Review: Famous in a Small Town (Emma Mills)

Famous in a Small Town
Author: Emma Mills
Publication Date: January 15, 2019
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co.
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Fiction, Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

For Sophie, small town life has never felt small. With her four best friends—loving, infuriating, and all she could ever ask for—she can weather any storm. But when Sophie’s beloved Acadia High School marching band is selected to march in the upcoming Rose Parade, it’s her job to get them all the way to LA. Her plan? To persuade country singer Megan Pleasant, their Midwestern town’s only claim to fame, to come back to Acadia to headline a fundraising festival.

The only problem is that Megan has very publicly sworn never to return.

What ensues is a journey filled with long-kept secrets, hidden heartbreaks, and revelations that could change everything—along with a possible fifth best friend: a new guy with a magnetic smile and secrets of his own.


Famous in a Small Town is one of those books that is hard to assign a rating to. Emma Mills’ writing is so good. She always keeps me captivated with her words, stories, and characters. I loved reading it, yet there were a few things that bothered me.

The small town setting of Famous in a Small Town was a lot of fun. I loved how I could imagine the businesses and houses as if I was there with the characters. The close-knit but also stifling feel of a small town came across well. I could feel the ups and downs of living somewhere so small in each and every character.

Sophie was a great main character for this book and its setting. She loved living in Acadia.  I understood her fear of the future, of leaving home and everything changing. Sophie didn’t want to lose the close connection she had with her friends and family. I loved her, but I also became annoyed with her. Her involvement and dedication to her marching band was something to commend her for, but it was almost too much at times. She became extremely fixated on things, and it took me a very long time to understand it.

As in every one of her books, Emma Mills created a cast of memorable friends for her main character. Brit and Flora complimented Sophie is different ways. Flora was a sweet, simpler friend for Sophie. Brit was the rougher, blatantly honest one. Terrance and Dash were the male counterparts that evened out there group. I loved how they all interacted with each other and the closeness they shared. I do have to admit that there were a couple of times I wanted to throttle Brit. I didn’t feel like she was being the best of friends to Sophie, but I think we all have one of those friends who doesn’t know when to keep their mouth shut.

Then, there was August. August was new to town. Sophie baby-sat for his brother and brought him into her friend group. August and Sophie had an instant connection. They got each other’s humor and had instant chemistry, but they were just friends. I didn’t always love the way August treated Sophie. He abused their friendship at times. Sophie handled it well, but she also was more forgiving than I hope most of us would be. Probably not, but I want to believe so.

But wait? What about Megan, the famous hometown singer? What happens with her and getting her to come back to town? Well, that’s something you will just have to read this book to find out yourself. There are some surprises I didn’t see coming with this part of the story. Actually, there were several things I didn’t see coming that threw me off a bit. I couldn’t decide if I loved them or not.

Overall, Famous in a Small Town was a great YA contemporary read. It had memorable characters, a touching story, and a group of friends I would love to revisit.

Review: Cold Day in the Sun (Sara Biren)

Cold Day in the Sun
Author: Sara Biren
Publication Date: March 12, 2019
Publisher: Amulet Books
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Fiction, Sports
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Holland Delviss wants to be known for her talent as a hockey player, not a hockey player who happens to be a girl. But when her school team is selected to be featured and televised as part of HockeyFest, her status as the only girl on the boys’ team makes her the lead story. Not everyone is thrilled with Holland’s new fame, but there’s one person who fiercely supports her, and it’s the last person she expects (and definitely the last person she should be falling for): her bossy team captain, Wes.


The Last Thing You Said is a story that revolves around high school hockey. Our main character, Holland, is the only girl on the varsity boys’ team. She works her butt off every day to prove that she’s worthy of competing with the boys because not everyone believes she deserves to be on the team. The pressure to perform becomes even greater when her hockey team is selected to be spotlighted in HockeyFest. One person who supports Holland is her team captain, Wes. He’s the last person Holland expects to support her. Wes is also the last person Holland thinks would ever be interested in dating her, but he is. Holland shouldn’t be interested in Wes — she has a no dating teammates policy — but she can’t help the attraction that is starting to build between them.

I have been waiting for Sara Biren’s sophomore novel to be released ever since I finished reading her début novel, The Last Thing You Said. Her writing was so emotional and touched me in ways I wanted to experience again.

I found Cold Day in the Sun to be just as emotional and amazing as The Last Thing You Said. I loved the girl on a boys’ team theme. How Holland had to deal with her insecurities of being “the girl” was and all the issues that brought up were relevant to some of the situations going on in society today. The way her relationship with Wes wove into everything she was dealing with was a perfect. It wasn’t just her reactions to everything that made a big impact, but what others did and said about her spot on the team. There was a lot to think about it all — it made me wonder how I would react if my daughter was in the same situation or how I would feel if I was in Holland’s situation. I really loved how everything played out.

Oh, wait! I can’t leave out the music! If you read the blurb, you probably noticed the mention of glam rock. Let me just tell you that if you’re a fan of glam bands like Poison, you’re going to love this book. So many amazing songs are worked into the story in very fun ways. I loved how music was just as important to Holland and Wes’ relationship as hockey was.

Cold Day in the Sun was such a great book. It was one of those books I think everyone would benefit from reading. Sara Biren tackled a tough topic but mixed it with the sweetest romance to make it an emotional and fun read. I highly recommend Cold Day in the Sun. I think fans of Katie McGarry, Julie Cross, Ginger Scott, Sarah Dessen, or Morgan Matson would love this book.

Review: Only a Breath Apart (Katie McGarry)

Only a Breath Apart
Author: Katie McGarry
Publication Date: January 22, 2019
Publisher: Tor Teen
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Fiction
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Jesse Lachlin is cursed.

So the town folklore says, but while Jesse’s had his fair share of tragedy, the only curse he believes is in his grandmother’s will: in order to inherit his family farm he must win the approval of his childhood best friend, the girl he froze out his freshman year, Scarlett Copeland.

Scarlett Copeland is psychic.

Glory Gardner tells Scarlett she has hidden psychic abilities, but Scarlett thinks Glory is delusional. What is real is Scarlett’s father’s irrational fears, controlling attitude, and the dark secrets at home. Scarlett may have a way to escape, but there’s a hitch: she’ll have to rely on the one person she used to trust, the same boy who broke her heart, Jesse Lachlin.

Each midnight meeting pushes Jesse and Scarlett to confront their secrets and their feelings for each other. But as love blooms, the curse rears its ugly head…


There’s something seriously magical about Katie McGarry’s writing. I don’t know how to describe it other than she makes me feel everything she writes. Only a Breath Apart is probably the heaviest book she’s written to date. The characters have to fight hard for themselves. It wasn’t an easy read. I felt every minute of Jesse and Scarlett’s pain, fear, and angst. All the negative emotions I felt didn’t make me love this book any less. It actually made me love it more because, once I got past those hard emotions, there were some other really beautiful ones like love, forgiveness, and determination. Jesse and Scarlet didn’t have it easy, but they had each other to weather the storm with.

Only a Breath Apart is one of those books I want to save and have my daughter read when she’s older. It had some messages that I believe are extremely important for young adults (and adults!) to learn regarding relationships and life in general. I am so happy I got the opportunity to read this book. It is one I will think about for a long time to come.

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Excerpt:

~SCARLETT~

My entire body seizes. “You’re supposed to give me a ride home.”

Glory ends the call and offers me an apologetic expression. “I forgot I had a phone meeting. I’ll take you home, after the call, but this will be a lengthy session.”

Meaning I won’t be home by curfew. “Reschedule.”

Glory has a thoughtful look as she approaches me. One that makes me feel like I should run. She leans forward and says in my ear, “You felt something when you saw the Chariot.”

The moment she placed that card on the table I felt as if I had sprinted headfirst into a wall. It was a stunned feeling, as if I were lost in a fog, but I won’t admit that. Not to her, not to anybody.

“You’ve been asleep for a very long time,” she whispers. “It’s time to wake up, Scarlett. There’s a whole word of possibility waiting for you.”

I step back from her because this lady is insane. “I need you to take me home.”

“I can’t, but I’m sure Jesse can lead the way.”

Um…no. I spin on my toes, and I’m out the door, down the stairs and I head east for home. Seconds later, the screen door slams shut again, and there are heavy footfalls on the wooden steps.

“Wait up!” Jesse calls out.

Nope. Not going to happen. I enter the tree line and curse the sky above that there’s no moon. This is the country, which means that besides the fading light from Glory’s house, I’m in complete darkness.

“Scarlett!” Jesse tries again. “Wait!”

But I don’t. I walked this land hundreds of times with Jesse, sometimes by myself so I could find him when I needed a friend. I can do this on my own.

“Let me find you so I can walk you home,” Jesse says.

He’s to my right, and I hurry because I don’t want to be found. My pulse pounds in my ears, and my blood tingles with this need to stay hidden, to stay alone.

Once upon a time, Jesse was my best friend, and then one day he froze me out. He stopped answering the door when I knocked, he ran away when he saw me coming across the field and then when we were forced into the same space on the first day of our freshman year, he humiliated me in front of the entire school.

Jesse Lachlin crushed me, and while I feel sorry for him because his grandmother died, I don’t forgive him for leaving a scar on my soul.

“Dammit, Scarlett, stop being so stubborn.”

My jaw clenches, and it takes an immeasurable amount of self-control to not explain to Jesse in a very loud tone that he’s the biggest jerk I’ve ever met. Doing so will inform him where I’m located, and I need him to leave me alone.

I push forward, faster this time, but then my foot snags on a root. My balance is thrown and my arms swing wildly in the air. I attempt to reach for something to break my fall, but my fingers catch air. The sensation is like the first massive hill of a roller coaster as my stomach lifts, and I brace myself for impact with the ground.

I close my eyes, tense my muscles and I’m caught. Strong, warm arms weave around me from behind and then my back is pressed flush against a solid chest. My heart leaps, and my lungs are robbed of air.

“You okay?” Jesse’s mouth is incredibly close to my ear, and his hot breath tickles my skin. I tremble because of the adrenaline or because of this achingly beautiful intimacy, I don’t know.

“Are you okay?” he asks again, and this time his arms tenderly squeeze me as if he’s offering comfort, as if he honestly cares. It’s been so long since anyone has hugged me that a part of me melts into the embrace as if I’m dry ground welcoming a warm rain.

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Katie McGarry’s ONLY A BREATH APART – Review & Excerpt Tour Schedule:

January 21st

@booksniffer7 – Review

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A Novel Glimpse – Review

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A Court of Coffee and Books – Review & Excerpt

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A Literary Perusal – Review & Excerpt

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Ali’s Bookshelf – Review & Excerpt

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3 degrees of fiction – Excerpt

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Aaly and The Books – Review

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A Gingerly Review – Review & Excerpt

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January 30th

Actin’ Up with Books – Review

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January 31st

Adventures in Writing – Review

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Readers Live A Thousand Lives – Review

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February 1st

Alotabooks13 – Review & Excerpt

bad boys and bedtime stories book blog – Review

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  Katie McGarry Bio:

 Katie is the author of the PUSHING THE LIMITS series, THUNDER ROAD series, SAY YOU’LL REMEMBER ME, and the upcoming YA novel, ONLY A BREATH APART. Her novels have received starred reviews, critical acclaim and have won multiple awards including being a multiple Goodreads Choice Award Finalist for YA Fiction, multiple RT Magazine’s Reviewer’s Choice Award Finalist for Best YA Fiction, including a win in the category, and she was a 2013 YALSA Top Ten Teen Pick.      

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Review: Two Can Keep a Secret (Karen M. McManus)

Two Can Keep a Secret
Author: Karen M. McManus
Publication Date: January 8, 2019
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Fiction

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Echo Ridge is small-town America. Ellery’s never been there, but she’s heard all about it. Her aunt went missing there at age seventeen. And only five years ago, a homecoming queen put the town on the map when she was killed. Now Ellery has to move there to live with a grandmother she barely knows.

The town is picture-perfect, but it’s hiding secrets. And before school even begins for Ellery, someone’s declared open season on homecoming, promising to make it as dangerous as it was five years ago. Then, almost as if to prove it, another girl goes missing.

Ellery knows all about secrets. Her mother has them; her grandmother does too. And the longer she’s in Echo Ridge, the clearer it becomes that everyone there is hiding something. The thing is, secrets are dangerous–and most people aren’t good at keeping them. Which is why in Echo Ridge, it’s safest to keep your secrets to yourself.


Two Can Keep a Secret was one of the 2019 releases that I was most excited to get my hands on. I absolutely loved Karen M. McManus’ debut novel, One of Us is Lying. I was excited to see what her second book had in store.

Karen M. McManus’ writing is utterly addictive. I was sucked into the story from the minute I started reading. I loved the characters and the plot kept me guessing. I had my (correct) suspicions as to who the murderer was, but twists and turns had me all over the place. I truly had no clue where the story was headed half the time. It was so engrossing that I didn’t want to put Two Can Keep a Secret down. I needed to know what was going to happen next!

I’m so happy that I loved this book. It had the same exciting mysterious feel that One of Us is Lying had, but was completely different. Karen M. McManus has now cemented her spot in my mind as one of my go-to mystery authors. This book just came out, but I can’t wait to see what’s next from her.

Review: On Thin Ice (Julie Cross)

On Thin Ice
Series: Juniper Falls, #3
Author: Julie Cross
Publication Date: February 26, 2019
Publisher: Entangled: Teen
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance, Fiction, Sports
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Brooke Parker never expected to find herself in the tiny town of Juniper Falls, Minnesota. Of course, she also never expected to lose her dad. Or for her mom to lose herself. Brooke feels like she’s losing it…until she finds Juniper Falls hockey. Juniper Falls girls’ hockey, that is.

Jake Hammond, current prince of Juniper Falls, captain of the hockey team, and player with the best chance of scoring it big, is on top of the world. Until one hazing ritual gone wrong lands him injured, sitting on the sidelines, and―shocking even to him―finding himself enjoying his “punishment” as assistant coach for the girls’ team.

As Jake and Brooke grow closer, he finds the quiet new girl is hiding a persona full of life, ideas, and experiences bigger and broader than anything he’s ever known. But to Jake, hockey’s never just been a game. It’s his whole life. And leveraging the game for a shot at their future might be more than he can give.


Can I just start by saying how disappointed I am in myself for not reading a book by Julie Cross until now? I have seen several rave reviews for her Juniper Falls series in the past. I always wanted to read one of those books, but never did. Shame on me! I absolutely adored On Thin Ice. On Thin Ice is one of those young adult novels that digs deep, but leaves you feeling all happy and bubbly inside. Or at least that is how it  made me feel.

Brooke is a quiet sophomore new to Juniper Falls. She’s had a rough couple of years, and she longs to take back her life in a new town. On a calculated whim, she joins the new high school girls’ hockey team. Joining the team puts Brooke in direct contact with the boys’ teams hockey star, Jake. Being around the cute and charismatic senior is tough enough as it is, but the two share a secret. The more the two get to know each other, the harder it is to stay away from each other and the truths they have to deal with.

Brooke and Jake were characters I couldn’t help but love. Brooke was intense and sweet. She was also a mess. Jake was strong and had the best of intentions, but he was also a mess. Somehow their individuals messes faded when they were together. They were the support system the other needed to make the big, important changes in their lives. I loved them as a couple and as individuals.

I greatly respected where Julie Cross took this story when it came to the hazing incident. There have been so many gone wrong in the news in the past couple of years, and it’s never close to home until it is. On Thin Ice tackled it in a way that gave young readers options to look at if they ever encounter a similar situation. I liked that it wasn’t a quick and easy decision or fix for the characters.

I have a feeling Julie Cross is going to be joining my list of go-to YA authors like Kasie West, Katie McGarry, Emery Lord, and Morgan Matson (just to name a few). I am so excited to go back and read the rest of the Juniper Falls series.

Review: Get Lucky: A YA Anthology

Get Lucky: A YA Anthology
Authors: Ali Dean, Kristin Kehoe, Cassie Mae, Tessa Marie, Theresa Paolo, Kelly Oram
Publication Date: March 17, 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance, Fiction

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

A YA anthology featuring some of today’s hottest Young Adult authors!

Doubles Love by Ali Dean – Mackenzie Bell loves two things: tennis and the Kendrick family. She doesn’t want to be anything like her mother, who hops from one husband to the next. It’s one of many reasons why she’s never dated. The other reason? She’s in love with her best friend’s older brother, Jesse Kendrick.

She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not by Kristen Kehoe – Kennedy Russo has had it rough. She’s become a pro at being invisible. But when she’s paired up for a 5 week assignment with golden boy, Gage, she starts to realize that anonymity may not always be the best option. Gage is on a mission to make her his friend, but will their tentative friendship bloom into something more?

Stroke of Luck by Cassie Mae – Jensen is well on his way to the PGA, if only he could focus. Getting stuck with his best friend as co-counselor at the golf camp will help—Penny’s always been one to push him. But when their alone time turns romantic, Jensen wonders if she’ll just be another distraction.

Someone I Used to Know by Tessa Marie – Charlotte was not looking forward to Spring Break. No technology and a boy she can’t stand. But when she realizes the boy is actually a hot guy now, and wants to hang out with her (!) she cant help but think this break may turn into something pretty awesome. But, is he harboring a secret that will challenge their budding relationship?

16 Kisses by Kelly Oram- All Cassie Caldwell wants for her sixteenth birthday is to finally be kissed. When Cassie’s older brother and his best friend—the lovable, sexy cowboy, Jared—discover her secret, Jared takes it upon himself to make sure her birthday wish comes true.

Four Letter Words by Ginger Scott – Dakota Wright has been making Jace Padgett look good for years…and she’s tired of it. What started as a favor has turned into a habit—one that she’s justified in her mind because Jace also happens to be six feet of gorgeous hunky quarterback, green eyes and a smile that can swing a girl to the moon. But the last favor she did for him may have finally tipped the scales, and Dakota’s ready to call it quits. One small hiccup—her heart can’t seem to let her. And when Jace starts to share pieces of the real him, Dakota begins to think her heart might just be smarter than her head after all.


I bought this anthology back when it was released because there was a Ginger Scott and Kelly Oram novella in it. I have no idea why I hadn’t read it yet. I am so mad at myself because it was really good! I even found some new YA authors to read more of. Here are my thoughts on each novella.

Doubles Love by Ali Dean – ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

This was the first time I had read anything by Ali Dean and I absolutely adored it! The characters and plot was so much fun. The feel of the story was a little NA angst-y. It almost had a Tijan vibe going on. I really, really want to read more of her stuff.

She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not by Kristen Kehoe – ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not was another big winner in my book. I was really touched by Kennedy and Gage’s romance. It was cute, fun, and emotional. I need to read more of this author, too!

Stroke of Luck by Cassie Mae – ★ ★ ★

Sadly, Stroke of Luck wasn’t my thing. I am not a big golf fan, so it was hard for me to become quickly interested in the story or the characters. It had it’s cute moments, though.

Someone I Used to Know by Tessa Marie – ★ ★ ★

I was excited to read this novella because I had read a previous book by Tessa Marie and loved it. I wasn’t a huge fan of Someone I Used to Know. I liked it, but I didn’t really connect with the characters like I wanted to.

16 Kisses by Kelly Oram – ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

It had been a while since I had read a book by Kelly Oram. 16 Kisses reminded me just how much I love her writing. This one might have been my favorite book in the series simply because it was the most fun and cutest.

Four Letter Words by Ginger Scott – ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Four Letter Word was exactly what I’ve come to expect from Ginger Scott. She isn’t afraid to tackle tough topics. I really enjoyed this novella. I just wish it would have been a full length book!

Mini Reviews: Unmaking Hunter Kennedy & Wasted Words

Lately, I have been attacking my Kindle TBR. I’ve been slowly going through all of the books on it, looking at reviews, and then selecting ones to read. Below are reviews for two of the books I chose to read recently.

Unmaking Hunter Kennedy
Author: Anne Eliot
Publication Date: October 17, 2012
Publisher: Butterfly Books, LLC
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Fiction

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

After a car accident–an event he considers a prank gone bad–pop star, Hunter Kennedy is forced to hide out with his aunt in small-town Colorado. He’s supposed to rest, heal his scars and attend high school in disguise until the press dies down. But he only wants to get back to work.

Worse, the girl who’s been assigned to make him over into a geek is a major geek herself. Vere Roth is a chattering pixie, a blushing tornado and a complete social disaster. He’s never met a girl who’s never-been-kissed, believes in romance and thinks Hunter’s a ‘nice’ guy.

Funny thing is…Hunter is nice around Vere because she’s his first real friend. He also can’t seem to stop sharing his secrets or keep her out of his heart. Knowing he’d never deserve a girl as sweet as Vere, he resigns himself to the friend zone, and helps his new bestie with her own makeover.

She tortures him daily for ridiculous guy advice on how to snag her life-long crush. A guy Hunter thinks is totally wrong for Vere, and sadly, one who has taken note of Vere’s transformation.

When Vere asks her best friend for some kissing advice, Hunter can’t resist…

And that’s when things get out of control…

My Review:

When I picked up Unmaking Hunter Kennedy, I was looking for a feel good read. That’s exactly what I got. You know those movies and books where a girl is turned from a major dork to a hot chick? Well, this is exactly the opposite. Hunter goes from celebrity to total nerd and it is priceless! I loved how he fell for Vere and how she slowly became aware of him. The banter was witty and the storyline was cute. It was sweet contemporary YA goodness! This was my first book by Anne Eliot and I’m so excited to read the rest of her back list.


Wasted Words
Series: Austen, #1
Author: Staci Hart
Publication Date: May 19, 2016
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Fiction

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½

Synopsis:

Some universal truths refuse to be ignored.

Peanut butter and jelly are a match made in heaven. Spaghetti and meatballs are best friends forever. And guys like Tyler Knight don’t go for girls like Cam Emerson.

She knew from the second she met him that he didn’t belong on her bookshelf, the six-foot-six ex-tight end with a face so all-American, it could have sold apple pie. So she shelved him next to the supermodels and rock stars and took her place on her own shelf — the one with the flannel-clad, pasty-faced comic book nerds. Most of her boyfriends have existed between the pages of books, but rather than worrying over her own lacking love life, she puts all her energy into playing Cupid, using her job at the book bar, Wasted Words, as her stomping ground.

Tyler Knight always looks on the bright side. His career-ending injury turned into a job as a sports agent. A horrible breakup led him to Cam, his quirky, smart roommate who is far more beautiful than she realizes. She’s made it perfectly clear she’s not interested in him — not like that at least — but if she ever changes her mind, he won’t hesitate. Because he doesn’t see the lines she’s drawn between them, as much as she insists that they’re there. Deep down he knows that despite their differences, they’re a match well made.

*A romantic comedy inspired by Jane Austen’s Emma*

My Review:

So here’s the thing. I started out loving Wasted Words. The setting was unique and cool. Cam and Tyler seemed like such cool characters. There was this feel good vibe that had me excited to find out what was to come. I got a little over half way through the book, and I was thinking things were going to go the way I hoped. That was when Cam’s insecurities and judgemental attitude took over and completely ruined things for me. I understood her, but I couldn’t stand her. I was cringing over her actions. She did end up making up for them, but I had a hard time getting over it. The ending turned out to be super sweet and fun, so that helped. Overall, Wasted Words was a sweet but sometimes annoying read.

Series Review: Kiss and Make Up by Sara Ney

Kissing in Cars
Series: Kiss and Make Up, #1
Author: Sara Ney
Publication Date: January 26, 2014
Publisher: CreateSpace
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Fiction
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Will she, or won’t she…

Studious and (mostly) sensible, the only thing Molly Wakefield wants to do is get through Senior Year and graduate. Well, that and hit the beach in her spare time. Okay, fine – and go shopping every once in a while for a new dress… (and who could blame her?)

And things are going according to plan – until the day she spies Weston McGrath, handsome star athlete and scholar, spying on her in study hall.

A tad creepy? Maybe.
Thrilling? Absolutely.

You see, Weston McGrath happens to be one guy no one can get close to.

Despite her best efforts to avoid it (because let’s face it – the guy isn’t exactly “boyfriend material”) Mollly and Weston form a friendship.
And more….
Sort of.
But it’s a friendship that comes with a price – because Weston just cannot seem to stop screwing things up. Or saying all the wrong things. Possibly in that order…
And who has time for an 18 year old “fixer-upper” that should know better?
Not Molly.
Or does she?

Review:

Oh my goodness.This book was so dang cute! Molly and Weston were just too adorable. I loved how everything went down between them. All the embarrassing, does he/she or doesn’t he/she like me moments were true the high school crush experience. It was cringe worthy, but sweet. Kissing in Cars was just so much fun to read. I felt like I was back in high school myself. I cannot wait to read the second book in this series!


He Kissed Me First
Series:
Kiss and Make Up, #2
Author: Sara Ney
Publication Date: November 27, 2014
Publisher: CreateSpace
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Fiction
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

“Trust me – If there’s one thing I’m not attracted to, it’s an arrogant, selfish and foul-mouth hockey player. I know what I want, and Matthew Wakefield isn’t it.” – Cecelia Carter

From the first moment they laid eyes on each other, all Cecelia Carter and Matthew Wakefield do is bicker. Fight. Even though he is her roommates brother, Cece just can’t stand the sight of him, and Matthew – well. He could never resist a challenge…

That can’t be a good combination, can it?
But sometimes, love happens when you least expect it.

Review:

I have mixed feelings about He Kissed Me First. On one hand, I loved Cecelia and Matthew’s banter. I loved what an idiot he was when it came to relationships and how everyone could see what he couldn’t. I loved how Molly and Weston from Kissing in Cars fit into the story and all of the new characters.

All of that was a lot of fun, but there were some things I wasn’t a big fan of. I didn’t really get Cecelia nor did I connect with her. She felt like a contradiction. Cecelia seemed liked the chick who didn’t care what she looked like, but then she had this uptight thing going on too. It just didn’t mesh well together. She had a major reaction to something Matthew said, but it wasn’t ever really explained and I didn’t get her reasoning. She just felt like this big mess while you knew what you were getting with Matthew.

Overall, He Kissed Me First was a fun read. I just expected a little more from it.


A Kiss Like This
Series: Kiss and Make Up, #3
Author: Sara Ney
Publication Date: May 31, 2015
Publisher: Sara Ney LLC
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Fiction
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

ABIGAIL DARLINGTON IS AWKWARD…

She will never be “that” girl. You know the one: that girl on campus, confident in her own skin. Always saying the right things. Putting herself out there. Knows how to talk to a guy without stammering.

Nope. Shy but clever, and easily embarrassed, Abby is fine being the wallflower in her circle of outgoing, beautiful friends; she would rather read about a sexy book boyfriend than actually have a live, breathing one.

…BUT CALEB LOCKHART IS WORSE.

Star goaltender for the University’s hockey team, Caleb is quiet and broody, preferring the solitude of his orderly, regimented life. He doesn’t like, or need people—and plans to keep it that way. One more year left of hockey and he’ll be long gone.

AWKWARD NEVER LOOKED SO GOOD.

Both their lives change the day that Abigail falls for Caleb. Well, falls directly on top of him, to be accurate. Because sometimes we don’t settle into love.

We fall there.

Review:

As you can see above, this series so far has been a little hit or miss for me. A Kiss Like This was giant hit for me. I absolutely ADORED this book. Sara Ney’s writing feels more timeless and current in this book. I can really see how her writing evolved to what it is today. I loved it.

A Kiss Like This was awkwardly sweet and romantic. Caleb and Abigail were just too dang cute for words. Neither of them knew what the heck they were doing when it came to a relationship and it was romance gold. I can’t even…I just want to keep going on and on about how freaking adorable and amazing this book was. A Kiss Like This was such a great, classic NA romance. I absolutely loved it!

Review: Crew by Tijan

Crew
Series: Crew, #1
Author: Tijan
Publication Date: August 27, 2018
Genre: (Mature) Young Adult, Contemporary, Fiction, Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

To survive where I live, you have two options.

You can be a Normal—a cheerleader, jock, member of the debate team, or on the yearbook committee. You pretend everything is normal.

Or you can be crew.
You insult us? We hurt you.
You hurt us? We really hurt you.
And if you f*ck with us, we will end you.

My name is Bren.
I’m the only female in the Wolf Crew—the best, fiercest, and most dangerous crew there is—and we have a rule: There’s no falling in love.

Well… too late.


Holy moly, people!

I have been a fan of Tijan’s writing since I found Broken & Screwed and then the Fallen Crest High series. Her YA books are my guilty pleasure. They straddle the line between YA and NA, and are like a good teenage TV drama. I was excited to hear Tijan was heading back to the YA realm with Crew. Despite that, I was a tad bit hesitant to start reading it. I had this feeling that it was going to hit hard emotionally. I admit I was slightly scared of where it might take me. I wasn’t sure I was ready.  I knew it was going to be special, though.

Crew was EPIC. I was utterly addicted to it from beginning to end. Crew was classic Tijan mature YA. If you have read Fallen Crest High, Broken & Screwed, or Ryan’s Bed, you will know what I’m talking about it. Crew was all about different relationships, drama, and angst. There were friendships, alliances, romances, enemies, family. You name it, it was involved. I loved being in the world of Crew.

Crew, like all of Tijan’s books, had a strong but emotionally damaged female main character. Bren’s life was filled with a lot of darkness and a little bit of light. She embraced life with the Wolf Crew. The crew wasn’t just something she belonged to, it was her family. It was her way of life. Bren was crew. How that affected her life and choices was fascinating.

The whole story was fascinating! I loved the all the surprises Tijan threw in. I was shocked by how much the crew thing interested me. It opened my eyes to some things and I didn’t expect that. I really loved the dynamic between Bren and the rest of the crew. I specifically loved the impact the crew had on her love life. She had a very special connection with someone and I adored this relationship. Her man was my favorite character in this story. His strength was different from hers, and how he used it was very cool.

There’s so, so much I want to say about Crew! I can’t, though. My lips are sealed. I won’t be spoiling this book for you. If you loved any of those other Tijan books I mentioned earlier in this review, you MUST read Crew. You will LOVE it. Whatever I thought Crew was going to be before reading it was right, but it was also MORE. You’re going to love that more. I did.

**Full-length novel. First book in a YA Series. This is 100% a new series from TIJAN. All new characters in the Tijanverse and is intended for mature audiences only. This book is dark, violent, and not for the faint of heart.** 

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Paperback:

Tijan’s Reader group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/TijansFanPage/

*Kindle Unlimited is a subscription that allows you to access a large selection of titles from the Kindle Store. … You can keep up to ten titles to read on any Amazon device or Kindle reading app and there are no due dates.

Review: If There’s No Tomorrow by Jennifer L. Armentrout

If There’s No Tomorrow
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Narrator: Jorjeana Marie
Publication Date: September 5, 2017
Publisher: Harlequin Audio
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Fiction

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

Lena Wise is always looking forward to tomorrow, especially at the start of her senior year. She’s ready to pack in as much friend time as possible, to finish college applications, and to maybe let her childhood best friend Sebastian know how she really feels about him. For Lena, the upcoming year is going to be one of opportunities and chances.Until one choice, one moment, destroys everything.Now Lena isn’t looking forward to tomorrow. Not when friend time may never be the same. Not when college applications feel all but impossible. Not when Sebastian could never forgive her for what happened.For what she let happen.With the guilt growing each day, Lena knows that her only hope is to move on. But how can she move on when tomorrow isn’t even guaranteed?


If There’s No Tomorrow is the first book I’ve read / listened to by Jennifer L. Armentrout. I’ve seen her books around and thought they probably weren’t my thing. For some reason, I thought all of her books had fantasy elements in them. To be completely honest, the only reason I requested this audio book was because Stephanie told me I should consider this author for my fantasy NA bingo checklist. I chose this one because it was available from library. It wasn’t a fantasy at all. I couldn’t find any reason to be disappointed in that other than it didn’t check off that box because I loved this book. It was a great introduction to Jennifer L. Armentrout’s writing and it made me actually interested in her fantasy novels.

Keeping with the whole honesty thing I have going on in this review, I have to warn readers that this book was slow going. I’m not sure if that was just because I was listening to it and the narrator had a slow and somber way of delivering the text or if it was actually a slow read. At first, this kind of bugged me because I wanted to yell at her to get on with the story. As the story progressed, it made sense with Lena’s thoughts and feelings. She was so in her head, and the narrator did an excellent job portraying that.

As for the story, I loved it. There were so many different emotions that went along with it. Lena was such a complex character. Her thoughts and feelings about everything and everyone were so well written. She’s a character I was easily frustrated by but completely understood. It was uncomfortable being in her head, but it paid off in the end. Her story was one that needs to be shared. It truly showed how one bad decision can change everything — especially when it comes to drinking and driving. I also felt it did a great job at portraying survivors guilt. I’ve never been in the position to have that type of guilt, but I felt it through Lena.

Overall, I felt that If There’s No Tomorrow is an important, timeless read. It’s geared to young adults, but I think adults would benefit from reading it as well.