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Life, Love, & Lemons

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**This is NOT New Adult. This is NOT Erotica. There is no sex or even swearing. There is some heavy petting and drug references. Basically the book equivalent of a ABC Family show**

It’s so SQUEEEE-DORABLE – Ashleyn Poston, author of Radio Hearts

When life hands you lemons, sometimes you have to say screw the lemons and bail.

Seventeen-year-old Bentley Evans had it all. Then her Dad got laid off.

Now she has to move across town to a small apartment and leave her life of luxury for public school and a job at the local burger place. Just when her world seems like it's crumbling she finds solace in the unlikely punk boy next door, Kai Stone. But as their relationship blossoms, a jealous ex-girlfriend and a secret to tell that threatens to bring disaster back into Bentley’s life.

200 pages, ebook

First published August 14, 2013

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About the author

Magan Vernon

83 books930 followers
Magan Vernon has been living off of reader tears since she wrote her first short story in 2004. She now spends her time killing off fictional characters, pretending to plot while she really just watches Netflix, and she tries to do this all while her two young children run amok around her Texas ranch.

You can stalk or...er...find her online at all of these fun and happy places.

Amazon Author Link: http://amzn.to/1Mi23I9

Website Link: www.maganvernon.com

Facebook Page Link: www.facebook.com/authormaganvernon

Twitter: www.twitter.com/maganvernon

Instagram User Name: @maganvee

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Profile Image for Amy Logg.
180 reviews100 followers
August 19, 2013
More reviews at The Reading Realm

The story:
This story was refreshingly different to other YA contemporaries. I liked that the hero wasn't the typical jock, bad boy or popular guy. A punk kid working at a burger joint doesn't sound like the regular romantic hero, but it was so nice to read about a different type of character.

Told from Bentley's POV, we follow her and her family as they struggle with her father loosing his job, moving into a small apartment, leaving her private school for the rougher public school and swapping lunches with friends at the local sushi bar for working at the local Burger joint. At first Bentley struggles with the changes, but she's certainly not the typical shallow character. She does what she needs to do to save money for her college fund even though her father struggles to deal with unemployment and her mother…well her mother is basically a total bitch, there is no other way to describe her.

Bentley's old life soon becomes a distant memory and some of her friends start to turn on her in her new moneyless state. One highlight in her life is her new neighbour and co-worker Kai. At first they clash heads, but soon find common ground and their relationship was beautiful to watch grow.

The characters:
Kai Stone, the guy liner wearing punk with a seductively delicious lip ring. Okay so Kai may not be kind the guy I normally crush over, but damn I want me a punk boy! His personality shines through the stereotypical punk kid persona and underneath it all he really is a "knight in shinning Chuck Taylors".

Bentley Evans, grew up in the wealthy suburbs and attending private school. At first I thought she was going to be a typical spoilt rich kid, who's cranky she can no longer have to latest must have fashion accessory. But not long into the story, I realised she was a lot deeper than that and didn't whine and complain about her situation. She got a job, sold her car and basically took care of herself when her mum was too busy to care and her dad was wasn't really coping with his unemployment.

The secondary characters were also really interesting. Bentley's dad was such an embarrassing guy, but it a good way - he's a typically daggy dad and I loved that about him. Her mum was horrible & had very little respect for her own daughter. On the other hand Kai's mum worked so hard to support him and his sisters, that although she was a bit cold towards Bee at first, I really respected her.

The romance:
I always love an opposites attract story and this definitely qualifies as that. Kai & Bentley couldn't be more different on the surface. But underneath the clothes and guy liner they have a lot in common. They both respect each other's differences and don't try to change one another, instead they evolve & grow together throughout the story. It starts out as a sweet little friendship and developed into a beautiful romance - with a couple of yummy make out sessions!

The Writing:
I am a huge fan of the mix of humour & heart that Magan weaves into her stories. She writes stories with depth and her characters are never one dimensional. I love when an author can make me laugh and in this book even the chapter names got me.

Magan's stories always have a good amount of sarcasm and humour, which I love. But underneath that there is a really sweet story here, about love, friendship & family. This was a fun YA story with heart, and some quirky characters. I now blame Magan Vernon for my sudden desire for wanting to kiss a guy with a lip ring, oh the lip ring!!!

Sexuality: mild / kissing, heavy petting and discussions of sex (no sex scenes)
Violence: mild
Language: mild
Drugs & alcohol: mild-medium / some references to prescription drug use/dealing

More reviews at The Reading Realm
eARC provided by author for honest review
Profile Image for Tracey.
632 reviews470 followers
September 20, 2013
"You can only try and make lemons into lemonade for so long before you just have to say, screw the lemons, and bail."

Life, Love, & Lemons. The title describes this book perfectly. This was such a cute, fun read.

Bentley Evans world has just come crashing down. Her father has lost his job and to make ends meet they have had to leave their comfortable existence. No more private school and new expensive clothes. Their new life is on the complete opposite end of the scale to what it used to be like. Bentley's world now includes public school, a small rundown apartment and a new job at the local burger joint. And if that's not enough, her neighbour is a tattooed, pierced, eyeliner wearing emo.

Bentley went through so much growth throughout the story. She started off as the spoilt, self entitled rich girl, and even though things came crashing down around her, it took her a while to lose that spoilt persona. Her love for her dad really shone through for me. They had a really beautiful relationship.

I could forget about everything else that was going on in my life when Kai was around. Somehow it seemed like when I was laying there in his arms that nothing else mattered. My parents, my lack of funds, everything just seemed to melt away as I was lost in his lips.

Kai is tattooed and pierced. He dresses in black, wears eyeliner and paints his fingernails. And Bentley judges him on all of that the very first time she sees him. But Kai is so much more than what we see on the outside. He has a heart of pure gold. He is a good son, a good brother, a good friend and an awesome boyfriend.

Bentley's dad was probably my favourite character after Kai. He was such a dad. There was one scene where Bentley, Kai and their friends were having a movie night and Bentley's dad joined in. He cracked me up, he was so oblivious. And then on the other end of the scale was Bentley's mum. She didn't have many traits that endeared her to me at all.

And while Life, Love, & Lemons was a sweet story, it also touched on some rather serious issues as well. Issues that are so current in today's society and could touch any teen at any point in their young lives. But even though the issues were quite heavy, they didn't weigh down the book too much.

If you're looking for something, fun and sweet, then Life, Love, & Lemons could be just what you are after.

3.75/5 Sweet Stars.
Profile Image for M.
105 reviews14 followers
August 24, 2013
"Screw the lemons" this book is totally Sweet Tea!

First off, this is the fourth Magan Vernon book I've read recently. I absolutely adore her humor, sarcasm, and wit. I fell in love with Ace and his guyliner in the My Alien Romance series (check out my review at www.mereadalot.com) and now I’m loving Kai and the lip ring in Life, Love & Lemons. I love how Magan's male characters are out-of-the-ordinary and unique.

Meet Bentley: rich girl, total snob, little miss everyone-loves-me. Well, at least until her dad gets laid off and she moves from the burbs to the nasty 70s apartment on the wrong side of town. Leaving her ritzy private school for the gang-infested public school isn’t the only shock. She actually has to get her manicured hands dirty with a real job at a burger joint if she wants gas money or new clothes. Poor little rich girl.

Of course Bentley is tough, and full of snark. Just because she isn’t in her elitest social circle during the day doesn’t mean she’s going to slum it with punk-rock-wannabe Kai. Nope. He can take his sarcasm and lip ring and choke on them.

But there is something about Kai. Underneath the slightly arrogant wit, punk band t-shits, & skinny jeans is a pretty amazing guy. Not too mention, he’s actually kinda hot. Maybe Bentley judged him a bit too harshly. Maybe he’s just what she needs when everything else in her life is going so wrong.

I loved watching Bentley try and navigate public high school. And she thought metal detectors were only for airports. And seriously, how was she supposed to know red was a gang color? Oops. But getting your purse stolen before actually entering the building is a first for the rough school. So as much as she'd like to blend in, Bentley is the talk of the hallway.

I adored the relationship between Bentley and Kai. I love when opposites attract. I swooned for Kai, but maybe that’s because I’ve known a few Kai’s in my life. The references in the book were hilarious and brought back my own HS memories. Of course our Perkins was really a Denny’s, but the garage band music, free bowling, & wanna-be rockers are right up my alley. Kai is Mr. Straight Edge. He doesn’t drink, smoke, or do drugs. Much like most of the “Kai’s” I knew back in the day. But enough about me and my walk down memory lane.

There are some great secondary characters including Gabby (her only real friend in public school), Brett (her only real friend back at private school), Brynne and her crew of punk rock bitc**s, Kai's adorable sisters, and even the sleazy Jake (who reminded me so much of Blane from Pretty in Pink). By far my favorite secondary character was Bentley's dad. He had me rolling on the floor in laughter a few times.

So, the rest of the story we follow Bentley and Kai’s growing relationship, and continue to watch Bentley try to adjust to her new life (which is both heart-warming and flippin’ hilarious). I love how these two characters connect and bond. Here are some of my top moments in the book:

Screw the lemons!
Perkins being the punk rock hang out
Sid & Nancy Drew
“Milk is good for your …” You’ll never guess Bentley’s dad’s philosophy on this
Orange hair is NOT punk rock (been there, done that)
Kai ruining all of his mom’s good towels
Prayer is good for the soul (at least w/Kai’s mom)
Bentley's MIA mom finally saving the day (& her hilarious method)
Foreskin Bandits
Homecoming…..speaking of here is how I saw Kai at the dance:

I laughed my way through this book. The characters were fantastic and watching Bentley grow was sweet. I especially loved when she finally put her so-called “friends” in their place! You go girl! There are a few secrets revealed along the way that were unexpected. I really was surprised when the real reason behind Bentley's break-up with the icky ex Jake was revealed!

Overall I think this is another insanely fun Magan Vernon read. It’s short and sweet and you won’t want to put it down. She has definitely got a fangirl in me.

Profile Image for Ambur.
796 reviews429 followers
February 9, 2017
I've been wanting to read Life, Love, & Lemons ever since I first read the description months ago! It sounded like an adorable story, and I'm extremely happy to say that it definitely lived up to that expectation. :D

While at first, I wasn't a huge fan of Bentley...she did start off being a bit spoiled and bratty, I could tell that she was going to change and that she was trying to make the best out of a horrible situation. So, even though she was a brat at first, I did still admire her for trying, and she really grew on me! I loved that Bentley knew life wasn't going to be easy for her anymore, and she worked for everything she had and accepted that. Her mother, on the other hand, didn't handle it that way. I have to say that I didn't like Bee's mom at all, but I loved her dad! The poor guy was going through such a tough time, and I loved seeing him get more confident and I really enjoyed the way that his relationship with Bentley changed! Finally, I loved Bentley and Kai together! They definitely weren't your typical couple, but that didn't stop me from loving them at all! I loved their banter, and I just really enjoyed their relationship. :D

I thought that Bentley's progression throughout the story was really well done and I enjoyed seeing her grow. By the end of Life, Love, & Lemons, I loved that Bee was standing up for herself and that she wasn't just letting everyone influence her, but I did feel like there were a couple of situations that she could've handled better. I especially didn't like when one character physically assaulted her, and she didn't say anything to anyone (I'm hoping no one counts this as a spoiler, and I'm sorry if you consider it one, but I'll try to be vague). I know she was scared of the girl and all that, but that's not okay...ever. I just didn't like that Bentley allowed someone to hurt her like that without any consequences; it sends a really bad message, as did the other situation I didn't like, where Bee's coworkers said suggestive remarks and all she did was go "ugh" and tell them they were gross. The one where Bee got hurt happened after she started standing up for herself, too, so I was kind of confused as to why she didn't do anything in that situation. While both of these situations didn't make me dislike the book, they did bother me. I just really don't like seeing people think it's okay for others to treat them like this or for someone to think it's okay to treat others this way.

Overall, I thought that Life, Love, & Lemons was an incredibly sweet story, and my little issue about Bee reacting poorly to certain things didn't keep me from really enjoying this story. Throughout this book, Kai was the shining feature. He made up for any little issues I had, and I absolutely loved him. I also loved that despite the situation she's in, Bentley always tried to make the best of her situation. That's something more people should strive to do, and I really admired and respected her for it. I also thought that Bentley's relationship with her father developed in a wonderful way and I loved seeing them finally get to know one another. And finally, I loved that there was a lot of emphasis on looking beyond the surface and not judging people based on appearance. Bentley may have looked perfect before her dad lost her job, but she was so much happier and a much better person by the end of the book...and I think that's an extremely positive message. So, while I may have had a couple of issues, the book's overall message that we should look past appearances more than made up for them!

* I received an ebook of Life, Love, & Lemons to participate in its blog tour and in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
* This review also appears on my blog and other social media accounts.
Profile Image for N Swaffar.
859 reviews24 followers
April 15, 2015
*A copy approved by publisher through Netgalley, in return for an honest review.*

☆☆☆☆ 4.5 Stars ☆☆☆☆

The blurb of the book was what pulled me in, I found the book at the right time when I was looking for a sweet book and this was flashing “read me, read me”. I know it was going to be sweet and very clean and sometimes it’s just the book I need. I’m really glad I read this book.

This story deals with your typical teenage issues and more. This book goes through a lot of things that teenagers goes through. From Jealous exe’s trying to ruin you, backstabbing friends and major bullying. It reminded me how mean kids can really be and that saddened me on what teenagers go through these days.

This book started out with Bentley and her family moving out of their beautiful home, after her dad loses his high paying job. Basically Bentley’s life turned upside down. Because of one main event everything in her life started getting affected. Not only was she losing her beautiful house, she was moving into a crappy apartment.

From beautiful dresses and money, to selling old clothes for money and working at a burger joint. From being in the in crowd to the bullied kid. What’s a girl to do? Well you know the saying “when life gives you lemon, make lemonade”. That is exactly what Bentley does.

 photo lifelovelemons-teaser.jpg

I love Bentley’s character she is strong and a great kid. She starts living her life the best she knows how, with what she is given. She was ok with everything and having one awesome friend, then Kai happened. She thought she was over, the boys, then here comes Goth punk kid taking a hold of her heart. She didn’t like him at first, but once they got to know each other she couldn’t help but fall for him. Kai may not be your typical dream guy, but he is good looking. The difference is he dressed the way he wanted and he didn’t care what anyone thought of him. Kai had lots of piercing, tattoos and sometimes wear eyeliner..but when Bentley got to know Kai she realized he was so much more than his appearance. He was a sweet and a good guy. When Bentley needed someone the most, Kai was the one by her side. But with Kai’s jealous girlfriend wrecking havoc and will do anything to take Bentley down, what will she do? Will Bentley give up Kai? Or will she fight for him because he is the best guy she had ever known? Read and find out.

This book is a page turner, if you are into sweet young adult books. I love that the guy is not your typical book boyfriend. Kai is opposite of what a hero should be, he is just a simple guy who fell in love with Bentley and will do anything to protect her no matter the cost. Love this book, very sweet and enjoyable. Can’t wait to read Author Magan Vernon’s other books.

Profile Image for Precious.
273 reviews32 followers
October 16, 2013
Originally posted @ Fragments of Life

My Thoughts:

The premise of Life, Love, & Lemons was similar to a few YA contemps that I've read in the past. Although the plot was nothing new, it was definitely packed in charm and humor. Magan did a good job in blending the light and heavy parts of the book. For the majority of the book, I didn't feel the heaviness of it until the last half. The humor balanced out the heaviness. Though the financial and emotional problems, as well as regrets and dark pasts, were tackled, I felt that this was still a light read.

Bentley, just like any person used to a life of luxury who was taken away from it, was dreading the small apartment, the public school and the newness of it all. Though I expected her to complain a lot and maybe even be a bitch about it, she ended up being the opposite. She was nice and considerate. I found her to be a patient girl, taking everything in and adapting to it as fast as she could. What I really liked about her was that she kept moving forward, not letting challenges and obstacles deter her. She lived one day at a time, dealing with school, work and home.

Now, moving on to Kai. He was the boy nextdoor clad in skinny jeans and the always-present eyeliner. At first, the appearance threw me off balance. I couldn't really imagine him as the love interest. But the moment he started talking, I knew he was the one. Kai was a gentleman through and through; a good boy despite the outfit. Just like Bentley, he had his own struggles in life. Seeing his vulnerable side and romantic side were two of the things that I liked most in Life, Love, & Lemons.

Kai and Bentley were an unlikely couple, the emo and the preppy girl. It's not the usual combination so they get teased a lot by their schoolmates. To make matters worse, Kai's ex-girlfriend, Brynne, was always looking for trouble (aka verbally or physically attacking Bentley). Kai and Bentley gravitated towards one another. It was just something that happened naturally. They lived close to one another, worked in the same burger joint and went to the same school. Little by little, they discovered that the emo boy wasn't actually emo by heart and that the preppy once-rich girl was not as snobbish as she was in the beginning. I liked how these two got closer with every page.

Life, Love, & Lemons is charming, cute and funny. This is the ideal one-sitting read for readers of YA contemporary. If you just want to take a break from paranormal or science fiction and want to taste reality for a few hours, I recommend Life, Love & Lemons to you.
Profile Image for Toni.
Author 4 books95 followers
September 23, 2013
Bentley is going through a rough time, to say the least. She went from upper class to rock bottom in the blink of an eye. From a pleasant private school to a school that requires a security check before entering. On her very first day, before she even makes it into the building, her Coach purse gets stolen out from under her nose. Bee (Bentley) sees nothing good in her immediate future. She worries that her friends St. Christopher’s will stop calling and hanging out with her, but she definitely wasn’t prepared for what really goes down.

Life, Love & Lemons is the perfect title for this book because that is exactly what this story is about. Bentley knows when to turn lemons into lemonade and when to say “screw the lemons.” I could feel her pain as she transitioned from upper class girl to lowly burger joint employee. There was a part when she was at work and her “friends” came in. She was embarrassed to go out in the dining room to sweep in front of them. I don’t know what it is about the teenage psyche that is so delicate, but I vividly remember being in her exact situation. When I was younger I worked at Taco Bell. I was humiliated whenever a group of peers would come in and see me doing menial labor. It was hugely shameful for reasons I may never understand. The author really has a way of portraying the meaning of being young. The characters are realistic and believable, which made it so easy to slip into their shoes. The emotions invoked during this story were vast. I was bummed for Bentley, then angry enough to beat down some of the characters, but my overall expression was a big ol’ smile on my face, which is always a good thing. There were even a few snickers here and there. No, I wasn’t eating candy bars, although that would have been really awesome.

This story is a sweet one, even starting out dismal as poor Bentley had to learn to deal with such major changes in her life. It was a joy to witness the budding relationship between Bentley and Kai. He starts out as just they annoying new neighbor that she wishes would leave her alone and becomes a boy that means something totally different to her. It’s not all roses and rainbows, of course. As we all know, life doesn’t go from craptastic to fantabulous without a few bumps and bruises. This wasn’t a perfect book, as there were things about the writing that I thought were somewhat simplistic, but it is a book I have been dying to read and I consider this a win for me. All fans of YA Contemporary will enjoy this one!
Profile Image for Blondies Little Book Life.
76 reviews9 followers
January 4, 2014
I am so honored to have been given this book by the author to read and review. This book for me was hands down one of the best YA novels I have read. Bentley and Kai are officially one of my favorite YA couples. Who knew a Goth/Emo guy could be so swoony. Their relationship was a breath of fresh air. Total opposites in so many ways but they made it work. This book was very well written and got me hooked from page one.

This book is told from the POV of Bentley and I absolutely loved her. She grew as a character so much throughout this book. Her relationship with her dad was so sweet. I loved how after everything they go through together, they grow closer than they ever have before. Her dad is funny, sweet and most of all there for her when her mother was not. After everything that happens with her dad, I feel so happy that he finally gets his life in order by the end of the book. Her mom on the other hand made me want to jump in the book and smack her. I was so happy that Bentley had her dad there for her, because her mom sure as heck wasn't.

Now the best part of the book for me was the growing relationship between Bentley and Kai. They were absolutely so cute together. Even throughout their differences they make such a strong and beautiful couple. No matter what they went through with their ex's they stood by each other and was always there for one another. I seriously love how Magan Vernon didn't go the traditional route with the love interest. Kai was the total opposite of so many YA love interests, that it was so refreshing. I liked the playfulness that Bentley and Kai had with each other. They both had me laughing on and off through out the book. The chemistry between them was amazing. I seriously have so many feels for them as a couple. The saying "Never Judge a Book by its Cover" goes so well with this story. Because no matter how a person dresses, they are not always what they appear to be. It doesn't matter what you wear, but who are on the inside. This book definitely was worth the read.

After finishing this book I was left wanting more. That's how much I loved this story. I want to read more about Bentley and Kai. I would love to see where their life takes them together. I cant say enough about this book. If you have not read it, I highly suggest you go out and get it now. You will not regret it.

P.S. Sequel Please!
Profile Image for Brandee (un)Conventional Bookworms.
1,328 reviews134 followers
September 26, 2013
"When life hands you lemons sometimes you just have to say screw the lemons, and bail."

Wow ~ When I first began reading Life, Love, & Lemons, I was worried I wasn't going to connect with Bentley, the main character. Ms. Vernon surprised me. I ended up loving Bentley and her story.

Bentley Evans is a young lady who has lost her private school education, fancy clothes, sushi dates, and huge house due to her father's being laid off. While at first I thought Bentley was going to be a whiny, entitled teenager, she proved me wrong. I ended up admiring the maturity she showed in dealing with the difficult circumstances she faced. She proved she was a deeper person by adapting to her new life, making sacrifices and making new friends.

Malakai 'Kai' Stone is the epitome of a gentleman hiding behind piercings, tattoos, and strange clothes - oh, and guyliner. ;) He lives next door to Bentley, at the apartment complex, and works with her, too. And he does his level best to befriend her despite his being a punk/emo and her being a preppy girl. Bentley denies her attraction but after a particularly nasty incident with a customer at work, Kai comes to her rescue. From that point forward, Kai helps Bentley learn to be more positive. Kai had me swooning often. He was snarky quite often but romantic when the situation required it.

One particularly endearing consequence to Bentley's new life is the improvement in the relationship between she and her dad. Bentley's mom was a real piece of work - hated her. But Bentley's dad was a gen and it took him losing his job to really get to know his daughter.

Another thing I enjoyed about Life, Love, & Lemons is the 80's pop culture references. From punk music to John Hughes, I found these mentions charming. Oh, and I loved that Kai drove a Ford Falcon. I LOVE that car! ;)

Life, Love, & Lemons is a sweet story with just the right amount of depth to keep things interesting. It was about teens coping with life changes and showing their mettle. And I found it quite a pleasant read.

*I received an eARC of the book, as part of a blog tour, in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Jennifer.
69 reviews1 follower
December 12, 2013

This was another great book by Magan Vernon. It's short and sweet and you will not be able to put it down!
This is actually the fourth Magan Vernon book I've read recently since I just came off her Alien Romance Series (definitely go check that series out). I absolutely adore her humor, sarcasm, and wit. Ace was the star of her "My Alien Romance Series" and I totally fell in love with him and his guyliner. And then it took of all of two seconds for me to fall for Straight Edge Kai and his lip ring in Life, Love & Lemons.

So we have Bentley and Kai.
Bentley: Rich, Snobby, and lots of snobby friends. Till her dad gets laid off and she moves from the big house to the nasty 70s apartment on the wrong side of town. Now she has to get a job (gah!) and goto public school (double gah!). But Bentley turns out to be tough and totally turns lemons into lemonade.

Kai - Bentley's neighbor at the nasty 70s apartment. Witty, arrogant, punk, and not to mention HOT. He turns out to be a truly sweet guy.

I loved the relationship between Bentley and Kai. I think I literally swooned for Kai, but maybe that’s because I’ve known more than a few Kai’s in my life. The references in the book were hilarious and brought back my own high school memories. Of course our Perkins was really a Denny’s for me and my co-blogger Meredith, but the garage band music, free bowling, & wanna-be rockers are right up our alley. Kai is Mr. Straight Edge. Wow, I didn't think anyone knew what that meant anymore...haha. He doesn’t drink, smoke, or do drugs. Much like most of the “Kai’s” we knew back in the day.

I laughed my way through this book. It reminded me of high school which like I said before was great! The characters were fantastic and watching Bentley grow was sweet.

Profile Image for Danica Page.
1,613 reviews53 followers
May 31, 2015
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Disclaimers: I received an e-galley of this novel from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not obligated to write a good review nor did I receive any compensation for writing this review.

My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: This was a book that I was excited to read. My dad also got laid off when I was 17 and we had to move to a less than ideal circumstance. I don't feel like I've read a lot of books about this, and so I was excited to see how she did at capturing this story.

My story was nothing Bentley's; however, I felt the author did a great job at capturing the emotions that go into losing your "sense of home and identity" that goes with that.

I thought the novel was beautifully crafted and stood out from the several other books I've recently read in the genre. It is a cute read for teenage readers.

The Characters: The characters Bentley and Kai had flaws and were multifaceted which I really enjoyed. The characters rung true for me. I loved reading about them. Yes, a little bit of the stereotypical "punk boy" falls for "prep girl" motif but I really didn't mind it.

Major Strengths: Great writing and intriguing characters.

Major Weaknesses: Slow at times.

So why 3.5 stars? It stood out to me, but not quite enough to be a 4. It's an interesting read.

Warnings/Side-notes: This is how the author pitched it and I'd have to to say it's accurate. "This is is NOT New Adult. This is NOT Erotica. There is no sex or even swearing. There is some heavy petting and drug references. Basically the book equivalent of a ABC Family show." I'd say 15+

The Wrap-up: I really enjoyed this one. Definitely comes recommended.


Danica Page
Profile Image for Tee loves Kyle Jacobson.
2,471 reviews169 followers
September 16, 2013
Life, Love, and Lemons is one of those cute clean stories that is a breathe of fresh air. Sometimes you just need a cute story that deviates from your normal read and this was what this book was for me. I love my NA and adult and erotica but sometimes I just need to read a clean book that puts a smile on my face and this is what I had grinning and laughing at some of the things that happened in this story to our main characters.

Bentley had me on the floor laughing because she was just so out of her league.Bentley lives the life of a rich girl who has everything and wants for nothing. Her father has a great job and she has great friends and goes to a private school. All the things she wants and needs until one day her father loses his job and they are forced to move across town to the middle class and lower class as she sees it. At first she is devastated but she soon finds out that her family needs her to step up to the plate and help out and that is exactly what she does. She gets a job and contributes to the house.

The only thing that Bentley does not like is the school. She is not used to metal detectors and all sorts of different people and styles because in private school you pretty much get the same thing. Then she meets Malakai Stone who is just an adorable punk rocker who has a heart of gold but he and Bentley do not get along at first then they start to get along. I have to say that sometimes I like an insta love but this one was a little weird for me but hey to each his own and who am I to say love can't happen in a flash.

If you want a quick sweet story that is clean from sex and swearing this is the book for you!
Profile Image for Laura.
262 reviews970 followers
Shelved as 'wishlist'
August 4, 2013
I have seen a few people unhappy about this book as the male character Kai Rowe (apparently short for Malakai) has a similar name to a character in Sweet Evil called Kaiden Rowe.

You know what, similar names happen sometimes. An author would have nothing to gain (and everything to lose) by purposefully stealing another characters name. When two characters have the same name, you can pretty much guarantee that the author didn't know when they wrote the book.

Now I don't know if I will read the book mainly because I'm usually not a fan of YA contemporary novels but I'm not going to write it off over a name.
Profile Image for Stacy.
355 reviews5 followers
January 12, 2014
This is a great YA love story. Bentley and Kai don't have similar backgrounds, lifestyles or friends but there is something that draws them together. This is a story about a girl realizing that sometimes there are things more important than yourself. I enjoyed reading this novel, and think any high school girl can find a little of themselves in this story. When life gives you lemons, seriously make some lemonade.
Profile Image for Mitchii.
802 reviews258 followers
October 3, 2013
This book is like summer. I expected the weather to be warm. In some days I’ll crave for an ice cream and I know what flavor I’ll pick. And I know how it’ll taste. Other times I want to go out and hit the beach, and I know that it’s going to be a refreshing feeling. You know those things you expect what summer represents. This is how this book for me. I know when I read Life, Love, & Lemons by Magan Vernon I’ll get my usual YA contemporary flavor. I know it going to be nice, sweet and still feel real to me.

Bentley Evans’s life drastically changed when her father got laid-off. They’re now residing in a two bedroom apartment and she’s now attending public high school. It didn’t help her situation when her dad moped for months because of what has happened and her mom is spending a lot of time outside doing who knows what. Gone her privileges and she now must work if she want her basics needs covered. But things aren’t exactly going for the worst particularly when she met Kai—a guy who not only likes the new Bentley but also willing to do everything for her even when people put their backs on her.

Like I said, it was a nice story—something you expected. And while those expectations weren’t high you still have the feeling that you will enjoy it regardless. I did enjoy Bentley’s story. I kinda know the feeling that when things take different course and it is something you are not familiar with, you got lost and scared. And while it took her a while to embrace her new status, I’m glad that she gradually and finally accepted it. And to be honest, things weren’t all that bad. So maybe it was hard for her at beginning and she always blames her father for it. But at the end she learned her lesson. That is life; you have to put your best armor upfront and faced it head on.

Kai was refreshing thing to read. I kinda like his whole don’t-judge-the-book-by-its-cover vibe. He looked like goth/punk kid and people assumed that his personality is like that because of how he dresses. But he has endearing qualities that are way beyond the clothing and piercing. He was actually a nice kid beyond the goth exterior. They also have a nice dynamic, him and Bentley. I was really surprised on the lengths he will do for Bentley. She is lucky to have him (and he is to her).

The romance was nicely done. I liked that it didn’t take so long for them to develop but doesn’t look like it was rushed. I’m glad to see a couple on their current status and see how they work on their relationship. It’s not always going to be roses and chocolates for them. So I’m glad that it gave time to show that even young couples face problems and when it is real they are mature enough to surpass those problems.

Overall, it was nice story—a story about life. A story that is also about love. And yes, there’s also bit of lemon there. And just like the summary said: “when life hands you lemons, sometimes you have to say screw the lemons and bail.” Yeah, and that.

You know sometimes you have to say, screw the lemons, and bail, but sometimes you just have to take those lemons, cut them up and put them in a glass of water." I smiled leaning in as I whispered, "And you know how much I like lemon water."” — Bentley

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Profile Image for Kyra (Blog of a Bookaholic).
471 reviews230 followers
May 25, 2015

Life, Love and Lemons starts with Bentley, a rich girl attending a private school who loses it all when her dad is retrenched and has to move into a tiny apartment without the luxuries of her former life. Her friends grow more and more distant with each passing day, her mom is out spending their last remaining money and her dad is sitting at home, not knowing what to do. Bentley feels lost and alone venturing this alien territory, but then she meets Kai Stone, who wears guyliner, skinny jeans and who is not Bentley's type at all. But she falls for him and he makes her new life much better, however, Kai's jealous ex-girlfriend is lurking in the background, ready to sabotage their happiness and unveil a secret from Bentley's former life that she has been trying to keep hidden and that could potentially ruin her new life and her relationship with Kai.

I'll be completely honest with you, when I first started this book, I didn't enjoy it. I wasn't keen on Bentley, I wasn't keen on Kai and there was a bit of insta-love, which as we all know, I am not a fan of. However, throughout the course of the novel, I slowly began falling more in love with the story and by the time I had turned the last page (more like clicked, it was on my Kindle) I was extremely happy that I had stuck through and read it, because I really enjoyed it! It's not a story that will really evoke a surge of powerful emotions, but it is a lovely story about acceptance that you can lose yourself in it without having to strain your brain over a complicated plot or having to haul out your dictionary due to big words that are scattered throughout.

I really liked Bentley. At first I thought she was a spoiled, rich girl but throughout the novel she worked hard and did as much as she could in order to help her family and I really admired her for that. She didn't whine about her life and max out credit cards, but instead she showed acts of selflessness and demonstrated self-sacrifice in order to aid her family, which I think is quite admirable! There's a twist towards the end where we discover that Bentley wasn't always the good girl we viewed her as and I appreciated that the author included that in the story as it further emphasized her internal growth and how far she has come!

I also really liked Kai. At first I was slightly scared of him in a way because he was kind of punk/goth and I, well I like the colour pink and baby animals, so you can understand why, right? No? Okay then. So at first I was slightly apprehensive BUT THEN I WASN'T. Because he was actually really nice. And not scary like I thought he would be. HUZZAH! He was extremely sweet to Bentley, he stood up for her and he sacrificed his reputation in order to save hers. He was absolutely lovely to her and although I wouldn't consider him a book boyfriend, I still really liked him!

I really liked their relationship. It was sweet, it was simple, they were both really good to each other and genuinely cared for the other and I definitely shipped them!

I found the writing perfect and flowed fluidly, the pacing was great and I wasn't bored for a singular moment!

Overall, Life, Love & Lemons was an adorable read that featured themes of accepting the troubles that life throws at us and allowing something good to come out of it. I appreciated that the love interest wasn't a typical bad boy or a typical jock, but just a normal teenage boy who likes black clothes and punk bands! This was a very cute read and I'd highly recommend it if you're looking for quick, fun contemporary!
Profile Image for Jessica.
189 reviews7 followers
May 17, 2015
I got a copy of this book from Netgalley and the publishers for an honest review.

I read this entire book in one lazy day; it was fairly easy going read. I was interested in the story line- I liked the laid back but fun idea that the synopsis illustrated. While the book was sort of laid back it just didn't measure up to what I expected from this book which surprises me since it has so many really good reviews on Goodreads. I was really excited when I saw the high star markings from people who had read it but I have to admit my excitement slowly faded until I was just reading the book because I needed to write an honest review.

This book lacks a lot of background detailing; not only are the characters that are introduced barely described (besides hair color and whether they were preps or whatever). I honestly could not picture anyone- I had no idea that Kai was part Korean until something was said about his mother. I feel I should have had some hint of what he looked like! The main character? All I know is she dyed her hair blonde when she was rich (for $85) and turned it orange, thus having to dye it brown. Oh, and that shes shorter than Kai. I can't tell you anything about the other characters really- oh, some band mates were chubby and skinny.

There was little to no description about the high school besides that it was 'really big' and that you had to pass through metal detectors to get into the school. And so forth. I couldn't even tell you what kind of climate they were in: were they in a warm/hot place like Florida or a place that has extreme snow like Minnesota?

There was also a huge time issue that I found and it really, really confused me. At the end of the book Bentley mentions how only a month has taken place but that doesn't make sense with the story at all. Here's why:

Chapter 5 is around the time that school starts. By Chapter 14 the days mentioned and the order of the day indicates that at least 2 weeks have passed since the first day of school. (The mention of Mon-Fri being mentioned and parties etc) but then in Chapter 18 (four entire chapters later!) Bentley starts two new AP classes and has to give them a 'transfer' script. W

Why did Bentley not start two new classes for over 2 weeks after she started at the school? That makes no sense. There were no indications that she was changing courses from Chapter 5-Chapter 18. I went back and rescanned the chapters between 5 and 18 and not once does it mention her moving from the classes she's had at the beginning of the school year to AP classes.

The main character did have some growth; she went from a spoiled little rich girl to a nicer poor girl. But sadly, there wasn't much character growth for anyone else.

It really makes me sad to have to write such a bad review.
Profile Image for Sab.
299 reviews92 followers
September 20, 2013
Check out my tour stop and enter the giveaway for swag! Sab The Book Eater

Life, Love & Lemons felt a lot like a fluffy teen chick flick. The highschool bullying was theatrical, Bentley's mother was unbelievably selfish and Kai was the perfect boy next door (minus the typical clean look though). Having said that, I find this book to be quite entertaining. All the chick flick feels worked well and were actually pretty nice.

Bentley Evans got handed a whole bunch of lemons and, even though she wanted to screw the lemons and bail, she didn't. She made lemon water (because she's not much of a lemonade fan). I loved seeing how Bee transformed gradually throughout the book. She surely was beyond bummed about their change in lifestyle but she dealt with all the crap with grace. She wasn't so accepting of her situation at first but as she grew used to her new life, she traded in her bad attitude for a positive outlook on life. Another thing that I liked about this book were Bee's relationshi[ with her father. It's rare for YA books now to have parents really present in a book and even if Bee only had one parent who was there for her, it was refreshing to see moments were she bonded with her dad over the simplest things like cutting coupons. It showed some other side to Bee that you can't see elsewhere.

The romance started out a bit rough for me. Bee went from hating emo boy Kai to liking him so quickly. Fortunately though their relationship became more likable because of how sweet they were without getting all serious and insta love-y. Kai was super sweet and adorable! I never thought I'd find fictional  emo boys to be attractive but Kai's charm was definitely irresistible. He complimented Bee well and together they made the story more colorful.

The only downside though was how the bullying and other nasty things that occurred in this book was too unrealistic. However it does add a bit of fun to the book in a way. Some people may find that unappealing, some might. I'm in between, to be honest, but overall I think it helped liven up the story. I was able to finish it in less than 4 hours so that's got to mean something, right? So pick up Life, Love, & Lemons if you're looking for your next fun and light teen read. You'll surely find that here. ;)

(I received a copy for review. This did not influence me in any way.)
Profile Image for Anita.
424 reviews14 followers
April 15, 2015
(I received this book via NetGalley)

Life, Love & Lemons was a cute story about Bentley and how her life went from the most popular, top of the class girl to the new girl at the public school down the street. Her life is a bit of a mess, but she's taking it in stride and trying to do what she can with it. What I liked about this story was the sweetness between Bentley and Malakai, and their friendship despite their differences, they took what they had and made it work. I also enjoyed Bentley's growth throughout the book, and the growth of her self confidence.

I had a bit of a tough time with the book as a whole though; I felt like we were only scratching the surface of most of the characters I mean I get a general idea of all of them but I feel like somehow there was depth missing. I also felt like the story was being spoken to me rather than me feeling like I was a part of it. I wasn't getting a full picture, just a day-to-day update of the events in a way. There were a few inconsistencies that were pretty minor, but the way that expressions were spelled out rather than just made exactly what they are actually confused me (ie: oh-em-gee...this is OMG, I had no idea the first few times I read it...).

As I started off, the book was a cute story despite my misgivings. If you are looking for a quick, cute, fun read with some character growth, I wouldn't pass Life, Love, & Lemons up.

Profile Image for Courtney.
700 reviews4 followers
May 21, 2015
This was a quick, brainless read. Not very deep, but entertaining. I loved the characters. Bentley is a rich girl turned poor when her father is laid off and unable to find a new job. The family has to move from their large house into a small apartment. Her dad spends most of his time wallowing. Her mother is always gone, trying to continue living her life of luxury. Her mother is just awful. Bentley is tough and resilient. It takes her a bit of effort to adjust to life at the rough public school and to come to terms with her position as a minimum wage employee at a burger joint. Her old, private school friends quickly turn on her, going so far as to publicly humiliate her. She finds solace and an unexpected friend in her punk neighbor and co-worker, Kai. His black clothes, guyliner and lip ring at first put her off, but he soon becomes the one person she can turn to. Their friendship quickly turns into romance. Unfortunately, his vindictive ex-girlfriend will stop at nothing to see Bentley taken down. Secrets and mistakes from the past threaten to tear Bentley and Kai apart, but she is not one to go down without a fight. Bentley may look like a princess, but she is tough as nails. Kai may look like a punk, but he has a good heart and a kind soul. Together, they may just be what the other needs. Their love story was fun to watch blossom. I really enjoyed their characters and getting to know them.
Profile Image for Nicole.
644 reviews4 followers
April 1, 2015
I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. When Bentley's father loses his job, she can handle the cramped, musty apartment and her new job in the fast food industry, but she isn't sure she can navigate the life of an average teen in her new school until she befriends her next door neighbor, Kai. He isn't like anyone she has spent time with before, but together they set out to make lemonade out of the lemons life just keeps handing them. There is a lot of high school drama in this little contemporary YA romance, and the road to the end is paved with mean girls and a lot of over-the-top hard knocks. While there was an attempt to elevate the story through character growth, Bentley's enlightenment falls short of sincere. An unnecessary extended episode where Bentley attempts to establish someone's sexual orientation is likely to offend some readers as will the stereotypical and negative depictions of public high school students and teachers. The attempt to depict the gritty realism of a life of the lower middle class doesn't pair convincingly with the unrealistic ending. Personally, I found the book condescending because Bentley isn't an example of a survivor, she is an example of someone proud of herself for adapting to a life most of us live on a daily basis. Language and situations are appropriate for high school.
Profile Image for Jessica.
332 reviews11 followers
July 9, 2015
I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review

I have to admit that the blurb is what drew me in. Which is great since that's what its supposed to do right?!

When life hands you lemons, sometimes you have to say screw the lemons and bail.

Seventeen-year-old Bentley Evans had it all. Then her Dad got laid off.

Now she has to move across town to a small apartment and leave her life of luxury for public school and a job at the local burger place. Just when her world seems like it's crumbling she finds solace in the unlikely punk boy next door, Kai Stone. But as their relationship blossoms, a jealous ex-girlfriend and a secret to tell that threatens to bring disaster back into Bentley’s life.

Kai was interesting I really liked him. He isn't your typical romance hero type. He's a punk guy (which I wish more books had) that works at a fast food place.

My first thoughts of Bentley was that I wasn't going to like her. But she didn't turn out to be shallow as I thought she would. Her mom on the other hand got on my nerves! a lot!

I loved the premise of the book but I had a hard time staying with it. I picked it up and put it down a few times. It just wasn't my cup of tea apparently. The writing was good, the story just couldn't keep my attention.
Profile Image for Kirsty Bicknell.
657 reviews67 followers
June 19, 2015
Life, Love and Lemons is everything a Young Adult Contemporary Romance should be; sweet, a little angsty and clean. True, there are some kissing scenes but the characters are 17 so I think this is to be expected!
When we meet Bentley her life is changing and she has to adapt to public school, working a part-time job, worrying about her father and living in a small apartment. I think that Bentley’s initial reluctance could be interpreted as snobbishness though, but I liked her resilience and attitude.
Magan Vernon chooses to start a friendship between Bentley and Kai and though at first this is uncomfortable, it is also the catalyst Bentley needs to begin her journey of self-discovery. We welcome Kai’s teasing, innocent flirting and sense of fun and the lack of physical chemistry is made up for by their actions and acceptance of one another.
One of the main issues I had with the story is that Magan Vernon tries to tackle too many issues. In Life, Love and Lemons there is first love, family breakdowns, sexuality, drugs and friendship drama. For me, very few of these was explored fully and I was left with questions.
Overall, Life, Love and Lemons is an enjoyable and charming story which is perfectly aimed at its young adult readers!
Profile Image for Marina.
1,002 reviews
May 12, 2015
This was a solidly written book with a good story line and succinct chapters. The character progression of Bentley seemed fairly rapid from richy-rich private school girl with carefree shopping habits to other-side-of-the-tracks, needing to sell her car and work in a fast food restaurant to save for college. I didn't really get a great connection to her as a character but I admired her attitude of making lemon water out of the lemons life threw at her. I did enjoy the realistic portrayal of Bentley and Kai's relationship. They seemed to almost instantly connect on a level and he seemed very down to earth and stable despite his outward appearance (which Bentley eventually found out after she overlooked his punk style and got to know him better). I was kind of disappointed at they stereotypical treatment of Brett's character--fashion, really? Ultimately, I breezed through the story and found it enjoyable with a few hang-ups but those didn't hinder my experience.

Received as an advanced copy from the publisher through NetGalley for an honest review.
June 23, 2015
What a cute story for young readers! This story was about Bentley who’s world just got turned upside down when she needs to change schools and move to an apartment after her father gets laid off. Bentley learns that her friends might not be the people she thought and sometimes you find love in the least expected place.

I really liked that the hero in this story wasn’t your normal guy; he was a punk rocker that Bentley could relate to. I also have a bit of a sweet sport for those rocker boys especially when I was in high school. Both Kai and Bentley were very liable characters, we never saw the stuck up girl in Bentley, unlike her friend Taylor. Kai was just likable and what he did in the end was GREAT!

Magan Vernon did a great job of showing the emotions of what Bentley was going though by her dad getting laid off. Many teens could probably relate to this experience too.

The only thing about this story is at times it seemed a little slow, but all in al it was a very enjoyable story!
98 reviews2 followers
October 7, 2013
Bentley Evans is losing the only life she has ever known. Her dad lost his job and they are moving from their rich neighborhood and private school to a small apartment and public school. Could things get any worse? Apparently they can, and they do until she learns that sometimes things aren't as bad as they seem. Her new neighbor, Kai, an edgy guy that she thinks is nothing like her shows her that there is more to life than outward appearance and material things. When life hands you lemons, sometimes you just have to say "screw the lemons, and bail".

I really enjoyed this book. It was refreshing to see things from a teens POV how to deal with big issues in a mature way. Bentley faced things head on and handled them with grace. I love how Kai was portrayed as her total opposite, yet they had so much in common.

It was really great to read a book that focused on the characters and the story without having to add sex and violence...Nice, clean read!
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