Are you looking for a cute contemporary romance? A sweet story filled with fun and sweet friendships, lots and lots of French and eventually all the kAre you looking for a cute contemporary romance? A sweet story filled with fun and sweet friendships, lots and lots of French and eventually all the kissing you could ask for? Well look no further because The Distance from A to Z is going to be exactly what need.
I had been hearing quite a few people raving about this story so I decided I’d grab it and give it a try. Initially I’m always a little reticent to do that because I’m almost always the black sheep, especially when it comes to light-hearted and fun YA, but I have to give all those people (cough Andi cough) raving about it that it really lived up to the hype for me! I was a little worried because initially I found Abby’s attitude a bit much and I was prepared to not like her, but to be honest, she grew on me! Abby has spent her life surrounded by baseball… from her parents to her brothers, they live and breathe it… and she’s sick and tired of it. All things French and France are her thing and she’s taught herself the language on her own and now she’s spending the summer taking part in a French Language intensive program that will help her get the experience she needs to get into a French school and out of Chicago.
She doesn’t count on meeting Zeke, and despite how cute he is or how much she’s attracted to him, she is holding the baseball comments and t-shirts against him. Since Zeke and Abby are the only high school students in the program they are assigned to work together and she’s finding it really hard to resist the Zeke who she spends hours talking in French with … that is until he stops talking French and becomes someone completely different in English.
I think that Blitt did a really amazing job of developing the friendships between all the characters. I loved the connection that Abby had with her roommate first and foremost and I thought it was adorable how enthralled Abby was with Alice. I also loved that while this is very much Abby’s story, we learned quite a bit about Alice and what she had going on. It would be lovely to see her full story some point in the future!
Zeke… gah. How adorable is he? Very is the answer. A boy who speaks French fluently….
Where were boys like this, filled with sweetness and charm, when I was in high school?? But seriously, you know from the get go that he’s quite obviously hiding something, but just like Abby, I didn’t even care about it once the kissing started. I waited for it… I cheered for it… I needed it… and when they finally gave in to the attraction…
So obviously I loved the relationships, but there were a few things that didn’t always work for me… I sometimes thought the way the French was presented with the English was a bit repetitive and since I don’t know French all that well (I took 4 years of it waaaay back when in high school) I found myself skimming over the French sentences.
Also at times, I think I forgot that these kids were in high school, and maybe that was more my fault than anything, but the setting of the college campus and very little parental interaction I think made me forget that they were younger than they seemed. Which then had me confused on the ages of some of the randoms that were hanging around Zeke Lol.
Overall a super fun read, full of swoons that fans of Kasie West and the suggested Stephanie Perkins, are going to love. I’ll definitely be looking for more from Natalie Blitt in the future! ...more
So…. I’m late to the Off Campus series by Elle Kennedy. Please don’t yell at me. The reason I’ve been putting these books off is because of all the hySo…. I’m late to the Off Campus series by Elle Kennedy. Please don’t yell at me. The reason I’ve been putting these books off is because of all the hype surrounding them. When things are raved about non-stop my brain automatically becomes super duper critical and I have a really hard time enjoying what I’m reading.
When I had the opportunity to get my hands on The Score early, I knew that I had to dive in before everyone got all up in my brain telling me how incredible it is and I got all nit-picky.
So yeah… I really enjoyed this. I was incredibly afraid I wasn’t going to once I met Dean. He’s a huuuuge player and I don’t always love that as a character trait. That said, Dean makes no apologies and it isn’t like he’s ever leading anyone on when they hook up, so I was more willing to give him a shot, and I’m truly glad I did.
I can honestly say that there wasn’t really anything that bothered me about this story, however, I will admit that I spent the last 40% of the book waiting for something major to happen and even when the thing that causes a rift for these two happens I was kind of …. Underwhelmed. I know, I know. I’m the queen of wanting stories that aren’t overly dramatic, but this was kind of underwhelming on the drama front.
What Kennedy does amazingly well is build relationships, and even not having experienced the first two books of the series, I just loved the bonds between the guys. Dean’s friendships were important to him, some more than others, but it felt real and I loved everything about them. In fact, I read about two pages of a conversation between Dean and Beau to my sister because I was laughing so hard about it and I needed someone else to join me!
I stupidly already deleted this off of my kindle app … I feel like this was a total accident because I wanted to share some quotes with you because I highlighted the crap out of this book. Mostly because I found myself laughing at so many of the interactions Dean had with everyone. He’s just one of those guys that can get along with just about anyone. He’s honest to a fault and doesn’t hold much back… when he wants something he goes for it, when he meets someone new, he doesn’t pretend to be something he’s not.
Can I also just mention, hot, sexy, big hockey player teaching a little girl how to ice skate…
I know from experience that Kennedy does hot and sexy amazingly well, so I wasn’t as surprised about how amazing those sections were, but I found that my favorite parts were the ones where Allie and Dean were getting to know each other… watching French soap operas and having dinner with her father… I loved it.
Okay, so I promise I’m going to go back and read the first two in this series… obviously I’m proof that you don’t have to read them to understand what’s happening. These books are essentially stand alones but linked because of the characters relationships. I have to also say that I’m definitely going to be looking for the next book in this series mostly because of that ending! Color me intrigued!
If you’re looking for something sexy, and funny with plenty of sweet and heartfelt moments, you’ll definitely want to grab The Score asap. If you’re like me and haven’t read the first two, then maybe start those now so you don’t have to wait quite as long for these hot hockey players! I know I’ll be grabbing them soon!
Thank you to the publisher for an advanced copy in exchange for my honest thoughts! ...more
Wilamena Carlisle’s mom was an expert astrologer, so to say that stars are her thing would be an understatement. She grew4.5 stars - and I loved it!!
Wilamena Carlisle’s mom was an expert astrologer, so to say that stars are her thing would be an understatement. She grew up hearing her mom talk about how they can tell her everything she needs to know. Now she’s ready to figure out her Fifth House, the house of relationships and she only has 22 days to find ‘the one’ and she’s got his astrological make-up, who he should be… and definitely who he should NOT be, now it’s just a matter of finding someone to fit the map.
I don’t want to say too much about the love interests here because I truly don’t want to give anything away, though I know that I have to warn all you anti-love triangle people out there. This has one, and it’s complicated!
Obviously I was on the “love it” end of the spectrum. I don’t dislike love-triangles (don’t get the torches) when they are done well, and this one is. Woods captures perfectly with Wil, the desire and struggle to honor her mom the things she taught her, and yet still find the person who fits her best. The two boys she finds herself connected to are completely different, and while it was at times difficult to see the ways in which she was being pulled, the growth that Wil has from beginning to end of the story is what makes the struggle worthwhile.
Woods has created a story filled with romance, love and friendship and from the very first page I found myself connected to Wil. She’s quirky and fun, and most of all she’s completely real and relatable. The relationships that are explored and shared here are absolutely wonderful. I think that I adored her relationship with her grandmother most though, and I looked forward to their interactions. The love between the two just jumped off the pages. And her friendship with Irina was the best. I don’t even know what else to say except that these two were meant to be best friends and it shows.
The boys… *sigh* I refuse to say anything other than Seth and Grant will have you swooning … And they certainly don’t make it easy for her to figure out who she is ‘meant’ to be with. The romance isn’t instant even if the connections may seem that way. Woods weaves the threads of friendship and love expertly and I truly enjoyed getting to know these boys as Wil figures out just exactly who she should be with.
If you’re looking for something that you can’t put down once you start, I highly recommend Summer of Supernovas. The writing is beautiful, the relationships are complex and complicated but wonderfully leveled out with moments of humor and light hearted fun. This story isn’t so much about finding “the one” as it is finding yourself and Woods definitely has a fan in me and I can’t wait for more from her in the future! ...more
I have to admit that I was both incredibly intrigued and a bit unsure of how I would feel about this book when I submitted my request to be a part ofI have to admit that I was both incredibly intrigued and a bit unsure of how I would feel about this book when I submitted my request to be a part of the blog tour for it. I read the summary and was immediately drawn to the premise of a gender-fluid teen struggling with knowing who they are but not being able to express it and still feel safe and secure in their life, not only at school, but at home too.
The first thing you’re going to want to know about me is: Am I a boy, or am I a girl?
I’m just going to be straight up honest here because from the very first page, I was trying to figure out what Riley’s birth gender was. It’s habit… it’s even discussed quite in depth in the story too, and I think it’s understandable to a certain point. But what Garvin does here is totally genius… he doesn’t make that a part of the story because how Riley was born isn’t important to who Riley is today.
And who is Riley? Well, first and foremost Riley’s a teen struggling with the constraints people put on gender identification. Riley’s known the name … gender-fluid, for about a year, and fluctuates between feeling female some days to male others and even somewhere in between on other days. Riley is complex and layered and interesting and witty and snarky and just all the things that I really love in a main character and I think many of you will connect with Riley because of those reasons alone.
Riley’s therapist suggests a journal of sorts to help sort out feelings and get thoughts on paper and out of Riley’s head… but Riley goes one step further and decides to set up an anonymous blog to share things that only Riley’s therapist knows. And it unexpectedly goes viral and it’s overwhelming … and a bit scary.
Scary because Riley’s dad is up for re-election to congress and while Riley’s parents suspect something, they have no clue what is really going on, and if it were to get out before Riley can gather the courage to sit them down and have a discussion it could be bad. Despite that, Riley can’t stay away from the blog… sharing and supporting the people who have reached out has quickly become the cause his therapist suggest Riley find. But some anonymous comments have Riley on edge.
I thought Garvin did a really amazing job with the relationships in this story. He certainly didn’t sugar coat the backlash someone gets for struggling with their gender identity but he also shows that there are people out there who understand, and even shows that if someone doesn’t quite understand it, they’re willing to learn and I hope that someday there will be more people willing to understand that who we are on the outside may not be who we feel we are on the inside.
I also want to mention the friendships that Garvin has created among the characters. Sure Riley is our main character but the friends, Solo and Bec specifically, are a big part of this story too. It was amazing to see Riley finally find connections and learn to trust people with this secret and it was amazing to see these two people support Riley and not turn their backs because of it.
I will say that I had figured out quite early who was the anonymous commenter to Riley’s blog, so that reveal for me wasn’t much of a mystery, but I liked that it added a bit of a twist to the story. Though I did feel like the resolution and who all was involved and why was a bit unfinished, especially Sierra’s involvement and story. I get that some people hate just to hate but she kept popping up in the story and in ways that I thought we’d get more of what was going on with her, as well as some growth in her character.
This is such an important book though and I hope that people will read it with an open mind and learn from it. It touches on bullying and violence toward the queer community and it does it without being preachy or disrespectful and it’s incredibly eye-opening to learn some of the statistics.
Despite the heavy feel to the story, this was actually a pretty quick read for me. I found that I was so invested in Riley’s story that I just didn’t want to put the book down until the I hit that last page, and even when I turned it, I still wanted to know what was next for Riley.
If you’re looking for an emotional read about learning to love who you are both inside and out, a story about finding the people who love you for you, a story about empowering yourself and getting past the uncertainty of who you are and who you’re supposed to be, you’ll definitely want to check this book out.
I’ll definitely be waiting for more from Jeff Garvin in the future! ...more
How did I not know that Jill Shalvis was writing ANOTHER new series? Seriously, I opened up Edelweiss and there was this beauty staring me in the faceHow did I not know that Jill Shalvis was writing ANOTHER new series? Seriously, I opened up Edelweiss and there was this beauty staring me in the face. Obviously I downloaded it and read it immediately, because there is nothing that hits the spot quite like a Jill Shalvis book does.
I loved the set-up for this story… Pru has spent her past trying to make up for mistake her parents made that affected the lives of plenty of others… she’s done all she can to help those whose lives were impacted, and now she’s got her sights set on Finn O’Riley. She’s helped in the past, but now she wants to see him happy, and she’ll do everything to make that happen up to and including making a wish at the historic fountain that has been rumored to grant those wishes… even impossible ones.
After the death of his father, Finn gave up a possible future in baseball to go home and take care of his younger brother. A windfall of money allowed him to open up the bar that they now successfully run, but the bar and his brother have been his whole life. He doesn’t have time or room for a woman, but he certainly can’t resist the draw he has to this new neighbor. But when secrets are revealed and feelings are laid on the line, he has to decide if her secrets are big enough to ruin the relationship they’ve unwittingly built.
First of all, I really loved Pru… she’s sweet and kind and giving and just the perfect heroine for this story… and Finn - *drools* six plus feet of bartender who plays baseball... Sign me up. These two just worked for me from the get-go. I loved seeing Finn and his friends pull Pru in and welcome her with open arms and I’m super excited to see the coming books in this series after getting to know some of the characters that I’m sure we’ll see. Shalvis always does an amazing job of introducing us to secondary characters and making us fall in love with them even if the story we’re reading isn’t necessarily theirs. So I can’t wait for more!
Of course this story is filled with sweet, sexy and swoons and you’ll be hard-pressed to find anyone who does it better than Shalvis. While these stories are always formulaic, I can’t fault it, because I love each and every one of them regardless. There’s also the drama, but it’s truly short-lived and we’re not left to wonder about the future of the relationship and I do have to point out that while Pru isn’t sharing all the details with Finn, we as the reader do have an idea of what the hang up really is so that was nice.
If you’re looking for the next Lucky Harbor, search no further. HeartBreaker Bay is coming soon and if you’re a fan of Jill Shalvis, you’re going to want to grab this one as soon as possible.
Thank you to the publisher for an advanced copy in exchange for my honest thoughts....more