Monday, December 19, 2016

I See You

Author: Molly McAdams
Release Date: November 1, 2016
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Pages: 352
Genre: New Adult, Romance

Summary

Futures are uncertain, unpredictable--like ink spilled across the purest surface. Nearly imperceptible ripples flow until a unique stain is formed. The ink is permanently embedded on the surface...

During one wild night in college, Jentry Michaels is a tidal wave of ink that brands Aurora Wilde's soul. An unparalleled stain she can't forget despite the many months that have passed--and despite the distraction she'd hoped she would find in her new relationship with Declan, the charmer who captured her heart soon after. Jentry has irrevocably touched her soul, and he is intertwined in her present and future in ways she never fathomed. Now Aurora is faced with keeping that night hidden though it feels as if the ink has indelibly etched their story across her skin.

When Declan is confronted with his own personal demons, Aurora must decide if she will continue to hold tight to their relationship and safe, reliable future with him, or if she will turn to Jentry--the guy she can't forget no matter how hard she tries...--Goodreads

The Rundown  

I really enjoy giving myself over to a good love story. I think those of us who are romantics at heart really swoon at the idea of finding that one person that your heart and soul will never be able to let go of, no matter where life take you. 

That's exactly what happened with Aurora and Jentry. I don't think the Goodreads blurb above really does this story justice. It makes Aurora sound like a wishy washy girl who falls for anyone, but that couldn't be more far from the truth. After her night with Jentry, even when he said that that was all he could promise, she couldn't ignore the pull she felt and went back to where she met him hoping for a chance to see him again. She didn't find him, but she did find Declan, a sweetheart who she gradually fell for. 

Fast forward to a year later when Jentry and Aurora are placed back in front of each other with their lives intersecting in ways that neither one ever imagined. They can't fight the way they're drawn to each other, even though choosing to be together could hurt everyone they both care for and love. 

This had just the right amount of drama, twists, and romance to make it a quick, fun read. Complaints: Jentry being all "Yes I want you" in one breath, then pushing Aurora away for like eighty percent of the story. Also the timeline of the story, which alternated between the night Aurora and Jentry met, two months ago, one month ago, and the present day from chapter to chapter was a little annoying as there were many times I'd be flipping back through the story to make sense of it all, pulling me out of the moment. 

If you're looking for a decent NA romance to curl up with for a light, easy read, this is a solid choice!

Rating: 3.5/5 stars. A fun, no mess no fuss read! 

Friday, December 16, 2016

Top Five Favorite YA Books of 2016

via GIPHY

2016 was an amazing year in YA. Historical fiction and quirky contemporary romances galore! Here are my top five favorite teen reads of the year! What were your favorites? Comment below!


1) Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

I talked about this book to anyone who would listen to me. Seriously. My teens. My coworkers. My high school English teacher. Everyone heard me gab about this book. Why? First off, when it comes to historical fiction, you had me at World War Two. This story was everything. Beautiful, tragic, poetic, hopeful, dark...I just couldn't even when I finished. I wept at the end. Even if historical fiction isn't your thing give this one a go anyway. This is a story for all readers and one that will stay with you long after you put it down. 

Click here for my review!

2) Every Exquisite Thing by Matthew Quick

When I read this one back in the spring I remember finishing and going, "Wow. This was exactly what I needed right now." Beautiful literature here guys, and if you're a note taker while reading, be prepared to fill your journal with thought provoking quotes. I could go on and on, but check out my review here and pick this one up today!


3) Front Lines by Michael Grant (Soldier Girl #1)

If you've followed my blog this year, you've caught on that I have a thing for World War Two books. Blame my fourth grade teacher for handing me a copy of Number the Stars by Lois Lowry twenty years ago. This is WWII with a twist: women are eligible for the draft and able to fight and hold positions equally alongside men. I didn't feel that it took away from the history or that it gave the novel a fantasy vibe. This is a WWII book: gritty, real, and honest from boot camp to the deserts of North Africa. Pick this one up soon so you're ready for the sequel, Silver Stars, on January 31, 2017!

Click here to read my review!


4) The Problem With Forever by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Jennifer L. Armentrout. J.Lynn. Whatever she writes, I read. Period. I had such major book hangover with this one because it was just so good. Don't write this off as another teen romance. Armentrout explores the lasting scars of child abuse and flaws in our foster care system. Mallory has a quiet and sure strength that makes you cheer for her throughout the book, while Rider is a swoon worthy artist that wrestles with rising above what the world has dealt him. A must read for contemporary fans! 

Click here for my review!


5) The Romantics by Leah Konen

Every other book on my list this year had pretty serious themes going on, but are you just looking for a good warm hug of a book? This is the story for you! I laughed and laughed and laughed and loved every minute of this. Seriously if you're a fan of a quality rom com, you won't regret grabbing this one today! I had a blast reading this!

Click here for my review!





Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Wrong For Me (Motor City Royals #2)

Author: Jackie Ashenden
Release Date: November 29, 2016
Publisher: Kensington
Pages: 300
Genre: Contemporary Romance

*I received this book as an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. All opinions are my own. Thanks NetGalley!*

Summary

After eight years in prison, Levi Rush is finally out and back on the gritty streets of Detroit to claim the future he was owed. A future that includes the one woman he's wanted for years--his former best friend Rachel. She's the reason that he went inside and if getting her to do what he wants means buying the building houses her tattoo studio and using it as leverage, then that's what he'll do. Because if there's one thing he learned inside it's that if you want to win, you have to play dirty. 

Rachel Hamilton is a tattoo artist and one hell of a tough girl. Detroit is her home, and she's determined to make it a better place. But her plans are threatened when her old friend Levi returns and gives her an ultimatum: she gives herself to him body and soul, or else she and her business are out on the street. Levi's got no room in his heart for anything but anger and the lust he's been carrying around for so long. But the only thing stronger than the secrets of their shared past is their fiery attraction to each other...--Goodreads

The Rundown

Hmmm...

I requested an ARC of this before I realized that it was the second in a series, but it really didn't take away much or make me feel like I was missing out on anything crucial. 

I realize that you have to give yourself over to a little bit of fantasy with a book like this, but really? A guy she hasn't seen for nearly a decade buys the building where her tattoo studio is, then demands that she move in with him and have sex with him because he's angry with her? 

That's it. That's the whole book. I may have been able to roll with it a little more if either character had been even remotely deep or fascinating, but Rachel and Levi both felt flat to me, and none of the supporting character struck me enough to make me want to read the first or last book in the series. Even what I call the "steam factor" didn't do much to raise my impressions of this book because the arrangement Levi started with Rachel was less passionate and more like a revenge fueled business transaction.

Honestly, the most intriguing part of the story was how gentrification in poorer neighborhoods in large cities is viewed by both locals and investors. I actually found myself doing a little research on the pros and cons of gentrification after I finished this book out of curiosity, so I will thank the author for that.

If you're looking for a steamy, swoon worthy New Adult series to dive into with awesome characters and killer plot lines, start with Jay Crownover's Marked Men series and skip this one altogether. 

Rating: 2/5 Stars. Dull and silly. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The Lovely Reckless

Author: Kami Garcia
Release Date: October 4, 2016
Publisher: Imprint
Pages: 384
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance

Summary

Seventeen-year-old Frankie Devereaux would do anything to forget the past. Haunted by the memory of her boyfriend's death, she lives her life by one dangerous rule: Nothing matters. At least, that's what Frankie tells herself after a reckless mistake forces her to leave her privileged life in the Heights to move in with her dad--an undercover cop. She transfers to a public high school in the Downs, where fistfights don't faze anyone and illegal street racing is more popular than football. 

Marco Leone is the fastest street racer in the Downs. Tough, sexy, and hypnotic, he makes it impossible for Frankie to ignore him--and how he makes her feel. But the risks Marco takes for his family could have devastating consequences on them both. When Frankie discovers his secret, she has to make a choice. Will she let the pain of the past determine her future? Or will she risk what little she has left to follow her heart? --Goodreads

The Rundown

I've been reading a ton of New Adult lately and I had to remind myself to shift gears to give this book a fair shake. Things are just a lot more...there are just so many intense feelings when you're a teenager. 

First off, props to Frankie's character that this wasn't another #richwhitegirlwithfirstworldproblems book. She recognizes the advantages she's had by living a privileged life, but recognizes the ugly side of it too. The detachment, the extravagance...it's all too much, especially when she makes friends with kids at her new high school who struggle to help their family make rent or buy groceries. 

I struggled with Marco and Frankie's romance for most of the book. Like I said, I had to remind myself a lot about how big feelings feel when you're seventeen. I'm a romantic and love at first sight is always a sigh worthy thing, but at times this seemed like a bit much. Once I gave myself over the story and stopped shaking my head going "Oh kids really?" I was able to get more into it. 

Between Marco and Frankie's hot and heavy romance, the street racing, the inside look at auto theft rings and the lawmen trying to catch them, and the "parent's just don't understand" vibe, I could totally see this going to the big screen and being a huge PG-13 hit. I promise I'm not making fun at all, quite the opposite. While I didn't think this book was profoundly deep or anything, it was a ton of fun. And who doesn't enjoy a good, fun ride of a book once in a while?

Rating: 3/5 stars. Not earth shattering, but entertaining nonetheless!     

Monday, December 5, 2016

How To Not Let Go

Author: Emily Foster
Release Date: December 27, 2016
Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corporation
Pages: 320
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Erotica

*I received this book as an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. All opinions are my own. Thanks NetGalley!*

Summary

Once upon a time, med student Annie Coffey set out to have a purely physical fling with Charles Douglas, a gorgeous British doctor in her lab. It didn't quite work out that way. Instead, secrets and desires were bared, hearts were broken, and Annie knew she had to leave this complicated, compelling man who remains convinced he can never give her what she needs. Walking away is one thing. Staying away is another. Annie and Charles reunite a London conference, rekindling a friendship they struggle to protect from their intense physical connection. Little by little Annie gets a glimpse into Charles's dark past and his wealthy, dysfunctional family. Soon, she's discovering what it means to have someone claim her, body and soul. And she's learning that once in a lifetime you find love that can make you do anything except let go. -Goodreads

The Rundown 

This book is actually a continuation of How to Not Fall, a book I reviewed in June 2016. (For the link, click here.) Let me tell you, I about fell out of my seat when I saw that NetGalley had approved for me to read an ARC of this because Charles and Annie's story could not simply end where it did in that book. 

If I had to do a one sentence book talk to a library patron, I'd say, "This is erotica and romance for geniuses." You guys, Charles and Annie are so smart. I mean, I think I'm smart, but then I read this book and the dialogue between these two is like whoa. They're doctors. Well Charles is and Annie is in med school and keynotes at international medical conferences. No big deal. It doesn't distract from the romance at all, but it really adds such an admirable depth to both characters that I rarely see in NA/erotica.

The one thing that I just couldn't get into with this book was the rock climbing scenes and jargon. Charles introduced Annie to rock climbing in the first book, a pastime they both still enjoy together as they're trying to figure out how they feel and fit into each other's lives right now. And that's fine and dandy, but I'll admit that I got to the point where I skipped/skimmed those scenes. It was just too much.

For those of you who were a fan of the first book and want to see Annie and Charles Part Two, add this to your reading list! The journey the two take to get to their happy ending is absolutely beautiful. If this review has piqued your interests, read How to Not Fall before reading How to Not Let Go, or nothing will make sense! 

Bonus: If you journal while you read like I do, there are so many great quotes in this book!

Rating: 4/5 Stars.  


Roar (Stormheart 1)

Author: Cora Carmack Release Date: June 13, 2017 Publisher: Tor Teen Pages: 352 Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy *I received this bo...