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Posts Tagged: America: Connecticut

Monday, May 30, 2016

Audio Review: You by Caroline Kepnes

Posted by Irish in 5 Stars, Adult, Audiobook, Review0 Comments

Audio Review: You by Caroline KepnesYou by Caroline Kepnes
Narrator: Santino Fontana
Series: You,
Also in this series: Hidden Bodies (You, #2)
Published by Simon & Schuster Audio on 30 Sept 2014
Genres: Abduction, Adult, Contemporary (No Romance Focus), Dating & Sex, Death & Dying, Emotions & Feelings, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Suspense, Thrillers
Length: 11 hrs and 6 mins
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible.com
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
five-stars
Also by this author: Hidden Bodies (You, #2)

Place(s) Traveled To: New York, New York // Bridgeport, Connecticut // Little Compton, Rhode Island // Fall River, Massachusetts

First Line(s): You walk into the bookstore and you keep your hand on the door to make sure it doesn’t slam.

 

My first thought upon finishing YOU by Caroline Kepnes was “what the heck did I just read?” but more than that I was lost in just how good it was. YOU is supremely well written and takes a character, in this case Joe Goldberg, who is a terrible terrible person and makes you LIKE him. Not just that but you kind of sympathize with him and understand why he is doing what he is doing. Which is a total mind fuck since Joe is a deranged stalker who kills people and so shouldn’t be a sympathetic character. From the moment that I started YOU on audio I was enthralled. Santino Fontana *is* Joe Goldberg and he totally brings this character and this world to life. I can’t imagine experiencing this book in any other format than the audio because Fontana is just such a great narrator. He gave me chills and he made me like Joe. Again, Joe is not a character to like so its slightly disturbing and part of what makes YOU such a good book.

I know that YOU isn’t a book that is for everyone and I think that a reader will either love it or hate it. I don’t think that there is any shades of grey with this one. Because Joe is crazy. There is no way around it but the people that he meets aren’t the best either. Not that any of them deserve their fate but when you see them through Joe’s eyes and hear his thoughts you can believe his rationale as it works for him. Even as you sit on the edge of your seat begging the other person to make a different choice since you know what Joe has planned if they make the wrong one. Before I read YOU I really didn’t think it would be a book that I would like but after…well…after I found it hard to leave Kepne’s world behind because she is just so talented and her words so powerful that I wanted the story to last.

You Quote

If you like thrillers and audiobooks that I strongly recommend that you experience YOU in that format. I think that the spoken word is just so powerful at times and with Fontana as the narrator it almost feels like you are sitting across form Joe listening to him tell his story. Which is terrifying since, as I’ve said, he’s a crazy stalker who kills people and not the sort of person that you ever want to cross paths with. Joe is a total sociopath and I just bow down to Kepnes in her characterization of this character. Joe is just so real that you really think he’s in the room with you as this book progresses whispering in your ear and sending chills down your spine. The images that Kepnes’s words evoke are so vivid that if I closed my eyes I could picture each and every one.

YOU was a fantastic listening experience and one that I wish I could experience again for the first time. This is seriously one of my favorite reads of the year and I like it more the more I think back on it. YOU is the sort of book that stays with you long after you read it and is a really hard experience to describe to others. I could not stop listening to this book and think its unlike any other story out there. Its totally riveting and I really can’t wait to see what Kepnes comes up with next. If you haven’t experienced this book yet then you need to move it up your TBR pile. I don’t think that you’ll be disappointed!!

irishdarkblue

IR - You

Add Stolen by Lucy Christopher to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

As of this posting, there is only one book that I can think of that makes a good read-a-like for YOU. If I think of something later then I will update this post. Or if you know of I good read-a-like then let me know in the comments and I’ll credit you and link back to your review!

five-stars
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Monday, March 7, 2016

Review: The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

Posted by Irish in 4.5 Stars, Review, Young Adult1 Comment

Review: The Unexpected Everything by Morgan MatsonThe Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson
Published by Simon & Schuster on 03 May 16
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Young Adult
Pages: 496
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-half-stars
Also by this author: Amy & Roger's Epic Detour, Second Chance Summer, Since You've Been Gone

Place(s) Traveled To: Stanwich, Connecticut

First Line(s): I flexed my feet in too-tight shoes and made myself stand up straight, trying to ignore the rapid fire clicking of cameras going off all around me.

Dear Reader,

Oh how you are in for a treat when it comes to Morgan Matson’s newest book, THE UNEXPECTED EVERYTHING. Unlike the title this book was everything I expected and more. I adored the character of Andie who is struggling a bit due to a scandal her political father finds himself in which ends up messing up some of her carefully laid plans. Andie is the sort of girl who doesn’t just have a 5 year plan, she has a 10 year plan, and the spreadsheets to go along with it. She’s smart and driven and most importantly she’s focused. So she’s at a bit of a loss when her premium, hard won internship is yanked out from under her right before she’s supposed to depart and at a bit of lose ends for the summer. All the prime internships have filled up months ago and she’s adrift on trying to find something to fill that gap on her college applications.

But sometimes the unexpected isn’t the worst thing that could happen and maybe, just maybe, traveling on the road not taken is the best decision that you can do. Which is how Andie finds herself walking dogs for the summer complete with a clever spin on how to make it work on her applications and discovers something about herself and all her carefully laid plans. She gets to spend more time with her friends and actually living life while also getting to know her father a little bit more. Her father has been mostly absent for years due to his politician job and so there there a bit of clashing when he tries to parent a girl who has parented herself just fine for the last few years.

Unexpected Everything Quote

As with all Morgan Matson books there are some fun cameos from past characters and its always fun to catch these little glimpses. Matson also really excels at the character development and I loved the journey that Andie takes from the girl she thought she was to the girl she really is. I loved her friends and her romantic interest Clark and I loved watching Andie walk on the unexpected path. I totally devoured THE UNEXPECTED EVERYTHING and I loved almost ever word of it. I could have done without the book excerpts, which were a little too reminiscent of FANGIRL for me, and ones that I ended up skipping entirely as the book went on. Though I did like the story that Andie and Clark talked about on their walks and thought that was a lot of fun to read. And while I would like to read that story, and even the one in the excerpts, I would prefer to have a full book and not these random snippets that don’t add to this particular story.

Like most Matson books, I devoured THE UNEXPECTED EVERYTHING. It made my heart ache and I couldn’t read the words fast enough. This book made me long for summer days and hanging out with friends and I totally wanted to partake in Palmer’s Scavenger Hunt. THE UNEXPECTED EVERYTHING is a wonderful book of family and friendship and finding your way. Its a great book that shows that maybe what you’ve always thought you wanted isn’t really what you need. Its a book that reminds you to enjoy life and friends and knowing that every day is a day of self-discovery and that your life journey is always unfolding. THE UNEXPECTED EVERYTHING is sure to wow all Morgan Matson fans and hopefully bring new ones into the fold. I know that, as with all Matson’s books, that I’ll be re-reading THE UNEXPECTED EVERYTHING often and I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next!

 

irishdarkblue

IR - Unexpected Everything

Add Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

four-half-stars
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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Review: The Score by Elle Kennedy

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, New Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: The Score by Elle KennedyThe Score by Elle Kennedy
Series: Off-Campus,
Also in this series: The Deal, The Mistake
Published by Self-Published on 11 January 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Friendship, Love & Romance, New Adult, Social Issues, Sports & Athletics
Pages: 249
Format: eARC
Source: Publicist
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: The Deal, The Mistake, Him, Us

Place(s) Traveled To: Hastings, Massachusetts // Brooklyn, New York // Manhattan, New York

First Line(s): Can we talk? 

Nothing makes me all bouncy with excitement like a new Elle Kennedy book and so I jumped at a chance to read THE SCORE which is the newest book in her Off-Campus series. THE SCORE stars Dean, the roommate of the male leads in THE DEAL (my review) and THE MISTAKE (my review), and Allie who is Hannah’s BFF, also seen in THE DEAL. Allie is just getting over a breakup with her long term boyfriend after a night that involved Tequila she ends up sleeping with resident man-whore Dean, king of the one night stand. And like all good man whores he falls hard when he finally meets his match. I loved the chemistry between Dean and Allie and loved how their story progressed. I was engrossed from the first page and I found that I couldn’t put this down once I’d started. It made my heart ache in all the ways that I love and I may have let out a happy little sight when I finished.

There’s just something about Allie and Dean that really works in THE SCORE and I loved reading about them, learning their backstories and see their journey to their happily every after. As with most New Adult stories THE SCORE comes complete with a break up moment and while not a pointless one as in most it seemed to lack a certain something. THE SCORE was filled with some great moments, Kennedy really built a great relationship with Allie and Dean and then you have this moment. Its sad and tragic and just seemed to come out of nowhere. It lacked….something….and just left me a bit underwhelmed. Then there was that moment at the end that just seemed so forced and while it acts as a lead in for THE GOAL (goodreads) I am not sure if that is a story I want to read based on the characters involved. Well, one character in particular.

The Score Quote

One thing that I really liked about THE SCORE was all the cameos in this book as Dean’s teammates really make me laugh a their antics and its always fun seeing how old friends are doing. I love seeing the friendships that exist in this book continue throughout the various stories as they really help to flesh out the world. Even those characters that you don’t really care for. Elle Kennedy’s THE SCORE is a Mary Poppins sort of book which means its nearly perfect in every way. THE SCORE has its flaws but they don’t keep you from loving the score and characters and world that Kennedy has created.

THE SCORE is a book that can be read independently, just as any of the Off-Campus books can, but the whole story becomes richer when you read them all. This is one of those series that I can’t help but recommend to all who enjoy a good new adult romance. Kennedy writes smart, funny characters and really knows how to write the sexy times. I know that I will be entertained by an Elle Kennedy and even though I’m currently on the fence about THE GOAL. I was once on the fence about ALL BROKE DOWN as well and we all know how that turned out (my review.)

 

irishdarkblue

IR - The Score

 

Add Rule by Jay Crownover to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Whisper to Me by Christina Lee to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

 

four-stars
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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Review: The Fifteenth Minute by Sarina Bowen

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, New Adult, Review1 Comment

Review: The Fifteenth Minute by Sarina BowenThe Fifteenth Minute by Sarina Bowen
Series: The Ivy Years,
Also in this series: The Year We Fell Down, The Year We Hid Away, The Understatement of the Year, Blonde Date, The Shameless Hour
Published by Self-Published on 13 October 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Friendship, Love & Romance, Movie Stars, New Adult, Short Story / Novella, Social Issues
Pages: 294
Format: eARC
Source: Author
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: The Year We Fell Down, The Year We Hid Away, The Understatement of the Year, Blonde Date, The Shameless Hour, Him, Coming in from the Cold, Us, Bittersweet, Steadfast, Rookie Move (Brooklyn Bruisers, #1)

Place(s) Traveled To: Harkness, Connecticut // New York, New York // Huntington, New York

First Line(s):promised myself that I wouldn’t spend my second semester of college huddle in my room playing Dragonfire.

In The Fifteenth Minute, Sarina Bowen returns once again to Harkness University and this time tells the story of Lianne and DJ, both of whom we meet in The Shameless Hour (my review.) Though this is part of a series, just like the other books, it can be read independently. The story starts the semester after Shameless Hour ends and so Lianne and Bella have settled into their friendship. Lianne is still shy about wandering out in public due to the mixed reactions she gets but she is trying. She and DJ also have a really cute meet/cute near the end of Shameless Hour and I was glad to hear that they would be the stars of this book.

Both Lianne and DJ are dealing with complicated life issues and while Lianne’s issues are known (she’s an actress in a famous book to series film franchise – think Emma Watson as Hermione) DJ’s are not. Over the course of the story you do learn what demons DJ is facing and while at times the crypticness of it all annoyed me it wasn’t overdone. The story was heartbreaking at times as these two characters couldn’t always find a common ground despite the growing attraction that they had for each other. As with many a romance it tended to come down to all or nothing and there was no way to exist in between. Which also frustrates me in books. When that happens I just want to reach into the pages and shake the characters and yell at them to find a compromise!

Fifteenth Minute Quote

DJ could also be such a Debbie downer at times but I did love seeing him start to find hope in his situation. And I loved how he and Lianne interacted. I also loved Lianne’s interactions with DJ’s housemates and other hockey team members. It was fun watching them learn that she was more than just a childhood movie star and was someone who could kick their collective asses at one of their favorite past times, outside of hockey. The Fifteenth Minute was a quick read and I enjoyed it but in the end it didn’t give me those heart achey feels that I adore in stories. There was just something missing that kept me from loving this one completely.

Maybe it was because of DJ’s doom and gloom side or maybe its because I wanted a little more from the ending or maybe it was just that DJs epiphany came on so quick and sudden that it was hard to believe. There just seemed to be a few things left incomplete and it left me feeling unsatisfied. But overall I do still love this series and I enjoy each installment. I love all the cameos of characters from previous books and seeing where they are traveling to outside of their stories. I’m looking forward to Bowen’s next Ivy Years book as I do so adore the students of Harkness University and I am looking forward to catching little peaks into DJ and Lianne’s life to see where they end up next.

irishdarkblue

IR - Fifteenth Minute

Add Not in the Script by Amy Finnegan to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Revived by Samantha Towle to Goodreads. (Review coming soon.)

three-stars
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Friday, August 14, 2015

Review: The Boy Most Likely To by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Posted by Irish in 4.5 Stars, Review, Young Adult2 Comments

Review: The Boy Most Likely To by Huntley FitzpatrickThe Boy Most Likely To by Huntley Fitzpatrick
Series: My Life Next Door, Book 2
Also in this series: My Life Next Door
Published by Dial on 18 August 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friends to Lovers, Friendship, Love & Romance, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 432
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
four-half-stars
Also by this author: My Life Next Door, What I Thought Was True

Place(s) Traveled To: Stony Bay, Connecticut

First Line(s): I’ve been summoned to see the Nowhere Man.

 

I really don’t know where to begin on bringing my thoughts about THE BOY MOST LIKELY TO by Huntley Fitzpatrick as I just fell head over heels for this story. I first fell for Tim Mason when he made an appearance in MY LIFE NEXT DOOR (my review) and I was so happy when Fitzpatrick announced that he was getting his own story. But I was a bit wary as well as there were part of MY LIFE NEXT DOOR that I could have done without. I didn’t need to worry though because this book was such an amazing read that I found hard to put down once I started it. Tim’s story just made my heart ache and I just loved how he was with Alice. Though I could have done without the whole Brad storyline especially since it just felt so unresolved. There were things started that weren’t followed through on and it just seemed to have been forgotten about towards the end.

To say I had a lot of feelings for THE BOY MOST LIKELY TO is an understatement you just have to look at my Goodreads updates to see that I had a lot to say and that doesn’t even include all the notes and highlights that I made throughout my egalley. THE BOY MOST LIKELY TO just hit all the right notes for me. This book gave me ALL THE FEELS and I just wanted to reach into its pages and hug Tim a half dozen times over. I loved how he was with Alice and I mostly loved how their relationship progressed. I also loved the addition of the younger Garretts which says a lot because normally I’m pretty anti-children in books since they always seem so forced. The secondary characters were all delightful and I loved each and every one…well with the exception of Nan, Grace Reed, and Tim’s dad. Those characters I just wanted to shake and kick out of the story.

 

Boy Most Likely To Quote

THE BOY MOST LIKELY TO isn’t a perfect book but it was perfect for me during the time in which I read it. I loved the growth of Tim’s character from how he was at the start of MY LIFE NEXT DOOR. I loved how he stepped up and did the right thing even when there were questions on if it really was his responsibility or not. Though I do think that that part of the storyline was wrapped up a little too neatly for realism. But its a book and when you love a book you can forgive its flaws which is what I do with THE BOY MOST LIKELY TO. Oh all Fitzpatrick’s books this one is my favorite. I think it will always hold a special place in my heart for just how well Fitzpatrick dealt with a difficult issue and with how she portrayed Tim’s growth and maturity.

This is a book in which I’ll sing its praises to anyone who asks. Its one that you can read independently of MY LIFE NEXT DOOR as Fitzpatrick does do a good job of explaining what came before but to get the full picture it probably is best to read in order. I liked how there was no big WTF-ery in this one as I found with MY LIFE NEXT DOOR and I loved Alice’s strength when she was dealing with the vile Grace Reed. Oh how I disliked Grace Reed!! THE BOY MOST LIKELY TO is a fast paced read that you won’t want to put down. You’ll get sucked into its pages and just fall in love with this world and the Garretts all over again. This one is a must read so you should run write out and grab a copy of it today.

irishdarkblue

IR - Boy Most Likely To

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

Add Bright Before Sunrise by Tiffany Schmidt to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

four-half-stars
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Sunday, April 26, 2015

Review: The Shameless Hour by Sarina Bowen

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, New Adult, Review1 Comment

Review: The Shameless Hour by Sarina BowenThe Shameless Hour by Sarina Bowen
Series: The Ivy Years,
Also in this series: The Year We Fell Down, The Year We Hid Away, The Understatement of the Year, Blonde Date, The Fifteenth Minute
Published by Self-Published on 14 April 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Friendship, Girls & Women, Love & Romance, New Adult, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Sports & Athletics
Pages: 317
Format: eBook
Source: Author
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: The Year We Fell Down, The Year We Hid Away, The Understatement of the Year, Blonde Date, Him, The Fifteenth Minute, Coming in from the Cold, Us, Bittersweet, Steadfast, Rookie Move (Brooklyn Bruisers, #1)

Place(s) Traveled To: Etna, Connecticut // New York, New York

First Line(s): It had been two hours since I blew out twenty candles on the cake Ma made for me, but my ass was still parked at Restaurante Tipico.

The Shameless Hour by Sarina Bowen is the fourth book in her Ivy Years series and is Bella’s story. Bella is a well known secondary character in the series and you learn a bit more about her in The Understatement of the Year (my review) and I was really excited when I heard that she was finally getting her own book. Bella’s love interest is Rafe, a quiet guy who lives in her building and who is an acquaintance of Bella’s. After a bad night for them both they end up sleeping together which is no big deal for Bella but is huge for Rafe because he was a virgin and while he wasn’t saving himself for marriage he would have preferred to be in a more committed relationship. There are then awkward moments between the two as they both misunderstand the other until something happens that shakes Bella to the core and brings her and Rafe closer together.

Oh how my heart ached for Bella in this book and I thought that Rafe was the perfect boy for her. They are both flawed but together they make this perfect whole, that is when they aren’t totally misunderstanding each other. But unlike most books where misunderstandings lead to breakups as the people involved never talk Bella and Rafe only end up closer together. Yes, there are things between them that aren’t said right away but when details are revealed they listen and grow more and more in like with each other. They may have started as casual acquaintances with a one-night stand but over time they become friends and then fall in love.

Shameless Hour Quote

There were a few things that I didn’t like though, like how Bella was sometimes so stubborn that she wouldn’t really listen to Rafe was saying but I loved how he kept trying. Or that there weren’t enough cameos from Graham and Rikker because those two!!  Though I did like the addition of, Lianne, the semi-reclusive neighbor of Bella and who becomes a really good friend to her when Bella allows her to be. Because Bella, for all her spunk and brash behavior has a habit of never letting anyone get to close to her. She’s flirty and fun but she doesn’t get real until life really forces her to take a hard look at herself and she allows herself to trust and let people in. And in the end she’s still flirty, sassy and brash but she’s also so much more because she has people beside her holding her up when she needs it.

If you like new adult romance then I would highly recommend Sarina Bowen’s The Ivy Years series, they are books that just keep getting better with each one. I loved seeing Bella in flashes over the previous books but it wasn’t until The Shameless Hour that you really get to know her in all her complexity. I loved Rafe and I adored the two of them together. This was a real heart-achy book and I hope that we get to see more of these two in the next book in the series because I do hate saying goodbye to them. Though I am sure that this is a couple that I’ll re-visit every so often with a re-read and so even though the story is over it doesn’t really end.

irishdarkblue

IR - Shameless Hour

 

Add Raw Blue by Kirsty Eagar to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Easy by Tammara Webber to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

four-stars
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Sunday, March 22, 2015

Review: Blonde Date by Sarina Bowen

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, New Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Blonde Date by Sarina BowenBlonde Date by Sarina Bowen
Series: The Ivy Years,
Also in this series: The Year We Fell Down, The Year We Hid Away, The Understatement of the Year, The Shameless Hour, The Fifteenth Minute
Published by Self-Published on 06 July 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Love & Romance, New Adult, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Short Story / Novella, Sports & Athletics
Pages: 109
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: The Year We Fell Down, The Year We Hid Away, The Understatement of the Year, The Shameless Hour, Him, The Fifteenth Minute, Coming in from the Cold, Us, Bittersweet, Steadfast, Rookie Move (Brooklyn Bruisers, #1)

Place(s) Traveled To: Etna, Connecticut

First Line(s): With a growing sense of panic, I pawed through the clothes in my narrow little dorm room closet.

Blonde Date by Sarina Bowen is a novella that takes place around the same time as The Year We Hid Away. This novella features Bridger’s neighbor Andy and Scarlet’s roommate Katie. Andy is also known to Scarlet from back home in New Hampshire and she sets them up on a date when Katie needs to bring an athlete to one of her sorority events. Katie will only date athletes, and its also something strongly encouraged by her sorority and her boyfriend broke up with her shortly before the start of the novel. Enter in Andy, a sweet geeky guy that will just make you swoon. He’s the sort of book boyfriend that you wish was a real person as he’s just so genuine and nice.

At the start of the novella, Katie is a bit of a snob but you quickly learn that she’s just a tad bit insecure. She’s a little judgmental at first and looks down a bit on Andy since he plays on the basketball team and not football but over the course of their night together she learns to see beyond the superficial to the sweet guy underneath.

I really enjoyed Blonde Date and read it quickly and my only real complaint was that it wasn’t longer. I think that I would have liked to see these two characters spend more time together and really get to know each other. And also there was so much potential for reader feels to be had. Though there were still some heart warming moments within these pages.

If you have been thinking of checking out Sarina Bowen’s books then Blonde Date might be a good place for you to start. It doesn’t spoil for any of the other books and it can stand pretty well on its one. Its a short read and will give you a good idea on this authors writing style. As I said, I enjoyed this one and continue to enjoy Bowen’s stories.

irishdarkblue

Blonde Date Quote

four-stars
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Monday, February 23, 2015

Review: Right of Way by Lauren Barnholdt

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

Review: Right of Way by Lauren BarnholdtRight of Way by Lauren Barnholdt
Series: Two-Way Street, Book 2
Also in this series: Two-Way Street
Published by Simon Pulse on 09 July 2013
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Friendship, People & Places, Road Trip, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 320
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: Two-Way Street, Through to You

Place(s) Traveled To: Siesta Key, Florida // Greenwich, Connecticut // Sarasota, Florida // Bradenton, Florida // Ocala, Florida // Savannah, Georgia // Richmond Hill, Georgia

First Line(s): I’m a traitor to my generation.

Right of Way by Lauren Barnholdt is a companion book to her story, Two-Way Street (my review) and follows the cousin of Courtney. The two books are very similar in premise that they are almost interchangeable. The only real differences are the names, there is a dog and Jace is driving Peyton home and they are not heading off to college together. They have an existing relationship but unlike Courtney and Jordan theirs is more of a summer time fling but like Jordan, Jace just cuts off all contact without a word leaving Peyton all sorts of heart-broken. These aren’t a grouping of books that you want to read back to back as you’ll just get frustrated at the almost copy & paste of the story. But with some time in between the two the similarities aren’t quite as glaring though still pretty obvious.

Peyton, like Courtney, is a bit of an unlikable character and I just don’t get what Jace sees in her and the reason he had for cutting off all contact was just dumb. With as close as they were supposed to be the fact that he didn’t ask her to explain was just rage inducing. Ugh to the ugh ugh ugh with the pointless breakup!! Nothing frustrates me more than that and this was just made me sigh and roll my eyes.

Right of Way Quote

Overall though, Right of Way, is a quick brain candy type of read and its a good follow-up to an emotionally draining book. Its not a deep story and it doesn’t take long to read which makes it a great pallet cleanser. While I didn’t like Peyton at first she does change during the story and I do cheer for her and Jace’s inevitable coming back together. While this isn’t a book that I will re-read its not one that I feel like I wasted my time on either. Even with all the similarities to Two-Way Street.

irishdarkblue

IR - Right of Way

Add How My Summer Went up in Flames by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Trust the Focus by Megan Erickson to Goodreads (Review coming soon.)

three-stars
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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Review: The Understatement of the Year by Sarina Bowen

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, New Adult, Review1 Comment

Review: The Understatement of the Year by Sarina BowenThe Understatement of the Year by Sarina Bowen
Series: The Ivy Years,
Also in this series: The Year We Fell Down, The Year We Hid Away, Blonde Date, The Shameless Hour, The Fifteenth Minute
Published by Self-Published on 15 Oct 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Friends to Lovers, Friendship, GLBT, Love & Romance, New Adult, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Sports & Athletics
Format: eBook
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: The Year We Fell Down, The Year We Hid Away, Blonde Date, The Shameless Hour, Him, The Fifteenth Minute, Coming in from the Cold, Us, Bittersweet, Steadfast, Rookie Move (Brooklyn Bruisers, #1)

Place(s) Traveled To: Etna, Connecticut // Brattleboro, Vermont // Boston, Massachusetts

First Line(s): In all my favorite movies, when something bad was going to happen, the protagonist usually sensed it.

Internet,

Let me tell you a secret. I only started reading Sarina Bowen’s Ivy Years series to get to this book, The Understatement of the Year. This is the third book in the series and came to me highly recommended by a friend. She said I could probably start the series here with this book but I do like to read my series in order when I can and while I liked the previous books, The Year We Fell Down (my review) and The Year We Hid Away (my review). I didn’t love them although I did really enjoy the novella Blonde Date (review to come) and wish that had been longer. The Understatement of the Year takes place almost concurrently with The Year We Hid Away and follows Michael Graham, the one who takes Bridger’s place on the Harkness hockey team. We quickly learn that Graham has secrets and most revolve around the new player John Rikker, who just happens to be one of the first openly gay hockey players on the collegiate circuit.

The Understatement of the Year is a contemporary romance that will make your heart ache. The angst and the longing and the emotions that Graham and Rikker put you through make you want to turn the pages faster and faster. Its a book filled with friendship and redemption and finding yourself. Its also a book that contains one of my favorite romance tropes, the second chance at love. I do so adore a story where the characters have a back story, an existing relationship and heartache that they need to overcome. It just adds a little something to overall story arc when it is done right and Sarina Bowen does it right.

Understatement of the Year Quote

Of all the books in this series to date, The Understatement of the Year, is my favorite. It hits all the right notes and really tugs on the heart strings. This book made my heart ache and I just loved watching Rikker and Graham come together as they sought their happily ever after. My only real disappointment was that the book had to end as I wasn’t ready to leave these characters behind. I wanted more of their story and more of some of the secondary characters like Rikker’s grandmother and Skippy.

The Understatement of the Year is a wonderful romance story for those that like a good romance. Its a quick read and hard to put down. Its a book that I know that I will re-read on those days when I just need to get lost in a book that I know will make my heart happy. I enjoyed it and I think that you will too.

irishdarkblue

IR- Understatement of Year

Add Trust the Focus by Megan Erickson to Goodreads.

Add Waiting for Ty by Samantha Ann King to Goodreads. (Click here for my review)

four-stars
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Monday, January 19, 2015

Review: The Year We Hid Away by Sarina Bowen

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

Review: The Year We Hid Away by Sarina BowenThe Year We Hid Away by Sarina Bowen
Series: The Ivy Years, Book 2
Also in this series: The Year We Fell Down, The Understatement of the Year, Blonde Date, The Shameless Hour, The Fifteenth Minute
Published by Self-Published on 01 June 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, Love & Romance, New Adult, Parents, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Sports & Athletics
Pages: 274
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: The Year We Fell Down, The Understatement of the Year, Blonde Date, The Shameless Hour, Him, The Fifteenth Minute, Coming in from the Cold, Us, Bittersweet, Steadfast, Rookie Move (Brooklyn Bruisers, #1)

Place(s) Traveled To: Sterling, New Hampshire // Etna, Connecticut

First Line(s): The minute I heard the hum of the garage door opener, I was in motion.

The Year We Hid Away by Sarina Bowen is the second book in her Ivy Years series and picks up about a year after The Year We Fell Down takes place. This book follows Hartley’s friend and Hockey teammate Bridger and a new character named Scarlet. If the theme of The Year We Fell Down was healing than the them of this book was secrets as both Bridger and Scarlet are hiding some pretty big ones. At the start of this book we learn that Scarlet has changed her name and essentially run away from home to college and Bridger has quit the Hockey team for reasons that are revealed over the course of the story. We also learn that like Corey, Scarlet is also a Hockey player and she too has quit the sport for reasons that are also revealed as the story progresses.

OVerall, I did like The Year We Hid Away better than The Year We Fell Down but I still had some issues with the story. There were some continuity errors that took me out of the story and just drove me mad. For example, in one scene Scarlet is reading a newspaper but then it turns into a website and then in the next paragraph its a newspaper again. *le sigh* It was enough to make my head spin at times. Scarlet was also annoying as she was so judgmental of others, especially her roommates, and a bit slow on the the uptake with certain reveals that others saw coming from a mile away.

Year We Hid Away Quote

 

Bridger and Scarlet did annoy me at times and there was the cliche of the pointless breakup. But I did like how they interacted with each other when they were together. Scarlet had a lot of character growth throughout the novel and she went from a spoiled, judgmental princess to someone who was a little bit more down to earth. Although she did still have some entitlement issues and a lack of understanding on how the world worked. One thing I did like was Scarlett’s friend from high school and Bridger’s neighbor Andrew. He added a sense of normalcy and balance to all the crazy that was going on and I just loved all the scenes that he was in.

I also found The Year We Hid Away to be a bit slow moving and then the ending it was all rush rush rush time to wrap up ALL THE THINGS! And there were a lot of things to wrap up because Scarlet and Bridger had SO MANY ISSUES! It was almost too much at times and it became a bit overpowering. The Year We Hid Away is not without its issues but there are definitely worse books out there and while I didn’t love this one I did like it enough that I didn’t feel as though I wasted my time and money on it.

 

irishdarkblue

Irish Recommends - Year We Hid Away
three-stars
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