Freedom Road is a story of a girl's journey in rediscovering herself and reaching her dreams even when almost everything in her life seems t...more3.75 stars
Freedom Road is a story of a girl's journey in rediscovering herself and reaching her dreams even when almost everything in her life seems to be shattering and crumbling. Sam's story has definitely inspired and touched me in many ways. And this being a music-themed book had my heart even more captivated with it.
Sam is a very talented and gifted girl. Her guitar had become her solace from her very dysfunctional family and broken life. She developed a fiery passion for playing it and it became her dream to get into Julliard. However an "accident" happened that caused her to not almost be able to play. She was disheartened and discouraged and thought that she lost the only thing that really matters to her - her playing. But she met two people that truly cared and believed in her gift despite her new disability. Through them Sam found new confidence to continue playing and reasons why she should not give up.
For someone who knows how to play a guitar, I can say that Sam and I had developed quite a bond in this book. (Although my ability to play doesn't even reached quarter of hers. Haha!) I can say that I was really able to relate to her especially with her passion for playing the guitar. I understand why she was discouraged after the accident when some people might think that it wasn't really that big of a deal. I can imagine who hard it is for her to continue having that disability. But Sam is different, she is truly a gifted child. Her passion and love for playing is very remarkable and impressive. And so with the help of the people who truly cared for her she was able to stand up and believe in herself again. I also love how she was able to realize and learn a lot of things through her journey. Her character really progressed as the story went on and she became a very admirable character.
The writing is wonderful too. I can feel the intensity of Sam's passion in every word and phrases that describes her playing. The emotions were very well layered and I was able to really feel the heartaches and despair of the characters in this book especially with her family.
The secondary characters, Tad and Laird were both really great. I really adore the both of them. Tad was a very funny and interesting boy and I love how insightful he could be sometimes. Laird was just really sweet and supportive. Moments between him and Sam were just really cute and yeah, swoon-worthy.
Overall, this book is such a wonderful work. The plot line was very well thought and I love how the author showed insights about growth, forgiveness, acceptance and love. But most of all the passion for music. I was definitely inspired and touched by Sam's story. I recommend this. :)
The Truth About Faking is one sweet and cute read. I have always love the idea of two people faking a relationship but would eventually devel...more3.5 stars
The Truth About Faking is one sweet and cute read. I have always love the idea of two people faking a relationship but would eventually developed feelings for each other. Reading Harley and Jason's story was a fun and enjoyable experience.
Harley had a crush on Trent for quite a long time so when Trent's girlfriend broke off with him Harley made plans on how to win Trent over and be his boyfriend. However some of her plans went flying out of the window when the new student, Jason, came. Harley asked Jason to help her get Trent to notice her by fake-dating. When the two started spending more time together they became closer and noticed more things about each other. But Harley felt complicated about it and her feelings for Trent, to top it off some issues were arising between her family and their community.
Harley is a character that is fun to read about albeit a bit awkward and frustrating sometimes. Still she's a character that is easy to like. She did mistakes and wrong choices but that only made her character more realistic. What's more good was that she learned from it and her character did progress throughout the story. Jason. He's my favorite character in this book. He was never dull and I really liked his sense of humor. Plus he was really sweet towards Harley and had always been there with her even if she was quite hard-headed.
Harley's dad was a pastor so there were some religious aspects in this book. Although some parts felt a bit preachy it wasn't really that much to make me or some readers uncomfortable about it. I actually liked some of the messages this book had offered. And I think the issues were handled very well.
Overall, this was an entertaining and enjoyable read. The characters are great and fun, the plot was wonderful and sweet and the messages were lesson-filled and insightful. I recommend this.
Thank you Leigh Talbert Moore for the review copy of this book.
I was surprised by how much I actually liked this story. It was my first book of Samantha Young and I didn't even know that she'd published a number o...moreI was surprised by how much I actually liked this story. It was my first book of Samantha Young and I didn't even know that she'd published a number of young-adult books before this and this is actually her first contemporary adult book.
After reading this, I can say that Young is a talented writer and she sure knows what she was writing. The emotional depth and profundity of this book is very well showed and it successfully reached into me. I love how effectively she portrayed Jocelyn, the main character, that despite her flaws, mistakes and faults she was a character we understand. I love that she takes action; she knows she needed to see a therapist and she did it; she talk and thought of the things told on her and consider them. Although she gets to be stubborn and yes, definitely frustrating I can see how real and honest her character was written.
The romance was definitely a winner for me. Branden is the kind of guy you'd totally love to be with. He was very persistent (in a cute and very sweet way), understanding and patient. I love how he never gave up on Jocelyn despite her streaks.
This is not just some steamy romance novel because this book definitely has a lot more of depth that I had expected; it talks about friendship, acceptance, and forgiveness, overcoming fear and moving forward. This is a very worthy read. I would totally love to recommend this.
When I started this I didn't really know what to expect. I've seen a lot of my friends loving this and I just thought maybe I'd enjoy it too...more4.5 stars
When I started this I didn't really know what to expect. I've seen a lot of my friends loving this and I just thought maybe I'd enjoy it too but nothing really extreme. So imagine when at the middle of the book I realized I was already in love with Malachi this book? This book is so much more than I have initially thought. There were so many layers in this story that you wouldn't though it would've when you read the synopsis. Don't take this as just some usual and normal paranormal book out there because this one is definitely not. It offered me a lot more than I have truly expected. Sanctum turns out to be a very very pleasant surprise for me.
The world-building is definitely a highlight I enjoyed very much about this book. I've read a lot of stories where different versions of the places where dead people go - Underworld, Hell, Sheol, Purgatory - were described. In this novel, Sarah Fine created her own version of it but exclusive for those souls who committed suicide. And I tell you what, it was one hell of a version! It was something I haven't seen before, how things work there - souls wandering around, their wants and desires so intense they made something out of it. It was sinister and unnerving but oddly very interesting in a way that you would also want to explore it.
Lela Santos, the main character, is definitely one of the most loyal and determined characters I'd ever met. Her decision to enter the Suicide Gates willingly to find her best friend and save her was very brave and...crazy. Yeah, that's what I thought at first but as the story went on we got our chance to see more reasons to Lela's actions and decisions. I was able to see how their friendship started and developed, how deeply Nadia had gone through her walls and at the same time saved her. Through that I was able to understand her and greatly connect with her. She was a very well portrayed character.
Malachi, ah, how do I start with this one? Well, he's very Aiden St. Delphi and Dimitri Belikov of a character! Ha! He was dedicated, strong and could be really dangerous at times but he was also just as gentle and caring to people he cared so much about. He was so genuine and selfless and although he has an awful haunting past I saw that he was a character that is moving on and learning from it. His character development as a hero and love-interest is striking. He was a very very lovable character.
And the ending! Did you know that I put this on hold for almost a month because I was so so afraid the ending would turn into a cliffhanger in a very awful situation? Well, yeah I wanna smack myself after I finally read it! Because it was a very very lovely one and cute too! Yet it still made me wish that the second book is already out, I just couldn't get enough of Lela and Malachi after that kind of ending. Haha! They're definitely one of my favorite couples now!
So if you haven't pick this up yet go pick this up now! I'm sure you'll get a very wonderful and fantastic reading experience with this one. I highly recommend this.
Jennifer Echols is the author that can still make me want to read more of her books even though most of it didn't really made me fall in love with the...more Jennifer Echols is the author that can still make me want to read more of her books even though most of it didn't really made me fall in love with them. From all the four books I've read of her Going Too Far was the only one that had successfully astounded me. But after reading Such a Rush, I'm glad to say that a new book from her has found its way directly into my heart! Such a Rush is a complex story yet a poignant and heartwarming one that deals with issues about family and I just loved how Jennifer Echols explored it through Leah, Grayson and Alex's story.
Leah is a very endearing character. She's tough and independent yet there's something in her that makes you feel so protective of her. She is a character that is so easy to like and care about. Her determination to get away from her current life through flying was something I really loved about her. Her passion with it was just very captivating and impressive that I myself can sometimes feel the elation she get through it with her narration. Jennifer Echols voiced her character in a very appealing way but with great realness and honesty in it.
Grayson is a complex and a very confusing character. He acted like a complete jerk but I can see that she cares for Leah a lot. He'd shown some of his caring and sweet side but still it didn't stop me from getting mad at his actions. I know there was something behind all the blackmailing but when I figured what it was all about I can't help but feel sad and sympathetic for him even if his choice of actions were wrong. He was emotionally wounded from the grief of losing Jake and his Dad. He was broken and was scared of having someone he really loved to lose again. In the end, I'm glad that he gained himself and I realized how invested I was to his character actually.
Jennifer Echols did an amazing job on exploring the importance of the relationship within a family whether you're blood related or not. I love how she showed and addressed the father-daughter like relationship Mr. Hall and Leah developed; the close relationship of the Hall boys and their father even though it was quite tainted by the past and how the loss of two of them affected the others. It was poignant, heart breaking but touching and moving. I love how the characters developed, grow and learned throughout the course of the story.
Although I find the pacing a bit slow it wasn't the kind that would make you feel bored about it. It would just make you want to know more and be eager to see what's gonna happen next.
Such a Rush sure lived by it's title. Reading this was indeed such a rush, it was thrilling and exhilarating. Meeting these characters and seeing them grew and developed through all the obstacles was heartwarming and lifting. Being with them as they fly and feel the elation with it was like having the same experience as the had. It was wonderful and utterly captivating. This is such a beautiful novel. I recommend this.
P.S. I can't believe I didn't mention this. There are actually smexy times here that just had me really swooning and grinning like a maniac. Haha! Just adding more reason why you have to read this! XD
Altered was definitely a very pleasant surprise for me. It's always such a lovely treat whenever I encounter a paranormal book with a fantastic, unpre...moreAltered was definitely a very pleasant surprise for me. It's always such a lovely treat whenever I encounter a paranormal book with a fantastic, unpredictable plot yet with very likable characters. Not to mention, a number of hot, hot, hot boys. Altered was such an amazing and fantastic read. I enjoyed almost every part of it (especially Cas!).
And yes, I do think the Merrick brothers have finally found their competition. I remember Brigid Kemmerer saying something about the boys here too...
And they indeed are!
Anna was a character I appreciated quite a lot. She appears to be a bit vulnerable but she has very real and honest personality. What I admire most about her though was the genuineness of her relationship with the boys. She may not be a very kick-ass heroine and though sometimes, she tends to seem a bit of the damsel in distress, her faults and flaws where overshadowed by how much she treasures and loves Sam, Cas, Trev and even Nick. In the end it was her loyalty and love for the boys that pushed her to be brave and strong and do some pretty kick-ass moves too.
Now the boys. Let's start with Sam. He was aloof, mysterious, a bit standoffish but he was a great leader and friend. It was actually the opposite of what I had imagined of him but I still end up really liking his character. He seems so serious and distant most of the time but he always took great care of everyone. Nick was the gorgeous bad-boy in the group. He was rude to Anna and seems to really dislike her. He had a very bad and awful past that forced him to have that kind of attitude and thinking. Trev was the levelheaded, rational and smart one among the boys. He had a close relationship with Anna and considers him her best friend. He loves to read books and always ready to give advice and quotes for Anna. He was a character that was so easy to like and trust but... And last but not the least, my favorite, CAS! He was an easy-going, laid back kind of guy who never seems to get his stomach full, always demanding for food but he was also very sweet, funny and really really charming. He was the kind of friend that you would need when everything is just too intense and overwhelming. Who would make you laugh and put a smile on your face when thing started to feel too stressful. I remember asking Jennifer if I can have him and she said HE said YES!
So move over girls! Cas is mine. Hahaha! Just kidding. I'm really not that selfish. Contact me and maybe we could make some arrangements. Lol!
As for the plot, I just loved it! I love how it mixes some mysteries and actions.I enjoyed how they try to figure out what really happened through the small clues they had. It was fascinating and what made it more really good was the unpredictability of it. It was hard to guess or calculate what's gonna come out and what's gonna happen next so all you'll be able to do was just to continue reading. I just have some slight issue with the romance although I still enjoyed it and I do think that Anna and Sam were really great couple. However it was just that I wish a few more convictions were added that it was indeed real since it was hard not to worry that it might just have been caused by the alterations. But we're only on the first book so I think I can oversee it and I'm sure more explanations and developments will come of the following books.
Overall, Jennifer Rush did an amazing job in delivering us a story with such fantastic yet unpredictable plot, awesome action-packed scenes, shocking twists and discoveries and lovely but amazing characters. I enjoyed it very much and I'll be sure to have an eye on this series. I highly recommend this.
I was never a fan of Romeo and Juliet but when it was said that this book is some sort of a retelling of the said famous romance novel I was...more3.5 stars
I was never a fan of Romeo and Juliet but when it was said that this book is some sort of a retelling of the said famous romance novel I was curious as how the author will pull it off. Well, actually it was more like I wanted to see a different ending, something that isn't really tragic or well, stupid because I really resent the ending of the original novel. Thankfully, I think the author did a very good job in portraying the story of Reed and Julia as the modern Romeo and Juliet and although the ending wasn't exactly what I had hoped for it was I guess, the best that could have come for a retelling of a tragic love story.
Julia and Reed comes from complete opposite world. The rich and the poor, the good and the bad, the responsible and the reckless. That isn't exactly a new setting to us but despite that it wasn't really hard to be swept and curious with the story of these two. Julia is a character that is easy to relate with and understand. Her emotions and feelings are very well voiced out making it even easier for us to understand her better. She did a lot of mistakes and wrong decisions but she's unmistakably a compassionate and strong person.
Reed is a character I'm very torn with. Not that he isn't likable but he was a character that I can't seem to have a firm grasp at. I saw the good in him, the vulnerable side, the reasons behind the addiction, his genuine intentions and I understand him, I really did and I did grew to care for him. Yet, despite all that it seems that he keeps on slipping away as the story goes on. It was sad and disheartening but I feel like the author purposely wrote his character that way.
The romance between the two was sweet and lovely. I love how the two met and how their feeling for each other developed, how they admitted it and how they fell into each other and didn't seem to care what people say about them. However, some part of me felt like it was lacking a bit of intensity, to completely convince the readers that they were indeed utterly, madly in love without words saying it. It might have made the ending even more compelling and powerful.
Nonetheless, Defy the Stars is lovely and heartwarming read although it ended still pretty tragic (not as much as the original Romeo and Juliet though) but the ending, for some reason I find encouraging. I was actually satisfied with it and it showed what should have been the right choice for the ending of a tragic love story.
Thank you YA Bound and Stephanie Parent for the review copy of this book.
While I have read a number of Jennifer Echols' books before, they're usually either a hit or miss for me. So whenever I picked a book of hers there's...moreWhile I have read a number of Jennifer Echols' books before, they're usually either a hit or miss for me. So whenever I picked a book of hers there's always this little cautiousness that comes with it. Yet when I picked Dirty Little Secret, for some reason, I actually felt quite sure that I would enjoy it. Maybe because it was music-themed? Or because the main protag is a fiddle/violin player? (I have serious soft spot for violin players, i.e. Virtuosity) Or maybe because it was just really good? Oh well, whatever it was I'm just glad to say that Dirty Little Secret is definitely a hit for me! It certainly is one of my favorite Jennifer Echols' books.
Bailey Mayfield was a character I easily felt for even from the very start. The emotional baggage she was carrying was something I had easily understand. I could not entirely fault her for her past unwise actions because I can clearly see where it all came from. Instead, I blamed it all to her selfish, unfeeling parents! Bailey was a very likable character, she was a very good sister, daughter and musician. That's why I just couldn't fathom how her parents could easily disregard her like that. So I was really glad when she met Sam Handiman and his band.
So onto Sam, this guy was someone you could so effortlessly fall into but just as easily you could get pissed off. YET, for some reason, it was hard not to remain too angry with him. This guy is very charming, talented, sweet and so so adorable (although he does carry some pretty intense emotional baggage too). But even with that I like how it was showed how flawed he is too. His strong drive and determination to reach his dream was admirable but sometimes it gets a little too much that he consciously/unconsciously ends up disregarding some other people's feelings. In the end though he learned that there are things or person that is much more important than what he think is.
Although I don't know much about country music I actually still enjoyed exploring it through here. The dynamic between the band too was amazing. I love how they could easily work and produce a really wonderful music together.
I'm not sure if this is the kind of book that would work for almost everybody. I admit there are moments that I get a little lost and disoriented in this one, especially with Sam, although I still always found my way back (to him) eventually. Lol! But there are a lot of good and great things that definitely make up for that. In the end, I still end up having a lot of fun reading this. I recommend this book.
Thank you MTV Books for providing a copy of this book.
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When was the last time I felt like this over a book? You know, the warm fuzzy feeling, all giggly and swoony and you felt like you were float...more4.5 stars
When was the last time I felt like this over a book? You know, the warm fuzzy feeling, all giggly and swoony and you felt like you were floating on the clouds from all the sweetness and cuteness of a story? That's exactly how I felt the entire time I was reading The Distance Between Us. I was practically high over all the adorable-ness of it and it's something I wouldn't really mind getting dose after dose. This book was just that fun and enjoyable.
Caymen Meyers was a character I thought I would have a hard time liking. I thought her sarcasm would grate on my nerves and made her look like a judgmental, bitter and whinny girl. But turns out she just really has a dry humor which I eventually found funny and endearing. She has a strong and understanding personality. I loved how even with her mom's experience in love and with the rich people it didn't completely cloud her judgment on Xander and still let him in in her life.
Xander on the other hand was a character that was really easy to like. I started a little cautious with his character thinking he would be some cocky, arrogant rich kid but nooo, he was the opposite! He was so nice, considerate and kind. I loved how he plans and thinks through their "career day" and makes sure that it was something Caymen would enjoy.
The development and the romantic build-up between the two was the best treat on this book. The process and the in-betweens from being friends to lovers were just so so adorable. I loved the morning hot chocolate, the sip-first-before-giving-it to Caymen, the questions, the "career days", Eddie's addictive muffins and all the other things they did as their feelings grew and develop. It was a little slow yet it made it a lot more genuine and sweet.
The only complain I could probably give to this book was that I wish it was longer and the family thing had been elaborated more. Still, it was a very satisfying and pleasing read. Hopefully, there would be a sequel or a companion novel seeing as how the ending left enough room for it. Maybe we could start asking and emailing Kasie West for a next book? Haha.
This book will definitely be right up the alley of those who enjoyed Anna and the French Kiss, My Life Next Door, Amy and Roger's Epic Detour, From What I Remember and First Comes Love! This was such a fun, sweet and quirky read. I highly recommend this! :)