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

Top 4 Books of 2016 (Anniversary Week)

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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.

 

 

 

The Talking Bookworm’s 4th Anniversary

Writers Corner

As I sit here in my classroom I reminisce on the past 4 years that I’ve had this blog. So much has happened. We’ve had changes in staff and other normal things, but we are still here and that is what counts.

The Talking Bookworm has evolved over the years to what it is today. Each year we grow in numbers and I hope you may agree in the quality of content as well. We cover more sub-genres than before and there has been more content on the blog compared last year and that is all thanks to Liz Brooks my co-blogger. The biggest change for the blog this past year was her presence and I am forever grateful she is a part of it.

Now, coming into the 4th year, I hope you will continue to visit this blog and be a part of our community. Thank you all for your constant support and love.

Here is to another fantastic year *raises glass* CHEERS!

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My Life Abroad

Writers Corner

Well hello there. Long time no talk.

(I am writing this as I contemplate if I should turn on the floor heating or not. It is actually not that cold, but for a Southern Californian like me… it’s freezing. But I’m starting to appreciate the weather when it is not below freezing point. For Americans like myself that would be below 32 F and for the rest of the world including South Korea, I’m happy when it’s not below 0 C. )

I’ve been in South Korea for almost 3 months. I left California August 15th, and arrived in South Korea on August 16th. It feels as if I just got here, but also as if I’ve been here a while. I can’t point out why, but I think it is because I am finally getting used to life here and… I like it.

For those who may not know, I am currently a NET or Native English Teacher (some call me a GET/Guest English Teacher) in South Korea. I teach elementary and middle school students English as a Foreign Language. This is my first “official” teaching job and it is nothing how I thought it would be, but sometimes it is good to not have expectations when going into something. I really love my students. I think once I complete my one-year contract if I don’t renew, I will miss them a lot. They make my day brighter with their adorable faces. My middle school students are 7-9th graders and they are a handful, but teaching them is rewarding. I’m starting to create common ground with my students and it’s making them want to participate in class more. We all know when we are forced to learn a second or third language in school, no one really wants to. All students have that in common regardless of their cultural background or location.

Living by myself in another country is definitely making me grow as a person. I’m a person that is normally surrounded by friends or family and even though I am half an introvert, I needed to learn to be alone. I am definitely practicing that in South Korea. Especially because I got placed in the Gangwon-Do Province. It is the most rural province in South Korea with the lowest population number when compared to all the other provinces. I am the only foreigner in my town. I live in the same 14 stories apartment complex along with most of my students. Everywhere I go in town I hear “TEACHER TEACHER.” Students here are excited to see the foreign teacher. They also always tell me I’m beautiful so South Korea has definitely brought up my self-esteem. Haha.

Not having physical books has been tough here in South Korea. I brought my Nook HD+ with me because I knew I would have to read books on an e-reader, but sometimes you just want to hold a physical book. I did cave and bought two books from the book depository. So now at least I have two physical books. Sad thing is I will have to leave them here when I go back to USA.

I will be ending it here before this turns into a research paper length post instead of the essay I have just given you.

I will try to post more about my adventures here in South Korea in the coming weeks. But for now know I am doing well and thank you for being a loyal reader of the blog.

Warmly,

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Book Review: The Wrath and The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn, #1)

GoodReads Summary:

Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. But she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls. Shazi’s wit and will, indeed, get her through to the dawn that no others have seen, but with a catch . . . she’s falling in love with the very boy who killed her dearest friend.

She discovers that the murderous boy-king is not all that he seems and neither are the deaths of so many girls. Shazi is determined to uncover the reason for the murders and to break the cycle once and for all.

Review:

The Wrath and The Dawn is a retelling of Scheherazade and One Thousand and One Nights. Renee Ahdeih’s story is colorful, imaginative, and full of magic. This is the first story I have ever read that has a back story belonging to anything Arabic. I wasn’t sure I was going to like it, given that retellings of fairy-tales I read are from Europe- Cinderella, Snow White, Little Mermaid, etc. And I am so glad I wasn’t sure of my response, it made the story even better than I could have imagined.

The relationship between Shazi and Khalid is one of mystery, of twists and turns. Shazi is a stubborn girl with her own thoughts and ideas, not afraid to voice them or of the consequences. Khalid is a stoic figure, presenting a different image to the audience than one purported to his kingdom. The feelings these two have is something people dream of. And they are a perfect combination when working together.

As my first adventure in Arabic stories, my heart thoroughly enjoyed the emotional roller coaster Ahdeih led me on. Go read this novel, you won’t regret it.

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After Contemporary Conversations I did not want to read anymore contemporary, and that is a big deal as you all know my grand love for YA Contemporary Fiction. I decided to read this much raved re-telling as a way to distance myself from my much loved genre just enough so I could read it again. And now commences the unedited, not holding back, fangirling review that I hope you will identify with and laugh right along with me at my ridiculous outcry about my feels.

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Oh My Gosh. I CANNOT BREATHE. WHAT THE HECK JUST HAPPENED.

*wheezes into paper bag*

My heart cannot take the ending. WHY DID IT HAVE TO END LIKE THAT. HIS HEART. ITS BROKEN. I CANNOT TAKE IT.

Before I get ahead of myself, let’s talk about the beginning. My gosh was that not dramatic and full of everything I wanted and more. We have Shazi’s hatred fueling her ill decision of avenging her best friend by killing THE CALIPH, or in other words, THE FREAKING KING. That alone has you on the edge of your seat as the first night unfolds, and low and behold she lives to breathe another day.

The Wrath and The Dawn is a story full of action that the majority of time is driven by powerful emotions. We get to see Love, Hatred, and Happiness at its shinning moment, where the emotions are so pure they drive the characters to new heights. I feel like I’m preaching for some reason, but let me tell you that you will not be disappointed by The Wrath and The Dawn if you haven’t already read it. It will play with the strings of your heart into the utmost haunting and heart wrenching melody that will have you in a puddle of feels for days.

Have I intrigued you enough? Go read it! I will not spoil thee!
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Rating: 5 out of 5

 

ContempConvos: Jesse’s Girl by Miranda Kenneally

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Goodreads Summary:

Everyone at Hundred Oaks High knows that career mentoring day is a joke. So when Maya Henry said she wanted to be a rock star, she never imagined she’d get to shadow *the* Jesse Scott, Nashville’s teen idol.

But spending the day with Jesse is far from a dream come true. He’s as gorgeous as his music, but seeing all that he’s accomplished is just a reminder of everything Maya’s lost: her trust, her boyfriend, their band, and any chance to play the music she craves. Not to mention that Jesse’s pushy and opinionated. He made it on his own, and he thinks Maya’s playing back up to other people’s dreams. Does she have what it takes to follow her heart—and go solo?

Review:

Sigh

Absolutely adorable. I feel like Kenneally’s books are only getting better and better as time passes by. They are like fine wine. You feel good on the inside after you’ve read one.

Jesse’s Girl is about Maya and Jesse. Maya goes to Hundreds Oaks just like the rest of the characters in the Hundred Oaks series. Maya is Sam Henry’s little sister, Jordan’s boyfriend. We saw their story in Catching Jordan, the first book in the Hundred’s Oak series. I love that I get to see how my beloved characters are doing as time passes by. It makes my heart happy.

Anyways back to the main characters. Maya is the spunky girl who is on love with music of the eighties. She loves her Madonna and Prince. She dreams of making it in the music business so when shadow day comes up as Hundred Oaks High, she is paired with none other than Jesse Scott, the famous country artist that has taken over America’s teenage hearts, and also happens to be the principal’s nephew. You can only imagine how cocky Jesse is being used to getting all the attention, fame, and glory. But we all know deep inside he is a kinda southern gentleman.

Their story unfolds differently than other YA romance novels. No insta-love. Their relationship moves steadily forward throughout the course of the entire novel. We get to see the entire story from beginning to end.

Jesse’s Girl is like an ice cold lemonade on a hot summer day, a sweet melody that you unconsciously hum when you’re having a good day. I have all the praises for this book and I cannot recommend it enough.

Review: 5 out of 5

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