Review: All of It by Kim Holden

Title: All of It

Author: Kim Holden

Publication Date: November 24, 2013

Publisher: Do Epic, LLC

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance, Fantasy

Goodreads Synopsis:

Seventeen-year-old VERONICA SMITH has it all: a loving family, a funky car named Jezebel, and a plan to go to college after graduation. On the first day of senior year, she meets DIMITRI GLENN–a mysterious transfer student with gray eyes and a mischievous smile who seems determined to win her heart. But there’s something odd about Dimitri, leading Veronica to wonder if there’s more to him than meets the eye. Before long, she finds herself in a whirlwind romance that seems too good to be true–until a series of devastating events leaves her questioning everything. It’s not until she chooses to think with her heart instead of her mind that she can rise from the ashes to learn the truth of their connection.


 ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆


I’m really struggling with my feelings about All of It. It was written by one of my favorite authors, Beth Flynn. Her novel Bright Side is one of my all-time favorite books. I loved the follow up to it, Gus. I wanted to enjoy All of It just as much. I didn’t.

All of It was a struggle for me to read from the beginning. I had a hard time getting into the story. (I even set it aside for a couple of months.) I just didn’t connect with the main characters, Ronnie and Dimitri. Ronnie was annoying. The way she spoke and acted didn’t remind me of a high school senior at all. Dimitri was kind of creepy at first. He was way too forward, and Ronnie was way too accepting of it for having basically no experience with guys. If a guy talked to me the way Dimitri talked to Ronnie after only knowing me for a week, I would be avoiding him. I didn’t get their insta-love. I also didn’t get the way they talked to each other. They sounded way too mature and formal for teenagers.

Somewhere around the sixth or seventh chapter, I began to get into the story. As Ronnie and Dimitri’s relationship progressed, I began to like them more. It lasted like a minute because the story moves forward in time and Ronnie’s making really dumb decisions. Decisions we have take her word on because we didn’t see any of it happen. She just tells us. When she finally comes to her senses and I start liking the story again, not one, not two, not three but FOUR deaths take place. That was pretty crazy. Of course, Ronnie can’t handle it (Who could?) and Dimitri has to save her.

Through all the depressing craziness, the bright light in the story is Dimitri. He has her back. He stands by her when he probably shouldn’t. It was sweet and I loved how he got Ronnie back on track.

But then the story jumps time again. Now, it’s 20 years in the future. Ronnie catches us up on what’s happened and where she is now in her life. This is when the biggest mystery of the book is revealed. It’s also my favorite part of the book. Ronnie and Dimitri’s connection was so cool. I wish the rest of the story would have been as cool. I want to say the journey was worth it to get to the ending, but I’m not sure it was.

Obviously, I didn’t love All of It. I wanted to because, hello, it’s Kim Holden’s. It had a couple of amazing parts, but the rest was just so-so. I had to remind myself that it was her first book. If I put it in that perspective, it’s a pretty good debut novel. It just wasn’t phenomenal like Bright Side. So, it falls somewhere around 3 stars for me.

 

Review: Kissed By a Cowboy by Debra Clopton

26760135Title: Kissed By a Cowboy

Series: Four Hearts Ranch, #3

Author: Debra Clopton

Publication Date: February 9, 2016

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Genre: Contemporary Romance, Christian Fiction

Goodreads Synopsis:

Cassidy was looking for a home and a place to belong . . . not for a cowboy to steal her heart.

Having lived through her parents’ endless string of “matrimonial bliss gone wrong,” Cassidy Starr knows when the odds are not in her favor. Divorced and humiliated, her faith on rocky ground, Cassidy is through with love. She’s been bucked off that horse far too many times. Instead, she returns to Wishing Springs, Texas, and the rundown farm she’s inherited from her great aunt Roxie. She’ll reopen the strawberry farm and a bed & breakfast and follow in her aunt’s footsteps, remaining forever-independent, happy . . . and single.

Rancher Jarrod Monahan’s hands are full running the ranch, looking after his ailing grandfather, and chasing down a group of rustlers on the loose. He’s pushed his longing for a family to the bottom of his list of priorities. Besides, he was in love once but ran scared and lost his shot at happiness. But suddenly, the biggest regret of his life has moved in next door with a wounded heart, determined to become a spinster… and that’s a challenge that Jarrod can’t pass up.

Jarrod sets his mind to breaking down the walls around Cassidy’s stubborn heart. How can he show her that a cowboy’s kiss lasts forever? For the good folks of Wishing Springs, falling in love has never been so much fun to witness.


★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆


First off, I have to admit that I had no idea this was a Christian Fiction romance the entire time I read Kissed By a Cowboy. I honestly thought it was just a contemporary romance. It wasn’t until I went to add the genre and looked at Goodreads that I became aware of that fact. (This explains the no sex! Haha!) There were a couple references to God, but nothing that really stood out or made me think it would have been Christian Fiction. I found it to be a cute and funny contemporary romance. There was even a little mystery and suspense.

Cassidy and Jarrod’s push-pull relationship was really humorous. I found myself laughing several times. I loved the tension between them and the way they wanted to help each other. I also loved their friends and family.

There were a couple of things that hampered my enjoyment of Kissed By A Cowboy, though. It was such a slow-burn romance that I never really got to see Jarrod and Cassidy as a couple. I got a little bored toward the end waiting for Cassidy to come to her senses. I would have liked to have seen how their actual relationship progressed. I don’t really want to give anything away, but I was a little surprised at how quickly things came together for them in the end — especially with 300+ pages of Cassidy fighting her feelings. It wasn’t really believable to me, but I guess that’s the magic of storytelling. 😉

I also found the side romance of Pebble and Rand distracting. I could understand why the author included it for the newspaper story, but it wasn’t interesting enough of a story for me to care about it.

So while I enjoyed Kissed By a Cowboy, I just wanted a little more from it. I would still recommend it to contemporary romance and Christian romance readers who like a sweet love story with a little mystery added in.

**I received a copy of Kissed By a Cowboy from a Goodreads First Reads Giveaway in exchange for an honest review.

 

 

 

Release Day Blitz & Review: Redemptive by Jay McLean

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RELEASE DAY BLITZ

Title: Redemptive (Combative Trilogy #2)

Author: Jay McLean

Release Day: March 8, 2016

Redemptive E-book

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon USAmazon UK iBooksB&NKobo

COMBATIVE (BOOK 1) ON SALE FOR 99c

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Redemptive Wrap

BLURB

It’s said that your life flashes before your eyes when you die.
It must only happen to those whose lives were worthy.
Clearly, mine was not.
The only thing that happened to me was a repeat of what I thought was my death.
The blast of the gun as it went off.
The loss of my breath as two hundred pounds of dead weight dropped on top of me.
And then darkness.
This replayed over and over.
When the guy squatted down next to me and asked if I was hurt, the only thing I could see, feel,
hear, were those few seconds.
Even now, as I sat in the back of a blacked out van—it was the only thing that ran through my mind.
Gunshot, breath, darkness.
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GOODREADS LINKS

Combative

Redemptive

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  Review


5 / 5 Stars


Holy crap. 

That’s how I’d sum up Redemptive in two words.

A couple weeks ago I reviewed Jay McLean’s Combative. (You can find my review here.) It ended with one of those cliffhangers that had me pounding my fists demanding the next book. I needed more. There were so many unanswered questions.

While I still feel like I’m in the dark on most things, what I did learn BLEW MY MIND. It completely changed everything I thought I knew from Combative. I wanted to know more about Nate DeLuca. Jay McLean answered.

Nate wasn’t who I thought he was. Well he was, but he wasn’t. I can’t even begin to explain it to you. I was wary of the Nate I met in Combative. I just knew he was going to cause problems. The Nate I met in Redemptive was someone I adored. It confused the heck out of me! I didn’t know what to do with the two versions of him in my head.

And Bailey. I don’t even know what to say about Bailey. I felt for the poor girl.

Jay McLean has done an amazing job of messing with my head with this series. And I’m not complaining at all. I LOVED it. I can’t wait for the third book. I can’t even imagine what’s in store for everyone next.

**I received an ARC of Redemptive in exchange for an honest review.

 

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AUTHOR BIO

 Bio_pic
Jay McLean is an international best-selling author and full-time reader, writer of New Adult Romance, and most of all, procrastinator. When she’s not doing any of those things, she can be found running after her two little boys, playing house and binge watching Netflix. She writes what she loves to read, which are books that can make her laugh, make her hurt and make her feel.
Jay lives in the suburbs of Melbourne, Australia, in a forever half-done home where music is loud and laughter is louder.

AUTHOR LINKS

Facebook | Fan Group | Web | Twitter | Instagram | Newsletter |

 

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Review: Six of Crows

23437156Six of Crows (Six of Crows #1)

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Publication Date: September 29, 2015

Publisher: Henry Holt and Company

Goodreads Synopsis:

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone…

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.


My rating: 5 / 5 Stars


Six of Crows in one word: EPIC.

I read somewhere that Six of Crows is Oceans 11 meets A Game of Thrones. I couldn’t agree more. The plot was amazing. It had a criminal mission like Oceans 11 and a cool world and multiple view points like A Game of Thrones. There were also so many surprises I didn’t see coming. And I love being surprised!

What really made this book outstanding, though; was its characters. They were all so different and interesting. I loved reading their backstories. I couldn’t help but fall in love with them. It didn’t matter that they were criminals. I wanted them to succeed and find the happiness they were all searching for.

Six of Crows is surrounded by a lot of hype. In my opinion, it’s worthy of said hype. I more than loved this book. I don’t have the words to even describe how I felt about it. I’m going to be telling everyone (inlcuding you!) to READ.THIS.BOOK.

Side note: I borrowed an electronic copy of Six of Crows from my local library. I really wish I would have borrowed a physical copy for two reasons:

1) I would have liked to have been able to flip back to the maps at the front of the book while reading the story.

2) I didn’t realize the story was going to end at 85% completion. There are acknowledgements and a sneak peak of Bardugo’s The Grisha Trilogy at the end. I thought I had more story but got a cliffhanger instead!

 

 

Before the Blog: My True Love Gave to Me

pablo

Before the Blog is a weekly blog meme hosted by Karis Jacobstein over @ YA Litwit. It’s an opportunity to showcase books a blogger read and loved prior to starting their blog .  I love this idea because there are so many amazing books I haven’t reviewed on A Novel Glimpse because I read them a long time ago. The only rules to this meme are to answer the following questions about the book chosen to review:

  • Why did you choose this book? 
  • When did you read this book? 
  • Who would you recommend this book to? 

20309175My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories

Publication Date: October 1, 2014

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Goodreads Synopsis:

If you love holiday stories, holiday movies, made-for-TV-holiday specials, holiday episodes of your favorite sitcoms and, especially, if you love holiday anthologies, you’re going to fall in love with My True Love Gave To Me: Twelve Holiday Stories by twelve bestselling young adult writers, edited by international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins. Whether you enjoy celebrating Christmas or Hanukkah, Winter Solstice or New Year’s there’s something here for everyone. So curl up by the fireplace and get cozy. You have twelve reasons this season to stay indoors and fall in love.


My rating: 4 out of 5 stars


Why did you choose this book? 

We’re getting closer to the holiday season and this YA anthology is a really fun way to get into the spirit. Also, when I read this book I hadn’t read any of the authors except for Rainbow Rowell. It was a great way to find some great new authors.

 When did you read this book? 

December 2014

Who would you recommend this book to?

YA readers

Review: Rebel by Elle Casey

Rebel Rebel (Rebel Wheels #1) by Elle Casey

Publication Date: October 29, 2013

Publisher: Elle Casey

Synopsis:

For college senior Teagan Cross, money has never been a problem. Her wealthy father has always given her everything and anything she wanted.Teagan always thought he would support her until she was able to support herself. But one phone call changes everything. Teagan has no money, no way to live. Now, she’s going to have to learn to survive without her daddy’s riches.

What Teagan lacks in job experience, she makes up with in determination and guts. She’s not about wind up in the gutter. So she starts her job search and ends up at Rebel Wheels.

Teagan can’t help but be attracted Rebel. He’s more man than she’s ever met before. But Teagan isn’t about to do anything to cost her the job she so desperately needs. She’s going to suck it up and stay away from the boss…

NOTE: This story contains sex, foul language, adult situations and violence. It is not appropriate for young readers.


My rating: 5 out of 5 stars


I absolutely loved Rebel from beginning to end. It was so entertaining! It had a little bit of everything. It was funny, mysteriously, romantic and super steamy all wrapped up in one.

Teagan’s point of view was so much fun to read. I loved her snarky toughness and determination. She knew what she wanted (most of the time) and went for it. I never thought it would be so much fun to read about someone losing everything, but it was.

Rebel…He was the perfect strong and silent type. His silence and lack of words amped up his sexiness. I also loved the way he took care of Teagan — even when he didn’t really want to. And when they finally get together? Just…wow!

But Rebel was more than just a New Adult romance. There was a very interesting mystery involving Teagan’s father, too. The mystery was suspenseful and kept me on high alert the entire book.

I truly loved Rebel. I didn’t want it to end! I definitely plan on continuing to read the rest of the series. Rebel didn’t exactly end with a cliffhanger, but there were some questions left unanswered. That being said, it could be read as a standalone novel.

If you’re interested in reading Rebel, it is FREE through until Monday only! Get your copy now!

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**I received an electronic copy of Rebel from the author in for an honest review.

Other books in this series:

Before the Blog #14: The Weight of Blood

Before the Blog is a weekly blog meme hosted by Karis Jacobstein over @ YA Litwit. It’s an opportunity to showcase books a blogger read and loved prior to starting their blog .  I love this idea because there are so many amazing books I haven’t reviewed on A Novel Glimpse because I read them a long time ago. The only rules to this meme are to answer the following questions about the book chosen to review:

  • Why did you choose this book? 
  • When did you read this book? 
  • Who would you recommend this book to? 

The Weight of Blood by Laura McHugh

Publication Date: March 11, 2014

Publisher: Spiegel & Grau

Goodreads Synopsis: 

The Dane family’s roots tangle deep in the Ozark Mountain town of Henbane, but that doesn’t keep sixteen-year-old Lucy Dane from being treated like an outsider. Folks still whisper about her mother, a bewitching young stranger who inspired local myths when she vanished years ago. When one of Lucy’s few friends, slow-minded Cheri, is found murdered, Lucy feels haunted by the two lost girls-the mother she never knew and the friend she couldn’t protect. Everything changes when Lucy stumbles across Cheri’s necklace in an abandoned trailer and finds herself drawn into a search for answers. What Lucy discovers makes it impossible to ignore the suspicion cast on her own kin. More alarming, she suspects Cheri’s death could be linked to her mother’s disappearance, and the connection between the two puts Lucy at risk of losing everything. In a place where the bonds of blood weigh heavy, Lucy must decide where her allegiances lie.


My rating: 5 out of 5 stars


Why did you choose this book? 

The Weight of Blood had me on edge the entire time I read it. It was suspenseful and had me worried with Lucy’s every move to find the truth. I loved how the story wove past and present and different character points of view. I especially enjoyed Lila’s point of view.

When did you read this book? 

May of 2014

Who would you recommend this book to?

Readers who like a good thriller and books by Gillian Flynn and Paula Hawkins would enjoy The Weight of Blood.

Nostalgic Book Review Tag

pablo (13)

Thank you to Joey @ Thoughts and After Thoughts for tagging me for the Nostalgic Book Review Tag. The Nostalgic Book Review Tag was created by CW @ Read, Think, Ponder with the premise of reviewing a book you’ve read three or more years ago


Part 1: The Summary

First, (without looking it up) tell us a little bit about this book, and approximately when you read it. Write a summary (brief, long, anything you like!) of the book you are reviewing.

I’m going to pick The Memory of Water by Karen White. I’m not sure when exactly I read it. It was in 2011 after I had picked up Karen White’s The Beach Trees at Borders. I loved hanging out at the Borders in Puyallup while my mom watched my daughter so I could have some “me time.” I still miss that place. But anyways. I digress. I loved The Beach Trees and had decided to read Karen White’s backlist.

Plot:

The Memory of Water is a story about a young woman returning to her childhood home. He father is ill and she moves home to be with him and help her sister. Being home dredges up old memories of the night her mother died. She goes on a quest to find out what happened that fateful night on the water.

Characters:

I have no idea what the names are in this book! Ugh! I feel horrible about that. I do know there’s a woman, her sister and a dad.


Part 2: My thoughts

Share your thoughts on your chosen book. Reflect and talk about what you thought of the book back then.

It’s been a long time since I read this book, but I loved it. For anyone that hasn’t read a book by Karen White, I’ll tell you what you’re missing. Karen White does an amazing job of mixing past, present, multiple points of view, romance and mystery in the beautifully described South. The mysteries are my favorite part of her novels. She knows how to dole out clues little by little and keep me interested. The Memory of Water is my second favorite Karen White novel after The Beach Trees.


Part 3: The Epilogue

Here’s the fun part: now you can look up a summary of the book – find all those names that you couldn’t remember, those plot points that seemed pretty important – and all those things you might have forgotten. Don’t go back and edit the summary from the first part!

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads: 

On the night their mother drowns, sisters Marnie and Diana Maitland discover there is more than one kind of death. There is the death of innocence, of love, and of hope. Each sister harbors a secret about that night-secrets that will erode their lives as they grow into adulthood.

After ten years of silence between the sisters, Marnie is called back to the South Carolina Lowcountry by Diana’s ex-husband, Quinn. His young son has returned from a sailing trip with his emotionally unstable mother, and he is refusing to speak. In order to help the traumatized boy, Marnie must reopen old wounds and bring the darkest memories of their past to the surface. And she must confront Diana, before they all go under.

Okay, so there wasn’t a dad. Well, I think there might have been. I swear there was. (Can anyone confirm this for me?) But I was right about the sisters trying to find out what really happened that night their mom died. All I truly know is that I loved it because of the writing and the mystery. If you haven’t tried a Karen White novel, definitely try this one or The Beach Trees.


I tag:

Aentee @ Read at Midnight

Arec @ Rainy Thursdays

Ashley @ Dear World

Carrie @ reading is my superpower

Dimple @ enthrallingdimple

Erika & Miedjel @ partnersinbooks

Jess @ Princessica of Books

Jessica @ Mud and Stars

Jordyn @ J. Bookish

Kelly @ Here’s to Happy Endings

Kristy @ Kristy Reads

Michelle @ Mishi-Reads

Paige @ Page by Paige

Skylee @ The Night Girl

Sue @ Sue’s Reading Corner

Syc @ The Lit(erature) Mermaid

Tasha @ Head In The Clouds, Heart In The Books

The Candid Cover

Vrushali21


Before the Blog #12: Save Yourself

Before the Blog is a weekly blog meme hosted by Karis Jacobstein over @ YA Litwit. It’s an opportunity to showcase books a blogger read and loved prior to starting their blog .  I love this idea because there are so many amazing books I haven’t reviewed on A Novel Glimpse because I read them a long time ago. The only rules to this meme are to answer the following questions about the book chosen to review:

  • Why did you choose this book? 
  • When did you read this book? 
  • Who would you recommend this book to? 

 Save Yourself by Kelly Braffet

Publication Date: August 6, 2013

Publisher: Crown

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Patrick Cusimano is in a bad way. His father is in jail, he works the midnight shift at a grubby convenience store, and his brother’s girlfriend, Caro, has taken their friendship to an uncomfortable new level. On top of all that, he can’t quite shake the attentions of Layla Elshere, a goth teenager who befriends Patrick for reasons he doesn’t understand and doesn’t fully trust. The temptations these two women offer are pushing him to his breaking point.

Meanwhile, Layla’s little sister, Verna, is suffering through her first year of high school. She’s become a prime target for her cruel classmates, not just because of her strange name and her fundamentalist parents: Layla’s bad-girl rep proves to be too huge a shadow for Verna, so she falls in with her sister’s circle of outcasts and misfits whose world is far darker than she ever imagined.

Kelly Braffet’s characters, indelibly portrayed and richly varied, are all on their own twisted paths to finding peace. The result is a novel of unnerving power-darkly compelling, addictively written, and shockingly honest.


My rating: 5 out of 5 stars


Why did you choose this book?

Save Yourself is different than the romances I normally read. It was also the first book I read by Kelly Braffet. I was impressed with her writing and story telling. She took five characters and wove their lives together in a dark and angst-filled way. You know from the beginning there’s not much that could turn their lives around to make them all live happily ever after. What I loved most about Save Yourself was that I wondered the whole time how it was going to all play out. I wanted to know how Ms. Braffet was going to save all her characters.

When did you read this book?

August of 2014

Who would you recommend this book to?

I would recommend it to mature readers that like darker fiction. Also, some readers might be intrigued by the fact that Kelly Braffet is married to Stephen King‘s son, author Owen King.

Before the Blog #11: Belzhar

Before the Blog is a weekly blog meme hosted by Karis Jacobstein over @ YA Litwit. It’s an opportunity to showcase books a blogger read and loved prior to starting their blog .  I love this idea because there are so many amazing books I haven’t reviewed on A Novel Glimpse because I read them a long time ago. The only rules to this meme are to answer the following questions about the book chosen to review:

  • Why did you choose this book? 
  • When did you read this book? 
  • Who would you recommend this book to? 

_________________________________________________________________________

Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer

Publication Date: January 1, 2014

Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers

Synopsis from Goodreads:

If life were fair, Jam Gallahue would still be at home in New Jersey with her sweet British boyfriend, Reeve Maxfield. She’d be watching old comedy sketches with him. She’d be kissing him in the library stacks.

She certainly wouldn’t be at The Wooden Barn, a therapeutic boarding school in rural Vermont, living with a weird roommate, and signed up for an exclusive, mysterious class called Special Topics in English.

But life isn’t fair, and Reeve Maxfield is dead.

Until a journal-writing assignment leads Jam to Belzhar, where the untainted past is restored, and Jam can feel Reeve’s arms around her once again. But there are hidden truths on Jam’s path to reclaim her loss.

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Why did you choose this book?

Belzhar as one of my favorite books I read last year. It was dark. It was mysterious. It was enthralling. It was full of surprises. I didn’t want to put it down. When it was over, I wanted more. I know that I’m going to be telling all of my friends to read it. I really loved it.

When did you read this book?

December of 2014

Who would you recommend this book to?

Readers that like YA fiction with a little but of magic and a bunch of surprises.