30 September 2013

The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen

The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: June 4th 2013
Source: Bought

Luke is the perfect boyfriend: handsome, kind, fun. He and Emaline have been together all through high school in Colby, the beach town where they both grew up. But now, in the summer before college, Emaline wonders if perfect is good enough.

Enter Theo, a super-ambitious outsider, a New Yorker assisting on a documentary film about a reclusive local artist. Theo's sophisticated, exciting, and, best of all, he thinks Emaline is much too smart for Colby.

Emaline's mostly-absentee father, too, thinks Emaline should have a bigger life, and he's convinced that an Ivy League education is the only route to realizing her potential. Emaline is attracted to the bright future that Theo and her father promise. But she also clings to the deep roots of her loving mother, stepfather, and sisters. Can she ignore the pull of the happily familiar world of Colby?

Emaline wants the moon and more, but how can she balance where she comes from with where she's going?

I decided to pick up The Moon and More much earlier than I'd planned because I'm still on a contemporary kick. The past couple of Sarah Dessen novels I've read haven't been amazing, and this one was exactly the same. Although I enjoyed it, I was forcing myself to read parts of it and I wasn't really a fan of the characters. 

Emaline and Luke have been together since they started high school but Emaline is starting to wonder about their relationship. Enter Theo, a New York boy assisting his boss on a documentary about a local artist. Emaline and Theo hit it off which then causes trouble for her and Luke. On top of that, Emaline is also dealing with an absentee father who is constantly letting her down. Emaline loves the idea of getting out of Colby, but she also loves being with her family, so it's up to Emaline to decide what her heart wants.

First off, Emaline was one of the very few characters I liked in this book. She was nice, genuine and incredibly smart. She worked her ass off the get into an Ivy League College, only to have her father let her down. She's also incredibly strong when it comes to dealing with her father. She manages to not let him show how hurt she is that he let her down. Emaline has a big family after her mother married her step-father when she was 2. She helps run the family business and I just loved how close her whole family were.

I didn't really like either of the love interests in this book. Luke seemed like a nice guy, but then he never listened to Emaline or let her explain and then went off and did something stupid. And then there's Theo. I started off loving Theo. He was so focused and driven and he cared about Emaline. But the further into the book I got, the more he started to piss me off. His personality just started to get on my nerves and I wanted to hit him.

Emaline's friends were brilliant though. Daisy and Morris were always looking out for her. I especially loved Morris. He was just really funny and a great friend. But I just felt like we didn't get to see enough of them or of their friendship with Emaline which was weird since Emaline always said they were close friends.

There was a lot of family drama in this book. Emaline was going away to college so her family wanted to spend time with her, but she was spending time with her boyfriend. Emaline was also dealing with her absentee father who showed up with his son for a couple of weeks. She was having to deal with him being overbearing and controlling while keeping her brother occupied and letting him have fun for once. 

I did really enjoy this book, but I have to say that it wasn't spectacular. I actually had to push myself through parts of this story because I found it pretty boring. There wasn't really anything major going on that kept my attention the whole way through the book. I mostly kept reading because I wanted to see how the family situation was going to work out and that was about it.

I was really disappointed with the ending. After all the build up and the focus on Emaline and Theo's relationship, the way everything ended was extremely disappointing for me. It felt like the whole thing was a waste of time and the only good thing that came of it was that Emaline got a summer job. But everything else seemed so pointless. I actually re-read the last chapter thinking I'd missed something, but I hadn't and I just didn't like the ending.

Overall, this was a great summer read but I don't think I'd ever re-read this one again. The story line was interesting but I just wasn't invested in the romantic relationships at all and that was a major part of the book.

28 September 2013

With All My Soul by Rachel Vincent

With All My Soul by Rachel Vincent
Series: Soul Screamers #7
Publisher: Mira Ink
Publication Date: April 5th 2013
Source: Library

After spending the last year undead, Kaylee Cavanaugh has had enough of the paranormal creatures who have plagued her ever since she came into her banshee powers. Now she's ready to take her school back from the evil hellions, once and forever.

To protect her friends, Kaylee will need to find a way to turn the living incarnations of Avarice, Envy and Vanity against one another.

Yet when one more person close to her is taken, Kaylee realises she can't save everyone she loves without making some powerful sacrifices...

Over the past two months I've worked my way through Rachel Vincent's 'Soul Screamers' series and I've loved every single second of it. There hasn't been a dull moment in this series for me and I was extremely sad when I was reading the last book because I wasn't ready for it to be over. That being said, I enjoyed everything about this book. It was such a perfect ending to the series and, yet again, I was in tears.

With All My Soul is probably my second favourite book in this series (If I Die is hard to beat). I adored the character development, the story line progression and the way everything turned out at the end.

I have never once not liked Kaylee in this series. She's such a strong and badass character and she proves that even more in this book. I admire Kaylee for the strength she has after everything she's been through. She's so focused and driven to protect her friends that she's willing to do anything to keep them safe. I loved her so much in this one.

Tod is such a sweet and adorable character. He's made me cry countless times because of how sweet he is. He's willing to do whatever it take to protect Kaylee because he loves her. 

Em dealt with everything really well in this book. It takes her quite a while to adjust but she eventually starts to feel like herself again.

Nash, Sabine, Sophie and Luca were all amazing in this book too - especially Sabine.

This whole series has been building up to what happened at the end of With All My Soul. Even though it'd been talked about in previous books, I never really thought it would happen. So when it did, I was shocked but also proud. It took strength and intelligence to do what was done, and even though it was horrible, it had to be done. I really loved all the build up to the ending though. The constant planning, the usual trouble that seems to follow these characters and of course, finding out what was going to happen to Traci. The story line was fantastic yet again.

The last few chapters had me in tears. I could barely even read the words on the page. The last two chapters were heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time. But it was really the last chapter that got me sobbing. The bond between all of these characters is so strong after everything they've been through and I loved seeing everyone grown up and that they all got their happily ever afters.

Overall, this book was everything I could have asked for. It made me smile, laugh and cry and I loved every single second of it. This series is definitely one of my favourites now and I highly recommend it.

27 September 2013

Model Misfit by Holly Smale

Model Misfit by Holly Smale
Series: Geek Girl #2
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: September 26th 2013
Source: Netgalley

“My name is Harriet Manners, and I am still a geek."

Harriet knows that modelling won’t transform you. She knows that being as uniquely odd as a polar bear isn’t necessarily a bad thing (even in a rainforest). And that the average person eats a ton of food a year, though her pregnant stepmother is doing her best to beat this.

What Harriet doesn’t know is where she’s going to fit in once the new baby arrives.

With summer plans ruined, modelling in Japan seems the perfect chance to get as far away from home as possible. But nothing can prepare Harriet for the craziness of Tokyo, her competitive model flatmates and her errant grandmother’s ‘chaperoning’. Or seeing gorgeous Nick everywhere she goes.

Because, this time, Harriet knows what a broken heart feels like.

Can geek girl find her place on the other side of the world or is Harriet lost for good?

Yet again, Holly Smale has written an extremely entertaining and hilarious book. Model Misfit was such a fantastic sequel to Geek Girl. I read Geek Girl in June this year and I really enjoyed it, so I couldn't wait to get my hands on the sequel. I think I picked up Model Misfit about a week after I received it from Netgalley. I just had to find out what was in store for Harriet in this one!

Model Misfit didn't disappoint. I found this one just as entertaining and geeky as the first book and I loved it. Harriet is having to deal with the fact that her perfect boyfriend broke up with her; her best friend is away for the summer which effectively ruins her plans and she's also trying to figure out where she'll fit in when the new baby arrives. But then she gets a call from Wilbur about modelling in Tokyo and Harriet couldn't be happier. She feels like she's unwanted in her house and just wants to get away for the summer.

I love Harriet so much. She's such a hilarious character. She's geeky, funny, smart and extremely clumsy. There were times when I was laughing my ass off because of things that Harriet had done. She just makes me laugh so much and she's such a likable character.

Nick was on my bad side at the start of this book (which wasn't really his fault). I couldn't ignore how hilarious he was though. He was still that cocky guy from the first book that I loved. He was still helping Harriet and still made my heart melt. 

Harriet's friends are one of my favourite parts of this series too. Even though Harriet and Nat are like polar opposites, their bond is unbreakable. Nat is so protective of Harriet. And then there's Toby. I adore Toby, and I loved him even more in this book. He's so hilarious and cute.

I loved meeting Harriet's grandmother in this book. She's so eccentric and free! I loved seeing Wilbur again too, he never fails to make me laugh with some of the stuff he comes out with.

So Harriet was in Tokyo for the summer living in a flat with two other models - Poppy and Rin. I never felt much of an attachment to Poppy, but I adored Rin. Her English wasn't perfect so some of the things she came out with made no sense and were hilarious. But she was such a genuinely nice character. Harriet's modelling jobs weren't running as smoothly as the usually do (well, as smooth as they get with Harriet), and she starts to wonder if someone is messing with her on purpose.

The ending of this book was so heartwarming and adorable. I loved every single second of this book and I could probably read about Harriet forever because she's amazing.

Overall, this was a fantastic sequel to Geek Girl. I absolutely love this series. It's hilarious and adorable and definitely one I recommend.

26 September 2013

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
Publisher: Orion
Publication Date: February 1st 2013
Source: Bought

Eleanor is the new girl in town, and with her chaotic family life, her mismatched clothes and unruly red hair, she couldn't stick out more if she tried.

Park is the boy at the back of the bus. Black T-shirts, headphones, head in a book - he thinks he's made himself invisible. But not to Eleanor... never to Eleanor.

Slowly, steadily, through late-night conversations and an ever-growing stack of mix tapes, Eleanor and Park fall for each other. They fall in love the way you do the first time, when you're young, and you feel as if you have nothing and everything to lose.

Eleanor & Park was such a beautifully written novel. I will say that at the start, I was unsure whether I was going to like this book or not, but the further I got into it the more I enjoyed it and became invested in the characters.

Eleanor & Park is set in the 80's and follows the lives of two teenagers. They come from completely different backgrounds but they fall in love. They meet on the school bus where the only place for Eleanor to sit is beside Park. Eleanor starts to read Park's comics from the corner of her eye which eventually leads to Park loaning her his comics. They start to talk and eventually they start to fall for each other.

Eleanor isn't the usual skinny and insanely beautiful character that you usually find in books, and that's why I loved her. Eleanor is overweight, insecure and has a very difficult family life. She also has to deal with the fact that she gets bullied at school for her weight and her hair colour. I really felt for Eleanor. She has such a tough life and it was horrible to see her go through all the stuff she did. But, Eleanor was a strong character. She dealt with everything and managed to hide her feelings and not let the bullies see that they got to her. I really admired her for that. On top of dealing with bullies at school, Eleanor was also dealing with an asshole of a step-father who also liked to bully her.

Park is a half Korean kid who is really likable so people don't really give him much trouble. His family life is pretty stable too and the only thing that really causes conflict in his family is Park's driving ability. I really adored Park though. Even though he judged Eleanor the first time she got on the bus, he was basically the only person who bothered to get to know her. He was such a caring and sweet character.

Eleanor & Park's relationship was adorable. I love how it started with Eleanor sneaking glances at Park's comics to them talking and holding hands. It was so sweet. It was refreshing to read about something so innocent. Eleanor & Park clearly really like each other and I just loved the progression of their relationship. Park was so protective of Eleanor and I loved that he stood up for her when she wouldn't do it for herself. He really cared about her.

From the synopsis you might just assume (like I did) that this is going to be a cute and adorable read about two teenagers falling in love for the first time. Well, yeah it is about that but there are a lot of other deeper story lines to this novel. Eleanor's family life isn't ideal. She lives with her mother, her asshole of a step father and her 3 siblings, and her and her siblings all sleep in the one room. Eleanor was getting bullied at school because of what she looked like and how she dressed. She was dealing with someone who was writing crude messages on her textbooks. She also had to put up with her asshole of a step-father who liked to bully her too. Eleanor had a tough life and it was heartbreaking to read about it.
Park didn't have much going on in his family life apart from the arguments with his dad over his driving. But Park and his father also clash when Park decides that he wants to experiment. Park and his dad are complete opposites so it's hard for them to see eye to eye.

The ending of this book was heartbreaking. I was so shocked to find out what had actually been happening and it made me sick to my stomach. I couldn't believe it. But Park was there for Eleanor and he really helped her. The last couple of chapters had me in tears, especially the last one. It was so heartbreaking and sweet at the same time.

Overall, this was such an adorable read about two teenagers falling in love that also addressed a few deeper story lines that really added to the story. I loved every single thing about this book and it's definitely one of my favourites of the year.

23 September 2013

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
Series: Anna and the French Kiss #2
Publisher: Speak
Publication Date: July 9th 2013
Source: Bought

Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn’t believe in fashion...she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit--more sparkly, more fun, more wild--the better. But even though Lola’s style is outrageous, she’s a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood.

When Cricket--a gifted inventor--steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.

Why did I wait so long to pick up this book?! I read Anna and the French Kiss in March this year, and I'd intended on picking up Lola and the Boy Next Door very soon after that. But I didn't! And I wish I had. This was such an adorable book! I loved the characters, their development, the storyline and especially the romance.

So Lola and the Boy Next Door follows our main character Lola Nolan who has an eccentric fashion style. Lola is always wearing a wild and fun outfit along with one of her wigs. She's also dating a guy in a band who is a few years older than her, and her dad's don't approve. But then the Bell twins return to the neighborhood, and Lola isn't too happy. But then Cricket steps back into Lola's life and all of her feelings for him come rushing back, and Lola has to decide what she wants and who she really is.

I can't even express how much I loved this book. It was so adorable and sweet. I loved ever second of this book. It only took me a couple of hours to read this book because I just couldn't put it down!

Lola is such a fantastic character! I adored her! She was so eccentric and wild, she didn't care what anyone thought about her and I loved her for that. She was so creative and such an amazing designer. She had brilliant and fantastic ideas. She also seemed like she wanted to rebel slightly from her life, mainly because of the fact she had a much older boyfriend who was in a band. That's what her relationship with Max felt like to me. Lola is such a friendly, sarcastic and just such an amazing character. 

And then we have Cricket Bell. Where do I start with Cricket? He's adorable, smart, geeky and is living in the shadow of his figure skating sister. But Cricket never makes a fuss. The second that he and Lola started talking again, I fell for him hard. I think it's pretty hard not to fall for him when he's such a sweetheart. He always comes back from college to see Lola and he'll spend time with her doing things that he doesn't even have to be doing - like helping Andy bake pies. He was under-appreciated in his family because they were so focused on Calliope and I felt really bad for him because of that. But Lola always made him feel special. Cricket is an inventor and he's always tinkering with things. I adored hearing about some of the things he made when he was younger. Cricket is just such an amazing character and I love him.

I adored Lola's family aswell. Andy and Nathan were fantastic parents. They were complete opposites when it came to dealing with situations. Andy was more calm and collected whereas Nathan got angry and flew off the handle. But together, they were just amazing. They had me cracking up throughout the book. I loved finding out about Lola's mother too. It was nice to see them actually starting to build a relationship.

I loved that we got to see Anna and St Clair too! I just adored those two so much and it was nice to see them again and see that they're still as loved up as they were at the end of Anna and the French Kiss. St Clair was still his usual cocky self and I still loved Anna.

I loved everything about the storyline in this book. Learning about Lola and Cricket; Seeing Lola's relationship with her mother; Learning about Cricket's life; Andy and Nathan making secret plans, but mostly, I just adored the relationship. Lola and Cricket are so damn cute together and I just loved them! Cricket was willing to wait for Lola until she was ready and I thought that was so sweet.

Overall, I just adored every single thing about this book. Writing this review has actually made me want to go a read it all over again! This is definitely one of those contemporaries that I'll read every single year and it's earned a place on my favourite shelf right next to Anna and the French Kiss.

21 September 2013

The Secret of Ella and Micha by Jessica Sorensen

The Secret of Ella and Micha
Series: The Secret of Ella and Micha #1
Publisher: Sphere
Publication Date: April 11th 2013
Source: Bought

"The girl he thinks he loves needs to disappear. I don't want tonight to be irreversible, so I pull away, breathing him in one last time."

Ella and Micha have been best friends since childhood, until one tragic night shatters their relationship and Ella decides to leave everything behind to start a new life at college, including Micha.

But now it's summer break and she has nowhere else to go but home. Ella fears everything she worked so hard to bury might resurface, especially with Micha living right next door. Micha is sexy, smart, confident, and can get under Ella's skin like no one else. And he's determined to win back the girl he lost, no matter what it takes.

I've been a massive fan of new adult novels since the start of the year, and this was one that I kept seeing around. I'd picked it up in Tesco ages ago and since I was on a contemporary kick I just decided to pick this one up. I have to say, while it wasn't my favourite new adult book ever, it was still an enjoyable read. I did have some problems with the characters and the writing style, but overall, I enjoyed it.

The story follows our characters Ella and Micha who were childhood best friends until something happens one night and Ella escapes to start college and leaves everything behind. But it's summer bow so Ella is heading home. She has to go back and face everything she left and try to keep her walls up. But Micha is making it his mission to get back the Ella that he knows and loves.

Ella was an interesting character. She's built up walls to protect herself from everything that happened in her past and led to the events of one night that changed her life. I was very intrigued to find out about that night and everything else about Ella's life that's caused her so much pain. She struggled with her feelings and tried to keep everything buried and pretend to be someone else. She was a very likable character and as the book went on, I started liking her more and more.

I adored Micha. He was so sweet and caring. He'd been so worried about Ella that he'd been trying to track her down since she left (which is kind of stalkery, but he loves her so it's alright). He knows how to read Ella and get under her skin. Micha is determined to bring back the old Ella, the one he fell in love with. Micha could be a bit overbearing and determined sometimes, and there were times that I wished he could have just backed off and let Elle rediscover herself in her own time.

I really enjoyed the storyline. I was intrigued to learn about Ella's life so when we discovered everything she'd been through and what her family was like I was pretty shocked. It such a short space of time Ella has been through so much and Micha was always there with her. It helped me understand how close they were. Ella was scared of her feelings for Micha and refused to admit them for quite some time. 

I also really enjoyed learning about Micha's life. He's had a hard life because his father walked out and started a brand new family and wanted nothing to do with Micha or his mother. So Micha holds a lot of resentment for his father. 

Micha and Ella are both thrill junkies and they ended up doing a bit of racing in this book. It was enjoyable to read about but also quite scary because they were going so fast that they could have been killed at any point.

Overall, I enjoyed this book. It wasn't my favourite new adult novel, but it wasn't the worst. It was just missing the spark for me, but I still enjoyed it.

20 September 2013

Rolling Dice by Beth Reekles

Rolling Dice by Beth Reekles
Publisher: Random House
Publication Date: August 29th 2013
Source: Netgalley

They say that the higher you climb, the harder you fall - and Madison Clarke will do anything to keep her new life from crumbling to pieces.

Moving from a small town in Maine to Florida, Madison grasps the opportunity to reinvent herself, to forget about those days of being a lonely, loser outcast, and jumps at the chance when the popular kids decide to take her under their wing. A hot boyfriend, parties, friends... If only there wasn't the slight problem by the name of Dwight, a cute, funny and totally nerdy guy in Madison's physics class who she can't help but enjoy spending time with.

Running from her past and stumbling through the present, who knows what lies ahead in this new life in Florida?

After finishing Rolling Dice I just knew I had to pick up another of Beth Reekles books because they were so light and enjoyable. I really enjoyed Rolling Dice too. Sure, I had my problems with the characters and parts of the storyline, but overall it was an enjoyable read.

Madison's family is moving from Maine to Florida and Madison couldn't be happier. She jumps at the opportunity to re-invent herself and become a new person. Madison meets Dwight in a coffee shop and they hit it off straight away. But when the popular kids take an interest in Madison, she doesn't know what to do about Dwight. Dwight is funny and nerdy, but nothing like the popular kids. Madison struggles to retain her friendships and must decide what she really wants.

OK, so there were times that I liked Madison and times I really wanted to hit her. She started off as this nice girl who was just trying to fit in but then she got so obsessed with being popular and liked that her personality slightly changed. Sure, she would still talk to Dwight and his friends when they were alone, but as soon as one of her popular friends appeared she ditched Dwight. She also kind of strung Dwight along for quite a bit of this book. You could tell that he cared about her but she didn't want to destroy her popularity. Sometimes she could be really selfish. I did like her though. She never gave up on talking to Dwight and his friends and she always made time for them. 

And then we have Dwight. Dwight was such a sweetheart. He helped Madison in the first scene we met him and I fell for him straight away. He was always helping Madison and looking out for her. He genuinely cared about her and it was awful to see the way Madison treated him. I just adored them together though. They really opened up to each other and helped one another.

The storyline was mainly just about Madisons struggle to fit in with the popular kids but remain friends with Dwight. It was interesting to see how her character changed. I knew why Madison was so driven to be popular, but I didn't understand why it took her so long to see what was right in front of her face and how she'd been blocking stuff out. I did really love her journey throughout the book though.

The ending was sweet and I adored it!

Overall, this was a sweet and cute contemporary novel that I enjoyed reading.

19 September 2013

Blog Tour: A Little Too Far by Lisa Desrochers

A Little Too Far by Lisa Desrochers
Series: A Little Too Far #1
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: September 17th 2013
Source: Edelweiss (Provided by author for tour)
Tour Hosted By: A Life Bound By Books
Purchase Links: Amazon; Amazon UK; B&N; iTunes; Kobo; The Book Depository

Have you ever gone just a little too far?

Lexie Banks has.

Yep. She just had mind-blowing sex with her stepbrother. In her defense, she was on the rebound, and it’s more of a my-dad-happened-to-marry-a-woman-with-a-super-hot-son situation. But still, he’s been her best friend and confidant for the better part of the last few years … and is so off limits. It’s a good thing she’s leaving in two days for a year abroad in Rome.

But even thousands of miles away, Lexie can’t seem to escape trouble. Raised Catholic, she goes to confession in hopes of alleviating some of her guilt … and maybe not burning in hell. Instead, she stumbles out of the confessional and right into Alessandro Moretti, a young and very easy-on-the-eyes deacon … only eight months away from becoming a priest. Lexie and Alessandro grow closer, and when Alessandro’s signals start changing despite his vow of celibacy, she doesn’t know what to think. She’s torn between falling in love with the man she shouldn’t want and the man she can’t have. And she isn’t sure how she can live with herself either way.

A Little Too Far is a brilliant example of a New Adult novel. Judging it by it's cover, it kind of makes you think that this book is going to be full of sex scenes. There were like 3, and that was it. I was actually pretty happy about that because there's so much more to explore in this book and to see so it was a relief that there weren't that many sex scenes.

So Lexie is flying off to Rome for a year abroad and she's really happy about going. She's escaping from her ex-boyfriend and trying to forget that she had sex with her step-brother Trent. When she arrived in Rome, Lexie decided to confess to her sins hoping that it'll make her feel better. And then she meets the beautiful Reverend Moretti (aka Alessandro), a soon to be priest. Lexie and Alessandro become close and Lexie feels herself becoming attracted to him. Lexie has to decide between the two men in her life and make sure she'll be able to deal with the consequences of her decision.

I really liked Lexie. She had the guts to pack up and ship herself off to Rome to study for a year (which I totally wouldn't be able to do no matter how much I'd love to). She went out there to see the beautiful art in Rome and learn about the history. She did kind of annoy me sometimes, especially when she was thinking of taking Rick back. She was mainly just thinking of hot he was and hardly thinking of what he did to her, which led her to sleep with her step brother. She's an intelligent and interesting character, and I really enjoyed learning about her throughout the book.

Trent was a brilliant friend to Lexie. He was always there when she needed him and vice versa. He's a sweet and caring guy. I instantly liked him when he sat with Lexie when she was upset about Rick. I adored hearing about how their friendship blossomed and hearing about them when the were young. Their relationship was weird since they're step-siblings (no blood relation!). 

Alessandro was perfection. I was in love with him the second that Lexie physically ran into him in the church. He's just so adorable and charming, polite and sexy. He helped Lexie a lot while she was in Rome. He helped her find out what she wanted to do with her life; He showed her around Rome and took her to all the galleries and he was such a brilliant friend. Lexie really opened up to Alessandro. 

I'm not going to say too much about what happened relationship wise because it'll kind of ruin the ending/what the next book is going to be about. I will put my feelings about how it ended under a spoiler, so if you want to know highlight the next sentence and you can make your own assumptions of how it ended. SPOILER I wasn't too happy with how everything ended. I wanted it to go a different way. END SPOILER

This book made me really want to visit Rome! I was so awed reading about everything and I know that someday soon I'll have to get myself over there to see all those sights for myself. Rome seems like much more of a romantic city than Paris, and it's moved higher up on my places to visit when I have the time/money to do so.

Overall, I thought this was a brilliant New Adult book that addressed a slightly frowned upon subject and tough decisions. I really enjoyed it and it's one I definitely recommend to New Adult lovers!

About the Author

Lisa Desrochers lives in central California with her husband and two very busy daughters. There is never a time that she can be found without a book in her hand, and she adores stories that take her to new places, and then take her by surprise.

Look for her New Adult novel, A LITTLE TOO FAR , courtesy of HarperCollins Sept 2013, and the first companion, A LITTLE TOO MUCH , in Nov 2013. Also in stores is her YA PERSONAL DEMONS trilogy (Macmillan).

Author Links: Website; Facebook; Twitter; Goodreads

Lisa is hosting a tour wide giveaway - Prizes include an iPod Mini, pendant, tote bags, temporary tattoos, and annotated chapters of ALTF

a Rafflecopter giveaway

13 September 2013

The Kissing Booth by Beth Reekles

The Kissing Booth by Beth Reekles
Publisher: Random House
Publication Date: December 13th 2013
Source: Netgalley

Meet Rochelle Evans: pretty, popular--and never been kissed. Meet Noah Flynn: badass, volatile--and a total player. And also Elle's best friend's older brother...

When Elle decides to run a kissing booth for the school's Spring Carnival, she locks lips with Noah and her life is turned upside down. Her head says to keep away, but her heart wants to draw closer--this romance seems far from fairy tale and headed for heartbreak.

But will Elle get her happily ever after?

The Kissing Booth has been sitting on my kindle for ages, and I finally got around to reading it! I was in the mood for a contemporary novel and this was just what I wanted. 

The Kissing Booth follows out main character Rochelle who has a crush on her best friends brother. When Elle and Lee decide to run a Kissing Booth for the school's carnival, Elle and Noah end up kissing and the both realise that there may be something between them.

Elle was a great character. She was friendly, helpful and just generally a nice person and I loved that about her. She stood up for herself when it came to Noah and what he does, but she could still be pretty naive and listen to him. She wasn't a very good friend to Lee. She hid secrets from him and was constantly lying to him and I just knew he was going to find out the wrong way. But I did like Elle's character.

I had a love/hate relationship with Noah. He could be this really sweet guy who made me smile, but he's also got a possessive side to him. He was controlling and would beat up guys just for talking to Elle! I mean, what the hell is that? So freaking what if he likes her, that doesn't give him the right to scare every other guy away from her! I loved Noah when he was with Elle, but I hate the possessive side of him. Noah's character did develop throughout the book and by the end he was trying his best to become a better person. He was still getting into fights, but he was no longer threatening or beating up guys that talked to/looked at Elle.

The story line was cute though and exactly what I was looking for. I adored seeing the development of Elle and Noah's relationship and all the ups and downs that came with it (and believe me, there were a lot of downs). Elle and Noah had this amazing chemistry, and I loved seeing them together. What I didn't understand though was why everyone made such a big deal at the end. Everything kind of just blew up and I didn't understand why. All of the hate was being focused on Noah, but it was Elle's idea! I just don't understand why everyone took it so badly. 

The ending was cute and sweet though. I loved seeing the change in Noah and seeing what he'd do to prove that he cared for Elle.

Overall, this was a light and sweet contemporary novel that I enjoyed reading.

Wild Cards by Simone Elkeles

Wild Cards by Simone Elkeles
Series: Wild Cards #1
Publisher: Walker
Publication Date: October 1st 2013
Source: Netgalley

After getting kicked out of boarding school, bad boy Derek Fitzpatrick has no choice but to live with his ditzy stepmother while his military dad is deployed. Things quickly go from bad to worse when he finds out she plans to move them back to her childhood home in Illinois. Derek’s counting the days before he can be on his own, and the last thing he needs is to get involved with someone else’s family drama.

Ashtyn Parker knows one thing for certain--people you care about leave without a backward glance. A football scholarship would finally give her the chance to leave. So she pours everything into winning a state championship, until her boyfriend and star quarterback betrays them all by joining their rival team. Ashtyn needs a new game plan, but it requires trusting Derek—someone she barely knows, someone born to break the rules. Is she willing to put her heart on the line to try and win it all?

Wild Cards was one of those books that I was extremely excited for this year (or next year since it's not out in the UK until 2014). I was so excited to get a copy of this from Netgalley and I couldn't wait to dive right into this book. Unfortunately, I ended up not enjoying it as much as I'd expected to. There was just something about the characters that annoyed me (don't get me wrong, I did sort of like them but they annoyed the hell out of me). The story line was interesting enough with the family drama and the question surrounding why Derek doesn't play football anymore. I did enjoy this book, but definitely not as much as I'd thought I would have.

Derek has been kicked out of boarding school after a stupid prank and it heading to Chicago to live with his step-mum and her son. Ashtyn lives with her father and he basically ignores the world around him. When Brandi, Julian and Derek show up Ashtyn thinks her life might be coming together. Until he boyfriend betrays her and leaves her team in the lurch. Even though it's the last thing she wants to do, Ashtyn has to turn to Derek to help and ends up falling for him. 

OK so I didn't really hit it off with any of the characters in this book (except from Julian because he's such a cutie!). Ashtyn was a great character when she was being herself. She was a strong, independent character that didn't need anyone to stand up for her. But then there were times when she was whiny and just not being herself and I wanted to hit her and tell her to snap out of it. She kept flipping between these two personalities: the one that's strong and can take care of herself, and the one that wanted a guy to protect her. It pissed me off so much! I had no idea which one was the real Ashtyn! She kept going on about how she didn't need anyone but then she kept wanting Derek to be her knight... I mean, what the hell!? It was so damn confusing!

Derek annoyed the hell out of me too. Sure he was cocky and snarky, and that's usually the kind of guy I love in books, but he was so confusing too! He was going on about how much he liked Ash but then he said he had to push her away... and I had no idea why. Most of the stuff he said concerning Ash made no sense, it was so stupid! Derek was a very caring character though. His relationship with his step-brother was so sweet. He took care of him and genuinely loved him and I adored seeing that.

The relationship between Derek and Ashtyn annoyed me too. There were constantly going back and forth until I was so damn confused and had no idea if either of them were ever going to admit their feelings. It was so frustrating! I lost count of the amount of times I had my face in my hands and the amount of frustrated groans I made. It was unbelievable. I was pretty obvious right from the start that they were going to get together, but they took their time about it. And then when they did get together, Ashtyn was like "I love you" and I died. They've barely even known each other that long and they spent most of the time arguing! How the hell can they be in love already?! Urgh, it was so frustrating.

My main interest in the story line was the family drama. Brandi (Ashtyn's sister) hadn't spoken to her father in years after she moved out and now she's back with a son, a step-son and a baby on the way. And then their was Ashtyn's relationship with her father. Her father doesn't like the fact she plays football and said that if her mother hadn't left she'd have been doing cooking classes (which pissed me off big time). Ashtyn is a great footballer and her father doesn't acknowledge that or support her. I also really enjoyed seeing Derek building a relationship with his step-mother Brandi. And then there's also Derek and his grandmother. I don't really want to get into their relationship too much but I will say that I thought she was a bitch to start with but really she was just trying to do what was best for Derek.

The ending was pretty weird and stupid in my opinion. I can't really go into much detail about it though because it'll kind of ruin it but I will say that the way that Derek makes decisions is stupid. Very stupid. And sure, the ending was sweet and lovely but it kind of just showed again that Ashtyn wants a knight in shining armor to take care of her (which totally doesn't fit her personality).

Overall, this was an enjoyable read with an interesting story. It wasn't my favourite contemporary novel, but it was completely terrible. 

12 September 2013

Keeping Her by Cora Carmack

Keeping Her by Cora Carmack
Series: Losing It #1.5
Publisher: Ebury Digital
Publication Date: August 15th 2013
Source: Netgalley 

Garrick Taylor and Bliss Edwards managed to find their happily-ever-after despite a rather . . . ahem . . . complicated start. By comparison, meeting the parents should be an absolute breeze, right?

But from the moment the pair lands in London, new snags just keep cropping up: a disapproving mother-in-law-to-be, more than one (mostly) minor mishap, and the realization that perhaps they aren't quite as ready for their future as they thought.

As it turns out, the only thing harder than finding love is keeping it.

So I ended up picking up Keeping Her because I was feeling in a major reading slump and every time that happens I pick up a New Adult novel. The was just a short, quick novella about Garrick and Bliss going to visit Garrick's parents in London. I absolutely adored this novella! I'd forgotten how clumsy and awkward Bliss could be and how sweet and charming Garrick was. I loved rediscovering my love for these characters.

The story line basically focused on their relationship and whether it would be able to hold. Garrick's family are more obsessed with image than happiness, and Bliss doesn't feel like she fits in. Garrick was being sucked back into his old life and Bliss was starting to question their relationship. The two of them had their ups and downs throughout this book, but they managed to get through everything and I'm so glad they did. They're such a perfect couple. Garrick needs Bliss to remind him of why he chose the path he chose and why he should stick to it. I just adored seeing those two together again.

Garrick's friends were hilarious! I loved them! Right from the start they made Bliss feel welcome and comfortable. They helped Bliss loose some of her stress and relax. They're just what she needed and I'm hoping that Garrick stayed in touch with them after that. They're brilliant friends.

Overall, this was such a cute and sweet novella. I loved finding out more about Garrick and Bliss' life and what the future holds for them. I loved it!

9 September 2013

Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill

Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill
Publisher: Listening Library
Publication Date: 26th March 2013
Source: Audible
Narrated by: Shannon McManus

Meant to be or not meant to be . . . that is the question.

It's one thing to fall head over heels into a puddle of hazelnut coffee, and quite another to fall for the—gasp—wrong guy. Straight-A junior Julia may be accident prone, but she's queen of following rules and being prepared. That's why she keeps a pencil sharpener in her purse and a pocket Shakespeare in her, well, pocket. And that's also why she's chosen Mark Bixford, her childhood crush, as her MTB ("meant to be").

But this spring break, Julia's rules are about to get defenestrated (SAT word: to be thrown from a window) when she's partnered with her personal nemesis, class-clown Jason, on a school trip to London. After one wild party, Julia starts receiving romantic texts . . . from an unknown number! Jason promises to help discover the identity of her mysterious new suitor if she agrees to break a few rules along the way. And thus begins a wild goose chase through London, leading Julia closer and closer to the biggest surprise of all: true love.

Because sometimes the things you least expect are the most meant to be.

This is now one of my favourite contemporary novels. As soon as it started, I fell in love with this book. It was such an adorable novel. I'm a sucker for cute romance novels, and this was such a brilliant one.

There were times I liked Julia, and times I wanted to hit her. She was a smart, organised, goody two shoes, clumsy character and I really liked her. During her trip to London, Jason makes it his mission to help Julia find out who her mystery guy is and while he's doing that, he helps Julia loosen up and have some fun. But, should could be pretty naive and stupid sometimes. She didn't notice what was right in front of her for so long and she was so focused on her perfect MTB (meant to be) that she didn't realise that her MTB might not be who she thinks. She's a very awkward character. She ended up in some pretty hilarious situation and had me cracking up a lot. 

I freaking loved Jason. He was such a hilarious character! Sure, he was immature, but he was so focused on having fun that it didn't bother him and I loved it. He's so cocky and funny, and he had me cracking up so much during this book. The only thing that bothered me about Jason was that he gave out so many mixed messages. It was unbelievable how confused he was making me with his constant back and forth. 

Julia and Jason has some hilarious banter together. At the start of the book, Julia really didn't like Jason. They're paired together for the trip and they start to become really close. Jason gets Julia to experience some new things and have fun for once. I adored them together. They were both giving each other mixed messages and for most of the book they weren't on the same page. They have so much chemistry, but Julia is unwilling to acknowledge it for most of the book. They were at each others throats a lot in this book mostly because Julia didn't realise how Jason felt. 

I loved that this book took place in London. Even though I've been to visit London, I never got to visit some of the sights that they saw in this book and I adored discovering them along with the characters. Julia is convinced that her MTB is her childhood best friend Mark because he's so perfect. She's so focused on finding someone the same way her parents met that she can't see what's right in front of her. Jason helped Julia have a lot of fun during this book. They did things that she normally wouldn't do, like: walking around during a thunderstorm and going to a party and getting drunk. She experienced a lot throughout this book and started to loosen up slightly. Julia is getting texts from a mystery guy and Jason agrees to help her find out who it is and they have some pretty cool adventures. I was wondering for most of the book why Jason and Sarah seemed so close and why they kept passing notes. It all fell into place at the end though. 

The twist at the end was hilarious! It definitely added something to the story and it wouldn't have been as good if it hadn't been for the twist. I love how it allowed Jason and Julia to get to know each other. The ending had be smiling like an idiot. I adore Julia and Jason together and I was squealing with delight! They're so cute <3

Overall, I absolutely adored this contemporary. It's definitely one I'll be listening to every year. It was cute, adorable and I loved every second of it. It's one I definitely recommend.

7 September 2013

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #2
Publisher: Puffin
Publication Date: February 7th 2013
Source: Library

Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. The police have closed her case. The only person Scarlet can turn to is Wolf, a street fighter she does not trust, but they are drawn to each other.

Meanwhile, in New Beijing, Cinder will become the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive – when she breaks out of prison to stay one step ahead of vicious Queen Levana.

As Scarlet and Wolf expose one mystery, they encounter Cinder and a new one unravels. Together they must challenge the evil queen, who will stop at nothing to make Prince Kai her husband, her king, her prisoner...

After reading Cinder last month, I knew I had to get my hands on Scarlet ASAP and find out what was going to happen next in the story. Scarlet ended up being so much better than Cinder in my opinion. There was a lot more to discover, new characters and a lot of action! I also loved how the story was told from Scarlet's POV, but then we also got chapters from Cinder and Kai in third person narrative. So even though we were following a different character, we still got to see what the characters from Cinder were up to and how everything that happened in this book affected them.

As soon as I started reading Scarlet I knew I was going to enjoy this one a lot more than Cinder. I connected with Scarlet straight away. Her grandmother is missing and the police have called off the search saying that she ran away or committed suicide. But Scarlet knows that can't be true. I loved her close her relationship with her grandmother was that she knew for sure that something terrible had happened to her. Scarlet is a determined character. She's willing to do whatever it takes to get her grandmother back, no matter the cost. She was a fantastic and strong main character.

I was a bit iffy with Wolf to start with. I mean, he was a dangerous street fighter but he seemed so naive and scared that I couldn't help but feel drawn to him. He wanted to do whatever he could to help Scarlet find her grandmother (even though he kept trying to convince her to forget about it). It was extremely interesting finding out about Wolf. I knew there was something off about him, but I couldn't put my finger on what it was exactly. So I loved finding out about it, but it also made me have Queen Levana even more than I already did. Wolf is such a sweet character. He wants to protect Scarlet and I feel sorry for him because of what was done to him.

And then we have Thorne. Thorne was my favourite new character. He was so sarcastic and snarky. I loved him from the very first moment we met him in his jail cell. He managed to make me laugh a hell of a lot throughout this book. He's a very skilled character. He knows how to hide from the police/government and knows what precautions to take to stay hidden. He was a fantastic character.

Cinder was amazing, yet again. I just adore her. I felt really bad for Kai though. He was getting all the backlash from Levana because of Cinder, and he had to do whatever he could to stop her. My hate for Levana grew in this one. After I found out what she'd been doing, and found out what she'd done to Cinder as a child - it made me sick. She has to be stopped before she takes over Earth.

The story line in this one was packed with action and mystery. I had a lot of questions at the start of the book like: "Why was Scarlet's grandmother taken?" and "What's up with Wolf?", and my questions were gradually answered throughout the book and I loved the journey we were taken on to get these answers. We were also following Cinder and Thorne and their escape to find out more about Princess Selene. And then we had Kai. Kai is dealing with everything that happened after Cinder and is also having to try to please Levana.

The ending was packed with action. I was shocked and disgusted by the lengths Levana would go to just to get Cinder. It was horrible. I was hooked reading the ending and I just couldn't put it down until I found out what happened. I was also extremely shocked by what Kai did. I wanted to hit him! Does he seriously think that it's going to make any difference? Really? If he does, he needs some sense knocked into him. But by the end of the book my hate for Queen Levana had rocketed and I can't wait to see her meet her end. I'll be cheering.

Overall, this was such a fantastic sequel! Packed with mystery and action that had be hooked from start to finish. I can't wait for Cress now!

6 September 2013

Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

Siege and Storm
Series: The Grisha #2
Publisher: Indigo
Publication Date: June 6th 2013
Source: Bought

Darkness never dies.

Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land. She finds starting new is not easy while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. She can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long.

The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her--or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.

After reading Shadow and Bone last month, I had to get my hands on this book ASAP so I ended up buying it when I really shouldn't have been buying books (But I don't even care. It was worth it). Although I didn't find this as enjoyable as the first book, I still really loved it! It was just that there were times when there was nothing happening and I was kind of bored... But that didn't stop me from loving this book because the characters are awesome (minus Mal...)!

So Siege and Storm picks up a couple of weeks after the showdown at the end of Shadow and Bone. Alina and Mal have made their escape and are hiding out in Cofton. That is, until The Darkling catches up with them very quickly (because they were stupid and left a trail that was easy to follow). The Darkling takes Mal and Alina about his ship that is captained by Sturmhond (YAY!). The Darkling has plans for Alina, but those plans don't go to plan because of Sturmhond (Double YAY!).

So first of all, I just have to say how much I freaking love Alina. She's willing to do anything to save Ravka (even give herself over to The Darkling) and I admire her for that! Even though she ran away, she knew she had to go back and save the people from The Darkling and his wrath. She's so focused on saving people and getting rid of The Darkling and she knows that the only way to do that is to make herself more powerful. I love how she stuck to her guns in this one and never let any whiny, insecure boys (*cough* Mal *cough*) prevent her from doing what she planned to do. I just love Alina so much!

And then we have Mal... I had high hopes for Mal after the ending of Shadow and Bone, but all of my hopes disappeared very quickly. Mal did nothing but moan and whine throughout this book. He was constantly like 'LOVE ME ALINA!' or 'PAY ATTENTION TO ME ALINA' and it was starting to piss me off. Alina was trying to save Ravka, and all Mal was worried about was the fact that he was losing Alina and she wasn't spending enough time with him.... Are you serious?! GROW THE FUCK UP MAL! THERE'S MORE IMPORTANT THINGS IN THE WORLD THAN YOU FEELING SELF-CONSCIOUS! I mostly wanted to punch him in the face for being so selfish. Frankly, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that he dies in the next book. He holds Alina back and just acts like a 2 year old having a tantrum.

And then we have Sturmhond! What can I say? His charming personality won me over from the second he appeared in this book. He's a pirate and I love him. Sturmhond's revelation came as a massive shock to me, and I loved it! I loved seeing it all play out and hearing his story of how it all came about. And mainly, I just loved his change after his revelation. He became more cocky and charming and I loved him even more. I'm quite disappointed about the fact that he wasn't in it as much as I would have liked, but there's still another book to come! And he better be in it.

The Darkling was also pretty absent in this one, which I was upset about. I kind of really love The Darkling, even if he is a murderer and very dangerous. I can't help it! He's just so charismatic! The Darkling gained some new, horrifying powers in this one that allowed him to create monsters (which were really creepy). And he definitely has to be stopped before he kills everyone in his path to power.

So, onto the story line for this one! There was a lot going on in this one, but to me it felt like some of the story lagged in the middle slightly, and there wasn't really anything interesting happening for a bit - which left me kind of bored. I think that's maybe why it took me slightly longer to get through than it normally would have. But there was a lot of stuff going on in this book: We had Alina and the army training to battle The Darkling; Alina on a quest to find the other mythical creatures for amplifiers and Sturmhond and his revelation. 

The ending of this book was fantastic! I couldn't believe how stupid Vasily was (well, actually I can because he's so vain he can't see past his own reflection). But for him not to tell anyone else what he'd done? Yeah, stupid move Vasily. You basically doomed everyone just so that you could try to prove that you were worthy of the throne. Idiot. I loved how action packed the ending was. I was on the edge of my seat hoping that no one would get hurt and all the characters I loved would make it out alive! And after that ending, I'm SO EXCITED for Ruin and Rising! Can it be June 2014 yet? I'd be quite happy to skip forward a year just to get that book!

Overall, this was such a fantastic sequel that introduced some amazing new characters! I really really loved this book and the ending has made me so excited for the last book! I can't wait now!

5 September 2013

Blog Tour: Visited by Janine Caldwell

Visited by Janine Caldwell 
Publication date: May 25th 2013
Genre: YA coming-of-age fantasy

Source: Provided for book tour by Xpresso Book Tours
Buy: Amazon; Amazon UK; B&N

Seventeen-year-old Joanna Murphy has lost faith in her life. Vying for her mom’s attention, she’s resentful of her stepdad’s intrusion to their family. Her best friend, Tommy, has no clue she’s in love with him as he dates girl after girl without noticing how it tortures her. The final kicker, though, is God’s sick joke to make her freakishly tall when everyone knows boys prefer petite girls.

Then in a bizarre accident Joanna meets James, a breathtaking teen who appears to her after an unusual falling star sighting. Suddenly, her dream for an alien encounter becomes all too real. But when she finds her life has been made unrecognizable, she’s forced into an explosive study of the original design for her life that just may have her regretting every wish she ever made.

I know I really shouldn't say this, but the first thing that drew me into this book was the cover... I'm a sucker for a pretty cover and I love this one! It's so pretty! And also, the very intriguing synopsis that had me wanting to find out what was going to happen in Joanna's life and that she met an alien made me really want to read it! I ended up really enjoying this book!

I had a problem with Joanna throughout the book. She was such a selfish character! I never noticed it at the start, but when her life changed, it became clear just how selfish of a character she actually was. She wanted her mother all to herself (even if it made her miserable), she didn't notice how other people around her were feeling and she was just constantly thinking about herself! However, I did like that I could relate to her because of the 'coming of age' thing. Joanna isn't happy with how her body is and how tall she is. That I could relate to very easily. When I started high school I was way taller than everyone else and got a couple of nicknames for that and always wished I was smaller, so I found it very easy to relate to Joanna when she was feeling self-conscious about her height. There were times when Joanna was so naïve and couldn't see what was right in front of her that I had to smack myself on the forehead. But Joanna's character did develop and change a lot throughout the book and by the end, I really liked her character.

And then we have James. I was a bit iffy with James to start with (even though he did save Joanna's life). He seemed to be hiding something and avoiding Janine's questions, but I gradually grew to like him. He was always there for Joanna, helping and protecting her. He always wanted to know about Janine's life which I found pretty weird and made me start to suspect why he was actually there. I was a bit surprised by James' reveal at the end. I never saw that coming! But I had guessed why he was there because it became pretty obvious by the end. James was a brilliant character and friend, he really helped Joanna develop and learn to appreciate her life throughout the book.

Tommy was a bit of an iffy character as well. He was a brilliant best friend, but a very jealous boyfriend. He flew off the handle at the mention of another boy from his girlfriend. So what if he was treated badly by an ex, that doesn't give him an excuse to pick a fight with every girlfriend he has over the mention of another boy. His girlfriends don't get jealous when he mentions Joanna, do they? Well, I don't think they do anyways... But still, Tommy acted like an ass sometimes and I wanted to hit him. Joanna started to see that he wasn't really the Tommy that she'd thought he was and that maybe she and him wouldn't actually be a good couple.

When chapter 3 came around, I was so confused! I was wondering if chapters 1 and 2 had actually happened, and then I just had no idea what the hell was going on! It took me a while to piece together everything because I was so thrown, but I really loved what happened with the story line in this book. It was fascinating to see a different Joanna and see how different her life would be. It also helped Joanna grow as a character as well. She realised that she'd made split judgments about people but hadn't bothered to learn about them; Some of the things she'd been desperate for weren't working out how she'd planned and she also learned a lot about her mother too. Joanna definitely needed what James provided for her.
There were times that I was a bit iffy with the writing and the characters, and I wanted to hit them for being stupid/naïve/cringey/annoying, but I did find this to be an enjoyable read overall.

I was a bit miffed about what happened with James at the end though. But still, the ending was nice and I'm hoping that Tommy will be able to change eventually. I'm also hoping that Joanna will start to be comfortable in her own skin and that maybe her and Blake will get together.

Overall, I thought this was a quick and entertaining read that I managed to get through in a couple of hours. I debated for a while on what rating to give it, and I finally settled on 3 stars. It just lacked something that would have pushed it to a 4 star for me, but I still really liked this book. It was a quick and enjoyable read that I definitely recommend.

About the author

Janine Caldwell was born in Concord, CA and raised in the small San Francisco Bay Area town of Clayton. Four days after her high school graduation, Janine attended California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo and graduated with a degree in English.

Janine now lives in Anthem, AZ with her husband and two sons. As a lifelong literature fanatic, she knew it was only a matter of time before she became obsessed with writing her own work. With relatives like the Brothers Grimm and Anita Loos (Gentlemen Prefer Blondes), she figured fantasy writing had to be in her DNA.

Books published by Janine include Visited, a YA coming-of-age fantasy, Rematch and Double Fault - the two books of the Vortex series. The final in this YA fantasy romance, Deuce, will be released fall 2013.