Thursday, May 7, 2015

Caught Up in You

Caught Up in You by Colee Firman 3.5 Stars

Caught Up In You (Caught Up, #1)Synopsis:
Life has a way of shaping you into what it wants you to be, regardless of how much you fight it.

Brantley Prescott is damaged. Scarred by a past she can’t forget. Hiding secrets she’s terrified to share. Searching for a future she doesn’t believe she’ll ever find.

Myles Franco is alone. Burdened by mistakes he’ll never live down. Fostering a deep resentment for the opposite sex. Unleashing his wrath on any girl who gets too close.

Brantley has worked behind the bar long enough to recognize Myles for what he is—a douchebag player with nothing on his mind but keeping a steady stream of girls flowing through his bed. With his messy dark hair, sapphire blue eyes, rock-solid body, and endless tattoos he’s impossible to ignore. But that’s exactly what she plans on doing.

After just one run-in with Brantley, Myles is even more determined to stick to the rules he lives by. She’s mouthy, blunt, and doesn’t back down—no matter how hard he pushes her. She could turn out be the one temptation that drags him down the path he’s been trying to avoid. He won’t let that happen.

Both are content living behind the solid walls they’ve built around themselves. Neither is prepared for what happens when their lives collide.
Due to sexual content and graphic language - 17+ recommended
* A copy was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

I really enjoyed this book. I loved Brantley and found her independent tough girl attitude to be quite refreshing. A lot of books I've read lately, seem to always have the female lead as na├»ve and lacking in true life experience. Sure bad things happen, even to good people, but many female leads remain "in the dark" to the reality surrounding them. Brantley is not one of those girls, well for the most part. I found Caught Up in You to be a heart wrenching, emotional roller coaster full of dramatic yet tender moments.

I don't think the synopsis really gives a good overview of the book though. The gist is that Brantley moves in to the apartment above Myles, and neither of them have any interest in the opposite sex. Until Brantley and Myles have a run in leaving Myles craving Brantley and Brantley ever so confused about Myles.

Brantley is great, she is independent and tough. While Myles is the typical hot next door neighbor. The great thing about this book is the banter and drama between Brantley and Myles. I absolutely loved their scenes together! I craved more. Their dialogue was always interesting and intense. And while the connection was strong in the beginning, I like that their connection grew over time. It wasn't insta-love.

Pride is both Brantley and Myles biggest downfall. That and honesty. Each character has their own issue with trust, a painful past and a slight flair for the dramatic. If they had been willing to open up to one another or ask questions, then they wouldn't have had so many problems. But for people with trust issues, those things don't come naturally or easily. The author did a great job of portraying these emotions without overdoing it. They not only felt real and natural, but the drama didn't seem out of the ordinary. Myles secret is an unusual one, but nonetheless potentially possible in reality, and if in fact were a true story, his reluctance at discussing it make complete sense. Same goes for Brantley. I think that's why I liked this book so much. I also felt their connection grow. As Brantley opened up, and gave herself to Myles.
This is a story that also occurs over a lengthy period of time. It isn't a month but instead many months ( I cant recall exactly how many though maybe a year). Life happens and gets in the way sometimes of what the heart wants. And this story was no different. I appreciated that. It wasn't some fairy tale college romance. But a romantic heart warming story about a boy and girl who fall in love and struggle through their inner turmoil. Whether they are able to come out on top after they stumble is the real story.

This story reminded me of the book Breakdown by Ellie Grace.

So what went wrong to give it a lower rating....?

I would have given this story a 4.5 instead of 3.5 had it not been for Brantley major flaw/mistake in this book. And perhaps it wasn't so much a flaw/mistake, as it was the authors character that is the said flaw. Brantley in my opinion came out strong and independent with perhaps slight naivety. But the chapters and storyline between her and another male character really didn't work for me.  And in fact made me dislike Brantley. She came off as weak and dependent. I understand the reasons for this side story and character, however, I believe the purpose could have been achieved in another way. (sorry Im being vague I don't want to spoil anything!) This whole plot took a lot away from Brantley, her characters overarching purpose and my likeness for the book.

Final Verdict: Read it! I love this author and the story! Ultimately its a worthwhile read. A new adult romance without the insta-love, but plenty of angst and drama.

Monday, March 23, 2015


Rebellion by Stephanie Diaz (Book 2) 3.5 STARS

Rebellion (Extraction, #2)Synopsis
The uprising has begun.
It's been seven days since Clementine and Logan, along with their allies, retreated into hiding on the Surface. The rebels may have won one battle against Commander Charlie, but the fight is far from finished. He has vowed to find a way to win—no matter the cost. Do the rebels have what it takes to defeat him...and put an end to this war?
As Clementine and Logan enter a desperate race against time to defeat Commander Charlie—and attempt to weaken his power within his own ranks—they find themselves in a terrifying endgame that pits them against a brutal enemy, and each other. With every step, Clementine draws closer to losing Logan...and losing control of herself.
Continuing with the mesmerizing saga that started with Extraction, Stephanie Diaz blends science fiction, epic romance, and heart-stopping adventure to create a world that no reader will soon forget.
* I received a copy from net galley in exchange for an honest review 


I enjoyed Stephanie Diaz's 2nd book in the series Rebellion about as much as I did Extraction ( the first book).  Which is to say, I enjoyed it but it wasn't anything "amazing" "new" or different. I will say though that the characters were more developed, especially Clementine (I still hate that name, or her nick name Clem.) But I felt that the book, much like its predecessor, was slow in too many areas. And I don't think action is required in a book to make it fast paced or interesting.

This book starts basically where we left off. Clem and the other rebels are in the headquarters. What really brought Clem to life, was the PTSD she suffers from that we really see (though lest this remind us of another book....Hunger Games anyone?) Clem is also paranoid about everything and everyone. In some ways this works for her and in others against her. Clem and Logan decide to go undercover in the camps she came from after learning that things above ground are changing and no one knows why. Here I find Clem to be a little to trusting. For someone so paranoid and who has been burned before, it seemed like she was willing to forego that to trust people she'd never me. Additionally, she is constantly acting like a martyr, (Divergent?) trying to "save" everyone. It amazed me that she survived given her stupidity and  overly trusting nature.  Without giving away spoilers, this book focuses on the new threat Charlie poses and the way in which he intends to control his population. This aspect of the book I found very clever, new and intriguing. And this is around the time I actually became interested. (Okay that's a bit dramatic but still).

There were a few really crazy and interesting plot twists. Some of them I predicted and were extremely obvious, others actually surprised me! I am pleased with the lack of a love triangle, I find that Logan and Clem, though constantly getting in each others way, are good "lovers". unfortunately there were a few problems with this book, the slow pace, especially at first, and the similarities between this and other books was hard to ignore. In the end, overlooking the issues, I found that it wasn't a complete wash, and that I generally enjoyed this book. I am planning to read the last one for sure as it left me of a cliff!!!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Best Books of 2014

Best Books of 2014

I read a lot if 2014. Some say too much. (NEVER!) I read over 150 books (okay 151 to be exact...) some of them were great...and some not so much. I was disappointed in books that I had high expectations for, and I was pleasantly surprised by others for which I expected little from. I finished a few trilogies (finally) and started some new ones. Ultimately, what I have found, is some great books and some great authors. My only negative opinion about this year is that I was REALLY disappointed with how a few of my series ended, not just because I didnt like the ending, but because the third or final book felt thrown together, and in some ways, incomplete or inadequate.
While quite of few books finished their series this year, I have yet to read them, unfortunately (i.e. Fragments) but its on my list and I am trying to work through the 100 books currently sitting on my kindle (and not buying any more!, a hard task if you're me!)

I look forward to the many books in 2015 I intend to read. And for any of you, who enjoy my blog, let me know. Sometimes, I feel like the only person Im writing for is me, and it'd be nice to know someone else likes it! Suggest a book for me, or request a review of a book. Anything.

Ill update my complete list of books read this year and you can compare that to my favorites of 2014. Please note, I am splitting up my favorites between those RELEASED in 2014 versus those READ in 2014 but released prior to.

Play of Light by Debra Doxer
Earth and Sky by Megan Crewe
The Body Electric by Beth Revis
Fallen Fourth Down by Tijan
Tabula Rosa by Kristen Martin Lippert
Still point (Awaken #3) by Katie Kacvinsky
Rules of Protection by Allison Bliss
Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover
Sins and Secrets by Jessica Sorensen
Push (#2) by Eve Silver
Say the Word by Julie Johnson
Burn Out by Kristi Helvig
The Wicked We Have Done by Sarah Harian
Therapy by Kathryn Perez 

Best of 2014- READ

Angelfall and The World After by Susan Ee
The Eve by Keary Taylor
Legend Series by Marie Lu
Before they Find Us by Michelle Hansen
Pieces of Lies by Angela Richardson (All Three)
Broken and Screwed by Tijan
Fallen Crest High 1-3 by Tijan
Rush by Eve Silver
Shadows and Haze by Paula Weston
Hidden Wings by Renae Cameo
Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi
Altered by Jennifer Rush
Always You by Kristy Moseley
Falling for the Ghost of You by Nichole Christie
The Secret of Ella and Micha by Jessica Sorensen
Violet Eden Chronicles (1-4) by Jessica Shrivington
Unearthly and Hallowed by Cynthia Hand
Rule by Jay Crownover
Awaken and Middle Ground by Katie K
Young Love Murder by April Brookshire

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

All The Rage

All the Rage by Courtney Summers 1.5 STARS

The sheriff’s son, Kellan Turner, is not the golden boy everyone thinks he is, and Romy Grey knows that for a fact. Because no one wants to believe a girl from the wrong side of town, the truth about him has cost her everything—friends, family, and her community. Branded a liar and bullied relentlessly by a group of kids she used to hang out with, Romy’s only refuge is the diner where she works outside of town. No one knows her name or her past there; she can finally be anonymous. But when a girl with ties to both Romy and Kellan goes missing after a party, and news of him assaulting another girl in a town close by gets out, Romy must decide whether she wants to fight or carry the burden of knowing more girls could get hurt if she doesn’t speak up. Nobody believed her the first time—and they certainly won’t now — but the cost of her silence might be more than she can bear. 
With a shocking conclusion and writing that will absolutely knock you out, All the Rage examines the shame and silence inflicted upon young women after an act of sexual violence, forcing us to ask ourselves: In a culture that refuses to protect its young girls, how can they survive?
*netgalley provided a copy in exchange for an honest review
The summary of this book really hooked me. After reading some of the reviews I was convinced this would be an amazing book, I couldn't wait. I wanted this book, and the moment I got my hands on it I started reading it. But I was really let down. I was more than disappointed. So let me explain...

First, I admit that the writing is amazing. In fact, I feel guilty that I didnt enjoy the book, because the writing is so good. The author made me feel as if I were the main character, Romy. Her emotions were strong and while they didnt quite resonate with me, I could still feel the shame and depression rolling off of her in every scene. But this is also part of the problem with the book. There is a difference between making me empathize and understand a character and depressing me so much with a character that I have no urge to continue reading. I have read plenty of book with the former (i.e. Therapy by Kathryn Perez) but unfortunately, All the Rage led me to just be plain depressed. In fact, I wouldn't even consider the ending, a Happy Ending, but rather a conclusion. It is neither satisfying nor happy, but rather a means to an end. While some parts of the story are brought to an end, Romy is left with no true "ending" and certainly only provided with mild peace. 

Now Romy, gosh, I do not think I have ever read about a more depressing woe is me character. Romy unfortunately is bullied endlessly because she spoke out against her attacker, a popular jock and the Sheriff son. We learn most of this story through the use of flashbacks, which are actually quite difficult to decipher and confused the story line quite a bit in my opinion. In fact, we never even meet Kellan throughout the entire story (after the prologue/intro that is). Romy obsesses over painting her nails and putting on her lipstick but refuses to buy pretty undergarments. Okay, I get that after being raped you may not want the "sexy" clothes and I understand the nails and make up are her way of looking good on the outside, a facade. But the author needlessly and tirelessly brings these two points up way too frequently.  

Third, there were so many other issues with this book, I don't know where to begin. The police officer/sheriff angle was really disappointing. The small town feel is over done and didnt have any meaning here. In fact the author has made small towns look bad, as if they are all hick towns, the rich are the ones who can get away with anything and men rule the town. I really couldn't figure out where the book was going, what is the driving force of the plot. The missing girl piece seemed haphazardly thrown in there, as did many of the elements in this book. I didnt understand the purpose of this book and in the end my rating shows that I disapprove completely. I am surprised I didnt like this novel, given the authors following and the summary I thought this was a slam dunk. Unfortunately, I was let down. I would give her other books a chance, but am in no hurry. 

I hate giving bad reviews, so I always try to say who might enjoy this book, so I think if you are looking for a depressing book with some harsh issues and realities but without a happily ever after then you may enjoy reading this. 

Friday, February 20, 2015

The Line Between

The Line Between by Tamsyn  Bester - 4 STARS

There’s a fine line between love and hate, so fine that you don’t know you’ve lost balance until it’s too late.
I’m not sure exactly when I lost my balance, all I know is that he was to blame.
Dane Winters.
The boy who’d spent most of his life hating me for reasons I never understood.
** ** ** ** ** **
It was no secret that I hated her, but only I knew why.
She was off-limits.
And then our separate worlds collided with one tragedy.
It wasn’t her fault, I knew that, but I wanted her to hurt the way I did, and I needed someone to blame. She was an easy target.
Kennedy Monroe.
The girl I’d picked on all our lives.
And the woman I barely tolerated.
Until the line between love and hate was no longer visible…
*I received a copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review


I absolutely loved this book. It was a fun and flirty read. The banter between the characters felt realistic and their romance blossomed over time. Their inner monolgues really provided an important aspect and perspective, without being too mundane.
I docked a star mainly because I was a bit frustrated with the hate coming off on Dane. It didnt make much sense to me at first, but eventually it worked itself out.
The story between Dane and Kennedy is told from alternating POV's, which really helps provide answers to some of the burning questions we all have as the book goes on.
We first meet Dane and Kennedy in high school and are left believing Kennedy is a nobody who cant stand up for herself and Dane is the ultra-cool but dickhead jock. The beginning reminded me a lot like the movies and tv shows with the popular guy picking on the lowly unpopular girl. But as the book quickly moves forward, we find that Dane and Kennedy are not what they appear, and distance forced them both to grow up in their own way. I absolutely loved the way this story played outl knowing but knowing; seeing things but not really seeing them. The pieces are all there, like breadcrumbs for the reader to follow, but none of the pieces are put together until the very end, at which point I was ugly crying. The "line" that kept them apart and hating one another, (or rather him hating her and her just trying to live) wasnt some ridiculous ideal or rumored secret/gossip but rather a heart wrenching secret and moment in time. These two people are forced to decide whether to live for themselves or the people everyone else expects them to be.
Dane and Kennedy are characters of their own right. Very distinct voices, without being too demanding, aggessive or unrealistic. Kennedy struck me as the girl who is willing to do anything for the ones she loves, but she is more sympathetic, generous and tender with her friends. Dane on the other hand is fierce, aggressive and passionate, in all consuming love it or hate it kind of passion. He is a guys guy who throws all his cares out the window every morning. Or so it would appear. At the end of the day Dane and Kennedy are struggling with the same pain and just dealing with it in different ways. They carry burdens and secrets no one should have to but find a way to do more than survive, but live.

The secondary characters here also felt quite realistic and true to what a friend or best friend should be in a book. Many times these roles get lost and these characters feel misplaced and purposefully place but without a true purpose. (Hope that made sense!) I cant wait to read the love story between the friends because their romance was undeniable - at least to everyone except them!
This is a book I wish I could forget I ever read it just so I could read it again. It was tender yet aggressive, loving and passionate, and really just all around fun read with lots of angst but without the ridiculous feel that these New Adult Novels can sometimes provide.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Play of Light

Play of Light by Debra Doxer 4 STARS

I lived in paradise, and I loved Spencer Pierce. 

At fourteen, my life was perfect. The beach was my playground, and the boy who stole my heart lived just around the corner. But perfect never lasts. In one horrifying moment, I lost it all. My family was destroyed, and the boy I believed in turned his back on me. Paradise became a nightmare.

That was five years ago. Everything changed when we moved from our home by the sea. I’ve changed, and I don’t like who I’ve become. I miss the smiling, carefree beach girl who disappeared that terrible night. I want to find her again. I want to face the people we ran from so long ago. Most of all, I have to face Spencer. So I can prove that when he broke my heart, he didn’t break me.

But when I see him again, Spencer Pierce is no longer the boy from my memories. He’s now a man who could devastate me if I let him. He watches me when he thinks I’m not looking. There’s regret written on his face when he’s near. Each time I see him, my heart aches for what might have been, and I think his does too. How can I convince myself I’m over him when I suspect he never got over me? 

* Netgalley provided an arc exchange for an honest review. 

Play of Light was an unexpectedly beautiful and touching story about two main characters who test the boundaries of their relationship when it seems there are a number of surrounding circumstances against them, none of which are of their own doing. The author Debra Doxer had an amazing ability to capture her reader from the beginning, weaving a mysterious storyline with a couple destined to be with one another regardless of the hardships. 

I absolutely loved the characters in this book. Every single one of them. Sarah, the main character was a delight to read and get to know. Though she is vulnerable, she is strong, where she is scared, she is determined and through every moment she shows how resilient she is. 

Stories where memories are scattered throughout the novel, piecing the past together for the reader, usually aren't my thing. But Doxer managed to weave these details and moments into the story in a very meticulous and perfect manner. Each memory served such greater purpose, not just to show the connection between Sarah and Spencer, but even the greater mystery, the larger picture. 

The blurb here attracted me, intrigued me, and the more I read the more I had to know what was going to happen, what had happened, and most importantly WHY? I couldn't put this book down. The story of Sarah and Spencer is more than second chance love, it was a touching and beautiful story of two vulnerable people opening their hearts to one another even though everything has been stacked against them. A story about making your own destiny and creating your own path. 

This was definitely one of the best books that I read this read and I recommend it to anyone looking for a romantic story with depth, hope and a little bit of mystery.