This was one of those covers that caught my eye because of the pretty colors. The complicated friendship and the fact that they both like the same guyThis was one of those covers that caught my eye because of the pretty colors. The complicated friendship and the fact that they both like the same guy was very intriguing to me, in a weird way. Another reason why I wanted to read this was because I had a best friend for most of Elementary and Middle school that didn't survive our first year of high school. No way was my friend anywhere near as bad as the 'best friend' in this book, but it was still sad to slowly see so many years of friendship go down the drain as we slowly drifted away due to different crowds... that part of the book was a bit personal to me.
Lima and Hailey have been best friends for years. Complete opposites in every way, but their friendship has somehow always worked. Hailey was pretty much part of Lima's family and she was very close to Lima's parents and her grandmother. When Hailey starts hanging around with Skyler, who is part of a different crowd and doesn't even attempt to be friends with Lima, their friendship starts to change. When Hailey has sex for the first time, everything changes between them. Now all of a sudden, no matter how hard Lima tries to cling to their old friendship, nothing is the same. For years (years!), Hailey has been in love with Nate. This is a serious understatement and obsessed and infatuated might be better was to describe Hailey's feelings for Nate. Hailey has spent years obsessing over Nate and her love for him, even though Nate has never shown any interest in her and has made it clear on more than one occasion that he isn't interested. This doesn't stop Nate from showing interest in someone else: Lima.
Lima knows that nothing could ever happen between her and Nate, because of Hailey's crush on him. But the more Hailey disses Lima for her new friends, the more time Nate and Lima spend together. It's all very innocent, they just talk and actually become pretty good friends. Until stronger feelings start getting in the way of that and Lima has to decide if her feelings for Nate are worth losing Hailey. I know this makes Lima sound like a terrible friend, but there was no right or wrong answer here, and I loved this about the story. No, Lima should never go after a guy her best friend has a crush one. But Hailey isn't really her best friend anymore, no matter how hard Lima doesn't want to accept that. Hailey has become a terrible friend to Lima over the last few months. She makes fun of her over being too perfect, she ditches her at parties, she abandons her when Lima needs her the most, she is very jealous over Lima's life, she acts like Lima's grandmother dying is no big deal (old people die, that's what they do <--- her words) and she doesn't go to her funeral because she decides that going to a party where Nate will be is a much better option. This is just a few of the horrible shit that Hailey does to Lima and I just kept wishing that Lima would just cut her loose, once and for all. I even wanted her to start dating Nate and flaunt it (sorry if that makes me a bad person). But, just when Lima was ready to be done with their friendship, Hailey knew just how to pull her back in. Going to her in a vulnerable moment, just long enough for the next diss.
First There Was Forever isn't really a book centered around romance or even friendship, it was more about Lima being able to accept changes in her world and how she dealt with the loss of her best friend and the possibility of a new love, even if it's with the last person she should have feelings for. This book is definitely not for everyone, but I really liked it. It was a really bittersweet read that had me hooked since I had no idea how this would end. Would Lima and Hailey be able to salvage their friendship? Would Hailey ever find out Lima was dating Nate behind her back? Would Hailey finally get over Nate? Would Lima and Nate end up together? I wasn't even sure how I wanted the story to end but I was very happy with the way that it did end. I loved how realistically the teens were portrayed in this book, even if it was from a 'rich kid' point of view.
This is one of those books that wasn't even on my radar at first, because it's Fantasy and I just tend to stay away from them most of the time. But onThis is one of those books that wasn't even on my radar at first, because it's Fantasy and I just tend to stay away from them most of the time. But once Nick told me how much she liked this one and I saw that one of my favorite narrators was performing this, I knew I wanted to try it. The Girl at Midnight had so many elements that I just don't like in books, especially Fantasy books: it was long (for me), it had too many POV's, it had a sort-of love triangle and it had only one narrator. Despite all this, I really liked this book!
My favorite thing about this book would have to be a tie between the characters and the world. Despite having a few very close friends and people she can count on and a boyfriend, Echo has always felt like she doesn't belong. Being a mere human among the Avicen, a race of magical featured creatures, not everyone is okay with having Echo living among them in their world. When her best friend Ivy is captured by the Drakharins, Echo is willing to sacrifice her life in order to rescue her. She meets Caius, The Dragon Prince and his bodyguard, Dorian, and is suddenly thrown into a new and dangerous world where everything she thought she knew is challenged. Lies, schemes, betrayals, friendships and a bit of romance are what made this book so entertaining for me. The Girl at Midnight was such a vividly and imaginative story and I'm glad I didn't miss out on this one. A few things did feel familiar, but I find that can be true with almost any book. I know some people are worried about a possible love triangle, but it hoenstly didn't bother me because it was pretty obvious early on who the real love interest is. I was hooked with the story and I fell for these characters and this will for sure be a series that I will keep up with.
Audiobook Comments: Having one narrator with more than one POV is such a huge pet peeve of mine, especially when one of those POV's is from a male POV. I was very worried to find out that not only did this have more than one POV, it had 4! Four POV's for one narrator, two female POV's and two male POV's. Just thinking about it makes me all twitchy and if it were anyone else besides Julia Whelan, I probably wouldn't even bother to listen to this at all. Luckily, Julia Whelan is not only one of my favorite narrators, she is the best narrators I've ever heard at doing realistic male POV's. I never felt lost or confused as to who was 'talking' because she does such a great job at giving each character (major and minor) their own voice and tone. I love Julia Whelan and if there is anyone that could pull this book off, it could only be her.
I love fairy tales and retellings and gorgeous covers. I was really excited about this one because it wasn't a retelling as much as it was a twist inI love fairy tales and retellings and gorgeous covers. I was really excited about this one because it wasn't a retelling as much as it was a twist in the 'after the fairy tale'. The fact that Aurora didn't automatically fall in love with her 'prince charming' was another reason why I wanted to read this book. A Wicked Thing had soooo much potential, but the slow-paced plot and lack of clear character development took some of my enjoyment away from the book. It started off really well, but slowed down somewhere in the middle. Luckily, the end of the story picked up again and made me interested in the story again and curious to see what happens next for Aurora.
When Princess Aurora wakes up from her sleeping spell, she discovers that years have passed and that her whole family has died. The handsome stranger who woke her up with a kiss and is destined to be her 'true love' is nothing more than a stranger. Her whole life has been planned and deciding without any input from Aurora and she knows that she isn't out of danger yet. I love all Disney movies, especially the princess movies (that's an understatement). But Sleeping Beauty is probably my least favorite one, probably because we get so little Aurora time. I really liked seeing Aurora trying to figure out who she is, what's going on and what she wants in the book, something that was clearly missing from the movie. I loved that she didn't simply accept that she was supposed to be with the prince, just because someone told her it was her destiny.
While I liked this one, I always felt like I was waiting for something more. I wanted more story, more information about the characters and more action. This is one of those not-really love triangles since it's pretty obvious early on that Aurora and her prince have no chemistry and no feelings for each other. I really liked the chemistry between Aurora and the rebel, but I wanted more. I really liked the way things ended, not a cliffhanger (to me anyway) but in a 'to be continued' kind of way that definitely will make me pick up the next book in the series.
Audiobook Comments: Shannon McManus is a great audiobook narrator that I've heard a few times now and I really enjoy her. While she isn't one of those narrators that I would consider a favorite of mine, I really can't say that I have any complaints about her. When I see a book narrated by her, I know that I will get an enjoyable and professional quality performance. I know a few readers were bored by this book, but I never felt bored with the audio. However, I'm not sure if I would have finished it if I had to actually read it. I'm looking forward to the next book in this series on audio too.
The Deal was such a nice surprise for me a few months ago and one of my favorites of 2015 so far. I loved Garrett and his crazy and fun roommates andThe Deal was such a nice surprise for me a few months ago and one of my favorites of 2015 so far. I loved Garrett and his crazy and fun roommates and was very excited when I found out there would be a companion. Out of all the roommates, John Logan was not my favorite at first, mostly because I wasn't sure what the outcome of his crush on Hannah (his best friends girlfriend) would be. I guess I'm so used to this terrible female best friends in most books, these girls that do not hesitate to stab their friends in the back and go after their guys. But, guy friends are so much better (in books, at least). I loved how freaked out Logan was about his crush on Hannah and even felt bad for him, but was really looking forward to see how he would get over his Hannah crush.
Logan has spent the last few months moping around, partying and hooking up, and trying his best to avoid Hannah. Which is hard since she spends more and more time with Garrett in their house. Logan really likes Hannah as a friend and his crush makes him feel like a terrible friend. When a wrong address has him knocking at Grace's door instead of the party he was trying to get to, the two bond over their love of action movies. When a kiss leads to a hot/awkward hook-up session, Logan can't stop thinking about Grace and wanting to spend more time with her. Which makes him feel extra shitty because he still has a crush on Hannah. Trying to do the right thing, he breaks things off with Grace. After a talk with Hannah and Grace, Logan realizes that it's not Hannah who he wants, but the relationship she and Garrett have. Unfortunately, when he tries to get back with Grace, she's already left to France to spend the Summer with her mom.
Grace was hurt when Logan broke things off with her because he 'might have feelings for someone else,' but now that she's back from France, Logan is determined to get a second chance and he isn't taking no for an answer. After trying to turn him down, Grace finally concedes as long as he is willing to do a few things first. These were really silly and fun things like having Logan write her a love poem which turned out to be so bad it was hilarious. I liked the idea of the list and the humor it provided. Luckily, this hard-to-get act didn't take long and Grace gave him another chance. Like The Deal, there were sooooo many opportunities for this to follow the typical NA cliché storylines, and like The Deal, I loved that this proved me wrong every single time. Yes, Grace was a virgin, but I loved how this was so not a big deal. I'm allergic to the dumb naive virgin girls and Grace never fell into that category for me. Every time I read something and thought 'I bet this will happen' I was always proved wrong and I love that.
The only cliché that The Mistake did seem to follow was the shitty best friend storyline. This girl was such a horrible best friend and I wish Grace would have cut all ties with her. I did feel like the author tried to make her a bit... likeable (make us feel sorry for her?) towards the end, but I'm done with all these terrible best friends. I reeeeeeaaaalllly hope that she isn't a MC in one of the following books because what she did counts as unforgivable and just plain tacky...
The Mistake was such a fun book that I really liked. It was addicting and funny and sexy and I ended up finishing it in almost a day (which is super fast for me). My only complaint was that it felt short, not short like the story was missing anything, but short as in I still wanted more. That could have been just how much I was enjoying the book and these characters though. I LOVED the relationship between the guys and loved how they all gave each other a hard time, but were always there for each other when needed. I'm not sure whose story is next but I demand a story for Dean and Tucker too! There were a few times when I confused the characters with The Hook Up, but that's just because the storylines are similar. Speaking of The Hook Up, there is a mention of Drew Bates (the MC in The Hook Up) in this book which for some reason made me all sorts of excited. Cameos please? The Mistake was another hit for Elle Kennedy!
I freaking loved Sara and Max Stella in Beautiful Stranger and I was excited that they were getting their own novella in the series. I know, I hate baI freaking loved Sara and Max Stella in Beautiful Stranger and I was excited that they were getting their own novella in the series. I know, I hate babies and pregnancies in books, but I don't actually mind them that much in adult books. Mostly, because the characters are mature and kids/pregnancies aren't normally used as a drama-device like they are in YA/NA books. So, yes I was a little bit nervous going into this one, but also excited.
First of all, that cover is pretty misleading. Also, I didn't pay that much attention to the summary, no surprise there. I assume that this would be about Max and Sara being pregnant, but no, the story starts with their baby girl actually being a few weeks (months?) old already and them learning to adjust to their new lives as parents. I loved that they got so much help from the rest of the gang, and seeing everyone, including all the guys, being so fascinated by this baby girl was almost as cute as seeing Max so in love with his daughter. If there is anything hotter than Max Stella, it's fucking Max Stella with a baby girl!
While I still enjoyed this book, it was a lot shorter than their other novellas. At only 80 pages, I felt like I wanted a little bit more. Max and Sara have this thing about them where they like to have sex in public, we learn about this in their book. It's a challenge to keep doing that now that they have a baby. Like their previous book, I was totally weirded out, not by the sex in public part, but by the fact that they like to have sex in public in sex clubs. It was just a little bit too weird for me. Other than that, I still enjoyed the novella for what it was. Now, I just need Will and Hanna to get their own novella!
Audiobook Comments: The narration of this short book made this book very enjoyable. I've already heard these two narrate as Sara and Max Stella in Beautiful Stranger, but it was a nice touch revisiting them again. Once again, although I'm not too crazy about British accents, Jonathan Cole was great as Max!
It's the last day of my Christina Lauren/Beautiful Bastard week and honestly, I've typed the word Beautiful waaaaaay too many times in the last week fIt's the last day of my Christina Lauren/Beautiful Bastard week and honestly, I've typed the word Beautiful waaaaaay too many times in the last week for all my reviews. I feel like I don't want to type that word after this review for at least a month! As you know, Megan and I spent the last week binging on this series and it was so much fun. These books were like crack, I couldn't get enough. I was excited to finally get to Beautiful Secret, not only because we get Niall's story (Max Stella's brother) but because I was curious as to how this series would connect with the Wild Seasons series. I don't know if I had my expectations too high, or if the previous guys set the bar too high (because they were yum), but Beautiful Secret wasn't exactly what I was expecting and while I still enjoyed it, it wasn't my favorite of the series.
My biggest problem with the story was Niall. He has only ever been with one woman, whom he was married to for over 10 years and was together with since high school. After being in a loveless marriage and an emotionless divorce, his views on love and relationships are all fucked up. It isn't until he notices Ruby that she starts to change him and loosen him up a little and make him question everything he thought he knew about love. On one hand, I understood why this would be a huge adjustment for him, but it was still frustrating how he would take a baby step towards Ruby, then take 10 steps back. He was obviously attracted to her and had a connection with her, but he didn't want to have sex with her until he knew for sure he was in love with her. So they did pretty much everything else instead. It was kind of weird, he acted like a virgin and it was just odd. I was just waiting for them to finally get it on! This was the longest two characters have gone without sex in a Christina Lauren book. And I was honestly a little disappointed that it was missing the humor and all those fun and sexy scenes from the previous books. In all the previous books in the series, the guy always realizes he's in love first and goes after the girl. This time, Ruby was going after Niall and constantly having to check in with his... feelings to see if they were moving too fast. It was weird.
Despite my issues, I was still addicted to this one and ended up finishing this in less than 24 hours. Part of me couldn't put it down and the other part just really wanted to get to the part where they finally have sex. I'm not sure if this is the last book in the series or not, and I honestly hope it isn't because I love this gang. I'm so happy we got to see the guys although I missed the girls in this book. Although we did see a little bit of Chloe and she was a ball-buster, like always. Even though this wasn't my favorite book of the series, I still recommend this series!
Nick (from Nick’s Book Blog) and I both read and fell in love with this book last week so we thought it would be a fun idea to review this together.
NNick (from Nick’s Book Blog) and I both read and fell in love with this book last week so we thought it would be a fun idea to review this together.
Nereyda: This will go down as one of my favorite books of the year and one of my favorite NA’s. And to think that I wasn’t even planning on reading this. Somehow, this book had escaped my radar, but thanks to Nick, I immediately added it to my TBR when she told me about it. I was eager to get my hands on this one and started it as soon as I was able to get a copy. Once I started, I flew through it and even stayed up until almost 3am reading it (something I rarely do anymore). I loved it so much, that I re-read it as soon as I finished it.
Nick: It nearly flew under my radar too! I came across it on Jessica @Loving Los Libros‘ Stacking the Shelves post and she mentioned how much she loved it. I read the summary and I KNEW that this was a book I needed in my hands right away. And boy was I right! This book was so damn addicting. Like Nereyda, once I started, I didn’t want to put it down, but I was struck by the stupid cold which made me lose a lot of reading time. I had read about 50% before I fell sick but I picked it up again on Friday and finished it within an hour. I thought I had grown tired of NA books until this one smacked me right in the face with its brilliance.
Nereyda: What I loved the most about The Deal, was the great cast of characters. Especially Hannah and Garrett. Man, oh man, I can’t stress enough how much I loved Garrett! I admit that when I first started The Deal, Hannah annoyed me. To be fair, almost all girls in NA books annoy me. But, after passing the 10% mark, Hannah really started to grow on me. The more I read, the more I liked her and by the end, I was so freaking happy that she wasn’t your typical female NA character. She was tough, but vulnerable. She didn’t take any crap from anyone, least of all Garrett, and she said what was on her mind. I loved that she didn’t get offended by the things Garrett and his friends said sometimes and how she was able to form a great friendship with all of the guys. I could devote a paragraph to list all the things I loved about Garrett, but I’ll try to keep this short. I <3 Garret! I adored his friendship with Hannah and how he loved to tease her and push her buttons, but he was always looking out for her. When their friendship started to grow, I loved how in tune he was to her and how much he paid attention to the little things. The chemistry between them was crazy hot, and I was dying of anticipation for them to get together. Their first kiss? So freaking hot! I loved how their relationship was just the right amount of sexy, without it being too much or crossing into cheesy territory.
Nick: I have to agree with, Nereyda! The characters were the absolutely best in this book. They were very well-developed and I thought Elle Kennedy did such a great job at fleshing out these realistic college-aged characters. I don’t know if it’s because you mentioned to me that Hannah was a bit judgmental and annoying at first, Nereyda, but I never got many annoying vibes from her. I was full on expecting to hate her, but I think because I already knew she was going to be judgey at first, I wasn’t too put off by her character. What I really liked about Hannah’s character was how much growth she underwent throughout the story. You could tell by the end of the book that she was not the same girl. I liked how she realized by the end that Garrett was so much more than just a dumb jock. And yes to the comment about her being simultaneously tough, but vulnerable. Seriously, how many NA books have you read where the girl is not plagued by her the “tough event” in her past? I can count them with just one hand. I loved that even though Hannah had this truly awful thing happen to her, she was willing to move on and to fix herself without waiting for a guy to come and fix it for her. Oh and of course, I absolutely loved Garrett! He was undoubtedly my favorite character. He was such a cocky bastard, but he managed to charm the pants off of me. The one thing I loved about Garrett was how much more there was to him than meet the eyes. He was definitely a playboy, but the kind that told girls what they were getting into when they approached him. But he was so different with Hannah! Theirs was a relationship that started out from friendship, a fantastic one at that, and slowly developed into more. Throughout all that wicked banter and constant bickering was some hot hot hot chemistry. Phew! Not gonna lie, I was ready for these to already make out and as Nereyda said, their first kiss was beyond HOT! Speaking of the romance, I want to clarify to all of you worried about her crush, once Hannah gets into a physical relationship with Garrett, she forgets about her crush. So, there’s absolutely no cheating going on in The Deal. And honestly, the crush was never an annoying kind where I just wanted the girl to forget about the guy. I mean, we’ve all had that unattainable crush, right?
Nereyda: It’s getting increasingly harder for NA books to avoid the typical cliches, but The Deal successfully managed it. There were a few times when I was worried that this would fall victim to the typical NA storylines, and I kept getting surprised when it would go in a different direction that one I thought. Just when I was starting to get a ‘I have a bad feeling about what’s coming next’ vibe, Kennedy did something unexpected that just made me love The Deal even more. I’m so happy I read this (twice!) and I know I’ll be re-reading it again. I really hope that this comes out on audio so that I could listen to it over and over. I wasn’t sure what to expect with The Deal, but it was such a fun and addicting book. I recommend this to everyone! I can’t wait to see what Elle Kennedy has next for us in the Off-Campus series and I’m really looking forward to Logan’s story.
Nick: I agree! It’s hard to find a new NA book with a story that you haven’t already read before. The Deal follows a similar story line to other NA books, but somehow does a fantastic job at being original. I think what made this book so successful was the author’s writing. There was a very addicting quality to it and the story flew so nicely. I also have to add that Elle Kennedy was great with the dual POV. She was able to capture that male voice in a very authentic way. Speaking of Logan, Nereyda, I love the hockey boys that lived with Garrett so much! They all had such great contrasting personalities. And their dynamic with both Garrett and Hannah was very well-written. I know their books are going to pretty epic! I need Logan’s book like yesterday! I’m so glad I discovered this gem of a book. I wish we got more NA books like The Deal.