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Posts Categorized: Paperback

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Review: The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: The Girl on the Train by Paula HawkinsThe Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
Published by Riverhead Books on 13 January 2015
Genres: Abduction, Adult, Contemporary (No Romance Focus), Death & Dying, Mystery & Detective, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Suspense
Pages: 336
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
three-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: London, England // Ashbury, England // Whitny, England // Train between Ashbury & London (2012, 2013)

First Line(s): There is a pile of clothing on the side of the train tracks.

THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN by Paula Hawkins isn’t my typical book these days as I do lean more towards the YA but I do love a good mystery. So when I heard that THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN was going to be a movie and all the love for the story I thought that I would give it a try. I was initially intrigued by the story and found it to be very readable and I thought that I was in for a really good book. Then the middle happened and the book just lost all of its steam. It started to drag and I found myself not wanting to pick it up. That coupled with how easy it was to predict turned a story that was filled with promise to one that was just meh by the end.

At first I felt sympathy for the various POV characters but that too fizzled out over the course of the book. They were all flawed and that added realism to them but there was nothing to redeem them. Rachel starts off as a character that you think you can be friends with. But then as the layers are pulled back she just becomes pathetic and so very hard to like. By the end of THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN I really didn’t care what had happened to the missing girl and kind of wish that all the characters would be killed off.

THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN was a readable story but it wasn’t an enjoyable on for me. I figured it all out before the 50% mark so there were no great reveals and part of me wishes I’d just skipped to the end to verify before DNFing the story. I don’t get the hype for it and as such I am not sure if I’ll watch the movie. I like my mysteries to be engaging and filled with some sort of action but all I got from THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN was a static story that never really went anywhere.

 

Add Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn to Goodreads.

Add In the Woods by Tana French to Goodreads.

 

three-stars
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Thursday, June 23, 2016

Review: Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Me Before You by Jojo MoyesMe Before You by Jojo Moyes
Series: Me Before You,
Published by Viking Adult on 31 December 2012
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Death & Dying, Emotions & Feelings, Friendship, Health & Daily Living, Illnesses & Injuries, Love & Romance, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues
Pages: 481
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
four-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Stortfold, England // Mauritius // Zurich, Switzerland (2007, 2009)

First Line(s): There are 158 footsteps between the bus stop and home, but it can stretch to 180 if you aren’t in a hurry, like maybe if you’re wearing platform shoes.

ME BEFORE YOU by Jojo Moyes is one of those books that I’d heard about but didn’t give much thought about until I saw previews for the movie version of it. I was intrigued by the previews and like many readers I decided to read the book before trying to see it. While I liked ME BEFORE YOU and found it to be a quick and emotional read the more I thought about it the more complex I felt about it. At first read, I really liked this book and the journey that Lou Clark takes in living the life that she was always meant to live. At the start of ME BEFORE YOU, Lou is stuck working dead end jobs in a small town in order to support her family. She’s shy and unassuming and completely miserable. It also doesn’t help that her family is absolutely retched to her.

Then Lou meets Will and her life changes in ways that she never thought possible. Will is a quadriplegic and is suffering from severe depression as he used to lead a very adventurous life.  When Lou first starts to work as a companion to Will their relationship is very strained but I loved watching them bother get to know each other and to grow and change from that interaction. But most of all I loved who Lou became through her association with Will. She grew into herself and became more confident and self assured and that is a message that I loved in ME BEFORE YOU. That its ok to be who you are. That you should live each day to its fullest and to always try to find wonder and adventure in even the smallest of things.

Me Before You Quote

But where ME BEFORE YOU leaves me feeling less that good is with the ending. Oh how I didn’t like how things went the way they did and it wasn’t an ending I was expecting. Well, I knew the what I just didn’t know the how and its the how that I didn’t care for. That is a message that we see all to often in books and media and its one that doesn’t paint the best of pictures. It was an easy out and one that definitely involved emotions but I don’t think that it was the right choice. There is more that I want to say on this but its hard without spoiling (well, any more than I’ve probably done) and its hard to find the right words for my thoughts.

I also didn’t like the random POV changes to Lou’s sister which only made me dislike Lou’s family more. I really wish that the entire story was told from Lou’s perspective and I wish that the ending had been a little different. If so, then I think that ME BEFORE YOU would have been a book that I was completely and utterly over the moon about. Instead I liked it, I’ll probably recommend it to some, but its not a book that I long to be able to read against for the first time. I am also on the fence on if I want to read the sequel, AFTER YOU. Its a book that has come up in my library queue but I keep tossing back and then putting back on my holds list.

I liked where Lou was at the end of ME BEFORE YOU despite all the heartbreak that she had gone through. In terms of how Lou thought about herself she was in a very good place. She was hopeful and ready to live the life she’d always dreamed about. I’m afraid that if I read AFTER YOU that will changed. Books need conflict in order to move forward after all so Lou can’t be happy in the way that I want her to be. So I may not read it. I may just keep Lou in that place where she is in my mind and continue her story in my own way.

irishdarkblue

IR - Me Before You

Add God-Shaped Hole by Tiffanie DeBartolo to Goodreads.

Add P.S. I Love You by Cecelia Ahern to Goodreads.

four-stars
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Thursday, May 26, 2016

Review: Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Adult, Review1 Comment

Review: Alexander Hamilton by Ron ChernowAlexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow
on 29 March 2005
Pages: 818
Format: Paperback
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Goodreads
four-stars

Like so many other people I know, I have fallen down the Hamilton Musical rabbit hole. I have become a bit obsessed with listening to the soundtrack and its not uncommon for me to use lyrics in my every day conversations. With this, I’ve had a renewed interest in reading non-fiction. I used to read a lot more non-fiction books than I do now and I do miss it. I miss learning things but non-fiction reads often take longer to get through and I’m so busy that I often pass them over in favor of lighter reads. But once I started to listen to the Hamilton soundtrack I became more interested in learning more about the man that inspired it. This led me to picking up Ron Chernow’s biography ALEXANDER HAMILTON as it was the source material for the show.

ALEXANDER HAMILTON is a *BIG* book and I admit to being intimidated by it as the print is also small. So I decided to tackle this one in small chunks at a time and I was very glad that I did. I really enjoyed learning more about this founding father as I really don’t remember much of him from when I was learning about American history in school. All I could really recall was that he was a founding father, he was never a president, and he was on the $10 bill because he helped found the financial system. After reading ALEXANDER HAMILTON, I learned that he did just so much more. Its a bit intimidating when you think about just how much he did in such a short amount of time and here I am thankful I managed to make it through the day without spilling coffee on myself.

I will admit though there there was a huge chunk in the middle of ALEXANDER HAMILTON that went over my head and bored me. Those were the sections where Chernow covered Hamilton’s financial plan and covered in detail all that he did to set up the banking system, stock market, and so much more. It was dry and my brain doesn’t naturally gravitate to numbers and such so the book lost me a bit there. But I do know that so much of what we know of modern American banking and government wouldn’t exist as we know it if it wasn’t for Hamilton’s influence. Hamilton was a genius and a visionary and we are so lucky to have had him on our side during the revolution.

What I loved about this book was learning all the personal details of Hamilton’s life. I was happy/sad to learn all the details that Lin-Manuel Miranda changed to make the musical flow better. I also may have cried when I got near the end of this tome. The musical has effected me on such an emotional level that its hard not to get teary eyed when it comes to reading about Phillip’s death and then Hamilton’s. I think this may be the first time that a non-fiction read has effected me this much. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. If you are a fan of the musical, or even of history, then ALEXANDER HAMILTON is a book that you should pick up. Its informative and important and gripping in many ways. Reading ALEXANDER HAMILTON has also renewed my interest in reading non-fiction and now I want to read more about our founding fathers to see how other biographers portray Hamilton and how their subjects contrast to how Chernow wrote about them. When I was reading the book I was lost in Hamilton’s life and at the end I was so glad to have invested the time to read it.

irishdarkblue Hamilton Quote
four-stars
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Thursday, April 14, 2016

Review: Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Review, Young Adult0 Comments

Review: Dark Triumph by Robin LaFeversDark Triumph by Robin LaFevers
Series: His Fair Assassin, Book 2
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on 02 April 2013
Genres: Action & Adventure, Assassins, Death & Dying, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, Historical, Historical Romance, Illnesses & Injuries, Love & Romance, Politics & Intrigue, Road Trip, War & Military, Young Adult
Pages: 385
Format: Paperback
Source: Gift, Publisher
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Goodreads
three-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Nantes, Brittany/France // Rennes, France // Morlaix, France //Tonquedec, France (1489)

First Line(s): I did not arrive at the convent of Saint Mortain some green stripling.

When GRAVE MERCY by Robin LaFevers (my review) came out back in 2012 I devoured it. While I was wary at first I totally fell under the spell of these Medieval assassin nuns. I then later received an ARC of DARK TRIUMPH and my first thought was to pick it up immediately and read it but it was far out from publication date and so I put it aside. And there it sat on a shelf until last year when a friend and I made a pact to do a co-read of it. DARK TRIUMPH picks up right around when GRAVE MERCY ends but switches POV from Ismae to Sybella. Sybella was an interesting character in GRAVE MERCY so I was looking forward to her story. However, I didn’t quite fall for DARK TRIUMPH as deeply as I did with GRAVE MERCY and I think that’s due in part to the POV change.

I just didn’t find Sybella to be as likable as Ismae nor was she as nuanced a character. Yes, Sybella was a strong heroine that overcame a pretty shitty upbringing but I just didn’t care about her the same way that I did Ismae. I also really didn’t buy the romance in this story. There was just so little development in that area that I just didn’t feel any chemistry when Sybella and Beast finally declared their love for each other. Though I really did like Beast, he was an bright and entertaining light throughout the story. I liked the camaraderie that he and Sybella shared but there just wasn’t enough of them together for them to form that much needed spark.

Dark Triumph Quote

But what bothered me the most about DARK TRIUMPH was how repetitive it was. I get that some recap is needed to refresh fans from what happened in GRAVE MERCY but Sybella just kept thinking the same thoughts over and over again. So much so that there was very little in the way of plot development in DARK TRIUMPH. This book was all hurry up and wait and there was very little action. It was very much a middle book in a series and was more filler and fluff than anything of substance. As such I found this one really easy to put down and stay down while I was reading.

When I did pick it up I was I found myself in the story but I had to force myself to pick it up each day. And I did that mostly so that I could finish around the same time as my friend. There were times where I was tempted to skip over parts and I feel that if I had done so then I wouldn’t have missed very much at all. Most of the action/plot that happens in DARK TRIUMPH comes at the end. The rest is just waiting around for something to happen. There were just so many missed opportunities in DARK TRIUMPH that just left this one lacking for me. As such, while I do plan to finish the series at some point, I don’t have the burning need to rush out and see how it all ends. What say you readers, does the HIS FAIR ASSASSIN trilogy end with a bang or a fizzle? Leave a comment or catch me on social media and let me know if I should prioritize MORTAL HEART or not.

irishdarkblue

IR - Grave Mercy

Add Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Scarlet by AC Gaughen to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Finnikin of the Rock to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

three-stars
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Monday, April 4, 2016

Review: Revived by Samantha Towle

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Revived by Samantha TowleRevived by Samantha Towle
Series: Revved, Book 2
Also in this series: Revved
Published by Self-Published on 12 July 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, Illnesses & Injuries, Love & Romance, People & Places, People of Color, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Sports & Athletics
Pages: 312
Format: Paperback
Source: Gift
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: Revved

Place(s) Traveled To: Manchester, England // Sao Paulo, Brazil // London, England // Banbury, England // Northampton, England // Budapest, Hungary // Stavelot, Belgium // Monza, Italy // Yas Island, Abu Dhabi

First Line: Two pink lines.

REVIVED by Samantha Towle is the companion book to REVVED (my review) and stars a character that we briefly meet in that book, playboy racer Leandro Silva. Leandro is a rival of Carrick in REVVED but after an incident that happens at the end of that book the two end up becoming really close friends which means several cameos. Leandro’s lady love is a woman named India who is a therapist, a single mum of a teenager and a brother whom I adored. I’m usually not a fan of kids in books but I did like India’s son and how he interacted with all the characters, especially Leandro. Leandro meets India because she is his therapist (*scandalous*) as he deals with some residual PTSD. There is an instant attraction between them but they keep things professional as any sort of relationship is verboten.

I liked how in REVIVED, India and Leandro built up a solid friendship during their therapy sessions and how once they both realized that their feelings were too strong to ignore they broke off the professional portion of it. Giving the formulaic breakup in a romance a whole new twist. They also didn’t become an item right away and spent several months apart as India was afraid that he liked her because she helped heal him and he was respecting her wishes. (Oh sweet, adorable Leandro how I loved you!) Leandro is by far a favorite character of mine even if I didn’t find REVIVED as addicting to read as REVVED. And I think that was because of India and some of the things that happened because of her job. For while a relationship between them is not allowed when they are therapist/patient if that relationship is severed and enough time has passed then they can embark on a romantic path without risk of India losing her licence. At least, here in the US, as I did ask a therapist friend of mine.

Revived Quote

Even though there were things in REVIVED that bugged me, overall, I did like this story. I loved Leandro’s and India’s relationship and thought they had some pretty solid chemistry. I loved how Leandro reacted with pretty much everyone and I just adored this bad boy that was a bit meh on in REVVED. I liked who he became around India and I liked who she became around him. I enjoyed how he interacted with her son and acted as a father figure for in addition to his Uncle Kit. REVIVED was a fast read and I was sad when it was over. I liked this world that Towle created and have missed it since I finished this story.

If you like sexy, redeemable bad boys and the smart sassy women who love them then I think that you’ll like REVIVED. This book can be read separately form REVVED but I think knowing REVVED and Carrick only adds to this book. While REVIVED isn’t a perfect book its makes for a great beach/escapist read. I enjoyed this world and the characters and hope that Towle will write other books with some of the secondary characters. I’d love to see Kit get a happily ever after along with some of the others. Definitely worth picking up.

irishdarkblue

IR - Revived

 

Add Flat Out Sexy by Erin McCarthy to Goodreads.

Add Play by Play by Jaci Burton to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

four-stars
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Friday, April 1, 2016

Review: Bloodlines by Richelle Mead

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Review, Young Adult0 Comments

Review: Bloodlines by Richelle MeadBloodlines by Richelle Mead
Series: Bloodlines,
Published by Razorbill on 23 August 2011
Genres: Abduction, Action & Adventure, Adolescence, Friendship, Mystery & Detective, Paranormal, Royalty, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 421
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: Spirit Bound, Last Sacrifice

Place(s) Traveled To: Palm Springs, California

First Line(s): I couldn’t breathe.

BLOODLINES is the first book in Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy spinoff series and focuses on alchemist Sydney who we meet in those books. As the events in this book directly relate to how LAST SACRIFICE (my review) ends I strongly suggest that you read the Vampire Academy books before moving on to BLOODLINES. In the Vampire Academy books I wasn’t a huge fan of Syndney so I wasn’t sure how much I would enjoy a series that revolved around her and so was a little reluctant in picking these books up. But friends I know and trust say that this series is better than Vampire Academy so I thought why not take the plunge now that I’ve finally finished VA and this series is fully available in stores.

As a first book in a series, even a spinoff series, I found BLOODLINES to be really slow. It took a bit to find its groove even though there were many returning characters from the Vampire Academy books. There were also some new ones introduced and they were complete douche nozzles and I just wanted to set fire to those pages. Like for real, Sydney’s dad and the ‘golden boy’ Keith were terrible terrible characters who frustrated me so much that I almost DNF’d this book because of them. I don’t expect all characters to be likeable but my stars at least have some potential for redemption! But its really had to come back from being an asshole so I think we are stuck with them as they are. *le sigh*

Bloodlines Quote

There were many things in BLOODLINES that I found really predictable and so when the big reveals happened I was left underwhelmed. I also thought that the main plot lines/mysteries were very anticlimatic in how they were wrapped up and dealt with. So much time was spent on the tattoos that these normal teenagers were getting and then instead of a bang it was all resolved in a wee little poof. Not even a poof….more of a puh. And then the story dragged on longer than I expected it to with other big moments that really weren’t ending in what I think was supposed to be a mic drop moment but left me going…eh, why do I care?

The main bright light in this book was Adrian, I adored him as always and I kind of hate how he’s tied to Jill. That kind of squicks me out a bit since there is such an age and personality difference between them. I also really liked how Adrian and Sydney interacted with each other. She added some grounding that he needed and he made her character a lot less annoying that she’d been in previous books. I do also think it helped a bit that we got this story from her POV but she’s still not a favorite character of mine. Nor is BLOODLINES a favorite book that I’ve read. I was left underwhelmed and I don’t know when or even if I’ll continue with this series.

 

irishdarkblue

IR - Bloodlines

Add Some Girls Bite by Chloe Neill to Goodreads.

Add City of Bones by Cassandra Clare to Goodreads.

three-stars
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Thursday, March 3, 2016

Review: Thicker Than Water by Brigid Kemmerer

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Review, Young Adult0 Comments

Review: Thicker Than Water by Brigid KemmererThicker Than Water by Brigid Kemmerer
Published by Kensington on 29 December 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Friendship, Love & Romance, Mystery & Detective, Paranormal, Police or Firemen, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 322
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
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Goodreads
three-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Garretts Mill, Virginia // Crisfield, Maryland // Washington D.C

First Line(s): I hate this suit.

When I picked up THICKER THAN WATER by Brigid Kemmerer I was expecting a murder mystery. I wasn’t necessarily expecting an action filled book but I was expecting something a little more than what I got. For me, THICKER THAN WATER, while well written, was very slow. I liked the main characters of Thomas and Charlotte but oh my stars did I have issues with pretty much all the secondary characters! Charlotte’s family was off the hook crazy in some of their reactions and the fact that they could just fly off the handle and make snap judgments with no proof and get away with it bugged me so very much.

I also didn’t fully buy a romance between Charlotte and Thomas. There was no real spark between them in a romantic sense but I did buy them as friends. So it made her betrayal all the more shocking and upsetting as Thomas really only had one person in this entire town who believed in him. I can’t even imagine how hard life must have been for Thomas and I got why he couldn’t leave as he had no real options to do so. But his isolation and accusations made this story all the more heartbreaking to read.

Thicker Than Water Quote

Where THICKER THAN WATER totally falls off the rails for me was in the mystery. There really wasn’t anything to it and there wasn’t a ton of investigation into it either. The conclusion just also left me shaking my head as it just all came out of nowhere. Because what I didn’t know when I picked up THICKER THAN WATER was that there was a paranormal element to the book and it just made for a weird little story. The paranormal aspects only added confusion and clunkiness to this story and it just didn’t seem to fit. There was no explanation for it or when these kids had these powers. This lack of detail also contributed to my dissatisfaction with the ending of THICKER THAN WATER.

I liked THICKER THAN WATER well enough when I was reading it but I found this story easy to put down. And once it was down there was nothing driving me to pick it back up again. The words in THICKER THAN WATER were pretty enough but there wasn’t a whole ton of substance to them. This book was very light on details and explanations and it just left me feeling all meh about it. THICKER THAN WATER is also a tad bit open ended in its conclusion. While the main mystery is solved there are enough open threads that there could be more stories set in this world and these characters. If there are, I’m not entirely sure if they would be stories that I would pick up. I just didn’t like this one enough to really care on what happens next with this crew.

irishdarkblue

IR - Thicker Than Water

Add I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga to Goodreads. (Click here for my review)

Add The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman to Goodreads.

three-stars
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Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Review: Revved by Samantha Towle

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Revved by Samantha TowleRevved by Samantha Towle
Series: Revved,
Also in this series: Revived
Published by Self-Published on 17 March 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Girls & Women, Love & Romance, Road Trip, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Sports & Athletics
Pages: 410
Format: Paperback
Source: Gift
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: Revived

Place(s) Traveled To: Monte Carlo, Monaco / Sao Paulo, Brazil / Luton, England / Bedfordshire, England / Melbourne, Australia / Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia / Shanhai, China / Barcelona, Spain / Buckinghamshire, England / Budapest, Hungary / Marina Bay, Singapore / Santos, Brazil / Yas Island, Abu Dhabi

First Line(s): I look up at my mum. She looks worried, and she’s holding my hand tight.

I probably wouldn’t have picked up REVVED by Samantha Towle if it wasn’t for my friend Sarah who devoured it and couldn’t recommend it highly enough. Since she and I both can’t get enough of book crack sexy time reads I knew I needed a copy for myself and was gifted one by my super lovely Secret Sister, Michelle. I read REVVED on my way to Greece and it was the perfect book for that 9+ hour flight. REVVED is a quick, brain candy sort of story that really helped to distract me from the fact that I can’t sleep on an airplane even though I want to really really badly.

There is a lot of chemistry between Carrick and Andi and there is totally some instalust but I love how they try to build and maintain a friendship before giving into what they both rally want. For you see, Carrick and Andi work together and Carrick is a wee bit of a man-whore. He’s also arrogant as all get out and definitely knows all the right buttons to push on Andi, his mechanic, to get her all sorts of riled up. But what I love about Andi is that she’s smart and sexy and gives every bit as much as she gets which means that sparks are literally exploding off the page with each and every scene.

Revved Quote

There is a lot of angst in REVVED, especially from Andi who didn’t always seem to know what she wanted. She’d run hot and cold and push Carrick away. Yet despite that I just loved their story. Carrick and Andi made my heart ache and I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough to see how their happily ever after would play out. Not only did I love Carrick and Andi but all the secondary characters really helped to flesh out and give life to this world that Samantha Towle has created. I’m only sad that because REVVED is about Carrick and Andi that we didn’t get to spend as much time with these secondary characters as I would have liked.

REVVED is a well written, fast paced story that is a great escapist read. You get to travel the world and get totally lost in the relationship of Carrick and Andi. They are funny and annoying and everything in between. If you haven’t heard of REVVED but like hot, sexy reads then you are definitely going to want to add this one to your TBR pile!

irishdarkblue

IR - Revved

 

Add The Chase by Erin McCarthy to Goodreads.

Add Dirty Deeds by Megan Erickson to Goodreads.

four-stars
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Saturday, August 29, 2015

Review: Play On by Michelle Smith

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Review, Young Adult2 Comments

Review: Play On by Michelle SmithPlay On by Michelle Smith
Series: Lewis Creek,
Also in this series: Game On
Published by Spencer Hill on 21 April 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, GLBT, Love & Romance, Social Issues, Sports & Athletics, Young Adult
Pages: 258
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: Game On

Place(s) Traveled To: Lewis Creek, South Carolina //Beaufort, South Carolina

First Line(s): Forget Friday night lights – in Lewis Creek, South Carolina, its baseball or bust three nights a week.

When I first heard of PLAY ON by Michelle Smith I knew that it was a book that I had to read. I am a sucker for a good contemporary romance and the early buzz on this one was high which worried me a bit as well because we all know how hyped up books and I get along. But unlike some of the mega blockbusters out there this was a quiet and steady buzz that really peaked my interest. Then once I picked up PLAY ON I found that I couldn’t put it down. At under 300 pages this was a quick read and a fun way to spend a couple of hours. I liked the world that Smith created and I loved the depth of all of her characters. I also have to admit that I wasn’t prepared for this book to be told in entirely Austin’s POV. I’m used to alternating POVs or a contemporary romance to be told only through the girls eyes so it was kind of refreshing to only see Austin’s side of things.

And oh what a sweetie Austin was! A true southern gentleman through and through who loved his momma and who just dripped southern charm. It was easy to picture someone with a strong southern accent reading this book and I really wish there as an audio version available to do just that. Austin was adorable but not without his flaws. He was sweet and stubborn and like with many other characters I’ve read about there were times when I just wanted to shake him. I loved how he was with Marissa and how they were together as they first became friends and then something a little more than that. I also like how PLAY ON wasn’t just a straight boy meets girl contemporary and how there were deeper issues at play.

Play On Quote

For a small book, PLAY ON contained so much within its pages. Smith crafted an amazing world with an eclectic cast of characters. PLAY ON is  story about baseball and school and depression and friendship. Its about first loves and making mistakes and then learning how to overcome obstacles. Its a book that made me laugh at times but one that also hit me right in the feels. Its a realistic story and I just got lost within its pages. I fell for all of these characters and I’m so happy that we’ll be returning to this world in GAME ON (goodreads) because I hated to let them all go. The summary of this one really doesn’t do it justice for all that there is in this book. Each page reveled something new and that ending…oh it was a good one.

PLAY ON is the sort of book that I’d love to see as a TV Show and its a book that will totally appeal to all those who love and miss Friday Night Lights. This book wasn’t perfect but it hit all the right notes with me at the time that I read it and I’m able to ignore all of its flaws. It gave me those heart achy feelings that I love and stayed with me long after I closed the final page. This is a book that I strongly recommend so if its not on your shelf or ereader yet then you should fix that using the handy dandy links provided above. Then come back here and tell me how much you loved it and how you are longing for Eric’s story too, because really, who doesn’t love a book with a bad boy?

irishdarkblue

IR - Play On

Add First & Then by Emma Mills to Goodreads. (Review coming soon.)

Add On the Fence by Kasie West to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

four-stars
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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Review: Make it Count by Megan Erickson

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, New Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Make it Count by Megan EricksonMake it Count by Megan Erickson
Series: Bowler University,
Published by William Morrow on 03 June 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Friends to Lovers, Friendship, Love & Romance, New Adult, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues
Pages: 336
Format: Paperback
Source: Gift
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: Trust the Focus, Focus On Me, Changing His Game, Playing for Her Heart, Tied to Trouble, Out of Frame, Strong Signal, Fast Connection, Leveling the Field

Place(s) Traveled To: Bowler, Maryland // Cross keys, Maryland

First Line(s): Kat chewed on her pen and studied her tutor’s bent head.

MAKE IT COUNT by Megan Erickson is the first book in her new adult series series set at the fictional Bowler University. The story alternates between Kat the stereotypical beautiful girl who isn’t considered to be the smartest by all those around her. She dates a lot and goes through a lot of tutors and just seems to have trouble settling on something. Though at the start of MAKE IT COUNT she does have a steady boyfriend, Max although he’s a bit of an ass throughout the entire book. He doesn’t treat Kat the best and I don’t know why she puts up with it except that she does have poor self esteem and has been conditioned to be pretty and not smart. That’s where Alec comes in. Alec is Max’s roommate, best friend, and math geek. He becomes Kat’s new tutor and the two of them start to connect.

This is where a gray line begins to form in MAKE IT COUNT and although Kat and Alec have an attraction and become closer they don’t cross the line until after Kat and Max break up. Though its a very fine line that they walk until then. But you know me, I am not a fan of books with cheating or love triangles and I can honestly say there is no cheating in MAKE IT COUNT. That’s not to say that MAKE IT COUNT doesn’t have its frustrations. Kat is particularly frustrating because I find it hard that she made it as far as she did in life without people learning a certain thing about her. Though at the same time you do have to admire how far she’s come despite all the difficulties and struggles she’s had to deal with.

Make it Count Quote

MAKE IT COUNT was filled with stereotypes and the dreaded…oh so dreaded lack of communication. I know that there needs to be drama and conflict in a novel but MAKE IT COUNT had enough of that without adding in obtuse characters who refuse to speak to each other. And like many a book the ending of this one felt a little rushed. I am also concerned with the fact that Max is supposed to be the hero of the second book in this series, MAKE IT RIGHT (goodreads), because he’s just such an absolute ass throughout this book and he’s a terrible friend to Alec. Though I also thought that Jimmy and Silas were irredeemable characters and they have both become two of my favorite romantic heroes.

While MAKE IT COUNT isn’t my favorite new adult novel it is a quick read and filled with that romantic tension that Megan Erickson is so good at. Her books are always very readable and easy to get lost within its pages They are quick reads and a fun way to waste a few hours without having to think too much. MAKE IT COUNT is a great book to toss in your beach bag as you spend your day by the sea. And while I am on the fence about MAKE IT RIGHT I will probably read it at some point because I do usually enjoy a Megan Erickson book.

irishdarkblue

IR - Make it Count

 

Add The Friend Zone by Kristen Callihan to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add The Deal by Elle Kennedy to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

three-stars
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