Current Contests/Announcements

The story of the Orange Cake Click here to find out more.


Check out the NKOTB Book Tag Meme Here!

Having trouble leaving a comment? If you have trouble commenting then please click on the refresh button, this usually fixes the issue. I also use comment moderation for new commenters to the blog.

Posts Tagged: School Type: NA

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Audio Review: The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

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

Audio Review: The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn BarnesThe Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Narrator: Amber Faith
Series: The Naturals,
Published by Listening Library on 05 November 2013
Genres: Abduction, Adolescence, Contemporary (No Romance Focus), Friendship, Mystery & Detective, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Length: 7 hrs and 28 mins
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: The Fixer, The Long Game

Place(s) Traveled To: Denver, Colorado // Washington, DC

First Line(s): The hours were bad.

THE NATURALS by Jennifer Lynn Barnes first came out in 2013 and while it was on my radar then it got shuffled off to the side enough that I forgot about it. Until recently when there just seemed to be a renewed interest in the story as it was mentioned all over my social media. Not long ago I’d read Barnes’s THE FIXER (my review) and I liked her Scandal meets Veronica Mars story and so I requested the audiobook of THE NATURALS when I saw that it was available. THE NATURALS can almost be described as a teenage Criminal Minds as all the kids in the book have these natural profiling abilities. The FBI has collected a bunch of them to live together and to hone their abilities for future careers within the FBI. But of course things are never that easy when it comes to a mystery novel.

There are some added complexities to THE NATURALS first you have an eclectic cast of characters from Cassie (who is our narrator) to numbers nerd Sloane (complete with all the social awkwardness that is sterotypical of the ubersmart) and Lia the natural lie detector. And no YA book would be complete without your broody, chip on his shoulder male love interest and this one has two: Dean and Michael. Which will lead to a love triangle I am sure because you can see the beginnings of one in THE NATURALS but thankfully while there is some teen angst over liking boys and kissing boys the focus on this book isn’t the romance.

The Naturals Quote

One must suspend a lot of disbelief with THE NATURALS, not that there aren’t people out there that aren’t naturals at reading people or a crime scene but that the government would recruit and train them as teenagers. And then of course there is the complex backstories of all the main characters along with the revelation that a killer has turned up over a decade later who is killing woman in the exact same way that Cassie’s mom was killed. A case that was never solved and has haunted Cassie for a variety of reasons.

For me, THE NATURALS was a very slow story. There was a whole lot of sitting around and doing nothing with a few instances where we were supposed to be wowed by Cassie’s ability. There was a lot of angst and indecision and then things just sort of happened and boom the book was done. THE NATURALS was filled with set up and background and as such it suffered by not having a ton of plot on its own. I didn’t fully buy the mystery aspect of it and was just left underwhelmed by it all. I did like the narration of Amber Finch though like most female narrators she suffered with her male voices but overall I enjoyed her style. Her voice is soothing though which doesn’t go along well with a slow and plodding story so this was one that I couldn’t listen to when sitting still else I’d space out.

I didn’t love THE NATURALS as much as I had hoped but I do see the promise of the series.  I think that I will continue with it for at least one more book though the love triangle aspect does concern me. I’m also unsure if I’ll try the audiobook version or switch to a physical read as I liked the narrator but wasn’t all ZOMG must listen more! In the end, this was good not great and I’ll just have to see how things go in KILLER INSTINCT.

IR - The Naturals

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

Add Heist Society by Ally Carter to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

three-stars
Divider

Monday, February 2, 2015

Review: I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios

Posted by Irish in 5 Stars, Review, Young Adult0 Comments

Review: I’ll Meet You There by Heather DemetriosI'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios
Published by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) on 03 February 2015
Genres: Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Friends to Lovers, Friendship, Girls & Women, Health & Daily Living, Love & Romance, New Adult, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, War & Military, Young Adult
Pages: 400
Format: ARC
Source: Borrowed
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
five-stars
Also by this author: Something Real

Place(s) Traveled To: Creek View, California

First Line(s): The Mitchells’ backyard was packed, full of recent and not-so-recent grads in various stages of party decay.

I first was introduced to Heather Demetrios’s writing when people on Twitter kept harassing me to read her debut, Something Real. I say harass but as any bibliophile know book harassing (aka book bullying) is the best thing that one book lover can do to another and I was so glad that I picked that book up. When I learned that Demetrios had another contemporary coming out I was beyond ecstatic and was all bouncy with excitement even as my fingers itched to hold it in my hands. When I was able to read I’ll Meet You There I did it in a single sitting and was totally blown away by it. OMG the feelings that this novel managed to make me feel. Wow. Just wow. To compare this book with Something Real is kind of an impossible thing because the two are just so very different and if I didn’t know any better I’d almost swear they were written by an entirely different person. This isn’t a bad thing, not at all, it just shows how much Demertrios’s writing has grown since her debut and instills in me a very real fear. The fear that one day she really might kill me with her words. Although that might not be a bad way to go.

I’ll Meet You There is the story of Skylar, a girl who has spent her whole life trying to escape her small town. She doesn’t want to end up like so many of her friends and the adults she knows; married with children working a mediocre job. She has big dreams and she only has a few months left in Creek View before she can go and never look back. But then her mother loses her job and seems to fall apart and she bumps into her old friend Josh, home from Afghanistan wounded and different from the boy she knew. Skylar is a girl that has always wanted to go but now there are all these reasons for her to stay and she is at a loss on what to do. For sometimes, the dream you thought you wanted may not be the dream that is meant for you. I’ll Meet You There is an amazing story of friendship and falling in love. Its about learning to see the world in a new way and accepting that sometimes things can’t be changed and that maybe things aren’t as bad as you initially thought.

I’ll Meet You There is an amazing journey and I can’t even tell you the number of times it made my heart ache and brought tears to my eyes. Josh and Skylar are just so amazing together and yet at the same time you just want to shake them when they go off and do something stupid. Because they both do stupid things and they make assumptions and they are both scared and so push the other way and it all just breaks a poor readers heart. But even as Demetrios breaks your heart she works to put the pieces back together again and even if the heart is a little bruised afterwards the end result is stronger than it was before. Skylar’s summer is one of change and making choices and its a struggle that every reader can relate to. Life doesn’t always follow the plans that you have and you need to learn to roll with the punches or take an unexpected detour in order to get where you are going. This is a book that shows that sometimes its not the end result that is important but the journey that takes you there. The memories you make, the friendships you have, and the love that grows along the way.

There are not enough words to tell you how much I loved I’ll Meet You There but even if there were I’m not sure that I would be able use them well enough to express my thoughts. I’ll Meet You There is like a sucker punch to a gut and I could not put it down. It is filled with raw emotion and it will suck you in from the very first page and it won’t let you go until the words run out. Its a book where you’ll keep flipping that last page needing more and yet at the same time the ending is so real and perfect and filled with the right amount of closure. I’ll Meet You There is not a book to be missed so you need to run out to your nearest bookstore and bring it home today. Then come back here and tell me how much you loved it.

irishdarkblue

.

.

.

I'll Meet You There Quote

five-stars
Divider

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
Divider

Friday, November 7, 2014

Review: Blitzing Emily by Julie Brannagh

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Blitzing Emily by Julie BrannaghBlitzing Emily by Julie Brannagh
Series: Love and Football,
Also in this series: Rushing Amy, Catching Cameron, Covering Kendall
Published by Avon on 07 January 2014
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, Girls & Women, Sports & Athletics
Pages: 496
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: Rushing Amy, Catching Cameron, Covering Kendall

Place(s) Traveled To: Seattle, Washington // Redmond, Washington // Kirkland, Washington // Leavenworth, Washington

First Line(s): Emily Hamilton planned to kill her sister. She just had to figure out where to hide the body.

Blitizing Emily by Julie Brannagh is the start of an adult contemporary romance series that involve a fictional football team based in Seattle, Washington. The first book centers around Emily, a rising star in the opera word and Brandon who is one of the star players on the Seattle Sharks. Their meet/cute is nothing short of adorable and its quickly followed by a hospital visit and a misunderstanding that leads to the media thinking that they are engaged. As Brandon is trying to change his image from playboy to serious he somehow manages to convince Emily to play along for a month.

What follows is a cute romance that I read in just a few hours enjoying most every minute of the ride. I liked the chemistry between Emily and Brandon and loved how Brannagh wrote their story. Well, other than the pointless breakup and the whole lack of communication that could have settled so many problems. I also got a bit frustrated with Emily’s sister Amy who couldn’t keep a secret if her life depended on it and just some other things that rubbed me the wrong way. There were moments in the story that made me sigh with frustration but then there were also those moments that make my heart ache and just give me all those wonderful happy/sad type feels.

Blitzing Emily isn’t a perfect book and there were some continuity errors and other issues that kept me from totally falling head over heels with it. But overall this was just the right book for me at the time I read it. It hit all those notes that I love in a book even while it contained some things I didn’t like. I liked how Brannagh managed to write a story with a football star and an opera diva, people from such opposite spectrums of fame, and make it work. I adored Brandon’s character and just loved all of his moments with Emily. Blitzing Emily was a fun, fast read and its one that I’d recommend to all who love a cute, sports themed romance and who are in need of a light and fluffy distraction. I enjoyed this one and will be looking out for Brannagh’s other titles too.

irishdarkblue

 

 

 

Blitzing Emily Quote

four-stars
Divider

Monday, October 27, 2014

Review: Famous in Love by Rebecca Serle

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

Review: Famous in Love by Rebecca SerleFamous in Love by Rebecca Serle
Series: Famous in Love,
Published by Poppy on 21 October 2014
Genres: Adolescence, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friends to Lovers, Friendship, Love & Romance, Movie Stars, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Young Adult
Pages: 336
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
three-stars

Places Traveled To: Portland, Oregon // Maui, Hawaii

First Line(s): “You’re famous, Patrick.” Jake winks at me, I roll my eyes.

In Famous in Love by Rebecca Serle, Paige Thompson is living the dream. She’s a regular girl like you and me who has a love of acting and she somehow manages to get chosen as the lead role in a book to movie series adaptation (think Twilight-style series). She’s over the moon at this and then also realizes that she should probably read the books because while her BFF is crazy obsessed with them she has always had better things to do than read.  Cut from her normal homelife to moving to Hawaii to start filming and there she meets her co-star, Rainer, a Hollywood heart-throb who is just a couple of years older than her and who befriends her and falls for her all in short order. All while she thinks he can’t possible fall for a girl like her as she’s awkward and young and keeps messing up her big chance. Then just as she starts to tell herself that she likes Rainer too, Jordan Wilder comes to set. The bad boy of Hollywood and someone who antagonizes Paige and sets her on edge. Queue to one of my least favorite tropes, the love triangle.

Though calling what happens in Famous in Love a love triangle is a bit of a stretch because even though the story is told in a first-person stream of conscious way the story stays very much on the surface of things. Its very superficial and you never really get to know who Paige is or why she makes the choices she does. I also firmly believe that one person can’t be in romantic love with two different people at the same time and also found it really hard to buy into Paige’s feelings for Jordan as she barely spent any time with him. And what time she did spend was usually with him being a condescending ass and them getting into an argument. I also don’t buy that ending and feel that it was very unfair to all the characters involved….again its just so superficial and blah.

For me, it seemed like there were a lot of things glossed over in Famous in Love and it never really gave me the heart-achey feels that I love. I never felt any tension between Paige and her love interests, Rainer and Jordan. I just don’t see what it was about her that they fell for. Its as if the idea of her, this fresh-faced unknown was more of a draw to them than who she was. Because Paige never came across as a real 3D person, she was very superficial and often clueless to the things going on around her. As a friend she kind of failed and I don’t blame her BFF for getting all mad at her. I know that I wanted to shake her several times during my read of this book.

I also found Famous in Love to be pretty inconsistent, there were some continuity errors (though these might have been corrected from ARC to final) and just all over the place most of the time. Its a quick read and once I managed to really focus on it one that I read it in a day but its one that just doesn’t do much for me. I also have no clue how Serle can make this into a trilogy. I know that the book/movie series that Paige is staring in is a trilogy and so this series may follow that but if the entire series is going to be Paige flip flopping between Rainer and Jordan than count me out. I don’t have it in me to deal with a love triangle over three books. I just don’t. Especially one that ends as crazily and unfairly as the one in this story. I just don’t buy the ending, not at all. And really don’t see how it works for any of the parties involved. For me, Famous in Love was just an ok read but its definitely not one that I’d recommend anyone rush out to read.

irishdarkblue

Famous in Love Quote

three-stars
Divider

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Audio Review: The Thousand Dollar Tan Line by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Audiobook, Review, Young Adult1 Comment

Audio Review: The Thousand Dollar Tan Line by Rob Thomas and Jennifer GrahamThe Thousand Dollar Tan Line by Jennifer Graham, Rob Thomas
Narrator: Kristen Bell
Series: Veronica Mars,
Also in this series: Veronica Mars
Published by Random House Audio on 25 March 2014
Genres: Abduction, Adult, Contemporary (No Romance Focus), Espionage, Friendship, Girls & Women, Mystery & Detective, Suspense
Length: 8 hours 42 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible.com
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
three-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Neptune, California // Bakersfield, California // Stanford, California

First Line(s): The buses began to roll into Neptune, California, late Friday afternoon and didn’t slow up until Monday.

The Thousand Dollar Tan Line by Rob Thomas is the start of a new series featuring our favorite sleuth Veronica Mars. Tan Line picks up just a few weeks after the events of the Veronica Mars movie end and in some ways I think that does the book a little bit of an injustice. With the movie you could watch it without being a fan of the show and still enjoy it. Albeit, not as much as the fans as all the inside jokes from the show were missed. But for me, Thousand Dollar Tan Line seems more dependent on the movie and doesn’t really stand on its own as well. Ability to stand on its own aside, Thousand Dollar Tan Line, reads a bit like an episode of the show only instead of a first person narration the book is a weird third person narration that distances the reader from the story. Part of what worked on Veronica Mars was the voice over narration from Veronica and that was something that was missing from the book.

I did like that Kristen Bell was the one who narrated the book but because of the third person narration it just seemed weird and there were certain phrases that would take me out of the story. It was jarring to hear Veronica call herself Veronica and other characters in a clinical, out of body way was just so very odd and while I loved hearing Kristen voice the book there were times when I wish I read read it in print form instead.

As for the mystery, well, its a typical mystery in the land of Neptune only the stakes are a bit higher than back when Veronica was in high school and college. The stakes are a little higher and the clues are a little murkier and as such this one comes across as a bit muddled at times. There were also times when the story dragged a bit for me and and it took a bit long to connect the dots. But there were a few surprises tossed into the story that kept things interesting although there was a distinct lack of Logan in the story. Overall, Thousand Dollar Tan Line was a decent read but it wasn’t a great one. I did enjoy returning to Neptune and I do look forward to more books in this series as I hope that things will smooth out as Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham hit their stride in transitioning Veronica Mars from visual media into print. If you are a fan of the show and movie then this book is worth the read but if you haven’t watched either then this might not be the right book for you.

.

irishdarkblue.

.

.

Veronica Mars Quote

three-stars
Divider

Friday, September 19, 2014

Review: My Best Friend, Maybe by Caela Carter

Posted by Irish in 2 Stars, Review, Young Adult3 Comments

Review: My Best Friend, Maybe by Caela CarterMy Best Friend, Maybe by Caela Carter
Published by Bloomsbury on 03 June 2014
Genres: Adolescence, Contemporary Romance, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friends to Lovers, Friendship, Girls & Women, GLBT, Love & Romance, People & Places, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 352
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
two-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Bridgewater, New Jersey // Athens, Greece // Santorini, Greece // Crete, Greece

First Line(s): “So, you wanna go?” That’s how she asks me.

 

 My Best Friend, Maybe by Caela Carter is a book that I really wanted to like. I liked the idea of the premise and loved that the bulk of the book was going to be set in Greece. This was also a book that came to me as highly recommend and so I had high hopes for it when I first opened its pages. However, the book that I read was nothing like my expectations and it really strained credibility in how events transpired. It starts off with Colette’s former best friend, Sadie, asking her to join the family on their upcoming trip to Greece. This happens a couple weeks before the trip is supposed to take place and is crazy, out of the blue as Colette and Sadie haven’t spoken to each other in three years. Also, Colette has a trip booked to Cosa Rica (or somewhere, I forget the exact place) to do some missionary work with her boyfriend. The fact that Colette says yes without considering her other trip or what her parents might say just made me go, WTF? And that wasn’t the first time that phrase came out of my mouth during my read of the story.

As a character Colette often comes across as very young and naive. She’s also a very passive character and tends to do what everyone arounds her tells her to do. Sadie says go to Greece and she does. Her boyfriend says he’ll break up with her if she goes so she says she’ll won’t. And then randomly her dad just drops her off at the airport and tells her to go to Greece. Then while there Colette is placed in some awkward situations as Sadie’s family all know the big secret and she is drawn into Sadie’s schemes. And the secret? The whole reason why Sadie just stopped talking to Colette is one that is super sigh inducing and eye roll worth. I swear communication is the source of so much angst within books and this thing is something could have been avoided if the two had just talked to each other. Maybe they still would have stopped being friends, especially with Colette passive ways, but maybe they wouldn’t have.

There was also some romance aspect to My Best Friend, Maybe but it just seemed like an after thought and I never really believed in the various couples that formed over the course of the novel. These romantic moments also had me rolling my eyes as the characters all failed to communicate and let misunderstandings get in the way. Again. Overall, My Best Friend, Maybe was a head ache inducing book because I often stopped reading it in order to bang my head against it or throw it across the room in disgust. Even the promise of a Grecian setting fell flat as it wasn’t much discussed and Colette seemed to spend a lot of time in her room moping. This wasn’t a book for me and I am not sure if I’ll read another Caela Carter book. My Best Friend, Maybe wasn’t a book for me but I do know several people who enjoyed it so maybe you will as well.

irishdarkblue

 

 

 

 

People Who Liked This Book Better Than I Did:

Itching for Books – “Overall, it was a good story and I don’t want to say more about it and risk spoiling it. But it is great writing and interesting themes that will have you thinking. Good job, Caela. I look forward to reading more of your work.”

Book.Blog.Bake – “My Best Friend, Maybe is full of tough decisions and themes. Colette and Sadie both find themselves having to confront their own prejudice and preconceived notions again & again.”

Rather Be Reading – “Despite the heaviness of the conflicts and secrets in My Best Friend, Maybe, I gobbled this one up. Read it in under 24 hours. I had to see how Greece would change Colette, get her thinking on her own without constant pressure from her parents. I had to know if Colette and Sadie’s friendship had anything left after all these years and after this trip. Plus, there’s a sweet romance that felt just right.”

 

two-stars
Divider

Friday, August 22, 2014

Review: Ten Tiny Breaths by K.A. Tucker

Posted by Irish in 2 Stars, New Adult, Review1 Comment

Review: Ten Tiny Breaths by K.A. TuckerTen Tiny Breaths by KA Tucker
Series: Ten Tiny Breaths,
Published by Atria Books on 24 September 2013
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, Girls & Women, Health & Daily Living, Love & Romance, New Adult, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues
Pages: 288
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
two-stars

Place(s) Traveled To: Miami, Florida // Chicago, Illinois

First Line(s): “Just breathe,” my mom would say. “Ten tiny breaths…Seize them. Feel them. Love them.”

Ten Tiny Breaths by K.A. Tucker came to me highly recommended and as I was looking for a new book at the time I decided to give this one a shot. I liked the book, mostly, at the beginning though I found it hard to like the main character, Kacey. She was very judgemental and abrasive and seemed to delight in looking down her nose at every one. Then you have the main love interest, Trent, who is a bit of a creeper always watching and following Kacey around. I have never been one to understand the stalker as a romantic plot line. For me, there is a big difference between wanting to spend all your time with someone and stalking and Trent definately came across as a stalker.

Then there was that WTF-ery of a reveal closer to the end of the book and the whole thing just took a complete and total nose dive. If you were with me as I read this you would have heard many a sigh and seen many an eye roll and if this book wasn’t on my ereader then you can be sure it would have been tossed across the room in disgust. The best thing about this book was the side romance between Kacey’s neighbor and the cop even if it was rushed but I so would have enjoyed a book about them as opposed to Kacey and Trent.

Overall, Ten Tiny Breaths, was well written it was just filled with so many implausible things. Every time the character had time to think they’d jump to the craziest of all possibilities and then that thing would end up being the truth. Then with all the crazy that was swirling around everything all ends up being tied up in this neat and tidy bow. Happily ever afters all around! Now I’m not saying that books should have a sad ending. Because I love me a good HEA and that is part of why I read romanctic stories because I like the predictability of thier endings. But in this case based on all that came before it was just all so very very hard to believe.

Ten Tiny Breaths was a book that made my head hurt as I tried to make sense of it all. It frustrated me so very much and at this time I don’t have any plans to read anything else by KA Tucker.

.

irishdarkblue

.

.

.

People who liked this one better than I did

Maryse’s Book Blog: “Loved it!! A MUST READ! I wont say any more. The shock value from the very start to the very end must be experienced blindly for full impact. Just know I think you should read it.”

Dear Author: “Finally, despite the weighty issues, the pace of the story is snappy and the emotional low notes are interspersed with humor and sexiness.”

Mostly YA Book Obsessed: I wasn’t…wowed like I was expecting to be. It was still a good story that I really enjoyed. Full of pain and healing and learning how to love. I especially liked the last few emotional chapters.”

Ten Tiny Breaths Quote

two-stars
Divider

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Review: Things Good Girls Don’t Do by Codi Gary

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Things Good Girls Don’t Do by Codi GaryThings Good Girls Don't Do by Codi Gary
Series: Rock Canyon,
Also in this series: Good Girls Don't Date Rock Stars, Good Girls Don't Date Marines
Published by Avon on 27 April 2013
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Love & Romance, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues
Pages: 352
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: Good Girls Don't Date Rock Stars, Good Girls Don't Date Marines

Place(s) Traveled To: Rock Canyon, Idaho

First Line(s): Its important to always be a nice girl, Katie. Otherwise, people won’t want to let their kids play with you.

I wasn’t sure what to expect with Codi Gary’s Things Good Girls Don’t Do but knew that it would involve a good girl meeting a bad boy story. This is a common theme in romances and one that I don’t usually mind but it has to be done right. When I read the first line of this one I almost put it down but I continued reading and in the end I was just meh on this one. Katie was an ok character but she was just too passive and overly concerned with what others thought of her for my liking. Now I know everyone worries about the thoughts of others but Katie does this to the extreme. As a result the town has a tendency to walk all over her and use this ingrained mantra that she must be super nice to everyone against her. Yet, at the same time her friends will chastise her for not standing up for her self. Or at least they do until she tries to stand up to them. The crazy standard that this main character was held to just made for an impossible life. It also didn’t help that Katie was a pretty judgmental character herself.

Fortunately for me, the reader, there was another point of view in this story, that of the bad boy hero, Chase. The guy who really isn’t so bad but because he rides a motorcycle and runs a tattoo shop the bulk of the town have labeled his as persona non-grata. All for very superficial reasons…most of which are based on his appearance. For the love of Pete! There were so many times when I just couldn’t get over the hypocrisy of this book. I also found it a bit hard to believe that Katie would go from trying to be a police office to running her own beauty salon as it was just such a strange and extreme change. And the reason was so very eye roll inducing.

Now it might seem like I didn’t like Things Good Girls Don’t Do but it wasn’t all bad. When faced with a mediocre read it is often easier to focus on the negative of a story and not the positive and there were things I liked about the book. I liked Katie and Chase together when Katie left all her hangups at the door. Chase was a grounded character and he helped Katie become a the person she was meant to be. I liked how Katie changed over the course of the book and while she will never be a bad girl she did grow more of a backbone. There was genuine chemistry between Chase and Katie and white there were parts of the story that annoyed me there were also a lot of things that I liked. I could have done without the 1950-eske attitude of the town but overall this wasn’t a bad story. While I don’t think that it will be one that I’ll re-read I don’t feel like my time was wasted. I liked Codi Gary’s writing and so will be reading the other books in the series and seeing how they compare to this one.

.

irishdarkblue

.

.

.

Good Girls Don't Banner

three-stars
Divider

Friday, August 15, 2014

Review: Revenge Bound by Heidi Joy Tretheway

Posted by Irish in 3.5 Stars, New Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Revenge Bound by Heidi Joy TrethewayRevenge Bound by Heidi Joy Tretheway
Series: Tattoo Thief,
Also in this series: Tattoo Thief, Tyler & Stella, Say it Louder
Published by Self-Published on 31 July 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Girls & Women, Love & Romance, Music & Musicians, New Adult, Parents, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues
Format: eARC
Source: Inkslinger PR
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-half-stars
Also by this author: Tattoo Thief, Tyler & Stella, Say it Louder

Place(s) Traveled To: New York, New York // Ithaca, New York // Steamboat Springs, Colorado // Los Angeles, California

First Line(s): The internet is full of naked pictures of pretty girls.

Whenever it comes to a series that involves a group of people there is always one that you want to know about more and one that you don’t really have an opinion on one way or the other. In Heidi Joy Tretheway’s Tattoo Thief series, Jayce falls into the catagory of one that I wanted to know more about so I was excited when Revenge Bound would be his story. Violet, on the other hand, was someone that I was more unsure of as she didn’t really make her presence known in Tyler & Stella and she kind of faded into the backround. I really wasn’t expecting much from her so was pleasently surprised when she was made from stronger stuff than I thought.

In Revenge Bound, we learn that Violet’s ex-boyfriend was not dealing with the break up well and when attempts to win her back failed he decided to post intimate photos of her on a revenge porn webiste along with her name, address, and phone number. Which is beyond a dickhead move to do as there are some very real crazies out in the world, many of who start to text Violet and a few who try to accost her at her home. This sort of response from the ex is one that totally baffles me and it seems like something out of a Law & Order: SVU episode than anything else. What makes it even more scary is that this sort of thing does actually happen in the world and that just made my heart go out to Violet.

I loved Violet and Jayce’s relationship and thought that they really meshed well together. They complimented each others strengths and help make the other person better. I like how, while there is instant attaction between the two there is a real build up in feelings and it was fun to see their relationship grow over the course of the book. Even if it did seem a bit too much of a coincidence that they both shared similar sexual proliclivities. But then that is part of what makes this a fictional story and not real life as you can have these sort of things all fall nicely into place with just a few strokes of the keyboard. It still worked and it worked for Violet and Jayce and it made me happy that they found a HEA together.

What bothered me about this story was Kristina, a secondary character that we’ve seen since the begining. Kristina is the long time girlfriend of Tattoo Thief’s drummer, Dave, and a very real B!tch. Which is why I found it hard that all the characters in this story seem to confinde in her at some point in time or another. She’s not the sort that one spills secrets to and so its no shock that she uses these secrets against those around her when it suits her interests. This sort of behavior also escalated a bit too fast in Revenge Bound to seem realistic though I know its just a set up for the big conflict in the fourth book in the series. Because with each book the story becomes a bit more than just a straight romance and after the events in Revenge Bound you need something dramatic to keep the momemtum going.

For there is a lot that happens in Revenge Bound that goes beyond Jayce and Violet falling in love. There is the stalker to deal with along with Violet’s ex  and how that effects not just Violet but also her family and Jayce. While I did think that the whole stalker aspect was a bit rushed at the end it was a realistic progression from observation to action. It just all happened so fast. But will admit that those final moments did keep me on the edge of my seat. I liked how Violet wasn’t a passive character as I initially thought she would be based on what we saw of her in Tyler & Stella. I liked how she was strong and took control of her situation even when there were times when she probably should have asked for help. (Tretheway talks a little about why she wrote Violet as she did in this post and I think you should check it out.)

Overall, I enjoyed this installment in the series and while I think that Tyler & Stella is still my favorite Revenge Bound is a close second. If you like new adult romances that involve rock stars and heroines that find their strength then you should really check this one out.

.

irishdarkblue

.

.

.

Revenge Bound quote

three-half-stars
Divider