Tuesday, June 13, 2017

It Had to Be You by Lizzy Charles

4 Stars!

"You are braver than anyone I know, and you challenge me to be myself."
                  This one was pretty cute. Very lighthearted with a sprinkling of humor, a great pick for when you just want to kick back and relax without the added stress of an overly emotional read. I'm not saying that everything in the book is sunshine and roses all the time, because it's not, there is a good amount of teen angst and some drama, but the presentation keeps it from going too deep. 
                  Edelweiss sure knows how to make an impression and her first day trading being home-schooled for a posh, private education was certainly unforgettable, starting with making a tardy assembly entrance, covered in pizza sauce with prairie dogs going at it on the TV screens, and ending with having to use the window ledge to make a graceful climb into the common room wearing nothing but her bra and panties. Needless to say, navigating these new social minefields is proving to be highly stressful for Edel. Thankfully, James Parson, resident prankster and ladies man, always seems to help her out of increasingly sticky situations. Together, they decide that a fake relationship would benefit the both of them: Edel would have some much needed protection from being on the arm of one of the most popular guys at school while pleasing her parents at the same time and James will get to stay at school by convincing his father and teachers that he has changed. But what happens if there relationship doesn't turn out to be as fake as they think it is? 
                  I didn't really have any problems with this one. It was lacking a bit of depth, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Not every book has to break you emotionally to make it good. Sometimes it's nice to just read something cute and fun, which this has in spades. With a bright cast of characters and a sweet cast of characters, follow Edel and James as they figure things out and finally realize they're fooling no one but themselves because It Had to Be You.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Sin and Cider by K. Reese

4 Stars!

Thank you to K. Reese and What the Book?! Promotions for the ARC and opportunity to participate in the blog tour!

"You make it so easy to fall for you, but you make it so hard to do anything about it."
                This was a nice mix of cute and sexy! There were a couple of aspects that frustrated me, but they were mostly either the result of my personal preferences/opinions or were moderately corrected by the end of the book. Overall, I would definitely recommend it for a quick summer read when you're in the mood took kick back with a little southern spice!
                MacIntosh Layne (Yes, REALLY!) needs to reevaluate her life and decides there's no better place than her hometown in Tennessee, so she packs a bag and moves home for the summer. Once she's there, she questions the snap decision she made to move to Chicago after high school in order to escape the humiliating revelation that her crush had absolutely no interest in her whatsoever. Determined to get back to her roots, she takes over the renovation and reopening of the cider barn in her family's orchard, despite any awkwardness her unexpected helping hand may cause.
                Lawson Westbrook had never given his best friend's kid sister a second glance all those years ago, but now she's certainly captured his eye. He almost can't believe who he's looking at. Even though he doesn't do real relationships and even the word "commitment" makes him nauseous, he's hell bent on getting Mac in his bed, at least for a little while, with a little proposition he's cooked up. Since she's heading back to Chicago in the fall anyway, they can surely handle a no-strings summer fling, right? 
                I've never really been into the whole "stick it out and maybe he'll change his mind" thing when it comes to commitment, but Mac's vulnerability when it comes to Lawson is a human trait and makes her feel more real, if a bit naive at times. I guess my biggest problem was with the first couple of chapters, where there were a lot of sentences directed at the reader. Personally, I feel that speaking to the audience is fine every once in awhile, but doing it too often can cause the story/narration to feel forced. Those initial chapters were toeing the line for me, but the rest managed to find a rhythm and get back on track, making sure it didn't detract too much from my enjoyment of the book. Also, the additional meddling of the sister, parents, and best friends was a really nice touch that made me smile and giggle a bit. So, the question is, will all the emotions threatening to overflow be too much? Or will Mac and Lawson figure out that the recipe for love involves a little Sin and Cider?

Friday, May 19, 2017

Broken Rules by Hanleigh Bradley

4 Stars!

Thanks to Hanleigh Bradley for the ebook!

"It's bizarre how she finds her rules limit her whilst I think my rules give me freedom."
              I was really excited to read this one. It didn't go exactly as I expected, but was still good. The fast pace would make it great for entertaining readers on a trip. It's got drama and a bit of emotion, but not so much that it would be too heavy; perfect for a nice, vacation read. 
              Aurora Stone is fed up with being the "perfect" daughter and following the seemingly endless set stifling rules her proper parents have given her. She's never broken a rule before, but now she's out to see just how many she can break in a night. Well on her way to being drunk for the first time in her life, Aurora meets Landon Peters, a wickedly handsome man with his own set of rules. Unlike Aurora, all of Landon's rules are self-inflicted. He believes that his rules about never sleeping with the same woman twice, never letting them stay the night, and never giving the impression that he's open to a relationship ensures his freedom. After deciding he wants to be the one to help Aurora break her rules, Landon quickly finds himself breaking his own. What's more, the more time he spends with her, the less he cares. 
              When said that this was fast paced, I wasn't kidding. The whole thing takes place during the span of barely 48 hours, and the ending came off as a bit abrupt. Still, it was fun to watch all their different family drama and secrets unfold. Also, Aurora's friends Cameron and Tallulah are fabulous! Even better, see for yourself as Aurora and Landon discover that the best rules are Broken Rules.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Remember Me Forever (Lovely Vicious #3) by Sara Wolf

4.5 Stars!

Thank you to Chapter by Chapter, Sara Wolf, and Entangled Teen for the ARC through NetGalley and the opportunity to participate in the blog tour!

"You try to stop all these injustices and save people from them. But you never try to save yourself."
       Wow, I can't believe it's really over. This trilogy snagged me from the get go; I loved the originality and the character's crazy antics that were often ridiculous beyond belief, but endearing all the same. It's not often you can find a book that will make you laugh out loud with one line and absolutely rip your heart to shreds with the next, but this can. I'm so grateful to have been able to follow Isis and Jack on their funny, action packed, and heart-shattering adventure.
       Isis Blake hasn't been the same since Sophia's suicide. She blames her self, just like she always does. Still, she does her best to put on a brave face and avoid thinking about Jack Hunter, who disappeared after the funeral and hasn't been seen since. Instead of going to Stanford, she decides to stay close to her mother by attending good old Ohio State, but she can't seem to catch a break. Her ex-boyfriend, rapist, and overall embodiment of her own personal hell, Will Cavanaugh, has left Florida for Ohio and is intent of continuing his torture of Isis.
       Meanwhile, a previously guilty and self-destructive Jack Hunter has been recruited by Vortex. The private company has sent him undercover as a college student to help bring down a malicious hacker wanted by the government. His target: Will Cavanaugh. Isis and Jack had never expected to see each other again, but they're thrown together anyway and their feelings are more intense than ever. They'll have to work together to bring down the demons that haunt them, both the physical ones and those harder to reach that inhabit their very memories. Even if they succeed, do they have a chance together or is there simply too much between them?
       I really felt that this was a perfect ending to Isis and Jack's story. Other than the last few chapters feeling a little rushed, I have absolutely no complaints other than that I wish it could have went on forever. I know that this series will stay with me for a long time. Isis, Jack, and all their friends have a way of getting under your skin in a way that practically screams, "You'll Remember Me Forever."

Check it out on Goodreads!
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See the rest of the Forget Me Always Blog Tour!
Read more about the author!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

My name is TIARRA (TIARRA #1) by Mimi Marten

3.5 Stars!

"With that woman, nothing is predictable. It's not just the situations she gets herself into, but the way she swims in them. I would have drowned many times over."
            I'm so conflicted. There are moments of brilliance and elegance, but they sometimes get lost in issues regarding style and execution. Then again, this feeling could just be a result of my own personal opinions/preferences. Let me explain, this book is filled with original characters who are brimming with life, humor, and wit, yet a true human connection between them and readers seems to be missing. Personally, I think this is a result of POV/narration choice. The POV changes constantly, spending a few paragraphs with one character before moving to the next, and is sometimes hard to keep up with. Also, sometimes the switch is too subtle to pick up on and can lead to confusion. There's always something happening, which is great for keeping readers on their toes, but often the descriptions of these scenes are repetitive and use mainly a "tell" strategy instead of focusing on sensory details that would help readers to feel like they're part of the story. I suggest that readers pay close attention to the plot description as well, because it's a bit hard to follow right out of the gate if you don't.
            Tiarra Simon and her friend Reese Martinez are in London to approach Alexi Ibramovich, his company, and the associated soccer team about helping fund new facilities for their youth team back on Maui. Tiarra, raised as the daughter of an ambassador and knows how to get what she wants, clashes with Alexi, a cold businessman with suspected mob ties, in their first meeting and both are immediately intrigued by the other. Alexi is baffled by her stubborn fearlessness and want's to know why she brings out such a strong reaction in him, while Tiarra sees the damaged man behind the brutally flawless exterior. Tiarra's battle to get everyone on-board with her plan is an uphill battle, with many unplanned surprises that she manages to roll with, but she's determined to win.
            Tiarra herself is a force of nature. I wasn't sure if I liked her at first, and pretty much rolled my eyes at how nearly every guy she came across fell in love with her, but I did understand the pull by the end. She's completely unexpected. She's that person you could pass on the street and still be thinking about days after because she's just so full of life that it seeps into those around her, leaving them wanting to recreate it anyway they can. She's also known for giving exemplary speeches that inspire those around her with their beautiful, raw content. However, I would have loved to spend more time in her head and have a better understanding of what she's feeling and thinking throughout the story. Regardless, you have to read it for yourself to truly understand just what it means when this woman says My Name is Tiarra!