Category Archives: Romance

Review: Wish You Were Italian by Kristin Rae

Review: Wish You Were Italian by Kristin RaeWish You Were Italian by Kristin Rae
Series: Wish You Were...
Published by Bloomsbury, Bloomsbury Children's on May 6th 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Contemporary Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 323
Format: Paperback
Source: Given From Publisher
Goodreads
three-half-stars
Pippa has always wanted to go to Italy … but not by herself. And certainly not to sit in art school the entire summer learning about dead guys’ paintings. When she steps off the plane in Rome, she realizes that traveling solo gives her the freedom to do whatever she wants. So it’s arrivederci, boring art program and ciao, hot Italian guys!

Charming, daring, and romantic, Bruno is just the Italian Pippa’s looking for—except she keeps running into cute American archeology student Darren everywhere she goes. Pippa may be determined to fall in love with an Italian guy … but the electricity she feels with Darren says her heart might have other plans. Can Pippa figure out her feelings before her parents discover she left the program and—even worse—she loses her chance at love?

*I was given this book for review, but it in no way affected my review or opinions–honest!*

This book. Man the cover is so cheesy I can’t get over it! It’s as bad as the old covers for Anna and the French Kiss (y’all who know what I’m talking about understand). However, this book has a lot to offer and I really enjoyed reading it!

Pippa doesn’t have the best relationship with her workaholic parents. For Summer they send her to attend an art course in Italy–something she’s not interested and doesn’t want to do. However, her mother told her about it a week before she was due on the plane. Her friend Morgan gives her a list of all the things she needs to complete for these 3 months (like the premise in Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson), and one includes: Fall in Love with an Italian. As Pippa arrives in Italy, she realises she utterly does not want to do this course…and she has a lot of money from her parents, so she decides to screw it, and travel Italy by herself.

I loved the self-discovery aspect of this novel, how the relationship with her parents developed, and the adorable romance. These Summer books are my favourite. I adore reading about travelling, and the fact that this was set in Italy, makes me yearn to go there myself. The list element of things she had to do was fun and exciting, it gave Pippa the push she needed to reach outside of her comfort zone.

The romance in this wasn’t sizzling or particularly amazing, but it was sweet in a way that is not always easy to find! Despite the fact that it wasn’t anything majorly exceptional, the romance was a really great addition to the story and fit nicely. I loved how his curly hair was a running joke between them!

I had a brilliant time reading the amusing and entertaining adventures Pippa goes through, along with the characters she meets and how she develops as a character in her 3 months in Italy. It’s amazing how something like this can make a person grow. It’s not an emotional romance or gritty or anything like that, it’s just a simple, pretty story to read in the sun. It’s feel-good, sweet, and a great Summer book. It will be going on my Summer recommendations pile!

Wish You Were Italian is the second book from the series Wish You Were…, however it can be read as a standalone, as I have not read the first. The cheesy covers are really off-putting, however I’m really interested in the other books now!!

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Rating: 3.5 Stars

three-half-stars

Enclave by Ann Aguirre (Razorland #1)

Enclave by Ann Aguirre (Razorland #1)Enclave by Ann Aguirre
Series: Razorland
Published by Macmillan, Square Fish on April 11th 2011
Genres: Dystopia, Young Adult
Pages: 259
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
Goodreads
four-stars

Enclave was a really awesome read about ZOMBIES. I’m pretty obsessed with zombies at the moment, so this was facilitating my zombie love because they were a significant part of the novel. However it wasn’t like most zombie apocalypse books, where the entire book is about surviving the zombies. Zombies, or “Freaks”, were a big part of the plot, but there were a lot of other obstacles the characters had to overcome.

Deuce is part of an enclave underground and has been training her whole life to become a Huntress. They patrol the grounds, learn to fight and keep the Freaks away from the enclave. No one in the enclave has been aboveground because if they do, they believe they will die.

Deuce reminded me of Katniss, because of her slight unfeeling nature toward some things. She’s slightly ignorant towards people and doesn’t have a lot of emotional intelligence. However, I did like her, and simply felt sorry for her in some instances. She’s been living underground her whole life, and random things would crop up sometimes that seem obvious to us, but a revelation to her. Things she never knew about, like what chocolate was. C’mon. NOT KNOWING WHAT CHOCOLATE IS. I have to admit, that stood out to me more than some of the other instances.

The entire community of the enclave is corrupt and downright awful. Understandably though. None of the people brought up there were taught differently. Still, I did wonder why none of them actually though for themselves! Their whole community was a bunch of sheep, not questioning anything. The fact that they were underground, meant they had no idea of what was surreal. They could have been told marshmallows fell from the sky and believed it.

This is a book I’ve not heard much about but really recommend. The world is completely different and interesting. I read a whole book on it, yet I could read two more and still be fascinated. The characters have room for growth, and even developed in this instalment. I’m really interested to read about how Deuce changes, but also the more minor characters. There’s even enough romance to satisfy me, but again, there was this reminder of The Hunger Games and similarities between the two. I’m not going to delve into that now though, it’s complicated to explain, but if you’ve read it, comment and tell me if you understand! The only thing that was really lacking throughout Enclave was humour. The lack of humour gave this novel a brittle edge, and was hard to read at times because it’s so bleak.

Rating: 4 stars.

 

four-stars

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Review: Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

Review: Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan MatsonAmy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
Published by Simon and Schuster Children's on May 4th 2010
Genres: Contemporary, Contemporary Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 352
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
three-half-stars
Amy Curry thinks her life sucks. Her mom decides to move from California to Connecticut to start anew--just in time for Amy's senior year. Her dad recently died in a car accident. So Amy embarks on a road trip to escape from it all, driving cross-country from the home she's always known toward her new life. Joining Amy on the road trip is Roger, the son of Amy's mother's old friend. Amy hasn't seen him in years, and she is less than thrilled to be driving across the country with a guy she barely knows. So she's surprised to find that she is developing a crush on him. At the same time, she's coming to terms with her father's death and how to put her own life back together after the accident. Told in traditional narrative as well as scraps from the road--diner napkins, motel receipts, postcards--this is the story of one girl's journey to find herself.

After Amy’s dad dies in a car accident, her mother decides to move to Connecticut. Whilst Amy’s brother is in rehab, and her mother is getting the house ready in Connecticut, Amy is alone in her house in California. She hasn’t driven since her father died, so to get to her new house in Connecticut, Amy’s mother organises her to be driven by her old childhood friend–Roger.

Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour was a fun read with serious undertones, but not something that astounded me. Ultimately, because the romance let it down. (Romance is very important to me and this didn’t tick all the boxes, sadly.) I felt very much for Amy on a personal level, because my father died of cancer, and Amy’s dad died in a car accident. This made it a pretty emotional book to read at times, because I could relate to a lot of her regrets and thoughts. There’s a lot of messages about loss, family, love and life that anyone can identify with.

I loved the travelling aspect of this, because Amy and Roger travel over a whole lot of states in America. America is somewhere I’ve always wanted explore and go on a road-trip to. The UK is so small, that it freaks me out how huge North America is, therefore, I found it so cool to find out that some restaurants  and chocolate bars are only in certain states. Every couple of chapters there’s a list of songs that are from Roger’s playlist, which was really fun, and every chapter there were pictures and recipes which added to the exciting imagery of travelling.

An aspect that I really enjoyed is how Amy steps out of her comfort zone, by defying her mother and by spending a lot of time with a cute guy, when she has spent the last 3 months in her house alone.  Amy’s mother annoyed me beyond belief. Her father dies and her mum decides to move house. I understand the reasoning behind this, but after such a massive change, Amy now has to deal with a new house, new school and all the other stresses that comes with moving states. On top of that, Amy’s mother refuses to have a proper conversation with Amy, and leaves her alone in the house for THREE MONTHS, after her father has died. Neglect anyone? That is simply not okay, and means Amy has to mourn alone. There are so many more things that made me hate her mother, but that would probably take up pages so…

Roger was a cute guy, but was a bit lost and blind to what he wanted. The romance is slow-building and sweet, but nothing mind-blowing. However, it’s not really supposed to be. The last couple of romances I’ve read have left something to be desired! UGH. Anyway, when they realised their feelings together, the novel was pretty much done and there was really no room for any scenes together, which disappointed me. I like to see how the characters are in their relationship and how it develops.

Overall, a cute novel and something I would recommend because it has a lot to offer (travel, dealing with death, romance, stepping out of you comfort zone), and really it was the romance that let it down. Otherwise, it’s a really great book.

Rating: 3.5 stars

three-half-stars

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Review: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Review: Fangirl by Rainbow RowellFangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Published by My Kinda Book on September 10th 2013
Genres: Contemporary, Contemporary Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 445
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
five-stars
A coming-of-age tale of fan fiction, family and first love. 

Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan . . .

But for Cath, being a fan is her life — and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

This book is all kinds of adorable and I loved it. Cath is a fangirl–if you hadn’t worked that out–and this is something many readers can relate to. Cath has a twin and does pretty much everything with Wren, because why wouldn’t she? However, when it comes to university, Wren doesn’t want to be roommates with Cath in a bid to be more independent. I really liked Cath’s character, because she was bookish and shy. She does not want to be rooming with some random person and make eye contact with them…and stuff. Therefore, she’s a little hurt, and turns into a slight recluse in her room.

I related to Cath in a lot of ways, particularly how much she loves books and in this case, a particular series. Except, I’m not her kind of fangirl. I don’t write or read fanfic, however, I do have posters and T-shirts like her. I loved that Cath was a really popular fanfiction writer, and loved writing about those characters.

Cath is a really shy person, and doesn’t really go out of her room at the beginning. She hates the idea of going to the cafeteria for the first time and having nobody to sit with. I get that, but everyone’s in the same boat at this point, so you might as well get it over with. Personally, I would make friends with my roommate or the people in halls, then go sit with them. But Cath just sits in her room and lives on protein bars for a couple of months! Oh my! By the time she makes her way down there, everyone’s already got their groups. So Reagan helps her out, and practically forces her down there to eat. Her roommate Reagan was so awesome. She’s my kind of person 100%. She says what she feels and doesn’t skirt around on bullshit. You know what to expect from her. Some think she’s rude, but really she’s just being real with you. I was more like Reagan personality-wise than Cath, because I’m not as shy as Cath. She’s really good to Cath, she helps her a lot, and without Reagan, Cath would have been a complete hermit. We all need friends that help us in ways we can’t help ourselves.

Then there’s Levi. Levi. Levi. I love Levi. So different from a lot of guy characters currently in YA books. He’s just so happy and smiley and genuine. He supported Cath in a lot of ways, and didn’t push her. He also has a very weird way of learning. He’s a dependant on auditory learning, and listens to lectures instead of reading. But he wasn’t stupid, he just learns in a different way and struggles with how things are taught, so he works harder. I could relate so much to this, except I’m a visual learner, and sometimes I find things harder to process–but I’m not stupid. I’m generally an A/B student, but I identified with Levi a lot in that respect. Cath is naturally a genius, and she gets a little lazy at times. It was so great how Levi just didn’t allow her to be lazy, because he works so hard for his grades and would kill to get amazing grades as easily as her. You go Levi.

Fangirl’s Cath has an obsession with Simon Snow, a character from their world’s Harry Potter. I didn’t grow up with Harry Potter, I’m a bit young and kind of missed the party on that. Therefore, I didn’t entirely relate to that aspect, but the overall Fangirl parts I did relate to.

I really, really loved this book. It was sweet, funny, interesting and something I could completely relate to. I’ve not read anything quite like it, and will re-read this again and again. This will definitely be added to my Contemporary Romance recommendations, and if you haven’t read it, you really need to!

Rating: 5 STARS!!

five-stars

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Review: The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

Review: The Distance Between Us by Kasie WestThe Distance Between Us by Kasie West
Published by HarperCollins, HarperTeen on July 2nd 2013
Genres: Contemporary, Contemporary Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 320
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
Goodreads
four-stars
Seventeen-year-old Caymen Meyers studies the rich like her own personal science experiment, and after years of observation she’s pretty sure they’re only good for one thing—spending money on useless stuff, like the porcelain dolls in her mother’s shop.

So when Xander Spence walks into the store to pick up a doll for his grandmother, it only takes one glance for Caymen to figure out he’s oozing rich. Despite his charming ways and that he’s one of the first people who actually gets her, she’s smart enough to know his interest won’t last. Because if there’s one thing she’s learned from her mother’s warnings, it’s that the rich have a short attention span. But Xander keeps coming around, despite her best efforts to scare him off. And much to her dismay, she's beginning to enjoy his company.

She knows her mom can’t find out—she wouldn’t approve. She’d much rather Caymen hang out with the local rocker who hasn’t been raised by money. But just when Xander’s attention and loyalty are about to convince Caymen that being rich isn’t a character flaw, she finds out that money is a much bigger part of their relationship than she’d ever realized. And that Xander’s not the only one she should’ve been worried about.

Caymen and her mother live in an apartment behind their doll shop. Caymen’s mother (Susan) has issues with rich people. When Susan was young, she became pregnant and was given hush money from her boyfriends parents to keep quiet about it and disappear. Her boyfriend left without a backwards glance and her parents disowned her–this caused her hate for rich people. Susan believes that they have short attention spans and only care about appearance. I always thought this premise was kind of naive, because it’s such a massive generalisation and doesn’t make much sense. However, this affects how Caymen perceives people and when an attractive, rich guy walks into her mother’s doll shop, she knows not to get too interested.

Caymen’s sarasm and dry humour is practically identical to mine–except she’s way more witty than me! She’s so deadpan that sometimes people can’t figure out if she’s being sarcastic. Her reaction to Xander was actually really funny, and the book continues in this amusing fashion, with funny remarks on every page. Xander is not my favourite book boyfriend but he was really sweet and he got Caymen and her character. They were both a little lost and didn’t know what they wanted to do with their lives. Caymen is really poor and trying to keep the doll shop afloat with her mother, and Xander is R.I.C.H. (seriously rich) and his dad expects him to take over his hotel business–something he doesn’t want to do.

The romance was full of miscommunication, doubt and insecurities. It was really interesting to see how the amount of money someone earns divides social groups in such a huge way. Caymen lives in a fairly small town and she hadn’t even met Xander before, because he obviously hangs around in completely different social circles and goes to private school. Caymen only really has one friend, but a sweet, genuine friend at that. The romance isn’t sizzling, which is what disappointed me the most. It didn’t make me want to fan myself or want to dive in the book and marry Xander because he’s so amazing. However, I felt like Caymen and Xander had a really great connection, in that they understood what the other needed, and got each other like no one else. That’s what made the romance special to me, but no, I will not be adding Xander to the top of my book boyfriends list, despite how awesome his name is.

The Distance Between Us was a really great read but I didn’t enjoy it as much as Pivot Point (something Kasie West has also written).  I would recommend it, because the premise was different and entertaining, with a hilarious MC and fairly intense storyline.

Rating: 4 Stars.

four-stars

Review: Skin Deep by Laura Jarratt

Review: Skin Deep by Laura JarrattSkin Deep by Laura Jarratt
Published by Electric Monkey on March 5th 2012
Genres: Contemporary, Contemporary Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 377
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
four-half-stars
Ugly people don't have feelings. They're not like everyone else. They don't notice if you stare at them and turn away. And if they did notice, it wouldn't hurt them. They're not like real people. Or that's what I used to think. Before I learned...After the car crash that leaves her best friend dead, Jenna is permanently scarred. She struggles to rebuild her life, but every stare in the street, every time she looks in the mirror, makes her want to retreat further from the world. Until she meets Ryan. Ryan's a traveller. When he and his mother moor their narrow boat on the outskirts of a village, she tells him this time it will be different. He doesn't believe her; he can't imagine why this place shouldn't be as unwelcoming as the rest. Until he meets Jenna. But as Jenna and Ryan grow closer, repercussions from the crash continue to reverberate through the community. And then a body is found...

Skin Deep is about a girl who is in a car crash and suffers severe burns, causing a large, disfiguring scar to mar along one side of her face. This accident has happened less than a year ago and the wounds are still fresh (literally and figuratively). Jenna doesn’t often go out anymore, for fear of the pointing and whispering from other people. Naturally, as a 14-year-old, she’s already got some insecurities about her appearance, but after this accident,  Jenna has understandably become more reserved and has only one friend.

Skin Deep was an incredibly emotion-inducing read. It was a brilliant blend of romance and contemporary that I love. Ryan is a traveller, who’s mum has Bi-Polar disorder and never wants to stay in one place. This time though, Ryan puts his foot down, and is set upon staying in this town for longer than usual–perhaps permanently. I loved the way the scars were handled, and how Ryan treated Jenna with the scars. At first, Jenna is incredibly sensitive and takes offence at many words that were not meant to be hurtful. Soon though, she begins to crack out of her shell and do things normal teenagers should do without a second thought.

Ryan is goshdang special, there is simply no other word for it. I have read many Romances and I have a lot of book boyfriends and Ryan is so incredibly different and so the same. As Ryan and Jenna fall in love, I was so happy for them and loved the way it was written. Ryan had this way of making Jenna feel beautiful even with her scars, which was a hard feat. He helped build her confidence and I’m sure, without him it would have taken many more years to gain such confidence. I thought they were genuinely perfect for each other. Together, they had their own issues, and it was very balanced the way they both leant on each other, and helped each other when they needed to.

The only thing that annoyed me about this book was Jenna’s father. In the accident, Jenna was with her best friend friends, who were smoking and taking drugs whilst driving. No, Jenna did not have the imitative to make them stop and let her out, and this caused the crash. However, I’m pretty sure she learned her lesson by the months it took her scar to heal–and is still healing. Also, with the emotional trauma of her best friends dying, and another girl dying. This doesn’t stop her father from stunting her emotional growth when she’s trying to re-build herself though. He constantly questions what she is doing, and shouting at her for trying to go out with friend. I get that there’s a trust issue after that crash and Jenna was close to dying, but that’s his problem–not hers. Her father is just so incredibly angry all the time, and sets up a local campaign in their small town to take a stand against speeding. But he doesn’t listen to her. Jenna hates this campaign, she feels uncomfortable being looked at, and no one treats her like a normal girl. Her father continually calls her selfish. It looks to me like the father needs therapy and not her. Perhaps it’s just my family, but if I was this uncomfortable and hurt by this campaign, my family would stop immediately. Okay. Rant over. Word of warning, this never really gets resolved, but I still loved the book.

Jarratt has crafted such an emotional and amazing book about first love, trauma, insecurities and re-building oneself. I loved it. It was exactly my kind of Contemporary and definitely a re-read. I read it in about two days, because it’s the kind of book you make time for.

Rating: 4.5 Stars

four-half-stars

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Review: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Review: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie PerkinsAnna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Series: Anna and the French Kiss #1
Published by Usborne on December 2nd 2010
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 372
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
five-stars
Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris--until she meets Étienne St. Clair. Smart, charming,beautiful, Étienne has it all...including a serious girlfriend.

But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?

Anna and the French Kiss is such a fluffy, warm book that cuddles you when you read it. It’s about an American girl who gets sent to a boarding school in Paris for her last year of school. The boarding school is for Americans, and I loved the Paris aspect of the book. They say Paris is the city of romance, and that added to the magic of the book.

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Anna was such a joy to read. Her voice was hilarious, witty and something I entirely identified with. I just wanted to reach into the book and be her best friend. I read the first page, laughed and knew, just knew  this was going to be a 5 star read. Anna never annoyed me throughout the whole book–which is quite a feat! Her passion for films is like my passion for books, and she has a dream of becoming a film critic and writes on her blog. I could really identify with it, the way she would escape off to different cinema’s in Paris and watch old films. She jumps out of her comfort zone and into an entirely different country with, actually, not much complaining. Which is good, because no one wants to read about a big whiner. She embraces Paris a little later in the book and starts to learn French and grow up a little.

St Clair is so awesome and dreamy, he was the perfect mix of humour and sweet personality. He was also frustrating though! I wanted to hit him on the head sometimes because he didn’t know what he wanted! I loved the way they interacted and how genuine St Clair was…I just…dreamy sigh. Together, St Clair and Anna become close friends and explore Paris together, while the tension crackles between them. They didn’t just explore the usual tourist-y places, but also their secret places that made this book different.

Anna and the French Kiss is hilarious, gut-wrenching and amazing. It’s one of the most perfect YA Romances I’ve ever read. I can’t wait to read the next instalment of Lola and the Boy Next Door.

five-stars

Keeping-Her

Review: Keeping Her by Cora Carmack (Losing it #1.5)

Review: Keeping Her by Cora Carmack (Losing it #1.5)Keeping Her by Cora Carmack
Series: Losing it #1.5
Published by Ebury Press on August 13th 2013
Genres: New Adult
Pages: 176
Format: eBook
Source: NetGalley
Goodreads
four-stars
Garrick Taylor and Bliss Edwards managed to find their happily-ever-after despite a rather . . . ahem . . . complicated start. By comparison, meeting the parents should be an absolute breeze, right?

But from the moment the pair lands in London, new snags just keep cropping up: a disapproving mother-in-law-to-be, more than one (mostly) minor mishap, and the realization that perhaps they aren't quite as ready for their future as they thought.

As it turns out, the only thing harder than finding love is keeping it.

I really loved Losing it and I adore Garrick and Bliss. Keeping Her was a really cute ending to their lovely story. Garrick takes Bliss to England (specifically London) to meet his parents. There isn’t much to say because it’s a small story, and I’ve already professed my love for this couple already. I read it straight after Losing it because I wanted to continue this sweet love story.

I really loved the way Carmack handled the relationship between Bliss and Garrick’s mother. It started off as fairly cliche and uninteresting. However, as the story went on, things became different and therefore more intriguing. I enjoyed seeing Garrick and Bliss’s relationship being tested as well, because it’s always fun to see what happens after the HEA and how they act when things get tough.

We get to meet some of Garrick’s London school friends who I found really funny and brought some humour to the short story. Also, once again it’s in dual POV, therefore we get to know what’s going on in Garrick’s head! It’s fun to be inside Garrick’s head, but I connect with Bliss’s character so much. Her embarrassing moments and neuroticism are so realistic and it makes me adore her character.

Overall, it was a really sweet story and something I greatly enjoyed. If you haven’t read Losing it, I urge you to discover the amazingness of Bliss and especially Garrick. Then follow it up with Keeping Her! These books have really made me more confident in reading New Adult novels, because I’d never read them before. So read them if you’re thinking of trying out this genre!

Rating: 4 Stars

four-stars

LOSING-IT-COVER-WORK

Review: Losing it by Cora Carmack

Review: Losing it by Cora CarmackLosing it by Cora Carmack
Published by Ebury Press on 12th October 2012
Genres: New Adult
Pages: 204
Format: eBook
Source: Bought
Goodreads
four-stars
Sick of being the only virgin among her friends, Bliss Edwards decides the best way to deal with the problem is to lose it as quickly and simply as possible - a one-night stand. But her plan turns out to be anything but simple when she freaks out and leaves a gorgeous guy alone and naked in her bed with an excuse that no one with half-a-brain would ever believe. And as if that weren't embarrassing enough, when she arrives for her first class of her last college semester, she recognizes her new theatre professor. She'd left him naked in her bed about 8 hours earlier.
Buy the Book from Amazon UK

Losing it was one of my first New Adult reads and it didn’t disappoint. Don’t let the weirdo cover put you off, because it’s a cute book. I was really in the mood for something light and fluffy, and this delivered. The premise was fun: Bliss Edwards is  virgin and sets out to lose her virginity in a one-night stand. That one night stand plan ends with a gorgeous naked man in Bliss’ bed, and her running out claiming she needs to pick up her cat from the vet. Then, the following Monday, she recognizes her new college professor is said gorgeous naked man.

I really enjoyed reading this. I was slightly wary about the premise of someone losing their virginity after reading Popping the Cherry by Aurelia Bowl. I felt the execution wasn’t very good in that one. However, Losing it was handled really tastefully and in a fun way. I read it just before my mocks as well, so it put me in a happy mood. It’s the kind of book that leaves you feeling satisfied and like you’ve eaten a really delicious, fulfilling meal!

I liked the setting in college. I’ve heard about New Adult bridging the gap between YA and Adult Romance, but it’s incredibly interesting to see how each genre is actually considerably different. Despite people claiming all three are the same thing, it’s not true. Bliss was a likeable, realistic adult who was a really funny character to follow. Garrick was awesome. Together they made a cute pair and I liked the way they interacted.

Cora Carmack is quite known for her success in indie publishing. Losing it was Carmack’s debut novel published in December 2012. She published it herself with no help in marketing and so on. However, she still managed to get #36 in Kindle Contemporary Romance and other notable successes. This is pretty amazing for someone simply publishing through Amazon with no paper copies or anything. Good for you Carmack! I’ve added Carmack to my metal list of authors to look out for, and will be exploring more New Adult–namely J Lynn aka Jennifer L. Armentrout.

Rating: 4 stars!

four-stars

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Review: Twice Tempted by Jeaniene Frost (Night Prince #2)

Review: Twice Tempted by Jeaniene Frost (Night Prince #2)Twice Tempted by Jeaniene Frost
Series: Night Prince #2
Published by Avon on 26th March 2013
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 326
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
Goodreads
four-half-stars
Leila's psychic abilities have been failing her, and now she isn't sure what the future holds. If that weren't enough, her lover, Vlad, has been acting distant. Though Leila is a mere mortal, she's also a modern woman who refuses to accept the cold shoulder treatment forever–especially from the darkly handsome vampire who still won't admit that he loves her.

Like choosing between eternal love and a loveless eternity...

Soon circumstances send Leila back to the carnival circuit, where tragedy strikes. And when she finds herself in the crosshairs of a killer who may be closer than she realizes, Leila must decide who to trust– the fiery vampire who arouses her passions like no other or the tortured knight who longs to be more than a friend? With danger stalking her every step of the way, all it takes is one wrong move to damn her for eternity.
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YAY! Love this series! I was a little apprehensive about reading a spin-off with Vlad, and although I really enjoyed Once Burned, Twice Tempted was that much more enjoyable for me.

I love character development and Frost writes it incredibly well. Both Leila and Vlad grew as a couple and did what they needed to make the relationship work. Like adults. Which is why I adore their relationship so much. Vlad isn’t used to having someone so close to him, and although he has had lovers, he’s not been in an equal partnership in a long time. Not just because Vlad is a commitment-phobe either. Rather, because the one woman he did love killed herself, because she was so afraid of him. You can see why Vlad is a little reluctant to fall in love after that, so he simply refuses. I love Vlad’s character so much more now, before he was mysterious (and he still is), but his character has been given much more depth and reason for his actions. I really fell in love with him in this one.

That’s not to say Vlad wasn’t infuriating at times, because he seriously is. However, it worked because Vlad never changed who he was completely. He’s still brutal Vlad, and although he bends much more than he has before, for Leila. He doesn’t change. I find in some relationships in these books, the ruthless Vampire falls in love with the woman and becomes a bit soppy. Which I find unrealistic, because it’s almost like their entire character changes.

Leila also has character development, and together, you have two evolving characters that don’t annoy you. Leila is hilarious at times, her sarcastic inner-commentary and witty remarks are exactly what I look for in a character. She’s someone people underestimate, with an awesome power of electricity and ability to read emotional imprints on people. Frost has given her truly compelling and intriguing powers. Leila is the kind of character you

I really adore this world, the characters and the world-building. There is a fair bit of romance, but it doesn’t dominate the book, and it was just the right amount for me. I’m very sad that there’s only going to be one more book, however, at least this series will end strongly and is unlikely to fizz out. Twice Tempted is not a book to miss, and is the kind of book where two hours will go by and the pages are flipping themselves, because you are so into the story and characters. Frost has done an excellent job with this world and I highly recommend it if you enjoy Paranormal Romance, because, trust me, it’s the good stuff.

four-half-stars

if-i-stay

Review: If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Review: If I Stay by Gayle FormanIf I Stay by Gayle Forman
Published by Black Swan on Arpil 2nd 2009
Genres: Contemporary, Contemporary Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 201
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought, Library
Goodreads
five-stars
In a single moment, everything changes. Seventeen-year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall riding along the snow-wet Oregon road with her family. Then, in a blink, she finds herself watching as her own damaged body is taken from the wreck...

A sophisticated, layered, and heart-achingly beautiful story about the power of family and friends, the choices we all make, and the ultimate choice Mia commands.
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If I Stay is one emotional book. Anyone who’s had experience with grief can relate to the premise (which is pretty much EVERYONE). Forman explores the boundaries between life and death, and the idea of having the choice whether to live or die. Mia is in a car accident with her parents and younger brother, and when her family are killed, Mia stays in a coma. We’re shown Mia’s perspective outside of her comatose body, as she watches events unfold around her and flashbacks are blended seamlessly to show her former life. She has a captivating dilemma of whether it’s worth living. Her family is dead, and she would spend the rest of her life grieving and living without her family. But of course she has hundreds of life prospects to look forward to, as she’s only 17.

From page one, Mia was a character I understood and liked. Maybe it’s because of her sarcastic and dark humor, or the way her character was presented, but she seemed like someone I could be best friends with. Forman has a way of pulling at the heart-strings in a particular way, I never sobbed my heart out, but her writing made me grieve for my own losses and I  teared up a few times. Her family situation was adorable; she had a boyfriend, a best friend, and an amazing talent at cello. There was no huge drama-llama, everything was so incredibly normal. This made the situation easy to relate to and powerful, because it reminds one that life is short and unpredictable.

I love romance in books, and it did play a part in If I Stay. Adam is probably one of the most realistic book boyfriends, and I love him for it. He’s the lead singer and guitarist in a rock band, but it wasn’t as cliche as it sounds. Forman didn’t make him a rock star to make us love him (okay maybe a little bit), but it was also really integral to the story. Music played an important role in the storyline, as it’s how Adam and Mia meet. It was something they were so passionate about and it  worked really well.

I’m not wasn’t a huge fan of contemporary, and honestly the genre has annoyed me at times. However, If I Stay has opened my eyes to the genre and made me see it in a completely different light. I loved the characters in this book, I loved the story line and the events. I’m so glad I picked it up, and will not sigh heavily when thinking about reading a Contemporary. Because if I read another Contemporary that I loved as much as this, I shall be very happpy.

five-stars

Stir-Me-Up-by-Sabrina-Elkins

ARC Review: Stir Me Up by Sabrina Elkins

ARC Review: Stir Me Up by Sabrina ElkinsStir Me Up by Sabrina Elkins
Published by Harlequin Teen on December 1st 2013
Genres: Romance, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 268
Format: eBook
Source: NetGalley
Goodreads
five-stars
Cami Broussard has her future all figured out. She'll finish her senior year of high school, then go to work full-time as an apprentice chef in her father's French restaurant, alongside her boyfriend, Luke. But then twenty-year-old ex-Marine Julian Wyatt comes to live with Cami's family while recovering from serious injuries. And suddenly Cami finds herself questioning everything she thought she wanted.

Julian's all attitude, challenges and intense green-brown eyes. But beneath that abrasive exterior is a man who just might be as lost as Cami's starting to feel. And Cami can't stop thinking about him. Talking to him. Wanting to kiss him. He's got her seriously stirred up. Her senior year has just gotten a lot more complicated….

This was such a *sigh* worthy romance. I read it in two sittings and I loved it. Julian, has been given an honourable discharge from the Marines when he was wounded in an IED explosion. He was trying to pull three other people to safety when there was a second explosion, and he was the only one who survived. One of his legs has to amputated, and he sustained many other injuries and obvious emotional scarring. He’s not in a good place and when our main heroine Cami meets him for the first time in his hospital bed, he angrily shouts at her to leave the room. Except, Julian is Cami’s stepmother’s nephew and soon Julian moves out of hospital and into Cami’s room, and consequently, they are forced to see each other every day.

Poor Cami was put out by not having her own private space, but Julian desperately needs the care Cami’s stepmother, Estella, is willing to give. Cami is attending her last year of school and works at her French father’s restaurant–Etoile. She loves cooking mostly French food, and bakes some muffins for Julian in goodwill–he throws it at her head. Commence the angry insults that are thrown at each other. I enjoyed Cami’s love for cooking food, it added to the storyline, and gave her more depth. She was an enjoyable character to read about, because she was so relatable. She goes to school, she has a best friend, she studies, she flirts with a hot Marine…wait, what? Where’s my hot Marine? *Ahem*, anyway, she had a feistiness and friendliness that made me want to be there baking muffins and laughing with her.

Stir Me Up explores the after-math of war in individuals, and the effects of loss. Julian and Cami warm to each other in a slow-burning way, that is believable and sweet. This book is wholly satisfying for Romance-lovers, and prefect for those cold days to snuggle under the covers and get caught up in a highly amusing and adorable romance.

Julian is one sexy marine *swoon*, and Elkins made the connection between him and Cami feel tangible. Cami has no idea what she wants to do other than that she wants to be a chef, and Julian and her share that uncertainty towards their future. I had such a good time reading this, I urge you to read it.

Rating: 5 Stars

five-stars

BitingCold

Review: Biting Cold by Chloe Neill (Chicagoland Vampire #6)

Biting Cold by Chloe Neill
Series: Chicagoland Vampires #6
Published by Gollancz on August 9th 2012
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 352
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
four-stars

 

Turned into a vampire against her will, twenty-eight-year-old Merit found her way into the dark circle of Chicago’s vampire underground, where she learned there was more to supernaturals than met the eye—and more supernaturals than the public ever imagined. And not all the secrets she learned were for sharing—among humans or inhumans. Now Merit is on the hunt, charging across the stark American Midwest, tailing a rogue supernatural intent on stealing an ancient artifact that could unleash catastrophic evil on the world. But Merit is also the prey. An enemy of Chicagoland is hunting her, and he’ll stop at nothing to get the book for himself. No mercy allowed.
No rules apply. No lives spared. The race is on.


After the events in Drink Deep, Merit and Ethan are on their journey to Nebraska, to fight Mallory for the Maleficium. She’s obsessed with the book and nearly destroyed Chicago in her attempts to get it. Even though the Order were in charge of keeping her captive, she escaped her cell and now it’s Ethan and Merit’s turn to clean up the mess.
It’s been such a delight to see Merit grow throughout the series and she’s now a character I fully root for when reading the Chicagoland Vampires series. She has the perfect balance of fighting prowess, a tough personality, yet  vulnerability that makes her a believable protagonist. After Ethan’s absence in Drink Deep, it was great to see him back, and along with that, the sexual frustration between him and Merit, as he decides to put their relationship on hold. Again. Merit decides to be mature, and carries on with her job as Sentinel efficiently, but she’s hurt by Ethan’s constant rejection. As Sentinel, she has a lot of responsibilities and people relying on her, and as usual, Merit took this in her stride. It’s been under a year since Merit was made a Vampire, and in that time she has been on many hit lists and overcome many battles. She’s professional and damn efficient at her job, and to Ethan’s surprise, she can handle it more than competently. In Biting Cold, we see her ‘badass’ tendencies and gain a slight look into Merit’s vulnerable side, which made her more authentic and exposed, but it didn’t slow her down.
Ethan and Merit are both complex characters, each have learnt something from the other, and their constant back and forth was entertaining, as well as emotional. Ethan was missed in the previous book and now that he’s back, he’s just as much an alpha as before, if not more so. I like Ethan’s character and the frustration between him and Merit was intense, to say the least. It reminded me how much he was missed- yet I still think Jonah is a great addition to the series. Mallory inadvertently tests the security of Ethan and Merit’s relationship and puts a stress on them as a couple. Ethan’s in a difficult position now that he’s suddenly returned from the dead, as Darius’ visit is at an unhelpful time and nobody’s quite sure who the master is.

“For now, with his emerald eyes locked on mine, where I was going didn’t seem so scary.”

Mallory was really annoying me in the previous book, and I was glad that Merit didn’t easily excuse her of the pain she’d caused. I pitied Mallory in Biting Cold, and Chloe Neill did a very good job of keeping her fairly likeable, so I assume her character will be recovered in the next couple of books. The focus turns away from her and more onto other issues with different power plays and creatures such as Claudia- the Fae queen- who Merit encounters more than once.
The plot was engaging, and very entertaining, as new characters join the fray, each with their own funny one-liners. There’s a undertone of humour that lightens the mood and makes it more amusing, especially Merits love for Mallocakes.

“Your Mallocakes may be hard to find.”
“That’s why I packed a box in my duffel bag.”
He burst out laughing like I’d told the funniest joke he’d ever heard, but I’d told the absolute truth. Mallocakes were a favorite dessert—chocolate cakes filled with marshmallow cream—and they were exceedingly hard to find. I’d brought some along just in case.”

I give this 4 Stars

Giveaway of Biting Cold, coming soon!

four-stars

Review: Morrigan: trials of a teenage witch by Amanda McKeon

Morrigan: trials of a teenage witch by Amanda McKeon
Published by Self-Published on November 27th 2012
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
Format: eBook
Source: Given From Author
three-stars

Morrigan: trials of a teenage witch

Blurb: 
Morrigan Reilly, or Mo, is a lucky girl and she knows it, but something’s bugging her and she can’t pinpoint what it is. Disconnected from her friends since returning to school, and all but invisible to the guy she likes, things just go from bad to worse when she accidentally puts a hex on someone she loves. What Mo doesn’t know is that she’s a witch, descended from the great Celtic goddess, The Morrigan, queen of battle and strife. Mo’s life is about to get a lot more complicated, and she’ll learn the true meaning of that old adage, ‘Be careful what you wish for’…


Amanda emailed me last week and asked me to review her YA book, and having previously heard about the Morrigan before, I was curious so I accepted. It’s about a normal 17-18 year-old girl who lives in Ireland, called Morrigan. She discovers her powers as a witch descended from the Celtic goddess- The Morrigan queen of battle and strife. Morrigan has never before taken ‘be careful what you wish for’ so close to heart until now.
Morrigan seemed to go through a lot in this book and I really empathised for her, but felt her character wasn’t complex enough. This book is written in the third person yet I never really connected with her for some reason. She didn’t have enough of a individual character for me and I never rooted for her as much as I wanted to. I agreed with most of the decisions she made, I just didn’t have enough to relate to. I enjoyed her character, especially in the end chapters, because she seemed like a realistic teenager and I’d really like to see her powers and her character develop in the next book.
I felt the same about most of the characters, as they are something I really analyse when reading. They’re just missing that spark needed to make a really good bunch of main characters. Other than that, I found myself liking all of them, just not loving them.

I thought the beginning of this book was going to be eye-roll worthy, as in the second scene Robbie asks Mo out and she’s left excited about this dream date. However, Amanda surprised me in that aspect, and as I realised what was actually going on in the romance department, I rejoiced. I really liked the guy she picked, and he came across really nicely for the first book, I just thought it was incredibly rushed. As soon as they’d had their first date, they were talking seriously about a relationship. I think the build-up could have been much more intense, and give us chance to see if the reader actually likes him! I hadn’t even decided if I liked the main heroine and if I wanted her to have the best possible guy yet. It happened too rapidly, and if we’d found out more about him, we could have fallen in love with him easier. It was a shame, because I really liked him.
The main storyline was nicely done for a first book. I think the first book is always setting up the series by showing the rules and whatnot.  It had a nice balance between romance and actual plot, and  we find out Morrigan’s powers along with her. What Morrigan can specifically do is unknown by just about everyone, and I liked the mystery, I just wonder if random powers are going to crop up all over the place at convenient times. She can scry, and animals seem attached to her which was amusing. I found myself laughing at the antics Morrigan used her powers for when she’d first discovered them, and was glad that she didn’t use them too recklessly and immaturely. I was genuinely surprised by the ending, I wonder where in the storyline that’s going to be used and hope it will give another layer. I thought that Morrigan was a realistic teenager when she didn’t do much self-defence in this book, and I can see her powers growing interestingly.
The worst problem for me, had to be the editing. This is a self-published book and the typos were pretty bad. There were too many and this had an effect on the overall rating.

 I enjoyed the mythology used and the overall book was interesting and a nice read.
I give this 3 Stars


Follow Amanda McKeon on Twitter
Look at Morrigan’s Goodreads page
Visit Amanda McKeon’s website

three-stars

Favourite Five Friday


1. Chloe Neil is the author of the Chicagoland Vampires series, if you haven’t read them before, you should check them out. If she gets to 8,000 likes on Facebook and 5,000 on Twitter, she will give away one more autographed copy of House Rules ( Chicagoland Vampires #7) in her givaway! Go here for more.

2. The Atlantic Wire has given awards for this year’s best YA, they’ve chosen Best Prose, Most Worthy Of Our Tears etc. See here




3. I’ve heard so many people rave about Jennifer L’Armentrout’s Lux series and I have yet to read them but Vampire Book Club has done a review on the first novel Obsidian here. The third novel, Opal releases on the 11th December. If you haven’t read the first one either, this is the blub:

Starting over sucks. 
When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I’d pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, outhouses, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring. Until I spotted my hot neighbor with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.
And then he opened his mouth. 
Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something…unexpected happens.
The hot alien living next door marked me. 
You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and the mark he left on me has me lit up like Las Vegas strip to the bad guys. The only way I’m getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades.
If I don’t kill him first, that is. 



Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout // VBC Review
Wait a minute…who’s that on the front there?

Well hellooo Pepe Toth.

4. Rachel Caine’s Morganville book 14 is called Fall Of Night and 15 is called Daylighters! Fall Of Night is being released in May 7th.

5. Frost burned by Patricia Briggs is #7 in the Mercy Thompson series and Patricia Briggs has released a snipped here! Out 5th March 2013.


Have a great weekend everybody!







Review: Frostbite Graphic Novel by Richelle Mead, Leigh Dragoon and Emma Vieceli

Frostbite Graphic Novel by Emma Vieceli, Leigh Dragoon, Richelle Mead
Series: Vampire Academy Graphic Novels #1
Published by Razorbill on August 23rd 2011
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
Pages: 144
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought
four-half-stars



Blurb:

The drama and romance continue in this 144-page full-color graphic novel adaptation of the second Vampire Academy novel, Frostbite, which was overseen by Richelle Mead and features beautiful art by acclaimed British illustrator Emma Vieceli.

As you might know, Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy series is one of my favourite series, and I was delighted to find out that a graphic novel was being released. It was illustrated by Emma Vieceli and adapted by Leigh Dragoon.

I really liked it, and thought it got the whole gist of Vampire Academy. However, with the graphic novel, you miss certain funny back and forth, or entire conversations that simply make the book. It’s harder to empathize with Rose, because you don’t fully get immersed into her thoughts.Yet, I think that’s simply because it’s a graphic novel and you can’t cram it full, it just needs the important bits.  Leigh Dragoon adapted it very well, and the witty thoughts are still there, making me laugh. It’s a really quick, easy read for someone who wants to catch up with the books but doesn’t have a lot of time.
The drawings are amazing, Dimitri is drawn well…ahem, and the characters are how they are described in the book, Emma Vieceli has clearly worked hard at trying to get everything correct. I found myself getting enraptured with the story again and flying through the pages, I haven’t read the books in a while and this reminded me how much I desperately need to re-visit them.
Overall an 4.5 Stars

four-half-stars

Desperately Desiring…

Fury’s Kiss
Blurb:

Karen Chance continues her terrific urban fantasy series featuring the kick-ass daughter of a vampire in this sequel to Midnight’s Daughter and Death’s Mistress.
Dorina Basarab is a dhampir – half-human, half-vampire. Subject to uncontrollable rages, most dhampirs live very short, very violent lives. But so far, Dory has managed to maintain her sanity by unleashing her anger on those demons and vampires who deserve killing . . .
Dory is used to fighting hard and nasty. So when she wakes up in a strange scientific lab with a strange man standing over her, her first instinct is to take his head off. Luckily, the man is actually the master vampire Louis-Cesare, so he’s not an easy kill.
It turns out that Dory had been working with a Vampire Senate task force on the smuggling of magical items and weaponry out of Faerie when she was captured and brought to the lab. But when Louis-Cesare rescues her, she has no memory of what happened to her.
To find out what was done to her – and who is behind it – Dory will have to face off with fallen angels, the maddest of mad scientists, and a new breed of vampires that are far worse than undead . . .

This book was released on the 11th October… and I’m just getting round to reading it! I’ve already bought it, but I’m desperately desiring to read it- if that counts. Karen Chance is on my recommended books simply because she creates amazing worlds and characters. Along with sexy Louis-Cesare, this series is a must-read. If you love a hardcore heroine set in an action-packed world with fairy’s and vampires, you will highly enjoy this.