More Than Words is hands down my favourite of Lilly Avalon’s books. It’s laugh-out-loud funny, cute, and sexy.
Dana had a great voice - very funny andMore Than Words is hands down my favourite of Lilly Avalon’s books. It’s laugh-out-loud funny, cute, and sexy.
Dana had a great voice - very funny and fresh. Landon…oh Landon. Can I have you please? He was so sweet and swoony, and let’s just say I wouldn’t mind having a lesson or two from him. ;-) These two had great chemistry; the build up and anticipation was SO hot and had me flipping the pages of my Kindle as quickly as I could.
A lot of times with novellas, you’re left wanting more, but I was completely satisfied with More Than Words. I rooted for the characters, swooned, fanned myself, and then let out a happy sigh at the end. I can’t wait for Lilly’s next story! ...more
*Brave, unconventional choices (I persoReasons to read EVERLY AFTER:
*PARIS! And LONDON!
*Beckett. So many swoons.
*Brave, unconventional choices (I personally think it takes major guts as a writer to write about some of the things these characters did, the decisions they made, their behaviour, etc)
*Glitter canons and champagne. Can that be a reason? Well, it is now. I'm not sure whether I'm fascinated or terrified by the types of parties Everly had. I'm drawn to the idea and yet would probably run screaming IRL lol
*A beautiful, realistic ending
"That spark people talk about when two people touch—apparently it's not a heap of shite because it happens at that moment and I don't know what to do. I don't know anything. Why I'm here with her. Why we're not kissing. My name." ~ Chapter 1
"I was wrong about her. She's not reckless. She's entirely trusting, and that's why Everly is such a mess." ~ Chapter 6
~Not an actual quote, but the part in Beckett's apartment in Chapter 6 with the record and the camera and OMG I SWOONED SO HARD. It was so beautiful and simple and perfect.
"Paris at sunset is enough to make your heart burst. Especially on a perfect spring night like tonight." ~ Chapter 7
"Take me away this summer and tell me all your stories. I want to get lost in you and me." ~ Chapter 14
~~~~~~~~~~ If you enjoy honest, raw New Adult with flawed characters, beautiful writing, and wonderful character development, you should grab yourself a copy of EVERLY AFTER. I'm excited to read Rebecca Paula's next book!...more
Upside Down, theThis review was originally posted on my blog, Ramblings of a Daydreamer. You can find it, and many more reviews at the blog.
Upside Down, the first book in the Off the Map series, was emotional, funny, sexy—basically everything New Adult should be. I loved Talia and Bran’s story, and while I was excited to see more of them in Sideswiped, I admit part of me was a bit wary. Sometimes when there’s a series about the same people, it can ruin the feelings you first had for them. You might get tired of the characters, or they go in a direction you don’t like, or any number of other things. So even though I loved these characters and part of me was like GIVE ME ALL THE TALIA AND BRAN, I went into Sideswiped cautiously. I think it’s a testament to Lia Riley’s writing that after reading Sideswiped I love these characters even more and wish I could read about them forever.
It was easy to get invested in Talia and Bran’s love story in Upside Down, and that feeling just grew in Sideswiped. Their relationship is far from perfect, but the love they have for each other is beautiful. The romantic things they say to each other had me alternately swooning and sighing wistfully. Then there were times when they infuriated me so much I wanted to knock their heads together…hard. In many cases, that might make me dislike the book itself, because the characters are just so freaking stupid you wonder how they can function, but that wasn’t the case with Sideswiped. Talia and Bran are so human, so real. They both have issues—together and separately—and they’re legitimate issues people and couples deal with. They make mistakes, they sometimes say things that make you cringe, but it’s REAL, and I love that.
Their struggles were very real and believable—wondering what to do after school; wanting to stay together, but not sure how to make it work; wanting to do things they’re passionate about, but worrying what it would mean for their relationship. I felt for them and wanted things to work out, but wondered how they could. Their situation seemed hopeless at times, and that really came across.
Now, let’s see, what else can I gush about? ;-) This book wasn’t all seriousness and angst though; there was a lot of humour—great banter, plus funny internal dialogue from both characters. I was happy to see more from Bran’s perspective this time around. Dual POV can sometimes be a disaster, but Riley pulled it off seamlessly.
Something else I love: how Riley doesn’t shy away from anything. She puts it all out there. In the first book there’s this part with a vibrator that shocked me because you rarely read about stuff like that. It was funny and sexy and honest. In Sideswiped there’s a scene in a waxing parlour that had me just about rolling. My mouth was hanging open and I ended up in a complete giggle fit. Riley took scenarios that could be totally shocking and possibly uncomfortable and made them hilarious and relatable. I love the overall messages about pleasure and sex. I also love how realistic the sex scenes are. They’re ridiculously hot, but there are small things you don’t often see in sex scenes that make them real, and make them things you can relate to. They’re not just wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am sex scenes, they’re sensual and just SO FREAKING HOT. I appreciated that Talia became more adventurous sexually and enjoyed exploring and knew it was okay to have a healthy, active sex life. There need to be more books like this, where the sex is a natural part of the story and isn’t thrown in as an afterthought or to reach a quota of sexytimes.
Lia Riley is officially one of my favourite voices in New Adult. The world needs more books like this—honest, real, raw, relatable, funny, sexy, and memorable. I was emotionally invested in Sideswiped from beginning to end. It made me laugh, made my heart ache, inspired me, and made me believe that true love really is possible. Even though I’m going to be sad to say goodbye to Talia and Bran, I’m eager to read the conclusion of their story in Inside Out, and then to see what Lia Riley comes up with after that. ...more
I’ll admit, I went into thThis review was originally posted on my blog, Ramblings of a Daydreamer. You can find it, and many more reviews at the blog.
I’ll admit, I went into this book with fairly high expectations. I’ve read quite a few LGBT books this year, and they’ve been all over the place - some great, some good, some just okay. I keep waiting for that one that will feel like the definitive LGBT book, the one I recommend to everyone because it’s so amazing…but Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel, unfortunately, wasn’t it.
This book is quite simple in most ways - the writing, the characters, the plot. I contemplated DNFing this book for at least the first half because nothing was really happening, and I wasn’t connecting to the characters. I never did fully connect to the characters, but I’m glad I kept reading. There wasn’t much plot-wise and the characters didn’t have much depth, but the story was mostly entertaining.
Leila was really naïve and seemed very young. Her inner dialogue, her observations, her outlook on the world, and the things she said and did made me feel like I was reading about a tween at times instead of someone in her mid-teens. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t dislike her. I thought her confusion, insecurities, and fears rang mostly true. Coming out is never easy, but when your parents are from a country where it’s illegal to be gay, I can’t imagine how hard it must be to deal with those feelings and the worry of what will happen when you come out.
One thing I loved about this book was the diversity. I enjoyed learning about Leila’s family, their customs, etc., and I liked that she wasn’t the only diverse character in the book. It still amazes me how little diversity there is in YA these days, so I really appreciated that there was a rainbow of characters in this book, from different ethnicities to religions to sexual orientation.
My favourite parts of this book were the interactions between Leila and her family. I wanted to throttle her sister at first, but she ended up having much more depth than expected. The scenes with her parents were alternately amusing, frustrating, embarrassing, and touching.
Overall, Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel was pretty middle of the road for me. I didn’t love it, but I didn’t hate it. I think it’s worth checking out, especially if you’re looking for LGBT YA with lots of diversity, humour, and romance. It’s an easy, light read. ...more
I’d just like to preface tThis review was originally posted on my blog, Ramblings of a Daydreamer. You can find it, and many more reviews at the blog.
I’d just like to preface this review by saying it’s no secret I love New Adult. I love to read it and I love to write it, and it makes me sad to see so many people putting it down (although thankfully this is happening less and less). I read two amazing NAs in a row (first Noelle August’s Boomerang, and then Upside Down), and I feel like I’m going to be holding every other NA book up to the standard of these two books from now on. Not comparing, but I feel like these books have set a new standard for what this category needs, and what could possibly help more people take it seriously as a category. The world needs books like this, with realistically flawed people finding their footing, finding their path, finding love, finding themselves.
Okay, now my actual review… ;-)
From the moment I saw the gorgeous cover for Upside Down, I was intrigued. When I read the synopsis, I knew I had to read the book. I love ‘destination’ books and I haven’t read many books set in Australia.
There are so many things to love about Upside Down, but I’ll start with Talia. She’d dealt with so much, and yet she managed to stay strong (even though she’d probably argue with that), and hold onto her humour. She was struggling with OCD, grief, guilt, and so much more. I loved how neurotic she was. I don’t have OCD, but I’m definitely obsessive and deal with anxiety, so I related to a lot of the things she thought, said, and did. A lot of the time her inner dialogue felt like it was coming from my own head, and I loved that feeling of connection and understanding. Her family alternately broke my heart and made me ragey. Her mom was a real piece of work and needed a serious reality check. Both her parents had their own not-so-healthy ways of dealing with grief, and Talia was left on her own. They were so wrapped up in themselves, they didn’t notice how much she was suffering, and my heart broke for her because of that.
Bran wasn’t your typical leading man. I loved that he didn’t make apologies for who he was. He was a bastard and he knew it. He didn’t sugarcoat things, he didn’t say pretty words for the sake of it. He was a conundrum - could be the world’s biggest jerk, but he liked to cuddle. Sexy as hell, but also vulnerable. I wasn’t sure I was going to like him, and while there were a few times I wanted to throat-punch him, I ended up loving him.
I appreciated that Talia and Bran’s relationship happened slowly. From their first snark-tastic encounter to their tentative friendship to the OMG SO HOT sexytimes to them trying so hard to let their walls down and let each other in. It was push-and-pull from beginning to end, a mostly slow burn with bright flashes of what their relationship could be if they’d just let it happen. I loved it. I also appreciated that Talia didn’t turn into a vapid airhead when Bran was around. I’m so tired of seemingly strong heroines turning into spineless jellyfish the minute a hot guy looks shows interest.
Holy mother of GAAAAAAH, Lia Riley can write sexytimes like nobody’s business. Seriously. I almost needed a cold shower or six. And not only were they incredibly sexy, they were realistic and honest, which was so refreshing. I’ve read so many sex scenes that either made me cringe or shake my head, but these were perfect. There were several sexytime scenes, but they weren’t gratuitous; they had a purpose and they fit with the story, which made me enjoy them even more.
Lia Riley has a really unique writing style. I can’t quite pinpoint what’s so different about it or why exactly it stood out so much, but I noticed it from the beginning. It was simple but beautiful, and it definitely helped with connecting to the book and the characters.
Upside Down is everything New Adult should be. It has romance, humour, genuine emotion, and characters that are well developed and realistic, all wrapped up in a beautiful, vivid setting. Australia came alive for me as much as Talia and Bran did. I’m eager to find out what happens with these two next in Sideswiped. ...more
When I read the synopsis of Gates of Thread and Stone, I was really excited. Plus, I mean, that cover is just so beautiful and eye-catching,4.5 stars
When I read the synopsis of Gates of Thread and Stone, I was really excited. Plus, I mean, that cover is just so beautiful and eye-catching, right? Between the cover and synopsis, I had extremely high hopes for Gates of Thread and Stone, and I’m thrilled to say it lived up to my expectations. This book drew me in from the first page and held my attention right to the last page. It was gripping, exciting, mysterious, and well written, with a tightly woven, inventive plot.
I really liked Kai. She was feisty, smart, and strong. She loved her brother fiercely, and would do anything to make him happy and make life easier. She was a believable teenager - at times insecure, uncertain, selfish, impulsive - definitely flawed, and I loved that. We didn’t see much of Reev, Kai’s brother, but from Kai’s thoughts and memories of him, plus the few glimpses we did get, you were able to get a good sense of the protective, loyal older brother who would do anything to keep his sister safe.
Then there was Avan. Oh Avan. *swoon* I loved him. I loved the will they/won’t they pull between him and Kai, and the slow build of anticipation toward the possibility of something beyond friendship. I alternately sighed and squealed every time they touched, especially as the story went on and things were so uncertain. They had each other when everything was falling apart and even though there were moments I wanted to knock some sense into Kai, I loved these two together.
The world building in this book was fantastic. I was fascinated by the Labyrinth and the world beyond, and was able to picture it all clearly. The whole thing had a dark and creepy post-apocalypse vibe to it. I loved that this book was different from anything I’ve read.
I’ll admit, part of me was hoping this would be a really strong standalone. Up until close to the end I thought it might be, but by the end, I knew there would have to be a continuation. The ending was bittersweet, but I’m hopeful it will get worked out in the sequel, and since I loved these characters so much I’m happy to get the opportunity to see them again.
Gates of Thread and Stone is a fast-paced adventure full of magic and romance. I think this book will appeal to a lot of readers, whether you like fantasy, science fiction, post-apocalyptic, dystopian, or romance. Gates of Thread and Stone has a great concept, and Lori M Lee executed it with finesse. I highly recommend this one.
Last year I read and loveThis review was originally posted on my blog, Ramblings of a Daydreamer. You can find it, and many more reviews at the blog.
Last year I read and loved Taylor Jenkins Reid’s debut, Forever, Interrupted. I knew she was a talent to watch out for, so I was excited when I learned about her second book, After I Do. One of the things I loved most about Forever, Interrupted was how brutally honest it was. Reid wasn’t afraid to tell it like it really is, and I loved that. I was pleased to discover After I Do was told with that same candor and wit.
After I Do was a different kind of love story. We go into it immediately seeing the cracks in Lauren and Ryan’s marriage. Most stories are about how a couple comes to be, not how they fall apart and deal with the aftermath. I appreciated the original perspective of this story. Despite being the same age as Lauren, I didn’t think I’d be able to relate to her, since I’m single and have never been married. I was surprised when I found myself nodding along to a lot of the things she said/thought. I felt like I got Lauren, and considering how little we actually have in common, I’d say that’s a pretty great accomplishment on the author’s part.
Lauren had a strong voice. One of the things I loved about her (and this was one of the main things I loved about Forever, Interrupted as well) was how she said things that most people probably think but are too afraid to say out loud. Some of these things were shocking, hilarious, and embarrassing, but they were all so true, which made me connect with her even more. Despite the serious subject matter, there were moments of humour and levity that were perfectly timed. Even though there were a lot of great messages packed into the pages, I felt like the book didn't take itself too seriously, if that makes sense.
Lauren’s journey of self-discovery wasn’t easy. There weren’t any lightning-bolt moments or major overnight revelations, it was slow and painful and messy and complicated and beautiful. In other words, it was realistic. Lauren's family was incredible; they were definitely one of my favourite aspects of the book. There aren’t enough books with healthy portrayals of family, but Reid nailed the dynamics between Lauren and her siblings and mother.
After I Do is a story about the fragile, complicated, and often-chaotic nature of love, life, and family. I felt like I went on Lauren’s journey with her; I felt her heartache, her uncertainties, and her triumphs. I laughed and cried and came away feeling like I’d learned a few valuable lessons about life. Taylor Jenkins Reid has a magical way with words. I can't wait to see what she comes up with next. ...more
Servants of the Storm is aThis review was originally posted on my blog, Ramblings of a Daydreamer. You can find it, and many more reviews at the blog.
Servants of the Storm is a creepy, atmospheric southern paranormal mystery. I don’t usually read many scary novels, because I’m a total weenie when it comes to being scared. I was drawn in by the cover and synopsis of this one though, and I’m glad I made an exception.
This book was gruesome, twisted, disturbing, and heartbreaking. The first chapter was absolutely horrifying, and it sucked me in instantly. When Hurricane Josephine rips through Savannah, it leaves chaos, devastation, and death in its wake. One of those deaths was Dovey’s best friend, Carly. In the aftermath of the hurricane and the loss of her best friend, Dovey basically has a psychotic break and has to go on mind-numbing medication. She spends the next year living in a fog until she sees Carly and decides to go off the medication so she’ll know what’s real and what not.
I liked Dovey, even though I never really connected with her. I loved that she was a loyal friend and wanted to figure out what was going on so her best friend could be at peace. As much as I liked her, I wanted to shake her on numerous occasions; she was constantly putting herself in dangerous situations. She was impulsive and sometimes downright stupid. Also, most people would have been horrified and traumatized by the things she saw, but at times she barely had any reaction.
Servants of the Storm was filled with great descriptions. You could see the decay, smell the rot, see how post-Josephine Savannah had turned into a place of squalor, dark shadows, and sinister beings. Everything was easy to picture, which often added to the creep-factor of the book, because a lot of the things that happened were so horrific.
I wouldn’t say there was ‘a romance’ in this novel. There were hints of romance, and a kinda-sorta love triangle, but Dovey was so focused on her mission, nothing ever really developed romantically. I liked Baker and Isaac a lot - each of them had great qualities, and they were good to Dovey. I appreciated that it didn’t turn into one of those stories where the heroine is deeply immersed in the action and mystery one minute, but then it turns into a soppy romance where she can’t function without the boy’s help. Dovey maintained her independence, and while one of the guys was often with her, it wasn’t because she needed them.
Overall, Servants of the Storm was a compelling read. It had a great concept, and I think Dawson did a good job executing it. As of right now, I’m not seeing on GoodReads that there’s a sequel, but after the total mindf*ck ending, I sure hope there is! Be sure to give this book a chance if you like eerie, twisted paranormal or horror stories with lots of mystery....more
Broken Hearts, Fences, andThis review was originally posted on my blog, Ramblings of a Daydreamer. You can find it, and many more reviews at the blog.
Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend was a fast-paced, funny comedy of errors about the ultimate revenge and trying to make amends for past wrong doings.
This book was compulsively readable. Even though I was pretty sure I had things figured out from the beginning, I stayed up until 2am to finish it because I just couldn’t put it down, and I had to know what happened. And even though my guesses were right, there was still a feeling of shock when everything was revealed. Finn weaved a tight story full of laughably horrible situations, accidents, and sticky situations.
One downside to the story for me was that I didn’t connect with the characters. I liked Gemma, but for some reason I just couldn’t connect with her. It felt like she never went past being the girl who was trying to make amends. We didn’t get to know much about her beyond her horrific behaviour as an 11-year-old and how she was trying to make up for it now. We didn’t get to know much about any of the other characters either, so it was hard to connect with them.
Then there was the ending. Gah! We don’t often see cliffhanger endings in contemporary stories, but it worked for this book. Things could play out in a number of ways in the next book, and I’m curious to see how everything gets resolved, and what fresh drama Finn will come up with for her characters.
If you’re looking for a quick, highly entertaining contemporary story with a summery setting and plenty of teenage drama, give Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend a try!...more