery Lord so much. (but then again, who didn't? Seriously, that book got such positive feedback it was awesome.) And I am beyond happy to say that she has done it again! All of the reviews that I have been reading for The Start of Me and You have been raving. I loved this book. I just want to hug it and have it with me at all times. Even now that I am done reading it. Emery Lord writes some of the best friendships I have ever read in young adult. I know that is a bold statement, but these are friendships that teens (and everyone) should look up to, and idolize. Paige, Tessa, Morgan, and Kayleigh are so there for one another. They would drop anything in a hot second if they thought one of their friends needed them. And they did. Over and over again. They never got sick of hearing someone complain about the same issue on repeat. They were patient, and understanding. Sure they got into little tiffs, but they always bounced back almost immediately. They were real best friends. I will never get sick of reading about this kind of supportive true friendship. I loved it. Not to mention, on top of that, the romance is great and the story makes you feel all kinds of warm and fuzzies.
The Start of Me and You takes place in a small town where one nickname or one incident can haunt you forever. For Paige that incident was when her new boyfriend drowned. Now she is always known as "girl whose boyfriend died" or Kyle's girlfriend, even though their relationship was still in the getting to know you phase. She was forever marked. I really felt for Paige, it was such a tough spot to be in and I applaud Emery Lord for describing the situation so well. There were facets of it that I hadn't even considered, but watching Paige live it took it to a whole different level for me. I love books that have lists, and the Start of Me and You had a list that Paige dubbed her new beginning list. I loved where her list took her. It took her to joining the quizbowl, which hello, I want to join one of those!!
I thought The Start of Me and You was a bit predictable in parts, but I enjoyed that about it because the things that I could predict were the things that I wanted to happen. Like the whole situation with her crush Ryan and his Cousin Max. This book is perfect for a feel good read. Case in point, I am still smiling as I sit here writing my review. I liked it even more than Open Road Summer. Emery Lord is on my auto buy list now because she knows how to write romances and more importantly, she knows how to write quality friendships. I can't get enough of her. The Start of Me and You is such a great book that I am already thinking about when I can re-read it. Fans of YA contemporary romance, of great characters and great friendships need to read The Start of Me and You.
Shaken Not Stirred is the fifth book in the Last Call Series by Sawyer**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Shaken Not Stirred is the fifth book in the Last Call Series by Sawyer Bennett. Each book can be read as a standalone, but the series follows a group of friends so it is always nice to be able to read them all. I would recommend reading at least one other book in the series before Shaken Not Stirred because Casey's character is a little different than the others and I feel like you get to know her a little better and appreciate her story more if you see her in the earlier books as a secondary character. I didn't read the first 2 books in the series. Rather, I started with the 3rd book- Sugar on the Edge, and I fell in love with Gavin, so I knew I would have to continue on to see more of their stories. And then I liked Wyatt's story, With a Twist, even more. And then I met Tenn. He is my favorite of them all. (so far.)
Sawyer Bennett just knows how to write really good contemporary romances. I go into her books confident that I will enjoy the characters and the story. On the cover of Shaken not Stirred, it said it was Tenn's story, in keeping with the guy theme, but the character that we know from the series is Casey (and Tenn is the guy match for her) so I went back and forth on that for a little, but eventually Tenn won out because I just love him so much, so heck yea this can be his story!
Tenn has trumped all the other guys for me. I just love his determination to go after what he wants. I love seeing the warm gooey marshmallow center of big tough guys. And he is a tough guy- but also a great guy. He is my favorite guy in the series so far. He would not give up on Casey. Even when Casey tried her hardest to get him to back away.
I liked Casey, but part of me just doesn't get her. She pushes absolutely every guy away. She is sweet, smart girl, but it is hard for me to relate to her because her actions are so different than me. In the end I felt like I could relate to her and I felt like I got to know her and her motivations well throughout the course of the story, but the way she uses and throws out guy after guy was hard for me to get past initially. I couldn't imagine her settling down. And I was also feeling a bit protective of Tenn. But Sawyer Bennett worked her magic and made it all work out. That's why I love reading her books so much. I can count on a good story out of them. One that no matter what, I will feel invested in. I don't want to give too much away about their story because the magic is in reading this series for yourself. The Last Call Series are great contemporary romances.
I can't even accurately convey how much I enjoyed Boys Don't Knit (In**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
I can't even accurately convey how much I enjoyed Boys Don't Knit (In Public). This book is kind of my new obsession. It has everything. It's funny, it's heartwarming, it has an awesome male protagonist. I can't say enough good things about this book. Other than, I think everyone needs to read it. Ben is a high school student in the UK and he has a pretty typical group of friends. They always seem to be getting into very minor teen trouble, but what's funny is that is so not Ben. He is kind of the opposite of all his friends in that regard, but he goes along with them anyway. And of course, he is the one that gets caught red-handed. So off to probation he goes, where is gets a "give something back" community service punishment and he has to take a local class. With slim pickings available he chooses knitting, thinking at least it was taught by his young and hot high school teacher. (Spoiler Alert- It isn't.)
Boys Don't Knit is told entirely from Ben's point of view through the form of journal entries. With letters and excerpts of things thrown in as well. I loved that Ben narrated this book through his journal. He is the most adorable, great, quirky, and totally funny guy. I want to hang out with him. I want to be his friend. Ben's antics of his knitting class and his Give something back project had me smiling and laughing on every page. I put this book down multiple times, not because I was bored, but because I just didn't want it to end.
The writing is perfect for the story. Very conversational, and packed with pop culture references and jokes galore. I can't imagine anyone not getting a chuckle out of something from Boys Don't Knit. If you don't laugh while reading this book, I don't trust you. (unless you are a robot)Readers will fall in love with Ben. They will fall in love with his ragtag group of friends, and with all of Ben's knitting creations. I love the pattern names he comes up with. I love how much of a worrier he is. (he takes a wholistic approach to worrying- that is, he worries about everything all the time.) I loved absolutely everything about this book, even the excerpts from his friends "novel"- "50 Shades of Graham" Not to mention I thought the way everyone in Ben's life came together was a really nice heartwarming message. This book just worked for me on every level. I think there is something for everyone in Boys Don't Knit. The book comes out March 24th so you should pre-order your copy today because this is one that you will not want to miss. Quirky fun and humor at its' finest!
Tryst is a standalone new adult contemporary romance. It is a fun romp**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Tryst is a standalone new adult contemporary romance. It is a fun romp with the brothers best friend turned secret romance trope. It is a fun read that will have you fanning yourself. I am even more impressed when I found out that this was Alex Rosa's debut New Adult novel. Tryst is just what the name implies, a fun, sexy romance. It is the story of Skylar, a pre-med serious student and soccer player. She puts her schooling first, but after a nasty (and I do mean nasty) breakup she moves in with her older brother to continue attending college. I really did like the brother sister relationship that Skylar and Josh shared. I know she had her moments of doubt, but I feel like Josh really stepped up in the family department. (both of their parents passed away.)
And then you have Blake. Blake is josh's roommate and best friend out in LA. He is an enigma wrapped in a contradiction, but he is a yummy one at that. On one hand he seemed to open with Skylar, but in the other hand he didn't really open up about a lot of him at all. It takes a good part of the book to get to know Blake and the funny thing is, you don't even know that you don't know him until things start to get revealed. I know that sounds weird, but I was reading along and totally enjoying the story and I was thinking that Skylar was the one that needed to open up more, and that Blake was up front with her about himself. All that jazz and then bam, some stuff gets revealed about Blake and I was like "whoa! I had no idea he was even holding anything back." You just have to read to know what I am talking about. He is a complicated dude. But I really liked that about him. He is a good person at his core. And he has slamming chemistry with Skylar.
There are lots of roadblocks along the way and it has all the elements that you would expect this trope to have. The sneaking around leads to confusion and jealousy. It was a little predictable, but was nonetheless a very enjoyable ride. I can't wait to read more books by Alex Rosa. Tryst really delivered. If you are looking for a fun and sexy read, look no further than Tryst.
Fake Boobs is a standalone new adult contemporary. And before we even**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
Fake Boobs is a standalone new adult contemporary. And before we even get started, yes it is about fake boobs, but it is really about the larger picture of self esteem issues. I went back and forth with this book a little bit. There were a lot of things that I liked about the book, Fake Boobs, but there were a few things that rubbed me the wrong way. And not just about the main character, Tori. After I was done reading I sat back and tried to sort out my thoughts on the book and I kept coming back to the same thing, that the positive outweighed my annoyances.
So let's talk about the positive. I really liked Grant and Tori together. I liked the big picture of their relationship. I was very happy with the way everything left off, and I was happy that Grant wouldn't put up with Tori's nonsense, and at the same time he was more there for her than anyone else in her life was. I thought that Tori's journey was relate able and no matter how misguided she may have been, it was something that I think a lot of young women and teens would benefit from reading about. Sure, she had a very distorted view of herself and she made lots and lots of bad decisions, and she bugged me multiple times but it was all a part of her self discovery and self growth. She bugged me in the moment, but when I stepped back I found that I actually liked Tori quite a lot. And I loved that the story switched from her point of view to Grant's about half way through the book. I wasn't expecting that at all, but the events kind of rewound and were retold through his eyes. I thought it was a great writing technique for this story.
And now for my annoyances. I just said that Tori did a lot of stupid things and she was really misguided, and yes that bugged me but that annoyance was actually very fleeting and minimal. A big annoyance came from Grant. And I loved Grant, but he did what I hate a character (or anyone) doing. He decided what he thought was best for someone else and he just unilaterally made that decision. I can't tell you how much this grates on my nerves. Just sit down and talk to the other person instead of doing what you think they need. It wasn't Grant's decision to make, and like always it was wrong and royally messed things up. But like I said, it is a pet peeve of mine so that is probably why I rubbed me the wrong way.
Fake Boobs is the story of Tori and Grant just as much as it is the story of Tori's personal growth and becoming ok with who she was. It worked well as a standalone and the story felt well developed and complete. So yes, Fake Boobs is about Fake Boobs, but it's also more than that. I think it is worth a read.