Monday, September 30, 2013

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell


Eleanor & Park

Synopsis:

Set over the course of one school year in 1986, ELEANOR AND PARK is the story of two star-crossed misfits – smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love – and just how hard it pulled you under.

Review:

There are not enough words for how amazing this book is. Seriously. I finished it and I cannot get it out of my head. It is so heartbreaking and beautiful and just amazing. From the first sentence I was hooked. I wanted to know more, wanted to know Eleanor and Park and everything that would happen. This was one of those books when I was devastated when it was over. One of those books that just sucks you in so far when you finally get to the end you just can't believe it is over. I remember looking and seeing I only had 20 pages left and just being in denial. It cannot be over, I never wanted it to end. I could have continued reading this story until both characters grew old and died. I want more. It was incredible. I almost cried when I got to the last page. Amazing.

So let's see if I can put into words everything that was amazing about this story. The writing. The writing was so good and so real and it just put you right there. You were feeling everything along with the characters. Who knew you could describe a simple act of holding hands for the first time in such a way. It was unbelievable and felt like it was the most intimate moment a person could share, and it was just holding hands. It was mind boggling how the author could describe such simple things in such beautiful ways. The way everything was described and unfolded was just amazing. The situations were not always happy or nice or pleasant, but I still couldn't help but want more. I just can't get over it. Beautiful beautiful story. The writing was amazing.

The characters. I loved both of them so much. I love that they bonded over comic books. I love that they were so secretive and figuring out how to be together without letting anyone else destroy it. Park was so nice, and so sweet and just amazing. Eleanor had more issues and wasn't sunshine and rainbows but it still worked. Park worked. I wish my first boyfriend would have been half of what Park was. Or a quarter of Park. He was just so good for her, and her for him.

Just go read this book. Seriously. Do it now. I am still heartbroken that it is over. I still want more. I feel like I need to go re-read it right now just to get a little more time with these characters. Seriously go read this book. It is sweet and sincere and beautiful and just amazing. Go. Read it. Now. I don't give out 5 stars very often for books. I am a tough critic. Usually if I really love a book I will go 4.5. This book however gets one of my rare 5 star ratings. It is that good. Go read it now.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Goodreads

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Simple Perfection by Abbi Glines


Simple Perfection: A Rosemary Beach Novel (The Rosemary Beach Series)


Synopsis:

Woods had his perfect life mapped out for him. Rise up the ranks of the family business. Marry the rich girl of his parents’ dreams. Pretend that wealth and privilege was all he’d ever wanted. Then a girl named Della breezed into town, a beautifully imperfect stranger who captured his heart and opened his eyes to a new kind of future. Woods is ready and willing to sacrifice everything for her when the sudden death of his father leaves him with his mother to care for and a business to manage.

Della is determined to be strong for Woods, even as she’s quietly falling to pieces. No matter how far from home she’s run, the ghosts of her past have never stopped haunting her. Struggling to hide her true feelings from Woods, Della fears she can’t be his rock without dragging him down into the darkness with her. But is she strong enough to let go of the last thing holding her together?

Review:

*This review may contain some spoilers*

I didn't like this book as much as the first Woods/Della book, but I still enjoyed it. Della started to annoy me, I understand trying to be there for Woods but man you need to tell him when he is being too protective and trying to control you too much. In his mind he is protecting you and if it is too much you don't just say sure that is fine then run off, you talk to the person! He is reasonable and if you talk to him you can work it out. Her self doubt in this book was understandable for a bit, but it wore on me after a while. I get that she does need to figure things out and think she is good enough for him, but man.   When she overheard him having a conversation in the stairwell and obviously talking about his mom what does she do? Thinks it is about her and just runs off the following day. Way to devastate Woods! And he has so much going on already you are just adding to his plate of things to deal with. I did admire his restraint when her friends kept telling him to stay away just a little while longer. 

I did like how Della did deal with her past and move on from it, working so she doesn't have her nightmares and such anymore. I didn't buy that she changed that much that quickly though, over more time sure. Even with all of these annoyances and things I didn't like, I still like Woods and Della. I like their story and just want them both to be super happy together! So overall I did enjoy the story, I just didn't like it as much as the first one. 

Rating: ★ ★ ★

Irreplaceable (Harmony, #2) by Angela Graham


Irreplaceable (Harmony Book 2)



Synopsis:

It wasn’t his fault she lay broken and battered. He wasn’t responsible for the injuries covering her bruised body.
Her heart, however, told a different story. She endured the pain of its jagged edges as it shattered against her chest, ripping through the hope she once held. Her spirit was broken, and only one man was to blame for that.
Cassandra Clarke had known better than to trust her all to a man like Logan West. She’d thought he was different—a better man than he’d portrayed to others. A man worth risking it all for. 
But she was wrong, and would never make that mistake again.
What happens when you question everything you longed to believe—deny all emotions you still hold for a man unworthy of them?

Faced with Logan’s persistence, Cassandra must find the strength to keep her guard up or risk falling again for the one man her body feels…is irreplaceable.

Review:

This book picks up right where Inevitable left off. Cassandra is in the hospital angry with Logan and Logan is trying whatever he can to make up for what he said and did to her. While I did enjoy this book I didn't think it was as good as the first one. The unbelievable chemistry between the two just wasn't there as much. Was there still chemistry? Yes. Was it the crazy how are they able to resist each other?!?! Not really. It just didn't feel as tangible as it did in the first one which was a little sad for me. Still it was a good read and I think if we would have been able to see Logan's point of view sometimes it would have pushed it into a great read. There were many times where I just wanted to know what Logan thought, or what he was doing when he wasn't around Cassandra (like when he was trying to give her space and not show up at the hospital).

Now Cassandra in this book is a bit...well she kind of annoying at times. I get it, you don't want to trust him again but you still want him. She tries to play him, but come on. A) That makes you no different then you thing he is. B) Logan is the ultimate player - can't fool him! Still I understand and who can resist Logan forever? Certainly she can't.

 Logan was a bit too possessive at times. I mean really having 3 guys hold you back so you don't go pummel her ex when he is speaking to her? Really? That is not cool. It is something that I see a lot in books - the guy being way too possessive crazy - but it is never an issue which it would be if it were me. Anyways besides that Logan tries to show Cassandra how much he cares. He was pretty sweet while doing that. I still love the two of them together.

Now Natasha is a bigger part of this book, not huge but she comes up more often since she is trying to get back with Logan and Oliver. The ending leaves it open to wonder what she is really up to and why is she really back? I can't wait to read the next book and see how everything gets resolved. I don't for a second thing that Logan will ever mess things up with Cassandra so it should be fun watching Natasha try. I mean Logan and Cassandra are so perfect for each other and so in love it just is not possible. Unless it is something to do with Oliver. So yeah, I can't wait to see Natasha get what she deserves! Logan and Cassandra forever!

Rating: ★ ★ ★1/2

Available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Goodreads

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Inevitable (Harmony #1) by Angela Graham


Inevitable (Harmony Book 1)


Synopsis:

After experiencing a humiliating breakup, twenty-two-year-old Cassandra Clarke is fresh out of college and living a simple solitary life without any intentions of pursuing love anytime soon.

When the estate next door sells, the last thing Cassandra expects is the unnerving attraction she feels for her sinfully handsome neighbor, Logan West, the young and charming single father with a playboy reputation.

It’s through Oliver, Logan’s four-year-old son, who keeps popping up in her childhood tree house, that she slowly begins to catch glimpses of the compassionate and wounded man Logan has hidden beneath his strong exterior.

Cassandra knows it's wrong and that she's heading for another heartbreak. 
Logan will never be able to give her what she wants…love.

Review:

Okay so this is my second read through in preparation for reading the second book! It feels like I originally read this book forever ago and while I remembered the main plot points, I was forgetting the details so I thought let's give it another go before moving on. I mean I loved it the first time and it ends in a major cliffhanger. Seriously, I am like AHHHH!!!! What is going to happen?!?! Need next book now!! right about now. But no, I told myself write the review first, then move on to reading the second book, probably staying up way too late to finish it. 

So what did I think on this second reading? Well it started out and I was just like hmm...this is alright I guess. Why did I love this so much? This is just OMG this is the best book ever!! That was my thought process with this one. I quickly realized why I had fallen in love with it the first go round. Yes it starts off okay and fine and nothing really wrong, but as soon as Cassandra and Logan start having interactions it is just amazing. Their chemistry is unreal and you can feel it every time they are together. I love how they both were hurt in the past so they are cautious with people. This turns Logan into the playboy and Cassandra just doesn't go out on dates. I loved loved loved them together. Logan is such a sweetheart when he wants to be, once you get to know him and get past his cool exterior. Plus there is Oliver...how can you not love him? He is so cute, and they all just make like the perfect little family! I so want them all to live happily ever after!

I loved how the author did not just do the insta-love thing. Like there was definitely instant attraction on both their parts, but they wanted different things so they tried to be friends. Friends that grew into more over time. Loved it. I cannot say enough good things about these characters. I loved them so much. They just made me want to read more and more and see if they finally get together! The entire book is anticipating them getting together. Then the end...well Logan messes things up. But he has his reasons. And it just ends in a NOOOOO!!! They must get together and live happily ever after!!! Scenario.  I cannot wait to dive right into book 2! I hope it doesn't end in a cliffhanger as well as it was torture waiting for this second book to come out. Really I cannot believe I am taking the time to type this out first as I am like Logan - I'm not very patient and don't like waiting for things. AHHH!!! Go read this book now, but have the second book lined up as you will need it asap!! 

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★1/2

Twisted Perfection by Abbi Glines


Twisted Perfection: A Rosemary Beach Novel (The Rosemary Beach Series)

Synopsis:

Life outside of her house was a new experience for Della Sloane. The dark secrets of her past weren’t something she ever intended to share with anyone. They would never understand. No one would ever get close enough to find out. There was always a chance she’d go crazy sooner than they expected… Woods Kerrington had never been one to be attracted to fragile females. They seemed like too much work. He wasn’t in it for the work just the pleasure. A night full of naughty fun had been exactly what was on his mind when he’d laid eyes on the hot little number that didn’t know how to pump gas and needed some help. What he didn’t know was she was as fragile as they came. The carefree girl who spoke her mind and didn’t care what the world thought of her was more breakable than he could ever imagine…

Review:

I've really enjoyed every book I have read by Abbi Glines. They are quick reads and I love the characters, though the guys usually get too crazy caveman kill anyone who looks at their women possessive at times. Somehow it doesn't totally turn me off of the books though so...I am not sure why. Anyways, Twisted Perfection was great. I couldn't put it down. I was just eh on Woods in the prior books, but he was so sweet and caring in this one. Della has a serious messed up past and needs someone who can handle that and help her deal with it. Woods is totally that guy! Yes he gets a little crazy overprotective, but I know he is just trying to help Della and keep her safe.

Really it is surprising how strong and normal Della is for the upbringing she had. It was good she made friends with the girl next door so she had someone on the outside to help her growing up. But man I cannot imagine what she went through. When she first met Woods everything was fine, one night stand. Then when she comes back they have some bumps along the road and issues to work out before they can get together and it just made it more real for me. I believed their instant attraction and just really wanted them to work everything out. I loved them both so much. Cannot wait to start the next book of their since it is now out!

Rating: ★ ★ ★1/2

Friday, September 27, 2013

Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes by Denise Grover Swank


Twenty-Eight and a Half Wishes (Rose Gardner Mystery #1)

Synopsis:

For Rose Gardner, working at the DMV on a Friday afternoon is bad even before she sees a vision of herself dead. She's had plenty of visions, usually boring ones like someone's toilet's overflowed, but she's never seen one of herself before. When her overbearing momma winds up murdered on her sofa instead, two things are certain: There isn't enough hydrogen peroxide in the state of Arkansas to get that stain out, and Rose is the prime suspect.

Rose realizes she's wasted twenty-four years of living and makes a list on the back of a Wal-Mart receipt: twenty-eight things she wants to accomplish before her vision comes true. She's well on her way with the help of her next door neighbor Joe, who has no trouble teaching Rose the rules of drinking, but won't help with number fifteen-- do more with a man. Joe's new to town, but it doesn't take a vision for Rose to realize he's got plenty secrets of his own.

Somebody thinks Rose has something they want and they'll do anything to get it. Her house is broken into, someone else she knows is murdered, and suddenly, dying a virgin in the Fenton County jail isn't her biggest worry after all.


Review:

This book was a lot of fun. For some reason I thought it would be more serious, maybe because of the whole death prediction, but it really wasn't. It wasn't completely over the top ridiculous, but light-hearted fun. I loved how Rose's visions were rarely anything super important like you would normally see. I also enjoyed how she just blurts out what she sees and because they are so random it just makes it a bit ridiculous.

I like Joe and guessed what was going on with him pretty early on, though of course not in extreme detail since you don't really know what exactly is happening until pretty late in the book. Their back and forth, not quite sure if they should trust the other person or what the other person was up to was fun to watch. Obviously they both liked each other, and I liked how it wasn't insta love they are going to move in together and get married and be happily ever after. It was more realistic, but still kind of silly at times.  Oh the other thing I liked about Rose was her whole strange what is evil what is not thing. Like I know she gets that from her mom, but talking about drinking a beer for the first time and stuff was quite humorous. Stuff that people do everyday, but she has never done, were fun to explore through her thoughts.

The one character I didn't really like was Violet. Really Rose's mom was horrible, but she is supposed to be. I couldn't quite figure out if you should hate Violet as well or not. I know Rose is grateful to her for a lot, but Violet really wasn't supportive of the changes in Rose.They are still sisters and obviously care about each other, but I will be curious to see how their relationship is in the next books if Rose keeps growing and changing as a person.

The main thing I liked was the light-hearted tone of the book. Everything Rose did seemed to make things worse, when really it was all just coincidental. It was a fun read and I look forward to reading more by the author.

Rating: ★ ★ ★1/2

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

We interrupt this program...

Have you read Inevitable by Angela Graham yet?

Yes? Well then you probably already know that book two comes out on Friday!!!! Yes that really does deserve 4 exclamation marks. Well it probably deserves way more, but let's not get too carried away here. Have you been counting down the days as I have?

No you haven't? Really? Why not? Go get yourself a copy pronto!! Seriously it was one of the best books I have read this year and it feels like I have been waiting a lifetime for the second book. So do yourself a favor and go get this book! It is amazing. For reals. Then once you have finished (and it will probably be late at night/early in the morning because it is so good that once you start you will not want to put it down. Sleep? Who needs sleep when you could be reading this book?) you will be ready for the release of the second book! Now stop wasting time reading this and go get this book! Reviews of both books to come next week.

Also as a side note - book reviews will start up again next week. We have family staying with us so I am not able to read much, but it will be back to business as usual next week.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Killer by Stephen Carpenter


KILLER (A Jack Rhodes Mystery)

Synopsis:

For fans of Robert Parker's smart but tough-as-nails heroes, screenwriter Stephen Carpenter introduces a new character to the mystery genre, Jack Rhodes. Jack is an author and former boxer who was on his way to literary success when his life was blown apart by the horrific suicide of his fiancee.

Devastated, Jack went on a fifteen-month alcoholic spiral into near-oblivion before eventually working past his demons to become a best-selling crime novelist. But just as Jack is finishing his fourth book about a vicious serial killer, the LAPD interrupts his quiet routine with news of what appears to be a copycat murder from his first book. There's just one problem--the murder took place before Jack's book was published.

Jack begins to investigate, using techniques he learned through his meticulous research with police and FBI investigators. To his horror, Jack discovers that each of the murders he has imagined are all real...down to the most harrowing details. And Jack is Suspect Number One.

Jack winds up on the run, a fugitive haunted by his past and hunted by the very cops and FBI agents he has learned from and befriended. Jack must use every resource he has to prevent the murder of a woman he knows will be next in his series of novels. He must piece together shattered memories from the fragments he recalls during his drunken fifteen-month blackout.

Fast-paced and utterly unpredictable, KILLER reads like a rapid-fire crime thriller, with hairpin twists and turns and edge-of-your seat psychological horror. KILLER eludes easy answers to the impossible puzzle Jack must solve, and takes the reader on a journey unlike any other.


Review:

This book started off good, but somewhere along the way it got lost and went downhill fast. The beginning was really interesting wondering what is happening and who is doing everything. I loved the killers chapters and the way everything was slowly being revealed. One thing I did hate throughout was it was a bit too descriptive for  my tastes. Not horribly so, but enough that it kept making me stop and think really? Did we need that much detail in the description? It is one thing that can bug me. Like calling out every name band of everything - I don't need it. It always makes me thing of product placement in movies and tv - like is the author being paid to advertise for the brands?

Besides the descriptive, I was enjoying the book. But things just unraveled about halfway through and the end...the end was just too much. Now I need to add some spoilers here so don't read ahead if you don't want to know. You are told how how the killer showed up at his house and he managed to get out of the handcuffs and get to his secret gun and shoot the killer, but not dead. Then when the killer shows up again he just happens to be right next to another loaded gun and he just happens to be able to again shoot the killer. It was just a bit much. My husband was just like what? He just happens to have loaded guns all over the place? Yeah. One gun okay - the shotgun that was his dead fiances....that I am not buying. Then I told him what happened after that and he was just like wait...the book isn't over yet? I said nope - it just keeps going! Really it went on too long. Like right after that maybe have an epilogue chapter where you sum up everything, how he went to get help and moved to NYC to be with the lawyer lady and how things are good now. I don't need to see him do all of that because...well because the story was over when the killer died. And the author should never try and write a sex scene into his books. It just didn't work. Yes, you don't really 'see' them having sex, but the way the scene was written was just incredibly awkward. Not the best way to wrap up a book, which is unfortunate since the first half was pretty good.

Rating: ★ ★

Untethered by Katie Hayoz


Untethered

Synopsis:

Sylvie isn’t comfortable in her own skin. In fact, there are times she can’t even manage to stay inside it. But if there is one thing she’s sure of, it’s her love for Kevin Phillips. She’s willing to stake everything on it –her family, her friends, and possibly her soul. 

Sixteen-year-old Sylvie has been best friends with Cassie forever. But everything is turned around when the boy Sylvie’s loved since fifth grade falls for Cassie. Devastated, Sylvie intends to get Kevin by any means possible, even if it involves treachery, deceit, and the dark side of astral projection. She is positive her plans will give her what she wants, but she doesn’t count on it all spiraling out of control. 

Untethered explores the intoxicating and dangerous world of jealousy and obsession when coupled with paranormal ability. Finalist in Mslexia novel competition.


Review:

I received this book in exchange for a review. Really when I read the description I was just kind of eh on the idea. It sounded like it could be really annoying and I wasn't sure I would like it. I looked up other reviews and the consensus seemed to be that it was great so I thought I would give it a try. I am so glad I did! From the first sentence I was hooked.  Somehow Katie Hayoz managed to make a character (Sylvie) who doesn't see what is right in front of her face and can be kind of oblivious and stupid about things, but made her so I didn't find her completely annoying. Most authors do not manage that. Most times I cannot stand characters who are similar in characteristics to Sylvie. Usually there is a lot of eye rolling, yelling, and complaining to my husband going on about what is wrong with this character?! Sylvie though I actually enjoyed. I understood her reasoning and she was just really interesting to read. I still am kind of blown away by the fact that the author managed to pull it off so well, manage to write Sylvie in a way I didn't hate. It was great.

So what else did I like about the book? Well almost everything. The writing was really good, the characters were all wonderfully written, the plot was interesting and kept me asking what is going on?? Or what is going to happen?? and anticipating the next pages. I couldn't put the book down. Sylvie is always down on herself and thinks her bff is perfect, when you that is not the case. There is one line in the book that really stuck with me and summed up Sylvie excellently. Cassie said something about how Sylvie didn't like herself so she didn't let other people like her or see how great she was. It was so spot on that it just was like yes! That is it exactly! She is so down on herself she won't let anyone or believe anyone likes her even when it is obvious that they do.

I really can't say enough good things about this book. It was such a surprise that I enjoyed it so much. The story is also interesting with the whole astral projection thing. It was very different from anything else I have read, and the character all felt real. Definitely recommend reading it as it was a pleasure.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★1/2

Friday, September 13, 2013

Forbidden by Syrie James & Ryan M. James


Forbidden


Synopsis:

She should not exist.

He should not love her.

Claire Brennan has been attending Emerson Academy for two years now (the longest she and her mom have remained anywhere) and she’s desperate to stay put for the rest of high school. So there’s no way she’s going to tell her mom about the psychic visions she’s been having or the creepy warnings that she’s in danger.

Alec MacKenzie is fed up with his duties to watch and, when necessary, eliminate the descendants of his angelic forefathers. He chose Emerson as the ideal hiding place where he could be normal for once. He hadn’t factored Claire into his plans. . . .

Their love is forbidden, going against everything Alec has been taught to believe. But when the reason behind Claire’s unusual powers is revealed and the threat to her life becomes clear, how far will Alec go to protect her?


Review:

I don't really have a strong opinion of this book one way or the other. I found it just eh and it was kind of forgettable. Just everything about it. The characters: Claire - she was okay. Nothing special. She wasn't really stupid (though she did have a few eye rolling moments), but she seemed like a nice person. Alec - I kind of liked him. He seemed nice as well and I liked his kind of shy awkwardness he had. The bff's - they were alright. They seemed to support Claire in whatever, though it was a little strange how they kept trying to shove her together with Neil when she was heartbroken. Like instantly they were just like get with him!! And I couldn't figure out why. It was very strange. Especially since he ignored Claire for two years. It was only once she could sing that he would even acknowledge her.  Neil - maybe he will play a bigger part if there is a next book? Maybe there is something going on with him? He didn't seem to have much of a personality, but all the girls thought he was dreamy so...I don't know why everyone liked him so much.

The story itself was...just okay. I found the parts where it was revealed what was going on and you learn all the info about angels and such to be quite boring. I skimmed those parts as they put me to sleep. Other than that it was alright. It is really hard to find anything to say about the book really.

Rating: ★ ★

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins


Lola and the Boy Next Door


Synopsis:

Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn’t believe in fashion...she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit--more sparkly, more fun, more wild--the better. But even though Lola’s style is outrageous, she’s a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood.

When Cricket--a gifted inventor--steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.


Review:

When I started this book I wasn't sure about it. I mean it seemed like it would just be a repeat of the first book, but instead of the boy having a girlfriend the girl had a boyfriend. I almost skipped it since I was just so so on the first book. I am so glad I didn't. This book felt more real. It is one of the few books with high school kids I have read where it actually feels like the characters are teenagers. It was so sweet and just a great read.

I loved Lola and her costumes. I was incredibly jealous of her wardrobe and wigs and all of it. I wish I could have had that when I was her age. She is dating Max, who is a little creepy dating someone that young. I mean he wasn't that bad, but obviously it wasn't going to last. 5 years age difference isn't that much when you are older, but at that age it is huge. Lola she seemed very much like a teenager, and not in a whiny annoying way. She was smart, but confused and really thought she loved Max.

Cricket was so sweet. When it was revealed what happened to make Lola hate him it was so silly and insignificant and obviously not what really happened. But he still obviously cared about Lola a ton and was so nice. I loved him.

The ending was just perfect. I loved how it all played out and how Lola kind of found herself again. I can't wait for the next book to come out now.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins


Anna and the French Kiss


Synopsis:

Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris--until she meets √Čtienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, √Čtienne has it all...including a serious girlfriend.

But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?


Review:

At first Anna really annoyed me. She just complained about how she had to spend a year in Paris. Paris. Poor her. On her first day there she makes a friend and the following day is accepted into the friend group. She has a hot guy she crushes as part of that group and they all keep taking her out and trying to help her fit in. I feel sorry for her that she has such a rough life. If she were all alone and had a hard time making friends and such I would have felt worse for her. As St. Clair said at the end of the first week she needed to get over her fear of sticking out and just get out and do stuff. I understand it can be a bit overwhelming, but geez. You are in Paris - go do and see things! And she is so into movies she never once looked up if there were any English language theaters in Paris? Really?

As the book progressed she didn't annoy me as much. It was obvious Anna and St. Clair both liked each other, but neither would really do anything about it. I kind of get that they don't want to be alone and being the first to say something to the other, especially when they both have someone else, is a little scary. After a while though it is like get on with it! Someone say something! St. Clair break up with your girlfriend who you obviously don't want to be with anymore. It is really not fair to them to be wanting to be with someone else so much. And Anna...stop thinking of only yourself and be a better friend to those people who took you in when you had no one! She was still annoying throughout the book, but I could deal with her better by the end. Really by the end I was enjoying the story.

Rating: ★ ★ ★

Monday, September 9, 2013

Two Thousand Miles by Jennifer Davis


Two Thousand Miles


Synopsis

A tragic event forces seventeen-year-old Kat Parker to move two thousand miles away from her cushy life in Malibu, California to a simpler one in Slidell, Louisiana, where she falls for the beautiful Mason Dugas and the Broussard's--the family who has taken her in. But Kat fears she may lose them all when the secret she's been keeping is revealed and she's suddenly summoned back to Malibu to settle unfinished business. tragic event forces seventeen-year-old Kat Parker to move two thousand miles away from her cushy life in Malibu, California to a simpler one in Slidell, Louisiana, where she falls for the beautiful Mason Dugas and the Broussard's--the family who has taken her in. But Kat fears she may lose them all when the secret she's been keeping is revealed and she's suddenly summoned back to Malibu to settle unfinished business.

Review:

This book was kind of interesting. I didn't read the synopsis before starting it, I just thought the cover looked interesting. It took forever for me to figure out how old Kat was supposed to be, and everyone else. I felt like most of the book was kind of vague and I was constantly wondering what is going on. I didn't really see a strong love connection between Kat and Mason, but I could see they liked each other. I just didn't think their feelings got to the love point by the time she had to go back to Malibu. Still I did enjoy the first part of the book when she was in Slidell.

Once she gets back to Malibu everything happens very quickly. At one point I looked to see how many pages I had left, and I only had 15 pages but nothing had even started to be resolved yet. The last 15 pages just had so much that just happened and resolved itself so quickly it was just too easy. The bad guys were good up until that point and then suddenly they were just taken down in an instant? Really? So bad guys taken down, everyone okay and the whole living on opposite coasts from each other resolved itself nice and neat in 15 pages. I wish the book would have been longer to really take the time to tell the story. It just felt incredibly rushed, especially since the time in Slidell took up most of the book.

Rating: ★ ★

Sunday, September 8, 2013

You Against Me by Jenny Downham


You Against Me


Synopsis

If someone hurts your sister and you're any kind of man, you seek revenge, right?

If your brother's accused of a terrible crime but says he didn't do it, you defend him, don't you?

When Mikey's sister claims a boy assaulted her, his world begins to fall apart.

When Ellie's brother is charged with the offence, her world begins to unravel.

When Mikey and Ellie meet, two worlds collide.

This is a brave and unflinching novel from the bestselling author of Before I Die. It's a book about loyalty and the choices that come with it. But above all it's a book about love.


Review:

I haven't read anything else by this author, but I was very interesting in seeing how this story would play out. I was really interested in seeing what happened to both families. Even though it is a bit of a stretch to think the brother and sister of the victim/accused would fall in love, I still enjoyed it. It was really interesting seeing the ramifications of one night on two families.

Mikey is a great brother, though he is a little young to have to be the 'man of the family' and keep his family together. He has a lot on his shoulders, but he does whatever he can to keep him and his family together. His sister was raped one night and he tries to find a way to get revenge for her. In doing so he meets Ellie and then things get more complicated. He has so much anger toward Ellie's brother, but he is drawn to her as well.

Ellie, well she is not the strongest person. She is trying to help her brother, but also is getting eaten up by what really happened. She slowly starts to rebel and falls for Mikey. They are so sweet together, but she doesn't know who he is. Once she finds out they still can't stay away. Eventually she does the right thing, but it is still not easy on her. It seems like she was probably neglected some, but her family is falling apart and doesn't want to face what actually happened.

Together they are great and Mikey really helps Ellie keep it together. I found myself constantly trying to figure out what is going to happen. It is a little he said she said at first, but it is interesting to see what happens with everyone involved. I really liked the open, hopeful ending. Overall I really enjoyed the book.

Rating: ★ ★ ★1/2

Friday, September 6, 2013

Crazy Beautiful Love (The Martelli Brothers #1) by J.S. Cooper


Crazy Beautiful Love (The Martelli Brothers)


Synopsis

This is not the typical bad boy meets good girl story. 

Logan Martelli is a bad boy. He's handsome, sexy, and knows what he wants. He steals cars. He doesn't do relationships. And he has the hottest green eyes in River Valley. 


Maddie Wright is a good girl with a wild streak. She's confident, strong, and goes after whatever or whoever she wants. And Maddie wants Logan Martelli with a passion. 


One fateful night brings Logan and Maddie together and electricity sparks between them. Maddie and Logan make a real connection, but when Logan finds out who she is, he wants nothing to do with her. However, he soon realizes he can get the ultimate revenge for his family if he continues to date Maddie. The problem is he's starting to fall for Maddie, and he knows that a relationship will mess up everything. 


Logan has to decide if revenge is worth losing his one shot at real love. What price will he pay if he betrays the one woman who may finally see behind his bad boy image?


Review:

This book was interesting. Not the worst book I have read, but not really good either. The book starts off with Maggie trying to steal a cop car, running into Logan and the instant connection between the two. Maggie was a little crazy, and Logan was...well he wasn't bad. Everyone thinks he is a bad kid, but he is really not that bad. Just in a bad situation and trying to get his brothers out of it even if he cannot escape it. I did like Logan, though I don't really know why Maggie stuck around through his indecision. I didn't really see the connection between the two of them so that was one of the issues of the book.

Another issue was the conversations felt a little forced and not like people would really talk.  Plus they were used to just recap everything and which made them feel really flat.

The last issue I had was everything wrapped up way too easily. Like Maggie loved her father, then suddenly it seemed like oh no he is a bad guy so let's get him! How they took him down so easily was just...well it didn't seem feasible that everything would just work out suddenly. It was just a bit to much.

Rating: ★ ★

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Him by Carey Heywood


Him


Synopsis:

Sarah Miller hasn’t been home in seven years. She thought she could stay away forever. If it wasn’t for her big brother's wedding, that is. Part of her even feels silly for staying away this long. It's not like anyone even knew what happened. Well, except for him.

That guy. The one she compared all others to. The one who set the bar so high no other guy after him could even compete. The one who made her feel like anything was possible. The one she thought she would never be good enough for. The one she spent the last seven years trying to forget. All she needs to do is make it through the next week without running into him.


Review:

*Note spoilers ahead*
I really liked the cover of this book. It instantly made me want to read it even before I knew what the story was. The book started off alright. Pretty quick I found I really liked the flashback chapters and the present day chapters were a little lacking. Like there wasn't much going on in the present so the past was the real story. I couldn't wait to find out what happened to make Sarah run 7 years ago, to not talk to her family really or go back to visit them at all during that time. I mean it must have been something big right? I can't imagine staying away from my family for so long so it had to have been good. Then you find out what happened and I was so disappointed. I didn't believe it. So Carrie and Will were best friends for years and it slowly turned into more. She knew him better than anyone, yet she still couldn't figure out why he liked her. Okay...so then his jealous ex comes and tries to break them up and she just believes her? Really? You don't even stop and let Will explain? Okay...so then the next morning she does have second thoughts. Great, but then she talks to Will's mom and she is all I won't pay for his college unless you two break up! So Sarah runs. Really? So you just drop your best friend and the guy you are so in love with just like that? You don't even try and talk to him about it? Really? So I guess maybe I can see you think you are doing the right thing so he can go to school and live his life, but then don't be all he broke my heart into a million pieces! This is all his fault!! When it is you who ran out on him.

So then once you found all of that out present day Sarah is even more ridiculous. It is like just talk to him! He was your best friend and you ran out on him! You broke his heart! She was so frustrating. She just is like a kid with their fingers in their ears not listening to anything anyone says. Her poor me routine got old quick. Also after we found out what happened the flashback chapters got really annoying. I didn't understand the point of them as it really is just a story of Sarah and Will. I don't really care how she met her friend or anyone else after that as they are not important to the story. So I really just skimmed those chapters.

I really can't believe Will would just take her back like that. I mean how can you trust her when she just ran out on you 7 years ago and never heard from her again? To just fall back into the way things were seems unrealistic. If I were Will I would be a little more cautious. Plus it is revealed that he did go after her. He drove up to her uncles as soon as he got back from Italy and waited for her to get home. Hours later she pulls up with some other guy and she seems happy so he just leaves. I don't buy that. If your heart was just ripped out and you saw the love of your life with some other guy I am sure you would not just say oh well. At the very least you would get out of your car and find out what happened. The last half of the book was incredibly frustrating and unbelievable.


Rating: ★1/2

Monday, September 2, 2013

Worst Week Ever (Long Road to Love #1) by Liza O'Connor


Worst Week Ever (A Long Road to Love)


Synopsis:

What do you get when you put a hardworking, can-do middle-class young woman together with a egoistical, outrageous, billionaire boss, then throw in the worst week of disasters imaginable? Book 1 of the 3 book series A Long Road to Love, named Worst Week Ever. 

Trent Lancaster spends one month without his Executive Assistant (or as his drivers refers to Carrie: 'Trent's brain, left hand, and right hand'. He's had a miserable month without her at his side and to ensure it never happens again, he intends to marry this brilliant beauty. Only given all the times he's threatened to fire her, he's not sure she even likes him. However, the future of his company and his happiness depend upon him succeeding, so Trent begins a slow one week seduction, that happens to coincide with Carrie Hanson's Worst Week Ever when everything that can go wrong does so in hilarious form. (Hilarious to the reader, Carrie is not having much fun this week.)

Review:

I wasn't sure that I would enjoy this book. It looked like it would just be a cheesy romance where I would find myself rolling my eyes at all the lame issues making this the worst week ever. I was pleasantly surprised when I started reading and discovered how much fun this book was. Yes the book was a little over the top ridiculous, but it was so over the top it was hilarious and made the book enjoyable. If the author would have backed off a little bit and had not embraced the ridiculousness I don't think I would have enjoyed it. I mean by the end of the week you are just like what else can go wrong?

I am glad the story was told from Trent and Carrie's point of view. I can't imagine working for Trent with his volatile temper, and he didn't really change throughout the book. He toned it down some, and Carrie definitely helped him, but he could still get quite worked up. It was nice to see how he could instantly calm down and turn into a teddy bear if he thought something happened to Carrie or she was hurt. Carrie could also give as good as she got. She could stand up to Trent and handle his moods. Even though I didn't really see the two of them being in love, it was so crazy fun I didn't really care. I just went along with it. I am excited to read the next book in the series.

Rating: ★ ★ ★1/2