Blake's best friend, Vivi, has been caught in the middle of a scandal. Vivi's discreet affair with Lewis, Blake's brother-in-law, is made public when...moreBlake's best friend, Vivi, has been caught in the middle of a scandal. Vivi's discreet affair with Lewis, Blake's brother-in-law, is made public when he winds up dead--smack dab in the middle of one of their rendezvous. Now it's up to lawyer Blake and her lawyer husband to get Vivi out of this pickle (which no good Southern belle should ever find herself in). But with the right amount of sass, the right friends, and a strand of pearls, a true Southern belle can overcome anything; even that pesky high-school flame that happens to be the lead detective on the case.
There's something special about The Sassy Belles by Beth Albright. The characters, family, and setting she creates is vivid and real, and puts you there in the story from page one. I've never been to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, but I'm sure that if I were to get off a plane there today, It'd feel like I've been there all my life. And that's exactly what Albright was striving for, I'm sure.
The sense of humor that's special to the south (I had no idea pearl necklaces were for fashion AND choking) comes through loud and clear and made me laugh out loud several times. Albright takes special care with each of her characters to make sure they're independent of each other, real, and vivid. After reading her debut novel, I wanted best friends like Blake O'Hara and Vivi McFadden. And who wouldn't want a fiery grandmother like Mother? The Sassy Belles is a fun, quick, summer read filled with sass, humor, mystery, and romance. Not once was it dull or did it drag; the pace kept the book moving nicely.
Albright's storytelling is strong, and her weaving of mystery and twists is masterful. There's a sense of belonging, family, and home between the covers that I can't wait to get more of in her next book, Wedding Belles.(less)
Summary: When Rory Macintosh’s roommates find out that their studious and shy friend has never been with a guy, t...moreTrue Erin McCarthy New Adult Romance
Summary: When Rory Macintosh’s roommates find out that their studious and shy friend has never been with a guy, they decide that, as an act of kindness they’ll help her lose her virginity by hiring confident, tattooed bad boy Tyler Mann to do the job…unbeknownst to Rory.
Tyler knows he’s not good enough for Rory. She’s smart, doctor smart, while he’s barely scraping by at his EMT program, hoping to pull his younger brothers out of the hell their druggy mother has left them in. But he can’t resist taking up her roommates on an opportunity to get to know her better. There’s something about her honesty that keeps him coming back when he knows he shouldn’t…
Torn between common sense and desire, the two find themselves caught up in a passionate relationship. But when Tyler’s broken family threatens to destroy his future, and hers, Rory will need to decide whether to cut her ties to his risky world or follow her heart, no matter what the cost…
My Take: This is yet another one of those “tragic” romances in the emerging genre of New Adult, but it’s better than others I’ve read. With a storyline a cross between “Beautiful Disaster” and “Easy”, but with writing more like “Crash”, “True” is a good read for any fan of that genre. Fast paced and funny, there’s plenty of angst and drama to keep YA fans reading and romance to keep the older readers interested.
The main character, Rory, is what made the book. She was refreshing compared to the typical, damaged, willing-do-to-anything-to-get-the-guy, cookie-cutter female lead this genre produces. Rory was honest and doesn’t hide what she’s thinking or feeling from anyone. She tells it how it is, and as a result is a bit socially awkward. It was a very nice change of pace from the norm.
Despite the stereotypical setup this genre has, (good girl falls for bad boy, but bad boy isn’t good enough for good girl), it was set apart from the crowd. The writing was detailed and kept me interested. The characters more fleshed out. But, there was a lack of depth to the “threat” that faces Rory and Tyler’s relationship. I would have liked to have seen that played up and made into more of a strong secondary plot point. So much could have been done with that. Instead it just kind of fizzled and fell flat.
Rating: For this genre, I’d give it a solid 4.5/5. Compared to the other books I’ve read of all genres, I’d rate it more of a 3.75/5; still pretty strong. Content wise, this is a definite R for sex and some language. (less)
This book has been waited on in anticipation by A LOT of people. To be honest, I totally forgot it was coming out until I got an email reminding me ab...moreThis book has been waited on in anticipation by A LOT of people. To be honest, I totally forgot it was coming out until I got an email reminding me about the ARC. You all remember by review about “Beautiful Disaster”. Well, Walking Disaster is the exact same story, but told from Travis’ point of view.
And I must say, after reading Travis’ side, and knowing his backstory, I like him better that I did the first time around. As extreme as they are, his actions are clearer and make more sense, for him. Abby comes across as the whiny, inconsistent, brat that I thought she was in the first book, so I’m glad the author was consistent.
I won’t go into all the issues I went into on the BD review (and they’re still here, believe me, just not as severe) because I don’t like beating dead horses.
So, what goes on in this version? Travis meets Abby (and we learn why he calls her that ridiculous nickname; it’s actually kind of endearing) and is attracted to her because she’s not like the other girls on campus. Mainly, she doesn’t put up with his shenanigans and isn’t throwing herself at him like all the other girls. One thing leads to another, and now Travis is on the prowl for Abby. He just has to make her his. With that goal in mind, he concocts all sorts of schemes for them to spend time together. His biggest one is making a bet he knows he’ll win so that she has to stay with him and his roommate (which happens to be her best friend’s boyfriend) for the next month.
During the entire book, they both dance around their feelings for each other. Travis keeps waffling internally about pursuing Abby. One minute he thinks things could actually work out, the next he tells himself that she’s too good for him and he should just stop. But he still gets mad when she dates other boys. And she still gets mad when he hooks up with the random girl from Red Door. America is still a little bi-polar when it comes to supporting or condemning Abby for her relationship with Travis. But, the voice of the narrator (Travis) was the best out of the two. Everything he say, all the words he uses, are spot-on him. You get a good feel for who his drive in life and the story seems all around better this time.
Rating: Worth the read, especially if you’ve read “Beautiful Disaster” and want more of Travis, but be prepared for the same elements and dysfunctional moments. Content wise, I’d rate this an “R” for sex and for Travis’ extremely creative use of cussing. (less)
I’ve never read any of Jennifer’s books before now so “You Look Different” was a good one to cut my teeth on. Justine has mixed emotions about the cam...moreI’ve never read any of Jennifer’s books before now so “You Look Different” was a good one to cut my teeth on. Justine has mixed emotions about the cameras that will soon be documenting her life again for the big screen. There’s too much to live up to and as she examines her own life, she realizes that she’s disappointed herself a little. Not living out the dreams or goals she had at eleven. Letting friendships go because they didn’t “fit” anymore, and drifting away from others for reasons she doesn’t really understand.
So agreeing to the sequel of Five at is less than exciting. As she’s struggling to figure out what to show the camera and what the public wants to see, Justine ends up discovering herself. She finds out who she really is, who her friends really are and growing into the person she’s always been, but never seen.
I really enjoyed reading this book. It’s fast moving, funny, and real. Castle did a fantastic job with Justine growing in each relationship with the other Five at stars, as well as each character growing on their own. Even though Justine is the center of the novel, the other characters are still given a fair amount of screen time.
“Eternity Cure” picks up right where “Blood of Eden” left off and keeps the momentum going until the very last page. I have to applaud Ms. Kagawa, onc...more“Eternity Cure” picks up right where “Blood of Eden” left off and keeps the momentum going until the very last page. I have to applaud Ms. Kagawa, once again, for her talents in writing and storytelling. Taking an overworked storyline, like vampires, and making it new, and fresh, and serious, is a hard thing to do, but she does not disappoint.
Just like “Blood of Eden”, “Eternity Cure” is filled with fights, blood, revenge, and betrayal. There’s even a bit of forbidden love to keep those romantics happy. But in the end, it’s a tough book with an even tougher female lead. Allie is everything a protagonist in a post-apocalyptic, vampire-run world: Brave, smart, leery, and rough; but not without a dark sense of humor and a little bit of humanity still intact.
I’ve said it before, this is, hands down, my favorite vampire series and my favorite of Julie’s books. Definitely worth the read.
Rating: 4.5/5, and a strong PG-13 for the amount of violence and blood between the covers. (less)
Laurence isn’t your typical 15-year-old. He lives in a run-down, small apartment infested with roaches, a brother who thinks he’s a dog at times, and...moreLaurence isn’t your typical 15-year-old. He lives in a run-down, small apartment infested with roaches, a brother who thinks he’s a dog at times, and an alcoholic mother. But that changes when Laurence wakes up one morning to find that his mom didn’t return home from work the night before. Determined not to let outsiders know what’s going on, and telling himself and his little brother that, “Mom will come back soon”, Laurence lives the most dangerous 15 days he’s ever known. No money, running out of food, and a nosey neighbor that would turn them into social workers are the stakes he’s playing against. But he’s convinced he has a couple of advantages. One being the late night radio contest he’s been sneaking out to enter. If he wins, he wins a family trip to any vacation spot they want. He knows this win will bring his mom back from her drunken stupor and make them a family again. At least, he hopes it will. At the very least, it will put her in a good mood. The second ace in his hand is a girl from school, who keeps his secret and helps keep him and his brother alive. Although a gloomy and serious story, Cousins manages to fill the pages with bits of humor and lightness that equal out the trials Laurence is experiencing. A touching story about sticking together as a family, forgiveness, and learning to trust again, 15 Days Without a Head is a great read. Rating: I’d give this a solid 4/5 and rate the content as PG for some mild language and drinking. (less)
Eleanor & Park By: Rainbow Roswell Genre: YA Contemproary Content Rating: PG-13 for some language and some sexuality (warning: best first kiss scene...moreEleanor & Park By: Rainbow Roswell Genre: YA Contemproary Content Rating: PG-13 for some language and some sexuality (warning: best first kiss scene in a YA EVER!) Rating: 5/5 Cover: Love how it captures everything in the book Instalove Factor: Nope, they worked hard for their love Favorite Line: “Park turned toward the Plexiglas window and waited for a world of suck to hit the fan.” (pg 16, ebook)
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for this honest review.
I get so wrapped up in reading genre fiction in YA (paranormal, fantasy, dystopian, etc) that I forget how much I love contemporary YA fiction. It has a way of touching you as a reader and making you experience things in a realistic and emotional way that genre fiction could never do. While at times it can be a bit sad or depressing, it’s also refreshing and beautiful.
I just finished reading Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell and this book is one of those refreshingly beautiful contemporary romances. Set in 1986, the book is told from alternating points of view written in the 3rd person, between (you guessed it) Eleanor and Park.
It opens with Eleanor starting a new school and walking on to the bus for the first time and seeing Park then flips to Park’s first impression of Eleanor. Let’s just say it’s anything but love at first sight. Life for Eleanor is hard. We aren’t given many details about her past, but we do know that she was kicked out by her stepdad for a year and is just now coming back home. She has four siblings and all of them share the same room. Her stepdad is an abusive drunk (although Rowell never goes into details about specific events) and she’s being bullied at school. But she is strong and tries to ignore everything.
Park is from a pretty functional family, although his dad wishes he were more….well, just more. Park is ridden hard by his tae-kwon-do teaching father and compared to his younger brother too much. He has friends at school, but he’s pretty quiet. And then he falls in love with the wrong girl.
This seemed like a long book when in reality it really wasn’t. I think that illusion was created by the fact that so much happens on every page; no space is wasted in telling the story and developing the characters.
I loved the snarky comments that constantly came from Eleanor and the fact that she was afraid to let Park get so close, constantly second-guessing that he could actually love her. Park had the patience of a saint in dealing with her insecurities, but he was also human, getting frustrated and making mistakes. They both do, and I think that’s one of the aspects that makes this book so real.
My Recommendation Definitely worth the read. Loved this book so much. (less)