Friday, April 24, 2015

Review: Things We Know By Heart by Jessi Kirby
Things We Know By Heart
by Jessi Kirby
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Publication Date: April 21st 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 304
ISBN: 9780062299437
Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary
Source: Edelweiss

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When Quinn Sullivan meets the recipient of her boyfriend’s donated heart, the two form an unexpected connection.

After Quinn loses her boyfriend, Trent, in an accident their junior year, she reaches out to the recipients of his donated organs in hopes of picking up the pieces of her now-unrecognizable life. She hears back from some of them, but the person who received Trent’s heart has remained silent. The essence of a person, she has always believed, is in the heart. If she finds Trent’s, then maybe she can have peace once and for all.

Risking everything in order to finally lay her memories to rest, Quinn goes outside the system to track down nineteen-year-old Colton Thomas—a guy whose life has been forever changed by this priceless gift. But what starts as an accidental run-in quickly develops into more, sparking an undeniable attraction. She doesn't want to give in to it—especially since he has no idea how they're connected—but their time together has made Quinn feel alive again. No matter how hard she’s falling for Colton, each beat of his heart reminds her of all she’s lost…and all that remains at stake. (Goodreads)
Things We Know By Heart is the first book I’ve read by Jessi Kirby. I’ve had some of her other books on my to-read list for a while now, but haven’t had a chance to read them yet. Now that I’ve read one of her books, I’ve definitely become a fan, and I can’t wait to get my hands on her other books!

Poor Quinn, for such a young girl, she had been through so much. Having the love of your life die in a tragic accident can make even the strongest of persons buckle. As a way to cope with her loss, she decides to meet the recipients of Trent’s donated organs; seeing the life that Trent provided to those who needed it. And after 400 days, she had met almost all of the recipients, except for the one that would be the hardest to deal with, the heart recipient, who doesn’t want to be found. But Quinn is very determined, and ends of finding him anyways. From there, her chance meeting with the recipient turns into something much, much more.

I really loved Quinn’s determination throughout the story. She just knew that she would find closure after finding the heart recipient, and all she wanted was a little peek at the person. But she totally didn’t expect all the feelings that came with finally finding Colton, which was completely understandable. I loved Colton a little more than I expected to, and it was hard not to love him. He was so sweet! I loved watching the relationship between the two grow.

This book will have you hooked from the beginning. The very first chapter is like a punch to the gut. The accident and the feelings; my heart was breaking for Quinn. That’s another thing about the book; it gives you ALL the feels as you turn the pages. Also, I love the setting of the book is at the beach. I love books that are set at the beach, they make me want to learn to surf and kayak and do all the things that Quinn and Colton did in the book.

Overall; I really enjoyed Things We Know By Heart.  The characters are well written, and the storyline was addictive, and full of hope. I am super excited to read more by this author as soon as I possibly can.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Review: The Secrets of Attraction by Robin Constantine
The Secrets of Attraction
by Robin Constantine
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Publication Date: April 28th 2015
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Pages: 384
ISBN: 9780062279514
Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary
Source: Edelweiss

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Set in the same world as The Promise of Amazing, this smart, surprising, and (of course) romantic follow-up to Robin Constantine’s debut novel follows two New Jersey teens as they become friends and fall in love.

Madison Parker is on fast-forward. Working toward a scholarship for a summer art program, she already has her future figured out. But when a visit from a family friend turns her life upside down, everything she thought she knew becomes blurred. All she wants is to stand still for a moment.

Jesse McMann is stuck on repeat. Reeling from a breakup that shattered his heart and his band, Jesse divides his time between working as a barista and trying to find the inspiration to write music again. All he wants to do is move forward.

The night Maddie strolls into Jesse’s coffee shop after yoga class, the last thing on his mind is hooking up, but her smile and witty comebacks are hard to ignore. The spark between them is undeniable, but once-a-week flirting is hardly the stuff of epic romance.

Kismet arrives in the unlikely form of Grayson Barrett. When Jesse discovers that Gray’s girlfriend is also Maddie’s best friend, he invites Gray to join his band as their new drummer, hoping this connection will give him more time around Maddie. Slowly but surely, Jesse and Maddie forge a friendship, but do they have what it takes to make their relationship truly sync? (Goodreads)
The Secrets of Attraction is the first book I’ve read by Robin Constantine. I was originally drawn to this book by its gorgeous cover, but I’m pleased to say that the story is wonderful as well! I’m a sucker for a good contemporary, and this book definitely delivered.

The thing I didn’t realize before starting The Secrets of Attraction was that the book is a companion novel to The Promise of Amazing. I wish I had known this before starting the book, as I always like to read books in order. I was still able to read the book just fine by itself, but I do, however, want to get my hands on The Promise of Amazing as soon as I possibly can, because I LOVED The Secrets of Attraction!!

The two main characters in the story were Jesse and Madison. I loved these two characters SO much. They were so wonderfully perfect for each other, even if it took them a while to finally figure it out. Each of them had issues in their lives, but when they were together, it was perfection. Their relationship was so very sweet; I couldn’t get enough of it.

I love that the chapters were told from alternate viewpoints between Madison and Jesse. I really love when authors do this, as I feel like I get so much more information from the different viewpoints and it’s nice to know how each characters is feeling about certain situations.

The secondary characters in the novel were really fantastic; both of the main characters had really great friends. Especially Wren and Greyson, who I see were the main characters in The Promise of Amazing. I am definitely going to have to go back and read their story, because if it was half as good as The Secrets of Attraction, I know I am going to love it. Also, the parents in the book were wonderful as well; I really appreciate a book where there are good parents.

The storyline for the book was super sweet, and had everything I always look for in a contemporary novel. This book makes me want to take up yoga, and start hanging out in coffee shops as well.

Overall; The Secrets of Attraction is the first book I’ve read by Robin Constantine, but it definitely won’t be my last!! This book made me laugh and giggle, and even swoon more than a few times. I loved it. I absolutely can’t wait to get my hands on more books by this author!!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #196 - Tonight the Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales
Tonight the streets Are Ours
by Leila Sales
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Publication Date: September 15th 2015
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
ISBN: 9780374376659

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From the author of This Song Will Save Your Life comes a funny and relatable book about the hazards of falling for a person you haven't met yet.

Seventeen-year-old Arden Huntley is recklessly loyal. Taking care of her loved ones is what gives Arden purpose in her life and makes her feel like she matters. But she's tired of being loyal to people who don't appreciate her—including her needy best friend and her absent mom.

Arden finds comfort in a blog she stumbles upon called "Tonight the Streets Are Ours," the musings of a young New York City writer named Peter. When Peter is dumped by the girlfriend he blogs about, Arden decides to take a road trip to see him.

During one crazy night out in NYC filled with parties, dancing, and music—the type of night when anything can happen, and nearly everything does—Arden discovers that Peter isn't exactly who she thought he was. And maybe she isn't exactly who she thought she was, either.

I really, really enjoyed This Song Will Save Your Life by Sales,
so I'm super excited to see what she's come up with in this new book!
It souds like it's going to be one crazy night for Arden,
and I can't wait to go on the adventure with her!!
**"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine,
that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.**

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Review: Finding Paris by Joy Preble
Finding Paris
by Joy Preble
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Publication Date: April 21st 2015
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Pages: 272
ISBN: 9780062321305
Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary
Source: Edelweiss

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An evocative and compelling story of two sisters who would do anything for each other--perfect for fans of Thirteen Reasons Why and Speak. Joy Preble's stirring new novel explores the lengths to which sisters go to protect each other, and the winding road that brings two strangers into each other's lives.

Sisters Leo and Paris Hollings have only ever had each other to rely on. They can't trust their mother, who hops from city to city and from guy to guy, or their gambler stepfather, who's moved them all to Las Vegas. It's just the two of them: Paris, who's always been the dreamer, and Leo, who has a real future in mind--going to Stanford, becoming a doctor, falling in love. But Leo isn't going anywhere right now, except driving around Vegas all night with her sister.

Until Paris ditches Leo at the Heartbreak Hotel Diner, where moments before they had been talking with physics student Max Sullivan. Outside, Leo finds a cryptic note from Paris--a clue. Is it some kind of game? Where is Paris, and why has she disappeared? When Leo reluctantly accepts Max's offer of help, the two find themselves following a string of clues through Vegas and beyond. But the search for the truth is not a straight line. And neither is the path to secrets Leo and Max hold inside. (Goodreads)
The first thing that drew me to Finding Paris by Joy Preble was the gorgeous cover. I’ll be the first to admit, I’m a sucker for a beautiful cover. I’ve had some of Joy’s other books on my to-read list for a while now, and I was curious to finally read something by her.

I love the relationship between the main character, Leo, and her sister Paris. They have a very special bond that not a lot of people have. Their mom is a bit of a disaster, who only seems to care about her new husband, who is a total flake. But Leo and Paris have each other, and really, that’s all they seem to need. Leo was definitely a strong character, even though she hid the worst of herself; she was still strong and determined to find where her sister had disappeared to. I wish Paris had been in the story a bit more, she was a really interesting character.

The leading male in the story, Max, for the most part, was pretty adorable. There were a few times in the book where he had me scratching my head, wondering what he was doing, but I can see now why he acted the way he did. Also, I love that he was kind of a nerd.

I love that the setting for the book is in Vegas. It doesn’t seem like I’ve read a lot of books where this is the setting, but I find the place fascinating, and hope to visit one day. It sounds like it would be a lot of fun.

While I enjoyed the story for the most part, I had a few issues as well. I kind of feel that the road trip that Paris sent Leo and Max on was a completely unnecessary; I can see why she did it, but I think the book could have been just as good without it. In the end, I ended up just being confused by what Paris was trying to accomplish with it, and with the scavenger hunt as well, especially sending her sister on a wild goose chase with a complete stranger. Also, the storyline for the book started out one way, and I thought I would be reading just another fun contemporary, but there is a twist at the end of the novel, one that I pretty much saw coming, and the story took on a different edge to it. I was a little thrown by this.

Overall; while I had a few issues with the book, I found still found the book to be a very interesting read. I flew through the pages to see what was going to happen next. The characters and the relationship between the sisters really made the book something special. I’m really looking forward to reading more by Preble in the future.

Top Ten Tuesday: ALL TIME Favorite Authors

April 21:
Top Ten ALL TIME Favorite Authors

1. Michelle Hodkin - I love Michelle's twisted mind when she writes her books. I love how she draws you in and completely makes you second guess everything you know!

2. Julie Kagawa - I love Julie for her brilliant mind, and how she's not afraid to do something completely different from the norm in her books. Her writing is SO good.

3. Jenny Han - I'm pretty new to the Jenny Han bandwagon, but I'm currently reading my 4th book by her, and I'm really enjoying it.

4. Josephine Angelini - I love Josephine's books! She has such a creative mind when she writes her stories. Also, Josephine is SO super nice. I've had a few conversations with her via Twitter, and she's always so nice.

5. Cassandra Clare - One of the first authors I picked up when I first started reading YA books. Once I started The Mortal Instruments series, I was hooked!

6. Jamie McGuire - Jamie's Beautiful Disaster series is one of the first New Adult series I ever read, and once I read it, I was hooked! I love her books!

7. Katie McGuire - I love that Katie writes stories about hot guys with tattoos and muscle cars. These books are some of my faves!

8. Stephanie Perkins - I love that Stephanie writes amazing characters in awesome settings and situations. I will never get tired of reading her books.

9. Tahereh Mafi -Tahereh's stories completely blow me away. She's definitely earned a spot as a top fave for me!

10. Jane Austen - Jane is, of course, my most favorite author of all time. Her stories are timeless.

Ok, it was super hard to narrow my list down to 10 favorite authors,
so these are really just a few of my faves.
I could keep naming more and more, but these are all just awesome!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Review: 99 Days by Katie Cotugno
99 Days
by Katie Cotugno
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Publication Date: April 21st 2015
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Pages: 384
ISBN: 9780062216380
Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary
Source: Edelweiss

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Available for Purchase:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository

Day 1: Julia Donnelly eggs my house my first night back in Star Lake, and that’s how I know everyone still remembers everything—how I destroyed my relationship with Patrick the night everything happened with his brother, Gabe. How I wrecked their whole family. Now I’m serving out my summer like a jail sentence: Just ninety-nine days till I can leave for college, and be done.

Day 4: A nasty note on my windshield makes it clear Julia isn’t finished. I’m expecting a fight when someone taps me on the shoulder, but it’s just Gabe, home from college and actually happy to see me. “For what it’s worth, Molly Barlow,” he says, “I’m really glad you’re back.”

Day 12: Gabe got me to come to this party, and I’m actually having fun. I think he’s about to kiss me—and that’s when I see Patrick. My Patrick, who’s supposed to be clear across the country. My Patrick, who’s never going to forgive me.
99 Days is a book about facing your mistakes, and learning to start over. When Molly’s mom turns her biggest mistake into a best-selling novel, Molly’s first instinct is to run. After being away at boarding school for the past year, it’s time for her to return to her small town for the summer, to face the past she left behind, and the biggest mistake she ever made. 

It’s not often that I read a book where I felt both sympathy and insane frustration for a main character. That’s exactly how I felt about Molly while I was reading this book. There were SO many decisions that she made throughout the story that made me shake my head, or really, made me want to shake some sense into her. But then, in a way, I kind of get why she did the things that she did. Not that I agree with them at all, but I get it. Otherwise, I love how strong her character seemed to be. While all that was going on around her, when everyone blamed only her for what happened, she stayed headstrong, and didn’t let anyone bring her down. I always find that admirable.

All of the characters in the book are very well written. No one is perfect in this story; a few of them are super far from it, but they are all interesting nonetheless. I think Gabe was my favorite character in the whole book, and even he had many flaws. There are also characters in the book that you are REALLY going to hate, or at least I did. I didn’t appreciate at all how some of the girls treated Molly. Yes, she made a few bad choices in the book, but I don’t see how that was any of their business at all, and it made me SO angry how they treated her.

I’m not a huge fan of drama, but in this book, it was addictive! And it wasn’t just the drama, this whole book was addictive. Even while was reading it and thing how completely wrong so many things were as I turned the pages, I still couldn’t stop reading the book. It was this really weird type of intense, one that was, at times, uncomfortable.  And I just HAD to know how it was all going to end. Also, I really enjoyed the writing style for the book, and that each chapter was written for the specific day in Molly’s life. I really enjoyed the ending of the book as well.

Overall; while this book made me super uncomfortable in parts, I still really enjoyed reading it. I liked that the book was different than what I expected, that the characters and decisions made were so imperfect, and that the storyline was so realistic. I’m definitely looking forward to reading more from Katie Cotugno soon.
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