Destiny Binds (Timber Wolves Trilogy #1) by Tammy Blackwell

destiny bindsBlurb: Scout Donovan is a girl who believes in rules, logic, and her lifelong love of Charlie Hagan. Alex Cole believes in destiny, magic, and Scout. When Alex introduces Scout to the world of Shifters, men who change into wolves or coyotes during the full moon and Seers, women who can see your most private thoughts and emotions with a mere touch, the knowledge changes everything and everyone Scout thought she knew.

 

 

 

 

 

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4 stars

First off, this cover is fantastic yeah? It’s what initially convinced me to stop and read the blurb.  And the title was the second thing that pulled me in, it’s mysterious, no?

However, this story was pretty average as far a YA paranormal romances go.

I mean, I liked the book. It sucked me in right away; even with  the typical love triangle. The twist with regards to the love triangle was refreshing. And I thought it was done tastefully.

One thing that stood out for me was the fact that Jase isn’t a blood brother and the author made it clear to the reader many times.  It seemed a bit of overkill to me with that bit of foreshadowing.  But, hey, I can overlook it. I was almost hoping they had some chemistry but in the end the love interest did end up making sense.  The writing was solid, clear and concise. It was a quick read.

I’m looking forward to the next one.

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Her Book Boyfriend (The Awkward Duckling #1) by K.R. Grace

Her book boyfriendBlurb: She believes the secret to love is in the tropes of her favorite romance novels. He’s the best friend prepared to prove her wrong.

Then comes the bet.

If she can’t land a boyfriend for prom by recreating the ten popular tropes in her favorite romance author’s books, she has to go to the prom with her.

The glitch?

They’ve been close their entire lives. He’s the rock god and school legend, while she’s the brainy sidekick who does all his dirty breakups. Thus, finding a guy who doesn’t think they’re already an item is going to be a lot harder than she thinks.

Will she land the book boyfriend of her dreams? Or will she be forced to go to prom with her best friend?

The truth is in the pages.

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5 stars

I loved this book!  Very entertaining.  It was a refreshing spin on the geek and jock romance.  Macey wasn’t meek and she wasn’t bullied.  She stood up for herself and didn’t take crap from her jock guy friend, Cam.  It seemed like a role reversal in the best way.

Cam was super sleazy when it came to girls.  A fact that was made pretty clear early on.  It didn’t bother me as much as I expected it would.  I don’t know why, maybe it was because he was such a good guy to Macey.  At any rate, I enjoyed their chemistry and easy dialogue.  Actually, I floved their dialogue.  It was fantastic.

Macey’s headstrong, smart and funny.  Cam is smart, horny and holds some things close to his chest which I realized early on.  It made him vulnerable and mysterious, two things I find attractive in a male MC.  You should really just go read the book.  I will be looking forward to more by this author.

I got this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest/unbiased opinion.

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Kissing Max Holden by Katy Upperman

Blurb:
33797128Equal parts swoonworthy romance and deeply affecting family drama, this debut novel about the boy next door turned super hot bad boy will have readers hooked from the very first kiss.

After his father’s stroke, Max Holden isn’t himself. As his long-time friend, Jillian Eldridge only wants to help, but she doesn’t know how. When Max climbs through her window one night, Jill knows she shouldn’t let him kiss her. But she can’t resist, and when they’re caught in the act by her dad, Jill swears it’ll never happen again. Because kissing Max Holden is a terrible idea.

With a new baby sibling on the way, her parents fighting all the time, and her dream of culinary school suddenly up in the air, Jill starts spending more and more time with Max. And even though her father disapproves and Max still has a girlfriend, not kissing Max is easier said than done. Will Jill follow her heart, and allow their friendship to blossom into something more, or will she listen to her head and stop kissing Max Holden once and for all?

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My Review:
3 stars — I received a free copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased review/opinion.

This book started out as a solid 4 star, and just kept slowly motoring downhill from there.  I honestly was sucked in by the storyline, and I thought Jill was an interesting heroine.  And I was pulled in by the initial chemistry and connection between Jill and Max.  And there were glimmers of goodness, don’t get me wrong.  I did enjoy some aspects, but on the whole I ended the book on a heavy sigh.  This review is probably going to focus on the negative aspects way too much, but I really did enjoy the few cute moments, hence why it’s not lower than 3 stars.

In the end, I didn’t really enjoy either Jill or Max.  They both had good qualities, but they were HEAVILY overshadowed by their bad qualities.  Or rather, I don’t feel like they redeemed themselves.  Jill was definitely better than Max.  I felt like I would start to like her, and then she would disappoint me and annoy me…then I would be impressed by some decision or choice she would make, then she would disappoint me again.  I can chalk up a lot of her annoyance as being a fairly stereotypical teenager, so I guess I gave her more of a pass than Max in the end.  But I still felt like I was shortchanged on her growth.  As an example, I didn’t necessarily buy her change of heart about the money.  I certainly wouldn’t have forgiven so easily, so it didn’t feel authentic.

Max’s journey was more of a deep valley of not good stuff, with a little blip of goodness occasionally.  I get that he was screwed up and acting out badly, and that’s fine.  I mean, it doesn’t leave me too impressed with him, but I get that was his storyline.  But other than occasionally being sweet to Jill, when he dived back down, he REALLY dived back down.  Where was his redemption?  Maybe it’s because we don’t get to see inside his head, so while he says he’s trying to get better, you sort of see it, but as a reader I just didn’t buy it.  I didn’t want to give him a pass.  And he was so hypocritical!  After all the crap he did, he totally jumped down Jill’s throat without giving her much time at all to grow as well!  Not impressed.  Gee, could you tell?

Inherently my problem with this story lies in the presence of a lot of one of my major button issues: cheating.  I’m sorry folks, it’s just not for me.  Maybe if it was just that first kiss.  Maybe if he hadn’t stayed with his girlfriend time and time again, while simultaneously trying to explore a relationship with Jill as well.  I could even forgive a little bit of Jill’s bad judgement, and her having to live with her decisions.  But we’re given hints that there is more to Becky’s story, and then what we’re given just didn’t seem like enough, and as with most YA’s, we’re made to dislike her because she’s a bitch and a mean girl.  It was a shame, it would have been more interesting if there was a hint of depth there.  It definitely doesn’t show Max in a good light then.  And it was like I was told about Jill’s emotional journey over how she feels about participating in cheating, but I didn’t feel it.  AND THEN there’s her Dad.  It was too much.  Too many truly reprehensible characters with no redemption.

There were bright spots.  I LOVED the development of Jill’s relationship with Meredith (and Ally to a degree).  That truly surprised me in a good way.  I enjoyed Jill’s passion for baking, and how she tried to figure out her future.  And I loved the little bits we saw of Marcy and Bill.

Honestly, I could probably pick apart a few more tiny things (like I wish there was more from the friend side of things, Kyle or Leah), but it’s just not that important.  This was a book with a lot of potential that just fell short in the end, and was tainted for me personally by the cheating topic.  I recognize it’s hinted at in the blurb, but if I’d known the degree, I would have steered clear.  Ah well.

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Compete (The Atlantis Grail #2) by Vera Nazarian

26100693Blurb: It’s one thing to Qualify…
But do you have what it takes to Compete?

With Earth about to be destroyed by an extinction level asteroid, teenage nerd, geek, and awkward smart girl Gwen Lark, and a few of her friends and loved ones, barely Qualified for rescue onboard one of the thousands of ark-ships headed to the ancient colony planet Atlantis.

Now faced with a year-long journey in space, life in a wondrously alien environment, and many tough life choices, Gwen must decide who or what she will become. Fleet Cadet or Civilian? Friend or lover? Average or extraordinary?

Can she make new friends? Can she trust the old ones, such as Logan Sangre, her sexy high school crush and an Earth special operative?

Time and time again, Gwen’s uncanny ability to come up with the best answer in a crisis saves her life and others. And now, her unique Logos voice makes her an extremely valuable commodity to the Atlanteans — so much so that her enigmatic commanding officer Aeson Kassiopei, who is also the Imperial Prince of Atlantis, has taken an increasingly personal interest in her.

Before the end of the journey, Gwen must convince him that she has what it takes to compete in the deadly Games of the Atlantis Grail.

It’s becoming apparent — the life of her family and all of Earth depends on it.

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4 stars

I’m quite conflicted on this book, because the beginning was pretty fricking awesome.  I loved hearing about their culture and the cool new world they were heading too.  But then it kinda stuttered with the romance.  I mean, I admit, the romance part is so light in this book as to almost be nonexistent.  But I clung to it hoping it would pick up a bit.  But unfortunately I was disappointed.

I loved  Aeson in the beginning then it’s like he drank some crazy juice or something because his character started to become inconsistent.  He was emotionally immature.  And I expected more from his character than his hot and cold antics.  I felt like I was getting whiplash with it.  And as a woman that shit would irritate the fuck out of me.  Like dude, pick a lane or shut up about it.  I can’t stand when someone can’t commit to their feelings.  Especially without a reasonable explanation.

Now… and this is pretty important I think… take the romance out of the book and you have yourself a pretty great story.  Lark is a great character. She bends and flexes with the upheaval in her life.  She shows growth and perseverance in the face of adversity and she is a huge nerd, which appeals to me.  She’s just an all round bad ass IMO so I felt the book would have been better if we could have just focused on her, without a main love interest.  I know! That’s wild right? Cause I love romance in books, but this one just left me unfulfilled in that aspect.

I do want to know why the ending happened the way it did, so I’m gonna give the story the benefit of the doubt and continue reading it.  Hope the author changes my mind about Aeson.

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Broken Skies (Broken Skies #1) by Theresa Kay

20764638Blurb: Thirty years ago, civilization collapsed. Few survived.
Ten years ago, the aliens arrived…and stayed.
One year ago, I killed two men and went a little crazy.
Today, the aliens took my brother and I will do anything to get him back.

In seventeen-year-old Jax Mitchell’s world, humans are nearly extinct and alien settlers have arrived.

Until recently, the E’rikon have remained segregated in their city and ignored the few humans who have tried to engage them… but now they have taken Jax’s brother. To rescue him, she forms an uneasy alliance with a teenage E’rikon left stranded in the woods. She agrees to guide him to the city if he sneaks her past the human-proof barrier. Too bad it’s not that simple.
Jax, who cannot stand to be touched, finds that she’s drawn to the alien boy with bright green hair and jewel-like scales on his back. And he’s equally affected by her, the courageous redhead with haunted eyes. But she doesn’t know the alien’s true motives and he has no idea that she is much more than she seems.

With the aliens and the humans at odds, the connection forming between the two teens has consequences. What started off as a rescue mission sets a chain of events in motion which threatens not only the remaining humans and the growing alien society, but Earth itself.

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5 stars

~I just realized I never posted a review for this book on our blog! ~

This kind of book is my favorite. Aliens, sci-fi and post apacolyptic. Trust no one. Evil is about. That is what this book screamed to me as I read it. Ooooooh! I love when evil is about. It had it all, equal parts action, love, war, internal strife.

Jax had it hard. Like post apocolyptic hard. The background was detailed and I totally felt a connection with Jax. We are like BFF’s now. In fact, I may have a bit of a girl crush on her.

Jax is a bit of a bad ass. She finds paths when none seem possible. She perserveres when all is hopeless. I admire her greatly. She doesn’t use her past as an excuse to give up. She goes on. It’s hard, but anything worth doing is right? Even when she has no idea what she is doing, she doesn’t allow the idea of failure to settle in her mind. Its amazing really. She just steamrolls on.

Lir is the like a warm sun to her dark cold night. Fire and ice people. He has a close, loving family. A promising future within his community and an easy going personality. He would have to after the crap that happens to him at camp. He is down to earth and protective without being pushy. He lets her in and shows her it is okay to trust.

Flint was a favorite supporting character. Jax and he have a sibling like relationship. He looks out for her and she has no appreciation for it. If you have siblings you understand.

Her bio-brother is pretty cool too. They are twins and they have that spooky twin thing which I love. It was just them two for the longest time so they know they can rely on each other. He is a bit over-protective since her incident. Oops, nuff said on that.

The bad guy is pretty evil. He has control issues and seriously needs to talk it out with a shrink. Maybe he wasn’t loved enough as a child.

I have read this book a few times and it never gets old, so you should go read it too. Just saying.

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Qualify (The Atlantis Grail #1) by Vera Nazarian

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Blurb: You have two options. You die, or you Qualify. 

The year is 2047. An extinction-level asteroid is hurtling toward Earth, and the descendants of ancient Atlantis have returned from the stars in their silver ships to offer humanity help.

But there’s a catch.

They can only take a tiny percent of the Earth’s population back to the colony planet Atlantis. And in order to be chosen, you must be a teen, you must be bright, talented, and athletic, and you must Qualify.

Sixteen-year-old Gwenevere Lark is determined not only to Qualify but to rescue her entire family.

Because there’s a loophole.

If you are good enough to Qualify, you are eligible to compete in the brutal games of the Atlantis Grail, which grants all winners the laurels, high tech luxuries, and full privileges of Atlantis Citizenship. And if you are in the Top Ten, then all your wildest wishes are granted… Such as curing your mother’s cancer.

There is only one problem.

Gwen Lark is known as a klutz and a nerd. While she’s a hotshot in classics, history, science, and languages, the closest she’s come to sports is a backyard pool and a skateboard.

This time she is in over her head, and in for a fight of her life, against impossible odds and world-class competition–including Logan Sangre, the most amazing guy in her school, the one she’s been crushing on, and who doesn’t seem to know she exists.

Because every other teen on Earth has the same idea.

You Qualify or you die 

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4 stars

I really liked how Lark was not perfect.  Not even a little bit.  In fact, I think she messed up more than she succeeded.  But the greatest attribute that I admired about her was the fact that no matter how many times she fell down, she got back up. Every. Time.  And she was always there to offer help, even if the help was shunned.  Those are traits of a heroine that you want to read more about and see succeed right?

So, the colors.  I have been bugging my other friends who read this book to pick their colors.  Now I’m not really gonna go into it because spoilers, but….If I had to choose, I think I’d go Blue or Green.  And I’ll just leave it at that.

Her family support system was super awesome and was a very big part of the story. No token siblings cameo here. No, they all had depth and different personalities that seemed to compliment each other.  My favorite sibling is George.  George was the oldest of the four.  I am the oldest of seven.  So I related to him, like a lot.  He was reliable and if he didn’t have the answer he would damn sure help you find it.   After George my fave is Gordie because he just kinda went with the flow and made the best of every situation he was in.  He was laid back and he loved food!  A boy after my own heart! I am still on the fence with Gracie (you see the pattern here right?).  Maybe its cause she was the youngest at 12 and had an attitude.  I found her to be a brat actually.

You should all go read this book.  Then tell me what you think. J

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The Perfectly Imperfect Match by Kendra C. Highley

Blurb:
35496084Pitcher Dylan Dennings has his future all mapped out: make the minors straight out of high school, work his way up the farm system, and get called up to the majors by the time he’s twenty-three. The Plan has been his sole focus for years, and if making his dreams come true means instituting a strict ” no girls” policy, so be it.

Lucy Foster, needlepoint ninja, big sister to an aspiring pitcher, and chicken advocate, likes a little mayhem. So what if she gets lost taking her brother to baseball camp…at her own high school? The pitching coach, some hotshot high school player, obviously thinks she’s a hot mess. Too bad he’s cute, because he’s so not her type.

Problem is, they keep running into each other, and every interaction sparks hotter than the last. But with Dylan’s future on the line, he has to decide whether some rules are made to be broken…

Disclaimer: This book contains a crazy night of moonlit skinny-dipping, a combustible crush, and kisses swoony enough to unwind even the most Type A athlete.

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My Review:
4 stars — I received a free copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased review/opinion.

Before I get into the meat, as an aside: Covers don’t make or break a book for me, but can I just say that this cover is absolutely perfect for this book?  I love it when a scene from the book is represented, it always makes me auto-smile and squeal when I get to it!!

Ahem.  Anyways.  I am falling in love with Ms. Highley.  She writes just my kind of cute YA books.  I’ve said it in previous reviews of the other books in this series, I’m NOT a baseball fan.  But Ms. Highley makes me want to be a baseball fan (until I watch it on TV and remember that I don’t have the attention span).  And she did it again in this book.  It’s not that there’s an overwhelming amount of baseball in the book, but it’s prominent enough that it makes me feel like I understand the passion Dylan has.  I actually prefer when my sports romance books ACTUALLY have some of the sport in it (and not just have it be a small aspect of the character).

Dylan was such an intriguing hero!!  I can’t help but wonder how he came to be so rigid and structured and goal-focused.  But while sometimes a lack of “past incident explanation” can kill a book for me, the way it was done in this book I really felt like I could see how someone could just have that be an aspect of their personality.  Like being shy, or extroverted, or a daydreamer…sometimes you’re just born a certain way.  And I kind of loved how he’d allowed this one aspect of his personality to take over his WHOLE LIFE, and that was the cause of his stress.  It was so gratifying to see Lucy open him up, make him relax, show him there’s more to life.  I also loved the conflict with his parents.  Again, Ms. Highley writes great families too — not evil ones, or uninvolved, but ones that have their own set of problems even though you can feel the love.  I loved how that all resolved too, how blinded Dylan had become in his focus.

And he was SO CUTE!!  I love the heroes in these books.  They have a healthy set of hormones, but none of them are dogs (though far from perfect either).  They are all very 3 dimensional, and I love how shy and awkward Dylan could be in relationships!  SWOON!! (a unicorn just got his wings!)

And I LOVED how different Lucy was from the other heroines in this series!  She was kind of a rebel rouser, and just marched to the beat of her own drum, but with lots of confidence.  I loved how seriously she followed her passion, and how some might see her as flighty, but if you paid attention she was really focused as well.  She just knew better how to have some fun.  And I loved her family dynamics as well, and how the pressures of stepping up and being responsible in her family were really wearing on her.  Her relationship with both her Mom and her brother felt very real, full of love but also struggles.  And I loved the military Dad aspect as well.  How it didn’t overtake the story, but was an underlying heartache.

And these two together were YA gold.  So many tummy butterflies, they really had great chemistry.  And I really could see how they sort of brought the best of each other.

So yeah, another YA success!!  And a PERFECT read for the summer, I just got all those summertime vibes!!

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Falling From Grace (Grace #1) by S.L. Naeole

FAlling from graceBlurb: When you wake up in the morning and your eyes take in the first hints of light that shine through your window, the dust motes catching and reflecting the sun’s rays like little diamonds, the shimmering hues of yellow and orangey gold breaking through into your room, the first thing you think about usually isn’t how you’re going to make it through the worst day of your life.

Unfortunately for Grace Shelley, that’s exactly what she’s facing as she ponders what to do now that she’s going to be starting out her last year in high school without her best friend. She’s not exactly the most popular girl in school – well, not the most popular girl in school to like, anyway – and everything seems to be hinting at another status quo year for her until she bumps into a stranger who leaves her stumbling for words and chasing after her heart.
The new guy in school is different. Robert doesn’t care about the rumors he’s heard about her or that no one else seems to see her the same way that he does; he only wants to be her friend. That’s when things get complicated. When Grace learns that he’s not your typical high school boy and that he’s actually a wingless angel who’s looking for someone to trust, she’s thrust into his world where not all angels are meant to protect human beings, and where the changes she brings into his life changes everything in hers.

 

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2 stars

Okay this is one of those books that are super confusing but you can’t stop reading it.  I don’t know why I keep falling in to these writing traps.  So this story line was ALL over the place.  Not much was resolved by the end, in fact there was so much info dumping that I couldn’t tell you what the story was really about.  It was a giant cargo plane stuffed with fireworks that crashed into an oil tanker. You can imagine right?  And I just couldn’t look away.

Strike one: info dumping.  I mean, it was in almost every chapter!  And it wasn’t even relevant!  This book needs a developmental editor stat!

Strike two: insta-love!  Like three days in.  ::Cue the petty eye roll::

Strike Three: No real plot.  Boy meets girl, boy likes girl. Girl has massive self confidence issues and keeps him at arm’s length. Boy takes offense and misunderstands ALL THE TIME. Then they make up, wash, rinse, repeat.   :shakes head:  Oops, sorry, did I spoil it for you?

Strike Four: The climax!  What the eff! It was confusing and again, didn’t make sense with the rest of the storyline. It all seemed a bit thrown together with no real direction, no focus. This story could have been fantastic if an experienced editor was employed to take out the massive fluff in this book.

Definitely not reading anymore in this series. Truth be told I should have DNF’d it but I kept holding out hope it would redeem itself.  And in some places it felt like it was going in that direction.  But then some random piece of info would get thrown in, complete with a long drawn out explanation, and by the time I realized there was no resolution I was done with the book.  I felt like I was Jedi mind tricked!

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Paper Cranes by Jordan Ford

Blurb:
35151232Tristan Parker is lost.
After living through his parent’s bitter divorce, Tristan surprises everyone when he decides to uproot his life and move across the country with his dad. Disenchanted, Tristan deals with his pain by shutting out the world… until one day, when trying to retrieve a lost baseball, he climbs a tower and meets a girl.

Helena Thompson is like no one Tristan has ever encountered. She’s quirky, weird, and lives in an imaginary world—her only way of coping with the bizarre life her paranoid mother forces her to lead. Drawn by Helena’s magical view on life, Tristan finds himself returning often to the unique girl with the long golden hair. But spending time with her is not an easy task, especially because their relationship must be kept a secret.

When Helena’s mother discovers the truth, can Tristan find the strength to fight for the girl who has awakened his heart? Or will the paranoid woman who keeps her daughter under lock and key stop their dreams from coming true?

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My Review:
4.5 stars — I received a free copy in exchange for an honest and unbiased review/opinion.

So, as with all my reads this week, I was very distracted while reading this book, and had a hard time getting sucked in.  But somewhere after the halfway point, this book took hold of my heart and didn’t let me go, making me stay up until 4:30 am to finish it.  To say this book finished in an amazing fashion is a bit of an understatement.  I arrived at the end with tears on my cheeks and my heart full to bursting.  I can’t even begin to describe how happy this book made me.

So I’ll start at the beginning and say that Tristan’s character threw me off at first.  I’m not sure why exactly, but his voice was completely unlike what I had been expecting.  He felt a bit younger maybe.  But honestly, I’d just finished a run of adult books, so it could have been the juxtaposition, you know what I mean?  He was also less stereotypical guy-y than what I was used to, and what I was assuming I would get.  I wasn’t sure how I felt about him initially, but as the book went on, these unique traits made me fall in love with him.  He had such a sweetness to him, a sensitive side that I wasn’t expecting.  I really appreciated that he didn’t fit into any boxes.  He could occasionally be very stereotypically teenager-y, a bit whiny at times, a bit overdramatic at others, definitely moody.  But while those traits are hard to read sometimes, I appreciate that it made him more real you know?  And you really felt his growth throughout the book as a result.

I was also completely surprised that this book was entirely from Tristan’s POV.  BUT I LOVED THAT.  I didn’t expect to, I’m a dual POV lover.  But it worked for this book.  Partly because Tristan had such a journey to go on, and I appreciated having a boy coming-of-age type novel.  I appreciated that we got the unexpected, a Rapunzel retelling that wasn’t about Rapunzel so much as her hero.  And I still felt like I knew Helena enough, just through Tristan’s eyes.  I understood her struggle.  I understood how she came to be the beautiful light that she was.  I understood why she made the choices she did.  I fell in love with her sweet soul and her innocence.  And my heart broke for her even if we didn’t get to see what she went through when they were separated…by that point I knew her well enough through Tristan’s eyes to understand what she would be going through.  I loved how well developed she was, that while she had such a beautiful outlook on life, it did not make her immune to the bad things.  She wasn’t perfect.

While this book is a beautiful sweet YA love story, Ms. Ford also delved into some pretty deep topics that really got me thinking.  I thought her portrayal of the impact a divorce and cheating parent can have on a child to be spectacular, especially in the beginning.  I felt for Tristan, and the choices he had to make, the feelings that he couldn’t help, and how that was tearing him apart.  I will admit that I wish we had a bit more resolution with his mother, but I loved the development in his relationship with his father.

And I ADORED the spin she took on Helena’s mother’s character.  It made the situation so believable, and so UNBELIEVABLY heartbreaking.  It wasn’t black and white, and there were no easy answers.  There were only long, HARD solutions.

I know I said above that this was a sweet YA love story, but I really only meant the love part.  This book is full of so many emotions and angst.  I can’t even tell you how many times I cried.  Be prepared.  There were moments where the drama and romance felt a bit over the top, but I honestly didn’t care.  I was all in.

As a side note, I adored what Miss Warren and Mikayla added to the storyline.  I appreciated that Tristan had them in his life, and I loved how they added to his development.

So yeah.  I may have started my reading experience a bit shakier, but by the time I was finished I felt like my heart had been through the wringer, broken and put back together.  I loved it.  End of story.

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Stage Kissed by Cassie Mae and Kelley Lynn

35223581Blurb: Sixteen-year-old Kate knows how to juggle. From basketball practices to her shifts at Jamba Juice, Kate flies through her days wondering if she got a decent meal. When she lands a role in the school play, adding yet another task to her already full schedule, Kate starts fumbling through her routine, resorting to desperate measures to get the grades expected of her.

Co-worker and classmate Seth isn’t much of a juggler. Crowds and attention? Not his thing. So witnessing Kate’s ability to handle it all leaves Seth in awe. He could never do it. But then one of the leading actors in the play gets tonsillitis days before opening night, and Kate volunteers Seth to replace him. With his eidetic memory and killer dance moves, Seth’s the obvious choice—if it weren’t for his social anxiety.

With Seth’s growing—and unwanted—popularity and Kate spreading herself too thin, they start to wonder if their friendship will even last through the performances. But putting these two into a romance on stage has an effect neither of them could predict.

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4.5 stars

This book was another hit.  It seemed a bit more fast paced than what I usually expect from CM but I dug that.  Or maybe I just thought that because these teenagers were SO FRICKING BUSY!

I especially liked how the kiss wasn’t the end of the story but a starting point. The beginning of a new adventure.

I felt sooo bad for these kids though. Like really really bad.  Their lives were not their own.  It made me stressed just reading about it because I felt like I was reading about my own life.  Not enough hours in the day, shorting one event/sport/situation to catch up on another. Ugh, I felt Kate’s frustration about not being able to put her one hundred into everything but I think in reality, Seth was more like me IRL.  I don’t go out much so I’m able to keep up on most of my hobbies without as much stress as Kate has.

This book was on point for teens though. I could easily see this happening to my little sisters during their high school lives.  Even now I feel bad that my daughter has Job’s Daughters and Tennis during the summer.  And its only once a week for her!

I loved how Seth seemed to become more outgoing as he got more involved with other school events.  And the mini-relationship! Omg that was hilarious and so something that would happen in high school!

I gotta admit, at first I didn’t really think Kate and Seth had much in common except that they seemed to be in close proximity more often than not.  That is bound to make people friendly.  But as the story progressed, you could see that it was about more than that. They pushed each other to be better and were there when things didn’t go well.

A lovely YA romance that I thoroughly enjoyed.  Go get this one!

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