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Posts Tagged: America: Alabama

Monday, April 7, 2014

Review: Open Road Summer by Emery Lord

Posted by Irish in 5 Stars, Review, Young Adult2 Comments

Review: Open Road Summer by Emery LordOpen Road Summer by Emery Lord
Published by Walker on 15 April 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Friendship, Love & Romance, Music & Musicians, Performing Arts, Road Trip, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 336
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
five-stars
Also by this author: The Start of Me and You

Place(s) Traveled To: Nashville, Tennessee // Charlotte, North Carolina //Richmond, Virginia // Charleston, South Carolina // Little Rock, Arkansas // Wichita, Kansas // Los Angeles, California // Shreveport, Louisiana // Jackson, Mississippi // Mobile, Alabama // Knoxville, Tennessee // New York, New York // Baltimore, Maryland // Cincinnati, Ohio

First Line(s): The fans scream for her, but they don’t really know the girl on the magazine covers – the girl with the guitar and the easy smile.

Open Road Summer by Emery Lord wasn’t a book on my radar until it was sent to me when I made a request for another book and once I read the back I knew that this would be a book for me. Once I read the words road trip I knew that I had to read it because everyone knows what a sucker I am for the road trip novel. Open Road Summer didn’t disappoint in this either and every chapter begins with a place name letting the read know roughly where they are in the US. The story itself follows Reagan and her BFF Dee, who is better known to the world as Lilah an up and coming country music star. Reagan and Dee are both getting out of relationships and while it was a good choice for Reagan, Dee is devastated. The reasons for both become clear as you read the story and your heart will ache for Dee. Along the way some bad publicity threatens to overshadow Dee’s tour so in comes Matt Finch, former boy band star who is going solo, and a perfect match for Dee. At least, on the surface.

Once I started Open Road Summer I couldn’t put it down and I read it in a single sitting, on Valentine’s day no less. I feel hard for this book and I loved the relationship between Dee and Reagan. So often in books the main character has a best friend who really isn’t a friend at all. They are mean and hateful and when the going gets tough they ditch their friend and are never there when they need them. That isn’t the case with Dee and Reagan. They are true friends and while they do have their ups and downs you know that their friendship is the lasting kind. Especially since Reagan isn’t always the easiest person to get along with. I also really loved how Matt fit into their group and how his relationship with Reagan. It was real and heartachey and just makes you feel all the feels.

There is so much to love about Open Road Summer its hard to put it all into words. Its a book that is really well written and its hard to believe that this is Emery Lord’s debut novel. Its a book that reminds me of favorite authors like Morgan Matson, Tiffany Schmidt, and Trish Doller. Open Road Summer is so very real and I hated for it to end. I hated that I read this months before its release because its going to be all the longer before there is another Emery Lord book in the word. Its a book that I know I’ll re-read again and again and bully others to read it as well. But there is something magical about reading an unexpected gem for the first time and Open Road Summer hits all those right notes.

Open Road Summer is a book that everyone needs to have on their radar as I think there is something in it for everyone. Its a road trip book, a contemporary story, a book about friendship, and falling in love. Its a book that will make you laugh and hurt your heart and then put all the pieces back together again. Love just isn’t a big enough word for my feelings on this book.

irishdarkblue

five-stars
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Saturday, January 4, 2014

Short Story Saturday: Grim – The Key by Rachel Hawkins

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Review, Short Story Saturday0 Comments

Short Story Saturday: Grim – The Key by Rachel Hawkins

Short Story Saturday: Grim – The Key by Rachel HawkinsThe Key by Rachel Hawkins
Series: Grim,
Also in this series: Figment, The Raven Princess, Thinner Than Water, Before the Rose Bloomed, Beast/Beast, The Brothers Piggett, Untethered, Better, Light It Up
Published by Harlequin Teen on 25 February 2014
Genres: Anthology, Fantasy, Short Story / Novella, Young Adult
Pages: 21
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Goodreads
four-stars

 

Short Story Saturday is a new thing that I am going to be trying out here at Ticket to Anywhere where I start to read some of the various anthologies I have, one story at a time. I’m going to kick off part 2 of Short Story Saturday with Grim which the book synopsis describes as  “In the days when fairy tales were first spun, they weren’t the sweet and cheerful stories we tell today. Back then, fairy tales were terrifying. They were a warning to the listener to stay out of the night, to keep away from the mystical and ignore the mysterious.”

Place(s) Traveled To: Near Auburn, Alabama

First Line(s):  High school is hard enough without having a psychic for a mom.

Original Story: Bluebeard

The Key by Rachel Hawkins is the first story in the Grim Anthology which will be released by Harlequin Teen in February. This anthology is all about fairy tale retellings and as that is one of my favorite story concepts I just had to have this book. The Key is a quick story and one where that seems to end before it begins. This is always the problem with short stories and many novellas as they just don’t always have the time to tell a complete story. In The Key we meet Lana who is the daughter of a psychic and she herself has some powers too. And as most books that involve psychics have shown it often happens that something is seen that can not be unseen. This is the pivotal moment in the story and the one that sets the readers heart racing and quickly turning the pages until you see what happens.

The Key does a splendid job of creating all the suspense of a full length novel and this is one that I really hated to end. I am so curious to know what happens next and wish that this was some sort of prequel to a larger story. You can be sure that if Rachel Hawkins ever decided to expand this story I would read it in a heart beat. But then I pretty much would devour anything that Hawkins wrote her writing is just that good. While I hated how short this one was I did love all the emotions that Hawkins was able to make me feel in the few pages that she had to tell this story.

irishdarkblue

four-stars
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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Review: Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, New Adult, Review, Young Adult8 Comments

Review: Going Too Far by Jennifer EcholsGoing Too Far by Jennifer Echols
Published by Pocket Books on 17 March 2009
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Love & Romance, New Adult, Young Adult
Pages: 245
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: Forget You, Biggest Flirts

Place(s) Traveled to: Shelby County, Alabama

First Line: “That’s the worst idea I’ve ever heard,” I told Eric.

Last night I stayed up late in order to finish Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols but I didn’t stay up because this book was OMG good. No, instead I stayed up to finish it because I wanted it done.Last year, I read and really enjoyed Echols’s Forget You and so many reviewers/friends that I trust kept saying that Going Too Far was even better. The characters more raw, the story so moving and love interest more swoony. Sadly, for me, that wasn’t the case at all. I did not like Meg (the main character). I thought she was a bit off-putting- she’d always hide behind this wall of sarcasm and barbs meant to push people away and her internal monologue was very self-depreciating.

Meg is a girl who is a bit of a wild child she likes to break the rules and test the limits of those around her. Part of this rule breaking comes in dying her hair blue. But instead of wearing such a bold choice proudly she’d always talk down about it and how others must think of her. Like she couldn’t possibly snare a guy as hot as John After because she had blue hair. Blue haired girls where all freaks and losers and not worthy of anything. Blah blah blah. Really?? If she hated it so very much then why do it at all? And was it really Meg’s thoughts or was Echols’s putting in her own beliefs there. So her hair was blue…big deal. Look at Stephanie Perkins:

From the official site of Stephanie Perkins

She has blue hair and she is doing quite well for herself, book deals, lots of on-line stalkers fans, etc. But to hear Echols’s talk through the voice of Meg you would think that having such a bold color for hair is THE worst choice that a person could ever possibly make. Well, I am sure that Stephanie Perkins and many other friends of mine (who’ve rocked the locks in shades of green, pink, purple, etc) would disagree.

Hair color aside though…for all her tough talk Meg would put herself down. A lot. It became a serious annoyance. Here is this girl who has survived a horrible disease against the odds and all she seems to want to do is end her life as soon as possible with all her risky behavior. Talk about being a bit of a hypocrite. I know many who have died of cancer….good people who would never NEVER take their second chance for granted like Meg was doing. She kept talking about breaking free of the town and how she’d most likely be dead by 30 from things that she was doing….I was just like…wow….really? You are given this second chance and you are just gonna toss it without a care? I just couldn’t wrap my head around that. Such a waste!

Then there was John After, the supposedly swoon worthy male lead that everyone wishes were real. Yeah, not this girl. What a pompous ASS. His holy than though attitude….his over the top cop speak and mannerisms….his obsession with a bridge. He is someone I’d much rather slap than kiss and then I’d get arrested because I touched him in uniform. *rolls eyes* This character is 18 but he acts like he’s 40….in fact Meg initially thinks that he is 40….despite the fact that they were in the same Spanish class last year in school. Um yeah…while I may not remember all the people I went to high school with in the 15 years since I’ve graduated….I would recognize the faces of all my classmates if I was still in school and shared a class with them. Because like Meg, I grew up in a small town…small towns have small class sizes…and when you go to school with the same kids for a good 12 years or so. You learn who they are.

With the characters bugging me so much I haven’t talked a whole lot about plot…but there really wasn’t one. Meg gets caught trespassing on a train bridge with friends and they are all sentenced to ride a long for a week with the 3 departments that were called out when they were noticed. This was all to teach them some valuable life lessons and scare them straight. So Meg spends a week riding along in John After’s car and in 5 short days she falls madly in love with him and decides to turn her entire life around. Seriously. There was much eye rolling and disbelief when reading the last chapter of the book. It was just so unrealistic! I also never felt any real chemistry between John and Meg. So all in all this whole book fell flat for me and I think I might go re-read Forget You so I can wipe the bitter aftertaste that Going Too Far has left in my mouth.

irishdarkblue

three-stars
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