Thursday, June 26, 2014

Such Sweet Sorrow by Jenny Trout | Mini Review

Such Sweet Sorrow by Jenny Trout | Mini ReviewSuch Sweet Sorrow by Jenny Trout
Published by Entangled on February 4, 2014
Pages: 304
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley, Publisher
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3 Stars

Never was there a tale of more woe than this of Juliet and her Romeo…But true love never dies. Though they’re parted by the veil between the world of mortals and the land of the dead, Romeo believes he can restore Juliet to life, but he’ll have to travel to the underworld with a thoroughly infuriating guide.

Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, may not have inherited his father’s crown, but the murdered king left his son a much more important responsibility—a portal to the Afterjord, where the souls of the dead reside. When the determined Romeo asks for help traversing the treacherous Afterjord, Hamlet sees an opportunity for adventure, and the chance to avenge his father’s death.

In an underworld filled with leviathan monsters, ghoulish shades, fire giants and fierce Valkyrie warriors, Hamlet and Romeo must battle their way through jealousy, despair, and their darkest fears to rescue the fair damsel. Yet finding Juliet is only the beginning, and the Afterjord doesn’t surrender souls without a price…

picadillyblueSuch Sweet Sorrow is a lot more than a retelling of Romeo and Juliet.  I was pleasantly surprised to find many more of Shakespeare’s characters represented in this book and while it had it’s flaws, it was an enjoyable read.

Jenny Trout has a way with words.  Such Sweet Sorrow is beautifully written.  However, I feel like combining a Shakespeare retelling with some heavily descriptive writing might not have been the best route.  Such Sweet Sorrow was a good story but it dragged.  It wasn’t a long book but the combination of it being a Shakespeare retelling and having Jenny Trout’s writing style made it seem like it was never going to end.  I found myself setting it aside to pick up other books because I never seemed to make any progress with it.  Maybe it was just me but it was a really heavy read.

Like I mentioned earlier, this is more than a Shakespeare retelling.  Hamlet makes an appearance, there are Valkyries, and of course Remeo and Juliet are present.  Sure, the story mainly focuses on Romeo going to the underworld to get Juliet back but Hamlet is there as his guide and the Valkyries play a big role in the story as well.  It was a really unique take on Shakespeare’s story.  Also, Juliet was pretty badass!  She didn’t want to rely on Romeo for her freedom and her life.  She took control of her own destiny and I loved that about her.  She always seems to weak in the original story and in many retellings but not this one.

Overall, Such Sweet Sorrow is a flawed but fun read.  Romeo and Hamlet’s friendship as well as their journey through the underworld make for a great story.

What others are saying about Such Sweet Sorrow:

Blood, Sweat and Books’ review: “Sounds bizarre and even I admit it is but somehow it worked out in the end.”

The YA Kitten’s review: “This is definitely one of those novels that will either work for you or not work for you.”

Reviews by Molly’s review: “With rollercoaster thrills, young love romance, and an ending that leaves you dying for a sequel, this story is definitely a keeper!”

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Perfect Kind of Trouble (Finding Fate #2) by Chelsea Fine | Review

Perfect Kind of Trouble (Finding Fate #2) by Chelsea Fine | ReviewPerfect Kind of Trouble by Chelsea Fine
Series: Finding Fate #2
Published by Forever on June 3, 2014
Pages: 336
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley, Publisher
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4 Stars

Sometimes when perfect falls apart, a little trouble fixes everything . . . 

Twenty-one-year-old Kayla Turner has lost everything. After spending most of her life taking care of her ailing mother, she just wants to spot a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. So when her late father-a man she barely knew-leaves her an inheritance, she finally breathes a sigh of relief . . . until she learns the inheritance comes with strings. Strings in the form of handsome playboy Daren Ackwood, her father's protégé. To see any of her inheritance, she's forced to team up with him. From his expensive car to those sexy dimples, Kayla's seen his type before. But Daren isn't who he seems to be . . .

Struggling to make amends for his family's mistakes, Daren has a life more Oliver Twist than Richie Rich these days. He's beyond grateful that James Turner included him in his will, but working with Turner's princess of a daughter to fulfill his cryptic last wish is making Daren wonder if being broke is really so bad. Still, she's just as beautiful as she is stubborn, and the more time he spends with Kayla, the less it feels right being without her. Soon Daren and Kayla begin to wonder if maybe the best gift Kayla's dad could have left them . . . was each other.

picadillybluePerfect Kind of Trouble, the second book in the Finding Fate series, is the cute, fun new adult story that I expected with some twists thrown in.

Daren was introduced to readers in the first book in this series, Best Kind of Broken.  Kayla is a new addition, back in town after the death of her father.  Kayla only plans to drop in, go to the funeral, and sign off on the will but she soon learns that her father left her an inheritance but it comes with a catch; she has to be handcuffed to Daren while going on a scavenger hunt to find the money.  Things wouldn’t be so bad if Kayla wasn’t supremely attracted to Daren even though she can’t stand him.  Daren wouldn’t mind either except Kayla abandoned her father and he has no respect for her.  However, Kayla and Daren quickly find out that the things they think they know about each other aren’t exactly true.  Oh and the scavenger hunt they expected to last a few hours?  Yeah, try a few days instead.

Kayla and Daren are both majorly flawed characters.  One of Kayla’s  biggest flaws and my only real problem with the book was her vanity.  She never stopped talking about how guys treated her like an object and how women were intimidated by her beauty.  I know she hated that about herself but it really did make her seem vain.   Other than that though, she was smart, kind, caring, and witty.  I grew to like her once I learned to look past all the talk of her beauty and her body.  Daren was easier to like from the start since I did know a bit about him from the first book in the series.  He was cocky and full of himself but it was pretty obvious from the start that it was all a shield so people never saw the real him.  He’s a kind person with a big heart but no one to share it with.  Life definitely gave him lemons but he wasn’t quite sure how to make lemonade.  Kayla helped him figure it out.  They really helped each other figure a lot of things out.

The story was nothing special but it was really fun.  A scavenger hunt that could lead to a quarter or a couple thousand dollars?  Sign me up.  Sure, Kayla and Daren were handcuffed together the whole time but that just made it even more fun.  There was tons of madness and mayhem and some seriously funny moments.  The development of their relationship was also fun to see.  They started off thinking the worst of each other and really not getting along.  By the end, they definitely saw different sides to each other.  There was some serious chemistry between the two of them from the start and I loved watching it all play out.

Overall, Perfect Kind of Trouble is a solid second novel in the Finding Fate series.  This book also introduces the two main characters from the next book and I look forward to reading their story next!

What others are saying about Perfect Kind of Trouble:

Bookworm Coalition’s review: “I loved the first book, Best Kind of Broken, and it seems Chelsea Fine has another great addition to what’s shaping up to be a fantastic series.”

Book Angel Booktopia’s review: “I am utterly smitten with this series and the characters Chelsea has created.”

Bitter Sweet Book Love’s review: “It’s realistic and honest and just a bit messy and I couldn’t get enough of it.”

Monday, June 23, 2014

Best Kind of Broken (Finding Fate #1) by Chelsea Fine | Review

Best Kind of Broken (Finding Fate #1) by Chelsea Fine | ReviewBest Kind of Broken by Chelsea Fine
Series: Finding Fate #2
Published by Forever on March 4, 2014
Pages: 336
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley, Publisher
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4 Stars

Pixie and Levi haven't spoken in nearly a year when they find themselves working―and living―at the same inn in the middle of nowhere. Once upon a time, they were childhood friends. But that was before everything went to hell. And now things are... awkward.

All they want to do is avoid each other, and their past, for as long as possible. But now that they're forced to share a bathroom, and therefore a shower, keeping their distance from one another becomes less difficult than keeping their hands off each other. Welcome to the hallway of awkward tension and sexual frustration, folks. Get comfy. It’s going to be a long summer.

picadillyblueBest Kind of Broken is the first novel I’ve read from Chelsea Fine but it will not be my last.  If it’s any indication of her talent as a writer, I have high hopes for her future titles.

Best Kind of Broken starts off with a bang and never slows down.  It’s a surprisingly fast paced contemporary novel.  There isn’t a whole lot to the story but the characters and the dialogue really keep the book moving at a great pace.  It was impossible for me to put this one down once I started it because I really wanted to see if and how Pixie and Levi would get their happy ending.  It’s the best kind of contemporary novel out there that can keep you reading even when you know you have tons of others things you should be doing.

Pixie and Levi are both very broken people.  Pixie lost her best friend and her first shot at love all in one night.  Levi lost his sister and his shot at love that same night.  Now they don’t know how to find their way back to each other and let go of that one night that ruined both of their lives.  Pixie is no longer the vibrant, outgoing person she was before the accident.  She no longer paints in colors, spends time with a boyfriend that makes her feel absolutely nothing, and she avoids the one person who knows exactly what she’s going through.  Levi is just about as bad as Pixie.  He lost his whole family in one night and add to it the girl he was falling in love with and it makes for one seriously depressed person.  He dropped out of school, gave up football, and really just decided he didn’t deserve anything or anyone that would make him happy.  Levi and Pixie would continue to avoid each if other if only they weren’t working at the same inn and living next door to each other.  They may not want to but they are finally forced to face the past and decide if they have room for each other in their futures.

Pixie and Levi may say they want nothing to do with each other but the way they act says something very different.  They banter constantly, torment each other nonstop, and really just do anything they can to put themselves in the path of the other.  Everyone at the inn can see that they love each other and should be together but they are two hardheaded people who will do anything to avoid talking about the one night that ended the short life of Pixie’s best friend and Levi’s sister, Charity.  Their story isn’t a happy one but it’s clear that they need to work together to get to any kind of happy ending.  They can’t avoid their love for each other forever and they definitely can’t avoid the sexual tension between the two of them.

Overall, Best Kind of Broken is a great place to start if you have never read anything from Chelsea Fine.  She has definitely been added to my list of new adult authors to watch out for!

What others are saying about Best Kind of Broken:

Parajunkee’s review: “I have mixed feelings about Best Kind of Broken; on one hand the characters were interesting and I wanted to know their story, on the other hand I found the build-up to the “big secret” to be frustrating.”

Girls in the Stacks’ review: “Holy heck this is a freaking great book!”

The Good, the Bad, and the Unread’s review: “This is a lovely, quirky story about a group of very distinct personalities.”

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Open Road Summer by Emery Lord | Review

Open Road Summer by Emery Lord | ReviewOpen Road Summer by Emery Lord
Published by Bloomsbury on April 15, 2014
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 342
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley, Publisher
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5 Stars

After breaking up with her bad-news boyfriend, Reagan O’Neill is ready to leave her rebellious ways behind. . . and her best friend, country superstar Lilah Montgomery, is nursing a broken heart of her own. Fortunately, Lilah’s 24-city tour is about to kick off, offering a perfect opportunity for a girls-only summer of break-up ballads and healing hearts. But when Matt Finch joins the tour as its opening act, his boy-next-door charm proves difficult for Reagan to resist, despite her vow to live a drama-free existence. This summer, Reagan and Lilah will navigate the ups and downs of fame and friendship as they come to see that giving your heart to the right person is always a risk worth taking. A fresh new voice in contemporary romance, Emery Lord’s gorgeous writing hits all the right notes.

picadillyblueOpen Road Summer is a book after my own heart.  Emery Lord’s debut novel is everything a contemporary lover could want in a book.  It’s a novel of friendship, fame, family, and love and it hits the right notes on every one of those subjects.  And did I mention Matt Finch?  No?  Well don’t worry, I will.

The best aspect of Open Road Summer is, by far, the friendship between Reagan and Lilah.  They couldn’t be more different but they balance each other out.  Reagan is the girl who makes bad decisions regarding everything in her life, especially boys.  Lilah is the teen country star who couldn’t be more perfect.  It doesn’t seem like they could work together but they do.  Lilah’s family embraces Reagan almost as a second daughter.  That only serves to cement the bond that Lilah and Reagan share.  And no matter what happens in either of their lives, they always have time for each other.  Sure they fight but they always find their way back to each other.  They are true friends.

The fame aspect was so much fun.  Reagan is tagging along with Lilah on her cross country tour for the summer.  There are stops in tons of cities, there are trips out to events in disguise, there are nasty paparazzi, and so much more.  There aren’t many YA books dealing with famous people but Emery Lord did a great job making this story believable.

The family part wasn’t overdone but definitely played a role in both Lilah and Reagan’s stories.   Lilah has a close knit family and she wants to keep them out of the spotlight.  She also doesn’t want her little brothers to see her in the wrong light.  She’s a good girl but the paparazzi will do whatever it takes to make her look bad and she doesn’t want them to see her like that.  It was cute how loyal she was to her family and how obvious her love for them was.  Then there was Reagan and her family situation.  Reagan’s dad was an alcoholic for a lot of her life and when he cleaned up his act, he got remarried to someone Reagan really couldn’t care less about.  Ever since Reagan’s dad gave up alcohol, they have only drifted further apart.  Reagan’s bad life choices also don’t help that relationship but it turns out that her summer away may actually bring them closer together.

The romance was beyond cute.  I told you I would mention Matt Finch and here it is: he may be the perfect male specimen.  Holy crap is he the cutest.  He’s sweet, he’s funny, he’s cocky, he’s smart, he’s talented, and I could go on and on about his many wonderful characteristics.  He is not your typical famous male singer.  He’s got a really sweet, vulnerable side that he really doesn’t show often but Reagan brings it out of him.  They both bring out really different sides of each other.  Their banter is beyond adorable.  They have immediate chemistry and from the start I couldn’t help rooting for them.  I really wanted to see things work out between them.  Reagan and Matt Finch are two characters that you can’t help but want to see together.

There is also some romance between Lilah and her ex-boyfriend, Jimmy.  Things are really complicated with them because Lilah is famous and all Jimmy wants is to grow up and run his own farm.  He’s never wanted anything more than that and Lilah.  They love each other so much but they decided they had to let each other go so they could follow their own dreams.  Their story was sweet and heartbreaking at the same time and I truly loved the outcome at the end of their story.  It was perfect.

Overall, Emery Lord’s debut novel was, in my opinion, perfect.  Contemporary fans will adore this story and I can’t give it a higher recommendation.

What others are saying about Open Road Summer:

We Still Read’s review: “This book, feet up, windows down, country music in the back ground? Perfection.”

Book.Blog.Bake’s review: “Open Road Summer has everything going for it: a swoon-worthy romantic interest, a super strong friendship(the kind that unfortunately uncommon in YA), and a delightful road-trip vibe.”

That Artsy Reader Girl’s review: “Basically, if you’re looking for a sweet summer romance with a little meat to it then this is your book!”

Monday, June 9, 2014

Hexed (The Witch Hunter #1) by Michelle Krys | Review

Hexed (The Witch Hunter #1) by Michelle Krys | ReviewHexed by Michelle Krys
Series: The Witch Hunter #1
Published by Random House on June 10, 2014
Genres: Paranormal
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley, Publisher
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4 Stars

If high school is all about social status, Indigo Blackwood has it made. Sure, her quirky mom owns an occult shop, and a nerd just won’t stop trying to be her friend, but Indie is a popular cheerleader with a football-star boyfriend and a social circle powerful enough to ruin everyone at school. Who wouldn’t want to be her?

Then a guy dies right before her eyes. And the dusty old family Bible her mom is freakishly possessive of is stolen. But it’s when a frustratingly sexy stranger named Bishop enters Indie’s world that she learns her destiny involves a lot more than pom-poms and parties. If she doesn’t get the Bible back, every witch on the planet will die. And that’s seriously bad news for Indie, because according to Bishop, she’s a witch too.

Suddenly forced into a centuries-old war between witches and sorcerers, Indie’s about to uncover the many dark truths about her life—and a future unlike any she ever imagined on top of the cheer pyramid.

picadillyblueHexed, Michelle Krys’ debut novel, is a fresh new paranormal for the YA market.  Witches have always been one of my least favorite paranormal creatures but Hexed has certainly changed my opinion on them!

Indigo (Indie) is so far from your typical YA character.  First, she’s a cheerleader but she’s not bitchy.  Second, she’s a witch but she isn’t very witchy.  Now I’m sure part of that is because she doesn’t know she’s a witch but still.  Third, she’s popular but she’s not a mean girl.  She really doesn’t fit any of the stereotypes and I loved that about her.  She’s a good person who loves her mom, her friends, her boyfriend, and her life.  Yes she has her flaws but who doesn’t?  Her biggest one was growing apart from her former friend Paige who was completely awesome.  And she wasn’t always great about how she treated Paige but she does grow throughout the course of the book.  She slowly starts to see that maybe popularity isn’t all it’s cracked up to be and maybe her popular friends aren’t really that great friends to her.

The romance between Indie and Bishop was cute.  It’s easy to see from the start that they have chemistry but you kind of have to wonder how it’s going to work out with Indie dating someone else.  Even with Indie dating someone else, she and Bishop still manage to have this great banter between them.  Sure it seems like sometimes they want to rip each others throats out but other times it’s really cute.

The plot is super fast-paced.  I read Hexed in only one or two sittings because I couldn’t wait to find out how things were going to end.  There were a lot of fight scenes, a lot of chases, and a lot of mystery.  There was never a dull moment in Hexed.

Overall, Hexed is a must read for YA paranormal fans.  It’s a really fun read and I can’t wait to continue the series.

What others are saying about Hexed:

I Swim For Oceans’ review: “I’m thrilled to say that I loved this book, and I think it’s the perfect witchy tale for readers like me.”

Giant Squid Books’ review: “This story is carried by Indie’s refreshingly spot-on voice.”

Blogger’s Bookshelf’s review: “I really enjoyed this book.”

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Ten Tiny Breaths (Ten Tiny Breaths #1) by K.A. Tucker | Review

Ten Tiny Breaths (Ten Tiny Breaths #1) by K.A. Tucker | ReviewTen Tiny Breaths by K.A. Tucker
Series: Ten Tiny Breaths #1
Published by Atria on February 12, 2013
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 256
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley, Publisher
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5 Stars

Kacey Cleary’s whole life imploded four years ago in a drunk-driving accident. Now she’s working hard to bury the pieces left behind—all but one. Her little sister, Livie. Kacey can swallow the constant disapproval from her born-again aunt Darla over her self-destructive lifestyle; she can stop herself from going kick-boxer crazy on Uncle Raymond when he loses the girls’ college funds at a blackjack table. She just needs to keep it together until Livie is no longer a minor, and then they can get the hell out of Grand Rapids, Michigan.

But when Uncle Raymond slides into bed next to Livie one night, Kacey decides it’s time to run. Armed with two bus tickets and dreams of living near the coast, Kacey and Livie start their new lives in a Miami apartment complex, complete with a grumpy landlord, a pervert upstairs, and a neighbor with a stage name perfectly matched to her chosen “profession.” But Kacey’s not worried. She can handle all of them. What she can’t handle is Trent Emerson in apartment 1D.

Kacey doesn’t want to feel. She doesn’t. It’s safer that way. For everyone. But sexy Trent finds a way into her numb heart, reigniting her ability to love again. She starts to believe that maybe she can leave the past where it belongs and start over. Maybe she’s not beyond repair.

But Kacey isn’t the only one who’s broken. Seemingly perfect Trent has an unforgiveable past of his own; one that, when discovered, will shatter Kacey’s newly constructed life and send her back into suffocating darkness.

picadillyblueI’ve seen a lot of hype for the Ten Tiny Breaths series.  That usually turns me off from a book pretty quick but some friends kept recommending this one to me so I decided to give it a shot.  I am so glad I did.  Ten Tiny Breaths is one of my favorite new adult books!

Kacey and Livie are on the run from their pasts.  They are the only two people left in their family and they are determined to protect each other.  A drunk driver killed their parents as well as Kacey’s best friend and boyfriend.  The accident left Kacey with a lot of scars, both physical and mental.  She suffers from PTSD and she refuses to get help for it.  She thinks she can makes things better on her own and for a while that seems to be working.  Then she meets Trent and he brings out both the best in her and the worst.

Kacey and Livie have a wonderful relationship.  They are open with each other and it’s made clear how much they love each other.  However, sometimes that just isn’t enough.  Neither of them can fix what is wrong with the other.  Kacey tries her best to protect Livie from anything that could possibly hurt her but that tends to keep her from living her life.  Livie, on the other hand, doesn’t push Kacey hard enough and even though she knows that Kacey needs more help than she can give, she doesn’t make her seek it out.  When they move to Florida, Trent, Storm, and Storm’s daughter (whose name I can’t remember) enter their lives and completely change things for them.  Storm helps Kacey get a job that will actually help her save money so Livie can go to college.  Storm’s daughter is adorable and Livie babysits her a lot, giving her something to do with her time while Kacey works.  Then there is Trent.  He comes off as too good to be true at the beginning but he’s hiding some dark secrets that completely threw me for a loop.  I still loved him though.  He was sweet, sexy, confident, funny, and perfect for Kacey.

The story is really fast-paced.  There isn’t always a lot going on but it still manages never to be dull.  There is just enough mystery to keep readers hooked until the very end.

Overall, Ten Tiny Breaths is a wonderful new adult story that I highly recommend.  I can’t wait to continue on with this series.  I have high hopes for the following books.

What others are saying about Ten Tiny Breaths:

Respiring Thoughts’ review: “This is my new favorite book.”

Readers in Wonderland’s review: “Overall, I think this one is almost a guilty pleasureit’s a fun read if you don’t look too much into it.”

Caffeinated Book Reviewer’s review: “Fans of character driven contemporary romances will adore Ten Tiny Breaths.”

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Blog Tour: Love and Other Foreign Words by Erin McCahan | Review

Blog Tour: Love and Other Foreign Words by Erin McCahan | Review

Blog Tour: Love and Other Foreign Words by Erin McCahan | ReviewLove and Other Foreign Words by Erin McCahan
Published by Penguin Teen on May 1, 2014
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 336
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley, Publisher
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4 Stars

Can anyone be truly herself--or truly in love--in a language that's not her own?

Sixteen-year-old Josie lives her life in translation. She speaks High School, College, Friends, Boyfriends, Break-ups, and even the language of Beautiful Girls. But none of these is her native tongue--the only people who speak that are her best friend Stu and her sister Kate. So when Kate gets engaged to an epically insufferable guy, how can Josie see it as anything but the mistake of a lifetime? Kate is determined to bend Josie to her will for the wedding; Josie is determined to break Kate and her fiancé up. As battles are waged over secrets and semantics, Josie is forced to examine her feelings for the boyfriend who says he loves her, the sister she loves but doesn't always like, and the best friend who hasn't said a word--at least not in a language Josie understands.

picadillyblueEver since I read Erin McCahan’s debut novel, I Now Pronounce You Someone Else, I’ve been waiting to see what she’d write next.  To say I had high hopes for Love and Other Foreign Words is an understatement.  Luckily, Love and Other Foreign Words was just as great as I hoped it would be.

Josie is one of the best characters I’ve had the pleasure of reading about.  She’s smart, she’s funny, she’s unafraid to be different.  She’s everything that I always wished I was and always looked for in friends.  She may be only be 15 but she’s so much more mature than that.  She’s completely unique and she’s one of those people that either doesn’t realize that or just doesn’t care.  She is happy with herself just the way she is and it was wonderful to read about such a confident young woman.  She also has an amazing sense of humor.  I can’t tell you how many times I cracked up while reading Love and Other Foreign Words.  I attempted to read this in a public place which might not have been the best idea since people looked at me like I was crazy since I was sitting by myself cracking up at my Kindle.  Good times!

Josie’s family is also pretty awesome.  They recognize Josie’s uniqueness and they love her for it and sometimes in spite of it.  She can sometimes set people off without meaning to.  Take Geoff, Kate’s fiance.  He and Josie clashed from the very first moment they met.  He was goofy, rather dull, and nothing like what she thought her sister deserved.  However, Josie got along with most everyone else.  Her parents clearly doted upon her and were so proud of her.  Her friends were accepting of her quirks and they were always there for her, especially Stu and Sophie.  Her sisters were pretty great too although they definitely butt heads a few times.  Kate especially had some problems with Josie.  I didn’t like how Kate and Josie handled their animosity towards each other but I know how it works with siblings and their relationship was pretty darn realistic.  I liked seeing both the good and the bad sides of such a close knit family.

The romance aspect was expected but a little rushed.  Sure there were some hints throughout most of the book but nothing happened until very close to the end.  It was cute and realistic for people in their situation and at their age but I would have liked a bit more development in that area.  That’s truly the only reason I gave this book 4 stars instead of 5.

Overall, Love and Other Foreign Words is a must read for all contemporary fans.  It’s such a fun read that you won’t be able to put down!

What others are saying about Love and Other Foreign Words:

Buried in Books’ review: “Josie is one of the most delightfully quirky, intelligent, and inquiring characters I have ever met.”

HelloGiggles’ review: “Josie Sheridan is great because she’s a true-blue lovable weirdo, the type of character I really enjoy seeing.”

Rampant Readers’ review: “In conclusion, Love and Other Foreign Words was not a bad novel by any means.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Crash Into You (Pushing the Limits #3) by Katie McGarry | Review

Crash Into You (Pushing the Limits #3) by Katie McGarry | ReviewCrash Into You by Katie McGarry
Series: Pushing the Limits #3
Published by Harlequin Teen on November 26, 2013
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 474
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley, Publisher
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5 Stars

The girl with straight As, designer clothes and the perfect life—that's who people expect Rachel Young to be. So the private-school junior keeps secrets from her wealthy parents and overbearing brothers...and she's just added two more to the list. One involves racing strangers down dark country roads in her Mustang GT. The other? Seventeen-year-old Isaiah Walker-a guy she has no business even talking to. But when the foster kid with the tattoos and intense gray eyes comes to her rescue, she can't get him out of her mind.

Isaiah has secrets, too. About where he lives, and how he really feels about Rachel. The last thing he needs is to get tangled up with a rich girl who wants to slum it on the south side for kicks-no matter how angelic she might look.

But when their shared love of street racing puts both their lives in jeopardy, they have six weeks to come up with a way out. Six weeks to discover just how far they'll go to save each other.

picadillyblueCrash Into You, the third book in the Pushing the Limits series, is by far the best yet.  Isaiah and Rachel’s story is full of romance, action, and high stakes.  It’s completely unputdownable.

Isaiah takes center stage in Crash Into You and it’s about damn time.  Isaiah has played a role in both Pushing the Limits and Dare You To but this is the first time that readers really get to know him.  He’s much deeper than you would think and I loved that there was more to him than meets the eye.  Isaiah is a bad ass with a good heart.  I loved him from the start.  As for Rachel, I’m glad she didn’t let his looks foll her.   She may have looked like an angel but she definitely had a little bit of devil in her.  She was perfect for Isaiah.

The supporting characters were also fabulous and wonderfully well-developed while still having a hint of mystery (for future books, I’m hoping.)  Rachel’s family is completely crazy but they were always there for each other.  Beth/Ryan and Noah/Echo were also in Crash Into You and it was great to see how their relationships have developed.

The story is supremely fast-paced, especially for a contemporary story.  The stakes are very high for Rachel and Isaiah.  It’s not just their relationship on the line.  This time it’s their lives.  There is high stakes car racing, secret relationships, and so much more.  Katie McGarry knows how to hook readers and she’s definitely done that with Crash Into You.

Overall, Crash Into You is another favorite of mine from Katie McGarry.  Read this one as soon as you can!

What others are saying about Crash Into You:

Smexy Books’ review: “I adored Isaiah and Rachel as individuals and together.”

The Book Pushers’ review: “The author managed to weave so many aspects of the characters lives into the story that it balanced out incredibly well, and the ending was very similar to the previous books and that was high in energy.”

Stay Bookish’s review: “Two  broken souls and a love story of sorts – a Katie McGarry classic.”

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith | Review

The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith | ReviewThe Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith
Published by Little Brown on April 15, 2014
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 352
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley, Publisher
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4 Stars

Lucy and Owen meet somewhere between the tenth and eleventh floors of a New York City apartment building, on an elevator rendered useless by a citywide blackout. After they're rescued, they spend a single night together, wandering the darkened streets and marveling at the rare appearance of stars above Manhattan. But once the power is restored, so is reality. Lucy soon moves to Edinburgh with her parents, while Owen heads out west with his father.

Lucy and Owen's relationship plays out across the globe as they stay in touch through postcards, occasional e-mails, and -- finally -- a reunion in the city where they first met.

picadillyblueThe Geography of You and Me is not your typical YA contemporary romance novel.  It has a lot more to it than you would originally think based on just the cover, synopsis, and title.  Jennifer E. Smith has a way of making something that seems like it would just be a lighthearted romance into something so much more.

The Geography of You and Me tells the story of Owen and Lucy, two very different people from very different lives who meet one night while stuck in an elevator.  Their meeting is innocent enough and their relationship continues that way.  They spend very little time together in person but even when they move away they continue to talk through postcards and emails.  Life doesn’t stop just because they can’t be together and they continue on with their lives like normal.  The story is the evolution of their relationship from that one night together to many months spent on separate continents to finally being reunited.  However, it’s also both their journeys to finally find a place to call home.

Lucy and Owen are both kind of awkward in a really cute teenager way.  Owen has lost his mom and it’s just him and his dad now.  They don’t have the most conventional relationship but it works for them.  They spend a lot of time traveling, looking for work and a new place to call home.  Lucy is a loner who never really fits in anywhere she goes.  Whether it be New York or Scotland, there is always something that keeps her from settling down.  Throughout the course of Lucy and Owen’s relationship they both spend a lot of time working out family issues as well as becoming comfortable with themselves.  Like I said, there was a lot more to the story than I originally thought.

The pacing is the only reason I didn’t give this book 5 stars.  It took me a while to get into Lucy and Owen’s story and even after I was interested, I still didn’t make a lot of progress with the book.  Things just didn’t seem to go anywhere for quite some time.  I know the book is contemporary and that sometimes means that it won’t be super fast-paced but I expected a little more from this one.  That’s not to say I was bored but I didn’t find myself completely hooked.

Overall, The Geography of You and Me is another great book from Jennifer E. Smith.  I’d definitely recommend this one if you are looking for an enjoyable contemporary read for a rainy day.

What others are saying about The Geography of You and Me:

Good Books and Good Wine’s review: “Jennifer E. Smith can totally be depended on to deliver a light and sweet contemporary romance, with the feels and swoons on Stephanie Perkins level.”

The YA Kitten’s review: “Smith spins a lovely tale, that’s for sure, but it’s not one fully realized.”

Candace’s Book Blog’s review: “This was a cute read.”

Friday, April 11, 2014

Racing Savannah (Hundred Oaks #4) by Miranda Kenneally | Review

Racing Savannah (Hundred Oaks #4) by Miranda Kenneally | ReviewRacing Savannah by Miranda Kenneally
Series: Hundred Oaks #4
Published by Sourcebooks Fire on December 3, 2013
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 304
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley, Publisher
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Goodreads
5 Stars

They’re from two different worlds.

He lives in the estate house, and she spends most of her time in the stables helping her father train horses. In fact, Savannah has always been much more comfortable around horses than boys. Especially boys like Jack Goodwin—cocky, popular and completely out of her league. She knows the rules: no mixing between the staff and the Goodwin family. But Jack has no such boundaries.

With her dream of becoming a horse jockey, Savannah isn’t exactly one to follow the rules either. She’s not going to let someone tell her a girl isn’t tough enough to race. Sure, it’s dangerous. Then again, so is dating Jack…

picadillybluePure perfection!  If I had to review Racing Savannah in only two words, those would be them.  Miranda Kenneally has done it again (and I’m sure you’re not surprised by that.)

Readers will immediately be drawn in to Savannah and Jack’s world; the world of servants, jockeys, horse racing, and lots of money.  It’s a world very unlike my own and I was drawn in from the very first page.  It’s clear that Miranda Kenneally did her research with this one because everything was so authentic.  I’ve never been a fan of horse racing (or even horses) but just like with football in Catching Jordan, Miranda Kenneally made everything about it supremely interesting.

Savannah and Jack might be my favorite couple from all the books so far.  They come from very different worlds but from the second they meet, they like each other.  I’m not talking insta-love though.  They respect each other, they find each other attractive, and they grow to be friends, even when it’s frowned upon.  Savannah is technically Jack’s employee so things aren’t easy for them.  Their relationship is full of twists and turns and I was flipping pages as fast as I could.

As for the actual characters (not just as a couple), Savannah and Jack were both strong, smart, well-rounded people.  Savannah was a little broken and unwilling to trust, at first.  Jack was very overworked but he didn’t’ let it get to him.  Savannah was mature, kind, and while she was selfish at times, she was also very selfless at others.  Jack was rich but didn’t let the money go to his head.  He was a good person.

Also, the cameos in Racing Savannah made me so happy.  Racing Savannah takes place a few years after the other books so the characters are older now.  There’s a big (happy) event at one point in the book that put the biggest smile on my face.  Fans of the first three books will love it.

Overall, clearly I highly recommend Racing Savannah.  Miranda Kenneally is an all-time favorite authors of mine and I love her books.  If I could give Racing Savannah more than 5 shoes, I would.  It really is just that good.

What others are saying about Racing Savannah:

Rainy Day Ramblings’ review: “Another terrific addition to an outstanding YA series!”

For Love and Books’ review: “If you like romance, YA and or contemporary this book is for you!”

Anna Reads’ review: “So, I’d say: If you liked the other books, you’ll definitely want to check this one out.”