Friday, 6 May 2016

The Way Back to You by Michelle Andreani, and Mindi Scott

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.
The Way Back to You
Blurb (from Goodreads):
In this witty, heart-tugging novel, two teens take a spontaneous road trip across the Southwest to meet three strangers who received the life-saving organs of their late best friend—charting a journey of loss, hope, and love along the way.

Six months ago, Ashlyn Montiel died in a bike accident.

Her best friend Cloudy is keeping it together, at least on the outside. Cloudy’s insides are a different story: tangled, confused, heartbroken.

Kyle is falling apart, and everyone can tell. Ashlyn was his girlfriend, and when she died, a part of him went with her. Maybe the only part he cares about anymore.

As the two people who loved Ashlyn best, Cloudy and Kyle should be able to lean on each other. But after a terrible mistake last year, they're barely speaking. So when Cloudy discovers that Ashlyn’s organs were donated after her death and the Montiel family has been in touch with three of the recipients, she does something a little bit crazy and a lot of out character: she steals the letters and convinces Kyle to go on a winter break road trip with her, from Oregon to California to Arizona to Nevada. Maybe if they see the recipients—the people whose lives were saved by Ashlyn’s death—the world will open up again. Or maybe it will be a huge mistake.

With hundreds of miles in front of them, a stowaway kitten, and a list of people who are alive because of Ashlyn, Cloudy and Kyle just may find their way to back to her...and to each other.

The Way Back to You by Michelle Andreani

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Way Back to You “We can go,” I say to Zoe. “We can go and find them.”

This was a YA road-trip story, about a girl following her dead best friend’s transplanted organs.

The characters in this were okay, but I didn’t really love them. Claudia (cloudy) seemed to miss Ashlyn, but I didn’t really get anything from Kyle.

The storyline in this was about Claudia and Kyle going on a road-trip to visit three people who received transplants from Ashlyn. I didn’t really get the whole point of the trip though, especially as they weren’t even supposed to know who the transplant recipients were, and won’t supposed to contact them.
There was a bit of romance in this, but I didn’t really love it.

The ending to this was okay, but the book was just missing something for me.

6 out of 10

TAXI by Cambria Hebert - Book Blitz & #Giveaway

Cambria Hebert
(a Take It Off novel)
Publication date: May 6th 2016
Genres: New Adult Romantic suspense

The meter is running…
One night as Rose Crawford steps out of a bar, she gives no second thought to lifting her hand to signal for a cab. After all, it’s the responsible thing to do.
A common occurrence.
Far safer than walking several blocks, alone, in the dark.
A familiar-looking yellow taxi with black, faux-leather seats, running meter on the dash, and a smiling driver pulls up to the curb.
Rose slides in. Gives the driver her address…
But she never reaches her destination.
Instead, she finds herself captive, at the will of a man who isn’t a driver, but a bona fide psychopath.
Trapped in a taxi she can’t escape, Rose begins to panic. As the miles between her and safety grow, hope dwindles. It isn’t until someone else joins her in captivity that her spark of hope is rekindled.
Derek is strong, capable, and surely together they can fight their way to freedom.
Then Rose finds out exactly why she’s been driven into hell. Derek may be an unwilling captive, but he isn’t going to help her.
In fact, he’s there to do the exact opposite.

TaxiT1 IMG_20160411_214746_747000

Author Bio:
Cambria Hebert is an award winning, bestselling novelist of more than twenty books. She went to college for a bachelor’s degree, couldn’t pick a major, and ended up with a degree in cosmetology. So rest assured her characters will always have good hair.
Besides writing, Cambria loves a caramel latte, staying up late, sleeping in, and watching movies. She considers math human torture and has an irrational fear of chickens (yes, chickens). You can often find her running on the treadmill (she’d rather be eating a donut), painting her toenails (because she bites her fingernails), or walking her chorkie (the real boss of the house).
Cambria has written within the young adult and new adult genres, penning many paranormal and contemporary titles. Her favorite genre to read and write is romantic suspense. A few of her most recognized titles are: The Hashtag Series, Text, Torch, and Tattoo.
Cambria Hebert owns and operates Cambria Hebert Books, LLC.

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Thursday, 5 May 2016

Unforgivable (Invincible #2) by Amy Reed

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.
Unforgivable (Invincible, #2)
Blurb (from Gooddreads):
In this raw, gut-wrenching, and beautifully written sequel to Invincible, Marcus continues Evie’s story of their intense romance, a la Gayle Forman’s Where She Went, after saving her life only to find his life—and their relationship—falling to pieces.

Marcus knows pain. The kind that swallows you like a black hole. His brother committed suicide, his mother left him, and his dad mostly ignores him. Relief only seems to come from drugs, alcohol, and secret acts of self-destruction.

Until he met Evie. Together, they lived in the moment. They fell in love—hard—creating their own beautiful world. But they each had their own secrets, their own pain, hovering like a thick fog, suffocating them in a world too small to share.

Unforgivable takes off where Invincible left us—with Evie drowning in San Francisco Bay. Marcus finds her just in time, but her survival is not the happy ending he was hoping for. Forbidden from seeing Evie by her parents and unable to reach her, Marcus learns of a pain that might break him completely.

Marcus spirals into an even deeper darkness and is forced by new events to face the demons of his past. The pain of losing Evie becomes tangled with the loss of his mother and brother, and he must finally face the ghosts he has been trying so desperately to outrun or risk losing Evie forever.

Unforgivable by Amy Reed

My rating: 3.12 of 5 stars

Unforgivable (Invincible, #2) “I wanted to save you. I wanted to be the solution to all your pain.”

This was a YA contemporary story dealing with drug addiction.

I found this book a little strange at first because of the shift in point of view from Evie to Marcus, but it was good to see Marcus’ side of the story, and to see how messed up he was by his relationship with Evie.

“I am either halfway to saving Evie, or halfway to knowing it’s too late.”

The storyline in this jumped back and forth a bit between when Evie and Marcus first met, a time when Marcus’ brother was still alive, and the present, and at times the writing was almost poetic. We had Marcus reliving what had happened previously and also trying to get Evie back, even when her parents called the cops on him.
There wasn’t a lot of romance in this, but it was clear how strongly Marcus felt for Evie, and how hard he fought to get her back.

“And now this hell. Life without you. A vacuum, a black hole.”

The ending to this was pretty hopeful, even if it wasn’t really a happily ever after.

6.25 out of 10

Whisper to Me by Nick Lake

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Bloomsbury Publishing Plc (UK & ANZ) and NetGalley.
Whisper to Me
Blurb (from Goodreads):
A remarkable story of strange beauty and self-discovery from Printz Award winner Nick Lake

Cassie is writing a letter to the boy whose heart she broke. She’s trying to explain why. Why she pushed him away. Why her father got so angry when he saw them together. Why she disappears some nights. Why she won’t let herself remember what happened that long-ago night on the boardwalk. Why she fell apart so completely.

Desperate for his forgiveness, she’s telling the whole story of the summer she nearly lost herself. She’s hoping he’ll understand as well as she now does how love—love for your family, love for that person who makes your heart beat faster, and love for yourself—can save you after all.

Whisper to Me by Nick Lake

My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

Whisper to Me “When you get home, you will slap yourself. Hard. Twice.”

This was a YA story about a girl who heard a voice that wasn’t really there.

Cass was a bit of a messed up character, she listened to this horrible voice telling her what to do and how to act, and she followed exactly what it told her to do. The voice drove me nuts, and it would have been awful to have to put up with it the way Cassie did.

The storyline in this was about Cass hearing this horrible voice, and there was also a bit of mystery over some murders that had happened. The pace in this was super-slow though, and there wasn’t enough about the murders for me, it was all about Cass talking to the voice in her head, then talking to her therapist, then talking to her doctor and on and on and on. Even the romance took a back seat to her voice!

The ending to this was also quite disappointing as there was a severe lack of resolution in all parts of the storyline!

5 out of 10

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Anything You Want by Geoff Herbach

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to SOURCEBOOKS Fire and NetGalley.
Anything You Want
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Expect a bundle of joy—er, trouble—in this hilarious, heartwarming story from the award-winning author of Stupid Fast Geoff Herbach

Taco's mom always said, "Today is the best day of your life, and tomorrow will be even better." That was hard to believe the day she died of cancer and when Taco's dad had to move up north for work, but he sure did believe it when Maggie Corrigan agreed to go with him to junior prom. Taco loves Maggie- even more than the tacos that earned him his nickname. And she loves him right back.

Except all that love? It gets Maggie pregnant. Everyone else may be freaking out, but Taco can't wait to have a real family again. He just has to figure out what it means to be a dad and how to pass calculus. And then there's getting Maggie's parents to like him. Because it would be so much easier for them to be together if he didn't have to climb the side of the Corrigans' house to see her...

Anything You Want by Geoff Herbach

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Anything You Want“You do it. You and Maggie Corrigan do it all the time. Again and again and again,” he said.
“Right. We like to celebrate out love.” I said.
“Jesus Christ, Taco. Is she on birth control?” he asked.
“No.” I laughed. “Why would she be?” As I tend to be delusional but not totally stupid, I began to think.
“Oh shit. Are you using condoms?” he asked.
“No. We’re not serious about it, okay? We’re just having fun.”

This was a YA story about a boy who gets his girlfriend pregnant.

Taco was a bit of an odd character, he was just happy all the time, and totally clueless too. I thought it really bad that he didn’t even consider contraception when he started having sex with his girlfriend, and thought that they wouldn’t get pregnant because they were ‘doing it recreationally’.

The storyline in this was about Taco’s girlfriend Maggie getting pregnant, and how wonderful he thought this was. He had no idea how much babies cost, or how he was going to continue going to school with a child to support or anything, and literally saw everything through rose-tinted glasses. He tried to get a job, and talked about Maggie moving in with him to raise the baby, but considering that his brother had had to quit school to provide for him, his ideas were really short-sighted.

The ending to this was quite realistic thankfully!
6 out of 10

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

The Crown (The Selection #5) by Kiera Cass

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins UK Children's, and NetGalley.
The Crown (The Selection, #5)
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Kiera Cass’s bestselling Selection series has enchanted readers from the very first page. Now the end of the journey is here, in a wonderfully romantic series finale that will sweep you off your feet.

Twenty years have passed since the events of The One, and America and Maxon’s daughter is the first princess to hold a Selection of her own. Princess Eadlyn didn’t think she would find a real partner among the Selection’s thirty-five suitors, let alone true love. But sometimes the heart has a way of surprising you... and now Eadlyn must make a choice that feels more difficult—and more important—than she ever expected.

The Selection series has sold more than 3 million copies and captured the hearts of fans around the world. This swoon-worthy final installment is the happily ever after they’ve all been waiting for.

The Crown by Kiera Cass

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Crown (The Selection, #5) “There were things I was always sure of, and almost all of that has fallen apart in the last few weeks.”

This was a good end to the series, and Eadlyn really played her role well.

Eadlyn continued to be a strong character in this book; she really stepped up, she put others first, and she really cared about what was good for everyone else rather than just for her, which was quite an improvement.

“I know it’s abrupt, but given my mother’s precarious condition, my father has asked me to take on more responsibilities.”

The storyline in this was about Eadlyn stepping up following her mother’s illness, and taking on a role that she was young for, but capable of it seemed. We also had the culmination of the Selection, but there wasn’t quite as much of the storyline devoted to this as I expected, and the book felt more about Eadlyn stepping up than about the romance.

“I feel the only way to manage that is to scale down this competition.”

With regards to the romance, it really did seem to be missing from the majority of this book, and then Eadlyn made some very strange decisions, and I really didn’t get what she was doing! The person who I expected her to be with by the end just didn’t happen, and I wasn’t 100% sure about the person she eventually chose.

“I can’t just kiss you like it’s nothing, because it turns out that you’re not nothing.”

The ending to this wrapped things up nicely, and we did get a happily ever after, it just wasn’t quite what I expected.

“The truth is, love is as much fate as it is planning, as much beauty as it is disaster.”

8 out of 10

Wild Swans by Jessica Spotswood

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to SOURCEBOOKS Fire and NetGalley.
Wild Swans
Blurb (from Goodreads):
The summer before Ivy’s senior year is going to be golden; all bonfires, barbeques, and spending time with her best friends. For once, she will just get to be. No summer classes, none of Granddad’s intense expectations to live up to the family name. For generations, the Milbourn women have lead extraordinary lives—and died young and tragically. Granddad calls it a legacy, but Ivy considers it a curse. Why else would her mother have run off and abandoned her as a child?

But when her mother unexpectedly returns home with two young daughters in tow, all of the stories Ivy wove to protect her heart start to unravel. The very people she once trusted now speak in lies. And all of Ivy’s ambition and determination cannot defend her against the secrets of the Milbourn past….

Wild Swans by Jessica Spotswood

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Wild Swans “She told my sisters I’m their aunt. Her little sister.”

This was a YA story about a girl left behind after her mother ran away.

I felt quite sorry for Ivy, especially when her mother came back and wouldn’t even admit that she was her daughter! Being abandoned like that, and feeling mediocre because she didn’t have a ‘gift’ was really hard for her, and learning that her mother hadn’t abandoned her other two daughters just made things worse.

The storyline in this was about Ivy’s mother and two younger sisters coming home, and treating Ivy like their sister/aunt rather than their daughter/sister. We also got a bit of family history, and a bit of romance, although this did turn into a bit of a love triangle.

The ending to this was okay, although not a lot really seemed to happen in this book. We got some past mistakes hashed out a bit, and a bit of romance, but not a lot else really.

6 out of 10

Ask Me How I Got Here by Christine Heppermann

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.
Ask Me How I Got Here
Blurb (from Goodreads):
From the author of the acclaimed Poisoned Apples comes a novel in verse about a young woman and the aftermath of a life-altering decision. This thought-provoking and sophisticated read further confirms Christine Heppermann as an important voice in the tradition of Ellen Hopkins, Laurie Halse Anderson, and A. S. King.

Addie has always known what she was running toward. In cross-country, in life, in love. Until she and her boyfriend—her sensitive, good-guy boyfriend—are careless one night and she ends up pregnant. Addie makes the difficult choice to have an abortion. And after that—even though she knows it was the right decision for her—nothing is the same anymore. She doesn’t want anyone besides her parents and her boyfriend to know what happened; she doesn’t want to run cross-country; she can’t bring herself to be excited about anything. Until she reconnects with Juliana, a former teammate who’s going through her own dark places. Once again, Christine Heppermann writes with an unflinching honesty and a deep sensitivity about the complexities of being a teenager, being a woman. Her free-verse poems are moving, provocative, and often full of wry humor and a sharp wit. Like Laurie Halse Anderson and Ellen Hopkins, Christine Heppermann is a voice to turn to for the truth of difficult subjects. Ask Me How I Got Here is a literary exploration of sexuality, religion, and self-discovery.

Ask Me How I Got Here by Christine Heppermann

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Ask Me How I Got Here "Tonight
my parents
Or maybe tomorrow."

This was an enjoyable story about a girl who fell unexpectedly pregnant, and her life as she dealt with the consequences.

I felt quite sorry for Addie, especially when she had to tell her parents that she was pregnant, because it really was a terrible situation to find herself in.

The storyline in this was about Addie falling pregnant, and then what she did next, with lots of thoughts and feelings about her situation, and the way her life changed because of her choice of how to get through it. I liked the way that the story was told in verse, and the pace felt about right.

The ending to this was pretty good, although I didn’t feel like everything was 100% tied up.

7 out of 10

Monday, 2 May 2016

The Natural History of Us (The Fine Art of Pretending #2) by Rachel Harris

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Spencer Hill Press and NetGalley.
The Natural History of Us
Blurb (from Goodreads):
One class assignment. One second chance at love. The school player is all in. Now he needs to win back the sweet commitment girl who's forever owned his heart.

Justin Carter has a secret. He's not the total player Fairfield Academy believes him to be. Not really. In fact, he used to be a one-woman guy...and his feelings for her never went away. Too bad he broke her heart three years ago and made sure to ruin any chance she'd ever forgive him.

Peyton Williams is a liar. She pretends to be whole, counting down the days until graduation and helping her parents at the family ranch. But the truth is, she's done everything she can to get over Justin, and salvation is just around the corner. With graduation one short month away, she'll soon break free from the painful memories and start her life fresh. Of course, she has to get through working with him on one last assignment first.

For Justin, nothing ever felt as right as being with Peyton, and now that fate's given him a shot at redemption, he's determined to make the most of it. And for Peyton...well, Justin Carter has always been her kryptonite.

The Natural History of Us by Rachel Harris

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Natural History of Us “Paired with the boy who irrevocably broke my heart… Justin Carter.”

This was a YA contemporary romance story, with a bit of mystery.

Peyton seemed like quite a confident girl who wouldn’t let her illness hold her back, Justin on the other hand hadn’t made the best choices when it came to their relationship.

The storyline in this was about Peyton and Justin being thrown together for a class project, and having to work together even though they were once boyfriend and girlfriend. The story kept jumping back and forth between the past and present though, and I felt like I spent most of the book just waiting to find out what happened to split Peyton and Justin up the first time they were together.

The ending to this was okay, and we did get a happy ending eventually, it just seemed to take a long time to get there though.

6 out of 10

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Hurricane Kiss by Deborah Blumenthal

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Albert Whitman & Company and NetGalley.
Hurricane Kiss
Blurb (from Goodreads):
For sixteen-year-old Jillian McKay, the threat of Hurricane Danielle means a long car ride with her neighbors--including River Daughtry, the former star quarterback of Harrison High. The guy who was headed to glory until suddenly he disappeared to a West Texas juvenile detention center. Once cocky and flirtatious, he's now silent and angry. When their evacuation route is gridlocked, River is the first to recognize the danger they're in. Together he and Jillian set out to seek shelter in their abandoned high school. As they wait out the storm, they confront the past and realize survival is about more than just staying alive--it's about fighting for yourself.

Hurricane Kiss by Deborah Blumenthal

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Hurricane Kiss “You don’t have to be Einstein to know if we stay here we’ll be buried. This is a death trap.”

This was a YA story about a girl, a hurricane, and the boy next door.

Jillian was an okay character, although it took me a while to warm to her, I don’t know why. I did like River, although it was pretty obvious that the reasons behind his stay in juvie were going to turn out to be bogus.

The storyline in this was about Jillian and River running from a hurricane, and taking shelter at their school to try and stay safe. They had lots of chats and we found out the mystery behind River’s stay at juvie, and how Jill really felt about her boyfriend, and we did get a bit of romance too, and a little bit of action. The pace was quite slow though, and the book did drag a bit in places.

The ending to this was okay, although there were some casualties of the hurricane.

6.5 out of 10