Louder Than Love is decidedly more mature than a lot of books I've been reading lately, whether they've been YA, NA, or adult. Despite the cover looking New Adult-ish, I would definitely put this in the grown up category.
Following the tragic death of her husband, Pete, in a freak train accident, Katrina Lewis packed up her one-year old daughter and moved back to her parents' house in small town Lauder Lake. Even though three years have passed, Katrina (known as Tree to her friends) hasn't even thought of dating again--she can't let go of the memories of her almost-idyllic life with Pete.
There was a time in the recent past when I could bury my nose into the sheets and still smell a vague lingering of my husband, his scent locked deep within the fibers of the mattress upholstery.
All of that changes when she meets the enigmatic former rock-star Adrian Graves at a benefit she organizes for the local public library and is instantly smitten. Things heat up quickly between the two of them.
He slowly knelt down in front of me, still clutching my hand. "No, I consider this very serious business. What are you thinking right now?"
"I'm thinking I want to kiss you again, but I'm scared to. Maybe I could kiss you on a safe spot, like your elbow." My giggle was a defense mechanism that sounded ridiculous and foreign to my ears.
"What are you thinking?"
"I'm thinking anywhere you kiss me could become an instant erogenous zone, Kat," he breathed, leaning over and kissing the hollow of my neck."
Even though they both have things in their pasts to overcome, they want each other.
"I usually find it tough to be...tender," he admitted. "But the moment I touch you..."
There are lots of things that I loved about this book, not the least of which was the writing itself. Topper has a way of weaving her words together that allow the reader to truly experience the moments with the characters. I loved the fact that even though Katrina was totally devastated by the loss of her husband, she refused to allow that to keep her from savoring life, especially with her daughter.
It probably goes without saying that I loved pretty much everything about Adrian, except when he seemed to give up on her without reason. He does say some swoony things:
I had asked him to set the alarm so I could get back home before school dismissed. "Ah, the bell tolls," he murmured apologetically as I groaned.
"No. I set it a half hour early. I like long good-byes," he breathed, crossing his legs over mine.
And my rob, I flailed when they were talking about his tattoos. And when he runs after her in the park. I also really loved the relationship that he had with Katrina's daughter, Abbey:
"I am...marveling..." The buzz filled the punctuated spaces. "Just thinking about all the money strewn about for years on Natalie in pursuit of her happiness, and here is a little girl ecstatic at the mere thought of sharing pancakes with me. Is it as simple as that?"
For all of the things that I loved about this book, there were some things that I didn't. I felt that Katrina jumped into the relationship with Adrian way too quickly and without regard to Abbey's feelings about it. It was definitely addressed, but not realistically in my opinion. For the record, I would never, ever let some guy I just met walk into my sleeping child's room alone--but maybe that's just me.
I already mentioned that I felt that Adrian gave up on her seemingly without reason. I guess I understood his stand on things, but I felt like he was a total chump the way he played it, and it definitely dropped him down a notch to me. I also didn't love the lack of emotion that I felt from Katrina with regard to her feelings about Pete vs. Adrian. I loved the words and feelings about Pete, but her reaction to the way her relationship with Adrian progressed seemed to fall flat.
With all of that being said, I loved this book and can't wait to read more from Topper.(less)
I have to start off by saying that I'm pretty sure if this had been fic, I would have loved it. This makes me feel bad,...more3 stars. Or 2-1/2. Or 3. idfk.
I have to start off by saying that I'm pretty sure if this had been fic, I would have loved it. This makes me feel bad, but here's a newsflash: if your character isn't Edward Cullen (fic-Edward, at that), I don't know why you think I think it's okay to let him get away with everything. I don't. I need to have a reason to give a fuck about someone.
With that being said, I liked this story. I think.
Evelyn (Ev) wakes up in Vegas with a wicked hangover and a huge rock on her finger, courtesy of new husband/rock god David Ferris. What starts off as an ohmigodwhatamigoingtodo turns into something more, but not without a tumultuous uphill battle to get there.
David remembers everything about the events leading to their nuptials and is kind of hurt that Evelyn doesn't.
"Then give me something. Tell me what it was like between us that night."
He opened his mouth, then snapped it closed. "Nah. I don't want to dredge it all up, you know, water under the bridge or whatever. I just don't want you thinking that the whole night was some alcohol-fueled frenzy or something, that's all. Honestly, you didn't even seem that drunk most of it."
"David, you're hedging. Come on. It's not fair that you remember and I don't."
"No," he said, his voice hard, cold, in a way I hadn't heard it. He loomed over me, jaw set. "It's not fair that I remember and you don't, Evelyn."
Since neither of them is willing to sit down and actually communicate, the two make a plan to have their marriage annulled and go their separate ways. Unfortunately, the wedding wasn't a secret and the paps start to hound Ev once she gets home. David swoops in and rescues her and...then there's a bunch of crazy drama.
This is another book that could have used an editor. There are typos and story inconsistencies that a real editor would have caught. Notice I said real editor. It blows my mind with all of these books who thank their editors, when my 14 year old could have done a better job (and she has dyslexia).
I felt like the characters were childish. I suppose I would give some concession for David acting like a spoiled tantrum-throwing toddler since he is insanely rich and famous and gets whatever he wants all the time. Ev, not so much.
These two were constantly pushing each other's limits and then were shocked when they didn't know where they stood with one another. You know why they didn't know? There wasn't enough build up of these characters for us as readers to fall in love with them--how could they be expected to promise each other forever? Sure, there were some sweet moments, like "Can you feel what we're doing here? We're building something."
I'd just prefer to see and feel it than be told that they were building a relationship. There are other issues, like weird country music references and the fact that they keep walking out on each other. Oh, and that he needs to take a nap during what is arguably the most important conversation of his life. ::shrugs:: There's also this build up to a big show down that doesn't make sense to me. (view spoiler)[If her BFF was obsessed with his band, why wouldn't she have known who his ex was? Especially if she was the "reason" for the music before? (hide spoiler)]
So, what did I like? Why the 3 stars? I'm a sucker for a bad boy, obvs, and I thought the idea of this story was good. I really loved David's bandmate, Mal, and I think I'm looking forward to the next book in the series. I liked the ending, except the part where she wants to keep her part-time job at a coffee shop. WTF?!? I understand why Christina said she wanted to see what I thought of this book because it's so hard to articulate the way I feel. It could have been amazing, but it wasn't. Here's hoping for more (Mal) in the next one.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
You can read my full review, with quotes and an awesome giveaway, on the Fictionators. :)
I read Playing at Love by Ophelia London and really e...more3 stars
You can read my full review, with quotes and an awesome giveaway, on the Fictionators. :)
I read Playing at Love by Ophelia London and really enjoyed it, so when we were invited to take part in the tour for her newest book, I was all ready to jump on. I like the way that she writes, and though this book is 400 pages, it was a quick read.
Abigail Kelly is a rock star who is having trouble dealing with the death of her brother. After having a breakdown in front of the paparazzi, her manager insists that she take a breather--so she heads to her sister's house at the beach for some much needed R&R. There, she meets ex-marine Todd Camford and the two find themselves falling for each other.
For the most part, I liked Abby as a character and though she could have stood up for herself way more than she did, I found myself rooting for her. Todd (which is my husband's name so yay!) was a marine and totally hot. He's sweet and lays it all out there for her, but I didn't understand his actions sometimes. I loved the way their relationship evolved, but (view spoiler)[I don't believe that adults don't have sex (hide spoiler)]. I also feel like it took them a long time to get where they needed to be, especially since they were so up front with each other about what they wanted.
Fans of the Beatles will love the clever way London weaves lyrics throughout the story. While I appreciated all the musical references, one thing that I didn't connect with was Abby's soul as a singer. She was emotional but maybe I wanted her to feel deeper. The dialogue was thoughtful and realistic, but sometimes the characters lacked authenticity to me. London is a very descriptive writer, and I like her style. I liked this book, but I could have loved it. I just wanted more: more swoon, more romance, more understanding of the characters actions. The end was sweet, and I'll definitely be reading more from this author.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
The unlikely exodus of over a dozen of Julius P. Heil High's prime male specimens results in what's called The...more3-1/2 stars. I almost really liked it.
The unlikely exodus of over a dozen of Julius P. Heil High's prime male specimens results in what's called The Boy Recession. The girls start to notice the boys that remain, realizing that their standards aren't what they originally thought. This story alternates POVs between musically-gifted Hunter, a slacker who likes to hang out and doesn't like to put too much effort into anything, and Kelly, a girl who finds herself in the middle in most situations.
Does a boy recession make you less ugly?"
..."No," Eugene says, pretty much ignoring my comment. "But a recession changes people. They don't have the same options they did before. they have to reexamine their priorities."
"You mean lower their standards?"
Although I felt like a lot of their inner monologue was a bit juvenile, it was refreshing to see kids who's biggest worries centered around whether or not they'd get a date to the prom or how to break up with an annoying girl. I thought they were both pretty sweet kids, and Hunter definitely said at least a couple of swoony things. I liked how realistic they seemed to be, and I liked their relationships with their friends, too.
The Boy Recession is a cute, quick read, and I think you'll like it.(less)
I saw this page of this book on Pinterest and knew that I had to read it.
If you don't already know, this is the story of musician/songwriter Nick, who...moreI saw this page of this book on Pinterest and knew that I had to read it.
If you don't already know, this is the story of musician/songwriter Nick, who's had his heart broken, and Norah, who doesn't really want to fall in love.
Nick sees his ex (who he's still pining over) come in with a new guy:
She is looking so hot and I am feeling so cold and the guy she's with has his hand on her arm in a way that a gay friend would never, ever think of, and I guess that's my own proof.
With the prospect of her coming over to speak to him, he turns to a girl sitting at the bar and asks her if she would mind being his girlfriend for the next five minutes.
And that's pretty much where their story begins. They both get each other, even though they fight it through most of the book. I love the swoon. I love the feeling that I get when I read practically every word that Nick says. I love their relationship and how they are so perfect for each other. I love that neither one of them backs down. I love the music. I love that it's real and that it's hot. I just love it. I don't know what else to say about this famazing book except I want you to read it. ♥(less)
I've been thinking about what to say about this book for a long time. I want to start off by saying that I know that it's hard to write the middle boo...moreI've been thinking about what to say about this book for a long time. I want to start off by saying that I know that it's hard to write the middle book of a series. Wait--I don't know that. I know that typically, the middle book seems to be the hardest. It seems to be the hardest for writers, and it's certainly the hardest for readers. Maybe that's because authors want us readers to get from point A to point C, but going through point B is just too damned hard to explain. Or maybe there never was a point B, but they have to drag it out so we get to a point C, and...yeah.
Maybe I'm just crazy.
I guess I said all of that to say, that I can't really see where this story is headed, and after reading this, I'm really, really hoping that Hayes knows how we're getting there.
So, things I liked. I felt like Theia was stronger. I liked her character more. I liked her standing up for herself and trying to protect her friends and father. I like that so much of the story was explained, and that we got so much more about Under and how things work. I loved the flowers. A lot.
I did not like the almost non-existent swoon. Reading this makes it hard to remember that Haden and Theia are supposed to be desperately in love. I mentioned in my review of Falling Under that the Twilight references were annoying. Multiply that times a hundred and you'll get a glimpse of how I feel here. There's too many. Sometimes, I wanted to rage and throw my Kindle. Write your book without bringing Edward and Bella into it (and for the love of God, please leave Reneesme out!).
Something else that I didn't like was the multiple POVs. I get it, and sort of understand why Hayes thought it might be a good idea. I just don't care enough about the others to delve into their minds, and I think all of the information we got could have been given to us in another way. Oddly enough, I felt like we didn't get enough of the POV that I wanted--and that was Haden. (view spoiler)[I also didn't like that their struggle to be together seems forced. She wants to be in Under, and he's the rightful heir to Under. It doesn't make sense to me, at all, that they can't be together there. (hide spoiler)] I want more of him.
Overall, I liked the story and am looking forward to the conclusion. I just want more of the characters we love in it.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
You know how I roll: 3.5 stars really, but I'm rounding up.
If I had never read Twilight, I'd probably love this book.
Not that it isn't original and a...moreYou know how I roll: 3.5 stars really, but I'm rounding up.
If I had never read Twilight, I'd probably love this book.
Not that it isn't original and amazing. Because it is. Gwen Hayes is a phenomenal writer--the scenes she paints and the world she has created is vivid and real. I love characters and the depth of emotion that they display.
What I don't love is that while there are several similarities to Twilight (going so far as the characters themselves making fun of "sparkly vampires"), it left out my favorite part of SMeyer's creation: the swoon.
There are lots of opportunities for their passion to make us weak in the knees, but I didn't feel it. And I wanted to. Bad. Haden is beautiful and right away, you know he's otherwordly. Theia is drawn to him almost inexplicably, and he is adamant about staying away from her. They share some moments, both in the "dream" world and the "real" world, but it just isn't enough for me. His passion is funneled through other characters, and he's hot and cold with her. I guess I understand why, but it doesn't leave me not wanting more--more from him, more from both of them really.
He knew all of the reasons he should leave her be--he knew it would end badly. If he touched her...God help them all if he touched her.
I don't know that those consequences were really explored. Aside from that though, it really is brilliant. From the very first line: Everything changed the night I saw the burning man fall from the sky., it's captivating, and I found myself on the edge of my seat several times. NGL, there were some instances that scared me. A lot.
If you are looking for a supernatural romance with more than a touch of the macabre, then I definitely say check it out. Just don't expect Haden to live up to Edward Cullen. Because really, there aren't many boys who can.(less)
Have you ever heard a song that changed you? Maybe it gave you new perspective on something that you were going through at that time or maybe it just...moreHave you ever heard a song that changed you? Maybe it gave you new perspective on something that you were going through at that time or maybe it just inspired you.
Eliza Caelum was four years old when music started shaping her life. At twenty-six, her life is definitely not headed in the direction that she thought it would take. An encounter with her elusive music idol changes everything for her--and sets the stage for this amazing story.
After receiving a job offer for a prestigious magazine, Eliza moves from Cleveland to Manhattan, where her brother, Michael, already lives with his wife, Vera. Michael arranges for Eliza to move into his recently vacated apartment with Paul Hudson, the enigmatic and manwhorish lead singer and songwriter of his struggling band, Bananafish.
Now stop right there. I know what you are thinking, because I was thinking it, too. You already know what’s going to happen, right? Michael will warn Eliza that Paul’s no good for her; Eliza won’t listen; they’ll hook up and he’ll let his rise to fame interfere with their relationship, leaving her broken-hearted until he swoops back in and saves the day. You’ve read that story a thousand times.
I’m telling you right now--you’ve never read anything like this.
At it’s very basic, the above-referenced scenario is exactly how this story starts out. Eliza meets Paul and she just can’t help herself. She tries to fight it. (view spoiler)[
”Eliza, do I make you nervous?”
He took a step forward. “Then why are you shaking?”
I lowered my chin, swallowed hard, but said nothing.
“Don’t look at me like that,” he said. “I can’t be responsible for what happens in the next thirty seconds if you keep looking at me like that.”
“Get out of the way.”
“First you have to pay the toll.”
Reaching around the back of my head, Paul leaned forward and planted his mouth on mine. He kissed me until he ran out of air, took a quick breath, kissed me again, and was grinning wildly when he finally set me free.
It occurred to me then that he kissed the same way he ran up the stairs--fiercely, passionately, and with complete commitment.
They are soul mates, truly, bonding over music and everything else that matters in life. (view spoiler)[
I am of the theory that all of our transcendental connections, anything we’re drawn to, be it a person, a song, a painting on a wall--they’re magnetic. The art is the alloy, so to speak. And our souls are equipped with whatever properties are required to attract that alloy. I’m no scientist so I don’t really know what the hell these properties are, but my point is we’re drawn to stuff that we’ve already got a connection to. Part of the thing is already inside of us.
That’s what I mean when I say fate. Fate is the magnetic pull of our souls toward the people, places, and things we belong with.
They fall in love--desperately, madly in love:
...trying to describe how I felt watching her dance around and sing would be like trying to build a skyscraper with my bare hands. It made me want to marry her. Made me want to buy her a magic airplane and fly her away to a place where nothing bad could ever happen. Made me want to pour rubber cement all over my chest and then lay down on top of her so that we’d be stuck together, and so it would hurt like hell if we ever tried to tear ourselves apart.
I really love the way this story is told. It’s mostly from Eliza’s point of view, and the way she words things is just--I don’t have the words. It’s visceral and has a truth that you can feel in your bones. There are a few chapters of Paul’s point of view, as told to his voice recorder. He’s an artist in every sense of the word and made me swoon, even when I didn’t want to--even when I wanted to kick him in the balls, I wanted to hold him and tell him how to fix it. There are also a few chapters that are in third-person, which was helpful.
I’m not gonna lie. Parts of this book had me sobbing into my pillow. BUT I think that’s one of the things that is soooo amazing about this author. She takes us from laugh-out-loud funny to heart-wrenching, punch-you-in-the-gut angst and every emotion in between.
How to Kill a Rockstar is multi-faceted, with characters that are so real. I found myself cursing decisions that each of them made--wanting to shake some sense into them and beg them to reconsider their actions. They were all so much more than words on a page. I felt like I knew them.
I got this story recommendation from Bri, and after trying to come up with the best way to tell you the way I feel about this story, I realize that she already said it for me:
The characters in this had me head over heels from the beginning. Eliza is easy to relate to, Paul is easy to foam at the mouth over, and Loring is...well, I was torn for a lot of this book - let's leave it at that.
What this book boils down to is finding yourself, opening yourself up to new possibilities, and facing your fears. While this one was great on the initial read, I predict it will be even better on the re-read.
I didn’t have a “favorites” bookshelf before, but I created one, just so I could have a place for this book. If you are looking for a story that has it all--sex, love, and rock ‘n roll, then look no further. Without question, this is must-read.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)