Review: Where The Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller

Book Title: Where The Stars Still Shine
Author: Trish Doller
Release Date: September 24th, 2013
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Genre: YA/ Contemporary
Standalone
Book Link: Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Stolen as a child from her large and loving family, and on the run with her mom for more than ten years, Callie has only the barest idea of what normal life might be like. She’s never had a home, never gone to school, and has gotten most of her meals from laundromat vending machines. Her dreams are haunted by memories she’d like to forget completely. But when Callie’s mom is finally arrested for kidnapping her, and Callie’s real dad whisks her back to what would have been her life, in a small town in Florida, Callie must find a way to leave the past behind. She must learn to be part of a family. And she must believe that love–even with someone who seems an improbable choice–is more than just a possibility.

Trish Doller writes incredibly real teens, and this searing story of love, betrayal, and how not to lose your mind will resonate with readers who want their stories gritty and utterly true.

Disclaimer: I bought this book with my birthday money.

Review:
Oh my goodness, this story was beautiful and full of those all important feels. I was hoping that I wouldn’t be disappointed by this book and I wasn’t. It was beautifully written from start to finish. This was the first Trish Doller book that I have ever read but it absolutely will not be my last.

Callie has been on the run with her mother since she was little, so the only loyalty she feels is to her mother. Yet when her mother is finally arrested for kidnapping, Callie is forced to go live with a father she doesn’t remember and her two half brothers and stepmom, Phoebe.In Florida she also meets her cousin Kat, who is part of this huge Greek family that Callie doesn’t remember.

She isn’t ready to just abandon all thoughts of her mother and change her loyalties to her father and stepmom. Yet she cannot deny that it feels good to belong somewhere. It feels good knowing that people care about her and don’t want her running around by herself. It isn’t until she meets Phoebe’s brother, Alex, that she begins to realize that all guys aren’t like the ones she knew before.

Alex isn’t the guy who stole her innocence at 8 years old. It takes Callie awhile to believe that there are good guys out there and that every guy isn’t just after one thing. I know a lot pf people had issues with both her attitude and how she kinda just slept with any guy who wanted her.She had very little experience with guys. After all the only guys she would meet were the middle-aged pervs that leered at her.

Her attitude towards sex was pretty cavalier but I think the experience with her mother’s boyfriend had really screwed up her self esteem. Being with Alex actually raised her self esteem. By the end of the book, she knew that she deserved better. She knew that she was worth something.Watching that transformation in Callie was something really special.

I loved Alex. I mean he was wonderful and sweet and kind to Callie. My favorite part between them was near the end when she told him exactly what had happened to her. He didn’t look at her any differently. He didn’t view her as “trash” or “dirty” or “sick” He saw the same girl. He saw Callie exactly as she deserved to be seen. What he did for his mother in the end was beautiful and I cried. He had his own demons but he was able to put them aside for his mother. A guy who is devoted to his mother is something special.

While this book was pretty damn near perfection, there were lulls in the book. Parts that didn’t exactly bore me but were on the slow side. I guess that was a good thing as it gave me time to dry the tears that showed up.I really enjoyed this book and it’s seriously on the cusp of love for me. So it’s getting 4.5 stars. A near PERFECT read for me. I would absolutely recommend it to pretty much anyone.

Review: Secret Lies by Amy Dunne

Book Title: Secret Lies
Author: Amy Dunne
Release Date: December 16th, 2013
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
Genre: YA/Contemporary/LGBT
Standalone
Book Link: Goodreads
Purchase Links: AmazonBarnes & Noble
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Would you face your biggest fear, to save the one you love? 

Nicola Jackson escapes from her abuser, only to realize she has no one to turn to and nowhere to go. In a twist of fate, she accidentally bumps into Jenny O’Connor, the most popular girl at school. They strike up an unlikely friendship. As their trust in each other develops, they share their darkest secrets, and their relationship blossoms into a secret romance. 

Jenny loves Nicola, but she is fearful that if their secret relationship is discovered, she might lose her family, friends, and her seemingly perfect life. 

Nicola confronts her abuser and blackmails him to leave for good, but things go terrifyingly wrong. Jenny is left with a life-changing dilemma: should she face her fear and accept who she is, or let Nicola take the blame and pretend their relationship never happened?

Disclaimer: I received this e-ARC from Bold Strokes Books via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

Review:
This author was a new author to me so I had no idea what to expect when I began this book. I found myself really liking the story. Yes, the timeline was a bit unbelievable but when you are in an abusive situation you’ll use any means to get out of the situation. Even if that means befriending a girl that you had hardly ever spoken to before. 

I totally understand why so many people disliked the book because of the unrealistic timeline, but for me it didn’t both me much. Maybe because the characters were so great all down the road.Out of both Nicola and Jenny, I liked Nicola more. She was resilient and determined not to play the victim which was amazing given all that she had been through in the past 5 years.

I liked Jenny too. It was hard to hear about how she dealt with things but I’m glad that it wasn’t treated as a taboo subject like so many things still are. However, it was her family that made me like her even more. Despite being very devout Catholics,they were warm and loving which was really nice to see. Even Elizabeth, who was a class A bitch initially, grew on me.

The relationship itself was a bit insta-lovey which makes me cringe but they were able to be themselves around each other which was good to see. Outside of Laura, Jenny really didn’t have any decent friends.I didn’t like how once they were together and alone together, they always went to sex. But then I had to remember that they were teenagers and many teenagers are sex-crazed.

The ending just about broke me and it only made me love Jenny’s parents more and actually made me have sympathy for Nicola’s mother, which I never expected to happen.I cried a lot of tears during the end.So the feels were definitely there. 

Overall, I really liked this one. The timeline was unrealistic and sometimes Jenny & Nicola both got on my nerves for being so sex crazed so those are the reasons I’m giving it 4 stars.I think I’ll probably read any book the author writes in the future.

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Things I Am Most Thankful For This Year

This feature is hosted by the ladies at The Broke and the Bookish.

1. 
My mom. She’s always in my corner no matter what.Even if I mess up, she’s right there for me. Supporting me. Loving me. I cannot ask for much more from her.

2. 
My health. I have serious health problems. I’ve never been shy about them.This year my health has been pretty good. Not amazing, but pretty good.I’m very thankful for that as I know so many people who don’t have their health.

3. 
My younger half sisters & half brother. Things are still awkward with them as I have chosen to have no contact with our dad. However since they have had kids in the past 3 years, I have really worked on establishing a relationship with them.It’s not their fault that our dad is a total a-hole. So I’m working on things with them.

4. 
My extended family on my mom’s side. It’s small and we do fight on occasion but we have never held a grudge. Even after having a screaming fight with my uncle on Superbowl Sunday about gay rights 2 years ago. We’ve just agreed to disagree with each other when it comes to politics.

5. 
Bloggers. I just started this crazy ride in April and I cannot believe the awesome people that I have met through blogging. I am so thankful for that. I could fill up a full post just talking about those people who I have connected with so I’ll just keep it short. Ashley, Jamie, Meredith, Marie & Molli. All of you have brought something special to my life and I thank you so much for that.

6. 
My cats. It’s no secret that my cats are my family. I would have a very boring life if they were not in it. They have their own personalities and they have made my life even more wonderful.

7. 
I’m thankful that I have everything I need. Clothes on my back, a roof over my head and food in my stomach. As long as I have that, everything else is just gravy. So many people in my city live under bridges, have no idea where their next meal is coming from or even if it’s coming.

8. 
I’m thankful for books. I’ve loved books since I was a 3 year old and I cannot imagine never being able to read another book. The idea is too awful to even consider.

9. 
I’m thankful for authors who treat their readers well. I’ve heard of authors that have treated readers/bloggers horribly and that makes me so sad. I am so grateful that I have yet to encounter anything like that.All the authors that I have interacted with have been wonderful people.I love that authors are interacting more with their readers. Thank you to social media for that!

10. 
J.K.Rowling. For reasons that should be obvious to everyone. She is a goddess and she brought these books that will be classics forever. She taught so many kids about love, sacrifice and how doing the right thing is more important than having a boyfriend/girlfriend.

These are my top ten. It’s a mix of book related things and the usual answers that come around at this time of the year.

So what are you most thankful for this year?

Review: Sia by Josh Grayson

Book Title: Sia
Author: Josh Grayson
Publish Date: November 20th, 2013
Published By: Josh Grayson
Genre: YA/Contemporary/Romace
Standalone
Book Link: Goodreads
Pre-Order Links: 

Synopsis from Goodreads:
When seventeen-year-old Sia wakes up on a park bench, she has no idea who or where she is. Yet after a week of being homeless, she’s reunited with her family. At school, she’s powerful and popular. At home, she’s wealthy beyond her dreams. But she quickly realizes her perfect life is a lie. Her family is falling apart and her friends are snobby, cruel and plastic. Worse yet, she discovers she was the cruelest one. Mortified by her past, she embarks on a journey of redemption and falls for Kyle, the “geek” she once tormented. Yet all the time she wonders if, when her memories return, she’ll become the bully she was before…and if she’ll lose Kyle.

Disclaimer: I received this e-galley from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

Review:
I was thrilled when Netgalley approved me for this title. The premise looked awesome and I was hoping that the premise would match the book in awesome-ness. It totally did. This book was about reinventing yourself. One might also say that it involved learning to find yourself all over again. Sia’s memory loss allowed her to not only change herself for the better,but it also allowed her to surround herself with… I don’t want to say better people, but different people.

Carol was a huge part of that. She took care of Sia while Sia was homeless and living on the streets for that one week. It was Carol who showed Sia the meaning of kindness. Something the old Sia didn’t understand.I loved Carol. She was everything that Sia needed that week and she continued to exude kindness to Sia even after Sia returned home to her family. Carol was the epitome of being grateful for what she had, while still working hard to better herself. That, I believe was Sia’s inspiration. 

Watching Sia change from the fashion obsessed, cruel high schooler that she used to be to the kindhearted, gentle and generous person she became was amazing. I know her friends, particularly Amber had a rough time of it, but seeing Sia not cave when Amber started up with her old tricks again was awesome. Sia no longer cared about fashion, boys and popularity. She cared about being a good person who cared about others.

This book could have easily been titled redemption as Sia was redeemed. Her amnesia allowed her to become a different person. She got a chance to change and she happily took that chance. Something not everyone would have been brave enough to do.

Kyle was a total sweetheart and he was a much better boyfriend than Sia’s previous boyfriend Duke, They were polar opposites which I guess made sense given Sia’s development throughout the book.

I have to give this book 4 stars. It was a great read but I really felt like the last few chapters were rushed and I really didn’t like that. I didn’t understand why they were rushed and I feel like it would have been a better read if the last few chapters were just a bit longer.

Review: One More Dance by Valentine Cardinale

Book Title: One More Dance
Author: Valentine Cardinale
Published Date: July 12th, 2013
Published By: Outskirts Press Inc.
Genre: Mystery
Standalone
Book Link: Goodreads
Purchase Link: AmazonBarnes & Noble
Synopsis (from Barnes & Noble) 
One More Dance is a powerful tale about two people looking for love, a family in crisis, and the search for a mysterious assailant. After Julian Case, a Manhattan realtor and widower, meets Alegra Rossini, a university professor and single mom, at a wedding in Italy, he’s confident he’s found new love. On the plane back to the States he’s already making plans to see her again. But when he enters his home in New Jersey, he discovers his son has been savagely attacked and left for dead. Fearing that whoever beat the young man into a coma will try to finish the job, Julian puts his life on hold to assist in the investigation to find the assailant. 

And so the mystery begins, taking the first of many telling twists and turns. Who did it? Is there a likely suspect? Will the attacker strike again? Can a father unlock the secret connection and find his son’s attacker before it’s too late? Will Julian lose his chance at new love as he throws himself into the chase? 

In Italy, Alegra, who feels as strongly about Julian as he feels about her, can only continue teaching, caring for her eight-year-old daughter, and hoping. Will she let real love slip away from her? Can she wait as Julian deals with a family crisis that may take months, or years, to resolve while she struggles to get on with her life? The quest to find new love after the death of a spouse is understandable and a universal concern. But when it conflicts with a grave family matter, does it have to take a back seat? Should Julian be denied the chance for one more dance in his life?

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Review:
When I received a request to review this book, I was intrigued. The premise looked promising and involved Italy, a place I have wanted to travel to for a long time. Unfortunately my initial excitement over the book’s premise faded as I began to read the book. It was a very quick read. In fact I finished it in less than six hours. 

The writing style did not appeal to me at all. It seemed as though very little thought was put into it as the descriptions of things seemed to use the least amount of words possible. Now I’m not saying every book has to be the size of J.R.R Tolkien’s classic Lord of the Rings books,but what I am saying is that this book read like an extended fan fiction. I found no spelling or editing errors in the book so that was definitely a plus.

I couldn’t connect to any of the main characters. I tried throughout the entire book to connect with Julian or Allegra or Florence or Leo or Frankie, but I just couldn’t. That’s when I really started to get frustrated with this book. If I cannot connect in some way to the characters, then I am more than likely going to hate the book. I liked Florence and Frankie enough but I just didn’t connect with them. I think, had Allegra been a bigger part of the book I would have liked her, but she wasn’t so I didn’t. I blame the lack of character development.

One of my biggest issues came near the end. I can’t specifically talk about what happened as it is a major book spoiler. But what I can say is that in involved a certain piece of medical equipment that the author clearly didn’t understand how it worked.

I was really annoyed at the supposed romance because I didn’t feel it. I need to feel like I can root for these characters and because of the lack of character development and the lack of chemistry between Allegra and Julian, I just couldn’t root for them. 

So I have to give this book 2 stars, the lack of character development, the poor writing and the lackluster effort towards this book are the reasons why. Maybe someone else will take a chance on this book.

Review: Emma’s Secret: A Novel by Steena Holmes

Book Title: Emma’s Secret
Author: Steena Holmes
Publish Date: June 25th, 2013
Published By: Amazon Publishing
Genre: Family/Mystery
Series: Book 2 in the Emma series
Book Link: Goodreads
Purchase Links: AmazonBarnes & Noble

Synopsis (from Goodreads): 
For two years, Megan, Peter, and their two older daughters, Alexis and Hannah, dream of nothing but being reunited with the family’s youngest child, Emma, who was kidnapped just before her third birthday. When Emma is miraculously found living with an elderly couple just miles from the family’s home, they are hopeful that her return will heal the wounds her disappearance created.

But Emma is vastly different from the sunny toddler they remember. She barely remembers her parents or her older sisters. She is quiet and withdrawn, and, worst of all, longs for the very people who kidnapped her.

Megan is consumed with bitterness, while Peter works later and later nights in the company of his gorgeous business partner. And in the middle of everything, Megan’s best friend has become suddenly distant and secretive.

Then a chance encounter in town leads to a secret that changes everything again for Emma. And Peter must decide between the happiness of his youngest daughter and the trust of his family.

Disclaimer: I received this e-book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

Review:
Have you ever had that period of time where no book can hold your interest no matter how hard you try? Ever felt like you are forcing yourself to read something that you just aren’t feeling right then? Well,that’s what they call a “reading slump” Yup, no matter how much you want to read this book or that book,for some reason you just can’t. 

That’s what’s been going on with me the past week. I am even behind in writing & scheduling blogs because I haven’t done much reading. So when I scrolled through my Kindle, I landed on this book. It had looked interesting but I hadn’t read it yet.

Boy am I glad that I settled on this book. It was a great book with family as the center of it. Very few books that center around family weave other people into it well. First let me get this out. Megan drove me bananas. I understand the desire of keeping your child safe,especially since she had been away from you for 2 years. But I do think Megan took it to an unhealthy level. She wouldn’t do girls nights with her friends,preferring to stay with Emma. Yes I understand the need to be near your child who had just been returned to you,but like I said, Megan went overboard.

I felt horrible for Alexis and Hannah. They wanted their mom’s attention too but Megan was too busy catering to Emma’s needs to even notice her older daughters. I cannot blame Peter for the way he reacted either. Megan was hell bent on hating anyone who had anything to do with Emma’s disappearance. Megan’s friend Laurie was far more patient than I would have ever been. It was clear to me that Megan blamed herself and she was going to bend over backwards to make sure Emma was always safe.

What Peter did was nervy of him. I certainly wouldn’t have done it. I probably would have handled Jack in a combination of the way that Megan handled the situation and and the way that Peter handled the situation.

My heart ached for Emma though. She had spent 2 years with an elderly couple.She had bonded with them and suddenly she was thrust back into arms of parents she didn’t really remember and sisters that she didn’t remember. Her mom was pushing her to forget “Grandma and Papa” but Emma was clearly very attached to the older couple who had kidnapped her. Again I think Megan tried to rush things. I kept screaming at my Kindle for Megan to stop rushing Emma.

When kids are returned to their parents after a long absence such as being kidnapped,it’s not going to instantly go back to the way it was before the absence. I think Peter had a much more realistic view of the situation. Megan had significant tunnel vision.

All in all this book was an enjoyable read. I laughed and cried throughout it. It was also a very quick read,which made me super happy. There were a few issues with the formatting,that bugged me and all but Megan were enjoyable characters that had strengths and weaknesses. I toyed with giving this book 3.5 stars because I don’t think I’ll re-read it again but the character development of Emma was wonderful to watch. So I’m giving it 4 stars.

Review: Asher’s Fault by Elizabeth Wheeler

Book: Asher’s Fault
Author: Elizabeth Wheeler
Publish Date: September 17th,2013
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
Genre: YA/LBGT
Standalone
Book Link: Goodreads
Pre-order links: AmazonBarnes & Noble

Synopsis (from Barnes & Noble) 

The day fourteen-year-old Asher receives a Minolta camera from his aunt Sharon, he buys the last roll of black-and-white film and takes his first photograph—a picture of a twisted pine tree. He’s so preoccupied with his new hobby he fails to notice his dad’s plan to move out, his increasing alienation from his testosterone-ridden best friend, Levi, and his own budding sexuality. When his little brother drowns at the same moment Asher experiences his first same-sex kiss, he can no longer hide behind the lens of his camera. Asher thinks it’s his fault, but after his brother dies, his father resurfaces along with clues challenging Asher’s black-and-white view of the world. The truth is as twisted as the pine tree in his first photograph.

Disclaimer: I received this e-galley from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

Review:
This one caught my eye due to a number of factors. The coming of age concept,the burgeoning sexuality as well as the photography factor.So I was really excited to read this one and for the first two-thirds of it I had some significant emotions come out of me but the last third of the book was such a major disappointment.

Let’s discuss the characters first. Asher was a good kid who had gone through quite a bit in his life and was now having to deal with his parents divorce,the new kid Garrett and his little brother’s eventual death. He does go a little off kilter near the middle of the book but really,who can blame him? His father walked out,his mother is an emotional wreck,his brother Travis is dead and he’s trying to sort out his feelings for Garrett.

Photography is key and it’s Asher’s way of hiding. He hides behind the lens because he is not ready to face the realities of his life.When his brother dies at the exact moment that Asher is experiencing his first same sex kiss,he feels an immense weight of guilt crushing him to the point where he avoids Garrett’s calls.

Levi is Asher’s best friend and they have been friends for a long time but I spent nearly the entire book absolutely hating Levi for the way he treated Asher. I know people are going to say “Well it was the hormones” Please,that is NO excuse. I’m also completely flabbergasted that Levi did not attend the funeral. Really? His best friend’s brother died and he didn’t attend the funeral to provide support to Asher? Levi’s parents went,but not Levi.

Now we go to Asher’s mom Margaret,she was an emotional wreck throughout the entire thing. I still believe that she was being a big time baby over the divorce.I mean really she kept calling Asher’s dad “him” Come on,you were married to the man for a long time and now you carried with you a boat-load of anger.I mean Asher, Travis & their mother even went to the earlier church service to avoid seeing him with his new wife. Now THAT is totally childish.One rule of divorced parents is to never speak ill of the other parent. Asher’s mother definitely failed on that count.

Now I could have done without Asher’s dad and his stepmother but his connection to his dad’s house was important.I do think the author could have achieved the same result through other means though.I did like that Heather attempted to fix the camera after it met an untimely demise.I think she had some redeeming qualities but since Asher was committed to hating her,we never got to see those qualities. 

Now I need to go off on a small tangent,there was a lot about God & religion that really made me uncomfortable. I’m an atheist so there were some parts in this book that made me not want to finish this book.Had I known that there was a lot of religion in this book,I would not have requested it on Netgalley.

It was refreshing to see a teenage character who is openly gay. Generally we don’t get to see that. Most teenage characters who are gay,hide their sexuality for fear of being beaten to a pulp.So I liked that Garrett was so happy and confident with himself.I really wish we had gotten to see more of him.I wanted more interaction between him and Asher. 

Jennifer & Kayla were okay characters but I wasn’t really invested in either of them. It was obvious to me that Asher was using Jennifer to try and erase those strange feelings he had for Garrett.

And now,for my biggest pet peeve.I wish this book focused more on the LGBT aspect.I liked that it focused a lot on family but since this book was in the LGBT/YA category on Netgalley I was hoping that it would focus more on Asher’s feelings for Garrett. I don’t think those feelings were really explored at all and that was my biggest disappointment with this book.

So this book gets three stars from me. It was a beautiful 5 star book until the last third of the book and that’s when it went down.I also wasn’t satisfied with the ending so that’s another reason why it’s getting the 3 star rating. 

Review: The Moon & More by Sarah Dessen

Book: The Moon & More
Author: Sarah Dessen
Published Date: June 4th, 2013
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Genre: NA/Contemporary/Romace
Standalone
Book Link: Goodreads
Purchase Links: AmazonBarnes & Noble
Synopsis:
This summer is a time for transitions for Emaline and her family. While she prepares to head off to college,other members of her family are experiencing changes of their own. Emaline has been with her boyfriend Luke for as long as she can remember.He is perfect in every way but now Emaline is starting to wonder if perfect is really what she needs. Enter Theo the mysterious stranger.
Theo is everything that Luke is not. Theo is ambitious and he goes for what he wants,every day believing that this day or this experience will be the best ever.He thinks that Emaline is much to smart for the small town of Colby.
Emaline’s mostly absent father agrees with Theo. He believes that Emaline can do much better than Colby but he is not willing or able to actually help her get there. Emaline can’t deny that she is interested in this future that both Theo and her father see for her.She loves her family and her small town and she’s reluctant to break out of her comfort zone.
Emaline wants to have it all but how can she balance where she came from,from where she’s going?
Disclaimer: I purchased this book from Amazon
Review:
I know most people are going to focus their reviews on the love triangle aspect of the book but not me. I am going to focus this review on Emaline’s family,most specifically her relationship with her mostly absent father as I related to that one so much. 
Like Emaline, I don’t have much of a relationship with my father. Actually the interaction I have with him is SO much less than what Emaline has with her father.Like Emaline though I do have a relationship with my half siblings. Not much of one but this book inspired me to make more of an effort.
“No you’re my father.I have a dad and right now Benji needs his. Not a lecture.Not fixing because he is not broken. Just your attention and your patience and your time.Just you.” 
                                 -Emaline
Benji was a cute kid and I’m not at all convinced that he didn’t steal the show so to speak in certain parts of the book.I really didn’t like Emaline’s father.Especially towards the end.I began to see just how selfish he was and I hurt so badly for Benji. I wish we had gotten to see more of Emaline’s stepmother Leah. I have a feeling I would have really liked her.
Now Emaline’s nuclear family was great. I loved her grandmother, mom,stepfather and sisters Margo & Amber. They all seemed like a typical family.Close enough to drive each other crazy,but also allowing for autonomy.I can’t blame Emaline for not really minding that her father wasn’t around much.She had a wonderful & supportive family.
Daisy was so sweet and such an awesome friend. I wish I had a friend just like her. I liked her relationship with Morris. I know it seemed like he was a lazy ass and maybe he was,but he made one hell of an effort for Daisy which made me smile.
Oh Ivy,throughout most of the book I kept saying that she was a very high strung woman and just needed to chill for a bit. But by the end of it,I loved her.Yes she was a hard-ass but once I really got to know the character I didn’t mind one iota.She actually grew to be one of my favorite characters in the whole book.
Okay I guess now I have to talk about the two guys. Initially I felt that Luke was too vanilla for Emaline and that Theo was more of a raspberry sorbet type. I liked Theo more for Emaline through a good chunk of it but then I started to realize that he was doing his best to try to change Emaline which drove me bananas. Yes coaxing someone out of their comfort zone could be helpful but he was really pushy.The fact that every day could be the “Best Day Ever” started to really irk me. No day is perfect and there is no such thing as having every day be the best thing ever.
I ended up loving Luke by the end of it. He was sweet and kind and most importantly he cared for Emaline in a way that I don’t think Theo ever did.He didn’t try to change Emaline and he also didn’t push for a reconciliation by the end.
“My point is, I don’t want anymore weirdness between us. Which means honestly not having anything between us.At least not now. All right?” -Luke

There were a few points in the book where it seemed to drag and that really is the reason I’ve giving this book 4 stars.If there hadn’t been any dragging parts,then I would be giving this book the full five stars. As it is,I need to go read some more of Sarah Dessen’s work.

Friday Musings #7

This week I decided to focus on my top five favorite quotes in books.I have a lot so for me it was really hard to narrow it down to 5 but I did the best I could. So here are my top five favorite book quotes.

#1
“After all this time?” Albus Dumbledore
“Always” Severus Snape
-Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows-
Yes I am well aware that it’s two quotes but I couldn’t do one without the other. I won’t spoil anything about this quote but I will tell you that is smack dab in the middle of one of the most emotional chapters in the Harry Potter series.

#2
“Albus Severus,you were named for two headmasters at Hogwarts.One of them was a Slytherin and he was probably the bravest man I ever knew.” Harry Potter
-Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows-

This quote was yet again another extremely emotional quote for me and probably for many other people as well.Six years later I still get choked up when reading this part.

#3
“I wish it wasn’t true, but it is. No matter how many times you break my heart, you’re still my girl, for as long as you want to be.” Paul
-314-

This quote speaks to me for a million different reasons. Paul and Alma’s on again off again relationship reminds me so much of my on again off again relationship with a guy.I could see my on again off again guy saying these exact words to me so reading it in a book is very emotional.

#4
“President Snow used to…sell me…my body, that is…I wasn’t the only one.If a victor is considered desirable,the president gives them as a reward or allows people to buy them for an exorbitant amount of money.If you refuse,he kills someone you love. So you do it.” Finnick Odair
-The Hunger Games: Mockingjay-

This was a significant point in the book. Up until this time,Katniss saw him as a “pretty boy” who was in love with a mad girl from his district. Up until now,she never realized that Finnick was multi-layered and a much more complicated person. As a reader,things fell into place for me. Finnick’s actions of bedding many women made sense to me. He was simply trying to keep Annie safe.

#5
“No you’re my father.I have a dad and right now Benji needs his. Not a lecture.Not fixing because he is not broken. Just your attention and your patience and your time.Just you.” Emaline

-The Moon & More-
This was another one that struck me on a personal level. Emaline does not have a great relationship with her father but she is pushing him to be a better father to her half brother than he ever was to her. That was gutsy of her. She was also super protective of her ten year old brother.She didn’t want her brother to have the same lousy relationship with their dad, that she had.

Book Tour: Romancing the Bookworm by Kate Evangelista


Title: Romancing the Bookworm 
Author: Kate Evangelista     
Release date: July 9, 2013
Publisher: Omnific Publishing
Genre: New Adult Contemporary romance
Book Information: GoodreadsBook Trailer
Purchase Links: AmazonBarnes & Noble
Synopsis:
Sometimes, even the best-laid plans can unravel.
It’s spring break, and Tamara Winters would rather stay on campus and read romance novels than flaunt her size-fourteen body on a beach. But her best friend, Roni, has other ideas. Against her wishes, Tamara is whisked away to picturesque Maverick Bay, where she’s wrangled into waiting tables with Roni at the Shore Shack for its busy week leading to Maverick’s Surf Invitational. There she meets fellow schoolmate Xavier Solomon, the Invitational’s organizer and campus womanizer by reputation. From the moment Tamara sees him emerging from the waves like a hero in of one of her romance novels, all she wants to do is run away from the feelings he inspires in her.
Little does she know Xavier has been watching her for weeks now. In fact, after failed attempts at asking her out on campus, he’s concocted a crazy plan: fabricating romantic situations straight out of her favorite books. Xavier quickly realizes that if Tamara gets a whiff of his designs, he might as well spell CREEPER across his forehead. Yet as they grow closer, he’s convinced it’s a risk worth taking. What he hasn’t planned on, of course, is his drug-addicted, alcoholic stepbrother, who decides to join the fun and put a wrench in Xavier’s scheme.
Spring break is proving hotter than Tamara expected. Will her romance novels be able to compete?

Disclaimer: I received an advanced reader copy of this book in exchange for my participation in a blog tour.


Review: I was excited to read this book from the minute I saw the synopsis and I was hopeful that the book itself wouldn’t disappoint me. It didn’t disappoint me at all. In fact It felt as though the book was written FOR me in so many ways. I have always preferred the company of books to the company of actual people. I have very little experience with romance much like Tamara.

I fell head over heels for Xavier from the beginning. He was a very dreamy guy. Not just in looks but in personality too. However I knew pretty quickly that he was hiding something and I was hoping that it wasn’t anything too serious like all of his stepbrother’s issues.

Roni was an awesome best friend. Best friends are supposed to be there for you. They are supposed to apologize when they wronged you and Roni did that. Not only that,but she pushed Tamara OUT of her comfort zone. That I loved.She didn’t do it maliciously. She did it out of love for Tamara. I wish we had seen more of Hudson,Roni’s brother. I really liked him.He was a loyal guy to both his best friend Xavier and to Roni.

I know I wasn’t supposed to,but I fell for Zander. Yes he had problems but at the root of it he was a good guy. I truly believe that. No he didn’t handle things well with Roni, or with Xavier for that matter,but underneath all the drugs & alcohol I truly believe he was a good person. He had gone through so much hell and now he was feeling unloved by his family,pushed out by Xavier. Like Xavier admitted near the end,I do believe Zander loved Roni. I am SO hoping the author does another book,this one with Zander & Roni as the focal points.

Xavier and Tamara were so flipping CUTE! Gah I was so hoping that Tamara would cash in her v-card with this guy. I think cashing it in with some guy who she doesn’t know would have really upset her. I also like that they didn’t rush into it and that Xavier allowed her to set the pace. That showed so much respect for her.

I really liked how there were so few characters.It allowed for better character development and it allowed me to care about the five main characters.Sometimes a book can have too many secondary characters that it gets confusing and I get frustrated.

This book really spoke to me and I really adored the entire thing. I am giving it five stars because this book was perfection. From the plot to the characters to the backdrop.

About the Author:

When Kate Evangelista was told she had a knack for writing stories, she did the next best thing: entered medical school. After realizing she wasn’t going to be the next Doogie Howser, M.D., Kate wandered into the Literature department of her university and never looked back. Today, she is in possession of a piece of paper that says to the world she owns a Literature degree. To make matters worse, she took Master’s courses in creative writing. In the end, she realized to be a writer, none of what she had mattered. What really mattered? Writing. Plain and simple, honest to God, sitting in front of her computer, writing. Today, she has four completed Young Adult novels.




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