Contemporary Conversations, Reviews

ContempConvos: Forever & Always (The Ever Trilogy #1) by Jasinda Wilder

Forever & Always (The Ever Trilogy, #1)

GoodReads Summary:

Ever,
These letters are often all that get me through week to week. Even if it’s just random stuff, nothing important, they’re important to me. Gramps is great, and I love working on the ranch.

But…I’m lonely.

I feel disconnected, like I’m no one, like I don’t belong anywhere. Like I’m just here until something else happens. I don’t even know what I want with my future. But your letters, they make me feel connected to something, to someone. I had a crush on you, when we first met. I thought you were beautiful. So beautiful. It was hard to think of anything else. Then camp ended and we never got together, and now all I have of you is these letters.

S**t.

I just told you I have a crush on you. HAD. Had a crush. Not sure what is anymore. A letter-crush? A literary love? That’s stupid. Sorry. I just have this rule with myself that I never throw away what I write and I always send it, so hopefully this doesn’t weird you out too much. I had a dream about you too. Same kind of thing. Us, in the darkness, together.

Just us.

And it was like you said, a memory turned into a dream, but a memory of something that’s never happened, but in the dream it felt so real, and it was more, I don’t even know, more RIGHT than anything I’ve ever felt, in life or in dreams. I wonder what it means that we both had the same dream about each other. Maybe nothing, maybe everything. You tell me.

Cade

My Review:

Forever & Always was an interesting read. It is the first in the series, followed by two others. it tells the slow love story of Ever and Cade, who meet at a camp when they are young and become pen pals. Over the course of the novel, they write about their daily lives  and begin to fall in love. It isn’t until they are in college, close by each other, that they can begin to fall in love in real life.

I found it an interesting way to get two characters to really know each other. In an age where teens, and young adults, are texting, face-timing, have numerous ways to contact each other, the author choose an old way for these characters to fall in love. The author also choose to write from both Ever and Cade’s POV so we can see more of their lives than what they are just writing to each other.

And let me tell you, their lives are far from easy going. Each has struggles that would be difficult for anyone to handle, but for people so young it’s even harder. Cade and Ever are forced to mature at a much younger age. And its great to see how these two communicate about everything back and forth. They find that they can say things that they wouldn’t necessarily say face to face, or even over text.  There is no judgement, only understanding. This allows their love for each other to grow slowly, understanding where each other is coming from, and knowing from the start, what their secrets are- what makes them happy, what hurts them. Being a pen pal allows for a truth to build between them.

When Cade and Ever do finally come together it’s an explosion. Because they’ve been apart for so long and in love with each other for so long, that awkward “start” to a relationship isn’t there. It’s exciting But it’s also challenging. They have to learn how to speak, using their voices, not their pens. And it causes tension between the two.

The ending of this book is climactic to the max. I didn’t see it coming and it will make you rush to read the next book. it really is a great, slow-burn love story between to characters who truly grow to love and understand each other.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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Contemporary Conversations, Reviews, ya contemporary, ya romance

ARC Review: Playing Defense (Corrigan Falls Raiders #2) by Cate Cameron

Playing Defense (Corrigan Falls Raiders, #2)

GoodReads Summary:

Sixteen-year-old Claudia Waring has never kissed a boy. Never been popular. Never been to a hockey game. All that’s about to change. Assigned to tutor Chris Winslow, a prank-loving, gorgeous hockey player, Claudia’s perfectly planned life immediately veers off course. And she kind of likes it. But as fun as Chris is, she knows she’ll never fit in his world.

After his latest prank lands him in hot water, Chris has to get serious about school or lose hockey. Not an easy thing for someone as carefree as the defenseman. The biggest problem, though, is how much he wants to help his cute, buttoned-up tutor loosen up a little. But while confidence has never been a problem for him, around Claudia, Chris is all nerves. Why would a girl as smart as her ever fall for a jock like him?

My Review:

Cate Cameron’s Playing Defense is an adorable novel about life, love, and deciding to be your true self- despite other people’s opinions.

Claudia is a bookish, nose to the grind, math girl. She has worked very hard over the course of her high school career to get into the University of Waterloo. However, while she has the grades to be accepted, she doesn’t have the extra curriculars. Her guidance counselor assigns her to be a tutor for Chris Winslow, a star hockey player. As a result of tutoring, Claudia gains new friends, and new experiences through the Sisterhood, a club set up to challenge each other to be better people and breakdown their own barriers.

Claudia is quirky and weird. She faces a lot of trials in Playing Defense. She learns to over come her own shyness. She has to decide if she wants to be the quiet, bookish girl she’s always been, or, become the outgoing girl she wants to be. Part of this challenge, and the coming of age theme, is facing her parents. While she is changing from a caterpillar to the beautiful butterfly, Claudia’s parents believe it is the influence of Chris and her new friends, not of her own decisions. Her parents have a difficult time handling her interest in Chris as a possible boyfriend and believe he is no good for her. Eventually, they do get to her, but she is able to face them and be the “Dia” she wants to be.

And while yes Chris is quite lazy, and the reason he needs a tutor, Claudia and Chris help each other grow and realize they can accomplish, and be, so much more if they just try. Trying is the key to this story. Trying new experiences. Putting effort into your work, whether it’s school or sports. Being your true self.

Rating: 4 out of 5

I’d like to thank NetGalley and Entangled Teen for the opportunity to review with ARC. Receiving this ARC for free in no way influenced my review.

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Adult Contemporary, Reviews

Blog Tour & ARC Review: Holding Court by K.C. Held

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GoodReads Summary:

Sixteen-year-old Jules Verity knows exactly what’s in store at her new job at castle-turned-dinner-theater Tudor Times. Some extra cash, wearing a fancy-pants dress, and plenty of time to secretly drool over the ever-so-tasty–and completely unavailable–Grayson Chandler. Except that it’s not quite what she imagined.

For one, the costume Jules has to wear is awful. Then there’s the dead body she finds that just kind of…well, disappears. Oh, and there’s the small issue of Jules and her episodes of what her best friend calls “Psychic Tourette’s Syndrome”–spontaneous and uncontrollable outbursts of seemingly absurd prophecies.

The only bright side? This whole dead body thing seems to have gotten Grayson’s attention. Except that the more Jules investigates, the more she discovers that Grayson’s interest might not be as courtly as she thought. In fact, it’s starting to look suspicious…

Copy of HC24Liz’s Review

K.C. Held’s debut novel Holding Court is laugh out loud funny and vivacious. I started and finished this novel in the same day. I was also at the gym while reading and, let me tell you, no one wanted to get on the elliptical next to me because I looked like I was crazy. I couldn’t stop laughing. Held’s writing is snappy, whimsical, and absolute.

The plot moves along quickly, keeping the reader satisfied, but also, at the same time, wanting more. I couldn’t figure out who the murderer was and the way the story winds, there were potentially three or four people who could’ve done it, including Jules herself.

The characters are characters themselves. Jules comes from a family with “gifts”. An aura reading, matching-making grandmother. A mother who can determine if an antique is real and where/when it was crafted. Jules’ best friend is quirky, giving Jules the nickname Blurt- which suites her quite well. Grayson is charming in a squight kind of way.

I would definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a funny, thrilling, off-the-wall read.

Veronica’s Review

OMG. FREAKING ADORABLE. *squeals*

Copy of HC22At the beginning of Holding Court I was a little hesitant because I did not get what was going on. Part of the reason was that I just dove into the book without reading the synopsis. Did not know the main character was psychic so it was a huge surprise when it was mentioned in the book.

I really really like Jules. She is funny, down to earth, and did I say she is hilarious?! Her love obsessions opened the door to many hilarious occurrences and went perfectly with the murder mystery we had going on in the story.

I wish we had an epilogue, but I guess I can be okay with what we got. It was a good ending. But I wanted MORE.

Overall, if you are looking for a hilarious fun read, look no further. Holding Court is everything you didn’t know you were looking for!

Amazon | B&N | iBooks |Kobo | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.ca | Entangled Page

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K.C. HELD was born and raised in California with stopovers in Honduras, Mexico, and France. Married to her high school sweetheart, and mom to two avid bookworms, she holds an MFA in costume design and is an accomplished seamstress with a background in opera, theater, film, and television. Although she once spent a summer working in a castle, there were no dead bodies involved.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr | Goodreads

KC Held

Just an FYI, K.C. Held is an awesome person in general! Go buy her book!

Rating: 5 out of 5

I’d like to thank NetGalley and Entangled Teen for the opportunity to read this ARC. Receiving this ARC for free does not influence my review. 

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Reviews, YA Paranormal

Book Review: The Power by Jennifer L Armentrout

The Power (Titan)

GoodReads Summary:

With any great change, there is always strife, and the Covenant University has become the frontline between pure-bloods who want the Breed Order reinstated and the half-bloods who want the right to control their own destinies.

Fate has other plans.

The violence is escalating and war between the races seems inevitable, and it couldn’t come at a worse time. Hyperion may be out of commission, but Josie and Seth know they have only earned a reprieve.  Seth must get Josie fully prepared, which means controlling her newfound abilities, and they need to find the other demigods before the Titans do.

But the gods are sensing a greater threat. 

Only one thing is more dangerous than a bunch of starved Titans, and that’s an out-of-control Apollyon. The aether in Josie is drawing Seth in deeper, and when lust mixes with love and gives way to power, he knows being close to her is not only dangerous to her, but to everyone around them, but letting her go requires a level of selflessness that just isn’t Seth’s style.

The paths taken in the past are becoming the roads of the future.

Just as chaos breaks out, familiar faces from the past return, complicating the already strained bond between Josie and Seth, and when the danger from the Titans erupts with devastating consequences, the dark allure of power calls to Seth again, but this time Josie might not be able to pull him back.

And when the struggle between power and love becomes the deadliest battleground, there may be no salvation.

My Review:

So, we know this is the follow up to The Return, a spin-off series of Jennifer L. Armentrout’s Covenant Series. In the first book we meet Seth again, the Apollyon, one year after the events of the Covenant Series take place. He is charged with protecting Apollo’s daughter, Josie, a demigod. The second book picks up where he first left off. Josie and Seth are the Covenant University in South Dakota training so that Josie can gain control of her demigod powers.

I was underwhelmed with this book. Maybe my expectations were too high? Or maybe because the characters need to grow, it wasn’t as exciting? I am not totally sure. The writing was still very good. And Seth was still the jackass… nothing changing there. I mean, we even got to see Alex and Aiden, my baes from the Covenant Series. But this book was less about the action and more about the relationships- pure-bloods vs. halfs and the Breeding Order, Josie and Seth, Josie and Apollo. And I guess I wasn’t expecting that; maybe that’s why I am underwhelmed.

I still really enjoyed reading it, but not as much as The Power, or some of Armentrout’s other novels.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

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Reviews, ya romance

Book Review: The Love That Split The World by Emily Henry

The Love That Split the World

GoodReads Summary:

Natalie Cleary must risk her future and leap blindly into a vast unknown for the chance to build a new world with the boy she loves.

Natalie’s last summer in her small Kentucky hometown is off to a magical start… until she starts seeing the “wrong things.” They’re just momentary glimpses at first—her front door is red instead of its usual green, there’s a pre-school where the garden store should be. But then her whole town disappears for hours, fading away into rolling hills and grazing buffalo, and Nat knows something isn’t right.

That’s when she gets a visit from the kind but mysterious apparition she calls “Grandmother,” who tells her: “You have three months to save him.” The next night, under the stadium lights of the high school football field, she meets a beautiful boy named Beau, and it’s as if time just stops and nothing exists. Nothing, except Natalie and Beau.

Emily Henry’s stunning debut novel is Friday Night Lights meets The Time Traveler’s Wife, and perfectly captures those bittersweet months after high school, when we dream not only of the future, but of all the roads and paths we’ve left untaken.

Review:

The Love That Split The World is an enchanting read about young love and time travel. Natalie can see two different versions of her hometown, Union, and meets an intriguing guy, Beau, when she slips into the alternate town. Her grandmother, a “spirit”, tells her at the beginning of the book that she has three months to save “him”, but Natalie doesn’t know who “he” is. She spends the summer trying to discover who this guy she is supposed to save is, but also who she is and what she wants.

I found this book to be very interesting. There are stories within the overarching story itself. These stories come from old Native American tales passed down through generations, but also stories out of the bible. For Natalie, these stories have meaning because she is part Native American. Natalie is a complex character trying to find out who she is and where she fits in with the world. Since she is adopted, and one half Native American, she finds it difficult to determine where she fits in. When she meets Beau, who is an equally complex character, she is certain she has found someone who understands her circumstances because he is having a difficult time determining where he fits into the world as well.

Grandmother is a curious character. She tells stories that you don’t fully understand until the moment the Natalie understands them. She is an odd duck, only appearing to Natalie during the nighttime speaking in riddles.

Beau is my favorite character. He is chivalrous and benevolent. He is, generally,always there for Natalie when she needs him the most. And the bond that is formed between them is unbreakable.

Emily Henry’s writing is wonderful. I loved her use of the story within a narrative. As a reader, we are being told that these tales are important to the character in her quest to save a boy and discover herself. They play a major part in the plot and are a kind of foreshadowing, though at the time of reading them I didn’t know what they were foreshadowing.

I enjoyed the book, but I am not a fan of the ending. I was left with questions and wasn’t fulfilled. I need closure from my characters.

**SPOILERS** Don’t read below this point if you haven’t read! **SPOILERS**

If you have finished The Love That Split The World, great! I truly did love this book, HOWEVER, I did not love the ending. I was left with so many freaking questions and it made me angry (Veronica heard all about how angry it made me).

The second to last chapter leaves us with Natalie making the choice to try and change history, the accident’s that left both her and Beau dead in their own worlds. GREAT! I love that idea. However, the last chapter is another story, telling us how a girl had never met a boy but she had missed him. I get the continuity with the story, and metaphorically, we can draw our own conclusions- Natalie succeeded in saving them both and they live happily ever after. I am not one to assume these things. I enjoy solid closure. I like to know FOR CERTAIN that she changes their timelines and they end up together.

This is why a star was knocked off for me.

**End Spoilers***

Rating: 4 out of 5

NA Contemporary, NA Romance, Reviews, Special Review

Book Review: Scarred by Joanne Macgregor

Scarred

GoodReads Summary:

“Life leaves you scarred. Love can make you beautiful.”

Seventeen year-old Sloane Munster is trying to reboot her life after a serious car accident left her badly scarred and emotionally traumatized.

Starting her senior year at a new school, she’s delighted to see Luke Naughton, a swimmer whom she once crushed on, in the class in front of her. But when he glares back at her with disgust and revulsion, she’s shocked and hurt, and assumes it’s because of her appearance. Despite misunderstandings, the chemistry between them sparks and love grows against a background of guilt, secrets, and mounting tensions at a school where bullying is rife and Sloane is not the most deeply scarred person.

Sharp with bittersweet humor, Scarred is an intense, beautiful, compelling story of life, death and fighting for love against all the odds.

Review:

Scarred is about Sloane Munster, who suffers from a tragic accident in her life, leaving her physically and mentally scarred. Due to the trauma, she spends almost a year in hiding, finishing her junior year with private tutors. But through the help of her therapist, Sloane attends a new school for senior year, where she runs into old faces, new faces, and has to come to terms with the actions of her mother as well as herself and how she will move forward with her life.

Joanne Macgregor’s writing is a graceful look at the physical and emotional aftermath of a tragedy in a person’s life. It is evocative. It doesn’t push aside the effects mental illness has on a person. Or how, through the support of friends, family, and love, a person can move forward in their life- move past the tragedy and see there is a bright future ahead of them.

When I first started this book, I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it. Sloane Munster felt very one dimensional- she was focusing on how she looked and how her life used to be. She was beautiful. She was popular. “I didn’t used to get called anything nasty about my appearance, I used to be pretty. The GG’s- short for Gorgeous Girls- that’s what our clique was called, in my old school.” However, after moving further into the book, Sloane becomes more than a one dimensional character. The scar is just a representation of her emotions. By the end, I fell in love and didn’t want it to end.

Sloane is a truly tragic, and complex, character who has to adjust to her life A.S.- after scar. The girls at her new school taunt her looks, which shows just how juvenile and immature teenage girls can be. It also is a reflection of our society and how much pressure we put on young girls when it comes to physical appearances. She has to deal with boys staring at her. She has to acquiesce the lose of her family and guilt of ruining another family.

I truly enjoyed when Luke, Sloane’s love interest, was given a chapter. He is a central character, not only to Sloane’s development through out the book, but to the story itself. Seeing his point of view is vital to understanding his involvement in the accident and how he develops as a character. As a side sub-plot, the book also address the treatment of others in general, whether it is a student-student relationship, a student-teacher relationship, or a child-parent relationship, and how that can impact a person’s life, positively or negatively.

Joanne Macgregor is a counseling psychologist who specializes in victims of crime and trauma. It is very apparent that she knows what she is writing about; it is captivating and emotional and clearly understood from a psychologist’s point of view.

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a gripping story of tragedy, loss, and survival. I think an anthem to this book is Scars to You Beautiful by Alessia Cara. Go listen to it during/after reading this book.

Rating: 5 out of 5

I’d like to thank Joanne Macgregor for the opportunity to read Scarred in return for an honest review. Receiving this book for free doesn’t influence my opinion.

Reviews, YA Paranormal, ya romance

Book Review: Oblivion by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Oblivion (Lux, #1.5)

GoodReads Summary:

I knew the moment Katy Swartz moved in next door, there was going to be trouble. Lots of it.

And trouble’s the last thing I need, since I’m not exactly from around here. My people arrived on Earth from Lux, a planet thirteen billion light years away. Plus, if there’s one thing I know, it’s that humans can’t be trusted. We scare them. We can do things they only dream about, and honestly, we make them look weak as hell. ‘Cuz they are.

But Kat is getting to me in ways no one else has, and I can’t stop myself from wanting her—or wanting to use my powers to protect her. She makes me weak, and I’m the strongest of our kind, tasked with protecting us all. So this one simple girl…she can mean the end for us. Because the Luxen have an even bigger enemy—the Arum, and I need to stay on my game.

Falling for Katy—a human—won’t just place her in danger. It could get us all killed, and that’s one thing I’ll never let happen…

Review:

So this book is a retelling of the first three books in The Lux Series: Obsidian, Onyx, and Opal from Daemon’s point of view, but only if you purchased eBook. The published paperback is only a retelling of Obsidian because it would’ve cost the publisher and the reader a lot more as the eBook is over 1,000 pages.

As I loved The Lux Series, it’s no surprise that I loved this retelling from Daemon’s point of view. When a book is told from one POV, I always wonder what the other characters are doing.  Clearly we can’t have every single character in every single scene. This retelling is helpful because in Origin and Opposition we do get to read from both Daemon and Katy’s POV.

It was nice to see a more well-rounded, fully formed Daemon. His attitude hasn’t changed- still the same narcissistic personality. But we do see the sweeter side of him. It is immensely helpful to finally understand where his brain is when he is making his decisions about Kat and his family.

Great add to The Lux Series.

Rating: 5 out of 5

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NA Romance, Reviews, Special Review

Book Review: ROYAL MARRIAGE MARKET By Heather Lyons

Royal Marriage Market

GOODREADS SUMMARY:

Every decade, the world’s monarchs and their heirs secretly convene to discuss global politics and social issues—and arrange marriages between kingdoms.

Elsa may be the Hereditary Princess of Vattenguldia, but she finds the entire situation archaic and unsavory. While she wants what’s best for her country, she isn’t about to jump into an unwanted relationship—let alone a marriage—with a virtual stranger. Of course, her feelings matter little to her parents, whose wheeling and dealings over trade pacts and alliances achieved at her expense begin the moment they set foot in California for the Summit. So when a blindingly handsome royal runs into her, she doesn’t hesitate to tell him there’s no way she’s marrying him.

Christian is all too happy to agree: no marriage. As the Hereditary Grand Duke of Aiboland, his main goal is to get through the summit without a bride being foisted on him. Which is why he suggests they help each other field potential intendeds. As Christian slowly gets to know Elsa, though, he realizes they have a lot more in common than just their feelings about the Royal Marriage Market. Only he can’t fall for her, because royal or not, they’re not meant for each other.

Elsa and Christian will have to evaluate matters of the heart verses those of state and crown, and decide whether or not tradition trumps love.

LIZ’S REVIEW:

I wanted to like this book, so much. That is an empirical statement. I have read Heather Lyons’ other books- The Fate Series, The Collector’s Society, The Deep End of the Ocean. Each one was just as fascinating as the previous. She kept me enthralled, was able to tear my emotions apart. However, the Royal Marriage Market was less than spectacular. Actually, it fell short… like really short.

First, I got stuck on Elsa’s name. Maybe it wasn’t an intentional use of the name. Maybe that is just the character’s name? I understand this. BUT! Disney has a Queen Elsa, who is Scandinavian. I might be dramatic because my eye twitched. And of course all I saw was this blonde haired ice queen. But given that her full name is Elsa Victoria Evelyn Sofia Marie, could we have it mixed up? Give Elsa a different first name and she still be the same person? Probably. Speaking of names, the countries names! WHAT? I didn’t get them. They sound so fake. Doing research, Aiboland is a real thing… but Vattenguldia, nope it’s not (that I am aware of).

Second, it felt too wordy. Every statement Christian or Elsa made was followed with descriptors, upon descriptors, until I was to the point where I wanted to go read a children’s book for simply structured sentences. There were no back and forth conversations like you would normally see. Everything was prefaced with the POV of that character. And, maybe I missed them, but I didn’t read any descriptions of the characters. Maybe they were wrapped up in the complex sentence structures I had a hard time getting around.

The characters themselves felt one dimensional. Christian and Elsa didn’t want to be part of the RMM. They wanted to make their own choices. Their parents were the same- arranged marriage and you’ll do as I say or face the consequences! There was no real differentiation between each character’s voice, other than being told who is talking at the beginning of each section. And the action, or the juicy details, didn’t even make their presence known until 60% into the book. At that point, I just wanted to be finished.

That being said, I did enjoy the last 40% of the book. I liked the interactions Christian and his brother, Lukas, had. You could feel the sibling love (unlike Elsa and Isabelle). I appreciated Charlotte and Parker (Elsa and Christian’s personal secretaries). The Royal Marriage Market wasn’t a complete misadventure, but it wasn’t Lyons’ best work.

Rating: 2 out of 5

VERO’S REVIEW:

**Spoilery Review**

How do I start this… It’s been several days and my feelings are still mixed. Let’s start of with my favorite character.

Lukas. Every time he appears in the story, he makes it that much better. He is funny, real, and a great brother. His relationship with Christian is one of the best sibling relationships I’ve read in 2015.

I guess it is time to talk about my ‘mixed’ feelings. RMM is enjoyable. Once the story picked up, it was a breeze to read. Before that though… I questioned whether this was the book for me. It wasn’t the royal or romance side, but the writing itself. At times I was a little lost. At times it was hard for me to get through some sentences. I’m being lenient on that though because I was reading an ARC and not the finished product.

I both love and hate Elsa and Christian’s relationship. I like that they started of as friends, but disliked I was able to predict how it would go. I’m not saying everything that happened was predictable because Lyons threw me for a loop twice, but the ending was exactly as I thought it would end.

I did like that the story did not end at the end of the RMM. I loved that the story continued into weeks and months to come. I do wish I’d gotten more of Charlotte, and Elsa’s relationship with her father when she was younger. It would have been nice to see and not told.

Overall, if you are a fan of romance, I do think you will like this.

Rating: 3 out of 5

Disclaimer: Thank you KP Simmon at InkSlinger PR and Heather Lyons for giving Veronica and I the opportunity to read this ARC in exchange for an honest review. Receiving this book for free does not influence my opinion.

NA Contemporary, NA Romance, Reviews

Book Review: When I Was Yours by Samantha Towle

When I Was Yours

goodreads summary:

“Marry me.”
“What?” I stared back at him, unblinking.
He moved closer, taking my face in his hands. “I love you, Evie. I look into the future, and the only thing I see clearly is you. Marry me.”

What’s an eighteen-year-old girl who was madly in love with her nineteen-year-old boyfriend say?

Of course, I said yes.

Twenty-four hours later, I married Adam Gunner at a Vegas chapel to the sounds of “Livin’ on a Prayer” by Bon Jovi. Not the best omen. I get that now.

Then, exactly one week later, I left him. I walked out, leaving behind my wedding ring, annulment papers, and my heart, and he never knew why.

I haven’t seen him since. Not in ten long years.

Now, he’s here, standing before me. Looking at me with nothing but hurt and hatred in his eyes, he wants answers.

Answers I can’t give.

review:

Before I bought this book I had no idea who Samantha Towle was. I purely bought When I Was Yours on a whim, completely based on the description. I had questions- what caused Evie to leave? What happened when they saw each other ten years later? I was intrigued. And I wasn’t let down.

Throughout the book you follow two timelines for them- The first year of their relationship and then ten years later when they meet again. Their dynamic is explosive. Their love is passionate. They truly are meant for each other.

I have found in many books that involve sex (gasp! yes there is sex as they are teens and that is what teens do) that authors don’t address the issues of consensual sex and protection. I give props to Samantha Towle. She is very forthright in addressing these issues. Adam is always asking Evie if she is okay with what they are doing, and that at any given point she can say no or stop. Also protection is a huge thing with me. We can’t have teens/young adults reading books where characters aren’t accurate and aren’t seen using protection. *Standing ovation*

This is a love story for the ages, intertwined with heartbreak. I couldn’t put down.

Also, because I loved this book so much I had to create a playlist for it and let me say I cried while making it. It’s been a few days since I finished and I still can’t get over it. I’d really like a sequel to find out when happens next.

rating: 5 out of 5

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Reviews, YA Fantasy, ya romance

Book Review: Winter & The Lunar Chronicles By Marissa Meyer

Goodreads summary:

Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.

Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend—the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.

Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters?

review:

Since this is a review of the last book in The Lunar Chronicles series. Short reviews for the first three books are first, followed by the review for Winter.

Cinder:

I liked the introduction to the main character Cinder. She does get on my nerves, but her family was so much worse. I love that she is a cyborg. Iko is so feisty. Oh Kai, what a dream boat! I love that she and Kai have a connection right away. Dr. Erland is mysterious. And I kept thinking Konn Torin worked for Queen Lavana.

3 OUT OF 5

SCARLET:

This is my favorite book of the series. I connected to Scarlet on a psychological level. She just wants to find her grand-mere and run her farm. And Wolf- ugh love him. Their chemistry is everything a relationship should be. We get a lot of Scarlet’s point of view, which is a nice break from Cinder. Captain Carswell Thorne- YUMMY! He can be my captain any day. Lots of character growth from all the characters- it was needed immensely. Except Cinder made alllllll the wrong decisions.

5 OUT OF 5

Cress:

I did enjoy Cress but not as much as I enjoyed Scarlet. I figured out who Cress was at the beginning and where she fit in with the group. She annoyed me a lot because all of her experiences were so “oh it’s so beautiful” or she was scared the whole time. I feel that some of the descriptions could’ve been taken out. I skipped some pages of Cress’ because it was too much. We got a lot of reading time with other characters which I loved! Also, how all the characters end up together is just too convenient. Cinder wasn’t as annoying as she was in Scarlet but her decisions, which have annoyed me from the beginning, don’t get any better.

4 OUT OF 5

WINTER:

It. Was. Too. Long. My ebook was 1,169 pages. Hard copy is about 800 pages. And the length wouldn’t bother me so much if there weren’t many scenes that felt unnecessary. I don’t need to be told that Winter is crazy. Over. And over. And over again. Yeah, I get that Levana wants to kill Cinder. How many times do we have to watch her try and fail? The constant dividing and bring back together of Scarlet, Kai, Iko, Wolf, Cinder, Cress, Thorne, Winter, and Jacin was just too much. Also the final scene between Cinder and Levana- it took too long. I was so excited to start this book but by the end I was just like “is this over yet?”. I will concede that there were moments where my heart hurt and I was worried about the love the author created- whether these couples would end up together or if someone would die.

It didn’t end how I pictured it. My ideal ending would have been Scarlet abdicating the throne, Winter getting an implant to help with her Lunar Gift and becoming Queen- the people loved her so much. Cinder would then have gone back to the Commonwealth and married Kai and become Empress. It. Just. Makes. Sense.

I liked Winter but it could have been better. Bright side- everyone get some kind of happy ending.

2.5 OUT OF 5

OVERALL:

It was a different take on Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, and Snow White. I love the futuristic and sci-fi elements. I want to be a cyborg now. I want hover-pods. I want to live on the moon. I want to find an alpha mate like Wolf. Scarlet was my favorite character. She didn’t make stupid decisions like Cinder. She wasn’t afraid all the time like Cress. And she wasn’t crazy like Winter. She was independent and a great leader. She thought about her actions before taking action.

3.5 OUT OF 5

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