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Friday, February 19, 2016

Review: 26 Kisses by Anna Michels

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Review, Young Adult0 Comments

Review: 26 Kisses by Anna Michels26 Kisses by Anna Michels
Published by Simon Pulse on 24 May 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, Love & Romance, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Young Adult
Pages: 304
Source: Edelweiss
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Butterfield, Michigan // Trawley, Michigan

First Line(s): Seth loved me first.

When I picked up Anna Michels’s debut 26 KISSES I was hoping for a cute story with a happily ever after. I was also wary of 26 KISSES because the whole premise is for the main character, Veda, is to kiss 26 boys as a way to get over her long time boyfriend who broke up with her because he’s an asshat. Yes, I was happy that Vee was trying to move on in a unique way since the regular method (crying and ice cream wasn’t helping) but I also wanted her to find a new happily ever after….or at least a happily for now….with someone new. How can she do that though if she’s busy kissing other guys?

I needed have worried though because Michels writes a fun, quirky summer time read that made my heart ache in all the right ways. I love the challenge that Vee’s friend, Melinda, comes up with that Vee should kiss a boy whose name begins with each of the different letters of the alphabet. Now before you think that 26 KISSES is one big make out session that isn’t the case at all. Vee takes a creative mind to the kisses and while there are some make out sessions there is also Elmo the dog and a kiss on the forehead from her father. And along the way there is Killian. *swoons*

26 Kisses Quote

Killian is sure to become many a readers book boyfriend. He is sweet and funny and compliments Vee in so many ways. I love so much about this boy and I totally want to see the dashboard of his jeep! I swear if I was back in high school with my beater of a car I’d want to start doing something similar. Next to Vee I think Killian was my favorite character in 26 KISSES but I also loved Mel and Seth and all in all the secondary cast in this book is just full of win.

26 KISSES is a quick, fun read that I enjoyed more than I thought I would. Its well written and is a total feel good, brain candy sort of read. Once I started this one I found it hard to put down and had a smile on my face almost the whole time. I am really glad that I put aside my fears of love triangles and picked this one up because even though there are lots of kisses there is only one real romantic story line and its so heart-achingly good. 26 KISSES isn’t out until 24 May but you totally want this on your wishlists!

irishdarkblue

IR - 26 Kisses

Add The ABC’s of Kissing Boys by Tina Ferraro to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

four-stars
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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Review: Sophomore Year is Greek to Me by Meredith Zeitlin

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

Review: Sophomore Year is Greek to Me by Meredith ZeitlinSophomore Year Is Greek to Me by Meredith Zeitlin
Published by Putnam Juvenile on 21 April 2015
Genres: Contemporary (No Romance Focus), Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, Parents, People & Places, Road Trip, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 336
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Athens, Greece // New York, New York // Heraklion, Crete, Greece

First Line(s): Just before the clock ticks over into a brand new year, one that is going to be completely different from any I’ve experienced before, my dad and I get on a plane – my first overseas flight – heading to Greece.

Whenever I plan a trip somewhere I love to read books that are set in location when I can so it was very fortuitous that not long after I started making plans to go to Greece I was asked to review Meredith Zeitlin’s Sophomore Year is Greek to Me. The book is told from the POV of Zona who is a Sophomore in high school and who is being cruelly uprooted from her friends and home to travel with her father to Greece to finish up the school year. Zona’s father is a journalist and is going there to work on a story and also to help build a bridge between Zona and her mother’s family. At first Zona is a bit of a brat about the whole thing but she does quickly come around and grudgingly tries to make the best of the situation.

Sophomore Year is Greek to Me can be considered a companion to Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters (goodreads) as there is some character cross over but you don’t need to read it in order to enjoy Sophomore Year. For the most part I liked the narrative of Sophomore Year is Greek to Me and often found Zona to be a smart and funny character. I did get annoyed with the mock articles that were peppered throughout the story as Zona was a budding journalist like her father. I also liked the addition of her Greek family and those sections of the story. Where this one kind of lost me was the lack of a real romance to the book. There was a love interest for Zona but it was never developed much and just sort of fizzled. Which in some ways is understandable as Zona was only in Greece for a few months but often times its the romance that seals the deal for me in a book.

Sophomore Year is Greek to Me Quote

The romance wasn’t the only story line that fizzled out during the course of this book and so that made for a bit of a disjointed story. Things were started but then just sort of dropped in order to move on to other events. Then there was this big dramatic thing that totally took away from the light-heartedness that was begun over the first part of the book. There was just so much that was tossed into Sophomore Year is Greek to Me but none of it was ever fully allowed to develop so the whole story just feel a bit flat for me. Everything was just rushed and so I was left feeling a bit unsatisfied with how it all ended.

That said, I did like Zona’s journey over the course of the novel. I like how she really discovered things about herself, her mother, and where she came from. I liked the relationships that she built with her Greek family and I loved the strong bond that she had with her father. Its always nice to see a strong, healthy parental relationship in a book and Zeitlin does an amazing job with that.

Sophomore Year is Greek to Me was a bit of a slow start for me but the pages did go quickly when I sat down and focused on it. This isn’t a book that I think I’ll ever re-read but it wasn’t a terrible book. I liked the setting and enjoyed seeing Greece through Zona’s eyes. I liked Zeitlin’s writing style and do plan to read Freshman Year at some point. In some ways, I think that Sophmore Year is Greek to Me might appeal to younger audiences but older readers may struggle a bit as I did.

 

irishdarkblue

IR - Sophomore Year is Greek to Me

Add A Little Wanting Song by Cath Crowley to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

three-stars
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Friday, March 6, 2015

Review: Just One Night by Lauren Layne

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Just One Night by Lauren LayneJust One Night by Lauren Layne
Series: Stiletto,
Also in this series: Love the One You're With
Published by Loveswept on 22 April 2014
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friends to Lovers, Friendship, Love & Romance
Pages: 240
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: New York, New York // Watertown, New York // Brooklyn, New York

First Line(s): There comes a time in every single woman’s life when the man who was once eh, not bad gets promoted to good enough.

When I was preparing to go to Paris last October I was looking for some light and fluffy books to bring with me to read on the plane and when chilling around the apartment after a long day of sight seeing. Around the same time a few friends on twitter were talking about Lauren Layne’s Just One Night and I thought that it sounded like perfect reading for my trip. Just One Night is the third book in a series about four friends who all work for a woman’s magazine in New York City. Normally I don’t read a series out of order, even when the books are more companion than direct sequel as I like to know what came before. But I made an exception in this case as Just One Night included one of my favorite tropes, the best friend of a sibling forbidden love affair. Oh the tension that these books have!

Just One Night didn’t disappoint in tension and feels although there were somethings that didn’t mesh well. The timing of things didn’t always mesh with how they were written and that would often take me out of the story. For example, Sam said his mother lived 5 hours away from the city but then they only drove an hour until they were there only to spend 15 minutes and then a mention of the 5 hour drive home. Maybe its the Rhode Island girl in me but I don’t see anyone spending 10 hours on the road for a short visit somewhere. This could be different in the bigger states out west where everything is a million miles away but here on the east cost, we’re itty bitty and that just seemed so excessive.

Just One Night Quote

There was also many a time when I wanted to reach into the book and shake some sense into Riley and Sam. They made some stupid, boneheaded choices and the conflicts they had could have easily been solved if they just talked to each other. It just pains my heart when there is a pointless breakup that didn’t have to be because the main characters were just so darn stubborn! Overall though, I did enjoy Riley and Sam’s story. I thought that they had chemistry on the page and enjoyed the banter that they often shared. There is a part of me that wishes that I’d started this series at the beginning so that I could catch all the references that the previous couples made to their stories but I was never really lost during my read of Just One Night.

Just One Night was a cute, quick read and it was perfect for what I needed at the time. Lauren Layne was a new author to me but I do plan on checking out her other books. This isn’t a perfect romance but if you are looking for a fun brain candy read/palette cleanser then this might be just the book for you.

irishdarkblue

IR - Just One Night

Add Taste the Plus One by Bridget Walsh to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Taste the Heat by Rachel Harris to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

three-stars
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Monday, February 9, 2015

Audio Review: Going Rogue by Robin Benway

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

Audio Review: Going Rogue by Robin BenwayGoing Rogue by Robin Benway
Narrator: Robin Benway
Series: Also Known As, Book 2
Also in this series: Also Known As
Published by Brilliance Audio on 14 January 2014
Genres: Action & Adventure, Adolescence, Contemporary Romance, Espionage, Friendship, Love & Romance, Mystery & Detective, Social Issues, Young Adult
Length: 7 hours 22 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: Also Known As, Emmy & Oliver

Place(s) Traveled To: New York, New York // Paris, France

First Line(s): In September 2004, French police discovered a hidden chamber in the catacombs under Paris.

Going Rogue is the follow-up to Robin Benway’s girl spy story Also Known As and it picks up not long after the first book ends.  Maggie is living the life that she thought she always wanted that of a normal high school teenager. Only being normal isn’t all that its cracked up to be and Maggie finds herself missing her days as a spy. Then something happens and soon her parents are accused of crimes they didn’t commit and the whole agency, known as the Collective, that they work for seems to be crumbling around them. Its then up to Maggie and her good friend Roux to try and clear her parents names and to save the day.

As with the first book I found myself engrossed in the story and couldn’t wait to see what happened next. There were times when things seemed a little over the top and unbelievable but Benway makes it all work. Going Rogue has such a great cast that you are willing to suspend a little bit of belief because they all seem so real. I loved getting to know the characters from the old book better and meeting new ones along the way. I also liked how this book took us from New York to Paris and was just such a fast paced, unputdownable read.

Going Rogue Quote

Like the first book, Going Rogue, was narrated by the author and overall I think that she did a good job. Although I did find that her Australian and Irish accents weren’t the best. In fact, they made me cringe a little but I have heard worse and you have to admire an author who is able to carry the narration so well as you don’t typically see authors as narrators.

Going Rogue was a fast-paced story that will have you on the edge of your seat. Its a fun book filled with lots of snark and laugh out loud moments. Its a book that I was sad to see end and its one of those books that I’d like to see more installments of. I think that there is still more story to tell plus I am just not ready to let go of these characters and this quirky, spy-filled world that they live in.

 

irishdarkblue

IR - Going Rogue

four-stars
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Sunday, February 1, 2015

Audio Review: Not in the Script by Amy Finnegan

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Audiobook, Review, Young Adult0 Comments

Audio Review: Not in the Script by Amy FinneganNot in the Script by Amy Finnegan
Narrator: Vanessa Johansson
Series: If Only,
Published by Bloomsbury on 07 October 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, Girls & Women, Love & Romance, Movie Stars, Parents, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Young Adult
Length: 10 hours 36 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible.com
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
four-stars

Places Traveled To: Fayetteville, Arkansas // Tucson, Arizona // Los Angeles, California // Phoenix, Arizona

First Line(s): “Celebrity Seeker claims that I’m dating Troy again,” I say as I skim the pages of the gossip magazine.

Not in the Script is the debut novel of Amy Finnegan and the third installment in Bloomsbury’s If Only Series. This story focuses on a group of young actors who are pulled together to film a tv show in Arizona and is told from the perspective of Emma and Jake, two of the stars. Normally I really love alternating perspectives in a book because I love to know what the other person is thinking but in this instance I didn’t love it as much as I normally would. This was because there was only one narrator used for the entire book and while Vanessa Johansson was a good narrator I really really really wish that a male narrator was employed for Jake’s POV chapters. Listening to the audio it was sometimes hard to tell which POV perspective that I was in and Johansson didn’t have a ton of distinction with her voices. There was enough to tell who was who once I got used to her style but things would have just been better all around if there was a male narrator in the mix especially since there was such a clear distinction between the two different POVs.

Other than my issue with the narration I did really enjoy this story. I enjoyed the budding romance between Jake and Emma and even liked her interactions with her two other co-stars, Brent and Kimmi. Though I could have done without the initial love triangle aspect because since one of the guys didn’t get a POV chapter you pretty much know who Emma is going to end up with. Another character that features promenantly is Emma’s BFF Rachel and like so many BFFs in young adult books Rachel isn’t much of a friend to Emma. Rachel is bitter and jealous and all sorts of passive aggressive all because Emma became a star and she hasn’t when its something that she wants more than anything. This is a sour friendship and I don’t see why Emma puts up with Rachel’s antics other than the fact that Emma is super nice and Rachel is a link to who she was before she became a big star. If there was a character that I wanted to smack in this book than it was Rachel even Emma’s terrible mother would get a pass over my very strong dislike towards Rachel. *hulk smash*

Not in the Script Quote

My dislike of Rachel aside, I did really like Emma’s character there were all sorts of ways that this girl could have become snobby, shallow and elitist because she entered Hollywood at such a young age. Instead she was genuinely nice and down to earth and cared about those around her. She not only worked a full time job since she was in elementary school but she also finished high school and worked in college classes where she could. She could have coasted on her salary but Emma is the sort of girl who always wants more and knows that she might not want to be a Hollywood A-lister forever. Which is why she and Jake make such a good match

Overall, Not in the Script, was a really cute read and one that has me on the hunt for read-a-likes. If I’d read the print version over the audio than I probably would have read it in just a day or two. Its a great book for when you need something light and not too serious and is just one of those feel good reads.

irishdarkblue

IR - Not in the Script
four-stars
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Sunday, January 18, 2015

Audio Review: The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

Posted by Irish in 2 Stars, Review, Young Adult2 Comments

Audio Review: The Winner’s Curse by Marie RutkoskiThe Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski
Narrator: Justine Eyre
Series: The Winner's Trilogy,
Published by Listening Library on 04 March 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Girls & Women, Love & Romance, Magic, Social Issues, Young Adult
Length: 8 hours 24 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible.com
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
two-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Unknown Fictional World

First Line(s): She shouldn’t have been tempted.

Pretty cover? Check.

Pretty words? Check.

Pretty story? For me, not so much.

The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a fantasy (yet not a fantasy) novel that came to me highly recommended. Its a book that I was unsure of when I first read the synopsis but all I kept hearing was how good it was. That the story was amazing and the main charater was a strong heroine with an epic swoon worthy love. So I gave in and downloaded the audio and started to listen and it wasn’t long before I began to wonder what all the hype was about because NOTHING HAPPENED IN THIS BOOK. I mean seriously, nothing happened. Kestrel buys a slave, she talks to said slave and tells him ALL THE THINGS. He in return just broods and tells her nothing in return. And yet. They fall in love.

Kestrel goes to parties and talks dresses and clothes, obsesses over her conflicted feelings for Arin, and complains that she has no choices in the world except to get married or join the military. Her struggles are real and her life is so hard and she doesn’t understand why the country that her people has occupied for the last decade would be unhappy. She’s also absolutely shocked that these same people, who are now slaves in their own country, know her people’s language. Because you know, they would have learned nothing in the ten years of occupation or the countless years prior when they were a free people and used to trade with Kestrel’s. She’s shocked they they seem to be intelligent thinkers when she mentions that before the occupation her people didn’t have books or use utensils but hers is, of course, the better race.

*insert much sighing and eye rolling by me*

Winner's Curse Quote

I just…I just couldn’t with this book. I tried. I really did and I listened to it until the bitter end because even though I had serious issues with the stories and the lack of anything going on I did like the narrator, Justine Eyre. Her narration kept me invested when I would have totally given up on the print. Despite all the urgings from friends who kept telling me to stick with it that the ending made up for all that came before. And while that may have been true for some that wasn’t the case for me. Yes, things happen at the end but its a rush and a jumble and it starts and end within the last 100 pages or so. In my option, I don’t think you should have to wait an entire books for something to happen. No matter how pretty the words are up until that point.

Because yes, despite all of its many flaws, The Winner’s Curse was very prettily written. It was a flowery and oft times repetitive text repeating things that we already knew but with Eyre’s narration it had this hypnotic quality that kept me listening. The Winner’s Curse wasn’t a book for me and yet I am still debating on if I want to read The Winner’s Crime or not. I do tend to be a glutton for punishment but it isn’t unheard of for me to dislike the first book in a series and then grow to like it as it progresses.

irishdarkblue

People Who Liked This Book Better Than I Did:

Alice Marvels – An utterly captivating story of forbidden love and political upheaval that will leave you breathlessly anticipating the sequel.

Cuddlebuggery – What I really loved about the book was that even though at the heart of the story it’s a romance, neither Arin or Kestrel allows their relationship to dominate their common sense.

Miss Print – Secrets and lies are key to both Kestrel and Arin’s characters, creating a story that is as much about what is said as it is about subtext. This novel is brimming with non-verbal communication and other subtle cues that Rutkoski expertly manipulates as a story of love and other–somewhat darker–matters slowly unfolds.

IR - Winner's Curse
two-stars
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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Review: The Year We Fell Down by Sarina Bowen

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

Review: The Year We Fell Down by Sarina BowenThe Year We Fell Down by Sarina Bowen
Series: The Ivy Years,
Also in this series: The Year We Hid Away, The Understatement of the Year, Blonde Date, The Shameless Hour, The Fifteenth Minute
Published by Self-Published on 24 March 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Friends to Lovers, Friendship, Health & Daily Living, Illnesses & Injuries, Love & Romance, New Adult, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Sports & Athletics
Pages: 268
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: The Year We Hid Away, 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: Hartford, Connecticut // Greenwich, Conneticut // Harkness,Conneticut // Etna, Connecticut // Unnamed, Wisconsin

First Line(s): “This looks promising,” my mother said, eyeing the dormitory’s ivy-covered facade.

I first heard about Sarina Bowen when an author friend recommended a title of hers called The Understatement of the Year which is the third book in Bowen’s Ivy League series. As I’ve mentioned a time or two I like to read a series in order and as this author friend also said the others were worth the read I decided to just go ahead and buy the whole lot and started reading the first book, The YEar We Fell Down. The Year We Fell Down is the story of Corey  Callahan and Adam Hartley (called Hartley by friends throughout that you pretty much forget his real name) and takes place over the course of a year at their school, Harkness University (Read: Yale without being Yale). Corey is a Freshman and is starting off school relearning how to walk after a freak Hockey accident several months prior. Hartley is also recovery from a hockey injury but his was the result of male stupidity that leaves him with a broken leg. They are neighbors and are instantly attacted to one another but there are several obstacles in their way. Queue up ALL THE CLICHES!

First there is the biggest hurdle, Hartley has a girlfriend. A long time girlfriend who is pretty and rich and is conviantely away for the semester in France. She is also a royal b*@#& and no one likes her, not even Hartley most of the time, so it often baffled me why he was even with the girl since all he did was point out all the things he disliked about her and the things he did like was that she was pretty and had money. (Head desk. Repeat.) Then there was Corey with her typical heroine hangups of how she’s not pretty enough and the added issue of her handicap which she thinks will prevent her from ever finding love. Especially with Hartley as he is just so handsome and amazing and just perfect in every way. (Head desk. Repeat.) But where Corey bugged me the most was her use of the phrase, hope fairies. It was childish and overdone and I swear my eye started to twitch be the end every time her internal monolgue went there.

For me, The Year We Fell Down, wasn’t a bad book but it wasn’t super great either. There were typos and continutiy errors and random name changes throughout the book. There were some unbelievable bits and the fact that it really just barely didn’t cross the cheating line. Any regular reader knows that cheating is a big bookish turn off with me and has killed a book or two for me. There are books where there is mutal attraction but the one who is taken doesn’t actually cross the line but its a very fine line and there have to be other elements in the story that wow me enough to pull my brain away from fixating that character x is not single. The Year We Fell Down didn’t have enough of those elements and so every time Hartley was focusing thoughts on Corey in a romantic way (and vise versa) I kept yelling at the book “He has a girlfriend!!” It was a frustration and totally took away a star from my rating.

The Year We Fell Down wasn’t a train wreck though and I did really enjoy the secondary characters in the novel and I did like the school setting where it took place. While I think that Bowen’s writing needs a little polish and that this story could use another round of editing or two to clean up some things there is enough promise to it all to keep me reading the next books in the series. Plus, I did already buy them all so there is that as well.

 

irishdarkblue

Year We Fell Down Quote
three-stars
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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Review: Rushing Amy by Julie Brannagh

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Rushing Amy by Julie BrannaghRushing Amy by Julie Brannagh
Series: Love and Football, Book 2
Also in this series: Blitzing Emily, Catching Cameron, Covering Kendall
Published by Avon on 11 February 2014
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, Love & Romance, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance
Pages: 448
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: Blitzing Emily, Catching Cameron, Covering Kendall

Place(s) Traveled To: Seattle, Washington // Cannon Beach, Oregon

First Line(s): The wedding was over, and Amy Hamilton stood amongst the wreckage.

Rushing Amy is the follow up to Julie Brannagh’s Blitzing Emily and involves Emily’s younger sister, Amy. Amy runs a flowshop and its through her buisness that Emily meets her one true love Brandon. In Rushing Amy, Emily returns the favor (so to speak) by being the catalyst for Amy to meet her love interest, Matt. Matt is a former teammate and a friend of Brandon’s and he and Amy meet at the wedding of Emily and Brandon. Its a bit of a cliched meeting place but it works for this story. While the overall story of Rushing Amy was a cute, quick read there were things that bothered me with it.

My biggest issue was with how everyone seemed so overly concerened with Amy’s ovaries. A conversation about how old she was getting and how she needed to have babies soon or never seemed to pop up in almost every chapter. She would think it and others would comment on it and it just added this weird, creepy vibe to the whole story. One example of this is when Matt’s daughter tells Amy that she can’t break up with her dad because she wants siblings…um…seriously?? Ugh! This is 2014 not 1814 a woman’s main purpose in life and the source of all her happiness isn’t in having babies. I liked how Amy was focused on setting up her business and making it work but that strength of hers, her smarts and business sense was always overshadowed with talk of her baby making capabilites.

Matt also annoyed me a bit in how he wanted to take care of Amy buy tossing money at her and all of her problems. I get that he wanted to help but he never listened to what she wanted he just bulldozed in with what he wanted and her feelings be damned. Most of the time he was sweet and I liked that he was such a giving soul but listening is such an attactive skill and so few people seem to possess it. Amy and Matt could have avoided the whole pointless breakup if Matt just listened to her issues, provided advice when asked and then let her handle things how she wanted to handle them.

I enjoyed Rushing Amy but I didn’t think that it was as cute as Blitzing Emily. The issues mentioned above just took me out of the story and made me want to shake all the characters involved. I wanted them to find their HEA but at the same time they annoyed me enough that there were times when I didn’t care if they reached that point or not. There also wasn’t enough Brandon and Emily in this story and when they were there they didn’t seem like the same characters from the first book. I will continue to read this series but as of this posting I don’t think that Rushing Amy will be a book that I ever re-read.

irishdarkblue

Rushing Amy Quote

three-stars
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Monday, November 10, 2014

Review: Promise Me This by Christina Lee

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

Review: Promise Me This by Christina LeePromise Me This by Christina Lee
Series: Between Breaths,
Also in this series: All of You, Before You Break, Whisper to Me, There You Stand
Published by Intermix on 07 October 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Erotica, Friends to Lovers, Friendship, Love & Romance, New Adult, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues
Pages: 246
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: All of You, Before You Break, Whisper to Me, There You Stand

First Line(s): I backed the brunette against the wall, my lips at her neck.

Place(s) Traveled To: Unknown, Tennessee // Bridgeway, Tennessee

Promise Me This is the latest installment in Christina Lee’s Between Breaths seies and involves Nate and Jessie two characters that we’ve seen in previous books. Nate is a bit of a playboy and Jessie is a girl who acts tougher than she is. Nate is also playing a role as he is afraid of letting people get too close. He’s afraid of following his desires and ending up a man like his father. But as you read the book you see that Nate is just a big old mashmellow with daddy issues. For, his dad is physically abusive to his mom and when he was younger to him and his brother. Nate thinks he might turn out like him as he likes things a bit rougher in the bedroom and he’s afraid of going too far. Luckily for him he meets Jessie and she helps him work through his issues just as he helps her deal with hers.

Nate and Jessie are a good match for each and throughout Promise Me This I was cheering for them to get together. Although I did roll my eyes a bit at the BDSM aspects of the story as it was very light and just seemed to be tossed in as an after thought. Its a trend that I’ve been seeing crop in series these days where at least one book involves characters who engage in the life style, which is fine, but it doesn’t always fit with the story or the characters. These BDSM books are what I call BDSM light as they are shadows in comparison to other BDSM books I’ve read and just seem to be in the story because its part of a trend. This of course is just my opinion and could be a good intro for those who want to read more erotica but aren’t ready for Tiffany Reiz, Sylvia Day or similar authors.

Promise Me This was a quick read and once I settled down into it I read it in just a few hours. Its filled with all the usual cliches but it wasn’t a bad story just a tad bit unoriginal. I enjoyed Nate and Jessie’s romantic journey and there were parts of the story I could have done without but I enjoyed seeing characters from the previous books and I do look forward to any other books in this series that Christina Lee might write. Its not a heart achy book but Promise Me This is a great in between type read for when you are transitioning between genres or coming off a really good read.

 

irishdarkblue

 

Promise-Me-This Quote
three-stars
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Thursday, November 6, 2014

Review: Through to You by Lauren Barnholdt

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

Review: Through to You by Lauren BarnholdtThrough to You by Lauren Barnholdt
Published by Simon Pulse on 08 July 2014
Genres: Adolescence, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Friendship, Girls & Women, Love & Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 256
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: Two-Way Street, Right of Way

Place(s) Traveled To: Southboro, Massachusetts // Boston, Massachusetts

First Line(s): This is how it ends: with me crying in a bathroom at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, cursing myself for being so stupid.

Through to You by Lauren Barnholdt was a quick, easy, brain candy sort of read. There is nothing deep within its pages and for me, was just a so-so contemporary young adult romance. The story focuses on Harper who is a good girl who passively exists in high school along with one of her few friends, Anna, who was super annoying and a character I did not like. Harper’s love interest is Penn, the very cute bad boy loner who can have any girl in school but for some reason impulsively writes Harper a note telling her he likes her sparkle. I liked the premise of the book and the set up of the meet-cute but what followed was just a hum-drum predictable story where I never really bought this couple as a couple.

Harper and Penn where your typical high school characters although Penn has some serious issues and, in my opinion, needs a whole lot of therapy. He’s the sort of character who blows more cold than hot and would constantly push Harper away. Often being cruel in the process. I honestly don’t know why Harper put up with his bullshit and why she always seemed to accept his non-apologies. I get that Penn was dealing with some serious things and that his home life wasn’t the greatest but his attitude left much to be desired. Harper herself was also pretty passive and accepting and was a bit of a Mary Sue.

Through to You was a quick read and I like how Barnholdt writes but it just seemed a bit too formulaic and there wasn’t enought depth or heart within its pages. I never felt that heat achy feeling when our couple was going through their stuggles as they journeyed to their happily for now. Instead I found myself sighing at all the cliches that were contained withing its pages. For me, Through to You was just an average read but its not a total waste of time. Its a book that would make a good pallet cleanser when you are coming off a book high or something that was super emotional. Its not a book that I would rush out to read and I probably won’t ever re-read it but Lauren Barnholdt will still have shelf space devoted to her on my bookcase.

 

irishdarkblue

Through to You Quote

three-stars
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