Before the Blog #8: Vendetta

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? 

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Vendetta (Blood for Blood #1) by Catherine Doyle

Publication Date: February 24, 2015

Publisher: Chicken House Ltd.

Synopsis:

Sophie Gracewell is thrown into a dangerous game of revenge when five brothers move into the long abandoned mansion in her neighborhood. Sophie is drawn to one of the brothers, Nicoli. Their families warn them to stay away from each other, but Sophie and Nicoli can’t help falling for each other. As soon as they do, Sophie will be forced to make decisions she didn’t even know existed.

Why did you choose this book?

Vendetta wasn’t what I was expecting it to be. For some reason, I was expecting a vampire story. (It’s not.) What I got was so much more interesting: a modern day Romeo and Juliet story filled with the mob. I was drawn into Sophie’s world and I honestly think this should be the next big series everyone is talking about.

When did you read this book?

In May of 2015, I saw it displayed on a library shelf. I grabbed the opportunity to read it because I had originally seen the book in BookPage magazine and thought it sounded interesting.

Who would you recommend this book to?

Anyone that enjoys a great YA series –especially with forbidden love or mob stories. So far, there are no love triangles or sex. There is some violence.


Check out my other Before the Blog posts here:

Before the Blog #1: Dear Daughter 

Before the Blog #2: There is No Light in Darkness

Before the Blog #3: The Lace Reader

Before the Blog #4: The Beach Trees

Before the Blog #5: The Raven Boys

Before the Blog #6: Waiting on You

Before the Blog #7: A Little Something Different

ARC Review: Romancing the Dark in the City of Light

Romancing the Dark in the City of LightRomancing the Dark in the City of Light by Ann Jacobus

Publication Date: October 6, 2015

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

Synopsis:

Summer Barnes is stuck in France. She’s living with her mom and redoing her senior year of high school after being kicked out of four boarding schools. Summer really needs to get on the right path and graduate high school, but she can barely make it through the day. If she could just meet the perfect guy, it would be the answer to everything. Her life would be so much better — maybe even worth living.

As she starts her new school and navigates Paris, Summer meets not just one guy but two. They’re very different. Moony is a classmate with problems of his own. He brings out the best parts of Summer, parts she didn’t know existed. Kurt is a handsome older man, but there’s something alarming about him. He takes Summer to places she never thought she wanted to go.

Summer struggles with which version of herself she wants to be. Can she be as good as Moony thinks she is? Or is she stuck being as worthless as she feels when she’s with Kurt?

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Romancing the Dark in the City of Light is a book that kind of snuck up on me. From the description, I thought it was going to be about a troubled girl looking for a guy to fix her. I knew there was going to be depression and suicidal thoughts. What I didn’t expect was a story about a girl coping with not only her father’s death but her own alcohol addiction.

I loved the way Romancing the Dark in the City of Light portrayed Summer’s addiction. Her feelings of helplessness were easy to relate to. While I didn’t necessarily like Summer, I could feel her pain. I wanted her to make healthy decisions and succeed, to rise out of the darkness.

Summer’s two love interests, Moony and Kurt, added another whole dimension to the story. I loved Moony and his determination. It was amazing that he was willing to support Summer when it wasn’t always in his best interest. Kurt was….well, he was different. I hated him, but I liked they way his character had Summer on the edge.

My absolute favorite thing about the entire book is the last 1/4 of the novel. Up until then, I was planning on giving it 4 stars. The writing was beautiful, but it was just so dark and depressing! I wanted at least a glimmer of sunshine somewhere on those pages! But then the last 1/4 of the book happened and I felt like I finally got it. I won’t even hint at what happens, but it was enough to make me add that final star.

Romancing the Dark in the City of Light is truly a beautiful book about teenage substance abuse, suicide and family ties.

I would like to thank Goodreads and St. Martin’s Griffin for the opportunity to read and honestly review Romancing the Dark in the City of Light.

Saving Toby

perf6.000x9.000.inddSaving Toby by Suzanne McKenna Link

Publication Date: August 26, 2013

Synopsis:

Everyone in town knows the Faye boys are bad news, but Claudia can only remember Toby Faye as a nice kid. So when Claudia receives a job offer that will have her working with Toby and his mother, Julia, she accepts it.

Claudia never thought working near Toby would be such a measure in self-control. Toby’s made it obvious he wants her. Claudia can’t deny that she wants him, too. Just as they’re beginning to fall for each other, Toby is linked to a brutal hate crime. Claudia knows Toby couldn’t be involved, but her policeman father isn’t so sure.

As the police investigate, Claudia is be forced to choose sides and try to hold together a relationship that may have been doomed from the start.

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I absolutely loved Saving Toby. It was fun, romantic, intense and fast-paced. The chemistry between Toby and Claudia was amazing.

I couldn’t help but fall in love with Toby’s cocky personality. The way he antagonized Claudia made me smile. It was just what her uptight personality needed. 

Despite her age, Claudia was very mature. I was surprised at how mature she was through the second half of the story. I don’t think many young adult women could handle things the way she did.

The hate crime part of the book was so intense! I could see what was going to happen and I was so worried for Toby! (I admit I may have had to take a little break from reading because it was stressing me out — but in a good way!)

Overall, Saving Toby was an amazing New Adult read. The writing was excellent and I was completely drawn into the story. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series, Keeping Claudia. I would highly recommend Saving Toby to fans of authors Colleen Hoover, Tammara Webber, and Jessica Park.

Thank you to Suzanne McKenna Link for the opportunity to read and honestly review Saving Toby.