Book Review: Slammed by Colleen Hoover

Goodreads Summary:

Following the unexpected death of her father, 18-year-old Layken is forced to be the rock for both her mother and younger brother. Outwardly, she appears resilient and tenacious, but inwardly, she’s losing hope.

Enter Will Cooper: The attractive, 21-year-old new neighbor with an intriguing passion for slam poetry and a unique sense of humor. Within days of their introduction, Will and Layken form an intense emotional connection, leaving Layken with a renewed sense of hope.

Not long after an intense, heart-stopping first date, they are slammed to the core when a shocking revelation forces their new relationship to a sudden halt. Daily interactions become impossibly painful as they struggle to find a balance between the feelings that pull them together, and the secret that keeps them apart.

Review:

DEBUT. NOVEL.

How the heck is this Hoover’s debut novel. It’s so freaking good. *dead*

Many of you that have been following this blog for a while now know how big of a fan I am of Colleen Hoover. That woman writes masterpiece after masterpiece, making the book community talk about tough topics no one wants to talk about (Ex: It Ends With Us and Ugly Love). In my book this lady is boss!

Alright, I’m going on a tangent… let’s go back to Slammed.

We have Layken (aka Lake) and Will.

Did I mention Will?

Y’all I’m thankful I never had a teacher like him in High School because I would have been a goner like Lake. *Swoons*

The book starts of as Lake is making the move from Texas to Michigan. Her father recently died and her mom is moving everyone to Michigan to begin anew. Then enters Will, the hot boy-next-door who not so long after meeting her asks her out on a date, and of course she says yes. The rest of the book is their journey navigating the discovery of him being her poetry teacher in high school once she finally makes it to school, and many other challenges that come along the way. As I try to keep this as non-spoilery as possible, I appreciate the fact that Hoover kept this as PG 13 as possible, which I’m assuming relates to the sensitive issue of a possible romance between a teacher and a student. Lake is 18, so she is an adult, but the fine print that keeps them apart is that she is still a student… at least for the next year.

My only “ehhh” feelings about Slammed is that the secondary characters didn’t come to life for me except for Eddie. She was amazing and her story is one I hope Hoover expands on one day. And as a last note, I want to talk about the poems within the story. They are profound and moving. I only WISH I could write poetry like Hoover. It even makes me want to go to a poetry slam session. As a writer, I am very jealous of Hoover’s ability, but I do tip my hat to her. Talent like that needs to be recognized.

Slammed is Hoover’s metaphorical mic drop in the publishing world and one can only keep expecting great stories from her.

Rating: 5/5

Check out Colleen Hoover’s other books here:

My Reviews:

Maybe Someday, Maybe Someday (Re-read review), Hopeless, Losing Hope, Finding Cinderella, Confess, Ugly Love

Liz’s Review:

Hopeless, November 9

Book Review: Come Back To Me by Mila Grey

Goodreads Summary:

Home on leave in sunny California, Marine and local lothario Kit Ryan finds himself dangerously drawn to his best friend’s sister, Jessa – the one girl he can’t have.

But Kit’s not about to let a few obstacles stand in his way and soon Jessa’s falling for his irresistible charms.

What starts out as a summer romance of secret hook-ups and magical first times quickly develops into a passionate love affair that turns both their worlds upside down.

When summer’s over and it’s time for Kit to redeploy, neither Kit nor Jessa are ready to say goodbye. Jessa’s finally following her dreams and Kit’s discovered there’s someone he’d sacrifice everything for.

Jessa’s prepared to wait for Kit no matter what. But when something more than distance and time rips them apart they’re forced to decide whether what they have is really worth fighting for.

A breathtaking, scorchingly hot story about love, friendship, family and finding your way back from the edge of heartbreak.

Review:

Holy freaking crap. That ending. That entire book. Even today that I am writing this the day after, my feels still cannot be contained. I was so wound up last night, I ended up cleaning my entire house.

Jessa and Kit. Jessa… and… Kit. I can’t with them right now. I think we need a gif to explain my feelings.

From the beginning of the book where we are foreshadowed a character’s possible death (This is not spoilery because we are literally foreshadowed that in the first three pages. I. AM. NOT. JOKING.) to the amount of feels and sexual tension between Kit and Jessa at her birthday party you’re in for one hell of a ride.

I really liked how real the book was. As a reader you are able to relate to the characters even though A. You’re not a marine like Kit & B. you’re not even close to being Jessa. Let me give you an example about what I mean.

I can’t count the times I’ve thought about telling Jessa how I feel, but to be honest I’ve never been sure if she’s interested. And admitting something like that to someone is purely a one-time deal. If it’s not reciprocated then not only do you look like a prize fool, but you also lose a friendship. I don’t care so much about the fool part because she probably already figures me one, but I do care about losing Jessa as a friend.

-Kit, Page 19

No one can tell me that they have not been right there in that type of situation at least once in their life. My feels were dying then and it was only the beginning of the book. I had to read the entire book in chunks at a time or I would have been a pool of feels on my apartment floor for at least a week.

I don’t want to give away much of the book, but I do want to say that you need to read it. I had rated it 4 out of 5 stars on goodreads because the Epilogue did not give me what I wanted… but looking back now it really deserves a 5. It’s been a week by now and I’m still not over it. Now that is some impactful writing.

Rating: 5 out of 5

Book Review: The Book of Crows by Sam Meekings

 

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of the review, first I want to talk about the unique way I read this book. I read The Book of Crows on The Pigeonhole. They are a website where you buy a book and read it collectively with other people. You say isn’t that a book club and can’t we do that right now? What guarantees me someone won’t read ahead? Well… the thing about The Pigeonhole is that they release staves approximately each night, so everyone is at the same spot in the book as everyone else. This gives you the opportunity to read the book and discuss it in real time. I thought it was pretty neat and if it weren’t for this format, I most likely would have never read a book like The Book of Crows. 

Summary:

A young girl is kidnapped and taken through the desert to an isolated mountain brothel. Two thousand years later, after a suspicious landslide near Lanzhou, a low-level bureaucrat searches for a missing colleague. A thirteenth-century Franciscan monk, traversing the Silk Road, begins his extraordinary deathbed confession, while five hundred years earlier, a grieving Chinese poet is summoned to the Emperor’s palace.

In a series of delicately interlaced stories, Sam Meekings’ richly poetic and gripping second novel follows the journeys of characters whose lives, separated by millennia, are all in some way touched by the mysterious Book of Crows, a mythical book in which the entire history of the world – past, present and future – is written down.

Review:

Holy Crap. That ending. I didn’t see it coming at all. But… Alright, let’s rewind…

At the beginning of the story we learn about a woman who is now in a whorehouse, and a man on a journey to find his friend. It starts off slow, but picks up quickly and you start piecing the story together. As you continue to read, more characters are brought to light and you start seeing how each character is connected to The Book of Crows. Many want to find it, while others want to destroy it. There is great mystery surrounding the book that has been revered and searched for centuries.

Each character’s story you are introduced to throughout the book is in a different time era. I really enjoyed this because the reader is able to see how much intrigue and chaos the book has caused. It’s legacy has lived through many generations.

Overall, I really like the concept, how the story was set up, and how each key part of the story was revealed. I believe that reading it in staves how The Pigeonhole set it up made my reading experience better because you had to hold on and ponder on what you read, adding to the mystery of it all.

I feel like the average YA reader might not like The Book of Crows, but if you are a history lover and/or mystery in itself, you might enjoy it.

 

Rating:  4/5

Disclaimer: I’d like to thank The Pigeonhole for providing me with a copy of The Book of Crows. Receiving this book for free does not influence my opinion in any way.

Announcement: 1 Month Hiatus – March

 

Hello all of my beautiful people. Veronica here.

You probably already know what I’m going to say just from the title. Liz and I will be going on a month long hiatus. As you’ve probably noticed, our posts have become less and less frequent and this is due to… life. I know this is not the excuse or reason you may have wanted, but we are currently both in one of the busiest times of our lives. While we are still committed to book blogging and continuing this 4 year tradition, we do need to take a month off in order to slowly get back into the swing of things.

This is for the sake of our sanity and feeling like we have a breathing moment.

We will be back in April with new content! I’m excited for this sort of sabbatical where I am not worried about the blog and can just rest and read leisurely. I believe that this will finally let me get out of the reading funk I’ve been in the past couple of months.

Thanks for being faithful readers and I am so excited for a future with all of you.

With Love and AppreciationVero Signature copy,

 

Top 4 Important Life Events of 2016 (Anniversary Week)

life-events

Veronica’s List:

1. I moved to South Korea. Yes, I moved to South Korea. I KNOW. It’s a big thing moving across the world isn’t it? But I freaking did it. And I am loving every minute of this adventure I am on. I was scared crap-less the first two weeks I was on my own in this country, but I’ve learned to assimilate and get used to Korean life. Some might say I’ve even gotten comfortable here. It really isn’t a bad place to live. I will go back to the states eventually, but right now I am enjoying my time here.

2. I reconnected with old friends. This is pretty significant because one of the friends I reconnected with was my BFF from middle school and high school. I won’t go into details, but I will say I am glad to have her in my life. It’s nice to have someone who knows you so well and still be able after all this time be the same way we used to be back in the old days.

3. I went to a BTS Concert/Fanmeet in Seoul. Back in 2009 when I first discovered Korean-pop I was OBSESSED with 2PM and SHINee. While I am still a fan of those groups, the love (or should I just say obsession) is not the same. Anyways, one of my goals while in South Korea was to go to a Korean pop concert. I had heard about BTS aka 방탄소년단 , but was not an avid follower. Before coming to South Korea I started to listen to Kpop again and re-discovered them. Needless to say, I am now a fan and seeing them live at the Gochok Stadium this past November was AMAZING. They are great entertainers and I hope to see them again in the future. (Just in case there are any BTS Army reading this, my bias is J-Hope. LOL)

4. I met Liz. I would have never known that from the blogging partnership we created at the end of 2015 I would gain a lifelong friend. I believe meeting her in Anaheim at the beginning of 2016 solidified our friendship and I am thankful to have such an amazing human being as my friend. She’s been there for me through difficult times and I am forever grateful for her wisdom and friendship.

Liz’s List:

1. My sister got married. I think I wrote about this waaaaayyy back in May/June. I am beyond excited that this has happened. And my life was incredibly crazy (it was a a DIY wedding), but oh so much fun because I spent so much time with my family planning everything out. Not to mention everything turned out perfectly. It’s these moments when you truly know the value of your friends and who’s willing to help.

2. I met the love of my life. So where have I been for the last six months? With my boyfriend. While we both like to read, Summer and Fall were quite busy with parties and trips. I did read a book or two, but sometimes life just butts in right when you need it.

3. I met Alexandra Bracken. Let me just say that she is the sweetest person ever. She was funny, kind, and answered every question asked of her.

4. I met Veronica. Funnily enough, when I joined the Talking Bookworm, I had never met Veronica. But that changed when I visited Cali the first week of January 2016. It was super exciting. We ate real Ramen (something I have never tried before- it’s delicious). I wish we had remembered to take a picture, but the memory is all I really need. As you all know, Veronica is a wonder person and I am so great-full to be able to add her to my group of friends.

Blog Tour: Insidious by Victoria Evers Giveaway + Excerpt

 
Book
Info:
Title:
Insidious
Series:
The Marked Mage Chronicles, Book #1
Author:
Victoria Evers
Genre:
Paranormal
Romance
Release
Date:

January 6, 2017
 
All Kat Montgomery wanted was a fun night out on
the town. What she got was a death warrant. As it turns out, the quaint little
hamlet of Mystic Harbor, Maine houses more than sandy beaches and adorable
B&B’s. Beneath the New England charm rests a deadly world where shifters,
demons, vampires, and angelic hunters all vie for power.
A world where magic is the greatest weapon.
Magic that Kat now possesses.
After that one fateful night, she can feel the
changes beginning to take hold of her. Only problem, she doesn’t even know what
she’s turning into. With threats hiding in plain sight, deciphering the lines
between friend and foe is nearly impossible. As if things couldn’t get any
worse, Kat learns her only real ally rests in the one person she can’t stand:
Reese Blackburn, an insufferably handsome magician whom the town fears most.
Kat’s very soul is at stake, and destiny doesn’t
seem to be playing out in her favor. Can these two unlikely partners challenge
fate itself before it’s too late?
$0.99 Sale for Pre-order!
 
EXCERPT:
 
Curiosity got the better of me as I looked over
my shoulder, only to find the last human being I ever wanted to see heading
towards the back of the store. That familiar knot formed in my stomach, as it
always did anytime Reese Blackburn was near. I rocked back and forth on my
heels, trying my best to keep my patience in check as the old guy in front of
me continued buying virtually every lottery ticket available.
Come on, come on, come on. I needed to get out
of here. PRONTO.
Footsteps started making their way to the
counter from the back of the store, and I immediately deflated, knowing a
confrontation was now inevitable.
“Montgomery,” spoke a silvery voice directly
behind me.
I regrettably turned to face the ass-hat in
question, giving him my best artificial, Pan Am smile. “Blackburn.”
The guy always looked like he’d just waltzed off
the set of a Tim Burton movie, and tonight was no different. He was dressed in
his typically peculiar attire, sporting a gothic knee-length horseman’s jacket
laced in chains, a pair of black slacks, a silk tapestry vest, and dark brogue
boots adorned with skulls on the metallic buckles.
“Never thought I’d see you south of Providence
Street,” he remarked in the sarcastic fashion he always saved for me. “Get lost
on your way to the country club?”
“No, I was actually out looking for your heart.
Should’ve known better that it’s long gone,” I retorted. “And what about you?
Never thought I’d see you out in public on a full moon. Get lost on your way to
your cult meeting in the woods?”
“That’s later in the evening,” he chuckled,
flashing me that dimpled smile and perfect set of pearly whites. Such
infectious, boyish charm seemed misplaced, considering he was stab-worthy. It
really was a shame, because Reese wasn’t half bad looking.
And by ‘half’, I mean not entirely.
Sure, he had cheekbones that could cut glass,
not to mention bedroom eyes so amber they looked to be stowing flames inside
them, but still… Okay, okay. Even I had to admit, Blackburn was hardly an
eyesore.
Even with my heeled boots, I still stood a good
half foot shorter than him, but his lean frame thankfully made him less
imposing.
The old guy in front of me started ordering
cigarettes as well, causing my fisted fingernails to start biting into my
palms. Knowing how quickly our conversations always descended into verbal smack
downs, I grasped at anything I could think of to divert us back to small talk
until I could move to the register.
“Did you go to the game earlier?”
Reese shrugged. “I considered it, but then I
started thinking of other excruciating things I’d rather do, like have a root
canal, and I decided to pass.”
“You heading to the bonfire?” I tried again. He
merely cocked a brow, and I realized how ridiculous I sounded. “Oh, that’s
right. You don’t do anything fun. How could I forget?”
“If you call watching a bunch of drunken idiots
gyrate around and trash a field while you suffocate from smoke inhalation
‘fun,’ then yes—I don’t like fun.”
“It wouldn’t kill you to be normal, ya’ know.”
“Maybe, maybe not. Haven’t tried it.”
“So, Mr. High and Mighty, what superior plans do
you have this evening?”
“Test my alcohol limits, take off my clothes,
and harass innocent bystanders.” He thumped the side of his head. “Oh, wait a
minute. No, that’s your friends.”
“At least I have some.”
He stole a look outside and leered. “With friends like that, I consider myself
grateful that I don’t.”
“Bite me.”
“I probably shouldn’t. Wouldn’t want to get
rabies.”
“I beg to differ. Foaming at the mouth would
probably be an improvement for you. Anything to get you to stop talking.”
He smirked. “Touché, Princess.”
 
 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
 
VICTORIA EVERS is a debut paranormal fiction
writer who feels really awkward referring to herself in the third person….
When she’s not vacationing in Narnia, you’ll probably find her reading,
watching horror movies, spending time with her AMAZING family, or daydreaming
about the newest story in her head.

 

 
 
 

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Top 4 Books of 2016 (Anniversary Week)

top-books

Veronica’s Top 4 Books:

1. Killer Instinct by Jennifer Lynn Barnes – The person I always go to for a murder/investigative story is Jennifer Lynn Barnes. She never disappoints and Killer Instinct was a great book. It has everything you want in an investigative novel and more.

2. I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios – I read this during the first half of 2016 before I came to South Korea and it has stayed with me. The happy feeling I associate with this book is everything and more. If you’re looking for a great contemporary, look no further. Read this book!

3. Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch – Ahhhhh. This book is bittersweet. We follow two different story lines that are connected, but one of them breaks your heart, while the other can be sad at times, but the ending leaves you full of hope and satisfaction. 

4. When I Was Yours by Samantha Towle – Oh dear. This book is a heartbreaker alright, but it’s worth it. The pain you will feel really is worth it, and that ending was the best. Actually the entire reading journey was the best. I blame Liz for this one. 

Liz’s Top 4 Books:

1. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas – This book was one I didn’t see coming. I really enjoyed A Court of Thornes and Roses but my god, did this sequel wreck me. I couldn’t stop thinking about it for weeks. 

2. Passenger by Alexandra Bracken –  This was the first book I read by her and I absolutely fell in love. it has everything I love- romance, time travel, different time periods, bad guys, mystery. Can’t wait for the sequel. 

3. Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman – This was my favorite historical romance of the year. It’s about Blackbeard before he was Blackbeard. She stole my heart. You flip between two perspective- Teach and Anne. It is a beautifully written story of love and heartbreak.

4. Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris CleaveThis was my first read for 2016. I was absolutely devastated by this book. It takes place right at the start of WWII for Britain and flips between four different preservative. You won’t ever see the ending coming.