Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Review: Anything You Want by Geoff Herbach


Anything You Want


Author: Geoff Herbach
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Pages: Paperback, 320 pages
Genre: YA
Release Date: Paperback, 320 pages



Summary:
Expect a bundle of joy—er, trouble—in this hilarious, heartwarming story from the award-winning author of Stupid Fast Geoff Herbach

Taco's mom always said, "Today is the best day of your life, and tomorrow will be even better." That was hard to believe the day she died of cancer and when Taco's dad had to move up north for work, but he sure did believe it when Maggie Corrigan agreed to go with him to junior prom. Taco loves Maggie- even more than the tacos that earned him his nickname. And she loves him right back.

Except all that love? It gets Maggie pregnant. Everyone else may be freaking out, but Taco can't wait to have a real family again. He just has to figure out what it means to be a dad and how to pass calculus. And then there's getting Maggie's parents to like him. Because it would be so much easier for them to be together if he didn't have to climb the side of the Corrigans' house to see her...




Review:

To be honest, I think I am so not the target audience of this book.
I have a feeling that this would be much more liked by guys than by girls.
I am not a girly girl and in fact I love dude books quite often. I simply quite often used to think that's such a dude thing to say.
I mean Taco is your happy go lucky teen- who behaves as horny and stupid as many teens do. Half the time he was behaving like an utter child most of the time he was totally ignorate. I actually think alot of teens are a bit like - well they think they really grown up but actually are really not, and sadly plenty of them are totally irresponsible.
I don't particularly mind him, but I just couldn't relate.

I also couldn't relate to the humor half the time.

Which brings me to the marketing of this. I really think it is misleading.
Actually: Very misleading. I kinda expected something funny, cute & fluffy- it was not that.
I'm not sure what the cover has to do with the book?

I would love to know what guys think of this!

Rating: 





Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Review: A Walk in the Sun by Michelle Zink


A Walk in the Sun


Author: Michelle Zink
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: Hardcover, 336 pages
Genre: YA
Release Date: May 3rd 2016



Summary:

In this Bridges of Madison County for teens, Michelle Zink weaves a magnetic tale about summer love that stays with you long after the seasons change.

Rose Darrow never wanted to spend her life working on her family’s farm. But when her family is rocked by an unexpected tragedy she has no choice but to put her plans for the future—and dreams of escaping her small town—on hold.

Bodhi Lowell left home as a kid and hasn’t looked back. Years of working farm jobs has given him the one thing he wants most: freedom to travel without answering to anyone. He’s already looking past his job at Darrow Farm and plans on leaving in September—until he meets Rose.

Neither Rose nor Bodhi can deny the sparks flying between them, but with the end of summer looming, they must decide if it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all....




Review:


A Walk in the Sun did touch me deeply.
A story about loss and moving on. Yet also story about love and new beginnings.
This is not a cute & fluffy, nor is it exciting and fun.
It is a slow paced story that examines first love, coming of age and dealing with loss. And also in the end the reality of fear and new beginnings. It's beautiful.

My favorite part about this is definitely the way Zink managed to actually convey these themes. And also her descriptions of the farm and the life surrounding it. It's so far removed from all the glitz and glam, all the melodramas and excitement. I felt the solitude of the location and I could vividly imagine the way it feels being there.

The plot was slow, at times a wee bit too slow for me. I kept switching between the other books I was reading, which was for said reason. But also because this isn't a light read. It's not complicated or heavy. But I felt it needed my complete attention. I read at the ocean or first thing on my balcony on sunrise. Somehow it felt appropriate to, it enhanced the beautiful setting, the slow pace and it made me appreciate the beauty of the book more.

The character building was done extremely well. In fact this it totally character driven. There are a interesting side casts. And then there are the two MCs. The story is told in third person in alternating POVs. I think I would have prefered a first person narration. This is such a personal book, I felt like the third person was keeping me at an arm's lengths. Bodhi and Rose are both interesting and alone. But also somehow wise beyond their years. I loved their love for farming but also could relate to their yearning for traveling. They seem at opposites to each other in the beginning, but slowly as they get to know each other their similarities become apparent.

The romance was ok. I loved the slow burn of it. But I am not sure how I felt about their insta-connection...Then there is Will. He felt kinda planted in, well at least the issues with him. Somehow in compare to the story, it was like Zink decided she wanted to throw in some drama. In my opinion it was superfluous- in fact at times it was a bit annoying.


It's a book for someone who is looking for something beautiful, touching and romantic.


Rating: 






Monday, May 2, 2016

Review: The Society by Jodie Andrefski


The Society


Author: Jodie Andrefski
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Pages: Kindle Edition, 304 pages
Genre: YA
Release Date: May 3rd 2016



Summary:

Welcome to Trinity Academy’s best-kept secret.

The Society.

You’ve been handpicked by the elite of the elite to become a member. But first you’ll have to prove your worth by making it through Hell Week.

Do you have what it takes?

It’s time to find out.


Samantha Evans knows she’d never get an invite to rush the Society—not after her dad went to jail for insider trading. But after years of relentless bullying at the hands of the Society’s queen bee, Jessica, she’s ready to take down Jessica and the Society one peg at a time from the inside out.

All it’ll take is a bit of computer hacking, a few fake invitations, some eager rushees…and Sam will get her revenge.




Review:

Actually to be completely honest, this isn't quite what I expected.
Though I am not quite sure what I expected... It's not like the blurb is inaccurate.
In fact after starting this I went and reread the blurb, and I reread it again after I finished. So I wouldn't be able to tell you why I expected this to be different. I kinda just did.
I think I expected more cute&fluffy? Possibly more angst and high-strung drama? Again I actually don't know.
And while I have been flaxing on about how this is different, let me point out that I did enjoy The Society very much. This is very near 4.5 Stars in fact.

The plot is really intriguing and it kept me on my toes. Though some twists were clear others were surprising, somehow the balance between anticipation and surprise was met perfectly. I loved each little twist and turn, each mishap and each happy fortune. Right until the end, and somehow it was to perfect for me? And there is a question mark because, well I am not sure why I feel like that. I mean it's not picture perfect, but I think the epilogue though it's nice, was kinda what was too much happy-clappy for me, it kinda took away from the story somehow. Even if I loved it.
Andrefski knows how to pace a story and how to keep her readers engaged.

I love each quote at every chapter. I really really love the choice of them, kinda little foreboding messengers of what is to come. Brilliant little literary tool used with absolute perfection.

In many ways that describes Andrefski style. It's a well thought-through and executed novel. The story is all told from Sam's POV. It's a well told story. But more so Andrefski manages to tell it without judgment. It's simply told. There is no wrong or right. It's simply what happened.
And while morally we shouldn't agree with some of the things that Sam does, we aren't given the impression that Andrefski doesn't agree. On the other hand, we are made to get where Sam is coming from. Again there is no righteousness put out there. I mean Sam does justify why she is doing whatever she is doing, but that's it. It's simply put not black and white but grey.
And I really like this. Because it makes this non-preachy and incredibly human.

The character building as a result of this is really interesting. Most characters end up having many layers, they become way more complex that you'd expect at the beginning. There is no true villain in this. Even if at first you feel there is, at the end while I still don't quite get where Jessica was coming from- I have never managed to relate to bullying, it simply doesn't make sense to me - we get a glimpse of the fact that there is more to her as well.
I think essentially Andrefski really got many situations just right, the little awkward cattiness between girls, let's face it we have all experienced that. She describes it brilliantly!
The insecurity of first love, or taking a friendship further...Odd little things about teens, unique to heir characters but also things we all did and felt- it's there.
Sam is a brilliantly written lead. Her anger, her frustration, her fears and her utter loneliness made me completely get why she did all the stuff she did. Add to that her confusion and her bravery. It does make her a really likable character. And then she hits rock bottom and I wanted to shake her. Yet she does somehow come to terms with her past, she faces the consequences of her actions and she discovers her own strength. Flawed yet likeable makes her very human and her braveness while being in some ways her downfall it's also most redeeming.

The Society essentially is about bullying- and it's effects, the cowardice around it, in many way it's mechanics as well. It is also a book about revenge and it's consequences.
I think Andrefski did a brilliant job at highlighting bullying. Looking at it from one of the victims POV but also the other side, when the victim essentially decides to flip things upside down.
I have to mention, I personally have no experience with the subject. As I said I simply don't get why someone bully others- and I am fortunate enough never having been bullied. I would love to hear what a victim would have to say about The Society. Can they relate as much to Sam as I did? Do they like the storyline?

So while it is a captivating easy read and there is a nice bit of romance- let me warn you it's slooooooow burn but o so sweet- it left me thinking about a serious subject.
As I said: so much more that I expected.


Rating: 








Friday, April 29, 2016

Cover Reveal: Damage Me by Shana Vanterpool



Damage MeShana Vanterpool



(Crystal Gulf #2)
Published by: Swoon Romance
Publication date: July 5th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
*** AUTHOR’S NOTE and CONTENT WARNING: This story contains triggers for rape victims and soldiers. I did my best to remain respectful to the healing process for both. Hillary’s feelings are hers alone and ONLY represent how she feels about her attack. Dylan’s emotions about his time at war are his ALONE. You are all strong and beautiful, and you will soar again! ***
A broken soldier …
Dylan Meyer lived his life fast and hard, doing anything to keep his emotions masked. In Crystal Gulf, Texas, women, drugs, and alcohol are in abundance. After all, it’s a college town. But eventually, his lifestyle caught up to him. The birth of his daughter, Aubrey, forced him to grow up and take responsibility for his actions. He let his vices go, cleaned up his act, and allowed himself to fall for Harley Evans.
But Dylan is a liar.
He lied to himself. To Harley. To his best friend, Bach. And then he lied himself right into a U.S. Army uniform. When he went to war, he left Harley with his best friend in hopes that he’d look out for her while he was deployed. Not in his darkest nightmares did he think Bach and Harley would fall in love.
A fallen angel …
Hillary Hayes is an eighteen-year-old sophomore in college who understands the importance of rules. She’s followed them her entire life. She gets perfect grades, avoids dating, and won’t stray from the future her mother mapped out. On the outside, she’s perfect. Inside, she’s drowning.
That carefully crafted future disappears when she downs a beer at a party. What’s left of that night is the wreckage of the girl she used to be.
Until she meets Dylan. Her brother’s best friend.
When Dylan returns from war, he can’t move past the betrayal. His daughter’s growing up without him. Flashbacks and PTSD from his time in Afghanistan consume him. He loses himself in a dark depression. There is no light in his darkness …until he meets Hillary. His best friend’s little sister is the only good thing among all the bad.
He’s her safe place.
She’s his light.
Can two damaged souls ever find peace, or is the damage too much to overcome?




Crystal Gulf #1:

25877008






Author Bio:


When I walk into a book store I feel at home. When I smell the pages of a brand new book things make sense. When I read I am who I always wanted to be. I read to escape and I write so others can as well. My family, my actress dog Bella, coffee, and a steamy love story are a few of my most precious things. My Sweet Demise is my debut new-adult contemporary romance novel. Keep up to date with future releases: shanavanterpoolauthor.wordpress.com













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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Blog Tour: The Player and the Pixie by L.H. Cosway & Penny Reid

ThePlayerPixie_Tour






The Player and the Pixie


Author: L.H. Cosway & Penny Reid
Series: Rugby #2
Genre: Romance
Release Date: April 12th 2016



Summary:

How can someone so smokin’ hot be so bad in bed? I mean, Sean Cassidy is absolute rubbish. RUBBISH. He is the epitome of walking, talking false advertising and I want a refund! Plus he’s an arsehole. So… what is wrong with me that I can’t stop thinking about him?


The Pixie and the Player is a full-length, romantic comedy novel, can be read as a standalone, and is the second book in the Rugby Series.



THE PIXIE
Lucy Fitzpatrick doesn’t like rugby.
As the little sister of Ireland’s most infamous rugby player, Lucy can’t seem to escape the championship-sized shadow cast by her big brother, or her mother’s frequent attempts to micromanage her future. Her rainbow hair is as free-spirited as her quest for inner peace, yet overbearing expectations keep bringing her down. And when she’s down, her compulsive little problem lands her in seriously big trouble.

THE PLAYER
Sean Cassidy is a cold-hearted brute… or so he’s been told. Frequently. By everyone.
His blonde locks, baby blues, and rock hard bod make ladies the world over drool with desire. As the rugby world’s second most infamous player, he should be basking in his success. But Sean has never been content settling for second place, and his frequent confrontations with Lucy’s big brother leave him cold. And when he’s cold, his compulsive little problem lands him in the lap of Lucy Fitzpatrick.

THE PLAN
Sean has a problem only Lucy can solve. Lucy has a problem only Sean can fix. The solution seems obvious: you scratch my back, and I’ll bail you out of jail. But when their business arrangement unexpectedly leaves Sean scorching hot and Lucy on the precipice of inner peace, can they convince the world—and Lucy’s big brother in particular—that this is the real deal?

Either way, both the Player and the Pixie are about to teach each other some pretty monumental lessons about family, life, but most importantly, love.


Purchase: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | iBooks | Kobo | Barnes & Noble





Authors: 

L.H. Cosway

L.H. Cosway has a BA in English Literature and Greek and Roman Civilisation, and an MA in Postcolonial Literature. She lives in Dublin city. Her inspiration to write comes from music. Her favorite things in life include writing stories, vintage clothing, dark cabaret music, food, musical comedy, and of course, books.

She thinks that imperfect people are the most interesting kind. They tell the best stories.


Penny Reid

SEX! It all started with sex, between my parents. Personally I don’t like thinking about it, but whatever works for you is a-ok with me. No judgment. The sex happened in California and much of my life also occurred in that state until I moved from the land of nuts (almonds), wine, silicon… boobs, and heavy traffic to the southeast US. Like most writers I like to write, but let’s get back to sex. Eventually I married and gave birth to 2 small people-children (boy-6, girl-4 as of this writing).

By day I’m a biomedical researcher with focus on rare diseases. By night I’m a knitter, sewer, lino block carver, fabric printer, soap maker, and general crafter. By the wee hours of the morning or when I’m intoxicated I love to listen to the voices in my head and let them tell me stories. I hope you enjoy their stories.





Review:


AAAAAHHHH yes!!
Totally perfect cute & fluffy!

First and foremost: I wanna know how do you co-author a novel when you live across the ocean?

I have a thing for co-authored novels and multi-author series. Simply because most of the time they are amazing. Reid and Cosway though take this to the next level... there is such intricate knowledge of irish culture- oh the rugby details, can I just I lurve them...- then there is the entire American view of it, I don't think someone not living in either countries could get that right.  So in many ways this is super clever. Ok, admittedly I wouldn't expect anything else from Reid or Cosway. Clever authors as they are... but there are so many clear "Reid"moments, and yet again not. I really would love to hear how they work together, their creative process and how they manage to create something this unified and seamless...

I wasn't a huge fan of The Hooker and the Hermit to be honest. So while I was looking forward to this- cause well I will read anything these two write. And while I wasn't a fan, I did still like the first instalment. I just... well honestly didn't like Ronan. I mean I didn't like him AT ALL.
So it was interesting seeing him from Lucy's and Sean's POV.
And you know what? I still don't like him, much. LOL.  But I got why everyone else likes him. I do love his relationship with Lucy and with Alice. I did agree with Sean's view of Ronan to be honest, for most of the book anyhow, suddenly I understood where Ronan was coming from. And well, I changed my mind about him. Which is pretty much the best compliment I could give to the character building IMO.
I wasn't sure what to expect from Sean. I did expect more than the spoilt rich asshat he was in book one. And more I got. I love him. Except that he was pulling the poor rich boy routine at the beginning and that, well that, I didn't like that much. I love his little problem, the fact that he isn't Mr. Stud as one expects, that he is super kind under all of the blistering bravado. But most of all, I loved how he reacted to his own anger at the end. From expecting a slightly shallow pretty boy, I got a complex, reflective, interesting and compassionate man! I adore him. In fact, he is one of my favorite male characters by both authors.
Lucy was just the opposite. I loved her in Hooker & Hermit, and she was rather exasperating during this. I mean I got her issues but, well Angie did put her straight. I kept thinking- YOU EEJIET grow up and grow a pair. And again, she was totally redeemed at the end. I do get her and I love her interactions with her friends. Actually, saying that, I always liked the way she was with them. I adore her relationship with Broderick, her fun banter with all of her friends, her love and loyalty to Ronan, her sweet bond with Alice. But I simply couldn't relate to how she was with Sean half the time- and really couldn't understand her behaviour around her mother. I found her super juvenile and well, for a lack of a better word, stupid.
All in all though, Reid and Cosway have created a cool group of people.  The support cast is great, I feel like I know them and I want more of them.
Saying that.. I want a book about Broderick!!!! oh and about Tom? I really hope they will make a spin-off, cause neither of them are rugby players, and well, we do need stories for them. Broderick is even more awesome this time around. And Tom, still an intriguing character.
Alas the next book is about Eileish, Sean's cousin. Oh and while I am at it, can I just say: I did so love the sneak peaks, but they are killing me! I mean Rugby #3 is expect to be released in 2017!!!! AND I am left with that?! Gaaaaahhh!!


The plot is sweet, sexy, unique and funny. Again: do we expect anything else of those two?
Oh and while I wasn't really sure about the smut in the first installment. This is delectable. I loved it!!!

So basically my high expectation were met by this awesome author team. Definitely a fabulous cute & fluffy.  I am looking forward to more, and hoping for way more from them.

Must read for lovers for the genre!




Rating: 






Excerpt


*Sean*

I didn’t know what I was doing. 
Requests, things I wanted, words I would never speak or allow myself to think were now uncontainable.
It’s the sex, I reiterated. Again. I’d used this explanation, now on repeat, as a simple justification for the complex cacophony of my mind.
“Be with you?” Her long, dark lashes fluttered, beating like distressed butterfly wings against warming pink cheeks.
I licked my lips, tasting her there. “Yes.”
She stared at me, confused. I was also confused. And oddly frightened. 
Because it wasn’t the sex. 
Several seconds ticked on as we studied each other in breathless silence. She found her voice before I did. “What does that—”
“Lucy?” Annie’s voice was paired with a soft knock on the bathroom door. “Are you okay?”
I opened my mouth to whisper a clarification to the question Lucy hadn’t quite posed, because I was compelled to tell her it wasn’t the sex. We didn’t have to have sex. We could just . . . talk. Or play cards. Or touch. Or look at each other from across the room. 
We could merely be together.
But she covered my mouth with her hand. Her features arrested with unmistakable panic.
“Yes. I’m fine! I just . . . started my period is all. Made a mess in my jeans, like a crime scene.” Lucy hollered in response then grimaced. She immediately mouthed I’m sorry to me. Her cheeks flushed red.
I lifted an eyebrow. She rolled her eyes, ducking her head with obvious embarrassment. I pressed my lips together so I wouldn’t laugh. 
Issuing me a quelling look, Lucy released me and skittered out of the stall, whispering, “Stay here and count to three hundred.”
“Oh! Do you need anything?” Annie’s voice was less muffled and I surmised she’d opened the bathroom door.
“Ah, no. Have it all sorted now. Thank God Tom has these nice absorbent napkins instead of those troublesome hand driers. Although I feel like I’m wearing a nappy. They’re bad for the environment, so I should talk to him about replacing the napkins. Maybe make a few available for emergencies . . .”
Lucy’s anxiety-riddled chatter faded as the bathroom door clicked shut. 
I released an audible exhale. My heart was beating as though it might leap from my chest. I needed to catch my breath. Neither had anything to do with being caught. 
What the fuck were you doing?
It was the sex. She’s phenomenal in bed. You’ve never had that before. It was just sex.
I nodded, reiterating the logic of my justification for the uncharacteristic behavior. If I repeated it enough, perhaps I would believe it.
I didn’t count to three hundred as instructed. I counted to one hundred and twenty-three, then realized what I was doing. 

“You’re mad, Sean,” I muttered, shaking myself and promptly leaving the ladies’ room. I checked the cufflinks on my dress shirt—a nervous habit—and strolled back to the table, eyeing the assortment of eejits gathered.

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