Pride: A bad boy and amish girl romance by Sienna Valentine

prideBlurb: Three brothers with a bad reputation and three Amish girls. What could possibly go wrong?

It all started when my brother Ash proposed a bet…

Just an innocent bet. Okay, well, maybe a bet to rob the three most virtuous girls in town of their purity isn’t exactly innocent itself, but there’s no way we could have known how it would all turn out. How much trouble it would bring.

But what the hell were an Amish girl and her sisters doing in the middle of Bright Falls, anyway? I mean, it seemed almost too easy. She was a sheep and I was the wolf, and it was time for me to feast.

I’m one of the Brody Bunch, after all. Middle brother of three with a reputation for being a bad ass that came from more than just the fact that my father ran the biggest MC around for years before landing himself in prison. Sarah is the complete opposite not only of me, but of everything I’ve ever known. She was supposed to just be a conquest, an easy one, even, given how innocent she was.

How the hell was I to know that getting involved with her would change my whole goddamn world?

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4 Stars

The only things that really bugged me about this book was the fact that it was a short story.  Now, I don’t have anything against them, but when my kindle shows it at 50% and then ‘Bam!’ it ends, then yeah, I get a bit pissy about it.

The other thing that bothered me was I was hoping to learn some things about Amish folks I didn’t already know.  But I didn’t learn anything new.  *sigh* Rumspringa? Check. Amish people don’t use electricity? Check. Bearded men are married? Check. I mean, I’ve watched Amish Mafia, I see how they drive buggy’s and only wear certain colors. And I know they speak dutch and are very devout.  This is all nothing new. I was hoping for more though.

Still, the author did a great job of describing what the English world was like for an Amish girl who had never left her farm.  THAT was some great writing. How the sights and the noise affected her was wonderfully described.  And how she felt about being in a sinful world gave some insight into a devout woman’s thinking. How she dealt with what she felt she needed to do and what she wanted to do was a great piece of conflict that I just ate up.  The road to Hell and all that jazz.

The ‘so-called’ bad boy had a heart of fricking gold.  He was definitely paying for his fathers sins in this story.  He totally didn’t deserve it.  Other than his promiscous ways, he was an absolute doll. His vocabulary was so intricate, I know that makes no sense, but it was.  He said things I wouldn’t expect a ‘bad boy’ to say.  And it didn’t seem out of character to me.

I think I like this story so much because its an opposites attract love story.  My husband and I are opposites,  I have no idea how we make it work, but it does. So ultimately that is what made the story believable to me.

This book is only $.99. It’s worth a shot.  Although its very graphic so if you don’t read that type of stuff, I’d pass if I were you.

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Dirty Blood by Heather Hildenbrand

Dirty bloodBlurb:  I killed a girl last night. I did it with my bare hands and an old piece of pipe I found lying next to the dumpster. But that’s not the part that got me. The part that scared me, the part I can’t seem to wrap my head around and still has me reeling, was that when she charged me, her body shifted – and then she was a wolf. All snapping teeth and extended claws. But by the time I stood over her lifeless body, she was a girl again. That’s about the time I went into shock… And that was the moment he showed up.

Now, all I can do is accept the truths that are staring me in the face. One, Werewolves do exist. And Two, I was born to kill them.

 

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4 Stars

THIS BOOK IS FREE!

This is a re-read, something I do from time to time.  I loved this series my first time around. The second time around, I still love it. I have an affinity for shifter books. Especially shifter romances, which this one happens to be, albeit a bit on the slow side.

I found the female MC a bit whiny and she totally got steam rolled, allowing others to make decisions for her. It didn’t make sense as to why they wouldn’t let her participate in their activities.  The whole, “I just want to keep you safe.” just didn’t ring true for me.  It seemed the best way to keep her safe was to give her the tools needed to protect herself, not hide her away in hopes that everyone will just forget about her.

Beyond that I genuinely enjoyed this story.  The chemistry between Wes and Tara ran a bit hot and cold for me.  Her attraction was clear, but his seemed a bit muddled to me.  In the end his true colors showed through and I ended up really liking him.

This story had a neat spin on shifter’s that gave it an originality others lacked.  And I have read so many shifter books I can peg a story-line in the first 50 pages.  Not so with this one.  I loved how there was good and evil within both factions.  It wasn’t all shifters are bad or good.  They could be both.  It gave the story a human aspect and didn’t make it so absolute, I hate dealing in absolutes.

Ok, one last thing, I couldn’t stand Tara’s mother!  She was demanding and overbearing and I just wanted to slap her when she started doing the, ‘I forbids’.   She did end up redeeming herself but I am still holding a grudge on Tara’s behalf.

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Top Ten Beach Reads

Top Ten Tuesday
(Images link to Goodreads, Titles link to Amazon)

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish in which you make a list of ten to do with a certain topic.  This week’s topic is “Beach Reads Week — top ten great beach reads, ten books I plan to read on the beach, ten beach reads for those who don’t like typical ~beach reads~, ten authors who are my go-to for beach reads, etc.”   I went with great summer/beach reads!

Lenoreo’s Top Twenty:

OK, I’m not sure what I would personally qualify as a beach read in my mind, so I guess I went with books that take place in the summer…because that’s what I like to read about on the beach.  They just get you in the right mood!  And I had a hard time paring down the list, so I just didn’t.  😛

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  1. Four Summers by Nyrae Dawn — LOVED the concept of seeing 4 magical summers for Charlotte and Nathan.  It just had so much magic and yet realism.
  2. The Truth About Forever and Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen — I finally tried some Sarah Dessen books after hearing so much about her (and having them finally go on a sale I could afford), and I thoroughly enjoyed them.  Perfect YA summer reads full of growth and intriguing characters.
  3. Him by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy — Mmmm….goddamn this book was hot!  Hockey summer camp?  Yes please.  Especially since it was so much more.  See my review here.
  4. Road to Somewhere by Kelley Lynn and Jenny S. Morris — This book blew me away.  It was an awesome YA coming of age story that I just wasn’t expecting.  And with a delicious little side romance.  And a fabulous sister relationship.  Yup, good stuff.
  5. Unlikely Allies by Tiffany King — Oh how I love Ms. King’s YAs.  And this one had great suspense and lots of emotion.  Can’t wait to meet her in less than a month.
  6. Snapshot by Angie Stanton — Even though this is the second book in the series, it can still be read as a standalone, and had a great summer feel to it with lots of heart and emotion.
  7. The Real Thing by Cassie Mae — One of my favourite beta boys evar, Eric is just everything.  And Eric and Mia’s sweet romance had all the summer hotness.
  8. On The Island by Tracey Garvis-Graves — This book was made for the beach!!  I mean, stranded on an island?  It’s perfection!  And I reread it just last fall and loved it just as much the second time around, see my review here.
  9. Appaloosa Summer by Tudor Robins — OK, really the whole Island Trilogy belongs on this list — it’s fantastic summer time YA goodness.  See my review here.
  10. Just a Little Flirt and Just a Little Kiss by Renita Pizzitola — SO MUCH NA GOODNESS!!  Loved both of these books, and they have great humour, snark, chemistry and just awesomeness on a college summer vacation.
  11. My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick — I didn’t love this one quite as much as many others did, but the whole Garrett family just put this book on the map for me.
  12. This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith — I ended this one with a big grin on my face.  Movie star meets ordinary person?  Yes please.
  13. Serial Hottie by Kelly Oram — This book was full of fun, hilarity and hijinks.  Loved Ellie, she was just spunky and awesome.
  14. Breathless by Krista McLaughlin — The quirky adorable hero, Jon, made this whole book worth it.  The story was sweet, innocent, almost too cheesy, and with some surprising depth in places.
  15. The Summer I Found You by Jolene Perry — Great mature YA read with at times painfully realistic characters.  And bonus, it’s a diverse read!
  16. The Road To You by Marilyn Brant — Fabulous mystery read, and I even thoroughly enjoyed that it was set in the 70s and all the touches that came along with that!
  17. Effortless With You by Lizzy Charles — Lucy was a bit hard to warm up to, b/c she was actually a realistic teenager, but it was nice to watch her grow up over the summer.  And the book definitely ended with me smiling from ear to ear.  I still need to read book 2.
  18. Falling for the Ghost of You by Nicole Christie — I honestly don’t remember this one too well, just that I really enjoyed it and enjoyed the characters.  Reading my review makes me want to reread the book though…

So those are my recommendations!  I hope you find something perfect for your summer of reading!  So hit me with what makes a great beach read for you??  What are some of your recs?  Or please link me to your lists, I’d love to come check them out!!  Thanks for visiting!

Ungifted by Kelly Oram

Synopsis:
20893791Even though her father is running for President of the United States, Grace St. Claire is as normal a girl as they come. She’s clumsy, shy, and an outcast among her peers. She even manages to nearly die in a freak accident in front of the entire school. But when Grace survives a vampire attack she quickly learns that she is anything but ordinary.

There’s something about human Grace that has all the supernaturals around her going crazy. Her best friend’s brother suddenly wants to date her. Her worst enemy has sworn to protect her even against her wishes. Someone with very powerful magic wants her dead, and the vampire that attacked her has developed an obsession with making her his eternal mate.

In order to survive—and not as Count Dracula’s undead bride—Grace dives head first into the terrifying world of the supernatural. She teams up with a charming but mysterious warlock who strolled into town causing trouble and spouting stories of a Prophesy and Chosen One that looks exactly like Grace. Together they must figure out why Grace is different, who wants her dead, how she’s connected to the Chosen One, and who they can really trust.

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My Review:
4 stars — I am so confused you guys.  I honestly don’t know what to think.  And I can’t even really tell you guys all of what has me confused without giving away major spoilers!!!  Let’s just say that I was left unfulfilled by this book when it finally ended, and since the next book is from someone else’s POV, how I am I supposed to get my fulfillment??

Honestly guys, this book was heading in 5 star direction.  I was just all over Grace like a fat kid on a smartie.  I’m sure not every reader is going to love her, but she was the embodiment of the kinds of characters that draw me in.  Shy, somewhat insecure, clumsy, but with a bit of fire to her, and OMG all the emotions.  I felt for her from moment one, and loved being in her head.  I know she’s a bit of a basketcase, but I could relate to some of the things she was feeling (even though my life is nothing like hers), so I just felt super attached to her.  I loved the bits of growth that we got to see with her too — even if the price she paid was pretty steep at times.  I LOVED learning about her unique role in the supernatural world.  Very intriguing idea, and I’m curious to see how it will play out in future books.

I also loved learning about the Nephilim, and Ethan, and the uniqueness that is him.  I honestly wasn’t sure what to feel about Ethan a lot of the time.  He had moments of epic douchbaggery, but he grew on me as the book went on.  I’m still confused about his relationship with Grace.  I just don’t know what to feel on that anymore.  I didn’t get all the hate.  I mean, I got it initially, but I didn’t get how it lasted, or really understand how that relationship changed and what exactly happened there.  It’s like I was with it, I was with it, and then I lost it.

The whole “everyone loves Grace” thing could probably get really annoying for some readers, but it didn’t bother me too much.  For some reason I hate love triangles more than love septagons.  😛  I enjoyed the different relationships she developed, though I don’t quite see the point in all of them.

(There MAY be spoilers next if you haven’t read book 1, so I would recommend skipping the rest if you plan on starting the series…surprises are just more fun)

And then there’s Russ.  I fell back in love with Russ in this book.  He was hilarious, and a little less dickish, and I started to really feel for him again.  Can’t wait to see his book next since I started reading the sneak peek at the back of this book, and being in his head looks like fun.  He’s such a unique guy.

Andrew was ridiculously frightening and the perfect bad guy b/c he wasn’t 100% evil.  Very scary.

And so we come to the end.  And confusion.  Seriously, I just asked my husband “what is shy thinking??  I DON’T UNDERSTAND?!!!”  If I were getting another Grace book, I would totally get it.  But I’m not.  😦  And thus this book gets 4 stars instead of 5.  And I am now desperate to start book 3, and I honestly have no idea what’s going to happen next.  I feel like the very ground I am walking on has shifted and I no longer know what to expect.  So lost….  So confused….

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Underneath it all (The Walsh Series book 1) by Kate Canterbary

Underneath it allBlurbLauren
It’s all the little things—the action plans, the long-kept promises—that started falling apart when my life slipped into controlled chaos.

After I met Matthew Walsh.

I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to run screaming or rip his pants off, and most days I wanted a little of both. If I was being honest with myself, it was rip his pants off, ride him like a workhorse, and then run screaming.

Matthew
A rebellious streak ran through Lauren Halsted. It was fierce and unrelentingly beautiful, and woven through too many good girl layers to count, and she wasn’t letting anyone tell her what to do.

Unless, of course, she was naked.

She wasn’t looking for me and I sure as shit wasn’t looking for her, but we found each other anyway and now we were locked in a battle of wills, waiting for the other to blink.

Sometimes the universe conspires to bring people together. Other times, it throws people down a flight of stairs and leaves them in a bruised and bloodied heap.

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3.5 Stars

THIS BOOK IS FREE!!!!

This book started off a little average for me. They met and the attraction was so much that they just had to give in a to their carnal desires.  Then the book took a bit of a turn.  I really liked how the woman was a bit of a commitment phobe and the guy was a bit more needy.  It seemed a bit like the gender roles were reversed.  She wrote the male character in such a away that I don’t feel he lost any of his masculinity.

However, for some reason I feel that the female MC came off too one dimensional.  I didn’t see any other dimensions except for her just kind of being selfish and leaving him dangling.  He pursued her aggressively and allowed her to ignore him for days on end, only coming around when she felt like it.  I don’t know I kind of had an issue with that but for the most part the book was good.

The fact that she didn’t want to compromise was a bit of a turn off.  Like she didn’t know that she could have her cake and eat it too.  Or she didn’t want to work for it cause she was afraid she would lose herself by allowing herself to be in a relationship.

I felt that the love was too soon. Although who am I to talk because two months after I started seeing my husband we were living together.  Four months is plenty of time, I guess, to fall in love.   I am on the fence if I will read any more books in this series.

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You Can’t Catch Me by Becca Ann (Cassie Mae)


29500681Blurb:
 My body suuuucks. After lounging around on my butt all summer (okay, so maybe that was my bad), this body decided to become something completely foreign. So now I’m trying to make the track team and I feel like I’m a baby learning to walk again.

A couple pounds wouldn’t have been so bad. Work those off, run like a mad woman, no problem, yeah? But no. I’ve also developed a couple of things that I definitely didn’t have before. And now my guy friends are all sitting in a pool of drool as they not-so-subtly stare at my chest.

Combine all that drama with the fact that the new track coach is getting major flack for being a little chunky, and all I’m trying to do is convince the team that I’m not running slower because of her coaching style.

Oh, and did I mention that I’m totally falling face-first in “like” with some guy I met in a cemetery? And no one understands it just because he’s also a little chunky. But he’s also adorable and wonderfully weird and I don’t care what they say, his look sure does it for me.

But… I don’t know… how can I be in “like” with someone, when I have no clue how to like myself anymore?

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5 Stars!

This is the best body image book I have ever read!  I don’t even know how to give this book a proper review, I feel anything I say will not do the book justice.

She touches on how uncomfortable it is when our bodies change (puberty sucks) and we feel awkward in them, relearning how to move and dress.  How the attention from people we thought we knew changes and we don’t know how to deal with it.  There are no rule books for when we grow up.  At least none that I was aware of when I was Ginger’s age.  This book should be mandatory reading in high school.  I am definitely saving it for when my daughter becomes a teenager.

This book would have been a godsend to me as a teenager because I would have felt less alone in my feelings of awkwardness.  I loved how she didn’t give up.  Ginger could have easily allowed herself to fall into the pity pool.  Her determination and her sense of competitiveness is something that is admirable in a female at her age.  Many succumb to peer pressure and conform. She is a horse of a different color and an inspiration to girls everywhere.  Ok, that last part sounded cheesy but it doesn’t make it any less true.

I floved the love sub-story.  It was sweet and slow and original in how they met.  I don’t know how CM does it but every story has a different element of originality to them.  And this one is no exception.  I especially loved how they ‘talked’ through post-its and they didn’t really have any contact for the first half of the book, even if I was getting antsy for some action.  It was totally worth the wait though.

I highly recommend this book to all.

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Chameleon by Kelly Oram

Synopsis:
18999247For small-town rebel Dani Webber magic and monsters are no more real than the Easter Bunny… until the day she accidentally stops time. Dani quickly discovers that not only do supernaturals exist, but she herself is one of them. This is great news for her life-long best friend Russ, who can finally come clean about his own supernatural status and his undying love for her. Before the two can start to enjoy the long overdue relationship, Dani is taken by a powerful council of supernaturals who believe she is the Chosen One destined to save them from extinction.

As if being kidnapped and expected to save the world isn’t bad enough, an ancient prophecy warns of the Chosen One’s dark nature: “Only the truest love will keep her an agent for good.” The council believes they know who this “true love” is and, unfortunately, that person isn’t Russ. The mysterious, powerful and devastatingly handsome Seer is the last person Dani wants in her life, but when she starts having visions of a horrific future, she has no one else to turn to for help.

Soon Dani finds herself torn between two very different boys with two very different opinions of whom she can trust. With the visions getting worse and time running out, Dani is forced to put aside her feelings and work with both the Seer and Russ before an ancient evil is unleashed upon the earth.

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My Review:
3.5 stars — OK, so here’s the thing: I’m actually not a fan of love triangles.  Now that’s not to say I won’t love a book that has a love triangle, b/c one of my favourite authors unfortunately LOVES them and has a major one in one of my favourite series of hers.  I guess it just has to be done right, or there has to be enough other stuff surrounding the story to push down my inherit dislike of love triangles.  And this book failed to do that for me.  What’s weird is that I knew going in that there was a love triangle (uh duh, it’s in the blurb), and quite frankly being a huge fan of Ms. Oram and being a part of her fan club, other readers inevitably even spoiled it for me (because people forget about that when they get excited and start fangirling), and so I even knew which boy probably won out in the end.  Although, I guess that kind of ruined my read of this book a bit as well (kind of like More Than Jamie Baker being a bit spoiled for me ruined it a bit).  People are so well meaning, but it really is hard to avoid spoilers once you join a fan club.  So my advice?  Don’t join the fan club until you’ve read it all.  Seriously.

OK, that was a stupid tangent to get off on.  ANYWAYS.  Right.  Love triangles.  So we start this book with Russ and Dani.  And even though Russ could be kind of a prick at times, I kind of fell for the two of them together.  I mean come on, they were hilarious and the bantering was funny and I really did feel chemistry.  And a small part of me that hadn’t reread the blurb before diving in hoped I had been wrong about the existence of a love triangle, b/c best friends to lovers stories??  Who doesn’t love those?  And OMG the paranormal stuff was so fun and exciting and intriguing, and I really was loving most of that!!  (though her reactions to the cravings bothered me here and there, but I could deal with it)  And then the council comes and takes her away (not a spoiler, this is all implied by the blurb for the book, so I figured I could mention it).  And we meet book boy 2.  And from that point on I just never really got back my verve for the story except in pieces here and there.  You see, not only was I only meh on Gabriel (he was ok, just nothing spectacular IMO), I really didn’t feel Gabriel and Dani’s connection at all (no matter how many times we’re told it’s there).  And when Russ comes back into the picture, he’s an even bigger dick, and quite frankly I couldn’t have cared less who Dani ended up with.  I wasn’t feeling either anymore.  I refused to invest in either relationship b/c I honestly didn’t know how it was going to pan out, b/c I didn’t ever feel that great love that I was expecting that would show who the true love was supposed to be.  So for me, this book was an epic romance fail.

Now on the supernatural side it was kind of intriguing.  I LOVED that moment when I understood the title of this book.  Dani’s powers were quite cool, and I enjoyed the “fight” type scenes throughout this book.  I will say that I went back and forth a GAGILLION times over who the bad guy was going to be.  And sometimes I felt like Dani, Russ, and Gabriel were freaking idiots for not being a bit more cautious all around with all the powerful warlocks that they could encounter, but apparently I’m just paranoid that way.  I always had it narrowed down to 2 suspects, and a part of me was mildly disappointed that it wasn’t who I wanted it to be, but in the end it made the most sense.  So fantastic mystery element.  And I will say that the climax was quite emotionally impactful for me.  I really hope we get to learn a bit more about the Supernaturals as a whole, b/c it felt like a lot of backstory was missing at times.  I guess b/c we were really only dealing with a few types in this particular story.  I’m actually very excited to see what else we’ll learn in the future stories, and how the world will unfold.

And I totes agree with other readers, Duncan is da bomb.  He disappointed me here and there, but he was one of the better characters in the story, particularly for such a minor one.

So I am definitely reading the next book in the series.  Especially since it’s from a different character’s POV and so we’ll get a fresh chance at a good romance.  I will say that while I LOVE LOVE LOVE the covers for these books (and the interior formatting), I don’t yet get the significance of the cool sun thingie.  Have you read this book?  Did I miss something?

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A is for Abstinence by Kelly Oram

Synopsis:
22089601Rockstar to the core, Six-time Grammy Award-winning musician Kyle Hamilton has it all—money, fame, talent, good looks, and a job he loves. His only regret in life: walking away from a certain notorious virgin because he was too prideful, stubborn, and even afraid to give her the only thing she asked of him—his abstinence.

Four years and a broken heart later, Kyle realizes that sex isn’t everything, and he suddenly can’t stop thinking about the girl that got away. Virgin Val Jensen got under his skin like no one else ever has. He wasn’t ready for her then, but things are different now. He’s grown up, he’s learned a few things, and he’s finally figured out exactly what he wants, or, rather, who he wants.

Kyle Hamilton wants a do-over, and this time he’s willing to do—or not do—whatever it takes.

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My Review:
4.5 stars — Initial thoughts when I turned the page to the end: OMG OMGOMG!!!  LOVED IT LOVED IT LOVED IT!!!!  Then I glanced at some other people’s reviews (which is a bad habit that I have to break), reflected on it as a whole, and realized there were some things that bothered me.  But since you really can’t beat that initial feeling of LOVE at the end of a book, I’m going to give it that extra bump up a half star anyways.

What I loved: OK, so I am a SUCKER (100%) for an epilogue type book.  I know some people hate those, but I LOVE LOVE LOVE THEM!!!  And since V is for Virgin didn’t really satisfy my romance fix, this book gave me everything I was looking for.  There were plenty of sweet moments, plenty of swoon moments, some great witty banter between Kyle and Val, and definitely some great chemistry.

Also, KYLE POV!!!!  I am a sucker for a boy POV book, so I LOVED getting inside Kyle’s head.  I will admit, Kyle wasn’t my ideal book boyfriend in V is for Virgin.  Frankly, he was kind of a jerk.  He had these moments, but they weren’t really enough you know?  But somehow in this book he made me fall for him.  I mean, he still had his jerk-ish moments, but he really had grown a lot since the first book.  And he wasn’t just some perfect turn-around good guy.  He was still Kyle Hamilton.  He was just starting to see what was important in his life, and what was missing from it.  I was so glad that we didn’t start right off from the Epilogue from the previous book, but a few months before and got to see the events that led up to him appearing on the Connie Parker Show and surprising Val.

I will admit that there were times I doubted what drew him to Val so much.  Yeah, I know they had unbelievable chemistry, but he really was set on this new path, and I wondered just how well he knew her to be so sure she was the one, you know?  But it’s not as though he didn’t recognize some of that in the book and decide he wanted to know her better, so I was satisfied.

OK, so the little niggles: thongs are trashy??  OK, I will admit, I don’t wear thongs.  But that’s because I can’t get over the something between my butt cheeks thing.  I was quite disappointed in Val for those comments.  (And yes, I get that is a tiny thing)  Also…well shit, I can’t mention my other thing b/c it’s *kind of* spoilery.  I’ll save it for the Goodreads review.

But seriously, if I don’t think about it too much, I just bask in the enjoyment of this story.  And can I say I really loved Robin again?  I enjoyed the moments between her and Kyle, they were infrequent, but so sweet when they happened (and unexpected).  All in all, this definitely lived up to my expectations and made me a happy reader!!

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V is for Virgin by Kelly Oram

Synopsis:
18912102When Val Jensen gets dumped for her decision to stay a virgin until marriage, the nasty breakup goes viral on YouTube, making her the latest internet sensation.

After days of ridicule from her peers, Val starts a school-wide campaign to rally support for her cause. She meant to make a statement, but she never dreamed the entire nation would get caught up in the controversy.

As if becoming nationally recognized as “Virgin Val” isn’t enough, Val’s already hectic life starts to spin wildly out of control when bad boy Kyle Hamilton, lead singer for the hit rock band Tralse, decides to take her abstinence as a personal challenge.

How can a girl stay true to herself when this year’s Sexiest Man Alive is doing everything in his power to win her over?

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My Review:
ORIGINAL REVIEW: 4.5 stars — what a great read. And it wasn’t about adolescent romance, but about one girl and what she goes through when she announces she plans to remain a virgin until marriage. And despite that, it’s not anti-sex, but pro-thought (like wanting people to *really* be making the decision that is right for them). You know what else I loved? The relationships in this book were realistic. Both friendship-wise and relationship-wise. Chemistry was definitely present, but it didn’t become the end all be all you know? And her relationship with Cara was fabulous and heart-breaking at the same time…and again, so real to life. LOVED the epilogue. It’s not that I didn’t see it coming, I hoped for it….and it was perfect for me. Will definitely be adding Ms. Oram to my authors to watch list, her teaser of her next book had me hooked….

Basically my husband periodically would glance over at me, and he would ask “are you ok? [silent nod] good book? [silent nod with shimmering tears]”, and then later he would walk be me and I could tell he was laughing at me grinning like a fool to myself. Good book indicators.

ON REREAD: 4.5 stars — Great coming of age YA.  It definitely had an element of romance to it (uh, Kyle *ahem*), but it wasn’t really a story about that, but more a story of Valerie’s journey.  Definitely held up to a reread.  I *might* round down instead of up nowadays because I felt like the ending kind of came abruptly (though I loved the epilogue), but other than that I have remarkably similar feelings to the first time I read it.  I still felt like it wasn’t nearly as preachy as I’d expected or that it could have been…  I guess some people could take Val’s personal beliefs and make them out to be preachy, but I really felt that that was just what she believed was right for *her*, and shaped out of her own personal circumstances and whatnot.  And while I don’t personally hold the same beliefs as she does, I really wish that more teenagers felt like they had the choice, you know?

I LOVED the way her strange relationship with Kyle worked out — I don’t think it could have ended in a better way, and I felt it was quite realistic (and I’m actually super anxious to finally read book 2 and find out what happens next, though it is completely unnecessary as this book stands perfectly fine as a standalone).  As a romantic at heart, I wish there had been a bit more romance at times…  😛

And again, I wholeheartedly agree with my earlier self — the friendships in this book were so realistically portrayed, and definitely a strong point in this novel.

So yeah.  Time to find out what happens with Val and Kyle (FINALLY!).

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More Than Jamie Baker by Kelly Oram

Synopsis:
18690119Jamie Baker, the only girl in the world with superpowers, has now accepted who she is and learned to control her power. Not to mention she has the best boyfriend on the planet. Life is finally looking good. But the day she witnesses an accident and decides not to save the guy out of fear of being exposed, she realizes that simply being Jamie Baker isn’t enough.

After seeing Jamie so wrecked with guilt, the ever-helpful Ryan Miller decides it’s time to make all of his fantasies about turning his girlfriend into an honest-to-goodness superhero become a reality.

Of course, coming up with a decent Super Name and fending off all of Ryan’s attempts to get her into spandex aren’t the only problems Jamie faces. The more her alter ego starts to make headlines, the harder it becomes for Jamie to hide her extracurricular activities from her best friend, the government, radical scientists, and the mysterious new guy who is determined to steal her from her boyfriend.

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My Review:
3.5 stars — Oooooo, majorly conflicted!!!  (also, spoilers for book one if you haven’t read it)

OK, so part of my problem is that I kind of got a bit spoiled on parts of this book, just from being in Ms. Oram’s fan club on Facebook and seeing parts of discussions go by no matter how much I tried to avoid them like the plague.  I can honestly say I don’t know how my thoughts on different parts would have played out if I’d been able to read this book organically without seeing any discussion about it.  So if you haven’t read this book yet, TRY WITH EVERYTHING IN YOU to do a better job of avoiding reading anything about it, b/c apparently people don’t realize what is a spoiler (even just small things).  So there’s a part of me that’s disappointed in that, though there’s a tiny other part of me that thinks I may have noticed things happening and figured things out early on even without the spoiler.  And yes, I get that I’m being extremely vague, but I’m trying to avoid what was done to me, you know??  (perhaps I’ll add a spoiler section to my Goodreads review so I can discuss it)

OK, so I loved having Ryan and Jamie back.  I was super surprised that this book was a bit after the end of BJB.  For some reason I guess I just expected it to pick right up where the first book left off, not be a year later(ish).  But it was nice to see Ryan and Jamie fully entrenched in their relationship and enjoying each other.  I loved their banter and sweet moments, but occasionally I felt like something was missing between the two of them…but I can’t pinpoint it, so maybe it was just that I love them so much I always want more.

I am still conflicted about the Mike/Becky subplot.  There are parts of me that enjoyed the uniqueness of how it was dealt (what story actually bothers to pay any attention to the rapist?), but it’s just inherently uncomfortable then and I’m honestly not sure how forgiving a person I am personally.  I was also still kind of blown away that Jamie kept it from Ryan, no matter how she rationalized it.

And while I enjoyed Jamie’s conflict over the accident situation, I sometimes felt like it was drawn out longer than I was expecting…or maybe not drawn out so much as revisited too often.

I loved seeing her become Chelsea’s Angel, though I was disappointed that her disguise wasn’t very disguising.  But her heroics were so very Jamie-like, she really embraced that role.

Having seen teasers for the 3rd book, and having left reading this book so late, I wasn’t at all surprised or taken aback by the epilogue to this book…so I guess it didn’t bother me as much as it seems to have with other people.  I could totally see it happening in that way.

My basic problem with this book all centers around one element.  And unfortunately it’s a major element.  So I’m unsure how I’m going to enjoy the next book since that element still exists.  It’s having me waffling between rounding down or up on this one, and I honestly didn’t expect that since I loved BJB so much.  So like I said, very conflicted.  It had a lot of great elements, but that one could just overshadow all the good ones.  😦

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